Category Archives: DIY Projects

DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

Back in the day, my natural instinct was to fill every square inch of our home with art, but now I’ve come to really appreciate the value of bare walls. Not all the walls, of course, but I no longer see a blank spot (say, between our side door and coat closet) and have the immediate gut reaction to hang a piece of art just to say that I did.

That mental shift has taken a lot of the pressure off when it comes to decorating, and now I even err on the side of nothing is actually better than something. Every now and then, though, a space comes off feeling a little too boring or bland, and for those instances I love filling them with a little bit of texture rather than a big, bold piece of art. Which brings me to my latest minimalist DIY art project: DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads.

DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

This simple, multi-piece wall hanging project doesn’t call tons of attention to itself, but is the perfect solution (in my clearly biased opinion!) for that awkward blank wall in your house. Hop over to Hunker here for the full tutorial, which explains how you can get the look in seven steps. The cool thing about this one is that you can customize the size of the wooden beads to be on the smaller side if you’re interested in using them as tabletop décor instead (sort of like this).

Have you tried any other types of textural, minimal DIY art projects lately? A few that have caught my eye recently…this DIY dowel magazine shelf (doubles as storage!), a set of clay plant pockets, and I’m absolutely smitten with the way Brittany’s fringed half-circle mirror turned out. Leave your own idea links in the comments below.

DIY Tasseled Wooden Beads Wall Hanging

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My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

I think I’ll go ahead and blame the cold weather, but I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately. Even during my mid-day lunch break I find myself defaulting to 30 minutes on the couch with my sandwich and the remote to catch up on a little West Wing in between work to-do’s. It’s not good, and I honestly wonder if all the headaches I’ve been getting lately have to do with my time in front of the television.

Now that the days are finally starting to get a little warmer, though, I found myself this past week choosing a book over a TV show or movie. There’s just something so calming about losing myself in a good book, and that sense of peace is even stronger when I’m able to head out to the sunroom to soak up that springtime sun while cuddling with my book.

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

Inspired by this newly reformed habit, I put together a quick post for the Scotties blog all about how to make your own DIY bookmarks out of empty tissue boxes. The post you’re reading here on Dream Green DIY today isn’t sponsored and the brand isn’t paying me to mention the story that I wrote for their site, but I really loved the way the project turned out, and thought you guys might get something creative out of it, too!

See the full tutorial this way, and then keep scrolling here on DGD for a breakdown of the books and magazines I personally plan to work my way through this spring.

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List

1. Domino Magazine: The spring 2019 issue of this quarterly mag is one of my favorites ever from them. It’s packed with beautiful home tours, and there’s even a cool story all about emerging ceramists. I’m already planning to reread it.

2. The President Is Missing: Another one I’m planning to reread is this novel co-written by James Patterson and Bill Clinton. It’s one of those super fast-paced books that almost forces you to skim through the action to get to the finish line. I’m sure I missed some really clever details, so I’m keeping it within easy reach on my nightstand.

3. Daisy Jones & The Six: Word on the web is that this 1970s-rock-band-centered bestseller is going to be turned into an Amazon series (with help from Reece Witherspoon!). Count me in.

4. Pacific Natural: Simple Seasonal Entertaining: This one actually comes out tomorrow, and is one coffee table book I could definitely see myself reading from cover to cover.

5. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave: My sister and I bought this book for my mom and dad as an early housewarming gift since they’re now thinking about how to decorate a new-to-them home. Before handing the book over, though, I couldn’t help but peruse the intro and first chapter. I might need to borrow it from Mom (or buy my own copy) because it’s surprisingly well-written and insightful!

6. The Southern Side of Paradise: I’m totally obsessed with the The Peachtree Bluff Series written by Kristy Woodson Harvey, and recently found out that the last book is set to be released in May. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy, and might not even come up for air while I’m reading it.

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

Did I leave a book off the list that you’re excited to dive into this spring? Do tell in the comments below because I’m always looking for suggestions. I tend to ramp up my reading in the spring, but I go absolutely NUTS with it in the summertime, so I need all the recommendations I can get. And be sure to visit the Scotties website next so you can peruse the DIY bookmarks tutorial that I produced for them—happy spring reading, everybody!

