Category Archives: DIY

Dresser Makeover

Awhile ago I was asked to makeover a dresser for a little girl’s bedroom. The dresser was pretty basic, just plan wood with no detail and metal drawer pulls. There were not many guidelines for the makeover, I was given free reign to just make it better (which I love!).

This dresser needed some detail added to make it interesting, and my first thought was adding trim to outline each drawer.

Of course I forgot to take a true “before” shot because I was too excited to get started, but I remember after I had removed the handles, sanded it down, and added trim to the drawer fronts.

My weakness is measuring and cutting wood. Adding trim to this dresser was going to be a challenge, but how can you get better with out a few mistakes right!? I grabbed some trim, measured the drawers, and busted out my mitre saw.    I used gorilla glue and small nails to attach the trim to the drawer fronts – careful here, the trim has a tendency to bow so make sure you get the right cuts so it lays perfectly flat.

Another note (since I made this mistake more than once) be sure you get the correct angles cut on the trim so that the corners come together right. I cut the wrong way a few times and had to throw out some of the trim!

After the glue was dried and trim was looking good I went to town on the paint! The sides, top, and trim were painted white and the inside of the drawer fronts became yellow.

The sides and top of the dresser took a TON of coats to look good, if I had to do it again I would have used a primer and paint mix to make it go faster!

I also took the original handles and spray painted them white because I could not find handles that were already white that would fit the existing holes – I was not up for the challenge of filling the old in and creating new!

Here is the after – loaded with kid things, so they must like it!!

What do you think? I love the final product and it looks great in the little girl’s room!

Tip Junkie handmade projects


Valentine Bucket O’Love and Free Printables

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Every holiday, without fail, I make a little bucket of treats for my two favorite ladies in the entire world: my baby sisters. They definitely look forward to these little gifts and I have tons of fun making them.

Here is an easy gift idea for your Valentine. Grab a bucket or a mason jar and fill it with their favorite items. My sisters are tiny so they love crafts, nail polish and CANDY!

I found Valentine-inspired crafts, hearts and glitter glue (sorry mom!) and pretty pink buckets to put them in.

To finish off the gift I made little cards for the front of each bucket and you can print your own below! Originally I wanted to do mason jars with these cards glued on the front but I couldn’t jam all the stuff in them. Fail!

Don’t mind the blurriness here, I was trying to take pictures and watch The Bachelor all at once.

Here are the printables so you can grab your own love note for your Valentine! Just save the picture and print! They are 3 in x 4 in, and I suggest matting them for a finished look.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think and who you plan to use your printable for!

To celebrate my love for all of you, visit the LeahMarieV Etsy shop and use Coupon Code: LOVELMV10 for 10% off a purchase!!

Easy Lighting Update

If you are looking for an easy way to make an incredible difference in your house, this is it! Can lights are fantastic for not taking up space and really brightening up a room, but they can be so drab. Here is a “before” shot of our lighting in the kitchen.

Talk about boring. And not-s0 pretty. The black liner draws your eye to the light, which is the opposite effect that we are going for here!

You truly would think no one would ever notice these lights, but I am surprised at how much I notice them every day. During one of our many trips to Home Depot we picked up some new recessed light inserts. They have so many options, white, black, stainless you name it. The goal was for these lights to disappear. Forever. So we went with white.

All you do is release the springs holding the insert in, slide out the old one and pop in the new! Attach the springs again, and the insert should be snug on the ceiling. I was shocked at the difference the white insert made. With a new white inside and a bright white rim on the ceiling, it looks 100 times better.

I will say, I was skeptical about this change. When the hubby took charge and said he was going to do it I thought there would be a Home Depot return trip in my future. I take it all back! My new, brighter kitchen is wonderful, and for only about $50 (5 inserts at about $10 a piece) it was quite a deal.

What do you think? Have you done any so-simple updates that made a huge difference?

Update on canned lighting here.

Felt Flowers

They say like mother, like daughter. And they don’t joke. My mum has become an addict to these felt flowers and I recently thought “what the heck, I’ll try one too”. Now I think we need to attend meetings together. I am guessing she found the tutorial at iCandy Handmade (another of her addictions!)… and I am not sure whether to thank Autie at iCandy or blame her for the abundance of felt flowers… either way try this and you’ll see what I mean! All you mommies of little princesses: this is perfect for a Valentine photo!! Headbands, skirts, t- shirts, and blankies beware!

