Dress up your gifts!

Gift bags made gorgeous from Jo at To A Pretty Life:

I usually prefer using wrapping paper instead of gift bags, because I like to have fun with ribbons and flowers, and I have always thought that gift bags didn’t allow me as much creativity. I may have to change my mind after making over these two 97-cent Walmart gift bags. This is how they started out:

After I added some ribbon, flowers, and tissue paper I already had, and tied the bag shut with jute string, the pink one was transformed from plain to pretty:

With the green one, I glued on the same ribbon, and free-handed a design with yo-yos that I made when I was 16 and staying at a crafty friend’s house. I have a whole ziploc bag full of these yo-yos, and while I think they’re cute, I didn’t ever have any use for them. This bag was tied with jute as well, and for a card, I tied on the little tag that came with the bag, and glued a yo-yo to the outside, both front and back. This green gift bag went from garden-variety to gorgeous!

Sorry for the bad alliteration…maybe I’ve been watching too much daytime reality TV.

Thanks Jo! Great job! I love making my presents pretty too!

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Here’s another idea that I sometimes do:
(Some of you have seen this at Evangeline’s Vine…it’s okay, I know you’ve forgotten all about it by now, right?)


A one-size-fits-all-shirt! Isn’t this a cute idea for dressing up a gift? I’ve made a few different money-origami gift tags recently and they’re a HUGE hit! This was my gift to my nephew for his 16th birthday. Everyone loved it and it immediately went into his wallet unfolded. :)



I also folded other shapes and tied them to the small gift package with ribbon. So cute!

Here are links to helpful sites. Money Origami and Origami Resource Center.

If I can do it – you can do it! It does take a few tries to get it just right, but in the end…it’s a great way to accessorize your gift. I’ve gotten big hugs in return!

A New Look!

The DIY Show Off has a new look. Woo Hoo! (It’s late and it doesn’t take much to excite me…it’s the simple things, my friends.) What do you think? Improvement? I think it’s definitely easier to read and friendlier on the eyes. (Sorry old blog but you were u-g-l-y!)

It’s nothing too advanced as it’s DIY and I’m not a professional web designer. It is on my list of things I’d like to be when I grow up although so is writer, supermodel, design star, $-making blog author, inventor, doctor and boutique owner. I’m forgetting something, but it’s 1 a.m. here. Zombie isn’t on the list. Anyway, Google search is a huge help for discovering tutorials for dummies and downloads. I found my blog template here (thanks Christy!) and I thought this site here was cool (thanks Tricia!). My simple header was created with my beginner Paint Shop Pro skills.

Oh and you might have noticed my DIY Projects are listed on the left side bar. You may not have seen some of them since some are links to my other blog. I also included blogs where I was featured and loved and some I find inspirational (on the right side bar).

Where do you find the best blog help? Any suggestions for more changes or features?

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I’m participating in Kimba’s DIY Day too at A Soft Place to Land! It’s my favorite blog party of the week – access to TONS of DIY projects. Head over and check out all of the DIY links!
I used my BBQ/baby shower blog post from Monday.

DIY Day @ ASPTL
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One more thing – I just discovered I’m featured here today:
Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sweet!
Head over and check out all things adorable & baby related. :)

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Magnificently Marvelous Makeover – a dining room table facelift

Nicole from Magnificently Marvelous is showing off her dining room table face lift. I think it’s pretty in her before pictures, but I LOVE the distressed black after and her re-upholstering. Here is her post:

I really liked my dining room table but my kids have banged it up so much it looked terrible. We wanted to get a new one but I knew that we wouldn’t get much out of this one, so instead of spending more money on a new one I decided to sand it down paint it and recover all 6 chairs. This really doesn’t take very long if you can get motivated! This picture was taken a few years ago so it still looks really good.

This picture was taken right before I ripped all the fabric off and sanded it down. See the stains (yuck)
This is the after. I covered the chair in a green and tan gingham. I painted the chair black and distressed it with the electric sander. it looks so much better!
This is why I tought it would be hard, because it has a front and back to the chair back.
I also did the piping. Again this is easy!

And here is the finished product.

I am really happy with how it turned out. I thought that black would be hard to work with as far as decorating but it is actually easier.

