Sunday, March 30, 2014

DIY No Sew Fabric-Lined Basket

I have a love for baskets!  Baskets can be incorporated into the decor of any room and help with organization by providing a space where like items can be collected. I decided to take on a DIY basket-making project that was both budget-friendly and customizable to your own taste and this is what I came up with:

The best part about this project was that it cost me less than $5 to make and sewing isn't required!

Supplies Needed:

  1. Cardboard Box
  2. Hot Glue Gun and Glue sticks
  3. Staple Gun (Optional)
  4. Jute, rope, or any material of your choice
  5. Fabric 

The fabric was 30% off at Hobby Lobby and I used my 40% off coupon for the jute.

First, I started by cutting the top flaps off my cardboard box and trimming about 2 inches off the height of my box.

I attached the long flaps that I cut off the box to the bottom so that the base of the box would be a little more stable.

I started measuring the sides of the box and cutting my fabric so that there was enough length to cover the base of the box and the sides.  I also made sure to add extra length to my measurements so that there was enough fabric to cover about 2 inches of the outside of the box.

Truthfully, accurate measuring isn't necessary.  You can hold your fabric up to the box and trim the fabric accordingly.  I also folded over the edges of my fabric and attached the edges using my hot glue gun so that the fabric looked more finished and "hemmed" like so:

I attached the fabric to my cardboard box with my glue gun, but you can also use a staple gun if you choose to.  After attaching fabric to 3 sides of the box, the inside looked like this:

There was no method to my madness, I just made sure that the actual cardboard was no longer showing and my edges looked finished.

Next, I attached the jute to my cardboard box using my glue gun.  I just worked the jute around my box row by row from the bottom to top until I finished.  

I made sure to keep going until the jute was under the fabric and the cardboard was hidden.  That's all!  This is a simple and easy DIY project that you can customize with your own fabric.  The options are endless!   You can continue the jute onto the inside of the box instead of lining it with fabric.  Another DIY project, maybe? Muahahaha!  Ever since completing this project, I've been looking around my house for reasons to make more baskets.

I hope you try it and let me know if you have any questions!
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

How to Clean Makeup Brushes

I cleaned some of my makeup brushes today and decided to share my method.  It only takes 3 or 4 easy steps and 1 kitchen tool for me to get my makeup brushes clean.

About 2 years ago, I looked up "how to clean makeup brushes" on Youtube and came across tutorials that used this oven mitt-looking cleaning tool.  I was definitely interested in purchasing the glove...until I saw the price.  It was and still is $35! For an oven mitt with bumps and grooves in it?  Granted, the Youtube beauty gurus made the oven mitt look magical, but $35?  Really?  So I went on the hunt at HomeGoods and got my silicone oven mitt with little bumps on it for $4.95.  Woot Woot! 


  1. Olive Oil or Jojoba Oil
  2. Oven Mitt (Not required, you just might have to work a little harder to get between the bristles)
  3. Castile Soap, Dawn Liquid Dish Detergent, or Baby Shampoo
  4. 91% Isopropyl Alcohol (Optional, but highly recommended)
  1. I dip my brush into the olive oil or jojoba oil and work the oil into my brush with the oven mitt to try to remove as much makeup as I can.  I only use a teeny-tiny amount of oil.  I use olive oil and jojoba oil because I have used them on my face before and I know my skin doesn't react to either oil.  If you have reactions to either oil or are allergic I would recommend skipping this step.
  2. I rinse as much of the oil off as I can, then I pour a tiny amount of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soap onto the mitt and work my brush into the soap to create an great lather.  I've also used baby shampoo and Dawn Liquid Soap, but I only had castile soap on hand today.
  3. Next, I swirl the bristles of my brush on a CLEAN towel to dry it as much as possible.  
  4. This step is optional, but I highly recommend it.  To disinfect and help the bristles dry a little more quickly, I dip my clean brushes into a cup filled with Isopropyl Alcohol and swirl the brush on a clean towel to remove any residual oil or residue.
  5. Lastly, I re-shape my brushes and lay them flat to allow them to dry.  They usually dry within a few hours and are ready to use by the next morning.

You can find numerous tutorials and videos online on how to clean makeup brushes, but this is the method that has worked the best for me the last few years.  Washing makeup brushes not only helps keep your skin clear but it helps your eyeshadow, blush, and powders apply more evenly and the colors are less muddy compared to makeup applied with dirty brushes.

