Soft & Fluffy Sweet Potato Waffle Recipe

With Mother's Day quickly approaching, Tim & Mary Vidra, from 17 Apart, couldn't wait to share this favorite sweet potato waffle recipe that serves both as delicious homemade brunch option and a special treat sure to make mom feel appreciated and celebrated. The creamy and flavorful batter combines a classic base batter recipe and sweet potato puree — the two come together, creating an airy waffle with big flavor for an instant crowd-pleaser.

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Ingredients:

 

Sweet potato puree

1 medium sweet potato

roasted 3T milk or buttermilk

1T butter, melted

1/4 cup walnut pieces

Healthy sprinkle of cinnamon

Dash of vanilla extract

 

Batter

2 cups flour

2T baking powder

2T sugar

Pinch of salt

2 cups of milk

1 egg

 

Toppings

Your favorite maple syrup

Whipped cream

Chopped walnuts


To make the puree, first roast the sweet potato by wrapping the scrubbed potato loosely in aluminum foil. Place in a 400° oven for 40 minutes. Flip the potato halfway through the cooking time;  once done allow to cool and scoop the soft potato from the skin and set aside. Turn on your waffle iron, allowing it to heat up while finishing the puree and making the waffle batter. Spray both sides with non stick coating. Blend the roasted sweet potato, buttermilk, melted butter, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth and creamy in a bowl.

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In a separate bowl mix together remaining batter ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, milk, egg and salt). Whisk until smooth. Slowly incorporate the sweet potato mixture into the flour batter until smooth. Ladle about 1 cup of batter onto the preheated waffle iron, cooking until brown and easily lifting away cleanly from the griddle.

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To serve, top with your favorite syrup, whipped cream and sprinkle with additional walnuts.

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Happy Mother's Day!

How to Fold & File T-Shirts for More Drawer Space

Hi, it’s Ada, from Ada's Interior Design, here again! If you feel you're lacking space in your dresser drawer then this is the perfect do-it-yourself post for you!


 

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My hubby has toooons of t-shirts. He usually does the laundry, and I am in charge of putting the clothes away. I hang some, fold some, or mysteriously get rid of some (donate pile!). But, we always end up with an overflow of t-shirts that I have to squish into the dresser drawers. Then, I started filing the t-shirts. Yep, FILING them!  Today’s post I will show you step by step on how you can FOLD and FILE t-shirts to save lots of space in your drawers. It’s shockingly amazing how much storage space this fold and file t-shirt technique saves in drawers!

Materials:

Nothing! With these techniques you don't need any materials besides t-shirts

 

Instructions:

Lay t-shirt so back faces the top

Fold left side to the right

Fold right side to the left

Fold bottom

Fold middle

Fold top

 

T-shirt is now ready to be filed. How long do these 6 steps take? This process takes SECONDS to do. Seriously! I actually took a stopwatch and timed myself and it took me 15 seconds to fold/file. Easy breezy! Below are the steps with photos, and as you will see our kitten T-Rex helped:

1. Lay t-shirt so back faces the top (so you can see the front design at the end) 

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2. Fold left side to the right (about 1” from collar)

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3. Fold right side to the left 

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4. Fold bottom (⅓ rd way up)

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5. Fold middle (⅓ rd way up)

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6.Fold top (⅓ rd way up)

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All done, in seconds! Now simple FILE IT in your dresser!

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Hmmm, I may end up filing jeans, undies, socks, and sweaters. When storing winter clothes I usually lay them flat in bins, but now that I am a clothing filer connoisseur I may file everything! You too? Check out my Instagram feed where I added a cute video showing this fold and file technique.  

5 Home Accents You Should Have on Hand

It’s always fun to freshen your home decor with each new season. However, instead of running out to the store and spending money on new home accents, Sharon Hines, from Mrs. Hines' Class, is showing us how to stock up on a few essential pieces that will serve your home throughout the year.


Here are my top 5 picks for home accents you should always have on hand.:

1. Easels

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Easels are great for propping up artwork.

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They aren’t limited to just traditional artwork. I’ve used an easel to hold a frame that the easel back had broken off of. And I love to use easels to create artwork out of plates.

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Speaking of plates, they are next on my must-have list of home accents.


2. Plates

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Plates are very versatile pieces which can be used as trays,

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colorful backdrops in bookcases,

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and candle chargers.

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This brings me to the next home decor item on my list.

 

3. Candles

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What prop closet would be complete without a collection of candles? I recommend tealights and votives for entertaining, taper candles for dining and decor and pillar candles for seasonal changes.

