11th Jul2014

Camping Ideas and Tips

by Dinah Wulf

Happy Friday! With summertime well underway, I thought I’d put together a list of helpful checklists, camping ideas and tips, DIY hacks and ideas, games, crafts, and tasty treats from some fabulous fellow Bloggers.

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Here we go!

 

Check Lists and Camping Tips: Checklists, tips, and tricks to help prepare you for a successful and safe family vacation.

 

DIY: Budget-friendly upcycled ideas for outdoor lighting.

 

Games/Activities: Fun games and activities the whole family can enjoy outdoors.

 

Craft Ideas: Craft ideas to keep the kiddos busy and spark their creativity.

 

Tasty Treats: Easy to make finger foods to help make your trip extra special.

28th Mar2014

Tips for Painting a Wall from Dark to Light

by Dinah Wulf

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I am so honored to be sponsored by 3M DIY today! As you may know, I spend so much time in my craft room. It’s painted a beautiful dark blue, which I love, however I felt that it was too dark with all four walls painted blue.  I decided to paint one of the walls a bright white to help enhance the natural light. Here are my Tips for Painting a Wall from Dark to Light.

Here is a photo of my craft room wall before.

Tips for painting a wall dark to light

Materials:

Instructions:

Prepare your surface. First remove all hardware. Using sand paper, sand any bumps or blemishes.

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3M offers a variety of Painter’s tape to help you with any DIY Project. I chose to use the Safe-Release tape. After you apply your tape to the area that you would like protected, use your fingers to press down and smooth over the tape to prevent bleeding.

 

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Protect your floor with a drop cloth. I have the Scotch Blue Heavy Duty Non-Slip Drop that is durable, light weight, and easy to clean so that you can reuse it.

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Once you have prepared your wall and workspace, you are ready to paint. I chose an interior latex high hiding primer. It’s great for changing drastic dark colors to lighter colors.

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Using an angled paint brush, I started by priming the edges first as shown. An angled brush will help maintain smooth lines.

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Next, I primed the rest of the wall using a short roller brush. Depending on the area you are painting, you may opt for a longer roller.

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I primed the entire area in two coats, allowing it to dry for two hours in between coats. This is a photo of my second coat.

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Next, Paint your wall with the desired lighter color. I chose a bright white. I was able to only use one coat of paint. Once the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape. Look at how clean my lines were!

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Here is another AFTER photo! I love how it turned out. The natural light in my craft room is so much better.

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I am proud to be a 3M- sponsored blogger, and, as part of my responsibilities, I get the opportunity to evaluate new products from 3M DIY. Opinions are my own and additional product used in the project were selected by me. You can also visit 3M DIY on Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook!

19th Feb2014

Printography: Tips for Hanging Pictures

by Dinah Wulf

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I am honored to be sponsored by Printography today to share with you my Tips for Hanging Pictures. I received a beautiful bamboo mount 8X8 photo of my daughter the other day.  I chose this picture because it sums up her age at this moment in time… mismatched clothes because she has to pick out her own, messy hair because she won’t let me put it in pig tails anymore, and arms raised with a huge smile so happy for her new found independence.  She’s such a ham!

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The Printography site is so easy to navigate and order. It only took a few minutes for me to place my order.  When I received it, I was so excited, because the quality exceeded my expectations. Now until March 2nd, you can receive 15% off of your order by using the PROMO CODE: DIYINSPIRED!

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Anyway, I wanted to create a photo gallery way of family photos. I did a black and white photo gallery and my new bamboo mounted photo of Mia is an awesome pop of color.

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General Height Guidelines I have learned:

  1. For hanging photos above a couch, measure 10” above the back of the couch.
  2. For hanging photos on a hallway wall, measure up from the floor 5-6 feet.
  3. For hanging photos on a dining room or living room wall, measure up from the floor 4-4.5 feet.

