Wednesday, April 27, 2011

DIY Jewelry Organizer

Looking for something to neatly hang all of your bracelets and necklaces? Here's what I came up with.

if you want to try it, here's what you'll need-
foam board
Mod Podge (I used matte)
small brush
old picture frame with glass removed (I painted my old wooden frame with red acrylic paint)
scrapbook paper
screw-in hooks
drawer pulls with screws (or washers to help create a flat surface)
super glue (I used Elmer's Stix-All)

diy instructions-
(1) Carefully remove the glass from your frame,
(2) Trace the frame's cardboard backing onto a piece of foam board (I bought mine at Dollar Tree)
(3) Apply a medium layer of Mod Podge to the back side of your scrapbook paper (measured to fit your frame).
(4) Apply Mod Podge to the foam board and press paper over the board. Spread the paper down, making sure there are no wrinkles. Allow paper to dry for 15-20 minutes.
(5) Brush on a second layer of Mod Podge over the paper to seal it. Allow Mod Podge to dry completely.
(6) Push in several small screw-in hooks into the board, turn to tighten. Make sure they're not poking out of the back-they are a bit sharp. (I just covered them with poster putty.)
(7) Place the foam board back into the frame.
(8) Secure the drawer pulls to the bottom of the frame. (I ended up using super glue but needed to glue a washer to each to make a flat surface first to make a flat surface that would better stick to the frame.) Allow glue to dry.
(9) Hang your jewelry

*note: the fabric in the upper-left covers a magnet. I use that for my magnabilities magnets that go with the copper bracelet you see hanging.

The Review: Not too difficult. I had everything on hand except for the foam board. You could use fabric in place of the paper. You may be able to push earrings through the foam board too. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Pillow Fight

Slowly, our living room is coming to life. Brown on brown on brown can get a bit tiring, but as I'm finding on many blogs it's so easy to add a personal touch with fabric and some unexpected color. I can't paint now, so....

here's what I did:

(1) jazzed up the floor lamp with some fabric (as you can see here)
(2) dressed up a bare wall with fabric covered canvases and one with scrapbook paper that needs a bit more hot glue. (I'm going to add two more canvases-the wall still looks a little bare to me.)
(3) tossed two bright greenish-blue pillows on the couch that complemented the colors in the canvases. Then, took it a step further because I had some extra energy from a late night cup of coffee and made rosettes out of remaining fabric and secured them to the pillows (with fabric glue, because I can't sew.) The pillows are rather cozy and great for pillow fights among a mom and her two little girls! We'll see how long those pretty little rosettes can stay on.

Here's the before (with the new pillows):


Don't you just love that table? My dad built it for me about 10 years ago. It's so near and dear to my heart.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Shadow Box Training

I'm not so sure about this one, and I'm rather embarrassed to share pictures with you, but perhaps it will inspire you to do something similar but MUCH, MUCH better and more creative.... I'm more or less attempting to train myself through much trial and error... but it's oh so fun!

anyway, there's a story behind this experimental project....

I was starting to smash down a surplus microwave popcorn box for the recycling bin and started reminiscing about growing up and watching movies on the big ol' box TV with my family and enjoying popcorn from the air popcorn popper.  Box TVs. .....then for some odd reason, a shadow box picture frame came to mind. Maybe I could make that box into a picture frame??

Here's the lovely box-before I 'shadowboxed' it... ???

First, I flattened the box and painted it. I tried the crackle effect (white acrylic, glue, red acrylic, blow dry), but really wish I just spray painted it red (although the weather is too dang cold for that!)

After the paint was dry, I turned the box over and used Mod Podge to apply a fun wrapping paper. This would be the inside of the shadow box. (Wallpaper or fabric would probably work better. This was kind of a trial and error project...) I applied a thin layer of Mod Podge over the top to seal. Allow to dry.

