Barnwood and Beachwood staining tutorial

Barnwood and Beachwood are pretty popular these days. You can find furniture and other home goods with these finishes just about everywhere. When I first saw this look surface, I was trying to think of a way to recreate it. I ended up stumbling upon this method by accident and then eventually refining it.

Here is what you’ll need:

Rust-oleum small stain jars. Driftwood, Kona and Weathered Gray.

Rust-oleum small stain jars. Driftwood, Kona and Weathered Gray.

You’ll also need a stain brush, paper towels, some light grit sand paper and a bare wood surface.

This method is so easy, that I don’t even need to really include pictures of the process because it’s fairly straight forward and there isn’t really a wrong way to do it.

I start with the Weathered Gray stain and cover my piece then rub it in well with a paper towel.

Next I make some random brush strokes over the surface with the Kona color. Some of these I rub in, and others I keep the brush marks more obvious.

Finally, I do some light random strokes with the Driftwood stain and do not rub these in. I want it to almost appear like lighter wood grains.

And lastly, after the stain has dried, I sand my piece almost like I would if I were distressing a painted piece.

Here are some pictures of some pieces I have used this technique on:



I made the shelf have a barnwood feel.



The shutters now have a nice rustic vibe. They were originally pine.


This shelf was oak. I only used Driftwood and Kona for this piece to make it feel more beachy. Forego the Weathered Gray if you want more of a Beachwood look and start with Driftwood then rub in some Kona to make the color more rich.

photoThis was a wood frame I sanded and stained with the barnwood look.

I want to add that you can’t really go wrong with this method. Just play around and use your sand paper if you need to soften any areas. But most of all have fun!



Crazy for Clothes Pins – $10 Projects

I love clothes pins because they can be such a cool design element but they are also so cheap. Here are a couple of projects I did this weekend using clothes pins. I’ll explain below how I did them below:

Clothes Pin Picture Holder

Clothes Pin Picture Holder using a cabinet door

Clothes Pin Picture Holder using second hand frame and twine.

Clothes Pin Picture Holder using second hand frame and twine.

Both of these projects were easy, quick and fun and they add punches of color and interest to any room!

The first project is similar to my “LOVE” sign that I blogged about a few weeks ago. Just like the “LOVE” sign, I used a cabinet door from IKEA’s “As is” section. I love it when they have the skinny cabinet doors because you can do so much with them. This particular door was $1.99.

Hobby Lobby decorative wood filigree spray painted dark brown and glued with wood glue to the cabinet door.

Hobby Lobby decorative wood filigree spray painted dark brown and glued with wood glue to the cabinet door.

The wooden filigree from Hobby Lobby was about $1.99. I spray painted it dark brown so that when I distressed the piece it would match the color of the rest of the door.

Painted and distressed cabinet door with filigree glued in the middle.

Painted and distressed cabinet door with filigree glued in the middle.

Then I took some wooden craft clothes pins (you can find these for cheap at Wal-Mart in their craft area), and painted them with some acrylic paint I had on hand and then simply hot glued them to the door since they would only hold light weight pictures.

Add some cute scrapbook paper cut outs and stamp them, or display family photos or greeting cards.

Add some cute scrapbook paper cut outs and stamp them, or display family photos or greeting cards.

Add some hanging hardware in back and you have an adorable decorative accent for a child's room/nursery, office etc.

Add some hanging hardware in back and you have an adorable decorative accent for a child’s room/nursery, office etc.

This second project is pretty simple as well. Using the same idea as the IKEA cabinet door, I instead used a secondhand frame, painted and distressed it, then painted 4 clothes pins and hot glued them to the sides of the frame:

Another cute way to display your photos, greeting cards, etc.

Another cute way to display your photos, greeting cards, etc.

I cut a couple of pieces of twine and clipped them into the clothes pins, then used mini clothes pins to secure the cards and pictures to the twine.

There are endless possibilities here. Play around and create something fun for your own home!





“LOVE” decorative sign with hooks

As promised, I am going to show you how I created the “LOVE” sign I made for our mudroom. I had a really fun time with this project!

"LOVE" Sign with hooks

Decorative “LOVE” hook rack/ wall hanging.

This project came out of 2 different ideas I saw, so I combined them. The first idea, I don’t have a picture of, but I saw someone use a cabinet door (like the one I did), and they glued wooden letters on it to create a sign. Then I saw this at Hobby Lobby:

DIY Love sign with hooks

Adorable Hobby Lobby Wall Chalkboard with hooks

I seriously loved this so much. However, it was priced at $100. I wanted to get a similar look but for much cheaper.

To create my sign I used the following items:

1. A cabinet door from IKEA’s “As is” section. They have TONS of random cabinet doors. The one I purchased was only $2.99.

2. Wooden letters from Hobby Lobby. These were just over $1 a piece. I measured the space of my cabinet front and took those dimensions with me to see what word I could fit within this area.

3. Wooden decorative pieces for the top of the board. These were also from Hobby Lobby and are found in the same aisle as the letters. I found 2 of the same decorative pieces to mirror that were only a couple of dollars for both.

4. Hooks from Hobby Lobby. Make sure you buy them when they are 50% off, or use your HL 40% off coupon.

5. Acryllic paint from Wal-Mart. I used the “Patina” color for the main color. I used a white and coral for the hooks and clothes pins. Wal-Mart has really cheap acryllic paint less than $1 each.

6. Wooden craft clothes pins from Wal-Mart.

7. Sand Paper

8. Hanging hardware

9. Polyurethane to seal the paint on the hooks (optional).

10. Wood glue

I started by figuring out where to place the letters and decorative wooden pieces on the cabinet door. I measured carefully to make sure everything was centered and evenly spaced. After I got each piece where I wanted it, I traced it with a pen so when I glued each piece down I knew exactly where to put it.

DIY LOVE sign with hooks

I used wood glue to adhere the letters and decorative pieces to the cabinet door.

Using wood glue, I covered the bottoms of each piece and put glue within the traced areas on the cabinet. After that I set a bunch of heavy books on top until the glue set. Then I made a mistake that I am hoping to spare you from making. I left on a date with my hubby and was not around to check on the glue situation. So while the glue set, it oozed out around the letters. It wasn’t a make or break situation but if I make another one I will check it periodically to wipe away any glue oozing, or gloozing, as I like to call it. (Wah wah…)

Once the glue was completely dry, I painted everything with my “Patina” acrylic paint. I think I needed about 2 coats.

DIY Love Sign with Hooks

I wanted it to still see some brush strokes because of the style of the piece so I only did 2 coats.

Once the paint was completed dry, I lightly sanded the piece.

DIY Love Sign with Hooks

Here is the piece after it was sanded. I also used some dark brown paint and a fine brush to give more of a distressed look to the letters since they were a light wood color.

You also want to paint the hardware/hooks (if you choose to). I just used acrylic paint to paint those as well. You can seal them with a polyurethane, however I did not because our sign is just decorative and won’t actually be used to hang coats.

Hooks and Clothespins

Painted hooks and clothespins.

The last steps are to find out exactly where you want the hooks/clothespins/hardware to be placed, to secure those items onto your board and then to add hanging hardware of your choice in the back. I screwed the hooks in and used wood glue for the clothespins. We used a wire in back secured on each side to hang our sign so that we could secure it to the wall in a way that our kids would not be able to yank it down and hurt themselves.

Hardware Placement

Figure out where you want all of your hardware and then adhere or fasten it to the board.

You can take this idea and do whatever you want with it, whether it means using the space where I placed the letters to make into a chalkboard similar to the Hobby Lobby inspiration piece, or you can do a vertical sign with a special date (2 numbers for each row). The possibilities really are endless. There are so many fun color combinations you could do and so many fun hooks that you could mess around with to create something truly unique.

This piece cost me about $25-$30 to create. You could make it as cheap as you want depending on what you want to include and what items you already have on hand. Then hang it up and enjoy!





Dollar Store Challenge: Sunburst Mirror

Last week, we spent time visiting my parents in the Seattle area. Other than the entire household contracting a nasty respiratory virus (courtesy of my daughter), we had a great time spending time with family.

My brother and his fiancee live in the area and I was really excited to see them and catch up. While we were there we decided to do a couples’ challenge using Dollar Store items. The challenge is to create something using $5 worth of Dollar Store items to re-purpose into something else that can be sold on Craigslist for the most money. We are allowed to use paint, glue/adhesive, nails, staples and other bonding products, but that is about it.

