Easy DIY: Distressed Metal Art

Chippy Metal Art

Check out this awesome piece of metal art that I bought 4 years ago at Ross.

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I thought that the design was okay-ish and the size, awesome (3 feet by 3 feet),  but above all, I loved the price:

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7 bucks?  That, I can do! I’m thinking that it was discounted because it was kind of scraped up in a few places…

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…which is ok since I didn’t like the finish on it anyway.  So after moving it from place to place in my garage for the past 4 years, it got some attention today, and I LOVE it!

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Wanna see how I did this uber-easy project?  Of course you do!  First I grabbed a can of black spray paint and mainly focused on painting the edges and raised portions:

Sorry, the dappled sunlight makes it kind of hard to see, but if you look at the upper left corner of the above pic, you can kind of see the black edges which will be visible once the piece is distressed.   Next, came two coats of a semi-gloss white paint:

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Of course I could have called it “Done” at this point if I was going for a clean modern look, but I wanted to take it a step further and distress it up a little to highlight some of the details.  Of course that is why I painted it black in the first place.

***Very Important*** If you plan to do a similar project, spray the top coats with only a short time between coats and distress while the paint is still a bit tacky.  They make spray paint so well these days that it dries to form a really tough surface, which is really what we want, right?  SO, if you are distressing spray paint, you have just a short window of time to accomplish that task.  Even though the distressing process took me about 10 minutes, I could tell a big difference between how easy it was when I started, compared to when I was finished.  Work fast, ok?  If, heaven forbid, you miss that window of time, you can try using some fingernail polish remover and a Q-tip like I did with my metal star project.   Just make sure that you change Q-tips often to avoid a smudgey look.  Got it?  Good!

Now, do you want to see my high-tech distressing tool?  Of course you do:

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Let me be honest:  I started out by using my thumbnail and realized that I would likely wear it away to nothing so I figured that a plastic spoon would do the trick and it did.  Sometimes I scraped away with the spoon part…

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…and sometimes I used the handle to cover more area at a time…

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Here is the finished project…

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…which I LOVE!!!  With the new finish, it is no longer “okay-ish”, it is fabulous.  I thought that I knew exactly where I was going to place this baby, up high in my dining room, but now I want it more front and center.   Hmmm.  The easy part was re-creating this piece.  The hard part is deciding where to put it:

What do you think?  Where should it go?

 

Yep, I can honestly say that I love this piece.  Love!   So, do you have something hidden away in YOUR garage that could use a couple of coats of paint and a spoon?

 

********* Linking up to these awesome parties!*********

 

 

 

Updated Metal Star

Once upon earlier this morning, I had a metal star that looked like this:

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I bought this 28 inch metal star at a garage sale about 5 years ago for $1.  Loved the price, but I wasn’t crazy about the finish.  Still, I slapped it up on my wall and forgot all about it.   It was up high enough that the unfortunate color and scraped-off paint didn’t really look too bad against the beige wall it was hanging on.  As you may or may not know, I’m going gray in my house.  The metal star came down so the gray paint could go up.

I will give you a preview of what this star looks like now:

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Kind of looks like something that you would see in the aisles of Hobby Lobby, doesn’t it?   Do you wanna know how I got this look?  So easy!  First I spray painted the whole thing black and once that dried, I sprayed on 2 coats of a nice shade of aqua:

I tell you, spray paint these days dries so fast.  Of course, the reason that I painted the star black in the first place is because I wanted to be able to distress it and have black showing through the aqua.  You already knew that, right?

To distress projects that I paint with water-based paints, I usually rub the areas that I want exposed with a damp rag or scrubbing sponge, but water really didn’t have the same effect with spray paint.  I ended up going with pure acetate nail polish remover.  I messed around using the scrubbing sponge…

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…but ended up liking the look achieved by using Q-tips and cotton balls the best.  As the acetone hits the paint, it tends to smear the black beneath into the top coat so I messed around with that a bit :

Here’s some practical advice:  be smart and wear gloves.  Trust me on this one.

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After re-spraying the portions that I over-distressed (which was way easier than I thought it would be) I favored using the Q-tips.  Be prepared to use a lot of Q-tips to avoid a smeary look.  Really, it is so super easy.

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Perched on the same screw that it originally hung from, my updated star really shines.  Never to be ignored or forgotten again.  I must say that I L*O*V*E the finished project.

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What do you think?

 

********* Linking up to these awesome parties!*********

 

 

Raid Your Yard: Lovely in Lavender

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What is growing in your yard right this very minute?  If you don’t know, run and look.  I’ll wait.  At this spring time of year it seems like everything is in bloom and looking beautiful.

