GIVE THANKS CANVAS

givethanksfinished

As my kids are coming down off of sugar highs from Halloween, we are switching gears and thinking about Thanksgiving.  We try to give thanks every day, but Thanksgiving is a special time of year when we put even more focus on being thankful and usually do some kind of family project to remind us how blessed we are and how much we have to be thankful for.

Today I am sharing a tutorial on how to make this Give Thanks, Canvas.  I plan to use it on our mantle, where I had a trick-or-treaters canvas as part of our Halloween mantle.

It takes only about 30-45 minutes to complete!

givethankssupplies

TO MAKE YOUR GIVE THANKS, CANVAS, YOU WILL NEED:

  • A stretched burlap canvas
  • Chipboard Letters
  • Decorative Ribbon
  • Wheat
  • Craft paint
  • Glue gun

To begin, lay out your letters on the canvas.  This is important because I was thinking about arranging the letters vertically on the canvas, but they didn’t fit.  Play around until your phrase looks the way you want it to.

givethanksletters

After you have decided on the positioning for your letters, apply two coats of craft paint.  I went with burnt orange and barn red.  I used a foam brush to paint the letters.  Because the letters are cardboard, be sure not to saturate them with too much paint at once. Two thin layers of paint are better than a one really wet layer.

givethankscolorletters

Next, pick a small bunch of wheat.  Tie the wheat together tightly with some string.  Then tie a bow using some decorative ribbon. Cut the stems to fit on your canvas.

Now that all of the elements for your canvas are complete, place everything onto the canvas so you can see what your finished product will look like.

Then use a hot glue gun to glue down each letter, one at a time.  Use just a small amount of glue on each letter so that it doesn’t squish out and show.  The letters are very light and don’t require much glue to stay in place.  Finally, glue the wheat into position.

givethankscanvas

NOW YOU HAVE A SIMPLE THANKSGIVING SIGN THAT CAN BE USED ON A MANTLE OR HUNG ON THE WALL.

I AM THANKFUL THAT YOU STOPPED BY TODAY!

Craigslist Chair Update & Reading Nook

Over the summer, my husband I decided to convert our spare bedroom into an office where I could work, read and study.  I wanted the space to be calm and uncluttered.  I wanted it to feel light.  I also didn’t want to spend a lot of money to do it.

Ironically when I was visiting my aunts, they had a rug rolled up in the corner of their dining room.  I took a peek because it was just the color I had in mind for a rug in the office.  I took a look and it had a beautiful design and was just what I was looking for.  My aunt had ordered it from an online home decor site but it wasn’t the right color and she couldn’t return it.  She told me I could have it!  It was an incredible gift and set the tone for the room.

I added some other items to the room but wanted to add a comfy chair and reading nook where I could read.  I didn’t want something too bulky or expensive.  I started scouring Craigslist for a candidate. That’s when I found this guy.

An interior architect was selling this Bombay chair for $40!  It was a steal because it was in great shape and everything that I had been looking at even at discount stores was well over $120.  I sat in it and it was comfortable.  I wasn’t sure about the color because it looked more gray in the picture in the ad, but it was just too good to pass up.  So into my vehicle, it went.

When I got home, my husband took it upstairs and I immediately knew that it was too dark and heavy for the room.  Man.  This wasn’t something I could exactly return.  I just planned on reselling it on Craigslist.

Craigslist Chair Update 1

And then I had an idea.  I could use white chalk paint to paint the dark wood. This chair has beautiful woodwork detail. It was beautiful the way it was and I was a little worried about ruining it.  But it didn’t work in my space the way that it was, so I decided to go for it!

I placed a trash bag under the chair to keep paint off the carpet.  Then I used painter’s tape to tape off the fabric to keep the paint from getting on the fabric of the chair.

For the Chalk Paint Nightstand post, I mixed up my own chalk paint.  This time I went with a pre-made brand.  I picked it up at the paint counter at Home Depot.  It is Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint. It worked great for this project, but I prefer the homemade version for furniture.  This was a little glossier and took longer to dry.