Our deadline isn’t until May 15th, so the competition isn’t over yet, but in the process of brainstorming projects, I came up with this idea, which I may or may not use in the actual competition.

A Sunburst Mirror:

DIY Dollar Store Sunburst Mirror

DIY Dollar Store Sunburst Mirror. $5.

This project can be done for as little as $3. However, I spent the full $5 on mine. I will show you both versions.

I started out with these three basic items:

DIY Dollar Store Sunburst Mirror

Candle mirror, candle plate and mini plastic spoons.


I started by hot gluing the spoons in a circle. It helps to do the 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions first and then evenly space in between these 4 points. Hot glue them like CRAZY so they will stay in place.

You can then spray paint the entire thing, front and back:

DIY Sunburst Mirror

After painting both sides and letting it dry, you can hot glue the mirror if you choose the $3 version of this mirror. If you want the $5 version DO NOT glue the mirror yet.

I decided after the fact that I wanted to embellish it a little:

DIY Dollar Store Sunburst Mirror

You can glue dollar store toothpicks in between the spoons to add a little more detail.

Obviously, I had to go back and repaint once I added these. If you know ahead of time you want to add them you can wait to paint the entire thing until after the toothpicks are added.

After everything dried, I hot glued the mirror on (tons of glue again!), and then added these jewels to each spoon end:

Dollar Store gems

Dollar Store gems from the craft/school supply aisle.

And that’s how I got this:

DIY Dollar Store Sunburst Mirror

DIY Dollar Store Sunburst Mirror. $5.

Use glass bonding glue to apply hanging hardware in the back. Follow all the directions to assure it dries and bonds properly.

So that is about it! I will let you know if I end up using this, or if I choose something else. And of course I will announce the winner when all is said and done (provided we win;)).

DIY Picture Frame Mirrors

I have always had a thing for mirrors. No, no, not in that way. I actually would prefer to keep my reflection OUT of them most of the time (unless I have something stuck in my teeth). But I love the way they look and the light they reflect. And also how they can make a space look bigger than it really is.

I wanted to create a wall of mirrors; all different shapes and sizes. When we painted our banister rail I thought it would be good timing to add something to the wall of the first set of stairs. It’s one of the first things you see when you walk into the house.

DIY Picture Frame Mirrors

Blank Wall with a few nail holes.

Instead of searching for a ton of different mirrors, I thought it might be easier to use left over looking glass paint from when I did all my mercury glass projects and turn picture frames into mirrors that way. It’s a lot easier to find small picture frames in a variety of shapes.

DIY Picture Frame Mirrors

You can get this at Wal-Mart for 8.97. It goes a long way!

I had a few mirrors already but I also bought some frames at IKEA that I thought would make darling mirrors. I’m sure you’ve seen them before:

DIY Picture Frame Mirrors

Add 5 thin coats to any glass surface, letting each coat dry for a full minute before adding the next. And ta-da! You have your very own antique looking mirror.

Now, here is the fine print. The paint has to be applied to glass surfaces only. The two decorative white frames from IKEA come with plastic instead of glass pieces. However, their $2 frames have almost the exact same size of glass that you can swap out and use instead, which is what I did.

This is the $2 frame I'm speaking of.

This is the $2 IKEA frame I’m speaking of.

The thing I love about the looking glass paint is that it makes a mirror-like surface but it looks antique-ish.

DIY Picture Frame Mirrors

Mirrors! Mirrors! On the wall!

So that’s about it. It’s a fun project that takes about an hour. You can spray all the glass pieces together and they take about 1 hour to dry and handle.

Tips: Make sure you fully clean all the glass surfaces well before applying the paint. The instructions say to spray the back side of the glass, then turn it over after it’s dried to reveal the mirror surface.

Chalkboard Clock

Check out this beauty:

DIY Chalkboard Clock

$3.50 thrift store clock.

I saw it in Salvation Army about a week ago and my mind was turning trying to figure out what I could do with it. I liked the woodwork on it and thought it would be awesome to paint and distress but I had to think of a way to hide the nasty brass clock plate.

