Hello Blog Friends! Sorry for the sudden silence on this end. Our move kicked into high gear right when I experienced some pretty severe blogger burnout (mostly thanks to trying my hardest to finish out and photograph all the final projects and spaces in our Kansas house WHILE preparing for our move!), and I just had to step away from the computer for a while to take care of all the crazy elements of our life right now. The good news is that I have TONS of content ready to come your way as well as LOTS of life and moving updates to share…in due time! For now, I’m going to pick back up where I left off and share this quick and easy July 4th DIY cake topper project just in time for this weekend’s celebrations!
A few months ago, you may recall I had a whole bunch of fun playing with an assortment of wooden shapes to make a Mother’s Day/Spring cake topper. As I was sorting through all the shapes and brainstorming different ways to use them, it occurred to me that I could use the same technique to make a perfectly patriotic version! With just some wooden stars, paint, glitter and glue, you can have a festive decoration ready by this weekend!
Supplies Needed to Make a Star-Spangled Cake Topper
Here are the supplies needed to make a similar cake topper:
*affiliate links used
Wooden stars in various sizes (I bought this box and pulled all the stars out)
I started with a big box of wooden shapes and pulled all the various stars out…
How to Make a Star-Spangled Cake Topper
Once you have a bunch of stars in various sizes, start by playing around with different arrangements and patterns. I found that some of the neatest effects came from layering stars on top of each other.
Gather your patriotic paints and a handful of paint brushes… (TIP: this project goes a bit quicker and easier with several sponge/paint brushes!)
…and paint the stars in whatever colors and patterns you like. You may need to do several coats of each color; thankfully, acrylic paint dries quickly so you can apply the second coat almost within minutes!
The next step is to glitter your stars if you’d like. You can either paint on some clear glue and douse in glitter, or glitter the stars as soon as you apply the final coat of paint while it’s still wet. Either way, using a glitter tray makes applying AND cleaning up glitter super quick and easy!
Next, use wood glue to layer the stars. You can certainly use any type of glue you like here, but I did find that hot glue is too thick, leaving a mess and and a gap between the star layers.
Once all the stars are painted, glittered, and glued, use a hot glue gun to attach them to wooden kabob skewers. (TIP: I painted my kabob skewers white before adding the stars to help the stars pop a bit more.) I glued 3-5 small gold stars in lines onto single skewers and then the red/blue layered stars onto their own skewers.
The final step is to make or buy a cake and stick all the skewers in the top! Take a bit of time to arrange the skewers so the stars look like a starburst…and don’t hesitate to trim down the sticks to achieve different heights.
And with that, you can have a patriotic dessert perfect for your July 4th celebrations or Labor Day festivities at the end of the month! It’s quick, easy, and inexpensive (of course, depending on the size of your craft stash 😉
I hope your summer is off to a great start! Fingers crossed I can ease back into my blogging groove now with some time off. Back here on Thursday, I have my next Organize This installment, and this time I’m giving you a glimpse inside my purse! See you then!
We are gearing up for a huge family road trip as we transition to our next home. Henry is great in the car, but there’s no way he’s going to last 14 days (eek!) without a good bit of entertainment and a variety of options. Even though Henry’s first choice of activity is certainly the technological kind, he has an amazing ability to cut himself off after awhile. As such, I know we need some other things to keep his brain and hands busy when the novelty of the technology wears off. I’ve been antsy to get back to making printables ever since I wrapped up The Organization Toolbox series and the Conquer Your Kitchen prep work, so this was the perfect project to satisfy my creative urges AND make something for our car trip. Today, I am so excited to share my latest FREE printable kit with you all: A Printable Road Trip Activity and Sticker Book!
Henry doesn’t love to write or color in the best of circumstances. So even though I really wanted to make an activity book for him, I knew a coloring/writing book for the car was not going to work. My solution? Stickers!
I had so much fun designing my Planner Stickers all those months ago (and you all seem to love them too!); and after testing them with Henry, I knew they’d be something he’d be able to get off and work with on his own in the car. As such, I designed four different activities that corresponded to four different sticker sheets…all sized and designed to work together seamlessly!
Because our trip is a road trip, the imagery included are more road/car specific rather than air or general travel focused. That said, the worksheets can certainly be used for any type of trip!
