Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Our 2014 handmade ornaments: Fingerprint Snowmen.

Every year I think of a handmade ornament to do with the kids. I like them to incorporate their picture, hand print, footprint, something that shows how little/young they were at the time of the ornament's creation. This year we used fingerprints {and toe prints for the baby because have you ever tried to keep a 9 month old's hand open so you could put paint on it to get a print??}. Anyway, we used the kid's fingerprints to make snowmen like this:

To make your own, here's what you'll need:
white, black, orange, and red {optional} craft paint
little wooden discs from the craft store
small paint brushes
decorative ribbon
eyelet hooks
glitter paint
hot glue
some cute tiny fingers

First we began with the thumb, then pointer finger, then pinky finger for the snow man's head. Put some paint on your finger and then press down onto the wood piece carefully so it doesn't smudge. {you may need to touch it up as the paint might soak into the wood a little and look a bit faint}

Once you have the snowman's body on and it's dry, you can add a nose...

And buttons...

And his hat.

You can do this step later but this is when I did it. Carefully screw in an eyelet hook to the top of the disc.

Here is where I thought I was ready to add the scarf but I thought some snow might be nice and remembered I had some clear glitter paint. We painted the front with the glitter. It will look pretty white but will dry clear leaving a shimmer of glitter.

To seal it so it's protected for years to come, we put a coat of decoupage over it. Again it will dry clear.

To hang it, pick out some pretty ribbon and string it through the hook and knot it at it's ends.

Last we added a scarf so our snowmen doesn't get cold. I just cut some felt into very small strips and cut one end to resemble scarf ends. I used hot glue to adhere the felt. You could also just paint a scarf on at the same time you paint the nose, buttons, and hat on.

And now you have your own little finger {or toe} print snowman ornament. We made these not only for our tree but for each of the grandparent's trees. This is the 9th year we have done these types of ornaments, ever since our first son was born. Handmade ornaments are my favorite!

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

DIY: porthole mirror

Before the start of the summer I began helping a friend fall back in love with her home (I'll share pictures once we're done completely). One area we worked on was her entry way. I suggested using three captain mirrors on one wall since the space would fit it nicely and it would help to bounce around some light making the entryway a bit brighter than what it was (the mirrors also give you a preview of her focal wall in the dining room as you walk in... bonus!). We searched for the perfect captain's mirror, 3 of them, with a decent price. After not finding anything she loved, I came across some trays on clearance at Target and had the idea of DIY'ing our own.

They turned into more of a porthole mirror after I had the thought of adding wooden "balls" around the mirror similar to my confederate mirror.

Here's what you'll need:

A round tray (don't worry about the color or design of it if you're not in love)
spray paint
strong adhesive ( I love E-6000 glue and use it for everything)
a mirror just a bit smaller in diameter of your tray (so it will fit inside)
wooden doll heads
dark wax and gloves (optional)
a ruler
an alligator hanger and hammer

First take your tray and doll heads outside and paint them with the color of spray paint you chose. You may need to do a few coats on them to make sure they are coated all the way. No need to do the center of the tray as the mirror will cover up that space, or the flat part of the doll heads.

Since these trays were not meant to hang on the wall, you'll need to put a hanger on it. My tray had a 16" diameter and handles on either side. If your tray doesn't have any handle holes then it won't matter where the middle is and you can put your hanger where ever. But if you have handles and you want it to hang evenly with the handles, use a large ruler to place on the horizontal diameter. Since mine was 16", I knew that 8" was the mid way mark. I used a second ruler to run from the center of the first ruler at 8" up to the top of the tray where I wanted to place the hanger. Make sure the second ruler measurements also come to the 8" mark where it hits the top of the tray so you know you have it straight. This may sound really confusing but there are arrows on the picture below so you know where to look on the rulers and once you are doing it yourself it will make much more sense. You're basically making your own T-scale to get accurate measurements.

Place the doll heads on with some of the E-6000. We eyeballed these so they looked evenly spaced out and used a total of 11 on ours. The wooden doll heads (purchased at Michaels) work great because they have a flat surface that makes it easy to glue to the tray without it rolling off like a perfectly wooden ball would. 

We then decided the gold looked too shiny and new so we used some dark wax to distress it a bit. Make sure you don't rub too hard in one spot as it will start to take the paint off. Sometimes this can help make it look a bit more distressed but if you do it too much it will just look messed up.

Last glue your mirror down in the center with the E-6000. We used a 12" mirror from Michael's for our 16" tray. The 14" mirror would not have allowed enough space for the wood balls so make sure you plan accordingly depending on tray size.

The finished product...

The original plan I had thought of was to add a rope band around the mirror. In this case we would have used the 14" mirror, and then add more rope to the back and make it look like it was hanging from a long rope handle like a captain's mirror is designed. But the porthole/ confederate mixed design won out. And no I didn't steal hers, I made some for me too!

The total cost for each  mirror was around $20. A lot cheaper than what you usually find them in the stores for. Score!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

DIY: brass letters.

This is probably the easiest DIY there is but I thought I'd share it anyway. I've seen a lot of faux zinc letter tutorials but this one is for antiqued brass letters.

what you'll need:

paper mache letters
gold metallic spray paint
dark wax or stain

Start by spray painting your letter{s}.

To add a bit of variety to the letters concentrate spraying in a single spot too {you can see where I did this at the top of the leg here}.

After spraying I felt the gold alone was a little too flat and shiny. I used some dark wax and blotched it all over the letters adding texture and depth.

