Kitchen Shelving + Holiday Table Decor

DIY open shelving wall

At long last, I’m ready to share the full tutorial+tips for building this wall of shelving! I built this entire thing completely by myself, and yes, you can too! I was able to use construction-grade pine lumber, but a lot of elbow grease and a few tricks helped make them look much nicer. I shared the entire process at A Beautiful Mess, so head on over to check it out if you’re keen!

Another fun project I shared at A Beautiful Mess this week is this fun mandarin tower table centerpiece. This craft was a huge hit at our house, as Lucy was able to make one without any help from me (shocked my socks off!), and the girls loved plucking mandarins from the tree to have for a snack.

fruit tower table decor

fruit tower table decor

We’re hosting a gathering on New Year’s Eve, and I think we’ll make a couple more towers for decorating our snack spread. They look so fancy, but they’re simple and economical to make.

open wood shelves kitchen

Same for my shelving system! Well, okay, so it’s not exactly simple. But as far as woodworking goes, this is pretty straight forward. If you end up building something similar in your own home, I’d love for you to share it with me!

We’re very eager to finish up the last details of the kitchen project, which seems to be dragging on and on. It’s so tricky when you’re working on two spaces at once. We also have just finished up the living room completely (!!!!) and I’m sooo excited to share that with you very soon. Home renovations are exciting, but man, they are all-consuming. I’m ready to finally decorate for the holidays and take a little breather from all the drywall dust everywhere!

DIY shelving system

DIY open shelving wall

KIDDO CRAFT | Tic Tac Toe Snack Board

kid craft ideas- snack game board

One of the hardest parts of moving, from the kiddos’ perspective, is that crafting has not been easy to come by! Most of our craft supplies are still packed up, and we’ve only just began to have a space suitable for sitting and crafting the day away. But I looked around and found some leftover materials from our kitchen renovation, and came up with a fun craft Lucy really enjoyed, especially since in the end it involved playing games while eating a favorite snack.

I partnered with Horizon Organic on this project to feature their honey graham snacks, but this project would also work great with Horizon cheese shapes and your kiddo’s favorite fruit. Follow Horizon on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest for more fun snack ideas!

kid craft ideas- snack game board

DIY snack game board

This project was free for me to make, because I already have the materials on hand. But if you don’t have scrap wood, chalk paint, and sandpaper laying around, they aren’t to expensive to pick up in stores.


  • 5×5 piece of wood
  • sandpaper (We started with 80 grit and finished with 180)
  • white chalk paint, or white primer
  • artist’s paint brush
  • optional: wax or your sealer of choice— butcher block oil is a great food-safe option

DIY snack game board

Lucy has seen me working with power tools and building things for as long as she’s been alive. It’s a great passion of mine to empower her to be able to do and create anything she can imagine. But first, she needs to get to know the fundamentals of woodworking. I cut the wood before we got started, which left jagged edges that needed smoothed out. We talked about why we sand wood, and how to sand in the direction of the grain. Also, we talked about beginning with a lower grit (“more bumpy”) sandpaper to smooth out and rough edges and uneven places, then transitioning to a higher grit (“less bumpy”) sandpaper to smooth out the scratches and make it nice to touch.

It was really special to see her focus so much on getting out all of the scratches and corners! Look at that concentration.

kid craft ideas

After we wiped the saw dust off of our boards, we got out chalk paint to do our lines. We used chalk paint because it doesn’t require primer. But using primer would’ve worked too!

Painting lines was also a great preschool exercise for her. She did a pretty good job, I thought. But she did ask me, “Why is yours better than mine?” I told her I’ve had lots of practice. And then she told me she was going to practice a lot so she could be better than me. Ha! Sounds like a plan.

