May 29, 2016

A Beautiful Toolbox Makeover

I certainly wouldn't have thought that today would have produced anything beautiful.
Well, let me rephrase.

I certainly didn't think that I would be producing anything beautiful today.
Since today started out with a blasting migraine that woke me up in the middle of the night. 

It had me out of sorts all morning and nearly into the afternoon.
Luckily it started to ease off early afternoon and hubby had been HARD at work on trying to organize the garage.
Which, let me tell you was a feat.
Had I been migraine-free at the beginning of his venture into the garage, I definitely would have taken a before picture.
But, sadly, I don't have one :/ 

He's currently trying to create extra space in the garage to house a small area for him to have a gym set-up. 
Which is ambitious considering the woman he married and the amount of stuff she crams into a garage. 

He's always so easy going about my collection of junk- I'm the one who gets stressed out when it starts getting out of hand. 
We've basically had to walk the plank to get in and out of our door lately because of the collection of barn wood that's accumulated. 

Hence the huge organization project that happened today. 

In the midst of all the craziness and headache induced grumpiness, I did manage to scavenge some beauty out of the mess.

One of the projects that hubby was tackling was this crazy mess of a work-bench we've had since we moved in a few months ago...

I'm just going to be honest and say that this post is NOT a full reveal of what we did to this work area because it's not entirely finished yet. 
We gave a good 8 hours and finished most of what we wanted to accomplish in the garage but the finishing touches aren't all done. 
But it's looking SO much better. 

Hubby did all the hard, big things today.
I did a LOT of painting. 

And in the midst of painting really boring things, like shelves, I decided to paint something fun and completely random.
Also, completely unnecessary. 

But sometimes painting something completely obscure is unbelievably satisfactory.
Like this little, er, big and HEAVY toolbox.

You see it shoved in the corner in the above picture?
How about a close-up? 

A friend gave me this little red toolbox years ago when I was collecting random tools and starting to get into projects. 

It's been through a lot and today I decided it needed to look like it belonged to me. 
Sorry, Husky fans (are there such a thing?). 
I have no idea if these are crazy expensive or whatever, but it wanted to be pretty. 

Check out my little work-space now....


It's blue. 
Aqua blue. 

Hubby cut and framed out the pegboard behind the toolbox and I went ahead and painted it up. 
Because work spaces can be pretty too. 

It'll have a lot more on the table and pegboard in a couple days but for now it's a pretty and styled little toolbox. 

The table itself was bought second-hand off of some guy selling tools out of his garage. 
It's incredibly sturdy and hand-made. 
But the top was just straight MDF and was starting to curl on the edges.
So we spent about 10 minutes cutting this gorgeous, thick barn wood to fit on the top of the table. 

Instantly better. 
And the wear and tear from using the table will just add to the already gorgeous character on the wood itself. 

Little husky was just taped off and given several coats of Glossy Exotic Turquoise or something like that. 
I can't walk to the garage right now to look. Because. Eight hours. Tired. 

I realize that I may be alone in my thinking but I LOVE all the random bits of hardware, metal and wooden pieces that I have lying around in bins. 

I keep nearly everything just in case it comes in handy for a future project. 
So when it came time to photograph Husky, I piled my pretty pulls, worn table legs & rusty door locks and decided that they made the perfect accessories for a toolbox that's been around a while. 

The best thing is, I get to smile every time I reach for a hammer or needle nose pliers just because the toolbox is blue. 

Do things that make you smile, guys. 
Don't worry about what it's SUPPOSED to look like or stick with how every other thing in the world is made. Make it yours. And find joy in every little thing. 

No one else may like my little blue husky toolbox. 
But I do. 
And it gives me joy to see it surrounded by all my favorite (and random) things... Ball Mason jars, eclectic knobs and pulls, old books, worn hinges, rusty metal pieces, tattered furniture legs. And weathered wood. 

It'll be full of tools tomorrow. 
And the table will get covered in sawdust and nails. 
Paint will probably end up splattered on that weathered tabletop. 

And the pegboard will be covered in screwdrivers, goggles & drill bits rather than pretty signs. 
But there's a blue toolbox hidden in there guys, and the hidden joy in that is worth it :) 

The fact that summer has finally come and work has slowed down to a minuscule pace (I do therapy in a school district so I'm pulling just 2-3 summer hours and that's it!). 
So I've been able to savor all kinds of things during the day that I don't usually get a chance to. 
Lazy breakfasts, toddler snuggles, swinging in the backyard, post-nap toddler hair, sticky Popsicle faces and so much more. 

