Friday, March 30, 2012

Modernize a traditional table using paint!

I've been working on a project for a while now and I'm getting closer to getting it done.  I thought I'd show you the first part of my project, that way I'll have a little pressure incentive to get the second part done this weekend...or soon thereafter hopefully.  It's one of my bigger projects, but it's the kind I truly L-O-V-E!  Redoing furniture is my favorite kind of project.  I love finding old, outdated pieces of furniture and sprucing them up to look gorgeous.  Well, at least they look gorgeous to my family and to me.  That's what they tell me anyway.  It's gorgeous, mama! 

Today, I'll be showing you how to paint a kitchen table. This table is new to me since a family gave it to us just a few weeks ago, but it's also new in that I "changed" it a bit.  A lot a bit actually.   When it comes to designing style, I really can't tell you what my style is- modern, traditional, chic, eclectic.  I really don't know.  I just know what I want my house to look like and that usually happens like this.  I see something on pinterest or on t.v. or on a magazine and I say to myself, "I like that.  I like that a lot.  How can I get that?"  Then my brain starts turning  and thinking until it comes up with a plan on how to get "that" look....for less!  That's usually how things get done around here.  I have so many ideas swimming around in my head, but there are just so many projects I can commit time too.  A few weekends ago, I committed to this.

This is our kitchen table, and no, this picture is not from 1994. The table was generously given to us by a family who heard some of our furniture was ruined in our recent move.  We thankfully accepted their offer to give us an extra table they had.  I came home from a weekend away and found they delivered the table, along with an organic chicken (they raise them), fresh vegetable from their garden, and a huge ham that lasted us for no less than 5 meals.    Truly, they blessed us in so many ways!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Spring Door Wreath

I love it when a plan comes together!  Unfortunately, I don't plan well so sometimes I just rely on pure chaos meeting personal deadlines accompanied by sheer determination.  Mix in a little (and I mean Little with a capital L) craftiness and sometimes I surprise myself with what I come up with.  I didn't plan on doing a "Spring Door Wreath", but after church on Sundays we occasionally stop by a thrift store and see if we can find a score.  I haven't found anything lately but I did end up picking up these beads and these flowers for less than $5 this past Sunday.

Do you ever buy something that you're not sure how you're going to use it, but you know you'll use it sometime down the road.  I'm not the only one right? When I saw the beads, I thought of Easter colors, which I'm not to crazy about because they remind me of baby shower colors.  I love Easter though and my kids love to decorate so I thought I should buy them. SHOULD.  So, I did.

The flowers were an accident.  I saw some nice fall color swags that I thought I'd buy and save for...yes, you guessed it... fall!  Then this guy came just about running down the aisle and looking through the box of fake flowers like there was a diamond hidden somewhere in there.  Am I missing something here I thought?  Really, who gets excited about plastic flowers.  I waited patiently for him to leave pretending to look at some other thing on the shelf, then looked through the box again when he was done.  Apparently, he found what he wanted, nothing diamond like, but whatever floats your boat Mr.  More flower power to you!  I didn't find the diamond either, but I did find these pink roses.  They were in good shape and just needed to be cleaned up.  We all know how ridiculously expensive these babies can be so at $2.50 they were a steel.  What would I use these things for?  Who knows?  I certainly didn't, but I was hoping inspiration would come.  Here's how it came.

Yup, I ended up making a Spring door wreath.  Any you know what? I actually like it.  I pushed through my aversion of plastic, fake flowers and used them all up.   I started out with a typical wreath I've had and used for other wreath decor.  This one I picked up at the Dollar Tree.

I decided to just wrap the beads around the wreath. The beads were hot glued together to keep a double pattern.

Then I simply cut the bunch of roses into singles and stuck them through the wreath.  I don't have wire cutters for plastics flowers but just an fyi- if you try to cut them with regular scissors, it won't work.  You have to make a cut with the scissors then twist the flower stem until the wire stem breaks off.  After, I put the stems in the wreath; if anything stuck out to far I tucked it in or glued it down.

Please don't look at my ugly, dry fingers. Don't do it.  Just resist.  I know I desperately need some lotion and maybe a manicure, but you see I have this condition known as kids, and as long as they're around, priorities don't include hand treatments.  I will however put on some lotion more often.

After the beads were in place and the flowers were rooted in the wreath, I simply wrapped ribbon around the wreath and hung it.

With the extra bunch of the pink roses, I simply put them in this pitcher I've had around for a while. The best part is I don't have to water them!

