Pretty Kitchen Counter Organization

I submit to you, the most annoying project ever. Okay, maybe not quite as annoying as my earring hanger/organizer project. But a close second. Annoying enough to drive me to eat chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream out of the carton. Hey, it’s a small carton!

Remember when my dip-dye fetish resulted in this cute little glass container? Well, it’s been sitting on my kitchen counter, looking all gorgeously domestic and cute. But the utensil holders next to it…

Kinda “meh.”

I was rinsing out a salsa jar when I had the brilliant (at the time) idea to dip-dye paint a few jars and make matching utensil holders. This was supposed to be a quick little project that I’d work on in between coats of paint on the end table. But nooooo.

Humidity. Is. The. Devil.

I’m blaming all my problems on the humidity. Every time I peeled the painters tape off, the paint came with. Or it just left weird, bubbly warped edges. So my quick little project turned into constant attempts to repaint/fill in bare spots. I have no idea if the humidity really is to blame, but I do know that paint takes longer to cure in humid environments (hence why the end table is getting two nights in between coats of white now).

Eventually I just decided it was “good enough.”

Honestly, I’m not loving them as much as I love the square guy. I have a few more pasta sauce and salsa jars, so there may be an update in the future. I also kind of feel compelled to throw my “van gogh-esque” container in the middle to mix it up visually a bit. That container was a pre-blog project, painted with acrylic paint and actually sprayed with acrylic sealer.

Has anyone else had problems with humidity and painters tape? Maybe painters tape is not meant for acrylic paint?

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Inspired by Etsy (& lots of owls)

I love throw pillows and decorative vases. There, I said it.

My friend and I went to this huge, local furniture/home decor store one time and I was totally going crazy over all the decorative vases and throw pillows and ADORABLE THINGS I COULD DECORATE WITH. That was the day Erin discovered my previously well-hidden obsession with coffee table styling and pillows. We’re still friends, so I guess it didn’t freak her out too much. But I’m pretty sure her exact words were “I never knew you were so into vases…” and then she trailed off into silence.

I want this throw pillow from Etsy. I do, I do.

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It would match the owl art in my bedroom and it’s just adorable. But wait…

It costs $50.

For a pillow cover. That you have to buy a pillow form for.

It’s just felt, people!

I’ll be adding that to my list of future DIYs. Seriously. If I had the right felt colors I could make that right now.

I’m also loving this series of owl teacups.

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Cute, right? I don’t drink tea, though. So I’m having an easier time telling myself I don’t need those.

But they’d made a fun DIY! And I know just how to do it, thanks to this “custom dinnerware” post on the  A Brooklyn Limestone blog! The blogger over there (fail on me, I don’t know what her name is!) made these custom plates for an Edgar Allen Poe “The Raven” themed dinner party (which I think is a wonderfully eerie idea – I love that poem, ps).Image

So I’m thinking that I need to hit up Goodwill or the Dollar Store or someplace and procure some mugs or plates to customize.

Truth be told…I don’t need any more mugs or plates. HOWEVER, I think these could make great gifts.

One of my old roommates is getting married this summer. How cool would it be if, while everyone was in town for her bachelorette, I got everyone to sign a big serving platter with their names and some well wishes and then gave it to her as a wedding present? Or maybe a mug from everyone with a quote saying/advice?

Okay, the idea may need some more thought, but I think I’m on to something.

I conquered the curtain rod

I am very excited to share the culmination of my curtain project today. As my last post revealed, it didn’t really get off to a good start. So I went to bed and woke the next morning, refreshed and with a renewed determination to hang my curtain rod.

My third trip to the hardware store yielded the correct length of screws. I present to you, a securely mounted bracket!

One might argue that I am a little too proud of my bracket. One might get smacked.

I used clip rings to hang the curtains, and the above photo is how they looked at first.

Thrifty tip: You can buy single twin flat sheets at Walmart for $5 a piece. That’s what my curtains are made out of. It’s cheaper than buying fabric by the yard.

However, they were slightly too long hanging like this.

Case in point, the SassCat making herself a nice little bed on the too long curtains. But, my mom had a suggestion (see, moms do know everything!).