I know everyone has their preferred method so let me know how you clean your makeup brushes.   Also, if you purchased the Sigma glove let me know how well it works for you.  I'm really curious!
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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Best Drugstore Pencil Eyeliner

I have to share my latest makeup discovery with everyone! It’s the L’Oreal Silkissime eyeliners.  They are the closest thing I have found to Urban Decay’s 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencils for drugstore prices.  For reals. No joke. I’m serious.

The L’Oreal Silkissime eyeliners are smooth and apply easily onto my eyelids.  I don’t have to use a lot of pressure and I don’t feel like I’m scraping my eyelids off when I use them in the morning.  But the best part about these eyeliners is their lasting power!  I normally apply my makeup around 9 or 10 a.m. every morning and I don’t take my makeup off until bedtime, which is around 1 or 2 a.m..  So we’re talking more than 12 hours of wear.  Of course, I have to be realistic and let you know that at the end of the day my eyeliner doesn’t look exactly like it did right after I put it on in the morning, but its still there and the line is still dark and defined.

Just apply, let it sit for a few seconds, curl your lashes, and you’re good to go.  I have the Silkissime eyeliners in black, plum, and highlighter.  The colors are pretty much self explanatory with highlighter being a champagney-pink color that’s perfect for the waterline or the inner-corner of your eye.  The plum color is a basic purple color, but I do wish that it were a richer, more royal purple rather than the basic purple that it is.  The black is a black-black, not a gray-black or a light-black, which is perfect! I believe the fourth color available is charcoal, but I chose not to purchase that color.

I got my eyeliners at Target for $7.99 each, which is a lot less than the $20 price tag of Urban Decay’s Glide-On Eye Pencils.  Don’t get me wrong, I still think Urban Decay Glide-On Pencils are some of the best on the market and the color selection for their eyeliners comes second to none.  However, if you’re on a budget and you need basic eyeliner colors then I recommend these Silkissime eyeliners!  You have to try these out!
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Office Window Update

My office organizing and unpacking escapades are going as planned and I'm having a lot of fun along the way.  I wanted to take a moment to share the changes I've made to my office window.

This is what my window looked like for 4 months.  Installing blinds on this window was never a top priority for me, but the sheer sheet gave me a false sense of security.  I felt like the window was covered, but the covering was so sheer I knew that if someone stood outside they could see everything (especially if it was dark out and the room was lit up).  To fix this problem I installed Home Decorators Collection 2' Faux Wood Blinds from Home Depot.

Better right?  These blinds came with great instructions so the installation process was a breeze.  I also love that the manufacturers included plastic clip-on valences that help hide the hardware.  I know "plastic clip-on" valences sounds really cheap, but they actually look really nice.  They are a very sturdy plastic and don't look flimsy or cheap at all.  In fact, the blinds are such a great value for the price I want to replace all the blinds in my house with these!

Now that my office window is looking a lot less dingy and I have a lot more privacy, I want to add some curtains for a little pizzazz ya' know?  These are some options I'm considering:

All the options are bright and colorful with fun patterns!  Aren't they awesome?  They're all really affordable too.

I can't wait to show you which curtains I end up choosing and what my entire office looks like after I'm finally done.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

How to Remove an Old Door Knob

The first things I changed when I moved into my home were nearly all the door knobs.  I changed the exterior door knobs for safety reasons and the interior knobs for aesthetics.  Googling "how to remove an old door knob" gave me a lot of results, but I never found a "how to" on the specific knobs that I had in my home.  They aren't similar to the new ones I've installed because my old knobs don't have any exposed screws.  So where was I supposed to start?

I read multiple articles and posts about removing old door knobs and the ideas were essentially the same.  Slowly take away the parts that cover the screws and remove as many pieces of the knob as you can until you are done.  So, after combining different steps from different posts, this is what I did to remove all of my knobs.

First, I used a utility knife to cut around the knob so that i could cut away at the paint that was holding the knob cover (?) to the door.

I also used my flathead screwdriver to chip away at the thick layer of paint, but I really don't recommend doing that because you can scratch or create deep dents in your door if you aren't careful.

