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7 Apr

We all love instagram, but what to do with those square photos if you want to print them? It’s hard to find a square frame, and you can’t scale them much larger because of the quality. But I have a solution for you! Instacubes!


Wooden Block
Spray Paint (optional)
Photo Paper

First find a wood block. They have these wooden cubes at most craft stores. Measure a side of your cube.

Next, set up your favorite 6 instagram photos to print. I made mine a little smaller than each side of my cube so they all had a border, but you can go all the way to the edge as well.

Screen Shot 2013-04-02 at 6.12.06 PM

Paint your cube if you like, or keep its wood appearance. Once you’ve printed and cut your instagram photos, spray some spray adhesive to the back of each, and stick it on your cube.

This is a simple, cost-effective, unique way to display your instagram photos. How cute would a bunch of these blocks be stacked up on a shelf? Or even as a fun centerpiece at a wedding filled with photos of the bride and groom! So many possibilities.

I made this Instacube for Katie, one of our winners of our “Photo-a-Day Challenge” on facebook. Be sure to follow us for fun DIY updates and more contests!


Guest Project: Samantha Sciotti’s Nightstand Update

29 Mar

Just a couple days ago I received a text message from our friend and former roommate, Sam, asking about the best ways to paint a piece of unfinished wood furniture. In return for our knowledge, she promised to take pictures of the process and send them our way:


Piece of unfinished furniture or wood

Paint or primer


Paint brushes

A piece of plastic on which to do this, if working on this indoors

Dry cloth or rag

photo 1

“I took an old Ikea night stand that I have had for years.”

photo 2

“Stenciled on a design I wanted”

photo 3

“Took primer and painted the areas I wanted white then used a stain and stained the whole night stand.”

photo 4

“I took a dry cloth and wiped down the white areas after because they seemed a little sticky but it wasn’t really necessary.”

photo 5And there you have it! In just a few simple steps, Sam turned this run-of-the-mill nightstand into a personalized piece with lost of character!

Budget-friendly Frame

23 Dec

Some of you may know it was my birthday at the beginning of December and my thoughtful sister, Anna, got me an amazing gift – a huge map with pins to mark where I’ve been and where I hope to go. I was excited to get it hung up and start marking off my past travels and future trips, but the walls in my apartment are very old, making the plaster super hard and crumbly(I don’t know how this combo is possible). Also, I realized that when I want to move, I would have to remove all of the pins individually. AND the map was so big (50″x32″) that any of the frames I found were upwards of $100. So I got to work on a much more budget friendly frame.


Cardboard/Foam Core


Glue – I used white glue and rubber cement

Staple gun or small nails and a hammer

Two small screws or nails and wire

Poster or photo

Canvas Stretcher Bars

photo-6Here is the inspiration – lots of pins and a very large map.

IMG_0037I even had the perfect spot on my wall for it! I hung it up with some tacks for the time being, which also helped to flatten the roll out.

IMG_0038I was out shopping for art supplies for my self-portrait when I came across the canvas stretcher bars and the lightbulbs went off in my head. For under $30 I could purchase these and assemble them to look like a frame.

IMG_0040They already have the corners mitered and are super easy to put together.

IMG_0059I had originally planned on buying the largest piece of foam core I could find to mount the map onto, giving the tacks something to go into, then I realized I had quite the cardboard box collection from my Christmas shopping. I decided instead to disassemble the larger boxes and tape them together to make the backing.

IMG_0060Once the boxes were taped together and trimmed down to the correct size, I smoothed the surface out with some brown craft paper. I just glued the paper down with white glue and taped the edges down. I then glued the map down with rubber cement, which helps keep the paper from wrinkling while drying. After it is dry, I attached it to the frame with a few staples on the corners and edges.

IMG_0061I thought I would paint the frame but I couldn’t decide on a color so I left it natural for now, which actually matches the map and wall very well. To hang the map, I inserted two small screws onto the back of the frame and string a taut wire between the two.

IMG_0063Finally I can mark off some special places! The warm colors are places I want to go and the cool colors are places I have been. I’m very fortunate to have traveled as much as I have, but there are an awful lot of places I hope to go to soon!


Wine Crate Shelves

1 Nov

My roommate, Alex, asked if I had any suggestions on how to revamp her bedroom and for some reason wine crates had been on my brain, so I suggested she use them to free up some of her storage space and display her stuff in a fun way.


Wooden wine crates

Paint – optional

L brackets


Power drill

The wine crates are great because they’re sturdy, neatly made, free and the options for customization are endless – paint, decoupage, connect them all together, leave them separate, I even saw an amazing wall built out of them!

Here is the before photo of Alex’s room. That small set of drawers on the floor blocks the entry way, but acts as her vanity so it needed to stay close to the mirror.

We also thought a display area above the radiator would be a nice addition to her workstation.

Alex decided on a neon pink accent color painted just around the front edge.

Once the boxes were painted, we hung them on the wall using L brackets.

We wanted the brackets to be hidden, so we attached them to the wall so that the boxes would sit on top of them which you can see above.

Here is one of the boxes all set up! She went with a green accent to match her drawings already on display.

And here is Alex’s new makeup/bookshelf storage area!

So for a total of $10, spent only on the hardware, Alex has some new shelves and more open floor space. So go ask your local wine retailer to save you some wine crates!


Printed Wooden Sign

18 Jan
Just a couple days ago, while doing a little web surfing I came across a neon sign that said “lets go anywhere” and was hit with one of those duh! moments. Traveling has always been in my top five favorite things to do, and I’ve always said that I will literally travel anywhere, so I knew I needed to make myself a sign that said just that. Unfortunately I have no idea how one would even go about working with neon – though I will definitely be looking it up because it seems interesting – so I decided I would paint the saying on a piece of wood.
Piece of scrap wood
Paint brush
This piece initially had nails and tacks sticking out everywhere so I pulled those out and sanded down the holes a bit. Then I gave the board two coats of gesso, not enough to completely cover the wood but just enough to make it look white.
While the paint was drying I got to work figuring out fonts and layout. I used Adobe Illustrator and set up a layout that was the same dimensions as my board. This allowed me to really see exactly what the sign would come out looking like.
Then I opened up another layout that was standard paper size so that printing wouldn’t be an issue. I also flipped the text so that it would print backwards – this step is crucial for transferring the text to the wood.
I printed the text out and cut it apart so that I could move them around.
Next I transferred the text to the wood using a paintbrush that is just barely damp with water. The less water you use is actually better, this is mainly just to get the paper to stick to the wood for the next step.
Once the paper is moist, use the back of a pen or marker to go over the letters. This is what will ultimately transfer the ink from the page onto the wood. If you want to see how well it’s going, just lift the corner of the paper up a bit, it shouldn’t mess anything up.
Now here is where you have so many options to make this sign your own. I wanted the text to look a little bit worn so I didn’t use a lot of paint to go over the transfer. But, you could use any color(you could also print the text any color also), add embellishments like glitter, puff paint, sequins, buttons etc. I left it super simple, but feel free to go crazy!
I hung this sweet sentiment above my new photo collection and it fits right in!
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