Monday, October 31, 2016

Weekly Food Round-up │Week of Oct 24

Y'all, things get crazy in the Fall. I don't know if it's the cooler weather, the Fall activities or all that damn sugar in Pumpkin Spice Lattes but there is ALWAYS something going on. 

Meal planning is SO hard when you're this social! Just kidding... kind of. 








This Week


Monday │ BBQ Chicken Spinach Wraps



Cocktails & Creatives Original Recipe 

I'm scraping bare minimums in the kitchen. I could go grocery shopping but I hate wasting food almost as much as I hate spiders. Almost. And that's year round, not just around Halloween. We have "going out" plans Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Wednesday was booked with craft night and sports games. Sundays aren't usually anything fancy anyway, so that left Monday and Tuesday's meals. I really didn't feel the need to spend money for two days worth of food. 

On a whim, I whipped up these wraps with frozen chicken (thawed in the microwave and then cooked in a skillet), one baby ear of frozen corn left in the freezer (boiled then stove-top charred), a can of black beans, shredded mozzarella cheese, Sweet Baby Ray's and Marzetti's Classic Ranch dressing (mixed) and mixed spinach, arugula and red cabbage greens rolled into a spinach tortilla. It seared the tortilla opening with olive oil in a skillet and served with leftover carrots from my Lemon Pepper Wings two weeks ago.

They were awesome! The corn was sweet but had the charred flavor, chicken was moist, lettuce was crisp and Sweet Baby Rays and/or Ranch on anything make it better.





Tuesday Pesto, Ricotta, Walnut Salmon



Original Recipe adapted from BuzzFeed

Frozen meat is the bomb.com. Sometimes I forget all that I have and when I go searching for goodies (like I am this week in lieu of no grocery shopping) I surprise myself at how much food I actually have on hand.

Whaddup unplanned fancy meal. Think I'll take you with a glass of Cab Sauv. 

Although I'm not a huge seafood person, I enjoy switching things up every now and then. Tilapia and Salmon are probably my two choices (if I had to pick) and since I just made tilapia last week for my Blackened Tilapia Bowls, I went with salmon. 

I alwayyys have jarred basil pesto in the fridge (I love the Classico brand!). I mixed that with ricotta cheese for a light and flavorful addition on top of the salmon and the nuttiness and crunch of the walnuts pulled it all together. For the side, I simply did oven roasted veggies  - frozen cauliflower, brussels sprouts and broccoli tossed in olive oil with balsamic glaze. 


Wednesday│ Nothing


I wish this was a joke but I kinda sorta accidentally skipped dinner. Which, like, never happens. But I was too busy crafting for my friend Danielle's wedding to eat the roasted butternut squash chili she made. It looked and smelled amazing though so I might steal her recipe one night to share with you guys. 

On the down side, I was starving when I woke up Thursday. On the up side, her 8 aisle signs look awesome.



Thursday│ Bakersfield East




via Bakersfield East on Yelp
Bakersfield East Menu

We spent Thursday night celebrating Sam's birthday at Bakersfield East in the Dilworth Area of Charlotte. It was the perfect birthday spot for a crowd of our size (we had 9 people). And I say it's the perfect birthday spot mostly because they made Sam take a tequila shot... which she hasn't done since college. She then proceeded to flick off the table.

Overall the food was okay - a little bit on the spicy side for me although nothing on the menu mentioned the spice level. Their queso on the other hand was to die for. Might make the top 3 on our Queso Quest list I mentioned last week. It was a base of gooey, flavorful cheeses with a top layer of so much broiled mozzarella that you literally had to cut it with a knife to scoop it. And I wasn't mad about it at all. In fact, I ate so many chips and so much queso I literally had one bite of each of the tacos and one bite of the tostada before I was officially stuffed.


House margs on the rocks, no salt, topped off a fun night with friends!  

Ordered; Chips & Queso, Chicken Chorizo Tostada, Pollo Rojo Taco, Bistec Taco.



