Friday, April 30, 2010

Washer Necklace

When I first saw this washer necklace tutorial over at Blue Cricket Designs, I knew that I had to try and make one for myself! I'm all about unique-but-cute jewelry, so I thought I'd give it a whirl! I have my sister Chelsey modeling it here since I went sans makeup today (not feeling that well). It was super easy to make, and cost about $2 total.

My daughter Payton jumped in...She is such a ham in front of the camera! :o)

Click here for the tutorial.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Chalkboard Plant Pots

Have you guys bought yourselves some chalkboard paint yet? It is so much fun to use!

I saw some chalkboard planter pots in a Ballard Designs catalog once, and I thought I could easily re-create them for WAY less! So I went down to the handy dandy Home Depot, and bought some small terra cotta planter pots, as well as the little saucers for them to sit on. They cost about $1 each. Then I whipped out my chalkboard spray paint, and gave each piece two coats. Once they are dry, they are ready for a plant or a seed, or whatever floats your boat. Then you can label them with chalk and it makes for a cute windowsill addition.

Giveaway: Want a cute swimsuit?

I have to share this post because I love all things DownEast Basics! Mique over at Thirty Handmade Days is having a giveaway for a DownEast Basics Swimsuit. So head on over here if you want to enter too! Since I love all things animal print, I would love this giraffe print suit. So cute, and I love how they cover everything!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Flower Tutorial

Aren't these flowers lovely! How cute they would be in different sizes and colors all over your throw pillows?! There is a tutorial here over at Grosgrain Fabulous that you can check out and learn how to make these beauties! You can make these for scarves, pillows, cardigans, girls' dresses, gift boxes...the list could go on!

Go check it out!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Cabin Style

Yesterday evening, we went up the mountain to visit one of my husband's work pals. When we got to his house, I was in was my dream house! And no, it wasn't this giant perfect mansion. It was a modest sized cabin style home that was begging for me to give it some love and tlc. It had wood beams on the ceiling, a wrap around porch, and a cute little kitchen that had a fabulous view of the ocean. To live there would be divine. Oh how I love it!

So today, I felt compelled to do a post about ceiling wood beams. I want some in my home. They can be added to a ceiling for decorative purposes, they don't just have to be structural. Here are some inspiring pictures that I love...see how they add such coziness?!

This cabin in Park City, Utah

This photo from Vermont Timber Works

This Lydecker House

Can you tell that I want some wood on my ceilings?!

Hope you have a great day!

Friday, April 23, 2010


See how cute decorating with wallpaper can be? Free wallpaper samples are easy to come by so it makes for super cheap yet stylish and very chic art! Ivy over at Busybees wasn't sure which wallpaper she wanted to use, so she just framed all her samples instead! She used wood frames from IKEA that she painted white that cost $2.99 each.

Here are some online sites that will send free samples:

Graham & Brown - first four are free, then $1 each after that

Farrow & Ball

The Little Greene

Hope you snag some really great samples!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Message Boards

Need a place to store all of your pictures and notes? Maybe some of these message boards will inspire you!

A Message Board in a frame from coleyB...

Here is one from Delairen...

Try this one made from a cookie sheet by Julie Stamps...

Cork can be found at your local hardware store, and you can cut it any size or shape you want. You can also place pretty ribbon at the backing of a bare frame like the one here. Look around your house and be creative!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

will work for $1

Anyone interested in hiring an Interior Designer for the low, low price of a dollar? I am excited to help anyone who needs it! Head on over to my website and check it out! I am dying to get some new clients and I wanna help you with your design dillemas!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tutorial: Dramatic Shelves

I wanted to post more pictures of them on here, but my camera batteries just decided to only one picture unfortunatley!

I designed these shelves for a wall that needed a little something, and lucky for me, my husband could build them! I first saw something similar to these on an episode of Color Splash with David Bromstad on HGTV. I thought of how super simple they would be to make, and don't cost a lot of money AND you can make these any size you need them to be.