My Tips for Hanging Pictures for a Home Gallery Wall:

  1. I decided to stick to three types of frames only: black, silver, and wood.
  2. I used mostly black and white photos because I thought it made it look more modern.
  3. I used a variety of frame sizes: 8X10, 5X7, 4X6
  4. I kept one vertical imaginary straight line all the way across the wall and placed the photos above or below the line.
  5. I used a photo mat for some of the photos which created a little more dimension.
  6. Social networking sites are a great resource to get family photos if your collection is lacking.
  7. Photo wall adhesive strips are DEFINITELY the way to go when hanging ANY picture frames.  No holes!!! You can get them at several retail stores. It also makes it easier, because you don’t have to worry about aligning a nail and frame hook.
  8. Lastly, arrange all of your photos and take pictures of them to help you choose the right arrangement. 

Here is an example of my arrangements. I did this a few times until I was satisfied.

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Here is the final one more time.

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I hope you enjoyed my tips! Don’t forget, you can receive 15% off of your order by using the PROMO CODE: DIYINSPIRED on Printography!

23rd Jan2014

Guest Room Etiquette and Preparation for Visitors

by Dinah Wulf

Having overnight visitors in your home can be both stressful and exciting. There are three things to keep in mind for proper etiquette and preparation; preparing the room, providing necessities, and adding special touches. With these three Guest Room Etiquette and Preparation for Visitors tips in mind, you are sure to have a fun and stress free visit.

Prepare your guest room by making sure it is clean and has typical hotel-like conveniences. The less clutter the better, keeping the décor to a minimal. Make sure the sheets and pillows are clean and smell fresh. Low lighting is best for a comfortable spa-like feel. Create storage space and clear dresser tops and drawers for your guest’s toiletries and other belongings. Add a bench or stool at the foot of the bed to hold a suitcase or to create an area to remove shoes or to change. I made this one! Be sure to have an accessible outlet for your guests to charge their cell phones or laptops.

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Provide some necessities that your guests may have forgotten. Clear out a top dresser drawer or nightstand drawer and add paper, pens, and other desk supplies for your guests to use freely. Make sure there are extra hangers in the closet and room for your guests to hang their clothes. During colder seasons make sure to provide extra blankets and pillows. They can easily be stored at the top shelf of a closet or under the bed. If you have an accessible bathroom for your guests make sure there are extra bath towels, hand towels, and washcloths.

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You can also provide a hairdryer, extra toilet paper, extra toothpaste or toothbrushes, Q-tips, razors, soap, and shampoo as well.

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It’s the extra added touches that make the bests hosts/hostesses. Make your guests feel pampered by providing a few unexpected goodies. Fresh flowers on a nightstand next to some night stand essentials like candy, an alarm clock, reading light, and tissues is a nice touch. Consider leaving books and magazines for light reading or maps with marked local restaurants or rental car services.

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Go the extra mile and write down suggestions for local activities, flea markets, festivals, or concerts. On top of the dresser create a small area for bottled water and easy to grab snacks like granola bars, candies, gum, or peanuts.

These small considerations and thoughtful touches go a long way. With these three ideas in mind, your guests are sure to feel a warm welcomed in your home. In case you missed it, here’s is my guestroom paint makeover as well as an upcycled headboard I made from a painting.

07th Jan2014

How to Decorate with Ribbon

by Dinah Wulf

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Adding special personal touches and details to your décor is what sets it apart from the rest. Decorating with ribbon is a great way to achieve that uniqueness. There are so many beautiful textures, colors, and patterns of ribbon available to make it easy for you to choose a style to fit your décor to add a little decorative adornment. You can add personality and style by simply adding ribbon to gifts and home décor like cards, artwork, pillows, and even furniture. Here are some Tips and Inspiration for How to Decorate with Ribbon.

First, decide on a project. Ribbon can be used for projects both large and small. You can embellish a small item as a gift like a homemade card, a cloth napkin, or piece of framed artwork. Ribbon is a great way to add continuity and design to a room if you would like to introduce a specific color or pattern to your décor. Large projects would include adding accents to curtains, trim around tables, or pizazz to upholstered chairs. Start with one small room like a bathroom or guest room to experiment. Bright and colorful patterned ribbon is great for accenting kid’s rooms.

Here’s a before and after of a lampshade for a little girls room.

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Next, measure how much ribbon you need. Ribbon comes in both spools or by the yard. For large projects, take your measurements before you go to the store and only buy what you need. Consider using fabric scraps to embellish jewelry boxes, lamp shades, and other small projects. I added trim to a forty-two inch pedestal table using less than one spool of ribbon. Left over ribbon can be used to decorate a matching vase and votive candles for the table top.

