DIY Stair “Tiles”



Happy Monday! Or should I say “May the 4th Be With You”? In all honesty I’ve never been that into Star Wars even though growing up the rest of my family was, and by not being that into Star Wars I mean I don’t even know which of the movies I’ve seen or how many there even are. Don’t judge. The good news is now that I have a 6 year old son it seems to be some sort of a requirement that I become a fan, you know since he’s slowly becoming a fan. He’s super into Baby Yoda right now and I will say he’s pretty darn cute and his cuteness is almost tempting enough to make me sit down and watch from the beginning. But enough about that. I wanted to share another project I finally checked off my never-ending home improvement to-do list. Anyone else have one of those?


I shared a picture of our painted stairs on my Instagram account a while back and I was totally digging the dark blue color we ended up painting them, but after leaving them like that for a couple months I decided something was missing. They needed some sort of a “pop” (as if dark blue stairs don’t “pop” enough). I agonized, as I do best, over installing a stair runner or stair treads or painting the risers a different color, but I decided I wanted something a little more unique, like something with a pattern on the risers, but I also knew I wasn’t about to stencil anything … insert removable stair riser decals that look like tiles. Who knew there was such a thing?

I decided to start with every other stair to make sure I liked the look. These came 12 decals to a pack with each decal measuring 8 inches by 8 inches. I ended up ordering 4 packs since after measuring I figured I’d need about 6 decals per stair and I was doing a total of 8 stairs. After taking close to forever to get here, I was so excited to get them on the stairs. I figured I’d just slap them on and be done with it. That was before I realized each of our stairs was a different length and a different height. So there was a little (or a lot) of cutting involved and a few (or several) do-overs, but after a good bit longer than expected I was finally done and I have to say I was pretty happy with the outcome.

A few things to keep in mind during this project:

  • Clean your stairs really well before applying (and let them dry completely)
  • Start where you feel most comfortable – I started at the left side of each stair and worked my way over. These decals can be moved several times and still stick so no freaking out required if you don’t get them on straight the first time
  • A razor blade is super handy to have for the cutting (cut gently so you don’t gouge the stairs). I ended up having to cut the tops all the way across & the side of the last one on each stair.
  • After applying the decals, run a cloth over the surface to apply pressure & get out any air bubbles
  • Applying heat helps to activate the glue so run a hair dryer over each step at the end. I originally skipped this step and the corners started peeling after a few days, so I’d definitely recommend not skipping




If you like patterns and pops of design as much as me, this is an awesome and super inexpensive way (like less than $100) to liven up your stairs. I even decided I liked the look of just doing every other stair so I can now say this project is officially completed! Enjoy your Monday and may the 4th be with you 🙂



DIY Brushstroke Walls

I’m a huge fan of wallpaper. And by huge, I mean I would deck out the entire house in it if it wasn’t so dang expensive … and if my husband would leave town long enough for me to get away with it. But since we’re under this thing called quarantine I can’t really send my husband anywhere and then there’s still the financial aspect of it. I truly had every intention of wallpapering the nook area in my soon-to-be-yet-still-under-construction craft room upstairs, but after realizing it was going to cost close to $1000 to do a smallish area that nobody was ever really going to see, I talked myself out of it, and for those that know me well you know once I get an idea in my head it doesn’t leave easily. Granted this has been a 6-month long process – quote after quote, waiting for my beloved wallpaper to go on sale (which it never did), thinking of doing it myself even though I’ve never wallpapered anything in my life, looking at tons of peel and stick options, so on and so on. I was kind of at a loss and about to just bite the bullet with the do-it-myself option, but then while scrolling aimlessly through Pinterest late one night (as I love to do when I can’t sleep), I kept coming across pins of wall designs that people had painted themselves. And there it was … the solution to my 6-month long, not important whatsoever, dilemma. I was going to handpaint a design on the walls of the nook area myself. It’s like Pinterest had been listening to me this whole time.

