Shutter Wall Art – Changing Seasons

Since I put up my DIY shutter art last year, I’ve been itching to do something with it to make it a little less plain. We all know I love taking pictures, so putting pictures on it was inevitable.

This is how it looked for a few months after I hung them up; plain jane.
You can view my post about the shutter art here.

During Christmas I wanted to hang up our Christmas cards from family and friends and display them. I’ve always loved the idea of using them as garland and hanging from a mantle. But since we don’t have a mantle, I thought stringing them up on the shutters would bring a little Christmas cheer to that corner. It balanced everything out in the living room wonderfully!
IMG_9648[2]web I left the Christmas cards up until yesterday(eek!), when I got my order of photos from Nations Photo Lab in the mail! They had an amazing sale last week, 50% off everything! I got around 100 4×6 prints, 10 5×7’s, 20 5×5’s (for my shutter collage), and 3 enlargements to update my gallery wall (8×10, 12×16, and a 16×20) for $57! I love my professional printing company. I am never disappointed!

So yesterday I took to it. Taking down the Christmas cards from last year, and putting up some of my favorite photos from our family trip to Florida. My sweet baby niece made 4 of the photos, which was 3 more than anyone else. I think I love her a little. :)
Simple, springy, and has some of my favorite people on it. Piofect!


IMG_9729[2]web Sweet punkin baby. I miss that little face. I got the adorable mini clothes pins on Amazon. They are perfect for cards and photos. Sometimes something so simple ends up being my favorite part of my decor.


I can change it whenever I feel like it, and if you know me at all, I’m always moving around my decor and finding better spots for things. So this is right up my alley!



I considered placing photos randomly in the slots of the shutters, but I decided that might be too busy.

Does anyone have any other ideas on how I could decorate my shutters? I’d love to hear them!

It Makes Me Shutter – DIY Shutter Wall Art

A while back I was given a pair of shutters from one of my husbands work buddies. Of course I wanted to hang them in the house somewhere (the place where shutters truly belong :) ).

I’m completely in awe of this shutter wall over at Olive and Love.

My first reaction upon seeing this for the first time…
(Had to throw in a Dr. Who reference. No explanation needed.)

Yes. And I seriously considered doing the exact same thing. SOMEWHERE, in my house. But I had no idea where. They would make great wainscoting, am I right?!

Since I am impatient, and hadn’t found anymore shutters for free or cheap to fill a whole wall, I decided to just paint mine and hang them to create a big piece of art to fill an awkward space I have.

Here is that awkward wall.

I just feel uncomfortable looking at it.

This is what I had up there before…
Unmatted, unmatching frames. It really was too busy, and on the opposite wall, there were none of these colors. It was a good “for now” decor until I figured out what to do. It got old fast.

Excuse my mess. But as you can see, the wall is a tricky thing since the couch can’t be centered. The collage I had up there before threw the balance off. One clean piece of art was what it needed.

So I pulled these out of the attic, wiped them down, and again, got out my awesome Martha Stewart gold metallic paint(I swear I’m not paid to blog about it), and I painted the shutters.

Simple Simon.

My goal was just a thin coat. Sort of rustic meets shabby chic.

Then, I gave the second one a thin coat, and let them dry.

I took down those two white shelves, drilled some screws into studs, and hung those babies up!


I’m thinking of hanging a cute wreath in the middle, like this. I could also slip little snap shots in the shutters like this, but that may make it look too busy. I don’t want it to distract from my gallery wall focal point on the opposite wall.

No sooner do I finish a project, do I see something else that needs to be updated. Like that blue lamp. Love the lamp, hate the color. I’m wondering if I could paint it with some glass paint, but I don’t want it to lose it’s value. It’s an antique my grandma has had forever.

We will see!


DIY No Soliciting Sign – For Reals


Today we had a solicitor come to the door. We don’t get them too terribly often. Once, maybe twice a month. That’s still too often for me.

I never answer the door, because they are never worth my time unless they are cute little girls who sell thin mints. :)

Today’s solicitor was too eager and obnoxious.

The first (yes, I said first) time she came, she woke Pete up around 1pm. Pete works 3rd shift from home, 11pm-7am, and if work goes late, he sometimes doesn’t get to bed until 9am.

Not only did she ring the doorbell, but she waited a solid 20 seconds before she proceeded to pound on the door.

