Who loves to decorate their homes for the holidays? I know I do. I normally go all out on Halloween, but this year – I really haven’t done so much. I’ve been super busy – so maybe I will get some stuff on the outside soon. That being said, I love decorating for fall – but I hate paying for it. So, I thought I would give you some ideas, that I have done, which I LOVE – and they all originated from ….. THE. DOLLAR. TREE.
Those who know me, know I love the freaking dollar tree. There is so much potential there. To do these, you will need some basic craft supplies, but everything else is a dollar.
For the first one, here is what you are gonna need. First, the non-dollar tree stuff. Chalk paint and a glue gun. A lot of this stuff I already had on hand, so this first project literally cost me two dollars. Not too shabby for a cute little sign.
Here is what I used that i got from the dollar tree. One stretched canvas, a black permanent marker, twine, a little bag of different wooden cutouts (the pumpkin), orange paint, black paint, and the coffee cup cardboard piece. The coffee cup piece was actually a cute little photo holder that I found. They have a few different styles of them, but I got one for my room, and then – I had never used this one. So … Now I did! I pulled off the clip, and broke off the easel part in the back… and there ya go.
So, Once that was done, I took a piece of sandpaper and scuffed down the front of the cardboard piece. Then I took my chalk paint, and painted it! I used the regular lines that is on the cup, to create the gray holder and black lid. And I just mixed my dollar tree black paint with my chalk paint, to make the colors. I dug through this little bag of wooden shapes, and there was a pumpkin. So I used the orange paint, in one of those craft things that the dollar tree has for Halloween projects for the kiddos. I didn’t take a pic of it – but its the little paint tubs that are connected… and it was wayyy to orange. So, I mixed it with the gray. Voila!
Literally – for the background, I used a permanent marker. And just drew it on there. to make it look like ship lap. Sorta. Then I hit Pinterest to find a cute little saying. And I loved that one! It made me smile.
Then, made a bow with the twine, glued it on, glued the cup to the board – and done.
I love having a festive house! This is a perfect little touch of fall to sit in a window sill, side table, even hang. I sat mine in my kitchen window – with a Rae Dunn “Pumpkin” Candle beside it. All for two dollars. Look at the things you have around you – I get you can make something amazing! And to be honest, if you are in a bigger city, check a few dollar trees out – they get different stock. What’s your favorite season, and craft for the season?
Ok. This isn’t a post about manifestation. But it could be. In one of my previous posts I wrote about how I wanted to make my house more, homey. I made a list. (If you haven’t read that post, I suggest ya do.) Well, Number six on the list – was my kitchen table. Can I just say, I hated my kitchen table. Like I hated it with a passion. And I wish that I could say that my ex bought it, picked it, or it was forced upon me and someway. NOPE. That sucker was all me. And when I bought it – I was so proud! I really was! But, about 5 days after the purchase – I knew it was a bad idea. I denied it. But I knew it was bad. I shall now insert a photo below. So you can see the prettiness. Then I will explain why it was a bad idea.
So there she is. Isn’t she lovely? I mean, I saw that table – and I saw modern. Edgy. I saw – MYSELF. (Ok, maybe it’s a little dramatic for the table. But, I was pretty pumped about it. ) I loved the finish. I loved the metal. I loved that you can arrange the height of the table and stools. I loved that it looked like it could be in a Chipotle near you. I. LOVED. IT.
My kids loved it too, at first. But what we all forgot, was that the littlest child (at the time of purchase) was 7. EMMM. MMMM. You know what you don’t want with a small child? A spinning table with spinning chairs. You wanna know why? Did ya work super hard and get dinner on the table? One hard spin equals dinner on the floor. Tears ensue. Mine and his. Did I mention I have ceramic tile floors? Corning ware against ceramic tile? Tile wins. There IS a lock for the table. Did you know that a seven year old can undo said lock, with his toes, without disturbing the table at all? It can be done. It has been done.
Industrial Place 5 Piece dining set (For the rest of this post, I am going to refer to it as IP5), can also double as a playground. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you why. You know those spinning wheels of death that are probably now banned across playgrounds everywhere? Well, in a pinch, the stool from said dining set, can also double as this fine piece of play equipment. Picture it: A laughing eight year old. Spinning face down on stool. He jumps up. He’s dizzy. He’s down. He’s bleeding. Ugh. This all happening while I am screaming, “You knew better! I am not paying a $350.00 co-payment at the emergency room because you weren’t thinking!” (Yes, I literally said that. No, I didn’t mean it – well, I sorta did. I’m not perfect, we know this. )
IP5 had other drawbacks. When the four of us sat down to dinner, the table would wobble everytime someone touched it. Also, our plates were really super close. IP5 was lacking on it’s radial length. And once IP5 got about 7 months old, randomly a white haze would form on it. It would happen with moisture. But it would show up when I would clean it. Then it would go away. Freaking weird, I know. But ask my kids. I swear it happened. I knew I needed a new table. Tables aren’t cheap. IP5 cost me almost $500.00 when it was said and done. That’s a lot of money to me. So me, the kids, and IP5 were in an unfulfilling relationship together.
