Decorating to me, has always seemed like a colossal waste of time. I didn't see what the big deal was about spending money to make your house LOOK a certain way. Who cares? I mean as long as your house is mostly clean, has a good feeling about it, and you feel safe there -- what does it matter what color your couch or carpet is? Why does it matter if your picture frames match? Is my life going to suffer at all because I couldn't care less about my home looking fancy? Nope. In fact, I was pretty sure that I would have more time to do more important things, like raising my kids and being a good wife, if I wasn't wasting my time painting stuff and shopping for things I couldn't afford. Practicality has ruled most of my life and taken charge of my priorities.
But these last couple years, as our little family has prepared to finally be out of the student lifestyle, have a real career to support us, and even have a house of our own... my thoughts have strayed to ideas of decorating. At first, I dismissed them as silly and trivial... but I couldn't help to look at some of the stuff my friends had in their houses and the things they actually made themselves! The crafty person within me was piqued!
I am all about saving money. I have serious remorse when I am forced to buy expensive new things. So... when I found out that I could buy cheap furniture or stuff and remake it or "upcycle" the things I already had, I was won over. How fun it could be to have a NICE LOOKING and practical home! Especially, if I was doing it myself and saving money.
I am a baby step kind of girl. Especially, being in my eighth month of pregnancy, I have limited physical capabilities. But I have found there are some things I can do to make our new home personal, pleasant to be in, and reflect the creativity of our family.
My first steps were getting curtains. That's a long story for another time, but suffice it to say that it included me having a total breakdown in Walmart over the prices of curtains and rods and blinds. AND ended with me buying cheap curtains and sticking them up with shower curtain rods to save money and give us some much needed privacy.
Next, I had Ben put up some of our art work in the kitchen area and I did my very first reupholster project on my bar stools:
|And yes, they are shiny because I covered them in vinyl for protection and easy clean up.|
Not SUPER classy, but nice and practical with 3 almost 4 boys in the house.
For the living room, I bought a new rug and some couch pillows. But I needed something new and classy for the walls in the living room and for the empty wall above our bed.
I searched Pintrest, and found a few things I liked... but nothing I LOVED. So I ended up picking my favorite of many things, and came up with my own ideas. I decided I wanted to do some silhouette art of my kids to go with our family pictures and maybe some of those cool vinyl letters that looked so fun.
I made them and posted them on Facebook, and got such a positive response, that I came up with a new similar idea to do some more for the wall in our master bedroom. Here are the finished products:
Master Bedroom above our bed:
Good thing I took pictures along the way... only to prove that I actually made them myself if anyone questioned me about it. Yeah, when it comes to this stuff, I KNOW and ADMIT that I am insecure of myself.
But I am also totally winning to share what I know. So without further ado, here is the DIY silhouette tutorial:
DIY Silhouette Art Tutorial
You will need:
-computer and printer
-card stock printer paper
-scissors and/or exact-o knife
-cute scrapbook paper for background (or you can do what I did and print some out)
-black spray paint (I used the chalk board paint)
Step by Step instructions:
1. First, I took pictures of my boys sitting sideways:
Then I loaded them up onto my computer in my photo editing program and selected that I wanted to print them out for a 8x10 size (to fit a pre-made frame). Also, I didn't want them all facing the same way, so I had Sam's printed with the reverse option. I printed them out in black and white, there was no reason to waste color ink, and on card stock paper
2. Next I cut them out with a pair of scissors:
3. Turn them over, printed side facing down (because when the sun shines on your finished product, you don't want to see remnants of the printed picture behind the black paint) and spray paint them the desired color -- I used black chalk board spray paint because that's what I had.
(You may notice that 4th one on there... that's the St. George Utah Temple where Ben and I were married and it is a symbol to us of the promises we made to each and the start of our lives together.)
5. Frame them and hang them!! I bought the $4 cheapy frames at Wal-Mart.
Now, if you are wondering how I did the family pictures for our bedroom, here is that tutorial:
For these ones, the steps are pretty much the same, with a couple of differences.
1. You are going to want a cutting board and exact-o knife to get all the detail in.
2. Print out the picture you want to silhouette on cardstock. Make sure to print it mirrored or reversed so when you turn it over to spray it, everyone will be in the proper place to get it right on.
On the wedding picture, I cut out his white shirt collar, to emphasize the tux, and made a temple to go behind us (which I kept white.
For the family picture, I cut out parts of Ben's uniform, the collars of the boys, and some highlights between Jake and me so you could tell I was holding a baby... otherwise I looked like I had some weird growth...
For the pregnancy one, I had to cut some stuff in so you could TELL I was pregnant and that Ben and I are in fact two people, not conjoined twins.
This is what I came up with:
5. Just like the other ones, you mount and frame.
I had all the supplies already, so all I had to buy was the frames: and I got the $4 Wal-Mart ones. So all and all, I saved a lot of money making these myself! (Note: Vinyl lettering found at Hobby Lobby -- I got them 50% off! Score!) And I can't put a price on the feeling of accomplishment every time I look at them!
PS If you like this tutorial, feel free to share :)