OMBRE GALLERY WALL

Ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com)Did you guys see my home office tour? I just wanted to share a little more about the ombre gallery wall that hangs above my file cabinets. And I have to confess to you guys, this was not the first idea I tried in this space.

Bulletin boardI posted the above photo on my IG a few months ago, and behind that mostly gone green smoothie is a big hand-painted bulletin board I had installed in the same area that my ombre gallery wall now hangs.

My thinking was, I like having lists, notes, and calendars hanging nearby as I work as it helps me stay on track and remember little details (like what size to save cookbook photos to vs. images I’m saving for the blog, etc.). I also already had a white painted bulletin board that I had inherited from the studio house move. So I decided to paint some circles on it that matched the colors in my office and hang it up. The result: I liked it, but not for very long.

Ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com) Ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com) After living with the bulletin board for a few months, I decided it felt too messy and clutter-y for my space. I wanted something colorful but with cleaner lines and a modern feel. I also quickly realized that I only used about 1/5 of the bulletin for notes or lists. The rest I would sometimes pin random things to, or just leave completely empty.

And that’s when the idea for this ombre gallery wall came to me. I also sort of love having more photos of friends, family, and trips I’ve been on hung nearby the space I am most often in – my office chair. Just reminds me how good life is right now.

It’s no secret that we at ABM love Canon USA, and I worked with them on this project. I used my PIXMA MG7720 (it’s gold!) to print my photos. I love that I can print 4×6 photos so quickly from home! I printed all of these as well as my vacation pictures from Chile in no time at all, and I had a lot of vacation pictures. 🙂

Anyway, this isn’t one of those DIY projects that is super complicated. You can probably pretty much guess how to achieve this look just by looking at my wall. But I thought I’d share a few tips that helped me make this project SUPER easy.

 

Print your photosSupplies:
-printed photos
-photo frames (I used 16 square frames I bought at 50% off at a box craft store.)
-poster board or enough colored papers to fill the frames
-scissors
-ruler
-glue dots
-level (you can download one on your smartphone if needed)
-command strips

I used poster paper in four different colors going from red to pink to a warm cream tone. Using poster papers made the project a little more economical (and I needed it, since I decided to buy 16 frames as well!), and then you can cut them to fit whatever size frames you prefer. I bought my poster paper at a local art shop, as they had a wider variety of colors to choose from than many of the craft supply stores I usually frequent.

Assemble the framesStep One: Cut your colored papers to fit each frame. Be sure to plan out how many of each color you need to give your gallery wall that ombre effect.

Step Two: Print, and if needed, cut your photos.

Step Three: Assemble each frame with the colored papers and photos. I used a ruler to find the middle of each colored paper and then used a couple of glue dots to stick my photo in place.

Hang the framesStep Four: Hang your picture frames. Since I was hanging 16 frames in all, I decided to use command strips because I didn’t want to put that many holes into my drywall. I own my home, so I technically CAN put holes in my wall, but since I know myself well enough to know that I’ll probably change this wall sometime in the next couple of years (I just like change – don’t judge me!), I didn’t want to have to repair and repaint my wall that much. If you prefer to hang your picture frames with nails and a hammer, go for it! But I personally love command strips.

I also highly recommend using a level to make sure you hang your frames straight. It’s tempting to just eyeball it, but with this many frames, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Emma's ombre gallery wall (via abeautifulmess.com)Once you have them hung, you’re done! This project is simple and can be done relatively quickly (probably took me about 3 hours total once I had my supplies, and I work kind of slow when I’m hanging things), but I just love how it turned out in my space. Thanks for letting me share! xx. 

ABM OFFICES – PROGRESS REPORT

ABM offices Sharing a little progress report from the ABM headquarters today! As some of you might remember, the official ABM offices are located above the Golden Girl Rum Club in downtown Springfield, MO. Our office team moved in last fall. Given that we are a small team with a LOT going on all the time, we didn’t get to devote much time to this space for some months, but we’ve been adding some touches here and there. I thought it would be fun to update you all on our progress.

Last time we shared this space, it was just an itty bitty mini tour during a Casual Friday post last November. So I thought I’d share a few photos I snapped of this part of the building just after we bought it last year.

ABM office building before ABM office building before The previous building owner had been trying to rent out this space as a one bedroom loft. But given that our business partners from the bar and we ourselves needed office space, we all knew that we’d be converting this space into offices soon.

The building was already in great shape throughout. The upstairs loft already had lovely wood floors, high ceilings, and big beautiful windows. So mainly we just refreshed the walls with white paint, added a cement floor to the front which was something required by the city, and then moved in. Since then we’ve been trying to add our own touches to the space AND make it more functional as a shared office area.

ABM breakroom area ABM office common area ABM office progressABM office common area ABM office common areaIn the front of the loft, just as you walk in from the stairs leading up to the space, we’ve created a kind of common room area that can also be used for meetings when necessary. We have a break room spot with a refrigerator (from our last studio), sink and bar area, and coffee cart. There are already a few great coffee shops near the offices, so this space doesn’t get used as often as our last studio, where you could not walk to a great coffee shop around the corner. 🙂

There is a sofa that Jeremy left us from his previous studio before he moved to Nashville, and it’s actually the SAME sofa Trey and I have in our home. Ha!

And then there is also this overflow work desk with a big, blank wall above it. The blank wall is actually intentional as we installed a projector on the opposite wall. Our thought was you could show presentations or other meeting materials from this spot, but so far we’ve mainly used it to watch movies and music videos after office hours. 🙂

ABM office building before The room that our team works out of used to be the bedroom in this loft, but we’ve converted it to shared office space for Trey, Jacki, Philip, and our newest team member, Claire.

