Handmade Back to School Accessories That Are Too Cool for School

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Back to school is right around the corner. Whether you’re going back to secondary school or are off college, or even if you’re just looking for an office upgrade, here are some fabulous and fun handmade items that make going back to school just a little more fun for everyone in your family.
Handmade Back to School Items
Handmade Office Supplies and Desk Accessories
Handmade Pencil Holders for Back to School
Dry Erase and Chalkboard Office Calendar Decals

Circles Dry Erase Wall Calendar Decal from Decals Murals | Peel and Stick Chalkboard Calendar from KathWren

Is someone in your family headed back to school this fall? If so, what’s the one must have item you’re buying for their next back to school experience?

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.

DIY Chalkboard Paint Ideas

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Chalkboard paint has become all the rage. And these DIY chalkboard paint ideas are no exception. I love using chalkboard paint to create unique home decor pieces.

It’s so easy to personalize upcycled bottles or makeover furniture and other home objects with chalkboard paint. In fact the possibility of DIY chalk board ideas are seemingly endless.

Upcycled DIY Chalkboard Painted Bottles

I love this idea for spray painting wine bottles and then personalizing them with a faux label or design.

DIY Chalkboard Paint Ideas. I love this idea for spray painting wine bottles and then personalizing them with a faux label or design. These DIY chalkboard paint bottles can be used simply as decorative home accent pieces, vases for your favorite flowers or even as pricing structures for store products.

Source: Ruhhi Auda BlogNewport: French Kitchen

These DIY chalkboard paint bottles can be used simply as decorative home accent pieces, vases for your favorite flowers or even as pricing structures for store products.

DIY Chalkboard Paint Ideas

Following are a few more of my favorite DIY chalkboard paint ideas that are easy to craft and simple to love!

DIY chalkboard paint ideas you'll want to make right now. I love using chalkboard paint to create unique home decor pieces. It's so easy to personalize upcycled bottles or makeover furniture and other home objects with chalkboard paint. In fact the possibility of DIY chalk board ideas are seemingly endless.

1. Chalkboard Door. This door is painted with magnetic chalkboard paint making it perfect for the kitchen or office. Write notes or pin schedules, coupons and recipes with a magnet! (Source.)

2. Chalkboard Sign. Create a mini sign to show the way to your wedding or party. (Source.)

3. Chalkboard Storage Cabinet. Cover your child’s cabinet or night stand with chalkboard paint and provide them with a place they can safely draw on the furniture! Or spice oup your own furniture thrift store finds and create decorative drawings that match your decor and can be changed whenever the mood strikes. (Source.)

4. Framed Chalkboard. Re-purpose an old frame or mirror with a bit of paint, then hang on your wall for a handy spot to keep notes. (Source.)

5. Custom Color Chalkboard Paint. Customize your chalkboard paint by mixing white chalkboard paint in with the black. Use the different colors to create a memo board or calendar that can be re-used time and again. (Source.)

6. Chalkboard Labels. Use chalkboard paint to create unique labels such as these which have been spiced up with a little DecoArt Thick Texture Paint. Adhere to jars and containers. (Source.)

7. Chalkboard Serving Tray. Cover a tray with chalkboard paint to make serving fun! (Source.)

Have chalkboards made their way into your home yet? What unique projects utilizing chalkboard paint are your favorite and have they made organization easier for you?

Eco-friendly alternatives to everyday conveniences.

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In our effort to save the earth, many of use have turned to recycling and eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products that fit into our lifestyle. Cloth napkins replacing paper towels, handmade laundry soap versus chemical laden detergents, and reusable grocery sacks in lieu of plastic grocery bags. However, there’s one thing our busy lifestyles are loathe to let go, and that is the convenience of many throw away products.

Eco-Friendly Alternatives

Swiffer Sweepers and Wet Jets are in nearly every household I’ve ever been in. Even my mom, who is a hard core recycler, owns a Wet Jet. The pads, however, are anything but earth friendly. Fortunately, there are eco-friendly alternatives that let you keep your cleaning tools and kick the guilt.

Canadian Crafter has come up with a very simple knit Swiffer cover for the Swiffer Sweeper. Even if you can’t knit, you can complete this project as the majority of the work is done on a loom. Use it once, then throw it in with your wash for the next time you clean. View the full instructions here.

In our effort to save the earth, many of use have turned to recycling and eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products that fit into our lifestyle. Explore some of these eco-friendly products that are not only earth friendly, but make your life easier as well!

Instructables even has a solution for your Swiffer Wet Jet made from old t-shirts and a wool blanket. Like the Sweeper pad, this alternative can also be washed and reused. The details are here. (Or buy handmade swiffer covers online.)

You can also refill the Wet Jet Solution container with your own eco-friendly mix. Just check out this how to on removing the cap on the container. Then try mixing up 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar and 2 tsp liquid Castile soap to add to your freshly emptied bottle. You can scent it as desired with a small amount of essential oil if you like.

More useful eco-friendly alternatives.

Here are a few other handmade alternatives to everyday necessities.

In our effort to save the earth, many of use have turned to recycling and eco-friendly alternatives to everyday products that fit into our lifestyle. Explore some of these eco-friendly products that are not only earth friendly, but make your life easier as well!

1. Instead of zipper bags, enclose your child’s lunch goodies in a Reusable Velcro Seal Snack Bag.

2. Skip the plastic straws, and opt for Bended Reusable Glass Straws made from the same material as Pyrex. (From Straws by Carli.)

3. Paper napkins just get thrown away. Not only are these Linen Napkins pretty, but they can be used over and over. (From Celina Mancurti.)

4. Don’t add more plastic to the landfills. Instead take these Reusable Produce Bags to the grocery with you when you shop. (From Love for Earth.)

5. Don’t waste paper pinning notes to the fridge. Keep track of chores and appointments with this Repurposed Eco-friendly Chalkboard. (From Half Pint Salvage.)

6. Need a catchall for everyday items? This Eco-friendly Repurposed Wool Sweater and Cotton Fabric Bucket is perfect for stashing baby’s toys. (From Loop Loft.)

Looking for more affordable, convenient and natural ways to clean your home? Then you must check out Grove Collaborative! I recently became a member and have been super impressed with their service, natural products selections, prices and shipping times. Plus their products help to make it easier for families to make the switch to healthy, non-toxic home and personal care products

Naturally Clean Your Home With Grove

If you’re looking for other affordable, convenient and natural ways to clean your home, then you must check out Grove Collaborative! As a member of Grove Collaborative I have been super impressed with their service, natural products, prices and shipping times. Plus their eco-friendly products help to make it easier for families to make the switch to healthy, non-toxic home and personal care products.

Sign up for Grove Collaborative now and receive a free Mrs. Meyer’s Trio + Grove Walnut Scrubber Sponges! You’ll be thrilled discover some of the cleanest and greenest cleaning sets dedicated to making your home healthy and beautiful! I promise you will absolutely LOVE them! Learn more here.

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