Ikea Hack – Hyllis Shelves

Hi there!!

God it’s been quite a while!  Lee and I have been so busy with the seasons changing, yard work, things around the house, interviews, work, and…  we both got new jobs!!  So this has definitely been a pretty hectic time for us but what better way to get organized and save money than with a nice new shelving unit (at least thats what I always say)!

To say that I look at Pinterest a lot would probably be the understatement of the century.  If you see me on my phone there is probably a 95% chance that I’m scouring through Pinterest for new hack, DIY, or decor ideas!  Through out my scouring I had started to notice the same Ikea hack done many ways using the Hyllis Shelving unit.  The shelves were a good size and were incredibly industrial looking, but at 15 bucks you really cant beat it SO I decided to try this Ikea Hack out for myself…

 

I started by assembling the shelving unit down in our basement and prepping it to be spray painted… I knew that I wanted to go with something that had a gold, shiny base with black detail.  Here were some of my inspiration photos:

As you can see…. these pieces ranged from 600 dollars to OVER 1,000!!!! (This is just crazy!!)  So I set off to target for some paint and supplies with a few ideas in my mind.  At Target I found tons of really cool contact paper but I wanted my selves to have a little bit of texture, So I went with this perforated black faux leather roll that was meant for lining kitchen drawers and cabinets along with two types of gold spray paint.

I started by spray painting in my basement but soon found that there was way too little ventilation down there so I moved the shelves outside to finish spray painting.  I did one coat with the Krylon Dual Superbond in the shade Metallic Gold but I didn’t thing that it gave the shelves the really shiny metallic finish that I was going for.  I sprayed a light layer of the Rust-Oleum Ultra Cover in Metallic BRIGHT gold over it and it looked so much better!

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After I finished spray painting I took the shelves from the second set of shelves I had bought to measure out the black contact paper.  At first I thought I wanted the contact paper to wrap around the edges of the shelf but it ended up being much easier to just cut them into rectangles that would fit right over top of the shelves like so:

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I then used my trusty E6000 Glue on each shelf and set down the black contact paper carefully.  The E6000 Glue does give you a little wiggle room to move around whatever you’re gluing so there isn’t too much pressure to get it perfect right away like with hot glue or super glue.  I then put some of the heaviest large books I could find on top of the shelves to help the contact paper bond tightly and with out bubbles.

After giving the glue about 3-4 hours to dry completely I removed the books and placed the shelves in the empty space behind our couch to make sure that everything looked as it should before I styled the shelves, heres how it looked in the room:

I thought the shelves looked absolutely perfect and they were very comparable to the $900 alternative!  I could not wait to get some flowers, photos, and books on these bad boys to tie everything together!  Heres how much this project cost and how much I saved in the long run:

 

  • shelves: $15
  • 2 rolls of contact paper: $16
  • 2 cans of spray paint: $8

For a grand total of just $39 dollars and a savings of close to $500!!  Here is what the shelves look like now! I absolutely love how they look and they add a little more storage to our tiny house!  I hope you liked this project and feel free to leave any comments below!

 

 

DIY Refurbished Storage Chest

So, after a crazy busy Christmas and New Years I’ve finally found some time to get back to posting!  The Christmas season proved to my boyfriend and I just how MESSY my crafting can really get.  As of right now, Ive been crafting in our office and it was getting VERY unorganized.  So, I decided to find something to hold all of my crafting supplies that would still look amazing in our office.

I fixed up the office about a year or so ago and had painted it a very dark grey and added some white, black, and green accents.  I knew I wanted the dresser to be a really pretty green to act as an accent against the grey wall.  Here are some that I found online:

Now, I am not in any position to be spending $500-$2,000 on a chest.  No way…  So I knew I had to get a little creative with this one.

I started my search at our local Habitat for Humanity Restore store.  I found a few dressers that liked but nothing was perfect.  Some were too big, some  were too small, and some just didn’t have the character that I wanted.  Here are a couple of the ones I was interested in.

Neither of these were exactly what I wanted so I decided I would look at other places or come back at another time.  BUT just as I was leaving I walked past the section of the store where they put things that they are giving away for free.  These things are either damaged or they have been at the store too long with no interest.  In this pile of junk I found this:

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How beautiful is she right?!?! Kidding.  It was more than just a little bit beat up, but I knew I could do something to fix it up.  Because it was free, the staff wouldn’t help me move the chest into my car.  I knew I couldn’t move it myself so I recruited another willing shopper and slipped him a $10 bill for being so helpful!  I was so excited to get this baby home!

