Monica Wants It: A Lifestyle Blog

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Developing an Eye for Decor Potential

When shopping at mass discount stores or thrift stores, it’s important to not only see what is there, but to see what could be there. For instance, sometimes I’ll catch myself wishing an item came in a certain color when in fact it’s usually pretty easy to DIY that myself for a few extra dollars in spray paint.

Let’s take a look at this $10 light-up question mark I bought from Target’s dorm section. I loved the ?, thought it’d be great in my blogging space (since most of my inspiration to blog comes from questions I think of or you send in), but I wasn’t digging the matte teal finish.

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

I really wanted something gold and metallic that would look like it was purchased from ModCloth or Urban Outfitters. Using pieces of Scotch Blue Painter’s Tape (my fave!), I covered up all the little lights and spray painted it with some gold spray paint from True Value (I SWEAR it is the best gold spray paint ever!!)

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

Two coats of spray paint and 20 minutes later, I had this GORGEOUS gold question mark begging for a spot on my wall. I have big plans for a gorgeous gallery wall near my blogging desk, and this will be part of the display. I am in love with the final result.

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY 

And it even looks great all lit up. (In the photo below you also get a sneak peek of another project for the office)

Target light-up question mark revamped into chic gold home accent #DIY

This same method of thinking also works for items you think you have no use for. Now, don’t take this as an excuse to become a hoarder, but some items can be upcycled instead of tossed.

This Jack Daniel’s glass came free with some random gift set, and it was literally on its way to Goodwill when I decided to save it from dusty doom.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

The super thick bottom and square-ish shape made it a perfect DIY project. I got to use my beloved Krylon Gold Leafing Pen again (I swooned all about it over on this post). I put about 3 thick coats on the bottom (I usually let it dry about 5 minutes between coats)—you should basically put enough coats that you can’t see through the bottom anymore. This photo below shows how it looks after 1 coat.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

The result is that the bottom ends up sending a subtle gold glow throughout the whole glass that makes it look chic and high end. Plus, it’s the perfect little sidekick to my ribbon storage/dispenser and no one will ever know or guess it was a random glass in a Jack Daniels gift set.

Revamp a glass with a nice silhouette into a catch all for jewelry or office supplies.

So whether you’re a seasoned DIY warrior or just starting out, I challenge you to try to revamp or upcycle items in your home AND to see the potential in inexpensive decor at mass retailers. Plus, this is a really cheap way to hop on board current DIY and decor trends without spending a lot of dough.

What is your favorite item to upcycle? For me it’s definitely fun to find new ways to use glasses, vases, and frames.

Friday, August 15, 2014

DIY $3 Ribbon Storage & Dispenser

First things first…I was asked to be part of the True Value DIY Blog Squad! YAY! I’ve been sitting on that news since May, and now I’m finally announcing it. I am going to be doing about 8 posts for them between now and February, and this is my first one. I hope you enjoy the DIY tutorials, and thanks again to True Value for the honor! I love True Value hardware stores because they’re locally owned and you can find a lot of unique things that you don’t see in other hardware stores.

Now let’s talk ribbon.

What if I told you I had a way for you to store 20 spools of ribbon for about $3? You’d probably say: “I love you, Monica!” OR “Why do you have that many spools of ribbon, Monica?”

I’m fine with either of those. I’m a ribbon hoarder. I love to buy pretty ribbon on clearance and in dollar bins. Problem is I don’t really have them all organized or easily accessible.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

The majority of my ribbon is the smaller 1/8” to 1.5” kind of ribbon. While shopping at True Value, I saw a variety of Sterilite storage bins and inspiration hit. I also bought two 3/8” dowels and clothespins. My grand total was about $3 plus tax for everything.

When I got home, I cut down my dowels to about 1 foot pieces and I grabbed all of my smaller ribbon (1.5” wide or less) and clothespins.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

DIY Ribbon Storage & Dispenser (For 20 ribbon spools)

-2 Sterilite containers as seen above

-4 dowels (3/8” thickness cut to 12” pieces)

-16-20 clothespins

-20 spools of ribbon

Step 1: Stack 5 spools of ribbon together making sure they unwind in the same direction (this is where you can pick if you’re an over or under kind of person). Also, put more difficult to work with ribbon at the top spot or bottom so it’ll end up at the end with 3 holes. My hounds tooth & damask satin ribbon are hard to control, so that’s why they will be on the ends. (This will make sense in a moment)

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

If your ribbon is unruly, feel free to secure with some sewing pins.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 2: Thread the dowel into the 2nd hole on the side and put the spools on the dowel.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 3: Once all your spools are onto the dowel, use clothespins facing downward to act as spacers. This will keep your spools aligned with the hole that the ribbon will be coming out of. If you have wider ribbon, you should need 4 clothespins. If your ribbon is more narrow, add one at either end for a total of 5.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 4: You have 2 options for how to set-up your dispenser/ribbon storage.

You can have the ribbon loose at the ends, with the ribbon in spots 1 and 5 being a little more secure by doing an over-under-over thread.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Or, you can tuck all the ends in. I’m an option B kind of gal.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Step 5: Rotate your bin and repeat on the other side. Repeat this process on any additional bins. Stack and enjoy!

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

What I love about this craft ribbon storage solution is that it’s portable. You can take this with you to another room, to your BFF’s house, etc. Plus, if you organize by ribbon color or type, it’ll make your life easier. You could even put it on a lazy susan to make a SPINNING ribbon storage dispenser. Mind. Blown.

I put my bins in my new bookshelf, and I hung some scissors on a dowel for easy access.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

A small glass holds gift tags and twine…and very large paper clips.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

Hopefully I’ve inspired you to head out to your nearest True Value to pick up 3 items that can make a HUGE difference in your craft storage.

