Organize This: Batteries

Okay…so I know I promised our Linen Closet reveal today. However, a specific project within the Linen Closet unexpectedly took on a life of its own (#storyofmylife), and I’m pretty excited about it. So before I show you the full closet reveal, I want to share this quick project first! Plus, we’re due for our next Organize This project…so the timing really couldn’t be better. I promise I’ll show you the finished linen closet soon, but today…let’s talk about batteries!

Organize This: Batteries | Make a Battery Kit!

Organizing the batteries wasn’t really on my task list for our linen closet makeover. We had all of our batteries corralled in a basket, so they were easy to find whenever we needed them. However, when we moved last summer, I threw them all into a giant Ziplock bag for transport (packers won’t move batteries), and they were still in that exact same bag until this week. Rummaging around the bag had become a nuisance, so I decided to come up with a better solution!

Batteries | Before

A trip the garage and and an hour in my craft room later, we now have a snazzy new Battery Kit, and I am so excited about it. It’ the little things, people!

DIY Battery Kit

Not only are the batteries now in a more space-savvy container (rather than just a large open basket), but they are all separated by size/type so finding just the right battery (or assessing which ones are out!) is easy peasy!

Organized Battery Kit

Like I said, this was a spur-of-the-moment project I wasn’t planning on. But now that it’s done, I really wish I had done it sooner. Best of all? I used all items we had one hand so this fun little organization project didn’t cost me a penny!

When I was trying to figure out a better way to store our batteries, I remembered my friend Jen’s post. I was literally about to empty one of my craft boxes to copy her when I remembered we had a single-layer hardware organizer sitting empty out in the garage. I sure love to purge, but I almost always hang on to organizers. I’m so glad I did because look at how well this adjustable toolbox fits batteries!

Organize This: Batteries

At first, I loaded in all the batteries, got rid of all the trash, snapped the case shut and called it a day. But if you guys know me at all, you can guess that the bright yellow dividers were really, really bugging me. So….I gave it a makeover (#ofcourse). Some paper and tape later, here we are:

Update a Toolbox

Now…admittedly, this project airs on the side of “Seriously? You made over a hardware box? Do you have nothing better to do with yourself?” Trust me, I was saying it to myself the entire time I was working on it. I’m often saying I don’t have time for anything these days, but this was one of those projects that just made me happy and I really wanted to do it…so I did. I’ve had a long week and had a bunch of things on my mind…and it was so nice to just sit in a quiet, empty house and work on something that sparked my creativity and made me smile. Sometimes, I need projects like this, do you? If you’re interested in a little makeover like this one, here is what you need and what I did!

To Make a Battery Kit

Supplies Needed:

  • Single-layer hardware organizer with adjustable dividers. (It looks like this specific one is no longer available, but THIS ONE is similar!)
  • Patterned Cardstock
  • Washi or Duck tape (I used this extra wide tape from Hazel & Ruby)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Vinyl or peel-and-stick letters
  • Tools: scissors/paper trimmer, e-cutter (optional)

Start by removing whatever dividers come out of your organizer and measuring the base of each compartment. Using a paper trimmer, cut down sheets of patterned cardstock to dimensions that will comfortably fit into the base of each section. Secure the papers with double-stick tape.

Organize This: Batteries | Paper Liners in Toolkit

The splash of pattern along the bottom of the organizer was just for fun…but it was really the yellow dividers that bothered me the most. At first, I thought I would just have to embrace the color, but when I realized the extra-wide washi tape I had on hand from my Rugby-Striped Dresser Makeover stuck really, really well…I decided to give it a go!

To cover your dividers, pick a tape that will hold tight to the plastic (Duck tape, vinyl, and washi tape should all work fine). Don’t worry about wrapping it just right. Simply wrap the dividers in the tape and then trim away the bottom and side excess with a craft knife. The tape should cling to all the ridges on the dividers just fine, and they should still slide into their slots with ease. What’s even MORE fun is that I didn’t use up more of this awesome tape on this silly little project. I just peeled the tape off the dresser (because I’m working on another fun makeover on it!) and re-used it here!

