Home Decor & DIY

[display-posts category=”home projects”]

[display-posts category=”home decor”]

Good Morning!

I hope ya’ll are having an awesome Tuesday so far! Can we take a moment to say that bath time is so important? There are few things more relaxing than grabbing your epsom salts, a glass of wine, filling your tub with piping hot water and just… being.

For those of you who relax in the bath frequently, this handy dandy bath shelf- which I am going to teach you how to make- will be a game-changer.

Let’s do it!

What you need:

  • 1 plank of wood [I used pine that was ~9.5″ wide and X” long (the width of your tub)]
  • Minwax wood stain (I used English Chestnut)
  • Paint brush
  • Rag (to wipe away excess stain)
  • Paint blanket
  • Screw gun
  • 1/8″ drill bit
  • 2 cabinet pulls
  • Tape measurer

 

Directions:

1.) Measure the width of your bath tub

2.) Go to your local hardware store and purchase a plank of wood and have the store cut the wood to your desired length

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3.) Paint your piece of wood with the stain and wipe away the excess stain. Let dry outside (or in an area of good ventilation).

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4.) Once your wood is dry, grab your gun, drill bit, tape measurer and cabinet pull. Take the width of your piece of wood, subtract the width of the cabinet pull and divide by two. This will tell you how far you measure in the pull. For this project, I put the handles 3″ deep from the length and 3 1/8″ in from the width.

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5.) Flip your board upside down and screw in the screws that come with the cabinets pulls. On the top side, screw on your handles and relax!

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With Love,

Jenna

 

Happy Tuesday, Embarquers!

It feels like this is the time of the year when people start to get the mid-winter blues. The best way to relief this feeling is by adding some greenery to your home. This not only adds color to your home, but fresh oxygen as well.

Here in Texas, the home improvement stores are starting to get potted herbs. In the northern areas, there are seeds that are available for purchase (if there aren’t potted herbs available).

This is a simple project that only requires 30 minutes of active time. Below are the details:

 

Items needed:

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-Wine crate (available at Total Wine for $10, but note there’s a limited supply- call ahead to see if there’s inventory)

-Minwax wood stain (I used English Chestnut)

-Paint brush

-Rag

-Organic potting soil

-Potted herbs, or herb seeds (I chose the Bonnie Plants brand of: basil, parsley, mint, thyme, rosemary and oregano)

 

Directions:

1.) Take your wine crate, and set on a painting blanket or canvas to protect your flooring. Make sure all of the surfaces on the crate are clean (if there are stickers present that you don’t wish to have present, simply take a wet paper towel, and allow for it to sit on the sticker for 15 minutes, and scrape off. (Note: Your crate may also have parts of the lid sticking out of the top…grab a Phillips Screwdriver and hammer and push out the piece of wood stuck in between the staple and the crate. Second, when your screwdriver is still in between the staple and the crate, push your screwdriver toward the bottom of the crate and the staple will release.)

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2.) Paint on a coat for stain, and wipe off the excess stain with your rag. Stain all exterior surfaces of the crate. Stain the top quarter of the crate (to insure you’re not painting the area the soil will be touching and leaching into your herbs). Let the crate sit in the sun until fully dry.

Note: For those of you that have never stained before, the stain will not adhere to the wood the same in all areas… some areas will have a darker tint than others, but that adds the character to your piece, so it’s okay  😉

 

 

3.) Once your crate is dry, line the crate with newspaper. (The reason I do this is because I don’t want soil coming through the bottom cracks where the planks of wood meet, and it also keeps the wood from getting stained if you decide to use the crate for a later use.) Fill your crate 2/3 full of soil. Dig 6 deep holes (deep enough to fit your potted herbs). Place your herbs in the hole, and sprinkle on additional soil to hide all remains of the potted herbs soil. (I chose the Bonnie Plants brand because the planters the herbs come in are compostable. There’s no need to take your plants out of the container- simply place your plant in the ground and cover with soil.)

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Note: If you’re using seeds, I recommend taking a wet paper towel, fold your seeds in the towel, place in an unsealed Ziploc bag overnight and allow the seeds to germinate. In the morning, you will see each set of seeds will be covered in mold (this is good). Plant your seeds in a quarter inch deep hole, cover and water.

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4.) Mark all of your herbs with the proper labels (feel free to get crafty with your labels), and attend with the recommended care.

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Get out there and find your inner green thumb.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Happy Thursday!

