Things that (P)inspire Me: Egg Carton Crafts

It’s no secret that I heart free things… So of course I like free craft supplies (which is basically how I define upcycling).  In light of Easter being this Sunday, I figured that if you ventured into Egg Dyeing Land — it’s a fun place filled with food coloring, vinegar, and stained fingers — you might have some empty egg cartons lying around.  (Or if you live in the Foster-Donahue homestead, you go through a dozen eggs every time you turn around.  Cheap, versatile protein!  We love eggs.)

Oh what’s an upcycler to do?!

Ooh!  Wait!  I know!  Call on me!!! (Just imagine my hand outstretched while I jump up and down all elementary-school-obnoxious.)

This week’s round-up features egg carton crafty curations (that was so alliterative, my heart skipped a beat… it’s the little things).  To go back to the original source, just click on the picture (though each pic is labeled with its website of origin).  Good blogging karma: check.


egg carton rose medallion

Medallion made from crushed egg cartons {Source: Simpsonized Crafts}

{Source: Simpsonized Crafts}

Framed egg carton wreath {Source: Krafty Kat}

egg carton flowers

Egg carton flowers with vintage button centers {Source: Intimate Weddings}

inhabitat spring greening diy design contest, sustainable design, green design, diy design contest, recycled materials, refurbished furniture, found design, household reuse, industrial design, Egg Crate Lamp

Egg carton light {Source: Federico Otero via Inhabitat}

egg carton lights

Egg carton string lights {Source: Espirit Cabane via Mai Magazine}

egg carton art

Egg carton bulletin board {Source: Mookychick}

egg carton drawer organzier

Egg carton drawer organizer {Source: The Krazy Coupon Lady}

egg carton as a jewelry organizer

White ceramic egg crate jewelry organizer {Source: Young House Love}

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Things that (P)inspire Me: Beer Recipes

***Check out the other “things that (p)inspire me”.. there are so many… 

With St. Patty’s day coming up, I thought I would share a few beer recipes that I’ve Pinned recently (surely you see the correlation).  As a true Irishwoman, I enjoy beer by itself (I’m required to say that, lest that I defend my ancestors), but beer can be especially fun when mixed with other things.  All of these recipes are quick, easy, and require little to no culinary skill (it’s beer!).

Per usual, click on the image for a link back to the source website….

…and always drink and DIY responsibly.


Guinness Cream Soda

Guinness Cream Soda {Source: Chow

Shandy (lemonade, beer, ginger ale)

The Shandy, beer and lemonade or ginger ale {Source: Epicurious}


Panache: light lager and French lemondade {Source: Chow}

Beer Sangria

Beer Sangria, made with Framboise Lambic and Hoegarden white ale {Source: Chow}

Gridiron Punch Recipe

Gridiron Punch {Source: Chow}

Coup de Ville

Coup de Ville, a beer based Margarita {Source: Chow}

Beer Cheese Dip & Buffalo Chicken Dip Recipes

Beer Cheese Dip {Source: Tidy Mom}

Oven-broiled Chicken Thighs in a Beer and Grainy Mustard Sauce #recipes

Chicken Thighs in a Beer and Grainy Mustard Sauce {Source: Tracey's Culinary Adventures

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Four Beer Bread Recipes {Source: Bake at 350

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Things that (P)inspire Me: Upcycled Plastic Bottles

Happy Friday, everyone! This week’s “Things That (P)inspire Me” post features upcycled plastic bottles. Click on the image for a link back to the original website (and many of these have tutorials as well).

This first one is a less than stellar picture I took, but when I saw it at an art installation at the cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC, I couldn’t pass it up (even though the light wasn’t very promising.) The rest of these pics were (fortunately) not taken by me.