Organize This: Batteries| Covering Dividers in Tape

Here is how my organizer looks with paper liners and tape-wrapped dividers…

Organize This: Batteries | Decorated Kit

The last step is to fill up your organizer with your batteries. Adjust compartment sizes to best fit the size and amount of batteries you have. If desired, label the sides of the compartments with a label maker. I chose not to label them (shocking, I know!) because batteries themselves are labeled, and I want to be able to adjust the compartment size (up or down) and move things around based on how many batteries we have/buy.

Organize This: Batteries

If you’d like, add a simple label to the outside of the box so it’s evident and obvious what’s inside. I cut my gold letters out of vinyl with my Cricut Explore, but you could get the same look with peel-and-stick letters from the craft store. The gold on its own wasn’t bold enough, so I added a strip of blue vinyl to the inside of the lid to help it pop.

Organize This: Batteries | Front Label

Not only are our batteries now sorted, easy to find and access, but we have a pretty happy battery kit to boot!

Organize This: Batteries | Make Your Own Battery Kit!

Organize This: Batteries

Organize This

My Organize This series is all about (relatively) simple and quick organizing projects that make a big difference in your day-to-day life. These aren’t intended to be large organizational overhauls, but rather quick sessions you can accomplish in an afternoon or weekend! This battery project is exactly that: quick and easy enough to do THIS weekend! Catch up on other projects in this series by clicking on the pictures below:

Organize This Bakeware-013 Organize This Printer Station-01 Organize This Recipes-001 Organize This: Recycling Storage Solutions for a Skinny Pantry Organize This: Thread Organize This: Laundry Supplies Untitled-1-16 Small Toy Storage Bags-001 Organize This: Fabric

How do you store your batteries? Have you come up with other creative uses for these hardware organizers? Do you think you might give this one a try? Be sure to let me know what you think in the comments below!

Organize This: Batteries

I hope you guys have an awesome long weekend! I’ll see you back here on Tuesday with a freezer inventory printable and matching labels. Can’t wait for you to see them!

Megan Signature

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Rugby Striped Dresser with Washi Tape!

Boy, oh boy…do I have an awesome treat for you guys today! In recent weeks, I’ve teamed up with 5 other bloggers in a collaborative group where we are sharing strategies and supporting each other in our blogging journeys. In addition to supporting to each other behind-the-scenes, we also thought we’d have a little fun and challenge each other on some creative pursuits. Over the next year, we’re going to be participating in 6 different creative challenges, and lucky for you guys….you get to visit us all and soak up a ton of great new ideas! This month, we challenged each other to use washi tape in a fun and creative way…and my project was to create this FABULOUS rugby-striped dresser!

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

I started with an IKEA Tarva dresser…and one thing I love about this makeover is that from the front, this little guys looks like a plain pine dresser with some happy pulls.

IKEA Tarva Hack with Washi Tape

But if you get closer or catch a glimpse from the side, you will see there is SO much more!

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

Oh….be still my stripe-loving heart!

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

I have never been one to shy away from painting furniture, but these bright and bold stripes were instead achieved in about 20 minutes using extra-wide washi tape. The colors are bright and saturated, and the tape is completely removable and won’t damage your furniture. I can’t really think of a better way to quickly change the look of your furniture, can you?

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

IKEA Tarva Hack: Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

I haven’t taken on a true furniture makeover in SO long, and this project was truly good for my soul. If you’d like to give it a try, here is how to do it:

What You Need:

  • A piece of furniture in need of new life (I used an unfinished IKEA Tarva Dresser)
  • Washi tape in the size, color, pattern you wish (I used 4″ rolls of tape by Hazel & Ruby (Jade and Navy) that I found on clearance at JoAnn Fabrics)
  • Paint in the color of your choice (optional)
  • Tools: Ruler, scissors, X-acto knife, screwdriver (if changing hardware), paint brush/tray (if painting)

Instead of updating a piece of furniture I already had for this makeover, I decided to “invest” in a Tarva dresser from IKEA (I have big plans for this baby, so stay tuned!). I started by assembling it according to the instructions.