Strike one.

Early evening around 5pm she comes back. The doorbell rings, and then the pounding. I had just gotten done with my workout and wasn’t going to open the door all sweaty.

Strike two.

The same person, twice in one day. That’s a new one for me. I’ve never had a double hitter like that. You only get two strikes in my house.

About 3 years ago after the first time I was sick of dealing with our new neighborhood influx of solicitors… nearly 3 a week, I bought a vinyl sticker and had serious intentions of sticking it on a plaque of some sort. Well I couldn’t find a plaque the right size to save my life. And I didn’t want to stick it directly to the door because I wanted to be able to bring it with when we move. So it got shoved in a drawer and forgotten. I bought the vinyl sticker on Etsy about 3 years ago. I just looked and it doesn’t seem to be sold on there anymore, and I was unable to locate the store either. Sad. So sorry I’m not able to give you a link!

I dug that sucker out around midnight (yawn), and slapped her onto a piece of wood in haste with frustration fueling my rage.

Okay, so not so much, but slightly.

It was midnight.

You can kind of make out the cut out letters. No Soliciting. For reals.

I’d also like one that says, No Soliciting. I’m Serial. (You know.. like “serious”)

Or not.

Anyways, I had leftover wood from my privacy wall, so I cut my board down to size, and got out my paint. A sample of a color from a while back, and Martha Stewarts Metallic Paint from Home Depot. It has awesome coverage.


First a coat of gray to prime it.

Then the metallic..

After the paint dries, I grabbed a spoon and got busy.

I pressed it on there as best as I could, and then peeled off the areas I didn’t want.

After I stuck the letters on….

I was able to save the pieces I didn’t need, so I can use it on another plaque, possibly the one I have been searching for, and not this out-of-desperation plaque. :)

I stuck it back on the sheet it came off of, and used my blue painters tape to tape it down so the little pieces wouldn’t get lost.

It’s all ready for another time!

I then got out the mod podge and sealed it.

I let it dry, and stuck a few command strips on the back, and wham bam, straight to the door!
I’m curious to see if solicitors will respect this sign. Of course around Girl Scout cookie time, I will hang an exception sign just for them. :)


Oh by the way, I have a new door color! This last photo most accurately depicts the current hue. Stay tuned for a post about that, and the painting of the porch ceiling!

Here is a shot during the day.
IMG_4355[2]2 If you don’t have time to order a sticker, you could totally print off what you want your sign to say on a home office printer, or have Office Max do it. Then do a print transfer to wood, as shown in some tutorials from Pinterest. Check out this Pinterest board for more ideas.

Hey Slim, Where’s My Shoes?

We had a serious problem.

It was taking over our lives, and tripping us up daily.

Yes, it’s true. Shoes were slowly taking over our home.

Apparently they accumulate over time if you don’t give some the boot. Haha, punny.

Exhibit A:
And this is my “organized” version. I counted 13 pairs lined up in the hallway last month. This photo only has 8. Only.

We are only two people.

It became an apparent problem when I brought home 4 new pairs of shoes I got for my birthday from my last trip to Minnesota. I guess it is the year of the shoe.

We have 10 imaginary house guests staying with us 24/7.

You believe me right?

Okay, I don’t even believe myself.

The time had come to face the music. This wasn’t working for us anymore.

So I hit up Google to find out what my options were for styles. I didn’t really like anything I saw. When you google “shoe rack”, most of the results are actual racks with metal bars. Although, I did happen upon a post on one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, and found the best idea ever! Leave it to Ikea. Plastic recycling bins that can double as shoe storage!
Via Young House Love

How perfect those are… not at all deep so they wouldn’t take up a lot of space.

I hit up Ikea a little while later and found a set of 3 drawers for $39.99. That was a little more than I had wanted to spend that day so I passed.

And I’m so happy I did!

I searched Craigslist to see if anyone was selling what I needed and couldn’t believe my eyes, I found something better!

This gem! Also from Ikea, but no longer sold there.
Hello, Slim! Where have you been all my life?

I love the furniture piece feel vs. the simple white bins, but I really would have been happy with either. Turns out the extra drawer was needed because we have way more shoes than I thought. Time to get rid of a few pairs I think!

It fits snugly behind the laundry room door.

