3 Rose Gold DIY Decor Ideas for Your Office

rose gold DIYs for #girlboss office
It’s classy, it’s feminine, it’s pink. It pairs well with the cover of the #GirlBoss book. It pairs perfectly with white and marble and even cement – like a boss who knows how to make stuff happen, but also have fun. Can you ever have too much rose gold? I think not.
So roll up your boss lady blazer sleeves and lets get to crafting.

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My 6 New House Essentials

Once you’ve moved (and here’s 7 tips for making that easier) decorating your new place is the fun part. Unfortunately, that kind of comes last, after the clean-all-the-things stage, and the get-it-functional stage. Eventually, you reach the why-are-there-still-boxes-here stage, but somewhere in there, your house becomes a home. Once again, Casper was collecting these tips, and I decided to join in.

1. Rug

It’s almost a fact of life that once you move to a new place, some of your rugs will no longer fit your new rooms, or you’ll have new rooms with new floors to be covered. I hate carpet with a passion, so rugs are my friends. I choose my friends with great care, which is why it seems to take me years to pick out rugs. And even then, I’m guilty of chronically picking rugs that are too small. Here’s a guide for how your rugs should fit in any room, from Home Depot.

2. Artwork

Nothing personalizes your new place like artwork, and when you’re ready to hang things on the wall, you know you’re really settling in. Etsy is one of my favorite places to find affordable art, and also Society6, but I also like finding unique paintings at craft fairs and antique stores, and then customizing thrift store frames for cohesive gallery walls.
But not artwork has to be purchased. In the gallery wall in the entry way, I have a blue jay painting by Brian’s great-grandmother, a framed cover of a catalog, and a free print I found online of eggs, mixed in with flea market and craft store finds, and a DIY moss covered letter.

3. New mattress, sheets, and pillows

When we moved into our first house, we took the opportunity to upgrade our mattress. Because we upgraded from a full to a queen, we also had to get all new sheets and a bedspread. I think we kept the same pillows, but if you’re moving, it’s a great time to evaluate how those are holding up too, and consider having your pillows shipped to your door.
These marble sheets from Urban Outfitters aren’t cheap, but I’m seriously in love with them and trying to figure out if there’s a good way to DIY them. How awesome would these look in a bedroom with rose gold accents?

4. Cleaning Kit

When you’re living in chaos, the last thing you need is to not be able to find where you packed the cleaning supplies, or lose them in the maze of boxes. One of the most useful wedding presents we received was a plastic caddy full of cleaning supplies, like this one. This has been invaluable during all of our moves, and still comes in handy for keeping cleaning supplies corralled and portable.

5. Inexpensive Organizing Solutions

While you’re unpacking and organizing your new closets and drawers is the perfect time to invest in some new containers. My favorite are clear plastic shoe bins. I use them for craft supplies, office cords of all kinds, and of course, shoes. You could also get a little fancy and try some of my painted paper Trader Joe’s bags for storage.

6. A Special Item to Mark the Transition

 When we moved into our first house, our realtor bought us a wooden cutting board shaped like the state of Arizona. Regardless of whether you’re upgrading or downsizing, excited about your new place or dreading it, I think marking the transition with something special and celebratory is important. Some people frame keys or a photo of their old house, or you can have a custom portrait made of your new place. My DIY state art would be perfect if you’ve moved out of state. Find something that either pays tribute to where you’re leaving, or celebrates your new beginnings.
Here’s a handy graphic to pin for next time you’re moving:

Edison’s Taco Twos-Day Birthday Party

Welcome to Edison’s Taco Twos-day party! 
Edison turned two on the 21st, so last Saturday we had a little fiesta for him. My sister-in-law was able to come, and some good friends of ours. My idea was just to have a casual pool party, no stress and no work. But what fun is that? Somehow I ended up with a whole theme, decorations, and special cakes. Thanks Pinterest. 
Overall though, I was able to use a lot of things I already had, kept the purchases to a minimum with a few high impact decorations, and decorating and making those special cakes was super fun. 

In the entryway, I changed my letter board to reflect the theme, and added this very cute cactus light. Over the fireplace, I added this cactus banner. I expected it to be made out of paper, but it’s actually felt! I think it will stay up year-round somewhere in my house.

This giant #2 gold balloon made a big impact everywhere we put it. Apparently, there were several size options on Amazon that I missed, and I bought the 40″ one. Go big or go home!
Although he doesn’t look too excited about it when I made him hold it for photos, Edison calls it “Shiny” and talked to it the whole way home from the grocery store (where they filled it up for free!) and cried when we put it inside before we went to airport to pick up my sister-in-law. It’s still going strong after a week.