IKEA Tarva Dresser

Although the piece was new and unfinished, I still gave it a light sanding with 220 grit sandpaper and wiped it clean of dust. I then turned to my tried-and-true white furniture paint: ProClassic by Sherwin Williams in Allabaster White. I chose not to prime this piece since it was unfinished, but I still treated the paint with Floetrol to help with brush strokes.

Painting Supplies for IKEA Tarva Hack with Washi Tape

I gave the base and all three sides of the dresser three coats of white paint. I was pleased to see good coverage after two coats (even without primer), but decided to give it one more just in case! #bettersafethansorry. I left the drawers plain for a few reasons. One, I liked the contrast of the wood with the white. Second, I’m going to be giving this dresser several different makeovers in the coming weeks and wanted to be able to play with both painted AND wood surfaces. You can see below what a blank and boring canvas I started with!

IKEA Tarva Hack with Washi Tape

IKEA Tarva Hack with Washi Tape

As many of you guys know, I am constantly shopping the clearance section in all my favorite craft and home stores. It’s always there that I find some of the best deals and coolest products. Our JoAnn Fabrics had a huge display of this Hazel and Ruby tape on clearance for weeks. Each time I went in, I would look at it and was sure I could use it for something, but would never buy it. Finally, I stocked up on 6 rolls and tucked it away for a “someday” project. When my friends and I decided to challenge each other to make a project using washi tape, I knew exactly what I was going to use. While it may not look like the small washi tape you find at the craft store, it looks, feels and works exactly the same. So even if you can’t find this extra-wide tape, you can get the same effect using a bunch of smaller versions! (By the way, I am SO glad I scooped up this tape. After seeing it at work on this project, I am hankering to go back and buy some more! #notsponsored)

Extra Wide Washi Tape by Hazel & Ruby

When it came time to figure out how to use the tape, stripes were the obvious choice. I started by measuring the top of the dresser to figure out how many stripes I could fit and how they needed to be spaced.

IKEA Tarva Hack with Washi Tape

After some quick calculations, I concluded I could make three stripes and still have 1.5″ leftover on each side. Using a pencil, I drew a faint line 1.5″ in from the front edge of the dresser, then got to rolling on my tape…

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

You guys…I mean it when I say I am so smitten with this stuff and want to get more. It rolls on smooth, the color is bright and saturated, it’s easy to maneuver, easy to cut, strong enough to tug and pull, and you can peel it off and re-place it as many times as you need to get it right. Oh gosh…the possibilities! As you can see, I rolled right up, across and down the dresser with each roll of tape. It clings tightly to the surface, so I had no bubbles and it hugged the routered edge so well. It took a little  bit of a patience and re-positioning to get the edges all lined up, but within about 20 minutes, I had some bright and bold stripes running across my dresser! So much quicker and easier than paint!

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

To keep the front of the dresser from looking too plain, I painted the included wooden knobs with some paint samples picked to match the tapes perfectly. Painting objects like this can be messy and tricky…but kabob skewers and a shoebox sure make it clean and easy!

Easy method for painting furniture knobs!

After two coats of paint and some drying time, the knobs were screwed onto the drawer fronts, and the dresser was done!

Colorful knobs on IKEA Tarva Hack

I still can’t get over how great this dresser looks in person. It was really hard to photograph and get the colors/sheen right. The green is much more of a Kelly Green…and combined with the navy and bright white, my preppy-loving heart is just singing!

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

So what about the durability of it? Well…I can tell you I slid those books and lamp on and off the dresser about 50 times during the course of the photo shoot, and the tape didn’t peel, pucker, rip or budge! That said, it IS just tape without protective coating, so I am not sure I would use it on a high-traffic piece!

Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

If you have a piece of furniture that needs a lift, but your not up for the commitment or hassle of paint, I strongly encourage you give washi tape a try! It’s been my experience that Duck Tape and Vinyl can peel a paint finish right off, but this tape comes off clean and smooth. Don’t believe me? Come back next week and I’ll show you 😉

IKEA Tarva Hack: Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

IKEA Tarva Hack: Rugby Striped Dresser With Washi Tape

Are you guys ready to check out 5 other awesome washi tape projects? My girls REALLY delivered, and there are some great ideas to go see! Just click on the image below to jump right to the posts, and be sure to let them know Megan sent you!

Image Map

I’ve been a busy bee this week getting our Linen Closet in shape using my new printable labels (did you grab your set?) Come back on Saturday to see how my closet turned out! See you then!

Megan Signature

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Labeling in the Linen Closet (with FREE printable labels!)

Even though we are gearing up for another move in a few short months, there are still a few spots in this house that I want to work on and tweak for our remaining time here. One of these spots is our Linen Closet! In the first weeks of moving in, I loaded everything into this closet with the intentions that I would revisit it and get it in better working order within weeks. Well…here we are a few MONTHS later, and I am just now getting to it. Truth be told, the closet has been functioning pretty well for us so an organizational makeover didn’t really feel urgent. Still, every time I open the closet doors I get frustrated that I never took the time to re-sort and re-label baskets and identify some better solutions for a few disorderly things. Well, my friends! This is the week I’m tackling the linen closet; and while I’m not going to show you the closet today (come back here on Saturday for the reveal), I did want to share with you some new labels I made to get me motivated and help get everything in order!

Printable Linen Closet Labels | Get Your Closet Organized Today!

I made and shared some Linen Closet labels a few years back, but I was craving a fresh look and some more descriptive labels. So I spent some time this weekend coming up with 36 labels for (most of) the common things found in a linen closet, and I just love them!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Here are the 36 different categories I came up with. Each label features a picture AND text…and is available in 5 different colors!

Printable Linen Closet Labels | 36 Labels in 5 Color Schemes

These labels are designed to fit onto 2.5″ round labels like the 22830 labels by Avery. So if you need a true print-peel-stick option, it’s all ready for you!Printable Linen Closet Labels | Use Avery 22830 Labels

You guys know the drill by now! If you would like your own copy of these Linen Closet Labels, I have them available for download over in The Organization Toolbox right now! Hop on over and grab your set, then come back to see a whole bunch of different ideas to use them!

If you need access to my Organization Toolbox, simply subscribe to THIHM Newsletter below and the Organization Toolbox Password will be delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift!)! (Pssst – if you’re already a subscriber, the password was delivered in the February newsletter this past weekend!)

Already have access? Visit the Organization Toolbox HERE to access your free Linen Closet Labels!

Ultimate Flexibility

As I’ve been making all of these printables for you guys over the last few weeks, one of my main priorities has been to make you truly usable and valuable files. Why spend the time if no one can use them, right? I realize I can’t and won’t be able to get the right categories, font, color, style preference for everyone, but one thing I did do with these files was make them borderless so they can be cut down and used in a variety of ways! Using the Avery 22830 Labels is certainly the quickest and easiest way to make labels with this file. But if you’re anything like me and you don’t want to buy all the different size labels out there, I recommend buying full-sheet sticker paper and trimming the labels down to your preferred shape and size (I’ll show you how below!) But don’t just limit yourself to sticker paper…you can print these labels onto anything you like, including cardstock, photo paper, or magnetic paper…or load the files into your e-cutter software and cut the images out of vinyl. The possibilities are endless!

Cutting the Labels

Once you have the PDF file, simply select which set you want, choose those pages in the print menu, and print them at 100% scale. As I mentioned, the files have no borders around each label, allowing you to cut the labels down into any number of sizes and shapes that work for you! If you don’t own any fancy craft supplies, don’t fret. The easiest option is to use cookie cutters or create templates out of heavy paper and trace them around each label; then cut each out with a scissors. That said, my favorite way to get precise and quick cuts out of a sheet of labels is using dies with my Sizzix Big Shot.

