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DIY Projects, Home Decor, Tutorials

Chalk Paint All the Things!

Hi there! Hope your day is going well! I’m here with a super easy project today that can’t even really be considered a project. It’s something that is seemingly obvious, but I had never thought to do, so maybe you haven’t either. I don’t know. Anyway, y’all know I love chalk paint. I use it all the time on my projects for both my house and my pop-up shows.

I have used it on a variety of items, but never lamps. I had these lamps that were out of commission from our bedroom. You can see the corner of it here in this photo. They were from our wedding registry, when I didn’t know what I liked or what I was doing. So they didn’t really mesh with my style anymore, now that I feel like I have an established theme in our home.

So while I replaced these lamps, they were still perfectly good lamps, and I wanted to see if there was something I could do to make them fit into my style a bit more. So, I used my trusty old chalk paint and went to work! Like I said, this isn’t really a tutorial or anything, because it’s seriously the world’s easiest DIY. I just slapped some paint on it and called it a day.

I used my own homemade chalk paint, so I don’t have an exact color match to show you, but I used a white, and then added some gray on top to give it a little more dimension.

I think it gives the lamp just the right touch to take away that builder-grade base we were working with.

It makes it a little more subtle and farmhouse-y. I moved one into the living room, and the other went over to my booth at Farmhouse in Downtown Waxahachie, TX. I should have tried this a long time ago; I’ve spent so long wanting to replace them that I missed a perfectly good opportunity to relove them! Waste not, want not, right?

So in case you were wondering, chalk paint works on all kinds of things! Don’t be afraid to slap a coat on to something that needs a little love. It’s not just for furniture!

Anyway. That’s pretty much it. Have you ever chalk painted anything in particular? How did it go? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Well, that’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Tutorials

What I’ve Learned Finishing Furniture

Hello all! I hope your week is off to a great start! I’ve been busy busy busy with school starting a few weeks back, but now I’m ready to get into the routine of school being in full swing and I’m ready to start thinking fall!

I’ve been out in my garage working away on tons of projects out in the garage, and if you follow along on Instagram, you might have seen the early stages of this dresser I’m about to show y’all on my IG Story. This dresser turned out even cuter than I thought it might, and so I wanted to share with you guys some of the process and tips I use, now that I have more than a project or two under my belt.

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Okay, so this is how this little guy turned out. So cute, right? I didn’t take a picture when I first started, because I’m so forgetful when it comes to that kind of stuff, but it was dark green. Like 90’s dark green. Gross.

The first thing I did was strip all the paint off the dresser. Using a good paint stripper is not for the faint of heart, since it smells, and I burnt my arms a couple of times, but it is essential in removing old paint more quickly.

What I couldn’t take off with the paint stripper, I took my sander to. This took a while, but prepping the entire thing helps the end result. Once I finished sanding, I wiped the entire thing down with Mineral Spirits to clean it off.

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See those cute little scallops on the bottom? Adorable. Anyway, once it was all clean, I primed the entire thing. Even though chalk paint claims to be prep-free, I have found that it saves paint to prime first, as well as makes it last longer. After I primed, I sanded everything down with a 220 grit sandpaper. This is super fine, and eliminates brush strokes. I do it super lightly and super quickly to make sure I don’t sand off the primer completely.

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I painted the frame with Annie Sloan Old White, and the drawers with a local handmade chalk paint (sorry I don’t have the color for it). I lightly sanded everything down again, and on the drawers, I sanded a bit longer to expose some of the primer. That happened kind of accidentally, but I ended up loving it!

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Here’s a closeup of how the drawers turned out. I love them! After I finished painting, I gave everything a coat of Annie Sloan Clear Wax. This sweet little dresser was a super fun project, and it turned out even better than I imagined.

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Now, this piece won’t be staying with me. I’ve been working hard gathering materials and working on projects like this one because I am going to be a vendor at the upcoming Vintage Market Days! I love this event so much, and this will be my first time as a vendor! Here’s a link directly to the Facebook event. It’s in Waxahachie, which is just south of Dallas. If you’re going to be in the Dallas – Fort Worth area that weekend, you’ll have to stop by. This event is going to be amazing, and if you’re in the area, I would love to meet you! This dresser and many others will be headed to my booth, and I cannot wait to show y’all more!

