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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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

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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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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

 

Easy DIY Gift: Corn Heating Pads

DIY Corn Heating Pads

It’s that time of year again!  Eeeek!  The Holidays!  Thanksgiving…Christmas…New Year’s…I love it all!  Right now I should be packing for our trip to Utah, but I just have to share what I have been working on (instead of packing!).  Making microwavable feed corn heating pads!

Last year I blogged about making rice heating pads using pillow cases.  They really are simple to make and we love using them.  After being over-heated too many times, however, the burned rice smell can get a bit nauseating,  so I decided to try something different: Feed corn.

Feed Corn

My friend Patrice told me about feed corn heating “bags” years ago and how they don’t smell like rice does and how they hold the heat longer than rice.  I decided to give corn a whirl.

Just so you know, feed corn is dirt cheap.  I paid $12 for a 50 lb. bag.  For the fabric, I found a really nice heavy full size flat sheet with a plaid pattern that is a dream to sew on.  I love plaid because the lines make it easier to cut and sew straight lines.  I like to start out with a piece of fabric that is about 25 inches by 14 inches, but really, you can make these any size and shape.

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With this size, I add 2 scant cups of corn to each of the outside edges and 2 1/2 cups to the larger center section.  Again you can go to my tutorial to see how to make these.  Once you get the hang of it, you could probably rival Santa’s elves in gift making!

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Oh, another fabric idea:  My son had outgrown his Grinch pajama bottoms, so I just cut off the legs, straightened out the seams to form rectangles and made microwavable heating pads out of them, as well.

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As a side note, these take a bit longer to heat up than the rice ones do.  I would start with 2 1/2 minutes, but I like how it feels after 3 minutes.  For heaven’s sakes, don’t overheat them and fry yourselves!  Or anyone else!

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 If you are stumped about what to get for anyone this Holiday season, I guarantee that these microwavable feed corn heating pads will be a hit.  Moms, dads, grandparents, teachers, siblings, friends, children of all ages will love them.   They are great for aches and pains, for warming cold tooties and pre-warming a bed on a cold winter night.  Trust me on this one…these heating pads are a popular commodity in our home.

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Concrete Look Dollar Store Pumpkins

If you have been in pretty much any dollar store in the last month or so you have likely seen lots of bright orange light-weight pumpkins.  El cheapo looking pumpkins.  But, for some reason, they inspired me in a big way.  I bought a couple of them and before I had even gotten out of the store, I knew what I wanted to do with them.  Happily enough, they turned out exactly how I envisioned them!

Concrete Pumpkin

I love them!  The process, once I figured it out was quite easy.  It took some trial and error, so to help you avoid all that, I will show you the easy way to make these concrete look pumpkins.  First, though, my base ingredients:

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I had noticed this half used bag of thin-set mortar in our garage recently and wondered what a person actually does with it once the tile job is done.  The trial and error portion of my project consisted of just mixing water with the thin-set mix and painting it on.   Not wanting to use a nice bowl to mix the stuff in, I cut down a gallon sized milk container.  The handle made it really easy to hold while I stirred.  I used the top part for my scoop.  See what it looked like after one coat:

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Too transparent for the look that I was going for so I made some changes to my thin-set mix.  First I added some white paint and then decided to add some Plaster of Paris powder, as well.  I didn’t have any specific recipe, just added until it was the consistency of pancake batter.  A couple more coats (let it dry completely first) and this is what they looked like:WP_20151106_008

As you can see, I added some short twigs to make stems for my pumpkins.  At first I added a silk leaf to the top, but removed it because I liked the starker look.  Can I just say that I’m loving the white pumpkin look this year?  Truth be told, however, these could be made in any color… of course your paint color will dictate that.  It would be fun to make gray or peacock blue or black concrete pumpkins, don’t you think?

White and chic pumpkin
White and chic pumpkin
White pumpkins!
White pumpkins!

Since these pumpkins are made of Styrofoam, they can be easily pierced on the bottom and place on a candlestick that has a “nail” for holding candles in place:

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Isn’t it amazing how just a few items found in most garages can make el cheapo look high end?  I’m loving my new pumpkins and plan to make several more in different sizes next year.

So, what do you think?  Are you still there, or are you grabbing the car keys and heading to your local dollar store to buy some pumpkins?

 

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