how to recycle your wedding decor at home

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I got married! And it was the coolest thing ever! (and yes, I’ll write some more on that soon!)

But now, the sad part, is even the honeymoon is over. After months of planning, rearranging table settings, writing vows, and choosing flowers, glasses have been cheers’d, rings have been exchanged, and a killer honeymoon has been taken.

Ok, so it’s not really over. Our life together has just begun, ya ya ya…. but what about the decor?!!!

Between the wedding weekend and our honeymoon, we had an in-between day that allowed us to do laundry and re-pack bags. We traveled from the wedding (in San Diego), back to Brooklyn, washed clothes, repacked swimsuits, and quickly prepped … yes, in order to relax ūüôā But before we went, I hung up a few of the wedding flowers from our ceremony site in the closet to see if I could get them to dry nicely.

The flowers were from our beautiful, perfect, alter (thank you Organic Elements!) Mixing the culture of my – husband!- and I, we incorporated succulents from southern California and Arizona, and proteas, gum nuts, and kangaroo paw from beautiful Australia. Organic Elements made the ceremony site uniquely us. And I wanted a way to keep that with us.

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So we tried our luck with drying, and I hung the flowers from a hanger in our closet (maybe it’s an old wive’s tale, but I think that’s how you do it!:

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That was four days ago. We just got home, and before unpacking, I checked on them to see how it went. I then proceeded to grab a couple nails, a hammer, the leftover twine and gold spray painted mini clothes pins we used at the wedding (stay tuned!), and here’s how it turned out. Now, we have memories from our wedding that we can look at each day we wake up. I’m one lucky lady.

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How to hang a planter ala the ceiling (without Task Rabbit, a man, or breaking something).

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TVs, ceiling lamps, hanging plants are DAUNTING. ¬†If not hung properly, they’ll¬†crash and break and probably hurt someone in the process. I’m not denying I’ve learned this from experience. So, there’s limited space in our new apartment, which is why we (I) ¬†decided to follow the trend and hang a couple plants! I found this cool (and cheap!) $10 planter at Ikea. It’s simply, clean… and when I have time I may just paint some fun stripes on it.

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To hang it, here’s what I bought:¬†

1. Instead of a rope or rod, I liked the idea of hanging the planter from a gold chain. So for $2, I bought 2 feet of ¬†silver chain from our local lighting store. Then, I sprayed painted it gold ūüôā You can also sometimes find already sprayed gold chains. Use a set of pliers to make it the length you prefer by removing excess links. I wanted out planter lower than usual so I could see the flowers better, water them easier, give them good sun, and break up some of the empty space.

2. a proper SWAG hook kit — you can get these at your local hardware store for $1.50 — Ace Hardware! ( I bought a gold one to match) Make sure it includes a spring toggle wing and screw bolt. They usually come in two packs.

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3. You’ll need a drill to make a hole to push the toggle and screw into the ceiling. Make sure the drill bit used is the same size as the bolt. The one I bought required a 3/16 in. bit. Also, know the material you are drilling into – if it’s cement or brick you’ll need a different type of drill bit. Check with your hardware store if you’re unsure.

How to Hang it 

1. Drill a hole into the desired spot. Again, make sure you are using the correct bit, it matches the material you’re drilling into, and it’s the same size as the bolt.

2. Attach the hook on one side of the bolt. On the other side, screw the bolt into the hole between each side of the spring toggle. Make sure the toggle isn’t screwed on too far, as it needs to be able to close completely to get through the drilled hole.

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3. After drilling the hole, you need to push the entire device into the hole — to the other side of the wall — except, of course, the hook. Once you do this, the spring toggle will pop back open – SUCCESS!

4. Once you’ve popped it in, pull down snuggly on the hook, and begin to turn the hook clockwise. This will screw the spring toggle closer to the hook (from inside the wall) so that all that is between the hook and the toggle is the wall – this will prevent the entire hook from falling out and ripping the ceiling on the way down. Whoop!

5. Then, hang yo shit and make it look good. (Who needs Task Rabbit anymore?) Daffodils and lavender purchased at Trader Joes! $5 each, what a deal. (Our local nursery is still closed for winter — on the first day of spring — and yes it’s about to snow. ugh).

Protip: Where’s all the water gonna drain? Below the plants, I placed a bunch of pebbles to help hold drained water. This will prevent your flowers from drowning. You can even buy pebbles at Ikea for like a buck.