Printable Linen Closet Labels

You’ll notice that quite a few shapes fit around these labels. And if you keep them to about 2.5″ wide, you can easily cut out all nine labels on a single sheet with equal borders/dimensions. To perfectly center the design on my cutout, I use a magnetic plate for my Sizzix Big Shot (#gamechanger). It holds the dies perfectly in place as it all goes through the press!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

A paper trimmer (or scissors!) is another great way to trim these labels down.

Printable Linen Closet Labels

All of these sizes (below) can be achieved on a single sheet of labels. Just pick the measurement that works for you and trim each one to the same size! (Note in the image below: all the rectangles should be cut to 3.5″ tall! #ooops)

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Fun Ways to Use the Labels

I have been on a labeling kick lately, and have been dreaming up all sorts of fun and creative ways to label bins and baskets. I’m going to be sharing a bunch of techniques in the coming weeks, including a few ideas for using these Linen Closet labels today!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Peel-and-Stick

If you have hard, clean, solid surfaces on your organizers, using these labels as stickers is the quickest and easiest method for getting everything sorted and labeled correctly. Literally, just peel and stick it on the right spot!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Tag Labels

You can also apply these to any size and shape tag or sign to create fun and one-of-a-kind labels!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

I found these chipboard tags at the Target Dollar Spot (#ofcourse). After giving them a quick coat of blue paint, I secured the sticker labels to the front of them and wrapped the extra paper to the back.

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Frame Labels

Don’t feel like investing in sticker paper? You can still create super cute labels by just printing the images onto cardstock or photo paper and loading them into lightweight frames.

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Printable Linen Closet Labels

I started with these inexpensive die-cut wooden frames from Michaels…

Printable Linen Closet Labels

After a quick coat of paint, I secured some cutout paper labels on the backside of the frames using plain ol’ adhesive!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Securing tags to your bin or basket will largely depend on what it is made out of, if it has slats or handles, and what look you’re going for! In trying to come up with a fun yet sturdy way to attach labels to these Y-weave baskets from Target, it occurred to me that fasteners would do the trick!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Just pop the fasteners through your label, then through the basket holes, and open on the inside to secure it. I am so giddy over this idea, I can’t wait to use it all over the house!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Luggage Tag Labels

Alright…my long-time readers will recognize these luggage tag labels in an instant. I made them years ago, and still keep them around since they are just so handy.

Printable Linen Closet Labels

These printable labels even work in these luggage tags (get the tutorial HERE). I just dressed up the tags with a bit of washi tape before loading them into the clear vinyl pocket.

Printable Linen Closet Labels

Printable Linen Closet Labels

I am positively giddy over this set of labels and hope you guys are too! If you do use them, be sure to let me know how you put them to work and if they work out for you! Do you have any other clever ways to use them? Share in the comments below!

Printable Linen Closet Labels

The Organization Toolbox

Organization Toolbox

I’m spending the first 12 Tuesdays of 2016 filling up my new Organization Toolbox with small organizing projects and helpful printables! If you missed other posts in this series, catch up here:

As I intended, these fun labels have totally gotten me motivated to get our linen closet in order…finally! I’ll be sharing my Linen Closet reveal on Saturday. BUT…be sure to come back and see me on Thursday because I have such a fun project to share with you guys…and I’m doing so with a bunch of new friends! See you then!

Megan Signature

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DIY Minky & Tassel Throw

Our house is a split-level house. We have actually been pleasantly surprised how much we like this layout…except for one small problem: temperature control. More often than not this winter, I have sat shivering at my computer trying to get work done! But no more! Thanks to a thrifty find at the fabric store, I’ve remedied my temperature control issues and made a fabulous accessory for my office! Take a look:

Minky and Tassel Throw-02

On my 6-months in home tour, I mentioned I had a few projects in mind to help tie the pink side of my office to to the blue side. The first project was this pretty papered stool that I am still so smitten with…

Minky and Tassel Throw-03

And another was to transform some clearance hot pink minky into a comfy throw!

