DIY chevron picture frame

I saw this frame on the Anthropologie website and loved it:

Anthropologie Chevron Frame

Distressed Anthropologie frame with chevron pattern. $28.00

I thought about what I had around the house that I could use to create something similar. First, I found a picture frame that I wasn’t using that had a nice smooth surface to it. I bought it at the Goodwill a long time ago but never found a place for it. I figured that with some masking tape, acrylic paint, and a spouncer stencil sponge I may be able to create something similar.

DIY Chevron painted frame

You can get both of these at Michaels or Hobby Lobby.

I took my frame and some masking tape and just eyed a chevron pattern with the masking tape.

DIY chevron painted frame

I thought this would be a lot more challenging than it actually was. The larger the pattern, the easier it will be for you.

The nice thing about using the masking tape is it’s pretty forgiving and you can redo it pretty easily. I wasn’t concerned about making it perfect because I wanted the final product to be somewhat imperfect and distressed looking.

DIY Chevron painted frame

With my spouncer and paint, I sponged the paint over the exposed frame.

I didn’t want it to be opaque in all areas because I wanted the illusion that the paint was wearing off in some placed.

There is a lot that you can do with this. You could paint the entire frame first, then tape it after it’s completely dry and sponge stripes on top, or you could alternate colors in each row. I just chose to do one color on top of my unpainted frame.

DIY chevron painted frame

Once you’re done painting you can slowly begin to remove all the tape.

You can see that there are spots where the paint leaked under. Once it dried a little I went back and pushed those spots back with my fingernail. That seemed to work nicely.

DIY painted chevron frame

Here’s the finished product.

Clearly it’s different from the Anthropologie frame, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.

And if you want a similar print to fill your frame as the one in the Anthro picture, you can find some cute scrapbook paper to use in place of a print.

Happy crafting!

DIY chalkboard made from an old mirror

I’ve been wanting to create a chalkboard for our dining room for awhile now. And yesterday I was at the Salvation Army and found the most perfect narrow mirror. It must have been heaven sent because it was also their 50% off everything day (be still my heart). So that made this fine piece only $20.

DIY Mirror turned chalkboard

I was so excited that I almost forgot to take a picture of it before I had the entire thing painted!

I loved the detail of it and the width was perfect for the wall space that I wanted to fill it with.

I realize that it would’ve been best to remove the mirror from the frame, not to mention that it would make it much easier to paint. However, there were tons of bolts in the back and I just didn’t want to go there and risk ruining the mirror. So I opted for the tedious and frustrating way.

DIY Chalkboard

I painted all of the wood and went back with a fine brush to get the edges close to the mirror.

I wasn’t too concerned about getting paint on the mirror at this point, even though I tried to avoid it as best I could. But I knew that the chalkboard paint would cover any small spots.

Then came the most frustrating part of this process. I taped all the edges and covered the frame with newspaper.

DIY Chalkboard

I sprayed that sucker down with chalkboard paint. Make sure you read all the instructions on how to do this correctly.

You have to apply two coats to create a chalkboard surface. So I let the first coat dry completely then sprayed a second. Once I removed the tape and paper, I realized that on one side, I had overlapped the tape onto the mirror and there was a line where the mirror was showing through. I re-taped it and corrected this problem, but then I ended up getting a little bit of the chalkboard paint on the frame. Argh! So once that dried I went back through with my fine brush and touched things up as best I could.

You have to wait 24 hours before using the board so it just hung out and dried for awhile.

You have to wait 24 hours before using the board so it just hung out and dried for awhile.

Today, I “broke” the board in by using the side of a piece of chalk and rubbing it across the entire mirror. What I wanted to do was put up a menu of our weekly meals. I like to try to plan them out ahead of time and only shop once a week for groceries so I thought this would be a good motivation for me. Now if you’re like me and aren’t too confident in your chalkboard-writing skills, you will love the transfer method I used.

DIY ChalkboardI see people using this method a lot these days but I learned this back in my graphic design classes in college. We used to have to do everything by hand so we’d print out our text, lead the back of the sheet, turn it over and trace the letters onto the piece we were working on, then fill them in with marker or paint, or whatever media we were using at the time. I figured it would work with chalk too.

I printed out the text I wanted to used, held the sheet on the reverse side up against the window so I could see the text through the paper. Then I took a piece of chalk and chalked around the letters. Using blue tape, so it doesn’t leave any residue, I secured the sheet to the chalkboard where I wanted it, then traced the letters with a crayon. I used a crayon so I wouldn’t risk scratching the surface of the chalkboard or tearing through the paper.

