Thursday, August 30

Pottery Painting is the New Bar Trivia

A while back, our bar trivia nights got cancelled because the bar couldn't support the fees anymore. We were heartbroken.. Lost.. What will we do on Tuesday nights?!

Then we found pottery. Our salvation!

We started going to Creatopia, a paint-your-own-pottery place in Downtown Plymouth, a few weeks ago. And we're in love. At first we thought the whole shebang was a little pricey -- $16 for a cup plus a $5 studio fee?! But then we realized that we easily spent the same amount at trivia every week, and that was on alcohol rather than, you know, something we'd have for keeps.

So far I've made a cup and a bowl. Apparently I'm going for a set of whimsy dishes? I love them. Scotty has been solely working on a Hulk head cookie jar, which is finally complete, hahaha. Whatta dude choice, am I right?

Hulk's hair lifts off, and when it's missing it looks like Hulk is balding... So Scotty painted the "bald" part green to really hit that look home. 

We're going again tonight {Thursday is ladies night, which means Michele and I get a discounted studio fee!} and I'm planning to take photos of the actual process. 

What do you think? Pottery seems like an even exchange for bar night, right? ;-)
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Wednesday, August 29

Endless Summer

Having had a not-so-summery-summer, Scotty and I wanted to cram a whole lot o' summer into our weekend before my school year starts. 

The perfect summer day: beautiful weather and every stereotypical "summer" activity. 

We grilled and had a picnic by the lakeside {where much to my dismay, a woman was feeding the geese and ducks by the hundreds}, played putt-putt {I got three holes in one!}, went swimming, and went on a midnight ice cream run. Perfect. 

What are your quintessential summer activities? :)
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Furniture Facelift: Ornate Table

I'm thinking of making this a series of sorts: Furniture Facelifts. Because truth be told, a large percentage of my "crafty DIYs" are really about how I saved some abandoned, ugly piece of furniture and gave it new life. 

Take this table. I found it in the upstairs storage area of my stepdad's business and begged him to let me have it. It was his grandmother's, so it took some convincing, but eventually he handed it over. I began the project in my pre-blogging days, so I don't have a before picture. Just imagine the table all wood instead of white {it has one coat of primer in the above photos}.

This table has great details. Which are beautiful, but also incredibly difficult to sand. So I discovered an amazing product -- liquid sandpaper! Or deglosser {a way less cool name}. You basically rub that all over and it removes the glossy layer on something, helping the paint/primer adhere better. So I did that.  

Then I used spray primer allllll over this baby. The spray primer was able to get into all the nooks and crannies in a way that a paint brush would not have really been able too. 

A couple coats of primer later, I added a few coats of white satin spray paint. I use Krylon brand from Michael's {equipped with a trigger attachment} because it's the best. But that's just personal preference. ;) Finally, I sprayed a couple coats of polyurethane all over for added durability. And that's it!

I love the crisp white, the contrast between the new paint and old style. Now I have a bright and fresh looking table. It always amazes me what a difference a simple coat of paint can make. ♥
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Tuesday, August 28

Little Piglet

Fall is approaching and all my favorite craft stores smell like Autumn. Mmm... I love it. But Fall means Christmas is coming in craft-world, which means I need to get my Etsy shop up to date!

I'm working on my little stuffed guys for now, and handing Christmas ornament patterns over to Momma to supervise.

What do we think of my little piggy? ♥
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Summer Lovin' @ Zoomance

Have you heard of the Zoomance? It's quickly becoming one of my favorite summer traditions.

Basically, the Detroit Zoo holds an adults-only night, on which only those 21 and up are allowed at the zoo {hello, no screaming kids or crying babies?!}. You get to see the animals at night and they serve booze.

Unfortunately, this is the only non-blurry photo I could salvage. Let's just say it was dark, the animals were far away, and I had had a few captain and coke's by the fountain at this point, okay? ;-)

SUCH a cute date night activity, folks. Gotta love it. ♥
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Monday, August 27

Furniture Facelift: DIY Upholstered Trunk

Are you ready for the easiest upholstery project ever? Good. Because this is it. 

