Showing posts with label Crafts. Show all posts

The Inspired Coffee Table

She painted the underside of the glass, my friend Lauren. 


A couple of weeks ago we went over to spend time with some of our bestest friends and there in the middle of their den was this gorgeous, new coffee table.  I just assumed they got it at some cool store and maybe it was even one-of-a-kind (and it is!).  That cool store happened to be her Grandmother’s house and the one-of-a-kind piece it is is because Lauren made it that way.  She took the hand-me-down table and painted the underside of the glass so that it looks like a beautiful, saturated, minty green sea set atop the original creamy white base.

IMG_1774By painting the underside, the green shows through the slightly mottled top but it won’t scratch, like paint can do very easily on glass.

I loved it.  I loved it so much I had to do it.  The next week, this coffee and end table set popped up on my go-to, second-hand sale site and I snatched them up real quick like, and for only $35.

My plan was to paint the coffee table just like Lauren did hers and turn the end tables into stools for another project.  We don’t have a need for another coffee table since I’m not ready to part with our tufted ottoman but I thought, since I needed the end tables, it’d be fun to do a little makeover for someone else.  (Stay tuned for the end tables…they’re too big to be stools like we wanted so we’re going to keep them end tables.)

So, first I removed the glass (which was just set in) and gave the whole base a quick coat of primer.  The legs of the table were wood while the rings were metal so I used Rust-Oleum Clean Metal primer* (cheap if you add it to an existing Amazon order!)   IMG_1647
To make sure I got every inch of the table, including the tough to reach areas under the rings, I first turned it upside-down and sprayed what I couldn’t easily get while it was right-side-up.

Then I turned it over, set the legs on some pieces of cardboard so the very bottoms wouldn’t get missed (since I was using a sheet as ground cover), and primed the rest.
And then I repeated the same process with the spray paint.  I used Rustoleum’s Heirloom white.  It’s a beautiful creamy white – not too ivory and not glaringly white.
Last, for the base at least, I added a little more interest by giving it a slight distressing.  Basically I put some very fine sandpaper onto a palm sander (that we’re still borrowing from a friend two years later…Thanks Gina!) and went around gently tapping it to the edges/corners of the base.  I didn’t sand along every edge fully but very sporadically.  This close-up shows the variation – some corners are sanded, some still are painted:
Next up was the glass top.  After a good cleaning on both sides, I turned it over so that it was upside-down on our kitchen table to be painted.  The underside of this glass was frosted which I wasn’t aware of until I went to grab the tables.  No big deal but I would’ve preferred clear.  The fact that it was frosted though meant that whatever color I painted onto it would appear a tad more subdued from above; like a filter was placed over the paint.  So, I made sure that the color I used was a little more saturated than I want it if I were painting over clear glass.

As for the color, I loved Lauren’s minty green (she used Martha Stewart chalkboard paint from Michael’s) so I made a similar color by adding the green color I painted these lamps to an almost-empty bottle of white acrylic paint I had on hand.  To paint the glass, I used a foam pouncer (from my trusty Martha Stewart set*).
Basically, I just squirted the paint onto the glass and swirled it around.  I worked in fairly large sections until the whole thing was covered.
IMG_1662 You can see a video of me swirling the paint around here.

Here’s what it look liked after it dried and was placed back on the base:
The color looks a little more blue in the above pic vs. the truer-to-life color it is two pictures above but you can see the swirl effect.

It gave a fun effect however, I think I would’ve preferred it to be one solid color.  I didn’t know before I started if you’d be able to see the swirling or not once the glass was on the table since it didn’t really have light shining through it but you can.  I’m thinking of possibly doing the same thing to the glass on the end tables and for those, I’ll roll the paint on for a more solid look.

Backing up a tad though, before I placed the painted glass back onto the table, I placed rubber bumpers onto each leg, where the glass rested.  There were bumpers there before but one was missing and they were really dirty so I just grabbed some we had leftover from past cabinet transformations.
Here’s the full monty: 
Shortly after I finished, I listed it for sale and she went right out the door.  :)

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So, painting glass.  Have you tried it?  I know it scratches off pretty easily so you have to either seal it or paint glass that won’t be touched.  I’ve painted behind the glass of picture frames before (here and here) but Lauren’s idea of painting the underside of a glass table was genius!  Think of all the options!  You could wash and repaint for every holiday and season!  Solids, patterns, abstract, a stencil…the options are endless!   

