DIY Store-Quality Nightstand

Cassie Bustamante, from Primitive & Proper is going to show us how to take a piece in need of a makeover and turn it into a catalog-worthy showstopper! 


When re-inventing a found piece of furniture, there are so many places to seek inspiration. I enjoy perusing magazines, other DIY blogs, and current retail stores with great style. I recently came across a sweet little midcentury nightstand (actually found for me by Sarah Dorsey, who has a great eye for design).

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This piece had such a great shape and it immediately reminded me of a nightstand I had recently spied in the a furniture catalog.

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The shape and style of the original midcentury nightstand I had were echoed in that of the catalog nightstand. And the original wood finish of the exterior was in decent shape and very similar to the tone of the catalog item. The drawers had some veneer issues, and the knobs had to be removed as one was missing, so painting them was a great solution. I decided to mimic the catalog piece for a similar look, but with original vintage style.

This was a quick and easy project since I only had to work on the drawers.  I removed the remaining two knobs and glued down some loose veneer.  After the glue dried, I sanded the the drawers lightly with an orbital sander and 200 grit sandpaper.  I didn’t need to remove the finish; I just needed to create tooth so the primer would adhere.  I also sanded the little knob inset areas by hand since my sander would not reach in there.


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Once it was prepped, I applied three coats of a low VOC water based primer.  I used three coats because the water based primer is a little thinner than standard primers, and I wanted a nice solid white base coat to minimize the coats of paint needed.  I sanded by hand with 220 grit paper in between each coat of primer to create as smooth of a feel as possible.

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Finally, I applied my paint. I used General Finishes Snow White as I wanted a pure white and nice contrast to the wood finish of the body. This paint in this color has a little more of an enamel look to it I have noticed, so I didn’t worry about a topcoat. I applied two coats of the paint and had the perfect solid white coverage.

The last step was to apply new hardware.  I have quite the collection of knobs and pulls I have salvaged in all my years of redoing furniture. Basically I hoard it, but sometimes it pays off!  I found some simple round brass knobs, similar to the catalog piece's hardware.  They were the perfect addition!

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When I was finished, I had a great vintage piece that suited the current trends!

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I love to search catalogs for furniture inspiration.  What are some of your favorite places to use as a muse?

Calm the Chaos of your Laundry Room with These Helpful Hacks

Although we may wish that we spent less time in the laundry, the truth is, unless we're prepared to do a 'major cull' of our clothes, or go on a shopping-strike, doing the laundry will continue to be a part of daily life. However, Gabrielle Anschau, from Trend Mogul, is going to show us how to make the laundry room struggle a little easier, and even, dare we say it, enjoyable!


Don't waste an inch of space

Many people are guilty of wasting the precious space that exists above their washers/dryers. Ward away clutter and unsightly cleaning products with cabinets, shelves and hanging rods.

barlowreid.jpg(Photo via barlowreid.com)

Maximize indoor drying space

Anyone who lives in the Northern Hemisphere will agree that you can never have enough indoor drying space.

If you are stuck for wall/floor space, suspend a makeshift drying rack from the ceiling using a steel mattress base or a ladder. Spray paint your new drying rack to match your decor.

Side note: Ensure that whatever you decide to hang is not too heavy and that your ceiling is strong enough to safely hold it. It is probably worth consulting with a handyman to ensure the project is viable and done safely.

adiamondinthestuff.jpg(Photo via adiamondinthestuff.com)

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Alternatively, hanging traditional fold out drying racks from the wall is always a good idea - and why just hang one when you can hang four?!

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Attach wheels to the bottom of hampers

Give your lower back a break by investing in laundry hampers with wheels. You can also easily attach wheels (available from craft and hardware stores) to your existing hampers, given they have a solid base.

remodelista.jpg(Photo via remodelista.com)

Baskets, baskets and more baskets!

You can never have too many baskets/hampers in your laundry room. Label baskets for added ease in sorting. Categorize baskets as darks/lights/delicates, or by child.

Investing in a unit such as the one below does not just save you floor space and keep dirty laundry out of sight, the surface can also double as a folding/sorting station.

emilyaclark.jpg(Photo via emilyaclark.com)

Build the ultimate ironing/folding station

Take a kitchen island bench, add an ironing board, and you have yourself a stylish and practical addition to your laundry! It can also conveniently double as a folding/sorting station. Add wheels for added maneuverability - particularly if you like watching television whilst you iron!

woonio.de.jpg(Photo via woonio.de)

Clean, single and looking for a mate...

