Sunday, October 31, 2010

Gift wrap and ribbon organization wall

I've stashed gift wrapping supplies in various closets throughout our house over the years.  Of course, I'd forget where it was when I needed it and ended up picking up more.  Not anymore!

Jake and I took an awkward, unused space and gave it a purpose last weekend.  I'm sure you know where this is going...
Holy ribbon, Batman!



Want to make your own organizer wall?  It's super easy!  To make one exactly like this here's what you'll need:
- Empty wall space that's about 10 feet wide and at least 2 feet tall
- (2) 4ft long decorative accent railing (16 little spindles on each piece)
- (8) 4ft long dowels
- (16) 3ft long dowels
- (8) anchors and screws
- Drill
- Mitre saw, mitre box, or jig saw
- Level
- Pretty papers and ribbons galore!

Step 1: Gather all your supplies.

When you select your dowel diameters consider your ribbon spool hole sizes and the width of your sections.  I underestimated my diameters and ended up returning several dowels for thicker ones because the ribbon spool holes were bigger than I thought and I didn't like how some dowels sagged in the middle under the weight of the ribbon.  We ended up using a dozen 3/8" dowels with a mix of 1/4", 5/16", and 1/2" dowels for the rest.

Make sure all your dowels are straight at the store.  We also returned some dowels for this reason .

Step 2: Cut each 4ft railing into two 2ft pieces.  You should have four 2ft pieces with 8 little spindles on each piece.

Step 3: Measure and mark you walls for where you want to install the railing vertically.  We placed ours so there is a couple of inches of dowel overhang on each side.  Make sure you're staying level as you go.

Step 4: Install the wall anchors (if needed), pre-drill holes in the railing, cut about 1 inch off the railing opposite the drilled hole (this will give you room to screw the railing into the wall), line up the anchor and drilled holes, and screw the railing into the wall anchors.  Repeat until all four railing pieces are hung vertically and check that everything is level from piece to piece.

Step 5: Put the dowel rods in place and load it up with your ribbons and gift wrap!  .  The dowels for the middle section sit on the wall side of the little spindles and the dowels for the right/left sides sit on the front end of the spindles.

Here's are a few more after shots!  :)  Notice how we made the middle section wider than the other two sections to accommodate wide gift wrap?  I'm going to stack some shelving like this under the left side to store tissue paper, gift bags, bows, greeting cards, etc.

I added scissors, tape, and gift tags too.

I couldn't be happier with the results!  I enjoy wrapping gifts and using copious amounts of ribbon so this will be put to good use.  There's something therapeutic about creating a pretty package for someone else.

If you give this a try, please let us know.  We'd love to see how it turns out for you!

Click here to see parties we'll be mingling at this week.

See the The Nester's 31 Days to a Less Messy Nest series and her What's Your Secret? party for more organization tips.


Friday, October 29, 2010

120 Halloween bags later...

Back in my trick or treating days (many more years ago than I care to realize) my favorite items to receive were Reeses peanut butter cups, Necco wafers, and little treat bags.  I liked the mystery of what could be inside and anticipated getting home to rip them open.  This is the sixth Halloween that I've made treat bags for the kids in our neighborhood.  We have a city lot (under one tenth of an acre!) and we get a good amount of trick or treaters despite the cool October temperatures in Maine.  Kids here have been known to wear their costumes over snow suits!

I spread my supplies out on the coffee table and got to work.  This year I used a chocolates mini mix (3 musketeers, milky way, snickers, and twix), dum dums, smarties, tootsie rolls, jawbreakers, stickers, skull rings, and plastic creatures.  I ended up using another bag of creatures and dum dum pops that aren't shown.

Here's the finished product.  I tossed the remaining candy in our Halloween bowl and we've got backup fun size kit kats (one of Jake's favorites) in case we run out of everything else.  :)

They wouldn't fit in the candy bowl so I've tossed them in our picnic basket for the time being.  As I mentioned in my last Halloween post, we put the honesty candy bowl out and the kids can take as many treat bags.  This is in exchange for them not ringing our doorbell and getting our dogs riled up.  I just refill the candy bowl every half hour and the arrangement is a win-win for everyone.  This will be the sixth Halloween and no one has stolen the bowl or done any 'tricks' on our house yet.  :)

Have a safe and happy Halloween!

P.S. Melissa, your brother and I are watching Supernatural Season 4 disc 2 this weekend in honor of Halloween.  It includes Monster Movie (the black and white episode with the shapeshifter), Yellow Fever (Dean is haunted then Jensen Ackles performs Eye of the Tiger in the end credits - too funny!), and It's the Great Pumpkin, Sam Winchester.  Did you know there is a Dean Winchester calendar?

Join  us Saturdays at for the weekend  wrap    up           party!

Show Us Your Life - Guest Rooms

Kelly's Korner hosts a weekly Show Us Your Life series and this week's topic is Guest rooms!  We currently have two of our five bedrooms setup for guests so I'll share both today.

The main guest room is actually the house's master bedroom.  We moved into our guest room in January because it's sunnier.  Now we call this room the "master bedroom, er, I meant guest room.  Ugh.  You know the aqua one." most of the time.

Jake repainted this room from 'bonjour beige' to these pretty aqua colors in spring 2009 for my birthday.  I love color and Jake's an enabler.  :)  

Did  you notice our subtle accent wall behind the bed?  It's simply two shades darker than the other walls.

 We switched the rooms in January but I still use the walk-in closet in here.  Yup, there's a (small to today's standards) walk-in closet in our 1892 house!  Oh happy day!  I'd show it to you but we're in the middle of reconfiguring it.  No peeking!

This room has one of two old radiators in our house.  We've considered making radiator covers for them but there are so many other things on our to-do list.

The bed frame and dresser in here were thrifty finds.

Here's a closeup of the texture on the art above the bed.  It doesn't translate well on camera but I like the warmth it brings to the room in person.  

Max and Brewster like to sneak in here and lounge around.  From these photos I'm sure you'll understand why Jake calls her "Jumbo" and why we decided to get a king bed this year! :)

Let's take a quick stop by the next room.  Our secondary guest room is called "the blue room" around here.  As you'll see it hasn't changed much over the years.  It doesn't get much use but it has often become a dumping ground storage area when we're working on a DIY project.

Here's a cell phone photo from August 2007.

The next photo is from my old Kodak easy share in 2008.  This room holds a mix of baseball stuff, beachy things from when we lived in Old Orchard Beach, travel souvenirs, and other random stuff that we didn't put somewhere else in the house.

Photo from my pink camera taken in June 2009.

Want to see more of our home?  You can check out our living roommaster bedroomdining roomkitchen, and office/craft/sewing room.  Next week's topic at Kelly's Korner is bathrooms.  

Thanks for stopping by and come again soon!  :)

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