DIY Ottoman

Nate Berkus Tassel Stool HackWhen I decided to make over our front door area I wanted a small stool.  I saw this Nate Berkus Fringe Stool and fell in love.  It was only $25, perfect! Only problem was it couldn’t ship to Canada and was sold out in every store close to me.  Then inspiration hit, I figured I could create something similar.  I would simply need to find a secondhand stool.  I didn’t find one right away and it looked different than how I imagined it would, but I found a lovely storage ottoman for $4 at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

DIY Stool Before

This had a hideous material on the seat, but I was so excited to get started I ripped it off right away.  The material underneath was moldy and stained, gross!  Ok let’s get started.

DIY Ottoman Materials

MATERIALS:  Black paint, paint brush, stapler, yarn and material for the seat.

DIY Ottoman Seat Cover

First I cut the piece of material slightly larger than the seat, as I knew I would most likely have to trim it later anyway.

DIY Ottoman Stapling Material

First step is to staple the sides to make the material tight across the middle, but not too tight, you don’t want it to appear it is pulling.

DIY Ottoman First Step Stapling Side

Once you have both sides completed you want to work on the corners.  I simply folded the piece of material up and tried to create a nice fold, almost like you would for a present.

DIY Ottoman Stapling the corners

I folded the material and made sure the back side (top was not creased) then I simply added a couple staples to hold it all in place.

DIY Ottoman Finishing Stapling

There was excess material, which normally wouldn’t be a problem, but the storage ottoman seat needed to sit just inside.  I simply trimmed back the extra material so it fell below the line.

DIY Ottoman Final on Material

As you can see this did not turn out the prettiest!  Lol.  I tried!  But I had a solution.

DIY Ottoman Felt Cover

I had extra felt from my Window Seat Makeover and figured this would cover the staples.

DIY Ottoman Final Seat-Cover

Turned out great!  And it really brought the seat together.  Now when I take it on and off there aren’t any staples to catch on and it has a clean look.

DIY Ottoman Tassels

Next step was to make the tassels. I wound them around my arm 50 times each, tied at the top and cut the bottom.  Since I knew I would be trimming them later I didn’t worry about making the end perfect.

DIY Ottoman Adding Tassels

To add the tassels I used a tape measure and pencil to mark out where each one should go.  As luck would have it, this storage stool had a removable liner which helped the tassels stay in one place.

DIY Ottoman Stapling Tassels

I tied a not in the end of the string and then stapled them under the lip so they were not visible.

DIY Ottoman Tassels Before

After the tassels were added you can see being the same length did not work, it was too heavy and messy.  We are trying for classy here!  Also I painted the ottoman and didn’t take any photos!  It’s black now.  The black really brings out the little details.

DIY Ottoman Cutting Tassels

To trim the tassels I measured a starting point on each side and knew which tassel was the middle so angled towards that point.  It took a few passes to get an even look, plus I kept taking off a little bit more, I eventually had to walk away!  I could spend hours trying to make something perfect, but when it comes to a DIY there is no perfect.

DIY Ottoman After

Voila!  Here we are.  DIY Fringe Storage Ottoman.  I love coming home and having a place for my purse and laptop bag.  Before they would end up on the floor and be in the away, now they have a spot and it really helps to keep the front door area organized!

DIY Ottoman After Inside

Lots of storage for those day to day items!  We even keep our coin jar in there.

DIY Ottoman Front Hall

Remember not to take items you find at the thrift store for face value.  With a little paint or material it is easy to give any piece a makeover.  If I am looking for a new piece of furniture or a DIY project I always check my local Salvation Army Thrift Store first!  There are so many amazing things to find in store.

Patio Makeover

As I was sitting down to put this blog post together I realized I never took a before photo of our patio space!  Sometimes I get too excited to start a project and forget important steps, like before photos, this isn’t the first time.  I can tell you I had to get rid of a few plants, weeds, a rotting wine barrel with ivy wrapped around and it took all day! Before this little nook off our back door wasn’t really useable, now it’s a little dining oasis.  I cannot wait to start hosting summer dinner parties here.

I have wanted an outdoor dining space since last year but it was not in the budget after moving.  This year I was determine to create a little dining space in a small nook off our back door.  Since this project was still not in the budget, I needed to get creative!  I actually book a day on set to make extra money, the whole time thinking, this is my patio set!  Funny how motivation works.

