Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Baby Room Monogram

So - things have been pretty hectic lately and I haven't done much crafting since we have been transient in our living situation. BUT, we are finally settled in our new home and my crafting adventures have continued! 

For this post, I'm going to show you how to make a SUPER cute, easy, and cheap monogram for a baby room. What I love about this project is that all the pieces are pre-made and can be purchased at Michael's. All you have to do is choose your colors and assemble! 

Once again - I have failed to do the ever so important blogging task of taking pictures along the way, but I promise for this project pictures are not even necessary. It is really THAT easy!

Here is a picture of the final product!

1) Burlap canvas
You can purchase this at Michael's. There are a variety of sizes, as well as square and rectangle. You can also choose between a thick canvas or a flat one. I chose to do a flat, rectangle one.

2) Precut wood plaque
Michael's has a variety of shapes and sizes, as well as thickness. It all just depends on what you want! I chose one that was thinner - it was cheaper!

3) One piece of card stock scrapbook paper 
Again - this is up to you! I chose a very simple baby pink since it matches the colors in Parker's room. 

4) Matte Mod Podge/foam brush or paint brush

5) Pre cut, designed wood cutout
This is yet another item that Michael's carries a variety of. There are different sizes and designs.

6) Precut wood letter
I'm feeling redundant here, but again, this is an item that has a large variety. Just choose which letter shape and size matches the look you're going for. I chose a simple, white letter "P".

7) Burlap ribbon

8) Hot glue gun

10) Exacto knife/razor/box cutter - whatever gets the job done!

1) Using your foam brush/paint brush, spread matte pod podge over one side of the wood plaque. Make sure to get it thoroughly covered.

2) Place the wood plaque mod podge side down on the back side of the card stock scrap book paper. You want to make sure that the side of the paper you want to see is the side that is not being glued on!

3) Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles

4) Allow mod podge to dry completely. This takes about 30 minutes.

5) Once mod podge is completely dry, using a knife of whatever sort you have lying around (I used a box cutter) cut off the excess paper. Be careful to not rip the paper or push pieces of it off the wood plaque. You want the wood plaque to look like it came with the paper on it! Nice, smooth, and with the perfect fit!

6) Once all the paper is removed, you can apply another layer of mod podge on top for extra seal and smoothness. I chose not to because all I had on hand was the glossy finish and I wanted the paper to have a matte finish.

7) Hot glue the wood plaque to the burlap canvas

8) Grab your pretty designed wood cutout and hot glue that onto the wood plaque that is now beautifully mod podged with card stock paper

9) Take your wood letter and hot glue that sucker right on the top! 

10) Take your burlap ribbon and tie a bow. Hot glue that bow above the wood letter.

And there you have it! Your beautiful, cheap, and easy monogram is complete! :) Now hang where you feel is best and you're done!

I chose to hang mine on Parker's door. I just bought those command strips since the thinner burlap canvases are more difficult to hang with nails. Here it is:

ENJOY!!! :)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wooden Picture Blocks

Hey guys! For this post, I'm going to give you instructions on how to make wooden picture blocks by transferring photos onto wood. It's a really cool, rustic looking project that can accommodate any space and style. You can make it antique looking (like I did) or you can make it glossy and super classy for a more formal space. 

As you know, I have a beautiful little girl named Parker. Below is us in October at the pumpkin patch.

She is almost one (time flies!!) and is inevitably the inspiration for many of my projects. So for these wooden picture blocks, my decision to make each and every one of them a picture of Parker was not a difficult decision at all!