There's no right or wrong way, just work with the wax until you get a look you like.

Let it dry and wa-la...

I created these to hang in the older boys room. It goes well with the Nate Berkus brass lamp and faux brass drawer handles.

And I love how it reflects light making it look more real than a quick DIY faux treatment.

Once I finish painting the walls I will share the rest of the bunk room. I keep hoping the paint fairy will do it one night while we're sleeping, but that hasn't happened yet...


Saturday, May 3, 2014

Shop additions.

There's a new growth chart color in the shop. Introducing Vintage Grey. It's color reminds me of a favorite old, worn in t-shirt.

It comes in the original large width and now in a smaller width as well. You can choose which option you want when you checkout.

The original vintage stain ruler now comes in the smaller width too. Again you can choose which width you want when you checkout. All rulers are sealed for durability.

I've also listed some more Richard Scarry story book frames I found in storage. I still have a few letter frames available as well. If you don't see the letter you want listed just convo me letting me know which letter you want and I'll check to see if I still have it. I know for a fact all of my E's are gone in both styles.

Have a good weekend. And if you're anywhere near my neck of the woods don't forget your umbrella! Will this rain ever stop?!?! Stay dry my friends!


Thursday, May 1, 2014

currently crushing...

I recently had the opportunity to browse around Target with only one little one who happened to be sleeping so pretty much it was mommy alone time, and came across some new products there that I'm completely crushing on at the moment. I've added the link to each one, just click on each picture.

I love this cookie jar! The lid is much  more gold looking in person than it is in this picture.


We've had the same paper towel holder since we moved into our first home, and while it still works fine, it's not exactly my style anymore. I love this entire collection and feel an update coming soon to our kitchen.


I'm pretty sure Nate Berkus could do no wrong! His latest collection at Target supports my theory. This arrow tray/plate is perfect for my arrow obsession at the moment.


Perfect for the tray on our ottoman, you know until the little bug is able to pull himself up and disrupt the prettiness.


Our family has a slight obsession with birds and turtles. This decorative box would work with the latter and is begging to come live with us.


Have you seen Threshold's herringbone blankets? They introduced them about a year ago if I remember correctly. I've been wishing every night on the first star I see (well maybe not every night) that they would make them in a throw size, and they finally have!!! They have them in a geometric design too. I'm love the coral, 2 please!


One day we will have a completed grown up looking bedroom, and when we do I want these lamps on our bedside tables. The glass + the brass + the curves = perfection!


Those are my current crushes at the moment. What are you crushing on lately?

(Target did not ask me to post my opinion on these items, just thought I'd share what I'm loving these days. However if they would like to give me any of these items to try out and report back on I'd be more than happy to take them off your hands!!! Just saying!)


Monday, April 14, 2014

Evan's faux zinc dresser.

The other day I shared our new little guy's nursery with you and said I would write more about the dresser that was in the reveal. I LOVE this dresser and how it turned out!

I ventured to the thrift store in hopes to find an old dresser with details and in good condition and of course a great price that I could re-do for the nursery. In the first store I went in to I found this... the price? $30! It wasn't in great condition but all the drawers worked, there wasn't much damage to it and it was the perfect size. The only thing wrong with it is there was a small piece of the veneer missing from one of the top back corners. I really could have left it alone as no one would have seen it once it was styled with accessories, however I never leave well enough alone.

I decided I would try to peel/scrape the veneer off and ended up stuck with this! At this point I began to freak out, mind you I was 7 months pregnant and very emotional at this time. If you follow me on instagram you may recall me outburst for help. I ended up on Pinterest to see if there were any tricks to getting this stuff off and that's where my saving grace came! I read another DIY that had this same issue and what they did was place wet towels on the veneer and let it sit for an hour or 2, I let mine sit all night, and then peeled/scraped it off. The moistness from the towel loosens the glue so it comes off like butter, most of it anyway. I had to "soak" some areas that were really stuck but it eventually came all the way clean!

 I had seen a few zinc finished dressers floating around and decided I would go that route {after trying out a few different colors and not liking them}. I first painted my dresser a medium/dark grey I had laying around {that I made into chalk paint}, then used some clear and dark wax, silver craft paint, a brush, and a rag to get the effect I wanted.

First drop some silver paint on the piece {don't put too much on at once because it tends to "stain" where you dropped it if you're not fast enough to work it in}.

Then get some clear wax on your brush.

And dab the silver spots all over so it looks like this.

Then I brushed it around to get this effect.

And kept adding more clear wax to smooth it all out so it looked like this.

Because I wanted more even splotches of the light color, I put a little silver onto my rag and with a circular motion added it to some areas like this.

This step gives it more of that zinc finish I think. This picture shows this step having been done on the left side of this drawer but not the right side yet.

Then I tried some dark wax on one drawer and decided I liked it {top is with dark wax, bottom is with only the steps above}.

I did the same thing here as above pretty much. Just dabbed some dark wax in areas {using the same brush}, and then with the same rag going in a circular motion, rubbed it in. If you happen to use too much dark wax, just rub some clear over it and it helps to spread it out a bit and make it not look so strong.

Here is the drawer above after it's been blended.

And here's the finished dresser and some detail shots.

I choose to use the original hardware, mainly because I was too tired and lazy to look for anything else, and because I thought it looked ok with the new finish. I may eventually change it out. I love how it's a style he can grow with and even when he hits the teenage years it will still work {but we're not going to think about that day right now!}

Any fun new finishes you've experimented with lately and love how it turned out? Do tell!!!