DIY Hanging Wood Frames.

I would consider myself a moody decorator.  I change out throw pillows, move furniture around, put different art up not just seasonally but sometimes weekly all according to my mood.  And why shouldn’t I? People dress according to their mood, eat according to their mood, style their hair a certain way according to their mood.  I get that going out and buying a new a new pair of jeans is a little different than buying a new sofa just because your in the mood but still…

Remember a couple weeks ago I talked about my hallway gallery wall dilemma? I came up with a new solution that cost me under $6.00 per piece.

before and after

I love hanging family pictures on the wall. They bring personality and uniqueness to a home. Instead of using traditional frames with glass again that will end up getting broken with three rowdy boys, I opted for something a little different…

I first needed some updated photos of my family.  I’m a wanna-be professional photographer.  The majority of pictures I take are with my phone.  I do have a DSLR Cannon Camera as well as tons of books and how to use it but I still shoot the majority of the time on automatic.  I find that when I’m trying to grab my camera to capture a “moment” I”m not worried about fooling around with lighting, settings, etc.

Last week I staged a very informal, organic photo shoot with my family.  No fancy outfits, no prep, just them, a white wall and my camera on automatic.  In fact, whatever they were wearing is what they got snapped in.

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My seceret weapon to making my pictures look somewhat decent is free online photo editing programs like PicMonkey or my favorite free phone photo app Aviary.

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Julia did a something very similar if you’re a fan of Photoshop.

I could have had them printed at a professional photography lab but remember, I’m a moody decorator.  Instead I went a really inexpensive route and had them printed at Staples on the Engineered Printing Paper (which I did here once before).  For $1.99 each they printed them 24 x 48.   That way if I get tired of them in a short time (or my 4 rowdy men find a way to ruin them) I won’t feel guilty having not spent a whole lot of money.

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The prints come on thin paper that is typically meant for things like blue prints.  To give them more stiffness and substantiality I used spray adhesive to attach them to a piece of poster board cut the same size.
Hanging wood poster frames are nothing new but I recently fell in love with them for visual uniqueness and affordability they give to a piece of art.
I was really inspired by these here, here and here.
Next, I picked up some window trim at my local hardware store for around $1.00/ft. There are a lot of other inexpensive options out there. After I put my projects together I kicked myself realizing the trim was almost the same dimensions as a large paint stir stick which is free…duh. (See my paint stir stick house numbers project). Next time.  I cut my trim down then used a Walnut shade to stain them with a rag.

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To attach the trim to my picture I flipped the trim over (wrong side up), then the picture (also wrong side up) and aligned the picture on top of the trim securing with a hand held staple gun.


I attached trim to the top and bottom of my picture, only the front side of the picture.  Next I attached two eye hooks to the top of my trim pieces and tied everyday twine to them which holds the piece up.

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I never pictured three little men in my life pre-children but boy, I’m smitten.

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You can’t beat $6.00 for a custom photo shoot, print and framing.
There’s so much to love about this project but one of the things I like best is the price doesn’t guilt me in to feeling like I can’t be a moody decorator when I’m ready to change it out in the not too distant future.

I used the same inexpensive framing idea to hang this piece by  Light and Ink above my mantel.

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I followed the same process to put together this piece however, I used trim pieces on both the front and back, top and bottom of print to give it just a little more polished of a look.

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I sandwiched the print between two trim pieces then attached a wood screw to secure the trim and print together.
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Had I framed this print it would have cost me a pretty penny because it is an unusual size and it would have had to be custom.
For under $10.00 I was to just use trim, a 6 screws, a couple of eye hook screws and some twine.
Tune-in to see what mood strikes me to change my mantel to next.

Late addition: The sweet Lisa from Light & Ink is offering our readers a limited time 15% discount to her store.  Enter “justforyou” at checkout. Thanks Lisa!

Trying not to burn the house down.

The start of a new year sparks new year’s resolutions.
In addition to all the common ones…loose weight (check), exercise more (check), eat better (check), I have also made a resolution to not burn the house down.


Getting yourself and 3 little men out the door is an art.
When you add multiple kids to any equation things get foggy and you forget to do things a normal person would make a mental note of doing.
I have been late to countless appointments because I’ve turned the car around, fearing I forgot to turn the curling iron off.
These things have given me real anxiety. I’ve even had nightmares about leaving the stove on.
The worst is when you go on vacation and you’re sitting on the airplane wondering if you’ve unplugged your space heater.  Your trip is pretty much ruined from there.

The Mr. told me I need to do something totally wacky at the same time I pull the cord out of the wall like sing a song or do a dance so it sticks in my mind (if only you could be so privileged to be a fly on my wall).
That worked for a while then I started to play mind games with myself and question if I did the “unplug-dance” today…or was that yesterday?
I own my issues.
My new plan is to take 30 extra seconds, walk around the house, mark off the tasks then take a picture with my phone as evidence to myself when I’m sitting at the doctor’s office next time.

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Issues I tell ya…please tell me I’m not alone.

(I don’t often forget to shut my fridge…re-read my fridge review).

2014…Year in Review.

 I’m a day late for a year in review as 2014 has officially come and gone.
After taking a look back I’m surprised how much we accomplished.
Let’s take a little walk down memory lane…

We made a lot of progress to the basement in 2014.
The best completion was finishing a family room in the basement.


We also finished a basement bathroom to service the family room and guest bedroom (makeover coming in 2015):


The laundry dungeon was turned it in to a bright space that makes me enjoy doing laundry now (well, not really).

before and after laundry

Our basement mother-in-law apartment got some much needed love as well.  This basement apartment kitchen is 100 times better than the Mr. and my first three residences.


The apartment basement bathroom also got a pretty update using some budget-friendly finds.

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Upstairs, we had ALL our cabinets refinished and repainted by the worlds most amazing cabinet maker/refinisher.  They had a terrible paint job to begin with and didn’t last the 2+ years we had been using them so the refinishing was a much needed repair. This bathroom got a new shade of paint, new counter and new faucet.


2014 marks lots of growing men in our household.  They were quickly out-growing their room so instead of going out we went up with some built-in bunk beds.

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But the cherry on top was that we finally finished our master bedroom complete with a DIY wing bed and Herringbone Sharpie wall.

Before and After

Outside, our patio got a little facelift during a fun Style Challenge with Home Depot.


In other projects I helped my dad design a new kitchen space for one of his rental properties.


In addition to all our room makeovers that kept us busy, we always made time for DIY projects.
Here are a few of our favorites:

projects 1
1. Two toned bench.
2. Brass plated stool
3. Hanging door stop


4.  PVC projects
5. Wood slat door mat
6. Tomato cage pot holder

Projects 3

7. Two-toned stool
8. Magazine trolley

January 2015 marks us being in our Utah home for just about 3 years.  You may recall we came to Utah from Tucson, AZ and moved in an apartment while we went through construction on the house.  We pretty much started from scratch ripping everything out and starting completely over.  One of the most popular series we tackled in 2014 was a complete review of all the finishes we picked from marble counters to faucets to flooring.


Reviewing our kitchen cabinets.
Reviewing our kitchen counters.
Reviewing our kitchen appliances.
Reviewing our kitchen sink, faucet, message center.
Reviewing our wood floors.
Reviewing our concrete counters.
Reviewing our master bathroom (part 1).
Reviewing our master bathroom (part 2).

We had the wonderful opportunity of working with great sponsors this year.  Without them we wouldn’t be able to have such creative freedom to dream big.  We thank you all for being a fabulous audience that we get to share our projects with.  We have big plans for 2015 and look forward to sharing them with you.  Bring on 2015!