Katy Napotnik

Apr 052013

ricedesignblog.com is under construction! in the meantime, head over to ricedesigns.wordpress.com for ideas, diy projects and inspiration!


 April 5, 2013  Posted by at 16:48 misc. 1 Response »
Apr 042013

I’ve been needing to make more business cards, but wanted to do something different than I had before. I envisioned using tags (the ones that look like manila file folders and have the reinforced hole at the top) and having simple, black type. I played around on the computer, trying to design something using Word (publishing layout) but never got anything I loved. I thought about printing on labels, and then sticking the labels to the tags. But that idea never really got me excited. What I really wanted was a stamp. I love stamps. I thought having a stamp would be multi-functional. I could use it for business cards and tags and different branding. It’d be perfect. I browsed Etsy, looking at custom stamps, but they were a little out of my price range. And the idea of committing to one stamp was just too much for me. What if I wanted to change it? Or what about when my domain name changes (I’m in the process of getting a new website!)… a stamp seemed so… permanent. How’s that for over-thinking?

So I did a good, old fashioned Google image search (for custom stamp business card), hoping for another option, and sure enough, a Design Sponge post came up near the top. I had my answer.

Tristan came home for lunch, and instead of being a good wife and sharing lunch together, I dashed to Staples to pick up my supply. Yes. Supply. Singular. Just one thing. And it’s quite possibly my most favorite crafting supply of the moment.

It’s a custom stamp kit.



The one online was still a little more money than I wanted to spend (my Craig’s List sales money is only so big) but I figured I’d go and see what I found. I was thrilled when it was nearly $10 cheaper in the store than online!

You use those tweezers to pick out each letter and put it on the stamp thing. The letters are pretty small (there are two sizes- small and smaller). It takes some time to put on the letters on and get them lined up, but it wasn’t nearly as tedious as I thought.



I wrote out what I wanted to stamp. There are multiples of each letter, but I made sure I’d have enough to spell out what I wanted. I alternated sizes (bigger size on the first line, smaller next, bigger, smaller). You’re basically just spelling the words backwards.



These are the larger letters. Or, as I said, small and smaller.



You push them right onto the stamp thing. I centered mine. Or kind of centered it. The letters can kind of move once they’re on, so you can slide them around to get them lined up.

It comes with a stamp pad (in black) that worked really well. I did a couple test stamps on scrap paper and then went to town stamping my tags.



Speaking of tags. You can find them at craft stores, but they’re cheaper at office supply stores. I think these were $5 for 100. Which is like 20 cents a business card. Totally doable.





They’re called shipping tags and they’re great. A craft supply must have, if you ask me.



They turned out even better than I imagined. I love them! The best way to get a clean, crisp stamp is to carefully put the stamp onto the paper (don’t let it shift around) and then give the top a nice little tap with your hand. Like a hammer.



Aren’t they great?! I really love them. And the stamp in multi-functional! I’ll use it for tags and other crafts. The set also came with another stamp thing, so I can make another one! The ideas are just swirling around my head.



I’m going to make a branch tree of sorts, to hang the tags from. For now they’re hanging from a jewelry hook hanger tree thing I got at thrift store and (shockingly) spray painted gold!

I’m so happy with my business cards. They’re easy to make and the stamp in multi-functional. And if I need to change it, I can! I have a feeling I’m going to be stamping a lot of things around here!

 April 4, 2013  Posted by at 17:33 diy, madebyRICE 5 Responses »
Apr 022013

If you like RICE on Facebook (which you definitely should!), you might have seen this picture already…



There’s a little kitchen organization project in the works over here! It’s not quite finished yet, so I thought I’d do a little round up of kitchen organization to get you inspired…



A Beautiful Mess

I love pegboard pot racks in the kitchen. I really love black pegboard pot racks. And I love reclaimed wood projects. So I think this photo is just pretty great all around. I made my own pegboard and wrote about it here. The area looks a lot different now, though!



A cork covered fridge. Brilliant! You could make an ugly fridge pretty and functional with some cork tiles. You can also get rolls of cork, similar to drawer liners, but it isn’t very thick. I love this idea.


The Inspired Room

I love the use of shelves in this photo. Using jars is a great and attractive way to store dried food!



If this isn’t a beautifully organized pantry, I don’t know what is! Not only is the shelving amazing, but the baskets and glass jars look lovely.



Taking the doors off your cabinets is an easy way to get the open shelving look. It’s great if you’re a renter (you can put the doors back on) and you can also test out the open shelf idea to see if you like it. I like the way the space above the cabinets is used with those big baskets. Functional and pretty. I also love the black window frame, the step stool (which I think is Ikea) and the white tile floor.



How creative to use an old door to organize your kitchen. Perfect for renters! Paint it to match your kitchen and attach some hooks and art. So inventive. Don’t forget to attach it to the wall, especially if you have kids running around!


You should head over here to get these printable chalkboard labels for your kitchen, spice jars and pantry. They’re amazing! Emily McDowell is so talented and so kind to make and share them. There are tons of labels like the ones above that you can print to use in your kitchen!

How do you have your kitchen organized? Have any tips or tricks to share? Check back soon to see our little kitchen organization project!

 April 2, 2013  Posted by at 18:04 inspiration No Responses »
Apr 012013

I’m hopeful that the cold weather is behind us and warm days are in our future! I’m so ready to open the windows and dig in the dirt! I’m going to try my hand at a vegetable garden again. I did one last year. And then I weeded it twice and the morning glories took over and it became a jungle. A big, abandoned jungle. Since I’m hopeful that warm weather is just around the corner, I thought I’d share some outside inspiration pictures!




Is that a charming front porch, or what? I was trying to think of a place I could put corrugated metal like that, but I don’t know where it’d go. I love the way it looks as a backdrop for those gorgeous pots!


There’s a great tutorial to make those planters on wheels over on Gardenista! Maybe I have a thing for corrugated metal.. it’s the backdrop for these lovely plants, too!

outside chalkboard


How fun would it be to have a giant chalkboard outside? It’d be cute to have an outdoor dinner party and write the menu on it!

mason jars


How charming would it be to hang some mason jars from the trees and enjoy some candlelight in the yard?

pallet walkway


I love pallets and I really like the idea of using them to make a walkway!

rocking chair swing


I’m pretty good at finding cheap, junky chairs. I’d love to turn one into a swing!

I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so we can spend some time working outside! Do you have any projects waiting for warm weather? Are you a gardener (or are you trying to be one, like me)?

 April 1, 2013  Posted by at 17:47 inspiration 2 Responses »
Mar 282013

… don’t get mad… get crafty?!

A couple months ago, someone gave us a brick. By way of throwing it. At our windshield. So for a couple months, we’ve had this lone brick sitting around our house. I’ve seen bricks dressed up and used in different ways, most often as book ends. But it didn’t occur to me until I saw this post on craftgawker that I should turn our gifted brick into something fun. When life hands you lemons…. you know!



the brick before

I slapped some white paint on it (acrylic craft paint- if it was warmer I would have spray painted it gold) and then sat staring at it, unsure what to do next. I started making black polka dots on it, but didn’t like it, so I wiped the black off and painted it white again. I had white cotton clothesline sitting on my desk, and it caught my eye. I decided to wrap it around the brick. I just winged it and ended up wrapping it in stripes.


Who would have thought that a brick that withstands being thrown at a windshield (and busting the windshield) would break when I start wrapping rope around it. And did you know that hot glue doesn’t really stick to bricks.. or maybe it was the paint that was on the brick. Either way, I’ll be honest and say this project, which was supposed to be simple and quick, didn’t quite go as planned! The rope holds the broken brick together, but it needs to be handled gently. I never thought I’d say to Gabe, “Be careful with the brick.. it’s fragile!” If I made another one, I’d use different paint (either spray paint or latex wall paint) because the acrylic craft paint got kind of chalky, weird feeling.


But the end result is kind of fun. And it adds a little something to the books in my crates. And the brick has a story.


Perhaps you’ve never been gifted a brick. Don’t feel left out. You can probably buy them at a place like Home Depot. You could make a ton of brick bookends for what a gifted brick ends up costing!


I guess it’s not technically a book end if it sits on top of the books!



I like the different textures of the painted brick and the rope. I hope you’ve never been gifted a brick the way we were. Have any of you gotten crafty with bricks? What did you make?

 March 28, 2013  Posted by at 11:03 before and after, diy 3 Responses »
Mar 272013

First of all, I’m having a hard time figuring out how my little babe is a in a big boy room. Slow down, you crazy child! This growing up thing goes quickly. Although, it’s days like today, when a migraine starts to kick my butt, that I’m happy he’s a little independent! I can give him some goldfish crackers (or the whole bag), turn on a movie (or 2) and close my eyes. You realize how much you take your vision for granted when it starts to fade!

Gabe’s been in his big boy bed since January. It was his 3rd birthday present from my parents (lovingly known as Bada and Boom). I’ve slowly puttered around in his room, tweaking things here and there. There haven’t been any major changes from his nursery, but it’s still been a fun little project. I like this room better, but it might be because we have such fun sitting in his big bed and telling bedtime stories as a family! Sweet memories are being made in this space!

In case you haven’t seen this post, I thought I’d show you what his room looked like when we moved in..



The walls were yellow, ripped apart, and drawn on. But there was such potential!





My Mom is amazing and found a Jenny Lind style bed for Gabriel. It was what I dreamed of for his room. Can you believe it was $80? Solid wood. Absolutely amazing. And then she got some Annie’s Chalk paint to refinish it. We used French Linen and finished it with the clear wax. I absolutely love his bed.



It’s a beautiful bed! Right now, I have his backup sheets on the bed. Usually, this time of year, he has adorable doggie flannel sheets that were part of his birthday present. But they’re currently needing to be washed. It makes life so much easier to have two pairs of sheets. Though Gabriel’s a little sad to not sleep with the doggies.



I got this dresser on Craig’s List for $20 and refinished it (thanks Uncle Carl and Aunt Irene for the Christmas gift)! I like the clean lines and the size is perfect for his room, but it can hold a lot of clothes. I like that it doesn’t actually have any handles. You can kind of tell that the drawer fronts are angled, so you reach under the bottom to slide the drawers out. The wall hanging is a tapestry I found at a thrift store. The trees are actually Christmas decorations!




My Mom gave us the charming paint by number pictures a couple years ago. I love them and so does Gabriel. The mobile is something I found, spray painted gold, and hung old picture of my Dad, grandmother and aunt from! The old photographs are so sweet. The angel was mine as a child.




We keep Gabe’s little suitcase under the dresser. He loves his truck suitcase. Also a gift from my Mom and Dad.







As a child, my Grandpa gave me Shel Silverstein books. I loved them. I was thrilled to find ‘Falling Up’ at the thrift store and used the pages as art in Gabe’s room. We really enjoy looking at the pages, reading the poems and playing I-spy with the illustrations. The bench is from our wedding and the basket holds some books and toys that Gabriel can pick from and take into his bed at nap time. Yes, he loves the story Madeline and has parts of it memorized!




I have double sided tape on the back of the pages, but also used Washi tape to secure some of the edges.




The mobile with the old photographs. The photo in the middle is of my Dad and my Aunt Jan! So sweet!




And this is my Dad and dearest Gran. Precious.




I used more washi tape with the photos, and on the backs of some used left over pages from the Shel Silverstein book.




Back to his bed. His nightstand is an old crate. I found the old piece of wood in the outbuilding and painted the alphabet on it. It was there in his nursery, too.




We found these cloud cut outs in the outbuilding when we moved in. I painted them white and hung them over his crib. When we moved his bed in, I was so happy that they were still perfect where they were on the wall. I didn’t have to move them! I added to stars when we moved his big bed in. They are little wooden star cut outs that you can find at Michaels. I spray painted them gold and used tiny sewing pins to hold them to the wall!

And there is Gabriel’s big boy room! I’m so happy with how it turned out. You can put together a special space without having to spend lots of money! I hope you enjoyed the tour!

(The wall color is Martha Stewart Plumage. I was inspired by Young House Love’s guest room. The white paint on the dresser is Parchment White by Glidden, also inspired by Young House Love! It’s my go-to white paint for furniture!)

 March 27, 2013  Posted by at 14:33 before and after, our home 26 Responses »
Mar 272013

I’m so excited to share Gabe’s new big boy room! I have the pictures and post nearly ready, but in the meantime I thought I’d share some fun kid’s room inspiration. I hope to have the post on Gabe’s room up this afternoon. You can check out this post to see his room as a nursery (and how far it’s come since we moved in!). I loved his nursery, and I like his big boy room even more!




I do love a partially painted wall. And I also love that little toddler bed from Ikea. This looks like a fun, playful room.



I don’t know any kid that wouldn’t love to have a bed like that. Especially Gabe. The boy takes after his father and loves to climb. Sleeping in a bed like that would be a dream for him. Maybe one day when he’s a little older. I also love the black wall and the green wardrobe piece!



I love the wall covered in the horse print wallpaper. So charming! I also really like a white painted floor. (We still have to paint the girls’ room floor, Kelli!)



How fun is that bed? And I think that green dresser is an Ikea Rast (is that right?). I also like this painted floor. A bright, whimsical room. Lovely!



What fun is this eclectic little girl’s room?! The trunk, the teepee, the bedding… it’s all so charming.



You could make your own giraffe (or any animal silhouette) out of contact or wrapping paper and add a charming detail to your child’s room!

So how’s that for a roundup of simply delightful children’s rooms?! Check back soon to see Gabriel’s new big boy room! And in the meantime, have a great Wednesday!

 March 27, 2013  Posted by at 10:12 inspiration 3 Responses »
Mar 252013

Happy Monday! If you’re here for the first time and you came from Craftgawker or Pinterest (or anywhere else for that matter), I’m so glad you’re here. I know people always write that. But really. Being artsy-fartsy (a la Pam Beasley, according to Roy on the Booze Cruise.. any other Office people out there?!) is so much fun and so is sharing ideas and making new friends. So welcome. I really am glad you’re here! And if you’re a returning friend, I’m glad you came back!

Nothing like getting cozy inside during a freak spring snowstorm to get you in the crafty mood. Speaking of snow in the spring.. does anyone else feel a little conflicted about this? We live in Virginia. This isn’t supposed to happen. It’s kinda like Christmas music before Thanksgiving. You love Christmas music, but something feels a little off about reindeer before turkey, you know? I love snow, but snow covering my daffodil (yes, there’s just one) feels a little off.

Anyway, while we sat inside near the fire, watching The Tigger Movie for the first, nope, make that second, time yesterday afternoon (it happens when the kid figures out how to use the Roku remote), I got an urge to make something. I wanted to add some black accents/black and white art/something graphic to the shelf above our bed. I love the pattern that’s seen on burlap coffee sacks. (And if you saw this post, you know my affinity for burlap coffee sacks!) So yesterday, I set out to make some simple art using that pattern, while singing along to “Everybody wants to be a Tigger…”

It took some trial and error to get the stencil right for the pattern. To save you some time so you can sip your coffee and browse my little blog, there’s a link to a pdf file with the stencil below!


What You Need:

A canvas (mine is 14×18 inches)

The stencil and scissors (click the link below for the pdf file of the stencil)


A pencil or erasable marker

Paint and a brush

A ruler/yardstick

(A side note on the canvas- I often find mine at thrift stores. They’re really cheap. I feel a little bad painting over someone else’s art. But it was, after-all, donated to a thrift store. Since I’m reusing a canvas, I also needed some white paint to give my canvas a fresh, new life.)


What You Do:

1. If your canvas isn’t white already, paint it white. Or you could paint it whatever color you want for the background.

2. I used a yardstick to measure and then draw a line down the center of the canvas. It was a guide to make sure the pattern was straight.


3. Then I started tracing the stencil. You’ll notice I started with half the stencil at the top. I traced half the stencil and then when I was painting, rounded it off. You can do your pattern however you want. I traced until the bottom, then drew three circles. (My pattern was half stencil on the right, two full stencils, half on the left, two full stencils etc etc.)