But, then, the miraculous occurred. I got a phone call from a friend of mine. And he said,” My mom is getting a new kitchen table – Do you want her old one? It’s over 20 years old and needs some work, but it’s solid wood.” Sir, you had me sold at the word solid. Do I ever! And let me tell ya – my happy self went to work the next day, asked my brothers to borrow the truck, and I made arrangements to pick that sucker up that Saturday. Saturday rolls around, and me and my crew (which is me and the kids, FYI) head over to her house to pick it up. We get there, load it up, give hugs and say 1000 thank you’s, and head home. She also gave us some cream parson’s chairs to go with it.
I get home, and I get to work. Now, once he told me it needed work, I put a budget in my head. I didn’t want to go over $100. I have to do budgets. Or I get too creative. LOL! Luckily, I am the son that my daddy never had – so I tagged around quite a bit in his wood working shop as a little kid. So on hand, I have a belt sander, and rotary sander, and some sanding blocks. And I get to town. Yes, the table was 20+ years old. But the top, well it shocked me. It didn’t take much work to get it down to a smooth surface, little scratches and nicks out. She took super great care of it. Same goes with the base and the legs, but they were a bit more difficult. They had been painted for the different styles of the times, so it took a little more work. Still though, I had them stripped down in about three hours.
Now, here’s the fun part. I decided I wanted to do it in like a modern/farmhouse/chic/girly/cool finish. That took some googling, due to the fact I can be indecisive. I decided on a deep gray color, with a coffee/mahogany top. So, off to make the purchase to fix this table. I got the stain at Lowe’s ($12.16 with tax). I used the Minwax PolyShades – because I love the ease of the one step. For the legs, I wanted to do a subtle milk paint. I love milk paints, chalk paints, and whitewash. Those are my favorite paint styles. I think that I gives such a soft finish. And by soft, I mean, it looks like it would actually feel soft. I couldn’t find what I wanted at Lowe’s. So off to Joann’s I go. PEOPLE! I got the milk paint on clearance for $4.17 and I had a 20% off entire purchase. I got two. So… $7.12 later, I’m set. Our grand total for this table at this point is $16.33.
I do the table and I floor myself at my own work. I am super proud of this table. There is only one problem. I had three chairs, and need more seating. So I start looking for seating ideas. I needed to redo the chairs, and wasn’t sure how. So I decided on upholstery spray paint in charcoal and stone. Now this stuff is pricey, to me. So, I implement my tribe – Joann’s and Michael’s Coupons. I got it down to 5.14 a can. I needed five cans, for three chairs. I still had a 20% off coupon thanks to the app – so grand total there came to $21.20. Now, if you go this route, MAKE SURE YOU DO IT OUTSIDE AND DO NOT SIT IN THEM FOR 48 HOURS! They are still gonna be tacky for a couple days, and you don’t want to ruin that hard work. And when it says to shake the can for a full minute – DO IT. That isn’t a suggestion, it’s needed or it will come out all weird and yucky. We are now at $37.53. And I still need another seat.
My budget for another seat is $62.47. I decide I will get a bench, and stain it to match. I can find a standard wood bench for that amount, right? No. No I can’t. Not even close, guys. So, guess what I do? Google. That’s right. I found a design to make a bench. So, a trip to home depot, $16.80 later, we got the fixin’s for what could be an amazing piece of carpentry. Then, I get to work. And guess what ya girl did? She made a frickin’ bench. That’s exactly what she did! I’m not even gonna lie. It seemed simple. But I thought, it can’t be that simple. I mean, it wasn’t totally simple – but it wasn’t hard either. And I have had four grown folks sitting on it – she is sturdy.
I tell you all this, one – to help. Two, to proclaim how grateful I am for this table. I despised my other table as a dinner table. Now IP5 is in the corner as a board game/homework table. Perfect life for IP5. And this table that was given to me, means everything to me. One, a dear friend thought of me and asked if I was interested. Two, my brothers let me use the truck to make it happen – how awesome to have the availability of a truck! Three, I got to spend some time with a sweet lady, help her out, and you could tell she was so happy that it was going to good use. Four, I made something that I am proud of. Five, it has been a rough year and this was a great thing to make me feel at home. I can’t even begin to explain how blessed and grateful I am.
So, it’s set up. I want a centerpiece. Because, well – I have room for a centerpiece and a plate. And I didn’t before. I decided to hit up Marshall’s, and low and behold – I found the base. A two-tiered swivel thing. Specific, I know – you’ll see. I put a Rae Dunn mug and juicer I had in the cabinet, some greenery I had, and got the letter’s at Joann’s for less than a dollar a piece. On the center piece, amount I spent was $21.21. The piece itself was 14.99, then there was a candle from the dollar tree, a couple little pots, you see. But there’s the total. At this point, I haven’t finished the third chair yet. So, one of IP5’s stools is on one side, which actually looks pretty cool. But the rest, is below. I am so happy with how it came out. I am super happy that there is a story to it. I am proud of my effort. I am grateful for the vision. I am grateful for the sweet soul that gifted it to me.