1. Go to Lowe's or Home Depot and buy a sheet of MDF, or medium density fiberboard (if you don't have a tool to cut up the mdf once you get it home, you can have them cut it there for you into the sized pieces you need for free). Mine are approximately 18" x 30" each. MDF costs about $18 for a 4' x 8' sheet that you will get plenty of use out of!

2. So you will need two cut pieces that are for the backing that will be against the wall (again, mine are 18" x 30"), and two pieces that are for the vases or whatever you want to sit on. Mine are approximately 18" x 10".

3. Paint every surface of the 4 cut pieces of MDF in whatever color your heart desires!

4. Take some wood glue, and adhere the two pieces together first. After you've applied the wood glue, use 1 1/2" screws with your drill gun and screw in about 5 screws on each. Pre-drilling the holes is important because it precents the MDF from splitting out. To reinforce, you can use caulking on the seam to make the shelf a little stronger. Make sure to paint over the caulking once it's dry. Once all the wood glue and caulking is dry, they are ready to hang. We screwed ours directly onto the wall, using 1 1/2" screws in the middle of the backing and then painted over it.

Obviously you can't use it to hold anything too heavy, but mine hold up the vases pretty darn well! You can do one by itself, or as many as you want. It is a great and cheap way to fill out a wall.

And p.s. my walls are NOT white! They're a light neutral because I have tons of color everywhere else!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Subway Art Tutorial

Ever since I saw Jen's Subway Art project over at, I knew I had to create one for myself! She made one using Valentine's Day words, but I will be making one with french cooking words to hang in my kitchen, like mirepoix, cucina, florentine, poche, saute, and bleu. Hopefully by the end of next week, I'll have it completed and hanging in my kitchen so I can share my version!

For now, I thought I'd direct you over to Jen's tutorial for Subway Art, because she is fabulous, and I love all of her tutorials! She has given me a lot of inspiration! Go check out her tutorial:

Friday, April 16, 2010


Chalkboards can be cute, as well as keep you super organized!

In the past, I've bought picture frames from the Dollar Tree and turned them into cute chalkboards. If you have any picture frames laying around that you're not using, you can easily paint the frame any color you want with craft paint, and spray the glass with chalkboard spray paint found at any hardware store. You can always find inexpensive frames at the thrift stores and garage sales. Even the ugliest of frames can become a cute chalkboard! And you can make a chalkboard as big or small as you want...just find a picture frame in whatever size you'd like. Jen from posted the photo above of her kitchen.

Or you can make multiple chalkboards and implement them into a wall collage like Janell did over at:

Another way to implement a chalkboard is through the use of chalkboard paint. You can buy quarts of chalkboard paint at Home Depot or Lowe's, and they come in different colors! You can paint a small section or a whole wall if you're feeling gutsy, like Nick Harris did in his uploaded photo to

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Blog Party!

There's a blog party going on over at another Amanda's blog and I want in!

I'm going to interrupt the Affordable Art Week series to join the fun and hopefully meet some fellow bloggers!

So, HI to all my new friends! I'm Amanda and I've been blogging for a little over a month! I just created a website called and I wanted a blog in addition to my website so that people could see my work and I could share my ideas! I have a Bachelor's Degree in Interior Design, and I wanted to create a website that I could have fun with and help people beautify their spaces. I have always had a love for good design, and I wanted to learn how to take even the smallest or ugliest space and turn it into something beautiful! So, if you head over to my website and pay a dollar (hence the name!), I can offer you some customized solutions! It's like hiring an Interior Designer and it only costs a buck! Hopefully this blog will continue to provide people with inspiration and ideas to improve and beautify the space they've got! I'm all about do-it-yourself projects, and since I'm a super tightwad, I'm always looking for ways to get things on the cheap...without ever sacrificing style of course! I have a lot of fun projects planned in the coming months that I will feature, so hopefully you keep coming back for more!

