How to Make Budget Curtains for Any Room

Budget curtains can be hard to find if you pay retail price. Here are my best tips for making them yourself in just a few simple steps.  Here we are back again for week 3 of the One Room Challenge! This week our dining room renovation includes Window Treatments! Here’s what we have covered so far: Week 1: Design Plan Week 2: Paint Week 3: Ceiling Medallion Click on the links above to see the progress!  Curtains That Only Look Expensive New curtains have been on my to do list for this room for a while. I dread a large project like this because it’s expensive and time consuming. However, this one turned out to be less expensive than I anticipated. Here’s my story: Since I had my fabric picked out since week one, it was going to be easy to go and buy it at the store. Problem was they were sold out when I got there. Not good! The Fabric Deal After browsing the clearance rack of decor fabrics, I came up with two options. One was a lovely teal priced at $4.00 a yard. What a great deal! Option two was a lovely Waverly fabric floral print priced at $13.00 per yard. Not so cheap, but I really liked it. I took both bolts to the counter and asked the clerk why one was so much more than the other. Turns out the Waverly floral was incorrectly priced. It should have been marked 80% OFF!!! Calmly, I explained that I wanted to buy the entire bolt, before…
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Spiced Hot Apple Cider Recipe for Blissful Chilly Nights

Spiced Hot Apple Cider is one of our comfort staple foods. There is nothing better than a cup or two on those chilly evenings!  Spiced Hot Apple Cider Spiced Hot Apple Cider is easy to make. It’s even easier to drink it, cup after cup. We often make this drink while watching a good movie, or as an indulgence after a long hard day. You can make this beverage with fresh cider or bottled apple juice, but I must say the fresh cider has the most robust flavor. It is wise to buy your cider mulling spices in bulk for the most economical savings. However, you will find that when you have all these yummy ingredients in the house, you are far more likely to make yourself this fabulous treat. BUY LARGE QUANTITIES of spices, because you never know when the urge will strike. There have been many late nights when I have wanted to run out and buy spices but the local grocery store charges 10X as much as what I pay for the bulk price. Trust me, you don’t want to be making extra trips to the store! This post contains affiliate links. Your purchase will provide me with a small commission. Thank you for your support! Here’s my favorite spice choices for this beverage: Bulk Cinnamon Sticks Bulk Whole Cloves Vanilla If you have a special occasion, you can zip it up with a bit of liquor! Just so you know, weekends count as special occasions in my book! Cinnamon Schnapps Cherry Brandy Cranberry Wine Delicious! Makes a…
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Dining Room: The Simple Reason Before the Decorating Storm

The One Room Challenge is the cream of the crop for interior design remodels. This month we are working on renovating our own dining room for the design challenge! The One Room Challenge The One Room Challenge has been around for about 12 years. It originated with the Calling It Home blog, and is sponsored by Better Homes and Gardens and other fabulous brands. This is a very popular contest among bloggers and interior designers. I have wanted to try this competition but something always seems to get in my way. This year, I have decided to join the crowd and see what happens! Here’s how it works: There are a number of chosen designers for this competition that work with major sponsors for the event. Trust me they are rock stars! Bloggers like myself can link up our own version of the ORC each week showing the progress in our rooms. If the project is popular enough, any blogger has a chance to be a major designer the next time around and may be featured in magazines or attract major corporate sponsors. I am not working with any sponsors for this event, just winging it this time around! The competition is held twice each year in October and April and lasts for 6 weeks. Our dining room will be the subject of my posts which I will post each Wednesday through October and early November. This week is the introduction and “game plan” of the event. You see see the other participants in this challenge here. ORC Blog Schedule…
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Sew Yourself a Stunning Japanese Knot Bag

