Easy Wall Hanging Dupe

I’d been searching for a while for a way to bring texture to our great room walls. I knew I didn’t want wall moldings in here because I have lots of plans for different wall finishes throughout the house and want to leave the main areas simple. So I started looking in to getting an oversized wall hanging and, guest what? The really nice kind are also really expensive! Since I want to keep the option to change things up in our main living spaces throughout the seasons/years, I couldn’t justify spending close to $1,000.00 CAD on a wall piece, so I improvised…

Inspiration – $600 USD (plus tax and shipping):

If it’s within your budget, I say always go for the real thing. Here’s the Blacksaw hanging that got my wheels turning:

Dupe – $30-$60 CAD:

Materials Needed:

  • Throw – Must be the width and length that you want for your hanging. Ideally it doesn’t have any tassels or fringe but, if it does, you can simply cut those off as I did (just remember that the overall length of the throw will change when you cut off the tassels).
  • Wood for mount – You can use maple if you’re wanting to stain it or MDF wall trim will work if you’re looking to paint it instead. It will need to be the width (horizontally) of your throw PLUS 2 inches (one inch overhang on either side) and should be around 2-3″ high. Depending how much you want it to protrude from the wall, anywhere from 1-2″ thick is good.
  • Double sided tape
  • Nail gun
  • Level
  • Knitting yarn and needle (only if you are cutting off tassels and need to add a border to the throw)
  • Iron and ironing board
  • A second person to help hold up the hanging when mounting

Tutorial:

1. Before hanging anything on the wall, map out where you want your art to be (I used a pencil and level to draw it out on the wall and then just cleaned it off with a magic eraser). Be sure to look at your design from different angles in the room to gauge if the hanging is the right size/height/location/etc.

2. Once you’re happy with the approximate lay out, measure it and that will give you an estimate of the size of throw you need (plus or minus a few inches). I purchased a 50″ x 70″ decorative throw from Home Sense; the height after I cut off the tassels was 64″.

If you don’t have any tassels or fringe, you can skip to Step 5.

3. Lay out your throw flat on the ground. Using sharp scissors, cut off the tassels on both ends of the throw. Since one end will be covered by the mount, you only need to worry about stitching the bottom side.

4. I used knitting yarn from Michael’s that I had on hand from a previous project and a yarn needle to stitch the edge. I chose to do a blanket stitch since it is the kind of stitch that looks good when done with thick yarn and gives the fabric a finished look. If you’ve never done a blanket stitch before, Holiday Crafts and Creation has a great tutorial here.

5. Once your edge is nicely stitched up, you’ll need to iron the throw to get rid of all of the creases. I thought I had been thorough with this step but the fold lines are still very visible on our hanging, so be sure to really iron and, if possible, steam every inch of the throw (also, if your throw is machine washable, consider washing it to get rid of the new-blanket folds). If you still see creases after you hang it up, like we do, all you’ll need is a good steamer, something plastic to place behind the throw while steaming (to avoid damaging the wall) and a lot of patience.

7. I happened to have a long piece of trim that my millwork company had left behind when they installed our kitchen. It was already stained the same brown that I’ve used throughout the house, so all I had to do was cut it to size.

You can either use two boards to “sandwich” your throw in between or mount the fabric to one piece of trim and apply directly to the wall like we did.

Here is how the “real” (expensive) hanging is mounted – with one maple piece on either side and the throw sandwiched in the middle.

Here’s how we mounted it with one piece only. I debated adding a simple MDF flat stock piece to the back but I prefer the thinner profile of just the front mount.

8. Once you’ve figured out the width/length/stain of your trim piece, use double sided tape to attach the fabric to the mount. This method won’t “stand the test of time” in terms of staying power but it should keep the throw in place long enough for you to either sandwich it with the second piece or hang it directly to the wall (depending on which mounting option you choose).

9. Enter Person #2 (i.e.: your helper). With each person holding one end of the mount (and holding the fabric as well so it doesn’t unstick), place the hanging against the wall, at the desired height. Use a level to make sure it is straight and then use a nail gun to secure the hanging to the wall.

10. I intended to drill three black screws with washers to the trim once it was hung to give it the finished look that the inspiration piece has; however, once it was up, I liked that the finishing nails were not visible and it just looked like one solid piece of wood. It’s a matter of personal preference at this stage; just be sure that if you do want to add decorative screws, you are careful not to split the trim piece (this is especially important if your wall mount is only a couple of inches high).

