Thursday, January 30, 2014

Acrylic Paint Storage

Hello everyone... I've missed you ever so much.  We should have a slumber party where we drink soda and braid each others hair and prank call our husbands.  I'M SO ARRANGING THAT PARTY.

Anyhoo, onto today's craft.  When you are a crafty type of gal, you collect craft supplies... the one I was swimming in most was acrylic paint.  Really, there were bottles of it EVERYWHERE.  Ridiculous, for sure.  And I searched for the perfect storage solution for those little bottles and every time I would find one, it was either discontinued, or apparently a figment of Pinterest's imagination.  So disappointing.  And what's a crafty gal to do, but make her own storage solution?

I made it with my own two hands.  And my husbands hands.

I bought some PVC pipe, big enough to fit my favorite brand of acrylic paint.  Then I measured the pipe to three inches, just long enough to hold the paint bottle itself, not the cap.

After I made little marks, I used a piece of paper to make a straight line around the pipe.

I then had the hubbers use a PVC cutter to give me a whole bunch of pipe pieces.

Look at those big, strong, manly hands.  He's all man and all mine.

Once I had enough to work with, I started gluing the pieces together.  I had a space in mind for the paint, so I was able to make my holder to the exact size I needed.

I glued them together in groups of five, and then I glued the groups together.

I painted the whole thing and then while it was drying, I used my Silhouette to cut some round stickers out of full-page address labels.  I painted the circles to put on the bottle tops.  Some acrylic paints already have the colors on the tops, so you might not have to do this part.

And then, it was done.  And I just love it.  And it was really cheap to make, too... two lengths of pipe at $3 a piece gave me enough to store my paint.

It's my own little rainbow of happiness.

I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, January 27, 2014

Foam Gaskets for the House

Hi everyone!  As I'm typing, it's six degrees outside, not including the wind chill.  Schools are closed because of the cold temperatures and I haven't felt my toes since ten o'clock last night.  WE ARE LIVING IN A FREEZER OVER HERE.

Ahem.  Now that I've collected myself, I wanted to share a little project the hubs and I did recently to try and help keep the house a bit warmer.

These little jobbers are called 'foam gaskets' and I found them at Home Depot.  From what I've read, they can cut down on the amount of outside air that comes through the outlets and switches on outside walls.  Our house is old and we have draft issues for sure, so for under $3 a package, this was worth trying.  They're easy to install:

You just take off the wall plate, stick 'em on, and replace the plate.  Easy-peasy, as my four-year old would say.  And do they work?  Drumroll, please....

I have no idea.  I mean, I can't tell much difference so far.  When I put my hand over the outlets, the air flow is less, so I believe it's working.  For the price, I'm willing to give it a go.

Stay warm, my bloggy friends.  Hopefully, I'll be able to feel my toes again by spring thaw.

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Friday, January 24, 2014

Swatches on Rings

Hey everyone! Friday at last!  I don't know how the weather is in your neck o' the woods, but it is so cold here, I had to take cover in a milk cooler to warm up.  I WISH I WAS KIDDING.

Anyhoo, I wanted to share a quick little trick I'm using to help me pick paint, fabric and other decor colors for the house: I'm putting all my swatches on binder rings!

I know, the name of the paint I want for my laundry room is called "Sea Tickle".  SOMEONE THOUGHT THAT UP.  

I used the trusty ol' labelmaker to keep it all straight.  I take my little rings with me wherever I go.  They bring me comfort and keep me company when I eat Long John Silver's after a trip to Home Depot.  I LOVES ME SOME GREASY FISH.

Have a great weekend!

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Tip-Out Drawer Awesomeness

I am declaring war on wasted space.

We are in the process of updating, decorating, and renovating our new home.  There's all sorts of work to be done and some of it is pretty simple.  And interestingly enough, we moved into a much bigger home and it still feels like we don't have enough space for all our stuff.  Apparently, we have a lot of stuff.

I'm working on decluttering, but in addition to that, I'm trying to find wasted space and make it work.  Enter: the tip-out drawers.

Under the kitchen sink, you probably have one or two false drawer fronts.  They're just sitting there, doing nothing, contributing nothing to society.


I gave them a job.  I found this great product that lets you install hinges and trays to those fronts.  And after about a half an hour, I had this:

These little drawers are great!  They were a pretty good price and were easy to install.  They even come with these little templates to help you drill the holes for the hinges.

This is the product I used.  I bought it at Lowe's and they had lots of other products in this line.  Has anyone installed these?  Aren't they just awesome?

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Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Monday, January 20, 2014

Hiding the Internet Router

Things are just nicer when they're pretty.

Technology is a beautiful thing.  Actually, I should rephrase that: technology is a great thing, that isn't always pretty.  Is anyone else wondering when they're going to make cable boxes and internet routers and modems pretty?  I mean, would it kill these companies to give us some color choices in this equipment?

No.  It would not kill them.  THEY HAVE NO VISION.

