Stain and Sniff

I finally got around to mounting a collage ‘o frames and such above the changing table in the twins room.  No more bare walls!  The rest of the house though…very naked. 

To figure out a layout, I simply grabbed some frames from our (large) unused stash, traced some onto an old calendar and some onto freezer paper and hung the paper cut-outs up, rearranging as I saw fit. 

This was my first I-think-this’ll-do:
collage 001

But after looking at it for a week, it felt a little too busy.  So, after sticking and unsticking a hundred times over, I came up with this:
collage 002

Up and at ‘em and here it is now:
collagetoo 007

 collagetoo 006 

I made sure the whole thing was high enough that little hands wouldn’t be able to smash and grab whilst being changed.  Some of the frames were gifts including the cross, the large geometric one was thrifted awhile ago ($3), the small gold “Hail Mary” one was a gift to me from my dad, and the rest are hand-me-downs from various family members.  A few of the frames were table frames only, meaning they were lacking hanging hardware.  After digging around and coming up short for any hardware, I made do by shooting a few staples into the back sides of the frames and attaching some twisty-ties (for the life of me, I couldn’t find the picture wire I know we have somewhere…time to reorganize).  It worked perfectly and no one will ever know…except you!

  collage 006  collage 005

To hang the collage I used the same pinterest-inspired technique I used to hang the collage in our dining area – my handy dandy picture hanging scrap of wood.  Basically, I hammered a nail through the end of a thin-ish piece of wood to which I hang the picture at hand.  Then I just tapped the picture very lightly to puncture the wall (or paper) behind, showing me where my nail should go – no measuring required, just like I like it.

collage 007 
collage 008 
collage 009

I have yet to fill the frames with artwork and pictures but so far so good.

Moving on, let’s talk about the dark frame on the far left and get to the stain and sniff part.  It initially looked like this (I took the glass and back out for the following project): collage 010  
(Except in real life it’s not really bowed…thank you camera.)

However, I’m going for white, gold, or wood frames in this collage so black has no place.  So, the first step was sanding it down to the wood.  I thought a nice dark stain would be perfecto to tie in the dresser but I don’t have any wood stain on hand.  Lucky for me, my genius sister once used coffee to stain a wood frame (she had an awesome tutorial on her blog but she’s currently on vacation from blogging…boo!)  So, I winged it (wung it?).

First I ran 1/3 cup of water through the used coffee grinds of our daily joes one morning this week to get this:
collage 011

Then, using a foam brush, I simply brushed the coffee over the frame without wiping it off and letting it dry in between coats.  One coat, barely a difference.  Two coats, no change.  Three, nada.  The wood just looked wet.  Time to change gears. 

I needed a darker mix and I wasn’t about to go brew a ton of our good coffee just for painting so I rummaged through the fridge for the decaf we have hidden away from pregnant days past and scooped six tablespoons into our maker along with pouring in a 1/3 of water.  Muy darker, no?collage 012

One coat, eh, a little darker.  Two, the tiniest bit darker.  Three, the tiniest bit more.  At this rate, I’d be brushing coffee for daaaays.  So, I let my impatience get the best of me and threw a tad bit of brown acrylic paint into the coffee.
collage 013

It worked but I’m not liking the color.  It’s got some ugly hint of red or orange or poop in it that’s just not flying with me so I’m skipping the clear acrylic layer and getting the white spray paint out as soon as I can to change all that.
collagetoo 012

Until then, I’ll chat you up some more and tell you about the buttons.

When the girls were born, the hospital gave us the above button pins that had the girls tiny footprints stamped on them.  I thought it’d be fun to display them so I wrapped some leftover fabric (from this project) around the backing of the frame and glued the buttons to the fabric with washable glue in case I want to switch up the art someday…ooooor until, while looking at the pictures I’m posting, I realize I glued Cecilia’s footprints on backwards:collagetoo 011
Oops on the right.

I think the whole thing will look much better with that white spray paint that’s coming it’s way but until then, I’ll bask in the smell of coffee stained wood for a couple of days.  I’ll be working on filling the rest of the frames this week, including sideways Jesus, and writing up a post all about it.  Also, I’ve got some pretty grand painting plans this week so stay tuned!

And just because I don’t think I have quite enough pictures, here’s one more nursery update.  I found this Target ottoman at Dirt Cheap for $20. 
collagetoo 009

My plan was to sew up a pouf for feet-resting but when I saw this and thought of the storage potential, I couldn’t resist.  Cute, huh?
  collagetoo 008 

Now the only thing that remains to be asked is, has anyone ever used coffee grinds to stain wood?  How’d it turn out?  Maybe it looks great like my sis’ project or maybe the only thing it should’ve been paired with is some delish creamer.  Speaking of, coffee’s sounding really good to me right now so I’m off to brew a cup.  Anyone else? 

.           .           .

P.S.  Cassity at Remodelaholic asked to know what everyone’s working on these days via a link-up so I’m heading over to spill it!


  1. Why is the Sacred Heart sideways?? :-P Haha, it looks really good! You are so creative!! :)

    1. Ha! He's resting!!! :)

    2. Hahaha, He probably does need to do that from time to time ... :)

  2. I love the stripes with the curtain color! Perfectly adorable for two baby girls. :) And I'd never heard that about using coffee for stain. You might consider keeping the poop color since it IS above a changing table. ;) (Although it really doesn't look bad--but I know pictures are different from real life.)