Shoe String Living

Having a Creative and Fun Frugal Life

Craft Room Inspiration April 15, 2010

Filed under: Craft Room,DIY,Home Decor,Organizing — trntm @ 1:58 pm
I have always gone back and forth with my craft room. It’s more than just changing my dream color scheme, which at the moment is pink, green, white and aqua-as the above office set. Let me see if I can explain.
I want my craft room to look like this:
and this
and this
I want it to be a comfortable functional place for me to indulge in my crafts, be it crocheting, painting or sewing. I want my supplies at my fingertips ready for that moment inspiration hits. I want it to be so organized that everything has a place, preferably a very pretty place. I love the freedom that it can be messy and I can close the door and be fine with the mess hidden behind it. I want it to be clean with a special spot for my crafting partner to curl up and lick himself before taking his customary cat nap.
However, the craft room also functions as a guest bedroom.  I want my guests to experience this
and this
As a guest bedroom, I want my guests to experience hotel like luxury and comfort.  They are free to come in, take off their shoes and feel instantly comfortable. It’s neat, clean and modern. No clutter to crowd their minds.
How can I combine both worlds?
I’ve thought of taking over the closet of the guest room and making that the crafting portion of the room and leaving the rest of the room as a functional guest room.
However, the words of my mother echo in my ear “Don’t decorate your house for guests, make your house for you.”
Then I think, heck, I deserve the entire room! We don’t have guests that often.
But when we do, since our friends and families are so far away (Puerto Rico, Alabama, Washington DC, etc) they tend to stay for a little while I want them to be comfortable and pampered.
Sigh. Any ideas?

$5 Challenge Inspiration March 30, 2010

Filed under: Craft Room,DIY,Home Decor,Home Office — trntm @ 2:34 am

Wow, there are a lot of talented bloggers out there as evidenced by Living with Lindsay’s $5 Challenge. I spent days combing through all the entries. There was so much talent and simple awesomeness-I literally went awwweee, wooowww over quite of few projects.

I got quite a few great ideas for our home that I wanted to showcase. These are just a few of the projects that I thought would work in our home with our style. Clicking on the photos will take you to the tutorial for the project.

  • The Paisley Pair’s Kitchen Calendar
    This is a cute way to keep track of things going on in the household. For our house, I would use a weekly calendar instead to display the lunch and dinner menu for the week.


  • The Frugal Designer‘s AND Frugal with Flourish‘s Painted Bird Plates

    These plates are very cute and makes the perfect vintage modern decor item for a dining room. I can picture a series of these on our wall. Instead of birds, maybe cherry blossoms or damask patterns or even owls as homage to our university. This would also work as chargers for our dining room table since hubby and I eat off of salad plates in order to maintain the perfect size portions.


  • Dollar Store Craft‘s Phone Charging Station
    This is the perfect place to stash cellphones. Hubby and I currently stash them on a small telephone table in the bedroom. For our home, I would use only one of the file organizers and maybe add some wrapping paper or scrapbook paper over the mesh wire. Our bedroom is modern sensual luxe grey and taupe, but not that modern where the mesh would look good.


  • Wordy Bird‘s Cherry Blossom Tree
    I heart cherry blossoms and lovely plants as well. This one is even better as I can’t kill it! For our home, I would use solid colored rocks and maybe even add some cotton balls soaked in a pretty scent within the vase. The only hard part for us, is that since we live in a new subdivision, tree branches are hard to come by. I might ask a friend to save a few cute branches.  I can imagine two of these rising tall on the dining room table.


  • Frugal Designer’s Herb Garden
    I’m craving fresh herbs and am counting down the days until I can pick up my herbs. I tried growing herbs from seeds, but I have more luck with seedlings. These painted pots are perfect for that purpose.


  • Under The Table and Dreaming’s Recycled Sweater Vase
    This is perfect for when fall or winter makes it way back again. I can imagine a row of these during the chilly nights. How cute would this look with a miniature Christmas tree inside? Too cute.


  • A Little Moore‘s Family Memo Board
    Once our family grows, I can see myself using this every single day. I also love the fact that you can change the background according to your every whim and desire.


  • The Little Brown House‘s Romantic Wall Decor
    I’ve seen the cute vinyls, but I never thought to frame them out with trays like this. I have one of the vinyls called “Family” so for our house I would use that vinyl and either spray the trays bright white with black accents for a future stairwell project. This is also a great gift idea for a newlywed couple-which I have several coming up.


  • I Can Find the Time’s Clock
    This is a very creative use of materials and I LOVE how she found the clock for $1 and decided to disassemble it.


  • Living with Lindsay’s Embellished Kitchen Towel
    Why haven’t I thought to reserve a kitchen towel just to wipe my hands on.  This is cute. For our home I would make at least two of those. One for by the sink and drying my hands after dishes and one for by the stove and drying my hands as I cook. I’d also add a blue or black ribbon as well to match the decor.  This is also a great gift idea for those bridal showers that are sure to be starting sometime soon.


  • Jammer Sage‘s Berry Bush Wreath
    I’m not the biggest fan of wreaths, maybe it’s the way that they lack clean streamlined lines and this irks with my brain to no end. There were plenty of great wreaths entered into the challenge, all very beautiful, most just wouldn’t work in my home. Except for this one. Especially if I used all white berry bushes for the front door, or laid this down as a centerpiece on the dining room table, or even placed it in front of the powder room’s mirror.  Even better, this would be a very cute wedding detail on the church doors or hanging off the pews.


