Tattoos, A Timer, Tin, And A Tray On Wheels

Here’s a little recap of a few small projects and updates that we tackled – all in less than ten minutes a pop. Let’s call it a “tapas” post since they’re all bite sized morsels. And happily, they all actually worked, which isn’t always how it goes (sometimes the occasional this-should-be-quick project morphs into how-on-earth-is-this-taking-so-long?!).

First we have some wooden tattoos I made. Yup, I bought these two little temporary tattoos (they say “breathe” and “delight”) at the same holiday craft fair that we mentioned here (they’re from a local artist named Suzanne, who actually chatted with me about how you can put them on various things beyond skin). They had just been sitting on my desk waiting to be used when I was cleaning out our closet and found two old cedar blocks stuck in the back. So I decided they were the right size for my tattoos and I wanted to see if they’d stick.

So I peeled off the clear plastic on the front, placed them face down on each block, and wet them down per the application instructions.

Well lookie there, it actually worked.

Here they both are right after I applied them (you can see that the “breathe” block is still wet). Can you tell I did this project back before we painted the kitchen walls? Haha!

Here’s that breathe block now that it’s dry along with two other “wisdom cards” that I keep on my desk (also bought from Suzanne’s shop at the holiday craft fair). They’re a nice reminder not to sit on my butt at the computer all day – sometimes I just look over at them and hop up to go play with Clara for a while (you know, so John can take his turn sitting on his butt at his computer, haha).

The moral of the story? Try temporary tattoos on wood. Or an old travertine tile? Or a ceramic planter? Who knows where they’ll work – and I bet you could even seal them with spray sealer or Mod Podge or something. Look here are some tattoos on Easter eggs (and some more over here)!

Project number two was adding a timer to Clara’s play kitchen! This was actually a gift from our sweet friends Lauren & Steve (they mentioned that their son Dylan loves the timer that they added to his play kitchen when they passed one along to us, so we couldn’t wait to try it). Isn’t it cute? I think it’s from Anthropologie.

The first step was to remove the back where there was a small screw and a magnetic plate that could be screwed into the backsplash on Clara’s play kitchen.

Then the timer just snaps back onto then magnetic plate, like so:

Clara loves setting the timer and cooking up some potatoes and eggs, as demonstrated above. Seriously though, it’s a really fun interactive element, and we’re so happy that Lauren and Steve passed along such a fun little addition.

Project number three: framing a metal newspaper plate in our hallway frame wall. See how this looks like a sheet of tin?

Well it is. In fact it’s a metal newspaper printing plate that the Tacoma News Tribune gave to us when we were in Tacoma for our signing. They did a little write up about us, and even had an illustrator render our likenesses (complete with a pocket sized Burger) so we knew we wanted to frame it. So out came my metal snips…

I trimmed that baby down to the size of a frame that already hung in our frame hallway. About a minute later, I had this:

Then I just slid it into the frame (with a slightly larger piece of white mat-board behind it) and called it good.

I think it’s a fun little pop of blue on the wall, and everyone who comes over seems to gravitate towards it and asks what the story is. It’s fun to explain that there are metal printing plates for newspapers since we didn’t even know that was the process before receiving this.

And the fourth update is actually just bringing a book project into the dining room (this old $10 bar cart that we made over with a fresh coat of deep teal color, and chalkboard paint on the top for labeling bowls of candy and nuts or writing a message to guests at a party). A few people saw the legs of it in this picture from this post about crown molding, and asked for a shot of the full monty, so here she blows. Like how I randomly have a pillow on that tray since we’re fresh outta beverages? Haha! We’ll have to stock up for our next party…

So those are four little “tapas” updates that we’ve snacked on lately. What little tweaks are going on at your casa?


  1. says

    Funny because I have that timer – same color and all! And yes, it is from Anthropologie. I am disappointed with it because it isn’t really accurate with the time, but what a great idea to add to my daughter’s kitchen. :)

    • says

      I just checked out the timer and the website said this “In order for this item to work correctly, turn the dial one complete rotation to 60 minutes before setting your time to jumpstart the mechanism.”

