Affordable Ideas for the Creatively Challenged
Have you ever followed a DIY blogger that seemed to be able to whittle an 18th century inspired French armoire out of Amazon boxes? How about those that seem to design beautiful art pieces out of plastic spoons, or turn a rusty old bowl into a chic farmhouse bathroom sink.
Inspiring and great to see but not realistic, at least not for me. What is realistic is trying some of these concepts on a smaller scale, with a crafting skill level and speed of a sloth. Some ideas were quite easy in execution, but required some thinking out of the box. Others, took a bit more effort and left me wondering what the hell was I thinking, should I finish it, or chuck it in the jungle of a toy room?
The first idea came from a blogger who hung a large beautiful holiday wreath from a golden ribbon. It was centered, hung about 2-3 feet on the interior side of a living room window. I started to look for winter wreaths and they were either too expensive or over the top flashy, and truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of traditional wreaths.
When spring time, not to be confused with spring weather which has decided to skip the Pacific Northwest, rolled around, I thought of an alternative. Spring wreaths! Some time was spent looking for ones I liked, again no luck. Either they had only a few sprigs on them, making them look bare and cheap, or they were the size of bicycle tires. I was looking for ones that were somewhat full with faux flowers and some greenery, but on the smaller side as I want them hung off the covered fireplace mantel.
Then I had a completely random though, as one tends to do at 3am when rocking minion littles back to sleep. I had purchased a flowery sash to complement a formal dress for an event. Truth be told, it was a pregnancy sash and although I wasn't pregnant, it did hide the mummy tummy. While I had done the search on that, I remember all sorts of flowery accoutrements.
I found the perfect accessory I was looking for. Headbands!!! I haven't quite found the perfect ribbon to hang them from, but until then, I'm using some spiral ribbon that came with a baby shower gift. I bought three of these type of headband from Amazon, two were $7.99, the other $11.99.
Crafting is not my strong suit, it's not even my bathing suit I hoist on once a year, it's something I attempt occasionally when I come across a DYI that looks easy enough for a toddler to try. I don't want to buy a bunch of crafting gear if it's not for me, so I told myself, if it costs me under a certain amount, I would try it. Repainting something fell under this category.
There is a local Facebook group that is based on the premise of repurposing things to the community. Members offer up items that they no longer want to others in the group free of cost. I've gifted and recieved many things from this group. On of occasion, a neighbor was moving and needed to downsize, she gifted me a wooden stool that I thought had some interesting details.
Brought the stool home and the hubby thought it was hideous, it was painted with a gold accent to make it appear antique-ish and he didn't care for that look. Instead of regifting the stool, I though here is my chance!
I did buy a paint brush from Home Depot, calcium carbonate powder (chalk paint additive), and primer from Amazon. Chalk paint is something I thought was only used in association with kid stuff or on accent walls that could double as a chalkboard. Needless to say, I was wrong. One of the fun bloggers I follow schooled me, If you are interested in her DYI recipe for chalk paint click here. It's easy, I wouldn't attempt it otherwise and it's cheaper than buying it premade, a little of the additive goes a long way.
The chalk paint additive requires you to use a "flat paint" so I went into the garage and hunted for paint that was used when the house was painted years ago. I found a light neutral color that was labeled "exterior trim."
First I primed the piece and waited for it to dry, the primer container tells you how long that takes. Then I mixed a little of the chalk paint additive and water with the flat paint and started on the stool. After the first coat dried, I did a second coat. It doesn't seem necessary to seal a piece unless it is heavily used, such as a dining table. I'm happy with the way it came out and the hubs allowed it back in the house. Small victories.
My two year old has tons of clothes. Not from me going wild at a trip to the outlets, which I've been known to do, but loads were gifted to her. Where to put them all, even the ones she is on the verge of fitting but not quite there yet. Here is the challenge, her room doesn't have a closet. She has a kid's dresser, which have cereal box sized drawers. When she converts to a toddler bed, there will be room under that, but for now it's a crib with no space underneath.
Why don't I just buy another dresser? I'm not ready to commit. As she gets older, I hope to get her an actual bedroom furniture set. I looked around the house for something that could possibly act as a temporary storage unit. In my home office I have a bookcase that I love but was only half full of books and trinkets. We have two other bookcases in the house so we don't need this one for books. After emptying it, I hauled it off to her room.
I don't mind things are exposed, my son has a closet in his room and he always leaves it open. At least everything is easy to see and pull out.
Lastly, I made an interesting discovery that I wanted to share. It has to do with recycling. I'm fairly new to having a dog. Never had one growing up and not too many people close to me had one. We got a puppy late 2017, a rescue from the aftermath of the horrible Puerto Rico hurricane.
He is a chew happy puppy and has chomped through and ruined most puppy chew toys we have gotten him, stuffed toys, fake bones, and balls. He is quite determined.
At some point he got a hold of my daughter's old teether, and went to town on it. It was in the playroom being used as an ordinary toy, so of course he had to check it out. That was months ago and it's still intact with no holes. Since, he has gnawed on all of her old rubber teethers and toys and is happy as a clam.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to switch things up. Sometimes it's just a matter of using something you already have in an unconventional way. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.