A Simple Tip // Spruce Up a Basic Wreath for Fall

Craftivity Designs | October 1, 2014 | Be the first to comment
We've got 3 large wreaths for our front door -- one each for Winter, Spring/Summer and Fall. I love to peruse all the DIY wreaths on Pinterest {in fact, we have an entire board dedicated to them}; but I rarely recreate them because wreaths can be bulky and awkward to store. Yet, I think they are a fun way to spruce up your home in a different way each year.



So, I've been trying to create wreaths with perishable items {like items from nature and my split pea wreath last summer} or "spruce up" a basic wreath that I can use for other seasons as well.


These small wreaths are perfect for that and I wanted to add something to them for fall. An obvious choice would be some ribbon and a bow; but I didn't really have any fall-ish ribbon on hand.

When we visited the farmer's market over the weekend my son picked out these knobby ornamental gourds. He liked them because they "looked funny" and was excited when I suggested that we hang them on the wreaths.

I used some thick jute twine {you can purchase the twine here, affiliate link} to wrap the neck of each gourd -- with a loop tied in the back.


I hung the loop on the wreath holder; but I could have just tied it around the wreath instead. The bright color of the gourds is perfect against the green wreaths and it just took a few minutes {along with the purchase of zero new wreaths, yay!}.


When you're shopping, keep an eye out for affordable, simple wreaths that can work in any season -- and then, get creative!! That's my challenge to you, and me :)


See all the posts from our "A Simple Tip" Series by clicking here.


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Chalkboard House Numbers

Craftivity Designs | September 29, 2014 | Be the first to comment
The weather here has been beautiful and we've been trying to focus some attention on the exterior of our home.

 
The front porch is nice and long with a wood-lined flower bed sitting directly in front of it. Here's a photo from just before we purchased the house:


Early in the summer we filled the flower bed with some annuals and perennials; but we hadn't done much else until recently.

We've got a long list of "to do" items... many of which probably won't be accomplished this year; but we've made some progress.
  • Remove the shutters on each side of the front door 100%
  • Replace the house number sign {it's a cutesy ceramic plaque} 50%
  • Paint the rocking chairs 100%
  • Paint the shutters 0%
  • Fill the flower bed with easy-care perennials 75%
  • Remove/replace or fix the non-working lamp post {including the surrounding ivy} 0%
  • Replace the sconce next to the door 0%
  • Update the door hardware 0%
  • Paint the door 25%
  • Add some color and personality to make it more inviting 25%

Today I'm chatting about our house number sign. Conveniently, this whole nice weather/working on the house thing has landed us right near the beginning of October.... which just happens to be the perfect time to decorate our porch for fall.

Over the weekend we picked up some pumpkins and mums, then headed home to fill the porch with our goodies. The sweet little ceramic house numbers were bugging me when a temporary, but fun, solution came to mind.


I picked up this chalkboard at a thrift sale for $10 and planned to eventually use it in the house. For the time being, though, it's a great stand-in as our house number sign -- and a little seasonal decorating too!


I free-handed a pumpkin and the house number in chalk. Until we get our permanent numbers, I'll have fun switching this up for the holidays. Since we've been doing some other fall decorating, I also added some festive paper bunting.


I started with a fall-themed scrapbook paper and cut it into strips of various thicknesses {3", 2.5", 2", 1.5"}.

Next, I cut each strip into thirds {5", 4", 3"} and clipped a triangle out of one end.

Using a stapler, I attached each strip to some thick jute twine {you can purchase the twine here, affiliate link}. Sometimes it took a couple staples to get the paper attached firmly.


I draped it around the chalkboard using some small Command Hooks on each end.



Simple and festive!!



Oh, and here is a little glimpse as to how our fall porch is shaping up.


Have you been doing any fall decorating? I hope the weather has been lovely where you live, too!


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10 Ideas to Organize a Small Bathroom

Craftivity Designs | September 24, 2014 | Be the first to comment
 
Our "Master" bathroom isn't tiny; but it's definitely not large either. It's not even really a true master bath. There is a second entry that provides access from the hallway and it's the only bath on the second floor -- which is where all of the bedrooms are located. So, it's really our shared, family bathroom {there is a guest bath on the main floor}.

