My new fireplace for free…..

Ok so it’s not a really a new fireplace, but it looks like one.

We have this awesome paneling, everywhere in our house, and boy, do I mean everywhere! The problem is sometimes it can be a bit too much for my design style to have the floors, doors, 6″ window & door trim, 8″ baseboards, huge valances, and the mantle all in the same wood. In my opinion it made the room look stuffy, dusty and old. Rather than embrace my retro 70’s abode like I did in other rooms, I really wanted my family room a little more warm and modern.

The problem is, we rent, and our landlords are REALLY fond of the wood. I have specific instructions to not hurt the trim, no paint, no nothing. Which was putting me in a design straight jacket. Just wait until you see my kitchen.

So I decided to take an old sheet that we no longer use, and staple it to the wall. Yep. I just measured it, made sure it was big enough, centered it and placed a minimal amount of staples right under the crown along the top. I’m probably not supposed to put holes in it, but it was only a few, and there was already a bunch in that piece of paneling anyways.

I just took my time and stretched it, and smoothed it out starting in the middle, making sure there was no wrinkles or anything, then tacked it at the bottom again, only about every 18″, It doesn’t to be anchored down. because nobody will be pulling on it or anything.

Then I rolled the excess at the side and bottom in, and tacked right through it. Voila. 15 minutes, no cutting, no sewing, no painting, no money spent, but I got a new modern fireplace.


$210 for Wall Letters?? I think not….

Continued from my previous post about when I was redecorating the nursery, as promised here comes money saving project #1.

I wanted to give my kids a personalized feel to their side of the room, especially since they will be sharing it for awhile. So I found some inspirations looking through pictures online, and decided I really like the wall letters that spell out their names, BUT they were pricey.

Anywheres from $10 – $15 a letter pricey, and both my kids have 7, letters in their name. Ouch.

So I sat down in my thinking chair and started to think, think, thiiiink….Maybe I can make these myself? Ok, not a bad idea, but I’m no carpenter, so I’ll have to buy some unfinished cuts outs then paint them myself.  But what I could find was still too pricey, for my budget. About $6 a letter.

Then I found the solution. That you could easily do with Microsoft Word and a printer. (I’m not gonna lie I am a digital arts major, so I have a bit more experience, and some really cool programs like Adobe Illustrator) But seriously, this is easy.

So I took the scrap booking paper I was already going to use for the squares on the wall, cut it to size to fit in my printer (8.5 x 11) then set up the layout so it was landscaped, with the page split in half. I then picked out a cute font, and put two letters per page.

After printing I trimmed them up so they were the all same size, punched a hole in each top corner, laid them out on the table stung a piece of thin ribbon through them. Then I went it the room and put a small nail an appropriate distance from the center of the wall and hung them. I took some larger ribbon and finished it off with a bow. Taa Daa

14 finished custom wall letters for my nursery for around $5 ?? Nice.

Baby’s New Nursery on a Serious Budget

Now I absolutely adore the look of a well put together nursery, but we all know how outrageously expensive the baby swag can be. When faced with redecorating my boys nursery into a co-ed facility for Abigail, I was faced with two options, A) Spend the $500 plus to buy new nursery furniture and decorations that would be gender-neutral or B) feel that overwhelming “bad mom” guilt of making my new baby girl sleep in a blue room and blue blankets.

Now I know this sounds ludicrous, especially to a man, but I guess not to a very pregnant, maternal and emotional me, so I went to work with a budget of about $20, and the limitations of being a renter, and I redecorated my boys room into a co-ed nursery.

Unfortunately I didn’t anticipate starting a blog, so I didn’t take any “before” pictures to compare to my afters, but I will be walking you through some of the projects and how you really can do them yourselves.

So, It will look a little different when the time really come to put two cribs in there, one will go under Abby’s name and one will go under Zeke’s, and the changing table will move to a different wall.

The room was painted blue with and blue and green carpet, and John Deere decorations. Very boyish. So the first thing I did was strip down the John Deere Decor, as much as possible. Then I painted the two walls white with leftover paint I already had, then painted the other two walls brown with another kind of leftover paint.

I wanted a look that was kind of whimsical and artsy but I was really limited on budget, time, and since we are renting I didn’t want to get too crazy in there, because at some point this wont be a nursery anymore. So after some brain storming I decided to do something removable.

So I decided to split the room in half, pretty much one side is Abby’s and the other is Zeke’s. One side has pink, tan, yellow, and purple squares in all different sizes, patterns and finishes, and the other has blue, teal, green and silver.

I used left over paper I had from scrap booking. Which you can pick up  on clearance or sale for about $10 a book, which would be more than enough to do this. But you could also use pretty much anything, construction paper, wall paper, wrapping paper, magazines, whatever, get creative.

They are literally just taped in the wall with scotch tape. So you can re arrange, remove or redecorate as needed. You could also get super creative and use different shapes, or do stripes with wrapping paper.

I couldn’t put the squares all the way down the wall, or do stripes, because I have a toddler, and that would be bad…. but if it was just a nursery you could easily do that and baby proof later when you need to.