Ahem.  To solve the problem of an ugly router on my desk top, I bought a cardboard box and some scrapbook paper...

And then I measured my router and cut out a space in the back of the box.

I wrapped the box in paper and slid the router in the hole I made.

And there it was... a pretty box on my desk that hid the ugly router THAT SHOULD JUST COME IN PINK.  I'm so seriously, you guys.

**WARNING: Before you do something like this, check to see how much heat your device puts out.  Some of these little suckers can put out some serious heat and shouldn't be covered.  Mine gets warm, but not too hot, so I'm OK.  I DON'T WANT ANY OF YOU AWESOME-SAUCE PEOPLE GETTING HURT, YO.

I would love it if you would follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or Instagram!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Organizing School Memories

Hi there everyone!  January is already half over... where has the time gone?  Honestly, I'm really over winter at this point.  Frigid temperatures and a million inches of snow are cute until New Year's and then they need to move on.

Today I'm showing you how I am keeping track of the kids school memories.  When I was little, my mom had a spiral-bound book that had pockets and it kept all my little papers and treasures.  I wanted the same thing for my kids but good gravy, those things aren't cheap, especially since I needed one for each of the three kids.

And then, VICTORY.  I found this* book at Barnes & Noble online.  It was priced nicely, even times three... sold! *That's not an affiliate link or anything.  I don't even know how to do that.  I'm not hip.

I decided to dress it up a bit... adding their names in vinyl to the front.  And the inside is just like the one I had when I was a kid!  There's space for a picture, for them to write their name, and even to say what they want to be when they grow up!  Priscilla trivia: when I was in kindergarten, I wanted to be a cow.

And of course, little pockets for the keepsakes!

I am so relieved that I finally found an inexpensive book to use for the kids!  And now, I'm ready for when Noah starts kindergarten in the fall and for when Lily goes off to school in five years.


Have you found any solutions for keeping those school memories?

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Mini Binder Magic

I just love binders.  And when they become mini, I weep with joy.

I used a mini binder to make a car information packet a while back... it's still alive and kicking in the car.  But that mini binder, with all its cuteness, was plain ol' white.  BOR-ING.

I found these on clearance at Target:

In the pretty blue one, I put some wee pockets and itty-bitty sheet protectors.  And in them, paint samples and swatches and various other inspirations for the new house:

Yes, the label is a post-it.  For the moment, I'm asking you to be OK with that.

In the orange binder, I put some business card holders and filled 'em up with coupons.

I love my cute little binders.  And they're the perfect size to take with me to the store when I'm grocery shopping or looking for a rug that matches a paint color.  So simple!

It's time for you to admit your undying love for binders.  I know you're out there.  SHOW YOURSELVES.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Binders Control My Life

Hi everyone!  Thanks for all the love on my new backsplash!  We are loving it and are ready to move on in our kitchen redo.

In the meantime, I'm updating my binders... you know, the one true love in my life.  My husband is aware of the affair and doesn't seem to mind.

Pretty maids, all in a row.

I showed you my budget binder last January and it's working just great.  The only change is the binder itself, which I upgraded to a two-incher... playing with the big boys now.  Warren Buffet has a two-inch budget binder too, just sayin'.  I also added these Martha Stewart bookplates to the edge, which looks just super.

I also added monthly calendar pages to the binder.  I write what's due on what date and highlight it when it's paid.  That makes it easy for me to see what's left to pay that month.

In addition to my budget binder, I have the following:

Credit - I'm a little bit obsessed with our credit reports.  I keep all the monitoring and tracking in my credit binder.

Recipes - I keep recipes in here.  That's why it says 'recipes'.

Home - It's my 'everything it takes to run this house that isn't the budget' binder.  Schedules, phone numbers, meal plans, goals, to-do lists... it's all in here.

Cards - I made a binder for greeting cards, with monthly lists and dividers.  It really does make sending out birthday and anniversary cards super simple.

Ideas - I put magazine clipouts and various other little scraps of paper in here.  There's also paper for lists of things I want to do or make or buy.  It's sort of fun to look through here and it keeps me focused on moving forward with projects.

And that is that.  I love a good binder, so if you have one to share, hit me up, yo.  And next week, I'll show you the only thing cuter than a row full of binders: a row full of mini binders.  I KNOW, I CAN'T WAIT EITHER.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Easy Kitchen Backsplash with Smart Tiles

Holy moly, it is like, two degrees outside.  I haven't left this house in days.  It's so cold that if I open the door, I immediately freeze solid and my husband has to thaw me out after he writes mean words on my face with a Sharpie.

He's the worst.

I shared my plan for our new house yesterday and told you that I already had a few things accomplished from my list... here's one of them!

I wanted to put up backsplash tiles up in the kitchen since the moment I saw it, but I had a few reservations: First, cutting glass tile is not something I want to do.  Second, grout is really messy and I'm just not into it right now.  And third, I don't know a lot about interior design, but I do know that styles and fads pass.  They pass quickly.  What happens if I put up a backsplash and decide it's not what I like in a year or two?  The only thing that was scarier to me than putting up a backsplash is taking it down.

