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Category: Finn

cheap trick: how to get inexpensive custom framing

I’ve held off writing this post because there’s a definite possibility that everyone already knows about this “trick” and my brain was all, “What if everyone that reads this gives their computer the side eye and thinks to themselves ‘there goes Molly again with the totally useless information'” and then I realized that’s a silly thing to be worried about because THIS WHOLE BLOG is useless information. In the grand scheme of things.

But if I help one of you pull the trigger on framing some art you’ve had rolled up under your bed for eight months, or if I help you save some money, then BY GOLLY it’s worth it. I’d like you to picture me delivering this paragraph on top of a desk, à la Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. Now rip apart your textbooks! 

inexpensive custom framing

I guess I’ll get to the point: to get the look of a custom frame for large or irregularly-sized art, I buy a ready-made frame from Hobby Lobby, then have their framing department cut and install a custom mat around the art. I’ll lay out specific tips below, but for large art (somewhere between 16″x20″ and 24″x36″), the total cost for frame/mat/hanging hardware normally runs me somewhere around $60 with this method. For comparison’s sake, a similarly sized custom frame from an online company who sells directly to consumers is about $150, and the sky’s the limit for a true custom frame from a local framer. Obviously each one of these options has its own perks, like more unique and interesting frames available from online companies and the quality craftsmanship you’ll find with local framers. But right here, right now, we’re talking about lowering the barrier to entry on custom framing so that you can get some dang art on your wall. 

cheap custom frames

TIPS:

  • Buy your pre-fab frame from Hobby Lobby while their wall frames are on sale for 50% off. I am not exaggerating: this sale happens every other week. One time I showed up to get a print framed while the frames weren’t on sale, and the awesome guy in the framing department said that if I wanted them to not start work on it until the following week, when the frames would be back on sale, that he would still extend the discount. Deal! But yah, that’s kind of an important part of this strategy. Make sure you get that ish 50% off!
  • Use your 40% off coupon for the mat. Hopefully you guys know that you can always, always find a 40% off one regularly-priced item coupon on the Hobby Lobby website. Use it for your mat to bring the cost of the job down significantly. Important: you can only use one of these coupons per purchase, so if you’re framing a bunch of pieces, pick them up one at a time so that you can use the coupon for the mat for each piece. 
  • Think about the size of your art, the size of your frame, and whether you’d like a large mat or a small mat. For a large mat, buy a frame significantly larger than your art. As an example, my “See Mystery Lights” print is 20″x28″. I knew I wanted a large mat, so instead of buying the 22″x28″ frame, I bought the 24″x36″ size. 
  • Always have them add hanging hardware. I think this actually costs $3 and it is so friggin worth it to have a wire installed. Makes hanging so easy!
  • Try to avoid looking directly at the Riesens while you’re standing in the checkout line. This is the only place I have ever seen Riesens sold in public. They are so delicious and chocolately and chewy and caramely. My mouth waters just thinking about them. LOOK AWAY.

finnegan blue

So there’s my “trick,” which was really several tricks rolled into one, you’re welcome. Related: I’ve cobbled together most of our smaller frame sources (that work nicely for smaller and regularly-sized art) for each room on the Shop Our House page, if you’re in need. Also, Finn. 

Any good framing tricks up your sleeve that I need to know about? Or cheap tricks in general? (They’re illusions, Michael.) 

Disclaimer: Hobby Lobby has no idea I exist and this post is *not* sponsored. 

 

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you can go shave your couch now: how to remove pilling from upholstery

And now, for something completely different: taking a departure from room tours, currently posts, and crafty things to sit yall down and tell you about the night that I shaved my couch. Yah. Let that settle.

You may remember that I mentioned in this post about how things are holding up that the couch is still as comfy as ever, but was showing a bunch of pilling on the upholstery. I totally admit fault to buying a sofa with an open-weave knit fabric and letting my 65 pound dog on it every single day, but I was stressing about what to do. Buy a new slipcover? Those are expensive, so should we just get a new couch altogether? 

How to remove pilling from upholstery

Blech. Thankfully (!!) an old friend and reader reached out to say that she had a coworker who had a similar sofa issue, and that person had purchased a fabric shaver normally used on sweaters and used it on her couch. At this point I need to address a couple things. 1) I’ve noticed recently that I do *not* use the interwebz as much as I should. Why wouldn’t I just Google “how to remove pilling from upholstery”?? Why did I jump right to buying a whole new GD couch? I literally have a blog that other people find by using the interwebz in a similar fashion. I do not understand why I don’t do the same thing. 2) Thank you, stranger, for your inventive use of a sweater shaver. 3) Thank you, person who invented sweater shavers. I did not know your product existed but it just saved me beaucoups of money. 4) Who knew that’s how you spell beaucoup? Not me.

How to defuzz your sofa

It was definitely starting to make my eye twitch. It didn’t look too bad from afar, but I sit on this bad boy daily. I mean it wasn’t like…ruining my day. But it was one of those things that I’d make a subtle mental note of all the time. I wanted this monkey OFF MY BACK. 

Removing pills from a sofa or couch

Here’s my claw and my claw’s new best friend, the Conair Fabric Defuzzer – Shaver. (I got the battery-operated one.) What a name. What a guy. First, I tested it on an inconspicuous part of the couch to make sure it wasn’t gonna shred the fabric to death. (It didn’t.) Then, I put it on the lowest setting so I could give my couch a close shave. Molly Richardson, Couch Barber, at your service. I tried it right there on the middle cushion of the couch to take some photos for this post, using slow circular motions over the entire cover. The after, right below, gives me SO MUCH SATISFACTION.

