A budget-friendly DIY & lifestyle blog

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Holiday Decor

Our December has been super busy!  We closed on the house, moved in and started our first remodeling projects and then our 10 days of travel between both of our families began.  Our decorations, while minimal, still allowed us to celebrate together and made it feel a bit more like home.

Hope you all are enjoying your holidays and ready to ring in 2012.  Yikes...2012!


Sunday, December 25, 2011

DIY // How To Make a Personalized Tap Handle

Hey there, Vamps!

Merry Christmas!!  My hubs loves beer (as do I).  And he especially loves brewing beer (as I do not. Just can't shake the mess or the stink.  But, like I said.  I love the outcome.)  So, what to get a beer brewer that has everything shy of a commercial brewery?  A custom tap handle, of course.  Luckily, I had the art ready to go. Back a couple years ago my graphic designer friend, Kat, helped me create some beer labels for mine and the hub's first wedding anniversary.  (My sappy self stuck with the traditional paper gift.)

There was no way that I was going to pay a buttload to have someone make one, so I scoured ebay to find a used tap handle with a round face, so that I could easily transplant the label.  I found so many oval and random shaped handles that I was afraid I wouldn't find what I needed and then I saw it.  In all it's perfect round face glory.  And only $10!  I jumped on it faster than you can say zwickle.

It's a Redhook Brewery Chinook Copper Ale tap handle.  (Redhook is our old hometown brewery, which made it even more perfect. Even with the impending defacement.)


Step 1:  Tape off anything you don't want painted like the metal connector at the bottom.  Spray a light coat to avoid running. Repeat. I ended up spraying 4 coats of the chalkboard paint to each side of the tap handle.  (The chalkboard paint allows us to write whatever beer is on tap and change it as the brew changes.)

Supplies #2:

Step 2:  Print label, cut out and apply to tap handle.  I used mod-podge to adhere it.

Step 3:  Remove tape.  Attach to keg, drink and Enjoy! 

Now all we need is a kegerator.  Next project?

What about you guys?  What did you get/make for your someone special?


Friday, December 16, 2011

Knockoff // DIY West Elm Scalloped Trees

You may have first seen this project at my guest post over at Type A Decorating!  I thought I'd share the tutorial here, as well.

Have you seen these West Elm Scalloped Trees?  Pretty awesome, if you ask me. They're constructed out of seagrass and styrofoam.  So, I thought popsicle sticks would be a great substitute and I picked up a couple styrofoam cones @ Joann Fabrics, which were surprisingly expensive for what they are.  And by expensive I mean $6 for the 15" cone.  Still less expensive than the West Elm version, but c'mon $6?

West Elm Scalloped Trees - $39-$79


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Knockoff: DIY West Elm Style Scalloped Trees

Like what you see below? Well, check out my guest post over at Type A Decorating on Friday to see my tutorial for a copycat version at a fraction of the cost of the originals.  I'm super stoked about this project as it was my first totally original project.

I've been sitting on this since the beginning of December, so I could share something fresh and new at Type A.  You can understand how quickly my excitement turned to what I like to call, "Bitch You Stole My Idea" when I spotted this very project on Pinterest.  {Shakes fist at sky}  {And I say "bitch" in the friendliest blogger to blogger way.  Your pointy trees totally beat mine, Susan Phillips.}

West Elm Scalloped Trees - $39-$79

Thanks for stopping by and jumping on over to Type A Decorating on Friday to check it out!


Monday, December 12, 2011

DIY // How To Make Felt Mistletoe

In need of a reason to spread some holiday love?  Well, why don't you make yourself a felt mistletoe, camp out under it and get all the kisses your little heart desires?  Sounds like a good plan to me.

This project first caught my attention on Pinterest and for some reason I've put it off until now.  Silly, me.  For Green Wedding Shoes' tutorial click here.  Otherwise, just scroll down to see how I did it.


