thumbtack lack hack

Disclosure: I totally snagged the following project idea from Pinterest, but I’m posting my version anyway! I love a good IKEA hack, and my old $7.99 Lack tables were really depressing:

Yawn.

So, I found this brilliant blog post, via Pinterest, and it was the perfect thing to do with my lame Friday night watching more Buffy. (:

Here’s a quick how-to {because, it’s pretty obvious, right?} First, put a table upside down.

Then, using 3 inch screws, screw the top of the second table through to the bottom of the legs of the first. The notches will already be there, so you just need a little muscle to push through that fiberboard top. {PS, sorry for crappy phone pictures… I used what was handy}.

You’ll get a cute little Parsons-style cube table that is a legit West Elm hack as-is.

But nailheads are so much fun. However, they are pricy- well over the price of the tables. So, I bought a couple of boxes of silver thumb tacks instead. Here’s my single-row version:

I used a nail and hammer to start the indent, then hammered in each tack. Two episodes of Buffy later, and we have a sexy table. I absolutely love it! Such an improvement, right? Total cost of about $4. Now I’m looking around for other stuff I can work some thumbtack magic on!

I love comparing hack costs to designer versions, so here‘s the “real” version, at $455 each. It’s gorgeous. But so is mine. (:

J.Crew Inspo

J.Crew has the best styling and I use their catalogs/website as inspiration for my own remixing. Here are some ideas I saved for that purpose to get me through the winter blahs without using my credit card:

Above: Wear a collared button down shirt under any dress you own// pile on every super saturated color you own into one  outfit and/or tons of bracelets.

    

Above: Stripes on stripes + one colorful accessory. I love black/white/red // mismatched funky, but still put-together. I have a maroon skirt and a green and white striped sweater that would look cute together – never thought of it before!

   

Above: Tie a cardigan around your waist {ok, I want that stripey one} // belt and cardigan over a summery dress.

              

Above: The messy ponytail! // Solid black with cute flats and a pretty scarf.

make a starbucks mocha at home + help me hack the peppermint mocha!

Jonesin’ for a gourmet coffee fix like I am EVERY MORNING? Follow these instructions from Marie Claire to make your own mocha at home. Tested and approved! {Note: I used vanilla soy milk, and left off the whip cream, for a healthier version and it was still very very delicious!}

  1. In a small bowl, combine equal parts warm water and sweetened cocoa powder.
  2. Stir until it forms a smooth syrup.
  3. Pour 2 Tbsp. of the syrup into an 8 oz. cup.
  4. Add a shot (1 oz.) of espresso or double-strength, dark-roasted coffee. (To brew double-strength coffee, use 4 Tbsp. of ground coffee for every 6 oz. of water.)
  5. Fill the rest of your cup with steamed milk. (If you don’t have a milk steamer, heat milk on the stove to between 140 and 160 degrees.)
  6. Top with whipped cream and enjoy!

Now. I am also trying to hack the {now $5+-for-a-Venti}Peppermint Mocha with varied results. So far I’ve tried:

  • Espresso coffee + half & half + cocoa powder/water {as above} + Splenda + peppermint extract {just a drop of extract overpowers the whole cup}. 6 out of 10.
  • Espresso coffee + Coffeemate Peppermint Mocha creamer {seasonal}. 4 out of 10.
  • Duncan Donuts brand Mocha Mint brewed ground coffee + creamer or milk + Spenda or sugar {Probably the best results with half the Mocha Mint grounds /& half SB breakfast blend. The DD mint grounds are more mint than mocha}. 8 out of 10.
  • Maxwell House International instant coffee in Peppermint Mocha {not even close though it’s a light/tasty beverage more similar to a peppermint hot chocolate}. 6 out of 10.

Anyone else have any ideas or the secret recipe? 😉

make your own bib necklace

You know the ones. They look like this, and cost $168 at Anthropologie:

I attempted making one myself today with some felt, ribbon, beads and buttons. {Stuff I already had, ‘cept the $.37 piece of felt.}

First, I cut a template to the shape I wanted, pinned it to the felt, then cut around the template.

I gathered up all the stuff I wanted to pretty-fy my necklace. Ribbon, beads, buttons in a black/ivory/gray color sheme {it’s what I had}.

I made some flowers from the satin ribbon and put a button in the centers. If you don’t know how to make a ribbon flower, it’s super easy: just cut a piece of ribbon, about 5 inches. Stitch along one edge and pull the threads to make a ruffle. Twist the ruffle into a circle and tack. I placed the flowers and stitched them down where I wanted.

Then I added the little stuff to fill in the space. Beads and a piece of chain from a broken necklace. I sewed ribbons to tie the necklace on.

Viola! Here I am, looking smug because my necklace was only $.37. Take THAT*, Anthropologie.

*Admittedly, mine’s not as insane and beautiful, but since these will be out of style in approximately 4 minutes, I am ok with it.

master bedroom // swanky mini-makeover

As I mentioned earlier, I spent some time sprucing up the bedroom this weekend. I decided I wanted a little bit more elegance in the room and have been looking for good deals on nice-looking headboards or art to hang above the bed- something to make it look more posh {this gal’s come a long way from her days of lime green everything…}.

Here’s what I was working with before: some framed letter B’s I’d printed myself and a brown and green color scheme, more or less.

First, I convinced Jonathan to help me make our own headboard. I’ve seen about a million examples over the years on blogs and in DIY magazines claiming how easy it is. I liked this one from Ballard Designs {$619 beans!}, so I thought we could hack it ourselves.

Using some plywood we already had on hand,  Jonathan cut the shape I wanted with a jigsaw. He sanded it a bit then I upholstered it with some batting and decorator fabric. I painstakingly nailed in the tacks as straight and lined up as possible {marked a few pencil lines 2 inches from the edge to keep it straight}. It’s up on legs build by 2x4s and covered with felt to avoid gouging the wall. Here’s the result- TADA!:

Total headboard cost: $45. Happy day.

I decided to take down the green and brown mod curtain panels and replaced them with some gray suede panels from Kohl’s. They were a bargain at $20 each. I love the gray and brown together.

I also picked up that beaded pillow for $10 on clearance {marked down from $50!}. A little sparkle makes everything better. Ok, another switch- the bed skirt. I swapped out the cheapo white one for a prettier, ruffley light gray one. It is from the Shabby Chic line at Target, marked down to $11.

Here’s the final result:

I think it’s so pretty! It’s missing maybe a vase of flowers on the night-stand. 😉

And the total tally: $116 {and $50 of that was purchased with a gift card I’ve been carrying around. Making my cost only $66}.

I have two other little projects in the works for our bedroom, but I didn’t want to wait to post it all at once because I’m impatient like that!! (: