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Hanging branch and candle chandelier

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Remember last time when we were talking about accent and statement pieces?  Well this is probably the one that has the largest impact…. Mostly because the dining room is basically the first thing you see when you walk in the door.   Because it is the first space you see,  it needs to set the tone…so I wanted something unique,  creative,  nature related,  but still had that expensive elegance feeling… Like a natural elegance I guess.
This was my inspiration…. I can’t seen to track down the original source,  but this is the sight I found it from on pinterest.

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Okay,  so this is absolutely stunning.    She has the lighting and space down perfectly.   My space on the other hand does not have the lighting that makes this an easy picture to take.    It also does not have a good angle to take it from where you can see the whole thing because it is impeded by the stairs and the bar.   Plus,  this was a much more difficult and expensive  project than I initially thought it would be.

Let’s begin by choosing a space… These are both done over the dining room tables and have the table running the same way as the branch.   Make sure that your ceiling is high enough to hang the branch(es)  as well as the baubles.    I think mine takes up about 3 feet from the ceiling and the baubles hang just above eye level.
This is important because you don’t want guests hitting their heads when they stand or being blocked from seeing each other.

Next decide how long you want it.   My branches run about the length of the table and my baubles are spaced evenly throughout.   The length will help you determine the size of your branch and the number of baubles.    For mine,  I also lined it up with the display mirrors behind it so the baubles would hang so you could see them in the mirrors and so the branches lined up with the table and the mirrors….lots of adjusting.

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Once you have your length,  decide how many baubles you want and how far apart you want them…  This will probably be an approximation.   I used 3 of these baubles

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and 5 of these.

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I found both sets on amazon and eBay but ended up buying them on eBay because they were cheaper.   I have had these for a while but I ended up spending around & $5 per angled bauble and about $2.50 per round bauble.    You can find them cheaper but I wanted them to be glass and to have a clear glass hanging top so it was no  obstructed by metal hangings.

Now here’s the hard part.. The branch.   At first my plan was to be super creative and find a big branch outside to use… But this was a task and a half and there are a couple of reasons i ended up opting for buying one.
First,  it was super hard to find a branch that was long,  and relatively branch less enough for use.
Second,  it needs to be relatively light because it will be super hard to get it on the ceiling otherwise.  At least,  without having giant distracting hooks in the ceiling.
Third, it needs to be transportable… Which is pretty difficult unless you plan on strapping it to the car or have an SUV.
Fourth,  bugs…. So if you plan  on using a real branch,  you really need to plan on roasting your branches to make sure bugs are not gonna fall on you in the middle of a meal.    The most common way to do this is to bleach it in the tub and/or roast it in the oven.   Well…  The branch I was looking for,  was too big for the bath tub and WAY too big for the oven! Sooooooooooo what to do?  I could have cooked it outside in the sun… But that requires no rain and well that’s not super easy to predict.
So ultimately I decided this was a lot of reasons to just buy one.  BUT… problem not over…. Where the heck do you get branches like this without spending a fortune?   Well I finally found a place one called blooms&branches who sold them for a slightly cheaper price,  especially if you catch them on a sale!
I ended up buying 2 because they didn’t have one single one that was large enough at the price I needed.  These branches are a bit more ‘branchy’  than the one in the original pic,  but it didn’t bother me too much.
This cost a good amount more than free branches,  but saved me a ton of work and heart ache.  I don’t often choose to buy over making it,  but sometimes it’s just worth it.
You will also need some strong fishing wire and  some white hooks and scissors of course,  to cut.

First step was to figure out how to hang the branches.  I hung them base to ends so they looked more continuous.  I also hung them with the fattest side facing the ceiling.   Choose some sturdy areas to tie strings to and  make sure you have balance by choosing an approximately equal number on both sides.
These strings were pretty short,  maybe an inch or two from the ceiling.    Place the hooks in the ceiling in corresponding locations.   I ended up using a lot of hooks,  about 15 because they were small and not super strong.  Plus I wanted to make them balanced.   I also ended up using those wall screw secure plastic things to make the hooks sturdier.
I didn’t end up needing all the hooks,  but used them for extra security.

Once you have it nice and secure,  plan out your baubles.   Decide where and how low the baubles you want to hang and cut your string accordingly.   Then hang them up securely.

Now the fun part!  You can fill them with whatever you want.   I used peat Moss that I got from the dollar store,  and a set of battery operated-remote control tea lights.    I got these from Amazon… FYI remote control ones are hard to find and kinda expensive,  but I was not about to turn every one on when i wanted to use them.

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Place your Moss and your candles in and you are done! I accepted it with a long basket full of pinecone as a table centerpiece.

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Not as sharp as the original,  but for my small apartment,  it is perfect.   People compliment it all the time!

