Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lampshade Upcycle

I wish I could claim this project as my own because it came out so beautiful, but I can't. It was actually my super talented, very creative mother who upcycled this plain lampshade into a must have for every beach house! Take a look:

Seashell Lampshade made by my mom!
Gorgeous, right? She never admits it, but she is quite a talented artist. I have several paintings of hers that she did in her teens and early twenties that are quite impressive. I treasure them and proudly display them on my walls. I'll have to remember to share them here. Okay back to the lampshade.

My mom used a product called Snow Real. I had never heard of it but a quick Google search tells me that its usually used to make decorative snow for craft projects and displays. How ingenious of my mom to think to use it in the this application. A great adaptation indeed!
Some information on Snow Real!
She explained that she laid down a layer with a foam brush and used it almost like cement to stick the various shells on. The jar are small she warned. This project took about 2 1/2 jars to complete. She then braided the jute rope herself and used a glue gun to secure it around the shade.

I love the three dimensional quality that the shells and rope provide. I love that the colors are neutral enough to go with just about any base. This lampshade obviously would go perfect with a coastal/beach house decor, but I can see it fitting in with a lot of design schemes, especially high-end. Well done, Mom! I want one for my house now!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

One bed, two projects

And the projects just keep rolling on. We found a sectional last night, and I will post more about that next week after we pick it up. So excited! Now on to today's post, which is actually two-fold because it involves two projects for one bed. I decided that I wanted to put just a twin size bed in the guest room for the maybe twice a year anyone would be sleeping in there. The main purpose of the room is to serve as an office, so I thought the twin bed could double as a couch when needed.

In order to make it more couch-like I decided to do away with the bed frame and add furniture feet instead. A dust ruffle also would have been too bed-like, so I instead opted to cover the boxspring with fabric after seeing a pin on Pinterest. So clever! So here's the pinspiration and then my take on it:
The pinspiration via Urban Nest
I started out with the bed I found on Craigslist for just $35. I still have yet to sell the unused bed frame, which should net me $20 in return. I found some cute white and orange striped fabric online, which ended up being the wrong shade of orange for the room. Way too bright. So I popped into my local JoAnn's and found the lovely stripe you see above. It is more perfect than I could have hoped for. It pulls in the beige from the walls, the gray from the curtains, the white from the trim and the orange and the black from the accessories. I love it so much I plan on using the leftovers to make a pillow for the couch/bed and have already used it to cover two fabric lampshades!

Once I had the fabric, it was time to purchase the feet. I went to Lowes and scored five of these bad boys for $6.98 a piece.
Purchase your own at Lowes
And then I stained them using Cabot, which I had mixed at Lowes to an ebony color.

While the feet dried I set about actually covering the boxspring. The whole process was pretty easy to follow. Urban Nest laid out some great instructions to follow if you are interested in trying your own:
Instructions on how to cover a boxspring.
In order to get the best possible corners, I first trimmed a strip of the fabric and stapled that down. I treated each of the four sides of the bed as individuals with their own strips of fabric. When I got to the corner, I folded the edge down to give it a crisp edge and then stapled it at both the top and the bottom of the boxspring. The corner strips also helped since the striped fabric did not match up perfectly, it didn't matter.

I also drilled my foot holes after I covered the boxspring. I just moved aside the fabric where needed. I added a fifth foot to the middle for more support.

So while I was working on covering the boxspring, I was also working on the headboard. Awhile ago I had fallen in love with a DIY headboard on Pinterest and decided to make one for myself:
Pinspiration via Hazzards Hypotheses
So while I was staining the feet for the bed, I also stained four 1x6's I picked up at Lowes the same day. They were unfinished pine boards. I will admit that this project did not go as smooth as I had wanted. It took forever for the stain to dry on these boards vs. the furniture feet. Very odd considering I actually did wipe them down between coats. I also tried to follow the instructions to a T from Hazzards' blog but the Command Strips by 3M would not stick. So I actually ended up drilling holes on each end of the boards and then using wood screws, which I had spray painted black, to attach them to the wall. You don't even ntocie the screws since the knotty pine took up the stain more in some spots making the wood look aged by glossy. Very cool looking. But now those suckers are very secure so I don't have to worry about them every injuring someone sleeping there.

I really like how they turned out and can't wait to make more pillows to throw on there to really make it an inviting place to chill. My new sewing machine arrived. I hope to start playing with it over the weekend while my fiance is pulling a 24+ hour shift. Slowly but surely, the room is coming together!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Dresser complete...sort of

I mentioned a week or so back that I had finally found a dresser on Craigslist that I wanted to redo as storage space under the TV in my living room. I went ahead and ordered some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White. Well wouldn't you know that my plan worked out perfectly, and the paint arrived just in time for me to tackle the dresser while my fiance was working the night shift at the hospital for a few days.

