Mini Project Monday: Greek Key Corkboard

I’m finding my thoughts turning towards creating a tranquil, if not girly, craft room/office so I have a relaxing place to scrapbook.  Hubby hasn’t even started to fix up the third garage that will become his “man cave” (although he has started talking about it) but I’m tired of having a chaotic office space.

Having said that, this knock-off Pottery Barn corkboard project in no way contributes towards a more organized space but I was inspired nonetheless!  It looks VERY tedious (and it was) but actually didn’t take that long to do.  It was only an hour and a half from “Here, take the baby so I can do a DIY project” to “my thumbs hurt too much to keep adjusting the pins!”

Pottery Barn sells a corkboard just like this for the low price of…$160!!!  Mine cost me virtually nothing.  I used a corkboard left behind by my grandparents when they moved and I already had the fabric and thumbtacks in my stash.  Getting a $160 corkboard for $0 is totally worth the sore thumbs from pushing the pins in!


No-Spend July Recap

No-Spend July has come to a close and I think it was a resounding success.  I got a good number of little projects done and even a few things that I haven’t blogged about.

I tried very hard to stick to my no-spend rule, taking pains to not look at any home improvement store flyers.  I went to Value Village and deliberately stayed far, far away from the furniture and lighting sections.

I do have to confess that I did buy one thing right at the end of the month.  I bought some chalk paint to redo our kitchen table…BUT, I only bought it because after discovering that my local Walmart sells chalk paint, I have waited weeks for them to have the white paint in stock.  They finally did so I had to snap it up when it was available.

I’ve shared a number of projects, both decor and furniture.  I revamped a bookcase for our dining room, created an ottoman out of a coffee table that I picked up off the side of the road and finally finished my crate side table for our downstairs bathroom.

As I mentioned, I’ve done some things I haven’t shared here, including working on the art centre in my boys playroom and applying frosted spray paint to our downstairs bathroom window.  It looks straight into the dining room window so if you forget to lower the blind, awkward!  That problem is solved now!

I finished up a few projects for Boy#2’s bedroom, including putting my own touch on an IKEA nightstand and finishing his bedside lamp that I started before we moved in last August!

So overall, I’m proud of No-Spend July, even if I technically broke the rules at the end.  It’s definitely going to be something I try again, maybe in December when it’s tempting to overspend to dress up the house for holiday company.

Mini Project Monday: Photo Monogram

I love the $1.50 bins at Michaels.  Honestly, I’ve even gone into the store with the sole intention of shopping from the $1.50 bins.

Whenever I see any type of monogram product, I always dig through and find if they have any “A’s”…and if they do, it automatically goes in the shopping basket, whether I need it or not!

Today’s mini project combines my love of monograms with some leftover wedding prints.  I’d wanted to do an A monogram with a copy of our marriage license “mod-podged” on but it wasn’t going to work the way I wanted so I went with photos instead.

It was pretty simple but takes time to let the Mod Podge dry in between coats.  I applied the pictures to the chipboard monogram (making sure not to cut off anyone’s face!) and after it had dried, I cut the excess photo paper from the back side with a utility knife.

After that, it was just a matter of applying thin coats of Mod Podge until I was satisfied that the photos weren’t going to peel up at some time in the future (I quit after two coats since this is, after all, a mini project!)!


Link Parties:
Adventures of Mel: Inspire Me Wednesday
The Thrifty Home: Penny Pinching Party

Trio of Wall Art

No Spend July continues and this week, I’ve made some fun wall art for each of my little munchkins.  I found three pieces of MDF leftover from another project gone disastrously wrong and decided to turn them into wall art.

Each boy’s room has its own colour scheme:  grey and white with two different accent colours (light blue and aqua, light blue and yellow, aqua and navy).  They also have different patterns that are associated with their rooms (stripes, chevron and polka dots) so I wanted to integrate these into the art as well.

Boy 3 has aqua and navy with polka dots.  I sprayed his panel white and simply hand painted the dots by swirling my paint-covered finger in circles.  I like it as long as I don’t stare at it too long and obsess about the imperfect circles.


Boy 1 has aqua and light blue and stripes.  I sprayed his panel white and wrapped it in jute string before using more spray paint to add the three colours on top.  Taking the string off revealed the criss-crossing lines.


Boy 2 has light blue and yellow and chevron.  I sprayed his panel with the three colours and then used painter’s tape to make the chevron pattern.  I added two coats of white paint before pulling the tape off to reveal the pattern.


The chevron is my favourite one. I love the crisp lines and I think I’m going to make a bigger, slightly different version of it for either our family room or living room.