4. To get the bottom ‘leaf’ I traced half the stencil, and then eye balled it and made a little ‘tail’. Then drew three circles.


5. Start painting. It took a couple coats of paint to fill it in.


A side note about tracing the stencil… I used my erasable fabric marker. I recommend using something you can erase!

Once it dries, you have a nice new piece of art for your home, or to give as a gift!


(The pattern inspiration)


Looking all lovely and graphic on the shelf above our bed! To see how we made our headboard, check out this post.


This guy isn’t conflicted about the snow at all. He loves it and sat gazing out the window while I took pictures this morning. “Mommy! My snow came back!”

Have you made any art lately? I’d love to see it! Leave a comment below.. or you can always email me at ricedesignblog (at) gmail (dot) com. I really do like to hear from you!

 March 25, 2013  Posted by at 09:24 diy 4 Responses »
Mar 222013

I’m about to share some alarming photographs. But I think they’re interesting.. or at least fun for me to look back at. They are also a self esteem booster for you, my lovely readers. If you’re feeling discouraged by your house keeping abilities, like you’re always drowning in a sea of dirty clothes, these photos should give you some encouragement. For some reason, the only pictures I have of the stages of our room involves an explosion of clothes. I’m not sure why that is. I always keep up with laundry and immediately fold and put clothes away when they come out of the dryer. It’s so unlike me to have any clothes laying out. I do the laundry daily. Not bi-weekly.

Our home needed a little bit, no, a lot, of TLC when we moved in. Here’s a picture of our room shortly after move-in day…


What you’re unable to see in this picture is just how dirty the walls were.


January 2012. Clothes explosion. The first time I painted the room, shortly after moving in, I went for a pale blue/green color. While it was a lovely color, it wasn’t me. It felt cold. And just wasn’t right.


January 2013. I mean really. This is bad. I painted the room a creamy white over the summer. The bed moved to a different wall. Different furniture was moved in and painted black. And then in January (when this photo was taken) I painted a very wide white stripe behind the headboard, trying to give the room a focal point. Didn’t really work. In my defense of this chaos, the room was extra torn apart from painting. This was also the time I got the urge to go through all our clothes and give bag-fulls away. So you’re seeing the aftermath of me ripping the closet and dressers apart. It always looks (so much) worse before it gets (a little bit) better!


February 2013, the room was looking like this. You can vaguely see the wide white stripe behind the bed. Overall pretty boring. I wasn’t feeling really motivated to do anything else. You could call it a design rut.


And this is what it looks like today. We built a shelf over our bed last weekend and it does so much for the room. I’m still experimenting with an artwork arrangement up there, and have some diy art in mind, but for now I’m quite happy with it. It feels cozy. I also stained the headboard a bit darker and sealed it with wax. It has a lovely matte finish now and feels so soft.


I swapped out our nightstands. I stacked 2 apples crates, and painted them white (the same white as the wide stripe and the shelf). They’re more substantial and practical (more space and an extra shelf), compared to our previous single crate nightstands (that now live stacked in the hallway right outside our room).


I grabbed a bunch of art from around the house to put on the shelf. I want to add some black frames to it. It needs a little bit of tweaking, but I do love that shelf. So does Tristan. Even though he cracked his head on the corner yesterday morning. Ouch.

So there it is… the evolution of our room. It’s gone through many phases, and I’m sure will change more. Hopefully I’ll get more pictures of different angles soon! Is your room the last place that gets any attention? I seem to spend time decorating and arranging other rooms, but seem to neglect our room. No more! I do love how our room is now. And I’m pretty sure I sleep better in it, too. Have a great weekend, friends!

To see how we made our headboard, check out this post.

 March 22, 2013  Posted by at 13:12 our home 5 Responses »
Mar 192013


If you’re ever in a thrift store and see burlap coffee sacks, buy them. Don’t think about it. Don’t inspect them. Run as quickly as you can to where they are and grab them. I wouldn’t even judge you if you pushed people out of the way (unless you’re pushing me, in which case, we might fight)! Then tuck them securely under your arm as you walk around the rest of the store with the a big smile on your face, while everything else you see pales in comparison. You have just found the ultimate thrifting treasure.

