DIY: Update Your Old Christmas Decor

updatechristmas

Happy December!  It’s that time of year again where the red Rubbermaid boxes with green lids come out of hiding and my house explodes in Christmas décor.  I love, LOVE, L*O*V*E this time of year!

Question: Do you have Christmas décor items that you put back in the box year after year without using them in your holiday decorating?  Stuff that you LOVED way back when, but now no longer fits with your Christmas design style or colors?  I decided to update a couple of items that I haven’t used in the past few years and I couldn’t be more pleased!

First, I have this wooden holly swag that my friend gave me many years ago (thanks, Renee!).  It’s super cute, right?

Green Red Wood Holly Swag

I have decorated with it and loved it for more than a decade, but my Christmas décor colors have changed over the years and it no longer matches my style,  plus the raffia was all snarled up.  For my DIY, I removed all of the raffia then painted all of the pieces with flat black spray paint,

Black painted wood holly cutouts

then painted the round “berries” white and the leaves a light greige color.   I did this to both sides to make the finished project look good from all angles.  After the paint dried I grabbed an old spoon and scraped the edges to reveal the black paint beneath for a distressed look.

distressing paint with a spoon handle

Using the spoon handle to distress the paint edges was way faster than sandpaper would have been.  If you notice how I was holding the spoon, it felt similar to peeling potatoes.  I just love the little center vein that was routered down the middle of each leaf.   That, coupled with the distressing, gives these holly leaves nice dimension.

Once all of the pieces were distressed, I grabbed some light blue ribbon and inserted it in the holes.  I added the 3 round “berries” to 3 of the leaves with the ribbon and laid it out on my counter in the approximate way that I wanted it to hang…

wood holly swag

…and then I tied a knot at the top.  So, here is the finished swag:

Just in case you are interested in making a set of your own, here is a pattern for the holly leaves and round berries.  This would make an awesome neighbor gift, right?

My other project was an item that I painted sometime in the 90’s which was in sore need of a makeover in order to come out of the Rubbermaid this year:

Green red wood JOY sign

Again, it wasn’t horrible, just didn’t fit my current décor.  This little “JOY” sign got the same treatment as my holly swag and I kind of love it now:

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I half thought that I would paint the stars with silver nail polish.  Who knows, maybe next year.  I am really liking the subdued whites this year, so for now, it’s just how I want it.

And, here is the final resting place of each for Christmas 2016:

green wreath holly swag

I’m liking the new looks…for now.  Who knows, I may change it back to bright colors in another decade.

So, do you like the before: colorful versions, or the after: distressed shades of white?  What Christmas color scheme are you liking right now?

 

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Snowman/Scarecrow Craft

scarecrow-snowman

Scarecrow/Snowman Craft: My Version

Lookie, lookie!  I am finally posting my version of a craft that I’m sure most of you have seen out there in the crafting/Pinterest/blog world:  A dual purpose, two-side craft with a scarecrow face on one side and a snowman face on the other.  I designed this craft for our Super Saturday craft day event in 2015 and promised to included a tutorial way back then.  Yep…I forgot to do that, so now I’m keeping that promise.  All of the other versions of this craft that I have seen are done with pallet boards or bead board, but I wanted a simpler-to-make version.   If you go to Pinterest and search “Scarecrow Snowman Reversible”, you will see oodles of versions of this craft.  But, here is how I did mine:

Supplies:

Supplies for Scarecrow Snowman

2 x 8 Lumber-  13 1/2 inches

Wood trim- 13 1/2 inches (can be flat or decorative trim)

White, black, brown and orange craft paint

Textured paper for noses (mine is wallpaper)

Q-Tip (to add dimension to the carrot nose)

Two large flat marbles (Dollar Tree)

Two large buttons

Misc. embellishments for decorating

Black Sharpie

Noses Pattern

Powdered blush (raid your makeup drawer!)

Glue gun

Ready?  OK!

First, figure out where you want your wood trim hat brim angle to be.  I just placed it where I wanted it, traced down each side of the trim with a pencil, then roughly painted white on the bottom and black on the top.  Don’t worry about painting the sides of the wood…just the top only, since this craft is reversible.

