Wall Shoe Organizer and an Antique Mirror for the Entry

wall peg organizer shoes

I have always wanted a mudroom but unfortunately our walk through tiny laundry room leaves no room for even a floor shoe storage shelf let alone a bench. I have big plans to transform this room into an actual mudroom with a bench and built in shelving but for now I just wanted our pile of shoes up off the floor and out of the way. Originally an over the door shoe organizer seemed like my only option until I ran across this wall peg organizer over at sawdust girl. The perfect solution to my problem! Plus we can still use these even when I get the rest of the room redone since I had no plans for this wall and we can always use extra shoe storage.

entry way before

I won’t explain how to make these because you can just hop on over to sawdust girl and see an excellent step by step tutorial. I got my pegs at Hobby Lobby for $3.99/bag (remember to use the 40% off coupon of course). I used primed 1×3 mdf from Lowes since I didn’t have anything long enough in my scrap pile. I would recommend pine instead of mdf. It took forever to drill out the holes with the forstner bit I picked up at Harbor freight. I did some test holes in a piece of pine first and they drilled out quickly so must be the mdf and not the bit. I also spray painted my pieces before installing on the wall. It was really a cheap and easy projects.

So here is what my shoe pile looked like before……..


And after!

wall shoe organizer

I’m really happy with it. We keep most of our shoes in our closets but our work shoes (yep, our work shoes are tennis shoes!) always seem to end up by the doors. Now they are organized, easy to find and out of the way.

I also added a mirror I picked up from an antique store. It was purchased for a future redo of Jbug’s bath/guest bath but that won’t be happening for awhile so I figured I may as well put it to use.

There are a few more things I would like to add too. I am considering picking up this key holder designed by younghouselove. Unfortunately our Target doesn’t carry the line so I will have to grab one next time I visit my brother. I also want to figure out some baskets to hold dog treats, our work badges, etc. so we can have all our out the door items organized in one spot. The room isn’t quite a mudroom yet but at least there is a place to store our shoes….although still no place to sit down and take them off. Do you have a creative shoe storage idea?


DIY Diamond Tufted Ottoman with contrast trim

diy tufted ottoman

My diy diamond tufted ottoman is finally finished! I started this project back in the fall and took forever to get going on it. Then when I did I got frustrated which I described in this post. It is finished and I am pretty happy with how it turned out.  The quest for an ottoman started out as a solution to a problem. Our couch has a chaise on one end and is fairly long. I like to put my feet up so I gravitate toward the chaise. Greg likes to sit at the other end of the couch for the arm rest and side table. So this leads to us always sitting far apart and not cuddling. I have a 2 part solution to this situation. Part one is an ottoman and part 2 is a console table behind the sofa.  I’m hoping part two won’t give me as much grief as part one did.

Let’s start at the beginning. I decided I wanted an upholstered ottoman and started searching online. I found this one and loved the style but not the color or the price.


Almost $1000 to put my feet on, no thank you.  So of course, I decided to build my own because it couldn’t really be that hard. Right?

I was thinking about just cutting a big piece of plywood as my base but then I found this amazing table on craigslist for $10!

diyottoman before

This was my first and only craigslist purchase so far. Greg thinks I will be murdered by the craigslist killer so he made me take a friend. Thanks Sarah for risking your life for my ottoman!

This table is heavy, pretty much it’s only short coming for this project. I loved the rim it had both on the top and bottom and the thick sides. First I used a jigsaw to cut off the legs. I think the big circle of wood will make something neat so it is being stored for later use. Keeping things which may make something “neat” is why my basement took 2 weeks to clean out. At this point I hadn’t even chosen fabric yet so I had a chopped up coffee table sitting in the back of the truck for a bit. Originally I bought some navy microfiber from Joann’s. They didn’t have a turquoise color to use for the  contrast trim but I figured I could use some chenille I had at home. Well that didn’t look that great and I really wasn’t happy with the microfiber. I wanted velvet but that seemed crazy for something to put your feet on as well as us having a 2 year old, a dog and a cat. Then I found some promising fabric at Funky Sofa. They sell plush velvet which has the look of velvet but is supposed to be very kid and pet friendly. I ordered some samples and decided on the navy and the bayoux for the trim. Funky Sofa also makes custom ottomans if you don’t feel like building your own so check them out. I also purchased some 1” foam from Hobby lobby which I was hoping to layer to get a nice plush top but it wasn’t working so I sprang for the more expensive 2” foam at Joanne’s. Just do yourself a favor and get nice foam for bigger upholstery projects. The 1” foam was perfect for filling the center of the coffee table though.

