DIY Nursery Closet Dividers

Hey everyone! I hope your hump day is going well. I got up early to get my workout in and then headed to my nanny fam’s house to pick up the girls and drop them off at their summer camps. I have had the day to myself so I enjoyed some sun by the pool, ate a yummy lunch, and I am working on gathering freezer meal recipes to prep for the baby’s arrival in a couple of months! Things are gearing up. It’s all so exciting!

Since our new townhome won’t be finished until October, I haven’t had the opportunity to nest, so I’m making due with mapping things out, doing a few crafts, and planning what the nursery will be like once we move in. Hopefully we will get to move in and set everything up before baby girl makes her grand entrance, but we will see!

One of the crafts I finished recently were some closet dividers so I can easily organize her clothes that will span from newborn to one year.

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I got the idea from this blog and set out to buy my supplies. I was able to find everything at home, the Dollar Tree, and the dollar spot at Target. I spent a total of $3 on this project.

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Supplies Needed:
– cardboard box (cereal boxes work great!)
– decorative tape (like washi – found this at Target)
– scrapbooking paper or paper stickers
– plain white printer paper for labeling
– markers or pencils for labeling
– something round (like a bowl & spice bottle) to trace your circles

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The first step was to cut the cereal box into flat panels and cover it with the paper. My paper was a sticker on the backside, so I did not need glue. If you use scrapbooking paper, you will need to find a way to secure your paper to the box.

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Once my box was covered, I flipped it to the backside to trace the cirlces I would need to cut out. I used a Pyrex bowl for the larger circle and a cinnamon spice shaker for the smaller one.

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Next I cut along the lines and flipped the cardboard over to the paper-covered side. I picked a spot in the center of the circle to cut vertically for placing on the closet hanging rod.

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I cut some small strips of washi tape next and made a base for where my label would go. I then cut a small piece of the printer paper and labeled it the correct size. I secured the paper onto the washi tape using more washi tape, and voila! It was done!

I repeated the process 3 more times to make a total of 4 dividers. One tip I took from the blogger that posted the original idea was to tape a coin on the backside of the dividers by the vertical slit so they are weighed down properly and won’t spin around the rod. I ended up taping 2 pennies on the backside of each divider. I tested it out afterward and the pennies do the trick!

I’m so excited to get into our house and get the baby’s room all set up, but our closing date is the day before my due date. I’m not betting on her coming early, so I’m hopeful that she will leave us enough time to get everything ready. 🙂 Babies can’t read calendars, though. Ha!

 

Have a great day, friends! See you with a weekly update post soon!

::Katie

 

Fairy Lights Canopy

Happy Monday, friends! Wherever this post finds you I hope you are well…as well as your budgets! We are halfway through the month so stay strong until the end.

I recently completed a cheap bedroom project that I wanted to share with you. Many of you may live in apartments and are limited on space. We are in that situation ourselves. Our 2 bedroom apartment seems to shrink a little bit more the longer we live here. Nate’s music gear has taken over our bedroom on multiple occasions (especially when we have guests staying in the music/spare room) and we are forced to use every bit of storage space we can find.

When things are back to normal in the apartment, we still have some overflow. We set our bed up so there is a corner pocket behind our headboard which is currently storing boxes of Christmas decor. Our headboard is short and the pile behind it was growing large enough that it was visible when you walked in the room so I needed to find a simple solution to hide the eyesore.

Off to Pinterest I went and got some inspiration for simple canopies that I could do in an apartment home. I tweaked a few ideas to make into my own.

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I needed the following to make what you see above:
– wooden dowels ($.40 @ Michael’s)
– thumbtacks (on hand)
– sheer curtains ($8 on Amazon)
– white fairy lights ($5 on Amazon)

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It was a fairly cheap project and once all my materials were gathered I went to work! Firstly, sliding the curtains onto the 2 wooden dowels I picked up at Michael’s. Next I headed into the bedroom to fasten the curtains & dowels to the ceiling behind the headboard so the curtains could flow down to cover the boxes in the corner. I pushed the tacks through the curtains and straight into the ceiling. I suppose you could skip the dowels if you really wanted to, but they are good support for the curtains and enable you to adjust them how you like.

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The next thing I did was hang the fairy lights behind the curtain. I did a zig-zag pattern using tacks to fasten the lights to the wall behind the curtains.

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When all was said and done, it looked pretty nice. In retrospect, I probably should have done some measuring to make sure everything was even, but sometimes you just don’t have the time or energy for that! Also, I think I may add another string of lights behind the curtains so that the zig-zag pattern is less noticeable and the lights are more dreamy and star-like. But overall, it was a quick & fun project that turned out well! And now I don’t have to look at those hideous boxes behind the bed. 🙂

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Let me know if you have any questions about this project! I’m always happy to hear from you and answer any inquiries. Have a wonderful day!

– Katie

Pumpkin Decorating Shake Up!

Hello friendly budgeters! Obviously we are in the autumn/Halloween/harvest (whatever you want to call it) season which means… pumpkins! And pumpkin decorating! So much fun!

This year I tried something new with my nanny kiddos. They are a bit young to be swinging knives around and carving faces into their pumpkins, so we took a more kid-friendly approach to decorating pumpkins. I found the idea on Pinterest here.

All you need for this project is:
– Mod Podge
– Paint brush for applying the Mod Podge
– Colorful tissue paper cut into circles
– White pumpkins, preferably of basketball size-ish 🙂

The 6 year old I nanny (who we shall call “C”) had the day off school that day and she LOVES art projects, so we spent some time tracing circles onto the tissue paper we found in the closet. I got assigned the task of cutting them out. It took FOREVER. But it was totally worth it!