11. Step back and take in your new (seriously less expensive) work of art!

That’s it! Since I had everything except for the throw on hand, this project cost me $35 and took about 1.5 hours to do. It may not be a designer piece but it’s definitely a unique one!

Hope this tutorial inspires you to make a hanging of your own. Feel free to ask any questions below and be sure to tag me (@casa_cres) on Instagram if you do make one – would love to see what you create!

The Best Curtain Rod Hack

Ever get your curtains stuck on the extender piece of your rod? For me, that was an Every-Day-Struggle. Each time I pulled on the curtains and they would snag on top, I’d brace myself for the whole thing to fall (luckily that never happened)…

Recently, I was researching buying custom made curtain rods – one long rod as opposed to using an extender piece. I can only assume it’s a pricey investment but I actually couldn’t find anywhere near me that advertised custom rods. So I had to be creative…

First, I wrapped the end pieces of our extender rod with black electrical tape to see if that would provide a smoother transition for the curtains to glide – it didn’t work. Next, I thought of going to Home Depot and getting a long 1.25″ thick pipe that I could spray paint and use as a rod – that might actually work but I was trying to use what I had before buying anything else… And, since I already had a rod with brackets in place, I started searching online for a solution that wouldn’t require me to take anything down and that’s when The Best Curtain Rod Hack came to light!

Here’s how it goes:

Tools:

  • A curtain rod the width of your window (plus extra for overhang on either side);
  • Brackets;
  • Curtain rings (if applicable);
  • Measuring tape (Dollar Store kind is fine because you will be cutting it);
  • Super glue;
  • Scissors; and
  • 2 people (preferably)

Steps:

1) Install your rod, extender, curtain rings (if using them) and brackets at the proper width/height (Note: the reason I installed the rings at the onset is because it’s easier to slide them in now then after using the glue);

2) Cut the end of the tape measure and hold on to it (so it doesn’t wind back in to the case);

3) Hold the cut part of the tape measure at one end of the rod and extend to the other end – this is where having a second person comes in real handy! *It’s important that you measure from one tip to the other because the curtains will snag on the tape measure if it’s too short;

4) Cut the other end of the tape measure at the appropriate length;

5) Using super glue, run a generous (but not dripping) amount along the rod and press the tape measure down until it is stuck and dry;

6) Turn the rod so that the tape measure is facing the back wall (and not visible);

7) Hang your curtains and never get stuck again!

I can’t take credit for this hack since I’m not inventing the wheel here but, I will say, that all of the tips I found online suggested using this method before installing the rod. I tried it with the rod in place and I actually think it works better because I knew exactly how long I needed it to be.

Some may think I am being a bit dramatic but, honestly, this hack has made my morning routine so much easier. Some days I didn’t even open the curtains because I didn’t want to fight with them and now, with just a $3 tape measure and some glue, my curtains feel and work just like custom curtains do (at a fraction of the cost).

If you try this, let me know! Would love the hear how it’s working for you.

2022 : Our To-Do List

For as long as I can remember, Paolo and I have always had something to do in our homes; no space was ever truly done. Now that we’ve been living in our new home for 3 months, the list of projects we hope to tackle grows daily. Realistically though, projects take time and cost money, so it won’t happen over night. In the meantime, to calm my mind and to manage expectations, I’ve created a list of the projects we can reasonably hope to tackle in 2022. Here it is:

  1. Theo’s Room

When we sold our last home, Theo was still in a crib and about to move in to his big boy bed. Before I knew that we were moving, I told him we would transform his nursery into a big boy room when he changed beds. He didn’t forget that and kept asking me why he didn’t have a cool room when he moved into his big boy bed at the rental house where we were living during the build. So, now that we are home, Theo’s room is the first on our project list.

First up for his room is going to be to add moulding to the walls. I fell in love with this design by Millhaven Homes years ago and plan on replicating it in Theo’s room. Currently, Paolo wants it to be on just one wall but I’m pushing for a whole room design (mainly because I am not a fan of accent walls in bedrooms). So we still have some plans to iron out but I’m thinking we will start with the wall behind his bed and see how the space feels after that.

2. Foyer Built-In

Currently, our foyer is a blank slate. We have a glass console table that we brought over from our last home; it’s not what I envision for this space but it’ll do for now. We have a coat closet that is in need of some built-ins but it functions well for the time being. What we are missing is a place to sit to take off/ put on shoes.

We purposefully designed a space between the front door and the coat closet where we knew we would eventually build a bench. Since we extended our tile rug into that space, we won’t be building anything on the ground (because I don’t want to ruin the pattern) but we’ll do something simple like this one built by Angela Rose and then glam it up with either wall trim or a custom seat cushion.