And let me tell you, we have sat there. And eaten. And laughed. We had some company over, and we were all able to sit at the table. It was awesome. So here is my take away…. One, put it out there and let it be known what you need. And just watch. Two, be grateful for what you have, even if you hate it. I know that doesn’t sound possible, but it is. I am in a phase of my life where I am closing old doors – and trying to build new things. It feels good to see things happening. And… If you like this – please subscribe and share. Let’s get the word out and be happy. Stay Inspired!
Yes. Those are lyrics from “Seasons of Love”. Which is from the musical, Rent. The reason I picked that title, is because ….. I AM GONNA TALK ABOUT MY RENTAL HOUSE! And by rental house, I mean the house that I am a tenant in. Not a property I own. Currently, in my life right now, I am renting. One day, I would love to be a home owner again. But right now – and to be honest, the next two years, I am going to be renting. And here is why I say this. My kids are what I live for. Completely. And it is so important to my daughter, to stay in her school district. She is a sophomore in high school, and I don’t blame her one bit – I wouldn’t want to switch schools then either. So, after research, looking at how the prices keep going up in my area, I decided to stay put. I re-signed the lease, with the resolve that this place I have been living in for the past two years, was now going to be my home for the next two, God willing.
And if you follow me on any social media – you know I just had some issues with my house. It flooded. And it was awful. And to be honest, it was still in some sort of disarray. I didn’t feel good when I walked into my house. I didn’t feel good when I drove up. I didn’t feel bad, per se. It just wasn’t the excitement of being “home”. So, I was talking to one of my friends, and he said – “You have never made that place – YOU. That’s what’s wrong. ” Well, I then informed him how I didn’t want to waste money on a rental, with paint and what not. I didn’t even know if I could paint or not. And all the reasons I couldn’t make it better. He looked at me and nodded, and said – “Sorry, but I was going to be somewhere for two years, I think I would spend my money on some stuff to make it a little more homey. I didn’t say knock down walls.” So, I thought about it and took his advice. I contacted my property managment company, and they said I could paint. They gave me exterior guides for the door (HOA Rules, not theirs) and advised that I can paint the inside, but if it’s beyond neutral they may request that I return it to the original color. Ok. Cool. So, I decided that I didn’t want to look back at pictures years down the road, and regret not making it more homey.
So, first thing – I decided to paint my front door. I wanted it to be happy, and cheery. I searched color after color, trying to find the perfect shade. I searched Pinterest, HGTV, DIY Network, home listings – and then I decided on a shade. Coral. It was perfect. Bright, cheery, and very, well – perfect. So off to Lowe’s I go! I picked the color called “Coral Reef”. Not knowing what in the world I needed, (like there are a zillion different types of paint) I ask the paint guy. He walked me through it, made his recommendations, and then we were mixing up a quart of ‘coral reef’! And I was super pumped. Two of my three kiddos were with me, and they both approved, too! We got some rollers, 3M painters tape, and some brushes, and we were off!
The next morning, we got up. We taped off the door. And two hours later…..
Stop the applause… stop the applause. I know it’s amazing. LOL! But seriously, the difference it made in my soul, was that was the amazing thing. And then I realized, that I had some work to do. So, I do what any good OCD/obsessive/journaling/blogging/ person does. I get out my “The 5 Second Journal” – and I made my list. My list was of the things that really bothered me about my rental. Because my number one, was the front door – because I hated seeing it when I pulled up. Check. Fixed. Here’s the way the rest went.
Downstairs bathroom/ My Bathroom
My steps. Disgusting.
Disarray of dining room (still was off kilter from the flood)
I needed towels.
Not enough art in my house.
So, I got my list. I evaluated my list. And here is what I determined for each item. And being the obsessed, OCD type. Here we go. And what I added, was $$$. Because let’s be honest. That’ is going to affect it big time. First, how much can I afford, will it affect my deposit, how much will it take to reverse it, cost benefit analysis.
Front Door – Done. $27.00-ish
Flooring – Deal with it. $5,000,000.00 (might as well be.. LOL!)
Downstairs bathroom (I’d spend $30.00, maybe. Paint? I dunno) My Bathroom ($50.00 – new shower curtain/rug/trash can/ rearrange)
Kitchen window (I just need curtains. I can make them. And a tension rod. $15.00)
Steps. The rental company never cleaned the carpet when I moved in two years ago. It was wreck honestly. I was able to clean well the upstairs carpet. The steps.. just never seemed pristine. So, I called Stanley Steemer. $80.00. Booked the appointment.
Kitchen table. I bought the table I have now, last year. It is circular/metal/wood and totally modern. It looked so cool. Eat at a spinning table with a nine year old. -_- Bad purchasing decision on my part. ($300-$600)
Disarray in dining room. Free.
Towels. Not really an option. I mean, I am not gonna drown getting out of the shower, but I seriously need towels.
I make art. For myself. I enjoy doing it. I enjoy looking at. Hang it up. Free.
So, Now that i have my list together. I can start tackling. Subscribe to my blog, to see the next revamping adventures I do – good ones and failures…. If you haven’t yet… Follow me on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram for some more positive info, laughs, and maybe we can help each other! I’m grateful for you!