Military Alphabet Name Sign

My husband proudly served in the U.S. Army for four years. We made some amazing friends during our time at Fort Stewart, GA, and some of those friends welcomed beautiful babies into the world. I wanted to create a cute gift for those friends and that is where this idea was born!

Materials-

  • Canvas
  • Sticker Letters (I used my Cricut machine…seriously, the BEST gift I’ve ever gotten!)
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Paint brushes

Step by step-

  1. Using a reference to the military alphabet, determine which words will represent each letter of the name you are using
  2. Measure the canvas and properly space out your lettering.
  3. Attach the letters to the canvas *TIP- to make your sticker letters stay put, cover the canvas with spray adhesive and then transfer the stickers
  4. Paint the canvas in a pattern of your liking! I went with camouflage since this is for members of the army
  5. While the paint is still wet, use tweezers or a toothpick to peel the stickers off of the canvas.
  6. Let dry

There you have it! A very unique and special gift for military friends and family 🙂 Happy crafting!!

Vanity Makeover

I love to make something into my own. Use my own taste and style so that it can transform into exactly what my minds eye can see. We have an idea to refinish our kitchen cabinets and I needed to test out the method to ensure it’ll look okay! A bathroom vanity is WAY easier to replace if things get messy/ugly rather than kitchen cabinets. Thus began my journey in painting our bathroom vanity.

We’re lucky that the people who lived in this house before us used all quality products. The kitchen cabinets are solid oak, the doors and windows are great brands, wood floors…but they really had an eye for the “country kitchen” style. In my mind, that means chickens, reds, yellows/beiges, and just not at all the color scheme we have in our home. Our color choice for almost the entire house as Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams (if you have thought about using this color…it looks amazing as a wall color in any room!). Our half bathroom is Useful Gray by Sherwin Williams. I had some leftover chalk paint from my previous dresser restoration that you can see in my post One man’s trash…

This project didn’t take as long as I thought it would! Bonus! We have a lot of the tools just laying around that you’ll need, so it might cost a little more if you need to buy everything brand new.

Materials

  • Screwdriver/electric screwdriver
  • Paint brushes (chalk paint has some specific brushes that help a lot, I suggest investing in these)
  • Foam Paint Roller with refills (size depends on the size of your vanity)
  • Painters tape
  • Drop Cloth
  • Face mask
  • Kilz primer (I used both spray paint primer and traditional paint)
  • Chalk paint in desired color (I used American Decor in Vintage)
  • Clear wax sealant
  • Knobs/ handles of your choice

Procedure

  1. Remove all drawer faces by using the screwdriver/electric screwdriver
  2. Tape off your area that you do not want painted with painters tape
  3. Lay down your drop cloth and secure it to the group with tape
  4. Prime the box of the vanity and both sides of the drawer faces. Personally, I used Kilz Spray Primer on the drawer faces and Kilz Traditional Primer on the box.
  5. Once dry, apply a second coat of primer and allow to dry fully before you begin the next step. Follow instructions on the can.
  6. Using a brush, apply chalk paint on the perimeter of the vanity and spaces that will not be able to be reached by the foam roller. Repeat on drawer faces
  7. Using a foam roller, apply the chalk paint to flat surfaces of your vanity and drawer faces.
  8. Let dry
  9. Repeat steps 6 and 7. This will be your final coat, so make sure there are no drips or areas that don’t look even.
  10. Let dry
  11. Apply a thin coat of clear wax to the fully dried chalk paint. Make sure to use a 100% clean brush, otherwise the wax could tint the color of your paint with yellow. I always use a brand new brush for this step.
  12. Remove painters tape- if paint comes up in any areas, use a small artist brush to do any touch ups.
  13. Add hardware to drawer faces.
  14. Attach drawer faces to vanity.

Finished!