After I got the chest into my car I stopped at Walmart to get the supplies that I needed to fix it up.  I ended up with a set of new drawer handles, some plastic for the floors, and a quart of green paint.

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As soon as I got the chest into the house I removed all the drawers and doors and gave it a really good scrub.  It was FILTHY.  But, I did find some really cool things inside it from the 1970s and 80s!

Then, I began to apply the first coat of paint to the chest.  It already looked so much better than before!  I also decided to leave out the middle two drawers to make them shelves.  I thought that this would allow me to keep some drawer space for storage but also make the chest look a little more unique!

While I let the first coat of paint dry I knew I needed to do something about the rusty hinges for the two doors.  They were covered in rust but I didn’t want to go out and buy any new ones.  So, I turned to my trusty iPhone and looked up the best DIY ways to get rid of rust.  The one that I chose (simply because it was what we already had) was vinegar.  I placed the rusty hinges in a tupperware filled with white vinegar and allowed it to sit over night.  The next day, I put the top on the tupperware and shook the container hard a few times.  The rust did not come off completely but it cleaned the hinges enough so that they would hold paint.

After I applied a second coat of paint onto the dresser and let it dry, I put on the white and silver knobs that I had got from Walmart.  I loved how they looked against the dark green paint.

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I then put the rest of the knobs on and re-attached the hinges and doors.  I was FLOORED with how different this chest looked from when I got it.

It also provided SO much extra storage for all of my tools, supplies, and unfinished art projects.

I was so happy with this project but I was even more thrilled with how little it cost!  I spent $10 on the chest itself, $13.97 on the knobs and handles for the drawers and doors, and $9.52 on the green paint.  That brings me to a total of… $33.49!! WOW, I can barely believe it.  If you compare it to the cheapest option that I found online which retailed for $429.00 thats a total savings of $395.51.

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I was so happy with how this project came out and I cant wait to do so many more like it!!

Easy DIY Dog Bed

As Ive said in previous posts, you can’t totally understand just how expensive having a dog can be until you have one.  Dogs come with SO many expenses which include food, toys, blankets, collars, leashes, vet bills… and those are just the EXPECTED expenses… So, I try and save money where ever I can when it comes to Bailey.  Here is a quick and easy way I was able to make a large dog bed for my pup at little to no cost!

Bailey is a medium sized dog.  When we originally got her we thought she was going to get much bigger because she had these HUMONGOUS paws.  They were way out of proportion to her body.  Now, when you get a puppy they tell you to make sure you buy crates and bedding that they can grow in to.  Let me tell you… dog beds for BIG dogs, cost BIG bucks.  After a few months of letting Bailey sleep in bed with us, it was starting to take a toll on the quality of my own sleep (I just couldn’t wake my cute sleepy dog up and make her sleep on the floor!) So we put down a folded blanket like this:

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Just looking at this makes me feel like a terrible doggy mom, its so sad.  But it pushed me to go looking for big, comfy dog beds for my little angel.  I started to look at some stores and online and here are the ones I liked:

Now these beds all cost WAY more than I wanted to spend, so I eventually ended up trying to make a bed like these on my own.

I started by gathering up some old blankets and pillows we had laying around the house.  I ended up with 1 comforter, one fleece blanket, 2 old pillows, and 2 pillows I had bought but never used.

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I folded the blanket in half the long ways and then folded over one end to the center.  I placed all 4 pillows inside to act like stuffing like this and placed all four pillows inside, Bailey loved it so much already:

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It looked a tiny bit wonky so I decided to put a few stitches around the edges with some embroidery thread.  I did this on both front corners and in the center of each side.  I made sure to pull the stitches tight so they would keep the blankets and all the pillows in place like so:

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I managed to complete this while only stabbing myself with a giant needle a few times so I was pretty happy!  Then, I moved on to the cover.  I was so excited to put the dark grey fleece over the bed to make it look just as nice as the ones that were for sale.  I started by trimming the blanket so that there wouldn’t be too much access material (I plan to use the scraps to make some pillows eventually).  I folded over the two sides and sewed them directly to the comforter, going thru as many layers as possible.  Then I folder over the other two ends and did the same thing.

Basically, I just wrapped the fleece around the comforter and pillows like a lil burrito, LOL

Over all, Bailey LOVES the bed.  Its such a good size for her and it seems like it really is comfortable!  And the best part about it is that it isn’t filled with the stuffing that she loves to pull out of any plush bedding or toy, making it totally chew resistant!

I was able to complete this project in about 2 hours and it only cost me 2.98 (the price of the embroidery thread and large needle).  The closest bed to this that I could find retails for about $129 which means I saved a total of $126.02… Talk about savings!!

