Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Easy Updates!

With Baby Boy on the way, I have been busy over the past few months getting things ready for his nursery.  Some pretty awesome projects have come out of that nursery and I am super excited to share them with my readers.  One of the only things left to do in the nursery is actually painting the room itself.  And because we have some super talented family members coming over to assist with that, we must wait until every one's schedules can match up.  So before I can feature the nursery and it's many projects here on Happy Now, I am going to share some quick and easy projects with you and perhaps one medium(ish) sized project soon!  Today's post is all about small updates you can do yourself to create big change.

The first project starts at the front door.  You might remember my Wreath Project from back in Spring.  This project was super simple and created an inviting addition to the front of the house.  You'll remember I used faux flowers and a glue gun.  Great idea in theory but once Summer's hot sun started beating down on my front door, that glue had a tendency to melt.  So the task was figuring out a way to attach flowers and accents without glue during the hot summer months.  I found some flowers on sale at Joann's that had wire stems which were very easy to thread through the wreath vines securely and without glue.  I also tried my hand at twine.  Again, very easy to work with and attached to the wreath by simply tying to the back of the wreath.  I also added in some faux eucalyptus which smells wonderful and threads through the wreath branches perfectly.

So there's the first easy update.  Took a quick trip to Joann's and about 10 minutes of project time to transform my front door into a pretty new look.

The second update is for the kitchen. Our kitchen counters are for the most part, sparsely decorated with only things that are regularly used.  Everything else is put away in cupboards.  I like the look of open space and minimalistic decor in the kitchen. Plus, its super easy to keep clean this way. One of those items is an awesome set of knives given to me by my Mumma for Christmas a number of years ago.  While I do love the set, it has sat out on the counter for about 4 years and endured a ton of abuse.  It was looking tired and kind of stuck out like a sore thumb.  Instead of looking online for a new set, I decided to (you guessed it) paint it to my liking.

Here's what I did:

1. Cleaned and Sanded
2. Painted
3. Distressed
4. Stenciled
5. Sealed

Nothing complicated here.  Took about an hour all together.  And I love the results!


Aaaand AFTER:

I know, I know, how many angles can I possibly show you of a knife set...  But it's just so pretty, isn't it???  Easy, pretty and didn't cost a thing!  LOVE!

The last project involves a little elbow grease and a little more time to complete, but trust me, it's totally worth it!  If you have a bathroom or kitchen or any room with tile flooring then you most likely have dealt with trying to clean the grout.  It can be tough.  Grout is porous and absorbs a ton of dirt.  You may not really notice dirty grout on your floors until you are in the midst of a room renovation or repaint.  Once things around the floor start to sparkle, the floor begins to show it's true colors.  Yuck!  The solution?  Grout paint!  Yes, there really is a product out there that you can simply smear onto your grout and it magically transforms from dingy and gross, to sparkly and pretty!

As far as my own experience with this stuff, AWESOME!  In the midst of a bathroom redo I began to notice how gross our tile floors are.  See below.  Nasty.

I cannot take full credit for this idea; I actually read about it on another fantastic blog and to give proper credit where it's due, you can check out that post here.
I found the product at Home Depot and it comes in many different shades.  If you're unsure of what shade to choose, you could snap a pic of your room in question and bring it with you to your favorite hardware or home store and ask someone there.  I choose Snow White based on the shade of my tiles and the overall appearance of our bathroom wall tiles.  Once home, I got to work.

Here's what you need:

1.  Grout Paint
2.  Rags
3.  Unused Toothbrush
4.  Something comfy to sit your bottom on.  I used towels.

Here's what you do:

1.  Follow directions exactly as they are on the back of the bottle.  You can't mess this up.  Seriously.

Here's what happens when you're done:

Take a look at the Before & After. Can't beat that sparkle and shine!

 So there you have it.  Three easy updates for your home.  And that one medium(ish) sized project I mentioned earlier...  Your sneak peek is my sparkly new bathroom floor.  The entire bath redo will be up on the blog very soon!  UPDATE: Take a look at my Bath Redo HERE!

Stay tuned and of course, have a very Happy day!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Etsy-Inspired Wall Art

Today's post is a short but sweet tutorial on how to create your very own wall art, as seen on popular boutique websites, but for a fraction of the cost!

