Julia’s Rocker

When my friend recently had a baby I decided that I wanted to paint my childhood rocking chair to give to her baby daughter for Christmas. This was my first attempt at using Annie Sloan Chalk Paint (ASCP) on something other than a picture frame.

Original Rocking Chair

Original Rocking Chair

I started by painting the entire chair in ASCP Versailles, one of my favorite colors. Julia’s nursery bedding has a paisley design and I knew I was not a good enough painter to free hand that, so I used a Martha Stewart paisley stencil. The accents were added using ASCP in Emile and Old White.

Paisley Detail on Seat

Paisley Detail on Seat

Paisley Detail on Back

Paisley Detail on Back

After the painting was completed it was time for the waxing, sanding and distressing. I have to admit I still struggle with the waxing. I never get the piece to the level of smoothness that I would like. I am hoping this will come with practice. For this piece I used the ASCP clear wax and added minimal distressing. After forty years this chair has a new life in the nursery of another little girl.

Julia's Rocker

Julia’s Rocker

Note: I apologize for the less than amazing photos of this project. I was running out of time and the time to take photos of the project is what suffered. No matter how much planning you do the holidays always manage to sneak up faster than expected.

Making a Burlap Covered Box

I’ve got a bunch of cardboard shipping boxes in the garage and was trying to think of ways decorate them so I could use them for storage in my house. I settled on covering one of them in burlap, because, well…I’ve got a thing for burlap. I just love bulap’s texture and casual look.

Burlap Box Supplies

I taped up the seams of the box and then it was ready for the burlap. Using Mod Podge, I glued down ¼ of an inch of burlap onto 1 side of the box to begin with. For this first side, I actually put the glue on top of the burlap to ensure it was secured to the box.

Starting the Burlap

Once it dried I continued going around the sides of the box, first brushing on the glue and then pressing the burlap onto the wet glue. After each side set up, I’d move onto the next side repeating the same steps.

Laying Down the Mod Podge

Burlap on Box

The fourth and final side of the box was finished off by folding under the burlap to create a clean seam. Again, to ensure it was secured, glue was put on top of the burlap. It dries clear so it doesn’t dramatically change the look of the burlap.

Folded over Burlap

Glued Burlap Edges

A Clean Seam

After the entire box was dry, I trimmed up the burlap that hung over the edges of the box and I was good to go.

Finished Burlap Box

Jazzing Up A Wire Basket

I had picked up a wire basket with a burlap lining to give me some extra storage in the dining room. I loved the rustic feel of the wire basket but felt it was a little blah.

Wire Basket - Before

In order to give the basket a little pizazz I decided to stencil a design on it. I used a Martha Stewart stencil and craft paint I already had in my stash of craft supplies. I secured the stencil to the burlap using blue painters tape and put a piece of cardboard behind the burlap lining to prevent the paint from bleeding through the burlap.

Stenciling Burlap

Stenciled Burlap

The stencil was applied to all 4 sides of the burlap lining, but I waited for the paint to dry to the touch before moving on to the next side in order to prevent the paint from smearing. As soon as it dried, it was ready to go back up on top of the dining room hutch to provide some much needed additional storage.

Wire Basket - After

Vegetable Themed Wreath

Today’s project is from a number of years ago, hence the one not so great quality picture. I guess it could be considered my Throwback Thursday craft project.

I wanted vegetable themed decor in my very first kitchen. I wasn’t a big vegetable eater so I figured it was the only way there would ever be veggies in that kitchen since I wasn’t buying them at the grocery store. I’ve got a thing for wreaths so I decided to make a veggie themed wreath. I started with a straw wreath and hot glued some craft moss to the wreath. Next I hot glued some miniature vegetables I picked up from the craft store onto the moss covered wreath. And there you have it…the only vegetables that were ever in that kitchen!

Veggie Wreath

Veggie Wreath

Picture Frame Makeover Surprise

I recently got certified as a Pilates Mat teacher. After all that hard work I wanted to frame the certificate I received, so it was time for another craft project. All of the unused frames I had on hand were oak or painted white, neither which would work in my office. A quick look through my craft cabinet revealed a sample size of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite and I knew I’d be able to turn the oak frame into something that worked. What I love about the ASCP paint is you don’t have to pre-sand the wood before painting, you just go right over whatever finish is already on the piece. I painted the frame with the ASCP and after it dried used Annie Sloan Clear Wax on top of it.