I applied three coats of the paint.  When I was done, the paint seemed too bright, so I distressed the woodwork using sandpaper. To do this, once the paint is completely dry, take a piece of sandpaper and lightly go over the edges and details.  This will reveal a little bit of the darker finish underneath.  After I had the distressing the way I wanted it, I used Americana Decor Creme Wax to seal the paint.

After doing that and adding a white pillow, it was just right for my office! I added a small table that I picked up on clearance for $10 at back to school time.  The top was a bright teal color, so I spray painted that white.  Then I added a lamp that is tall enough to cast light down onto my reading material.

Craigslist Chair Update 2

And now I have a cozy reading nook area in my office to read and have coffee. Our Boston Terrier Roxanne likes it, too! Do you have an item that you almost gave up on, but modified to make it fit your needs or decor like this Craigslist chair update & reading nook?  I’d love to hear about it!

CHALK PAINT NIGHTSTAND

I have been seeing things painted with chalk paint all over Pinterest and finally had to see what all the hype is about. I had a nightstand that my mother-in-law had given us with a set of furniture for our spare bedroom. Since I turned our spare bedroom into an office, I had some homeless furniture.  I needed a little more storage in my office, so thought this was the perfect opportunity to make a chalk paint nightstand.

Here is the “before.”  The nightstand is a solid piece but didn’t match any of our decors.  To give it an update to match my office decor, I decided on some new pulls and a new paint job.  Hobby Lobby has a pretty awesome selection of pulls and they put them on sale for half off regularly.

I found a recipe to make your own chalk paint at Live Love DIY and decided to use that.  To make your own chalk paint, mix 5 tablespoons of Plaster of Paris with 2 cups of matte interior paint and 2 tablespoons of water. Combine the ingredients and stir well. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy. The paint will even out when you brush it on.

A couple of great things about using this chalk paint are that it goes on beautifully without the need to sand and it dries quickly.  Making your own makes the color choices endless.  If they can mix it as an interior paint at your local home improvement store, you can choose it.  Clean up is very easy, too!

Chalk Paint Nightstand 1

First, I took out the drawers and took off the pulls.  Then I lightly sanded that area because there was a little dent where the old ones had been.

Wipe off any dust or cobwebs, then paint away!  {I applied two coats of paint.}

When you paint with chalk paint, it is recommended that you finish with a wax coat.  It is suggested that you apply a coat of wax to your piece yearly.  You can buy a wax specifically made for chalk paint (I picked some up at the paint counter at Home Depot) or you can use Minwax. Make sure your paint is completely dry, then use a *lint-free* cloth to apply the wax.  Then simply buff it and you will have a nice seal and subtle sheen.

Once you are all done with your paint and wax, put on the new knobs.

Place the drawers back into the nightstand and admire your new, custom piece!

If you like this project, I would love it if you would share it on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest using the buttons below.  Thanks for stopping by!

Chalk Paint Nightstand 2

PAPER WREATH TUTORIAL

The inspiration for this paper wreath tutorial came from a 4th of July post by Lora at My Blessed Life.  I included in my 4th of July Decorations to Make a post and liked the idea so much that I wanted to make one of my own!

TO MAKE A PAPER WREATH LIKE THIS ONE YOU WILL NEED:

      • a piece of cardboard
      • coordinating scrapbook paper
      • double-sided tape
      • glue dots
      • a small piece of ribbon
      • stapler
      • scissors or paper cutter
      • sticker or printable for the center of the wreath

First I traced an 8-inch plate onto a piece of cardboard from the side of a box for the base of the wreath.

PAPER WREATH 1

Next, I used my paper cutter to cut the scrapbook paper into 6 inches by 5-inch rectangles.  Lora at My Blessed Life needed only 12 cones for her wreath and my daughter used ** on hers, but I needed 21 to fill out my wreath.  Each 12″ by 12″ piece of scrapbook paper will yield 4 rectangles.

I think it just depends on exactly how you roll the paper and how tightly you roll it. I really spent some time getting the rolling technique down.  I started at the short end and rolled until got to the other end.  It took me several tries to get it down so that the cones looked uniform and there weren’t too many seams on top.  Once I had a cone looking the way I wanted, I put a glue dot on the seam to keep it together.

