Wallpapered Dining Room

The entire crux of this project hinged on the fact that I did not want to spend a lot of money on fancy wallpaper that I might possibly ruin since I had never installed wallpaper before. I scoured every source I could think of to come up with an attractive and affordable option for wallpaper in my tiny dining room. I left no wallpaper site unturned until I finally found the right option for me. That brings me to step one.

1.  G A T H E R   Y O U R   S U P P L I E S.

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I used:  Paper •  Glue • Scissors • Ruler • Measuring Tape • Cutting Mat • Exacto Knife

Effectively, it really is as simple as picking out a paper or fabric, slathering the walls with cornstarch paste and then cutting the paper to size. Don’t you dare let yourself be intimidated by a project like this. The absolute hardest part is settling on the paper.

I design a lot of invitations and use a lot of decorative, handmade papers that are sold by the sheet. During one particular journey down that rabbit hole, I found just the right paper I had been looking for, called the Blotto Print Lotka. It had color, texture and an earthy pattern that just got me. I immediately fell in love with the imperfect dye pattern. These sheets are 20×30 and I used about 20 which made this a $100 project. I can get behind that price point.

My absolute favorite source is Paper Mojo. I’m not kidding about this rabbit hole. There are so many options for paper and an endless list of possible uses. This is actually the second time I’ve used their paper to wallpaper. I have a gorgeous, subtle marble paper in my entry way.

In a further effort to save money since I didn’t know if I would even like the outcome, I made my own wallpaper paste. It’s simple, I promise.

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I made my own cornstarch paste from some recipes I googled around for. Here’s the basic cornstarch recipe I used.

  1. Pour 2 cups of water in a saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup cornstarch and water in small bowl until powder is dissolved.
  3. Gradually whisk cornstarch into boiling water until they’re well blended.
  4. Stir the mixture constantly until it thickens.
  5. Let it cool before use. Mixture will keep for a week covered in the fridge.

I’ve made a few batches of this by now and the consistency is key. One batch came out lumpy and it still worked on the wall, but the application is just easier if you get the right smooth jelly/paste combo.

2. T R I M   P A P E R   T O   S I Z E 

 

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I worked on this one sheet at a time. Pick your starting point, I chose the bottom left side of the wall since it started on a chair rail and I wanted those pieces to be the most intentional. The paper I chose was handmade and had a deckled edge but I wanted a crisp, clean line so I had to trim the bottom and left side of each sheet. I cut it with a rule, exacto and cutting mat before putting any paste on the wall.

3. S L A T H E R   W A L L S   W I T H   P A S T E 

wallpaper-install_04So I didn’t get a great photo of this. All I did was grab a paint brush and start “painting” the walls with the paste on enough area for one sheet of paper. I coated it enough so that it would saturate the paper a bit to make a good connection to the wall. I kept it all underneath the paper but would brush the mixture over the edges to make sure they didn’t peel up. It doesn’t leave any residue on the top once dried and you can’t tell what spots had it on top or not.

4.  A P P L Y   P A P E R  

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Getting into the flow can be a little slow going at first, it usually is for me. With your first piece ready and the paste covering the wall, line up the paper straight on the edge and lay it on the wall pushing the air bubbles out as you go. I found this process really forgiving in that I could pull the paper back if it wasn’t just right and reset it or pull half back to get some stubborn air bubbles out.  I’ve seen others use book pages, wrapping paper or fabric. Get creative!

I let the paper overlap and didn’t bother cropping the edges of the paper that got covered up. The paper was thick enough that it didn’t crunch or wrinkle, something to consider when picking out the paper. This specific pattern hides the overlap incredibly well. For the top pieces I would actually measure out the exact size and cut it before putting it on the wall. In a few places, it was better to go just over the edge, let the paper and paste dry completely and then trim it off with a blade. I tried it at first while it was wet and it ripped up the paper like crazy.

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This shot shows three pieces of paper and how the seams look up close. This pattern specifically required some editing and careful selection. I wanted the pattern to look like it was  a wall paper and not a patchwork so I made sure to line up the patterns as best I could so the seems wouldn’t be so obvious.