The four activities included are geared toward pre-school/Kindergarten age, but I am sure younger kids would also have fun just playing with the stickers and matching the shapes and/or colors!
The four activities included are:
Tic Tac Toe
Letter Matching and Counting
I printed all my activity pages on my home printer and then had them bound into a handy little workbook at my local copy store. I wanted the stickers to be as accessible as possible for Henry’s little hands, so I cut the sticker sheets in half and inserted them (back-to-back) to face each activity sheet before binding.
No matter which page Henry is working on, he can easily access stickers without having to flip pages back and forth!
I didn’t want this activity workbook to be a 1-time use only, so when I had the book bound, I asked that clear pages (that they use for the cover) be put in front of every single activity page…
These clear sheets not only allow us to easily remove the stickers for repeat use…
…but also allow us to use markers to play, draw, check items off and then wipe away to play again!
At the end of the school year, Henry’s teacher sent home a bunch of practice handwriting sheets. So that we wouldn’t loose them, I went ahead and tucked them into the back of the workbook. He won’t be able to write his name in the car, but we can practice at night in hotels along the way!
What’s Included in the Road Trip Activity and Sticker Book Files!
I had SOOOO much fun designing these activity pages. The pages feature my signature icon/graphic look but are done in kid-friendly primary colors! Here’s an overview of everything included in this download:
If you would like your own copy of this Printable Road Trip Activity and Sticker Book, I have it available for download over in The Organization Toolbox right now! If you already have my password, hop on over and grab your copy, then come back to see how to print and assemble your workbook!
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!
(Pssst – if you’re already a subscriber, the password was delivered in the June newsletter! If you just subscribed but didn’t receive the final password email, please check your Spam/Trash folders! The password is case sensitive…please use ALL CAPS!)
Already have access? Visit the Organization Toolbox HERE to access your free Road Trip Activity and Sticker Book!
Assembling Your Road Trip Activity and Sticker Book!
Once you’ve downloaded your files, start by printing the activity pages onto heavy cardstock or photo paper. You can either print them single- or double-sided!
To make the stickers easily removable for little hands, peel away the excess paper to reveal just the stickers on the sheet…
You can either place the sticker sheets right into your workbook (next to the corresponding activities) as is…
Or trim them in half and insert them into the middle of each set of activity pages as shown.
Order your pages however you wish (mine go Activity Page 1, stickers, stickers, Activity Page 2), and then take them to your local copy store for binding.
If desired, laminate your activity pages or have your copy center add in extra clear sheets to make the surfaces dry-erasable and stickers easily removable.
This adorable sticker book is just part of the travel kit I assembled for Henry to keep him fed and entertained. To see the rest of Henry’s Road Trip Car Caddie, be sure to hope over and see my Car Caddie post live right now on 30 Handmade Days! I’m smitten with this travel caddie, and I think you’ll love my ideas too!
The Printable Road Trip Activity and Sticker Book In Action!
Henry watched as I designed, tested, printed, assembled and photographed this sticker book; and he knew it was made especially for him. Let me just say he was literally chomping at the bit to give it a try! When I finally let him have a go, I was so excited to see it work exactly as designed!
Not only is the size manageable for his little lap (without a book or hard surface underneath!), but he was able to peel off the stickers and complete the activities without any problems!
I had to cut him off from completing the whole book during our photo session so that he’d have some fresh pages for our trip; but needless to say, it was a huge hit!
If you have a family road trip coming up and are looking for ways to keep the little ones entertained, I hope you’ll give these fun printables a try! If my little guy is any indication, they will be a big hit! AND…if you need some ideas for corralling kids’ toys, snacks, tablets, and water bottles in the car, be sure to check out my Car Caddie project here!
Last week, I mentioned I’d have different posts in the queue for this week. Long story short, our life is getting BUSY, so I’m choosing to take some things off my plate during this crazy season for our family! I hope to check back in toward the end of the week with one more post, but if not, know that I’ll be back as soon as I can!
It’s time for another “final” room reveal as we wrap up our time here in Kansas. You can catch up on the Laundry Room, Deck, Henry’s Bedroom, and Playroom so far; and this time, we’re recapping one of my favorites spaces in our home and certainly the room I spend the most time in. Let’s have a look around my modern home office and craft space!