I continued making cones until I had what I thought would be enough.  I arranged them on my cardboard circle, then made more until it was nice and full.  I covered the cardboard circle with a piece of green scrapbook paper in case you could see it through the cones. Once I had enough cones, I arranged them on the cardboard circle and then carefully taped them down one at a time using double-sided tape.

Once all of the cones are attached, it is time to add your printable, sticker or embellishment that you chose for the center.  I picked up a sticker pack made by My Big Ideas because the “Home Sweet Home” sticker coordinated with my paper and it was a good size.  I stuck the sticker to a piece of white cardstock and then traced that 8-inch plate again and cut it out.

PAPER WREATH 2

I attempted to use double-sided tape to attach the card stock and sticker, but that didn’t work, so I used glue dots and that did work. The last thing to do is to add a ribbon to the back.  Choose a piece of ribbon, open up the stapler and staple it to the back!

Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt

I first saw the idea of using a bleach pen to write words on a shirt on Pinterest.  You can find the pin here, but unfortunately, the blog has been removed.  She used a bleach pen to write the word ‘bride’ on a shirt.  When I saw it I thought it would be a cool way to make a school spirit shirt.

My kids are both involved in sports and my own school spirit wardrobe is sadly lacking, so I bought two iron-on so I can make a tank for my daughter and a t-shirt for myself.  I haven’t found the right color green for mine yet, so today I will share how we made this bleach pen school spirit shirt for my daughter.

To make a Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt, you will need:

  • a t-shirt or tank in one of your school colors (I got this tank for $3 at Walmart)
  • a bleach pen (found in the laundry aisle)
  • an iron-on
  • an iron
  • a piece of cardboard covered with waxed paper

First, cut a piece of cardboard to fit the inside of your shirt so that the bleach doesn’t bleed through to the other side.  We just happened to have pizza for dinner last night and somehow the top of the box managed to stay free of grease stains, so it worked perfectly.

Once your cardboard is cut, cover it with waxed paper before slipping it inside the shirt to prevent the bleach from bleeding through to the back of the shirt. I secured the waxed paper to the cardboard using tape so that it would stay in place.

Next, I laid the iron-on paw prints in the position that I liked so that I could use that as a guide for where to write the word ‘lions’.  You can write any word you’d like here.  You can do a name, ‘bride’, your team mascot, etc. The possibilities are endless.  You can even draw a picture or paw print instead of doing a word.  It’s up to you!

Now it’s time to bleach!  Be sure to shake your bleach pen well to avoid splatters or too much coming out at once.  I tried a test run with the pen on the package to get a feel for how it would flow.  Then…take a deep breath and start writing!

Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt 1

The longer you leave the bleach on, the lighter that area will become.  If you want your word or design to be white, leave the bleach on until it is dry.  That is what I did on this shirt because our school colors are green and white. When your shirt is bleached as much as you like, rinse it well in cold water to stop the bleaching process.  (It took about 30 minutes for the bleach to dry completely in the sun.)

Because I used a ribbed shirt, I think the bleach spread a little more.  A flat fabric may give a bit more of a crisper look to your design.

Wash and dry the shirt as normal in the machine, or you can wash it by hand and then use the dryer to speed things up.  I tossed mine in the washer set to a mini-sized load to wash while I was getting ready for the day and then in the dryer while I was out running errands. When I came back, it was all ready for some blingy paw prints! You can check out our article for DIY Custom Bulletin Board.

Add your iron-on using the directions on the package.

The only thing left to do is sport your new school spirit shirt and cheer on (or be cheered on) your favorite team!

Bleach Pen School Spirit Shirt 2

DIY Ribbon Flip Flops

Today’s post was inspired by the DIY Ribbon Flip Flops included in the 4th of July Wearables Tutorials Post and also by the 50% off ribbon sale at the craft store.  Last year my daughter made a similar pair using strips of patriotic fabric instead of ribbon.  She wanted to make a new pair this year and made these on her own!

These cheerful DIY ribbon flip flops are a guest project from my 10-year-old daughter!

