$1 Flip Flop Day at Old Navy Today!

Today only, Old Navy is selling their solid color flip flops for only $1! This is the perfect time to stock up on different colors. You could even purchase as a base to create crafty DIY sandals with ribbons or whatever you dream up!

Another great option is to use these if you’re getting married. Having a beach wedding? Grab a bunch of sizes in your wedding colors as a guest favor. Even if you’re not having a beach wedding, it’s a cute idea to put a basket of complimentary sandals by the dance floor, to keep guests dancing when their heels start hurting! The limit is 5 per customer, so grab a few friends to help you out.

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Yard Sale Coffee Table Makeover

Furnishing my house has been a task due to my indecisive nature, but I found I’m able pull the trigger much quicker if I think I’m getting a heck of a deal. Then in true Tim Gunn style, I simply “make it work.”

I was itching to try my first furniture DIY makeover project, but really had no clue what it would be. I scoured thrift stores and resale stores, but anything I liked was too pricey in my opinion for a first attempt. Then I went to a few yard sales, and hit the jackpot! I found a gem that’s the perfect size for my living room, but definitely needed tlc. I was able to negotiate her down to $10…not bad! If I hated it, I would toss it, and for $10 I figured it was worth a shot. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find the full shot “before” pic,” but you’ll get a sense in the pics below.

Here’s the tools I started with:

Style Trials DIY Table Makeover Tools

  • Sanding sponge (medium grit) to get in the crevices and oddly shaped areas
  • Epoxy Putty
  • Painters tape
  • Electric sander (not pictured) with fine grit – oddly enough, I found this too at a yard sale a few weeks ago!
  • Flat latex paint (if you want it shinier and easy to wipe, get something with a sheen instead. Eggshell, Semi-gloss, or Gloss)
  • Paint sponges

BEFORE

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Before

You can see how beat up the wood was, especially in the molding on the legs. Also, there’s a metal piece at the foot of each leg (which I kinda liked), but I hated the matching fake drawer pull that was on the side of the table. I simply unscrewed the drawer pull with a screwdriver…easy peasy. Since I was keeping the metal legs, I taped them off so I wouldn’t accidentally paint or sand them. Then used the putty to fill in the drawer pull holes and “remold” the missing chunks on the legs.

Style Trials Coffee Table Makeover Putty

Style Trials Coffee Makeover wood epoxy

As the epoxy was drying, I took my electric sander and sanded down the finish on the entire piece, plus smoothed out any nicks. Once the epoxy was dry (about an hour dry time), I sanded down those areas too, and used the sanding sponge to get in the small molding crevices. I tried my best not to sand the entire thing too much, because I wanted to keep as much of the dark stain as possible. You can see here the natural wood color poking through, but I knew the darker finish would show up better during the distressing stage.

Style Trials Coffee Table Sanded

Next, you want to prep to paint by getting off all the dust caused from sanding. Either wipe with a clean damp sponge, or you could try my trick. Blow that sucker off with a leaf blower! Worked like a charm.

From there, I went straight into painting. I probably should’ve primed it first since I wasn’t using chalk paint (which doesn’t require primer), but I’m not gonna lie…I didn’t. I felt like this piece didn’t need it because it had a marble top, and the top is what would get the most wear and tear. Also, this wasn’t going in a highly trafficked area, but if your piece is then you should probably use a primer first.

Style Trials Prime and Paint Furniture

Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane

Let me tell  you, I was really excited about the paint because I got it for FREE! Every few months or so, Ace Hardware has a “Find Your Soul Paint” event where you literally get a free quart of paint of your choice…no purchase necessary! I post these types of deals on Style Trials Facebook and Twitter pages,  but you could also follow Ace Hardware  just to make sure you don’t miss it.

I went with Clark + Kensington flat paint in color Harbor Lane. It’s a really pretty pale blue. It dried super quick, so by the time I was done with the first coat I was able to immediately paint the second. The paint sponges helped to get into the little areas without being streaky.

Now, I could have left it just like that, but I wanted a distressed look. Sometimes I think distressing actually makes a piece look more expensive, plus painted distressed furniture is really on trend right now.

Style Trials Distressing Furniture

My living room is still a work in progress, so I quickly styled this for the after photo.

AFTER

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover 2

Style Trials Living Room Coffee Table Makeover

I’m thinking not bad for $10! What do you think? Have you given a piece of furniture a makeover?