3. Closet Glow Ups

One item that didn’t make it on to our wish list (as I knew it would be outside of our budget) was custom millwork in the closets. I never raised the question of shelving and layout options with our builder because I assumed we’d live with the customary shelf/rod standard until we decided to invest in custom closets. To my surprise, when the finishing carpenter was working on our closets (each of the boys and ours) he did a really good job at designing the space and even added extra shelving. Now that we’ve used our closets, the layout actually really works for us. While it may not be our dream design, (and we may very well decide to invest in a custom layout down the road), the current closets work great; they’re just in need of a little extra touches.

Currently, the shelves in each of the closets are spaced far apart. This year’s closet glow ups would just consist of us adding a few extra shelves in between the ones already there and also adding a small IKEA PAX wardrobe to each of the closets for some drawer space.

4. Landscape

Originally, we naively thought we could hold off on investing in landscape until our 5-year mark, which is when we’re hoping to get a pool. However, when we moved in in October, it became apparent that we weren’t going to be able to live with a field of mud in the front and back of our house for all those years.

Our plan now is to break down the landscape into phases. In 2022, the plan is to clean up the trees surrounding our lot, level out our land and bring in the necessary soil to make everything even.

5. Phase One of the Unfinished Parts of the Basement

We made sure to finish part our basement during the build stage to ensure we had extra space aside from our main level. However, our future gym, pool room and play room still need to be framed, install electrical, drywall, lighting, flooring, etc. Since all of the spaces are usable, just not currently pretty, we’ve decided that this is another area of our home that we can work on in stages.

Our intention for 2022 is to frame the walls and install strapping in each of the three spaces. We’re going to hire an electrician to run the wiring for outlets and lighting. And, if time and budget permit, we will get drywall installed and mudded.

That’s what we’ll be working on in 2022. The list may seem short to some but, since this is our home, I want to be sure to leave time to enjoy our space without tools and paint brushes in the way. In between these larger projects, I’m sure I’ll find smaller DIY tasks to tackle that may not have a big interior design impact but that will be sure to bring me joy.

What’s on your list this year? Long or short, the first step is to write it down! Lists give you a reference point to look back on and keep you moving forward!

DIY – Laundry Scent Boosters

For the last 16 months, I have had DIY withdrawal.

We always had a project on the go in our previous homes but, since we’re living in a rental (and our tools are packed away), we haven’t been able to do much in terms of DIY’ing our space. In the past, if I wasn’t updating an area of our house, then I was usually sewing a quilt or clothes for Theo but I haven’t been able to do that either for lack of space. So, my urge to create something (anything!) has got me looking to change up some of my household products that don’t tend to match my decor.

First item that comes to mind – the not-so-pretty bright blue/pink/purple laundry scent boosters. No amount of pretty glass canisters can make those things blend in with my home style. So I’ve made my own – it is super easy, fresh, affordable and (obviously) pretty! [Not to mention more sustainable, non-toxic and better for the environment].

Here’s what you will need:

JAR AND SCOOP

This one is optional but self explanatory – you have to have something to hold the scent boosters, might as well make it look nice.

EPSOM SALT

There are a number of salts that would work here – epsom salt, rock salt, kosher salt. I happened to have Epsom Salt on hand and it’s worked great, so I will likely stick with it. Epsom Salt helps soften your clothes (Fun Fact – many fabric softeners actually contain epsom salt!) and the chloride in the salt helps keeps clothes bright and white.

BAKING SODA

Baking soda is a “superhero” as far as ingredients are concerned. It has countless benefits including fighting odors and it’s also a natural fabric softener.

ESSENTIAL OIL

Any high grade essential oils will work for this recipe. I happen to be a huge fan of Saje Essential Oils – I use their blends in my diffuser daily and love trying different combinations of their pure oils to give my scent boosters the fresh, clean scent. In this recipe, I combined Saje Eucalyptus Oil, Saje Lavender Oil, and Saje Lemon Oil.

How To:

Ingredients –

  • 3 cups – Epsom Salt
  • 1 cup – Baking Soda
  • 60 drops – Essential Oil (add more to taste (or is it smell?…))

Instructions –

  1. Whisk together all ingredients in large bowl until well combined.
  2. Add one scoop (app. 1/4 cup) to washing machine either before or after adding any clothes. I prefer putting half before and the other half on top of the clothes. Use the same amount of laundry detergent as you normally would.
  3. Store in air tight container. Mixture will last up to a year but you’ll likely use it all long before then.
  4. BONUS: For an added fresh scent boost, you can add the same Essential Oil drops to your dryer balls and toss them in the dryer.

