The Perfect Project For Scrap Fabric

Ottoman Pouf update

For those of you that know me, It is probably not a surprise that I have A LOT of scrap fabric. I have been trying to come up with a good project to utilize some of it, but I just could not come up with anything outstanding. A photographer approached me about making a patchwork ottoman pouf and I instantly thought of all the fabric I had. What a perfect project for me!

Disclaimer: As I have mentioned in other posts. I don’t claim to be a professional seamstress. My hope in sharing my sewing projects is that they are easy to understand for a beginner. If you are a professional seamstress feel free to share some tips you have! Please!

What you will need:
Scrap fabric in several patterns and colors, freezer paper or wrapping paper (to use as a pattern), thread, scissors, pins and batting or something to fill your poof with.

The first thing thing I did was cut out a bunch of 4×4 inch squares out of various fabrics. I created a pattern using grid wrapping paper (you could use freezer paper too) My fabric is all odd sizes since they are scrap pieces, so I found a pattern extra helpful. Next I laid out the squares to get a visual of how big I wanted to make the poof and exactly how many different fabric patterns I wanted to use. Most commonly they are made as a cube, but the one I am creating is more rectangular. Or from what I just learned on Wikipedia, a cuboid. Two sides are squares and four sides are rectangles, so the opposite sides are equal. From all the Team Umizoomi I watch, I really should have known this.

I ended up doing 8 4×4 inch squares for the length and width. For the height I decided to do 3 4×4 inch squares high. (keep in mind that the size will be a little smaller once you sew it together when you add in your seam allowance)

Now that you have your size figured out and how many different fabric patterns you want to use, it is time to start sewing. I started by sewing 8 squares in a row, creating one row at a time. Then as shown in picture 3, I sewed each line together.

Ottoman Poof_steps

When you are finished sewing each line together you should have a square for your top piece and 4 rectangles for your side pieces. My top piece is 8 squares by 8 squares. My side pieces are 8 squares by 3 squares. I used a solidish fabric for my bottom since you won’t see it anyway.

Next take your side pieces and sew them together making one large line. Mine will have 32 squares sewn together. (The picture below will be sewn together one more time)

Ottoman Poof_pieces

You should have all your pieces at this point, top bottom and sides. Now it is time to pin it into shape. I used a handsome model to help show how this is done. No bribes necessary!

Boy showing  pieces pinned Boy showing pinning

At this point you should have it all inside out and you should be able to tell what it will look like when it is finished. Mine is sort of a deflated looking cuboid. I unfortunately don’t have any pictures showing anymore steps. I will blame it on Iowa State for taking my interest away from my pouf. Can I get a shout out for the CYCLONES! Big Twelve Tournament Champs! GO STATE! Anyway….I will do my best to explain the rest. It should really be easy from here.

Sew along your seams that are pinned and leave an opening (for stuffing your batting in). Pull your fabric through your opening and bring it all right side out. Stuff it with your batting. Finally just pin up the small opening and sew it up. I sewed mine by hand, but if you can get it under your sewing machine go for it!

And that is it! Can’t you just picture an adorable picture with a naked baby all curled up on it. I am anxious to see how it works out for the photographer I made this for.

Poof1 Poof

And here is one more handsome model for you. I did actually have to bribe this one with a sucker. STINKER… but a cute one.

Boy on poof

Let me know what you think. Comments always make my day, don’t be shy! Have a great rest of the week, Moxies.


FEATURE FRIDAY|Bedroom Revamp! FINALLY!| With Holly

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 9.27.51 PMIt is Feature Friday again! Today I asked Holly to come back and share her master bedroom update. I love Holly’s creativeness, and she always has simple inexpensive ideas on how to add some style to a room. Wait until you see what she did to her floor!


Hey Moxie readers! Anyone out there have a room in their home where if you can’t find a place to put something it gets thrown in this room? You know, the one whose door gets shut when company comes over. The one who shall not be named. The one you avoid at all cost. That is what my poor bedroom turned into:( FOR ALMOST 4 YEARS!!!! How depressing, right? This last fall I was finally able to get the ball rolling!