Sunday, December 11, 2011

DIY // Handprint Christmas Tree

Nothing gets more handmade than a HANDprint project.  Am I right?  And what could make this project even better?  The addition of friends & food!  (Thanks, ladies!)

I first spotted this project on Pinterest and have been so excited to make one for our little family.  I was able to finally track down the original posting at The Other White House after traveling through many a'blog (it is a very popular project!)  The Other White House has a great little tutorial and mad props go out to Heather for sharing the wonderful idea!

So, on to the project...

The Supplies:
  • Brown, Yellow, Green Paint (I used Tempera)
  • Canvas (Any size will do.  I used 12x16)
  • Foam applicator
  • Small craft paint brush
  • Hands (Hopefully still attached to the owner...gross.)


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

DIY // A Fun Stocking Hook Insert Idea for the Holidays

I've been itching to decorate for Christmas ever since I shoved the last bite of candied yams in my mouth, but with an impending move I've put it off.  Well, I just couldn't wait any longer so I made a trip out to the local nursery and purchased our potted dwarf evergreen.  If you're interested in greening up (pun intended) your holidays, a potted evergreen is definitely the way to go.  All you have to do is pot it or plant it once the New Year arrives, so there's no more messing with that toxic PVC tree or worrying about tossing that real one.

With the tree purchased, I rushed home to break out just a few of the decorations with three, in particular, in mind.  Awhile back I purchased a set of 4 Eddie Bauer photo stocking hooks for $1.99 each at Goodwill.  They were just what I had been searching for and luckily, it was the middle of May so I got them for a great price. (Half off!)

Instead of using photos, I decided I'd use a holiday word and with just three of us, I knew "joy" would be perfect. So, I made a template, got to cutting and was elated with the results...now all I need to do is find our stockings! (and break out the vinegar to clean off the sticky tag residue!)

So, what about you?  What are you decking your halls with?


Monday, December 5, 2011

The Portland Bazaar: Dec 10-11

We've got a "not-to-miss" event happening this weekend in the Portland area.  How did this slip by me until now?!

It's the Portland Bazaar, a curated holiday fair that celebrates the high-quality handmade work being produced by Portland’s creative community!  Grace Bonney (Design*Sponge), Greg Hennes (Antler and Co.) and Matt Pierce (Wood & Faulk) teamed up to create this spectacular event.

The Portland Bazaar will provide a unique spin on traditional holiday fairs. In addition to offering a curated selection of vendors in a wide range of categories (clothing, accessories, home goods, books, music, vintage wares, fine art, food and spirits), the Bazaar will also offer unique demonstrations and classes, including custom bike frame building and DIY workshops that teach visitors how to make holiday wreaths from local Portland flora.

To compliment the excitement happening inside the Bazaar, the street in front of Sandbox Studio will be closed to traffic and lined with some Portland’s finest food trucks. We aim to provide each and every guest with not only great holiday gift options and DIY ideas, but tasty snacks and drinks to go along with them.

Friday, December 2, 2011

DIY // How To Make a Felt Owl Beanbag

Are you all crazy about owls like the rest of the design world?  I know I am, but then again, I've always loved those curious creatures.

My first owl project was designing a baby announcement for my friend.  And then I was hooked.  I was searching out owl projects like they were going out of style.  Wait, are they going out of style?!

My Owl Barn, "for all owlovers," has oodles and oodles of owl goods & projects, like their uber-popular Owlovers Calendar, and my next victim project was just sitting there staring me in the face, an owl bean bag.  The perfect little stocking stuffer for the little guy who loves to test out his pitching arm.  I'd much prefer a soft bean bag being fired at my head as opposed to blocks.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

To Each Their Own: Anthropologie Trinket & Treasure Candlesticks

I just received my Anthropologie catalog and as I'm flipping through I'm thinking "Man, I dig pretty much everything.  Not that I would wear or use it, but I definitely dig it."

Especially these vases.