I searched the internet trying to find a how-to on recovering the backs of these chairs and came up empty handed. I finally decided to take it apart and wing it. Turns out that it is really easy!

Awesome job, Nicole! Thank you for showing it off!

Thrift Store Find Redesign

submitted the cutest DIY tray. Here is her post:

I picked up this old plaque at The Love of Jesus for $1.00! I think the guy at the counter thought I had lost my mind for buying it and decided to give me a bargain. Anyway, this is what it looked like when I bought it….apparently someone took the important part and gave the rest away. : ) It’s thick and heavy so it should stand the test of time.

After pulling the felt and metal plate off I primed the plaque using Kilz 2. Then I painted it using Benjamin Moore Super Spec semi gloss white. (both the Kilz and white paint I had left over from painting trim) After painting I hemmed a piece of fabric I had left over from a previous project to fit inside the frame. I measured the inside of the plaque and had a piece of glass cut to fit at Lowes. So here’s the low down on the cost of this project:

  • Plaque: $1.00
  • Paint and Primer: Free
  • Fabric: Free
  • Glass: $3.49

That makes a grand total of just $4.49! So there you have it this beautiful tray to hold my perfume and whatnot on my dresser for less than $5.00!

Here’s the finished project:

Great vision Allison! I love your redesign! Your tray is so pretty and useful! Thanks for ‘showing off’!

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?)

Invitations
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?)

Decorating

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:


Menu
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!

Dinnerware
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. :)

Dessert

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!
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Games
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.

A Great Beadboard Bathroom Remodel

Hi! Hope you had a great weekend! Any DIY projects completed? :)

I’m showing off a wonderful bathroom transformation for

Here is his post:

My wife wants to start deconstruction in the 2nd upstairs bedroom. I have informed her that we need to complete all of our unfinished projects downstairs before I will start another project. This is how it has gone for our home improvement projects. We begin a project, then we begin another project…then another…I think you get the picture.

Well…the list of 10 or so projects is down to 2. One is the bathroom with the 1950′s speckled tile. The other is the wine cabinet to fill in the space between our new cabinets. We have decided to have someone build the wine cabinet and I will complete the bathroom.

Over the last 2.5 years that we have owned the house, the bathroom has gone through an almost complete renovation. We started with the tub surround. The tiles around the tub/shower were loose. I removed those, which exposed the crumbling plaster from being wet for so long. Removed that to expose some mold and wet insulation. Reinsulated, killed the mold, put on new fiberglass drywall, and installed vinyl window. Then we had Bath Fitter come and install the single piece shower surround so I would never have to worry about moisture problems.

We had to remove a couple of extra tiles for the Bath Fitter installation which has left exposed Liquid Nails for the last 2 years. Not a pretty sight when you have some tile and some holes where tile used to be. Don’t ask me why they used Liquid Nails to install the tiles, but it is the reason we had water problems in the shower. But it is also the reason I am able to remove tiles with just a putty knife.

Then when we replaced the linoleum floor with heated, ceramic tile which required removing the bullnosed floor tiles. That has been like that for the last year. We also installed a new toiler and vanity/sink combo and removed yet more tile that was behind the toilet so I wouldn’t have to remove the toilet after installation.

Then we replaced the door, which required removing the door trim. Missing door trim for the last year.

So…it has been a long time coming. Here are the “before” pics. These are before the final removal of the tile. You can see the spots where tile used to be, but liquid nails is now showing through. Beautiful I know. Sorry for the crappy pics, but the bathroom is 8×5, so it is hard to get a good picture.

(what a sweetheart!)

Under construction…tile removed.


And here are some more after pictures:

The final steps included removing the remaining tile. To do so, I had to disconnect the sink and remove the tank on the toilet. This, of course, made it into a full day project.

Since the bathroom is so small, we have to come up with some creative ways for storage. The house has 1 bathroom and it is 8′x5′ (not including the shower).

I added some shelving above the toilet. But, in order to still have access to all of the internal parts of the toilet, I added a piano hinge to the shelf. I then added some front supports to keep it level.