*affiliate links to items I used – if you purchase through my affiliate link, we’ll get a small commission but your price won’t be affected at all!  Thanks for supporting us!

Add Stripes to a Lampshade - DIY

You know when you really want to do something decor-wise but you think maybe it’s not a good idea because a few months down the road you might not like it anymore or the winds of change might blow away your old decor with new or future owners might scowl at your decision?  Happens to me a lot.  I always try to make decisions in our current home based on what I like but also what would be the most transitional from decor change to decor change and, because I know this isn’t our forever home, I don’t want to give permanent things a personal vibe…if that makes any sense.  Now I’m not talking about pillows or curtains.  Those things can be switched out on a whim with very little effort (but probably some cash).  I’m talking about things that you can’t change without a lot of effort like the color you paint your kitchen cabinets or the tile in your bathroom or a big ‘ole light fixture in your kitchen.

When I first envisioned this light project, I pictured a really colorful chandelier underneath a coordinating, fun geometric covered shade.  And then I talked myself down from that fun high because, in case I didn’t like that geometric fabric in a year or we put our house on the market, it would take a lot of work to replace all that color.  The lamp shade I made for the kitchen light can’t be removed unless a) you unwire the entire light from the ceiling, b) a hurricane throws our house fifty feet, or c) a hurricane known as ‘toddlers throwing toys in the kitchen and oops’ happens.

So, I decided to go all white with the light and shade and spice things up with some stripes at the top and bottom that I made with…

Finger Painting

Let’s reach back to our five-year-old selves and pull out those finger painting skillz, shall we?  Not only will they come in handy for this tutorial but as it turns out, getting your hands dirty with pretty colors can be really stress-relieving…not that I would know about stress.  My life is all butterflies and roses…and tantrums and meltdowns and toddler woes 58%  of the time.

The art I painted and hung above Sebastian’s crib is 80% finger painted and 20% brushed.
sebsroom2 (6)
It was so easy to do that even if you’ve already taken once glance at it and determined that “no, you can’t do that”, you can.  Yes, you can.

But before tell you how you can, let me remind you (or tell you in case you didn’t see this post) that I bought this green metal frame at a local thrift store for 50 cents.  It had a large piece of discolored foam board fitted inside and so I just painted right onto that foam board instead of buying a new large piece of paper/board/whatever.  The jewel green color is a latex paint (Alexandrite by Sherwin Williams for Lowe’s) and the rest of the colors are acrylics, some of which I already had and some that I purchased at Hobby Lobby.  The acrylic colors I used were black, white, mint, gray, and a yellowy-mustard color.

So first, just for a little interest to peek through under my finger painting, I grabbed some black white acrylic paint and painted b&w stripes in a few random places across the board.  I painted the black stripes first…
IMG_0182 …and then added the white ones in between once the black paint was dry.  After I was done with the white I had a good amount of white paint left on the plate I was using so I just dumped it onto the board and smeared it around a little with my hands.

At the same time as I was painting this, my cousin Faith was at my house painting a fabric “S” for Sebastian’s room and she had just finished so I grabbed the paint she had leftover from painting that and smeared it around the board too.

Then I let all that paint dry.

During the next free naptime, I grabbed all of the colors minus black.  Over the top of the board, making sure not to go over the stripes, I squirted different colors one-by-one in random places all over.
(Except I spooned on the green latex since it came from a test pot. Technicalities folks.)

And then I just smeared all those colors together.  The key is not smearing too much that the colors blend to make a totally different color but just blending so that they streak together.  Also, make sure you have enough paint squirted onto the surface of whatever you’re painting so that you’re not having to spread paint around too much to cover.  The more paint, the better.  And also, the more paint, the more texture which is a great addition!
As I was smearing, I made sure to not smear completely over the stripes I had painted.  I just smeared around them but over the edges so that they didn’t sit on an island of sorts – stripes surrounded by blank foam board surrounded by a ring of paint.  Make sense?  I just wanted them to peek through.

