Posts in “Home Design”

Kitchen Organization on a budget

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

I love organizing our home. I think that is something that I got from my mama. Last month, I finally organized our kitchen on a very budget-friendly basis. I always like to try DIY first and see if it works before buying. I used some upcycled material (jars, juice containers, oats containers) and made DIY containers that ended up working well for the pantry and our kitchen.

Here are repurposed glass jars and re-used juice containers. Most ground or small food goes into a juice container since the opening is smaller, such as grits, popcorn, small pasta, and Cream of Wheat. Other foods such as nuts, cereals, raisins are inside the glass jars. I spray painted the lids white just to look nice.

In my childhood days, I watched my mama soaking the label stickers on glass jars in warm water with dish soap to remove the labels easily.  You can find some residue afterwards, but a mix of baking soda and cooking oil easily removes it with a little rubbing. Using steel wool helps.

To separate and store other foods in the pantry, I used DIY containers made of small boxes and covered them with scrap fabrics. You can find a tutorial here and free downloadable labels.

Some of the containers in our pantry came from a thrift store hunt. You can definitely save $$ if you stop on your nearest consignment or thrift store! The couple of containers we bought new are for flour, rice and sugar. We keep these items in containers with wheels (we found them here),  so they’re easy to pull out if we need them. These containers are actually for pet food…but it’s just a container, right? 😉

We keep our plastic wraps, foil, and parchment paper in a recycled cardboard box.

Seasoning packets, baking stuff,etc. are in a small plastic organizer.

Another way I organized our kitchen is using cardboard/ cereal boxes for plastic food lids. I started this a couple years ago and it has always worked well in our kitchen! I made these with  strong cardboard covered with fabric. You can also use cereal boxes and cover with thin fabric so it won’t add extra weight when you attach them on the cabinet doors. I used velcro and hot glue. You could also use small hooks with double sided tape.

I know this organizer doesn’t look classy, but again, it really works for our kitchen. I love how these repurposed oats containers help to organize our stuff in the kitchen. It makes it so much easier to find and grab things, like my husband’s lunch bags or dishcloths. You only need a few large rubber bands to attach the containers together and keep them in place.

I hope this post gives you ideas for solutions to keep your kitchen and pantry organized in a budget-friendly way!

Which parts of your kitchen do you need to organize?

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Do-It-Yourself Desk Organizer for Kids

Monday, April 20, 2020

I made this desk organizer for my kids to make their pens, pencils, markers etc. be organized and stored in one container. It’s helpful and easy to carry around when we need them for homeschooling, doodling and doing other arts & crafts. It saves a lot of space in our bookshelf as well, since I used to separate these things in different containers. Here’s how I made it and materials that I used to create this cute and functional desk organizer for kids.


Beer Carton Carrier


Glue Gun and Sticks

Cotton Rope

Elmer’s Glue


Small brush (optional)

Thread and needle or sewing machine (optional)

Brent cooked sausage bratwurst a few weeks ago so we had beer to marinate the sausages. I used the beer carton carrier as the main material and just added a few cardboard inside to make the bottom and sides strong.

I used scrap fabric that I already have and started to cover the cardboard. I start from the outside and the holder as pictured. I use a glue gun to stick the fabric onto the cardboard.

Finish the both sides and inside divider by covering them with fabric. To seal the edges of the fabric, I fold it in a small seam and sew it or you can simply apply glue gun instead.

I used cotton rope to add detail on the handle. For the front, this is optional, you can make letters on the front by using the same cotton rope. Write the word you like for the front and start to trace it using cotton rope. I chose the word “create”.

I think creating letters using cotton rope can be tricky and requires patience.. I had to seal all the ends of each cut rope with a glue gun so it won’t fridge. Tip: after I apply the glue gun on the end, I wait for a few seconds and when it’s about to cool off,  I pressed it with two fingers to seal the end.

Once you are done making all the letters using cotton rope and glue gun. Mix part Elmer’s glue and part water in a small bowl and use a small brush to give a coat on the top surface of the rope. This helps to add stiffness and put the cotton rope in place.

(shop bookcase here)

Again, the front design is optional. You can simply add rope around the container as a stripe decoration or maybe add fake small flowers if you’re making it for your daughter. Or use felt fabric to create letters or just leave the front as it is.

I hope you enjoy this another DIY for kids! Hope to see you again on my next post. Be sure to follow me on Instagram or subscribe on my blog to see my newest post 🙂


DIY West Elm Inspired Rug

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

I’ve been eyeing a gorgeous area rug from West Elm for the past few weeks; the colors and design print is just perfect for my children’s bedroom. But since area rugs are one of the last things that my husband wants to purchase in our house. I have to be creative on how to meet my design needs in decorating our children’s room. That is why I tried to do a DIY West Elm Inspired Rug instead. I found an old canvas type of fabric rug from our church garage sale a couple years ago. And here’s the original design…

I’m not a fan of the design of the rug (it’s a bit strange don’t you think? 😉 ) so I just wanted to use the back surface to paint it in the future.

Here are some of the images from the process and materials that I used to create this West Elm inspired rug. 

Old area rug 

Acrylic paints

White latex paint



Cardboard as stencils

Mixing containers

It’s my first time to paint on rug material. The blending was challenging for me since the fabric absorbs the paint easily, not like when I paint acrylic medium on canvas. I used tons of water to mix the color and with quick brushstrokes.

I found a fabric paint on my tools so I also used it to color the lighter blue part of the rug.

I cover the fringe tassels with tape on each side to protect from the paint.

I’m not satisfied with the color of white acrylic paint so I opt for an exterior white latex paint to keep it visible.

bunk bed from Bel Furniture / teepee crate & kids  (similar)/ floating shelves /

This is the original rug from West Elm called Sunkissed Landscape Rug: If you have the budget for this rug, go for it, it’s on sale! I think it’s cute for nursery room, kid’s bedroom, playroom and even living room!

What do you guys think of this DIY? 

I haven’t washed the rug yet, so I’ll update you all if something changes with the look. 

If you’ll try to paint your rug like this, don’t forget to tag me @helloislandmama so I can see it 🙂 

See you in the next blog post! Stay safe and God bless!



Before and After: Our Entryway Makeover

Tuesday, August 27, 2019



When we moved to our own new house, I was excited to have enough space in our entryway for a comfortable bench to sit on and space to store our shoes.  I thought it would be great if our bench could serve as both seating and storage.That’s why I decided to decorate our entryway with the help of Simpli home, who sent me this sturdy and fashionable storage bench for me to feature on today’s post.

Simpli Home has tons of benches to choose from.   I chose their warm shaker entryway bench because it has everything I was looking for: enough space for two people to sit on, longer than the other benches, made of  solid wood, and with plenty of storage for our shoes. We used to have a shoe rack, and all of our shoes were exposed – it’s wasn’t very attractive. I love having an entryway bench with closed storage now: it makes the space look clean and organized.

I’ve been going back and forth between having a long hook rack on the wall or having a stand coat rack for our bags, hats, keys, and coats. I decided to go with a decent size hook rack to save space, and added a quick painting I did to add some color.

I love greenery inside our house, as it’s inviting and lovely to see! But… I’ve recently realized  I don’t have time to take care of real plants. Haha! So this year, I’ve been grabbing faux succulents and other faux indoor plants for the house. So busy here, you understand right? 😉 

This DIY hanging planter is so easy to create. I used macrame rope and a small slice of a log from Hobby Lobby,and simply tied a knot on the bottom and secured the top to hang.


To finish up decorating this area, I added a long pillow for the bench that I made using a pretty scarf I saw in a consignment store as a pillow case. I also added a perfect-sized area rug as well. 

The kids’ shoe metal container we used before was too open and the shoes were too exposed so I decided to use a wicker basket instead so that all their shoes would be covered.

I love the bench that anchors our new entryway for so many reasons., It is a great size for shoe storage, easily fitting at least 6 pairs of shoes plus flat sandals on the side. I also love that it has enough space underneath the bench for me to put our everyday slippers. It comes in4 different shades of colors (the one I chose is called Distressed Grey). The seating is comfortable, and when guests enter the environment feels much more welcoming.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of our entryway, and that you are  inspired to redecorate yours too! 

In partnership with Simpli Home. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.


