Life Inspired Link Party #9

Wait. What? Link party day? Yep... did you notice we took a little break? We're changing things up. First of all, Life Inspired is moving from a weekly link party to a monthly link party. My fellow blog buddies and I agreed that you guys (and us!) are busy! Not everyone has time to knock out a killer project every week or find time to link it up for that matter. I'm happy if everyone has clean underwear available the whole week at my house. (yay, I win at life!) So, for that reason Life Inspired will be only the last Friday of every month.

Second change up... we've grown! Sarah from Bombshell Bling is our newest BFF and will be joining in all all the link up festivities. Yay. So go visit her and say hi.

So, since it's been forever, we've all had a little time to do some cool stuff the past few weeks. And Courtney, from Sweet C's Designs, put this sweet (you see what I did there?) graphic together for us so you can cruise around easily.

And, from way back at our last link party, here's a few that jumped out at me...
So simple and sweet.

Love the personal, handmade touch these give.

What?! $65? Yeah, you can't beat that.

So, we're back! Link up, grab some coffee (or wine... or both), and visit fellow inspirers. Glad you're here!


Washi Tape Wall

I think we're coming into the home stretch for Operation Big Girl room.  So far I've completed her new "Tween Table" and upholstered her box spring (the new bedding she picked out is in that post too). I still have pillows and curtains to make and a bunch of DIY art and accessories to hang on the walls. And I'm on the fence if I'm going to get her a vanity/desk. While I think she'd love it, I'm not sure there's a ton of room for it. I think it might crowd the play space too much. I wouldn't want to take away from her babies' nap space. :) I guess I'll let Goodwill fate determine that. If I happen to see one for an awesome deal, I'll get it.  If not, no biggie. 

Last week we completed a Washi Tape Wall and I think it's pretty cool! I really wanted to add some color and texture but we're renting, so I needed something temporary (and cheap). Here's the before of the same wall. Holy clutter! I never realized it was that bad before we cleaned everything out.

First I painted her shelves. They had already seen a can of green spray paint once in their lives so I didn't sand or prime. Just wiped most of the dust off and went to it. *cough. This is the same Rust-Oleum pink from the side table. Do thin coats and let them dry completely before the next coat to prevent stickiness. Then wait about a week (I think I did 4 or 5 days because I'm impatient) before you put anything on top. I also give it a hearty coat of furniture polish too.

Next, I found some super clearance Washi Tape for .79 cents! Woo hoo.  I didn't end up using even half so I don't know how cheap that makes this project... but it's in the REALLY cheap realm.

Since I almost never measure unless I have to, I just went at it. The stripes are not perfectly even or straight. I just lined them up the best I could. Also, some of the tape just didn't stick very well. I ended up removing that flowered tape. It kept trying to leap off the wall. For the others, I added a tiny dab of clear craft glue to the ends of each strip of tape. After I did that, they stayed put. They've been up almost 2 weeks. 

Side note: I would not recommend this project if you have a toddler. Let's be real. I know my kids would have had that tape off the wall and in their hair in a second at that age. Since my kid is almost the ripe old age of 6, and she loves the stripes, she knows not to peal it off.... so far. I'm not saying it won't happen, but most of it is out of her reach.

Last step was to trim the ends with an Xacto knife.  The "Z"s are from Goodwill! $1 each. You think they will promote sleeping? That was my hope.

I used Command Hooks to organize her necklaces and we got super cheap ($2 a piece) photo boxes to hide the clutter.
So for less than $20 (spray paint, photo boxes, accessories, and tape included) this wall has been Big Girl-i-fied. Now what else can I jazz up with Washi Tape?


How to Make a Minion Costume

Hey, so Mr. Minion here is competing in costume contest. If you could head over and give him a click (he's #33), he'd really like it :) Click here!

WHAT???!!  Dude, I know you just said that in minion voice. I made this homemade DIY minion costume for a Halloween party last year and in my extremely bias opinion, it's awesome. :) This photo was taken in the "line up" at my friend Christy's house. Apparently this minion got into some mischief. She's the same Christy photographer that took all of the amazingly flattering pictures of my family on my about me page. Yes, I normally frolic in a field wearing fake eyelashes. Anywho... The costume took about a week (mostly because of the paper maché dry time) and cost about $50 (less if you already own an exercise ball).

