Sneak peek- upcycled and thrifty DIY’s coming up!

If you are following me on Instagram (@throneandthimble) you may have already seen some of the sneak peeks I have been sharing over the past few weeks, pictures like these for example:

ribbon flower 1 bunch of flowers 1 3 bouquetsrose petals

 

These are little previews of some of the fun DIY’s I have planned for the next couple of weeks! I will be sharing with you all different techniques to make beautiful and realistic flowers out of upcycled and thrifty materials, like coffee filters and ribbon. These are perfect little project for spring, and bring light and color into any room they are in. If you have an event like a wedding coming up (like I do!) these are also great budget-friendly alternatives to expensive floral centerpieces and bouquets, and are a great solution for those of us with allergies too. I will be sharing one flower per week, focusing on the different techniques and different results you can get with very humble supplies- think dollar store and thrift store, rather than big-box craft supply stores! I hope you come on this floral journey with me, and stay tuned for all the fun projects to come!

❤ Shay

 

DIY Canvas Monogram- Easy Room Decor

My little sister is all grown up, and will be going away to college next year, I can hardly believe it! It is also her birthday next month, so I wanted to make her a cute little décor piece for her room, something that is small enough that she can take with her to her dorm to give it some personality and color.  I was inspired by different recycled canvas art designs that have a masked quote that shows the colors of the canvas through the letters, but is painted everywhere else, kinda like these:

canvas 3canvas 1

canvas 2

So after getting inspired, I set out to the thrift store to find myself a canvas to repurpose! The ones I found were not too colorful, so I ended up picking out a more neutral one and adding in the color myself for a similar effect. The canvas I found was pretty small, about 8 inches by 8 inches, and was already decoupage-d with pages from a book, which I though gave it a really nice texture as a background. And it was only $3! What a score!

I could not decide on a quote, and since the canvas was pretty small I decided to just go with a monogram instead- simple, and doesn’t change with your mood!

To do the lettering, you have a few options:

1. Letter stickers– This would be super convenient if you are doing a whole sentence or quote, as it keeps all the letters consistent. One thing to keep in mind is to keep an eye for wonky letters and uneven spaces!

2. Tape– you can use painters tape or washi tape to tape off a letter (or any shape, for that matter) and paint around it or within it.

3. Template– you can make your own by drawing out or printing out your letter or shape on paper and cutting it out. Either use that template as a mask, and paint around it or within it, or draw the shape on your canvas and freehand paint it.

I ended up using option 3, and drew out the letter “M” myself (my printer is broken!) and cutting it out. Next came painting- I wanted to have lots of bright colors, but I don’t have a bunch of different paint colors in my craft stash, so I had to improvise! Out came my nail-polish stash!

canvas monogram 1

Using different color nail polish (including glitter and sparkle!) I carefully painted within my template. It did leak a bit around the edges, but most of it would be corrected later on.

To get a more modern look, I painted the background white with some leftover paint primer I had from our previous painting adventures. Since I wanted the texture to still come through, I diluted the primer with water to provide a more see through wash of color.

canvas monogram 2

Painting the background also allowed me to go in and correct any small mistakes where the nail polish leaked around the edges, to get a cleaner look. I ended up with 2 thin coats of the primer-water-wash all over the canvas, including the sides.

canvas monogram 4

This was a very quick project, and the whole thing came together in just 2 afternoons. Total cost= $3 how great is that! So happy I was able to achieve a very similar look to the inspiration pieces, without buying a bunch of supplies, and instead use what I had at home. I hope my sister likes it and displays it proudly an her dorm wall! ❤

Wallpaper- take 1 and 2

I have always loved the look of wallpaper, and how it can give a space so much style and personality. Now, I’m not talking about your grandma’s flowery faded pastel kind of wallpaper. My taste in patterns is a lot more modern, leaning towards more geometric shapes and neutral colors.

