Geometric Terracotta Pot


Gift giving season is upon us now and so we're busting out some of our favorite DIY projects! This one is so fun and easy and is perfect for any plant people in your life. Plus it's totally customizeable to fit any decor style.

Start with a very basic terracotta pot that you can pick up from any garden center. This one is four inches but you can modify this DIY to fit whatever size you need.


Cut multiple sized triangles using some Con-Tact paper. They shouldn't be perfect triangles. Definitely get your isosceles on. Layer them on one at a time making sure that you cover all the way to the bottom. You could also use this effect for the top of the pot as well. Whatever you prefer.


Once you've gone all the way around the pot you're ready to paint. Right before I paint I run my finger nail along all the Con-Tact edges to make sure they're stuck to the pot really well. Pick your favorite color of spray paint and get painting. I try to do 2-3 very light coats and make sure you let them dry in between.


After the pot is completely dry I slowly peel away the Con-Tact paper triangles one at a time.


And if you did it right you'll reveal the terracotta negative space!


Add your favorite succulent or cactus and get your gift giving on.



Happy projecting!!!!!!

Felt Christmas Tree

After many Christmas seasons of decorating the top half of a tree I finally got a little creative and made the kids their own tree. This simple DIY has been such a fun addition to our holiday decorating and the kids love it. And I love it because I can have a fully decorated tree and don't have to worry so much about tiny digits destroying all the ornaments.

And it only requires felt, some sharp scissors and a little bit of time. EASY and CHEAP!!!!!!


Swing by your local fabric store and pick up a yard of dark green felt from a bolt. This is the only large piece you will need. The rest of the felt can just be those cheap little 8x10 pieces in various colors. 

Here's the list that I used:

1 yard dark green - this is the tree
3 8x10 sheets yellow
2 8x10 sheets dark blue, light blue, green, dark purple, light purple, orange, pink, red and white


From there I cut out a few circles of various sizes by tracing canned goods from our pantry, some bulb shapes and finally candy canes from the white fabric. I used the leftover scraps of felt to make the candy cane stripes and fun details for a few of the ornaments. Then glued everything together using a hot glue gun. Just don't go crazy with the glue or it will soak through the felt. Think less is more here. And don't forget a beautiful star for the top!


I hang the tree directly on the wall using double stick tape. And that's it! Kids can decorate and redecorate all season long!!!!!!!

Once Christmas is over I just gently fold the tree up and store in a gallon size Ziplock bag with all the ornaments until next year.

Happy projecting and let me know if you have any questions!

DIY Christmas Wreath for Thrifty People

In our home, the day after Thanksgiving is where we open the floodgates and allow Christmas to finally explode its festivities all over our house!!! And just like my bangs in the 80s... I like to go BIG. Music, cookies, cocoa, garland, trees, stockings, wreaths. You name it. I'm dragging it out of a dusty box in my attic. Sorry, I’m pointing to the attic and explaining to my husband where the box is because… you know. Spiders.

Most of my collection consists of little tchotchkes I've collected over the years...tree included. But I insist on having live garland and wreaths. There's just no beating that delicious evergreen smell. And while I love me some doTERRA Holiday Joy pumping in my diffuser...it's just not the same as the real deal.



....................

I'm head long into a barrel of pre-made wreaths at our local hardware boxstore when, much to my dismay, I see that inflation has apparently skyrocketed in the evergreen business. $50 for a pre-made wreath?!?!?!?! Gasp. An internal war is waging between my desire for a deliciously scented seasonal home and my incessant cheap thrifty heart. As is typical of life, the heart wins out. I grew up in a trailer park, I know the difference between a want and a need and $50 bucks for some glorified dead sticks is just ridiculous.

But like my momma always said, "There's more than one way to skin a cat." *

So I grabbed a few fistfuls from the "free clippings" bin and headed home to get my DIY on.

*Side note: that is a terrifying saying and must beg the question, "Why are you skinning a cat AT ALL?!?!?!” How about, “There’s more than one way to skin a potato!” or, “There’s more than one way to (insert literally anything here that is NOT skinning a cat.)"


Grab an old wreath back or something similar, some gardening shears and floral wire. I used the gardening shears and trimmed the big branches down into smaller twig-like branches. Think kindling size.


Anchor your floral wire to the wreath back by twisting it around itself a few times. No need to get fancy with your knots. This ain’t Boy Scouts of America or the Official Knot Makers Club.


Start with a few twigs and loop the wire around the bottom two inches of the sticks, securing it to the wreath frame.

Lay a new twig on top of the previous one making sure to overlap the ends to hide the wire. Continue the process working your way around the wreath frame until you get back to the start.


Anchor the wire by twisting it back onto itself like you did in the first step.


Add a ribbon and finished!!!!! Now inhale deeply through your nose-holes. Does it still look pretty and smell like heaven? Yep!!!! Did it cost less than $50 bucks? You bet. Cost almost nothing but a little time and some nimble fingers.

Happy projecting!

Dining Room Built-In Reveal

The built-ins were a major selling point for me on this beautiful little craftsman home! I love love love the charming history of a good built-in! But sadly they were a big dark spot in the already teeny tiny dining room. Really made the space feel much darker and even smaller. I knew a delicious fresh coat of white would really brighten the space and open it up.

