Tuesday, November 27, 2012

DIY Stenciling An Entire Wall

Last Spring I fell in love with a moroccan wallpaper I saw online but it was super expensive = total bummer.  As you know I live in a condo and I didn't want to wallpaper an entire room and then worry about having to take it down when it comes time to sell.  I don't plan on extending my stay here but I still want to make this place MINE! I have this one wall that I thought would be an awesome accent to my upstairs hallway.  In this hallway you can access the washer/dryer and my calendar station, so to me it isn't just a hallway, it's an actual living space. The wall was still the original creamy yellow color that was here when I bought the place, so the goal was to find an awesome stencil that resembled the moroccan wallpaper to change out that boring color. 

When I found my bathroom wallpaper here, I had also found this stencil website and that's where I came across this patterned stencil. It looks EXACTLY like the wallpaper I wanted but the best part was I could choose whatever colors I wanted because I was doing the painting.  I started to google rooms that have been stenciled before to get some "how to" advice. I saw that a bunch of women on different blogs had also stenciled before and they said it was time consuming but fairly easy if you have the right tools.  I was up for the challenge even though I was 8 mos prego...lol...what was I thinking? It took me 4 hours from start to finish. It was SOOOOOO worth it.  I freakin love walking passed this wall EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.  It makes me smile for no reason and I love that. I actually want to do laundry even more now because I get to stare at my awesome work =) =) =) Check out this before and after shot.  

I am going to share some of the steps I took to attack this project.  I started off by keeping one of my brackets from my calendar station up to use as a guide to keep the stencil level.   

I used blue painters tape and a little spray adhesive{sprayed on the back of the stencil- same adhesive I used to line my nephew's dresser} to help keep the stencil pressed smoothy against the wall so no paint would bleed through.  I also used a small foam roller to apply 2 light coats. Less is more people!!!!

I started in the center of the wall and worked my way out. Yes, you do have to overlap in some areas so I would suggest grabbing a blow dryer to dry those small areas before you place the stencil on top. 

I definitely recommend taping off your trim so you when it comes time to do the edges you can be as sloppy as you want.  The stencil does curve with the wall but it does make it easier if you have a small artist brush to fill in any unreachable spots. 

Stenciling wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.  Using the spray adhesive really helped keep the stencil flat and that was my biggest worry. Looking good right?

All I have left to do is above my level line. I was so stinking happy to be done at this point.  I do not recommend stenciling while prego. It sucked to climb the ladder and then bend down to do the lower parts. NO FUN! But again I have to admit I would do it all over again in a heartbeat!

{Don't mind the blurry spots, its the glare from my flash}

One of my favorite things about stenciling is that once you finish your last section you can immediately start hanging things because the center of the walls are always dry before you even finish. 

If you haven't noticed I'm loving teal & hot pink right now!  I have splashes of it all over my house.  

I even threw some teal & pink into my laundry nook....

I can't help but smile in the most random places in my home and that's what it's all about kids.  We live in these spaces day in and day out so why not make them our OWN! I hope you are feeling inspired to make a forgot about space or wall something special for your eyes only!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Holiday Teacher Gifts: What's good? What's ehhh?

My sister just asked me last night for some cute ideas on what to make/buy for her daughter's teacher for the holidays.  I told her to hop on Pinterest to gather some ideas. Of course, EVERYTHING she found involved food, hot cocoa mixes, coffee mugs etc. She wanted to do something meaningful but nothing too extravagant. Being a teacher myself, I know some of  my favorite gifts that I received in the past were when students would just write me a kind note/card.  {keep in mind I am a high school teacher} I usually throw the notes/cards in a shoe box or in a file folder to save for a day when I'm not feeling so hot and then I whip them out and reminisce. So much fun!  I can't even imagine teaching at the elementary level and receiving notes from those little munchkins...so jealous!  Those kiddos probably say the cutest things.  Soooooo.....I thought I'd break down a small list of what's good and what's ehhh to gift to a school teacher.  I do not speak for ALL TEACHERS but I do have a lot of friends who are teachers and majority of them agree with me on this.

         What’s Good?                        What’s Ehhh? 

1.  School Supplies for Classroom                                   1. NOTHING is ehhhh...everything  
2.  Christmas ball ornament with a small note inside       is appreciated!
3. Christmas card- personal note inside                         
4. Gift cards to Staples/Target/Walmart - to help 
replenish the teachers' pockets after they fork over 
their own money to buy supplies for their kiddies 
every year. 
5. Any type of goodies = YUM!
6. An awesome smile and and a sweet hug

I personally would suggest doing a cute kid made ornament like this.  It's so easy to just string these buttons and add a beautiful ribbon to it.  I would also tag a little note on it and have the student write their favorite memory of their teacher on it.

In all seriousness there is no need to buy gifts for teachers.  I would highly recommend a personal note that your son or daughter writes sharing a fun moment that they had with their teacher. To me that is  PRICELESS!!!!  