I've been finding joy in all the little things lately. 
And trying hard to make that my every day goal. 

If you've ever had migraines, you know that it tends to suck every little thing out of you. 
Even after it fades away, the day is still hazed by the fog that a migraine leaves you with. 

And although it was hard today, this little blue toolbox brought me joy. 
It's random. 
And it's an in-animate object.
But that's okay :)

I hope something random brought you joy during your day today! 

Check out it's before & after to see the transformation it went through:  

Here's to a three-day weekend and finding joy all over again tomorrow!!
Happy Memorial Day weekend friends & thank you to those who have served and God bless those we have lost in that service.

See you soon friends!

Like me on Facebook. Follow me on Pinterest. Subscribe to my feed

Pin It

Linking to: 
Dishing It and Digging It @ Chalk and ChocolateCreative Collection Link Party @ Blooming Homestead

post signature

May 23, 2016

DIY Magic Wands (for next to nothing!)

Want to know the best part about DIY-ing your own things for birthday parties??
Coming up with some awesome party favors that cost next to nothing!!!
Seriously, these were the easiest things I've ever put together.
They also turned out the coolest.

If you haven't been following & have no idea what I'm rambling on about, 
head over here to check out our most recent DIY birthday party that was all things Harry Potter. 
It was magical :) 

One of things that you just can't go without are magic wands. 
When thinking up different ideas for party favors, I was trying to steer away from edibles.
Mainly because we were having candy already mixed in with the party food & I didn't want to add to the dentist bills.
And with several big projects taking up our budget, I needed something that would be budget-friendly.

Cue the easiest magic wands ever. 
Oh, and the coolest. 

Now, I guess I should say that these SHOULD be made for next to nothing.
But, honestly, I guess it depends on what types of shrubbery you live near or have access too...

When searching for the easiest way to make a whole slew of wands, 
I stumbled upon all kinds of tutorials that were making them from anything from dowel rods to chopsticks to pencils. 

I didn't mind those, most of them turned out amazing!
But I was still kinda stuck on the fact that they all looked too....perfect?
I don't know. I wanted that more natural, bendy look that I imagine they would have.
You know, because I imagine what magic wands look like a whole lot. 

But being an avid book lover, I think those images you have in your head are a huge factor in how you expect things to appear.

Basically, I wanted them to look like magic, natural sticks. 
Ha., why not use STICKS? 

And so I did.
We have a pretty little Crete Myrtle tree in our front yard that was not blooming during the time leading up to the party.
And, ahem, we may or may not have NOT trimmed it back like it should have been. 
Sorry, tree. 
So it had all sorts of bare stick-like branches reaching out, begging to be made into wands. 
For real, they were begging. 

So once I came up with the brilliant idea of using the sticks, I cut a whole bunch of them.
I wanted them to be all different (which really couldn't be helped anyways. Hello. They are sticks). 
So I cut skinny ones, fat one, curvy ones, flat ones.
(now I'm just getting crazy) 

Want to make your own magic wands out of sticks??
Go find the perfect branches (get permission if it's someone else's yard...we don't need trespassing charges here, guys). 
And let's get to work.

Supply List: 
Sticks (in case you hadn't gathered that)
Hot Glue Gun & lots of sticks of glue
A jar or styrofoam to hold them while they dry
Spraypaint- I used copper, black and oil-rubbed bronze. 
Rub-n-buff in antique gold (found at Hobby Lobby)
A small paintbrush

At this point, I'm assuming you've found the perfect sticks by now. 

So take your whole pile of sticks and start creating the wand 'base'. 
I started about 3/4 up on the wand and just started drawing dots, lines or circling the entire wand several times. Get creative with it. 
After a while, you're over being creative and you just start dripping glue all over it. 
Whatever gets the job done. 

Some of them, I piled the glue on thicker at the bottom to make it look chunky.
Basically you just want them to have some type of design and a lifted look around the bottom quarter of it. 

