So my question for the day … If there’s no “before”picture, is it really a makeover?
This little guy came home with me one day from the ReStore. I honestly wasn’t quite sure where he would end up living, but at $1, I decided it was worth the risk that I could find a good place for him.
And sure enough, he’s been quite at home on the sewing room wall holding jars of buttons.
For about 6 months that is, then I took him down to make a little change.
The only change? A coat of white paint. He hangs out above my cutting table and as much as I love wood, the dark color was just too much on the wall. At this point you’ll just have to imagine the same shelf in a dark wood with a high gloss finish. I just know I took pictures of it, and I’ll probably find them next week since I’m posting about it now. Ah well, such is life!
Anyway, a bit of sanding, priming, painting and distressing later … worth all 100 pennies.
Not a bad price for some fun storage in the sewing room, and a gentle reminder to take lots of pictures and label them better … or something like that.
Please tell me I’m not the only one who does these sorts of things! Anyone?
All of those features are great, but the most functional aspect is the chalkboard surfaces. Steve added shelf fronts to make them even sturdier and it’s the perfect place for some chalkboard paint.
Adding chalkboard labels to each storage tote makes locating that one sweater or vase or whatever random thing we need at the time hassle-free. You can buy chalkboard contact paper already cut into fun little shapes and sizes. Or you can buy an entire roll of the stuff and cut your own.
Unfortunately, the contact paper doesn’t like to stick by itself, so I encouraged it with some Modge Podge. Using a cheap sponge brush, paint the modge podge on the back of the contact paper and adhere it to your tote. You’ll want a damp paper towel to wipe up the glue that seeps out from the edges.
Give it a few minutes and you’re ready to write on it.
As with most chalkboards, season your surfaces by going over it with the side of a piece of chalk. You can wipe it off with an eraser of dry paper towel. Some surfaces may receive chalk better if you repeat this process. And that’s it.
You can use regular chalk or a chalkboard marker. The markers are best removed with a damp paper towel.
And if in a few years the chalk doesn’t seem to want to come off very well, then just slap on another coat of paint, or add a new sticker as needed.
Storage Solutions | Chalkboard Labels and Shelving
It’s really amazing how one or two items can make organizing so straightforward and simple! I’ve used lots of organizing systems over the years and I have to say chalkboard anything is absolutely my favorite, hands down!
Someone please tell me that I am not the only woman in the history of ever who seems to believe that a shelf should be able to hold whatever weight could possibly be piled on top of it. Surely I’m not the only one in search of sturdy storage solutions.
Surely I’m not the only one who would load books, aka. weights, up to the ceiling simply because there was space to do so.
Surely if carpenters didn’t want me to put that much weight on the shelf then they would have made it smaller.
Surely at least one other person has had the pleasure of hearing a closet shelf come crashing down in another room because someone overloaded it.
Please tell me I’m not alone in this!
A few weeks ago I posted a slightly terrifying picture of our basement storage closet. That sent me directly into a whole reflective journey about navigating our cluttered paths in life, quite possibly due to the weight of items crammed onto the shelves in that closet.
You’ll be happy to know that the shelves are not almost completely tidied, and bearing the appropriate amount of weight for their construction. I was even able to clear space for our camping gear which has been in the garage up to this point, but that’s another post.
Today I want to share the shelving wall that my hubby and I constructed a few years ago. It consists of cantilevered shelves that my dad, the degreed and experienced mechanical engineer, helped us design.
The necessary design elements for us on this project were…
.. seriously sturdy *see pretty much everything above this for the why on this one
.. relatively quick to put together because our to do list is entirely too long
Y’all these were just the ticket and unlike any I had seen after perusing Pinterest for several hours.
We knew would not be dry walling the inside of this closet, so we were able to use the studs and construct cantilevered shelves. That saved a good bit of money, a little space and lots of time. On top of that it seems kind of cool to have anything cantilevered because “cantilevered” is a quality word that just doesn’t get near enough exposure!
We used 1/2″ plywood to cut both the shelves and braces. We made them deep enough to hold an 18 gallon plastic tote. Once we chalked the lines to make sure our shelves were going to be level it was a matter of screwing in all those braces. Steve came up with a specific pattern of five screws per brace when attaching them to the stud to give them the strongest design possible, and our engineer-on-call approved of the plan. Thanks Dad!
There were lots of braces, but we worked together and tried to pretend it was a really creative date. Neither one of us really bought the date thing, but we did get some quality time together and it’s always more fun to do projects together.
Once all the braces were in we screwed the plywood shelf onto the braces and then added the front piece. The fronts are actually more like a skirt than a piece of trim and serve two purposes. They keep me from smacking myself on the corner of the brace when I’m working in the closet and they provid a great place for chalkboard paint. And you should know by now that if I can add chalkboard anything to an organizational project I will in a heartbeat.
