DIY Cat Litter Cabinet

DIY Cat Litter Cabinet

Aside from the new windows we installed late last year, another, more recent, addition we added to our sunroom is this cute little cabinet.

Before having the baby we attended an infant CPR and safety class where they encouraged all us soon-to-be-parents to baby proof the house before our little ones arrived. While we didn’t go overboard and totally safeguard the house, we did take a few steps towards a safer home for little Emie girl. Along with adding outlet plugs, this little cabinet in the sunroom helped conceal one of the things I was most concerned about…our litter box!

We love our cat but we haven’t ever loved his litter box – or the mess it makes and I always worried that one day in the not too distant future, I’d find our daughter using the cat litter as her own personal sand box. Now…not only is the cat litter out of reach of our almost-crawling-daughter but…I don’t have to look at it either! #winwin

Inside we keep all our kitty essentials – food, along with a few rolls of plastic trash bags for poop scooping. A clear suction hook on the door works perfectly to hold the pooper scooper too! Everything thing we need fits right inside with room to spare.

DIYing our cat litter cabinet was super simple – just an extra large cat doorfor our extra large cat – and this inexpensive Ikea cabinetor any cabinet for that matter – is all you need!

We opted for this cabinet because it’s dimensions worked perfectly for the small sliver of wall between the living room and the nursery but any cabinet big enough to house your litter box can work too!

Before putting the cabinet together, we cut out the hole for the cat door on one of the side panels using the template that was provided with the door using our Ryobi drill and jigsaw.

Once the hole was cut all we had to do was install the door. It really couldn’t have been more simple and the end result is having me wonder why I didn’t think of this sooner!

From the outside – no one would ever know the litter box was inside! Would you have guessed?

And in case you’re wondering what that thing was peaking out from under the cabinet…

It’s our robot vacuum – the Neato – or what we call her, Flo! I was able to plug the docking station into an outlet behind the cabinet and the docking station fits perfectly underneath with just enough clearance for Flo to make her way back home to charge.

This super simple Ikea hack really helped contain and conceal our messy litter box while also making our home safer for babe! Do you have something in your house that needs a little concealing – printers or electronics come to mind! Could an inexpensive Ikea hack help you too?

Of course it can!

*affiliate links used

Fall for $20

Although the calendar indicates that Fall is officially here and underway, Southern California hasn’t gotten the memo. It’s still hot around these parts (we’re flirting with the 80’s) but temps have been dropping and I hope they continue to do so. There’s no time of year I love more than Fall.

 
I usually break out the Fall / Halloween décor by late September / early October to really get into the spirit of things that this time of year brings but with everything we’ve been through over the last few months, I just haven’t gotten around to it.
 
With Halloween almost here and Thanksgiving just around the corner, I wanted a quick and simple project that would sprinkle our home with those warm and cozy fall feelings without having to drag our décor bins from the depths of the black hole garage.
 
Buffalo check is all the rage right now and what perfect timing because this bold take on a classic plaid print is so fitting for the season. Ive been oogling over these gorgeous pillows but when I spotted a similar fabric at Ikea for a fraction of the cost, I picked up a yard on a whim and decided to make my own low-budget version.
 

If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again – pillows are the easiest way to change up the look and feel of a room in an instant without much of an investment. So with my Ikea fabric, I made two pillow covers in about 30 minutes start to finish all in an effort of infusing a little fall coziness into our main living space.

 
I’ve done my fair share of sewing but usually just ask my super-sewer Mom to make my pillow covers for me instead of bothering to do it myself. But these ones? They’re all me! Even someone with the most basic of sewing skills could whip these up, no problem!
 
With a little direction from my Mom, I made two super simple envelope style pillow covers out of 1 yard of fabric. The Internet (and Pinterest) is flooded with tutorials for this type of DIY so I won’t bore you with another – just click here and use any one of these tutorials to make your own.
 
But how about a few helpful hints before you dive right in?
 
#1 – Always remember to make your cover smaller than your pillow insert. This may seem illogical but it’s the most important thing I’ve learned and the key to getting the fullest pillows! A general rule of thumb is to make your cover 2″ smaller than your pillow insert. For example: if your inserts measure 20″ x 20″, you’ll want to make your pillow cover a finished size of 18″ x 18″. Be sure to account for your seams when cutting your fabric!
 
#2 – Reinforce the seams where the two back flaps of your cover overlap. When you’re stuff your cover with the insert, that area will have the most stress put on it from all the pushing, pulling, and re-arranging your insert. Having a reinforced seam will make sure that your cover doesn’t literally rip at the seams.
 
With those tips in mind, after my covers were sewn, I gave them a quick press with the iron just to iron out any wrinkles and to press the seams. But I didn’t stop there. I decided to add a few yarn pom-poms to each corner of the pillow because nothing says fall like a good plaid and some cozy textures!
 