#DIY $3 Craft Ribbon Storage with Built In Dispenser

So, tell me…am I the only one with a ribbon obsession?

I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Luxe for Less: Walmart Edition

This is totally not a sponsored post—truth be told I found so much awesome stuff on Walmart recently that I was wondering if anyone else knew about the new items they have. I had sort of discounted Walmart as a legit place to find home decor because for so long it was the same old stuff. Now they’ve upped their game...probably to compete with Target. If Walmart keeps this up, it should make all of interior decorator wannabes uber happy.

So, the first thing I noticed is their awesome selection of curtains with trendy patterns. Think trellis, fretwork, suzani, damask, medallion, etc. At about $7-$18 a panel AND both 84” and 95” sizes, these curtains are a steal. (Forgive the small photos—Walmart seems to want you to squint while looking at their photos).

Here are my faves. I bought the chevron ones for my home office makeover, and I can tell you that the black/white chevron panels are extremely nice in person. It’s a good quality fabric and they hang beautifully.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.48.29 PM

Pair of chevron curtain panels, $13.97-$18.97 a pair (available in 4 colorways & 2 lengths)

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.49.09 PM

Fretwork curtain panel, $13.97/panel (available in 3 colorways & 2 lengths)

And if you get new curtains, you may also need a new rug, throw pillows, or a lamp. Here are some of my faves.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.50.21 PM

Teal quatrefoil rug, 8x10’, $89.96

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.54.28 PM

Decorative throw pillow, $8.97

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.44.07 PM

Spotlight lamp, $49.97 (in-store only)

And finally, if you lust after the Restoration Hardware furniture look and can’t afford it (totally my dilemma!), then the Crossmill collection is for you. We bought the TV stand, seen below, and it’s GORGEOUS. I am 100% thrilled with it, and you cannot beat that price. The sucker is heavy and it’s tall. Gorg, gorg!

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 6.55.33 PM

Crossmill TV Stand (up to 65” TVs), $248.00

In addition to my usual Overstock, Amazon, Wayfair, Joss & Main, ZGallerie, etc., I’ll definitely be checking Walmart more often. The best way to see what’s new is to look for an item to say “New” or sort by new arrivals. I have had the misfortune of thinking about an item and having it sell out, so I’ll say this—BUY IT. Walmart’s return policy is super generous and lengthy, and with free shipping there’s no harm in impulse buys every now and then.

Happy decorating! I’ll be back on Thursday with my gold desk makeover…it has metallic faux bois on it y’all. You won’t want to miss it! Smooches.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Clean Chrome Fixtures with Palmolive Dish Soap

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #Palmolive25Ways #cbias

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

Ever since we completed our bathroom remodel in August 2012, I’ve been working hard to keep the bathroom in tip-top shape. The goal when designing the bathroom was for it to feel like a hotel retreat, so I ended up choosing chrome fixtures. When they’re clean, chrome fixtures look sleek and gorgeous…but when they’re dirty or have hard water stain build up they just look icky and feel like a huge chore. The shower stall we purchased came with a shower pan that can ONLY be cleaned with a gentle cleanser. No bleach, no harsh chemicals. From the beginning, I’ve used Palmolive Dish Soap to clean the shower pan, and then I found it works wonders on my chrome fixtures, too. Since then I’ve developed a few dish soap ideas. I’ll show you!

Here’s one of faucets in the bathroom. Living outside of city limits means we have hard well water, so our fixtures are really put to the test daily. This is what it looked like earlier today.

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

Then I grab a sponge and use the soft (non-scour side to avoid scratches) to lather on some Palmolive Soft Touch Dish Soap:

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

I let it sit on there for like a minute while I grab a microfiber cloth to “rinse” off the soap and dry the chrome faucet to a shiny, factory finish.

Ta-dah! This entire process takes me about 2-3 minutes per sink. I also use the sponge to easily wipe off any icky stuff in the porcelain sink. Also, I have a marble countertop in the bathroom, which is susceptible to stains. Having Palmolive handy helps me quickly clean any makeup spills to avoid ruining my marble.

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop 

The spot where we have the worse hard water stains is in the shower. I’ll admit that I haven’t cleaned this in like…awhile. I usually use a squeegee to wipe the water off the glass doors and completely forget about the shower fixture. Here it is in all it’s hard water glory:

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

I apply some Palmolive, let it sit for about 2-3 minutes, and then wipe off. I don’t scrub hard, I don’t cry, I don’t curse the hard water heavens…and my fixture comes out nearly spotless with very little effort.

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

 Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

If I am not diligent about drying off the shower fixture after each shower, I usually have to do 2 rounds of Palmolive cleaning to get it spotless. Either way, my hands feel phenomenally soft afterwards. I don’t even use gloves to clean the fixtures (though I do put them on for toilet cleaning!), and my bathroom always smells super fab afterwards.

I also use Palmolive in my craft room to clean up my craft paint messes, and it’s the only soap I will use to wash my very expensive Purdy paint brushes because they’re an investment. My one Palmolive bottle easily replaces about 5-6 bottles in my cleaning closet, and it saves my family money. Spending $3 once in awhile is better than spending $20+.

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

The next time you’re cleaning something in your home with harsh chemicals that make your hands dry and smell awful, reach for some Palmolive instead. Also, you can enter a sweepstakes from Walmart and Palmolive for a chance to win $2,000! You can find Palmolive Dish Soap in the “Dish Detergent” aisle at your local Walmart, as seen below. Tomorrow I’ll be back with a post about how you can find high-end knock-off decor at Walmart. You don’t want to miss it!

Clean Chrome Fixtures with #Palmolive25Ways #cbias #shop

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