 

4. Vase Filler

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To me, candles and vase filler goes hand in hand. Whether you tuck a tealight atop the vase filler or surround a pillar with a seasonal favorite, vase fillers are such an easy way to change your decor with the seasons.

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5. Throw Pillow Covers

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Throw pillows are such an easy way to add seasonal color to your home. Buy quality down or down alternative pillow forms or pillows with removable covers. If you don’t sew, you can find pillow covers on Etsy at a reasonable price.

Keeping basic home accents like these on hand saves on time and money. Create a prop “closet” by storing your decor in an unused closet, an armoire or the garage for easy convenience. If you’d like to see the other items in my prop closet and how I organize them, visit my blog at www.mrshinesclass.com.

Reviving an Old Dresser

Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is back this week to show us how to save and refresh an old worn out dresser.


A friend of mine was cleaning out her home and found this dresser that was in her daughter's childhood room. While it had been great for her daughter, it was starting to get tired looking. Scratches on the surface and outdated hardware showed the true age of this piece. Structurally it was in great condition it just needed a little update.

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Paint to the rescue!

First, I removed the old hardware and put those aside for later use. Then, I lightly sanded down the old pieces being sure to smooth out the rough spots, and evening out the raised areas.

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Once that was done I started on the makeover. I wanted to spend as little as possible so I knew I was going to save the hardware. The only issue was that I wasn’t loving the back plates on the old hardware; those alone were dating the piece.

So, as I have shown before in previous posts, I lightly tapped a hammer to knock off the old back plates. Once the back plates were removed I could spray paint the remaining the hardware with brass paint to give them a little more glamorous look.

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While those were drying I set them aside and started on the dresser itself. I chose some CeCe Caldwell's Michigan Pine natural clay paint to makeover this color. It's colorful yet still a bit neutral.

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After giving the the piece two thin coats of paint I let it dry.

I decided to make the old details that were part of the drawer fronts pop a little by using some cream paint to dry-brush the details.

To dry-brush you just dab a tiny bit of paint on your brush, tamper it on a dry cloth so that there is almost no paint on the brush and gently brush it across the top of the drawer fronts being sure to focus on the edges and details. It gives just a tiny bit of detail to finish off the piece.

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Once I was happy with my dry-brushing I could seal the piece with a thin coat of satin polyurethane. After that was dry I reattached updated hardware.

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I think you will agree it changed the look and feel of the piece and cost very little. I hope you enjoyed this makeover and I hope it inspired you to save a piece yourself.

Budget-Friendly Kitchen Makeover

Looking to give your kitchen a little makeover without spending a fortune? Carmen Ordonez, from Viva Fashion, took on the task and gave her kitchen a face lift on a budget.

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The first thing I decided to do was change the color of my cabinets. It’s amazing what some simple white paint can do. It pretty much looks night and day.

Before, my kitchen looked very dark and gloomy. Now, the white cabinets make the kitchen look bright, airy and so much bigger. There are several DIY resurfacing kits, in case you want to try it yourself.

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I also switched out the old kitchen hardware. If you are ever looking to do a small kitchen update, this is definitely a good place to start. I found these kitchen hardware in Satin Nickel and got them in two sizes (5 inches for the cabinets and 3 inches for the drawers). All together, this was under $50 bucks.

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The second most drastic change, aside from the white cabinets, was the floor. My house has dark hardwood floors, so I knew I wanted to go with something lighter for the kitchen.

I ended up going with this one in a Brazilian Pecan color. It’s wood tile, but it looks just like wood. I also prefer it better than real wood, because it doesn’t get dinged up. Also, being that it’s in the kitchen you don’t have to worry about spills.

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So there you have it, an easy kitchen makeover that won’t break the bank. What do you think? Have you ever considered painting your kitchen cabinets?

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Single Serving Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie

Pamela Reed, from Brooklyn Farm Girl, is teaching us a recipe for a single cookie because it's too easy to eat an entire dozen.

 


Do you remember my Blueberry Sponge Cake recipe?  The goal was to create a small single serving cake so I don’t eat an entire cake.  Well I’m back again with single serving happiness, but this time cookies!  Why? Because cookies are the best!  And if there’s a dozen cookies in my kitchen I’m going to eat them all.

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These cookies include two of my favorite ingredients: peanut butter and chocolate.  It will take you less than two minutes to gather all the ingredients and then you’ll throw it into your oven for 10 minutes. This recipe is perfect for a toaster oven, as there’s no reason to heat up your big oven for just one cookie.  Wait until the cookie turns golden brown, then take it out of the oven and let it cool for a few minutes.  

Ingredients:
 
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon sugar (white or brown sugar)
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons milk
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon chocolate chips
 
Directions:

Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees.
Mix flour, sugar, and baking powder in small bowl.
 