The pinspiration for the piece came from My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia. I love the way my dresser looks. The oil rubbed bronze hardware, which is came with, really pops against the Old White just like the pinspirational piece.

But I will say I do not love how my dresser turned out. You see, someone (me) didn't read the label on the stain to see that I needed to wipe it off in between the two coats I did. Such a beginner DIY'er mistake! So when I say in the title that the dresser is complete...sort of, I mean that the top is still not dry, nor from what I've read, will it ever dry. Very heartbreaking. I've tried and tried and tried to wipe it off. Its worked a little bit, but its still so sticky to the touch. Anyone have any suggestions before I go ahead and strip it, re-sand it and re-stain it? It looks fabulous though, so I definitely want to do something to salvage it. I am just itching to get some accessories on there to stage it. Here's the before and after:

I will say I love working with Chalk Paint. This is the fifth piece I've done and I plan to do many more. Its so easy to work with. Even though I ended up having to do 2.5 coats on this piece, it still cuts your work time in half since you don't have to sand and you don't have to prime. So easy.

What probably took the longest was the top of the dresser. I bought a small palm sander for just $35 at Lowes that I used to take the finish off of the top. Then I wiped it down and set off on my first coat of stain. I used this:

I love the color, I love the shine, I just don't like the stickiness, but that's not Minwax's fault. Oh well.

Once the first coat of stain was on, I started painting. I did one coat of stain and one coat of paint the first night. The second night I did the second coat of stain and the last 1.5 coats of paint as some parts needed just a little extra coverage. Since I was unable to remove the drawers, doing all the detail work for the parts around the inside of the drawers was very time consuming.

I ended up not distressing this piece like I've done with the others. I liked the clean look of the Old White. It's something I might do in the future, although I already used the wax to seal and protect it.

The best part about Chalk Paint, and I don't know how to explain this, is that after 2.5 coats on a fairly large piece of furniture, there is still more than half a can left of the paint, which they sell in quarts. It may be expensive, but it lasts forever. My new goal in life is to open a little furniture store so I can be an Annie Sloan Chalk Paint stockist! One day....

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Let there be light

So yesterday I filled you in on a little of the back story for the guest room/office. Since the full room reveal is still a few months away, I figured I better start posting on the backlog of pinspirational projects I've been knocking out.

As the title suggests, this post is all about lighting. The guest room has an overhead fan/light combo that I had installed in each of the bedrooms and the living room when I had the house built. I watch those shows on HGTV where the designers hate ceiling fans and immediately rip them out when redesigning a room. I don't know about them, but I actually live in my house. A ceiling fan is very practical, and personally, I don't think they are that ugly or that much of a distraction to the design.

But in addition to the ceiling fan/light combo, I always like to add in some accent lighting, which is again, very practical. For this room that meant adding a bedside lamp and a lamp for the desk.

I had purchased fabric that I used to cover the boxspring of the Craigslist bed I bought, which I'll post about later. I had lots left over, so I decided to use it in some of the accessories around the room since the fabric so perfectly ties in all the colors I'm using. I plan on making some pillows with it, but my new sewing machine hasn't arrived yet. I was itching to get a project done and remembered pinning a tutorial on a fabric covered lamp shade. Here's my final product! I love how it turned out!

The pinspiration on the left via From New House to Home and my version on the right

I actually ended up covering two lamp shades with the same fabric, but the one for the desk does not have a base yet, so I didn't take photos. For this little silver lamp, I got both the shade and base on clearance at Target for $13. I figured if I messed it up somehow, then it wouldn't be a huge loss.

Now since this blog is not meant to be a how-to, I'll spare you all the details of how I made my fabric covered lamp shade. I can barely follow others directions, let alone remember how I created something. But, From House to Home had a great tutorial to follow, if you decide to make your own. I did buy some spray adhesive, and had an iron, scissors and glue gun on stand by. What I did not use that she did was iron-on hem tape. Instead, I just ironed down my edges really well. She also wrapped the edges around to the inside of the shade and secured them down with hot glue. I just measured my fabric exactly to the depth of the shade so there was no overhang to wrap on the inside. I think mine still came out great! It was so easy and took maybe 10 minuted to complete. I can't wait to find a base for the other lamp shade now. I am thinking I'll probably pick something up at a thrift store and then use this technique to tie it in with the shininess of the other lamp.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Guest room backstory

I was going to wait until the entire guest room/office/fiance's room was finished and revealed before I started posting individual projects, but this darn room is taking me so long to complete! So I'll start off today with a little background before I start blogging about some of the projects I have actually completed.

