Burlap Lampshade

There is a little consignment shop in Loveland that I like to visit from time to time. They are very reasonably priced and occasionally you can score a great find. I got these hotel lamps there for $4 each! She probably had a dozen of them. I picked up two, then went back the next day and got 2 more. They were gold and that color green that makes my toes curl a little. Very Marriot-ish, if you know what I mean.

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Although the bases looked a million times better after I spray painted them white, the shades turned out terribly. Especially when the lamp was on, you could see the wrinkly fabric and uneven lines where I had wrapped it around the shade (without properly measuring…). I’ve never been proud of them. That’s why when I came across thisit was obvious what needed to be done.IMG_8128

So I tore off the green and burlap and got busy cutting out circles. Lots and lots and lots of circles. I would admit that this has been one of my more time-consuming, tedious projects of late. But it was worth it.
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I used this ribbon spool as a general size-guide for cutting out the first circle. DSC_4964DSC_4966To find the center of the circle, I bent it in half, then in half again to make a kind of flower. Then I just put a drop of hot glue on the center of the bottom. I tried to space them about an inch apart or so.

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I began with a line down to the bottom, then came back and started going round and round. DSC_4968DSC_4971

Until…DSC_5021DSC_5019DSC_5011Much improved, don’t you think? 🙂IMG_6072

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Pallet Sign

There are so many adorable and creative ideas out there for pallet signs!

Our garage was home to several pallets that I had saved from different deliveries for just this purpose. I was planning to make a special sign for my mom and step-dad. Simple and rustic, with an inspiring message.

My husband helped me maneuver the sawz-all to cut the pallet apart. We used the demolition blade and cut right through the nails. There are many ways to deconstruct a pallet, but this worked for us. (I don’t recommend doing this in shorts and bare feet, by the way…) 🙂 Go, Babe!IMG_2783

After the pallet was deconstructed, I nailed 6 horizontal boards to 2 vertical boards.

IMG_2795With a stencil, I traced the words lightly in pencil to make sure there was room for each phrase on each of the boards. Then I got out my paint and small sponge brush.

IMG_2796Some of the words would be a different color, so I left those for last.

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Here’s the finished product. Once again, not perfect, but perfectly imperfect and made with love.  🙂 IMG_2798

Easy Wall Hangings and Throw Pillows

Have you ever been baffled about what to hang on your wall? I have. Out of all the things we’ve collected over the years, things to hang on the wall haven’t been one of them. But I figured I could make something pretty easily.

After doing some research, I learned that canvas or even cardboard could be used as a backing. Then I discovered these ultra-cheap foam insulation panels (they’re about $12 for a pack of 6). What a great idea! They are super light and easy to cut with a box cutter. They are also huge, so if you want a large wall hanging, this would be a cheap way to achieve that.

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Here’s a picture for size perspective. DSC_4996

You can choose whatever material you like to cover them. After you cut the foam to the size you want, cut the fabric slightly larger than the foam so you have some to fold over the back. I used the glue gun to hold it in place. Here’s the fabric I chose.
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I cut two rectangular pieces of foam and one square piece for the center. You could do them all the same, all different, whatever you like.

DSC_5003 DSC_5001Using a stencil and some of my “sample” paint from Lowes, I made the center hanging. It’s not perfect, but I think that’s the beauty of a DIY project. It’s your work, your time, your effort, your creativity. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

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I also decided to make some “new” throw pillows to go with the wall hangings.

It doesn’t matter what the pillows look like because you’re going to cover them. I had a couple old, ratty rusty-red throw pillows in storage so I dug those out. I covered them with the same fabric I used for the wall hangings. The strip of burlap, lace, letters, and buttons just appealed to me at the moment so I threw those on too. 🙂 You can be creative! These pillows aren’t “permanent”, so if you wanted to change them out later, you could. (As you can see, the letters fell off at some point and I unknowingly switched them… I also switched out the square pillow for a little rectangular one when I re-glued them.) It’s really up to you how sturdy you want to make them. I actually pinned the backs originally, then found that it was rather unhandy to be poked in the hand whenever you tried to fluff or move them. So I used the glue gun the second time around. (DIY-ing is really all about trial and error! You learn as you go!) 😉
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Headboard

Sometimes it’s challenging to work around what you have when it isn’t something you’d choose. This was our bedroom in one of our rentals. Our whole bedroom was “blah” to say the least.

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When I finally got to pick the colors for our bedroom, I began to explore the idea of a headboard also. My inspiration came from this. I liked the simplicity of it. It was cheap and something I could do myself!

After purchasing the lumber, I tried to stain it. But after about 3 coats, it still wasn’t the color I wanted. (The board on the left is the original lumber. The one on the right is after 3 coats…) Note to self: *Not all stains are created equal.

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Here are all four boards. 
IMG_2645So I scrapped the stain idea and instead painted the boards black. Would I do it the same way again? Maybe. Had I known about Zar stain back then though, I may have gotten the color I wanted with only 1-2 applications. Here’s a more recent project (more on that later) that I applied 1 coat of Zar and got this rich, pretty color. Did I mention Zar stain is the best?

DSC_4412Mounting the headboard was a 2 person job. My husband helped me be sure the boards were level while we screwed a screw into each end of each board. After we mounted our new headboard, I painted the screw heads black so they weren’t so obvious.

