Friday, February 28, 2014

Moving on to the guest bedroom

Our guest bedroom has been empty for a long time. When we first moved into our house, all we bought for the guest bedroom was a queen bed frame and a mattress. I've slowly collected an old gray chair and some clearance rods I found at Target to go in that room. Here are the before pictures of the guest bedroom. The room itself isn't very big so we won't really need much furniture. We haven't had any real guest over our house yet except for my brother's friend. It was on such short notice that I couldn't do much.

After two years of being sad and empty I've decided to start decorating this spare room. 

Here are the in progress pictures on Valentines day when my brother came to visit. I am challenging myself and really trying to keep a budget on everything. I found a cheap bed in a bag set in red with the adorable pattern for $35 at Ross. It comes with two pillow shams, three decorative red pillows that I plan to give a facelift, bedskirt, and comforter. Its not really my color but I really wanted to try out brighter and bolder colors since our house is so boring. I also moved the bed away from the wall and added an $8 TV tray/table from Target. Lastly, I hung our clearance rod I found a while ago and got some Ikea curtains for $35. So far, the room feels really inviting compared to how it was prior. The room is far from finished but I plan to add accessories and decorate the whole room on a budget.

Here's a better picture of the small side table and thrift lamp I got last week. I still need to refinish the base of the lamp. I'm thinking of doing plain white to brighten up the whole corner and adding some dark blue trim to the shade. I also wanted to mention the Ikea curtains. They are a great length and extra wide, very affordable, and IMO pretty thick quality fabric that blocks out just the right amount of light when used in conjunction with blinds. 

Here's the wall opposing the bed. The space is very narrow since the room isn't very big. I'm in the search for a very narrow dresser to go in that space. I'm spying on the Ikea Hemnes shoe cabinet because its only 8.5 inches for the width. I figured guests won't really store too much in the dresser and really just need a surface to lay their keys or random belongings when they first enter the room. I will be emptying out the closet and guests can use that space if they want to.

Since the nursery was completed in under $400 I will try to complete this whole guest bedroom with a budget of under $300.

Here's the cost breakdown so far:

Comforter set $35
Henny Rand curtains from Ikea $35
Small tv tray/table from Target $8
Plain white queen bedsheets $15 from Ross
Two blue decorative pillows- DIY project from a while ago.

Total $93

Future plans include:

*hanging some artwork on the wall to the left of the bed- I'm spying some free frames at my mom and mother in laws house but they are all mismatched.
*giving two of the red pillows a facelift
*find a cheap lamp for the side table -already completed, just need to refinish it
*find a small and very narrow dresser for the wall opposing the bed. I've been spying on some affordable options at Ikea.
*After getting the dresser, maybe bring in some large scale art or mirror to go above the dresser. Its currently a very plain and boring wall.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Nursery before and after

I'm finally done with redecorating the nursery and can mark it off my to do list. Today I just wanted to show you guys the before and after.


I had a large pink dorel rocker that is now replaced by the ikea agen chair. The crib has been moved to the wall on the right and the changing dresser has been moved to the wall where the pink dorel rocking chair sat.  The nursery was a very pale/light green with empty walls and a sad window.

Here's an old picture of the diaper changing dresser without the top knobs. That corner is now Emily's new big girl bed. 


Same view as first picture above. The crib is moved to the right and changing dresser is located to the left.

Emily's new big girl bed in the corner where the changing dresser use to sit. 

View from Emily's bed

I love the new Ikea Agen chair because its so lightweight and easy to move that I can pick it up with one arm and move it next to Emily's bed whenever I want. It also fit perfectly between the tall chest and her big girl bed.

Total cost breakdown of nursery makeover:

* Emily's big girl bed/canopy and accessories $200
*Free craigslist tall dresser/chest with new accessories/knobs $30
*Simple lamp makeover $9
*Ikea Agen chair $35

Total: Under $400

I think I was able to save a lot of money by finding a free Craigslist dresser and such an affordable new chair for the nursery. I wanted to challenge myself and really use supplies that I already had at home to redecorate the nursery. Not only would it save me some money but it also frees up space to hoard future potential projects. I was able to use an old unused manzanita branch, some old frames, left over supplies from projects  (headboard for Emily's bed), and old decorative boxes I had around the house to add finishing touches to the nursery. 

