Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Two-tone Nightstand

Can you believe I got this nightstand for only $5?!

No? Well, how about by looking at the "before" picture?

Believe me now, don't you? This was sold "as is" because if the damage on top and the "broken" drawers. Turns out the drawers were just fine; they had just come off the track- a problem I fixed still in the store. 

The damage on top was possibly from water. Since it's particle wood instead of real wood, it bubbled up. My awesome brother got me a sander, so I just sanded the top down to bare bones. 

Once it was stripped, I painted it with two different shades of gray. I thought about distressing it or adding a stencil on the top, but it looks so clean and simple by itself, I decided to leave it alone. Sometimes, less is more. 

I posted this piece on one of the facebook yard sale pages I belong to, and I had a buyer lined up within five minutes! I love it when a hobby turns a profit! 

Shabby Chic Shelves

Two of these little shelves were also in my childhood bedroom, but they were plain wood. I painted them a very pale pink and distressed the edges. How adorable would these be in a little girl's room or nursery?!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Easter Egg Sight Words

My daughter is still far off from needing this, but my mom's preschoolers would absolutely love these! Easter egg sight words is a great way to reuse those old plastic Easter eggs in a fun, unique way. On the small end, write the last part of the word. I wrote -at. On the big end, write the first part of the word. I wrote p-, s-, c-, b-, th-, m-, and h-, spelling out pat, sat, cat, bat, that, mat, and hat. Make sure you use an industrial sharpie or else the words could rub off. Depending on how they spin the egg, they can spell different words. This is a  fun, interactive way to learn to spell and read!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Recently I sold the antique desk that I painted. I feel "official" now! I've been painting furniture for my house, but with no room or need for the desk, I wanted to sell it. I found a very lovely lady on a facebook yard sale page who wanted it. When I met her to drop it off, she realized that I painted it myself. She asked if I had anymore of the blue paint left (that's a yes), and she mentioned that she had a mirror in need of an update. So that's not only how I sold my first piece, but also how I came across my first commissioned piece, as well!

Here is the before picture she sent me. It's a beautiful piece by itself, but the gold does not go with her interior. 

We discussed ideas and decided on a blue background with gray dry brushing. I got to work on the coats of blue paint that night and did the dry brushing the next morning. I left some of the original dark color showing through to add some dimension. 

When I got to this point, I knew it still needed something. It didn't "pop" like it should. I wanted to add some darker gray to make it stand out. I mixed some paints until I made a dark charcoal color and dry brushed it over the light, concentrating on edges and around the ornaments. I out it on kind of thick and wiped the excess off with a damp rag. 

I finally went back over all the ornamental pieces with a light coat of the light gray again to make them stand out. 

I can't believe how it turned out! I admit, I was kind of terrified to do this. Everything else I've done, I've done because I liked it. If someone else liked it, great! But this piece was ordered. She asked me specifically to do it for her. If I liked it, great! But she had to like it, more importantly!  

I sent her a sneak peek of the mirror. 

Yay! Yay! Yay! That is the best compliment I could have received! It really boosted my confidence. Her compliments when she came to pick it up were very nice to hear, too! She said she has another piece she wants done! Woop, woop!!! She took the mirror home and sent me pictures of it hanging in its rightful place. 

It's absolutely perfect! Hopefully more and more people will want pieces and I can keep this up! But it will be hard to top this one. It is absolutely my favorite!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shabby Chic Shelf

This is another piece I found in my dad's basement, leftover from my childhood bedroom. It was originally stained a deep brown. It was time for an update!

I painted the entire shelf with a gorgeous gray that I found an entire gallon of in my utility room left by my house's previous owners. Then I dry brushed it with some white leftover from painting the nursery. Dry brushing is when you barely dip the brush in the paint, brush most of the paint off on another surface, and quickly and lightly brush the paint on the piece. It leaves a light, brushy finish adding more dimension to the piece. After the dry brushing, I sanded the corners and edges and sealed it with polycrylic. I like polycrylic on light colors because it doesn't yellow. The gray, white, and wood combine together to give the piece se depth. Best thing is this didn't coste a penny! Gotta love a freebie! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Painted Chair for the Bedroom

This is another step in the bedroom re-do.  I had been wanting a chair to go by the closet.  We had a big empty space, and a pretty wing-back chair would fit perfectly.  I had seen lots of posts about painting upholstery, and being that the whole bedroom has pretty much been a DIY project, I figured why not?

I scoured our local thrift store and found lots of nice chairs, but the cheapest I saw was $15, and it was not so nice...  The good, sturdy ones were $30.  I didn't want to spend $30 on something that I may end up throwing away, so I passed.  On the way home, I passed by the new thrift store right by my house.  They had some items in their parking lot, including a blue velvet wing-back with a $10 PRICE TAG!!  Pretty much as fast as my car could turn safely, I booked it into the lot and bought the chair.

After much deliberation, and with the help of friends via Facebook and Instagram, I chose to paint the chair a taupe color to match the bedspread. I bought a quart in Satin.

After lots of research into different techniques, I noticed that each had one thing in common: Textile Medium.  (I could only find this at Hobby Lobby.  It's in the section with the t-shirts and fabric paints.  Don't ask the lady up front.  She will be no help to you.)  What none of the posts really put an emphasis on was exactly how much textile medium I was going to need.  For my chair, each coat of paint took an entire bottle of the stuff! I bought three bottles total for three coats of paint.  Make sure you bring a couple friends with you to take advantage of the 40% off an item coupon that Hobby Lobby has.  At $5.99 a bottle, you'll need it.