Snowman Craft rough painting

The board is sturdy enough to stand, so you can paint the scarecrow side, as well.  Matching the angle from the snowman side, roughly paint the top only of the opposite side brown.

While you have black or brown paint on your brush, paint both sides of your trim pieces, one side black and one side brown.  To be clear, when you are looking at the snowman side, you will be able to slightly see the back of the rim from the scarecrow side so you want to see black paint, and vise versa, so each trim piece has one side painted black and one side painted brown.  A hair dryer comes in handy to help speed up drying time !

Painted wood trim hat brims

Next , create those snowman eyes.  I just dipped my finger tip in black paint and dabbed a fairly thick coat of paint on the back side of each flat marble.  I think these “eyes” look so reflective and dreamy!  Don’t you agree?

snowman-eyes-and-nose

While the paint is drying, cut out and paint (if not already orange) the textured paper noses.  Click on this blue Noses Pattern link to print out the pattern that I created, or make your own shapes.

Time to assemble:

Use hot glue to secure both hat brims.  I also added a small flat head screw to ensure that brim will never fall off.  You can hide that with embellishments.

The faces are where you can get creative.  Play around with the “eyes” and “noses” to see how you want to place them.  On my scarecrow, I placed one button eye slightly lower then the other for a playful look.  For my snowman, I place the eyes fairly close together.

I added “stitch marks” with a Sharpie for my scarecrow nose.  To add dimension to the snowman’s carrot nose, I grabbed a Q-Tip  and glued it right where I wanted the nose placed, then hot glued the carrot shape on top of it, securing all of the edges.

The scarecrow got a large Sharpie-drawn smile with “stitch marks”.  The snowman didn’t get a mouth, but I used my finger to rub a bit of blush on his cheeks.

Personalize:

Give these two some personality by adding silk or glittery flowers, patches of fabric, raffia, ribbon…whatever your heart desires.  To distress, or not to distress- that is the question.  You get to choose whether or not to take sandpaper to the edges.

Now, here is the best part…

You can pull this cute craft out for your holiday decorating in September as you decorate for fall, using the Scarecrow side.  After Thanksgiving, flip it around to display the Snowman side and let him stay there all through January.  I love that!

All in all, this is a super-simple, super-cute craft that gives double your pleasure.  They make super cute gifts!  I should know…I gave mine away last year.  I’m off to make another one, (well, two) right this very minute.  Why don’t you go do the same?

scarecrowsnowmantitle

 

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Super Saturday Crafts 2016

Super Saturday 2016

It’s almost Super Saturday again!

Super Saturday is my favorite crafting event and it is coming up in just 2 short weeks.  Last year I posted what crafts we did for our local Super Saturday and I figured that I would do the same this year.  Uggh.  I just realized that in that post I had promised a tutorial for the Scarecrow/Snowman craft that I made and I totally did not do that!  Shame on me! I will do that very soon.  This time I really mean it!  Promise!

***UPDATE: Here is the tutorial***

To decide on which crafts to make, I consulted my two Pinterest Super Saturday boards: Super Saturday Craft Day Ideas and my group board, Super SUPER SATURDAY Craft Ideas.  You should check these boards (my other boards too!) out for some awesome, awesome crafting ideas.  (I will link below to show the original crafts that I copied for this Super Saturday activity)

Now, on to this year’s Super Saturday crafts:

This first craft is what I will call a Ponderize Board.  The thought is that you take scripture verses or other quotes that you want to incorporate into your life and you print it up in cool fonts and post it on this board where everyone can see it often.  It can just be a nice thought to ponder or you can try to memorize, hence the name, Ponderize.  The great part is that you can easily change your chosen verse or quote, maybe change it out every week or month.  Or, keep it up forever.

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Next craft is a cute Picture Display Board.  I cut the rounded long edges off of 2 x 6 lumber so it can easily sit on a shelf, countertop, table, etc. and not fall over.  Tiny clothespins are hot glued in place to hold the pics.  The lettering is vinyl, (Café Rojo font) and I just used a stencil to add a little detail.