Cut a pattern out of cardboard to the size you want – really you can do any shape. Even a flower with defined petals works, so play around with the cuts and see what you prefer. I also suggest making a medium and large version so that you have the same look, just different sized blooms.

Cut out five of your shapes, all of the same size. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect, it will turn out just fine when you put it together!

Get your matching thread ready and choose some buttons or beads for the center of the flower. My favorite options are the buttons that have the loop below rather than the holes that are visible, they are much easier to sew on and look perfect no matter what.

Select one of your five cutouts as the base and lay it flat. Take a second one and fold it in half and lay it on the base cutout.

Continue folding the remaining three cutouts in half and laying them on top of each other around the base – see picture below.

The final cutout is the trickiest part of the entire project: tuck one side under the initial half you laid down. Think of this petal like closing a paper box, where you tuck the final flap under one side of the other. Your flower should look like a pie cut in four pieces now.

Grab your needle and thread and come up through the center, going back down through the tip of each piece of the “pie”.

Attach your button or bead in the center of the flower and knot the thread at the back of the flower, just like sewing on a button.

Ta-da! Gorgeous! Perfect to pin on a t-shirt, slide on to a headband for baby, or glue to a picture frame for extra pizazz.

I made bunches of them and have NO idea what I am going to do with them all! Here is a Valentine sample of my lovelies.

V-Day Printable from The 36th Avenue.

Home Stories A2Z

Tip Junkie handmade projects

DIY Dry Erase Board

I am obsessed with chalk boards, dry erase boards, bulletin boards, you name it and I am ALL about trying to make one myself. I found a frame I loved and knew it was time to try one! This project could not get any easier and leaves you with an adorable way to be organized (or leave a love note!).

All you need is a frame, pretty paper, decorations of choice (or nothing) and a dry erase marker! This makes a fantastic and thoughtful gift, so pick something that matches a friends’ decor and give one away too.

I thought the frame looked good on its own, but a few DIY rosettes couldn’t hurt, right? So I grabbed a left over sheer curtain to make them – you could use an fabric you have.

You’ll need a glue gun or some fabric glue and a lot little patience. Start by knotting the end (see above picture!) and then begin to twist the fabric. Once you have a little fabric twisted start wrapping it around the knot and every once in awhile dabbing glue to hold it in place.

You will also need a helper. Or someone to lay on the fabric so it does not get away.

Here are the completed rosettes – so pretty! Both turned out pretty well, one was more of a bowl shape and I am not sure how it got that way.


I then added pearls and hot glued the rosettes to the frame. Easy peasy.

I think the rosettes made the dry erase board way more fun! I hope to make more rosettes for some other Pinterest inspirations, so this was also a great test run.

A little shabby chic, but oh so cute!

DIY Lighting Makeover

Lighting is my arch enemy. I find it impossible to find something I am in love with, but can also afford… Which means I have been searching for replacement lighting for our entry way for a very long time. The entry light is more than dated, its old, ugly and has way too much gold (or is that brass??).

Yuuuck. Gold with etched glass, what could be better? Well, anything really.

Feeling desperate since this is what you see when you first come in the door I thought I would try and makeover this light myself before diving in to a new one. Inspired by months of searching and hoping for lights like this one from Pottery Barn, I knew it was time.

Enter spray paint and handy husband.

We popped this light down (they easy part of the project) and I went to work. Lessons learned: they are serious when they say don’t spray paint below 50 degrees outside and cats love little pieces, keep them in a jar!

First obstacle became the etched glass. How in the world can you make this modern and fun?? Since this light was a test run (meaning if it didn’t work out I would just buy a new one!) I threw caution to the wind and decided to paint the glass pieces. Frosted glass!

Then I spray painted the light fixture itself (out in the 25 degree weather, brilliant!). Hung the little beauty to dry and hoped for the best! Note: when spray painting lights wrap any exposed wires and stuff the sockets with something so the paint doesn’t get in.

There were a few hiccups due to the cold weather, but overall we made it out without a scratch! Getting the light back in the ceiling was truly challenging, especially because we attempted this in the dark with a flash light since our old house has all viable lighting for the first floor on one circuit.

Ready for the big reveal??