I started by painting the walls white (flat finish), which took 2 full coats because I was painting over a darkish blue color and because I was too lazy to use a primer. I had seen lots of fun designs on Pinterest and I tossed around the idea of using a stencil to do a couple of them, but then remembered I hate stenciling because I have no patience when it comes to painting, so I picked something I could do completely freehand – a brushstroke pattern. This tops the list of easiest projects ever – no straight lines needed, no same size brushstrokes needed. I literally just dipped the tip of a 1.25 inch paintbrush in some blue paint I already had sitting around and made some brushstrokes on the walls. I absolutely love the outcome … and the few people I texted pics to all thought it was wallpaper. Bonus.

The biggest key to this project is to not get a ton of paint on the tip of your brush. You’ll end up with drips (take it from me). It’s better to get just a little at a time, which means you will have to re-dip your brush in the paint often, but it’s worth it. It’s handy to pour some paint in a smaller cup so you can carry it with you as you move across the walls. I started in the middle of a wall and simply made brushstrokes going down to the bottom, then used a step-ladder to go from where I started to the top of the wall. After the first go-round I went back and added some brushstrokes in areas that looked a little bare.  And that was it. It’s a super cheap and super easy way to add some “fun” to your walls, not to mention a pretty awesome alternative to wallpaper. However wallpaper will always be my first true love.

Paint source – Behr Low-Luster Enamel Porch & Patio Floor Paint in Rainstorm. Like I said, I literally just used what I had sitting around 🙂





Bathroom Reno

I’d love to say our attic renovation is completely done but it’s still missing some paint, some wallpaper and some light fixtures … and some organization. The attic bathroom, however, is done!

The “construction” phase of the bathroom reno involved tearing up the tile floors, tearing out the 2 vanities and knocking down a wall – you know, just totally minor stuff. We (and by “we” I mean my handy brother) then installed new tile floors – NuCore Luxury Vinyl Tile to be exact, which I was totally skeptical about to begin with but now that they’re installed I couldn’t love them more. We then put in one new vanity and left the area where the other vanity had been open to give the bathroom more space. Due to having to cut the vanity top to make it fit in the space and due to the cut not exactly being what you’d call straight (no renovations are trouble-free, amiright?), my brother installed a wood surround around the top of the vanity to hide the imperfection and I have to say it looks kinda like perfection at this point. The walls were painted with a custom-made color by yours truly.  Basically I mixed two blue paints together (Sherwin Williams Regatta & Sherwin Williams Oceanside). It’s not quite the color I was going for but I’m not about to repaint it so it’ll do for now. I may leave the custom colors up to someone else next time. We replaced the toilet but decided to leave the bathtub as is since it was in such good shape. We did update the faucet, showerhead and drain parts. Two new light fixtures and a new mirror were installed and then I began my favorite part – the decorating!

Here are some pics with sources tagged at bottom:

The Before 


Goodbye Old Vanities & Wall


Hello New Floors, New Paint, New Vanity


Final Touches


Next up — my craft room!! Keep an eye out for that post coming soon (I hope) 😉

Happy Monday to all!

Playroom Reno

We’ve been working on our attic transformation since late last Fall and I’m a bit embarrassed to say we still aren’t quite finished. I’ve done a lot of projects in my life but never have I ever spent SO much time on one … I think it’s gonna be good though and totally worth the wait 🙂

We bought our house 2 years ago and we’ve done a lot in that length of time, or at least I like to tell myself that. The entire downstairs has been painted, the sunroom has been wallpapered, hardwoods have been installed in all the bedrooms, the interior columns have been replaced with wood beams and a crazy-large window was removed to create a walk-through from the dining room to the sunroom … and that’s just the big stuff. We’ve also had our roof replaced and the outside painted but those things don’t trigger quite the same amount of excitement as the others. It was hard to pinpoint what our next project would be, because the kitchen and outside are fighting each other at the top of my list, but we decided to go with the attic. Weird choice some might say, but we’ve been excited to make the space usable for us. All of our living is on the first floor, which I love, but there’s not much space left to “play” … enter the attic space. The people before us had transitioned the attic into some sort of a second floor with three large rooms and a bathroom, which I find so amazing in itself, however it wasn’t quite working for us so we’ve made (and are still making) some changes to make the space our own. So far we’ve ripped up all of the carpet and installed some amazing hardwoods we found ON CLEARANCE at Floor & Decor. We’ve knocked down some walls and moved some doorways, we’ve redone the bathroom, we’ve installed all new lighting and we’ve done some painting. We’ve designated one room as Austin’s playroom, one room as the game room (think ping pong, air hockey, darts) and one room as my craft room – can I get a hallelujah?!? I’m happy to say that although we may still be in the process of finishing up this huge undertaking at least the playroom is complete!

