Tag Archives: home decor

DIY My Little Pony Themed Bedroom – Ikea Hacks!

My 4 year old daughter is absolutely obsessed with My Little Pony, and before we moved into the new house, she told me that she wanted a My Little Pony bedroom. When we were living in Korea, I didn’t do much to her room. She was only about 10 months old when we moved in, and she rarely slept or spent time in her room anyway, so I just didn’t put in the time and effort. However, in our new “forever house” as the kids call it, I’m excited to make a space that she will love spending time in. Primarily because I would love for her to actually sleep in her own room!

I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Ikea since I bought my first piece of Ikea furniture back in 1999 when I moved out of the dorms into my very first apartment. I love the minimalist, easy-to-construct designs and the prices, but I hate the cheap, particle board covered in laminate quality. Even when I moved beyond the least expensive Ikea items and purchased higher priced Ikea furniture, the quality never impressed me. HOWEVER, over the years, I’ve discovered that the best Ikea products are actually their absolutely cheapest ones–the nondescript, unfinished wood pieces–because these pieces are made from REAL WOOD. None of that particleboard laminate crap.

My latest DIY projects are a strange homage to crappy Ikea particleboard/laminate (which I hate) and their more sturdy but super cheap unfinished wood (which I love). First up is the crappy Lack side table. It was surprisingly easy to paint. I removed the old stickers, unscrewed the legs, lightly sanded the surface and primed with a spray paint primer. As a side note, I LOVE SPRAY PAINT.


I did two coats of latex paint, which I had to mix (Rust-oleum white and navy blue) because they don’t make “Rainbow Dash blue.” I probably could have found the exact color in a spray paint, but I had to paint the entire dresser as well in the same color, and that’s an awful lot of spray paint fumes so I mixed a batch in a disposal plastic container.

Once the paint was dry, I printed out a stencil of Rainbow Dash’s Cutie Mark. Thankfully, there are only 4 different colors in the Cutie Mark. I cut out the stencils (one sheet for each color), then spray painted the Cutie Mark. I finished with Rust-oleum Crystal Clear Enamel rather than using polyurethane or any other top coating because… Well, honestly, I didn’t know how the polyurethane would work on cheap, crappy laminate.


Overall, I’m very pleased with how the table turned out. There are a few imperfections, but it’s for a 4 year old. She doesn’t care!

Next up, the dresser. I started with the Ikea Tarva. Plain, simple, unfinished drawers.


The color choices were easy because my daughter is so stubbornly clear on what she likes. I primed, sanded, then painted the top, sides, and legs in Rainbow Dash blue using latex paint and the drawers with spray paint. Two coats of polyurethane and some rainbow prism drawer knobs later…


I’m very happy with how the drawers turned out! I decided not to stencil on Rainbow Dash’s Cutie Mark for the sake of time. I have some Star Wars themed drawers to work on for the boys’ room, which I really need to get to work on soon because I can’t stand the piles of folded clothes sitting on the floor of their closet. Oops…

Anyway, Princess Penelope’s room is slowly but surely coming together! Can’t wait to share the finished room with you–but for now, here’s one little corner! 😉


Disclosure: This post contains links to products on amazon.com. These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from Amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *
jkwdesigns.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
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DIY Spray Paint Glass Jars and Plastic Planters

It’s been about a month since we moved into the new house, and there are still piles of boxes everywhere. Unpacking is slow-going, especially since the daily mommy grind of waking up- getting kids ready for school-packing lunch for the kids and the husband-taking kids to school-doing mountains of laundry-ironing shirts-cleaning kitchen-picking kids up-overseeing homework-reading with kids-cooking dinner-taking kids to martial arts class-getting kids bathed and to sleep won’t stop!! Plus, I can’t seem to get over the absolute novelty of having a yard and a garden after years of city living and the fact that so many craft/DIY supplies are just a short drive away.

The kids and I have started seedlings for our vegetable and herb garden, which my husband will need to fence in because we apparently have a herd of deer living in our backyard. We’ve seen as many as 7 doe lounging around at one time, and though it’s pretty neat to stand on our deck and deer-watch, it’s going to be all out warfare in the summer if they come anywhere near the garden!


So aside from standing around and staring at deer, I’ve also been standing around staring at things in Home Depot and Lowe’s, pretty much screaming, “PLEASE, TAKE ALL MY MONEY!!!” because I want to buy all the things.