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Add peanut butter, butter, milk and vanilla
 
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and continue to stir until combined.
 
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Add chocolate chips and gently fold over in the dough.
 
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Spray small pan with baking spray.
Form dough into one cookie and place on pan.
 
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Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes.
 
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Now the fun part - time to relax and eat a cookie!  Grab your cookie, some tea or milk, the current book you’re reading (or a episode of Downton Abbey) and enjoy your Single Serving Cookie!


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Free Guest Room WiFi Printable

Courtney Hamby, of The Hamby Home, was generous enough to share a printable with us. This WiFi printable is a great addition to your guest room and will instantly make your guest feel welcomed. Click the links below to download the printable as either a 4x6 or 5x7 image.


I’m always trying to come up with small ways to make our guest room more functional and more welcoming. One simple way you can make your guests feel at home is to provide them with all the things that they may need and usually have to ask for (towels, toiletries, extra blankets, pillows, etc.). I bought a tray for the guest bathroom and styled it with toiletries and I have been trying to come up with things to add in the bedroom.

One thing we noticed was that all of our guests asked for our Wifi password and it’s a long random code that isn’t memorable which made it difficult for us and our guests. I decided to design this free printable for you and for me! Just print it out and write in your wifi password and put in a cute frame. It blends in with your room decor but is one less thing your guests have to worry about during their stay!

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Download the 4x6 print here>>

Download the 5x7 print here>>

I’d love to hear what you do to make your guests feel more at home in the comments below!

DIY Vintage French Flower Box

Spring has sprung! In Michigan spring is finally starting to show itself, but the season hasn't fully blossomed yet. But if you want to be ready for the outdoors when spring does bloom then this is the perfect project for you. 

Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is going to show us how to make a vintage French flower box from food-grade pallets.(She used food-grade pallets because that means they are safe in case you decide to plant veggies or fruit in your planter box. )


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First things first: find yourself a pallet.  I have some friends at a local grocery store that don't want to pay to dispose of their pallets and I'm happy to take them off their hands. (If you don’t know where to find them you can always look online. I always see people advertising free pallets!)

I cut apart my pallets and keep them in small sections for multiple projects.

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I lay out my boards and figure out how big I want my planter box to be. The size of the box will depend on what size you cut your boards. You will need 3 long boards and 2 short boards; you are building a rectangle box. I lay out my pieces and use my nail gun to put my pieces together. You can hand nail this or even use an electric screwdriver.

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Now that my planter box is built I can get on to the fun part. I want to keep the rustic feel of the planter box so I don’t want to give it a full coat of paint. Instead, I use a wash of paint. To make a wash, you add a little bit of paint to water until you get the color you want.

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Once its dry you have multiple options for finishing. You could use some chalkboard paint and paint on a little area to write on what you have in the planter box, or you could what I did and use some fun, simple stencils to add the French word for flowers to the box. If you don’t have stencils you could hand letter it as well.

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One tip when stencil or letting anything: start from the middle. I put a little mark where my center was and worked out to the left and right with my letters. This way, your lettering stays centered and you don’t run out of room. After you finish, again let it dry.

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To distress it, I just sanded it down a little and it was ready to fill with flowers. Like I said before, since I used food-safe pallets I could plant my flowers right in the box.

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I hope you enjoyed this fun and simple free little DIY project.

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I can’t wait to see what you build!

DIY Upcycled Planter Ideas

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Cassie, from Primitive and Proper, is sharing some of her favorite ideas for upcycled planters: either making a planter out of another object, or taking an old planter and giving it a new lease on life.


It’s officially official!  Spring is here!  Of course where I live Spring seems to be unofficially undecided on whether it’s arrived or not as its calendar equinox brought a little snow our way.  Mentally I am so ready to embrace it and I’ve got porch decor, happy colors and fresh greens, and planter ideas on my mind.

Almost anything can become a planter; you just have to look at it differently from its original purpose.  This succulent planter began life as a candle holder, and with a little paint, some rocks for drainage, and some adorable little cacti and succulents, it became a planter.  With its size and shape, it is perfect for a centerpieces on a table.  

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I love to use vintage finds and recreate them.  Vintage insulators are relatively easy to find and come in the greatest color, aqua.  They have rounded bottoms, so they’re perfect to make into hanging planters for tiny plants like succulents or little cacti.

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Vintage jars can easily be found at yard sales this summer, so repurpose them as planters.  And better yet, add a little gold leaf to modernize them a bit.  They’re perfect for creating your own indoor kitchen window herb garden.

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Vintage tins are also a dime a dozen at antique shops and more and they come in a huge range of size.  They can make excellent planters for large house plants…

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… all the way down to the tiniest of house plants.