DIY chalkboardWhen you lift the paper off you’ll have to clean it up some. I used cue tips and kleenex then went over the letters again to make them darker and sharper.

I continued this method for the entire board:

Finished DIY Chalkboard

The final product.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Although this has the potential to be a frustrating project, it can still be done fairly quickly and when it’s done, it’s worth it.

I saw a chalkboard similar to this online for $100. Since I already had chalkboard paint from previous projects it only cost me $20. That’s what I love about paint. When you buy it, it usually lasts for awhile so you can come up with other projects to use it for and then you can stretch your dollar that much farther.

And if you’re looking for chalk, Michaels has it. I checked Target and a slew of other stores and had no luck, so I thought I’d pass on that info.

DIY coffee table makeover

I was in Ikea a few weeks ago and fell in love with this coffee table:

Ikea Coffee Table

I think I may have literally drooled over it – sleeve wiping and all. Kind of embarrassing, really.

I figured it would be a really good price. But my hopes came crashing down when I saw that they wanted $199 for it. It’s not a terrible price, really, but I’m not generally one to fork over that kind of money for a piece of furniture. Yes I’m cheap, and if you have a problem with that, you’re on the wrong blog.

Then I was at the Salvation Army and I saw this beauty:

Not the same exact thing, but similar. I also loved the fact that it was more oblong so it has more table space.

Not the same exact thing, but similar. I also loved the fact that it was more oblong so it has more table space.

They wanted $39.99 for it. It’s solid wood and made in the USA, so I thought that was a pretty good price. If I was willing to wait 4 more days I could’ve gotten it for 50% off but I didn’t want to chance someone else grabbing it before me, since it was pretty much exactly what I wanted. And my dear hubby encouraged me to just get it. I love that man.

DIY Coffee Table Painted

This is Valspar’s “Seine”. I’m in love.

I only needed about 1/8 of a quart of paint so I could’ve just purchased the sample cans they have at Lowes for a couple of bucks, but now I have an excuse to use it on something else. I got the kind with the primer in it so it only needed one coat. And it’s the semi-gloss finish so the surface will be easier to clean. This is one of the easiest paint jobs I’ve ever done. I think it took me 20 minutes after I sanded it to complete the project.

DIY Finished Coffee Table

Here’s the finished table sitting in my living room.

coffeetableafter2The whole project was about $50. This table doesn’t have a drawer but our old coffee table didn’t either so I don’t think it will be missed. And I like the shape of this table better for the space. The round table from Ikea would’ve been too short and probably would’ve looked funny.

So now I’m brainstorming ways to use the remainder of my paint. I’m sure I’ll figure out something!

DIY no-sew throw pillows

I’ll be the first to admit, I have practically no sewing skills. So anytime I can create something with fabric that doesn’t require a sewing machine, I get excited.

I found some ideas on Pinterest related to covering old throw pillows with fabric without having to sew, but I ended up modifying it just a tad. The one I saw used a knot to tie the fabric together. I tried this idea at home but it ended up just looking messy and I wasn’t very pleased with the final product. I wanted something a little more simple-looking that had cleaner lines.

Here is what I did:

DIY pillow step 1

Buy one yard of fabric, center your old throw pillow within the fabric and fold one side up.

DIY throw pillow step 2

Fold the top side down and also fold about 1/2 inch of the bottom underneath to make a clean line.

DIY throw pillow step 3

Take the sides and fold them in like you’re wrapping a present.

DIY throw pillow step 4

Bring them together in the center so they slightly overlap.

DIY throw pillow step 5

Use a safety pin to secure the corners to each other.

DIY Throw pillow step 6

Choose any buttons you’d like and either hot glue them to the fabric or sew them on if you know how.

And that’s it! If you want to make your lines nice and crisp while folding, you can use an iron. The nice thing about this method is you can always take the cover apart down the road if you want to cover the pillow with something else or if you have another use for the fabric.

DIY throw pillow cover

Dress up your couch with your new throw pillow!

Both Jo-Anns and Hobby Lobby have weekly coupons you can use on one yard of fabric. This cover cost me $5 after my discount. It’s a great way to dress up your old throw pillows at a really reasonable price.

DIY repainted end table/cabinet

A few weeks ago I found this at the Salvation Army:

DIY side table and cabinet

Beautiful woodwork, but a terrible paint job and in need of a good cleaning.

