3. New mattress, sheets, and pillows
4. Cleaning Kit
5. Inexpensive Organizing Solutions
6. A Special Item to Mark the Transition
- White cotton fabric – or really, any color of cotton fabric! For your message to be most readable, I recommend keeping it a solid color.
- Scissors and a ruler
- A piece of copy paper for your pattern
- Craft glue
- Sharpie paint pens, or fabric paint, or a metalic fabric marker, like the copper one I used, that I bought at Joanns. Here’s the closest paint I could find on Amazon.
- A small stick from the backyard, or wood skewers, like you’d use for grilling
- Embroidery thread for tassels and hanging
- Pencil, or water soluble pen
Step 1: Make your pattern by marking the center of your piece of paper, and using your ruler to measure up the sides of the paper and connect the dots to mark the triangle sections you’ll cut off.
Step 2: Fold your fabric over so that you can cut out two identical pieces at the same time, and place your banner pattern on top. Then, cut out the two pieces.
Step 3: Glue the two pieces together, staying very close to the edges. Glue all the edges together except for the top – leave the top of banner open, so that when the glue dries, you can turn the whole thing inside out. Yes, you could sew the edges, but ain’t nobody got time for that.
Step 4: While the glue is drying, make some tassels! These are super easy. Just wrap some thread around your fingers until you have the thickness you’d like.
Slide the thread off your hand, and tie a small piece of thread around it, like so. This will be the top of your tassel.
Then, wrap thread around the tassel a small distance from the top, and tie the ends of the thread together to secure it.
Cut the loop at the bottom of the tassel, and fluff up the threads.
Super easy! Here’s another tutorial, just in case.
Step 5: Now that your glue hem has dried, turn the banner inside out to have nice finished edges. Add some glue to the top edge, and fold it over. This will be the back of the banner.
Step 7: Now for the fun part! Write your message or draw your design on the front of your banner. I drew mine on paper first, and traced it onto the fabric with the light from a window. I used a water soluble pen, so I could just dab off the blue after I was finished with the painting.
I traced the letters on one banner with my copper fabric marker, and use my gold Sharpie paint pen on the other. I LOVE how both turned out!
Step 8: I did break out the needle and thread to sew on the tassels. Just a couple stitches through the top should do it.
Step 9: Then I slid one banner onto a wooden skewer, after cutting off the pointy end. I hung the other one from a stick from the backyard – a stick that had a previous life as a wizard wand. I tied some embroidery thread to the stick and the skewer for hanging.
Sometimes, projects end up in a very different place from where you anticipated starting out. This was one such project. I had a specific plan for putting some bouquets of fake flowers to good use, and this project I’d pinned ages ago was too perfect. But in the end, I didn’t end up using any of the flowers, but some other craft supplies I already had, and still loving the finished product. That’s the creative process for you!
So if some of the photos below are a little confusing, it’s because the supplies for this project evolved over the course of completing it. Here’s what you actually need to complete the moss covered letter:
- Floral moss. I bought a bag of reindeer moss from Amazon. This is great stuff for terrariums too!
- Hot glue gun.
- A piece of cardboard. Mine is from the back of a print I purchased and framed, but any piece or thickness of cardboard could work.
- Photo frame. I bought this one at Goodwill for a couple dollars, and painted it to give it new life.
- Old book pages. I bought some old books at Goodwill also, and I’ve used them for many craft projects over the years.
- A printer.
First, decide on the letter. I chose a “C” for our last name, which seemed fitting for the entry way. I tried drawing a “C” directly onto the cardboard, but I could not for the life of me get it to look good. So, take the time to type the letter into a Word document or Google Doc, and increase the font size to fill a standard 8×10 frame.
Print your letter, and cut it out. Trace it onto your cardboard, and cut it out.
Here’s where I resorted to Plan B. Plan A was to cover the letter with moss, mostly to fill any gaps between the flowers, which would go on top of the moss. But, my flowers were too large, or my letter too thin, for the flowers to fit. So, I kept it simple and just used the moss by itself.
