Getting Better at Styling

February 27, 2014

After posting the pictures of the hutch makeover I received many good comments about its styling, which prompted me to share a bit more about whole process. I'm by no means an expert but I've been learning, perhaps from many of you out there, and I've been practicing it for the past two years. It hasn't been easy for me, but the more and more you do it and pay attention to it, the easier it becomes, your eye get used to see what's right or wrong, especially when you see it through your camera lens.

St. Patrick's Day Bottle Centerpiece

February 25, 2014

Hi everyone!
We had a gorgeous weekend. The weather was so nice I was able to stay in the garage and do a little bit of cleaning, mainly organizing all the stuff that's been wandering all around the place. While there I met a box of green bottles that reminded me St. Patrick's day is on its way.

The question was how to dress the bottles for the occasion! Remember my SureSwatch review, where you use these films to try your colors instead of painting swatches on the walls? I still had one extra film and it came in handy for this project.

It was used as a stencil. For one of the bottles three pieces were cut and holes were done with a ¾" hole punch. The spaces were then painted.

The punched out circles were then attached to the second bottle. After painting the bottle, the SureSwatch dots were removed.  I liked that they were easy to remove though I didn't get sharp lines, in fact the lines were rough but I didn't mind ;)

For the third bottle, using the same film, very skinny stripes were cut and attached to the bottle. First it was painted white, then each of the colors of the rainbow.

As I said, the lines were raggedy, but they were easy to fix just using my nails. Just like that, I liked the bottles.

But of course with some tags they look way better. You can find the tag printables HERE.

Some gold and the centerpiece is ready to attract some chocolate lovers.

I used the home made version of chalk paint used on the hutch makeover

For more DIY-Home Decor ideas check these out:


Leather Drawer/Cabinet Pulls

February 20, 2014
leather parts of women bags are repurposed as drawer pulls

As promised in  my previous post, this is the "how the leather pulls made it to the hutch".
I liked the original pulls the cabinet had, but when I went to install them in the "new" white cabinet they were just too much.
The contrast was big, and the fact that now I had a drawer basket that also needed something to pull it out, made me go and find another solution for the pulls.

dark hutch ready to be painted white

I tried some other pulls I had on hand, none of them fit quite nicely.
Then, I remember my bag parts!
Every time one of my bags is too old/damaged to give it away, I take away all the parts I think are good to re-purpose on other projects.
This particular bag was a good replica, hand-me-down from my sister. She gave it to me because it was too heavy (no wonder, with all these extras!), I didn't mind it, I just loved it and used it until one of the handles broke. These are the parts that were saved from the bag. I used one of those parts around the stump table on my Valentine Mantel here.

The five pieces needed were cut to size, rounding the end. Using a leather punch tool, the holes were opened.
leather punch tool used to open holes in leather

Not having luck finding a better looking alternative, simple screws were used to attach them to the drawers/doors. You can clearly see my poor job with the gold painted screws and washers :)
leather accessories from an old bag

For the cabinet pulls only one screw was used.

In my opinion, this solution worked better to integrate the basket and the drawers.

Do you see the door not closing all the way? The screw holding the pull is too long 1½", I need to buy a 1¼" instead ;)

Here again, the four pulls.

For the complete hutch makeover click HERE. Have you re-purposed bag parts? How about your belts? What have you done with them?

For more repurposed ideas check these:

how to repurpose wire or electrical spools into tables, clocks, furniture, desk organizer, ottoman.

Have a great day!


 My uncommon Slice of Suburbia, Savvy Southern Style,  Stone Gable French Country CottageFunky Junk Interiors,  Thrifty Decor Chick ,  Between Naps on the Porch,  Uncommon Tatertotandjello,

Painted Hutch

February 17, 2014

I was absent for a week, it seemed to me like a whole lot of time, but with the kids and the hubs at home and the snow days that kept us indoors, it was the perfect time for me to tackled this project. It was not that easy. I didn't like the painting part. Anyways, I'm glad is done.

In my previous post I talked about this hutch, the things I liked and disliked about it. Well, this is how the transformation went. 

I wanted to give it an open feel, so the doors were removed. The top scalloped molding was removed too. All those parts had been put together with screws and staples, they made the job of removing them fairly easy. I was afraid to find glued in parts, thankfully there were none :)

This is how the top part looked before and after removing the unwanted parts:
dark old hutch makeover

I knew I wanted to give it a beadboard backing, that's why some 1 x 2 supports were stapled to the back board in order to have plenty of surface to staple the beadboard in.

The top moldings were done using whatever I had on hand. It looks a lot like the trim I installed on the windows HERE.  Well, most of the trim pieces are left-overs from that project. I only left a middle support on the front, there were three.

