DIY Free Map Artwork – No Skill Necessary!

Today, I was brainstorming as what to do with the last two empty frames on my living room collage wall that have been empty for a year.

A whole year.

Don’t judge. Picking artwork is a process I take very seriously.

Yeah.

I decided the best thing I could do is make some free artwork using things I already had. It’s custom, it’s personal, and it’s… fun! Not to mention crafty, which is right up my alley, and one more Pinterest DIY project I can check off my list. And hello… free. So if I change it out tomorrow, I lose nothing! Except maybe my mind, because DIY artwork is awesome.

I already had maps that I liked saved to my computer for just this kind of project. Minnesota, Wisconsin and Texas. I was raised in the flat lands of Northern Minnesota. My hubby, from Wisconsin. And we are now both living in Texas.

I printed off the maps on my printer at home. Can’t get cheaper than that.

Then tediously cut them out.

Then I printed some hearts, cut them out, and stuck them over each of our hometowns, and our current city. Then stuck the states to the white side of the frame’s paper insert. Put it back in the frame, and Voila!

Free, easy, quick DIY artwork, and it looks cute too. :)

This is my favorite kind of project. No skill necessary. I might even change out the white background for some burlap if I’m really feeling edgy and crazy.

I was back to sipping my coffee in a matter of 45 minutes!

Do this. It’s fun, personal, and might even make someone go up n’ look at it and ask questions. Afterall, that’s what artwork is there for.

Burlap Coffee Bag Pillow Tutorial

I’m so excited to post about these outdoor pillows!

It was seriously the easiest thing I’ve ever done.

And I’m going to break it down into steps for you.

Here we go!

1. Buy a couple burlap coffee bags.
I got mine at Texas Coffee Traders in downtown Austin. $2 a piece for these huge bags!

2. Soak in fabric softener.
Soak your bags in the tub in a whole jug of any fabric softener to make them a little less rough. I used Randalls brand, and added a couple inches of water to the tub, because I had 6 big bags, and one jug wouldn’t submerge my bags. Let them sit for a few hours, or until you get a headache from the strong fresh laundry smell. The longer they sit the better. Ring them out, toss them in the dryer for a bit, then hang outside to dry the rest of the time. You will have a few coffee beans in your dryer, along with a lot of burlap lint. It didn’t hurt my dryer though.. I just wiped it out. My house and porch smelled strong of fabric softener for days.

3. Turn your bags inside out & sew a square.
Once completely dry, and you’re ready to sew, grab your bags and turn them inside out. Get a good idea of what size you need your burlap case to be to fit your pillow form. Mine happened to be small square pillows, so I sewed squares on my burlap bags. I eyed-balled the size of the square I needed, and sewed it just a hair bigger than my pillow. You want it to fit snug in the case.. but not so snug you’re pillow ends up being too firm. Sew both sides of the bag together, and leave 9 inches open(or however much you need to fit your pillow inside) on one of the sides of your sqaure. I turned the corners on the end I was planning on leaving open, and sewed a few inches in on either side so I had nice corners and less to sew closed once my pillow was inside.

I used a zig-zag stitch to help it stay together better.


I sewed as straight as I could, following the lines in the burlap, or eyeballing the distance from the edge to my stitch to keep it straight. My square wasnt perfect in the least, but this chunky burlap is forgiving, so if you’re rusty at sewing like me, or just cant sew a straight line to save your life, chances are you wont even notice once your pillow is done. And I didn’t!

4. Cut it out.
Once your partial square is sewn, cut out your square, leaving an inch of burlap from the stitched edge to where you want to cut.

5. Turn it right side out & stuff your pillow inside!
After you cut out your sloppily sewn square, turn it right side out, and poke the corners out good too. Now it will look like a pillow case! Take your pillow, and carefully stuff it through the end you left open, making sure you get your pillow positioned the way you want in the case. All the pillow corners in the corners.. evenly placed in the case, etc.

6. Sew up the opening.
Now that you have your pillow in the case, fold in the extra burlap at the opening, pinning it as you go. My first pillow, I had enough pillow case to sew it with my machine, but my second pillow case was a little tighter, and I had to hand sew it shut, which ended up being prettier looking than using the machine.


