2015 Highlights: Favorite DIY Projects

Next up in the 2015 Highlights series… my favorite DIY projects from this year. I’ve been slacking a bit in the DIY realm this fall and winter, but plan to do more projects in 2016. Even though 2015 didn’t include a ton of DIYs, I had time to do a couple projects and am sharing some of my favorites below!

If you missed yesterday’s post, click here: 2015 Highlights: Getting Organized

Press for Champagne Art2015-01-15 12.03.58


Painted Entry Table:
Part I2015-02-24 23.02.07


Part II 2015-02-28 17.56.02


Floral Art2015-04-14 20.56.44


Memo Board Revisited 2015-04-26 16.53.10

DIY Memo Board Revisited

I made a little DIY memo board over a year ago and it’s survived two apartments and I use it every day. It’s a great place to jot down a grocery list, keep track of workouts and other to-dos. I’ve stuck mine to my fridge with 3M velcro strips, but these could go just about anywhere, from a door to an office wall or whatever works for you. Simply buy a frame and throw in something for a background and use the glass as a dry-erase board. Works with the same markers and wipes off easily. (I even took my gold leaf pen and added a little decorative trim around the inside of the frame)2015-04-26 16.41.24 2015-04-26 16.41.25

After a year + of looking at this every day, it started to look messy and chaotic. I originally threw the fabric samples in there as a temporary solution until I found another alternative, but never ended up switching them out. Thanks to some leftover gift wrap from my DIY Floral Art project, I had just enough to fit in the frame! I love this pattern and now can enjoy it in my apartment and my office. A few photos of the new look below and how to use it for to do lists, etc. 2015-04-26 16.53.10 2015-04-26 16.53.25 2015-04-26 16.54.36

DIY Floral Art

I’ve seen variations of this idea floating around online for awhile, but a couple weeks ago, I finally got started with the process and ordered the materials for this DIY art! I adore everything from Rifle Paper Co, but their prints can range anywhere from $24-50 each and I wasn’t willing to spend that much per print plus framing. I found out they make individual gift wrap sheets of the same gorgeous floral patterns so I purchased those from Paper Source online (along with one other) for a total of $22.24 including shipping!

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My next bargain hunting session was for frames. I’ve purchased many in from Joann’s online in the past, but they didn’t have quite what I was looking for on this project. I found a couple great options at Michael’s and went with simple white frames with mats included. For three frames, my total came to $37.52 including shipping.

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This project ended up at $59.76, just under $60 for three gorgeous framed art pieces. If I had purchased the prints I mentioned along with custom framing, this project could have ended up totaling a couple hundred dollars. Not in my art budget, so I’m really glad I went the budget-friendly DIY route.  Now on to the fun part, the quick and easy DIY!

FYI- If you’re trying to get these pesky little things lifted up from your frame and don’t want to ruin your manicure, just grab a knife from the kitchen! Slide it under the metal clip and bend up. Same goes for putting them back, just press down and you’re done.

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All I had to do was pick the portion of the gift wrap I wanted to frame….

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Trace around the mat (in case I screwed up, I didn’t to risk tracing inside the map and cutting it too small)…2015-04-14 20.41.24

Cut out your traced portion and place it in your frame and you’re done!2015-04-14 20.45.46
Same process with #2:

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And #3:
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I’m so thrilled with how these turned out and can’t wait to hang them in my new office (stay tuned in a couple weeks for a full office makeover at my new job!)

2015-04-14 20.56.44


DIY Coasters Revisited

Remember my gold leaf pen coasters DIY project?


After over a year of use, they were still in pretty excellent shape, but could use a few touch ups. I also wanted to give the coasters a slightly different look and incorporated an off-white shade along with the gold.

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I started with one coat of gold and one coat of the concrete taupe shade:2015-02-01 16.24.53

After allowing it time to dry, I applied a second coat:2015-02-01 16.47.04

And after the third and final coat, here is the new look:2015-02-01 17.16.42 2015-02-01 17.16.47 2015-02-01 17.17.10


Another quick and easy DIY project and it gives these coasters a nice refresh.

Sources: Original Coasters // Gold Leaf Pen // Beige Pen

DIY: Press for Champagne Art

I’ve been obsessed with the Press for Champagne art from Lisa Golightly for a long time and finally decided to make a DIY version inspired by this photo!

Credit: Lisa Golightly

I purchased this door bell on Amazon for only $5.882014-11-10 19.29.09

And went to my local Home Goods and found a gold frame for $7.992014-11-11 19.49.06

My first instinct was to do a different version of the original design by using colored paper, so I bought a bunch of different options at Michael’s:

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While I loved all of them, it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for and it looked too busy with the frame and lettering, so I decided to return the paper and go for a different route. I also initially recruited my wonderful mom to test out her calligraphy skills while I was home for the holidays and hand write ‘Press for Champagne’ on the paper. We both decided against it in the end and made another trip back to Michaels.

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DIY, round two: Ivory paper (with a subtle sparkle and texture) and stick on letters. Much more of a nod to the original and less room for error. Between the stickers and paper options, the cost was under $10.

My wonderful mom has more refined crafting skills than I do, so she stuck on the letters and centered the button while I supervised 🙂 2014-12-30 16.06.37

Then, we simply put the paper into the frame (without the glass) and used a screwdriver to attach the screws securely to the back of the frame.

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One flight from KS to DC later, I stuck on a couple 3M velcro strips to the back…  2015-01-15 11.59.37

And the gorgeous finished product is hanging above my bar! 2015-01-15 12.03.58  2015-01-15 12.09.22 2015-01-15 12.09.59   2015-01-15 12.10.36 2015-01-15 12.10.48 2015-01-15 12.15.16

I’m so thrilled with how it turned out and I’m glad I went back to the original design! The project ended up costing between $20-$25 instead of the original price of the Etsy listing at $62. And a huge thank you to my amazing mom for executing my design and ideas!

DIY Christmas Candle Holder

Inspired by the cute post over on the DIY Playbook, I wanted to create my own easy Christmas candle holder. This took a few minutes and only required a few items (all of which I already had on hand).

  • Mason jar
  • Cranberries
  • Tea light candle
  • Greenery (I snipped a few branches off the back of my tiny tree)

2014-12-17 20.37.47 2014-12-17 20.42.30Simply put the greenery in first, then then layer cranberries on top, fill jar with water and place tea light candle in the middle of the cranberries. Easy and adorable!

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Now it lives on my coffee table for the next couple days until I leave town for Christmas but I’m so glad I found the post and recreated it to enjoy for a couple more days.

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I’ll definitely do this next year as well! Thanks to DIY Playbook for the idea.

DIY Painted Vase

My old vase sitting on the island as a catch-all was getting boring and overly stuffed to the brim, so I decided to bring out the leftover paint from my nightstand. This was a quick and easy DIY project and I love the end result! Brings new life to a plain little vase and was completely free- already had the paint, brush and vase on hand. Photos and step by step tutorial below:

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Items needed: vase, paint (and stirrer), brush and a surface to work on (I went with a restoration hardware catalog) 
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Start with the vase upside down and paint the top first, then the sides (I did two coats and let each dry in between):
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After the second coat is dry, flip it over:
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Side note: a little trick while you’re waiting for paint to dry: put the brush in a cup filled with water, soap and a splash of nail polish remover:
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The paint comes off with zero effort and the brush is clean in no time! 
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End result! I also painted the inside of the vase with one light coat: 
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This also gave me an excuse to clean up the ridiculous number of items stuffed into the vase:
2014-11-07 20.27.55 2014-11-07 20.28.32  2014-11-07 20.29.08