I cut pieces of chalkboard contact paper and used modge podge to glue them to the end of each tote, the contact paper didn’t want to stick on it’s own. I love being able to label a box with it’s contents, and change those around as needed by simply wiping off the chalk and updating the contents. The shelves are also generally labeled with a chalk marker as to which section has winter clothes or Christmas decorations of household items.
It’s so easy to go grab whatever I need now, because I can find it and I don’t have to stack and unstack multiple boxes for just one item.
Where could you use some shelving storage in your home? Maybe you could suggest your own date night with some plywood and chalkboard paint too!
So this happy little countdown popped up in my text messages this morning…
I can pretty much count on an update every few days between now and then too. Let’s just say, anticipating is one of this girl’s spiritual gifts. And yes, I do realize that it really isn’t a spiritual gift, it’s just that she takes it as seriously as one.
With that little text and a follow-up phone call, it’s official … our oldest girl and her husband are moving home. Technically, it’s home to her and “new home” to him. We never could have imagined such a thing a few short years ago. But here we are!
I find myself doing some ADD waffling between blogging and home purging and pinning inspiring ideas for finishing the basement and “hey, I haven’t checked IG for awhile” and… You feel my pain, right? I just know you do!
Today is a good day to reign in all the random thoughts and settle on a priority list for the next 38 1/2 days. In the meantime, Here are a few of the inspiring things I’ve been pondering lately …
If you are not familiar with her blog, then you simply must check out all the awesome DIY projects she has done.
And we could use some of the money we save to buy some awesome rugs to cozy up the space. Let’s just go with that logic, m’kay?
As I’m perusing basement options, this handy little checklist from Jessica at Jersha & Dup shows up to help make the house purging a little more systematic. I’m using the KonMari method, modified to fit our needs and beliefs.
But, before the purging I probably need to do a little more pinterest research, right? Ah yes, some cool ideas for an open shelving kitchenette wall …
I’m almost always up for a chalkboard wall. The possibilities with them are so limitless and fun!
Aaaaaand then a new IG picture appears about the upcoming Haven Conference in Atlanta that I can hardly wait to attend.
If you’re interested in home blogging, then check out their blog and maybe I’ll see you there too!
In the meantime, I’ll be combing the internet for more inspiration, or blogging, or remodeling the basement, or just cleaning it out or ….
It was exactly two years ago tomorrow that our parenting adventure took on a new dimension. It was the day our son-in-law, Smith, asked our daughter for her forever. And yes, Smith is his first name. He had planned every detail so thoroughly and enlisted our family for help, which was quite an honor for us. Their 4 years of dating are enough for at least a month worth of blog posts, but not for today.
We set up a wedding account and gave them a specific amount of money, just as my parents had done with us, and we will be doing with all of our children, our son included. That came with the caveat that we would help with as many things as we possibly could. And then we went to work. There were so many things that we made and this card frame was one of our favorites.
We found a great collection of different sized frames at ReStore on a half-price day – Score! I picked up at least 1 0 of them that we used in several different ways. One of Katy’s favorites was a rectangle that measured about 12″ x 36″. I wasn’t so sure about the ornate bronzed frame, but she decided it would work well with their beach wedding theme and her bohemian decor taste for their first apartment.
We had purchased a big drop cloth that we were using in several ways and realized it would make a perfect card holder for the gift table. We started by cutting a piece about 2 1/2 times as wide as the frame and long enough for lots of pockets. We then laid out all different types of papers, cards and envelopes and determined how deep we needed to make each pocket. The depths range from really shallow – for business or gift cards to deep enough to hold a letter sized manila envelope.
She had picked out some fabrics to use for buntings throughout the reception hall and we chose a few to add to the pockets. Some covered an entire pocket, others were just a strip of color along the top of the pocket. It was the perfect time to try out the huge collection of decorative stitches on my sewing machine.
And then we had to add some words here and there. Katy decided to go with, “I love you / I love you more / I love you most”. For those, we just stamped on burlap with black ink and stitched them to the pockets.
Once all the fabrics and quotes were sewn onto the pockets. We stitched up the sides to hold the pockets in place.
*Note that if you don’t consider yourself to be a seamstress of any sort, then you can use fabric glue or cute little safety pins to attach ribbon or fabrics. But it would also be great time for one small step outside your comfort zone and try a little stitching. It really is a quite forgiving project in terms of the sewing.
To finish the picture, we stretched the fabric pocket section around a piece of matboard cut to fit the frame. The back of it was a bit of a mess, but we duct taped and stitched it together until it was secure. A decorative paper was then glued to the back edge of the frame, covering the tape and stitching and giving it a more finished look.
The final touch was a little burlap bunting across the very top that read “c-a-r-d-s”. It worked great for the wedding and has held up in their apartment for the past year and then some.