I’m sure you’ve seen collage walls on Pinterest and how to create one of your own. I think all of the tutorials have great valid pointers, but quite frankly, most people don’t have the time for the long tutorials given. An example would be to trace every frame on butcher paper, lay out a variety of designs, pick one you like, tape it to the wall, then find where the nail hook is on the paper, mark it, hammer the nails, put up the pictures and if you don’t like it, START ALL OVER 🙁 … Don’t get me wrong, this is a great idea if you have an entire afternoon to play around and like to see the spacing before putting up the pictures (Click here for an awesome tutorial on a tutorial that uses butcher paper).

Personally, I like to wing my projects. It always ends up in a different direction I didn’t anticipate, but enjoy the outcome much more than the original plan (you’ll see that I end up playing around with the collage a little bit).

Let’s get to it!

 

What you need:

-Level with a measuring stick

-Nails (as many as it takes)

-Toothpaste (yes, I’m serious)

-Hammer

-Pictures and accessories to hang (don’t be afraid to add quirky items- this is about you and your story)

 

Directions:

1.) Lay out your collage on the floor. Remember to have fun with it and play around- this isn’t a something on The Amazing Race where you need to complete a task as quickly as possible and solve a puzzle. Relax, pour yourself a glass of wine if it helps the creative juices flow 😉 (and you’re 21+).

Keep in mind:

  • When you’re laying out your photos, try to keep them within a certain range of inches from one another. Almost every image is within 1 to 2 inches or another item.
  • Another way to keep cohesion is the have one or two colors in each piece, I went with the black frames and gold as an accent color.
  • Every item (with an exception or two) is in line with at least two items. This is easier to see in the finished product, but at least two edges will line up with two other items. Scroll to the bottom if you’re a little confused.

 

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2.) I started with the piece that made the largest statement (which is the skull of course), and put the pictures up around from there. Now is the time for the toothpaste! Take a frame, and put an itty bitty dot on the back of the frame where you’re going to be hooking the nail. Once you arrange where you want the picture, press your picture against he wall, set your frame to the side, and your toothpaste will mark where you’ll hammer your nail.

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3.) Start to build around your statement piece. Notice, your statement piece doesn’t have to be in the middle of your wall. I put mine to the lefthand side because I wanted to make it a little less predictable. Do whatever works for your style.

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Yes, I do notice some of the pictures were crooked during the hanging process 😛 the vibration from the hammer hitting the wall will do that, but simple correct your pictures once you’re done.

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I got to this point, and didn’t like where the wall was going, so I added in some art my sister and brother-in-law gave me.

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Know that it’s okay to change your mind during this process. It doesn’t have to be perfect the first time you go through. I suggest altering small sections until it meets the look your aspiring to create.

This project is really much less daunting than it can appear.

Note: When looking for frames, I like to go to stock up on dollar frames at Walmart or the Dollar Store. Pick different frames and paint them to match one another.

Most importantly, remember to enjoy yourself and the time you spend creating this work of art.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Hey, Embarquers!

I hope your week is off to an awesome start.

I’m sure that many of you have been to Target since the new year- can we take a moment of silence and a have a slow clap for Target’s new home decor line that’s out? I think this line captures what many of us have been waiting for- an eclecticism of mid-century modernism with bohemian and natural elements.

Anyway, let’s get back on track… I was jaunting down the aisles of Target and felt a swell of inspiration to make my bedroom into a space that feels more of a sanctuary than a place the fall asleep after a long day at work. I thoroughly enjoy my duvet set, but since the main color is white and the accent color it navy blue, why not spruce it up and give my room a different vibe?

Ready? Let’s get to it!

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This is an image from my room “as is”. I look at this room and don’t think it looks horrible by any means, but it wasn’t capturing who I am at this moment or where I strive to be. You’re room should always capture who you are or who you want to be. Let’s say your day is always incredibly hectic, and you want something that relaxes you, then that’s where your bedroom should be.

Let’s start off fresh. Remove the euro shams and pillows as well as the coverlet to begin a new slate.

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Pick a color or two that embodies the vibe you’re aiming at achieving.

This was a euro pillow I had on my living room couch. It captured the relaxed feeling you need in your room of rest.

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Pick a coverlet that coordinates with your euro sham (for a coverlet, a thin quilt is a wonderful option- it adds a thin but warm layer to your bed).

From there add a throw blanket (with varying texture) on top of the coverlet that doesn’t blend in or match, give a little contrast for depth.

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Toss on a harmonizing throw pillow and fall in love with your bed again.

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Similar Throw Pillows

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$19.99 Buy Here

bed8

$29.99 Buy Here

Coverlets:

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$59.47- $67.99 Buy Here

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$59.47- $67.99 Buy Here

Blankets:

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$29.99 Buy Here

bed20

$29.49 Buy Here

Time to get off the couch, and make your bedroom the oasis you’ve always dreamed of having.

 

With Love,

Jenna

Happy Thursday!
 