Outside on the porch, I brought out all of my blue metal kitchen chairs, and bought a folding table from Target. The aqua plastic tablecloth I already had, leftover from a bridal shower I threw a year ago. I decorated the table with some of my little succulents on tiny cake stands, which I already had also.

I bought an outdoor rug, something I’d wanted for awhile, and this seemed like the perfect occasion for it. I also bought the “Papel Picado” Mexican tissue paper banner and Fiesta fans, and mixed in some of the honeycomb balls from the bridal shower. I used a Mexican blanket for a table cloth on the food table.

The menu: 

  • Walking Tacos. Apparently, this is a Midwesterner thing, because no one in Arizona had heard of this. You take individual bags of Doritos or Fritos, open them, and put a scoop of taco meat and all your usual fixings inside the bag, mix it up, and eat it from the bag. These are the original Doritos Tacos – but deconstructed. I cooked the taco meat in the crock pot to make life even easier. 
  • Guacamole, sour cream, cheese, shredded lettuce, salsa – all purchased and packaged, again, making life easy.
  • Fruit from a handy fruit tray.
  • Peanuts and M&Ms – Conley family tradition. 
  • Fanta, lemonade, and lime La Croix as well as bottled water. I wanted brightly colored, kid-friendly beverages. Although the La Croix was really all for us non-soda drinking adults.
  • Taco Cakes!!! I’m still so thrilled with how these turned out. I made two round cakes, cut them in half, and stacked them to make the taco shape. Then I frosted and decorated them to look like a taco with fillings. Here’s a tutorial that I based my cake on, but instead of using crushed Oreos, I used the star shaped decorating tip and chocolate frosting for the taco meat. I didn’t create the tomatoes and cheese from separate frosting either, I just used the small round tip to pipe them on.

 Decor:

Other Items: 
We did it! High-five!

DIY Christmas Decor: Marble and Gold Letters

So, I told you marble contact paper was addicting. 
Last week was Thanksgiving, and despite the contentions and deep divides around us, I hope you had peace around your Thanksgiving dinner table, and you were able to be truly grateful for those with you and your many blessings.
I think “peace” is especially applicable this Christmas season. As Advent begins, the season of expectant waiting, it’s a reminder that the Prince of Peace did come to this world as a baby, and live with us. He’s the Healer, and ultimate King.
Also, I’m writing this post before Thanksgiving, and I may or may not be listening to Christmas music. Ok, I’m definitely listening to Christmas music. 
Have you seen the Christmas decorations at Target? I fell in love with the marble Christmas trees. Marble matches everything, and is so classy.
I took that marble idea, and expanded on it for these marble and gold letters!
You’ll Need: 

Step 1: Fold your contact paper so that right sides are together, like it is in the image above. 

Step 2: Then trace and cut out your letters. You may need to use a craft knife to cut out some shapes, depending on what letters you choose. “JOY” would have been a bit easier!

Step 3: Peel and stick the contact paper letters to the cardboard letters. Smooth out any bubbles under the surface. This part is the most fun!

Step 4: Paint the edges of the letters gold. I’d tried to use my copper contact paper, but without success. Paint is much easier, and I love the finished result!
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s now acceptable for me to take down my fall decorations and bust out the Christmas stuff. These will find a new home on my mantle. 
(And if you like that painting … I made that too, and I can post a tutorial for that also. The premise behind it is so easy, anyone could do it.)
So bust out the Christmas music with no shame, and get to spreading that Christmas cheer! Peace on earth, good will to men!

DIY: Make A Faux Marble and Copper Mousepad

In the last post on our office, we were still using a kitchen table and black desk. Someday I’ll have the finishing touches ready and I’ll share the rest, but *spoiler alert* we now have white desks.

I can’t tell you how much I love my desk, but the white surface did create an issue with my computer mouse. For weeks, I couldn’t figure out why my computer would turn on, but the mouse wouldn’t respond. Finally, I mentioned it to Brian, and in five minutes he diagnosed the issue – no mouse pad. He let me use his, which is covered with lovely photos of car parts and Motocraft products. But I wanted something a little more me.

I was inspired by the lovely marble mouse pads I found on Etsy for $20, and figured out how to create my own.

You’ll need:

Step 1: Cut your craft foam to size. 

Step 2: Trace your craft foam onto your marble contact paper. We’re going to add a section of copper, so mark how far you want the marble to come. Then cut it out.