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This Quart Jar Kleenex Dispenser turned out so cute!   Let’s face it, Kleenex boxes- no matter how stylish the print is- are really not that attractive.  To get this look, I first painted the jar with a dark color, then added a heavy coat of white chalk paint and sanded a bit to get the distressed look and to highlight the raised lettering.  You can click the “DIY Mason Jar Tissue Holder” link below for the tutorial on how to get the dispenser to work correctly.  This decorative jar is a really fun way to keep Kleenex’s handy:

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We will also be offering this O Holy Night Banner.  I was hoping to be able to download the banner letters directly from the site that I got the idea from, but the link wasn’t working.  I created my own version and had my local print shop print it up on cardstock.  If you want to print up your own set, here is the link for my version of the O Holy Night banner.  The top and sides of each page just need to be trimmed off (I removed the song title), the bottom cut into this banner-like shape and string added. Easy peasy!

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I’m sure that these Microwaveable Neck Warmers will be a Super Saturday hit.  They make fabulous gifts!  Look here for my tutorial.

DIY Corn Microwavable Neck Warmers

Lastly, during Super Saturday, we are going to do a demonstration to show just how easy it is to make a Square Wreath.  (Here is the tutorial.)

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Here are the images that inspired some of our Super Saturday craft choices:

Kudos to these awesome crafters!

Verse of the Week

Count Your Blessings Board

DIY Mason Jar Tissue Holder

O Holy Night Banner

Yep, Super Saturday is going to be awesome!

And, there you have it!  Our 2016 Super Saturday crafts.  What do you think?

Do you participate in a get-ready-for-the-holidays crafting event?  I would love to see what you are making!  Please send pics!  Maybe we will do them for Super Saturday 2017!

 

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Peacock Blue Furniture Re-Do

peacockbluetitle

If you are anything like me, you love a deal.  Am I right?  Of course I am!  Lowes recently had their paint samples on sale for $.99 so I snagged a few for a project that I have been itching to do for a long time.  Did you know that they can custom make any color in the 8 oz. sample size?  How amazingly cool is that?

Do you like the color Peacock Blue?  I do, I Do, I DO!  What exactly is peacock blue?  Well, it isn’t teal or navy…it is something in between.   Lately, I have been drooling over blue painted furniture.  Check out this beautiful leggy table from Create Inspire

createinspire-table

…and this awesome distressed peacock  blue cabinet (isn’t that stenciled wall amazing?!)

peacock blue cabinet

…what about this stunning and black dresser (swoon!)

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… and this glossy dresser

peacock-dresser

They are all amazing, don’t you think?

I have been craving me some peacock blue and guess what?  I got some!   Here’s a peek:

Olympic Celestial Blue Paint

This is what I started with:

Before: Black stereo cabinet

It’s an old stereo cabinet that I painted black years ago, but it was pretty beat up looking.  Ugly!  Before painting the whole thing, I had to decide which of my paint samples I was going to use:

Blue paint sample colors

I chose Blue #3 which is Olympic One Celestial Blue.

Those of you who haven’t painted furniture before might think that it is a big undertaking to paint a piece furniture, but…it’s…not!  This project took me no more than 90 minutes start to finish, including drying time.  Less than two measly hours!  And, the coolest part was that I was able to get 2 coats of paint from one little $.99 paint sample with paint left over.   Even if you had to pay full price for the sample, $3.48, that is a killer deal for a “new” piece of furniture.  And, trust me, it does seem like we have a new piece of furniture.  Check it out:

Peacock Blue Cabinet Re-Do

Let me just say that it is really hard to photograph this color accurately in my dining room.  In real life, it is the perfect peacock blue.

You may recognize those door pulls from my haul that I got at the Roses and Rust Vintage Market in Redding, CA last year:

Various furniture hardware

They were 3 for $1!  What a deal!  What a steal!  I guess that if I were being realistic, I would tack that extra $.66 on my title, but I’m not going to.

Are you craving some peacock blue, too?  Grab a paint sample, pick a piece of furniture and do a re-do, too!

Peacock Blue painted cabinet

 

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Painted Furniture: Say “Yes” to Distress?

painted-furniture-distress-title

Happy day friends!  In my last post about the free Craigslist nightstand that I painted, I told you that I wasn’t done with it yet.   This is how it looked when I finished painting it:

White chalk painted Craigslist nightstand

Not half bad, right?  Whenever I paint a piece of furniture, I always get to this point and wonder, “Should I distress it?”.  Do you do that?  It almost goes against the grain to make something look so nice and then take sandpaper to it, doesn’t it?

My experience with distressing painted pieces goes way back to the late 1980’s.  I had attended a church craft night with my sister and after we had painted the wooden craft, they passed out sandpaper to distress the edges.  I thought that they were crazy.  I had just painted the piece to perfection…why would I want to sand off a perfectly good painting job?  I refused and my craft project came home with me with pristine edges.

Let me just say that, in the decades since (holy cow, that makes me sound SO old!), I have come to embrace distressed painted furniture.  Embrace it with big open arms.  Want to see my distressed painted nightstand?  Why do I ask?  Of course you do!

Distressed Painted Nightstand

Yeah, I know the picture is kind of dark.  Sorry about that, but, can you see the difference?

How about some close ups?

Here are a few other painted items in my home that I have done this same subtle distressed finish on:

 

before-after-distress-collage
Unfortunately, the lighting in these Before and After pics is totally different, but you get the general idea, right?

Here’s the distressed nightstand in its final resting place, our guest room:

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So, what do YOU think?  Do YOU like the clean, pristine perfect paint look, or do you like the look of subtle distressing?  Personally, I like…both.  Wimpy answer, I know, but sometimes I prefer the subtle distressed look, sometimes I don’t.  I have found that, if I end up hating the distressing on a project, all it takes is a quick brush of paint on the sanded areas and “poof”, we have the pristine look all over again.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezie!

So, again I ask…what’s your take on the matter of painted furniture?  Do you say “Yes” to distress?

distressed-paint-collage

 

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My Price-less (seriously, it was FREE!) Nightstand

Cover Pic Free Nightstand

Do you want to know my favorite price?  Free, of course!  Same with you?  I like to peruse the Free section of Craigslist every once in a while.  Have you ever done that?  People give away all kinds of stuff:  pianos, boats, yard sale left overs, plaid couches, building supplies, pets, etc., etc., etc..  For the most part, I’m not the least bit interested in what I see, but a few months ago I saw this awesome nightstand posted:

Free Craigslist Nightstand Unpainted

School lesson:  The suffix “less” means “without”.  In other words, without a price.  Free.  Remember…that’s my favorite price.  Yep, this nightstand was price-less.  You can bet that I snapped it up!  Once I got it home, it went straight to the back of my garage, where all good projects go to wait their turn to become awesome.  Soon thereafter, HomeRight kindly sent me this awesome paint sprayer:

homeright-finish-max

The HomeRight Finish Max Fine Finish HVLP Sprayer.  Imagine a choir of angels singing…I swear that’s what I heard when the package arrived.  Thank you HomeRight!

My free (I love saying that!) nightstand was the first project that I decided to tackle with my new sprayer.  Piece of advice…read the instructions + follow the instructions when you are tackling the unknown.  Smart people wrote those instructions, but, after reading them, I decided that I know what I’m doing.  I have painted a lot.  I mean, a lot, so I decided that there was no need to thin the paint.  Big mistake.  Once I humbled myself and thinned the paint like I should have in the first place, the thing worked like a dream.  I think it took about 3 minutes to paint the whole first coat.  Seriously, it took more time to open the paint, mix a batch of chalk paint (thinned a bit…the instructions show just how much), and walk out to the garage than it did to paint my nightstand.  I was insanely impressed!

Hold it!  I’m getting ahead of myself.  Before I started painting I had some prep, of course.  Worst part of painting furniture, wouldn’t you agree?   Actually, it was just a bit of hand sanding.  I lived through it, somehow.

