All posts by detroitdeco

DIY Dreamy Doll Playroom


Barbie-Topia a Dreamy Barbie Playroom


Barbie-Topia est. 2020

Barbie💎Topia, Population: 225

For Our Love For Barbie

If you are reading this you probably love Barbie too! So you know how much you can really enjoy Barbie. Especially with an endless amount of possibilities to her story and a never-ending creative stream of Barbie toys from Mattel. I grew up Playing Barbies and my Mother did too. In fact, there are still a few pieces of clothing from my Mom’s Barbie’s in Barbie-Topia.

As with my Mom, I gave my daughter my barbies, which started her off with about fifty dolls. We love setting everything up together and making sure Barbie is just right for all her adventures. Already feeling blessed for having so many Barbies to play with, our recent move to a new house gave us a basement with this perfect space for Barbie. It only felt right to make it her own. Living in New York and haven being born in Manhattan, my daughter loved the skyline idea. We officially established Barbie-Topia in July of 2020 with a population of 225.

Entering Barbie-Topia

Barbie-Topia Skyline
Shot from Barbie’s Helicopter

Barbie-Topia a Dream Barbie Playroom

From The Top of
Mt.Topia

The Barbie Doll Houses in Barbie-Topia


Make a dollhouse from a bookshelf. With some scrapbook paper and tape. Even add some Faux grass!

The Dreamhouses in Barbie-Topia

The Barbie houses featured in this post and the posts on candytoybox.com are not affiliating links, ads, or sponsored posts. The links are only there to save you time finding the items I am writing about.

Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse

This house is great. The Modern design is very well done. The Slide is really fun and the furniture it comes with is a nice modern style too. on Amazon $217

Barbie Dreamhouse

Barbie Dreamhouse

Between the two Barbie Houses, in my opinion, the Barbie Dreamhouse (above) is my favorite. There is more space inside each room to set stuff up. Also the rooms can be switched around and used for a different type room easily. Amazon Exclusive $199

DIY-ing Barbie-Topia a Dreamy Doll Playroom

Painting The Mural

This was a slightly different DIY project than I usually do, but I felt it had to be done. The 8 year old Barbie was screaming to have a permanent home!

I had never painted a mural before and I am sure I didn’t do it the teachnicial way, but I did it our way and I’m pretty happy with the results.

First, The Dollhouses

First, I traced around the doll houses the best I could. My goal was have it feel like you were sitting in the middle of the neighborhood, which is among the city buildings.

Not sure if I accomplished that 100%, I will let you be the judge of that. After you see more of Barbie-Topia on our family’s blog CandyToyBox.com.

Move out The Houses

After tracing the dollhouse or its shadow on the wall with pencil. I moved the doll houses out and began sketching out the lines where I knew I wanted buildings. If you decided to do something like this make sure you use large levels, rulers, and carpentry squares from the beginning. I started drawing first and got a little ways before realizing how not level it was. So it to some extra time to go back and line up everything. So just make sure to use you straight edge and levels from the beginning. Trust me you will want it to be straight and level (mines not level, but it’s straight enough).

I tested a the colors on the wall before moving the doll houses out just to make sure they were the right colors to match the houses and Barbie’s items.

After Straightening up the Sketch

After getting some help straightening the buildings and testing my paint. I moved the doll houses out the way. Then I taped off and painted the large areas of the two lighter colors.

The first two color I started with was the background and lightest colors, the blue and the light pink Ballerina chalk paint. When painting the background color you want to want to tape everything off as if you were just painting the whole wall. So tape off the ceiling where it meets the wall, the edges of anything else the wall touches that you do not want painted. In my case this was the stairs and the inside of window, the edge of the wall it meets up with, and the radiator cover.

Tape Off

My husband built this radiator covers to hide the old metal ones and to make it a cleaner neater area to play in. They are built out around the radiators with enough space all around so nothing is touching them or is a fire hazard. They also have adequate openings for the heat to come out.

Go ahead and tape of the large buildings that will be in the other light color so you don’t paint that area when your doing the background. If you know you don’t want a part to be painted with the background color then don’t paint it. Even though you will have to go back over it he edges later.

After The First Color Dries

Let the background color dry and then paint the next color. The other light color you are using the most of. In my cases the light pink.

You can do this part one of two ways you can either let the first color dry completely and then tape off the buildings for the second color. Or you can paint the background and paint the second color, freehanding the edges where the two colors will meet. Either way you will still have to tape of and go over the overlapping edges in order to get a clean straight line of color.

After the main Background colors dry completely you can tape of the other buildings or you can go back and start touching up the other buildings.

I do suggest painting the darkest color last and when you do be extremely careful not to get it on your lighter colors. It will be very difficult to cover up neatly if you do.

As you continue painting the other buildings and the rest of the of your mural you will will basically continue the same process of taping off the edges and painting to them and then letting it dry and taping the opposite edge and painting to it.

Painting a Straight Edge
Mistakes when Painting a mural

DIY-ing Barbie-Topia


This DIY portion of this post may contain affiliate links which I may receive a small commission from purchases made through these links at absolutely no cost to you.

DIY Dollhouse with Adjustable Shelves

One of the DIY dollhouse from an inexpensive bookshelf you can get at Walmart, Home Depot, and other places. This one has adjustable shelves which are great. That way you can adjust the shelves to accommodate some of Barbie’s playsets that are taller. I used Scrapbook paper to line the walls of each level of the bookshelf.

The Rugs are Inexpensive Indoor/Outdoor Rugs

Since it is the basement we wanted to put a rug down, but as we know Barbie’s items don’t always like to stand up well, so the rug has to be flat. You can see here I put some white duct tape (you can use any color) to help the rug from sliding so easily.

DIY Dollhouse out of a Storage Cube Unit

You probably recognized right away that this is your typical 3 by 3 storage cube shelving unit. We just took some scrapbook pages in the patterns we liked and taped them onto the cardboard that you nail to the back of the shelving unit. The only problem with using this particular shelving unit for a dollhouse is that the dolls can’t stand up. This unit was the cubes are 10″ x 10″ x 10.” Not quite tall enough for barbie.

Down Below I have a link to a 3 by 3 cubicle shelf from Home Depot that is 12″ x 12″ a Barbie can stand up in there.

The Grass

Here you can see I used an artificial grass rug or indoor turf for the Barbie-Topia hill and mountainside up the bookshelf, the edges around the rug, and stapled to the radiator cover. I did leave cuts in and spaces for the heat to vent. I cut the grass with a sharp razor knife and stapled it to the wall with a staple gun and long staples.

Shelving Units for DIY Dollhouse and Tall Enough for Barbie.


Digitally. Integrate. Yourself

Adding Digital Tools to Your DIY Tool Belt

D.I.Y – Digitally.Integrate.Yourself a #topicof2020. Detroit Deco is adding digital DIY tools to its tool belt! With the opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop and a free Digital Slides Notebook to start the school year off with!

Dealing with the virus, quarantine, and distance learning, It seems that everyone has been forced to step outside of their digital comfort zone and become more web-savvy. I know my crash course on Google Drive and Classroom has opened up a whole new world for me!

The Opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop

Whether you are a fan of technology or not. Digital DIY tools are taking over and we will be forced to use them. As we have seen.

This started out as a downside for me, as a DIY-er hands-on type of person, but actually digital can add some very useful and interesting tools, to your DIY tool belt!

That’s why I figured now would be a great time to bring in the digital DIY tools to start Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop off with classroom resources for teachers and supplies for students!

In celebration of Back to School and the Digital Shop Opening, I made you a digital DIY tool of your own, a free digital notebook!

DIY Tools – Digital Notebooks

If you are not familiar with digital notebooks, don’t worry!

Digital notebooks are basically a collection of .pdf’s or files organized and formatted to look like and act like an actual binder or subject divided notebook. You could even consider the images, videos, files, etc. As items in the pockets of the binder, behind the tab of your choice, just as it would in a real binder.

What’s so Special About Digital Notebooks?

As you would probably guess, the benefits of digital DIY tools and digital notebooks are convenience, better for the environment, and cheaper than buying ink and paper. Which are all great!

…but the underlying excitement of all of that!…. Is that pages can be as pretty and colorful as you would like! AND you can actually save pages, articles, recipes, patterns, projects, videos, images, and links; that you (most likely) wouldn’t have been able to keep. If it had to be printed out or copied on a disk.

For instance when you are surfing the web (detroitdeco.com) and you find the perfect digital DIY Free Family Halloween Costume Planner. Decorated with pretty with orange pumpkins. A perfectly 😉 detailed list of things you would have forgotten!…. Well, now you can save it! You don’t have to miss out on the pretty graphics and you don’t have to feel guilty about wasting paper nor ink. Just save it in your digital notebook, under the tab of your choice. Then when October rolls around, you’re ready to go with your pretty checklist in hand! On your phone, ready to shop!

You can really make some useful pages which are always available to you. Very handy digital tool for planning DIY project instructions, cut lists, supplies, measurements, and even mood boards.

Here is Your Free Digital DIY Notebook Tool

The digital notebook is sized specifically for PowerPoint/Google Slides, for all the distant learners. Organized in appreciation of all our wonderful teachers, as a weekly agenda or lesson plan. You can grab your free digital slides notebook below.


Snapshot of free digital slides notebook

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At Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop

6 Styles of Digital Thinking Maps – Helo Design(Opens in a new browser tab)

Google Slides Superhero/Comic Book Themed Classroom Templates(Opens in a new browser tab)

Digital Tools in DIY

Okay, so let’s explore the digital DIY tools! First off I want to start by saying…There are many digital products out there! The list could go on and on. I want to get to some exciting finds, so I’m going to make it quick!

To start, Cricut and Etsy, both are at the top of the list for digital DIY tools. Cricut and other circuit cutter machines are number one, in digital DIY tools for utilizing all the .png, .svg, .dxf, and .bmp files. Second, is Etsy for selling all of your digital prints, patterns, planners, printables, scrapbook pages, and more. Not to leave out CreativeMarket and other digital product market places. Sites like Etsy, are not only the place where you can purchase the right digital tool but also a place where you can find other ways of using your digital files.

Digital DIY Tools Allow Circuit Cutter Machines to Really Make a Difference

HGTV has put together an extensive list of ways companies are giving back and stepping up to help out during the pandemic. Almost all of them include digital DIY tools. You can check that list out here.

Circuit Cutter Machines

Circuit cutter machines really should be in a whole, digital DIY tools category of their own! You can make a version of almost all of the most common DIY projects, with a circuit cutter machine. It may be your own unique version, but the versatility that a digital file adds to the machine. Allows you to cut any shape you want. Opening up a way to make just about anything.

Below you can see Cricut circuit cutter machines have been hard at work. DIY-ers have been working to #stopthespread. A big brand for DIY projects. They have made almost 2 million masks with circuit cutters. At just this one project.

Link to circuit cutter machine masks project

A challenge to make 2 million masks cut with circuit cutter machines. The project website you can find here, as of August 18, 2020, they were at 1,881,892 masks. If a Cricut machine is one of your digital DIY tools. Then, check out their project page and help them reach their goal!

