Gallery Wall For The Design Commitment Phobes.

Taking a break from the series on recommended baby registry items, I wanted to share one thing that has changed in our house lately.

Turtle, Not Hare.

I am always a litte jealous of people who move into a house and make it look just like a home in a week. Their boxes are unpacked and frames on the walls, dishes washed and put away, and everything looking like it’s been there for a year.

That is not me.

Since we moved, I have put up very few items on the walls in our home. It isn’t that I don’t want to make our house reflect our personalities, but it’s that I am very PICKY about things that go up. Like a turtle that wins the race, I take my sweet time. Granted, it doesn’t make me feel like the winner. But it’s how I function.

Why? Because I don’t like punching holes in the wall unless I KNOW I want something there, and I want to do it right so that I don’t drive myself crazy with regretting how it looks or worry about it falling down on our kids.

I hate hanging curtains or pictures. I want it done perfectly, and perfect picture or curtain hanging is not something I have not mastered.

So what tends to happen is that I leave my walls blank for a while until I find several things that I really love and know I can commit to putting on my walls, then I call Lanier Mitchell, a sweet man from my hometown, who hangs curtains and artwork for a living, and I pay him to hang it all for me. He makes it look easy instead of like the pain in the rear it is when I do it.

So let’s get to it.

For years, I have looked at gallery walls online. I’ve pinned photos and tried to decide what my favorite layout would be. I’ve wondered where in my house I could possibly cover a wall in photos without having them knocked askew and smudged by dogs and children non-stop.

Then, we moved, and I started trying to figure this out again in a new house.

So when I saw this picture ledge from Ikea, I felt like I could put as many picture frames up high on a row or two of those as I could on entire wall with a gallery layout:

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The one I liked the most is the Mosslanda picture ledge from Ikea for only $10-$15 depending on the length.  You can see them here. 

This is a great item for people like me who want to put something up but not be stuck with a layout which they cannot change and that riddles their wall with holes.

Print what you want to preserve.

^That sentiment is one that my wedding photographer says a lot, and I agree with her. We live in an age where so many of our pictures are digital and stay that way. Tom and I have not been great about printing out or ordering pictures, and we tend to just let our shared pictures scroll on the television via Apple TV like a screensaver. I wanted more than that.

I love the idea of displaying both current photos and old family pictures of my grandparents and Tom’s when they were young. My grandparents and all but one of Tom’s have passed away, and being able to see their images and talk about them is something that matters to us. We want our girls to feel like they knew these wonderful people they missed out on and to know how fortunate they are to know the ones they have met.

And it happened. As soon as I brought the pictures, in, Piper asked me “who is that??” while pointing to a high school picture of my Papa. I told her, “he’s your Papa’s dad. MY Papa.” Her response? “I wish he could hold me.” Me too, baby girl.

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I also want to be able to show pictures of our little family.

So I ended up collecting frames for over a year. All different styles so it would look more organically collected (as it was) than as a set. Most were from consignment sales for a few dollars. I decided to paint them all white.

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And guess what? Turns out that even 3 cans of spray paint was not enough to cover them all without having some of the color underneath show through. Oh joy. I get to take some back down and repaint later.

So if you do this, I’d suggest a ridiculous amount of spray paint or simply using chalk paint instead. (Ignore the non-frame objects at the bottom of the picture. I’ll explain those in a later post.)

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I was going to let it dry overnight, but rain rolled in, so I brought them inside around 1AM, when I finished up what I was doing (which was wrapping 14 Christmas presents and an enormous birthday present).

But I am a night owl with a serious problem of staying up late when there is something crafty or pretty to work on. Instead of going to sleep, I started cleaning the frames up, reassembling them with mats, deciding which pictures go in which frames, and before I knew it, it was past 5AM. Because who needs sleep when you have two small children to care for all day? Oops.

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A short 4 and a half hours after I shared that picture, Mr. Lanier showed up to help us get some stuff on the walls, including my ledges. The wall was not perfectly flat, so the ledges don’t line up seamlessly. Because I know how good at his job he is, I could accept that without frustration. If it was me doing it, I would have kept trying uselessly to fix it until I had such an enormous hole in the wall, it wouldn’t hold the ledge at all. Ahh, the joy of giving the worst jobs to a pro.

