Posted in Apartment Living, Crafts, Dollar Tree Finds

Farm Chic Berry Flat Spice Rack

A little under a year ago I had just had my son and was cruising Offer Up for used items. I was interested in pallet-based projects but was intimidated by the size of pallets and my lack of tools. At the time I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but was thinking of using them either as shelving, for a spice rack, or even as a mug holder. The plan was to paint them white or grey for a cleaner look.

But as I started working with them and saw the names of the farms on them, I didn’t want to lose that detail. So I decided to sand them a bit, put a few coats of lacquer on them and make them into a cute and practical spice rack.

Along the way, I did have to give up some of my pie in the sky ideas about how it would fit 40 spices and possibly have room to hang items from the bottom. I definitely had to realize that it would also be quite a bit more costly to make then I had previously imagined as well.

I won’t give you an in-depth break down of the process and costs involved in making this, but I will outline a few steps below along with where I purchased the items I used in putting it all together if you’re interested in giving it a go. I hope you can learn from some of my mistakes and make yours even better.

And if you can’t find somewhere to purchase berry flats, the lady I bought them from is still selling them! But if you have to ship them from Oregon it could be a little costly, so you should just drive up here and make a trip of it! Seriously, Oregon really is a beautiful place, and especially green in the winter.

But I would love some recommendations on labels for my spices. I had considered printing my own using my Cricut and vinyl, but with how small I want the lettering, weeding those out would be pretty rough. So do you know anyone that sells cute labels? Any cute ideas on making my own? After all the work I put into this spice rack I really want my labels to be awesome.

Materials Needed:

Rough Breakdown- Making the Spice Rack

I measured the flats to see if they would fit above my stove. Thankfully they are a perfect fit! These flats are 25 X 17 inches and 3 inches deep.

berry flat
berry flat

I sketched an idea of how many spices I wanted it to hold and wanted some of the rack to use magnets to hold more spices. It could potentially hold 36 if you used the top portion, with the spices placed upside down (as shown in the picture below). But without using the top it holds 28 spices.

Sanded off some grime and painted on pre-stain wood conditioner. This was supposed to help give me a universal color as old wood can have inconsistencies from wear and tear. I honestly don’t know if it was necessary but it may have helped.

I painted the berry flat with 3 coats of clear, glossy varnish. I would recommend a matte finish, but glossy is what I had on hand.

It took a week or so for the varnish smell to fully dissipate, so give yourself a little time.

I market with a grey permanent marker where I wanted the hooks.

I screwed in bronze hooks. Because the hooks went through the extra skinny pallets and I couldn’t cheaply or easily purchase #6, bronze, 1/4 inch screws, I used what came with the hooks (1/2 inch screws) and just added paint sticks to the back. It’s not classy, but it was less expensive and functional. This made it more difficult to hang later and doesn’t look as nice, but it works! I have a few more pallets if I want to make another.

I screwed in strong magnets that claim they can hold up to 26 pounds each! I’m not sure about that, but they are amazing at holding up my spice jars.

I bought 3 different kinds of jars until I got mostly what I wanted in a spice jar. I bought small mason jars with handles from Dollar Tree, mini mason jars, and wedding favor jars from Michaels although these glass jars from Hobby Lobby Lobby are the closest thing I could find to what I used.

I ended up using the lids from the mini mason jars on my Dollar Tree jars and the small jars for spices and items I don’t use as much of.

I used 8 Command picture hanging strips from Amazon to hang it above my stove. I was very skeptical, but it is working amazingly well. I’m sure with jars and all my spice rack is at least 16 pounds and those velcro-like strips are doing an awesome job!

Don’t forget to give me some suggestions on cute labels for these jars. This project took so much time and effort, I want to finish it off with some cute labels for my spices.

All opinions in this blog are my own and I wasn’t compensated in any way for any information in this post.

Posted in Crafts

Easy Family Halloween Costume: Little Red Riding Hood

I love Halloween and dressing up, but sometimes you need to keep things cheap. That is how the idea for our Little Red Riding Hood Costume came about. I saw ears, a tail, and a buffalo bowtie in Walmart for $5 and I thought, what family costume could I base around this?

Boy in wolf costume
I got this cute black and white shirt and pants at Carter’s. I used it for his 1-year-old pictures and plan on using them for church–so I’m feeling good about the mileage I’m getting out of this outfit.

I admit when I saw a wig at Walmart with curlers in it I was thrilled that I could be the grandmother from the story, my little boy could be the wolf, and my husband could be the woodsman since he already has the perfect beard for it. But there was just one problem for any of the other costumes to make any sense we needed a little red riding hood. So I traded in the sweet wig with rollers in its hair for a red cape. Honestly being Little Red Riding hood was easy and inexpensive so it ended up being a great Halloween costume. Plus, I’m sure the red cape will get even more use in future Halloween costumes.