The absolute final touches were spray painting my silver mirror frame rose gold, adding in new light switch and outlet covers, and installing a new faucet :)! Quick and fun transformation.

xxxooo

Kristin

String Art Cross & Heart

This was a little project for my niece 🙂 She’s a little gift from above and I wanted to make something special for her. It was my first string art project and I definitely learned A LOT on this one. For example, use a wood that is softer than oak!!! I think it turned out nicely, regardless 🙂

Materials

  • Piece of wood cut to size and stained/ painted desired color
  • Nails (I used weather stripping nails and they were not the best to work with)
  • Hammer
  • Design
  • Floss string

Procedure

  1. Either print your desired design to the size you would want, or draw it out yourself on a sheet of paper.
  2. Tape design to the piece of wood
  3. Nail around the perimeter of the design (be careful, I slammed my thumb a lot)
  4. Remove paper carefully
  5. Now, you’ll need to do a little math here. I counted the amount of nails on the exterior and the amount of nails at the anchoring point (heart). Simple division tells you how many times you’ll need to hook around each nail at your anchor point to get the nice and even spiral design. If you don’t want to use an anchor point, then eliminate the heart in the center and just randomly twist the string around the nails!
  6. Tie the string from your starting perimeter nail and start to hook around the anchor.
  7. Bring string back to the next exterior nail and hook around, then back to the anchor nail.
  8. Go around the anchor nail the amount of times you figured out in step 4.
  9. Once you’ve hooked your string around that anchor nail the proper amount of times, move to the next anchor nail while still moving around the perimeter. *Each perimeter nail should only be hooked around ONCE! The anchor nail gets the multiple hooks)
  10. Keep the line very taught the entire time (This is where I had to stop and re-start about 3 times)
  11. Once you’re all the way around the perimeter, tie off the string on an exterior nail. Use superglue on the knot to make sure it holds.
  12. Add any extra embellishments around the wood and you’re all set!

Ta-da! A thoughtful, creative, and hand-made piece of art 🙂 Happy crafting!!

For this child, I have prayed

One man’s trash…

When I was in middle school, we did a test online to determine the best field for you to pursue as a career. My results came back and I was a little shocked when they indicated that I’d be great in photography or interior design. What seventh grade child knows about interior design?? I thought this was just a bunch of nonsense and ignored it. Fast forward to the present, I am a 29 year old woman who can’t get enough of decorating her home. I’ve lived in five places (this is counting the Best Western for a month, but I’ll cover that story another time) in the past four years. That is a lot of unpacking, decorating, redecorating, packing up, moving, and starting the process all over. With the assistance of HGTV shows like Property Brothers and Fixer Upper, Brian and I noticed that we actually have very similar taste in style! This is a huge revelation because anyone that knows us is aware that we are definitely opposites that attract.

We were lucky enough to inherit a clawfoot table from my in-laws that was a present from their wedding! It was a little beat up, but a round, clawfoot oak table that was in pretty good condition-yes, please!! I had plans of repurposing the table for years and when we were in our fourth home in Georgia I said enough is enough, and I got out my tools! Keep reading for a tutorial on how I transformed our hand-me-down clawfoot table from ahhh to ahhhmazing 🙂

Materials

  • Electric Sander
  • Sandpaper- 60 grit, 100, grit, 150 grit, 220 grit (this all depends on how much varnish/stain/paint is on your piece! You might need to strip paint off before moving on to sanding)
  • Wood conditioner
  • Wood Stain
  • Gloves
  • Staining cloth
  • Polyurethane (I used a matte finish and truly, I do not recommend this! It shows any and all scratches!)
  • Respirator mask
  • Chalk Paint (I went with French Linen)
  • Clear Wax
  • Antique Dark Wax
  • Paint brushes
  • Drop cloth

