Tales of my furniture makeovers and great DIY projects...

Friday, December 23, 2011

You would think...

...that I'm addicted to Pinterest.  But, really, I'm not.  I go on very rarely, but when I do, I see like 10 projects that I MUST do.  With Christmas approaching, it's worse.  I've been on the lookout for inexpensive but neat DIY gifts.  And, if it involves wine, it's a winner in my book! 

I found a great project where you just dip wine glass stems into chalkboard paint.  I really think this is my best Pinterest project yet!  I set out to Target to buy my daughter some wine glasses.  How cute would it be for her and her friends to be able to customize their own glass when they are enjoying some (or a lot, le sigh, she's 21!) wine?  So, luckily, I already had the chalkboard paint on hand:

In case you didn't know, they make this in a bunch of different colors.  It's about $15 a quart, not too bad, it goes a long way.  But, since I already had the plain black on hand, and I thought it was nice, I went with it. 

I read a few different tutorials and combined a bunch of them and used my own ideas as well.  Some made it way too hard than it had to be, some didn't work.  All I did was lay out some parchment paper and just dipped the whole stem of the glass into the paint can to avoid any brush strokes. 

I let it drip for a while, then used a paint brush to wipe off the bottom a bit.  I just sat it on the parchment paper.  Then I realized that it was pooling and if it dried that way it would be a mess.  So, I just kept moving them around every few minutes until the paint hardened enough to stop pooling. 

Maybe not the most technical or scientific answer to the problem, but hey, it worked like a charm!  After they dried for a few hours and I knew they wouldn't drip, I turned them upside down so the bottoms could dry also.  In the morning, they were done and voila!  Chalkboard glasses!

This will probably be my go-to gift this year for birthdays and celebrations.  They look great and the chalk erases off easily, just like a regular chalkboard, haha!  Here's a close up:


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Another 80's makeover!

I haven't been posting too much lately because it's Christmastime and I've just been so busy, I haven't been doing much, but I did manage to complete a custom job for someone.  These have been few and far between for me, but they are starting to get more popular.  I like it.  And, although I've been pretty lucky at it, it feels nice to not have that pressure to have to sell something.

She brought me a cute little dresser but it was sooooooooo 80's.  You know what I mean, that 80's orangey wood.  Good quality but not so pretty to look at.  She wanted it for her little girl's room.  And, this really doesn't do it for a sweet little girl, huh?

This was a bit different from most of the pieces I have done in the past.  She just wanted it painted white, but not distressed.  I have to admit, that made me a bit nervous.  It's easy to hide flaws and mistakes by distressing, because a mistake can turn into something pretty.  But, no room for mistakes here!  The first thing I did was get out my trusty Floetrol.  This is a great additive to paint that reduces brush strokes.

You can find it in the paint section of any hardware store.  It does slow down the drying time, but it's worth it. 

Also, as easy as it is to want to slap on some thick coats of paint, the trick to a smooth finish is very thin coats.  I primed this with some Kilz primer, sanded a bit, then used 3 coats of paint.  I sanded just a bit but was afraid that it would take the paint of the edges and didn't want that.  But, I sanded just enough to somooth it out a bit.  Then, I topped it with 2 coats of wax since this was going in a kids room.  She also wanted cute little glass knobs, so on they went...

Closer up of the dresser itself:

I think it looks much better and perfect for a little girl!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Another Pinterest Project

I'm going to say from the beginning, I was SO excited about this.  The Pinterest picture is gorgeous.  I think it would take me a while to master this idea.  But, I did my interpretation of it for Emma's new room.  Here is the inspiration:

I guess I should have had the picture next to me while doing the project.  Mine is WAY different, but based on this. 

I started out with a frame that I already had.  It was already painted a great bright green and distressed.  I had some canvas material that sort of has that grain sack look.  So, I wrapped the material around the glass in order to keep it as tight as I could.  I then attached it back to the frame.  I placed my buttons the way I thought they should go, then hot glued each one on.  I chose a mixture of white, purple and pick buttons to pick up on all the colors of her room.  Here's a close up of the finished job:

(again, from my previous post, I apologize for the crappy pics, my camera is well, a piece of crap!)

Emma loves it and it looks pretty it her room.  I do think I could have perfected it better.  I loved the original look of the canvas/grain sack backing, but now wish I would have put some kind of brighter,  more fun material behind the buttons, especially since it's for a child.  Here is a another view:

I'm going to do this again for someone else.  (I'm not telling who!)  My plan is to paint a hot pink frame, find black/white animal print fabric and use various shades of pink buttons for the letter. 

If you think you like this idea, you should also head over to Primitive and Proper, she just did something similar with small Christmas balls in the shape of a tree!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A room redo during some transitioning...

I promised everyone that my next big project was going to be my living room redo, but of course, in true fashion, I've changed my mind.  And plans.    Most of you know that I have two daughters.  They are 18 YEARS apart.  Yes, I said YEARS.  My two children are like 2 only children.  My oldest daughter is getting ready to graduate college and has no plans on returning home to live.  We have a townhouse, so the bedrooms are not big, especially Emma's.  It's t-i-n-y!  For the past 3 1/2 years, Santina's room basically just sits empty.  She doesn't even come home summers anymore as she stays at school and works.  So, her bigger room sits empty while Emma is shoved in a closet and has NO room to play.  To make matters worse, her furniture was huge.  A big tall full size bed that had been converted from the crib took up 95% of the room, then her dresser and bookshelves took another 4%, leaving hardly any room to walk.  It was pretty, of course, but that's all:

You can see where the door is, she had NO room at all to even sit on the floor. We have been going back and forth about switching her to a twin bed, but a visit to our neighbor's house sealed the deal for me.  Her little girl was not only in the bigger bedroom, but had a twin size bed and she had so much room to sit and play and enjoy the space.  So, my mind got to work.  Sometimes that's dangerous, but not this time.  I had this set still that although generated tons of interest, had no definate buyers.  Just that day, I found a wooden headboard/footboard for sale for $20 that I knew would go perfectly.  Of course, I forgot to before pics, but just imagine this bed a dark, dull wood color.  And, you can imagine the armoire and nighttable an ugly orangey color.  But, all painted and redone the same way makes a GREAT set for a little girl.  Since, they aren't for sale anymore, I'll admit that I paid a mere $15 for that armoire and nighttable.  Yup, thats right, $15.  So, for $35, a can of $5 "oops" paint from Lowes and some furniture wax, my little girl got a new room that she can move around in and enjoy.  She is sooooooo happy with it! 