So here is what it looked like when we got done (it may be a tad dark because I didn’t turn the hall light on, and it was cloudy outside, blocking some of the natural light):

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It’s not completely finished- there are some pictures that don’t properly fit their frames, some frames that need replacement glass, and I still don’t have any old pictures of Tom’s grandparents, so I will have to add more frames later when I do.

But that’s the great thing about this. I can change it, move things around, swap out pictures easily, update as the girls grow, even rotate pictures to go with the seasons. I’m considering the idea of draping it with a long, fresh cedar garland next Christmas. Can’t do that with a normal gallery wall! (Well, not without using more stuff to hold the garland.)

I love that these ledges are deep enough to hold multiple frames in the same space. Overlapping them is a look I like, and I’ve moved things around a bit since I took those pictures- it has frames 3 deep in some places now.

So was it expensive?

I hate the way money gets in the way of pretty. If resources were unlimited, I would go to town. But the reality is that we have bills and college to save for and want to pay off our mortgage, so sometimes (most times) decorating comes in low on the list. All the different pieces of a design project can add up. This project was fairly budget friendly though.

 I used 3 cans of spray paint, frames I already had and ones I bought consigned, 2 long ikea ledges, 4 short ikea ledges, and pictures that I got for free or on sale at Shutterfly (they had tons of freebies this fall, leaving me to only pay for shipping),  one picture that was given to me, and canvases I bought at canvaspeople.com on massive sales (they have those a lot). Other than what I paid to have the shelves installed, everything you’re looking at here totaled under $150.

That’s a lot of bang for a little buck, and it gave a big dose of personality to our house. It’s in the hallway off the foyer, which means that when you open our front door, you see this double row of mixed frames filled with pictures old and new.

Finding ways to get spaces that I like without killing the budget has become a must-do thing for me.

My family (the one I grew up in, not the one I’m raising) is a little weird this way: We all love a good deal and cannot keep it to ourselves. My mom likes to get a good deal and not tell you how much she saved, but my dad is the opposite- telling you how much he saved on what you wanted and received from him is almost as good as giving the gift itself. And my siblings and I fall somewhere in the middle.

I get so excited over a good deal, it’s kind of hard to not share the savings victory, even with the gift recipient. I have learned to not do that for most people (thanks, Mom!), though my sister and I pretty much always blab our savings to each other. (This blog lets me do a lifestyle version of that for my house!)

All that to say that my mom (and HGTV) taught me this pearl of wisdom- find out where you can save and where you can splurge- mix those items tastefully, and voila- it all comes off looking more expensive than it was.

If you can get cheap frames and paint them to look like you want, inexpensive but sturdy ledges on the cheap from ikea, and free or 90% off regular price pictures accumulated over a year, then you have successfully cut the cost of this project to about a third of what it would cost otherwise, which means you can splurge a little by having someone who gets everything just right come hang it all on the walls.

Trust me on this one- find good things for cheap, and put a little work into them so you can save your money for the things/services that never go on sale but that you desperately want. I’ve used this save/splurge mentality for Jo and Piper’s nurseries, big girl rooms for Jo and for Pipes, birthday parties, holidays, and more. It’s just a way of life now.

I’ve found that having a budget pushes me to be more creative. I have to find ways to mix what I’ve got and what I can make with what I purchase to create the beauty I want to see in my home in an affordable way. And I’m always prouder of something that stretches me that way than of something I can just buy.

Worth the wait.

Like I said, it took me a year to get here. Collecting inexpensive frames that I liked the look of took time. Other consignment shoppers would bypass a frame with potential in its pretty details because it was the wrong color or due to the boring or cheesy artwork inside it. I would pay a few bucks for it, rip the artwork out, pop out the mat, and spray the frame and mat a matching shade of white.

It also took time to acquire all the photos at a low cost. Freebies pop up on occassion, sales run all the time. I prefer free, of course, but sometimes a really great sale is also a good way to go.

End Result

It makes me so happy. Seriously, it’s hard for me to explain how much joy it gives me to FINALLY get a gallery wall after years of wanting one. And after a year of living in this house, we finally have some walls with personality! YES.

What do you think? Are you a picture ledge person or a gallery wall fan? I think they’re both beautiful, but I definitely love the flexibility these shelves gave me!

