When Fake Works

Sometimes fake is better.  (Hypocrite much?)  Ok, wait.  Scratch that.  Fake is probably never better.  Fake is definitely cheaper though.  And sometimes, just sometimes, cheaper is better.

I'm talking fake penny tile and a fake window over a fake sink and fake faucet and an entire fake kitchen made especially for three very real children.  Remember that fake kitchen we made two Christmas' ago out of a $6 entertainment center?  Read all about it here if you need a refresher.  It was definitely a project for the books.

That fake kitchen is holding up pretty well.  We did realize that we need to rework the oven to open from the side instead of from the top like a real oven.  The kids just didn't get that they really couldn't put any weight on it when it was down so put weight on it they did and now we've got some bent hinges.  Fixing it is on the to-do list.  Other than that, Sebastian did rip the sprayer off the faucet which just needs to be permanently glued on along with the oven and stove knobs which he learned how to remove by some diligent twisting.  That kid...or should I say, boys!

Anyway, I meant to create a fake backsplash for it way back when we built it but that never happened until right before this past Christmas.

Best thing about it?  It cost me zero dollars.

I had penny tile in mind from the very beginning in hopes that I could sort of live my penny tile + kitchen dreams out vicariously through their little kitchen.  How I did it?  Well, we ordered a rain barrel this past fall and it shipped to us in a big 'ole box so I cut out a big section that was a little wider than the width of the wall over the kitchen sink and stove and a little taller too (and then in the end I decided I wanted to slice a tiny corner off just because so that's why that upper corner is gone).

Piece 'o box:

The space is so big I had to use the body and one flap of the box so that's why there's a fold on one side.  A non-folded piece would've been even better but I didn't have the motivation (first trimester of pregnancy will do that to ya) to hunt for a bigger box so fold it was.

To get a matte background to mimic the matte look of grout, I painted the side of the cardboard I'd be 'tiling' with primer since it's super matte.  Then, I laid a drywall square we have horizontally across the width of the cardboard to use as a guide for making straight lines.  You could also use a ruler or a yard stick to guide you but you'd have to make some marks across whatever you're 'tiling' to make sure you're straight when lining the straight edges up since they might not stretch the expanse of space you're 'tiling'.  If you're doing this to a wall (which would be uber cool!), painters' tape would make a great guide.  Then, using the 3/4" sponge from my favorite sponge pouncer set*, I just sponged circles along the drywall square using leftover paint from our guest bathroom (Lyndhurst Celadon Green by Valspar).  The paint has a semi-gloss sheen so it shines in comparison to the ultra matte primer which is exactly what I was going for.  Originally I was also going to give each circle another coat of a super gloss acrylic but then I realized that that might be a little overboard since I was, after all, painting a piece of cardboard.  Ha!  As far as the circles lining up, I didn't do any measuring and there were a few moments while I was sponging that I was sure things were going to look really imperfect and crooked but when I was all done, any imperfections that there were, blended into the pattern really well.

I'm super happy with the way the fake penny tile turned out and I'm wishing I would've thought of doing this to our kitchen backsplash during those first few years when we couldn't afford a real tile backsplash.  Next house...or maybe an accent wall in the laundry room?  Hmmm...

Next up, the fake window above the sink.

I love the idea of a window over any kitchen sink to give the dishwasher (person, not thing silly) a view so I had to create one here.

To make it, I used a thrifted frame and watercolor painting I found at our church's yard sale last year.  I spray painted the frame and mat white and to add a little more 'architectural' interest, I added some faux molding to the window.  My dream house has this molding on every window so when I have a chance to fake it somewhere, I must.

It was easy to make by just taping four strips of white paper behind the mat of the frame and then placing the watercolor over it from the back.  (I cut out four strips of freezer paper since I didn't have any other pieces of white paper big enough to extend the entire width of the frame).

I love the watercolor painting.  It's of an old general store and it hearkens back to those good 'ole days when I was still just a future idea and when things were so much more simple.

So basically, my girls live in on an imaginary Main Street of Old Small Town, America across from the general store and where people wear big dresses and hats and wave at each other and peace and harmony run like milk and honey.  It's a great place to fake live.  ;)

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I hope you all had a great Monday!  I know they don't have the greatest thoughts associated with them and sometimes I think those thoughts a lot but in the past few weeks, I've been loving my Mondays.  I wake up with this renewed sense of what I'm going to accomplish for the week and I usually make a pretty good head start and that usually continues into Tuesday and sometimes Wednesday but usually fizzles out by mid-morning Thursday.  And then for the rest of the week it's all big pep talks to myself, telling myself I really should get moving and Lord knows if that ever happens but...Monday.  You're not as bad as you're made out to be.  ;)

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In case you ever want to fake tile something, you might want to pin this:


  1. I love the fake tile! Also the watercolor is adorable! I feel exactly the same about Monday, also 3 of my 4 kids head off to school so there is always peace and quiet with only one babe at home. Thanks for sharing.

    1. It must be so great to have that peace and quiet! Bittersweet maybe but well-deserved, I'm sure! :)

  2. Everything looks perfect! I like faucet the most!