So I decided to try something different and use chalkboard paint for the plate since I still have tons left from previous projects.

This is what I came up with:

DIY Chalkboard Clock

Chalkboard clock after a makeover.

I probably don’t really need to go through all the steps because I’ve covered many of these techniques in previous posts but I’ll give you a quick summary of how I did it.

DIY Chalkboard clock

First I removed the plate. It was really easy to do. I basically just twisted off the back piece and unscrewed the front. Thankfully there was no glue to deal with so it came off easily and cleanly.

The next part is pretty self explanatory. I cleaned the clock and all the pieces and then sprayed each of them with spray paint. I used the Vaseline technique again on the wood part and used a satin white spray paint with primer. I also sprayed the clock hands and screws with white paint so it would contrast against the chalkboard. Then I sprayed the brass metal plate with the chalkboard paint. (Make sure you always read the full instructions on the back of your spray can. I have made some dumb mistakes before because I wasn’t paying attention!).

DIY Chalkboard clock

Here it is after the paint dried and I put all of the pieces back together. Chalkboard paint still had to dry for 24 hours before the first use!

After everything dried, I measured the chalkboard plate. Mine was 7×7 so I created a file in Illustrator (you can use other programs too if you don’t have that one) that was 7×7 and using some guidelines to make sure the positions were accurate, I put a 12, 3, 6, and 9 at their appropriate spots, printed it and then chalked the backs of the numbers. I cut a hole in the center so I could stick the hands through it when I traced the numbers.

DIY Chalkboard Clock

Turn the paper over and chalk the back behind all the numbers you will be tracing.

DIY Chalkboard Clock

I used a crayon to trace the numbers so that it wouldn’t scratch the surface of the chalkboard.

After I transferred the chalk numbers I went back with a white paint pen and filled them in with that. Since the numbers are permanent I didn’t want them to accidentally be rubbed off. Plus the paint pen made it still look like chalk only brighter and more crisp!

DIY Chalkboard clock

I used a paint pen to trace the chalkboard numbers.

DIY Chalkboard Clock

Chalkboard clock after a makeover.

And here is the final product again. Not bad for $4?






Pub table make-over

So, I have this table. It sits in our kitchen nook and when we first purchased it I absolutely loved it. Then, we had a child. All of a sudden the microfiber seats and delicate wooden surface were not super appealing. Within 3 years I found myself looking at this table in complete disgust and wishing it never existed. I think I would mentally block it out whenever I entered our kitchen and believe me when I say, no one was ever invited to eat at it other than my 3 year old daughter, which made it degenerate all that much faster.

I really hate to subject you to the following pictures, but you can’t truly appreciate the transformation without them:

Pay close attention to the seat underneath the booster. It's a stained mess.

Pay close attention to the seat underneath the booster. It’s a stained mess.

Scratches, glass rings, and stains, oh my!

Scratches, glass rings, and stains, oh my!

Remember when I painted the coffee table for our living room? You know how I had a bunch of extra paint and didn’t know what to do with it? Yep, you guessed it. I decided to use the exact same paint to cover up this eye sore and transform it into something functional, appealing to the eye, and practical for having a toddler.

Pub table make-over

The old and the new.

I wanted a fun fabric to cover up the microfiber, but I also wanted something stain resistant. I decided to pick out a fun floral grey, white and yellow pattern and then cover it with durable plastic to make it easy to wipe and keep clean.

Finished Pub Table

And here it is. No longer an eye sore or an embarrassment.

To cover the chairs I just unscrewed the old seats and used a staple gun to cover them with the fabric first, and then the plastic on top.

And because I’m one of those cheesy themey types, I thought my daughter should have a matching table:

DIY Kid's Nook

Please disregard our floors that are in transition from laminate to tile. And pay no attention to that toy under the table. Poor Pablo is a victim of our flooring project.

And if you were wondering how I made that little cushion for my daughter’s chair, I forgot to mention that about a month ago I received a sewing machine. I’m pretty much obsessed with it and have created several things that I hope to share with you soon. They are all novice projects so I am hoping you’ll follow me on my journey and that you won’t laugh at me if you are already an experienced sew-er (“sewer” just didn’t read correctly).