This Japanese Knot Bag is all the rage right now, make one in less than an hour and wear it out for the evening or take it shopping tomorrow!   Simple Japanese Knot Bag The Japanese have a way with beautiful design. This fabric handbag is no exception! It is simple and sleek in construction. It would be beautiful in any array of colors or fabrics. Wear it to the grocery store, take it to school, bring it to the theater or even the symphony. You will have compliments every where you go, I promise! I have joined a number of sewing groups on Facebook. Since I have been sewing for so long it’s easy for me to put projects together without really thinking a lot about it. Being in a group of people who are learning to sew has been good for me. It’s helped me see things in a different light. Most people like simple projects and want simple patterns and simple directions to go with them. This bag is no exception. Simple and beautiful. The floral fabric in this project is 100 percent cotton. It is none other than the Hoffman Challenge Print of the year. If you aren’t familiar with the Hoffman Challenge, it’s a sewing and design contest put on each year by Hoffman Fabrics of California. I have always dreamed of submitting a design for this challenge in quilting, apparel design or home decor creations. I missed the deadline yet again this year, but I still purchased the fabric as you can see. Maybe…
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20 Stenciled Wall Transformations to Inspire You

       Stenciling is a great way to transform a room and get a custom look for a budget price. Here are some of my favorite stenciled wall ideas from around the web to inspire your next project. This pretty blue stencil adds just the right amount of color.  I can see myself wanting to hang out forever in this beautiful bathroom! You could use this technique as part of your fixer upper bathroom ideas. Learn how Diane created the illusion of wallpaper (without all the mess) over on In My Own Style. In fact, I think this is so great that it should really be in my list of top bathroom makeovers on a budget! Speaking of illusions, check this one out! Making it in the Mountains shares some great tips on how to achieve this popular cement tile look while sticking to your budget. Our son really enjoyed his stenciled brick bedroom. Sadly, it was left behind in a house we rented. Thankfully we have the pictures (and my tips and tricks to make your own brick wall) over at Designers Sweet Spot. If you want to go the full nine yards, you could also pair this with your very own diy window curtains. This blue paint behind the white stencil really makes the design pop while being very calming! Check out It All Started With Paint for some tricks on how to transform a room and accomplish your stenciling project as quickly as possible. The damask pattern of this stencil, in addition to the colors Allyson chose, add such a touch of elegance to…
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Ten Meaningful Wedding Gift Ideas Under $40

Wedding season is here! Here are some great affordable wedding gift ideas that won’t break the bank.    Wedding Season is here! Wedding season is here! There are a number of people we know who are getting married this year. It seems like the season sneaks up on my each year and I am never quite prepared for gift giving. It’s hard to think back to being a new bride, things have changed since we got married nearly 27 years ago! Things seem simpler now with the internet. It’s so easy to order a pretty gift and have it delivered to the recipients door.  I recently discovered a new website for meaningful gifts, Dayspring. They have the most beautiful inspirational items, all at great prices! There are gifts for Weddings, Mother’s Day, Graduations and so many other important family events, you will have a hard time choosing which ones to order first. The first thing I picked out was this darling wooden sign. I loved it’s compact size, perfect for putting on a shelf or in a cubby with a wedding photo. The sign retails for just $12.99. Adorable! You can order one here. The cards were my next find. Rarely do I make it into a store to shop for a pretty card. Just too much to do and not enough time for little things like that. I prefer to buy my cards in large quantities, it is cheaper and then I always have spare cards on hand. Dayspring has boxes of cards with several classic wedding designs. So hard…
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Make an Ugly Old Tote Bag Look Like New, No Sew!

Make an ugly old tote bag look like new with a few craft supplies! Make an Ugly Old Tote Bag Look Like New This Ugly Old Tote Bag was a spur of the moment project. I was unpacking my bags from my recent trip to the SNAP blog conference and was excited to try some of the new products we were given. Love them all! This burlap bag caught my eye in a heart beat. My grandmother always carried a burlap bag in the summer months, and it reminded me of her classic style. Tote Bag Supplies Needed This post was sponsored by Therm-o-web. I was compensated in some way to write this post, any opinions given are completely my own. •Old Burlap tote bag, can be a thrifted item or grocery store type fabric bag (Buy now affiliate link) •5″ pack of printed or solid colored quilt squares, cotton (Buy now  affiliate link) •Therm-o-web Fabric Adhesive (Buy now through this affiliate link) (Buy now affiliate link) This pile of colorful quilting squares was the perfect thing for this project. The colors caught my eye when I saw them, and I was immediately lost. My unpacking was forgotten, and I was deep into creating. Who needs to unpack anyway? The burlap bag we received at the conference from one of the vendors at the conference. I didn’t love the name on it, so I came up with a way to re-style it. It was easy! You would never know how it started out! It’s exciting that Facebook now allows us to embed videos…
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How to Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies

Here’s how to make your own cleaning supplies and save money in your household budget. Using a few simple ingredients you can clean just about anything in your house! How to Make Your Own Cleaning Supplies Have you ever tried to make your own cleaning supplies? We have found that we are very allergic to commercial cleaners. They make our noses stuffy, we sneeze, our eyes water and we even get rashes at times from coming in contact with them. It’s shocking how these everyday chemicals can affect our health without us even realizing it. We have never been healthier since we did away with all the chemical cleaners in our home. Here are my top three favorite homemade cleaning recipes. First of all, my cleaning kit has a pair of rubber gloves, several spray bottles, a microfiber dusting cloth, microfiber towels, and some essential oils in it. I keep all these items in a handy plastic tote to carry from room to room as I am cleaning. Here are a few other great ideas for cleaning just about anything with simple ingredients! 1. All Purpose Cleaner 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda 2 tsp. Borax 1 tsp. Dish soap such as Dawn Dishwashing Liquid Lemon or Orange Essential Oil 2 cups hot water Mix all ingredients in a large bucket. Use with a sponge, microfiber towel or mop. This mild solution is great for washing floors, walls and general cleaning. If you prefer a scented batch, add a few drops of lemon or orange essential oil to the batch. You can purchase Borax in…
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Kitchen Pantry Organization

Organizing isn’t my favorite thing to do, but it sure does help! Here are my top tips on keeping your pantry organized. Pantry too Small? We are blessed with a big Kitchen Pantry storage space for our food supplies. This big pantry was one of the things that sold us on the house, since the kitchen is rather small. It is an illusion that a big space holds more stuff. I have found that it’s easy to fill it with junk and unnecessary items. More space isn’t necessarily better. After cleaning and organizing my shelves I know how much space I have been wasting. Top 10 ways to add storage to your kitchen pantry First of all, remove dry cereals from their boxes and put into tall plastic storage containers. The storage boxes are taller and hold more than a regular cereal box does. This one change has saved me a ton of space and money. My kids seem to eat less cereal (Why I don’t know), and the leftovers aren’t stale so everything gets eaten. Who knew it would be such a game changer? Dry goods such as flour and sugar can be stored in large glass jars instead of being left in the original packaging. This keeps them fresh longer and saves shelf space by going vertical. Stack cans in a wire can organizer. This works great for small cans, not so good for large ones, but it does help free up shelf space. Keep large items on the floor. Big bulk cans of food, large pots, big…
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How to fix up and restore an old bicycle

I love bike riding. We used to bike for miles and miles during the summer months. I especially loved riding the long trails that are refurbished old railroad beds here in Wisconsin. You can bike through the entire state on those flat, groomed trails. They are well maintained and take you through some of the pretty countryside in the Midwest. There is no better way to see the state than to bike through it. However, it’s been years since I owned a bike, and even longer since I took the time to go for a ride. Until now. #Iamcheap One of my girl friends passed this bike on to me. She doesn’t ride it anymore and it was just collecting dust in her garage. It was over all in good shape, but had a bit of rust here and there. I loved the old fashioned character of it. However, it was just sort of a blah color. It needed PIZAZZ. You know, the kind of pizazz I typically whip out in creating things like the angel wing home decor, modern farmhouse bathroom and do it yourself window curtains. You know me, I have a basement full of PIZAZZ fixers, including a ton of spray paint. I use this spray can for all sorts of projects, including stenciling bathroom walls like you see in my bathroom remodel before and after.  I rummaged around and came up with some Rustoleum Spray paint in Gloss Key Lime Green and Seaside Blue. By the way, if you spray paint at all, you simply must…
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