They sit next to my DIY Easter Sign I just finished making.  The Spring decor is coming along. 

The Spring door decor is not complete, but it will be.  A little more chaos, determination, and craftiness should get it all done soon.  What do you think?  Are you working on some Spring projects too?  Would love to hear from you.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

DIY Easter Sign

Ahhhh! Well, I gotta tell you, since Spring has sprung I've been going, going, going!  I know it's only been 2 days, but It has been BUSY here in Lewisville! There have been field trips, (hooray for field trips!) and Spring mantels and door decor to finish.  Oh, and that little thing called home schooling I do every day with the munchkins- that too. 
But Easter is coming and that means Easter vacation for me my kids.  Woohoo.  Come quickly vacation!  I've never been one to decorate for every holiday, but since I've seen the light with all this DIY decorating, I've become a true believer in making Lewisville Lovely....for less.  So part of my journey is finding ways to decorate for little or no money.  I prefer no money, but you know how that is.  Today though, I finished a project for $0.  It was my Easter sign.  You want to see?  Of course you do!

Easter, of course, means so much to me.  The message of this sign is what we CELEBRATE!  He is Risen indeed!  But this little sign started out as a blank piece of MDF.  I have no idea what MDF stands for but it's basically cheap particle board.  I bought a board of MDF a few months ago at Home Depot for a few bucks and had them cut two pieces to size.  Did you know they will cut wood, or MDF in my case, for free.  You know I like FREE!  Anyway, MDF is super cheap compared to real wood.   It looks like wood but it doesn't act like it.  Looks like it; doesn't act like it.  Looks. Acts.  

I didn't end up using the two pieces for my other project so the pieces of MDF sat in the garage for a long time, until a few days ago when I got the bright idea to make my own Easter sign.  
I took my pre-cut MDF piece and spray painted the one side brown.

I wanted my cross to be dark so I chose an espresso brown.  Then I just taped off a cross.  No measuring, just eyeballed it.
Then I spray painted over the entire board, including the cross, with a lighter tan color.  I'm a bit of a spray paint junkie, so I always have a few colors on hand.  I just used what I had.

 I tore the ends of the tape when I first stuck it on to give it more of an Old Rugged Cross look.  I love the look.  Now, painting letters onto a sign is NOT my specialty.  No Sir Ri!  Ree?  Rie?  Whatever.  But it just so happened as I was visiting other blogs this week, I found a post by Kate over at Centsation Girl who linked me up to Jaime from That's my letter.  The DIY blog world is pretty amazing and I'm thankful for all the great tips and tricks.  My husband thanks them; my kids thank them.  It's Thanksgiving around here quite often!
Anyway, Jaime's method goes like this.  Choose your font and print the words you want to paint onto your sign.  I used the font Forte and chose a 300 font size. 
I cut the excess paper and started to trace the outline of the letters with a pen.  I traced with pressure and it creates a slight indent on the MDF.

Do you see an outline above?  Look again; it's there.  If I had real wood, the indent would be great, but remember I said MDF only looks like wood. It doesn't act like wood.  Look. Act. Therefore, the indent isn't so great.   This is what I'm working with though and in the right light, I can see the outlined letters just fine.  Now I just start painting away.

I painted two coats of black paint on the letters and it turned out great.  I'll add flowers and finish the front porch later, but for now, the sign's home is right outside my front door.
It works great! 


Linking up to these fine blogs:
Delightful Order

Monday, March 19, 2012

$7 Spring Mantel

Today is the "official" first day of Spring!  Well, as I'm writing this, we still have 4 more hours here in mountain time, but by the time you're reading this it will be Spring indeed!  So-Yes!  Spring is here.  Bring it!  I've been waiting.  Oh, I have been patiently waiting.

Keeping in line with the whole Spring is here, I finally got around to decorating my mantel.  I showed you a few of my inspiration pictures here in this post.  Today, I finally finished, just in time for you all to visit.
Do you want to hear the best part?  Yes, I know you do.  It cost me $7 total.  I decided to use what I had and only purchase a few items like crepe paper and those glass candle holders.  I love it when I spend very little money and get a huge return, so does Mr. Lewisville. Your husband's like that too, right?

Anyway, here it is!

And just to be honest with you and let you know what it's really like living in Lewisville, here's a before picture of my mantel and everyday/ typical life.

See.  My awkward mantel is the catch-all for "THINGS" no one in my house knows where to put away apparently. 

