Tag Archives: Nursery

DIY: Mason Jar Storage

I have an odd fascination with Mason jars.   I use them to store things like rice, chocolate chips, and dry pasta and keep them out on display in my kitchen.  I just think they’re real purdy, that’s all.  I came across this on Pinterest, originally from Weeping Cherries, and I was immediately struck with Mason jar envy.

The above Mason jar storage rack was made from wall molding, mason jars, and hose clamps.  

Sounds easy enough, right? . . . but is it easy enough to be Erika proof?  Since I have a tendency to ruin every DIY attempt, I was cautious but decided it was worth the $15 risk.  After a trip to my local hardware store, I came home armed with 4 hose clamps and a piece of wood to mount everything to.  Oh, and this crazy Japanese paint because it’s all I have access to since I live in Japan and all.

Interestingly enough, my hose clamps had MADE IN THE USA stamped on the side.  I wouldn’t think that was interesting, except the packaging looked like this:


So I guess if you want products made in China, head to the USA.  If you want products made in the USA then you should do your shopping at Japanese hardware stores.

I had taken several pictures of every step, because I know y’all love seeing pictures of me spray painting, measuring, and nailing.  However, we had a little ClutterCamera incident this evening.

Can you spot the difference between the two people in these images below?

I’ll give you a hint . . . there is no difference!  They’re both me!  I have really bad luck around anything that involves computers and always break them, or catch them on fire, or just throw them across the room because I hate them and can’t work them.  In retrospect, maybe I should have studied something practical that I could use in my everyday life.  Like napping (though I did a whole lot of that in college, too).

So, long story short, I need a new camera memory card and I don’t have step-by-step pictures.  Basically, I spray painted my wood frame, nailed the hose clamps onto the board, added the Mason jars, and then decided it looked funny and added a picture frame for good measure.  I’ll eventually replace the picture with something adorable, like maybe a self-portrait or an awesome picture of the Clutterdogs.  For now, it has random bathroom clutter in it (cotton balls, Q-Tips, and wash cloths) but eventually it’s going in our nursery to hold miscellaneous baby thingumabobs.

Don’t forget to check out where we’re linked up!

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DIY Nautical Nursery: Storage Bucket

I found an ugly green flower pot in the storage shed when we moved into our home last summer.  It’s been sitting there for the better part of a year because I can’t grow things.  That would require way too much effort on my part.

Well, I’m growing a baby.  But that doesn’t count.  It’s still on autopilot at this point.

Clutterdogs just love to weasel their way into photos every now and then.  They’re so nosey.

I decided to give it two coats of blue spray paint so that it would better match our DIY Nautical Nursery decor.  My paint is blue and dries kind of glossy.  I wish I could give better details.  In case it’s not obvious, I am not getting paid to endorse this spray paint.  I can’t even read the can.

Your guess is as good as mine.

It took two coats for it too look kind of even (and “kind of” is good enough for Clutterhome!).  Little bugs kept crawling into the wet paint, which made me sad.  I had to pluck one fellow off with tweezers after everything was dry.

Our nursery is actually a Steamboat Willie theme that we’re accenting with nautical flair.  This particular item is pretty Mickey-rific, but you could customize it with any kind of image you prefer.  I simply printed it on computer paper and cut it out.

The ModPodged it to my flower pot.

I stuck on some Scrabble letters for good measure, but I haven’t decided if they’re going to stay or I’m going to pick them off.

While everything was drying, I used some fabric leftover from our no-sew nautical curtains and created a fabric tube.  I didn’t sew it; I cheated and used iron-on no-sew hem tape.  Same thing, but more efficient lazier and uncrafty.

I used this as a lining for my “storage bucket.”  What do you think?  I’m not loving how the Scrabble personalization turned out, so I might remove the pieces and use them elsewhere in our Nautical Nursery.

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DIY: Nautical Nursery No-sew Crib Skirt

If you Google Nautical Nursery, you’ll likely find a lot of really adorable decor.  Most of it will have sailboats included somewhere.

We hate sailing.  A lot.