To make the over sized pom-poms you’ll need:
  1. Yarn
  2. Scissors
  3. Steel yarn needle
I started by wrapping the yarn around 4 of my outstretched fingers like so:
 
I wrapped the yarn loosely around my fingers approximately 70 times until my bundle was pretty thick. The same technique can be used around less fingers or wrapped around fewer times to achieve a smaller pom-pom too.
 
There are several tools out there that you can buy to assist you in making pom-poms but I didn’t have any of them so I improvised and used my fingers instead which seemed to work out just fine.
 
Once I wrapped the yarn around a sufficient amount of times, I carefully slid the bundle off my fingers and laid it in the center of a 12″ piece of yarn that I had previously cut.
 
With the single piece of yarn, I tied a knot in the middle of my bundle and then flipped it over and tied a second knot.
 
With the tied bundle, I slid my scissors through the loops on either end and cut – careful not to cut the center tie.
 
After cutting all the loops on either end you can choose to trim your pom-pom for a more uniform look or leave it as is.
 
Once I had all my pom-poms made, I used a steel yarn needle threaded with a length of yarn and sewed each pom-pom to the corner of my covers. Easy-peasy!
 
Ready to see the final result?

How cozy are these pillows? And what a big difference they make! Not too shabby for $20, right?!

 

 
Gimme all the heart eye emojis…I think I’m in love! Are you too? Please tell me you agree!

 

Living Room Changes – Part 2

Last time I checked in I showed you guys the beginning stages of some small changes that we’ve been making in our living room over the past few weeks and today I’m back to show you what else we’ve been up to.
 
The next set of changes we recently made involves a part of our living room the blog hasn’t even seen yet – our media wall. Decorating your home to accommodate that uber important TV is often challenging, and in our case, was only made worse when we purchased a larger, more obnoxious television to replace our old, on the edge of death, TV. After purchasing the larger TV, we were forced to do some furniture musical chairs when it became clear that the wall that used to house the TV, was way too small.
 
The previous media wall, as seen in this really bad cell phone pic, shows just how cramped the previous situation was to begin with. The TV and media cabinet were smashed up against the curtains and sliding glass door leading out to our patio leaving no extra room to accommodate a larger TV.
 
 
So…with a new TV and the realization that the existing wall was too small, we did some rearranging and moved the TV, the media cabinet, and Anthony (the antelope) to an adjacent wall with a really annoying nook that I’ve hated since the day we moved in but since it was the only other place for the new TV, we had to make it work.
 
The nook is off center on this wall and for a person that really gravitates towards symmetry, it’s always been a nightmare for me to decorate around. This little nook has seen quite a few changes in the 2 years that’s we’ve lived here which I plan to document in a future post, but this go-around in the nook is by far my favorite.
 
 
After moving everything over into the nook, the entire wall felt visually heavy on the left and really empty on the right, making the nook all that more prominent and irritating!
 
I didn’t have much space to work with on the left but I knew that it definitely needed something to visually balance everything out and with all the craziness going on to the left, I thought something clean and symmetrical would be the best solution to both my problems.
 
I decided to do a gallery wall of frames filled with pictures from some of our most memorable travel adventures. The inspiration for this came directly from these two awesome bloggers as seen on their sites here and here.
 
Ready to see how it all came together?
 
 
For the gallery wall I chose to go with these warm wood toned frames that I scooped up at Ikea. I’ve been on a mission to bring in some wood tones and textures into our home to warm things up a bit and balance out our other black furniture pieces and I think these frames did just that!
 
 
I chose vacation photos that were bright, bold, and full of vibrant colors! It’s the perfect way to display our personal memories in a very subtle way while bringing in some fun colors at the same time.
 
To put my own little spin on our travel adventures gallery wall, I used my all time favorite (but sadly discontinued) Martha Stewart bookplate labels on the glass of each frame to name the travel destination pictured. Great thing about this is no matter what picture you showcase, the label can always be updated easily as you add more destinations to your passport! And for those with a short term memory, you’ll always have a handy reminder of where your photo was taken!
 
 
To hang the pictures, I used every renters BFF – 3M Command Strips (you can see the little bump out of the Command Strip on the top of each frame in the photo below). Using 3M Command Strips saved me from putting 16+ nail holes in the wall and from having to patch all those holes when we leave. Plus, 3M Command Strips are re-positionable and made it easy to make sure my grid lines were nice and straight. Can’t beat that!
 
 
All in all, for all the challenges this wall & the larger TV presented us with, I’d say I’m smitten with the results! Plus I think Anthony is enjoying the new scenery too…
 
 
There’s still one more change I’m working on to round out our living room refresh, be sure to check back soon so you don’t miss out!
 