      Maybe that will help – either way, it is super cute!

    • says

      Mine is the same (but in red) – I find it goes off about minute before the time has actually elapsed, so I only use it for things like cakes where a minute here or there wouldn’t make a difference, I use my watch or phone for anything like eggs where you want to get it exactly right.

      I think the problem probably happens when the inner bit with the times marked on it shifts a bit so could be fixed if one took it apart, but I haven’t bothered.

      I’m sure Clara’s eggs will be fine though!

    • Jenny says

      Haha – I returned mine! It had a tendency to sometimes, though not always, fail to ding when it got to the end of the measuring. Like, even if you were in the kitchen right next to it, you wouldn’t hear a noise.

  2. Cara D says

    Thanks for the timer idea. I am building a play kitchen right now and wanting to put in all the little “extras”.

  3. Stefanie says

    Love all the little projects! Especially the bar cart. Do you know the name of the paint color you used? Thanks! :)

  4. says

    Do you know how many times I’ve picked up the same timer and almost bought it. I think I tell myself they will put it on sale but we all know they rarely put the popular stuff on sale there. I need to hit the lottery…no “tweaks” in our home future unless you consider cleaning out closets and such a “tweak.”

    • Sara says

      I have this same timer, but from Amazon. It’s probably cheaper there than Anthropologie. Sometimes I don’t here it ding, but I love the way it looks!

    • Heather says

      Hey Katelyn! Love your rug project! How clever! Is it cleaning up ok – i mean is the sharpie pen staying on?
      also- Maybe it’s the iPhone, but your subject titles on the right of your blog are really blurry? The font isn’t readable on my iPhone. Just FYI :).

    • says

      Isn’t that cool!? We were totally caught off guard by it in the best possible way! Such a cool thing to get to keep. I guess they have a few (maybe 4 since it’s a 4-color printing process?) and we got the “cyan” one. Love it!


  5. says

    Love the updates! I don’t have too many little things going on but I will be painting our daughter’s bedroom this weekend!! It is going to be 50 here so maybe I’ll break out the spray paint too (worst thing about winter is not being able to use it…and not wearing flip flops) and do a couple of little things.

    P.s. Check out this rug update I did last week! It looks like a relatively small amount of work but it did take me a few hours.

    Happy Easter to you all!

    • says

      Thanks guys! It was definitely funny the way it happened- we thought we were going to be doing major renos, but we already feel at home here & can’t wait to make it our own!

    • says

      I totally tried posting a comment on your page, Jess, but for some reason if there isn’t a url/name option to choose from my shiz doesn’t link properly *bummer* so I’ll just tell you here that your house is GORGEOUS. I absolutely adore it. Also, you have an adorable blog! #yayforyounghouselovecommunitybuilding

    • says

      Hahah! Not yet… you never know with that girl yet. Yesterday she put jelly beans all over a wooden dragon toy and said “look mommy I decorated the dragon!” – hilarious!


  6. angel says

    Do you know you can tattoo wood with any picture you print on regular paper?And modge podge if you want it to stay.

  7. says

    That printing plate is so cool! What a unique piece to add to your gallery wall. It’s not a small tweak but I’m planning on fixing up the gallery wall in my husband’s man cave. Also need to rehang his display shelves. And about a million other things. Luckily/unluckily (depending on how you see it) the big government budget cuts affected my job some so I have to take a week of upaid leave each month till September. Plus side is so many things will finally get crossed off my House To Do list!

    • says

      Aw, I hope you get lots done during those weeks Megan! I bet you will and you’ll say what we always end up saying “why the heck didn’t I do this sooner?!” (the answer is: because we didn’t have time, haha!).


  8. Janet Lopes says

    They actually have those timers at West Elm too… I know because I bought mine at your Boston West Elm book signing!!

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