Not going to lie, I did hedge on the sin of painting original wood but ultimately decided that this is our house now and we need to make it ours. The future owners can curse us when we're dead.

Also wanted to swap out the hardware to restore a bit more of the 1920 character.




We used Valspar Cabinet Enamel paint in white and ended up doing about four coats to really get complete coverage over that dark wood.




Hardware pulls and handles both came from Amazon.



We're thrilled with how this DIY turned out and are even more thrilled that it only cost $55.

Happy projecting!!!!!

Mint Watermelon


Today we’re rolling on a two-fer-one project. The plan was to start by making these really cool watermelon based Jell-O molds and then use the leftover fruit bits to create a yummy mint salad.
Then shit went bust.
Check out below for the win and the lose.

THE WIN
1. Cut your melon in half and scoop it out. We’re using a melon baller but really anything with a scoop will work. See also spoonsmall measuring cup or, if you’re in a real pinch, you can claw it out blindly with your fingers. Don’t be shy. Those are the O.G. eating utensils.


2. Dump all those pieces into a big bowl. Plop.



3. You’re going to need some fresh mint. Get it at the store or you could grow some in a window sill. When our daughter plucks the leaves she says that it “smells like happiness”, which is stupidly adorable.
You’ll need around 1/4 cup, which is less than it sounds. Chop it up as finely as you can and sprinkle it onto the balled melon bowl (no offense to bald people).


4. 1/2 lime. Squeeze that shit and pour the juice over the whole mess. This gives the sweetness a little zing.



5. Mix, chill and eat. You can use a fork or your fingers.

This is an incredibly simple snack that takes very little preparation, tastes amazing and is, obviously, crazy healthy. You can easily knock this out in under fifteen minutes. Show up at a party with this treat and you will be Betty f-ing Crocker.

THE LOSE

Alright. SO… what do you do with the two empty watermelon halves from above? Well, the plan was to make some really fun Jell-O watermelon slices. Check it out...

1. Take the empty watermelon halves and place them in a container to prop them up. We don’t want them tipping over.

2. Make some Jell-O. If you don’t know how, the directions are on the side of the box. You got this!

3. Pour the liquid Jell-O mixture into the empty watermelon, filling it about a third to half way. Put the watermelon in the fridge and let it cool and firm up. This is going to take a couple hours. Upwards of four to be safe.



4. Make a SECOND box of Jell-O (different color) and pour that on top of the current Jell-O once firm. Repeat as many times as you’d like. We asked our kids what their favorite colors were but you can do anything you want because you are an adult!



5. Once complete, cut the watermelon up into slices as you would a normal watermelon and your children can eat Jell-o in a fun way!….. because eating regular Jell-O is apparently not quite fun enough...



6. Hate yourself because you messed everything up and couldn’t even make Jell-O correctly, you freaking idiot. #nailedit



THE TAKE-AWAY

I think we jumped the gun on pouring on the second layer of Jell-O. We SHOULD have allowed the second layer to cool for longer. Instead of a red/blue split we have a purple gradient.

While cooling in the fridge, remember to place up high enough where prying fingers can't roam. Our oldest walked into the living room a number of times, licking her fingers and proclaiming that she thought the Jell-O was almost ready.

Cuts on the watermelon should be kept small. Think acute triangles instead of half circles.

Finally, the biggest mistake we made is that we didn’t add vodka.

Great news, though! Children DO NOT CARE what shape Jell-O comes in and they'll just grab a spoon and go to town! So, even if you lose, you win.


Plumbing Pipe Shelves


We're in the process of renovating Johnny's office to be...well...an office...instead of the junk catch-all that it has become over the last year.
First up was adding in some much needed shelving. We knew we wanted to install some high shelves so that our digital projector has a permanent home for our "Family Movie Nights" and epic Zelda battles. That way we don't have to set it up every time we need it. Which has previously been a huge pain.

I knew that some plumbing pipe shelves would be a perfect fit for this. Easy. Modern. And they don't require a TON of carpentry skills...which may or may not be a bit lacking around here.
I measured our space, took some notes and made a run to our local OSH to pick up our supplies.

To start, I assembled both arms by screwing the pieces together and hand tightening.

Then I gave them a good scrubbing using some water and degreasing soap and let dry completely.
Once dry I gave them two light coats of spray using Rustoleum Gloss Black.

And then up they go. We were lucky and were able to screw directly into studs so we just used regular wood screws. If you don't have studs though make sure you use screws for hanging in sheetrock.

Once the pipe braces were up we started on finishing the wood planks. We used two pieces of 1 inch plank and cut them to fit our space. Just make sure you leave about two inches on each end to hang over your braces.
The planks already came pretty smooth so I just gave them a light sanding using 220 finishing paper. Remove sanding dust with a slightly damp clean cloth to finish.

I wanted to leave the wood pretty natural with just a TOUCH of color so I stained them using Minwax Golden Oak on all sides. Don't forget the ends and edges.

After one coat of stain I let the boards dry completely for a few hours and then used Minwax Clear Satin Poly to finish them off. I ended up putting about four coats on.

Let dry completely overnight and then finagle them onto the braces.

And DONE! Add in your favorite pieces and enjoy.