Entries in DIY (27)


diy: nautical-inspired rope vase

DIY projects that are the simplest and require the least amount of time to complete are always the most satisfying and this nautically-inspired rope vase is no exception! Given all my recent posts on natural materials and texture, it's no surprise I absolutely love how this turned out!  I used a thicker rope (3/4" manila rope from Home Depot) to give it some heft and used it to cover a $3 cylindrical vase from Hobby Lobby.  It's simple, yet elegant and adds just the right nautical touch when paired with some summer flowers from the grocery store.  Perfection!

I used 11 feet of rope to cover a vase that was 4.5 inches tall and 5 inches in diameter.  A bunch of glue sticks and my trusty glue gun and I was ready to go:

Starting at the bottom, I glued about four inches of rope at a time and then pressed it onto the vase, holding it for about ten seconds before letting go.  As I started to stack the rope, I added glue to the inside of the rope and the bottom so that it would stick to the piece beneath it.   This ensured that there weren't any gaps:

It ended up that the bottom piece and the top piece were both in the back of the vase, so, even though the top piece stuck out a bit, the flowers hid it.  Here is what it looked like before and after I was done:

You know it's a great DIY when you still get excited about it days after you've finished it; I absolutely LOVE the way it turned out!

Happy weekend, friends!


diy: weathered wood paint treatment

After posting a few sneak peeks of some Queen Anne-style dining chairs I was working on a few weeks ago, I got a TON of emails asking about how I created the finish.  Seriously, you guys are the best with all your sweet comments and emails and even though I was originally waiting to reupholster the seats to do a complete before and after, I thought I'd give step-by-step instructions here on how to get the look, instead of holding out on you for another couple of weeks!

These chairs have seen every paint color in the rainbow, so when I decided I wanted a soft, weathered gray stained finish, I settled in for some major prep work.  I ended up burning through what seemed like hundreds of sheets of sand paper and even stripped as much of it as I could with a nontoxic stripper only to discover that the front legs were made of different wood than the rest of the chair.  This meant that it did not take the stain very well - it had a weird pinkish/green undertone and it was UGLY.  After all that prep work, I decided to try my hand at creating a similar look with paint without making it look like I was trying to create a wood look with paint, if you know what I mean.  While this isn't necessarily too difficult, it's an extremely time consuming project, but the result is so, SO worth it!

1.  Prime.  I swear by this all-purpose primer from Sherwin Williams.  It works just as beautifully on metal and plastic as it does on wood and is great for smaller projects that don't necessarily require a lot of sanding.  You can just prime right over it.  I put a light, even coat on first and waited for it to dry completely.

2.  Paint.  I applied two even coats of a warm, woody color (Pratt and Lambert's Creme Liqueur).  Wait for each coat to dry completely before applying the next.

3.  Whitewash.  Whitewashing tones down the wood colored paint dramatically and adds softness.  There really is no magic formula for this, but I've found that 2 parts glaze mixed with 1 part white latex paint and a little bit of water to thin it out works best for me.  Brush the mixture onto your piece and then wipe it back with a clean, white cloth.  The more water or glaze you add to the mix gives you more working time, so if you're a beginner, you won't be frazzled or find that the mixture starts to dry before you can wipe it back again.  I posted step-by-step instructions a while back on whitewashing; check it out here. Any glaze will work, but I've always had success with this one.

4.  Dry brush.  Once the whitewashing is dry, I used a dry, angled paint brush to dry brush white paint on top.  Lighting dip the brush into white paint and then blot it on a paper towel or drop cloth until there is almost no paint on the brush.  Then, softly brush the paint onto your piece of furniture.  If you're doing a large surface area like a table top, use long, soft strokes to avoid a stripey effect.  Remember to flick the brush back and forth over corners, legs, or any raised surface to really highlight and enhance detail areas.  I showed how to do this in this article, as well. If you mess up, don't can always paint over it then whitewash and dry brush again. (if you want to see more pictures of how I did this step, check out my post here.)

5.  Stain.  Once you're happy with how your whitewashing and dry brushing turned out, it's time to stain!  I used a foam brush to brush on walnut stain, working in small sections across the entire chair and then wiping it back off with a clean cloth.  (I buy packs of tee shirt rags from Lowe's on the regular). You have to work a little quicker on this step as the stain will dry darker if you don't wipe it back within a minute or two (max) of brushing it on. Stain adds depth and softness, really making the piece look finished. 

