Pin #23: DIY Faux Roman Shades

DIY Faux Roman Shades from Kristen Davis Designs

DIY Faux Roman Shades
from Kristen Davis Designs

This week’s pinning experiment comes from the one and only Sarae Hope who tried out the DIY Faux Roman Shades tutorial from Kristen Davis Designs.  Sarae’s pretty clever with crafty things – like when she helped me figure out how to make these awesome DIY Camping Style Party Signs for our wedding a couple of years ago – so I was excited to see how this project turned out.

After going through a major kitchen renovation (where she installed some great new Pinterest-inspired shelving), she felt like there was one thing missing — her window felt… naked.  Sarae decided it was highly unlikely that she would ever pull a shade all the way down, but loved the idea of a Roman shade.  So, when she found Kristen’s tutorial, she pulled out her sewing machine and got to work.

Here’s how it worked out for her…

  1. It’s easy. Once Sarae got the fabric, it took her less than an hour to make and “install” her new window shade. In the tutorial, Kristen uses glue to put everything together, but Sarae wanted something that was a little more sturdy. She used her sewing machine to simply sew a pocket seam for the tension rod to go through at the top and sewed the seams on the remaining sides.
  2. It’s cheap. Roman shades can get pricey fast, but using this process all Sarae had to buy was one yard of fabric. With a leftover tension rod from the attic, one yard of nice $15 fabric, she was done.
  3. She loves it. I think this turned out great, but more importantly, Sarae loves it. The one change that she would make is to make each of the folds a little longer (like in the pic of Kristen’s shades above) to give more of a “hanging” effect, but overall she’s one pleased pinner.

See for yourself…

Pinterest In Real Life: DIY Faux Roman Shades

Pinterest In Real Life: DIY Faux Roman Shades

DIY Faux Roman Shades

DIY Faux Roman Shades


Pin #22 – DIY Nursery Room Decor

DIY Kid's Room Wall Art TutorialWhen we found out Little Man E was on the way last year, the obsession with creating the nursery began to take over.  I found myself on Pinterest for hours and hours trying to imagine what his first room would look like.  Eventually we settled on a jungle adventure theme and I began researching (read: pinning!) ideas. That’s when I found this pin from Dalloway Kids on Etsy – I loved the simplicity and great splash of color. However, I wasn’t keen on paying $43 + shipping for a couple of cutouts on scrapbook paper.

That’s when I visited my local Michael’s store and got busy. (Random question… How much do you think Michael’s or Hobby Lobby’s business has increased since the advent of Pinterest? I know they’ve gotten my money…).  The end product turned out different from the original inspiration, but I’m really diggin’ on the different dimensions and sense of motion that I wound up with in these pieces.  That’s the glory of DIY, right?!

DIY Nursery Room Decor Tutorial

Children's Room Wall Art from

Inspiration: Nursery Room Wall Art
from Dalloway Kids.

Here’s how I did it…

  1. Gather Supplies. First I picked up several sheets of scrapbook paper – 3 patterned sheets and 3 solid, textured sheets of scrapbook paper. Pick a color combo that best fits your room and style — I chose textured paper for the silhouettes because I wanted them to have a little bit more dimension.  I also grabbed some spray adhesive, exacto knife and 3 picture frames with matting (8.5″ x 11″) .
  2. Find Silohuettes. Next I scoured the Internet for jungle animal silhouettes that I liked. I wanted them to have a sense of motion (much like the giraffe in the Dalloway print) but also the have a bit of playfulness – I didn’t want it to seem like these beasts were gonna attack my babe! To avoid having to pay for these but still not rip anyone off, I used Google’s Advanced Image Search and selected the “free to use or share” option under the Usage Rights filter.

    Use Google's Advanced Image Search to find free images to use - select "free to use or share."

    Use Google’s Advanced Image Search to find free images to use – select “free to use or share.”

