Sunday, November 29, 2015

DIY Christmas Stocking Holder

I had made a stocking holder when we were living in our apartment, because we did not have a fireplace. now, in our new home, we do have a fireplace, however there is no mantel. Last year, I used the old holder I had made, but when I hung it up this year, it was just too small. The fireplace is large, and needed a larger holder!
 I purchased this pallet-looking piece of wood at hobby lobby. I also found teal blue "stain" which intrigued me, so I decided to stain the pallet blue. I used a rag to apply the stain and let it dry for a few hours.
 I then applied a second coat, and I felt that was enough stain. I let it dry overnight.
 The next afternoon, I took it inside and used some paint markers that I had also found at Hobby Lobby to write on it.
I used the large white paint marker to write the phrase: "the stockings were hung by the chimney with care" and I used the gold marker to outline it, and the red to outline "stockings"
I had Tyler pick out some fun knobs from Hobby Lobby for everyone, each is different, then my husband drilled the holes in the wood, cut the bolts on the knobs to shorten them, and it was ready to be hung!

Reflecting, I think I rushed too much on the writing, so I may re-write it next year. And the knobs are a little close together, and the stockings overlap.

This was a quick, cute, inexpensive project to hang our stockings!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

How to Clean Legos Efficiently!

How to clean legos that wont take forever!

In case you havent been in the market for legos lately, they are EXPENSIVE! A large set can range between $50-$100 and you dont even get that many usable pieces!
We were lucky enough to have inherited a huge storage box of 10 year old legos, for Tyler. 
Unfortunately when these legos were packed up about 10 years ago, they were not cleaned, and there were all kinds of things mixed in! (Wrappers, crayons, etc..)
Before we wrap them up and put them under the Christmas tree, I needed to clean them, in the 2 1/2 hour time frame I have while Ty is at school. 
 I filled the tub with HOT water, and added some vinegar and Dawn dish soap (a miracle combination I use to clean many things; floors, shower, etc)
I let them soak for a while at first, then I mixed the legos around and used a collander to scoop them out and into the storage bucket.
 From the storage bucket, I dumped them onto towels in our guest bedroom, and spread out to dry.
 It took quite a few trips, and 3 full size towels. It only took about an hour to wash them all, lay to dry, and then clean out the tub.
 I left them to dry overnight (I locked the guest room door so Tyler would not see)
 They were dry the next day, when he went to school! So I scooped them all up in the towel and dumped into a new, clean bucket.
 From there, I hid in the closet, and Santa will leave for Ty on Christmas!
Nice, clean legos!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Stairway Gallery Wall

Our stairway has been empty since we moved in. I just couldn't figure out what I wanted to put there, the more I searched Pinterest, I decided I wanted to do a 'gallery wall'. There are so many different styles, and I'm to OCD to have it be completely random, so I went with black and white frames of all sizes, and a variety of photos. 
Here is the finished product!
 I found this blog: about creating a gallery wall, and I used her idea to trace the frames in wrapping paper. Once all the frames are traced, I also traced where the hole goes into the wall. I labeled the wrapping paper describing the frame. (black 5x7, white 8x10, etc.) The only problem with the wrapping paper is it kept curling up! it was hard to cut it out on the lines, I even put it under a heavy box over a few nights to flatten before I started taping it up, and it still curled when I took it out! So I used some extra tape.
 The beginning. I started with large frames first, and worked my way down to the small frames. This photo shows them all up!
 Once I adjusted a few, I hung the largest frames. (11x14)
 Once those were done, I did the 8x10's
 And next, the 5x7's. I was bothered by the 4th large 11x14 and how it was black when the rest were white, so I switched it out for a white one. I'm glad I did everything in the order I did, because I realized the top lower end looked a little empty...
 so I decided to get a few more frames to fill the space. Which ended up making me switch around some of the frames I had already mounted, no big deal, but I had to fix it right away!
 The finished product! from below
 and from above!

I did move a few frames around from the initial plan, but that's why its great that the shape was taped right on to the wall! no harm done. There are a total of 40 frames here. Thats alot of frames!!

At our old place, we had a small collage wall in the living room of all black frames, that's where most of these came from. (originally from Christmas Tree Shops) a couple were gifts that people had given us over the years, and the rest (all white ones) I went back to Christmas Tree Shops and got recently! I also got quite a few white mattes to use, to tie together the black and white theme.
 The total project took me about 2 weeks. obviously I wasn't slaving over it day and night, but between waiting for prints and deciding I needed more frames, it took a while.
I left the wrapping paper squares up for about a week, so I could absorb what it would look like and not rush.

Very happy with the finished product!