Move Out, March!

I don’t know about you, but March flew by for me! It was super busy, and about 15 degrees colder, on average, than I’d have wished, but now we are moving into April – my faaavorite month! But before I dive happily into the next four weeks of springtime, here are some of the highlights from March:

DIY State Love Art – I paid homage to my current home state of NJ, and particularly to the town where the hubs & I tied the knot (almost six months ago!) with an easy, use-the-materials-you-have-lying-around-the-house kind of project.

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Stylish StorageI showed off the craft storage cabinet my sweetie gave me for V-Day (move over, roses, there’s a new Valentine’s Gift Hit in town!). I’m still loving this thing – and my husband loves that my ribbons & paper scraps are now hidden from view. (When I remember to put them away, that is…)

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Pinteresting StatisticsI reviewed my ‘top pinned’ DIY projects, and invited you to follow along with me on Pinterest.

Local LoveI gushed about my love for our favorite weekend shopping trip – The Farmhouse Store – a place where you can find amazing furniture, beautiful jewelery and hand crafted items, and pillows with farm animals on them. What more could you want, I wonder?

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Burlap Bunting We welcomed the first day of Spring with some burlap & felt bunting – a sweet & simple DIY!

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Egg Happy I embraced the season & scattered eggs in all varieties around our home – including this little egg & mossy nest display:

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and then I decorated a few paper mache eggs – using baker’s twine and a fancy paint-speckling technique. (Just kidding, nothing fancy about it – but I felt so artistic in the process!)

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Baa Baa Pom-Pom SheepAnd in my favorite craft-scapade of the month, I made a little family of yarn pom-pom sheep which just ooze country cuteness! They’re not Easter specific – you can make them any time!

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Oh, and the hubs & I are sofa-shopping – any advice?

Thanks for reading, commenting, and being a part of this lovely ride! Here’s to a wonderful April! xo.

 

 

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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!

DIY Key Holder

I can never find my keys. Every morning I embark on the same quest. My keys like to hang out in coat pockets, the bottom of my purse, the dining room table, my dresser, my makeup bag… (don’t ask). While re-arranging my second-floor stair & entryway, I knew I wanted to add a key holder, and was pretty sure I could make one myself.

After a day and a half of trial and error, I ended up with an entryway plaque (which was originally meant to be the key holder), and a successful, second attempt, new home for our keys.

1) The plaque originally meant to serve as key holder

I started with an unfinished wood plaque from Michael’s.

Since the color scheme of our entryway is currently dictated by the wallpaper, I stuck with a neutral palate & painted this little guy brown (Paint- Folk Art Coffee Bean). Underneath the plaque is a box of thank you cards- serving to keep the plaque off the table & allow me to paint the edges.

 

At the same time, I coated these cute little wooden letters in Martha Stewart’s Putty paint.

I gave both the plaque & the letters a good 3 coats (probably should have used a primer paint, first, but they turned out fine). I worked from paint squeezed into the bottom of a water bottle~ cause I’m thrifty!

After everything dried (I painted these last night, and waited until this morning to assemble), I used wood glue to attach my letters to the plaque. The original plan was to insert little hooks into the bottom of the plaque to create a key holder. I did this, and then while playing around with placement in the hallway, I realized it just wasn’t going to work in the space I had imagined. So I removed the hooks, filled in the holes w/ putty, sanded & painted over my goof-up.

After waiting for everything to dry again, I glued on two pretty felt flowers (also from Michael’s) and hung my key-holder-turned-plaque above the door to our apartment!

 

2) Key Holder {Second Attempt}

Inspired by this idea found on Pinterest, I decided my key holder, take two, would have to be made from a picture frame, as it would become a part of my new picture-wall-endeavor in the stairway.

I already had a picture frame that I knew would work, so I headed back to Michael’s (p.s. Michael’s rewards program rocks, plus you get a discount if you are a teacher!)

I needed some pretty scrap book paper for my new plan, and I found the perfect vintage key design paper. I only needed one sheet, so this second-attempt-key-holder would cost me a total of $0.13! (Not that this is all I bought at Michael’s, but this was the cost of this particular project. 🙂

Back at home, I headed to one of my favorite wedding sites, Wedding Chicks, and took advantage of their free, printable monogram designs that I gushed about in this post, to create this lovely letter C:

I printed out my free monogram design onto kraft paper.

Quick & easy- I secured my cut-to-size pieces of scrap book paper & my monogram to the picture frame mat, & then screwed my little key hooks right into the bottom of the frame. (I have a little kit of nails/picture hangers/etc that included these little brass hooks that easily screw into wood/walls/etc. I saw similar hooks at Wal Mart).

Viola! My Key Holder, Take Two!

 

Here’s a sneak peak of this DIY key holder’s place on my in-progress-picture-wall as part of my entryway makeover!

 

 

It’s been a crafty St. Patrick’s day around here… how about you?