Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Decorative Letters DIY

Since the weather outside if FRIGHTFUL and I have yet another snow day (4th one this week), I thought I would share a DIY from earlier in the year. 
While in World Market this summer, I fell IN LOVE with these world map block letters.
I wanted them for my classroom (since my theme this year is maps and geography) as well as for my guest room when the year is over. They cost about $8.00 a piece but, having made my comic book ones for last year's classroom theme, I knew they would be super easy to make.
So, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought cardboard block letters for $2.00 a peice - bought an old vintage, 1970's atlas at a thrift store for $0.50 and made my own.
First, you want to make sure that the map parts that will be showing are what you want. Check to make sure that sections of the land or water that you want are not going to be cut away. You may choose a different map depending on the letter you are placing it on. 
Begin cutting the map - make sure that you leave about a centimeter hangover so that you can fold it over once you begin gluing. 
Once you have cut the edges, take your knife and cute an angled slit at every corner - this allows it to fold when you are lifting the sides up to glue. 
Using Modge Podge, first, glue ONLY the back strip to the letter. 
Now, Modge Podge the top of the cardboard letter. Carefully, making sure to rub our any bubbles, pull the paper across the letter and let it set. 
The edges should still be up and unfolded. 
Taking the Modge Podge again, glue down the edges, making sure to fold them tight. This is where your little slit cuts will come in handy. Notice how they form very nicely in the corners without bubbling up. 
 NOTE: On circular letters, such as b's, p's, d's, you will need to make lots of little cuts all around the circular section so that the paper will form without bubbling. 
In the end, you are left with some very professional looking letters! Whoo hoo! 
Here they are displayed right now in my classroom. This summer I will be putting them in my travel inspired guest room :0) 
 On a humorous side note: I mentioned that the maps were from an old 1970's atlas. It was interesting to see how much has changed in the world since then. Yugoslavia was still on here, Burma, and the USSR!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Bathroom Number 2 - In Progress

Taking advantage of our most recent snow days, I tackled the upstairs bathroom's walls. We knew that we wanted to paint and get rid of the awful and peeling wall paper - I finally settled on an olive green that matched the blue and green towels I had picked up earlier at World Market.
The wall paper went fairly quickly - I know there are a lot of different ways of removing wall paper out there including steamers, vinegar solutions, etc, but the method I have been using throughout the house is simple but effective.
First, I peel the wall paper off - no water or solution, just fingernails, it generally comes off in large sheets.

Then, just using hot water, a rag, and a scraper, I soak sections of the glue with the wet rag, let sit for 30 seconds, then begin scrapping it off. It usually peels right off in sheets this way. Probably does take longer than other methods, but this works for me.
The next steps are always the hardest for me because they require a lot of patience. All of the walls in our house are plaster so this means they are extremely uneven and always cracking. Using joint compound sheetrock, we filled all the cracks and evened our sections of the wall. Then, we sanded...and sanded...and sanded... Finally, after one last wipe down, I taped the tile and began with primer.
TIP: Using just a little bit of color, mix it into the primer so that it blends better when you put the full color on.
Remove the tape, and TADA!! 
                       BEFORE                                 AFTER

In Progress:
  • We are getting a shelving unit to hang behind the toilet from Ikea
  • Still on the hunt for a matching green rug 
  • The last thing will be to add some fun wall decor and another room will be finished!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Year Renovation Updates

Snow is still coming down! I L.O.V.E it! Harsh winters are the best winters - who wants a pansy winter any way???
Perfect opportunity to catch you up on our recent home renovations. Due to the holiday season, we haven't exactly "transformed the house"- however, we did get the backsplash in the kitchen complete.
TA DA!!!
I also figured out what I wanted do with the "blank" kitchen wall. I went with a lighter shade of the green that we had done the chevron design with in the hall. 

                        BEFORE                                        AFTER
I also picked up this FABulous wreath during after Christmas sales and added a little winter fun to it.
 AND we completed the dinning room with a fresh yellow color on top and white on the bottom - oh and a WHITE ceiling!
                        BEFORE                                AFTER
 Oh, we added this adorable little cart that we found over break to the family - now we just need a hutch. Craigslist here I COME!
Speaking of CRAIGSLIST! While looking for more seating for our "impossible to have company" family room, we discovered (within less then 10 minutes I might add) an AMAZING white leather couch!!! So, KC and I bundled up, borrowed a truck, and drove 10 minutes on icy roads to pick this baby up!
Isn't she GORGEOUS!!?!??!!
Still not in love with this color ... too dark and doesn't go well with the brown beams ... 

We are so excited - the best part - She seats a minimum of 6 and adds room to allow fr our other chair, before residing lonely in the living room, to fit giving us a minimum of EIGHT in our family room! So COME ON OVER EVERYONE! We now have a SEAT for you :0)
We still haven't officially done anything to the living room but moving the extra family room furniture in there at least makes it feel like a real room!