Autumn is Approaching! (Fall Craft Project)

What a great idea and I am loving ALL of the inspiration. I’m not quite ready for fall, but what a lovely way to prepare myself. Head over and check out all of the fall fun!

Here’s my post:

I know. I know. It’s a little early….
I don’t know what your weather is like, but here in PA, it’s beginning to feel a lot like Autumn. It’s still August for goodness sake! But chillier temps (currently 59 degrees!) and a trip to Michael’s where Halloween and fall have already been on display for a few weeks = autumn on the brain. (I didn’t procrastinate this year!)

(Note: I AM NOT ready for the summer to end just yet…where’d it go?)

Last fall my daughter and I got crafty and I decided to make it a tradition. I’ll share that project with you next month some time but now for Met Monday hosted by Susan at Between Naps on the Porch, I want to show you what we did this weekend.

Remember my house number flower pots? Well, soon those flowers are going to flower-heaven as fall frost gets closer, right? Then what? Well…introducing my House Number Funkins (faux pumpkins) with glow in the dark glittered numbers (which look so cool glowing but photographing in the dark is a little tricky):

I haven’t put them out yet. I’m not quite ready to say good bye to summer and my petunias are still soaking up the last of summer but I’ll be all ready when it’s time.

Here’s what I did.1. In Microsoft Word, I enlarged my house numbers in a font I liked. (heavy heap). I printed them on old card stock.

2. Then I cut out the numbers to create stencils.
3. I traced them onto my pumpkins. Using the actual number instead of stencil worked a little better since it’s not a flat surface. (I didn’t take a before picture…but this is pretty much what it looked like before. You’ve seen a faux pumpkin…kind of boring and plain.)
4. I painted them using metallic craft paint. This took a couple of coats. Fun project in front of a movie since it’s time consuming and repetitive. I just did stripes on mine with house numbers since they’ll mostly only be seen from the road.
5. After the paint was dry, I used a cheap, small paint brush to apply glue to the numbers.
6. Then I poured on Martha Stewart’s glow-in-the-dark glitter.
(Nestie friends – D&R Halloween Nightmare II – Return of the Glitter Pumpkins)

My daughter painted this one:

That’s as far as I got today. But I will also:7. Spray a protective coat of matte lacquer over my pumpkins and the glittered numbers for outdoor durability.
8. Cut a hole in the top so that I can add sand or rocks to give them weight (to prevent blowing away when it’s windy). That’s it. I’m really happy with how they turned out and can’t wait to update this little area about the 2nd week of September. They will go here:

Watch for details next week relating to
The DIY Show Off – Autumn DIY Fest!


Handpainted Wallpaper & a Gorgeous Dining Room Makeover from A Penny Saved

Hi DIY-ers! You’re in for a treat. This DIY project is one of my favorites. It’s stunning, so creative and an amazing DIY transformation. I’ve introduced you to

before with her gorgeous DIY Chandelier tutorial.


Well…she has more budget friendly tricks. Make sure you visit her blog, click her DIY label and be prepared to be inspired and become a follower. Because the beauty she creates is something anyone can do.

Her DIY wallpaper is gorgeous. I love it even better than the pricey Farrow and ball wallpaper that inspired her to come up with such a creative inexpensive option.

Here is her post:

Dining Room Tour

This is what the room looked like soon after we moved into our house in January:
I loved the judge’s paneling, but I knew I wanted to go with a lighter, softer color, and that I wanted to do something a little crazy on the walls. After moving from house to house every 1-3 years for my entire life (my dad was military and you can read about our recent house-jumping here) I’m ready to put down roots and make a house my own.

I considered wallpaper and fell in love with “Silvergate” from Farrow and Ball:
But at several hundred dollars for the rolls I would need to paper the Dining Room, I knew I had to pass it up. So I decided to paint an enlarged version of the Silvergate pattern on my walls. I started sketching and filling in with paint, and before long I had this:And after what seemed like an eternity of sketching, erasing, and painting, I finished! There are tons of imperfections in the pattern, but I’m holding my inner perfectionist at bay and trying really hard to ignore them. There’s no guarantee that I won’t constantly be touching up and “fixing” things, though. But for right now I’m happy with it.

And the total cost for the “mural” comes to $30! I bought 2 cans of Behr Interior Flat Enamel for $15 each on sale, but I barely put a dent in either can, so I will be able to paint other rooms with both colors!

Now onto the details:
I bought this set of chairs at a yard sale a few years ago for $90 and recently gave them a facelift by recovering them and giving them a little pleated ruffle (check out the how-to here). I spent $8 on fabric and was given the foam for free, so the total I spent on these chairs comes to $98.

The braided chenille rug came from JC Penney Outlet a year ago for $30!

The table came from an auction in Missouri about 5 years ago and was a whopping $25! Keith and I refinished it and now it’s one of our favorite pieces of furniture. Don’t you love the lazy susan?

My mom very graciously helped me sew the drapes. The fabric was on sale at JoAnn’s for $2/yard and I think total we used 9 yards. We lined them with queen bed sheets that we found at Anna’s Linens for $6 each. I love how full and heavy they feel. Total cost = $30.

The shutters came from a yard sale a few years ago. My mom found several for $8 each, but when she got them home not a single one fit any window in her house. She held onto them, though, and magically, every one of them fits a window in our new house! They also happen to match the trim color perfectly.

The curtain hardware is from Ikea and cost around $15 for everything, including the glass finials.

This buffet came from a yard sale in Illinois a few years ago and was $100. That’s a bit of a splurge for me, but this piece has been worth every cent.

The convex mirror came from JC Penney outlet a few years ago and cost $30. I had searched everywhere for one of these, but was always disappointed with the $100+ price tag, so $30 seemed like a good deal.

I just purchased the lamp with birthday money off craigslist for $20, and those cute white ceramic apples were $6 at a recent yard sale. The crystal candlesticks were a gift from my parents.

Grand Total for our “wallpapered” Dining Room = $392!

How She Did It
I have been asked to share my tips and methods for creating a mural like the one I just completed in my Dining Room.
This is really scary to me because I really don’t have a “process” or “methods”. As with most projects I do, I just jumped right in with a half-baked idea and no clue as to how I would successfully pull it off. So instead of sharing with you what I did, I will tell you what I should have done. Ready?

1. Decide on a pattern and colors. (I actually did this step!!!) Pick something that you think is classic and that you can live with for years to come. Look at wallpapers, fabric, art, magazines, etc. to find some inspiration. Mine was this wallpaper from Farrow & Ball:

Then decide which colors you want to use. I chose to only use 2 colors since the pattern was so busy: “Granite Dust” by Valspar and a custom match to the trim in our house, which I think is Sherwin Williams “Antique White”. Remember to think about staying power when deciding which colors and pattern to use – you don’t want to decide a year from now that you don’t really like your mural after all your hard work!

2. Decide how you’re going to transfer the pattern to the walls. You can free-hand it, get an overhead (check craigslist and rentals first!), make a pattern from cardboard to trace on the walls, or draw a grid on both your pattern and the walls and use it to sketch the design. I free-handed mine, but if I had been able to find an overhead I’m sure it would have gone much faster!