My Spring Reading List & DIY Bookmarks

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Before & After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Last year was a bit of a doozy in terms of projects for the house. We had our chimney overhauled, the AC wall units deep cleaned, we renovated our hall bathroom with Home Depot, got the boiler inspected and tuned up, and we also had a brand new roof put on the house. It was awesome to cross so many major projects off our list, but, as I’m sure you can imagine, our house budget took a major hit because of it.

For that reason, John and I are doing our best to turn a (responsible) blind eye to any big renovations in 2019—at least we’re hoping to. Our landscaping could stand to be addressed and there are a couple of large-scale organization projects we’d like to tackle in our basement, but those types of things are going to have to be put on the back-burner until next year so we can build our savings back up.

At any rate, instead of thinking BIG lately, I’ve had to shift my attention to the smaller, more budget-friendly things that have been on my list since we moved into the house three and a half years ago. The first thing to get tackled? The dated built-in wood dresser in our hall bathroom.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

You saw when we unveiled our totally made-over bathroom last summer, complete with a brand spankin’ new custom shower and fresh new hardware throughout, but one part of the makeover that didn’t quite get done in time for the tour was the dresser you see pictured above.

We love having all of those drawers built right into the room, but the piece of furniture was looking dated, even after we switched out the hardware, as you saw here. I figured the best way to live with the dresser but also make it disappear visually was to paint it to match the walls surrounding it. And that’s exactly what I did.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

(Please forgive my iPhone photos here!)

I removed the hardware, laid some painter’s tape down, then gave the dresser drawer fronts and body three coats of white primer, letting each coat dry for about an hour in between. Then, I went back over everything with another three coats of white topcoat paint to match the bathroom walls. In case you’re curious, the white paint is called Snowbound from Sherwin Williams, and is my very favorite warm white paint. We used it in both our upstairs and downstairs bathrooms.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

After the final coat of paint was finished and had fully cured overnight, I added new gold hardware and then put everything back together again. I may be biased, but I think the difference is pretty remarkable! I love it, and definitely wish that I hadn’t put this “someday” project off for so long.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Looking at that side-by-side “Before/After” image above, doesn’t the new white dresser make the room look so much bigger? Aside from removing the upper shelving unit from the top of the dresser, nothing else has changed but the color, and I can’t help but think that the paint completely transformed the look and feel of the space as a whole.

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

To celebrate our fresh “new” white dresser, I wrote a big story for Hunker with five ways to organize your bathroom drawers. Over there I’ll teach you how to use everything from travel packing cubes and bamboo trays to whip your vanity or dresser drawers into shape. See the post here, but before you go, make sure to share your thoughts about our dresser makeover in the comments right here!

Before/After: Dated Dresser Makeover

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

I know that some of you lucky folks out there live within easy driving distance of IKEA, but we are sadly not in that camp. Our closest store is two and half hours away, so whenever I plan a trip, I tend to prepare myself to stock way, way up. A few of my favorite things to get are their guest napkins (we keep a stack in the bathroom for visitors so they don’t have to use a shared hand towel), faux plants, storage boxes, and small pieces of furniture. Their prices are pretty legendary, and for good reason—they’re hard to beat!

As you probably already know, one other thing I love to keep an eye out for at IKEA is a potential DIY project or two. The store is packed with plain, minimalist containers, shelves, and pieces of furniture that can be hand-decorated with paint and other accents for a custom look. Case in point, the IKEA bench that I made over using paint and rope for Hunker.

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Do you recognize the blue paint from a recent post here on the blog? It’s actually the same teal BEHR chalk decorative paint leftover from this project. It turned out to be the perfect pop of color our little IKEA bench needed, but ,of course, I couldn’t just stop there. I also used a drill and staple gun to add a modern rope detail to the seat to give it more custom edge.

What do you think? Would you have used a different paint color on the bench base? Maybe natural jute twine on the seat detail as opposed to white rope? My favorite thing about most of the DIY crafts I share here on the blog is that they can be tweaked to suit your personal aesthetic and taste, so tell me how you’d make this IKEA hack your own in the comments below.

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And Rope

Upgrade An IKEA Bench With Paint And RopeP.S. Curious why posts have been a little shorter as of late? Click back here for a life update!

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Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

While I’m well aware that not everyone can get on board with the faux plant trend, I can’t help but appreciate the whole “zero maintenance” aspect of the idea. I tend to struggle with keeping live plants, well…alive…so you’ll find silk plants tucked all around our house.

