Katy Napotnik

Aug 202012

I’ve never been a fan of bifold doors. Not only for aesthetic reasons, they’re also major finger pinchers. Not such a good match with kiddos in the house. Luckily, they’re easy to take down! Our bedroom has two closets (which is awesome) but they were both adorned with bifold doors. The way our bed’s positioned, we’d lay in bed and stare at the doors. They were fickle and would sometimes fall out place and then not close. I just wasn’t a fan of these doors. So I asked Tristan if he’d take them down for me and he obliged. I’m not exactly sure how he did it and I don’t think he knows either. They just pop out of the track on the top and then lift out of the track on the bottom. They are kind of heavy, large and awkward, so it was nice to have a big strong husband take care of it for me.

Anyway, once the doors were removed (and I got a good look at how unorganized the closets were) I went downstairs and found the fabric I was planning to make into curtains. It was $1.50/yard at Walmart some time ago and I snatched some up. I was relieved that I had enough to make two panels of curtains per closet. Since the fabric is sort of sheer, I wanted it to be full enough so you couldn’t see through to the disorganization.. er, I mean, the closets’ contents. 

I sewed rod pockets on the top so the curtains would hang on tension rods. Tension rods, by the way, when positioned in front of the bifold door track, completely hide it. You never see the track. When you need to put the doors back up, all you do is pop them back into the track. I have yet to hem the curtains. Nap time ended before I got around to that! But I’m very pleased with this quick little tweak in our bedroom! I’m still debating whether or not I want to take the bifold doors off our laundry closet that’s down in the kitchen! We’ll see.

Those frames hanging between the closet doors… the top picture was from a thrift store for 25 cents. Really. 25 cents. The one below it is an old book cover that I liked. I made an old frame into an earring holder using screen door mesh. The next one is from an old calendar I found at a thrift store for 10 cents. It was a calendar of Monet prints. I got it for the artwork and have framed some. The last is also an old book cover.

 August 20, 2012  Posted by at 16:18 diy, our home 1 Response »
Aug 202012

Happy Monday, friends! I hope everyone had a great weekend. To kick off the week, I wanted to share a project I did in our kitchen a couple weeks ago.

The pegboard pot rack is definitely is not an original idea. I’ve been holding onto a piece of pegboard for quite some time, just waiting to hang it on the wall. A couple weeks ago I finally did and I’m so glad I did. It was pretty easy (I did it completely on my own) and was finished in two nap times (so we’ll say, 4 hours). In my opinion, it’s a project you can do even as a renter (like us). But if you’re unsure, always ask your landlord. It’s something that can easily be removed, holes patched and painted over when it’s time to move out. (Or left up, if your landlord allows it).

This isn’t going to be a thorough DIY post. You can find the tutorial I followed (loosely) to hang my pegboard HERE. And here are some notes on how I did my project:

  • I didn’t have to cut the pegboard, like they mention in the tutorial, as I had a precut piece from Home Depot (that was 2 feet by 4 feet). You can also get a large sheet of pegboard if you want something bigger. They can cut it for you at Home Depot (and I assume Lowe’s, too).
  • I used 1×2 boards for the frame, the same as the tutorial. They are cheap! I used a regular old fashioned hand saw to cut the frame boards. Then I sanded the edges. (My husband has informed me that a miter saw is the technically correct saw to use for this kind of cut. Thanks love!)
  • I don’t have a stud finder, so I always use the old fashioned method for finding studs. I tap horizontally across the wall with my pointer finger knuckle and listen for the sound to change. When you tap over a stud, it sounds less hollow. Then I take a small nail and hammer where I think the stud is. If, in fact, a stud is there, the nail will go in and stick into the stud. You’ll feel it. If there’s no stud, you’ll feel that you didn’t hit anything. Try again! Depending on when the house was built, studs are typically 16 inches apart, from the center of one stud to the center of the next. So, if you find one stud, it should be easy to find more! Just measure 16 inches. I didn’t use any dry wall anchors because I screwed directly into studs.
  • I painted the pegboard to make it look less like it should be hanging in a garage. I used spray paint. If you use a can of paint and a brush, make sure to water the paint down and apply very thin coats so it doesn’t clog up the holes. I painted the side that was already white, after lightly sanding it. The back side that’s brown is porous and soaks up paint like crazy (and it doesn’t look very smooth, either).
  • I made a frame for around the board after it was up. It made it look more finished and also less ‘garage’. I painted the frame the same color as the board.

