Tuesday, June 22, 2010

unexpected absence!

well, my computer got hosed and it's taken a long time for me to have the will to fix it. it's finally done, but i sure lost a lot of stuff. why don't i back up regularly??

i've been working on quite a bit of furniture (end tables, bench) and just got a new headboard for $10 from my favorite thrift store. but, i'm waiting to have the money in place to paint everything. i'm going with real paint, not spray, because the pieces are just too big. thankfully, my dad's got a big air compressor and plenty of know how for using paint guns, so we'll be good to go.

other than that, not too much has been going on with painting, but i have been sewing quite a bit. i modified two euro pillows i had to make them actually 26"x26" (which they were supposed to be, but only measured 24"x24"). i made two pillow covers from some decorative pillows that no longer worked with my color scheme. i made a lumbar pillow from scratch, and a purse too! also worked up a newsboy/messenger style bag for my dad for father's day.

and he also got a piece kind of like this one i did for my mom for mother's day. i'll try to post pictures of everything later today.

what have you guys been up to?

Friday, May 14, 2010

jewelry storage makeover

i'm embarrassed to admit it, but my jewelry storage has been sad for years. i tried to organize it, but it was solely functional, no beauty at all. completely tragic.

i hung a large round plastic canvas from my bathroom mirror with a suction cup hook and that held all my earrings. my necklaces and bracelets hung on an unfinished mug rack, in a style that was not mine. (click any picture in this post to view a larger version)



just so sad. and to make it worse, i hung them up so that i would wear them more, but they were behind my door, so i never really saw them!

this post will teach you how to make a beautiful place to hang your jewelry and another to hang your earrings. here's a preview:



first: the jewelry display

i saw on a blog (i'm sorry i can't remember which! if you know, please comment and tell me!) an idea for gussying up an old bulletin board and using it as a beautiful way to hang your jewelry. and then i saw on another blog (again, i don't remember which!) a beautiful way to turn a frame and some screen to hang your earrings. i had all the supplies lying around, so i decided to go for it! both projects are very simple.

the supplies you'll need are:
  • a bulletin board in decent shape
  • enough fabric to cover the cork of your bulletin board twice (you'll double the fabric) with whatever seam allowance you're comfortable with. i am not the best seamer, so i like 1 inch on each side.
  • a glue gun
  • spray paint in a color that goes with your fabric
  • t-pins (they are the ones that look like this and you should be able to get them at your local walmart or fabric or craft store.) you'll need enough t-pins to hang everything you want to hang.

i didn't take step by step pictures, so i hope my instructions make sense. if anything doesn't, please comment and ask!

step 1: mask off your cork for painting the frame of your board. make sure you use a very low tack painter's tape. mine was too high tack and ripped up some of my cork!

step 2: prime and paint the frame of your bulletin board. i painted the back and the front because sometimes depending on how you hang them, you see a bit of the back, and i'm very type A like that. i find my results are better if i prime both sides firsts, then paint. i prefer to prime and paint on the back and sides first, then after they are well dry, i flip it over and do the top. i do this just in case i screw something up on the back (since it won't be seen as much), and in case i screw up the sides, i can fix it when i prime/paint the top, and i don't get overspray on the top, which is the most visible part.

step 3: once everything is very dry and fully cured according to your spray paint's instructions, carefully remove your masking.

step 4: make sure that you've got hardware on the back of your frame to hang the board the way you want (vertically or horizontally). i removed my hardware before i painted, so i had to attach it at this point. plus i hated the old hardware so i changed it.

step 5: measure the inside of your bulletin board (the area inside the frame) and write the numbers down. if your bulletin board moves in the frame like mine does, measure how much extra board there is if you move the board all the way to one long side and to one short side. add these measurements to the ones you took already. and, i would recommend adding at least another 1/2 to your measurements so that you can tuck the ends of your fabric under the frame when you put it in place. it's a clean look. and don't forget your seam allowance. i'm not the greatest, so i add an inch on each side at least.

for example: inside bulletin board measures 17"x22". my board moves around and the movement adds another quarter inch, so now we are at 17.25"x22.25". because i'm a terrible seamer, i want to add another inch on each side for seam allowance, so that's 2" to each side, bringing us to 19.25"x24.25". and last i want to add another half inch so that i can tuck the edges of my fabric in on each side, bringing us finally to 19.75"x24.75". in this case, i might just round up to 20"x25", since that will give me a little more fabric to tuck and will be easier to measure and cut.