The painting looked really cool after I was done smearing and the plan was to leave it that way but of course, I tweaked it just a little more by going in with each color and a brush and added some dots around the piece.  I literally dipped the brush in whatever color I was using and dabbed it randomly around the painting.  I also added a few smears of black in the end.

Art definitely isn’t my strong suit but I think this one turned out pretty good, no?
And considering I only paid about $5 from start to finish (most of that went to paint of which I used not even half of each color supply) it looks even better. 
   sebsroom2 (12)

sebsroom2 (13)

sebsroom2 (1)

So, any painters out there?  Maybe some wanna be painters like me?  Abstract art is the way to go!  If you make a mistake, it just looks like you meant to!  I wish falling on your face in public was more like that…like “oops” you totally meant to do that.  “I just needed a quick thrill to wake me up.  No big deal.”  Or forgetting to zip it up below the belt.  Wearing no-zip maternity paints totally took my zip-it-up habit and tossed it right out the nursery window.

And you wonder why I like long shirts…

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diy finger painted abstract art

Three Sides

Hey Monday!  I’m not exactly happy you’re here considering you mark the end of vacation.  But, I’ll get over it with a super easy post about these curtains I made for Sebastian’s room.
sebsroom2 (5)

I made his closet curtains out of a queen-size sheet, cut in half and hemmed.  The window curtains I made out of some white duck fabric from Hobby Lobby.  To keep things from getting too plain with all that white, I stenciled on some tiny triangles.

Here’s how I did it.

First, I made my stencil.  Using the Rhonna Designs app on my phone, I stuck a little triangle onto a white background and sized it to the size I wanted the triangles to appear on the fabric.  Then I laid some stencil plastic (leftover from stenciling this rug) over the top of my phone and traced the triangle.  I traced two because my cousin was here to help.  Hooray for company and help!

Then I pulled out these foam pouncers (affiliate link), originally purchased way back when I dotted these jeans, and squirted a little bit of black acrylic paint onto a plate.  IMG_0145
I didn’t add any fabric medium to the paint because I know it’ll still be permanent even though it might not be as soft.  On curtains, I’m not worried about the feel.  Clothing is a little different.

Next, I put a small amount of paint onto the pouncer and dabbed that paint right over my stencil.  IMG_0147IMG_0148Note:  Use enough paint to just cover the surface of your foam.  A nice thin coat dabbed a few times over the stencil will do the trick without bleeding.  Too much paint will get under the stencil and give you some crazy lines and a not-so-crisp shape.  You might have to dab the plate a few times after you get paint on the pouncer to get some of that extra paint off.

We just placed triangles in random places, scattered over the curtains.  The more imperfectly placed, the better, in this case.
  triangle stamped curtains

I love the triangles vs. regular old dots because I feel like they’re a little more manly for our little man.  Sharp edges and nice straight sides…in other words, tall, dark, and handsome.  Or maybe that’s a stretch but either way, you catch my drift.  :)


Have a great Monday!  I’m feeling the usual ‘overwhelmed’ at all the to-do’s I really want to get done this week and the fact that we’ve been on vacation for the better part of the past week and a half is making that hefty load even heftier.  It’s okay though, usually come Tuesday, I realize that I can’t be a one-woman show and I hack my list in half.  Happens every week.  Vicious circle or sensibility shot?  Not sure…

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So easy you might as well do it…and pin it for when you do.  :)
diy stamped curtains

DIY Mercury Glass

Thanks to the sweet thoughts and therefore actions of friends and family, we’ve collected many a glass vase over the years that once held flowers.  Usually, I store them away under the hutch for a rainy day or a potential project.  To this day I think I’ve done zero things with all of them…until now.  I forgot to take a good before but you can see half of the vase this post is about atop the hutch in this ‘gram:
   mercury glass b4
The plan?  To go all mercury glass with it.  Here’s how.

