Showing posts with label paint. Show all posts
Showing posts with label paint. Show all posts

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Easter Egg Bouquet

Well, Spring has officially sprung!  The weather has been beautiful here this week, my kids were even begging to turn on the sprinklers yesterday (okay, it wasn't really THAT warm.)  Easter is only a couple weeks away now and I thought I'd share with you this really cute idea for an Easter bouquet.  My friend, Mary Jo, found this fun idea on Pinterest (I'm sorry, I don't know who to give original credit to), and we made them along with another friend,  a couple weeks ago.

This is a very easy project and very inexpensive, too.  I'm pretty sure you could find everything at the Dollar Store.

Eggs - number depends on the size of the container.  Here I used 3 pkgs. (36 total) of the big eggs (from Walmart) and 2 of the little eggs (from the dollar store.)
Container - mine was a blue plastic Easter bucket
Foam - a foam block trimmed a little for height, and then sliced off the corners so it would fit in the bucket
Bamboo Skewers
Easter grass or moss or whatever you like to cover up the foam
Paint - silver spray paint & black craft paint

I started with my bucket.  I bought silver spray paint, hoping to get a look as shiny-like as the eggs themselves.  The lid on the can was that kind of silver, but it didn't come out as a mirror finish.  It looked like this:

Nice, but not the look I wanted, so I decided to try some black paint on it to see if it would bring out some of the details and make it look sort of zinc-ish.  Sorry for the lack of pictures here, but it was a fast process and I couldn't paint and take pictures at the same time.  I was also talking to my sister on the phone and was supposed to be at my friend's house in a few minutes.  :)  Nothing like waiting until the last minute.  Anyway . . . I dipped my dry paint brush in a little black paint and just dabbed, brushed, pounced over a little area.  Then quickly grabbed a paper towel and wiped as much as I could off and smeared it around some more.  That's the whole technique, paint and rub, paying particular attention to the knobs and details I wanted highlighted.  Here's how it turned out:

If I would have thought about it, I would have cut off the little knob that held the handle on, but oh well, it's not that noticeable now.

Next, start sticking the skewers into the eggs.  All my big eggs already had holes in them, and the little ones were styrofoam.  Put the foam into your container and start sticking in the eggs.  I'm no flower arranger, so this was a little stressful for me.  My basic idea was taller in the middle, then get smaller toward the edge, also watching not to put the same colors next to each other.  When I was done, I filled in holes with the little eggs.  I did break some of the skewers to vary the height also.  Finally, tie a cute bow - I'm also terrible at bow tying, so Mary Jo tied mine and glue it onto the container.  I also wrapped the ribbon around the whole bucket.  Then fill with grass.  It was a fun, pretty quick little project. 

It's really so much more fun to craft with friends.  Thanks Mary Jo and Karie!

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wedding Gifts - Wood Name Signs

Last week I shared with you this cute baby gift I made for my cousin.  I must be on a name kick right now because as I was contemplating what to give/make for a couple of weddings we were celebrating this weekend, everything I kept thinking of involved their new names.  Then I got this email from GroopDealz (love them!) and knew I wanted to make this:


I remembered I had a couple other wood signs that "spoke" to me at the thrift store.  Here's my beauties in all their glory.

Check out the skill in that wood burning!  That gave me a little trouble.  The other board had a super, high-gloss finish on it plus a few holes.  So they took a little work, but it was worth it. I filled holes, filled the whole "let freedom ring" and bells, sanded, and sanded some more.  Then I painted them both black.  The first board looked great, the freedom board, not so good.  I could still see all the bells and words through the paint.  So some mod podge and paper to the rescue.  That covered it all up.  Did a little more sanding and added vinyl letters and their names.  I LOVE how the first board turned out!  The second one I was in a hurry, even using the blow dryer to get the mod podge to dry before I wrapped it.  It didn't turn out so well, the paper didn't match as well as I'd liked and I didn't get the name on it over the line between the papers.  Grrr!  Oh, well, I hope it isn't too noticeable.
  Anyway, here's the finished products:

Great news! I made it to 100 followers so that means it's time for a P.A.R.T.Y!! I'll be having giveaways every day for the next week.  Come check them out!