Consequently, our nursery decorations have been mostly DIY, but we are SO not DIY people.  No one here at Clutterhome can sew.  Or paint.  Or make cute crafts.  The Good Lord did bless us with pretty decent math skillz, though, so I guess that makes up for it.  Hopefully it’s a dominant trait and Clutterbaby will come out of the womb and immediatly reach for an abacus.

Sorry for the tangent.  Anyway, you can see in the above picture that our awesome Ikea Gulliver crib is pretty basic.  We were going for functionality, safety, and portability so it’s not very ornate.

And we like it like that.

But I don’t like that you can see under the crib.  I wanted to make a crib skirt to go with our Nautical Nursery theme, so I found this fun fabric on eBay.

And then I found this AMAZING tutorial on YoungHouseLove for a no-sew crib skirt.  I had to tweak Sherry’s instructions a bit because of the design of our crib, so mine is actually 3 separate pieces for each side of the crib, instead of one long one that wraps around the inside crib perimeter.

But first things first, you have to iron the fabric.  I’m including this because, as y’all know, I hate ironing.  I want my bratty Clutterson-of-the-future to know JUST HOW MUCH his Mama sacrificed for his benefit.

I really, REALLY hate ironing.

I’m clumsy and bad at cutting straight lines, and ironing a straight crease in my fabric was difficult.  I took the slacker, uncrafty way and marked it with masking tape.  Yup, I just stuck it all over the fabric where I wanted a sharp crease for my no-sew hem tape.

I slapped that puppy on my ironing board, folded the fabric over it, and ironed right on over the tape.  It didn’t melt, and I had myself a nice, mostly-straight crease.

Check out Sherry’s tutorial for making your crib skirt panel with the no-sew hem tape.  When you’re done, you end up with this.

Sherry attached her 3 panels together.  Mine are all separate because my crib design won’t allow for one long skirt, but they’re still attached to the crib in a similar way under my mattress.

By “similar” I mean they’re taped in place until I get some velcro.
Undomestic:  I own it.

Actually, it’s not going over there.  It’s going against another wall because I am crrrrazy and afraid our A/C and heater will fall off the wall in an earthquake and hurt the Clutterbaby’s pretty face.  Safety first!

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DIY Nautical Nursery: No-sew Curtains

So, here’s a confession.  I have never, ever purchased curtains.  We don’t have any in our house, and in my 9+ years of not living with my parents I never have.  I’ll Clutter my home up with all kinds of messy goodness, but curtains?  That’s a little high-falootin’ for us!

But the Clutterbaby’s nursery was looking a little bare.

Oh, oops. I missed a spot while painting. Like an entire wall. Easy to fix, though,

So I'm not the best painter in the world. My baby won't mind, so I'm cool with it.

We’re doing a Nautical theme to coordinate with our DIY nautical art (found here).  Truth be told, it’s a Disney’s Steamboat Willie theme but that’s a topic for another day.  I found these awesome curtains at Ikea for roughly $25, and I snagged the cheapest curtain rod I could find for a grand total of $32 per window.  That’s a lot for me, folks.

They’re not nautical signal flags, but they coordinate beautifully without being too in-your-face matchy matchy. I pulled them out of the package and . . .

Tripping hazards are not a good thing.

Luckily, Ikea includes some no-sew, iron-on hem tape.  I had some left over from my crib skirt I made (tutorial coming soon!), but I didn’t even have to use it since it was included in the package.  Neat!  Ikea speaks my uncrafty language.

I decided I wanted them 72″ long and marked that spot on both sides with tape, because I’m fancy like that.  I folded it up, pinned it, and shoved some iron-on hem tape in there and pressed it.  I figured I might as well iron the whole darn thing while I was at it.  That is so out of character for me.  It must be the pregnancy brain.  Next time, I’ll throw them in the dryer on touch up with a wet wash cloth.  That’s more my style.

These pins came off of one of Clutterhusband's new dress shirts. One day I might invest in actual straight pins (but probably not).

Much better!  Except . . .

Oh, hey! Nice paint streak on the carpet, Erika . . .

I will never be one of those neat, tidy people who can do things without spilling paint or breaking bones.  But Lady Gaga told me that God makes no mistakes, so it must be true.

Nothing a little $20 rug (also Ikea) can't fix!

