diy od

In the last several months, I got the itch again. You know the one. It happens to me often, most recently a couple of years ago in March when I was stricken with Restless Life Syndrome. Again. This time, I think I desperately needed a very cheap creative outlet that wasn't this blog or the fluffy writing assignments I get on occasion. So I went to town on my house and changed just about every room, as these things go. I found out that I rather enjoy building and creating things with my own two hands, which was equally fun and dangerous. There were several injuries as a direct result of having a staple gun in my general vicinity and several minor foot injuries as a result of the staples that went AWOL while being shot into the ceiling, wall, and various other objects.

But we're fine. Please don't worry about us.

Project 1: Re-covering old, painted canvases.
This is where the staple gun made its debut. I had a box of canvases that I had bought and defaced when I was in a fleeting "I'm going to be a painter!" phase. I was looking to put something on the wall in my newly rearranged room, and thought of those paintings. I wondered if one of them might be good enough to hang in the daylight. None of them were.

To mend my assault on art, I headed to Hobby Lobby and picked up some chevron fabric in a couple of colors.

Then I whipped out the staple gun and felt strong and proud. The rest was easy. Trim down the fabric, pull it tight over the canvas and POP, POP, POP! Staple it real good, and there you have it.



No more paintings that make you want to cry. Just simple designs to brighten up a wall. Covering three small canvases and staggering them on a rather large wall filled up the space, and the fun design brought some life into the room. The awesome part is that this project can be done with any fabric design you want!

Also, vintage lightbulbs are my favorite lightbulbs of all the lightbulbs.

Project 2: TV stand details.
We used to have our TV hidden in a closet on a hideous, cheap stand that was barely functional. We didn't have the pesos to buy a nice one, but we hit the bullseye at Target (see what I did there?) and found a closet organizer that could be flipped on its side. $40, people. Not too shabby, amIright?

The problem we ran into was that every other cubby hole didn't have a backing on it, so you could see through to the wall and the TV cords tucked behind it. It was ug-o.

So, I went back to the Lobby and bought just 1 yard of a fabric that pulled in my favorite colors from the room. I cut them into squares that matched the cubby holes, pulled out the staple gun and felt strong and proud. POP, POP, POP! and you're in business.

Just adding that little detail turned the simple, colorless TV stand into a more interesting, but still cheap (let's be honest), TV stand. Again, this could be done with any fabric type, so you can make it your own.

Project 4: Mason jar vases.
hoard collect mason jars. We don't have actual cups anymore. Just jars that we make even our guests drink out of. But I love them and that's good enough for me. The problem is that I had amassed a few too many. So I decided to turn a few of them into vases for the living room. I needed some more color, though, so I painted the inside of the jars with green and white. I love that the outside stays smooth and shiny and still looks like a jar while the inside is a burst of color. I've also seen it done with matte paint or chalkboard paint on the outside of the jar, and it looks pretty cool too. The good news is that you can get a flat of 12 mason jars for about $6, so it's a cheap experiment and a quick project.

Project 5: Burlap headboard/wall decor.
I don't think you realize just how many terrible paintings were in that box I mentioned earlier. It was not just three. It was 8. So had 5 remaining canvases that I needed to cover up before I was turned to a pillar of salt. Hobby Lobby was my jam again, and I found a roll of burlap. Yep, it's as scratchy and imperfect and awesome as it sounds. So I cut it down and, focusing on the imperfect part, just kind of scrunched it here and there and pulled out the staple gun and felt strong and proud. I stapled and stapled until it was good enough, but not clean and perfect. I wanted it to be natural and rough around the edges.

I only had 5 burlap canvases and I wanted to do two rows above my bed, so I pulled one of my favorite photos from our vow renewal and put it in a frame that was about the same size as the canvases. I mounted them in two rows at the head of the bed, and I absolutely love how it turned out. We don't have a headboard, so this setup gave the illusion of it in a really fun, unique way.

Project 6: Master bed canopy.
The last bedroom project was creating a canopy above the bed. Again, since we don't have a headboard or footboard and the mattress just sits on the boxspring and frame, our bed was kind of an island, but not in a good way. In a bachelor pad kind of way. I wanted to make it look bigger and draw your eye to the ceiling, so I decided to make a canopy. We went to Walmart for this, which was a pretty drastic measure. After scouring their fabric section for something sheer enough to feel beachy but with the porous texture I wanted, I was really disappointed and ready to spend WAY too much money on something that wasn't quite right. Seeing my disappointment, the fabric guru there told me to roll up the expensive fabric and put it back on the shelf. She left and came back with a $4 package of cheese cloth that was long and wide enough to do exactly what I wanted.

Bless her. It worked! And the $4 part was awesome. I was about to spend $50!

I already had some thick twine that I wanted to use to hang the cloth, so I pulled out the staple gun and felt strong and proud. I POP, POP, POPped it into the ceiling and hung the cloth sideways over just the head of the bed. It framed the burlap perfectly, made the bed look bigger and was the perfect texture for my beachy vision.

Plus, it looks really dreamy at night.

Here's a couple more shots of the bedroom. Just because I like it. Humor me.

Project 7: Jewelry hangers.
I think I'm probably not alone in my frustration with how to organize my jewelry. (#FirstWorldProblems anyone?) I always forgot about most of what I had because I couldn't easily see it in a jewelry box. So, I pulled out that same twine I used for the canopy, bought an unfinished frame from the Lobby and grabbed some bulletin board pins. The rest is exactly as easy as you'd think.

I still had some long necklaces that didn't fit quite right in the frame setup, so I bought 2 unfinished, super simple key hook mounts and painted them a fun color. I mounted them on each side of the jewelry frame and shaZAM! Easy peasy.

This is only a sampling of the projects we did in the last few months, y'all. My husband is awesome and patient and surprisingly accommodating when I change the "vision" midstream and put 12 more holes in the wall than were necessary. He is a saint for letting me create on a whim and also for letting me get anywhere near him and our valuables with a staple gun.


The BEST part about having just spent so much time and creativity on our home of 5 years is that WE'RE MOVING!!! How ridiculous is that?! I'm saying my Hail Marys right now to counteract the jinx that may come with announcing we have a contract on our house. (That's how that works right?) If all goes according to The Plan - and it almost never does - we expect to be moving downtown into a loft on Main Street by the middle of next month. Woo hoo!

Stay tuned, as I now have to redecorate all over again. This time, with 15' ceilings. I'm sure nothing can go wrong with staple guns and tall ladders.

But please don't worry about us.


  1. So - if I were seeing your amazing creations for the first time this evening, I would now be boarding my flight to your house. I don’t know where in the family tree you got all of that creativity and décor-talent, but it certainly was not from your parents. We are ridiculously impressed!

    But having spent a few days with you recently, I must say that these pictures provide only a glimpse of the wonderful home you have created. I remember being surprised by something new and unique and intriguing in every room. Well done, Chel and Rob! Incredibly well done!

    Now on to the loft… I cannot wait to see what you do with it. ♥


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