Tuesday, December 15, 2015

10 Easy IKEA Hacks To Inspire You!

Happy Holidays Guys!! I hope that everyone is having a fabulous December and is loving the holiday season! I was lucky enough to escape Minnesota for two whole weeks and spend the holiday in California with all my loves! I am so happy to be here with the sunshine on my face. But even more exciting is that friends and family have been saving their projects and sparsely decorated areas just for my visit! (They know me so well ;) ) So today, as I look for inspiration for some of these new spaces, I thought I would share with you some of the easiest and most cost efficient IKEA hacks ever! These are not all of my favorites, because let's face it...ain't nobody got time for that honey...but these are PERFECT if you only have a quick weekend to get stuff done! I hope they inspire you to get creative and create a space you totally love!

1). Vittsjo Nesting Table
Ya'll know how I feel about gold spray paint...(insert holy grail emoji here). Check out this easy DIY from Classy Clutter! 

2). Lack Side Tables
$16 for a cute side table? Done! You could also add some brass corners or some paint for an extra special touch! Find out how at I Heart Organzing!

3). Office Chair Hack
Personally, I think office chairs are super over priced...enter, IKEA hacks. Here is one of my faves! Find it over at Little Green Notebook! 
4). Bondis Wall Clock
Fancy up an ordinary wall clock with a vintage belt. Read more about it on Remodelista!

5). Bygel Bar Cart
Stay extra classy on a budget with this cute (and gold!) bar cart! Check it out at History In High Heels! 

6). Ekby Shelf Brackets
Add a little spray paint to your Ekby brackets....gold spray paint...need I say more?!
7). Console Table
Turn this laptop table into a lovely console table...I think this would love amaze in an entry way? Feel me? See how at Making It With Danielle

8). Vittsjo Shelves
Turn boring black metal shelves into fantastic gold works of art. There is a DIY how-to over at Four Generations One Roof!  

9). Klubbo Coffee Table
There are no tutorials for this specific table...but it's pretty basic if you follow the instructions on the contact paper! This definitely upgrades the look. 

10). Updated Stools
Look these drab-to-fab stools! Learn about it at From Me, With Love!  
Alright! That's ten! I hope you guys got some good ideas from these lovely bloggers and I would love to see what you come up with! Leave your ideas in my comment section!

Don't forget to subscribe via email! (We never spam!) and follow me on social media for more daily inspiration! Pinterest : Shannan Gladwin Instagram: @thecaliforniacupcake 


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Dollar Store Storage Bins!!

Alright, who else had a crazy busy thanksgiving week(end)...cause it could not have been just me. My soon-to-be in-laws (that's so many dashes..) were here for the last 10 days and it was insane. I like to think I'm pretty lucky in the in-law department. I've been around the Roczey (sounds like: Roxy) family for almost 8 years, and even lived with them for three, so there's definitely no filters or boundaries there, which makes the holidays crazy - in the best way. I can't wait until we can all live in the same state and have huge family holidays. But, for now, we live in Minnesota, where it's currently snowing, and cold, and windy. But it definitely gets you into the holiday spirit!

Anyways, having family visit really makes you take a look at your home and all the things it's missing (or is that just me?) So before their visit I did a little sprucing and purchased a few things which I'll be sharing any day now. One of the things I didn't quite get to was the two bookshelves in the living room. I don't believe I've showed those to you guys yet, but their just white IKEA bookshelves on either side of our TV. I'm starting to figure out that, as much as I love a good bookshelf, they are so hard to decorate when you're on a budget, simply because it feels like you need so many little things that you might never actually use, but their nice to look at....and let's face it, "nice to look at" is a lot harder to spend money on than something you'll use or wear everyday. Am I right?! I found myself obssesively noticing these empty bookshelves and hearing them taunt me...okay, I'm being dramatic, but they totally bothered me. I decided to find a way to fill some of the space with some storage bins becuase I needed a place for all the miscellaneous things in our house, like spray paint, tape, spare chargers, etc. That's what brought me to the dollar store! I found these HIDEOUSLY blue buckets...

I knew that with a good coat (or two) of metallic gold spray paint, these babies had real potential. And for only a dollar a piece it was such a steal. 

Now, spray painting plastic is not an easy task, but with some trial and error, I have a few small tips that make all the difference. You're going to want to start with these items...

Shown here 
Valspar Metallic - Brilliant Gold : $5.88
Disposable gloves from the Dollar Store : $1 for 100 of them
Plastic drop cloth from Lowe's : $2.00
I have a clear acrylic coat shown here too (the white can) but I did not use this! It ruins the metallic spray paint...as I learned the hard way...
Not shown here:
Sand paper from Lowe's : $2.00
Optional** Valspar Plastic Primer (I didn't use this just because I didn't have it on hand and I didn't learn about it until after I painted...oops. But it will help the paint stay put over time.)

Make sure you clean your containers with soap and water first and dry them really well. If you're working with a really smooth surface, run some sand paper over them to give it a little texture. Wipe away any excess. Then lay down your drop cloth in a safe work space and place your buckets face down. 

If you have the plastic primer, this is the time to use it. Then spray paint all sides of your buckets angling the spray can downwards. Make sure to do multiple light coats rather than one heavy coat so that it doesn't drip. Don't forget the gloves!!

Finish the outside walls first and allow them to dry for about an hour. Then flip them over and lightly coat the inside, let dry, and repeat until fully covered. 
After you finish painting your containers give them a solid 12 hours before you handle them lightly and a few days to settle before you use them or handle them roughly. The downside to painting plastic is that it takes a long time for the paint to settle. But it's worth the wait! Here is what your finished product should look like!
Here is a before an after...gold spray paint is a miracle! (Ignore the frost on the gold one, I left them outside overnight and it was like 13 degrees outside...oops! They were fine once they defrosted!)
Here they are in action on our bookshelf! Ill post a picture of both shelves when they are finished!
 Here are all the deets on the other decor on the shelves!

 The gold ball is from Kirkland's. It was actually a gift so I'm not sure about the price but here is a similar one! The magazines are a mix of bridal mags and fashion mags. I honestly don't really read them, but they fit it with the color scheme so they found their home in my living room! The flowers are fake and from pottery barn. I got them YEARS ago so I doubt they have them anymore, but you can find similar ones at any home decor store...like Home Goods!
I literally died over sheer excitement after I put this together...I have a seriously ridiculous obsession with anything Kate Spade, so when I came across this shopping bag from their store I knew I just had to use it somewhere in my house! I had these fake white roses from The Dollar Tree. They come in bunches. I used three bunches and cut them into single stem flowers so I could manipulate them more easily.  I messed around with them in the bag until I got it how I wanted it...and that's it! So, like $3! I stare at it all the time!
The candle is like a faint blush color and its beaded. I got it from Home Goods for $4.99 and it fits in my color scheme so perfectly its insane! The candle holder is also from Home Goods and it was $6.99 I believe. 

I love how easy the containers were and how great they came out! Ill be adding labels to them so I know what each one is holding. But other than that, they are done and I no longer have to stare at an empty bookshelf! Win, Win!

Thanks so much for checking in and reading today guys! Don't forget to subscribe via email (you will not get any spam, only one email if I post something new.) and follow me on instagram : @thecaliforniacupcake

Leave me comments if you have any questions or if you have any good tips I missed!


Friday, October 30, 2015

10 DIY's To Update Your Rental Space!

Hi Cupcakes!

I feel like, no matter how expensive or inexpensive your home may be, everybody has at least one space in their home that they are just not completely satisfied with. I can say that personally, when you rent your home, sometimes it can be frustrating because you have to just work with whatcha got. (Especially if you ever want to see that pretty little security deposit again). If you read my recent post, New Apartment Tour, then you know that I'm really obsessed with our new apartment! But even with a space that you absolutely love, there can be things that drive you nuts...like a window that's not centered with the wall, or an outdated piece of furniture that you just can't afford to replace right now. 
Well, fear not my little cupcakes, because today I'm super excited to talk about a few small things you can do at home to make your space feel more expensive and updated! The best part of this list, is that all of these tips and tricks are rental appropriate...in other words, you'll still get that nice little security deposit check at the end of your lease! ;)