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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thrifty, Easy, Name Sign

Ahhhh, what a great weekend!  I love Thanksgiving!  The food is great, but being in the company of family all weekend is the best!  As part of the weekend's fun, my cousin and his wife and brand new baby came up to visit my aunt and uncle who live next door to my parents.  We went over and visited and I got lots of new baby holding time.  It was great!  Here's the gift I made for them, that I think turned out really cute.

Here's my thrifty tip for you - I found the wood at my local thrift store.  Cost me a whole 75 cents!  As I was walking through the store one day, I was laughing at all the plaques and signs that had been really cute decor in someone's house at some time.  I thought of how many signs had come and gone in my house and I had sent here to die, also.  I picked one up, reminiscing at how I had once had something similar when I started really looking at the size and shape, the nicely routered edges, and how easy it would be to just sand a little or slap some new paint on it and it would be a fresh canvas.  Now I had a whole new set of eyes as I looked around, not at what it was, but at what it could be.  I know, I know, some of you are experts at this and easily see the possibilities of someone else's trash, but this was a whole new experience for me.  I grabbed a piece of wood, a little sanding, some wood filler (of the nice wood burning/etching) and it will be perfect for a wedding present I need to make. I found a totally plain piece of wood, just need to sand the super high gloss finish off of it and another wedding present for this weekend.

Then I stumbled across this piece above.  I don't know what it originally was, there was nothing on it, just wood slats.  It needed a little glue to hold one of the slats that was starting to fall off, but a very easy fix.  At the moment, I thought a Halloween or fall decoration, "trick or treat" or some other 3 word phrase.  So I grabbed it, took it home, and it sat waiting for inspiration to strike again.  Halloween came too quickly, and thankfully it never got painted.  Fast forward a month, and I wanted to make a present for this cute new baby boy, who's nursery is NOT babyish I was told.  I remembered this wood slat piece.  My sister Leslie was visiting, so she helped me come up with this cute design all while playing a little "Dance Central 2".  :)  Using my cricut (and my new gypsy!) and the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge, I cut the "L" at 11" height, and the name at 1 1/2" height.  Here's my second thrifty tip for you - when making stencils for painting, etching, or anything like that, use contact paper.  A lot of the tutorials I've read use vinyl, but why use your good, expensive stuff when you can get a giant roll of contact paper for a few dollars.  It cuts like vinyl - I use all the same settings, but it's stickier so seals better with paint or etching cream, meaning cleaner lines.  Oh, another thrifty tip - instead of using transfer paper, I use blue painters tape for transferring vinyl (or contact paper.)  It picks it up easily, can be reused several times, and is much cheaper.  The only downside is you can't see through it.  Anyway, I laid out all the templates and painted them with ivory craft paint.  I just used a sponge brush and "pounced" (real technical term) all over it.  Later, I pulled off all the stencils and started sanding.  I wanted an "old, distressed" look to it.  I sanded through the paint, and then started on the actual wood and I really liked the look it gave.  When I was all done, I gave it a good wipe down with a damp rag to clean it all up. 

The final verdict, I think she really liked it and said my cousin would love it!  Yeah!!  And baby Luke is just adorable, I just wish he lived closer so I could snuggle him more often.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Evolution of a craft and what I learned

I love Thanksgiving and think it get's shoved aside with all the fuss of  Halloween and then overlooked in the excitement of Christmas.  That's why I loved this cartoon when I saw it on Facebook.  I'm always on the lookout for a cute Thanksgiving craft, so today I'm sharing with you my first Thanksgiving craft of the year.