It all started with the moving of our home, yes, we actually picked up our home and moved it. We added an attached garage with a bonus room up above which connected to my sons room upstairs. We took out one of his windows and put a door there so you could get out to the bonus room, which we weren’t exactly sure what we wanted to do with. Fast forward a year and a half, we decide to switch rooms with our son so that with the arrival of our 3rd child they could share a room and they were going to need the room that was a little larger. Then a light bulb went off and I say “let’s extend our room out to the bonus room part way and the other part can be storage”. Did I mention our home is an old two story with tiny bedrooms upstairs and no closets. In the back of my head I am thinking Yay, we can finally have a closet. Fast forward four years, no extended bedroom or closet and the room is now a dumping ground of stuff and folded piles of laundry everywhere with a narrow path to the bed. After years of pleading I finally gave him a few ultimatums, one being no hunting this year until the room is done and the other he may not be happy with me discussing with you;) I know it may not be right but it HAD to be done and to my surprise in a few short weeks we got it done. Yay! Here are a few photos of the process .


This is just after starting, he widened the doorway (I wanted it a little wider, but something about blah! blah! blah! load bearing wall blah! blah! blah!) and painting trim.


Finishing up some drywall.


Some friends came to visit:)


Putting in the carpet.






The old part of the room with horrible blue carpet.


Good bye blue carpet!


removing staples, which somehow turned into my job and after I removed about a fourth of them and then asked him for help he decided to just hammer them in:/ that would have been good information 500 staples ago! I planned on painting the floor and didn’t want a bunch of hammer dents all over but it actually didn’t damage the floor as bad as I thought it would so that’s what we did. I like doing things as nice as I can but also as easy as I can.


I painted it a light grey and wanted to get a stencil to put over it and for some reason we couldn’t get to town that day but I couldn’t wait so I decided to make my own. I wanted a simple design and figured I probably won’t find anything I like at the store anyway. I found an old tote lid and made my own.


This is the design I came up with.



The stencil is not white but a really light grey.



Found some new dressers on craigslist, love! love! love!



Still doing some decorating, just trying to grab a couple things each time I go into town.


View from the old room down to the new room. Hard to tell but there is a step that goes down to the new part. I was also thinking about putting some barn style sliding doors here.


Don’t mind my husbands clothes, after almost 10 years of marriage he’s still not sure how to get them in the dresser:) This spot goes back into the closet.


Again, don’t mind the totes. Also, I am trying to figure out a way to get the gun cabinet moved somewhere else.


The closet, no place to hang clothes yet, but I am just so excited to have a bedroom that I am not complaining to much!


View from the new part to the old part.

Their are a few more things I need to do, a little more decorating, new light fixtures and I want to paint the doors a dark walnut color. Thanks for checking out my new bedroom, hope you enjoyed it as much as I do!!!


Thanks, Holly for sharing your revamp. It turned out really lovely! I can’t get over the floor, LOVE! If you need some more stenciling floor ideas, Holly shared them back in a post here. Have a good weekend, Moxies!

Bathroom Update

You may remember I shared my bathroom plans in a post. Or maybe you don’t because it has been a LONG time since I posted it. I was really hoping there would be a perfect week where we (when I say we I really mean my husband) would make a lot of progress and I would then give an update that would be exciting with gorgeous pictures, but that is just not the case.

I am sure many of you that have attempted a renovation like this can relate. When you are doing everything on your own, it takes time. And working on the bathroom is often the last thing my husband feels like doing after a busy day of working. I don’t blame him. I really don’t. What, I don’t! It just doesn’t make me any less anxious about the finished project. Okay, I may have threatened to hire someone else once or twice, but I really do appreciate everything my hubs has done and he is really doing a good job. If only things worked like they do on HGTV, and like magic in 30 minutes you get to see the finished project. It would also be helpful if I had a clue what I was doing and could offer any sort of help with this stage of the bathroom.

So, here is what it looks like today. My husband just completed the tub deck and it is starting to feel a little more put together. I am starting to feel this renovation could get completed within in a month or two months or at least within the year.


The tile came in a few days ago and made me even more excited about making progress.  How amazing is that marble tile! Let’s all close our eyes for a second and imagine that it is attached to the wall. Ah! So beautiful!

The tile

Since we are getting close to where I can paint the walls, I picked out the color. I went with a really soft color called Cool Elegance by Valspar. I want everything to feel light and airy, but I want to add in bright pops of color with accents.

The color swatch

I had to call the queen of craigslist, Megan at 421 Designs to help me find this dresser/vanity. She found this marble top dresser for me that I swear was singing when I saw it. The dimensions were perfect, the marble was beyond perfect. Everything about it was perfect. Just perfect, right!


