DIY: Turn a Corkboard into a Chalkboard!

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Anybody else have an old corkboard lying around? Maybe its got some tears in it, dirty, old? Yeah. I had one of those too. So, if you can’t tell, I’m pretty obsessed with chalkboarding everything. I think its genius!!!! So as I was decorating my apartment, I decided I wanted a big ole chalkboard right in the middle of my hallway for us to write on! So instead of buying one, I decided I was going to find a way to turn my old, torn up corkboard into one!

WHAT YOU NEED:

  • A corkboard
  • Chalboard Paint
  • Foam Brushes
  • Putty Knife, Actual Knife, Anything really that you can scrape with
  • Chalk

1: First, what you want to do is lay  your corkboard on the ground and check it to see if there are any holes in the corkboard where you can see through to the bottom layer. If there are, this is where you will start the next step. If not, start at an edge or a corner.

2: Use your putty knife or scraping tool and dig into the cork layer. Under the cork is a smooth, hard surface that should be some kind of a brown color and have small little TINY TINY holes in it. Dig your scraping tool through the cork until you hit that layer. Then begin to scrape under the cork layer and across the top of the bottom layer. DON’T DIG DOWN after you’ve already gotten through the cork. You’ll just make holes if you do that and it won’t turn out quite as well.

3: Ya’ll, I won’t lie. This kind of took me awhile, but it was worth it for the finished product. But what you have to do is go through and scrape off the cork bit by bit. There will be parts where huge pieces will come off together, so it isn’t as bad as it sounds really!!

4: After you have scraped off your cork, run your hand across the top to make sure its nice and smooth. If it isn’t, use your scraper to scrape off any excess cork.

5: Take your chalkboard paint and foam brushes, and paint across the surface where the cork used to be!

6: Let it dry. It might take you two coats, but chalkboard paint is usually pretty thick and covers most surfaces easily. I used one coat and just touched up parts with a second coat.

7: If you want, you can do what I did and use another color of acrylic paint to paint the edges of your board!

8: ENJOY!! Chalk up your chalkboard!!!

Kick Depression In The Butt! (NO Meds Necessary!!!)

Self explanatory title. BUT ANYWHO. This post is something that has really been weighing on my mind the past few weeks so here it is. Like anyone else in the world, I have my ups and downs. I get depressed, manic, the whole nine yards. But the last few months, lets just say they were rough. My depression got pretty darn bad. There was a few points where I literally just didn’t feel like there was anything that would make it better, I felt hopeless. By the grace of God (literally), I was able to muster up enough energy and motivation to sit down and think through ways I could help myself out. So in the rest of this post I will explain to you the process I went through and let me tell you this – I am 150% happier, more energized, more hopeful than I have been in MONTHS. My hope is that this post will help you all achieve the same ūüôā

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FIRST OFF

So you know that little voice you have in the back of your mind when you’re depressed? The one that’s feeding your depression with comments like “you’re worthless”, “no one likes you”, “you’re too fat”, etc? I know I do. After thinking for a bit I realized that it was precisely the dominance of this voice in my head that was preventing me from moving past my depression. So as a result I pinpointed that as a target that needed to be destroyed.

BUT HOW???

Alright, so this next part is going to seem completely counterproductive. But I assure you, its necessary. What you’re going to need to do next is listen to that voice. Write down a list of all of the most prominent things your depression echos to you. For instance your list might look like:

-I’m ugly

-I have no friends

-I’m fat

At this point, I know you all are thinking “this chick is just trying to make us worse than we already are”. I know it seems like that, sorry! But here’s where it gets better! Take a look at the list of things you just wrote down. These are some of the things that are preventing you from moving forward. Now take that list and write down reasons¬†WHY¬†these things get you down. For example, using the list used above:

-I’m ugly –> Ugly hair, broken out skin

-I have no friends –> self explanatory

-I’m fat ¬†–> Stomach pooch

NOW you’re all thinking..”this is supposed to be better?” I’m getting there! Take those explanations of why these things get you down and go through them individually. One at a time brainstorm ways you can overcome each of these things individually.

This. Is. The. Hard. Part. 

Trust me I know. When you’re suffering from depression its hard enough just to get out of bed, let alone enforce big changes in your own life. But that ounce of motivation you have in the back of your mind to overcome your depression, that’s the driving force that must be brought front and center in order to overcome this!

