Tag Archive for 'decor'

DIY Enlarged Photobooth Strip Print

Images above (left to right) Martha Stewart, Design Editor, and A Beautiful Mess

Well, another thing for the home, but I promise this is more of a designy-crafty-DIY type of a thing than home renovations. I’ve been seeing these large Debbie Carlos prints around for years, online and at renegade. I learned that blowing up your own pictures really big can make for some great artwork from all my years watching early Trading Spaces. A year or so ago people started posting about how you can get your own images blown up, in black and white, cheaply at copy stores, by just asking for blueprint or engineering copies. Brilliant!

Then a little bit ago I saw this great pin about making a life size photobooth strip from Today’s Creative Blog. I think that tutorial just pieced together 12×12 prints to look like they were all one strip, but I thought “why not take it a step further and just blow up a real photo booth strip?” I called up a local copy store and they said the largest size they print is 4’x3′ for only $5. The print is like a very large xerox and the paper is pretty similar weight to a nice copy machine paper. 4’x3′ is much wider than just one strip so I figured why not do a few strips side by side.

Working on a fun project idea. Some of my #photobooth strips from over the years.
just a few of my photo chemical photobooth pictures strips

While looking through my strips I realized I liked some pictures from a lot of the different strips and decided to piece together some of my favorites of Matt and I from over the years. I scanned 3 photobooth strips to get the background right, and then scanned all my strips for the individual pictures I wanted to place over the existing pictures. They are all real photobooth pictures, just not from the same strips. You could easily just scan complete strips and have them printed as is.

3.28.13 photobooth prints

Once again, I’m not a home decor photographer, but COME ON! Look how I was able to get two adorable kitties in the shot AND both are looking at the camera! I may have missed my calling to be a pet photographer. It’s like a family portrait of sorts above. Matt and I in the print, and the cats below. I said “too bad I didn’t remove the laptop from next to the couch” and Matt said “well, that’s part of the family too!”

A few extra ideas I had while doing this project:

I scanned the photobooth strips in at resolution of 1200 so that when they were printed out that huge they would still look pretty crisp.

The print is just stuck to the wall using wall tacky, which I’m not crazy about for the long run. I doubt I’d just find any picture frame that large that is in range for a $5 print. I need to look online for some framing ideas.

Think about what else you could print large. What about a face, Chuck Close style?! You aren’t limited to enlarging photographs either. It would be really cool to scan an object (fern leaf, needlework, heirloom lace, seeds, sequins) or photograph a sentimental object (wedding rings, baseball, keys, handwriting) you have and then blow up those images really big to display in your home.

You could get an even bigger impact by dividing your image up into parts, getting each piece printed out on the largest size paper and then piecing all the prints together on the wall.

Many years ago I remember finding the site rasterbator.net, and this project reminded me of that. I was glad to see the site is still up. Rasterbator allows you to upload a picture and then set the specifications (image dimension, as well as paper size) and the site will create a multi page PDF with your image blown up in half-tone. You can then print the pages from home and piece them together.

Last minute addition. I love this idea that MyCakies shared where she blew up a print of the Eiffel Tower and then let her children go to town painting it with watercolors. Instant Art!


I’m no decorator and this is no home decor blog

I’ll preface this blog post by saying I have a pet peeve when reading other people’s posts where they post a picture of something and then state “please disregard the mess”. Then, for the life of me, I’m looking at the picture and can’t see a single thing out of place or even a spec of dust. Those people will probably be repulsed by this post because, as the header states, I’m no home decorator and this is no home decor blog. I don’t have fancy wide angled lenses, professional lighting and a staged home. I have a (probably) decade old, used digital camera, minimal winter lighting and a very lived in home. So yeah, today I’m going to be one of those people… Please disregard the mess. Also, I just remembered about when I was renting and had no prospects of home buying it used to really annoy me when people would do these type of posts. I was reading their blogs for their craft or design or artwork, not junk about their house. I apologize to anyone that might feel like that, feel free to skip past this post and please return later to our (semi) regularly programmed material.

We bought our home in August 2011. I can’t believe it has been that long. We have been living here for over a year and a half and until recently have done very little to it, other then fresh coats of paint to a few of the rooms. It takes me a long time to feel settled into a new place. I actually felt at home right away, but I’m realizing there is a difference between feeling at home and getting to the point where I feel like I can make adjustments to suit my own needs rather than just live with what I have. That being said, I’m still not even to the point where I feel like I can confidently drill holes in my own walls and hang things. 3M pull tabs, you’ve been a life saver!