After the “construction” phase of the playroom renovation was complete, we installed the hardwoods and painted the room Sherwin Williams Dewy to help brighten up the space. We designated one wall as ‘the chalkboard’ and painted it from top to bottom with Valspar black chalkboard paint. We then hung french doors in the brand new doorway and stained them with Varathane Provincial wood stain. Recessed lights were also installed, as well as a new fan, and to keep it simple we painted the ceiling the same color as the walls! After that it was time for the fun part – decorating! And because I’m obsessed with Rethunk Junk’s Denim Blue chalk paint, I did paint an existing piece of furniture with it and did a glossy finish.

Here are some before and afters with sources tagged at bottom:

Construction Phase


Pre-Paint & Pre-Hardwoods






Final Touches

IKEA KALLAX storage unit (I painted with Rethunk Junk Denim Blue chalk paint & a gloss finish) // IKEA LEKMAN storage cubes // IKEA LYCKSELE futon with black/white EBBARP cover // IKEA KNAGGLIG wooden storage crates // Triangle wall decals – Amazon // Threshold Schoolhouse wall clock – Target


Keep an eye out for a bathroom reno post soon! Happy Monday to all 🙂

Chalk Painting My Way to Modern

The words chalk paint and modern do not go hand in hand. Or do they? I didn’t think so until I finished up my latest DIY endeavor. Believe it or not, I had never used chalk paint until a few weeks ago. Say what? I know, I just might be the last person on the face of the planet who’s able to claim this. But it’s true. I’ve painted way more than my fair share of furniture, but I don’t know, I guess I like to torture myself into making the process as painstakingly time-consuming as possible and apparently I heart sanding. Not this time though. It might just be me, but I believe you hit a point in your life where you never (ever) want to pick up a paintbrush again (and definitely not a sander), and that point, my friends, is where I’m at in life – hence the lack of completed projects lately. This project was long overdue though and one evening I decided I just couldn’t stand to look at the plain jane wood any longer.


I’ve always heard that chalk-type paints are so easy to use mainly because you don’t have to do any prep work. Music to my ears … except I was always under the impression that chalk-type paints left your furniture giving off that aged and distressed vibe, which isn’t always music to my ears. I do love that look but that’s not what I was going for with this project. Our dining room definitely gives off a vintage farmhouse vibe but I have a lot of funky modern elements mixed in as well. You guys know by now that I can’t stick to one design style. I wanted this buffet to give off a loud pop of modern to even out the design elements in the room. After a little bit of research I decided I could probably get the shiny look I wanted with chalk paint. In case you’re not aware, there are tons of chalk-type paints out there on the market. Annie Sloan coined the term “chalk paint” – who knew? So although I refer to the paint I used as chalk paint, technically it’s not because it’s not the Annie Sloan brand. Details, right? One thing all of these chalk-type paints have in common though is that they’re not exactly cheap. But when you take into account the amount of time you save by doing NO prep work, the price seems just fine to me.

My local boutique carries the Rethunk Junk paint line. I was looking for a navy and opted for Denim Blue. I was kinda nervous after the first coat because it was a bit lighter than I was hoping, but I kept at it anyway. I’m still not sure why I waited to take off the hardware until after the first coat was on. Oh wait yes I do, I’m the most impatient DIY-er. I forgot for a minute.


All I had to do to start was clean the furniture with a lightly damp cloth. That’s it! After I wiped it off and it was dry, I proceeded to apply 2 coats of paint total. I did remove the hardware after the first coat but I recommend removing it before you even start 🙂 As most of you may already know, there are all sorts of chalk-type paint finishing products to choose from. I passed on these and used straight up Polycrylic from good ole’ Home Depot. After the second coat of paint was dry I lightly sanded with steel wool just enough to rough up the surface a little, then I added a layer of Polycrylic. I repeated this step and then called it a day. So far so good. This buffet doesn’t get a whole lot of “use” so to speak. The drawers are opened to get wine glasses out and that’s about it. The wine rack isn’t currently in use because for some reason we can never manage to keep a stash of wine in our house. What can I say? We like wine. Some might recommend a total of 3 coats of Polycrylic if the piece gets a lot of use.  I used gold spray paint to give the hardware an updated look as well.