WARNING: i am not a sewer. there may be a much better way to complete steps 6-9, especially if you know how to sew. if you know a better way, go for it!

step 6: prepare your fabric. since we want two layers of fabric covering our board, you need to double the length number you ended up with at the end of step 5 (in our example that would be 25"x2=50"). now you'll need to cut your fabric out (in our case the dimensions would be 50"x20") according to your dimensions.

step 7: fold and pin your seams on all four edges of your fabric, then iron them in place. then fold the fabric in half right side to right side (wrong side out) and iron that seam.

step 8: hot glue all your seams (not the fold in half!) unless you love to sew and want to do it that way.

step 9: fold your fabric along your ironed half fold with the wrong sides touching, right side out. now hot glue all four sides, starting with the half fold, so that you end up with one piece of fabric.

step 10: dry place (no glue) your fabric on the board, practicing tucking the ends of your fabric under the frame of the board with a phillips (flat) head screwdriver or some other instrument that works. keep working with it until you've got it right and are comfortable with the technique.

step 11: lay down a bead of hot glue along the edge of on corner of your frame. i'd recommend starting with a bead 2-3". now quickly while the glue is still workable, start tucking your fabric under the frame. repeat on the other side of that corner. then repeat all the way around until you are done. if you mess up, don't freak. if the glue is still warm, you should be able to pull it up and go again. if it's not still warm, you still might be able to pull it up when it's completely cool. just be gentle.

now you are done! enjoy the beauty of your board, and start hanging jewelry using your t-pins stuck in the board.


i added a clip on flower to mine just for some extra punch. i just bent the head of a t-pin at a right angle and clipped on the flower.


here's what it looks like with some jewelry on it. it hold more than i thought it would!



depending on the bracelets or necklaces, you can hang more than one from a single t-pin. you can also hang rings from t-pins!


if you, like me, have some earrings that close with posts that clasp in the back (which you won't be able to hang on the next project), you can hang them too. i hooked both earrings together and then grouped them on t-pins by size.


and if you have post earrings (which you also won't be able to hang on the next project), you can hang them on the cards they came with, or make pretty cards from cardstock and punch small holes in them for the earrings and a big hole to hang it from the t-pin.


now, the earring display!

for this project you will need the following:
  • a picture frame with it's back or a piece of hardboard, etc. to use as a back
  • enough fabric to cover the board
  • enough screen to span the full inside of the frame
  • hot glue gun
  • spray paint


step 1: prime then paint your frame if you like. you can also paint your screen to coordinate with your fabric at this point. if you like either or both of these the way they are, then don't bother!

step 2: measure the back of your frame and write the numbers down. then add your seam allowance. again, i used an inch on each side.

WARNING: as i said above, i am not a sewer. there may be a much better way to complete step 3, especially if you know how to sew. if you know a better way, go for it!

step 3: prepare your fabric. cut your fabric out according to your dimensions. fold and pin your seams on all four edges of your fabric, then iron them in place. hot glue all your seams unless you love to sew and want to do it that way.

step 4: dry place (no glue) your fabric on the board (place the right side down on your workspace, and lay your backing down on top of it), practicing until you've got it right and are comfortable with the placement.

step 5: lay down a bead of hot glue along the edge of on corner of the back of your frame. i'd recommend starting with a bead 2-3". then press the seam of your fabric in place. repeat on the other side of that corner. then repeat all the way around until you are done. you need to make sure that the fabric fits snugly, but it doesn't have to be super tight. if you mess up, don't freak. if the glue is still warm, you should be able to pull it up and go again. if it's not still warm, you still might be able to pull it up when it's completely cool. just be gentle.


don't freak if your fabric covers your hanger. just notch out the fabric and apply some fray stop or nail polish to the raw edges.