I found this trunk at a thrift store. Four years ago... And it's taken this long for anything to happen to it... But that's another story for another time. Anyway, I found this baby for less than $5. Of course, that could have been because of the completely busted lid, but who's to say? So she needed a new lid. So with the help of my stepdad and grandfather, eventually, one was made.

As you can see, the wood of the lid doesn't exactly match the wood of the rest of the trunk. So what's a girl to do?! Turn it into a cushy ottoman/bench/trunk of course! And it could not be easier. Okay, it probably could, but this is pretty easy as is, trust me.

**you also might want a hammer!**
I removed the lid from the trunk for the upholstering process and reattached the hinges after I was done.

I think it goes without saying that you want your foam to match the size of your trunk lid, and of course you want enough batting and fabric to cover the lid as well. In this case, my lid was about 2' x 3', so 1 yd. of 54" upholstery fabric was plenty, and one package of batting was sufficient as well. Words of wisdom: don't pay full price for this stuff! Joanns and Hobby Lobby put their home decor fabric on sale pretty regularly, so hold out for sale prices. Same goes for the batting. The foam doesn't really go on sale, but the stores put out "40% off one item" coupons pretty much weekly, and you can use that on one cut of foam, one cut of fabric, etc. So don't pay full price!

Place your foam on top of your lid, lining up the edges. Drape your batting over the foam; the more layers, the cushier it will be. I used four layers. (Note: I don't really use batting in my day-to-day life, so I was pretty generous with my layers and didn't worry about conserving the leftovers. Hence the large overhang of material on the sides. You can be more precise if you like.)

Drape your fabric over the batting. Tip: It's easier to drape all this with the lid off the ground; I put the lid across the trunk for this process.

Carefully flip the whole lid, fabric and all, upside-down and onto the floor. Being cautious not to pull too hard, begin stapling the fabric and batting to the wood so that it is taut across the lid. Staple opposite sides rather than around (that is, do the right side and then the left, rather than right, bottom, left, top), pulling as you go. When stapling, be sure to keep the staple gun square on the wood rather than titled one way or the other, or the staples may not really go into the lid. You may want to hammer your staples as you work as well to ensure that they are firmly in place through the layers of fabric and batting (I hammered all of mine).

Fold the corners of the fabric and batting up, being careful of the pleating, and staple in place. You may need to trim away excess batting to make this process easier.

Trim away the excess fabric and batting. Check to see that the fabric is secure and add more staples as needed. 

Reattach to your trunk, and voila! A newly upholstered cushy trunk, perfect to put your feet on and store your extra pillows and blankets inside!

let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Friday, August 24

LIFE + LOVE: Paint Chip Art

I am not one for wall art. Well, more accurately, I am not one for buying "art" at a store; something that a million other people could likely have on their walls at home just doesn't appeal to me too much.  I like photos of people I love, photos I've taken, or art that has some personal meaning to me (like, you know, I made it!). Unfortunately, Scotty cannot stand my barren walls. He's always saying that I need some more wall decor. And so, inspired by the ever-inspiring A Beautiful Mess, I decided to make some wall art on the cheap using free materials... Paint swatches! My method varies somewhat, but you can see the original tutorial from their site here. So let's get started! 