I also included thrifted items to save money.  I bought the gold pots above and gold candlesticks from my local Salvation Army Thrift Store as well as the lantern, which I painted. You can check out the DIY here.  These items were still in my colour scheme, looked great and were affordable.  The lantern was $8 and most I saw in store that were this big were $50 plus.

The outdoor rugs were a challenge.  It was difficult to find an affordable outdoor rug.  I ended up buying two to create a large space and define the dining area.  I was lucky enough to find these rugs at Superstore.  They were $29 each, so $68 total.  Maybe that is not a deal, but I covered a large area and they fit within my nautical theme.

I wasn’t going to buy anything for the tabletop but then I found these plastic wine glasses above at HomeSense $9.99 for 4 and I couldn’t resist!  HomeSense, you get me every time!  They look really good and are plastic, so no need to worry about any breaking this summer.

We already had the patio lights up from last year.  Honestly THE BEST INVESTMENT!  I ended up finding these patio lights on Craigslist a couple years ago, and we keep them up year round.  I had to replace a few bulbs this year, but they still look great.  They really set a great mood once the sun starts to go down.

Let’s break down the cost of this patio makeover and see if it’s possible for you!

Applaro Bench – $65 X 2

Applaro Table – $160 (was 20% off when I bought it)

Vintage Gold Candlesticks – $2.99 X 6

Vintage Gold Pots – $6

Striped Outdoor Rug – $29 X 2

Plastic Wine Glasses – $9.99 (for 4)

Everything else on the table we already owned.

TOTAL:  $381.93

EXTRA WORK: $250 – I worked as an extra on set for a day

Real Total (minus the extra day of work) – $131.93

For around $130 I was able to create a useable patio space.  It is easily converted for more people, as the table expands, and we can move it out of the way when it is not in use.  It is great to feel like our space has expanded for the summer.  Dinner al fresco here we come!

One more thing!  Styling your outdoor dining table!  Get creative.  Sometimes seeing styled shoots online can make me feel inadequate.  Seriously!  Then I have to remind myself these posts are most likely sponsored and the blogger has a huge prop inventory.  I am all about looking at what we have on hand to create a table setting.  For example, I had these white napkins, so I found some string and cut rosemary from our bush to create the setting.  The greenery in the middle, I am pretty sure is a weed, and I was cutting it down anyway so decided to use it. Voila!  A beautiful tablescape.

I hope this gives you some inspiration for your patio, or tips on how to creatively decorate your space.




Lantern DIY

I realized as I was editing the photos for this DIY, that maybe, I might, just a little, have a thing for black lately.  Wanted to admit I recognized it, but probably won’t stop.  I really like to use what I have on hand for DIY’s, and I happened to have leftover black paint.  I am also loving black as a feature colour and think it can really make the design pop.

I found the lantern above at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store for $8, the glass was in great shape and for the size that is a steal of a deal!  I was going to keep the lantern as is since it still looked great, but when I decided to makeover my patio I thought this piece would be a great addition. Remember the patio inspiration?  I have a gold, red, and black colour palette.  See  below.

There you go, a statement lantern for my new patio, it’s a perfect fit, and a total bargain.  Here is how I made over this lantern.  This is a really simple DIY, and you could apply the steps to any new thrift store find!

STEP 1: Materials – black paint, gold spray paint, roller, tape, sandpaper (all leftover items from previous projects) Missing: the paint brush I eventually used and the garbage bag that helped protect the lantern from the gold spray paint.

STEP 2: Tape and cover the outside.  Since this DIY needed to happen in stages, I cover the lantern body and wood underneath first in order to spray the gold spray paint.  (Note:  If spraying inside I would advise wearing a mask and opening all windows for ventilation.)

STEP 3: Spray – This spray paint goes on so easily and looks really even.  I never get any bubbles or little holes like I can with other brands.

STEP 4: Tape again.  Once the gold has dried tape off the edges so you can paint the  body of the lantern without worrying about ruining the first step.  I usually wait a day or two in between so the tape does not peel off the spray paint.  Once you’ve done that you can paint.  I recommend two coats for an even finish.

STEP 5: Once dry, you can style however you like.  The reason I really liked this lantern was because the bottom is open so there are so many different ways to style this piece.

I found a set of three vintage gold pots for $6 from my local Salvation Army Thrift Store and added some red and white flowers for the patio makeover.  The little details on these vintage pots are gorgeous.

If you are looking for flowers, you can easily try a local garden centre, or I found my local florist had a great selection of plants for spring at an affordable price.

The black and gold together look so great!  I don’t know if I will keep the candle votives or try large candles?  I didn’t want to get wax on my newly painted lantern! What do you think?  Votives or large candles?

