Organize On! My Shoe Closet meets Chalkboard Labels

Update: Welcome Pinterest people! This post seems to be the most popular of my posts on Pinterest. I hope you find some organization inspiration here.  Feel free to look around the rest of the blog too & leave a comment if you like what you see!

Shoe Closet OrganizationAnd today we get to the real reason I ordered the chalk board paper and chalk pen which I told you about yesterday! Here’s the before of my shoe (and coat) closet.  Well it’s not the true before – at first the shoes were just piled in there (as we recycled all of the paper shoe boxes before our move).  But I wasn’t about to take a picture of that mess!

It took no time at all.  I used the grid on the back and cut out 4×6 rectangles.  I carefully stuck them down – making sure to smooth out any bubbles.  Then I printed a description of the shoes on the label (being careful not to smudge it) and called it a day!  Here’s the after.

I think it looks pretty good!  Are the labels perfectly straight?  Heck no.  Is the printing perfect?  Of course not. Does it still look pretty darn good?  Sure does!

2nd Update:  I’ve since worked on getting matching hangers for the coats that also live in this closet.  My coats are (almost) all on dark brown wooden hangers & Andy’s coats are all on light brown wooden hangers.  It looks soo much nicer when hangers match don’t you think?

Shoe Closet Organization Hangers

3rd update: I still love my shoe closet almost 7 months later & I will definitely do this in our next house if I have to space. I have found that the chalk pen doesn’t erase well, but since I bought a big roll of chalkboard contact paper, it’s easy enough to just replace the label with a new one. I’ve also started to use these shoe boxes in other spots in our home – like in the bathroom & the linen closet!  Do you have any organization projects that still work for you 7 months down the line?

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Quick Organization Project: Chalkboard Contact Paper

Last week at Target we picked up a cute glass canister to hold our dishwasher pods.  We don’t have a good place in our kitchen to store them, so they sat on the counter, looking rather utilitarian.

Having just received my order of chalkboard paper and a chalk pen, I thought I’d test both out.  I think it’s a fun touch & now I don’t mind the dishwasher pods sitting on the counter as much.

Picture Perfect

Another item checked off my July to-do list!

I saw these massive black and white photographs on Pinterest and it seemed like  a great fit for the spot above our couch.

So off to Staples I went Staples.com I went, and ordered two 24″ x 36″ prints of two favorite pictures from out trip to South Africa last year.  I got to pick them up about 2 days later (I was NOT about to pay $5 for “rush” printing, when my total was less than $7 for the two prints!).  I got them home, and they looked AWFUL.  Just terrible.  I didn’t even think to take pictures.  The one picture was almost entirely black with a lot of weird shadowing and a line running down the middle of the picture.  The second picture looked a little better, but also had some shadowing and a toner line.  I consulted Andy and back to Staples we went to request either a refund or a reprint.  The manager at the copying and printing center was very helpful and immediately reprinted the pictures without any of the printing quality issues we had on the previous run.  So 5 points to Staples for correcting their mistake.

Here are the pictures, as they looked after I converted them to black and white in Photoshop.

Unlike the Pinterest inspiration folks, I did not adhere these prints to foam board, because I was looking for a more finished look.  Instead I got some poster frames and framed my two prints.  Here they are:

And here they are in the living room:

The prints definitely lost some detail, since Engineering prints are black and white (not high quality gray scale), but overall I love the look and you certainly can’t beat the price!

Here’s a side by side comparison of what it looked like back in June.

The white rattan love seat is now out on the patio (although it will probably be brought back in during the winter).  The bookshelf has receive a little bit of styling.  The nightstand has been replaced by a new TV unit and the couch scatter cushions have finally been updated. Overall I think we’ve made some good progress.

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Guest Ready

We had guests arrive this morning!  Hi parents!  To prepare for their arrival, I’ve tried to make the guest room a more inviting space.  We don’t have a headboard in that room (yet)  so I wanted to bring in some color with some fun pillow cases on king size pillows.

I found some fun yellow chevron fabric last week and dug some navy polka dot fabric out of my stash.  To keep it fun, and allow for an easy change-up, I made dual sided pillow cases.  To stop my OCD sense from tingling, I created a fold over flap on both sides.  That way if the navy side is in front, you can fold the navy flap over and when the yellow side is in front, you simply use the yellow flap.  (I can do a clarifying post on this if anyone cares). Here are the two fabrics in action:

And here’s how the room looks with the large pillows in place:

Which look do you prefer?

Next week I’ll share more room details, including what art we hung above the bed!

Pine Cabinet Makeover

Checking more things off my July pinspiration list!  Woohoo.

This is the cabinet we started with. Excuse the painters tape – I got a little ahead of myself.  We use it as our pantry cabinet since we don’t have a built in pantry in our kitchen.

I’ve been meaning to paint it for years, although indecision paralyzed me.  I was deciding between yellow, navy, and light gray and finally settled on gray.  Partly because I found a gorgeous gray a while back at Lowes (unfortunately I can’t remember the color name for the life of me) and bought a quart rather than just the sample size that I really needed.

Here’s the after:

I gave the pine two thin coats of oil based primer, followed by about 3 coats of the light gray paint (applied with a foam roller).  After the paint dried, I did 3 coats of water based polyurethane.  I applied the first coat with a brush, which left a lot of drag marks. After the poly dried, I lightly sanded the piece and applied the second and third coats with a roller.

I don’t like the cabinet’s skinny little legs and at first I wasn’t planning on painting them at all & just replacing them with some casters.  Then I remembered that I was trying to do it on the cheap & decided to put the casters back on the “to do eventually” list and I gave the legs a quick coat of white spray paint.

I thought about using modge podge to adhere some fun paper to the backboard of the cabinet, but since we had neither on hand, I painted it dark gray (Behr’s Pencil Point) since we had that on hand from when we painted the inside of our dresser turned TV cabinet. Followed by a coat of poly (applied with a foam brush, since I wasn’t too concerned with drag marks).

 As you can see, I left the inside of the cabinet unfinished.

Since we don’t store the prettiest things in here, I plan on covering up the glass again.  I’m debating between spray painting the inside of the glass white (to match with the white legs) and applying white contact paper to the outside of the glass.  (I’d love to hear your opinion on this.)

Overall, I’m pleased with how this turned out!  What do you think?

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Great Finds

I already showed you the thrift store chair we found a while back.  But here’s a better picture.  On Saturday we ventured to a new (to us) thrift store, and found a great companion chair!

Hunting around in the TJ Maxx clearance aisle I came across this fun gray vase.  The color was perfect for our house, so it had to come home with us!

My last great find for the week was this awesome frame.  It was “donated to the universe” (aka left next to the dumpster) with a truly awful painting in the frame.  I tossed the painting and plan on updating the frame with some colorful spray paint and chalk board paper. Here’s my pinspiration, although I’m thinking blue or green, not red.

What great finds have you brought home lately?

Living Room Update

Checking more things off my July Pinspiration list!

I finally sewed my living room scatter cushion covers!  I stole the grey dot and green one from the bench in the dining room, since it had an overabundance of pillows & sewed up the blue stripe covers.

One’s back is the same fun floral that I covered the coffee table turned ottoman with, and the other is some striped fabric that I had in my stash, left-over from a previous project.

I made a simple envelope style closure in the back – with a large amount of overlap since I can’t stand when the pillows gape.  I used some navy double fold bias tape to finish off the front panel on the floral fabric.

At first I wasn’t sure about the blue fabric, but combined with the green and gray dot pillows, I think it works & adds a fun pop of color.

I’ll show a full-room reveal later in the week, when I update you on my progress on my goal of getting some art above the couch.