This idea is too cute to resist! You can purchase pre-made frames with pegs on Etsy.com or make your own - All you need is a frame, some pegs and superglue.

etsy.jpg(Photo via etsy.com)

Hooks

Wall hooks are essential in every laundry room (and especially for those that double as a back-entry way!) Hang everything from bags and coats, to the ironing board. Hooks are the perfect way to lift clutter off of the floor.

homebunch.jpg(Photo via homebunch.com)

kitchenstyleideas.jpg(Photo via kitchenstyleideas.com)

 

Barbecue Chicken Pastelitos

Whether you call them Jamaican beef patties, empanadas, or pastelitos, the one thing we all call them is delicious! Alicia Pileggi, from The Crafterglow, is showing us how to make these tasty treats. The basis for these is all pretty much the same: dough, meat, and cheese. Perfectly simple enough to get creative!

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With summer on its way, both barbecue and fun finger foods are a weekend must. So why not combine them! For this recipe I took my barbecue chicken and fried it up for an irresistible taste combination you can eat with your hands. I kept it really simple, but feel free to experiment with different barbecue sauces, veggies, and seasonings to create your own combination.

Makes 10 pastelitos

Ingredients:

½ large onion (chopped)

2 bags of shredded cheddar cheese (about 4 cups)

4 skinless chicken breasts (cut in ½ in pieces)

Goya discos (10 pack of puff pastry dough rounds)

1 bottle of bbq sauce

Garlic seasoned rice vinegar

Olive oil

Black pepper

Adobo (or any all-season)

Marinate your chicken breasts with a little garlic-infused rice vinegar or any of your personal favorite marinades. I just recommend keeping it simple since the barbecue sauce will do most of the work.

Coat pan with olive oil and cook chopped onion and chicken breasts over high heat. Add a little black pepper and all-spice. Continue to break up chicken as it cooks to preferred size. I left mine a bit chunky but you might also want to shred it down at this point.

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Once the chicken is completely cooked, pour your bottle of barbecue sauce over chicken and onions and coat thoroughly. I used a sweet and spicy bbq sauce but feel free to experiment with different flavors. You can also add corn or peppers for added flavor.

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Lay out your dough rounds on a lightly floured surface and place a couple spoonfuls of the barbecue chicken and onions in the center. Top with a sprinkle of cheddar cheese.

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To make your pockets, fold your dough one side over another making a half moon shape. Use the backside of a fork to press down the edges and seal the dough pocket.

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Pour enough oil into a pan - about a ½ to ¾ inch - enough to almost but not quite submerge the pastelitos. Heat the oil on high until it’s almost at a boil. Make sure the oil is very hot before dropping in the pastelitos or they will get soggy. Once the oil is hot put the pastelito in for just a couple minutes until golden brown and flip until other side is golden brown.

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Repeat until all the pastelitos are fried.

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That’s it! These are super simple and absolutely delicious. You may want to to make two batches because I guarantee these will not last very long. Enjoy!

Easy DIY “Wild & Free” Graduation Gift Tote Bag

Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, is showing us a fun little project that might come in handy for graduation season.


I have my first-born kiddo graduating from High School in a few short weeks. To say it has been a bit crazy is an understatement. Part of that hectic chaos is prepping for graduation parties; not just throwing one, but my daughter is attending her friends' parties and needs to bring gifts. I decided when my daughter goes to her friends' parties she can bring them a fun little graduation tote bag.

It is cheap enough and easy enough that I can knock out a few of them to have on hand for her to bring as gifts, but you could also use them for other occasions like birthdays or weddings.

First, make a run to your local craft store. I grabbed a three-pack of totes (with a coupon!) for about 4 dollars. I also grabbed a fun stencil but you could use something you already have as well.

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I laid out my bag and centered my “WILD AND FREE.” Then, I loaded up my stencil brush with just some normal craft paint. You could use fabric paint if you wish, but I was trying to keep this as thrifty as possible.

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Now remember not to overload your stencil brush, as you will run the risk of bleeding paint. I usually start with very little and dab my brush on a paper towel before I begin stenciling. (You can always do two coats if you want to make the paint darker.)