First, the supplies:

- clear glass vase
- Looking Glass spray paint (Krylon)
- spray bottle filled 1/4 of the way with a 50/50 mixture of water and white vinegar
- a few paper towels

There are a few tutorials online on how to do this but in the end I just winged (wung?) it with my own rendition to see what happened (hint: it turned out awesome!)  First, I gave the inside of the vase a few sprays with my water/vinegar mixture.  The mixture beaded when it hit the surface.  I probably spritzed about 3-4 times; not too much.  Just enough to wet the entire inside without forming a pool at the bottom of the vase.  (If you do spray too much, just dump it out and move along.  No big deal.  Mercury glass is very imperfect as it is so mistakes aren’t really mistakes in this project!)
[It’s hard to tell how much I actually sprayed in pictures but you can kind of see the foggy, vinegar/water covering on the inside of the vase.]

Then I grabbed the looking glass spray paint.  My Aunt gave me this spray paint three years ago for my b-day and I finally got around to using it!
You can find it here on Amazon (my affiliate link) but I know for a fact that, if you arm yourself with a coupon, it’s cheaper at craft stores (Michael’s and Hobby Lobby sell it).

Next, I sprayed three light coats of the looking glass spray paint inside my vase, waiting about two minutes in between each coat.  Note:  The spray paint started pooling at the bottom of the vase after the second coat so I just picked up the vase and swirled that paint around the inside.  What little still pooled I just left.  IMG_8786

After I had sprayed the three coats, I let the vase sit for 10 minutes and then I carefully dabbed the inside of the vase with the paper towels, removing the beads of water/vinegar.  I also rubbed a little harder in a few larger spots to get a more imperfect look.  (A lot of the tutorials I read called for a light coat of the looking glass spray paint on the outside of the vase after the inside was done but I didn’t do that.)  After dabbing away the vinegar/water, I let the vase sit to dry. 

Behold, our new mercury glass vase:

This would be such a fun project to do for a holiday tablescape – grab a bunch of clear glass vases at your local thrift store and mercury them.  Then line the middle of your table with them.  :)

Ours went back to the top of the hutch which I’ll be sharing in it’s fullness tomorrow (if all goes smoothly in this household today, otherwise it’ll be Monday for sure.) 

I’ve also been working on a super fun project that I was hoping to share before this week is over but it’s looking like it’ll be next week instead because nap times just aren’t long enough…which is totally okay.  :)  You can get a sneak peek here though.

What have you been working on?  Maybe you’re smart and have started spring cleaning instead of dabbling in silly projects like me.  ;)  Anthony told me a few weeks ago we should definitely wash all of our windows soon, inside and out, and guess who hasn’t even started.  I’ll just throw that one over to fall cleaning and blame the rain.

Hope to see you tomorrow!

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If you like it, you should put a pin in it:
diy mercury glass

(Not)Under the Sea

I’ve been crushing on all the sea urchins I’ve been seeing in home decor around the web.  I want one…or several.  Target has some (and they’re on sale this week) but I couldn’t bring myself to shell out $20 for them when Sebastian needs some new kicks.  So goes my checkbook.

So, I rummaged around the house in search for urchin material, found it, and made one.  Behold:
Not bad for free, eh?

It turned out pretty great even though there are a few things I’ll do differently next time.  I’ll get to those things in a sec but first, here’s how I made this one.

I grabbed a pack of bamboo skewers I had leftover from the girl’s mirror project.  And then I searched for the easiest play dough recipe I could find via the web that needed ingredients I already had on hand (I forgot to keep note of which recipe I actually used in the end, sorry!  But, the ingredients were flour, salt, water, and cream of tartar I think.  I didn’t have any food coloring to make things more fun so I tried some lemonade mix we had and it didn’t do a dang thing.)

First, I cut the skewers down with the blades on a needle-toe pliers so that they were each about four inches long.   IMG_8709
Then, while the kids were making faux breakfast/lunch/dinner with (and eating…*cough*Sebastian*cough*) the play dough, I stole one small dollop and formed it into a half-circle.  The diameter of the bottom was about an inch and a half.  I didn’t want a huge urchin since the space it was going to rest wasn’t the largest but I wanted it to be big enough to not be missed.