Then, looking at my door knob from a side view I was able to see a little tab that stood out at the neck of the knob.  I used my flathead screwdriver and pushed in on the tab while using my other hand to pull the knob straight out.  I don't have a picture of myself doing this because I only have two hands {boo Wendy, boo!}, but this picture gives you an idea:

Afterwards, I was left with this:

At this point, the knob cover (i'm sorry I don't know the technical term) is still on.  To remove the knob cover, I used a small flathead to depress the little loop that was sticking out while wedging another flathead between the cover and the door.  I worked my way around the entire cover until it literally popped off.

Finally, the screws were exposed!  Yay!

I unscrewed the screws and removed any pieces I could.  I had to use a little muscle to push the knob out through the other side.  

Lastly, you're supposed to unscrew the lock from the sides, but I did this first, which is why the knobs are still attached in this picture:

The lock popped right out with a little wiggling and I was left with this:

Those scratches around the hole are from the utility knife and screwdriver I used to loosen the knob from the door.  Nothing a little sandpaper and paint can't cover!

Replacing door knobs is a easy and quick way to update an old home.  If you have knobs like mine, I hope this post helped.  Installing new door knobs is actually a lot easier because of the detailed instructions manufacturers include in their lock sets.  Let me know if you have any questions!
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

My Gallery Wall

Alright, alright, let's take a break from all that office/guest bedroom talk and talk about gallery walls!  Gallery walls have been really popular for the last few years.  Some people hate them and some people don't.  I personally love them because they give the creator a chance to assemble a unique, wall-sized collage made up of photos and objects that may or may not have meaning.  Also, there are so many ways to assemble gallery walls (just look at pinterest), there's not really a right or wrong way to do it.  For me, I wanted to assemble my gallery wall the organic way-without any pattern or planned layout.

The only underlying theme of my wall is that all the frames are wood or a wood-like material and there are gold accents sprinkled throughout the wall.  
Over the last few months of living in my home, I've slowly added pictures and mirrors here and there as I find them.  The most difficult part of this gallery wall has been trying to find different picture frames made of wood or have that wood feel.  Because I don't want any 2 frames on this wall to be the same, I've been looking in stores like Target, Michaels, and Hobby Lobby every now and then to see if I can find anything different.

At first, I started with only 2 pictures, but the 2 pictures quickly grew to 2 rows:

As you can tell from the picture above, I moved the monogram from the first row to the third so that it would fit better.  One of the reasons why I've been so comfortable with this laid-back way of assembling a gallery wall is because I've been using Command Strips.  If I'm not happy with the way a frame is positioned, I can easily and quickly move it without leaving a hole in my wall.  

I definitely want to add a couple more frames below the clock and maybe a whole new row?  I'll stop adding frames when I feel like the wall is complete.  For now, I love how my gallery wall is coming along.  The gallery wall makes a statement and is a conversation starter since it's the first wall my guests see when they come into my home.  I also like how the gallery wall adds height to my living room by drawing your eyes up towards the ceiling.  

Here are some of my tips for assembling a gallery wall (the slow way): 
  1. Use Command Strips
  2. Try to stay in a general layout (No matter how many frames I add to my gallery wall, I've been able to achieve the finished or almost finished look by staying within the general outlines of a rectangle)
  3. Choose pictures and items that you love!  
  4. Use a level

What do you think about gallery walls?  If you've assembled one I would definitely like to take a peak!
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Saturday, March 8, 2014

How to Remove Paint Splatter from Wood Floors

I finished painting the existing trim in my office a couple of days ago.  I still need to install trim on one wall, but before that, I want to clean the speckles of paint off my wood floors.  Yes, one of the tips I gave was to protect your wood floors with construction paper, red rosin paper, or Ramboard.  As you can tell, I ignored my own advice because I was rushing through the paint job and ended up with this:
All those arrows are paint spots on my wood floors!
My friend, if this happens to you don't panic.  Step away from the wet paint.  Let it dry.  I'm serious.

Once the paint has dried, you can use something with a VERY dull and gentle edge like your finger nails and scrape off the dried paint spots.  It takes very little effort and the dried paint usually comes right up!  Easy Peasy!

But what if you didn't listen and went ahead and tried to wipe the wet paint and ended up with something like this?

There's still no reason to panic because my contractor introduced me to a product called Goof Off.