 
 
 
 

Gallery Wall Changes

 If you’re anything like me, then you love a good gallery wall and that also means you’re a frame hoarder too. I’m guilty as charged. In our small apartment alone, we have 4 areas where gallery walls have emerged and 4 gallery walls means A LOT of frames.
 
Gallery walls can make a huge statement and bring life to blank apartment walls but they can also go very stagnate, very fast. That’s what I’m currently struggling with at the moment. In my haste to hang something, anything, on the walls when we first moved in, I did so without much thought or intent and now I’m left feeling meh about most of it.
 
I haven’t quite landed on my ideal design solution for any of these areas so while I’m pondering over my options, you know I just can’t leave well enough alone. So! I decided against ripping everything down and starting from scratch, but believe me I considered it, but then where would I store all the frames? Instead I just decided to tweak a few frames throughout the house and see what sticks because who knows…maybe I’ll end up loving it all over again.
 
So while I’m busy giving my gallery walls a mini-makeover I thought I’d share with you a few quick and simple ways to tweak a boring ole picture frame.
 
Ready to see the results?
 
The first frame tweak I worked on was this “all of me loves all of you” print I had framed in my go-to Ikea frames. I downloaded this print from an Etsy shop a while back and I think the bedroom is the perfect place for a print like this. Just not sure I’m digging the whole composition of the gallery wall above the bed just yet…I have nightmares about giant earthquakes and the gallery wall crashing down on our heads as we sleep blissfully unaware.

Just as a reminder, here’s what the gallery wall above our bed looked like pre-tweaks:
 

 

The print had a white background and basically just blended right in with the white mat, which for me was no bueno, so I took the mat out and gave it few thin coats of my favorite gold spray paint. Although I love the look of this gold spray paint in other applications, I’m not so sure I love it here. But hey…it’s just paint, right? And speaking of paint…did you know that mats can be painted for an instant new look? No? Well now you do. And not just with spray paint…with any paint! Just be sure to let your painted mat dry ample time before re-installing it in the frame. This frame tweak was easy-peasy!
 

 
The next tweak happened in the kitchen and although these frames aren’t technically part of any of our 4 gallery walls, they were still fair game.
 
To jazz these bad-boys up I picked up some cheap flat corner braces from my local home improvement store and screwed them into each frame corner for an instant campaign style look. Just be sure to remove the glass before doing this to ensure you don’t accidentally crack the glass as your brackets are going in. For less than $5, these cuties were looking better already.
 
The verdict? Dig the frames, hate the kitchen. Faux maple cabinets with dark speckled granite countertops? Bleh.
 
 
 
 Next up…
 
A pop of color! Using my go-to Ikea Ribba frame, I painted the inner edge of this extra deep Ikea frame a coordinating pop of color to match the print I downloaded here. The pop of color gives the print an extra layer of dimension and interest.
 
This extra deep frame from Ikea has a square insert that can be removed or kept in place to allow for different picture display options. To achieve this look, I removed the insert, primed it with some spray primer, mixed up some pink, red, and white craft paint to mimick color of the flamingo and then painted all 4 inside edges of the square insert. I let the insert dry for a few hours before re-installing it.
 
Here’s the result! You like?
 
 
 
I’m loving the pop of color this little update adds to the space. Can’t believe it took me this long to make such a simple & easy update to a boring frame!
 
All 3 of these “tweaks” took me less than 10 minutes to complete, not including dry time. While I’m not head over heels in love with the gold painted mat, it’s an easy enough fix, and these tweaks may just hold me over until I figure out what to do, or not do, to these spaces.
 
What do you think? Will you try any of these ideas out in your own home? Do you love gallery walls just as much as this girl?
 


No-Sew Greek Key Curtains

After living without master bedroom curtains for nearly 2 years I was ready to do something, ANYTHING, about it, ASAP! I’ve been searching high and low for pre-made curtains or fabric that I loved to turn into curtains for what seemed like forever but I still haven’t found anything I had to have for the money it was going to cost. Being that our bedroom has 2 windows and a door leading out onto the patio that all needed window coverings the cost for pre-made curtains or fabric was quickly adding up to the tune of $150+ and because I’m not Donald Trump, I decided to forgo curtains in favor of my wallet. 
 
This project all started when I stumbled upon these Vivan curtains during one of my many Ikea trips. And the best part? They’re $10 curtains people! $10!!! Although these curtains are sorta on the thin side and the color choices are limited, for $10 I figured it couldn’t hurt to pick up a pair and see what I could whip up.
 
Into my cart they came and after adding some character, my $10 curtains are here to stay.