Since the top part was ready for paint, it was now time to work on the lower part. Again, the scalloped trim was removed and new molding was installed.

Then, the trickiest part came. I had no idea how to get rid of the scalloped edge at the top of the doors and the top drawer.
I went looking all around the house for pieces of wood to make doors out of them. I actually found two pieces, but they were too simple and heavy. Finally, after like a day of thinking, I found the perfect solution: The doors/panels from the top of the hutch were the same size (width), of the lower doors, but they were way longer.  In order use them, the glass was removed, the frame was cut to size (I know for a carpenter this must be a sin but hey I needed this cheat ;) ), and they were put back together with the Kreg jig mechanism. A piece of beadboard on each door replaced the glass.

I also tried to work around the top drawer but in the end I gave up. Caulking station was the next step...

Followed by lots of paint. I used home made chalk paint, following the recipe HERE. The back beadboard panel was painted a grey-bluish custom color, the rest of the hutch was done using Valspar White Dove. Three coats were necessary. Clear wax was then applied all around.

Then, my favorite part, like my husband says: "The moving thing began" :)

Instead of the "scalloped drawer", a basket was used, is one of those baskets for under bed storage found at Michael's. It fits perfectly!

I came up with a solution for the drawer and door pulls. You can read all about it HERE.

The letter E was found at T.J. Maxx a couple of months ago, it was in the clearance section for two dollars. Can you spot the little rabbit inside the crate? It is one of my daughter's creations, she is taking a ceramics class and she was super happy I was using it here. I love it ;)

A nice oldish clock, I bought it at Pick Your Plum, it was like $10.

Well, there you have it, here is how it looks from the kitchen table.

Of course I couldn't leave you without the before and after :)

More about the styling HERE.
Thanks so much for stopping by!


Pending projects

February 11, 2014
Pending Projects

Last weekend we picked our latest Craiglist find, a nice hutch. I like some of its features, the fact that is a strong piece of furniture, and the best part: that it was free. Thanks to Kevin and his family. They got it for free and were upgrading, so they gave it for free too ;)

Painted Kitchen Stools

February 07, 2014
how to update the look of a set of stools with coffee graphics

Long time ago when we renovated the kitchen, we bought a new set of stools. The kids really wanted to have the ones they could automatically adjust the height and most importantly, they wanted the new stools to spin round and round, and that's what they got. Not that I like them that much, but for the price and the fact that the kids love them, they are still there in the kitchen serving its purpose.

Since that time, the old set of stools have been going places around the house. They are the ones I grab when I need to reach for something in the highest cupboards. My kids have been using them as small tables when they eat their snacks or when doing homework, and as you can see, they've also been a paint station for many of my projects :)

I don't think they are going to replace the ones in the kitchen, at least for now, but since we use them so much I thought a makeover was greatly needed.
After sanding them pretty well, I decided I wanted the "new stools" to have that little skirt most of the stools have. So, out of 1x2's  the little pieces were cut and added to the stools with the Kreg mechanism.
How to install a wooden skirt to plain stools.

Now that they were properly dressed, some more embellishments were not going to hurt, hah. I don't know why I always keep on adding stuff and making things more complicated than needed, but here I am working on the skirt when I see those wooden screw covers and of course I have to add them too.
installing wooden screw covers as nice decor on stools

I'm not a great painter, these stools were good pieces to experiment and learn with. I wanted to go for a distressed look, the one you see the other colors under-neigh the top coat. First they were spray painted red and blue, but when I went looking for petroleum jelly to rub on some spots so the next layer of paint didn't stick...Alas I had none, and I didn't want to go and buy some. So, black paint was then applied, I was just crossing my fingers to see the bright colors showing at the end ;)
stools painted transformation

At this point I decided to work on the seat.  You can get my free graphics HERE and HERE. You know I love coffee, well, if it's Colombian coffee I like it better ;)  Using graphite paper the designs were transferred and filled in with a black Sharpie.
Painted coffee graphics on stool seat

Two final coats of chalk paint were then applied to the legs. Using a sanding block I kept on looking for those bright colors ;)
coffee graphics and sanded, distressed effect

The letters were also distressed. Be careful, the ink can bleed into the unpainted areas. Finally, two coats of stain were applied to the seat and the decorative covers.
Protecting the finish of bar stools with Varethane

The stain gives them a nice soft shine.

Black is mostly the color peeking out, though I saw some red specks :)
Kitchen stools makeover

The before and the after.
the before and after

My kids are not happy I painted them white again, but black is too drastic for my small space I think.
Colombian Coffee - Free printables

Well, after all this work it's now time to go and have a cup of coffee ;)

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