~Meghan

New Stove!!

Tom and I have a stainless steel LG fridge that we love. We want to upgrade all of our kitchen appliances, but they’ve been low priority as we have had other areas of our house to focus on.

Until the nasty stove that came with our house died. Actually, the oven died while the stove top still worked.

The people who lived in our house before us apparently NEVER cleaned their stove after cooking, and the result was food so charred to the surface that NOTHING I did in years of cleaning could remove it.

I was eager for a new, clean stove, but I couldn’t justify buying one because it cooked just fine.

I had tried everything. Hired professionals before we moved in. Scrubbed, scraped, and wiped it down. Used every tip I could find on Pinterest. Nothing worked.

And then the oven died. Suddenly our low priority oven became a high priority to replace!

I looked and looked, decided to get an LG stove so the stainless would match seamlessly, and started shopping deals. Since we will have this stove for a long time, I wanted to get one I would love. But I did NOT want to pay full price.

My friend, Jenn, is an appliance shopping wizard. She can get anything for a great price and walked me through it. We ended up getting our new stove at about 25% off including tax, shipping, and hauling away our old one. Heck yes!

It arrived yesterday, after about a month with no oven. Ours has a small oven on top and a regular sized one below that can do convection baking. Woo!!!

There are 5 burners…and they’re all clean!

And the middle burner also comes with a griddle. That was kinda cool.

I’m so excited for a new stove/oven in our house!! I love it and had to share the excitement! Yay!

~Meghan

Strawberry Lemonade

Yesterday, Lisa (my sis-in-law) and I put together a little lunch for my mom at Lisa’s house. My brother was able to leave work early and be there. And also in attendance were their four kiddos and Josey.

It was an early mother’s day lunch since we won’t make it out to Covington on Sunday. Lisa made chicken salad and set a beautiful table, and I brought a big bowl of cut up fresh fruit and some yummy strawberry lemonade.

I actually made a HUGE batch, and this is all that was left. I didn’t want to make a punch- just a simple lemonade.

But the color still made it nice and pretty in glasses on the table, and it was much healthier than most punches anyway (which often have sprite/ginger ale, sherbert/ice cream, etc.).

If you want to try it for yourself, here’s what I did:

2 cans of lemonade concentrate

1 carton of fresh strawberries, washed and tops cut off

water, to taste

I combined the strawberries and the two cans of lemonade concentrate in the blender on liquefy. Once it was a nice, smooth mixture, I poured it into a huge bowl.

Then I added water until it was the strength of flavor I liked. I covered the bowl and set it in the fridge to chill overnight and really let the flavors infuse.

That’s it! So yummy and easy.

I think it would be so cute with some lemons and strawberries sliced and floating in it, but I didn’t do that. It was a hit anyway.

If you want a pretty but simple, fairly healthy, bright drink to serve this Mother’s Day (or anytime), try this one out!

  ~Meghan

Powdered Laundry Detergent Vs. Liquid Laundry Detergent

I have been making homemade laundry detergent for the last couple of years. It saves our family lots of moolah, and it’s easy to do.

In the past, I’ve made the liquid version, but this time around, I wanted to do the powdered kind to see if it would work as well. I was cleaning out my laundry room and thought it might also be nice to not have a five gallon bucket of soap in there taking up space.

So, here is the powdered homemade laundry detergent recipe I used (thank to the Duggar’s website):

*1 grated bar of Fels Naptha Bar Soap

*1 cup of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

*1/2 cup of Borax

I also added some Purex crystals to the batch I made for me and Tom, for the scent. I left a smaller batch “crystal-free” for Josey’s laundry.

Mix all ingredients, and you’re done!

You use a tablespoon of detergent per load. Easy, peasy!

I made a double batch for mine and Tom’s laundry. Here’s a picture:

I have nothing against the liquid detergent. It has served me well for the last two years!

But I am LOVING the powdered detergent.

Not only do I get to keep it in a cute little jar with a cute little tablespoon to scoop it, but it takes up less space, makes less mess, and it’s even faster to make. I also don’t have to haul around a 5 gallon bucket every few weeks to refill the detergent dispenser.

Another benefit that I didn’t think of until I was traveling with a baby, is that it travels easily! I can always count on something getting dirty from spit-up or an overflowing diaper or…something!