Cotton Candy Bunny Tails

A friend of mine made the cutest Easter treats for a party, and I couldn’t resist sharing with you! She said it was super easy to do, and would be a great gift to bring to a party. Best part is, you get to play with cotton candy! Mmmm.

Easter Bunny Cotton Tails

Style Trials Easter Bunny Cotton Tails Cotton Candy

Here’s what you need:

  1. Small – Medium plastic baggies – you could probably use ziplocks or sandwich bags, but I think she found these ones at a dollar store which look better. They don’t close, but you end up sealing them shut with staples anyways. I’d estimate these to be about 5″ wide.
  2. Cotton Candy – buy a few packs of one flavor or variety sold at places like Target, Wal-Mart, and dollar stores.
  3. “Like” The Idea Room on FB for their free Cotton Bunny Tail printable you’ll use to top off each bag! Click on previous downloads and you should see them. While you’re at it, I’d appreciate if you’d “Like” Style Trials on Facebook too. 🙂

From there, it’s super easy! Just take the amount of cotton candy you want, and lightly mold it into a flattened ball shape with your clean (ha, yessss clean) hands. Put it in the bag, fold the top of the bag over two or three times (if it doesn’t zip closed already), then fold the printable over the top of the bag and attach with one staple on each side. Here’s a close-up…

Style Trials Easter Bunny Cotton Tails

Adorable, right?

This is another cute version of a different cotton candy Bunny Tail gift with free printables. This one requires jars, so may be a little more expensive to make.

Easter is only a few days away, so hop to it!

What are you fav Easter DIY projects, treats, or traditions?

 


Decoupage DIY Clipboard with Astrobrights Paper!

This post brought to you by Astrobrights Papers by Neenah Paper. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s been awhile since my last project, and my artsy side has been itching to come out. So it was perfect when I got the challenge to create something out of my new favorite craft paper, AstroBrights!

There are so many things I can do with this paper, so I started brainstorming. As I was thinking, my eyes wandered over to the ugly, drab clipboard sitting on my desk, and I knew this was a much needed project. A DIY clipboard makeover of course – PERFECT! Something you can personalize, use at work or school, and is definitely pin worthy. 🙂 Here’s the main tools I started with:

  • A plain clipboard
  • AstroBrights Paper
  • Paper ModPodge
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Paintbrush
  • Acrylic Paint (a small tube of your preferred color)
  • Cardboard or cardstock (to make a template)

AstroBrights comes in 23 awesomely bright colors, so I knew any AstroBrights design for this clipboard would liven it right up. However, I’ve been really partial to the chevron zigzag print lately, so I wanted to start there as my base.

First, I used the ruler to measure out and draw a chevron print on the cardboard.

I cut it out to create my chevron pattern template. I used the template to cut out several of the same zigzag strips on different color paper.

Next, I painted the entire front of the clipboard and just the top and bottom of the back of the clipboard (the middle will be covered with paper). I used a pretty teal paint. Let that dry before moving to the next step.

Then I laid out the chevron paper strips across the back of the clipboard, leaving the painted top and bottom areas showing. I used ModPodge and a paint brush on the back of the paper to glue the strips down. If you haven’t heard of ModPodge, it’s pretty much the greatest thing ever. It’s a glue and sealer with a glossy finish, and you use it to decoupage things.

Once that was dry, I flipped it over and used an x-acto knife to cut the excess paper from the edges.

I could’ve just left it like that, because it already looked SO much better! But I was still feeling crafty and wanted to add some girly touches. For the back, I used more AstroBrights paper to cut out shapes for an Owl figure. I glued them together with ModPodge. I also cut out two little branches.

I arranged them on the back, and once again glued down with ModPodge.

Since the back looked so cute, I couldn’t leave the front hanging. I decided to add my initial in pretty paper on the front. I cut a “K” out of paper, mounted it on another color, then trimmed the edges. I glued that down on the front of the clipboard which definitely gave it more oomph!

Once everything dried, the last step was coating the entire clipboard, front and back, with a thin layer of ModPodge. Don’t worry, it dries crystal clear with a glossy finish. I also added a pretty ribbon.

Checkout the finished results!

Ta Dah!!! Do you love it?

Astrobrights on Facebook has a lot of cool things going on  you should checkout. Make sure to enter their “Give a Brighter Year” sweepstakes where every “Like” enters you for a chance to win $30,000 in supplies for an elementary school of your choice! They’ll also have bi-weekly challenges with more prize opportunities.