It’s one of those projects that can be easily adapted to fit your needs – from small to large, basic to ornate and even themed for a specific holiday or event.
Next time you have broken glass on a picture frame, consider it your personal invitation to make a paper-card-wall organizer. And, as usual, add pictures of your project to the comment section so we can all be inspired!
It’s Monday … after a really great weekend! When our days are filled with lots of awesome, our house tends to show it, and Monday’s call for a bit of reclaiming. Today, it was the kitchen. Not a deep cleaning by any means, just setting things to rights so we can continue to function in the week ahead.
So, I figure it’s a good day to share a few of my favorite kitchen chaos tamers. With three teens at home, all of whom do some of their own cooking and food prep throughout the week, not to mention my husband and I,it seems kitchen chaos can break out an any moment.
In no particular order, my favorites include …
Deep drawers and sticker labels. When we remodeled the kitchen in our last home, most of our base cabinets had deep drawers. They were great for our everyday dishes because it allowed the kids to be part of the setting and cleaning up process without having to drag a chair over to reach an upper cabinet. Now I keep all of our spices in a deep base cabinet drawer because it’s so much easier to organize and see everything than any shelf storage system I’ve found.
Next up …
Turntables and recycled jars. Having lived in Florida for years, I’m programmed to store dry goods in completely sealed containers instead of boxes or bags. These recycled salsa jars are perfect for so many things in our kitchen.
I remember my mom using turntables in the kitchen cabinets, and now I understand why. I’ve picked up quite a few at thrift stores and have only had to purchase a couple of them brand new.
And my favorite chaos tamer …
Chalkboard contact paper and chalkboard markers. I absolutely love this stuff! I’ve purchased several rolls at Hobby Lobby and used some favorite die cut shapes to trace these labels. You can buy them pre-cut, but I wanted too many of them to justify that expense.
The chalkboard markers are great because they are much more clear and durable than standard chalk, yet they can be washed off with a damp cloth, And yes, I put some chalkboard paper on the shelf edge. Not because I’m that militant, but because it reminds everyone where things go without me having to recite a lecture and everyone else having to listen to it. And that’s a win-win for everyone!
And there you have it. My favorite ways to tame kitchen chaos. Granted, things still get stuck in the wrong place, but nowhere near as often as in the past. Do you have any favorite kitchen chaos tamers? We would love to hear your tips in the comments section!
Something about a Monday morning makes me just want to organize. I suppose it’s a lot like January in that way. After we’ve cleared away the remnants of fun over the holidays (or weekend), its time to restore order.
For me, that meant grocery shopping today, and the lovey task of storing all the food when I got back home. Some days I truly wish there was a service to put all the groceries away while I sipped a warm cup of coffee. Wouldn’t that be awesome!
Remember the canned goods shelf we built for behind our laundry room door? You can see the details here if you missed that one. We had a fairly blank slate in the laundry room when we moved into our home. Small, but blank. And we were also blessed with high ceilings, which we all know helps with the small factor.
We considered adding some cabinetry from the Habitat ReStore, but the more I searched and pinned, the more I realized that what I really wanted were some open shelves. With the ceiling height, we could put in three shelves with lots of space between each one.
So, one weekend we picked up some 1 x 12 pine and nine brackets (about 10″ from the corner to the tip in both directions). I liked the basic look of the brackets with just the right amount of detail, and the fact that it was one of those weeks when Hobby Lobby had marked them at 50% off. What’s not to love about that?
The shelves were one of the easiest things we’ve done. We cut the wood to span the wall over the washer and dryer, sanded it and painted it with our white trim paint. The semi-gloss finish makes it easy to wipe down. My hubby drilled the brackets right into the studs, because he knows I have a tendency to overload shelves. Then we laid the painted boards on top and drilled those in so they were secure. That’s it.
The boxes are the sturdy kind from the auto parts store that we used when we moved. I just wrapped some old burlap coffee bags around them to make them more interesting. The brass buckets and most of the other containers were picked up at local thrift shops. There is enough room to hold extra boxes of cereal, chips and whatever needs a home each week.
A few of my favorite things in this room are one of the glass beverage drink dispensers from our daughter’s wedding and the set of Christmas cookie cutters that had been my Moms. The picnic basket on the top shelf is full to overflowing with a ton of cookie cutters that Mama also gave me over the years. And my other favorite thing is the checkered table cloth that my husband made for the table at dinner the night he proposed 25 years ago.
It’s nice to have storage for these bigger items in the laundry room. It’s even better that it’s pretty, inexpensive and has sentimental touches.
Because, laundry is inevitable – why not make the surroundings pleasant, right?
We were celebrating the Sweet Sixteen for our baby with about 20 teenagers. And everyone knows you can’t truly have a birthday celebration until you write on some walls. Obviously!