That’s all for today friends! Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Tutorials

DIY Pallet Flag

Now that summer is officially here, it’s almost time for one of my favorite holidays… the Fourth of July! I’ve always loved this holiday, and I don’t even really know why. The fact that it’s in the summertime probably helps! ūüôā

The past few weeks I haven’t been super productive, but this past weekend we went away to celebrate our anniversary, and some time on the beach has done me some good! I came back feeling pretty refreshed, and inspired to create something new.

As I mentioned in my last post, this summer we are saving all our pennies for a big goal, so we don’t have a ton of room in our budget for extra fun stuff. Which is totally fine. Because I am super excited about the possibility of something new. Anyway, I was wanting to add something new to our front porch for the holiday, but I wanted to spend zero dollars. Mission accomplished.¬†palletflag2

I found this old pallet in the trash pile while I was driving down the road… #noshame. I had Ethan drive by in the truck and pick it up. I’ve had it for about a month with no purpose, sitting in the garage. Until yesterday I decided to make a quick project out of it. See, there are perks to hoarding junk in your garage. Totally justifiable.

I didn’t have any red paint on hand (because red is pretty nonexistent around my house), so I decided to make this pallet flag a neutral one. This isn’t my original idea, I’ve seen it all over Pinterest. But this neutral one is my own version.

It took me about fifteen minutes to do the whole thing. I just free handed the stripes, and for the stars, I made my own little stencil. To make the stencil, I just drew a star on a piece of paper, and cut it out. I then used the paper to place my stars where I wanted them. Easy peasy.

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Now my little porch area is Fourth of July ready! This little rental that we’ve lived in for the past two years of our marriage has been both a blessing and a curse. The list of things we dislike about this rental is more than a mile long, and the list of things we like are pretty slim. Actually, the positives can be narrowed down to two things: the rent is cheap and there’s a front porch. I am not kidding when I say that’s about it. But this little porch area really is my favorite spot, and I have loved adding more fun touches to this spot.

Now I’m feeling pretty productive for a Monday morning, but I have much more to do. I just wanted to pop in and show you this little DIY! This (like all my projects) is an easy one, and I hope it inspires you to create something today!

Well, I’m off to cross more things off my to-do list. That’s it for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Home Decor, Tutorials

DIY Boxwood Topiary

Hi you guys! I’m so glad you stopped by today! I don’t know if it’s feeling spring like where you are, but here in North Texas it definitely is! I was coming into the house after work the other day and I noticed little green buds popping up in the tree in the front yard. There’s no better sight! Not to mention that the weather has been warming up, which means it’s closer to time for front porch and grilling! I think it’s safe to say that spring is my favorite season (and it’s not just because I have a spring birthday…)!

Today I want to share with you guys a super fun super cheap DIY that totally has me ready for spring. I’ve been adding pops of greenery in the house everywhere, whether it be fresh flowers, or faux greenery I’ve collected from Ikea. I’ve been eyeing some of those adorable boxwood topiaries that seem to be everywhere (okay, maybe just Target and HomeGoods, but everywhere important!), but with my monthly free spending allowance, it didn’t seem worth it to pay for them. I’ve seen some at multiple places, usually anywhere from $20 – $30. Which isn’t a ton of money, I know. I’m just Cheapster McGee, as you all already know.

So I did what I do best, which is set out to make my own DIY version. So here’s what I came up with:

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This is a very basic little craft that cost me just a few bucks.

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I purchased all of my supplies at Hobby Lobby. The pots were under two dollars, and the boxwood balls (I’m fairly certain that’s not an actual phrase) were about five dollars for both, as they were seasonal clearance.

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The rest of the supplies I had on hand. First, I put a coat of wax on the pots, mainly because I had never used strictly wax on something before, and I wanted to see how it would turn out. Since it was clear wax, it didn’t change the color at all. Duh, I should have known. However, I then immediately did a quick drybrush over the wax coat. Because the wax was not yet dry, it allowed me to wipe the whole thing with a rag, giving me the unfinished look I was going for.

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I used sticks (the free kind from the front yard) and hot glued them to the bottom of my pot. The pots had a small hole in the bottom, which I covered with a small piece of duct tape so that the glue wouldn’t come out the bottom. After a few minutes, I filled in the pot with Spanish moss, something I had on hand already.

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The boxwood balls have sort or a net texture under the leaves, which was perfect to just wedge them onto the stick. I did add a dab of hot glue just to keep them in place. Including paint and dry time (they dried incredibly fast, since I used my drybrushing technique), this project took me about fifteen minutes.

The cost of supplies I had to purchase was about seven dollars, making these cute little topiaries about $3.50 each. As opposed to the $20-$30 range. So I consider this little DIY a definite win.

I love how the fresh, springlike vibe they have. Even Ethan commented on how cool they looked, so I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out. I think the best part is how well they’ll transition into summer as well. I do hope you try this one! It was definitely a fun project for me, and just about anyone can do this!

I hope you have something awesome planned for today! That’s all for today! Have a fabulous day, friends!

DIYTopiaries

Holidays, Tutorials

DIY Citrus Slice Ornament

HAPPY DECEMBER Y’ALL!!!! Okay, I’ll admit I’m excited. It’s officially the Christmas season now that it’s December. I can post all the photos of my tree and Christmas decor without shame! It’s a wonderful world, friends.

Today I wanted to show y’all the last of my DIY ornament ideas. My Christmas decor this year is super rustic and primitive, and so this last DIY was the one that I really think brought the whole look together. If you haven’t seen the other two ornament DIYs, you can check them out here¬†and here. I remember seeing photos of dried fruit as Christmas decor years ago, but I never really thought anything of it until this year. I needed something with a pop of color, and so it was time to test out this project!

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The first thing I did was slice several oranges and lemons. I think I did four of each. I wasn’t sure which I would prefer, so I did both. I cut the ends off and simmered them on the stove using this recipe so they wouldn’t go to waste.¬†citrus slices2

I separated the oranges and lemons on my (badly stained) cookie sheets so that if they cooked at different rates it would be easier to remove them from the oven. I placed them on the lowest setting on my oven (I think it was about 150 degrees) and put the slices in. In total, I cooked them for about five hours. Every hour or so, I would turn the slices over so that they would dry evenly. I really don’t know if this necessary, but I’m a little paranoid. The good thing about the temperature being so low is that I could turn the slices over with my bare hand. In general, the lemons cooked a bit faster than the oranges did, because they were thinner I think.

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After they were fully dehydrated came the fun part! I cut little pieces of red baker’s twine, the same twine I used previously on our pinecone ornaments, and hot glued it to the back to make a loop. Easy.

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When they were finished, they looked like this, and I am so excited about how they turned out. They have just the look I was hoping for. As it turned out, I ended up liking the orange slices better than the lemon slices because the oranges had a thicker rind (is that the right word? I don’t even know.). I did these a few weeks ago, and they’ve lasted just fine, which was an initial concern of mine. ¬†I love the way the tree lights shine through the fruit. It feels super cozy! I also placed some of these slices on the wreath I have on the front door, and I love how it feels there too! I’m deeming this year “the year of the fruit” when it comes to decorating.

I’d love to hear what you think, and if you’ve tried this out. That’s it for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!

DIY Projects, Tutorials

Salvaged Wood Headboard DIY

It’s been a few weeks since we updated our bedroom and I am still living in a fairy-dream world because of it. I showed you guys the full result a week or so ago, and you guys have been so sweet about how it turned out. If you didn’t get a chance to check that post out, you can read all about it here. Today what I wanted to do was show you guys with a little more detail the headboard that I made for this space.

When I bought all the new pillows for the bed, I knew something was still missing. Our old headboard was a pre-blog DIY that was imperfect but served us well for the time that it did. I made it back when I was still unsure about the style direction I was heading in with our house, so it just didn’t quite work. And let’s be honest. I still don’t think I know the style I’m headed toward. Live and learn.

