DIY antique laundry sign

laundry room sign first

I hate laundry. You with me?

It’s that never-ending task that haunts me. There’s always laundry to do. There’s either sorting, washing, drying, folding, or putting it away. And don’t even get me started on ironing.

Our laundry is in a closet off our first floor half bathroom. Not ideal but it works. We’ve thought about moving it to the second floor and creating a real laundry room but that’s one of those snowball projects. If we move the laundry area then we should redo the adjacent closet and then maybe turn it into a home office but then where will the storage area go?

So we’ve decided to keep our first floor laundry closet for now but revamp it a bit. And that project deserves it’s own post coming next week. Stay tuned – the results are really good.

I don’t want to give too much away about this new space yet, but one thing I decided to do for it was make a hand painted, antique looking LAUNDRY sign. Just in case no one knew what was going on in this little area.

And even though this sign says LAUNDRY, this technique can be used for any sign with typography – and those are so hot right now!

Here’s what you need to make an antique LAUNDRY sign – or any sign with type:

b&a wood

• A piece of wood
I used pine because I love all the knots and it’s soft enough to add an antique look to it. But I did cheat and had Home Depot cut the piece for me. I highly recommend this service! This is a good way to get what you need before making any big tool purchases.

• antiquing materials {sandpaper, tea bags, paint in desired colors, shoe polish, hammer}

• computer print out and a pencil

• hanging hardware – I used 1/2″ cup hooks


weathering technique

1. Since I was going for an antique look, I tried lots of different techniques on the wood. First I sanded the entire piece of wood and made the edges and corners slightly rounded. Then I had a cup of tea. Not really. I brewed tea and rubbed the tea bags onto the wood. This didn’t make a big difference but it did add a slightly darker tone to the wood. Then I rubbed the black and brown shoe polish into the wood. This really had a cool effect on the finish. It was darker in some areas and more transparent in others. It really got into the wood. I used a combination of white & gray paints to continue with my antique/worn look. I didn’t put a full coat of either color down because I wanted to see some of the wood finish and also the shoe polish colors. I used very little paint each time and filled in areas as I liked. I also used a cloth to wipe away and just kept layering until I got the look I wanted.


2. After the wood was stained, polished and painted, I took a hammer and banged it up. I just hammered away until the wood had little notches in it. This was fun. I hammered the edges too so they weren’t so straight.

printout on board

3. Next I printed out the word LAUNDRY on my computer to the size I needed. I used a serif font called FB Californian but Times Roman or Palatino are good choices for a sign like this. I also printed the type just as an outline to save ink.

tracing type

4. I taped the printout to a window, but backwards. Then with a pencil, I traced the outline of each letter onto the back of the printout.

transferring type

5. Then, I placed the printout onto the wood where I wanted it to go, but the correct way. With my pencil, I rubbed along the outline of each letter. This rubbing effect transfers the pencil outline from the back of the printout onto the piece of wood.

painting type

6. When all the letters are done being transferred, I painted them in with black acrylic paint. I didn’t fill in the letters perfectly – remember going for that weathered look.

hooks on sign

7. I took some sandpaper to all this goodness to finish the antique look. Then I attached the hanging hardware. I used 1/2″ cup hooks which I also gave the antique look with some sandpaper.

sign finished

Here’s my one-of-a-kind, antique LAUNDRY sign! I love old signs and think they make really great decorative pieces.

laundry room sign

Here’s a sneak peek at how it looks in my new laundry area. But you’ll have to wait to see how this space all came together next week. Such a tease! Enjoy your weekend!


DIY bead & straw garland

bead & straw garland f

I want to show you how to make a fun and easy decorative garland to add interest to a needed space in your home using paper straws and beads. I’ve seen garlands made of paper, a simple strands of beads, funky yarn or ribbon, buttons and even candy! But I had so many paper straws and some wood beads and I needed to put to them good use. 

Garlands are really cool design elements. And they can be hung pretty much anywhere in your home such as shelves, chalkboards, bookcases, mantels – to add a bit of interest to a needed space.

I’ve had several decorative garlands in our home:

april showers hanging
I draped a store bought yarn over our kitchen chalkboard.

hanging 4 with type

I made a garland of pom poms and added it to my daughter’s pink-framed photo wall.


