Wednesday

Free Animal Prints

This may be the most drawn out nursery reveal ever, but I promise it'll all be shared soon.  Today I wanted to show you how I got these animal prints for next to nothing.  We have one large wall in the nursery that was pretty much a blank canvas and I knew I wanted to fill it with a gallery wall of some sort.  I went back and forth on how I wanted to do it, but settled on the idea of doing eight identical frames to keep things looking streamlined.  I found the frames at Homegoods, but these (affiliate link) look similar.

  Then I had to decide what to put in them.  Since I had 8 frames to fill I knew I didn't want to spend a  lot.  After a little searching I came across The Biodiversity Library and it was like a dream come true.  I could easily spend hours searching their site looking at all the beautiful old pictures.  The best part is they are all free!  You can download the pictures and print them however you would like.  The best/cheapest way I found to do this was to print them at the UPS store.  Just choose copies/quick prints and then pick your size.  I needed 11 x 14 so I just chose the 11 x 17 paper and cut off the excess.  They run specials often so be sure to check for a coupon code.  Each print cost me less than $2 which is a steal for something this size.  The paper is pretty thin, just like regular copy paper so you just have to handle them carefully until you get them in the frames.   




When it comes to searching for different images, the best/easiest way to do that is to check out their flickr stream.  You can scroll through hundreds of different images and then just download the ones you want.  I found the images I used here and here.  I removed the background and made it white in photoshop for a more cohesive look.  I do love the look of the vintage background as well though.  The hardest part is narrowing it down and picking the images.  There are seriously so many good ones!  And they have more than just animals.  There are tons of flowers, plants, sea life, pretty much anything you could think of.  I actually found the prints for my guest room here as well.  You can find that post here.  

  
And I should add that this post is NOT sponsored in any way.  I just like to share a good thing when I find it.  So, I hope you enjoy this amazing resource as much as I have and if you spend the better part of your afternoon browsing their site, don't say I didn't warn you :)



Nursery Bookshelves

Well that was a long break!  If you follow me on instagram (dwellingsbydevore) then you already know that our little man decided to join us a little sooner than expected, about 7 weeks early.  Of course it took us all a bit by surprise, but we are just so thankful that he is here and doing well.  He spent about 10 days in the NICU, but did really well the whole time.  I've actually thought about sharing his birth story here since I always enjoy reading those, even though it's totally unrelated to design.  Anyways, he's now 3 months old and getting chubbier by the day.  The boy likes to eat!  He is the sweetest baby and has brought our family so much love and joy! 


Thankfully I finished his nursery before he made his debut because I'm pretty sure the plans for stenciling the walls would have gone right out the window if it hadn't been done beforehand.  I'm going to share the nursery a bit at a time and then do a full reveal linking all the posts together.  In case you missed it, you can see the inspiration for his nursery here and the stenciled walls here.  

I love acrylic.  So I knew I wanted to use some acrylic bookshelves in his nursery.  I used similar shelves in my daughter's nursery and recently moved them into her big girl room.  This wall seemed like the perfect spot for them.  The clear material keeps things feeling open and modern. 


The marquee star was a lucky Goodwill find.  It was originally from Target and painted red, but I thought the silver suited the room better.  A quick coat of spray paint made that an easy change.



You can find the shelves here.  They have held up pretty well so far.  Obviously my son is too little to mess with them, but my daughter has done a pretty good job of breaking them in and so far so good.  I may drill an additional hole in the middle for some extra support.  Overall they are a great deal and way cheaper than some of the other versions I've seen.  Stay tuned for the rest of the nursery!

Monday

Bamboo Nightstands

I completed this project a few months ago but forgot to share it with you guys here.  I've always loved the look of bamboo furniture, but it's popularity can make it tricky to find, especially for a good price.  So when I was looking for nightstands for our guest room, I decided to make my own with some IKEA Rasts and pre made bamboo molding.  You can find the full tutorial over at Ehow.