I fell in love with the woodwork on it. And it was a good solid piece of furniture. But the previous owner had been really sloppy and never removed the hardware when they painted it so there was black paint splattered all over the knobs. The paint was coming off in several places and it was so dirty that it leads me to believe that it hadn’t been used in years.

Nevertheless, they only wanted $29.99 for this nice piece of furniture. I thought that was a great deal, especially since I already intended to repaint it.

This time I removed the knobs so I could paint the entire piece without messing up the hardware further. I loved the knobs on it and it was a shame the previous owner had been so careless with them.

Since I was once again using white paint since it’s what I had on hand, it took several coats to complete to cover up the black paint. I would’ve probably chosen a darker color if the piece was going into a different room. But as I’ve stated before, my living room doesn’t get as much natural light and we already have dark wood floors so white was the best choice in that location.

I used my metallic brush nickel spray paint to cover the old knobs:

Repainted Knobs

Spruced up and repainted knobs. Now I can truly appreciate the detail of them without the distraction of splattered paint and grime.

I really like the way the piece turned out. And with the fresh look in my living room I’m starting to show some hints of Spring mixed in with the Winter decor. Cherry Blossoms are the perfect lead-in from Winter to Spring.

aftercabinet

DIY painted end table

Vintage-looking painted furniture is really popular right now and that’s really good news for thrift store shoppers because this look can easily be achieved at a very low cost.

My parents receive the Ethan Allen catalog and my mom pointed out that they’re featuring a lot of this style on their website and in their mailers. I went onto their website just to get an idea of what they are charging.

Ethan Allen Table

This adorable end table from Ethan Allen is priced at $499 on their website.

I see furniture with this “bone structure” all the time at thrift stores. The problem is that they are usually in hideous condition with brassy gold hardware. But don’t let that get in your way. It is pretty easy to take one of these pieces and transform it into something lovely for your living room.

DIY Painted Table Before

Behold my next project.

I found this gem for only $9.99 at the thrift store. I was shocked that they were selling it for so cheap because it doesn’t wobble and is very sturdy (which is the most important thing). It had a lot of cosmetic issues though. Lots of scratches and dings and places where the finish was coming off. I didn’t care about any of those things though because I knew I would be painting it.

The first thing I did was take off the brassy hardware and use a medium sand paper block to sand the entire surface. Then I put on several coats of primer. Primer is something we always have around because we use it for some many things. I love how fast it dries so you can usually put on several coats of it in a shorter time frame.

I have some metallic brushed nickel spray that I’ve used for other projects so instead of finding new hardware I just sprayed the old one, especially since it’s purely decorative anyway. And this is what I had by the end of the day:

End table after

This entire project cost me $10 since I already had the paint and metallic spray.

I purchased the table around 10am, was home and sanding it around 10:30, had 2-3 coats of primer on it by 11:30 when I had to go pick up my daughter from preschool. I finished the final coats during her nap time. While I waited for the paint to dry I did a few coats of metallic spray on the hardware. By 3pm the project was finished and by that evening it was displayed in my living room.

Skeptical about spraying your hardware? Take a look at how this turned out:

DIY end table hardware

Looks pretty good, huh?

Anyone can do this. It will save you tons of money and make your house look beautiful! Most people won’t even know that you did it yourself. Colored paint is really in right now, but because my living room doesn’t get as much light, I wanted white pieces to brighten it up, plus I already had white paint so that kind of made my decision for me. Be creative though, there is no limit to what you can do with this.

DIY decorative bookcovers

This is such a simple project, only takes about 15 minutes and it adds a very inexpensive decorative element to a side table or coffee table.

DIY Decorative BookcoversPick a few pieces of scrapbook paper, and find some small books in your bookshelf that you are not likely to read anytime soon. Measure out the length and height of the book or simply lay the book on the scrapbook paper and wrap it around to get an idea of how long you need it. Use an xacto knife and a ruler, then wrap the paper around and tie with some twine for an extra touch.

I also chose to use some stamps I already had to stamp the spine. I love adding text as an additional design element.

You could also take the remainder of the scrapbook paper and cut out decorative bookmarks to mix and match with the books and have them poking out. I love this because it’s easy and makes a cute decoration for only a couple of bucks.

You can also see a sneak peek of my next blog post in this photo. I scored an awesome table from the thrift store that I ended up painting. More on that tomorrow!