diyottoman foams

Measuring a circle and finding the center point and how you want to place 19 buttons is not as easy as I had hoped. This step would have been easy if I had flipped the table over and marked from the top. It has a nice veneer that shows exactly where the middle is and straight lines to go by. Oops, anyway once I had the table all marked I used a drill to make my button holes. Jbug had fun blowing the sawdust away from the holes. I cut a big circle out of the 1” foam and tucked it into the table top. Next I put my table on my 2” foam and outlined it. Using an electric carving knife to cut the circle worked great. Since my table was wider than the foam I used spray adhesive to bond the two sides of foam together.  Now here is where my project came to a frustrating halt. I tried to replicate my measurements on the foam top but the marks on my foam didn’t match the holes in the table.

diyottoman foam

Now the smart thing to do would be to mark your foam first, cut the holes out of the foam and then drill the holes in the table. But that would be the easy way. I just got annoyed and put the project to the side for a couple months.

I eventually did get my measurements right and was able to move on to the next step. Once the holes were cut out of the foam I was very happy to find they actually matched the holes in the table. I was fully expecting to have to drill new holes. I had read some different methods of cutting the holes.  I tried using an electric drill and a hole cutter on the foam and neither worked for me.  A serrated kitchen knife turned out to be the easiest method in my opinion. Only cutting through the 2” foam and not the bottom 1” foam ensured the buttons weren’t pulled too deep. To make sure the foam stayed matched up with the holes on the table I marked the table and foam with corresponding symbols ( an x, a star and a heart).

diy ottoman

Next I covered the foam with 2 different types of batting to give it some fluff. I got two types because I couldn’t decide which was better so I put the fluffier one on the bottom and the more dense one on the top. I figured it would help smooth everything out. I’m not sure if it made a difference or not. Anyway, I tucked the bottom piece of batting between my foam layers and used spray adhesive to keep it tucked in.

diy ottoman batting

Next, I found the center point for my fabric and put in my first button.

deep tufting needle

Check out this tutorial for how to thread and insert a button. Do yourself a favor and learn how to tie a slip knot. I didn’t on half of my buttons and had to cut them off and restart. Getting the button placement right so the diamonds would have the correct amount of fabric wasn’t easy but I finally got all my buttons in.

diy diamond tufting

At this point Jbug and the pets were happy with the ottoman as is.

ottoman diy

Then I tried to get all the buttons tightened to the same depth and knotted the backs.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I got my buttons from  a local upholstery store. They charge $1.50 a button and I think the quality is better than those kits you can get at the hobby or fabric store. Next I stapled the fabric to the wood ring of the ottoman. I tried to pull it and continue the  diamond pattern off the edge of the ottoman.

diamond tufting diy

The next step was making the contrasting welt cord. I used this tutorial to make the continuous bias. It is amazing and worked so well! Much easier than piecing it all together or this crazy tutorial which I’m sure I would have messed up and resulted in having to order more fabric. Once you have your bias fabric just wrap it around the welt cord and use a zipper foot to sew along the cord as close as you can get. Check out this tutorial for how to make welt cord if you need help.

Next I cut 6” strips of fabric and attached 3 together to cover the entire circumference of my ottoman. I sewed the welt cord to the fabric. This is the part which will cover the bottom portion of the ottoman.

diy ottoman piping

To attach it, just staple the underside of the welt cord to the ottoman. I used a ruler to make sure my height was consistent. Then when the fabric is pulled down, all of the staples and fabric is hidden underneath. Next the 2 ends of welt cord will need to be attached. I didn’t take pictures of this step so just see this tutorial on how to make and join welt cord. This is what the area where it is joined looks like.

join piping

Lastly, I stapled another length of piping around the bottom of the ottoman. Now the hard part is done.

I already had 4 legs from an old ottoman/stool that broke. To raise the legs past the rim on the ottoman I attached pieces of 2×6 I had in my scrap pile. I used pocket holes and regular screws to attach it to the bottom of the ottoman. Next I screwed in the plates for the legs and added the legs. This is what the inside of upholstered furniture looks like. Pretty isn’t it?

button tufting ottoman

I’m assuming I originally meant to add castors because my ottoman was way too short. I wanted to find some locally since I was so close to finishing this thing. I got these castors from Lowes for about $12 for all 4.

castor diy ottoman

After adding the castors all that was left was the dust cover to hide the mess of button string and tufting. The only dust cover material Joanne’s had was kind of transparent but no one will be under there anyway.

dust cover ottoman

It isn’t perfect but I am pretty happy with how it turned out since it was my first deep button tufted project and the first upholstered project I pretty much designed from the ground up.

diamond tufted ottomandiy diamond tufted ottoman

Now it is finally complete and I can kick back and relax….for a few minutes before jumping to a new project!

