Archive for January, 2011

Click HERE to see the updated room with the finished chandeliers hanging in all their glory. ūüôā

One of the greatest things about being broke all the time (or just being cheap all the time) is that it forces you to think outside the box and use your imagination. ¬†Sometimes my imagination is hard to keep up with and definitely is hard to understand so obviously when I came home with a stack of plastic placemats, wire, and a spatter guard cover and told my husband that it was going to be our new bedside lighting, he was less than enthusiastic. ¬†You’d think he’d have it figured out by now that I always have a plan and that my plans WORK…usually…sometimes…the second or third time around. ¬†Actually I’m pleased to say that this plan didn’t have too many hiccups and I’m pretty pleased with the results. ¬†If you’d like to see more pics of my bedroom (one chandelier is up, the other I’m determined to finish soon, and by the way, they won’t be hanging off of the flimsy wire from the ceiling like in the pics either. ¬†I’m working on a plan to have them coming out from the wall…ideas?) just go here.

You like?  You want?  You CAN!  Lets do this!

Cost: About $15


  • A spatter guard cover. ¬†I got mine from the Dollar Store. ¬†You could also improvise with anything else that is round…an embroidery hoop…a plant basket…keep your eyes open and get creative.
  • Craft wire or pre-made jump rings. ¬†I got craft wire at Walmart for about $3 and made my own jump rings. ¬†If you’d like to know how to make your own jumprings go here.
  • Fishing line or clear thread.
  • Plastic placemats. ¬†I got mine on clearance at Target for $1.35 each.
  • Crimp beads. ¬†You can buy a bag of them at Walmart or your local craft store for less than $2.
  • Kitchen shears or other heavy duty cutting tool.
  • A hanging light kit. ¬†Ikea has them for around $4. ¬†Pier1 has them for $10. ¬†You can also check your hardware store.
  • A small hole punch. ¬†I used an eyelet hole puncher.
  • Small pliers.

This project takes some time so get comfy, turn on HGTV, and start cutting.

1. ¬†Cut out your chandelier pieces from the plastic placemats. ¬†I used 4 white/frosted placemats for my chandelier and a little bit of 1 black placemat for the top. ¬†My placemats already had a square pattern on them so I simply cut them out in squares along the lines. ¬†You can do any shape you’d like, although, squares are very easy to cut with kitchen shears and easy to maintain about the same size and shape.

2. ¬†Lay your squares out and decide how big, long, full, and tapered you’d like your chandelier to be. ¬†I set my spatter guard down on the floor and laid the squares out side by side along it to see how many squares around and then decided how many squares down I’d like it to hang. ¬†I made my chandelier 3 tiered so I also decided how many squares long I’d like to have my inside ring of squares to be and the middle ring of squares as well. ¬†You might need to buy extra placemats just in case you decided to add some depending on how large your¬†chandelier¬†“frame” is. ¬†Just for reference, my outside shortest tier was 4 squares long (the squares are about 1.5″ square), the middle medium length tier was 7 squares long (allowing 3 squares to hang below the outside tier), and my inner longest tier was 4 squares long, hung off of fishing line so that the first squares in the strands were behind the bottom square of the strand above it so that only 3 squares are hanging below the middle medium tier. ¬†Wow…this is really not as complicated AT ALL as I just made it sound.

3.  Once you have a layout in mind, start hole punching.  I used an eyelet hole punch to punch holes to allow me to thread my squares onto jumprings and attach them to eachother.  Keep in mind that you will have a bottom square on every strand that will only need a hole at the top NOT THE BOTTOM since that last square on each strand will be hanging free.

4. ¬†Next, make your jump rings (see how here) with your wire, or, if you bought pre-made jump rings, start attaching your squares to eachother to form strands. ¬†*TIP* ¬†When using jump rings, don’t pull them apart, twist them to seperate the ends and to bring the ends back together again. ¬†If you just try to pull them apart you’ll have a gap when you go to pinch the ends back together again.

5. ¬†Are you done with all your strands? ¬†Now you can start assembling your chandelier. ¬†If you’re using a spatter guard it might have a handle in the middle of it like mine did. ¬†I just took it off with a screwdriver and widened the hole it left in the middle of the screen with my kitchen shears to allow for the light kit to hang through.