3. Lay out the design. (I skipped this step – oops!) If you have an overhead, a pattern or a grid, figure out how your design will fit on each wall. If you’re free-handing it, you can still try to determine where
how big your design should be, what should be centered on the wall and how the designs on each wall will meet. You may want to enlarge your design (I enlarged mine considerably) to make things easier and faster.

4. Gather supplies. Buy your paint. I recommend going with a low-sheen if you’re doing a more detailed design. I ended up painting over parts of my design and re-doing them, and a low-sheen paint hides the imperfections. You’ll also need a pencil or two, a good eraser, some decent paintbrushes of different sizes, and possibly a ladder and dropcloth.

5. (Optional – I certainly didn’t have the foresight to do this!) You may want to do a mock-up of your design on a piece of cardboard or wood. Practice sketching and different brushstrokes. Then hold the board up in your room to make sure you like the design and colors.

6. Paint your base color

7. Start sketching! Use whatever method you’ve decided to start transferring the pattern to the wall. Try to draw lightly so that your pencil marks will be more easily covered up by the paint. Keep in mind your layout and how you want your design to fit on your walls. If you mess up, just erase it! If it’s a pretty big screw-up (I had several of those) you can paint over your marks in the base color.

8. Fill in with paint. Try hard not to be a perfectionist. Just fill in your design and have fun. I personally like the look of longer, freer strokes, even if they are a little messier.

9. Go back with your base color and clean up edges and stray pencil marks.

A few tips:
* You may want to work in sections instead of sketching the whole design and then painting it all. This made it seem to go faster, and if you drag your project out over weeks like I did, it looks more finished to have a section or two completed instead of a whole room in progress.

* I am a big fan of Behr Interior Flat Enamel. It is very low sheen, but it is smoother feeling than most flat paints and it’s scrubbable. It’s also only $17 a gallon!
* Try not to choose a pattern with symmetry, especially if you’re free-handing. If I had taken the time to think about this before jumping in, I would have realized that my pattern required that my main wall be perfectly symmetrical. This made things very difficult!
* Don’t obsess over the imperfections. I’m working on this one. It’s hard, but the imperfections are what make it art.
* Consider doing this on one accent wall instead of the whole room for a “pop”.

Okay, pick your jaw up from the floor…are you as jealous as I am? I love the colors and the design. I love every DIY detail. I love that it’s not real wallpaper (for future changing – although I don’t think I’d ever get tired of looking at these walls). What do you think?

Britt – Your painted wallpaper is so much prettier than the one from Farrow and Ball and a HUGE impressive difference in price. Thank you SO much for allowing me to show off your beautiful dining room and inspirational blog full of DIY projects!

2 Bathroom Update Stories …

I love bathroom makeovers…perhaps because mine are still on the DIY to-do list and I’m so envious. The first transformation is from Katie at Tote’s Life. Her shower, tile and heated floors are awesome. Here is her post:

Gold fixtures, linoleum and tub with glass sliding door…

There was a tub here with glass sliding doors, but we were so excited to get rid of it, that we forgot to take a picture while it was still in there.

Laying the Hardi-backer board.

Putting in guides to ensure a 1/4 inch per foot slope. Layer of mortar. Super-thick liner. Cut the hole for the drain and put Hardi-backer board on the step. Floor laid! These are 12″ mosaic tiles, made of 2×2″ tiles. Wall tiles laid! Forgot to take a picture of the backer board. Don’t worry. It’s boring to look at. The shelves are granite, ordered from ebay. Heated floor, baby! We also had to do some drywall touch up from building the shower and we painted. AFTER Oil Rubbed bronze fixtures, heated tile floor and dual shower headed shower… So there you have it! The total project took about seven weeks. We estimate our total cost at around $,1500. We estimate that it would have cost around $10,000 to have this professionally done. We did all of the work ourselves. We hired a buddy to run the plumbing for the second shower head, but that was the only work we outsourced. I take complete credit for picking out the tile, shelves, fixtures, paint color and towel colors. That’s about all I did, besides putting the spacers in between the tiles for him and helping seal the grout. Pretty much, my husband is A.MAZ.ING and we absolutely love our new shower.

Katie – you guys did a super job! It looks wonderful and I bet that floor is going to be perfect in the winter! Thanks so much for showing it off!

Painted Bathroom Cabinets

Every time I see a transformation with paint, I am amazed. I love how easily paint can transform just about anything from old/date to new and beautiful. If only paint could do wonders for my old tired self! Nicole from Magnificently Marvelous shows off her bathroom cabinet makeover. Here is her post:

This is my old vanity in my master bathroom. Boring and ugly and what’s even uglier is the green/gold walls that surround! I really wanted to do my kitchen cabinets that are the same as these but was kind of scared to do that first. So while my husband was out of town I started. I was afraid of what he was going to think but he really liked it.

I bought this wood scroll thingy and super glued it on. I hope it stays. I love it! Then I used rub-n-buf on a few areas.
Final product: I even painted the walls all in 2 days. We are going to replace the counter top and re-tile the tub and floor so when we get that done I will make another post.

Great job Nicole! I love the dramatic change and your “scrolly things”. haha I can’t wait to see the entire transformation!

Announcing the Winner of the Doxie Giveaway….

(Please email me your mailing address.)

Thanks to everyone for commenting/entering.
I wish I could give each one of you a cute little doxie.

Another giveaway coming soon!
Don’t be discouraged.

DIY Day – Nursery Design in Progress

It’s still a work in progress, but my sister has asked me to design her nursery and for me to surprise her with it. Her circumstances present a challenge because she has had several failed back surgeries and with another c-section, the crib/etc. will be in her small L-shaped master bedroom for a while since it’ll be difficult for her to carry the baby up and down the stairs/etc. Accommodating a “client’ isn’t always easy but it’s still fun. My sister has some elephant art on the wall above her bed. Her bedroom is neutral gray walls with tan & green bedding.

So, I chose this bedding (not the accessories) for the baby.

Deceptive photo – the ties for the bumper pad are not long enough to go around the wide ends of the sleigh crib.

Crib and changing table are very similar to what’s in the picture too.

I made this removable cushion cover for the changing table with green/brown fabric and a velcro closure.

And I’m making little DIY felt elephants to make a mobile with ribbon and a grapevine wreath. I can’t wait to show it to you when it’s completed. I’ll do a tutorial. The elephants are so cute, aren’t they? I’ll make some brown with green ears too.

I printed a copy of the bedding/accessories from online and cut out two of the elephants to use as a pattern. This one with his trunk in the air and another one with a lowered trunk. I wish I had a need for a baby elephant mobile.

And I bought 4 of these baskets for storage under the changing table:

I have a few other plans too but this is where I’m at now. The felt elephants are mostly all sewn by hand so it’s time consuming and there’s never enough time in the day to work non-stop on DIY projects, is there?

What do you think?

I can’t wait to show it to you all put together!

Today is Kimba’s DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land! One of my favorite parties! Make sure you visit and see LOTS of DIY projects!


Rocky Bella Chair Fair

Karli from Rocky Bella

is one talented DIY-er! Take a look at her chair transformations:

Mid-Century Chair Revamp

Two (technically three) chair revamps in ONE week.
Dang it! Why do I always do this…
I forgot to take a “before” picture.