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5.  P O P   A   B O T T L E  +  P A T   Y O U R S E L F   O N  T H E   B A C K   

A quick recap, here’s a good ol’ before photo and a bonus before, before photo.

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It’s been awhile since I finished the walls and can say it’s held up incredibly well. I am, however, itching for change in a few other ways in here. Surprise, surprise. I’m swapping out the dining chairs and crossing my fingers to stumble onto a great new table.

I cannot recommend a project like this enough for an affordable impact. I’ve actually ran out of smooth walls in my house to wallpaper, the rest are textured so I resort to paint and making my own patterns on those walls.

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Quick + Easy Shoe Shelf

 

2016_0928_Master-Bedroom-Shoe-Shelf2.gifIt was only recently pointed out to me that I am, in fact, a shoe girl. The evidence was all over the floor, the door of my closet and on the floor and shelves inside as well. I asked myself,  “Gloria? When did this happen?” IDK.

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The shoe probs had reached a point where action needed to be taken. I thought about a lot of solutions, cabinets, bookcases, builtins and fancy shelves. Anytime I tried to source out any of those and saw the prices, I thought, “Man, I would much rather spend that money on shoes” and then I defeatedly thought, “that’s something a shoe girl would say.” All of that left me thinking, I need a simple, cheap solution. I went with something I knew would work because I had already done a version in Beckett’s closet.

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Home Depot carries these white brackets and I think the have a really clean effect. Plus, they 2.26 each, so win.

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An Office Evolving

Gloria Joy_Office_13So I have a lot of stuff.

I do a lot of  side projects for people . I’m the girl that people call when they have something “creative” that needs to be done. I love it.  Naturally, I have accumulated a lot of different tools and materials for all these things, sewing, painting, invitations, chalk art, etc.  which means some serious organization is in order. Every basket, shelf and container in this room serves a very specific purpose. If it looks like there is a lot of stuf in this room, it’s because THERE IS.

Until recently, my office never had a focus. It was mostly just leftover furniture pieces and things that didn’t work in any other room so it got dropped here. It’s bothered me for awhile and I finally started clearing out the things that didn’t work and ONLY putting things in that DID.  I don’t exactly have the luxury to design a room all at once, source and buy materials and then install. It’s a much slower process of acquiring things and snagging deals as they come along. Patience for the win. While it’s not a “perfectly completed” space, it’s certainly evolving into one.

Gloria Joy_Office_12 When I finally decided to purposefully “decorate” this room, I started with painting the walls bright white. It was a shade of tan that seemed to suck in the light and didn’t give me that bright energetic space I craved to work in. Once all the walls were white, it was a bit TOO white. I like that stark, but also wanted some kind of an accent wall. Wallpaper was  my first choice, but with the texture and price of my favorite designs, hand-painted it was. An accent wall under $15? I can handle that.

Gloria Joy_Office_22 This is a bit of real life here, the unpainted spot on the ceiling.  The rug was a Craigslist find at $50. It’s worn and tattered a bit on the corners, but to me it was such a piece of art that I wanted it. I wasn’t sure where it would go after I bought it but dragged it in here since this is the last room without a rug that would fit. I was surprised by how much I liked in here and with the chandelier installed, I loved all the layers even more.

Gloria Joy_Office_16 Another project in here is this glitter modge podged chair. Originally it was a white chair, turned dingy. Then I tried to modge podge fabric on top and well that was a fail. In a frustrated moment, I poured glitter into some modge podge and painted it on. I’m really happy with the color and sheen it gives off. Glitter is hard to photograph, but I love it in person. That’s what counts.

Gloria Joy_Office_15 If you look closely here, you’ll notice I definitely jumped the gun. I’m still waiting on a few parts for the chandelier to arrive, more crystals and candle covers, but I couldn’t resist taking a bunch of photos because the chandelier feels  so much like the icing on top. I was giddy when it was put up.

