• Organization & Storage,  Printables

    Free 2016 Printable Calendar & Planners

    It seems like 2015 has been a whirlwind of a year. (Although, I hear as you age the years tend to get more whirlwind-ish!) With all of life’s chaos, I’m sure I’m not the only one who needs a little help making sure things go smoothly. So today, I’m sharing a way to get things under control. Check out our Free 2016 Printable Calendar & Planners and get a jump start on planning your year!

    2016 Printable Calendar & Planners

    Who doesn’t want a free printable calendar? I love the combination of pretty fonts and simple graphics this one offers. Plus, you really can’t go wrong with my favorite color combo of black and white. (See how I decorate with black and white in the fall home tour post.)

    2016 Calendar Months

    In addition to the regular annual calendar, I’ve included a few more goodies. There’s a Weekly Planner…

    Monthly Weekly Planner

    A Menu Planner and Shopping List…

    Menu Planner Shopping List

    And a Bill Pay Checklist. (All of which will work great in conjunction with our command center.)

    Bill Pay Checklist

    I even added a pretty front cover page to make gifting this freebie a breeze! Wrap the set up with some pretty ribbon or send it off to your local print shop to have it printed and bound.

    2016 Printable Calendar & Planners

    If you are looking for a way to get your life more organized in 2016, this is a great way to start! Simply click the link below to download.

    Printable Calendar

    Download your free 2016 Printable Calendar & Planners.

    Want to see more where this came from? Check out the Printables Gallery!

    All of our printables are currently FREE for download for personal use only. However, this is subject to change in the future, so snag them at no cost while you still can! (View Terms of Use.)

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  • Home Decor,  Neat & Tidy,  Organization & Storage,  Printables

    Create a Simple and Functional Command Center

    With both of my kids in school this year, it was finally time to figure out some sort of organizational system for all of our paperwork. Not that we aren’t organized normally. However, with two rugrats bringing home enough paper to equal half of a rain forest worth of trees, we needed something that would keep everything in check. Enter the command center…

    Create a Simple and Functional Command Center

    This post contains affiliate links for convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure.

    Over the years, I have seen some pretty amazing command centers.

    These spaces are usually centrally located in the home and contain everything needed to keep the household running smoothly. Stuff like calendars, clocks, chalkboards, bulletin boards, binders, folders, files, menu planners, and the list goes on. I knew that I didn’t have room for all of that business (just a tiny wall in our kitchen). So I had to figure out how to create a simple and functional command center in a small space.

    To cover the basics, I ordered all of our main command center pieces from Ikea. (Ikea didn’t compensate us for any of this; we just really liked the price and how the pieces came together.)

    Command Center Organization Station

    Our calendar is something I whipped up and had printed as an engineering print (18″x24″) at our local print shop. I placed it in a large Ribba frame (19 3/4 x 27 1/2) with the mat. We can write all of the important stuff we have coming up on the front of the plexiglass and erase it with ease. Hopefully, this will keep us from forgetting dance or soccer practice and all of the things that we need to be available for.

    Dry Erase Calendar

    I’ve included the PDF file for the calendar, in case you would like to print your own. Click the image below to get yours now!

    All of our printables are currently FREE for download for personal use only. (View Terms of Use.)

    Calendar Printable

    To organize all of our papers and bills, I ordered the Kvissle Wall Magazine Rack. Each of the kids gets one slot for important school papers. The rest are designated for bills, other mail, and etc., which holds blank paper for note taking and a weekly calendar for menu planning.

    Hanging File

    I placed a cork board (painted with white paint to make stripes) in another smaller Ribba frame so that we can hang up any little bits of fun or info we have until we can file them.

    Painted Cork Board

    All of the colored dry erase markers are corralled in a small canning jar, along with a few extra pencils, and placed on the counter for easy access.

    Marker Pencil Holder

    This little wall in our kitchen has turned out to have a huge impact on our family organization and I am feeling a lot less anxiety with this system in place.

    IMG_8807Do you have a family command center? How do you keep organized during the school year? We would love to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below!

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  • Build It Yourself,  Home Decor,  Organization & Storage

    Wire Mesh Pin Board

    Pinterest is a big deal. If you haven’t explored the many different pins and quickly become addicted to looking at pretty pictures and organizing them into neat little boards, then you are definitely missing out. However, when you are a sweet little 9 year old, like my daughter, Pinterest is something for the ol’ folks, because honestly, you are just too innocent to have to experience some of the randomness that pops up on the internet. So, to give our daughter a way to collect and display her own creative and pretty photos, my husband and I created a pin board out of wire mesh (aka hardware cloth, aka square chicken wire.)