I made this ax using things I had on hand, but if you want a pattern for making your own ax and some amazing tips on accessories for a woodsman check out Make it & Love it.

ax
Woodsman’s ax using a 5 Gallon Paint Stirring Stick
ax
The drawback of using wood stain instead of brown spray paint. It didn’t cover up the ruler lines.
Posted in Baby Life, Deals!

What a deal! Build-A-Bear Pay Your Child’s Age Bears

My little boy loving his $1 Build-A-Bear!

This may be old news for some of you, but Build-A-Bear allows you to buy a bear for your child’s birthday based on the age of your child. So, if your child is one, the bear is only $1, for a two-year-old, it’s only $2. I’ll stop there so I won’t sound too much like the characters in the Kid History Chilean completo video.

It was an amazing experience paying $1 for something that my little boy loves so much! Plus, it is really well made. Good job Build-A-Bear!

What’s the catch? You do have to join their Bonus club, but it is free and all they require to join is a little basic personal information, which wasn’t a big deal to me. I would imagine they make some money on the clothes you buy for the bears, but it is still pretty generous.

I honestly wanted to buy some cute pirate clothes for ours but unfortunately, they didn’t have any for my son’s pirate-themed party, so I literally walked out of there just paying $1!

If you have a toddler a bear from Build-A-Bear is the way to go! I just hope we don’t lose this bear anytime soon or our son will lose it! I don’t think he’ll sleep without his best bud.

Here’s a link for any questions you have about how to get in on this awesome Build-A-Bear deal.

FYI, I was not paid or compensated for this post in any way. I just wanted to pass on the great deal!

Posted in Baby Life, Crafts, Dollar Tree Finds

A Pirate Birthday Party

My son just turned one and I decided it would be fun to throw him a pirate-themed birthday. I lucked out and found some great things at our Thrift Store, Walmart, and a forever favorite, Dollar Tree.

Here is a picture of my Thrift Store finds. They inspired the madness that became a one-year-old’s pirate birthday party.

Pirate decorations and supplies found at The Thrift StoreKeizer,OR

For the party, we had a treasure hunt and ate cake. My son is only one after all so we kept things short and sweet.

Want a free copy of the pirate treasure hunt I made up for his party? Download it using the files below. It’s easy to change to fit your house/yard and items you have around your house.

Where I got my party supplies and decor and for how much:

  • Children’s black pirate hat- $2.50 Walmart
  • plastic hook- $1.00 Walmart
  • Pirate Eye Patch- I already had one from a past pirate costume
  • Ahoy birthday boy banner- I made it and will share the SVG file soon!
  • Pirate skull lights- $6 The Thrift Store
  • 40 cardboard pirate masks– $2.00 The Thrift Store currently sold on Walmart.com
  • Pirate Ship decoration- $2.50 The Thrift Store
  • Pirate flag– $2.50 Hobby Lobby
  • Pirate Tattoos– $2 Hobby Lobby
  • Pirate cups- 24 cups, $1.50 on clearance at Hobby Lobby
  • Candle, paper bags, and 2 paper polka dot pirate flags- I had the paper bags, paper, candle, and vinegar bottle and made them into the pirate decor.
  • Octopus balloon for ceiling- 2 rolls crate paper and a bag of 15 latex balloons- $2 Dollar Tree
  • 5 black and red plastic table cloths- used as a backdrop and table clothes- $5 Dollar Tree
  • Red and Black Pirate head scarves- $2 Dollar Tree
  • Skull, parrot skeleton, and fishing net, gold charger- $4 Dollar Tree

Check out my Pinterest pirate board to see where I got most of my ideas!

Posted in Apothecary Jars, Crafts, Dollar Tree Finds, Seasonal Decor

Apothecary Jars- 12 Months of Decor: Halloween

Glittery Spiders

I love how easy these Apothecary Jars are to fill for various holidays. But I confess Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to decorate for. There are so many fun things available to decorate with and to eat. And most of the fill of these jars can be eaten afterward, so no storage necessary! #apartmentliving

  1. Using the mouth of the jar as a guide and trace a circle onto your piece of foam.
  2. Trim your piece of foam down to the proper size with a serrated knife and stick it in your jar
  3. Cut some of the stick off your witch fingers to fit the size of your jar.
  4. Stick the remaining portion of your stick into the foam and place the next finger right next to the other. Don’t worry you can always move the suckers if you don’t like the placement and your holes won’t be noticeable.
  5. Place the spiders and pumpkins in the next jar and fill the smallest with the Halloween candy of your choice. Winco stores have a wonderful selection of bulk candy you could also use to fill your jar.
  6. Enjoy!

