Land of Nod Book Bin Knock Off

Back in December we moved the boys into the same room and they got bunk beds for Christmas. I’m sure you’ve all seen these wall hanging book bins on Pinterest and maybe even in the Land of Nod catalog, which is where I got the idea. They call them “Bin There Done Book Bin” and they cost $69 each!

Now if you know me, you know that I’m cheap and would NEVER pay that much for a few pieces of wood. Especially when I know we can do it ourselves! Well, I guess I should say hubby could do it!
I handed him the page I tore out from the catalog and batted my eyes as I asked him to please make me one of these shelves.  So he grabbed a piece of scrap wood from the garage and got to work. Now we have tons of scrap wood, trim pieces, dowels, you name it, in the garage. If you don’t, just go buy a piece of plywood.

He measured it to size (12 inches for the front edge and 16 inches for the back edge that hangs against the wall) and then drew in the decorative edges.

Then used his jigsaw and cut along the lines he had drawn.

Two pieces like this were cut, one for each side. And then one rectangular piece for the base.

The sides were secured to the base with screws. Did you notice Little Man #2 (Parker Reese) doing the work?

 These trim pieces were leftover from  some project. Like I said, we have tons of leftover molding in our garage. They were attached with nails.

Wood filler (or putty) was used to fill the nail holes in the front and small gap between the bottom and the trim piece. Then I took over. After it was dry I sanded the puttied spots and the rough cut edges smooth.

I spray painted it navy blue. It needed about three good coats. D-ring hooks were attached to the back of each side to hang the shelf.

wall hanging book bin land of nod

And now parker Reese has a little book bin to hold his stories!

Land of Nod book bin: $69
Mine: Free. Okay, we had to buy the D-rings which cost a couple bucks. So I’ll say $4.
Love a good (and cheap) knock-off!


Anthro Inspired Necklace Made at Creative Estates

While at Creative Estates I was fortunate enough to meet a lovely gal named Bev from Flamingo Toes. Bev led one of the craft sessions with her make and take Anthropologie inspired necklace
It was a really fun project which allowed us quality time with the girls at our table. I’m going to do my best to explain the procedure for making this necklace.  It’s really easy and the finished product is really cute. But first, let me introduce you to the original Potentilla Bib Necklace by Anthropology. . .
And now, let me introduce you to her price. $138! Nope, not a misprint, that’s one hundred thirty eight bucks! Say what????!!!!
And here is Bev’s knock-off version. . .
{photo courtesy of Flamingo Toes}

Didn’t she do a great job?! Her price tag? I don’t know, but it sure ain’t close to $138! 
Here is what you need:
{Please forgive me if I do not label these correctly. I’m not a jewelry maker – YET.}
Tools: needle and thread and a needle nose pliers. 

4 small flowers {3 petals each} and 4 large flowers {four petals each} cut from your basic cotton t-shirt. You also need a felt scrap {not shown} to sew your flowers on.

2 necklace chains {approximately 9 inches each}, a lobster clasp, 3 jump rings and a head pin.

A handful of small beads and one large bead.
Lay the four large flowers on top of one another, alternating the petal placement. Do the same with the small flowers using two for each set.

Starting with the large flowers, fold the layered petals and sew one stitch through the middle to secure the layers. String several beads onto the thread and sew in a cluster in the center of each flower.  Do the same for each of the small flower sets.

This is my new friend Holly from 504 Main. Actually, I’ve been reading her blog for awhile and was pretty excited about meeting her. We seem to have a lot in common and had a good time chatting while we made our necklaces. Look at the concentration!

After your beads are sewn onto your flowers, you’ll have to attach the chain to the felt. To do this open the jump rings using the pliers and poke them through each end of the felt. Attach the chains to the jump rings and squeeze closed using the pliers. Use the same technique to attach the lobster clasp. And I’m not really sure how to begin explaining attaching the large bead to the back with the clasp. I know we put the bead on the head pin and used the pliers to hold it tightly while we wrapped the headpin into a loop and attached it to the jump ring. Bev’s tutorial uses another piece of fabric rather than the bead. You might be better off listening to her!

Once your chains and clasps are fastened you just sew the back petals of your flowers onto the felt piece. Easy peasy!
And there you have it! My Anthro inspired necklace for way less! 

Not sure why I’m not wearing mine {instead of the hideous yellow name tag strap} but Kathy and Brittany are. Aren’t they cute? Well yes, the necklaces too, but I was talking about the girls from Red, Blonde and Burlap! These girls launched their adorable little blog right after Creative Estates. Go check it out, I think it’s gonna be a good one!

Martha Inspired Terracotta Herb Pots

Monday I shared with you the beginning of my summer veggie garden in this post. Although I have several herbs planted in the garden, I also like to have some potted herbs on my deck. I plant the herbs with a fast growth rate {basil, parsley, oregano and mint} in the garden because they require more space. The smaller plants I put in pots. Not only does this give me more space in the garden for other veggies, but the herbs in the pots look pretty displayed on my outdoor kitchen counter.

I love good old terracotta pots, but decided they could be taken up a notch and made a little more attractive. Immediately chalkboard paint came to mind. HUGE trend right now in decorating. So I decided to use chalkboard paint on the pots which would then allow me to label them. 

I will admit that I did a Google search and had a little inspiration from these:

And this is how I decided to do mine. 
Supplies: Chalkboard paint, Frogtape, terracotta pots, herbs/veggies {and dirt}.
Tape around the top {or any area} where you do not want any paint.
Spray two good coats of chalkboard paint on each of the pots.
After the paint is fully dry, remove the tape.
I love Miracle Gro’s Organic Choice Potting Mix for my herb pots. Be sure when you are planting in pots you buy a potting mix variety. I also use the Organic Choice garden variety for my vegetable garden. 
Plant the herbs deep in the pots and cover with soil.