I hope you’re all having quick-moving week. This is part two that will also help you improve your daily life by getting yourself organized.

Personally, I didn’t realize this space was unorganized until my parents made a comment about… the pantry. I recognize that not every kitchen has a pantry, so you have the ability to do this in any of your kitchen cabinets.

Let’s get organized!

Step 1: Take EVERYTHING out of your pantry (I cheated a little and kept the top shelf items because I knew I wasn’t going to touch them and they were food-free). Mark my words, you will find  food in there that you had no idea that you had. In addition, you will find many items have expired. For some reason, I had two boxes of graham crackers that were… expired (don’t judge 😉 ). Then, throw away everything that’s expired, stale or not going to get eaten. I know it’s difficult to throw food, and it feels like a complete waste, but it’s not as it you can un-expire the food by holding on to it… let’s be real.

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Step 2: Put your food into groupings. This means, all of your canned food items together, baking ingredients, snacks, etc…you get the point. Take not on how many categories you have, and how much space each category takes up. (Don’t forget to clean your shelves with kitchen cleaner.)

Step 3: Get your booty on over to HomeGoods, Marshalls or T.J. Maxx and buy up these handy dandy refrigerator bins. You don’t have to buy the Frigidaire brand, but I liked the shape and handles on these bins. These are only $7 per bin. Walmart had similar bin was $13, so I could buy almost twice as many at HomeGoods!

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Step 4: Place your items from each category in your bins, and place in your pantry according to how frequently you use a specific bin. If you want to take it to the next level like I did, print labels for each bin. You don’t need a label maker. You can simply type and print the categories on a piece of paper, and tape it on your bins.

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Take the time to organize your pantry. This is going to not only save you time when it comes to food prep, but also make you feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders, I promise.

With Love,

Jenna

Happy New Year, Embarquers!

I’m so excited what this new year has in store for you. It’s a fresh new start where the possibilities are endless. I’ve been brainstorming some ideas for you and ways to improve your daily life. I want to start by organizing you bathroom.

I believe your bathroom should be a spa-like atmosphere- free of clutter.

Now, that being said, I am going to be quite vulnerable with each of you- please don’t judge. Before I started this project, my bathroom was a little chaotic, disheveled, and… messy…

 

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I’m showing you this because I always want to be authentic with all of you, and not pretend that I have everything together. This is a journey for all of us to go through, and I’m excited to improve my life with each of you.

In order to get your place organized and a more relaxing environment, I would follow these three simple steps:

1.) De-Junk: This is a very important step. Go through all of your toiletries, and throw out everything that’s used, but not with your current skincare and beauty routine (this is true for the males just as much as the females). If some products aren’t going to be used and haven’t been opened, feel free to donate them to your friends. This can be a very freeing feeling, getting rid of all the clutter and items you’ll never use. Also, check the expiration dates. This may surprise you, but many items do have a date of expiration.

2.) Clean: I bleached every surface in my bathroom to create a clean and fresh space. You can use whatever must-purpose cleaner you like to use, but I prefer bleach because I know everything is getting as clean as possible (plus I enjoy the scent- I know… it’s not good for me 🙁 ).

3.) Organize: I purchased this large linen cabinet at Lowes for $95, it has been a complete game changer. The best way to justify this is by considering this an investment in the bathroom. You’re putting equity in your home by adding in this storage (it’s similar to a custom built-in). You can either keep this as a piece of furniture, or screw it to the studs in your wall (if it matches your cabinets). I kept my white because the trim and doors in my home are white, but I white isn’t you color, I would paint the cabinet a fun accent color  (a nice neutral gray would coordinate with almost any cabinet).

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For counter organization, I went to Target and purchased an awesome toiletry organizer for $25, and it’s definitely my favorite organizer I’ve purchased. I also bought the matching soap dispenser at Target for $13. It’s better to buy a soap dispenser rather than a disposable dispenser because it’s much more economical to buy the refill pack and (my favorites are Pecksniff’s England Lavender and White Tea Soap (available at TJ Maxx or HomeGoods), and Method Soap French Lavender at Target).

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I put only the items on my counter are the ones I use every day, so please keep in mind, the less the better.

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This should help you get your motivation and just do it! Set aside a day and get your bathroom organized.

With Love,

Jenna

 

 

Happy Tuesday, Embarquers!

 

It’s finally Christmas week! I’m sure there are some of you out there looking for a last-minute gift idea for those you may have forgotten to put on your Christmas list. Here are some quick and easy gifts sure to please.