When we bought our place in the summer we had some renovations to do. Nothing major, just changing the floors from carpet to laminate, and some painting. One of the design elements I wanted to include in our place is some wallpaper. Thus began the adventure…

Take 1: Textured paintable wallpaper
textured wallpaper 1

The wall above our fireplace had some icky “popcorn” texture, and also a giant mirror glued to the wall that I wanted gone. Once we removed the mirror (it took lots of duct tape and 2 hairdryers… don’t ask) we realized that there is a recessed part of the wall behind it. That area was looking pretty gnarly- lots of leftover mirror glue and some tearing in the drywall. We decided to cover it up rather than patch it, so we got a small piece of drywall from the hardware store. We measured and cut it to fit the recessed area, the drilled it into the studs using drywall screws. We patched up the “seams” with some filler. The next dilemma we faced was- how do we make the wall texture even? The one patch of new smooth drywall was surrounded by areas with the “popcorn” texture. My solution was: Textured wallpaper!

Since no stores nearby us had textured wallpaper, we ordered it online. The pattern we picked is called “Shatter” and you can see it here and here. We bought some regular wallpaper glue from the hardware store, and I got to work! Now, I have never done wallpaper before, so through some trial and error I figured it out. Here are some tips:

1. Take your time to line up the pattern and generally pre-cut your strips, one at a time.

2. I found it much easier to put the glue on the wall, rather than on the paper. Walking around with a giant soggy piece of paper that keeps sticking to itself felt very counter productive.

3. What I ended up doing is putting the glue on the wall in sections, and squeezing out the bubbles / adjust alignment for each section. Much easier than doing the whole strip in one go!

4. To trim the wallpaper once it is covered in glue, resist the urge to use a knife! using scissors might not give the most even and straight cut, but using a knife often rips through the wet paper leaving a ragged edge 😦

textured wallpaper 5
The wallpaper we picked did a great job camouflaging the difference in textures that was going on underneath, and we also painted over it in the same paint color as the rest of our walls. We ended up mounting our TV on that wall, which works perfectly. This textured wall gives a great subtle interest to our living room focal wall.

Take 2: chevron print wallpaper
chevron wallpaper 1
I love chevron print, but could not imagine myself painting a pattern on the wall myself. Even with lots of painters tape and painstaking measurements, I could not see myself being happy with the results, especially with such a clean geometric pattern. So wallpaper it is! This one was for our dining room focal wall, but it is also a “hallway” wall, since you have to pass through our dining room to get to our living room. Whenever we have people over, whether it is for a meal, or tea, or watching a movie, everyone passes by it!

I do not remember the exact name of the pattern we chose, but we ordered it through our local Benjamin Moore store. They were great about letting us borrow book after book of wallpaper patterns until we found just the right one! This white and grey pattern works great with the wall paint we picked, and the subtle lines of shiny texture add interest.
chevron wallpaper 2
Putting this wallpaper up ended up being a 3 person job! This wallpaper was a lot thinner and so much more delicate than the previous textured one I experienced. It was also much more important to make sure the pattern lines up just right at the seams, since it would be very obvious if it was even just a little bit off.
chevron wallpaper 3
Overall I am very happy with how it turned out. You can see the rest of my dining room in my previous post here (even though I ended up replacing the photo on the wall- update will be coming eventually!). I will probably not be tackling wallpaper again in the near future though, and if the budget permits hire a professional to apply it next time.

Have you tried putting up wallpaper yourself? How did it work for you? I would love to hear your wallpaper success stories (or disasters!) 🙂

New Dining Room!

With our move to the new place, there were plenty of opportunities to re-work and re-arrange the way each room looks and feels. To add to that, the apartment we bought came fully furnished- so we had 2 of everything! One of the rooms we finished first was the dining room, as we love to entertain and couldn’t wait to host our friends and families. After some discussion, we decided to give away our old wooden dining table (last seen here), in favor of this oval glass table and set of 4 upholstered chairs that came with the apartment. I was originally not a fan, as I don’t like dark wood color, and thought the “wine rack” base looked a little funny. Add to that the fact that I’m terribly clumsy, which is not a good mix with glass anything! But, the larger size meant we could host more friends comfortably, so function won over preference 😛 With the dining set also came a little glass bar/ side board, and I’m still thinking how to make it more functional with a tray on top- suggestions welcome!

dining5    dining3

We kept our “Red City” canvas, even though it doesn’t 100% go with the rest of the room, but until we decide on something else, its a nice focal point!

