DIY Office Redecorating


I started my job in October. At the time, I was one of three people in my office. By January, I was the only one still in this space. It felt a little lonely and like there was way too much furniture in the room. It took some brainstorming with a co-worker or two, but I finally decided that an office redecorating day was overdue.

Here is how it looked before. By this point I had moved from the smaller desk in the middle of the room to the larger desk in the corner for more work space but I didn’t like that people were already in the middle of the room before I could see them. It was kind of plain since a lot of the décor left with one of my former office mates. Then there was the vinyl decal that was too stark with the black on white but couldn’t be removed without taking the paint with it.

Office Before Collage

Here are the ways I wanted my office to function:

  • I wanted some color.
  • I wanted to be able to have interns working in my space.
  • I wanted somewhere for people to sit when they came in.
  • I wanted a surface for projects, or meetings, or for my kids to sit at when they came into the office.

I also knew I did not want to spend a lot to refresh the space. After assessing what I wanted to keep that was already in the office, I started by digging through some household items in the garage that hadn’t made it into our current house. I found pillow covers along with extra pillow forms that were sitting in a closet, fabric I had previously used as guest room wall décor, and signed items in frames from my former life as a dancer and dance teacher. I also now had somewhere to put the 12×12 canvas print I won from Printicular.

I also dug through the company storage area and found some large items to put on the wall plus a small table that was just holding up a box and a couple of chairs. Lastly, it gave me an excuse to visit the Base Thrift Store to see if I could find a few things. I found a candle display, some plain black frames, and a large canvas print.

I picked up the large canvas print with the intent of covering it in fabric, but needed to make just a little bit larger so I picked up some foam when I purchased the fabric – with coupons, of course. I just neatly wrapped the foam and canvas and stapled in on to the wooden frame portion on the back.

Office supplies Collage

After enlisting the help of a few coworkers to move some of the furniture around and giving everything a good wipe down and vacuuming, here is the final product.

Office After Collage

I don’t expect to win the designers reality TV contest, but it has been much more pleasant and functional. It’s kind of funny that no one used to really come into my office before but now people will walk in and sit at the little table and most people like the pops of blue in the room. I have also since added some flowers to the little table. Both the table and lining up the two smaller desks has been helpful when putting packets together or to plan out what needs to go to an event. My kids eat dinner here on the evenings that Kelsey has dance class plus they have a little bit of floor space to color or lay down. Even though there is more in the room, it actually feels bigger.


I was happy to finally have somewhere to display some of my dance memorabilia and it has been a topic of conversation when people come in, especially since you can see the Lion King poster from the hallway. When I was living in a first floor apartment, a hurricane came through and dumped a lot of water and flooded my apartment. I had items on the lowest shelf that were destroyed including some books and other items that had autographs on them. After drying them out, my Mom had the idea to cut up the covers and autographs to keep at least. I could have gotten these custom framed but instead, I got some frames and cardstock and cut out the size I needed for each book.

I think I hit every thing on my wish list and, best of all, I barely spent anything to do it thanks to a little reusing and repurposing. If I am going to be somewhere most of the day, I might as well make it my own.


Shutterfly Free Stuff

Finger Paint Hearts Card

This year for Valentine’s for family I wanted to incorporate both girls. We do photo cards for Christmas so Valentine’s Day is a chance to let Kelsey be involved in the making and sending portions. I love that these finger paint hearts remind me of candy hearts!


I brought out some finger paints and brushes and plain white paper and had each girl paint with one color at a time.

After they all dried, I cut the paper into small squares and then into hearts. If you have a little bit older child, they could do this part themselves.

Then, I laid all the blank cards out on the table and let the preschooler glue the hearts onto the fronts of the cards where she wanted to go. The only supervising I had to do was trying to make sure the hearts were contained on the front of the card or it may not fit into the envelope later.

I printed off a message for the inside and let Kelsey sign her and her sisters name. After the glue dried, we put them in the envelopes and put them in the mail. Of course, I also tossed a picture of the girls in, too.


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Easy Ringmaster Costume

Last year I managed to find two of the same tiger costumes in the sizes for my daughters for this year for $5 each on local yard sale Facebook groups. That determined that this year we were doing a circus them for Halloween!


The tiger costumes just needed a good washing to brighten them up and trim a few loose threads. I found an item at a thrift store that was made of red sequin fabric that had seen better days so I cut it apart to make bows for the head and tail (I used this same basic fabric bow process for the ones on the head). Done! They actually really enjoy wearing these so I decided not to tempt fate by trying to draw whiskers on them.

The benefit of knowing what you want to do well in advance of Halloween is that you can take advantage of getting the items you need when you see them. The ringmaster costume basically hinged on being able to find a red jacket so I was thrilled when I walked into a thrift store while visiting family in Florida a few months back and found one that also happened to be half off that day.

Fast forward to about a month ago when JoAnn’s had a percent off your whole purchase coupon available. I used ready made shoulder pads that were already black and the base for the epaulettes. I than eyeballed the length I would need of gold fringe trim to go around the shoulder pads. I hot glued the fringe around the rounded edge of the shoulder pads and then hot glued the shoulder pad on to the jacket. I had just a little piece left over so I hot glued that on the front chest.