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Once I put my paint on I carefully pulled off my stencil to make sure I didn’t get any paint on my fingers or the rest of the bag.

I let the bag dry overnight. (Normally you don’t have to wait that long, but I like to make sure the paint is fully dry.)

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Once the paint is dry you need to heat set it. Grab your iron and ironing board and an old pillow case. Turn your iron up to the best setting for the fabric you are using for your bag. I was using canvas so I turned my iron all the way up.

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Lay a pillowcase or piece of fabric over your painted parts and lightly lay the iron on top. Let it sit for a few seconds and move it around to all of the area you have painted.

Once that is done you are ready to use your bag. I think they make an awesome gift for all those graduating friends.

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DIY Scrap Wood Photo Holders

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Jess Bures, from Live Randomly Simple, is going to show us a unique way to use scrap wood and turn them into fun photo holders that you can put your own creativity into.


I feel like I am constantly checking the stores and online for fun frames to add in my home. All I find are plain frames that just don't cut it.

I love to have fun funky pieces that match my personality and decor colors. This project is the perfect way to get a useful product that you can customize anyway you want.

These photo holders were super easy to make and even if you do not have half circles you can make these out of any shape of wood! So lets get started!

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Supplies:

Scrap wood

Painters tape

Paint or spray

Paint

Hand saw

Clamps

Sand paper

My half circles were left over pieces from a step stool my uncle made for all of our family members. Can you see where I get my woodworking skills!?

Lets get started, shall we!

Start by clamping your wood to secure it before you start making the slit that will hold your photo.

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After you have it secured grab the hand saw and gently start at the top of your wood and slowly go back and forth creating a straight line.

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If it helps you can mark it with a pencil so you have a guide to follow until you have a deep enough slit that the saw does not slip as you are cutting. Cut about a 1/2 in slit into the wood.

The larger the photo you are placing in it the deeper the slit will need to be. For my 5x7 photo a 1/2 deep slit was perfect.

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When the slit is deep enough sand all of the edges and grab your painters tape and paint.

Design time!

I decided to do color blocking on mine. So I taped one section and painted it. After the coat of paint dried I taped off another section and so on.

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You can do solid colors or stripes, or add text...you can get so creative with these holders and that is my favorite thing about them! How will you paint yours? If you make one, make sure you come back and show off the photos in the comments!

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Want another way to use them...

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Business cards! How fun is that!

So there it is. A super simple DIY project that you can customize to match your home decor.

I cannot wait to see how you create your own version.

Hardcover Book Clock DIY

Calling all bibliophiles, here is a fun way to add even more books to your home decor. Julie Grimmett, from Julie is Coco and Cocoa, is going to show us how to turn a hardcover book into a clock!

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The main supply for this project is, you guessed it, a book. You will also need:

Supplies:

Clock kit (you can purchase these at your local craft or hobby store)

Drill

Craft knife

Hot glue gun and glue sticks 

Compass ruler

Ruler

Marker 


I would suggest purchasing the clock kit first, then pick a book that is at least as thick as the movement mechanism, which will fit inside the book.

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Start by decided where to place the center of the clock face. Based on the size of my book I decided to center the face. I used a ruler to find the center and then made a mark so I would know where to drill.

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We drilled a hole through the cover of the book that was the diameter needed for the part of the movement that will stick through the cover and hold the clock hands. You might start with a smaller hole and gradually get larger until the hole is the size needed.

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Once the hole was drilled I traced the movement on the inside of the book so I would know where to cut. I cut just outside of the lines that I traced so the movement would fit inside of where I was cutting.

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Using the craft knife cut along the lines that you traced and remove those pages. Use the removed pages as a guide as you continue to cut down through as many pages as needed to create a hole for your clock movement.

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Once your book pages are hollowed out, place the movement inside of the hole you created to make sure everything fits nicely.

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Close the cover and insert the part of the movement that holds the clock hands through the cover of the book. For my clock kit this is also where I placed a washer and nut (that came in my clock kit).

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Next is adhering the numbers to the front of the book to create the clock face. I used a compass ruler to draw and light circle on the cover so I would be able to evenly place the numbers.