So now I just scoop a few tablespoons into a ziplock bag and pack it when we go out of town. I don’t have to worry about stains!

(Here’s a tip, if it you don’t have any stain removers on hand: Rinse the spot off then make a paste of the laundry detergent and water. Rub the paste into the dirty spot. When you can, launder as usual. I did this with a onesie that a diaper had blown out on, and it washed right out two days later when we got back from vacation!)

So if you’re trying to decide between the two, this is my vote!

~Meghan

And then there’s the decorative stuffed fox.

Thanks for all the kind comments about my last post (both here and on twitter & facebook!). Tom and I really enjoyed our trip.

One thing I always get a kick out of when on vacation is the way people decorate …and I use that term loosely…their vacation homes. It seems like people just buy random junk and then, when they can’t think of where to put it, they say, “I know! I’ll put it in the cabin!” (Or beach house if that’s what they own.)

I did a quick once-over of the cabin while Tom was showering on our last morning there. I mention what Tom was doing because I didn’t get to take a picture of the towel holder in the bathroom. It was a tiny wooden stirrup. Yes, as in where your foot goes on a saddle. And it had what looked like was a miniature sheriff’s star on it.

…exactly.

I keep looking at this picture and wishing I had paid more attention to this weird statue on the porch by the bench on the right. I have no idea what this thing is about.

Moving inside, it was very obvious that the owners were very patriotic.

Even the fridge was patriotic…

But the fridge was also home to a freaky gnome. (I find all gnomes freaky. They’re not for me.)

Here’s a random face on the wall.

There was also a lot of stuff to reference skiing. Which I would get if we were in the mountains of some other state, but in Georgia, nobody skis. Or have moose roaming free.

In one bedroom, there was a wall of famous people with plastic instead of glass in the frames. Our take-away was that they are Elvis fans. And that they don’t want someone to knock a picture to the floor and shatter glass.

In the other bedroom, there was a really random assortment. An old photo of two young men about to have a duel next to an “ethnic Raggedy Ann doll” (I looked it up online, and that’s what it’s called).

All of that was surrounded with bear paraphernalia (which at least made more sense because there actually are bears in the north Georgia mountains).

On the other side of that bedroom is a picture of what I assume to be the owners’ grandkids dressed in saloon attire, a mirror surrounded by antlers, a canteen, and a metal star.

And then there’s the decorative stuffed fox on the mantel. Next to the vase of fake flowers and the potpourri being held up by antlers.

That was our favorite. We were tempted to put it on the ground and see what the dogs would do, but then I decided that I didn’t want to have to pay for damages to an animal that was already dead.

It’s fascinating to me to see the things people think make a place look decorated and homey. I really did love the cabin we stayed in, but it was no exception to the “vacation home is a place for all my random crap” rule that people seem to live by.

I actually look forward to seeing all the weird stuff that people use to decorate their home(s) away from home. What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever come across in a rental?
~Meghan

Walls

This Saturday, the walls in JoJo’s nursery got a big makeover. Want to see?

Here’s the nursery before anything went up:

Now, we’ll look all around.

Curtains

I had picked out three fabrics I liked together, and ordered them online. My sweet mom paid to have them sewn into curtains and hung up in her nursery. I was really happy with the results!

The sheer curtains are from IKEA, and they’re super girly. Lacy sheers with scalloped edges…I picked them out a long time ago for her room.

And the curtains are lined with blackout fabric. Tom and I became jealous of Josey when we saw how well they worked. In this next picture, you can see how the room looks with the lights off on a cloudy day.

And here is the same room, same camera settings, thirty seconds later, but the blinds and curtains shut:

DANG, right?! I mean, what I wouldn’t give to have our room get that darkened when we sleep!

Entrance

When you first come in the room, there is a wall to the left. It needed something.

A few months ago, I went to the Yellow Daisy Festival with my mom and mother-in-law. I saw this little plaque and had to get it.I didn’t even know if I was having a boy or girl yet, but I couldn’t pass this up.

Now it’s up on the wall!

Mirror

Originally I really wanted to get a fancy round mirror over the changing table. One like this or even more detailed on the edges:

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I looked and looked for the right fit, but I couldn’t find anything like that that was also the right size and in our price range.