6. ¬†To assemble your chandelier start from the inner tier and work your way out. ¬†This is easier than working form the outside in. ¬†Trust me. ¬†As you can tell by my pics, I didn’t do this and got tangled up in my outside strands while I was trying to attach my inside strands. ¬†For my longest tier I didn’t want to make extra long strands of placemat squares so I simply made strands of 4 squares and then looped fishing line through the hole at the top square on each strand and secured it with a crimp bead. ¬†*TIP* The crimp bead will go on the fishing line first, then the fishing line through the hole in your square, then the end of the fishing line (that just went through the hole) back up through the crimp bead again. ¬†Then, I made the fishing line as long as I wanted to let the last tier hang and looped free end through the screen on my spatter guard and fastened it with another crimp bead. ¬†Basically, just hang your longest tier off of fishing line because you won’t see most of it through the other tiers, and you can make it as long as you’d like and save the trouble of making super long strands of squares. ¬†Does that make sense? ¬†It did in my head.

7.  Then, working your way out a few inches toward the edge of the spatter guard, attach your next tier of strands.  This tier I attached directly to the spatter screen with jumprings.

8. ¬†Now attach your final tier to the outer edge of the spatter guard using jumprings. ¬†(The pic below is backwards because I didn’t start in the middle like I should’ve so it only has the outer tier there. ¬†But don’t do it like this, START FROM THE MIDDLE and work your way out.)

9. ¬†Voila. ¬†You’re awesome. ¬†Now, stick your light kit through the center and hang it in your room. ¬†Your friends and family will never believe that you made it from plastic placemats!

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I have always loved black and white. ¬†I guess its the contrast and the way it always makes a room *POP*. ¬†My master bedroom is black and white, and kahki with a grey undertone, with pops of celadon green. ¬†It is entirely a work in progress, but I thought I’d share what I’ve got so far.

Heres a peak from the doorway.

And another…

I found these modern green velvet barrel chairs at TJMax for $120 each.  Perfect pop of color and so fun and comfy.

These white “end tables” I bought at Target for $15 each. ¬†The fabric that is currently sitting on top is actually a pair of pillow cases I got at Target also for $5 for the pair and will soon become cushions as I am planning on transforming these end tables into ottomans for the end of my bed.

I wanted to add some¬†luxurious¬†texture to the room and wanted to find a white flokati rug for under my bed. ¬†Nope. ¬†Too $$$. ¬†So instead I found this fluffy white shag rug in a 4’x6′ at Target for about $60. ¬†It looks and feels almost like the flokati rug I was eyeballing but for a fraction of the price.

My nightstands are actually antique tea-carts I got for $15 a piece.  I spray painted them black and silver-leafed the tops and then added plexi-glass as a protection for my silver leafing.

I made two chalkboards to go on the nightstands out of leftover MDF from a previous project. ¬†*TIP* Don’t waste the extra money buying chalkboard paint to create custom chalkboards. ¬†Just use regular black spray paint (matte or satin finish works best) and it will turn out just as well. ¬†Actually, I’ve used both chalkboard paint and black spray paint and I prefer the latter.

This is my most recent creation. ¬†The tutorial for this is coming asap! ¬†I made this chandelier out of a spatter guard cover from the Dollar Store and plastic placemats that I found on clearance for $1.30 each ¬†from Target. ¬†I cut them into squares, punched holes in them with eyelet punchers, and used jump rings to fasten them together and attach them to the spatter cover. ¬†I am in the process of making the second one and I’m pretty happy with how they’re coming out. ¬†I am planning on hanging them out from the wall (not the ceiling like is shown in the pics) with something…I’m not sure yet what. ¬†If you have any ideas let me know. ūüôā

I chose to make the chandeliers to hang over my nightstands so that I could soften up my focal wall (there were too many hard edges with the nightstands, headboard, and painting) and add lighting higher than what a table lamp would allow. ¬†The pic below shows my old lamp on the right and my new chandelier hung to about the height that it will go on the left. ¬†You can see what a pleasant difference this makes in the space. *TIP* When decorating your room, vary the height of things to keep from making your space seem “squashed” (aren’t you impressed with my fancy decorator terminology). ¬†As you can see below, the lamp on the right is too in line with the headboard and too boxy. ¬†This focal area really needed some light and tapered lighting to bring the eye up and keep it from feeling heavy and uniform.

I painted this painting with leftover craft paint and a 50% off canvas.  I am really pleased with how it turned out.  I like the subtle abstractness of it and the mystery it brings to the room.

I made the headboard with 3″ foam, plywood, and 2×4’s. ¬†Then I sewed a slipcover for it (with velcro on the sides for easy removal) out of old velvet drapes from our old apartment. ¬†I added the ribbon detail with grosgrain ribbon and liquid stitch. ¬†I like it. ¬†It works for now. ¬†I’m sure I’ll re-decorate in a year and make a new slipcover for it in another fun fabric.