The fourth bedroom in this house is on the lower level of our split-level home, just off the downstairs family room that we use as playroom. In all honesty, this large, dedicated room right off the playroom was one of the main things that sold me on this house. I just knew the layout would allow me to work and Henry to play almost side-by-side without being in each other’s space too much. Here’s a good look at the bare bones of the room the day we arrived last summer!
In addition to a nice-sized closet, two walls of the room have an 8″ ledge that come in VERY handy on a regular basis!
With literally just a handful of DIY projects, this room went from being a boring spare bedroom to a stunning studio space that I love to be and work in every day. Come on in and have a look around!
(As I do in all my room reveal posts, the sources and tutorials for everything you see here are linked up at the bottom of the post!)
After missing the mark in my past craft spaces, I finally feel like I landed on a layout that allows me to create, photograph, and work at the computer in a really comfortable and natural way thanks to three separate “stations.” This room is a very generous size, and it’s not lost on me how lucky I am to have such a spacious and pretty place to create and work.
The wallpaper used on the top half of the wall is easily the most eye-catching feature in the room. I was really nervous to use such a bold pattern in such a big way, but it totally made the room and is one of my all-time favorite wall treatments I’ve ever done. With such a busy pattern on the walls, I was able to keep all the other room elements white and simple (which is great for project photos!).
Next to the wallpaper, the main focal point of the room is the craft counter underneath the single window. When we moved in last summer, I finally got to swap the dark counter we used to have for a white one, and boy does it make such a visual difference.
The cabinets (which are just off-the-shelf kitchen cabinets from Lowes) are filled with a majority of my small craft supplies and notions stored in a variety of containers, bins, baskets and trays. I literally repeated my storage solutions in these cabinets from our last house so you can read about them here. #ifitaintbroke
There is so much about this room that I love, but the one and only thing that is really a headache for me is the single, short, east-facing window. Taking photos for the blog revolves heavily around the availability of light, and I am constantly racing the clock each and every day. At about 11:00am, the sun goes over the house and I lose pretty much all my light in here. This makes scheduling and getting projects done quite a challenge. I’ve now learned that when deciding which room in the house will be my home office, the windows and light need to be considered in addition to the size and storage!
I learned in my North Carolina craft room that I did like crafting at the counter but I didn’t enjoy sewing at it…it’s just too high. This time around, I bought a super inexpensive yet very versatile white table from IKEA, and it is one of the best things I did in this space. While the main purpose of this table is for my sewing machine(s), I use it for SO much more! From staging photos, photographing printables, to crafting with Henry and so much more…it is always covered in projects! When my sewing machines aren’t in use, they tuck in perfectly under the table; and the table is lightweight enough that I can drag it around to room to get the best light possible. Best $50 I spent in this room!
I take a lot of my blog photos standing over the white table and quickly identified the need for a stool. Instead of leaving a wooden IKEA stool as is, I gave it a makeover with blue stain and pretty floral peel-and-stick wallpaper! The white table and stool combo are a total winner and something I will be repeating in the next house!
Another thing I learned in my previous craft spaces is that I don’t like having my craft supplies out in the open. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of pretty ribbons and fabrics as much as the next crafter, but I always found myself craving a calmer and less-cluttered crafting space when it actually came time to make things. With so many projects often strewn across all open surfaces, having supplies neatly tucked away allows me to keep some order in this busy space!
We took down the wire shelf that was in this closet (and stored it for move out) and added a 4×4 IKEA Kallax as well as more cube shelving to the ceiling. This allowed me to stuff in store a ton of fabric, paper, thread, ribbon and other supplies!
I use 8 white DRONA bins to store my fabric collection and 8 Y-weave baskets from Target to hold ribbon, thread, yarn and other bulkier craft supplies that don’t fit under the counter across the room. The labels were made with a combination of extra wallpaper, vinyl, cardstock and washi tape!
I absolutely LOVE having all my fabric in these deep bins. Not only do they hold a TON of fabric, but they function like drawers…so it’s easy to slide a bin out, pull out what I need, and easily put everything away.
