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,

Mickey

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Confession…

I have a confession. Several actually. When I tell people this secret, they gasp and look at me like I have committed the worst criminal offense in the world. I am serious. They are in complete shock! I am sure you will never look at me the same once you know either…

We have not had a Christmas tree in our home since getting married.

I know! It’s terrible! It isn’t like we haven’t decorated one in the last 5 years. We help decorate his parents’ tree almost every year. His mom’s birthday is the first week of December, and she loves decorating the tree as a family. I have also put the decorations on my grandma’s tree. However, in our own home, we have yet to put up a tree!

Last year was the second Christmas we lived in our house. The first Christmas, we had bought our house less than a month before! It was my first year teaching, so things were already crazy. Then you add buying a house, packing, moving out of our apartment, painting our home, installing new floors, waiting for a fridge to come in, wrangling a new puppy, AND hosting Christmas at our house?! Yeah, stressful is an understatement!

Well, after Christmas last year, we were at one of the hardware stores, and I saw a beautiful tree on sale. We bought our tree for a third of its original price. After, we went to Walmart and found some ornaments on clearance that I liked. I ended the Christmas season looking forward to the next!

Time for another confession. If you know me, you know I don’t really like Christmas music. I know, I know. It is terrible, but working in retail during college can make a person dislike Christmas music, especially when they start playing it the day after Halloween and don’t stop until the beginning of January.

I have a coworker and friend who does this as well. She LOVES Christmas music and decorating for the season. I will go to her room during plan time, groan about the music, and give her a hard time, all in good fun though. I will let you know some times I sing Christmas songs, and I have to text her or send an obnoxious video of me singing, but usually not until I have recovered, which means some random time in the year.

This week was one of those random times where Christmas came to mind. I was thinking about Christmas at the BEGINNING OF JULY! I was looking for classroom decorations and then was sucked in to the never ending black hole that is Pinterest. I began to get excited about decorating for Christmas for the first time in my home! I immediately texted Megan, my friend, and told her I had been looking at for decorations for over an hour. To give you a little context, it was only 7:30 in the morning… I told her I wanted to blame her, but I really can’t. I think she is excited for me, but really she is more excited to listen to Christmas music.

Over the next few weeks, I am going to create some Christmas decorations and transform some items that I have collected. All of these DIYs will be budget friendly and easy to create. I will update this post as I go.

Merry Christmas in July!

Mickey

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 thing’s 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,

Mickey

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,

Mickey

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 dafont.com 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,

Mickey


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.

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