Minky and Tassel Throw-04

Simply hemming the edges felt a little too boring for me, so I added some royal blue tassels all the way around. The result is fun and fresh and oh-so-toasty!

Minky and Tassel Throw-05

So when you read my blog posts, know that they are all written right here…and most often, I am huddled underneath this happy blanket! It’s even become a favorite for movie watching and book reading… #keepsdissapearingfrommyoffice

Minky and Tassel Throw-06

I know I have a habit of saying “quick and easy” when it comes to projects (and quite a few of you called me out on it in the reader survey!), so I will be completely honest with you. I THOUGHT this one would be quick and easy, but alas it was not. I am not the most experienced seamstress, and I have absolutely NO experience sewing on minky fabric. I tried several different methods to get this project to turn out the way I envisioned it…and while I ultimately got there…it certainly wasn’t quick or easy. That said, if you have a sewing machine and some patience, you can do this! I did a lot of the trial and error for you, so hopefully yours’ WILL be quick and easy! Let’s get to it!

What You Need:

  • Minky fabric – I used 2.5 yards of 60″ wide minky
  • Tassel trim – I used just under 10 yards of tassel trim
  • Tools: scissors, sewing machine, matching thread, walking foot for your sewing machine, pins (and lots of them), patience

Minky and Tassel Throw-07

A few notes about my supplies! I found this hot pink minky fabric in the Red Tag section at JoAnns. I fell in love with the colors and pattern (hello stripes), but it was $17/yard, and that was marked down. So I passed. A few weeks later, I went back and all Red Tags were marked down 50%…so I was able to get 2.5 yards for about $25! Score! Lesson here: minky can be expensive so watch for sales and use coupons. About the trim…my original plan was to use pom-pom trim, but I couldn’t find any I really loved and boy is it expensive! Then I got hooked on the idea of tassels and went in search of affordable trim. Friends…if you are ever in need of affordable trims for projects, look no further than Ebay! I ordered 10 yards of tassel trim for $8, and it arrived in 3 days. Yes, you read that right!

Minky and Tassel Throw-08

Minky appears to be completely reversible, but when you start to work with it, you’ll realize that it’s not. To figure out the right/wrong sides, smooth your hand with and against the grain. You’ll notice the wrong side doesn’t lay as flat and smooth in all directions and starts to show some of the underlying fabric. If it helps you, mark the wrong side with a few pins so you can keep track as you go!

Minky and Tassel Throw-09

As you can see above, the edge of the minky doesn’t fray at all. As such, I could have completely gotten away without hemming or edging it and just used the cut of fabric as a blanket. However, it looked and felt unfinished to me…plus I wanted to add my fancy trim. I experimented with A LOT of different ways to hem and add the trim to my blanket. What I’m going to show you today was most likely not the correct or easiest way to do it, but I ultimately achieved the look I wanted, so we’ll call it a success!

To hem the blanket and nestle in the trim so that the tassels face out, the two pictures below show what you are ultimately going for:

Minky and Tassel Throw-10

It may be hard to understand what you’re looking at and figure out how to get there, so let me walk you through it. Essentially, you want to create a pocket for the trim to sit into. To do so, start by lining up the trim on the RIGHT side of your fabric with the tassels facing AWAY from the blanket. Don’t pin your trim down. I know there are pins there…just ignore them. #toldyouItriedeverything

Minky and Tassel Throw-11

Holding onto the edge of the fabric AND the trim, fold toward you so that the trim is encased in a channel on the right side of the fabric.

Minky and Tassel Throw-12

Then flip the entire channel back on itself and align the outer edges. When you do this, the right/top side of the fabric will be folded over, then the blue trim will be in the middle, the bottom layer is the raw edge of the fabric facing out. Have I totally lost you? Play with it, and you’ll see how it comes together!

Minky and Tassel Throw-13

Once you get your channel made and the blue trim tucked in, pin abundantly and frequently down the length of the blanket (on the wrong side) to secure the folds and trim.