Monday, November 19, 2012

The "Bomb Dot Com" Pantry

Yes, I have labeled this post the "bomb dot com" pantry because it truly is.  I am allowed to call it that because it's not mine {boo freakin who}.  I am sooooooo jealous because I don't have a pantry of my own and I have had many dreams about how I would organize mine if I did.  One of my longtime BFF's {Tracy} made one of those dreams come true by allowing me to transform her pantry into a functional space she and I  could love. She was truly looking to blow this pantry up because she was so frustrated with the lack of organization. I am so glad I got to her when I did.  We transformed this space in 2 days and now she doesn't want to close the door. Check out these before and after shots....

After we finished the pantry we just stood there and stared at it and started naming all the things we loved about it.  Tracy love, love, loved that each shelf is fully packed but yet every item is still visible. She immediately said "Yayyy, I will FINALLY be able to see when I am running low on certain foods!" That meant no more grabbing a cereal box and realizing it's empty the day after you went food shopping.  She also loves the shelf paper we used to line the back walls of her pantry. It's gorgeous!!!  {I actually used the same pattern of the shelf paper for my before and after tags. It ties it all together}

You can see in this photo below that Tracy had a lot going on in this pantry, just like we all do, and she needed a fresh start.  We were both thinking, "Where the heck do we begin?" So we decided to hit up the Container Store to find all of the fun gadgets they had to offer. Before we left I had Tracy make a list of all the food/things that we would need to find a home for.  We brought that list with us and bought accordingly. We told ourselves it would be okay to overbuy and then return if we didn't use everything, that way we wouldn't have to go back there in the middle of the project {I hate when I have to wait to take those "after" photos}.  

After we got back from the store we emptied out the entire pantry and starting to create a plan.

We pre-ordered this shelf liner from chicshelfpaper.com a couple days ago so that it would be at Tracy's doorstep in time for the clean out.  It is such a show piece, I feel bad that my pictures don't do it justice. The plan was to use this on her back wall to give the pantry a little depth and of course for the design aspect.  

It was time to start putting things in their new homes so we gathered up all of our Container Store finds and starting to fill them up. Here is what we bought...

1.  Good Grips Pop Containers- These are so cool! You place the lid on top of the container and then you press down the center circle and it seals the lid.  It's so fun to pop these up and down, especially when going to grab a cookie or some yummy peanuts.  

Check out my girl Tre filling one of these bad boys up with cheez-its...Yummmay!

2. Baskets - these are usually used for linens in a linen closet or to hold mail on your entry way table but we thought they would be perfect to house bags of snacks/popcorn/pretzels or boxes of all things Betty Crocker. 

Sidenote: Doesn't the toaster look adorable in this basket? It's not just aesthetic, it's functional too! It hides the cord and keeps any crumbs inside the basket {with machine washable fabric}.  Such a cute idea...Tracy gets all the props for that one!  There is also another basket on her top shelf that houses all of her place mats and cloth napkins. 

3. Large handle storage basket- we jumped at the chance to throw these guys in our cart. They are so clutch for putting a bunch of ingredients for one meal in one place so you can just grab the basket and go. Tracy and I are huge PB&J fans so we immediately thought to put those ingredients in here.

4. Clear plastic shelf liner- genius invention for wire shelving.  This little trick makes taking things in and out of your pantry so much easier. Yay....nothing can fall through the cracks anymore.  I highly recommend these!

5. Expand-a-shelf- gotta love anything that expands and allows you to add more but still keep it neat and tidy. 

Got a great deal on the Expand-a-Shelf....

6. Wine Rack- this is actually called the "design your own wine rack" because you can buy as many boxes as you want to house whatever amount of wine you have.  You can triple the size of this rack by just adding more dowels. We got these because we thought it'd be fun to paint them our POP color. 

{this blue color looks super bright here but it's not the true color in person}

I love using my spray paint comfort grip.  It makes clean up so much easier = no paint on my fingers!

I also spray painted these letters from Jo Ann's and these baskets from TJ maxx.

I subconsciously wore our pop color on the 2nd day.  

These might be my favorite part of the project, mainly because painting these wasn't even my idea. Yup, Tre-dawg totally thought these guys would look better in a new color and HOLY COW was she right?!?! They look Stupid Cute! {urban dictionary: stupid cute= someone or something that is so attractive it disrupts your ability to intelligently process information while looking at it}

We added a picture frame to the door using these command strips. {so nice to not have to put a hole in the door} The frame will function as a dry erase board in order to jot down those last minute grocery needs.  I brought over a bunch of different pieces of craft paper to use as a backdrop.  Even Tracy's husband chimed in and expressed how much he liked this idea...SCORE! {he wasn't digging the last thing on the grocery list though...lol}



One of the last things we added was a small nail in the wall to hang Tracy's shopping bags. 

Before we knew it this pantry was DUNZO! 


It's not too late to make even the smallest spaces in your home beautiful! Is it not the Bomb Dot Com? Anyone else gushing over this pantry makeover?  

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