Monday, March 28, 2011

Your Before and After

Here's a Before and After of a napkin/mail holder that I posted about on my blog not too long ago. I asked readers to tell me what to do with it and received a lot of great ideas. Here's the one I used...

I painted it a light blue/turquoise color, then a light coat of white and distressed it. I really like how it turned out! What do you think?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Quick Home Improvement Project

I love wood...possibly something to do with being born and raised in Oregon. So a few years back when it was time to buy a new front door for our home, I had to have a wooden door - unfinished! My husband liked metal for the security, but I wanted wood. The sales people recommend painting it, but I like the wood so I insisted on staining and sealing it for beauty of it. They insisted it would be a lot of work to maintain, but they don't know me. I love painting which is basically what staining is, but with a slightly different medium. You do have to keep up with re-staining and sealing and sometimes sanding it, but to me it's worth it!

Upon returning from vacation the other day, our front door welcomed us home looking a little shabby (and not in the good way). So I got out my stain and a brush and got to work. Thankfully we had a rare sunny day - important as you don't want it to be too cold or wet (or too hot for that matter) when you stain.

It will need to be sanded the next time I refinish it, but this time I simply cleaned the door and used and stain and seal in one product. I use a lighter color stain as we have a darker color house and the light door really pops. Simply put a light amount of stain onto your brush (I like to use foam) and "paint" the surface going in the direction of the grain of the wood.

I love the finished product which was almost dry in this picture.  It is not only important to me because it is our front door, but also because it is the background of almost all of the pictures in my shop.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Upcycle Your Recycleables - A Cute Tutorial!

We are die-hard recyclers here in Oregon, but reusing or upcycling is even better for the environment than recycling so I am always looking for ways to reuse everyday items.

We use a lot of aluminum cans and this project will work for any size can. You simply need to adjust your other materials to fit. In my example, I used a large can that held juice (pineapple juice if you must know - it's my favorite).

I first used spray primer to prepare it for several coats of pink paint until it was covered to my liking. (You should coat yours to your liking.)  I then selected a piece of decorative paper to match both the paint color of the can and the colors in the picture I wanted to use. 

Selecting the paint color, paper, and picture is my favorite part of this project.  This is where you get to be really creative!  Cut the paper large enough to leave space for the photograph you will be using and small enough to fit on the can.

You can use a multitude of adhesives for this project, but of course some will work better than others. I used double-sided tape which worked well. I tried scrapbooking tape, but that did not hold. When finished you can use your now beautiful can for storing just about anything!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Amazing Versatility of Old Ball Jars

I love old glass jars of any type, but finding Ball jars in great shape is always exciting. Whether clear or blue, they look great and have so many uses! I love the look of the blue jars but as I mostly use mine for storage, the clear jars make it so I can quickly find what I need. Here's a look at my storage use for Ball jars...

But what else can you do with Ball jars? The possibilities seem endless. Here are some of the great ideas I found on Etsy. Enjoy!



Have you seen any other uses for these beautiful jars?  Share them in a comment.