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Lastly, select your materials and method of attachment. There are several options in attaching ribbon to your projects. Besides sewing it to fabric, glue, fusible web or double sided tape made especially for fabric works well too. Fusible web is used by heating it with an iron. It is permanent and washable. Similar to tape, it comes in rolls, in various widths, and can be found in light, medium, and heavy weights. If you are attaching ribbon to fabric, make sure it is clean and washed prior to application.

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As you can see, ribbon is not just for wrapping pretty gift packages; rather it is much more versatile. Crafting and decorating with ribbon elevates an ordinary piece and turns it into a custom one of a kind upcycled treasure.

06th Jan2014

Craft Storage and Organization Ideas with All Access™

by Dinah Wulf

Every year when I take down my Christmas decorations I feel the need to clean, purge, and organize everything in my house! It never fails.  This year, thanks to Home Depot and Rubbermaid® All Access™ I have been able to do that. So, today I wanted to share with you my Craft Storage and Organization Ideas with All Access™.

I went to Home Depot and bought several of the extra small sized Rubbermaid® All Access™ bins.

These bins in particular are fantastic because not only is there a lid on the top, but there is a door you can open in the front for easy access to the contents inside.

On a side note, I have to mention this (because it’s a huge pet peeve), but the sticker easily comes off the lid. See?  I hate it when you have to spend extra time trying to get the sticker off of the plastic! OK moving on…

I started in my craft room.  I was able to combine three containers of craft paint into one All Access™ bin.

I also fit three containers of glue and adhesive into one bin. I know… I have a lot!

Finally, I was able to fit three containers of craft punches in one bin as well.

Then, in my craft room, I have a separate area in the closet for my daughter’s craft supplies.  Here is what it looked like before.

Here it is organized with my new storage bins! I love that you can stack them and still open them. Plus, I can now see through them which was a problem before.

So now I am just addicted and realized they are sturdy enough for toys and the handling of a small child! So I went to Home Depot and purchased more bins. My daughter’s room used to have these storage bins.  They are colorful and pretty, but my daughter never plays with the things inside.  I think it’s because she can’t see them.

So, I replaced some of them with the Rubbermaid® All Access™ bins. The extra small ones fit perfectly in her shelving unit and now she can see all her toys and have easy access to them from the top and front!

Phew! It feels great to start the New Year organized!

Open up the possibilities of easy access with Rubbermaid® All Access™ Organizers. The All Access™ line features a clear drop-down door so you can easily see and retrieve the items you want, even when they are stacked! Visit your local Home Depot to see why organization just got easier!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Rubbermaid® . The opinions and text are all mine.

31st Dec2013

Transform Your Backyard With These DIY Projects

by Dinah Wulf

Transform Your Backyard With These DIY Projects, written by Guest Author Melissa Jordon

Some people ignore their backyard and it becomes just a place to let the dog run and the kids play. With these easy DIY projects, you can turn your backyard into a place to entertain and relax. Once completed, these additions will look masterpieces from a professional, however all are projects you can do yourself in a weekend!

Backyard Fire Pit

Photo by ACM Design Architects via Flickr

One of the most popular additions to the backyard is the fire pit, according to the DIY Network. A built-in, stone fire pit can create a central relaxation spot for the whole family. Whether it’s toasting marshmallows or warming yourself on a cool evening, it is an addition everyone can enjoy year-round.

Build a square or round fire pit, whichever fits the yard and landscape. A good size to start with is a round pit that is two feet tall and five feet in diameter. The interior area will be three feet in diameter.

Lay a concrete foundation for your fire pit that is six inches deep with an outer wall 12 inches wide. To allow for proper drainage, leave a small cement-free hole in the very center. After the foundation has set for 24 hours, build the outer stone wall. Select a natural stone or prepared brick material and use mortar to lay the stones around the circle. Line the interior of your fire pit with fire bricks and top with a layer of smooth, flat stones to create a polished look. Finally, place a layer of river rocks on the bottom to complete the fire pit.

