Tag Archive: Crafts

Sep 15

It’s All in the Details

As I mentioned before, I had so much fun decorating for Charlotte’s first birthday party! I figure that this is probably the first and last party that I get to determine the theme, so I made sure to have a great time planning for it. I want to remember all that went in to that day, so I thought I’d document some of the details that went into making it so special.


I asked Eric’s Mom for photos of him when he was one. She sent me the sweetest snapshots! He was (and still is) such a cutie! I displayed both of our one year pictures for people to compare how Charlotte looks to us at the same age. baby pictures decorations I drew inspiration from one of my favorite blogs, Sugar Bee Crafts (who also happens lives close to us! holla), for these massive prints of Charlotte’s One Year photos. I had them printed at Office Max for a whopping $3.57. They’re 24×36 prints and I mounted them on insulation board from Hobby Lobby ($2.50 each). It was the easiest and fastest project ever, and I can’t believe how well they turned out. Everyone thought they were canvas prints. Several people commented on how expensive they must’ve been. They were shocked when I told them that they were in fact quite cheap! I’ll be putting them up on the walls of her playroom soon. back porch decorationsfront porch decorationsI set out the Shutterfly photo books I’ve made for her over the year, as well as the scrapbook my Mom has made of her life thus far! She is such a crafty lady! dining room decorationsFor food, we did snacks and drinks. I found the cute chalkboard tags at TJ Maxx (top 5 favorite places to shop!). drinks decorationsisland decorationsThe kiddos at the party received party favors, which were coloring books, crayons and a little tag thanking them for coming to the party. favors decorations My Mom made this amazing Happy Birthday bunting banner. It was the perfect “vintage chic” touch!happy birthday bunting decorations lets party sign decorationsBrandon was so nice to hang out with the birthday girl while I ran around making the final touches. It was even during the Nebraska game….and if you know anything about Brandon, you know that holding a fussy baby during the game was quite a sacrifice. That’s a super guy for ya! mantle decorationsI printed Charlotte’s month-by-month photos and displayed them in a banner for everyone to see how much she’s grown and changed!  month by month photos decorations present table decorations


Finally, i needed an extra special way to thank everyone for being a part of Charley’s big day…and her first year as a whole. I created some amazing thank you cards at Treat, a branch of Shutterfly whom I adore and use on a monthly basis for photo printing and book making. I was super excited to give Treat’s cards a try, and of course loved them!



IMG_0004They’re beautiful, personalized, and super high quality. I see lots of fun card-making in the future!


Hope everyone has a great week 🙂

May 18

How to Paint a Hutch. Drab to Fab for under $100!!

Whew, this post has been a long time coming. We bought this amazing hutch on Craigslist for $80!   What a steal that was.  With such a good find, it was the perfect opportunity to teach myself how to paint a hutch.  I have to admit, we’ve kind of become Craigslist pros with this move to Kansas. We were able to buy brand new kitchen appliances for $1,000 less than Nebraska Furniture Mart quoted us (same exact models), our nursery furniture (more on that later!), and a riding lawn mower. Score, score and score! There really is a sense of accomplishment when getting a great deal on something that completes a space, or lawn in the case of the mower.

This hutch has a purpose in our new house. First of all, we had the perfect space for a large piece of furniture, and secondly, I was wanting a place to display all of my pretty platters and bowls that I rarely use. It’s also been a great way to store some extra things that we don’t necessarily want displayed but need to access, like chargers, batteries, etc.