Here are some areas in my yard that I am absolutely loving right now:

Today I decided to get all Martha Stewart-like and bring some of my outdoors…indoors.  Some people like to gather a bit of every kind of flower that they have in bloom and put them in a vase.  Me?  I prefer only one type of flower in each arrangement.  That’s just me, though.  I decided to gather lavender since we have absolute TONS of it in our landscaping.

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Let me share a story that I always think of whenever I see lavender:  My friend was wearing the color lavender when she was approached by a guy who, in what must have been his best “designer guy” impression, said to her, “You look lahv-ly in lah-vender.”  Cracks me up every time.  Just trust me when I say that this stuff is buzzing with bees.  Buzzzzing like crazy

Since we have absolute oodles of lavender, I decided to make a few arrangements with items that we already have on hand.  Ready to see?

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I think that this is an actual Martha Stewart pitcher.  I like it.  I like it a lot.

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This is a tall, modern vase that I like to keep in my kitchen window above the sink.

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This funky, modern looking vase was purchased at Michaels a couple of years ago.  My daughter likes to keep it in her room.

And lastly, this one:

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Just a simple jar that everyone, and their neighbor’s dog, has.  A drop of blue and a tiny drop of yellow food coloring makes the perfect aqua water.  A touch of raffia completes the look.

I’m loving having the outdoors, indoors today!  Four new arrangements and it didn’t cost me a dime.  Love that, too!  My home is lovely in lavender.  (Snicker!)

Now, why don’t you grab some scissors and a vase and go raid YOUR yard!  I promise you will be glad you did! (Just watch out for bees!)

 

(Check out the Link Parties that I like to link at)

2 Minute DIY: From Tank Top to Framed Art

Framed Flag Art

Got an extra 2 minutes?  It’s time for some lightning speed DIY!

We have all heard it said that sometimes you’ve got to think outside the box.  True in so many ways, including home décor.  Case in point, this black tank top with a cool metallic gold American Flag detail:

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I added the frame in this pic as a clue to my “out of the box” idea.  Are you thinking what I’m thinking?  Of course you are, you smartie!

This tank was a child’s size that I got at my local thrift store in one of those “as much as you can shove in a bag for $5” sales.  I love those.   I can shove a LOT in a bag.  I have seen similar tank tops in my days of perusing thrift stores and garage sales.  My guess is that if you frequent these cheapo shopping venues, you are sure to run across frame-worthy art, as well.

You will notice that my frame in the above pic is black.  I just applied a couple of coats of off-white paint and scraped off bits when it was still a bit damp to reveal the black beneath.  FYI: I am not going to count that in my 2 minute (see my title) time frame.  My blog, my rules!  My thought is that you may already have a frame that you love that you don’t need to paint.  2 minutes:  Ready?  Begin!

Take apart the frame and use the glass (carefully) as your pattern to center your tshirt art.  Trace around it with a pencil, pen, whatever (a white colored pencil works great on black), then cut it out.  At this point you can just discard the glass, or keep it.  Your choice.  I tossed mine.  Now, just adhere the fabric to the cardboard back of the frame, making sure that it looks centered in the frame.  I used spray adhesive, but you can tape the edges down or in all honesty, you can just center it on the cardboard backing,

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…then stick it in the frame.  Voila!

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Makes me feel patriotic, just looking at it!  So, what are YOU going to frame as art?

 

 

**********Linking up to these awesome parties!**********

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Witty Hoots

Thanks, to Brenna from Life After Laundry for picking this project as her favorite for Tips & Tricks week 10!  Another big “Thanks!” goes to Nemcsok Farms and Witty Hoots for picking this project/post as a Frugal Family Linky favorite!

Recycled Jeans Satchel

 

At this very moment, do you have any jeans in your home that really should be in the trash?  I’m talking holey, stained, terribly out of style jeans that you know will never be worn again?   I recently came across some jeans destined for landfill and I decided to check out Pinterest (of course!) to see what I could make with them instead.  Although I found some really fun projects, I didn’t see anything that screamed, “Make me!”.   Not knowing what I was going to make, I started cutting and this is what I ended up with.

Recycled Jeans Satchel

I kind of love them!  Think of it as a satchel for putting your phone, lipstick, or whatever you need, in.   Do you ever find yourself wearing an outfit that doesn’t have pockets?  Maybe a dress, skirt, yoga pants?  It’s kind of a pain.  Make one of these simple satchels and you won’t need to carry your stuff in your hands or have a full on purse when you really don’t need it.  Ready?  Set?  Go!

First step, cut off the pockets.  Easy!  Cut only the bottom layer (not the finished pocket edges) and leave a bit of fabric on the top.

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Flip it over and hot glue the top edge down so you can have a finished-looking front.  Back doesn’t look too bad, either.