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This yellow painting has bounced around to just about every wall I have. I may sell it and paint something new for this space since there is a lot of color going on in here.

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Another item I’m debating is the chair. I love sitting in it. It’s comfortable and just the right shape, but I accidently tore the seat cushion cover when I was cleaning it. It just split like paper. I’d love it in a soft, neutral linen .

Gloria Joy_Office_18 I love having my accordian file holder mounted on the wall. My mom gave it to me and said, “This could be something” and a few days later the lightbulb to put it on the wall went off. I have a TON of paper from invitations and I love having it out in view so I can see what I have at a glance.

Gloria Joy_Office_21 Gloria Joy_Office_10 These acrylic shelves are like the brain of this room. I’m a huge fan of storage out in the open and these shelves hold a lot of the supplies I use on a frequent basis.

Gloria Joy_Office_20 My trashcan basket, another vital part of the room.

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That’s the current state of my office I’m sure there will be more change in here in the future. I acutally have a printer hidden away in one office and a tv in the other! I’ll have to share those as soon as I get around to painting them, which WILL happen…. eventually…

If you have any secrets to keeping an office or craftroom organized, I’d love to hear!

Making an Easy, Custom Kid’s Table

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Let me start by saying that 90% of my decorating is really problem solving. Sure, I buy pretty things from time to time for no reason, but the bulk of things brought into my house are intended to serve a purpose or two or three all while still being something that I like to look at.

Beckett’s room is pretty small and that’s okay, he’s tiny and doesn’t have a clue. That simply means I’ve really got to be smart about the things that go in there and creative with storage. The rug in there is almost an 8×10′ and you can see it’s pretty much wall to wall. Like I said, tiiiny room.

I still wanted the room to be a place for him to play in. I knew I wanted a table, but every option I saw was wrong—wrong price, wrong size, wrong shape, wrong wrong wrong. In my head I knew what I was looking for, there was already too many rectangle furniture pieces and a circle would be a nice reprieve from all the angles in the tiny room. Have I said that already?

One day walking through Target (this happens often) I walked past this little white accent table and it immediately clicked. I did a thorough inspection of the piece and did a run through in my head of how I would assemble it. Then I went home and bought it online, I usually save money online stacking coupon codes. Plus I had a gift card that covered this, score! 

What I love about this project is how easily it could be converted, different base, different table top size. I’ve always felt like these Target accent tables are a tad limited. I mean, thanks for holding my drink and half of a magazine, so thoughtful. This could make a great end table or coffee table that actually holds real stuff for real people.

So let’s get to it. Here’s the list of everything I used to make this table.

• Pine Wood Table Top (I used the 30″ top)
• Target Side Table (The copper version is to die for!)
• Industrial Strength Velcro
• White Paint
• Paint brush
• Sander
• Johnson Paste Wax (I’m such a fan of this product!)

Custom Kid Table_08The very first thing I did was sand  the top. Pine is fairly rough and you’ll notice a huge difference after. DON’T skip this step.

After that I put a white wash on it. Originally, I was going to paint it solid white but realized the whites might not match up and I knew that would forever bother me so I went with something that was more obviously contrasting. For the wash, I did about 2/3 paint to 1/3 water, mixed it then brushed it on.

Once dried, I used the paste wax to give it a subtle polish and seal. It’s incredibly simple to use. Apply generously, allow to dry and then buff off. That’s all I did to the table top. Sand, Paint, Wax.

Custom Kid Table_01 Do you see what I mean about how small these table tops are? Maybe I’m the only one it irritates.Custom Kid Table_02

I decided for me, the best route to attach the top to the table would be something that was removeable (hopefully.) That’s why I chose velcro instead of glue or drilling into both pieces. A little goo gone and I could repurpose down the road if needed.

Custom Kid Table_03 I chose to apply the velcro to the base first so that I could place it on the underside of the table top to get it as centered as possible. Custom Kid Table_04

Close enough. It’s kind of a one shot thing and I’m not typically one who “measures”. Mostly because Beckett is always playing with the measuring tapes and not his actual toys.

