Squared

  You may remember that I helped a friend hang a grid of mirrors last month. I had also been meaning to try it in my own house but I was struggling on where I’d want to hang a grid of mirrors. I bought 10 of the same mirrors we used at Erika’s house and they sat in a pile on the buffet in the kitchen. For some reason I couldn’t commit to a grid of mirrors. Then I realized that the square mirror frames would make the perfect frame for Instagram photos. I started by thing to pry the mirrors out of the frames. Let me tell you- those things are cemented in and I almost lost a few fingers. So trust me when I day that I recommend Modge Podge. You like having fingers, don’t you? Thought so.

What I used:

Ikea MALMA mirrors ($1.99 each!)

-Printed Instagram photos (I use the Walgreens app. They stay in 4″x4″ format, are super affordable and they are usually ready in an hour!)

-Modge Podge

-Paint brush, ruler, sharpie, scissors

-Hammer, nails, level

 First, I laid out all of the photos I had printed. I had chosen to print photos I had Instagrammed of food. I thought it would be a fun addition to the kitchen. I recommend that gallery walls have some so of theme, whether it is a color theme or subject matter. It should make sense to any guest that enters your home. I had about 20 to choose from and had to narrow them to 10. I asked Hubby to help me weed through them. It was easy to toss out photos that were lower quality or had bad lighting. In the end he convinced me that 8 was a better number and wouldn’t clutter the wall we had chosen. He even used one of my favorite design principles on me, “Less is sometimes more.” Sold! Eight it was. We opted for 2 rows of 4. Also considered: 3 rows of 3 to make a square gallery of nine images. These are the 8 we landed on. Hubby pointed out another theme: circles. All of the photos had circular subjects and it wasn’t even on purpose.    Next I measured the mirror space to see if I needed to cut down the pictures. The mirror was just under 3 and 3/4″ so I marked my ruler and got to trimming. I noticed that the photos I had used the instagram filter frame/borders on fit perfectly after removing the borders. Had I known this I would have printed all of my images with borders to save a little effort. After trimming, I was ready to glue the photos directly on the mirrors. I applied a thin layer of Modge Podge to mirror and pressed my photos in place. Some of the photos were snug and needed convincing to fit the corners in but I was patient and gentle. Trimming and gluing took less than 15 minutes! I let it all dry overnight (mostly because of my schedule… you could definitely move directly on to hanging from the point).  Next I gridded out my gallery all on paper with my wall measurements in hand. I moved the buffet and climbed up on a chair. I’m always surprised at how much I enjoy putting nail holes all over my walls… especially since I’ve painted each room in my house at least once since we’ve moved in. Just pounding holes into my hard work but I think you will agree that it was so worth it. Take a peek:

                  All in all I’m really happy with the way it looks and glad I chose to go with photos over mirrors. I even like how it looks as I enter from the family room.

I don’t hate the price tag either! 8 frames x $1.99 each = 15.92! I already had the other supplies. Can you believe this is a $16 gallery wall?!?!

PSST… you can follow me on Instagram by clicking on the Instagram link to the right (in the sidebar) or by finding @hildagotrocks on Instagram. I’m also on Bloglovin’ + Facebook + Twitter which are linked in the side bar as well.

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Garage Sale-ing 

Thats right, it’s a verb. I had the pleasure of hitting up about a dozen garage sales this weekend with Katie from Nerdy Girl Writes. We met bright and early, coffee in hand and headed out into garage saler’s paradise.


 We filled our first carload before 9am. And my car is pretty roomy.

Katie scored an entire vintage patio furniture set and a solid teak adirondack chair and ottoman for less than $50. She also scored a ouija board fkr the purpose of framing as graphic art. I’m kind of jealous. I’m sure she’ll be posting all about it but I have to admit I was impressed. That girl can negotiate!

We made a few trips back to my garage, her car and her garage as well as swinging by and borrowing a car for more cargo space. Between the 2 of us we filled 5 car loads. But the patio furniture was easily 3 loads alone.

Here are my spoils.