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But of course nothing is as fun or creative as when one truly pushes oneself to think way outside the planter box.  In this case, a broken old vintage globe was made into a fabulous wall pocket.

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And finally, if you aren’t feeling too creatively confident, recycle the obvious!  I see terra cotta pots all the time at thrift shops and yard sales.  A couple of years ago I scooped up a bunch for a steal.  Some had a great patina to them and were perfect as is, but others were a little lackluster.  I created these gold leaf terra cotta pots (some with borders, some dipped, some with lettering) to add a little sparkle to my porch.

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So now are you ready to hit the thrift shops and find your next planter?  Have fun with it!  And wherever you are I sure hope Spring is bringing you sunshine and flowers, but if not, these are all great ideas to use outside or indoors.  Happy planting!


For more DIY tips, check out the DIY section of our blog or visit our Pinterest page!

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Add a Fashionable Flair to Your Home with Vintage Posters

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Most of us probably haven't considered decorating with posters since we fitted out our dorm rooms. However, vintage posters inject an element of culture and history into your home that regular framed art often can't. An endless variety of vintage poster (replicas) exist online starting from just a few dollars and Gabrielle Anschau, from Trend Mogul, is going to show us how to decorate with them!


Let the posters you choose for your home reflect your hobbies and interests. Vintage posters come in just about every variety you can think of - advertisements, travel, film, sport, fashion & beauty, etc.

Bigger Is Better

Particularly for posters with text on them, bigger is always better. Posters should be used to make a statement, not blend into the background.

Side note: ALWAYS frame your posters - remember, you're not decorating your dorm room!

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No Need To Hang Your Posters

Let the colors, text and intricacies in the poster do all the talking. Create a statement by leaning an oversized vintage poster against a wall. Use a simple black or white frame and avoid cluttering the area around the poster. The striking contrast of the pink in the Audrey Hepburn 'Funny Face' poster and the pale blue wall it leans against creates a dramatic, gallery-like effect in this living room.

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Alternatively, place framed posters on a picture rail. The variety of colors and styles in the posters seen below add an eclectic flair to this bedroom. The simplicity of the frames also avoids overwhelming the space.

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Vintage Travel Posters

Frame vintage travel posters to reflect your worldly travels (or your travel bucket list!) Create a gallery wall affect by hanging frames of various sizes. Note how the overall theme remains consistent throughout the posters.

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Get Creative!

Give an old desk or table a vintage makeover! Vintage-style postcards and calendars are the perfect size for collaging and can be found easily and cheaply online. Framing studios will cut glass to size to fit over the top of your eclectic collage. Discuss your intentions with a framing professional and they will advise on appropriate kind of glass for your project.

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Bathroom & Laundry

Traditional framed art can often look out of place in the bathroom and  laundry. Framed posters offer a more relaxed alternative. This oversized vintage poster by Bernard Villemont adds vibrancy and creates a comical focal point in this otherwise modest bathroom. Continue the yellow theme in the form of hand towels, candles, flowers etc.

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Kitchen

It's as if French marketing companies in the 1950's knew their advertisements would one day be hung in our kitchens! Use vintage food and restaurant advertisements to add a fashionable focal point in your kitchen. The RITA Waffles poster below adds a splash of color and an element of softness in this monochromatic kitchen.

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nidahspa.jpg(Source: nidahspa.com)


For more design tips, check out the "design tips" section of our blog or visit our Pinterest page!

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Adorable & Easy Homemade Cake Ball Recipe

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Alicia Pileggi, from The Crafterglow, is going to show us how to make Pinterest-worthy cake balls! All you need is a little melting chocolate, a crumbled up cake, and icing to create this bite-size goody. This is the perfect last minute recipe for birthdays or just a fun way to get rid of leftover cake after a party. You can decorate them in a multitude of ways and put them on a stick to create the trendy cake pops or place them in pretty paper wrappers for cute bonbons. 


Make sure to include the kids for this recipe. It’s super easy and fun - what kid wouldn’t love tearing a cake to shreds?! Plus you can add food coloring to your icing to create fun, vibrant colors.

 

*Makes 25-35 balls*

 

Ingredients:

1 boxed vanilla cake (bake according to directions on the box)

1 can of vanilla frosting (16oz)

½ pound chocolate candy melts

Spoonful shortening (optional)

 

Toppings (optional):

Shredded coconut

Mini chocolate chips

Sprinkles

 

Prepare and bake the cake mix as directed on package. Once you have let your cake cool completely, it’s time to crumble it up. You can cut it into quarters and then, in a large bowl, use your hands or a fork to crumble into very fine pieces.

