DIY Easy Bistro Table Makeover
 
Breathing new life into old furniture couldn’t be more simple with Easy DIY Bistro Table Makeover!
 
We have two simple black bistro tables that used to live in our master bedroom as “temporary” night stands.  But, earlier this year we purchased actual night stands. So, after 7 years (you read that right) in our bedroom, the black bistro tables became homeless.  I considered selling them in a garage sale we had, but then I thought they could be useful somewhere else in our home.  So, I held onto them and they bounced around from room to room until inspiration hit.  

Bistro Table MakeoverThe windows in our living room face a bare and boring small side yard with a glorious view of a brick fence.  It’s just as lovely as I’m sure you are imagining it.  We plan on planting a couple fruit trees over there eventually, but the space could use some color regardless.  So, I decided to give one of the bistro tables a makeover so that it could live in our side yard outside our living room as… wait for it… a bistro table!  Original, I know!

The process couldn’t be easier and this makeover cost less than $20!!  Don’t you just love it?  It makes me so incredibly happy to see this bright and fun table outside the window!  I carried the colors from our living room outside so that it would be a natural extension of the room.  I am seriously smitten with it.  
 

DIY Bistro Table Makeover

Here’s how I did it:
Materials:
Bistro Table
Indoor / Outdoor Spray Paint – I used Rust-Oleum Real Orange
Craft Paper – I used solid white, teal and orange
Octagon Paper Punch
Outdoor Mod Podge
Foam Brushes
Outdoor Urethane

Process:

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverI started by disassembling my bistro table and covered it with 3 coats of orange spray paint.  I let the paint dry completely over a few days.

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverMeanwhile, I punched a ton of octagons out of my craft paper in all three colors.  And then the fun started… My Love, Lovebug and I played around with the octagons to come up with different patterns  for the table until I, I mean, we settled on one that we like best.  

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverNext I measured out the midpoint of the table and started gluing the paper octagons down with Outdoor Mod Podge, starting at the middle and working my way out.  The table has little holes shaped in a design on it, but my paper and glue covered them up perfectly. 

 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverWe ended up with a flower-ish design, which is interesting because that is exactly what I had envisioned! 🙂  Anyway, I started by gluing down an orange octagon right in the middle of the table, using my Outdoor Mod Podge and a foam brush. Then, I added a row of teal octagons around it, then followed with a row of white around that.  I continued with that pattern, orange, then teal, then white, laying down a little glue as I went along.

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverI continued until the table was covered.  Then, I let the Mod Podge dry completely for a couple days.

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverOnce the Mod Podge had dried and the craft paper was secured on the table,  I sealed the top of the table with 3 layers of Outdoor Mod Podge and let it dry completely. 

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverThen, I waterproofed it by putting 3 coats of clear urethane over it.  I let that dry completely and my table was done!

DIY Bistro Table MakeoverFinally, I took my table outside and admired my handiwork!  I absolutely love how it turned out!  So vibrant, colorful and the perfect pop of color to add interest to the small side yard (read: brick wall) outside our living room.  

Now, I just need to find a couple bistro chairs to go with it and my little outdoor seating area will be complete!  I’ll update the pictures once I find the chairs.  In the meantime, I am so in love!   I’m even considering doing something similar with the other bistro table we have and setting it up in the front yard or entry.  I just need to come up with a color scheme and design. Any suggestions?
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DIY Lace and Ribbon Bridal Shower Invitation

So, my younger sister is getting married and her friends, our older sister and I are working together to plan a bridal shower for her.   We decided to split up the tasks and I took on the job of creating invitations.  This might be one of my very favorite things to do.  Invitations set the stage for the event and are the guests first glimpse of what is to come.  So, I love coming up with creative ways to give guests a small taste of the event while providing them with all the details they need.
 