1) Wood - $13
Cut in the desired size and shape of your picture (Home Depot will cut the wood for you). I went with white wood- its a lighter shade of wood so the pictures will transfer better. I also tried to find a plank that had few knots, or knots that weren't as noticeable. The knots are beautiful and all, but they will not look good if they are placed right in the center of your picture - I learned this the hard way....Also, make sure the wood is not pretreated wood (it'll have a green tint to it). 
I printed 5 pictures that were about 7"x7". 
2) Sand paper - $5
3) Printed pictures - $10
You are going to want your pictures printed with a laser printer and on the thinnest paper you can find. I just printed with Fedex. You can fill everything out online, choose paper weight, and pick up the pictures at your desired Fedex location. If you have a laser printer, you obviously will be able to eliminate this cost!
4) Gel Medium - $6
5) Mod Podge, Antique Matte Finish - $4
You can use any finish you like (matte, gloss, etc). I chose to do antique because I wanted it to look aged and, well, antique-ish lol.
6) Paint brush or Foam brush - these I already had, so no cost!
I used a foam brush for the gel medium and a paint brush to paint on the Mod Podge. The only problem with a paint brush is if it is a really poor quality brush, the bristles will fall off and you'll spend time picking them off your project. I chose to use a brush anyway because I find it easier than a foam brush. BUT, don't spend your money on an expensive brush. Mod Podge is basically glue and it will ruin the brush you use anyway. 
7) Some sort of old credit card to smooth out bubbles
I just used an old Costco card my husband had.
8) Damp rag
8) Michael's coupons! 

                                             Here are some of the items you will be using.


1) After you have your wood, sand down the edges and the side you are going to use for the picture. Get it nice and smooth. Wipe down with a damp rag to remove all sawdust.
2) Let wood dry (just a few minutes)
3) Once the wood is dry, take your foam brush and your gel medium. Spread gel medium over the side of wood you are going to use for your picture. BE VERY GENEROUS!!! The gel medium is what transfers the ink on your photo onto the wood, so leave no space void of gel!
I did one nice coat, and after that coat was all spread out evenly, I administered a second coat. Just make sure the gel medium is as even and smoothed out as possible on the wood, you don't want any places that are bubbled, or much thicker than the rest. 
4) Take your photo, and INK SIDE DOWN place your photo on the wood. 
NOTE: if your photo contains any sort of writing or image that CANNOT be mirrored, make sure you print the pictured as a mirrored image so that when it transfers, it will be the correct orientation.
5) Using your card, smooth out the paper and bubbles. 
Do this rather quickly. The gel medium begins to dry fairly fast and the ink also begins to transfer almost immediately. You have a very short time frame for adjusting the picture on the wood after its placed. 
6) Leave over night to dry!
7) Once the gel medium is dry, you can go ahead and begin the next very messy process. You are going to take a damp rag and rub it on the photo. Essentially what you are doing is rubbing the paper off. Don't be too rough, you don't want to rub the ink off with it, but you also cannot be too gentle or the paper won't come off. It is a long a tedious process, but be patient! It will be worth it!
I got the rag wet, rung out excess water, and laid it flat on the wood, covering the entire piece. It let it sit for a while and soak the paper. Then I began rubbing off the paper. I had to do this process (soak paper, rub paper off, let dry,  soak paper, rub paper off, let dry, etc.) 3-4 times before all the paper was off. MAKE SURE YOU GET ALL THE PAPER OFF!!!
8) When you are finished rubbing the paper off, let the wood dry completely.
9) When wood is dry, brush on the mod podge, 
I did one fairly thin and even coat, but you can do as many coats as you feel necessary until you achieve your desired look.

10) Let dry. This takes about an hour.

In this photo, the top wood block has the antique mod podge, and the bottom wood block has nothing. You can see how it kind of ages the photo and makes it look more rustic.

11) Hang however you like! You can do brackets on the back, or hooks on the top, however you feel would suit the space you are hanging the photos in!    

The final product!! Unfortunately, I have not hung them yet because we are moving in a couple of weeks and there really is no point. Hopefully I'll get them hung up in Parker's room when we move and post a picture of it then!

***NOTE: As you can see, the pictures rubbed off in a few places. Don't worry about that. It'll still look really cool :)


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

DIY King Size Headboard

Hey Guys! So as I previously mentioned, Todd and I are tight in the pocket area since we bought our house back in October. After we got married, we quickly upgraded to a king size bed which has been heaven. The problem with a king size bed are the king size prices for furnishing it. We have had this bed for close to 4 years and still have not gotten a headboard or anything for it. It is on one of those metal frames with a bed skirt around it. I finally decided that now that I have a house where i can work outside (not an apartment), I was going to make myself my own headboard. So, I started researching. From everything I could see, it is pretty simple and less than $100. My kind of DIY project...

