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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Personalized Dishware

Problem #1
6 kids + homeschool + home all day  =  lots of dishes to wash!

Solution - kids wash their own dishes...

Problem #2
Whose dish was whose?...
The kids didn't want to wash dishes and would blame the mess.


Check this out...

You get 1 bowl & 1 cup!
It's yours!
You clean it!

Each kid has an assigned number
(according to birth order).

Now we know who the dish monsters are!

No more blaming it on the little kids!

If its got your # you clean it!

  • contact paper
  • pen
  • scissors
  • spray paint (for plastic - or you can find an art pen that will write on plastic)
  • newspaper

 I printed out the font that I wanted. 
At first I tried using a box cutter to cut the numbers out but my blade was dull. 
I ended up using scissors instead. 

I traced the numbers onto the contact paper (put the numbers under the contact paper and trace).

Then I used a scissors to cut the numbers out.  It was a little tricky...I made a couple of mistakes.  No prob...I learned from my mistakes, tried again, and got better results:)

  Ripped a hole in a piece of newspaper (this is where I put the contact paper number).  The newspaper helps to protect the outer surface and keeps paint where I want it. 

 Here you can see the number stuck on (a cup).  NOTE:  press the contact paper down VERY firmly.  I recommend running your finger nail along the edges.  If it is not stuck on good then the paint will leak out.

I used spray paint specifically designed to stick on plastic.  If you use this stuff it will stick onto your plastic and stay!  Believe me...we've used the dishes a bunch of times already and they have held up excellent!  (how do you like my black spray paint nail polish?)

The kids love it!

my cost

Spray Paint $4 (Walmart)
Contact paper $1 (Dollar Store)
Plastic dishware that we already had = FREE

Total = $5

I was totally low on supplies and actually had to buy:(
But I only used a little of each...
which means...lots of left overs...

which means...
more FREE projects to come:)

Happy eating!


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Cool Ideas (Picture display)

Do you have pictures that you want to display but don't have the amount of frames or wall space to display it?

Well here's a solution for ya!

I am a photographer and I also make announcements and invitations so naturally, I have a ton (not kidding!) of photos and invitations that I want to display. I have a workspace/office that is tiny (we've incoporated the "office" into a nook in our loft) so there is not much space (or wall for that matter!) to display my stuff. I needed something that would utilize the little space I had and maximize its usage. And of course, I wanted it to be Beautiful!

Here's my solution. . .

a "clothesline" of pictures! Not only was this a very inexpensive solution,
 it was also very easy to make!

Here's how I did it!


 On-hand Materials: glue gun and paint brush


1.  Paint clothespins a color of your choice. Separate the wooden parts from the metal part of the pin and paint just the wooden parts. Put the pin back together when the paint dries. (I got my clothespins from the dollar tree. I think there were 100 or 150 of them for $1.
I got my paint from Michaels for .50 when it was on sale.
They are normally .75-$1 at Michaels or .98 from Walmart.You could also glue decorative paper to the front of the pins, but that's another post!

2. Prepare "flower tacks by: putting a dab of hot glue on the head of the pushpin and attaching the pushpin (with firm pressure) to the underside of the flower. (you may also use thumbtacks. I used pushpins because
it's what I had at home) The hot glue should harden in no time at all.

3. Think about how you want your display to look and where you will be displaying it. Keep these things in mind: How many things do I want to display? How much room do I have?
How much materials do I have? Remember, you can "stack"
more than one clothesline (like I did).

Here are some ways you can choose to display. . .or you can
come up with your own!

4.  When you've chosen the style and area of display, you can begin putting it up. Simply push a pushpin into one end of the ribbon (do not cut the ribbon yet!) and drape. This is your pattern (pin, drape, pin, drape, pin). Remember not to drape too much, the clothespins and pictures may weigh it down a little causing it to sag lower. Clip some of the clothespins on to see how low it will sag. The beauty of the pushpin idea is that if you make a mistake in placement, all you have to do is pull the tack out, reposition and push it back into the wall.  

5. You may want to rotate the flower so that it will "point" downward.

6. Now all you have to do is pin your photos up. Easy, peasy and beautiful!

This idea would work well in any room. If I were to do a boys room, I would paint the clothespins blue or camoflaged and glue "boy things" to the pushpins (depending on the decor, for example if the decor were cars and trucks, I would glue a toy car/truck to the pushpin. Use your imagination when decorating and have fun! 

How much did it take for me to make my photo/art display?

Ribbon (on-hand)=FREE
Flowers (on-hand)=FREE
Clothespins (on-hand)=FREE
Pushpins/thumbtacks (on-hand)=FREE
Ribbon Photo/Art Display=FREE

How much would it take for you to make a photo/art display
if you didn't have all the materials on-hand?

Ribbon (10 yards)=.50-$1 each @ Michaels/Walmart
Flowers (1 bunch)=$1 @ Dollar Tree
Clothespins=$1 @ Dollar Tree
Pushpins/thumbtacks=$1 @ Dollar Tree
Ribbon Photo/Art Display=$3.50+

(depending on the amount of ribbon you may need,
the minimum you would need to pay would be $3.50)


Monday, March 21, 2011

Office Organization: File Magazine Box

My paperwork was a mess!