Painted Frame

Frame painted in ASCP Graphite

I wanted to give the frame a slightly distressed look so I got out some fine grit sandpaper to rough up the edges of the frame. Here is where I got a small surprise. It turns out the oak frames weren’t actually oak but were some sort of composite material that looked like oak. What this meant was when I was sanding the paint almost peeled or chipped off which wasn’t what I was expecting. At first I was annoyed but then realized I actually liked how the distressing was turning out, so I went with it. Yes, sometimes the best things in life are a surprise!

Painted and Distressed Frame

Painted and Distressed Frame

Close Up of the Frame

Close Up of the Frame

I put a little more wax on just to give the piece a final buffing and popped the certificate in the frame and voila…it was done.

Ready to Hang

Ready to Hang

Jar Candle Upcycle

I burn a lot of jar candles and have always just put the empty glass jars out with the rest of my recycling when I had finished with the candles. Lately I’ve been saving the jars thinking I could find a use for them around the house.

A few months ago I switched to using daily contact lenses and needed to find a way to store them in my bathroom in a way that allowed me to get to them easily each morning but also looked nice. The candle jars were a perfect size but I didn’t want to see the contact lens packets through the clear glass jar so I had to get crafty.

Empty Candle  Jar

All that is needed for this project is a roll of twine, a brush, Mod Podge and an empty jar. Starting at the top of the jar, simply brush the Mod Podge onto the jar and start unrolling the twine. I found brushing the glue around the jar in 1 inch increments worked well and allowed me to wrap the twine around a section of the jar before the glue dried up. Then I’d just repeat brushing on the glue and wrapping the jar in twine until I reached the bottom of the jar.

Mod Podge and Twine

I reinforced the two rows of twine at the top and the bottom of the jar by putting some extra Mod Podge on top of the twine. This will ensure the twine doesn’t start to unravel from the jar.

Reinforcing the Twine

Fully wrapped jar

Once it dried, I was pretty pleased with my little project, but felt it needed something extra. Since these particular jar candles had flat wood tops, I went ahead and stenciled the letters ‘L’ and ‘R’ on the top of the tops. One jar would hold the contacts for my left eye and the other would hold the contacts for my right eye. (Yes, I’m anal retentive!) For this part of the project I just used some letter stencils and some black craft paint, both of which I already had at home.

Stenciling items

Stenciling

Here’s the completed project sitting on my bathroom counter, entirely created with items I already had on hand. It cost me nothing except a little time!

Contact Lens Storage

Red Solo Cup Art

This is a craft project from a few years ago when I first moved into my new house. The house has a large wall in the stairwell that needed a large piece of art. The problem with a large piece of art is it’s usually pretty expensive and I didn’t want to spend a lot of money, especially when I wasn’t sure exactly what I wanted.

Art on the Wall

Art on the Wall

I decided to make use of 4 blank canvases and some old paint I had lying around from prior projects. Two canvases were painted green and 2 were painted brown. After they dried they were placed right next to each other on the table. Now it was time to get creative with 3 additional colors of paint and 3 Red Solo Cups.

Red Solo Cup Art

Painting the Canvases

I painted the rim of each cup with a different shade of green, brown and beige and used each cup to ‘stamp’ circles on the canvas. I kept loading up the paint on the cup with a foam brush and continued with each color paint until I got a pattern I was happy with. I made sure to stamp the circles so they spanned more than one canvas so the design would line up when the canvases hung on the wall.

Red Solo Cup Canvas Close Up

One of the brown canvases

After the paint dried the canvases were hung on the wall in the stairwell with Command Strips. I chose to hang them spaced slightly apart so that the art would appear bigger on the wall. What I like about this project is it cost nothing because it was done with items I already had at home and that it can be done in any combination of colors to match your taste.

Hanging in the Stairwell

Hanging in the Stairwell

Homemade Magnetic Pen Holder

Like a lot of people I have a note pad hanging on my refrigerator but I always find myself searching for a pen when I have something to write down. The whole taping a string to a pen and then taping it to the note pad wasn’t the look I was going for, so I came up with something a little nicer looking.

