Pottery Barn Knock-off wall organization system

Pottery barn knock off memo board

After the stair makeover we decided to take a little break from the large projects and focus on some smaller projects we’ve been meaning to do.  About a year ago I decided that Sophie needed one of the Pottery Barn Teen wall organization systems for her room.

img52c Cute right? The $267 price tag; however,  is not so cute. I decided I would simply make her one myself. I bought the fabric and then we decided to sell our house and buy a new one, so the project was sidelined. It wasn’t until a co-worker of mine decided to make one for her daughter that the project was put back on the agenda.

Warning: I seem to have misplaced the progress pictures so all I have are the final product. Also, we made 3 boards in total which actually made the price a little more reasonable since we could share materials. And finally, the project was more labor intensive than I would have imagined since each square is basically a small project unto itself.

message centerThe total cost of each board came out to $40! That’s a $227 savings per board! I also love that I was able to fully customize the fabric to match Sophie’s room. I choose a larger molding for the frame as well to give the board more heft.

DIY message center from pottery barn After studying the Pottery Barn wall organization system I decided to incorporate a magnetic board, a cork board, a shelf, and a wire clothes pin line. The little shelf I picked up at A.C. Moore for $1 and painted black. The fabric behind it is adhered straight to the plywood backing using spray adhesive.

pottery barn wall organization DIYThe magnetic board is a sheet of galvanized steel sheet metal that conveniently is sold at Home Depot in 12 x 12 pieces.  For the cork board I bought a pack of 4 12 x12 cork tiles ( I was able to use the other 3 tiles for my co-worker’s boards) then using spray adhesive and hot glue adhered this awesome black and white chevron fabric that I picked up at Hancock Fabrics.

clothes pin wire hangerFor the wire clothes pin line Code made me a wood frame that we then ran steel wire across. The miniature clothes pins are from Wal-mart.

message center

I love that Sophie now has a way to really express herself in her room without literally taping things to the walls!

Quick and easy DIY silhouettes

make a silhouette with a bow

I’ve been dying to make silhouettes of my kids ever since I’ve seen them all over Pinterest. To me this is my favorite kind of art. It’s personal, customizable, and cheap! I love that silhouettes are also a very classic motif and it doesn’t hurt that they are easy to make. I decided not to write a whole new tutorial for this project since they are all over the internet (here is the one I used), but I will give you a couple of details.

  1. I used black construction paper for the silhouette
  2. The background is a gift bag that I bought at Target (cute, right?)
  3. I glued the construction paper to the background with Elmer’s glue
  4. The frames are Ikea Ribba.

Here’s an example of the pictures I started with and how the silhouette came out:

silh collageDIY silhouette







I made them nice and pinnable for you too!

The inspiration to add the ribbon actually came from this silhouette pillow.  My girl’s always have bows and headbands in their hair so it only made sense to add them.

how to make a silhouetteI love how these came out. The colors are absolutely perfect. I especially love the texture of the gift bag which looks like lace. The options you could used for the backdrop are endless (think of all that scrapbook paper out there!)

The frames found a home at the top of our kitchen stairs. They draw the eye up while the mint color connects the two spaces together (remember our mint school house lights and our mint and sisal chandelier in the kitchen?)

how to make a silhouetteFor now please ignore the ugly stairs and half painted walls. They’re next on our to-do list. The silhouettes also make the perfect transition from the adult space of the kitchen to the kid’s space of the playroom.

DIY silhouette tutorialStay tuned for 3 more DIY art projects I have on my list. Until check out some of previous projects: Stenciled Burlap art, DIY Subway Art, Glitter art, and reclaimed wood moose head.

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“Hey there beautiful” glitter art

hey there beautiful artwork

When I first envisioned a vignette for the foyer I knew I wanted a welcoming piece of typographical art. Then I saw Stephanie Creekmur’s “Hey Y’all” gold print and fell in love. You may remember it from my Industrial Chic foyer mood board.  I was hoping that the sophisticated and shimmery gold would help balance out the raw metal and wood of the industrial table.  After showing it to my mom, she convinced me we’re not southern enough to pull off “y’all” (despite the fact we live in Virginia and I use the term all the time), so I decided to make my own version.