What would you make with AstroBrights paper?

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Funky Cheetah Nail Art Tutorial

Kinda funny, but I was inspired by my Victoria’s Secret PJs to do this tutorial! You’ll see my inspiration in the “how-to” video. 😉

What I show here is a funky nail art cheetah/leopard design. I’m just going to call it cheetah print for now…does anybody know the difference? If so, please share!

Anyways, while hand-painting is time consuming, I think it gives you more options and you could do this on ALL of your fingers for a bolder design. I sometimes prefer a little variety, so I made it more subtle for an everyday look by painting this funky pattern ONLY on my ring finger. I did a pink tip manicure on my other 4 nails  to tie in the cheetah print colors. Pretty cool, huh?

Wanna see how I did it? Checkout my video below!

FUNKY CHEETAH NAIL ART TUTORIAL

Products Used

Base Color: Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure Nail Polish, Color “Commander In Chic” On Sale right now for $5.99

Dark Pink Cheetah Spots: Sinful Nail Polish, Color #871 $1.99 —-> yeah, that’s right $1.99!

Light Pink Cheetah Spots: Sinful Nail Enamel, Color #920$1.99

Black Liner: Sally Hansen Nail Art Pen, Color Black $7.99

Here’s a few more “after shots”….

 

What do you think of this cheetah print design? Tweet me your take on it @mystyletrials!


Garden Goodie Pot – Fun Gift Idea for a Gardener!

Spring and Summer are the PERFECT times to get crafty in the garden, and my newly found “green thumb” has been itching to make an appearance. Unfortunately, we’re still in our condo so we don’t technically have a yard. To get my fix, my hubby and I planted some potted herbs on our porch which actually just started sprouting! Some pretty fine looking sprouts if I do say so myself! 🙂


Well inspiration couldn’t have come at a better time. One of my best friends, Katie, was having a birthday party and recently started gardening. So I decided a garden “goodie pot” would be the ideal gift! That’s my take on a goodie bag, but instead of a bag you put everything in a pot planter! That way she can use the pot to plant something in. Inside the pot, I wanted to put some really cute gardening tools and fun things that would also be functional, yet girlie and adorable (of course). Target’s gardening section is really great, and that’s where I picked everything up. Plus, I love going to Target because it’s an excuse to checkout their $1 section!

Here’s what I picked up to put in the garden goodie pot, but you can really pick whatever you want for this type of gift.

  • Basic Plant Pot (I hand-painted the peacock feather!)
  • The cutest floral print gardening tool kit EVER
  • Matching floral print gardening apron
  • Plaid gardening gloves
  • And a gnome of course. Which was later dropped on the ground, glued back together, then named Henry.

You can see that when it came to putting everything together, the pot itself just wasn’t cutting it for me. It was too plain. Besides, I like to add a personal DIY touch to my gifts to make them more special, so I decided to paint the pot with one of Katie’s favorite motifs…a peacock feather! The pot I painted on was plastic, but this could work on plastic, metal or clay pots. I used acrylic paint. If you’re artistic, then I’d suggest definitely adding the touch of personalizing the pot. Of course it doesn’t have to be a peacock feather, it can be anything you want!

If you don’t like free-hand painting, then stencils would work. And at the very least, if you don’t have an artistic bone in your body you can always buy a fancier pot for the base of your gift. Just make sure it’s big enough to fit everything in like this. I also stuffed some pretty tissue paper in the bottom of the pot (because it was so big) so that everything stuck out of it a little more.

You can see how much joy a thoughtful DIY gift like this can bring. Katie loved it!

Here’s a few other inspiration pics of fun painted plant pots! You can personalize it for the person you’re giving it to like I did for Katie, or simply make it pretty and colorful.

Photo Credit: http://www.modishblog.com

Photo Credit: http://mysweetshack.blogspot.com

Photo Credit: http://staceyembracingchange.blogspot.com

Photo Credits: SchwidleShop on Etsy

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’m feeling inspired to paint my own terracotta pots on my porch. Maybe that will be my weekend project!

How do you like to personalize gifts?


Review: Cosmo’s New Ways to Use Epsom Salts

One of the things I love testing is household DIY beauty tricks; things like do-it-yourself hair masks, body scrubs, etc. It’s also resulted in some of the more ridiculous things I’ve tried (note: putting ketchup on your hair to get chlorine out is really just best for making your hair smell like ketchup. Yep, I really tried that–yuck!). I don’t know if it’s the thrill of potentially “saving money” by making things yourself, or the possibility of discovering some magical, secret beauty fix. But I get a kick out of it.