 

 

DIY Christmas Stockings

Hey guys!

So, we all know that the holiday season comes with TONS of expenses.  There’s presents, lights, wrapping, and all those silly little decorations.  Fortunately there are also TONS of ways to save this holiday season!

A few years ago we splurged on our little fake tree.  We got it for around $150 and its held up amazingly for the past 3 years (and it seems like it will be great for many years to come).  However when it came to lights, ornaments, and decorations making our house look a tiny bit festive seemed to be really adding up.  I ended up stealing some ornaments from both of our families who seemed to have thousands more than they could fit on their own trees and we decided to go with out the hassle of putting up lights on the outside of the house..

Even though we don’t have a fire place I REALLY wanted to get all three of us Christmas stockings.  I think they’re so adorable and definitely a Christmas decoration staple for any home.  I knew I wanted really cute stockings that looked something like these:

but I knew I did NOT want to be spending $12-$15 each! Thats outrageous!!  So I knew I had to DIY this one!

I started out by going to our local Walmart (Easily one of my LEAST favorite places in the WORLD!!!) and got 3 cheap red and white stockings for $1.98 each.  I also went and picked up a small bag of green multi-sized buttons (because you can never have enough buttons, right?!)

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I knew I really wanted each stocking to have our first initials on them so I started embroidering the stockings using the green buttons and ended up with this:

Now, I thought this looked cute… but… something was missing.  I went over to my craft supplies and I decided on adding some heel and toe accents and a really cute bow! After some fights with my glue gun and some old burlap that I had here is what I came up with!

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So cute right??  This was such an easy and affordable way to spruce up those cheap Walmart stockings and make them more festive and, well, adorable!

Over all, I spent $5.94 on the stockings themselves and $2.97 on the small bag of green buttons! So rather than spending $14.99 on each stockings, which would add up to $44.97 I was able to make all three while spending only $8.91!  Talk about savings!!

I ended up hanging them all in our living room and I think they look SO cute and festive!

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Rescuing a Puppy

Adding a pet to your household can be such a fun and exciting experience… but it can also be a REALLY expensive one.  Here is our story of how we adopted our sweet little angel of a rescue, Bailey, WITH OUT breaking the bank!

My boyfriend and I both knew and had discussed that we eventually wanted to add a little pup to our family.  We knew right away that we wanted to rescue rather than shop for two reasons… 1) rescue dogs tend to be healthier/happier than those that come from breeders and 2) it would be significantly less expensive.  I started looking around the internet and found the website Petfinder.  Pet finder is a great website that allows you to see what pets are available for adoption in your area as well as dogs who were in high kill shelters down south. I knew that I wanted to meet our dog ahead of time rather than just choosing one on the site for them to ship to us so I started my search for dogs in our area.

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Here was Bailey’s petfinder ad in which you can see that her original name was May!  The rescue organization that I decided to go with was called Tails of Courage.  They were located close enough to us that I could go see the dogs that they had to offer and so that is what I did!  I waited until they were having what they call a “puppy fair” and went on up.

The day I went up I assured my boyfriend that they cant just HAND you a dog and send you on your way.  From the research I did it seemed like you really had to shop around, you had to have references and some places they even needed to come see your house.  Let me tell you something… none of that is true.  When I got to the puppy fair the women asked me to chose the dogs I wanted to see and when Bailey came up to my lap and fell asleep I knew immediately she was the one.

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She was so small and shy and sweet.  She was honestly the perfect little puppy.  I immediately told the woman in charge that I wanted to fill out the paper work so that I could come back and get this dog.  She looked at me like I was crazy and said “Sweetheart if you want that dog youre taking her home with you right now”  I panicked.  My boyfriend and I hadnt really prepared for a dog at all and we definitely could have benefited from talking about it a bit more but… She was it.  She was perfect.  So I took her home.

At the shelter, Bailey cost me $225 upfront.  This included getting her microchipped, all of her shots, and getting her spayed.  Compared to buying a dog from a shop or a breeder this is incredibly inexpensive.  When you buy from a breeder dogs can cost up to $1000 and then you have to get them spayed or neutered which can be an additional cost of up to $200.  Shots alone can cost you up to $600 with in the first year of having a dog and most puppies get sick and require at least one trip to the emergency vet ($300).

There is no doubt that dogs add many expenses and the money that it takes to care for them properly can get out of control.  However, I think that there are many ways to adopt dogs/cats or any animal in a way that it doesn’t necessarily break the bank!