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Add approximately ¾ of your container of icing to the cake mix. Mix thoroughly - this step is easiest with your hands. The resulting dough should be firm enough to hold together when you squeeze it in your hands (add more icing if not firm).

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Once your dough is ready, roll into bite-size balls. Use a small ice-cream scoop to easily get consistent perfect-size balls. Place your cake balls on a pan lines in wax paper and refrigerate for an hour or two, or place in the freezer for 20 minutes. *Tip: if you want to make fun brightly colored cake balls like mine, add a few drops of food coloring to your icing and mix thoroughly before you add it to the cake crumbles.

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Melt your chocolate wafers either in the microwave a the double broiler. If you use a microwave, only heat for 30 seconds at a time and stir in between until melted. Be careful not to overheat or it will get thick and hard to work with. I didn’t have a double broiler so I made one myself by boiling a pot of water and placing a stainless steel bowl over the top.

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Slowly melt the chocolates, stirring sparingly. If the chocolate is too thick you can add a spoonful of shortening to thin it out. Once your chocolate has melted, take the chilled cake balls and coat them one at a time. Be careful not to roll them around much, because the cake may crumble off and make the chocolate thick. Just place the ball into the melted chocolate and spoon chocolate over top of it.

Once thoroughly coated, use the spoon to remove it from chocolate and place it on wax paper to cool. Repeat the process for each ball.

While the chocolate is still soft you can decorate the top of the cake balls with sprinkles, toasted coconut, mini chocolate chips or anything you think would be pretty or yummy. Once they have cooled place in paper cups for display.

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How cute and simple?!

When making these try using colored icing, colored chocolate, and all different types of sprinkles and toppings to create your own little masterpieces. Have fun and be creative!

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Happy Eats!


For more delicious recipes, check out the recipe section of the blog or visit our Pinterest page

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Super Simple DIY Geometric Artwork

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Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is super excited to show us an easy way to make some stunning geometric artwork.

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I recently got a new bed and the style of my bedroom had changed so I needed some new decor. But decor doesn’t have to be expensive in order to look good; all you need is a few supplies and a little bit of patience.

First, decide on what size canvas you need. Being an artist, I always have canvases laying around. I had purchased these 12x36 canvas during a buy one get one free sale. I knew I wanted to use both of them to create my artwork so I unwrapped them and got to work.

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I wanted to go with a muted, yet metallic, color pattern so I decided on gray and gold. I laid out my canvases and coated both of them with some metallic gold paint.

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This is where the patience comes in. You have to wait until they are dry before you move on to your next step.I waited a full day letting them sit to make sure they were dry.

Once they were totally dry I grabbed some painters tape and started laying down a geometric pattern. They sky is the limit here and you can do what ever shapes you want. I wanted random shapes so I just put tape down until I liked how it looked.

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Make sure you press all the edges down to prevent paint bleed through. In order to keep your lines crisp, paint a very thin coat of your base color on top of the tape getting all the edges. This creates a nice seal and clean line if there are any spots you happen to miss pressing down.

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Once that thin coat is dry you can get started with your top coat. I wanted slightly different colors on my artwork so I mixed up a darker gray for one and then added a little white to the next one to make it a lighter shade of gray.

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I painted on top of the canvas making sure I filled my canvas with all my color. Once you are happy with your coverage wait just a little bit for the paint to set.

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When you are ready, start pulling off the tape to reveal your artwork.

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After its all fully dry you are ready to hang your new work of art for all to see. I am thrilled with my new artwork and love the simple design it adds to my room.

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I hope you enjoyed this easy DIY home project. I can’t wait to see what you create for your home. Until next time, have a beautiful day!


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DIY Chicken Wire Birdcage

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Jessica Bures, from Live Randomly Simple, is showing us how to make a cute chicken wire birdcage. It's so easy and so adorable - how can you resist? 

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So excited to be back again this month bringing you a great upcycled project. I have a slight problem with chicken wire decor for my homestead and this made from scratch birdcage is stealing my heart.

I found the base at a thrift store months ago and it sat in my stock pile begging to be refinished. I was not quite sure what to do with it but then a light bulb went off and BOOM..birdcage! Fair warning I took lots of photos but it was very easy to put together. Lets get started!

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As you can see the base was black and white and although it was already pretty I decided to use the can of copper spray paint I was dying to paint something with! So I covered it in spray paint and let it dry.

Then I cut the chicken wire the circumference of the bowl.

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Using a pair of tin snips or wire cutters cut the chicken wire. When you finish cutting use a pair of pliers to twist the sharp edges around forming the chicken wire into a circle that will fit in the base you are using.