I’m so pumped about the icecream parlor chair I scored. The pillows are outdoor fabric so they well be going on out deck. Liv will love the magnetic chalk board and the wicker trunk as soon as they each get a coat of paint. The smaller wicker box is actually a file box. 1 was relieved to find this because I have out plastic one and haven’t found a cabinet or anything I like for the same purpose. I’m also excited about the jig saw. Every DIY girl’s dream. Haha! Everything else will likely be redone and sold on my Facebook page or etsy shop.

I’m not morning person but I will say that this was a Saturday morning (and like $65) well spent.

Budget Headboard

I recently took our ho-hum headboard to a new level of awesome. Like super-duper awesome! And I did it for $20. Here’s the scoop-

For the last two years hubby and I have been changing things up all around the house. Like the half bath, adding a striped feature wall, getting the most out of our spare room and creating a haven for our little O. But to be honest, not much attention has been paid to our master bedroom.  Except for painting it and refinishing some killer second hand furniture (read about them here and here), we really haven’t done much. In fact, the master is pretty drab looking. We just agreed on a bedspread for the first time in seven years and the only way I really sold him on the ruffle effect is that it was striped (sort of) and majorly on sale at Target. The white really pops in the soft blue room and it brings a little brightness in with our white curtains. The main problem is that it was leaning against our sad tan headboard. Whomp whomp… and the headboard was bringing the whole thing down. Originally the headboard was wooden with some metal vine detailing and matched a set that Hubby had once upon a time. I recovered it years ago in an effort to freshen it up but once again it is looking more drab than fab. Have a look-see.

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For quite a while I have been badgering Hubby to come with me to the fabric store and choose something so I can recover the headboard. I was banned from independent fabric purchasing trips after I bought “Dr. Seuss” fabric as a potential option for the headboard way back when. I also knew that I couldn’t buy several options, bring them home to choose and then return anything he didn’t like. After begging for him to join me on a fabric store field trip for the last six months I finally decided I was on my own. After being discouraged by the prices of upholstery fabric I felt like there was no hope. This couldn’t be a $200 project. On my last few trips to Target I had been eyeing some great Ikat, geometric, medallion and lattice style curtains and shower curtains. I so badly wished we needed curtains somewhere in the house because the patterns were so gorgeous. Boom! It hit me. I bet I could use a curtain panel or shower curtain to recover the headboard. I enlisted Molly to help me choose one on the next Target run. She often brings me down to reality after I’ve spent an imaginary fortune on a risky design decision in my head. We chose thie blue Ikat lattice patterned shower curtain from the Threshold collection. The idea was that blue was masculine enough, the lattice as bold but still classic and the Ikat flare was cool. And it wasn’t floral (Hubby’s big deal breaker).We took a risk and hoped the royal blue wouldn’t totally kill the soft Glass Slipper (Benjamin Moore) blue walls. The shower curtain measurements were wide enough that we could use the pattern vertically (as if it were hanging as it was designed to) on my queen sized headboard. For a king I would recommend using a pattern you might like oriented horizontally so that the fabric can fit the width of the headboard.

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We hauled the headboard out of the master and set up shop in the family room. I wrinkle released and fluffed the curtain so that all the fold marks from being packed were gone. No, I don’t iron. Don’t get me started.

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In the photo below you can see the detail of the back of the original headboard design and the foam underneath that I had used to transform it the first time.We lined up the hem seam with the top edge of the board (below) so that the pattern would stay level and we wouldn’t risk having it slope in one direction after the staple-fest I was about the have. If it was a more random style print or a solid this wouldn’t really be a concern.

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Then the fabric was cut to size which was pretty much in half in this case. I took into consideration that we would rather have more fabric to staple than not enough.

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Stapling started across the top which was pretty easy and self-explanatory. I used a “gift wrap method” as shown below for the corners and trimmed out any excess fabric that gave the corner to much bulk because that would be too much to staple through and may look chunky from the other side.

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Less than 15 minutes later I was ooh-ing and ahh-ing at this bad boy. I think this may be the best $20 I ever spent.

