Happy (day after) Earth Day everyone! I never really noticed Earth Day all that much before but this year I sure did. It was fun to notice how so many other people recognize this day too. There were lots of green pictures popping up in all my feeds yesterday and many companies celebrating good ole Mother Earth. It felt fun to celebrate this home Earth that we can so easily take for granted.
To gear up for Earth Day I collaborated with Hometalk to talk about upcycled projects. It was all about taking items destined for the land fill or recycling bin and reusing them in beautiful and functional ways.
Sometimes I feel like I live my life by the Tim Gunn mantra “Make it work”. I’m good with that because I think it is such a great saying that can be applied to so many areas in my life (I even have this saying posted above my desk at work)!
I’m especially liking this as I try to simplify my life by getting rid of the stuff cluttering my life and living a little more minimally. I’m definitely taking baby steps in that area but I was so happy to make a few little changes in the living room that made me feel resourceful. I used what I had (with a small tweak) and had a make it work moment.
My Use What I Have Moment
The first one was in regards to this fiscus plant.
It was a hand-me-down from my mom but it had definitely lived its life and purpose in her home and ours. It was in good shape but it just wasn’t the look and feel we wanted for the living room. However, we loved the ambient light it gave out with the Christmas lights on it all year round.
When looking for something new for that corner we knew having low lighting was the number one priority. It also needed to have height to fill that corner.
After hours of online shopping we couldn’t find something that we loved. Feel slightly frustrated I took a trip around the house, thinking perhaps we could cobble together something for that corner. I came across this silver lamp from Target a couple of years ago that had the height and interest that could perhaps work in that corner.
We put it into place and immediately LOVED it! I was thrilled that something not being used that was just cluttering up our basement was the perfect fit! However, it wasn’t the perfect color. That light silver look wasn’t jiving with all the gold and brass.
What a change it made to this budget lamp! It definitely had a more upgraded look, plus it blended with the room better.
My Make It Work Moment
We have a beautiful entry way table in our living room. Not having an official mud room or entry way, this and our entry way closet are the only organization and catch-all centers when we walk in the door.
Our closet is working really hard and is filled to the limit with car cleaning supplies, coats, hats, and gloves.
The top of our entry way table is a great place to put keys in and as a holding zone for items going out the door.
The one item that wasn’t being cared for in our entry way area were the shoes. Eric is quite the connoisseur of shoes and his exquisite collection tends to hang out in 2-3 pairs by the front door (I keep all of mine in my closets for the most part).
At first I thought we needed to purchase a whole new entry way table to solve the shoe dilemma. I wanted a cabinet that the shoes could be stored in so I didn’t have to see them.
Then, I realized that the shoes were the only problem at this point. Instead of getting rid of what we had and replacing the table, I knew I could make this work (and save money and be more practical). I stumbled upon this copper boot tray online at Target and knew this was the solution. The size and color were perfect for the room.
When I got it and slid it under the table, I knew this had been the right decision. No, it doesn’t hide the shoes, but really, who cares? Would we really open the cabinet every time we needed to put our shoes away? Probably not. This was also a reminder that I needed to remember that we live in this house. It’s definitely not a show room. So who cares if we see our shoes? They’re pretty – and this is practical.
I am oh-so pleased with this make it work moment. All it took was $25 and an open mind!
Have you had any use what you have or make it work moments in your home? Share in the comments below!
After living with the pillows that came with the couch for years (don’t ask me why – we’ve never liked them) I finally got around to covering them! However, I used a new method for covering the pillows this time. I made envelope pillows covers – and I’m totally hooked. They are easy to make and easy to take off and wash or change out.
I picked up the fabric at the Charlottesville U-Fab the same time we got the fabric for the foam board cornice.
We decided to do a different fabric for the front and back (this helps to save cost if you want a more expensive fabric for the front of the pillows). We chose the geometric print for the front and then just a plain cotton red fabric for the backing.