And then, I found Smart Tiles.  These things are amazing.

They are self-adhesive tiles.  They are simple to put up.  And you can't tell the difference between glass tiles and Smart Tiles.  Really, I tested company and they couldn't tell.  I'm a fun host.

The first step is having your husband clean the wall surface.  The husband has to do this because you will have cookies in your hand.  At least, that was how it happened for me.

The next step is drawing a level line and beginning the install.

You peel and stick.  That's the install.  SO SIMPLE.  If you need to cut the tiles, you use a razor knife.  If I can do this, you can do this.  We had the whole kitchen done in an afternoon and it was actually fun.

Here's the before:

And the after:

I absolutely love them.  And another bonus:  These are removable.  Take a hair dryer to the corner of a tile and heat it up... it will peel off if you decide you're over the tile look and want to paint a stencil instead.  Perfect.

Check out the Smart Tiles website and watch the install video.  If that doesn't make you a believer, nothing will.

*I was provided with Smart Tiles to review.  All opinions are my own.  Seriously, I loved this product.

Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Plans for the New House

Hi everyone!  I hope you guys had a great weekend.  Mondays are never fun, so let us lose ourselves in the bloggy world for a bit.

Thanks for all the love on my New Home Tour post!  We bought an old house that was renovated but it still needs some work, both structurally and cosmetically.  One room at a time, I'll be working on it until it resembles Buckingham Palace.  I'm only slightly kidding. :)

So, in case you weren't already bored on a Monday morning, here's a list of a few things I'd like to tackle soon... most of it this year.  A few items are probably not going to get done this year, but I'm an overly-ambitious gal, what can I say?

The Outside
Paint the front porch
Plant a garden
Put up a fence
Buy a swingset for the kids
New garage and driveway
Add a mailbox

The Kitchen
Paint walls
Replace dishwasher - DONE!
Add under-cabinet lighting
Find items to decorate above the cabinets

The Laundry Room
Paint walls
Install cabinets over W/D
Remove old cabinet on opposite wall
Install shelving on opposite wall
Make and hang curtain

Coat Closet
Build shelving unit

Dining Room
Paint walls
Add pretty lighting
Make and hang curtains

Living Room
Paint walls
Replace windows
Make and hang curtains
Custom media cabinet
Buy small rug
DIY art

This list doesn't include anything on the second floor.  Including that would make this list way longer and I don't want to overwhelm myself, over-ambitious or not.

I've actually already accomplished two things on this list... I RULE.  I'll share one of them with you tomorrow!  And if you're on Instagram, follow me and you'll see the sneak peeks of all these projects as I'm doing them.  I love a good spoiler!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Blog Planner for 2014

It's that time again!  The time when hopeless nerds like myself make out with our new planners.

Yes, I make out with it.  I could use your support instead of judgment.  I see that look on your face.

I used the same template as last year for my 2014 blog planner... if it ain't broke, don't fix it.  Also, I just didn't have the time to do anything new.  I'm a failure.

Anyhoo, here's a couple of pics of the wonderful planner:

I used the same backgrounds as last year... in fact, the only change is the little calendars on the right-hand page.

If you would like your own blog planner, here's the link to it over at my Google Docs page.  Print it and bind it and make out with it.  You can thank me later.
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Home Tour

The new year is off to a running start already... I'm finishing up a kitchen redo and after that, I'm starting on the laundry room.  This is the year of the finished project, even if it exhausts me.

We moved into a house last fall!  We were renting a two-bedroom apartment for years, but with little Lily on the way, we knew we had to move.  We found a great little home and moved two weeks before I gave birth... it was such a stressful time but I'm so glad we moved when we did.

The house we bought is a renovated 103-year old house in a tiny little town only a few minutes from our old apartment.  We're still in the same school district, but the town is itsy-bitsy.  Apparently they have a huge Fourth of July parade here though, so I'm looking forward to that.

Here is a little photo tour of the new home, before we moved in.  I'm creating a list of all the projects I'm planning for the house and I'll share it with you in a future post.

The outside...

The living room... do you see those French doors?  I love them!  I saw somewhere that French doors were 'out' and need to be taken down.  I say "pooh" to that, and will not be taking them down.  VIVA LA FRENCH DOORS!

The dining room, just through the French doors, and just before the kitchen.

The kitchen... we've already got this room updated and I'll share that with you soon.

The laundry room... I have such grand plans for such a small room.

The master bedroom... it's small but there are major reno plans for it in the future!

The downstairs bathroom... I don't have a picture of the bathroom upstairs, but there is one.  We have lived with only one bathroom for years, I can't tell you what awesome-ness it is to have another one.

Lily's room...

The boys room...

And the backyard.  Huge plans for this space, but it's going to be a while before it happens... the hubs needs some persuasion.

Stay tuned for posts this year, I'm going to share all the projects we're going to undertake!
Thrifty Crafty Girl
I link up at these great parties!
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