For the bridal shower, we decided to go with an antique lace theme with the colors being grey and coral.  I looked around online for inspiration and eventually popped into Michaels to pick up some materials and play around.  I ended up with this simple and elegant invitation.  
Step 13
 
 

 So, here’s how I made them:

Materials:
Heavy card stock – I used Bazzil – Ash from Michaels
White card stock – I bought a package at Michaels
1-3/8″ wide lace – I used Celebrate It cream colored ribbon from Michaels
3/8″ wide ribbon – I used Celebrate It coral colored ribbon from Michaels
Paper cutter
Glue Stick  
Scissors

Instructions:
Step 1First I cut the ash card stock into 5″ x 7″ pieces.  I was able to get two out of each sheet, the rest will be used for later projects.  

 

Step 2With the card stock laying with the 7″ side down, I spread some glue vertically along the 5″ left side of the card, leaving about a 1/4″ border along that side.

 

Step 3Next, I laid my lace over the glue and pressed down to secure.  You can see that I left that 1/4″ border on the left uncovered, which is why I didn’t put glue there.  I also left a 1/8″ – 1/4″ overhang of lace on the bottom of the card to ensure the card was completely covered.  

 

Step 4Then, I turned the card facing down, and laid glue on the back side of the card directly above where I laid my lace and glue on the front side.  Again, I left a 1/4″ border on the right unglued.

 

Step 5Then, I pulled the lace up and over the card and laid it down on the glue, pressing down to secure.  You don’t want to pull the lace too taught because it will make the paper start to warp.  But, you want to ensure that lace is as close to the top as possible before securing it down on the back of the card. 

 

Step 6Using sharp scissors, I trimmed away the extra lace.  

 

Step 7Next I printed my invitation on the white card stock (two per sheet) and cut it down to size (4-1/2″ x 5″).  Then, I turned my card right side up again so the lace was on the left.  Using the glue stick, I attached the invitation to the card, doing my best to position it leaving a 1/4″ boarder around the top, bottom and right sides of the card.  I wasn’t too worried about the left side at this point.

Step 8
Next, I carefully ran my glue stick over the space between the lace and the white card stock, on the left side of the card.  Occasionally, the lace would snag and move a little, so I just put it back in place and continued.  
 
Step 9
 

I quickly laid my ribbon over the glue, leaving a 1/8″ – 1/4″ overhang on the bottom of the card, pressing down to secure.
Step 10Then I turned the card over, and carefully ran the glue along the left side of the lace.  Again, if the lace moved, I put it back in place and continued on.

Step 11Just like with the lace, I pulled the ribbon up and over the card and laid the ribbon down over the glue and pressed down to secure.  Again, I didn’t pull the ribbon too taught, but I made sure that it was laying as close to the top of the card as possible before securing it down to the back.

 

Step 12Using my scissors, I trimmed away the excess ribbon and allowed the glue to dry completely.

 

DIY Bridal Shower InvitationThen, I stuffed my finished invitations in envelopes and sent them on their way.  

 

So pretty!  And I love how the back of the card carries the lace and ribbon over giving a little bit of detail to keep things interesting. 

I am super happy with how these invitations turned out!  They were super easy to make but did required a little time to pull together.  My sister, the bride, called me when she received it to ask if I had them professionally made, which made all the effort worth it.   I was able to purchase all the materials on sale, so it wasn’t too expensive either.  Also, the materials I used did not add much bulk to the envelopes, so I was able to use basic stamps.  
 
I just think these invitations are so simple and elegant.  Just what a bridal shower should be!  I can’t wait to see what the other ladies do with decorations, games, prizes and favors.  I’ll do my best to take pictures and post to Instagram.  
 

 
 
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DIY Clothespin Photo Display Frame
I started seeing images of Clothespin Photo Display Frames on Pinterest a year or so ago and knew I wanted to make one for our house.   We had a few options on where a frame like this could live, but it would depend on the size of the frame.  And so, the hunt was on.
 
I didn’t want to spend a fortune on this decoration, so I scoured every thrift store around to find an ornate frame that fit the look I was going for.  I had hoped that I’d find a large frame that I could hang in the stairwell landing.  But, after months of searching, I only found one frame and it wasn’t big enough for that space.  Boo. 🙁   (Don’t worry though; I have plans for that wall.)  
 
