Monday, July 15, 2013

Monogram wall decor... How-to!

Over the last year, I've had a minor obsession with my new monogram....okay doesn't isn't right?! Every store I look for "s" and how I could incorporate them in my house. In this post, I made some wall decor that is both unique and rustic and OF COURSE is my new monogram. Needless to saw it was the perfect touch for my living room.


I'll start with the "s" on the left on barn wood. My in-laws live on a good amount of land and have an old barn on the land. They cut off a few peices for me from the inside and I painted an "s" on it. Simple enough right? Well yes but below is my method of painting the "s" which made it SO much easier. 

Start by putting down tape into the shape of the "s". I used painter's tape, but that isn't necessary. 


Next, I outlined the tape with paint to get the basic shape, and removed the tape. 


The last thing is the fill in the outlines with paint. I used a white paint, but many colors would have looked good. To make the wood sign, I screwed the three pieces together with a board running vertical. On that board, I also attached a wall hanger. 



The next piece, the one on the right in the first picture, is a wood frame from Hobby Lobby that I stapled gunned frame into. The wood monogram was purchased off Etsy and used in my wedding a year ago, which has sentimental value to me. 


Next I stapled the monogram to the fabric from the back side. It was THAT easy. But I think looks great! 


Hope this gives you inspiration to create your own wall decor, and make something that has some personal meaning to you! 

Happy DIYing!
Gretel

Patriotic wreath...How-to!

With the 4th of July just passing, I frantically realized I didn't have a flag up at my house. So, I made due with the materials I had in my house...and I think it was a wonderful attempt to be patriotic and original. See below for a how-to:


Materials:

  • Burlap
  • Red, blue and white paint
  • Paint brush
  • Spray paint clear varnish
  • Thicker molding wire
  • Burlap ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Cotton stuffing
These are all materials I have in my house, hence why I made it.
  1. Cut the burlap out in a wavy shape 2 identical times, like as if the "flag" was flowing in the wind.  This is so that the burlap can be stuffed. Also, cut out 2 identical stars. 
  2. Paint the entire surface of the flowing flag white. You will only be painting the front side. Paint the entire surface of the star blue...again you are only painting one side blue. 
  3. For the flag, paint red swirls all over it...I added occasional red dots too. For the star, I painted white polka dots all over it.
  4. Hot glue 3 of the 4 sides together for the flag. For the star, hot glue all of the sides together except for one of the points...these left open areas are where you will stuff it.
  5. Stuff the flag and star with cotton until it has a shape. Do not overstuff.
  6. Glue the remaining side of the star and flag together.
  7. Next you hot glue the start to the top left corner of the flag.
  8. I cut the wire so that it could be the "hanger". When puncturing the burlap, I then molded the wire to curl on either side. 
  9. I added a burlap bow from ribbon at the top for looks...its not necessary.
  10. Lastly, I sprayed the front and back side of the flag and star with the clear spray paint varnish to keep it protected from rain and to harden the surface. 
Here is the finished product. God Bless America!!! Love my country!



Happy DIYing!
Gretel

Rustic Corner lamp...Transformation How-to!

In my last post I mentioned the finds my dad found for me at a yard sale. One of his finds were two lamps. Totally outdated and ugly but cheap! Here's what I did...

Corner lamp
  1. Painted the bottom a color I liked... I used chalk paint. With two coats and a coat of wax, I was good to go there.
  2. Next I stalked etsy for a cool metal cage to cover the bulb. I found the perfect cage at Store19
  3. I got a light bulb from Home Depot to complete the look. 



Just goes to show you, someone's trash is another's treasure. I've got the perfect corner reding light now! 

Happy DIYing!
Gretel 

Side table from a tv stand...How-to!



Yard saling and thrift store shopping are two of my favorite things. I even have my parents constantly looking for things I can paint and transform which is awesome. Nothing better than a phone call with my dad saying he found two lamps and a tv stand for me all for $10! Heck yeah!! In this post I'll show you a project that I made out of those items dad found. Super easy and like I said, $10. Who can beat that?!?

Side table
First item was a tv stand. When I saw this, I knew the top HAD TO GO or at least be recovered. I had bought some gingham fabric for another project and had just enough to recover it. I LOVED the wheels and cart underneath and didn't want to touch that. Here's what I did...
  1. Staple-gunned the fabric to the top. 
  2. Used upholstery tacs for the top edge to add some bling.




And done! It's edgy, southern, and unique! I'll tell you about the lamp in the next post. 