I used a beaded garland paired with a fun neutral yarn to hold my advent calendar – but I kept the garland up through the winter.

hutch before

I have an open wood & wrought iron hutch in my entryway that needed a little extra something. A decorative garland was just the thing – and it was a great solution to use up those extra paper straws!

Here’s what you’ll need:

bead & straw garland mats

paper straws in coordinating colors – I used 3 different patterns
Xacto knife or scissors
fishing line or thin string
beads in desired colors – I used a variety of wood beads along with circular white shell beads that were on sale at Michaels!


cut straws

1. Cut the straws in 1″ pieces with an Xacto knife or scissors.

2. Cut your fishing line to the desired length. I made 2 garlands, one 8 feet and one 9 feet.

beading garland

3. Start threading the beads and straws in a pattern you like. I went with a random pattern but you can do a repeating one if you’d like for a more consistent look. One tip: begin and end the garland with a bead, versus a piece of straw, so that you can easily tie a knot in the ends – the straw is too wide for a regular knot.

bead & straw garland finished

4. Continue threading the beads until the end. Tie a knot and hang!

bead & straw garland 2

I had to add a few tack nails to my hutch to hold the garland but you can also just drape the garland over any corner of a piece of furniture, a picture, a shelf, or the edge of a door.

bead & straw garland 3

I think that garland is just what this piece needed! A super easy DIY you should definitely try.


taste test: the best popcorn

popcorn taste test overview

My name is Lori and I am addicted to popcorn.

I seriously love the stuff. It’s the go-to snack for me. I prefer to pop my own – old school – on the stove, with a very little oil. But then I add melted butter and salt. ooh…

And no microwave popcorn for me. It tastes fake. And I’ve learned that once the popcorn begins to pop, some of the chemicals in the packaging material actually break down or destroy the benefits of popcorn. Chemicals = yuck.

My only problem with my homemade version is the butter and salt part. Popcorn on it’s own is a good, healthy snack.

homemade popcorn

Here are some of popcorn’s benefits:

- Aids in digestion. Since popcorn is a natural whole grain, it contains all of the fiber from the bran, not to mention the minerals, B complex vitamins, and vitamin E. 

- Lowers cholesterol. Whole grains contain the type of fiber which strip excess cholesterol from the walls of blood vessels and arteries, reducing your overall cholesterol levels, and lowering your chances of dangerous cardiovascular conditions.

- Lowers blood sugar. When the body has a lot of fiber, it manages and regulates the release of blood sugar and insulin levels.

- Fights cancer. The hull of popcorn contains large amounts of polyphenols, one of the more powerful types of antioxidants that you can put in your body. In fact, research has shown that popcorn has more antioxidants than a daily dose of fruits and vegetables! yes, please!

- Anti-aging. All those antioxidants do more than fight off cancer – they have also been closely linked to age-related symptoms like wrinkles, age spots, macular degeneration and blindness, muscle weakness, cognitive decline, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and hair loss. wow.

- Weight loss. A cup of (air)popped popcorn contains only 30 calories, which is approximately 5 times less than the same amount of greasy potato chips {oil-popped is only 55 per cup}. Plus the fiber content in popcorn makes you feel full, and decreases the release of the hunger hormone, ghrelin. 

popcorn bags

Ok. So, all this sounds great, right? popcorn = good. And even though my homemade popcorn is a good option, it could be better {healthier}. So I’ve been trying some of the so-called healthier bagged popcorns. The problem is that I get product overload when I go to the grocery store. Foods claim to be healthier but is that true? And what really makes them healthier? Are there brands that just taste so much better and are still considered healthy? I have tried so many popcorn brands that I couldn’t even remember which ones I liked or which ones I did like but weren’t really that much healthier. See, overload.

popcorn taste test room 1

So I found a very willing assistant – my 9 year old daughter {who inherited my popcorn gene} – and we made our own “official” taste test and wanted to share our results with you because, well, it’s popcorn!

popcorn taste test detail 1

We made a night of it. We found as many bags of popcorn that we could, set up our test samples, rented a good movie {a must} and crunched away. We did cleanse our palettes with peanut m&m’s. I think that was a good choice, right?