Friday Sandwich Max


via Charlotte Agenda
Sandwich Max Menu

Friday was EPIC. I sent Homer - the mascot from the Charlotte MILB team, The Charlotte Knights - to surprise Kevin at his work. The Knights had a Halloween promotion running and for $45 Homer would bring someone a pumpkin, a bag of treats, 2 tickets to any weeknight home game and do a "spooky dance". I successfully embarrassed the crap out of Kevin but he was such a good sport about it. He even got up and danced with Homer! And yes, of course there's video evidence. More on that later! 

Since that pretty much kicked off the good weekend vibes (try being in a bad mood after your 30 year old boyfriend dances with a dragon mascot) we couldn't wait to join Sam & her husband Jeremy later that night for the Charlotte minor league hockey team (Charlotte Checkers) home opener. 

But first, dinner at a hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop in Elizabeth for some grubs. Kevin recommended this place and it was an awesome suggestion (and even suggested as the Best Sandwich Place in Charlotte by the Charlotte Agenda!) The guys that worked there were super personable, allowed us to basically customize anything and worked quickly. Everyone loved their order and Jeremy mostly loved the honey mustard they used... 

Zero food pics, tons of laughs, a few local beers and extended birthday celebrations. Not a bad Friday.

Ordered; Me: Pressed TCB - Turkey Cordon Blue, no mayo, sub bread for a spinach wrap. Kevin: Regular Pressed TCB.



I can't say anything other than I'm SO ready to get this meal-planning back on track. Like a true weirdo, I can't wait to grocery shop, prep and get this week started on the right, healthy, foot! I also can't wait to re-watch the video of Kevin dancing ... 






Tuesday, October 25, 2016

DIY $7 Handlettered Quote Canvas

Kevin and I have a shared Pinterest board called "KDS & ALR" (how cute are we?) and we're totally not afraid to admit it. When we moved into our house and realized we quickly needed to fill 5 empty rooms, the easiest way for me to get him to visualize my thoughts was to find similar images and pin them to our board. 

So maybe he took it a little far and turned it into a "total man cave/vinyl player table/make-everything-out-of-recycled-pallet-wood" board, but I can't say I blame him. The magic of Pinterest powers suck you in. Every. Single. Time. WHYYYY?!






So far, styling our Master Bedroom has been my favorite. It just has all those homey intimate feels; extra pillows, a chaise lounge, soft colors, perfect lighting, the dogs ginormous crate... okay, maybe not that last one. But when I saw this pin I knew I wanted to wake up every morning staring right at it.

I mean, c'mon, who doesn't want to stay snuggled in bed all day?? Let's stay home.


Via: Visual Pixie on Etsy

I could have easily bought this printout (it's like $7) but I always seem to take the hard way. Yes, I still would have had to buy a frame for it and pay for the printing at Staples since it's an instant download. And yes, it probably was easier this way but I just find more joy in making things myself. Plus, I didn't want it as a focal piece, just an accent.

Commence the crafting. Keep reading to find out how I made a DIY Handlettered Canvas for $7.



DIY Handlettered Canvas Sign for $7





Start out by gathering your materials. I had a few things on hand but purchased the canvas, sharpie pen, brushes and paint all from Michaels.

For my quotes, I love to use the Fonts tool on Web Tool Hub. They have a TON of font options (way more than Microsoft Word does) and with a little time, you can usually find something that closely resembles your inspiration. 





On the Web Tool Hub site, find your desired font and click the 'Download' button on the right-hand side.





Once you click 'Download', click the 'Custom Preview' button.




You'll see the sentence "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog" in the box that says 'Enter Custom Text'. Delete that and type in your desired word(s). Select your font size and color. Remember, you can adjust the size in Microsoft Word so it doesn't need to be huge. I usually use size 60pt and leave the text black since it's just a guide anyway. 

Note: If you want to mix fonts, you'll need to repeat this step for every different font you have. 

Using the Snipping Tool (available on most Window's computers), snip your word(s) from the custom preview area and paste into Microsoft Word.

Here you can adjust the size, rotation angle and layout for your canvas. Since I used a 16" x 20" canvas, I printed one word on each page.




Print out your quote onto regular computer paper (I used 8 1/2" x 11") and trim the paper around your chosen words. Then, position the words (printed side up) onto your canvas to ensure the whole quote will fit.