Backyard Gazebo

Photo by ARNOLD Masonry and Concrete via Flickr

Build a simple gazebo in your backyard to create a shady place to sit and relax with your spouse. A standard option includes an eight-foot by eight-foot wooden frame and can be completed in just a weekend. Find some simple project plans that include all materials and steps on DIYNetwork.com.

Backyard Stone Paths

Photo by woodleywonderworks via Flickr

A natural stone path can accentuate the landscape and create a focal point to the real highlight of your backyard space: the pool. Use some simple flat stones to place size to 12 inches apart in the grass or gravel leading up to your pool, then dig down far enough that each stone sits just one inch above the soil. In rainy areas, a gravel base may be required to set a stronger foundation. Once the stones are set into place make sure they’re level. When you’re satisfied with the stones’ placement fill in the spaces with gravel or ground cover. This will draw the eye to the pool area, so take special care to ensure your pool is in tip-top shape. Find a new cover from PoolProducts.com and make sure your deck is free of debris.

About Melissa Jordan

Missy started blogging from home after earning two bachelor’s degrees (one in English and one in history) the same year the Great Recession hit. The economy’s picking up, but she like the freelance lifestyle and doubts she’ll look for a “real” job anytime soon.

15th Nov2013

How to Repair a Broken Mirror Frame

by Dinah Wulf

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Five months ago I got an amazing deal on two mirrors at Home Goods.  They were in the clearance section because they were damaged.  One frame retailed for $120 and I got it for $8 and the other retailed for $80 and I got it for $12. I made over the former into a two toned metallic mirror that I hang in my stairway. The latter, was little bit harder, hence me procrastinating doing this project!  I kinda-sorta figured it out. I say “kinda-sorta” because it’s not perfect by any means!  So without further ado, here is how to repair a broken mirror frame (more or less…ha!)

Materials:

  • Broken frame
  • Glue
  • Clamp
  • Bondo body filler
  • Sand paper
  • Newspaper
  • Painter’s tape
  • Primer
  • Spray paint

Here is the mirror BEFORE… great deal for $12, right?

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Here is a close up of the damage.

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I used a clamp to hold it together and put some glue in the damaged area in hopes it would help hold it together.  I let it dry completely.

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Next I added Bondo body filler, to shape and mold the missing frame.

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Once it is dry, use sand paper to sand it down and shape it.  This was the hardest part.  Mine isn’t perfect, but it looks much better.

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Next I covered the mirror with newspaper and painter’s tape.

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I first decided to prime it because of the dark color and the imperfections.

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Lastly, after about a half hour of drying time I spray painted it gold.  I used about three coats allowing five minutes to dry in between coats.

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Much better! Here are a couple AFTER photos. I think I’m going to hang it in my master bedroom… but the light is better in here for a photo ;)

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01st Nov2013

The Right Height to Hang Shelves

by Dinah Wulf

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Since we have painted and upgraded the house a little, I have been very careful with making the right choices for hanging things on my walls.   In case you are wondering, yes those are some of my Halloween decorations above, not my everyday decorations…ha! I did an online search for guidelines for the right height to hang shelves the other day.  In my research I found the eHow gave me the best advice.  I thought it was valuable so I thought I’d pass it on!

General Guidelines I learned:

  1. For hanging shelves above a couch, measure 10” above the back of the couch.
  2. For hanging shelves on a hallway wall, measure up from the floor 5-6 feet.
  3. For hanging shelves on a dining room or living room wall, measure up from the floor 4-4.5 feet.

What You Will Need:

  • Level
  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil

I started by measuring the width of the wall space and the width of the shelf.  I wanted it centered so I subtracted the shelf width (from the screw holes) from the wall width and divided by 2.  The remainder is the distance between the ends the shelf and the wall. I also measured 4.5 feet from the floor.

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With the help of my husband, I had him hold the shelf in place while I used a free level app on my iPhone to make sure the shelf was straight. I used a pencil to mark where the screws should be placed and screwed in the first (bottom) shelf.

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For the second shelf, I had in mind what knick knacks I wanted to put on top of it, and decided on placing it 16 inches above the second shelf. Again, I used the level to make sure it was straight.

