Category: Uncategorized

Super Useful IKEA FILUR Bins

I was over at IKEA shopping with a friend the other day and I found these great organization solutions: the IKEA FILUR Bins. (This is not a sponsored post…I just enjoy sharing products I love!)

My issue was that I don’t have a small recycling bin inside our house, so I used to just keep the recycling in a brown paper bag that I would take out to the big bin outside every day. The baby was starting to get into it though, so the paper bag ended up on the dinner table most of the time. It’s not very appetizing to have a bag of garbage sitting on your dinner table all the time.

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The IKEA FILUR bin was an awesome way to corral the recycling, but it actually still looks nice, with it’s clean lines. It doesn’t look like a “trash” can. This one is the 7-gallon bin and it was $10.

I’m toying with the idea of stenciling a design on it but for now I’m enjoying how it’s just clean and white.

recycling bin

Never mind the weird peeling wallpaper behind the fridge. It’s one of those little things that comes with buying a fixer-upper that we just haven’t gotten to yet. Eventually Chris will finish adding a cabinet around the fridge and we’ll strip and paint that back wall.

I also got a 3-gallon bin for the bathroom.

IKEA FILUR Bin with Lid

You know, it really is the little things. Before, I just had a small open trash can and having it open was just unsightly. Stray tissues, hair balls, bits of floss….just not clean and inviting. So this little IKEA bin hides the mess out of sight and fits perfectly in our small and snug bathroom! This one was $5.

IKEA has a lot of nice-looking storage solutions that I never noticed before…and they’re super affordable. Often when I go there I get drawn into all the cute pillows and accessories and I don’t actually look at the “boring” storage containers. But these two bins have already made my life a little more streamlined and a little neater!

How do you store your recycling? Have you found any great storage solutions at IKEA lately?

Hello Sunshine! Painted Patio Table

I’m so happy that I finally finished this project! It took longer than I thought, not because it was difficult, but just because we had to go back to the store several times. Also, the baby has been majorly teething (4 molars at once, are you kidding me?!) and she has been pretty much a ball of misery the last few days so that has been occupying most of my attention.

yellow patio table

But I finally made over the patio table and I’m super happy with how it turned out! Spray paint is a wonderful thing.

spray painted yellow patio table

Remember, the patio table used to look like this:

old patio chairs

The paint was scratched up quite a bit and it was just a little dingy and sad.

We just polished off any loose bits of paint with some steel wool, wiped it down with a rag, and then primed with a medium primer.

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I like to be super cautious when using oil based paint, especially spray paint, hence the HEPA mask and long sleeves/pants. Not only are the VOCs not something I want in my lungs, but with spray paint the droplets get EVERYWHERE…and I definitely don’t want droplets of paint in my lungs. The HEPA filters are the pink ones, and this HEPA mask only costs$14 (and is surprisingly comfortable). Totally worth it for your health!

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An associate at Home Depot told me to use the medium primer (the gray primer), but I’m not sure that was a great idea. It took SEVERAL light coats of yellow (Rustoleum Sunburst Yellow) to cover it. I feel like a white primer might have been better. I used 3 whole cans of paint and realized I needed more coverage, so I had to go and get another can. Then I had to wait a whole 48 hours before I could re-coat the table.

After the table was finally painted I had to go back to Home Depot to get new hardware for putting it back together because the old hardware was all rusted out.

Although the process took a long time (about 4 days), actual spraying time was short — perhaps an hour in total. The table just sat out in the yard in pieces for a few days while it cured (and then was re-sprayed and cured again).

spray painted yellow patio table

I love how bright and happy it is, and I can’t wait to enjoy many summer dinners out on the patio.

yellow patio table

Don’t you just love spray paint? Have you spray painted anything lately?

Sharing over at TatertotsandJello, Suburbs Mama, A Stroll Through Life, Miss Mustard Seed and If It’s Not Baroque!

Turn Your Kid’s Pants into Shorts (in 3 Easy Steps)

Here’s a quick project that took me all of 15 minutes, and helps reuse something you would otherwise give/throw away, use as a rag, or lose in the bottomless black hole you call the closet (or is that just me?).

With the warm weather we’ve been having, I’ve really been wishing that my toddler had fewer long pants and more shorts. She’s going to outgrow her long pants before the weather gets cool again. Well, duh, I told myself, why not just shorten the pants?

turn kids pants into shorts

You’ll need:

1 pair of jersey cotton pants
sewing machine
thread that matches pants
scissors

I love the neon pink polka dots on these pants but they were kind of a weird shape on my girl. She has skinny legs so the pants ended up baggy around the thigh, but weirdly tapering at the ankle. So I decided that this pair would be a perfect candidate for a redo, and if it didn’t work out, oh well.