step 6: after the paint on your screen and frame is fully dry and cured, it's time to mount the screen in the frame. cut the frame to fit the inside of the frame (a tip to cut straight is to follow along a row of the screen's boxes). you are going to glue the screen to the inside lip that is for holding the glass in place.


the lip i'm referring to is that inside, lowered part of the frame. it's very important that you glue your screen here so that it is separated from your fabric. otherwise, you may not get enough room to get your earrings between the screen and the fabric to hang them.

be sure to dry place the screen until you are sure that it fits perfectly over that lip with enough room for you to glue it in place.

step 7: glue your screen in place. make sure it fits tightly inside your frame so that things don't get saggy.

step 8: place the back of your frame in place and secure it. (i used the regular pieces that normally secure the backing.

now flip your frame over and look at your lovely handywork. whoops. i didn't give my frame's paint enough time to cure and some of it has come off! crap. what am i going to do?


luckily, i have the miracle cure that covers a multitude of sins: buttons!


i just started hot gluing the buttons on the frame to cover up all the spots where my paint came up.


if you have a button that you want to use but it has a shank (loop on the bottom of the button), you can use heavy duty wire cutters to cut the shank off).


please, don't hot glue your finger like i did. when you put it straight out of the gun on your thumb, you get two blisters and cry like a baby.


after i burned myself, i started using pliers to hold the buttons and place them so i didn't get the glue next to me!


then i decided to glue buttons on the opposite corner too to balance things out. and then i was done!


i wanted to hang it in front of my bathroom mirror, so i used on of these picture hooks to hang it.



and here it is with my french hook earrings. i just love it! and it looks so good next to my jewelry display!


if you make or have made one or both of these, comment with a link or pictures so i can see the fabrics and color combinations you used!

i added this project to the shabby chic cottage's transformation thursday! be sure to head on over there and check out all the creative projects!

i added this project to the shabby nest's frugal friday! check out all the other great projects!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

it's getting girlie in here.

oh no. i found this in my dad's old spray paint stash:


this could be dangerous! I could see this going inappropriately crazy very easily...

must. control. glitter. love.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

happy mother's day!

happy mother's day to all you mommies out there. keep up the good work at the hardest job around!

about a week ago, we got a new ballard catalog and my mom pointed out a couple of prints that she liked. (click any picture in this post for a larger version)


super cute, but those bad boys are $119 each (at 16"x20")! a teensy bit out of our price range. i want to show you how i made my own version (12"x12") for less than $15.

on thursday night, having no mother's day present yet, it occurred to me: i could probably make something similar to those prints with stuff i have around the house!

supplies you'll need:

12x12 canvas
plain white cardstock
color printer
spray adhesive
file, sandpaper, whatever to distress edges of canvas
mod podge or elmer's/generic white glue
foam brush
dirt (yes, from your yard!)

1. so, using photoshop and vintage images (from http://vintageprintable.com), i created my egg image. i used the eggs, a creamy old paper looking background and some text brushes to simulate the text on the originals.

2. i printed the final image and an image of my mom and i when i was about a year old onto cardstock. (this gives a more faded, vintagey look than photo paper, and i like it.). then i used my cutter to cut the excess paper off the images.

3. if you printed your images on an inkjet printer, you will need to spray them with spray adhesive and let them dry. otherwise, they'll bleed when you move to the decoupage step.

4. while your spray adhesive is drying, you can prep your canvas. i didn't have any gesso, so i sprayed the canvas with a high adhesion primer, then 3 or so coats of krylon spray paint in satin ivory i think. it's a creamy color and i know it was satin.

5. after your paint is reasonably dry, you can apply your cutouts. spray the backs with spray adhesive, giving them a good coat (and following the manufacturer's directions of course) and then apply them to your canvas. (you should figure out where you want them to go before you put the adhesive on.) i would recommend at this point flipping the canvas over and weighing down to ensure good, even adhesion. don't forget to weigh down the center of the canvas, too. let this set for as long as the manufacturer recommends.

6. now for the fun stuff! first distress the edges of your canvas with your file, sand paper, concrete driveway, whatever you've got! you don't want to ruin it, you just want to rough it up and make it look worn.