Then I simply stuck in skewer pieces until I felt it was dense enough. 
And then one of the girls started screaming at the other who then needed to go potty and Sebastian went for another mouthful so I quickly turned to them and knocked my new urchin right off the counter onto the hard tile below.  I don’t know what looked worse, my face or the urchin.  Either way, I had to start over but I waited until after bedtime because fool me once…  ;)

Round two went much better.  I actually assembled the urchin on a small piece of wax paper this time though so that it wouldn’t stick to the surface it was on; I noticed the first one was a tad.  A few days later, after I had given the play dough time to dry, I took the whole thing outside and gave it a nice coat of gold spray paint (Rustoleum – my fave!)

When that dried, I very carefully lifted my sea friend off her wax paper setting and into the hutch in the living room, where she serves as both decor and museum material behind that glass…”See the sea urchin kids? They live in the ocean, move really slowly, and feed on algae.”  (Thank you wikipedia!)  Form and function; function and form.


And speaking of the hutch, I completely redecorated the shelves on it a few weeks ago.  I’m still tweaking a few things so I’m not going to show the full monty yet, but here’s a sneak peek:
It’s been really fun tinkering with shelf decor in there, having anything I want at my design disposal because the kids can’t touch it hence it doesn’t matter if it’s breakable.  I used a bunch of things I already had plus some thrifted books…in case you were wondering where most of these went.  :)

As far as what I’ll do differently the next time I make a sea urchin (our master bath is calling for some), the bamboo sticks were great because I already had them, but next time I’ll grab something with a small base that will make smaller, therefore less noticeable holes in the dough.  Maybe some pointed toothpicks?  Also, the play dough seemed to shrink just a little when it dried, also making the holes larger and more noticeable and I didn’t try it, but I bet if I pulled on a skewer piece, it’d come right out.  Actual clay might’ve worked better.  Or, you could make the urchin like I did above, take all the skewers out when the dough dried but before painting, pour some glue into each hole to fill them in, and reassemble.  That would solve the big hole problem and hold those skewers in forever.  You can be sure I’ll give you the deets on our next urchin but if you try one before me, let me know how it turns out!

Happy Thursday folks!

 diy sea urchin

2D Flatware

Last post about the new gallery wall in the kitchen, promise.  Let’s talk about the utensil art.

Initially I was just going to find a couple of free printables online, print them out, stick ‘em in and up and that’s that.  But I couldn’t find anything that didn’t take away from or compete with the ‘take & eat’ so, after I found these great (and free) printables from The Questionable Domestique, I got an idea.

My plan?  To transfer her printables to my kitchen by painting a couple of the designs on some watercolor paper and hanging them.  They were simple, kitchen-related, and didn’t draw attention to themselves instead of Jesus.  Humility at its finest.  ;)

So, first I penciled the designs onto my cut-to-size watercolor paper and mixed some watercolor (using the same acrylic/water mixture I used on the ‘take & eat’).  Then I just painted in the lines and let it all dry. 

Then, like I usually do, I took it a step further after being inspired by this gorgeous flatware set from West Elm:
Using more gold leaf, I jazzed up the stems of each 2D utensil.  Things didn’t turn out exactly as I had pictured in my head though.  I wanted straight lines and no watercolor showing on the stems.  When I attached the gold leaf to the fork, I brushed Elmer’s school glue onto the stem, hoping that would give me the straight, clean lines I wanted.  Nope.
 photo 1 (12)
I don’t know what happened but things looked a tad crazy...the glue might’ve dried too quickly?  I don’t know.  I tried to scratch off the gold leaf but it wouldn’t budge so I laid my cares aside, filled in the right side a little more, and just let it be.  The rest of utensils got the same gold treatment as their abstract art neighbors – a glue stick plus gold leaf plus a pat and a rub-down when dry.
 photo 2 (19)

The final products:


Oh and I spiffied up the frames a bit too.  These frames were actually in the previous collage but I spray painted them white and added a dotted border with some gold paint along the inside edge. 
I just used a small, flat paintbrush to dab on paint.  No measuring.  All eye-balling.  Perfectly imperfect.  :)  It was such an easy way to add a little flare to an otherwise plain frame.

And speaking of flare, I hope your Monday is full of it!  Adios for now!