How I Fit Three Boys in One Room + Closet Organization

Sunday, June 30, 2019


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When we found out that our third son was another boy, we knew that all of our three boys would share one bedroom. We want them to grow up together in one room so that they would be close and learn to share (even though 3 boys in one room can get crazy at times 😉 As they’ve grown up they’ve become very close and are always playing and laughing. We’re so glad they’re building strong relationships and making great memories!

If you have noticed on my Instagram, we have finally moved into our new house, which is the first house we have ever bought! Praise to God! When we moved in we were excited for the boys to start rooming together consistently. But the boys room aren’t very big,  so I had to make sure that the furniture would not make the room look cluttered or too crowded. My first thought was to maximize their new bedroom space by using bunk bed. After some looking, we found this perfect  Metal Twin-Twin  Bunk Bed from Bel Furniture in Houston. It’s sturdy, stylish, and space-saving, and I really enjoyed decorating the room with it.  I added some matching some wooden decor so make a boyish, warm-feeling room.  

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Thanks to the space-saving bunk bed, there’s plenty of room for our youngest son’s toddler bed. But this is just temporary – one thing I love about the bunk bed is that there is plenty of space for a trundle bed in the future for our little one. Then there will be even more space in the room for dressers, desks, or whatever else the boys need.

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For their closet organization, I used two metal frames with wire mesh drawers on either side of the closet. This gave us plenty of storage for all 3 boys’ shirts, shorts, pants, etc. 

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The kids really love their new bed! After getting everything set up I decided to add a small book shelf for each boy so that they each have a separate space to read their books when they get too crazy during the day 😉 

Thank you for Bel Furniture for helping us to maximize the kids’ bedroom! You can find the bunk bed we have here. It’s on sale!


DIY Storage Box for Your Home

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

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DIY is something that is really close to my heart. The frugal crafter in me enjoys the process and the creativity that goes with it. The feeling of completing a project, no matter the size, is always an incomparable feeling.

A few months ago, I shared my children’s playroom makeover featuring DIY storage boxes. The most challenging part was sorting all their toys! I’ve mentioned before that I think my kids have more stuff than me. And I can honestly say that it still rings true. With all their whatnots lying around the house, I decided to make my own storage box.

I made my version of a cube bin out of recycled cardboard boxes and a few other things I found in our home. It’s been a few months and I’m happy to report that my DIY bin is still in good condition. I’m so glad I was able to pull this off. It definitely saved us a few bucks! Sharing with you a step-by-step guide on how to make your own.


Heavy Duty Boxes

Duct Tape




Adhesive tape

Fabric Tac

Fabric (got them in Hobby Lobby)

Cotton Rope

Eyelets (extra large)

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diy storage box home tutorial 1. Cut your preferred size for your bin. Here are my measurements for my cube storage:

*Front and Back is 12.75 “ x 13”

**Right and left side of the box is 13” x 15”

***Bottom is 12.75” x 14.75”

Tape the sides together using duct tape or packaging tape to create a cube.

2. Punch two holes in front of the box. You can also use hand-held paper cutter. The two holes will serve as your bin’s handle later.

3. Use old newspapers to protect the surface of your work area. Measure and cut your chosen fabric for the **right and left side of the box (I added extra 1-2 inches for the measurements) and use adhesive spray to cover the sides. I used Fabric-Tac to secure the edges in its place.

4. Prepare your fabric for the cover of *front, back, and bottom.  Fold at least half an inch of each sides of these fabric covers, iron the sides and then sew together or use Fabric-Tac. I connect all the covers for the front, back and bottom by sewing them together. It should look like a table runner. 

5. Start to spray the adhesive and place the front, bottom, and back cover of the box. I used Fabric-Tac to secure the edges in its place.

6. Cover the hole we punched earlier with an eyelets to protect the fabric. It doubles as a subtle design too!

7. I used a white cotton rope and laced it together. Mine is 24 inches in length.

8. It should look like this once you’re done with the knot. You can use washi tape to secure the folds of your fabric inside, it can also add a bit of style. 

I know life can be busy, especially if you are a parent. Here’s a list of ready to buy cube bins at your convenience.





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I hope you enjoy this DIY cube bin tutorial!


