Category Archives: How To

Stamped Throw Pillow

Stamped Throw Pillow

black pillow IMG_9123

Truly, it is a manifestation of a creative idea that swirled around my head, far too long. A few months ago, after five years of marinating the idea, I decided to throw (no pun intended) caution to the wind and design and manufacture art stamps that can be mixed and matched to achieve the user’s personal design aesthetic.

paper and stamps IMG_9106

First, I experimented on paper, deciding what color and which stamps to use.

pillow with stamps IMG_9142 ver 2

Then, I move on to the surface of choice, in this case, pre-washed black linen fabric. For this pillow and the design below, I used stamps from Flower Power. I stamped twice rotating the stamp ever so slightly, to achieve a multi-layered design using a Versacraft White stamp pad.

fabric and stamp IMG_9125 rev
For this next design, I used two different size circles from Full Circle Moments on white linen.

tone on tone circles IMG_9087
I used Versacraft Sand and Memento Expresso Truffle stamp pads to get a varying tone on tone pattern. It’s fun experimenting with all the different colors available at Art Stamps and More.

However, for now, I’m just gushing over my throw pillow using the art stamps of my dreams.

black pillow IMG_9123

What do you think? I would love to know your thoughts and that you stopped by.

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Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday

Funky Junk Interiors:Party Junk Interiors

It Takes Two Baby!

It Takes Two Baby!

It takes two, baby, it takes two, baby
Me and you, just take two
It takes two, baby, it takes two, baby
To make a dream come true, just take two

The “me” and you” is me and my sister and the dream, is two gallery walls. This song from very long ago popped into my head while we were styling living room gallery walls first at my mother’s apartment and, then, at my home. Care to have a listen?

.

Her pictures hadn’t made their way back on the walls since she moved into her new apartment and my living room was waiting to be redressed after painting. Speaking of painting, still not done! I just completed painting the trim in the office. Mr. DIY and I decided to go on a brief hiatus. Hoping to get to the dining room and kitchen done before the end of the summer, fingers crossed.

Anyway, I think a partner is a must when styling a gallery wall. It’s so much easier when you have someone to bounce ideas off of and provide a second set of eyes and hands.
For my mother’s wall, we just laid everything out on the floor first and then took a pic with my my phone for reference. We tweaked it as we went along so it ended up a little different then our initial layout.

gallery wall mom IMG_8822

For my wall, I got inspiration from Pinterest and Houzz, to identify gallery walls I liked. Next, I pulled out all the frames I had, even taking them down from my dining room wall to come up with various options. We arranged and rearranged,again, on the floor, until I was pleased with the arrangement. In order to not get distracted by the busy rug pattern I covered it with an old shower curtain similar to wall color to get a better idea of how it would actually look.

gallery wall layout floor_8807

This time, however, I made a paper template to make the hanging process a little easier.

gallery wall template IMG_8846

And here is my wall that will always be a work in progress.

gallery wall completed IMG_8948

The beauty of a gallery walls are that they can be easily changed.

gallery wall completed ver 2 IMG_8956

And stagnant decor is no fun.

gallery wall completed ver 3 IMG_8984

Next, I have to decide what, if anything, to fill some or all of the empty frames, starting with the lower black frame that came with it’s own print that I have yet to remove.

gallery wall close up IMG_8950

Quite honestly, I have a thing for empty frames, so I will take my time filling them as I continue to tweak, edit and change this arrangement. But, for now, I’m happy with how it turned out.

gallery wall ver 1 IMG_8948

How do you feel about gallery walls? Do you prefer matching frames lined up and evenly spaced or an eclectic mix of frames that looks like it was arranged over time?

Candle Remnants

Candle Remnants

I love candles. They make me relax and elevate my mood especially when the days are short and the weather is cold and dreary. You can read about the beginning of my love affair with candles here. However, what I dislike about candles are the remnants significant unused portion that gets discarded.

candle remnants IMG_8063

However, desperation inspired me to find a way to use the meaningful remnants that remain. You see, I had purchased a Citrus Vanilla candle by Essential Elements. When the candle could no longer burn, I was disappointed that this scent had been discontinued from their line:(

I decided to use the candle wax remnants to make a new candle, a little version of it’s former self.

candle citrus vanilla IMG_5230

It’s so easy to do. Here’s what you need for this project.