I wanted an uplifting and welcoming phrase to great visitors, and I eventually settled on “Hey there beautiful” for no other reason that it makes me happy. Using PicMonkey I created the text the way I wanted it to look.

picmonkey artworkI printed it onto card stock in a golden color to ensure that no color would bleed through the glitter. Next, using a fine tip paint brush I painted matte modge podge (affiliate) over the letters.

hey there beautifulI did one letter at a time then sprinkled extra fine gold glitter (affiliate) over it. I continued going one letter at a time while going back and filling in bare spots.

typographical artworkThis is a super easy project. Just make sure to use the finest tip brush you can find. I actually used two different ones to get the wider and thinner parts of the letters. I let it dry for 2 hours before framing.

hey there beautiful artworkI got the frame from Target on clearance for $7. I love the juxtaposition of the slightly rustic frame with the gold glitter.

how to make a rustic tableAnd the foyer is officially done! I love how the vignette looks paired with the wainscoting behind it. And doesn’t it look just like my inspiration board? I still need to get something for the owl vase. I’m thinking a cotton branch.  The final touch to this space will  be the stairs makeover which will hopefully be later this summer.

Anyone else using glitter to light up their house?

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Custom DIY Subway Art with large custom frame

DIY subway art or word art

If you are not familiar with what subway art is than you have obviously been living under a rock (or don’t frequent Pinterest), but basically it is a typographical art work where words are set in different typesets in order to create a visually appealing and thought-provoking piece of work. Usually, the words have some sort of theme such as a holiday, family rules, favorite quotes, or the birth of a baby. So, I had seen DIY subway art all over Pinterest for a while now, but I wasn’t really motivated to make my own until I saw  Dria’s over at Dio Home Improvements.  I loved how large hers was, and I just happened to need a large piece of art for over the bookcases in our new family room. This project also appealed to me because it’s completely customizable and personal.

I decided that subway art was exactly what I needed in my life, but I wasn’t sure how to achieve the look I wanted. A lot of other bloggers used Photoshop to create their pictures, but I don’t have access to Photoshop….whomp whomp. Then along came Courtney from the Ginger Penny Pincher with How to make Subway Art with Picmonkey! If, you are not familiar with PicMonkey (affiliate), it’s a free photo-editing software that you can get online and it’s what I already use to edit all the photos for this lovely blog.There is no registration and nothing to download. You can also upgrade to get more features for $33 a year (that’s only 2.75 a month). Many of the fonts I used for this project are available with the Royale upgrade, but you can still create a beautiful subway art with the free fonts as well.

I decided that my theme would be places and times that defined our family. I knew I was going with the medium poster from Staples (18 x 24), so per their instructions I re-sized the image on PicMonkey to 3238x 4288. Here was my first shot at it:

how to make subway art

I used a different font for each word or phrase then simply moved them around and adjusted their size until they all fit the way I wanted them to. The project almost ended here because I simply LOVED IT! However, I had my heart set on a colorful piece of art that would brighten up the otherwise gray and white space, so after saving this version, just in case, I went ahead and started experimenting with color and I got this:

DIY subway art

I’ll admit it took me awhile to get the colors right then to figure our how to lay out all the colors appropriately, but in the end I am absolutely thrilled with how it looks! Make sure to leave a border around the edge of the page or else some of your words may get cut off in printing. If you forget (like I did) you can re-upload your image into PicMonkey and add the simple edge border. Change both colors to white and up the thickness to where you want. This did the trick for me.

Next, I ordered a poster print from Staples in 18 x 24 for $19.99. When it came in the mail I was so excited that I tacked it up to the wall to see how it would fit and there it stayed tacked to the wall for 3 months. Whomp Whomp….. Just like our Engineering prints we hung in the room it took us a while to finally get around to building a frame for this custom artwork.