  3. Print & Cut. I used basic image sizing software to get the silhouettes to the right size, about 8″ wide (heights varied by animal) then printed the silhouettes directly on to the solid colored paper. From there, I simply cut out the silhouettes with the exacto knife and a cutting board.
  4. Arrange & Glue. Once everything was cut out, I taped the patterned scrapbook paper to the back of the matting and played around with how I wanted the animal silhouettes to sit on the matting – I liked having a few of their legs tucked behind the matting so it gave a slight 3D effect to the picture. Next, I lightly sprayed the silhouettes with the spray adhesive then laid them on the on the scrapbook paper and matting, tucking in the legs as I had determined earlier.

    Place legs on the on top and behind the matting to create dimension.

    Place legs on the on top and behind the matting to create dimension.

  5. Wait.. then Hang! With the silhouettes glued to the background, I covered them with the glass from the frame and sat a couple of books on them to ensure it would dry flat.I let the pictures dry overnight then placed them in the frames. Next, I grabbed the hammer and nails and hung them in Little E’s room.

I love the final product. This project was quick, easy and affordable — I spent about $18 on this with the bulk of that cost coming from the picture frames.  I saved over $25 and got a final product that I like better than the original inspiration!

Pinterest In Real Life: DIY Safari Wall Art

Pinterest In Real Life: DIY Safari Wall Art

DIY Nursery Safari Decor... Adorable baby not included :)

DIY Nursery Safari Decor… Adorable baby not included.

Note: If you like the original pin concept, you could make this DIY even easier by printing the silhouette directly on to the scrapbook paper – totally eliminating the cutting & gluing process. 

Pin #20 – DIY Canvas Wall Photos

DIY Wall Canvas Photos

DIY Wall Canvas Wall Photos
from Literally Inspired.

This week’s pin comes from my dear friend and DIY’er extraodinaire, Jess (check out her boards if you get a chance, especially the aptly named, I Think I Can Do This). After plowing through the first year & a half of motherhood like a champ, she decided it was time to get some new pics up on the wall to celebrate all the changes to their family. However, she wasn’t keen on shelling out $300+ to get the photos made into wall canvases… that’s where this Pinterest gem came in handy.

Ginger over at Literally Inspired posted this great DIY Photo Canvas tutorial that gave Jess the inspiration she needed. Armed with a batch of 8×10 photos, canvases, Modge Podge and an Exacto knife, she went to work. Jess shared a few thoughts with me on how this DIY project worked in real life…

  1. It’s Cheap. Jess figured it cost about $40 to create her custom canvas wall photo collage – with the bulk of that coming from getting the photos printed out at her local Walgreens. The other “major” cost was purchasing a packet of 10 painting canvases at Michael’s. Compared to the $300+ price tag to get these professionally made, Jess made out like a bandit on this one.
  2. It’s Easy. Once she got her rhythm, it took less than 5 minutes to do each one, plus time to dry. A few of the prints were a millimeter or two off, so they didn’t line up exactly; Jess remedied that by grabbing an Exacto Knife to trim to overages.  The one suggestion she makes is to take a practice round with the Exacto Knife before taking it to your photo prints — it took a little getting used to the knife before she was able to make smooth cuts.
  3. Easy to Add & Replace Photos.  With her little one growing and changing every day, Jess wanted an affordable way to swap photos in and out as her little miss grows. This is a method she’s already planning to use for years to come as they update their photo walls… plus it serves as a GREAT gift for the grandparents.
  4. It Looks Amazing. I absolutely love the way this turned out! She’s now got great way to display great shots of the family without breaking the bank every time — Jess also used this brilliantly simple DIY Photo Alignment pin to help hang the photos without poking a bagillion holes in the wall.

Quick, easy and awesome. This is definitely a Pinterest Win.

Pinterest In Real Life: DIY Wall Canvas Photos

Pinterest In Real Life: DIY Wall Canvas Photos

Pin # 18: Chip Clip from Clothing Hanger

Chip Clip from Clothes Hanger
from a poster at

Okay, okay, this pin is so obvious and so simple that this review post almost feels like cheating so I almost didn’t write it up. But then I thought that it’d be selfish of me not to share this simple revelation the masses. (Or at least the 17 of you who read this blog.)