A couple of months ago, our group of ladies at our church had what's called a "Super Saturday" - a day full of crafts and fun, usually once a year.  I was so excited to attend! It had been YEARS since we'd had one. I was also asked to teach a class how to etch glass, something I love to do.  So because I was teaching, I only got one of my 4 projects started, well 3/4 of the way done until I got picky.  If you read this post and learned a little about me, you'll know that I can be a bit of a perfectionist and then I procrastinate - the reasons I don't finish my projects at times.  There sat my really cute "Give Thanks", my husband growling more each day at why there was such a mess on the table (my craft room is also the exercise room, play room, and more.)  So this week I decided to tackle the project and just get it finished.  Thus the evolution of a craft and what I learned along the way.

So as I said, I started this at the church.  Got all the pieces painted and picked out my paper which was being mod podged on top.  As I looked at all the cute paper to choose from, I realized I had the same pack of paper at home.  No wonder I was having such a hard time deciding, there were so many I liked. :)  I finally settled on a few and got to work gluing them on.  First tip I learned - when mod podging, brush the glue on the wood AND on the paper.  It eliminated a lot of the bubbling up that I usually got when I just put it on the wood.  As that was drying, I went to work on my pumpkin, to which I stressed and fretted over for a long time.  It just wasn't coming out like I wanted.  I finally gave up on that and decided we'd see how it looked later; I could always paint over it and start over.  So as I was cleaning up my stuff and getting ready to go home, I looked at my now, paper covered letters.  Two of them were looking really pink.  I don't know if it was changes in lighting, me just looking more closely, or the mod podge changing the color a little, but my 2 red letters were now pinkish. You can't have pink letters in a Thanksgiving craft.  I decided to hurry (since the glue wasn't completely dry yet) and rip the paper off those letters.  Yup, I did it, as some of my friends watched as this crazy woman frantically undid what I had so carefully done in the first place.  I went home a little frustrated with the mess I'd made (still not liking my pumpkin at all) and wondering if I'd be able to fix it all.
Not positive this was the red (turned pink) paper.  See, there it looks okay so maybe it was the mod podge.  But that is the blue paper.

My mess of a craft sat and sat waiting for me to take pity on it and just finish the darn thing.  Procrastination set in and my mind said, "You have a whole 1 1/2 months until November, no worries."  September finished, October flew by, and now November is here.  Bill's grumbling over my "mess" was getting louder so I finally took some action. As I pondered over it, I realized the blue stripe was not so great either (it had the pink color in it, too, and just wasn't giving me a Thanksgiving vibe.)  Now this one was good and dry, thus I discovered tip number two - when you want to remove something mod podged spray it with water and let it soak in. I sprayed the whole letter and let it sit about five or ten minutes and the paper came off fairly easily - well, at least the top layer.
After I got the top layer off, I sprayed it again with water and let it soak in for a few minutes.  Then using a little dish scraper, I easily scraped off the rest.  This actually came off MUCH cleaner than the paper I ripped off before it was fully dry.  I didn't even need to sand it.
Not a great picture of the scraper, but those things are amazing - for dishes and crafts! :)
 On the first set of letters I had to do a bit of sanding to smooth out the rest of the paper left on the wood.  As I said, I had this same pack of paper, so I flipped through and found the perfect pieces!  I quickly traced the letters on, cut inside the lines, and glued them on.  Tip number three - I had a little brayer to roll out the bubbles with, worked great! I also thought, later, I could have used the little scraper tool, that would have worked just as well, I think.  Something more than just hands was a lot easier to get all the wrinkles and bubbles out.  As I was waiting for that to dry, I decided to tackle the pumpkin again.  It was now not looking as hideous as it had been, but it still needed something.  Tip number four - if you think your craft, whatever it is, is awful and ruined, give it some time and some space and then take another look.  It might not be so bad. :)  I finally just added some jute and a leaf and viola! I liked it.

So that's it, my "Give Thanks" is now proudly displayed in my home; my craft table is almost cleaned off (today's project is to finish :) ); and I learned some valuable lessons and patience in my crafting.  Have you ever had a craft project teach you a thing or two?