We stuck with brands of popcorn that only included the following ingredients: popcorn, canola, sunflower or safflower oil, sugar {in some} and salt. And we broke our criteria down into a few different categories so you can figure what works best for you. Are you looking for low calories or low carbs or low sodium – or just great taste? Our taste score was based on a five star category. Five stars = very, very yummy. We’re very, very official.

Here are our findings:


Click here to print the “official” results. Go ahead, print it out and use it the next time you go shopping for a yummy snack. And we left a space blank so you can fill in another brand if you have one you like too. Enter the information and then see for yourself. Which one did you like the best??

popcorn taste test

So maybe our taste test wasn’t all that official – but it was fun and it really did help us figure which brands we liked and which brands we didn’t. It also helped us decide what we can eat when we want to splurge on our snack choice and what popcorn brands really weren’t worth the sacrifice. And I was very happy to find a reasonably healthy snack option for my cravings.

Have a great weekend. Will it include a movie & popcorn night? Don’t forget the m&m’s. And send along your comments – I’d love to hear about anything popcorn!


spring art prints

spring art prints

Spring is finally here! The weather is not quite as warm as I’d like it to be but I can feel the fever coming on, spring fever. I put our winter gear away which was maybe a little premature, but I just couldn’t look at it anymore! Now I’m dying to open our windows and give the house a serious spring cleaning {kind of}. I’ve started to add some spring touches around our home. I’ll show you some of those in a post next week when it really does feel like spring. But one thing I love to do as the seasons change is mix up our artwork.

 So to help get us all in the mood for spring, I wanted to share some of my spring-like art prints available in my Etsy shop. And I am offering them as downloadable files versus art prints that have to be shipped. This is a win-win for you. You pay less money for the same product, no shipping charges and you can get the prints immediately! So really it’s a win-win-win.

Changing the artwork in our homes can be an easy and affordable change. And you don’t have to buy a new frame or make a new nail hole in your walls. You could certainly do that – but changing the artwork in a current frame is a great way to update your home for the seasons. Or, instead of hanging the art, you could lean a frame on a shelf or any table top surface. You could also forgo the frame and use a little spray adhesive on the print and put it on a piece of wood or cardboard. Then lean it on a shelf and you’ve got a unique piece of art! Another option – which is my recent favorite – is to use washi tape. I heart washi tape! If you’re not familiar with it, it feels like masking tape but it’s made of paper and comes in lots of pretty colors and patterns. I tape lots of artwork and photos to our walls and even our kitchen chalkboard. You can find washi tape at any paper or office supply store such as Staples or click here to find it online.

Here are some of my spring-like art prints available in my Etsy shop:

april showers hanging

april showers bring may flowers – the watercolors and colorful type make a great spring combination. See the washi tape?!

rainbow print hanging

rainbow hanging

rainbow connection – rainbows remind me of spring and I just love this song…

home print hanging

home & family print – I made this image using cut paper and paired it with some whimiscal type and a lovely quote.

As you can see, I love typography. I’m a graphic designer so I love to bring images and type together to tell a story. And telling a story is exactly what your home should do. Click on the link below to go to my shop and purchase any of these new prints. Have fun adding some spring to your home!

Etdy shop button sm


recipe round-up | April

recipe round up April

Happy April everyone! I have some wonderful dishes in my recipe round-up to share with you for this month!

As a reminder, this monthly recipe round-up is something I came up with after cleaning out my spice & baking cabinets last month. I decided to be a little more adventurous in my cooking & baking. Plus having things all organized made it much easier to be adventurous. So I search the www and found some great recipes and then I pass them on to you!

I have a few criteria that I had to stick with:

1) the recipes had to be easy to moderate on the difficulty scale. I don’t have the time, patience – or skill – to do anything too crazy.

2) I have to feed a family of 5. All with different likes and dislikes. So, the recipes have to be pretty flexible. I have to be able to change a few ingredients if I think my family will like it better.

3) The ingredients have to include things I would use again. Sometimes that’s how I research recipes – by the ingredients. I didn’t want to buy a new spice only to use it once. Not in my new, pretty, organized cabinet!

4) I’m not going to pretend any of these are my recipes. I will link directly to the original sources. But I will give my two cents on what worked and any tips on what I did to change it or make it better for my family.