How to get pills of your upholstered furniture

PEACE OUT FUZZIES! Good riddance! I was not anticipating how much enjoyment I would get out of this activity. If I were a smarter blog-writer, I’d probably keep that to myself, but we all know that’s not how I roll. I’m not ashamed to admit that after taking these photos, I took every cushion out and shaved every upholstered surface of the whole couch. I was worried that the little motor of the defuzzer-shaver wouldn’t be able to keep up, but darnit if that thing didn’t happily endure the work. 

Using a fabric shaver to remove pilling from upholstery

And that, my friends, is the story of how I became a couch barber. So glad to have this little tool in my arsenal now, and to use it on my sweaters next winter! Any tools you’re loving that saved you heartache or dollars or both? 

 

This post is not sponsored, but affiliate links are used for your convenience.

Using a fabric shaver to remove pilling from upholstery
How to easily remove pilling from upholstery
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no flocking way: an easy and cheap way to flock an artificial tree

Time it took to flock this tree: 20 minutes. Time it took me to title this post due to the plethora of “flocking” puns: twelve hours. I wasn’t planning on posting this week, but I got so excited that this flocking “technique” (quotes because you’ll see that it’s so easy, it can hardly be called a technique) worked that I wanted to post before you guys decorate your trees!

easy way to flock a tree

(Finn is way more excited about Christmas than he looks. The reality is we were losing a football game that we should have been winning as I was taking these pictures, which meant we were stressed, which meant Finn was stressed. It’s tough to be a Longhorn fan this year, even if you’re a dog.)

Some backstory: last year, we got a white tree that I love. It’s pretty petite and I realized that it would look really great in our study this year. I grew up with a traditional green tree — sometimes real, sometimes artificial, and always lovingly decorated with an eclectic mix of ornaments. I thought it’d be nice to get a slightly larger green tree this year to feed my nostalgic Christmastime craving. 

I didn’t want to spend much. I’ll say it’s because we’re in a rental and I didn’t want to invest in our “forever” tree, but it could also be that I’m cheap. Or a mix of the two. Either way, I started out on a hunt for a pre-lit artificial tree that was 6′ tall, well-reviewed, and inexpensive. I ended up finding the perfect one at Target, and it’s now on sale for $20 less than I paid because the Christmas Shopping Gods like to punish me for planning in advance. (Find it here.) I’m really happy with the tree and definitely recommend it if you’re in the market.

how to flock an artificial tree

Howevuh. Sometimes I can’t leave well enough alone and decided I wanted to try to flock the tree. I read up on some flocking tutorials and was like LOL ain’t nobody got time for that. I thought I’d give the ole “can of fake snow” a try on one side of the tree, thinking if it looked awful I could just put that side in the corner. But it DIDN’T look awful and it was so flocking easy. 

Note: This is really more of a dusting of snow than the thick, layered look of a “real” flocked tree. For that look, you should probably do it the hard way. But if you want a quick way to add some interest to your very standard artificial tree, this is for you. 

What You’ll Need

  • Artificial tree (This may work on real trees? Not sure since I haven’t tested it.)
  • Can of snow spray (I used this one.)
  • Drop cloth
  • Finger strength

snow flocking spray

How To Flock an Artificial Tree with Snow Spray

  1. Make sure the tree is unplugged. (Idk, seems smart.)
  2. Put the tree outside or on a drop cloth inside to protect the surfaces you don’t want to get sprayed with snow.
  3. If your tree is dusty, wipe off dust with a dry cloth. 
  4. Shake can of snow spray vigorously. 
  5. Spray the tree, directing the nozzle downwards on the tree branches as if it were real snow falling on the tree. 
  6. For a natural look, only spray the outside branches (that would actually be dusted with snow if it were snowing outside.)
  7. Repeat as necessary for your desired level of snow appearance. I did two coats, which looks like a light dusting of snow. This only took about 1/3 of the can. 
  8. With a warm, damp towel, gently wipe the snow from the bulbs. Probably not totally necessary, I just wanted the bulbs to stand out more. 
  9. Let dry for at least 4 hours. I left mine overnight just to be safe.
  10. Enjoy your semi-permanent dusting of snow. I don’t think this will last year after year, but would be easy to replicate each year with 20 minutes and a can of fake snow.

cheap and easy way to flock an artificial tree

Woo! Basically like we live in a quaint Colorado mountain town that just got its first snowfall of the season and not the tropical climate of Austin, Texas that we actually live in. I’m so excited to get the tree trimmed and all of our decorations up, but promised myself (and Matt) that we wouldn’t decorate until after Thanksgiving.

cheap-and-easy-way-to-flock-an-artificial-tree-1

flocked-artificial-tree

Love how the white snow helps the tree pop off the black wall, too. Thoughts? Anyone else into flocked trees this year? If you don’t feel like going the DIY route, Chris Loves Julia posted a great roundup of pre-flocked trees that you can find here. Also, can I get a slow clap for how much restraint I showed on the “flocking” puns? I only count two. 

the cheap and easy way to flock an artificial christmas tree
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