I almost forgot the best part, it was only $35!!!

At a modest 6.75 inch depth, it’s the best space saving and space utilizing piece I have in the house! I’m slightly sad it’s hidden behind the door and I can’t show it off.

I’m guessing the original price was over $100 because the 2×2 version of this was $99.

Had to make sure there would be room for the washer door to open, and then we bolted it to the wall with an L bracket the previous owners had used on the top. You cant see it… or at least my 5’4″ frame isn’t tall enough to! Thats all that matters right?


Now let’s get to the whole reason I bought this!

For this clutter….

And especially for this clutter in the bottom of my closet. They say bins help you organize…. perhaps you need more than one? IMG_4105[2] Yep… all full of shoes. I take full responsibility.

I may also have a slight purse problem.

Don’t judge me. Too much.

I grabbed up all those shoes, and threw them into the new shoe cabinet.

They all fit! With the top drawer left to spare! Because I’m too short to actually see in the top drawer, that was left for last.


Ah, organization. A weight has been lifted off this house. It was only a matter of time before they got a mind of their own and turned all Bed Knobs & Broomsticks on us.


Clean, beautiful, and organized, just how I like it.

As for the hallway, let’s review…
I’m sure guests were wondering, “How many feet do you have!”, and/or “What a pretty display of shoes…?”

Ahh….I don’t know about you, but I feel more relaxed. Sandals, left out appropriately for the summer. My husband informed me there would be at least one pair of shoes left out because he wasn’t THAT trained. I like the assumption he was already at least partially trained. We will continue to let him think that. It may become true one day!

Harmonious DIY Artwork

My ever changing gallery wall has finally reached maximum capacity!

For bigger frames, I don’t usually just jump on any old artwork to fill the space.

Artwork with meaning is my favorite. If it gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling when I look at it, I know I’ve got it right. The kind of artwork that makes you dip into your memories for a split second as you cruise by during the day is what your home should be filled of!

Call me sentimental, but sometimes I just stare at my gallery wall. It makes me smile, and helps me keep focused on what’s most important.

If you move around a lot, you could focus your art around your memories and good times. My thinking is it would be easier to get less attached to a certain ‘place’ knowing that the things you are really attached to, your memories, some in the form of artwork, can be taken with you where ever you go, and always preserved.

I’m not just talking about photographs.

OKAY! On to my quick DIY.

I’ve been holding out for the perfect idea to fill my last frame. I had seen so many personal artwork ideas on Pinterest and decided on one I knew I could do with things I had at home.

My most favorite song from my wedding was the one I walked down the aisle to.

Waltz For Zizi from Cowboy Bebop. You can listen to it here.

Ahhh… warm and fuzzy.

I found the sheet music online, and carefully pieced it together in photoshop.
Screen Shot 2013-07-07 at 10.17.51 PM

I was too excited to wait and have it printed, that I printed it off at home on 4 pages, meticulously cut and taped it together, and threw it into my frame as quickly as I could.

And, I love it.


It’s so classic and simple.


It’s perfect!

For another idea on personal artwork, you can see my simple map artwork DIY here.

Now if I get asked about this piece I can tell a quick little story of where it came from and what it means, and relive it all over again. :)


Guest Room Do Over (what what!) & DIY Tufted Headboard Tutorial



Firstly, so terribly sorry to anyone who reads my blog, I’ve been absent for quite some time. Family emergencies are never expected and I was gone for a good 4 months since around Christmas time. But all is well again. I’m just now getting back into the swing of things at home in Texas.


I’ve been having some fun with decorating again. Moving accessories around, playing a process of elimination with ideas that I have, and then changing it around again after I stare at it for a week. Takes me a few tries before I get it right!

No one said I knew what I was doing!

The Home & Garden channel helps too :)

So we’re getting ready for some guests!
And, in thinking about what I like and want in a guest room… being a guest in someones home, the first thing I hope for is comfort. An inviting space you can be comfortable in, and a bed you can sleep well in away from home. If you’re a couple visiting someone, you most likely appreciate sleeping in the same bed. Well that wasn’t an option at my house. A nice big couch and a day bed with a trundle was what was in my guest room. And the mattresses weren’t comfortable at all.