It’s one of my favorite walls in the house. It’s a skinny little wall, the depth of our cabinets, between the kitchen and eating area. About two years ago I decided to paint it with chalkboard paint. Since then it has held grocery lists, phone messages, masterpieces of kids whose parents were visiting a little too long after dinner, holiday messages and an assortment of random thoughts.
Around here, a birthday qualifies as a holiday. So, in addition to all the other silliness that went on here last weekend, we told the kids they couldn’t leave until they had colored on the walls a little bit.
A few of them looked at me like I had six heads, but hey, I was once the mom of four teenagers. I’m impervious to such looks at this stage of the game.
So it you find yourself a little bored this weekend and need a way to entertain the kids while you’re fixing dinner on those crazy weeknights, drop $10. Grab a can of chalkboard paint. Pick a wall. Paint it.
I mean, how often do you get to encourage your kids to do that thing they always thought was against the rules? You may even get a few “cool mom” points out of the deal, and who can’t use a few more of those?
Well, to be fair, my mom would not have described me as an “easy to wake up in the morning” kid. I could sleep right through those old-school clanging alarms from the 70’s. but it was nothing a tablespoon full of water couldn’t cure
Mornings just seem to be more productive for me, and I’m quite sure it has to do with breakfast and coffee. I mean, what’s not to love about the combination of those two? Regardless of the time of day!
Enjoying four seasons in Kentucky has been great, but we have found that it takes a lot more energy to drag ourselves out of a toasty warm bed on these increasingly cool mornings. Add to that the fact that teenagers and mornings really do not co-exist, and you’ve got an impending disaster on your hands . I want them to have a good breakfast to start their day and we enjoy the time with them in the mornings, even if conversation isn’t flowing freely some days.
Needless to say, I needed a way to make those Oops I just hit snooze for the third time and I really need a shower before I get breakfast on the table in 37 minutes days flow a bit easier. Enter breakfast mixes.
I gathered up some of our favorite recipes, various large containers and a calculator to figure out how many “batches” would fit in each container. With the math part over, I filled each container with as many batches of the dry ingredients as possible and wrote out a little card of wet ingredients to add and instructions. I usually include mixes for: pancakes and waffles, biscuits, French breakfast puffs, banana chip muffins, pizza dough and white bread.
At least once a week someone mixes up several batches of waffle batter and we store it in a pitcher in the fridge. With three teenagers and all their friends, it rarely goes bad before we use it all up.
I love that …it saves money, I know the ingredients, its easy to make in the morning, it’s a healthier option, it makes mornings less stressful and so much more enjoyable and it’s an opportunity to redeem the day before it even really gets started.
One of our favorite recipes is a slight adaptation of Grandma Moore’s banana bread recipe. We have switched out the walnuts for chocolate chips and made the bread into muffins.
GRANDMA MOORE’S BANANA MUFFINS
3 ripe bananas
1 unbeaten egg
2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup
2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1c. walnuts (or chocolate chips)
Preheat oven to 370 degrees Mix all ingredients together. Fill greased muffin tins to 2/3 full and bake for 15-17 minutes, until they are golden on top and a toothpick comes out clean.
We usually serve them with fresh fruit and poached eggs. The leftovers live in the cake stand, until they are snatched up for a lunch bag or after school snack.
It’s Monday y’all. The air’s a little crisper than usual. Kind of made me want spend my morning coloring, sipping coffee and enjoying some Fixer Upper reruns.
But, alas! Something absolutely HAD to be done about the kitchen cabinets and since the dog seemed content to lay around in the sunlight streaming through the windows, I was elected. I figured the sooner I got to it, and a few other things checked off the day’s list, the sooner I could pull out the coloring book and relive my childhood.
Remember the two corner base cabinets in the kitchen with the Lazy Susans? Yeah, those two kind of started the whole itch to tackle the chaos. Well those AND pretty much all the others too. Those corner cabinets are great because they hold a lot of stuff, until that stuff is disheveled. Then I can fling them open and go into crazy-Mama-mode in about 7 seconds flat.
So, being that it’s Monday and I always prefer to get the not so fun tasks out of the way as early as possible, I started on those corner cabinets. Then I figured I should go ahead and do the upper food cabinets too. And why get all the cabinets done and leave the drawers undone, when just a few more minutes would mean the entire kitchen was clean?
The pictures don’t really do justice to the transformation, but the girls definitely noticed when they got home. I even found some extra containers to organize cups and freshened up the labels and everything. And turntables! They make deep cabinets so much more manageable.
And there you have it. My Monday in a nutshell. Redeeming the kitchen. I didn’t quite get the coloring time I wanted, but there’s still some time tonight and it will be a little reward for tackling the big icky project for the week.
It may not seem like a big deal, but for me – removing clutter frees up brain space to enjoy the moments more fully.
I don’t know about y’all, but I need all the free space available in my brain these days! Who doesn’t, right?