The Polycrylic worked perfectly to give this piece the sheen I was craving. And the gold hardware added the perfect pop of modern.


So if you’re one of the few out there who haven’t touched chalk-type paints for whatever reason, I highly recommend it. The ease of use is honestly incredible and now that I know first-hand that my furniture doesn’t have to end up looking aged and distressed if that’s not the look I’m going for, I see many more containers of chalk paint in my future. I may even look forward to picking up a paintbrush again. But probably not a sander … at least not for a while.



One Room Down

Good Monday morning! The Super Bowl really should be on a Saturday, am I right? Luckily it was a peaceful morning in our house due to the Eagles winning last night. I’m not sure how our morning would have started out otherwise due to my husband, and more recently our four year old son, being die hard Eagles fans. We had to experience the pain of the UGA Bulldogs losing the National Championship so I’m extra thankful for the outcome of last night’s game. Two football heartaches so close to each other would not have been pretty.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how absent I’ve been with this blog and how all over the place I’ve been with my Instagram posts of our house. When we moved in July I was so excited at the thought of having so much content to write about and so many room transformations to share, but it’s been a S.L.O.W. process. I’ve been posting random pictures of the few areas that are completely done in our house … and by few I mean very few. We moved in July and yet there are still boxes stuffed in closets that need to be unpacked. Our garage looks like 3 episodes of Hoarders combined together, at a minimum. With every room we start to do we find unexpected issues … and believe it or not, I just found out that money doesn’t grow on trees around here, and so there’s that. Bummer.

With that being said, I am happy to report that our son’s room is done-zo! I’ve shared snippets here and there and I’ve gotten several questions about where stuff came from, what paint I used, etc, so I wanted to devote a post just to his room and share all the deets. Here’s to one room all the way down!

Here’s the BEFORE:

And here’s the AFTER:

Changing out the paint and flooring made such a huge impact. Goodbye multi-colored walls and dingy carpet and hello Sherwin Williams 6484 Meander Blue and White Oak hardwoods. We had to match existing hardwoods in the main part of the house and while this wasn’t necessarily easy, we did it after numerous visits to multiple flooring stores as well as countless online requests for wood floor samples. I could easily build a piece of furniture out of all the samples I have … except for the fact that I can’t build furniture.

Next up was painting his night stand and bookcase because the green just wasn’t looking right with the new wall color. Enter Sherwin Williams 6169 Sedate Gray.



After all the painting and flooring was complete it was easy to finish up the rest. I just had to force myself to shop for some cute accessories to fill up the space. Poor me, I know. Luckily we kept most of the items from his old bedroom so I didn’t have to find much for the walls or shelves.

I started with curtains. I fell in love with the Cloud Island Plus Sign curtains (pictured above). The Cloud Island line at Target is very similar to the Pillowfort line and I’m seriously obsessed with both. I changed out the lampshade that came on the Pillowfort Fox lamp (Target) because it was just a bit too much white. I scored a gray velvet shade (above) from World Market and it was marked down due a tiny dent. I’ll take it!

I did finally find all the letters to spell out his name above his bed. I bought all the letters as is, from various stores and antique markets. I ended up having to paint the “I” as I couldn’t find one I really liked. I bought a plain wood one from Target (who has such a cute craft line by the way) and did a white/gray splotchy combo using acrylic paint.


Below are some of my favorites from his room. Pretty much everything is from Target (gasp!). Exceptions include the following:

prayer on canvas (Etsy – Houseof3) // bear print (Marietta Square Artist Market – so wish I could give the artist credit but I lost the card) // wall decal (Etsy – Durido) // live simply print (Etsy – LatteDesign) // “A” book (Etsy – CustomBooks) // clay polar bear (my husband made it when he was little. how cute is that???) // owl hoop art (Etsy – lulusloft) // mountains are calling print (Etsy – thestudioonrobinlane) // wooden box & clay fox (handmade by my talented brother & niece, respectively!) // fox & squirrel hoop arts (Etsy – bohointheround)