You can barely see the hand sewn part compared to the other pillow I sewed shut with the machine (which I wont be picturing). I went over it twice to reinforce it.

7. Admire your work & put them to use!
These turned out so cute. The bags were printed on both sides. I didn’t even have to try and line up the graphics, and that made it so easy. It was random, but graphic.
Front


Back


I put them at my front door, on the bench my dad made. They look so cute!


I only had time to sew two of them, so I’m itching to get started on the other two. Speaking of itching.. cutting the burlap sends shreds of it flying and it can get itchy. Just an fyi. But it’s totally worth it, and is fine once it’s finished.

The best part of this was, for these two pillows it only cost $7 for everything. I found the outdoor pillows, like new, at a garage sale for $1.50 EACH! And then $2 per coffee bag. Totally affordable, and looks way more expensive than $7!

Quick, Easy & Cheap – DIY Bathroom Organization

In preparation for a slew of house guests over the weekend for a friends wedding, I knew I needed to get the house in order. One of my main focuses was the guest bathroom. Trying to think of everything guests would need while at someone elses house, I made a list of things my guest bathroom didn’t have, and worked on that.

Well, I ended up changing the decor completely, except for the paint color and the shower curtain. As I made my way through the bathroom, I decided I wanted to put apothocary jars on the counter to hold cotton balls and q-tips.

I went with a decor that was not just pretty to look at, but also 100% functional. Why add a bunch of nonsense to your bathroom when you can decorate with function in mind!

I learned that from Geneveive Gorder. :) She’s my favorite.

It took me a day of searching Amazon for apothocary jars, to figure out that I didn’t need to buy any, because I had all the tools I needed to make my own!

On to the quick and easy part.

If you’re like me, you have a problem throwing out the nice empty candle jars. Not the Yankee kind. The ones that don’t look like a candle jar when there is no candle left. I’ve been saving these jars and bringing them along when I’ve moved for 4 years. Yes four. And until I cleaned out my guest bedroom closet and found an unpacked box from when we moved in 3 years earlier, I had totally forgot I had them!

Score!

So, I set out to clean out the jars, and pick my favorite to use in the bathroom.


These are just a few of the 8 I cleaned out. Underneath all that soot and grime is a nice clean lined jar ready to be reused!

I boiled them in a few inches of water to melt the remaining wax, and wiped them all out with paper towels. Then I soaped them up at the kitchen sink, and gave them all a nice wash.

How perfect are they! And they don’t even look like old candle jars. Functional and pretty. My new favorite decorating style. You can see the rest of my bathroon decor update here.

Tree Planter Turned Shelf: Bathroom Decor Update

Expecting houseguests is the best reason to update your decor, and get it done quickly!

When I started updating my bathroom decor, I didn’t have a specific goal in mind. But I started by going through all the decor items I already had in my stash, and kept thinking, “What Would Genevieve Do?”. I think I may be becoming her biggest fan. I heed her words, and get most of my inspiration from her! With that in mind, I wanted to decorate using functional items.

Things you use in a bathroom can actually be beautiful.

So, the weekend was coming up, and the hubby and I were planning on hitting up our community wide garage sale. I’m glad we did because that’s when I found a jumping off point!

At this one sale I found tree planters a nice old man had built and was selling. He had 4 of them, and the second I saw them, I started brain storming. They were only $1 a piece. Not a big risk if it didn’t work out, and could always be firewood! I picked up two.

Pretty much the second I got home I hung it on the wall in the bathroom to see what it looked like.

Here’s a photo of the bathroom before I did anything, and a photo of the planter/shelf thrown up there to see how it would look on the wall.

At this point I was like “AH!”, in love with the shelf. But, I wanted to get rid of the yellow. So I dug around for some accessories, and also headed to world market and bought a few cheap/clearance things to fill the shelf.

For a whole afternoon I played around with the accessories, and came up with something I was pleased with.