Love at first sight.

Great news: it worked and I love it!!! Bad news: the big kahuna awaits.

What do you think of the entry light makeover? Worth the $10 of spray paint?

Tip Junkie handmade projects

DIY Stair Makeover Update

It has been awhile and (shocker) we aren’t quite done with the stair makeover (which we started here)! Because we have home decor re-do ADD the project is 80% complete… I thought I would share the progress and give some tips so that you don’t have to wait any longer, but I promise to update when we do that last step in the refinish process too!

Here is the before picture, just in case you forgot how horrible it was (oh and my doggy!):

Here is a wonderful close up of the damaged front of the steps. I am pretty sure there has been about a million layers of carpet here. Also equally sure that no one cared what they did to the stairs underneath, so sad.

Here is the top of the steps, you can see the mark from a runner at one time, and how sad the finish was before:

Here are the steps after putting putty in every single nail hole. It took forever, but I was over-the-moon excited at how it turned out. For some reason I thought these looked a million times better already – they still looked bad though! This is a MUST for a finished look. I did every single dip or divot – it seemed like over-kill but I promise your results will be better if you take the time!

Close up of my putty skills. I used an old credit card to smooth this on, I found it to be easiest due to its size and flexibility… weird, maybe, but hey I will take what works! Then we sanded down the putty until smooth and painted about three coats of white on the risers.

Here is the beautiful painted after shot. I could not be happier! I do think they need another coat and I am looking to find a coat to prevent chipping too, since this occurred already from someone vigorously running up and down the steps and jamming their shoe in to the riser (they shall remain anonymous for their protection!!).

Another shot of the paint after the stain on the tops – the paint needs touched up after the stain, but you can hardly tell unless you get down and look for problems (which I do).

Here is a close up of the stained steps. Gorgeous! We used a golden oak color and slapped it on/wiped it off. Very easy! We have two steps that after some time are lighter then the others, so we will go over that one more time. Only things left are to poly and caulk around some gaps for a finished look!

What do you think so far? Cheap and fairly easy process, just VERY time consuming. I will post soon on the must-have tools for refinishing steps (or any kind of wood) – materials can really make or break this kind of project.

DIY Subway Sign Art Featured on Knock Off Decor

Today our DIY Restoration Hardware subway sign art project from this post was featured at Knock Off Decor! Be sure to stop by and check out all the awesome projects they feature – it will keep you very busy!

Thank you again to Beckie for featuring our project, we hope others enjoy it as much as we do!

DIY Restoration Hardware Art

I am in love with everything at Restoration Hardware Everything. However, the price tag on most items is nothing to laugh at – holy cow that place is expensive! So every time I go browsing at the mall I make sure to swing through Restoration Hardware and just soak up the good decorating vibes – and hope for an idea…

I have been in love with the subway sign art that I see everywhere (google it, they are every where!) but I especially love the ones at Restoration Hardware. I decided to try it out, white words on a black background couldn’t be too hard, right?

Here was my inspiration from Restoration Hardware (for holy-smokes $850…what?!!?):

I wanted a more dramatic look, with the words all being the same width, just different sizes. I also decided, since this was going in the kitchen, to do food related words in different languages. So my husband and I picked out words, some got a little silly, and we went to town in photoshop.

I had a frame that I thought would be perfect so we created our photoshop art to be the perfect fit. I highly recommend knowing what size frame you are using before you do this – it makes everything a lot more simple! We printed the finished product at our local photo shop for only $9.99!!! Picked it up an hour later, trimmed the sides, and voila! Perfect knock off art for almost nothing!

I absolutely love it. So easy and so cheap! And now, when I get sick of it in two years I won’t feel bad replacing it either… it’s a win-win folks!

What do you think?? Have you done any DIY knock off art?

Guest Post: DIY Christmas Wrapping

Holy smokes it is Christmas! Well, almost. What does that mean? Time to get in to a frenzy and wrap those presents. Ready. Set. Wrap! Tired of the same old paper and stick on gift tags? Then hold on tight!

I have a treat for you today: my friend for years and fellow blogger, Stephanie, is dropping by from Femmena Mala today for a guest post! She is super creative and her blog is nothing but fun. Check out her post on her amazing Christmas Wrapping (just in time for the holidays!) and be sure to stop in at her blog and say hello!