In the last month or two we have made a few minor changes that have succeeded in making the house feel more and more like OURS. The before pictures are ones we took at the inspection or closing. I wish I had thought to take pictures right before we made these changes, so I didn’t have to use the closing pictures (all empty and well lit), but naturally, it wasn’t until each of the lights were down that I thought about it. Also, big props go out to Matt’s parents who helped us with each of these changes.

3.20.13 old dining room

The house originally had those brass and glass light fixtures, as seen above. I knew I wanted to put in lights of my own before we even settled on a house. I really had my heart set on the Ikea Maskros. It wasn’t until we bought the house and took a trip into Ikea that I saw them ALL.OVER.THE.STORE and immediately I got cold feet. I’m sure they knew they were a hot item and felt like they were trying to shove them down my throat. I didn’t want an item that would look super dated in 5 years and I started thinking that in 5 years that light would feel more like “oh yeah, I remember when those were super popular and everyone had one”. I still really love it, and props to those who have it, but I know myself and I wanted something I’d be keeping up for a longer time period.

So, this is finally happening.

I wasn’t sure what kind of light I wanted. I shopped online, in local hardware stores, and we checked out the habitat for humanity store, where we found a sea of our same style lights. Seems like everyone else wanted them out of their houses as well. One of the things I’ve tried to keep in mind for our house is “when in doubt go simple”. I have a tendency to get cluttered. I love collecting things and have tons of display type stuff. So when putting things in the house I’d rather go simple on the larger things while the other display items become the accents. This way everything isn’t overwhelming, cluttered, or competing for attention.

3.20.13 new dining room

I was tired of waiting for the just the right light to be placed in my arms. I hunted online and finally found the Crate and Barrel Large Finley pendant light in white. 1. Our walls are all painted bright white, despite what the pictures may look like. I liked that the Finley is also white, plain, and simple, and has a bottom, so that when you are sitting below it you can’t see up inside of it. 2. Picture disclaimer: Yeah, I know I said I’d like everything I put in the house to look SIMPLE, but this really only applies to things we buy new. Our house is currently such a mishmash of items. Pretty much everything is thrifted, handed down or picked up for free. Beggars can’t be choosers. The only things in this picture that don’t fit into that category are the two lights (the floor lamp, and the new pendant light) and the TV stand. The coffee table (which you can barely see), the couch, the other couch out of view, lazyboy, chairs, dining room table, and even the TV all fit into the first category of previously used items.

3.20.13 old foyer

One of the things I first loved about our house was that it had a foyer. My original idea for the space was that I wanted a bench, baskets for mail, mittens, etc., and a large mirror to check myself before heading out the door. We hunted and hunted for a bench before I just gave up and found a narrow table that worked just right. Sure enough, since then I’ve been seeing tons of foyer benches. We still have not hung a mirror (see above for fear of hanging things on the walls). Then, within the last couple of weeks we took down this brass and glass (complete with fake candlestick) light in the space and replaced it with the Ikea Knappa. Because it was hard to see how the displays were wired in the store and the packaging didn’t explain, we were a bit surprised to find that the light is actually just a plug light with hooks to hang it by. We ended up having to cut off the plug and strip the wires to have it hang like a true chandelier light.

3.20.13 new foyer
I don’t think I previously really paid attention the light in this space. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t an eye sore either, maybe because it was high enough, out of sight out of mind. It wasn’t something that I was dying to change. What did that for me was one evening while walking down my street I happened to notice that I could see through my neighbor’s window transom, over their front door, and see their foyer light. I don’t even remember if it was anything special, but just that I realized If I could see theirs, then people could see ours that same way. We don’t really have front windows, but we do have this transom window. I thought it would be really cool if there was something interesting to see there. When hanging we took care to make sure that it was visible through that transom from outside. I am thrilled with the way it looks from the street and sidewalk. From the inside, the space doesn’t have too much going on, so I wasn’t worried about it looking too cluttered, by choosing a busy light. Also, it is something that might get boring soon, but for only $25 we can easily replace it with something different in a couple of years. Something also new, fun and interesting to look at.

3.20.13 old laundry

Definitely the most functional update are these shelves above the washer and dryer. There were some rickety shelves there when we bought the house but they were taken down when we were painting. For a Christmas present, Matt said he would get shelves and install them. Up until then I was frustrated, living with a laundry basket filled with soap, bleach, dryer balls, stain remover, tid bits from our pockets, what-have-you, and just moving that basket from top of the washer to top of the dryer to the floor and back again.

