P & B (No Jelly)

image (42) I am going to be quite honest… I am still stumped as to how to make this kitchen look decent (you can see me slowly improving it here, here, and here).  But in the meantime, I’ve decided to make it at least look like OURS.  So when I found some cardboard letters for 30% off at Hobby Lobby ($1.73 each), I decided to take the letters for a kitchen test spin.  In the above picture, you can see how great they look above the sink.  And in the below picture, you can see how great they look on their own! photo (11) Wanna know how I did it?  Follow along as I work on the ampersand! image (43) Step 1: Gather your materials.  For this project, you will need some cardboard letters, scrapbook paper, scissors, Mod Podge glue, and a brush for application.  I poured my glue into a bowl (I know, I know… not exactly eco-friendly, but it made clean-up so easy!).

Step 2 (OPTIONAL): Make sure you have a little dog on your lap to help with the project. image (45)Step 3: Apply a thin coat of glue to the largest flat surface on the cardboard letter.  Place the sheet of scrapbook paper on top and smooth in place. image (44) Step 4: This is the hard part.  And also the most slow-going.  You need to cut the paper in order to fold it down over the sides.  This is much easier if you’re working on a shape with straight edges, like L or E.  But with rounded edges, you just have to go slowly and make sure you smooth the sides out as carefully as possible.  With the ampersand, I found it easiest to cut the paper in about 1 inch increments, lay down some glue, and fold it over into place.  You’ll need to do the same with any holes (in letters such as P or B), and this may even involve adding separate scraps of paper.  For this reason, I was happy I chose a pattern that doesn’t really need to match up perfectly (this would be much more difficult with patterns like polka dots or stripes). image (39) Step 5: Once you’ve covered up the front, sides, and any holes with scrapbook paper, it’s your decision whether or not you want to completely Mod Podge over the whole she-bang (for instance, if you want it to be glossy).  I decided to skip this step, and simply left the letters out for 2 hours to dry. Step 6: Turn the dry letters over and put 3M velcro strips on the back. image (40) You can see in the above picture that I overlapped the scrapbook paper around to the back in order to leave the edges looking clean and smooth.

Step 7: Hang them in place, and you’re all set! image (41)But why did I chose ‘P’ and ‘B’?  They’re the initials of both mine and Mike’s last names.

And why did I decide to put something above the sink?  First of all, the wide-open strip is practically begging for some kind of decoration.  But more practically, SOMETHING had to go there, since there was a random 2-prong outlet embedded awkwardly right above the sink. image (38) The landlords had placed an ugly, awkward, non-working clock to cover up the outlet.  Even though its redness matched our tomato of a kitchen, the clock wasn’t working for me.  Take a look for yourself at how dingy and blah it is:

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Needless to say, it had to go.  And I am so much happier with the space above the sink now!  What do you think?

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Xo, Laura

Broken Pencils Are Pointless

These pencils aren’t actually broken… And even though they aren’t sharpened, they’re not pointless!  They make an excellent office accent piece!

Basically, this project was started because I can’t sit still ever, and I therefore always need projects to do while watching TV.  I knew it was project fate when the Barnes & Noble on campus was having a 50% off sale on pencils.

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I grabbed two packs for a little over $1 total.  Using washi tape that I had laying around (if you don’t have any at home, you can usually find some at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s for around $1.50), I wrapped it around each pencil, starting near the eraser and working my way down.  The washi tape is easy to rip, and you can get a close edge by using a pair of scissors or a knife.  I wrapped 10 green, and 10 blue.

If the above photos confuse you a little bit, allow me to explain: the room was very dark when I tried to take photos.  And I was feeling very lazy.  So the photos are terrible.  My apologies!

Also, the green washi tape was snapped after I’d already finished the pencil project… And the blue one could  not be photographed since it was already in Gus’ belly.  Yup, he chewed up about half a roll of blue washi tape.  Didn’t seem to bother him one bit!  For the record, he also enjoys 3M velcro strips.  And he’s tried to go for the beaver skull quite a few times.  The boy will chew on anything.

Anyway, keep wrapping the washi tape around each pencil.  It’s fine if it overlaps.  And it’s also fine if some yellow pencil shows through.  It’s a very forgiving project.  And after all, they’re only pencils!

So after all 20 pencils were complete, I needed a vessel to put them in.  I found the perfect one, too!  A Classico pasta sauce jar, with the label removed.

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You might remember that I used the same type of jar (spray painted gray) as a vase back in this post.

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But alas, it was too tall.  It kept the pencils corralled too tightly together.  So I used an old canning jar:

image (28)It’s perfect!

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–Laura