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Linking up with:
Bacon Time With the Hungry Hypo
Creation Corner
Fingerprints on the Fridge
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Blissful and Domestic
One Artsy Mama
Serenity You 
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Sisters of the Wild West 
The Gunny Sack
So Very Creative
DIY Home Sweet Home
You Are Talking Too Much
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Project Queen
Crafty Confessions
Making the World Cuter

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Last highlights of the room

So if you haven't been able to tell, we (Cheyenne, Natalie and I) had a lot of fun redecorating their room.  In case you missed it, you can see all we've done here, here, and here.  Last post in this series, easiest jewelry organization EVER, and a very cool trash redo.

What is the easiest jewelry organization ever you might ask? Well, here it is. A simple hanger.

We assessed what they needed, something separate, easy to get necklaces on and off, and something cute.  While walking through Walmart, Bam!, I saw these fuzzy covered hangers and thought those would work.  We tied a bow (with wire ribbon so it stays stiffer) and we were about done.  When we first made these, they didn't have quite as many necklaces and one sister was worried the other would use her hanger, so I made these to put on each.
I took a cardstock punch out letter I had in my scrapbook supplies, glued it onto some scrap chipboard (actually packaging from another product) and cut them out together.  I covered it all in Mod Podge and sprinkled some glitter on.  Decided it need move coverage, so did another couple of coats of Mod Podge and glitter and finished it off with a layer of Mod Podge.  Then tied it onto the hangers from the middle hook with some thread.  Easiest, cheapest, organization ever!

Finally a little trash into treasure redo. 
As a part of my sister and brother-in-laws' property management business, they clean out and secure foreclosed homes.  These homes occasionally still have "stuff" in them that no one bothered to take with them or didn't want anymore or whatever.  So a few months ago, my sister calls me and asks if I want a display rack for karate belts (they even left the belts!) they found in a house.  I told her to send me a picture, so this is a quick "before" picture from her phone.

I wasn't too sure, it's kind of ugly - notice the little writing/symbols in the middle.  But I told her sure, we'd take a look at it.  It really was pretty ugly in real life, too.  But I had just tested my hand at spray painting here and decided to give this a go, too.  Out came the high gloss black paint and after a few coats it was looking pretty good.  Of course I couldn't just leave it that way, I had to cutesify it so I added some vinyl. Just a little bit, nothing to girly for Natalie.  Then I gave it to her for her birthday.  She was excited to have a place for all her belts and bonus, Cheyenne agreed it was cool enough to go in their room.
She'll add her cool embroidered brown belt to this display when she gets her 2nd degree brown belt in Dec.
Well, that's it.  I hope you've enjoyed a little peek inside our home as I showcased our fun projects this summer.  Now that the kids are back in school, and we've about got our routines down, it's time to get a little more organized again.  So coming soon, some of my best organizing tips and tricks.

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The Sasse Life
Domestically Speaking
Handy Man Crafty Woman
Type A Decorating
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Make Do or Do Without

Like I said the other day, I'm going to be featuring some of the projects I did in redecorating my oldest girls' room this week. Here was the big reveal.

As we were seriously thinking about redoing Cheyenne and Natalie's room, their biggest concern was getting rid of the queen size bed that they were sharing.  Apparently someone hogs the covers, and someone won't stay on her side of the bed, and someone never takes their turn making the bed, etc.  But they didn't want bunkbeds again, the reason they got the queen bed to begin with.  So I came up with the idea of switching beds with Chloe and Maddie, because half the time Chloe ends up in Maddie's bed anyway. They have bunkbeds, but we could unbunk them and use them as singles.  C & N were a little leery since the beds weren't in the greatest shape.  (Maddie has been a chewer, biter, gnawer, since she was a baby.  Seriously, when she was still in her crib, I'd come to get her up from her nap and she'd have paint flakes or even wood splinters around her mouth.  I tried everything to get her to stop, thought it was just a teething thing, painted the nasty fingernail polish stuff that's supposed to help nail biting - she just started in a new spot, turned the bed around thinking maybe it was just habit in that spot, nothing helped!  So when they moved into toddler beds I was happy that at least the really bad railing was gone now and the bed looked decent again.  I thought she grew out of it.  Nope, she chewed all over the rest of the bed.  Then a few years later, yeah fresh clean bunkbeds, no more teeth marks.  Yup, she chewed the heck out of those, too.  The entire railing was terrible, but that was coming off, however the ends were a mess, too.)