Happy DIYing folks!
Gretel


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Chalk paint obsession

Hello! HUGE apologies for my absence over this summer. No worries, I've been crafting daily, but my Instagram has been my DIY diary rather than here. My newest obsession (or one of them at least) has been chalk painting. I took a class to learn techniques and about how you can use the paint... Which by the way you can literally paint anything with chalk paint. Your rug?? Yes. Your drapes, yes! Your lamp shades? YES! So needless to say I am converted and have slowly been painting everything!!! Below are some of the latest projects

Before
After

Before
After

Complete dining room chair set

Before
After
The chairs were my first babies, and after seeing their transformation I had to keep painting. I highly encourage everyone to look into the paint. It's ease of use is what makes it soo attractive. Below are the basic steps in case you're interested and there are tons of tutorials on YouTube, too!
  1. Do not sand the furniture. Simply dust or clean it.
  2. No primer needed. Paint your first coat covering the surface thoroughly. If you want to be able the distress the furniture so that one color shows through when you sand, you will need to paint two coats of the base coat in the first color and another coat of the second color on top. 
  3. Once you have fully covered the surface in 2 coats ( 3 coats total if using 2 colors), lightly sand the entire surface with 320 grit sandpaper (stop when the surface is smooth). For a distressed look, start by rubbing the corners until the wood or first color show through. Remember, LESS IS MORE HERE! Once the edges are distressed, sand away one or two bigger areas on the entire pieces. For example, on the dresser I distressed, I have one larger area on the drawers and then one on the side. Try to distress where you think will naturally distress with time.
  4. The last step is to wax the nature piece. I highly recommend Annie Sloan clear wax. Once applied, remove with an old t-shirt (NO PAPER TOWELS!) 
  5. Let the piece dry for 48 solid hours before placing items on top of it! 
Hope these steps help you get started. I've transformed some pretty ugly pieces into pretty pieces all with the paint... And you can too!! 

Happy DIYing!
Gretel

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Branch chandelier... How-to!

Hi everyone! I am so excited to write this post as I'm FINALLY going to post about a project I've had in the back of my mind for MONTHS. This was probably the easiest/cheapest project I've done so far, but turned out to be one of my favorite. Many of you have probably seen a deer antler chandelier or one made of coral (I've seen AND drooled over both). Well I love the look of those chandeliers but wanted to create something that 1) I could ACTUALLY make and 2) wouldn't take years of collecting deer antlers to make. SO, in this post I'll tell you how I made my VERY own branch chandelier. And yes, I'm in love with it!

Completed branch chandelier

Materials:
1. Sticks (thankfully my neighbors cut down some trees so I just snipped about 50 branches from their tree)
2. White stray paint (silver or gold)
3. Molding wire
4. Hot glue gun

I'm a thrifter...whether in Target or a Goodwill, I'm always looking at how I can take something and turn it into something else (yes I recognize it's a personal problem). While at a local thrift store I found this little chandelier for $10 and couldnt pass it up. I snatched it up before I even had the idea of creating a chadelier, then let me little brain do all the work.

Local thrift shop find= $10

Like I said earlier, my neighbors had recently cut down a few trees so I just cut a bunch of branches from their trees. The first step is to start placing all of the branches starting from the center out and attaching to the chandelier using molding wire.


Once you have wired a good number of branches into the chandelier (like pictured above), start hot gluing the end of the branches into the chandelier. Also, as a helpful hint, I think its easier to see the progress once you have spray painted the chandelier. So I spray painted the newly added branches every so often.


Continue wedging/gluing/shaping up the chandelier until you have the outcome that you want.


This could also be either dusted with gold/silver spray paint to give it a sheen or painted solid silver/gold...both would also look awesome.

AND here is my final project. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! It's perfect for a breakfast nook, an office, bedroom or dining room.


 

The bottom
This chandelier required 40W bulbs found at Home Depot

Happy DIYing everyone!


Saturday, April 20, 2013

Wood crate bookshelf...How to!

I have been searching for a corner bookcase for a few months now. With no luck, I decided to make something myself. I've always loved the look of old wooden crates, but after seeing the price of just one (around $50-$80), I thought I would try making new wooden crates look old by staining. While it's no perfect match, I still think the bookcase turned out perfectly. Here's what you need:

Materials (from Michaels and Home Depot):
  1. Qty. 20 screws and nuts (1/4"-20 x3/4")
  2. Qty. 20 flat washers (1/4")
  3. 4 wheels --Industrial wheels would look awesome, but mine were from Home Depot. Make sure two are lockable.
  4. 5 Wood crates (from Michaels...use your 50% off coupon)
  5. Wood stain
  6. Hand sander
I started by sanding each of the wood crates (inside and out).


Next, I stained each of them. In an earlier post I mentioned that the longer the stain stays on the wood, the darker it is. These crates SOAKED up the stain so I literally was brushing the stain on and within seconds rubbing the remainder of the stain off with a rag. Let each crate dry for about 4 hours.

The next step is the add the wheels to the bottom crate. Position the two lockable wheels to the back. drill a hole where the screws will be placed and then screw in all of the wheels.


Here is what the bottom crate looks like with all of the wheels in place.


Now the work is over. I literally just stacked the other crates on top of each other, but for more protection, you could screw each of the crates together! The hardest part of the entire project was finding cute decorative items to fill up the bookcase, besides books (because who has enough books to fill up 5 levels!!) I found some of my decorative items at Target (which has AWESOME items right now)...and others at local antique shops.

Here's my final project...for now atleast! I'm sure I'll continue to rearrange the items and add and remove some things. The best part...the total cost was right at $40 (using the 50% coupon at Michael's REALLY helps).