Tired of just tossing (or hopefully recycling) all those plastic hangers that come with clothes from Target or  anywhere else? Well, the fine folks at posted this simple tutorial on how to convert those hangers into chip clips. This concept is especially pertinent for our household because it seems we never have enough chip clips – they’re either broken or have gone MIA. So, armed with a baby clothes hanger and a box cutter I got to work.

How’d it turn out? Pretty nifty, that’s how. Give it a whirl – your fresh tasting chips will thank you.

Pinterest in Real Life: Chip Clip from a Clothing Hanger.

Pinterest in Real Life: Chip Clip from a Clothing Hanger.


Pin #15: DIY Photo Light Box

Photo Light Box Tutorial from Flax and Twine

I love chronicling my Pinterest attempts, but one thing that bugs me is how poorly the pictures have turned out. We have terrible lighting in our kitchen so it’s a struggle to get good pictures. Luckily, I came across this great Pinterest find: DIY Photo Light Box.

Photography tools can get really pricey really fast. Fortunately, Anne over at Flax and Twine wrote up a great (and easy!) tutorial on how to make your own photo light box. Our camera (Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX10) takes pretty good pictures, but lighting issues have always given them funky tints. Well, that problem is no more thanks to our new light box!

Here are my thoughts on Anne’s DIY Light Box:

  1. It’s Cheap! Aside from needing to pick up some white tissue paper and white poster board (which cost about $5 combined), we had all the tools necessary at home: cardboard box, tape, cutting blade. 
  2. It’s Speedy! This project comes together fast! This went so quickly I was able to get it done while our 14 week old son (who is a nortoriously short napper) snoozed in his crib down the hall. It took me about 35 minutes to make my light box – cutting out the cardboard was the longest process.
  3. Check Your Size. Be sure to select a cardboard box that is big enough for what you’ll be photographing. I started with a smaller box to see if the concept translated as well into reality (which it did) but really the box is too small for most of the food shots that we take. In the pics below you can see the edge of my light box at angles that can’t really be cropped out. If you’re taking pics of objects bigger than jewelry you’ll probably want to start with an 24x18x18″ box or bigger.
  4. Add Some Light. If you’re not able to use the light box with natural light filtering in, place a couple of lamps on both sides the box (and on top, if you’ve got a lamp that will work at that angle). This was something I read in the comments of Anne’s original post and it really helped my pics pop.

So how’d the results turn out? Judge for yourself:

Pinterest in Real Life: DIY Light Box Comparison

Pinterest in Real Life: DIY Light Box Comparison

Pin #12: Epsom Salt Spray for Growing Peppers

Espom Salt & Peppers, The Baltimore Sun

We’ve ventured into serious gardening territory this spring and Pinterest has been a great place to stumble on to tips for first time organic gardeners. When I came across this pin I was amazed at such a simple solution for improving your pepper production.

The gist: peppers aren’t as hungry feeders as many other garden plants, however they do have a serious magnesium craving. Epsom salt is the fix for this pepper hankering. Just spray 1 teaspoon Epsom Salt to 4 cups to create a pepper booster.

How’d it turn out for us? Well, it’s only early May so the verdict is still out.

Pinterest in Real Life: Epsom salt treated bell peppers

A few days after we sprayed used the Epsom salt solution spray we also treated the plants with a spray of fish oil emulsion mixture.

There was a big growth spurt for the peppers that were already on the vine; and while there have been several blossoms, we’re still waiting for more fruit.

I’ll update this post in a month or so once we’ve had more time to see how well the peppers are growing in our little garden.

Pin #2 – Camping Style Party Signs

We wanted our wedding to have a very relaxed, fun vibe to fit the outdoorsy setting, so when I saw this camp party sign idea, it got me thinking.

Camp signs from

With the help of the incomparable Sarae Hope (if you’re not following her boards, you really should) and my now-husband, we came up with the types of direction signage that we’d need for wedding. Click the picture above to find the step-by-step instructions on how to make your own.

Our DIY Version of Camp Inspired Party Signs (photos courtesy of Amy Callahan)

Wood stain, leftover plywood and spray paint can go a long way.