Handmade Cool for the Kitchen

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Sometimes you want to give a room in your home a makeover, but really all you can afford to do is dress it up a little. With the right accessories, you can make any room pop without giving it a major overhaul. Following are just a few fun and fabulous handmade products I found to be exceptionally cool for giving your kitchen a bit of that something special while still allowing you to change the room over time. These objects can also be moved from room to room – say from kitchen to living room – with the greatest of ease. You know. Just in case you’re a wee bit finicky and love to live up new styles on the reg.
Polka Dot Flower Linen Pillow Cover
Cool kitchen accessories
One of a kind handmade kitchen accessories

Wine Barrel Hanging Pendant Light to Keep Things Illuminated from Wine Country Craftsman | Carved Porcelain Fruit Bowl for a Table Centerpiece from Isabelle Abramson Ceramics

What are your favorite dual purpose kitchen accessories?

Retro Themed Melamine Dinnerware for the Modern Home

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Melamine TV Trays from Target - Photo by Rebecca D. Dillon
I was in Target yesterday when I happened across some of the coolest TV trays ever. Since Scott and I don’t really have any sort of living room tray to use for our place, I bought one of each. I purchased the TV Melamine Tray for myself and the Record Player Melamine Tray for Scott. Both are available at Target stores for $9.99 each.
Retro TV Melamine Tray - Photo by Rebecca D. Dillon
These fun retro themed trays are not only functional, but they are fun to look at and are a great conversation piece at parties! And, because they’re made out of melamine – the popular plastic of the 50s for dishware – they are microwave and dishwasher safe. Plus they stand up to quite a bit of abuse making them less likely to break if dropped.
I also picked up two sets of plates from this collection. Two plates in a Chevron pattern and two plates in red. The bottoms are ridged for easy stacking and compact storage. The plates run just under $2 each. They were also perfect since my 50s vintage plates don’t fare well in the microwave. However, there’s no need to stop there! If you’re looking for even more fun to add to this collection, be sure to check out Target online.
Cool retro melamine dishware from Target
Target online offers Chevron Appetizer plates, Triangle Record Appetizer plates, Camera Appetizer plates, and a 3 Melamine Cassette Tape Bamboo Tray. There’s also a lot of cool glassware including a set of 8 Black and White Cassette Tape Tumblers. You can view all of the fun, retro themed pieces from this collection at Target online.
Which one is your favorite?

Home Decor Crafts for Spring

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Want to brighten up your home for spring? You don’t need to give the rooms in your house a major facelift. Instead, try crafting a few new home decor crafts accessories that are both bright and beautiful to bring some cheer to dark corners and focal points.

Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought these awesome accessories rather than crafting them yourself! Following are ten simple ways to update your home decor for spring.

Home Decor Crafts for Spring

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY Wine Tumbler Vase from I Don’t Know How She Does It

Spring flowers brighten up any space! Create several vases with a designer look from wine tumblers with the tutorial for a textured vase from I Don’t Know How She Does It!

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY Clay Petal Vase from Centsational Girl

If you’re crafty with clay, use some lightweight stone clay to update an old, boring vase with petal flowers! You can go bold with a solid white finish, or paint the vase and flowers complimentary colors to match your existing decor. The tutorial can be found at Centsational Girl.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY Green and White Dresser from The Ridiculous Redhead

Update a boring, brown dresser by making it over in bright colors and patterns. This would look great in a bedroom or even in living room or dining room. Drawers don’t just have to be for clothes. They can also hold dvd’s or dishes and flatware! See how it was done at The Ridiculous Redhead.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY Hanging Book Display from Penny Carnival

For even more storage without comprising floor space, try crafting these fabric wall mounted bookshelves. Use bright colored fabric for spring and summer and change out the fabric for fall and winter. Or just switch it up whenever you want a fresh look! It’s great in practically any room. You can find the tutorial for this hanging book display at Penny Carnival.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

