DIY

where did the summer go? {simple back-to-school teacher gift}

back to school at impressions by jani

My three oldest girls started back to school last week (yes, August 14, crazy, right? No year-round school, either, just the wacky local schedule.), and all three seemed to have a great day. The night before, I was a ball of nerves as I lay in bed trying to sleep.

back to school at impressions by jani

Would they have good teachers? Would they reconnect with old friends? Make new ones? Would I be able to handle sending my third daughter off to kindergarten? Would we get everything done in the morning and be able to take pictures and get to school early enough to find a parking spot and not have to park three blocks away? (And considering that we live just over three blocks away, if not, what’s the point???) Would their teachers like them? Why didn’t I put in a little effort and do a teacher gift this year?

back to school at impressions by janiback to school at impressions by janiback to school at impressions by jani

See, I’m kinda hit and miss on the whole teacher-gift thing. One year I went all out and made elaborate “back to school teacher survival kit” things complete with cute school supplies and chocolate. One year I sent a bottle of sanitizer for the classroom with a cutesy note about being willing to lend a hand. When my oldest started kindergarten, I wasn’t clued in enough to know about teacher gifts but I did thoughtfully send my five year old into a classroom full of other amped-up five year olds with two boxes of store-bought cupcakes. It was her birthday, after all, but I’m not sure her teacher really appreciated that “gift.” A few years I sent nothing, so what would be the big deal if I sent nothing again this year??? At this point I’m really hoping the teachers at their school don’t compare notes, cuz I can’t go back and do retroactive teacher gifts.

back to school at impressions by janiback to school at impressions by janiback to school at impressions by jani

But as I tossed and turned and tossed some more (and silently wished yet again that I could fall asleep as easily as my husband, who is snoozing within seconds of his head hitting the pillow), I decided that at least I could do something about the teacher gift.

back to school at impressions by jani

Three jars of jam I purchased from a friend, a little washi tape, some patterned paper scraps, and a pack of pre-made tags from the dollar bin at Tar-jay later, and I have literally the easiest teacher gift ever. And ok, yes, it is a cheesy, way-too-cutesy little note I wrote to go with them, but it (hopefully) gets my point across to my girls’ teachers that I’m willing and ready to help out wherever I can. Bailey, as a fifth grader with her first male teacher, insisted that we should have gotten him a baseball or something instead, but he seemed appreciative of the homemade jam (even if I didn’t make it, ha!).

back to school at impressions by janiDo you do teacher gifts on the first day of school? What are teachers really wanting these days, anyway???

 

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geometric what? {large-scale wall art}

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by jani

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by jani

The last few weeks as I’ve been working in my home and working on this little blog, I’ve noticed that I have many, many home projects that I never blogged about. Some were simple, quick fixes or updates that didn’t seem blog worthy. Some were “inspired by” ideas that were not 100% unique and original and therefore I deemed them not blog worthy. Some were new purchases/gifts that seemed a little braggy to share “Check out my new XYZ that cost $$$$!” Most of these little past projects will probably stay un-blogged-upon, primarily because at this point I have the attention span of a gnat. But, I’ve resolved to begin sharing the “inspired by” projects because really, isn’t that the whole point of blogging these days? To share projects and inspire others? And honestly, 97% of projects I see are all obviously inspired by something someone else has already done. As long as credit is given where credit is due, I think that’s a wonderful thing.

So, long wordy explanation for a suuuuuuper simple project I’m sharing today. I saw this image months ago on Pinterest and loved the bold geometric shapes and graphic quality of it. So when I clicked over to the blog it was from, My Sister’s Suitcase, I was totally inspired to do my own spin on the idea for Natalie and Macie’s room. This was before I dreamed up the reclaimed molding headboard that takes up all the wall space over the bed, so initially I was planning to put my version over their bed. With the headboard covering most of that wall, though, I shifted and realized I had already created the perfect spot for this project at Christmastime.

