Sponsored by Amazon.DIY Tablet StandTwo more days until Spring Break officially starts here for us! With no plans for an exotic trip (wishing we were heading anywhere that the temperature would get above 50 degrees!), I’ve been trying to think of fun things to do locally and fun things for the boys to do at home, cause Mama’s still gotta work! One of things I’m so glad to have is our Amazon Fire HD 8 Kids tablet. I try to be really careful with how much screen time the boys get, but I’ll be honest and admit that for a work-at-home mom, tablets kind of save the day when I’ve got deadlines to meet and kids home from school. We’ve been using a tablet for quite a while around here, and one thing I’ve noticed is that we never have a good way to prop it up – whether we’re using it in the kitchen when making recipes, or the boys are watching shows together on Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. So I decided we should make a tablet stand and it’s been so nice to have! The boys & I recently made some Easter Egg Crispy Treats (find the recipe here) and this stand works so well in the kitchen. And the boys have loved using it when they’re watching shows together. Find the steps below for making your own stand. We kept our stand simple and minimal, but you could definitely add some paint to yours if you’d like, maybe let the kids paint their own if it’s for them to use!DIY Tablet Stand So this tablet has been amazing for us because, like I mentioned, sometimes I need to get things done and this occupies the boys for a bit. But I love it because I can set the amount of screen time they have, for everything, whether it be apps, videos, web, reading (always unlimited for that πŸ˜‰). And I can set it so they have to do some reading before they’re allowed to even play games or watch shows. I’ll definitely be using this feature over spring break so that they get plenty of reading time in…and I love that these tablets come with Amazon FreeTime Unlimited, which gives you access to hundreds of books! You can also set age limits on it, so everything your kids read & watch is age appropriate for them and you can keep on eye on all the things your kids are doing on the tablet using the Parent Dashboard. I have really loved these features and honestly think these tablets are so great…we even bought a second one for our house because we’ve loved it so much!DIY Tablet StandDIY Tablet StandDIY Tablet StandMaterials:

– 12” x 24” x 1/4” birch plywood
– table saw
– sandpaper


Using the table saw, cut a 6” wide strip out of the piece of plywood.

Out of that, cross cut one piece 7-1/4” long and one piece 4” long.

Set the table saw fence to 1-1/4” to the blade.

Make a mark 1-1/4” up from the end and centered at 3” on each piece.

Make sure the blade is raised up at least 1-1/2”, this will keep the over cut on the bottom side from being too long. Place the 6” side with the mark at that end against the fence and cut to the mark at the center, pull the piece back away from the blade.

Repeat cutting the other piece in the same way.

Take the piece that was left over after cutting your two pieces out of the 6” wide strip and do a cut on the end of that going in a couple inches.

Using the leftover piece you just cut, begin moving the fence over a little at a time and cutting until the slot you have cut is the same thickness as the plywood piece so that there is a snug fit.

Cut the other two pieces to the mark in the middle.

Set the fence on the table saw to 6-7/8” and cut 3/8” off from the bottom of the long piece.

Sand pieces and slide together.DIY Tablet StandDIY Tablet StandDIY Tablet StandDIY Tablet StandAny favorite stay-cation activities you like to do with your family? (I’ll take any and all suggestions to keep these kiddos entertained!)

Sponsored by Amazon. All ideas, thoughts and opinions expressed are our own. Thanks for supporting the brands that keep us bringing fun, new content to you!


DIY Cheap Canvas Print @themerrythoughtWhile I was finishing up the living room, I was hoping to make a get a big print made from a photo from one of my trips last year. I looked up canvas prints and most of them were $100+ for the size that I wanted. I thought about just hanging a plain engineer print like we have in the past but I decided to try to make my own faux canvas print. It ended up costing just under $15 and looks really good!

