A No-Sew $4 Window Shade

Craftivity Designs | August 20, 2014 | 2 Comments so far

We've got a small window in our bathroom. I love the light it provides; but I've been kind of puzzled as to how to finish it off. It seems silly to cover much of it {due to the light} and it doesn't need to be functional since the glass is frosted.

While shopping at Home Goods one day, I came across a set of four striped black and white place-mats for $8. At the time, I didn't have the window's measurements with me; but I was pretty confident I'd only need one or two of the mats to create a simple window shade. The black and white fit the bathroom design plan and I always love stripes.

I don't own a sewing machine, so I decided to try a product called Heat-n-Bond {**all amazon links are affiliate links} that I've heard bloggers rave about for no-sew projects. Sorry about the grainy phone photos -- this was a nap time project and I didn't fool with grabbing the camera.

Ironing Board
Place-mats {I used two}
Curtain Rod

Step #1: Align the place-mats so that the fabric pattern matches.

Step #2: Place a strip of the Heat-n-Bond along the underside edge of the place-mat. Tear it off at the appropriate length.

Step #3: Iron the Heat-n-Bond in place, causing the glue/adhesive to attach to the fabric.

Step #4: Peel off the paper backing, revealing just the glue/adhesive on the fabric.

Step #5: Press the two place-mats together at this seam and iron until they are fully attached.

Step #6: Determine the size of the curtain rod pocket along the top of the shade.

Step #7: Complete steps 1-5 again, to hem the curtain rod pocket.

Step #8: Slide the curtain rod into the pocket.

Since I completed this window shade, I've used the Heat-n-Bond product for another project as well. The instructions will tell you what temperature to set the iron at, and how long to press the adhesive. I found myself pressing a little extra sometimes; but besides that, it was was very easy to use.

I've got two place-mats left {so, this was a $4 shade -- half of the $8 set!} which will go with my other dining table accessories. I love to mix-n-match a tablescape, so these bold black and white stripes will be a nice addition!!

Now, a question for you. I really like this little black and white striped shade; but can't decide if it is best for the bathroom. Maybe it's too bold? Does it feel like a circus tent with the elephant painting?

My other option would be a basic bamboo shade, like this Photoshop version:

 What do you think?? I welcome your honest opinions!

You can vote for one of the two options below and I'd love it if you would! If you are reading this in an email, you may have to open this post in a browser first here.

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Art with Meaning // Decorate Purposefully

Craftivity Designs | August 18, 2014 | Be the first to comment
Just a week ago, I mentioned that I try to use meaningful items in our home. One cherished item that we've been looking forward to hanging in our new home is this painting of our first home.

Last week, while working on the dining room, I came across this painting and several other special pieces. Since the mirror was added in our entry, the other wall -- to the right of the door -- has been looking a little empty.

The entry is the perfect spot for wall art that "tells our story" because it's the first spot we welcome a guest.

Rather than purchasing new frames, I just used what we had on hand. For the watercolor of our first home, I gave the white frame a couple quick coats of the same mint green that was used on the mirror. The stark white frame was making the creamy walls look dingy. It's a subtle detail; but it made a huge difference.

The two navy frames used to be in our kitchen with some prints of hand-drawn herbs. I still love the herbs and will hang them in our kitchen when that project comes along... but that will be awhile for sure.

In the meantime, these navy frames are the home to a couple special postcards.

Keeneland Race Track in Lexington, Ky
Churchill Downs Race Track in Louisville, Ky

Horse racing is one of the most iconic Kentucky traditions and both of the cities that we've lived in {prior to this town} have beautiful, historic tracks. I picked up these vintage postcards at a vendor's mall and knew they'd be perfect mementos of the places we've called "home."

The last piece in our mini gallery wall is from Erica and I's Etsy Shop.

buy this print here
This rustic frame came from a yard sale. It's not my favorite for this spot, even though I love the frame itself {it used to hold a simple, quirky sketch in our sunroom}. So, like the postcards, this print may eventually get a new frame.

buy this print here
Both Mike and I love maps and enjoy traveling and we've got some more map-related plans for the entryway. However, this print is also meaningful to our family as to "why" we've moved. We each grew up in Louisville with family and friends there; but Mike accepted a Youth Pastor position in Lexington after he finished Seminary. Lexington brought us more dear friends, a church that we loved and our first home. So when God called us away from there, to this new small town in Kentucky -- it was hard to say goodbye again. However, we believe these words from John 3:16 and for us that meant it was time to move.

What art do you hang in your entryway? Is it a place to introduce people to you, your family, your style or your story? Or do you have some special art but not the perfect frame? Go on and begin to put something together on your wall... frames can always be swapped out later!

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Kick-Off Friday

Craftivity Designs | August 15, 2014 | 1 Comment so far
Happy Friday everyone!  This week I'm sharing some fun and colorful projects that you can easily tackle this weekend, let's check out the collection below!

1. Need to add some detail to your bedroom?  Check out Thrifty & Chic to see how you can make your own easy upholstered headboard to add color and style to your room.