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Take-Aways:

  • Download a free level app; it’ll make your project much easier.
  • In my opinion, the general measurement guidelines above were perfect!
17th Oct2013

How Going DIY Helps the Environment

by Dinah Wulf

How Going DIY Helps the Environment is a Guest Post Written by Andy Giardo.

Photo of a upcycled bowl made from cans by bee-cycle via Flickr

Saving on energy has deep roots closely tied to the burgeoning indie craft community. It may seem a crazy connection, but the ties between the two movements are closer than you might think.

Both movements are linked to conservation. Both DIY-ers and green community members care for the environment and ensure they haven’t squandered resources future generations will need. Members of the green movement embrace natural beauty in the world and work toward conserving that beauty as much as possible. The indie craft community, likewise, recognizes resources to use and reuse to create beauty around. DIYers reuse, recycle, upcycle, and re-create. They’re ingenious and careful, and they appreciate beauty in unusual places, seeing the potential, where others just see old materials. They don’t like creating waste, which ultimately makes for a more beautiful planet.

DIY Movement

HLN calls “The Maker Movement” one of the biggest trends of the past year, in response to the effects of the recession and people looking to save money while also creating one-of-a-kind goods. The roots of the DIY community come from pioneer women who made warm, practical quilts with what they had, not carefully coordinated fabric store finds. The desire to be surrounded by organic beauty naturally flowed throughout daily life. Decorating today’s home without harsh chemicals continues with wood staining techniques using nut husks, vegetables and herbs.

What’s available to DIY-ers now includes everything from crochet hooks and batting, to mobile apps and Internet resources. CraftGossip.com editor Rosie Bromberg uses the Internet to connect to like-minded crafters around the globe. Bromberg says through craft shows, bazaars and online activity, she sees a promising future for indie crafts.

Photo of a craft show by rpongsaj via Flickr

How Energy Consumption Ties In

Both the green movement and the DIY movement consist of creative people who look for unique solutions to problems others can’t see through. Energy savers — those who engineer solar hot water heaters for use in sunny climates, to those who spin and dye their own alpaca wool — use what they have for a bigger, practical, upcycled purpose.

While some may call the two groups subcultures, hold-outs from the 1970s who haven’t quite recovered from Woodstock, that’s rapidly changing. People are discovering a conservation-focused way of life is not a passing fad. Using resources wisely dates back to Biblical times, when women dyed clothing with indigo and pulp from the dogwood tree. Yasmin Chopin Interior Design named indigo as the decorating “color of 2013,” calling it a visual answer to hectic and chaotic lifestyles.

When it comes to conserving energy in your own home, there are many DIY methods to helping the earth while saving money. Deregulation of energy providers, as seen on electriccompanies.com, gives DIY-ers more choice when it comes to services. Do-it-yourself energy audits, in which homeowners can look for cords to unplug, air leaks to fix, and insulation to improve, can create satisfying, Earth-friendly home projects. You can even install your own solar panels, which will create lifelong energy savings. Just like most any object could be repurposed for a craft or new product, that same approach to energy savings is vital because of the unstability of nonrenewable resources.

Photo by OregonDOT via Flickr

About Andy Giardo

Andy writes about amateur woodworking, welding and other DIY projects.

29th Aug2013

Top 7 Tips to Organize Your Bedroom

by Dinah Wulf

Top 7 Tips to Organize Your Bedroom, written by Denise Baynes

Author Bio: Denise Baynes is a single mother, keen on repurposing and organizing all the stuff around her home that can be repurposed, conceivably.

Leave Only the Essentials. You’re trying to make this part of your home look comfortable and inviting, so it’s a nice idea to be a minimalist in your bedroom design. With a little variation depending on your habits, all you need by your bedside is a box of tissue, a good reading lamp, a nice fan, and perhaps also a remote control, and a couple of your favorite CDs. By the way, Westside Wholesale has a really nice selection of portable fans, and some of them are currently on sale for less than $25! I got one that works really quietly during nighttime, and I was able to get free shipping on it, too!

Use Soft Palette Colors. Remember that your bedroom is a place intended for rest. Keep it light when it comes to picking the colors of your walls, floor, ceiling, curtains, and furniture. These colors make the atmosphere of your bedroom more relaxing and easier on your eyes. A lighter color scheme will also make your bedroom appear visually larger, and that’s a great tip if you have a small bedroom. I got a nice standing lamp from Westside Wholesale, too, and it makes the atmosphere of my room so relaxing and romantic, with the soft beige curtains and linens that I have.