Minky and Tassel Throw-14

Next, you will want to stitch the hem in place (about 1″ in from the side) as well as stitch the opening shut (right along the edge). After experimenting a lot, I found that a zig-zag stitch worked the best. It conceals any erratic sewing AND blends in nicely with the fibers of the minky.

Minky and Tassel Throw-15

Here’s a look at the finished edge with all my cute tassels hanging out.

Minky and Tassel Throw-16

Because of the somewhat complicated folding at the edge, I chose to do one side at a time rather than try and work my way around the corners. This did make for some slightly bulky corners, but not anything my machine couldn’t sew through!

Minky and Tassel Throw-17

I love that the tassels are tucked into the hem (rather than just being sewn along the backside, making it truly is reversible! It took a bit of effort and trial and error to get it this way, but I’m quite happy with the final result!

Minky and Tassel Throw-18

Tips for Sewing on Minky

As I said, I am by no means an expert sewer. In fact, I’m completely (mostly) self taught, and I tend to take the “just get it done” approach rather than the “do it properly” approach. Still, during this project I learned a few things about working with minky that I thought would be helpful to share. I’ve mentioned them already, but just to re-iterate:

  • Minky will appear reversible, but it’s not. Spend some time playing with the grain to figure out which one is the right side and mark it with pins.
  • Use LOTS of pins. Pin, pin, and pin some more. I tried many times to just hold things in place and feed it through my machine and it never, ever worked. I ended up pinning every single inch of this blanket to hold everything in place.
  • Use a walking foot (if you have one). I was really having a tough time controlling the minky on my machine. Once I switched to my walking foot, my stitches were more straight and even, and I felt more in control of the fabric. If you have one, it’s worth taking the time to put it on.
  • Practice. Cut off an inch or two of fabric from your project to practice on. It took me a little while to learn how hard to press my pedal, how much I needed to pin, which stitches worked better, etc. Before sewing on your actual project, practice!

Minky and Tassel Throw-19

20 inches into this project, I almost quit. I said to myself “It doesn’t fray, so do I really need to hem it? And do I really need this trim?” Yes, friends. There are times when projects are not at all simple or easy…and even I want to throw in the towel. But I’m glad I persevered with this one. It’s not perfect, but I DO love the tassel detail along the edges, and I learned a bit more about sewing on fabrics I’m unfamiliar with. AND…I have a pretty darn cute blanket to keep me toasty warm as I work at the computer…so while not quick or easy, I’d call it a success!

Minky and Tassel Throw-20

What says you? Have you ever made a throw blanket from scratch? Have you ever worked with minky? Do you have any tips/tricks to share? What do you think of my bold color match? I’d love to hear what you think in the comments below.

I hope you guys have a great rest of the week! I’ll be taking Saturday off from the blog, but will be sending out some Valentine’s Day projects and blog updates in my monthly newsletter. Look for it in your inbox on Saturday morning…and if you’re not already on my list, subscribe below! See you back here on Tuesday, friends!!

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How I Organize My Week (with a FREE Printable Weekly Schedule)

If you’ve been coming around here for a while, there’s a few things you’ve likely learned about me. I love to create, I love color and patterns, and I love to plan. Yep, I am planner! From our nightly meals to my day-to-day tasks, I find that I am able to better manage our household, the blog, and our family fun with a little bit of focused and intentional planning. Today, I want to give you a glimpse into how I organize our week, and I’m even sharing some new weekly organizing printables (per many of your requests!) to help you stay on top of your week too!

How I Organize My Week (with a FREE printable planner!)