I notched the beadboard for the sink so that it would sit flush against the wall. I had the beadboard come flush against the top of the sink so that I could pull the base of the cabinet away from the wall an inch or so and have the sink be supported by the cabinet.

Overall my wife and I are VERY happy with the outcome. The beadboard is so much nicer than the tile that was there.

Michael – it’s beautiful. I love beadboard and the wall color is so pretty! And the piano-hinge shelf is so clever! Great job! Thanks for sharing! :)

Spray Paint Post by Decor Mama

Hi! TGIF! Ready for the weekend?

I’m having a crazy next few days with hosting a huge BBQ/baby shower but I have time to introduce a DIY-er for the 2nd time. Jane from Decor Mama had a great post on spray paint (I’m addicted – easiest way to DIY a transformation). Look at her Adirondack chairs. So cute! I love all of the outdoor/patio projects going on. (and remember Tricia’s Adirondack chairs?)

Thank you so much for sharing Jane! Your chairs look so bright and so fun!

Here is her post and head over to her blog to say hi! Have a great weekend everyone! I can’t wait to catch back up with you/your blogs and your projects!







Spray paint is a DIYer’s best friend! Let me list the reasons why:

  • Inexpensive…I’ve said this before but paint is cheap!
  • Easy…just point and spray. Now of course you need to spray long even strokes holding the can 8 – 10 inches from your target. Also, remember to apply several thin coats of paint.
  • Fun…I think of all the Do-it-Yourself projects out there, spray painting is one of my favorites, and often provides instant gratification.
  • Economical…did I mention spray paint is cheap. Let me reiterate this…you will save $$ on every project!
These Adirondack chairs had seen better days for sure, and frankly I was undecided as to whether I should re-new them with paint or just trash ‘em. But the DIY diva in me came out and got the job done, although it did take months to finish. FYI…never start a project at the start of Summer, as this is just a crazy, busy time of year. In my case, I had to compete with kid 1′s Summer baseball, and kid 2′s Swim team, not to mention North Carolina’s hot & humid weather. (painting & high humidity are like oil & water…they don’t mix) This project also took longer than I expected because the wood in these old chairs is really old and therefore porous (even with two coats primer). As a result, the paint kept soaking into the wood, rather than coating the surface of the wood. No worries…these things happen with DIY projects and you can be sure nothing ever goes perfectly. So the solution I found was to spray on a couple of extra coats of paint. Here’s a run down of the steps I took to complete this project. First, I lightly sanded the wood and removed all loose dirt and paint. Second, I applied two coats spray primer – Killz is my primer of choice. Third, I applied several thin coats of spray paint in Rust-Oleum’s Regal Red. And finally, I applied one light coat of Polyurethane protective clear finish. Here’s a link: How to Spray Paint Like a Pro.

Now that these old chairs are finally finished I am, once again, thrilled with the result! I can’t wait to kick back with the Hubby and a glass of wine on a breezy Summer’s night and enjoy the fruits of my labor. That’s the beauty of DIY projects…it’s all about taking old pieces and giving them new life…and for me there’s nothing more rewarding! Got Spray Paint?

Easy Office Accents

Looking for a few new office accents? Head to Goodwill, like Kristen did.

This:

Used to be this $4 chair:
Here are are her helpful photos showing the transformation:


Coordinate items you already have with new fabric, ribbons, embellishments or spray paint. Kristen’s old memory board:

Is now a matching accessory.
Great job Kristen. Even little projects can be fun and a great way to change a room! :)
Thanks for “showing off”!

Patio Primping

I love Amber’s quick, easy & inexpensive patio makeover. Adding color made her space fun and her furniture look brand new. Here is here email:

As new homeowners, we have had all sorts of projects, but when my mom recently visited from Michigan, she helped to create some of the cheapest and most dramatic makeovers so far!