My home has three bedrooms, all about the same size, with the exception of the master bedroom having an attached master bathroom. The two other bedrooms share a full bath in the hall.

I used to have a roommate, up until about September, and she used to have this particular room as hers. It was painted a reddish/orange color, which was great, when I first moved in and thought it would just be a rarely used guest room. Well the poor girl had to wake up to that jarring wall color every morning for two years!
I can't believe the only before photo of the guest room is from when the house was being built!

When she moved out, and my fiance proposed, we made plans to turn that room into a guest room/office/place for him to stash his clothes since there's no way they're fitting in my closet once he moves in with me. The first step was painting the room. I seriously has nightmares about painting over that color and envisioned having to use 10 coats to finally be rid of the reddish/orange color known as Paprika. But all it took was two coats of Valspar Ultra Paint + Primer. Its low odor and zero VOC. We knocked out that paint job in one day! This time I went with a much more neutral khaki gray color called Oregon Coast.
Oregon Coast by Valspar

Since painting, I've knocked out a few projects and started on others that aren't quite reveal ready yet.

My mom was nice enough to give me her beautiful arts & crafts style desk that will anchor the office corner of the room. We both have laptops, so I'm not sure how much we'll use this space as an office, but it does give him the space to use if he does find the need to have to study in his fourth year of medical school. Luckily, he'll be doing mostly clinical work until graduation.

I plan on adding some nice organizational type accessories above the desk. I went to Target last night to scope out what they have and I was actually disappointed in their selection.  The search continues, but I'm thinking I want something like Pottery Barn's Daily System.

Pottery Barn's Daily System

I purchased a twin bed on Craigslist for just $35 and already got to work on turning it into a bed/lounging space for the room. I built a headboard, covered the box spring and added furniture feet to it so it has a more couch feel to it. All the ideas came from Pinterest, of course, and I'll post on those later. I also started to work on some of the accessories like lamps and artwork. I'll post on those, too.

The big hold up for the whole room reveal is moving my fiance's dresser and nightstand in there when he actually moves in. I will be refinishing those, probably with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (not sure which color yet, but I'm leaning toward Barcelona Orange), but can't start that until the fiance moves in, probably in about six weeks.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint Barcelona Orange dresser via The Back Porch Mercantile

 Hopefully I'll have everything else done in there by then. Fingers crossed!

Craving a new canvas

I can't even tell you how long I have been wanting this:

Dining room of the 2009 HGTV Green Home
Ever since I saw this online when HGTV was giving away its 2009 Green Home, that's how long. This 4-foot-high triptych, entitled Lord Denver's Prize Horse Aditoc, retails for a pretty penny, like $3,900 worth of pennies.

I thought of ways I could make my own version, but the thought of taking my own picture of Ellie (my horse) and blowing it up, and then figuring out the best way to cut it up, was just rattling my brain. I think it would have been really expensive, too, when all was said and done. So I just put the thought out of my head that I'd ever own a beauty like this.

Then One Kings Lane was having a flash sale for a similar looking print. Even though I pinned it as Pinspiration, I just couldn't stomach the $549 price tag either.
Via my Pinterest page, on sale from One Kings Lane for $549

But then last night, on my hunt for a new sectional for the living room, I stopped in at my local Value City Furniture. I bought most of the furniture in my house there and always like to check out their clearance room for any good deals. The clearance section was a bust, but then as I wandered the store, I noticed a large, 3-piece canvas print set. I had seen it before. In fact, I had texted a picture of it to my mom months back when I first noticed it, but the $300 they were asking was still a bit steep for me. But this time it wasn't the print that caught my eye, it was the 75% off tag hanging off of it that got my heart racing. Could it be that I could have this print that I so desired for a mere $75! Yes!

My new 3-piece horse art canvas in the living room
You better believe I bought this bad boy and had it up in my living room in a few hours later. Its huge! It's 5 feet tall and the way I spaced it out, more than 6 feet wide. I am in love! Hope the fiance doesn't mind the invasion of horses that has taken over my house lately. Don't mind the nasty couch. That is being replaced hopefully after this weekend. Hoping to get a nice brown leather sectional that'll hold up better to the furball and droolball known as Franklin! Of course, there will be a post on that, too!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Dresser Turned Media Stand

I had been on the lookout for dressers to turn into a media stands to go under my TVs in both the living room and master bedroom. Well, my hunt is halfway over! After months of scouring Craigslist, I finally found a piece that is almost exactly what I was looking for in the living room!

