May 2014 | Live Pretty on a Penny

Quick and Easy: Paper Towel Storage

Every once in a while, I will pop in with a quick project which takes less than an hour. It will be quick, functional and cute. So today I have a storage idea that may not matter to most, but may be necessary for some.

In my pantry I normally stored extra paper towels on the top shelf, which took up valuable space in my small pantry. Then I began storing them in a cardboard box on the floor of my pantry. But let's face it... cardboard boxes are ugly.

So I decided to do a quick makeover with some leftover burlap and my trusty glue gun. I literally took the burlap, wrapped and tucked it in the box and glued it inside. Then I took another scrap piece of burlap and created a cute little bow and glued it on the front.  Nothing perfect and super easy. 

The box holds about six paper towels, which works for our family. This would work for a larger box, if needed. 

I am happy with this easy and quick makeover. Of course it wasn't a necessity, but whatever. You can try this on any box that you would like to reuse and create storage. Some that make work include shoe boxes, larger cardboard boxes, etc. 

Hope you try it out! Let me know if you have done something similar.

Until next time!

Creative Spotlight: Don't Disturb this Groove

Happy Tuesday! Today, I am so excited to feature one  of the most creative and nicest people that I have ever had the pleasure of  meeting. Her spirit, decorating style, and overall personality makes her the perfect person to re-introduce the Creative Spotlight. Some of you may be familiar with her blog, while some of you are just getting introduced to it..but either way, you are going to or already love her!

Enough blabber and on to the Spotlight!  I am talking about Brandi with Don't Disturb This Groove. 
Brandi loves to create pretty things and decorate her home on a budget, and take it from me...she is highly successful in both.

While deciding which questions would be fun to ask, I decided that I wanted to show bloggers and other creative folks in an everyday light, because through it all, we are humans. Brandi rocked her answers, just as she does her blog posts.

Let's learn a little about Brandi:

How would you describe your blog?
My blog is a place to share my creative interests.

Tell us a 3 interesting facts about you?
1. When I cook I often pretend that I'm Ina Garten and I'm hosting my own show.
2. I'm easily distracted by beautiful flowers.
3. Laughing at myself comes very easily to me.

How long have you been blogging, and why did you start?
I wrote my first post in September, 2010. I started blogging in hopes of showcasing my creativity and inspiring others to do the same.

What has been the most rewarding experience from blogging?
Meeting new people. I’m a very social person.

What has been your most challenging?
Blogging more frequently

What has been your ABSOLUTE favorite project you completed, and why?
Updating my kitchen cabinets on a budget. We gave our kitchen a new look by updating the cabinets. My kitchen is easily my favorite room in the whole house. I spend the majority of my day in the kitchen. It's the heart of our home.

Any networking ideas? How do you like to meet other bloggers/readers?
Social media, visiting other blogs, joining link parties and engaging with other bloggers.

What is your favorite quote to live by?
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

I am happy that Brandi does not only have a blog that I love, but that she is truly my friend. I actually met her by lucking upon her blog and emailing her and asking about setting up some time to have lunch. We have been buddies every since.Goes to show you that you never know who you are meant to meet in life.

Make sure that you pop over to her blog and subscribe. Oh, and make sure you have several hours to spare because you are going to fall in love with her projects!

Thanks for stopping by! Until next time.


The Creative Spotlight is Back!

Happy Tuesday! I wanted to drop in and announce an updated version of a post that I will be presenting, which will now be bi-monthly. These posts will showcase you guys; my creative reader friends and other bloggers. It's called the Creative Spotlight.

The Creative Spotlight is a forum that allows me to introduce some of my creative reader and blogger friends to one another in a more personal setting/post. The features will be those individuals who are just like you and me, but choose to showcase their hobbies and talents to create beautiful things through DIY, decorating, sewing, crafting, etc.

I will be doing a fun Q&A with my bi-monthly features, along with showcasing their favorite project(s). This will create the opportunity to get to know them a little more if you are already familiar with them, and if not, it will be a great introduction. I want these features to motivate us all! I love to be inspired and I hoping that these posts do just that for anyone who reads them:)

If you or someone  you would like to be featured, please email me!

I am so excited and I hope that you all will read along each month! Look for the new Creative Spotlight posts the last week of every other month, with the first one taking place next week!!!

To read past Creative Spotlight posts, click here and here.

Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time!