You may join the project and get started by filling out their form and telling them how many masks you made that were cut by circuit cutter machines, to go towards the 2 million masks goal. Don’t have a Circuit cutter machine? You can still join if they are cut by hand. They two different forms listed and how to donate. They also encourage you to share your mask creations on their social media and have provided their digital DIY tool…face mask patterns!

Downloadable Craft Patterns

macrame dreamer patter how to article link

Or like this one that is both! From Collective Gen. “How-To Macrame Dreamer.” Which was featured at thesprucecrafts.com In their round-up of “20 Free Macrame Patterns for Making Wall Hangings, Plant Hangings, and Jewelry.” You can visit that post here to get those patterns.

Patterns! Other Digital DIY tools we source and download. No not circle, square, circle, square…, but patterns to follow for sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. The recently popular macrame and dreamcatcher patterns.

diy macrame wall hanging

Downloadable Wall Hangings

Other very popular digital DIY tools are downloadable wall hangings. A.K.A digital prints, art prints, graphic designs, and drawings. Etsy is a popular place for digital prints. They can be purchased, downloaded, printed, and DIY-ed into your favorite frame. You can purchase a design or logo to DIY a gift or make merch for your channel. By printing on a transfer made to be ironed on a t-shirt or pressed on a mug. You can also print out photos for mod-podge projects. Design albums to be printed professionally or keep it hybrid and pick up digital scrapbooking!

….. As you can see the list of digital DIY tools can go on and on. So out of my lack of patience and just so much to share, let’s move on.


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Digitally.Integrate with.Your Favorite Brands

Teachers and Homeschooling Parents, I have rounded up some big brands that have integrated digital tools in unique and useful ways recently. I’ll show you where to find them!

West Elm Zoom Backgrounds

Check out Better Homes & Gardens feature on West Elm and their FREE downloadable virtual Zoom backgrounds. With beautiful West Elm designed interior or exterior as a backdrop behind you.

Poolside backyard from west elm

You can even sit poolside and attend a meeting in the West Elm Designed Backyard.

Article snapshot from better homes and gardens

Minecraft for Education

Of course, as we know Minecraft is already a digital company. Though, they are making extra efforts and reaching out to help bridge the gap between our I and Z generation and teachers. Students’ familiarity in the digital world of Minecraft can be a helpful tool in making sure kids really “get” the material in class.

Teachers have had to deal with an unexpected emersion into the digital world. The effort from Minecraft to provide a familiar platform for students to learn is an awesome way of using digital DIY tools in the classroom! A huge help for educators to be as effective with their lessons online, as they are in the classroom.

If you are a teacher you have to check out Minecraft Education Edition! They have lessons, museum tours, you can even create challenges for your class and much more.


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Downloadable Coloring Pages

Downloadable coloring pages are a great tool to remember. For your kids, your class, an office, or waiting room. They are great digital DIY tools for teens and adults to relax and destress. You can find all sorts of free downloadable coloring pages on the web. To print out or download to open in a Paint or a Markup program and color digitally. Even more fun on your tablet or phone when you’re bored.

Below are two coloring page collections that I thought were interesting. The first, Color Our Collections are historical and scholarly coloring pages. They could be helpful for teachers and professors. The second it fun for tweens!

Galleries and Museums from all over the world have come together to create a gigantic FREE collection of downloadable coloring pages for students and adults. There are 117 participating museums, galleries, libraries, and universities contributing to #ColorOurCollection. The article from Better Homes and Gardens gives you more information about the program.

#ColorOurCollection invites you to share their image on Pinterest and Facebook. You may also click on the image to visit the Color Our Collections site, at the New York Academy of Medicine.

You have to check out this impressive collection!!

Tweens! Get in on the fun! I just couldn’t resist! The fun, funky, not to hard, good for fine tip markers, pet collection at Better Homes and Gardens! You can download them here. They have pretty cute pages!


Digital Time for Kids Magazine Library Subscription

Time for Kids is open for free subscriptions to their digital library of magazines. Helping to keep kids reading and exploring during the 2020-2021 school year. While they may not always have access to the library. You can sign up and log in to your digital library here at the Time for Kids website.


Digtal DIY Tools For A Virtual Field Trip

Another finding from Better Homes & Gardens is live videos of the animals at the zoo. Digital DIY tools you can use to make your kids a virtual field trip to the zoo! Visit six different zoos online for FREE! You can check that out here. You can also find many virtual field trips on YouTube and school designed trips with lesson plans on Pinterest!


Virtual Pre-School

Yes! You heard it! Virtual pre-school! Even the youngest group wants in on the digital DIY tools! Companies are tailoring digital tools to create interactive experiences for digital users as young as two! Getting as close to the real thing, as they can.

An article in Forbes Magazine led me to the discovery of BumoBrain. A newly launched virtual pre-school for those parents who work from home and need their 2-6-year-old to be digitally engaged. Just as they would be if they were at regular pre-school. Complete with a real live teacher, 1 on 5 class interaction, 1 on 1 online encouragement, and guidance for hands-on activities when they get off the web. Check it out! Pretty Interesting!


Digitally.Integrate.Yourself with Digital DIY Tools

I hope you have enjoyed a look at some of the tools you can add to your digital DIY toolbelt. Most of all I hope you grabbed your free digital slides notebook!

If you haven’t grabbed your free Hand Sanitizer Welcome Sign Sayings for #thenewnorm! You can find those here and in Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop.

Don’t Forget to check out Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop for Back to School Supplies! You’ll find downloadable templates, thinking maps, classroom posters, note-taking pages, whiteboard and jam board pdf’s, themed slides for digital classroom decor, agenda’s, checklist, and other fun accessories for your digital notebooks!

Subscribe for a monthly update to your inbox! Look forward to a growing collection of digital freebies and products to come! I will be adding graphic designs, DIY niche stock photography bundles, files for digital DIY tools for project how-to’s, and sayings for signs and decor to the shop! So Don’t Miss out! Subscribe Below.

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Women’s Gifts Under $25, Stocking Stuffers

The Nicest Gifts for Women under $25. They also make great stocking stuffers. You can’t go wrong with any of these gifts!

This page may contain affiliate links which allow me to earn a commission on purchases made through certain links with absolutely no cost to you. Your information is always safe and never shared.

Holiday Gifts

Women can be hard to shop for. Especially if you don’t know a lot of personal details about them. I just finished getting some gifts out of the way and some people are hard to shop for.

lol… It has only taken us 10 years of training, to make sure we don’t get Mom, a “Cookie Jar Present.” lol. So, I feel you!

I was thinking of my readers when I got stumpped on my sister-in-law’s gift. So I started this list.

I grabbed my favorite gifts, from my favorite places, which are under $25. I picked $25 dollars because I’m not sure who gets what, yet.

Which sounds bad; But these awesome, classy gifts, don’t last long! The best ones get snagged up so quickly. I’d Order my favorites right away.

I hope you find this list helpful! Comment down below if I left something other than Starbucks off the list! 😉

Yankee Candle

Yankee Candle company has always had the best smelling candles and they last a long time! They have small jar candles too, but I thought here I’d show you the other ways to put fresh scents in their stocking.


Sephora

What girl doesn’t pass this store without catching a quick glimpse. You can’t go wrong with Sephora. There is something for everyone. Including their mini fragrances and once year Holiday sampler sets.

Sephora Gift Cards! –It looks good, coming out of the stocking!


Victoria’s Secret

Well, we know panties fit in the stocking, lol. But here are my other Victoria’s Secret favorites.


Forever21

They have gifts for everyone and they are very budget friendly. Getting goodies from forever21 is the best! Especially the winter accessories; gloves, scarfs, and hats.


Godiva

Who doesn’t love Chocolate!? But especially the good stuff! Spoil her sweet tooth!


Ulta

Ulta is amazing! Like Sephora, there is something for everyone. Except they have way more to choose from (in my opinion) when it comes to everyday items and hair care.

They have great sampler Holiday sets, ones they usually don’t have. Like the mask sample set (below). It’s something you wouldn’t usually buy yourself!


I hope you found these gifts, under $25, helpful, or at least they sparked some ideas! For more gift ideas go to Detroit Deco’s, Gift Ideas board on Pinterest. Subscribe below so you don’t miss the update!

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DIY Dreamy Doll Playroom


Barbie-Topia a Dreamy Barbie Playroom


Barbie-Topia est. 2020

Barbie💎Topia, Population: 225

For Our Love For Barbie

If you are reading this you probably love Barbie too! So you know how much you can really enjoy Barbie. Especially with an endless amount of possibilities to her story and a never-ending creative stream of Barbie toys from Mattel. I grew up Playing Barbies and my Mother did too. In fact, there are still a few pieces of clothing from my Mom’s Barbie’s in Barbie-Topia.

As with my Mom, I gave my daughter my barbies, which started her off with about fifty dolls. We love setting everything up together and making sure Barbie is just right for all her adventures. Already feeling blessed for having so many Barbies to play with, our recent move to a new house gave us a basement with this perfect space for Barbie. It only felt right to make it her own. Living in New York and haven being born in Manhattan, my daughter loved the skyline idea. We officially established Barbie-Topia in July of 2020 with a population of 225.

Entering Barbie-Topia

Barbie-Topia Skyline
Shot from Barbie’s Helicopter

Barbie-Topia a Dream Barbie Playroom

From The Top of
Mt.Topia

The Barbie Doll Houses in Barbie-Topia


Make a dollhouse from a bookshelf. With some scrapbook paper and tape. Even add some Faux grass!

The Dreamhouses in Barbie-Topia

The Barbie houses featured in this post and the posts on candytoybox.com are not affiliating links, ads, or sponsored posts. The links are only there to save you time finding the items I am writing about.

Barbie Dreamhouse Dollhouse

This house is great. The Modern design is very well done. The Slide is really fun and the furniture it comes with is a nice modern style too. on Amazon $217

Barbie Dreamhouse

Barbie Dreamhouse

Between the two Barbie Houses, in my opinion, the Barbie Dreamhouse (above) is my favorite. There is more space inside each room to set stuff up. Also the rooms can be switched around and used for a different type room easily. Amazon Exclusive $199

DIY-ing Barbie-Topia a Dreamy Doll Playroom

Painting The Mural

This was a slightly different DIY project than I usually do, but I felt it had to be done. The 8 year old Barbie was screaming to have a permanent home!

I had never painted a mural before and I am sure I didn’t do it the teachnicial way, but I did it our way and I’m pretty happy with the results.

First, The Dollhouses

First, I traced around the doll houses the best I could. My goal was have it feel like you were sitting in the middle of the neighborhood, which is among the city buildings.

Not sure if I accomplished that 100%, I will let you be the judge of that. After you see more of Barbie-Topia on our family’s blog CandyToyBox.com.

Move out The Houses

After tracing the dollhouse or its shadow on the wall with pencil. I moved the doll houses out and began sketching out the lines where I knew I wanted buildings. If you decided to do something like this make sure you use large levels, rulers, and carpentry squares from the beginning. I started drawing first and got a little ways before realizing how not level it was. So it to some extra time to go back and line up everything. So just make sure to use you straight edge and levels from the beginning. Trust me you will want it to be straight and level (mines not level, but it’s straight enough).

I tested a the colors on the wall before moving the doll houses out just to make sure they were the right colors to match the houses and Barbie’s items.

