DIY Entertaining Idea: Custom Envelope Liners

With all of this talk of construction over here it’s time for a little prettiness. Here’s a fabulous tutorial that I recently spotted that I can’t wait to try!

DIY Envelope Liner

How creative! This would be so cute for a shower, wedding announcement or even as the lining in a thank you card (I’m picturing an adorable picture from a kid’s party with a little handwritten note from the birthday boy or girl).

Because it’s an artistic twist on the usual envelope liner rather than a picture to be displayed on the fridge, you could definitely get away with printing on regular cardstock paper from your home computer. Better yet, try printing a favorite photo over a subtly patterned piece of scrapbooking paper.

DIY Envelope Liner 2

Full tutorial over here at Paiges of Style. Love this idea.

Office Makeover: Plush, New Carpet

So you’ve seen a sneak peak of the new carpet in the previous post (couldn’t wait to share the grasscloth wall!) but here’s an update on the new carpet. You might remember that the previous flooring in the office consisted of three different wood floor patterns from three different types of rooms (a kitchen, breakfast nook and closet). Carpet was the best choice for us.

We went carpet shopping and found our best solution through a unique bit of searching (more on that here) and hunted down an installer from Craigslist for 1/3 of the going rate. At first thought Kevin was sure it was a project he could tackle himself, but after a bit of research we realized that the tools and materials needed to install the carpet would be pricier to rent than to sub out the job itself.

When searching for new carpet, there were a few key factors that we were looking for: price, color, size and durability.

Price: We were hoping to carpet the entire room for under $500, but after beginning our search we soon learned that that was virtually impossible. Thankfully it was a single room and we could settle on a remnant. Our total cost in the end using remnant carpeting, purchasing the tacks and carpet pad ourselves, and with using a Craigslist installer was $484, $380 less than the average bid we received.

Color: Off-white/cream was a must for me. I know it will show stains and dirt – but we’ll do our best to keep blankets under Liv and carpet spray nearby.

Size: In a perfect world our 9×20′ room would not require a seam. Most rolls of carpet are 12′ wide but finding a remnant 20′ long? Tough, but after much searching we found the perfect 12×22′ that could be cut down! (Note, you’ll always pay for the extra feet to make up to 12′ even if your room is 9′ wide).

Durability: Plush, thick carpet would be nice since Liv will be crawling and soon learning to walk in this very room. Plus, why install cheap carpeting if you’re hoping it will last a few years? No need to go all out but a good, easy-to-clean carpet was a must.

Keeping all of the above in mind, there are several choices of material when it comes to new carpet. Here are a few tips on choosing the right carpet for the right space (resource):

  • Wool carpet is durable and crush resistant (walking on it does not leave footprints), easy to clean and good for high-traffic areas, but it tends to hold static and is usually very high in price.
  • Nylon is also very durable and easier to clean than wool and does not hold static. But it is high priced and may fade if exposed to a lot of sunlight.
  • Polyester is not as crush resistant as wool and fades when exposed to a lot of sunlight. It is extremely durable against abrasions and costs less than wool and nylon carpets.
  • Acrylic carpet does not fade, is fairly crush resistant and is easy to clean, does not hold static and is low priced. But it is not as strong against abrasion as the other types.
  • Polypropylene Olefin carpet is the least expensive, easy to clean and fairly strong against abrasion. It may or may not be crush resistant depending on the type of weave, also known as pile.

Finding a remnant to fit those requirements is even harder, but once you know what you’re looking for it’s easy to rule out the ones that won’t work.

Prepping the current floor is helpful for a quick install. Here are a few tips for before the installer arrives:

  • Remove doors: Make sure that any doors in the way are removed.
  • Old carpet: Pull up that old carpet completely (if you’re laying over concrete, go ahead and make sure there are no spots with moisture).
  • Floor molding: Check to see if the molding is raised (likely if the room was previously carpeted) or removed (don’t carpet the room up to the molding but rather the actual wall), vacuum thoroughly.

Since this room was brand new, the molding will be added on top of the finished carpet.

And that’s our carpet wrap up! Not too exciting of a post but we’re so happy that it’s in and it looks great :).

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: grasscloth wallpaper, painting the office nookfinding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300, inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

Office Makeover: Grasscloth Wallpaper

I’ve always loved the classic, textured look of grasscloth wallpaper. When planning out the office I was inspired by these images to possibly give it a shot in the space:

Cue my ‘ooohs’ and ‘ahhhhs’.

With all of this great inspiration it’s definitely worth a shot, right? I placed a sample order with Thibaut for several promising swatches and settled on Hakka Grass in Khaki (note – if you search ‘grasscloth’ on the fabric website the results come up blank, but they have plenty of choices so try ‘grass’ instead).

