back again.

Oh, I was doing so good with regular posts and then… well… not so good. Oops! I don’t have much time to write today. I’m in the middle of spring cleaning. On Tuesday evening I got the urge to switch the living room and the dining room. And then while everything was chaotic anyway, I decided to do early spring cleaning. Chaos doesn’t even begin to describe our home’s condition right now. And since I really should be trying to regain some order instead of writing, I’ll just leave you with a picture to make you feel better about your housekeeping. You’re welcome! Be back soon for more exciting things!



And sadly, those pictures don’t do justice to the chaos. See… your house really isn’t as messy as you thought it was. Perspective!


diy: make a coffee station

Does anyone else wake up and get excited about having coffee, or is that just me? I love my morning cup o’ jo! I turned a corner of our kitchen counter into my little coffee station and it’s perfect. Everything I need to make my coffee, all together is one cute place. Here’s what you need to make your own coffee station!

coffee station collage


So how’s that for a first collage/mood board collection. It was pretty fun to make, even without Photoshop! Pixlr is awesome. And so is this tutorial. 

Let’s break it down…

Anthropologie has some pretty cute mugs, like this little owl one. Of course, I’m always a fan of collecting mugs at thrift stores!

An old jar is perfect for holding your ground coffee (or coffee beans).

The simple white sugar bowl is on sale at Crate and Barrel.

This tray can be found here.

That tray can be found here. (And yes, is a definite splurge. But so cool!)

The key to getting the right tray is one that’s easy to wipe up and has sides or edges. Have you ever not pushed the coffee pot in the whole way, so when the coffee brewed it just spilled out everywhere? I did that once. Wasted coffee! But I was so glad it was all contained in the tray. So the tray is functional and pretty.

Extra mugs are always good to have for company, like these from Ikea.

And Ikea’s Grundtal rail, hanging on the wall beside the coffee station, is perfect for holding your mugs. Don’t forget hooks.

And of course, you can’t forget your coffee maker, filters and a measuring spoon. You can even add a little cup of spoons at your coffee station, ready to mix in the cream and sugar.

It’s not ground breaking, but having all my coffee things in one spot, looking cute, it just kind of fun! I’m always a fan of scouting thrift stores to find what you need, so keep an eye out for jars, trays and mugs next time you’re thrifting!

round up {chalkboard walls}

I have a thing for chalkboard walls. Perhaps they make me feel nostalgic. I used to play school as a kid like it was my job. And who didn’t love to write on the chalkboard in grade school. Chalkboards in the home are fun and functional, if you ask me. They’re easy to make. They’re inexpensive. And if you ever get tired of it you can just (prep and) paint over it! We have two chalkboards in our home- one in the living room by G’s little table and one in the dining room, right off the kitchen. I thought I’d share a little roundup of chalkboard walls to get you inspired! I’ve never done it, but I’ve seen all sorts of recipes online for making your own chalk paint. Does it work well? I’d love to hear if you’ve made your own chalkboard paint!




Chalkboard walls make a nice backdrop for hanging your pots and pans on the wall.



Another chalkboard in the kitchen. I do wonder, though, if it’d get really greasy next to the stove? That’s one of the reasons I haven’t painted our kitchen backsplash with chalkboard paint… I’m not sure how well it’d hold up and if it’d quickly look really grungy.



If you aren’t sure about painting a wall, what about painting something to lean against the wall, like this old door? Charming!



Or what about on this wooden tray turned message center? Very fun!


I don’t know the source of this picture. If you do, or it’s yours, please let me know!

I love this chalkboard in the bathroom.. and especially that perfectly well loved yellow chair.

There’s no limit on the fun that can be had with chalkboard paint. From small scale, like the tray above, to larger, like entire walls, there’s so much that can be done! Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be back to show our chalkboard walls, as well as G’s new big boy room!


diy {pallet headboard}

And just in time for the weekend.. the long awaited pallet headboard!