The reason I love shopping at thrift stores is because there are so many amazing finds you can easily update on a budget.  Something might look old and outdated but with a little paint it can look like a modern piece.  Remember to always have an inspiration piece, as you can see in my patio makeover collage I have large black lanterns.  I knew I wanted lanterns to add a nice soft light, and it was simple to paint an existing lantern black.

Next week in my patio series I will be exploring a few ways to bring the party outside.  During the summer months whether you have a large backyard or a small patio, you have more living space, so let’s take advantage!  I am going to be sharing some tips on how to get your outdoor space ready for summer, oh, and of course a few parties!



DIY PomPoms

I know, I know, it’s been a lot of pompoms lately!  I was so excited to partner with the Fall for Local Market this past weekend!  We made some great pompoms.  I am not going to lie, I cheated!  I ended up buying the pompom makers from Michael’s craft store as I figured it would be easier for people to use and I was right!  It also made fluffier pompoms.

Here’s what I learned, yarn with wool makes a better pompom and a pompom maker is worth the investment (it’s only $9 at Michael’s and once you use your 40% off coupon it’ll be even cheaper!)

If you have some leftover yarn and want an easy craft, here is the step by step for pompom making with nothing but your hand!

Step 1: Get your supplies – Yarn and Scissors

Step 2: Wrap – The more fingers you use, the bigger the pompom!  Wrap around about 50 times or more, if you want it fluffier.

Step 3: String – cut a small piece of yarn to tie around the yarn once you have finished wrapping.

Step 4: Tie – Make a knot as tight as you can, this is what is holding the pompom together!

Step 5: Cut – Take your scissors and cut on either side.

Step 6: Your pompom will be uneven, don’t worry that is normal, it’s a little less with the pompom maker, but your pompom will still need a haircut.

Step 7: Trim – this is the best part!

Step 8: Braid – Make a small braid with three strands of yarn.

Step 9: Tie the pompoms to the braid using the little tails from your tie.

Step 10: wrap it around your favorite bag!  The best part is that you can use this bag charm on different bags since we are not attaching in anyway, simply wrapping.

This pompom DIY is so easy and only takes twenty minutes!  A great afternoon craft with the ladies for summer!

Patio Makeover Inspiration

I have been wanting to add a patio set to the yard since last year!  After we bought our place, we were on a bit of a budget after a few large furniture purchases.  This year I made it my goal to makeover the patio!

Since I loved the Applaro patio set from Ikea, which was new, something I don’t normally do, I sought out a contract gig!  Sometimes I can work as an extra on the weekends, which is a little bit of bonus spending money!

I am going for a chic nautical vibe on the patio, using black, white, red and vintage brass.  My dream list of finds includes a vintage port hole, brass candlesticks and a large lantern I can paint.  Wish me luck!

What items are you wanting for your outdoor space?

DIY Project Ideas

I wish I had a DIY to post this week, but I currently have four on the go and none of them are finished! I am really excited for all of them, but need to find time to get everything done.  Right now I am working on recovering an old ottoman, creating floor pillows, making over an outdoor lantern and the big project, turning our storage room into a work room!

I wanted to share affordable places to find pieces for DIY projects or room makeovers.  Whether you need a small piece of décor, furniture or art, one of these places will have what you are looking for on a budget!

Remember to know what you want before you go shopping, and maybe even create an inspiration board for the room you are making over.

RESTORE – This store is run through Habitat for Humanity and all proceeds go back to the organization.  They are located across the country and have everything from furniture to small décor to flooring to fixtures.  They have both new and used items. (the axe above was bought for $5 from Restore and made over with some spray paint!)

THRIFT STORE – If you know the item you are looking for and have patience, the thrift store can be a good bet.  I usually check out the Salvation Army for smaller décor pieces, wall décor and art.  A lot of the items are reasonably priced and with a little love can be fixed up! (Like the vintage map above I found for $4)

CONSIGNMENT STORE – This is a great option if you are looking for a piece of furniture that is higher quality, but this will also mean the price tag is bigger!  I think consignment stores are a great way to find quality items, they are pricier but worth it. Search your local listings for one near you.