However, I feel pretty good about my trip to Lowe’s this morning, not because I left without spending any money because I totally bought stuff, but because I came home with some sad, scraggly houseplants from the Clearance Rack for $1 each that I will lovingly nurse back to health and that is good for the world. And for my wallet.


I also bought cheap-o plastic planters for $1.29 each and a can of Rust-oleum Hammered Spray Paint (because I just had to see it for myself) and a can of Valspar Premium Finish Spray Paint in Satin Encounter (because I loved the color).

My plan was to spray the cheap plastic planters with the hammered finish spray paint, just to see what happens…


And despite the can saying that it’s paint + primer in one, I think my results would have been much nicer had I primed the planters first. I’m not disappointed with the results, but during the spraying process, I could see that the spray paint wasn’t adhering to the plastic surface very well. The paint seemed to slide down the plastic rather than sticking to it.



I’d say that it looks good from afar, and you really wouldn’t be able to tell that it’s a plastic planter until you hold it, and since it’s highly unlikely that anyone who comes to my house will pick up a plant to inspect the pot, I think the facade will work.

In addition to experimenting with the hammered finish spray paint, I needed to do something with these two glass jars that have been sitting on the kitchen counter because they’re totally not my style, but my mom gave them to me so I couldn’t bring myself to get rid of them.


I wanted to plant two of the small, pathetic pothos in these jars, but because the jars don’t have drainage holes, I would be placing about an inch of rocks at the bottom, and I needed to be able to see the water level. I marked the jars with blue painter’s tape to apply paint over the section with the flowers and the top portion of the jars.


After watching the spray paint slide off the plastic planters, I decided to prime these first. I used a spray primer, waited about an hour and sprayed two light coats of the Valspar. It turned out lovely! And I definitely love the color and the satin finish.

IMG_5667There’s a lot more painting and spray painting in my immediate future, so I’ll have new projects to share soon! I’m currently working on an cheap-o Ikea side table hack for my daughter’s My Little Pony themed room. Can’t wait to share!


Disclosure: This post contains links to products on amazon.com. These are products that I purchased and used for my own projects with no compensation. However, if you click on the link and purchase the product, I will receive a small fee from Amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *
jkwdesigns.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
* * * * * * * * *

New Adventures!

I can’t believe it’s been so long since my last post. So much has happened in the jkwdesigns household that I don’t even know where to begin! Not long after the school year began, I was elected PTO president at my boys’ school, and that part of my life simply took over EVERYTHING. It certainly didn’t help that my husband had to leave for a 6-week long work trip right around the same time. He returned from his trip at the beginning of November, and within weeks, he was offered a job in Pittsburgh that we simply couldn’t turn down, so from my whirlwind “term” (haha!) as PTO president to packing up an entire household and moving across the Pacific Ocean right before Christmas, spending the holidays with relatives that I hadn’t seen in over 3 years, house-shopping, and finding a short-term place to live while we wait to close on the house…all while juggling 3 kids who were battling jet-lag for what felt like WEEKS… Well, it’s been a busy couple of months!

However, life is returning to some kind of normal now. We’re settled into a little 2 bedroom apartment for the next 5 weeks, the boys started at their new school THIS MORNING (wahoo!!!), and I have become downright obsessed with what I’m going to do with our beautiful new home! It’s been a while since I’ve had the freedom to decorate and to indulge my DIY side. Seoul is an absolute dream when it comes to certain things such as art supplies and sewing and knitting, but painting and refinishing furniture and all the DIY glory of Home Depot—NADA!

Our new house, although it’s pretty much move-in ready, has so many possibilities, and it’s driving my husband absolutely crazy that I’ve already compiled a huge list of projects for the house. With our apartment in Seoul, the bright, open spaces really was perfect for the modern, minimalist style that I adore, but our new house is such an interesting space with lots of character, and I’ve already decided that I’ll be going with a slightly more eclectic look for the house.

The front part of the house is the original home, built in the 1940s, so the rooms are a bit smaller and there are some strange hallways, doors, and staircases, but it has beautiful, original hardwood floors, and the previous owners did quite a bit of renovations and updates to the space.  Somewhere along the road, a massive addition was built onto the back of the house, and this space is just amazing. There’s a large gourmet kitchen with vaulted ceilings that is open to a huge great room, and alongside the great room is a massive, indoor basketball court.

