Just Call Me Martha Stacey

Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

I mentioned in my romantic pinspirations post a few weeks ago that I was planning to make a date jar, filled with large popsicle sticks with date ideas printed on them.

I finally got around to it, and it cost me a grand total of $3.29.  The large popsicle sticks were $1.29 and the awesome “A” bling sticker for the jar was $2.


This project was super easy. I stuck the “A” sticker (our last name starts with A) onto a leftover glass jar I had.


I painted the popsicle sticks with one coat of white acrylic paint so the Sharpie marker wouldn’t bleed when I wrote the date ideas on them.  I added a little bling to each of the popsicle sticks too.

Here are my date ideas if you want to make your own (most ideas from The Poe Fam and Life in the Greenhouse, some from my own head!):

  • Movie Night In
  • Dessert Only Date
  • Dinner and a Movie
  • Wine and Cheese Night
  • Appetizer Only Date
  • Coffee/Hot Chocolate Date
  • Try a New Restaurant
  • Picnic Date (picnic on the carpet if the weather is bad/cold)
  • Takeout and Board Games
  • Pizza and Video Games
  • YouTube Date (take turns finding videos to make each other laugh)
  • Breakfast Date
  • Restaurant Hop (appetizers at one, dinner at the second, dessert at a third)
  • His Turn to Plan
  • Her Turn to Plan
  • Slumber Party Date (pajamas, snacks and TV in bed)
  • Fondue Night
  • Ice Cream Sundaes
  • Blackout Date (choose your own activity, but do it by candlelight)
  • Dress up Fancy Date

Can’t wait for fun dates with my hubby!  I know he’ll look forward to the video game date!

Linking to:
Keeping It Simple: Motivate Me Monday
Lines Across My Face: Monday Funday
Today’s Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On Tuesday
Cupcakes and Crinoline: Project Inspire(d) Link Party


When I first designed Munchkin #1’s new room in my head, I wanted to do some vinyl wall art that said, "Boy: noise with dirt on it." It describes my little boy and his room had a bulkhead that would be perfect for what I had in mind.

My original inspiration was something I’d seen on Etsy…for $21USD, plus shipping.  I knew I could DIY it for WAY less than that!

I looked into getting some vinyl for my Cricut, but even at Walmart, it was $10 plus $10 for the transfer tape.

I was hesitant to buy it, since I wasn’t sure that one package of vinyl would be enough for what I wanted to do.

I’m SO glad I waited!

I was browsing Pinterest and came across a tutorial for how to use adhesive shelf lining from the dollar store as a cheap substitute for vinyl lettering.

I thought I’d give it a try, because really…if it didn’t work, I’d only be out $1.

Well, it totally worked.


I cut the adhesive liner to fit my Cricut cutting mat and stuck it on with the paper side down.  I cut out the letters (5”) and then simply put them on the wall.

The tutorial I read talked about using masking tape in place of the transfer tape that is usually needed to transfer cut vinyl to whatever surface you want.  I didn’t bother with this because my letters were a very simple font.  If I were going to do a intricate design, I would use it to make sure that the design doesn’t fold onto itself and get ruined.

The W was the hardest letter to put on the wall but I was careful and with some fiddling, got it in the proper spot.

The only downside to the adhesive liner instead of real vinyl is that the liner does rip easily so you just have to be careful when handling it.

So in the end, this project cost me less than $1 (since I had leftover liner) instead of $20+!  Score!

It’s Monday again, which means time for another mini project!

This project cost me a grand total of 83 cents (well…technically $2.50, but that makes 3).

I finally got around to covering one of the diaper wipes boxes that I’m using in my pantry cabinet to organize our non-perishables.

IMG_2114The only thing I had to buy for this project was the polka-dot ribbon to use as a decorative accent.  The black fabric is actually some old curtains that I had from my old apartment.  I knew I’d saved them for five years for a reason!

I simply used my trusty hot glue gun to cover the boxes and added the ribbon.

The label is actually a frozen juice concentrate top.  I have a stash of them that I was going to use for another project but discovered that they make excellent dry erase labels.

I simply glued it on, and voila!  Pretty boxes for the inside of my pantry!

Linking to:
Keeping It Simple: Motivate Me Monday
Lines Across My Face: Monday Funday
Making The World Cuter: Making the World Cuter Monday

I was reminded by a friend of mine that I completely missed my Mini Project Monday post last week.  I confess that I completely forgot about it…that was the day that I got my new iPhone and I was slightly distracted by playing with it!

But now that I am used to my new iPhone and it no longer distracts me for an entire evening, it is on to this week’s project…

I made this anniversary date pillow with some micro suede that was leftover from our old living room slip covers.  I’d planned to make a pillow like this for ages since I saw one pinned on Pinterest and I finally decided to bite the bullet when our couch cushions started shedding tiny bits of leather.  I couldn’t handle the constant brown flecks of leather everywhere, so I stole the stuffing from the pillows and recycled into this cute pillow.

I used freezer paper to make a stencil, cutting out the numbers and ironing it onto the fabric.  If you haven’t used it before, freezer paper is awesome for making stencils to paint on fabric.  I also used it to make my Mr. & Mrs. Pillows and Scrabble Tile Pillows.  There’s lot of tutorials out there on using freezer paper…perhaps someday, I’ll remember to photograph the entire process and do my own!

