3. New mattress, sheets, and pillows
4. Cleaning Kit
5. Inexpensive Organizing Solutions
6. A Special Item to Mark the Transition
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.
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.
- 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.
- Cactus light
- Letter board
- Cactus banner
- Gold number balloon
- Paper Mexican Tissue banner
- Paper Fiesta Fans
- Paper Fiesta napkins
- Mexican blanket
- Aqua Plastic tablecloth
- Paper honeycombs (similar? I bought mine locally)
- I made the “Drinks” sign with a piece of poster board, sprayed with black chalkboard paint, and wrote on it with a gold chalk marker.
- Cardboard paper mache letters.
- Marble contact paper.
- Metallic finish gold paint. This is the exact one I use on most of my craft projects.
- Scissors and pencil.
- Optional: Craft knife.
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.
- A piece of craft foam.
- Marble contact paper. I love this stuff, you can use it for so many things!
- Copper contact paper. This stuff is addicting.
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.
And that’s really all there is too it!
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 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!
- 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.
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!
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!
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!
Then we moved the hodgepodge back inside the now bright and happy space.
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’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:
Globes, dream catchers, and other awesomeness from Savannah Ashley Art.
- An arrow plant stand and metal key from Off the Dirt Road
- A painted heart and rose picture frame from Sweet Repeats
- A French blue bowl from Junk in the Trunk
- Vintage books from Rodeo Red Ranch
- Fruit of the Spirit baseball tee for me, and Phoenician tee for Edison from Dovetail Vintage
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.