Again, this space was already pretty great with really nice wood floors and a built-in shelf unit that actually works really well as desk and storage space. Mainly we’ve added some aesthetic touches and refreshed the walls with white paint to brighten everything up a little.

ABM offices ABM officesTrey's desk areaTrey GeorgeClaire's desk areaClaireTrey built his own desk, and then we had an identical one built for Claire before she started. Now you might be wondering, who’s Claire? She is our new business development manager (you can read more about our staff here) and is taking over Trey’s previous position as he is transitioning to focus all his time on our apps. We feel SO lucky to have found Claire, as she is already a great fit and I’m SO excited to see more time get devoted to our apps. I think this is a total win, win for our companies.

Jacki's desk areaJacki Moseley ABM offices Jacki and Philip use the desk areas near the built in. Although Philip wasn’t there the day we snapped these photos. I love how Jacki added this adorable print of her dog, Kingston, to her space. She is a gal after my own heart – dog people unite! 🙂

This space already feels 100x more functional as a shared office area than when we moved in, but I think we’ve still got a bit more work to do before it will feel “finished”. If a space is ever truly finished, that is.

 

5 WAYS TO MAKE A BORING PEGBOARD ON FLEEK!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   If you have a craft space in your house (or a work room of any sort), chances are that you are making use of a good old fashioned pegboard to keep your supplies organized. Pegboards can be so helpful, right? The only downside to a pegboard is that sometimes they can feel a little unfinished or industrial, and that might not be the vibe you are going for in your carefully curated space. I know I have been hesitant to put one into my new craft room for fear it would mess up my girly pink and white vibe I have going on… Fear not! Here are 5 ways to take a simple pegboard from boring to babe:

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   1. Frame it! One of the things that bothered me the most about the classic pegboard setup is that it looks a little unfinished when it’s just hung on the wall as is. Building a frame is a great way to give a finished look to the edges so your pegboard looks more polished. If you aren’t into building your own, you can also have a custom frame built for it at a framing shop or buy as large a frame as you can find and then cut your pegboard to that size.

To build my frame, I basically used this DIY frame method but also cut a thinner set of boards the same length as the boards for my main frame. When I lined up the smaller boards on the outside edge of the back of the frame, it created a little inside lip for my pegboard to sit in nice and cozy! 

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   Once I had my pegboard cut to the inside frame width (they can do that for you at the store), I placed it into the back of the frame and used a staple gun to attach it to the lip of the frame that sits under the pegboard. Add some hangers and you’re ready to hang!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   2. Paint it! Don’t forget that just because pegboards come in brown, that doesn’t mean they have to stay brown! A few coats of paint in a color that compliments your room will also really help integrate it into your space and decor. I would paint the frame and pegboard before putting them together – it will make the job a lot easier (especially if you aren’t painting them the same color). I chose a pale pink for my board that I’ve used a lot in this house called Baby Blush by Valspar. So much cuter!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   3. Add some pattern! While you could definitely paint a large scale pattern on the pegboard to give it some new life, try adding removable wallpaper to a few items for a pop of print! I love hanging my big cutting mats on a pegboard, and I added this Chasing Paper design to the back of one of them – I love it!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   4. Accessorize it (with your color theme)! So obviously if you have this giant pegboard, you want to use the giant pegboard, right? Since all the items are going to basically be displayed on the board, it’s a great idea to choose tools that will help carry on your color scheme! Don’t forget the Internet is a big place – if you don’t see the perfect color of scissors and what not at your craft store, take your shopping to the world wide web!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   5. Go a little green! If this is all about making your pegboard as cute as possible, then I just have to add some tiny plants into the mix! Most pegboard accessory kits will come with cup-like containers, and they are perfect for holding little succulents or air plants. If you are worried about watering them, then get some faux plants, put them up high, and no one will ever know, but you’ll still get that pop of fresh green!

5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more   5 Ways to Make A Boring Pegboard On Fleek! (click through for more    All in all, adding this pegboard has helped so much organizationally (especially for items like cutting mats and rulers that are kind of awkward to store). And of course I love that it both allows me to keep essential items accessible while still matching the overall feel of the room. So banish those thoughts of dingy pegboards gathering dust in a dark basement or garage, this pegboard is cute enough to be in any room of the house! xo. 

IKEA RESTYLE: MODERN HOLLYWOOD REGENCY CREDENZA

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Lately it seemed that every improvement I made to our living room was eclipsed by the plastic toy storage bins that lined the entry to the room. Sure, they kept the toys at bay, but they definitely detracted from our enjoyment of the space. You see, we have just one room in our home to relax together as a family, so just one chance at creating a pleasant space for reading, working, hosting gatherings, watching television, and, if you’re a 4-year-old, playing with toys. I figured it’s only fair to let the kids keep a lot of toys in our living room, but you know what they say about when Mama’s happy! So I set out to make our toy storage situation much easier on the eyes. Ikea provided a great starting point, and after a few tweaks, I now have a credenza that I’ll enjoy using in any room in the future! Lots of style and loads of storage. Win/win!

I started out with a row of plain white upper cabinets from the Ikea Sektion system and chose the least expensive door option. There are quite a few size options, and by combining cabinets, you can completely customize the size of your credenza. Change up the colors, knobs, and top material, and you can make this Ikea restyle easily fit in with your own style and home!

Before-and-afterI’m so pleased with how sophisticated this cabinet looks after the restyle! Sure, it could have been a more dramatic change with different paint colors or some funkier knobs, but this is exactly what I wanted, and it fits our space (and our budget!) perfectly. Check out how I did it below.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Materials:
-1/4″ plywood sheet cut into rectangles*
-2 1×8 pieces of lumber cut to the total length of your cabinet (I used clear pine.)
-cabinet knobs with screws (I used these.)
–construction adhesive
–paintable caulk (Optional if you are very picky or do not have good clamps or weights for step one. I didn’t end up using caulk.)
–120 grit sandpaper
–400 grit wet/dry sandpaper (not pictured)
–0000 grade steel wool (not pictured – for polyurethane finished pieces only)
-paint + primer for cabinet doors
-stain + sealant of choice for countertop finish (I used diluted white paint and satin polyurethane.)

