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Welcome to Collected and Created!

Welcome! I’m Mickey, and I am so thankful you came to see how my home grows with new items I collect and create!

My husband, Dakota, and I purchased our first home in the fall of 2017 after living in apartments (and a RV for a brief period of time) for the first three years of our marriage.

Those first three years, I was always looking for new decor to add to my home, but our budget was TIGHT, so it didn’t really happen. Dakota was the only one working full time as I studied to become a teacher. I worked many jobs, including on campus, and had a fairly heavy course load. Looking back, I know God had His hand in our marriage and made sure we were somehow provided for.

After graduating, I was so fortunate to graduate debt free, land a teaching job at the best district in the area a month into the school year, and purchased a quaint, little fixer-upper home with my husband (and got our dog the same week)!

There are many aspects of my home that I love, but there are many things I would like to change. Some elements I would prefer to collect, while others I want to create. I am looking forward to many successes in our projects, but just know there will be a fair share of failures too. Follow my journey as Dakota and I create a space we love!

With love and creativity,



Easy Canvas Sign

I love wall decor, especially signs with cute phrases and sayings! Seriously. I want them all, and it is a problem. Want to know the bigger problem though? How much they cost at the store. I am not about to shell out $20+ for decor that anyone can buy when I can make my own sign exactly how I want it, including colors, font styles, and phrases, for a few dollars each. You read that right. A FEW DOLLARS. The cost is mostly from the canvas. I purchase mine from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby when the packs are on sale.

This reverse canvas sign uses a very similar method as the one in this post and will be referred to several times.

You will need:

  • Wrapped canvas
  • Cricut or cutting machine
  • Heat transfer vinyl (htv)
  • Heat press or iron
  • Exacto knife
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Stapler
  • Saw tooth hook

For most of my canvas decor, I use my Cricut. You can do hand-lettering and calligraphy if you don’t have a cutting machine. If you do it by hand, it will cut down the cost even more since you will not need heat transfer vinyl. (Check out this tutorial if you are doing it by hand. It cuts out all of the steps about htv.)

To start, make your design in Design Space, cut it using htv, and weed it. There are tons of websites to get free svgs for personal use or you can purchase them from Etsy. I like mixing fonts, so I usually put together my own design.

As a teacher, this schoolhouse style is perfect for my home or my classroom!

Before you can apply the htv, the canvas needs removed from the frame. To remove it, put it face down. You will take the Exacto knife and cut on the outside of the staples all the way around. After it is cut, the canvas should just fall off. Remove the excess canvas by cutting where the crease is. More pictures of this step can be found here.

Once the canvas is off the frame, place the design where you want it. Turn the heat press to about 315 degrees. When it is heated, you will apply the htv just like making a shirt. Use a teflon sheet to protect your work. After it is applied, remove the clear plastic.

The next step is to attach the canvas to the frame. In short, you are going to staple the canvas to the back of the frame, making sure you pull tight. If you want better details, this post will help.

You can add a saw tooth hook or prop it up on a shelf. I love the versatility of this project and have signs displayed both ways.

Nothing like 70-something pounds of love, fur, and licks coming at you when you walk in the door! Too bad our guests don’t see the sign until after Copper properly welcomes them…
I love how this one turned out! It is displayed at home currently. I think I will make another to take to school! Did you notice the wood bead garland on top of the frame? I made that too, and it was even easier than this!

These are just a few of the signs I wanted. I have so many more to create! Check out the Collected and Created Pinterest page for other projects and future signs.

Happy creating!


How to Turn a Canvas Painting into Framed Artwork

Have you ever been to a paint party? I have, but just one for me. I like crafting and creating, but painting and art are a struggle for me. (Thank you, helpful paint party people, for making sure my painting turned out okay!)

Is your masterpiece displayed, or is it hidden in a closet? You may be asking, “How does she know it isn’t on the wall?!” Probably because mine has been tucked away for awhile too…

Last question: Are you hoarding packs of canvases from Michael’s and Hobby Lobby because you buy them every time they go on sale? Okay, we won’t talk about this one…

For real, though. We go to paint parties with our friends or receive hand-painted gifts from our loved ones, but it ends up thrown in the closet and the hard work and memories are hidden away forever! We may want to put it on the wall and be proud of it, but those framing companies are even more proud of their frames than we are of our work. Talk about pricey! Thankfully, there is an inexpensive solution, and you have most of the materials lying around the house already.