After Straightening up the Sketch

After getting some help straightening the buildings and testing my paint. I moved the doll houses out the way. Then I taped off and painted the large areas of the two lighter colors.

The first two color I started with was the background and lightest colors, the blue and the light pink Ballerina chalk paint. When painting the background color you want to want to tape everything off as if you were just painting the whole wall. So tape off the ceiling where it meets the wall, the edges of anything else the wall touches that you do not want painted. In my case this was the stairs and the inside of window, the edge of the wall it meets up with, and the radiator cover.

Tape Off

My husband built this radiator covers to hide the old metal ones and to make it a cleaner neater area to play in. They are built out around the radiators with enough space all around so nothing is touching them or is a fire hazard. They also have adequate openings for the heat to come out.

Go ahead and tape of the large buildings that will be in the other light color so you don’t paint that area when your doing the background. If you know you don’t want a part to be painted with the background color then don’t paint it. Even though you will have to go back over it he edges later.

After The First Color Dries

Let the background color dry and then paint the next color. The other light color you are using the most of. In my cases the light pink.

You can do this part one of two ways you can either let the first color dry completely and then tape off the buildings for the second color. Or you can paint the background and paint the second color, freehanding the edges where the two colors will meet. Either way you will still have to tape of and go over the overlapping edges in order to get a clean straight line of color.

After the main Background colors dry completely you can tape of the other buildings or you can go back and start touching up the other buildings.

I do suggest painting the darkest color last and when you do be extremely careful not to get it on your lighter colors. It will be very difficult to cover up neatly if you do.

As you continue painting the other buildings and the rest of the of your mural you will will basically continue the same process of taping off the edges and painting to them and then letting it dry and taping the opposite edge and painting to it.

Painting a Straight Edge
Mistakes when Painting a mural

DIY-ing Barbie-Topia


This DIY portion of this post may contain affiliate links which I may receive a small commission from purchases made through these links at absolutely no cost to you.

DIY Dollhouse with Adjustable Shelves

One of the DIY dollhouse from an inexpensive bookshelf you can get at Walmart, Home Depot, and other places. This one has adjustable shelves which are great. That way you can adjust the shelves to accommodate some of Barbie’s playsets that are taller. I used Scrapbook paper to line the walls of each level of the bookshelf.

The Rugs are Inexpensive Indoor/Outdoor Rugs

Since it is the basement we wanted to put a rug down, but as we know Barbie’s items don’t always like to stand up well, so the rug has to be flat. You can see here I put some white duct tape (you can use any color) to help the rug from sliding so easily.

DIY Dollhouse out of a Storage Cube Unit

You probably recognized right away that this is your typical 3 by 3 storage cube shelving unit. We just took some scrapbook pages in the patterns we liked and taped them onto the cardboard that you nail to the back of the shelving unit. The only problem with using this particular shelving unit for a dollhouse is that the dolls can’t stand up. This unit was the cubes are 10″ x 10″ x 10.” Not quite tall enough for barbie.

Down Below I have a link to a 3 by 3 cubicle shelf from Home Depot that is 12″ x 12″ a Barbie can stand up in there.

The Grass

Here you can see I used an artificial grass rug or indoor turf for the Barbie-Topia hill and mountainside up the bookshelf, the edges around the rug, and stapled to the radiator cover. I did leave cuts in and spaces for the heat to vent. I cut the grass with a sharp razor knife and stapled it to the wall with a staple gun and long staples.

Shelving Units for DIY Dollhouse and Tall Enough for Barbie.


Welcome Signs with Hand Sanitizer Reminders


Welcome, Signs for #TheNewNormal. Sanitizer Dispenser Decorations Reminders to Your Guests to use Hand Sanitizer. FREE PRINTABLE

What we would have considered clean enough before the health crisis. Is no longer up to par. We aren’t just taking other people’s word for it either! We want to “know” it has recently been sanitized, only touched by gloves, and has had the limited possibility of exposure to the virus! Before we sanitize it again our selves!


decorative example of saying

This page may contain affiliate links which allow me to earn a commission on purchases made through certain links with absolutely no cost to you. Your information is always safe and never shared.

The Number One Place We Want to Keep Clean are Our Homes

Due to the nature of quarantine. We have all developed a little bit of that, “it’s not clean unless I’ve cleaned it,” feeling. After all, we can’t control all the germs. We can only do our best to control the germs we pick up by touch and the germs we bring into our homes. You and your family members probably have your own personal routine for, “Ridding the germs from your hands and the shoes from your feet.” But, you can’t say the same for your guests, After all, they don’t live there.

Although, I’m sure your guests are doing their part to #stopthespread. Still, you can’t help that feeling of, “Its not clean unless I’ve cleaned it.” After all, you never know, what they came in contact with on the way to your house! 😉

So, it only makes sense! Our number one place we want to keep clean is our homes. Why wouldn’t you want to remind your guests to leave the street germs at the door!?!



Entryway Decorative Friendly Reminders. Ask your guest to put on hands sanitizer without actually asking them. Politely remind your guests to use hand sanitizer and remove their shoes upon entering your house.
Ask your guest to leave the street germs at the door, without actually asking them! Entryway Decor Decorative Friendly Reminders to Guests to use Hand Sanitizer

Welcome! Please Check Germs and Shoes at The Door.


The New Clean

Our behaviors of respect for not spreading germs have shifted #thenewnorm. A few months ago, you wouldn’t have dared to ask your guests to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Unless you were coming to see their newborn baby. Now, you wouldn’t be surprised if you were asked to put on a mask!

Today if you are invited into someone’s house and show no regard for your shoes or hands. They may consider it impolite.

The entire globe has gone through a health crisis and everyone has felt the consequences of germs. As quarantines are lifted and we begin to socialize again. Germs will be the top concern on everyone’s mind. Including your guests. Which means they should have no problem doing their part to minimize the number of germs they bring into your home; After all, wouldn’t they want the same respect at their house?

So, you have arrived at the conclusion that you would like your guests to remove their shoes and put on hand sanitizer.

Now for the tough part. How do you ask Your Guests?

Some may have no problem coming right out and stating their request to their guests. While on the other hand, others may feel uncomfortable giving their guests a command. As soon as they walk in the door. I completely understand! I do not feel 100% comfortable either.

Hand Sanitizer Sayings

Post COVID-19 Welcome Signs

This got me thinking! Which lead me to my design of some home decor accent pieces. I am naming them Decorative Reminders. A decorative accent piece that fits in with your style and politely states your request to your guests. While also camouflaging or decorating (whichever way you wanna slice it ;)) the hand sanitizer bottle. For in your front entryway, foyer, mudroom, command center, coat closet, side door, or back door, even in the garage! Set it on an accent table or hang it on the wall. No matter the location, a Decorative Reminder is a little visual notification, that it’s time to GermX.

The Decorative Reminders I Designed

If you want to make a Decorative Reminder of your own. I have included a FREE PRINTABLE with all the sayings! Don’t forget to get yours!

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Hand Sanitizer Welcome Signs Entryway Decorations with Friendly Reminders to Guests (and your family) to Disinfect.



What do You think!?!

I hope you liked my collection of Decorative Reminders and sayings! These are just an example of the endless possibilities of designs you can do. I used a very simple DIY method to create them. Which I have for you down below! Along with some other simple ideas. To make your own reminder that fits in with your style.


I am SO excited to pass along my idea! That I included a FREE PRINTABLE of ALL the Decorative Reminder Sayings for you!!! INCLUDING a BLACK FONT and WHITE FONT VERSION of each! So, you won’t have any trouble fitting into your design! Grab your freebie printable below!

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*Remember there is a black and white version of each. The pages that look blank have white text on them. You can refer to the file name to select the right one. If you highlight or click and drag your cursor over the page you can see the white text. Print out the one you want. *Remember to select only the page(s) you want to print in the page range section of the print screen so you don’t waste ink.


DIY a Sanitizer Reminder Decoration of Your Own

I hope you are feeling my #thenewnormal Welcome signs! Don’t forget to grab your free sayings! If not, write down your favorite saying to use later. Below you will find ideas for making your own Decorative Reminder with or without a printer! There are so many ways you can DIY the perfect GermX station for your home. Here is the easy method I used for the ones above. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive the newest ideas to your inbox!


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Simple DIY Method I used To Make Hand Sanitizer Reminder Accents

This is an easy DIY project using Mod-Podge. You will need the surface that you wish to “paste” your design onto. Just about any surface works with Mod-Podge; wood, a dry painted surface, paper, cardboard or foam board, glass, ceramic, acrylic, plastic, and even fabric.

First, get your FREE PRINTABLE SAYINGS, check your email and press CONFIRM. Go through the sayings and pick the one you want. *Remember there is a black and white version of each. The pages that look blank have white text on them. You can refer to the file name to select the right one. If you highlight or click and drag your cursor over the page you can see the white text. Print out the one you want. *Remember to select the page(s) you want to print in the page range section of the print screen so you don’t waste ink.

DIY Post COVID-19 Welcome Signs

Now, the part that makes this method easy, is the paper. The paper I used is called Vellum Paper. You can buy it at any Staples, Office Depot, Michaels, or other office supplies or arts and craft stores. It is like tracing paper, but thicker like card stock. It comes in standard letter size for easy printing. When you put it together with Mod-Podge you can make just about anything. This paper is honestly one of my favorite craft supplies!

Load however many sheets you want into your printer, and print like normal. Be sure the ink is dry when you start to handle it, so it doesn’t smudge. Then you can cut around your design if you wish.

White vellum paper to print for crafts
A DIY-er’s MUST HAVE Supply! You can do so much with this paper.

Don’t Forget Your Printable! 

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The Decorative Reminder Possibilities are Endless

You can use regular white paper or colored paper too! I used the Vellum paper because the Mod-Podge dries completely clear. That way you can print all the designs you want and they can be used on multiple surfaces with its transparent background.

Once you have the saying cut out and ready to use. Mod-Podge it onto the surface you want to use for your decorative reminder. For my collection in the pictures above, the surfaces I used were. A piece of wood I painted white and attached the sanitizer dispenser box and a hook for your guest’s coat. Two dollar store wooden sign craft blanks I painted white. A piece of foam board mounted to a piece of charcoal painted wood. Lastly, an upcycled wooden shadow box I didn’t use anymore.

DIY Mod-Podge a Post COVID-19 Welcome Sign

If you are not familiar with Mod-Podge. It is like painting with glue, you want to apply smooth even layers for a flawless finish. Minimizing brush stokes and trying to avoid putting too much in one spot. The Mod-Podge is the “paint” or finish, but it is also the glue. So you brush a layer of Mod-Podge on the surface you’re placing your design on. Then you brush a layer on the back of your design. Once the design is positioned and smoothed out. You’ll apply another layer of Mod-Podge for the “final Coat” or sealer. Don’t worry it doesn’t need to dry in between. You can do all three parts and a few minutes one after the other.

To Get Started

First, roll the bottle of Mod-Podge back and forth to mix it up. Do not shake it or stir it up real fast, as for that will make bubbles. Apply a smooth even layer to the surface you are using. Then quickly apply a smooth even layer to the back of your design. The paper will start to curl up shortly after you apply the Mod-Podge so move quickly. When applying the Mod-Podge you want to start in the middle and brush outward towards every edge of the paper.

