Thursday, April 23, 2015

16 UHeart Organizing: Making a Mark on Key Organization

The fabulous duo behind DIY Playbook are back today to share a super sweet and simple project that anyone can do.  I love that we are all so different when it comes to our lifestyles and our homes, yet today's topic is probably something majority of us have in common.  Keys.  Whether you only carry a few or a whole slew, Bridget & Casey are here to share how you can create the most fabulous set of keys around.

One of the things we truly love about reading IHeart Organizing, is the fact that Jen doesn't just show you amazing ways to organize your space.  She always takes things to the next level... and makes them look stylish and cute too!

With that in mind we set out to organize one of our everyday essentials...

Our keys!

Most everyone has their keys on them every second they're out of the house, and it seems crazy that we hadn't given this item much of a thought in the appearance department.

I mean look at those keys above. That lanyard is from the mid 1990's, it's seen its fair share of public countertops & dirty floors, and has most definitely hung out with many crumbs in the bottom of countless purses. Yep, this lanyard had to go! But we didn't want to stop at DIY'ing a new keychain, we also had to organize all of those keys! This is a time when you don't want to channel your inner janitor. You don't need to always have every key to every lock on you at all times of the day. Not only is it a heavy nuisance, but when you have dozens of keys on a ring it can be really hard to find the important ones when you need them quickly.

So our first order of business was to create a lean, mean new set of keys. We said "bye bye" to all of the old keys and random plastic scanner tags we no longer needed, and pared it down to just the essentials.

Then, to differentiate and label the keys we got out a few beauty supplies. Yep you read that correctly... beauty supplies.

Turns out nail polish comes in handy in the DIY world too! Now, we're both officially awful at painting our own nails and we're so-not-trendy when it comes to cool paint colors. There's just no way these two non-fashionistas can pull off any trendy cool colors like navy, yellow, or mint green. Instead, we both only have boring reds & pinks in our nail polish collections. So, we visited the drugstore and picked up some fun, vibrant nail polish on the cheap! Only a couple bucks for all 3 of these bad boys.

Then, we "labeled" the keys with the nail polish. 3 light coats works just fine. We suggest letting one side of the key dry for 24 hours, then flip it over and do another 3 coats on the other side. Don't forget to paint the edges, too.  (Tip: tape off the bottom and add a layer of clear coat to protect the paint even longer.) Also, you may want to write your new color code system down, perhaps in your smart phone. Pink = bottom lock, Blue = top lock, Yellow = back door, etc. Just until you get used to the new system.

Now that the keys were looking good it was time to create a new, more grown-up keychain.

Here's how to create a custom leather keychain...

  • Leather (We went with this light one and this dark brown one)
  • Rivets
  • Leather Hole Punch Tool
  • Key Rings
  • Stamp Set (optional)
  • Scissors or Razor Blade
  • Ruler
  • Pen or Marker
  • Hammer

Step 1: Cut a strip of leather so it is 1 inch wide and 8 inches long.

Step 2: This step may be confusing, and it's a bit hard to explain. The above graphic is what you want your end piece to look like. Here's how you can mark your piece of leather before you cut it.
  • Mark 1/2 inch up from the bottom.
  • Then mark 1/4 up from that, and 1/4 in from each side. Connect the marks, so you have 2 angled lines.
  • Draw 2 straight parallel lines about 1/2 inches long
  • Mark 1/4 up from the 1/2 inch and connect lines to the outside of the leather

Did you get all that? Sorry if it's confusing. We hope the graphic will help you along! You don't need to get these measurements exact. If you're a little off it will still work!

Step 3: Once you have all of your measurements, cut your leather. We used scissors, but you can also use a razor blade if you want to get the cuts perfect!