Here is the room after it’s first time I had to throw together a guest room. This was way better than a storage room with no floor space, and white walls. :) That little sewing table is now out in my living room.


photo-12[2] Working with things I already had in the house, it really wasn’t horrible. But I eventually got sick of it because it really wasn’t what I wanted, and now that we have guests coming soon(we don’t get many of those!), I decided now was the perfect time to switch it up!

So, I sold the daybed and couch on Craigslist. $400.00 for both, which means I had that to spend :) They both sold within one day of posting! That was really helpful in getting this room on it’s way to being done on time.

I’m always selling things on Craigslist. You might look around and wouldn’t think you have anything to sell until you start asking yourself, when was the last time I used this? Or, am I going to really miss that? That has really helped me get as far as I have with my home decorating. I usually end up selling something in the house first, so I can make room and get the money I need to get what I really want. When we first moved in, we needed a kitchenette table, so we sold Pete’s Grandma’s outdated dining room set on Craigslist. A few days later, we bought a very cute, antique pub style kitchenette table for the same amount we sold the his Grandma’s table for. An even trade, and we got something we would use. We went out and purchased a dining room table we both liked a few months down the road. Moral of the story, sell the things you dont need, for the things you do! I didn’t need a couch in my guest room taking up space and never being used. So I sold it, and the daybed to make the guest room of my dreams… or the dreams of whoever sleeps there.

Provided we share the same style.

And love of burlap.


After those big items were gone,
the room looked like this…

IMG_3350[2] About a month ago we got a new dresser from Ikea on the cheap-izzy, so we put our old one in here. It really is quite a small room which is why I can’t get a wider angled shot. 11’2″ X 9’11”, just barely enough room for furniture, let alone walking space. It’s definitely a challenge for me.


AHHHHHHH MESS! It cannot stay like this, thank you.

So I took down the wall decor, and moved everything to the middle of the room.

Then I painted. $0.00 spent.

I mixed together 3 different colors I had left over from other parts of the house, and came up with this soft, warm gray color. I hate paint going to waste. And I’m cheap. I also have a very large cabinet in the garage filled with leftover paint and wouldn’t have been able to fit one more paint can in there.

I may need to go to paint can counseling. No one needs 13 cans of different colored house paint.

A girl needs options I guess.

So anyways, turns out a coffee can works great for mixing paints together. I was able to do the whole room with one coffee can full of paint.

A person can do a lot of thinking while painting.

So sleeping arrangements were in the back of my mind the whole time. We had a queen bed in this room once before but my husband was dead set on getting rid of it because he didn’t think it fit. So we got rid of it.


We really couldn’t make it fit the last time. I also was against putting it in front of the window then. My style has changed quite a bit since… I’ve become a little more enlightened on what you can get away with. Well guess what. I wanted that queen bed back so I could stick it in front of the window. BAM!

So I hit Craigslist. I lucked out and found a very clean, nearly new queen sized bed and boxspring. The owner had purchased it 2 years before for $2,200, and was selling for $450.00.

Heck no, I didn’t pay that! Crazy crazy.

They needed to get rid of the bed by May 29th because they were moving. I emailed and said if they didn’t get rid of it for the price they were asking by moving day, I would take it off their hands for $200.00. They agreed, and sure enough, the bed is now ours!

I gotta say. I’m certainly impressed with how nice of a mattress it is. Comparable on the comfort scale to our sleep number. Which is a tough act to follow.

Obviously buying a secondhand mattress from someone you don’t know can be sketchy, especially on Craigslist. But they lived in a rich area of Austin, and the owners appearance and apartment was very clean, so I wasn’t too concerned. Gotta do some profiling when it comes to this stuff. :)

I washed the mattress cover with bleach on the sanitize setting, and sprayed the bed with lysol.

Done, and done.


This photo was taken after I gave the lamp a makeover, here, and painted the cute little end table, here.

The lamp makeover was $0.00. I had the jute rope, and the lamp already. The lamp was bought at Walmart last year for ten bucks.

The endtable, with the cute wood cutouts, was on Craigslist listed at $28, and I got it down to $22.00.

A metal bed frame didn’t come with the bed, so we had to find one. We lucked out, and found one at a garage sale and got it for $10.00! Everyone else on Craigslist was selling them for $25 and up.

The total up to now:
–  22.00
–  10.00
= $168.00 remaining!

NOW, on to my most exciting project for this room!