I purchased a set of old chairs from Goodwill for $7.00 total. ($3.50 each). They had an old, textured, cream, super stained, nasty fabric on them. I mean Nasty! Why O’ Why did I forget to take a picture. =(

Anyways… I took the seat off, then reupholstered it with a mod fabric that was new and fresh but still went with the simplicity of the chair design.

I sanded down the chair really good with a fine sandpaper. The wood was a light brown-orange with some surface scratches.

Then I rubbed the stain in and let it sit for about 10 minutes before I rubbed the excess off with a dry, clean rag. The next day once it was dry, I used Minwax wipe-on poly in satin. I love this stuff. You just get a good corner of your rag covered in this stuff and wipe it on. Easy peasy- No brush strokes, and no clean up.

At least I remembered to get a good “Before & After” of the wood. Here it is before I stained and poly’ed and after I was done. Its a bit darker and definitely has a new sheen to it…

Once that was all dry I screwed the chair cushion back on the body of the chair and took a step back to check it all out. Now I have a new matching set of chairs for under $20!

Since it was over 100 degrees outside, I decided to do this all in my living room. I made sure to turn the ceiling fan on high to help with the ventilation, and used a mask for my mouth and nose. I know your not suppose to do this kind of thing inside, but come on- its too hot out there!

My husband had just finished picking up the living room right before I started this little project. He walked in and saw my giant mess, he just rolled his eyes and took a picture of my messiness.

Revamp: Funky Damask chair

One of my goodwill finds.

I picked this up for $14. and spend about $6. on fabric (that was 40% off). I got the paint for free from my parents left over from what I used to re-do a built in cabinet for them. I used Deep Turquoise from Laura Ashely.

Once the paint was completely dry, I went over it with light sand paper. I did one more super light coat on some sections. Once that was dry, I distressed the edges and anywhere that normal wear and tear would show. Now that some of the original wood was showing through and everything was dry- I used Minwax wipe on Poly. Let dry, and reattached the newly upholstered seat.

I think I’m gonna sell this one, I have too many chairs.

Thanks for showing off Karli! I love your beautiful “new” chairs! The fabric – the transformation, I’d give you a standing ovation, but I’d rather have a seat! 😉

Visit Rocky Bella for more great DIYprojects!

My Project for under $15

(Evangeline’s Vine readers – please pardon my recycled post –
but you do have more chances to win! Still friends?)
I was hoping to have my project completed for Maman Tattoo’s Projects Under $15 party but it’s just not going to be done on time. Work has been interfering with my DIY-schedule. I hate when that happens. But, I’ll share with you my blog post from Evangeline’s Vine from Monday. Here it is:

Here is what I did over the weekend and it didn’t involve a paint brush!

Doxie Sachets

Materials are scraps of fabric, stuffing, ribbons, embellishments, dryer sheet that I already had.
Total cost = $FREE.

But, let’s do a rough guestimate:
Approx. 1/2 yd. fabric $2.99
Stuffing $4
Ribbon $1.00
Embellishments $3
Dryer Sheets – ? Only 1 needed. (free as I assume you have these)
Guestimate = $10.99

I attempted to make my own little stuffed doxie.

I think one was a success. She knows it too. She’s a diva. She’s pretty.

The other…well, she’s a little “special”. Sometimes just getting creative takes a little practice.

Doxie #1 – Duchess Doxie #2 – Paisley I am giving one away today at Evangeline’s Vine
I’ll give the other one away here tomorrow!

Leave me a comment by 10 a.m. (EST) Thurs., 8/27 telling me which one will find love in your home and I’ll randomly choose a winner to adopt the homeless little stuffed doxie sachet (the one not given away today at Evangeline’s Vine).

Leave me a 2nd comment telling me that you are a follower/became a follower for a 2nd chance.

Good luck!
Remember to head over to Maman Tattoo to see more Projects under $15!

I will work on a doxie tutorial in the upcoming week for those who have asked. 🙂

A cute little DIY Show Off & You're Invited to a Party!

What: It’s a party of DIY project that cost you under $15.
Little stuff or huge stuff.

When: Wed., August 26th
Hosted by: Maman Tattoo.

She also submitted a sweet little project. It’s adorable, so is her precious little model.

This is the before

And several coats of light yellow krylon fushion spray paint, a tad bit of applegreen mixed with tomato green americana acrylic paint, and lots of love, it gave this:

And this:

This project isn’t huge… But it is a part of a bigger project, where LOTS of light yellow spray paint was involved.

We are moving next week, and it’s the perfect timing to set up her big girl room. With LOTS of repurposed or arranged furniture.

Isn’t that the sweetest little play furniture?
Spray paint works wonders – it’s adorable
Great job Andréann! Thanks for sharing!
Reminder: Giveaway at Evangeline’s Vine.

And check the post from yesterday below – some DIY Show Off reader Show & Tell pictures of photo walls and MORE inspiration pictures were added throughout the day!

AND WOW! Check this out. I love cottage-style.

Beautiful & Unbelievable Before & After Reveal
The Old Painted Cottage

Photo Wall Tutorial & a Show & Tell

Do you have a photo wall? Show us! I’d love to add it to the bottom of this post. Just submit your pictures to 🙂

Tricia from Boutelle Family Zoo has created a tutorial about how she put her beautiful photo wall together. Here is her post:

When planning out any big project, this is what I do.
I draw it out.
I include (rough) dimensions and sizes.
Notice the board and batten type material at the bottom.
That ended up becoming tongue and groove beaded board.
I never use these drawing TOO literally, as I have a bit of ADD and newer,
prettier, or easier ideas steal my attention.
Then I just move on.
It’s my curse.

The tools of the trade for this job.
1. helpful and very patient husband

2. air compressor (for beaded board portion)

3. level

4. wrapping paper (or any roll of paper you have)

5. contact paper cut into small thin strips

Laser level and world’s smallest hammer.
Disclaimer: Yes, this is my hammer. Jason’s is much larger and manly. 😉

My true “before” pics of this house have magically vanished into the abyss.
This is part way into the project, as proven by the beaded board that is already up.
{This is what my air compressor loving hubby did with afore mentioned tool.}
It was a life saver, btw. Very fast and efficient. If you don’t own one and plan to add tongue and groove beadboard, go out and rent yourself one. It will save hours of your life.

Here is the main part of all of the prep work.
No photos of this prep. Sorry.
It was like 1 a.m. I was a little out of it.
*I layed the frames out on top of pieces of wrapping paper.

*Then I traced and cut out exact size pieces, marking where the picture hangers were positioned.

*Then I taped the large pieces up with tabs made from contact paper.

*The contact paper strips worked well because they are not super tacky.

*They hold for the time being and remove without damaging walls.

*Once all of your paper pieces are attached where you’d like them to be.

*{BTW, this took me about 2+ hours, because I can be a bit anal retentive}

*I made sure they were equally spaced and level as per my tape measure and laser level (and the help of a very patient husband) 😉

*Then I used the worlds’ smallest hammer to tap the nails into place based on the markings on my paper.

*Once everything was level, spaced, and nailed I just RIPPED the paper and tape off the wall.

Perfectly spaced and leveled nails to hang your art or photos from.

