Sunday, August 31, 2014

Keeping College Organized


It is my senior year of college and I am still experimenting to find the perfect organizational solution for all of my belongings while I am at school. However, through my experiences so far I have discovered a few things along the way that I wanted to share with you.

Rule #1: Less is more...and let me tell you people.. I have hoarding tendencies so this one is a real challenge. Purge your belongings before you come to school and only take what is ABSOLUTELY necessary. My suggestion is if you get to school and find that you aren't using something regularly, take it home with you the next time you are visiting your family.

Rule #2: Bring your clothes in stages as seasons progress. Put all of your spring, summer, winter & fall clothes in labeled plastic tubs for easy transportation to and from school. This will also allow you more room in your closet at school for storage of other belongings you may need on a more regular basis.

Rule #3: Baskets, baskets, baskets. Store like things in baskets for easy organization. Not only is it practical, but it is absolutely adorable as well. Stick a cute label on it and BAM... it is perfection.

Rule #4: Find containers for food that allow air flow to help keep your food more sanitary and fresh.

Rule #5: Build yourself some shelves. I HEART SHELVING UNITS.

Here is how I have combined all of these rules to create a cute, organized and functional desk space.

I love to throw in a little cute personalized decor into my organization. Here is a cork board I made out of an old picture frame that I use as my inspirational board. I put pictures of things I aspire to be one day or things that mean a lot to me. It is a great daily reminder at my desk everyday.

 These cute little canisters are from Hobby Lobby for under $2.00 a piece. They are the perfect size to store beauty essentials in while at school. I use one for chap-stick,  hair ties, bobbi-pins, and q-tips.

My Scentsy is another must have for me at school. It makes me feel at home and cozy, especially when up late studying. I can't wait until the weather cools down and fall approaches so I can start melting my pumpkin spice scent! 

 Love the effect of layering. Here there is a canvas behind a cheap, Michaels frame from the dollar section, a stack of the books I don't use too frequently, and my precious Anthropology giraffe ring dish. 

 My coffee station is one of my favorite little spaces in my little desk corner. I love love love apothecary jars and it works as a perfect solution to store my k-cups because the glass allows me to see the variety of blends that are stored inside. I also love my daily chalk board reminders right about my Keurig.

As my polish collection continues to grow, another one of my hoarding tendencies, I have to keep adapting to new solutions in order to store all of my polish in the same place. Here is a $5.00 jar from Walmart that I used to put all of my polish in. The soap dispenser is a $2.00 find from IKEA and makes the perfect nail polish remover container. The cotton ball jar is an old pickle jar that I cleaned out, painted and attached a very inexpensive nob from hobby lobby onto. I used my Cricket to cut out vinyl letters and it turned out to be just what I needed to store all of my nail supplies. 

My love for baskets is revealed again here! Perfect for all of my sticky notes and small note pads. I use a smaller canister from hobby lobby to store my thumb tacks.

 Here are my daily reads that are easily accessible and held in place by a "B" book end from IKEA. I love my little tin containers from the dollar section at Target. They came with chalk labels already on them and are perfect for storing my pens, pencils, and other random desk supplies.

I love these paper bins from IKEA. They come two in a box and are very inexpensive. They are easily stackable and are very spacious for storing various things. I use this adorable basket to store first aid supplies like bandaids and medicines. I love incorporating color throughout my shelves with some cute little picture frames. 

So there you have it! A few tips on how to keep your tiny space organized while at school.

Hope you all have a great day! Happy organizing my friends! 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Little $15 Dollar Accent Chair

Listen Folks, for the past year and a half I have been on the hunt for an affordable accent chair, and by affordable I mean a college student making less than minimum wage affordable, which is basically equivalent to a budget of about well, about nothing. I was out of my mind and in denial that the perfect chair at the perfect price was going to just pop up in isle five at Target. Who was I kidding. As much as I am head over heels in absolute LOVE with Target I knew I was going to have to seek an alternative solution. One random Wednesday on my lunch hour I took a little detour trip into one of my absolute favs, Goodwill, and low and behold I came across this $4.00 beaut. It was a miracle. 

I REPEAT, THIS $4.00 BEAUT! That's right folks, this hunk of a chair was a whopping $4.00.

Okay, okay, so it might not be as appealing as I initially had in mind, but hold the phone, it gets better friends. A little tender loving care was all this little guy needed to be transformed into the PERFECT accent chair!

Here's how we did it:

First off, we had to remove the four screws that were securing the seat cushions to the frame of the chair. We used a basic drill to easily remove the screws.