Easy Framed Canvas

You will need:

  • Wrapped canvas with design
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brush or baby wipe
  • Rotary cutter, Exacto knife, or box knife
  • Scissors
  • Stapler
  • Saw tooth hook (if you plan to hang it)

Before you get started, you need a canvas with a design on it. You know how I asked if you have ever been to a paint party, and I said I have been to one? Well, that is the piece I am using. Want to know what we painted? Our dogs. That’s right. There was a room full of people who wanted to paint a portrait of their dog. Those are my kind of people!

The first step is to remove the canvas from the frame. To remove it, flip it so it is face down. You will take the Exacto knife and cut between the staples and the outside edge of the frame. Do this all the way around. After it is cut, the canvas should just fall off.

I remove the strips of canvas that are left, but not the staples. This is a personal preference. You can remove the staples if you want.

You can leave your frame natural or add color to it. I like it both looks, but wanted a finished looking frame. To “stain” the frame, I used the same baby wipe method from my decorative, yet purposeful box. You can use an actual stain or completely paint it if you want, but the baby wipe method dries quickly, which is nice since I am impatient! For this frame, I used Craft Smart White, Craft Smart Metallic Silver, and FolkArt 938 Licorice. I didn’t mix them completely because I like the different colors showing through, but mixed them enough to get a pretty gray color.

Do you see the color variation? I love being able to blend in dark and light spots to add depth to my frame.

When your frame is dry, you can attach the canvas to the back. Before you do, you want to remove the excess canvas that was wrapped around the frame. There will be a crease where it was wrapped around the frame. You will cut just inside the crease. Remember, it is better to have too much canvas and need to take a little more off. You do not want to cut it too small!

To staple, I start at one of the corners and then go to the next. It is important to pull the canvas tight as you go. After the corners are stapled, you can put as many on the sides as your heart desires!

If you plan to hang your art, attach a saw tooth hook to the back.

Here is the final product!

You can’t see the date because of the frame, but it took waaay too long finally get my picture of Copper up… Now I need to find another class to paint Maggie, and hope it doesn’t take almost two years to get it on the wall!

I actually used this tutorial for a how- to speech during our public speaking unit at school. We used the phrase “wall-worthy” to describe the final product! This method works for any size canvas. It is the perfect way to take that painting from Mother’s Day or a paint party and display the beautiful art! I would love to see how you use this framed canvas tutorial. Post your (even more) wall-worthy transformations in the comments!

With love and creativity,


Fabric Garland

Okay, I know what you are thinking. More garland?! YES! This can be customized to match any room. Personally, I am putting this in my classroom, but I think it would look so playful in a kid’s room!

This garland is for my classroom. I will update the post when I can decorate, and it finds a place in my room.

First things first, you have to go to a store that carries fabric. WARNING: THIS CAN BE DANGEROUS. I happened to go to Hobby Lobby with my mother-in-law this weekend. After much deliberation and putting many fabrics back, I fell in love with this turquoise with white dots.

Now that I picked this one, many more fabrics were vetoed while trying to create my pallet around this one fabric. I knew I wanted gray and really loved this yellow floral fabric. (Actually, I have had my eye on this fabric for over a year!) I wanted more variety, so I found another gray and yellow that I felt went well with the others.

Then, I ran into ANOTHER fabric “problem.” Really, does everyone have this much trouble when trying to make a project? I couldn’t find any other fabric in the turquoise color, so I decided to buy double in the one print.

To make this garland, supplies will vary a little depending on the size of the garland. Some variables are the length of your fabric tassels, the number of fabrics you use, and the length of the entire garland. My garland is five feet from the first fabric tassel to the last.