Along a top row of cube shelves in the closet, I have 10 12×12 scrapbook boxes that hold a variety of papers, cartridges, vinyls, manuals and more. Washi tape labels help me keep all the bins straight.
Thanks to a variety of storage solutions, I am really able to store a ton of craft supplies in a totally accessible yet easily concealable way. Success!
Tucked next to the closet is a grey armoire I bought in Kansas City’s famous West Bottoms district. I was originally looking for a similar piece that was undone and in need of a makeover. But then I found this one, already painted, for an amazing price. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for me to bring it home. I’m so glad I did because it’s one of the hardest working pieces of furniture in our home!
On top of the dresser, we have our printer, a few accessories and some over-sized art I made on the cheap.
But behind those doors is an entire office worth of supplies neatly organized and tucked away!
One of my favorite DIYs of our whole year here are the paper drawer dividers I made to organize these flat drawers. I was able to create perfectly customized and tailored dividers to hold every last supply in a perfect way…all with sheets of pretty cardstock!
The top three drawers hold all of our small office supplies, and the bottom drawers hold a variety of papers and small office electronics. Having a centralized place for all of our office supplies makes it so much easier for the whole family to find what they’re looking for!
The last wall is the office side of the room and where I spend a majority of my time!
We sold our heavy, clunky black desk (that I never liked) after finding this sleek and simple white version on clearance at a local store. We currently have the desk positioned flat against the wall, but it can rotate into an L formation, making it a super flexible furniture piece for our lifestyle!
The shelves attached to the desk are a bit low to fit in any storage systems, but since we use the nearby armoire for supplies, they work great for holding books and decorative boxes (for receipts and paperwork).
A new office chair was on the “To Find” list when I dragged this one down from our dining room. The height and size and comfort were perfect…so it stayed!
This spot is where I sit and work at all hours of the day…early in the morning, while Henry’s at school and late into the night. Photos are edited, posts are written, printables are designed, and emails are responded to all right here. Admittedly, this spot is usually running over with printable drafts, to-do lists and project notes, but my planner and thrifted To-Do memo holder help me keep track of the important stuff!
To keep my work surfaces as clear as possible, I like to pin things up whenever I can. As such, I created this extra-large pin board to go over the desk. Not only does it provide a major punch of color for this side of the room, but it also gives me ample space to keep track of ideas, papers, my blog schedule and more. I use the heck out of this pin board and dry-erase surface. My only regret? The bright pink…I’m not sure I really made it work.
In recent weeks, I’ve been reflecting on our year here and the projects/room makeovers I was able to accomplish. It doesn’t feel like I’ve done all that much, but when I do these room recap posts, I’m reminded (and kind of blown away) of how far we really have come in less than a year. More than any other room in this house, this one was pretty much made from scratch since moving in last June, with very little carried over from our last house.
I’ve done my best to round-up the products used in this space. If there is something I’ve overlooked, let me know in the comments!
Acrylic drawer organizers – Amazon (but no longer available)
New Projects In This Space Since Moving to Kansas
Over the years, I learned a lot from my past craft/office spaces and was able to course correct this time around. I am just so pleased with how this space both looks and functions. I am sure to make some adjustments in our next home, but fingers crossed I can carry this space forward as is!
I’d love to know what you think of this space! Any favorite parts or projects or solutions you would have never considered?
I hope you all have a great weekend! Next week, I’ll be back with my next Organize This project and an awesome DIY art project I am SO excited about! See you then!
In the flurry of moving into a new home, there are often lots of things that are decided, done, and made in a relatively quick fashion…mostly for the sake of getting a room usable as soon as possible. Despite our best efforts to take it slow and make smart and budget-wise design decisions, there are times when we act quickly and take the easiest route just to check a particular project off the never-ending To Do List. Today’s sofa table project is one that we somewhat hastily put together almost as soon as we moved in last summer (so that we’d have somewhere for lamps and drinks). I was going to share it here, but then wasn’t sure how much of a success the table actually was so I pushed it to the back of the queue. But now that it’s been a year, I can confidently say that this quick IKEA hack sofa table worked pretty darn good for us…and should you need a quick and easy sofa table in your own home, you might consider giving this idea a try!
