Monday, July 17, 2017

Painting Furniture Hardware

I paint a lot of furniture.  Most times I change out the hardware.  But sometimes I like to paint them to match the piece.  I've come up with a way to get those knobs and pulls painted up quick and easy.  And today I'm going to share my technique with all of you! 
The only supply (other than paint) needed is a styrofoam meat tray.  I use these mainly for disposable paint palettes but they work perfectly for painting hardware too.  (Styrofoam plates would also work, but I like to recycle)  Simply press your hardware through the tray.  An impression in the styrofoam shows you exactly were to press the screws through. 
On the underside, I tape the screw heads so that the hardware doesn't move while painting. 
I take the tray outside and hold the tray to easily spray on a primer coat.  I will do the top of the hardware first, then tip the tray over to get both sides of any handles, which are hanging straight down.
I add bulldog clips to the sides of the tray, run a dowel through the handles and prop up on stacked paint tubs.  This allows the handles of the pulls to continue to hang straight down, drying both sides at the same time.  Once the primer is dry, I continue to use the tray to hold the hardware while I paint and wax or varnish, continuing to hang upside down until the final coat is dry. 
I keep them attached to the tray until I'm ready to put them back on the furniture.   This keeps all my screws/pieces in one place!  To see what piece of furniture these knobs/pulls ended up on, follow me on Facebook!

Monday, July 10, 2017

Father's Day Card

Last week  I featured belated Mother's Day cards so it's only fitting that this week I showcase a belated Father's Day card! 
This one could also be easily adapted to a Birthday card by replacing the large "D" with a "B".
I used several scrap pieces of Tim Holtz paper, for a nice grungy look on the kraft card stock base. Deckle scissors created an uneven bottom to my main piece.  Texture was added with a scrap of burlap, brown & white twine and three metal brads.  The large letter "D" also came from Tim Holtz (sticker pack).  I matted it using several coordinating shades of plain cardstock.  The small "A" and "D" letters were kraft stickers that I matted and added.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Mother's Day Cards

I know that we're a bit late for Mother's Day, but the basic design of each of these cards would work perfectly for any occasion.  I worked "backwards" on each of these, starting with the embellishment I wanted to use first and then building the card to compliment that.  
The bird/flower and the butterflies came from K & Company.  Beautiful and sparkly too!
As always, I used scrap paper to create each card, using kraft paper for the card base.  I used a Sizzix die to cut the yellow dotted paper, distressing all around the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink.  I hand cut and stamped the little banner piece.  Easy peasy and so pretty! 
 The butterflies are dimensional and feature wire antenna.  I created the "MOM" using white sticker letters that I applied to and punched out from brown card stock.  The brown ribbon is shot through with gold.  So feminine and super easy to create!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Painted Furniture

One of my favorite things to do is to take an old, ugly piece of sturdy furniture and give it new life with paint and embellishments.  This post features several of my recent up-cycled pieces!
First up is this "Pretty in Pink" night stand.  I used Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint (Everlasting and Innocence) to turn the boring brown stand into a cottage style beauty.  I striped the back wall of the lower shelf and added a vintage rose floral graphic (from The Graphics Fairy) to the drawer.
Inside the drawer, I added decorative paper to the bottom and sealed it with a matte polycrylic varnish.  I used the same varnish on the rest of the piece.
Here's a picture of what it looked like prior to it's chalky makeover:
 Another re-FAB-ed piece is this awesome vintage dresser.  This piece took many coats of chalk paint to get it's wonderful shabby appearance.  The first two coats was Americana Decor Chalky Finish in Carbon  The drawers then received several coats of Yesteryear and were distressed so that some of the black showed through.  The dresser case was painted with two coats of Everlasting and then distressed.  Finally, the piece received several coats of matte clear wax.  
 Here's what the poor thing looked like before it's makeover... 

 Next up is this Art Deco waterfall vanity.  I had to repair the top before I painted the case in Americana Decor Chalky Finish paint (Timeless).  The drawers were painted blue (Serene) with Timeless accents.  I added a coat of clear wax and then distressed the entire piece using Golden Brown Creme Wax.  The mirror was painted Serene and finished the same way as the vanity. 
 This vanity was begging to be beautiful! 
 Lastly is this sweet ladder back chair.  I bought it at a garage sale already painted (mostly) in the navy blue.  I had the same color in my stash and fixed the paint job.  Then I designed and cut out the stencil of the branches and bird and painted them in white.  
I sand distressed the chair and sealed with poly to protect it. 
If you are interested in purchasing my hand painted furniture, please go to my Facebook Page to see what's available and get price and size information.  Click on "Photos" in left margin.  Then "Albums".   I also recommend liking the Furniture Markets I belong to as well.  These Facebook groups have amazing works of furniture art available for purchase.  And yes, we ship!
Big News!
I've been named a "Helping Artist" with DecoArt.  I use their chalk paint almost exclusively in my furniture make overs.  I also highly recommend many of their other products (acrylic paint, enamel paint, etc).  Be sure to check out their website for lots of painting tips, free patterns and more!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Project: Canvas Signs

What's hot in home decorating?  Farmhouse Style!
Why not use some of the awesome vintage farm animal images available online to put together some farm style artwork?  It's quick and easy when you use printable canvas.  

