Monthly Archives: March 2011

Genie in a Bottle…

A quick and neat way to make ordinary bottles into a great decor piece is simple.

Instead of recycling those glass bottles, you can make them into a unique piece for any room in your home. You can either collect bottles of the same size for a symmetrical effect or obtain many different sizes and shapes. Saving old magazines with interesting and artistic pictures can also be incorporated into the design.

First purchase Modge Podge, paint and brushes at a local home craft store. Before attaching any of ┬áthe photos from a magazine, paint the bottle any color, design or text and let it fully dry. After that is done, cut out your image and place it over the bottle. Use the Hodge Podge to seal the picture onto the bottle. After the Modge Podge has completely dried and glued the image, it’s ready for your home!

You can display the bottles by themselves or you can fill them with any kind of item. Sand, beads, flowers or even a string of lights would add the extra flair you might be craving. It’s really up to you and whatever you would like to create.

Let each person in your family decorate one, no matter of their age. With proper supervision for the young ones, it can even be a fun activity for the whole family – and a great representation of each member’s personality and a conversation piece!

Special thanks to my friend Allison Guilliams for the awesome idea and photos!


Filed under decorating

Get Going on your Garage!

That is my really cute yellow bike! :)

A garage is commonly thought of as a place for cars, a “man’s cave,” or as storage for all the Christmas decorations and numerous items that won’t fit in the house or attic. It can be a great place for storing things that you do not routinely use but it can also turn into a storage dump quickly. The best solution to keeping your garage tidy and organized is with tons of shelving or cabinets.

Home improvement stores charge $400 for a simple workbench, with no shelving underneath or attachments. It is relatively simple to make your own workbench and it can be cut to the exact width and size for your garage for a fraction of the cost.

My boyfriend has a bazillion tools so finding somewhere to put them was definitely in order. We measured the length, width and height of the desired bench, then went to our local Home Depot to purchase the lumber. He started out by making a long rectangular cube with the 4×4 pieces. He then nailed additional 4×4 pieces to the middle for an additional shelf. He then attached the top unit and shelving piece to complete the project.

With a little creativity and carpentry, you can create an extremely useful workbench and storage, all for around $80.

If you want to keep the uncluttered look, you can install cabinets onto the work bench so the stored items are not in view for a really clean and sleek look.

Leave a comment

Filed under Create-It-Yourself Project, organizing

A Lack Table Without Lacking Style

I love IKEA furniture. Their products give my house an affordable, yet modern appeal. From my first blog post, you probably already know that I adore IKEA items, whether it be for storage, functionality or organization. My boyfriend and I were doing some spring cleaning and were getting ride of two IKEA Lack tables and a Lack coffee table. We found a great idea from IKEAHackers to build and reuse the items for something new instead of leaving them for bulk pick up.

The IKEA Lack tables used to make the base of the table.

IKEA Lack coffee table used as a top for the table.

I have been searching for a sofa table since I purchased my home because I always felt our front entry way looked lonely. I was ecstatic to build this piece of furniture from items we had once deemed be to trash! My boyfriend Cody got out his drill, screws and measuring tape and within 10 minutes we had the beautiful table!

IKEA Hackers originally posted it as a breakfast bar, but since we already have a kitchen table we built it as a table for the entry way.

The finished table in the entry way of my home.

Rethink before you toss that old table or dresser onto the curb – it could be exactly what you’ve been looking for.

What have you saved from the garbage and constructed into something useful?

1 Comment

Filed under Create-It-Yourself Project, decorating

Down and Dirty with Spring Cleaning

Spring is officially here! The flowers are blooming, birds chirping and your house might still be a little out of control from the Christmas and New Year’s Eve party you haven’t recovered from yet.

The twentieth of March marks the official beginning of spring and is also a great time to clean out your house and get organized.

Here are some tips on getting your house in shape for the rest of the year:

  • Throw away trash! I know this seems simple, but some jobs look extremely daunting at first. Getting rid of the trash makes a job a lot easier.
  • 1-year-rule: If you haven’t used something in a year, it’s not worth keeping. Donate or toss it in the trash.
  • Sort your clothes that you haven’t worn in years or that are tattered.
  • Don’t keep broken or in projects in need of repair. If you haven’t fixed them by now, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be getting around to it anytime soon.