Also, today is the last day to vote for me in the Bob Vila lighting challenge.  I so appreciate all of you who have voted for me so far!  I'm in second place right now and the voting ends tonight!  If you have a minute you can VOTE HERE, even if you've already voted you can vote again.  It only takes a second, no registration required, just a quick click.  
  

Thanks so much!
  

Tuesday

Birch Tree Stencil and Tips

Well I finally went for it last week and started stenciling the walls in the nursery.  Do you ever have those projects that seem like they are going to be huge and really ambiguous so you put them off?  That's how I felt about this, but I'm happy to report I was wrong!  Don't get me wrong, it was definitely a big project but very manageable.  It's totally doable for anyone.  All you need is a little time and patience.  

Ever since we found out we were having a boy I knew I wanted to use the silver birches allover stencil from Olive Leaf Stencils.  It was the starting point for the design board for his room.  I've always loved the Cole and Son Wood Wallpaper, but it would have cost me a small fortune to do that in this room.  So I knew I could get a similar look for a fraction of the cost using this stencil.  

Let me give you a little peek at the before of the room.  We hadn't touched this room since we moved in since we hoped we would be able to use it for a nursery one day.  The walls were the same builder basic white that is in other areas of our home.  It's not bad, but the undertones weren't right for this space.  I really wasn't thrilled about painting the whole room first, but thankfully my mom and husband came to the rescue and helped a ton with this step.  I chose to paint the walls and ceiling Sherwin Williams Pure White.  I can't tell you how glad I am that I did this.

So again, here's the before.



I learned a few things along the way that I thought I'd share with you guys in case you decide to tackle this yourself.  I have to say that this stencil is very forgiving which makes it so much easier to work with.  Since birch trees in nature aren't perfect and are a little more organic, the stenciling can be the same way.  So don't worry if it's not perfect!  I promise it will all come together in the end. 

First, I set up a little station in the bathroom with my paint, foam roller, and a stack of paper towels.  More on this in a minute.


Then I started in an inconspicuous corner of the room, behind the door, to make sure I didn't completely mess up.  I was amazed at how easy it was!  I used a laser level to make sure everything was even.  If you don't have one it's well worth the $15 investment.  I can't tell you how many times I've used this thing.  (I have this one)


Then I taped down the edges with painters tape.  If you are concerned about getting things super crisp you can use spray adhesive on the back of the stencil and skip the tape.  I was a little worried about the adhesive showing up on the white wall and yellowing over time so I went the tape route instead.  It was definitely easier and worked just fine for me. 


You want to make sure you don't oversaturate the roller with paint.  Less is more when it comes to this project.  Even if you have to do a few coats it's better to start lightly and add multiple thin layers.  So dip your foam roller in the paint and then roll off some of the excess on the stack of paper towels.  (see first picture)  Roll gently over the whole stencil and then repeat if necessary.  Slowly pull the stencil off the wall.  


I can't tell you how excited I was to pull it off and see how well it worked.

I continued to work my way around the room following the same process.  I started in the middle of the wall and waited for that to dry.  Then I would do another one right beside it and while it was drying I would do the top and bottom portion of the previous section.  This allowed me to not have to wait several minutes for each section to dry before moving on.  I also slightly staggered the stencil from side to side.  


I taped off the baseboards and ceilings to avoid getting paint on those areas.  Of course I still made a few mistakes so I just touched up those areas afterwards.  I also just sort of bent the stencil to make it work along the edges and top and bottom since it wasn't an exact fit.  Once again don't worry about it being perfect.  You won't be able to tell!  




A few other things to keep in mind.  I originally planned on using black or a dark charcoal gray.  I changed my mind because I was worried the high contrast would be a little too busy with me doing all four walls.  I'm so glad I did because it was also much easier to stencil with a lighter color.  And in case anyone is wondering I used Sherwin Williams Windstorm.  I really love this shade of gray.  It's gray with just a touch of warmth to it to keep it from being too blue.  I also washed the stencil about halfway through each wall.  You'll realize when it's time to do this.  You'll have to start pushing harder to get the paint to go through the stencil and the edges won't be as crisp.  It's well worth the effort it takes to quickly clean it.  I found the easiest way to do this was to let it soak in the bathtub for a few minutes and then I could peel large sections of paint off it and rinse it.  Since I used a water based paint it came off pretty easily.