Small jar
Purchased wicks (available in different lengths)
Cheese cloth or guaze

1. Decide what jar you are going to use for your new mini candle. I re-purposed a small food jar for the one above and used a small mason jar for this tutorial. Adhere the wick to the bottom of the jar using a dab of hot glue.

candle wick IMG_8080

2. Scoop out the remnants from the jar. Using a dinner knife, cut it into sections, then run it around the perimeter. Most of the time, it will pop out very easily.

candle remnant sectioned IMG_8068

3. Separate the wick base from the wax using the knife. Don’t worry if your wax is charred or contains soot. It will be filtered out in step 5.

candle wax separated IMG_8076

4. Place the chunks into a jar and place in a pot of water. Bring water to a slow simmer and wait for wax to melt.

candle wax melting IMG_8092

5. Place the cheesecloth or guaze over the jar

candle jar with guaze IMG_8094

and pour wax into the jar.

candle pouring wax IMG_8096

This will filter out all the soot residue.

candle soot residue IMG_8100

It will set up in minutes.

candle setting up IMG_8104

I had enough to make a second one using one of the original jars.

candle small  setting up IMG_8108

That’s it! Wasn’t that easy? A brand new candle made from candle remnants that would, otherwise, have been thrown away. I like that!

candle finsihed IMG_8109

What do you think? Doable project? Do you have a favorite candle scent?

Final Notes: I would stay away from mixing scents or at least be careful when doing so. You don’t want to end up with a “not so great” smelling candle. I am a vanilla person so I was able to combine all my vanilla candle remnants together.

And I dislike having to end on a frightening note but I have to include candle safety suggestions taken from the UL’s website because I care about your safety.

“Keep an eye on burning candles.
Place candles out of the reach of children and pets.
Extinguish candles when leaving the room or going to sleep.
Don’t place candles near curtains, bedding, paper, walls or any combustible materials.
Use a sturdy, non-combustible candleholder that can collect drippings and won’t tip over.
Extinguish a candle when 2 inches of wax remains or a half-inch if the candle is in a container. This prevents heat damage to the surface and stops glass containers from breaking.
Always keep candles – as well as matches and lighters – out of the reach of children.”

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Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special

Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday

Dresser Recovery

Dresser Recovery

What a difference a day makes! No more blue madness! After soliciting suggestions, I considered painting the room a more neutral color but then I caught myself. I rather redo a piece of furniture then paint walls. I painted the dresser black and it looks so much better with the blue walls.

One day my dresser was suffering the blues

And the next day it looked like this

I used black milk paint, stenciled the numbers using Paris Gray chalk paint and added new hardware.

I still have to drill new holes on drawer no. 1 for knobs. I haven’t reattached the lower trim piece. I might alter it some more or use a straight piece of trim instead. Not sure just yet.

But it has come a long way

I’m so glad it’s no longer blue:)

And I am no longer in over my head:)

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Miss Mustard Seed: Furniture Feature Friday

Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special

Simple Living

Simple Living

I love simple green solutions, so when I stumble upon them in blog land, I’m elated. You see, I love baking soda and vinegar. Okay I’m weird. I admit it. I use both for the bulk of my household cleaning and laundry. I love the clean fresh non chemical scent they give to freshly laundered clothes when I use baking soda and scent free laundry detergent in the wash cycle and vinegar in the rinse cycle.

Recently, I discovered this baking soda based air freshener by Smashed Peas and Carrots:

Neat idea! I’m definitely going to give this a try.

And then I discovered a baby oil remedy for removing labels over at Krafty Kat.


I reuse plastic containers and glass jars to store and organize my craft supplies and I have such a hard time removing the labels.


I have Goo Be Gone but dislike the strong chemical formula so this green alternative is definitely for me.

I challenge myself to go green whenever I can using the products pictured below:


source

Discovering a new green application or tip is a return to basics and simple living; I like that:)

Do you have simple green ideas you like to use?

Terrariums, of Course!

Terrariums, of Course!

No. 2 son graduated from fifth grade and will be off to middle school in the fall. I thought it would be nice to give parting gifts to each of the teachers he had from kindergarten through 5th grade. After weeks of brainstorming and second guessing all my ideas, one day I was in Barnes and Nobles browsing through magazines and came across a beautiful terrarium. Immediately, I thought, that’s it!

I used different containers so that each would have it’s own unique personality. I found most of these glass containers at one of my favorite thrift stores.

I read up on the right plants to use and how to plant them.

The basic ingredients are charcoal (available at pet stores), pebbles, potting soil and moss; however, there was a lot of variation in the order of layers and the use of charcoal.

Closed terrariums definitely need the charcoal due to the humidity levels.

This, by far, is my favorite one. I love it’s crock pot like shape. Actually, I kept it for myself and I made another one in it’s place.

I separated two plants to make all seven. We gave one to the principal too. We received a thank you card in the mail and she says it’s thriving.

I didn’t have the same luck with the one I kept, but that’s another story. My vegetable garden isn’t doing too well either. I wonder if it’s some sort of sign? Or, can I blame it on the intensely hot summer we’re having? I digressed, I know.

Seriously, I do love how these mini terrariums turned out and I thought they made nice end-of-year gifts for his former teachers and principal.