Please also note that the paper placement is not exactly the same as my drawing.
These things evolve over time, and I realized that these frames worked out better.
The drawing simply served as an aid to how I wanted to overall thing to look.
This was the first draft of the photo wall. Not bad, but it needed a little something.
See if you spot the changes in the next shot.

See what I changed?
Added “FAMILY” letters, painted empty frame and wall behind,
moved large frame,
moved “B”, and switched oval frame out for rectangular frame.

This is the view from the basement stairs looking up at the tree I painted on the wall.
You’ll notice that in the drawing this tree was on the top left of the drawing.
Like I said, things evolve as you go.
It felt too busy to have the tree there, so here it landed.

This is the view from the main hallway, which is 3 steps down from the family room.
Of course this is me, and that means that the photo wall will evolve.
It will change.
Things will be added.
Things will be removed.
Eventually this photo wall may stretch the full length of the hallway.
Who knows?!
What I do know is that I love the outcome.
We were in this house for a year before I put a single photo on the wall.
Now while that is a l-o-n-g time, and I would not suggest living for a year with no photos of your loved ones, I can say that it was worth the wait.
It is almost exactly what I imagined, and as my whims dictate, it will evolve right along with our changing family.

Thanks for sharing Tricia – your site is so full of inspiration and awesome DIY projects! I love your photo wall and all of it’s interest and art. Great job!

The DIY Show off

Lyndsay – Life In Motion
Hey there! Here are a few images of photo walls….I have lots of them in my house 😉

This is our family tree.

Lyssa – Z Family



Sarah – Pewter + Sage

East Coast Suburbanite

Suzanne –
I love photo walls too. I think it’s nice to have a grouping of pictures, instead of random frames throughout the house. I’ve attached my budget photo wall, which I created with frames from Dollar General, Big Lots and Dollar Tree. The photo mats are from Dollar Tree too. I simply spray painted the frames to match my espresso furniture.

RoeshelEvangeline’s Vine
My photo wall is in my office. After seeing some inspiration – mine feels a bit crooked and I think it’s ready for a “mini-makeover”.

(submit photo to

Keep checking back – I’ll post more Show & Tell as they come in!
Thanks everyone!

and taken from the D&R FAQ courtesy of beckysinluv:

Inspiration Pictures for Photo Galleries

Young House Love also has a great video with tips.
Check it out.

LOADS of fun…Beautiful Laundry Room Makeover!

Okay. Saturday. Laundry day here. My laundry room is on my list “to-DIY”. It’s unfinished and completely sporting a “utility-style”. Ugly. But Rachel from Home Sweet Home has a beautiful laundry room. So pretty. So motivational. It might even make the laundry task fun, don’t you think?

Here is her post:

The first two pictures are the before pictures….

And now the after pictures…

I painted the inside of the cabinet panel with chalkboard paint to make a family memo/menu board.

This mirror was something I picked up at Big Lots for $5. It and the chalkboard paint was added after the other pictures were taken.
These are my basket tags. I knew I would need something to tell us what was in the baskets.
This is our spare change jar. Not too full right now!!!
Here is the shelves above the washer/dryer. They were hard to keep organized, and cabinets were not in the budget (we did this at the same time as our kitchen reno) so baskets were the best option!
I have had the lamp for years, and the B is old too. The birdcage was on sale at garden ridge. It holds our dryer sheets!

These were fabric swatches in a pack at WalMart. I loved the color, so I just wrapped canvases with them and presto! ART!
The flowers are fake, and I have had the candle for a while. The frame is a $2.50 WalMart find, and I just framed some more of my fabric swatches.
I can’t decide if I want crown molding on top of the cabinet or not. I like that I can put my basket up there. It won’t fit with molding…thoughts? This pic is pre-mirror and pre-chalkboard, obviously!
I just moved the shelf down from before and made it into a folding table. The washboard cabinet was made by my dad. He gave it to my Nana, and she gave it to me when we bought our home, which is our first house by the way.
Again, pre-chalkboard paint. But this is what you see as you walk into the room. It is a small room, but the pocket door makes it more usable. The floors are a white tile, and I am looking for a small jute rug for in there.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!!!

Thanks for sharing your room makeovers Rachel. Both are awesome and I’m psyched and inspired to finish mine this fall! Thanks!

Before & After – A Kitchen gets a Makeover

I don’t know about you, but I love a good room makeover post. Rachel from Home Sweet Home submitted her beautiful kitchen transformation just in time. 🙂 Here is her letter and post:

Hello!!! We have finished our kitchen and I thought I might just show it off!!! We (okay, mostly my extremely talented father) did all of the work. Tile, flooring, electrical, everything!!! So the only expense was the cost of materials, and we got a great deal on those too!

We went with stock cabinets from Lowe’s, and with our military discount, only spent about $2000 on those. The granite tile, we found at an estate sale for (get this!) only $1/sq ft! The flooring, which we put throughout our entire house except the bedrooms, was only $2500. It’s bamboo from Lumber Liquidators. We reused most of our old appliances- just got a new microwave. We had purchased a new dishwasher a couple of months before beginning the project. We spent a total of about $200 on the back splash tile. A bit of a splurge, but most of that is for the beautiful glass tile, and since the counter top was such a deal, we decided to go for it! The faucet was a great deal too…on sale for $100, marked down from $500!

We still have to put in our custom built wine rack (you can see the hole) and put in the hardware, but it is so great to finally have a kitchen back! And it was totally worth the wait!!! How blessed we are to have such a talented family member!!!

The Big Reveal!

I give you…OUR NEW KITCHEN!!!!

Okay, first, I thought I would remind everyone of what our kitchen looked like before our big project…

This is looking into the kitchen from the dining room.

Here is the view coming in from the living room.

And here is the view coming in from the garage.

This is the hole where our new built in wine rack (that is still being built) will go into:

This was my gift to my husband for being so patient and letting me do pretty much whatever I wanted to our house. 🙂 It is a flip down flat screen TV that is also a Radio, CD player, and DVD player.

Here is the view looking into the kitchen from the dining room.

Here is the new sink area. I love my faucet!!!

Our pullouts in the new pantry cabinets…speaking of…

Here are the new pantry cabinets on either side of the refrigerator. They are great!!!

Here is the kitchen as you walk into the room from the garage. It hardly looks like the same house!!! It is just lovely now! I am so happy! It’s been a long road, but I am glad we did it!!! We still have to put in the hardware, but other than that, and some more flooring in the bathrooms, we are done!!! Yea!!!!

Rachel – thanks so much for showing it off – lucky you to have a skilled family member. Can I borrow him? I really love the tile (and the deal!) and the beautiful dark cabinets! Awesome job!

Super Giveaway Alert!

I’m so excited about this one hosted by
The Dress-Up Drawer!
YOU MUST go check it out – so so so many pretty things!
Dress-up Drawer SUPER giveaways

What is your favorite?
This is mine
From Stacie at The Creative Crate
Doesn’t Stacie make the cutest things? I love all of her DIY ideas, don’t you?
Hurry up! Go!

Junk to Just-so-sweet!

When I saw this before picture, I know I would have passed this dresser right by and one word would have crossed my mind, “ew!” (and I had a door in my home covered in stickers from previous owners – so time consuming to get those buggers off. What every happened to sticker books?). Anyway…

saw the potential. The makeover is gorgeous! Way to rescue a sad piece of furniture, Kari! Here is her letter:

Hi there!

