Box Tops {Lidded Storage Boxes}

But not the box tops for education.  Instead, building tops for these $3 boxes from Target’s dollar spot.  These plain wood boxes are the perfect size for Handy Sammy’s bookshelf/nightstand storage.  But I wanted lids to hide everything inside.  So I looked in the garage and found a scrap of 1/4 inch MDF that was slightly larger than my box.  In a word, perfect.


I measured the outside of the box and the inside.


And cut four pieces.  One piece the same size as the outside, and another 1/4 inch smaller than the inside, for both boxes.  Plenty of wood glue to attach the two pieces and wait for it to dry.


Then I started painting.  I’m a rebel and skipped primer, but it would help.  And sand the boxes quickly.  I wanted something similar to these lacquer boxes, so I covered the edges with gold craft paint.


After the gold dried, I marked off 1/4 inch on all sides, then taped off the corners.


Mysterious blue paint and primer left over from the mini dresser covered nicely.


I still want to spray the boxes for a smoother, glossy finish, but I love how they look.


To make it easier on myself, I painted the inside of the boxes blue and the covers all gold.


As we tackle projects for the guest room, I’m getting more antsy to finish it.  Because I want to see everything together.  If you’ve got a tray you’d like to cover, this was as easy as two cuts.  What do you think?  Are you willing to give it a try?  Or have you done something similar?

Leaf it Alone

Sometimes I wish I planned ahead more and decorated for various holiday and seasons.  Nothing that would look like I bought an entire aisle at Hobby Lobby, but more than the few areas I do decorate.  Because so much is unfinished (or even started) in this house, my focus has been more on necessary projects, not decorating.  And we’ve only got a few logical places for decor at the moment.  I’ve already fall-ified the couch.  Without a mantle, I use our entertainment center as a substitute.  So, here’s our little dose of fall decor.

Well, that was round one.  Touches of yellow, white, gold, and copper.  I swapped a blue vase for the gold one on the left and replaced the paper behind our Whole Family Tree cut out.  Previously, it had a teal backing, which you can see on the top right shelf at our first house.  

While I liked the general selection, I wanted a little more.  I found pressed leaves in my craft stash so I used light fishing line to make a simple garland.

Simple.  I taped a few more leaves on fishing line then hung them from the ceiling to get the effect of falling leaves.

Other than the leaves, the left side stayed the same.

To add more metallic goodness, I spray painted the little bird to match the vase.  And a pine cone.  Because one can never have too much bling.

Other than the pillows and faux billy buttons, I think I’m done for the season.  I’ve done a little Halloween decorating that I’ll share soon.

What are your favorite ways to spruce your home for the changing seasons?  Do you go all out on decorating?  Or just a few touches here and there?  Got a favorite project?  Share it with us!

Green = Green: Perpetual Calendar

I shared a few thrifty finds last Thursday, including two small file holders for $0.99 each. 

I mentioned that I saw an idea for a perpetual calendar by Ashley Ann for Design Sponge.  I always love a good calendar, so I decided to make a perpetual journaling box set.  The small tan box is perfect for 3 inch by 5 inch note cards, which I happened to have two packages of.  I don’t have a date stamp, so I wrote each date in the upper corner of each index card.  It was pretty quick because I used a number format (1.1 for January 1st, 1.2 for January 2nd, and so on).  Also, I decided not to cut the cards because my box was already sized perfectly. 

After I numbered each card, I used two colors of cardstock, also already owned, to cut dividers for each month.  I made each divider 5 inches wide by 3 1/4 inches tall so I could easily see the dividers above the notecards.

This project took under twenty minutes and cost under $5.00 (if you don’t already have the materials), but what I really love is the sentiment.  I’ve missed the first few weeks of journaling, but it will be cool to see what we did on this day ten years from now. 

I also really love the Max 365 perpetual calendar by Massimo Vignelli, but I could to without the $74.00 price tag.

Obviously, the Max 365 calendar can be used over and over, which eliminates the need for a new calendar year after year.  But, my DIY perpetual calendar can be used for the next ten years (I have ten lines of journaling per sheet).  By using a perpetual calendar, I’m saving paper, making the earth a little greener.  I also saved some green ($73.00 to be exact) by creating my own calendar using a thrift store file box and supplies I had on hand.

Ashley had a great idea, right?!  Anyone out there inspired to make their own perpetual calendar?

Mug Shot

I recently discovered a super cool product: Pebeo Porcelaine 150 Paint Pens.  I found mine at Michael’s (after checking Hobby Lobby) for $3.99 each.  I decided to make a mug set for bridal shower gifts, so I picked up four plain white mugs at Target for $2.99 each.  I made a design template in Photoshop, printed to plain paper and cut out my design.  Then, I carefully outlined my design and filled it in.  The Mr. and Mrs. mugs were a hit at the bridal shower!  When I found some free time, I decided to paint two mugs I already had.

I decided to make a monogram mug and a whimsical tea bag mug, free handing my designs.  And here’s what the look like:

(Sorry for the blue-ish tint)  The B is a sketched fill, inspired by a set Design Mom featured

Even though I don’t drink tea, I seem to be drawn toward tea items, so this was perfect for our tea drinking guests.

These mugs are huge, (seriously, our tiny coffee pot fills one cup) so I decided to play off that.  The mug is large enough for tea for two.

Now our guests will have cute, custom designed mugs to use.  As I said, we created Mr. and Mrs. mugs as a bridal shower gift.  What are your favorite hostess, bridal shower or wedding gifts?  Have you used the porcelain paint pens or glass pens?  Anyone inspired to make a design of their own?  The options are limitless.  I’m looking for the perfect plates to make a pretty flower design or graphic print.

Silhouette Ornaments

For me, how I decorate for Christmas isn’t especially different from how I decorate the rest of the year.  I still look for bargains, multi purpose items, and ways to add personal touches, usually involving more glitter than usual.  So, when I decided to decorate our entertainment center, I knew I wanted to make some special ornaments as placeholders for our silhouette art.

So, I took a trip to Hobby Lobby where I found white ceramic ornaments.  They were originally $1.00 each but 50% off.  Following these same instructions to create the silhouettes, I sized our profiles to 2 inches. 

Then, I centered the silhouettes on the ornaments.

 Using a pencil, I lightly traced the silhouette. 

To fill in the silhouettes, I used normal acrylic paints and a small paint brush to get the detail. 

Ideally, I would have used a ceramic specific, heat set paint, but I couldn’t find any at Hobby Lobby.  I did, however, find four cute ornament hooks ay Hobby Lobby for $4.00 each. 

I had to alter how the ornaments hung, because the ribbon was threaded through the hole, making them hang sideways.  To fix that, I added a small loop of wire, then a ribbon for hanging.

Fortunately, that solved the problem and they now hang beautifully on our entertainment center.

How many handmade ornaments do you have?  If you’re like my mom, most are ones your kids have made in school.  What is your favorite ornament and why?  Did someone special give it to you?  What meaning or significance does it have?