Aside from saving money by thrifting and using what I already had, I was also able to resell some of Emily's old stuff. I was able to sell Emily's pink Dorel rocking chair, green frog humidifier, and old nursery lamp. Three pieces did not match the new room so I didn't want to hoard them around my house and was able to sell them for $130. After selling everything and adding total costs I really spent about $260 for the new nursery. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

DIY paper butterfly mobile

Today I've been busy DIY a butterfly mobile for Kaley. I had an old unused manzanita branch that was taking up space so I decided to use it above her crib. Here are the pictures of my completed work. It really gives the room so much more height and dimension. The frame alone was  kinda boring and flat. The new 3D paper butterfly mobile and the reflection completes the whole room. I really adore how it creates a nice romantic shadow on the wall. It also makes your eyes travel upwards creating an illusion of a larger room.

Here's the view when you first enter the room. 

A close up view of the butterfly and branch. 

This is Kaley's view of the butterfly mobile.

This is Emily's view from her bed. 

Instructions on how to make a 3D paper butterfly mobile

1. Find a butterfly template online and trace it on regular paper. I used two different sizes. They were about three and four inches. I wanted something larger and easier to see. I was so lazy to even print out the template that I just traced it directly from my laptop. 

2. Cut out the template and fold your paper of choice into three. Cut the butterflies out. I didn't even bother tracing it. I was able to cut out three large and three smaller butterflies on each regular size paper.

After one episode of Elmo I was able to get this. I used pink and ivory metallic paper I had left over from another project.

3. Hang your branch to desire height and measure how long you want the butterflies to hang. I made mines about 18-23 inches in length.

4. Using tape and strong clear thread I taped the butterfly by the body and folded the wings out. Two paper butterflies made one 3D butterfly.

5. I suspended my branch over two chairs and started randomly taping my butterflies to the clear string. 

6. Finally, I asked my dad to install three small ceiling hooks above Kaley's crib and hung the new butterfly mobile above. 

Cost for supplies was free. I had everything from previous projects. 

Here's a before and after. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Artwork above Kaley's crib

I've been looking for some simple artwork that I can put above Kaley's crib. Her wall was so empty compared to Emily's princess canopy. I wanted to look for something meaningful and easy to make. I designed some simple artwork and had it printed out at CVS for $9 on matte photo paper.

I first used an old picture frame we had laying around our house. The frame was our old wedding frame that got displayed in front of the wedding venue. Those who are Vietnamese know what i'm talking about.  I had Binh hold up the frame to see if I liked the arrangement. After looking at it for a while, I thought it looked better in a lighter color frame. So off to Joanns I went to look for acrylic paint.

I spent $2 on a metallic Martha Stewart light pink/off white acrylic paint. I brushed the frame with some left over primer and waited one day before applying the acrylic paint. Whole process took about ten minutes for each coat and drying time in between. I was too cheap to buy a mat for the frame so I went to Dollartree and bought a white foam board for $1, cut it to size, and stuck it on the frame. 

To hang the frame, I used Command strips. I really love the command stripes to hang frames. I don't need to bring out any nails/screws or hammers. Just as simple as a sticker and follow the very simple directions. I used a $1 off coupon found online and bought 16 command strips for $7 at Target. It states that each strip can hold up to 6 pounds and I made sure to use four strips on this large picture frame. So far the frame has been up for over two weeks and still feels very secure. I love the strips because even in an earthquake the strips will hold the frame up. Its velcroed onto the wall. Compared to a nail/screw thats hammered onto the wall, I feel the command strips are much more secure and stable and cannot be pulled off the wall easily. Its baby and momma proof. LOL Here's a picture from yesterday's post. 

Here are two images of the artwork first applied onto the frame. I took the picture at night so the glare made the frame look white but its actually very pale/light pink.