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add a little lime to your powder room (and while you’re at it, get rid of that mold! )

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The walls in our apartment are all clean white. There’s original molding and glass, ¬†simply, they’re beautiful. Growing up in a house where the walls were always changing colors, and even the ceiling was a “white lime” color, I’ve learned to appreciate the spaciousness that white creates, especially in a small New York apartment. That said, you can take the girl out of the eccentric home, but you can’t take the¬†eccentric home out of the girl.

More so, I wanted to see what we plausibly could get away with in regards to rental rights. Because after moving in two sofas, we’re never leaving.

Our bathroom has a great sunlight, but other than that, it’s small. It’s mixed in white tiles where over time old ones must have broken off. There’s layers and layers of old paint, grey and white cements covering the tiles in illogical and messy ways. There’s also mold. A lot of mold. To top it off, the most recent paint job was one layer of white, so poorly painted¬†you could see the lilac purple underneath.

I mean, it’s gross.

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Originally I wanted to paint it a dark slate grey/blue. But who wants to poo in not only a small room, but a dark and small room? So we nixed that, and I went to, obviously, my favorite color in the world — chartreuse.

Adding a lick of paint to your walls not only brightens the space, it cleans it up, makes things feel fresh, and is an inexpensive way to redecorate.

What You’ll Need ¬†(to clean, caulk, and paint your poo room) —¬†

1. a flat head screw driver

2. paint. our bathroom is teeny tiny, and the tiles cover a lot of the walls, so we only needed 1/4 gallon. I recommend making sure the paint is mold proof and bathroom friendly. We used a satin finish — not shiny, but not chalky-matte.

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3. a couple paint brushes. I used a 1″ one that I already had, as well as the brush I swear by, the shur line paint edger — it’s smooth, and helps with painting corners and edges.

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4. painter’s tape.

5. something to place the paint in. Incidentally, the plastic cover to a container of Swiffer mops works quite well (just make sure you don’t need to use it again!)

6. maybe a ladder, or you can do the little dance I did while painting on the edge of the tub.

7. brush or vacuum and cleaning all-purpose spray. I like Method.

8. Spatula and wall putty – in case you have old holes in the walls. Maybe some light sand paper.

9. bathroom caulk. This is different from caulk I used to cover mouse holes.¬†But the practice is the same, so if you’re unsure how to use caulk, read this post.

Directions 

Before you paint, clean up the space. wash the walls down — there’s definitely a layer of grime and water from showering, which also means gross bacteria that you don’t want under a new coat of paint. Wash down everything including all the tiles with a cleaning spay.

For us, there were holes all over the walls. And awkwardly placed HUGE screws, that of course were painted over from before. We patched them up, too. Once dried, I sanded them down just a bit with a light sandpaper to make sure the walls were smooth.

The bathroom tiles had old layers of paint and cement and caulk EVERYWHERE. Use a flat head screw driver to pull and scrape it up and off. Be careful to not make a hole into the wall. In addition, this is a great time to recaulk your tub. Where the caulk was once white ¬†and water proof, it’s now black (mold) and gross. Use the flat head to scrape out the mold. Once you’ve scraped out everything nasty, make sure it’s clean and dry, and then use the caulk tube, and slowly squeeze out the paste. It will need 24 hours to dry, so don’t do this right after working out (note to self).

Before the paint pic, check out this beauty. After pic of recaulking the¬†tub. Hallelujah, I’m not getting some weird growth on my feet!

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After you finish cleaning up the walls, removing old paint from the tiles, tape up where the wall meets the ceiling and the tiles. Oh yeah, remove the switch plates ūüôā

photo 2-2 photo 5-1¬†Then, start painting. If you choose a bright color like we (ok, I) did, you’re gonna need to paint two layers. Use the edge brush to get the main bits, then use the smaller 1″ one to finish the corners or hard to reach areas.

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Between coats, spend your time getting crazy with spray paint. Just ask, would Beyoncé had a gold switch plate? Probably. (Make sure to spray by layer).

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Then, after painting your second coat wait like 30 mins, and remove the painters tape. Waiting too long can sometimes pull up the paint if it’s dried on top of the tape.

Not only is our bathroom brighter, it’s cleaner, the tiles aren’t covered in decades of paint, and it’s mold free!

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Next up, the kitchen!