make your own flower box

I’ve had the cutest DIY flower box sitting on my dining room table for over a year now. Every time I look at it I make a mental note to blog about the process. Well, the day has finally come. With Allen’s help, I’m going to show you how to make this quick and easy centerpiece for your table.

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6′ oak 1×4 (cut into 2- 24″ pieces and 2- 4″ pieces)
  • 24″x5″ piece of luan (for bottom)
  • wood stain
  • wood glue
  • sponge to apply the stain
  • finishing nails

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Cut your wood pieces to size. You’ll need two 24″ pieces for the sides and two 4″ pieces for the ends.

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Place the small pieces between the two long pieces on each end to form your box.

Apply wood glue anywhere the wood joins (this will hold your sides in place when nailing the box together).

Clamp in place.

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Secure the sides of the box to the ends using finishing nails.

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Flip the box over and nail the leuon to the bottom to finish the box.

Stain the box by rubbing your stain on with a sponge.

I filled the bottom of my box with styrofoam and arranged flowers in the box to make a centerpiece on our dining room table.

The possibilities are endless, you could change it all seasonally or add festive holiday picks by pressing them into the styrofoam.

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2013 Christmas Round-Up

Last year, I had so much fun with the 12 Days Of Christmas series. I love creating and cooking, especially around the holidays. Another 12 days series isn’t in the cards for this year, things are busy and I’m lucky to get a blog post up these days, it’s just a busy season around here.

I wanted to share some of my favorite projects from around the blog. You can find links to them and a short explanation beneath the collages. These have all been created in our home and I can say without a doubt that anyone can accomplish these fun and simple projects.

Get your hot glue gun out, I promise this is going to be fun for everyone!

christmasprojects

  1. Santa’s Magic Key- A fun and simple project, Santa’s magic key is left out on Christmas Eve night and it includes a precious poem that incorporates the real reason for the season as well.
  2. Holiday Bucket List- I love the idea of a holiday bucket list. Include all of your favorite traditions and it becomes a sweet reminder in your home this season.
  3. Ruffled Tree Skirt- Create a fun tree skirt to use for years to come.
  4. Ornament Wreath- A quick and easy tutorial for a festive ornament wreath.
  5. Painted Tie-Dye Ornament- This is a quick and easy tutorial using glass ornaments and acrylic paint
  6. Modge Podge Ornaments- Modge Podge your favorite paper to a glass ornament for a festive look
  7. Personalized Glitter Ornament- With vinyl letters create a personalized ornament
  8. Hand-Print Ornament- Using your childs hand create a personalized snowman ornament
  9. Christmas-PJ Tree- If you have old Christmas PJ’s this is a perfect way to always have them as a keepsake and add decor to a child’s room

And the holiday season wouldn’t be complete without a few of my favorite Christmas recipes:

Christmasrecipes

  1. Homemade Hot Chocolate
  2. Christmas Party Pretzels
  3. Peppermint Chocolate Cake Balls
  4. Cinnamon Roll Monkey Bread
  5. Sausage Balls 

And I’m sharing another fun recipe on Every Day Cheer today. Click over to check out my recipe for Christmas Crunch.

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DIY drawer organizers

I know I’ve expressed my deep love for organization on here before. It’s a real, legitimate love that makes my heart all sorts of happy. On the flip side, the opposite of organization, (would that be chaos?) is enough to make me crazy. I’m a straight lines person, everything in a place, in neat little rows. It’s something I really have to work on, because we all know life can’t be like that, all of the time.

Or so I’ve been told. Multiple times.

You can only imagine my level of frustration when I opened the drawer in my kitchen to find this disaster. Here’s the thing, I’ve organized this drawer (and the one below), the random kitchen utensils and gadgets drawers. But, then they always end up looking like this, a chaotic mess. I almost didn’t include this picture, then I almost told you it was a Google stock image.

I’m kidding, sort of.

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Logically, I told Allen that I needed some organization in this drawer and asked him if he would pick me up a drawer organizer at Home Depot or Lowe’s the next time he was in the store. He agreed, but none of the drawer organizers would really do what I needed, or the size was wrong and there would be extra space in the drawer that wasn’t being used.

You know where this is going, he went downstairs and built one himself.

So I took pictures to show you, just in case your drawers are in need of a little organizing, too. Here’s how you can make your own:

  1. Cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the size of the inside of the drawer. This is going to serve as your base and it’s important for a couple of reasons. It will steady the dividers by giving them a base, and you’ll be able to take this organizer our of the drawer if you ever need to. IMG_7879
  2. Based on what you need for the inside of your drawer, draw a grid on the plywood. IMG_7884
  3. Cut strips of 1/4″ plywood to the height of the drawer, length and quantity will be based on the grid that you have drawn on your base.  Don’t forget to cut the pieces for the edges and subtract the width of the plywood from the height of the drawer, since it will be nailed on top of the plywood. IMG_7880
  4. Using a 1/16″ drill bit, pre-drill holes for the finishing nails. Attach strips (the dividers you’ve already cut) to the base. This will be easy since you drew the grid onto the base to begin with. IMG_7885

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Once you’ve attached all of your pieces to the base, you’re ready to insert it into the drawer. The fit should be just right, so you won’t need to attach it to the drawer.

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This is the first organizer we added to the kitchen for silverware. I love how it turned out and how it makes it easy to stay organized. Allen even added a slot for the knives, in the back of the drawer, far out of the reach of tiny toddler fingers.