I needed something!

I had a ton of Capri Sun boxes laying around (I heart boxes:)

When in need...use what you got!!!

This is what I got...a file folder holder


turn it upright and use it as a magazine holder

  • capri sun boxes (or another type of box)
  • measuring tape/ruler
  • pen
  • box cutter
  • tape
  • spray paint (optional)
1. Find a box.
I used a capri sun because I had a ton!
They were on sale:)
And...they are very sturdy!

2.  I measured 4 inches from the end
(of the closed side or just tape a side closed).
This is how I wanted my box shaped.
You can always alter this design to be what you want.

3.  I drew a line from the 4 inch mark to the other opposite end (on both sides).
Then I cut along the line (on both sides) and around the top and bottom of the box.

 4.  I taped the end of the box.

 Before & after.


a File/Magazine Box

Here it is on my shelf:)

You can use it like this...natural cardboard...or
paint it black.

Take a look at the difference between the two.

Can you tell what color I chose to go with?

Cost for me...$1
(for spray paint)

Happy organizing!!!


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fabric Wall Hanging

 For a while I wanted "gratitude" up in my house somewhere.
I thought about vinyl but didn't want to pay for it
(u know me:)
It was before I figured out how to make faux vinyl.

I decided that the next best option would be to make a wall hanging.
I didn't have any spare wood on hand to make one.
So, the idea just sat around in my head. 

Then one day as we were driving to the community pool we passed a house with a ton of trash sitting out on the curb.  I didn't want to stop.  My hubby said that it looked like there might be some good stuff (I didn't see anything...because I didn't look in it...duh).  I got out and took a look.  I actually did find a ton of good stuff.  I think the best find was this frame. 

It is pretty big.  It still had its glass in it.  The picture wasn't great but I know I good find when I see it. 
We loaded up the stuff into the back of our van and went swimming.

About a week later I finally figured out what to do with it.  I wanted to paint "gratitude" on the glass (like I did in my hand painted mirror this link to check it out).  So I got started.  I took out the picture, cleaned the glass, and painted the frame.  The frame was dry and I was putting the glass back in when it broke...I wanted to cry...I almost did.

I had my heart set on finishing my project.  I had to walk away so that I wouldn't get angry.
I sat on my bed thinking of how I could still make it work.  Then it came to me...use fabric...paint on the fabric.  I had fabric!  I had the perfect color.

I knew that if I painted on the glass I could just wipe away my mistakes. 
Painting on fabric is totally different.  One mistake and it's done.
I decided to use a stencil.

Here is how I did it...

  • frame (with backing-or make one out of cardboard)
  • paint (for frame/lettering)
  • paint brush (I prefer foam brushes for stenciling)
  • fabric
  • box cutter/exacto knife
  • Packing tape or hot glue gun (with glue:)

1.  Prep frame (paint if needed)
2.  Place the fabric into the frame from the back.
3.  Place the frame backing into the frame.
4.  Pull the fabric along the edges pulling the fabric taut/tight.
5.  Tape the fabric in place to the frame backing/backboard
(make sure the fabric is taut/tight).
I used good old clear packing tape ($1 at Walmart).
It is what I had on hand.
6.  Secure the frame backing/backboard into the frame
(double check to see if the fabric is taut/tight)
Did I say that enough?..ok...I think you got the message:)
7.  Find a font and saying you like. 
Use your computer to enlarge the letters to the size you want.
For large projects it will run onto multiple pages.
8. Cut out the lettering with a box cutter/exacto knife/etc. to create the stencil.
Remember...not to totally cut out the center pieces. 
Leave it connected with a little bridge.  This gap can get painted in when you are done.
9.  Tape pages together(if necessary) and tape the stencil to the fabric.
10.  Paint the lettering using an up and down "blotting" stroke.
You don't want to use sweeping strokes as that will force the paint under your stencil.
Go slow.  Take your time.  Hold each letter down as you paint.
11.  Remove the stencil.  Fill in any gaps.


my cost = FREE
(I had or found everything I needed)


Monday, March 14, 2011

Helpful Hint: Why go to garage sales?

Why go to garage sales?

They have awesome deals!

Found these at Goodwill.  Cost?  $3.00 (ok, we've noticed that our local Goodwill prices are starting to climb...not too happy about that).  I started laughing because I found the exact same thing at a garage sale near my home for $1 for the pair (2 weeks prior).  I bought them...but haven't done anything with it...yet.

Did I get a good deal?

You bet ya!

Paid $1 instead of $3.

Happy garage sale-ing!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Awesome Find: Faux Vinyl Wall Stickers

Wall Stickers

(Found it at the Dollar Store) whoop! whoop!

cost = $1

They have lots of different designs. 

Here are some of the ones that I bought...

This was one of my favorite...

Do you remember the faux vinyl project that I did?

 I added a wall sticker to pretty.