After I removed the existing artwork, I taped some old book pages to cover the back of the picture frame. You could use scrapbook paper, sheet music, or pieces of cool wallpaper, whatever fits with your entry way vibe.
- A tree stump that’s 6″ shorter than your sofa arm. Look on Craig’s List for free tree stumps! We found tons of options to choose from. I recommend pine; the bark comes very easily, and on some types of wood, like walnut, it can be really hard to remove.
- Wood stain (optional). I used Miniwax stain in “Natural.”
- Clear polyurethane gloss.
- An assortment of tools for removing the bark.
- A sander, or sandpaper blocks.
- Foam brushes.
- 6″ Hairpin metal legs. I bought these ones from Amazon for $30, and they were the perfect height and look I wanted.
- Wood shims, unless your log comes leveled already.
- A level, in case it doesn’t.
- Long screws. The screws that come with the legs may not be long enough.
- An impact driver.
The tricky part about this is making them level. Because we got an already cut stump, and we didn’t want to try to cut it again, because that would make it too short, we used wood shims to level out the bottom.
Hold the level from the end of each leg to the others to check the height, and add shims underneath as needed.
Then secure the legs with the rest of the screws.
Step 7: Carry it inside, and enjoy having a place to put your wings out of the reach of your toddler, and having your own spot on the couch back!
I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out! Now, I’m tempted to switch favorite spots on the couch with Brian … if he’s willing to trade.
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!
- Blank canvas. I bought a two pack from Hobby Lobby, for less than $15.
- Copper contact paper. I used this from Amazon, and love it.
Simple, elegant, and easy – just the way I like my DIY.
If my copper obsession continues at this rate, I may need an intervention.
There are times, as all avid thrift shoppers know, when you may find something very interesting, and yet you know, deep down, you have no use for it. Things like, revolutionary embroidery.
But one thing I’ve found that you can always count on thrift store shopping for, is an abundance of unique frames. Sometimes, they just need a little paint or polish, and an inexpensive gallery wall is within reach.
Step 2: apply painters tape on the glass for easy clean up.
Step 3: paint the frame, and allow to dry. Those little cans of sample paint you can get at Home Depot or Lowes are perfect for projects like this, and they only cost a couple dollars.
Step 4: sand the edges for a distressed finish, if you’re into that.
PS: the print that says “The days are long, but the years are short” is from Hand Lettered Design.
- Little Gold Pixel – round ups of prints pre-arranged into gallery walls to make it super easy.
- 65 Ways to Arrange Your Gallery Wall
- How to Hang a Perfect Gallery Wall Without Nails
4. Build your shelves. This is the part that I can’t tell you much about, because Brian did all the work. As I told Brian, I’m the Johanna, he’s the Chip in this relationship – I come up with the ideas, and he builds it (Fixer Upper fans know what I mean). Here’s the tutorial we used.
We originally planned on sanding and staining the shelves. And then since this project had already taken forever, we decided not to. Our excuse is that someday, we’d like to replace these pine boards from Home Depot with actual weathered barn wood planks, so these are just temporary.
5. Install shelves, and begin never ending process of styling them.
A commonly asked question: Do you have to dust or wash all the dishes to keep them from looking grimy?
So far, no. The vast majority of the dishes I chose to put out are ones that we use relatively often, so they don’t collect any dust. and so far, the more decorative dishes haven’t either. I’m not sure if it’s because we have good air flow through the kitchen, or what the reason is, but honestly, if I did have to dust them once in awhile, I really don’t mind.
To the other side, is this massive section of patio.
That’s where I’d like to create our outdoor living room – a comfy sectional, coffee table, and fire pit. Under the overhang, I’d like to create the outdoor dining room, right by the grill.
For my dream patio, I’d love to carry the navy with coral accents from inside, to the back yard with some accent pillows. I’d use a big sectional with navy fabric, anchored with a neutral gray rug, and add some fun with the chevron armchair and blue swing. I’d bring some greenery up around the patio in the form of succulents – but no cacti. That’s too much of a risk with curious boy and dog!
What would you include in your dream patio space? Share your #patiogoals in the comments below!