Category Archives: DIY

DIY Seek and Find

DIY Seek & Find // EverydaySmallThings.comWe are gearing up for a 12-hour road trip and I wanted to hop on here and share one of the things I’ll be packing up. They turned out so great and everything I used was found around the house!

This idea was found on one of my perusals on Pinterest for ideas on keeping kids busy on a road trip. I pulled together all kinds of foam stickers, beads and trinkets, took a picture of all of the items and put them in an old salsa jar (I always save them!). I then filled the rest with rice. Attaching a laminated photo of everything they could find in the bottle completed this super easy project!

This is a great little activity to have around the house and I’ll definitely save them for a future rainy day.

DIY Seek and Find //


Neighborhood Block Party

Block Party ::

Block Party :: EverydaySmallThings.comI think it’s safe to say spring weather is officially here to stay! Our neighborhood has started becoming active again with the sound of lawn mowers and friendly waves at people walking by. But let’s be honest, how well do you know the people you live by? In a world of garage door openers, its far too easy to pull into your garage, shut the door and never make any connections.

When a job change took us to a new city, we tried to make connections with our neighbors but we weren’t having much success aside from one or two of them. No one seemed interested in the act of neighboring. So we decided to take matters into our own hands and host a block party! We created an invitation and knocked on each door of the neighbors on our block to personally invite them.

I considered the block party a success when, out of twenty-five houses, we had eleven represented. We learned about one another’s families and learned a little bit of history about the neighborhood. Several of our neighbors have lived here for close to fifty years and they kept telling us how wonderful it was to get together and that no one had ever done anything like this. One neighbor even told me, “I’ve lived in my house for fifty years and I’ve never met any of my neighbors.” 

Block Party :: EverydaySmallThings.comBeing intentional about fostering relationships in your neighborhood is a benefit for you and your neighbors! Have you ever considered hosting or organizing a block party? If not, I encourage you to put a date on the calendar right now. Matt and I decided to do it again this year, but instead of August, doing it in June to allow for more connections over the summer. 

Something as simple as an intentional gathering of neighbors can make your neighborhood a better place to live.



DIY Suncatcher

DIY Sun Catcher |

DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comThese sun catchers we made turned out really cute and I wanted to share them with you! This craft provides kids an opportunity to get messy and have fun.

You’ll need:

Pull out your smocks (which are old adult tshirts in our case) and get ready for some gooey fun! Grab some dollar store frames or frames you have around the house. Remove the glass and set aside the frame.

DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comThe first thing you will want to do is pour glue onto the glass. And I do mean pour.  We tried squeezing it out the regular way and that proved tedious. The kids eventually got enough on the glass but it took alot of effort. Next time, I’ll just remove the lid and pour it on.

Once you have a good thick layer of glue, squeeze out one drop of food coloring in each corner using 3-4 colors. The gooey fun begins! Now, mom, this is a great opportunity to let your kids be kids and enjoy the mess! We tried using craft sticks to mix all the paint up but it just didn’t have the same effect as their fingers. Let them explore the colors changing and the fun shapes they can make in the glue. Rilyn ended up putting hearts in her design while Landon just went to town getting messy.

This part got me a little worried because everything turned black. My heart sank a little thinking about these botched sun catchers. I thought maybe thinner glue and keeping the colors separated would help, so I tried doing one on my own, keeping the DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comcolors separated. But mine did not look good at all.  It really needed that thick layer of glue and once they dry you can see all the awesome work your kids did blending all of the colors.

DIY Sun Catcher | EverydaySmallThings.comI loved how they turned out! They dried clear and the colors were vibrant and beautiful. Once dried, stick them back into the frame (without the backing) and hang them up  with suction hooks or Command window hooks (affiliate link), which is what we ended up using. 

These would make great gifts or just a unique window decoration for your home. We did this project with daycare kids and parents loved how they turned out! 

So, what do you think? Will you try this easy project with your kids? 


When Clutter Sends You Running For Cover

When Clutter Sends You Running For Cover |

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When Clutter Sends You Running For Cover | EverydaySmallThings.comWhen it comes to home organization, are you an Innie or an Outie? And no, I’m not referring to your belly button.

Innies appear very organized because most of their stuff is “in” something. They tend to have files, not piles. Their kitchen counter is practically naked. An innie’s mantra might be, “A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Outies often have to deal with clutter. That’s because their mantra might be “Out of sight, out of mind!” Outies might love sticky notes and use them everywhere. They tend to be pilers rather than filers, because if they file something they might forget about it.

As my mom and I talk about in our book Better Together, (releases March 2016 Woohoo!!!) we are both outies. If I don’t see it, I forget about it. My mom has learned some great innie practices to use in her home. However, I am still working on how to make my “outie” more “innie.” I have cute files ready to be used for all of my paperwork; I just don’t think to use them…you can find them in one of my piles.

