Burlap + Arrows Canvas

This was an incredibly easy project – and a great way to finally make use of the giant canvas I had in my closet for over a year. I bought it during a sale at Michael’s, but had a hard time committing to how I wanted to use it. Every time I saw it in my closet, I felt its blank whiteness staring back at me and begging me to put it to use! So here is how I made this campy burlap arrow art that I showed you yesterday in my wintry, sorta valentine-sy vignette.

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I started by covering the canvas with a big piece of burlap (which I cut free handed to fit inside the canvas – I wanted the rustic look of the rough & uneven edges). I used both spray adhesive and mod podge to secure it to the canvas.

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I started by applying a heavy coat of mod podge to one edge of the burlap with a foam brush – from about an inch from the burlap edge to the end of the canvas.

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Then I rolled the burlap up and covered the canvas with spray adhesive, and then stretched the burlap back out, smoothing it with the palms of my hands. I then applied mod podge around the other three edges.

Once everything dried, I used a black sharpie to draw the design.

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I went over the design a couple times to make it nice and dark.

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I am seriously lacking in the art department – but since this only required drawing a bunch of straight lines, I felt like I could manage. It’s so simple and handmade looking… which I kind of love.

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Do you have any blank canvases sitting in your closet just waiting to be turned into art? Well get cracking – it’s a new year & a perfect time to create some new original art for your home! And let me know what you’ve created lately, I’d love to see!

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Burlap + Ribbon Tree Wall Hanging

Yup, you guessed it… more burlap!

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I made this wall hanging from my large assortment of Christmas ribbon. It took about 15 minutes to determine the layout, cut my ribbons, and hot glue them onto a rectangle of burlap.

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I only burnt myself twice on the hot glue gun, so I’ll go ahead and chalk this one up as an epic success.

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Our Christmas tree, as you can see, is burlap, gold + red, plus a whole assortment of woodland creatures. It’s rustic and glittery all at once, like this ribbon tree, and that makes my heart happy.

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I glued a strip of cardboard to the top of the burlap, and then glued on a piece of jute twine to hang the art. Easy as they come, folks – and if you’ve got a bunch of ribbon & burlap, like me, it will be completely free!

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I’m off to enjoy a weekend in NYC with the hubby – there will be lots of eating, drinking, window shopping, and jostling through crowds! I hope you have a great weekend, too!

Gnome Sweet Gnome

In my family, we have a bit of a gnome fetish “problem”. It’s not weird.

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I like gnomes because I enjoy pronouncing funny looking words the way they are spelled (silent letters? who needs them!) and so I amuse myself by calling those cute, bearded little men “GUH-nomes” and chuckling at my own defiance of the laws of language.

Anyway, Gnomes have a funny habit of mysteriously appearing around my family when least expected. They visit our homes, our gardens, and other strange & unusual places – including but not limited to our workplaces, cars & suitcases when traveling).

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A Gnome on my mother’s Valentine’s Day Mantle 

You may remember the little bearded guest photographed at my wedding:

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(Imagine my surprise  when I learned this wedding crasher had not hitched a ride to the nuptials with my usually-guilty-of-smuggling-gnomes mother, but with my usually-innocent father instead!)

We’re not completely defenseless against the gnome invasion, though. We’ve all read this useful survival guide:

JUL101295How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack from Amazon

Rest assured, no garden gnomes will be able to take us out now.

(I feel it is important to point out that *literally* while I was compiling pictures for this post a few days ago, I received an email from my mother with a link to this article on the inclusion of garden gnomes in the Chelsea Flower Show. The article is funny. The fact that my entire family is obsessed with gnomes seems funnier, though).

So, let’s get to the gnome-inspired DIY craft (if you’re still reading and haven’t run out to build defenses around your house from those viscous garden gnomes…)

I pinned this adorable embroidery project a while back, from Angela’s Crafts on Craftsy. Since I’m pretty sure I’ll never master embroidery, I opted for a different version that was a little more my speed.

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My “Gnome Sweet Gnome” stenciled painting is on an 8×8 artists canvas. I gave the entire canvas two coats of paint in Martha Stewart ‘Grey Wolf’ and let it dry for a few hours.

In the meantime, I created my gnome stencil. I pasted this image into a word doc & sized him up to the right proportions, then printed it out onto card stock.

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I used a black pen to trace the outline (and to define some of the fuzzy edges), then carefully cut out the inside of the image following the pen outline.