With your pencil, shade over all the words on the backside of the computer paper. Make sure your entire word is covered including apostrophes, dots on "i", crosses on "t", etc. You don't need to fill the whole paper and don't need to color it so it's black, but enough so it's mostly covered.

I suggest doing this part on a hard surface, not on the canvas, as you don't want stray pencil lines on it. I just used a thick book I had on the coffee table.





Flip your computer paper back over so that the printed side is up and gently place your words as you want them to appear on your canvas. If you'd like, tape the printouts to the canvas using some of the painters tape to ensure they won't move as you begin writing.

Start tracing over the letters using your pencil. You'll want to push pretty hard as you trace because you're transferring the pencil lead from the back of the paper where you shaded onto the canvas. I find it easier if I trace the outline of the letters instead of a line in the middle of the letters because my words end up looking like an actual font instead of my own handwriting.





Remove the printer paper to reveal your quote in pencil on the canvas. It should be light enough so you can erase it without leaving marks (which you probably won't need to do) but dark enough to see it to trace over with the oil-based Sharpie pen.





Begin tracing over your pencil lines with the Sharpie pen being careful to not go outside the lines. You want your lines as straight as possible and filed in to resemble the font you chose.

Note: The Sharpie paint pen dries fairly quickly but if you are left handed it might be a bit of a slower process to avoid smearing.

Allow the letters to fully dry before moving to the next step.




Next, begin working on your border. There are two options for this;

1) Use a ruler and mark evenly where you want the border to be, then apply painters tape at markings, or;
2) Use the width of the painters tape to measure for you.

I used the second method. 

Place the painters tape along all 4 edges of your canvas. It's okay if it overlaps onto the sides because this tape will eventually be removed.





With the first layer of tape still on, tape another line along all 4 edges again. This time, you'll need to cut the tape at the ends because you want it to be a sharp corner. 

Gently press on the 2nd row of tape (closest to the words) so they adhere more. Carefully peel off the outside layer of tape and discard, leaving an exposed canvas border.




Squirt some of your Bright Gold craft smart paint onto a disposable paper plate (or a paint palette if you have one) and begin painting the exposed canvas border with your foam brush. Start out with a light coat and gradually add more. Don't forget to paint the sides of the canvas too.

After applying two coats, my border ended up with an almost woody, grain-like texture due to the foam brush technique. I absolutely loved it, but if you want more of a smooth finish add additional coats.

Once it completely dries, remove the remaining painters tape and hold your breath ... 




.... for the final reveal! 





I hung our canvas on a wall in our bedroom using a simple clear thumbtack and could not be happier with how it looks. The lines are crisp, the words are centered and most importantly, it's unique because I made it! 

It's a subtle reminder that we don't always have to be on the go and sometimes it's nice to just stay home.




_________________________________________________________


DIY Handlettered Quote Canvas



Materials 


1 16" x 20" Canvas
Printed Quote
#2 Pencil 
Sharpie Oil Based Paint Pen in Black (Medium Point)
Painters Tape (.94in wide)
Foam Paintbrush
Paper Plate
craft smart Metallic Paint in Bright Gold


Instructions


Start out by selecting a desired font for your quote and adjust the size/layout in Microsoft Word. 

Print out your words onto regular computer paper (I used 8 1/2" x 11") and trim the paper around your chosen words. Then, position the words (printed side up) onto your canvas to ensure the whole quote will fit. 

Using your #2 pencil, shade over the words on the backside of the computer paper. Make sure your entire quote is covered including apostrophes, dots on "i", etc. 

Flip your computer paper back over so that the printed side is up and gently place your words as you want them to appear on your canvas. Tape them onto the canvas using some of the painters tape.


Pushing hard, start tracing over the letters using your pencil. 

Once you've traced all the words, remove the printer paper to reveal your quote in pencil on the canvas. 

Begin tracing over your pencil lines with the Sharpie pen. Allow to dry.

Place the painters tape along all 4 edges of your canvas. With the first layer of tape still on, tape another line along all 4 edges again. Cut the tape at the ends to make a sharp corner. 