7. now take your dirt and play. i find a wetter consistency worked better for the very edges of the canvas, but just play. if you get something too dark, use a damp rag to wipe up the excess. don't forget the sides of the canvas!

8. now you can give the canvas a good decoupage. wet your foam brush and squeeze out most of the water. you want the brush damp, but not wet. now load it up with your medium (mod podge, elmer's white glue, generic white glue) and start spreading a nice thick coat of glue all over the canvas, including the sides (so every thing looks uniform). (don't worry, it will dry clear!!)

9. repeat step number 8 a few times until your photos are well secured and protected. if you like, you can add more dirt in between coats. if you add the dirt while the decoupage medium is still somewhat tacky, you'll get better adhesion and again, a damp rag will help if you overdo it.

10. let it dry thoroughly, give it to your mom, and watch her cry with joy! at least, that's what my mom did. :)

final product:


this is where my mom has it displayed right now until she finds it a permanent home. isn't it cute how she put the bird in front of it?


i'd estimate the project costs as:

$10 or so for the canvas, maybe less. but use a coupon or wait until a store has them for 50% off.
$.25-$.50 for your printing costs
<$.10 for your paper
$1 for a generic bottle of glue, and you won't need it all.
$.25 for a foam brush (cheaper if you buy in bulk, and for goodness sake, rinse them out and reuse!!)
<$.25 for the spray adhesive you'll need
<$.50 for the paint you'll use
<$.75 for the primer you'll need
your dirt should be free ;)

for a grand total of...$13.35. for a pretty close replica of a $120 piece of art. that you can totally customize to your tastes, your colors, etc. pretty sweet.

whatever you do, don't be intimidated by this project. this was my first decoupage experience, and i found it to be easy and fairly forgiving. just play and have fun. even a "mistake" that i made, my mom and dad thought was cool!

please share your results if you try!!

i shared this project at somewhat simple's mother's day strut your stuff. check out all the entries for some great examples of wonderful mother's day gifts!

SYS Mothers Day

i shared this project at blue cricket design's show and tell for 5/12. check out all the beautiful entries!

Show and Tell ORANGE

i shared this project at somewhat simple's stut your stuff thursday for 5/13. be sure to stop by and look at all the entries. there's always such a varied selection of items, and they are all beautiful!


Friday, May 7, 2010

clearance medallions gone wild!

back in mid march, i purchased three of these medallion wall hangings. i got them on hobby lobby's clearance aisle for i think $1.20 each. such a deal! (click on any image to view a larger version)


i HATED the wood backing. i thought it was so boring and that the medallions weren't showcased to their best advantage on that color. at first i thought i would paint the backs brown and the medallions turquoise to match the two main colors in my bedroom color scheme.

but, since then i have added a bit of bright orange and bright pink/fushia to my color scheme to make things really "pop" and emphasize my love of all things graphic and mid-century modern. so i decided to paint two of the backs pink and one orange and just leave the white medallions as is.


here's what they look like on the wall. i'm so glad i used the wall art arranging hack before hanging anything. it's really helped me decide what colors to paint things and living with things for a while has helped me really consider every placement decision and make sure that i really love it all before i commit.


so excited to see them on the wall. i love how they turned out, and can't wait to get the rest of my stuff done!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

bird house metamorphasis

this birdhouse belonged to my grandparents for a long time before it came to live with us. it finally gave up the ghost after many years of faithful service, but i kept the top because i thought i could use it for something. (click on any photo for a larger version)



the wood was so beautifully weathered, and i was dying to use it somehow but the remnants of red paint were just not working for me color-wise, and i didn't want paint chipping every time i moved it, or risk a splinter every time i touched it.

a lamp shade goes time traveling.

in my previous post, i introduced you to this drum lampshade that i fell in love with and inspired the shade decision for my new bedside lamps.



i didn't end up using this shade because i couldn't find a matching one, but i loved it so much, i didn't want to abandon it. i had a great lamp in my office at work and ended up bringing it home. i love this lamp. i got it for a steal on clearance at target, so the price was right, plus i love the hammered silver finish. anything silver gets me going. once i finished my bedside lamps, it occurred to me that the original drum shade could look great with the silver lamp, if i could bring it into the 21st century.