My supplies:

  • Patterned fabrics- I had 2 gray, 2 yellow, and 1 turquoise. The measurements for the grays and yellows were 10 inches by 44 inches (1/8 of a yard). I purchased double of the turquoise, so 20 inches by 44 inches (1/4 yard).
  • Self-healing mat and rotary cutter- I already had this at home for my vinyl and sewing projects. If you don’t have these, scissors will suffice.
  • Yard stick
  • Jute twine

To get started, you need to cut your fabric down. I cut strips measuring 2 inches by 22 inches. To do this, I cut it in half, from 44 inches to 22 inches. With my yard stick, rotary cutter, and mat, I cut the 10 x 22 piece of fabric into 2 inch strips. I ended up 60 strips of fabric total.

Next, you tie the fabric to the twine. To do this, fold your fabric in half, but turn the ends so they are both pattern side down. I do this so the front of the pattern is showing on both ends, and I think the tassels lay better. Put the loop under the twine and pull the ends through the loop. I preferred folding the loop inwards before tightening it in. At first I pulled the loops too tight. I went in and loosened them up as pictured. Each tassel ended up being about 1 inch wide.

Repeat until you achieve your desired look! Unfortunately I do not have an honest idea of how long this project took because I kept getting distracted watching “Fixer Upper”…

I love the pattern and colors that I picked out. I think it would look great in my seventh grade ELA classroom. I debated getting these beautiful coral, mint, and gold patterns, but wanted something a little more neutral. We are kicked out of the building as they redo our roof and some amazing renovations. I am not able to put it up yet, but I will update this post once I get it in my classroom. I am going to see how it looks along my bookshelves, desk, door, or maybe a little reading nook. In other words, I have another difficult decision to make!

The only thing I didn’t have was the fabric and it was on sale this weekend. Normally, each fabric is $7 a yard, but it was 30% off. I spent just shy of $8 on all of the fabric for this fun garland at Hobby Lobby, and the twine is leftover from my wood bead garland. Please know that if you go into Hobby Lobby and the fabric isn’t on sale, go back next week! It is literally on sale every other week.

This garland would brighten up any kid’s room or nursery! You can pick patterns that match the decor and bedding. I even think you could use some seasonal patterns, like buffalo plaid, and put it on your mantle. I would love to see how you use this decorate to create a space you love at home or at work!

With love and creativity,


Wood Bead Garland with Tassels

Who has seen these in pictures of Pinterest homes, loved how simple and effortless they looked, and then was crushed when you saw the price of one of these at the store? Me. That was me. What did I do as a result? Figured out how to make my own for a fraction of the price!

This simple piece of decor can be made by anyone, crafty or not! I’m talking about so easy that you can have your elementary age kids help with part of it. If I were to make the whole project without taking pictures, it would take MAYBE 20 minutes. The longest part was waiting on the supplies to come in from Amazon!

To get started, you need these supplies:

  • Wood beads– You can use whatever sizes you want. For my garland, I used 10 mm, 12 mm, and 14 mm beads. I had plenty leftover, and I plan on staining them to make a gray and white strand.
  • Jute twine- I was impatient and stopped in at the dollar store and bought some to make the tassels that very night. (I purchased some white macrame cord from Amazon to make my white and gray one)
  • Scissors
  • Clear tape or candle wax (I will explain later!)

The first thing I did was make my tassels. My reasoning? I was impatient and wanted to start right away.

To make the tassels, wrap the twine around your hand 15-20 times. I have small hands, so I experimented with wrapping the twine around some household items to make the tassels a little bigger. Both methods worked fine, but I preferred the size the to-do list pad helped create.

After you wrap the twine, cut the end so that both loose ends are on the same side. Slide it off your hand (or whatever you wrapped in around), making sure to keep it together how it was wrapped on your hand.

Make sure you leave a little tail when you start to wrap the top. You can see mine on the left of the tassel.

Using the spool of twine, tightly wrap the bundle one inch from the top. You will do this about 10 times before tying.

Cut the twine so that there is an inch to tie a knot. Trim the extra twine off the knot.

The last step of your tassel is to cut the loops at the bottom!

I had some “helpers” for this part. I ended up making FOUR different tassels because these two kept eating them!