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The next part I forgot to take photos of but it was fairly simple. Using a drill with a small bit you want to drill a few holes in your base every few inches around the edge. This will be where you add wire to attach the top. You will see what I mean below.

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Cut some wire about 3-4 inches long. Place it around the chicken wire and through the hole.

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After you have the wire through the hole use your pliers and twist it around to make it spiral then smash it down flat so it looks like this.

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Now that the chicken wire is secured to the base it is time to shape the top into a cage. This part was a little tricky and I bled a few times, but in the end it was worth it.

Using your wire snips cut down about 2-3 inches every few inches around the top of the wire. This will allow you to bend and shape the top to look like its rounded.

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After I got this far I pondered what I was going to do for the top. So I found an old candle lid and decided it would make a great top and allow me to change the contents inside the cage easily.

I also needed something to keep the cage from adjusting so I searched my stock pile and found embroidery hoops that were just under the size of the candle lid. Perfect!

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After you fold the wire onto a piece of the hoop take a pair of pliers and start folding all of the sharp edges of the wire around to connect it again where you made all of the cuts. This part was time consuming but in the end you could barely tell it was custom made.

This next part is totally optional but I wanted to cover up the exposed wire on the hoop so I cut some fabric and hot glued it on.

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Now just sit your lid on and decorate the inside! It really turned out great. A few times during the process I about gave up but I am glad I finished it because it is one of my favorite pieces!

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It is the perfect time to make one of these for your homes and decorate it for Easter and spring! Put some fun moss eggs in it, maybe a primitive bunny and some moss. Perfect!

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Have fun making your new birdcage and feel free to share photos when you make one or if you have any questions comment below. Happy crafting!


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DIY Easy-to-Make Earring Stands

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Making your own earring stand is easier than you think! With just a few supplies you can make a jewelry stand to match your home decor. Julie Grimmett, from Julie is Coco and Cocoa, is going to show us just how easy this process is.

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My bedroom furniture is all black so my stands are black and metal.

These earring stands are made from three main pieces: a picture frame, an egg cup, and some plastic canvas. Then you just need some assembly pieces. (With Easter coming up there were plenty of egg cups at my store.)

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Supplies:
Picture frames (mine are 5x7)
Wooden egg cup
Plastic canvas
Paint and paintbrushes, or spray paint
Hot glue gun and glue sticks
Scissors
Marker (for measuring)

I wanted the plastic to fill the entire frame, so I used the paper insert from the picture frames to measure how big to cut my plastic canvas. I marked the measurements with a marker and then cut out the size that I needed.

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I quickly put hot glue all around the inside of the frame and then placed the plastic canvas. I added some additional hot glue in a few spots as needed.

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Because I purchased a black frame I didn’t need to paint it. For the black stand I only needed to paint my egg cup, which I did using acrylic paint.

For the metal stand I used spray paint to paint both the egg cup and the picture frame.

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Once the picture frame and egg cups were painted and ready, I just needed to assemble the two pieces. With the egg cup upside down I put a good amount of hot glue right in the middle, and then placed the picture frame on top. You can place the picture frame either vertically or horizontally. I did one of each.

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Once the hot glue was set my stands were ready for some earrings!

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The vertical frame makes it easy to drape a necklace over the stand as well. Then you can have all your jewelry picked out and ready to wear.

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I can store my favorite earrings on my stand so they are always easy to get to. The pair on the right is by far the pair of earrings I wear the most.

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Turkey, Bacon, & Cheese Open-Faced Sandwich with Mornay Sauce

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This is a sandwich you will not forget and you’ll want time and time again! It’s a family favorite for lunch and dinner and it’s so easy to make. You can have everything on hand at the ready for busy days or even when unexpected guests drop by. Add a simple salad and you have a quick, complete meal. Mary Beth, from Cupcakes and Crinoline, is going to show us how to construct this tasty dish.


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Ingredients:
 
2 ciabatta buns cut in half OR 4 slices of thick white bread
1 lb. sliced roast turkey
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1 large vine ripe tomato
8 slices of pre-cooked bacon 
Mornay sauce (instructions/ingredients below)
 
Directions:
 

Preheat broiler and place bread slices on a baking sheet.  

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Broil 1 to 2 minutes on each side until lightly toasted.

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Arrange bread slices in lightly greased broiler safe dishes OR arrange all in a large baking dish.  Top each bread slice with sliced turkey.

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Pour Mornay sauce (see below) over turkey.

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Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

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Broil approximately 3 minutes until Parmesan cheese is lightly browned.  Remove from oven and top with fresh tomato slices and bacon - serve!

