DIY: Intagram Art and Magnet Fun!

Let me start by saying that I miss DIY posts and hope to do a lot more in the future. This past weekend it was cold and rainy here in Connecticut, so instead of exploring New Haven I stayed in and did some art projects. I just moved into my apartment this month… well really this past weekend. I’m now fully in the apartment, but it’s missing that personal flair that I’m used to. For Christmas my sister got about 10 of my instagram photos printed for me by Printstagram. They are 4″x4″, great quality on thick card stock and it got me thinking… ART PROJECT TIME!


Here’s a look at my dining room above. The console/bar table and dining room table are BMeyer Studio originals fyi (contact me if you want to buy them!). You can see it’s gorgeous, but lacking in personality. As the note tells you in the photo, Ill be making a very large painting to go on the biggest bare wall. That’s coming up next week.

In the meantime, Im focusing on another wall in the room:


I decided to make a display of all the photos I took on my northern road trip (LA to Portland along the coast, then Portland to LA inland through the National Parks). It’s a great timeline and reminder of such a fun beautiful trip. Plus, the pretty colors add a nice artistic, fun art piece to the room.


Printstagram  sells 24, 4″x4″ prints for $12, which is a great deal! I ordered 2 sets made, which gave me 36 photos for this art project, and left me with 12 extra images of friends, which I turned into magnets (see later in the post).


I decided to make my grid 6 rows by 6 columns. I found scrap string and some nails, so all I had to purchase were these tiny clothes pins from Michaels to hang the photos from the string.


It took some math to figure out where to place the nails in order for everything to be centered on the wall and hang evenly. Trust me, do the math and have it be right. If you eye-ball it (as I often do), you’ll regret it when one row is uneven.


Photos don’t do it justice, as in person it really lightens up the room. It gives the room a fun pop of color, and even the sag of the string gives the room a playful feeling. Plus the photos tell a story and mean something to me.

***BONUS DIY!***

With the 12 left over instagram photos I decided to buy a cheap magnet roll from Home Depot and turn the photos into magnets.


This was super easy, cost practically nothing and now I can see photos of my friends every time I’m in the kitchen.


When I was moving my stuff out of my parents house and into the new apartment, I came across a box of old photos from my grandma’s house. I noticed small Photobooth photos of my grandparents taken when they were dating. They had a light, thin metal frame and were also perfect to turn into magnets.


They look so great on the fridge and are actually getting seen, as opposed to being boxed up in the basement. Aren’t they adorable?

DIY Necklace Holder

A friend of mine (Tamar) came to me and said, “I’ve run out of room for my necklaces. Can you help me hang a bulletin board so I can use pushpins to hang them from?” and my response was “we are making you a real necklace holder”. It made me realize my own necklace holder was at capacity (see below):


That means it’s time for a DIY necklace holder for both of us! I combed pinterest to see what the world is making and love the look of different drawer pulls that jewelry can hang from.


Coincidentally, as this project came up I happened to be wandering around the clearance section of Anthropology (the only part of the store I can maybe-afford) and saw these drawer pulls above. What a coincidence that just as I’m embarking on a project that involves a mix of drawer pulls and they’re ON SALE for $3ea! I hadn’t even designed my jewelry holder yet, but I knew I had to scoop these up while they were there and I sent Tamar to also get a bunch for her holder.


Knowing I would need to cut the ends of the long drawer pulls, I bought a Dremel to add to my tool collection. This is pretty timid as far as tools go, but it’s super handy. I highly recommend it and it comes with all sorts of attachments that can sand, buff, cut wood, and even grind metal.


Above you can see the beginning of my jewelry holder (on the left) and Tamar’s (on the right). Since she has a long closet where she’s hanging it, hers is a 3′ single piece of wood. My necklaces need to fit in a narrower space, so mine is two rows. I sanded and stained them to bring out the grain. Thankfully I collect scrap wood and had left over stain, so this was all free.