Cody used three different types of molding to make this frame: 1×4, baseboard, and crown molding. He literally just went to the molding section of Home Depot and layered the molding until he got the look he was going for.

how to build a custom frame

Here’s quick run down of how he layered them. First he cut the baseboard to size and 45ed the angles.

frame from molding

Next, he added the 1×4 to the edges of the baseboard also 45ing the angles.

frame from baseboard

Finally, he added the crown molding to the area between the 1×4 and the baseboard. Once again the angles are 45ed and you can see how they all line up.

frame from crown molding

Here’s a close-up after all the seams had been caulked.

how to build a frame from crown molding

We had originally thought to paint the frame white, but then I thought that the area next to fireplace already seemed a little devoid of color so Cody decided on Rust-Oleum’s Lemon Grass.  And here is the result!

large frame from crown molding

I absolutely love it! Honestly, the frame is the real piece of art here. Even though we had the poster hanging in the family room for months, I cant’ even begin to tell you the number of people who hadn’t even noticed it until the frame was installed. Here’s a close-up of the frame painted although the color is way off. It looks much more like the above picture in person.

How to build a large frame

In the end the frame cost us about $30 to build, so while it wasn’t necessarily cheap it sure beats the heck out of a custom frame job. Total with the print we spent $50 on this project. Not bad for a completely custom and personal piece of art!

PicMonkey Photo editing made of win

Pssst….. the family room is finally done!Family Room Reveal

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DIY Cheap Frames for Engineering Prints

18x24 frames cheap

You know those amazingly large and cheap engineering prints you can get done at Staples? Of course you do. They’re all over Pinterest. Well I had 3 of them made about the time we moved in from our Spring family photo shoot and they’ve been tacked to the wall above our TV ever since. Literally, I used colorful tacks to attach them to the wall.  I was hoping the tackiness of it (pun intended) would encourage Cody to hurry up and make frames for them, but that plan backfired on me. So, here I am 3 months later just now finally getting frames. With the fireplace makeover complete, I was finally able to woo Cody over to finishing up the art of the TV wall.

The engineering prints were 1.79 a piece for 18×24 in, but try finding frames that size and the money you saved on the prints starts to disappear. I originally got the idea for these frames from Navy Bean Lane. I loved the way her black and white prints looked paired with the wood frames. The frames are made of of stain grade pine 1×2’s and are ridiculously easy to make (and only $5.81 a piece). Cody started by cutting the wood the correct length by using our chop saw.

how to make cheap frames for engineering prints

As you can see he did 45 the corners to give it a more finished look. Next, he put the frames together by using our pneumatic nail gun*.

cheap 18x24 frame

And voila just like that the frames were done. Well almost……

I wanted the frames to have a rustic look as well as to match with some of the existing woodwork in the family room, so I choose to stain it using PolyShades Gloss in Mission Oak* which was left over from a previous project. It had the perfect amount of yellowness in it to match the rest of the woodwork. I applied two coats of the stain a couple hours apart using an old rag.

*These are affiliate links

large cheap frames

Even though the stain is gloss it actually came out in more of a satin finish which is perfect for the rustic look I am going for. Next, Cody attached the prints to the back of the frames using a staple gun.

frames for engineering prints

To ensure that the staples didn’t shoot through the paper he added small thin squares from left over particle board to each corner.

large wood frames

At this point you could easily attach picture hanging hardware to the back of the frames, but we’re cheap and lazy, so we opted to attach the frames to the wall directly with a nail gun. At least I don’t have to worry about them falling off the wall during an earthquake………

framing engineering prints

And here they are all hung. I cannot really express how happy I am with them. The wood tone is perfect and actually picks up on the goldenrod in the lamp shades. I also love how they frame the TV. Our goal with this wall was to downplay the TV as a focal point and these 3 frames in combination with our gorgeous Greek Key console table definitely help do that.

floral lamp shades and engineering printsHere’s a close-up of one of the frames. The way the wood grain comes through the stain really adds a touch of rustic elegance to the frames.

18x24 framed cheap

Total Cost:

Prints             5.37

1x2s                17.40

Total=            22.77  or 7.59 each
Pssst….. the family room is finally done!Family Room Reveal
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