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Warning: I am not a seamstress. Not even close. I’m a total amateur who has to look at the manual every time I try to thread my sewing machine. So if I can do it, you can too!

Turn the pants inside out. Fold the pants in half lengthwise and snip off the bottom portion. I just eyeballed it, but remember that you’ll lose more length after you hem the pants.

cut off pant legs

Fold up the cuffs at the bottom of the legs. You could be all fancy and zigzag stitch them, but the knit t-shirt material won’t fray, so don’t worry about it.

diy baby shorts

Besides, who’s going to be snooping in your baby’s wardrobe criticizing your hemming skills? (uh…don’t answer that question.)

Just sew around the hem with the sewing machine. Let the machine pull the fabric through to avoid stretching the fabric. Just make sure you don’t sew the leg shut. If you want to be fancy, you can sew in a double seam (just add another seam next to the first).

hemming shorts

(I forgot to take a picture while I was sewing, so I faked the above picture.)

And it’s as easy as 1…2…3!

turn kids pants into shorts

Is it perfect? Nope. I’m incapable of sewing a straight seam. Does it work and are they comfy? Oh yeah.

I tried to get a pic of my daughter modeling the shorts but she moves too fast. This is the best I could do and it’s a little blurry.

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Of course, when you hem your shorts you will use a matching thread instead of white, unlike me, right?

The shorts are a little loose and flowy which is actually nice for this warm weather. They are the perfect play pants now.

Quick Update with IKEA Cushions

I’m fortunate to live close enough to an IKEA that the words “IKEA run” are in my vocabulary. Although the giant home furnishings retailer is notorious for gobbling up entire Saturday afternoons (and destroying relationships, Re: 30 Rock), I’ve perfected the art of going straight to what I need, grabbing it, and little else. This time, the baby and I were in and out in less than 45 minutes!

I had been wanting to add more color to the family room couch and I thought some cushions would let me do so quickly and affordably:

Update sofa with IKEA cushions

I ended up going with the Sanela turquoise cotton velvet pillow covers at $7 and the Fjadrar feather-stuffed inner cushions at $6.99 each. So that comes to about $14 a pillow, which is pretty reasonable, especially for velvet. And since the inner cushion can be easily removed, I can switch the cushion covers easily without having to buy a whole new cushion!

family room sofa front 2

sofa with blue cushions

I really think those blue cushions add a certain je ne sais quoi to the room, don’t you? Hee hee. They give it a more coastal and relaxed vibe and actually help the red/brown design on the cream cushions to pop more (the cream cushions are made from World Market napkins). And I love how they pick up the shades of blue in the painting on the left.

I also grabbed the Emmie Kvist long pillow:

Guest bed

I was originally going to put it on the sofa but it didn’t work. It was too big and the pattern was too dark. So I threw it on the guest bed and liked it.

guest bed front

It’s a lot of pattern but this room kind of needs it. Those walls really need some art. And I’m kind of over the orangey-red nightstands. They’re fun but they’re starting to look a bit juvenile. I’ve been considering painting them a glossy smoke gray to make them look a bit more sophisticated.

Ok! Well, that’s just a quick little update with IKEA pillows. What great deals have you found at IKEA lately?

Frugal Chinese Papercut Art

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While we were in Shanghai we went to visit Tian Zi Fang, an art district located in the French Concession. The stone houses date from the 1930s and the area just feels like “Old Shanghai”, whatever that means…I wasn’t in Shanghai in the 30s, but it seems like it would be an exciting time to experience. It would be fun to “Midnight in Paris” it.

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There are lots of shops selling trinkets and tourist kitsch, but there are also some great shops specializing in photography, art, designer fashion, and traditional handicrafts. We picked up several Chinese papercuts, a traditional Chinese art, to the tune of 3 for 100RMB (about $16 USD). The intricate designs are hand cut onto tissue-thin paper. Of course, the cynic in me says that they could easily have been factory-cut and who would know the difference, but I choose to believe that they are really hand-cut (hee hee).

When we got home, I removed the papercuts from their packaging and used a tiny dab with a glue stick to glue them onto a watercolor paper backing, which is a higher-quality paper than what they were packaged in. Then I framed them using IKEA FJALLSTA frames. They look great! Much better than how they were displayed in the store (grayish cheap paper backing, plastic frames). They really look like art on their own right now.

The red one above with the goldfish is going to be a Christmas gift for Chris’ grandmother. It’s pretty, unique, and frugal. My favorite kind of gift =).

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