Here's a little sketch...


Before we completed the renovation there was just a single sink {and it was a smaller vanity}. Switching to double sinks and a larger vanity was a much better use of space for this shared bath. It was the best and most influential decision that we made -- in terms of making this a more functional space. However, there are plenty of other ways that we are maximizing our storage and function in this small bathroom!

#1 Open Storage

I stained and painted some shelves for storage next to the shower and directly over our towel hooks.


We actually freed up space in our linen closet by storing some towels in the bathroom {both on these shelves and over the toilet}! Plus the crisp, white towels look nice when stored on the shelves. Our cotton balls and q-tips are stored in clear, lidded jars. We do keep a handful of each directly by the sink and then replenish from these jars as needed.

#2 Over the Toilet Storage

Don't forget to utilize the space over your toilet. We hung an old window-turned-shelf in that space.


This out-of-the-way shelf also gave me a spot to place a few pretty items, as well. The vanity mirror is directly across from this spot which makes for a pretty reflection {you know, as opposed to just a toilet}.


We even store extra toilet paper on this shelf. I think this is actually a pillar candle holder; but when I saw it in HomeGoods I knew it would be perfect for toilet paper. You wouldn't have found this candle holder or the window-turned-shelf in the Bath Department, so make sure to think out of the box when it comes to furnishing and decorating your home!

#3 Container Storage

So, what's in those containers?

I picked up this wooden box from a yard sale. The rustic finish, potential for storage and military vibe made it a really unique find. It looks great sitting on those shelves and holds bath salts, fizzies and fragrances.



All of our bar soap gets stowed in this cotton bin. It's right next to the shower, so even if the soap is out and you forgot to grab a bar before climbing in... it's right at arm's reach :) That was not planned... just a happy accident!

The small cotton bins over the toilet hold specialty moisturizes and small toiletries. Most of them I've received as a "free gift" from Lancome when I purchase powder. They come in handy when I'm traveling or run out of my everyday products.

This small green dish holds several matchbooks for when we'd like to light a candle.
 

#4 Store Items by Category

One of my favorite toiletry solutions ever has been this simple solution:


I don't know about you; but I have my simple, everyday makeup.. and then I have this stash of eye shadows, lipsticks, etc. that I grab for special occasions. When I want to venture outside of my standard basic blush/slightly-shimmery-but-still-neutral eyeshadow/pink lip gloss routine, I reach for this stash. However, they were all just mixed together and that just further reduced the chance I'd actually go looking for a special shade of eyeshadow.

So, I used all those freebie makeup bags {like the ones that I get from Lancome} and labeled them with a simple initial:

L for lips, E for Eyes and F for face

Then I just stuffed them all in a large cotton bin and stored it on the shelf above the toilet. This is prefect because it is handy; but out of the way -- since I don't use these products on a daily basis.

#5 Under the Sink Storage

Not everything looks great stored on shelves. Plus, we needed our most-used items near the vanity and sinks.


Since the space under the sink is large, this is where we keep many of our larger toiletries, as well as stacks of hand towels and washcloths. You'll notice that we've used a variety of wire shelving to custom fit that awkward space around the pipes. It may seem logical to buy all one brand of organizing racks/shelves/bins; but I find that a mix of products often works best.


Under the other sink you'll see some of the same principles {larger toiletries and a mix of storage containers}.

We've kept the far left side open to stack extra rolls of toilet paper and then we stow bathroom cleaning supplies in the back. I find that I am much more likely to clean regularly when the supplies are all nearby.

#6 Vanity Drawer Storage

Since we store the larger stuff under the sink, you can probably guess that we keep smaller items in the drawers.

I bought a tray from the dollar store {you can read more about that here} to give us a second layer of storage across the top of the drawer.



It sits towards the back and gives us access to all of the items below. Again, you'll see that several containers come in handy to sort out the smaller items by category.