Let’s get to the fun stuff. Refinishing this hutch was a lot of fun and is a piece we will have in our home forever. We’re in love with it!How to Paint a Hutch: Fireside Dreamers

To start with, here’s a list of items you will need to complete a furniture re-do like this:

You’ll Need:
Solid wood hutch
Paint- we used Glidden with primer
Electric sander (or muscles and heavy grit sand paper)
Spray paint- black
A wood finisher- I used Howard Citrus-Shield Wax
Good paint brushes and rollers
Screw driver


This is how we bought the hutch. It’s cute…but it definitely needed some love.

hutch before

And this is the paint that we used. You definitely don’t need to use this brand, but I would suggest a paint with primer in it. It makes application much, much easier. Glidden paint  The first step was to remove all the hardware, drawers and doors.

taking off hardwaredoors, sanded

Then I used the trusty Shop Vac to clean the sucker up.

shop vac

I used the sander on literally every surface- top, inside, sides, drawers, and doors

sanded surfacesanding the hutch

And we used this black, satin Krylon spray paint for all of the hardware. Krylon spray paintOnce it was all sanded, I wiped the whole hutch down with a microfiber cloth before painting. I wanted to make sure there wasn’t any dust left behind that would show up in the white paint.

Wiping off the surfaceLet the painting begin!

IMG_5966One coat of paint

I will admit, this project took a whopping three coats of paint. Let’s just say I wanted it to be perfect, so the third coat may or may not have been necessary. It definitely gives it the finished, professional look I was going for. Door with 3 coats of paint Indoor paint stationIt was finally time to put the hardware back on…

Eric adding hardware

I knew that the finished product was going to to need a good sealant to keep all of those scratches and marks at bay. I decided to go the natural route and used a wood wax.
To apply this wax, I used a clean cloth. I started out with a thin coat of it to see how it applied. I used the most wax on the top since it will be getting the most wear and tear. On the rest of the hutch, I just applied a thin coat of wax.
Paste Wax

And this is the bottom half, done!

Eric worked on the top half of the hutch while I was gone one afternoon, so we no pictures of that process. BUT, I will assure you, he followed the exact same process as I outlined above. We decided to take off the glass doors that came with it originally, so he patched the holes with some wood filler.

Bottom Half


Now, to go along with my Spring Cleaning segment, I’ll show you how I spruced up the inside of the hutch to make it functional for our family! Drawer Lined 2

I used contact paper from the Dollar Tree to line the drawers.
The I used these little plastic baskets (also from the Dollar Tree) to separate our chargers. Each one gets a clothespin label to specify what device it belongs to (see how I organized our electronics here).
Drawer lined

The drawers aren’t totally full yet, which I’m actually loving. I’m sure once the babe gets here, we’ll acquire more things that will be stored in the hutch. Drawer Liner Hutch and Accent Chair

The decorations are a constant work in progress. I find myself changing things up almost on a daily basis. I’m sure the theme will be ever-evolving with the season and my mood.  Hutch decorating Top Half of Hutch


Bottom Half decorated copy

And just as a reminder.

Hutch Before: How to paint a Hutch

Final Product!


Hutch most recent


So, that’s not so scary, right? I think that the idea of refinishing a piece of furniture can be daunting. Hopefully this how to paint a hutch tutorial took some of the guess work out of it and gave you the inspiration you needed to get started on your own piece!


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Jan 27

DIY Barnwood Command Center

This “Command Center” project was one of the biggest/coolest projects that I’ve worked on.  I will be the first to admit that neither Kelli nor I were the masterminds behind the planning. Instead, we were only the vehicle for making it happen.  I have to give all the kudos to my former Cabela’s Training Team for this crafty idea!!


As you can see, their plans created quite the workplace organization command center, plus it helps add a little bit of character to the boring office environment. The command center consists of 4 total boards which are each 30”X42”.

Each board has its own purpose, including a metal backing only for general notes/to dos, corkboard for pinning things, chalkboard because everyone likes a chalkboard, and finally a calendar so nobody misses their dates.

Now that you’ve seen the final product, let’s see how it was all done.  Our hope is that this will provide inspiration to you or anyone in your office to use your imagination and creativity to make that boring workplace a little more enjoyable and fun.