Custom Kid Table_05Step back and observe. Again, good enough! I already had this chair gifted to me by my mom via Craigslist ($20). Awesome. The height of the table is peeerfect for this chair. I couldn’t be happier!

Custom Kids Table_09Custom Kids Table_10Here’s a couple close ups of the top. You can see I left a fair amount of wood grain there and the top is suuuper smooth.

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He has so many rustic earthy elements in his room I really wanted a lighter contrast to all of that and this table came out exactly how I hoped it would! After one bout of creativity on it, I quickly realized I wanted a dedicated tablecloth and not a trash bag. The solution for that will be up later this week!

Custom Kid Table_07  Watching a kid create something is just about the best. Any fun kid projects that I should bring into his life?

Beckett’s Room, the Original

The other day, I had an odd compulsion to redecorate Beckett’s room. Redecorate may be too strong of a word, I just wanted to give it an update. I quickly tidied up just to snap a few pics of the current state. I regret not having many photos of where Beckett lived the first year of his life, I thought there would be too many unpleasant memories brought back by looking at photos of a house that wasn’t ours, but it couldn’t be more opposite. There were so many fond memories created at my former in-laws home as we lived there for a year trying to figure out what was next.

We moved into this house almost two years ago. Back when Beckett still slept in a crib, and by himself for the whole night. So before the curtains and pictures came off the wall, I wanted to remember our first house together, his first room. So here is it the “original” room since I wouldn’t really call it a before.

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Becketts room_Before_05And here’s the little boy himself. I’m not going to go crazy with changes, I just want to freshen and brighten things up. Rearrange some art, make it function better for a busy two, almost three!, year old .

The Snow Day Effect

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Snow fell on and off in Tulsa the past couple weeks combined with freezing rain, sleet and ice leaving Beckett and I stuck inside for a few days. THIS IS GOOD FOR NO ONE. I’m only partially kidding, we made the most of it. Did some art, sledding and a little biting off more than I can chew. Sort of.  I started a project that I have absolutely no expertise on. The tile got torn up on my entry way. So I’ve been stuck scraping up thin set like it’s my job. In fact, the whole entry is getting a makeover, all TWENTY square feet of it.

It started several months ago with the paint getting stripped off the door, I never really did finish that project. So keep that on the to do list. The tiny “Entry” is one of two spaces in my house without texture on the walls which means, wallpaper. Add that to the to do list. Can’t forget the torn up tile, put it on the list! Statement ceiling and new light fixture? List, list. While none of those projects individually is unmanageable, it is a touch difficult to keep things on track with a two year old on the loose. Beckett has definitely hit that phase where you have to keep an eye on him at all times. He sees mommy using the big tools and he wants to too.

My mind has been abuzz with decorating lately. It’s my favorite, my safe spot. It’s where I feel completely free to explore my creativity without having to please anyone. Lately, I’ve had the itch to take on a project and that’s just what I did. I’m sure most DIYers at heart know, that itch combined with free time usually equals a can of worms. I thrive on it. Problem solving and making things pretty. That’s my jam. Hope it all comes together quickly.

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My House Lately

My house means so much to me. Not in a materialistic kind of way, it’s certainly not the most extravagant, but a symbol of possibility. There was a time in my life where everything was so uncertain and I didn’t have a place that belonged to me, so I really appreciate it now that I do have it.

Almost every night once Beckett has gone to bed I’m walking around the house, picking up something inevitably, and have the same thought strike me without fail. Its like, this is my house, a thought that carries weight, excitement and responsibility all in one heave. Sometimes it feels terrifying and other times it’s like a sigh of relief knowing I can build a life I’m proud of. It’s something that I pour myself into absolutely. I’m always tweaking, organizing and finding new way to get maximum functionality. So here’s a few snapshots of things I’ve been updating lately and projects in progress.

