Saturday, September 21, 2013

Chalkboard Bowling Pins

I love chalkboard paint! So easy to turn something into a work of art...

Friday, August 23, 2013

music & the sea

I've had some more adventures in painting lately, and thought I'd share two. Both pieces were a mess when I found them, which meant they were crying out for a new life with a new finish!

First, this side table had a roughed up top and a weird decal paint thing of old flowers on a not-so-nice brown finish. To hide the top's flaws, I decoupaged vintage music sheets on top after I painted the whole thing white. I added a little stenciling to the corners for fun & finished with a matte finish wipe on poly.

This dresser was just a boring brown with broken & missing handles. I recently saw a photo of a nautical dresser redo, and was inspired! The main paint was a pretty aqua, but as I was working I decided I wanted to come up with a sea salt sprayed effect...

Sea Salt/Seaspray paint effect: I mixed a couple of tablespoons of white flat paint with about 3x as much water, making a very watery mixture. I brushed it on in random strokes, then immediately rubbed it off with an old rag. I experimented a little, and found I liked adding it heaviest around the edges, and also did a second time just in small spots to add a variegated effect.

I also drilled the holes for the handles to be larger. Then I threaded through 1/2" jute rope tying knots in front & back of the holes to create seaside inspired handles. It took 21" of rope per handle, in case you want to try this yourself sometime.
What do you think - does it remind you of the seaside?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Grey Dresser

I just finished a dresser for my booth that I wanted to share. Some pieces are easy, get finished quickly, and I move on. Some pieces are a labor of love, sweat & tears, and this was one of those!

It looks so unassuming, right?

One of the drawers was missing, so I replaced the top slot with a board to create a shelf, which now holds a basket.

I moved the drawer rail from the top slot to the bottom slot (which was missing the rail), so the drawer down there had support.

The drawer pulls were ugly brass, so I primed & spray painted them an ivory color.

Then the painting of the dresser itself. I tried making my own chalk paint. Wow. Crazy. This is not as easy as Pinterest makes it seem, hahaha! I had to sand the first coat I tried completely off, resand the whole dresser, add primer, and then paint it again. Heavy sanding was required between coats. And that paint is gloppy. Good gracious - I am not sure if I will do this again or not! Maybe the Texas heat was getting to me, but I have no idea why people love this stuff so much.

And finally, some heavy distressing to make it fun...

I am happy with the final product, it is exactly how I envisioned it! It just took soooo much work to get there!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Counter Height Work Table Project

As I shared in my last post, part of my huge school/craft room redo was creating a counter height work table.

I already had a "Liatorp" pedestal table from Ikea. It was about 8 years old, so the top was badly scratched, dinged & messed up - it stressed me out every time I looked at it because I wasn't sure how to fix the top.

A table with storage sounded good, as did keeping the round shape. I was inspired by this photo I found on Pinterest:

I guess what I did is called an Ikea hack by some. I call it a cheap way to get what I want by using what I already had. Here's the before of the room & the table...

And after...

The building of the new table was a challenge for me, my first attempt at building a real piece of furniture. My husband helped me a lot, and we finished in about 2 hours.

I used 4x4 wood for the legs, which rested almost perfectly on the box that is built under the "Liatorp" table top for holding the table leaf. The legs are cut at 34" tall to create the counter height for the new table. We attached the legs to the "Liatorp" leaf box with flat metal screw plates. Chad also routered a rounded edge onto the outside edge of each leg.

I used 2x2 wood for the shelf supports, and a countersink drill bit so the screws would be hidden below the surface once I finished it. I filled the screw holes with Plastic Wood.

I used the side pieces of the "Billy" bookcase I took apart for another project for this room redo. The side pieces were the same white shade as the "Liatorp" table, so this worked out well. I cut them to length and then cut out the corners for them to fit around the legs. I learned to cut laminated MDF boards on the bottom when using a jigsaw, because the side you cut on ends up fairly rough, while the opposite side ends up clean & smoothe. The shelves are screwed to the shelf supports, again with countersunk screws.

I attached squares of white felt to the bottom of the legs with spray adhesive, for ease of moving the table without scratching the floor.

I primed the raw wood with oil-based Kilz to seal the knots, and painted with flat paint color-matched to the table leaf. I lightly distressed it, then finished with a couple coats of Polycrylic.

Here it is before priming/painting, upside down, which is how we actually did most of the work, except for attaching the shelves.

Next was the scary, messed up table top.

I decided decoupage was the answer to my problem. Since I used maps & globes in the room I redid, I used an old road atlas my mom gave to me for the table top. After giving the top a good sanding with a palm sander and some rough grit sandpaper, I got to work.

I used atlas pages of states where we have lived or visited - basically places that have good memories. Mod Podge and a foam brush were my friends. As you can see, I also did the leaf of the table, it was kinda messed up too.

I finished the top with five (yes, five) coats of Polycrylic in semi-gloss, because I really wanted it to be safe from whatever crafting I do on top.

It is not perfect. Look closely, and you'll see I have air bubbles and bumps. As I've said before, crafting forces me to let go of my perfectionism :) And I can really let go of it because I'm thrilled with how it turned out, new functionality plus no more ugly!

Any ideas of what to do with the pedestal I took off the bottom of the original "Liatorp" table? I'm open to suggestions!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

School & Craft Room Makeover

When our school year wrapped up in mid-May, I decided to redo my homeschool and crafting room. I challenged myself to keep the cost way down while giving it a great look. We'll get to the cost at the end of this post.

When we moved into this house, I didn't know what I wanted this room to look like. I was busy with sewing and school so all that mattered was that we could do those things. Now that I don't have a sewing business anymore, rather, a business that is more a hodge podge of crafts and fixing up things, it didn't seem right to have a large part of the room taken up by sewing machines while not having much room to do what I needed to do.

This project rapidly grew into a huge makeover that took much longer than anticipated. I have a few finishing touches left, but I am going to share some of the project now because I am so excited to finally be just about finished!

A few of the "smaller" projects that made up the final product:

- painting the walls to match the rest of the main areas of the house

- ripping out the carpet

- staining the concrete

- taking apart an Ikea "Billy" bookcase I had, reconfiguring it with brackets as shelves mounted on the wall

- spray painting two metal filing cabinets I found on Craigslist

- using the filing cabinets to make a built-in desk along one wall with three desk stations - one for each girl on either end and one in the middle for me & my computer

- bunting made from scrapbook paper & string, hung with cup hooks from the ceiling

- redoing the pedestal table into a counter height worktable with storage (will go into more detail in my next blog post!)

Here's a close up of the computer. I purchased a wall mount for the screen to get it off the desk. I also drilled a 2" hole in the desk & slipped in a plastic cable grommet. I actually did this at all three desk stations, so we can all hide our cords.

The floor was a huge project. Huge. I couldn't have done it without my husband! We learned a LOT. It was still a better option for us than tile or wood, etc... and far less expensive.

We used Behr Concrete Floor Stain, custom mixed to get a chocolate brown color to match the wood in the rest of the house. I have mixed feelings about the results, but in the end it was an inexpensive solution that turned out decently.

Here's the completed table, which I will explain in my next blog post.

As I said, I tried to keep the cost down by using things I already had, building things ourselves, and looking for bargains.

I kept a tally of everything I had to buy (except for a few incidentals, such as nails, paintbrushes & caulk), and the grand total came to...

Just under $500. This was before I sold several items from the room that I didn't use anymore, which brought in almost $300! So the net cost of this project was just a little over $200.