Last year at this time, their wall opposite the bed looked like this:

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by jani

My youngest two daughters got a new play kitchen for Christmas, though, and this wall was the only spot in the house where it could fit comfortably. So we moved the vertical bulletin board over and rehung it directly above the desk. That corner is now a bit crowded, as you can see in this completely  unstaged photo (just keeping it real, folks! pin that one, please), but my kids rooms really need to be as functional as they are pretty. And sometimes function trumps pretty entirely. It is what it is–we don’t have a playroom, so their stuff has to live in here with them.

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by jani Anyway, moving that bulletin board left a nice big empty space on the wall that needed filling–the whole wall was visually weighted on the desk side.

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by janiThis project was perfect to fill that space and to add a nice visual punch to balance out this wall. I initially planned to make a butterfly with triangles cut from scrapbooking paper–I even sketched out a to-scale plan of where to place the triangles (nerd alert!). Then I saw these hexagonal trays in the dollar section at Target and my mind started turning over ideas.

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by janiAnd like a crazy person, I plotted out my plan right on the floor of the store and immediate instagrammed it to make sure others could see what I saw. Either my instagram friends are as crazy as me or my design really does look like a butterfly! I cleaned out my store, then went back for a few more, but they’re since been restocked at one of the Target’s in town, so if you wanted to replicate this (or make your own design with the hexes), you may be in luck!

Getting it up on the wall could not be easier. First, lay out your plan with your trays. I could only get so many of the pink and blue trays at the time, so I wanted the yellow and green to be fairly well spread out. Once you like your design, take a photo at this point so you have it to refer to later when you assemble this on the wall.
diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by janiNext comes the most time-consuming part of the process–remove all the round price stickers and scrub them clean. The plastic of the tray is so soft that I couldn’t really use a razor blade to remove the stickers, which is my go-to trick for easy sticker removal. But really, it probably didn’t take me longer than about 20 minutes or so, so fire up some Netflix and peel away! Then get some 3M picture hanging strips, attach two together with the tabs at opposite ends, and cut them in half.

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by jani

These strips are rated to hold up to 4 pounds each, so cutting them in half still provides plenty of sticking power for these super lightweight trays, and it stretches your strips a little further. Then simply stick each half on the back of one of the trays. diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by janiPeel off the other backing, and stick them up on your wall in your preferred design. Easy, right?

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by jani

It’s definitely a more abstract than literal butterfly, but I’m really enjoying the effect, and I love that it brings all the colors in the play kitchen up to the wall and ties in nicely with the riot of colors in the bulletin boards.

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by janiI also love that the blue of the trays is almost an exact match of the blue in the shutter coat hanger. And honestly, it’s nice to break up the pink with the other colors, as well. At night with artificial light this room is PINK.
http://www.janiphotography.com/impressions/personalize-a-basic-bulletin-board-fabric-ribbon/What do you think? Can you see the butterfly?

diy hexagon butterfly wall art at impressions by jani

Or am I just the crazy lady in the dollar section? (-:

I’m linking up with Home Stories A to Z and Not JUST a Housewife!

 

 

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a bed to be proud of {build a headboard with reclaimed molding}

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by jani

I am so excited to share this project. Like, I’ve been sitting on it for a week waiting for the perfect day to style and photograph this baby so I could share it because I want it to be perfect.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiYou could see a glimpse of this project in my earlier post about my little hoarder dipped jewelry dish. It’s one of those project that I dreamt up late at night while trying to fall asleep, then spent half the night thinking and planning before rushing off to the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore the next morning to pick up my supplies.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiMy middle two daughters share this room and queen-sized bed, and I’ve been itching to get a headboard up for them since we switched their bunk bed out for this. I could never find exactly the right one that I was willing to either spend the moolah on or pull the trigger and DIY. For a while I was sure I would do some version of a tufted, upholstered headboard for them, but then I remembered–these are my girls. Within 30 minutes of an upholstered headboard going up, there was sure to be a nail polish mishap or a lip gloss attack or a marker party. Whatever I put on this wall had to be completely scrubbable.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiAnd here it is! I made this headboard out of molding scraps and cast-offs from the ReStore.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiI spent $27 on all this, plus another $10 at the local hardware store where I purchased two eight-foot MDF door casing pieces and two eight-foot 1×3 pieces of white wood. So for around $40, I have a completely unique and special feature wall for my girls’ room.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiLet’s get to the nitty-gritty of how I put this all together, shall we?

