My latest project was a makeover for a sad little box that I got at the thrift store so long ago and sat in the basement forever.  I think I paid less than $5 for it and it is a good thing because the supplies cost a little more than I would have liked.

But, boy, do I love the results!

ugly-duck-box

Here are some of my inspiration pictures.

picmonkey-image

Here is the before.  Sad little duckies…..

img_0943I took the whole thing apart, removing the hardware and peeling off all the lose paper.

img_2717What a mess!  But in that mess was pure French gold!

I applied plain brown kraft paper to the inside of the chip board pieces using a watered down wood glue.

img_2718And added a French script fabric to the outsides and trimmed with a faux leather fabric.  Both of these fabrics were on the clearance rack at the fabric store.

I reused some of the hardware, which I repainted with a faux rusty effect using black and copper spray paint.

Added black upholstery tacks  found at the hardware store to the faux leather strips and Voila!  Ugly duck to French swan!

ugly-duck-collage

 

 

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Doesn’t every kitchen need more storage?  I have this alley way of a galley kitchen that is sorely lacking in the storage department.  So what to do?

I ‘inherited’ this extremely ugly but utilitarian storage cabinet.  Oh, no! There was no place in my renovation plans for something like this!  Here is a cabinet that is exactly the same as the one I had.  No, just no.

old-pantry

So, in shopping for a replacement, this was on  my pin board:

And this one:

No, can’t justify paying those prices for a pantry cupboard, not while we are still in renovation mode.  And we scrounged the thrift/antique places with no luck in finding a suitable replacement, at the right price, without having to do some work on it.  If I had to paint it, might as well paint the one I have.

So, after some chalk paint, some graphics magic from the Graphics Fairy, and some added molding,  voila!  Old store sign fancy pantry!

Old Store Sign Pantry

Old Store Sign Pantry

 

Before and After

Before and After

Still have to add some handles, but so happy with it!

#GraphicsFairy

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It doesn’t take a lot of fancy, expensive paints to make over an outdated chandelier.  Don’t let them fool you!  You can get great results from simple, cheaper options.

Chandy Finished makeoverSo, if you’ve been looking into doing this, you have probably found other blogs who have used various name brand chalk and metallic paints. Here are a couple I loved, Diane’s at In My Own Style, and Amy’s at Maison Decor, and a zinc look makeover from Leslie at Colorways, whose chandelier’s style is much like mine was.

Sometimes you have to leave your chandeliers attached to the ceiling while you paint, but we were moving our light (along with the dining table) across the room so it was coming down, making the make over so much easier.

I also love to take apart my electricals and play with them!  I get so excited to start my projects, I always forget the before pics, but you’ve seen enough of these outdated shiny brass chandeliers, haven’t you?

My chandelier being taken apart.

My chandelier being taken apart

But take pictures of any funky ways things are assembled, like the way this wire goes around this part, so you can reference them when you put it all back together.

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

Take pictures for reference to assist in assembly later

 

I took the whole chandelier apart and taped up the sockets to keep the paint out.  Then, started it off with a shot of Rustoleum antique bronze spray paint…. not much of this shows at the end, but I like having that dark base.

Then, I started layering my home-made chalk paint.  Here is my recipe:

Chalk Paint

For the painting process, I have some pictures from a lamp I painted the same way.

Shiny brass lamp to make over

Shiny brass lamp ready for make over

The paint I used on this project was made with a sample of Behr Chenille Spread, which is an off-white.  I used a chip brush and instead of stroking it on, I stippled it, which is a fancy way of saying I dabbed it on.

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Antique Bronze spray paint and coat of white chalk paint stippled on

Next came a bit of blue chalk paint, this is called Provence Blue.  I used this sparingly.  I wanted to simulate a patina on old metal.

If you do too much, don’t worry.  Just put more white on top.  I would also use a paper towel and dab off if I put too much on.  I liked how that gave it more texture.

The next layer is a bit of brown spray paint.  I kept the can about 18 inches away and let it sputter so it spattered on the pieces.

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Brown spray paint spattered on the white and blue chalk paint

Again, with the white, and if I wasn’t quite happy with it, I just kept adding layers until I was.  There is no right or wrong with this, just do what makes you happy.♥

To add a little shine, the last layer was a Ceramcoat Gleam acrylic craft paint in silver that I had on hand.  I used a foam brush to put it on and then used the paper towel again to rub it in.

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Even acrylics can be used to add layers

Silver acrylic paint rubbed on as final layer

Silver acrylic paint applied on as final layer

Now to assemble the chandelier parts back together.  I wasn’t entirely happy with the original composition of the pieces.  I played with how they went together.  The top pieces were put back the way they had been, except I turned them upside down.

