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!

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Reaching for the Stars in the New Year

Happy New Year!

Ahhh 2014, a new year, a new chance to start fresh and time to make plans and let your ambition soar! New years resolutions always make me think of “reaching for the stars” because they are like the wishlist tasks for the year that people aspire to fulfill. It made me think of the galaxy craze that has swept consumers for the past year. I haven’t braved a purchase yet, until recently.

I bought these cute constellation tights from Threadless.  Also, I got this awesome Dr. Who inspired tee since I have been recently catching up on seasons with Ten. I was curious what all the hub bub was about with this Doctor fellow, and I must say it’s pretty funny and entertaining despite it’s cheesy nature. 

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Figure 1a. Constellation tights from the Threadless website.

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Figure 1b.  An action shot! And you can see my teeshirt 

Threadless tights “Dot to Dot:” [Link]
Threadless tee “Of All Space & Time:” [Link]

Next, here is this sweeeet dress I found on Amazon that I am dying to order.

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Figure 2. Romwe “Mysterious Universe” dress.

Amazon dress: [Link]

Also, I would love to feature this somewhere in my apartment, but me thinks even my walls are getting to crowded. We shall see 🙂

There are tons of galaxy fashion tutorials online. If my list doesn’t inspire you, hopefully surfing Tumblr, Pinterest, and Etsy will do so!

Now what’s my resolutions for 2014? Here are a few:

  1. Get back to the gym grind and lose another 10lbs!
  2. Make plans to figure out how to obtain a Masters without being broke.
  3. Go through confidently with my dream to open an online shop without fear of rejection.
  4. Continue to find ways to improve and challenge myself 🙂

Hope you all have a great start to 2014!

The Ugly Christmas Sweater DIY of 2013

I’m a little absent-minded these days, but the least I could do is wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! To go along with the festive times, today I am featuring my ugly DIY sweater for the year!

Coincidentally, two weeks ago I had an Ugly Sweater contest sitewide at work AND a holiday party with the same theme to attend on the same Friday. I figured I should put some effort into finding a pretty darn good bad sweater.

Featured today is my own crafted sweater vest (EW!). I found this utterly tacky/kid-friendly vest at Goodwill with a Thanksgiving and fall theme. With 3 items from the dollar store, I added some festive cheer. Enjoy!

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Figure 1a. and 1.b. Before front and back! I bought this thing because of the lonely floating head. Makes me laugh every time!

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Figure 2. Festive savior! A reindeer felt bag, a snowman felt bag, and a Christmas stocking.

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Figure 3. Final product!

Happy Holidays to all ❤

DIY: Braided Rag Rug

Hello, and here is another DIY for the home! I wanted my kitchen to have some pop of color, so I decided to make a very bold rug. It is simply made of braided scrap fabric I had laying around.

Reference: I used this tutorial from Moda Bake Shop that I found on Pinterest as a guide: http://www.modabakeshop.com/2009/02/braided-rag-rug.html

Materials:

  • Bedsheets/spare fabric
  • Placemat
  • Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • Non-slip shelf liner OR rug grip pad

Note: some of these materials may sound familiar from my last rug DIY.

Procedures:

1. First, I ripped up a bunch of spare bedsheets and fabric I had lying around the house. Then, I started braiding using a clipboard to help me keep the tightness between the strands even.

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Figure 1. Blue, mint, and white seemed to fit my kitchen’s motif! 

2. Repeat the braiding until you have  a super long strand you are happy with!

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Figure 2. I think my braid ended up being over 5 feet when I was done haha.

3. Now to start the mat creation process! I measured about 6 inches in the center of the placemat so I would know where to start my braidrug.

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4. And so begins the winding of the braid! I suggest to make sure you have enough fabric to make your rug as big as you want before hot gluing it to the placemat. Alternatively, you could sew the braid onto a fabric placemat instead, which would enable you to throw it into the washer when it gets dirty. I wanted a quick rug DIY and figured by the time this one gets gross I will want a new rug to DIY 🙂

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5. When attached, flip over and glue some of that non-slip shelf liner or rug grip so you don’t slip and fall when you step onto your almost ready rug! Again, I was able to get an entire roll at my local Dollar Tree.