Here are better pictures from this morning with the sun shining through the large window near the crib. Its really odd how the frame looks white and changes colors throughout the day when I take pictures.  I think because it has a metallic finish it reflects light different each time depending on the day. I adore this quote because its so true. My sister and I are about two years apart and we are very close. I really want Emily and Kaley to grow up to be best of friends and learn to share things together at an early age. I also wanted more letters/word art around the nursery because Emily is starting to learn to read so its nice to let her see more letters and words in her room.

Total of this whole project cost about $12. I think its not bad of a price for such a large piece of artwork. Its also one less frame that I have to hoard/store around my house.

Frame = free
Pearl metallic acrylic paint by Martha Stewart in antique silk = $2
Matte photo print by CVS with coupon = $9 I could have printed it out on regular card stock paper at Kinko's for cheaper but just ordered through CVS since it was convenient.
Foam board/mat from Dollartree $1

Lastly, I've finally put a cushion cover for our Agen chair from Ikea. Remember this picture? 

This was the before picture of the fabric placed over the cushion to see if I liked the color combo.


Here it is after: 

I used the same fabric I made the girls bedding with. It was just some old brown bedsheets.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Search for a new lamp

I've been keeping an eye out for a new lamp for Emily and Kaley's room. I'm not sure if prices have gone up dramatically or if I'm just getting cheaper by the day but I really couldn't find anything I liked for under $30. It doesn't have to be super fancy but just something small and cute. I decided to visit Goodwill and spotted two lamps for $11 total. One green colored lamp for our guest bedroom and a glass lamp for the nursery. I dropped by at Target to do my weekly routine visit and scored some clearance lampshades for only $3 each. 

 Here's the small glass table lamp I got for $6. 

This green colored lamp will go in the guest bedroom once I repaint it another color. I'm debating on what color to paint it. I'm thinking just white since I already have the paint. I'm too lazy to go get new spray paint. Scored this for $5.

Target had these lampshades for $3 each on their clearance section. I grabbed two to finish off our lamps.

Once I got home, I didn't even remove the plastic from the lampshade yet and tested it out to see if the combination works for our nursery. So far I like it. I don't love it but for the price, I can't complain. Its the perfect size, not too much competition with the rest of the decorations in the room, and the price I wanted to pay. One day when I repaint the green lamp in the guest bedroom I will repaint the middle brass part of this lamp too. It doesn't really bother me too much but I would prefer it silver or white instead.

Here it is on the stand next to Kaley's crib. I also got rid of some decorations on that stand and added more neutral and pale pink decor I had laying around the house. The sun is shining into the room so the pink looks way more pink then it really is. 

List of supplies/decor on shelf. 

Next to the lamp is just a pale pink lid from an old shoe box. Its sturdy, matches what I want, free, and a good size for that spot. The piggy we bought from Target on clearance a while ago has always been there so nothing new. The little basket was from a gift and I kept it to put random supplies in there. I put some newborn clothes I got from our sweet friend Bev. The last shelf just has an empty Janie and Jack gift box that I've kept for decorations. 

Here's an updated picture of Kaley's side of the room. Once I'm done with her side, I will do a post on the frame, how we hung it, and the details of the artwork. Kaley's side looks depressing compared to Emily's grand princess canopy bed but I'm not done. Once I'm done, both girls will have their own unique spot in the room. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

All about Emily's big girl bed

I've been working on Emily's big girl bed for some time now. Its finally complete. We came across some minor issues when the bed arrived. First some of the pieces were broken so we couldn't put the drawer together. It took about 3 weeks for new parts to be delivered to us.

We purchased the Dream on me toddler daybed with drawers on Amazon for $130. Here's the link. And here it is with Emily napping on it for the very first time with her dad's sock. 

The bed sat like that for a long time. Second issue, Emily always had a crib bumper and this bed didn't have a crib bumper. She would stick her feet/hands through the rails and play with the electrical sockets behind her bed. Of course I used the plastic child proof safety things for the sockets but it still looked exposed through the bed. I had one panel left from making the curtains   
 so I made a simple headboard/bumper to cover the sockets up. I didn't want to spend money on something not that important so I searched around the house for supplies that I had on hand.