You can use any old paint you want when painting the fabric…this is the same paint that I used in our family room to repaint the rocking chair and side table.  I waited for the paint to dry, took off the freezer paper and voila!  Anniversary date pillow.

I did make one mistake though…because I work in the health care field, I read the date as year-month-day.  It was called to my attention that not everyone reads this way when a friend asked, “What happened on August 5, 2010?”

We were married May 10, 2008 and that’s how I read the pillow.  Apparently not everyone does.  Oops!

Linking to:
Keeping It Simple: Motivate Me Monday
Cupcakes and Crinoline: Project Inspire(d) Link Party

As I mentioned at the beginning of the year when I was reviewing my Home Goals for 2012, our master bedroom is almost finished.  The only things left to add are a full length mirror (that isn’t in the budget right now) and a quick art project (that requires me to have a printer that isn’t out of ink!).


The bedroom is finally in a state where photographing it is acceptable so I thought I would show you the changes we’ve made in there.  I love how bright it is now!

When we were first married, the wall was a colour called Cappuccino and we had a brown and blue bedroom set.  Here’s a peek at the “before”:


Photo Credit:  Toniette Giesbrecht (tonnigphotographer.com)

This picture was taken when I was pregnant with Munchkin#1 but since I chronically fail at taking “before” pictures, it’s the only one I have of our original bedroom decor.  Between the brown duvet cover, black furniture and brown sheer curtains, the bedroom felt way too dark and I got fed up with it after about two years.

The black furniture had to stay so I decided to lighten everything else in the room.  I painted the wall in Oatmeal and took the duvet cover off the duvet, leaving just the white linen.  I sold the metal headboard and upholstered one of my own.


I replaced the brown curtains with ones that I sewed myself, from cranberry blackout fabric…a necessity for shift-workers!  I used grommets so it is easy to push the curtains to the side to let in the light during the day.

You can see my Mr. & Mrs. pillows that I made ages ago..they fit into this colour scheme better than the brown/blue one.


I hesitated about buying another Expedit for the wall opposite our bed but I LOVE all the storage potential it offers.  Right now, it’s holding some of my scrapbooking supplies while the craft room is under construction.


Here’s the first shot again…I DIY’d the industrial chic wall sconces about eight months ago.  Hubby’s bedside table is a little bare, but I have a mini project planned that will bring another hit of cranberry away from the curtains.

I love how nice the bedroom looks with the bed made.  I never understood making the bed when it would only get messed up again in 14-16 hours.

I understand now…I feel like I totally have my life together when the bed is made!

TDC Before and After

I’m going to start this post with a disclaimer…the pictures are pretty awful!

We have no natural light in our basement so the only light currently in my craft room area is a single bulb in the ceiling.  But, I’m so excited about the progression of my craft room that I’m going to show you the pictures anyway.

The drywall is all up and three of the walls are painted a gorgeous pink colour.  The craft area is still partially acting as storage, so we could only drywall three walls at first before moving the stuff out of the way to do the fourth.

The bottom half of the wall isn’t painted because I’m going to put beadboard wallpaper there.  And I guess I should explain the un-dry-walled patch…that’s where the water valve for the house is, which has to be accessible.  We’re still mulling over how to work around it.

Having some paint on the walls really makes me feel like we’re making some progress.  There are still many steps to complete before it’s perfect:  finish drywall, paint, wallpaper, flooring, lighting, furniture, storage, decorating.  Yikes…that list makes me feel tired already!

I’m excited about all the storage that is going to be packed into this room.  We finally moved my new (thanks Emily!) Expedit down from the living room and it will fit perfectly between the wall and the fuse box.  It used to be black…now, thanks to some Zinsser primer and paint, it’s white!


I’m envisioning pegboard for my craft supplies and gift wrapping supplies.  A crafting work desk with storage cube sides.  A slim desk with filing cabinets to serve as a home office space.  And of course, some fabulous DIY art for the wall!  I can’t wait!

A few weeks ago, I featured a Jute Covered Box.  This is similar, except it’s a bottle.

I have a ton of glass vases for flowers, but every single one of them have a wide neck.  They don’t work for holding single or small numbers of blooms.  I wanted a thin-necked vase for cut flowers from my garden in the spring.

I took a balsamic vinegar bottle and simply covered it with jute rope, using a hot glue gun.  Jars and bottles like this are all over Pinterest and blogland.  It looks like it would be a quick project, but it is much more time-consuming than it looks.  It took me just over an hour (and five glue sticks) to finish.


It has a skinny neck, perfect for a single flower from the garden.  I haven’t decided where it will find its permanent home…when I do, I will add a coordinating ribbon to fit in with the chosen room’s decor.

Linking to:
Keeping It Simple: Motivate Me Monday
Lines Across My Face: Cure for the Common Monday
Making The World Cuter: Making the World Cuter Monday
Today’s Creative Blog: Get Your Craft On Tuesday
A Bowl Full of Lemons: One Project at a Time

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