And an excerpt from their card, “…May this plant be a symbol of the growing knowledge, inspiration and wisdom you strive to impart on all your students, past and present… ”

And even if they don’t thrive, I wanted them to know that our family valued their work and they made a significant mark in No. 2 son’s life.

“What a teacher writes on the blackboard of life can never be erased.” (Author Unknown)

What do you think? Do you have a favorite gift idea? A favorite teacher who you adored or made a real difference in your life?

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Saturday:

Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special

Sunday:
The DIY Showoff:The DIY Project Parade

Monday:
Metamorphosis Monday:Between Naps On The Porch

Wednesday:
Beyond The Picket Fence:Under $100 Linky Party

Thursday:

My Repurposed Life: Catch as Catch Can Party

China Cabinet turned Bookcase- Part 1

China Cabinet turned Bookcase- Part 1

A few years ago I discovered this china buffet in one of my favorite thrift stores.

The only reason I bought it was because I had plans to repurpose the china section. Immediately, I sold the bottom portion at a consignment store.

I’ve been using it for our family library. We have lots of books and the glass doors are great for keeping them dust free. It was on my “to do” painting list but that never happened. Although it was displaced to No. 2 Son’s room during a renovation that has yet to be completed, it’s original home was on the second floor landing. But now that I wanted to incorporate our books into the main family areas, the size of this piece didn’t leave me too many placement options. I thought. why not cut it into two sections so that I can place it on either side of the media console in our basement family room.

Step 1- Remove molding.

Step 2 – Make the cuts. Mr. DIY taped and cut off the side edges from the center section.

First the top,

and then the bottom

And now we have three, but not for long.

I decided to cut off the side sections rather than splitting it down the middle because I wanted the doors of each cabinet to open from the center. If I had cut it down the center, both doors of each finished cabinet would open from to the left or right and it would have required the addition of side panels as well.

As for that curved cut out, originally to make room for the flourescent light fixture, I am not sure if I will fill it in or leave it as is. Sometimes I like the quirkiness of things like that. You know, a conversation starter so to speak. Maybe, maybe not. I will decide that later.

Step 3 – Adhere the two side sections together to match it’s twin, the original center section.

To do that, I had Mr. DIY add a thin piece of wood between the two sections to compensate for the wood loss during the cutting process.


Step 4 – Use a heat gun to remove the trim residuals left behind.

And there you have it, all glued up, sanded and waiting to be primed. It’s twin is ready as well.

Wow! that was a lot of work but there is so much more to go. Not entirely sure what color to paint them. Same color as the media console or another color? Not a fan of matchy, matchy, but I think that might be the way to go. What do you think?

I sure hope you will come back to see the rest of this transformation. To be continued…….

Linking to:
Beyond the Picket Fence:Under $100 Linky Party

DIY by Design: Swing into Spring

Domestically Speaking:Power of Paint Party

Faded Charm:White Wednesday

Handy Man Crafty Woman:Wicked Awesome Wednesday

Primitive and Proper:Piece of Work Wednesday

Primp:Primp Your Stuff Wednesday Link Party

Restore Interiors: Restored It Wednesday

Savvy Southern Style:Wow Us Wednesday

House of Hepworths: Hookin Up with HOH

No Minimalist Here:Open House Party

The Shabby Creek Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Addicted to Decorating: Addicts (not so) Anonymous Party

At the Picket Fence: Inspiration Friday

Chic On A Shoestring: Flaunt It Friday

Common Ground: Vintage Inspiration Friday

Finding Fabulous: Frugalicious Friday

French Country Cottage: Feathered Nest Friday

Miss Mustard Seed:Furniture Feature Friday

My Repurposed Life: Catch as Catch Can Party

My Romantic Home:Show And Tell Friday

Redoux:Friday Feature Party

Simple Home Life:Simply Creations

Tatertots & Jello:Weekend Wrap Up Party

The Charm of Home:Home Sweet Home

The Shabby Nest: Frugal Friday

Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special

Beneath My Heart: Best DIY Project of the Month

Potholders, Potholders, Glorious Potholders!

Potholders, Potholders, Glorious Potholders!

I’ve been having had a difficult time finding potholders that work for me. They’re just too stiff. Either the fabric layers are too thick or the rubberized layer interferes with my gripability ability to get a good grip on hot pots. So I thought I would just make some for myself and decided to poke around for some inspiration first.

I love the vintage/retro appeal of this first design. I found it at Lark Crafts and is an exerted from the book, Stash Happy Patchwork. It’s amazing how a bunch of fabric scraps can look so lovely!

How about this two handed quilted design by Jessica over at A Little Gray.

She has a great tutorial if you would like to try one for yourself.

Or this easy design perfect for the novice sewer. It was featured on Design Sponge’s DIY Wednesdays.

I really like this next one because it offers layers of protection and an easy-to-sew quilted design.