 

DIY Ring Necklace

Items:

  • a fine 18″ necklace chain
  • 15- 7mm Jump Rings
  • Spaghetti Noodle or wire (optional, to thread )

 

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Directions:

1.) Simply lay out your chain (gold, silver or rose gold) on your workspace

2.) Thread as many rings as you can fit on a wire or noodle

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3.) Dangle the end of your necklace directly above the rings and thread

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4.) Wrap your your necklace and gift!

 

Decoupage Canvas Art

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What you Need:

  • Canvas
  • Printed Image (I like landscapes and architecture , but you could also print a image of you and the gift receiver)
  • Mod Podge (Matte Finish)
  • Foam Paint Brush
  • Nor
  • Acrylic Paint (I like black)

 

Directions:

1.) Paint the edges of your canvas as well as the sides and let dry

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I added extra paint to add some depth and texture

2.) Take your canvas and paint a coat of Mod Podge on the canvas

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3.) Place your picture on the canvas and smooth down the picture on the canvas

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4.) Paint another coat of Mod Podge on the picture as well as the edges to seal the image to the canvas

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5.) Let dry, wrap and gift!

 

Go on your way, and get gifting!

 

Merry Christmas,

Jenna

 

Happy Monday, Embarquers!

I hope you all had a restful weekend, and a wonderful last night of Hanukkah (to all of my Jewish friends).

This weekend I was invited to a Tacky Christmas Sweater themed party (which seem to be incredibly popular these past few years) and didn’t have a sweater to wear. I looked in stores and they’re ~$30 (way too much for a one-time sweater). I decided to make on own sweater for less than 10 dollars. Feel free to create any tacky christmas sweater your heart desires, but if you’re more of a, ‘Follow exact instructions,‘ kind-of-person, then follow along below.

 

Supplies:

  • Old Sweater (you never wear and planned on donating)
  • Sparkly Pipe Cleaner
  • Scissors
  • Hot Glue Gun and Glue Sticks

 

Directions:

1.) Start by bending your green pipe cleaner at ~90 degree angles for the outline of the Christmas tree. Lay the pipe cleaners on the shirt and secure with hot glue. (Note: Your tree doesn’t have to look perfect-the kookier, the better for this project)

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2.) Continue bending the pipe cleaners to fill in the green space, and secure with hot glue

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3.) Lay out the tinsel on your tree, and secure

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4.) Continue bending and laying out the cleaners to fill in the blank space within the lines of the tree

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5.) Add decorative balls to the tree by bending the wire and cutting (I know they look like rods, but it works)

6.) Glue to your sweater

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7. Add on some decorative touches (I put on some snowflakes). Feel free to get silly with your decorations, add on poms, bells, tinsel, etc…

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This would also be an awesome intimate gathering to do with your friends the night before a party. Add in some cider (posted last Monday), and you’re good to go!

Have fun!

 

With Love,

Jenna

 Hey Everyone!

Rugs are a very important piece in each room. They have the ability to make or break a room, and I want to help you avoid commonly made mistakes when buying rugs.

As I’ve previously told you in an earlier post, I just got new flooring in the bedrooms and office. It feels so clean and fresh! Since I now have different floors, I need to get rugs to warm it up a little bit, and let me tell you (if you didn’t already know) rugs are EXPENSIVE!!! Not expensive as in $100, but generally thousands of dollars. My budget doesn’t allow myself to spend thousands of dollars on gorgeous rugs. A girl’s gotta eat and pay her mortgage. Haha. No, but seriously…

Something to keep in mind when buying a rug- this is an investment piece that you will have several years (if maintained properly). An area rug shouldn’t be walked on constantly with dirty shoes. Area rugs should be walked on with bare feet, house shoes or socked feet. This will allow the rug to remain in prime condition for decades. For example, Oriental rugs look gorgeous for decades because they’re maintained properly.

Enough about that! Time to shop! I did research on the best places to buy rugs on a budget, and there are a lot of great options. Here’s what I found:

Traditional:


Contemporary:


Transitional (a mix of Traditional and Contemporary):


Global:


My favorite places to purchase rugs are:

HomeGoods ($$)
Pottery Barn Outlet ($$)
West Elm Outlet ($$)
Restoration Hardware Outlet ($$$)
Target.com ($)
Overstock ($-$$$)
Costco ($$)
Lowe’s ($)
Wayfair ($-$$$$)
World Market ($$)
Important Notes:

Consider the material of the rug- Some rugs have latex in them. This could be problematic for those with a latex allergy. There are also certain materials that wear better than others. I prefer wool in my rugs, but many rug are made from polymers (nylon, olefins, polypropylene, polyethylene, etc). Personally, I like rugs made of wool, jute, silk (but that’s incredibly expensive) and higher quality nylon, but (in all honesty) go with your gut.
The location of the rug– A shag rug is probably not a good idea for a room with high traffic. The rug will quickly become crushed and lack the volume it had due to feet crushing the cords (reducing the height of the pile).
The color and design of the rug (of course!)- If your room is bright and vivacious, you may want to dial it back with your rug (and vice-versa).
The size of the rug is vital– bigger is better 4 out of 5 times. By looking at the awesome infographic below, you can see that rooms generally feel much more cohesive with a larger rug, (but most importantly) purchase whatever is proportional for the size of the room.
This is brought to you by World Market’s blog, Discover.

