I was going through the furniture in our guest room recently as part of my new year’s resolution to declutter. It actually belongs to my sister (who inherited it from our grandmother) and there’s a bunch of her stuff in the drawers and cabinets from when we lived together several years ago. She came over and took what she wanted and told me I could toss the rest. I was cleaning out the chest at the foot of the bed when I came across this porcelain piggy bank.

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It gave me pause because we’ve got a penny problem in our house. I was just telling Nick we needed a piggy bank the other day, but of course something like this is not exactly my style. Then I remembered seeing this completely ridiculous piggy bank from Jonathan Adler. Do people seriously spend that much money on fun accessories?

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Feeling inspired, I took Little Miss Piggy outside for a spray tan. Which in this case was reversed because it actually made her paler. And by that I mean I sprayed her with a thin coat of primer.

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Then I broke out this can of metallic silver spray paint I got at Lowe’s. I totally failed as a blogger here because I forgot to note the price, but I feel certain it was less than $10.

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After one coat this little piggy was looking only mildly pearlescent.

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But after maybe 3-4 quick, light coats she was looking pretty silvery. I’m no expert at spray painting and I did end up with a few drips, but my technique is basically to keep the can constantly moving about 6-8 inches away from the surface, and to take frequent 5-10 minute breaks to let each coat dry before coming back for more. I get a little inpatient sometimes and keep spraying instead of stopping to let it dry and that’s how I get drips. To get good coverage all over I just waited a little bit longer between the first couple of coats (so it was dry enough to handle) and flipped it upside down to spray the underside. The bottom doesn’t have to be perfect, so it only got two coats.

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I let it cure outside for a day before coming back with some of this stuff, left over from sealing the sign I made for Jack’s nursery.

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And now little miss piggy lives a glamorous life inside my house, collecting pennies and looking fancy.

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I haven’t actually found her a forever home just yet. I need someplace both convenient for Nick (the one who comes home bearing loose change) and prominent enough for me to enjoy her beauty. So she may be popping up in random spots around the house over the next few weeks.

The fun thing about this is that I could indulge in something completely ridiculous for so little money and hardly any time (I just went outside and applied a coat of paint every few minutes while washing dishes and doing laundry one weekend day when Nick was home to help with Jack). So if I’m so over the silver pig in a few months it’s no big deal–she was headed for the Goodwill anyway. Or maybe I’ll love her forever because we were meant to be together. Only time will tell!

One of the reasons I was not such a big fan of the purple dresser in my laundry room is that the drawers were junky and disorganized. But when I painted it last weekend I took everything out and sorted through what should stay and what should go, and when I put it all back I was amazed at how much more functional it was!

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The entire left side is devoted to paint. One of the challenges in a house with no garage, basement, or shed is that you have to find creative spots for stuff like this. I was surprised to find that fifteen quarts fit neatly in the bottom drawer. It was packed to the gills with paint before, now I’ve got room for more–and I didn’t throw a single quart away. I just gave them their own drawer.

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In the next drawer up I have all my smaller pots and jars of paint, craft paints, and spray paints.

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And brushes, rollers, tape, sandpaper, etc. live in the top drawer. It’s so easy to find what I need now!

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The top right drawer is a random hodgepodge of stuff, including wire snips, zip ties, a couple of heavy duty glues, furniture pads, etc. The tiles are left over from an old project.

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And the bottom two drawers on this side are empty! What what!

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This is what the view actually looks like from the kitchen. Because this is my life right now. The doorway jumper is about the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen but it makes my kid smile like a banshee and helps me get dinner on the table so I’m happy.

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As for all that stuff I pulled out of the dresser drawers, anything that seemed more like to have come from Hobby Lobby than Home Depot got moved to the front room (except for the craft paint). Most of it went into the shoe organizer on the back of the door (seen in this old photo from when I first hung it up).

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I also stashed some stuff under the sofa. File folders (why do I have so many???) in a cardboard box and glitter, decorative papers, etc. in stacking plastic bins I already had. I’ve only recently discovered the beauty of stashing stuff under the sofa and it’s delightful. I have all kinds of stuff in there. I think from now on I will always shop for sofas with a skirt so that I can use the space underneath for storage.

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Of course this isn’t my entire DIY arsenal. Bigger/more serious stuff, like gallons of paint, tools, scrap wood, etc. are in the long, skinny closet off the guest room (you know, the one I plan to turn into a library someday if I can ever find a new place to keep all that stuff).

It’s so nice to have such a functional piece of furniture right off the kitchen–I’m looking forward to moving some more kitchen-related items into those bottom drawers as I reorganize my other stash-spots. My 2013 resolution to declutter is coming along nicely, don’t you think?

