I am so excited to bring you this fabulous and easy DIY Projects Round Up today! After a year as a regular contributor, Michelle James, is moving on to other things. We are incredibly sad. She is an amazing friend, talented blogger, and an inventive DIYer. Today, as a way of saying thank you for all of her many posts, I am presenting a year’s worth of DIY projects created by Michelle James Designs. Thanks, Michelle, we love you!
26 Fabulous & Easy DIY Projects
A Year’s Worth of Creativity in One Sensational Round Up!
Here are 26 creative DIY projects that you will love. Michelle takes care of your home inside and out with decor and organization. And, she has great seasonal, entertaining, and gift giving ideas too. And I’ve compiled all her posts into this onesensational round up.
Your are going to love the transformation our regular contributor, Michelle James, has made with this thrift store find to create an amazing Autumn vase!
Farmhouse Style – A Wood & Metal Vase
Hi there! I am calling this a wood and metal vase because I used it for a fall floral arrangement, but it really could be an organizer, a container or just a box to set somewhere. Whatever its purpose…I love the way it turned out.
I love thrift shopping with my friend, Peggy. She picked this up and could see beyond the ugly. She said look at the wood and the corrugated metal. I was hooked and bought it for $1.50.
Learn how to make your own wire basket from regular contributor, Michelle James.
DIY Custom Wire Basket
Have you ever been searching and searching for a basket to fit a particular space in your home, or organizing and you just cannot find the right size? It happens to me all of the time. So, I decided to learn how to make my own custom wire baskets.
DIY Custom Wire Basket:
If you would like to make your own wire baskets, here is what you will need.
Hardware Cloth – you could use chicken wire too
Needle nose pliers
Straight Edge – I used a piece of wood
First, decide the length and the width of your basket. Mine needed to be 17 inches X 15 inches. Then, decide how tall it will be. I could only go 3.5 inches because the hardware cloth we purchased (for a different project) was only 24 inches wide. The 17 inches plus 7 inches equals the 24 inches. So, that was how tall I would make it.
Use the tin snips, and cut out a piece that is big enough for the sides and the bottom of the basket. My piece was 24 x 22 inches. This was the 17 x 15 bottom and the 3.5 inches on each side. (total of 7 inches for the sides)
I know…I don’t like math either but this is how we use it in real life. Good thing it isn’t any harder than that.
Then, you need to cut out the corners of this piece to form the sides that will be bent up to a vertical position.
Start by using a sharpie and marking the corner point. My sides will be 3.5 inches; so, I measured 3.5 inches from the sides to find the corner point.
It is important to cut one side of each corner close to the cross wire and the other side away from the cross wire, so the little wires are hanging out. You will be using these little wires to wrap and attach the side corners together.
Bend up the sides using a straight edge of some sort to help keep it folding in a straight line.
Now, get the needle nose pliers to wrap the small wires onto the cross wire of the opposite side. You will end up with this.
Mind ended up with a twist in it.
I tried and tried to get it to straighten out. I think a lot had to do with the size of the basket. A smaller one may not be so bad. I was able to fix it most of the way, but I knew it would be holding either fabric scraps or magazines. So, I knew it would not show when it was on the shelf. And, it doesn’t. Here is the final result in the organizer cabinet I made from the old 70’s cassette, cd and vhs holders. I love these and look for them now.
Michelle James is back with the Easiest Farmhouse Scale Makeover. You are going to love this!
HI! I am very excited about this post. It was so easy and made such an impact on this farmhouse scale!
Farmhouse Scale Makeover
An Easy DIY Project
I have had this scale in my garage for a long time. It was a leftover from my store when I sold paper by the pound. Now the farmhouse look is very popular and there it was just sitting on the shelf. I dusted it off and decided it would be super cute in a fun color.
Yellow Spray Paint
I was himming and hawing over the color, and my husband actually suggested the yellow. I ended up loving it.
This is how it looked before I started. It was gray and blah. Once I started I could hardly wait between coats. I wanted it in the house so bad. But first things first.
I removed the scale “face” by removing the screws. Then I was able to use spray paint without having to fuss over masking. I really hate masking and I am not very good at it. Plus I don’t like it when the paint gets underneath the mask. Then I have to try to touch up and that is not fun with a spray paint.
Here it is after the first coat of yellow. Cute right?
Little by little, I am incorporating the farmhouse look into my home décor. I love the look of it and like most people I love Fixer Upper show on HGTV. So this is a new vignette that I created using my freshly painted farmhouse scale.
Love coffee? Me too! I am a total coffee addict, and apparently, our regular contributor, Michelle James, is pretty hooked as well. She has created a couple super cute and really fun printables just for you.
5 Reasons To Love Coffee
& Free Printables!
Hello once again. Are any of you coffee drinkers? I don’t think I am alone in my coffee-loving ways, or there wouldn’t be a Starbucks on every corner in the USA (except for mine, of course).