So here are my April recipe round-up picks {with my two cents added}:


Pasta e Figoli from the Food Network My Italian in laws make a version of this that is super yummy but heavy on the beans. This recipe has more veggies and has a lighter feel. And any recipe that calls for ditalini pasta is good in my book.


Slow Cooker Beef & Cheese Pasta from The Cooking Jar I made this a few times last month. Delish! I used ground turkey once and it was just as good.


Slow Cooker Thai Spicy Peanut Chicken by Dizzy Busy and Hungry Another slow cooker recipe – bonus! So easy and good!! I only added half the Sriracha sauce and it was the perfect amount of spicy. Big hit with my kids!


Lemon Cream Pie from Bunny’s Warm Oven A perfect idea for an Easter dessert! So light and yummy. But I actually made LIME cream pie since I forgot to get the lemon juice! Ha! But what a nice surprise. I did brush the graham cracker crust with a beaten egg and baked it for 5 minutes like it says on the package. I think that gives the crust a nice flavor. Now I have to try it with lemon!

Let me know if you try any of these recipes. I’m loving creating new things – and I think my family is loving not eating the same old-same old! Enjoy your weekend and have a nice Easter and Passover!

frugal spring centerpiece

spring centerpiece 3

I had a few people ask me about the centerpiece in the background of my last post showing my free Easter place cards. Check that post out here.

The centerpiece was something I put together for Easter. I’m still not sure of our Easter plans but if we have company I’ll be ready. And instead of fussing over something to go on the table, I opted for a less formal arrangement that can be moved around as needed. This centerpiece is great for spring but if you change the flowers and a few little details, it can be a year-round solution too.

spring centerpiece 4

The bonus is that it costs very little to do and even uses recycled glass jars!

Here are all the materials you’ll need:

A variety of recycled glass jars {from olives, pasta sauce and jellies}; a bouquet of flowers; 3 total yards of ribbon in 4 different varieties; a roll of wrapping paper, glue gun and scissors.

Here’s what I did:

glass jars

1. Collect and clean a bunch of glass jars. I love the variation of widths and heights of the different jar types but you can go for a more uniform look and stick with the same brands. Remove the labels and wash throughly.

ribbon on jar

2. Cut and glue the ribbon around the center of the jars. You can layer the ribbons as you’d like. I love the twine tied in the center of the thicker ribbons. My ribbon patterns were: multi-colored stripe, a 2″ burlap, white-on-white polka dot, and a thin green twine.

spring centerpiece detail 2

3. Cut and arrange your flowers as you like in the jars.

spring centerpiece 2

4. To construct the centerpiece, I used a roll of wrapping paper as a table runner. Then I arranged the jars in the center of the table, varying the position of the flower heights, colors and the ribbon patterns. I added some Easter touches like candy eggs, mini birds nests and colored egg holders – all of which I had as part of my Easter decorations.

spring centerpiece detail 1

This frugal centerpiece cost me under $20 including the flowers, ribbon, candy and wrapping paper table runner. And when my hydrangeas, tulips and peonies bloom outside, I can easily change up the look of this centerpiece for $0. I love that!

For more centerpiece ideas, check out my pinterest board here. Enjoy!

FREE printable Easter place cards

Easter place card detail 2

Add a festive touch to your Easter table with these FREE place cards I made. I had painted a small Easter egg watercolor last year and I have it in a frame in our kitchen. It’s simple and sweet. So I thought it would make a great image for place cards. I’m not sure what our Easter plans are right now but I’ll be prepared in case we’re hosting! And hopefully you can use these too!

Easter cards

To make your place cards, simply print out as many of my free printable place cards as you need – I always bring mine to Staples to print because they do such a great job and they can print on card stock. Using cardstock will make each card stand up better. Trim the cards then just stamp or write each person’s name in the space provided {I love the stamping option!}.

You can display these cards several different ways. Here are a few options:

card 2

Use as flat cards and insert them into a place card holder. Just trim the cards along the solid line and then trim off at the dotted line.

bunny place card holders

I bought these adorable bunny place card holders at Target. Gold & white. love.


Easter folded card detail

Use as folded tent cards by trimming them along the solid line and fold on the dotted line so they are free standing.