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Easy Chalkboard Wall

This was an easy couple-hour project that has been fun for both my husband and I, as well as the kids. We’ve enjoyed doodling and leaving each other silly or sweet notes.

My sister has also been wanting to do a small framed chalkboard on her kitchen pantry, so I challenged her to see who could complete their chalkboard first. I won. My sister said that I can help her paint hers next time I come to visit. 😉

Our chalkboard wall is just at the top of the stairs in the playroom where it is handy to scribble something as you walk by. Or you can sit and stay awhile. DSC_4936 I taped off the ceiling and along the baseboard (such an easy way to cut in, I’ve found… even though the “experts” say you should never tape to cut in!) Well, it works for me.

The wall only took one coat with touch-ups in areas where the paint was sparse. *Update: I’m going to add 2 more coats. The main reason is to be able to erase easier. As it is now, I have to use a wet rag to erase adequately. DSC_4938Doodles!

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I found this fun little box at Tuesday Morning and thought it was perfect for holding chalk and an eraser. I might mount it on the wall…

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Half Bath Transformation

The half bath in our house was covered from floor to ceiling in paisley wallpaper born in the early 90’s– for about a day. I think it was the first room we tackled when we signed the papers and received the key. Unfortunately I can’t find a before picture of the bathroom anywhere. Oh well. Just thought you’d appreciate the lime green more if you saw what we had to work with.

Over the years, I have removed/painted several rooms of wallpaper or borders that weren’t my style. So out came the Kilz primer (love that stuff!).

But from the moment the lime green was swiped across the wall, I was unsure. It was electric, for one. Don’t get me wrong, I do love this color. (The music room, guest room, and laundry room all wear it after all.) But in the small, windowless half bath, it was too much. (Who chose this color, anyway?) 😉 Even the wood floor reflected the green and looked yellowish in its glow. Besides, who needs an electrifying, energizing, and bright bathroom?? You get the point.

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After I finished the hallway project, I had some “Sea Sprite” left over and decided to do what I had long planned to do in repainting the bathroom.

DSC_4854Immediately the mood of the bathroom changed to calming, soothing, and relaxing. The way a bathroom should be.

I did do one crazy thing in here.

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What?! Yes, I spray painted the fixtures “oil rubbed bronze” while they were still on the wall! Obviously I didn’t mind if I got a little splatter on the green since it was getting painted anyway, so rather than hassle with turning off the electricity and taking down the light fixture and towel hanger, I opted for the lazy option. It actually worked quite well, although I’m sure some of you are shuddering at my bravery, er, laziness. Anyway. Much improved, don’t you think?DSC_4834

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Callie is my 15-year-old border collie/Australian shepherd dog. She follows me around everywhere and is a constant companion. But as much as I love her, I didn’t want her prints forever painted on the wood floor after she walked through the paint tray to get closer to me. Thanks, Cal.

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The bathroom was coming along.

DSC_4853A few finishing touches were needed. One was the gold ends of the sink handles. I removed them and spray painted them silver.

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Next, the thrifted black shelf had to be painted. Hanging with the off-white shutters, it looked stark and intense. And since I had spray painted it the first time around, it was in need of some TLC.

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I painted on about 3 layers of antique white, letting it dry between each coat.

DSC_4884When the final coat was dry, I used a rag and rubbed on some Zar stain, giving it a worn, vintage feel.

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Ah. Much better.DSC_4929

DSC_4913The last project was to make something fresh to hang on the wall. I rummaged around in my garage and came up with a piece of barn wood that I had attempted to stencil at some point (a complete failure, by the way- the wood was way too ridged).

DSC_4906So I nailed a picture hanger on that side and attached a hose clamp to the good side with two small nails. (I tried screwing through the slats, but was unsuccessful.)

DSC_4909After filling a mason jar with pea gravel and potting soil, I grabbed one of the broken-off stems of houseplants that I keep in this jar and planted it in the soil. (Did you know that almost any plant will eventually grow roots if kept in water?) Also as a side note, did you know that houseplants improve air quality? NASA did a study on it. You can read about it here. I love houseplants!

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Then I slipped the mason jar into place through the hose clamp.

DSC_4925The half bath is much improved and has a calm, relaxing, organic, soothing feel.

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DSC_4913In case you forgot, here’s another look at the before:DSC_4839

Afternoon Hallway Facelift

It’s been long in coming. Every time I walked through the hall into our bedroom, I thought to myself, “Gotta paint this.” It just didn’t “flow” and felt choppy going from aqua to gray with the off-white sandwiched in the middle.

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Well, Monday, I did paint it. I had a quart size of Olympic “Sea Sprite” left over from the kitchen and office, and it was just the right amount. No fuss no muss. It took about 2 hours. (Cutting in took the longest… my least favorite part.)

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Do you like my step stool? I was being lazy and didn’t want to go out to the chicken house in the cold to haul in the dirty ladder, so I made do. It worked just fine. DSC_4832 DSC_4833I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit of a messy painter. Paint usually ends up all over my hands and at least a smudge or two on my clothes. It’s always a good idea to wear frumpy work clothes. This time, I also wore an apron like my grandma when she cooks. 🙂

I used a wet paper towel to wipe around the doorframe where a little excess paint collected.
DSC_4828Wow! I do love the finished look! It’s amazing what a coat of paint will do!

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