And these pillows.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

DIY // Handmade Holiday Gift Tags

Here's a quick & easy guide to making some handmade gift tags.  Enjoy!

Let's start with the supplies:
  • Pre-cut paper tags ($2.99 for 25 tags in various sizes)
  • Sharpie
  • Paint (or markers)
  • Gift wrap

Step 1:  Draw onto the blank tags (even if you think you're not very artistic.  Hello, penguin below.)

Step 2:  Paint or color in between the lines.

Step 3:  Cut out gift wrap (use tag as template) and glue to back of tag.

Step 4:  Attach to gift.

And there you have it!


Friday, November 25, 2011

DIY // Homemade Hot Pepper Jelly

Everybody's doing it.  Except me.  That was, until this past week when I crossed over into the popular crowd and became a home canner.  And with that I've hit full-fledged domesticity and I'm loving it.

Hot Pepper Jelly is one of my all-time favorite guilty pleasures.  I love to plop down on the couch, watch some trashy reality tv and munch out on wheat thins, cream cheese and Apple Valley Country Store hot pepper jelly.  The best in all the land!  It's sweet, perfectly spicy and pretty darn beautiful with its champagne-colored jelly and red bell peppers.  I've been wanting to try my hand at making my own, so that I can avoid a mad (3-hour) dash to Hood River to pick up some more whenever I get the craving and so I can share my love with those around me.  So, with Christmas lurking around the corner, I finally pushed up my sleeves and got to business.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

DIY // Handmade Thankful Turkey Cards for Thanksgiving

Gobble, Gobble!  (or in non-turkey tongue, Hey there, Vamps!)

Check out our little "What I'm Thankful for..." cards that I quickly put together for our impromptu Thanksgiving meal.  We wrote down what we were thankful for on the inside and shared them at our dinner.  So easy and a great addition to our table decorations. I love handprint crafts.  (Stay tuned for a special Christmas handprint craft in the coming weeks.)

Break out a blank card (I folded up copy paper) and the paint.  I used Tempera in red to stamp the handprint and then used some crayola art paint from the kiddo's stash to add some brown, yellow, and orange. Like I said, quick and easy.

Any Thanksgiving-inspired crafts that you included in your table decorations?


An Impromptu Thanksgiving

I hope to find you well and thankful on my all-time favorite of holidays.  Christmas is cool and all, but how can you beat a day where you can eat your weight in mashed potatoes and gravy, unzip your fly mid-meal and get a high five for it?

Our typical Thanksgiving holiday involves traveling to either of our family's homes which are both three hours away in opposite directions.  A couple years, when we lived closer to one side, we managed to cram both houses into the long weekend.  Crazy, I know.  But for two eaters and lovers of family like us, we just couldn't bear to miss it.

This year is a whole 'nother story.  We're moving in a week to our new house and with so much to do before the big move we just couldn't make it up to the hub's grandparent's house.  So, for the first time ever, we are on our own for Thanksgiving.  And with only a day to plan!

Since it is just going to be us two (and a half), cooking a whole turkey and all the sides was crazy-talk.  We  bounced around ideas for our dinner like the classic backup chinese dinner, but I just couldn't go without my candied yams & buckets of gravy.  And then it hit me!  A lazy man's carb-loaded thanksgiving dinner with combination homemade and storebought items to keep it simple and keep us traditionalists happy.  On the menu? Pre-cooked oven roasted turkey breast from Costco, yummy & preservative-full Stove Top stuffing, homemade mashed potatoes with jarred turkey gravy, homemade candied yams, peas, dinner rolls, homemade cranberry sauce, storebought pumpkin pie and the hub's family tradition, frog eye salad.  A perfect compromise. I can't wait to dive in!

And as for the table decorations?  All things I had on-hand aside from the flowers and pumpkin.  Thankfully, (ha) I LOVE orange, so there were plenty of items to choose from.

So, who's at your table?  Any special food traditions?


