Our Tiny Home: Our Room Makeovers

Happy Wednesdays! I was getting ready to plan our next DIY update around the home and then I decided to wander through my blog and check out my past home DIYs for inspiration, so I thought today would be the perfect day to share all the little updates we’ve made to our home. It’s not a lot, but we are on our way to creating a well organized home.

We are definitely lacking in storage, so a few years ago we created a mini pantry in a tiny nook of the kitchen. Head on over to the Home Depot blog to see how we built this pantry!

Our front entry was SO boring and there was no where to store shoes, keys, or really anything you need by the door. So I fixed that problem by adding a little shoe storage and making the area pretty. Check out the front entry makeover here!

To add a little more organization and storage to the front entry I installed a cute coat rack to hang purses and other items across from the shoe storage. Check out the coat rack makeover here.

You might have seen this most recent makeover on the blog the other week. We FINALLY finished fixing up our fireplace and setting up our art wall. Head on over here to check out the art wall and here to see how we made the built in storage around the fireplace.

Coming soon: our baby room! We were so busy with the fireplace we haven’t finished a few things in the baby room. We didn’t really have a space to put our new baby, so we made a room for her out of the kitchen nook. We put up a wall and put up storage. We call it our Harry Potter room. Ha! To check out a sneak peak of the room you can head over here!

– Chelsey

Categories: announcement

New Product in the Shop – Decorative Dog Pillows!

Another round of new product up in the shop! I have been making these dog pillows for a few years now, but I’ve only really sold them at craft shows. I just never had the space to store these pillows for online sales, but now I’m ready. I have organized my little craft and shop storage space and I can now sell these cute pillows online. There are small, medium, and large sizes all sewn by me (or, occasionally my mom helps) and they are the perfect little decorations for your home. If you don’t see the dog breed you are looking for, don’t worry! I have a ton more that will be up in the shop in the next few months.

Head on over to the shop to check out all the pillows I have. Have a great day!

Coming soon to the shop: ridiculous postcards and pretty art prints.

– Chelsey

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Categories: paper mama shop

DIY Art Display for Kids – Easily Switch Out Their Artwork

The other day I shared our living room gallery art wall and you may have noticed that we have two framed areas that are specifically for artwork made by our kids. Today I’ll share how you can easily make those kid art displays for your home! It’s easy.

My oldest daughter really wanted a spot to hang her artwork up on the wall and next to all of our other framed art, but it’s insane how much art she actually makes. Taking her creations off the wall and out of the frames and putting new stuff back onto the wall is a pain in the butt… and the art pieces are always odd shapes and sizes. This art display has solved our problems. This is how we did it.

Things you will need to make this DIY Art Display for Kids:

  • a large empty frame (mine came from Michaels)
  • one or two clips that have holes on the handles (my clips came from Michaels)
  • picture hooks
  • optional: command strips

How to do it:

  1. Hang up your frame on the wall. I love using command strips because you can easily remove them without leaving holes in your wall, but if that is not an option use a picture hanger.
  2. Nail in the picture hooks into the wall. The picture hooks will hold up your clips. I chose to use two clips for each frame so we could hang up two pieces of artwork if we wanted. If my daughter has a larger piece of artwork (like the alien in the first photo) I can just unhook one of the clips and use the top clip to hang the big art, but with smaller art (like the photo below) I have two hooks to hang those small pieces.
  3. That’s it! It’s very simple to do and my daughter is very proud to have her own art hanging up on our gallery wall. We have two different frames for kid artwork because I know eventually our 15 month old will want her art up there, too.

How do you hang kid art? On the walls? On the fridge? Straight to the garbage…? Just kidding.

Check out my whole gallery art wall over here.

– Chelsey

P.S. I use Amazon affiliate links.

New Product in the Shop – Dog and Cat Earrings!

New product up in the shop!

I now have a new style of laser cut wooden earrings for sale! The majority of the earrings are dogs for now (more coming in the future) and then there is a pair of white kitty earrings for those cat lovers.

These earrings are professionally laser cut wood pieces with my original illustrations printed directly onto the earrings and then sealed. All of these earrings are around 1/2″ – 3/4″ at the widest length and have surgical steel posts.

Check out my shop here (or just head straight to the earrings section)!

– Chelsey

IKEA Hack: DIY Fireplace Built-ins

DIY Fireplace Built-ins

My family and I have lived in our little home for about 9 years. The first few years we owned this place we didn’t have the income or time to fix up this 1920’s home. It’s small and needs a ton of work, but it’s ours and we love it (most of the time). Because this house is on the smaller side (950 square feet) we are always searching for clever ideas to create more storage in every little space of this home.

Our fireplace has been on the top of our to do list since we moved in! As you can see in our before photo (from 2012) it was painted this terrible red color and it had these two awkward spaces on either side. Well, we finally did it! We made over the fireplace wall and the wall next to it. Our living room is looking so much more welcoming and we actually have a ton more space in here.

I took a few process photos with my phone while we were working on these DIY Fireplace Built-ins and I added a few notes to each photo to share how we built it.

1. First thing we did was decide what sort of Ikea shelving we wanted to use around the fireplace. We ended up going with the Besta system from Ikea (we had used these cupboards in our little babys’ room and loved it). We purchased two stacked 7 inch deep cabinets. Before we installed the cabinets we attached a base to the floor to raise up the cabinets off of the floor.

2. We added trim to each side of the cabinet and then secured the cabinet to the floor and wall.

3. We had enough space left next to the cabinet to create a couple of bookshelves (my husband built these). He secured them to the floor, wall, and cabinets.