After planting the herbs/vegetables, label the pots accordingly. I did not use chalk since my pots were staying outdoors because it would wash off in the rain. They now make chalkboard ink which you can find at Michaels. Cool! They look like this:

Okay, I cheated, I just used a regular old white paint marker because that is what I had on hand. I didn’t see a difference except that it can not be erased. Oh well, that means the rain can’t wash it away!

And here are my herb pots! I do still need to add the trays underneath. And I might tie a raffia ribbon around each, but I’m not sure how it will hold up outdoors.

Ballard Inspired Boxwood Topiaries

Spring is in the air (and I’m definitely feeling it with the worst case of allergies EVER)! I’ve packed up all of my Valentine’s decor and am ready for some bright spring colors around the house. 

Boxwood Topiaries
I love getting my Ballard Designs catalog in the mail. I love the design concepts, but do not like the prices. See the boxwood topiaries above? Love them! $49 – $65! What?! Of course I know I can create a knock-off for a fraction of the cost. And I did. 

I found these Better Homes and Gardens fall pieces just last month on clearance at Wally World for just a buck each. Yes, $1.00! They were tucked away in the floral section, leftover from fall. 

I bought these because I knew I could use the pots. I removed the fall leaves and pumpkins and put them away for another project. Remember these green boxwood balls from Hobby Lobby? They were originally $4.99, but I got them for half-off. I also used them for a centerpiece on my breakfast table

You might also recognize this. It’s Krylon’s nickel spray paint and I think I am addicted. I’ve used it here, here and here. Good-bye gold, hello shimmering nickel!
Of course I added a little Distress Ink (another addiction).
And here are my Ballard Designs inspired boxwood topiary domes.

Let’s compare, shall we?

Boxwood Topiaries
Ballard Designs dome topiaries = $49 each 
(thanks for the inspiration)

My boxwood topiaries = $7 for the set!


Nursery Knock-Offs

So when I began searching for decor for Parker’s nursery I had this grand design planned out in my head but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I was very picky about the bedding. I didn’t want the typical boy themes: jungle, transportation, aviation, sailboats. Nothing against them. I just didn’t want them. So after hours and hours of sitting in bed on the internet at night, I finally found it! It was perfect.
And of course, it was expensive. Now with the first child, nothing can cost too much. But once you are on your second, reality kicks in and you start to “budget.” Or at least I did.
So anyways, I found this bedding from Carousel Designs.
I was determined that it would be mine (or his rather). Oh look at these adorable coordinating drapes.
But wait. . . $59 for ONE PANEL. Not even to complete one window, but 1/2 of a window. That’s $236 to decorate the windows in this nursery. Are you kidding me? No, I’m not doing it, no way!
And the pillows, something like $40 per pillow?!

So I did my homework. First I searched Ebay to see if I could find any window treatments made with the fabric. No luck. However, i did find the fabric!

Both the toile and the stripe accent, and it was cheap!! I spent $80 on ebay for all the fabric to make the curtains and pillows and still had enough left over to make a lampshade cover and a Christmas tree skirt!
I am by no means a seamstress. I have had a sewing machine for about 10 years, and I love to use it, but I really can only do the basic, geometric shaped items. Pillows and curtains!
So I did. . .

The only difference (besides some not-so-perfect lines) was that I used ribbon to tie the panels to the rod instead of fabric.
          Theirs $246                                                            Mine less than $80

I was determined to have this nursery.
In then end I found a way to make it happen. The nursery turned out just as I had imagined.

The Bumper and bed skirt are from Carousel. I made the pillows (with the exception of the monogrammed pillow) and the mobile I bought on Ebay (cheap) and re-designed. I wish I had a before/after photo of that.
Parker’s black and white newborn photos now hang on each side of the initial “P.”
Also from Carousel, the diaper hanger ( I added the bow to the front) and the blanket hanging on the chair. I made the pillow, covered the lampshade on the tall dresser and made the mirror out of an old window. To see that tutorial, click here.
I love the way this nursery turned out. I saved boo-coos of money and I did it myself!


Organizing Kiddos Coloring Table

IKEA is #1 for organizing space solutions. 
Last year when our office was converted to a playroom, I purchased just about everything from furniture to shelves, to decor from IKEA. One of my favorite things in the playroom is this:
It’s mounted on the wall above the kids’ art table and keeps crayons, markers, stickers and stamps. And it has worked out GREAT! I really wanted to have something like this for their table in the family room but didn’t want to make the trip up to IKEA. So, instead I decided to create my own. 
Check it out:
Not bad ‘eh? 

I purchased most of my supplies from Lowe’s. I’m sure I gave the men quite a laugh as my two boys and I went up and down the isles searching for these items. I knew what I wanted, just didn’t know where to find them! From Lowe’s: 
1. 1/2″ thick dowel rod
2. bag of S hooks (that would fit snuggly on the rod)
3. package of two  unfinished wooden finials
4. can of satin finish spray paint
Not pictured are: 
5. 3 baby blue tin buckets from Michael’s dollar bins 
6. 2 curtain rod holders which I got, as luck would have it, from the thrift store.

I spray painted all the pieces, including buckets with a couple coats of spray paint.
 After they were painted, my hubby mounted the rod holders on the wall, cut the dowel rod to size and attached the finials to the rod. 

I organized the buckets. . .

then hung them on the hooks.

           Before:                                     After:



Total cost was probably about $10.
I’m also going to grab some curtain rings, the ones that have the little clips like these (but not from Lowe’s –  too expensive), to slip on the rod to hang their artwork. Clever 🙂