I just got the Heavy Duty Spot Remover and Degreaser.  Be aware that they have a Professional Strength line as well and I'm not too sure how well the line works.  Also, Goof Off is just the brand, but they have different products for different uses so remember to read the label carefully.  I wouldn't want you to ruin your floors!  The label also states to test in a inconspicuous area before actually using it in an area that is highly visible.  When I first got this product, I tried it on the paint splatter in my closets.  There weren't any signs of damage on my floors in the closet so I now use it everywhere in my house.

You are going to want to spray the spot remover onto the smudged paint like so:

Wait a couple of minutes and wipe the residue off your floors in a circular motion while applying light pressure on the smudge.  You can repeat if necessary.  Again, make sure you test this product before using it on your floors.  From what my floor guy has told me, different contractors use different types of wax and polish.

The end results should look similar to this.  The after shot was taken later in the day on Macro setting.  The before shot was taken earlier in the day on Auto.  The after picture is a more accurate depiction of the actual colors of my floors.  As you can see, the smudge is G-O-N-E!  The Macro setting shows a couple of white flecks, but in real life you can't see them.  If you try this, let me know!

Disclaimer:  This post only applies to paint platter and not paint spills.  I have not spilled a large amount of paint on my wood floors (knock on wood) so I'm not sure if dried paint spills would peel off as easily.  Again, please test this product before you actually use it in a large, visible area.  You do not want your wax or polish to have adverse reactions to this product.
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Thursday, March 6, 2014

How to Paint Baseboards

One of the items on the to-do list for my office was painting the baseboards and installing baseboards where needed.  When my floor guys came and re-finished my wood floors last fall, they asked if I was going to replace all of my baseboards.  In my first-time homeowner's high, I said "yeah, yeah I'll replace it all".  So my floor guys went ahead and stained the wood floors without removing or taping off the trim.  Needless to say, I ended up with baseboards that looked like this:

Yeah...I didn't realize this is what my baseboards would look like after the floors were finished and I brought it all. upon. myself.

My 2 options were:

  1. Replace ALL the baseboard in my house, or
  2. Repaint the existing baseboard

I chose to repaint the baseboards that were already installed.  Why?  Well, a gallon of ultra white paint is A LOT cheaper than buying baseboards for an entire house and I don't have a miter saw.  All the trim I have installed in my house so far, I have used a miter box with a hand-saw.  A hand-saw.  You know, one of those saws where you have to use your own muscles.  I mean, I know I need to workout more, but sawing all those pieces of baseboards by hand with a saw and miter box were not my idea of fun.  Yes, I could have invested in this miter saw if I wanted to because I would use it to build things later down the line, but I also thought about all the wasted baseboard that I would have to remove and throw away.  So, repaint the baseboards it was!

These are just steps for homes without carpet.  I honestly don't have a clue how you would paint baseboards with existing carpet.  Sorry.

  1. Start out by using a dryer sheet to wipe off all the dust and dirt from the baseboards.  I would use a cleaning solution or wet wipes if there is a lot of gunk.  You want your baseboards as clean and dust free as possible so that you don't end up with little bumps on your baseboard.
  2. Then, tape off the floor with painters tape and be sure to apply extra pressure on the areas where the tape meets the baseboards.  

    My tip would be to lay down construction paper, red rosin paper, or Ramboard to protect your floors from drips and splatters. I'll show you why later.
  3. Using the painter's tape as a guide, paint your baseboards.  I would start with thin layers.  Thick, goopy layers can lead to dripping or a bumpy finish.
  4. While the paint is still damp, remove the painter's tape at an angle.  DON'T wait until the paint is dry to remove the tape because you risk the dried paint coming off with it.  

This is what the baseboards look like now:

Spiffy amiright?!
Painting baseboards is a nice way to spruce up any room.  The crisp white color also helps make the wall color feel a lot more fresh and clean.  The color I used was Behr's Premium Plus Ultra Pure White paint in a semi-gloss finish.  It's a crisp white color that isn't too yellow or blue.

Some of you may notice the paint splatters on my wood floors in the after photos.  In my next post, I'll show you how I remove these spots!  See you soon!
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Monday, March 3, 2014

Office Inspiration

It's raining here in California today! I didn't get to finish spray-painting my Ikea shelves like I had planned, but I wanted to share some key elements I want to include in my office when it's all said and done.