You can also add some unique touches. I added a strip of green felt {you could also use green paper} to the bottom of the cards. I just cut it to look like grass and glued it on each card. This adds a nice 3-dimensional element to the cards. Or incorporate something fun like a mini bird’s nest and some candy eggs. Place the card in or around the nest.

Easter folded card overview

Click here to download the free Easter place cards. Enjoy the place cards – however you choose to display them!

DIY tiered dessert tray

tiered tray finished

Happy spring everyone! Even though the weather in the Northeast is still so stinkin’ cold, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And I’ve been doing some spring DIY projects lately to help me move on from the awful winter we’ve had. If you missed them, check them out here:

newspaper & gold dipped eggs

no-sew Easter & spring pillow

burlap converted frame with calendar

With the warm weather and upcoming holidays, this seems to be a great time for get togethers with family & friends. So I have a quick DIY project that would work for any entertaining you may be doing this spring {or anytime really!}. Tiered dessert trays. Anyone can do this project. anyone. And It’s easy and cheap – two of my favorite DIY criteria!

Tiered dessert trays are great, versatile serving pieces for a party, holiday, or even a baby or wedding shower. Plus they can make any dessert – or appetizer – look so much better. I put cheap, store-bought cupcakes and cookies on mine and don’t they look more appealing on this cute tiered dessert tray than on a regular plate?

Here’s a list of the materials you need. You might even have these already…


- 3 different sized plates. I bought acrylic ones at Target, a dinner plate, a salad plate and a dessert plate. You can match your plates or mix them up. I liked the mixed up look and even changed the plate shapes.

- 2 candlesticks. These can be ceramic or glass. But I suggest they not be too wide so they don’t take up too much plate space. But they should be thick enough to be supportive. Mine are 3″ at the base and 1.5″ at the top and 6″ high.

- hot glue. My research suggested silicone adhesive or even gorilla glue but the hot glue seems to be holding fine for me. I don’t always have good luck with gorilla glue and I’ve never tried the silicone adhesive. But if you have trouble with hot glue, try one of those options.



1. With a pencil or sharpie, measure the center of the bottom plate and then mark where the outer edges of the bottom of the candlestick will go so it’s centered. Glue the first candlestick onto the center of the bottom plate. Let dry.

measure 2

2. Flip the bottom plate/candlestick over and measure the center of the middle plate and where the outer edges of the TOP of the candlestick will go. Glue the top of the candlestick to the center of the middle plate. Let dry.


3. Continue with the top plate and let the entire piece dry.

tiered tray detail 2

Oh-so-easy! And now you have a functional and adorable serving piece for your next party. And this piece cost me under $10. Not bad.

tiered tray detail

Now just fill with you favorite treats and enjoy!

no-sew Easter & spring pillow

easter pillow detail

I do not sew. Not even a little. Alright, maybe a button here and there but it’s not pretty. I so wish I could sew. My mom just gave me her sewing machine and I have looked into taking sewing classes but just haven’t taken the plunge yet.

I see ideas or projects that involve sewing and it makes me very jealous. For example, pillows. I love pillows and I think they are one thing that can really transform a room. I change mine depending on the season or holiday as much as I can. If I could make my own pillows I would be in heaven. I’ve seen pillows made with all sorts of materials including old jeans, T-shirts, burlap… with fun embellishments and trims. So someday I will learn to sew. But for now, I will just keep adding no-sew embellishments to existing pillows.

And since my home is desperately in need of some spring touches, I decided to “make” an Easter pillow that could also be used throughout the spring. I had done a bunny stencil last year and figured I could paint this on a roll of pink burlap and add that to a pillow I already had. But then I went to Target. And, oh their pillows… I found an adorable gray and white chevron outdoor/indoor pillow for $8. How could I pass that up? So my bunny stencil, pink burlap and my new gray and white chevron pillow. Bam! We have an Easter/spring pillow.