So I bought these glass candle holders at the Dollar Tree and just added ribbon to add color.  The black candle holders I've had for years and you can see one in the picture above with a red red candle.  Love how this turned out for just $2!  SCORE.

Then there's the Spring teacup and teapot.  I LOVE, LOVE beautiful teacups and I am, in fact, a daily tea drinker; however, I never drink from my fancy beauties.  Maybe this will inspire me.

I was an English Lit major and I always purchase old books of my favorite authors.  My teapot sits upon Milton and Dickens.
I talked about how to make a paper rosette topiary here.  It's a very simple craft and I added the rosettes throughout the mantel.

The gold mirror I've had forEVER, but it had been sitting in the garage, damaged from our move.  It took me a better part of Saturday to fix it up all pretty again.  The wreath I use for Christmas and just added some rosettes for color.  The mirror and the wreath make the mantel so much more complete.

So, there you have it.  Hopefully it stays pretty and clean for at least a few days.  Ok.... I'd be happy with a few hours. 

A few more pics just for fun.
Long and awkward mantel, but much prettier now.

Well, it beats having a wii remote, pens/pencils, and my son's hotwheels on the mantel.
I like how it turned out.  Are you working on any spring decor?  Easter is coming up and I have a few things I'm getting ready to show you.  You know there will be easy DIY Easter projects ready for you to tackle.  Come on back and take a look.


Linking up to these fine blogs!
The Lettered Cottage

Friday, March 16, 2012

How to make a Paper Rosette Topiary

Happy Friday everyone!  I love Fridays!  My kids love Fridays; I think even my dog loves Fridays.  It's the pre-weekend excitement and with the weather here being so lovely, we are looking FORWARD to playing outside, flying kites, taking long naps-ok, the nap thing is my idea of a good time, but you get the picture.

I talked about Spring inspirations here in my last post, and I thought I'd be able to show you my Spring mantel today.  As life goes sometimes, I got a little busy with homeschooling and enjoying the sun, so no mantel reveal today.  Instead, I'll be showing you how to make a paper rosette topiary.  Wow, that's a mouthful.  It's part of my Spring mantel decor and it came out so pretty.  What do you think?

So let me just say that I love all the rosette projects going on around blogland.  My only problem is that I can never figure out how to make them.  Even with step by step instructions I would struggle, but you want to hear something funny?  Of course, you do!  I figured out how to make them from a Chinese website....and just in case you were wondering, no, I don't read or speak Chinese.  Graphics people.  I need to see pictures to understand the words that are coming out of your mouth sometimes.  The Chinese rosette website had good graphics.  I guess that puts me in the visual learner category, and so that's exactly what I'm going to do for you today -  Teach by pictures... or at least attempt to.

Step 1.  Purchase 2 rolls of crepe paper/party streamers and cut them into 24inch lengths and some 12 inch lengths.  I used a ruler to measure and you will need more 24inch length sections. 

Step 2.  Take a piece and fold the top (about 1/3 of the width).  Don't worry about being precise here. 

Step 3.  Start folding the paper between your fingers to create a rosebud.  The folded side faces you and is the top of the rose.  Pinch the bottom as you fold. 

Top of the rose bud

About half way through folding the length of the paper, decide which kind of rosette you want.
Here are your choices.

Step 4.  For the plain roll-up, just roll the bud all the way to the end of the length of the paper.  Plain roll-up rosettes look good only with themselves and don't mix well with the twist rosettes.

For the first rose pictured,  twist and fold the paper inward toward the rosebud

Just keep twisting and rolling inward toward the bud.

Step 5.  To make the second rosette, twist and roll the paper outward.
The outward twist rosette is my favorite, but it can fall apart easily if you're not careful.

Step 6.  At the end of rolling, hot glue the end piece to the body of the rose.

Step 7.  Hot glue the rosettes onto a Styrofoam ball.

Just keep gluing
Just keep gluing

For my rosette topiary, I only used the inward and outward rosettes.  I used mostly the 24 inch length rosettes, but filled in small areas with the 12 inch rosettes.  Creating rosettes takes a while, so grab a cup of tea or coffee (or both) and put on a good movie or two... or three and create away.  If you have little helpers in the house like me, recruit them!  It's worth the time and I only spent $5 for the entire project, including the candle holder it's sitting on.  Thank you thrift store!  So one last time...

Yes, I love it!

Have a great weekend!

I link all my projects with some wonderful blogs.  To visit them, go to the {Link Party Love} page found at the top of this page on the {Home} bar.
Also linking to:

Tip Junkie handmade projects