Our rainbow of color choices…

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When the 4 year old got home (we shall call her “S” from now on), we headed outside to apply the Podge to our pumpkins. It was kind of messy (you know kids and glue…always too much), but you can get the Mod Podge off with just a little bit of water & scrubbing. Once the Mod Podge was on, the kiddos picked out the circles they wanted to place on the pumpkins and put them where they wanted.

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When they were finished placing their decorations, I went back over everything with another layer of Mod Podge to seal them on and give the pumpkins a beautiful shiny look. We left them to dry for a few hours and then they were ready to be used for decoration around the house!

S admiring her & her sister’s pumpkins…

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It was a project that the girls really enjoyed (they were excited about it all day) and it was incredibly easy to do. When we were done we had some circles leftover, so we ended up making some other art projects with them. They got pretty creative!

Let me know if you give this project a try and send me some pics!

-Katie

Watercolor Arrows

Hello friends! I know, I know…back again after a long hiatus. This summer was crazy with my nanny kiddos and I worked 50 hours (or more) most every week. Needless to say, the blog got put on the back burner. But now that they are in school again I am ready to occupy my free time with something useful, so it’s back to the blog!

I had an awesome time on Sunday playing around with some Crayola watercolors and some watercolor paper that I found for under $8 total at Target. I also found an awesome picture frame at Target that was on clearance for $4, originally $15. Check those end caps for good deals, people! Seriously.

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So I sat down on Sunday, got some ideas off Pinterest, and then went to work. I did some practicing first since I’ve never used watercolor in a serious fashion before. I’ve only ever painted with the kiddos making rainbows and such, so a little practice was in order. I found that it’s pretty easy to use watercolor because you can turn your “mistakes” into something cool if need be. Just put a little more water on it and move your brush! The girls I nanny have a book called “Beautiful Oops” which teaches that even your mistakes in art can be made into something beautiful. I applied the lesson in my own painting this weekend!

My goal was to make something decent that I could frame and hang in the apartment. I found a cute arrow painting on Pinterest that I decided I had enough talent to undertake and started painting. In the end, I think it turned out pretty well (feel free to tell me if I’m fooling myself)! The frame matched perfectly and I found a cute spot in our main bathroom to hang my masterpiece! 😉

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The lesson here: you don’t have to spend a lot of money to spruce up your home. A few kid craft supplies and a clearance frame and our bathroom has a bit more of a personality now. Voila!

Have a wonderful Monday evening and I’ll see you back here again soon!

-Katie

Painted Mason Jars

I usually arrive pretty late to bandwagons, and the mason jar bandwagon has been no exception.

On my Goodwill shopping spree a few weeks back, I picked up 2 mason jars that I wasn’t quite sure how I’d use. After a bit of creative brainstorming, I found some tutorials on glass painting and decided I’d give it a whirl. I decided I’d use the jars as holders for little things in our bathroom on the counter.

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I used Martha Stewart’s line of chalkboard paint to paint the glass. Our bathroom colors are brown & red so that’s what I went with for paint colors. 🙂 I painted one coat on the jars and let them dry for an hour before coating them again. Nate and I shared a game of Scrabble between coats.

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I let the jars sit overnight. The next night I took out our industrial strength file and did some aging of the paint. It turned out quite well for the first time around.

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Now we have some pretty new holders in our bathroom. It was a fun and inexpensive little project that anyone can do! I think I spent somewhere around $4 for the whole project. Done & done!

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Christmas Gift Idea: Decorated Mugs

Hello friends!

We are only 15 days away from Christmas after today. Isn’t that crazy? Where did this year go!? We had a particularly crazy year with Nathan quitting his job in April to attend a web developer’s boot camp and start a new career path. It took 6 months to complete and now he is in a solid, full-time job doing something he really enjoys. We are able to continue making progress toward being debt free and begin saving for a house this year! I cannot wait to have my own space one day. No shared walls, no sound curfews, and no rules about where you can and can’t park! What a glorious day it will be! J

As I was saying… Christmas is upon us! If you’re still thinking of fun, easy, and cost-effective gift ideas, I may have one for you here on this post…mug designing! You do NOT have to be an artist to design a fun mug for a friend or family member. All you need is a solid-colored mug, some permanent markers (preferably paint or oil-based permanent, but a regular Sharpie works just fine, too), some alphabet stickers, and an oven.

I got this idea from Pinterest (of course). I got my blank mugs from Target.

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I looked at the Dollar Tree and didn’t find much there. One of my friends mentioned looking at Goodwill, too. I did not do that, but I will be going in a few days to see if they have anything fun. I have a few more ideas I’d like to try.
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Obviously, the letters on the mugs are initials of the giftees. J I bought some alphabet stickers at Michael’s to use. Stick them on the mug where you’d like your design to be. Next, take your marker and begin dotting carefully around the letters you’ve stuck onto the mug. The center of the mug should be more densely-dotted so once the stickers are removed you will be able to see the letters. As you work your way out, start spacing the dots out more until you feel you’ve made the design you like best.

When the mug is done, bake it in the oven at 335*F for about 25 minutes. I’ve heard that permanent marker will eventually flake off if the mug is not hand-washed with a delicate sponge, so be sure to give the “hand wash only” instruction to the recipient.

This is just one decorating idea, of course. Pinterest has many, many more if you’d like to venture out and be a bit more creative. But I felt this was a good starting point for myself and for a lot of people out there who’ve never tried something like this before.

If you try it, let me know! I’d love to see a picture of your finished product.

Happy gifting!