How to Makeover a Room...On a Budget

One of the most frequently questions that I get asked is how I am able to create a project or a room makeover, on such tight financial restrictions. Anybody that knows me, knows that I am very candid about what I spend on my projects, though I may not always post the prices. Everything I do has to be on a budget because financially, we are just unable to splurge.

The main things that we save up for are larger more professional projects, such as our flooring and crown molding, simply because I would hate for them to look "home made."So with all that being said., here is my two cents on making over a room on a budget. Remember, I am not an expert...this is just what works for me:)


1) Plan out your project completely from start to finish: I can't stress this enough. When we first purchased our house, I was all over the place. I wanted to start in this room, then move to the next. Yet, I had not even thought about the style in which I was going for. I wasted alot of money and time. Don't be silly like me. Truely think about what you want and how it aligns with your overall style.


                                   Drowning in a cluttered home (Image source: 

 2) Don't OVER- Do It: Sometimes, through reading blogs, looking at magazines, and HGTV, we can tend to over do our home, making it more look like a show home, rather than lived in.  Think your choices through. Decorate a room to be lived in and functional. I love the look of a neat staged home, but on a daily basis, that is not possible for me, and I am okay with that. Look in average places like Target, Wal-Mart, Dollar Tree, Ross, HomeGoods, etc. for items that align with your everyday needs. Don't just buy something because it is expensive and will make a great conversation piece because of the price. Expensive things don't make a home. The people and how it functions for them does. Plus, over doing it can make a house look cluttered. Who wants that?

                                   Old clock

3) Take all the time you need to finish: Sometimes finishing a room could take a week, a month, a year, or even two. So what! It's your space and your money and I think you should work through what works and what doesn't, rather than being stuck with something that you feel is either just okay, or that you hate. Rooms are meant to evolve over time so take all the time you need to get it to not just to your liking, but to a room that you and your family love! Sometimes you have to save the money to add a feature to the room. Just save, and wait it out...don't settle. 

4) Re-purpose Old Pieces:  To me, what makes a room is taking something old and turning it into something new. Turning an old dresser into a newly painted or stained buffet in a dining room, taking an old coffee table, and turning it into a cushioned ottoman, or even taking old dining room chairs and recovering them to a new fun fabric. Just google some ideas. There is all kind of stuff out there on the good old web, and on my blog.  Opportunities are endless when re purposing items from your home. To me, nothing is better than shopping around my house:) Plus, it definitely saves you money!


5) Shop Around: My final tip to decorate a room on a tight budget is to shop around. Check thrift stores, Craigslist, Ebay, Amazon, Wal-Mart,Target, or wherever else that you can score a deal. This does not always require multiple trips to different stores. This is as easy and Googling the item and checking out the different search results. Coupon codes can help. You always want to get the best price. I have had instances where all I did was go to Craigslist and type in the name or store of an item that I was looking for, and found it for significantly cheaper. Or just browse Craigslist for potential items that you can re purpose. 

As I stated in the beginning, I am no expert and these are just my tips that work for me through trial and error. I hope that they help somebody else!

Thanks so much for stopping by. Until next time!

Dark & Stormy Can Be Good

For the past several months, I have been seeing so many examples of beautifully painted black interior doors, and I decided that I possibly wanted to give it a shot. I love how a painted door can make simple builder grade doors look more custom. Yet, for some reason, I just couldn't bring myself to take the plunge! If I had to guess, the reason was because sometimes my doorway is kind of dark and I felt that the dark door might appear somewhat dungeon like.

So I thought about it for a while, went back and forth looking a different pictures of painted doors,  and decided that instead of black, I would go with something a tad bit softer.

Here is my interior front door before getting painted.

My interior door along with my front coat closet.

After looking at several samples, I decided on Thunder Gray by Sherwin Williams, which is a latex paint. It's the perfect dark & stormy color, and goes on in a deep gray/ brown color. I was able to use latex paint on my door because the door was painted with a latex paint. If the paint on it was a oil based paint, I would have had to use an oil based paint to cover over it. The best way to test what type of paint is on your door is to use a cotton ball with pure acetone on it and dab it in an inconspicuous place on the door. If the part that you test feels kind of sticky or soft, then it's latex. If not, then its oil. Easy.

 Once I discovered that my door was was painted in latex, I purchased a quart of paint and primer in one in a semi-gloss finish, and got to work.

First I wiped the door down using a vinegar/water mix and a towel. I let it dry, then found a diagram online and began painting based on these instructions on Better Homes & Garden website.

