Thursday, January 31, 2013

Chicken Wire Memo Board

I purchased a box of frames at an auction for $3 last summer and, imagine my surprise, when I found this gorgeous little beauty in there! This frame was originally all gold (and quite ugly). But just look at some of the details on this thing...

I started off on this project by painting the gorgeous details with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ in Graphite. I then added some home-made aqua chalk paint (a leftover accent color from Eric's bathroom makeover). I dry brushed the aqua and didn't try to cover the details very well. This technique works much like a dark wax over the paint... all the architectural gorgeousness of this frame just pops right out with the Graphite underneath the aqua. But I did put a heavier coat on the straight lines of the frame to cover the original color. 

I had Eric staple some chicken wire on the back. And this was not without incident!! No one got injured (except my frame), but I thought I might have to shoot Eric. Okay. That's a bit strong. Maybe I just considered punching him. lol. Despite my warnings to the contrary, he actually stapled right through this wonderful frame! In his defense, however, it was on the side, not in the details, and he did fix the problem with some handy-dandy wood filler. Thank goodness he didn't staple through any critical areas! Who knows what might have happened... :)

Once that was done, it was just a matter of adding some clothespins for a vintage memo board! No more ugly, just plenty of gorgeousness! 

Anything Blue Friday at The Dedicated House

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Love Was Made for You and Me

A Simple DIY Project from 2x4 Scraps

I just love using 2x4 pieces to make cute, easy decor. Maybe it's because we always seem to have scraps laying around. I mean, if you're going to reuse and repurpose as the basis for your business, why waste perfectly good wood scraps? :)

Before Christmas, we made the cutest little Pinterest-inspired snowmen out of 2x4 scraps. So, when I started working on some Valentine projects, I thought why not do something similar. 

This is what I came up with...

The hardest part of this project is getting the wood cut to the size you need. (I don't have a saw, so that's why this step is so difficult for me. lol) Thankfully, Eric can do this for me; unfortunately, he can't always do it as quickly as I'd like. Or, better put, I can't always get the cut pieces from him as soon as I'd like. Being in 2 different towns can often be a bit of a challenge. And I'm not really great with the patience thing sometimes. I mean, when I have a good idea in my head, especially one that I know is not going to take me long to put together, I just want to get it done so I can see the finished product! I'm not so good at waiting. :)

But, once the cut pieces were in my hot little hands, all I needed to do was first paint the base coat. I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ for the white blocks but didn't have enough Primer Red for the bottom. So for that I just used plain old acrylic paint in red. I let it dry, which doesn't take long on a bare piece of wood. I purposefully didn't put a thick coat on because I wanted these to be a little rustic.  

Next I applied my stencil. There are many options for getting the lettering on, but I prefer this method because I can cut any stencil I need out of vinyl. I applied a coat of paint in the reverse colors of the blocks and let it dry. I then put a thin coat of dark stain over the red because I thought it would richen up the color I had used. Really glad I did that last step because I love how that turned out. :)

The only thing left was to glue to the letter pieces onto the bottom block. I used Elmer's Wood Glue and clamps and let it sit over night.

And there you have it! Another quick Valentine project that you can customize however you'd like. :)

I'm sharing this fun craft at... 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Salvaged Cabinet Door Chalkboard

I found this great old cabinet door at an antique show that I happened to have the good fortune of driving by one day. It was a great show at the Lake Odessa Fairgrounds. Tons of vendors and awesome stuff. But I picked this up from a young kid who salvages items and resells them as he is putting himself through college. He had some great architectural pieces!

Just check out the rusty old hardware on this thing...

And this great weathering too!

It was easy to create a chalkboard for this piece. It already had the groove to slide a board into so all I needed to do was use some chalkboard paint and slide it right in there! Easy as pie and perfectly awesome. I'm sure it's looking fantastic on its new owner's wall. :)

By the way, check out this piece that I also bought from the same kid. All I did was paint some crackly teal on it and add a hook. Some pieces are just so full of vintage charm that they don't need much work at all! 

A Quick, Rustic Valentine Project

This cute little project was made with recycled pallet wood, some stain, paint and a handy-dandy stencil. I love stencils! So glad I have access to make them out of my own artwork to use on whatever my little heart desires! :) 

Eric had originally cut the base as a shelf project. But the more I looked at it, the more I thought it would be cool as a decoration to sit on a shelf, instead of the other way around. So I asked him to make me some wood blocks. I absolutely love the wood he chose for those, by the way. It really has some character to it! :)

I stained the wood, cut a stencil and painted the blocks in my favorite color... teal blue. Any shade of it will do. I so, so, so love it! I then gave the back a little wash of it, too. 

And there you have it. Easy-peasy and so rustic. I only wish I had a mantle to put these little projects on! Oh well... maybe one day!

I'm sharing this post at The Gunny Sack, The Rustic Pig and Thrifty Decor Chick, Ginger Snap Crafts, 4 You With Love, The DIY Dreamer and Southern Lovely. :)

TDC Before and After

The DIY Dreamer
White Lights on Wednesdays
Rooted In Thyme

Liz Marie Blog

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sometimes I Hear Voices... :)

I thought I'd share an older project with you today. I've never posted about it and it's one of my absolute favorite things that we've made. We sold this on our Etsy store awhile back so it's beautifying someone else's dwelling now. Truth be told, I was sad when it had to go. I would gladly have kept this little beauty that was made completely out of repurposed materials. 