-I’m ugly –> Ugly hair, broken out skin —–> hair color, cut/derm appointment

-I have no friends –> self explanatory ——-> join a new club

-I’m fat ¬†–> Stomach pooch ——> find an ab routine

FORCING yourself to carry through with these simple tasks will help you to resolve some of the things that are holding you back, one by one. The simple act of making this list and brainstorming ways to help yourself is EMPOWERING. 

MOTIVATE YOURSELF

Now, the age old question. How do you motivate yourself? Motivating yourself to do the things you need to do is hard enough when you’re not depressed. Trying to motivate yourself when you are, well its pretty difficult. But LUCKILY, it IS possible. For those of you that are Pinerest addicts (like myself) you’ve undoubtedly seen the little uplifting quotes they have on the quotes page. In passing they really just seem like oh how cute, and you carry on with your day right? In our case, wrong.¬†WORDS ARE POWERFUL.¬†Use them.

For myself, I selected about 10 different quotes that I found to be really inspiring and motivational every I read them. A few of mine were:Image

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Just to demonstrate a few. After selecting these, I printed and cut them out. Then I picked a spot where I KNEW I would see them on a daily basis, multiple times a day. Where else for a girl to put them, but on the bathroom mirror. I lined the right side of my mirror with these quotes and forced myself to read at least one or two EVERY TIME I walked into my bathroom. Even though this seems like such a small gesture, the positive impact is unmistakable.

EXERCISE AWAY THE BLUES

Yeah, if you’re like me you just read this header and said “Wellllllll crap”. TRUST ME, I am not a fan of working out at all. I am most likely one of the laziest people you would ever meet, as a result, exercise really was never a big part of my day. However, there is a reason doctors tell you to exercise at least a little every day. Not only will it keep you in shape, remove toxins from your body, and make you look snazzy, but they also can help drastically diminish symptoms of depression (and anxiety).

“I don’t believe you”

It’s fine you don’t have to. But believe science my friends! Working out is scientifically proven to boost the release of a chemical in the body called endorphins. If you’ve ever seen Legally Blonde, yall know what I’m talking about. Endorphins are chemicals that diminish your body’s perception of pain while simultaneously boosting mood, promoting positive outlook, boosting self confidence, and improving sleep patterns. In other words, exercise may be the best thing that has ever happened to you if you’re ready to be through with depression.

ROUTINE, ROUTINE, ROUTINE

Humans, by nature, are creatures of habit. Once a habit is formed, it’s extremely difficult to break. Which is part of the reason depression is so hard to move past. We get into such a set routine of negativity and hopelessness that our depression is constantly fed. If we truly want to say goodbye to endless bouts of depression, the way to do it is through developing and maintaining positive habits. Habits like daily exercise, positive self talk, looking at motivational quotes, anything and everything that works for you in giving you a boost!

Good luck to all of you! Remember, there is NOTHING that you cannot overcome! God bless!

 

I would like to add that if any of you EVER feel like you need someone to talk to, someone that has been there and really knows what you’re going through. Feel free to email me at this contact: livinglifeyourownway@gmail.com I will check that email everyday! More often if I get lots!

How To Make Ramen Vegetarian

So if you’re a vegetarian college student like me, you may or may not have noticed that one of the staple foods in any college diet is NOT vegetarian/vegan. Top Ramen, and almost any other instant noodle brand like it, comes with a block of noodles and a packet of seasoning. The noodles are completely vegetarian and free of animal products themselves, its the seasoning that will get you if you’re a vegetarian. In any of their flavors, the seasoning packet will contain some kind of beef/chicken/shrimp powder which is basically just a dry form of broth. ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Image

As a broke college student myself, I was pretty sad to realize these 10 cent meals wouldn’t cut it for me and other vegetarians. So I set out in search of a vegetarian substitute that would be close in cost. Though I found now already made substitutes, I discovered a way to use these Ramen in a way that was vegetarian.

By substituting Vegetarian Vegetable Bouillon for the seasoning packets they include in the packages, you can easily make ANY flavor of Ramen instantly vegetarian. And it tastes good!

Image¬†WARNING: Don’t use more than a half a cube for each block of ramen unless you want a salty overdose.

