DIY on a Dime: How to Arrange Your Spring Flowers Like a Pro

If you haven’t noticed by now, I enjoy having both silk and fresh flowers in my home.  It’s a habit I picked up from my Dad, who buys a bouquet of flowers from our local grocery store when he does his weekly shopping.  I usually have a small bouquet of silk flowers in each room, including the bedrooms.  I place the fresh flowers in my gorgeous brass vase in the kitchen, and sometimes an extra bouquet in the dining room.

In 2018, the University of North Florida conducted a scientific study in conjunction with the Society of American Florists.  The study provides empirical evidence showing that flowers can reduce stress.  So, it’s no surprise that buying yourself flowers boosts your mood, especially when you come home from work and you can smell the fresh floral scents.

I wanted to share some tips on how I arrange my pretty – and reasonably priced flowers – with all of you (I can find beautiful flowers at Harris Teeters or your local market).  You don’t need to purchase expensive bouquets for everyday flowers, and still get the look of a professional floral designer.  Since it’s Spring (YAY!), we’re going to focus on making a beautiful and colorful Spring arrangement, so you know exactly how to make your momma, wife, or girlfriend a bouquet just in time for Mother’s Day.

What You’ll Need

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Step One:

 Place your vase on a flat surface.  For this arrangement, I chose a dark navy ceramic vase (approx. 18”) to give my arrangement a modern and sleek look.  Next, place your flower frog on top of the vase opening. If you use Easy Arranger’s flower frog, you can bend the outer parts of the flower from to hug the vase opening.

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Step Two:

First, add your peonies.  I chose beautiful pink peonies to distribute first. Your peony blooms she be open.  If not, use your fingers to help open the flowers.  Remove any outer petals that are worn or damaged. If you need to cut the stems, remember to cut at an angle.

Since I used the Easy Arranger flower frog, I also removed some of the leaves.

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Step Three:

 Next, add the roses and ranunculus in groups throughout the vase.  For my roses, I used off white / light peach cabbage english garden roses, and bright yellow ranunculus. Remove any leaves and/or outer blooms that are not appealing.  You should also remove any thorns, if present.  You can prep your roses with a knife or your garden shears. Again, remember to cut the stem at an angle.

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Step Four:

Then, add the sweet peas.

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Step Five:

Finally, continue to remove any worn or damaged petals from your arrangement.

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Voila!  Your first floral arrangement is complete and beautiful as ever.

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After you’ve completed your floral arrangement, be sure to maintain so that they last a little longer (and you get your money’s worth).

  • Change the vase water every other day.

  • Mist petals with spray bottle.

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DIY on a Dime: My New Kitchen Tile

I finally painted my kitchen tile! I procrastinated on this DIY project for the longest — mostly because my kitchen tile is glass tile and I was unsure how the final project would look once completed. I’m sooooo happy with how it turned out! This project was super easy and took one weekend only. I wish I did it two years ago when I first moved in. Better late than never!

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What You’ll Need:

  1. Blue painter’s tape;

  2. White Bristle Paintbrush for oil based paints;

  3. Foam paintbrush;

  4. Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 White Water Baded Prime;

  5. Latex high-gloss paint and primer. I used Behr Premium Plus Interior Hi-Gloss Enamel in Ultra Pure White;

  6. TSP Cleaner; and,

  7. Microfiber Cleaning Rag.

 
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Step One: Clean Your Tile

First, pour 1/4 of a cup of the TSP cleaner into a bucket. Next, fill the bucket with warm water (I poured approximately one gallon). Take your microfiber cleaning rag and scrub the diluted cleaning solvent on the tile. If your tile is heavily stained, add more TSP solution to your bucket. This takes some good elbow greasing to remove actual kitchen grease and stains. Please allow the tile to dry before priming (I waited about 7 hours.)

 

Step Two: Prime Your Tile

I used Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3 White Water Baded Primer. I only did one coat of primer. Please wait at least 24 hours before painting the tile. Make sure that you are also priming the grout!

When priming your tile, try to apply the primer moving the brush in one steady direction. Since I was painting over glass ceramic tile, moving the brush back and forth was causing brush strokes or lines to appear, very visibly. I noticed that when I applied the primer by moving the brush strokes in one direction, it reduced the appearance of brush strokes to the naked eye.

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Step Three: Paint Your Tile

Once your primer is dry, begin painting the tile. Again, you want to apply the paint with the bristle brush, moving in one direction, the same direction you applied the primer.

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Painting my ceramic tile took approximately two coats plus touch-ups on the grout.

While painting your tile, be sure that you are painting your grout. My tiles were originally brown with grey grout. So, it was very important that I painted the grout as well, to create a seamless look of white subway tile and white grout. For touch ups, I used a small sponge brush since the tip of the brush fit in the grout lines perfectly, without messing with the brush strokes on the tile itself.

 
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What do you guys think? Do you prefer the brown glass tile? I think the white subway look really brightened up the space and changed the energy of the room. I would love to know what you all think, so feel free to comment below!

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DIY on a Dime: Glamming my Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet

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DIY on a Dime

Glamming my Ikea Hemnes Shoe Cabinet

This weekend, I found myself a little bored, itching to do a new project around the house. I wanted something pretty simple to share with everyone, while also not breaking the bank. So, I opted to hack my Ikea Hemnes shoe cabinet.