Overall it took me three days to finish.  I tried to do a little more than a wall a day and it took me about 5-6 hours each day.  It went by pretty quickly and was well worth the effort!  

So in summary, since I realize that was a little wordy...



Now that this part is done everything has really started coming together.  We picked up a light at the West Elm outlet this past weekend and I found a great rug at Homegoods.  Just a few more projects and it will be done!  I can't wait to show you the end result!  If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.



*I was provided with a stencil for review, all opinions are 100% mine.
    

Wednesday

DIY sputnik chandelier

Goodness, I did not mean to take that long of a break from the blog!  I am actually just popping in today to ask a quick favor.  My DIY sputnik chandelier is part of a contest from Bob Vila.  It only takes a second to vote and I would so appreciate it!  CLICK HERE TO VOTE


I'm starting on the stenciling in the nursery today so wish me luck!  It's going to be a tedious project so I'm hoping I can knock it out this week and then get to the fun stuff.  Hopefully I'll have an update on it soon.  Thanks for sticking with me!

DIY Bow Organizer

My daughter's bow collection has grown a bit out of control over the last few years and she needed a new way to store them and keep things a little more organized.  I didn't really want to spend much on this project so I turned my garage and some leftover ribbon for inspiration.  This is so easy to do and has worked great for us so far!  

You'll basically just need some ribbon, cup hooks, a frame, and a hot glue gun.  I keep a stash of frames in my garage for projects just like this one.  

To start, I spray painted the frame gold.  Then I drilled holes all along the bottom edge about one inch apart.


After the holes are drilled, gently screw in the cup hooks.  These hooks work great for headbands, necklaces, and belts.   


After your hooks are attached, flip the frame over and attach the ribbons.  I used a little hot glue to secure the ribbons to the frame on each end.  You could also try using a staple gun for this, but I couldn't get the staples to go into this particular frame. 


Flip it over and start organizing!    



Somehow we've already managed to fill the bow portion completely up!  I think this would make a great baby shower gift or even a birthday gift for a little girl.  It's so easy to make and personalize too! 

Thursday

Nursery Plans

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas!  We had a great time just hanging out with family and exchanging gifts.  It was definitely a great Christmas and one of the best parts was that we found out we are having a baby boy!  If you follow me on instagram (dwellingsbydevore) then you may have already seen this little announcement.  Thank you all for your sweet words and congratulations, I read every one and it meant so much to me!  We are beyond thrilled and feel incredibly thankful that the Lord has blessed us with another addition to our family.  This also explains my lack of blogging lately.  I just haven't had the motivation to blog and my focus has been elsewhere, but now that I'm right at the halfway mark I'm ready to start kicking out some projects that I know will be much harder to complete once I have a newborn.  

One of the biggest things on my list is the nursery.  I loved designing my daughter's nursery (so funny how much my taste has changed) and now her big girl room, but I have to say I'm really excited about designing a boy room.  I love all things earthy and natural and I just feel like those things are perfect for a masculine space.  So here's a little peek of where we are heading.  Of course as the plan evolves I'm sure things will change here and there.  It actually all started with this giant bear head that we found at Target after Christmas.  It was 50% off in the store and I thought it definitely screamed boy!  Of course my husband locked eyes on it and was immediately sold on it.  He's a little more interested in the nursery this time around and it's sweet to see the things he picks.  So the overall plan is woodsy with maybe a subtle camping/animal theme. 


We already have several of the big items, like the crib and glider, so we will mostly just be filling in the gaps with some accessories and paint.  I can't wait to get started.  I'm pretty sure I'll be regretting picking that stencil, but I really do have my heart set on it.  So if you have any stenciling tips I'm all ears!

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