Let me know what you think!  And if you liked this tutorial,  please like,  comment,  or share as I love to hear from my readers!

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How to make a statement mirrored wall! #upcycled #cheap

So remember we were talking about statement pieces and mirror walls in my ikea Mirror Wall tutorial?
Well this is another one of those statement walls.

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This wall is a statement for 2 reasons: the mirrors and the branch centerpiece (which will be my next post!). You can see the hanging candles if you look closely…. Oh and my cat litter and cat food lol.

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Sigh,  such is the life of the crazy cat lady!

OK so here’s what you will need:
3 mirrors
Sandpaper
Screwdriver for any hardware left on
Paint
Painters tape
Medium and small paint brushes
Clear coat spray paint/paint
Hanging supplies (wire, screws, mounting tape)
A great wall to put it on

So here’s what I started with…

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Good base!!! (please ignore the background… We were moving at this point!) So this I actually picked up from a lady for $5 off Craigslist.   It was the trifold mirror top piece to a dresser.
Because the base pieces were so good,  there really wasn’t much work to do besides a new coat of paint!  Woo-hoo!
1. So we removed the hinges and hardware.
2. Then I taped off the mirror really well.    If you want,  you can just use Painters tape for this part,  but I also used scrap paper just in case I made a mess.
3. Then I lightly sanded it down with sandpaper. I focused specifically on the nooks and crevices because they were harder to get to. Wipe dust away.
4. One your surface is dust free,  grab your paint!  Because our wall was yellow,  I chose white for the mirrors for a clean pop.   But if your walls are white,  you can easily make the mirrors a fun color to match your decor.
5. I painted the majority of the mirror with the medium brush and used the fine brush to get into the harder to reach areas.
6. Let dry.
7. Clear coat that sucker!  So if you are lazy like me,  and would just rather spray paint it,  if you haven’t already,  then now would be a good time to tape down some paper or a bag on top of the mirror so you don’t get paint everywhere.     If you do get some overspray on the mirror,  use a razor blade to gently scrape it off.
8. Let dry.
9. To hang we used 3 rows of thick fishing wire and mounting tape.
We attached the wire onto the back of each piece and then put it on the wall.   This is definitely a two man job so you can get placement and evenness down.
10. Once the mirrors are in place,  add plenty of heavy duty mounting tape to the corners to keep them from shifting or falling.
Now step back and enjoy!

Oh wait!  Are you dying to see that branch centerpiece I was talking about?     Here’s a sneak peak!!!!

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Upcycled Coffee /wine/ hot chocolate station

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This ladies and gentlemen,  is why thrifting is so worth it.   This whole project cost me maybe $30; $5 for the cabinet (can you believe it!),  $5 for paint (at a recycling place),  and maybe $20 for all the rest of the miscellaneous stuff.   Many of the glasses we actually got from this couple who was clearing out their deceased parent’s house and GIVING away all sorts of great goodies!  So ya,  great deal!

This is what it started out as..

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Great bones… But sad color.   Had some stickers on it and was missing some knobs… But overall  great condition.
For this upcycle you will need:
-cabinet
-sandpaper
-paint
-‘coffee’ stencil
-permanent marker
-paintbrushes (I used 1 big,  1 medium,  and 1 small)
-fine tooth comb
-clear coat spray paint
-lots of towels/papertowels
-new knobs (if yours needs it)
-variety of glass jars (see below for more detail about things to put in your coffee station)

1. First things first, remove the knobs (or any other hardware) and any stickers as much as possible.

2. Sand,  sand,  and sand some more.     Okay but really,  you need to sand a moderate amount (once or twice)  to loosen the paint and create a rough surface for the new paint.
Wipe it down with a wet rag and then a dry one to remove dust.

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3. Paint the whole thing a solid color of your choice.   Let dry. For mine,  I chose a teal for that was similar to the original but less blah.

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This color does not have to be super solid as we are gonna cover it up anyways.

4. Add your second top color.   For mine I chose black.  For this part,  do one section at a time.   Paint a solid coat and before it dries,  run your fine tooth comb in lines all the way across the surface.    It’s easy to correct if you mess up, but move quickly so it doesn’t dry.

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Repeat on all surfaces and let dry completely.

Notice how I went horizontal for the outside and sides but vertical for the shelves… I did this to add a little variety.
You can make your brush marks thinner,  thicker,  have more color showing or less color showing.  I opted for thinner with less under color because I really wanted it to be subtle and loved the texture.

This technique adds a very cool texture,  a very unique touch,  and a little bit of color to your piece.

5. Find or make a stencil for your top letters.  I spelled the word ‘coffee’ in Word and then expanded it to approximately 2 letter a page.   This was large enough for my surface.

6. Cut out your stencils and place them in the desired location on the cabinet.   You could tape them down but run the risk of peeling off some of the paint when you remove it.