For me, it all comes down to budget (even though I often times stray from it). The reason is that Todd and I discuss all our expenses and decide what is reasonable to do and not do. Think of Todd as my voice of reason...kind of... lol.

Coming from an apartment, I have virtually no hand tools so I had to budget for everything. So here was my list of things

  1. Plywood (large enough for king size) 40x80 was what I ended up using. I estimated about $20 for it but I ended up getting it for free from my father-in-law (who saved by butt with his collection of tools)
  2. Batting, foam or both?? FOAM IS EXPENSIVE!!! Again, I'm a budgeter so I had to figure something else out. I took a trip to Jo-Ann's Fabrics and saw they had really wide 1/4 inch thick batting that was on sale. I ended up buying 3 yards and folded it in half to make it thicker on top of the plywood. Making 3 layers still would have been cheaper than buying foam for that size headboard. I stuck with two layers. We have pillows behind us anyways so I wasn't too concerned about the headboard being really fluffy. That being said, it actually is extremely comfortable! (phew). It cost about $12 for the batting.
  3. I originally bought those chain nail heads that you nail in every 3 or 4 heads. Needless to say, I returned them. I bought the ones at JoAnn's with a coupon that came out to $14. Took it home and every single one I TRIED (being the operative word) to nail in, the nail head broke off. NIGHTMARE! I ended up using 4 boxes (20 pk) for $1.30 each.
  4. Good quality material (3 yards) that wont tear on the edges of the plywood. I budgeted for about $15-$20 but ended up spending $33 because I ended up saving on other things and splurged a bit.
  5. A staple gun. I borrowed an electric one from my father-in-law but after countless jams and misfires I decided to just spend the $15 at home depot and buy the heavy duty silver arrowhead. IT WORKED AWESOME!!! You need a bit more strength behind you but it works like a charm. I also bough extra staples (10mm) for I think $2. One box.
  6. I borrowed my father-in-laws jigsaw and blades but was gonna spend about $30 on amazon. (Like I said earlier, my father-in-law saved my butt and pocket).
  7. A tape measure (which I actually had myself).
  8. Some sand paper (I also had)
  9. A pen or pencil
  10. A regular hammer (I didn't bother buying the rubber hammer)
  11. A tack hammer (had one I bought at a thrift store for $1
  12. Some string or a compass
  13. A friend to help :)
The total cost of the project should have been somewhere around the $100 (with all the tools) mark but I ended up spending about $68.00. 

So here are the steps I took.

  1. I highly recommend getting your plywood cut for you if possible to the size needed. I have a King size bed and ended up cutting my plywood length down to 77". I did this using my jigsaw to do this because I didn't have a table saw. I practiced first before cutting because I had never used one before. I highly recommend this. Once you get the hand of it it's fine. 
(you can see that here I used the leg hold method. lol. It helped me keep the board sturdy while cutting)

2. Once we had the plywood cut to size we had to figure out how to make the corners even. Some
people trace buckets but call me old fashion, I used a string and pen. We first measured 1/3 of the sides, then decided on 1/4 of the size because the curves looked to deep. We ended up going down about 
13 1/2"

3. Once we got the right place, we tied a piece of string to a pen and created out own compass. While Brianna held the string, I used the pen to create our cutting radius. We repeated the same process from the opposite corner.

4. We then followed the lines with the Jigsaw and ended with my desired Belgrave shape. We took the sandpaper and sanded the edges a bit so it wouldn't be so rough.

5. The next step was laying the plywood on top of the double layered batting.

6. I cut the corners out so that it would be easier to wrap around the plywood. I cut a small slit in the middle to make the material more flexible in the curve part.

7. The started the stapling. I started with an electric stapler but ended up buying a heavy duty Arrowhead one instead which worked awesome!

(me cutting the excess off)

(with the batting on. Now for the Material)

8. Similar to the process of putting the batting on, we proceeded with putting on the material.
(we cut off some of the excess so that there wasn't too much material to work around. I can probably make a pillow with the excess material.)

