You Light Up My Life


You do light up my life.

You light up my brain to be able to think creatively when I have little energy, time, money, and motivation. I puffy heart you all.

Tonight, I literally got lit up. And not in the illegal way you’re thinking, sorry.

My husband was at a football game tonight, so I had 3 glorious hours to myself. I tweeted a bit, but then I decided to work on some stuff in the living room. I decided to tackle a portion of a wall.

Here’s the before so you can get an idea:


Yeah, you can tell how much thought I put into decorating 2 years ago when we moved in. I promise there was a picture on the little shelf on the left. Promise! It’s actually a picture of me and someone FAMOUS. Yes, famous. A post on that pic later.

I bought this magazine rack at IKEA for $9.99 last month:


I liked that it was simple, modern, and efficient. I got to taking down the 3 shelves. Sad to see them go? Neither am I. They were from the $1 store. Then, I put up my magazine rack.


Looks great, it’s straight…but, there’s just something kind of doctor-waiting-room like about it. Plus, there’s those gaping screw holes on each side. I know you noticed them, don’t act like you didn’t.


I could easily have spackled up those holes, but I didn’t have any spackle. And I was already in my PJs so there was a snowball’s chance in hell that I was going to go buy some. No, I couldn’t just do this part tomorrow, I wanted it done NOW. I needed something to cover up those holes. Enter $3 vinyl clings from Goodwill. Remember I mentioned them in this post? Yup, those.


The clings match the general color scheme…ok, not 100%, but close enough. Who needs to be matchy-matchy anyway? Flowers are flowers. I unpeeled them from the wax paper and played around with the placement until I ended up with this fabulousness:


See my bible up there at the top? Yes, the IKEA 2010 catalog= my personal bible. I lurve it. You can also see my newest magazines- Taste of Home & Better Homes & Gardens. I haven’t even flipped through them yet, hopefully I will this weekend.

But I digress. I left this project feeling good, but not great. Sure, I made it look fabulous for about $12 and change, but it was still just there. I still wanted something more. Go figure, Monica wants something more. I stepped away from the project for about an hour, and then I realized what would make it even better. Only problem was I needed to whip out the Christmas decor box to get the tinsel out.

I’m kidding, I didn’t really get the tinsel out. I don’t even have tinsel.

I did, however, have a string of battery operated LED lights that I picked up at Walgreens during the after Christmas specials for a whole 25-cents. Yeah, a quarter. I’m not afraid to spend the big bucks folks, for real.


Except mine only has like 14 lights, but this is generally what the package looks like. Also, mine are white LED lights and the string/box/cord is all dark green.

I’m guessing you know what I did- I made my IKEA vinyl thingy light up. Because I am ostentatious that way. I arranged the lights so that each row was lit on each side, plus the bottom. I hid the on/off switch box on the bottom of the rack behind the magazines, and I taped the lights in place using regular Scotch tape. You can’t see the cord connecting all the lights because it’s behind the rack. Genius!


Here it is lit- the light looks blueish in the pics, but it’s more like a soft white in person, I promise.



Here is the way it looks when I lit some candles nearby:


I really like it, and it took me about 30 minutes to put this idea all together. My fave part? It cost about $13!

I will probably look for stronger LED lights, but these will do for now. I love my magazine rack.

Do you ever find you think of a way to make a project 100 times better if you just leave it alone for awhile? I’d love to hear about it!



  1. Better After
    August 22, 2009 / 5:36 am

    Funky! I love it!

  2. Gwen
    August 22, 2009 / 8:31 pm

    What a way to turn a problem into a decorating win!

  3. Embellished Bayou
    August 22, 2009 / 9:11 pm

    Fabulous, girl! I never would have thought of adding the lights!