Wall Decals

As we chug along through Affordable Art Week, I wanted to mention wall decals. I really wanted to try decorating with one when I was re-decorating my family room. I saw them online and thought they could be so cute! But, I wanted a lttle more texture on the wall, so I decided to apply mine to some painted mdf from Home Depot, and then my husband was able to frame it out for me so it looked like a picture frame around the mdf. This was a great way for me to get some large art above my couch on a giant bare wall. The picture above is from who has some really cute wall decals. Wall decals can range anywhere from $5 - $75, it just matters on the size. It can be an affordable way to fill a giant bare wall! They can go directly on the wall, or onto some wood and then hung on the wall like I did!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Scrapbook Paper

If you have a small budget, but want some changes that will make a big impact, design with scrapbook paper! There are so many beautiful varieties out there that are beautiful enough to have on display. Whether you frame it, or apply it to wood or foam board with mod podge, it will look beautiful. I've framed some eclectic paper for my twins' nursery and it looked great hanging on the walls. This is one of the most affordable ways to get some cuteness up onto the walls!

Photo courtesy of There is a really great tutorial you can follow to re-create this look here:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


One trick of the trade that I've seen a lot of designers do, is to take art canvases, and cover them with fabric. This is so inexpensive and cute!!!! Since I am not an incredible artist, I'd rather cover up a canvas with cute fabric instead of trying to paint a picture. You can also use a solid piece of plywood and cover it with fabric too, if you have wood scraps laying around in your garage.

The best way to adhere the fabric is to use a glue gun or staple gun on the backside of the wood or canvas.

Some of my favorite fabrics are from Designers: Amy Butler, Heather Bailey, and Joel Dewberry. Their coordinating collections make it easy to combine fabrics and get a cohesive look.

Photo courtesy of

Monday, April 12, 2010

Affordable Art Week

Today I'm be kicking off Affordable Art Week, where each day this week I'll feature a very inexpensive way to put some nice artwork onto those walls. I think that a lot of times, people aren't sure how or what to put up onto their walls, so hopefully this week I'll give you some new ideas.

For today, I wanted to share a few websites that I've used to purchase art prints, rather than buying already framed art, which can get very expensive!

You can find almost anything on here! Any style, any color, ANYTHING! This is where I found the art print for my entryway. If you buy the prints this way, and then find some inexpensive frames at thrift stores, flea markets, and/or garage sales, it will cost way less then buying already framed art.

I love vintage prints. While shopping in Bed Bath & Beyond one day, I saw this Vogue print and HAD to have it! But instead of buying it there, I found the print online and had a frame for it, which ended up being half the price of what the store wanted. Now it is hanging up in my master bathroom and it is fabulous!

If you have a frame that is a little bigger than the print you want to use, you can make your own matting using cardstock.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

How I got the $500 look for $50

A few years back, my Aunt had a Ballard Designs catalog laying around at her house, and when I flipped through it, I fell in love. The catalog was full of fabulous home decor items, including artwork, fabric, furniture, and accessories. The only downside is, all the stuff I wanted was a bit out of my budget price range. I saw this grouping of prints that I loved, and I knew I wanted on my walls somewhere. I found a way to re-create the look. It was merely a large print, cut up into smaller pieces and framed. So, I decided to find a replica of the print through an online art website, went to Wal-Mart and picked up 8 of those $3 wood frames, and started cutting away at the art print. Here is what I came up with. Ballard Designs wanted over $500 for their collection, and I paid 10% of the price for my version. These are hanging in my entry, and I have plans for my husband to build me an entry table to complete the look.

Next week, I'll go over affordable ways to get art up onto those walls!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Shirt Re-fashion

I've been a little tired of my wardrobe lately, so I decided to re-fashion some of my clothes. I took this maroon plain shirt, and a pair of girls' soccer shorts that I got at the thrift store for a quarter, and made something that I think is super cute!

I found the idea based on this fabulous tutorial here: