Sunday, February 8, 2015

Think Beyond the Vase

It has been a very busy few weeks with several out of town trips. However, yesterday I hosted a bridal shower for a good friend of mine, Marje.  I am honored to be her Matron of Honor for her upcoming wedding.  I gave the shower a baking theme because my friend enjoys getting her bake on.

The Bride to Be poses with some of my out door shower decorations. I used chalk paint to paint the flower pot. I found chalk paint paper and added a "Welcome, please come in" message to the middle of the door wreath.

I used my faux photo canvas technique to create personalized photos from the brides engagement photos. The Bride To Be banner and the other matching banners seen in these photos came from etsy seller, BannerCheer

Eat, Drink, Get Married. I've had these chalk painted wine bottles for years. In fact, they are the very first chalk paint project I ever did. And I am still using them!  I love using chalk because rather than purchasing themed decorations, I can erase and create my own personalized decorations.

 More chalk paint. This little piggy hangs in my kitchen and I change it for the seasons.

The Food! Yum! I added a bunch of paper fluff, bells and lanterns to the chandelier along with some tulle down both sides. 

Check out the Veggie dip in their own individual cups with dressing. These were a big hit! The fruit pizza were another fan favorite.

 The cucumber and cream cheese sandwich hearts were a favorite. I ran out of them very quickly.

The Kitchen-Aid mixer center piece paired with cheese grater vase were my favorite. I used a wet flower foam to help place the roses in the wide mouth mixing bowl. 

Champagne + OJ = Mimosas! You can never go wrong with Mimosas! I also added red and white wine, sparkling cider, a variety of soda, and water. Lots of options to make everyone happy!

The brides first name starts with an M. I filled this industrial M shelf with mini photos of the couple.  The tree log to the left is my first experience with wood burning. It is tough to see but I burned the couples initials and their future wedding date.

I skipped the traditional sign-around-the-photo idea for a more kitchen themed write-on-the-spoon idea. Everyone enjoyed writing on the spoons. I plan to put them together in a sort of collage for the bride.

My words of wisdom :)

I arranged a bunch of items into a personalized vignette with a baking theme.

 I gave away these mini heart whisks as party favors. Super cute! They came prepackaged with a ribbon and little "Thank You" tag so no extra work for me!

In lieu of traditional bridal shower games, I hired the awesome Aubergine Chef to provide a butter cream icing demonstration.

After the icing was made, it was time for all the guests to get a try at creating beautiful icing flowers on cupcakes.

The Chef made it look really easy.

Everyone really enjoyed the interactive demo and dug right into creating their own works of art.

The Bride with her cupcake and personalized apron!

My friend Amber, decided I needed my own cupcakes. So she made me these. Thanks Amber.

Overall the bridal shower was a great success. I received many compliments on the special touches I added which was nice to hear. I've been planning this event for a long time now and it was great to see everything come together.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Thift Store Chair Makeover

Happy New Year Friends!

I apologize for my complete lack of posting anything in the past several months. Life got away from me and my creative juices nearly shut down. While I have completed a few small crafty projects, I haven't had the time (or energy) to work on anything big until recently. I was lucky to have two weeks off of work for the holidays and I spent some quality time with pinterest to spark my creativity.

I came across a few posts on fabric painting with chalk paint, which piqued my interest because I have extra chalk paint and I have been fawning over gorgeous wingback chairs for a while now. My library room is the first room you see as you enter my home and it is lacking seating. While visiting my favorite thifty store, the Habitat for Humanity Restore, I found a wingback chair in great condition with one exception - the fabric. The chair price was lowered to $35! Score!

Wingback in need of a face lift
I pulled out the chalk paint from the garage and blew off the dust. It has been too long since I have played with chalk paint. The colors I used are Old Ochre and Old White.

Before painting, make sure to clean the chair of any stains or dirt. I gave my chair a good vacuum and cleaned any dirt spots.

I did a lot of research online before starting this project. I learned that one must add water to the chalk paint in order to thin it out and ensure the paint will soak into the fabric. So I added enough water to make the paint look the consistency of milk. Then I used a spray bottle of water to wet the fabric directly. I used that spray bottle a lot on the first coat to smooth out the paint.

Use a spray bottle to wet the fabric

Starting the first coat.

I left the bottom of the cushion unpainted to show my progress. The first coat was very streaky and took a while to dry because I used a lot of water. I let the chair dry overnight before attempting the second coat.
First coat completed!

I still diluted the paint on the second coat to a milk consistency. However, I did not use the spray bottle as much on the fabric because of the first coat of paint.

Starting the second coat

 The second coat of paint covered a lot better but still had some streaks.

Second coat complete!

 The final coat of paint! I was surprised at how "soft" the chair looked. The coverage was great too!

Final coat of paint

I used the Old White chalk paint to color the trim. So fancy!

Added Old White to the trim

Be sure to apply a thin coat of clear wax, which both seals the paint and softens the fabric. At this point the chair fabric has the suppleness of outdoor fabric. I also applied non-diluted Old White chalk paint to the chair legs/frame.

I may go back and distress the chair legs/frame at some point. However, I am happy with the look for now. I am curious how long the painted fabric will handle the daily use. So far so good!

Take Care!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

PVC Pipe Curtain Rods

As I sit in my screened-in-porch this lovely Sunday evening with a light breeze and curtains blocking the heat of the sun, I thought I should share another DIY project I recently finished up.

I may have mentioned before, but I will again. This past spring my husband and I had a screened-in-porch added to our home. I've been working hard to furnish and decorate the space with projects like Bianca the Bench and Porch Coffee Table with Built-in Cooler.

We love our new porch. Although, we do not love how close our porch is to our neighbors outdoor area. Oh don't get me wrong, I love our neighbors, however, a little privacy would be nice.  We knew what we were getting into when we purchased a new home in a densely populated area outside of DC.

Additionally, when the sun sets, the lights pours into the porch from this side and is blinding.  So I had plenty of reason to purchase outdoor curtains for our new porch. I even invested in the fancy, real outdoor curtains that are fade resistant, water resistant, machine washable... basically indestructible. I plan to use the curtains year after year. I did purchase the curtains on sale and with a coupon but they still were not cheap.

Then the time came to figure out how I would hang the curtains. I was determined to find a cheaper way to create an outdoor rod than these expensive rods, since I needed about 50 ft to cover the perimeter of the porch.  After significant pinterest research and a trip to the hardware store, I found a solution and developed a plan = PVC Pipe.  I found this site helpful for the rod brackets.

I'll start with the brackets. Below is my list of material:
  1. EMT 1-1/4 in. 1-Hole Strap (4-Pack) $2.00
  2. Everbilt 4 in. Corner Braces (4-Pack) $7.24  (Rust Resistant for outdoor use)
  3. Everbilt round head combo, 1/4 in - 20 x 5/8 in 5 pack, which I can't seem to find online but I assure you were less than $2.
  4. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Flat White General Purpose Spray Paint $3.87
So for about $15 + Tax, I created 4 brackets in the color of my choice!   Full disclosure, the corner braces did come with screws. However, I did purchase 1.5" screws because I wanted to make sure I hit the wood behind the inch wide synthetic decking material that wraps my porch frame.

Yay! I have a curtain rod bracket up!
Lets move on to the actual curtain rods, shall we?  So have you looked at PVC pipe lately? Have you checked out how ridiculously cheap PVC is and how many connecters exist for the pipes! It is amazing!  Allow me to break down the cost. Below are my list of materials for the rods for one side of my porch perimeter:

  1. (2) 3/4 in. x 10 ft. PVC Schedule 40 Plain-End Pipe at $2.46 / each
  2. (1) 3/4 in. Schedule 40 PVC Coupling for $0.27 / each
  3. (2) 3/4 in.  PVC End Cap ~$0.36 (I couldn't find a link online)
  4. Rust-Oleum Painter's Touch 2X Flat White General Purpose Spray Paint $3.87 (Yes, you need an additional can!)
So for about $10 + Tax, I created 20 feet of outdoor curtain rod in the color of my choice! Oh, one last thing. I forgot about cutting PVC. We just happened to have a PVC cutter at home, but these are cheap at the hardware store.  I do recommend purchasing a cutter because it made life so much easier being able to cut and re-cut the PVC whenever I needed to.

PVC Cutter

I have outdoor curtain rods!  Still needs a coat of paint.

One word of caution. PVC is a little flexible so be sure to add a bracket every 3 to 4 feet, otherwise you will see a slight curve in the rod when the curtains are closed.

After a couple of coats of spray paint, no one would ever know your curtain rods are made of PVC. 

Curtains to the Rescue!  Protection from the blinding sun!

Keeping cool in the shade

Happy DIY'ing!