And there you have it! Fresh, clean smelling laundry and a pretty mixture on display (for when not in use!). Hope you try this soon and let me know how you like it!


DIY – “Handwritten” Art Frame

These days, there’s an app for everything, right? Correct.

In my quest to find unique (yet budget friendly) wall art for the kids’ rooms, I thought of creating word art with lyrics or sayings that I often use with the boys. The only problem is that all my years of using a computer has resulted in me having terrible handwriting. So I found an app for that!

Step 1:

I downloaded “Fontise” – an app that allows you to create a whole font keyboard in your own handwriting. Once you create the font, you can then use it across different platforms such as Word, Excel, Pages, etc.

Step 2:

Then comes the fun part – open a blank document and write something in your own digital handwriting!

Full disclosure – I am terrible at remembering song lyrics and I can’t carry a tune if my life depended on it… So I usually just take words that I say often (such as “I love you”) and make a song out of it. (Luckily, my goal is to make some personalized art, not win America’s Got Talent…).

Step 3:

Print your creation.

There are several ways to go about this – you can print on regular paper at home and use a store bought wall frame or you can have it made into a poster. I suggest spending some time seeing what’s available from the major print suppliers in your area (VistaPrint, Staples, Walmart, etc.).

I printed mine on Foam Board. I wanted something that wouldn’t bend or fold and that had a matte finish.

Step 4:

Frame it and display it!

The foam board is thick enough to hang on its own but I didn’t like the exposed edges, so I decided to frame it. I found this value pack from Michael’s that fits perfectly without the glass (which I didn’t want anyway).

And there you have it – a one of kind meaningful piece for Luca’s room.

DIY – Dipped Vase

I fell in love with the dipped vase the second I saw it on some of the leading interior design social accounts – professionals such as Studio McGee and Monika Hibbs have been styling centrepieces and floating shelves with dipped vases for quite some time. I love the clean and simple design and how versatile these vases are – they look just as nice empty as they do filled with flowers.

The one downfall – these ready made vases retail for anywhere between $150 and $250. While I like to think that I am able to appreciate the beauty and value of home decor pieces, I also really like to change things up fairly often, so I couldn’t justify spending so much on a vase. But where there is a will, there is a way; hence why I decided to make my own!

Let me start off by saying that if you’re looking for a truly beginner DIY project, this is it! The investment for supplies is small, the time it takes to create the look is minimal and, on a scale of simple to difficult, this one is E-A-S-Y!

SUPPLIES:

  1. Spray paint [I used Rust-Oleum Chalked Ultra Matte Paint in Linen White ($13)]
  2. Painter’s tape
  3. Plastic food wrap
  4. Glass vase [I used Ikea Begarlig Vase ($23) and Ikea 365+ Jar ($7)]

STEPS TO SUCCESS:

  1. Make sure your vase is clean and dry (remove any stickers and residue).
  2. Measure how thick you want your dipped portion to be. For this vase, I dipped the bottom one-third. TIP: Use a pencil to mark off where you want to have your line on several spots around the vase, so that you can tape the line evenly throughout.
  3. Tape around, pressing firmly to ensure no air gaps.
  4. Cover top portion of vase with plastic food wrap. Make sure it overlaps, but does not pass, the painter’s tape. Secure the food wrap with more painter’s tape, pressing firmly to ensure full adhesion.
  5. Make sure you have enough space around the vase to be able to move as you spray. TIP: You want to move the paint bottle back and forth as you spray and be sure to spray lightly. It is better to repeat this step several times than to spray too much at once because that will lead to drips in the paint.
  6. Let dry – approximately 30 minutes.
  7. Repeat until you reach the desired color – I did 3 rounds of spray paint.
  8. Allow paint to dry completely – 2 to 3 hours – before removing tape and plastic.
  9. If there is any “bleeding” from removing the tape, use a cotton swab (a Q-tip for my Canadian friends!) dipped in nail polish remover to take off any excess paint.
  10. Fill with beautiful flowers or leave empty and ENJOY!
TA-DA!!!

This is such a simple project with endless possibilities. You don’t need to do a straight line, a diagonal one would also look great! You can use a different paint colour to change things up (I’m thinking of making a burgundy or deep army green one for my Fall decor). And, best of all, you’re not limited to the shape and size of the vase – make a few different ones for a layered look!

I love how mine turned out and appreciate them even more knowing that I didn’t have to pay an arm and a leg for them! Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make these – would love to see your creation!