DIY: Chalkboard Upgrade to Plastic Drawers

DIY: Chalkboard Upgrade to Plastic Drawers

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So for this craft I had decided that the clear plastic stackable drawers chilling in my room were just not very attractive. If for no other reason than I wasn’t too psyched about the idea that my underwear was being stowed in a clear container for all to see! So for that reason, I started looking for ways to cover the drawers and make them cute! I saw lots of people using chalkboard paint to add flare to different items and thought to myself, maybe it would work for my drawers!

What you will need:

  • About a bottle and a half of chalkboard paint (You can make it yourself, look for the recipes on Pinterest!)
  • Chalk
  • Your Drawers
  • Foam Brushes

STEP ONE

So first, to start off take out all of the drawers and lay them on some newspaper on the ground. Literally all you have to do now is use the foam brushes to paint the drawers. Here’s where the pain in the hiney comes in though. Since the surface you’re painting on is plastic, it will take MULTIPLE coats of paint to get a thorough cover. I ended up only painting the sides and front and left the insides and back unpainted. But that is really up to you which parts you want to paint!

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STEP TWO

After applying the first coat of paint, let it dry for about a half an hour to forty five minutes before applying the next coats of paint.

STEP THREE

Once you have a nice, thick coat let it dry. Make sure there are no streaks or spots where you see plastic.

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STEP FOUR

After the drawers are all fully dry and smooth, put them back in the frame and mark them up with your chalk!

CAUTION: Be VERY light with your chalk. If you press too hard, especially too soon, you will tear through the layers of paint and have to repaint that area.

DIY: Bow Wreath

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DIY: Bow Wreath

What more can I say, Christmas decorations!!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Foam ring (Micheal’s has them!)
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Bag of Bows
  • Ribbon

STEP ONE

This is a super easy craft! Just take your ring and your bows and glue them onto the ring! But first, make sure you have the ribbon attached to your ring so you can hang it up when you’re done!

STEP TWO

Have fun and glue all of the bows you can fit onto the ring! And voila!!

DIY: Lyrics on Canvases

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DIY: Lyrics on Canvases

For this one I was inspired by a similar craft I saw on Pinterest (Pinterest is the bomb yall). Anyway, the one I saw was awesome, but wasn’t exactly what I wanted and used wooden blocks instead of canvases. I wanted canvases so here it is!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Pack of canvases (Mine came in a pack of nine 4 by 4 canvases)
  • Black paint
  • Mod Podge
  • Foam Brushes
  • Adobe Illustrator (Or some insane formatting skills with word)
  • Printer
  • Straight edge cutter or steady hands with scissors

STEP ONE

So first off, go ahead and paint the edges of each canvas with black paint. You will most likely have to use two or three layers to get a good cover.

STEP TWO

Once dry, mod podge the edges of the canvases to give the black a nice finish. Next go ahead and pick out a song, I used We Are Young by Fun. 

STEP THREE

Using Adobe Illustrator, create 9 artboards having all of them touching but not overlapping. Size all of the artboards so each is slightly smaller in width and length than the canvases you are using. On word, copy and past the lyrics and format them so the font is what you would like. I varied the fonts throughout the lyrics. Then place the lyrics onto the artboards on Adobe Illustrator. Format them and size them so that they fit well enough that nothing will be cut off at the bottom. Its fine if some of the letters or words get cut off at the edges of the spaces between canvases.

STEP FOUR

Print the artboards out having one on each page to avoid them being cut off. Cut out each meticulously. Once cut, mod podge each onto a canvas. Let dry, then layer mod podge on top to finish.

STEP FIVE

YOU DONE!

Cheap & Cute Christmas Centerpiece

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Cheap & Cute Christmas Centerpiece

I kind of went Christmas crazy this year. LOVE CHRISTMAS. Just saying! So this is really pretty straightforward.

YOU NEED:

  • Vase
  • Pillar Candle
  • Christmas Ornaments

All you have to do here is fill the vase with ornaments and plop the candle on top! Pretty cute right?!

DIY: Ribbon Quote Canvas

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DIY: Ribbon Quote Canvas

I love this one. Not gonna lie! It turned out pretty cute! So for this one I had bought two canvases in a pack for a great deal and had no idea what to do with them! Then this idea came to me! So I thought I would share it.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Two canvases (A lot of places sell them in packs of two for a good deal)
  • Foam Brushes
  • Mod Podge
  • Printer
  • Scrapbook Paper (Go for a thinner paper)
  • Black Paint
  • White Paint (For touch ups)
  • Hot Glue
  • Ribbon
  • Staples (Optional, you can use hot glue for this part if you choose)
  • Straight edge cutter or scissors and a ruler

STEP ONE

Find a quote! When you have your quote, type it out on Word and put it into the font you want! For this one you will have to play around with font sizes and perhaps print them a few times to get the right size! Split the quote into two parts, one part for the top canvas and one for the bottom canvas. Then go ahead and print them out when you have them finished!

