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Make a functional sofa shelf

Posted on Jul 26, 2012 in Design & Decorating | 1 comment

We have an L-shaped sofa in our basement family room.  It’s great for lounging and watching movies, but I hate that there isn’t a place to set drinks, remotes, and other items when relaxing (we have an ottoman and a 1 year old, so using a coffee table isn’t an option).

A solution I came up with is making a basic shelf that runs along the back of the couch.  It works great, is easy to make, and was super cheap!  It’s just deep enough to hold glasses without making the couch stick out.  Here’s how to do it yourself!

You’ll need:

  • A board that is the length of your sofa.  I went to Home Depot and picked out the least expensive 1″ thick by 6″ deep board.  They sold it by the foot, so I had them cut the exact length of my sofa.  Too easy!
  • Stain, polyurethane, and 2 foam brushes
  • Mounting L-brackets
  • Screws

1. Lightly sand the board to get rid of rough edges and the sharp ends from being cut.  Wipe off the board with a dry rag.

2. Apply a coat of stain.  To apply stain use a foam brush to evenly coat the wood.  Take a dry rag and gently wipe off excess stain and rub the rag across the whole board for even coloring. Depending on how deep you want the color, you may need to apply more than one coat of stain.

3. Once that dries apply a layer of polyurethane with a foam brush and leave until it’s dry.

4. Mount your brackets.  The width of your sofa will determine how many brackets you should use…. mine are spaced 3 feet apart, so I used a total of 4 brackets.  You can buy these from the ‘closet/home storage’ section of a home remodeling store (I got them at Home Depot).

 

I pulled the sofa out a few feet, so you can see how the shelf is attached to the wall.  The height of the shelf just meets the top of the sofa.

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All Things Easter

Posted on Apr 5, 2012 in Entertaining, Home | Comments Off

Spring is awesome.  I am thrilled to have my windows open, hear the birds chirping, and see Cadbury Mini-eggs on the grocery shelves.  The only downfalls to this season are my dog tracks in mass amounts of mud and I realize I have limited time to attempt my annual summer weight loss plan (dang Cadbury!).  However, the budding trees and blooming flowers inspire me to make colorful Easter decor and treats.  Here are a few that are easy to make!

Glittered Eggs:

I think glitter is the most fun.  Unfortunately, it also can make the biggest mess….after my daughter crawls around on the floor tomorrow she is going to be full of glitter!  Take your time to set out paper or plastic to work on (I should take my own advice).  See “DIY & Craft Projects” for directions.

Stained Glass Hardboiled Eggs:

Easy and cool….with or without the shell.  Hardboil eggs and then crack them up, but don’t peel the shell.  Set them in water with a fair amount of food coloring added.

Once you take them out of the dye they will look like this:

 Or you can peel them to get this effect:

 

Stained Glass Potato Salad:    See the “Recipes” page or type ‘easy low-fat potato salad’ in “Search This Site” at the top of this website.

Easter Bunny Cake:

This is actually super easy!  Make 1 round cake (1/2 of a boxed cake mix).  Cut it in half and ‘glue’ it together with a little frosting.  Use a Snow Ball for the tail and spaghetti for whiskers.  Decorate with candy and paper ears.

 

 

Flowers in Candy: Wrap the stems of flowers with wet paper towel, cover it with a plastic sandwich bag, and tie or tape it shut.  This will keep enough water on the flowers to last a day or so (enough time to use this idea for an Easter meal centerpiece).  Place the flowers and candy in a vase!  ***you can do this at other holidays too

 

Bird’s Next Treats: 

  • Melt 1 bag of milk chocolate chips and 1/2 cup peanut butter.  Mix in 4 cups of chow mein noodles (or a combo of these and Cheerios).  Form them into little nests.
  • Place shredded coconut in a bag with green food coloring and shake it up.  Add it to the center of the ‘nests’.
  • Fill with candy

 Easter Cake Pops:

 

 

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Decorating with Found Items

Posted on Mar 29, 2012 in Design & Decorating | Comments Off

I love mixing old and new pieces to decorate my home; I think it adds a bit of interest. I appreciate antiques, but generally don’t use them to decorate my house.  I do, however, enjoy looking through an antique store, consignment shop, and even rummage sales occasionally for something that jumps out at me.  Below are a few items that I have found this way.

-I found these letters at an antique shop and are old newspaper press letters.  I looked through the variety of letters that were for sale to find mismatched fonts – to add a little interest.  They are sitting on our mantel and spell out our last name.

Use old paperpress letters to spell your name or other words

-This doorknob plate and key I found at 2 different consignment shops.  I bought the knob plate about a year ago and then stumbled upon the key recently.  They are placed on a small wall in between 2 doors in our hallway.

-There are 2 of these sconces- one flanking each side of a window in our guest room.  They were cheap and fake gold and at a garage sale, but I liked the shape of them.  I painted them with a little spray paint and I think they look fairly modern and cool now.

 -I was in a clothing consignment shop and I saw this piece of art hanging in the dressing room.  I had been looking for something that was this size to fit in a small rectangular space above our headboard.  The size and colors were perfect.  The traditional feel of this piece balances out the modern print that it is on our bedding.

 -I found this side table at an antique store.  It was damaged with chipped and scratched red paint.  I sanded it and put a couple coats of white enamel on it (leftover paint from painting the trim in our home).  It fits perfectly next to the rocking chair in my daughter’s nursery.

 -This wood vase was found at a garage sale.

 

-These canvases and frames I found at an antique store (going out of business and I got all 3 for super cheap).  To buy this size of canvas and frames new you would normally spend quite a bit of money. They originally had crazy jellyfish painted on them, but I took some acrylic paints and made three simple swirl paintings.  They are over our sofa in the basement family room.

 -I found this clock at a consignment store.  It was like new and from Pottery Barn, but I got it for about 1/4 the cost.  It’s on a shelf in our guest room.

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