Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Cuss-Cuss, Bang-Bang: the story of my Christmas mantel

For a while, I have been trying to think about what to put over my faux fireplace in my living room, which looks like this for the most part:

I have thought about a picture gallery, a mirror, a sculpture, and maybe a huge Boudoir photo of myself.

I have yet to have any luck with it.

However, I did want to do something fun with it for Christmas and about a week ago, I started to get an idea. You know, one of those ideas that starts off pretty small and then before you know it, you're buying chicken wire at closing time on a Sunday night at Lowe's?

That's pretty much how my idea evolved, and here is the result:

But really, the fun part is the story of how it came to be...

DIY Holiday Wreath: In 5 Easy Steps

Hello Folks,

Today's step-by-step tutorial will be on how not to make your own holiday wreath. I'll demonstrate how I did it and you can modify your method, accordingly.

1. I got the spontaneous idea that "making my own wreath would be so much more fun and less expensive" while going into Lowe's and seeing the $5 evergreen wreaths on display.

2. Then, I went to Hobby Lobby where their Christmas stuff was 50% off and looked for crap decorative items to throw put on my wreath. I saw some snowie stuff and added that to my cart, too.

snowie stuff
2 coats. You can add more, but then you have to wait for it to dry and I didn't want to.

3. I used the snowie stuff on it, because I wanted it to be all white and silver-ish. Mostly because my front door does NOT match red and there are limited choices when you leave red out. Also, I think flocking may be on its way back (I hope). When I read "indoor use", I assumed it meant that you could spray it indoors...Well, kind of. Then there is the warning not to spray it near your furnace or water heater (which I ignored and ended up doing it about 10 feet away). 

4. I turned to my accessories and literally threw the crap on it wherever it fit (after I put a crap-ton of hot glue on them).

5. Then, I sat in wonderment of my new DIY holiday wreath and how...umm...nice it looked.

Well, At least I gave it the old college try though, right?

Project Break Down:
wreath at Lowe's $5
Snowie stuff (Hobby Lobby) $3
Ornaments, and ribbon (Hobby Lobby) $12
Total Cost: Approx $20 

Love Ya!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

{Faux} Brick Wall

AKA: The {Faux} Brick Wall that Almost Broke My Boob...Seriously.

So, if you have read my posts about my bench and hutch makeovers, you've probably noticed something about the background , which is that there appears to be a brick wall behind them.

It's actually a faux brick wall that I created after I was inspired by another blogger, Brooke at All Things Thrifty.

The thing is, I have always wanted a brick wall in my house, especially aged brick. I just love that look and style. However, there is a slight problem 1. The thin interior bricks that are used to create brick walls in houses are for, like, rich people and last time I checked we hadn't won the PCH, yet. and 2. We are still technically renting so it would be really dumb to do something that expensive.

Anyway, One day as I was trying to come up with an idea for the living room wall, (which is the first thing you see when you walk in the door, so it I wanted it to be unique and interesting) I decided maybe I could do some sort of faux brick look on the wall. I had a friend who had built an adorable "firehouse" in the area under her basement stairs and created a faux brick effect with spackle and painters tape.We decided to try it behind our faux fireplace first, before we attacked the entire wall and ended up regretting it.

After several hours of taping off the "bricks", which took forever because we had to cut the tape in half lengthwise in order to keep the "grout lines" between the brick thin enough to be realistic, 

I was all:

"This sucks!"

So, I decided that maybe I would just figure out how to faux paint brick on the wall with a sponge or something, but as I looked through pictures of walls that were faux painted on the web, they just didn't seem very realistic and I wasn't sure I would be able to create that "aged look" that I was wanting. Almost ready to give  up, I went ahead and searched for "faux brick wall" on Google images, hoping another option would come up. One of the images that popped up was from the blog All Things Thrifty (which is now one of my favorite-ist DIY blogs). Brooke, the blog owner, had created her awesome faux brick wall above a planter shelf with paneling. You can see her post (and tutorial) by going here. After reading it, I was inspired to make my own out of the same UGLY ASS faux-brick paneling at Lowe's that she used.

I convinced Studly that this would be a great and fun bonding experience (and I probably promised him some hanky-panky) and off we went to Lowe's. Actually, we had to borrow a friend's truck first because the panels wouldn't fit in our Pilot and they are a little tricky to have the wonderful people at Lowes cut down because of the design.

Oh, let me go off track for a bit and tell you the story within a story, the inspiration for the title of this post, which is the near death experience that my right boob had when we were getting the panels into the back of the truck.

It goes like this: 

Studly: Hey, babe can you get into the back and hand me that tube of bungees?

Me: sure!

... and then wanting to look cool and athletic, I climbed up on the tire and then used it for a launching pad  to reach over the side and into the bed of the truck to get the bungee's.

Only I didn't quite make it.

Instead, I landed with a WOMP! The rail of the truck struck me right in the center of my beloved (and expensive, silicone) boobie. I jumped off the truck immediately and curled into a fetal position in pain while wondering if the warrantee on the implants covered stupidity.

But, I was no sissy. I was tough, right? (not really, but I acted sort of like it and complained very little...very little for me, anyway) so we moved on.and despite my mishap, we finished loading the panels (well, Studly finished loading them anyway), headed home and got started.

Okay now that we're back on track, here's how we "built" our brick wall:

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hutch Makeover

I've wanted a hutch for about 8 years, or so...Well, I don't know the exact time frame but I know that when I saw my friend Jenn's that she refinished a few years ago, I was in love. However, in those days I was not really a DIY'er (Am I even one, now??), so the thought of refinishing something was foreign. Anyway, one day I decided to put my matching chair to my living room sofa on KSL (because as usual, I have some sort of vision of how I want my living room to look one day and I seem to have grandiose thoughts that I will eventually reupholster the sectional in my basement).

After a couple of days, some lady called on it. Only she wanted to trade for a hutch instead of buying it. Once I heard "hutch" and saw the pictures, I was all, "SOLD!" so they delivered the hutch and took the chair and we were both happy campers :).

I decided to use chalk paint this time because I had seen some really cool projects done with the "Annie Sloan" chalk paint. The cool thing about chalk paint is that you don't have to sand or prime it AND you can paint anything with it! Genius! No spraying required, so it's perfect to do in the house when the weather is too cold (In fact, I painted the entire thing in my bedroom and living room)...or, if you have been using spray paint so much that you are sure your IQ has  already dropped 20 points from the fumes and you need a teensy break.They do sell Annie Sloan in a few paint stores, but it's hard to find and it's also buckoo-bucks, so I knew I had to find a cheaper version.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Kitchen Table and Chairs Makeover

Hooray! The kitchen table is FINALLY finished after 3 months of procrastination, indecision, and changing my mind several times on what I wanted. 

You never realize how convenient kitchen tables are until you go without one for over a year...

Bench Makeover

I have always wanted a bench somewhere in my house and I found this one on KSL and thought it would be perfect to put with my kitchen table and chairs so I painted him the same color as two of the chairs, Krylon: Blue Ocean Breeze. However, when I got everything into the house, I realized that the scale was off (pooh!), so I had to find another spot for him, which I quickly did. Anyway, here are the before and after pics:



The striped pillow is from the "Village Quilt Shop" at Gardner Village in Midvale, Utah and the other three pillows are from Ross.

Products used: 
Krylon Blue Ocean Breeze Spray Paint  
Rustoleum Antique Glaze in Java Brown

Love ya!