Tools:
-power drill
-caulk gun
-sanding block (I used one of my children’s play blocks with stick-back sandpaper)
-spring clamps (these are good) or heavy weights (cinder blocks, bricks, paint cans, weights, etc.)

*Cutting the Plywood

The amount of plywood sheets you need depends on the size of your credenza. The orientation of the grain is unimportant for the final piece (unless you’re staining your doors), so feel free to cut your rectangular pieces along the grain or against the grain as needed in order to get the most out of the sheet. Plywood sheets measure 48″ x 96″, but you should consider the 1/8″ thickness of the saw blade when figuring how many rectangles you can get out of one sheet.

You will need two rectangles for each cabinet door. The first rectangle should be exactly two inches smaller than the dimensions of your cabinet door (W-2″ x L-2″), and the second rectangle should be exactly four inches smaller (W-4″ x L-4″). I was able to use one sheet of plywood to get all of the rectangles I needed for my project.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step One: Apply construction adhesive to the back of your plywood rectangles and place them centered perfectly onto the front of your cabinet doors. I recommend that you measure as you go, or else place one-inch scrap pieces of wood around the border, ensuring the panels are perfectly centered. Did I do this? No. I just eyeballed it, chiding myself throughout the entire project, though at the end I was very pleased to see that they all seem pretty perfectly centered!

Place pressure along the entire surface of the panels, causing the glue to spread in between the layers. Then clamp all around the edge of the panels until the glue sets up completely. I couldn’t find information about the setup time for the adhesive I used, so I left my clamps on for a few hours, then took them off to work on the next door. (I have enough clamps to do three doors at a time. Most normal people probably do not have so many clamps, so this step might be more drawn out for you as you wait for each door’s glue to set up.)

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step Two: After the glue has completely set up, use a sanding block to sand each level of the paneled door, including the factory-finished surface. I slightly rounded the corners of the plywood panels, just in general making sure that everything was smooth, chip-free, and not sharp. I recommend using a block for this for a more precise sanding job. An orbital sander is not a good choice for this step, because it is too powerful and difficult to control.

If your panels do not sit perfectly flush all around the edges, this is the point where you will want to apply caulk to fill in any cracks. Allow the caulk to cure before continuing to the next step.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step Three: Paint and prime or stain and seal all components of the cabinet.

I edge glued my two 1x8s that I used for a countertop, sanded it down on the top and sides, and white-washed it with a diluted white paint I already had on hand. Then I sealed it with a few coats of satin polyurethane. After the first coat of polyurethane, I sanded lightly with 0000 grade steel wool. I also lightly sanded with 0000 grade steel wool after the last coat of polyurethane.

For the painting process of the doors, I first sprayed them liberally with two coats of primer, and then wet sanded all the crevices and surfaces with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. Wet sanding is simply a process of frequently dunking your sandpaper into water and using the wet sandpaper to sand down the primed surface using the water as a lubricant. This process creates an amazingly silky smooth finish, free of any tiny bumps or roughness that naturally occur during the priming process (whether you’ve sprayed or brushed it on). Because some areas will no longer be primed after wet sanding, you’ll want to spray with another coat or two of primer, and then just lightly wet sand once more before painting with your finish paint. I used a satin finish spray paint for my two coats of paint.

During this time I also painted my door knobs because they were unfinished wood. They were primed and wet sanded just like the doors.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Step Four: I waited for the door paint to cure overnight before drilling into them to add the knobs. I marked the center of the doors on their backside and drilled the hole for the screw. I made sure to find the center on the non-paneled side in case my panels weren’t perfectly centered, so at least my knobs would be exactly centered and in line with the adjacent doors. Then I screwed the knobs into place and returned the doors to the cabinet, but not without a little squeal and hand clap, maybe.

Note: You may want to countersink your screw holes so the screw head will be flush with the cabinet door. I didn’t do this, and a couple of the containers that fit perfectly into my cabinet actually don’t let the doors close all the way because the screw head is too big! Gah! Now I have to take off the doors and the knobs and countersink the holes. Bummer, dude.

Ikea Toy Cabinet RestyleBecause this credenza is currently functioning solely as a toy storage unit, I opted not to add legs to the bottom. Elevating the cabinet would just create a difficult-to-reach space where toys can easily become trapped, along with spiders and dust bunnies. But the cabinets are easily anchored together, making this a sturdy piece to attach a set of stylish legs to the bottom. I did add thick felt pads to the bottom four corners of each cabinet in order to lift them slightly, keeping the doors from scraping the floor as they open. We decided not to bolt the cabinets together because we wanted them to remain hole-free, should we decide to reconfigure this piece in our next space.

Modern Regency Cabinet made from plain white Ikea cabinets! Click through for the tutorial.Ikea Cabinet RestyleI’m already enjoying this room so much more, without a row of plastic toy bins greeting me upon entry. Bonus: My kids don’t pull out as many toys at once because there is now a door between them and all the toy bins. I guess it’s the same principle I apply with candy in the kitchen. (Don’t tell the kids about my super secret candy hiding spot out of sight in our upper cabinets!)

Ikea Toy Cabinet RestyleAnother successful Ikea restyle for the books, I’d say! Check out Laura’s easy TV cabinet restyleshe did recently too. So many options – I love it! 

