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.

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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.

 

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Easy T-shirt Door Wreath

Sometimes I get in the mood to decorate or make something seasonal but I don’t like spending a lot to do it. I came up with this easy, no sew wreath made with thrift store t-shirts.

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What you’ll need:
– t-shirts to cut up
– scissors
– a wreath shape
– for optional poof: felt, glue gun/sticks, can or other round shape to trace

I figured 4 different colors would make a nice Valentine’s wreath but you’ll have to decide for yourself based on the colors you want it to be and the size of your wreath. 4 t-shirts left me with a little extra on my 18′ wreath so you may want to use more or less.

I picked t-shirts that were 50% off that day so I only spent about $2 for them all. You’ll want to pick shirts that are blank on at least one side of the shirt. You could also just purchase jersey fabric at your local fabric store if you didn’t feel like hunting the racks. I also found my wreath shape on a previous thrift store trip for a few bucks but you could pick one up at a craft store.

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Start by cutting the t-shirts in half, separating front from back up to the armpits. Keep the sleeves in tact, however, if you’d like to try another craft with them. Then, cut them into strips. I cut mine about 3 inches wide but use your judgment based on preference and size of your wreath.

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Once all your strips are cut and you’ve decided what order you want to put them in, start tying them on around your wreath shape and double knot them. Once you have covered the wreath, trim the tails so they are all about the same length for a neater look. Finally, trim off the neck from one of the shirts to loop on to the wreath to hang it.

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You can stop here or if you’d like, you can add a few embellishments. I choose to make these little poofs with some of the extra material from the top of the t-shirt. Use a can or cup to trace then cut out 5-6 circles. Cut a little circle of felt to glue your t-shirt circles on to. Shape them into a V then glue down the first 4 in a circle then glue the final 1-2 into the center. Glue the whole thing in to the wreath.

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Voila! A wreath for every season! I actually took apart the Valentine’s Day one I made and remade it with spring colors.

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So, what to do with the extra t-shirt pieces? Stay tuned for my follow-up post.

Related posts:
Valentine’s Day 2012
Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas
Quick Valentine’s Day Cards