One of my time-honored habits is something I call Task Blocking. I’m not sure if that’s even a real term, but I’m going to go with it for lack of a better one! Similar to the concept of Time Blocking that you’ve likely been reading about all over Pinterest (and even here on the blog!), the main concept is to assign specific tasks to specific days/parts of the week. Instead of haphazardly going through the week trying to fit in grocery shopping, laundry, errands, etc whenever and wherever they fit, I assign those tasks to specific days of the week and repeat that same schedule week after week. You saw evidence of this a little bit when I showed off my 2016 Planner a few weeks back. You’ll notice on my Sunday schedule (below), I pre-populated the tasks I do every.single.Sunday: respond to blog comments, laundry, meal plan, and filling out my schedule for the following week. Yes…things get bumped and adjusted here and there, but honestly, I mostly stick to my schedule! I’ve found that this approach allows me to work my way through our week without fretting how everything will fit and ultimately get done. All the major tasks (home, blog, and personal-related) are all loosely scheduled in, so I just hustle through the week and trust my planning will pay off.

How I Organize My Week (with a FREE printable planner!)

If you’re curious, my week generally goes like this:

  • Monday – Behind the scene blog maintenance
  • Tuesday – Grocery shopping | gas
  • Wednesday – Long day for Henry at school that I typically use for appointments and projects
  • Thursday – Errands
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday – Laundry | meal/grocery planning | schedule out the week ahead

Admittedly, I keep track of most of these tasks in my planner (which is working out SO good for me, by the way!). But many of you asked for some printables to help you quickly and easily organize your week, so I was happy to oblige! I’ve created 2 different versions of a weekly spread (portrait and landscape versions of each) as well as some pretty checklists. All are available in a single 6-page download!

FREE Weekly Organizing Printables

If you would like your own copy of these Weekly Organizing Printables, I have them available for download over in The Organization Toolbox right now! Hop on over and grab it, then come back to see some different ideas to use them!

If you need access to my Organization Toolbox, simply subscribe to THIHM Newsletter below and the Organization Toolbox Password will be delivered straight to your inbox (along with a free gift!)! (Pssst – if you’re a longtime subscriber, the password was delivered in the January newsletter!)

Already have access? Visit the Organizing Toolbox HERE to access your free Weekly Organizing Printables!

These weekly scheduling printables feature large, wide open spaces for you to write in any sort of information you want/need to track! They are ideal for laminating or covering in contact paper, so you can use a dry-erase marker on them over and over again!

FREE Weekly Organizing Printables

If you’re looking for a single sheet snapshot of your week, this version also has spots for you to write in your meals!

FREE Weekly Organizing Printables

Meal Planning

I can think of so many great ways to use these handy little sheets! The first idea is to print out a bunch, keep them pinned up on a bulletin board or your refrigerator and fill them in with your weekly meal plan.

FREE Weekly Organizing Printables | Meal Planning

Week-at-a-Glance

Another idea is to use them as week-at-a-glance sheets. This isn’t intended to replace a planner or family calendar, but rather provide a quick snapshot of the week ahead. When Henry was little, I filled a sheet just like this with all the different story times, play groups, open gyms etc in the area. On any given day, I could look at the worksheet and find what activities were going on where and at what time!

FREE Weekly Organizing Printables | Week-at-a-Glance

Chore/Task Charts

One of my favorite ways to use this sheet is to populate the grid with a cleaning schedule, chore chart, or if you have recurring tasks (like I do for the blog) by day.

FREE Weekly Organizing Printables | Chore Chart

To Do Checklists

While I was at it, I went ahead and designed a basic checklist that match these weekly organizing printables! FREE Weekly Organizing Printables

Sunday is a big day around here, as we do laundry, meal planning and really get set for the coming week. As such, I also made a dedicated Sunday Checklist and included it in the printable pack. I populated my list with all of our usual Sunday tasks. As I do with most things, I laminated it and now have it up on our refrigerator to check off week after week!

FREE Weekly Organizing Printables

These are just a few ways I could think of to use these sheets! You guys always have such great ideas, so I’d love to hear if you have any fun and unique ways to put them to work. Share your ideas in the comments below!

The Organization Toolbox

Organization Toolbox

I’m spending the first 12 Tuesdays of 2016 filling up my new Organization Toolbox with small organizing projects and helpful printables! If you missed other posts in this series, catch up here:

I hope your week is off to a great start! See you back here on Thursday with a quick and simple sewing project!

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