And that’s a wrap! It feels so good to be done with one whole room. I mean it’s so nice to not walk into a room and immediately make my mental list of the 18+ things that still need to be done in said room. Silly problems I know … but it still feels good 🙂

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

Oh Target, How I Love Thee

Good Monday morning! I shared some details of my son’s mini room makeover a couple of weeks ago and I’m happy to say I have reached a stopping point – meaning I’ve done all it makes sense to do in a room of a house we very likely may be listing on the market soon. The final steps of his mini room makeover included painting his bookcase the same Sherwin Williams Organic Green as his nightstand, adding some fun new accessories as well as repainting a few old accessories, and organizing and rearranging until I basically passed out. It’s amazing how good the act of decluttering feels. See below for some peeks at his bookcase.


I also shared with you a couple of weeks ago my slight obsession with Target’s Pillowfort line. I thought I had cleared their shelves of the items I wanted for this room redesign, but lo and behold, the bear head came back in stock! And after that I discovered a set of sheets I hadn’t seen before and then came to the decision that he needed yet another fleece blanket in his room because three’s just not enough, especially with summer right around the corner. So you probably get the point. Basically I found myself spending way too large a sum of money at my beloved Target yet again. I’m telling you that 5% off with the Red Card that doesn’t sound like much at all can actually pay your utility bills when you frequent Target as much as I do. I realize I probably shouldn’t be proud of that.

The main thing I love about the Pillowfort line is that it’s fun, with a capital F.U.N. Each item gives off a hint of whimsy and what child’s room doesn’t need some of that? There actually are different “collections” within the Pillowfort line, but the great thing about this line is that you can mix and match items from the different collections and the turnout is still amazing. I’ve compiled my favorite nine below.

Fleece Tree Blanket –
Stuffed Bear Head –
Plus Sign Sheets –
Fox Lamp –
Seek Adventure Sign–
Teepee –
Stitched Quilt –
Stuffed Bear –
Forest Animals Sheets –

As for that bear head, it’s cute right? I debated buying it for so long that it became temporarily unavailable – probably a sign I should’ve acknowledged – but it recently reappeared at my local Target and I snagged it up. I’m not one for having animal heads on my walls (hence the debate I had in my head for entirely too long) but when they’re that cute and that fake you gotta give in a little, am I right?


It may be a while until this project is 100% complete but I promise to share all the details when it is. In the meantime, if you ever find yourself filling your Target cart with Pillowfort goodies, I’d love to hear what you snagged 🙂

Wishing everyone a great week ahead!

From Out-Dated Country to Freshened-Up Modern

I’m in the middle of kind of redesigning my son’s room, who’s now three. THREE?!? I still can’t believe my husband and I have managed to raise a pretty much perfect child. Yes, I’m biased. I say “kind of” redesigning because I’m limiting myself – and if you know me well at all you know that is a HUGE challenge for me. But because we’re hoping to move in the very near future, it just makes sense. So painting and wallpapering are out (bummer right?), as is curtain shopping and rug purchasing. I mean you never know how many windows are going to be in his next room or how large the floor area will be. Good points, hubs, good points. Although I’m gonna go with two windows and the floor area won’t matter because I’m just wanting a small accent rug – BUT no need to argue. I’ll take a little redesigning over no redesigning any day.

Our son has been in a crib up until a couple weeks ago. I know! Go ahead and begin the judging. Talk about not wanting to let go of that baby phase, right? Honestly though, that’s only part of it. Although watching him move from one phase to another makes my heart fill with joy, it does break a little piece off my heart each time as well. He’s already a little boy and it’s just so crazy how fast that’s happened. So yes, although I can sometimes scarily picture myself being one of those crazy moms who refuses to let her child grow up, that’s not the whole story. Procrastination is the other part. It’s been on my To-Do list to refinish his future bed for the l.o.n.g.e.s.t time, but other things kept taking precedence. He wasn’t jumping out of his crib so I didn’t see the rush. But it finally happened a couple weeks ago! And he actually sleeps better, which had I known the difference it would make I would’ve put him in a bed at 3 months old. I’m so thrilled that the bed he’s now sleeping in belonged to his GiGi (my mother-in-law). I just find it so awesome when you can keep good furniture pieces in the family. Anyway, I hated to even touch it but due to a decent amount of wear and tear, my husband and I sanded it down (not that fun of a task in case you’re wondering) and I put one coat of stain and a couple coats of poly on it and that was it.