I was trying to “tell a story”, although I’m uncertain if that was accomplished or not without the approval of Gen. :)


Nothing prettier than a handmade foot scrub. :) Looks so not perfect, and that’s what I love. And don’t get me started on the olive soap I found at World Market. It’s smells so yummy, I will be using it sooner or later. Once I get a replacement to fill it’s spot.


The blue bottle I had in my stash, as well as the dried flowers. I want to use real flowers, so those are just a placeholder for now.


The red votive holder I got at World Market as well. I love that place.


Opposite the shelf is a rustic board with hooks for towels. I love this look much better than a sterile builders towel rack. This look feels more “lived in”. I scoured the internet for animal hooks, but when I found a set I liked, they had stopped making the 3rd hook, and I didn’t want to have two matching or just two hooks alone. So these hooks I took from my laundry room and am using it until I come across something I like more.


These hand painted knobs are my absolute favorite find from World Market! $1.99 each! And once I stain the cabinet a dark gel stain, they’ll just pop!


Then there’s these cute little jars I cleaned up that used to hold candles. You can see that here. Free is cheaper than the price of small apothocary jars, and their just as cute!

And for now, this is the final result.. until I can find something for better shower curtain.


It’s not bad for now! I might change out the blue bottle for the little jars with q-tips and cotton balls. Nothing is ever permanent in my house!


Here’s the “before” one more time.

I didn’t hate the “before”, I was just sick of the yellow. I’m tempted to add the second planter/shelf above the first one to add some visual height. And I desperately need a new shower curtain. We will see where it goes from here, but I like it for now!

 

Sun Burst Mirror Tutorial – $10 Decor Craft

First off, I’m so sorry for not posting in a while! It’s been crazy busy here! But you’d be happy to know in all this busyness(it’s a word, I checked :) ) part of it was some fun DIY decor crafty-fun-ness!

Ok, let’s get this show on the road.

I’ve been a pinning fool over the past year, and stopped for a short while so I could go through all my crafting pins and pick a few I wanted to do. Because what’s the point in pinning if you don’t actually DO anything! Then it’s just a fun waste of time. :)

Now that Christmas is coming up, it’s also a good reason to start doing more crafts. My goal this year is to try and make as many handmade gifts as I can!

So for my Mom and sister, I decided to make this awesome sunburst mirror. My sister is in her first apartment and could use some wall decor, and my mom could use some NEW wall decor, and being the selfless person she is, never treats herself! I love them both like crazy, and handmade gifts are just so much more fun to get.

On to the tutorial!
Here’s the one I followed online.

What You Need:
– 9in or larger round mirror for larger wall areas. A grouping of small mirrors would be neat.
– 4-20ct. packs of 3/16th inch wood dowels
– Hot glue gun & glue sticks
– Mounting bracket
– A sharpie or marker
– A ruler to draw out straight lines
– Paint color of your choice
– Masking tape for protecting your mirror

And after sending my husband to JoAnn’s 4 times after work, I was ready to start!

It was a lot of trial and error before I found the right size of dowel. It doesn’t say the specific size in the tutorial I followed, but it’s something important! Hence the 4 trips to JoAnns. The 3/16th inch by 12″ long one work the best. You get 20 of them in a pack for .99 cents at JoAnn’s.

I used about 4 packs for a 9in mirror.

I started by marking out lines with a sharpie. This made me nervous because over time I’m not sure if the sharpie would eat away at the mirrored part. Guess we’ll see. My lines arent perfect, and they ended up being just a guideline for gluing my dowels. I eyeballed it most of the time.


I went heavy on the hot glue, because I wasn’t sure how’d it’d adhere to a smooth surface. So far, it’s holding well!

It’s really self explanitory, and super easy! I made the dowels to portray a random-ish scalloped edge. I was lucky to already have a hanging mount on the back on my mirror, so if you don’t, all you need to do is hot glue a mounting bracket to the back.

Now I just need to decide what color to paint it!

I love it.

Now, I’ve got 2 more to make for Christmas gifts! Easy peezy. Total cost for one sun burst mirror was about $5. I already had just the mirror. For the other 2 it will be $10 each, including a $5 mirror. Not bad for what you get!

So quit pinning and start crafting! It’s so fun and rewarding!