Link Parties:
The Crafted Sparrow: Creative Collection Link Party
The Girl Creative: DIY Inspired
I Heart Naptime: Link Party Palooza
House of Hipsters: Found and Foraged Linky Party
Rustic and Refined: Table It Link Party
DIY Showoff: That DIY Party

Mini Project Monday: Cute Crate Side Table

Today’s Mini Project Monday took me about five minutes to complete (a little more if you count the time it took me to whitewash the crate over a year ago…I don’t!).

I have a pin on my “Projects to Try” Pinterest board that features a wooden crate secured to the wall to act as a bedside table.  I tend to like a little more storage in my bedside tables than a simple crate would offer, but I liked the idea for the bathroom to hold toilet paper, tissues, etc.

This one was really easy to do…I already had the crate that was supposed to be used as a baby shower gift but I chose something else instead.  I found the studs, pre-drilled some holes and screwed it into the wall.  It actually took me more time to find the tools than it did to finish the project.


I added a black basket for toilet paper, box of tissue and some flowers and called this project done.  Best part?  It alleviates the need for a toilet paper holder, meaning no arguments about who didn’t change the empty roll!

Link Parties:
Adventures of Mel: Inspire Me Wednesday
The Thrifty Home: Penny Pinching Party
Rustic and Refined: Table It Link Party
The Crafted Sparrow: Creative Collection Link Party
The Girl Creative: DIY Inspired
I Heart Naptime: Link Party Palooza
DIY Showoff: That DIY Party
Creatively Living: Monday Funday
Coastal Charm: Show and Share

Coffee Table to Ottoman

The second project of No-Spend July is an upcycle of an old coffee table that I found on the side of the road.  I almost didn’t get it; in fact, I drove by it the first time on my way to get groceries.

I thought about it all the way to the store, rationalizing that I didn’t need it because I already had plans for coffee table projects for our living and family rooms.  It also would mean that I would subject myself to long-suffering looks from both husband and father as I crammed another piece of furniture into our already very-messy garage.

However, as you might expect, I gave in and stopped on my way back, glad to see that no   one else had snapped it up in the meantime!  This thing was HEAVY…solid wood and bigger than it looked when I first saw it.  But with some creative manoeuvring (and unloading/reloading the groceries as it started to rain), I made it fit into my SUV and that baby was mine…for free!


It started as a typical eighties coffee table.  I gave it a quick sand and sprayed it…you guessed it, white!  I ripped apart our previous family room ottoman to harvest the foam (it was showing its age and wear and tear from being abused by Boys 1 and 2) and upholstered it with some blue and grey fabric.  I bought the fabric ages ago for the banquette that will be built in our kitchen but doesn’t work with the colour that I chose for the chairs.


I love that it’s higher than our pallet ottoman (where was it when I was pregnant and puffy?) and sturdier when the boys climb on it.  It also has a strict “no food” rule that we’ve managed to enforce successfully so far!


I’ve styled the new ottoman with a little black tray, some flowers and books but I doubt it will last long; Boy 2 has already tried pulling the flowers out of the mason jar and man-handled the books.


Link Parties:
Thrifty Decor Chick: July Before and After

No Spend July and Bookcase Revamp

First of all, Happy Canada Day!

I have a problem…I have a hard time focusing on one project at a time.  I’ll start working on a project or a room and get halfway through before I quit and move on to something else.  Case in point:  Baby#3’s room…until a week and a half before he was due, I was working on things for every other room in the house instead of his!

I partially blame Pinterest for this habit.  I’ll browse Pinterest and find new ideas all the time.  Ideas for projects that I think I can finish very quickly but inevitably take much longer than that.  It’s a vicious cycle.

This month (as you may have guessed from the title of this post), I’m going to focus on doing DIY projects that don’t cost me any (more) money.  I have been stocking up on fabric and other supplies for projects I wanted to finish ages ago but haven’t made myself focus long enough to finish them.  I have a list projects waiting to get done, some that have been sitting half finished since I started my maternity leave…here’s hoping for lots of motivation in July!

To kick off the no-spend month, I did a quick revamp of a bookcase in our dining room.  As you can see, the before picture is quite lovely…a cacophony of disorganization.


I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to give this bookcase a makeover.  My original plan was to add beadboard wall paper to the back panel and paint the whole thing white.  I decided against that when I bought some lovely Moroccan-inspired wall paper for an accent wall in our bathroom with some leftover Christmas money (this will be another no-spend project…and started out as quite a disaster!).  I only need about a quarter of the roll for the accent wall so there will be lots left over for other projects.

I unscrewed the back panel from the bookcase and used it as a template to cut the wallpaper down to size.  I sprayed it with some craft adhesive spray and glued the wall paper down before reinstalling the panel (with a very helpful two year old to hold the screws for me…and that’s not even sarcastic!).