Wrong! Megan definitely found the perfect dresser for me, but I didn’t double check the measurements the seller gave me. Lesson learned! The dresser ended up being 32 inches wide and I really needed it to be no more then 30 inches. And actually come to find out, 30 inches is not enough space for my husband, who apparently needs to flap his arms out while he goes to the bathroom. Needless to say this super amazing dresser will not be appearing in my bathroom.

I will keep you all posted with more updates. Hopefully the next time we talk about this bathroom there will be plenty of gorgeousness to share. Stay tuned.

I did at least hire an assistant (pictured below). HA! If only those plastic power tools worked. He probably won’t make the reno go any faster, but he does bring the cuteness of the bathroom up a few notches.

Thanks for stopping by, Moxies!

The Assistant


FEATURE FRIDAY | Built-Ins Transformation | With Lacey

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 9.27.51 PM

Yay it is Friday! And it is another Feature Friday! Today I asked my sister to come back and show you her built-ins transformation. When I saw what she did the last time I visited her, I told her SHE HAD TO SHARE IT. I am allowed to be bossy since she is my sister, right? Are you ready to hear all about it?

Hi all it is me again. Since my last post about my roller shade I have been on what I call a home designing roll! It has inspired me to start and actually complete some different projects around my home. Today Lindsay has asked me to share with you how I transformed my built-ins. I have never been a huge fan of built-ins and not because they can’t be beautiful. They are gorgeous when they are done and styled well. I have always just found them extremely intimidating. I don’t know how many times I have moved items on, off and around on these shelves. Only to still not be satisfied with how they looked.

Lacey's Built-in Before

My built-ins are painted and the holes along the back have always bothered me. At one point I thought about painting a trim piece to cover up the holes. Then I tossed around adding wallpaper to add some color. But every time I looked for wallpaper I got overwhelmed with all my choices.

Nasty holes

And then I saw this idea on one of Centsational Girl’s best of the blogosphere posts.

wood shim backed bookcase

I loved this idea! The wood shims would cover the holes plus add some much needed texture to, as I noted in my last post, my beige home. I skimmed through the how to and saw the words “hand saw” and freaked out a little. I am not handy. I have never used a saw in my life. My husband and I didn’t even own a hand saw. And I kept seeing visions of a recent meltdown (lots of tears guys) on my front steps after a window caulking experience went bad (caulk everywhere. It was on my hands, my clothes, all over the step and window and it was still spewing out of the gun.). I didn’t know if I was ready to attempt a project that required me to use a saw and be handy. I want to keep all 10 of my fingers. But after talking to Lindsay and gushing over the phone about how great it would look. I decided to be brave and buy a hand saw.

The Supplies

Supplies you will need:

Wood shims

Glue (I used hot glue. I don’t have the patience to wait for glue to dry! But you can use whatever type of glue is your favorite.)

Hand saw (I didn’t know what I was doing in the hand saw department and I must admit there was more of a selection than I thought there would be. I just bought the cheapest one they had!)

Scissors (On the skinny side of the shim you can use scissors to snip vs. the hand saw. Saves a little time, I am always a fan of that!)


Cardboard (This is optional. I glued my shims to cardboard instead of directly to the back of the shelf. Someday I am going to want to take those shims down and the cardboard will make that super easy to do.)

Now that you have all your supplies it is time to get started!

Step 1: Cut your cardboard to fit the area in back of the shelf. I used old cardboard boxes we had leftover from when we moved. And this does not have to be perfect. In fact you can piece smaller pieces together. Once you start gluing the wood shims on they provide great support and stiffen the cardboard against the back of the shelf.

Step 1: Cut and place your cardboard against the back of your shelf.

Step 2: Break open those shims! And start gluing!

Step 2: Lots and lots of gluing.  I lost this beaut of glue gun during this project. She might have looked a little rough but she was with me for over 10 years. RIP blue glue gun. :)

Step 2: Lots and lots of gluing. There was so much gluing that I actually broke my glue gun half way through this project! Little blue might have looked a little rough but she was with me for over 10 years. RIP little blue glue gun.

I started at the top. I wanted any half (lengthwise) shims to be on the bottom of the shelf where they wouldn’t be as visible. I also used the whole shim. I had a lot of area to cover in my built-ins so using the whole shim worked best for me.

Step 2:

Step 2: Glue the shim to the cardboard. I tried to take a picture of myself gluing the shims to the cardboard. Not as easy as I thought it would be. But I think my baby girl captured this step beautifully.