As I glued them up, I stuck them in a jar to dry (ends up).
They dry fast so you should be able to do a whole bunch without worrying about them touching and messing up. 
Here's a group of mine after they were hot glued up: 

After you've created a design on them, the next step is to add paint. 
I sprayed all of mine in a dark copper first and then spritzed them randomly with bits of oil-rubbed bronze and some gold spraypaint. 
You don't want them to be perfect but you also don't want them to still look like sticks you found in your yard. 

The subtle sparkle of the metallic paint helps with that :) 

To add the gold effect that the ends of the wands have in the above picture, 
I used rub-n-buff. 
This stuff is amazing gold wax that is so easy to apply.
It takes a TINY amount to do so don't get crazy.

I used a very small paintbrush to dab into the wax and then brushed it all over the ends where I had made my raised designs. 
This gave it the perfect 'magical' effect I was going for. 

 For the party, I plopped all of our wands into a jar and created some wand labels that I printed on linen paper. 
I tied the labels randomly onto various wands with twine. 
If you'd like your own wand labels, I shared the super easy and FREE printable version of mine over on this post
Just print,cut & attach. 

Again, the book nerd in me came out full force.
And each of the wand labels are actual descriptions of wands from the Harry Potter series. 
Guys, there is a whole Wikipedia page on just what the wands were made of. 
I can't even. 

But I love how the labels added a worn, Ollivander-y feel to them. 
I created a whole little mini Ollivander set-up for the wands during the party: 

Each of the kids were encouraged to grab one at the beginning of the party- most of our party games utilized them. 

Then they were allowed to take them home as their party favor. 

Our little wizard LOVED them and he loved helping me create different designs for the wands. 
He had specific instructions for how to do his :) 

So, you can't get much easier and cost-efficient than wands made from sticks, right??

Spray-paint & hot glue are our real-life magical items, am I right? 

Hope you guys are having a fantastic Monday!!!

If you're dying to check out more Harry Potter goodness, check out these other fun party posts: 

 DIY Wizard Brooms

Like me on Facebook. Follow me on Pinterest. Subscribe to my feed
Pin It

post signature

May 20, 2016

DIY Wizard Brooms

This tutorial is one of the one's I'm most excited about!!
I was pretty darn proud of myself with how they turned out- and they were the project I was most intimidated about! 
So we're going to talk about creating your own Wizard brooms today and on the cheap too :) 

If you haven't visited in a while, 
a few weeks ago, I shared our epic DIY Harry Potter birthday party
If you haven't had a chance to check it out, I'd love for you to swing by here and see all the fun we had! 
There were so many DIY projects that went into the party- I knew that it would be pretty project heavy from the beginning, so I started creating things a couple months before. 

Another plus to all the fun DIY things was that we are in the midst of decorating Little Man's room, and a lot of the elements we used in the party were going to double as room decor after. 

One of the games we wanted to incorporate into the party was some form of Wizard Quidditch. 
If you've read the books or watched the movies, you've seen them play. 
It's basically three hoops on either end and the players have to try and hit the quaffle into the rings for points. 
Then the golden Snitch is the ever-elusive high point ball that can win the game in an instant. 
But the catch's played in the air. 
So we had to create a muggle friendly version. 

For our rings, we mostly followed this awesome tutorial
They turned out perfectly and have held up wonderfully so far. 
Though we had some very curious neighbors as to why we were creating huge standing rings.
And it's even more awkward to explain when they've never read/watched Harry Potter. 

So, let's talk creating your own brooms. 
I love these guys for lots of reason!!!
1. They're cheap. 
2. They're cute & rustic-y looking, not like the plastic ones you can buy online as 'props'. So these will be awesome come fall-time for porch decor. 
3. They were super easy to put together once I finally came up with a plan. 

*2 round dowel rods (found at Hobby Lobby, $1 each) 
*1 package of floral 'twigs' (catch them on 1/2 off)
*I package of floral "Prairie grass" (again, catch them on 1/2 off)
*2 rubber bands
*Duct tape
*A few pieces of burlap ribbon (I used the wide floral kind) 
*Hot Glue Gun
*Spraypaint- I used gold & matte Nutmeg
*Gold Broom Labels (cut with my Silhouette)

All in all, the supplies for both of these rang in under $15. 
Each broom (if you had some of the supplies on hand like I did) were only about $6 bucks a piece. Not bad at all. 