It’s not just because I missed out on the green thumb gene that I’ve gone “faux” with greenery, though. Our pets can’t get enough of nibbling on live trailing leaves, and although I’ve triple checked that the rooted plants we do have are okay for their systems, I still don’t love the idea of them snacking on anything other than their vet-approved kibbles. So, it’s just another big reason for me to succumb to the draw of fake plants.

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

The good news is that today’s DIY craft doesn’t have to involve faux plants. Whether you choose live succulents or the silk IKEA option I suggest over on the full tutorial here, you can still get this look in 10 minutes or less. Hop over to Hunker for the shopping list and step-by-step instructions for hacking my favorite 3-piece basket set into wall-mounted succulent holders. Oh, and make sure you keep scrolling through the tutorial for an alternative use for the displaced basket tops, too!

Hack IKEA Baskets Into Succulent Shelves

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint

*This post has been sponsored by Behr Paint Company. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

It’s finally time to reveal that big furniture project I’ve been hinting at for the last several weeks! Slip into a fuzzy robe, grab a second cup of coffee, and settle in, folks, because today’s DIY tale in partnership with Behr Paint Company is a meaty one.

It all started with an extra beat-up old dresser. I had spotted it toward the beginning of the year at a local thrift store with the price tag of $79. I don’t mind admitting that I sort of balked at that price because the dresser was clearly not solid wood (the dated wood veneer on the outside edges had seen better days) and it was wobbly, too. I ended up walking away from it that day but just couldn’t get it out of my mind. So, I went back a week later to give it a closer look.

I got down on my hands and knees in the store to inspect the legs and found that a few quick twists of the tapered legs helped get rid of most of the wobble. Even still, I wasn’t totally sold on the price, so I asked the woman at the cash register if there was any room for negotiation. She went back to ask the manager, and we ended up settling on $60. Still not quite a steal in my book, but I was excited to shave off nearly $20 from the original list price.

After getting the piece home and giving it an even more thorough inspection, I decided that the dresser still needed extra TLC beyond a simple tightening of the legs—namely, it needed paint. So, with a little help from you guys on Instagram, I chose a retro-inspired teardrop shape for the drawer fronts and got to work making my vision come to life using the Two-Part BEHR® Chalk Decorative Paint System—all the supplies for which I purchased from the paint department at Home Depot.

Scroll on to learn how to get the same look on a tired vintage dresser of your own using my shopping list and printable teardrop template.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Here’s What You’ll Need

1. BEHR® Chalk Decorative Paint (I used Picnic Table BCP29 and Silver Celadon BCP40 for this project)

2. BEHR® Wax Decorative Finish (I used ‘Clear’)

3. 1.75 in. Chalk Decorative Paint Brush

4. 1.875 in. Chalk Decorative Wax Brush

5. Printable teardrop shape template (click here for the free download)

6. Cardstock

7. Scissors

8. Standard clear office tape

9. Level

10. Measuring tape

11. Pencil

12. Painter’s tape

13. Drop cloth or scrap cardboard

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step One

As I mentioned before, my vintage dresser came with a whole bunch of vintage scuffs and scars (including a dresser drawer that had actually come undone). If your piece of mid-century furniture is looking a little worse for wear, too, go ahead and take some time to clean things up. Use a damp sponge or plastic scraper tool to gently remove old dirt and grime, and you may want to spritz the inside of the drawers with a water and vinegar mixture to help get rid of any lingering musty smells.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Two

Use a measuring tape to find the center of each drawer front. You’ll want to measure side-to-side and top-to-bottom to get the most accurate center point. Mark this lightly with a pencil, and repeat on all of your drawers.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Three

Download the free teardrop shape template that I created for you, and print it onto cardstock as many times as you’ll need. Note that this design calls for two teardrops per drawer front, so I printed eight shapes for my 4-drawer dresser. Cut out the shapes along the lines using scissors.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Four

Use standard clear office tape to attach the cut teardrop shapes to your dresser drawer fronts, with their points touching in the center. I included handy cross section lines on the template so that you can use a level to make sure the shapes are nice and straight.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Five

Gently trace the teardrop shapes onto your drawer fronts using a pencil. Then, you can peel away and discard the shapes. You should now be able to see faint pencil lines marking where to tape in the next step to follow.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Six