We also recently painted the walls a cool gray, to help make the space feel more modern. It looks a bit blueish under certain light, so I might have to play around with the light bulbs in the hanging fixture!

dining6

One of the major project we undertook for this room was having a focal wall covered in wallpaper! Selecting the wallpaper was the easy part, we both loved the chevron print and the subtle shiny stripe. I have never applied wallpaper before, so it was a learning process, but after watching a bunch of YouTube how-to videos, I felt confident enough to tackle it! I think it came out great!

dining1     dining2

So glad this room is done! Still a few decorative pieces I would like to add over time, but I generally go for a more clean and modern look, so I much prefer it uncluttered!

diningroom Collage

Let me know what you think in the comments! ❤

Collecting vs. Hoarding- is your treasure really trash?

We moved! Which makes 4 moves in the past 5 years, yet I still don’t feel like an expert 😛

One of the aspects of moving I always dread is decluttering, and taking a critical look at the mountains of STUFF, and think if this is really ALL worth hauling along.
Let me be the first to admit- I am guilty of hanging on to ridiculous things with the thought that “This would be perfect in some abstract future situation”! But I think overall I keep this habit under control, restricting it mostly to craft supplies, and don’t get too attached to material possessions. This has been extremely important for me to do personally, as we mostly lived in small urban spaces with minimal storage.

This, however, is not the case for Mrs. B, my mother-in-law. She takes pride in her treasure trove of useless things that are filling up her closet, garage, and crawl-space. As an example, she has amassed a collection of 5 baby gates.  There is no current baby in her life, nor will there be any time soon, however on she goes to collect, like a squirrel at the first signs of fall.
This problem is escalated by her inability to refuse “free stuff”. By this I mean whenever a neighbor, a friend, a relative, or a total stranger says to her- “I’m getting rid of this, do you want it?” her answer will always be a resounding YES. It doesn’t matter that she doesn’t actually NEED it right now, it doesn’t matter that its too big or heavy for her to carry home, it doesn’t matter that she has no use for it and even no space for it, she WILL take it.

As we were moving, we were getting rid of some things, and as always asked her first “do you need it?” and yes, we know this is making it worse, but we really needed to get rid of stuff fast and we know she would say yes, so we did it anyways. As she was loading up her car full with our STUFF, she said: “you guys know all this stuff would end up back in your hands eventually? But I know what you would do with all my treasures, donate it all straight to the thrift store”. The absurdity of the situation still strikes me, she knows we would inherit her junk and have to deal with it again, yet she collects anyways. We jokingly refer to her as a “borderline-hoarder”, but choose to ignore the facts that we are not only contributing to the problem, but that it would come back to bite us in the end, and it would again be our turn to deal with the all the STUFF. She looks at it as treasure, and chooses to surround herself with it and enjoy each piece, yet appreciates the fact that it would be dumped as soon as it is in our hands again.

Do you know a “borderline-hoarder” in your life? Do you collect “treasures” yourself? Where is the line drawn between collecting and hoarding? Leave a comment and let me know!

Dining Room Decor

dining room

So previously I have shared with you some mini-transformations of different spaces in our apartment (See my vanity area here, and my SO’s office here). We have been living in our current place about 6 months, so most spots are already the way we like them, so I figure I should share that with you also!

First up, our dining room!

Now, our apartment is fairly small, so it’s not really a dining ROOM per-say, more of a dining area, that is a corner between the kitchen and the living room.

Table: We got it ‘as-is’ (previously returned) at IKEA. This table is much smaller then the previous one we had, but I really like the simple and sleek look and the color.

Chairs: Got them for about $20 each at Superstore. Yes, we bought our dining room chairs at a grocery store. Don’t judge. The curved shape makes them comfy and they are light enough that we can move them around easily for company.

Art: Got it at Home Sense for about $25. I originally was not a fan of the strong colors, but my SO convinced me otherwise, and since then we always get compliments on it!

Table decor: My DIY bottle vase made for FREE. See the DIY here.

I will continue to share other parts of our space in future posts, so check back soon! ❤