 

I’m a bit obsessed with painted closets and organization. My house isn’t always clean, but it’s my deepest desire to give everything a place. This is my painted and reorganized linen/tool closet.
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My almost finished wall painting. I started this a few months after I moved in and finished the bulk of it a month ago. Only one small corner to finish! It’s like a messy version of Plinko. I swear I’ve seen this design or similar before, but couldn’t quite pinpoint where so I’m not taking any credit for it.
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I had a pretty late night on saturday and stayed up painting. This is my most finished piece of the bunch and I love how it ended up. It was one of those bursts where I felt like I had to get some color on the canvas or my head would explode. All it needs is a frame and I already know exactly what that will be, just need to gather those supplies. I’ve already put it on the “Someday List”.
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I like things to be beautiful and functional, but let me tell ya, bottles of sunscreen and bug juice aka insect repellant are neither beautiful or function when drifting around the kitchen counter tops, getting knocked over and ending up in the crusty corner of the kitchen that the broom doesn’t seem to touch, ever. These simple wood boxes were the packaging for some candles. I used to have them in my bathroom for cotton balls and q tips, but had one of those “Aha!” moments and nailed them to the wall. I had been on the lookout for something to put on the wall, but low and behold I already owned the solution, it was just a matter of rethinking the purpose of certain items.
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Here’s a pulled back shot of the boxes and my new $3.78 rug from Target. I had been needing a rug in that spot for all of the dirt that gets tracked in. It’s a thin weave and has a tendency to move around, so I put that sticky velcro under the corners to keep it secured to the floor and it works great.
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This is one I’m on the fence about. The curtains. I originally bought that fabric to make a slipcover for my sofa. I was all like, Yeah! Bold Patterns! Statement EVERYWHERE! I’ll take 20 yards! And then I realized it was a very specific pattern that did not flow with anything at the time and would have really been forcing it. I haven’t even committed to the curtains to actually sew them yet. That’s right, they’re just panels of cut fabric hanging from the window. Right now, I’m leaning towards keeping them and finishing them off by sewing. With some of the changes to my living room below, I feel like the pattern isn’t so much of an oddball anymore. If I had plenty of money, I would absolutely go out and buy new curtains that I specifically chose, but the thing is, curtains are ‘spensiiiive! Along with everything else that goes in a house….
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Target was having a pretty nice sale on furniture a couple weeks ago and I snagged these barstools. I like em cause they don’t take up too much space, visual or physical. Somehow, I don’t know, they were $68 for the two online but I guess the price has gone up.
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This kiddo likes to run in front of the camera whenever it’s in front of me. He thinks he is hilarious, and to me, he is.Untitled

Currently, I think I’d classify this project as my pride and joy. I’ve been hating the look and feel of my entry for a while now, but didn’t quite know what to do with it. It had a solid white door and everything felt so clinical and lacking character. Then I randomly noticed/realized that the door was in fact wood and it would be entirely possible to strip the paint down to the bare wood. So I did! I’ve still got plenty of work to do on it, but the paint is gone and I love it. The door carries so much more warmth into my living room than its cold, white predecessor. The tile, paint and ceilings are another story.
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For my birthday, I had an Overstock gift card and picked up this coffee table. Can I say, for the first time, it really feels like a living room to me! An intentional living room! That has a lot to do with the rug I gifted to myself from Rugs USA. Larger rugs tend to be crazy expensive or just not very pretty. I agonized over the selection at Rugs USA not sure if I even loved any of them, but decided I liked it enough to buy it and if I didn’t like it in my living room, I could put it in the bedroom or studio. For just over $100, I felt like I didn’t have much to lose. When it came and I laid it out, I absolutely fell in love with it. I don’t know if it’s just having a rug that did it for me or if this rug just gets me. Who cares, I’m in love.

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I wanted to throw this last shot in just to have a view of my living room and where I keep the TV. I’ve really been focusing on the living room and getting it put together as best I can. I felt like I got my bedroom to a place where I love everything in it and feel like it’s mostly “done.” And that simply means I don’t have anything in there I can’t stand. So the living room is getting the eagle eye and I’m tweaking here and there. Still a few more things I’d like to do, and then will probably start fixating on the dining room a bit more and the kitchen, oh the kitchen….
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