To make a pair of DIY ribbon flip flops, you will need:

      •  a pair of flip-flops
      • three complementary colors of ribbon
      • scissors
      • ribbon Fray Check or a lighter for an adult to seal the ribbon ends

DIY Ribbon Flip Flops

To start,  cut a length of ribbon and tie it onto the flip-flop by making a knot. Choose a length that you like for the ribbon.  Cut the ends on a slant at the desired length.

Once you decide how long you like the ribbons, you can cut several pieces that length.  Then continue tying them in any pattern that you like until your flip flops look the way you want them to.  The more ribbons you add, the fuller and more colorful they’ll be!

Once you are all done tying the ribbons onto the flip-flops, apply Fray Check (it’s a special kind of clear glue) to the ends of each ribbon to prevent fraying.  An adult can also use a lighter to seal the ends of each ribbon.

These flip-flops are a fun kid activity that can be completed in under 45 minutes and for under $5.

There’s also the added bonus of watching them beam with pride when they get to tell people that they made them themselves!

Happy crafting!

RED WHITE & BLUE STAR WREATH TUTORIAL

I have enjoyed bringing you collections of 4th of July Printables and 4th of July Wearables Tutorials from lots of talented bloggers and crafters so far this week!  You can also check out Ten 4th of July Decorations to Make {with tutorials}.

PATRIOTIC WEEK CONTINUES TODAY WITH A RED WHITE & BLUE STAR WREATH TUTORIAL

4th-wreath-tutorial

I made this wreath to hang on the inside of the back door in my kitchen for the 4th of July this year.  I hope you enjoy it!

{On a total side note…  My son is in a Silly Science summer camp at the library this week, so that’s where I am working on this post.  I just looked down and saw strings of hot glue from my glue gun on my skirt. Sometimes I’m out and look at my hands and realize there’s black paint under my nails.  Yep…I’m that lady}

Now on to the tutorial!

TO MAKE THIS SPARKLY RED WHITE & BLUE STAR WREATH, YOU WILL NEED:

      • a wire wreath form (I used a 10″ one because I have an oddly small door leading out to my deck)
      • 1-2 rolls of 15-foot red burlap ribbon, depending on how full you want it (I used just over one roll)
      • glittery foam stars or other patriotic embellishments
      • hot glue
      • ribbon for hanging

4th-wreath-supplies

First, unravel the spool of red burlap.

4th-wreath-burlap

You are going to cover the wire wreath form with the burlap by going over and under the rings in a weaving pattern.

Start by inserting the burlap under the first wire ring from the center of the wreath.  Weave it over the next ring, then under the next.  Pull it through until you come almost to the other end of the burlap.  Leave a little extra there (about 3 inches) so that it doesn’t get pulled back into the wreath form when you fluff the burlap.

Now that you have woven the burlap over and under the rings of the wreath frame, pull the burlap so that it is loose, making loops or puffs.  Adjust them until they are about as big as you’d like.

Now weave the burlap back through the wire circles on the wreath form, this time coming from the outside to the inside.  After you arrive at the center, pull the burlap loose and fluff it up.

4th-wreath-weaving-burlap

Repeat this process to finish attaching the burlap to the wreath, fluffing as you go.  The pattern is like a basket weave, so if you went over a wire when working toward the outside of the wreath, you will go to that wire when working your way back to the center and vice versa.

I would recommend going out or back 4 times in each section of the wreath for small and more times for a larger wreath form for a nice full wreath.

If one side of your wreath looks less full than the other, glue your embellishments on the side that is less full to fill it in.  That is what I was going to do with my wreath and was even thinking about including that tip in this post as I was working, but I guess I was just so darn excited about getting those sparkly little stars on that I glued them on the full side.  Doh!  Not that big of a deal, but it did make for another trip to the craft store for a second roll of burlap to fill it out.  {In reality, I was in a rush trying to get all the stars glued on before heading out for Silly Science Summer camp…so is the life of a crafting mama…}

Once your wreath is at a fullness you like, secure the end of the burlap by tucking it underneath one of the wires on the back of the wreath.  If you have extra burlap and need to cut it, you can glue it down on the back using a line of hot glue so it doesn’t unravel.

And then it’s time for my favorite part!  Add your sparkly red, white and blue stars.  I used hot glue which worked fine for these stars because they are very light.  If your embellishments are light, hot glue will work fine, but if they are heavier, like larger wood stars for example, you can attach them to clips and then clip them to the wreath or use twine or string to tie them on (if you don’t mind seeing the string), or even glue string to the back of the embellishment and then tie it around the back.  Hot glue alone will not hold heavy embellishments on your wreath for long… (ask me how I know)

4th-wreath-glue-stars

I was thinking that the stars looked like little starfish (I know, I know “sea stars”) floating in a net when I was attaching mine.

Lay out the stars in a pattern you like on your wreath and then lift and glue them one at a time to preserve the pattern you chose.

4th-wreath-stars-close

Lastly, you can add a hanger to your wreath.  Because of the open wire of the wreath form, you can hang this wreath using a nail or you can use an over the door wreath holder as well.

I chose a coordinating ribbon and glued it into a loop around the wreath form on the back.  I used a flat tack to secure it to the top of the door.

And there you have it!

YOUR VERY OWN STAR SPANGLED WREATH!

You might also like the Blue Burlap Monogram Wreath or this natural colored Burlap Wreath!

WICKER CHAIR MAKEOVER

We have a little covered (porch wanna-be) stoop on the front of our house.  On that stoop is a wicker chair.  We actually use it when I am out front with the kids or when one of us is waiting for someone to come.  The chair was in our sunroom at our old house but has been living outside since we moved into this house seven years ago.

This chair has seen better days.  I didn’t want to buy a new one, so decided to spruce up this one.  It cost me about $10 in fabric and $8 in spray paint.  When I saw the look-alike Casbah Chair selling for $120 sans cushion at Pier 1 Imports, I felt even better about this little wicker chair makeover!

WICKER CHAIR MAKEOVER 1

TO MAKEOVER A WICKER CHAIR LIKE THIS, YOU WILL NEED:

  • A wicker chair
  • 2 cans of gloss spray paint (if you get the color right the first time)
  • A cushion (you can buy a new one or cover an existing one)
  • Outdoor fabric (if you are recovering a cushion)
  • Sewing machine (if you are recovering a cushion)

I will let you in on a little secret…  Well, it’s not much of a secret at all.  I really do not enjoy sewing things.  At all.  I love doing DIY projects and making things using all different kinds of methods and techniques, but for some reason, this machine has become my nemesis.  So if you see any sewing in any project I am doing, I promise you it is very basic.  I dare say I couldn’t handle much more.  Even super basic sewing projects have a way of getting messed up.

Due to my sewing limitations, I found a simple way to recover the existing cushion.  I used the envelope method outlined here.

Once your cushion is covered (or you bought a new one), it’s time to paint your chair.  I was going for a very dark gray.  I chose a color called “dark gray,” but this is how it turned out…much lighter than I had wanted.

When you’re DIY’in it, things don’t always turn out the way you want the first (or second) time.  So I just went back to Lowe’s and picked another color.  They didn’t have a dark enough gloss gray without going to black, so I went with “dark walnut.”  It’s so dark that you can barely tell it’s brown.  I sprayed two cans worth of the new color over the “not-so-dark” dark gray color.

Let it dry thoroughly, add your cushion and call it a day!

WICKER CHAIR MAKEOVER 2

YOU’VE GOT YOU A BRAND NEW CHAIR!

PREPPY STRIPED FILE CABINET MAKEOVER

A few years ago, my mom gave me a file cabinet that she didn’t need anymore.  We needed one, so I was happy to get one for free.  The problem was that it was dark green with wood-tone trim.  It didn’t match anything.  That hadn’t really been an issue because it has been stashed in my basement, out of sight.

BUT NOW THAT I AM ATTEMPTING TO PULL TOGETHER AN OFFICE/CRAFT ROOM, I THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO SHOW THE OLD FILE CABINET A LITTLE LOVE.  IT WAS TIME FOR A FILE CABINET MAKEOVER.