SCANDINAVIAN WALL ART DIY

5I’m a big fan of making your own wall art when you’re looking to fill a space or add some interest to a room. I’m also a fan of that sweet spot where those hippy vibes intersect with Scandinavian design and birth something a little bit of both! Can we call it Hippy-Scandi? Did we just make that up? Get me to the patent office! 

This project would work beautifully in a living room or studio, but it would also be precious for a nursery (as long as it wasn’t hanging within reach). I created this almost exclusively from supplies I had leftover from other DIY projects, but you can also find each of these items at most hobby stores or online. It’s the type of project that would be even more fun to make if you ordered enough for all of your friends to come over and have a ladies’ craft night! 

2SuppliesSupplies:
-one 12″ wood embroidery hoop (only the inner ring)
-one 1/2″ x 12″  brass tubing
-one 16ga. (0.051″) flat brass circle
-one 1″ x 8″ strip of cowhide
-four 1.5″ wooden beads
-one small skein of ecru cotton yarn
-one small skein peach cotton yarn 
–small pipe cutter
-3″ embroidery needle (not shown)
-hammer
-nail
-awl (optional)
-scissors 

1-2Step One: Prep your brass circle by hammering a nail clean through it somewhere near the edge. Make sure it’s not TOO close to the edge. Be aware of your surface under the brass circle so you don’t get a hole through your hardwood floors, too. I suggest either a self-healing mat or a piece of scrap wood. Then nail a hole in the opposite side of the brass circle.

Step Two: Use your awl and punch a hole through each end of your leather strap about 1/2″ from the end as shown. If you don’t have an awl, go ahead and use your hammer and nail again. 

3-4Step Three: Cut two inches off of your brass pipe with your pipe cutter so that it sits near the bottom 1/3 of your embroidery hoop. You might want to incorporate the scrap piece in another part of your mobile or a different piece altogether. You’ll only be using the inner wooden circle of your embroidery hoop for this piece.

Step Four: Wrap your peach cotton yarn around your hand about 30 times as shown. 

5-6Step Five: Cut your wrapped yarn at one end and then tie it with another piece of yarn at the fold. Continue making your tassel by tying around the folded strings and tying another knot. This will get trimmed up later. 

Step Six: Place everything as you’d like it to be strung together to make sure you’re happy with it. 

7-8Step Seven: Tie a length of ecru cotton yarn through your brass circle and tie a knot with a 6″ tail. Stitch both of those ends through the first wooden bead and then tie those ends around your wooden hoop and tie a knot to secure things. You want your bead to be almost flush with the wooden hoop. Stitch the longer end of your yarn through the next three wooden beads.

Step Eight: Stitch through one end of the leather strap from the inside, and then wrap around one side of the leather strap and stitch through the same place. Wrap around the other side of your leather strap and then back down through the hole of the top wooden bead as shown. 

9-10Step Nine: Stitch through the other side of your leather strap from the inside. 

Step Ten: Wrap it around one side of your leather strap and stitch through the same place. Wrap around the other side of your leather strap and then stitch through the wooden bead again. 

11-12Step Eleven: This is how it should look so far. This will keep your leather strap secured around the top wooden bead.

Step Twelve: Stitch down through the next bead and then the next bead. Tie a knot around the wooden hoop and then hide the end by tucking it back up through the wooden bead. It shouldn’t show.

13-14Step Thirteen: This is how your beaded hanger should look. Tie your peach tassel onto the bottom of your brass circle. 

Step Fourteen: Cut a 4′ length of ecru cotton yarn and stitch it through your length of brass pipe. Tie a knot around one side of the wooden hoop and tuck the short end back into the brass pipe. Tie the other long end of the yarn around the other side of the hoop but don’t trim.

15Step Fifteen: Wrap the rest of your ecru cotton yarn around the wood hoop until you have a 3″ tail. Then make three more tassels, one of which is twice as long as the other two. Tie them onto the bottom of the hoop as shown. Trim the ends to about 1/2″ long.  

Cut another 4′ length of ecru cotton yarn and tie one end to the tail of the first one. Trim the ends to about 1/2″ and then wrap over the top of them so they are hidden and continue wrapping until you have about 3″ of a tail left. Repeat until you reach the other end of your brass pipe and be sure you wrap around the peach ends so they can’t be seen. Tuck your tail through the brass pipe again. Trim your tassels so that they are even and balanced.

7There are so many ways you can manipulate these supplies to create similar designs. The larger the beads and brass, the more interesting this piece gets. Where would you hang it?

HOW MY MOOD BOARD KEEPS ME INSPIRED

How my mood board keeps me inspiredNow, I’m a huge fan of Pinterest, and I have my fair share of project inspiration folders scattered all over my desktop… and my phone. 

But even still, there is just SOMETHING about tangible, physical inspiration that stands the test of time. This is why I still buy design and art books, and it’s why I couldn’t wait to put up an inspiration board in my office! 

Today we’re partnering with our friends from Canon USA to share why making a mood board in your workspace can keep you fresh and inspired! 

Canon_Printer
As per usual, I used my favorite printer—the PIXMA iP8720. I love it because I can print a whole bunch of photos at once on my 13×19 paper, which is perfect for making mood boards! I typically use the Luster paper because the color comes out so lovely on it. 

How my mood board keeps me inspired This is my autumn mood board. It’s full of memories, color, texture and photos that are inspiring to me right now! 

The best advice I have ever heard about keeping a mood board (and forgive me, I can’t remember where I picked this up) is to change it up whenever you stop “seeing it”. You know how if you leave something in a room for long enough (whether it’s beautiful or a mess), you eventually stop noticing that it’s even there? That’s when you know it’s time to refresh your mood board. 

I like to do it every season, but if I’m designing product or in another big project, I might do it as often as every month. 