Press on the 2nd row of tape (closest to the words) so they adhere to the canvas then carefully peel off the outside layer of tape and discard, leaving an exposed canvas border.

Paint the Bright Gold craft smart paint onto the exposed canvas border (including the sides) with your foam brush. Apply two coats or more if you feel necessary.

Allow to completely dry overnight and display in desired location. 


_________________________________________________________



Total Project Cost: ~$7
$10 for all 5 canvases (regularly $19.99, but with 50% off coupon at Michaels), $1.49 Paint, $0.49 Foam Paintbrush, $2.25 Sharpie Pen (regularly $4.49, but with 50% off coupon at Michaels)  




_______________________________________

My Materials

Paint; Craftsmart │ Foam Brush; ArtMinds │ Canvas; Artist Loft 
Paint Pen; Sharpie Painters Tape; Duck Brand


_______________________________________ 



I hope that this tutorial will help you learn how to make a sign of your own! The pencil transfer technique can be applied to all sorts of light colored surfaces (canvas, paper, white wood, etc). For dark surfaces, I shade the back of the paper with white chalk instead of pencil and trace the letters just like I did for this canvas sign. I plan on using one of the other canvases that came in the 5-pack for a fun sign in our guest bathroom. I can't wait to show you!


Weekly Food Round-up │ Week of Oct 17

Hello, Week 4 of my Weekly Food Round-up! You sucked :) At least from a content standpoint, you still tasted delicious. 

My life is basically in shambles if I don't plan out food down to the snacks (really, there might be something wrong with me). We end up eating out, spending additional money on impromptu grocery runs and meals are unhealthier than normal. Ahem, see below. I'm ready to get back on track.

Find last week's meals here.
Find Week 2 meals here.
Find Week 1 meals here.






Week 4


Monday │Blackened Tilapia Bowls



Cocktails & Creatives Original Recipe 

This is one of my favorite get-it-on-the-table-quick meals. It's healthy, fresh & filling and you can completely customize the ingredients based on what you have available. Since I didn't really go grocery shopping this week (lots of after school activities, and by school I mean work) plus spending Thursday through Sunday celebrating my best friend's wedding, I'm basically cleaning shop. 

I always try to keep my fridge/freezer/pantry stocked with staples - frozen chicken & fish, frozen veggies, rice and pasta - and this week only bought fresh fruits and veggies to accompany. 

Oven baked (once frozen) blackened tilapia (a homemade seasoning of onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, oregano, thyme, salt, pepper, paprika and cumin) served over boil-in-a-bag brown rice and topped with avocado, fresh limes, salsa, leftover fried tortilla strips from my White Chicken Chili and a Birdseye Protein Blends Southwest Style frozen mix (black beans, corn, red peppers, lentils in a southwest sauce). I also added Valentino hot sauce for an extra kick.  



Tuesday │ Gusto! Ballanytne



Gusto! Menu

I'm so indecisive when it comes to ordering food. I constantly face the battle of "Do I try something new or should I stick with what I know?". Hence why I think tapas are the greatest thing on Earth. A little bit of everything without consuming my daily calorie limit in one meal... usually.

This was our first time at Gusto! and to be honest, we were a little hesitant based on it's Yelp reviews. We read about poor service, food poisoning (gasp) and uneven proportions. But most importantly, we read more about fresh ingredients, tasty combinations, reasonable prices and outdoor seating.

Overall we were extremely impressed. The food was brought to us quickly, our server was attentive and helpful, we scarfed everything down and they even had a few of our favorite local beers on tap. There wasn't a single plate we didn't like and would definitely recommend Gusto! if you're looking for a tapas place in the Ballantyne area of Charlotte. 

Yummy apps + seeing the movie 'Sully' for $5... I'd say that's an impromptu date night done right.

Ordered; Meat Charcuterie Plate, Cheese Charcuterie Plate, Truffle Parmesan Fries, Shrimp Avocado Ceviche and Chorizo Stuffed Arrancini (not pictured). Triple C Brewery 'Baby Maker' IPA.