First things first.  I had files hanging in the top drawer but just stacked on the bottom because the wire part where you hang the folders was broken.  I was able to fix that easily after taking a trip to Office Max. They had a couple of different options for replacing that part.

After the inside was fixed, I moved on to the outside.

PREPPY STRIPED FILE CABINET 1

THIS IS WHAT I HAD TO WORK WITH…

Since this thing needed a complete paint overhaul, I figured,

“WHY NOT DO SOMETHING FUN?”

SO I DECIDED ON WIDE STRIPES LIKE A POLO SHIRT.  PINK AND WHITE STRIPES.

First, I painted the whole thing white. This took at least three coats of spray paint.  It was cold out when I did this project, so I worked in my garage.  It is important to have good ventilation and I would recommend wearing a mask because there was a lot of spray paint involved in this project.

After the white paint is good and dry, measure out how wide you’d like your stripes to be.  Use a ruler and a level to mark straight lines and use painters tape to tape them off.  Make sure the tape is on the part that you want to stay white.  I made my stripes approximately 5 inches wide.

Then cover the part you want to stay white with newspaper to avoid overspray.

Spray on 2-3 coats of pink paint to make your stripes.

PREPPY STRIPED FILE CABINET 2

Once the pink paint is somewhat dry, carefully peel off the tape and paper and there you have it!

BLUE BURLAP MONOGRAM WREATH

THERE’S SOMETHING TO BE SAID ABOUT THE BOND CREATED BETWEEN TWO FRIENDS WHO ARE PREGNANT FOR THE FIRST TIME AT THE SAME TIME.

The friend to which I am referring and I met when we were doing some extra schooling to become certified elementary school teachers.  We were both living far from our hometowns and we became fast friends, but I believe it is the bond we share from experiencing pregnancy for the first time together and supporting each other every step of the way that has made us lifelong friends.

We spent a few years in the same area until I moved with my family to another state about five hours away.  A couple of years later she moved to another state…on the other side of the country.  But to me, she is like family and we never miss a beat.  We talk all of the time (thank goodness for unlimited long distance!) but we just don’t get to see each other in person so much anymore.

SO THAT IS WHY I AM BEYOND EXCITED AND OVERJOYED THAT I AM GOING TO VISIT HER AND HER FAMILY FOR FIVE DAYS!

And wait…it gets even better…

She just had a baby!  I am so excited and honored and overjoyed that I get to share in this time with her and her family!

BLUE BURLAP MONOGRAM WREATH

SO SINCE I LAST VISITED HER, SHE AND HER FAMILY MOVED INTO A NEW HOME AND WELCOMED BABY #4 INTO THEIR FAMILY… SO I THINK THAT HOUSEWARMING AND BABY GIFTS ARE IN ORDER!

As a (late) housewarming gift, I will be giving them the blue burlap monogram wreath pictured above. To make this wreath, you will need:

  • a wreath form
  • 15 feet of burlap ribbon
  • a wood or metal letter
  • burlap flowers or other items to decorate the wreath
  • a hot glue gun

To cover the wreath, simply wrap the burlap around the wreath form, keeping it (mostly) smooth as you go.  Use a small amount of hot glue to glue the start of the burlap ribbon to the wreath form.  Then just start wrapping, trying not to overlap the burlap too much or you won’t have enough to go over the form twice. It is best to wrap the burlap around twice so that you don’t see the wreath form through the burlap.  If you come up a little short, just glue the decorations on over that part.

Once you come to the end of the burlap, simply hot glue the end to the back of the wreath.  If your burlap doesn’t end at the back of the wreath, glue it down and then cut off any extra so that it looks nice and neat. After your wreath is covered, arrange your letter and decorations on the wreath until you find a layout that you like.  When you do, go with it and glue those puppies down!

Add a ribbon or wreath hook for hanging. And that’s it!  Now give your creation to someone special or hang it on your own door!  This one is a gift, but I have the supplies to make a similar wreath in yellow and gray and that baby will be hanging on my front door!

BLUE BURLAP MONOGRAM WREATH 2

Check out a different style of burlap wreath here and a whole Pinterest board of burlap wreath inspiration here!