I wanted to make something, but I didn’t want to spend any money. Yes, you read that correctly. I wanted to spend zero dollars. Story of my life, right? I knew that I could only justify to Ethan building a new headboard if I could do it for free since I had just built one a year prior. Now that I think about it, I think Ethan has learned not to question my unreasonable antics. The other stipulation for this project was that I had to do it completely by myself. Normally our DIY projects are a team effort (and by that I mean Ethan does the work and I make it pretty). This time, before I knew what I was thinking, I told him that I was going to make this project for free, and I was going to do it completely on my own.¬†Cue “On My Own” from Les Mis as I head to the garage to work on this project.

So here’s how it went down. A few months back, our neighbors were replacing a portion of their wood fence. I hoarded rescued some of the pieces and they have been sitting in my garage, safe from harm. I headed to my stash and chose the best looking pieces for the job. I (and when I say¬†I,¬†I do mean me myself and I. All by my lonesome) cut the pieces using a circular saw to 60″. We have a queen size bed, so that was the size we needed. If you were to do something similar, be sure to measure the size of your bed. I did wash these with warm water and soap, and lightly sanded them, just to make sure they were clean. And not going to give me splinters. Because those things are important, I guess.

So I laid out all the pieces on the garage floor to make sure I liked to order of them, since all the pieces were slightly different.

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Then I used two cross pieces to screw onto the backside of my headboard. These pieces were vertical, and were 54″ tall. Our old headboard was a bit taller than this, but I always thought it looked kind of weird, so I was very mindful of how tall this one was going to be. I don’t know if there are official rules about how tall a headboard should be, but I think y’all all know that I make up my rules as I go when it comes to home decor. I wish I could show you the pictures of me screwing this together just to show off my brute strength, but alas, I did this one on my own. And I don’t have enough hands to photograph myself building a headboard. You’ll just have to trust me in the fact that I did make this.

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After I screwed the back pieces together, I turned it around to paint it. It looked like this:

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Technically, it didn’t need to be painted, I did like the way it looked like this, I just love lighter colors, so it didn’t really stand a chance. I used my dry-brushing technique, which you can read about here. It took about ten minutes total to paint. Have I mentioned that’s my favorite way to paint things?

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The color is Mourning Dove by Behr, and I use that for tons of projects around the house.

After I let it dry (which didn’t take long with the amount of paint I used), Ethan helped me carry it into the house to put it behind the bed. So I guess he did help. BUT OTHER THAN THAT I did this one on my own, and I am so proud of myself.¬†Picture me pridefully kissing my biceps.

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 You can see more after photos in the original reveal post. I cannot tell you guys how much this little project changed the feel of our bedroom. And it was 100% free! This cheap-loving girl is jumping up and down with excitement over this one! I promise you, I am super wimpy, and I did this in an afternoon, so I know you can too!

All the sources for the items you see here are in my original reveal post, which you’re welcome to check out! I’d love to hear what you think about this project in the comments below, or you can find more on my Instagram. That’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!

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Holidays, Tutorials

DIY Wood Slice Ornament

Hey y’all! Thanks for stopping by! Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner? I’m SO READY for the turkey and mashed potatoes! ¬†Seriously, that’s all I eat on Thanksgiving. I’m a really picky eater, I know. Don’t shun me, but I don’t even like pumpkin pie (even my mom’s). But I am all about turkey and mashed potatoes. This year I’ll be flying up to New York to spend the holiday with my family. It’ll be a super short trip, but I’m excited nonetheless.

Now, my family doesn’t have a tradition of setting up the tree the day after Thanksgiving, but I know that many people do. Growing up, we didn’t set it up until about a week before Christmas. Ethan and I have had our tree up for about two weeks now, so I guess you can say I’ve strayed as far from that tradition as possible. All that to say, I know a lot of y’all put out Christmas decorations Thanksgiving weekend, so I wanted to share another homemade ornament idea I’ve come up with for my home.

If you haven’t checked out my first post on pinecone ornaments, you can read all about that here. I wanted to keep with the primitive, rustic theme I had going on, so I added these wood slices and I am in love with how they turned out. Seriously y’all, this is the easiest DIY yet.