The house we moved into had been vacant but “staged” for almost 6 months. Part of the staging was an aging lounge chair in the back yard. We didn’t think much of it when we saw the house and figured it would be gone when we got here, but our neighbor saved it from the Goodwill trip for which it was fated. When we finally signed the papers, he was proud to give it back to us, but we didn’t share the enthusiasm.
While browsing in a high-end store in a neighboring town, my mom spotted a terry cloth lounge chair cover, to be used poolside. We noted its construction and thought of giving the old lounge chair in the back yard a facelift with a similar treatment. Later that day, while shopping at Target, I spotted a large outdoor table cloth in bright stripes. At $19.99, it seemed like the perfect solution for covering our chair.
After measuring the chair, we determined that it would be easiest to keep the original hems on three sides by leaving the table cloth full length. We then created a pocket at the top to slip over the back of the chair and keep the cover in place. A few seems and a few ties later, and we had created a cheap solution to our ugly chair.
As if fate was shining upon us, my husband and I were showing my mom around the neighborhood later in the week, when we spotted another lounge chair in the trash pile at the end of a neighbor’s driveway. Knowing that my mother is a firm believer in the phrase “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” I shouldn’t have said a word, but my loud mouth blurted out, “Look, another lounge chair like the one we just covered!”
Maybe you can see where this is going…

Later that afternoon, my mom and I made a covert mission back to the neighbor’s driveway to pick up the ugly chair, and after another few seems and ties, our original creation has a twin.
Both chairs were covered with the same $19.99 table cloth, but I went back to Target to buy another to make some additional outdoor accessories. Overall, I spent just over $40 for the chairs, new patio chair seats, a small table cloth for the patio table, and a pillow for one of the lounge chairs. I have additional fabric left over and have big plans for another small head pillow and a larger pillow for another patio chair.

Cost: $40 (for everything, $19.99 for two lounge chairs)

Time: 2 hours

Skill level: Beginner. Sewing stripes is so easy that a first-timer could do it. If you were to choose a pattern, it would up the skill level a bit.

Tools: Measuring tape, sewing machine, pins, fabric (Optional: grommets and grommet maker for patio chair cushions, filling for pillows)

FANTASTIC job Amber! So clever! I love the fun summer stripes and the new look of your patio! Thanks for “showing off”!

If you’re new to the DIY Show Off, check out these beautiful outdoor makeovers too:

More Fabulous Furniture Makeovers

Hi DIY-ers! I have a few more furniture makeovers to share. I’ve included before & afters as a well as a link to the creative blogs they came from. Click “show off” to be redirected to the original blog post for more details and to meet the creative ladies behind these fabulous furniture transformations. They’re all fabulous – the ladies and their furniture! What do you think?


#1 One Night Stand
Show Off: Open Hand Living


Before



After


#2 A Chalkboard Cabinet
Show Off: Happy Nester


Before

After



#3 Revamped Bench with Nailhead Trim
Show Off: Project Pretty

Before


After


#4 Black – Not so Basic
Show off: Decor Mama











#5 Painted Bench Redo
Show Off: Posh Pieces


Before


After


I’m amazed each time I see paint transform furniture. Every time it produces beautiful results. Great job ladies! Thanks so much for sharing with us!!!

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.


bp.blogspot.com/_Ydn4kd0aaEY/SnZa52meTxI/AAAAAAAAAgM/4JjaodWNG3A/s1600-h/036.JPG" onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}">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:

Before

New Back Wall


New Concrete Patio

Russ tries out the paint sprayer

And now….



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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.

Old to New – Furniture for Kids

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I had a few minutes this evening and I want to share two cute little makeovers for kids furniture. Kids outgrow furniture so quickly. Transforming old used pieces into something “new” is a great inexpensive way to furnish play rooms.

Amanda from More than the Stars in the Sky reminds us that a fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive way to give and old desk and chair a new look. Here are the photos from a desk she freshened up for her son’s room. So, if you have a piece of furniture that just isn’t working for you, grab a brush and a fun color and get busy. :0)




Thanks for sharing Amanda! I love old furniture with new style! It’s a great alternative to buying new.

Speaking of furniture makeovers, Katie from My Story is Not Over gave an old china cabinet a new look and new purpose for her daughter’s play room by coordinating paint colors to match. Look how cute:

My First Real DIY Project

I would like to preface this post by reiterating that I am NOT, not in the slightest, artistically talented. And my creative side tends to be a bit linear and inside the box. Good, so now that I’ve let you know this, I just finished my first major DIY project! I can’t believe the sense of accomplishment I feel, you’d think I’d just painted the Mona Lisa.