I love the way it looks and it forced me to get rid of all the clutter from the bookcase.  I used it to store some white serving dishes and other entertaining accessories.  The little brown crates were a buy one, get one free deal at Home Outfitters.


Having this little project done makes me want to start entertaining again, something we haven’t done since we moved last August.  Hubby bought me two murder mystery dinner kits that have been calling my name lately!


Link Parties:
The Thrifty Home:  Penny Pinching Party

Mini Project Monday: Simple Alphabet Art

Back in January, I put the playroom on my Home Goals 2015 list as one of the three rooms I wanted to finish this year.  Actually, I was hoping to get them all done before Baby#3 arrived but that in no way happened at all.

In that Home Goals post, I showed you some cute alphabet art with different coloured letters each on their own canvas.  I knew I could replicate it for our playroom with minimal cost.  The canvases were $3 each at Dollarama, which for the larger size is a steal of a price.  I already had most of the paint; the only colour I had to buy was orange.

It was super easy to do…I used painter’s tape to mark out the straight edges of the letters and free-hand painted the curves of the B, C and D.  The paint ran a little bit under the tape but the little people who use this room to play don’t care about things like that!

Sorry about the poor lighting in the picture…this room doesn’t get great light at any time of day.

I’ve had this mini project done since…I don’t even remember but a few months anyway.  I wanted to get the wall painted before I hung them up (you can see where I’ve patched the wall with drywall putty to fill in the holes/dents).  But I’m almost out of the wall paint so I went ahead and hung them up anyway.  I’m glad to have them on the wall so the little boys around here don’t feel the need to make surfboards out of them or something!

Nursery Reveal

The nursery is finally ready for the little man who will move in next week!  A few weeks ago, I wasn’t sure that we would make it but I finally got myself motivated enough to finish the “board” and batten trim and do all the little projects that were on my list.  I must be in full nesting mode…I sewed ten pillow covers yesterday for our living room, boys bedrooms and front porch.

I can’t find the “before” pictures that I took before we moved in last summer so I’m just going to dive right in to the “after” pictures.


I decided on a grey, white and navy theme before we knew this baby was a boy, adding the teal as an accent colour (instead of pink had it been a girl).  I bought the sheer curtains for $5 each at my local Goodwill store.  I couldn’t believe that they had six of them…and I bought them all!

Hubby and I learned a very valuable lesson about working on a 120+ year old house when we were installing the horizontal trim…”level” doesn’t exist in houses that old!  We went with “eye-level” instead and it looks much better than the first attempt.

I installed the vertical trim all by myself and mastered the air-compressor powered nail gun (on the first try) at 37.5weeks pregnant!  The mobile was a Mini Project Monday feature that cost me absolutely no money…love that!


I don’t have a full picture of it, but we’ve fit a single bed into this room.  A necessity, given that our first two boys liked to be held as they fall asleep and refused the crib for several weeks after their arrival at home.

My limited fine art skills got some exercising to make the helicopter, car and plane art.  It’s cute, and covers up a few spots where the wall will never be completely flat…that 120+ year old house thing again!


A very exciting picture of our change table…but look at the shelves underneath.  More space for storage, which is a miracle since we couldn’t fit our tall shelving unit we’d used in the nursery in our old house.


This is the quilt made by someone far more talented than I when it comes to sewing, my mother.  She’s made quilts for both our older boys but I think this one is my favourite.  I love how the navy and teal play off each other…so sharp looking!

That’s it for the nursery…which is now officially the most finished room in the house!  Luckily Baby#3’s older brothers don’t know/care that their rooms have been put on the backburner!

Link Parties
Rustic and Refined

I party with Remodelaholic

The Crafted Sparrow: The Creative Collection Link Party
The Girl Creative: July 17 Link Party
Coastal Charm: Show and Share 271
The Thrifty Home: Penny Pinching Party
Adventures of Mel: Inspire Me Wednesday

Mini Project Monday: Nursery Art

A few weeks ago, I said that we’d done nothing to prepare the nursery for Baby #3, who is now only twelve weeks from his entrance into outside life.  That’s no longer true!

Today’s mini project is some wall art for the nursery, and is inspired by some adorable onesies that I couldn’t stop myself from buying when we learned that we were expecting another boy.

My painting skills are rudimentary at best…at least when it doesn’t involve walls or furniture.  No one will ever call me artistic but I think these canvases look pretty darn cute anyway.  Sorry for the iPhone picture, but my camera is throwing a fit right now and isn’t working 😦


This project cost me about eight dollars for the canvases.  I love that Dollarama carries canvases now…I don’t need good quality ones, given my limited skills.

I’m slowly chipping away at the nursery but haven’t painted or installed the board and batten trim that I want to do.  That’s a last minute type project anyway, right?

I party with Remodelaholic