Step 4 (Optional): This step is optional, but oh-so-fun. We decided to take our leather keychain to the next level (because we're fancy like that) and personalize them with a leather stamping set. If you don't want to spend the extra money on the stamp set, no worries. You still have a bomb keychain! But we definitely recommend this $15 one if you want to splurge! All you need is a hammer. Press the letter or number firmly into place on the leather and give it a few good whacks with the hammer. Boom, your leather is engraved!

Step 5: Now time to use that scary looking leather hole punch tool.

You may be able to create a hole using another tool (perhaps a drill?), but we decided to go with the leather hole punch to create a nice clean hole. Fold your leather (like in the above photo) and punch a hole through all 3 layers.

Step 6: Loop your key ring on the end and grab your rivets.

You'll want to follow the directions that come with your particular set of rivets, but it's really pretty easy! You'll just need a hammer to secure your rivet shut.

So what do you think of our new-totally-grown-up-and-glamorous keychains?

We love the darker leather for our guys, and the lighter leather for us. A nice way to differentiate "his" vs. "hers" when you're grabbing your keys and heading out the door!

Because we had some leftover supplies (& we didn't want it to go to waste in our craft drawer) we also made a tassel for our keychain. You can get the full step-by-step tutorial on our blog at this post.

We are both loving our new keychains and instead of hiding them deep in our purses, we are keeping our keys out for all to admire!


"Hey There! We're Bridget and Casey, the best friends, Chicago gals, and editors behind The DIY Playbook. Even though we consider ourselves busy girls with full-time jobs, husbands, and never ending to-do lists, we believe there is always time to add personality to our homes. On our blog, we strive to inspire our readers to inject their sparkling personalities into their own spaces with affordable and attainable solutions. We heart Instagram, can't turn down a cup of coffee, have no clue what we're doing in the kitchen, and are beyond excited to be part of the IHeart Organizing team!"

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

52 One Room Challenge Week 4 - Fabrics & Finishes

Welcome to Week 4 of the One Room Challenge being hosted by Linda of Calling it Home.  You can see our plans here and follow all of the progress here.

Is it really Wednesday already?  I must say, it is scary to type, "Week 4" in the blog title.  I have been feeling under the weather for the past two weeks, and that paired with the two weeks until our room reveal timeline is leaving me filled with a bit of anxiety.  Mad props to designers who do rooms for a living, I bow down to you.

Each week we have been making progress, and although I am showing a few more pieces of the puzzle this week, we have about 109 more things happening behind the scenes to power through.  My hubby deserves a big hug.

Last week I mentioned I was giving the paint color one more week and making a decision.  Well, my decision is that I just don't have the strength to take on a full paint job at the moment.  And as I layered in some new elements over the past few days, it keeps coming together.  So for now, it is staying and I am going to keep working with it.  Anything we are doing to our space will match an endless number of wall colors should we decide to change it down the road.  And knowing us, we will.

Because we basically transplanted our previous living space to our downstairs family room, that left this space a complete blank slate.  Everything down there is now super cozy, including our previous living room rug.  In fact, it was a magical addition because it is so much thicker and softer on our lower level floors, literally warming it up.  I brought the rug from downstairs up to see how it would fit, but quickly realized we needed something bigger than a 6x9 option.

Knowing we are bringing our pattern and colors into the space through things like fabrics and accessories, I want to keep our investment pieces a bit more neutral.  We are hoping that we won't have to touch this space for years after we are done with it, so things like cabinets, the sofa, floors and the rug, all have to be timeless and more "grown up".  My husband did remind me that we are now closer to our 40's than our 30's the other day... sigh...

Rug shopping wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  How hard can it be to find a simple 8'x10' solid rug?  Everything I loved at my "go to" Rugs USA was on back order or sold out.  I am also sure I hit every HomeGoods and rug store in the Twin Cities area.  When I spotted the Grey Fringe Rug at Pottery Barn, I managed to grab the last one in inventory.  Such a relief.  And even more of a relief is that it really defined our living area just as I was imagining it would.

