Reflections on a baby gate, literally. And figuratively.

Hey you! I’m back, I think. I took off for a minute there. I don’t know what happened really, I just couldn’t muster up the energy to blog for a while. My husband has been traveling extensively since the beginning of the year and there’s also that part where I have four kids. NEWS FLASH: kids require a lot of time and attention. How much time and attention, you ask? ALL OF IT.

I don’t want to be a “mom stuff is hard!” whiner, but I did not actually get to shower until after midnight last night. And it was with an audience, because my toddler currently thinks that sleep is 100% unnecessary. So he was wider than wide-awake, screaming at me and banging on the shower door, when he wasn’t busy digging through my makeup and writing on his face with eyeliner.

That’s basically my life in a nutshell.

I’m fine! Just a little tired and stressed.

But hey, aren’t we all?

In other news, let’s talk about baby gates. I think I need to erect a few around my house. Maybe if I could keep my kids neatly corralled into one area, I’d finally have a handle on my sanity? Could possibly shower alone?

But what to do with those baby gates when you no longer need them? Don’t ask me, I’m not capable of coherent thought. Ask Joan. She knew just what to do with this lattice-style baby gate …

Baby Gate Mirror Before


Baby Gate Mirror

A rustic re-purposed mirror! How cool, right?! And it looks huge too. This would make a substantial statement on any wall.

Joan’s blog is called Scavenger Chic, but she shared the full tutorial for this mirror project over at My Repurposed Life. Check it out! And then make one yourself!

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A Fluffle of Bunnies!

There are two types of people in this world. People who decorate for Easter and people who don’t. And people who kinda do a half-hearted attempt. And people who decorate for spring, even if they don’t celebrate Easter. And people who just like bunnies.  So yeah, like maybe there are more like five types? Which one are you?

I’ll tell you what I am, or I’ll just let this lone Easter egg banner on my mantle that keeps falling apart do the talking for me.

But I think these makeovers will appease every single type of person, unless you are one of the persons who doesn’t decorate. Or doesn’t like bunnies. (You monster). OR MAYBE they will be so cute that they’ll make you change your mind!? Let’s find out!

Dinah created a cohesive bunch of bunnies by painting these mismatched thrift store ceramics with …

Pebble Painted Bunnies Before


Pebble Painted Bunnies

… stone texture spray paint. Dinah had her eye on a pricey set of stone bunnies in a store, but decided to see if she could DIY her own version instead. Not only did she nail it, she spent a measly $17, paint included! Get the how-to on her blog DIY Inspired.


These next bunnies were cute, but a little too cute for Vicki’s taste. She’d had them for years and was ready to move on. She tossed them in a ‘donate’ pile and was just about to send them packing when she had a sudden change of heart.  She got out her chalk paint and antiquing wax to see how they’d look after a quick refresh.

Chalk Painted Bunnies Before


Chalk Painted Bunnies

They look like a whole new pair, don’t you think? The chalk paint gave them a bisque-like texture and the wax brought out the details for a nice vintage look that is sure to keep Vicki happy for a few more years at least! See them at 2 Bees in a Pod.
And finally, this cute project from Jess, who didn’t start with a bunny at all. She just had glue, paint, and a boatload of popsicle sticks. Sure, it sounds like the beginnings of a terrible craft project for four-year-olds, but you’ll be surprised by the results:

Popsicle Stick Bunny Before


Popsicle Stick Bunny

Cool, right?! I’ll never look at popsicle sticks the same way again. I love the pink on the inner edge, and the fluffy pom-pom tail! Find out more at Make & Do Crew.

Did you know a group of bunnies is called a ‘fluffle?’ I think that’s the best thing I’ve heard all week.

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Cover to Cover

You know how they say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover? Or how they also say it’s not what’s on the outside, but on the inside that counts? Well honey, ‘they’ don’t have a book called “Beautiful Bones Without Hormones” which features photos of bone slices with osteoporosis on the cover, and I do. You can imagine for yourself what’s on the inside.

Why do I even own such a book in my collection, you ask? Because hey, sometimes it’s OK to only care about the outward appearance of something. I wanted to make a pretty book, so I found that particularly unwanted tome at the thrift-store and gave it a makeover!  You can see how that little project turned out on my post about printable book covers.  (I’m no stranger to making over books, my altered Halloween book tutorial is also my most popular post year-round).

Anyway, not all books are pretty, and that’s OK. And if you want to make your books look pretty, that’s OK too! Here are a couple of ideas for you.

Johanne at Efex dressed up this book by gluing a wooden applique down the spine, then chalk-painting the whole thing.

painted book before


painted book makeover

Doesn’t it look like it was always part of the book? She did a great job with her paint technique to realistically age it, and I also love the delicate little stencil on the front. A few of these scattered around would make a lovely addition to any bookshelf.


Maybe you have a lot of books, and their clashing colors and spine designs make you crazy. I have a friend who turns all her books around so you only see the pages and not the spines. Great for a cohesive look, not so much for finding the book you want.

Lauren at Bless’er House found a happy medium. She was never happy with her bookcases and felt they look cluttered and unorganized.  She came up with a solution after seeing a set of ‘French mute books’ for sale at Restoration Hardware.

French Mute Books Before

French Mute Books

Basically the ‘French mute books’ looked exactly like this and cost $125 more. Her DIY version cost practically pennies and looks just as good! She painted her books white with chalk paint and added handwritten labels on brown paper. I love this look! I’m tempted to do this to all my books, if I didn’t have the handwriting of a 4th grade boy.

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Total Basket, Vase

Three cheers for little projects! Sometimes they’re the very most fun of all. Especially when you can create something magical out of an assortment of odds and ends that you most likely already have around the house. What’s not to love? For today’s projects you will need:

  • a dollar store vase
  • cardstock
  • glue
  • white spray paint
  • a round laundry basket
  • rope
  • probably more glue

All set? Let’s get started!

First you are going to take your cardstock and make paper flowers. Don’t be alarmed, it’s easy.  Make a few different sizes then glue them directly to your dollar store vase.  At this point you might be thinking “Hmmm.  Not so sure about this.” But hang on for the best part:

Decorative Flower Vase Before


Decorative Flower Vase

Spray paint! Of course. Spray paint makes everything better. Does this look like a $1 vase? No sir, it does not. Get the complete tutorial from Shelley at 100 Things 2 Do.


That was fun, what’s next?

Yes, yes, the laundry basket.  Grab your LB, (that’s what the cool kids call laundry baskets, just kidding, nobody calls them that), and spray paint it white too.  Unless yours happens to be white, then just leave it alone.  Better yet, just go back to the beginning and make sure you buy a white one.  Unless it’s too late, and you already bought a black one.  Then just paint it white.  Got it? Great.

Now, take your rope and start hot-gluing it around the outside of your basket, starting from the bottom.

DIY Rope Basket Before


DIY Rope Basket

Keep going until you have this awesome rope basket like Jen at I Heart Organizing. Double up at the top to create a raised edge. She actually dyed half of her rope with paint for the striped look, so be sure to check out her blog to find out how, because I think the stripes really make it special!

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