I convinced them that I could fill in the teeth marks and we could paint them shiny black.  Agreed!  Then the second hurdle was when I told them that if they took those beds, they had to use the quilts on Chloe and Maddie's beds, too.  They were only like 6 mo. old, Potter Barn (from DownEast Home) and weren't cheap.  That was a little more of a challenge, Natalie was extremely adamant on NO PINK!  I told them they could both use the lime green side and only the stitching was pink, not that noticeable.  Finally, finally, she agreed.

Cheyenne's biggest want/request for her room was turquoise, turquoise, and turquoise!  She very badly wanted turquoise walls.  I tried to get her go a lighter shade, but no, that was not turquoise. Natalie didn't want turquoise walls, I didn't really want that dark of walls either.  So again, more smooth talking by me, showing them pictures on the internet, etc., they finally agreed on a cool gray neutral color. My awesome mom came and helped, and Cheyenne and Natalie helped, too, and in a day we covered up the beautiful sunflowers, and their room looked . . . like a prison cell - in Bill's words. :) I assured all of them when we were done it would be awesome!
Just to preserve my awesome creativeness.  That was hand stamped around the entire room. :)

Then after several days, okay, a week or so, the beds were finally done.  Now that was a job!  We had to fill in all the holes from the ladder and railings and especially the teeth marks and put plugs in and fill where the two beds joined together.  Of course we sanded and washed everything down, too.  Then I started spraying.  I decided to try spray painting as everyone online said it's so easy.  It was fairly easy, but here's a few pointers I discovered.
1.  It takes WAY more paint than you think.  Apparently those cans don't hold much paint.  I think it was 3 or 4 cans of primer and 10 cans of black paint (and a couple trips to town to buy more paint.)
2.  It was much easier to spray things when they were standing up than laying down.  Both sets of  headboards and footboards, I laid down on a sheet in the garage and sprayed.  After waiting the allotted time on the instructions and sometimes even overnight, I flipped them over, sprayed the other sides, and when I pulled it up, a good chunk of paint came off on the plastic.  I was so mad!!!  That meant sanding, wiping down, redoing it in several places.  Just don't look to closely because I got tired and some spots still show. :)  However, when I sprayed the long, bottom-of-the-bed railing part, I stood it up against the wall.  I did have a little running if I wasn't careful, but that was easy enough to sand off.  I still had it stick to the plastic a little, but it was a very small edge, very easily fixed.
3.  Don't paint in the garage, or outside, when the cotton trees are shedding their cotton (yah, all summer.)  There was no way to keep that stuff out of the dang paint.
4.  Not only did it take more paint, but it took more time than I anticipated.  So make sure you really read the instructions (before you start) and plan ahead.
5.  I should have put a varnish or something on top. I didn't think these big girls would be too rough on beds, and I was sick of painting and wanted this project done, so I didn't use anything.  They've already dinged them in a couple of places.
Overall though, I was really happy with the way they turned out.  Completely different than the "little girl" white bunkbeds they used to be.  However, the black bars on the beds didn't help with Bill's impression that it looks like a prison in there, especially when Cheyenne's back in her cubby hole here. :)

As we were trying to keep costs down and making do, I also painted a mirror that the girls had inherited from a cousin.  It had no hanging mechanism on the back, so we never got around to hanging it before.  Now spruced up with some black paint and using the velcro Command strips (AWESOME!) it's a great addition.  As I mentioned in the first post, these curtains were not quite floor length, but just didn't work with Cheyenne's bed in the way.  Since they were still the perfect colors, I just cut off about 3 or 4' off of them and rehemmed them.  Cheyenne is still trying to come up with some fabulous idea for the extra material - pillows or even a skirt or something.