Procedure

*Our table had stain already peeled off, bare wood exposed and no paint. If you have layers of paint or heavy stain, you’ll need to take a couple additional steps of using either a paint stripper or mixture of denatured alcohol and steel wool to remove before beginning the steps below*
  1. Decide the design you’re going for. I went with the picture below for inspiration. I
    only sanded the areas I wanted to stain. Chalk paint sticks very well to all surfaces, so no sanding needed on the base and legs.
    IMG_1210
  2. Using your electric sander you’ll need to start with your 60 grit sand paper to get all the remaining stain off your piece. Work your way from 60 to 100, 150, and then once everything is off the piece, use a 220 grit paper to smooth out your surface. *note, not everyone will need to start at 60 grit, this might be too harsh! Sand in a well ventilated area*
  3. Wipe all sanding surfaces down with a damp rag to get all particles off the piece.
  4. Depending on how old your piece is, you might need to use wood conditioner. This will help the stain to soak in evenly. Follow the directions on your container.
  5. Ready for stain! Choose your color (I went with Kona, almost black, but still has a rich coffee color). Follow the directions on your container. Use as many coats of stain necessary to achieve the desired depth. Remember- stain is NOT like paint. You do not leave a huge glob or it will become very sticky and difficult to remove. Be patient with the process.

    While your stain is drying for the recommended time, you can start on painting the base of your piece.

  6. Wipe down any surfaces that are going to be painted with a damp cloth.
  7. Using the chalk paint in your desired color, paint all surfaces of the base and legs. Once dry, apply a second coat if necessary.
  8. I really wanted a vintage, antique look, so I used sand paper and roughed up the edges of my piece. I went with areas that I assumed would get normal wear and tear.
  9. If the paint has dried, use the clear wax and cover all painted surfaces with a thin layer. Make sure to use a clean brush, otherwise the color will be transferred onto your paint.
  10. Now, either using a dry paint brush or a rag, sparingly apply dark wax to areas of the paint you want to antique. I started with the seams of the wood and the edges. Then I covered the areas that I had sanded away.
    Use dark wax sparingly, always stand up and assess your piece. You really can’t screw this up! It might be scary at first, but you’ll get the hang of it. If you feel that you’ve used too much, grab the clear wax and it’ll buff out the dark color 🙂
  11. Leave your base to dry. At this point, your stained section should be ready for polyurethane. Follow the directions on the container. REMEMBER- before you add your final coat of polyurethane, LIGHTLY sand your piece!! Otherwise you’ll get curling up of the polyurethane and that’s a huge pain in the butt!
  12. Let dry for recommended amount of time!! Since my piece is a kitchen table, we had to wait 48-72 hours before we could use the piece. We waited a little longer because the smell was pretty strong!

Voila! You’ve now completely transformed that antique piece of furniture into something shining and new 🙂

Repurposed Dresser/Changing Table

With HGTV’s home improvement shows and the ever popular farmhouse style (Thanks, Jojo 😉 ) repurposing and distressing furniture is all the rage right now. I have always liked antique pieces and only recently I started to repurpose them for our home. Today, I brought back some life and style into an old dresser that we will use as a changing table in the nursery for our babes on the way. I’m so lucky that my in-laws had this little gem stowed away in their basement and were generous enough to donate the dresser as a gift for our nursery. My father-in-law had already stripped the varnish off with a very simple method of using steel wool and denatured alcohol. That’s where I was able to take over to make this our own! I hope you can follow along and maybe you’ll think about repurposing a furniture piece before it makes it’s way to the curb.

Materials:

  • Old piece of furniture
  • Electric sander (or by hand, but that would take a little extra time)
  • Sandpaper- 100, 150, and 220 grit (again, based on how much stain there is present)
  • Stain of your choice (I used Jacobean)
  • Rags/Amish cloth to apply stain
  • Polyurethane (I used semi-gloss, but use what you wish!)
  • Kilz primer *optional
  • Chalk paint (I used American Decor in Vintage)
  • Clear wax
  • Paint Brushes
  • Drop Cloth

Once you’ve acquired these materials you are able to start

Step 1- As I stated above, my FIL had already removed the varnish from our piece with a mixture of denatured alcohol and steel wool. Depending on the state of your piece you’ll either need to strip the paint/current stain first before you can move forward.