Make Space for Sunlight. Remove all clutter and leave only the furniture that performs the essential functions needed in a bedroom. A medium-size bed for sleeping and napping, a comfortable chair and a standing lamp for nighttime reading, a dresser with a mirror for dressing and skin care, a couple of closets for keeping your garments, and a lady’s desk for writing and reading. The more space you are able to free, the more natural sunlight will be poured into your room every morning!

Start It All From Scratch. The best way to bring order into your room is by digging everything out and taking a minute to think if you are ever using these things. It takes some courage, but it’s actually the only way to really change how the place looks and feels instead of just rearranging a few things here and there. So, you may want to start by getting a few boxes and labeling them “trash”, “to sell”, “to donate”, and “to keep”. Now, divide your room into functional areas and start with the one that needs the most reviewing. Remember that if you spend over 20 seconds thinking if you need something in your bedroom, you definitely don’t want to put that in the “keep” box.

Gotta Face That Closet. If you often feel like you’ve got nothing to wear, yet your closet is bursting from everything that’s in it, it’s time to get it organized. Put all your clothes on the couch. Now, take your time to try everything on and see if it deserves that precious space in your closet. If you are a big “goal clothes” person, hoping to lose weight some day and keeping a lot of clothes you can no longer wear, then find a local charity, or a church you can donate these clothes to. After all, they take up so much space and are depressing to look at!

How to Sort Your Clothes. Now, I find it easier to sort clothes by function and style, rather than color-code them as some experts in organizing suggest. It’s a nice idea to store the things that you use most frequently in immediate sight. The clothes you only use occasionally can be placed in the lower level of your closet, and whatever you use less often you can place on top, outside immediate reach. If you have some empty suitcases, you may want to use them for storing out-of-season clothes, linens, and blankets.

Where did that come from? An empty basket is bound to become the central organizing element of your bedroom. Just put all the items that don’t belong in your bedroom into that basket. It may take some willpower at first, and you may have to remind yourself a billion times to do so. However, it will soon become your second nature, and getting that clutter out of your bedroom will take literally minutes! Better still, get your kids involved in the fun activity and it will soon become their favorite game.

26th Aug2013

Easy Bathroom Organization Update

by Dinah Wulf

I recently visited my in laws in Wisconsin.  I love going there especially because my daughter Mia gets to see her Grandma and Papa.  Rarely getting to see her Grandparents is definitely a drawback of living so far away from them (my parents are on the east coast).  I particularly love antique shopping there as well… the stuff is SOO much better and less expensive!  While we were there we decided to give a quick and easy bathroom organization update because…well…we wanted to AND it’s fun (I know I’m a Geek).

So, today I just wanted to share a quick little post to show you the before and after of our project.  Here is the BEFORE.

It’s a sweet little bathroom, but the only storage is a small cabinet under the sink and the medicine cabinet.  My husband and I went to Lowes while Mia got some quality time with Grandma and Papa.  We had the intention of getting a brand new sink and vanity but after I took measurements, we couldn’t find an easy replacement because of the dimensions so the vanity will have to wait until we have time to research online.

We ended up buying a new toilet seat and an over the toilet cabinet. I put it all together while we watched television in the living room.  Working with my hands and putting together things like this is therapeutic for me for some reason.  In a short time, I assembled it and we got a much more organized bathroom!

Check out a recent posts I did for making your bathroom a little more spa-like and a few more bathroom organization tips!

30th Jul2013

DIY Repairs: Yes You Can!

by Dinah Wulf

DIY Repairs Guest Post Written By: Liz Becker

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By now you know all about the concept of one man’s trash being another man’s treasure. It applies to everything from the slightly (or maybe even very) banged up stuff you find on curbs and in thrift shops. It applies even to things like wood pallets. If you know what you’re doing, you can even use this philosophy on your own appliances.

For example: that antique refrigerator that you love? You inherited it from a grandparent. It adds so much character to your kitchen…but lately it’s been misbehaving and you’re worried that you might have to toss it and go with something mass produced.

Wait!