Here's how I made these sweet little signs:
  Find some vintage images you like.  I found many of mine over at The Graphics Fairy.
Use software such as PhotoShop Elements to make your images the size you want.
Use a sheet of Silhouette Printable Canvas and print out your graphics onto it using a laser printer. 
Cut out the printed images to the size desired.  I had a pile of small wood pieces that I used to make my signs.  I cut my canvas down to fit those.  Next, color your images.  I used several methods and the two that I liked best were using watercolor pencils and acrylic paint.
Once the image was dry after coloring, I peeled off the backing and applied the canvas to the wood piece.  If I had any over lapping canvas, I used a craft knife to trim it away from the wood.   
I finished off the signs by drilling holes and adding wire for hanging. 
On some of the signs I stamped on wording. 

Monday, May 15, 2017

Let's Get Organized--Part 3

In the last of my "Let's Get Organized" series, I'm going to show you how I store my papers, embellishments and ribbon.  Shown above is my 12 x 12 paper storage system, which I bought years ago from Sam's Club.  I sort by color.  Decorative papers are on the top in each drawer, solids below.  Above the cart I have plastic containers for specialty papers (Christmas, Halloween, etc).  I'll also admit that I have about 15 pads of paper simply stored on top of rolling carts.  In addition, I have an accordion folder full of coordinating papers.  These came that way so I left them!  
 Small 6 x 6 pads are stored in a fabric shoe bin.  My 8.5 x 11 paper is stored in plastic containers, except for white, black and kraft.  Those are in an office stacking letter tray, right on top of the counter and ready to use.  You'll notice that I use my label maker on everything.   
I also have a system for storing my scraps, which I've written about before.  You can see it Here.
 Right in front of my paper work station is this wonderful round embellishment holder.  My sister bought this for me as a gift and I filled it right up.  She got it from Hobby Lobby and I was able to buy additional clips.  I organize by theme, holiday and letters/numbers.
I also store tags, eyelets, and other embellishments in plastic  trays in a middle cabinet drawer.  They are sorted and stored all together for easy access.
This side of the studio has a lot going on!  Dominating the wall is my ribbon holder.  I made this myself, using four laminated shelving pieces.  I screwed them into a box and hung on the wall.  Tension curtain rods hold a majority of my ribbon.  I really should make another one but I've since hung a lot more stuff on the wall, so there's no more room!  The rest of my ribbon is stored below in plastic shoe bins.  The covered bin on the bottom shelf of my ribbon holder holds all my scrap pieces.  I never waste a piece of ribbon!  lol.  Below the holder are stacking washi tape holders that I got from Michaels.  I love that each row has a strip of metal "teeth" that help you tear the tape.  To the right of that are my Stickles holders...made for me by by Dad.  These store the glitter glue upside down so that they are always ready to use.
I hope you've enjoyed the "highlights" of my studio storage solutions.  I'm always looking to organize better as I firmly believe that it makes creating so much easier and stress free.
Here's a couple of photos of my studio...
You'll notice that I like bright colors on my walls and bulldogs for my decorations!

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Let's Get Organized--Part 2

Ready to organize your rolls of vinyl and/or stamps? 
Here's how I keep those supplies organized and easy to find in my studio.  
Maybe you will find this info useful for your own crafty organization!
In the photo above, you'll see my hanging system for storing vinyl.  I bought the clothes bar from Ikea.  To the left I have the mats hanging up with clip style hangers.  The vinyl is stored on Swing Arm Pants Hangers.  I store by color and type. 
Below the hanging vinyl I have a wine storage rack that holds specialty vinyl. 
Next is stamp storage.  I've tried several systems with my wood block stamps and finally settled on breaking up all the Stampin' Up sets and storing them by themes...all the Christmas in one plastic box, all the Easter in another, etc.  I bought a large plastic silverware/utensil holder to store all my sentiment stamps.  I can put everything, including stamp blocks, in a bottom drawer in the studio. 
On the counter above the wooden stamp storage, I have these plastic drawer systems holding all of my clear stamps.  Stamps are again sorted by type:  alphas, birthday, Christmas, etc.  Because clear stamps have a habit of falling off (and getting lost), I like being able to pull the drawer out and take it to my work station.   If a stamp does fall off of it's plastic, I can find it in the drawer.
Here's a tip for keeping clear stamps sticky:  mix up one part of Aleene's Tack-It Over & Over  with one part water.  Brush on the back of your stamp and let dry.  Perfect adhesion!!  
I mix up a small batch and store it in a little plastic container.  Can you find it in the picture above?
I hope these tips on organization helped make your crafting a bit less messy!
Next week we'll finish up with some organizational hints for your paper, ribbon and embellishments.