Glue time!


Disregard my messy work space, but I want to explain the process as I worked on these alone at night and couldn’t get great photos. Once the stain and clear coat dried on the wood, I marked where I wanted the drawer pulls to go. I then predrilled holes, slightly smaller than the thickness of the drawer pull rod. Then I screwed the drawer pulls into the wood by hand. The rod sticks through the back of the wood where I attached a bolt to keep the pull in place, so then I used my Dremel to grind (cut) through the rod so that it’s relatively flush against the bolt (later images show this).


These 5 hooks aren’t going to hold a massive collection, which Tamar alerted me she has a lot of necklaces. It’s problem solving time!


I went to Home Depot and purchased their largest golden hooks (since it looks nice with the golden wood stain). I came up with a pattern of hook placement that works well with the 5 unique drawer pulls we already bought. You can see above I pre-drilled little holes to make screwing in the hooks easier.


Lastly, you can see above that the bolt which secures the drawer pulls in place makes it so that it will sit 1/8″ off the wall. To make sure this doesn’t cause marks on the wall, I purchased furniture pads with an 1/8″ thickness (which normally go on the bottoms of chair legs) and put them on the edges. I also bought picture hanging kits from Home Depot which allow this to comfortably hang 1/8″ off the wall. Each of these is really cheap.


Above you can see how mine turned out! Doesn’t it look nice? You can’t even tell it’s 1/8″ off the wall.


Here’s Tamars as we were installing it above…


And here’s the final look! Isn’t it great! Now that’s a lot of necklaces!

DIY Paper Frames

It’s time to talk DIY crafts! My friends Grace and Tamar (see below) came to me with a design problem. Their stairwell is bare and they want to hang up photos, but it’s a narrow space and frames risk getting knocked over as people walk by. Plus this should be attractive and on a budget. What to do?! After researching ideas via pinterest, we concluded it would be best to buy some fun papers and tape and mount the images right onto the wall. We didn’t want it to feel cheap and dorm -style, so we had some fun with it!


Meet Grace and Tamar. They rock!


We met up at my favorite guilty pleasure: Paper Source! If you’ve never been, even just to browse, make the trip!


Grace and Tamar decided to buy two different types of patterned paper to keep it all feeling cohesive. I decided to also do this project for one of my bedroom walls. I also switched it up and bought different types of papers and even brought along some fun wrapping paper I had left over at home. With a little double-sided tape, we mounted images on our paper.


It was fun to play with the scraps, colors, and textures.



Even wrapping paper made for a fun colorful backing.


I kept laying the images out to make sure I was staying within the same color palette.


Above is Grace cutting up her images. She went a step further than I did and even laminated the sheets so that everything was completely smooth.


Originally we thought we’d use masking tape, but found fun colors of electrical tape to play with. Grace and Tamar used black tape for all the edges to keep it consistent. Precutting the tape on a mat makes sure it’s even and squared corners.


It’s fun to look back at old photos 🙂


I decided to mount my photos around my frame so I can look at them every morning.


Don’t look too closely at my messy bed (which was an impromptu desk for this project). But I love the family pics <3.

Barrel Chair Update


This past weekend I did some work on this nifty barrel chair I got a great deal on at Salvation Army (above). She was a beauty in the store and I knew I had to get her.


The above rendering shows what I want the chair to look like eventually. I played in photoshop with patterns and colors and ultimately decided to go with a basic cream/white fabric and darkening the wood of the chair.


This is my first upholstery project, so I was very careful taking the chair apart, knowing I would have to put it back together.


After finding fabric at Joann Fabrics (with a 40% off coupon!) I started sewing the piping this past weekend.


I even put the buttons(?) on myself! I’m quite proud of it, as well as nervous for the next several steps.

I shall update you as I continue my process. But right now it’s looking awesome, especially given I have zero upholstery experience. Although, I am LOVING my staple gun. Such a great stress release.