I bought some pre-sliced wood at a flea market for a steal. You could just as easily get a thin log and slice it yourself though. My slices were probably about a half an inch thick. First thing I did was drill a small hole near the top of the slice. The trick is to not drill too close to the top so as not to split it. I accidentally broke a few of them, but I had about twenty to start with, so I was okay with losing a few.

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After I drilled the holes, I strung some ribbon I had through the hole. I found this ribbon at Michael’s on sale. I was originally looking for a cream-based red gingham ribbon, but I found this one and it stuck out to me. I really like the way the plaid has an old-fashioned vibe. So this is the one that ended up in my cart.

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I thought about hand lettering something on each of the slices to complete the look, but ultimately decided against it. The reason why is simply because I thought I might reuse them in the future for something else, and I wanted them to be bare just in case. Also, I figured (since I’m so darn fickle) I might not like them as much next year if they were written on, so didn’t want to do anything I would regret.

So here they are in all their bare wood slice glory:

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The easiest project you ever did see.

Will you be setting up your tree next weekend? If so, why don’t you give this easy project a try? I’d love to see how you use this simple idea in your home.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving friends! And a Happy Decorating! That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!

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Holidays, Tutorials

DIY Pinecone Ornaments

I know it’s still early….but I have begun decorating for Christmas at our house! Last year, we got a real Christmas tree, which I loved having. They smell so good, and they’re so nostalgic I think. The only downside to them is that they don’t come out until early December because they don’t last very long. Which I suppose I can’t be upset about, but I was so impatient this year that we went out and got an artificial tree. I had too many decorating ideas that I couldn’t wait to get started.

So, now that our tree is up, I wanted to share with you a few of the quick projects I did for our tree. If you know me at all, I’m all about finding the cheapest way to do things, and so I created a few different types of ornaments on a shoestring budget. For our tree this year (and all of the decor, really) I wanted to go with a very natural, rustic-y, theme. I had a hard time putting into words exactly what I was going for, even to Ethan. I just kept saying to him, “I want it to look like how the pioneers would decorate a tree if they had one.”

As if that even makes sense.

Anyway, today I’m sharing how I turned regular pinecones ¬†into ornaments for our tree. This is so simple, it’s even kid friendly!

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I painted the edges of several pinecones using some paint I had on hand. The color is¬†Mourning Dove by BEHR. I’ve used it for a lot of projects, and it’s one of my favorite off-white colors. I didn’t worry about painting too neatly, I just kind of quickly brushed on the edges of the pinecones. I wanted to make it look like snow, because, you know, that makes total sense in Texas.

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When that was done, I put a dot of hot glue into the top of the pinecone. I tried to tuck it down inside so that hot glue wasn’t too visible once they were hung on the tree.¬†pineconeornament

I added about a four inch piece of red baker’s twine in a loop to the hot glue. I bought the twine from the Target dollar spot. Can we just give a quick shout out for the Target dollar spot?! I swear, that place is like magic. Anyway, I chose red so it would have a little Christmas-y pop. And when it was done, it looked something like this:

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This is by no means an original idea, I’m sure it’s been around for ages, but it’s something I whipped up super fast, and I wanted to share with y’all. I don’t have kids, but this could easily be done with little ones…it’s THAT easy. Plus (in my personal opinion), super cute.¬†I’ll be sharing a two other ornament ideas soon, so stay tuned!

I hope you give this one a try! I know I’ll be enjoying them this season. ¬†Well, that’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!

DIY Pinecone

DIY Projects, Tutorials

Dry Brushing – The Easiest Painting Experience

Hey y’all! I hope you’re doing well! It’s been dark and rainy here, so the weather is perfect for Halloween tomorrow! (Let’s not talk about the fact that I am going to be running¬† walking a 5k on Halloween morning. Why do I do these things to myself?!) Hopefully the rain won’t deter Trick-or-Treaters though because Ethan and ¬†I love sitting on the front porch passing out candy.