It’s amazing, and a total beaut.

Here’s the story,
of a burlap fabric,
that was waiting for just the right spot…

But really, how gorgeous is it!

5 items are needed for this project.

  • 1. Plywood. For a queen bed, cut down at Home Depot/Lowes to 62″x35″, and two legs cut out of the scraps. $20.
  • 2. Twin mattress pad, $13 from Target.
  • 3. Fabric of your choice. My gray burlap fabric that I had was $7 a yard, and I used about 2 yards.
  • 4. Upholstery nails. I used extra long silver ones. $1.30 for 20 at Home Depot. I used about two packages because they kept bending when I would try pound them in.
  • 5. A staple gun and staples.

Total spent: $35.00

$168 – $35 = $133 left!

IMG_3400[2] Lay everything out like this.
Staple down the pad first. Don’t worry if it looks like it wont fit. They have a little stretch to them, and will wrap perfectly around the sides, just pull tight!
Then staple the fabric. I didn’t use batting like I maybe should have, but it really wasn’t missed.
Once you’re done stapling, flip it over and find the center of the headboard. That’s where you will nail in your first upholstery nail.
I marked the first one with tape and a sharpie, then nailed it in. Now work out from there.
From the center nail, I measured the middle point between the first nail and the edge, but just on the short side of the headboard. Do not do this for the long ways, because they will be staggered, and that will screw up your pattern. To work out from this point, I measured the center points between each nail and the nail to the edge. In this case it was half of 8.75″, so 4.325″ roughly. From those center points, I measured out either side 8.75 inches, and that’s where I tacked in my upholstery nails. Maybe this illustration will clarify what I mean.
Keep with that measuring system until your finished!

Your measurements might be totally different than mine as far as where you place your upholstery nails. This is just what I liked visually. I didn’t just pick a distance between nails out of thin air obviously, that’s what I kept finding the center, and it worked out.

Because I had burlap, I was able to poke the nails through the weaving which made it easier to line them up before I nailed them into the wood permanently.

Continue on your merry way until you have this…

Now, at this point, I grabbed my hubby and had him help me put the legs on. We made it so the legs fit into the metal bed frame, so we can bolt it to the frame itself. IMG_3424[2]

IMG_3436[2] It’s so rich looking! I’m in love with a headboard and I’m not afraid to say it!

Now, to get my bedding I ordered from Target. Waiting very impatiently on it!

Anxious to take final pictures :)


*One small update already! June 4th
Snagged this chair off Craigslist on the cheap! It’s probably the biggest splurge besides the bed. It was posted for $50, and I got him down to $40. It’s so cozy and cute. Don’t you just want to curl up with a book and a cup of coffee?
IMG_3474[2] IMG_3476[2]
It’s the perfect size for the small corner.

From before, we had $133.00 left over to spend. Minus $40.00, leaves me with $93.00!

Stay tuned for an update to this post with final room pictures!


It took longer than expected, but my bedding finally arrived! No sooner did the boxes hit the front step, they were whipped inside, unpacked, and in the washing machine. I was antsy waiting for those few loads to get done so I could fit everything together in its place. It was already set in my head, but seeing the finished product was going to be the icing on the cake.

By the way, this room makes for very good naps. We’ve tested it :)

First lets start with the Grand Total!
Starting with a $400.00 credit from items sold on Craigslist…

$400.00 Credit
-200.00 Mattress & Box Spring
–  22.00 End Table
–  10.00 Bed Frame
–    0.00 Paint
–    0.00 Lamp
–    0.00 Accessories & Wall Art
–  35.00 Headboard
–  40.00 Chair & Ottoman
-129.00 Bedding (Sheet set, down comforter, 2 sets pillow cases, king pillow, and skirt)
= $36.00 out of pocket!

Now if that doesn’t say “SCORE!”, I don’t know what does.

On to the photos.

Here is a quick collage I threw together since I couldn’t get the whole room in one shot.
guest room
Click to see larger.

IMG_3522[2] I liked the eclectic feel and asymmetrical look of the mismatched side tables/lamps. I felt it was okay because the square black framed print on the left, balanced out the square black floor lamp on the right. It also could be looked at from a gender point of view.. more masculine on the right, more feminine on the left. Either way, it’s asymmetrically balanced. And that seems to be more pleasing to my eye than something so perfect, it’s one half is a mirrored image of it’s other half. I also need to accessorize that floor lamp a little.