1.  Spray-Painted Ikea Vittsjo Shelves:  I first came across these shelves on Pinterest.  I typed in gold shelves and there were multiple pins of this shelf from Ann Antunes Home Styling.  I was so excited about these inexpensive shelves that I went to Ikea and bought 2 over the weekend, but the rain has put a damper on my spray-painting plans.  Womp Womp..

2.  Ikea Ektorp Sofa Bed:  This sofa bed would be great in the gray or white color.  My office needs a pullout sofa or chair because I plan on using it as a guest room as well.

3.  West Elm Round Swirl Felt Pouf:  I love poufs!  They are such cute decorative pieces that are multi-functional.  What can't it do?  Be a seat?  Check!  Be a foot rest?  Check!  Be a dog bed?  Check!  Be a decorative piece of furniture that just sits there?  Check!  See what I mean?!

4.  Robert Abby Antique Brass Pharmacy Desk Lamp:  Okay, so this picture will just be used for inspiration because I really don't want to shell out more than $50 for a lamp.  I actually have plans to update a desk lamp that I've had for 10 years to look similar to this.  Stay tuned for that reveal!

5.  West Elm Parsons Desk:  I am currently using an Ikea desk that slopes in the middle because it is too long and is unable to support the weight of the items on my desk.  Is the desk still useable?  Yes.  Would I like a new desk in the near future?  Yes.  Will this be a likely purchase in the very near future? Probably not.  Although I would love to have a sleek, simple desk like the West Elm Parsons Desk, it is probably at the bottom of my list of to-do's/ to-buys for this office.

6.  Pottery Barn Celeste Chandelier:  I find that lighting fixtures are the hardest things to pick out for home decor next to window curtains.  Light fixtures are wired into your ceiling, they're expensive, and the wrong one can really change the aesthetics and feel of a room.  The Celeste Chandelier from Pottery Barn would definitely look great in this room or any room for that matter.  It's soo prettyyyy!

I want my office/guest room/makeup room to be a place where I can go to be productive and creative, but at the same time be a welcoming room for my guests.  My hope is to achieve the look I want by the start of Spring in a cost-effective manner.  I know this sounds nearly impossible, but again, I'm using these pieces as inspiration and there will be quite a bit of DIY-ing along the way.  What do you think of these items?  What is your favorite piece of furniture or decor item in your work space?
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Saturday, March 1, 2014

Spring Cleaning Has Started Early!

Remember that closet I demo-ed a few weeks ago?

The one that looked like this before:

Then, I posted "Tips on Tearing Down a Closet" and I ended up with this:

Well, I repainted this creepy closet and installed a Rubbermaid Home Series closet system to get this:

Look at those gold rims!

Contrary to how other people feel about wire-closet systems, I love mine!  I have them in every closet in my home, except the linen closet, and I think they are a great alternative to bulky built in closets.  They are economical and modular so these closet systems are also great for renters or people who generally move often, like college students!

For the paint color, I used Benjamin Moore's Edgecomb Gray because I had 2 gallons left over and I wanted a light, clean color.  I also spray-painted my Sterilite drawers fun shades of blue to add punches of color into the closet.  Unfortunately, the noose-looking string hanging from the top of my closet is still there.  I haven't found a light fixture that would fit in this closet yet, so I'm still on the hunt.  

I still have a lot of unpacking and cleaning to do in this room:

But, hey, at least I installed the closet system right...?

My office to do list includes:

  2. Spray-painting these shelves from Ikea for storage (inspired by pins on Pinterest)
  3. Painting the baseboards
  4. Replacing doorknobs on all doors
  5. Getting a new light fixture for the half-bath, closet, and room
  6. Getting wall art
  7. Getting a rug
  8. Getting a sleeper sofa or chair
  9. Finding a smaller (maybe antique/vintage) desk
  10. Installing blinds
  11. Polishing floors
  12. Get the half-bath tiled
  13. Install a sink and toilet

Yep...that's all.  That's my short, expensive list of to do's for this room and I plan to get it done by the arrival of Spring!  I am definitely going to keep you updated on my overhaul of this room (including the half bath re-do).  I'm sitting in the room, waiting for paint to dry as I type this so progress is being made.  Stay tuned to see what the final, un-packed version of this room looks like!
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