After looking for months online and in stores, I finally ended up grabbing a fairly simple, white rectangular mirror to go above the changing station. And I ended up liking it!

Chanel Quote

Over by the closet, I have the Chanel quote I was given as a gift at the Decatur baby shower. Seemed an appropriate place to have it!

Reading and Toy Corner

In the corner by the changing station, I set up some baskets to hold Josey’s toys and books. Originally I was going to do some baskets on the floor, and some planters on the wall, like I had seen on Pinterest:

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I had had my eye on some certain soft baskets from IKEA for a long time, but they no longer carried them when Tom and I went to buy some the other day. I about had a hormonal breakdown and started tearing up right there in IKEA on a Saturday (which I only mention to let you know we were surrounded with shoppers as I almost cried over baskets).

Tom promised we would keep looking until we found something else I liked, and then he found these baskets. Yay! Dad saves the day. =) But the baskets needed a little help, and I had already decided planters were too expensive to do in addition to baskets.

Back to Pinterest, and I found a quote that I liked. Since it was a reading corner, I thought that this was perfect:

I printed the quote onto some photo paper and framed it. In case you can’t make it out, it says, “You’re our happily ever after.” The quote I saw on Pinterest said “my” instead of “our,” but I changed it to fit our family.

So that’s what we’ve added to the walls in Josey’s room so far! More about future plans in a post to come…

~Meghan

Super Lisa

You all were so sweet with your comments from yesterday’s post about Josey’s changing station. Thank you!

One thing I noticed was that several of you commented on how much energy I have this far into my pregnancy. I had to laugh. You are seeing a few photos of work that took me roughly two weeks total to complete when it should have taken half of that. Or less.

What you didn’t see was that my entire house was covered in dog fur. Our bathroom was disgusting. Our floors looked awful. Dust was on every surface.

All my effort had been going into Josey.

Shopping to get final things before she arrived. Putting things in place- her pack’n’play, her carseat, etc. Putting together meals that I could freeze. Packing bags for me, Tom, and Josey’s stay at the hospital.

Tom and I had touched up the walls in Josey’s room with caulk in areas where the beadboard had seams, and we had begun a second coat of paint… but we hadn’t finished it.

And at the end of every day, I was completely exhausted. So the housework, which I wanted to get done before she arrived too, just slid.

Enter my amazing sister-in-law, Lisa. She and my brother Jonathan have 4 kids. On MLK Day, she asked her mom to watch them for her, and instead of doing something for herself, she came over to our house.

She painted the rest of the beadboard while I worked on Josey’s changing table box.

After that, she busted out her vacuum cleaner. It’s one of those MEGA cleaners that can work on carpet, hardwood…pretty much any surface. It has a tray of water to let it steam clean, and it works really well!

So. She busted out that sucker as well as some of our cleaning supplies, and the next thing I knew, I had a squeaky clean house. She scrubbed, vacuumed, and wiped until everything gleamed. She worked until well after the sun went down.

While Lisa did that, Tom touched up spots on the wall that needed it. Spots that required a step-ladder to reach, only I’ve been told not to climb any ladders.

And I was cleaning up. Lots of scraps of fabric and batting, staples that malfunctioned, a paint tarp, and more. I cleaned out the trash and put away the rest.

By the time we were done, it was time to eat.

Lisa had, in one day, done what would have stretched out over a week for me at this point in my pregnancy. I had so many things to do and move so slowly these days, there’s no way I could’ve done it all so quickly.

So we ate some Mexican food (no, it obviously did not jumpstart labor for me), and Lisa headed out around 10pm.

She a is a total super-star, and she kept saying with all the projects I’ve been doing, she wanted me to have one day to just put up my feet before Josey arrived and not worry about cleaning or anything else.

I am so grateful for all she did that I can’t really find words to show my appreciation. So I thought I should at least publicly sing her praises.

Thank you, Lisa!

  ~Meghan

JoJo’s Dresser/Changing Station

Josey’s room is the second biggest bedroom in the house, so when it came time to look for furniture, I needed things that fit the scale of the room.

Her changing table was a challenge. I knew that I wanted to get a dresser and fix it up, but I couldn’t find one that was the right length AND the right height. Dressers tend to be shorter than you would expect.