I did run into a little issue gluing the first row. The shelf bracket was in my way and I couldn’t butt my shim up nice and close to the top of the shelf. I got out my brand new hand saw and made a little notch. It was really that easy. I made a little mark on the shim where I wanted the notch and chunked out the wood with the saw. I was thinking I am pretty smart and handy at this point. And I had just started, yeah me!

Step 3: Break out that hand saw! And cut off the end of one shim to complete your row.


Before I started this project I was thinking I am going to need saw horses, a clamp of some sort, etc. But just the hand saw and a piece of cardboard to protect your table is all you need.  And for me it worked better to saw in one direction vs. a back and forth motion. Again not handy. So not sure if this was because of the cheap saw I bought or if it is common knowledge that you don’t actually saw in a back and forth motion.

Note: If you are on the flat end of the shim a pair of scissors works great to snip the shim to the right size.

Step 4: Keep working your way down the shelf. Use the excess you sawed off to start your next row or save for another row. I really had little waste when I was done.


As I moved down the shelf I tried to make the transition from big end of the shim to flat end of the shim not as noticeable. I matched big end to big end or flat end to flat end as I worked across the row.

Note: The shim wood is not high quality wood. Lots of warped shims and holes and knots, etc. I personally liked the look of the non-perfect shims and used them to add a little character. But the warped ones was another story. It sometimes turned into a puzzle trying to find the right shims that would fit together. But I also found that if I did cut the shim at the warp it made it fit better and a usable shim. And a little gap between the shims is really unnoticeable unless you are a few inches from the back of the shelf.

 Step 5: I only had two of my shelves line up perfectly and not need a partial shim to complete the last row. But I was lucky to have a husband that has a table saw at work. He took a few shims to work and cut them at varying heights. Because I used all of my shims and didn’t throw out the warped ones my last row was not the same height all the way across. We measured in a couple different places on each shelf and found 4 common heights. My husband then cut several shims in each height and I used what fit best. A little puzzle!

Step 5

You might notice that the last row has a little red hue to it. It is Cedar! I originally bought 10 packages of shims but needed 11. I sent my husband to the Home Depot to get the last package. It never occurred to me that there would be different wood types in shims. My tip, check your packages and make sure the color matches up. Or end up with a half cedar shelf like mine. The cedar did smell wonderful. And I’d love to see what all cedar would look like!


That’s it! I love how it turned out! And if you are intimidated by tools like me I had nothing to worry about with the hand saw. It wasn’t hard at all! And I still have all 10 of my fingers! I feel so handy right now that I might even give window caulking another try.

Thank you so much for letting me share my project with you! I will leave you with a few more after shots. I will warn you I am not a super styler. I am still moving things around! Looking at my inspiration picture makes me a little embarrassed to even be sharing how I styled my shelves. I envy all you awesome stylers out there. If I put all that stuff on my shelf it would look like a bunch of junk on a shelf instead of absolutely effortless and gorgeous. I am a master at styling the kids’ toys, books and puzzles though. Just saying.




Thanks Lacey for sharing! They are so beautiful and really added some character to your house. And how fantastic that you can remove them! My husband might actually go for the idea if it is removable. Now I just have to figure out where I want to do this in my house. Enjoy your weekend, Moxies!

Printable Love Notes For Your Valentine

love notes_thumbnails

The hubs and I have never done much for Valentine’s Day. Well, except for the year we ordered a heart-shaped pizza from Papa Murphy’s. Yep, we know how to make a day feel special. HA! Instead of doing the same old simple card, I decided to do something a little more personal for my husband for Valentine’s Day this year.

Love_Notes_write message on the back

My game plan is to attach them to different places in the house, where I know my husband goes every morning. Example: I will put one next to his toothbrush, the coffee pot, in his coat pocket, in his jeans pocket (NERD ALERT, my husband sets out his clothes the night before.) I am usually up before him so I will set them out before he wakes up. If I am really, really feeling nice I will make him some breakfast too.

Love notes_placed

If you are looking for a simple idea for your Valentine, I will leave the FREE printable here for you to use (It will download a high res pdf once you click on the link). Print them, cut them out and write your note on the back. I just used my ink jet printer and photo paper. They can also work as gift tags if you have a gift for your Valentine.

Have a good Valentine’s Day, Moxies!