DIY Bon Voyage Party Decorations

As you just learned, my sister As Her World Turns just moved out of Los Angeles to embark on an endless trip around the world. We were sad to see her go, but excited for her, as this has been something she’s talked about since we were kids. There’s no way she could leave without us throwing some kind of Bon Voyage (and coincidentally, Birthday) celebration.


She chose the venue of Cafe Gratitude in Larchmont Village. You can see above, Kelocity and I made map party hats, goodie bags, map pennants, stamp+map confetti and more!


The balloons were cheap and so easy to get from Vine America. They have so many color options and even had globe balloons! To make the map party hats I just collected a variety of fun map images online and printed them onto 11X17 paper. I made a hat prototype to get the cone shape and then traced that shape onto all of the map papers. I bought elastic string for like $1.50 at Michaels. Once you get the cone shape and cut two holes for the elastic it was helpful to staple the string in place in addition to the knot. None of the hats ripped during the party and it made for some fun photos.


The map pennants were made with some yellow yarn and triangles cut out of some AAA maps. The scrap pieces of map were turned into confetti with my circle cutter (which I used in THIS art project). I also cut out stamps as more table confetti. Lastly, I made little colorful picture holders to fit my polaroid film. These images fit perfectly in a little moleskin sketch pad. The pad was passed around and people took photos and wrote notes to my sister wishing her a safe trip. It’ll be a nice little memory that she can carry around and look at when she’s missing home.

DIY Chalkboard

A while ago I got a gold $10 frame from a yard sale in Los Feliz. What a great find! I spent time sanding and repainting this frame which became my Christmas card holder (see that DIY here). Well I decided to take it a step further and turn it into a chalkboard where I could also hang cards and photos.

Step 1 was having wood cut to fit inside the frame. You can buy the wood and have them cut it at any Home Depot or Lowes type store.

Step 2 was making my own chalkboard paint. I bought flat regular ol’ house paint (so I could make the board any color I want). I also bought unsanded grout and added 2 table spoons into an 8oz container of paint ($3 at Home Depot). I used a mini paint roller and did a couple coats until it looked like…





All the guides I found to making chalkboards recommended rubbing chalk all over the board and then lightly erasing the chalk (photo below). The light dusting helps keep the chalk from sticking in the future.



Lastly I tapped up the board into the frame and included the twine and clips so that I could hang cards and photos and write fun messages next to them on the board.


Isn’t it beautiful? I LOVE the blue green color. It’s so much more fun than a black board and has an antique green school board vibe. It’s perfect.



Let the chalk fun begin!



I’m so happy with the results. (The above photo is of my grandparents ❤ )

DIY Ikea Bookcase Re-Do

If you remember, a while back I made a vellum backing to a hand-me-down Ikea bookcase that was backless. It was an excellent fast/easy/cheap temporary solution. It wasn’t the worst bookcase ever… but it also didn’t match anything and felt like dorm furniture.


Im not one to just throw away a perfectly good bookcase, so I got creative.


I was inspired by Young House Love’s new book! I got it for Christmas and LOVE it. See the photo above of the white bookcase with the blue/green backing? I want that bookcase… so why not just make it?


Since I had to work with the heavily lacquered birch Ikea bookcase, I researched the best way to sand/prime/paint this surface. So many blogs posted that the Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Coverage (X2) was the best way to go. I decided to go with the flat white and it was $3 a bottle at Home Depot.


I did a coat of white spray paint over everything. By using this paint (made for plastic) it means no sanding! Woo hoo!


You can see above that the spray paint leaves a texture. Im sure with multiple coats, this would go away, but I had left over white paint from my dining table so I decided to do a top coat of my paint. This also means the bookcase will exactly match my table, instead of being a cold white it’ll be a warm white.


To create the backing, I bought 5 sheets of white foam boards from Michael’s (with a 30% off coupon!). I leaned the foam core against the back of the bookcase and traced the bookcase. This way I know exactly how much to paint.