Do you want to make a minion? You do. Here we go.

Supplies (there's lots, but hey, it's an awesome costume)
  • 4' x 8' Polywall Panel (sold at Home Depot in the Room Mouldings section)
  • Exercise Ball (slightly wider than yourself)
  • Paper Maché - Mix 1 part water with 1 part flour an a tsp of salt.  Easy.
  • Construction Adhesive (Either Liquid Nails or Loctite will work)
  • 2 empty/new quart size paint cans (sold at Home Depot in the paint section)
  • Small Cheap Playground Ball (I got mine at the dollar store)
  • Yellow Spray Paint
  • Duct Tape
  • Hot Glue
  • Blue Fabric of some sort (I used an old sheet)
  • Markers
  • Craft Foam Sheets, 1 black, 1 white
  • Utility knife
  • small nuts and bolts
Supply Help:
I know sometimes you have no idea where to get some of the oddball supplies I have listed.  So, I took pictures of some of them on the shelves at the stores to help you out... because I'm nice like that.

1. Polywall Panel from Home Depot - It's big and white and flexible. You should be able to roll it up and shove it in your car. I did.

2. Empty Paint Cans - They sell them right across from the spray paint at my Home Depot. You need 2.

Step 1
Blow up your exercise ball and measure the diameter. If it's new, the measurement will be on the box. Now roll the polywall panel into a tube until it's the same diameter as your ball. You'll probably need 2 people to do this. Once you get it into a tube the same diameter as your ball, clamp it or have person 2 hold it, and drill several holes at the seem and insert blunt screws (are those called bolts?).  Then from the inside, attach a nut to each one. Yes, the screws are going to show a little in the final costume, but I find them hardly noticeable once painted.
Please excuse the pre-paper mache chaos happening above.

Step 2
Plop your exercise ball in a large bowl to keep it from rolling around and paper maché the heck out of it. (1 part flour, 1 part water, a little salt. Dip strips of newspaper and smear them on) I had the kids rip up the strips of newspaper. Fun in the kitchen... black fingerprints everywhere. Yeah....
Exercise balls have a seam around the middle which really helps in getting a perfect dome. Just paper maché past the seam a little. You're trying to cover half of the ball. Do one layer at a time and let it dry completely before you move to the next layer to prevent mold. This process took a few days. I think we ended up with about 6 layers. For the last layer I used white copy paper so I would have a nice white surface to paint. Once the whole thing is dry, deflate the ball and carefully remove your hardened dome.

Step 3
Attach the paper maché dome to the polywall tube you made in step 1. I'll admit it, this is the toughest part of the costume. First I glued little scraps of foam just below the rim (you really could use anything for this), inside the tube with construction adhesive. You're trying to make a little ledge for the dome to sit on once you shove it in there. If you don't make a ledge, the dome is just going to slip down into the tube. You want it to stay right at the top. Let the ledge dry.

I trimmed my dome with scissors to the seam line the ball made in the paper maché. Give the top of that rim you just made inside the tube a generous bead of construction adhesive. Then you want to slip the dome inside the tube so it rests on the rim. If it doesn't fit, keep trimming the dome little by little until it slides in (or you force it). You want it to be as tight as possible. This took quite a bit of finesse. Run another bead of construction adhesive around the outside seam and smooth with your finger. In this pic we're cutting arm holes.. but you can see the dome glued to the tube here and the screws down the side.

Step 4
Cut arm holes and a mouth. I looked at a picture and drew the "WHAT?!" mouth with a pencil. I think I got inside the costume to determine where to put the arm holes. You will be seeing out of the mouth. That might help you figure out where to put them. We used both a power multi-tool and a utility knife to cut.

Step 5
Paint the whole thing bright yellow. I used Rust-Oleum spray paint. Let it dry.

Step 6
Make the goggles. You need to cut the bottoms off of two quart size paint cans (warning, they will be sharp). I used tin snips for this but a multi-tool with a metal bit might work. The fronts of the goggles are going to be the top of the cans where you'd put the lid on. You don't need the lids for the goggles.

