Tag Archives: paint

Terracotta Pots: 3 Ways

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I’m not really allowed to own plants – they tend to live short lives under my care. To compromise my desire for plants and my lack of adequate plant care, I’ve taken on succulents. They’re small, which allows for easy placement, and they’re relatively inexpensive, which my small budget appreciates. The plants only cost a few dollars, and small terracotta pots with their corresponding trays are even less.

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Here, you see three ways to dress up terracotta pots with only a couple shades of paint, making it an easy weeknight project that you can finish in less than an hour.

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I gave the pink and gold one to my mom for Mother’s Day a while back, but the other two still sit on my dining room table. Amazingly enough, the plants are still alive and well. Let’s hope I can keep them that way!

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Dining Room Chairs Makeover

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I’m the type of person who sees what something could be rather than what something is. Hence, going anywhere with me might seem frustrating because I’m constantly stopping to see the DIY potential of every little thing, including really torn up old chairs on the side of the road. Andrew rolled his eyes at me with some serious enunciation the day I asked him to pull over and put them in the back of his car. Luckily, he loves me, so we loaded these into the Escort and brought them home for a little TLC.

As you can see, they needed a lot of love:

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It’s amazing what you can do with a little spray paint and fabric – we turned these ratty old chairs into suitable dining room chairs that were such a huge improvement over my original chairs, as you can see below.

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To makeover these chairs, I used sandpaper, three cans of blue satin spray paint, quilt batting, a staple-gun, a drill and fabric. First, we used the drill to unscrew the chair seats from the frame and set them aside. I sanded down the rough areas of the wood because they were old and beat up in some areas. After painting, the little knicks and scratches become a lot more obvious, so it is important to sand the wood beforehand, but it’s also nice to see that the chairs have some character and history with their small paint-covered scratches. I took them outside for a few coats of spray paint – the satin spray paint turned out to be a good choice because glossy would have made it look a little to gaudy (for my taste).

While the frames dried, Andrew slaved away helping me pry out the staples keeping the fabric and stuffing on the chair seats. Trust me, this is the tough part, and because the chairs were so old, the padding was practically falling apart. Once they were torn apart and only pieces of wood remained, I cut pieces of fabric, leaving at least 2-3 inches around the wooden seat. When reupholstering chair seats, you want a tough fabric since it will get a lot of use, so choose something a little thicker. I also cut the quilt batting, which was of medium thickness, and I folded over to make it even thicker, to approximately the size of the seat, leaving only a little space around it.

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I laid out the fabric on a counter, then centered the batting and the wood, and I pulled the fabric and batting tightly over the sides and staple-gunned them down.

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After a lot of stapling, the seats were finished, so we screwed them back on and ta-da! I’m so happy with how they turned out! Even Oliver likes them (He likes them so much that he’s already started scratching them up)!

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DIY Crate Cat Bed

IMG_4854IMG_4723Can we all agree that pet projects are the best projects? As soon as we knew we’d be adopting Oliver, I immediately knew he needed a bed (even though he’d probably prefer a cardboard box). I also took this as a great opportunity to try my hand at sewing with my new sewing machine!

My grandma passed her old sewing machine on to me a while back, but until recently I never had room for it. Now that I have an actual office space, I have room to sew – something I haven’t done since I was a kid. That’s how you know this is an easy project. Sewing the pillow for Oliver’s bed was the first time I’ve used a sewing machine since I was probably ten years old, so I promise anyone can do this.

I painted a crate, adding his name and sewed an envelop pillow case to add the pillow inside of his bed. Overall, this project can take as little as an hour.

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To make this crate cat bed (or small dog bed), you’ll need:

  • A crate (mine is x x x from Michael’s)
  • At least two different colors of paint
  • Small chipboard letters
  • Clear acrylic spray paint
  • Fabric
  • Pillow insert (mine is 16 x 20 in from IKEA)

Other supplies:

  • A sewing machine
  • Thread that matches your fabric
  • Fabric measuring tape
  • Scissors
  • Iron and ironing board
  • Paint brushes
  • Pencil

First, stand your crate right side up, with handles on each side. Using your hands, a crowbar or a hammer, pry off the top two slats of the crate. This lowers the front of the crate so your pet can step inside easier.

Then paint the entire crate one color – I chose grey for a mellow but still “manly” look that will blend in well with the apartment. A second coat made a huge difference because the first coat left it a bit streaky.

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Once dry, lay down chipboard letters on the front, top slate of the crate, spelling out your pet’s name. You could glue down chipboard letters instead of painting them, but I preferred the look of paint and decided to forgo the glittery letters because I was concerned they’d fall off too quickly and wouldn’t suit the boyish look I was going for. Use a pencil to trace the letters, and fill them in with your second paint color – I chose light blue. Then take it outside to spray it with a light coat of clear acrylic spray paint to give it a nice, finished shine.

Then go into that pile of scrap fabric we all have and dig out a large pieces of fabric to match your bed – I chose light yellow. For my 16 x 20 inch pillow insert, which I pulled out of one of my old IKEA pillows, I cut one piece that was 17 x 21 inches, leaving an extra inch around for the seam. Then, cut two more pieces that will create the envelope. Mine were 17 x 11 inches and 17 x 13 inches, allowing for a few inches of overlap. If using a different size pillow, make sure to allow for at least 2-4 inches of overlap, and one of your pieces will be smaller than the other.

Then iron them out as best you can. Take the edges of your envelop pieces that will be the envelop and fold over about 1/4 inch, then fold another 1/4 of an inch. Iron in place to hold the fold together.

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Place the full piece on the bottom, outside facing up. Place your smallest piece, outside facing down, on top of the larger pieces. Then place your medium-sized piece, outside facing down, on top of the other.