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DIY Nautical Nursery: Signal Flag Art

Greetings, extended Clutterfamily!  We here at Blue Palm Manor have been chugging away all weekend working on our DIY Nautical Nursery.  We’re super excited to finally begin sharing what we’ve got up our sleeves.  This is the first post in our tutorial series on how to create a Nautical nursery of your very own.

Look at all of those signal flags.

This is the ship I served on when I was in the Navy.  We were pulling into NYC for Fleet Week in this photo, but take a second to admire the colorful signal flags blowing in the wind.  Maritime signal flags have been in use for a long time, even before radio communications were available.  Each flag means something, and they can be flown in different combinations to communicate with other vessels.

Image courtesy of CelebrationFlags.com

I was perusing Etsy looking for Nautical themed items for the Clutterbaby’s room.  If I was crafty, I would sew him some signal flags . .  . but I’m not crafty.  Not even a little bit.

The problem I was running into was that many items have sailboats on them.  We are a Navy family, which is why we want a nautical theme, but we really don’t like sailing.  I did come across these amazing prints of various signal flags and their meanings.

Awesome. Please check out Bexpert's Etsy store if you're interested!

The only issue is that they’re roughly 8″x10″, and I was looking for something a little smaller.  I also wanted to spell out Clutterbaby’s name, or at least his initials.  These are a little too large for my wall space.  I might buy a couple for our living room at some point because I love them, but for now I had to come up with a DIY alternative for the nursery.  She’s also in the UK and I live in Japan, so I guess it just wasn’t meant to be.

I found a frame in the back of the closet with spot for two 4″x6″ photos, and dug out two pieces of 4″x6″ photo paper.  Photoshop and I were about to be become very good friends.

Keep in mind that there's a lot of work involved when I say "found" and "dug out."

I decided that I would make 2 small pictures with my son’s initials.  A quick Google search helped me find the images below, as well as the exact meanings of the flags.

"MIKE." My vessel is stopped and making no way through water.

"LIMA." You should stop your vessel instantly.

I decided not to make it exactly like Bexpert’s, but tweaked the basic idea a little.

1)  I started with a 4″x6″ Photoshop canvas, and added the title.
2)  Then I added the signal flag, as well as the letter it represents.  I decided to match the color of the font to the flag.
3)  I added text with the flag meaning and spaced it around everything else until it looked “right.”
I decided to switch the position of the flag and the letter for the other initial.  I want them to coordinate, but not match exactly.

I printed them on photo paper and popped them into my frame and voila!  Since I already had the frame and photo paper lying around Clutterhome, it was free nursery art!  Photos to come during the big DIY Nautical Nursery Reveal.

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Worldless Wednesday: Nursery Painting

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RIY Purchasing Paint Supplies

Welcome to “Clutterholic’s Guide to Purchasing Paint Supplies!”  I’m the queen of DIY Ruin-it-Yourself, but I want to paint this bare, boring room and turn it into something fabulous.  I’ve never successfully done anything like that, but there’s gotta be a first time for everything.

I want to have at least one room in my house that looks like grown ups live here. Oddly enough, it's going to be our nursery.

I knew that, obviously, I’d first have to measure my room so I’d know how much paint to buy. So . . .

STEP 1)  Measure your room.

Well, it made sense to ME.

I tried using the above method to measure the wall, but the tape measure kept slipping off the door frame.  Then I remembered when we replaced the carpet in our last house, the man measured everything on the floor.  I tried it, and it actually worked!

Much easier.

STEP 2)  Write is all down so you don’t forget.  Armed with my room measurements, I drew a diagram.  My theory was that I could just hand someone at the store my diagram and they would load my cart down with what I need.

For a 6th grade project, I made a house out of jellybeans and toothpicks and wrote a poem to go with it. I still remember the words. This picture totally looks like one of the rooms.

Then I realized I live in a country that uses the metric system, so I needed a new diagram that wasn’t in feet.  I messed up a few times trying to redraw the room, but eventually succeeded.  I have a handy iPhone app that does the conversions for me.  THIS IS MY STEP 3, but most people reading this can omit it.  Proceed on and skip this step, but take a second to admire my wrinkly and wonky tablecloth.

