Monday, November 5

Updating Second-Hand Chairs with Spray Paint

I finally did it. I finally picked a color and painted our dining chairs.

There's nothing like impending winter to kick me into gear, and this was one project I knew I needed to get done before the cold! So this is the story of how I painted them, and the silly, indecisive journey that made the process take so long. But after 30 years, I know indecisive is the way I work so I'm just rolling with the (very slow) punches over here.

Whether you're indecisive or not, painting is always a great way to freshen things up on a low budget, and dining chairs are no exception! This is a perfect project for spray paint because you don't have to worry about streaks, drips, or getting a brush around all those spindles and nooks. 

But before can paint, you need some chairs. Obviously *said in my best Prof. Snape voice*. For me, that meant starting with a hunt for a new set of chairs. We had a set of DIY industrial chairs from our last house, but they just weren't fitting my style any more. Ever since we moved in and built our extra-wide farmhouse table, I'd been dreaming of a set that better fit the style of our new table and new house.

I did a little poking around sites like wayfair and overstock, but deep down I knew that my thrifty roots couldn't abide new chairs when there were so many second-hand options out there for a fraction of the price. You know what they say: "Buy used and save the difference!" So I put most of my efforts into Craigslist and fb marketplace. I knew I wanted something simple, not too formal, with a classic style. And I didn't want to spend a fortune. During my long search for chairs, I also looked at tons of dining room inspirations on pinterest (part of the reason my search was so long was because I couldn't lock down quite exactly what I wanted) and, at long last, I started to hope for a classic Windsor-style chair. The one day, these guys popped up:

Wednesday, October 31

Shoebox Gifts: How + Why

Guys, did you know it's Shoebox Season??? Every year Operation Christmas Child delivers gifts around the world, and you can be a part of it! Drop-off week is November 12-19 this year, so let's get packing!

We look forward to this every year because - not only is it tons of fun - it's a great way to get your kids to think about giving in a season that's usually all about getting. Don't have kids to do it with? It's still super fun and an amazing opportunity to give!

All you do is take the kids (or yourself) to the store and fill a shoebox with all the gifts you can pack in. Then Samaritan's Purse International Relief will deliver the boxes around the world to impoverished little boys and girls who wouldn't get a single Christmas gift without you.

Here's all you need:
  • a shoebox (we like to buy plastic shoeboxes that can be also be used as buckets if needed)
  • age appropriate toys (you can see the age categories and suggested gifts here, plus a list of things you can NOT include like toy weapons, candy, or liquid soaps.)
  • a letter or drawing to the child
  • OCC printed label for your box (plus $9 to help cover shipping and other expenses)
  • A large rubber band to secure the lid

That's it! We love letting each boy pack a box for a boy his own age. Here are some of our favorite gifts each year:

Monday, October 29

$35 Home Office Refresh {Fall Budget-Reno Challenge}

Guys, this was fun.

I mean, I always like DIY and design projects, but there's a whole different kind of thrill when you pull off a big-impact change with a small-budget price tag. Lately I've been struck with the realization that as much as I love HGTV, I can't help but feel that they've taken a far step from attainable DIY into a new realm of "low budget" that's... way outside my budget. What's the point of looking at these beautiful spaces if they make us want what we can't have and buy what we can't afford? I so badly want to bring us back to a place where we look into our own homes and our own resources and carefully create homes that our just what we need them to be in every way. But that's a rant for another day. It's also the main reason I was so excited for this budget challenge!

If you joined us in the challenge we'd love to see (or at least hear about) what you did! You can leave links in the comments, tag us on instagram ( or facebook (@morelikehome), or tag your posts #morelikehomeblog and we'll check out your work! 

The rules were super simple (full details are in this post):
- refresh or reno a space in your home before you're cooped up looking at it all winter
- set a budget (whatever works for you!) and stick to it
- make thrifty magic happen (we'd love to see some $0 spaces!)
- share it with the group! If you want to. No pressure, guys. 

Ready to see what we did with our $50 budget? Brace yourselves - here's a quick flashback to the sad place we started:

Monday, October 8

Fall Budget-Renovation Challenge

Ready for a challenge? I'm checking one more thing off my to-do list before the cold weather hits and I'd love for you to join me!

Let's stretch those creative muscles and get our homes ready for fall! And I'm not talking about pumpkins or scarecrows. I'm talking about getting our homes ready for our families to cozy up inside on a chilly day. Making space to weather the coming winter and enjoy time together. Is there a corner of your home that needs a little attention before you're cooped up with it all winter? A dark kitchen that needs painted? Living room that needs freshened up or rearranged? Need to simplify the play room? That's the space we're talking about! And guys, we're doing it all on a budget. Because a house doesn't have to be expensive to be a home.

So what's the budget? It's whatever works for you. The point of this budget isn't to tie you down to an impossible goal. It's to give you the freedom do what you can, where you're at right now. Whether that means spending $50 or $100, just buying a can of paint, or reusing what you already have (I would love to see some $0 makeovers!), I want to see what you can do with what you've got.

This is a use-what-you-have, DIY, Craigslist extravaganza. 

Leftover paint? Use it! Hand-me-down chair in the basement? Bring it up! Need a new table? Start second-hand hunting! Let's make it happen.

Of course this is going to look very different for everyone depending on what materials you have on hand, the skills at your disposal, and whether or not you're a furniture hoarder from way back. *ahem* But guess what? It doesn't matter. You don't need to worry about what anyone else is doing/making/spending because this challenge is all about you, what your family needs, and what your home needs.

Now let's talk details: I'm setting a deadline of three weeks. That way any weekend warriors will have three full weekends for their DIY feats, and you Craiglist ninjas have time for some serious hunting. So on Monday, October 29 I'll share what we've done and I love for you guys to show us what you've been working on!

Sound good? Are already thinking of the perfect space to tackle? Here's what I'll be working on:

The little desk corner of our home office/library. This little room is one of the most-loved in our home and between reading, homeschool, and crafting we spend a good amount of time in here most days. The other half of the room is ready to go with floor pillows and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, but this side just isn't working for us as well as it could. Or as well as we need it to. We need space to roll out felt, storage for homeschool books, and more simplified/organized space on the whole. So here's my basic plan:
  • make the desk space more functional with a larger work surface
  • add shelving above the desk
  • organize and simplify the stuff (including that craft closet next to the desk)
Hopefully that's as simple as it sounds! And my budget to get it done is under $50.

I'll share progress and sneak peeks on Instagram as we go if you'd like to follow along! And we'd love to see your work - just tag us!

What would you love to tackle for your fall budget-reno??