I got a great deal on the rug in our front room when I snagged in on Etsy last year. It was only $50, new in package vintage, and the most fun shade of yellow.

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I thought that the shag style would be great for babies and pets–so soft, and the whole thing could be thrown in the wash. Unfortunately, it hasn’t held up very well. Only a year later the pile is all matted and gross.

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When I started wanting to lay a blanket down before putting Jack on it I knew the time had come to admit I’d made a mistake and just replace it. Lesson learned. I thought about going with an indoor/outdoor rug like we have in the living room, but although it is very easy to care for it’s not very soft at all. Jack and I spend a lot of time hanging out in this room and I want him to be comfortable. So I started researching different kinds of rugs and found that wool rugs are naturally durable and stain-resistant (and soft!). And since I only need a 5×8 for this room I can actually afford one! Overstock is quickly becoming my favorite place to shop for rugs thanks to the huge selection, reasonable prices, and free shipping. They’re running a sale for President’s Day so I’m planning to order one today if I can just make a decision. Here’s what I’ve got it narrowed down to:

Hand-hooked Alexa Moroccan Trellis Wool Rug (570x570)Overstock.com

Handmade Alexa Moroccan Trellis Wool Rug (570x570)

Overstock.com

Handmade Luna Marrakesh Trellis Wool Rug (570x570)

Overstock.com

They’re all pretty similar. Obviously I was feeling a Moroccan/trellis vibe. It was one of the only styles that suited my taste in the under-$200 range. I think I’ll go with a dark color this time, probably navy, to make it even more stain resistant. They’re all within fifteen dollars of one another and they all have good ratings–how to decide???

My sister is getting married next weekend! And she might be mad when she reads this but I still have not brought my bridesmaid’s dress to be altered–I’m determined to get it done today. It’s just hard to do that sort of thing with a baby in tow. Anyway, she can’t be that mad at me because I’m helping her with some of the DIY projects for the reception, including this idea she had for a banner to hang over the drinks station. She didn’t really give me much direction. We just talked about what wording to use to succinctly describe alcoholic beverages (we settled on “spirits”) and she supplied me with some burlap and some jute rope.

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I started by cutting seven burlap pennants. I looked at various burlap banners on etsy to get an idea of what the dimensions should be. There was a pretty wide variety, so I ended up sort of arbitrarily deciding to make them 6″ wide at the top and 9″ long. For the first one I just measured out each point of the triangle, then connected the dots with a pair of scissors. Then I used that first pennant as a template for the rest.

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If I were making this to sell or to use long-term I might consider treating the edges with Fray Check to keep them from unraveling, but since it’s just going to be used for a one time event and I didn’t have any on hand I decided to let it be. With all seven burlap pennants cut out, I lined them up with the rope just to get an idea of the spacing. I had to be quick about it because Pistachio thought the rope was for her.

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Next I went to my computer and printed out some large letters. I used the Century Schoolbook font and aimed for them to each be about 4″ tall.

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Then I just laid each letter behind a pennant and traced it with a ball point pen. It was easy to see through the open weave of the fabric.

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Once I had all my letters traced, I gave each pennant a quick pass with the iron then laid them out on a piece of scrap cardboard

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I used a small brush and black acrylic paint to fill in each letter. I was surprised at how quickly this step went. I thought it would be the longest part but it was really only about thirty minutes. Jack played next to me the whole time.

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The paint dried really quickly and I flipped them all over to glue them onto the rope. If you look closely here you can see that I made a mistake! I don’t know how it happened. If you don’t see it yet you’ll be as surprised as I was in a moment. Just wait.

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To attach each pennant, I ran a line of hot glue along each side of the rope and wrapped the top of the pennant over it, leaving a finished edge from the front.

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Once I had them all glued on I excitedly flipped it over to admire my creation, and… lolz. Oops. It seems my letters got mixed up somehow. Haha.

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Luckily the great thing about hot glue is that despite its durability it’s actually pretty easy to undo. So in no time at all my error was revised and the banner was complete! Ta-da!

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The great thing about this project is that it was so forgiving of errors. The pennants are not all exactly the same shape and the letters are not all perfectly straight and even, but the nature of it is so rustic and casual that you don’t really notice. It was also really easy to knock out with baby around because I could cut out the letters in one sitting, trace them later on, paint them the next day, etc., based on when Jack was napping or content to just hang out with a toy or two while I worked. And bonus: there’s plenty of fabric left over for me to play around with. I think I might actually use it to make some larger burlap flowers to decorate here there wherever at the wedding (Shannon gave her approval). If I get around to it before the big day I’ll be sure to blog about it!┬áHave a great weekend, y’all, and thanks for reading!