I just discovered your blog last week, and read every entry in an afternoon. I loved looking at all the transformations and DIY projects. I thought I’d send you photos of the project that got me hooked on DIY.

Here is the before of my daughter’s dresser:

When we found out we were having a second baby, we realized we’d need more clothing storage space. Our grandparents dropped off this $5 dresser they had found at the thrift store. I nearly fainted when I first saw it. It was hideous! They assured us that it was real wood and could be fixed up nicely with a bit of hard work. We sanded, painted and added some beautiful new glass hardware and it was still a fraction of the cost of a new dresser.
Once it was complete, I was hooked! Now one of my favorite things to do is to go to garage sales and thrift stores to find old tired furniture that I can turn into beautiful pieces for our home.



Don’t you just love beautiful furniture makeovers?

Pssttt…My Own Little Show & Tell!

You guys! Can I just show-off for a moment? Of course, right? That’s what we’re all about over here. (Believe it or not…being the center of attention scares me!) Let me start by saying, I know how you feel when your project is featured and you have a few minutes of blog-fame and you get super sweet comments from people thoughtful enough to take the time to type a flattering compliment. It’s such a rush! It makes you smile. It makes your day, perhaps even your entire week! Am I right? Take a peek at my feature at one of my favorite blogs (probably one of yours too). If you’re not already a YHL fan, John & Sherry have an amazing blog full of gorgeous DIY inspiration, the coolest design boards and a beautiful home which they have been renovating themselves (and Burger!). It’s one of my daily reads (when I have the time to read daily). Head over and take a look!

Thanks for letting me brag. 🙂

John & Sherry – if you’ve found your way to this post – THANK YOU so much for making my day by featuring my easy-little tray project and for sharing all of your inspiration & creativity in your fun blog! You guys are DIY super-heros!

Oh! Just got a note that it’s also featured on

Apartment Therapy

with a different use in mind (landing strip for kids’ treasures). So cool, huh?

Now back to the regularly scheduled The DIY Show Off. 🙂

Green Project: Wood Art Collage

Hi DIY-ers! Look at this beautiful piece of art made from scraps by Lynn at Nonflammable! Her blog is FULL of creative, unique and beautiful DIY projects with tutorials! I couldn’t help but go through her entire blog … enjoying each one! (Thanks Donna!)

Here is Lynn’s tutorial:

I have an accumulation of wood scraps from various home remodel projects.

Recently, my dad gave me a box of some interesting looking scraps.
Of course i couldn’t say no.
I decided to make a wood collage with them
for a unique art piece to hang near our outdoor dining area.

What you will need for this diy: ½ thick plywood cut to size. assortment of wood scraps/trim pieces paints and stain, optional wood sander miter saw wood glue findings; hardware, kitchen utensils, nails…I left off the fish. Square nails from the 1800’s It comes together better if the sizes and shapes are similar. Working from the outer edges of your plywood to the center allows for a clean finish whether you intend to frame it or not. You may have to layer up as you work towards the middle; the depth adds interest. Make sure you have a general layout before gluing. Use a wood saw towards the end to fill gaps, or layer up. I found it easier to paint after all pieces were in place, and made a frame with cedar left over from our deck remodel. If it hangs outdoors, apply a protective sealant. Embellish your collage with your findings.

WOW! Lynn – it’s beautiful and perfect art work for an outdoor dining area! Awesome job! Thanks for sharing!

Dining Room Furniture Makeovers

There is a lot of painting furniture makeovers out there (love them!) but staining furniture is another beautiful option. I have two before/after projects to show off! Lauren (nestie artsywife07) submitted her china cabinet. Here is her note:
“This cabinet was given to us for free by my mom’s friend and I decided to stain it to match our new table and chairs. I gave it a light sanding by hand and then wiped it down with a tack cloth. I mixed two different finishes of stain together (a latex with poly built in and a gel stain). I’m sure you’re totally not supposed to do that, but it was the only way to get the finish and color I wanted. I applied the stain with a sponge brush (pay the few dollars extra for high quality ones from Lowe’s or Home Depot, I tried cheaper and the finish wasn’t as nice). I did one coat and then a lot of touch ups. I also decided to get rid of the window pane pieces to give it a more streamlined look.”

(New light fixture too!)

I love the rich dark color! Staining is so much more work than painting in my experience (I loathe the sticky/oily feel when working with it) but your project shows it’s so rewarding. It’s gorgeous! Great transformation and lucky you, Lauren to score a beautiful piece of furniture for free! You did a beautiful job with it!

I’m also showing off for Marlen from Northern Living in the South. Her dining room table transformation is unbelievable. I never would have believed the before and after pictures were the same set! Here is her post:

THE DINING ROOM TABLE IS FINISHED AND READY TO BE EATEN ON, FOR PUZZLES TO BE ASSEMBLED ON AND TO BE DANCED ON. don’t act like you don’t dance on your table when no one is looking. oh? me neither.

quick history- the table was given to us by my grandparents who moved down to fl and no longer wanted it. it was a pine 8-top piece of craftmanship with two removable leaves. here is a before photo without either of the leaves in.

after sanding the entire table at the wood shop on base, we were ready to start staining. we went with a black stain even though some recommended using black paint. here i am, staining the second coat with the leaves in. i told you it was big!

it ended up with 3 coats of stain and 3 coats of polyurethane finish.

the table was a piece of cake compared to the chairs. luckily, josh did most of the sanding, but i was still left with the majority of painting and covering the seats. check out the old twill seat covering!

josh removed the seats with his handy dandy drill and i covered each of them with a staple gun. the hardest part was getting the corners nice and tight without any fold in it. i actually hated this procedure but someone had to do it and it was not about to be josh. he just pointed and laughed at my frustration. and then took a picture.

we were told we didn’t have to sand the chairs all the way down to the bare wood if we used spray paint instead of stain. and that is exactly what we did. sanding anything previously stained down to the bare wood is a pain in the you know what. if there is a short cut, i will take it. and i did. how many cans would you say it takes to cover six chairs? you are wrong, it took 19. NINETEEN! you may be wondering what happened to the other 2 chairs? well, lets just say they are getting a pretty little slipcover for now. the base actually ran out of the spray paint we were using and we didn’t want to risk having two ugly ducklings by using a different brand. if we ever need all 8 chairs, the slip-covered chairs will be placed on the ends of the table. maybe someday when i get the crazy idea to refinish a dining room set again, i will tear off the slipcovers and spray away, once again. here they are, all lined up, drying in the sunshine. ta da!

the chairs took three cans each to cover completely. i then covered them with a thin coat of polyurethane so it had the same sheen (low luster) as the table itself, and to protect them from getting scratched up. below, is a finished chair. i am happy.

and for the grand finale!

it is finished and i am very pleased that it is. you will not see me jumping on any more refinishing tasks.. for now. hey, you wanna discuss those candlesticks? because i do. they are steal with tons of bead work. originally, they $50.00 for the tall ones and $40.00 for the shorter one. you wont believe what i paid for them… $28.00 total. let’s just say it together- “what a deal!” now let me fill you in on yet another secret- they are actually taper candlesticks! however, with the help of the hub, i removed the taper holder and voila! i bought these springy tri colored pillar candles separately to liven up the dark colors. enjoy!