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I used white craft paint & a foam pouncer to stencil on my gnome image, being very careful to hold the edges of the makeshift stencil down to avoid any bleed through.

I stenciled the letters using Folk Art Letter Stencils (which were great since they were the peel & stick kind- no chance of shifting while painting!)

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I let the whole thing dry, and voila!

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 I am crazy in love with this little thing. I was seriously guffawing out loud to myself in the kitchen as I stenciled it – so the good news is that at least I crack myself up. The yellow gnome candle is from Target. There is a chance that he has a twin that mysteriously appeared in my mother’s living room some time after my last visit…

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Are you a fan of gnomes? Does your family have any odd obsessions or inside jokes that involve sneaking tiny bearded men into each other’s backyards, houses or weddings? Or is my family just crazy special?

Have a great Monday!

Gold Striped Candles

Here’s a quick little DIY craft I completed while enjoying a viewing of my all-time favorite Christmas movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol. I watch it two or three times every year, and it truly never gets old. I love me some Muppets.

Anyway, I already had these white taper candles & Martha Stewart’s Yellow Gold Metallic Finish craft paint on hand. (Same paint that I used on my stenciled photo books.)

I taped off stripes using masking tape, eyeballing the spaces – cause who’s perfect anyway?

I needed to apply several coats of paint to get a nice gold sheen.

I held my breath while taking off the tape- but it worked out!

I got a kick out of popping these dollar-store tapers into my beautiful new Mercury Glass Candlesticks from Pottery Barn (wedding gift- thanks Anthony, I know you’re reading! 🙂

How’s that for a quick Muppet-movie-watching craft? Talk about a double dose of happy! Now go watch the Muppet Christmas Carol, you’ll love it! 🙂

Pottery Barn Inspired Faux Mercury Glass Pumpkin

So Pottery Barn has these gorgeous antiqued mercury glass pumpkins available this fall, and I’m obsessed. This week, I experimented with DIYing my own faux mercury glass, thanks to Martha Stewart’s super easy technique using just water & Looking Glass Spray Paint. I also happened to spot this inexpensive glass pumpkin cookie jar on the “decor” shelves at my local CVS (who knew?)… and inspiration struck!

Yup- you guessed it- I spritzed & sprayed that piece up!

In case you missed yesterday’s post, this DIY is super easy. Just spritz the inside of your glass vase/pumpkin/whatever using a water spray bottle, then lightly coat the inside with Krylon Looking Glass Mirror Spray Paint, and dry upside down (using a baking rack or some ventilated-upside down-drying-method, like my rolled up magazine pages).

I still might go at this baby with some vinegar, which apparently can be used to rough-up that finish for a more authentic mercury glass look. But I set him up with some artificial pumpkins I got on sale at Michael’s, and am totally digging the first touches of fall decor in my home!

I won’t really be able to utilize the cookie-jar-ness of this pumpkin, because it is not safe to store food in one of these DIYed, spray-painted glass items. I certainly do not need any excuse to keep cookies in the house, though, so it’s all good!

Happy Friday, everyone!

DIY Faux Mercury Glass

Mercury Glass is everywhere these days! I’m obsessed with it – and ooh & ahh over beautiful vases like these from Pottery Barn and these from West Elm.

Thanks to Pinterest, I came across Martha Stewart’s very easy tutorial for DIYing your own faux mercury-glass-esque vases or candle holders.

The trickiest part about the process was finding the Krylon Looking Glass Mirror spray paint. My local Michael’s and Lowes’ did not have it, so I ended up ordering a can from Amazon for $10.58. Thanks to my Amazon Prime membership (which I don’t think I could live without!), I received the spray paint very quickly & with free shipping!

I want to improve my mercury-glass-DIYing technique, so I’ll need to collect some more glass bottles and vases to experiment on. My first attempt was pretty successful though, I think! I used an old glass vase and a small glass candle votive holder.

All you need to create your own Mercury Glass at home is the Krylon Looking Glass spray paint & a spray bottle of water. There are other techniques online that call for vinegar- I did not try this method yet, but probably will at some point!

You start by spritzing the inside of your glass with water. Be careful not to spray too much water, as the spray paint itself is also very liquid-y. (Technical terms here, people).

Make sure you follow the directions on your spray can & shake for a good two minutes or so, and use the paint in a well-ventilated area, or outside. Spray your mirror paint in very light coats on the inside of your glass. The water & paint will collide and begin to form a Mercury-Glassish, distressed looking finish.