A Simple Curtain Anyone Can Learn To Sew

Learn To Sew This Curtain

This cute curtain is what sparked my interest in sewing. About six years ago my friend Beth (you know her from the last Feature Friday) taught me how to sew this curtain for above my kitchen window. I fell in love with the ribbon ties and loved its classic look. When Beth told me it was easy, I was a little skeptical. To my surprise, it was incredibly easy to sew and I have loved to sew ever since! Want to give it a try? It is easy, I promise!

Before we get started, let me warn you that I don’t claim to be a professional seamstress. I sew to create unique decor for my home. I am sure once upon a time my mom taught me all the fancy lingo for sewing. But as most teenagers, I thought I had better things to do then to learn about sewing. The good news for you is that it should be a simple tutorial that is easy to understand for the beginner.

Let’s get started! Here is what you need in the picture below. And of course a sewing machine!


Knowing how much fabric to buy for the curtain.
Measure the area of the width you want your fabric to cover over your window. If you have an adjustable cheap white rod like mine, your will need to add an additional 4 inches to each side to cover where it wraps, which makes a total of 8 inches. My rod measures 36 inches and then I add in 3/4 inch seam allowance to each side making it a total of 1 1/2inches. My total width I will need is 45 1/2 inches (36 + 4×2 + 3/4×2= 45 1/2 inches). I would be generous with your width measurement. It is better for it to be too wide then too short.

For your curtain length, measure from the top of your rod to where you want your curtain to fall. If you want it to cover the whole window when the ribbons are untied, then measure a few inches past your window sill. If you are like me and know that you are going to always have them up, measure about 3/4 of the way down your window. My length was 27 inches. Add in a 2 1/4 inch seam allowance at your top and a 3/4 inch seam allowance at the bottom. My total length is 30 inches (27 + 2 1/4 + 3/4 = 30).

Most home decor fabric is 54″ wide (It will tell you on the side of the bolt). Since my window width is 45 1/2, I know my width will fit across the fabric. My length is 30 inches. Since there are 36 inches in a yard, I know that I can get one curtain made out of one yard. I ordered 2 yards since I have two windows.

Cut out your fabric
Cut your material out to the measurements you took earlier. Make sure you double check your measurements. This curtain is fairly forgiving if you mess up a little, but you can’t be too short on your width. I use a rotary wheel and a square to do my cutting. A good tip for cutting is to line your square up with the salvage edge (edge that hasn’t been cut) because you know that it is straight. If it isn’t perfectly straight, don’t fret. It should be okay as long as it isn’t way off.


Ironing and pressing
One of the most important steps of sewing curtains is ironing and pressing down your raw edges. It actually takes longer then the sewing itself!

Start with the two sides of your curtain first. Fold in your raw edge 1/4 of an inch. If you have a frayed edge like mine don’t count the frayed part in your 1/4 inch. Press it down.

Fold in Raw Edge

Fold over again and measure 1/2 inch this makes a double hem. I like the double hem because it leaves a clean and professional looking edge. Press it down and pin it in place. If you press it down well you shouldn’t need too many pins. The more pins you put in the more you will have to take out as you sew.

Fold in Press and Pin Pin

Sewing your ironed seams
Bring it over to your sewing machine and get your sew on!

Get your sew on

Take your fabric and line the edge of the fabric with the line that is marked 10 or 3/8 inch. Sew forward a few stitches then back stitch a few. Always do this when starting out each seam. When you are sewing, try to keep the edge of the fabric on this line the whole time to make a straight seam. The main purpose is to catch the 1/4 inch that your pressed down first.

Keeping it straight is the biggest challenge when you are a beginner. When I was first learning to sew, I put a piece of masking tape on the sewing machine to mark where I needed to line up my fabric. I found it easier.

Line up fabric and Sew

You should have your two sides sewn up. Now take what will be your bottom of your curtain and repeat the ironing step and pin it in place. Then sew it up just like you did before.

Repeat Ironing

Repeat Ironing2

Take what will be the top of your curtain and iron and press a 1/4 inch like you did before. This time you will be folding it over to be 2 inches. Press it down and pin. This is where you will insert your rod, so make sure your rod fits.

Fold in two inches

Pining your ribbon in place
Pick out ribbon that coordinates with your fabric. The width of the ribbon doesn’t matter too much. I have done wider ribbon and it looks good too.