It’s awesome Marlen! Thanks for showing it off!

Baby Bibs & Burp Cloths

Hey – I’m late … as usual. I posted this Monday, but I love participating too! Here is the DIY project I worked on last weekend (and a little tutorial from While They Sleep too):

You guys know that I love introducing you to new creative DIY-ers, right? I’m so excited to show off this next post for Hannah from While They Sleep. It IS very easy and she has a lot of cute projects and 3 darling angels, so click over and take a peek!

I love etsy – I could “shop” there all day and when I kept seeing the cutest bibs and matching burp cloths while shopping for my soon-to-arrive nephew, I knew I must get some. But…I wanted 5-7 sets and it gets a bit pricey so I thought – I’ll tackle these myself! VERY easy and VERY inexpensive.
I made this:

Here is Hannah’s tutorial for the bibs which is nearly exact what I did (I added my comments in bold italics – hopefully her tutorial with my minimal comments will help you):

The EASIEST EVER Bib: A Tutorial

You could probably just scroll down to follow the pictures and understand how to make this but I will provide commentary just in case. I decided that the girls can never have too many bibs (these girls can DROOL like nobody’s business…not to mention the projectile spit up we get to experience a few times a day).

So I decided to save some dough and make my own. I figured that using a thin, cheap towel (from Target) (I got mine at the dollar store and was able to use washcloths – but make sure they’re the ones with the woven band on the end (the bottom)- the ones without the woven band will shrink too small. You can get 2 bibs out of 1 handtowel, 1 bib from a washcloth if it has the woven strip towards the bottom.) and some of my scrap fabric the total cost is about 25 cents each. I also love the idea of having bibs that are unique (me too!). So here is the tutorial:

I just traced one of the girls bibs that I liked (size-wise). Then just cut the it out to make my pattern. (I did this too. I made myself a homemade compass using a sharpie taped to another one. One with lid on and one with lid off. I then traced the real bib with the lidded sharpie to create a small sewing allowance. I also traced the finished pattern directly onto my fabric with a washable marker – easier to cut out without the pinned-on pattern. I don’t have bibs, so I did purchase one at the dollar store to use as a pattern for my “pattern”.)

Make sure that your fabrics are washed and ironed…I hate this step because it requires patience which I have very little of…but it is really important for things like this. You don’t want your bib to be all weird after it gets washed do you? My new rule after I purchase fabric is to put it right in the washer when I get home…then when I get the urge to create…I don’t have to wait! (I agree and I hate this step too…fabric does get all wrinkly and frayed, but it is VERY important!)

Next just cut out your pattern from each piece of material…the towel…

and then your scraps.
You should have two shapes that look like this.

Then just put the right sides together and pin.

Now it’s time to sew!
Sew almost the whole thing together but make sure to leave about an inch and a half un-stitched so you can turn it right side out.

then…turn it right side out

and it looks great except for that little opening…so now just tuck both sides in and pin
(I ironed during this step…but cool to know it’s not important.)

and then I just start there and sew about an 1/8 inch all the way around

almost done…
Then just sew your little 1 inch velcro onto both sides and …
(Remember – One on the fabric side on the left and one on the towel side on the right.)

YOU ARE DONE!!! The front

the back (or whatever side you choose).

Laurel likes it…in fact she thinks it good enough to eat!

How cute! I don’t have a model…but here are the ones I made for my soon-to-arrive nephew.

Additional Tips:

  • I also sewed in the middle of the bib when completed to give it a little bit of a “quilted look” and to help with future washings.
  • I recommend using thread that is the same color as the towel – to help keep it looking good. For example – in Hannah’s tutorial above, she could have used a bright blue thread, but the white side of the towel would have shown the seam and using white isn’t as noticeable on the patterned fabric.

Coordinating Burp Clothes

Here is a quick tutorial for the burp cloths I made (step by step photos to be edited in later):


  • 1 – cloth diaper
  • 1 – 6″ x approx. 21″ piece of fabric
Again, wash fabric and cloth diaper before sewing.

Iron both.

Fold in 1/2 borders around the strip of fabric and iron.

Pin to center of cloth diaper (over the extra padded strip)

Sew onto cloth diaper. I used 3/8 seams. I also sewed a geometric pattern throughout some of mine to help with future washings. It looks quilted and will help the burp cloth keep it’s shape. I also find that using the same color fabric as the cloth diaper helps to disguise crooked lines/etc.

Thanks so much for sharing your tutorial, Hannah! It’s a wonderful gift idea!

What do the DIY Show Off readers think?

A BBQ/Baby Shower

Some of you know that I just hosted a co-ed baby shower/BBQ and I want to show off! I hope it’s inspirational and helpful to those planning the same since I found very little info via a google search for BaBy Q when I was planning.
Entertaining involves a different kind of DIY, but anyone planning an event knows there is a lot of DIY involved.

Note: Some of you have seen bits n pieces but I wanted to include it all in one post for those who haven’t…please be patient with me or really, go ahead and holler out that you saw it first – I don’t mind!

I want to share what I’ve been working on for a few months – in addition to the barn/patio/grape arbor projects. 🙂 Lots of hard work, some injuries, a deadline and lots of fun. I love party planning!

Yes-rsvp’s total was approx. 106 including women, men and children. It evolved into a fun family reunion. (Getting 50% yes rsvps was a myth in this case. Every one loves a family event!)

I created the above mosaic courtesy of DIY instructions from Bargain Hunting & Chatting with Laurie.
Thanks Laurie!
(Laurie – Now you can tell your family & friends that you’re an international computer software instructor…if only that came with a $$$ income and benefit package, huh?)

I couldn’t find what I had in mind for BBQ/baby shower invitations. Red/white checkered tablecloths are fun…but not the theme I wanted for a baby shower. So I used Photoshop to create my own simple post card. Vistaprint was running a special for 100 free postcards – how awesome! I paid the extra for faster shipping but 100 invitations cost me about $25 which when pricing them – is an awesome deal. Postcards are also less expensive to mail out.
(The word “beer” encouraged the male species to look forward to attending…tricky, ain’t it?)


I considered doing a nest/baby bird theme but since it was a BBQ/baby shower with women, men and children, I opted for just using shades of blue so Iwasn’t tied to just 1 theme. “Blue” is a pretty wide range for being able to find things easily.

I purchased the Martha Stewart pom pom kits from Michaels. They’re beautiful decor. Martha Stewart even has DIY instructions for making them out of any color of tissue paper (without purchasing the kit). They’re such a pretty option for an event decoration, don’t you think ?

We were lucky enough to get tables/chairs free of charge from a local club since my sister is a member (A membership is $30 a year…it’s worth joining just to have access to free ta
bles/chairs…have you ever rented them? $$$! ) We did have to set them up without tablecloths and under trees because of the sprinkling rain. I was way too distracted to have an OCD flare up about the tables not being evenly spaced & lined up. 🙂

I also put together a little clothesline using baby clothes (gift for mom-to-be & decoration – hurray!) and added a simple quote to our DIY chalkboard:

Centerpieces & Prizes

Centerpieces are mason jars tied with ribbon. I added fresh flowers purchased from Sam’s Club. I also tied on little envelopes with lottery tickets. I numbered them because I wasn’t sure how I would do the drawings, but didn’t end up using the numbers. We just drew names from envelopes that guests had signed with their name/address – to use for thank you cards. It was a hit. Who doesn’t love flowers & lottery tickets? We even had some winners! 🙂 Giving centerpieces away as prizes was also cost-effective, not to mention…a few $1 lottery tickets are more fun than dollar store kitchen towels, right? If not…I bet those who won will run out and buy dollar store kitchen towels with their winnings (nothing personally against those…just using them as an example, btw).

