Grey January is a hard month for me. Living in Oregon means beautiful vegetation, but grey days most of the winter. So I needed a little crafting to get me feeling like my old self again. I’m so glad I was able to think ahead in December and purchase a few winter ornaments to use this January. Being creative always lifts my spirits!
Even though Valentine’s stuff is up in most stores by now, many of the Dollar Trees and craft stores are still clearancing off winter decor and so you can still get your hands on winter ornaments to inspire your own winter crafting.
Because I love to make things I can utilize for a long time and crafts that are not too time-intensive or expensive, my paint stick craft ladder has been a lot of fun. I found Melanie’s blog while looking for Dollar Tree inspired crafts and she has a ton of fun, practical, and inexpensive craft ideas. I made my ladder a bit smaller than hers in part due to my lack of precision when making my ladder, but honestly in an apartment sometimes smaller is better when it comes to decor.
I decorated the ladder with Christmas tree ornaments that I found at Dollar Tree that felt more Wintery than Christmasy. Evergreen garland, bells, snowy trees, snowmen, lanterns, ice skates, etc. are all free game for January decor in my mind. Or you could mix and match with Valentine’s day since it is coming quickly too.
Consider adding one of your ornaments to a simple green wreath like this one I purchased from Hobby Lobby a year and a half ago. Enjoy!
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.
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.
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 then marked the flats with a grey permanent marker where I wanted the hooks.
I screwed in bronze hooks. Because the hooks went through the thin pallets and I couldn’t cheaply or easily purchase #4, bronze, 1/4 inch screws, I used what came with the hooks (1/2 inch screws) and just added paint stirring 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 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.
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?
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 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
Using the mouth of the jar as a guide and trace a circle onto your piece of foam.
Trim your piece of foam down to the proper size with a serrated knife and stick it in your jar
Cut some of the stick off your witch fingers to fit the size of your jar.
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.
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.
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
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!
So without further ado here are the steps to making your own ship’s wheel clock with Dollar Tree Furniture Scratch Markers.
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:
Easter is on its way and I thought I’d share what I put in my easy apartment-friendly apothecary jars for April. Check it out!
Easter Grass- Green, yellow, pink: Dollar Tree
Plastic Carrots with pixie-stick-like candy inside: Dollar Tree
Junior Mint Eggs: Dollar Tree
Mike and Ikes- Easter Edition: Dollar Tree or Cadbury shiny eggs: Walmart
Don’t have apothecary jars? Consider filling Mason jars for a similar effect. Want to make apothecary jars similar to mine?
Did you like the look of the Mike and Ikes in the picture above or the shiny Cadbury eggs? Honestly, I was imagining glimmeringly shiny eggs, so the pastel, mildly shiny Cadbury eggs I discovered disappointed me. Ah well! They still tasted as delicious as they always do, so I will enjoy eating them when Easter is over.