What was your most frustrating DIY project?


Good and Evil Minion Twinkies for Birthday Party!

minion twinkie basket

A co-worker (and friend) Lisa is celebrating a big birthday! The big 5-0! She LOVES Despicable Me and minions so we ran with it. My contribution was twinkie minions. I found these cuties online which is where I got the idea in the first place. While brainstorming exactly how I wanted to construct them and perusing images of minions I decided I wanted to make some Evil Minions as well.

Good Minions 

First freeze the twinkies on a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Next dip the lower half of the twinkie in Wilton blue candy melts (melted of course). If you are going to add sticks do it now before they dry. Also, make sure not to push the stick up too far. I did this on a couple and as they started to thaw they partially fell off the stick. Next pull up some candy melt into a syringe or icing bag. I used a pediacare syringe we had at home. Then add the suspenders and pocket. Next using black icing and a small tip draw the line for the goggles and make a large dollop where you want the eyes. Push Wilton candy eyes into the icing. Draw a mouth with the black icing. Lastly melt a tootsie roll for a few seconds in the microwave to soften it. Flatten it some and cut into strips. Then arrange in various minion-esque hairstyles.

miniontwinkietwinkie minionminion twinkie

Evil Minions

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper. Attach tootsie roll hair (see good minion). Spray twinkies with Wilton Color Mist in violet. Allow to dry. Decorate the eyes as described above.  For the mouth draw a frown in black icing and draw in the teeth. Then use broken pieces of necco candy wafers and press over the icing.


I would break the candy up before you do the icing so it is ready to go. It is surprisingly harder to get the right “broken shape” than I thought it would be. I think purple candy melts and cotton candy hair would be even better for the evil minions!


Putting it together

The basket came from dollar tree and I already had the yellow tissue paper and floral foam.


Arrange the tissue paper over the floral foam and stick the minions in. I used tall and short sticks so the ones in the back could be taller but you could also just press the ones in the front deeper into the foam. I also kept my minions frozen until I was ready to arrange them.

good and evil minion twinkies

Lisa loved her party and we all had a great time! Here are photos of the rest of her party!






IKEA step stool for Jbug

I hope this post is making it to your inbox if you are a subscriber. It looks like the last 2 posts didn’t go out for some reason. Keeping my fingers crossed all the glitches have been resolved. If you want to see them you can check them out here and here.

bekvam stool makeover

I went up to IKEA last weekend !  Our closest IKEA is 2 hours away so I only get to go once or twice a year. I came home with a lot of random stuff for projects and an upcoming closet remodel.  One thing I decided on last minute was the Bekvam stool. It is a small, sturdy all wood stool and I figured it would be perfect for Jbug in the kitchen. Plus it is only $14.99! Jbug is always pulling the big barstools around the bar(across the wood floor) and into the kitchen. I’m hoping her new little stool will be easier for her to manage when she assists us with dinner, washes the dishes and generally puts herself right in the way of kitchen tasks.

beckvam stool

The stool looks fine unfinished but I thought I would add a little personality to it (of course).  There are a lot of these stool makeovers online. Check out a couple of my favorites here and here. I decided to keep ours simple and paint the legs yellow and stain the steps with minwax dark walnut stain. I already had the paint and stain so that part cost nothing.

bekvam stool diy


bekvam stool 3

The stool is really easy to put together but pay really close attention to the pictures. I may have had to take it apart once (or three times). I decided not to put the warning sticker on it so I guess I will just have to remember to not put it 5 feet from where I want to use it or step from one stool to another or not to stack books and place it on top.  Hope I can manage to use this little stool safely without that sticker to remind me!


Jbug took to the stool right away!

bekvam stool 2

What are you wanting from IKEA right now?

Photo Contest at Iheartfaces

Have you ever been to the iheartfaces site? If not you should check it out. They have all kinds of photography tips and tutorials. Plus, a lot of inspiring photos. Each month they host a photo contest with a different challenge. This month the challenge is smile. I decided to enter this photo of Jbug & JD. She loves JD so much and I think it shows in the picture.


I shot this with my new Sigma 50mm 1.4 lens. This was my first time using the lens or an aperature that large. I was really just testing the lens but was really happy with how the photos turned out. I have a lot more practice ahead of me though. Good thing I have two cute little subjects to pose for me chase around snapping pictures.