1. Hang your curtains high and wide!
This is absolutely my favorite home hack! Most people hang their curtains at the top of the window, and usually just as wide as the window. However, hanging curtains high and extending the rod and curtains further on each side, will make the room feel much larger and it can really open up a space. It creates the illusion that you have higher ceilings and bigger windows. This is a great trick especially for people living in apartments that don't have vaulted ceilings or nice big windows! Another little thing you can do to take it a step further, is add two curtains on each end of the rod to make your curtains look full and luscious. Make sure you measure from where you want to hang your rod before you head out to buy your curtains, the standard 84" and 96" curtains may not be long enough for this vaulted look! Below is a great example of the difference it can make in your room, courtesy of Sprinkled Nest. Check out her post all about her curtains and what a difference it makes to hang them high! 

***As a side note, this trick also works in the bathroom! Hang your shower curtains high for a more expensive, dramatic look! Check out Lovely Crafty Home's how to on this!

2. Update Your Hardware!
A quick, easy, cost efficient way to update your kitchen, your bathroom, or any other space in your home with cabinetry, is to update the hardware! When I say "hardware", I mean the knobs and/or pulls on your cabinets. You can head over to Home Depot or Lowe's and check out their knobs; find one you like best, wether you like a modern look, or maybe an antique look. Just make sure, if you are renting your space, that you store your existing hardware in a safe place so that you can put it back when you move out! If you are not renting and want to save a penny or two, you can grab a can a spray paint and give your existing hardware new life! 

3. Add Brass Corners To A Plain Ikea Coffee Table!
Ikea is a great place to get inexpensive furniture, but sometimes it can be a little boring and plain, luckily, there are plenty of great tricks like this to spruce them up! Check out Style At Home for a quick and easy tutorial on this baby! 

4. Hang Two Shower Curtains So They Open From The Middle!
Hanging two curtains on either side of your rod give your bathroom and updated luxury feel!

5. Add Flowers To Every Room
Adding flowers, or any plant for that matter, to a room brings the outside, in, and really adds life to a space! You can use real or fake flowers for this trick, but real live plants are always best! And if you are looking for a vase, check out one of my recent projects Repurposed Wine Bottles!

6. Wrapping Paper Wall Paper
So, this one, I just discovered myself, and as an apartment renter...I am so freaking excited about this one!! Guys, you can actually use wrapping paper and double sided tape to replace expensive wall paper! Im DYING over it! So perfect for apartment renters, or even people who own their space but just like to change up their rooms way to often..(guilty!) Anyways...check out this step by step guide to get this AMAZING wall!

7. Fix A Window That's Off Centered!
One of my biggest pet peeves in a home, has got to be when a window is not centered with the wall! Drives me nuts! Luckily there is an incredibly easy way to fix that! All you have to do is hang your curtain rod and your curtains centered with the wall, rather than the window! Viola! Now your window appears to be centered...and bigger, which is just another plus! (Don't forget to hang those babies high!) Check out Sawdust Girl's how to!

8. Paint Outdated Furniture!
If you are a regular reader of California Cupcake, you know that I am a huge fan of painting old furniture! It's such a cheap way to make something old look new...well, you know the drill. Check out my Dining Room Table Make-Over , or my Updated Bedroom Furniture for a few easy examples!

9. Contact Paper
Contact paper is a recently discovered holy grail in my world! You can literally put it on everything in your house that you don't like! Okay, maybe not EVERYTHING, but it seriously fixes a whole lot. Like a bookshelf, for instance...remember the bookshelf we fancied up with white granite contact paper?

But, a bookshelf isn't the only thing you can use contact paper for! You can use to on a coffee table, or your bathroom counters, or even your kitchen counters for a faux granite look! The possibilities are endless!

10. Add Area Rugs 
Adding area rugs can completely tie a room together. It can help determine the energy or feeling of a room and, if placed correctly, can make a room feel much bigger and open! Take a look at this post by World Market to find the best size rug for your space!

So there you have it! Making your space look more expensive is easy with tricks like these. If you have any tricks not on this list, feel free to share them in the comments section! 