So of course along with the new bed came the need for new bedding, and that led to some things not matching which led to the need for some furniture repainting and new accessory purchasing. And did I mention we get to remove the changing table because potty training was finally a success (I’ll hate myself forever if I just jinxed that). And some things still match but they’re just too “babyish” at this point, etc etc. Like my justifying skills? I should teach a class. Anyway, a new night stand was on the “need” list but rather than buying one I scoured our basement and found this –

Really not that bad-looking if you ask me, although I have NO idea why I bought it in the first place. I remember being at an antique & consignment store years back and thinking it was  a good price and somehow it ended up in the back of my car, after paying for it of course. Am I the only one that ever happens to? It made a quick appearance in our game room and then wound up in the basement. But thank God, because it came in handy for this partial redesign. I wasn’t quite digging the overall look though – it was a little too country for the direction I was hoping to head. My ultimate goal is to make my son’s room fresh and fun and a little on the modern side. I’m 100% obsessed with Target’s Pillowfort collection ( I’m sure you are now too. The pops of color and whimsy are just too much, in a good way. This collection has been my inspiration for this redesign, and while a good bit of my son’s room is going to end up black, white, and grey, you know there has to be some major pops of color if the room is in my house. Enter SW Organic Green paint and a new bright white drawer pull.

All this project required was a light sanding with a sanding sponge, a couple coats of paint, and a coat of polyurethane. I even had a little help from the man of the hour himself.


Next, the old drawer pull was removed with a screwdriver and the new one was put on. Because the new drawer pull didn’t line up perfectly with the old holes (go figure), I did have to add nail hole filler to the old holes before painting the drawer. New holes had to be drilled for the new pull, but it’s easier than you may think, I promise.

My son was super excited to get a new night stand, which I just find so adorable. He’s already filled the drawer with his miniature rock and shell collection and he keeps telling me he “loves the new handle” … pinch me now. Add a fox lamp and a cute bear from the Pillowfort collection and there you have it. Step 2 in Austin’s room redesign is complete. Step 1 was the bed and Step 3 will be painting his bookcase the same Organic Green – stay tuned!


Candle Making 101


As some of you may know I don’t rely on this blogging gig to pay the bills and I actually have another job that I get paid to do. Thank God for that, right? We celebrated Lab Week at my other job in April because that’s what labs do each year and I work in a lab. There’s a “holiday” for everything else so why not designate an entire week to celebrating lab workers? A coworker of mine and I like to get creative in terms of lab week gifts for our shift rather than purchasing the generic gifts that crowd the internet this time of year – cups with “you’re a lab superstar” splattered across them, pens with “lab workers get it done” stamped on them, shirts with “I get results” printed on them. Yeah, really. I mean I know I work in a lab but believe it or not … not all of us are that nerdy.

So anyway, I had the bright idea of making candles inside of beakers. Still kinda nerdy I know, but everyone likes a candle right? And better yet, I found lab beakers that were in the style of jiggers and marked for exactly 2 shots worth of liquor. Say what? Yep. They even had a double pouring spout. Thank you Williams-Sonoma. So needless to say an airplane-sized bottle of liquor seemed appropriate to include with these jigger beaker candles. No drinking on the job though 🙂

Had I ever made candles before? No. But I like a challenge. Here’s how this lab superstar got it done ~

materials (makes {6} 3oz candles)

  • 1 lb soy wax (you can use other types of wax but these instructions are for soy wax)
  • 6 containers (really anything can be used as long as it can withstand heat)
  • 6 candle wicks
  • candle thermometer
  • double boiler (or make one using a pot and bowl like I did)
  • 2 oz fragrance (optional)
  • 6 pencils
  • scissors

step 1

Prepare your containers by placing the candle wicks in the center of the container. Ideally your wicks will be long enough so that you can wrap the ends of them around a pencil and lay the pencil across the top of the container in order to keep the wicks in place while you’re pouring wax. My wicks were too short and I had to lay pencils around all sides of the wicks to attempt to keep them in place. This didn’t work 100% so there was a lot of maneuvering of the wicks while pouring the wax, which is not ideal.