Posted in Apartment Living, Baby Life, Crafts, Seaside Nursury

Ship’s Wheel Clock

Items Needed:

  • 2 Furniture Scratch Markers -Mahagony Colored or whatever finish you prefer- Dollar Tree
  • 8 wood finials, 3/8″ Hole – 15/16″ x 2 7/8″ – Hobby Lobby
  • Tacky glueDollar Tree
  • Polyurethane Varnish: satin/clear Wheeler Dealer or clear Polyurethane Spray Varnish- available at most craft and retail stores
  • Wood clock (9 inches) – Purchase at a yard sale or second-hand store
  • Sponge paintbrush to apply the varnish- craft store
  • Drill
  • 5/8″ brad-point bit (smaller will work if you’re willing to put in extra time and effort)
  • Parchment paper and tape for covering the clock face when painting or spraying

My son’s room is decorated with pirate/ocean decor and I’ve been looking for fun ways to continue to decorate it. But living in an apartment I struggle to have enough room for decorations, so I’ve tried to make decorations which serve more practical purposes. Since I’m not particularly good with dates and times clocks, are especially practical to have nearby. I try to keep one in every room so that I can glance up and know how much time I have before I need to run off to my next adventure.

So when I got the idea to make a clock into a ship’s wheel I matched it to the mahogany-colored furniture in his room. Low on craft money, I used the furniture scratch marker instead of buying stain (although stain would work well too). Then I covered the marker with some varnish I had from another craft project. It turned out even better than I imagined! I colored over a pine finish and it covered really well. The wood finials didn’t match perfectly after being colored with the marker, but after applying the varnish I think they looked great!

Mahagony finish after being colored with the furniture marker
Ship Wheel clock for a seaside nursery

So without further ado here are the steps to making your own ship’s wheel clock with Dollar Tree Furniture Scratch Markers.

Posted in Side Bussiness

Making Earring Cards Out of Business Cards

My husband and I started a 3D earring business called Fun in 3D on Etsy recently and wanted to keep costs down. Matt read about using business cards as earring cards but struggled to find an efficient way to get the holes into the business cards. They sell small punches online that will make small enough holes but will only do a few at a time and make lining up the earrings holes challenging.

On forums, I read that some people created the holes with needles or nails but then remembered hearing about a friend of mine who cut a ream of paper with a jigsaw. This lead me to wonder if a drill press could help us with our problem. It turns out it can! The following video will show you how to use a drill press to put holes in several pieces of paper at once. The technique worked well for us.

A friend of ours was kind enough to let us borrow theirs for the task and with a 1/16 drill bit, we were able to cut through about 50 at a time. We were limited by the length of the drill bit, so I would imagine with a longer bit and lighter weight paper, one could do a larger stack of paper at a time.

Matt kept the 16 weight business cards in place with clamps and a plastic guide he 3d printed as shown above (I’d imagine a cardboard guide could work too).

I admit at first I wondered why he went to the trouble and didn’t just buy earring cards from a print shop, as we found many options on Etsy. But, he shopped around and was able to get these cards printed for around 3 cents apiece. That is 1,000 double-sided business cards, on 16 weight paper, with shipping for approximately $36.00. What a deal! Not bad considering with holes, double-sided cards would have cost us around 50 cents apiece from most of the print shops we priced out.

Wondering who he purchased from? He purchased from Gotprint.com . He used a discount code so check out this link or simply google gotprint.com discounts and see what codes are available.

I hope this will help someone else looking for an inexpensive and efficient way to make holes in earring cards. Please feel free to ask any questions or let us know how this went for you in the comments below.

Posted in Apothecary Jars, Seasonal Decor

Apothecary Jars 12 Months of Decor: 4th of July

Ahhh summer! Make this simple, inexpensive firework centerpiece using a candle and small piece of 4th of July themed tinsel from Dollar Tree.

Or add some flair to your Apothecary Jars and make an entirely July themed set of jars for your apartment or barbeque.

Want to make the apothecary jars yourself?

Posted in Apartment Living, Crafts, Seasonal Decor

Apothecary Jars: 12 Months of Decor- Summer

I love when the sun comes out in full force and it gets my creative juices flowing again! Apothecary jars are a fun and fast way to get your craft on every month for under $5 a month. I fill my jars with items found at Dollar Tree. Take a look at a few summer options below:

For instructions on how to make the jars themselves, follow this apothecary jar tutorial.

For ideas on how to fill them throughout the year check out my other Apothecary Jar posts.