Being an outie with a home daycare has proven chaotic at times, especially when a parent comes to pick up their child and we are searching for a lost shoe for the umpteenth time. “You need a locker system for each kid!” suggested one of my daycare parents.

Coloring On the Wall |
The artwork on our walls

Lockers would be ideal for a daycare setting, but this is my home first and foremost so I wanted to find a solution that worked for both. Another daycare parent had suggested a bench with baskets underneath. This cabinet was the best of both worlds. However it was so…white. White and little ones don’t mix. Just ask my walls.

Storage Cabinet with Custom Wood Top | The white bookshelf was a blank canvas calling for some wood accents. My dad gave me a ton of furring strip a few months ago as I’ve been wanting to redo a few tables and a wall (yes…a wall). However, those projects just haven’t happened. I’m the type of person who, when inspiration strikes, wants to get to work right away. So, true to my nature, I did. I LOVE how it turned out! Adds the right amount of warmth and character to an otherwise cold and plain bookshelf.

Now, each daycare kid has their own basket that their stuff can go in and my family each has a bin to put their shoes in. Who knows, I might change things up a bit, but right now I’m loving the new storage!
Cabinet with Wood Top | EverydaySmallThings.comPossibly more exciting than my new piece of furniture in my entryway is that it could be in yours! My Etsy shop is now open for business and I can’t wait to make custom creations that reflect YOU! So head on over to my Etsy Shop!

DIY :: $38 Painted Curtains

DIY Painted Curtains :: EverydaySmallThings.comOne of my favorite features about our house is our large windows.  For the first 5 years of our marriage, we lived in a wonderful basement apartment.  But we missed windows.  We had one escape window and three glass block “windows”.  Needless to say, we rarely saw daylight when we were home.  So I absolutely love windows now.  Windows are good for the soul.  However, covering up said windows can become quite costly.  I fell in love with these curtains from West Elm, but the $100+ price tag was way beyond my budget.  So I began scouring DIY curtains on Pinterest and loved these curtains but had no interest in sewing and the fabric was still more than I wanted to spend.  I soon discovered this tutorial on painting curtains.  But that still meant I had to buy large white curtains which was more than I was willing to spend (especially if I ended up hating them).

Enter in my painted queen size bed sheets that have turned out ridiculously amazing (in my humble opinion).  That’s right, bed sheets!  I love how they turned out!  And I only paid $38 out of pocket for this project, paint and all.

-2 Flat Bed Sheets (Measure your window to determine which size best fits your area) – $12 each at Walmart
– Plastic or drop cloths (already had on hand)
– Paint (I used just under 1 quart regular wall paint) -$10
– painters tape (already had on hand)
– Textile Medium (makes curtains washable once paint is dried and ironed) – $4 after 40% coupon at Hobby Lobby

Begin your project by measuring your window and figuring out what size of bed sheet you need.  Queen sheets worked out perfectly for me.  Painting such large sheets proved a little daunting.  All the tutorials I had found had people laying them out on the floor or garage and I just didn’t have that kind of space.

Painting Curtains :: EverydaySmallThings.comSo I decided to nail them to the wall.  It worked out perfectly!  It was easy to see and my curtains weren’t moving on me.  Make sure to put plastic underneath your curtains no matter where you paint them.  It definitely seeps through.

I liked the look of the West Elm curtains with smaller stripes and I wasn’t sure I’d like the large stripes in my living room.  So I happened to grab a post card sitting on my table and used the length of that as my guide.  I put little marks all down each side and then my husband and I would attach each end of tape at the same time so it would be even.

Painting Curtains :: EverydaySmallThings.comI mixed up my paint and textile medium and began rolling two coats (the color is called Mac and Cheese…appetizing isn’t it?).  I pulled the tape off while it was wet and let it dry overnight.  I had some sticking to the plastic on the back but I just peeled it right off.

I then used curtain clips to hang them up (make sure to buy the correct size as you may end up sorely disappointed that you have to wait until morning to return to the store and get the correct size…not that I know anything about that).

In all honesty, this project took me about 4 days.  Two days on each panel.  Mostly because I wasn’t about to paint these while my children were awake, so my working time was limited.

Painted Curtains :: EverydaySmallThings.comI’ve had them up for 1 1/2 years and they still look great. (Side note…I’ve raised the curtain rod so now they just hit barely hit the floor)  I get lots of questions about the back.  It looks a little weird up close because of the bleeding, but when you’re outside looking in, you don’t even notice.  Most of the time, people don’t even realize they are painted and are even more surprised when they find out they are bed sheets.

So, there you have it!  Cheap, easy (a little labor intensive), washable, awesome curtains for $38.

Painted Curtains ::