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I started by placing the numbers 12, 3, 6, and 9. I used a ruler to help me find where to place these first 4 numbers.

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You can place as many or as few numbers as you want, depending on the look for your finished clock. I wanted to use all of the numbers.

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I think the numbers in my clock kit were supposed to be adhesive, but they didn’t stick very well to the book cover so I used a hot glue gun to attach them. After I had the first 4 numbers attached I was able to evenly fill in the remaining numbers.

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Once the numbers were all attached I could add the hour, minute, and second hand. Depending on the clock kit you purchase it may or may not include the second hand. My kit made the second hand optional.

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My finished book clock! Now everyone who walks in my door will know that I am an avid reader. I think I will be making some more of these in the future as gifts for teachers and my book reading friends.

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Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownie Cupcakes

If you love a moist, dense and chocolaty dessert you will go head over heels for these Chocolate Cream Cheese Brownie Cupcakes.  The ingredients are basic and Mary Beth, from Cupcakes and Crinoline,  is going to show us how to make them in less than an hour. 


This is one of my favorite types of recipes to make because even though it has a homemade component you can implement a mix to save time and who doesn’t need more time? I know I always do.

These are great to make ahead for guests and for family.

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Ingredients:

1 box chocolate cake mix

4 large eggs, divided

½ cup butter, melted

1- 8 ounce package cream cheese,

softened

3 ¾ cups powdered sugar ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa


Yields 18 cupcakes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  

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Beat cake mix, 2 eggs and butter on medium speed with an electric mixer until combined.  

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Spray cupcake tins with baking spray.  If you’re using cupcake wrappers, lightly spray those as well. Measure approximately one tablespoon of batter and place into the bottom of the cupcake wrappers/tin.

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Beat cream cheese and sugar on medium speed until smooth and fluffy.  Add 2 eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after adding each egg.   

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Gradually add the unsweetened cocoa mixing until well blended.

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Gradually add the unsweetened cocoa mixing until well blended. Pour above mixture gently over the chocolate cake layer.

 

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Bake at 340 degrees F. for approximately 30 to 40 minutes checking with a wooden toothpick for doneness.

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Cool completely before serving.  

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These would taste great served with ice cream or a nice dollop of whipped cream!

Enjoy!



Goodbye '70s, Hello Sage: Dresser Makeover

Karin Chudy, from Art is Beauty, has been showing us some crafty DIYs lately, but today she's back with a Dresser Makeover. 


I love me a good dresser makeover and I hope you do too. Today I am going to show you how to save one of those old '70s plastic-front dressers. I got this dresser for free from an in-law. They thought it was hideous and couldn’t wait to see it go, but I saw the potential and couldn’t wait to make it over.

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You can see from the first picture that it was in pretty decent shape. It very much reminded me of the 60’s dresser I showed you here before. If you look closely you can see that even though it looks like wood, those front embellishments are actually a plastic framing over a laminate type of wood that has been front-finished to look like wood. 

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With these type of dressers you could go to town sanding the heck out of them, or you can do what I do and use a deglosser. Now mind you, I still lightly sand the top since that takes the brunt of the abuse but I also use the deglosser on the top as well as the rest of the piece. This makes for quick work. Following the directions,  wipe on your deglosser and when its dry, use a damp cloth to clean off the deglosser. It has slightly etched your piece to allow for better paint adhesion.

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Since this was such a fun piece I decided to give it a sophisticated color. I chose this Sage hue in a mineral paint. I love mineral paint on these pieces because it clings so well to the surface. I took off the old hardware and spray painted it silver and while that was drying gave the whole dresser a thin coat of paint. 

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Once that coat was dry I gave it a second coat. I would normally distress and wax a piece but I wanted to keep this one a little cleaner, so I didn’t distress it, I just gave it a coat of satin polyurethane. (Satin polyurethane cures the paint and gives a strong finish.)

After everything was dry I reattached the old hardware.

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There was so much snow I had no where to photograph but in the store! I loved the difference that little bit of paint made in reviving this piece and apparently Others did too, because it sold in about two days. I hope the next time you see an ugly duckling you will be inspired to take a chance and give the piece new life. 

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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.

dustjacket-attic.jpg(Source: dustjacket-attic.com)

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.

desiretoinspire.net2.jpg(Source: desiretoinspire.net)

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!


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

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