For the first coat of paint, I mixed equal parts paint and medium: 4 oz. of each.  It will be really watery, and that is fine.  The first coat is just to prime the fabric. Before you try to paint the fabric, spray it down with water.  This will help the paint to go on more smoothly and evenly.  Otherwise, you will use a ton more paint. 

Another important step is sanding in between coats.  I would paint one coat at night, let it dry overnight, and sand it down in the morning.  I sanded with fine-grit sandpaper in small circles.  The paint didn't flake off; it just allowed the fibers more movement and made them less stiff.

For the second coat, I mixed one part textile medium with 1.5 parts paint: 4 oz medium and 6 oz paint.  This made the color more saturated.

Again, don't forget to wet the fabric before you paint it, and sand it down after the second coat.

For the third coat, I kept my 1:1.5 ratio, wetting the fabric before I painted it.  Wetting the fabric is really important! Otherwise, the paint won't spread.  

My sweet pea got in on the sanding action, too! She climbed right up in the chair!

After the third coat was sanded, the chair was finally complete!  I am thrilled with the results!

Helpful Hints that I wish I had known before starting

1. CHOOSE ANY OTHER FABRIC BESIDES VELVET!!!! Seriously, it absorbed SO much paint.
2. If you choose to ignore my warning and buy a velvet chair anyway, DO NOT BUY A TUFTED VELVET CHAIR!!!!! Oh my gosh, the folds and the buttons.  So many folds and buttons.....
3.  Always wet your fabric before you paint it.
4. Sand between each coat of paint.
5. The chair will look worse before it looks better.  That first coat of paint looks pretty while wet, but it will dry into an ugly mess and leave you questioning yourself and your decision-making capabilities.
6. You will need way more textile medium than originally thought.  Save yourself trips to the store by buying the 8 oz bottles.  Buy one for each coat you think you'll do.  You can always take them back if you don't end up needing them. It'd be better than having to stop when each bottle runs out.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!  This was a fun project, and I will probably try it again sometime... just with a different fabric ;)

Painted Desk

I love how this desk turned out! It was mine when I was little. It's been sitting in my dad's basement for probably about 10 years. I found it while I was looking for some other things down there one day and carried it home. The stain on the oak is gorgeous, so I knew I didn't want to cover it completely. I used one coat of the leftover blue paint from painting my kitchen and painted it very lightly so the wood grain still showed through. Then I sanded it just a little to expose some more wood. It's such a cute little desk! I really like the new life it has now after a quick touch up!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Printing on Burlap

This is something that I've seen done lots of times but never tried myself. Then I saw some really pretty pillows embroidered with Mr and Mrs. I love the pillows. I do not embroider. So I pulled up  the instructions for printing on burlap. 

First, cut a piece of FREEZER paper to the same size as a sheet of printer paper. Note: freezer paper is not wax paper or parchment paper. Do not buy those. They won't work. Also, freezer paper is not plastic wrap. I sent my eager to help hubby to walmart to look for freezer paper while he was getting some other things. He comes home. "They didn't have freezer paper, but this says it is good for freezing." It was a box of plastic wrap. It's the thought that counts, and to his credit, the box did say good for freezing. So after I returned that to Walmart and went to Publix, I made it home with FREEZER paper. Anyway...

Iron your freezer paper sheet wax side down onto the burlap. The iron needs to be pretty hot. I made that mistake the first try and the paper did not stick to the burlap and I jammed my machine. 

After cutting the burlap out, you should have a sheet of burlap with a smooth backing. Make sure the edges and corners are really on well. 

Run it through your machine so the ink prints on the burlap. For my machine, I put the sheet burlap side down. Change the printer settings to high quality and photo paper. Then hit print. 

Then you simply peel the paper off the burlap. You can reuse the same sheet of freezer paper until it no longer sticks. 

These are eventually going to be the pillows for our master bedroom re-do. I am thrilled with how easy this was! I can't wait to put the pillows together :)

Tea-Dyed Coffee Filter Wreath

I have been re-doing our bedroom lately to make it more organized, romantic, and relaxing. We have hectic lives. A bedroom should be a retreat. A few days ago, I saw a coffee filter wreath on Pinterest. It was perfect for our bedroom, so I thought I'd make one for myself. Though time consuming, it was really easy. 

I didn't want white coffee filters, so I dyed them in tea to give them a creamy beige color. I would think that you could probably dye them any color you wanted.  A pink one would be adorable for a little girl's room!  But I'm actually not making this for my daughter for once! So I dyed them beige. 

I used a big pot of water and 5 tea bags. Bring to a boil, then turn heat to low. I boiled 25 at a time. Dry them in stacks of paper towels. After they are dry, it is time to turn them into flowers. 

I used masking tape to adhere the flowers to my wreath form. That way, it's not permanent if I want to change it later. Also, the masking tape blends in really well with the dyed filters. 

The original pin said it used 90 filters. This is my wreath after 100. I don't know if my wreath form is bigger, my filters are smaller, or if I just packed them really close together, but obviously, I used more than 90. I ended up using 125. I would have really liked to have had about three more, but I didn't want to boil more tea. 

I left a small space at the top and tied some burlap around the top of the wreath, then covered the front of the space with more flowers. It now hangs on the window frame in the master bedroom!

I love it when a project turns out exactly how I pictured!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ready for anything

So my husband found a video of a person showing how to make a flashlight work with only one battery. He yells to me, "Bring the aluminum foil!" I oblige, no questions asked. He wanted to try it out. It really does work!  Here's what you do...

Assemble supplies: flashlight, one battery, and the foil

Tear off a sheet of foil about "yay" big. 

Fold until it is as wide as the battery. 

Roll it up. It does not matter that it is not as fat as the battery as long as they are the same height. 

The battery touches the bulb end. 

The foil roll goes next. 

Turn it on and Voila! Working flashlight!