The hardest part (besides figuring out how to put it together well) was to figure out what material to make the bristles out of.
I wanted them to look somewhat old (because. Hogwarts.) and still have a realistic feel to them. 
After browsing Hobby Lobby for the millionth time, I saw this brown prairie grass that looked perfect!
It was somewhat sturdy, it came in a fairly large quantity & the kind I found even had an almost white-washed look to it which made me happy. 
I picked up a bag of the twig-gy looking things too and used them to intersperse throughout. 
I was afraid the prairie grass wouldn't look full enough, but it definitely did.
So you don't have to use the twigs- I liked the texture it gave though!

Here's a better picture of the grass and twigs I bought:

First things first, paint your dowel rods to your desired color. 
I used a mix of hammered copper (not shown), Nutmeg and a little bit of Brilliant Gold. 
I painted the whole thing in the nutmeg color and then just spritzed randomly over the rod with the gold & copper. 

I created broom labels with my Silhouette in gold vinyl. 
We had a 'Nimbus 2000' and a 'Firebolt'. 
I used the trace feature to trace the logos I found via Google. 

They turned out so fun and definitely were a hit at the party! 
After applying them to the ends of each dowel rod, I painted a light coat of Modge Podge over them to help seal it. 

After you've painted your dowel rods, you're ready to assemble the bristles. 
I did mine with several steps to make sure they held together after a bunch of little boys got a hold of them. 

1. Divide the prairie grass into two bundles- I made one slightly larger than the other for whatever reason. 

2. Arrange one of the bundles around the end of the dowel rod (not the end you applied your gold label!!) and make sure to cover the entire end by arranging the grass all around it. 
You can play with it to get it as full as you want. 

3. Once you have it arranged, take a cut rubber band and tie it tightly around the bundle (including the dowel rod- I tied my bundle several inches up the dowel rod to make sure it couldn't fall out easily). 
Tie several times. Don't worry about how pretty it looks- it'll get covered up. 

4. After tying it with the rubber band, take several strips of duct tape and wrap them tightly around the area that you tied with the rubber band.
So the rubber band will be completely covered by the duct tape. 
I left several inches of grass sticking out above the duct tape. 
I used several pieces just for good measure. 

5. After applying the duct tape, I decided to spray paint it gold. 
The burlap I was using had large holes and the duct tape was going to show through it enough. 
So I wanted it to show through gold so people didn't go 'oh nice, duct tape' and all. 

Here's a terrible picture of it painted gold: 

6. After spraying the duct tape, I then wrapped the burlap mesh around the whole thing. 
Hot glue in place, and add a piece of twine wrapped around several times if desired. 
I liked the finish touch it gave.

Below shows one broom with the duct tape showing, and the other with the finished burlap and twine:

All in all, the whole process takes less than 10 minutes!
And you have some super amazing wizard brooms to show from it!!
Little man was ecstatic when he saw them. 

 We propped them up next to the Quidditch rings until it was time to play.
I loved the whole display!!

And a better close-up of the name label: 

We added other fun elements with the two 'Quaffle' balls (the red playground ones) and our own handmade Snitch (below with the wings). 
I tucked them all in an old suitcase I had. 

The snitches were so easy!
I spraypainted a couple of foam balls that I found at Hobby Lobby (they had smiley faces on them), then used an exacto knife to poke a hole in each side. Hot glue those white feathers in and you're golden (haha!)

We also threw in a House Quidditch Cup for good measure...

I happened to have an old trophy that was collecting dust & peeling so I dressed it up with some gold vinyl and the kids thought it was the coolest! 

So there you have it,
the easiest and cheapest way that I could find to come up with some wizard brooms!!
I can't wait to pull them out in the fall for a fun pumpkin display. 

One of them got a lot of love during the party and several of the bristles have come loose but I think it'll be an easy fix. 

And if you're not needing them for any little wizards in your life, be sure to make a couple for a gorgeous fall display!!

Happy Friday friends- I'll be back with my last *tear* Harry Potter party tutorial this weekend so be on the lookout. It's definitely a key ingredient!

Like me on Facebook. Follow me on Pinterest. Subscribe to my feed
Pin It

post signature

May 19, 2016

DIY Harry Potter T-shirts (HTV tutorial)

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram, you may have noticed a recent obsession with creating things with heat transfer vinyl. 
That's because... well. I'm obsessed. 

I tried my hand at it several years ago with some off-brand vinyl and didn't really love the results. 
So I just kind of held off on playing with it anymore until recently. 