Don't forget that imperfection is really perfection with this particular finish-it all adds to the charm and character!  I really love how these turned out:


"aging" terra cotta pots

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and got to celebrate Father's Day with your dad/hubby! I was so lucky to have had my mom in town for the last week to help me overcome a particularly nasty case of mastitis and relax, regroup and refresh. There just are times when nothing but your momma will do and I'm so thankful mine dropped everything to come to my rescue! I dropped her at the airport yesterday and spent the rest of the afternoon and evening moping around, so, I thought what better way to get back into the swing of things and kick off the week than with a super easy gardening DIY! 

I love terra cotta pots for their simplicity and versatility in virtually any decorating style, however, I LOVE the crusty, old weathered ones even more, especially how they add a little maturity to a porch, patio or garden.  Patience, however, is not a virtue I was blessed with, so instead of waiting for them to age and weather naturally, I decided to give my own little twist to a few newer pots that I was using for an herb garden.  I had read somewhere that you can use yogurt to achieve the same results over a few months, but instead, I picked up a small bag of powdered lime powder from my local nursery and mixed it with equal parts water then brushed it on and let it dry.  This was such a quick and easy project, both of which are right up my alley these days, and I loved how they turned out!

What you need:

terra cotta pots

foam brush

powdered garden lime

plastic container for mixing

paint stirrer to mix

sand paper (I used 60 grit)

Spray sealer

1.  Mix one part water with one part lime powder until it's a paste-like consistency. I used a 1/2 cup and it was enough for my four pots.

2.  Brush it on your pot; don't worry about being even, just coat the entire pot.

3.  Once it's completely dry, sand the pot heavily in some areas and lighter in others to mimic natural wear and weathering.

4. Spray your pots with a protective sealant.  You can skip this step if you're going to keep them on a covered porch, but if they are going to be outside where rain or sprinklers can get them, you want to seal them as the water will just wash away all of your lime!

Happy Monday!


book page wreath, 2.0

Insomnia is a funny thing at this stage of pregnancy....on the one hand, it's good practice going without sleep for when Baby Girl gets here, but on the other hand, I just want to stick a fork in my eye to have something else to focus on besides the fact that it's been a while since I've caught more than two hours of z's at a time.  The good news is that I've basically cleared out my DVR and have banged out quite a few book page wreaths for friends and family at all hours of the night. You might remember the wreath I gave away on the blog this time last year, the tutorial of which can be found here...well, one night last week, I got a wild hair and decided to change it up a bit by rolling the pages instead of folding them.  Here is what I ended up with:

Instead of folding in an "S" pattern (left), I rolled each page (right) and then stapled the bottom:

I'm not going to lie, these are incredibly time consuming, but they always work well for when I'm in a pinch for a birthday, Christmas or even a hostess gift and everyone LOVES them, so it's well worth the effort! 

Which way do you like better?


diy: make your own linen/burlap picture frame mats

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!  We got so much accomplished in the nursery, I was sorry to see the long weekend come to an end.  Now it's just a waiting game....waiting for curtains and crib bedding to come back from the seamstress and for art to arrive so I can get her gallery wall up, as well as put all the little finishing touches on everything.  With less than four weeks to go until my due date, I'm holding my breath that it'll be done in time for us to bring her home!  One of the things I knocked out this weekend was making my own linen matting-if you follow me on Instagram (@bungalowblue) you might remember this gorgeous watercolor my lovely and talented friend painted for Baby Girl:

With white walls, a white frame and white mat did little to make the painting itself really pop, so instead I thought I'd try my hand at wrapping the mat in some leftover linen fabric I had to add a little texture and it looks amazing!

All I used was some linen fabric, an exacto knife, my mat and some adhesive spray:

First, lay your mat face down on the fabric and cut a border of 1/2 inch to 1 inch all the way around:

Next, using my exacto knife, I cut a really awkward looking "X" in the middle of the mat, making sure to cut all the way to the corners:

Using my scissors, I trimmed the edges so there wouldn't be any overlap (it won't fit in the frame easily if you don't):

Also be sure to cut small squares at all four corners to make it easy to wrap your fabric on the mat and have it lay flat:

Remove your mat and spray the fabric liberally with this adhesive spray.  Don't worry, it's readjustable, so you have plenty of time to work with it.  I recommend spraying it on a piece of cardboard and doing it outside as it gets on everything:

Place your mat face down again on top of the sprayed fabric and pull the fabric up on the sides with slight tension:

Here is what the finished product looks like now.  I couldn't love it more:

More to come on the nursery progress soon, I promise!  In the meantime, follow me on Instagram (@bungalowblue) for more updates!