Home Improvement: Front Entry

When we found out in November that we’d be staying in Germany for a while longer, I decided something HAD to be done about our drab living space.  I just couldn’t handle the 80’s apartment with institutional flooring and no storage any longer.

(You can see pictures of before & after in October 2010 here.)

I set aside some IKEA money, and I made a list of DIY projects.  I’ve wanted to post on this for weeks, but life got in the way.  We’re almost done with everything I had up my sleeve.

Now I am finally getting to post about the different home improvements we have done, but I will need to do it incrementally.  Today, I want to show you several Pinterest projects I have done using almost NO money to spruce up our front entry way.

The front entry way projects: Modge Podge Chair, Toilet Paper Roll Wall Art, and a Packaging Frame Collage.

Modge Podge Chair

When we moved in, we had a set of four chairs for the dining table, a desk chair, and two random chairs that didn’t seem to belong to anything.  They sat on the balcony, taking up space and slowly getting destroyed in the rain and snow.

When I found this Modge Podge chair on Pinterest, I thought I might be able to pull it off, especially since I also discovered you can make your own Modge Podge.  Unfortunately, I found out that glue can be rather expensive in Germany, and I had to do some research to find the equivalent of Elmer’s Glue.  One small tube (even with 50% free) was 3.50 euro.  Yikes.

My chair really needed two layers of napkins (and therefore more glue), so I had my brother send me a few bottles of good ol’ Elmer’s.  Without the glue hassles, this chair would have only taken a few days (including drying time) to complete.  Regardless, I’m quite pleased with the results.

The chair before (and my little helper, Screech, to the right).

My German glue for the first layer of napkins. I obviously grossly underestimated the amount of glue in this tube, since my homemade Modge Podge (half glue, half water) only came to 1/4 of the volume of the jar I used.

Toilet Paper Wall Art

I absolutely cannot stand white walls, and our lease specifies that we cannot drill any holes in the wall.  BOO!  Fortunately, there are no restrictions against adhesives (my dad is cringing right now thinking of all the residue that will be left after we move out!).  UNfortunately, that means I cannot hang anything I want.  It must be light.

I saw several versions of toilet paper wall art on Pinterest.  After doing this project, I’m hooked!  It’s extremely easy, fast, and produces attractive results.

Because some of my toilet paper rolls were white and some were cardboard brown, I lightly spray painted the finished product with black spray paint (just enough to even out the colors, but not enough to saturate).

I see more toilet paper projects in my future!

I used clothes pins to hold the pieces of the toilet paper roll while the glue dried.

Packaging Frame Collage

While collecting toilet paper rolls, I also collected lots of different kinds of boxes from cereal to laundry detergent to baking soda to taco shells.  I found this idea on Pinterest to put them together and make a collage of picture frames.  This fits in perfectly with my requirement that any wall art be light!

Since I want the pictures to be the highlight and not the paint colors, I kept the interior of the boxes white and only painted the exterior.  I found that spray paint worked the best for the interior of the boxes, and acrylics worked best for the outside edges.

While my house (and yours, I’ll bet) is always a work in decorating progress, I’m pleased with these projects for now.  I hope to add a plant and message board to the small table (which, by the way, someone had left by the side of the road – score!).  I also plan to add a basket underneath the chair to store slippers and house shoes.

Stay tuned for more Home Improvement projects coming soon!


3 thoughts on “Home Improvement: Front Entry

  1. Pingback: Home Improvement: Hallway « Thrifty Travel Mama

  2. Pingback: It’s Time « Thrifty Travel Mama

  3. Pingback: Thrifty Travel Mama – 2012 – A Year in Review « Thrifty Travel Mama

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