This Ikea Hemnes 4 Compartment shoe cabinet is only $100 on Ikea. It comes in dark brown / black, white and natural wood. I initially purchased the dark brown unit, thinking it would match my kitchen cabinets, not too far from the hallway foyer where the cabinet would take its residence.

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As you can see from the pictures, the cabinet looks a little boring, it’s monotone with matching knobs.

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What you’ll need:

  1. Ikea Hemnes Four Compartment Shoe Cabinet.

  2. Paint and primer. I used Behr Paint and Primer in one (high gloss) in Midnight Blue.

  3. 2.5” Angle Sash Brush for latex paint.

  4. Metallic Spray Paint. I used Rustoleum Metallic Gold.

  5. (4) Knobs. Mine are not available online. Similar here.

  6. DC Fix Decorative Self-Adhesive Film in Greay Marble

  7. DC Fix Film Applicator Kit

  8. Blue Painter’s Tape.

This project should only take one weekend, completing within two days and under $200 total.

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First, I painted the base of the cabinet. Since the Behr paint is paint and primer in one, I didn’t need to prime the cabinet first. However, if you select a paint product that does not have already built in primer, you will need to prime your cabinet FIRST. If you prime your cabinet first, allow the primer to dry for at least 24 hours before painting.

I only used two coats of the Behr paint, allowing time to dry in between each coat (approximately 8 hours because I just couldn’t wait anymore).

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Next, I lined blue painter’s tape with the base of the cabinet, creating a seamless line. Once the tape is in place, prime the legs and allow time to dry. Once dry, spray paint the legs with the gold spray paint.

Since my cabinet was already built, I also placed blue painters tape on the floor, around the leg, and placed a drop cloth around the cabinet so spray paint didn’t get everywhere.

FULL DISCLAIMER: I forgot to prime my legs while I was actually doing this project. Remember, my Behr paint is paint and primer in one, so I didn’t need to prime the actual cabinet. But, the spray paint is NOT paint and primer in one. Therefore, I ended up spray painting the cabinet legs at least five times before the paint finally took to the particle board wood. *eye roll*

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Next, measure the top of the cabinet. I measured approximately 44” long (left to right) and 10” wide (back to front). These measurements should add additional length to cover the side trim of the top of the cabinet.

Once you cut your adhesive film to the appropriate measurements, begin applying to the top of the shoe cabinet. Use the felt applicator to assist in applying the film flatly to the surface. The felt applicator also assists in smoothing bubbles.

 

Lastly, I added the gold knobs.

 

Now, you’re ready to style your cabinet! i used artwork, flowers, books and family pictures.

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My 2019 Home Decor Resolutions

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Setting new reachable goals for my home.

  1. Style My Bookshelves

I have tons of books! In a perfect world, I’d own a huge 5,000 square foot home with a library to hold all of my hardcover and paperback treasures. But, until I hit the mega-millions, I have to make due with my space!

 

Quite honestly, I’m always nervous about putting too many books on my wall shelves, that are hung on each side of the fireplace and tv, creating a symmetrical look. I’ve displayed some of my favorites with pictures and chinoiserie vases. But, I still feel like they could use a revamping and a new look. So, re-styling all of the shelves in my living room is definitely on my to do list this year.

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2. Finish Hanging Artwork

I’ve been to ten countries so far, and each time, I try to remember to find a really cool area where local artists display their work on the streets, for tourists to spend all of their money. Out of the ten places that I’ve been to, I’ve only hung FIVE of my paintings (*insert hand on forehead emoji here*)! I realize that for some silly reason, I’m indecisive on finding the perfect picture frame. These paintings are always a great talking point when entertaining in my home, reminiscing on where I’d been and how I magically lucked up on each artwork. I am ashamed to say that the unframed pieces are neatly rolled up, tucked away in a corner of the dining room, and I simply unroll them to show to friends and family when they visit. They are such beautiful paintings, that I have yet to display, and they each deserve their spotlight on my gallery wall.

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3. DIY Projects

I absolutely HATE my kitchen. I have a few DIY projects that I’d like to tackle, but my kitchen is definitely one of them. My kitchen is very small, so, with dark cherry shaker cabinets and matching brown glass tile, it feels even smaller. I’m hoping to find ways to brighten this space and turn it into the (small) kitchen of my dreams.

 

4. Create a Luxurious Space for Entertaining

Thanks to the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art, i have these amazing posters replicating the official portraits of First Lady Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald, and President Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley. My dining room is bright and colorful but I want it to feel luxurious. Creating a luxurious dining room that is still inviting for entertaining and hosting will bring more use out of the least used space in my home.

 

5. Organize! Organize! Organize!

Lastly, I have a lot of organizing and decluttering to do, thanks to watching Netflix’s Tidying Up! My pre-war “daylight row house” has a tiny closet in each bedroom. As you can see from the picture, I have so many dresses hanging that the actual clothing rod is bending towards the center. Sigh. This is just my winter clothes, babes. The show (and book) is great inspiration to get my juices going and organize everything. From my closets, to the pantry and the fridge. It’s time to declutter and purge what’s no longer useful.

 
 

What kind of projects do you intend to tackle in this new year?