Building Command Center

If you’ve noticed one thing about any of our posts using wood is that we discovered a great source of weathered-style barnwood.  Our first use for this barnwood was in our shelf post which you can check out here.  It’s a pretty neat example of turning something that was going to the dump into a lot of unique items.

Framing is simple as long as you aren’t looking for perfection.  Because I used barnwood, I’m actually looking for anything except perfection.   The thing that makes barnwood great is that the wood is supposed to have character. We want to see nail holes, divots, warping, etc…

Building Command CenterOnce I had figured out that I wanted to make frames out of the barnwood. I went and bought a frame maker (roughly $20) from Home Depot.  It helps in keeping the frame corners lining up correctly.  For this project, I also used 8 l brackets on the back of each frame because of the amount of weight that was going to be held.

Building Command CenterHere is the final look of the frame.  I think these are just the coolest looking things.  Now onto working on the back of the frame so I can put the center pieces in each one.

Building Command CenterBuilding Command Center

In the above pictures I am routering the inner part on the back of the frame.  I’m using something called a rabbit bit to make this happen.  I had to do a little bit of research to figure out the exact tool to make this happen.  I’m still not quite sure why it’s called a rabbit bit.

For each of the frames that I used a metal front I used construction glue to adhere it to a wood backing to help keep the metal flat.

Building Command Center

This was also my first run in with chalkboard paint.  I personally thought the chalkboard framed piece was the coolest out of all of them.  I mean, who doesn’t love a chalkboard? Sspecially framed in barnwood?!?!  Here’s how I made that happen.chalkboard paint

I used Rustoleum’s Chalkboard paint in the making of the chalkboard.  It went on really easy and finished just like a chalkboard should look.

Chalkboard PaintChalkboard PaintThe next board that I put together was the corkboard.  This one was probably the easiest out of the 4 boards.  I was able to get 1ft X 1ft pieces of corkboard and just use the same adhesive I used on the board to glue them on the piece of board.

Building Command Center

The final step was to combine the two pieces (the frame and the middle board.)  Here I also used the construction adhesive in the joint that I rabbit routered.  I know that’s not correct, but its fun to say. Say that one 5 times fast.

Building Command CenterYou will also noticed that I use tiny brackets on the back to help support in keeping the middle piece on the frame.

Building Command Center

After the glue dried for each one I was finally done.  Drum roll please……..I present the organization board/ Cabela’s Command Center.

barnwood Framed Corkboard barnwood framed metal barnwood framed chalkboard


board with blur


DIY Command Center

This was a fun, challenging, and quite rewarding project.  It was great to be able to partner with the awesome Cabela’s Training Team and put these together for the them.  They’re a very creative bunch of gals and they are greatly missed!  Since building these, Kelli and I have since relocated closer to home for us.  We now call the Topeka, KS/Lawrence, KS area home.  Oh, how I do miss the fun times I had with the Cabela’s crew and all of our friends in Sidney!!!!

Until the next project.  Enjoy and go build something!


PS **minor plug alert** If you do live in the Kansas City/ Salina/ Wichita KS triangle and you would like one of these made especially for you, email us at firesidedreamers@gmail.com and we will see what we can do for you.

Mar 07

Spring Cleaning: Cord Organizing

Let spring cleaning begin!

For some odd reason, I’ve been obsessed with organizing and redecorating lately….hence my current re-painting of our bedroom (pictures to come soon!) and re-organization of pretty much the whole house.
I constantly have a battle with our basket of cords every time I go to find something. Of course, I’m usually in a hurry and end up cursing at the basket. SO, that needed to end. In order to do that, I had to figure out how to label each cord so that I could easily find what I needed. I settled on using clothespins, and I think it worked pretty perfectly.

Check it out:

This is just half of the cord mess. I was too embarrassed to show you the whole slew of cords we’ve acquired over the years. It’s ridiculous. But NOW, each cord is neatly labeled and clasped together with a clothespin! It’s amazing how something little like this can make life so much easier!

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