Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Outdoor Furniture Sometimes Works Indoors

The Hubs is amazing for a lot of reasons and this is just an addition to that long list! Recently Bray received an outdoor rope swing as a gift from his Grampy. We were struggling with a location in the yard to hang it and out of left field, Hubs suggests we put it in his room! Of course, Ms. Practicality immediately starts asking questions on whether the ceiling can support the weight, blah blah blah....having no idea that the wheels were already turning inside his head!

Ultimately, using the leftover beams from our sandbox project, the Hubs created a post and beam knee brace to support the swing from the wall.

This will give you an idea of how he secured the top piece to the side piece! By adding the diagonal brace, the weight from the swing is spread across the entire structure. This eliminates all the weight hanging from one spot and increases the amount of weight the swing can handle. In fact, Bray and I both get in it and read!

I just love the way it turned out and it adds a little more whimsy to his room!

Kids Room Chalkboard Wall

After making a small chalkboard on the wall in the playroom, I realized how fun it is to color outside the lines. Why limit creativity, right? Bray seems to enjoy using all the different colored chalk to create designs on the small board (he is in a Jackson Pollock phase apparently), so I decided to give him even more freedom! I picked up Valspar Chalkboard Paint and started moving the furniture in his bedroom out of my way!

Since the wall was already primed and painted, I only had to fill and repair some holes in the wall from previously hung pictures. Filling holes and removing any trace of them is sort of an art form in itself. I have the distinct pleasure of learning a lot of better ways to do contrast with my previous attitude of slap on the plaster, sand and accept the slight bump on the wall! To start, make sure that the sides of the hole lie flat to the wall. Often there will be a small rise and you can remove this by either sanding the sides down or using an exacto knife to carve away the ridge. Next, use a putty knife or your finger to generously apply the putty making sure to leave it a bit proud (this is some Hubs lingo for ya....I have deduced it to mean "a little extra"). I really like using the putty that turns white as it dries (starts out bright pink, which I also quite enjoy!) Once it is completely dry, I use a small piece of sand paper wrapped around a small block of wood to sand it down. You can literally use any block of wood. I have scraps in a box that I pick from, but in a bind once I even used a toy alphabet block to do this! It just allows you to have a better grip and apply even pressure when sanding. Make sure to sand the entire area, even a bit beyond the edge of the putty, to blend the line where wall meets putty. Check the smoothness often with your other hand too! You will be amazed how there is no trace of the previous hole once the paint is applied!

Anywho....moving back into Bray's new wall....after the holes were filled and sanded, I used a 6 ft level to create my top and lower border. I decided to curl the wall around his bed area. I also used the window and the closet door to eye ball where the borders should lie. I went about an inch higher than the bottom of the window and a few inches below the top of the window and the closet door.


Using the window casement as my plumb line.
Once I had the borders level and lightly penciled, I cut in the lines by hand with a small, angled paint brush.

You can see in both of these pictures that there are some errant brush strokes of paint. I did that to clear my brush so that I could get a clean line along the edge of the border. You can also do this on a spare piece of cardboard (old pizza box) or some paper towels. I think it helps keep the paint brush from getting too much paint on it.

Next came the fun and easy part....using a roller to color in the rest!

Pay no attention to the light fixture, more on it later! :)

Allow a full 24 hrs between coats and before use!  I used street chalk (the BIG stuff) on it's side to apply a base coat of chalk (this will help the chalk adhere better later). 

Lastly, just wipe the wall clean with a slightly damp cloth and you are ready to go!

Again, pay no attention to the light! HAHA!

We are in the process of transitioning from the toddler bed to a twin because Bray seems to enjoy stuffing insane amounts of stuff into the bed while he sleeps! Stay tuned for the upholstered headboard I made him!

**I had to add this picture. This is what Bray likes in his bed. You can clearly see why the need for more space! HAHA! And every night he also selects a truck to sleep with too. Occasionally we luck out with a small, handheld one, but some nights, the big metal Tonka dump truck gets some spoonin'!**

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Little Fabric Can Go a Long Way

Sometimes I am amazed at how a small and simple change can impact a room so significantly. I was sort of craving something graphic and contrasting in our bedroom and could not put my finger on what wasn't working. It wasn't until I noticed some fantastic fabric in the sale bin at our local crafts store that my brain started thinking. I knew I wanted to use it for euro shams and once I saw those on the bed, I realized that I wanted more of it.