Instead of sending it to fridge heaven, why not repair it? With the right tools and guidance you can do everything from giving the thing a thorough cleaning to installing the specialty coils you need to keep the machine running properly in spite of its age.

Before you throw out anything of character, do the following things:

1. Give it a thorough cleaning and scrubbing. Continuing with our refrigerator example, defrost the freezer and scrub down the inside and the outside. That wall of ice that builds up in the freezer? It can cause both the freezer and the refrigerator to malfunction. It can freeze the machine’s motor in place.

2. Take off the “casings” of your fridge and freezer. Make sure, obviously, that the machine is unplugged and then unscrew the linings from the machine’s frame. Unscrew any Styrofoam that might be covering the fan. Clean both sides of these linings and the Styrofoam and let it dry completely. While it dries, thoroughly inspect every piece that has been exposed to make sure that there is no ice, mold or other buildup in the workings of the machine.

3. If you do find ice, you can use hot water to help melt it safely. Then let everything dry.

4. While you’re waiting for the inside of the machine to dry, inspect the back. Make sure that the refrigerator coil is clean and intact. Inspect every inch for wear and tear and make sure that its connections are installed correctly. If it looks old or like it might be wearing down, you can order new specialty coils to replace it.

5. Scrub the drain pan clean before you put everything back together.

IMPORTANT: Do not mess with the Freon yourself unless you are actually trained to do so. No, seriously, just don’t. Yes it will be tempting to tinker with it but resist that temptation. You don’t want to accidentally render the entire machine useless (and potentially hurt yourself too). If your fridge’s Freon is the problem, hire a professional repair person to fix the machine and return it to working order.

You can use the DIY repair approach with most things in your home: your air conditioner, your stove or oven, etc. Be careful with heating machines, though—you don’t want to accidentally set anything on fire!

DIY Repairs Guest Post Written By: Liz Becker

Photo Source

25th Jul2013

Creating a Spa-like Zen in Your Bathroom

by Dinah Wulf

This article, Creating a Spa-like Zen in Your Bathroom is sponsored by hello. All opinions are 100% my own.

Having a clean, organized, and spa-like bathroom is really important to me.  This is because: 1) there is a peace to my morning routine that I love because my husband and I start our day talking while we get ready, and 2) I’m in there a lot because I LOVE to indulge in bubble baths.  Besides craft time in my craft room, a bubble bath in the tub is my ultimate sanctuary.  There are five things that I do to achieve this Zen-like feel.

Lots of Candles

Nothing says “spa” like several candles.  Surround your tub with different sizes and heights.

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Use White Towels

Every spa I’ve been to uses white towels.  They represent cleanliness and purity.

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Oral Care Products I Like and Support

Hello is the first line of seriously friendly oral care. I personally endorse hello because they are Earth-Friendly Products.  All the products are made in the USA using naturally derived ingredients wherever possible, while delivering the experience people want. Their products are never tested on animals.  Also, the toothbrushes are made with 50% recycled materials.

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Decorate with Shells and Other Natural Elements

Shells and other natural elements remind me of being at a tropical getaway.

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Hang Serene Artwork

Speaking of a tropical getaway, hang serene photos or artwork in your bathroom to help you relax.  I bought these in Hawaii from a local Photographer.

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Hello on Facebook

Take $1.00 off any hello toothpaste, mouthwash or breath spray. To access the coupon, “like” hello on Facebook and then click on the “coupons” box under the “like” button. Coupons are limited to one per person.

I wanted to give a big THANK YOU to hello for sponsoring this post!

24th Jul2013

Redecorating Living And Dining Spaces

by Dinah Wulf

Creating smooth transitions in open floor plans between kitchen, dining room, and living room enhances the appeal of the home when redecorating. Some of these changes are structural, such as making seamless transitions from living room to dining room flooring that incorporates counter space on the open island of the kitchen beside the two. Some of these changes relate to décor.

There are a few steps to creating this pace in the home:

  1. Choose color scheme
  2. Match cabinet with furniture
  3. Select neutrally universal décor

Following these steps will help create a smooth transition from one room to the next, making them all connected in the flow of the room instead of separated from each other by design.