step 2

If your wax isn’t already cut up into small pieces, you’ll probably want to do this. I don’t think a huge block of wax would melt evenly, not to mention it would take a very long time. Make sure you cover your work area with wax paper or newspaper to protect the surface you’re working on (I failed to do this and regretted it tremendously).

step 3

Fill your large pot or double boiler with water. Just make sure the container you’re using on top to actually melt the wax in doesn’t touch the water (but it does need to come somewhat close).

step 4

Add wax pieces to the heat-resistant container that you’ll use to actually melt the wax and place this container on top of the pot with water, creating a makeshift double boiler. This is what I used the large mixing bowl for, but if you have a glass measuring cup I would recommend using this – easier to pour the melted wax at the end!

Keep in mind that you can NOT put candle wax directly on heat – it will either evaporate or better yet, catch on fire!


step 5

Turn heat to high so water will boil and watch the wax start melting.


step 6

Use the thermometer to keep your eye on the temperature. Soy wax should be melted until it reaches about 170-180 F. Fragrance should be added once the wax reaches temperature. Stir well after fragrance is added and remove from heat.

step 7

Double check that your wicks are centered in your containers and pour your melted wax into the containers. Since I used a large mixing bowl as my double boiler I first transferred the melted wax to a measuring cup so that is was easier to pour. Pour slowly to ensure no spillage and to ensure the wick remains centered. I struggled a bit with this 🙂

step 8

Let wax cool completely. Soy wax typically takes about 5 hours, but the longer it can cool the better. It will turn white I promise! Unless you put coloring in it of course. I didn’t fool with that, being that it was my first time making candles and all.

step 9

Clean up your mess (sorry but you’re bound to have some) and trim your wicks to about 1/4 inch and you. are. done!

Now that I know how easy it is to make candles, I’ll probably be making a few more of these in my future. I think with a really cute container and a really good-smelling fragrance, these could potentially make a really great gift for a lot of occasions!


Hand-Made Clay Catch-Alls

Okay, so these are more like little jewelry or coin dishes as opposed to catch-alls (you really can’t fit a whole lot in them) … but they are hand-made and they are clay. And they’re air-dry clay at that – no oven required. Hopefully that excites you as much as it did me. I’ve had the urge to work with clay for a while now so I thought I’d start by making these cute little dishes and refrigerator magnets. My crafting time is limited these days but I managed to knock out a few dishes over the weekend. Magnets to come at some point. Maybe.


  • air-dry clay
  • rolling pin
  • bowls
  • fine sandpaper
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brushes
  • mod podge
  • patterned paper or napkins
  • scissors


step 1

roll the air-dry clay out on a smooth surface (the thickness is up to you, but it may not dry properly if too thick and it may be fragile if too thin). I rolled mine out to about 1/4 inch.


step 2

press an upside-down bowl into the clay to cut out your circular pattern (or use any circular object as your “cutter”).


step 3

place cut-out clay inside bowl and press it down until it touches the bottom and sides of the bowl. I used several different sized bowls because I wanted a variety of dish sizes. be sure to smooth out the clay once you’ve pressed it down so you don’t end up with bubbles or fingernail marks (I may have failed in this area). let the clay dry overnight.

step 4

when clay is completely dry, pop out of bowl and sand the edges.

step 5

now the fun part – paint your dish! I chose to paint the rims of each dish, and also the backs, using different colors of acrylic paints (teal, gold, coral). you can keep it simple or paint a design along the rim (like I did with the coral).


step 6

cut out designs from your paper or napkin (if using a napkin, only use the top layer) and apply them to your dish using mod podge (or any other glue). make sure paint is completely dry before doing this! luckily acrylics dry fast 🙂

step 7

use a paint brush and apply mod podge (or any other clear sealer) all over the dish. this helps hold the cut-out design in place and protects the paint.

step 8

marvel at the hand-made beauties you just made!


These are so unique and so easy and I personally think they would make great gifts. I mean, let’s be honest, who doesn’t need  a little help in the organization department every now and then? I need to make a more masculine one for my husband so he doesn’t spend 10 minutes looking for his keys every morning 🙂