Room updates with Lulu and Georgia

Thank you everyone for your kind comments about our lovely new bedroom makeover. We are loving the new room although pretty much anything would have been an upgrade compared to what it looked like previously.  One of the reasons it takes me SO LONG to pull a room together is I don’t have an unlimited budget.  I guess could be tempted to spend my boys college fund but then I remember I’m a grown up and have to be responsible.
Oye.
The reality is I have to collect and DIY things over time.  One of the things I’ve missed having is a bench at the foot of the bed.
The fab online store Lulu and Georgia sent their Lovisa Bench to incorporate in to our home.
They have also been so gracious to extend a 20% discount to my loyal readers (use code 4MEN1LADY20).

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I also got their Acrylic Sheepskin to add some softness.

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I have always admired and wanted this classic bench.

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It’s been 95% perfect…the other 5% is my own fault.
Got up in the middle of the night and walked right in to the thing, except if felt more like I was doing wind sprints and ran in to the thing.
My shin was crying.
Then the next night, same stinkin’ thing!  I’m usually not that slow at learning lessons, except if it’s at 2:36am.
First thing the next morning it got moved.
Now it’s here:

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…and I love it even more.

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While I was photographing, this little man comes through, clueless that I’m taking pictures, totally in his own world with his Kendama.  (I didn’t stop him).  Have your kids gotten in to this latest craze? He’s Kendama-ing first thing out of bed and last thing before bed.

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I could fill every corner of my house with Lulu and Georgia goods.
Don’t forget to use code 4MEN1LADY20 when you click over to Lulu and Georgia for your 20% discount.

*I received the Lulu and Georgia bench and throw to review.  All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.*

DIY personalized etched glass

Every year I tell myself I’m going to have my Christmas shopping at least 3 weeks prior to the holiday but it never happens.  Retailers already have their holiday decor out which is a tad early in my opinion but a good reminder for me to get a jump start on thinking about gifting.

I found this LARGE serving platter at Target for $6.99 this week and I came up with an idea…what if I etched a personalized monogram on it for some friends who recently got married and give it to them for Christmas?
Brilliant!
Heck, at $6.99 I could personalize a whole stack of them and give them out to all my friends and in-law’s.
You can’t really tell from the picture but this platter is large!

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The first thing I did was create a few designs in PicMonkey (which is my go-to photo editing and graphic design program because it’s super user friendly).

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Then I uploaded one of my designs in to Cricut’s Design Space.  I’ve raved about my Cricut cutting machine before which it the next best thing since chocolate.  A bold statement, I know, but the Cricut Explore is just that good. (Check out some of my other projects I made with my Cricut here).

I could have actually just used and combined one of their thousands of images and fonts in their design program which I often do but the Cricut is just that cool that you can go either route, yours or theirs.

 Next, I loaded up some clear vinyl (you can use any color) and cut out my design.

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(On a side note: You can do this without a Cricut Explore machine by just cutting out whatever design you want by hand but it will take forever and won’t be as precise. Plus the Cricut Explore is so versatile where you can not print from your own printer then cut.  Also, the Cricut will cut paper, some leather, vinyl, iron-on vinyl, it’s amazing).

Whatever you decide to etch it is important to make sure the surface is really clean.  The price sticker was right where I wanted to etch and it left its sticky goo.

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I used a magic eraser to remove every last bit of goo and ensure it was squeaky clean.

Next, I used transfer tape to transfer my vinyl image to the bottom of the plate.

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Tip: Because I would be etching the bottom of the plate it was important that I flipped the image backwards so that it would read correctly when I turned the plate over.

Once you adhere the image with transfer tape use something like a credit card, squeegee scraper, Pampered Chef scraper (ahem) to squeeze all the air bubbles out from under your project.

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Once my vinyl was on I removed the transfer tape and then the negative space vinyl (all the area around the lettering) which is where I wanted my etching cream work.

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Suggested set time is 1-5 minutes (I let mine sit for 2 1/2 minutes).  You can see after just that short of time it works fast!

I bought this etching cream but ended using the left over from a different brand I had.  The reviews I read favor the Armour brand a little better..

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After my plate was etched I then removed the rest of the vinyl that protected the areas from not being etched.