The tassel was the most difficult part of this project. Well, right behind it was deciding the pattern I wanted for my beads…

To get started, you want to keep your twine from fraying. I couldn’t find any clear Scotch tape, so I thought I would try wax. Sounds crazy, but it worked! I dipped the end of my twine into my wax melt and smoothed it out. Please keep in mind, THIS IS HOT WAX, so be careful!!! My hands are used to it from dumping the hot lid to my wax melt into the trash after a few days of covering the wonderful smells of middle school students…

A little tip: Don’t cut your twine UNTIL you are happy with the length. I originally thought I wanted mine to be about a foot long, but I realized in the end that was not the length I really wanted. I am glad I waited to make the cut!

Next, figure out the pattern you want your beads. This is the pattern I used:

(10)(10)(12)(10)(10)(12)(14)(12)(10)(10)(12)(10)(10)(12)(14)(12)(10)(10)… and so on until your desired length. On the ends, I had (5) 10 mm beads.

Leave 3-4 inches on each end to connect the tassels. To add the tassels, slide the end into the top loop of your tassel and tie a knot. Cut the excess twine. Do this for both ends. I left about a half centimeter between the top of the tassel and the beads so the garland could move and bend.

I LOVED how it turned out! It was about two feet long before adding the tassels. Make it however long or short your heart desires!

This garland can add to so many spaces in my home. I can’t decide whether I like it on my Hello Sweet Cheeks toilet paper holder or my letter board. I think I need to make a few more… and a tray on my coffee table to put one in.

If you missed how I made this cute box, you can find it here!
My little sister had fun showing me her cool way of spelling hello. 😉

This garland was so easy to make and can easily be customized to your desires! I will admit I tried making some clay tags for these, but they were a huge flop! They turned out weird colors and my letters were lost in the baking process. I even tried to fix them, but it didn’t work. Oh well! Live and learn! Hopefully you have better luck if you decide to add them! Next time, I am going to try staining or dying my beads. I also have my eye on some hexagon beads from Amazon…

Please feel free to share your pictures of the wood bead garland that you make!

With love and creativity,


Please know there are affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All items linked are items that I personally use.

Hello Sweet Cheeks

Okay, here is what you have been waiting for! My first DIY and decor project I wanted to share with you!

Please know there are affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All items linked are items that I personally use.

Currently, my bathroom is my least favorite room in the house… which is so sad to say because it was my favorite when we moved in!

Picture this: a clean, crisp bathroom styled in black and white, a lovely oval mirror in brushed bronze place above a cute little pedestal sink, lots of storage space in the cabinets, a sliding glass door that opens to a tiled shower, black and white checkered floors (which used to be a dream of mine!), and walls divided down the middle horizontally with the top in black and white vertical striped wallpaper and the bottom in black.

Unfortunately, it has seen better days and is in need of an update. We want counter space at the sink, which we have about a square foot of next to it. We have been looking at different vanities, but we can’t commit to one yet. Our shower tile and flooring have seen better days and desperately need replaced. The wallpaper I loved so much? I tore it down over Christmas break and still haven’t done anything to the wall…

However, today is not the day I share any of those things with you. Sorry! Hopefully we will have some major updates this summer, but for now I wanted to share this cute little toilet paper holder. Trust me, I promise it is cute!

Without the vanity, TP sometimes isn’t near the toilet when it’s needed. Cue the problem! My solution is this adorable box that sits on the back of the toilet.

Now, keep in mind, I love DIY projects, but sometimes my execution isn’t perfect… it happens! This box is far from perfect, but it is only the beginning. I see many wood projects in my future this summer!

Supplies I used:

  • (1) 1x4x8 lumber (For the bottom, I would use 1x6x8 next time)
  • Circular saw (I think we will use a table saw in the future)
  • Acrylic craft paint (Black and Gold)
  • Baby wipes
  • Gorilla Wood Glue
  • Vinyl decal I made with my Cricut
  • Decor

I stopped by Home Depot while in town this week and was determined to fit the piece of lumber I needed for this project in my Prius. It worked wonderfully, and I see it happening many more times! Anyways, I bought a 1x4x8 for about $3. I took my time looking for what I thought was a great piece, even though I didn’t really know what I was doing. I ended up finding a piece that had a bit chipped from one end, but I bought because I thought it would add character to the box. Only a few regrets about that, but I will save that for later…

Saturday morning, shortly after waking up, I roped my husband into cutting it down to the pieces I needed. I measured the back of my toilet and had room for about 16 inches. My toilet paper was going to be a tight fit, so in the future I would do 1x6x8 for the bottom to have a little wiggle room.

