Saturday, September 30, 2017

DIY Wood Bead Tutorial

Wooden Beads.

You've seen them everywhere!

Do I want to pay $20 plus shipping and handling? Um... no. Not to mention the fact that the ones I have seen are only about 16-18 inches long. I can do better than that.... so can you.

I went to my craft store and found wood beads in the unpainted wood section. I bought 2 bags. They were about $4 each but you know me... I had a coupon for 50% off and I used it. (I also made my daughter do it for me. That means I paid $4 for all my beads.)

I had the jute/twine at home. I use it for lots of things in the house and out in the garden. You can find it at you local craft store for $3-$4. It always a good thing to have on hand but again, buy it with a coupon!

There were over 30 beads in each of my bags. This is gonna be way longer than 16 inches! I grabbed my twine and used some clear tape. Tape the end of the twine so it slides through the beads easily without unraveling or catching.

When all the beads were strung I cut my twine so that each end had about an extra 6 inches.

Now, for the tassels. I cut two 6 inch pieces of twine and set them aside.

Using the  ball of twine, I wrapped it around my hand about 8 times and cut it from the ball.

I fed the twine on one end of my beads through the top of my wrapped hand, slide the hand out and tie if off tight. Pull the end of the knot down into the tassel or clip it and tuck it under. Using one of the 6 inch pieces cut previously, wrap and tie off one inch from the top of the wrapped twine. Cut your looped ends to open them up into a tassel.

Repeat for the other end. You can make these look neater by hot glueing the ends of the wrap down or just leave them and make the ends part of the tassel like I did.

I trimmed my ends to make them the roughly the same length. I was not happy with the scrawny tassel so I grabbed a safety pen and picked the strands apart. Once all the strands were unraveled I took both ends in hand and gave them another haircut.

My strand is 46" long, boasts 67 beads and I am estimating it cost me less than $6 when all was said and done. That's decorating on a budget!

I love them and decided to make another strand with larger beads for the living room. 

Now it's your turn. 
Thanks for visiting with me today! Happy Fall! 

It's party time!
Ducks n'a Row, Finding Silver Pennies, Nifty Thrifty Things, Life On Lakeshore Drive, DIY Showoff, Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, Create With Joy, , I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Coastal Charm, Skip To My Lou, Plucky's Second Thought, Mad In Crafts, The Dedicated House, Angie The Freckled Rose, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Cupcakes & Crinoline, A Stroll Thru Life, Our Home Away From Home, Home Stories A to Z, Celebrate & Decorate, Lou Lou Girls, April Harris, The DIY Dreamer, A Bowl Full of Lemons, DIY By Design, Savvy Southern Style, Gingersnap Crafts, The Vintage Nest, The Pin Junkie, A Delightsome Life, Life With Lorelai, Imparting Grace, My Repurposed Life, The Charm of Home, Katherine's Corner, Saving 4 Six, Shoestring Elegance, Up To Date Interiors, Olives-n-Okra, Craftberry Bush, Our Hopeful Home, Try It-Like It, French Country Cottage, Remodelaholic, Shabby Art Boutique, The Cottage Market, Chic On A Shoestring, Ms.Toody Goo Shoes, The Boondocks Blog, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Painted Pumpkin Tutorial

You've seen those pretty pumpkins all over the internet and in the magazines. You went to the craft store and got a bit of sticker shock. Do you want to spend that much on a fake pumpkin and what happens if you don't want a blue/green/pink/gold/purple pumpkin next year?

Is this you? Maybe it was just me.... sometimes color committal is hard for me. I like lots of different colors for lots of different reasons and a color I may be stuck on this year (month, week, day) doesn't mean I want it around next year. What's a girl to do? What I have been doing all along... reach into my paint stash.

Two years ago I wanted gold pumpkins... I tried painting real pumpkins. That was fine until they started decaying... ick!

Last year I wanted all things neutral. Tan, white, wood tones and I mingled in greens.


This year a new color combo has caught my eye and I am just not ready to give up my summer colors...
My solution was to pick up some cheap-o pumpkins from Walmart. I paid $.98 for the little ones and less than $5 for the big ones. I used a 50% coupon at A.C. Moore and grabbed some paper mache' pumpkins, plus I raided my cache from last year. My little collection of pumpkins ranged in size and color and by themselves didn't look bad but I want them different colors this year.

If your pumpkins have stems, remove them if possible. The foam-y little ones from Walmart just pulled out. Don't worry, they go back in. It just makes it easier than trying to paint around. Some of my pumpkins didn't give me that option. You can tape them off or like me, just wing it.

I grabbed Waverly chalk paint (left over from another project) and gave everything two coats. You can purchase it at A.C.Moore... USE A COUPON.

Ahhh. So much better but I'm not done.

I went back to my paint stash. I had grabbed some "oops paint" from Home Depot a while back in this watery blue color. (Side note: Oops paint is paint somebody returned. Grab those paints when you see them! They are the best bargain around! I bought my paint for less than $1.00 and have used it on several small projects.) No worries if you don't hoard paint like me... pick up a couple craft paints from the store that work with your color scheme. Use those coupons!

