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Quicky Project: Utensil Holder

Sometimes when you are knee deep in MAJOR projects that can take days and have some setbacks, you need to do a quicky project that can be completed easily and without hassle. It is necessary for sanity to be able to quickly make something that was just OK into something awesome. It’s like a little morale boost when you are feeling like your dresser/bed/kitchen/whatever is just NEVER going to be done.

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I had this small square vase that was begging to be remade. And I needed a better utensil holder than the ubiquitous Ikea stainless steel one with holes (which I also have and like, see below – it needed a more fun friend).

Ikea utensil holder that everyone has on the left.

Ikea utensil holder that everyone has on the left.

So, taking an idea from Centsational Girl who painted a vase with gold stripes, I thought I would do a vase with yellow and gold stripes.

I just taped off the lines with Scott Blue painter’s tape, and then first sprayed with yellow. Then when the yellow was dry, I taped and sprayed with gold. The coverage of the gold was much better than the yellow.

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So it’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good. I did some touch ups by spraying the yellow into a cup and applying with a paint brush.

And guess what? I did this while I was waiting for paint to dry on another project. A project that apparently will drag on for a while longer since I bought the wrong paint to save like $4, and then had to spend an extra $15 then buying the correct paint. Argh.

But whatever – I now have a cute utensil holder. I love all the different metallic finishes together – brass teapot ($2 at an estate sale!), stainless steel stove, gold on the vase, plus a little yellow for fun. Oh, and blue/turquoise serving utensils.

Hope you enjoy!

Love,

Rachel

 

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Laptop Cover with Washi Tape

Laptop Cover with Washi Tape

Here’s a quick fun project. I went to Japan last month and bought a bunch of Washi tape – super fun colored/patterned masking tape. I have seen it all over Pinterest and couldn’t wait to get my hands on some.

Laptop case decorated with Washi tape. Fun, right?

Then, I happened to need a new laptop cover, so I bought one on amazon.com.

Guess what: Washi Tape + Laptop Cover = Personalized Awesome Laptop Cover.

I am loving my big chevrons.

The tape won’t hold up for more than a few weeks, I am guessing. I take my laptop to class everyday, so it faces a lot of wear and tear. This makes this project a low-budget, easily changeable way to express myself.  (Also, I know the lines aren’t perfect, but it’s not permanent, so who cares?)

I wish the colors turned out truer to real life, but I took the pics with my phone. Oh well – you get the idea.

Love,

Rachel

Decorating for Valentine’s Day

Decorating for Valentine’s Day

Let’s be honest. I love pink. Love it. I have toned down much of the pink my wardrobe and decore as I have gotten older, but that doesn’t change my love of this great color.

At Valentine’s Day I get to decorate with pink without any apologies.

I made the hanging heart ornaments from pieces of felt. Each one is two layers of felt, with a thread just hot glued into the middle. They remind me of weeping willows, but with pink, red and white hearts. Pretty cute, huh?

Another picture:

The pink/red vase is one that I made. I bought a wooden vase a few months ago at a thrift store, intending to spray paint it. However, the surface was too slick and the painted ended up dripping and bubbling off. It was very weird. I hadn’t seen that happen before. So I got out my winter j-crew catalogue and Victoria’s Secret catalogue. I cut out strips of pink and red, then used ModgePodge to glue the paper onto the vase. Once it was all covered with paper, I applied two coats of ModgePodge for extra shine.

Then I filled my antique birdhouse with crumpled bits of pink, red and white tissue paper.

I got the milk vases at a thrift store. I adorned this one with some pink/red rose napkin rings that I made a while ago. They were easy to make, but unfortunately, I made them before I started blogging, so I don’t have pictures of the process.

Flower napkin rings

I just love the way the pieces all look together.

The background piece is probably my favorite. It might hang on my wall year round, since the colors are so muted. Again, I used my j-crew and Victoria’s Secret catalogue to cut out hearts in neutral colors. A few coats of ModgePodge onto a canvas and this baby was good to go. I mean, it took me a few hours, but was really simple. I watched Planes, Trains and Automobiles (hilarious) while I did it.

I also used the tissue paper from West Elm (it’s the gray/silver paper that has the words “peace” and “love” and “joy” on it).

I got all the candle stick holders from thrift stores. None were more than a few dollars. If they weren’t the right color, I spray painted them.

Anyway, I hope you like it as much as I do. And I hope you get to take advantage of Valentine’s Day to decorate with obscene amounts of pink as well.

Pink love,

Rachel

I’m Partying Here:

Between Naps on the Porch

House of Grace

Coastal Charm

A Diamond in the Stuff

Not Just a Housewife

Type A Decorating

Giggles, Glitz and Glam

My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Sassy Sites!

Savvy Southern Style

DIY By Design

No Minimalist Here

Somewhat Simple

The Shabby Creek Cottage

Quick Fabric Picture Frame (DIY Holiday Gift Idea)

Quick Fabric Picture Frame (DIY Holiday Gift Idea)

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Last night, I finished most of my first semester of my MPA program! Unfortunately, Princeton does this dumb thing where finals for fall semester are not until after winter break, so I have three weeks of hot chocolate, latkes, crafting and holiday parties to forget econ, stats and defense policy.

Fabric picture frame. I realize now I should have wiped down the glass before photographing, but am now too lazy to retake the photos.

Regardless, it feels good to have hit this milestone that means I only have 1.5 years of schooling left. And what this really means is that I have three weeks to really focus on CRAFTS, DECORATING and DIY. So I wanted to share a small project that I did, that anyone should be able to do, which would make a lovely stocking stuffer, or Menorah accompaniment or small trinket of appreciation for a friend: a fun little picture frame.

For some perspective, the frame on the desk, next to adorable lamp.

My mom found the picture frame at a thrift store for a dollar. I wasn’t digging the original color or the fact that it had the word “friends” across the bottom in raised lettering. Just didn’t go with my decor, though my roommate had the almost identical frame (but hers said “sisters”). Because of the raised lettering, I couldn’t just paint the frame, because the letters would still show. (I don’t have a before pic, sorry!). That’s when I got the idea of using fabric.

Now here is what makes this frame so meaningful to me: It’s a picture of my brother’s wedding in India. And the fabric covering the frame is remnant silk left over from the sari that my sister-in-law had made for me for the wedding. Since my brother lives in India, I don’t get to see him much, and this personalize picture and frame remind me of how awesome he is, and how lucky he is to have found Archana.

My Sister-in-Law and I, decked out in full saris and ALL awesome jewelry.

So I carefully cut the fabric a little bit bigger than the frame, and cut out the center hole a little bit smaller than the hole. That way, I could fold the seams nicely so that they would tuck under when I glued the fabric to the frame. I used mirror glue because that was what I had at the time, but fabric glue or elmer’s glue or hot glue gun would all work fine.

Then I felt like the frame needed a little something more, so I made those little yo-yo flowers to adorn the corner. I am loving the way it all turned out.

Yo Yo Flowers.

There are a bunch of tutorials for how to make those flowers online. They are SUPER easy to make, and add a little fun to almost anything: lamps, picture frames, tank-tops, dresses, headbands, pillows, etc… Here is a good tutorial I found to share with you guys: http://heatherbailey.typepad.com/photos/how_to_make_a_yoyo/index.html.

So in total, this project cost me $0 (if you don’t count the ticket to India, which I don’t because my dad paid for that. Thanks, Dad! 😉 )  Now get to the thrift store to buy old cheap frames and then go to the fabric store to buy remnants. Make some gifts for your friends. Or gifts for yourself. I won’t tell. And since classes are now over, what else are you gonna do with your time? Seriously?

Love,

Rachel