Hope you enjoyed today's post! Don't forget to subscribe via email (You will only get an email when I post new content!) and follow me on social media for inspiration and updates! Instagram: @thecaliforniacupcake Pinterest: Shannan Gladwin


Friday, October 16, 2015


Hi Cupcakes!!

So, again, I'm writing to you from the car, on my "blogger" iPhone app...so bear (bare?...I'll never learn that I swear) with me on the editing stuff until I can get to a computer!! 

Anyways! Today is a really fun day because I get to finally announce the very first ever giveaway on California Cupcake!!! I know I'm probably way too excited over this, but do me a favor and at least pretend to be equally excited...thanks. Okay, so I've teamed up with the awesome chick that runs Scarlett Jay, which is a new etsy shop that is up and running! She sells personalized foil art pieces that I totally love...I'm all about foil lettering right now! Anyways, we teamed up and came up with a super cute concept that she created and tonight, we are starting the contest for one lucky duck to win this print! The contest will be run through Instagram, so if you don't have one...well, get one, where have you been?! So make sure to watch out for it on @thecaliforniacupcake and @scarlettjay tonight and over the weekend! Can't wait to see who wins! 

That's all! New post...coming soon!! 

P.S. Here is the link to the Scarlett Jay Epsy store if you wanna check out/buy her other work! 



Thursday, October 8, 2015

Spruce Up Your Bookshelf for $7!

Hi Cupcakes!

It's been WAY too long since my last post. I suck, for real. I know. But, I think my next few posts will be worth that wait! AND, I have a couple really fun surprises for you guys this month! Get excited! 
Also, I am officially part of the "visual team" at Pottery Barn...which basically means I am responsible for floor sets and making things look pretty, which means so so so many more inspiring things to share with you guys here and on my instagram account @thecaliforniacupcake! So don't miss that! I don't have much else to share with you guys right now so let's just jump right in to this little how-to!

So today I'm talking about sprucing up a boring (cheap) bookshelf! And no...no painting this time ;) This project is so quick, easy, inexpensive, and versatile. I just love it. This can totally be done by yourself, but it's significantly easier with a little helper (or a big one)...I recruited the Mr. for this one...so when you see some hairy arms in these pictures...don't worry, it's not me! Okay, so some of you may have heard of contact paper You can buy it at Lowe's and it's like $7 for a few yards or something like that. It's stupid how affordable it is considering how many uses it has. Well, today, we're using it on the back of our bookshelves to add some glam to an otherwise plain piece of furniture. Check out the step-by-step!

Thing you'll need:
Contact Paper : I used "white granite" from Lowe's - $7
Scissors or a razor blade
Credit Card, Gift Card, or anything similar
Obviously, a bookshelf...

Start by taking off the backing of your shelves. This is the last piece you attached when you put the shelves together. The nails should pop right out, don't worry about tears on the edge of the backing because you won't see them when you re-attach it. 

Here is the contact paper we chose. Feel free to use any color/design you like! Get creative! Unroll your contact paper and lay it out on the front of your shelf backing. Make sure to line it up with the bottom before you cut it! 

Now it's time to cut your contact paper to size. In this step, it's better to cut it too long than too short...excess can be removed, but you can't really add on extra to the bottom. Catch my drift? I didn't worry too much about the cut line being perfectly straight because I knew I would be cutting off the excess later. 

Now that your contact paper is cut to size, peel off the backing...contact paper is just like one giant sticker. Don't worry too much about it catching on something because you can pick it up and reposition it pretty easily. Once you have the backing peeled off, turn it over, line it up with the edges of your backboard and put it down. 

For the next step, take whatever card you grabbed, and, starting from the middle...smooth out any air bubbles by pushing them out to the edge of the paper. I honestly thought this part would be a lot more difficult, but the bubbles just come right out! 

After you push all the bubbles out of your first section, measure out your contact paper for the remaining part of your backboard and repeat steps 3-5 until your whole piece is covered! 

Grab your bookshelf, putting it face down on the floor, and put your backboard (also, face down) on top, making sure to line it up with all your edges. Don't worry about the excess on the edges just yet...that's next! Grab the nails you removed in the first step...and your hammer, and start hammering away...

