Sunday, April 13, 2014

Outdoor Chalkboard tutorial...sort of

Have you seen the outdoor chalkboards on pinterest?? I love them! I am that mean mom that really cringes when the kids want to get out sidewalk chalk. It gets on feet and bottoms and stays on the driveway for a lifetime. Well, until it rains anyway. I decided our kids needed a chalkboard in the back yard and so far it has been a huge hit! Here is a basic outline of what we did:

Supplies you will need are
-a piece of plywood with a smooth finish (ours was 4x8 and cost $15)
-black EXTERIOR paint (We bought Valspar outdoor flat in kettle black $10/qt)
-unsanded grout (We found ours on clearance as a busted bag and paid $5 for a giant amount. You will only need about 1/2 cup and it will cost you less than $10)- I don't have a recipe I just googled and experimented
-1x4s for the frame (nicer molding is available but we are cheap and it cost us $4 total)
-colored EXTERIOR paint for the trim ($10 but you have a TON left)

We wanted our chalkboard to take up the width of the fence panels so the 4x8 was a perfect size for us! If you want to make yours smaller, its a simple cut. We mixed unsanded grout with our paint and then rolled it on (*** see the what we did wrong section to not make the same mistake here***) until the board was covered. A quart really is enough for 2 coats but we ended up buying 2 and doing 3 coats because I screwed up the first one.

While this is drying--which happens so fast--- you will want to cut your trim and paint it. Andy used a miter saw to make the angled cuts at 45 degrees. We used a fun bright blue (nautical something by valspar) because we plan to use the same color for the playhouse door in a few weeks and on our tire swing (tutorial to come soon!). We wanted it all to tie together.

Once all the paint is dry, Andy screwed the plywood section onto the fence posts themselves and then we attached the trim using other screws. Another option would be to use liquid nail to attach the trim and then hang the whole piece. He wanted to do it this way and it worked well for us. I plan to sew a pennant banner to hang on the chalkboard just to make it more fun but that will come later!

All in all, it was a cheap project that was quick to throw together and has been used SO much already. The kids are loving it!

What we did wrong------

First thing I screwed up was the way I didn't mix the grout in very well. This caused clumpiness and a weird finish that we had to sand down and paint over. On our second try, we mixed the grout in gradually and used the mixing attachment for Andy's drill (only $4 for this tool). It made such a difference! This made the finish smooth and the paint went so much further!

MEASURE, CHECK, MEASURE, MEASURE, CUT! As you can see in the pic of Rylie jumping rope, there was a mis-measure on one side and we had to buy a new board. Ultimately the project required 3 trips to lowes, that could've been avoided, but it is finished now and was worth the hassle.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A work in progress--- and a FREEBIE

I am obviously not a professional blogger since I haven't updated in forever...cough... October 31... cough. But, I am back with another free printable for Valentine's day. I can not say this is an original idea, as I have seen it on pinterest here and there. Moment of honesty... my oldest daughter's room has been a work in progress since we purchased our home a couple of years ago. I was 7 months pregnant so the nursery took priority since it was a currently unoccupied room. I love how it turned out (you can see a couple of pictures here), but by the time the baby came and we got our house in livable condition--- it was a foreclosure--- bedrooms kind of fell off of the radar.

Here are a few pictures of rooms that are my inspiration for Ry's room makeover.

Aren't they perfect?? I love the gallery walls and the ruffled bedding. Here is where I get more embarassed. I have had fabric purchased and laying in piles for MONTHS to make a ruffled throw. Ya, it isn't anywhere near finished. And I have a weird collection of frames in the top of the closet that are all empty. Every time I get them out and do a mock-up of the lay out, I end up thinking "I need to buy xyz" "I really should make abc for this one". My Mom recently purchased a chandelier for her room. I am pleased to say it did end up installed a mere two days after purchase! This brings me to my point--- a free Valentine's Day printable. I plan to stick it in one of the cute frames that will maybe someday go on a fabulous gallery wall. Fun fact: Rylie was born on Valentine's Day so it is only appropriate. Maybe you can put it on your mantle or give it to a teacher. It is so cute I am sure you can find a place for it! 

Follow this link to download your free printable. 
And check back in to see progress of the room that may or may not be finished before she moves out. Here are a few (bad quality-don't judge because I am crafty NOT a photog) pictures of projects that have actually been completed for her room. 

See?!?!? INSTALLED chandelier! I wish I had a before pic here because you could fully appreciate the change. Picture with me now dirty white ceiling fan from 1991. Now you get it, right? 

This^^^ one of my favorites. You should see it in action. It is a lighted marquee that has several different light settings making a really fun display item. Our house has weird coves built into two of the bedrooms. I hate them because its just another forgotten place to dust. But, now hers has a purpose!

And finally, a ruffled bolster pillow. These are the fabrics I am (eventually) using for the ruffled throw at the foot of the bed. It will be so cute when it is finished. Thanks for reading along and enjoy the printable!!

**UPDATE** I wanted to show a pic of the wall in progress and say that I attached 2 ruffles today. Maybe I will have the room done by June... maybe!

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Today is the last day of October. That means it is mere weeks until Thanksgiving which I happen to love as much as Christmas. Maybe more. It is the one time every year that my family has always made it a priority to see one another. We are spread out all over from Maine (where my uncle just purchased the Black Boar Inn-- check it out-- Fabulous and historical!) to North Carolina and all the way to me, here in good old Indiana). We have a lot of fun together, and the time we all have with one another gets less and less as we get older and more busy.
Anyway, I love Thanksgiving. And this year I feel I have to ton to be thankful for. Besides my beautiful babies (have you seen how cute they are?!?!) and sweet husband, Remmy & Co has kept me fairly busy and I have loved watching it grow steadily. That brings me to the freebie!!! As with Halloween, I went hunting for a free printable that would work in my small 4x6 frame with no luck. All the beautiful things out there are made for 8x10 or 5x7 so it was time to make my own! It is simple but has quatrefoil so what isn't to love??