On the bottom half, I wanted to eliminate the big round piece.  I just didn’t like it.  It is easy to change things up this way.  I had some threaded rods from other lighting projects, but you can buy some different length rods at the hardware store in the lighting parts department.  Lighting nipples

So I just played with the pieces and the rods until I got something I liked.

The chandelier is now going to be a plug in instead of hard wired. (The outlet was wired to a wall switch, so we can flip the switch to turn it on)  I added the chain and attached the new wire to the existing wiring in the chandelier. Wire and chain can be purchased by the foot at the hardware store.  Adding the new wire is pretty easy to do.  All the wires to the various arms of the chandelier all come together in the center.  They were held together with pigtails (those little plastic caps).  Unscrew the caps, remove the old wire that went up to the ceiling and attach the new wire, re-attach the caps.  Done!  Thread the wire through the chain.  There are plugs that you can add to the other end of the wire to plug into the wall.  Ask a person at the hardware store to help you find these.

I also added some bling with glass beads from Fire Mountain Gems.  I used a small drill bit and drilled holes in to candle holders so I could attach the bead drops I created.

Look at the bling!

Glass beads attached to the candle holders

Glass beads attached to the candle  holders

Completed chandelier makeover

Chandelier make over

 

 

 

Fireplace Collage

Our fireplace was pretty blah run of the mill.  I wanted to take our fireplace from, “Oh there’s a fireplace” to “Wow, look at that fireplace!”

We couldn’t really afford real stone, but that was my dream.  I have been on Pinterest pinning photos of country style big ol’ stone fireplaces, and boy, I loved that look, like this one:

Inspiration Fireplace

Inspiration Fireplace

(source unknown)

Or this one:

Another inspiration fireplace

Another inspiration fireplace

(source)

And this was the style I was striving for with the mantle we were going to use.  More on that later.

And this inspiration fireplace

And this inspiration fireplace

(source)

Well, in looking around Pinterest, I found a few people who used a product called Airstone that is sold through Lowes.  They don’t pay me a thing for telling you this, I just want to let you know what I used.

In particular, I used the suggestions and great how to from Diane at “In My Own Style” We used a chop saw with masonry blade (although we went through a couple of them since we did a lot of cutting).

So this is what it looked like before.  Of course, we had already started our ceiling project (which you can see here) so hubby is on the step ladder, and this is the only photo I have with the fireplace intact before I started ripping it apart.

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

It was an ok fireplace, very traditional, but not very exciting.

So I took it apart. The old mantle is on the left.

Fireplace in Transition

Fireplace in Transition

Then the fun began.  We removed the ceramic tile hearth in front of the fireplace and laid a slate tile purchased from Home Depot. Again, I don’t get paid for that, just providing the info for you.

Then, as mentioned, we used Airstone in the Spring Creek color.  I love all the variations of grey in the stone.  My only caution would be to order new boxes online.  We ended up with a box that we think had been returned to the store and the pieces were all the same color instead of the variations of colors.

 It was easy to use.   We used corner pieces on the edges, cutting them so they laid against the wall, giving a more three dimensional look on the outside edge.

Fireplace in Progress

Fireplace in Progress

Next came the mantle.  We found this driftwood plank on the beach a couple of years ago.

I knew when I saw it that it would be our new mantle.  It has so much character, and after aging a couple of years in the basement, and a couple coats of poly, it is perfect.  We built out a ‘shelf’ to help hold up the mantle and something to anchor it to.

Sorry, I don’t have much for photos on this process, but we built a box with 2×4’s and mounted it to the wall and then the mantle piece to the box to hold it up along with a couple of unfinished Stockport wood corbels.  I painted them with leftover paint from other projects which was flat black and a metallic bronze color, then a couple coats of poly.

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Corbels and reclaimed wood mantle

Here’s another close up of that great reclaimed wood!

Reclaimed wood and shell

Reclaimed wood and shell

It has all the wood grain with crevices and holes–just so much character!  Don’t worry, I sanded it very well to avoid splinters!

So, here is the before

Fireplace: Before

Fireplace: Before

And here is the after

Fireplace Awesome!

Fireplace Awesome!

I’m still working on the vignettes and this is not the permanent artwork.  The artwork going up there was in storage and I’m still rounding up all the treasures I want to display on the mantle, but I couldn’t wait any longer to share our progress.

Fireplace Collage

Let me know what you think!

I’ve been working on a project and I wanted to give you a sneak peek.

I was so excited when I started working on this because while looking for fabric for this project, I can across an inspiration fabric for the whole first floor of my house.  Because it is an open concept condo, I have to take into consideration the colors of what I use.  I wasn’t sold immediately on this fabric, but the more I looked at it, the more I felt it was the right fit.

