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?

 

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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?

 

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Dinner in 5 Minutes. Maybe 6.

I have never blogged about food stuff before.  I love to eat just as much as the next guy (or gal), but this is a decorating/crafting blog, right?   Well, decorators and crafters need to eat too, so here goes…

Dinner in 5

I had no idea what to fix for dinner tonight.  Zero.  Nada.  None.   I found this little package in my freezer…

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…and a dinner idea was born.  Vegetarian tacos.  We are not vegetarians around here, but we do like our veggies and we love Mexican food.  LoVe iT!   We always have all of the fixings on hand.

The veggies took about 5 minutes to cook. OK, maybe 6.  While they cooked I fried the tortillas, 2 at a time on our electric griddle

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As I waited for each to cook, I shredded the lettuce, cut open an avocado and pulled everything else out of the fridge.   By the time the microwave beeped, dinner was ready.

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Let me tell you, it was delicious!  We loved the different textures of the beans and veggies.  Just a tiny bit of kick, unless you add salsa and Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce.  Mine was spicy.  Just the way I like it!

Here are the nutritional facts from the bag:

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I wish that I had thought to get pictures of the finished tacos, but we pigged them down just as fast as it took to make them.  This was not a night to sit and have pleasant family discussion.  Hubby had things to do before darkness set in.   We basically scarfed in silence.

There you have it.  Dinner in 5 minutes…maybe 6.  Pretty extraordinary, if you ask me.

I wonder if my family would notice if I tried to pull off this quickie meal again tomorrow night!  (Wink!)

So, what speedy meals do you fix when time is short?

 

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DIY: “Special Times” Perpetual Calendar

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Have you seen those family birthday calendars out there in the internet world?  They are a cool way to keep track of the birthdays in your family, for sure.  Most of the ones that I have seen are a long wooden sign that says, “Birthdays” or “Family” or “Family Birthdays” or something along those lines.  Across the bottom of the sign they list each of the twelve months or an initial to represent each month.  Then, under each month there are squares, hearts, circles all chained together; each one has a name and a number to represent a family member’s birthday.  Have you seen them?  Do you have any idea what I am talking about?  If not, Google or Bing “Family Birthday Calendar” right now.  You will be bombarded with all kinds of versions of what I just described.  See?   I would show you some pictures, but I don’t want to break any copyright laws.  End up in prison, or worse.

Well, a while back I had some requests from some ladies at church to make one of these birthday calendars for an upcoming “Super Saturday” craft making day.  I looked and looked and hemmed and hawed as I tried to find the perfect calendar to copy.  At the back of my mind were questions like, “What about small families?” and “What if no one has a birthday in Feb., or July, or September…the whole thing will look out-of-whack” and “What if a new child or grandbaby is born?  People will constantly be seeking me out to cut out more hearts or squares or circles.”.  I also got thinking about the anniversaries and other holidays that we look forward that aren’t birthdays.   This is what I came up with instead:

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Basically I painted a purchased wood plaque, painted it black and cut out white vinyl on my Roland Dr. Stika cutter.  The black with white lettering kind of gives a chalkboard-y look, don’t you think?

The hook is just a cup hook that I spray painted black.

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When doing this in bulk, just stick the screw ends into some cardboard to make them stand up and spray away.  Then screw it in your painted board.  Easy enough!

For my tags, I just hand traced and cut them out with scissors, but you can use any shape that you want…rectangles…hearts…circles…whatever.  Make sure that there is a hole to slip over the hook.  For a clean look, only use one shape and have enough for each birthday, anniversary, holiday that you want to remember to celebrate.  In fact, have extras for newbies that join the family.  I handwrote on my tags and added border details, but when I made one of these perpetual calendars for my parents (who have 10 kids plus their spouses and grandchildren…), I typed, printed and then hand cut out each tag.  Made it look more professional.

So, the way that these calendars work is that you put all of the tags in chronological order with the next special day’s tag on top and place the stack on the hook.  When the special day on the top is over, pull the pile off of the hook, put the top tag on the bottom of the pile and put them all back on the hook.  That way you can see at a glance when the next celebration is.  Cool, right?  (If two or more people share a special day, put both events on one tag.)

As I have mentioned before, I am losing the beige and going gray in my home and I decided to lighten my calendar up.  First I mixed up a gray-blue shade of paint and painted a couple of coats over the black.  While the paint was still tacky I distressed a bit to reveal the black layer below.  I like to use a damp paper towel and/or my thumbnail to gently rub and  scrape away bits of paint.

Just for fun, I added a stenciled detail:

I cut out some new vinyl using the LimaBean font, slapped it on and replaced the cup screw.  I think that I like it.

So, which look do you like better?

Next celebration?  Mother’s Day!  Have a happy one!

 

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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