The board was cut down into (3) 16 inch pieces for the bottom and the longer sides. To figure out how long the ends needed to be, I put the three long pieces together like they will be for the box and measured. The ends were 5 inches each. Dakota used his circular saw to cut it and they weren’t perfect, but that’s what makes these projects unique and special. I love getting to spend time with him doing things around the house. Well, crafts and projects, not cleaning. I hate cleaning… Anyways, we are going to look into getting a table saw to help make better cuts. I am thinking about making a desk or a console table, but those definitely need perfect cuts, so they will have to wait.

Next, I sanded all of my boards with 220 grit sandpaper until they felt pretty smooth. Make sure you go with the grain of the wood so you don’t get random scratches in it (no, I didn’t do that…).

Before painting or staining, make sure you wipe off the dust so you have a clean surface.

I used the baby wipe method to “stain” my box. The baby wipe method uses acrylic paint that you wipe onto the wood using a baby wipe. I love this method because it dries quickly and is easier to clean off of your skin, but you are welcome to stain or paint if you prefer.

I mixed two different colors of acrylic paint that I already had with a foam brush until I got the color I wanted. You don’t have to mix until completely blended. I loved the color variation on the box when there was more of one color on my baby wipe. I used Craft Smart in Gold Metallic and Folk Art in Licorice 938.

I slacked on taking pictures on these two steps because it started raining while I was working on the back porch, but I did manage to get a few. Just make sure you paint everything, even the edges you don’t think will be seen! Usually, I like to take shortcuts, but I am so glad I didn’t on this project because it would have bit me in the rear later!

There were a few spots that weren’t touched with the color on the baby wipe, so I took my foam brush and dotted the paint on there and wiped with the baby wipe.

I let the stain dry for a little while until it wasn’t tacky or leaving finger prints. I probably waited a couple hours as I started another project and looked on Pinterest for other crafts. I have a serious problem and a lot of pins…

We decided to use wood glue instead of nails or screws since the wood was thin. We purchased Gorilla Wood Glue because it is strong and dries quickly.

I glue it together in pieces by added a side at a time. I started with the bottom and one side. Again, I failed at taking pictures, so I will do my best to explain. I wanted my box to be as wide as possible since it was already going to be a tight fit. I put the glue on the edge of the long side and pressed the side piece to it. If I had clamps, I definitely would have used them! I waited about 30 minutes between each piece.

The next side gave me trouble because 1) I didn’t use clamps and 2) you remember that cute chip in the wood I thought would give my box some character and charm? Yeah, it was a pain and created problems. The second side would not sit flush to the bottom so it isn’t totally straight. I made that the backside of the box, so no worries!

Next, I glued the ends on and made sure they were flush with the front of the box so it at least looked pretty from one side.

After the box was put together and dried, I couldn’t wait to set it up! I put two rolls of toilet paper in them and this cute little table decoration from our wedding in it.

Here it is in the natural lighting of our bathroom!
See that tile? It has to go! Soon!

I really wanted to add something cute to it. You will learn soon that I love puns and cute phrases! This led to me getting out my Cricut and creating this decal out of white Oracal 651 vinyl to put on my box. It is in the font Skinny The Bold from and sized at 11.5 inches by 2.4 inches. I could have made a stencil, but I took this shortcut. You can hand paint, buy a stencil from a local crafter, or leave it plain. Any way you go about it, it will be cute!

To place it, I had to do some math… Okay, not really. I eyeballed it and then measured each side. Guess what?! IT WAS CENTERED!

Here is this cute little toilet paper holder! See? I promised it would be cute! Is it perfect? Good gravy, no! Do I love it? YES! Even Dakota liked it!

I love that it has a purpose and functionality, while being pretty. The pictures don’t do the color justice! It is a dark brown with some gold shimmers in it. What phrase would you put on your box?

Happy crafting!

With love and creativity,


Please know there are affiliate links, and as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. All items linked are items that I personally use.

Collecting beautiful pieces and creating a home I love.