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Ta-da! Hubby returned home from an all day soccer tournament to see this glorious masterpiece. At first he was a little taken by the boldness and was surprised (since I had promised not to visit a fabric store). A day later he was telling me how much he liked it and the it was growing on him. I think it looks crisp and definitely more expensive than it is. Victory!

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Now for art above the bed… hmmm…

Laundry Detergent Recipe

Last year I really been noticed how much money I spend in my grocery budget on cleaning supplies. I would use coupons to help out but that stuff is still so expensive. I also can’t believe all of the junk (surely not good for you) that is in most of the cleaners. AND most of them list water as a main ingredient. Water. Seriously? I have tons of that at my fingertips. So I poked around the internet a little bit and found a few recipes for some of these products… I will be sharing them in future posts. I was beyond thrilled to find tons of recipes for homemade laundry detergent. It was my first attempt at any major homemade product. Hubby was reluctant but was pleasantly surprised. And I was so impressed that I have made several batches since (I usually split the large batch with my mom… she’s impressed too!). Here’s the recipe I ended up with… a marriage of several recipes I tried.

What you will need:

A kitchen sized (13 gallon) garbage can, large tub or barrel– you need this to mix the ingredients in bulk

Large jars or sealable 5 gallon bucket to store your finished product

1 (55 oz./3 lb 7 oz.) Box Arm & Hammer *Super Washing* Soda (Careful, this is the detergent version of baking soda, found in the detergent aisle. It is not the same thing as baking soda)

1 (4 lb) Box Baking Soda – I use store brand and it does just fine. My store only carries 2 lb boxes… just as long as it adds up to 4 lbs. Usually in both the cleaning and baking aisles at the grocery.

1 (4 lb 12 0z.) Box Borax Detergent – Also in detergent aisle, sometimes up high or down low, hard to find but it’s there!

3 Bars of Fels-Naptha soap – This is an old school laundry bar. I’ve read about people using other brands like Zote but Fels-Naptha is easiest for me to find and seems to work just fine. If you have sensitive skin or plan to use this on baby clothes this should be gentle enough.

Optional: 2 small tubs of OxiClean (3-4 lbs total). 1 tub will probably do the job (below I bought a huge one of the bargain brand but will use a little more than half the tub for this recipe), but if you have kids or just like to keep things extra bright do 2. Some people skip this ingredient all together and add either a cup of vinegar or a cup of lemon juice to each load. This is another ingredient I buy generic (the labels are IDENTICAL)

Shred the soap bars with a food processor or cheese grater (harmless to both and cleans off in the sink or dishwasher). Warning= using a cheese grater is quite a workout. I plan on buying a food processor in a couple of months for baby food making but for now I just count it as calories burned. Mix all of the boxes together in your garbage can with the soap shreds. I sift through for about 10 minutes with two huge kitchen spoons to ensure its all evenly blended.

Use 1 Tbsp per load. For heavily soiled loads and towels or sheets I use 2 Tbsp.

This detergent is “concentrated” compared to store bought, which seems to be loaded with fillers so that you feel like you are getting more. So 1 Tbsp really is all you need! Also, my husband complained that it doesn’t create suds and bubbles… bubbles are just another ploy to make you think store bought detergent works better. Homemade detergent is free of perfumes, heavy waxes, parabens, etc. Therefore, no suds. I make my detergent for less than $20 per batch (when split with my mom it lasts me about 3-4 months but with a baby I do tons of laundry). It dissolves well, gets out grime and leaves clothes fresh and clean- what more can you ask for!? Another tip: I save my Similac formula containers to store my detergent batch. The scoop is EXACTLY the size I need and I’m being a little greener by reusing them. It also helps if I split the batch with my mom or sisters. But you can use butter tubs, yogurt containers, oxiclean tubs, rubbermaid storage bins, tupperware or mason jars to store yours.

DRUM ROLL PLEASE: The total cost for your homemade detergent is $14.40. This usually lasts me a good part of the year. I used to buy my Arm & Hammer Oxiclean powdered detergent for about this price and it would last me a month or so. This is clearly a HUGE bargain!

*PLEASE note that I do not have a HE washer. I have read that this recipe and similar recipes are safe to use in HE washers, however I have not tried it myself.*