This was a good part to work on while the bookcase was drying. Above you can see the 4 boards on the right have 1 coat, and the board on the left has 2 coats. What a difference?! Do two coats over all the board. It’s super easy using a small paint roller. The paint I purchased was an 8oz container from Home Depot (flat) for $3.


I decided to do the assembly of the backings inside my house (which meant waiting until everything was fully dried.


I laid the bookcase upside down, traced the bookcase again (very precisely) and then cut the foam boards using a metal ruler and exatco blade.


I used just a standard stapler to staple the foam core to the back of the bookcase. It was so easy and took maybe 15 minutes to do all 5 panels. Keep in mind if anything requires cords on the shelves, youll need to cut a notch. For example, we keep our internet router on the shelf, so I cut a small triangle on that shelf’s backing.


I was so excited while assembling, I had to test out how my stuff would look on it. Love it! Do you like my spice rack/diamond shaped sculpture? Check out that DIY here!


You like? It adds such a pop of color and fun to the room. Before the bookcase disappeared into the corner, and now it’s fun to look at and stands out. This project was SO cheap and just required an afternoon of effort.

DIY Kleenex Box Cover

Lately I’ve been noticing how many product labels are in my life and I’ve also noticed that I’m drawn to products that have excellent packaging.. or no labels at all. When looking at the brand logos around my bedroom, I noticed that the boring kleenex box design was standing out. Knowing I have some left over scraps of paper from other crafts, I thought I could make an easy fix.


Kleenex makes an awesome tissue, but in old-school dulls-ville packaging.


Once I found the right pattern (chevron) I traced the box and with a little double sided tape, it was good to go.




Since it’s not waterproof, this is only a short term solution. If you wanted one that will last you, you can always decoupage a plastic tissue dispenser. My plan for this box is to use it as a little mini trash can once it’s out of tissues. Once it gets kinda dirty I’ll just toss it out, and I can do it again on another box (with a different paper pattern).



Pixel Art: The Final Product

Last week, I was pinning on Pinterest when I stumbled upon this gem (see the left image below). That pixel art watercolor inspired me to attempt my own pixel art over this past rainy Los Angeles weekend.



I started by finding an image that had a color scheme that I really like and that matches a lot of the colors in my house. I took that into photoshop, where I created an 8 pixel by 10 pixel version. I set each pixel to be and 1″X1″ square, making the artwork an 8″X10″ piece (a good size for a standard frame). I printed it out, and that’s how I got the image at the top right of this post.


Next, I had to collect the supplies. I wanted this to be a VERY cheap craft project and thankfully paint chips are FREE! I brought my pixel print out to Lowes and Home Depot and collected a variety of paint chips to match so I had plenty of color options. Instead of cutting out squares, I decided to jazz it up by buying Martha Stewarts 1″ circle cutter for $10 (plus I used a 15% off coupon at Michael’s to get this). This tool is so awesome. It cuts perfect circles like a hole punch.


I was able to do this whole project assembly in under an hour while also watching netflix. It was super easy I promise you. After cutting a bunch of 1″ circles I played with my original color template to make sure I was following my pattern. Thankfully since it’s my own creation, I was able to adjust the colors as I went with it. After playing around it became…


This! You can see I didn’t match it exactly, but it was great to have the color print out as a guide to help with the gradients.


Then I slid my color guide with circles to the side, laid out my t-square ruler along some nicer paper, and one by one doubled sided taped each circle onto the nice paper. I was not very fussy about measuring exactly where each dot should go, and just eye-balled it. I kept the ruler along one side, just to make sure I wasn’t crooked.


Finally, I got a cheap frame from Aaron Brothers (gotta love their buy-one-get-one-for-a-penny sale!). Doesn’t the final piece look really great? It adds a lot to my artwork collection and it was so cheap/easy to produce. This frame sale also means I now have another frame to fill. My mind is in creative overdrive!