Here are the instructions for my no-sew Easter/spring pillow:


1. Download and print out my FREE bunny stencil. Click here to download. I provided 2 sizes of bunnies – I used the smaller one for this pillow. After you download and print, cut the bunny shape out with scissors or an Xacto knife.

pillow materials

2. Gather your other materials: white acrylic paint, a 1/2″ pom pom, a small paint brush, glue gun, scissors, buttons, thread & needle, and a 4″ burlap roll {I used pink burlap}. The roll works better than a piece of burlap because the edges won’t fray. But if you want a rougher more free-form look, go with a piece of burlap cut to your desired size.

cut burlap

3. Measure and cut the burlap so that it wraps around the entire pillow, adding about 3 more inches.

glue burlap trim

4. Fold over the trimmed burlap edge and glue a hem on it.

stencil painting 1

5. Mark where the bunny image is to go on the front and remove the burlap. Place a piece of scrap paper under the burlap and paint the bunny stencil on it in the correct position. To get a good image, I kept the stencil down with paper clips and also held the edges down while I painted. I used inward strokes with my paint brush to prevent the paint from bleeding. Burlap is rough and the image will not have perfect edges. That’s the beauty of it. But you might want to try the stencil on a piece of scrap burlap to get the hang of it. This is also why I didn’t glue the burlap piece on the pillow until after I painted the stencil – just in case I messed it up.

bunny pom pom tail

6. Glue the pom pom on the tail.

attaching burlap

7. After the paint dries completely, attach the burlap to the back of the pillow with the glue.

pillow back

8. Pull it tight and attach the hemmed edge with glue also. Be sure to use the glue sparingly – it can seep through the burlap and create big clumps.

sewing pillow buttons

9. Add 2 buttons to the back if you’re feeling it. I think this step adds a nice finishing touch and allows you to turn the pillow around for a more generic springtime version.

easter pillow done 1

pillow with buttons back

What do you think of my no-sew Easter/spring pillow? If you don’t feel like tackling a pillow project, here are a few other options for the bunny stencil. Enjoy!

all samples

gold dipped & newspaper Easter eggs

done 1

I am really loving the gold dipped trend. Click here to see my gold dipped step stool I just did for my kids bathroom. I figured I could do this technique on Easter eggs for a fun decoration.

I wanted to pair the gold with contrasting material so I went with something we all have around the house, newspapers. Black, white & gold – so classic and yet modern. And since I have so, so many of those plastic eggs from our annual Easter egg hunts, I thought they would be the perfect eggs to transform. If I made mistakes, I had plenty more to work with.


Plus the plastic eggs are already split in half – making the DIY dipped dyed look a little easier to achieve. Half of the eggs could be spray painted gold so they looked like they were dipped dyed and the other half could be decoupaged with the newspapers. Voila! Easy and cheap.

Here’s the step-by-step easy instructions to these pretty dipped dyed gold eggs:

decoupage eggs materials

1. Gather your materials: plastic Easter eggs, newspaper, decoupage glue, small paint brush, gold metallic spray paint & scissors.

2. tear off pieces of the newspaper into approximately 1/2″ pieces. I found that it was easier to decoupage the eggs with smaller newspaper pieces. I also only used pieces of newspaper that were black & white {no color printing} to keep that classic newspaper look.


3. Take apart the plastic eggs. Using a generous amount of the decoupage glue, attach the pieces of the newspaper to the outside surface of one half of the eggs with your paintbrush. If you’ve never decoupaged anything before, it’s a super easy and forgiving process. Spread a layer of glue under your peice you’re attaching then also paint the glue on top of the paper too. So it works like a glue and a protective coat or sealer. Be prepared though, it’s a messy job…


4. Continue to layer the small pieces of newspaper until you cover the entire outer surface of the egg halves. I used the scissors only to cut a straight edge for any pieces the lined up along the bottom of the egg halves. Normally, I would just wrap the newspaper around to the inside of the eggs. But since we are putting these eggs back together at the end, I didn’t want them to be too thick with newspaper that they didn’t fit together.

more decoupage

5. Let the decopaged eggs dry and if needed, fill in any areas with more newspaper.

spray paint

6. Meanwhile line up the opposite half of the eggs on a scrap piece of paper and spray a light coat of metallic gold on them. Add additional coats as needed. Let dry completely.

done 5

When eggs are dry, put halves back together and arrange them in a basket, a bowl or however you want to display your oh-so-trendy plastic eggs.

done 3

I got this ceramic egg crate at Anthropologie a few years ago. Find a similar one here. I love it! When it’s not Easter time, I use it as a jewelry holder.


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