I then decided to add painters tape around the molding of the door to keep away any mistakes. I definitely suggest the same.

After the first coat....

And after 3 coats using the steps above, here is the finished product!

After I finished, I decided to paint my coat closet door as well. The white door next to the dark seemed off.

And here it is...

one last comparison of the doors before and after...

So happy that I curbed my fear and painted my doors. I love the look that the darker doors add to the entryway. A few times I had to look at the door twice because the darkness gives the appearance that the door is open. I still do it from time to time, but I have gotten used to it.

This project is easy and can be done in a few hours, as you have to allow dry time in between each coat.

Thanks for stopping by today! Until next time!

I'm linking this post to...

An Updated Foyer For Spring

I just can't help the urge to continue minimal updates for the warmer weather. Weather really affects my mood and of course sunshine leads me to be more productive.

A couple years back, I purchased a ClosetMaid 3-Cube Bench from Target for my doorway.  I purchased this bench because my husband would come into the house and leave his boots, the dog leashes or whatever right at the door, and it would get on my nerves. To help with the problem, I knew that we needed some nice storage that was easily accessible. Enter the entryway bench:

Image courtesy of Target

I knew that I liked the size of the bench, however the top portion was a little plain to me. So I immediately made it over by reupholstering it with some inexpensive fabric from a local store here in Atlanta and added some wicker baskets from Targer. Afterwards, the bench and my entryway looked like this:


Fast forward to a few weeks ago, and as I was doing a little Spring cleaning, I realized the fabric seemed dirty. I also felt that I wanted a solid fabric, instead of patterned, so I headed to Hobby Lobby to get new fabric. 

I came home with a heavy duty linen, that had a slight gold and silver sparkle. I paid about $6 for it. I didn't even bother pulling the old fabric off. I just got my hot glue gun and got to work. 

After I finished, I used a couple of  greek key pillows that I found at Walmart to jazz up the plain fabric. I am so happy with how it turned out and made me realize that "less is truely more."


Remember, that a quick reupholster can refresh a chair, bench, footstool, or even a pillow, even if you don't know how to sew, like me:) A glue gun can solve that problem. Spring always has a way to bring out the creativity and the urge to update for the beautiful days ahead. Especially after what seemed like a long and ugly Winter.  So go for it!

If you wanna know more about the DIY shelves above the bench, please check out my tutorial here. If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Until next time!

Spring Refresh: Front Door Wreath Update and One Kings Lane

Continuing my spring refresh updates, my front door was on the short list to receive a new welcome wreath.  Lucky for me, I was contacted by One Kings Lane and asked to share ways that I am personally incorporating spring into my home! Well... this worked for me because I am totally motivated by seasonal changes, especially warm ones to make changes around my house.

Since my front door is an extension of my yard and the inside of my home, I knew that my entry wreath needed a complete makeover.

I looks rough. It's been up since last spring and let's face it, winter was harsh.

So anywho, I headed to Hobby Lobby to purchase some supplies and got to upgrading!

To save money, I decided to reuse the old wreath, but strip off all of the worn materials that were on it.

I purchased several lime green faux filler stems for 50% off of $5.00, a new monogram M, chevron gold ribbon, and metallic gold spray paint. All in all, I spent $20.00.

Using a wire cutter, I cut the stem off of each plant, placed hot glue on the tips of the stem, and placed them randomly by eyeballing where i wanted it placed. If you think eyeballing won't work, then I suggest placing first then  hot gluing once you decide placement.

Also, instead of buying a new hook, I just reuse the same hook each time, including for Christmas. I just take a dab of hot glue, and wrap coordinating fabric around the hook to match the wreath.

Here is my finished wreath....


I am a firm believer that the entryway should be shown just as much love as any other room in your home. The One Kings Lane Home Decor Resource Guide offers many ways that DIY enthusiasts can spruce up their entryways through fab makeovers!

Though you may already be thinking it, this is not a sponsored post. I just felt that the Resource Guide serves a valuable tool for those looking for various ideas and inspiration in home decor.

If you are not a member of One Kings Lane, you may visit them here. You can visit the Resource Guide for inspiration, and shop for staple pieces for your home. Two stone:)

Thanks so much for checking out my wreath! Are you working on any fun spring updates or doing a little sprucing? Let me know in the comments below!

I think that does it for me and my outdoor projects for this year. I have a list of things that I want to tackle inside, so its time to move along!

Until next time!