STEP TWO

Using your selected scrapbook paper, use a ruler to measure out how large of an area you want the scrapbook paper background to cover on the canvas. So looking at mine, how much of the patterned part do you want to cover the black essentially. Once you’ve measured, cut that portion of scrapbook paper out. (Remember you will need two of these the exact same size for each canvas)

STEP THREE

Cut out your quote from the printer paper to fit the scrapbook paper the way you would like. My quote was slightly smaller than the scrapbook paper in order to have the scrapbook paper serve as a border to the quote.

STEP FOUR

Paint the black paint onto the canvases covering them thoroughly and completely. Let dry then paint a coat of mod podge on top, I used glossy but you can use matte if you would prefer.

STEP FIVE

Mod Podge the quote onto the scrapbook paper. Make sure its nice and straight and centered! Then mod podge the scrapbook paper onto the canvases centered on each! For this part, I found that the scrapbook paper I used was a bit thick so it lifted at the edges. If this happens to you, you can do what I did and use a hot glue gun to glue the edges down.

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STEP SIX

Once all of this is mod podged down, use mod podge to go over all of them and create a nice finish to it all.

STEP SEVEN

Let it FULLY dry!!!! Then flip it over and lay out your ribbon leaving plenty of dangle room for it to hang! This is important, make sure it is 100% dry on the front, if not, it will stick to anything it touches and will probably ruin your work if it does.

STEP EIGHT

When you have your ribbon laid out perfectly, either hot glue or staple the ribbon into the wooden edges of the canvas. Don’t skimp on staples, if you do it will hang awkwardly, make sure you use lots to ensure its hanging straight and firm!! And you’re done!

DIY: Glow-In-The-Dark Canvas

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DIY: Glow-In-The-Dark Canvas

So let me start by saying that the picture for this one is a little off just because my Android isn’t exactly amazing at capturing the glow-in-the-dark effect in a dim lit room. BUT it really does look pretty cool. So anyway!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

  • Canvas, any size you want
  • Foam brushes
  • Glow-In-The-Dark Paint (I got mine at Hobby Lobby but I know Walmart sells some as well)(Yellow if you’re copying mine)
  • Glitter
  • Paint (Black and white if you’re copying mine)
  • A very fine tip paint brush
  • Peel and Stick letters (These I found hard to find the right kind, I ended up just getting some scrapbooking style letters that were the right size)
  • A quote!
  • Pencil

STEP ONE

Find a quote! I find Pinterest as always to be a great place for such things!

STEP TWO

Lay out your letters in the arrangement you want. Once you have them how you want, trace the outlines of the letters with the pencil.

STEP THREE

Now what you’ll want to do is paint the rest of the canvas the color you want, in my case black, using the foam brush. Go over the letters with the foam brush, but be gentle over the letters. If you use the kind I used they move if you paint too roughly with them. Use the fine brush around the edges of the letters if you need to. Paint as many coats as needed to get a full cover.

STEP THREE

Peel off the letters! Do this carefully and slowly! Make sure the paint is dry!

STEP FOUR

Using the fine tip brush, paint over the letters with white paint. This will just help clean up any smudges of the black. After, paint over the letters with the glow in the dark paint. This will take MULTIPLE coats. Glow in the dark paint is thin!!

STEP FIVE

If you’re copying mine, outline some stars in pencil then use thick layers of glow in the dark paint to outline them and fill them in.

STEP SIX

This is what was the hardest part. Here to get the glittery, galaxy effect you have to incorporate the glitter into the paint. So what I did was I mixed black paint, glow in the dark paint, and LOTS of glitter. I mean lots. If you don’t use enough, the black will overpower it. Mix the paint in equal parts, make sure the black color is dominant. Next use the foam brush to make a layer of the mixed paint and glitter over the already black surface. You don’t need to cover ever spot of the canvas with this, but you can. Let it dry, if you need to you can add more glitter. More glitter never hurts!!

STEP SEVEN

Let dry and admire your craftyness!!!!