MAKING INEXPENSIVE ART FROM A POSTER

Hi, y’all! It’s been a little bit since I’ve posted last. About a week ago I pulled my back and sort of fell in an I’m-too-scared-to-do-anything-that-might-reinjure-myself slump. The laundry room makeover was going well up until that happened, so now I’m taking a break from anything too strenuous (i.e., painting cramped spaces and moving washers and dryers).

In the mean time, MJ and I went on a trip to Hobby Lobby and I happened upon this funky piece of art:

I might not have given this a second glance if I hadn’t found this cool print on Etsy (Geode Print by Capricorn Press) a few weeks ago.

I fell in love with this print as soon as I saw it, but I was worried it was too big for our living room. But when I found this geode print at Hobby Lobby for $24.99 (and half off!) I knew it was a keeper! It even matches our color scheme perfectly!

The print has so many cool rocks on it, so I decided to cut it into pieces and create a set of matching art pieces. I hopped over to Ikea and picked up these Ribba shadow box frames. I just made two for now, but I’m thinking I might do four eventually and place them in our dining room.


First, I took the mat out and moved it around the print to pick the best pieces of the picture. I ended up going with the two on the left.


Next I mapped out the section I wanted, flipped the poster over and used the mat as a guide to draw a square on the back of the print. I added about a quarter of an inch when I cut it out.


Last I used a scrapbook double-sided tape roller along the edges on the back side of the mat and then firmly pressed the poster on the back.


And voila! Easy peasy artwork. Here it it hanging on the right side of our fireplace.


And here’s the second one I made on the other side.


I’m saving the remaining bits of the picture in case I decide to make the other two and create my gallery.


This was such a quick and easy project that took only about 20 minutes. Oh, and here’s the break down of this simple craft:

Geode Print: 50% off $24.99 divided by four pieces – $3.12
Ikea Ribba Shadow Box – $14.99
Total – $18.11

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PAINTING OUR BRICK FIREPLACE WHITE

7-9-16 Painted Fireplace After

My absolute favorite home makeover project so far has been painting our 1990’s brick fireplace white. This project took about three hours but the result changed the whole feeling of our living room. Now it’s brighter, fresher, and all around happier!

So this is the first project I’m going to backtrack on. I updated our fireplace about a year and a half ago, but browsing through these photos brings back all of the memories (and trials).

7-9-16 Fireplace Before

Here we have it. Our red brick fireplace. Although it was more grounded after we added the flooring (compared to when we first moved in), the dark red brick didn’t match our design style.

7-9-16 Herringbone Brick Pattern

We’ve talked about remodeling the fireplace altogether (we’re actually still considering it in the future), but I love this herringbone pattern in the brick. It’s a fun little detail.

I wasn’t exactly planning on doing this project. I’d considered painting it, but since we contemplated taking the brick out I had been telling myself to wait. Then one day when I was sitting on the couch and staring up at the thing, I jumped to my feet and decided just to go for it. Our walls are painted Stormy Weather by Olympic, so I grabbed the paint swatch and decided to go just a shade lighter with Quill. I told the gentleman at Lowes that I was painting my fireplace and would like the color in a glossy finish. He made a face at me, said it would look funny, and suggested I get it in a flat finish. Thank you, thank you, Mr. Paint Counter Guy! This was the first time I’d painted in flat, and I have to admit it looks great!

7-9-16 Whitewashing Brick Fireplace

My first thought was to keep the look of the brick by just lightening it with a whitewash. Here’s a tutorial I used during this attempt. After thoroughly cleaning the brick, I basically took a bucket and mixed half water and half paint, dipped a rag into it and wiped it on the brick. Then I took a wet rag and blotted the bubbly paint concoction off.

The whitewash had and interesting look and I didn’t completely hate it. But it didn’t have enough pop for me. Plus it was looking slightly pink…

7-9-16 Painting the Fireplace

Once I decided to paint the brick instead, I expected smooth sailing, but it did take a little effort to paint all of the nooks and crannies in the bricks. Also the brick acted like a sponge and drank in a lot of the paint. It ended up taking about three or four coats to get the whole fireplace covered.

Using a roller to cover the surface sped up the process, but you’ll still beed to brush in the cracks. A sprayer would have been mighty convenient! Definitely keep a drop cloth down because regardless of your technique there will be a lot of splatters. Oh and also keep Friends on the TV as some hilarious background noise. I might also suggest The Office.

Overall, I love how it came out! It’s so much cleaner now—literally cleaner! Dust and debris from our winter fires no longer cling to the porous bricks. It was such a quick and easy update that I feel like it was still worth it even if we do decide to rip it out.