The colors are right, a blue that is bordering on turquoise, sage green, and the ‘greige’  grey-beige which is becoming the new popular neutral, all on the linen look background.   It will match the great set of Lenox “Whirlwind” china that we inherited, and the seaside accessories in the living room and all over the house.  And I like that it is an abstract floral so it is not fussy.  Although I love the look of all white/neutral rooms, I know that I couldn’t live with it, so this is a nice way to add a little color.

I bought it at AC Moore,  a local craft store which is not known for selling fabric, but my local one has started carrying those remnant pieces that are 2 or 3 yards for $5 or $6.  They had two pieces of this pattern so I only have a few yards but I will use it for accents. Maybe I will get lucky and find more.

 

So here are the crumbs.

 

Rocking Chair Peek

A completed project to follow…………..at some point in the future.

 

Valentine’s has all gone by, but hearts never die!

Hearts CollageWanted to share this quick idea with you about salvaged crochet lace hearts. I made these using lace which can be found at any thrift or second hand store. Most times there are stains on them, so this is a good way to use the good bits and pieces. Baste the lace onto your background fabric first.   Then cut them out and sew your backing fabric.  Stuff with fiberfill and potpourri to make a sachet.  I used lavender flowers inside so they smell divine!

Make a spice shelf!

When we remodeled our bathroom, we converted a vintage Ethan Allen sideboard for the vanity.  Of course, we had to cut away much of the drawers to make room for the sink. I had the pieces of the drawer laying around the work room and decided to create a little shelf unit.

Empty Spice Rack

Empty Spice Rack

I didn’t create a tutorial when I was making the shelf. That was BB, Before Blog! But I think the photos are self explanatory.  I cut the pieces, and painted with my self created chalk paint in a color which is close to Tiffany blue, and waxed. If you want to learn more about my chalk paint, my post about my French Farmhouse chairs discusses it here. It’s easier to do when it is in pieces, then you can just touch up where the nails are. I didn’t wax the back of the shelf because I was adding the graphics onto it.

Before putting the shelf together, I printed out some graphics from the Graphics Fairy on plain white paper. I have to warn you, if you have not been to her sight before, it is like going down the rabbit hole! Make sure you have lots of time. All of her graphics are old and royalty free, and free to use for whatever you want! She also has great tutorials on how to transfer the graphics to different surfaces.

The graphics I used for this project are a coffee distributor advertisement and a botanical print of a hydrangea. I tore some of the edges to make them look worn. I used Mod Podge to decoupage and seal the graphics onto the back of the shelf.
Mod Podge1
I then glued, and used brad nails to put the shelf unit together.

The jars had bright gold/brassy lids, so I spray painted them black. I then used a copper spray paint, holding it about three feet away and lightly spraying so it just barely left a spattering of color on the black. Looks kind of rusty, doesn’t it?.

Painted Jar Lid

Painted Jar Lid

I didn’t have the jars when I created the shelf.  I wasn’t intending to use it as a spice rack at all when I made it.  I was thinking of using it in my bedroom.  But the jars were given to me by a friend, and they fit perfectly on the shelf. When I started seeing the chalkboard paint being used on glass surfaces, a light bulb went off.

I began by outlining the label on the jars with a black Sharpie pen using a template from this book I bought years ago at JoAnn Fabrics or Michaels. I think it was right around when the Cricut and Silhouette, and similar machines were coming out, and they put this book on sale. It had paper punch outs of different shapes to use for tags, but I use the shapes for stencils and tracing around the shapes. They work great for this purpose. Any kind of stencil or cardboard label could be used to do this.

Book of Stencils

Book of Stencils

I then painted in the area with the chalk board paint which I purchased at the craft store. I used a small flat brush, and applied two coats. I outlined and painted instead of stenciling so that the paint would have a smooth finish. Stenciling may have made a bumpy surface. I followed the directions on the paint; letting the paint cure for a day or two and then baking in the oven. They are now durable and washable. I had intended to use actual chalk to write the spice names, but then thought they would rub off too easily. I use the same spices all the time anyway, so I used a white paint pen.  I bought this one at JoAnn Fabrics for $4.99. That really was a life saver to not have to paint the names on with a brush!

Label Products Used

Label Products Used

IMG_1593

If I had the jars when I built the shelf, I would have made the width to fit the jars.  I have extra space, but I’ll fill in the spots with some accessories.  I do love seeing the different colors of the spices!  I think repurposing baby food jars would work excellently for a project like this.

IMG_1598

I created this rack for under $10, have chalkboard paint and paint pen to use for other projects, and used scrap wood that was going to the burn pile!
Spice Rack Collage

I hope you will try making your own shelf because this was a fun project!