You can't cut the bottoms straight off. You have to cut at a slight angle to get the goggles to sit flush against the rounded costume.  Like this...

Step 7
Make eye balls! Cut a cheap small rubber/plastic play ball in half. Even if there's a design on the outside of the ball, the inside should be white. Flip the ball inside out. Draw the eye part with a Sharpie. Trim it down with scissors until it fits inside the paint cans. Slide it in the goggle from the side you cut.  Attach with duck tape. Be careful... the paint cans are sharp!
I do realize what it looks like I am making... however, they are eyeballs. :)

Step 8
Attach the goggles with eyeballs to the minion (now that it has eyes, we'll call it a minion). I taped the paint cans together, ran a bead of construction adhesive around the rims of the paint cans, then taped them to the minion on the sides. Center the eyes right over the seam between the dome and the tube. If you put duck tape on the sides of the cans, the goggle strap will hide it.
A bit blurry, but you can see what's going on.

Step 9
Cut goggle strap, teeth, and hair from craft foam sheets. Hot glue in place. The goggle strap is made up of a few pieces. The teeth are just rectangles with rounded corners.

Step 10
Make shoulder straps on the inside to hold up your minion. I used two old belts for this. Attach them taught across the inside of the minion on each side, right over where your shoulders would be. Remember, you want your face to end up somewhere near the mouth so you'll be able to see. I secured them with nuts and bolts. The bolts will be hidden under the overalls when the costume is done. This picture is taken through the arm hole.

Step 11
Last step! Hot glue some blue fabric to the minion so he's not naked. I used an old blue sheet we had. Wrap it around the bottom, cut squares for the front and back of the overalls, and make straps.  I drew the logo with a Sharpie.

Tada! Now wear a pair of jeans, a yellow long sleeved shirt, black shoes, and black gloves. Your minion transformation is complete. Go wow your friends :)

We attended a costume party this night where we took second place. (We bought the Gru mask on Amazon) Yep, I was beat out by the Lego People made by Katie and Jon at Sew Woodsy! I have to admit, they're pretty amazing! We're both a part of The Really Awesome 2013 Handmade Costume Series below too. So click over and check out all of the costumes both on Really Awesome Costumes and on C.R.A.F.T. They're are so many ideas, I'm proud to be a part of it.


How to Upholster a Box Spring

Operation Big Girl Room still in full chaotic swing. It's tough to re-do a kid's room when they are still very much living in their room every day. I have to clean up tons of toys and laundry first before I can even get to the thing I'm trying to redo. Sheesh. I've wanted to do this project for a long time. Before, Kaley had a traditional bed skirt. But because of the style of her bed, it always just looked like a big wrinkled mess. So, I decided to upholster her box spring.

  • Box Spring (duh)
  • Staple Gun
  • About 6 yards of fabric depending on the size of the bed (This is a full)

Note about my fabric. This fabric was $2.99/yard. It's actually the fabric reusable grocery bags are made out of. It was called "bag fabric" at JoAnn's and I'm so happy I stumbled across it. I highly recommend this type of fabric for upholstering a box spring. (And it's cheap!)

Step 1
Cut your fabric lengthwise. Wide enough to cover the side of the box spring, wrap around the top about 6"-8", and wrap around the bottom a couple inches. It doesn't have to go around as far on the bottom. You don't have to cut super straight. I found standing the box spring up was the easiest way to do this. Let's just pretend that laundry is put away there... (little secret, it never really is).

Step 2
Start stapling. This is the bottom. I really didn't need to wrap the fabric that far under, you'll never see the bottom. Make sure your staples are going into the wood. Smooth the fabric out flat as you go. It doesn't have to be super tight. On the top, put the staples as far in (toward the middle of the bed) as you can get them and still hitting wood. If they are close to the edge, you will see them.

When you get to a corner, just smooth it around and fold the fabric on the top and bottom. Staple in place. My fabric did not go all the way around. I used 2 pieces and made the seams at the foot and head of the bed. This fabric does not fray so I just overlapped and kept stapling.

That's it. A cheap and easy way to get rid of that bed skirt. I love the polka dots!

If you'd like to see where we started or other projects from Operation Big Girl Room, click on the pics below.