Chillin' wiht my Peeps

FREE file to make a super cute spring shirt

Mini Photo Frame Banner

A cute and simple way to display mini pictures - come find out how to make one for yourself!

Pony Bead Lizards

Learn step-by-step how to make pony bead lizards

Glitter Felt Hairbows

Add a little sparkle to any little girls wardrobe with these DIY hairbows!

Perfect Crisp Lines

Find out the trick to getting perfectly crisp lines on name signs

August 31, 2012

Giant Picture for cheap, take 2

Giant Picture, for cheap, take 2.  Using my previous tutorial (sort of).  Eek!!  I am in love with this- -
 I'm sure you recall that I've done a tutorial on a DIY giant cheap picture - it's of my girls and still hangs in their room - looks just as good today as the day I posted about it:
I love that picture and the project - the problem is that it is upstairs and in a bedroom, so most people who come into my home don't see it and it's fabulousness (unless I drag them up there to show it off - which I do occasionally).

So when I redid my living/dining room, I knew I wanted to do a family picture, Giant Picture style.  And it's awesome.

First off, take a picture.  Trevor blogged his side of this story - - I told the kids to fake laugh.  Some were more exuberant than others.  I had a friend climb on a shakey ladder and take a picture.  I think it worked.

Then, I printed it as an "engineer's print".  See the previous tutorial for that info.  I have printed one at Office Max and one at Office Depot - both places did it for me.  This one is a little smaller than the one of my girls - it's 3ftx4ft and this one was 3 1/2 ft by something - - I didn't want it to be too big for the space.  Anyways, it cost me $6 to print.  The print is on flimsy paper but it doesn't matter to me - it's up high.  And say it fades in 5 years - I'll want a new picture by then anyways.

The one of my girls I stuck onto a cheap piece of styrofoam.  Since this was going in my dining room, I wanted to step it up a little, so I went with a sturdy piece of plywood - it was $40, but I used a little less than 1/2, so let's say the board cost me $20.

The board was bigger than the picture to create that border.  I painted it.  I also had Trevor router the edge and painted inside the groove with this awesome silver paint to fancy it up a little:

I was lazy and only painted the edge, which you can see in this next picture.  Then we spray-glued one side, pressed it down, then worked on the other side:

At this point it looked pretty good, but a little plain:

So I painted some trim pieces then just used wood glue to attach them right to the board, covering the edge of the picture.  I forgot to take a picture of that step - sorry.  But here's an upclose picture of the trim around the edge of the picture - I really like the added touch it gives:
For those of you wondering about quality of the print, it's not pixely at all - - here's an upclose photo of the photo (untouched by photo editing) -

And just to give you a reference point on how big this Giant Picture is, here's my almost-4-year-old standing next to it:

Then Trevor's favorite part - - hanging up a heavy picture.  Then stand back and admire it.

Have you made a Giant Picture yet??  Seems like everyone is doing it - and I say go for it!  It has already gotten lots of compliments in my home - it's a conversation piece and it really sets the mood of "fun" right when you come in.  Anyways, give it a try!  (remember, the old tutorial is at Cheap Giant Photo Picture Print and in addition to the tutorial, there are lots of helpful tips in the comments section)

August 30, 2012

Family Name Sign

As mentioned earlier today, I took our blah living room wall to a fab Gallery Wall.  Part of that was a revamp of our family sign, to it's new updated self:

This was what it used to look like before:
It was a cream sign with vinyl letters stuck to it and then on top of that, kind of hard to see in the picture, in white vinyl script letters it says "Established 2001".  I think that using vinyl on a board was a 5-years-ago thing, and now it seems everyone has the letters painted on.  So that's the method I used for the updated look.

First I peeled off all the old letters and painted the whole board black.  Then I stuck down some contact paper that I had cut with my Cameo (I use contact paper because it's cheap, but you can use vinyl if you want).  Then I of course used my favorite trick to have crisp lines - paint over the sticker with Mod Podge.  If anything seeps, it will be the clear mod podge, not the paint color.  Perfect:

After that dried, I painted over the whole board with some Martha Stewarts paint (I can't remember the colors I mixed) that have this amazing pearly shine.  After that dried completely (the next day), I peeled the letters, revealing the black paint from underneath:

I then cut another stencil of words that said "Est. 2001" and painted that turquoise layer on top of everything.  I almost went with "circa 2001" but it didn't seem quite right:

That was it - - I think the sign is much more updated!  Looks great topping the Gallery Wall:

So if you don't have a family sign, grab a scrap piece of wood and make one - you can do it!!

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Gallery Wall

And so starts the reveal of my dining room/living room makeover.  Today's reveal - the gallery wall:

This was for sure one of those projects that evolved and grew as it went.  Really!  This room is right off the front entrance of our home, so before it was blah, and now I actually enjoy the first impression that our home gives to people.

First off, I completely forgot to take a "before" picture - but I found this gem in my blog archives from May 2009 - and yep, the pictures were more recent, but the frames and the layout was the exact same - just goes to show Trevor that I don't change things around and make holes in the wall near as much as he thinks.

So anyways, here's how the story goes....

Cut It Out Frames are AWESOME.  They sent me these amazing frames to try out and show off to you:
The frames come unfinished and then you paint them to match your decor.  They are super reasonably priced and such a fun unique element to add to your home - I highly recommend checking them out.  And you can find them on facebook as well:  Cut It Out on facebook.  The frames come with a cardboard backing but not with glass - I just grabbed frames from the Dollar Store and used the glass from them.

