Organized Work Space

Speaking of school (check out my post here), I decided it was high time to get an organized space going.  Since moving back in the with the folks last spring, my space is somewhat limited.  But with Sister #2 off at college, I decided to commandeer her desk area, and give it a little inexpensive face lift.

Here’s what I started with:

Gotta love the outdated calendar and the Gandhi Poster!

A little messy, since it is full of things she didn’t need at school with her.  I did a little shopping at my go-to spot, Ikea!  I picked up a plain white magnetic board, some fabric – I needed less than a yard, but have plans for the left over fabric! (I loved the blue and white pattern with the small hints of orange – this was my color scheme), magnets in orange and white (they matched my fabric so perfectly, it was unbelievable!),  small magnetic boxes, matching orange and white magazine holders, and a couple paper boxes in the same shade of orange.  Overall I spent just around $50, which I was more than ok with.

Home I went, happy as could be with my organization goodies.  First thing I did was iron the fabric to make sure there were no wrinkles.

Next up, it I plugged in the trusty old glue gun, and let it heat up.

Then, I measured my fabric and cut a piece big enough to cover the magnetic board.  Then I spread out the fabric, put the magnetic board on top and glued around the edges.  Once I got to the corners, I trimmed the sides and wrapped like a present, gluing as I went.

Wrap the corner like a present

 I had decided to prop the board against the wall, rather than hang it, but I took the time to trim off the fabric where the nail holes were incase I decide to hang it on a wall in the future.

If you plan to hang your board, steer clear of the nail holes

Here it is all wrapped and finished.

And the front view, propped against the wall.

Sorry for ALL the crooked pictures…it’s my lack of picture taking abilities, the room is straight!

And now with the matching magnets…I love it!

See the subtle hints of orange in the fabric?

Here is my finished board, covered in the essentials.

Again with the crooked picture taking…ahhh

I added a magnetic box on each side, one to hold things like a ruler, scissors, tape and the other to hold extra magnets.

Because my board is propped against the wall, the boxes are resting on the table, but they have hefty magnets and would stick to the board if it was hanging on a wall.

Then I have a couple pictures, coupons, and a weekly meal planner.

And of course a monthly pad of paper to jot down quick notes and make lists.  Pretty soon I need to go find my February list…yikes!

On each side of the board I added my magazine holders.  I love that the orange and white help tie everything together.  One side holds cooking magazines, like the Food Network and Everyday with Rachel Ray goodies.

The other side holds decorating and household magazines, like Veranda, and Good Housekeeping.

Then I put together and added the cute paper boxes on top of the wooden filing cabinet (sister #2 painted that herself!).  One box holds craft supplies, the other holds school papers.  I still need to label them, but I like the nice and organized way to hide some of my mess.

Here’s an overview of what my small area of the desk looks like.  Much better huh?

And we can’t forget the Easy Embroidery Project I made here.  And the Even easier Yarn Wreath I made here.

Now I just need to get started on some more crafts and school work…yippee!

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**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog, or click here, to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!  Thanks for hosting Girls!**

Tile Table Top

Months ago I remember bookmarking Kimba’s fantastic tile artwork (shown here) with the idea that I would try something similar down the line.  I took my spin on her idea, and found a few money saving tips along the way!  Unfortunately I didn’t take pictures of my process, so check out Kimba’s fab tutorial if you’re a visual learner!

First, I started with a good old Ikea Lack side table, for only $7.99!  It’s a bargain, but certainly looks a little plain.  I picked a color that I thought went well with my decor, and was a little more special than good old white.

$7.99 Lack Table – Ikea

Next it was off to Home Depot for the rest of the supplies.  First, I picked out tile that I thought went well with the color of the table.  I found gorgeous glass tiles, that matched perfectly, came in 12×12 squares, and were only $4.97 a piece.  Not too shabby!

Not the exact tiles I used, but pretty darn close!

Next on my list was the adhesive and grout.  This is where bargain #3 came into play.  I found a pre-mixed adhesive AND grout all rolled in to 1.  Since this was a small project and I knew I didn’t need much to work with, I thought this was the best idea.  For only $8, I snatched it right up.  I chose a white color that would blend well with the color of my table and tiles.

Adhesive and Grout, all rolled in to 1!

Next up, since I was new to the whole tile business I needed all the tools.  Get ready for bargain #4!  Home Depot has this fantastic Tile Installation Kit, all the tools I needed for under $6!  I’ll take it.

The “tools”

The only thing left on my list was a sponge, which is super cheap.  Overall my project cost just over $40, but if I decide to make another one I still have left over adhesive/grout, and all the tools.  Which means I would only have to purchase the table and tiles.  Not bad over all.

Now that I had all the necessary supplies it was time to get busy.

Step 1:  Clean off the surface, and make sure it is completely dry.

Step 2:  Measure out your tile.  Since my table surface was a little smaller than the 4 sheets of tile, I had to trim off some of the edges.  But these glass tiles were incredible easy to work with and I just had to cut through the netting that attached them.