Line up the design on your surface and place the middle part down first. Then, slowly smooth out the rest of the paper. Pushing outward towards all edges, eliminating air bubbles. Since your hands usually get sticky while smoothing out the surface. I like to have a few clean nonporous items nearby, like a plastic cup, marker, or ruler. Anything smooth that you can use to “squeegee” the paper down and push out air bubbles. If you get some on your fingers, you don’t want to try to smooth it out because it will leave dirty marks from anything on your fingers. it dries rather quickly so work fast. You don’t want dried Mod-Podge getting onto the clean surface. Keep baby wipes or damp cloth nearby to wipe your fingers quickly. The moisture takes off the half-dried Modge-Podge, so you don’t leave fingerprints when you go back to your design.

Last Step

For the final step put one last smooth even layer of Mod-Podge over the top of your design. You can press down firmly with the brush to help smooth out any areas that may have a lot of Mod-Podge under them. Remember to start in the middle and work your way outward. Be sure to apply a generous amount to the top layer so no edges stick up. Seal the edges and corners really well by running long outward strokes, past the corners and edges of the design. Now let it dry! The longer it dries the more transparent the Mod-Podge becomes. So don’t worry if you have spots that are white. It will eventually dry clear. As long as it is left alone and the surface is not tampered with.

You can apply more coats and/or more layers depending on the look you are going for. After 24 hours you will be able to use it unless you did multiple layers or you used a stronger type of Mod-Podge. I didn’t go into all the details of Mod-Podge, but you can get the dishwasher safe version and it really holds up well, especially if you apply multiple coats.

DIY Ideas to make your own Welcome Reminder

Let’s say you do not have a printer (or ink) and you don’t have Mod-Podge. No problem! You can write down your favorite saying, practice, doodling it in a few different handwritings. Once you are ready to write your final saying, grab a ruler to guide you, as you write above the straight edge. If you want to help writing straight lines.

If you’re like me, then you probably couldn’t stand to look at your own handwriting every day. You could ask someone else to write it or you could make a magazine clipping version. Cut out all letters in your saying from a magazine and paste them to paper or card stock.

Other no printer options are vinyl cut letters if you have a circuit cutter. Sticker letters, you can get decorative ones in the scrapbooking section of arts and craft stores. You could also stencil the saying on with paint.

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More Creative Decorative Reminder Ideas

You can place your saying or design in a frame with or without glass. To sit on an entryway table or hang it on the wall. To get even more creative you could Mod-Podge or adheres your saying to the box you keep the sanitizer dispenser in. You could also Mod-Podge it right onto the Germx bottle itself!

Personally, my favorite is, a multi-purpose accent! Not only a sanitizer reminder but also a coat, hat, or key rack. Great if you have a small entryway! Hang it on the wall or from an existing hook. You could post it up at a command center or use a mail sorter pocket to hold the dispenser. What about a garage entrance or mudroom, next to your furry friend’s leash! 🙂 lol. I’m going to stop myself there! As you can see the possibilities are endless!

#thenewnorm

We are all traveling through uncharted waters in this global pandemic and there is no doubt it has changed us all. We have already modified our cleaning routines and heightened our awareness of germs. So, I felt changing times and changing habits. Calls for a change in decor!! We walk through the door of our homes differently now and your guests do as well. To clear up the awkward greeting and put the tension at ease. Add a Decorative Reminder to your entryway decor so you and your guests can get on with their visit.

As we continue to write history, post-quarantine, and with our New standards for cleanliness. I hope you take along the idea of Decorative Reminders and you pass it along with a creative example of your own! Please comment down below and stop back by to share a design of your own! Show some love and subscribe to Detroit Deco and Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Getting Ready for Halloween?

Check out these Halloween Decorations that Upcycle and Repurpose Damaged and unwanted books!


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Halloween Costumes With Face Masks

Over 30 Halloween Costume Ideas that Have Face Masks or Face Coverings!

Costumes with Face Masks

With such a unique year we’ve had you better believe this Halloween is going to be unique too! We won’t even get into the logistics of your Halloween plans. Like every year, let’s start with the costumes! Your search criteria for 2020, face masks! Even though you probably feel like you have been wearing a Halloween mask all year, now you get to give it some character!

This Halloween I went on a search or costumes that have or can incorporate face masks. Of course, you could always get a scary Halloween mask or mascot head, but since we don’t want to do that. I have rounded up some costumes that look great and totally normal with some version of a face mask.

This page may contain affiliate links that allow me to earn a small commission through certain links at absolutely no cost to you.

Costumes With Masks

Ninjas

or should I say, Ninjas! Ninja’s and Assasins cover their face is black or red. You will find Ninja costumes for the whole family! You will find below men and boy ninjas. You could be a whole ninja family. Save on costumes by DIY-ing Ninja gear from old t-shirts or black sheets! I’m sure you already have the mask to match!

2. Alluring Assassin Much Like a Ninja she wears a mask and lethal!
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Ninja

This page may contain affiliate links that allow me to earn a small commission through certain links at absolutely no cost to you.


Mouth and Face Make-Up Placed on Your Mask Instead

If your costume doesn’t have a mask but covers the mouth in make-up. Then it is time to get creative! Get out those fabric markers, puffy paint, iron-on decals, permanent markers. whatever you have that you could use to draw, paint or even sew. On to your mask what would be the face makeup to your costume. You may want to plan out and test your design before Halloween night, but I’m sure you could come up with something awesome! This idea can be applied to many of the costumes below!

Evil Clown

Mummy – Wear a white mask and just keep wrapping yourself up!

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SteamPunk Style

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Sequence Skeleton

Pink Power Ranger – No Mask Needed! union suit leotard.

Deadpool – Dito!

7. Mortal Kombat Kitana – Mask is part of the headdress/headband.

Mortal Kombat Mileena – She has a facemask, on its own, not attached.

Star Wars

Star Wars Darth Vader – These Star Wars costumes have an awesome helmet with a facemask of their own!

Star Wars

9. Medical Personnel Wear Face Masks


The Wild West

Cowgirls and Cowboys – For Cowgirls and Cowboys or anyone in the wild west, you can use your bandana as a face mask.

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Scarecrows

Scarecrow – I have seen that they make burlap masks that cover your whole face. Which wasn’t really my style. So I thought this is an example of where you could apply your face makeup to your facemask instead.

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This page may contain affiliate links that allow me to earn a small commission through certain links at absolutely no cost to you.

Skeletons

The Skeleton costumes are great opportunities to get creative with decorating your face mask to match your costume.

Skeleton RingMaster

Ghost Pirate

Woman Ghost – All ghosts with sheets and coverings over their face, has a built-in face mask. This “Woman Ghost” had a great idea by draping the material or sheet over her hat. You could DIY a face shield hat that fits your costume perfectly! Ghost or Bride!

Skeleton in White Bones Pancho

Dia De Los Muertos Day of The Dead

Dark Reaper – Again with a decorated facemask instead of the makeup.


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One of a Kind Costumes with Masks

Genie – Looks like a mask to me! lol. Be a genie in a bottle, Quarantine Halloween!….. Or in a Box!

Barbie Box – No face mask needed! You literally have your own bubble… or box!

The Big Bad Wolf

18. Panda – You won’t get cold nor need a face mask in an awesome Panda suit!

19. Lego – No Face mask needed when you’re made of bricks!

20. Sour Patch Kid – Back in the same boat as the panda! No Mask needed in a mascot head!


Halloween Planning

Start planning your Halloween! Grab a FREE Halloween Family Planner. Plan Halloween parties on the events page with the calendar snapshot and checklists. Get prepared with your shopping lists for sweets and Trunk or Treat decorations. Get a head start on costume Shopping with a costume planner. Complete with “their size” lists for multiple costumes, for the whole family! Grab it below!

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Halloween Costumes with Facemasks

Happy Halloween

I hope these costumes give you some ideas and inspiration for Halloween! Be sure to stay safe this Halloween! Check out the DIY Halloween Decorations that Upcycle and Repurpose books! Don’t forget to subscribe to receive an update of the monthly good stuff!


DIY Larger Than Life Halloween Statues

DIY Monster Mud Giant Halloween Statues

Halloween Statues with Monster Mud Made From Joint Compound and Latex Paint

DIY Halloween Statues

Monster Mud

This stuff is so Awesome!! So what is Monster Mud? It is a mixture of joint compound and latex paint. It makes an strong concrete-like paste, that you can use to DIY Monster Mud Halloween statues. Monster Muc can also be used for anything else whare you are looking to get a faux-concrete finish.

If you haven’t heard of it, then you have to check it out! If you are looking to create a larger than life statue for Halloween then you’re in the right place! The recipe is simple and you can use just about anything to make them. These Halloween statues are amazing!

Before we begin I must say my husband is the real artist of these statues. I helped in the creative process, sourcing materials, and taking notes on everything to pass along to you! He Made them for a Halloween production and they turned out truly amazing! Way too awesome not to share!

Please contact me if you are looking for larger than life Halloween statues for your production. samantha@detroitdeco.com


Giant Monster Mud Halloween Statues

Please contact me if you would like to have mud monsters made for your production.

Giant Monster Mud Halloween statues made from joint compound and latex paint.

Monster Mud

A Heavy base is required to hold this giant statue from toppling over. One important thing to remember when making your own. A frame of 2″x 4″‘s set in concrete adds weight to the base and keeps it steady.


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How to Make a Mud Monster Giant using Joint Compound and Latex Paint

The Base and Frame of Your Statue

We all know we need some bones!

First things first, you will want to figure out what faux concrete statue you want to make. The statues above are a giant skeleton Grimm reaper style, but you could do witch, gargoyles, Frankenstein, or a cemetery with tombstones. In the pictures below you will see wall hangings with skulls popping out of them. This was made stapling the cloth to the frame and pushing the skulls out against the cloth and monster mudding them.

Whichever statue you decide to make, you will need to plan the skeleton or frame that is going to hold up your statue. In the picture below, you can see the bases and frames of the statues. Besides the materials for the base, the body arms, legs, and head will need a supporting structure. To start you will use the wood coming from the base. From there you will attach different materials for you to mud on.

In these statues (you can see below) the 2″ x 4″‘s come up from the attached base. Have an intersecting 2″ x 4″ across the top for his shoulders and arms, and a piece for the neck, with supports to drill the skull on to. Once the wood frame and head are in place you will want chicken wire for more depth, a bunch of cloth for draping, and skeleton hands. If you don’t have hands, you can just drape the cloth out over where the hands would be. Other accessories you may want are more skulls, burlap for a different texture, faux chains, crows, brooms, spiders, bats, or anything else you think will complete your monster to make him more awesome.

The Base

First, you will start with the base. One thing is for sure! if you are making anything that has height, you are going to need a very heavy base. The largest statue has two H shaped bases made of railroad ties. Stacked on top of one each other and boarded together. This made a large heavy box for the statue’s base. Once the base was painted it looked really nice.

The other Mud Monster has a different style base. He is in a five-gallon Homer bucket. Place the 2×4’s in the five-gallon bucket going all the way to the bottom. You may want to attach a piece of wood between the two so they stay standing apart in the bucket. Then fill the bucket with Quik Crete. Once the boards set in the concrete, you will have a strong, sturdy, heavy base. Please note, if you are going to build your base this way, make sure you have enough time for the concrete to fully dry before you plan to start building your monster. Otherwise, the boards will move and you will have a crooked monster and risk it falling over.