Place your curtain down on a flat surface and place the ribbon about where you think it would look good from the edge. Then just make sure each side is even by measuring in the same from the edge. Mine is about 11 inches in from the edge.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 9.56.08 AM

Pin your ribbon down at the top and wrap it so ribbon is draping down the front and the back of the curtain. Let it hang about six inches or so past the curtain bottom. Pin it again one more time along the seam so it holds in place before you sew it.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 9.58.59 AM

Sew your last seam! I line the presser foot up with the edge on the left. Keep the left of the presser foot aligned with the left edge of the seam to keep it straight. Again if you feel more comfortable putting a piece of tape down as a guide to keep it straight, then do it!

Stop right before you get to the ribbon and make sure everything is straight and that it isn’t bunched up in the back. Then sew over the top of the ribbon.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 10.01.24 AM

Everything should be all sewn at this point. Put your curtain on your rod and tie up your ribbons. I usually tie up my ribbon before I hang it up on the rod. The final step is to cut your ribbon at angles to the length that looks good to you.

Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 10.02.30 AM

And you are done! A beautiful curtain that you can make in a few hours. It really is easy! My only warning is that once you learn how to do it, you will be constantly wanting to switch it out with new fabric. This is my third curtain that I have made like this. Happy Sewing, Moxies!

Windows1 Window_close up2 Window_Close up


A Few Tips To Save Money On Paint

I love transforming furniture and rooms with just a little paint, but it can get pretty costly. After several painting projects, I have come across a few money saving tips that I hope are helpful before you begin your next painting project.

Use Existing Paint and Mix it
I briefly mentioned in my last post that I mix paint to avoid buying new paint. Over the years, I have bought paint for several projects. A lot of the left over paint just sits in the storage room. I won’t get into the whole color wheel and how to mix paint to get certain colors, but don’t be afraid to grab what you have and experiment.

I used a pine green satin base and mixed it with an antique white satin base to create my mint green that I used on this project here. As I mentioned in my last post, mixing paint works best with the same base like satin. I grabbed a container with a lid that once had parmesan cheese in it then mixed it up (I of course cleaned the container first). I used a paint stick to do the mixing. I have also made a coral from mixing a bright orange with antique white and a little red. Have fun with it!

mint green paint

Buy Sample Jars For Small Projects
When I was first started painting furniture, I was buying different quarts for just about every project at about $15.00 a piece. I started to realize for the small projects, I was barely using any of the quart and had a lot of left over paint!

I loved the colors that Valspars Signature Series offered in their sample jars and started purchasing some sample jars to do projects. (Their Signature Series is paint and primer) Each jar is about $3.00! I was able to paint coffee tables, chairs, stools and benches with just one sample jar each. I have even done a buffet table with two jars, which $6.00 is still half the price of a quart. I also learned that you can have any color mixed up in a sample jar, so there are no limitations with color. Yeah I know, exciting!

Valspar samples

Check out the Mistints
If you have a bigger project that requires purchasing a gallon of paint, check out the mistints section. I know Home Depot has it and once in awhile you come across a beautiful color for $3.

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Take in Old Never Used Paint and Have Them Tint It
Okay, this last tip I can’t claim I came up with or that I have even tried it, but I thought it was worth mentioning. I was watching my favorite station, HGTV and Nicole Harris mentioned that she has taken in old gallons of paint that were never opened and had the store tint the paint. Anyone else ever tried this? Curious what the cost is to have the paint tinted after already purchasing the paint. A great tip I would love to try!

If anyone has any additional tips, please share them! I would love to hear any other ideas out there. Have a good weekend Moxies! Happy Painting!


Transforming An Old Chest With A Simple Painting Technique

I have had this chest since I was about ten. I have never had a great place for it in my house and it doesn’t exactly scream cute and trendy, but I can’t part with it. I finally decided to add some paint to this chest and move it from being tucked away in the basement to a focal point in the sunroom. It is amazing the transformation you can make with just a little paint.

Chest before

It is always a tough decision for me to decide exactly how I want to paint something. Since this piece is pretty much a box with not much detail, I thought this would be a fun piece to try something new on.

I saw this picture of flooring and loved it. I know it is flooring, but I thought it could look sweet on a piece of furniture too. Why not give it a try, right!

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For the main color, I had my heart set on mint green. I have wanted something in my house mint green for awhile now. I just love the color!