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Now go out there and buy that rug you’ve been coveting! (And have a beautiful Thanksgiving with your loved ones 🙂 )

With Love,

Jenna


Happy Friday, Everyone!

I received such awesome feedback from my post on Monday about the peek inside my home project. I’m beyond thrilled to tell you my floors are finally finished! It took the contractors 2 days to do fours rooms (which I would say is great time based on the quality of their installation and the amount of space they had to cover).

The reason I’m doing a blog post on the results is mainly to show you the difference  a couple thousand dollars (I know it’s a bit of an investment, but you get what you pay for)  can do to the aesthetic of the home AND add value to your home. If you buy quality materials (without being overpriced), and shop around (for a great value installer), you could easily double your investment by turning it into equity.

For example, if you spend $3,000 on flooring and installation, it could add up to $6,000 of instant equity in your home.

Are you ready to see some results?

Here we go!

Before:

 

 

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Remember this nasty old carpet? Gross…
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This is once the carpet was ripped out and the cement divots were repaired

After:

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The flooring I used is the Harmonics Savannah Hickory bought at Costco.
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Make sure your flooring doesn’t match your furniture. You want for some contrast.

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The wood floors adds a fluidity to the room

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Thanks for being  a part of this project with me. I hope this inspires you to conquer a project or two of your own.

I’m off to Florida for the week. Look for a new post next week of the best places to visit when in Fort Myers.

Have a beautiful weekend!

With Love,

Jenna


DIY Home Renovation

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Hey Embarquers!

Currently my home looks as though it has been ransacked by some hooligans due to some home renovations I’ve been working on. I’m in the process replacing the flooring in the bedrooms and office (a large project, but worth it).

I wouldn’t advise taking on the entire project yourself, but I would advise on doing some of the prep work to have save you a lot of money (~$2/square foot). I ended up spending $4/square foot for materials AND installation. I bought my flooring at Costco (Harmonics Savannah Hickory Laminate Flooring). This is only $1.94/square and is high quality flooring. High-quality laminate is a great option for those who have animals in your house because it’s very difficult to scratch this flooring.

He’s what you need to do to save some $$$.

Supplies:

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1.) Start by pulling the carpet from the corner of the room. This is a little difficult to do because the carpet is attached the the tack strips.

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2.) Cut the carpet in strips with your razor blade (be incredibly careful) so it is easy to roll up and dispose.

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3.) The original installer of the carpet may have used glue to hold down the carpet pad, but this easily scrapes up with the spackle knife.

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4.) Move on to the tack strips by using your SuperBar and rubber hammer. Line up your nail between the two feet on the bar. Tap your bar with the hammer several times until the bar is under the strip and the nail is between the two feet. Pull the bar towards you, and the strip will pull up with ease. Repeat this process with every nail in the tack strip (on the border of the room).

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5.) Chunks of concrete will likely come up with the nails. You should clean these divots with a firm bristle broom or brush.

6.) Once the holes are cleaned, fill the holes with the liquid cement. Smooth over the cement-filled divots with the spackle knife to prep the surface for the new flooring. The bottle says the surface will be ready for traffic in 45 minutes, but I wouldn’t consider touching the surface for 24 hours (minimum).

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This is how the holes look once they have been filled with concrete and smoothed with a spackle knife

I know this project takes a while, but it’s so satisfying after working on this all day and seeing your progress, plus, you’re going to LOVE your floors (and add a bit of equity to your home).

The Installers are coming on Wednesday this week, so I’ll definitely be sure to keep you updated and show the finished results!

With Love,

Jenna


DIY Christmas Decor

If you haven’t already, I’m sure you’re getting ready to deck your halls with red and green galore. I’m here to help make sure you don’t overspend and get the greatest bang for your buck.

A person needs to be very strategic to stretch every penny when it comes to decorating for the holidays (because there are hundreds of thousands of options). Christmas can feel like the Target Daze (what I like to call it)-this is when you go in to Target for two items, and you end up purchasing a cart full of items you didn’t need but couldn’t resist because it was all on sale. Ladies and Gents, we need to stay focused 😉 !

Ready? Okay, good! Here we go.

1.) Christmas Tree (~$50)

If you don’t have a tree (like I didn’t), then get your booty to Hobby Lobby and go grab one!