Here is the link for you to download it. I hope your holidays are filled with love... and food, of course. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Flags and Fall

I love October. SO much. The cooler air, the leaves, the fact that a hoodie can be totally appropriate attire and pumpkin everything. It also means the best time of year is right around the corner- Holidays! Anyway, I had a lovely friend ask me to make her a burlap yard flag that she had seen. I was happy to do it and when I posted a pic on my facebook page, Remmy & Co,  they were quite a hit! She loves monograms probably more than I do and has great taste! Her flag is super cute and I wanted one of my own. I am selfish like that when it comes to cute things.
I had been inspired this fall porch I pinned on Pinterest last year and an orange version of this yard flag would complete the look! 
I love her door so much. And I just want to sit on the rocking chair and enjoy what I imagine is a great view. My attempt at re-creating this included a monogram my mother in law bought me last Christmas. It took 10 months for me to put it to good use (what a shame!) but it worked perfectly!
Here is my yard flag as well-- you can get one custom made for you in the colors you like for only $20 at Remmy & Co

I love custom orders like this one---
Happy fall y'all! 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Craft Show Virgin

I am getting ready to do my first craft show with my friend, Megan. I have never stepped foot in a craft show and had never even googled one prior to a few days ago when she asked me to do it. I am SO excited about it! Of course, I went to pinterest (yes, I use it so much it makes every blog post. Deal with it) and was browsing pictures of booths and great advice on how-to. I think it is super hard to decide what to make/bring along. Knowing what the customer will like. Who the demographic is at each show. How many of each item to bring along... there is a lot of thought and prep that goes into this. I totally respect ladies that are craft show vets! I can't wait to join in on the fun!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Halloween Printable

I love using seasonal printables to decorate my mantle. They are cheap and adorable (so what isn't to love amiright?) and easy to find on good old pinterest. After taking down the decor from Cohen's Superhero Party, I wanted to get Halloween festive and fill up my now empty frames. I had pinned a few really cute printables (you can see my printable pinterest board here full of my favorite freebies), but most of them were optimized for an 8x10 size frame. I had only a 5x7 and 4x6 that needed something so I decide I would bust out my computer and my cricut and get to work! 

For the 5 by 7, I wanted a black pumpkin (that I will later switch out to be burlap for Thanksgiving) on orange paper. I cut the shape, matted it and stuck it in the frame to get this--- You can purchase this already framed with optional monogram from my facebook page Remmy & Co
Then I was left with the 4 by 6. I knew I wanted some kind of words but the frame was too small to accommodate busy subway art that I am normally drawn to. So, you'll never guess where I looked for a Halloween font--- pinterest--- shocked? I found this pin and came up with a printable I would like to share with you! To get the free download of the "Boo" printable just click here and download! 

I have a blank frame waiting for a print from the family photos we just had done recently and a couple of pictures I need to swap out for seasonally appropriate ones as well as a burlap banner that needs a little embellishing still. But, my fall mantle is coming together! Hope you love the printable as much as I do! 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Super(hero) Party

It amazes me how kids can become fixated on certain characters so easily. My oldest loves loves loves Princesses. Did I say loves... because I meant mildly (totally) obsessed. Last year, Cohen was a fan of Mickey and then he decided that he is half boy half hulk. I don't know what made him switch gears, but it meant I got to plan a super hero party so I was totally happy with it! Talk about an easy party to create. Primary colors and basic shapes all mixed and matched made for such a fun looking atmosphere! I started by browsing both Pinterest and Etsy for invitation ideas and eventually realized I would have to just attempt my own. It seemed like a city skyline was the way to go so I googled a picture and came up with my own version.
For the font, I went to my favorite font site ( where I can always find a fabulous FREE font --- I love free---- and downloaded one called ba da boom. It was so comic-bookish! Next up, I wanted to find some thrifty ways to have a perfect day. Lots of parties on pinterest had city buildings made of boxes. I wanted to do a photo booth with big boxes made into buildings, but our weather didn't cooperate for that to happen out doors. I purchased tissue paper ($1.24 per pack at Target aka my favorite place on earth) and a large yellow poster board and got to work. I used these boxes as the center piece and as cupcake stands etc. 
Then my friend, Taylor, told me about a big project board she was using to create a skyline for her son's birthday. I loved that idea so much. So, I went to Michael's and picked up a blue project board for a whopping $3 and a 2 pieces of black poster board for about $1.70. Using more of the yellow poster board, I made windows and then put the finished product in our fireplace cutout to start decorating the mantle. I bought a primary color pennant banner (.97 at walmart --- which I avoid at all costs normally) and borrowed my brother in law's comic book art for the weekend. I also used my cricut to make basic framed art that went with the theme in frames I already had. It was super cheap and easy. I think it made for a great center piece in the living room. 
I decided to do bubbles as the party favors (another great dollar store find) and wanted to create a label for them. That printable is featured for free here
An idea I loved but didn't execute well was making the kids lightning bolt crayons to take with them. I failed to remember goody bags (so frustrating!) and had to send some home in ziplocs. Haha. I grabbed the molds a few months ago and used a bag of old crayons to melt them down. I printed out a printable sign that said "POW" and put it around an existing glass vase I had to display them. Again, super cheap and easy! 

For their activity, each child made a mask. It suited both genders and a variety of ages. We really had a fun time! Here are some more pics of the day. Thanks for reading along!