Next, I used the good ol' hot glue gun (high heat) to reassemble the box, keeping the wrapping paper to the inside of the box.

For now, I set it on top of my kitchen cabinet. I'll give it some time to see how I like it. I could use one of those velcro picture hanging things if I want to put it on the wall later, with a black and white picture. If that doesn't work, the box is just wide enough for file folders, so I can always use it in the office. :) I just hate to see those cardboard boxes go to waste.

The Review: I'd like to try it again but will paint the outside a solid color (preferably using spray paint when weather warms up). Next time, I'll either use wallpaper or paint the inside of the box a solid color. (I'll also make sure to disguise the seam at the back of the box).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Recycled Crackled Cracker Box Book

I'm still on a mission to master a quality crackle technique. I decided to try a cardboard surface, as the cover for my first attempt at a homemade book. The final book:

I was very happy with how the cover turned out!

How to make the crackled finish cover: 
(1) Dismantle cereal, cracker, etc. cardboard box, cut off flaps and lay flat (printed side up).

(2) Apply generous drops of acrylic paint (I used light purple), spread to cover the print, then allow to dry.

(3) Apply generous drops of Elmers Glue-All, then spread to cover painted surface with a thick layer of glue.

(4) While glue is still wet and tacky, apply a second color of acrylic paint (I used white). Immediately blow dry the surface with a hair dryer.

Here's the result....

To make the rest of the book, refer to the step-by-step instructions, along with helpful pictures at

The Review: Fun and easy. Just takes some organization.

Other Ideas: Cover the cardboard with anything- scrapbook paper, wallpaper, chalkboard paint, kids' artwork. In place of plain white paper, you could use a heavy card stock sprayed with chalkboard paint or dry eraser paint. Great activity book for kids. Plus, they could decorate the cover themselves-keeping them occupied while you have some time to yourself. There's no such thing as perfect. It's the story behind it that counts (and the fun you have making it). And you can't always judge a book by its cover, right? Have fun!

Paint+Glue+Paint= Crackle Finish

Yep, it's true. You can get that coveted look of aged wood and peeling paint without investing in the sometimes expensive specialty products. Plus, you probably already have these 'ingredients', so no special trip to the hardware store needed! Note: You can try this on any surface. 

My first victim: an old wooden oak stool alone in a dark dungeon of a room. Time to bring him into the light.The Before:

and After:

How I did it:

Starting tidbits: Try to turn object so the surface you're painting is flat. Use a thick paint (I used acrylic paint). Watercolors will not work. For most noticeable results, choose two contrasting colors.

(1) Drop generous globs of paint (I used black acrylic paint) onto the surface. Paint to cover surface. Allow to dry.

(2) Use a brush to apply a thick layer of Elmers Glue All on top of the paint.

(3) While glue is still wet, use a brush to quickly cover with a fairly thick layer of your second color of paint (I used a light blue). Be sure NOT to overbrush any areas. Get enough paint on your brush, so you don't need to cover it twice. If you paint over any areas more than once, the crackle process won't work. (I made this mistake in some areas.)

(4) Allow to dry thoroughly, then apply Mod Podge Hard Coat Finish for Furniture with a sponge brush  to seal.

The Review: Very fun but definitely takes some time and can be challenging with a little one around. :) (Be sure to wear old clothes. I need to squeeze in any free time I have to do any kind of project, and I don't want to be in my scrubs all day. So, I added some unwanted black to my favorite jeans.) This will take some practice though. I overbrushed on a couple of areas, so they didn't crackle. I also didn't apply a thick enough layer of glue on this. Will be sure to do so next time. I'm going to try using a hair dryer to speed up drying time and deepen the crack finish.

Click on this link to the Elmers Glue website for instructions for this technique.

I hope this inspires you to find an old piece of furniture, plant pot, canvas, picture frame (of any surface-plastic, wood, etc.), ceramic, etc... and give it a shot! Would love to see your finished projects. Please email pictures!