Hey, it's what I do! Welcome to my creative arts blog!

Welcome to my Maker's blog, where I feature my own unique creative projects. I'm six years out from breast cancer and counting my blessings.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Nightstands Turned Kitchen Island


Here's a shot of our kitchen when we first bought our mobile home several years ago.  
Well kept cabinets, lots of storage and quite roomy. 
The size of the kitchen and the master bath (both of which
 also have large skylights) clinched the deal for us.


It only took a few family potluck dinners to know we needed an island in our kitchen.
 At our first Thanksgiving here, we paired up some old, solid wood 
nightstands from a vintage 80s waterbed set.

We set them up back to back and threw a tablecloth over the whole shebang.
 They turned out to be the perfect height and heavy enough to withstand
 the traffic flow when dinner was served.

Hey!
 Why buy the lumber and build an island when 
we could restyle what we already had?

We took out the drawers and bolted the nightstands back to back
and painted the whole assembly a nice shade of blue with a grey wash.
We used acrylic paint sealed with clear acrylic spray.


For the top we had a precut piece of heavy duty masonite. 
I covered it with pages of an old cookbook using Mod Podge.

LOOK! 

The colors and tones complement the still serviceable vinyl floor.
We sealed the top with brushed on resin (two part Envirotex used for bar tops)
 and we are so excited with the great results!


Ta da!



For the final touch we used the pulls off the original drawers and
 attached them for towel holders.Then I refurbished the drawers for storage with 
red checked contact paper. They are perfect inside our 
brand new kitchen island made from our old nightstands.


This is one of our most popular projects and is a Pinterest favorite. 
It cost us nearly nothing save for the resin which I purchased
 from Michaels with a 50% coupon. I call this a win win!!

Paint Dye Your Pillows


There's a question. Paint your pillows or dye your pillows using paint? 
Whichever way you choose, it worked well for me!


I wanted all my pillows to match the turquoise color at the left 
using the other two patterned fabrics in the picture.


So I decided to just paint/dye them!
 I laid each remnant out and sprayed them with water until damp, 
straightening out any wrinkles at the same time. 

Then I diluted 3 or 4 drops of turquoise Craft Smart acrylic paint with water 
until it was quite runny. I dipped a soft paint brush in the watered down paint
 and touched it to the wet fabric.

 It was a real aha! moment for me as the damp fabric "grabbed" the color. 
Watching that turquoise spread across the fabric was almost magical. 
A spritz of water then a dab of color helped the process and in the end I was so pleased!


They turned out exactly the color I wanted! 
 I let both remnants air dry then ironed them to seal the color.
Here are the pillows on my bed with the original turquoise pillow.

So are they painted or dyed? 

This was a quick and thrifty DIY project for me. I had everything  in my stash.
Fabric remnants, pillow forms, craft paint, paint brushes and an iron. 
Plus a sewing machine, of course.

Altogether, not including drying time, this project took less than an hour from idea to pillows.
I call this one a win win!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

DIY Wood Stars for Christmas and All Year!

Here's a neat gift idea that comes together so quickly, I was kicking myself for not thinking of it sooner.
I wanted to give a hand made Christmas item for each family on my list. What to do? I needed a dozen of them and I didn't want to spend an arm and a leg on the supplies.

I bought this box of wood slats for way less than $10. Thank you, Feed Store brothers!!


I brought the wood home and proceeded to make primitive Christmas stars!


The wood slats are 20" long. Perfect size for a star and easy to work with. 

Each star takes 5 pieces of equal length. Paint the wood first then dry brush with black if you want a bit of a grungy primitive look. Otherwise leave the finish natural.


We used our handy dandy air gun stapler to fasten the joints, then bent the staples over on the back side for added stability. Touch up with paint or wrap with Dollar Store jute twine secured with hot glue. We did them with and without twine. 


You can leave them plain OR you can crash your stash of Christmas decor, which is what I did. Experiment with your placement then hot glue each piece in place. 

Then comes the FUN PART!

I used faux poinsettias in two sizes, fake greenery, wired tinsel, ribbon, small pine cones, glittered branches, plastic decor balls in several sizes and anything else I could lay my hands on. 


 Lots of blues!


Lots of ribbons and twine wrapped joints.



Here's the biggest star we made out of longer grade stakes.
36" across for the entry wall at my grand kids' new house. We twine wrapped the joints
 on this big one and sealed it with clear acrylic spray for outdoor use.



I LOVE the way these came out! 
And guess what? They're a hit with the families, too!


And here's the one we kept for our own house.
It's on the baker's rack I decorate every year.


We even made some cooking themed stars for the Lunch Ladies at the school kitchen.


Now I'm kicking around ideas for decorating Patriotic Americana stars for Fourth of July....burlap and sunflower stars for my summertime porch.....autumn leaves and branches for fall....then back to Christmas with snowflakes, white poinsettias and silver branches.

I'm sure I'll be posting more about these stars. Stay tuned!

Materials used for each star-
five wood pieces of equal length
acrylic craft paint your choice of color
staples or nails to fasten the wood
hot glue
twine
misc. small Christmas decor items

There you go!


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Book Page Christmas DIY

Most of you have figured out I am a color freak with an obsession 
for turquoise, red and cobalt blue. 
However,
I also obsess about the beautiful neutral tones of natural muslin and old book pages. 
Especially book pages! Christmas is no exception.


Here is my bakers rack decked out in more book page covered decor than you can shake a stick at.
I love the pages with the grey boards and the white milk glass!