I folded over the top of the curtains and clipped them on the fold, creating a valance and solving the length problem in one fell swoop! (And if you look closely, you will spy one of my modular felt coasters on the coffee table there).

The middle bracket is probably overkill (emt conduit is pretty light), but just in case the SassCat tries to climb the curtains or something…
I think my curtains look fantastic. Even if you are a total grouch and hate turquoise curtains and doing things yourself, I think you’ll agree that the savings were fantastic.
DIY Cost breakdown:
Sheets (2): $10 at Walmart
Hardware (conduit, brackets, screws, clip rings, conduit straps, nuts, bolts): $21 at Lowe’s & Ace Westlake Hardware
Materials for the Finials: $5 at Blick (I did have a gift card)
= $36
If I’d Gone to Target Cost Breakdown:
Curtain Rod: $21.69
2 Panel Curtains: $40
= $61.69

A 3 Beer Project

It may have been 4 beers…

Let me explain. My coworker bought a Martha Stewart Organizing magazine (all of the organizing tips from Martha Stewart Living) and decided we should make chicken wire earring hangers, sort of like this example.

It seemed like a good idea, until she realized that Lowe’s only sells chicken wire in 10 foot rolls, for like 20 bucks. She ended up buying window screen fabric (which was still sold in bulk, but cheaper). I didn’t really want to do that, so I pretty much gave up on the project. Then I remembered that I had a spool of jewelry wire hanging around…

BAD IDEA, STEPH! BAD IDEA.

As my last post alluded, I decided to make chicken wire out of the spool of jewelry wire. It was not a fun process and bending the wire really starts to take a toll on your fingers after a while.

Beer #1 – Cutting the wire into pieces.

That’s the frame I wanted to use (previously bought at the thrift store for a different project), and my many pieces of wire, and my cat waiting to pounce.

Beer #2 – Wrapping/twisting the wire into a grid pattern.

Here you can see the grid pattern finally starting to form as I worked, looping each vertical piece under and over the horizontal wires, bending to hold. This took forever.

Beer #3 – trying to decide what fabric to use in the back (parameters: only fabric that I already had. I was doing this on the cheap).

On the wall without fabric. I tried a turquoise, but it was too bright for the rest of the decor in the room. Then I tried a blue/gray, but that was too dark. My walls are tan (“latte” according to the apartment staff), and the gold wire didn’t really stand out against them…I felt like it needed something, but what? I tried wrapping paper, which had exactly the right color scheme to match my bedroom, but the metallic of the design competed with the earrings and the wire. It was a shiny, reflective mess.

Beer #4? This beer probably happened. This whole project was done over the course of several days, fyi.

Here’s a crappy cell phone pic of what it looks like now. White paper with a pale design that matches my comforter. I may still switch it out to be just plain white. Still deciding.

PS  – I’m really not as obsessed with hoop earrings as this post makes me out to be.

Beer Cap Magnets

I was feeling a little crafty the other night. Plus, I’d finally collected enough beer caps and bought round magnets.

Beer Cap Magnets

Ideal for the craft beer lover, beer snob, or party animal.

There are two ways you can do this craft.

1. The Easy Way

2. The Make Things Harder For Yourself Way

The easy way is simply to take a magnet, stick it on your fridge, and then cover it with a beer cap. Beer caps are metal. They will stick to the magnet, which is in turn, stuck to the fridge. You are done. Amazing.

But, the height of the magnet is basically the same as the height of the beer cap, resulting in the edges of the beer cap scraping against the fridge whenever you move the magnet around. I didn’t like that – I’m particular, okay?

So I folded up bits of cardboard, and hot glued a layer in between the magnet and the beer cap. Which gives it a bit more dimension. The beer caps are lifted away from the fridge, and if you’re feeling fancy, you can angle the beer cap a bit, so it’s not flat against the fridge.

However, I’m worried the magnet’s pull toward the fridge will be stronger than the glue. So if you pull the beer cap off the fridge, it may disconnect from the magnet. Time will tell. And then we’ll just go back to the easy way.