The largest room in our house is Spencer’s “playroom” I use quotations because it’s not even close to resembling a playroom yet, but since that’s what it’s eventually going to be, I call it the playroom. Essentially, it’s a room filled with my Mema’s old (with a few exceptions)- furniture that my mom doesn’t want, but also doesn’t want to sell or give it away. None of it is good furniture, so I didn’t feel bad about re-purposing this china cabinet/hutch.

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Seriously, does this look like playroom to you? Not to me, so I decided to redo and re-purpose it. I really didn’t like the hutch before, okay, I hated it; it was a china cabinet with no china and it was brown. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. This piece of furniture was so poorly made, that it was virtually indestructible. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true.

For example, in the top part, the center panel doesn’t open and there’s a piece of glass inside of a makeshift frame that sits out about a 1/2 inch from the base. Well, that glass was glued in, caulked in, and nailed in. There was also an additional frame behind it, on the side you couldn’t see, that must have had over 100 tiny nails keeping it permanently attached, forever and ever.

After an hour of trying to get that center panel out, I gave up. I took off the doors on the top and the drawers in the middle, sand papered, and primed the hutch. It took two coats of primer because the wood was so dark and not the best quality, so I wanted to be on the safe side.

Did I mention that the shelves were glued on and the back panel was staple gunned in all the way around it? Because that’s what it was! I tried for awhile to get it off, but then I gave up. Oh, and the hardware on the bottom cabinets were screwed AND glued in. When I started trying to get the glue off, some of the wood began to disintegrate, so I just decided I would paint them too. It’s not something I would have typically done, but my options were limited since I couldn’t remove them. Please take note that the glass pane is still in place!


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No more glass! I didn’t take any pictures of the stage in between because I was so In The Zone. But I managed to pry the back panel out, pull over 50 staples from it (there were still a lot I left in there poking through, but I couldn’t take any more staple pricks on my fingers), re-sand, paint, and nail back into place. I don’t have a staple gun, hence the nails.

Getting that pane of glass out in one piece almost killed me. At one point I thought about trying to break it with my hammer, haha, luckily, the rational part of my brain took over before any shattering occurred. I finally managed to remove all the caulk and glue, but it was taking down the back panel that really made it possible. With that out of the way, I was able to get at some of the shoddy, behind the scenes, framing. Once I had one side banged out, it gave me some room to turn it enough that I was able to shimmy out the glass. Success!

I painted the drawers and backing the same coral shade that the accent wall is painted in the room, so it would all tie in together (remember the linear thing?). And I figured I had to paint the handles, because it would look weird to have some that were painted and others that were untouched brassy metal.

I think it looks a lot more kid friendly now! I’m going to use the bottom shelf to put some of her books on and the top shelves (the ones she can’t reach) with some of her keepsakes and mementos. The cabinets will hold toys, crafts, coloring books, DVD’s, etc.

The final product. I have to say that I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Even though it’s not perfect by any means, it’s so much better than it was before. And that was really my goal when I started this project- to not make the After picture worse than the Before picture.

  • I used an ACE paint for the green – Royal Touch Satin Wall and Trim in Parrot’s Feather. Cost: $9.99
  • For the coral, I used the end of the gallon of paint from the accent wall – Behr in Cool Lava. Cost: Free (well for this project at least!)
  • The primer was ACE’s 1-2-3 Primer. Cost: $6.99
  • I already had most of the supplies I needed, but I bought some extra roller heads and two brushes. You can never have too many brushes. Cost: $6.50

Total Cost: $23.48

Total Time Spent: Approximately 6 hours of actual labor, not counting drying times.

So there you have it, my first DIY project complete. I definitely learned a lot, so hopefully my next undertaking will go a little more smoothly!

Thanks for showing, Katie! Congratulations on your first DIY project! It’s going to be so cute in her play room!

Vintage Inspired Elephant Toy-Decor

Public Service Announcement!
This is a DECORATIVE ACCESSORY!
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.
Materials:
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?

Roeshel

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

This:
Used to look like this:

BEFORE
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.
Apply.

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.

Ta-da:

AFTER