Wednesday│ Cantina 1511  



Photos via Cantina 1511 Yelp 

Cantina 1511 Menu

Cantina 1511 is one of our favorite Mexican places in Charlotte. My boyfriend, Kevin, and I always joke around that we're going to go on a Queso Quest to find the best melty cheese in town. As I'm writing this, I'm actually wondering why we haven't opened the polls yet. And by polls I mean why haven't I stuffed my face with queso twice a day until I find #1. 

While I'm not sure that Cantina is in fact #1, I do know that it's pretty dang close. We come here strictly because their queso is that good. We order other food too... sometimes.

If we're not at a Sushi place, you can find us at a Mexican restaurant.

Ordered; Five Cheese Queso Fundido with Chorizo, Chimichanga (top), Enchiladas Rojas (bottom), House Margaritas (on the rocks, no salt)



Thursday - Sunday│ Wedding Festivities!


Via Lindsey K Photography on Facebook

Not even sure when Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday went but I do know 5 things;

1) Jenna was the most beautiful bride. Like ever.
2) Her wedding apps had Shrimp & Grit Shooters as part of it.
3) Giving a Maid of Honor speech to 150 people makes me want to vomit.
4) My liver officially knows I'm not 21... or even 25... anymore.
5) More on these wedding weekend shenanigans later.



Unfortunately, next week is going to be a bit in shambles too from a food planning aspect. Kevin has double-header volleyball and hockey games, I have a craft night planned for another girlfriend's wedding (CAN'T WAIT, Danielle!), and we have weekend birthday celebrations planned for my bff, Sam, that include a Charlotte Checkers game, a Charlotte Hornets game AND a Carolina Panthers game all within 3 days. No wonder time is flying by ... we just have too much fun! :)




Monday, October 17, 2016

Weekly Food Round-up │ Week of Oct 10

The weather is finally getting chilly, I'm knocking the dust off my sweaters and quite literally off my boots (those things were covered) and we're enjoying fall nights by the patio fire pit. I'm feeling a s'mores sesh one night this weekend.

It's Week 3 of my Weekly Food Round-up and I haven't repeated a meal yet. Anyone wanna start taking bets on how long that will last? Side note; taking all these food pictures makes me realize I should probably invest in a decent camera, I'm bound to drop my iPhone in some soup or sauce eventually. 

Find last week's meals here.
Find Week 1 meals here.









This Week



Monday │Korean Beef & Quinoa



Original Recipe found at Smile Sandwich

What makes a better food stage than Tupperware containers? I mean, it really makes the colors of this dish pop! Nottttt. That's because Monday's dinner was actually made on Sunday night. The Carolina Panthers were at home for Monday Night Football (what a horrible game) so I picked a meal that could reheat well and could be taken on the run if we were extra time-crunched.

Both Kevin and I get off work at 5pm, but when you account for traffic both leaving uptown and heading uptown, PLUS tailgate time, we needed a quick, healthy meal that I could pop in the microwave. Plus, we needed something to absorb those local IPA's we always drink at the games.

This recipe is super simple with minimal ingredients and tons of flavor. I substituted the ground beef for 94% Fat Free Ground Turkey (on sale for $2.99 at Food Lion) and next time might consider adding broccoli for more substance. I made extra quinoa on Sunday night so I could use it for this and for Tuesday's dinner. Leftover green onion from last week's Sesame Chicken Potstickers topped it off. It's a pretty filling meal so we actually ate the rest of it for a midnight snack after the game.



Tuesday │ Viva Chicken Copycat Quinoa Stuffed Avocado




Cocktails and Creatives Original Recipe found here.

This recipe is seriously so easy and oh so yummy. While it's not the exact same flavors as the Quinoa Stuffed Avocado at Viva Chicken, it's probably just about as close as you can get. 

This meal was ideal. We were worn out after the Panthers game on Monday night (that loss was draining) and accidentally ended up taking an hour nap after work, whoops. I was pretty confident I didn't want to put any work into dinner. I used leftover quinoa from Monday's meal, shredded rotisserie chicken (on sale for $4.99 at Food Lion and will be reused for lunches this week as well as Thursday's dinner). Leftover red pepper and romaine lettuce came from the Chipotle Lime Carnitas salad I made last week.