For starters, here is what this wall looked like before (unmade bed, kid-shelved books, and all).

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiNo pillow shams, no accent pillows, just a duvet and two sleeping pillows. Each girl has a bookcase nightstand (more on those to come) to keep her treasures on, but the bed itself was pretty underwhelming. I measured the width of the mattress and googled around to see how wide a standard queen headboard is. I settled on 62″ for this space and wanted the headboard to go at least 36″ above the mattress.

Some of my molding pieces were longer than 62″ inches, but some were shorter. I marked off the long ones and use my miter saw to cut them all down, then I organized the shorter pieces and the left over ends by width. I knew I wanted some of the “slats” of my headboard to be composed of two different pieces of molding, so I needed to know which pieces would go together to create one row.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiI then marked the finished dimensions I wanted off on the floor of my garage with painters’ tape and got to work. Below is a shot of the finished configuration, but it took a bit of playing to get it just right.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiThis part is like a big jig saw puzzle. I generally used wider boards and pieces of molding at the base of the headboard to add more visual weight at the bottom, and I tried to intersperse plain wood pieces with molding so that there wasn’t too much smooth next to smooth. A few of the matched-up rows of two pieces had portions hanging off the end, so I marked and cut those down to size. I also made sure to stagger the seams where two lengths of molding or wood met so that they were spread across the headboard.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiFinally, I noticed that in a few places, the two wood pieces that were the same width were wildly different depths. I decided to angle the ends of the thicker pieces to help transition from piece to piece instead of having such a strong angle. An easy way to help me remember which angle I wanted to cut the piece to was to simply mark my boards accordingly.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiOnce I had everything cut and laid out exactly where I wanted it, I turned each board over and numbered it on the back with a sharpie. Don’t skip this step! You think you’ll remember or you can refer back to a photo, but in the long run, numbering is soooo much quicker.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiThis is the photo I instagrammed that had every single one of my local friends that I saw that week asking “WHAT are you making????” After marking all the numbers, I roughed up the fronts of each board and molding piece to make sure my primer would adhere nicely. A few of the molding pieces had clearly come out of homes and had paint chipping away, cracks, and other flaws, so they got sanded a bit more thoroughly.

http://instagram.com/p/lYBC3IpO4C/So, after sanding everything, I spread a picnic blanket on my daughter’s bed, moved it and the bookcases back off the wall, and got to work. I used my brad nailer to secure each piece of the headboard in place, checking for level with each one.

http://instagram.com/p/lYBC3IpO4C/As I saw the headboard taking shape, I got really excited.

http://instagram.com/p/lYBC3IpO4C/And ta-dah!

http://instagram.com/p/lYBC3IpO4C/I carefully measured the spacing for the top, tapered pieces. Once everything was secure, I filled all the nail holes with wood putty, smoothed down the excess with a sanding sponge, then sprayed the whole piece with 409 cleaner and wiped away all the dust. Then I taped off the edges and got to priming!