Step 3: Slowly, peel and stick the contact paper to your foam, smoothing out any bubbles.

Step 4: Trace and cut out a section of copper contact paper to fit, and repeat – smoothing out any bubbles.

And that’s really all there is too it!

Want other ideas for using your contact paper? You can trace your laptop and apply it to the back of the screen, use it to give an upgrade to a bland desk lamp, wrap your pencil holder, and add some pieces to your desk accessories, like your stapler or table dispenser. 
Soon, I’ll post a Christmas decor idea using the marble contact paper. But I’d love to hear from you, have you used contact paper in crafts? What other ideas do you have for cool uses for it? Share them with us in the comments below!

DIY: How to Make A Reclaimed Pallet Wood Headboard

The story of our guest room headboard begins with a haunted house.
Last fall, we began a quest for projects that are cheap or free, and not junk. To make cheap or free things, you have to start with some materials, so that led to searching Craig’s List for free wood. 
I found one posting that described piles upon piles of boards, all free, and already weathered. The coordinates for the property were listed, but no way of contacting the owners. They’d had a haunted house for a couple years, but had torn it down. This was the last weekend before the wood was going to start going to the dump.
So, I convinced Brian that this would be a good way to spend a day, and with four month old Edison sleeping in the backseat, we drove across the valley to a deserted field, with piles of lumber. It was a little creepy still, but we dug through the piles of wood of all shapes and sizes and conditions and hauled off a several great boards. 

I’d also lined up a few free tree stumps for future projects, so we spent the rest of the afternoon loading tree stumps into the car in sketchy alleys. Fun times!

Brian also brought home some pallets from work, and those made up the front of this headboard.

It’s hard to believe it’s now been one year this weekend since we made this, and I’m just now sharing it. Edison wasn’t even crawling yet, and now he’s running around! In the last year, we, and our guests, have enjoyed the headboard and all it adds to the room.

Step 1: Deconstruct the pallets, removing the nails and sometimes the screws. 
Step 2: Reconstruct the wood into your headboard. 
Four boards horizontal was the perfect width for the double bed in our guest room.
Step 3: Sand the wood. 

Step 4: Since sanding could take a while, get your homemade stain underway. We were all about cheap or free, so I found a recipe for homemade wood stain on Pinterest. All you need is a jar with a lid, very fine steel wool, and vinegar. Tear up the steel wool and put it in the jar, then cover it with vinegar and fasten the lid. Let it sit for 24 hours before using.

I took it one step further, and added a tea stain, following this tutorial. So I painted the wood with the black tea first, and followed up with the vinegar stain.

Step 5: Apply your stain with a paintbrush.

In the photo below, you can see the difference between just tea, and tea and vinegar. It’s much darker.

I like lighter wood usually, but since this pallet wood had some dark stains, darker worked better in this case.

Step 6: Sand the headboard again, if you’re going for a weathered look.

Step 7: Attach boards behind the headboard for legs, and position behind your bed. We were able to bold our headboard to the bed frame itself, so it’s not going anywhere.

Edison approved! And look how tiny he is!

We still have a lot of styling work to do in the guest room (see mismatched lamps, empty photo frames) but it feels so much more grown up and put together with a headboard! And the dark wood happened to match our thrifted side tables perfectly.

Looks pretty cozy!

Total time to make the headboard was just a couple Saturdays. Total cost: the screws to put it together – everything else, like the vinegar and tea, we already had or was free!
My goal this fall, since we didn’t get to it last year, is to make something with the free log stumps we picked up in the sketchy alley. Stay tuned to see what we do with them!
What do you think of this project? Let me know in the comments below, or on social media. 

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DIY: Repurposed Mirror To Chalkboard

Yes, I know that the height of the chalkboard craze was like, so 2014. Like everyone else, I wanted a giant chalkboard, but without having to paint an entire wall or pay for an expensive board. I entertained the idea of building one for a long time, but just couldn’t muster up the motivation to do that much work. And then one day, I realized that the perfect chalkboard had been right under my nose. 
Actually, I think it was hidden away in a closet. 
Ever since we moved, I couldn’t find a spot for the large mirror we’d bought with a dresser we found on the curb for $30. The dresser I eventually painted and it found a home in Edison’s room.
With a few supplies and couple hours, you can turn any large frame into a chalkboard. Here’s what you’ll need: 
  • A frame. I used a mirror, but you can also use photo frames, or framed art from Goodwill.
  • Chalkboard paint. I used chalkboard paint in a spray can originally, and eventually used chalkboard paint in a can for touch ups. Also, you can make your  own
  • Painters tape.
  • Paintbrushes for touch ups.
  • Paint for the frame. Those little samples from Lowes or Home Depot only cost a few bucks, and they’re perfect for this.
  • Sandpaper for sanding the frame.

