Tag Archives: decorating on a budget

Happy Hour Friday – Will’s Office Reveal

You know Will, the Hubster, (if you don’t read about him here).  He’s a hard working guy, one of the most generous, selfless men that I have ever met.  Sure he’s particular and quirky, but he also has strong character and a higher perspective on life.  I could go on and on with the list of commendations, but that’s not what this post is about.

This post is about Will’s new office!  It was my surprise gift to him as a reward for all his hard work.

here is, hard at work in his new office.


We are only renting right now.  We have thought about buying a house, but the time just isn’t right.  Nor have we seen anything we’re crazy about.  Honestly, we like the idea of building a house… if you’re going to spend the money, get what you want, right?  All that rabbit trail was supposed to say is that our home isn’t really ours.  And honestly, sometimes it didn’t really feel like it was ours, hand-me-down, hodge podge little honeymooner bungalow that it is.  We put a fair bit of effort into it when we first moved in, but not much since then.

Before-ish:  Right after we replaced the bed with the futon

Before: Will's old, squeaky twin bed.   It "doubled" as a couch/Izzy's perch while Will was on the Computer

Before - The desk that was left here

Now, 2 years later, I decided that it was time to give Hubster his own space.  A room that reflected him, where he could work and relax.  You know that feeling when you have a space, and it just feels like it has your DNA woven into it?  That’s what I wanted for him.  He deserves it.

Now, if you have read any of Will’s posts about budgeting then you probably are wondering how I did this as a surprise.  Well, when we bought the futon a few weeks prior Will told me he was fine with using some of our savings for putting a little effort into our home (furniture & décor) to begin investing in things that we like, we want, and we will keep with us.  So…. I took that as permission to redo his office.

My original intention was to post tutorials on all the little DIY elements first, BUT I just can’t wait any longer to share this office with the world!   I have already waited a month.  But you can find tutorials on the bookshelf, the Marquee Letter, and the curtains on the projects page. =)

For Will’s office I really wanted something baseball themed because he has a lot of Cincinnati Reds/baseball paraphernalia (there’s still more that isn’t being used yet).  The problem with a baseball theme is that I didn’t want it to seem like a little boy’s room or some meat-head baseball jock room (nothing against jocks – I still am one).  I did a lot of thinking, happened to receive two pallets from my neighbors, and saw this coffee bar on a blog I follow.   Those things all got the wheels spinning and brought me to envisioning this room.


Emma letting out her inner hoodlum, and spray painting the heck out of random odds and ends I collected.

Will's Office  (6)

the painting process.  and yes we had to leave everything in there so he wouldn't see it in the morning when he stopped by the house.

I can’t take all the credit by any means!  I had a ton of help from my sister, my little sister Carrieli, and my good friend Emma.  Without them I would still be working on this room, and probably have had about 7 mental breakdowns.

The other confession I have is that I did have to kick Will out of the house for a night… and I still didn’t quite finish even with Emma being over till am, so he had to finish building his own desk…. BUT it got done! AND HE LOVES IT!

Replaced the bookshelf and made this cool wall display:

the bookshelf is made from crates that I got with coupons from Michael's, and the Chain link on the wall is from a coworker.  It was rusty so Emma spray painted it with Chrome Rustoleum Spray Paint.

Recovered the futon to go with the new room and because Izzy was getting the black too dirty.

I recovered the futon with a massive drop cloth.  It matches the curtains.

made new curtains that stick with the new brighter colors in here to play up the natural lighting that pours into this room.  Also made them floor to ceiling to help the room feel bigger.

there are the curtains =)

Here’s the redone filing cabinet that I added because I knew he really wanted one and before he was using milk crates to house our papers.

Emma did excellent work on this piece! Look how shiny those chrome drawers are@

I actually got this little gem for free from someone who had extra.  It was originally a weird grey color, but I wanted to use it to contribute to the scheme of the room and be another pop of color, so Emma painted it for me while I painted the walls.

Some other items from around the room:

that was originally a cheapo, black plastic organizer.  Awe the magic of Chrome Spray Paint.

the Bobble heads, UK newspaper clipping, and our mini Louisville sluggers =)

Some pictures from his old room before we got married and the collages of all of our baseball adventures so far that I made him for his birthday.

And finally, the desk!

These next few are of the desk.  The pallets were free, the ductile iron plumbing pipe leg was expensive, and the desk top boards were pretty cheap!

Dara and I came up with the design for the Desk, and Will made it work.

it's the details that matter.  we put little boards in the pallet to create a recessed shelf for office supplies.

would you believe the desk top and the pallets are stained with the same stain?!

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DIY Marquee Letter

Continuing with the affordable, DIY projects that I started with the Crate Bookshelf a couple of weeks ago, today, this is also a cheap and easy DIY.

I had been seeing these marquee letters ALL OVER on pinterest. I first saw one around Christmas time and knew instantly it was one of the projects I pin that I actually was going to make sure happened.

The letter P was the obvious choice.