I don’t have a fun paint name to share with you so you can run and get the paint color. I actually mixed the paint myself! You should really give it a try, especially if you have several paint cans hanging out in your storage space like I do. I spent $0 on this project by using existing paint I had. You heard me! Tip Make sure that the paint you are mixing has the same base, like Satin or Gloss. Also save those cool whip containers, coffee cans or butter tubs. They make great mixing containers to save your paint in.

mint green paint

Once the chest was all mint green and lovely, it was time to try out the herringbone effect. I did a test run on a scrap piece of wood, which I would suggest doing so you can get the hang of it.

How to create the herringbone grey wash effect
Supply List: Frog Tape is a must (the green painters tape). This tape does not bleed through. It is kind of amazing!! You will also need two different sized small arts and crafts brushes along with paint and water. I used dark grey paint and antique white.

The first thing I did on my chest was divide the top in four sections so I could separate out each angle that creates the “v shape. I then taped off the section with the frog tape. (You can get the idea below in the pictures)

Once taped off, the fun begins! I used a watered down dark grey paint and a watered down antique white too. Make strokes of different shades of greys light and dark at an angle. Use plenty of water. I had two different sized brushes that I traded off with. I don’t think you can mess this part up. Just keep applying more paint and water to get the desired look that you want.

Wait for your paint to dry and remove the frog tape. Then tape off the new section and start all over again, but going in the opposite angle to create the “v” Tip don’t rush the paint drying. It HAS to be dry before you move to the next section. If you put tape on wet paint, your tape will not stick well and you will most likely peel up the paint you just put down.

water painting the top

Here are some close ups of what the effect looks like dried. When it is all finished make sure you put a couple of coats of poly on the top to seal it up. I am using mine as a coffee table so I put on four coats just to be safe.

Chest_detail detailThis chest is now used as a beautiful coffee table and game storage in my sunroom. The best part is I spent nothing on this transformation. Let me know what you think!

Chest_view 1 Chest_another view

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Just in case you can’t remember what it looked like before. Here is a side by side comparison.

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Have a great week, Moxies! Stay tuned this week for more tips on how to save money on paint.


FEATURE FRIDAY | With Beth | Cabinet Makeover for Under $20

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Today is feature friday! Insert your girly screams here. I promise waiting an extra week will be worth your wait. Let me introduce you to my good friend, Beth. She is incredibly creative and she always has her home filled with unique and inspiring decor. A visit to her house always makes me want to go home and change something about my own home. I love Beth’s style and I can’t wait for her to show you her project.

Hi Moxie readers! I’m Beth, a friend of Lindsay’s. Our DIY days go way back to when we used to get together for painting parties, scrapbooking/crafting nights and sewing projects!

I recently completed a cosmetic makeover to my half bathroom and wanted to share how I upgraded my cabinet on the cheap. Our house was builder basic when we moved in. I’ve never been a fan of the orange-y oak, and am on a mission to get rid of it (a very slow process)!

Here’s what my vanity looked like before the makeover. (I also painted the walls, added a new mirror and shelving prior to the cabinet makeover.)


I really liked this cabinet from Home Depot here, but a new vanity wasn’t in the cards. I was inspired by the beadboard detailing and color and thought I’d try it on my cabinet. After hitting up Home Depot and Menards, I found a smaller 2’ x 3’ sheet of beadboard paneling at Menards for only $8.99. HINT: At my store, the beadboard panels were located near the paint department, not with the lumber.

I measured my sides and door and cut the panels to size using my circular saw. I do recommend measuring each panel inset separately, mine were slightly different sizes, which I didn’t figure out until AFTER I cut both and one didn’t fit! After a few trips back out to my garage to fine tune the cuts, I declared them good enough.  HINT: I did find cutting with the back of the paneling facing up reduced splitting and resulted in a cleaner cut on the front. 

I used paneling adhesive to attach the panels to the recessed area of the doors. I used clamps (and a pile of heavy books when I ran out of clamps) to hold the panels in place while drying. I used the same adhesive plus a few small nails to attach the large panel to the side. I also added a small piece of trim at the top of the side panel to cover the gap between the vanity top and the beadboard.


Once dry, I caulked around the panels to bridge the gap between the doors and the panel. Caulking helps to cover up any bad cuts (ahem) and lend a more finished look. As you caulk, try not to get too much into the grooves of the paneling. I used a toothpick to clean out the grooves that got filled in by my messy work! I did a much better job by my second door (on the right). I also filled the nail holes and caulked my trim piece on the side panel.