You may be thinking, ‘Jenna… There goes my $100…’ Nope, think again. I bought an adorable 5″ tree (with lights) for $40 at Hobby Lobby.

You can also buy mini live trees at your local hardware store or grocery store. All Christmas decor at Hobby Lobby is currently 50% off, so you can load up ornaments (~$5/box of 10 ornaments)

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This is the Christmas tree in my living room

2.) Garland (~$15)

This is where you need to use your creativity. What I did last year was I trimmed my bushes and used this for garland (I kid you not). This is a (practically) free resource you have. If you don’t have bushes, you can trim some tree branches that are getting a little long.

  1. Once you have a bundle ~4 inches in diameter, lay the branches out on your mantle (or wherever you like to hang your garland), very gently, tie your branches together with wreath wire.
  2. From there, you’ll grab some accessories from the wreath making department at your local craft store, and slide them into the wreath.
  3. Secure the accessories with wreath wire, and weave in battery powered LED lights (these run at ~$10 at Lowe’s and Home Depot).
  4. Voila, You’re done! Enjoy your thriftiness

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This is a great example from Pottery Barn, but I would have a greater ratio of twigs to pine and berries

3.) Christmas Pillow (~$20)

It really only takes a single pillow to make a statement. I would layer this on top of neutral colored existing pillows. Here are some great options.

Festive Bowls ($5)

Use some existing clear bowls to fill with pinecones and ornament balls to add festive flair to any room.

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This is a great example from the Rusty Hinge

DIY Christmas Art (~$10)

This was inspired by some art I did as a kindergartener. All you need is a canvas, green, silver, red, white, yellow, and brown acrylic paint (99 cents per bottle).

1.) Draw a triangle on your canvas with a rectangle at the bottom.

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2.) Fill in your triangle with the green color of your choice (This doesn’t have to be perfect. This is simply a base color on your canvas)

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3.) Mix up several green colors to add depth to your tree. You can do this by simply adding a little white and a little black to your tree. Then make a “V” with your brush to add a certain effect to your tree


4.) You’re going to build layers of paint to your tree to add even more depth

5.) Add silver for your snow and a star on top of your tree!

tree66. Dip an eraser (on a pencil) into red paint to add red decorative balls on your tree.

7.) Enjoy!

No go and play some Christmas music, drink some hot chocolate, and have fun with your projects!


DIY Wreath

I feel that this time of year is awkward (when it comes to home decor). With two very important holidays right next to one another (Thanksgiving and Christmas), you want to get the most bang for your buck. I thought it would be a great idea to put a staple item in your home that could work for both holidays (so you don’t end up changing your decorations so frequently).

Cue, the Thanks-mas Wreath!

OKL Magnolia Wreath

I was inspired by this wreath from One King’s Lane.

I looked online and here are some other great magnolia wreaths that may inspire give you some additional ideas and inspiration.


Let’s Get Started!

Here’s what you need:

  • 18″ Grapevine Wreath ($2.50 at Hobby Lobby, currently on sale)
  • 2 bushels of Magnolia leaves (only $9 each at Hobby Lobby, On Sale!)
  • Wreath Ties ($2)
  • Wire Cutter
  • Floral Accent, I chose red berries ($2)
  • Gold Metallic Paint ($2)

Directions:

1.) Cut the magnolia bushels into the groupings of three leaves and weave into the grapevine wreath on the outside of the wreath (so the leaves fan out). Use only one bushel for the outside of the wreath.

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2.) Tie leaves with the wreath ties to insure the leaves don’t fall out of the wreath (Yes, the glass of wine helps the creative juices flow (no pun intended) Hehe 😉 )

3.) Complete the circle, and make sure all the leaves are angled the same way

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4.) Use the second bushel of magnolia leaves to fill in the inside of the wreath (and secure with wreath ties)

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5. Weave in your accent pieces that fit your style, and secure with tie

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6. Use your gold metallic paint to add some stylish flair

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7. Turn your wreath over and tie on your ribbon to hang your wreath (I used 2.5′ of ribbon)

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8.) I decided to hang my wreath from a mirror, so I took the mirror, placed a command strip upside down on the back of the mirror to hang my wreath, and VOILA!

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Enjoy!


Upgrade Your Bathroom (Without the Renovation)

Let’s talk about bathrooms… Bathrooms can be extremely expensive to remodel, so I think it’s best to work with the budget you have and focus on accessorizing.

1. Start with a blank slate. Take everything off your counters, clean all of your surfaces to begin with a fresh space.

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2. Pick the colors and/or theme you would like in your bathroom. I decided to go with neutral colors (white and blue/gray) to keep it simple and clean.