Directions to DIY simple headboard/bumper

1. I used the cardboard box that that bed came in and traced the top of the bed with it. I cut off the extra and also cut a few inches off from the bottom so the cardboard sits on the bed but slightly shorter by an inch and a half. 

2. I had some left over foam from a previous project so I cut the foam to the size and shape of the cardboard box. If you don't have foam or are lazy to go buy some just just a thick old blanket.

Here are the curtains I bought for $10. I had one panel left after making the curtains/valances.

This is the foam cut into the shape of the cardboard. 

3. Next, I folded the curtain in half lengthwise and traced the shape of the cardboard over it. 

4. I stitched the panel up and left the bottom open so I can stuff the cardboard and foam in place. If you use a thick blanket instead of foam, you don't have to cut the blanket into the shape of the cardboard. I would suggest stitching the blanket at the same time as the panel so they stick together. Stitching the blanket onto the curtains would ensure that it stays taunt and the cardboard would hold it up in place. 

5. Lastly, once the foam and cardboard are inside the panel, stitch up the bottom.  I wanted to add something special to Emily's bed so I added some bling. I hand stitched some bling buttons on the new headboard.  Buttons were purchased at a local fabric shop 10 for $4. 

6. I attached the headboard to the bed by cutting little holes on the back of the panel and tying it onto the rails. Its not super secure but its the same concept as a regular crib bumper. So far Emily has been really good with not pulling at the buttons or messing with the headboard.

So total cost to make the headboard/bumper was $4 since I used supplies that I had at home. Its not super fancy but it works for us.

The third issue I had with the bed was that it was so low on the floor. Its great that its low on the floor so if Emily falls she doesn't get hurt but our house is tall for a single story. I believe our ceiling height inside the rooms are 10 feet. I'm not sure if thats standard or not but Emily's bed felt so short and isolated in a sad corner. The crib was nice and tall and right at the entry way so it stands out but our little Emily was now tucked away in the corner all by herself.  I felt like I had to make her bed stand out and also be the center of attention. So another DIY canopy project it was. I quickly gathered some supplies from Amazon.

Supplies included buying a darice 19 inch metal ring for $6,  two white window scarf's for $14, and four hooks for $2 at kmart. I could simply buy a $20 pre made canopy but I searched and didn't like the net like fabric most were made out of and I also felt that I didn't like the shape. I wanted more shape and the canopy had to be out of Emily's way when she jumps on her bed.

Directions for DIY canopy bed

1. I painted the darice ring white with some left over paint. Its just a personal preference. 

2. Cut the white window scarf in half and stitch them onto the darice ring. 

3. Hang the ring up with some ceiling hooks. My dad also attached some white plastic thing before screwing on the hook for added security. Sorry I have no idea what that plastic thing is but just know its for added security in case some kids decide to hang on the canopy. But even if the ring falls on someone its not really going to hurt them. Its pretty lightweight. We hung it up with some clear thread thats really strong. I think its made for fishing. 

4. To create the shape that I wanted, we attached some simple hooks onto the wall and tied it with some  crystal beads I had saved from my bridal shower. 

Here is the window scarf taped up so I can see the shape. 

And here it is completed with Emily's bedding that I DIY for her a while ago. 

Here's a close up of the crystal beads that I used to hold the canopy in place. Its something I had on hand and I like that its clear and added just the right amount of sparkle.

We also hung a clearance treshold mirror above the bed. I got it at target for $12. Emily's bed almost never looks like that because she doesn't like to sleep with anything. Most of the time her bedding is tucked away under her bed drawer.

Cost breakdown of Emily's bed

*New toddler bed and mattress $150 from Amazon.
*New DIY bedding $10 for new twin sheet for blanket ($5) and white fitted sheet from Walmart ($10 for two).  Sorry no tutorial. I just used an old pillow and some old blankets to make her comforter/blanket. Bedding matches Kaley's crib bedding.
*DIY headboard/bumper $4
* Threshold mirror from Target $12
*DIY canopy $22

Total: Under $200.

Finally my babies room is almost complete. I am just waiting on some art work for Kaley's crib and doing a DIY paper mobile and I can say the room is finally complete.