Keep your mood board personalized, fresh and surprising! 

How my mood board keeps me inspired How my mood board keeps me inspired Here’s a list of the kinds of things I collect for my mood board: 

-Favorite photos and memories 
-Vintage inspiration 
-Textiles and colors that inspire me 
-Color, pattern and texture 

How my mood board keeps me inspired How my mood board keeps me inspired I hope this post inspires you to set aside some time to create a mood board for your own workspace. The older I get, the more I realize that my dad’s frequent quote, “You don’t have time, you make time.” is so true. I never HAVE time to do fun creative projects, I have to set it aside and guard it with a vengeance! 

 

TRANSFORMABLE HAIRPIN LEG DESKTOP DIY

11Some of my favorite DIYs have been born from the need to solve a problem. In this instance, my problem was needing more tabletop space in a studio that was always needing to be rearranged depending on the task at hand. As it usually happens, I realized it would be easier for me to build my own and get exactly what I needed than to pay top dollar for something that mostly worked. I thought about it for weeks before coming up with a way to make a transformable desktop that would not only be easy to adjust by myself, it would be simple enough for you to build without owning a lot of power tools. I’m so proud of how this one turned out!

12Some days I need as much floor space as possible to work on a DIY, so a corner workspace made the most sense. Other days my husband needs a space to have a conference call or finish a project for grad school, so we both need a clear work surface at the same time. I’ve also been using this space for my first employee (yay!) to put together fiber packs and package looms, so I need a long surface for those assembly line days. This transformable desk is perfect because it is made of two pieces of plywood on each side that overlap like a perfect puzzle piece in the middle. You can have a corner workspace one day and an extra long workspace the next. Thanks to the beauty of powder coated hairpin legs, my new desktop space looks like a million bucks and retains that light, airy feel needed in such a small room.

12SuppliesSupplies:
-one 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ sheet of Purebond plywood. This specific plywood is thick enough for a beautiful desktop but is also formaldehyde free, so you can breathe easy. You’ll want to get this cut in half lengthwise so that you get two 2′ x 8′ lengths. Then cut each of those lengths at the 5′ mark so that you end up with two 2′ x 3′ cuts and two 2′ x 5′ cuts as shown above.
–six powder coated hairpin legs
–24 #6 x 3/4″ flathead screws
-10 #6 x 1 1/4″ flathead screws
–four 1/4″ 20 x 13mm threaded insert nuts
–four 1/4″ 20 x 1 1/4″ flathead machine screws
–1 qt. Varathane Triple Thick Polyurethane in semi-gloss or preferred sealer
–Gorilla wood glue
–3″ natural bristle brush
–power drill
-5/16″ drill bit
-1/8″ drill bit
–orbital sander (optional)
-80 grit sandpaper
-120 grit sandpaper
-clamps (optional)
-hammer
-2 to 4 clamps (optional)
–carpenter’s square ruler
-pen

1Here’s a visual on the threaded insert nuts that you’ll need. They allow the two pieces to be screwed together and unscrewed a number of times without stripping the wood. Shout out to Dustin Stewart for introducing me to these little workhorses.

1-2Your one sheet of 3/4″ x 4′ x 8′ Purebond plywood should already have been cut at the lumber store so that you end up with two 2′ x 3′ pieces and two 2′ x 5′ pieces. This plywood has a birch veneer (blonde), but you can see the other side has a reddish finish. Pay attention to the sides you want to use as you are glueing and screwing all of your pieces together for consistency’s sake.

Step One: This step is merely to double check your angles are all nearly perfect before gluing in place. Place one piece of 2′ x 5′ on the floor. It doesn’t matter which side is up since this will be the bottom piece and it will not show. Then place a 2′ x 3′ piece of wood on top of it so that three of the edges are flush. Be sure you have the blonde side up.

Step Two: Place your second 2′ x 3′ cut of wood down so that it creates a right angle with the 2′ x 5′ cut of wood from Step One. This bottom piece will not show so it doesn’t matter which side is up.

3-Step Three: Place the second 2′ x 5′ piece of wood on top of the piece from Step Three. Be sure the blonde side is right side up. Check to see that all edges are flush with each other and fit tightly together where they overlap.

4.Step Four: Repeat a similar process with all of your pieces but instead of placing them at a right angle, overlap them so that they form a long 2′ x 8′ desktop. Again, you are merely checking to make sure all of your angles are straight and right so that there are no gaps. If there should be one piece that is shorter than the other, fit things together so that there are no gaps where everything overlaps and just sand down or cut off the overlap on the outer edge.

5-6Step Five: Pull your separate puzzle pieces apart. Place Gorilla glue intermittently around the space where your 2′ x 3′ cut of wood will rest on top of your 2′ x 5′ cut of wood. Gently place your 2′ x 3′ cut of wood on top of your 2′ x 5′ cut and make sure your three edges are flush. You can clamp these together if you have clamps available, but you can also skip that and move quickly to the next step.

Step Six: Measure in 6″ x 6″ from each corner of your 2′ x 3′ and pre-drill a hole that drills into the 2′ x 5′ plywood beneath it but doesn’t go through it. You don’t want holes coming through your desktop! You can measure about 1 1/4″ from the bottom of your drill bit and mark that spot with tape so that you don’t press to far. Repeat this process of measuring and pre-drilling holes in all four corners of your top 2′ x 5′ cut of wood (which is the bottom of your table on that side), and then make a mark in the center and pre-drill a hole there as well.

7-8Step Seven: Use a screwdriver or the appropriate bit to screw five of your #6 x 1 1/4″ screws into these holes. This will secure the two pieces of wood together. If any glue squeezes out between the two pieces, quickly wipe it off with a wet paper towel or sand it off later. Repeat the process with the two other pieces of wood. You will likely have to flip them over at some point in this process to get to the bottom sides where you’ll screw them together. Just be sure you keep the blonde sides of the wood on the unscrewed side of both pieces.