7-9-16 Painting Our Fireplace Before and After

CAULKING THE GAPS UNDERNEATH OUR BASEBOARDS

Last week my family took a mini vacation and during that time attempted to tick some of our home projects off the checklist. Long story short, caulking a small section of our baseboards was the only thing we did.

Here’s a little backstory as to why our baseboards have been neglected. When we hired someone to install tile in our kitchen, my husband and I installed laminate floors in our living room as a temporary flooring until we could install hardwood. This is a fairly easy job once you get the hang of it. About six months later we had a bit of a flooding situation in our kitchen that carried out into our dining room and about a third of the living room.
6-27-16 Installing Laminate Floors and TileWe ripped the brand new laminate out once we realized the water wasn’t going to evaporate. It was a smelly job, to say the least. Our options were to either go the cheap route again and put in more laminate or bite the bullet and get hardwood. We chose the latter.

The floating floors went in just as easy as the laminate, but when it came time to installing the baseboards, we just slapped them up there. It was exhausting enough having to install floor that you’d just installed six months before. Did someone say deja vu? We were mentally and physically done with this project and after nailing in the baseboards, we stopped.

Nearly a year later, it dawned on me I never caulked and repainted the baseboards (oops!) so I got to work on it. But then I ran out of caulk and energy and told myself I’d do the small section “later.” More months went by and during vacation, I finally tackled this project.

So now that THAT sad backstory is over, let’s start this basic tutorial!

6-27-16 Before Caulking

Here’s a shot of the unfinished baseboards. Not so bad from afar, right? This is the section of the living room to the left of our fireplace. It’s literally a U shape that’s maybe twenty to twenty-five linear feet.

6-27-16 Fireplace trim gap

And bam, there it is! You can see up close how bad our gaps are, especially around the brick. Also, we have a scratch on our floors. Sad day.

6-27-16 Corner Baseboard Cracks

6-27-16 Baseboard Floor Gap

The baseboards under the window had a significant gap. Not everyone caulks the bottom of the baseboards, but our house in near a field (read, critters).

6-27-16 Painters Tape

First, lay down painter’s tape to keep clean up easy peasy.

6-27-16 Caulking

Load up your caulk gun. Mine has a cutter built into it, which came in handy when I made my closet’s builtins and I was caulking like crazy. I went through about four tubes! Also, I cut too much of the tip off, so it was coming out thick. Try to clip only the very tip.

6-27-16 Smooth the Caulk

This is the messy part. Take your finger and skim the caulk into the crack. I was able to smear the excess down into the gaps between bricks pretty easily.

6-27-16 Messy Caulking

Here it is all smoothed out.

6-27-16 Wiping Excess Caulk

Now take a damp rag and carefully wipe your trim clean. Have a bucket of warm water on hand to rinse out the rag.

6-27-16 Caulking Done

Now that all of the caulk is done and cleaned up, carefully pull up the painters tape while the caulk is still wet.

6-27-16 Peeling Up the Painters Tape

Ahh, look how nice and smooth the edge is! There were a couple spots where the caulk bled through, but I was able to reshape it with my thumbnail without any trouble.

THE RESULT:

6-27-16 Finished Caulking 3

Here it is completely finished! Now you just need to let it dry for however long the bottle says (usually a few hours will do).

6-27-16 Finished Caulking 2

6-27-16 Finished Caulking

Pretty simple! The whole project took me about an hour. Now all that’s left is to repaint the trim and edge up the wall paint. Maybe I’ll get to that in another six months…

6-27-16 The Lazy Method - Caulking Baseboards

A Simple Anniversary Date

6-25-16 wedding photos on a lineEleven years ago, I married the man of my dreams. The story of how we met and fell in love isn’t your typical story, and that’s what makes it special. Maybe another day I’ll sit down and write about that crazy adventure. For now, I thought I’d post a few pictures from our celebration since I’m no longer on facebook.

6-25-16 wedding photos on clothespins

To celebrate, I created a simple rustic display for our wedding photos with twine and silver glitter clothespins. I just picked a few of our favorites pictures and pinned them up. We were married in my parents’ backyard and still think it was the most beautiful and perfect wedding. I thank God every day for putting this man in my life!

6-18-16 Flowes

Did I mention he surprised me with these gorgeous flowers? He said they reminded him of the first dress he saw me in, but they reminded me of our wedding colors—pink, orange, and yellow. Either way, they were super sweet, and I love him more and more each day!