Organic Bloom Frames from Small and Chic Home

Been trying to decide just how to display your favorite family photos? Paint wooden frames in bright colors rather than sticking to plain black, store bought styles and hang them in groups on empty walls. There are some great framing ideas at Small and Chic Home featuring frames from Organic Bloom that you can purchase if you’re unable to source wood frames with flair on your own.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY 15-Minute Pillow Covers from The Full Moxie

Update your couch with something as simple as bright, new pillow covers. You can grab the tutorial for making your own diy 15-minute pillow covers at The Full Moxie.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY Colorful Wooden Floor Mat from Lowe’s Creative Ideas

Or, simply brighten up the entrance to your home with a diy wooden floor mat. You can find out how to make this colorful floor mat at Lowe’s Creative Ideas.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY Embellished Tea Towels from Hardly Housewives

Update your boring kitchen towels with some simple fabric embellishments using the tutorial at Hardly Housewives. They’ll look pretty even when they get left out and you can craft new colors for every season. You can also craft some colorful DIY tea towels from flour sacks and fabric markers using the tutorial at Skip to My Lou.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

Easy Cabinet Updates from Better Homes & Gardens

Or create a more drastic change to your kitchen by updating your kitchen cabinets. There are number of ways to do this from metal inserts to chalkboard paint. Better Homes & Gardens offers 25 simple ways to update your cabinets DIY style.

Brighten your home for spring without a major facelift with this collection of home decor crafts! These bright and beautiful spring crafts will bring some cheer to those dark corners and focal points. Not only are these home decor crafts for spring easy, they are so beautiful your friends will think you bought them!

DIY Paper Lantern from Design Sponge

Changing out your light fixtures or updating your lighting with new accent lamps or chandeliers is another great way to add a small, decorative touch. These sculptural paper orb lights are made using coffee filters and cupcake liners. Find out how to make these decorative paper lanterns at Design Sponge.

For more home decor crafts and DIY decorating ideas, visit my For the Home and DIY Craft Projects boards on Pinterest.

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DIY Magnetic Spice Jars – For Organizing and Freeing Up Counter Space

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We don’t have a lot of counter space in my new kitchen. And the cabinets we have are small. Not to mention our kitchen isn’t exactly a modern one – after all, the house we are renting is over a hundred years old. So counter space is a commodity. But with a boyfriend who likes to cook, spice jars can quickly clutter what counter space there is.

I have long loved the idea of magnetic spice tins and had planned to craft some for our new space. However, after really digging into reviews, I found that many of the tins don’t seal tightly which has led to issues with the herbs staying as fresh as possible. There were also stories of sea salt ending up in solid blocks in magnetic tins. Unable to find tins that had great reviews for this purpose, I decided to instead use the original jars my spices came in – or buy empty glass jars with screw tops – and instead make them magnetic.

This is what I started with. Spice jars lined up on the counter. I went ahead and bought some basic spices in jars just to get started, but I’ll be refilling these with bulk spices and herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs so I can buy organic and save money.
I then made new labels for my jars just for fun. Of course, new labels are optional. But they can be changed from time to time. You can either decoupage labels or make your own. I made my own labels by hand drawing the type of herb or spice onto whole sticker label sheets I purchased in bulk from Onlinelabels.com. I used a ruler to mark how high on the sticker paper the labels should be then drew my images and wording within that section with permanent Bic Markers.
The existing labels I could get off of my spice jars I peeled off. The ones that wouldn’t come off easily I left on. I then removed the backing from the sticking paper.
And adhered my new labels to the jars over the old ones.
I then took some E6000 Glue to affix two 25 Neodymium Rare Earth Magnets to the back of the jar. (I bought my glue and magnets from Candy Tiles on Etsy.)
And then allowed the glue to dry completely.
Once the glue dried all the way, I was able to place my herbs and spices on the side of the fridge for easy access and clear up some counter space. Alternately, you could also hang a spice tin wall base on a wall in an area you’d like to store your spice jars.

Now everything is right where we need it and we can easily add more jars to the side of the fridge as our spice and herb collection grows.

What types of things have you done in your kitchen to organize and save space?