So I get their frames in the spring - and I painted them right away.  And got ready to add them to the wall - but the frames were so awesome and my wall wasn't awesome.  So I thought - I need to repaint!  Yep, the Cut It Out Frames started the whole makeover of my living/dining room.  Kind of embarrassing that it took me this long to review the frames, but it was worth it - they fit in so much better in an updated space.

I had to wait til Grandma Day Camp (when my mom puts on a day camp every day for a week, so I have a week of kid-free days) to tackle the room redo.  So that happened in the beginning of August.

I wasn't planning on having a "Gallery Wall", but it just turned out that way.  Because I kept adding frames to the original three I started with.  I incorporated the Cut It Out Frames, then a friend suggest that I needed some smaller frames to balance all the larger frames.  I grabbed these beauties from World Market:

And the positioned things on the ground until it looked right and called Trevor in to hang everything up.  I know lots of people suggest cutting out paper and hanging it on the walls to get a visual, but that seemed like a lot of work.

The empty frame on the left has the quote "Don't Forget to Be Awesome" that I blogged about here: Framed Quote.  I will blog a tutorial on the burlap bee in the other empty frame in a few days.

 I revamped our family name sign and  have a tutorial for that (including an awesome tip on how to get crisp lines)

Let's recamp - - it used to look like this:

And now when you look in the room it looks like this:
 I'd call that a major improvement.  I love my new gallery wall!

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August 29, 2012

Showing Off - Reader Feature

Each week a reader picks their favorite links from the party - want a turn, just email me, mandybeez at gmail

Hey guys! I’m Rebecca from With Scissors and a Spatula, a cooking and crafting blog. While I have been following and reading Mandy’s amazing blog for quite some time, I’m a pretty new blogger myself and am very excited to be able to share a few of my favorite projects today! I always find tons of creative ideas and yummy recipes from this link-up, so here are the links that inspired me the most this week!

Tied Pillow Case 1
This simple update to a basic pillow case by Made it on Monday is so adorable! I want all my pillow cases to have bows on them now.
DIY Solar Jars
Love, Pomegranate House's DIY Solar Jars are so unique. I'd love to have a couple of them out on my patio behind my apartment. And who knew you could buy frosted glass spray paint?!
I have a HUGE weakness for anything S'mores. My recipe board on Pinterest is probably about 25% S'more flavored recipes and these S'mores Cookies (on top of a graham cracker, no less) by What's Cooking Love? are now part of that percentage. Yum!
Slow cooker recipes are the best and this Crockpot Mac N' Cheese from High Heels and Grills sounds (and looks!) delicious.
I am 5' 9", so finding dresses that are long enough is already a problem, but even if I find one the right length, too often it shrinks when I wash it. Lucky for me, Sarah at Welcome to the gOOd Life has tutorials for making one short dress longer with the fabric left over from making another too-short dress into a shirt. Problems solved!
From Pink Recipe Box, Chocolate-Coated Ice Cream Brownie Sandwiches. I don't think I need to say anything else...
Easier Than I Thought gives a tutorial on how to paint an upholstered chair. I know how to sew, but slipcovers are so intimidating! It's good to know that paint can give you the same look.
I love a good t-shirt refashion and I also love anything sparkly. The Forge's Sequin Collar T-Shirt tutorial covers both of them! So cute.

Those are my picks from this week's party. Hope you guys like them as much as I do! Thanks Mandy for letting me participate!

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Showing Off - my picks

I love looking through the link party and even more love being able to feature you and put you in the we go:

Plank Walls from Domestic Imperfection - awesomeness! and it didn't cost much - I need a place to do this in my house - - read the post for all the details:

You can find out how to make your own cute envelopes over at Whimsically Homemade:

DoodleCraft made these fun pens with her kiddos - I have to admit, I don't even know what a Sonic Screwdriver is, but those pens are a must-have!

It's getting closer to Halloween - if I'm on top of things, I would make some cute treat bags like Crafty MisAdventures - love them!

I can see whipping up a bunch of these beaded necklaces at my next playgroup - so fun!  See the details at The Cream to my Coffee:

Love this petal-icing technique shown over at Baking with Blondie - impressive! and I love that the recipe calls for almond - that's the only kind of icing I make....

Duct Tape shoes - yes, you read that right - tutorial from One Charming Party:

I never thought to cover a closet rod, but it's so cute - see the details at Design Stash:

Super cute crocheted clutch can be seen over at Oh Craft!:

Made it on Monday has a great way to easily dress up your average pillowcase:
Dressed Up Pillow Case

You can see thesegreat crocheted potholders over at Grow Creative - I need new potholders - this is perfect!

Crystelle Boutique used some old ties to make a new skirt - so fun!

AND - - - - - most viewed link of the week.....

First, random fact - - as of the time I checked stats, Trevor's most viewed link has been viewed one more time that my most viewed link - so if you're looking for clicks and traffic, his party delivers - it runs the same timeframe as mine, so you'll have to catch it next week.

Loose curls for short hair - this is a great post, because as someone with short hair I know that pinterest is filled with tutorial for long hair, and I appreciate tips for short hair.  See the tutorial at One Little Momma:

And random, that same blog does a WIWW - but FOR KIDS - so if you have pics of your kiddos wearing something you made them or showing off some sort of outfit, join up over there....

Thanks for linking everyone!!  If you were featured feel free to grab the button:  (oh, and if you were featured on FB, or if you're featured later this afternoon, you're included - grab away!!)

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