The Frame

Once the Base is set, if you haven’t already attached wood for the arms, neck, and head, you can do that now. Once all, the wood is in place and you have attached the head. Then, you can use chicken wire to give the monster some depth so he is not so thin with just a cloth. It will also give you places to tuck the cloth into when draping it to dress your monster.

To attach the chicken wire you can use a large washer that is bigger than the mesh holes in the chicken wire and screw it to the wood. Screw all the loose ends of the chicken wire to the wood leaving excess for shaping. Then shape the wire to bulge out in the areas you want.

For instance, if you were making a witch statue and wanted a big hump on her back. You could use the chicken wire to make the hump that the cloth will drape over. Now that you have your base and frame ready it is time to move on to the messy fun stuff!

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Monster Mud Recipe

You can find the supplies for Monster Mud at a local home depot. Make sure to grab a Homer bucket or two! You’ll need one for mixing and the other for placing your drill mixer and other dirty tools in.

This recipe was refrenced fromWoodLoom


Supplies:

  • At least one if not more, Five-Gallon Buckets
  • A bucket of Premixed Drywall Joint Compound (1 five-gallon bucket) the darker the color the better
  • A Gallon of Latex Paint, (1 gallon) (interior or exterior)
  • A Power Drill and a Drill Mixer Bit
  • A Putty Knife or Spackle Blade
  • A Paint Stick for mixing by hand
  • Gloves
  • Rags
  • Plastic Sheet to protect the floor
  • Hose, bucket, or water nearby for washing
  • The Monsters frame or Decorations you are mudding

Now that you have gathered all of your supplies and you have your base and frame for your monster set and ready to build on. Start off by protecting the floor. You can start off by laying down a plastic sheet to protect the floor. Make sure you have enough room to walk all-around your statue, so you are able to drape and mud your monster evenly.

Place your statue base and frame on the protected area, along with the rest of the supplies. Get your power drill and connect the drill mixer to it.

Scoop Out Joint Compound

This recipe will be five parts joint compound to 1 part latex paint. The paint could stain your skin so go ahead and put your gloves on. Open your joint compound and scoop out a generous amount. The compound is like a thick heavy dough and not the easiest to work with. You can use jour hands, a putty, or spackle knife to help handle the compound.

Now Add The Paint

Now shake your exterior paint well and open it up. Remember we are going for a five to one ratio so keep that in mind when pouring your paint. Pour in as much latex paint as you think you’ll need. Remember you are going for five parts joint compound one part paint. It is ok if it is a little off. The color of your paint doesn’t matter, you can use any color you would like. Though darker colors are better for making the monster look more like concrete. You can also mix in colored paint tint while you are mixing the compound.

Mix with The Drill Mixer

Once you think you have the right amount of latex paint and you’ve added extra color if you want. Then it is time for you to grab your drill mixer. This could get messy so take your time and hold the bucket as you begin to mix. This is going to be a very thick mixture and will not be easy to smooth out quickly. So as I mentioned take your time. You may even want to stop periodically and mix it with your paint stick to make sure the compound is smoothing out. Keep alternating between drill mixer and mixing by hand until you have a smooth even mixture. Once you are satisfied with your mixture you can begin dressing your monster.

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Ideas to Add to Your Mud Monster

Add Light

When your are finished mudding your monster and he is fully dry. Give him some glow and add lights.

Change Directions

Make things even creepier facing the heads in different directions or looking around the corner.

Frame for the Wall

Scrape wood will make a perfect frame if you’re looking for a wall hanging.

Keep it Solo

A little latex paint and joint compound never hurt anyone….” lol


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Dressing and Draping Your Monster Mud Statue

Now that you have mixed your monster mud you are ready to start dressing and draping your monster. Before that though, A quick note, Your monster mud mixture will last with a sealed lid on it for a few months as long as it is sealed airtight and not frozen.

You can treat the monster mud like paint and brush it on where ever you would like. You can also treat it like paper mache and cover both sides of the dressing to make it stick in between layers and so both sides are hardened and stiff. Just make sure you don’t have big clumps of mud mixture. This will take a very long time to dry. It is best to do thin coats so it all dries and you can always go back and add more. You can paint all the decorations and objects you want with the mud mixture.

Now Let it Dry

When you are finishing up with the final layers make sure everything is exactly how you want it because once it dries there is really no way to change it easily. Give your statue at least a full day (24 hours) to dry. Once fully dry you can place your statue in its proper place. Keep in mind it will be heavy.

So there you go! that’s how to make a larger than life giant Halloween Mud Monster statue! If you make one of your own we would love to see. Stop back by and share your statue in the comments below! Don’t forget to Subscribe! I hope you enjoy DIY-ing your mud monster and I wish you a safe and Happy Halloween!


HALLOWEEN PLANNING

If you haven’t already! Get started planning those Trunk or Treat decorations and costumes. With my FREE Family Halloween Planner

It has shopping lists for your candy, party goodies, and decorations, a Calendar snapshot for planning Halloween events, and a Family Costume Planner for multiple costumes and their sizes, so you won’t forget a thing!

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DIY Halloween Decorations

Save Books with These DIY Halloween Decorations

It’s my Favorite time of year!… Halloween, No better time to DIY some decorations! Get started with some DIY Halloween decorations that help you clear out some bookshelves and storage bins. These DIY Halloween decorations upcycle and help save the books!

Halloween Planning

Halloween! Hands down my favorite holiday! There are so many wonderful festivities to fall and so many fun things to plan for Halloween!

Get started planning those Trunk or Treat decorations and costumes. With my FREE Family Halloween Planner, I made for you, so you don’t miss a treat! It has shopping lists for your candy, party goodies, and decorations, a Calendar snapshot for planning Halloween events, and a Family Costume Planner for multiple costumes and their sizes, so you won’t forget a thing!

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DIY Halloween Decorations to Upcycle Damaged Books

Happen to have some damaged or unwanted, books taking up space!? Great! Pick the ones you dislike the most and let’s get started. I have two DIY Halloween decorations using old, damaged, or unwanted books.

Upcycle and Save Books

DIY Book Pumpkin Halloween Decorations

The first DIY Halloween decorations are book pumpkins! They look so nice when they’re finished. They fit right in with modern farmhouse decor. Book Pumpkins are a great way to use the books that you would trash, but can’t because they are books. I understand.

These Halloween projects can also be a great way for you to save books. Go out and look for books to save, ask friends or neighbors if they have any they don’t want. Though, the best places to find free books are garage sales. If you stop by when the person is closing up or on their last day of the sale. Ask them if they have any books. I’m sure they will be delighted to give all the books they are going to be throwing away or donating. You can also offer to come back when. It is their last day.

How Many Books Make a Pumpkin?

How many books it will take to make a pumpkin will depend on the size of the books. It can take anywhere from three to ten books, depending on the size of them. Ideally, I’d say five books per pumpkin, but I found it to be more like seven. Especially if they are thin chapter books. Sometimes they all run the same size and you need a couple more books to make the wider part in the middle.

You may need to use your imagination, but you’ll want to pre-stack your pumpkin to make sure it looks right. For a pumpkin, you want the smallest books on the top and bottom. Then work your way with three to seven more books. Stacking them to meet with the widest books in the middle. Kind of like a diamond.

If you are having trouble finding the right sized books, don’t worry. I found it harder than I thought it would be too. The next project only requires one book and I’m sure between these two projects you can come up with something creative for the remaining books!

Painting The Books

Once you have found your books, then you’ll want to start painting. It may take many light coats of paint depending on how well your paint covers the book. As always you want to make sure you leave enough dry time in between coats to not mess up your paint job.

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The cover

When it comes to these DIY Halloween decorations there is no right or wrong to painting the books, it will be different for everyone and every book. First, there are so many ways to get creative with your coverings. You could also use adhesive vinyl, mod podge, fabric, burlap, etc. Second, the material of the book’s cover and its pages are going to dictate what type of paint you use.

If you have a paperback or a hardback book with a shiny cover, you will probably want to use spray paint. It will stick better to the glossy cover. Do light coats and let it fully dry in between, so it doesn’t run. If you have a paper or matte finish cover, you should have no problem covering it with any type of paint.

Fabric Covered Books

Now, if you are using books like I did, on the big pumpkin (on the left). Hardcover with a cloth-like texture. Then you will need to find a combination of different paint types to cover to book evenly. The reason being, the thick cloth cover absorbs the paint and you get a splotchy effect where the paint soaked in more than other spots or you’re stuck with having to do many, many coats. To avoid that we can use two different types of paint.

On my books, the first two coats of spray paint absorbed quickly. That’s when I realized I needed two different types of paint. I brushed it with regular acrylic or craft paint in the same orange. This evened out the paint splotches and gave my spray paint a layer to sit on, so it did not get absorbed again on my final coat.

Learn from my trial and error process. Before painting test the paint on the book. Test it in an area that won’t be showing. So you can see how your paint will take to its’ surface; the color, and how long it will take to dry between layers. That way you can find your method and won’t waste your books or paint.

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The Pages

You can choose to paint around the book the edges of the pages and the spine or only the spine or not. It is up to you. (If you were making a candy corn book stack you would alter page colors!)You will want to decide if you want the pages to still look separated. You don’t want to accidentally paint them shut because then if you open the book it will crack the paint off.

What worked best for me was standing the book up with the pages fanned out and spraying very light coats of spray paint all around to stand and let dry. Once dry and before painting the next coat. Separate and move the pages around, to prevent too many sticking together, if you are looking for the pages to still look separated when you’re done.

Upcycled Books into Halloween Decorations

Next Layers

If you are using a combination of paints to cover your books. Then once that coat is dry you can do the next coat. If your brushing paint on; Go ahead and lay the book down, to get a proper paint job. You can save time by doing all the front covers first so they can dry while to paint the edges and spine. Then you’ll be able to go right into painting the back covers once you finished all the edges.

Continue layering the paint, one coat at a time, or until your book is covered to your liking. Let them dry completely before you start handling them. Once they are dry, you can stack them into a pumpkin!

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The Stem and Leaves

First, find pieces of scrap wood you want to use for the stem. You will drill three whole holes in the scrap wood piece toward the bottom of what you want the stem to be. Two holes for the twine to thread through and one hole to twist your curly wire stem through. Try to find scrap pieces you think will stand up better. You want the wood to stay standing after we run and tie the twine and wire stem through it.

The Stem

For the curly part of the stem, I used a wire hanger twisted into a spring-like shape. Then I twisted it through that third hole in the scrap wood. You can use floral wire or even bead a piece of wire for a little bling. If you are using a tough wire. I found it easier to twist the first half of the wire into the spring shape, then thread it through the stem hole, and twist the second half into a spring shape after the wood is on.

The Leaves

Now for the leaves. To make it look more like leaves I spray painted the twine with some green paint to mix in with the brown for better-looking leaves. Jute isn’t always the strongest, so I tripled and quadruple the twine around each side. I Tied the twine in a standard postmaster tie around all four sides. Threading the two groups of strings through the holes in the stem to help keep everything in place and our stem standing. I left large loops in the bow to look like leaves.