You may know already, but I work for a sign company. When Eric and I started On A Whim , I scrounged around the shop and outside to find any junk that I could use for our projects. Believe me, there was plenty to pick from. I single-handedly cleaned up a big portion of the yard out back of our shop! :)

I came across these 3 metal pieces. All three were out by the trash dumpster and one was half buried under the ground. But I just knew, the minute I looked at them, that they were destined for greatness. In fact, they kind of spoke to me. Not in the literal sense. I'm not that crazy after all. (And non of my friends are allowed to comment here to dispute that fact! lol) But these 3 pieces of discarded metal junk really and truly wanted to be drawers. They told me so! :)

So I brought them home and explained to Eric what they wanted to be. He built the cabinet for them out of repurposed pallet wood. He then buffed them so they were a little shiny and had even more character. I had picked out some drawer pulls that he attached. I stained the cabinet with my very favorite, super-dark gel stain that's I'm-not-sure-how-old, and voila! That trash I had rescued was given new life.  

I do believe this was the very first project in which I told Eric that a piece of material had told me that it wanted to be something specific. Most likely, he thought I was off my gourd. But, he listened to me and created this little beauty. (And he didn't up and leave me because I was nuts either! lol.) Since then, I've told him similar things. He just smiles and says I'm cute. I think this is secretly his way of calling me special! ha ha! Either way, he always ends up liking the end product, so he doesn't question what I ask him to do. Who knows... one of these days he might hear an object talking to him too! Then we'll be even more perfect for each other! :)

Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
Too Much Time On My Hands

Monday, January 21, 2013

Heavy Metal Love

I wanted to share with you one of my very favorite projects. For this past Christmas, I decided to try my hand at some metal stamping. I borrowed the stamps. I picked up a couple of washers and machine keys of some sort. (I think that's what they were called anyway! I'm not really very proficient in hardware lingo. I try  to leave the actual building portion of our business to Eric!) I had planned on stamping something and maybe making a keychain or a little trinket for Eric as a Christmas present. But, the truth is, I wasn't altogether sure yet just what I was going to do. 

So, I brought everything home and kept staring at it, contemplating what exactly I was going to make out of this miscellaneous stuff I had purchased. With the way I had sat them on the table, it occurred to me that the 2 machine keys I had bought looked like an L when put together and the washer, of course, was an O. And then the idea came to me... to spell out the word love with various metal pieces and make a sculpture of some sort.

I had to go back to the hardware store, of course, and spend about 30 minutes just pulling out drawers and perusing the various pieces they had available. But I managed to find 3 more pieces to use as the V and E. Sort of, anyway. The E was going to take just a little bit of work... But, at least I had what I needed. 

Next I got on the phone/email/facebook and asked a few people about soldering the pieces together. Turns out, you can't solder different metals together. Okay. What do I know anyway? :) I was told to try an epoxy. So I went out and bought me some JB Weld. And I got a friend to cut the D-Ring so it would look like an E.   Now I was in business...

I finally got the stamps out and began with that task. Easier said than done! I messed up one of the letters, (but managed to hide it under my V, so it was all good). This was a Christmas present and not a product I was going to sell, so I wasn't overly worried about that oopsy. Another of my letters got all crooked and goofy but, like I said, I knew Eric wasn't going to be overly critical so I let it stand. I painted the stainless steel hinge-thingy I had bought for the V with some Annie Sloan Chalk Paint™ so that it wouldn't be quite so shiny. Then I got out my rusty old base, mixed some epoxy together, and started adhering metal. It worked like a charm! And I love the way it turned out. I think Eric does too, which is what really counts after all! :)

Hope you enjoyed reading about my little metal masterpiece. By the way, I'm calling this project Heavy Metal Love in honor of it's recipient, Eric, and his love for heavy metal music. Just seemed appropriate! :)

Beyond The Picket Fence
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
An Oldie But a Goodie Party at Cutesy Crafts

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Love Is Sweet and All That Jazz!

Wow. It has been ages since I've been able to sit down and write! With the holidays and year-end tax stuff and some other things I've been doing, I've been slightly preoccupied! So today I thought I had better make some time to write a quick post. I'll tell you right now, I picked a bad day for it! Too many things going on today for this. But, sometimes you have to just charge forward and get it done or it will never, ever get done! :)

I've been listing a few items on our etsy store, so I have Valentine's decor on the brain! Today I'm just going to share with you a few new luuuve signs.

It's amazing what a thrift store frame, some canvas and some paint can do!

Or some burlap and a few simple words...

You can even add a few scrap pieces of plastic into the mix and some string... :)

Hope you like some of our new products. Have a happy Wednesday! Now, I'm back to more painting! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thrift Store Cheese Grater as Recipe Holder

You just never know what you might use to create something cute and, in this case, completely useful! This old and slightly beat-up thrift store find just needed a coat of paint and a clothespin to make it a functional piece again! This is a super-easy project!

I sat on this for awhile after I bought it. But, when it finally occurred to me what I was going to do with it, I just new I needed to paint it red. I just so happen to love red in the kitchen. :)

I added the clothespin and a little bit of twine for good measure and gave it a try. It works just great for most recipe sizes. And not only is this functional... it's also very decorative sitting on your counter when not in use (especially if you have a red kitchen! lol). But if your kitchen's not red, like mine, I suppose you could always paint it a different color! ;)

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