Pegboard hooks can be found at Home Depot (or Lowe’s… maybe even Walmart).

And the best part… the cabinet that once held all my pots and pans and was jam packed is now much more manageable and easy to access!

If you have any questions about hanging your own pegboard pot rack, I’d be happy to try to answer them!


The pegboard is hanging over a thrifted dresser. I painted it white and spray painted the knobs an antique gold. It used to be in our dining room and now lives in the kitchen. The top drawer holds canned goods and the bottom two drawers are (relatively organized) junk drawers. I put old crates on top of the dresser and use it at open storage for some white dishes. Beside the dresser I have 4 old apple crates stacked, which hold my cook books, crock pot, rice cooker and blender.

 August 20, 2012  Posted by at 13:07 diy, our home 11 Responses »
Aug 172012

Here’s another quick, easy and cheap DIY project. Turn a beautiful card into framed art. This would be a perfect way to preserve and display a beautiful wedding, birthday or baby card. Or, just a beautiful card you found at the store. This could also make a gift (which is what this actually is). Give a beautiful card to someone for their birthday (or anything) and include a frame ready to hold the card.

This particular card was found at a local shop and was handmade in Bangladesh. I think it’s lovely.

What You Need:

A card of you choice

A frame

A piece of paper


What You Do:

Open the frame and cut your paper to fit inside the frame. Use a small piece of tape, rolled, to secure it to the inside back of the frame (like you would put a picture mat… you can use a picture mat if you’d rather, in which case, the card would go behind the mat).

Use another piece of tape, rolled, to center and hold the card in place on top of the paper.

Put your frame back together and hang it or sit it somewhere to be admired!

Quite simple and quick!

 August 17, 2012  Posted by at 12:36 diy No Responses »
Aug 172012

Cousin Gracie’s birthday was yesterday. How these past 4 years have gone so quickly, I do not know! My sister-in-law and I made plans to head to the fair with the kiddos for the afternoon and come back to our house for dinner. I decided to whip up some quick decorations for Grace’s birthday and thought I’d share with you! I don’t get to decorate with pink very often (I’m not a very ‘pink’ kinda girl… and I only have a son!)… so this was a fun excuse to pull out some pink streamers and balloons and sparkly things. We love you, Gracie Girl!

I made a birthday sign for her to see when they pulled up to our house. Very simple and quick. Brown paper (who’s surprised I used brown paper?!), a white paint pen, a pink sharpie, some glue and some sparkly gems. And pink streamers (taped to the back of the brown paper). I was able to tie it up using the porch posts and twine. I waited to attach the streamers until after the mailman came. I thought the kids would like walking through the streamers, but the mailman might not!

And then for the dining room… I stood on the table and taped streamers to the ceiling in a line, to make a sort of streamer chandelier. Then I covered the table in brown paper, found at the dollar store. I taped the paper under the table to hold it in place and I painted dots down the center of the table. It took 20 minutes total.

And there you have it… quick birthday (or any party) decorations!

 August 17, 2012  Posted by at 12:22 diy 2 Responses »
Aug 152012

Have you gotten your free birthday calendar? The giveaway ends tonight at midnight. If you haven’t gotten yours yet, learn how fix that HERE!

You know that DIY project I talked about yesterday? Well, it hasn’t gone as planned and isn’t coming out as I envisioned. So it’s not ready to be published… yet. In the meantime, here’s a very quick and easy DIY project to hold you over!

I love calendars… the kind of calendar on paper, that you write on with pen. I like being able to flip through the pages and see months in advance. But cute (affordable) calendars can be hard to find. You know those simple planners you can buy at Walmart that have puppies, kittens and rainbows on the covers? The pages in those calendars are perfect. And they’re cheap. But those covers… oh dear. I’m just not a puppy and kitten picture kind of girl. There’s an easy fix for that, though!