I didn’t like coffee until I was an adult. It was too bitter, and I couldn’t stand it. In fact, I still can’t drink my coffee black. I wish I could because I would avoid all sorts of sugar and calories. But, I don’t drink too many cups each morning, so I am hoping I am ok.
My husband introduced me to the power of the liquid coffee creamers. LOL! I have to say, it makes coffee addicting for non-black coffee drinkers like myself.
Don’t you love to wake up to this comforting smell? Even before I drank coffee I always loved the smell of it.
There are many different brands and blends to choose from.
If you walk into a grocery store you will find many different brands and blends of coffee. If you do a little research you can find that some are more acidic than others, some are stronger than others. There is also the choice of whole beans or ground. So many things to think about and try to find just the right one for you.
Coffee Shops Are Everywhere (except in my town. Insert sad face)
If you are a brand name coffee drinker, maybe you purchase only from coffee shops. There are so many, and they have their own specialty coffees that are so popular right now. I love it when I visit a city and can try out a new coffee. Yumm!!
You can choose cold or hot.
I love it when we go on a road trip, and I can run through the drive up and get a great iced coffee. On a hot day, when you don’t want the hot…go for the cold.
Fluffy coffee anyone?
My friend Peggy calls the decadent, full of calories, sort of along the lines of a coffee milkshake, coffees fluffy coffees. And she is right. They are super good. Every year when we go shopping in Minnesota, we stop in the afternoon and get some fluffy coffee. It fills me up until dinner, and I can keep on shopping! It is the perfect treat.
So, there you have it. The 5 reasons to love coffee. At least in my opinion.
My youngest son is a coffee lover as well. I created this Coffee Station for him, when he went to college. It was perfect for the small dorm room.
Here, are two free printables I created for you to print, frame, and enjoy! The download link is at the bottom of this post.
If you would like to see more great furniture makeovers and more free pintables hop over to my blog and check them out!
Regular contributor, Michelle James, is bringing us some summer fun with a tasty gift for every camper — S’mores and Popcorn Camping Gift.
S’mores and Popcorn Camping Gift
The perfect DIY gift for your camper!
Hi! Camping season is in full swing. Some friends of mine just purchased a new teardrop camper, and it is so cute. I wanted to give them a little “camper warming” present, so I came up with a S’mores and Popcorn Camping Gift!
This is really easy to put together. You just need to have some scrapping supplies and the food supplies. Easy enough!
Here is what you need:
Popcorn (stove-top popping pan type)
Assorted camping theme Scrapbook Paper
Stickers and Die Cuts
Pen or Pencil for tracing
Black Powder Puff Ink
Cellophane Bags – 4 inches wide with a gusset
Let’s put it together:
Step 1 – lay the popcorn upside down on one of the patterned scrapbook papers. Trace around the edge and cut out the circle. You will need to cut inside your line by about ¼ inch to get it to fit. We will trim to be more precise a little later.
Step 2 – Decorate the front of the round pieces using the stickers and die cuts. I also used the black ink pad to ink the edges of all of the pieces (including the sticker and die cut pieces). This is my personal preference. I don’t like to see the white edges of the papers.
Step 3 – Once you have your rounds the way you like them you will attach them to the popcorn. To do this, lift the crimped edges of the popcorn container, and tuck the round piece in place. If it does not fit very well, just give the decorative round a little trim–trim and try…trim and try.
Step 4 – Next you will need two cello bags, the graham crackers, the chocolate bars, and the marshmallows. Each bag will contain: Break two graham crackers in half and place them into a cello bag. Then, place two chocolate bars in followed by two marshmallows. (Each cello bag will hold the fixings for two s’mores).
Step 5 — Using another piece of the scrapbook paper, cut two pieces to 4.25” x 6”. Fold them in half. They are slightly wider than the cello bag and when attached to the bag in a few minutes will create a topper.
Step 6 – Decorate the bag topper using the die cuts and stickers.
Step 7 – Try to make the bag as neat as possible and fold the top of the bag down a couple of times. Place the topper over the top of the bag. Staple it along the lower edges to keep everything in place.
Step 8 – Using the twine, wrap a piece a couple of times around the topper and tie a knot. Then punch a hole in one of the die cuts and tie it onto the twine. Trim the ends of the twine if needed. (you can see these in the final photos)
Step 9 – Scrunch up some of the newspaper and place it in the bottom of the tin container. Then use some more of the newspaper like you would tissue paper. Place it on top of the scrunched pieces and let it fan out. (The newspaper will make great fire kindling).
Place the popcorn into the tin container; then, add the s’mores bags. You can arrange them however you want.
That is all there is to it. Now enjoy or give as a great gift!
Don’t you just love those signs that mark your little spot in the world? Our regular contributor, Michelle James, has a fantastic and fun Coordinates Sign DIY project for you today.