I scored some amazing burlap coffee sacks at the thrift store a while ago. So when I tell you what to do when you find some, I speak from experience. The time I found those coffee sacks was my best thrifting adventure ever. You’ve heard of a runner’s high, right? Well, find some burlap coffee sacks at the thrift store and you’ll experience a thrifting high. (It’s either that or the odor coming from the old upholstered sofa you’re standing beside.) You might think I’m being a bit dramatic. But let me remind you that we’re talking about burlap coffee sacks!

When you bring them home, you’ll want to display them proudly for everyone to see. There are a couple ways to do this. 

First, you can just grab some tiny silver sewing pins and tack the burlap right to your wall. I like to use 8 pins- one in each corner and then one in the middle on each side. This holds it nice and securely to the wall and looks just so lovely. I did this in our kitchen, beside my peg board pot rack.



In our kitchen, beside the pot rack. You might notice this area looks a little different than when I posted about the pot rack here

If you want to get really fancy shmancy and give your burlap a proper dressing, find a big giant frame. Paint it nice and white (or leave it unpainted if it’s pretty). And then use your staple gun to attach the burlap to the back of the frame. You might have to trim the burlap, unless you just happen to find a frame that’s the perfect size.



Burlap coffee sack art in the bathroom? Why not! This is in the downstairs/guest bath, hanging above some complimentary toiletry items for any guests (I need to restock). 5 star bed and breakfast right here.


And this is in our living room. It’s the wall behind the TV. The framed burlap is a feed sack, not a coffee sack, but still great. I also have a framed rice bag, too. I intentionally hung the pictures very close to each other, to hide the breaker box that is behind that rice bag and floral picture (that my Grandma painted). 

You could also take your burlap coffee sack and stretch it around a canvas or canvas stretchers and use your staple gun to secure it on the back. This gives it a nice, crisp rectangular shape and looks lovely sitting on top of a dresser.



This is another feed bag, stretched around a canvas, sitting on top of Tristan’s dresser. And I have his boutonniere from our wedding pinned to the burlap.


Another wall in our living room. Another feed/fertilizer burlap sack stretched over canvas stretchers. I haven’t gotten around to hanging it yet. Eventually. I have tea lights in those mason jars (that won’t get lit until I hang the burlap)! (I found the feed/fertilizer sacks in my closet at my parents’ house. Thanks Mom!)

There are so many other things you can do with these things. Make a (itchy but so cute) pillow. Recover a chair seat. Make a curtain. Make a table runner. Make a giant floor cushion. Moral of the story: burlap coffee sacks are basically another form of gold.

Perhaps you haven’t hit the thrifting jackpot and can’t get your hands on any burlap coffee sacks. Fear not. You can make a knock off pretty easily!


I made this last year, before my best thrifting adventure when I scored the coffee sacks. You can buy burlap by the yard at Walmart! This burlap was leftover from our wedding.

1. Cut a rectangle to whatever size you when. Then hem the edges to keep it from fraying.

2. This is a pattern that you see on many coffee sacks. I made a template of the ‘single leaf’ and the ‘double leaf’. Then I traced them over and over on the burlap with a marker. I just added a little tail to the bottom single leaf, then free handed the circles at the bottom.

3. Take regular craft paint and fill in the ‘leaves’ and circles! Make sure you have something behind the burlap because the paint goes through very easily.

4. If you have any letter stencils, you can also add some fun lettering to your art.

And just like that, you have your very own burlap coffee sack art. You know, until you hit the thrifting jackpot!

I’ve called a couple different coffee shops to see if they have any burlap sacks they were getting rid of. Unfortunately, most coffee shops now get their coffee in vacuum sealed bags. So I have yet to find a shop that has any burlap sacks. Maybe you’d have better luck at smaller, local coffee shops.

What do you think? Would you or have you decorated with burlap coffee sacks? Have a great Tuesday! I’d love to see you burlap art if you make any!

 March 19, 2013  Posted by at 16:47 diy, our home 5 Responses »