Anyway, before the rain set in, I completed a quick little project that is quickly becoming my favorite way to do things! I wanted to share this painting trick with you that really does save time, materials, and requires minimal experience (I always say that, but this time I mean it). Have you ever heard of¬†dry brushing? It’s new to me, but I’m already obsessed with it, and I want to dry brush everything in sight! Here are the steps:

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First, you need to choose your victim (or in this little basket’s case, its lucky day because this thing about to get a serious makeover). I chose this basket because well, just look at it, and you can tell it needs a little help. It’s a vintage picnic basket that I found while junkin this summer, and although it has some damage, I think it just adds some character. What I don’t like about it is the orangey color it has. Plus the top has a weird uncleanable dusty look. But for six bucks, you can’t ask much.

You can also see the brush and paint I used in this picture. These little brushes are available at Home Depot, and they are awesome! The handle is rubber and so it’s really comfortable to handle while painting.

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Dry brushing is a technique that uses a very minimal amount of paint and a dry brush (cleverly named technique, don’t you think?). When I do this, I find the stiffest brush I can find and ¬†I don’t dip the brush in the can. Instead, I just use the lid and dab a small amount on the brush. I try to keep the paint limited to the top part of the bristles and not the sides. Does that make sense? (I also apologize for the lack of clarity on some of these photos, I haven’t yet mastered the photography-while-painting technique).

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I then blot the top of the brush on my dropcloth to take off any excess paint. You can see in the above photo just how little paint there is on the brush. If you don’t use dropcloths, a paper towel will do. Before you put the brush on your object, it should look something like this:

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The trick is not to use too much paint. You can always add more, but once you have too much, it’s hard to get the desired effect.

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When you’re ready to paint, you’ll want to use a short, side-to-side stroke. You’ll want to move quickly and paint lightly, as you don’t want too much coverage in one area. The look really lends itself more to a vintage, weathered look. Once you have too much coverage in one area, it becomes hard to fix it, so move fast! The awesome thing about it is that it uses practically no paint (I covered this basket just with what was on the lid of the can), and it dries super fast because it’s such a thin layer of paint.

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Here is the finished product! I think this project took maybe thirty minutes (including dry time). It saves so much time, and also money because it’s such an effective use of materials. What more can you ask for than quick and cheap?

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I placed this basket in the corner of my living room where I keep the coatrack and store blankets. This basket is pretty roomy, so it’s a good place to store odds and ends. I also really like how the white lightens up this space. The orange look definitely wasn’t doing itself any favors. She looks so much better now, don’t you think?

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What do you think of this technique? Have you tried it before? I promise it really is easy – I’m not lying! I am thinking about dry brushing everything now…nothing is safe! Let me know what you think, and if you plan to try it!

I hope y’all have a great weekend and that you have some fun Halloween activities planned (hopefully not completing a 5k like myself)! That’s it for today friends, have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Home Decor, Tutorials

DIY artwork for cheap

Hey y’all! I hope you’re doing well! Summer is winding down over here, and I’ve been super busy with preparing things for my classroom this year. I will pick up the keys to my classroom next week to begin setting up for the school year. I’m excited for this school year, but I’m sad to see summer go! Since I’ve been so busy with classroom projects I haven’t been working on house projects too much lately. I did however, whip up a couple of these easy “art pieces” to use in the house.

I can’t even call this a tutorial because it’s so easy! More like an idea you may not have thought of. I have done this several times throughout my house, because it’s SO easy and SO cheap. I think for this project it cost me a total of $4. Whoop-de-do!

I found these old frames at a thrift store for $1.

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Those ducks are so cute, aren’t they? Kind if a 90’s chic, if you will.

Literally all I did was spray paint the mattes and frames and replace the duck print with a cute printed paper. I got mine from Paper Source. I like to get papers from there because they come in 20×30 inch sheets, which is convenient for many different projects. They also have so many pretty papers! You could also do this with any gift wrap or scrapbook paper.

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I used this¬†spray paint because it’s what I had on hand. I spray painted them, and once they were dry, I added the new paper, and done. That’s it!

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I realize this is kind of an obvious DIY. But it’s so so easy, you have to give it a try! That’s it for today friends, have a fabulous day!