The creaminess of the avocado, crunch of the peppers and lettuce, nutty flavor of the quinoa and the savory rotisserie chicken are the perfect combo. Topped with both Dijon Mustard and Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce, an unexpected but delicious addition.




Wednesday│ Oven Baked Lemon Pepper Chicken Wings 



Original Recipe found at The Wicked Noodle

The recipe for these wings was PERFECT. The only thing I did differently was broil them on high for 3 minutes after I tossed them in butter and topped with the lemon pepper seasoning for a little extra crispiness. They were crunchy, flavorful and definitely paired well with an AppState football win! #GoNeers

I also swear by Marzetti's Classic Ranch dressing. I'm forever on the search for that "restaurant ranch" taste and for me, Hidden Valley just didn't cut it. It's usually found in the refrigerated section above the pre-made salad bags and runs for about $4. I chopped up carrots and celery at the beginning of the week with my usual prep, and ate the extras throughout the week for snacks.



Thursday│ Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai




Original Recipe found at Lexi's Clean Kitchen

I've never messed up Spaghetti Squash so bad in my life. End of story, no fluffing the truth. I tried to salvage it but it was literally straight mush... which apparently happens when you overcook it. Fortunately, I had some lo mein noodles in the pantry that became a (delicious) hero. 

Note to self: Don't be an overachiever. 
You can't workout while cooking and expect the oven to time itself.

Leftover rotisserie chicken (used Tuesday in the Stuffed Avocado and lunch on Thursday), some frozen shrimp, mixed veggies I had in the fridge, green onion from Monday's dinner, fresh limes/lime juice from last week and fried eggs (always have those). I didn't use the sauce mixture from Lexi's recipe but instead used a soy sauce/peanut butter/sriracha blend that was so simple to make and a little more flavorful that what I thought Lexi's would be. I actually think the leftovers for lunch the next day were better than fresh.



Friday│ Ru San's ... Yes, Again



Ru San's Menu

2 weeks ago we got the same exact rolls (minus one roll) in the same exact place with the same exact beers. If it ain't broke, don't fix it! 

We hung with friends Sam & Jeremy for a double date night on the town. We call Sam & J our "adventure friends" because they're always down to do anything. Sushi? Okay. Whitewater center? For sure. Wiffle ball? Game on. Does it get any cooler than that? 

Ordered: Sea Salt Edamame with Ponzu Sauce, Rich and Famous Roll, Gladiator Roll, Mad Max Roll.




Next week will be a little different as we won't be grocery shopping for anything other than fruits, veggies and the essentials. Although meal planning definitely saves me time and money, it's not too conducive with the whole 'spontaneity' idea. I'll be creating meals with what we already have on hand since we're already planning on yoga, a soccer match (maybe) AND we're spending Thursday - Sunday celebrating my best friend's WEDDING! <3



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

DIY B&W Gallery Wall for $15!


This is one of those projects I've been meaning to do since the day we moved into our house. That was July 18th. It's now October 10th. Better late than never? When it comes to decorating, I truly have a champagne taste on a beer budget. We'll just say that I was strategically eyeing a few pin-spirations, trying to figure out the look I wanted and then trying to figure out how to mimic it for under $20. 

Was I crazy? Yes.

Should I just splurge (and I mean my idea of splurge, so $10 Ikea frames)? Probably.

Was I gonna? Nope.



When I first started looking around online for ideas, I immediately fell in love with the black and white gallery style. The walls in the room I was decorating were a red-ish/orange-ish color (identifying paint colors is not my forte) but I knew it would be a crisp contrast. 

I really liked the square frames but trying to find them for a reasonable price (in my book) proved more challenging than I thought. While one frame at $10 isn't so bad, 8-10 of them really adds up when you're ballin' on a budget.

If you're not as cheap resourceful as me, Ikea has these frames you could use. 

Here were a few of my inspo pics;


Inspiration: via
Inspiration: via



Before starting this project I decided to take a trip to the Dollar Store (where all good projects begin), hoping for that light bulb "AHA!" moment when you know exactly what you're going to make and how you're going to make it.

40 minutes later (how is it even possible to spend 40 minutes in the Dollar Store?) and still no light bulb... and still nothing in my basket. 