I’m excited to (finally) share this project! It’s the biggest project I’ve shared to date. Turning pallets into furniture or decor is nothing new, this I know. Last January, my wish of having a headboard became a reality, using, you guessed it, a pallet (or two…and a couple other supplies)! Thanks to my father in law who occasionally has spare pallets in his warehouse, we were able to make a unique headboard for around $20. The project spanned about 2 days, working an hour or so here and there. I was able to do some of it by myself, but needed Tristan’s help for other parts. I hope to give you enough tips and information so you can make your own headboard. If you have any questions, I’d be more than happy to try to answer the best I can. Leave a message at the bottom of this post, or send me an email at {ricedesignblog (at) gmail (dot) com}. I’d love to hear from you and I’d love to help if I can!

Our Supplies:

Pallets (we used two pallets, because some of the boards split as I was taking them apart and some were in bad condition).

2x4s for the frame (Two pieces at 66 inches each. Two at 48 inches)

Hardware- 4 nuts/bolts/washers (these attach the headboard to the metal bed frame) and a box of screws (to attach the pallet boards to the frame and make the frame. We used black screws so they’d blend in on the front).

A drill and a hammer.

A crowbar would have been super helpful for pulling the pallets apart. Hindsight.

Sand paper, stain and polyeurethane (and a foam brush/rag for the stain, a brush for the poly).

As an afterthought- white paint to paint the frame. This is totally unnecessary, though, because you don’t really see the frame.

A level. We didn’t use one, it was just pure luck (and good eye-balling) that the thing turned out straight, even and square.


What We Did:

1. I started by pulling the boards off the pallets. This was actually really hard! Whoever makes pallets isn’t playing around. I used a hammer to pound each board loose and then pry them up. A crowbar would’ve been nice. Or something to wedge and get some leverage. I was able to get a bunch off, but needed Tristan’s muscles to loosen others.

2. Tristan went to Home Depot to get the supplies. They cut the 2x4s to size. Two at 66 inches. Two at 48 inches. The 2x4s make the frame for the headboard.

This is where things get a little weird. Talk about winging it. If we made another headboard, I’d do it differently.

3. We laid one of 66 inch long 2×4 on the ground, horizontally. Then we started laying the pallet boards on top of the 2×4, going vertically. The pallet boards need to be perpendicular to the 2×4. This is where a level would come in handy. We alternated different widths and made the top intentionally uneven. Some were higher/lower than others. But as a general rule of thumb, the 2×4 was 7 inches from the top of the pallet boards. Once we had them laid out, Tristan went down the line and screwed them all into place. (I would definitely recommend pre-drilling holes for the screws!) The screws were driven through the front of the pallet boards, so the black made them blend in a little, but I still like that you can kind of see them.

So at this point, all the pallet boards are attached to a 2×4 about 7 inches from the top of the pallet boards.

4. Then we needed to attach them to the other 2×4. So we slid the other 66″ 2×4 under all the pallets. It is 24 inches from the top (2×4). Tristan went down the line, screwing all the pallet boards to this 2×4. This, again, is where a level would have come in handy. I’m so grateful the thing came out even and square and not completely wonky!

5. Our metal hollywood frame has 2 plates to attach a headboard. The plates are 53 inches apart, so the vertical (2x4s) of the frame needed to be 53 inches apart, so we could bolt it to the headboard.

6. So Tristan measured and screwed each 48 inch 2×4, going vertically, 3 inches in from each side. This made them 53 inches apart. He used 4 screws to attach each to the top horizontal (2×4) and 4 screws to attach to the bottom. (The vertical 2x4s were screwed directly into the horizontal 2x4s. The picture below will, hopefully, make more sense).

I hope this picture helps explain some of the measurements. And makes those instructions somewhat understandable.

Page 1

Let’s all pretend my handwriting on that picture doesn’t look like a 5 year old, OK?! I’m new to this ‘write on a picture’ thing!

7. Then we took the whole thing outside and I sanded it down really well and put one coat of poly on. (Hindsight- it’d probably be easier to sand down the pallet boards before they were screwed to the frame.) I wasn’t sure if I wanted to stain the wood or not. In hindsight, I should have sanded, stained and poly-ed the headboard and then attached it to the bed. Oh, hindsight.