Luckily, the wall just outside our office / craft room was screaming for some love and the frame I found fit there perfectly.  🙂  A little paint and some wire later and the frame was transformed into this beautiful clothespin photo display frame.
DIY Clothespin Photo Display Frame
 
Here’s how I made it:
 

Materials:

Frame
Spray paint
Ruler or tape measure
Pen or pencil
Coated picture wire
Staple gun with staples
Mini clothespins
Pictures
 
Instructions:
I picked up this lovely frame at Goodwill for $17.99.  Isn’t she a beauty!?
 
I saw the intricate details in the wood and new it would be perfect for this project. 

 

I gently cleaned the frame then removed the picture and the hanging wire from the back.

Next, I introduced my frame to spray paint.  They became fast friends.

See what I mean?  Don’t they look good together?  I decided to continue with the same color scheme from the office since this frame is going to live just outside the door.  (As if I need an excuse to add more turquoise in my world!)

Anyway, I let the paint dry completely before handling it.  Doesn’t it look fantastic?  The color is so vivid and vibrant!   In fact, My Love thought the frame looked so good that he suggested we put a photo canvas in it rather than make it a photo display.  But, I overruled his suggestion and stuck with my original idea. 🙂

Next came the hard part… measuring.  I usually delegate this task to My Love, who is an engineer and math whiz (I sometimes refer to him as my calculator.  True story.), but he wasn’t home so I had to figure it out myself.

My frame allowed for three rows of 4 x 6 inch pictures.  So, I measured the height of the frame opening and subtracted 12 inches (to account for the pictures) from it.  Then, I divided that number by four to determine how much space I could fit between the rows.   I marked the back of the frame to guide where I needed to put the wire.

I decided to use coated picture wire so that I wouldn’t damage the pictures or the wall behind the frame.  One package was plenty for my project.

Then, I laid the wire in place and stapled it down with my staple gun, leaving 3 to 4 inches of lose wire beyond the frame.

Then, I tied the lose wire into a knot, looping it around several times.

I learned from this project that I am not going to win any staple gun accuracy contests.  So, I stapled, stapled and stapled some more until the wire looked secure.

I pulled the free end of the wire across the frame to make it straight and taught.  Then, I repeated the same process of knotting and stapling nine thousand times to secure the wire to the frame.  I did this two more times to create three rows of wire.    

The frame came with both a wire hanger (which I had already removed) as well as a couple sawtooth hangers.  The sawtooth hangers were in good condition so I just moved them so I could hang the frame horizontally.

Then, I hung my frame up.  Unfortunately, the wall just outside my craft room / office door gets really awkward lighting.   So, please forgive the shadowy pictures. 🙁

Finally, I added my pictures, hanging them with mini clothespins.  

This project was really easy to pull together and cost less than $25 to make (including printing the pictures).  I seriously love everything about it!!  It makes me so happy to see the smiling faces of my family looking back at me when I walk out of the room, the color makes me swoon and I love that I can change out the pictures on a whim.  

This clothespin photo display frame is my new favorite decoration in the house!

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If You Give a Teacher a Student…  (Teacher Appreciation Gift)


Last week was Teacher Appreciation Week and, as usual, I picked up gift cards for each of Lovebug and Littlebug’s teachers.  While I know that gift cards are the most practical gifts for teachers, I find them to be really impersonal.  So, I like to include something thoughtful (like
this, this or this) to convey how much we truly appreciate the fabulous teachers we have been blessed to have in our lives.

This year, I made cards based on the popular children’s book, If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, by Laura Joffe Numeroff.  Have you read the book?  It is so clever and fun for kids of all ages!

Lovebug’s loves this book (check out some of Lovebug’s other favorite books here) so it was fitting to create a card based on the same concept.  After lots of thought and many iterations, I ended up with a heartfelt card that, I feel, reflects the role teachers play in their students lives.

I couldn’t be happier with how the cards turned out and our teachers loved them!!

 

Give a teacher a student 2

Here’s how I made them…
Materials:

Paper
Printer
If you give a teacher a student poem (below)
Scissors
Colorful card stock, cut to 5 1/2 x 8 and folded in half so the 5 1/2 sides meet
Glue stick
Envelopes

Instructions:

Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures as I went along. But, the process was pretty easy so I’m pretty sure an explanation will suffice.