Blogging tips when you have kids at home

Friday, March 29, 2019

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A lot of people wonder how I maintain a blog with three energetic kids. My Instagram is only a fraction of what I do every day. There are days when it’s easy (especially when the kids are napping!) but there are days that are extremely challenging. My kids are not always keen on taking a nap every day. All mothers can relate that we “borrow” time for ourselves when the kids are busy with other stuff – which is how I survived blogging all this time.

I’m going to share a few tips on how I’m able to balance motherhood and blogging to avoid getting overwhelmed. I hope this inspires others to keep creating despite our busy schedules!

Set a time for blogging.

Set a time to be online and stick to it. Being a mom blogger/influence demands a lot of time with my phone. With the countless e-mails and comments, it can get quite difficult. As much as possible, I allot time for online activity so it doesn’t take over my whole day. I try (sometimes haha ) to wake up early before the kids and/or do stuff during their naptime and quiet time. No matter how busy it is, I always make sure I have time for my family.

Get organized.

Use a planner, traditional or otherwise, to organize your schedule. I like doing some stuff the old-fashioned way, so pen and paper is still my go to organizer. This year, I started having a separate planner for personal activities and another for my online blogging duties.

Take a break.

I used to feel pressured about blogging that I felt I have to post at least twice a week. There’s a myriad of website online and staying afloat requires a lot of effort. The pressure ruins the focus and sometimes, the content feels unnatural and insincere. I learned that taking a break allows me to recharge and gather better ideas as opposed to forcing myself to come up with one. Taking a breather from it all is key to a healthy mind and body.

Write about what you love. 

Choose a topic that connects with your lifestyle. This way, it’s more authentic. It’s always nice to read about something that really comes from the heart. As a mom blogger, I enjoy content related to motherhood. However, I try not to involve my kids on my campaign all the time to set boundaries. My kids enjoy our shoot when it’s about arts, crafts, or activities that involves sports and eating 🙂

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My workstation is one of my favorite spots at home. It’s a place where I can create and explore. I’m very much into arts so I like dabbling on a few ideas every now and then. This is where I do all the planning, researching, and organizing. My desk is from Ameriwood Home Furniture. It’s the perfect size desk for my computer ko and a few of my favorite trinkets. I like the design especially the metal hairpin style legs that make it sturdy. It has a bottom drawer where I keep all my files and other office supplies.

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I hope a few of my tips helped! Are there any organizing hacks you’re currently doing?

I received this Landon desk as a free sample in exchange for an honest review.


My House Cleaning Schedule with Printable To-Do list!

Friday, March 22, 2019

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While cleaning and organizing sounds impossible with small kids running around almost all the time, having a guide (aka to-do list) helps me keep tasks on track. Ticking off everything from my list, of course, doesn’t happen all the time. But I still like my chores and errands where I can see them. With all the stuff I need to do, a physical reminder is a great way to keep everything in check.

I divided my to-do list in three sections: daily, weekly, and monthly.

Daily is for stuff that needs to be done every single day like making the bed, wiping countertops, and so on. For weekly, I try to focus on vacuuming and mopping our kitchen floor every monday. Tuesday is for organizing and decluttering our closet. Wednesday is for bathroom cleaning. Thursday is for changing and washing towels and bedsheets, the rest of the laundry will be friday. Saturday is for checking my “monthly” to-do list and Sunday is just for church and family day.

Monthly is for the rest of the things I can do that doesn’t require immediate follow ups like cleaning and organizing the garage, washing my children’s stuffed toys, and maybe cleaning up my photo gallery 😉

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I love it when our home is extra neat. It gives us positive vibes – emotionally and mentally.

You can download and print this DIY to-do list if you’re having trouble remembering which tasks you should do first. You can also laminate them and use a dry erase marker so you can use it again.

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as checking an item off your to-do list after a hard day’s work. To-do lists are great for tracking your progress and boosting your confidence in your ability to complete important tasks everyday.

Are you a fan of to-do lists too?


Welcome to Hello Island Mama! I love to share about motherhood, makeup, DIYs, home styling and faith. Based in Houston, Texas. Originally from Philippines. Thank you for your time to read and don't forget to subscribe above! - Em

"I can do all things through him who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13

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