(you can see that we cut slits into the edges so that it would fold easier around the edges)

(Baby Parker was standing by rooting us on!)


9. The last but most certainly NOT least was adding on the nail head trim. As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to use the chain nail heads. But when I hammered each one in, the nail head kept breaking off. I ended up returning it and buying these single upholster nail heads. I bough 5 but I only used 4 (exactly with 3 bad ones...my mistake). This was the hardest step and these are the tools I used:

(I held the nail head with the needle nose pliers and hammered in with the tack hammer. Make sure you use some force or it won't work. I was pretty freaked out at first too so don't worry. One the nail head was pretty far in, I hammered it in the rest of the way with the big hammer.
 A few hard hits and they were in.)

(I kept the tape measure near by and measured every 2". Honestly, some of the nail heads went in crooked but without looking up close, you can't even tell. 
A bit of hammering them in place an they are perfect.)

9. Once I was done with the border it looked really bland because it's so big so I added my version of tufting with the last 7 nail heads I had. I measure to the middle of the top then went down about 14" and nailed in one nail head. Then I measured to the left and right 12" and nailed two there. I now had three on the top row. Then I measured between two of the three to find the middle of that (6")and went down 12" from there and hammered in another nail head. I then repeated the process of the top row of 12" each way to get 4 total on the second row. 

I now had my finished product!

Looks awesome! Hope this encourages some of you to try it out. Be creative and have fun with it!

I'll post a pick of it finally up and update this posting on how Todd and I put it up

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Welcome to our Crafting and Blogging Adventures

These two crafting girls are Rina (left) and Brianna (right). We met in graduate school and instantly connected. Despite our 4 year difference (because it really makes a difference) we seemed to be on the same level. LOL. While the stresses of grad school were getting to us, we began trying to find ways of keeping our sanity. You see, we were in a condensed program that required ALL of our time for classes and internship. This left us both with very little personal time. The problem was that we both needed personal time because we are both married and have lives that need tending to. Because school was driving us crazy (understatement), we needed to find some kind out outlet and we needed to find it fast. What started with Brianna's obsession of crocheting has developed into so much more.We have since graduated with our Masters but have continued our crafting adventures, wherever they may take us.

Well, there lies the problem... Brianna is a military wife and will be getting stationed around the country with her family. Our amazing friendship must continue and grow into an even better one! 

So, seeing as we both love crafting together and won't be able to do it the traditional way anymore, we decided on blogging about our crafting adventures. So we guess that this is our blog. Although it will mainly focus on our crafting adventures, don't be surprised if it gets personal at times. We hope you enjoy reading our blogs and seeing where our crafting takes us.

     I'm 27, married to my wonderfully crazy husband Todd (going on 4 years) and have a pet bird Comet. I have always been a crafter for as long as I can remember. My mom is the same way, which is where I probably got it from. As my husband says, I can never stick to one thing. This is true, which is why I fell in love with Pinterest. It opened up my crafting adventures to many more possibilities. I am no where near a professional blogger nor crafter but hope that that helps others looking for a more real crafting experience. My husband and I just purchased a home here in Florida and have really seen the costs of new home ownership. 
In a grand effort to save money, my husband and I have been doing A LOT of DIY projects. They may not all be fun crafting projects but sometimes you just have to get dirty.

     I am Brianna and am 23 years old, a wife of a United States Coast Guardsman, and a momma of a beautiful little girl. Originally from the sunny state of California, I attended college in Michigan where I met my now husband. From there, he joined the Coast Guard and we have been embarking on many adventures exploring new people and places. 
     I have never been a crafty or artistic sort of person, nor have I ever had many hobbies (wow I sound boring!). On a whim, I recently decided to head to the craft store, pick up crochet supplies, and teach myself to crochet. At last, out of nowhere, after 23 years of boring existence struggling to find a hobby I was both good at as well as enjoyed, crocheting came to me! From there, I discovered Pinterest and all it's DIY wonder! Now, I am exploring new projects that are not only cheaper, but look better when homemade!