 

Be careful not to use too much spray paint, as it will pool & run. You’ll need a wet paper towel on hand to catch any dripping paint & keep it from running onto the outside of the glass.

Once you’re finished spritzing and spraying, dry the glass upside down. I did not want to ruin my brand new (wedding shower!) baking racks with dripping spray paint, so I improvised. I rolled up & taped together some magazine pages to create an elevated drying surface for my glass.

I let my vase & candle holder dry overnight, and then I repeated the entire process again because I felt the paint finish was a bit too light. I’m very pleased with the end result- what do you think?

Both glass items were things I had on hand, and the paint cost just over $10- not bad!

This project was super easy, and fun!

I’m ready to start switching out for fall decor, and I know both of these will look great throughout the fall & holiday seasons!

You should totally try this- and let me know how it goes! I Mercury-Glassified something else this week too, which I’ll share tomorrow!

 

Medallions On My Wall

This project has been many months in the making. Have you ever found a great idea for a decorating/craft idea, excitedly jumped right into making it, only to have the entire project end up taking three times longer than anticipated? (Maybe I’ll ask my Dad, who started the process of finishing our unfinished basement about ten years ago. How’s that working out for you, Dad?)

This little job was meant to be a quick & easy solution to my problem of what-to-hang-over-the-living-room-couch, which has been a topic of great discussion over the past six months or so in our place. (And when I say discussion, I mean conversations between me and the dog, because FH stopped caring after my sixth or seventh idea in February).

But Emma is a really good listener. And occasionally she will tilt her head or give me a little wink, which I am certain means she totally gets what I’m saying, and is in complete agreement. “Yes mommy, I really do think you should go buy that gorgeous Planked Manhattan Sign from Pottery Barn. I’ll give up treats for one month, that should about cover the cost, right?”

Head tilt = listening intently.

But this post is not about wall art above my couch, because Emma and I simply have not come to an agreement yet. And because my latest idea did not quite pan out. Here’s the exciting story.

I saw, loved, and pinned this image from Better Homes & Gardens sometime this past winter.

Ceiling medallions were all the rage, apparently, as unique wall decor. I later read & was inspired by this post on I’m Busy Procrastinating, complete with a lot of great images and ideas for the use of Ceiling Medallions.

I was in love, so I immediately ran out to our Lowe’s in search of ceiling medallions. BH & G had described this decor option as an “inexpensive” alternative to pricier pieces of art, so I was sure this was going to be a home run.

Imagine my surprise when the most inexpensive of the medallions on the shelf was around $20. That was for a 16″ decorative plaster circle, while the larger & prettier ones ran to $50 or more!

I spent ten or more minutes standing in the ceiling medallion aisle, feeling confused & betrayed by my BH&G friends. I decided to grab three of the smaller medallions (for a total of $60) to see if I could make something work.

I spray painted my three 16″ medallions in two different shades of yellow (Krylon Bright Yellow & Sun Yellow).

After they dried, I glued 5″ craft mirrors to the backs.

I originally used my hot glue gun, but I did not feel confident that they would hold (and they pulled off with little trouble), so I broke out my Gorilla glue to be safe.

Then, my three yellow medallion mirrors sat in a corner in my living room for four months, while I tried to figure out what to do with them.

They were too small for above the couch, that was for certain. If I had a couple hundred dollars lying around, maybe I’d get some of the larger ones, and really make a statement. But if I really had a couple hundred dollars around, I’d buy the Manhattan Plank Sign from Pottery Barn and call. it. a. day.

So… now it is June, and I am in cleaning mode (look for some exciting posts about closet organization later this week) and I decided it was time to get my (now dusty) medallion art on a wall somewhere.

I chose a small portion of wall, right inside our front door, that was originally occupied by a beautiful piece of art painted by a close friend of ours. I relocated the painting to the bedroom, where it looks amazing, and hung my medallion mirrors.

(I used a hammer & nail to put small holes in the top on the back of each one, just large enough to hang over the nails in the wall.)

I am pleased with the end result, and glad that I did not over extend my finances to buy some giant medallions- because honestly, they look cool (and the mirrors are perfectly placed for a smile inspection on the way out the door), but this is probably not art that will last a lifetime in our home. For now, however, they are three more pieces of cheery yellow sunshine in our happy living room!

What projects have you started, that completely changed as you went along? Do you have anything unfinished that is collecting dust in a corner somewhere? Get on it- and tell me all about it!