For a really messy room, take everything out and start fresh. Bring in organization tools for the closets and such to help get the job done.

Spring cleaning is also great for putting away all those winter decorations and clothes and putting out the fun spring and summer items.

Get out and enjoy the beautiful weather! Beaches, biking, hiking and picnics are fun and inexpensive activities to enjoy the outdoors. Have fun!

Leave a comment

Filed under organizing

“The Voice of the Internet” is a website I visit daily. Unlike Digg, Fark or Drudge Report, I prefer Reddit for the simple and easy to navigate design.

First off, Reddit hardly contains any distracting advertising. It has a list of links to websites, pictures justified on the left hand side where it is easy to skim through and select what you would like to read more about. Advertising is usually located on the right-hand of the screen when displayed and as a top ‘sponsored’ link.

Reddit uses a simple color for the background and uses blue for links and as an accent in certain places. Reddit uses a simple font- nothing fancy or difficult to read.

With a list format similar to Fark and Digg, Reddit stands out with its extremely simple format of text and links.

A popular discussion recently on Reddit was about revamping the website. Many avid Reddit users disagree with a change as Digg recently changed their design and lost tons of readers. Reddit readers enjoy this website because of it’s simplicity and easy navigation.

If I were to make changes to Reddit’s layout, I would make an option for users to login to their account and have customized layouts. This way users who want to change the appearance will be satisfied and it can stay the same for those who like it just as it is.

Again, one of the main things I love about Reddit is how simple and easy it is to use. When you first visit, you are greeted by numerous links to click upon. There are also links at the top of the page explaining the different sections of the website you can venture into. I like how these are separated into different sections so I can find something that interests me quickly, where it be news, funny pictures and comics or advice posts.

Joining is also extremely easy without any hassle or long annoying process. Registering for Reddit literally only takes a few seconds. Reddit does not require you create an account with your email and I like knowing Reddit will not be selling or spamming with email with advertisements.

Finally, one of the design elements I find important is the ranking system of websites or picture submissions and comments. This allow readers to rank the submissions higher or lower and it will appear on the website accordingly. I feel this is a great feature because the submissions enjoyed the most will be the highest featured and not just the most recent boring story I do not care to read. Reddit readers communicate about every subject featured on the site and have a great sense of community. Alongside the newsworthy and comedic photos, I greatly enjoy reading the ‘Ask Reddit,’ where users submit an issue or question they want advice from Reddit users.

Reddit is very interesting in how it continues to gain popularity with such a simple website design. Most would believe that in this 21st Century, only websites created in flash with interesting things to look at in every pixel would be thriving, but Reddit just goes to show that isn’t always the case.

Leave a comment

Filed under Online Media Assignments

Light and Linens

Spring air is refreshing and is one of the best times for projects to be done before the summer heat. Creating your own blackout drapes is actually a lot easier than one might first think! Most blackout drapes are only available in solid boring colors with suede fabric that collects dust and pet fur. For less than the cost of blackout drapes, you can purchase fabric and Roc-lon, a flame retardant drapery lining. Roc-lon also is available in different widths so you can choose how much light you want to show through.

Sew the Roc-lon to the fabric.

I created curtains for my sliding glass doors as they were letting an extreme amount of heat in each day. I went to my favorite local fabric store and purchased fabric that I thought would work best with my living room. I started by looking in the clearance bins and ended up finding exactly what I wanted for half the price!

Sew the edges to prevent fraying.

First measure exactly how high you want the curtains on the wall and give approximately 7 inches more for the rod and a seam around the edge on the bottom. When working with such large pieces, lay the side you want exposed to the room down, flat on the floor. Pin the edges for the seam and to prevent fraying and sew. With the curtain fabric face down, lay the Roc-lon on top of the fabric and pin the top, folding over the fabric approximating 3 inches for the curtain rod. Do not sew seams on the Roc-lon as it is will not fray with astraight scissored cut.

Hang the rod and curtains and it’s finished! You have created customized blackout curtains for a fraction of the cost and can now stay cool all summer long.

Leave a comment

Filed under Create-It-Yourself Project, decorating