- a LOT of swatches! 
- glue dots or double sided tape of some kind
- poster size frame {with stock paper insert}
- white cardstock
- paper cutter or scissors

Now, when getting swatches, keep in mind that you will need a ton. And you can either make several trips to the paint department, or you can grab more than you need in one go. If you're going for the one stop shop method, I suggest bringing a purse that will hold all your swatches. That way, you can stuff small stacks away at a time, avoiding the "what do you possibly need all those swatches for" looks from workers and your fellow customers while holding upwards of 150 swatches in your hand. I mean, speaking form personal experience... ;) 

Other considerations when selecting swatches: Think about whether or not you would like to stick with a specific color family (all blues, red + orange, etc.), or if you'd like a full on assortment of colors (which is what I did). Also keep in mind that there is such a thing as too much color. I actually went back to the store in search of neutral swatches to break up all the color. Adding some grays, whites, and blacks really made a noticeable difference! Lastly, consider the style of the swatches you're selecting. At first, I chose swatches from a few different companies, but I found that the different types cut up differently and the tones were just varied. I decided to stick with all swatches from the same company (Glidden); their colors were brightest and the swatches weren't too thick to cut through cleanly. 

  1. Cut swatches into 2" x 2" squares, being sure to cut off the text on the swatches. I was able to get two squares out of each Glidden swatch.
  2. The paper insert is the paper that comes IN the frame when you buy it form the store. Luckily for us, the paper insert fits perfectly inside the frame! Remove the paper and flip it over; this will serve as the backing for your collage.
  3. Start attaching swatch squares with your glue dots so that the squares line up to one another. You may have to overlap a row or two so that they all fit within the frame. I used a roll of glue dots {here} which made it ridiculously easy to attach them one by one -- love it!
  4. Once all your squares are attached, get out your white cardstock! I used one of my favorite sans-serif fonts {Steelfish}, and typed out two words, LiFE and LOVE. I printed outlines of the letters large enough so that they would fit proportionally in the frame (I had to print out the letters individually, two per page).
  5. Cut out the letters, arrange them to your liking, and attach with glue dots.
  6. Put your paper inserts back into the frames, and if you're like me, let your new art sit on the back of your couch for weeks while you decide where to hang it up!

Mine ended up in the bathroom, filling the awkward wall space above the toilet, between the shower and the bathroom mirror. Plus, they add much needed color to my very white bathroom! 

If you give this project a try, I'd love to see your results! I also thought it would be fun to cut graphic shapes out of the cardstock rather than letters or words. A simple heart perhaps? Or a cute owl? Oh, the possibilities...
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss

Tuesday, August 21

Pretty Keys: DIY

I like pretty things. Sometimes I like ugly things because they're funny, but mostly, I like my things to be pretty. And the brass keys for my apartment? Not so pretty. I had seen a picture of some pretty keys on Pinterest forever ago, and while I didn't actually look at the link for a how-to, I felt inspired! The first key I prettied is the glitter key pictured above! I mean, come on, how cute is that? ;)

The next key on my "to-pretty" list? The brass key pictured above. 

- a copy of the key you want to paint*
- painter's tape 
- nail polish you'd like to use {I used glitter polish for the key in the first photo}
- top coat nail polish
*I needed a copy because my key is an apartment key that I'll have to return eventually, plus I like the silver better than brass... But you may not need a copy if you're painting an original!

Tape off the top section of the key for painting {or if you're a super neat painter, risk it tape-free!}.

Paint your key with polish! Be sure to coat the sides and the inside of the key ring hole as well. Be generous with the polish, smoothing it as you go. 
After the first coat has dried for a few minutes, paint on a second coat {just like you would your nails}. 

To keep my key from touching any surfaces while it dried, I taped the key into the tape roll as pictured. 
Basically, peel back the loose tape end, hold the key against the roll far enough from the end of the tape that the tape will cover over the key, and press the loose tape end to the roll over the key. 

Once the second coat has dried sufficiently, add a generous layer of the top coat polish to all areas of the key, including the sides and key ring hole. 

After your top coat is reasonably dry {about an hour or so}, peel off your tape and clean up any paint mishaps. And voila! You've got pretty keys! 

Did you notice that my nail polish matches my key? Pahaha, stylin'... Use different colors for different keys and you'll have a replacement for durable, long lasting "key covers" on the cheap!
let's connect ---> facebook // instagram // twitter // pinterest // rss
Pin It button on image hover