Enough baby talk, let’s chat about these super-duper-cute futons instead

I’ll admit, when Trina told me about these really freaking cute futons she found at Walmart, I was apprehensive. I don’t love Walmart. I don’t even really love futons. But thanks to small-space living in our new digs (which I promise to take pictures of, because WE ARE ALL MOVED IN AND IT IS GLORIOUS), my curiosity won and I had to check these puppies out for myself.

And OMG, you guys. Now I want them. BOTH OF THEM.

First we have this 9 by Novogratz Vintage Tufted Sofa Sleeper. Costs $349, comes in this navy color, burgundy and gray, and IS VELOUR. My love for velour can be traced directly back to the knockoff Juicy Couture and J.Lo velour tracksuits I insisted on wearing in the mid-2000s, and now, this futon.fancykins walmart futon 1

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And for your mid-century modern lovers (ME ME ME ME ME), check out this 9 By Novogratz Vintage Linen Mix Futon. Costs $399 and comes in this gray or teal, which are both entirely too good to be true.

fancykins walmart futon 2 fancykins walmart futon 2.5OK, so they’re probably not the best quality pieces you could find, but you have to admit that they are darling. And, when put in just the right tiny apartment (ahem, mine), they’d make a great spot for couch-surfers and babysitters to crash …

… Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I said I’d hold off on the baby talk, but I’m 41 weeks pregnant. CAN YOU BLAME ME?

How to make a plate wall without using fugly plate-hangers

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Pinterest is so great, especially when it comes to getting inspiration for things like plate walls. Seriously, I have at least 20 plate collages pinned on my “My Digs” board, and it’s NEVER ENOUGH.

* Shameless plug: Follow me on Pinterest for tons of lazy girl recipes, DIY projects I probably will never attempt, and, yeah, plate collage inspiration.

But when it came time to actually make a plate wall – a big deal for me because I rarely follow through with most PInterest DIYs- I was hard-pressed to find much direction on HOW to actually hang the plates. Those plate hangers really suck, especially because they cost $2 each and are not only visible, but ugly.

So, hot glue gun in hand, I made my own solution. And now, four years later, the plates are still hangin’ and secure on my wall. They’re on a different wall than where the collection began, but that’s a story for a different time.

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What you need:

Hot glue gun
Sandpaper if you have it, though I’ve done this without sandpaper, and so far, so good.
Paperclips OR thin wire fashioned into a loop
Small nails and a hammer

What you do:

1. Figure out where you want to hang your plates, and either plan a design, or don’t. I didn’t, and I like the randomness.

2. On the back of the plate near the top (where you will rig the hook, which will hang on the nail) gently sand a small area. Or, like I said before, don’t. I’m not sure it matters, really.

3. Put a good-sized dollop of hot glue on the sanded spot. Before it dries, stick a paper clip OR metal wire loop into the dollop.

4. Let that dry.

5. Put an extra dollop on top of the now dry first dollop, just for good measure.

Here’s with this looks like using a paperclip:

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And here’s with this looks like using a DIY wire loop:

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6. Hammer a nail into the wall at a slight upward angle, hang the plate on the nail. If you decide you don’t like how the plate hangs, it’s OK to move the nail – my plates hide a LOT of accident holes …

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And that’s it! It’s so easy and so much cheaper than those God-awful plate hangers.

I had one unfortunate plate-falling incident (hence why I added the nail-at-an-upward-angle part), but otherwise, it’s stayed totally secure and allows for easy change, like when I found the Hawaii plate in a thrift store and had to immediately incorporate it.

IMG_0834IMG_0840fancykins plate wall diy details 2fancykins plate wall diy details 3Clearly keeping it VERY classy with a bottle of Menage a Trois wine, complete with $13.99 price sticker. That’s just the kind of family we are.

Who out there has a plate wall in their digs? Bonus points for sharing photos, which I will probably save and Pin.

How to style a stylin’ mantle in 4 easy steps

One of my favorite parts of our vintage apartment is the fireplace, despite the fact that it doesn’t work and (probably) has a bunch of spider nests inside the grate, which I refuse to take off and clean out because SPIDERS. It’s a major focal point in the living room, and instead of taking the easy way out and slapping our TV up on the mantle, I decorate and redecorate it constantly throughout the year with themed crap I find in other parts of our house.

This season’s unintentional theme is RED STUFF and features everything from our elopement bunting to a Halloween-y candlabra, a vintage Valentine’s Day candy box, and some greenery left over from Christmas. (It’s still technically winter, you guys. Greens are still A-OK.)

When I decorate the mantle, no matter the theme, I use a series of tried-and-true steps – layers, really. Follow the transformation from boring fireplace to so-full-the-cat-can’t-even-jump-up-there mantle in four easy steps.

Step 1: Start with the big stuff.

I gathered three large items – a framed Hermes scarf, a vintage doily stretcher, and a red mirror I stole from my dining room gallery wall – and layered them for a multidimensional effect. It just looks better that way, I guess.

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Step 2: Add something soft-looking to balance the hard edges of larger items.

In this case, we used an evergreen garland, but other suitable items could include a wreath of some sort, sprigs of flowers or greens tucked in the nooks between frames, bittersweet or willow garland … seriously, go bananas here.

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Step 3: Anchor your corners.

I just think it looks better this way, I guess. Here, we’ve used a silver candelabra, dug out of a box of Halloween decorations, and a milk glass vase of red berry sprigs that can’t go anywhere else because the cat wants to chew ‘em.

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Step 4: Finish it off with random knickknacks.

This part is the most fun, of course. For our RED STUFF theme, we added Russian nesting dolls, a map-covered letter from Urban Outfitters, and a vintage Valentine’s Day candy box. Would have added more if the mantle was a wee big larger.fancykins mantle styling how to 4 fancykins mantle styling how to 2 fancykins mantle styling how to 3 fancykins mantle styling how to 9

BONUS Step 5: Add a hanging detail, like bunting you used in your wedding photos.

You didn’t think I’d pay $20 for a wedding prop and then never use it again, did you?
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And there you have it! Easy-peasy, and way more appealing than some bare-bones mantle, if I do say so myself.

I don’t know about you guys, but Chicago’s first heatwave of 2015 has me hankering for some springtime decor. The high today is 70 degrees, for crying out loud. Have you taken down your wintertime decor yet? Any cool plans or projects up you sleeve this spring?

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