7. Trace the stencil onto your cabinet with a permanent marker that is similar in color to your top color.  In my case,  I used black and was still able to see it.   If you can’t see it,  then choose a brighter color and be sure to paint over it when you paint the letters.

8. Choose your accent color.   I chose this great golden yellow that was the color we used in the kitchen for the accent color.   I filled in first with the medium sized brush,  being careful to stay in the lines. It may require a couple of coats. Let dry.

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9. I then followed up with the little brush and made the edges of the letters cleaner and then let dry.

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10. I then clear coated the whole thing with clear coat spray paint.   I chose spray paint so there was no risk of smearing colors or messing up the lines. Let dry and recoat if desired.

11. Add hardware back on.   I chose gold knobs to accent my ‘coffee’  color.

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12.  Fill it up!
So I really had to plan out what I wanted in here.   I knew I wanted vases or jars for a bunch of these because they just make it look so expensive!  So this was my list:
-coffee container w lid
-sugar packet container
– straw container
-spoon container
– container for tea bags
– vase for k-cups
-shakers for cinnamon, cocoa, and nutmeg
-dry creamer container
-marshmallow container
-hot cocoa container
– abuelita container (Mexican hot chocolate,  Yum!)
-peppermint sticks container

Whew!  That seems like a lot more containers than how it looks!

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So then fill them up!

Top shelf has liquor,  straws,  creamer,  tea,  kcups,  peppermint,  and abuelita.
Second shelf has marshmallows, hot cocoa,  cinnamon,  cocoa and all the bar glasses.  a

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In drawers: I have things like placemats,  seasonal stuff and extras.

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On top: coffee maker, coffer container,  sweetener vase,  and my vintage coffee maker!
Take a closer look at this beauty!

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I found her at a thrift store for like $5.

Lastly,  I needed a place for my mugs and something on top of the bar because it had a bi

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g open space.  So I added this shelf.

The branch piece is actually a candle holder that I found at the thrift store for like $2. The 2 smaller metal balls I got in a big pack of decorative balls at the thrift store which was maybe $4.   The large ball,  I made using a Styrofoam ball and metal tacks.

And there you have it…. My multifunctional coffee/alcohol /hot chocolate bar!

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Remove Your Shoes Sign #diy #supereasy

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Let me preface this by saying that I hate having shoes in my apartment!  It is pretty much completely carpet,  the cats get it dirty enough on their own,  their is a ton of carpet so cleaning it is a nightmare,  and it’s light colored so it shows dirt easily!  So asking guests to remove their shoes is a must!

This tutorial is simple enough,  especially because finding signs like this can cost you $15-20. I’m poor and simple jobs like this are not worth the cost for me.
You will need:
-A piece of wood with a hanger (or you can attach your own wire on top)
-fine grit sandpaper
-paint of choice
-paint brush
-pencil
-permanent marker (or you could paint the lettering too)
-wall hook

1. So I found this piece at the thrift store for $1…. Yup $1.

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You can’t tell in this pic but the piece already had a great metal hook attached so it eliminated a step.

2. I sanded it down just a little to help the paint stick and then wiped off the dust.
3. Paint it!  For this piece I used some leftover gray from the walls for my base coat.   Then I had texture and dimension by dabbing and smearing white,  black, and light blue paint into it using a  crumpled up plastic bag.
4. Once I got the look I wanted,  I let it dry overnight.
5. Then I planned out my lettering and lightly wrote it on the piece with my pencil. If you make mistakes,  you can erase it!  But press too hard and you could erase paint so be sure to do all of this step very lightly.
6.  Then I used a permanent marker to trace out my lettering and fill it in.  Because mine got a little dark with just the black sharpie,  I also went in with a silver sharpie and traced the lettering for some extra pop.
7. Place your wall hook in a visible location near the front door and hang the sign on it.
8. Enjoy!

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Ikea Mirror Wall #stylish #onabudget

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I have a few showpieces in my apartment and this is definitely one of them.  People LOVE this wall!
So when I was planning this wall I knew I wanted a dark hallway because I knew I wanted to have something like this to make it pop.   Dark colors are a fantastic base for art!  I also knew that I wanted to incorporate a lot of mirrors into my space to really accentuate the light open feeling it already had. 
These Ikea Malma Mirrors fit the bill perfectly!  They come in a few different colors and at $2/ea,  cost me less than $30 for this show stopping effect.