CRAIGSTLIST – Always a great option!  Although for me I find Craigslist is overrun with stores and people trying to resell items now.  A good option to keep your sanity when searching is to set up a notification with key words, that way when someone posts what you are looking for you can view it right away. (The desk, vintage filing cabinet and floral art were all found on Craigslist)

FACEBOOK GROUPS – This is new to me, but I love them!  Last year when we moved, someone suggested a Facebook group to sell items.  I found three local groups in my community and easily sold items through them.  I have also found some great deals, like a brand new beer fridge for $40. Make sure to turn on notifications so you can see when an item is posted. (The wicker table I painted above was $5 from a Facebook group)

GARAGE SALES – Spring is finally here, people are cleaning up and I have seen a few garage sales pop up!  You can usually find listings in your local paper, online or look for a sign in your neighborhood! You never know what you could find.  ** This is also the danger, make sure to still have a plan or you might end up buying items you don’t need!

ONLINE STORES – Unsure if you want to purchase second hand items, I totally understand. There are quite a few online stores that provide items at a discounted price.  I am loving Structube which has affordable pieces both in décor and furniture, couches for $400!  (Our leather couch is from Article and was a great buy!)

I hope this list provides a few resources for your next DIY or room makeover. If I missed any great sites or stores, please let me know.


DIY Shibori Shade Sail

A couple summers ago I was lucky enough to be part of Western Living’s The Next Home Stylist, which was a contest for the Canadian Home Shows.  The top three finalists were put to the test with different DIY projects, inspiration boards and styling.  I was very grateful for the opportunity and had a blast creating!

Here is the step by step for the DIY Shibori Shade Sail I made during The Next Home Stylist competition.  Can you believe this only cost $20 to make?


I bought the rope and canvas drop sheet from Home Hardware, the other materials from a sewing store in Vancouver call Dressew.


The best part about this project was Mark and I went on a walk to gather the pieces we needed! It was fun to find sticks and rocks to use for the piece.


As you can probably tell from my other DIY projects, I am kind of a perfectionist, or at least try to be!  The idea of a random design was a little overwhelming, but fun!


I started with the rocks as it was easier to lay those pieces out first and fit the sticks in-between.  All you have to do is wrap the string around the bottom of the rock.


After you have 40 wraps or so around the bottom, remember the part underneath the string will be white, so make it as thin or thick as you want.


Here is a good time to take a break, as you can see there was wine.


Again remember where the string is will be white and the rest will be blue.


Here is what your canvas will look like before you dye it!


Submerge the wrapped material in warm water before dying.

Step 10: ADD THE DYE

Add the dye to the water, submerge the canvas and let sit for anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes.  I was using a blue dye and not the traditional Shibori dye, so I left it longer.

Step 11: RINSE

Rinse the saturated canvas in warm water with salt to set the dye (not sure if this works but why not)


This is the most satisfying part!


It looks so cool to see what the pattern turned out as, compared to how it was wrapped.


Since I wanted to hang this, I didn’t simply want to cut a hole in the fabric so added a rivet.  The kit was really easy to use.


I’ll let you in on a little secret, I steamed the material once it was fully dry.  It was a little wrinkled after the dying process, and this made such a difference.

The colour was so vibrant and beautiful.  We had so many people stop during the summer to compliment the DIY Shibori Shade Sail.

Perfect for creating shade in any yard big or small.  You simply need to get the canvas drop sheet that is the right size.

Dinners in the yard, looked so good.  Above is the styled shoot I set up!

HOW MUCH DID IT COST? You know this is my favorite part!

$15 – Canvas Drop Sheet (found in the paint aisle)

$1.99 – Box of dye

$2.99 – Rivets

Free – Rocks, sticks, and thread

I was so lucky to have the help of some amazing friends on this project!  I always DIY alone, to drink wine in the sun, with the music blasting and having some great friends there was amazing!


Bedroom Reveal

Remember this sad scene?  Oh man, we didn’t have any storage or lights or anywhere to sit.  We needed to make a change.  See my previous bedroom post to see my bedroom inspiration photo and idea board.

It’s finally here!  The after photos of our bedroom.  It was pretty easy to bring together.

The rug and the oversized poster really brighten up the room and the dark wall created a defined space for the bed.

The Pendleton blanket Mark bought for Christmas really  brought a nice vibe to the room.

We brought the leather chair from the living room up for a little reading nook area, and I love it!

I was so happy to find this side table at Home Sense!  What a score!  They were $60 each, which compared to everything else I had seen was way cheaper.  They look great with the bed and the dark wall, plus has a great drawer for storage and books.

These Ikea swing lamps were also a great deal.  We found them for $30, which I was really happy with.  I wasn’t sure about the black on black but the gold hardware really makes the light pop.  Now I don’t have to feel around in the dark to get to bed!