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Plastic Bottle Tinsel, photographed at St. John the Divine Cathedral in NYC, Source: The Ginger Penny Pincher

plastic bottle bracelet

Plastic Bottle Bracelet, Source: Great Green Goods

necklace made from plastic bottles

Plastic bottle necklace, Source: Great Green Goods

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Plastic Bottle Chandelier, Source: Sarah Turner

KIWI Eco-craft: Alphabet Magnets

Plastic Bottle Cap Magnets, Source: Kiwi Magazine

necklace made from plastic bottle caps wrapped in fabric

Lace and Fabric Wrapped Bottle Cap Necklace, Source: Turquesa Pistachio on Recyclart

plastic bottle cap beaded curtain

Plastic Bottle Cap Curtain, Source: Rosa Pomar

Recycled Bottle Cap Bowl, Source: zakka life

bottle cap lampshade

Bottle Cap Lampshade, Source: Esprit Cabane

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Pinterest, Peanut Butter, and Dr. George Washington Carver

Y’all, I freakin’ love peanut butter.  I even have a Pinterest board devoted exclusively to the stuff (Peanut butter wins).  I’ve been meaning to do a post about it recently, since it’s right up my ginger, penny-pinching alley (well, the alley isn’t exactly ginger… but, you get it).

Peanut butter: a super cheap source of protein (and it’s delicious)… and cheap.  And yes, there are some types and brands out there that are sky high in sodium and saturated fat, but enough people out there love it the way I do and have used their smarty-pants food-makin’ skills and figured out ways to make it a little healthier (and I like them very much).

I’m sure you’re all wondering how I arrived at the decision to finally do this post. (Right? Isn’t that what’s been keeping you up a night?)  Well, February is Black History Month, and one of the great leaders throughout black history was Dr. George Washington Carver.  Aside from being an accomplished inventor, botanist, scientist, and educator (whoa, he was busy), he also made a little peanut butter.  In fact, he invented the stuff.  I like him.  (And honestly, his accomplishments are far to numerous to mention —  he did waaaay more than just make peanut butter.  He was sort of an incredible person.  To read more about him, visit the Wikipedia page and the National Park Service’s website for the GWC National Monument).

Since this is “Things that (P)inspire Me” — Friday, I thought I would share some of my recent PB finds (and for all of the PB pins, you can check out my Pinterest board, “Peanut Butter Wins” — because in a cage match of condiments, PB would definitely be the scrappiest).

***To my dear readers who are allergic to peanuts:  First of all, I’m really sorry.  Secondly, every time you see the word peanut, maybe just insert almond… Or cashew… Or tahini paste?  And if you’re allergic to all of these, too — I’m really, really sorry — but come back on Monday, and it will be an allergen-free zone.  (Girl) Scouts’ Honor.

As with all of my “Things That (P)inspire Me” posts, click on the image or the link below to go to the original website where this idea or image comes from.


Pumpkin Peanut Butter Stew

Source:  Peanut Butter Boy

Peanut Butter Irish Soda Bread

Source:  Peanut Butter Boy

Indonesian Meatballs with Peanut Sauce

Source:  Peanut Butter Boy

Smoked PB Burger

Source:  Peanut Butter Boy

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Peanut Butter Pretzel Bites

Source:  Two Tiny Kitchens

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles

Spicy Peanut Butter Noodles

Source:  Crumb Blog

Spicy Peanut Chicken. Also has instructions for making into freezer meal. Easy.

Spicy Peanut Chiclen

Source:  Creatively Domestic

Post image for Peanut Butter Pancakes

Peanut Butter Pancakes

Source:  The Crepes of Wrath


Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Pie

Source:  Weight Watchers

Apple nachos with peanut butter, almonds, pecans, unsweetened coconut, and chocolate chips from Manifest Vegan

Apple Nachos w/ PB, Chocolate, Almonds, Pecans, Unsweetended Coconut

Source:  Manifest Vegan

no bake peanut butter cups!!via

No Bake Peanut Butter Cups

Source:  food.for.jubilee.

Chicken with Coconut-Lime Peanut Sauce

Chicken with Coconut-Lime Peanut Sauce

Source:  Family Fresh Cooking

Peanut butter hot chocolate?!

Salted Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate

Source:  One Ordinary Day

Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes

PB&J Cupcakes

Source:  My Baking Addiction

Peanut butter "cheese ball"

Peanut Butter "Cheese Ball"

Source:  The Girl Who Ate Everything

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Things That (P)inspire Me: Words, words, words…


What do you read, my lord?


Words, words, words.

-Hamlet, Act 2, Scene 2, by some old guy… rhymes with “steaks beer.”