Sunday, November 20, 2011

DIY: Family Photos

We just completed our family photo session and just in time for Christmas cards!  While in the past we've had our awesome and talented friend, Tina Patenio Photography, behind the lens,  this time we decided to try it out ourselves.

A few Christmases ago I got the hubs (or myself?) the GorillaPod by Joby.  I think we've used him once before.  Sadly, he's usually hiding in our junk drawer.  At the last minute before we left the house, I had the foresight to bring him along thinking he might just come in handy.  And boy, was I right!  This little gadget can attach to everything!  I'm so in love with him that he's gone from inanimate object to part of the family.

I don't know what we would have done without him.  Probably the ol' "extend the arm out as far as you can facebook profile pic" method.  Something like this...

But, because of our handy little GorrillaPod, we were able to get some great "professional-looking" shots all on our own.  Thanks, GorillaPod.  (Cue Thumbs-Up pose.  Cut.  Print.)

Friday, November 18, 2011

DIY // How To Make Fabric Coffee Sleeves {Tutorial}

Stop using those wasteful cardboard coffee sleeves, break out that sewing machine and make your own reusable and stylish fabric coffee sleeves in just six easy steps.

My fabric sleeves came out to under $.25.  I used fabric remnants bought from a quilting shop.  A large ziploc bag cost $1, plus I got to pick and choose the pieces.  I also found a bag of binding at Goodwill ~ 10 unused packs for $1.99.  ALWAYS check their craft isle.  The only item that I purchased for full price was the 1/4 yard of ironing board fabric which ran $5.99/yard.


How To Organize a Classroom

November, and specifically Thanksgiving, has most of us thinking about what we're thankful for.  At the top of my list is my family.   When Nikki from Everything Under the Moon invited me to participate in her Random Acts of Kindness Week this past Nov 13-19th, I was overjoyed and I knew exactly what I could do.

I am lucky.  I am blessed with a very handsome, hardworking and scarily smart husband and a carbon copy 1 year old son, with a sense of humor that rivals my beloved Chevy Chase.  The hubs will wash dishes, wash laundry, cook, and give me nightly back rubs all without a single complaint.  And, while he does, and is, a lot of things, organized he is not!  (Just take a peek at his classroom.)  He's so busy with graduate school (Go Aggies!) and teaching that he can't find the time to clean up.

So, I put my organization skills to use.  It's the least I could do to show him just how thankful I am.

His biggest issue, as you can see, are the stacks and stacks of papers.

 So, I thought these would help.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

DIY // The Best Starbucks Banana Bread Copycat Recipe Ever

It's a food post!  I know I'm swaying a bit away from "homegoods", but this is home related right?  Plus, I just had to share this recipe.

With an abundance of overripe bananas, I set out to find a banana bread recipe using bread flour (what I had on-hand).  And in my search, I found the best banana bread recipe EVER!  It's dense, yet moist, with a slight crunch to the crust.  I. Can't. Stop. Eating. It.

The original recipe came from Copykat Recipes and I made just a few adjustments (butter instead of margarine & added vanilla. I also left out the walnuts.)

Copycat:  Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread

Monday, November 14, 2011

Home Depot Workshop: Martha Stewart Living Holiday Projects

Did you know that Home Depot offers FREE Do-It-Yourself workshops?  Or that they offer FREE Do-It-Herself workshops geared towards women?  Neither did I!  I recently learned about this incredible resource from my local MOM's Club and I am stoked.  I can't wait to attend EVERY SINGLE ONE of these.  I'm going to be there so often they're going to get tired of me.

The November Do-It-Herself was Martha Stewart-ified.   We learned about her new collection of paint, faux finishes and glazes, plus ways to use them to create easy holiday projects.