A Coordinates Sign
Mark Your Spot In The World
Hello again! Today I am showing you a sign I created for a friend of mine. It marks the coordinates of their house in Whittemore, IA and will be hung up in their home. It just love this idea.
A Coordinates Sign
About a month ago my friend Jill asked me to make one of these signs for her neighbor who was moving out of state. She wanted to give her something to remember her time and her home in Iowa. When I got it done and took it to her she loved it and then wanted on for herself. I was, of course, happy to do it. They were neighbors so the numbers were almost exactly the same.
I started with a plain sign painted brown with a very watered down paint. It pretty much acts like a stain on the wood. Jeff makes these for me from lathe and 1×2 but you could use a pre-made sign or a pallet too. You could even use a canvas if you like. I just like the rustic-ness of the wood.
Then with my Silhouette Machine I chose a font and cut out the numbers that I needed. I did not cut out the bottom letters because they end up being so small.
Regular contributor, Michelle James, is sharing a quick and easy DIY gift jar that’s perfect for any occasion. You are going to love this project.
Two of my very best friends’ parents are having some major health issues right now, and it is so hard to watch them struggle through this difficult time. I wanted to give them something so they could relax and de-stress a bit. So, I came up with a wine and chocolate gift jar!
Wine and Chocolate Gift Jar
They both like wine and who doesn’t like chocolate? Well, I guess I know a few people who don’t like chocolate but it is not these two. You should definitely substitute the chocolate for something else if your recipient doesn’t like it.
Free Printable (download link at the end of this post)
Kraft Card Stock paper
Small piece of fabric – I used a piece of drop cloth
4 Small bottles of wine
Chocolate/Candy of your choice
First you will want to download the free printable. This includes the tag and the wine bottle labels. Cute right? I love how they turned out.
Here’s what to do:
Print out the labels and tag onto sticker paper.
Trim each label and the tag with scissors or a paper trimmer
Peel off the sticker backing and place directly over the current label. (if you don’t want to cover the label you can place it directly opposite on the other side of the bottle.
Peel off the sticker backing of the tag and place it onto the kraft card stock. Trim around the edges to create a border around the sticker. You can see this in the photo below. Punch a hole at the top left. I punched it about an inch and a half in from the corner. I also wrote a little bit on the back of the tag before attaching it to the jar.
Wrap the neck of the jar several times around with the twine leaving a bit of length at the beginning and the end. Tie a knot. Then thread the tag onto the twine and tie another knot.
Place the piece of fabric at the bottom of the jar. This looks nice but also keeps them from banging and clanking too much. We don’t want to break good bottles of wine.
Place the 4 wine bottles into the jar so the label faces out.
Fill in with chocolate or candy all around the wine bottles.
Hi! I am so glad to be back at Life With Lorelai today. I don’t know about you, but we have had a couple of nice weather days in a row. I was busy today cleaning up my back yard. I have wanted a wooden garden sign for my “new” old garden gate, so I found a piece of scrap wood and got to work.
Wooden Garden Sign
A Humorous DIY Project for Your Garden
I created this fun section in my yard by the back door with an old garden gate. I had been wanting a gate for so long. I thought I was going to have to purchase something new and make it look old; but then, I ran into a great garage sale. It still wasn’t as cheap as wanted, but I bought it anyway because I loved it. And, it was exactly what I was looking for.
I planted flowers and greenery in the boys’ old wagon and place a smaller container on the other side, but have known from the beginning that I wanted a fun sign too. I just could not figure out what I wanted it to say.
So many of the signs out there have been used so much, maybe this one has too, but I hadn’t seen it. When I saw it on the internet it made me laugh. I am not sure of the original creator though, and I could not find an original post.
I found a scrap piece of masonite in the garage and decided to spray it with my teal spray paint.
After a couple of coats, I took it inside to the Silhouette machine. I used Arial and Glamorous Brush fonts for the wording.
This is what it looked like on my Silhouette studio screen.
I cut it out with black vinyl. This makes it easier to trace. If you look closely, you can see that I have traced around the first three letters. I used a black sharpie. I usually use a pencil, but the teal paint was not allowing the pencil to show, so I had to resort to the sharpie and be pretty careful with my tracing. (I am not the neatest tracer).
Here they are all traced and ready for paint.
I used regular black acrylic paint for the letters. And here it is all done. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It is hand painted!
After it was completely dry, I took it out to the garage and used a sanding block to distress it a bit. The weather and time will do the rest!
Right now, it is just tucked in and resting on the gate latch, but I think I will need to drill a couple of holes and use some wire to make it more permanent. I am afraid our Iowa winds may take it away.
What do you think? I love the final look!
It was a fun little project, and it makes me smile every time I come home!
Have a great day, and I will be back in a couple of weeks!