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For the flowers I did an internet search for “flower template”.  Here are the two that I used: 4-petal-heart-template and Flower-Pot-Card-Template.  It is best to have at least 3 different sizes, so I had to do some re-sizing in Word.  Once you have a paper pattern, cut it, then trace it on your fabric,

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then cut out the fabric.  Might as well cut out two layers at a time, right?   I wanted the denim to looked a bit frayed,  so I just scraped the fabric edges with my fingernail to get that effect.

To assemble the flower, grab some thread, a needle and a button and sew the button through all of the layers…or…hot glue each layer and add the button to the top.  Then just hot glue the flower to the pocket.   Play around with positioning before gluing.

For the strap, cut out the inseam starting up one leg and once you reach the crotch, going down the other leg, then back up and down the other side.  Most, if not all jeans have double stitching for the inseam so just cut near the finished edges on each side of the stitching.  Easy-peasy!

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And this is what you get:

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At this point, determine how long you want your strap to be, cut to size, then hot glue on the back like so:

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Done!  Check it out!

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I have been asked to be in charge of crafts for a young women’s camp this summer and this is definitely one that we will  make.  My goal is to have the girls create items that are useful, not something to shove in the back of a drawer once they get home.   I think that they will like them.

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What do you think?

 

Linking up to these awesome parties!

Nemcsok Farms

 

Easy Floppy Bow (Using a Blouse Sleeve)

Remember this pillow that I made using a blouse that I recently bought at a thrift store?

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Well, I promised that I would show you how I made the floppy bow.  Remember?  I hate to break promises, so here we go.

For this bow, I used the sleeve portion of the blouse.  See here?

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First, cut off the cuff, like so:

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So far, so good?  See that fancy slit?  That is what helps make this easy bow so, well… easy.  You’ll see.

Now, just cut your fabric so it is slightly wider than you want your bow to be.  Basically 3 quick snips, don’t over-think it…it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Turn the fabric inside out and pin it, making sure to secure that slit well.  Then simply stitch the ends like so:

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Now here is where that little slit makes life easy.  Remove the pins and turn that baby inside out through the slit.  No need to sew it up, it is going to be hidden in the back of the bow.  You may notice that one side of the bow is a little wider than the other.  Since the fabric is so floppy, it really won’t be noticeable when you are done.  Trust me, it will be okay.

Now grab that cuff and cut it in half lengthwise

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Position this knot to form a bow and either sew to your desired tightness, or just add a touch of hot glue.  Trim the ends off then add a hair clip if wanted.  Done!

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Yep…that was pretty easy!

 

 

 

DIY: From Blouse to Pillow in 10 Minutes Flat

Do you have pillow forms hiding at your house?  Maybe in your garage?  Closet?  Craft room?  Yeah, me too.  And when I say “pillow form”, I am also referring to ugly throw pillows that just need to be updated.  Like the ugly hunter green checkered pillow that I adored in the 90’s.  It has been hiding in the garage for the last 10+ years.  Well, I resurrected it today with this:

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I know what you are thinking… that is one stylish blouse.  Am I right?  Or am I right?  Or am I right?  The fabric is a really shiny rayon/polyester mix that doesn’t photograph well, but you get the gist.  This blouse came from my local, small town thrift store that likes to do deals like “as many clothes as you can stuff in a bag for $2” sales.  Yep, I shoved this in my bag, knowing that I wanted it for the fabric only.  I wanted to see if I could use it to make some of these silk flowers:

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Unfortunately, my gray shiny blouse was an epic fail for that project.  Caught on fire!  Luckily, I was near the kitchen sink.  I know that polyester fabric melts, so I just “Bing”ed the question, “Is rayon flammable?”.  The answer, “Yes. Very much so.”.  Perhaps I should have checked before I lit it with a candle.  Hmmm…you learn something new every day.

I couldn’t let the blouse go to waste, I mean, it cost me a quarter.  I got my thinking cap on and thought of my ugly hunter green checkered pillow hiding in my garage and out it came.  Remember this pillow tutorial where I made a heart-shaped pillow out of a sweater with buttons?  Same concept here.  I just cut out two rectangles just a bit bigger than my pillow form using the front and the back of the blouse and then sewed around all four sides.  No need to leave an opening  so I could shove the form in and hand sew it shut.  No way… that is where the buttons come in handy.  Check it out:

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Can you see how I made the buttons (which were purposely hidden on this particular blouse) off center.  Much better than sticking them smack-dab in the middle.  Don’t you agree.  I made a floppy bow using one of the sleeves and just safety pinned it on.  That way I can reposition it later if I want to.  I will show you how I did the bow some other time.  Promise.

Since it is a rectangular pillow, it can sit either way:

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Now you can see why I just pinned the bow on… I might want to change the position depending on which direction the pillow faces.

I seriously spent more time getting my sewing machine set up and then put back away than I spent making this simple pillow.  You have GOT to try one for yourself.  Resurrect an old pillow of your own.  Time to do some blouse shopping.