(Thank you for humoring my theatre and literature nerdy-ness for just a moment.)

Ok, I looove DIY wall art, but I lack the key artistic skills necessary for the more obvious things (painting, drawing, etc.). However, I’m a big fan of words as decor, or typography as most of the blogosphere is referring to it (though the definition of the word typography is a little narrower than just “word art,” but I’ll ignore that for the sake of simplicity).

Last week, I posted about using to make fun, customized word clouds. After posting this, I got all excited about words as decor… then looked around my apartment and realized I was kind of already doing this (oh, the things I do to compensate for my lack of artistic skills):

These Mr. and Mrs. pillows in my bedroom…

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The word “LOVE” right above the bed…

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See the “YUM” letters in the kitchen?

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Even one of my Christmas gifts to my brother involved words: Scrabble Tile Magnets

scrabble tile magnets

Variations on a theme, as you can see. So, I decided to probe the depths of Pinterest (along with a little Google image search action) to curate a collection of other examples of words as decor. As always, click on the image to take you back to the original source website.

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Dresser with words made out of nail heads

Source: Fresh Home Ideas

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Oh, Anthropologie...

Source: Me and Jilly (but originally featured at Anthrpologie)

Happy.(p.s. all these pictures are from the archived files on my computer. If you know where they’re from, please share and I’ll be happy to give credit!)


Source: Scrap Studio

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No, you are MY sunshine!

Source: Cellar Designs’ Etsy shop

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Source: Home Goods blog

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Click on the image to take you to a blog tutorial about how to do lettering without a stencil!

Source: That’s My Letter

Well, obviously I would love Scrabble tile pillows... who doesn't?

Source: Emma Smart

Top 500 SAT words shower curtain -- It's sold out, by the way, but I could totally make one of these.

Source: Urban Outfitters

Eye chart wall art

Source: ROC Eye Chart Art

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Cardboard letters wrapped in a sheet of moss

Source: Pottery Barn

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Yarn wrapped letters

Source: Cotton & Curls

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a map of the world

Source: The Meta Picture


Letters wrapped in a page of a map

Source: Callaloo Soup

Framed letter collage

Source: eighteen25

Oversized Textured Wall Letters

Letters wrapped in string and tissue paper

Source: Kids’ Activities Blog

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Large quote on plywood

Source: Nothing but Bonfires

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"Love" string art

Source: Que Linda

Ooh… I especially like the last one. Reminds me of this project, but a slightly different technique. Hope you enjoyed my finds!

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Other things you might fancy…

Scrabble Tile Magnet Tutorial

Books and Nooks: The Living Room Edition

The Odyssey of the Curtain-Rod-Bookshelf Thing


Things that (P)inspire me: Fused Plastic Projects

This week’s Pinterest round-up features fused plastic!  This stuff, made from plastic grocery bags is a great way to both recycle and create a free material, similar to a thin vinyl.  And the best part is, it can go through a sewing machine!  (Though I don’t sew, so this won’t be an avenue I’ll be exploring any time soon.)

Here are my findings!  As always, click on the image for a link back to the original source (gotta keep up the good blogging karma, y’all).

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Fused plastic tote.  Source:  Betz White

(Do you spy the Target bullseyes?  Yes!)

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Fused plastic lunch tote.  Source:  Upcycled Design Lab

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Fused plastic purse.  Source:

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Fused plastic wallet.  Source:

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Fused plastic wallet.  Source:  Figaflors i Braves

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Fused plastic tote.  Source:  Flickriver

(I think there’s a Home Depot bag in there somewhere…)

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Fused plastic flower necklace.  Source:  Emily Grace

Fused plastic bibs.  Source:  The Pretty Bean (Etsy shop)

(I looove the use of the bread bag!)

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Fused plastic tote bag.  Source:  Lark Crafts

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Fused plastic eyeglass case.  Source:  Eclecti

Then… I was so inspired, I tried my hand at the stuff!  Turns out, it’s super easy.  Check back next week for a full tutorial!

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Other things that might inspire you…

Wine Cork Crafts

Recycling Tin Cans

Things That (P)inspire Me

Things that (P)inspire Me: DIY Christmas Ornaments and Tree Toppers

Hey, remember that week where I posted almost every day about my recent Pinterest finds?!  No?  Oh… well, that’s because that’s happening now!  