2. I love these adorable DIY fruit magnets, they are so fun and would definitely add a touch of cuteness to your fridge!  Go here to see how you can create your own set.

3. Bring a bit of summer time indoors with this cool vase created with hardware cloth.  Stop by Anderson and Grant to see the details.

4. Do you have a boring planter at home that needs a pick-me-up?  Check out this project by Rachel from Fifty Two Weekends of DIY to see how you can use spray paint to bring any old planter back to life!

That wrap's up this week's Kick-Off Friday-are you ready to start your weekend projects?

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A Simple Tip // Printer Paper Storage

Craftivity Designs | August 13, 2014 | 2 Comments so far
Awhile back, I picked up some bamboo trays from a consignment store {$3 each}  -- for exactly this purpose.

When I organized my office, I stored the paper in the blue bin shown below. However, storing printer paper upright can cause it to bend. Even a slight curvature can affect how easily the paper will feed into a printer.

So shallow baskets or matching trays had been on my thrift shopping list for awhile. I knew they'd easily stack, with the paper inside.

These bamboo trays have worked great since the open sides keep it easy to see which color paper is stored.

Keep your eye out for these vintage bamboo trays the next time you are out shopping! I've seen them all over lately so hopefully it won't be too difficult to track some down.

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Styling our Buffet // 7 Tips

Craftivity Designs | August 11, 2014 | 2 Comments so far
We moved our buffet {formerly used as a TV Stand} into the dining room last week. Since we've moved in to this home, I haven't really had a surface to style and decorate with pretty things. So as soon as we got the walls painted, I was ready to bring together a mix of pieces from around the house and decorate!!

I adore the style of Emily Henderson -- specifically how she layers and mixes textures. So, I tried to incorporate those concepts as I collected items from around our home.

In the center of the buffet is a bamboo serving tray {$3, thrifted}, vintage green bottles {$2 or less, thrifted}, a marble cheese tray {$6, thrifted} and a bamboo cutting board we received as a gift.

The mix of glass, marble and natural textures feels eclectic and collected over time. Plus, there are some items with special meaning in this little vignette. The green bottles were used in our wedding {you can see how I've used them before, here} and the cutting board is engraved with the name and skyline of our hometown, Louisville.

I balanced each end of the buffet with taller items. The traditional choice for this spot is two lamps, flanking each side of your buffet. However, it's directly in front of the window, with plenty of light during the day. Also, I want this buffet to be a very flexible space. We'll be using it for serving food at parties and it will be one of those spots that I tweak and decorate for holidays and the change of seasons. So, it just seems that two lamps aren't the most practical solution.

My made-over Ikea clock is sitting on one end with two other taller items, creating a nice little grouping of three {you know, the magic decorating number for groupings}.

The metallic trophy {on clearance for $8 maybe??} sits in front of the muted gray/green clock and a natural wood vase {also clearance, $4} filled with flowers from our yard. The ceramic "Bingo" balls brighten up the darker tones with a touch of white.

I repeated the color white with a serving bowl and candles on the opposite end {as well as the marble tray in the center. It was kind of exciting {yes, I'm a nerd} to see the groupings across the buffet come together just by repeating a few colors -- even though the individual items are really quite different.

Those candlesticks have been around our home{s} for awhile and we originally got them at Garden Ridge. I don't recall the price any longer though. Our former living room had some items we brought home from Ethiopia and we bought these candlesticks because they had a global feel.

My bamboo plant has been in a very shaded spot {which, apparently they don't mind}. This window get's morning sun so I may have to move it back. Either way, I like the height and the pop of green. So if the bamboo has to move, I'll be on the lookout for a similar plant. Also, with Emily Henderson's layering in mind, I placed the bamboo planter into a larger dish {a wedding gift}.

I spent the entire day tweaking this setup. Not continuously; but I'd try a few items and leave it for awhile. Then, I'd come back later and switch some pieces out. Sooo... here's what I learned and want to take away from this as I decorate other spots in our home.

How to Style a Buffet {or any other surface}

  • Layer items. It's helpful to begin with some "base" items like a tray, books or a large bowl.
  • Larger items will act as "anchors." This could be lamps, vases, candlesticks, etc.
  • The magic number, three, works for grouping items. Even when there aren't 3 items, an odd number works best... like the five pieces in the center of the buffet.
  • Challenge yourself to mix colors. Everything doesn't have too match -- especially when it comes to accessories. The big pieces in the room can match {like paint and window treatments}; but the details will be more interesting when they feel collected instead.
  • Challenge yourself to mix textures. If a grouping feels boring incorporate a new material, like a smooth marble, shiny metallic, or a natural wood.
  • Include meaningful items. A pretty vignette is great for a magazine; but in a home the pieces should tell a story too.
  • Break the rules. Even though two lamps were the obvious choice for our buffet, the functional choice for our family was something different. 

What other tips do you have when it comes to styling a surface? I'd love for you to share them with us!

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