DIY Kitchen Makeover – Getting Started

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Moving into a new place always requires a lot of work and a lot of love. But if you really want your place to shine – and not be just another renter – it also requires a little extra elbow grease. I like to treat every place I live or work as if it’s my own. Therefore it receives the same love and care. The one really big thing I want to put some work into first is our new kitchen. It was freshly painted before Scott and I moved in, but in a flat paint and nothing more. Therefore the grease over the stove has bled through the paint and it can’t be cleaned. The cabinets are also a very dull, non-exciting white, and overall the kitchen feels very bland to me. It lacks any kind of personality. My son, Cody, and I decided to start on a few things to give it a cheery makeover until we have more money. First on our to do list was to make a space for notes and honey-do lists for Scott. We decided to apply chalkboard paint to the two outer kitchen cabinets for a little pop and to make it more fun.
Here are the cabinets over the sink before we started. That’s my son, Cody, at the ready with a cordless drill.
Cody took the doors off the cabinets from the actual door. At first we tried to do it the “right” way and remove the hinges from both the cabinet and door, but as it turned out the hinges are attached pretty well to the cabinets courtesy of many layers of paint.
We laid newspaper outside on the back porch and Cody went over each door several times with nice, even layers of Kryon Chalkboard Paint. This was the right cabinet door.

And this was the second cabinet door. He did go back and do the sides as well.

Once the doors dried completely, Cody re-hung them.

After letting them dry for a good 24 hours, we then brightened them up with some chalk.

In the meantime, I’ve also started looking at paint colors to cover the grease in the kitchen and to add a little color while still keeping the space neutral.

These are the colors I have my eye on. (Check out the real deal in Lowe’s stores to get a better idea of the colors. Computer screens I have found vary greatly and even my computer screen doesn’t accurately portray these colors.) I’m thinking the tea stain in a good paint with primer for the walls – it’s only slightly lighter than the colors on the walls now – and the Grandma’s linen for the cabinet structure and remaining cabinet doors. I believe they will tie together beautifully and give the kitchen a little pop without going overboard since we’re renting. We’ve already started on some of the preliminary work. Cody spent much of Saturday pulling nails and screws, tracks that attach to nothing, hooks, etc. left in the walls – of which there were many! So now there’s just hole filler, paint and brushes and rollers to buy and a lot of work ahead!

I’ve also looked all over for spice racks and when I couldn’t find any locally I started pricing them online. I’ve had a love affair for magnetic spice racks for some time, however, I have read multiple complaints about the tins not sealing tightly. In the end I’ve decided to simply buy earth magnets and E6000 glue to adhere to the back of my existing spice containers which I will then store on the side of the fridge in arms’ reach of the stove. (I bought my magnets and glue from CandyTiles on etsy.) As my spice jars run empty I can refill them with bulk, organic herbs I’m able to buy at a discount from Mountain Rose Herbs. And for fun, I’ll decoupage my own hand designed labels to cover the existing herb jar labels. Which reminds me, I need to buy mod podge! I’ll post photos once I get that task completed!

In the meantime, here are some photos what our kitchen looks like one week after moving in.

We’ll be replacing the valances once we have the money and decide on the final wall color. That’s the pantry door to the right.

Another view. You can see there’s no light over the sink. I’m wondering if there’s a battery version we might be able to install there. And then you can see our kitchen radiator under the window.

The stove area along the same wall as the sink. Unfortunately there’s no exhaust vent either and in the winter it can be a tad too cold to open the windows. Any suggestions for options there? As you can see the fridge is right behind the stove so I think the side of the fridge is perfect for putting spices. I also have all handmade magnets on the fridge. There are several fortune cookies pinned to it. My two favorites are: “Happy event will take place shortly in your home.” and “Get your mind set…Confidence will lead you on.”

We have a dishwasher, which is amazing in a house over a hundred years old that’s also a rental. The little alcove behind it is a washer/dryer hook up area.

Does any have other suggestions for improving my kitchen? Thanks so much for taking this little journey with me.