Make Your Book Pumpkin Easier to Store

You may glue the books together before tying them, just to be safe. This will make for easier storage and handling, especially if you think they will be attracting attention or you’re selling them! (mine sold for $8 a pumpkin at a local craft shop) There you have it a simple and beautiful way to save books and DIY your own Book Pumpkin Halloween Decoration.

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DIY An enchanted Halloween Spellbook Accent PIECE

UpCycle Damaged and Unwanted Books into Spellbook Decorations this Halloween

DIY A Halloween Decorative Accent An Enchanted Spellbook

The second Halloween decoration you can make while saving books. Is a magic spell book or enchanted looking book for a shelve or side table. This, like the first project, is made with an old, damaged, or books that are set for the trash.

First, you’ll want to paint the book. Just as we did in the first project. Either with a brush on paint or spray paint or a combination of the two. If your books cover has minimal graphics on it or you can cover them up with decorations, feel free to skip painting the cover. Other covering methods such as fabric or brown paper will work, just don’t use vinyl or anything that will melt with hot glue.

Decorating The Book

After you have painted or cover the books. Let them dry and you can begin to decorate them. My favorite Items that look the best on hardcover books. Are wooden appliques you can buy them at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and other craft stores. For this project, you can use just about anything that fits the style you going for. It doesn’t even matter the color if you plan to spray paint over it in the end. You could use wooden decals, stick-on gems, fabric, leather, glue on buttons, beads, pipe cleaners, sequence, pins or plaques, and anything else you can think of!

In the photos above I cut a cut of faux leather and hot glued it to the sides of the gem and in between hot glue lines I already laid. Then I went back over the edges to give it a more sunk-in look.

With this book (below) I used a felt Doyle cut-out, that I painted at the same time as the book and glued it on with hot glue. Next, I layered hot glue over the top of the Doyle. Continuing the hot glue out from the middle, with “legs” of hot glue.

Once the glue dries, you can paint over the hot glue to make it match the rest of the book, like this one. You could also use a few colors or some metallic. With some gems, you could make a really cool one! The possibilities are endless with this project. If you would like to explore a version using mod-podge you can check out this tutorial on ehow.

Not Just for Halloween

You can create a decorative accent book for more than just Halloween. If you check out the Nautical Farmhouse page you will see a decorative accent book I chalk painted in blue and placed the same color anchor on it for decor at a Kayak and Marina establishment. At Christmas, I painted a book red and placed a wooden applique wreath in red on the front. Which turned out really nice on top of a couple of other books next to a Christmas candle. Once you start exploring you will come up with tons of ideas, trust me!

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In fact,… I bet you will not guess what these are?

They’re Baby Books!

Yep! Baby Books! Looking for a little less permanent book decor piece! Find some festive paper and some books you don’t plan on reading for a while and make book covers for them! Paper book covers as you did in school! I used baby books and scrapbook paper with fall designs to cover those books. with larger paper or taping a couple of pieces together, you can cover larger books. You never know maybe cone could cover all the books on the shelf in a pattern or ombre color scheme! In case you have forgotten how to make a book cover I have included visual instructions below.

The possibilities really are endless and I would love to see what you come up with. I hope you enjoyed these DIY Halloween Decorations that help save the books! Stop by and share your DIY decorations in the comments below!

In case you have forgotten…

HOW TO COVER A BOOK

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Digitally. Integrate. Yourself

Adding Digital Tools to Your DIY Tool Belt

D.I.Y – Digitally.Integrate.Yourself a #topicof2020. Detroit Deco is adding digital DIY tools to its tool belt! With the opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop and a free Digital Slides Notebook to start the school year off with!

Dealing with the virus, quarantine, and distance learning, It seems that everyone has been forced to step outside of their digital comfort zone and become more web-savvy. I know my crash course on Google Drive and Classroom has opened up a whole new world for me!

The Opening of Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop

Whether you are a fan of technology or not. Digital DIY tools are taking over and we will be forced to use them. As we have seen.

This started out as a downside for me, as a DIY-er hands-on type of person, but actually digital can add some very useful and interesting tools, to your DIY tool belt!

That’s why I figured now would be a great time to bring in the digital DIY tools to start Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop off with classroom resources for teachers and supplies for students!

In celebration of Back to School and the Digital Shop Opening, I made you a digital DIY tool of your own, a free digital notebook!

DIY Tools – Digital Notebooks

If you are not familiar with digital notebooks, don’t worry!

Digital notebooks are basically a collection of .pdf’s or files organized and formatted to look like and act like an actual binder or subject divided notebook. You could even consider the images, videos, files, etc. As items in the pockets of the binder, behind the tab of your choice, just as it would in a real binder.

What’s so Special About Digital Notebooks?

As you would probably guess, the benefits of digital DIY tools and digital notebooks are convenience, better for the environment, and cheaper than buying ink and paper. Which are all great!

…but the underlying excitement of all of that!…. Is that pages can be as pretty and colorful as you would like! AND you can actually save pages, articles, recipes, patterns, projects, videos, images, and links; that you (most likely) wouldn’t have been able to keep. If it had to be printed out or copied on a disk.

For instance when you are surfing the web (detroitdeco.com) and you find the perfect digital DIY Free Family Halloween Costume Planner. Decorated with pretty with orange pumpkins. A perfectly 😉 detailed list of things you would have forgotten!…. Well, now you can save it! You don’t have to miss out on the pretty graphics and you don’t have to feel guilty about wasting paper nor ink. Just save it in your digital notebook, under the tab of your choice. Then when October rolls around, you’re ready to go with your pretty checklist in hand! On your phone, ready to shop!

You can really make some useful pages which are always available to you. Very handy digital tool for planning DIY project instructions, cut lists, supplies, measurements, and even mood boards.

Here is Your Free Digital DIY Notebook Tool

The digital notebook is sized specifically for PowerPoint/Google Slides, for all the distant learners. Organized in appreciation of all our wonderful teachers, as a weekly agenda or lesson plan. You can grab your free digital slides notebook below.


Snapshot of free digital slides notebook

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Digital Tools in DIY

Okay, so let’s explore the digital DIY tools! First off I want to start by saying…There are many digital products out there! The list could go on and on. I want to get to some exciting finds, so I’m going to make it quick!

To start, Cricut and Etsy, both are at the top of the list for digital DIY tools. Cricut and other circuit cutter machines are number one, in digital DIY tools for utilizing all the .png, .svg, .dxf, and .bmp files. Second, is Etsy for selling all of your digital prints, patterns, planners, printables, scrapbook pages, and more. Not to leave out CreativeMarket and other digital product market places. Sites like Etsy, are not only the place where you can purchase the right digital tool but also a place where you can find other ways of using your digital files.

Digital DIY Tools Allow Circuit Cutter Machines to Really Make a Difference

HGTV has put together an extensive list of ways companies are giving back and stepping up to help out during the pandemic. Almost all of them include digital DIY tools. You can check that list out here.

Circuit Cutter Machines

Circuit cutter machines really should be in a whole, digital DIY tools category of their own! You can make a version of almost all of the most common DIY projects, with a circuit cutter machine. It may be your own unique version, but the versatility that a digital file adds to the machine. Allows you to cut any shape you want. Opening up a way to make just about anything.

Below you can see Cricut circuit cutter machines have been hard at work. DIY-ers have been working to #stopthespread. A big brand for DIY projects. They have made almost 2 million masks with circuit cutters. At just this one project.

Link to circuit cutter machine masks project

A challenge to make 2 million masks cut with circuit cutter machines. The project website you can find here, as of August 18, 2020, they were at 1,881,892 masks. If a Cricut machine is one of your digital DIY tools. Then, check out their project page and help them reach their goal!

You may join the project and get started by filling out their form and telling them how many masks you made that were cut by circuit cutter machines, to go towards the 2 million masks goal. Don’t have a Circuit cutter machine? You can still join if they are cut by hand. They two different forms listed and how to donate. They also encourage you to share your mask creations on their social media and have provided their digital DIY tool…face mask patterns!

Downloadable Craft Patterns

macrame dreamer patter how to article link

Or like this one that is both! From Collective Gen. “How-To Macrame Dreamer.” Which was featured at thesprucecrafts.com In their round-up of “20 Free Macrame Patterns for Making Wall Hangings, Plant Hangings, and Jewelry.” You can visit that post here to get those patterns.

Patterns! Other Digital DIY tools we source and download. No not circle, square, circle, square…, but patterns to follow for sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. The recently popular macrame and dreamcatcher patterns.

diy macrame wall hanging

Downloadable Wall Hangings

Other very popular digital DIY tools are downloadable wall hangings. A.K.A digital prints, art prints, graphic designs, and drawings. Etsy is a popular place for digital prints. They can be purchased, downloaded, printed, and DIY-ed into your favorite frame. You can purchase a design or logo to DIY a gift or make merch for your channel. By printing on a transfer made to be ironed on a t-shirt or pressed on a mug. You can also print out photos for mod-podge projects. Design albums to be printed professionally or keep it hybrid and pick up digital scrapbooking!

….. As you can see the list of digital DIY tools can go on and on. So out of my lack of patience and just so much to share, let’s move on.


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Digitally.Integrate with.Your Favorite Brands

Teachers and Homeschooling Parents, I have rounded up some big brands that have integrated digital tools in unique and useful ways recently. I’ll show you where to find them!

West Elm Zoom Backgrounds

Check out Better Homes & Gardens feature on West Elm and their FREE downloadable virtual Zoom backgrounds. With beautiful West Elm designed interior or exterior as a backdrop behind you.

Poolside backyard from west elm

You can even sit poolside and attend a meeting in the West Elm Designed Backyard.

Article snapshot from better homes and gardens

Minecraft for Education

Of course, as we know Minecraft is already a digital company. Though, they are making extra efforts and reaching out to help bridge the gap between our I and Z generation and teachers. Students’ familiarity in the digital world of Minecraft can be a helpful tool in making sure kids really “get” the material in class.

Teachers have had to deal with an unexpected emersion into the digital world. The effort from Minecraft to provide a familiar platform for students to learn is an awesome way of using digital DIY tools in the classroom! A huge help for educators to be as effective with their lessons online, as they are in the classroom.

If you are a teacher you have to check out Minecraft Education Edition! They have lessons, museum tours, you can even create challenges for your class and much more.


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Downloadable Coloring Pages

Downloadable coloring pages are a great tool to remember. For your kids, your class, an office, or waiting room. They are great digital DIY tools for teens and adults to relax and destress. You can find all sorts of free downloadable coloring pages on the web. To print out or download to open in a Paint or a Markup program and color digitally. Even more fun on your tablet or phone when you’re bored.

Below are two coloring page collections that I thought were interesting. The first, Color Our Collections are historical and scholarly coloring pages. They could be helpful for teachers and professors. The second it fun for tweens!

Galleries and Museums from all over the world have come together to create a gigantic FREE collection of downloadable coloring pages for students and adults. There are 117 participating museums, galleries, libraries, and universities contributing to #ColorOurCollection. The article from Better Homes and Gardens gives you more information about the program.

#ColorOurCollection invites you to share their image on Pinterest and Facebook. You may also click on the image to visit the Color Our Collections site, at the New York Academy of Medicine.