At the other end of the room we have the little chair. The quilt I have on the bed really pulls together the room with the accessories I already had. The print on the wall pulls from the quilt. Do you see the connection between the pillow and the quilt? The smallest similarity like their right angle design is all you need to have them go together. And it works!

IMG_3512[2] This watercolor, Pete’s mom painted for us as our wedding present, and I’ve always loved it! It’s been in our guest room since we’ve gotten it, but now I feel it’s really set off by the rest of the room. It’s more showcased, instead of hidden in a room that had a lot of distractions which is what it felt like before. 

IMG_3506[2] And of course, a little pull of color on the little end table with some framed art and a little greenery.

‘ve learned over time that it is very much okay to mix patterns. I also learned, you need a solid neutral to mute it and to break up the patterns so it doesn’t become a busy mess. Which is why I chose to do gray stripe pillow cases, the simple patterned pillow cases that came with the sheet set, and a pair of crisp white pillow cases. You still get the great look of the patterns, but the white pillow cases and white comforter is a break for the eye.. gives you a chance to relax before looking on to the next piece of eye candy. Make sense?

IMG_3560[2] On to the other side of the room! My plans for this dresser are eventually changing out the knobs. As you can see one is missing. Maybe some glass knobs, or even a pop of color! As for the mirror collage, I was debating on spreading out the smaller mirrors to other parts of the room, but putting them together makes the room feel less cluttered, and I love how the collage makes it feel like one big mirror.




IMG_3581[2] I may re-accessorize the dresser, but this will work for now!

Once more with the before shot..


guest room

The best $36 bucks I’ve ever spent!


Lamp Lamp Revamp


Fo fanna fanna fo famp.


So there’s this lamp.

It has a really nice bod.

It’s totally up my alley.

But, I’m so over the blue.

*sad face* Sorry Lamp.

IMG_3374[2] As you can see, my idea was to wrap this jute rope around the whole lamp base.

I was inspired by this adorable lamp from Target. Mine is just a heck of a lot cheaper!

I whipped out my hot glue, and got down to business.
The process was tedious at first because it had to be glued the whole way around the very bottom to keep everything in place. But there were areas I could just wrap and wrap and wrap without much glue and it was just fine!


I love the texture it adds! Pottery Barn-esc

IMG_3390[2] So cute, and much better than the blue color.

That’s all she wrote! Super easy. You can get different colors of jute rope online. JoAnn Fabrics has a big roll of it for $7, which is what I bought. I only used half a roll for this whole lamp!

Cheap, and rich looking!

Update A Craigslist End Table


This little gem, I found on Craigslist.

This is the photo from the ad, which gives a better idea of what the color was when I got it. Not terrible, but the black painted cut-out was very sloppy.

I knew I wanted to paint it from the start, but I had to get it first!

She had listed it at $28(cheap already!), I offered her $20, and she countered with $22.  Well I wasn’t going to let two bucks stand in my way of this cute thing, so I went and got it. I’m all about low balling when it comes to buying on Craigslist. And it’s paid off in the past! If you find an item you want, low ball the owner and find their rock bottom price. You never know until you ask!

Literally started painting it the second I got home.

I was way too excited.

About an end table.

But stay tuned, it gets weirder… I’ll confess my love for a headboard soon enough.

I found a light color I already had, and went at it.
IMG_3364[2] IMG_3365[2]
You can see I was so excited I started painting the top before I took a “before” picture. So let’s just call this a “progress” picture.

Had to get rid of that messy black, so I just covered the whole thing.

I definitely wanted to paint the cut out, so I rummaged through my craft paint and found a light gray chalkboard paint, and a metallic gold.

Did a few coats of the gray paint, and then put a quick coat of the shimmery gold on top.
You can kind of see the shimmer in this pic.

It turned out just how I wanted, and will compliment the scheme I’m going with for the room.

IMG_3389[2]2 The architectural detail is my favorite. Adds that little extra bit of character. And those clean lines on the end table, paired with the rustic lamp… they’re total opposites, but look so good together!

Now I’m off to find some accessories to add a bit of “pop” to the room!

Check out the rest of the finished guest room makeover, and the DIY lamp update here!

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.


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.


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!