My Silhouette and I have an on/off relationship where we will sometimes take long breaks from each other. 
Sometimes it's just necessary :) 

But we've been teaming up a lot lately and heat transfer vinyl has been at the top of my list of projects for the past couple months. 

When we were planning for the epic Harry Potter Party, I wanted to come up with some easy shirts that wouldn't cost a pretty penny. 

Here's what I came up with & I was pretty psyched with how they turned out...

Didn't they turn out cute? 
My favorite one was the "Straight Outta Hogwarts" one and all of them only took minutes to make!!
I'll walk you through the process the best I can. 
Heat Transfer Vinyl (HTV) can be a little intimidating if you haven't worked with it before. 
But once you have it down, it's the easiest thing ever. 
I'd rather transfer it to fabric than mess with transferring vinyl to wood any day :) 

First things first, 
create your design in the Silhouette Studio software and make sure you've measured your shirt to make it as big as you want. 
Once you have your design down, BE SURE to 'mirror' the image.
You can do this easily by clicking on 'Object' at the top of the screen, then clicking 'mirror'. 
This will flip your image so it'll be cut out in reverse, making it not be backwards when you iron it onto your shirt. 

After you've mirrored your image, cut it out using the vinyl specifications your machine tells you. 
Make sure you're cutting on the matte side of your vinyl- the clear plastic piece should be face down...
It's hard to get a good picture of it, but the picture below shows the machine cutting on the matte side: 

Once cut out, you should be able to flip your vinyl over and see the outline of your design through the clear liner. 
This is how you know your design cut out deep enough. 
Sometimes it's a little bit more faded but usually you can always see part of an outline through the back. 
Here's what mine looked like after it was cut: 

After you have it cut out, carefully weed your design. 
This is where I've found that the different brands you use make a big difference!
I've used the Siser brand (that you find mostly online at cheaper prices) and was completely underwhelmed by it. 
I've become a big fan of the actual Silhouette and Cricut brand HTV. Although it is pricier- so look for sales & coupons for it. 
I know many people have had success with Siser brands and I plan on trying it again now that I've learned a few tricks but for now, I've been using just the Silhouette/Cricut brands. 

After weeding, you'll want to prepare your shirt for transferring your image.
Make sure you iron is set to it's hottest setting (mine doesn't have set temps so I set it to cotton). 
Once hot, run your iron over the shirt a few times to pre-heat the surface.
I've found that this really does make a big difference in how the vinyl adheres to it!!

Then carefully place your transfer onto your shirt. 
You can adjust it a couple times if you do so carefully!

Tricks I've learned about applying your transfer: 

1. Preheat your fabric item before pressing your transfer onto it. 
2. When applying your HTV, press your iron down firmly on one area and count slowly to 30. Then move onto the next area. I wiggle the iron a little just so it doesn't just sit in one spot. 
3. After pressing FIRMLY for 30 seconds on each area, I run the iron over the whole item quickly one more time. 
4. Let it sit for just a few seconds and then carefully peel the plastic liner off. 
5. Once cooled, flip your shirt inside out and press the design from the inside of the shirt. 

And that's it!!

Like I said, it goes SUPER quick once you've done a couple and aren't so nervous about it. 
Unless you're just not nervous about it at all :) 

I LOVE how easy it is to transform plain shirts into something cute with HTV. 
And it's SO much cheaper than buying graphic shirts. 
Especially if you're wanting them personalized. 

Here's my cutie sporting her Harry Potter t-shirt...

And Little Man LOVED his Hogwarts shirt...

As far as washing/drying goes, I turn my shirts inside out to wash on normal cycle with like colors. 
But I do NOT throw mine in the dryer. 
I know many people that do and have good results but I hang-dry all my HTV shirts just to make sure they last a bit longer.
I've had a couple times where the design has started peeling but they were easy fixes. 

But now that I've gotten the hang of it, I've had zero problems with peeling. 

So if you haven't tried HTV, go for it!!
You'll be so glad you did!

I share a lot of my monogramming & HTV designs that I've done on my Instagram feed, so if you're not following over there, be sure to check it out! 


For more details about the Harry Potter bash we threw, check these projects out: 

Like me on Facebook. Follow me on Pinterest. Subscribe to my feed
Pin It

post signature


Related Posts with Thumbnails