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I then glued a candle stick holder I picked up at Savers and made it raised serving platter. (Tutorial on making pedestal plates here).

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One down, several more to go.  Can’t beat a personalized gift like that for under $10.00!

To find out more about the Cricut Explore check them out here.

See other projects I’ve made with the Cricut Explore:

indexCookie favors.

IMG_3439Personalized canvas library bag.

Herringbone Sharpie Wall.

Continuing on with details on our master bedroom makeover…today we’re talking the Herringbone wall feature.
Dressing up your walls with color and pattern is nothing new.
Normally you’ll see trim at the head of the bed on the wall. I switched it up and did the trim on every wall BUT the main wall which left me with a blank canvas wall to go nuts with.  Whatever I chose I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t going to compete with the amount of pattern on the other walls but also not  feel like a underwhelming after-thought in the presence of the other walls.  Make sense?

I considered everything…
My first thought was wallpaper but I was nervous I wouldn’t be able to  justify the expense of the paper and installation, just to tear it down after I would ultimately get tired of it soon after.

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So thinking along the lines of something less permanent I considered a stencil.  I’m no stranger to stenciled walls and ceilings.  I looked and looked but couldn’t find anything I absolutely loved.  I ended up finding a custom stencil site which made me a stencil similar to an expensive wallpaper I fell in love with.  The stencil was really high quality but unfortunately it ended up flopping because the pattern was so intricate and tiny that all paint bled together.  A big disappointment.

After spending some time on Pinterest I came across several sharpie marker walls.  I loved this idea because it allowed for a creative feature wall with very little money investment (except if you consider your time being money).  Plus if when I get tired of it in a year or so it will be easy to paint over.

I decided to go with a herringbone pattern.  While herringbone is a classic and timeless pattern it’s become a popular trend as of late.  I used the pattern on our basement  floor and shower niche with tile.

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So up went the herringbone pattern our master bedroom wall:

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To create this look I used a 4ft level, a ruler, a pencil and a gold Sharpie paint marker.  I used three markers to complete one wall.

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One thing to note: Sharpie makes an oil based and water based paint marker.  I didn’t learn this until halfway through when I realized I was going to need a third marker to complete the wall. I went to a different store to get another marker and they had the two options (oil or water-based).   Had I known this I would have used the water based marker to begin with because my wall is painted with water-based, latex paint.  Generally, you can put latex over oil based paint but not the reverse.  According to this rule I should have used a water based paint marker on my wall.  I didn’t even look at the pen when I started to know if it was oil or water-based.  I took a chance a stuck with the oil because I didn’t want any chance of variations.  Even though I broke the rule it still worked.  I don’t know if there’s a difference because it’s a marker and not actual roll-on-paint (we’ll see what it looks like in a few months).  At any rate my advice is to just not mix the two.  Use water-based on top of water-based and oil on top of oil.

Believe it or not, tackling this wall was actually quite easy.  The hardest thing about it was finding the time to do it.  To not completely overwhelm myself I would set a goal of completing at least 5 columns per day, which was usually done at 10pm when all the kiddos where in bed and sound asleep.  It was surprisingly relaxing to get in to the groove of drawing…probably the same feeling you get from a hobby like knitting (I’m guessing.  Maybe not.  I dunno).

4men1lady Herringbone Wall

To begin, start by drawing vertical rows.

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Tip: Even though I have the measurement written as 4 1/2 inches I actually never measured the distance out. Instead I just used 2x’s the width of my level as my guide.   I put my level on the wall and made sure it was level, I then made a little tick with my pencil and moved the level over one length and drew my next column line.  I never really knew what the measurements were until I was writing this post and had to provide measurements for you guys.  You can measure if you like but it will add so much time on to the project.  If you can find straight line-tools, play around with using their widths as your guides.

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Step 2 with logo

Tip:  Again, I never measured out the distance between diagonal rows.  Instead I used the width of my ruler to determine what the distance should be by drawing my first row then continually moving the ruler down and lining it up against the previous line (which was 1 1/2 inches).

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There you have it.  Like I said, it’s actually quite simple, just time consuming.  If you have patience you can really create a beautiful custom masterpiece.

To see the full reveal of our bedroom makeover go here.