Magnetic Pen Holder

I took a box I was going to recycle, in this case a box of decongestant medicine…you know, the good stuff you have to sign for at the pharmacy counter. I cut it down to a size that would be good to stand pencils and pens in. Then I used packing tape to secure the edges of the box.

The Starting Materials

The box still didn’t have the look I was going for so I wrapped it in left over scrapbook paper. You could use anything that you like or that matches your décor to cover the box…wrapping paper, a picture from a magazine, etc.

Wrapped in Decorative Paper

The final step was to glue a magnet to the back of the box so it would be able to hang on the refrigerator next to the note pad. Now I always have a pen handy when I need one and it was made with items I already had in the house. And it looks a lot classier than a pen taped to a string.

Magnetic Pen Holder

From Functional to Fabulous

I picked up these inexpensive plastic drawers at a big box store. They are super functional, but NOT super attractive, which is a problem since I intended to leave them out on the bathroom counter. I’m also not wild about being able to see my make up through the clear plastic drawers. And, yes, all the drawers are filled with makeup. What can I say…It takes a village.

Make-Up Storage Pre-Transformation

My first 2 attempts at jazzing up the plastic drawers went horribly wrong. My first thought was to simply line the front of the transparent drawers with left over craft paper. The problem was the front of the drawer curved in a way that made it challenging to get the paper to line up just right. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I got frustrated and gave up on this approach. My second thought was to spray paint the black container brown to better coordinate with the bathroom. Painting plastic can be a challenge and despite using a plastic primer it turned into a hot mess. It was so ugly I didn’t want to take a picture of it. Luckily the plastic drawers aren’t too expensive because I was back at the store buying another set that afternoon.

My third, and final idea, was to stencil the black plastic with a pattern and color that coordinated with a previous bathroom project I had done (HERE).  I used a stencil and craft paint from the earlier project and applied the stencil to the top and sides of both containers. This seemed to work much better.

Stenciling

Next I had to figure out what to do about the transparent drawers. I used the same craft paint I used for the stencil to hand paint the interior front of the drawers. It took a good 3 to 4 coats to get decent coverage that didn’t look terribly streaky when viewed from the front of the drawer.

Painting the inside of the drawers

After everything dried I used some nail polish remover on a Q-Tip to clean up the stray paint on the bottom of the drawer. Taping the drawer before painting it would’ve prevented having to clean up the messy paint, but sometimes I just like to wing it. The handles were popped back on the drawers and the drawers were put back in to reveal the the finished product.

Re-Assembled Make-Up Storage

Both sets of drawers, stacked back in the bathroom and all filled up. From Functional to Fabulous!

The Completed Project

Bathroom Counter Storage

I don’t like clutter and am always looking for clever storage ideas. I had seen a post on Pinterest about using a plate stand to create additional storage on the bathroom counter. If you don’t already know about Pinterest, it is a crafter’s Nirvana. I didn’t want to spend money on a plate stand and decided to try and replicate the idea using items from the dollar and/or craft store.

I picked up 2 stove top burner covers from the dollar store. As ‘lovely’ as the 2 different fruit patterns were, it didn’t matter that they didn’t match because they were never going to see the light of day after they were covered with spray paint. I used left over spray paint from a prior project that coordinated with the colors in my master bathroom.

Burner Covers and Spray Paint

Once the spray paint dried it was time to apply stencils to the painted burner covers. I picked up new stencils and stencil paint at the craft store but easily could’ve used ones I already had on hand from prior projects.

Stenciling the Burner Covers

The left over spray paint was also used to cover a metal candlestick holder I found in the clearance section of the local craft store. Here are the 3 fully painted pieces prior to assembly.

Painted Pieces Pre-Assembly

Then it was time to put it all together. I used epoxy to adhere the burner covers and candlestick holder together and used 2 heavy cookbooks to apply pressure as the piece dried.  Anyone who knows me is aware that this is the most use these cookbooks have gotten in years.

Counter Stand Drying During Assembly

I let it dry overnight and flipped it over to reveal the completed stand. So pretty!

Completed Counter Stand

The stand now located on the counter and is filled up with some of the stuff we ladies like to keep easily accessible in the master bathroom. I think I could easily apply the same steps to make a cool occasion specific stand to hold cupcakes or hors d’oeuvres…if only I cooked.

Counter Stand in Use