Tag: shabby chic

DIY Craft Project: Dining Room Table Repaint

I have always wanted a bench, farmhouse style table, and years back I got my wish. My Uncle’s Mom had one they needed to find a new home for while prepping their house to sell. I immediately jumped on it, and brought it home to complete our dining room. Although the finish was darker than what I planned, it worked well in our small, and very bright dining room. However, once little man Cooper came in the picture, things began to change.

As Cooper hit his milestones, smiling, laughing, sitting up, crawling, and walking, our house felt smaller and smaller. His toys began taking over our small living room and I began brainstorming some alternatives. I eventually decided it was time to say goodbye to our sweet dining room. We rarely ate in there, only when we entertained guests, and it wasn’t the best use of the space. It has since been transformed into Cooper’s playroom. It was the perfect solution. It’s situated right off our living room, and we can easily gate the doorway, to keep him in and dogs out. It was tight as a dining room, it was converted form a porch to a room years before we purchased the house, but it’s the perfect size for an almost two year old and his things.

The loss of the dining room meant I had to move around and store some of my beloved furniture. If you read my blog, you know I collect pieces of furniture like people collect jewelry. Each piece is special, important, and carefully selected. My beautiful, white, round kitchen table is now living in our attic. Hopefully that is a temporary spot, once I have a studio space or larger kitchen it will come back out to the light of day. Our farmhouse table was moved to take the spot my kitchen table used to occupy. I decided this was the better choice, since this offered more seating. The dining table is slightly large for the space, it must be pulled out if we ever have enough people to seat around it. But, it gives us a place to entertain and eventually have family dinners.

The dark wood that once worked in the dining room suddenly felt very outdated and heavy in our little kitchen nook. I decided I needed to take a risk and try painting it, shockingly something I have never done on a larger piece of furniture. I did some research, collected my supplies, and got to work.

SUPPLIES:

  • Furniture to refinish
  • Heavy duty cleaner like Trisodium Phosphate (or decent cleaner)
  • Chalk paint, for this size project I used 2 quarts of paint.
  • Paint brushes
  • Rollers
  • Paint tray
  • A lot of paper towels or rags
  • Drop cloth
  • Sandpaper

HOW TO:

Step one: I live with hairy animals, so I knew this was a project that couldn’t be completed in my house. I moved the table and benches down to our garage. I laid out a big drop cloth, set everything on top and got to work cleaning.

Step two: Thoroughly clean the furniture. I recently refinished my kitchen cabinets and used the cleaner, Trisodium Phosphate. It’s a harsh chemical that is not environmentally friendly or health friendly, but it does the trick. I decided it’s better to use it for these types of projects since I am doing it on such a small scale and so infrequently. I didn’t use it for my table, and I wish I had. Instead I used my standard cleaners and did my best cleaning the dust, etc. It worked well enough, but there are spots I think the paint would have stuck better if I was more thorough at this stage.

Step three: Start painting! With chalkboard paint there is no sanding or stripping required, which is why I chose to go that route. Paint a solid coat, let it dry for 24 hours, and add coat number two. This project took awhile because I was covering such a dark piece it took 3 coats of paint. I also had to rotate the piece so I could get underneath and between all the decorative sections.

Step four: Once you have the coverage and look you want, you are done! Move it back into the space and enjoy. For this, my step four was adding a clear coat. I wanted a smoother, slicker finish, which the chalkboard paint doesn’t offer. However, the clear coat I used ended up turning a yellowish color so I do not recommend doing this.

Optional step five: I opted to go back in with sandpaper to rough up some of the edges. I didn’t go crazy with sanding, since the wood beneath is so dark I was worried it would compete with the white if I let too much show through. I hit the edges in a few spots with the sandpaper, just enough to show a little dark through the white paint. I also had to sand down the many drips I ended up with.

I am very happy with my finished product. The fact that the table really is too large for the space is downplayed now that the table is a lighter color. I also love the way my beautiful, blue Crate and Barrel chairs look with the white finish. Please excuse the missing chair, it also has to serve the purpose of high chair holder for Cooper when we don’t have guests over, and I didn’t even realize it wasn’t there for my final picture.

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog! Help me spread the word about crafting, DIY, art making, etc. by sharing on your social media site of choice. Thanks for stopping by!


 

Crafty Projects: Personalized Garden Markers

Basil Plant Marker

As I was digging through the dirt, planting my annual vegetable garden, I had an epiphany.

The plastic, difficult to read, identifiers that come with my plants always disappear from my plants’ sides almost immediately. I needed a more permanent and artsy solution to marking the many veggies and herbs in my garden. I suddenly remembered flipping through page after page on Etsy, trying to find the perfect garden markers last season, to no avail.

I decided it was time to take matters into my own hands, and make my own.

I bought a new bag of beautiful, white clay, and ran a chunk through my slab roller in my classroom. I considered the size and shape I wanted, and cut a template out of a manila folder. I didn’t want the design to be overwhelming, I wanted the them to be clean and simple. The final size was approximately 1″ wide and 6″ long, with a pointed tip to easily guide the plant identifier into the ground.

As soon as I had my slab rolled out I got to work, mindlessly tracing the template, setting it aside, and cutting out the next one. Once I had a nice stack, I began stamping the letters into the damp clay. I decided just having the plant name was too simple. I brainstormed what I could pair with the name, urban farm, veggie garden, or even better, the scientific name of each plant.

Plant Markers

I love the long, complex names. Vowels and consonants come together in ways I never thought possible. Words spread before me that I could never hope to be able to pronounce. These complex titles were an almost comedic addition to the simpler, layman’s words, such as basil, tomato, and peas.