Mostly due to the location of the cable hookups (opposite the window) but also because of the large cabinet and shelf we needed to put in this room, I knew relatively quickly we were going to have to float the couch away from the window toward the center of the room. I really liked that this arrangement provided some visual depth, allowed our two furniture pieces to fit in each corner, and left enough space to hang floor-length curtains. However, this arrangement also prevented the use of traditional side tables…there just wasn’t enough space. Drinks and other accessories could be placed on the coffee tables, but what about lamps? A sofa table was the ideal solution!
In all the photos I’ve shared of our living room over the past year, I’ve never really shown nor called attention to what we were using along the back of the couch. Yet even though it’s super basic and relatively boring, this simple sofa table worked exactly as intended: in the most narrow and inconspicuous way possible, it provided a surface for lamps, remotes, a few accessories and drinks.
Originally I had planned to make a sofa table by adding the IKEA legs (that we already had on hand) to a stained plank of wood. From a design perspective, that would have certainly been preferable. But as I was standing in the aisle at IKEA, crossing a bunch of other items off my list, I saw the IKEA Lack shelf and knew I could have this project done and in place quicker than even driving to the hardware store for the wood…much less in the time required for cutting, sanding, staining and edging. So the Lack shelf came home with me; and within about 10 minutes, we had a sofa table in place!
Yep – you read that right! This sofa table is made from a 74″ Lack Shelf and four Nipen Legs, all from IKEA. We simply turned the shelf over and used the included screws to attach the legs to the four corners with an electric screwdriver. No cutting, no measuring…10 minutes!
So why was I so hesitant to share this project all those months ago? Well…as you can imagine from the picture below, this table is not the sturdiest. Because the tall legs are so close together, the table tipped pretty easily when we first put it together and stood it up. In fact, I was worried we’d be constantly knocking it over each time we sat down on the couch.
But snug up against our couch, this table never budged! It never tipped, never wobbled…even with Henry building forts under it from behind the couch! This spur-of-the-moment, 10-minute sofa table made from a shelf turned out to be one of the most functional things we did in this space!
We try to make careful and budget-savvy decisions when it comes to buying and making things for our home(s). But when faced with setting up a home quickly and for such a short time, it can also be hard to linger over decisions or make big investments when there is no way of knowing what we’ll need next time. Pairing an inexpensive shelf with some table legs solved our side table problem without committing us to another big, more permanent piece of furniture! In fact, we can easily disassemble this table and re-use the shelf and legs in other ways in future homes. However, I’m so smitten with the functionality of a sofa table (versus side tables), I just might intentionally setup our next space so we have to use it again!
If you’re faced with an awkward room arrangement that doesn’t allow for side tables, I highly suggest giving a sofa table a try. If you can’t find one in the exact dimensions you need, consider combining a basic shelf with table legs to make your own. Even if you choose alternate IKEA elements or different shelf/legs all together…you can quickly and easily make a functional sofa table using the same method as we’ve shown here!
This is the final project I’ll be sharing in this room…and in a few weeks, I’ll give you the full “final” tour! Next up though, is my office/craft room reveal this Thursday! See you then!
How on earth is it June already?!?! Before I dive into more room reveals and some final projects from our Kansas house, I thought I’d take my usual monthly pause to alert you to the posts, projects and articles I’ve had go live around the web recently! There’s lots of goodies in today’s post. And just a friendly reminder: these posts will never appear here on THIHM, so I’d really appreciate it if you click over and support the work that makes what I do here possible!
A bunch of my ForRent.com articles finally went live this month so I’ve got a long list for you to click through today! There’s all sorts of renter-friendly ideas and advice in these posts; but even if you’re not a renter, I’m sure you’ll find things you can apply to your own living situation!
The projects I make for the My Daily Bubble blog are always quick, easy and just a fun project to fill up a rainy afternoon! We used these note cards as end-of-the-year teacher gifts; and the cord organizer is the perfect accessory to keep your cords organized on your travels this summer!
I’m super thrilled to be joining Mique’s team of contributors over on 30 Handmade Days! Her site is filled with so many fun projects and ideas that you could get lost for hours! She’s getting ready to launch her Funner in the Summer series, so be sure to stop by regularly!