5. Once the bookshelves were installed we began adding the mantle. The cool thing about our 97-year-old house is the floors are not even, ha! We weren’t able to just pop the mantle on top… it would have been very crooked. SO, to fix this my husband added some extra layers of wood to the lower side to even it out. In the end it worked out.

6. Once we leveled it all out we were able to add the mantle. Since there were two electrical outlets up near the top of the fireplace we left two holes, with removable covers, so we could easily access the electric if we need it.

7. When we were done building we filled in cracks, added some decoration and trim, and painted.

8. We were done! All we needed to do was paint the walls and add some pretty decoration. I believe we spent around $550 total for this project. Yay!

All we have left to do is paint the wall on the opposite side of the TV, paint the ceiling, and change out our boob lights! Yeah, boob lights. I hate those lights… so much! I’m on the lookout for some cool vintage ceiling light, but I haven’t found the right one yet.

If you’d like more details about all the artwork hanging on the walls you can check out my art wall post from yesterday.

Happy Friday!

– Chelsey

IKEA Hack: DIY Fireplace Built-ins

Mini Home Tour – Gallery Art Wall DIY

//Artwork from left to right: Family photos, a paint by number velvet ship painting from the 1970’s, illustration from a 1950’s art portfolio, gold Portland map from Minted.com, oil illustration of a girl from the 1950’s, kitty from Ryan Berkley, OUI OUI gold foil print from Swell Made Co, family photo, charcoal sketch from the 1970’s (found in Greece), illustration from a 1950’s art portfolio, and a pine cone drawing by me.//

I finally have a space to hang all of my favorite artwork! We just finished this art wall a couple of weeks ago and I’m very happy with how it turned out. Our eclectic taste in art is one way we add color to our rooms (I love white walls). This particular art wall is full of artwork that we’ve been collecting for the past few years and I’m happy to finally give these pieces a home.

When we began placing all of our art up on the wall I started to get nervous. How do I put a large gallery wall together? Are there rules I should be following? Where do I start? Well, I searched around online and decided that I will make my own rules. Here’s what I did:

  1. I picked out the largest piece we had (the girl in the blue frame) and decided I wanted it front and center above our fireplace, the focal point of the room.
  2. After the largest piece was up we could then decide what pieces were going up around the large picture. We worked our way out from there.
  3. To keep the art placement random we tried not to put similar frames and pictures together.

If you are thinking about putting up your own art wall, I have a couple of tips: work with another person (it really helps to have another set of eyes and hands) and use as many command strips as you can. Over half of the art pieces on that wall are attached with command strips. I like that there are less holes in my wall and if I want to adjust or change items out it’s just easier.

Many of the frames I used were from thrift stores, but I also have some out of the box Frames and custom framed items from Michaels.

//Artwork clockwise: illustration from a 1950’s art portfolio, velvet painting by a family member, custom illustrations of myself and daughter by the lovely Ann Shen, alien by my daughter, and a custom painting of my girls from Lady Noel Designs.//

The best thing about this art wall are the spots I have saved to hang kid artwork! It’s easy to do with just a frame and a cute clip. I can easily switch out kid art work anytime.

//Artwork clockwise: watercolor paintings by my daughter, another stylish lady, kitty from Ryan Berkley, Mt Hood from Monster Songs, hang in there from Sad Co Incorporated, puppy illustrations from me, and Nasty Woman embroidery by Sleepy Stitches.//

Do you love the built-ins around the fireplace? Yeah? Well, my husband installed those. Come back tomorrow to see the before and after photos of the fireplace and I’ll share what we did to install built-ins on a budget!!! It’s a huge transformation and I love having the extra storage.

Refreshing your home for spring is as easy as swapping out a few décor pieces or adding pretty faux florals. Michaels has everything you need to get started! Looking for more inspiration? Make sure you visit Michaels’ blog, The Glue String, to see the rest of the Michaels Makers’ Spring Refresh project ideas.
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– Chelsey

P.S. I was provided with a Michaels gift card to share my gallery art wall with you!

Lunch Box Joke Jar

Each day this school year I have taped a silly joke into my daughter’s lunch box. I originally meant to only do it once a week, but she loves it so much that I now have a joke in her lunch everyday.

When school first started I was pretty good at getting her lunch ready and quickly coming up with a joke for the day, but as time went on it got harder to get the jokes ready. I would forget to put one in her lunch, or we would be running behind in the morning and I just didn’t have time to get a joke ready. Now that it’s the new year I have decided to make things a little easier for me. I organized a little Lunch Box Joke Jar. Anytime I think of a joke (or find one online) I’ll write it on these little cardstock triangles and pop them in the jar. With my lunch box joke jar I am ALWAYS ready with her silly jokes and I don’t need to stress about it each morning. I also keep pretty rolls of washi tape in the jar so I can tape them to her lunch box.

I found this super cute terrarium at Michaels to use for my joke jar (I think it’s only an in store item and not online). The washi tape and card stock is also from there. I just cut the card stock up into little triangles and popped them into the terrarium. I have about 40 jokes in there and I’m ready to pack all those lunches!

Whether it’s planning the family schedule, cleaning out your pantry or getting the kiddos ready to head back to school, Michaels has everything you need to help you get organized this year. What are you doing to make your life easier with school starting up again after the winter break?

Looking for more organization inspiration? Make sure you visit Michaels’ blog, The Glue String, to see the rest of the Michaels Makers’ organization project ideas.

– Chelsey

P.S. Michaels provided me with a gift card to craft this project and share it with you! Make a fresh start in the new year and plan for a great 2017! Michaels has a huge selection of planners as well as all of the accessories you need to personalize your own.


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