Pull out the drawers from the dresser and set them aside. Then, paint the entire exterior of your dresser using your BEHR Chalk Decorative Paint color of choice. In the example you see here, I used Silver Celadon BCP40 on the outside, painted on in three coats with a 1.75 in. Chalk Decorative Paint Brush. Make sure you allow the paint to dry for a couple of hours between coats.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Seven

Meanwhile, in between the paint drying on the outside of your dresser, you can move on to taping off the teardrop shapes. Use small individual lengths of painter’s tape to make your way around the curves. I expected this step to take a really long time, but it only ended up costing me about 15 minutes per drawer! Put on some music or a podcast, and this step will fly by.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Eight

When the paint on the outer edges of your dresser is completely dry, go ahead and gently push the drawers back in place. Use the same 1.75 in. Chalk Decorative Paint Brush to paint the teardrops in alternating colors; I used Picnic Table BCP29 and Silver Celadon BCP40 for this project.

Keep painting until you can’t see the wood drawer fronts beneath. Allow the paint to dry between coats as you did before. It’s easier to paint the teardrop shapes while the drawers are pushed into the dresser like normal, and they can dry easily there, too, since they’ll be up and out of the way.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Step Nine

Wait at least two hours for the paint to fully dry, then give the entire dresser—outside edges, legs, painted teardrops, and exposed wood surfaces—a few thin and even coats of BEHR Wax Decorative Finish using a 1.875 in. Chalk Decorative Wax Brush. Give the wax plenty of time to cure before styling it with everyday bedroom essentials—things like a lamp, art, a plant, and a dish for jewelry.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

Although the dresser had a nice shape before, it just felt so plain. Plus, the dinged-up surface looked really tired. It needed a refresh. The updated painted exterior helped hide years of wear and tear, and the teardrop shapes on the drawer fronts makes the piece pop. You can visit BEHR’s color detail page here to see the full collection of color names and numbers in case you’d love to try a different combination on your own dresser—maybe Carousel Red BCP04 and Vintage Mustard BCP13?

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

One thing I didn’t anticipate having such a big impact on the makeover was the BEHR Wax Decorative Finish. After finishing up the painting steps, I walked backward to check out the overall look and loved it exactly as it was. Not wanting to skip a step, though, I followed through with the directions and layered the wax over the entire dresser, too. That moment turned out to be a complete game-changer!

If you look at the before/after graphic a couple images up, you can probably see how the wax really brought out the grain detail and color of the wood drawer fronts. The BEHR Wax Decorative Finish will also help protect the paint job I worked so hard on. Our cats are always jumping up on the furniture, leaving claw marks behind on unfinished pieces in our house. The wax on this dresser has already helped prevent visible damage from their paws.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

So, what do you think? Are you as excited by this as I am? The best part of all is that I have a ton of paint left over, so picture me wandering around our house looking for other pieces of retro furniture to make over. In the meantime, let me know in the comments below what type of piece you would make over with BEHR Chalk Decorative PaintFind your nearest Home Depot for supplies by clicking here.

DIY Mid-Century Dresser Makeover Using Chalk Decorative Paint | dreamgreendiy.com + @behrpaint #ad

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DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

Question: what’s one project you’ve had in the back of your mind for ages that you’ve been dying to try out? I know you’ve got some sort of creative vision in there! I, for one, have dozens upon dozens of unfinished, not-even-begun DIY ideas racing through my brain at any given moment, but I’m happy to report that that list recently got one item shorter.

Case in point, my latest project for Hunker is something I’ve had on my list to make for years, and I finally had the motivation to bring it to life. Hop over to Hunker here to see the full step-by-step tutorial for my DIY Mod Kinetic Pipe Sculpture, including a linked shopping list to take even more of the guess work out of things.

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

I know I dub a lot (if not most) of my projects as “couldn’t be easier” to pull off, but I really, truly mean it this time. I was actually a little dumbfounded when I was able to wrap the whole thing up in one short afternoon. I remember setting the finished sculpture on the console in our living room, stepping back, and muttering a quick “Huh!” out of surprised satisfaction at the sight of it. Can you believe it’s made out of a couple of $3 pipes?!

Anyway, visit the Hunker website here for all the DIY details, and then I’d love for you to let me know about the project you’ve been aching to cross off your own list in the comments below.