This DIY is also kicking off our new weekly Youtube series of easy how-to videos! Not all of the DIYs will be featured on the blog so be sure to head over and subscribe to make sure you don’t miss out on any tutorials!DIY Cheap Canvas Print @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Plain Canvas (I bought mine with a 50% off coupon at Michaels and got it for $10)
-Engineer Print (I ordered mine from Staples online because the local Staples wouldn’t print it for me. Yes, I did argue with the person at the printing desk and then leave angrily… oops.)
-Hot Glue Gun
-Mod Podge

Here’s this week’s video giving you a quick tutorial on how to put this together!

DIY Cheap Canvas Print @themerrythoughtDIY Cheap Canvas Print @themerrythought-Caitlin

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 8:03 pm

    Lindsey Kelly - So I’m wondering why they wouldn’t print it for you. Copyright issues?

    I had a big fall out with Walgreens over my wedding photos I ordered (and paid for) in a book online and then they super hassled me when I tried to pick the book up.ReplyCancel

    • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 9:59 am

      Caitlin McGrath - It was actually because they told me they can’t print images as engineer prints. I had ordered them online for pickup and drove out to pick them up and when I got there they told me they couldn’t print them. I think this specific store just didn’t want to print them anymore because I had printed them there many times before. Ha! Then I ordered them online to be shipped to me and they arrived within 48 hours – it was great!ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 2:13 am

    Sara - Hello from Italy!!
    Just can’t wait to try this with my bf. I also have a similar picture we took in Germany πŸ˜€ReplyCancel


Minimal Living Room @themerrythoughtIt’s finally time — I’m sharing my living room! It’s in its most completed state that it will be in for a while so I figured I should just share it now. I’ve got the new furniture moved in and am excited to be using this room for real life and not just as a crafting disaster room/photoshoot space. We had to paint the floors while waiting to buy hardwoods for in there and I ended up kind of loving how bright it makes the room (although I’m sure I’ll love getting some wood floors in there at some point.) Between the brightness and the plants, it’s pretty much the happiest spaceΒ to walk into. You might be able to spy a bunch of DIYs that we’ve shared over the last year mixed into this room already and I have a DIY coffee table that should be going in sometime soon. I’m also on a mission to find a perfect credenza for this space so if anyone happens to see anything let me know! Other than those last couple things I’m waiting on, I’m happy with how it has turned out and am so excited to spend more time in here! More info and sources below!Minimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtMinimal Living Room @themerrythoughtSo there it is! Bright & simple!


Sources: Couch c/o All Modern. Papasan Chair c/o All Modern. Bench c/o All Modern. Woven Rug c/o All Modern. Rattan Stool c/o All Modern. Cow Hide Rug c/o The Leather Guy. Hammock Chair. Brass Globe Light. Brass Planter. Marble & Brass Side Table (Similar). Hanging Cement Planter. Salt Lamp. DIY Magazine Rack. DIY Planter Wall. DIY Footstool. DIY Ladder Plant Stand. DIY Tomato Cage Plant Stand. DIY Wire Plant Stand. DIY Knit Pillow.

  • Monday, March 19, 2018 - 6:14 am

    David Conrad - Wow, how did you get that tree to grow like that? What kind is it? (oh and the place looks AMAZING!)ReplyCancel

  • Monday, March 19, 2018 - 6:35 am

    David Conrad - Oh! And I have also been on the hunt for a credenza and this one caught my eye. and I’m also considering using an ikea BestΓ₯ 3 drawer unit and wall mounting it (but so hard to decide which color combo).ReplyCancel

  • Monday, March 19, 2018 - 1:50 pm

    Lauren - Would you mind passing along the paint color? I am in the market for a good white for the inside walls of the house we just purchased!ReplyCancel

    • Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 11:34 am

      Caitlin McGrath - We used the Behr Ultra Pure White!ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, March 22, 2018 - 8:47 am

    sara albers - Oh my goodness – I adore this room and everything in the space! Well done!ReplyCancel

  • Friday, March 23, 2018 - 10:26 am

    Jonathan - nice, that`s what i needReplyCancel

  • Tuesday, March 27, 2018 - 7:13 am

    Olivia - What a beautiful room. It looks just amazing!
    Greetings πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 11:29 am

    Lindsay Eryn - This is beautiful! I love all the white. I wouldn’t call this living room “minimal,” but it sure is pretty. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel


Wood Wall OrganizerI’ve had this project on my to-do list for the last few years. And now that it’s finally done, I’m so excited – because of what I’m using it for. If you don’t have school age kids, I’ll let you in on a little secret…the kids get a crazy, astronomically high volume of papers sent home with them. Daily. I think it might be the number one complaint I hear from moms when we’re discussing clutter and things they struggle with. All the papers. And when you’ve got more than one kiddo in school, it’s the same papers times 3 or 4 or whatever. Thankfully, I’ve been able to keep up on the paper overload over the years…sorting and getting rid of papers quickly, done. Keeping my floors clean, not so much. 😬 Ya win some, ya lose some. And while I can sort and get rid of the massive amounts of papers coming in, there’s still quite a few the boys need to keep. Homework packets, field trip info, etc. So for the last few years I’ve just been sticking the “keep” papers behind a cutting board on our counter, not the best place, but at least we don’t see them. I wanted something so that each of the boys could have their own little shelf or pocket for their papers, but I didn’t want it to look too “office-y”. And maybe be able to use it for something different down the road – like magazines or mail. And if you’re wondering why it looks like that’s what I am using it for now, well school papers just don’t photograph well (shocking, I know). πŸ˜‰ So yes, it’s styled pretty for the photos, but keeping me sane and organized in real life.Wood Wall OrganizerWood Wall OrganizerWood Wall OrganizerMaterials:

– 1’ x 2’ x 1/4” birch plywood
– table saw
– 1” x 2” x 6’ pine board
– power planer
– wood glue
– nail gun and nails
– clamps
– carpenter square
– drill with 1/4” forstner drill bit
– 3’ long 1/4” dowel
– flat ring hangers & screwsWood Wall OrganizerWood Wall Organizer

On the table, saw cut the plywood board at 11-1/2” lengthwise. Cut again at 11-1/2” from the remainder of the board. Cut three 2” pieces from one of these and cut three 1-1/2” pieces and one 1” piece. From the other 11-1/2” piece cut two 1” pieces.

From the pine board, cut a piece 1 3/4” wide, and then cut it into two 28” pieces and one 12-5/8” piece.

Cut the two 28” pieces to 5/8” thick using the table saw. use the power planer to clean up the saw marks taking the boards down to 9/16 inch thick. Leave the 12-5/8” piece 3/4” thick.

Using one each of the 2”, 1-1/2” and 1” pieces, glue and nail them together to form a shelf with a back.

Glue the 2” piece to the front of the 1-1/2” piece, and then glue the 1” piece on top at the back of the 1 1/2” piece. (We used a 23 gauge brad nail gun to hold them together while the glue dried. You could also just glue and clamp them together).

Repeat these steps with the other two shelves.

Lay out where your shelves will go on your side boards. Using a square, draw lines to help you position the shelves. (Our measurements are: first one flush with the bottom, second up 9-1/4 to the bottom of the shelf and the third one up 18-1/2 to the bottom of the shelf).

Lay out where the holes for the dowels will go. (We placed ours at 5-1/4” from the bottom 14-1/2” and 23-3/4” and 5/16” back from the front of the sides to the center of the holes).

Using a 1/4” forstner bit, drill the holes 5/16” deep.

Cut the 1/4” dowel into three pieces, 12” long.

Starting with one of the side pieces, glue and nail and then clamp the three shelves in place, allow the glue to dry.

Place that side on a flat surface with the shelves sticking up. Insert the dowels into the three holes, glue the ends of the three shelves and place the other side in position. (It may be helpful to have a helper at this point to get the dowels all into their holes at the same time).

Glue and nail and then clamp or just use glue and then clamp. Allow to dry.

Glue and nail the 12-5/8” piece to the top of the sides.

To hang, install two flat ring hangers to the backside of the top piece and one flat ring hanger to the middle of the bottom shelf so that they stick out, use screws to fasten the unit to the wall.Wood Wall OrganizerWood Wall Organizer


Sources: Chair c/o Versanora | Hanging Planter | Plant Stand | Rug | Plant Basket – Target Dollar Bins

  • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 2:45 pm

    Terri - I definitely want to make this! It would be perfect next to my desk for things that are too bullky to pin to my bulletin board.


    • Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 10:42 am

      Manda - Yes, it would be perfect for those bigger items! Hope that you do make it and enjoy it! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018 - 11:01 am

    Christina Gamble - Great DIY projectsReplyCancel

    • Thursday, March 15, 2018 - 10:41 am

      Manda - Thanks Christina! πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Wednesday, March 28, 2018 - 6:56 am

    instagonline - Thank you for sharing the tutorial!! I need two of them for my working desk πŸ™‚ReplyCancel


DIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtI am SO excited to be sharing this post today! You may have spotted some of these rootless succulents in some of my posts throughout the year and assumed it was just a fake plant – but they’re REAL! Have any of youΒ seen these rootless/dirtless succulents at any plant shops? Wegmans is actually the only place that I’ve seen them sold so far. My friend bought me a couple last year and I couldn’t find any information about them online and wasn’t really sure how to take care of them. So for the past year I just took a guess at how to care for them and they’re still alive! So I decided to make some of my own and share with you all how to make them and care for them! They’re so much fun to scatter on shelves, to bring to your desk at work, to use for styling, or to top off a gift for a friend!

This process basically stops the growth of the succulent. Mine have barely changed over the course of the year! It’s a great option for those succulents that have a mind of their own and have grown far too tall or long for their pots and have started to break. You can just cut off the top and use it for this!DIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtWhat you need:
-Succulent (Smaller succulents will hold up much better.)
-Sharp knife
-Spray bottle
-Paper towel

How to make it:
Decide how many of the succulent leaves that you want to keep and then take the knife and cut through the stem of the succulent right below the bottom leaves that you want to stay on your rootless succulent. Once it is detached, set the succulent on a moist paper towel and leave it for the day. Continue to mist the paper towel and base of the succulent for a couple of days. The base should kind of callous over within a few days.

How to care for it:
After the base has calloused, once each week I take a spray bottle and spritz the base of the succulent. After a couple of months, tiny roots may appear – continue to spritz those. You can always plop it back in dirt if you want it to grow more.

**Below on the left you can see a week old cut succulent that is calloused over the bottom. On the right you can see a different succulent that was cut about a year ago with small roots on the bottom.
DIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtDIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtDIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythoughtDIY Rootless Succulents @themerrythought-Caitlin

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  • Wednesday, March 7, 2018 - 10:06 pm

    Erica - So with the spritzing, how do you keep it from getting mold, fungus, or other nasty stuff at the root?ReplyCancel

    • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12:05 pm

      Caitlin McGrath - I haven’t had any problems with that. I spritz the base with two quicks sprays each week and then they are usually displayed on a dry shelf and the ridges of the leaves around the base allow for good ventilation at the base of the succulent. This might be different depending on the size/shape of the succulent that you use or your climate but from my personal experience with these over the past year – I haven’t had any problems with that. πŸ™‚ReplyCancel

  • Friday, March 9, 2018 - 1:13 am

    Amy | Delineate Your Dwelling - Absolutely brilliant. I’m going to try this.ReplyCancel

  • Monday, March 12, 2018 - 12:20 am

    shweta - How to provide nourishment to these? Love the idea but am little surprised about its growth. Will it be fine with damp towel base only?
    Please guide.ReplyCancel

    • Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 12:00 pm

      Caitlin McGrath - After the first week, I removed mine from the damp paper towel and just spray the base of the plant with water once each week. I’ve had some of these for almost a year – so it has worked for me so far! They will pretty much just stay the same size after being cut unless you put them back in dirt and let their roots grow out.ReplyCancel

      • Friday, March 16, 2018 - 4:26 am

        shweta - Lovely to know this. Will try with mine. I face problem that either they become wilted or dry off. I m still new to the little once so m just studying to get a hang of. Thanks for your time and reply. Appreciate it.ReplyCancel

  • Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 6:33 pm

    Ivory - Totally fabulous.ReplyCancel