All you need is a piece of paper of your choice. Card stock is best. Check Michael’s for a big selection of individual card stock papers, in all kinds of patterns and colors. I went for brown paper (yes, I love brown paper) that was textured with little dots. Cute, simple and neutral.

Most of the calendars have clear covers that can be removed. Take the cover off and lay it flat. You want to cut your paper to the size of the cover, so it fits inside. After you cut the paper, fold it down the center and put it in the clear cover. Then put the calendar back in the cover, behind the paper. I told you it was quick and easy!

And just like that, your puppies, kittens and rainbow calendar is now a cute, customer calendar. Less than 5 minutes. Less than 5 dollars. WIN!

Ok, so my calendar didn’t have puppies and rainbows on the front. And poppies are one of the favorite flowers. But I just like something a little more neutral.

Take the calendar out of the clear cover.

Cut your paper to size and put it in the clear cover. Then put the calendar back.

And you have a cute, custom cover calendar! (I put a rubber band around it to open quickly to the right month).

Have a great day! Check back for another DIY post coming soon!

 August 15, 2012  Posted by at 15:07 diy 1 Response »
Aug 142012

Here’s a quick post to hold you over until today’s official DIY post is ready…

I love magazines. I particularly love Real Simple. And Martha Stewart Living. And Better Home and Gardens. I love trying new recipes that I find in magazines (sometimes they’re good… sometimes, like the goat cheese pasta I made us a little while ago, they’re not so good). You can find recipes all over the internet, but I just love flipping through magazines. Sitting on our front porch swing, with a cold drink (iced coffee today) and a magazine is just fun and relaxing. And inspiring! (I’m not talking deep inspiration… I’m talking, “Oh, I like that wall color!” or “Oh, that’s a nice table setting!” or “Hey, I bet I could make that!”)

As much as I’d love to subscribe to all my favorites, it’s just not in the current budget. But I’ve found a way to indulge my magazine cravings for pocket change. Literally. I enlist Gabe’s help (which he’s eager to give) to round up lose change and we head to my very favorite thrift store. This particular thrift store is so organized and clean. It’s easy to find what you’re looking for without spending a ton of time digging through piles. (Don’t get me wrong, I love a good hunt, too!) In the back corner, behind the books, there are shelves with magazines. Organized by title. Real Simple. Martha Stewart Living. Better Homes and Gardens… and much more. I quickly shift through the each neat pile and pick a couple that catch my eye. And the best part, they’re 15 to 30 cents a piece (depending on the year)! Can’t beat that. I currently have 4 new (to me) magazines to peruse through. You don’t know how much they’re calling my name right now. But instead, I’ll take the rest of my iced coffee and go finish that DIY project so I can share it with you later today. You’re welcome :)

 August 14, 2012  Posted by at 14:41 diy No Responses »
Aug 142012

You probably notice things look a bit different on the blog this morning! Please bear with me as I learn the ropes of this whole designing-a-blog thing. I might be crafty with paper and  fabric and paint… but the internet-designing-thing (that’s the technical term) is a whole new (very unfamiliar) monster. It’ll probably be changing a bit in the next couple of days as I experiment with it!

Did you get your birthday calendar yet? The giveaway ends Wednesday night. You can email me at {ricedesignblog@gmail.com} or comment here to get your very own calendar!

Stay tuned for new goodies on Etsy and a new DIY post here!

Have a blessed Tuesday, friends!

 August 14, 2012  Posted by at 09:46 madebyRICE 2 Responses »
Aug 132012

To start the week (a week that will consist of more regular posts, fingers crossed) I want to give each of you a gift! Do you have trouble remembering birthdays and anniversaries? I do! To help me remember, I made a perpetual birthday calendar. It’s good year after year, hangs by my washing machine, and reminds me of important dates. And as more babies are born into our family, I can easily add birthdays! It’s simple and functional. And I think it’s cute, too.