After scanning the room, I realized that there was a lot of monochromatic action along my dresser and one glance at the lamp made my heart skip a beat.

I originally scored this West Elm lamp years ago at a yard sale and I added in the plain white square shade from Target. Glue gun ready, it was a snap to apply the fabric. I worked in small sections and literally just wrapped a rectangular swath of fabric around the exterior of the shade. Since it was a perfect square without any tapering, I just had to dab glue and press down around the entire upper and lower rim.

Yippee! Much better and exactly the pop the dresser needed. Stay tuned for more small makeovers in this room!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

An Armoire's New Life

Hello!! I cannot believe it has been over a week since I have posted anything. Life has been a bit hectic around here. Birthdays galore and more!! My little man is now 2! I cannot believe it. It's funny how his birthdays and milestones are now how I mark the passage of time. In fact, I think I was more excited about his birthday than my own! There was something so special about watching him blow out his big #2 candle! It was our first party here at the new house and we went into crazy mode in the days leading up to it to finish some projects. Did I mention that the Hubs put together our new cedar swing a day basically? That officially secured my belief that he is the handiest person EVER. Of course, he "beefed it up" by adding his own personal touches. Like a longer support beam (because he really wants it to hold up) and a spot for an additional swing for Miles. Considering I think more adults have played on it in the last few days, it probably was a good idea to place a larger beam in there! HAHA!

In the interim, I found some evening time to finish up an armoire that was handed down to me from my aunt. It was actually my grandfather's as a child. The piece itself was in fairly decent shape considering how old it is and that it has not been used in a very, very long time. Cosmetically the wood was in decent shape, but structurally I needed to spend some time repairing and stabilizing the door and legs. Here she is on the day we picked her up!

I knew exactly where I wanted her, so that helped to determine the color I wanted. So began, the very easy process of sanding her down. Due to her age and wear, most of the finish had worn off. I lightly sanded everything down and removed the drawers and door for repairs. I flipped the entire wardrobe onto her side and placed a few screws into each leg from underneath so that you wouldn't see any unsightly screw heads. By drilling directly into the base of the legs, I got a tighter fit against the body of the wardrobe and this corrected the wobbly feeling. I also went around the back of the piece and placed a few brad nails around the perimeter to keep the back piece of wood from bowing.

Next up, PAINT! Here is where I really had fun. I have a ton of sample paints laying around in varying shades of blue, so I simply started pouring a little of this and a little of that into a plastic container. Lastly I added a bit of Dover White to soften the color and give a little bit of sheen (the Dover White is in a semi gloss finish as opposed to the satin finishes of the samples). I put a light coat over everything and then took a small piece of sand paper to the edges of each drawer, the door and the wardrobe itself.

Once this first layer of blue was down and distressed, I went back over the entire piece with some antiquing glaze and a cotton rag. I like the random look of streaking the glaze on in vertical wipes. Some people prefer to do circles when rubbing it on. Totally personal preference! Just remember that the glaze soaks in quickly so to keep your hand moving. I used the Valspar glaze.

After my glaze had dried, I decided to lightly brush on some silvery gray paint from a sample. To do this, I started with a very dry small paint brush. I dipped it lightly into the sample and then brushed off the excess on a paper napkin. Then I very lightly feathered the paint onto the piece.

It just added another layer of age and depth to it overall. While I was waiting for all of this to dry, I started thinking about how to change out the hardware and door to make the piece a little more me. Then my eye caught the chicken wire (that I HAD to have, as the Hubs chuckled in the background, on our last trip to Lowe's). I removed the small tack strips from the back of the door that were holding the center piece of mdf (medium density fiberboard, a thin piece of plywood basically) in place.

I measured the length and width of the opening and using my wire cutters, I cut a piece of wire to fit. Be extra careful here and wear gloves. That wire is a pain in the.....Then I just used my power stapler to secure the entire piece to the backside of the door.

Some sale knobs from Lowe's and I was ready to start piecing her back together.

It was here I noticed that now you would be able to see right into the door. Cut to me breaking all the paint back out! A few light brush strokes of leftover white paint and I was all set.

I know it looks sort of awful, but I didn't want it to look perfect!
Now the fun part......bringing her up to our room. I decided to place her in the nook in our bedroom. That nook had not had an identity since we moved in and I am finally HAPPY with what it looks like!