While my white chalk paint was still wet I dipped my brush into the blue, ever so lightly, and went back to the pumpkin. Work that little bit of paint into the white giving it a light washed color all over.

I then went back into the blue and hit the ribs to make them a bit darker. Be sure to blend the colors out so you don't see lines. Let them dry.

Make sure you paint the stems if working with ones like paper mache'. I layered yellow, burnt umber and dark brown trying to make them look more realistic... as realistic as a blue, paper mache' pumpkin can look. Touch up plastic stems that may have gotten color on them. Replace stems that you removed.

Some I did darker all over.

Some I left white.

Now, spread your pumpkins throughout your home like fairy sprinkles!

Will I still want these colors next year? I have no idea but I know I am not stuck with my choice. It's just paint and little time, limited only by my imagination and who knows what that will look like next year!

Thanks for visiting with me! Have a great day! 

Linking up to these parties:
French Country Cottage, Remodelaholic, Shabby Art Boutique, The Cottage Market, Olives-n-Okra, The Boondocks Blog, Create With Joy, Ms. Toody Goo Shoes, Chic On A Shoestring, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events, Ducks n'a Row, Finding Silver Pennies, Nifty Thrifty Things, Life On Lakeshore Drive, Dwellings-The Heart of Your Home, Create With Joy, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Skip To My Lou, Cupcakes & Crinoline, Plucky's Second Thought, The Dedicated House, Home Stories A to Z, Mad In Crafts, The Crafty Blog Stalker, Lou Lou Girls, Celebrate and Decorate, A Stroll Thru Life, Our Home Away From Home, Savvy Southern Style, My Repurposed Life, Gingersnap Crafts, DIY By Design, The Vintage Nest, Saving 4 Six, Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson, The Pin Junkie, A Delightsome Life, Up To Date Interiors, Imparting Grace, Katherine's Corner, Our Hopeful Home, Life With Lorelai

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Forever and Ever Chalkboard Art Tutorial

I have a couple chalkboards in my home. I have one in the bedroom.


I have one in the kitchen.


I made both using old frames. The one in the kitchen has a little something extra. I used a piece of metal purchased from a hardware store, making the chalkboard magnetic, too. See how I did it here.

Recently, a sweet girl in our church asked to borrow it for her wedding. The couple was having an ice cream bar at the reception and they wanted some chalkboard art identifying the station. Because it was to be left at the reception hall the day before I worried that the chalkboard art might not make it until the reception; it might get smudged or erased as it was being set up at the facility. (My inner skeptic is alive and well.)

The following was my solution:
(Note: I am showing photos from 2 different canvases because I always forget to take pictures the first time around.)

I pulled a canvas wrapped board from my stash. You can purchase these at Michaels, A.C.Moore and the like. I buy them when on sale and keep them around for my hair-brained ideas. I painted the canvas with chalkboard paint I had on hand. This took two coats. Black acrylic paint would probably be fine for this application, too.

While that was drying I pulled out my sketch pad and went to work. I did a couple of Pinterest searches for ice cream signs and mushed my finds into one drawing on my sketch pad. I tweaked it until it was what I was happy with it. I texted a picture of my drawing over to the bride for approval.

When the green light was given I went to my copier and enlarged the print. I had about 4 pieces of paper when all was done and I taped them together. (This is where I forgot to keep taking photos.)

On the back side of the taped copies I rubbed a stick of chalk all over the areas where my design was.

I delicately placed the print, chalk side down, on the dry canvas.

With a pencil I traced the printed image leaving a chalk outline of my drawing on the blackened canvas. Up to this point this is often how I will do my chalkboards in my home. but they are meant to be erased and remade. For this project I reached for a one of my chalkboard pens that won't come off so easily.

Trace over the lines with the pen, filling in the fatter lines to resemble calligraphy. Sometimes, I have to go back over the white once it's dry to get good coverage. When the chalk pen ink was dry I did have to go back to the canvas and do a little clean up. Remember your paint pen takes some time to dry and if you rest your hand in it while writing you will make little messes on your canvas that you will have to clean up.

To erase your original chalk trace marks or chalk smudges you can use a soft paint brush and lightly brush the board after you are sure the chalk pen ink is dry. To clean up paint pen smudges a q-tip and a little water does wonders!

 In the Ice Cream piece I used a red piece of red chalk to fill in the heart and the cherry on top.

To use it with my pre-existing frame I hot-glue four magnets to the back corners. You can mount it in your own frame or just lean the board on a mantle or a shelf.

For me, the artwork can attach to my chalkboard. Finally, to protect the work, spray it with a matte sealer. I used Krylon Matte Finish. Now it won't get smudged and the happy newlyweds got to take their artwork home where they can frame it or stick it on the fridge ... Maybe it will be around when they are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary!

And, my chalkboard is ready for the next thing my mind can conjure up!

Thanks for spending time with me today.  I would love to see pictures if you decide to 
make one of your own! 