Mornay Sauce Ingredients:
 
½ cup butter
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 ½ cups milk
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. fresh ground pepper
 
Mornay Sauce Directions:
 

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add flour and cook whisking constantly for 1 minute.  Whisk in milk gradually.  Bring to a boil and cook 1 to 2 minutes again whisking constantly.

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Add Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and whisk until the cheese is fully melted.

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I haven’t tried this yet on bagels but that’s on my list and I may add a little more bacon next time per my family’s request!

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Easy DIY Beachy Pallet Art

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Warm weather, beaches and relaxation are the only things Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, has on her mind. To help cure her craving, she wants to show us how to make some easy beachy pallet art. 

I usually grab a few free pallets when I see them sitting out and keep them for just such an occasion. (If you don’t have any pallets you could always just go buy some boards at the home store, but free is my favorite four letter word.)

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I use my saw to cut the pieces off the main bracket.That makes them pretty close to all the same size. Since it's pallet art I like it to look a bit more rustic and don’t worry about perfect edges.

Once I have lined up my scrap wood finding the pieces I want I flip it over and just use more scrap wood to screw the supports into the back, being sure to keep them all lined up straight. Just like that you flip it back over and you have a blank slate to start your artwork on. Before I start painting I like to give it a quick sand down just because it will catch the brush if there are huge chunks of wood splintering off.I don’t worry about any discoloration because that just gives more character to the wood. Now we can start the fun part.

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I give the boards a quick wash of paint. This means I am not putting full paint on the boards, but paint with water added to it. Adding water thins the paint and allows a more weathered look on the boards. You can see below how the wood still shows through.

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When its all dry we can get to painting our designs. I have decided to show you two designs: one is for those who fear free hand drawing, the other is not. 

I grabbed one of my fun beachy stencils and used some craft paint to paint on the "Members Only" design with an arrow and some nautical art. It took about three minutes to paint that all on.

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Now for those who want to be a bit more free hand, I will show you how to make a fun little boat. I drew my design out with chalk. The chalk will wipe off at the end with a damp paper towel before I seal it so I have no worries about making mistakes. Once I like my sketch I start painting on with craft paint.

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I painted my sails, the water, and the boat and when it was done I went back and outlined the whole thing with black to make it pop

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After it dried I went back and wiped off any chalk that was showing. If you are going to keep these inside you don’t need to worry about sealing them, but if you want to hang them outside all you need to do is buy some exterior spray poly and give them a couple coats and you will have some fun outdoor decor.

I stuck some picture hangers on the back and they were ready to go. I hope you enjoyed this latest tutorial. I would love to see what you create. Until next time, Have a beautiful day!

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How to Make Corned Beef Sandwiches from Scratch

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With St. Patrick's Day soon approaching, who doesn't love a warm fresh corned beef sandwich with melted Swiss cheese on rye? While not really an Irish tradition, making corned beef sandwiches at home can be surprisingly approachable. If you always walk by that corned beef in the grocery (the one with the little spice pack) because you are not really sure what to do with it,Tim and Mary Vidra, from 17 Apart, are going to change that with today's recipe. They will even take that statement a step further to say you just may not wait until Saint Patrick's day next year to make these again. Ready? Let's get cooking!

 


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Ingredients
:
 
(Makes 4 sandwiches or more depending on how many slices of meat per sandwich)
 
1 4-5 pound store bought corned beef
1 medium onion, sliced
4-5 bay leaves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Whole grain mustard
Swiss cheese
Rye bread

Begin by removing the corned beef from the package, rinse well and save the little seasoning pack.

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Place the meat fat side down in a pot, sprinkle with the seasoning pack, add bay leaves, peppercorns and the onion. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling bring to a low simmer for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.


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Remove the meat from the water allow to cool slightly then cut the fat away from the meat. Spread a thick layer of mustard on the side that had the fat and place under a broiler for 10 minutes until dry and forming a crust without burning.

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Remove the meat from the oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing.

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Thinly slice and layer on top of toasted pieces of rye bread, then top with Swiss cheese. Return to broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Add more mustard to flavor as desired.

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As mentioned before, I promise you will not wait a whole year to make these again!


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How to Beautifully Water Marble Objects with Nail Polish

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Creating your own water marbling designs on glass, porcelain, and ceramic objects is so simple to do (once you know the techniques) and so amazingly beautiful to watch. The soft aquatic swirl design hugs the object so you may be tempted to grab every object in sight to keep on water marbling. Ada, from Ada's Interior Design, is showing us how to perfect this technique. It's addicting! You have been warned.


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Every single design is different. It’s customized art on an object. Ok, now ready for this shocking news - the designs took me less than 5 seconds to make. Did you faint? Seriously! I am not exaggerating. It’s super quick! And it has to be because if not it will turn into one hot mess.