You have to check out this impressive collection!!

Tweens! Get in on the fun! I just couldn’t resist! The fun, funky, not to hard, good for fine tip markers, pet collection at Better Homes and Gardens! You can download them here. They have pretty cute pages!


Digital Time for Kids Magazine Library Subscription

Time for Kids is open for free subscriptions to their digital library of magazines. Helping to keep kids reading and exploring during the 2020-2021 school year. While they may not always have access to the library. You can sign up and log in to your digital library here at the Time for Kids website.


Digtal DIY Tools For A Virtual Field Trip

Another finding from Better Homes & Gardens is live videos of the animals at the zoo. Digital DIY tools you can use to make your kids a virtual field trip to the zoo! Visit six different zoos online for FREE! You can check that out here. You can also find many virtual field trips on YouTube and school designed trips with lesson plans on Pinterest!


Virtual Pre-School

Yes! You heard it! Virtual pre-school! Even the youngest group wants in on the digital DIY tools! Companies are tailoring digital tools to create interactive experiences for digital users as young as two! Getting as close to the real thing, as they can.

An article in Forbes Magazine led me to the discovery of BumoBrain. A newly launched virtual pre-school for those parents who work from home and need their 2-6-year-old to be digitally engaged. Just as they would be if they were at regular pre-school. Complete with a real live teacher, 1 on 5 class interaction, 1 on 1 online encouragement, and guidance for hands-on activities when they get off the web. Check it out! Pretty Interesting!


Digitally.Integrate.Yourself with Digital DIY Tools

I hope you have enjoyed a look at some of the tools you can add to your digital DIY toolbelt. Most of all I hope you grabbed your free digital slides notebook!

If you haven’t grabbed your free Hand Sanitizer Welcome Sign Sayings for #thenewnorm! You can find those here and in Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop.

Don’t Forget to check out Detroit Deco’s Digital Shop for Back to School Supplies! You’ll find downloadable templates, thinking maps, classroom posters, note-taking pages, whiteboard and jam board pdf’s, themed slides for digital classroom decor, agenda’s, checklist, and other fun accessories for your digital notebooks!

Subscribe for a monthly update to your inbox! Look forward to a growing collection of digital freebies and products to come! I will be adding graphic designs, DIY niche stock photography bundles, files for digital DIY tools for project how-to’s, and sayings for signs and decor to the shop! So Don’t Miss out! Subscribe Below.

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Welcome Signs with Hand Sanitizer Reminders


Welcome, Signs for #TheNewNormal. Sanitizer Dispenser Decorations Reminders to Your Guests to use Hand Sanitizer. FREE PRINTABLE

What we would have considered clean enough before the health crisis. Is no longer up to par. We aren’t just taking other people’s word for it either! We want to “know” it has recently been sanitized, only touched by gloves, and has had the limited possibility of exposure to the virus! Before we sanitize it again our selves!


decorative example of saying

This page may contain affiliate links which allow me to earn a commission on purchases made through certain links with absolutely no cost to you. Your information is always safe and never shared.

The Number One Place We Want to Keep Clean are Our Homes

Due to the nature of quarantine. We have all developed a little bit of that, “it’s not clean unless I’ve cleaned it,” feeling. After all, we can’t control all the germs. We can only do our best to control the germs we pick up by touch and the germs we bring into our homes. You and your family members probably have your own personal routine for, “Ridding the germs from your hands and the shoes from your feet.” But, you can’t say the same for your guests, After all, they don’t live there.

Although, I’m sure your guests are doing their part to #stopthespread. Still, you can’t help that feeling of, “Its not clean unless I’ve cleaned it.” After all, you never know, what they came in contact with on the way to your house! 😉

So, it only makes sense! Our number one place we want to keep clean is our homes. Why wouldn’t you want to remind your guests to leave the street germs at the door!?!



Entryway Decorative Friendly Reminders. Ask your guest to put on hands sanitizer without actually asking them. Politely remind your guests to use hand sanitizer and remove their shoes upon entering your house.
Ask your guest to leave the street germs at the door, without actually asking them! Entryway Decor Decorative Friendly Reminders to Guests to use Hand Sanitizer

Welcome! Please Check Germs and Shoes at The Door.


The New Clean

Our behaviors of respect for not spreading germs have shifted #thenewnorm. A few months ago, you wouldn’t have dared to ask your guests to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. Unless you were coming to see their newborn baby. Now, you wouldn’t be surprised if you were asked to put on a mask!

Today if you are invited into someone’s house and show no regard for your shoes or hands. They may consider it impolite.

The entire globe has gone through a health crisis and everyone has felt the consequences of germs. As quarantines are lifted and we begin to socialize again. Germs will be the top concern on everyone’s mind. Including your guests. Which means they should have no problem doing their part to minimize the number of germs they bring into your home; After all, wouldn’t they want the same respect at their house?

So, you have arrived at the conclusion that you would like your guests to remove their shoes and put on hand sanitizer.

Now for the tough part. How do you ask Your Guests?

Some may have no problem coming right out and stating their request to their guests. While on the other hand, others may feel uncomfortable giving their guests a command. As soon as they walk in the door. I completely understand! I do not feel 100% comfortable either.

welcomes sign sayings diy printable

Post COVID-19 Welcome Signs

This got me thinking! Which lead me to my design of some home decor accent pieces. I am naming them Decorative Reminders. A decorative accent piece that fits in with your style and politely states your request to your guests. While also camouflaging or decorating (whichever way you wanna slice it ;)) the hand sanitizer bottle. For in your front entryway, foyer, mudroom, command center, coat closet, side door, or back door, even in the garage! Set it on an accent table or hang it on the wall. No matter the location, a Decorative Reminder is a little visual notification, that it’s time to GermX.

The Decorative Reminders I Designed

If you want to make a Decorative Reminder of your own. I have included a FREE PRINTABLE with all the sayings! Don’t forget to get yours!

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Hand Sanitizer Welcome Signs Entryway Decorations with Friendly Reminders to Guests (and your family) to Disinfect.



What do You think!?!

I hope you liked my collection of Decorative Reminders and sayings! These are just an example of the endless possibilities of designs you can do. I used a very simple DIY method to create them. Which I have for you down below! Along with some other simple ideas. To make your own reminder that fits in with your style.


I am SO excited to pass along my idea! That I included a FREE PRINTABLE of ALL the Decorative Reminder Sayings for you!!! INCLUDING a BLACK FONT and WHITE FONT VERSION of each! So, you won’t have any trouble fitting into your design! Grab your freebie printable below!

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*Remember there is a black and white version of each. The pages that look blank have white text on them. You can refer to the file name to select the right one. If you highlight or click and drag your cursor over the page you can see the white text. Print out the one you want. *Remember to select only the page(s) you want to print in the page range section of the print screen so you don’t waste ink.


DIY a Sanitizer Reminder Decoration of Your Own

I hope you are feeling my #thenewnormal Welcome signs! Don’t forget to grab your free sayings! If not, write down your favorite saying to use later. Below you will find ideas for making your own Decorative Reminder with or without a printer! There are so many ways you can DIY the perfect GermX station for your home. Here is the easy method I used for the ones above. Don’t forget to subscribe to receive the newest ideas to your inbox!


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Simple DIY Method I used To Make Hand Sanitizer Reminder Accents

This is an easy DIY project using Mod-Podge. You will need the surface that you wish to “paste” your design onto. Just about any surface works with Mod-Podge; wood, a dry painted surface, paper, cardboard or foam board, glass, ceramic, acrylic, plastic, and even fabric.

First, get your FREE PRINTABLE SAYINGS, check your email and press CONFIRM. Go through the sayings and pick the one you want. *Remember there is a black and white version of each. The pages that look blank have white text on them. You can refer to the file name to select the right one. If you highlight or click and drag your cursor over the page you can see the white text. Print out the one you want. *Remember to select the page(s) you want to print in the page range section of the print screen so you don’t waste ink.

DIY Post COVID-19 Welcome Signs

Now, the part that makes this method easy, is the paper. The paper I used is called Vellum Paper. You can buy it at any Staples, Office Depot, Michaels, or other office supplies or arts and craft stores. It is like tracing paper, but thicker like card stock. It comes in standard letter size for easy printing. When you put it together with Mod-Podge you can make just about anything. This paper is honestly one of my favorite craft supplies!

Load however many sheets you want into your printer, and print like normal. Be sure the ink is dry when you start to handle it, so it doesn’t smudge. Then you can cut around your design if you wish.

White vellum paper to print for crafts
A DIY-er’s MUST HAVE Supply! You can do so much with this paper.

Don’t Forget Your Printable! 

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The Decorative Reminder Possibilities are Endless

You can use regular white paper or colored paper too! I used the Vellum paper because the Mod-Podge dries completely clear. That way you can print all the designs you want and they can be used on multiple surfaces with its transparent background.

Once you have the saying cut out and ready to use. Mod-Podge it onto the surface you want to use for your decorative reminder. For my collection in the pictures above, the surfaces I used were. A piece of wood I painted white and attached the sanitizer dispenser box and a hook for your guest’s coat. Two dollar store wooden sign craft blanks I painted white. A piece of foam board mounted to a piece of charcoal painted wood. Lastly, an upcycled wooden shadow box I didn’t use anymore.

DIY Mod-Podge a Post COVID-19 Welcome Sign

If you are not familiar with Mod-Podge. It is like painting with glue, you want to apply smooth even layers for a flawless finish. Minimizing brush stokes and trying to avoid putting too much in one spot. The Mod-Podge is the “paint” or finish, but it is also the glue. So you brush a layer of Mod-Podge on the surface you’re placing your design on. Then you brush a layer on the back of your design. Once the design is positioned and smoothed out. You’ll apply another layer of Mod-Podge for the “final Coat” or sealer. Don’t worry it doesn’t need to dry in between. You can do all three parts and a few minutes one after the other.

To Get Started

First, roll the bottle of Mod-Podge back and forth to mix it up. Do not shake it or stir it up real fast, as for that will make bubbles. Apply a smooth even layer to the surface you are using. Then quickly apply a smooth even layer to the back of your design. The paper will start to curl up shortly after you apply the Mod-Podge so move quickly. When applying the Mod-Podge you want to start in the middle and brush outward towards every edge of the paper.

Line up the design on your surface and place the middle part down first. Then, slowly smooth out the rest of the paper. Pushing outward towards all edges, eliminating air bubbles. Since your hands usually get sticky while smoothing out the surface. I like to have a few clean nonporous items nearby, like a plastic cup, marker, or ruler. Anything smooth that you can use to “squeegee” the paper down and push out air bubbles. If you get some on your fingers, you don’t want to try to smooth it out because it will leave dirty marks from anything on your fingers. it dries rather quickly so work fast. You don’t want dried Mod-Podge getting onto the clean surface. Keep baby wipes or damp cloth nearby to wipe your fingers quickly. The moisture takes off the half-dried Modge-Podge, so you don’t leave fingerprints when you go back to your design.