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Choosing Color Scheme

The first step to blending the spaces is to take a look at color scheme. Look at the floors first since they are the most costly and time consuming to replace. Dark woods with light carpet is nice, but it separates the rooms from each other. Consider switching one or the other to match in darkness or light so that they do not contrast with one another. Flooring is the foundation of the color scheme.

Next take a look at the walls. The days of transitioning colors between the two rooms are behind us. In order to make the rooms seem as if they are one choose a color to paint all of the walls. These colors can either contrast with the flooring or compliment it, but you don’t want them to blend together. 

To set off living spaces a little, paint one wall of the living room, opposite the other rooms, a contrasting color. Usually softer hues on all walls but the one is acceptable. The different colored wall should be the main focus of the living room where the fireplace or the TV are mounted and the furniture is facing. If it isn’t don’t paint it a different color.

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Matching Cabinets with Furniture

After the floors and walls are taken care of look at the living room and dining room furniture. Do they match with each other or the colors of the kitchen counter and cabinets? If all three rooms are combined it may be necessary to reupholster or purchase new furniture for one room or another. 

Choose your personal style and decorate both rooms as if they are one. That means if you love your dining room table and the leather seated and backed chairs that go with it, consider getting leather sofas to match. The days of expensive leather furniture are behind us and they are now in the same range as fabric upholstered furniture. If there are bar stools for the kitchen space get matching leather and upholster them yourself.

Don’t forget the kitchen space. If you just spent money on a more modern kitchen make sure that the cabinets and countertops match the color of the tables in the living room and dining room, and that the upholstery smoothly transitions with the countertops.

Selecting Neutrally Universal Décor

The finishing touches are just as important as the foundation. Select visually appealing décor that can be used in all the rooms smoothly. That means if you have metal hangings on the wall in the dining room they should be used in the living room as well; if you have paintings in the living room add a couple to match in the dining room. A floor vase in the dining room should match the end table vase in the living room.

Creating transitions between the rooms should be done from the ground up. Using these three simple steps will enhance the comfort and unity of the home. 

17th Jul2013

How to Paint Stripes on a Wall

by Dinah Wulf

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I’ve wanted to paint stripes on, my daughter, Mia’s wall for the longest time. Thanks to 3MDIY.com, who sponsored this post, I was able to do so! 

Initially, I was worried about bleeding, because I have painted many walls in the past and have had issues.  Believe it or not, I managed to paint PERFECT stripes with ZERO bleeding! Woo hoo! With that said, here is my tutorial on how to paint stripes on a wall.

Before we start, here is a 90 second video I did for 3 awesome tips for painting perfect wall stripes.

Materials:

For Holes:

  • 3M Sandblaster
  • 3M Patch Plus Primer
  • Putty knife

To Paint:

  • Paint
  • Paint brush
  • Paint roller
  • Paint pan
  • Step Stool
  • ScotchBlue heavy duty non-slip drop

For Stripes:

  • ScotchBlue™™ Painter’s Tape
  • Pencil
  • Yardstick
  • Level
  • Credit Card

Protective Gear:

  • Safety glasses
  • 3M face mask

Here is Mia’s wall BEFORE.

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Instructions:

First, patch any holes using 3M Patch Plus Primerand a putty knife.  Sand the hole smooth with sand paper.  Next, using a yardstick and pencil measure the distance between stripe width across the wall.  My stripes were 13” apart on an 8’ wall.

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Use a level and a straight edge to ensure straight lines.

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Apply the ScotchBlue™™ Painter’s Tapeand create your lines, using your pencil marks as a guide.

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Use a credit card or a clean putty knife and apply pressure to the painter’s tape to ensure the tape is flush to the wall to prevent bleeding.

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Tip: When painting stripes, I marked arrows with a pencil to ensure there were no mistakes on which stripe to paint.  This helps especially if other people are helping you.

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Use a paint brush to paint the exterior of the stripes. Use a paint roller to fill in the middle of thick or wide strips.

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Peel off your painter’s tape and see perfect stripes!

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Here are a couple AFTER photos.

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This post is a collaboration with 3M DIY. To keep up-to-date on projects, products and sampling visit 3MDIY.com.  Connect with 3MDIY on 3M DIY Facebook Page and 3M DIY Twitter Page!

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