How to Make Envelope Covers for Pillows
1. Measure your pillow length and width. Cut your front fabric to be the length and width of the pillow PLUS 2 inches for the hem. For the back part of your curtain you are going to make TWO pieces. Make each one the width of the pillow plus 2 inches on each side for the seam. Divide the length of the pillow by two and add 8 – 10 inches. This allows two inches on each side for the hem and then 4-6 inches for the overlap in the back. If you have flatter pillows you can use 8 inches. If you have very fluffy pillows use the 10 inches.
2. Sew a hem on the two pieces of fabric for the back. At this point you just need to sew a hem on one side (the width) where the two fabrics will overlap.
3. Now sew your pillow just like normal. Turn all the fabric inside out so the finish sides are facing each other. You need to lay your two back sides just how you want them to overlap. Make sure to leave about 4-6 inches of overlap so when you stuff it with your pillow you won’t see the old pillow inside.
4. Once sewn just flip inside out and stuff with your pillow!
Now you have pillow covers you can change anytime you want – or clean anytime you want!
I’ve really started learning what decorators have been saying forever: layer, layer, layer your rooms!
I actually felt what that means when we added the floor length curtains in the living room. The room felt like it had depth and dimension. It felt deeper and more finished. It was definitely an ah-ha moment.
I also found that layers can be simple items too – not just dramatic curtains.
I realized a bed skirt counts as a layer after I put it on. All of a sudden the room felt richer, more finished, and multi-dimensional. Not to mention it hid the ugly bed legs (and dust bunnies if I’m being real).
So I must agree with all those decorators out there – layer, layer, layer. Big and small, it helps. From curtains, to bed skirts, to pillows, and throws, no layer is too small.
Now that I know how layers really add to the feel and look of a room I’m searching for more ways to add layers. What are your favorite ways to add layers to your rooms?
In celebration of upcoming Earth Day on April 22nd, I thought it would be fun to challenge myself to upcycle a project out of things I only have in the house. I decided to not just use things in my house but things that were also on the way out of my house. For instance, tin cans and an old plant stand.
I am a huge fan of soup (all year round no less) so I have plenty of used cans hanging out in the recycle container. These were the basis of my project.
I knew I wanted to make the cans into a utensil caddy for the sun room so I started looking around for something to make a base. I was thinking I was going to have to break out the tools and scrap wood until my eyes landed on this old plant stand in the yard sale pile.
Sidenote: I have the sweetest memories of this plant stand. My mom and I picked it out together when we did a room makeover for me in high school. It stood by my bed for years holding my clock and pictures. However, time has passed and it was looking a little wonky. So I am thrilled to be able to hold onto a part of it filled with its memories.
I immediately started unscrewing the smallest stand from the rest of the stand. Once I had it off, I turned it upside down. I was thrilled with this new use! I had found the base of my utensil caddy.
Now it was time to make it pretty!
I decided to sand down the wood and restain it Dark Walnut.
Then I spray painted the cans a pretty gold.
To disguise the look of the cans a bit more I used scrap paper (like I did with my coffee can upcycle) to cover the ridges. I seem to keep eeking projects out of scraps of paper most people would have tossed by now. #paperhoarder
Then I just used a little putty to secure the cans to the base to keep them secure.
Filled with forks, knives, spoons, and napkins this is now the perfect addition to my sunroom emerald and gold table. I might have matched it on purpose.
If you are loving upcycles like me, here are a few more for ya.
Are you into upcycling? Have you turned trash or scraps around your home into something beautiful and usable?
PS: Don’t have the upside down plant stand? You can still make this! I suggest looking around your house for scrap wood or something else that could work. Or you could buy a wooden circle plaque and then use a wooden candle stick, newel post, or just round wooden stick and screw it to the plaque.
Rappsody in Rooms is a DIY home décor and lifestyle blog devoted to helping you be inspired in every inch of your home! Come be inspired with me as I work my way from room to room, creating an inspired living space in our previously uninspired 1960's ranch house.