And, yes, she is almost 4.  And, yes, she STILL loves her little musical toy that you see strapped to the headboard that normally straps on cribs.  And, yes, she will probably take it to college with her!  A different angle:

And a close up of the footboard that details the same chippiness in the armoire and nighttable:

Now, my disclosure:  these pictures suck.  My camera is broken.  I need a new one.  All I have is my phone, it was dark and rainy this morning and I did the best I could.  Blah.

The armoire, although big, doesn't take up a lot of floor space.  It has enough space to house books and toys in the top and her clothes in the bottom 3 drawers. 

As for our transitioning, my older daughter will have the task of helping clean out her room over Christmas break so we can make the switch to the bigger room for even more space!  Now I have to pick out wall colors all over again!  Should I stick with the purple?

And, just in case you forgot how great the inside of that armoire is:

I'll be updating over the holiday's on our progress!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Our Advent Countdown!

Just a quick post to show everyone our Advent Countdown project...

To give credit where credit is due, the idea of just simply using paper came from my friend Kirsten.  I mentioned I was late in getting and Advent Calendar and really wanted Emma to have one.  She suggested just cutting construction paper rings for each day and hand them in Emma's room.  Ta Da!  So, that was my plan.  Then, I went to A.C. Moore and saw this great sparkly cardstock and decided I would just glue squares on a ribbon and hang them up.  Then, I was hanging out at with Cassie at Primitive and Proper and looking at her Advent bunting and got some more great ideas!  She had the wonderful idea of assigning each day a "nice" chore instead of getting candy or a treat.  How refreshing is that?  So, that's exactly what I did!  I started out with just some sheets of paper:

All I did was simply cut them into squares.  I started stressing about making all the squares even, but then realized it didn't matter.  In fact, I think it looks better all mismatched and crooked.  Then, I just cut that single sheet of white cardstock into smaller squares, took a red crayon and drew the numbers.  I originally wanted Emma to do this, but she didn't want to.  This was supposed to be fun, not stressful, so I did the numbers while she happily watched.  I glued them to the green, red and silver paper.  Then, we came up with our good deeds for each day.  Some of the things we came up with were:  give daddy a kiss, hug mommy, tell Grandma you love her, call Nanny and say hi, share a toy with your friend, tell your teacher you like her...Simple things she can understand and do.  I then glued the paper on a red ribbon.  Here's a close up:

All I needed was a place to hang 3 rows of numbers.  Our kitchen eat in area is a bit boring, as one big wall just has two big wrought iron circles hanging on them.  That may change this Spring, but that's all whole other post!  So, we hung them there.  See:

And, the bigger picture:

Hopefully, this will be the beginning of teaching Emma more about giving than receiving.  For now, I think she just thinks it's fun, especially because Calliou has and Advent countdown as well!

And, while I was at A.C. Moore, they had bags of pinecones on sale.  I couldn't resist.  So, I made another wreath.  This time, the cones are smaller and not painted.  It also included dried cinnamon sticks, so the smell is wonderful!

And, my favorite little corner all decorated for Christmas:

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Another Redo--but not mine!

You read the title right, this post isn't about my work.  I belong to a Mom's group through Facebook that has all sorts of subgroups.  One of them is a Buy, Sell, Trade, Free group where the women can sell items, much like Craigslist, except feel a bit safer and another way to get to know each other.  I usually post my furniture redo's there, not because I'm marketing (well, kinda...) but I've gotten a lot of interest in my pieces and for some crazy reason, I LOVE selling them to people who I think enjoy them as much as I do.

At the beginning of the summer this year I scooped up this bench/couch thing at Goodwill.  I had every intention of making this mine, not for resale.  I thought it would give us a great place to sit comfortably on our back patio.  But, again, like most before pictures, it was just kinda dull and ugly.

Beyond the dull and ugly, this was SOLID wood, really heavy.  It sat and sat and sat and sat in my basement.  I had so many projects in line ahead of it and I was really becoming quite overwhelmed.  Every single time I saw it just sitting there it stressed me out.  To add to that, my husband gets very OCD about "stuff", he likes everything clean and neat.  Let's face it, this was a pretty big "stuff" for him to overlook.  So, I decided one day to list it on Mombook.  I wasn't looking to make a profit, just recoop what I had paid, but knew I had to pass it on.   Katrina contacted me right away and drove her boys down to my house and the two of us strapped that thing on the top of her SUV.  Yes, we did, strapped it right to the top.  She was an EXPERT tying it down!  I asked her to please keep me updated on her renovation.

Katrina finished the project and I have to admit, I'm a bit jealous.  I knew this would be pretty when I bought it, but she really did a fantastic job.  This is just another perfect example that with some work (and paint!) you can transform ANYTHING!  Here is a perfect example:

And, here it is all decked out for Christmas:

From what I can tell, Katrina is quite the DIY'er and I can't wait to see some more of her transformations.  I've read she has a few things in the works now!