Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Little Hacks

After the coldest, rainiest spring in years, today is sunny and mild. The perfect setting to show off my much-needed new sofa. *squeal!*
Of course, Betsy remains the loveliest thing in the house. 

design blog I read described how to make your own version of something pricey from the Pottery Barn catalog, so I thought I'd share some of my own cheapo hacks. I snapped the pictures without fluffing pillows or picking up the random detritus. Think of it as a game: Can you find the wet wipes, a work glove, a John Deere quillow, a Croatian Power button?

This magnetic memento board is copied straight from an old PB catalog. I asked Mark to make it for me as a present. He built a wooden frame with furring strips and L joints, then Gorilla-glued a sheet of metal over the top. We wrapped the whole thing in a piece of linen from my fabric stash and staple-gunned it to the back.

 I use it to display old family photos, inspirational messages, and anything else cute.

Right now it's a newborn gallery so the kids can try to guess who was who. (Levi top right, Betsy on bottom.)

Recently I devised this cheap way to fill another big open wall. I bought a world map from amazon for something like $8. I knew the kids would poke at it, so I wanted to make it indestructible. We glued the map to a thin sheet of plywood, mod-podged the whole thing, then screwed it straight into the wall.

This one was my solution to fill this awkward piece of wall between two levels of the house. I bought 12x12 stretched canvases from a craft store and used spray adhesive to cover them with 12x12 pieces of scrapbook paper. I've done similar things using wallpaper samples instead of scrapbook paper.

This one might be my favorite. I devised this method for hanging jewelry, and convinced Mark to make it for me as a Christmas present. It's another sheet of plywood with that same linen stapled around it (and a thin layer of quilt batting underneath for body). Mark screwed teacup hooks into a grid.

What are you favorite little hacks?


  1. I love the map! It's great!

    I think my favorite hack is my huge, poster-sized Proclamation in my kitchen. But I also think I'm about to replace it because I'm tired of it. That's the great part about hacks - since they're inexpensive you can replace them at will.

  2. Very clever ideas. I don't think ive done anything that ingenious in a while.

  3. Wow! You've always got great ideas. I've used tablecloths as curtains. Taken an inexpensive curtain rod, the clip style curtain rings, hung it on a blank wall and hung pictures from it. I have a favorite table runner that I have hanging on a wall. I like to use cloth napkins to make throw pillows.

  4. These are awesome. THanks for sharing. I don't have any fun household ones, but today at my friend/family garden I realized that I need to put in a y joint so I can water more efficiently. Good thing I realized that now and not at the end of the summer after spending an hour and a half there every Saturday on my watering turn!

  5. I think I'm going to copy every single thing! Our original map is not so cool, but it looks exotic after Sam's stamp-collecting merit badge effort has covered it with stamps from 200 countries.

    I adore scrapbook paper but do all my scrapbooking digitally, so that would be a fun way to get the cool paper in my life.