It arrived in the mail and I was beyond excited. The wallpaper is comprised of small reeds and fibers in a variety of natural colors, all of which are woven tightly together to create that perfect grasscloth look.

Sooo… at no less than 2am the other night we hung grasscloth on one wall of our office. Why the late time? (or early??) I was so excited to install the wallpaper that I happily agreed to Kevin’s suggestion that we ‘knock it out’ post-painting (which we finished up at… 2am) before the carpet installer came that same morning.

Given the ridiculous time of day, these next photos might be a bit dark… but the grasscloth is up!

Grasscloth Walls

Materials: two people (very helpful!), grasscloth wallpaper, textured wallpaper paste (the thick, sturdy stuff is definitely worth the extra few dollar splurge), paint roller and tray, utility knife, staple gun, baking mitts, level and pencil

1. We discovered (the hard way) that the very first step in applying grasscloth is ensuring a level working surface. This might mean that that first panel of paper is hung at a bit of an angle (if there’s anything we’ve found over the years it’s that not all walls are level). If you attempt to hang straight from floor to ceiling without leveling, you might step back several panels in to see the textured pattern angle down or up. So first things first: lay your level vertically against the wall and mark the straight line with a pencil. Go ahead and take a moment to remove all wall switch and outlet covers as well.

2. Using your paint roller (we used both a hand held roller and a roller with an extended wall arm), apply a coat of paste to the wall from top to bottom (as you get used to the process of applying the paper, you can add a coat to the back of the grasscloth as well).

3. Using the penciled line as your guide (and not the corner of your room), hold the top of your first grasscloth panel up against the wall. You’ll notice right away that the panel that touches the ceiling, corner and floor will be unlevel, that’s okay – we’re working by the penciled level line and not the natural wall.

4. Staple the top of the panel at the point there the panel meets the ceiling and smooth, smooth, smooth. I’ve heard a large brush works well for this but I covered my hands in baking mitts (to protect them from the reeds in the grasscloth) and smoothed the heck out of those panels over and over and over again to prevent bubbles. Apply more paste at the edges when necessary with a small paint brush. Feel free to throw in a few more staples along the edges as well – but keep those staples horizontal and not vertical so that you don’t put holes into the paper that you can’t hide. 

If you find that applying the paste to the wall before you hang the paper is resulting in a dry wall, try stapling the top of the panel to wall (as mentioned above) and have one person hold the panel high while the other reapplies paste underneath. Then slowly lowered the stapled grasscloth and continue to smooth.


5. Trim excess grasscloth at the edges with a sharp utility knife (those textured reeds are thick so the sharper the knife, the cleaner the cut). Now’s a great time to trim paper for electrical outlets and wall switches as well.

Note: We worked straight off of the roll and didn’t find it necessary to cut wall-sized panels from the roll first. If you do, be sure to add extra inches to account for trimming those unleveled edges.

6. Repeat! We needed four full panels and a small narrow strip at the end. The  beauty of grasscloth is that there is no pattern to match as you hang the next panel. Seams are okay and come with grasscloth territory so don’t worry about seeing them here and there. Plus, when you have your artwork and furniture added to the room there will be too many distractions to focus on rather than any lined wall seams. (If you’re extra nervous about seams, cut your full wall panels first and line up the most closely colored panels with each other).

7. Wait a full day for the wallpaper paste to dry, then carefully remove each staple with a staple remover or flat head screwdriver. An alternate to removing the staples (especially if you’re nervous about how well the paper will hang) is to take a bit of tan paint and with a thin brush paint right over the horizontal staples so that the blend in with the grasscloth – I promise, if your grasscloth is thick and textured with real reeds like ours, NO one will know the difference!

We finished up the project in about 2 ½ hours including prep and clean-up. Having two people to hang, smooth and cut the wallpaper for the entire wall is extemely helpful in such a hands on project.

I was so happy to wake up to a freshly wallpapered room the next morning! I was also a bit nervous that working at 3am might cause a few mishaps that we were unaware of, and I did spot several bubbles that made me nervous enough to consider pulling a panel down to reapply – but amazingly those bubbles dried themselves out by midafternoon and the wall was flat as a pancake.


Love the new wall! The room is much in need of new molding (painted a bright white), a new window there on the right and a bit of window refurbishing in the guest ‘nook’ – but it’s well on its way.

What do you think of grasscloth? And for that matter, do you ever finish projects at odd times of the day?

For more Office Makeover posts, check out: painting the office nookfinding carpet for the office, chocolate brown wall ideas, plastering progress inspiration for a diy desk, back in action!, desking hunting for under $300, bookcases under $300, inspirational rooms, room layout options, demo part 1 & demo part 2.

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