White ceramic knobs.

Great for jewelry and for clothespins with love notes!

Some fun accessories for up top!

Love the finish!

Linking up with:

Chic on a Shoestring Decoratingvif187
Furniture Feature Fridays

Transformation Thursday

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

How to Create Wall Quotes

In my current obsession with the vinyl lettering all over Etsy right  now, I was trying to find a way that I could create the same look without breaking the bank. There had to be a DIY version so I began my investigation two minute online search. I found lots of letter stencils, but again that would become pricey for the quotes I had in mind. I began to consider free hand writing it.......which would require an extremely steady hand and uber patience....neither of which I am blessed with. Lo and behold....da.da.daaaaa....there were quite a few places that made homemade "carbon" paper. Emily of Jones Design and Janell of Isabella & Max Rooms both had great ideas on easy ways to create quotes for your walls.

I had two areas to conquer and both would employ slight variations of the same technique. To start, I used the Word program on my computer. I really love the Bookman Old Style font so I typed out both of my quotes in size 200 (yes, 2 hundy!). Especially if this is your first go with this, go big or go home! It was much easier with a little bit of a larger font. (I cannot fathom anything least right now as a newbie!)

Printed in "landscape" to accommodate the length of each word, I turned the printed pages over and lightly rubbed chalk over the backs of each word. Next simply cut out each word and tape to the wall or area that you wish to transfer to.

Now the somewhat tedious portion of this project. Using a pencil, trace the outline of each letter. I am inpatient so I of course peeked after the first word!

Don't worry about any excess chalk that rubs off on the wall. A quick wipe of a slightly damp cloth will remove it when all is said and done. Once I had transferred the entire quote, I went back over hand (eeeekkkkkk) with some white leftover wall paint we had. While ranting over and over in my head that I could paint over any screw ups, I found that if I anchored the meaty part of my palm and my forearm on the wall, I could actually stay within the lines. A little while later.....

Next up was a small addition to the laundry nook. Here I used the same technique, but instead of chalk as my transfer medium, I used a pencil. I did this because unlike the dark chocolate walls of our family bathroom, the laundry nook is light yellow and white.

Again, I taped up my words and traced each letter. This time I used black paint (same font).

Just a little something extra in each space! I am already thinking about using the same technique for signs for our garden!

Monday, April 4, 2011

DIY Driftwood Sunburst

This is the tag team post to my previous one with the stencil above the headboard in our master bedroom. I have wanted to do this for such a long time now and it felt so good to see it through to completion. The reason why I have wanted to do a sunburst with driftwood? Well we are big beach people.....not sit on the beach and get a tan type people (although I secretly love that....the Hubs not so much), we are more the type to go with the fam (dogs included) and do a beach hike. We are very lucky to live in an area that has tons of places to do this and we didn't slow down even when I was ginormo prego (both times). Check out this belly awesomeness.....

Yes, there was a ginormo baby in there too.....all 9 lbs and 4 oz of him. As I got bigger (and subsequently slower...hehehe) the Hubs would always find me a great walking stick from the driftwood at the beach. I would use it the whole time we were walking for extra stability and because I loved the pieces he always seemed to find, I typically threw them in the back of the truck and brought them home with me. He would always ask, with a raised eyebrow, what I was going to do with them and I never really had an answer. Until, I started looking at various wreaths and sunburst mirrors online. I knew instantly that the walking sticks would be a beautiful addition and reminder of my prego days and of those long walks thinking (and often talking to) the lil' bambino growing inside.

To start, I measured the space above the headboard to make sure I created something that would be the right scale for the wall. Then I brought the sticks downstairs to the workshop for cutting and arranging. I cut the sticks to the desired lengths leaving about two inches variance between each piece. I did this to create variety and a less uniform look to the whole sunburst.

I played around with the arrangement and added in skinnier sticks and thicker sticks sporadically to give a more organic feel. Next up was figuring out what I was going to adhere these all to! As my eyes scanned the workshop, I noticed a big empty plastic jug of Folgers and had an AHA moment. I popped the lid off and cut out the center. Instant grayish colored wreath! At that point it was as simple as picking up a piece of wood and dotting some glue down. I worked all the way around and then let it sit for about an hour to set.

It puts a smile on my face every time I see it. What a great reminder of how special this time of my life is! Now off to chase those two lil' meatballs!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...