Once the caulking was dry, I primed the cabinet using two coats of primer.  Then I added two coats of Behr Ashes paint. I already had the primer and paint on hand from previous projects. Being a paint hoarder paid off for this project!

Once dry, I reattached the doors, added the knobs back on, and called it done. Here it is finished. I may switch out the knobs eventually. But I’m calling it good for now!


Here’s a side-by-side before and after of the cabinet. I love how the beadboard adds a cottage touch to my bathroom. The gray color even makes the laminate floors look better. Win-win!

Cabinet cabinet 2

Budget Breakdown:
Paneling: $8.99
Paneling Adhesive: $3.19
Trim: $0 (leftover from another project)
Caulk: $0 (leftover from another project)
Primer: $0 (leftover from another project)
Paint: $0 Behr Ashes (leftover from painting walls)
Knobs: Hobby Lobby $3.99 (purchased during a 50% off sale)

TOTAL: $16.17

A like-new cabinet for under $20!  If you had to buy primer/paint, I’d add another $30 to the budget. A quart would be plenty to complete this project.

Thanks for letting me stop by and show off my “new” cabinet, Lindsay!

Wow! Great project, Beth. Very inspiring for those that have the honey oak builder grade cabinets and are looking for an inexpensive way to add a little character. I have definitely been there! Thanks again Beth for sharing your project!

If you are interested in being a part of a feature friday please submit your idea to Have a great weekend, Moxies!

Family Picture Organizing and Archiving; Wrapping up Projects from 2013

Hello Moxies! I’m back from my little holiday blogcation. I had such a wonderful time hanging out with my boys. We had the best time!  I had to get over my addiction to Skylanders Swap Force, but I am recovering and back into tackling projects. Did everyone else have a good holiday break? You are not allowed to mention weather. I don’t even want to talk about it. Brrrr!

One of the projects that I love and hate to tackle every year before the new year is our family digital photo album. I take an insane amount of pictures throughout the year. There are A LOT of pictures to go through. For the last three years, I have been going about the same process of organizing, selecting, editing and putting them in a digital album. And it has been working pretty well for me.

I organize my pictures by event as I download them throughout the year. I download mine into iPhoto, which automatically does this for me. I find it really helpful because I like to create my spreads in my album based on events.

Selecting Photos
Selecting the photos is by far the hardest part of the process for me. I pick out approximately 5-10 pictures per event that I like. I place the photos in a folder on my desktop, titled something like family 2013. I weed them out one more time right before I put them in the album. I select photos that tell the best story or that will help me remember a certain moment the best.

I try to keep up with my editing throughout the year on select pictures that I love. If I edit any pictures at the end of the year it is just to get rid of red eye, boogers or drool. The necessary stuff.

I take my folder with the photos I have selected ( as mentioned earlier, mine is titled family 2013) and begin downloading them to Shutterfly.  I have been using Shutterfly to do my albums for the last three years. I have little to complain about. I downloaded the express uploader to my computer and I was able to get 400 pictures downloaded in 3 hours. I choose the archive setting because I like to use Shutterfly as another way to back up my pictures. Pictures are way too important to me to ever lose! One tip, make sure you take your computer off sleep mode while you are downloading. It will stall out if your computer goes to sleep before the pictures are done downloading.

Placing in the Album
Being a graphic designer, it is tough for me to not perfect every page. I have learned to keep it simple so I can get it done in a few days. I select a template I like and chose an appropriate layout based on the number of pictures I have for each event. I try to keep events to spreads. Example: Fall pumpkin painting on one spread. Halloween costumes another spread. The final step for me is journaling. I like to write something about each page. I learned in my scrapbooking days, that journaling is extremely important. It helps me remember moments I don’t want to ever forget.

Once I have the album complete, I wait to see if I can get the best deal on the album. Believe me, NEVER pay full price on a digital album from Shutterfly. There will be a deal or discount at some point. One of the reasons I choose to do my album at the end of the year is because of the discounts that are offered. Shutterfly’s 45% just ends on the 7th. Use coupon code Newyear if you can get your album done in a day.

How do you organize your photos? What software or web sites do you use? I would love to hear how everyone else stays on top of their photos. I will leave you with my family album favorites from 2013. I hope you all stay warm and take in some extra snuggles from your loved ones! Oh, and stay tuned this week will be Feature Friday with a good friend of mine, Beth.

family pics