Tweaking a Bamboo Typography Mat

Not long ago, I bought a 3' x 2' bamboo typography mat on Decor Steals and was so excited when it arrived.  The warmth of the bamboo and the vintage look of the black typography were amazing and just what I'd hoped for.  The back side of the mat even has a floor-gripping texture.  Perfect!  Well ... almost!

Every item I've ordered from Decor Steals has been of wonderful quality and each item has honestly exceeded my expectations.  Love them!

The only issue I had with my new mat was the color of the binding (the fabric border around the outer edges of the mat).  It just didn't work quite well with my decor.   

Decor Steals

Fortunately, a tube of matte black fabric paint was all it took to make me happy - one coat of black paint, applied with a soft artist's brush to the binding.  

Have you ever purchased an item that you really liked but tweaked to make it exactly what you wanted?  I'm always amazed by the "power" of one quick coat of paint!  

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I look forward to your thoughts and ideas!  I try to respond to comments via email as soon as I can. If your email address isn't available, I will comment here. Thanks so much for visiting! 

Planning a Console Table Build

We currently have a console table in our foyer.  It's a perfectly nice little console table.  When it became a member of our home, it was painted black, lightly distressed with gold. After a bit of time, I was ready for a pop of color and painted it Behr Pumpkin Patch (mixed with unsanded tile grout to make DIY chalk paint) and toned it down with a coat of dark mocha glaze.  Just the look I was after at the time!

While I still enjoy the color and style of the table, the scale is extremely undersized for the space and the photo gallery above it.  The current table is only 42" wide. 

Time for a new, bigger console table!

Several I've found online would be wonderful.

Like this Connor Console Table from Pottery Barn.  Isn't the marble top beautiful?

Pottery Barn

Or, Crate and Barrel's Bluestone Console Table.  Loving the warmth of the stained wood.  This one is really close in dimension to the size we're looking for.

Crate and Barrel

Even though it's not quite wide enough for our space, the simplicity and clean lines of West Elm's Rustic Acacia Console Table are also appealing:

West Elm

All three options above are amazing, but when my frugal nature finally kicked in, my search led to DIY plans.  That's when I found it - the Rustic X Console Table - a style I like and the size is perfect.  Best of all, hubby and I can make it ourselves.  

Thanks to Ana White's website, a complete set of free plans are available along with many reader project photos.  

Hillary at The Friendly Home used Ana White's plans to build the beautiful table below.

Rustic X Console

Can't wait to start the build!  We'll search our lumber stash to determine what can be used and hopefully, we'll have most of the materials on hand.  

The original plan dimensions are 74-1/2" wide, 16-1/2" deep and 30" high.  We plan to add 2" to the height to make it 32" - the height of our current table that works very well for lamp height.

Looking forward to having two usable shelves below, for display and perhaps storage baskets.  

Will keep you posted on our adventure!  Have you built furniture for your home?  Did you enjoy the experience and were you pleased with the results?

Your comments are greatly appreciated and I look forward to your thoughts and ideas!  I try to respond to comments via email as soon as I can. If your email address isn't available, I will comment here. Thanks so much for visiting!  

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Glass Food Storage Containers

For the longest time I've been searching for small glass food storage containers with glass lids.  Seems easy enough ... lots of sizes, colors and styles to choose from online.  

But ... I didn't want to pay a fortune and I wasn't necessarily looking for vintage or antique.  Just everyday containers that we could easily use in our fridge to store small quantities of leftovers from meals - and, if they were cute, that would be an added bonus! 

Then one day I changed my approach and instead of looking specifically for food storage containers in the food storage container aisles, I searched for containers shaped like food storage containers.  Do I have you totally confused by now?  I really do have a point - promise!

Sometimes when we need a particular item, we don't think outside the box (or is it just me?).  Many times an item has a specific purpose, but can also be used in other ways, if we just look at them a bit differently.

I kept in mind that I wanted clear glass, preferably rectangular shaped, with a glass lid, stackable, and food and refrigerator safe.  

When I tried this new approach, it happened!   I stumbled across just what I was looking for at a price I could live with.

Clear glass covered butter dishes!  They're the perfect size and shape and really cute, too.   Found them at Home Goods for $5.99 each.

To convert a glass butter dish into a food storage container, just flip it over - the deep butter dish cover becomes the container and the shallow butter dish base becomes the container lid!  

And, they're stackable!

NOTE:  There were no markings on the packaging to indicate if they are microwave, oven or freezer safe.  We will be using them only to store food in the fridge - will not place in the oven, microwave or freezer.

My only concern was that the glass lids are not airtight - would food odors be a problem?  To find out, I tested them with the strongest smelling food item I had on hand - tuna salad.  After the end of a full day and a half in the fridge, there were no lingering smells.  Yay!

They remind me so much of the vintage, retro containers that were so popular in decades past - before plasticware was invented. 

For some really interesting facts and photos on the history of the evolution of cold food storage, check out the Smithsonian Institute's blog article, "Keeping your (food) cool: From ice harvesting to electric refrigeration."

Have you found refrigerator food storage containers that work really well for you?  Do you prefer plastic or glass?  Lots of options out there!

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Joyful Homemaking

Tucking Away the Holidays

It was inevitable ... all visual reminders of Christmas and the holidays are now tucked away.  We enjoyed our decorations a bit longer than we have in years past and earlier this week we put away our large living room tree.  Today I bagged and tagged the smaller trees, garland and exterior wreaths for storage.

While our home does seem so bare and we really miss the glow of little lights each evening, it's nice to have a brand new year ahead of us!

To help accomplish the task of storing away the holidays, we're fond of the red canvas storage bags with zippers and handles.
Very easy to carry and store.  Most have sewn in label holders that are awesome for quick identification of the contents.  They come in various sizes and shapes and you can usually find them after the holidays on clearance.  All of our trees, wreaths and garland are stored in this type of container in our attic.  We like that they're versatile and can be stored upright (great for trees in urns) or horizontally.

The round ones are perfect for wreaths and garland and I've found we can get multiple wreaths in each bag - up to 4 exterior window wreaths fit nicely in each one.

For storing and organizing tree ornaments, stacking drawer units are my choice.   The ones I'm using are 3-drawer units and ornaments for each tree fit safely in separate drawers which I've labeled with my handy dandy label maker.  Ornaments for our larger living room tree are in multiple drawers.  The advantage to using these is that there's no fear of ornament breakage from lid collapse. 

And, for those miscellaneous decorations that do not have to be climate controlled (summers and attics get really hot here), we use heavy duty lidded storage containers (black with yellow lids).|THD|G|0|G-PLA-BT3-HDX-D59-Decor|&gclid=CMCX2821mMoCFZWCaQodRowCfg&gclsrc=aw.ds

With our hot temps, the clear containers with thin white lids don't hold up well to hot attics, causing the lids to collapse if the bins are stacked.  We've discovered that the clear containers have also become brittle and cracked over time. 

These heavy duty ones have held up super well so far after a few years' use  - they stack well and no collapsing lids.   They're a little more costly than the typical ones, but well worth the investment (in our opinion).  

I number them as C1, C2, etc. (C = Christmas).  Pretty ingenious, right?   Then, create an index of contents for each box and tuck them away in the attic.  

Do you make New Year's resolutions?  I don't, but do have a long list of projects to tackle this year ... some involving holiday decor ... after all, Christmas is only 352 days away!!!

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