And below you can see a sweet ruffled muslin garland with a mini star 
book page garland, plus book page rosettes and book page covered balls, 
stars and even a pedestal cake stand.


I will cover practically anything in Mod Podge and old book pages. This way my old beloved books live on in my decor. I also make as much paper art as I can with book pages.

Per request, I am showing you the big stars covered with book pages in this post.


I just love how they come out!!


                             This is an example of the cardboard star patterns I found online. 
There are oodles I tell ya. LOTS. Google is your friend in this.


I like the old dictionaries with dense printing for these projects. I've used clean cut pieces with straight lines for this project plus loads of Mod Podge.

Simple and FAST, folks.

Once dry, sand the edge paper off with a nail file. Spray with clear acrylic to seal.



Book page stars and Christmas balls, oh my!!

                                     
There is no end of ideas using book pages and Mod Podge. 
Including the display stand made of a sundae glass, ceramic plate and book pages! 
And pinwheels and stars and, of course, book page stars.

Sometimes, even for me, a restful neutral look is just what I need during this busy season.


Merry Christmas, friends. Make it a good one!



Cute and Clever Photo Cubes Apothecary Jar

Here is a quick and clever project you can make for home decor or better yet, to give as a gift.
I made these photo blocks and stacked them in a thrift store jar
 for one of the best gifts ever this last Christmas.


I'm kind of a sucker for apothecary jars. Or footed jars. Or jars on a base with a fancy lid.
These are just a few I have on my craft room shelves. None of them cost over $1.

I will even use E6000 jewelry glue to put a cool looking jar on a Dollar Store candle stick.


I saw these wooden blocks at the Dollar Store and my brain went "ding!"
These are the perfect size for photo cubes.

I painted the blocks with white craft paint until the dye of the printing quit bleeding through. Three coats, I believe. Possibly white spray paint will also do the trick. Let the paint dry and make sure that the color of the printed letters is not coming thru before going on to the next step.




I printed dozens of family photos in black and white. I made sure to size them for the blocks so I did not have to trim them. On two sides of each block I added damask print paper.


I just LOVE the cool vintage vibe of these black and white photos, 
especially after I sanded all the edges!


Choose good closeups of family faces since the display area is less than 2" square.


Stack them in a "fancy" jar of your choice. You can embellish the neck with family initials, jingle bells and twine or even a special tag.

There you go, a neat and personalized gift that is perfect for Christmas, 
or a wedding, or an anniversary or even a birthday.

So, thrift store jars about $1 each.
Dollar Store blocks $1 for 9.
Family photo blocks in an apothecary jar PRICELESS.

Next up, how to use these same photo blocks for Christmas tree decor!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

VHS Tapes Make Wonderful Creepy Halloween Streamers

The year we decorated our porch with strips of Dollar Store plastic tablecloths 
I loved the way the streamers draped and flounced and flared in the wind. 
The trick or treaters loved walking through the "curtains" too, 
except for one little girl who refused to even step into our yard. lol
I made the floating flying bats out of painted foam meat trays and curly wire.

So this year when we decorated the back deck with lights we wanted to add 
streamers but didn't want to fiddle around with cutting plastic tablecloths into strips.


Then we remembered that we'd used old VHS tapes 
to make a huge spider web in the yard. 


Off we go to the thrift store where we picked up this tape for a quarter. 
So, faster than you can say, "You're a streamer, Harry!" 
we had totally awesome, easy and thrifty Halloween decor
 that looks creepy and cool!


It was so EASY. 
We tied random lengths of tape to the strung lights around our deck 
and we LOVE the way it came out. A cloudy sky and little breeze 
made the shiny tape streamers look crazy spooky!







The tapes looked so cool that now we're discussing using them
 for some creepy costume ideas.Think how awesome a witch outfit would look 
with dozens of these tape streamers flowing around it?
Or a Dementor from the Harry Potter movies?
Or a Nazgul from Lord of the Rings?

Just picture this with MUCH MORE tattered streamer action!

This could be so much fun!

Grab yourself some old VHS tapes and 
go wild with your Halloween decorating!

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Easy DIY Lighted Autumn Hurricane

Here's a unique...and easy...DIY for stunning autumn decor.
I "filled" a tall hurricane glass so that the garlands and lights stood tall
inside the glass.


I scored this 20" tall hurricane glass for $2 at a yard sale 
and I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it.


I had Dollar Store leaf garlands and white twinkle lights in my stash
 so I wrapped them together to make one string.

The problem was they would not stand up and fill the glass. Even wiring the garland to the top edge of the glass didn't fill the glass the way I was picturing.

Here's the simple solution!


Take a dowel that is just a little shorter than your glass. Cover it with some autumn paper or paint it to match. I used leaf printed napkins and wrapped them around diagonally.

NOW, wire your lighted garland to one end, making sure the plug end for your lights comes out at the top or bottom, as you wish.


Tada! Your pretty lighted garland will stand up and fill your glass from top to bottom!


I loved the look so much I did the same thing to a tall pasta jar and 
put both of them on top of a tall bookcase. 
The mirror behind them reflects the colors and lights into the room and looks dazzling.

I did a safety check on both containers and found the lights were only warm, 
not hot, so this display is safe.

My kids are kind of blase with all my decorating projects but my grandkids and great grandkids still react with wonder and delight when they come to visit our autumn house.

So, easy DIY lighting project plus kids' smiling faces?
Win win!