To get this look :
1. Measure your wall.   The Malma mirrors are 10×10″ and you want some space in between.    Figured out how many your wall will hold and how far apart you want them.  We put them an inch apart on the sides and 3 inches apart between each row.
2. Go to ikea, purchase an appropriate number of Malma mirrors, and try to stay focused lol.
3. Gather together nails,  hammer,  and wall stickies.
4. Make the man in your life hang them…. Lol.  This definitely was a 2 person job because they really had to be super straight.  I suggest using a yardstick or tape measure to mark all of your points first.  Then double and triple check those points.
Then have him hold them while you eyeball their location to make sure it is where you want them.   When it is,  have him place the nail into the wall and hang the mirrors loosely on it.   DO NOT put the stickies on yet because it allows you to make adjustments before you finish.

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This definitely is a time consuming step (probably took us about an hour!)  but so important for the overall look.

5. Once everything is in place take a step back and really look for any crookedness or misalignments.  In the picture below you can see how the bottom 2 on the right are slightly askew.   We were able to correct this before we put the stickies on the back.

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6. Once it’s all in place, take a pencil or pen and mark the sides of the wall where the mirror lies. This is to help you place it exactly where it belongs after you put the stickies on.
7. Remove mirror and place stickies along the edges/ corners.
8. Realign the mirror according to your marks and press the mirror firmly to the wall.   This will keep that mirror hanging straight forever!
9. Repeat steps 6-8 with  all the mirrors.
10. Step back and enjoy!

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DIY Bathroom Sign People #socute #soeasy

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So I have always wanted to have these on my bathroom door…. I’m not sure why,  but they are just so cute and add a bit of character to a boring door!
You will need:
-Cardboard (I used 2 flaps from a box
-A stencil like this one that I Googled : https://goo.gl/images/PFNEN8
-pencil/pen
-good scissors that can cut cardboard
-black paint (I used tempra)
-paintbrush
-wall mount stickies

1. Print out your stencil… Decide how large you want it… I did almost a full page for each so they were about the size of my whole hand.
2. Cardboard- I did this soon after we moved, so I had lots of boxes to choose from.    You could use cardboard scrap paper but I thought it might be too thin.  Whatever your preference is,  decide if you need 1 or 2 pieces based on how large you want your people.   I used 2 pieces as each stencil was almost a full sheet of paper.

3. Cut out your stencil- try and keep the straight lines super straight so you can trace them easily. You should end up with a male and female stencil (if you are doing both)

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4. Trace your stencils onto the cardboard piece(s).

5. Cut out the cardboard pieces.   Note: you could have painted before this step,  but I chose not to so I could paint the sides as well.
You should now have 2 cardboard cutouts.

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6. Grab your paintbrush and some black paint and a give it a couple of good layers.  Let it dry.
7. Add some stickies on the black and mount it to your door!
8. Enjoy!
Told you it was easy and totally quick.   You could do this in an hour!  I get lots of comments on these when people visit!

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Patio flowers #easy #apartment

So I live in an apartment and I hate that mine looks like everyone else’s..  Ya.. Lol I like being different (and cute).

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We found these great old lock boxes at the thrift store for like $2. They have an opening on top and are stainless steel and super heavy so they won’t fall over.   I fit a piece of Styrofoam in the inside and began placing fake flowers into the Styrofoam.  Once it looked good,  I removed the flowers and Styrofoam and handed it over to Raymond.   He then used metal screws to secure it into the patio railing.   I then just slipped the Styrofoam and flowers back in!  Repeat on the other side!  It is super sturdy,  doesn’t get rained on,  easily changeable, and so cute! 

Then we had these 2 white curtains we were doing to add behind them to add extra pop.  Fold the curtain into thirds or whatever thickness works best for behind your flowers.  Then we placed two small hooks into the patio ceiling and two small holes into the curtain.   Hang the curtain from the hooks.   For the bottom,  we secured it to the patio railing with a staple gun.   We also secured it to the top-side of the railing with a few more staples so it wouldn’t blow away.   
And it was sooooooooooo cute!

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I really feel like this picture does not do it justice!
Sigh.

But then my apartment complex said I had to take down the curtains because it broke up the uniformity of the complex…. Hello that was the point!  So I begrudgingly obeyed,  but totally left the flowers (and no complaints yet!)!   So here is a picture of it without the curtains…. Still cute,  but less pop.

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So if subtle is more your thing,  this could be your solution.   

On a brief side note:
I also have a piece of long black tarp I placed on the backside of the railing and secured with a staple gun.   This was to allow me to have some stuff up there without it always looking cluttered and providing more privacy,  especially because you can see all the way through when the door is open.   It’s subtle and works perfectly.  
I added a piece of orange tarp to the floor of the patio to serve as a mock outdoor rug.   It allows me to go in and out in my socks without feeling like I’m getting my whole apartment dirty!  Plus it provides a pop of color and goes beautifully with my pillows and bar cart!  And it’s still subtle enough to not be an eye sore from the outside.

I hope you enjoyed this post and will like it, share it,  or both!
As always,  I love to hear your thoughts on things,  so leave a comment below!