http://instagram.com/p/lYBC3IpO4C/I was quite concerned as I primed because I had a few pieces of unfinished oak molding that yellowed horribly with the first coat of primer. The second went on a little cleaner, and then I used two coats of Valspar’s Ultra Kitchen & Bath Paint+Primer that I had left over from my kitchen cabinets, and that seemed to cover up the last of the yellowing.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiI am so happy with how this project turned out. I love how the headboard breaks up all the pink on the wall and connects the two bookcases on either side. Eventually the wood-finish bookcase will get painted the same blue as the other, but it’s just one of many items on my list at the moment.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janireclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiI also love that the edges are slightly imperfect (seems to be a theme lately, huh?). The different profiles of the wood trim pieces used are so interesting to me, and I love that texture behind the pillows I found to complete their bedding set.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiAt this point, I am planning to go back in and cauk the joints between the trim and wood pieces. In hindsight, I should have done this while I was filling in nail holes before I started priming, but as is usually the case with me, I was anxious to jump ahead. I am working on slowing down and doing a project right the first time, I promise! So just imagine that all those little nooks are filled in.

reclaimed wood molding headboard at impressions by janiSo, what do you think? Am I a crazy lady who nailed random pieces of wood to her wall? Or a brilliant visionary *snort*? Really, I’m just happy momma with two thrilled little girls. And for that–nailed it!

Really, though, I could see endless variations of this type of treatment. A whole wall of interesting molding and reclaimed wood pieces, all painted or stained in the same tone could be gorgeous–sort of an update of the ubiquitous DIY planked walls that are everywhere. Can you see it?

Linking up with Home Stories A to Z and Miss Mustard Seed!

I’m also sharing this in East Coast Creative’s Creating with the Stars Upcycle link up. Have you seen the amazing entries in the Creating with the Stars contest? Who did you vote for?

 

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a place for her treasures {simple dipped jewelry dish}

impressions by jani quick jewelry dish

I have a little mini-hoarder living at my house. Actually, I have three mini-hoarders, but the four year old is definitely the biggest collecting culprit. She is single-handedly responsible for this and this. I truly never know what I’m going to find when I empty her pockets, clean out her drawers, or (shudder) dump out her backpack. She’s always got treasures of some kind stored on her night stand (transformation to come over at Make It & Love It!), so I decided to just go with it and give her a little treasure landing spot.

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishThis is an absurdly easy project and one you can easily do in an hour (plus drying time). This was fun to just sit down and play with, plus it had the added bonus of being nice and simple and small. I love doing big, fun DIY projects involving power tools and wall paint as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s so great to be able to just do a little project that doesn’t take over my dining room table or my garage for a week or more.

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishSupplies:

  • small dish or tray (I used super inexpensive and nearly indestructible Corelle mini-plates for about $2.50 each)
  • Martha Stewart Crafting Multi-Surface Glitter Paint
  • foam brush

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishI turned the plates upside down on my work surface (covered with freezer paper shiny-side up), and then dabbed on coats of the glitter paint throughout the day (I may have had the help of my smallest hoarder). Each session of painting took about 5 minutes max, so while this isn’t a one-hour total project, it definitely has less than one hour of hands-on time.

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishAfter one coat of glitter paint, there was barely any on the surface of the dishes. They are super slick, so I knew it would take several coats to build up to get a true dipped look to the dishes.

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishI tried bouncing the brush around a bit to add more glitter paint in areas–that seemed to help provide a place for successive coats to grab on to.

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishFinally, after about 4-5 coats of the glitter paint, the bottoms were covered sufficiently and I flipped the dishes over. All the overlap peeled right up with the little dishes, so I grabbed my trusty razor blade and gently removed the excess.

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishI love the slight texture to the dipped treatment and the imperfect-ness of it. I don’t tend to get too fussy about my projects–I may be a control freak but I’m not a perfectionist! :-) So if you like perfectly straight, even lines and coats of paint, this may not be a project for you. But if you want to steal a few minutes here and there to dab some paint and play a little, have at it!

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishThe dish is already a huge hit with little miss hoarder. As soon as I finished snapping the first round of photos for this post, I came back to find it already filled.

impressions by jani quick jewelry dishLalaloopsy barrettes, rainbow loom rubber bands, and a Lego girl wig–what more does a four year old need?!

Linking up with 320*Sycamore’s $10 in under an hour party!

 

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