Start by sanding your frame lightly, just to be sure your paint is going to stick well. Then, spray on your chalkboard paint. Spray from about a foot away, using a continuous sweeping motion from side to side. Go slowly so you get a nice thick coat. Let it dry according to the instructions on the can, probably about an hour. Then repeat, until you’ve covered the glass well. 
Then, use the painter’s tape to protect the chalkboard surface while you paint the frame.

Two words of caution: First, put down enough tape that you don’t paint beyond it onto the frame, or else you’ll have to touch it up. 
Secondly, be careful not to stick the paint down too well – this is the opposite of advice where you want to be sure the paint doesn’t bleed underneath. We’re just using the paint to protect the chalkboard, and in this situation, if the paint sticks to the chalkboard too much, it might pull off the chalkboard paint from the slippery glass surface beneath. Again, you might have to do some touch ups with a paintbrush. It’s not that big of a deal.

Then you need to season your board. If you skip this step, your fresh chalkboard paint will retain the outline of whatever you write on it first. To avoid ghosting, rub the side of a piece of chalk all over the surface of your chalkboard, and then rub it in before erasing it.

Hang it up, and get to work!

Another word of caution. Around Christmas, you may see some gold and silver metallic chalk markers on Amazon. You may begin dreaming about all the sparkly, glittering possibilities for how these chalkboard markers will transform your hand-lettering into a work of art. You may buy said markers, and create a masterpiece. And then discover … it will not come off. Even after googling how to get it off, and using Windex. 
It. Will. Not. Come. Off.

And that means you’ll have to repeat the steps above to paint over it. 

It may not look as pretty, but it will come off!

Do you have an inspirational message or message board chalkboard anywhere in your house? If you haven’t joined that bandwagon yet, what would you write on one? Share in the comments below or on Facebook!

Office Renovation Progress Part 1

Long, long ago, I shared my inspiration for where I want to take our home office, and these “Before” photos – Beige walls, shaggy cat pee reeking carpet, and a hodgepodge of bookshelves, mismatched desks, and printers sitting on blue totes containing our files. 

Remember that? I’m glad it’s a distant memory now. One Saturday morning I awoke to a clatter, and when I came to the living room I discovered all of our office stuff crammed into the living and dining rooms, and the carpet ripped out. It was a bitter sweet surprise. On the one hand, I was excited that Brian took initiative to tear into the project, and on the other, I knew we didn’t even have new flooring purchased, and I dreaded having to eat on the couch and navigate the stacks of books for months on end.

Thankfully, we made good time. Brian repainted the room while I was traveling to a lovely light blue.

And after a few more weeks, we found matching bamboo flooring and a friend willing to spend a day helping lay it. Thanks Paul!

Ta-da!

Then we moved the hodgepodge back inside the now bright and happy space.

But first, we put in “built-in” bookshelves. It took a few trips to Ikea, but we used the Billy bookshelves with height extensions and two of the half glass doors, along with bookcase lights. 

Yes, there’s a big gap in the middle of the wall, and there’s a reason for that. We planned to build a Murphy bed, you know, those ones that fold up into a cabinet? One of those was supposed to go there – before Edison was born, so the office could double as another guest room. Yeah, he’s a year 
old, and that bed still isn’t built. But maybe by the time he’s having sleepovers, it will be ready. In the meantime, it’s the perfect spot for the play pen!
On the other side of the room, we added navy curtains (also from Ikea) and a double curtain rod, so we could hang sheers and still let in plenty of light. I also moved my desk so that I could look out the window when working. 
Up next: I’ll show you how we upgraded our desks, and found a better storage solution for my craft supplies than the pile in the corner.
 We’re still putting on the finishing touches, like getting a nice rug, desk chairs, and a cool chalkboard/bulletin board/calendar situation. It remains to be seen!
And arranging the bookshelves. There’s always more to be done on that front.
Here’s the inspiration photos from this post. After all this time, I’m still torn on which color scheme I like better! 
While it’s been a loooong, gradual process, it’s amazing how much progress you can make a little bit at a time. This room has come a long way from it’s humble cat pee beginnings! 