At this point, I thought about just ModPodge-ing computer printed pictures onto canvases and calling it a day but I knew that I really wanted these pictures to be interchangeable if I was going to put this much time into it. 

After no luck and no project materials, I called it a day. Maybe tomorrow. 




The next morning, like a sign sent from the craft Gods, (AKA the Michaels' marketing team) I got an email saying "75% off Select Canvas". I dipped out of work on my lunch break, decided on 8 10" x 10" canvases and spent the rest of my afternoon at "work" selecting which pictures I was going to use and how on earth I was going to make them interchangeable.

As much as I wish I had this super cool story of how I came up with what I came up with, I don't. And I don't know why I thought about using what I used, but it worked and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.


Keep scrolling ....





Back to the Dollar Store I go. I walked right in and right back out with two thick poster boards (almost Styrofoam feeling) and some Velcro squares (they carried a brand called "Tool Bench Hardware" and I totally used all of them before I remembered to take a picture). 

Three bucks, how bad could this be if I messed it up?

I had a ruler, painters tape, an X-acto knife and a pencil at home.




On the two foam poster boards, I measured out 8 8" x 8" squares using the ruler and marking the lines using a pencil, 4 on each poster.  I did this on the back of the poster board (or in my case, the side where the sticker was) so you can't see the pencil lines in the finished product.




I then cut out the 8" x 8" squares using an X-acto knife. I did this part on my carpet so that I wouldn't accidentally cut through something else. And knowing me, it would have happened.

Side note; probably should have vacuumed first. Keeping the dog and dog hair off the posters was the hardest part of this project.




On the same backside of one 8" x 8" poster board square, I measured and drew a line 1.5" in from each side (cutting a smaller square in the middle where your picture will go) and did this for all 8 squares. This is your "mat" that you'll Velcro to the canvas.




Then, using painters tape so I could remove it without ripping the poster board, I taped my printed images to the backside of the 8" x 8" square so that my picture was positioned the way I wanted it to be seen. I put tape on the left and right sides of the printed picture. Don't put it on the top because that's where your Velcro square will go.


 


Then, using the Velcro squares, I put one sticky side on the back of the poster board mat and the other sticky side on the canvas.

I used the Velcro squares because I could easily remove the mat from the canvas, take the tape off the current picture and tape another one on if I wanted to change them out. Just like a picture frame :)





I then hung my canvases on the wall in a 2x4 pattern using regular thumbtacks. 
LOOK HOW GOOD IT LOOKS!

PS. If they look crooked, blame my boyfriend. He was the DD - designated director.



_________________________________________________________



Materials 


2 Foam Poster Boards
8 10" x 10" Canvases
8 Velco Squares
7" x 7" Printed Pictures 
X-acto Knife
Ruler
Pencil
Tape


Instructions


On your foam poster board, measure out 8, 8" x 8" squares using your ruler and mark using your pencil. You'll want to do this on the back of your poster board (or the side where the sticker is) so you can't see the pencil lines in the finished product.

Cut out the 8" x 8" squares using your X-acto knife. I did this part on my carpet so that I wouldn't accidentally cut through something else.

On the same backside of one 8" x 8" square, measure and draw a line 1.5" in from each side (you're cutting a smaller square in the middle where your picture will go). Do this for all 8 squares.

With the penciled side up, tape your printed images face down to the 8" x 8" square so that your image is positioned correctly for viewing. (Hint: Use painters tape if you want to change out your images at some point. It won't rip the poster board)

Attach the Velcro squares at the top of the mat and canvas by putting one sticky side on the back of the poster board and the other sticky side onto the canvas. 

Hang on the wall using regular thumbtacks and possibly a leveler (which I probably should have done myself).


Total Project Cost: $15 
$12 for Canvases (75% off at Michaels), $3 in Dollar Store supplies


_________________________________________________________





There are a few mistakes I made in a trial-run (like cutting too far past the penciled line with the X-acto knife) but I learned my lessons quickly and overall I really couldn't be happier with how this turned out. I can't wait to have friends and family over to show it off! In the meantime, I'm sure my dog will love it. Maybe I should add a few more canvases with his glamour shots on them...