Step Eight: Fit the two pieces together so that they overlap at a right angle. They should both be upside down at this point. Measure out a perfect square so that it’s centered where the two pieces overlap. It needs to be perfectly centered, so measure twice (or three times).

9-10Step Nine: Just for visual’s sake, I’ve drawn where the square needs to be positioned when you remove the two puzzle pieces so you can see how you’ll be drilling through the top one and halfway into the bottom one.

Step Ten: Prep your drill with the 5/16″ drill bit and mark it with tape so that you only drill down about 1 1/4″. With your two puzzle pieces still overlapping, pre-drill a hole in each corner of your square. Wiggle it around a bit as you drill out of it to give yourself a slightly larger hole. This will help your threaded inserts to go in but still fit snugly.

11-12Step Eleven: Separate the two puzzle pieces where they overlap. Set aside the piece that you drilled straight through. Hammer your threaded inserts into the piece that you didn’t drill all the way through. They need to be flush with your wood.

Step Twelve: Place the two puzzle pieces back together as they were in Step Ten and screw the two pieces together with your four 1/4″ x 20 x 1 1/4″ flat head screws. This will bolt your two puzzle pieces together in the center. You should be able to unscrew these, place your two table pieces into a long table shape, and bolt them together again through the same screw holes as long as your measurements were centered.

13-14Step Thirteen: With your tabletop still upside down, measure 1 1/2″ in from each corner on both short ends and mark where your screw holes will be for those four hairpin legs.

Step Fourteen: For a stable table, you’ll need two hairpin legs attached to the area where the pieces overlap. For this design to look nice and be stable in both a corner position and a long position, I suggest placing your last two hairpin legs centered over the square you drew so that they are about 1/2″ away from the square and facing each other. Mark your holes, pre-drill about 3/4″ deep, place your legs in the appropriate places, and then screw them in.

The final steps include sanding your table down on the tops and edges with an orbital sander or by hand using two different grades of sandpaper. Then wipe the table with a damp cloth and apply your stain, paint, or polyurethane following manufacturer’s directions. I chose a poly because I love the look of natural blonde wood, but you may prefer a darker stain or even a painted tabletop. Just be sure you stain or paint all of the edges when they are not bolted together because if you transform them, different edges will be showing.

89I designed this table knowing I’d use these beautiful mint hairpin legs from DIY Hairpin Legs. I’ve always used vintage black legs but have noticed my style moving away from such an industrial feel. These still have that mid-century charm with a bit of polish, and since they are powder coated, the color won’t scratch off like they would if they were just spray painted. This table may look dainty, but it’s a workhorse!

67Once you are ready to transform your desk from one shape to another, clear your desk top, unscrew the four center bolts, reposition your two ends so that the holes align again, and screw it back together. It allows for a beautiful desktop space by keeping it’s lovely lines in either position.

12All in all, this project may end up costing about $225 as long as you already have the power tools and a brush. You’ll end up with tons of polyurethane left over for other woodworking projects, too. The legs are the most expensive part of this table, but I also think they add the most impact for making this look like a polished, finished piece of furniture. THE GOOD NEWS is that DIY Hairpin Legs is offering 10% OFF every purchase over $50 through the end of January 2017 when you purchase through this affiliate link.

If you’re not into hairpin legs, you could easily use the same tabletop design and attach a variety of IKEA legs (here, here, or here), or even a drawer unit for an even more customized end result.

I’m so pleased with how this project turned out and hope some of you will enjoy how functional this design is as well! 

TIPS FOR ORGANIZING YOUR CRAFT SPACE

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) If you are a serious or novice crafter, you probably have some sort of craft room or corner of your house devoted to your DIY stash. My office also doubles as my craft room, and since making things is a full time job for me, you can believe I have quite a few supplies on hand. When we first moved into the house a year and a half ago, it took a while for me to figure out where everything should go in the new space. So it was a bit unpleasant working in here until I got it all sorted out. Organization makes life so much easier, you guys! I know it’s a pain to actually DO, but I’m always glad I took the time to do it. Here’s are the top things I use that make my DIY life so much easier…

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Add some shelves: There’s a bit of an odd cubby shape in one wall due to the bathroom closet on the other side, but a previous owner was smart enough to make use of the space by adding in some really simple shelves from floor to ceiling. Shelving is great because you can spread them throughout a room wherever you have the space, and you can stack several above each other like I have. Mine hold a ton of storage boxes and bins, and they have been a big help overall in the hunt to find storage space.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Group (and label) by category: It took a night or two to organize, but I basically spread out all my boxes and containers and then grouped all my items into categories like paint, sewing supplies, tape, glue, jewelry making, leather tools, beauty product ingredients, etc. And yes, it’s totally OK to have a few “miscellaneous” boxes as well if there are items that don’t fit anywhere else. It’s a good idea to have a variety of box sizes since not all your categories will have the same amount of items, and you can also group all your items first into piles, and then go out and get containers in the appropriate size and number. Don’t forget to label your boxes (especially ones that you don’t use everyday) so you can find items quickly when needed.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Keep most used items accessible: There are a few categories that I use the most that I chose to put into drawer-type cube storage for easy access. Having smaller stacked boxes on my shelves keeps items together and organized, but would be a bit annoying if I had to get a box on the top shelf (that’s also under two other boxes) every time I needed glue or tape. So keep your most utilized items within reach.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Make use of hanging storage: Making a large scale pegboard was probably one of the best things I could have done for the craft room overall. There are some items like cutting mats and rulers that are a little awkward to store (they don’t really fit in boxes), so hanging them from the pegboard is the perfect solution. Just use a crop-a-dile or other punch tool to punch one or two holes in a mat and it’s ready to hang! It’s also good for hanging sharp objects like scissors, especially if you need to keep them up high and away from little hands.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!)Use large baskets for rolls: For a while I didn’t really know what to do with large pieces of paper, vinyl, and leather, but I discovered that rolling them up and then using a large basket on the floor is a great way to keep them all together and organized. Some people will store rolls laying down on long shelves so there’s no weight directed on one end of the roll like there is when it’s standing up, but I think you probably don’t have to worry about that unless it’s really special material. It’s also a good option for craft paper or wrapping paper rolls as well.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Find unique storage options: Most craft areas will have their share of easy-to-find storage solutions like shelves, boxes, and cubes, so it’s a good idea to throw an unexpected storage solution into the mix as well. I got these lockers from Elsie when she didn’t have a need for them anymore, and they’ve been such a cute addition to my craft space. I added shelves in some of the compartments to create more levels, and it’s a great place to store some larger items I have like sewing machines, my overhead projectors, print and art papers, or some taller objects that wouldn’t fit into a box. Items like old lockers, card catalogs, or even dressers can be an unexpected way to stay organized while getting a cool piece of furniture into the room as well.