Step 2- Take your sander and 100 grit sandpaper and sand down the areas of the dresser you will be staining. I only stained the top of our dresser, so I started with 100 grit sand paper and worked by way to a 220 grit finishing paper. Wipe the surface of all sand dust. *Make sure to wear proper respirator/ eye gear to keep you safe!

Step 3- Using either a lint free cloth or an amish stain pad, apply your desired stain to the areas you desire. Leave stain on for the recommended time, then wipe off the excess. If you want a deeper color, then you’ll need to reapply a coat or stain according to the directions (4-6 hours between coats).

Step 4- Wipe down all remaining areas of furniture piece

Step 5- Prime all areas that will be painted with chalk paint with Kilz Primer *This step can be skipped, but I wanted to be extra safe! Chalk paint is very thick and it does not require primer!

Step 6- Apply first coat of chalk paint in desired color- let dry and apply second coat

Step 7- Once second coat is dry, apply a thin coat of clear wax to seal in your chalk paint

**After you’ve accepted the depth of your stain color, you can move on to the next steps**

Step 8- Apply a thin coat of polyurethane and let dry for recommended amount of time *Side note here- I’ve used the matte poly before and I wasn’t too impressed with it- scratches appeared quickly. I recommend using the clear semi-gloss option, but that is up to you!

Step 9- Lightly sand the poly coat with 220 grit sandpaper and wipe away any dust.

Step 10- Apply one more coat of polyurethane and let it cure for 24-48 hours.

Voila! You’re finished! This project took me a full day with all of the drying times. I let the dresser air out in our garage for a little over two days to reduce the fumes. You can use original hardware that can be freshened up with some spray paint, or go the route I went and purchase some funky new drawer pulls! I hope you can marvel at your work and brag to everyone how much money you saved 🙂 Happy crafting!

IMG_2889

 

Chalkboard Calendar

I’ve always been the person that gets giddy over a new notebook and some pretty pens. Somehow, I wasn’t beat up as a kid! I am the classic type-A, over-organized, color coordinated teacher. I love when I can check things off a to-do list, fill in a planner, fill out paperwork (crazy, right?), and anything that involves multi-colored highlighters- sign me up! I used a little Joanna Gaines inspiration for my Chalkboard Calendar that I will hang up in my kitchen.

Materials

  • Open frame, size of your choosing (I picked mine up from a garage sale but any craft store has them!)
  • Sheet MetalHome Depot/ Lowes
  • Oil based paint pen
  • Chalk pen
  • Regular Chalk
  • Chalk pencil (not necessary, but it makes drawing lines easier)
  • Chalkboard spray paint
  • E3600 Glue (This stuff holds everything!)

Step 1:

Measure your interior of the frame and cut the sheet metal to size. BE CAREFUL sheet metal is extremely sharp and can cut off a finger if handled improperly (ask my brother!!). Wear gloves or use extreme caution when cutting.

Step 2:

Use the chalkboard spray paint in a well ventilated area and spray the sheet metal. Let dry and apply a second coat.

Step 3:

Once dry, line the interior of your frame with E3600 Glue and attach sheet metal. Hold in place for a minute until the glue has dried.

Step 4:

Measure out the large square that you want to be the border of your calendar. I left about 1.5 in of space around the perimeter to write each month and notes. Draw your lines with a chalk pencil or piece of chalk.

Step 5:

Measure a space to write the days of the week at the top of your square. Depending on how large you want to write you can adjust the height of this box- I went with 1/2 in.

Step 6: 

Depending how large your square is, you’ll need to measure where to put lines for 5 columns and 5 rows. Line with chalk pencil.

Step 7:

Once you’re happy with how the calendar outline looks, use a ruler and oil paint pen to trace over the chalk pencil. Oil paint pens will be permanent on the chalk surface, so make sure you’re happy before you trace!

Step 8:

It is very important to “season” the chalkboard surface before you write on it! With a regular piece of chalk, run the side of it all over the chalkboard surface. Wipe off with water and you’re ready to go!

Step 9:

Decorate as you see fit!

A very simple and easy project that adds some character to whichever room you choose 🙂 Happy crafting!!