Now my knitting skills are really limited but this cable knit potholder I found on Katy Elliot makes me want to change that. Isn’t it beautiful?

How do you feel about loops? You might remember this from summer camp or elementary school?

And this is the green version featured on re-nest is made from discarded tube socks (washed, of course:)

And just in case you don’t sew or knit, there’s always a crochet version.

And since the basket weave stitch creates extra thickness, I’m guessing that one layer square will provide ample protection. If not, layering 2 squares together should definitely work. Or how about a crochet and fabric combo. So many possibilities are running through my head.

DIY potholders are definitely in my future, now that I have my inspiration; I hope I have inspired you as well. And if you decide to make some, be sure and use cotton fabric and yarn and a heat resistant inside layer as synthetic fibers burn easily. Happy sewing, knitting, crocheting or looping, whichever way you decide to go to potholder heaven!

Storage Cubes turned Media Cabinet

Storage Cubes turned Media Cabinet

Note: If you are here on a retrurn visit and were unable to leave a comment before, I apologize. I hope I fixed whatever was wrong and hope you will try again. Thanks so much!

You’ve seen these inexpensive storage cubes before, right? They are made of inexpensive fiberboard with a faux laminate finish but they are sturdy and durable. It can be used alone or grouped in different configurations to create a personalized wall unit.

I bought a couple of these storage cubes some time ago and can’t even remember what I used them for. When their use became obsolete, they were relegated to the garage. Although they were scratched and a little worn, I thought I would use them to create a media cabinet for No. 2 Son.

So I bought an inexpensive table top from Lowes and had them cut it in half lenghtwise. I had Mr. DIY attach each section to the top and bottom of the cubes.

I sanded off the glossy finish,

primed it,

and added a couple of golden brown layers to create undertones.

Next, I added a couple of layers of black flat paint and sanded it lightly to create a slight distressed look revealing a hint of the golden brown undertones. A few coats of a waterbased polyurethane on the cubes, a coat of wax on the wood sections, some casters and, voila, a media cabinet.

Here’s a closeup of the distressed finish.

I love taking discarded pieces and turning it into a functional piece.

Not bad for a couple of scratched, obsolete cubes rescued from the garage, wouldn’t you say?

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Beyond The Picket Fence

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

So Many Ideas, So Little Time

I have so many ideas swirling around inside my head; both projects for my home as well as to sell. I would love to do a craft fair this summer but haven’t found one that would be a good fit. Actually the Renegade Craft Fair would be a perfect fit; however, the vendor fees are much too steep for a first attempt. Perhaps, I should Google some other options and visit them in preparation for next year.

I’ve also been consumed with creating an inviting backyard/patio space. Unfortunately, my backyard is only used as a pass through to the garage. It is part grass and part concrete and lacks shade. I would love to create an outdoor room to lounge and read this summer. The only thing is, my ideas are overly ambitious for the little time I would actually have to devote to such a makeover. I rather DIY then BUY but and given time constraints, the result is unfinished projects and untouched raw materials would be pointless.

In any event, as for outdoor furniture, I thought this lawn chair would be cool. I thought with cushions it would be comfy.

You can find the instructions for this DIY project here.

Or I would love to makeover some wicker pieces. Haven’t found any as of yet though.

I would also like to make some cedar planters like these

and stack them vertically on a ladder structure so that I could have more room to grow vegetables. It would look something like this.

Courtesy of Ladderallotments.com

As for my shade issues, I was thinking a huge cavalier umbrella like this one.

They are available at different price points, ranging from $500- $2000+. If anyone happens to have one they really happy with, please let me know.

Or another option would be sails. I could  it to the back side of the house and side of the garage. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. You can even create a layered effect when using more than one.


As with the umbrellas, there is a huge price variation among brands. This one is inexpensive and can be found here.

Then there is the concrete to contend with. I was thinking I would stain it. We had it replaced when we first moved in and it cracked soon there after. By the way, the only reason we stayed with the concrete was because No. 1 Son wanted to use his basketball hoop in the back yard. Let’s just say the hoop wasn’t used enough to justify that decision and now resides in a corner of the yard slowly rusting away. So much for asking for little people’s opinions on major decisions. I wished I would have went with pavers instead. For now, I will work with the cracks. I’ve seen some stain techniques on various design shows that incorporate/camouflage the cracks into a stained design. Here is an examples of one I found at Lowes Creative Ideas website.

Although I like this design, I would need to come up with one that had a  pattern similar to the veining in marble so that the cracks looked like they are intentional.

Will these ideas get executed? Sure would be nice, but I have to be realistic. Perhaps, over time. But now that I have documented them in this post, maybe just maybe, that will at least free up some space in my brain for other creative ideas.

Can you relate? Do you have too many project ideas floating around in your head? Any summer projects you can’t wait to start?

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