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Here is the finished product from the pictures above. I’m still waiting on one more to go in the drawer below this one. That drawer is still a mess. Most of the things in this drawer that didn’t have a place once the divider was added, went into the drawer below. I try not to even open it most days.

diydrawerorganizer

DIY toddler chore chart

I’ve been toying with the idea of a chore chart for BK for a few months. She’s only three, but I have to give her credit, she’s smart and completely capable of a little responsibility. Of course, the chore chart is actually another chore for me, it’s not like I’m sending her off with a load of laundry to fold neatly and put away. Each and every day it’s an exercise in patience for myself, it’s letting go of control (that I cling to so tightly).

BK’s chore chart is a simple concept, just magnetic tiles with pictures. She moves her magnets down once the chore is complete. In hindsight, responsibility would be a better word to use, but the vinyl letters were already cut when I had that moment of clarity. The first few days we spent time talking about each tile, she would choose a few to do throughout the day. I must say, she has mastered sorting the silverware. I’ve also never seen her pick up her leggo’s so quickly. It’s neat to see her independence and responsibility grow in the process.

 Here’s a look at how we made the chore chart and what we included.

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What you’ll need to make your own:

  • sheet metal 
  • tin snips (to cut the metal)
  • vinyl lettering
  • glass tiles
  • clip art pictures of chores (you can find them around the web, I actually have the Cricut cartridge that makes the ones we used, they were just too big for what I needed)
  • magnets
  • modge podge
  • trim
  • vinyl lettering

Here’s what you’ll do:

Measure the space where the chore chart will go, using your tin snips cut the sheet metal to the measurements. We put ours right inside the laundry room.

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Measure and cut the trim to go around the edge of the metal. This just gives it a more finished look. You can even have Hobbly Lobby cut a frame to the exact measurements and make this step a little easier.

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Use tape to hold the metal to the wall, you can use a level to make sure that your metal is straight. Attach the trim pieces using a nail gun, the trim will hold the metal in place, you’re only using the tape to hold the metal while you’re adding the trim.

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Once the trim is set, fill in holes with wood putty and paint the trim.

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Add vinyl lettering to personalize your chore chart and chore magnets. To make the magnets, print clip art pictures and attach them to the backs of 1X1 glass tiles (ordered from Etsy) using Modge Podge. Once the Modge Podge dries, attach a magnet using a hot glue gun. Cut a strip of vinyl to separate the chart, now your child can move the magnets down once the chores are complete.

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From left to right, top to bottom, these are the magnets we chose to use:

  • Lawnmower- she gets to move this down when she helps Allen cut grass
  • Toybox- for putting away her toys
  • Dog- for helping with Coco
  • Laundry basket- she helps sort laundry, or takes laundry out of the dryer and puts it in the basket
  • Bed- when she helps me make her bed, some of the chores she’s just learning how to do
  • Gardening-for helping me weed the flower beds
  • Dog Food Bowls- she can help feed and water the dog
  • Windows- she can’t use cleaning products, but I do let her wipe off the windows, so she really feels like she is helping
  • Dishes- for putting her dishes in the sink
  • Books- for “reading” the books back to me at night or just when we go upstairs for dedicated learning time
  • Hair- brushing her own hair
  • Bathroom- for helping with bathroom chores
  • Table setting- for helping set the table
  • Toothbrush- for doing a great job brushing her teeth
  • Bed- a great nights sleep
  • Star- I let her move this down when she has a fantastic attitude
  • Dusting- when she helps dust
  • Pots and pan- when she has a great attitude or tries new things at dinner
  • Dishwasher- she sorts the silverware
  • Sweeping- she has her own broom and “helps” when I sweep
  • Clothes- for getting herself dressed

We don’t do all of these things every day, some days she only moves down a few. We don’t put any pressure on the chore chart, we just get a few things accomplished each day to give her a feeling of responsibility. There isn’t a prize at the end of the day either, we go over to the chart and talk about the different things she accomplished and we talk about how proud we are of her for each magnet she moved down. She counts the magnets and moves them back up. So far, it has been a fun and rewarding addition.

What are some ways you give your child responsibilities and build independence?

DIY creaseless hair ties

I’m a bit obsessed with those cute creaseless hair ties that you see everywhere. I usually keep one on my wrist so that I can throw my hair into a ponytail at any given time. They make a nice addition to my afternoon workouts, too. I can take my hair down afterwards without the worry of annoying creases that come with ponytails. Plus, how cute are they?

The problem is, they can be costly. I’ve seen them at local boutiques for as much as $2.50. Which is crazy, it’s a hair tie and every girl knows, you need more than one hair tie. They looked easy enough to make, so I set out to make my own and save a little money in the process.

creaseless hair ties

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Here is what you’ll need:

  • 5/8 inch foldover elastic, I ordered mine here. To get the best price, order in bulk and have them mix up the colors. For example, you can do 100 yards of solid colors for 29.50 and just put in the notes section at checkout what colors you want and they’ll mix up the yardage for you. It comes out cheaper this way.
  • one piece of paper
  • scissors
  • lighter

Here’s how you’ll do it:

  1. Measure your elastic using the longest side of the paper as your guide. IMG_6866
  2. Fold your elastic in half.IMG_6879
  3. Tie a knot in the end and singe with the lighter. If you want yours to be tighter of looser you can adjust the length in the step above. BK loves these too, so I made a shorter set for her to wear.

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It really is that simple and the elastic is cheap so they end up being so cheap. I have less than a quarter each in the ones I made. The elastic comes in a wide variety of colors, patterns and textures. Even if you not typically a DIY person, I still think you’ll be just fine making these.

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