Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Knick Knack Series: The Gourd

It's knick knack time!! This series is all about sprucing up items you already own and giving them a second chance in your home. I do have another motive for launching this series....namely the fact that I moved some bookshelves into my living / dining room and need some knick knacks so I can properly style the shelves (the truth comes out!).

The first item I decided to tackle was this gourd. I prepped it for paint, by giving it a light sanding, and wiping it clean.

I gave it several light coats of white spray paint. I hoped that the little holes and carved lives would remain prominent as the white paint went on, and I was pleased to find that it did. 

A couple of coats of paint later, and it was done! Such a simple and easy way to makeover a knick knack.

Stay tuned for more knick knack makeovers!!


P.S. I'm linking up here:

  Weekend Bloggy Reading
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Monday, February 27, 2012

Knick Knack Makeover Series: Before

I am so excited to announce a new series I'm launching called "Knick Knack Makeover." When you're on a budget (and/or cheap like me), chances are you've learned to make do with what you have, what you've been given or what's on sale. Or maybe your style has changed over the years and you have a garage full of misfit decorati.

This series is dedicated to inspiring you to makeover your tired, unused, unwanted, out-of-style household items. 

I dug most of these items out of my garage. At one point they each had a place in our home, but over the years our taste changed, or our home changed and the no longer fit. But not for long!

Meet my makeover candidates!

The Gourd - I started sanding this bad boy before I thought to take a "before" picture, so pardon the rough paint job. I went through a phase where I loved anything ethnic, particularly African or Middle Eastern, and especially if it had deep reds and rusty oranges.

The Cubes - I have four of these cubes that actually mount on the wall as mini-shelves. I ordered these online and was disappointed that they had a strange purple undertone....but I hung them in our master bathroom at our previous home be honest, everything looked a little purple in that bathroom so I just assumed it was the bathroom, and not the cubes. Turns out it was both! Boo. And so off to the garage they went to gather dust...

The Metal Basket - We got these metal baskets when we first got married. The basket pictured was our first magazine basket for our first apartment. No, I'm not really sentimental about it...that's just the truth. We got three of these on the cheap at Big Lots. Back in 2003 / 2004, we were super into that trendy old world, Tuscan is evidenced by these baskets.

The Paper Mache friends - I was left alone in Michael's recently and these ended up in my shopping cart. Aren't they just adorable? Ok, so I know I'm breaking "the rules" of my makeover series by including these, since I didn't previously own them....but heck, I made the rules and I'm changing them. So there. The moo-cow and poison apple stay. Boo yah.

The Red Vase - See explanation for The Gourd. The red just isn't working for me anymore, so we're changing it up.

Stay tuned to see the dramatic "after" pictures and tutorials! Do you have any knick knacks gathering dust in your closest or garage that could use a makeover? I'd love to hear about your plans!


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Saturday, February 25, 2012

To quote my husband...on Looking for God

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

How to Make a Glass Sphere

Sometimes leaving me alone in Michael's Art and Craft store is a bad idea....I mean, personally, I think it's a GENIUS idea, but my husband tends to disagree. Especially since I hijacked our kitchen island for the past few weeks as a result. 

Anywhoooo.....I skipped my way through Michael's recently and came home with these treasures (minus the spray paint, which I already owned, thanks to the bar stool project):
  • A bag of aqua decorative broken glass filler (I just adored the color)
  • One styrofoam ball
...and yes, I had every intention of hot gluing all of that glass onto the foam ball. 

I started by spraying my foam ball with my aqua spray paint. I had seen a few similar projects on Etsy that honestly looked pretty ugly sad-pants because you could see the stark white foam staring blankly from behind the glass pieces. So, I sprayed my foam aqua, which not only made my foam happy, but it also enhanced the innate shimmer and sparkle of the foam. A two-fer!

I plugged in my hot glue gun, and poured my glass pieces into a paper plate. Let's get started!