Before I tell you how to make this happen for yourself I have to give a shout out to my little sister Carrieli and my good friend Emma who did the majority of the work on this eye-catching letter.  I skimmed several different tutorials to see how people made their’s, and found out there was a wide range as far as quality & price goes.  Some people made very sturdy, time and money consuming letters from wood and outdoor lights. Me on the other hand being on a time and money crunch decided to go the cardboard and Christmas lights route. Before this Marquee P Will’s office had this lamp…. he loved(s) that lamp. But now it’s hiding in the attic. I will give him props for his taste in the lamp stand, but not the lamp shade.  It was olive green and khaki gingham. Not attractive and definitely did not match the office.  Will happens to be an ambient lighting sort of guy anyway, so I knew this Marquee P was the perfect solution – cool lamp relocated until a better looking lamp shade materializes, AND hubster still gets his ambient lighting.

Some mood lighting right above his desk.

What you Need:

  • a large piece of cardboard (I took mine from a paper box)
  • Ruler
  • Pen
  • Scissors or Xacto knife
  • Hot Glue
  • Spray paint
  • White Christmas lights.
  • paper clips or twisty ties

Here’s how to make assemble it:

  1. Draw out your letter.  This is where Carrieli helped me.  She is very gifted.  Draws us pictures at Christmas and handmakes cards all of the time.  I would had to redraw this letter about 5 times, but Carrieli drew it up in one quick try.  This one is about 18 inches tall.
  2. Cut it out.  the base letter and then measure and cut out the strips that make it three-dimensional. My edge pieces stick out 2 inches.
  3. Glue on the edge pieces.  Marquee Letter (2)sorry for the blurriness.  It's hard to hold the camera still while gluing things together.
  4. Paint it.  Emma handled the painting and the light bulb placement.Before Emma Painted It
  5. Count how many lights you need to fit into the letter and then make the appropriate number of holes, evenly spaced around the letter.  Since we had a lot of small lights Emma did two rows of lightbulbs sticking through.
  6. Use paper clips or twisty-ties to hold all of the extra cord together behind the letter, so it doesn’t show anywhere and you have a clean, professional looking marquee letter.there it is!  2 rows of lights poking through and none of the excess cord showing.
  7. Ta Duh!  It’s not very heavy so you can use the clusters of cords on the back side to hang the letter up.  Ours has an extension cord running to it so that we can easily plug it in.

this is what it looks like not lit up.  Still awesome!

Marquee Letter (1)Marquee Letter (9)

Upcycled Vases from Ale 8 Bottles

I promise that I will take more step by step pictures and put them in this post later. 

A while back Ale 8 was on a big sale.  If you aren’t from Kentucky you probably don’t know what Ale 8 is; it is a locally made and bottled soda that is basically the lightly carbonated nectar of the gods (unless you are getting it from a soda fountain….don’t get it from a soda fountain).  Anyway, as I was drinking this deliciousness from a lovely shiny, green glass bottle I was struck with inspiration.  Such awesome bottles should not be put to waste.  Lately I have been turning them into really cool vases.

I made this one as a house warming gift for a friend of mine.  So it didn't stay as an accident to the the baseball gloves. lol

I made this one as a house warming gift for a friend of mine. So it didn’t stay as an accident to the the baseball gloves. lol

I know, perfect timing since “April showers bring May flowers.”

It’s quite simple really.  All you need is: a hot glue gun, mod podge, and whatever you want to glue to it.  I use twine and ribbon.

1. First you will want to start whatever it is you are gluing to the outside with hot glue to give it a strong anchor that will hold it there during the wrapping process to follow. 

If you are using something wide enough you can continue on with the hot glue.  But for me, I usually use twine. Twine + hot glue = a string hot mess.  So what I do is anchor the end of the piece of twine with the hot glue and then glue the rest down by spreading mod podge all over the bottle and tightly wrapping the twine around.  Then I secure the other end with hot glue as well.

Here is the one that I gave The Moms for Mother's Day.  No worries, I am not blowing a surprise.  We celebrated when I was out there last week.  You'll notice the twine goes all the way up on this one.

Here is the one that I gave The Moms for Mother’s Day. No worries, I am not blowing a surprise. We celebrated when I was out there last week.
You’ll notice the twine goes all the way up on this one.

2.  Now, it is really up to your own artistic flair how you choose to do this, but for me I like to put twine around all or part of the bottle and then embellish it with some other ribbons.  The ribbons I use hot glue for to ensure that they stay put. 

It’s not a big vase, but it is big enough for one or two beautiful spring blooms like these ones in our yard, which is usually all it takes to really brighten up a space.

These are the flowers that we put into another one I made and gave to our landlord on May day. He is the sweetest old man! You may remember my stories about him from this post last fall.

These are the flowers that we put into another one I made and gave to our landlord on May day.
He is the sweetest old man! You may remember my stories about him from this post last fall.

I need to get more twine, but when I do I am going to make about five of these and hang them in our kitchen window as a window treatment of some sort I think.   =)

UPDATE (6/7/13):

When we took our rent check to our landlord, he brought out the vase I gave him last month with a flower from his garden in it.  He is so precious!  He wanted “an arty person’s opinion” on his arrangement.  AND he had Will and I take pictures of the vase.  He is just so tickled by something so simple.  It’s the simple things in life.

Here is the one that I made for him.  He is really proud of it.

Here is the one that I made for him. He is really proud of it.

me with my handiwork =)

me with my handiwork =)