With that being said, you can imagine my interest in Cosmopolitan’s “Shameless Beauty Tricks” section. I decided to try out their suggestions on my blog, this being the first from a recent issue (Vol 251, No. 5, pg. 86). 4 fun, do-it-yourself ways to use epsom salts! In the past I haven’t really paid much attention to epsom salts, and I guess I subconsciously associated it with older people…like a Grandma using it to soak her feet. But I’m always open, so I decided to try these tips out.

I got my epsom salt at CVS for about $5, but you can get it practically anywhere (your local drugstore, grocery store, Target, Walmart, etc). The Cosmo article didn’t specify which kind of epsom salt to use, and I noticed there were two options. Regular, and Scented. My girlie side chose the lavender scent because I figured if these tips didn’t work, I could at least re-purpose it as a relaxing bath soak.

ALTERNATIVE EPSOM SALT REVIEW

1.) Use as a Body Scrub 

As most body scrubs are either sugar or salt based, mixing this grainy salt with body wash wasn’t exactly a new idea to me. To be honest, I was surprised they didn’t suggest mixing it with a body oil instead of body wash, which would help moisturize better (on top of exfoliating), but thought maybe this would help better for the exfoliating purpose.

When I tried it, I thought this epsom salt concoction just wasn’t grainy enough for really exfoliating. It was just okay. I’m not sure if it was the type I chose (maybe the scented kind is more finely ground?), but it felt too gentle for me. I’m sure it was lightly exfoliating, but when I’m in the mood to really exfoliate as I thought this would (like before spray tanning), I prefer something stronger like a hard loofah or grittier scrub. If you prefer a light exfoliation, then this could work for you.

2.) Use to Get Beachy Waves


They suggested putting 1 tsp of salt, a few drops of olive oil, and 1/4 cup of water in a spritzer water bottle, then spritzing on damp hair. This one seemed to work okay for me, but I do want to share that my hair has a natural wave to it. I’m not sure how this would work on stick straight hair, but if your hair curls up at all when air drying, then this may be something for you to try.

I put a VERY small amount of olive oil (because my hair is fine), and to be honest you could probably nix that part all together if your hair is oily. But I thought the salt part helped bring out the natural wave in my hair. It reminded me of being at the beach, with the heavy, damp salt air making my hair naturally curl up. The lavender scent also made my hair smell good!

I suggest spraying this on your hair after it’s been towel dried but still very damp, and staying away from the roots. Instead, I used a mousse on my roots to give it some lift, and sprayed the salt everywhere else. I let it air dry for a bit, but then flipped my head upside down and scrunched the rest while using a hair dryer on low to give it bounce. I still used other hair products to finish it off, like a flexible hair spray, but I do think the salt helped the wave part.

3.) Use as A Hair Clarifer

They suggested putting 1 cup of salt and lemon juice with a gallon of water, letting it sit overnight. Then pouring over your hair before you shampoo.

I don’t normally use a hair clarifier, but I did feel a difference after doing this. My hair just seemed to feel lighter and bouncier when I finished and dried it. My logic tells me the acidic lemon juice is probably the main contributor here, but the mixture seemed to work just fine. You probably don’t want to do this too often (I’m thinking once a month), and I’m not sure how color-safe it is. So that may be something to think about if you color your hair.

4.) Use to Fade Bruises–Fast


They suggested putting 2 cups into a bath, then soaking. I was most excited to try this, because I so conveniently had a good size bruise on my arm from a clumsy misadventure a few days earlier. I couldn’t wait for it to fade, but at the same time was skeptical of how this would work…until I actually purchased the epsom salt and saw that it was clearly advertised as a solution for fading bruises. I ended up putting more than 2 cups of salt into the bath, because I really wanted this to work. I even put a blob of wet salt directly on the bruise and let it sit there for awhile. I then relaxed in the salt-soak for at least 30 minutes, even longer than suggested, but I still didn’t see any changes. Two, three, four days later…the bruise was still there.

In theory, maybe it did help the bruise fade faster than it would have without the epsom salt, but I didn’t see quick to notice results. So overall, I would say this didn’t really work for fading bruises. Weird, especially since it’s advertised as a solution directly on the package.

Will you try any of these or do you have an alternative use for epsom salt? Leave me a comment and let me know!


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