November 28, 2015

Mini Christmas Tree

We have a toddler. An 18-month old to be exact. With that in mind we opted to do a small Christmas tree this year (4-foot) in hopes that we could fit it on top of some furniture, in this case a buffet from Pottery Barn, and keep it up and out of harms little man's way.

I thought I'd give you a peek because we can't be the only folks out there with a marauding toddler OR the spacial need for a small tree. Size doesn't matter when it comes to trees, so do it up right no matter your trees vertical prowess!

What I used on my tree:
- 4-foot pre-lit, white lights tree from Micheal's ($19.99 on Black Friday)
- burlap ribbon from Joann Fabrics
- a few vintage ornaments from estate sales
- some Target ornaments
- some customized keepsake ornaments from Pottery Barn
- spray painted random objects (the star is an iron piece from Mexico)
- spray painted garland and berry wreath
- a spray painted artist's model

There you have it! If you're looking for other Christmas crafts check out my posts about signs, DIY Lit Paper Flower Lights, and a DIY Felt Poinsettia Hair Clip. Here's wishing you a crafty Christmas season!

November 22, 2015

DIY Vintage Painting Update

I run into a lot of old original paintings in my estate sale travels, and always am astounded at how cheaply they are priced. I found this first fall-colored beauty (big ups to Glenn, I can't read your last name, who painted it) for $2.50...TWO FIFTY, PEOPLE! In a frame!

It wasn't quite my style as is, as much as I appreciate the work that went into it. So, what to do? Gold Stripes!

You can do this too! Here's what you'll need:

- a painting
- blue painters tape
- gold craft paint or spray paint if you want to tape everything else off

1) Tape off your stripes. I eyeballed this, but it might be easier to measure off the stripes and spaces and mark with pencil before taping to ensure a straight line.

2) Paint! I used two coats of Martha Stewart's gold craft paint.

3) Remove tape and hang!

Keep in mind that many painting have a natural texture to them do to the technique or medium used, which means the blue tape won't adhere perfectly or make a precise line. I was okay with that. You really can't tell unless you look CLOSE.

Here it is on the wall with a little collection of original floral paintings and one framed print that I added my favorite Tom Petty lyric to with the same gold paint. Cute, right?! I love the quote painting.

November 14, 2015

DIY Vintage Shaker Place Card Holders

Thanksgiving, she is a comin', and if you're hosting a big get together you may be thinking about an original way to display place cards at your table setting. How about vintage salt and pepper shaker place card holders?!

I noticed an abundance of these shakers at estate sales and thrift stores and have been looking for a project for them. Here's how you can make them too! You could also use these to display photos or small art!

What you'll need:
- salt and pepper shakers
- needle nose pliers 
- wire

1) Clean the shakers.

2) Cut a length of wire about as long as your arm, about 2-2.5 feet.

3) Find the middle of the length and rap it around your finger three time each way to keep the remaining lengthens the same size. Pull the circle of wire you've just created off your finger.

4) Keep the wire circle about 1-1.5 inches above the top of the shaker, start wrapping the remaining lengthens of wire around the head of the shaker. One going one way and one going the other. 

5) When you get to the end of a length, find the nearest wire leading up to the wire circle and wrap it around the base. I like to curl the end up with my pliers.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 08, 2015

Vintage Chair Makeover - DIY Reupholstering

Upholstery! Okay, this is hard to do step-by-step because, I'll be honest, it's like a level 4 DIY project. You know, if level 1 is gluing macaroni on paper plates and level 5 is the Sistine Chapel mural on your bathroom ceiling. It's one of those projects that takes some planning, a lot of guts, an eye for cutting fabric, and some tears. Even with all those items, my chair didn't turn out perfect (darn bunching in the front) but I still LOVE the result.

First, meet the before chair. This used to be my husbands grandparents chair. They had it covered in floral fabric and finished with some dangly cording many years ago, but it was not my taste. Here's how I turned things around.

Tools & Supplies I used:

- fabric (something without much stretch-upholstery fabric works best)
- decorative cording
- staple gun
- staples
- glue gun (ah, yeah)
- glue sticks
- pliers (for the random misplaced staple)
- tissues for the tears of frustration

1) I took a peek under the cording and saw the the current fabric was just stapled into place, there was enough wood underneath to put my own staples in, and that the cording was then just glued over the top (hello, lover.).

2) I took quick measurements of each area panel I would have to recover (back front, back back, seat, and two arms). I then guesstimated how many yards of fabric I would need, giving myself a large margin of error considering I'm not a pro (yet!). Your fabric store may be able to help you with this if you have the dimensions of each panel written down.

3) I also ran my fabric measure tape all along the outside of each fabric section to figure out how much cording I would need. DON'T skip this step! You'll never guess right at the fabric store and end up needing to go back.

4) FABRIC STORE! I knew this would be a special chair so I went to our local Mill End store to find designer fabric (at none designer prices).

5) The fun begins! I pulled off the cording and removed any extra old glue hanging off. 

6) Starting with the biggest piece you'll need, lay your fabric over the area and cut around the edge of the area leaving yourself at least an inch of slack. BE CAREFUL where you cut out the fabric from your yardage. You'll need to be strategic so you can get all the pieces out of the big piece you bought at the store (aka. Don't just cut the biggest piece awkwardly out of the middle of your fabric.). ALSO, give yourself a little extra room around tricky areas, like where an arm cuts into a cushion.

7) LET THE STAPLING COMMENCE! Is there anything more satisfying? Slow and steady. I usually start somewhere there is a long straight row of staples needed. It gives you a good anchor to start pulling the fabric tight and stapling. Go easy on yourself, this is the hardest part. I can't give you exact instructions on your particular piece, but good advice is not to hammer in any staples until you have the fabric EXACTLY HOW YOU WANT IT. Less tears.

8) Once all staples are placed use your small hammer to tap over your staples as the stapler doesn't always get them completely in.

9) Glue gun! Glue gun! Glue gun! Yay! Heat'er up. Lay the glue down on top of the staples, and then place the cording on top, holding it firmly in place one small area at a time while the glue cools. To camouflage the end I recommend starting the gluing at a point where the cording naturally stops so where. Like, where the cushion meets the back on this chair.

10) Enjoy your stylish new furniture!

This was one of my most satisfying and difficult projects in quite some time. Haven't had one like this since the great DIY Deer Taxidermy incident of 2011. Wine, please!