As you can see above, we started pulling apart the media cabinet.  We have been going over plans and have our electrician coming to move some outlets for us this week before we can build it back together.  It will be nice to bring our TV back into the space, watching Hulu on the computer while we work on projects isn't quite the same.

Let's chat about the added chairs for a minute.  For years and years I have had my eyes on spindle chairs.  But the prices!  I never had it in me to take the plunge because they were typically only found at high-end furniture stores and cost more than any sofa we have purchased.  And for good reason, they are gorgeous!  So last year when I spotted a spindle chair at HomeGoods for a quarter of the normal price, you can bet I scooped that baby up in a heart beat.  It had been living in our son's room ever since....

For the last six months it has been waiting patiently for this renovation, but it needed a little face lift before moving to our new living room.  I painted it Benjamin Moore's Simply White and had it reupholstered in Tonic Living's Meadow Monarch Trellis fabric.  The upholsterer added extra support and batting and the cushions are all removable and washable.  The combination of the fabric and chair is stunning and finally brought my love for green into the room.

The chair is so comfortable and plush.  I can't wait to add books back to the space and call dibs on this corner as mommy's "time out" chair.  I am slightly concerned that it is a little light colored for a family space, but I found some well reviewed fabric protector which is a healthier alternative to Scotchgard (I will be sure to post a review once I have tested it out, a few of you had questions on my fabric protecting plans).  And the cushions can all be washed like slipcovers so hopefully my dream chair stays.  If not, a chair swap can happen easily enough, but that will also mean that I will have to move with it....

(lamp source)

After the rug came in, we realized that we had room to add a second chair.  In fact, it would balance out the conversation area, which I am really giddy about.  What I also love about using a couple of chairs in this space is that they can easily be moved around depending on how we are using the room. (In the photos the chairs look a little crammed with the bookcase but they have a few inches to move forward, and with the bookcase taken apart the center unit is temporarily pulled out quite a bit further from the wall than where things will ultimately land.)  I hopped right onto Craigslist and my quick hunt turned up this pretty gal.

Of course, when I picked it up it had seen better days, but it also received a few coats of paint and she instantly looked like new.  Now I just have to decide on the fabric for the cushion.  Speaking of fabrics, wanna see what I landed on?

I finally found a combo that will flow with the rest of the home and continue to tie all of our spaces together.  I am not-so-patiently waiting for some pillow covers to show up in my mailbox and I may even try to dust off my sewing machine this week.  Clock is a tickin'.

I thought about tufting the coffee table top, but I couldn't find a darker fabric that was feet friendly yet didn't weigh down the entire space visually.  So I decided that a sturdy wood top would be a feet and cocktail approved alternative.  We cut a piece for the top and still have to cut a second chunk for the bottom to fit, and this week I am also playing with stain combinations to finish things off.

Although I have always had a crush on airy spaces with white and bright colors, I also love adding black accents.  The drapes will have black banding, the table has pretty black legs and we also added a gallery of black frames to the large wall going down the stairs.

One of the things I appreciated when we walked into our home prior to the renovation, was our large wall of family photographs.  Those larger frames also moved downstairs, but I still want our family moments to remain in this space.  The stairway frames are from Michaels and the mats are from Amazon.  The photographs... they still have to be printed...

I still have to land on a decision regarding the entry pendant and we have a few hooks sitting on the ledge to be installed.  I would also love to add wallpaper to the panels going down the stairs but we will see if that makes the cut.

Although trying to take on this big of a space in six weeks is a bit overwhelming (I typically tweak rooms over the course of years so I am learning as I go), it is nice that we are finally to a point of being able to actually use the room again after almost four months.

Now, I am going to curl up in my "time-out" chair, take a breather, and check out the rest of the One Room Challenge spaces before getting back to kitchen floor installing, table staining, pillow sewing and media stand building.

Chair fabric provided by Tonic Living / Lamp provided by Wayfair.  IHeart Organizing is extremely grateful to have the help of special sponsors to finish this room in six short weeks.

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