One by one, I hot glued the glass pieces to the ball. It was like piecing together a 1000-piece puzzle, only easier because I was creating the puzzle as I went. This took some patience, but by the time I was ready to really lose my sanity, I realized the ball was completely covered. Perfect timing. Sanity is still in tact....this time.

Ta da! You could certainly call it a day at this point. 

I decided at the last minute that I wanted to tone down the brightness of the aqua just a bit. So, I added a very light coat of Krylon Looking Glass spray to the finished orb, to give it a little more of a icy feel.

And now the orb is ready to live on a bookshelf somewhere in my home. I actually do have a place in mind for this glass ball, but it's not quite ready yet, so here are a few examples of what this looks like in context.


P.S. I'm linking up here:


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Using Chalkboard Paint on Heavily Textured Walls

I haven't officially shown y'all my home office yet because it's SOOOO close to being done. It just needs a couple of minor tweaks. And since I'm a not-so-secret perfectionist, I decided to keep my office all to myself until it was done. You've probably seen snippets of the room in the background of pictures of other projects, but I promise I'll give you fine folks a tour very soon.

In the meantime, I'll show you what I've been working on. I had two outstanding projects remaining before I could pronounce this room finished. The first was to recover my office chair (done!). The second task was to re-do my office chalkboards, which I have just completed.

The wall opposite my desk, functionally, wasn't doing much for the room. Rather than tell the non-functional wall to take a hike (which is also sort of impossible), I gave it a briefcase and a job... and that job is called chalkboard management! So, I measured out two 2' x 2' squares and two 2' x 3' rectangles, and painted them with chalkboard paint.

I framed the chalkboards with the cheapest 1" x 3"s money could buy, stained with one light coat of dark walnut stain. Why did I buy such cheap lumber? I really wanted an uneven and grainy stain, so that the frame would look like reclaimed -- maybe even burnt -- wood. Mission accomplished! Look at all of that rusticity going on, being all rustic and rustic-like.

I lived with these chalkboards for about three months, and used them to document my personal goals, to-do lists and inspiring quotes. There was just one problem... peel texture walls are VERY difficult to write on with chalk. I mean, seriously, have you ever tried writing on an orange? Like, on its person? It's a recipe for orange-y disaster. The texture on my walls was so heavy, I had to practically carve into the wall to make the chalk writing legible.

I had leftover wall liner from my framed wallpaper project, so I decided to take a lesson, myself, and use my "wall spanx" to make my walls all that and a bag of chips. 

Wall liner is easy to install and makes your walls smooth like whipped butter (and butter makes everything better). Simply measure the area of wall you need to cover, and use scissors to cut the wall liner to size. You want to make sure you leave about 2-3 inches of excess paper on all sides.

Since the wall liner is white on both sides, mark the backside of the paper (also known as the wall-side of paper, commonly confused with the dark side of the force).

Next, I dusted off my wallpaper tools. Wall liner utilizes the same tools you would use for wallpaper.

  • Water tray or bucket
  • Wide brush, for smoothing the paper against the wall
  • Seam roller (I didn't end up needing one for this particular project due to the size of my chalkboard squares)
  • Sharp blade or scissors
  • Old dish towel
  • One of those triangular metal thingamajigs
  • Paper towels, for cleaning up oopsies
You can purchase the wall liner I used by clicking here.

I also had an old beach towel on the floor to protect my carpet from drips.

I hung the wall liner all by myself, and I have to say my biggest challenge was keeping the dog from drinking out of my water tray. I ended up locking her out of the room.

I started laying down paper horizontally. Using a wide brush, I smoothed out the paper and made sure any air pockets were eliminated. I used that triangular metal thingamajig to push the paper into the edges and corners.

I used a sharp blade to trim off the excess.

Wash, rinse, repeat...three more times.

Check out how much smoother the wall liner is compared to the orange peel textured wall.

Smooth like a baby seal...

Now it's time to re-paint with chalkboard paint!

Just look at how smooth that is, compared to the wall!

And last but not least in the's time to get organized and inspired!

It's so much easier to write on the chalkboard now! I am a happy girl, doing a happy dance in my happy house.


P.S. I'm linking up here:


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