Even though it is widely known that chalk paint can go on pretty much any surface, I decided to spray on some canned primer just because.  I remember watching a YouTube video years ago of Annie Sloan hand painting a dresser and she painted the handles at the same time with the same paint that she painted the dresser.  I really like the look of the handles being more of a texture, not a standout color, so I decided to also spray a coat of primer on those.

Spray Primed Decorative Nightstand

Ready for the after?  Want to see what 2 coats of paint and about 6 minutes of total spraying time with my new HomeRight sprayer can do?  Well, here you go!

White Painted Decorative Nightstand

Do. You. Love. It?  My price-less nightstand?  I totally do, but I’m not done yet.  Check back soon to see the finished product.  I also plan to share some things that I have learned by using my paint sprayer.  I’ll keep you posted.  Now, head right over to your local Craigslist and check out the Free section.  Hope you find something good!

 

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DIY Faux Textured Glass

I’m about to show you something that will blow…your…mind.

Cover Pic Faux Textured Glass

That’s right…I figured out how to make my own faux textured glass and I can’t wait to show you how.  Truth be told, I’ve been using this product for several years now:

Gallery Glass Crystal Clear

The first time that I used it was purely out of necessity.  We had a huge custom triangle-ish shaped window in our old house that had moisture damage and looked horrible.  I decided to do a stain glass look using Gallery Glass products.  Using their liquid lead striping, I created a Craftsman style border around the whole window using different shades of greens as well as the Crystal Clear.  Did I mention that this window was huge?  7 foot at the tallest part,  8 foot at the widest.  It seriously took forever just to do the border.  When that was done, I still had a huge window that looked moisture damaged.  Ignoring the instructions that said NOT to brush the product on, I poured the Crystal Clear in a bowl, grabbed a wide paintbrush and filled in the rest of the window with brushstrokes, making my own textured glass look that hid the moisture damage.  That was nearly 15 years ago and, as far as I know, it is still holding up.  Cheap and long-lasting fix!

I have a couple of other DIY faux textured glass tricks up my sleeve that I will reveal another time, but I just have to show you the technique that I dreamed up today.  The process is really simple.  (Place your mouse cursor over each image, or click on it, to see the simple instructions)

Now, for my textured pattern maker: dun, Dun, DUN… textured wallpaper!  If you know me, you know that I LOVE textured wallpaper for crafting.

After rolling over the back of the wallpaper, I gently lifted it off.  Truth be told, I had a little too much GG and the image was a bit smeary.  No problem.  I just used a paper towel to remove some of the product, then re-smeared and re-stamped.

This is what it looked like when I peeled off the textured wallpaper:

Gallery Glass textured

You might notice some little wormy looking imprints.  Of course I didn’t let them stay.  Rather than start over again, I just used my finger to smear those areas out, adding little “polka dots” all throughout the glass.  Because of past experience, I knew that those dots would blend in just fine when the product was dry.

This is what it looked like as it was drying:

Gallery Glass textured

Notice my little dots?  Don’t worry, they will almost disappear.

So……….I found out that it is not easy photographing clear textured glass.  I tried about a hundred ways to get some decent pictures for you, I really did!  In person, it is a really cool effect.  In a photograph, it is much harder to see, but here goes:

 

Faux textured glass using Gallery Glass

Faux textured glass using Gallery Glass

Faux textured glass using Gallery Glass

It worked!!!  I’m thrilled…giddy…ecstatic! Once I get it in my frame and vinyl lettering added, I will show you the final, final product.

Until then, what do you think of my Faux Textured Glass?

 

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As a follow-up, I went to and saw the following Q&A regarding Gallery Glass that I found interesting;

Q: Do you need to use a sealer over Gallery Glass® Window Color™ or Liquid Leading™?

A: Gallery Glass Protective Sealer is recommended for all projects, especially window clings and designs in high humidity areas. The sealer will resist dust and fingerprint impressions as well as protect against condensation in moist areas. – See more at: https://www.plaidonline.com/gallery-glass/brand/detail.htm#sthash.7y3GGCHg.dpuf