Step 3:  Once you have the correct amount of tiles, it’s time to lay the adhesive.  Since I was working with a relatively small surface area I didn’t have to worry about my adhesive drying, so I spread on enough to cover one sheet of tiles.  I used a paint stir stick to grab some adhesive, and then used the trowel (metal thing with notches) to spread it out evenly.  I went over my patch of adhesive with the notched side to make the lines in the adhesive.

Step 4:  Next, you lay down your tile.  Make sure you press it into the adhesive so everything sticks.  Some of the adhesive came up in between my tiles, you can wipe this off with a wet paper towel, but in my case since my grout was the same as the adhesive, I just left it.

Step 5:  One you have attached the first set of tiles, spread more adhesive and keep applying tiles until you have covered the whole surface area.  Because my surface area was so small I eyeballed everything, but if you are laying tile in a large area, invest in spacers, they will help keep everything evenly spaced and neat looking.

*One thing to look out for is tile hanging over the edge.  Because my table size was a little different than the tiles, I did end up with a little over hang of tile, avoid this if possible, especially with a table, because you don’t want the end tiles to get knocked off. oops!

oops, try not to let your tile overhang the edge

Step 6: Next, follow the directions on your adhesive about drying time.  I let mine dry overnight just to be sure!

Step 7:  Now its time to grout.  I again used the paint stir stick to glop on a large amount of grout onto my tiles and then used the float (the rubber tool) to squish the grout in between all the cracks.  Try to spread it out evenly across your whole surface.  Don’t worry about the grout on top of the tile, that will get cleaned up later.  Just make sure you get it in between each tile.

Step 8:  Once you have covered the whole surface with grout, allow it to dry.  I gave mine a few hours.

Step 9:  It’s time to clean up the surface.  Take a bucket of clean water and your sponge and start wiping off the surface of the tiles.  I had to use a little extra elbow grease, but was able to wash off the tiles without any of the set grout (in the cracks) coming off.

Here’s what my surface ended up looking like!  I think this would look pretty even as a wall hanging.

finished table top

I then allowed it to dry again over night, just to make sure everything would properly stay in place.

As with any piece of furniture from Ikea, the table comes unassembled.  You get the table top, 4 legs, and 4 double sided screws.

I found it easiest to put the table surface upside-down on the floor, twist the screw a few times into the surface, and then balance the leg on top of the screw.

Flip the table upside-down, and screw in the leg

Next just keep twisting.  The screw will twist into the leg and the table at the same time, and having the gravity from being above the table helped a lot.  Do this with all four legs….and then turn it over!


Here’s a look at my finished table, in the daylight up close:

And here’s it’s permanent home….for now!

 I love how the candle’s reflect the tiles on the wall.  I think the simple, and cheap, change made a huge difference with this table!  I’m pretty pleased with the outcome!

**Please click on my Linky Party tab at the top of my blog, or click here, to see some of the parties I participate in. Also check out all the other fabulous projects going on!  Thanks for hosting Girls!**

the right “frame” of mind

With so many options, how does one choose?  That’s what I’ve been asking myself the last few days while working on my silhouette pictures.  I finally settled on two dark oval 11×14 frames from Michael’s.  I was lucky to score the 50% store promotion, on top of my 25% off on frames coupon.  I got the set for 30 beans and I’m pretty happy with the outcome.  Lets take a looksie shall we?

Poor quality…but better size reference.
An up close peek.

I’m pretty happy with the final outcome, but still have even more visions!  Here’s a sneak peak…


I had high hopes for using this frame:

Found at good old Ikea.  But the dimensions are pretty large, and I don’t want to end up dwarfing the photo of us in the middle.  But ever since I saw this frame I thought it just screamed silhouette.  I thought so…but I’m not sure if that’s the direction I want to take after all.  I might stop in and visit my favorite Swedish friends soon and see what I think.  I do have to keep in mind that they won’t always be above my bed, and therefore bigger might be better.  Decisions decisions!

And finally, I need to make a decision as to what background color to use.  Right now I just have cream colored paper, but I was thinking a fun fabric?  Or patterned paper?  Do you think something like that would work, or should I stick to the solid?  Even more decisions…yikes!

As I’m sure you can see in the background of these photos a deliciously bubble gum pink striped wall paper.  puke.  Not my first choice that’s for sure, but its been on the walls ever since my parents moved in 10+ years ago.  And extends all the way into the hall and attached bathroom.  Since moving back home last spring I’ve had a lot of visions, but now every nook and cranny is full of all my junk and I’m lacking motivation to spruce up.  That and a leaky bathroom ceiling are holding me back.  Maybe in the coming months I’ll find some motivation and get painting.  But at the same time with B and I months away from apartment hunting we’ll see if I ever get that far.

I’m sure you will see the whole process documented here when I make a final decision!

New Years Resolution:  Less stress, less clutter, less complication.  Today’s progress: Less stress…check!  Saved money at Michaels because of the sales and coupons woot.  Also ordered my textbook for my class, that’s a load off my shoulders, bring on the semester!.  Less clutter…check minus.  Never actually organized anything, but I did buy some new baskets at Michaels to help hide some of my “stuff”!  Less complication…no complications today!