There were two screws on the bottom, horizontal frame of the chair and there were also two screws located on the bottom of the chair on each corners as well. Here is the frame of the chair.

And this beauty's side profile ;)

Here are the cushions we took off. I know you all are wondering where you can purchase this plastic maroon fabric... my guess is it's so popular that it's sold out at all fabric store locations. kidding. It's too horrific for anyone to even give it a second glance. So that's where the next step came into play. Removing this plastic covering off of the cushion. and boy, when it was gone I was relieved.

And when I say relieved, yeah, well that lasted for only a moment until we discovered that there were actually two other fabrics that had been previously used to reupholster the chair cushions as well. We removed all three and then tested out the remaining cushioning left on the chair. Our cushions were still thick and soft enough for our liking, which was wonderful and a huge money saver for us. However, who wants to recreate the perfect accent chair that has cushions harder than a box of rocks. No one. If your cushions fall into the softness category of bolders, pebbles or pea gravel then head on over to your closest craft store and pick up some cushion boosters. They are super duper easy to attach to your previous cushions and it will make all of the difference in the world when spending long hours in your perfect chair. 

The previous owners must of loved shades of maroon because every layer was the same shade with  different textures. We stepped out of the box and went with something with a little more pizzaz.

Goodness do I just adore Hobby Lobby and their 40% of coupons that are often available. We stole 2 yards of this eye catching navy blue and white patterned fabric for less than $9.00. I was basically prancing out of the doors of Hob Lob because I was so ecstatic.

Before I get too far ahead, lets rewind a little bit and give some loving to the wooden frame. Because the chair was only $4.00 it was in need of some sanding down to smooth out some ridges. We used a previously owned Pro Grade 3.66 in. x 9 in. 60 grit coarse sandpaper, but you can purchase your own from Home Depot for only $4.97.

We just simply rubbed the sand paper along all parts of the frame and gave a little more attention to the corners and edges. 

Here is what it looked like when we were finished sanding. 

We then took a damp paper towel and wiped off the left over particles and residue from sanding so the frame was prepped and ready to be spray painted.

We had some left over spray paint from another project, but because we knew the frame was going to take multiple coats we picked up another bottle from our local Michaels and used a 40% off coupon, which made it a whopping $1.99. I'm telling you people, utilize the coupons that the craft stores have to offer. It saves you big money in the long run and is a huge contributor to why this perfect accent chair only costed $15.00.

It was dark outside when we spray painted and my pictures are terrible quality, so just imagine us spray painting three coats of white spray paint to cover the entire frame. I was in denial before but this project concluded that I am officially the world's WORST spray painter ever. I get wayyyy too close to the object and really do not have the patience for the first coat to dry before I start spraying the second and third coat. Oh and don't spray paint outside if there are some crazy wind gust occurring or the paint will drift backwards and paint you as well as the frame. and yes, I was dumb enough to do that too. Say farewell to my favorite pair of black Nike running shorts and lets say hello to my new stylish par of cow patterned black and white blob painted running shorts. 

Once the frame was painted we headed in doors to a much safer environment and started my favorite part of the project, reupholstering the chair cushions. I hate measuring. Absolutely hate it. To improvise and make sure we had the proper size of fabric I laid the fabric down flat on the floor, then laid the cushion on top and folded the fabric over and allowed approximately 1 1/2 inches on all four sides. I then cut out the square of fabric. 

The first step is to attach the top of the fabric. I always start with stapling the inside edge first to allow a more finished product. Straighten the fabric so the pattern is going the way you would like. Evenly fold the edges over and staple the fabric onto the inside, bottom portion of the wood frame. Hold the staple gun vertically and staple between 8-10 staples along the inside horizontal edge of the frame.

Once the inside is stapled, add more support by stapling on the bottom flat portion of the frame as shown below.

Once the first edge is stapled, move directly to the opposite side of the chair and work on securing that end. It is important to pull the fabric tightly in order to prevent the fabric from being loose and easily rip-able in the future. Use the previous method to complete this portion of the chair as well.

The same is true for the opposite ends of the chair. In order to get a square edge simply fold the fabric over aligning it with the outer edge. Staple the edges first and in this case work your way from the outer edges to the middle. 

Once this is completed, do the exact same thing to the bottom cushion as well. 

Here is the completed product! I just love it!! It is absolutely adorable. 

Here's a close up! Stay tuned next week for a quick tutorial on these adorable decorative pillows! 

And last by not least, a side by side comparison of the chair before and after.

I am still swooning over this $15.00 goodwill transformation and I can't wait to get back to school to use this as the perfect desk chair. It will be an adorable and comfy accent to my white desk!

Happy Wednesday everyone!