Finally, I found just what I was looking for at an estate sale back in December. I had gone looking with some girlfriends, Jenn and Megan, and we found the perfect fit- a 72″ long dresser.

The first issue was getting it home. Thankfully, one of our friends from small group was willing to drive over to the house with his truck and help Tom load it up and take it up to Josey’s room at our house. We couldn’t have gotten it without him!

I was also excited to get the dresser for less than a third or what they originally wanted for it. That was a good thing because I had plans for it. The hardware was all going to be replaced, and the dresser itself needed to be sanded down and painted black.

The sanding process took forever! I took out each drawer and sanded it down, including all the little crevices. I also had to fill in the holes from the hardware where I didn’t want them. Any holes in the middle of a drawer, I left for future knobs.

Those little crevices ran all the way along the dresser as well, so it took some time. After the sanding was over, I could finally start painting. (In the picture Tom took, below, you can see the baking soda covered rocking chair too.)

After the painting was done, I went on the hunt for new hardware. At Hobby Lobby, I found just what I was looking for: some colorful knobs that would add interest to the piece and go well in the room.

Unfortunately, I needed 10 knobs, and they only had the two. So now I’m waiting on 8 more to come in, and the dresser isn’t complete without it. But it won’t be long until I have my hands on them, hopefully.

I also needed a changing station on top of the dresser. There were three problems with just putting her changing pad on top by itself.

First, it would easily slide right off, and that was scary dangerous. Secondly, it had a little belt running under it that made it uneven and wobbly. And third, I wanted something more like a box to hold it, and I am no good at giving up what I want.

What I decided to do was build a customized changing station for the dresser. It would sit on top, and I could take it off when she was potty trained. I wanted it to have a section for the pad, for the diapers, for the wipes, for lotion and powder, and for diaper cream and vaseline.

After enlisting Ben, my brother-in-law, to let me use his nail gun and showing him my plans, he told me it’d be easier if he just built the box himself with his table saw. I was so excited when I got my box from him!

I began by painting the inside black.

Then I covered all the edges in batting.

Next, I took leftover fabric from the chair and covered the box with it. I also covered some cardboard pieces with fabric and laid it down in the smaller boxes where you’d see the bottom of them at times.

Then I filled it up and it went on top of the dresser. It fits great, and it’s so heavy, there’s definitely no chance of her sliding off while I change her diaper!

So, here’s the dresser, complete with the changing station:

Again, it still needs eight knobs. But it’s almost done!

And soon, a sweet little girl will be using it. Kind of funny to think that all of that work is to make it easier for us to wipe her behind.

But it’s totally worth it. I’m happy with the way it turned out!

 ~Meghan

We Have a Chair.

A while back, I showed y’all some stuff that was going on in the nursery.

Remember the mallard rocking chair from my parents’ basement and the old ottoman I found at a flea market?

As….stunning…as that look was, it was NOT what I was going for in Josey’s nursery.

A friend had recommended a person who does reupholstering, and he did a great job! Want to see it now that it’s in a fabric I picked out?

Ta-daa! Quite a change from the ducks and old leather, no? He fixed something that was broken in the chair and added padding to the top of the ottoman. I love how it turned out.

The only issue we had was that when we got the chair back, it reeked of cigarette smoke. Our friend had not experienced that problem with this person, so they had no idea to warn me this would be an issue.

I HATE the smell of cigarette smoke, and I’m asthmatic, so that was a problem on its own. But when you add in that I needed this furniture to go into my sweet infant girl’s room…no way was I going to leave it like that.

I tried a bunch of stuff. First, I opened the windows and let it air out for days. Unfortunately, it was rainy, so it couldn’t just go outside. It was also cold, which I am sure made a nice dent in our bills for heating this month.

While it was airing out, the first product I tried was Febreze for fabrics. I saturated both pieces with it (with the cushion removed and sprayed all over), let it dry, and then did it again. It didn’t really make a dent.

Then I read that vinegar breaks down smoke on a molecular level, so you should spray furniture with it. I tried that a couple times, and all I got was a vinegar-smoke smelling room.

Then I tried covering the entire thing in baking soda to draw out the smell (another thing I read online, which makes sense since people do this in fridges and freezers). I left it on there a couple of days, then I vacuumed it off. The smells were starting to lessen, but they weren’t gone. I repeated this, and when I could, I left the windows open.