Living Area Progress: The Difference a New Paint Color Makes

Although I’ve already gotten used to the new look, I realized I never shared any before and after photos of our main living space. So let’s take a quick trip down memory lane. 
When we bought the house, it looked like this: 
And the entryway before: 
And the dining room: 
Last fall, the living room looked like this.
Our first change was to paint the fireplace white, which immediately made the living room feel three times larger. Then in January, we tackled repainting the main living areas of the house, the laundry room, kitchen, dining room, living room, entryway, and hallway from their original beige to a bright, serene gray. 
It feels like we gained a few hundred square feet!

On the wall with our TV, I created a mini gallery wall. It still makes me happy every time I look at it. The print, “The days are long but the years are short,” is from Handlettered Design.

I got my navy wall! It only took two tries to get the right color, but it was totally worth it.
I love the pop of color when you first come in. 
Here’s the view into the kitchen: 

I’ve got big plans for our little kitchen. As much as I’d like to start by tearing out that low ceiling Fixer-Upper style, it’s not all that feasible to tackle first. But I do want to make the kitchen less cave-like by replacing some upper cabinets with open shelves, and painting the lower cabinets white. That will do a lot to take it from totally 80’s to farmhouse chic.

And our little dining room, where one end of the table is often occupied with some craft project I’m working on:

Obviously, this photo was taken around Easter. Or let’s just pretend that I update the chalkboard frequently. 
As you can see, the table is pushed all the way against the wall. And still, it feels too big for the space. So tragically, as much as I love my farm table and chairs, I’ve decided to sell it and replace it with something smaller. If I can’t find a table that’s narrow enough to fit, I might end up having Brian build one. I may not have run that idea past Brian yet, so I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out.
No more beige! I love the gray – it really felt like a new house. The color is “Quiet Rain” by Glidden.
One question to those of you with light walls – how do you disguise cords? I hate that the TV cords are black and show up so much against the wall. Do you paint the cords to match the wall? Maybe I’m crazy, but I’m thinking about it. 
Next up in this space: finding a smaller coffee table and two small end tables, and a new rug that fits with the color scheme better. I continue to go back to my living room inspiration post to gather new ideas.
Soon I’ll post an update on the progress we’ve made on our office over the last year, and a handful of DIY projects. 
What do you think of the new look? Let me know in the comments below or on Facebook.

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Friday Finds: Treasured Vintage Bazaar

For several years after moving to Arizona, I thought only one decor style existed: Southwestern. The only acceptable color scheme was brown, beige, gold, terra cotta, orange, and maybe olive green if you’re really adventurous. Basically, most homes and places of business were brown, light brown, yellow-shiny brown, red brown, bright red brown, and green-brown. You did have the choice between going more South of the Border Southwestern, Native American Southwestern, Elegant Spanish Southwestern, or Full-on-Cowboy Mode Southwestern, but there your options ended.
Then, thanks to Instagram, I discovered an entire community of vintage lovers in the valley. They made and sold everything from art to jewelry to home decor in styles like Shabby Chic, Victorian, French Country, Retro Modern, Mid-century Modern, and Full-on-Hipster-From-Portland.
So it was with much anticipation that Edison and I went to check out the Treasured Vintage Baazar hosted by Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market and Scottsdale Bible Church
Unfortunately, soon after arriving, we encountered a problem. There was no possible way I could fit the stroller into the booths. I could only peruse the very edges of the displays, and even then, there were so many people, I felt like I was blocking traffic. After a few laps around the building, looking longingly at all the cool things I couldn’t reach, Edison got cranky. As the crowds grew, so did his displeasure. Outside, he was fine, but as soon as we went indoors, he started crying. So, Brian ended up coming and rescuing him. Of course, he fell asleep just before Brian arrived.
Amazing “junk” from Junk in the Trunk.

Globes, dream catchers, and other awesomeness from Savannah Ashley Art.

I really, really want one of these log coffee tables. And the orb light fixtures.
In addition to shops, they also had fresh flowers from The Florette, a farmer’s market, and food trucks. Plus, the proceeds from the ticket cost went to the school in Tanzania that Scottsdale Bible founded and supports. 

Here’s what I did buy: 

I’ve found a home for everything – the frame and key are part of the new gallery wall soon to be revealed, the vintage books are on display, the plant stand is in place by the fireplace, the bowl and heart are on the mantle. I’ve worn my baseball tee maybe a little more than is socially acceptable, and while Edison’s might be a little big on him still, I’m very excited for us to be sort of matching. 

I discovered so many great vendors that I’m looking forward to visiting again! The future over here is definitely not looking brown – more like white, mint, and chipped, and maybe a little rusty.

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