An organized sidetable!  Something I have never had!  I am beyond excited.

I wish I could have fresh flowers on my bedside table every day!  This was a treat for sure, and they looked absolutely stunning against the black wall.

I hope you enjoyed the tour!  Now let’s breakdown the money.

Ikea Swing Arm Lamps – $30 each

Queen West Side Tables – $60 each

Little Paper Planes Poster – $40

Bed Frame: $300

Matresses: $2000 (I know!! But we have been sleeping so much better and didn’t buy Christmas gifts, we chose new mattresses instead)

Behr Black Paint: $40 (had all the other materials)

Pendleton Blanket – Already owned

Leather Chair: Already owned (but $60 off Craigslist originally)

Black Ottoman: Already owned

Shine Bright Light: Already owned

Oversized Pillows: Already owned

TOTAL: $2560

This may seem like a large number but if you take away the bed, this bedroom makeover only cost $260, which is pretty good.

Wall Hanging

When you change one piece of décor it seems like a domino effect!  All of a sudden your painting doesn’t work with the colour scheme.  We changed a few items in our dining room and livingroom, then the blue painting we had on the wall looked out of place.

I saw Honestly WTF’s DIY Woven Wall Hanging online and thought it would be a good solution to replacing the painting!  I found the driftwood on the beach in the fall and went to the thrift store for a 50 cent picture frame to use!

I slowly did this project over the dark winter months.  It was really nice to have a project I could pick up in the evening or on the weekend, almost like a book, but in the form of a DIY.  This added great texture and colour to our dining room, and brought the rest of the pieces in our large room together.

I am no expert on wall hangings, that is why I am pointing you over to Honestly WTF’s step by step.  She lays it out very simply and has beautiful photos.

Budget Valentines Gift

Need a last minute Valentines gift for yourself or your sweetheart or a best girlfriend?  I have the solution!  It’s an easy DIY that you can complete tonight and will cost under $30.  Great on time and budget!

I was brainstorming something easy to make for Valentines Day, so I looked at the materials leftover from other DIY’s.  I had a small piece of wood, and that is where the inspiration started.  I thought a bathtub tray would be a perfect fit for our bathroom since the tub is quite wide so it’s hard to have a drink or book with you.  This bathtub tray took about 2 hours to make, let’s get started.

SUPPLIES: A piece of wood, handles, stain or paint, a roller or cloth or paint brush.

For the piece of wood if you don’t have a saw to cut it yourself many home stores offer free cutting or even have a hand saw for you to use yourself.  Make sure you measure your tub prior to going to the store so you know how long the piece of wood needs to be.

TOOLS: A small saw, pencil and measuring tape (not pictured: drill and screwdriver needed for the handles)

Make sure to measure and double measure for the handles, you want to make sure they are symmetrical.

MEASURE: Take your measuring tape to measure the width of your bathtub.  Make sure to include the lip as this is where the tray will sit.

MARK WOOD: Mark the length on your piece of wood or if you are going to the store make a note of the length.  I drew a line across to make it easy.

STAIN: I used stain since I had some leftover from our Growler Wall DIY.  I ended up using a cloth as it was easier than the roller.  Use whatever leftover stain or paint you have on hand.  If you don’t have any then purchase a small can as it will not take very much to cover this piece. I did two coats on this piece of wood as it was not very even after the first round.


HANDLES: Add on the handles.  I usually work on these DIY’s by myself, so getting  a photo of me using the electric drill while holding the camera was impossible. Lol.  Here is the after photo of the handle.  I first drilled the hole and then added the screws.

I love how the stain turned out.  I also added some marks on the piece of wood.  I achieved this by using a hammer, screwdriver and any other tool on hand!  It was the most fun!  I took all my energy on this piece of wood.  Haha, anyone want to come over and age wood?

This DIY took a couple hours since I had to wait for the two coats of stain to dry, but it is definitely something you can do in one night!  Surprise your partner or a friend or spoil yourself for Valentines Day!

Let’s break down the cost on this DIY (spoiler alert!  It’s very frugal)

Piece of wood: Free (it was a scrap from another project), if you need to buy a piece of wood the one I purchased previously that was similar in size was $10.

Handles: $8 for two (the handles come with the screws)

Stain: Free (had this on hand from a previous DIY) to purchase around $12


TOTAL COST (if you needed all the supplies): $30

How inviting does this look?  For about the same price as a bouquet you could have a similar bathtub tray, and you’ll get to enjoy it long after the day of love!