#7 Hooks

No organizing post is complete without mentioning hooks, right? They really are one of the best ways to add function in a space. Why?

1. Hooks don't require much space and
2. Hooks are easy to use {aka... we are more likely to put an item where it goes!}.


A small command hook is attached inside the vanity door. It holds a microfiber cloth. which is easy to grab when we need to wipe off the counter.



We hung more than enough towel hooks. There are 4 wooden hooks to the left of the shower and another oil-rubbed bronze hook to the right of the shower.


Next to the toilet is a small hook for our little guy's potty seat. It's not visible from the entrance to the bathroom, yet is still nearby and easy to access.

#8 Vanity Top Storage

Obviously, some bathroom items are best kept near the sink.



A silverware basket holds our toothbrushes, toothpaste and hand soap -- along with a handful of cotton balls and q-tips. The basket keeps the vanity looking organized and attractive, as opposed to cluttered with stuff. This was also one of our "staging" tricks when selling our house.

#9 Storage Under Furniture

Don't forget to consider storing items underneath larger furniture pieces.


This vintage scale slides right underneath our vanity so that it doesn't take up any additional floor space in our small bathroom.


Similarly, we store the bath stool under our bench. Most often it sits by the vanity for our son; but when we need to push it out of the way, there is a place for it.

#10 Behind the Door

Since our Master Bedroom is directly off this bathroom, we hung an over-the-door ironing board holder.


The "traditional" place for an ironing board is in the laundry room. However, we don't have a lot of clothes that need ironing. Mike typically does the laundry and most of the clothes that might need to be ironed are mine. Therefore, I'm more likely to iron before getting dressed and after I pull the item out of my closet. So, for our family, having an ironing board next to our bedroom makes the most sense. For your home, it's probably a different solution. In either case though -- the back of the door can be valuable space!

-----------------------

As much as I like our bathroom renovation and the way the room "feels" now {as opposed to this very busy before photo}; I'm even more excited about how it functions. The fact that this small-ish bathroom can feel spacious for our whole family... as well as hold daily toiletries and some linens for 3 people... makes me so proud of this renovation.

Do you have small bathrooms? What other tips can you share for keeping them organized and functional?

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Bathroom Renovation // Source List

Craftivity Designs | September 22, 2014 | Be the first to comment


Last week I shared our finished bathroom. The goal of this post is to get all the sources, links and tutorials into a single location. If I missed something you are interested in, let me know!


Wall Color - Delicate White by Porter Paint in Hi-Hide Interior Latex
Marble Vanity Top - Honed Carrara Marble from Builders Surplus
Soap Dish - Small Green Bowl from Anthropologie
Window Treatment - DIY No-Sew Window Shade


Sconces - Hampton Bay Outdoor Lantern from Home Depot  
{note: the color pictured on Home Depot's site is not very accurate}
Toilet Paper Holder - HomeGoods


Bench - Threshold Woven Cotton and Jute Bench from Target
Small Foot Stool {Not Pictured} - DIY Modern Bath Stool
Bath Mat - HomeGoods
Shower Curtain - HomeGoods


Green Wooden Box - Thrifted
Woven Basket - KOMPLEMENT Woven Baskets {similar} from Ikea
TowelsFRAJEN Bath Towel from Ikea
Glass Containers - KORKEN Jars with Lids from Ikea
Small Ceramic Vase - Thrifted 
Succulent in Green Planter - Thrifted
Towel Hooks - DIY Wood Towel Hooks


Wall Hook - HomeGoods
Shelf - Old Window Shelf from a craft fair in Indianapolis, IN
Woven Basket - KOMPLEMENT Woven Baskets {similar} from Ikea
Dish - Small Green Bowl from Anthropologie 
TowelsFRAJEN Bath Towel from Ikea
Wood Cross - Gift
Fabric Art - "Shine On" from a craft fair in Lexington, KY
Toilet Paper Holder - HomeGoods

As I mentioned, let me know if I missed anything -- or if you have any other questions. Have a great day!

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