  • Our Hallberg 6’s Toddler Skirts and Generally Creative’s Aprons
    Love both projects. Since our baby is of the four-legged furry kind, I don’t think he’d appreciate wearing such a cute skirt, but I would take those placemats and make an apron with them.


  • Decor Balls from My Repurposed Life and Hicks in Hendersonville
    I have baskets and vases galore, but nothing to fill them, until I saw these beauties. For our home, I would paint them blue, silver, white and black and even cover some with wrapping paper, fabric, yarn and of course twine for added texture.


  • Toparies from House Affairs and Frugal Designer
    These are both great toparies. The berry bush ones would look nicely on a centerpiece featuring the berry bush wreath, which the moss ones would look great in a bath room. For our house, I would paint the pots a solid color and maybe add a piece of ribbon to them. The powder room needs some accessories and I love the frugal nature of these.

Make sure you visit Living with Lindsay’s $5 Challenge and browse through the hundreds of entries.

What were your favorites?


$5 Challenge March 20, 2010

Filed under: Craft Room,DIY,Home Decor,Home Office — trntm @ 12:56 am

What challenge? Living with Lindsay challenged readers to create new Spring decor for their homes using only $5 worth of products from the Dollar Store. The dollar store is my best friend, it’s my addiction, I can spend hours there browsing the aisles, digging through merchandise to find the perfect item.

I decided to create a cute message board for my craft room. I’ve been itching to add some glam to the room and make it a bit more unabashedly girly. This was step one. 

I found some thick framed memo boards, cute silver stand (they were actually the same ones I used for my wedding’s photo table) and white grosgrain ribbon. I pulled out some cute girly wrapping paper and aqua paint from the craft room.

You can guess what I did next. I painted the wooden frame aqua, pasted the wrapping paper over the cork and trimmed it all out in white ribbon. Instead of attaching it to the wall, I set it in the stand for a little sense of luxury.

It looks so cute on my white desk.

For bonus points, I decided to create an entire set that would include a pencil holder, glam push pins and a tray to hold supplies of works in progress. Even if you include the materials for the rest of the project, it would still come out to be less than $5. However, I used a repurposed can and  I’m not sure if that complies with the rules.

Using an old vegetable can, I recovered it with the same wrapping paper and added my colorful sharpies and paper scissors.

Using some old flat jewels, I glued these to the push pins for some glam office supplies.

Finally, using a Christmas tray from the dollar store, I painted the edges with the same aqua paint and added the wrapping paper to the center.

Isn’t it the cutest girliest office set ever? If I were to create another set, it would be a good gift for a teenager or college freshman. Especially if the paper were in their school’s colors and logo.

Grand total: $3 for the memo board, $4 for the entire office set


The Heart of My Craft Room February 27, 2010

Filed under: Craft Room,DIY,Organizing — trntm @ 1:22 am

Here’s a little peek into my craft/guest room. You have already seen it set up for guests, but I haven’t really showcased the craft part of the bedroom.

To start with, let’s look at the hub, the huge crafting desk.

The desk was purchased from a Habitat for Humanity Restore for $20 and it’s fifteen times heavier than it looks. I believe it is handmade with lots of heavy wood. The desk is about 54″ x 25″ and already it has served two purposes and I have a list of purposes for it to serve that will last about fifteen years. My only compliant with the desk is that the middle drawer is an awkward height. A regular chair will squeeze your legs underneath the desk, while a lower chair saves the legs, but causes the desk surface to be too high. I’ve tried basically making a custom chair by cutting down the legs of an existing dining room table and adding casters. My other thought would be raising the desk height somehow. Any other suggestions on how to fix that?

Originally the desk was wood toned, but I painted it white to use as a dresser/computer desk in my first apartment. Two of the drawers hold recyclables in the sense of tea containers, oatmeal boxes, etc. A third holds painting supplies, the middle holds paints and my Bible and journal for quiet time and the last drawer is empty for guests.

The wall behind the desk isn’t my favorite thing at the moment, and I have plans to change it, but I’ll talk about it anyway. I covered two cardboard pieces with fabric and stuck some cup hooks in it to create a station for all my scissors and supplies. It’s inconvenient since it’s not within reaching distance and I have to constantly get up and sit down to get supplies. Also, I would like a covered supply cabinet that doubles as a mirror. I have plans people, yes I do.

Next to my workhorse of a desk is my tower of organization! Two fabric covered bulletin boards and a dry erase board-all from the dollar store-hold patterns and to-do lists. A repurposed kitty litter box holds scrapbook paper, while some instructional books and binders make their home nearby.

The plastic drawers could be cuter-maybe one day I’ll paint the black casing a cute color-maybe a bright yellow? I also need to replace the “labels” with actual labels. Right now they’re paper glued to the plastic and slowly peeling off in the Texas humidity.

First tower, my sewing central. Tools includes glue sticks, floral wire, etc. Sewing Notions & Tools includes bobbins, sewing machine accessories, etc. Fasteners and Appliques holds…you guessed it! Fasteners (buttons, zippers, hooks) and appliques.

The second tower holds a few more sewing items. Trims and Ribbons and Beading and Craft Supplies are self-explanatory. Paper Crafts holds a mini paper-cutter, stickers and glue.

The last tower holds the biggies. I have a drawer for Projects in Progress such as a baby blanket and pillow cases. Patterns sits in one drawer and Decor Crafts holds items such as a spare lamp, nailhead trim, etc.

So there’s a peek into the heart of my craft room (not including the wrapping paper, yarn and fabric storage). How does your craft area look?