Geeky Decor in Honor “The Hobbit” 2 in Theaters

Almost a month later than the premiere, but my intentions still good!

I was able to watch “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” opening weekend in December before my work site-shutdown. In honor of the premiere, I wanted to share my own geeky decor found in the living room of my apartment 🙂

  • First, above the entrance to my apartment is the following quote. I found an easy, cheap, and simple way to decorate is to take a quote you really like, print it on normal paper, and put it in a cool frame. I got this mirror-like, marbled Celtic themed frame from Khol’s on sale for $5. I like seeing the quote before I leave as inspiration for the day.

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“The road goes ever on and on…” — Bilbo Baggins, “The Hobbit” (book)

For more info on this quote and where it’s references throughout Tolkien’s works: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Road_Goes_Ever_On_(song)

  • Second, a poster map of Middle Earth, thanks to Naomi! I simply bought a poster frame from Walmart for $8 and hung it up on the wall. You can also see my Final Fantasy X inspired key decor on the left.

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For more info on the FFX key decor, go here: https://chubbyriceball.wordpress.com/2013/09/02/final-fantasy-x-inspired-home-decor/

Hope this helps you think of your own apartment decoration ideas!

Thriftshops = Decorating For Cheap!

As the focus of my posts have drastically shifted, you can tell that I’ve got bitten by that home decor bug. I’v always liked decorating my dorms and rooms I have lived in before, but for the first time I have an entire place to populate with items by myself! I’ve found it to be a lot of fun, but kind of frustrating. It’s sort of like a creative puzzle. You want things to look like they belong together, but I personally don’t like the matchy matchy look. Also, even though I’m working doesn’t mean I want to break the bank!

My biggest tip? Visit your local thrift shop.

I found the following goodies at the Goodwill by my apartment.

1. A Malma Ikea mirror for $1.99! It was a little banged up, so I primed it and repainted it to fit my bathroom’s design.

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Figure.  Before! A normal Malma mirror, square and a bit beaten up.

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Figure. Primed and ready for a face lift!

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Figure. Tadaaa! Pretty in pink and shining bright like a diamond.

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Next up, this framed quote! Apparently it was a custom frame and very well done.

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Figure. I resonate with the quote very much.

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Figure. Just in case you can’t read the framed version 🙂

Finally, this nifty candle holder that caught my eye before leaving.

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Figure. It reminds me of a tree!

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Figure. Here it is with an old candle I had.

It can be sometimes hard to see the potential of old or use items versus brand new and shiny items lined up in department stores, but I personally think it adds a story to the recycled piece.

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Figure. Action shot of my two thrifted items flanking the ends of my living room feature wall.

Curious what else is there? Here’s a list:

  • Lovely photographs my brother in law took and framed for me as a 23rd birthday present.
  • A set of 3 floating shelves from Ross, though I have seen similar one’s at Khols, Amazon, and Bed Bath and Beyond
  • My own DIY canvas art pieces. Learn more about them [here]
  • 3 frames I got from Pier One. What’s framed? Blood cells! I got these images from my old college textbooks. Why? Because that’s just how biologists roll and science is quite beautiful.

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Figure. Close up of my biologist blood cell decor frames. Left: Red blood cells with sickle cell anemia formation, Center: White blood cell attacking an E. coli cell, Right: Healthy human Red blood cells.

DIY: Urban Outfitter Knock-Off Rugs

The work schedule has been a little cray cray with the final push to end of the quarter, so to relieve some stress I have been DIY-ing a lot again for the apartment. I hadn’t realized that Urban Outfitters had a pretty snazzy Apartment decoration section online, until fellow blogger Kristina blogged about it. I had always associated Urban with cute yet pricey clothes based on the store located on UPenn’s campus (that particular Urban never had any good sales).

Anyways, this DIY is a copy cat project! I had been eyeing the following Urban Outfitters, but sadly, I didn’t buy them in time and they are no longer for purchase on the website. 

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Figure. The original Urban Outfitter rugs that inspired this DIY.

Edit: The rug on the right “Plum & Bow Apartment Sweet Apartment Mat” is still for sale for $24! [Urban Outfitters Link to Rug]

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Figure. The versions I yielded after a bit of planning and work. Sorry for the slightly anemic colors; I swear it looks even better in person haha.

Intrigued? Keep reading for steps to make your own!

Materials:

Here is what I used for this DIY to make 2 rugs. I listed the price and places for items I specifically bought for this project.

  • 2 placemats (Dollar Tree, $1/mat)
  • 1/2 yard of burlap fabric (Walmart @ $3/yard)
  • Non-slip shelf liner OR rug grip pad (Dollar Tree, $1/roll)
  • 3M painter’s tape
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Heavy books
  • Fabric paint
  • Paint pen (optional)
  • Stencils

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Figure. Your weapon of choice for this particular project.

Procedure

Step 1. First I took this unattractive placement and covered it in two layers of fabric, attaching it with hot glue.

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Step 1 Tips: Alternatively, you could paint the placemat first or use a solid colored one to use only one layer of fabric. Since the texture of burlap has tiny holes in it, you can see through it easily. Also, while you want the fabric to snuggly fit over the placement, do not pull too tightly when gluing or else you might warp the fabric’s pretty texture.

Step 2. After gluing, the mat might look a little puffy, so what I did was iron down the rug and then left it overnight under some heavy textbooks to flatten it out. Haha, this is how college graduates make their old books useful!

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Step 3A. Painting time! I used fabric paint, 3M painter’s tape to make borders, and stencils for the lettering.

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Step 3 Tips: You might have noticed one of my rugs ended up having a messy border. While I liked it for that particular rug’s style, I would suggest not using  sponge to apply fabric paint. Use a normal paintbrush to decrease the chance of paint bleeding through your tape and stencils! Also, highly suggest using 3M brand because it’s the only one that has given me such crisp lines! I freehand painted the comb.

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Step 3B. For the “Apartment Sweet Apartment” rug, I actually opted to freehand it completely. I used the paint pen to write the words in script and a paint brush to make the designs. Surprisingly neat considering how horrific my normal penmanship is (just leaf through my work NB).

Final Step. Cut your liner or non-slip mat to fit the back of your new DIY rug so that it stays in place on the floor! I simply hot glued it to the back, making sure to cover the raw edges of the burlap to prevent fraying.

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I’m not entirely sure of the longevity of these DIY rugs, but I’m really happy with it. I was able to make two of these rugs for super cheap, using many materials I already had in my craft supply. Also, I think they kind of look true to the originals 🙂

BONUS PIC. Engineering in progress on the right! I tried imitating the “Apartment Sweet Apartment” more closely, but it ended in tragedy. Which is how I ended making the one on the left the way I did. I would suggest concentrating on centering the script first rather than making the borders and being concerned about fitting in all the hearts. Also, as you can tell from the prototype on the right, using a paintbrush to write script is super hard. Haha.

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New Apartment Photos!

Finally these are up! Things are always changing in our new home, but here’s a glimpse of what our new place looks like Far better and cheaper than the dorm. Plus, I am more free to decorate as I like with nails and hammer handy 🙂

Order of photos:

  1. My room: door, closet door, back of door, dresser area, bed, sidetable, desk area, windows, puppy poster
  2. Hallway: community shelf
  3. Naomi’s door
  4. Megan’s door
  5. Home carpet
  6. Hallway carpet
  7. Bathroom: curtains, towels, shower curtain
  8. Living room,
  9. Kitchen

Enjoy!