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 1

    After a trip to the local hardware store to gather supplies, we quickly started putting everything together. We bought four 36″ x 2″ x 1/2″ pieces of craft board for the frame and hubby used a hand saw and miter saw box to cut the boards on a 45° angle, so the corners would meet up nicely.

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 2

    Next, he cut some hardware cloth a little smaller than the outer dimensions of our frame.

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 3

    Then, it was my turn. Since we couldn’t find any galvanized wire mesh at the store with reasonable dimensions (hello, we didn’t need 50 feet,) we went with the green coated stuff. I placed the cut piece on top of a drop cloth and coated it with a few layers of white spray paint to match the frame, which I also painted white.

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 4

    Once everything was dry, it was time to piece it all together. We found some corner braces that reminded me of something you might see on campaign furniture, so I opted to put them on the front of the frame and give it that same type of look.

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 5

    Lastly, using a staple gun, I attached the painted wire mesh to the back of the frame, stretching and pulling it, as best as I could, to get it to lay flat. (It still is a bit bumpy/wavy, but works perfectly for our needs.)

    Here it is up on the wall, doing its duty. Not doody. Because that would be gross.

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 8

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 6

    I grabbed a handful of paper clips to attach a few pretties to the board. I’ve seen clothes pins used in a similar manner, but probably any sort of small clips would work.

    Wire Mesh Pin Board 7

    Buying a regular, old bulletin board would have probably been easier, but isn’t this one so much cooler?

  • Crafts,  Organization & Storage,  Painting Projects

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 1

    This project is not any sort of revolutionary new item. People have covered boxes with fabric before and the new rage of dipping baskets into paint is all over the web and in stores. But I may be 1/4 genius for combining the two together. Ok, maybe 1/16.

    We needed some sort of storage containers for our closet and I wanted them to have that cool dipped basket look. Since spending a ton of money on storage that will ultimately be shoved behind closed doors seemed a bit silly, I obviously chose the DIY route. (Is there any other way?!?) And these puppies needed to fit several criteria:

    1. They had to be cheap. Duh.
    2. They had to be easy.
    3. They had to be neutral.

    I wanted the storage to blend in and not scream “Here I am. Look at me!” even though they were going to be locked up in the closet. Yes, for some reason, I still cared what they looked like.

    Since I had several diaper boxes in the recycling, they naturally became my storage containers of choice for the fabulous price of FREE. In addition, I gathered some ivory colored burlap (super cheap) and had white paint in the garage, which I would use later.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 2

    I started by cutting off the top flaps of my box and duct taping the holes where the handles were, as well as covering the hole in the bottom. This just made wrapping everything with fabric so much easier.

    Next, I measured my box, starting on one side and going around the bottom to the other side, to figure out the width of my fabric. I also repeated this for the opposite sides. For a Pampers size 4 diaper box, my fabric measurements were 30″ x 38″ after I added 3 inches to both to allow for overlap on the top of the box.

    (You can see here that my box is painted white. This is because the teal color of the box and the word Pampers could be seen through my fabric. If your fabric is darker or thicker you probably won’t have this problem. Or if you don’t care, you probably won’t have this problem either. *wink* )

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 3

    Next, I placed my fabric on ground and centered my box on top of it. I used scissors to cut squares out of the corners with about an inch of allowance where the corners would meet.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 4

    Then, I pulled the two longer sides up and hot glued them to the inside of the box along the edges.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 5

    This next part doesn’t have to be perfect by any means. Using scissors, I snipped in on an angle to the corner of the box, doing this for all four corners.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 6

    You can see here how wonky my angles are, but it worked out regardless. Each small edge was then folded in and glued to the ends of the box.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 7

    After that came more folding and gluing. I creased the edges of the end pieces in and lifted them up to make sure that they were lined up with the corners of the box. They were, so I glued along each folded seam and then pulled the top over and secured it to the inside of the box.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 8

    Here is the fabric box all finished.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 9

    For the paint dipped effect, I taped all the way around the box, about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 10

    Then, I just used a paint brush to apply paint on that lower portion. After letting it dry for about 20 minutes, it was ready to go.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 11

    This project probably took about an hour total, but that included initially painting the diaper box, cutting, folding, gluing, painting, drying and taking pictures of the process along the way. Not too bad if you ask me! And as far as cost goes, since I already had the box and paint, I think it ended up being less than $2.

    Paint Dipped Box Baskets 12

    I know that these still look boxy, but I like that the texture and color of the burlap help everything feel a little more like a basket. What do you think?