Partying On!
French Country Cottage, Shabby Art Boutique, The Cottage Market, The DIY Village, Olives-n-Okra, The Boondocks Blog, Pieced Pastimes, One More Time Events, DIY Showoff, Finding Silver Pennies, Nifty Thrifty Things, The Painted Hinge, Life On Lakeshore Drive, The Dedicated House, Coastal Charm, I Should Be Mopping The Floor, Skip To My Lou, Plucky's Second Thought, Cedar Hill Farmhouse, Cupcakes and Crinoline, Lou Lou Girls, A Stroll Thru Life, Our Home Away From Home, The DIY Dreamer, April Harris, Home Stories A to Z, Savvy Southern Style, Gingersnap Crafts, My Repurposed Life, The Vintage Nest, Have A Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson, The Pin Junkie, A Delightsome Life, Imparting Grace, Katherine's Corner, Up To Date Interiors, Our Hopeful Home, Life With Lorelai, Craftberry Bush, Remodelaholic, Ms. Toody Goo Shoes, April Harris

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Musical Chairs In The Dining Room

Remember the game musical chairs? You start on one chair, move til the you're forced to stop somewhere else, and try to plop down before anyone else does-never gracefully. I had a love/hate relationship with that game. Recently, I started thinking that is what my home was feeling a bit like. Last year it was three rooms upstairs that played the switch-a-roo game. This year there have been lots of projects brought right up to the brink of completion but then quick-like plopped down; in working order-not gracefully completed. It is more of an "it'll do til I can get back to it" sort of order.

We live in an old home. It has come to us (rather,  we came to it) knowing it was filled with challenges. We saw the charm while others just saw a hot mess-minus the hot. The main floor has three rooms, one kitchen and a half-bath. You walk into the front door facing a central set of stairs flanked by a room on the right and a room on the left. Behind the stairs sits the third room. That was the room we used as our dining room when we moved in but I wasn't convinced it was where I wanted the dining room to be.

                                                 Don't hate me for using a Christmas photo.

It was sold to us labled as a "colonial-cape". I guess it gets the "cape" classification because the ceilings upstairs are low and sloped and the windows are little and low to the floor. It gets the colonial label because from the street the exterior is symmetrical (almost) with a center entry. Originally, from what we have been able to find out through historical information, the house did not have a front porch. It probably had a more prominent front door with some sort of pediment but with the addition of the front porch it was sacrificed. That being said, I love the front porch and have no plans of reverting back.  The colonial label also comes with the idea that upon entering the front door you can head upstairs or turn to either side to enter either the dining room or the living room (parlor). 

The room to the right is our living room and because of that it made sense to me that the room to the left should be the dining room. There is a built in cabinet in the room. The top part at one time had glass panels with drawers below. When we moved in the glass was long gone. We used the room as our home school space for years and I used the cabinet as supply and book space but always thought replacing the glass to display my great-grandmother's china was in its future.


When we renovated the kitchen I thought it was a perfect time to switch things up. My girls were older and our home school materials have managed to migrate to every other room in our house so I thought I could eventually clean it out. I stenciled the walls (in lieu of wall paper) and hung bold green curtains. I found a used table online and refinished it and was happy with the results... except I couldn't do the glass inserts yet...still too many unsightly books and supplies need to be housed in the cabinet.


Mister was a good sport but never really liked eating dinner where we could be seen from the street. These older homes were often built close to the road. We live on a small street with little traffic so it didn't really bother me. I enjoy driving by homes and seeing families at their dining tables-homey and comforting but when it is others looking in on us... well, Mister wasn't on board. And, we never really figured out what to do with the old dining room except to house my crafts and desk. It was always an untidy, disarrayed collection of stuff staring at me as I sat on the couch. I tried to keep it neat but it just never happened. 


Fast forward to February of this year. Our tv went on the fritz and we bought a new one. We decided to hang it on a different wall and that led to a whole big mess; redoing our master bedroom, living room and yes, dining room. We took down the cheap bead-board that covered the lower half of the walls both in there and in the living room, replaced the baseboard, moved the chandelier and painted the walls a yummy color. I thought I wanted the downstairs to remain neutral in color. I tried... really I did but when you walk into the paint store and there all those colors.... I caved!

I used  Dragonfly by Benjamin Moore for the walls. On sunny days the color looks more green than blue. On cloudy days the color looks more blue than green. Bonus: I was able to use the old window toppers which I love and Mister loves not having to buy new ones.

                                  Image result for paint color dragonfly

The color looks similar in certain photos to the color that it used to be which was more of a gray-blue color but in reality that is not the case.

I still have some things to hang on the walls in there and am toying with building something to house my serving platters. I am still thinking about painting the buffet and I have yet to paint the silly chairs but they'll have to do til I can get back to them. (I think that is how I started this post.) I am presently using the stenciled room for an office and craft space and yes, it is a mess. Project after project-weddings, work for others, and anything else I can find to do to avoid it.... It will go through some more changes in the next couple months but that will be for another time.

This does seem to be a better place for the dining room. Not exactly sure why but it just feels right, like an old familiar song, gracefully danced... which is music to my ears.

Don't stay away too never know what room we will move next!

Party Time!
Life With Lorelai