My new dresser turned media stand!

You see, I have a dog named Franklin, and Franklin likes to shed. Like, a lot. I could sweep and vacuum on a daily basis and be able to fill up the pillows I need to sew for the guest room. So not cool. The piece that I had beneath both TVs was actually just a cheap cubbyhole bookshelf from Target. It was dark brown color like all my other furniture pieces and held my TV equipment and some photos and knick-knacks just fine. That is until the hair, and dust, and dander from the dog started accumulating inside each of the cubbyholes. I could dust those things everyday and be able to fill up the pillows I need to sew for my new sectional, too. So not cool.

Closetmaid Cubicals from Target that I was using under my TVs

I decided that what I needed were dressers under there. Not only to add some great storage in both spots (very much needed), but also to only have to dust one surface and not twelve cubbyholes. I also wanted both dressers to go all the way down to the floor, so that no hair-tumbleweeds would get trapped under there.

As you can see from the image above, the dresser does not go to the floor, alas, it's almost exactly what I was looking for. But, it fit all the other criteria: shelves to put the TV and Internet equipment on, doors to conceal the equipment when not in use, both tall and wide, no fancy woodwork, under $100 and solidly built.  

It still needs some work. The bottom left draw is a little saggy, one of the handles is missing and another fell off while moving it into the house. I also plan on painting it. It was only $100 and in great shape and actually doesn't need to be painted, but I just think the wood tone clashes with my other wood tones in the room. I also want to lighten up the room a bit, so I think painting it with Old White chalk paint by Annie Sloan will help make the piece a bit brighter. I think I'll leave the top unpainted and just stain it darker to match the other wood finishes in the room. Of course I'll keep you posted on that. The paint has been ordered and hopefully I can tackle that while the fiance is on night calls later this month!
My Pinspiration for the finished piece! From here

And the search continues for another dresser for the master bedroom. That one will need to be much smaller to fit the space though. And I am thinking about doing an ombre treatment of sorts. It is so trendy right now. Funny thing is, it'll match my bedspread perfectly!

Not my actual bedroom, but I do own the bedspread! Pinspiration from here, bedspread from here.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Tackling the Invites

I know one of the biggest DIY projects I will be doing for the wedding will be our invitations. I have already hunted down some good (cheap) sources for the paper I'll use. Cards and Pockets seems to have almost everything I'll need. And through Pinterest, I discovered the DIY section on Weddingbee, which is proving to be an excellent source of inspiration to get my creative juices flowing. I've come up with a mood board of sorts to help me keep organized what elements I'm really liking at the moment for the invitation suite. Take a look...

Invitation Suite Mood Board
All of the inspiration came from Pinterest, of course! I designed the logo based on this design from etsy seller sproulliedesign, and posted above, top right. I like the use of the Basho paper under the logo, but I might use a square of burlap instead to tie into the other elements of burlap I plan to use throughout the wedding itself. I also like the rafia wrapped around on top of a colored band. I'd do our band in either the turquoise or coral. 

I love the look of the charcoal gray invitation folder, found here and posted above second down on the right. It's a little formal looking, but with the added turquoise and coral, I am hoping it brings together the color of the guys' tuxes with the burlap and wedding colors. Gray is so in, not only for weddings, but in home decor and fashion, too. I definitely find myself gravitating toward it.    

I like the way this couple used various texts, sizes and colors to create the wording on their invitation, found here and posted above second down on the left. Reminds me of those trendy subway prints and adds a little whimsy, I think. 

This shop found a creative way to address their envelopes for a client's baby shower, pictured above, bottom left. I'd love to do something like that for our wedding. We're not going to hire a calligrapher, so hopefully I can achieve the same look through a cool font. Better brush up on my formatting skills! 

Like I mentioned up top, I plan on ordering charcoal gray invitation folders from Cards and Pockets since we'll have information about accommodations, directions, RSVPs. etc. to include with the actual invites. I like how this couple added an image to their invites, pictured above, bottom right. I may try that, too. That bride did all of her invites from scratch, including measuring out, cutting and folding the invitation folders herself. Very impressive!

So that's what I am thinking about right now in terms of the invites. Of course, I won't get to work on these until we have an actual date set, but it's always nice to have an idea of what you want, because I know these are going to take me a lot of time to make.