I simply printed the poem on paper, setting the paper size 1/4 inch smaller than my card stock  on all sides.  I ended up spreading the poem over 2 pages, leaving room on the bottom of the second page for a hand written note.  I also created a simple cover for the card.

Then, I cut the paper and glued the poem onto the card stock.

We signed the cards with a little note, tucked the gift card inside and sealed the cards into our envelopes.  

Easy-peasy and super cute!


If You Give a Teacher a Student
Based on the book If you Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Joffe Numeroff

If you give a teacher a student, they’re going to teach them things like math, science and grammar.
 
When they teach these subjects, the students will get smart and excited about learning.
 
When they get excited about learning, they will become curious about other subjects.
So, the teachers will indulge their curiosity through experiments and hands on learning.
 
As they teach their students, teachers will realize that they don’t just spend their day teaching, but they spend time coaching, loving and nurturing too.
 
So, they’ll probably give their students praise and positive reinforcement.
 
They’ll get carried away and they may even end up giving hugs and affection too!
 
When teachers are done, students will have a solid foundation of education to build upon.
 
Then, the students will apply their education in their careers. 
They might be successful engineers, doctors, lawyers, nurses or teachers.
 
And chances are, if the students are successful in the future,
They have a teacher, like you, to thank for it.


I used the poem in a card, but it would be adorable tucked in a frame as well.   Plus, you can edit the poem to personalize it even more, if you like.  The possibilities are endless!
  
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DIY Personalized Catch-All Bowl

When we bought our home, we purchased a dresser for our bedroom from a local furniture builder.  But, we decided to hold off on the rest of the furniture until we decided what we wanted to do in our room.  Six and a half years later, we finally started focusing on furnishing and decorating our bedroom.

Earlier this year, we bought a bed frame and night stands from the same furniture builder to match our dresser.  We also painted our room a bright and fun blue color (although My Love isn’t completely sold on it, so it might be changing).  Now, we are slowly working on the fun part… adding decorations!

I’ll share a tour of our master bedroom once we check a few more things off of our to do list.  But, for now, I thought I’d share with you a fun little project that has had a big impact on the clutter that collects on my night stand every night.

Final
This personalized catch-all bowl takes minutes to make and is super versatile.  You can make them with initials, like I did, or any shape or decoration you like.  You can also mix up the colors and use them just about anywhere.  The best part is that you can change the decoration and start over whenever you like by cleaning it with a little rubbing alcohol.
Materials:
Materials
Bowl
Rubbing Alcohol
Napkin
Oil Based Sharpie Pen(s)
Stickers – make sure your sticker fits the bowl, leaving enough room on all sides for decorations
 
Step 1
I started by cleaning the bowl with my alcohol and napkin.

Step 2
Then, I placed my sticker on the bowl, doing my best to center it vertically.
 
 
Step 3
Next, I used the sharpie pen to make small dots all the way around my sticker.
 
 
Step 4
I tried to place my dots close together, but not touching because I still wanted to make out the dots.
 
 
Step 5
Then, I continued adding dots with my sharpie pen to fill in the gaps in my sticker letter.
 
 
step 6
Then, I added more dots around the letter, keeping the dots close together close to the letter and spacing the dots out more and more as I worked my way out.
 
 
Step 7
Then, I removed the sticker and added dots, as necessary, to fill in any gaps.  You can also remove any mistakes or start over by cleaning with a cue tip or napkin doused in rubbing alcohol.
 
 
And that’s it!  I placed my bowl on my night stand and just love it!  Looking at the pictures makes me think I should go back and add some more dots to make the fade a little less drastic.  But, overall I’m happy with it.
 
 
I filled mine with cuticle oil and cuticle clippers because it seems like I only notice that I have dry hand and/or hang nails just when I get into bed.   I also drop my elastic hair ties and bobby pins in here at the end of the night.  
 
Final 2
 
I love how this cute and decorative bowl keeps my night stand clean and organized.   I made one for My Love too so he has a place to put his change and hold his keys at the end of the night.
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