DIY Modern Minimalist Kinetic Pipe Sculpture

P.S. Wishing you a very happy Valentine’s Day this week! In case you need inspiration for a romantic dinner at home, check back here to see the mini meal I pulled together for my own Valentine.

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How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

I’ve been promising a look into our recently made-over living room, and today is finally that day. Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “How many times can one person redo a room in their house?!” and while I’m personally of the mind that a home is never technically “done,” there was a very specific reason for this most recent update.

You see, John and I had been thinking about investing in a second Samsung Frame TV for our upstairs living room for about four or five months. You may already know about the one we have in our downstairs family room, and that it’s easily our favorite piece of technology in the house. In case you’re just catching up, though, the Frame TV displays a piece of digital art when not in use, so the television literally transforms into a decorative accent the moment you switch it to its dormant art mode. Genius, right?

Well, anyway we wanted to make our upstairs gathering space just as functional as the one we enjoy downstairs, so over the holidays we finally bit the bullet and ordered a new TV (albeit a smaller version of the 55-incher we have downstairs). That’s it right there in the photo below displaying a cool monochrome print.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

With the new TV in place, we decided to turn our attention to the furniture in the living room facing it. You know we’ve always been absolutely smitten with the vintage leather couch we used to have in the space, but it just wasn’t quite comfortable enough for lazy TV watching, so we ended up putting it in my office to turn that room into more of a lounge, and we put the overstuffed tufted couch that we had out in our sunroom in its place in the living room.

Since we had spent so much money on the new TV, it was really important that we find a way to redecorate the living room on a next-to-nothing budget, and luckily we already had that cozy sofa on hand to use in place of the leather couch, which was really more for show than longterm seating, if you know what I mean.

There were still a couple of hurdles to get over, though, which I’ll get to later in this post. The first problem was that I had never really loved the legs of the tufted blue couch as it was. You can see the original chunky block legs in the before/after graphic below. I was all for the cool teal color, the sharp lines of the silhouette, and the tufting—not to mention that it’s the most comfortable couch in the world. But those bulky legs had to go.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

**Sorry the lighting is so off between these photos. I know it’s making the couch upholstery look totally different, but I promise that it’s the same couch in both photos.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

Happily, the changing out of the legs couldn’t have been easier, and I’m now kicking myself for waiting so long. All we did was unscrew the old legs and put a set of new tapered legs that we ordered from Amazon in their place. The entire project took about 10 minutes, but the difference (at least I think) is pretty amazing.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

The updated tapered legs make the couch feel a little sleeker and definitely more mid-century in style. I also love that the richer wood tone of the new legs matches the rest of our wood furniture better than the original almost-black legs did before. See how they’re almost an exact match to the antique teal side chair in the photo above?

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

The rest of the room came together from there piece by piece as I continued working to make it as comfortable and cozy as possible in honor of the new TV. I put together a mini gallery wall off to the side above the couch, making sure to balance the traditional pieces out with contemporary ones, and I also added a new wall-mounted sconce. The ultra modern shape of the new light fixture helps keep the couch and art from looking too “Grandma’s House.”

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

You might be wondering where our new leather side chair came from. It’s actually on loan from my parents who are downsizing a lot of things from their home before they move to our area in the next few months. While the piece isn’t exactly 100 percent my style, I do love the retro ’70s feel of it, and it’s beyond comfortable to sit in.

The reason it’s the perfect addition to this particular space, though, is that it swivels, so it can be shifted to face the couch for regular conversation and twisted toward the TV at other times as needed. I might not give the chair back to my parents after all!

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

Truth be told, the room took some getting used to. For the longest time this space was so much about looks. It was where we kept our favorite pieces of antique furniture (whether they were comfortable or not), and although we still spent plenty of time in the room before, it wasn’t exactly my top choice for lounging around any time of day. Now the living room is just as comfortable as the family room, and offers us a lot more flexibility in terms of gathering with friends and family.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

What do you think of the “new” room? Do you like the new art and furniture arrangement, or would you have personally erred on the side of looks over function? My favorite part, of course, is that we didn’t have to buy any new furniture—just $30 worth of new legs for a couch we already had! Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.

How To Update Your Sofa For $30

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

There’s no way around it: I’m a certifiable, 100 percent, school-loving, honor-student-type nerd. Whether we’re talking about high school or college, I was always in the front row with a stack of color-coordinated spiral-bound notebooks at the ready for the day’s lecture. I preferred writing my notes in pen ink, so I even kept a tube of Wite-Out within easy reach because I couldn’t just cross or scribble out a misspelling! Oh, no…Those notes looked like perfectly typed pages, complete with highlighted headings and immaculate bullet lists.