(To check out my previous posts of “Things that (P)inspire Me,” go here.)

As I did an inventory of my vast ornament collection last Friday, I was surprised to discover that none of my ornaments were handmade (or at least, handmade by me).  Of course, all of my ornaments are a product of penny pinching (or gift-receiving), so that’s nothing to balk at, but still… there remains a DIY-sized hole in my heart that must. be. filled.  So, I turned to my tried, true, and trusted friend, the Pinterest bookmarklet (nope, not a typo).

(In case you’re confused check out
Below are some of my most recent finds (also thanks to Google image search).  Hope you are as inspired as I now am!
(Click on the pictures for the links to the original sources.)
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 Thumbtacks and a styrofoam ball!
Pinned ImageScrabble pieces glued together
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Small dollar store frames with pretty paper
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An oldie, but a goodie.  These would be especially nice with metallic or patterned paper.
Felt ornament — read the instructions, it’s actually easier than it looks!
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I guess these are a little more obvious than most, but aren’t they pretty?  And with the length of these pipe cleaners, they can be a statement ornament (like… a “statement ring”) :)
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This particular pin is from Young House Love and was a product of the Pinterest Challenge that they recently co-hosted.  38 DIY ornaments for a total of $27.  Not too bad!
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An old key, spray painted (also part of the “Challenge” from above).  Vamping on this same idea, many household items, however seemingly mundane, would make great ornaments!  Silverware, earrings, those are just the first two that come to mind…
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Tree topper, made from pipe cleaners and a styrofoam ball.  But you know me, I would have used a different color.
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I love ANY home decor idea involving recycled sheet music (and I have plenty of it).  So fun as a tree topper!  (More on sheet music/Christmas decor on Wednesday!)
Hope you enjoyed those!(Subscribe, silly!  What are you waiting for?)

Things that (P)inspire me: The Power of Paint

It is no secret that paint is the most cost-effective way to make a change in a living space.  Obviously, painting walls is one of the more obvious options.  However, I’ve been playing on Pinterest lately (I often do such things),  and I have found a few other ways to use paint that are a bit more unexpected… mayhaps even craftier.  Click on the pics for original website location (or go to my Pinterest).  Enjoy!

painted pillow

Painted pillow from Joe Montano's book BIG ASS BOOK OF HOME DECOR (I'm a fan)

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Orange dresser. I loooove me some painted furniture.

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Spray paint transformed this flea market find. I could write a book about my love for spray paint. Or at least a good, solid haiku. I'll go work on that...

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Chalkboard paint and magnetic paint had a baby; It became this spice rack wall. Love!

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Chalkboard paint calendar wall. This is before Mr. Chalkboard met Miss Magnetic Paint.

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This image comes from one of my VERY favorite blogs, Young House Love. They have used a dark teal to off-set a white bookcase unit. Purdy.

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Painting a floor! This was done in a rental (on a scuzzy, not-so-cute vinyl floor) with a stencil.

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Horizontal striped shower curtain, hand painted. Makes the room look bigger!

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A compass painted on a rug! Yes!!!

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I like rugs. I like stripes. Logic goes that I would like rugs painted with stripes. Yep.

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Give me anything painted with a chevron design and I'll give you a smile. :)

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Green painted door. "Giiiirrrrl, you is PRE-tty!"

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Glass jars dyed with paint. Find the technique at the blog, Craftberry Bush! (link on pic)

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Painted furniture strikes again! This time, it looks like the owner of this dresser probably got the $2 sample jars of paint from one paint chip. Clever.

I would be remiss if I didn't pin the work of my very own, super talented mother, Teresa. She made this pillow by taking an existing cushion, making a simple cover out of very inexpensive white duck cloth, and using black fabric paint to (free hand) paint Lady Liberty. Not everyone is as talented as Teresa, but a stencil would work just fine here!

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Here are my most recent installments of “Things that (P)inspire me.” 