Yes, an indoor basketball court. My husband, who is not a huge basketball fan, wasn’t sold on the idea of having this huge, open space because what in the world do we do with it??? But oh, the possibilities!!! As a mom, having a giant space where I could just give the kids a ball and tell them to go run amuck on those rainy, bad weather days is PRICELESS. As a self-proclaimed party-planner, just imagine the kind of shindig I could put together in that space–I just need to make some friends in the area to invite over to party with me! 😉 And as someone who is absolutely obsessed with art and design and DIY projects… Seriously, what CAN’T I do with a giant, indoor gymnasium?

So stay tuned!!! I’ve already begun collecting inexpensive thrift-store finds to makeover into fun, updated pieces for the new house. Can’t wait to share the details with you!

Crochet Throw Complete!

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going back to the crochet hook to work on an afghan for my living room. Well, it’s finally done! It only took 3 weeks. 😉 Part of the reason why I enjoy sewing so much is because it doesn’t take long to complete a project. However, the satisfaction of finishing a knit or crochet project is just so much greater.

The design for the throw was inspired by log cabin afghans. I really liked the geometric design, but my living room is limited to 3 colors–black, white and gray. Although I’m open to the idea of introducing splashes of color to the room, I really didn’t want to commit to a bright pop of color in something that would take me so long to make. Most log cabin afghan designs are for 4+ colors, so I had to sketch my own design.

Here’s the original sketch, drawn on construction paper with crayons because honestly, that’s all I could find!

Once I had the design thought out, I really had to decide whether I was going to knit or crochet this. And after about 10 seconds of genuine consideration, I decided to crochet it. Considering how impatient I am with my knitting/crocheting (which is why I tend to stick to pint-sized projects), I didn’t think I could keep it together long enough to knit this thing, so I grabbed the crochet hook and got started.

Here’s the finished throw–I love it! And I think it looks great in the room. I finished it just in time too because my 17 month old daughter recently took a blue ballpoint pen and drew on my pristine white couch. My afghan can now cover it up. :-/

I’m about mid-way through the process of writing the pattern down, so hopefully in the next few days, I’ll have a free pattern to share! Stay tuned!

A week in review

It’s been a busy week or so, which is amazing considering that I’ve been half-zombified by a stomach virus that thankfully has only affected me and not the children. I finally paid the doctor a visit today, and as with most things, saw the doctor and immediately felt better even before taking any of the meds he prescribed. Should have gone last week. :-/

Anyway, here’s a rundown of my recently completed projects!

I mailed off the onesies selected by the winner of my most recent giveaway. Congrats again to JediMeg! Hope you share photos of your dapper little man in his skinny tie onesie and untied bow tie onesie. 🙂

I sent off a custom order of a toddler-sized aviator sunglass shirt.

I completed a dress for the shop. I made a similar dress for Miss Penny Penny a while back. The dress is made entirely of upcycled fabric and is a breeze to put on and take off since there are no buttons or snaps. Just slip it on and tie the ties in a bow or a double knot. It can be worn with the tie in front or in the back. Penny looks adorable in her version, and I would keep this for her if she didn’t already have a billion dresses to wear. 😉

I worked on another dress that’s also available in the shop. This one is a prototype and I’m still working on some design elements. It’s made from upcycled t-shirts, so it’s a stretch cotton jersey. The dress is red and the collar’s black. It has some messy stitching on the inside of the dress, but it’s not noticeable from the front. Regardless, I’m selling this dress at half price since it’s not as “finished” as the other items in my shop.

I was able to score some 4T and 5T sized shirts for my line of super cool little boy shirts. Email me if you’re interested in purchasing. This one is in the shop. It’s a 4T size.

I made Penny a bubble dress a few months ago, and I absolutely adore it, so I had to make one for the shop. I’ll definitely be cranking out a few more of these. I improved the design so now it’s reversible! This one’s red on one side, gray on the other so it’s like having two dresses in one! Made of 100% upcycled fabric.

I had some rare one-on-one time with Mr. Charlie. We built a Lego Optimus Prime together.

Lincoln had his annual cardiology check-up and the official diagnosis from the cardiologist? His heart is awesome. 🙂

More work on the living room… DIY photo canvases of the kids (they’re 16×20, which I thought was pretty big…but they seem so small on that massive wall).

Looking back at a week’s work, I’m feeling a bit better about the fact that I spent many hours in bed with an upset stomach and napping with my little Penelope asleep on my chest. 🙂 Spoiled little princess…