3. Before you being the process, think of it as layering (or getting dressed in the morning). You start with your basics (undergarments) and add on from there.

I always advise using good quality white towels. This is because white towels stay white (when bleached), it gives your bathroom a clean, fresh look, and white coordinates with everything.

4. Chose a shower curtain that meets the color scheme and style you’re looking to achieve. This is the area you can really show your personality.

A great place to buy shower curtains is World Market. They’re reasonably priced and have a lot of personality.

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I went with more of an androgynous look from Target. Click HERE to buy.

(Make sure you find a rug that coordinates with your shower curtain too to add some warmth)

5. Look for framed art you can’t live without.

Framed art can be expensive, so a fun way around this by buying the two-frame pack at Costco with matting (normally costs +$80 per frame). I didn’t see this deal online, but you can buy a large two-frame pack at Costco for $20 (such a steal)! Instead of putting a picture in the frame, go to World Market and buy a $3 sheet of handmade wrapping paper, trace the glass (from the frame) on the wrapping paper, cut the paper and insert in the frame (this is essentially the same as my DIY Jewelry Frame tutorial, but with wrapping paper).

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6. Countertop time! Going back to equate this to getting ready in the morning, this is the time you add the jewelry.

Close your eyes (no peaking 😉 ) and think about the times you’ve use the restroom at a friend’s house and you were thinking, wow, I really wish [insert friend’s name] had ___________ . This could be a number of items (floss, Q-tips, mouthwash, aspirin, lotion, etc…). This is the time to let your hospitality shine.

I like having the hand towel and the disposable towel as an option (especially during flu season).

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Be sure to put your hospitable items on a tray for a more polished look. I bought my tray of Goodwill for $1.99 and cleaned up the tray with a silver polish.

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I can’t wait to hear about your bathroom makeovers!


My Favorite Candle Scents

Scents… I understand that scents are a very personal and have the ability of invoking some incredibly strong memories. One person may be a huge fan of pachouli, and someone else may say it reminds them of Woodstock (and not in a good way). Scents have the ability to give you the feeling a decadence or take you to a specific place in time without breaking the bank.

We all have our own personal favorites, but I want to let you know about some of mine (these may become a staple in your home too).

Capri Blue- Volcano ($16-$32, burns 35- 85 hours)
Aspen Bay- Reserve ($16-$31, burns 30-85 hours)
Circle E- Pomegranate ($10-$21, burns 44-155 hours)
Voluspa- Santiago Huckleberry ($9-$28, burns 50- 100 hours)
Voluspa- Mokara ($9-28, burns 50-100 hours)
THE Collection by: Chesapeake Bay Candle- Cashmere Plum (My FAVORITE right now) ($13, burns ~ 35 hours)


Also please note, when buying candles, always try to buy ones made of soy wax. Soy candles last longer (than paraffin wax).

Here’s some basic information on the three most popular types of waxes:

Paraffin Wax- derived from petroleum, it’s a great beginners wax (if you’re making your own candles)… it absorbs scent very well and is the most popular wax among candles overall; however it burns quite quickly.

Soy Wax- derived from soy bean oil, this is the most popular type of high-end candle wax. It has a clean burn that releases no carcinogens when burned, and lasts almost twice as long as soy wax.

Beeswax- most expensive, but has the longest burn time (three times longer than paraffin was and twice as long as soy wax).


DIY Dresser Makeover

Have you ever had a piece of furniture that you’re so sick of looking at, and just doesn’t fit your style anymore? Paint it!

Chances are, by changing out the hardware and painting the furniture will allow you to adapt your piece of old furniture to one of your favorite new pieces of furniture.

Here’s an example of the DIY Dresser Makeover I did, and what you can do too!

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This is an old dresser I had in college. I could’ve just repainted the black to fix the patchiness and kept it as is, but this isn’t really my style anymore. I decided to do a french provincial dresser with a little art deco twist (I know it sounds bizarre, but it all worked out in the end).

Supplies:

  • 1- 2″ paint brush
  • a tarp to paint your furniture on and protect your floors
  • 1 quart of primer Click Here!
  • 1 quart of your new favorite paint color
  • Your piece of furniture
  • New hardware for your furniture (I went to World Market for the knobs and Lowe’s for handles) NOTE: The hardware is probably the most important item you purchase for this project because this sets the style and tone for your piece of furniture. Another great place to shop for hardware is Anthropologie and Hobby Lobby.

Directions:

1.) Remove all hardware from the furniture and paint with a thin coat of primer and let dry for an hour

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2.) Paint the piece of furniture and let dry for at least two hours

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This color is Hammered Zinc from HGTV by Sherwin Williams. I love the color, but it was too light and not enough of a contrast on the wall, so I decided to add black to create a darker color
3. Paint again (if you need another coat, or if you don’t like your first color).