I also moved a hutch that I had in the kitchen into the room to help take up some wall space.
I got this hutch on the side of the road...marked free. 
 I spray painted it with black spray paint. 
It took about 2 cans.

Total for this grouping $5

faux vinyl $2
wall sticker $1
Hutch - FREE
spray paint $2

Grand Total = $5

stay tuned to see what happens to the hutch:)



Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Awesome Finds: Wooden Board Project

So, I bet you're all wondering what I did with all those wonderful wooden boards (from my awesome finds post) that I rescued from certain death. Well wonder no longer 'cuz imma gonna tell ya!

What used to look like this. . . 

Now looks like this. . . . .

 (I still have 2 boards left that I'm going to use for my own house)

I made these gifts for my mother and father-in-law, my sister-in-law, and my sister to give to them when I visited Hawaii. PS I am posting this from Hawaii! Hi Ena!

Not bad huh? Was I lying to ya'll when I said that I literally find trash and turn it into treasure? And this, my friends, is not an isolated incident. I've done this over and over and over so many times that I could write a book on it. Why do I say this? Because I want ya'll to know that anyone, YES, ANYONE! can find stuff ANYWHERE and turn it into something Beautiful! 

How, you ask?

1. Change your mindset. (find out more about how to change your mindset here) You have to believe that YOU too can produce similar results. You need to believe that even you have the ability to make things beautiful (just say "Yes, I can!). When you've allowed yourself to accept these things, you can then move on to #2.

2. Open your eyes. You cannot expect for things to magically appear on your doorstep. You need to keep your eyes peeled no matter where you may be. You may be driving down the road and see something out for free or in the trash, or you may be shopping and see something for an "as free as can be" price. No matter how you do it, remember that there is more than 1 way to acquire what you want or need. (find out more about how to get "stuff")

3. What you see is not always what you get. Train yourself to look at things differently. Do not let appearances deceive you! What may be hideous to the untrained eye is beautiful to someone that sees the hidden potential. People will always throw out their "trash" but always remember that "One man's trash is another man's treasure".

4. Do it! Projects do not complete themselves. This may be the most important thing of all to remember.The reason I say this is because you may have all your "stuff" ready to go, but if you don't physically get up and do something with them (because you "don't know how" or "you can't make things beautiful" or "yada, yada, yada and every other lame excuse you can come up with") it'll lay there and collect dust and you will be where you were the day you brought them home.

I hope you will take these things to heart and finally decide that you are gonna decorate and 'aint no one gonna stop ya!. The only one that can stop you is YOU!

Good Luck--Brandi-Lee

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sock it to Me

Socks, socks, whose got socks?

We all do!

Whose got socks with holes?

We all do!

What can you do with holy...I mean hole-e socks?

Check this out...

  • socks (with holes:)
  • scissors
1.   Socks with holes.  The cuter the better.
These are (were) my favorite Christmas socks.  They have seen better days.
I totally wore out the heels!

2.  Cut off the top tube at the ankle.
Then cut off the heel and the toe.

Now...get creative

The top tube can be worn as leg warmers that begin at the ankle (picture above).
You can cut a slit (a little ways) from the bottom so your heels stick out (picture below).

You can wear it on your arm.
Repeat the process on the foot section
(the small section where you cut off the heel and the toe).
They will only go to the wrist.
Pieces may be too large for tiny hands.
I had to cut up the side, cut a couple of slits, and tie the ends together
to make them smaller for my 2 little ones.

One pair of socks made 4 GLUBS (as my little kiddies like to call them).

sock it to me!

cost = FREE


Dedicated to...April P. 
You are a blast!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Give me a break!

Sometimes I go into a store and see something so WRONG, that I have to mutter the words "Give me a break!". Usually, those "somethings" are items for sale that are overpriced, hideous or just plain makes you say to yourself "If they can make $ off of that "stuff" just imagine what kind of $ I could make off the stuff I have!".

(keep in mind I'm using my camera phone so the pics kinda SUCK!)

Here are 3 recent things that I'd found. . .

Here's a Valentine's Topiary from Michaels. It doesn't look too bad in the pic but if you saw it in real life! (Dog City!) It was covered in glitter! It looked as though the Glitter Fairy threw up all over it!  And to make matters worse, IT WAS PRICED AT $10!!!! Give me a break!

On to item #2

REALLY MICHAELS?!? Like we couldn't just go outside and pick these up off the ground! I was in a hurry so I didn't have time to look up the price for it but the fact that someone would actually sell a bunch of STICKS! Give me a break!  (ok, ok, maybe these are for the city folk in the concrete jungle that don't have sticks laying around, I realize that. . . .but still, give me a break!)

And now item #3

This one was taken at Walmart. Ok, these could be pretty (if you took it apart and used just the flowers in an arrangment!). I'm talking bout the pink one, it has hope. But the blue one, UGH! No hope there. Oh, but this is the best part. . . .the price tag!

Yes, they dare to sell these for 20 smackeroos! C'mon, let's all say it in unison "GIVE ME A BREAK!"

I am laughing my butt off right now!
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