If you’d like your own birthday calendar, just leave a comment with your email address and briefly tell me how you found my blog, and I’ll email you the PDF file that you can download and print! It’s 6 (8.5 x 11) pages. All you have to do is print it out and make 6 cuts down the middle of each page. Easy peasy. If you’d rather email me directly, you can do that [ricedesignblog (at) gmail (dot) com]. Don’t forget to tell me how you found my blog, please!

(Oh yeah… I promise not to share your email address with anyone).

I printed my calendar on brown paper. I love brown paper. You can print yours on whatever you choose. I would recommend card stock to make it a bit sturdier. (This particular calendar is ‘peach and green’. When you print, the colors may look different than my pictures, especially if you use white paper. But I’m sure it’ll still be lovely!)

My calendar is hanging with a clothespin and twine. The clothespin makes it easy to change months.


This giveaway will be available until Wednesday, August 15th at 11:59pm. After then, you’ll be able to find the calendars at The Lady Jane (during the month of August) and on Etsy at (www.etsy.com/shop/madebyrice)! 

 August 13, 2012  Posted by at 19:14 diy 20 Responses »
Aug 062012

If you’re not local and are just dying to get your hands on some handmade RICE goodies, check out the new Etsy shop, madebyRICE!

I’m still working out some details for shipping the book page wreath, but in the meantime there will be some other fun little items for you to snatch.

Check back frequently for new listings!

If you don’t find just want you’re looking for, please email me at {ricedesignblog@gmail.com}. I love custom orders and would love to put something together that’s just what you need.

And local friends… remember…during the month of August THE LADY JANE shop in downtown will be selling our book pages wreaths and other handmade treasures! Stop by to check out our display!

 August 6, 2012  Posted by at 22:10 madebyRICE No Responses »
Jul 232012

I wanted to share a favorite corner in our home…

Here are the details:

The wall hanging is a scarf I found at a thrift store. I love it. I sewed little loops on the back to hang it.

The little chair is from my childhood. Gabe loves to sit on it and read his books.

The RICE stool was a thrift store find and diy recover. I posted on that here.

The crates stacked on the left side hold books. The crate beside the sofa also holds books and acts as a side table. I love crates. Two of them are apple crates that were given to me by my brother-in-law. The others are crates handed down from my Mom. They have old advertisements on them. I have more in other areas of our home. I wish I could tell you where you can find them, because I wouldn’t mind more, myself!

The curtains are burlap panels (on the left) held up with black curtain hooks on black curtain rods. The black curtain rods are from Walmart or Target. The curtain clips were handed down from my Mom when they moved. They were originally several different finishes, so I spray painted them all black. On the right, it’s panels of cream fabric and white sheers (that you can’t see), also held up with curtain clips. The burlap was from our wedding and the cream panels are fabric from Walmart.

The lights above the window are outdoor lights. They add such warmth on evenings and rainy days. You can find them at Target, Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot….

The black framed picture on the left above the crates is a framed burlap sack, also handed down from my Mom. The frame is a poster frame from Target.

The black dresser was a thrift store find that I refinished with flat black paint. When I paint furniture black I like the look of flat. This piece is great because it has two doors on each side, with 3 drawers in the middle. It holds toys and games.

Plants add a sense of warmth, texture and life in a room. I love plants inside. They get enough light because they’re in front of the window. They also give some extra privacy without having the close the curtains.

The sofa is my best Craig’s List find. It’s a custom Rowe Furniture piece and came with an oversized chair and ottoman. Even though the slipcovers can be washed, I keep blankets on them for every day use to keep them clean from two year old fingers and smears! When I was searching for a sofa, I knew I wanted the Pottery Barn slipcovered sofa look (but without the Pottery Barn price tag). I was thrilled to find this set that I got for a steal at $375, and was funded by my own Craig’s List sales. It’s in pristine condition!

And there you have it… a sneak peak at our living room. It’s one of my favorite places in our home!

 July 23, 2012  Posted by at 15:35 our home 2 Responses »