I over-estimated my flowers and had enough to make a few bouquets as well.

I had a few other prizes on hand as well for the games. A big rubber ball for the kids and a utensil holder with utensils and a few lottery tickets.
We only had two games, (see below) but there was participation and they were fun (I didn’t think the guys would go for the usual baby word scramble. (Although I love that game – I always win!) We also had some outdoor activities such as bad mitten (correction = badminton, who knew?), volley ball and bean bag toss. There was also a bon fire. It’s a little wimpy on the “bon” but it was perfect for roasting marshmallows after dark and in August…no one is interested in it for the heat, right?

Party Favors

Isn’t it nice to include party favors as a way of letting guests know you appreciate them? Coming up with a unisex and usable party favor was easy. I purchased these bbq-sauce and hot sauce bottles from here then added my own labels and tied with ribbon. These also served as double-duty…decorating the tables. (We had a little rain when setting up, so no tablecloths and the centerpieces and favors were the perfect choice because a little rain didn’t ruin anything.)

Kids – Favors & Activities
I did a children’s table with favors just for them. I got Chinese style gift boxes (on clearance from Michael’s), tossed in a mini-container of play dough and a ring pop.
Michaels also had mural coloring pages. It was perfect for covering the table. I added a few bowls of crayons too.

The teenagers also helped with face-painting for the kids. Crayola washable paint pens were perfect:

BBQ smoked ribs – Russ is famous for these. 7 racks of ribs which are low-maintenance and all of the prep is early in the morning (marinating over night).

Fried Chicken (WalMart…large guest lists warrant easy arrangements. Can you imagine the time it would take to make it myself? 100 pc. chicken was $60).

Hot Dogs – inexpensive, easy and kids love ’em!

Before I had a chance to continue with menu planning, I found that guests were offering to bring side dishes. This helped out A LOT and we had more than enough food. I’m so thankful for the unsolicited help! 🙂 Since the atmosphere is casual/outdoor picnic – pasta and potato salads, baked beans, hashbrown casseroles, veggie/meat/cheese trays, pretzel salads, etc. were perfect accompaniments!

The casual cook-out/picnic atmosphere allowed for kegs of beer (plastic cups), bottled water, cans of pop, plastic bottles of Little Hugs (with straws). We also just used styrofoam plates and plastic silverware. I did wrap the silverware individually in blue napkins secured with homemade stickers (leftover labels from party favors). Easy to grab 1 bundle and festive. 🙂


Sam’s Club cupcakes are perfect for a large guest list. I ordered equal amounts of chocolate/vanilla and buttercreme/whipped topping then decorated them myself. It keeps me sane when there’s so much going on and they are tasty. 🙂 I added a plastic baby to the center of one “pregnant” cupcake. It’s another way to give a prize without having an actual game. I chose a microfiber blanket for a prize…since it could have been an any-age-group winner. I did warn guests in advance!

We did two games:
  1. Don’t Break Your Water (all ages). Guests lined up and a finish line was marked a short distance away. Each guest was handed a water balloon. They were instructed to place them between their knees and to get to the finish line first without “breaking their water”. Kids and adults enjoyed this one and a prize was awarded to each.
  2. Baby Bottle Race (adults). I filled dollar store baby bottles with 2 oz. of beer. You should have heard the guys complaining and bragging that it was only 2 oz. until I said “go”. It’s harder than it looks. A full 8 oz. baby bottle would have worn out their jaw before they finished. Hilarious! This is what it looks like:

Misc. Tips

  • We find that using a kid’s wading pool is GREAT for ice/pop & water bottles.
  • I made a sign on poster board for guests to easily find our house:

  • Inexpensive paper lanterns make a nice entrance:
  • Designate a “photographer”. I thought I’d have time to take pictures but there was no way. (Thanks Celeste!) As hostess, I was busy organizing games and drawings, keeping food stocked, giving home tours, mingling with guests, etc.
  • Add a few bottles of hand sanitizer to the food table.
  • Citronella candles and food tents are helpful for outdoor events. So is having tents on stand-by in the event of rain. (20% rain = 80% sunshine when you see the glass half full…but best to have a back up!)
  • Have band-aids and disinfecting wipes on hand.
  • Open gifts as guests arrive. Most guests are only excited to see their gift opened and it doesn’t create a long time frame of gift opening boredom. We displayed opened gifts on a table so guests could see them.
  • Do not stand on an unsteady wicker chair to hang decorations. Nosebleeds are not on your to-do list. Slow down and breathe. 🙂
  • Have fun!
The mom-to-be, my sister, Bobbi.

   This post is brought to you by Pink Lining,  stylish designer changing bags for your baby.

All Ready for Partying – A Party Patio (barn) Makeover!

I love participating in parties and I love Jen so even though this is an older post, I thought I’d dig it out, brush it off and “wear” it to the party!

I’m so excited to share my barn before/after pictures. This space was completely un-usable, except to store/throw junk. Now it’s a functional clean party space hidden from the rest of the house and road. I’m still working on some additional DIY touches, but in the meantime, I think you’ll agree that the transformation is a HUGE improvement.

To keep costs low since this area is only used for occasional entertaining, we re-used a lot of the things we discovered in the barn already (and more DIY coming). We also obtained a few things from estate sales.

Before (left side):
The “barn red” paint was faded to a really ugly pink. The ‘floor’ was dirt with broken bricks/pavers. There were LOTS of spiders.
We took out the crumbling brick and concrete pavers that formed a broken floor on top of dirt, some broken glass and weeds. We added paneled siding to the back wall and painted. We poured a concrete patio (professionals did that part since it was a large area).
My husband framed the door and the wreath was on clearance at Joann Fabrics for $8.
I’ve had these old looking milk bottles for years … in the basement/storage.I also have special plans for the short table (hope to finish it this week).
The left side is still a work in progress…so updates coming in the future.

Before (right side):
Scary, huh?
Ready for the after of this side?

I love it. I changed my mind – it’s not all about entertaining. This is a great spot to relax! The wicker furniture was picked up at an estate sale. Isn’t the footstool the cutest? I didn’t even bother with repainting it. I loved it the light faded blue that it is. I did give the wicker chairs a coat of white spray paint to freshen them up.
I sewed cushion covers with fabric I bought at Goodwill. (I’ll spare you the nasty before picture.)
We found the old Coca Cola sign in the barn.
I made a table from a crate and old window we also found in the barn.

The other accents we got at estate sales (the book and gauge). The blue canning jar I confiscated from my brother. The bird house was hanging on the old grape arbor.
The only thing new is the birdie cloche I got at TJ Maxx a few months ago (how perfect for a barn!) and the white lantern (above).
I also ran out of time for replacing the hanging light bulb fixtures since I’m so indecisive. Since we have a BBQ coming up, my quick temporary solution was the paper lanterns (less than $2 on sale at Michaels). I already had the area rug too.
I did make a chalkboard from one of the old windows. It’s not hung up yet, but here it is:
The tables looked liked this before. The first one was actually nailed to the back wall.