3.20.13 old laundry new

Now I have the shelves and I’m relieved that things in this space can finally be “put away”. Also, we don’t have a linen closet per se, so I am excited that I can get some baskets to go up on the top shelf and put things away in there.

My new air plant.

These are the major changes. We’ve done a few small things here and there that aren’t too much worth sharing. You don’t want to see replaced toilet seats, do you? hehe. One last thing though, something I wanted to do way before we bought the house and that was to get an air plant to hang in the kitchen. I bought the vase at Micheal’s for a couple dollars, and the air plant from Acorn Design Source at the Kane County Flea Market. I’d really like to add more greenery to the house, but I have to be creative with two cats that will destroy any living plants within reach.

Okay, that’s that. Since we are slow movers when it comes to home improvements this will probably be the last home post until next year.

A Necklace Display

9.17 necklace display

While living in rental units and before buying our home I had a dream list of things I wanted to do once I OWNED MY OWN HOME. There were things on that list like hanging a nice, full length mirror on the wall (as opposed to the cheap mirror that is stuck to the back of most apartment bathroom doors), having my very own hammock to swing in while enjoying my very own back yard and HELLO chalkboard paint wall. One of those list items was to have a nice and permanent display for all of my necklaces.

my favorite necklaces
(some of my favorite necklaces)

I consider most of my jewelry as wearable art, rather than just jewelry, and most pieces are not small or something that could easily be put away in a jewelry box. I’d like to have the pieces out and hanging in my bedroom. This way the pieces could be displayed as the artwork that they are, but also easily seen so I can decide which piece to wear each day.

In the past I’ve just hung all my necklaces from various random hooks, knobs and random nails that seem to be abundant in most rentals. I dreamed of a time when I’d have them all hanging on the wall, equally displayed. At first I pictured a straight line of nails, right into the wall. I think after renting for so many years I couldn’t even dream past the point of just owning my own walls that I could NAIL HOLES INTO IF I WANTED. It wasn’t until moving into our house that I started thinking beyond that and came up with this idea for a necklace display.

9.17 necklace display materials

Last weekend I finally finished it and thought it might be something other people would be interested in recreating for their own necklaces. It was really simple and other than some assistance from my dad and sister (mostly because I needed their expertise, support and assurance) it could have been done in a day or two.

9.17 necklace display materials2

I went to the hardware/lumber store and bought a 2x10x8 and had them cut it down to 4 feet long and bought an a additional length of quarter-round, as seen above.

9.17 necklace display materials7

Lightly sand the wood, stain it and then treat it.

9.17 necklace display materials4

Using wood glue, glue the quarter round onto the edge and tape it into place and leave it to dry.

Mark the walls where the studs are and measure the height where the piece is to hang.
9.17 necklace display materials8

Put screws into the studs at the correct height, leaving them to stick out about .5″-.75″.

9.17 necklace display materials6

Place the piece up against the wall, directly under the screws and mark on the wood where the screws are located.
9.17 necklace display materials5

Drill holes into the back, slightly larger than the screw heads in the wall, that match the location of the screws in the wall.
9.17 necklace display materials3

Run two pieces of tape across the piece, horizontally, at 1″ and 4″ down. Then mark the tape every .75″, alternating on the 1 and 4 inch tapes.
With a hammer, nail penny nails into the board at the marked spots at a slight angle upward.

Voila, the piece is done. Match the holes in the back of the piece to the screws in the wall and it hangs beautifully.

9.17 room1 9.17 room
(Before and after, necklace display)

The purpose of the quarter round was to create a small ledge where I can place artwork and inspirational images.

I also chose to use penny nails. You might opt for hooks or decorative nails. I specifically wanted the penny nails because the necklaces can easily be pulled off, and they are less distracting from the necklaces.

If you click on any of the images in this post it should take you to the flickr image. If you go to to this picture of the close up, and hover over the picture I have given credit to all the different artists who’s work can be seen in this display.

While still on the topic of Style

Let’s talk about home decor. Today I got the bug to put together this mosaic of some of my favorite home decoration inspiration. Decoration inspiration, it’s fun to say.

My creation, originally uploaded by robayre. Find the sources of all the above images in my favorites, here.

As you can see above, if I had my way our house would have lots of white, bits of wood and splashes of bright colors here and there. It’s an eclectic look. It incorporates lots of “collections” displayed prominently. Vintage/retro items are also a theme in the form of some spot furniture, as well as decorations. Oh, and let’s not forget my dream of having an entire chalkboard painted wall and a black and white checked floor. Oh, I also have to note that there are no beige carpets in this fantasy home.

This makes me very happy.