This is the wall opposite my bed that I decked out in a collage of frames, mirrors, and shelves. ¬†It isn’t done yet as you can tell but I like the eclecticness of it and I’m excited to get it finished.

This dresser I got for $90 from an antique salesman.  I spray painted it white with black vertical stripes and changed the hardware to chrome knobs.

This was another thrift store mirror I got for $8. ¬†It was gold so I spray painted it metallic silver and then glazed it with black watered down craft paint and sealed it with a matte spray finish. ¬†I actually don’t love it in here and am working on a circle mirror to take its place. ¬†That tutorial will be coming up soon as well.

Heres a look at the room from the other side. ¬†The drapes are actually white twin sheets I got at Walmart for $4 a sheet. ¬†They are light and airy and long and puddle nicely for that¬†luxurious feel I wanted. ¬†There were so many tall windows in this room that I couldn’t afford to go out and buy or make real LONG curtains like I wanted so I improvised and I don’t think anyone has noticed that they’re actually sheets. ¬†The black inner curtains are button up roman shades that I got at BigLots for $7 each. ¬† They block out the sun, and give a nice added dimension to my windows. ¬†They look really cute up but made it too bright to be able to take decent pics in here.

And thats my room so far. ¬†Like I said, a work and progress like most things I do. ¬†I know that just when I get it all done I’ll want to re-decorate! ¬†But I guess its all about finding joy in the journey! ¬†And black and white gives my JOY! ¬†P.S. ¬†My hotel style bedding I got for a steal at $80 from Marshalls. ¬†It came with the comforter, bedskirt, 2 shams, and accent pillow and if you like it I just saw it again at TJMax as a duvet cover last week so you might be able to find it there if you would like it for yourself.

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Heres a few better pics of my little photo hall.  I actually would like to put up 3 long picture shelves eventually instead of the frames like are seen here.  I just have WAY too many photos to display.


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My Hall Bathroom

This is the “kid’s/guest” bathroom at my house. ¬†I barely spent a penny on decorating it but I like how it turned out…for now. ¬†Everyday I look around my house and want to re-decorate! ¬†Ha! ¬†Anyway, here are the pics.

This is what it looked like when we moved in.

And these are the after pics.

The features of this bathroom include:

РThe messy striped painted walls.  I used the leftover paint from my kitchen and simply rolled it up the wall (eyeballing the straightness) along with leftover white primer from my kitchen island.  The builder paint was a cream color and also can be seen in places coming through.

– The shower curtain and rugs were Ross finds for $5 each. ¬†I couldn’t believe how well they¬†coordinated with my walls! It was meant to be I guess.

I am in the process of searching thrift stores for some old mirrors to hang up instead of the flat standard bathroom mirror.

*TIP* Paint your bathroom with a satin or semi-gloss paint. ¬†It will be easier to clean than flat paint (which you will appreciate greatly if you are a mom of a potty-training toddler). ūüôā

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Sorry. ¬†No before pics of this one. ¬†I had instructions that we could not repaint the walls and that our budget was $300 for this makeover. ¬†We kept all the existing furniture and tweaked it a bit. ¬†I painted the once dark stained wood dresser an antique white to match the white iron beds. ¬†Also I found new “teenagery” bedding to replace the sunflower “little girl” quilts that were there and painted the mural and accents on the furniture to match. ¬†The client (who was my 13 year old little sister) ¬†really wanted lime green as an accent color so I tried to really incorporate that into the room. ¬†I think we did pretty good for our tiny budget! ¬†Heres the pics:

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I decorated a house for a family named the “Winters” in Idaho a couple of years ago. ¬†Sweetest couple EVER. ¬†And what a transformation we made in their home! ¬†Take a look:

These are the before shots of their dining room.

And these are the after shots of their dining room.

These are the before shots of the kitchen and living room.

And these are the after pics of the kitchen and living room.

Heres a look at the front room before.

And heres a look at it after.

These are pics of a spare room before.  The client wanted it to be girly for her granddaughters but comfortable as well for other company who came to stay.

And this is the after of the guest bedroom.

The Winter’s were on a tight budget so we did a lot of creative thinking and¬†re-purposed¬†as many things as we could to keep costs down. ¬†We also did a lot of shopping at outlet stores, thrift stores, and Dollar Stores and made a lot of the accessories and things ourselves. ¬†With a little research and some time and elbow grease you can really change the look of a space even if you are on a tight budget.

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