So as Nate Burkus always says on his show, when you want a change, shop your house.  See what you can use from another room or in a different way.  It made our redo a WHOLE lot cheaper, and Bill a whole lot happier.

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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Transformation of a Boiler Tub

Long ago, my mom snagged this old boiler tub from my grandma. She just thought it was too neat to let my grandma throw it away. Fast forward several years to the early 90's, and my mom redecorated her family room. My sister, in all her craftiness glory, decided to make this old ugly boiler tub something cute and fabulous for the new room. So she painstakingly painted and stenciled away and then filled it with a beautiful eucalyptus and floral arrangement. That lasted quite a few years until the grandkids had thrown one too many footballs or other toys into the arrangement (and dug in after them), and it was looking pretty sad.  So my mom took all the floral stuff out and used it to stack wood for their fireplace in it. Fast forward another few years and when my parents replaced their wood burning stove for a gas fireplace, no need for wood anymore, this cute old thing got shoved into a corner waiting for its new life.  So this winter, when I getting really tired of my kids constantly leaving blankets strewn about the room, I asked her if I could have it. It was perfect for blankets!  But since we had just redecorated our family room, it couldn't stay in this shape. I really wished it was in its old dingy metal state for that vintage feel. I thought about stripping it down to see if I could uncover that, but didn't know if I'd ever get all that pretty blue off or what condition it would be in when I did, if I would really like it that way, and finally decided it was too much work. So I decided to try my hand at spray painting and use up some paint I had left from a shelf I painted a while ago. I primed the whole thing, then started in on the real painting, finding that painting the inside was very tricky.  (Anyone have any tips for that?)  It was supposed to be a copper hammered finish, but it never really got that hammered look to it, but I still like it.  It's the perfect addition to our room to hold blankets, my magazines, my cross-stitch project that someday I'll finish, and anything else that get stuffed in there. Now if I could just get my kids to remember to put their blankets back in it I'd be doing great!

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Upcycling and Recycling

So I've just recently learned a new hip and cool word - upcycling.  Here's the definition:

  • Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.
  • The repurposing of a material into a product of higher quality. An example would be a purse made out of woven candy wrappers.
I'm not quite sure how this differs from recycling, but blogs that are way cooler than mine use this word all the time.  So here's my newest "upcycling" projects:
 This mirror, in all its lovely golden splendor, hung in my parents entry way for a long, long time.  Underneath it was an equally lovely, and matching gold shelf on which two ivory and ebony little elephants stood.  I asked my mom the other day if I could have the mirror.  She said yes and pulled the dusty thing out from under her bed (my sister had already taken the little shelf). So in the mode of upcycling, and because I get asked at least 6 times a day, usually more like 12, what's for dinner, I decided to try my hand at making a chalkboard out of a mirror to post our weekly menu on.  It actually was pretty easy and if anyone wants to make a chalkboard out of something, I have TONS of the chalkboard paint left. (Found out later, there are much smaller bottles in the craft section, instead of the paint section.)
Next is my other new love, painting on t-shirts using freezer paper as a stencil.  I've cut the freezer paper using my Cricut (or I also did one by just laying the freezer paper over a picture I printed out and cutting) and then iron it on the shirt.  Then paint away.  Maddie's shirt had a stain on it which I carefully covered with the butterfly.  Jon was very sad when his favorite shirt (which is a hand-me-down from Billy, and before that cousin, Chase) got a big snag and hole in it.  So I cut out the felt guitar and painted it and the shirt.  Now he has his favorite shirt back and he thinks it's cooler than ever!  I also painted a shirt for Cheyenne, Natalie, and me (covering up a hole I patched).  I even painted all of the kids Halloween shirts.  My kids are now becoming a little leery of telling me they have a stain because they know I'll whip out the paint and fix it right up, instead of just buying a new one.
What do you have sitting around your house just waiting to be upcycled?

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