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6. Tadaaaaaaa!

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And an action shot!

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Hope you enjoyed this simple, easy, upcycle DIY!

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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The KEY to a dressed up Ikea dresser…

Remember this lovely transformation?

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Figure. Malm dresser 2.0 – The fabric Mod Podge project.

Well, I wasn’t satisfied! The color scheme and fabric print seemed too young and childish for someone my age, as much as I enjoyed decorating it. I wanted something a little more toned down to still be a showcase piece without clashing with my nightstand I loved DIY-ing together.

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So what did I do?

  1. Repainted: I threw on the complimentary color of my blue nightstand, a nice Harvest Pumpkin Orange using acrylic paint.
  2. Lines: I used 3M Painter’s Tape to create bold, black lines to outline and add a a little decor accent to the plain face of the drawers. I was pleasantly surprised how well the tape kept the paint from leaking under, which yielded very crisp lines.

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    Figure. Can you believe all you need is tape to make these beautiful lines? A great technique/artist tip from 2D art class from high school!

  3. Mod Podge: While Mod Podge plays a less critical role in this project, it was still my choice of sealer since I had it on hand at home.
  4. Feature Pieces: KEYS! I found this beautiful over-sized and ornate keys at Michaels’s craft store for $1.50 a piece. Of course the key designs that I liked the most and seemed to be able to lie flat the best were originally colored white. Luckily, I had some Liquitex acrylic black paint that easily covered these metal keys in about 3 coats.

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    Figure. I think that these antique looking keys have the potential to spice up a very clean and modern looking piece of furniture!

  5. GLUE! My trusty E600 industrial glue did the trick to hold up these heavy keys onto the drawers faces. The trick is to apply glue onto the key, wait 2 minutes to dry a little, and then hold down onto the surface of the drawer. Allow to dry over night.

The results?

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And up close!

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TADAAAAAA! Just goes to show that you can make Ikea furniture appear a little more grown up or at the very least a little more trendy with a bit of creativity.

While I think my color scheme was largely influenced by the fall and oncoming of Halloween, I think subconsciously my old video game loving self keeps creeping into my designs for DIY (sorta like my Yuna inspired key!). This dresser feels inspired by May from Guilty Gear, what do you think?

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Figure. Adorable and deadly! Would love to cosplay as her one day.

Ikea Hackers:

Special thanks to Ikea Hackers for featuring my project again on their website!
http://www.ikeahackers.net/2013/10/the-key-to-a-dressed-up-malm-dresser.html

If you want to learn more about Ikea Hackers, you can read my blog post about it here: https://chubbyriceball.wordpress.com/2013/02/17/ikea-hackers-interior-design-inspiration/

Final Fantasy X Inspired Home Decor

This simple DIY project was inspired by Final Fantasy X’s Yuna Braska and her cool looking staff.

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Figure. Yuna’s default staff in FFX.

When I posted the project on Facebook, I mentioned that I wanted something FF inspired without being too obvious for the entrance of my apartment (don’t want to scare away visitors too quickly).

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Figure. Key before paint job.

I found this cool, but plain key piece at my local Michael’s craft store on sale for about $10 (marked down from $35). Originally, I wanted to paint it like a keyblade from Kingdom Hearts. However, the top piece of the key reminded me of the sigils and temple symbols from Final Fantasy X.

I used acrylic paints, both basic and metallic colors, to mimic the design and color scheme of Yuna’s staff. I think it was quite successful and was finished in just one night. It was sealed with my new favorite craft savior: mod podge.

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Figure. Key after paint job!

I unintentionally have a slight travel theme going on in my living room (ironic because I haven’t traveled to many places compared to other people I know).  So, I was thinking of completing this entrance wall with a quote from “The Hobbit” along side this beautiful Middle Earth map poster that Naomi got for me. I’ll update later if I ever get around to doing that.

I hope you have enjoyed this and hope it provides some inspiration for more subtle video game home decors out there 🙂