When I took this photo (above), Lucy asked me, “Do I look like an artist?”

kid craft ideas

Her first line was globbiest, but she quickly learned how to adjust to make finer, straighter lines. (I lightly drew the lines in pencil first, so she could trace them.)

kid craft ideas- snack game board

After the paint dried, we got out our Horizon Organic graham game pieces and began to play tic tac toe. I think I won five games in a row before she figured out she needed to focus more on blocking me than filling up the board with her chocolate game pieces.

kid craft ideas- snack game board

Lucy and I really had a nice time making these boards together! It was just enough of a process to be interesting to her, but not so long that it tested her patience too much for just a fun craft. I’m already thinking about other games we can make together! Bonus points if food is involved!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Horizon. The opinions and text are all mine.

How to Stretch + Frame Canvas Art

How to Stretch + Frame Canvas Art

You know how it goes. You’ve purchased the curtains. You’ve painted the doors. You’ve selected your art. But then your decorating budget is quickly derailed when you find out how expensive all of the forgotten details can be! I’m talking about things like curtain rods, doorknobs, and picture frames. I’m a big fan of having art properly framed, and have paid a pretty penny to have it done professionally a few times in the past. But I’m also not afraid to make room in my decorating budget by doing it myself when I can! So if you’re balking at the price of custom framing your canvas art, check out how simple it is to do it yourself.

Besides framing your art yourself, another way to save money is by purchasing art on unstretched canvas, then stretching it yourself. I found a website which does art reproductions on unstretched canvases, and the rails for stretching only set me back about $8 at my local art supply store. I’ve also purchased pre-stretched canvas art from places like I just really love that canvas prints don’t produce the glare that is inevitable with posters framed behind glass. So canvas art is my preferred choice.

DIY Float Frame and Recessed FrameDIY frame building

Above Left: Milton Avery reproduction available here
Above Right: Jimmy Stewart in The Man From Laramie available here

stretching canvasDIY frame building

You can purchase rails for stretching canvas at any art supply store, just keep in mind that they’re sized in even number lengths only. These rails totaled about $8, and are already fitted with slots to easily join the corners yourself. I didn’t even glue my corners, because the fit was nice and tight. But you might want to glue yours.

After putting together the rails, I used clamps to hold the canvas in place after I stretched it as tight as I could. I used paper towels to protect the surface of the canvas from the clamps. Then I used a simple staple gun to attach the canvas to the rails, doing a neat fold at the corners.

How to stretch a canvas

DIY frame buildingDIY frame building

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post for A Beautiful Mess about different kinds of frames you can construct by gluing together various pieces of wood and square dowels I had found at Lowes. This time around I made one frame in the float mount technique and one frame with a simpler version of the above recessed mount. See how I glued together the recessed mount frame below. The square dowel is what provides the lip that covers the edges of the face of the canvas.

DIY frame building

After you’ve decided what profile you want for your frame, just glue the wood together with wood glue, and clamp it tight. Wipe away any seeping wood glue promptly with a wet rag. After the glue has set up, you can cut the lengths with a miter saw or box saw to the lengths that will fit your art.

Below you can see my dry fit of the float mount frame I created for my Milton Avery painting. Always make your cuts longer than you think they need to be, and trim them down as needed.

DIY frame building

After a dry fit shows that the frame is the right side, stain or paint it how you like.

DIY recessed frame

Here are some images from my post for A Beautiful Mess which show how I used a belt clamp to hold the frame tightly together. You can use wood glue, or even better, use Gorilla glue after dampening your the cut ends of your wood. The water and the pressure of the clamp will activate the gorilla glue and make for a super tight hold. Just be sure to scrape away any of the foaming glue that seeps out from the joints.

After the glue has set, and before removing the belt clamp, I recommend adding nails to secure the corners of the frame. Then, slide your stretched canvas art into place, and hammer nails on the back inside of the frame to secure the canvas to the frame. Just be sure to use wire brads that aren’t so long that they’ll poke through the frame or the canvas!

DIY frame building

DIY Float Frame

There she is! This art is going to go above a floating drawer in the entryway of our new home. Can’t wait to make a sweet little vignette in front of it! I think it’s a charmer.