Last Step

For the final step put one last smooth even layer of Mod-Podge over the top of your design. You can press down firmly with the brush to help smooth out any areas that may have a lot of Mod-Podge under them. Remember to start in the middle and work your way outward. Be sure to apply a generous amount to the top layer so no edges stick up. Seal the edges and corners really well by running long outward strokes, past the corners and edges of the design. Now let it dry! The longer it dries the more transparent the Mod-Podge becomes. So don’t worry if you have spots that are white. It will eventually dry clear. As long as it is left alone and the surface is not tampered with.

You can apply more coats and/or more layers depending on the look you are going for. After 24 hours you will be able to use it unless you did multiple layers or you used a stronger type of Mod-Podge. I didn’t go into all the details of Mod-Podge, but you can get the dishwasher safe version and it really holds up well, especially if you apply multiple coats.

 
 

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DIY Ideas to make your own Welcome Reminder

Let’s say you do not have a printer (or ink) and you don’t have Mod-Podge. No problem! You can write down your favorite saying, practice, doodling it in a few different handwritings. Once you are ready to write your final saying, grab a ruler to guide you, as you write above the straight edge. If you want to help writing straight lines.

If you’re like me, then you probably couldn’t stand to look at your own handwriting every day. You could ask someone else to write it or you could make a magazine clipping version. Cut out all letters in your saying from a magazine and paste them to paper or card stock.

Other no printer options are vinyl cut letters if you have a circuit cutter. Sticker letters, you can get decorative ones in the scrapbooking section of arts and craft stores. You could also stencil the saying on with paint.

More Creative Decorative Reminder Ideas

You can place your saying or design in a frame with or without glass. To sit on an entryway table or hang it on the wall. To get even more creative you could Mod-Podge or adheres your saying to the box you keep the sanitizer dispenser in. You could also Mod-Podge it right onto the Germx bottle itself!

Personally, my favorite is, a multi-purpose accent! Not only a sanitizer reminder but also a coat, hat, or key rack. Great if you have a small entryway! Hang it on the wall or from an existing hook. You could post it up at a command center or use a mail sorter pocket to hold the dispenser. What about a garage entrance or mudroom, next to your furry friend’s leash! 🙂 lol. I’m going to stop myself there! As you can see the possibilities are endless!

#thenewnorm

We are all traveling through uncharted waters in this global pandemic and there is no doubt it has changed us all. We have already modified our cleaning routines and heightened our awareness of germs. So, I felt changing times and changing habits. Calls for a change in decor!! We walk through the door of our homes differently now and your guests do as well. To clear up the awkward greeting and put the tension at ease. Add a Decorative Reminder to your entryway decor so you and your guests can get on with their visit.

As we continue to write history, post-quarantine, and with our New standards for cleanliness. I hope you take along the idea of Decorative Reminders and you pass it along with a creative example of your own! Please comment down below and stop back by to share a design of your own! Show some love and subscribe to Detroit Deco and Follow us on Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.

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Creating an UpCycled D.I.Y Atmosphere at a Local Shop

DIY up cycled and repurposed design with pallet wood signs
DIY repurpose headboards and foot boards into couch-like bench seating. chalk painted with up cycled upholstery. Farmhouse rustic style for indoor or outdoors
D.I.Y Up Cycled, Repurposed and Reclaimed Furniture, Decor and Pallet Wood Signs

Repurposed and Reclaimed Style

Detroit Deco creating the atmosphere at Captain Jim’s Kayak and Marina in Gibraltar, MI. Their colors were already chosen and surrounded the exterior of the building. The owner knew he liked the rustic, farmhouse, industrial style, so that part was done! What they really needed was actual furniture and a design that broke up the large open space into appropriate sections for their entertainment.

Why a Kayak and Marina?

Gibraltar is a small boating community, southeast of Detroit on Lake Erie. People like the outdoors and most of them spend some leisure time at the lake or on the water. Community events are very popular, most people know each other and enjoy getting together and having a place they can mingle.

For the owners of Captain Jim’s, Gibraltar is their home. They live and grew up there, always heavily involved in the community. Enjoying the town’s social events as much as everybody else, the owners wanted their place to feel like Gibraltar’s living room. A place where they could grab a cup of coffee and watch the game or meet up with friends for a game of Scrabble, rent a kayak for the afternoon, dock their boat and even pick up one of Detroit Deco’s home decor signs from reclaimed wood as a souvenir! It’s such a large space with no need to hurry and push people out the door for turn over. They wanted the community to feel comfortable enough to literally just come hang out.

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Laying Out the Space

Did I mention it was a large space?! The first step was deciding which areas of entertainment or service to include. They already had the coffee bar with some counter seating; the only other furniture besides the kayaks, were two high top tables in front of the wall-mounted T.V.

The Layout

We wanted to create areas for a gift shop, communal studying, watching the big screen, enjoying a snack or refreshment, and a children’s corner. The goal is for our guests to stay awhile, so we wanted to bring in games, books, and activities for the kids to invite them to stay longer. We knew what we needed. So what’s the budget? “$0.”

That’s where I stepped in.

A zero dollar budget! My specialty! Still having some items in the garage from the last round of trash picking, I wasn’t worried, but I knew I needed reinforcements! I needed my wonderful husband and his expertise in helping me find the perfect trash to make treasure (plus his labor)! After surveying the garage and labeling the items I wanted to use, it was time to go trash picking!

Trash Pickin’

It may not sound the most appealing, especially depending on where you’re at, but we have found some of the best items in the trash! You don’t have to go sifting through banana peels or anything! My method is to drive around the neighborhood on trash night or large furniture night and see what items are sitting at the curb. People throw stuff in the trash when it is damaged or just because they don’t have the space or use for it. That doesn’t mean it’s trash! Start with some elbow grease for a good cleaning, add a little creativity, plus two handfuls of TLC and you’ve got a recipe to D.I.Y just about anything!

D.I.Y Atmosphere on a Budget

Besides items from your garage, house, or storage and the items you rescue from the trash, there are many other places you can find free or cheap materials for your D.I.Y projects. Check out this list I put together for you with more ideas on where you can find free or cheap supplies. This list I’m sure will grow as I find more and more items to repurpose. To get an update on all the fresh ideas and inspiration happening at Detroit Deco subscribe to the tribe and don’t miss out on all the new ideas!

After Trash Picking’ and Dumpster Drivin’

Moving on to more sophisticated sources such as; Craigslist, where you can find many posts on free pallets or wood scraps and curb alerts which move rather quickly. There’s LetGo, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace which I found are great for free furniture from people who are moving! I bought dollar hardware pieces for smaller accents, craft lots of fabrics and notations, and many chairs for cheap or free from these sites too.

My generous neighbor (who thankfully didn’t mind my loud noises) donated stencils, wooden boxes, and picture frames she didn’t use, and an elderly couple was downsizing and had multiple bookcases for free filled with books. Friends and family members went through their basements and donated board games. Once the word spread locals were stopping in to drop off items they thought fit the style we started.

Pallet wood signs and and reclaimed wood decor and repurposed furniture

Furniture and Seating

For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate all the seating; I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
DIY repurposed headboards and foot boards into couch-like bench seating. Upholstery is up cycled from a gazebo. This rustic farmhouse style seating can be made for indoor or outdoor

I made simple throw pillows in fun patterns to make it feel more like home. The pallet wood coffee tables made it the perfect spot to sit with your coffee.

Repurposed headboard and foot board into a couch-like bench. Painted in red chalk paint and upholstered with an up cycled tarp from the roof of a gazebo. Clear coated it can go indoors or outdoors.

Painted in Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Farmhouse Red, She was my favorite and turned out beautiful!

Farmhouse Table for Communal Studying and Children's Farmhouse Table for activities with redone old mix match chairs

Farmhouse table for communal work or study and a children’s farmhouse table for activities. Accompanied by redone mixed matched old chairs and a repurposed headboard and foot board bench for the children’s table.

In progress of finishing up sanding my DIY Farmhouse table from reclaimed wood. Simple modern farmhouse style, rustic and beautiful all finished!

Farmhouse table in progress


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Gift Shop, Games and Home Decor

In the front section, after you walk in the door, we created a gift shop. Featuring Captain Jim’s merchandise, Detroit Deco’s home decor, embroidered hand towels and sweatshirts by TexAna Designs, hand-drawn postcards, and other homemade gifts from community artists.

To create the gift shop area, I used a bookshelf that came loaded with books as one retail display. Placed at the beginning of the gift shop area before a large wall of boater’s rope. The bookshelf signaled the start of the gift shop which led into the rope wall displaying home decor and wall art for sale. The rope met up with a short adjacent wall covered in pallet wood. We added a retail island for more gifts completing the gift shop corner. Each item had a craft paper price tags tied with twine, also indicating the items were for sale.

This free bookcase came loaded with books and we used it as a retail display for part of the gift shop. Displaying reclaimed wood wall art and home decor, Embroidered hand towels by TexAna Designs and Captain Jim's travel mugs and UV bracelets.
From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

Rustic and nautical pallet wood anchor sign Home decor

Rustic and nautical with a white chalk painted anchor, this pallet wood sign with an up cycled frame is painted in Crystal chalk paint from Home Decor. The pallet pieces are white washed, stained aqua and a natural wood, the finished piece made a wonderful piece of wall art.

Wall mounted coat or hat rack from reclaimed wood and repurposed cabinet knobs

Coat or hat racks made from reclaimed pallet wood and knobs from old cabinet doors. A little bit of chalk paint and its ready for your entry way or laundry room.

DIY Nautical Farmhouse hat hook! Made from a reclaimed piece of pallet wood, an anchor stencil, black chalk paint and an up cycled door knob from an old cabinet door and voila! You have a Nautical Farmhouse rustic hat or coat hook, perfect for any entryway, mud room or laundry room.

The seat of a broken wooden bar stool. I stenciled a white chalk paint anchor and rubbed a thin layer of aqua stain over it before clear coating. After it was dry, I roughed it up with a little sandpaper for a more worn look and to get the anchor to come through more. It made a awesome piece of wall art and I loved that it was circular.

Reclaimed Dock wood made into a planter. the wood was already stained, so I put a couple layers of protective brown wax over the entire planter for a uniformed finish, plus a clear coat that can withstand the water and soil.

Reclaimed wood from a dock being redone. The rescued pieces already had some colored stain on them, so I added a couple coats of dark brown glaze and polyherithian to bring it all together with the cut edges.

Pallet wood hanging shelf, rustic Home Decor

A decorative rustic hanging shelf made from pallet wood, with aqua and ebony stain and pieces from a white painted pallet that had spent its time outside. The turquoise “garden stone” is actually a lump of concrete I had left in a five gallon bucket, so I dumped it out and painted, stenciled and clear coated it!

Reclaimed Wood Stenciled Chalk Paint Signs

Reclaimed wood chalk painted signs were a big hit among customers, many loved them for above a door way or basement stairs. In case you’re wondering “poop deck” is the look out deck on a boat!

D.I.Y Adventure

Captain Jim’s was a fun D.I.Y adventure and really put my skills to the test. Many different trades and a lot of elbow grease went into this fabulous adventure. I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat! I would love to hear what you thought of the up-cycled D.I.Y style of Captain Jim’s! Please share!

On to more D.I.Y adventures, please join me and stay up to date by subscribing to receive an email update on the freshest ideas happening at Detroit Deco!

What Did you Think of The Kayak and Marina Style?

Comment down below!!!!

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