I know I shouldn’t be admitting all of this, but being in a classroom just made me feel so pumped up! Of course, I had off days and times when I didn’t feel like being there, but for the most part, I loved every minute of my schooling years. So much so that I miss it, and wonder about going back to take some ceramics classes now that I’m one year into pottery and feel like it’s something I really want to do for a living.

In the meantime, I’ve been dabbling in a little casual research of my own here at home using a couple of new books as my guides. I wanted to have something on hand that I could flip through whenever I wasn’t physically working with clay at the studio, and the two books I review below fit that bill to a T. Keep scrolling if you’re even a little curious to know more about pottery and what it takes to bring this type of creative art to life.

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

Amazing Glaze: Techniques, Recipes, Finishing, and Firing, by Gabriel Kline

One thing I definitely underestimated when I first started taking pottery classes was just how much goes into the glazing side of things. At our particular local studio, the makeup of the 6-week beginner wheel-throwing class is four classes making pieces on the wheel, one class for trimming and finishing work, and the sixth and final class is spent doing nothing but glazing.

The first glazing day I experienced was totally overwhelming to me as a beginner because it’s just as intricate as learning how to throw on the wheel itself. I ended up taking a full 6-week class later on just for glazing, and that opened my eyes even wider to how much variety there is in glazing techniques.

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

Anyway, my point is that glazing is something that I really respect. I haven’t even come close to scratching the surface (pun unintended) of this part of the pottery-making process, so I was really glad to come across this Amazing Glaze book. The very first line of the introduction calls out the fact that opening a kiln is like witnessing magic, and I couldn’t help but smile when I read that. It’s so true!

The trickiest thing about glaze (at least for me) is the fact that the color you paint, brush, or dip onto any piece of pottery is likely to come out of the kiln looking completely different after firing. For example, black glaze first looks red, white looks gray, and even bright blue has a faintly grayish green tinge to it before it’s fired. I still have so much trouble visualizing the final product as I’m working on glazing, but this book really helped put things into perspective.

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

Amazing Glaze teaches you how to handle small pieces, delicate designs, how to pour and dip properly, and also how to mix up your own colors. There are sections for troubleshooting, and, of course, tons of photos to show you how it all might turn out if you follow the instructions to the letter. There were multiple times when I wanted to rip a page out to keep handy at the studio! I couldn’t recommend it more if you’d like to learn how to get from Point A to Point B with your glazing work.

Oh, and don’t worry if you’re not quite as into formal learning as I am. This book is really simple to follow along with. Despite all the important information it shares, Amazing Glaze still feel very conversational in tone, which makes it a quick, easy read. Nothing like those stuffy old textbooks you might still have nightmares about!

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

Handbuilt, A Potter’s Guide, by Melissa Weiss

As you probably know by this point, I started out learning how to throw on a wheel—in other words, spinning a ball of clay on a wheel to create a functional form. Hand-building, on the other hand, is an entirely different process (i.e. shaping clay with your hands instead of a wheel), which is why my wheel-throwing instructors rarely even bring it up in class. To learn how to handbuild, you either need to take a class specific to those techniques, or you could do what I did and kick things off by reading Handbuilt, A Potter’s Guide.

I can tell you right now, this book completely changed the way I look at clay. I learned how to turn a ball of clay into a fully functioning cup using nothing but a few hand tools, how to make my own platter from a slab, and also how to dig and process my own clay. I still haven’t done all that much physically with hand-building, but I honestly feel like I could do it on my own having now read this book from cover to cover.

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

Melissa Weiss, the author of Handbuilt, actually works just one state away from us here in Virginia (she’s based in Asheville, North Carolina), which makes her feel really accessible in some ways. Her writing style and the way she explains different hand-building techniques in her book, though, is what really makes her feel so approachable and easy-going.

As a visual learner, I loved how she took me through each process with step-by-step photos and numbered actions. Suffice it to say that this book is about to get completely covered with clay fingerprints—I plan on bringing it to the studio for in-person experimenting now that I’ve photographed it for today’s post.