#&$! metric system.

STEP 4)  Using your room measurements, determine how much paint you need.  Since I know absolutely nothing about that sort of stuff, I had to consult my best friend.  I like to call him Mr. G.

Dummies! That's me!

This guide broke it down Barney-style and I learned that you need 1 gallon for every 350 square feet.

But it also started talking about things like primer and different kinds of paint.  What?  Painting is much harder than I thought.  I consulted Mr. G again to see if I could skip that whole priming thing.

Evidently not.

Knowing that I not only needed to buy PAINT, but also PRIMER, I set out to educate myself on how much primer I would need.  This is when it occurred to me that I might need more than one of coat of each, and I debated just scribbling on the walls with crayons and calling it art.

Danny Lipford’s blog was really helpful about explaining the difference between the different kinds of primer and how many coats I’d need of everything.  I determined that I would need to do one coat of primer, and two coats of paint per wall.  Neat.  Here’s my calculations:

I'm a visual person. I have to write it ALL out and see it, or else I won't get it. That's why college was so hard for me . . . my eyes were closed for most of it.

You’ll notice I also had to convert it all to metric-ness.  Thank you, iPhone, for simplifying everything in my life that requires brain cells.

Since I know I'm capable of doing the real math, I have no problem admitting I took the lazy way. Work smarter, not harder, folks!

STEP 423 5) Now that you know how much paint you need, you need to figure out what KIND of paint.  I kept it simple and Googled “difference between latex and acrylic paint” and learned here that latex paint is cheaper, but doesn’t last as long.  That works for me, because we’re moving in a year anyway.  Latex paint it is!

But back to Mr. Lipford’s thorough explanation.  Apparently there can be issues if you mix and match paints and primers, and it matters what kind of paint is already on the wall.  I honestly have no idea what’s already there, but DoItYourself.com told me that if your paint looks streaky (yes) and you can easily scratch it with your fingernail (YES!), then it’s latex.  Phew!  Since I already have latex paint, I won’t have any issues slapping on some latex paint and primer.

STEP 6)  Make a shopping list of the tools you will need.  I read about a billion websites and came up with a list of items that I needed:  painter’s tape, drop cloth, angled brush for corners, paint tray and liners, rollers, roller cover, and a roller pole.  After rooting through boxes in our shed and figuring out what I could borrow, I was able to narrow down my list significantly.

Lines through items on a list are so fulfilling.

The handy-dandy tutorial ends here, but keep reading to hear the rest of my Clutterholic paint shopping adventure.

I knew I wanted two colors: a darkish blue, and a lighter blue.  I figured I could waddle myself into the store and ooh and ah over paint chips until I found some that jumped out at me.  But apparently in Japan, the paint comes pre-colored and you don’t really have a lot of options.

Pre-mixed colors? Interesting.

Whatever.  Nit-picking over colors isn’t really my thing anyway.  “Dark blue” and “light blue” was about as specific as I really wanted to be anyway.

You’ll notice that these paints aren’t in English.  Is it latex?  Is it outdoor paint?  Is it lead based and horrible for the environment?  Who knows . . . not me.

It all looks the same to me.

No one offered to help me, but I don’t speak Japanese so someone offering to help wouldn’t have really helped that much anyway.  I decided to go with the cheapest paint that had a picture of a house on it.  I couldn’t tell what was primer and what was paint, so let’s hope I guessed correctly.

Also,  I only had one choice for dark blue and two choices for light blue.

The Clutterprints are next to the paint colors.

I went with the ones below.  I actually needed 1.9 liters of light paint, but that was including painting where there’s actually a window so I’m hoping this 1.6 liter can is enough.  I have more than enough dark paint.

The square paint can is kind of neat.

Stuff is expensive here.

If it's pink, it stinks.

I paid roughly $102.30 for 1.8 gallons of dark paint, and $40.52 for less than half a gallon of the light paint.  Neat.  Good thing the rest of the house is boring and white, and I’m fine with that.  The Clutterbaby room is going to be the only one with any sort of decorations, and that’s okay, too!  I just hope this doesn’t look awful.  That’s a whole lot of money for me to Clutter this up too bad.

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