It isn’t too late to enter. They are taking submissions through saturday.

Photo Challenge Submission

Stuck on a project: Organize the Kitchen instead

Cleaning and organizing is not something I consider fun unless it involves building or decorating something at the same time. So sorting and organizing fall to the bottom of my list. That changed recently because I got stuck on an actual project. Stuck enough I just put it to the side. But I told myself I can’t do any other projects until that one is done so I started organizing and cleaning out closets and cabinets instead. I told you about the basement cleanup here, since then I have also cleaned the linen closet and coat closet. I should have taken before pictures but I just jumped right in and cleaned them out. It is amazing how much room you have when you get rid of all the extra junk that accumulates.  Next I cleaned off the refrigerator and organized our coupons. Here is what it looked like before:

Image 7Image 9

and after (sorry for all the crappy cell phone pics- I don’t have a wide angle lens for my camera)

Image 10

I had the basket from IKEA in the basement so I grabbed these strong magnetic hooks and had the perfect file system to keep everything in order and under control. My friend had given me the patterned files years ago and I was happy to find they fit perfectly in the basket. Now I have a place for coupons, receipts, invitations, tax papers, etc.

Next I tackled most of our cabinets. The top pantry cabinets were becoming the dumping ground for anything and everything.


I started with taking everything out of the cabinets and sorting out any non kitchen items. Then I got rid of things we didn’t use. Next I thought about problem areas and how I could fix them. For example, my baking cabinet was overflowing and it is also the cabinet with the best pull outs and storage yet isn’t used daily. The main problem with the baking cabinet is that Jbug gets in it and gets out the brown sugar and chocolate chips to add to her snack container. So moving all the baking items to an upper pantry shelf was an easy decision. The baking cabinet then became the perfect place for all of our canned goods which made it easy to see them compared to where they were before.

Image 3

The cookbooks were moved to a place I can actually reach them and the cookie sheets went to the top pantry cabinet so we don’t end up throwing more junk up there.

Image 2

One base cabinet has all the appliances which aren’t used often.


Another pantry cabinet has our small appliances we use more (I plan to add an electrical source soon) which cleared the clutter off of the counter. So the good part about cleaning the cabinets is that our kitchen is a lot more efficient now and we even have 2 almost empty ones.

Image 4

The bad part is we can’t find anything! I’m sure we will get used to it soon.

The best news is I was brave enough to start on my intimidating project again and it is actually going pretty well. Here is a sneak peak. Hope to get the final product finished and posted soon!

Image 11

I just joined the 40 Bags in 40 days challenge! You can find out more about it at DomesticImperfection. It just started yesterday so there is time to catch up. For my first day I sorted my summer clothes and got rid of a small bin full!

Removable Bird Faux Wallpaper


bird faux wallpaper

So since cleaning up the basement I have become obsessed with organizing closets around my home. I’ve cleaned out and organized both the linen closet and the coat closet and I can’t believe how much room we have now and how much better they look and function.  Thinking about closets I realized I never showed you where Jbug’s play kitchen ended up. Yep, in a closet. A boring beige closet.

play kitchen closet

The cute little play kitchen needed a more fun backdrop so I started “scheming” up some ideas and inspiration struck in the form of a sock. Sounds strange but it is completely true. Inspiration is everywhere! Absolutely everywhere. In my defense it is a completely adorable toddler sock and not a nike gym sock.  Here is the sock.

bird sock

How cute is it? I love the pattern and mix of colors and thought it would be a fun background to Jbug’s play kitchen area. I briefly researched wallpaper but it is pricey and I have never hung it before anyway. Stenciling crossed my mind too but then I was looking through my craft supplies and ran across some removable wall vinyl (oracal 631) I had purchased for a nursery project I never completed. Hmmmmm…this could work. Cutting out 100 birds didn’t sound fun though but a paper punch could work. I searched the internet for bird paper punches and came across this one. It is a nice large size and I got it for $15. Then one evening while watching “the Mindy Project “ I punched out a big pile of birds. To keep my birds straight I used yarn and some painters tape and a level.


The whole project came together pretty quickly and the best part is it was cheap and is removable!

faux wallpaper

faux bird wallpaperplay kitchen diy

Her fridge is pretty stocked now, more than our refrigerator!

play fridge

I also found this cute little rug for $3 and the hand towel for $1 at Target. They look so cute with her little kitchen.

play oven


I just love her little kitchen and now, the closet it is in too!