For the front of the jacket, I eyeballed the length needed of a black and gold cord I found. I put tape around I would cut the piece apart and then heat sealed it. I then hot glued the cord into place. I also removed the lower buttons to mimic a military style jacket and reinforced the remaining buttons so they wouldn’t fall off.

Add a top hat with a dollar tree red sequin headband around it and an inexpensive black bowtie. I put them all over a white button down, dark fitted pants, and knee high boots I already owned. Here is more “Pinspiration” that I gathered.

Now, we are just hoping for decent weather to go trick or treating. We have a red wagon with a canopy so it will look like an old fashion animal train car. My husband will be in all khaki with a safari hat and whip as the animal tamer. The circus will be in town! Happy Halloween!

Interchangable Headband for Hair Bows

I’m a genius! I found a way to put all the cute hair bows back into rotation. My one year old won’t keep a headband or bow on for 1 second. My three year old only likes regular headbands. If you ask her if she wants a “clippie” bow she’ll she yes but just wants to hold it, not wear it.

I thought about putting some on headbands since she loves the ones she has from Luna Blue’s but then I would end up with 100 headbands. I had a light bulb moment.


I couldn’t find just a single black fabric covered headband so I took a bow off an inexpensive store bought bow off of this one. Yes, there is still some glue stuck to it, but you don’t see it when there is a bow attached. I just hot glued on a little loop of ribbon. Make it just loose enough that you can get the bottom of an alligator clip in but it will stay in place.


That’s it! You can interchange any bow onto a headband. My daughter is thrilled because she can pick any bow. My little one is modeling below since the big one was taking a nap.


Enjoy! If you cloth diaper, be sure to check out the giveaway I am promoting.


Disney Junior Live on Tour Follow Up

We were guests for Disney Junior Live On Tour! Pirate & Princess Adventure when it came to Dayton, Ohio. Kelsey loved it from the moment we got there. She enjoyed the Doc McStuffins pre-show. She was excited when Mickey and Minnie Mouse came out to start the show.

She loved seeing the characters in Sofia the First and Jake and the Never Land Pirates right in front of her and waved to them like they could see her. She enjoyed being able to sing along to the songs. I thought it was neat that pirates came into the stands to say hi and take pictures during the intermission and a few kids got to go back to the stage with them to start the second half of the show.

The show had her up on her feet and dancing along. Be sure to check out Disney Junior Live On Tour to find out when they will be visiting a city near you!


For the occasion, I made Kelsey a pillowcase dress with some Sofia the First fabric from Walmart. I used this tutorial with half a yard of the main fabric and a quarter yard of the accent fabric to make the dress portion just didn’t close the top and then used these instructions to finish the top to make it a dress. My daughter wears a size 3T and it was a little big on her, just an FYI so you can decide if you want to use more or less fabric.

By the way, if you are looking for some DIY accessories, check out I Like Big Freebies for tons of designs.

Quick and Easy Bows for Spring

Between wanting to take some 6 month photos, a trip to Disney, and Easter, I have been busy making a few bows. Here are some quick and easy bows to make to match any outfit and occasion.

Basic Bow with Bottlecap Center


Thanks to I Like Big Freebies, Kelsey is going to end up with a whole bunch of bows with some of her favorite characters (you should check out their Facebook page to see the gorgeous bows people are making). She has almost every character you can think of and a bunch of popular themes available for you to print for free and use. I found 25 flattened bottlecaps and clear stickers on eBay for about $5.00 to use these with.

Finally, I found this tutorial for a quick bow when I was making bows for all the girls in my daughters’ preschool class. It’s so easy to do, I have just kept making them. You can pick up a spool of 1.5″ width ribbon fairly inexpensively with Michael’s or JoAnn’s coupons and sales. Or, if you are just making 1 bow in a particular, look for the “by the yard” section of ribbon if you don’t want to have extra ribbon around.



Ribbon Flower


This is still one of the most popular posts on Domesticating Michelle. These ribbon flowers are pretty easy and quick to make and you can make them any color or color combination you can think of. They are also great for making multiple bows. You don’t have to use anything in the center but I think it gives it a finished look. A button, a rhinestone, a patch, or even a bottlecap can be used.

My instructions for covering an alligator clip are on this post, too.



Dr. Seuss Book Decor and Book Offer

We are Dr. Seuss fans here and have been working on a collection of Dr. Seuss titles over the past few years. I love that my daughter enjoys them being read to her and seemed to enjoy looking at them from the beginning. Using color copies and spray painting some old frames I had taking up space I made a little inexpensive wall art for the girls bathroom. These are the first letters of their first names.

seuss wall

Read Across America Day is March 1st and we are planning to go to at least one Dr. Seuss event in our area. The girls will be sporting their pillow case dresses, of course. Dr. Seuss’ birthday is March 2 so let the Seuss Mania begin!

Are you looking to build up your library? There is a great deal on Dr. Seuss books right now. Get 5 titles for only $5.95 for a limited time. Why should you take advantage of this deal?

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