Items Needed:

Scrapbook Paper
Dollar Store Frames
Your Favorite Paint & Brushes

I found my scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby.  Just head over to the "Scrapbooking" section of the store and you will find an entire aisle dedicated to paper.  All different types, textures and prints.  Prices are in the dollar to under a dollar range, and priced per sheet.  Here are the designs I choose:

My frames are from Family Dollar.  You can find a great selection of cheap frames at most discount stores.  The ones below were all $2 each.

After removing the frame backing and glass, sand and paint your frames.  For a distressed look, once the frames are completely dry, use a fine grit sandpaper to gently roughen up the edges and corners of your frames.  Using the glass from each frame, trace the scrapbook paper and cut to size.  Frame your pieces of paper and violá!  Adorable wall art for around $2.50 a piece!  Checking out an average online boutique puts you between $8 and $10 per frame and that's not including shipping!  Custom designs at less than HALF the cost?  Yes please!

To further customize your wall designs, pick up some letter stencils at your local craft store and stencil in a personal message or family member's name for unique, personalized wall art!  Pictured below is an item that will hang in our sweet, soon-to-be-here baby boy's nursery.

Unique.  Affordable.  Happy!  

And coming soon to Happy Now...
 Fantastic projects are on the way!  Nursery pieces to satisfy every new momma and daddy!  Using practical pieces to customize your little one's space!  Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

DIY Lined Baskets

We are expecting a sweet baby boy this November and we couldn't be more excited!  Most of my projects as of late revolve around getting the nursery together for our little one.  I wanted to share this quick DIY lined basket because not only is it super adorable and cute, it is so, so, SO easy!

We need all the storage space we can get for our nursery; we are converting our old guest bedroom into our bundle of joy's new room!  I love having baskets to place around any room because they can be quite effective in quick organization while still looking pretty.  The particular baskets in this project will be a part of our converted changing table, which I am so super excited about and will be featuring right here on Happy Now once it's complete!  But for now, let's take a look at the baskets!  I found them at Joann's Fabric at $8.00 a piece, discounted down to $4.00 with a 50% coupon.  They were woven straw with wire rims and perfectly suited for my changing table project.

I wanted them to match the color theme of the room, so I found a pretty shade of yellow spray paint that would work nicely.  It took 2 coats for each basket and I made sure to spray from all angles so that every weave and crack was covered.  A quick coat of clear, spray gloss finished things up.

Next it was time to choose fabric for the liner.  I wanted something that was versatile and would go with the room colors and decor.  I also choose the fabric knowing that it would be incorporated into another piece of furniture for the baby's room, that (you guessed it) will be featured here on the blog in the near future!  I found a beautiful pattern at Hobby Lobby and used a website coupon code for 40% off, which they were able to scan directly from my phone.

I don't sew and wanted to figure out a way that would be easy to replicate in the future, should I decide to change out the fabric and also a process that is easy to convey to my readers.  The simplest method I found was to simply cut two pieces of fabric, overlap them in the basket and use a hole punch to thread ribbon which will hold the fabric down.  I measured the width and length of the basket and then doubled that amount for my fabric length.  Once I had each piece cut, and let me stress, this was not a professional job here - I used my kitchen scissors to cut - I threw the pieces into the washer on a delicate cycle.  I wanted a shabby chic look, of course, but honestly, because I do not sew which means I cannot hem, it was the only way to create a uniformed look for the edges of the fabric.

Once washed and dried, I laid each piece of fabric in the basket, until I was happy with the look.  Keep in mind your fabric will shrink in the wash so make sure to give yourself extra fabric when cutting your pieces.  Mine ended up being just right but I was lucky this time!  Each piece came up and over the edges to create about two inches of fabric overlap.  A quick hole punch in each corner of fabric was all I needed to thread my ribbon through.  Every corner gets a ribbon, which helps keep the fabric in place.  Super simple!

I love how these baskets turned out.  Couldn't be happier with how easy they were to make either!  I will definitely be using this technique in the future!  A new baby can be quite overwhelming, but creating a space for your little one does not have to be stressful and expensive.  Find things that are affordable and easy to work with and you can create a wonderful, Happy little space for your little one!

Hope everyone is having a Happy Summer!