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

I know not everyone who reads this blog is a professional potter or even a clay hobbyist, but ever since I started sharing more about the process here and on social media, I’ve been inundated with messages from people who want to know more about ceramics.

Today’s post is dedicated to all of you and anyone else who has asked for more details. Pottery is such a cool craft, and I really am making it my mission to encourage as many people as possible to seek out a class (or a how-to book like the ones I mentioned today!) if they’ve ever given it a passing thought. Let me know if you’d recommend any other pottery books in the comments blow.

A Pair Of How-To Pottery Books To Check Out

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

I’m certain this isn’t my first time mentioning it here on the blog (in fact, it might be the third or fourth time—sorry!), but I’m just really into the idea of transitioning our home over to mostly natural products. And that includes everything…right on down to home fragrances.

Ever since I was a kid growing up in my parents’ house, I’ve been a big, big fan of sweet smelling things in a home. There was always a candle burning in my mom’s kitchen and season-specific outlet air fresheners in every room, so it’s not surprising that, as an adult, I’d keep up the tradition.

That said, I’m excited to learn new ways to make that tradition a little bit healthier on our household. Namely, using products that are made from organic or natural products that don’t negatively impact the air we breathe. Scroll on to hear a few of the DIY natural home fragrance ideas I’ve picked up over the past handful of months doing research, and you’re also invited to tell us about your own chemical-free tips in the comments.

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

This whole philosophy really got started after I heard through the grapevine (i.e. social media) that many home fragrances like candles, aerosols, and plug-in air fresheners come packed with harsh chemicals that could affect air quality and breathability if over-used. Crazy, right?! But I just wasn’t ready to ditch them altogether. I appreciate a nice-smelling home as much as the next person, and I often find that scent helps me manage my anxiety on a daily basis, too.

The very first thing I invested in—and one of my favorite DIY natural home fragrance strategies ever—was an essential oil diffuser. I have one on my desk upstairs, and another set up in the lower level family room. Whenever I feel like our house is smelling a little stale or musty, I just fill the diffusers with water and add 10-15 drops of my favorite essential oils. I run the two diffusers all day long, and they fill the house with subtle scent that helps it feel fresh and welcoming for days.

It honestly never fails to lift my mood whenever I catch a whiff of the fragrances as I walk from room to room. I also appreciate that I barely have to think about it, and the best part of all is that the essential oils are safe for anyone to breathe—from pets to humans.

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

If you’re signed up to get the DGD Tribe newsletter every other week, then you heard all about my favorite alternate way of using oils: a homemade room spray.

Every now and then I need a little concentrated burst of sweet scents (usually on the couch or chairs where our dog tends to nap), so I keep a DIY blend of vodka, filtered water, and essential oils handy in a little spray bottle so I can give the fabrics in our home a refresh from time to time. My favorite combination right now is lemon, lavender, and grapefruit. It smells so light and happy!

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

If you haven’t quite gotten into the whole essential oils craze, don’t worry. There are so many other ways to make your home smell good without them. Just last year I gave DIY soy-based candle-making a try, and am happy to report that it’s super easy and makes all the difference inside a home whenever it needs a little scent boost. Find out how to make your own candle (including the natural ingredients shopping list) here.

A few other DIY natural fragrance ideas to consider? You could try simmering a pot of water on the stove with cinnamon sticks and orange slices, or make your own vanilla spice air freshener by heating and mixing white vinegar, water, cloves, and a small amount of natural vanilla extract in a spray bottle for a grab-and-go room spray that isn’t harmful on your fabrics or your sinuses.

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

In case you’re curious about which specific products I’ve used so far in our natural home fragrance experiments, this is the diffuser I use (you can see it next to the plant in that photo above), and this is my favorite website for essential oils.

If you want more ideas, the best tip I have is to Google “Natural Home Fragrance Ideas.” If you do that, you’re sure to stumble upon all sorts of similar posts to the one I’m sharing here today. The cool thing I’ve found about natural home fragrance projects is that many of them use pantry staple items, so you might even be able to whip one up for free as soon as you close out of this window in your browser.

Let me know which ones you’ve tried—or that you plan to try—in the comments below so that we can all trade ideas and reviews!

DIY Natural Home Fragrance Ideas

*I earn a small percentage from purchases made using the affiliate links above. Affiliate links are not sponsored. Rest assured that I never recommend products we wouldn’t use or don’t already love ourselves.

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