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First, sew across the folded area of your envelop pieces, reversing along the ends to hold your stitch. Lay them back down and pin around your pieces to hold them in place. Sew a 1/2 inch seam around the length of the pillow, reversing your seam at each end to hold. As you go around, turn your fabric, so you have a consistent seam going all the way around, pulling the pins out as your go. Once done, cut the corners off and trim your extra strings.

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Then pull the pillow outisde-out and iron down the edges. Put your pillow insert inside and ta-da! Then squeeze it inside the crate. It should be a somewhat tight fit.

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Now you have a comfy little bed for your little sidekick!

Chalkboard Clipboard

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Now that Andrew and I officially share a grocery list, among other things, I wanted an easy way for us to keep track of what we needed for our next trip to the store. I have a million of those notepads that stick to the fridge, but the need for a pen always deters me from actually using them. Instead, I found a way to keep track that also hides easily – a chalkboard clipboard.

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To make a chalkboard clipboard, you’ll need:

  • A clipboard (duh)
  • Chalkboard paint (duh)
  • Chalk (duh)
  • Masking or painters tape
  • Medium-sized paint brush
  • String
  • Liquid glue

Start off by taping a line across the top of the clipboard. I did this because trying to paint underneath/behind the clip would have been an unnecessary hassle. Start painting the bottom part with well-mixed chalkboard paint, including the sides. I find that chalkboard paint can be a little streaky, so take that into consideration when choosing a paint brush. Paint a couple coats until the bottom portion of the clipboard is covered. Once dry, remove the tape.

Before you start using your clipboard, you’re supposed to slate it. Run the side of a piece of chalk down the entirety of your chalkboard and then use a damp paper towel to wipe it clean. This acts as a setting for the paint.

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Next,  cut a piece of string about 12 inches long and use a small amount of glue to wrap the string around the end of a piece of chalk. Once wrapped, tie around and in a knot to hold it. Then tie the opposite end to the top of the clipboard and set your chalk on the clip as you would a pen – this way, you’ll never lose the chalk.

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You can also add a piece of patterned washi tape at the top and write on it with Sharpie for your title. I dubbed mine “the list,” so that whenever we say we need something, we can just say, “Put it on the list!”

Use a nail or, in my case, push pin to hang the clipboard inside a cupboard or on your wall. I love having it inside the cupboard so it’s mostly out of sight but comes in handy when I need it. In a matter of minutes, I turned a ratty old clipboard I never used into a very useful chalkboard.

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Inspiration from around the Web

This week’s Inspiration from around the Web is dedicated to the fact that Andrew moves in in TWO WEEKS! Looking forward to lots of redecorating (and so much more).

June Inspiration

1.  I love patterned accent walls like this one on Apartment Therapy. I’ve wanted to make an accent wall in our hallway – thinking about a herringbone pattern in light and dark grey.

2. Really digging this metallic diamond pillow cover from West Elm, and I bet I could make it with a little fabric, paint and better sewing skills.

3. These DIY hanging planters from A Beautiful Mess are perfect for small spaces like mine. Looking forward to finding hard-to-kill plants to hang in them.

4. This IKEA bookcase on rollers from Living Well, Spending Less is a cute DIY for upgrading an office space, and it just so happens I have the same one attached to my desk.

5. We want to paint the walls in the kitchen and living areas light grey, and I’m really digging the grey Behr paint in this dining room on Knight Moves.

Stud Earring Jewelry Box

IMG_3643 I’ve only had my ears pierced for a little over a year now, but I quickly started collecting earrings. I love earrings and find myself looking at them everywhere I go. At first, I would put all of my studs in a small glass catch-all bowl I picked up at IKEA. Then I accumulated more and more earrings, and it would take me five minutes to dig through the bowl to find what I was looking for. A while back, I came up with one earring storage solution with my lace earring tree for longer, dangly ones, but the studs were another story. Finally, I found a solution – a jewelry box. It sounds so obvious now, and it was one of the easiest projects that I’ve made.

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You’ll need a shallow, wooden box that is wide enough to fit a pencil. I found the perfect one at Michael’s for just $5 (plus a coupon)! You will also need approximately eight unsharpened pencils, a hot glue gun, approximately eight pieces of felt, and some craft paint with paint brushes.

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First, I painted the box white. I wanted something simple to blend in with the rest of my room since my dresser is already really crowded. While you wait for it to dry, cut the sides of the felt to match the width of the inside of the box. Mine was 8.5 inches wide. I chose black to stand out against the white, but my black or dark colored earrings blend in a little too well. I’d suggest a different color. Using the hot glue gun, glue the pencil to the very end of the felt and begin rolling it so that the felt curls tightly around the pencil. Glue the end of the felt to the wrapped portion. This should fit somewhat snuggly inside the box. Do that to all of your pencils. I used eight total because of the size of my box, but for the last roll, I cut the felt so that the roll would be thinner than all of the others. The last roll needed to be thinner to fit inside the box without making the others too crammed together, and without the last roll there was too much space.

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Then add in your studs and enjoy! It’s quick, easy and very efficient. And I live for efficient!

DIY Splatter Canvas

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If you’ve ever seen The Princess Diaries, you may remember the scene where Mia’s mom is throwing darts at a canvas covered in paint-filled water balloons. One day, my friend and I decided to try it, but life is nothing like movies.

After trying and failing to pop balloons full of paint, we opted for simply dripping the paint down the canvas. Using a few different colors that matched my decor, I splattered paint onto the canvas with a paintbrush while it leaned upright against something. I also dipped paint down the canvas, creating a similar look to what Mia’s mom created in the movie.

All you need is the canvas and a few colors of regular acrylic paint. It doesn’t take long at all, and it looks great on the wall.

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