By that point, we’d had the chair for a couple of weeks. I’m not sure if it was a combination of all of those things or if it was the baking soda in the end, but when you go into her room, it no longer reeks. And you only smell the chair if you put your nose right up to it and sniff. And even then, it’s not a strong smell.

Phew! So that was the drama with getting a good deal on reupholstered furniture.

Lesson learned- always ask people who work with fabrics for your home to not smoke around them. My mom said she always asks, but I never would have thought it even necessary. Now I do.

Thankfully, it’s over, and we can just enjoy having a nice, customized chair and ottoman for JoJo’s room! It’s super comfy, now that we can use it.

I see many an hour being spent in that rocking chair with our baby girl. Can’t wait!
~Meghan

Clothes Dividers for Josey’s Closet

Man, I LOVE Pinterest. It has been a great resource for many things (recipes, craft ideas, etc.), but I’ve found it especially helpful in planning Josey’s nursery.

I could see all the things I wanted to remember (fabrics, organization ideas, decorative things), and crafts I wanted to do for her room as well.

Today, I’m going to share a craft that I did for Josey’s closet. I actually did it all last night, so most of the pictures were just taken quickly in between steps with the on-camera flash (feeling lazy), and the pictures are kind of awful.

But they do show what I did, step-by-step. I also took a few photos this morning of the finished product.

 

I had seen some pins about clothes dividers for hanging clothes in nurseries. Babies clothes are generally in these categories: NB (newborn), 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-9 months, and 9-12 months. Then they also have 18 months and 24 months, and then you’re just in kid’s clothes sizes instead of sizes arranged by month.

To make it easier to figure out where to reach in the closet for the right size for babies, these moms had created adorable clothes dividers for the hanging clothes in the closet.

I actually read the tutorial on this blog that I love, but her closet rod is the kind that lifts out, and mine is not. I needed to work around that. Here’s what I did.

I bought wooden letter “O’s” at Hobby Lobby and used a jigsaw to cut slits into them. That made it where I could slip them over the rod in the closet. But they were also kind of rough, so I needed to sand them down.

I did all of this crafting (minus the jigsaw- that was outside) over an unfolded box from Amazon (hello, Christmas shopping!) to keep our living room coffee table free of crafting mess.

After I sanded them down (that picture above is pre-sanding), I had to choose a scrapbook paper to use for the front. I had bought three sheets each of two different ones because I couldn’t decide in the store.

In the end, I went with the birdies. They were so cute. Once I had my paper picked out, I picked out my paint color- light pink. And I painted the “O”s on both sides.

The paint dried fairly quickly, so I then traced each “O” on the back of scrapbook paper and cut it out. I tried using my x-acto knife, but it was easier to use the scissors.

Then I used Mod Podge to stick the paper cut-out onto the front of the “O” it went with. They looked like this (front birdies, back and edges pink):

Then I used some black scrap-book stickers I already had to stick on the months for the dividers. I put another coat of Mod Podge over the front- paper, numbers, and all.

I also made sure to put it on the edges and push down any overhanging paper onto the edges of the “O”s to make it smooth. Then I let it dry. Again, that didn’t take long.

Once, that was dry, I felt like it needed a little something extra, so I tied a sheer black ribbon into a bow on the top of each one. I used no-fray glue on the edges to keep the ribbons from being stringy/unraveling at the ends over time.

With that done, I put them in her closet.

It’s easy to see where to put her clothes after washing them. And I’m sure it will be nice to have when I’m trying to pick something quickly to wrangle her into in the mornings.

But for now, I’m just loving them because they’re cute.

Also, these were not expensive to make.

It cost me $1 for each two-pack of “O”s at Hobby Lobby (I needed 3 packs), 59 cents per sheet of scrapbook paper (I needed two), and the cost of Mod Podge, which I was out of. But I used so little of it, that I would say that added up to about 30 cents worth or less.

I already owned the paint, the stickers, the no-fray and the ribbon.

So this whole project cost me about $4.50. Not bad!

Paired with a pack of hangers or a cute outfit, this would make a sweet baby shower gift for someone as well. It’s inexpensive, but it’s homemade- and that costs time. It’s also cute and easily customizable. So don’t forget it as a gift idea! Or just try it for your own little one.

~Meghan