Setting up my work station took me longer than the actual process (10 minutes to gather the materials).

Materials:
 
Deep container for water
Nail polish 
Water 
Toothpick 
Object that you want to marble (duh!)

 

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Steps:
 
Add warm water to the deep container.
(depth size depends on how tall you want the design to be.)
Add nail polish (with your fave color!)
into the water then quickly, with a toothpick,
softly swirl the nail polish that is in the water. 
Then very quickly dip the object (I used tall glasses)
for a few seconds only.

My #1 tip to make the process of water marbling an object easier is to ….. PRACTICE! Practice first on a disposable item(s). Ya know, in case it turns into an ugly mess, like mine did the first time around.

I was so confident in my 1st attempt to water marble that I used one of our tall clear drinking glasses and the result was one huge ugly mess! UGH! The nail paint all clumped up on the glass. Not beautiful at all! Hmmm, could it had been that I left it too long? Yep.

I tried it again. This time with three disposable water bottles, and this time I didn’t keep the object (bottle) in the water for more than 5 seconds. And it turned out soooo beautiful. I seriously am having a hard time getting rid of the water bottles because they looks so pretty to me. Yes, I clearly have issues. Below is how the practice bottles turned out, and read further to see the steps with photos.

 

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STEP 1 + 2 (ALL WARM WATER + NAIL POLISH)

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STEP 3 (SOFTLY SWIRL NAIL POLISH WITH TOOTHPICK)

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STEP 4 (DIP OBJECT FOR FIVE SECONDS OR LESS)

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That’s it! Then just let it dry!

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My tall glasses (and the little piggy bank that you will see at the end of this post) all air dried within 30 minutes. Of course, the tall glasses are now NOT dishwasher safe, but the prettiness makes up for it. Don’t ya think so? I can definitely manage to actually touch a kitchen sponge to wash these lovely DIY marbled glasses by hand. Or, hmmm, maybe I will turn them into floral vases. Perfect for the spring season coming up too!

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If you end up water marbling some objects I would love to see it! You can email it to me at hello@adasdesigninc.com or tag me on instagram @adasdesigninc. Happy DIY’ing!


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7 Clever Ways to Display Your Favorite Photos

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While it’s common to frame our photos to set out for display on a table, or place them in a photo album on a bookshelf, there are many alternatives. Sharon Hines, from Mrs. Hines' Class, is going to show us how to display our photos in seven clever ways. Get your box of photos out of storage and try one of these options.


Frameless

Forego the usual frame for some common household items such as a magnifying glass.

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or a pretty bowl.

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You can even make a photo collage underneath a glass covered table.

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Framed

If you do opt for a traditional frame, try displaying your photo in a non traditional way such as on closet shelves for a personal touch,

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or tucked into a drawer as a little surprise every time you open the drawer.

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As a Craft

Get creative with your photo display by creating a poster out of your favorite photo such as this one from a family vacation.

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As Part of a Gallery Wall

Add sophistication to your gallery wall by printing black and white copies of family photos, past and present, and grouping them in gallery wall display.

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You are really only limited by your imagination.


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From Meh to Magnificent: End Table Makeover

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Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is back again for our Home Expert Series. This time she is going to show us how she quickly turned this "meh" end table into a magnificent mid-century modern statement piece.


You can see what I started with here. It was quite beat up and I tried my best to show the water rings and beat up Blonde finish on the old piece. Even though it was quite beat up I absolutely LOVED the design of the piece.

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First, I cleaned the whole piece. It was pretty dirty and I knew I was going to be painting it so I gave it a good scrub down with some warm soap and water.

Since I wanted the piece to pop, decided to do a two-tone feature to accentuate its style. I decided to use the same General finishes Java Gel that I used in the faux woodgrain piece I did for Furniture.com. I used this gel for the legs and the drawer front. It's a top coat gel stain so you don’t have to sand the piece before applying, just wipe it on and let it dry. Once it's dry you can go back and do another coat or you can seal it. I wanted mine to be dark so I did two coats and then just used a general finishes top coat to seal it.

For the table itself I chose American Paint companies Navy blue paint.

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I gave the same two coats to the piece and sealed it with the same general finishes matte top coat. I could have waxed it but since it's an end table that means drinks may end up on it and I wanted a tougher finish to stand up to wear and tear.

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Once everything was dry I put it together and put the pull back on the drawer front. I just love how it looks with my Italian mod folding chair.

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What once was a boring and plain dirty table is now a fun and funky mod piece that would add a punch of fun to any home.

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I hope you enjoyed this makeover and I look forward to next time. Have a Beautiful day!  


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