I also did some faux wood finish as an accent for the trim. Mix together yellow and purple (or you can mix together any set of complementary colors), add in some water and paint a thin coat over your trim. Grab a paper towel, wet, and in a gentle sweeping motion, rub the wet paint (this will give a wood grain look with the white showing through the streaks)

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4. Add your hardware (I bought art deco styled hardware to add a contemporary twist) & admire your work!

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I can’t wait to hear about your projects!


DIY Jewelry Tray

Enamel jewelry trays are everywhere, and generally overpriced. Here is an easy and inexpensive alternative that takes 2 minutes flat.

Supplies:

Picture Frame (Mine was $15, but you can find beautiful ones for $6 at HomeGoods)
Scissors
Pencil
Scrapbook Paper ($1.20 at Michaels with online coupon)


Instructions:

1.) Find a picture frame that has steep edges and a piece of scrapbooking paper that coordinates with the frame (Gentlemen, you can find masculine frames at about as well for your watches and cufflinks)
2.) Take the back off the frame and trace the faux picture (that the frame comes with) on the scrapbooking paper
3.) Cut out the traced shape and insert into the frame
4.) Put the back of the frame back on and place your jewelry on the tray

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DIY Bookshelf

I had some old closet accordion doors that were previously used as a headboard in college. I had no use for them, so I decided to remake them into something for my house: a bookshelf!

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Here’s what you need:

  • 1 Accordion closet door (2 panels in one door) or 2 wood shutters
  • Power drill
  • 6- 12″x 24″ pieces of pine planks (buy a large plank at Home Depot or Lowes and ask for an employee to cut the wood to the desired lengths)
  • 24- 1.5″ screws
  • Minwax mahogany stain
  • Paint brush & rag
  • Paint (optional)
  • Sandpaper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Remove the pins in the hinges to separate the panels
  2. Sand the panels to ensure new paint will adhere to the wood (optional)
  3. Paint the doors the new color of your choice, two coats (optional)
  4. Paint the pine planks the stain color of your choice (I chose the deep mahogany to contrast the cream) Let dry for 24 hours outside
  5. Space the planks to the appropriate distances you want the shelves spaced apart
  6. Screw the shelves into the panels (2 screws on each side of the shelves)
  7. Decorate and style as desired

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Let me know how your bookshelf turns out!

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Wine Crate Bedside Table

Wine Crates Galore !!!

Let me tell you, I love wine boxes! There are so many different home projects you can do with these babies.

There was a new Total Wine that opened by my home in South Austin and I went a little crazy… I think I bought 8 boxes… I want to show you a DIY project that I love having in my house by using a wine box.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 wine box ($10 at Total Wine)
  • Stain (I used Minwax English Chesnut, ~$7)
  • Paint & Rag (to apply stain)
  • Legs for the table (You could purchase hairpin legs on Etsy for ~$15/leg but I bought a side sofa table) Buy Here!
  • Gorilla Glue (to attach the wine box to the side table)

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Side table (purchased at T.J. Maxx for $40)

Directions:

  • Apply the stain to the wine box and wipe the excess stain with the rag

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  • Let the stain dry, and apply another coat if you want a darker finish

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  • Attach the wine box to the legs with the Gorilla Glue (or screw the hairpin legs into the box) and let sit for 24 hours.

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  • Accessorize to your liking

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I hope you enjoy your table!


Custom Canvas Art

Who doesn’t love a little DIY project? It’s an affordable way to create a custom conversation piece that will be the envy of all your friends.

Let’s start with some DIY artwork for your walls. Believe me when I say, you don’t have to be Vincent van Gogh when creating custom art for your home. Below is a piece I created in about 20 minutes with some 99 cent acrylic paints from Michaels.

Note: DO NOT go to a craft store without a coupon. This is easily downloaded on your smartphone.

Here’s what you need:

  • A white canvas -whatever size works for your space (~$5-$40, depending on size)
  • A paint brush
  • 4 acrylic paint colors- I picked 1 color I like (ie: blue), a metallic complementary color (I chose gold), white and black (this is to lighten or darken the main color you chose)
  • 1 paper plate (for mixing colors)

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Steps:

  1. Mix your colors to the shades you like (I picked blue and added some white and black to make nice smokey blue shades
  2. I started with a base of gold in the background
  3. From there I would layer on scattered stripes of various shades of blue (if you don’t like how it turns out at first, keep layering until you find what you like).
  4. Let me know how it turns out for you!
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This piece has very little paint on it (if that’s the look you’re going for). If you don’t like the look of this, you can keep layering on paint for a more finished look. (See below)

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