Paint Chip Projects

Vintage Yardstick and Ruler Furniture and Accesories

Wooden Pallet Magic

Things that (P)inspire Me: Paint Chip Projects

***Sorry for the three day silence on my end… I’ve been bed-ridden with a pinched nerve in my neck/back = so much fun!  But I’m back and mostly better now :)

I have long harbored a love for paint chips — those little (free) beauties you can get at paint stores for color comparison are one of my favorite things to pin on Pinterest.

(“What’s Pinterest?” you ask… I explain it to you here…. And here… and here’s their website to learn about it for yourself! And it’s free!)

Today I wanted to share some of my favorite paint chip “pins.”  Most of these projects are either free or very cheap, so definitely GPP friendly!  Now of course, I must do the whole spiel about how you shouldn’t just go to a paint or home improvement store and take paint chips to your heart’s content  (it’s like taking Tupperware containers to the Chinese buffet and sneaking out food when no one’s looking: slightly clever, but mostly dishonest, i.e., NOT cool).  While they are free, they are intended for people who actually need the paint chips for paint-related projects, and ideally they will return to this same store to make a paint purchase.

That said, if you look at some of these projects, you will notice that many of them require a large number of paint chips.  Again, I must express my belief that just going and taking paint chips for said projects is probably not the best and most honest means of acquisition. However, if you’re like me and have literally accumulated dozens of these because maybe you’ve… lived in four different apartments in the last three years and have painted every single one of them, but had serious issues of indecision and therefore really did have to get MANY, MANY paint chips before you could make up your mind… (I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin’) … then you have acquired these honestly, and could therefore be eligible (for lack of a better word) to do a lot of these projects.

Of course there are other ways to get these little lovelies.  I’ve heard of people asking paint departments or stores for paint chips of discontinued colors or ones that have been tossed in the garbage but are perfectly fine.  Another great source would be a used rolodex of paint chips (like you see a lot of designers have) that maybe have some discontinued colors as well.  However, you get them – hopefully honestly – you will see the myriad of possibilities with this free medium!

Here are my most recent Pinterest findings:

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One of my favorites! This is a dry-erase calendar. The lady from The Aesthetic Writer glued green paint chips to a picture frame insert, framed it, and uses dry-erase markers to change it for each month. Brilliant!

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Paint chip gift tags -- especially easy for you folks with only a couple of leftover paint chips, i.e., the sane ones. Just punch a hole and attach with string. I think these pop really well against the white boxes, but if you used paper from the Comics section or a brown paper bag as the wrapping paper, that'd be great and upcycle-tastic, too! This was found on one my favorite websites of all time,

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Paint Chip wreath. I'm not sure how weather-resistant this is in its current state, but definitely a great jumping off point (and of course you can have wreaths inside, too!). Found at Mintage Home (click on pic for link).

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Framed paint chips. Another good one for those with just a few leftover chips. Found at C.R.A.F.T. (which stands for "creating really awesome free things." Click on pic for link)

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I will never be this ambitious in my paint chip endeavors, but someone out there is... found at, a division of

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Framed, stacked paint chips. Mhmmmm...... Click on pic for original link.

Same method, but with light blue and darker blue/turquoise mattes. Niiice.... I originally saw this in Joe Montano's THE BIG ASS BOOK OF HOME DECOR.

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Paint chip escort cards found at Peter Oberc Photography (featured in a wedding they photographed)

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I like how this is kinda scaly, mermaid fin-esque.... I guess she used a hole punch like you'd find in the scrapbooking section of an arts and crafts store. Pretty!

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A lamp made from paint chips -- this is more on the bizarre end of the paint chip project spectrum, but still cool nonetheless. Click on pic for link.

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Paint chip utensil holder. There are some holidays coming up, I hear... Found at Under the Table and Dreaming

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A paint chip lampshade. Not really my colors, but definitely a fun idea. Found at Pretty Handy Girl.

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Paint Chip scrapbook. I think this would also be a great way to teach kids colors.

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Paint chips under glass!

Hope you enjoyed those!  Have you ever tried a paint chip project, or do you have any on your Pinterest baords you’d like to share?  Any ideas for using free and/or cheap media in simple DIY projects?  Leave your answers in comment form below!

To check out previous posts in this series, please check out:

Things that (P)inspire me: Wooden Pallet Magic

Things that (Pi)inspire me: Vintage Yardstick and Ruler Furniture and Accessories

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