8. We brought the headboard inside and Tristan bolted it to the metal bed frame, using nuts, bolts and washers. He put 4 bolts on one side and then decided two bolts was more than enough, so he only used 2 on the other side.


This photo shows how the headboard bolts to the metal frame. And also that I quit painting the frame white at the bottom. I don’t really know why. The other side is painted. Must have gotten distracted. When using 2 bolts, use 1 above and 1 below.

So at this point, the headboard is sanded and has one coat of poly. And it’s attached to the bed. And I’m thrilled!


This is an instagram shot taken right after the headboard was attached. Back when our room was still light blue. And the bed was on a different wall. What’s hard to see in this photo in how some of the boards have a pink-ish hue to them… which leads me too…

A couple months down the road, I decided that I did, in fact, want to stain it. I’m very glad that I only put on one coat of poly. I pulled the mattress off the bed, opened all the windows, and stained it (still attached to the bed). There wasn’t enough poly on it so the stain went on just fine.

A couple months later I stained it a bit darker, and finished it with wax. It has such a lovely matte, soft finish. The dark stain also helped cancel out some of the pink-ish tones in the wood.

And then I painted the frame white. You barely ever see the frame, unless you’re standing beside the head of the bed. It looks more finished being white and not bare 2×4.

I kinda want to take a saw to the top of it and make it straight, but Tristan likes it as is, so uneven it’ll stay… for now!


We use crates as our nightstands. I stacked two apples crates and painted them white. I love crates. Since they don’t have a lot of surface area, I saved space by using clamp lamps as our bedside lights, and clamping them to the headboard. They’re just office lamps, but I actually really like them! They’re simple and clean and give a sort of industrial-ish look. I found them at Home Depot, I think.


And there it is! The {diy pallet headboard}! I debated cutting the top of the headboard to make it straight. But since we added the shelf, I like it uneven. The straight, clean line of the shelf compensates for the uneven-ness of the headboard! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below or send me an email!

(originally posted 2/1/13. updated on 3/22/13)

Update 3/26/2013- A commenter shared this link about the safety concerns of using pallets. My apologies for not including this in the original post. When we got our pallets, my husband looked into it and felt safe that the pallets we were using were OK. You may want to look into the safety concerns of pallets and make sure the ones you want to use are safe! Happy crafting!

tgif {roundup and favorite things}

Is it just me, or did this week go by really quickly? It was a big week for RICE, from being featured on Remodelista, to having 3 projects on the front page of craftgawker, and seeing a steady rise in readership. It’s quite exciting. I thoroughly enjoy sharing ideas, projects and the likes. My love of all things handmade really grew as I was planning my wedding in 2008. But even before then, when I was living at home in high school, I perpetually rearranged (and repainted) my room. I’ll never forget that one time I put a putrid lavender-pink color on one wall. I have no idea what made me do that. It was dreadful. Thankfully paint is an easy fix! Anyway, this morning I’m sharing another roundup. My goal for Fridays will be to share a roundup and then I’ll come back and share a project for the weekend. {spoiler- the project today will be our diy headboard!}



Chalkboard walls. I used to not like them. I’m not sure why. Maybe because they were everywhere. But then, one day, I couldn’t resist any longer. And now they’re one of my favorite things. Especially when they’re done like this one!



Annie Sloan Chalk paint is my favorite. It’s so easy to work with. It’s really durable. And it comes in my favorite color. They call it Arles. I call it perfect.


So when I saw this picture- a mustardy table beside a chalkboard wall, my heart skipped a beat. How’s that for dramatic. (I don’t know the source of this photo. If it is yours or you know who it belongs to, please let me know!)



The tutorial for this charming scrapbook can be found over at embellish. It’d be a thoughtful gift to give on Valentine’s Day, or for no reason at all. Or make one for yourself!


Head over here to get the recipe for Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash and Quinoa. It is so delicious. Warm, satisfying and hearty just like the title says. And it’s pretty. I’m making it again this weekend.

Come back this afternoon to see our {diy headboard}! I’m very excited to finally share it!