To make these curtains, here’s what you’ll need:
 
Vivan curtains from Ikea
Heat n Bond Hem Tape Ultra Hold
Black Grosgrain Ribbon
Scissors
Tape measure
Lighter
Ironing board
Iron
 
The first thing I did was measure the length my curtains needed to be. A tip when hanging curtains, is the higher the rod, the better. Hanging the rod high and wide draws the eye upward and instantly adds visual height to the room and makes the windows seem bigger. This diagram below perfectly depicts what I’m talking about:
 via
 
Once I had my measurements, I added 1″ to the overall length to allot for the bottom hem. If you’re using drapery clips, be sure to take that into account when measuring. The great thing about these Vivan curtains is that they come extra long. At almost 99″ you could hang the rod even higher without worry that you’ll end up with high-water curtains! And if you know anything about curtain length, you know that the longer the curtains, the more dollars are flying out your pockets, so at $10, these are a steal!
 
With my measurements and the added inch for the bottom hem, I laid my panel on a flat surface, in this case, the floor, used my measuring tape to measure, and cut to length.
(Quick Reminder: cut the bottom of the panel, not the top!)
 
Next up…the coolest part of the entire project! And guess what?! It involves absolutely NO SEWING! With your unfinished edge, cut a piece of Heat n Bond Hem Tape to equal length of the bottom edge and place it along the raw edge of your panel with the paper side up. Hold the tape in place with one hand and with the other, go over it with the iron. Once the tape has cooled down, peel off the paper, fold over the fabric that now has the hem tape adhered and go over it one more time with the iron.
 
 
(these pictures were taken from a previous project – don’t mind the pink & orange fabric)
 
 Ta-da! Your hem is officially done and it required ZERO sewing! If you’re at all apprehensive about how well a no-sew hem will hold up, let me tell you, do not worry your pretty little head! I’ve used this same method to hem my living room drapes and even after several washes, it’s held up beautifully.
 
At this point I hung up my newly hemmed drapes and lived with them for a few weeks but the plain white curtains were just ho-hum boring and I just wasn’t in love. So after searching the interwebs I stumbled upon this blog and after seeing that she used the same curtains I had just hemmed, I thought adding some ribbon the way she had was the perfect solution to my very boring drapes. 
 
I started by making all my ribbon and hem tape cuts. For one panel you’ll need:
 
16 – 4.5″ ribbon lengths
8 – 9″ ribbon lengths
16 – 4.5″ hem tape lengths
8 – 9″ hem tape lengths
 
After I cut all my ribbon and hem tape, I ironed on all the hem tape in the same manner described above and then used a lighter to seal each of the ends. This step isn’t necessary but for added durability and to prevent your ribbon from fraying, I suggest taking the time to do this.
 
To determine placement of the ribbon for your Greek key design I simply measured inward 9 inches and upwards 4.5 inches from each corner of the curtain panel, placed my first ribbon and ironed over top. After I placed my 1st 2 ribbon pieces, I just eyeballed the placement per the diagram below,  made a few passes with the iron over each ribbon piece until it was in tacked down. After going over the ribbon with your iron, the ribbon will be hot. Do not touch it. Once the ribbon has cooled down, it will firm up and the glue will have taken hold. The diagram below will better illustrate how, where, and in what order I placed my ribbon cuts. I did all four corners first before connecting the tails.
 
 
Once all your corners are done, connect all your tails as shown in the diagram below (blue lines).
 
 
And wa-la! 3 hours later, 1 panel is done. You think I’m kidding, or at least hope I’m kidding…well I’m sad to say that I’m not! Let me tell you…this project is so, so simple but it is tedious and time consuming. Just a warning! The 2nd panel only took me about 2 hrs so that’s a plus! But they sure are purdy! Let’s take a look!

 
You can’t really tell in these pictures, which is the my point exactly, but I didn’t go the extra mile and miter my corners, I just simply overlapped the ribbon and being that it’s black on black, it blends seamlessly and you cant even tell that I took a little shortcut!
 
 
After living without curtains for nearly 2 years, I think these are the perfect addition to our bedroom! Even if they did take me 5 hours to make, I’d still do it again, I love them so much!
 
 
Not to mention they look stunning from afar too…
 
 
Total Project Cost:
 
1 Set (2 panels) Vivan Curtains from Ikea – $10
2 rolls Heat Bond Hem Tape from Joann’s -$7 (pssst…you can get these cheaper if you use a coupon!)
Little less than 3 rolls (18ft rolls) black grosgrain ribbon from Walmart – $4.50
Curtain rod & hardware – already owned
Grand Total: $21.50
 
You just cant beat that price! Being that I have 2 windows and 1 door that needed coverings that means it cost me right around $50 for the entire bedroom! How awesome is that?! And after seeing how great these no-sew curtains turned out, my little brain is swirling with tons of ideas on how to embellish plain-ole curtains with a little ribbon and heat bond hem tape. What do you think? Will you give these a shot, or create your own unique design? I’d love to know!