After stamping stake after stake, I carefully carried the stack into my kiln room to dry out. Once they were bone dry I painted the fronts with dark brown underglaze, and wiped it off. The glaze settled into the low areas of the stamped letters, and the sponge wiped away all traces of the glaze around the words.

After they were fired the veggie stakes were a clean, bright white, with a nice contrast against the dark letters. I eagerly piled my finished products into a box, and hauled them home. As soon as I walked in my door, I continued straight out the back door, and to my garden.

Plant Garden Stakes

I was very pleased to see how easily they slid into the dirt, and how well they stood on their own. I love the bright white against the brown dirt and green plants. The stakes themselves are a matte finish, which means over time they will absorb some natural color. I already love the green stripe that appeared on my basil marker. I can’t wait to see how they transform in the coming years.

Urban Farm Sign

I recently added these garden markers to my Etsy shop, Sweet Celadon. A 1-2 week waiting period is needed to make them. However, if you live in the Atlanta area you can pick them upanytime at the amazing shop, Crafted Westside.

Plant Marker

Thanks for taking the time to check out my newest project and follow my blog! Help me spread the word about my blog by sharing with others. Subscribe below or share on the social networking site of your choice! Thanks for stopping by.


 

Etsy Shop of the Month: Eilquinn Personalized Tote Giveaway (closed)

Tote Full ViewA few weeks ago I found myself beginning yet another school year and my fifth year teaching. I couldn’t believe summer was already over and another first day of school was upon me. As with past years before heading back to school I went on a mini shopping spree. In order to properly start a new school year I believe you really need a few new outfits, pairs of shoes, and other necessary accessories. It’s nice to start the year fresh and new.

For the past year I have been searching for the perfect school tote. My search began this time last year, but I never found something I absolutely had to have. After many fruitless searches I put of the purchase, and put it off, which caused a very unorganized school year. After months of carrying everything I needed loose in my arms day in and day out of school I made it my mission to find the perfect bag before I went back to school.

Which brings me to the lovely Etsy shop, Eilquinn. During one of deep Etsy tote bag searches I was getting tired of scanning page after page until something caught my attention, made my eyes stop, and my mouse click for a better view. Before I knew it I had favorited three of her bags and looked at every single thing in her shop. The only question that came to mind after my shop visit was how hadn’t I discovered her earlier?

I e-mailed Eileen, owner of Eilquinn and tote bag creator, right away and began setting up my custom order. I went back and forth about color, style, whether to add a doilie or not. I took every tiny custom option into account, after all this was a decision a year in the making. Through the entire process Eileen was so helpful. She sent me pictures of how the different options would look and quickly answered my many, many e-mails.

Finally I decided on a design, letter color, burlap color, and to add a doilie; but I still had no idea which lace color to pick. After going back and forth I finally sent her my order and payment with three lace colors I wanted her to pick from. I was over decision making and figured she would have the most informed opinion. I eagerly awaited my bag and when it came I was over the moon. Eileen selected a lovely yellow, which was perfect. In the back of my mind this was what I wanted, but was worried the yellow would be too bright, some how Eileen must have known all of this and made it exactly right.

Eilquinn Tote Details

I use my tote every single day, filling it with heavy books, my laptop, and my change of clothes for daily softball practice. It has held up beautifully and I don’t remember my unorganized life pre-tote bag. One of my favorite parts of this process is Eileen has agreed to giveaway one of these amazing, personalized totes to one of my readers! See details below to enter…

Eilquinn Tote Bottom and Interior

To enter to win one of these beautiful totes all you have to do is “like” Eileen’s shop, Eilquinn. Comment below with the name you liked Eilquinn under and which tote you would want to take home! You may also earn extra entries by sharing this giveaway on facebook or twitter and “liking” my Etsy shop here. To earn a second entry comment with a link to your facebook share or tweet. To earn you third entry comment below with the name you liked my shop under. Good luck to everyone, the contest will close next Thursday 9/12 at midnight and the winner will be notified by Friday. The winner will be randomly selected from the comments using the plugin, And the Winner Is…

Thanks for taking the time to check out my blog and entering my giveaway! Help me spread the word my sharing, liking, tweeting, commenting, and e-mailing to others! I can’t do it without you. Thanks for stopping by!


 

Crafty Project: Jewelry Holder

I recently got fed up with the wad of jewelry I store in my closet. I kept losing things, necklaces got tangled, and my earring pairs separated. Finally I decided it was time to make a jewelry holder. After some brainstorming I decided to take two pre-made frames, one homemade frame, and convert them into jewelry holders.

To make the larger frame I used bead board bought from Home Depot. I had my lovely husband cut the ends to 45 degree angles so I could glue and staple them into a frame. I put wood glue between the joints and clamped them until they were dry. I then took a staple gun and stapled the joints. For additional support I used the small pieces Nick cut off of the bead board and glued and stapled them on top of the joints. Once the frame was prepped I spray painted and sanded it to give it a shabby chic look.

After I had all of my frames ready I glued lace to the back of the frame, so it would show through the opening. The lace made it more interesting and gave a place for clip back earring to hang. After the lace I stapled wire mesh, also purchased at Home Depot, to the back. I then hot glued burlap behind the mesh. I hot glued ribbon around the edge to finish it off. To create the hooks to hang the necklaces on I took wire and bent it with pliers. After was all said and done I added wire to the back of the frame so I can hang it on my wall! This was a relatively simple project to fix a very annoying problem!