Tables/etc. now:
Now, with new legs and paint and a “found” bench…they’re perfect for picnics, cookouts and to use as a buffet table.

Here is the transformation one more time:


New Back Wall

New Concrete Patio

Russ tries out the paint sprayer

And now….

I do have a huge wall to decorate yet too and I’ll share details as they happen.

Edited to add:
Remember this?
It’s the mantel I found in the loft of the barn. I’m pretty sure it’s original to the house.

It was filthy-dusty. The paint job also looks like it’s 80-years-old. For now it just got a major scrubbing and I think I like the finish. Very rough old paint. I think it’ll go here. What do you think?

This post is brought to you by Tunstall Garden Buildings, manufacturers of timber garages and other quality garden buildings.

Consider a fire pit to enjoy your outside space.

Vintage Inspired Elephant Toy-Decor

Public Service Announcement!
Not intended for play!My Vintage-Inspired Elephant Pull-Toy Decorative Accessory

DIY vintage elephant toy decor

Here is my tutorial. Feel free to email me with any questions.
Wooden shape
Scrapbook paper
Wood filler
4 Wooden Toy Wheels
2 – 2″ Screws
Washers (I used 8 metal ones)
2 Nuts (the hardware kind…this is a family-friendly website!)
1 yd. decorative rope
2 wooden beads
Spray paint
Spray laquer
Mod Podge
Tools: Drill, 2 disposable craft paint brushes, xacto knife or scissors

Trace the wooden shape onto the back side of the scrapbook paper.
Flip wooden shape the other direction and trace on the 2nd scrapbook paper.Cut out paper shapes. Helpful tip – trim smaller than the actual tracing so it doesn’t hang over the edges of the wooden shape.
This elephant was originally meant for a wall hanging. I filled the holes with wood filler and sanded.

{Sorry! The rest of the tutorial pictures did not transfer over from moving to WordPress}

I used a pencil to mark where the wheels would go so that my husband could drill holes for the axles. (I used a mechanical pencil with the lead out more than normal – yes, it broke a few times, but I was able to scribble inside the tiny holes for drill marks.)

Next I spray painted my elephant and his wheels. I used a satin oil-rubbed bronze color. It’s my new favorite color of spray paint! A rich dark chocolate brown with bronze/gold flecks.

I almost wanted to leave him like this. But, then I remembered my pretty scrapbook paper (I love pretty papers!). So, I used a brush to apply Mod Podge to one side of the elephant and the back side of the paper.

and applied the paper to the glue-side of the elephant. Slide it around a little until it’s perfectly in place.

Smooth out with a dry towel. I used a wooden skewer to poke through the paper where the drilled holes were and rotated it around a little.

Let dry.

Once dry, repeat the same steps with the other side and let it dry.

Next I used coordinating paper to cut out elephant ears. Apply Mod-Podge to the back side and put in place. Smooth out with a dry towel.

Repeat on the other side.

Once everything is completely dry, I took a clean brush and applied Mod-Podge to once side to seal everything up. I use circular motions for texture. Let it dry again.

It dries clear.

Then repeat on the other side.

I then took it outside and sprayed a coat of stain lacquer finish. Once dry, I flipped and repeated.

I used a piece of decorative rope and threaded it through the cut out for the eye for the pull string. I tied knots and used beads. I also used thread and super glue to make sure everything was secure and didn’t make the string too long. Again – this is a decorative accessory, not a toy.

Once that was done – I was ready to apply the wheels, which I bought at Michaels (1 1/2″ wooden toy wheels). Mr. DIY and I made a trip to the hardware store for bolts, washers and nuts to use as axles. We spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the best way. A dowel rod would also work since it’s only for decorative purposes.

And here he is…all done!

DIY vintage elephant toy decor
It’s a lot of steps but it’s so easy. I feel like one of Santa’s elves. I just love it. I think it’ll be a perfect hand-crafted (with love) keepsake gift. What do you think?


Edited: I’m linking to Mod Podge Mania at This Is The Year!

Flying Elephants Mobile

This is a little hard to explain but hopefully the pictures help and if you have any questions…just shoot me an email.

Elephant/Grapevine Mobile

I found a picture of elephants that match the bedding and cut/paste it into a word document, resized then printed on card stock. I cut them out to use as patterns. Fold or double the felt and then trace, pin and cut. I added a little more size to mine.

I also cut the ears out of the original pattern to use.

Un-pin and sew on the ears. I did the first one with the sewing machine, but did the others by hand since it wasn’t too difficult.

Sew on beads for eyes.

Then pin with wrong sides together and sew around the edges (whip stitch). I started at the top side of the trunk and stuffed it once I got to the bottom of the first leg. Then worked my way around the feet to the backside. I then stuffed the feet and mid section and sewed it closed. I found that a skewer was helpful for pushing the stuffing into tight spots.

I used embroidery thread to make a small tail.

Cut 2 pieces of ribbon to desired length (I think mine were about 27″). Tie each end around the grapevine wreath, spacing them out evenly.

Hold up the middle of both ribbons and tie a knot. This makes a loop for hanging.

Cut pieces of ribbon to desired and varying lengths. Either sew the middle of the ribbon to the top of an elephant and then tie onto
the wreath which these pictures show:

Or…change your mind like I did and use fishing line. I tied a small knot in one end, making a loop then used the loop to secure to the elephant with a few stitches. I then tied the other end of the fishing line to the wreath.

I also bought a grapevine ball, decorated it with ribbon around the middle and a ribbon for hanging from the top to the top of the “hanging hook” of the entire mobile.

Add more ribbon/etc. to decorate. Here’s how mine turned out:

Easy Lamp Makeover

Lamp Makeover Tutorial

Used to look like this:

Here’s how I did it:

I taped off the parts I didn’t want painted. And sprayed the old brass-look finish with a new satin oil-rubbed bronze which is my new favorite paint color…rich brown with flecks of gold & bronze.

Covering an old shade:

First, I made a pattern. I started with the seam and rolled it along a sheet of newspaper (old wrapping paper would work too), tracing the bottom as I went along. Then I traced the top as I rolled it back. I drew a straight line from top to bottom on the ends. I cut out my pattern.

Then, I pinned it to my fabric…
and cut – eyeballing about a 1 inch (give or take) margin all of the way around.

Snip every inch or so (I guessed about 1/2 to 1 inch) along top and bottom.

Iron the fabric and iron a small fold to create a “hem” on one side.

Then I used spray adhesive on the wrong side of the fabric (make sure you protect the area your spraying on):

Roll the shade on the fabric, smoothing as you go. It’s just tacky, so you can move and slide it easily. Use the ironed hem part on top of the unfinished edge.

Tuck the snipped ends around the top and bottom of the lamp.

Spray adhesive to the wrong/back side of your trim.

Secure wi
th clothes pins while adhesive dries.  (I’ve also used hot glue when folding over the cut edges and it reduces the drying time and you don’t have to use clothes pins to keep it closed.)  Another lamp tutorial HERE.