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Spread out when needed: If you don’t have a whole room to devote to DIY supplies, no worries! You can also spread your supplies throughout your space, and as long as you know where to find what, you’ll still feel just as organized. This is a great example of when it might be helpful to have a piece of furniture (like lockers or a dresser) double as craft storage. If you have to keep them in a living room or bedroom area, they will blend right into a room without sticking out as a storage solution. I have a few decorative boxes around our home that are rather unnoticeable to others, but in reality they contain craft supplies I didn’t have room for in the craft room (I have scrapbook supplies and stamps in the grey boxes above). No one needs to know…

Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) Tips for Organizing Your Craft Supplies (click through for more!) I really do think that the more organized you are, the easier simple tasks and life in general becomes. Knowing where to find things and having a home for all your supplies will help you max out on your creative hours instead of spending half of it going, “Now where did I put that…?” Whether you can use one or all of these tips when it comes to organizing your supplies, I hope that it helps you find the best craft space that works for you! xo. 

HOLOGRAPHIC GLITTER ACRYLIC CALENDAR DIY

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)              I don’t know about you, but my life and schedule has felt extra full lately. Maybe it’s because I’m 7 months pregnant, working full time, preparing for baby, completing side projects… phew! I’m tired just thinking about it! Anyway, there have definitely been more appointments and events than usual, so I’ve been wanting to make a calendar for my office to keep track of all the activities. And why make a plain calendar when you can make one with holographic glitter and gold accents?? That’s exactly what I thought too…

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Supplies:
–18×24″ sheet of acrylic (x2)
-hologram paper (like this or this)
-1/2″ long brass machine screws (x4) and corresponding hex nuts (x4) (Your local hardware store should have them.)
-1″ long brass s-hooks (x2)
–gold card stock paper and white card stock paper
–glue dots
–X-Acto knife, metal ruler, and cutting mat
-washi or thin painter’s tape
–1″ circle punch
–drill and drill bit set
-thin brass chain (optional)

See all our must-have craft tools here!

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)            You’ll want to start by removing the protective film from one side of your acrylic sheet. Using washi or painter’s tape, tape off a 12×22″ area at the bottom of your calendar. Cut your hologram paper into 35 rectangles that are 2.25″ wide and a little less than 3″ wide. Space them into 5 rows of 7 and use glue dots to secure them in place. When spacing out things like this, I like to get the top and bottom rows spaced evenly and lined up with the tape marks, then fill in the first and last vertical rows, and then do the middle squares. It helps keep them all spaced out nicely.

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)
Punch out 35 paper circles with your paper punch and use glue dots to affix them into the top left corner of each rectangle (this will be where you can write the date for each day).

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)
Use your gold paper to cut out large letters for the first day of each week. You can also use large gold stickers if you like. I traced some chipboard letters I already had in my scrapbook pile, but you can also pick a font and size you like in Word or Photoshop, reverse the letters, and then print them on the back side of your gold card stock (when you cut them out they will be facing the right way!). 

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Use glue dots to adhere the letters in place. 

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Now that your squares and days of the week are attached, peel off one side of protective plastic from your second piece of acrylic and place it exposed-side down on top of your calendar. Use clamps or painter’s tape to hold the two pieces together while you drill. Use your drill and drill bit that matches the width of your 1/2″ long machine screws (mine were 1/4″ wide so I used a 1/4″ bit) to drill 4 holes about 1″ in from each corner (you can just mark each spot with a marker).

To drill into acrylic, you just need to drill with the drill in reverse and apply a moderate amount of pressure to the plastic as you drill. Speed up if you don’t feel it’s going anywhere, but try not to go faster than you need, as too much speed can melt your plastic a bit (although the head of the machine screw will help cover up hole imperfections). I like to drill with a scrap piece of wood underneath the hole so the drill has something to hit once it’s gone through the plastic. When you have all 4 holes drilled, you can add your hardware to keep it all together.

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Peel back the remaining protective sheets from each corner of your calendar and use a machine screw and hex nut to secure each corner together. If the screw needs a little help going all the way through the hole, you can actually use a screwdriver to screw it in as far as it needs to go (it will self thread into the plastic). On the top two screws, add an s-hook between the back of the acrylic sheet and the hex nut so you have something to hang your calendar from. If you want to add a gold chain, you can also cut a section and hang it from these two hooks as well.

Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)      Hammer in two nails to hang your calendar from, and you’re ready to write in all your important dates!
 
Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           Love this! Acrylic Hologram Calendar DIY (click through for tutorial)           I simply love how this project came out! The glitter effect is even prettier in person, as I’m sure you can imagine, and I think it adds a little something special from just having a plain color or white behind each day. And in case you’re wondering, I know this calendar doesn’t have a month space across the top. I kept playing with proportions to fit the month area and just felt like it looked so much cleaner without that area added, and it makes the big gold day letters the star of the top space. You can totally shrink the size of the squares and the day letters though if you want to add a space for the month—go for it! I always feel like it’s a double win when I can make something that’s helping me keep my life organized and looks pretty too, so this was a big success in my book. xo. Laura

5 WAYS TO UPDATE A THRIFTED PHOTO FRAME

5 Ways to Update an Old Photo Frame (via abeautifulmess.com)5 Ways to Update a Thrifted Frame (via abeautifulmess.com)Let’s start off with a confession: yes, I am changing around my home office area AGAIN. What can I say? I’m one of those types that just loves rearranging furniture or painting things over and over again. My mom and my sister are basically the same way. If you live alone and have an unlimited budget, then this habit is no problem, but for the rest of us, this can sometimes be annoying to the people we live with. And of course, you can’t redo the whole house if you’ve already depleted your decorating budget for the year. Ha! And if you hate to redo things, well, I don’t know what you tell you. 🙂

So, I’m changing around my home office area again. I’ve been working on it for a few months already. If you want to see what it looked like before, check here. I’m not 100% done with the new look, but I promise I’ll share (whether you want me to or not) when it’s done. But today I want to talk photo frames. So get ready! I moved my desk area around, so there’s a LOT more room for bulletin boards, to-do lists, photos, and artwork.

I partnered with our friends from Canon USA on this project. I used my PIXMA TS9020 to print all of the photos in the frames I’m about to share. Most of the photos are black and white, and I love how sharp the blacks print, but a couple are colored and the bright colors truly POP as you can see from the golden creme brûlée photo (a recipe in our upcoming cookbook). But not only is it a great at-home printer for photos and documents—it also matches my new office color scheme (black and white!). So it gets bonus points for that too. 🙂

 

Canon printer5 Ways to Update a Thrifted Frame (via abeautifulmess.com) 5 Ways to Update an Old Photo Frame (via abeautifulmess.com) As you can see, I created a kind of mini gallery wall above my desk area. I love it! It’s bold, stimulating, but also super functional as I check the calendar and to-do lists I hang on the bulletin board daily to keep myself on track. I am a hardcore list-maker and goal-setter, so having places where I can SEE it all at once is something I always like to have in my work spaces.

All of the photo frames in my mini gallery wall I thrifted. I knew I was OK with a few random sizes (and in fact I knew I didn’t want it to look exactly uniform), so I thrifted and used the following few techniques to update the frames. The techniques are SIMPLE. Anyone out there who is all, “I’m not crafty,” this project is still for you. It’s easy and fun.

Ideas for updating a thrifted frameHere are the frames before. They are pretty mismatched and were mostly one or two dollars each. The main thing I look for when thrifting picture frames is that the glass and frame are in good shape (dirt is no problem, but if anything looks cracked or broken, avoid that) and that the back looks easy to open for swapping out the photo/art. Some frames will have hanging hardware or even the entire back papered over. If it’s a great frame and you think you can handle it, go for it, but I tend to stick to frames that look super easy to swap the art out. Just my two cents.

After taking the frames apart and cleaning them, here are five techniques for updating their look.

Add wallpaper1. Add wallpaper.

I like to buy wallpaper samples sometimes just to use for projects, as wrapping for small gifts, or even to hang as artwork itself (see the eye design in my gallery wall, that’s another wallpaper sample). Just use an X-Acto knife to cut the wallpaper to fit the frame and glue in place. Some wallpapers are removable (they are like giant stickers), so those may not need glue at all.

How to marbleHow to marble a picture frame2. Marble the frame.

This one was probably my favorite if I had to pick one. I just love the process, and it’s so fun to pull your frame away and see the results because each time looks a little different. Just follow the directions here for your photo frame. One thing to keep in mind is the colors. If you plan to marble with black and dark colored nail polishes (like I did), then you may want to prime your frame with a coat of white paint first. Otherwise it may not be visible.

Tips for painting a picture frame3. Speaking of priming the frame with paint—the third technique I used was painting the frames.

I know, super simple. But I love that this can give the frames a whole new feeling! Since I was sticking to a mostly black and white theme, I painted my frames part white and part black by using painter’s tape to mask off areas. This gave them a more modern feel. And when you use a little spray paint on an already inexpensive frame (that you thrifted), you end up with a super cute AND super affordable piece.

Add tile4. Add tile.

You can buy just one sheet (one square foot) of tile and get quite a few frames out of it! I bought a sheet of these small, rectangle marble tiles and simply glued them to my primed frame (use a glue that says it works with ceramic and wood). You could use other tile shapes or colors to give this a fun mosaic feel. Easy!

Add moulding5. Add embellishments.

This could be any number of things, like adding hardware, or (in my case) adding a bit of moulding. This was a moulding accent I bought at the hardware store, but you could easily add moulding trim to a frame as well. You could leave it raw or paint it to match other frames you might already have and plan to display in the same area. Lots of possibilities depending on the look you want.

Funny couple portraits5 Ways to Update an Old Photo Frame (via abeautifulmess.com) Here’s one of my favorite prints and frames from the bunch. Reminds me to keep taking myself very seriously.

Jk.

5 Ways to Update a Thrifted Frame (via abeautifulmess.com) That’s it for my little wall, but if you want even more ideas for updating a frame, try these: wood burned photo frames, add a belt to a circle frame, and why not add paint and patina.