First Up?  Tile Coasters.  I first attempted to use the Gold Glitter glaze, but the glaze kept seeping under the stencil and looked far too messy for this semi-perfectionist.  So, I went with the Oatmeal Crackle finish and it seemed to work a little bit better.  Still a bit of seepage.  Hot tip:  You HAVE to apply a coat of MS primer/finish prior to using the crackle finish which reacts with the finish to create the crackle effect.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Art @ the POP

For those of us that live in the Pacific Northwest, we know rain.  And we outsmart rain.  In Astoria, there's a great indoor play place, called the Port of Play, where the kids can burn some energy and the parents can socialize.

Our visit today had me appreciating the rain cover, as well as the art.

So what about you?  Where do you take your kids when the weather is less than stellar?


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Architectural Digest: December 2011

Do you read Architecural Digest?  If you love home decor and drooling over multi-million dollar homes then this is the magazine for you!  While I typically scour online design mags like Lonny, somehow I received a print subscription and I am so happy I did.  Especially this month.

The December 2011 issue, "Winter Magic," landed in my mailbox last week and I have finally taken time to look it through.  My heart stopped at its "Most Wanted" shopping guide.  I want EVERYTHING!

Fouta towels ~ Scents and Feel

My Beautiful glass teapot ~ Mariage Frères

Sunday, November 6, 2011

DIY // Handmade Yarn Wreaths

I made a trip over the river and through the woods (literally) to my hometown this past weekend for some much needed quality time with the family.  We ate, drank and were merry. And then we decided to get all crafty and bust out some yarn wreaths.

We tried to do it on the cheap by using The Penny Parlor's tip to use foam tubing from the hardware store ($.97) for the round bases, but the only stuff I found had a slit in it and I just couldn't manage to make a nice round shape.  We also tried to score some free yarn on freecycle.  No one was giving it up.  So, to Joann Fabrics we went, without a single coupon in hand.  Fail, Fail, Fail.

The Supplies:


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Craigslist, Goodwill, Freecycle...Oh my!

Haggling aside, I absolutely heart thrifting.  I am addicted to craigslist, goodwill and yard sales, but my most beloved of all is freecycle.  Why?  The stuff is straight up free.  I love finding unique treasures and bringing them home to my exasperated husband just to hear him ask, "now, where the heck are you going to put that?"  Luckily, he's the most frugal guy in the world so when I tell him it was free his protests typically end.

Here are some photos of my most recent scores. The can on the left is a vintage 50 lb. Armour Star lard container. 50 LBS!  Yikes, that's a lot of lard.

Lard container & large basket from flea market


Sunday, October 30, 2011

DIY // Mason Jar Soap Dispenser

I stumbled upon the 2011 Pinterest Challenge:  Fall Edition while checking out some plans for a kitchen island over at Ana-white.com and I was all over it.  If you're asking, "What in the Sam Hill is Pinterest?"  Then, please allow me to ask, "Where in the Sam Hill have you been?!"  If you're asking yourself, "What's the Pinterest Challenge?" Then, I'll just keep my smart comments to myself.

You know all those Pinterest pins you've been addictively pinning like they're going out of style?  The ones that you say "I can totally make that" and then they just sit there collecting internet dust?  Well, now's the time to roll up those sleeves, step away from the computer and get to work.

Friday, October 28, 2011

DIY // West Elm / Dwell Studio Papier-Mâché Animal Head

I gotta tell you, this project was easy-peasy.  I was pretty intimidated at first, but once I got going things just seemed to work themselves out.  Here's my first attempt at the ever-popular mounted animal head ~ mini-style.

  • copy paper
  • scotch tape
  • plaster
  • round wood plaque
  • liquid nails

The awe-inspiring stag, of course.  Not only is this a beautiful creature, but I get brownie points from the hubs who is a Harvey Mudd grad.  (Go Stags!)  My choice for a mini-version was out of convenience (it would fit on our "control center" wall) and it would be less daunting than a lifesize version.


Homegirl: You rock!

Gina Bishop, with Homegirl, you are a lifesaver!  Thank you so much for letting me rack your brain and sharing your sage advice with this newbie. And in the words of the great Wayne Campbell, "I'm not worthy!"