Now, for the excess paper on the edges, you have two options. Your first option is to grab your scissors and cut along the edge of your bookshelf to get the extra lined up right. Your second option is to just fold over the excess and stick it to the back, nobody sees the back of a bookshelf anyways, so don't worry about what that looks like. It's totally your choice! Try both and choose that way!


I love how simple and inexpensive this DIY project is guys! It cost me $7 to do this and it took me maybe 30 minutes! I used the white marble look because our bedroom is very glam and the color scheme is white, grey and black, so it just fit. And just as a side note, if there aren't any contact paper colors you like, you can also do this project using wrapping paper and double stick tape...but thats another post for another time ;) Let me know if you're interested in seeing that! 

Hope you guys liked today's post and I hope it was helpful! Leave me comments and tell me how you like to dress up your boring furniture! And don't forget to subscribe via email to get updates when I post new stuff! If you don't already, follow me on social media for daily inspiration and fun! Instagram : @thecaliforniacupcake Pinterest : Shannan Gladwin


Friday, September 25, 2015

Living Room Progress!

Hello my beautiful little cupcakes! 

This last week has been such a fun one guys! I finally got our last box unpacked (yay!), I had an interview and got the job at... (You might want to sit down for this guys)....POTTERY BARN!!! Ummmm, can we just talk about the discounts this job comes with?? Which means blogging even more great stuff for you guys!! And on top of what was already a glorious week, I finally got to start putting together our living room, which (on my happy scale) ranks just barely below getting a job at Pottery Barn...seriously, like maybe a half of a rank. I hope all of you had an equally fabulous week!! 

So today, I just wanted to share with you guys my first little bit of decor I've added to the living room. As anybody whose ever put together a home of their own knows, turning a house into a home doesn't happen in a day...or in one trip to Home Goods...as much as I do love that place. Everybody has their own system for decorating their home. Personally, I've been trying really hard to focus on finishing a room before moving onto the next. I can't speak for anyone else, but in my own experience it's much easier to finish what you started rather than having a hand in every room of your home all at once. It's also much less overwhelming that way! Now, don't get me wrong, if I find a piece that is just too perfect to pass up for my bedroom and I don't think it will be there much longer, I might not be able to resist snatching it up...we all have our weaknesses ;)...but for the most part, I try to keep myself tied to just one room at a time! 

I chose to work on my living room first because it's the place of gathering. It's where my family and I gather, where our guests spend their time...it ties the home together. So I felt it was the most important room of the house. 

I'm going for a soft, romantic, cozy feel for the living room, but my vision definitely leans (hard) on the glamorous side of design.... faux fur, satin, lots of white candles, and flowers. My color palette is lots of creams, whites, golds, and a touch of blush pink. 

Keep in mind as you scroll through the pictures below that this is the result of my first shopping trip of many and I still need many crucial pieces but i just wanted to give you guys a preview! I'm excited to document as this room develops into what I hope will be a comfy and beautiful place to spend some time!
Throw Blanket : Home Goods - $19.99
The coffee table decor is temporary. I had these items on hand. I like they way they looked but will definitely be updating it next!
Brass circle decor : Kirklands - Not sure of the cost,  it was a gift. The flowers are from The Dollar Tree : 3 bunches for $3

All throw pillows : Home Goods - (from left to right) $30, 2 for $25, $19.99, 2 for $25, $16.99

My boy loves loves loves the new blanket!

I hope you guys can get a good idea of what I'm going for with this room! Just remember that it's only the first step and there is so much more to come! My last little note I want to leave you all with is that Ross, Tj Maxx, Marshalls, Home Goods, and of course Target (although lately, Target has gotten a little expensive...) are all amazing places to find great home decor items without breaking your budget!! So make sure you check them out!

Let me know what you guys think! Leave me comments and email me at thecaliforniacupcake@gmail.com ! Subscribe via email at the top of the page (p.s. you will only receive an email when I post something new!) and follow me on social media! Instagram: @thecaliforniacupcake Pinterest: Shannan Gladwin