Jump on over to Gina's site, Homegirlshop.com and check it out!  She has bi-annual homegoods sales that'll rock your socks off.  For those of you near Ohio, be sure to drop in at her next sale coming in the Spring, but go early, Homegirl sales are extremely popular!

Revamp someday?  A girl can dream...

Thursday, October 27, 2011

DIY // Van Gogh's The Starry Night Mosaic Art

This is a piece that I created a few years back.  Back before the creation of Revamp Homegoods, even before the creation of blogging.

Vincent van Gogh's The Starry Night has had me mesmerized for as long as I can remember.  The deep colors and the night's energy are awe-inspiring.  Did you know that this was his view from his room in the sanatorium in Saint Remy and was painted just 13 months before his death.  He would stare at the view at night and then paint from memory in the morning.  I, too, could stare at it for hours. (Que sappy music.)

"The Starry Night" Vincent Van Gogh 1889

An extremely long time later...

Being one of the most replicated paintings of all time, I decided to jump on the bandwagon and create "The Starry Night" in glass mosaic form.  I made a trip out to Bullseye Glass, in Portland, Oregon, to pick up the supplies, which were:
  • Glass cutter
  • Sheets of colored glass

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Salvaged Goods: Trash to Treasure (Literally!)

Home Depot definitely has its allure as a one stop shop for home improvement, but are you guys familiar with salvage materials stores?   You can get salvaged furniture, homegoods and building materials, such as doors, windows, hardware, tile and tubs, at insane prices. You'd be amazed at what people throw out.
Rad Sign from Salvage Works, LLC


DIY // How To Transform a Vintage Dresser

I don't know about you, but I always feel anxiety and guilt over painting a vintage piece of furniture or any piece of furniture, for that matter.  Right before I smear on the first coat my right eye starts to twitch, my forehead beads sweat and my whole body starts to shake.  I know that the paint will liven up the down-and-out piece, but it just seems so wrong to cover up the wood.

A past project had me all wrangled with guilt when I chose to paint (EEK!) my mom's childhood dresser. 

I think everyone in the family has used this dresser at one time or another.  But first, it was my lovely mother's. As a child, she saved up all her money to buy it and it's been around ever since. I know, what you're thinking...what child saves up to buy something so practical? That'd be my mom.

For nearly 40 years old (sorry, mom!), this dresser is in pretty good condition. It's still rolling around on its original wooden castors and only two pieces of its veneer had chipped off. But the wear and tear of being passed around was definitely showing and the old guy needed some TLC. Refinishing veneer can be quite the challenge, so I figured paint would be the way to go.  I rolled up my sleeves, plugged in the hand sander and got to work. Sanding and sanding and sanding until I had this:

And then I began sanding some more.  Grr...


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Blast into the Past

There's something about the combination of newspaper, papier-mâché, and animals that gets me all giddy. My most recent project sent me straight back to 1991 when I was in grade school and all about papier-mâché. I would even go so far as to say obsessed. Just saying the word, papier-mâché, is fun. Say it with me now, “pap-YAY muh-SHAY." Now wasn't that fun?

West Elm Papier-Mâché Animal Sculpture

Dwell Studio Papier-Mâché Animal Heads
I know you've seen these plastered (heh.) everywhere in blogs, magazines & catalogs. Are you as in love with them as I am? Stay tuned for my very own DIY mini animal head.


Introducing Revamp Homegoods

How many of you can call yourselves a do-it-yourselfer? Better yet, how many of you WISH you could call yourself one? You see a project and think to yourself "I can totally do that!"? Only to find yourself elbow deep in sawdust and covered in primer, ready to throw in the towel and tramp out to the nearest homegoods boutique to replace that botched job with that beautiful, but OH SO EXPENSIVE, piece.

Allow me to introduce myself. I am Revamp Homegoods. I remake, revise, and reconstruct one man's junk into something spectacular.

© Revamp Homegoods. All rights reserved.
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