Wednesday’s Whip Up: Zebra Foot Stool

I recently changed some of the decor in my powder room. I found this really cute zebra picture at Hobby Lobby that kinda fit in with my existing decor, but added a little something new – animal print!

Our powder room is small and the stool we have in there is large and takes up a lot of space. But we have to have a stool for the boys to reach the sink. I’ve been in search of a new one but couldn’t find anything that would fit with the decor. Until I saw this…

I got this little zebra footstool off a local Facebook marketplace. {Do you guys have one of these? They are awesome! Like Craig’s List but a private group and more localized so it seems a little safter.} Anyway, the stool was only $5, in great shape and it was tiny. Not to mention it was zebra!
The problem was that it was black and white zebra and my bathroom was brown and beige zebra. No biggie! I knew Hobby Lobby had the perfect solution! Fabric!

I flipped the stool over and removed the screws.

Measured the fabric to fit.

I wrapped it {tightly} like a present and secured it with heavy duty staples.

Then I screwed it back into the base and flipped it over.

Viola!

A nice little foot stool that is a much better fit for our tiny powder room!

Sit, Relax, & GOSSIP – A Gossip Chair Makeover

I had never heard of a “gossip chair” before this past year. They seem to be all over the Internet now! I’ve seen some really fantastic upcycled ones with fabulous bright paint and vintage fabrics. I really wanted to do mine a cherry red, but it really wouldn’t have matched anything in my home. Bummer. I do like the way it turned out and it is a cute little piece for this corner of my house.

For those of you that are not familiar with the “gossip chair,” let me explain. Basically they are old chairs or benches with a small table where one would sit to chat on the phone. Hence the term “gossip chair.” Of couse these really have no purpose since the invention of the cordless phone and now, of course, cell phones. No one sits down to talk anymore. Who has time for that when you can do it on the go? Anyway, I found mine at a garage sale over the summer. I almost didn’t get it because I really didn’t know if I would use it. But when the seller accepted my offer of $10, I couldn’t refuse! Ten dollars!
I decided to use it in this little corner that sits behind the couch between the family room and breakfast room. I have been wanting to do something different in that little space anyway, and I thought the gossip chair would be the perfect size. 
It wasn’t in great shape. Some of the finish was coming off and it was pretty wobbly.

I brought out my favorite power tool, the mouse sander and went to work. The cracks and peels smoothed out pretty easily. 
I applied a good coat of primer. 

While that was drying I recovered the seat cushion. {Actually it really isn’t very cushiony. It’s pretty much a piece of wood with a little bit of cush. I don’t think it would be very comfy to sit in for a long conversation!} I used leftover fabric that I have in my family room. If you’ve never recovered chair cushions before, it’s really pretty easy. You can find my tutorial here.

I used paint leftover from the powder room which, coincidentally, was also the exact blue in the fabric. It took two good coats to cover it evenly. I had planned on stopping here. Of course my first instinct was to start scraping the paint with my sandpaper, but I distress so much of my furniture that I thought I should just leave it be. But. . .

I didn’t think it was right. Something was missing. Instead of using sandpaper, I used my Distress Ink pad to age it. It was just the right touch.
A few accessories and a pillow to finish it off. You might recognize the phone. It’s a working Pottery Barn phone, with a $59 sticker on the bottom. I got it from Goodwill for just $5.99 a while back. I was going to paint it, but decided just to leave it alone for now. It’s the perfect touch for this bench! Not that I’ll ever sit her and use it, but it’s cute!
I needed some height in the corner since this bench is small. I found a beautiful floor lamp at Kirkland’s on sale for $49! Parker Reese and daddy put it together. 
Finished! 
You don’t have to completely re-do a room for a new look. Sometimes just changing a small area of a room can make a huge difference! Especially on your wallet! I did this for less than $75 bucks!

Reinventing Fabulous with a Purdy Paintbrush

A couple months back I was contacted by a representative of Purdy asking if I would use and review their paintbrushes. I guess they had seen all my different painting projects and figured their brushes would come in handy. My response was, “Of course!” 
The funny thing is, back when hubby and I bought our very first house and started to paint it, my dad gave me a piece of advice. {My dad has done his fair share of painting because my mom re-decorates a lot.} “Always spend a little extra money and use good brushes and good rollers like Purdy.” Swear he did! Of course I told the Purdy rep this and she said to tell my dad thank you for giving me such good advice. Anyway, I was more than happy to write a review for Purdy because I almost always use their brushes anyways.

You might remember this table I bought from the thrift store early in the summer. Well, I finally pulled it out of the garage to make it into something beautiful.

I tried something new this time. Instead of the usual coat of latex primer, I used primer spray paint. It worked great and it was much faster! Plus, I didn’t have to sand it first!
So here is my fabulous Purdy XL angled brush and my favorite Heavy Cream paint.  
Purdy brushes are great. They are nice and stiff and the natural bristles hold a lot more paint than those value brushes. Even better, they wash clean as a whistle and the bristles remain perfectly intact! 

I almost didn’t have to put a second coat on because the Purdy brush went on so thick and so even. But I put a second coat on just in case there were any missed spots. Another great thing about Purdy is that the brushes apply paint perfectly flawless without brush strokes. The paint goes on smoothly and evenly. 
My original plan was to stencil lettering across the top of the table, but I got impatient because I couldn’t find what I wanted. So I modified my plan.

I had this scrapbook paper that was close enough to what I wanted so I decided to Mod Podge it to the tabletop. {See how clean and perfect this brush still looks? When I took this photo I’d used that brush at least a handful of times.}

I tore around the edges to make it an circular shape.

Then I decided to add some Distress Ink to the edges. I used the Walnut Stain color. 

Perfect!

I used my Purdy XL paintbrush and applied a coat to the back of the paper and then used a flat edge to smooth it across the table. Once that layer dried I applied on thick coat over the top of the paper and used my scraper to remove bubbles and any excess Mod Podge.
Ta-dah! 
My thrift store table made beautiful!
You know me, I love doing things as cheaply as I can. When painting furniture {or anything for that matter}, it really is worth it to spend a little extra money on quality brushes. Purdy has a variety of brushes and rollers to accommodate any painting task, and really they aren’t that much more expensive. Just a couple of dollars. But that couple extra is money well spent. I promise! 
If you are getting ready to do some painting stop by Save the Walls to get information on the right Purdy products for your task.

Caned Chair Makeover

Would you believe me if I told you my craft room is finished? You probably don’t even remember that I was in the midst of making my own craft room, do you? I mean, gosh, it was only back in July that I started transforming my formal living room into my creative space! I still have a few decorative touches to add before I reveal the entire space, but I do want to show you my sewing area.
My very own sewing space! Yippee! Now let me show you my chair transformation. 
I bought this chair from Goodwill for just $7.99. What drew me to this piece was the caning and the fact that it was in perfect condition! But, even though it was in perfect condition doesn’t mean I’m goinog to leave it alone!
I primed it and painted two coats of Olympic Heavy Cream. 

I pulled out my handy-dandy sand paper and scuffed it up.

I used the same toille fabric that I used in the rest of the room to cover the seat. First, measure and cut the fabric to fit the seat.

Then, pulling tightly, secure the fabric to the bottom of the seat using a staple gun. 

Excuse the paint dust! I still wasn’t satisfied. It needed a little something else. 

So I pulled out my Americana Blue Mist acrylic paint. . .

and painted the caning on the chair.

It added just a little something more.
I love it!
Now if I can convince my mom to let me paint the desk {my new sewing table} she gave me. I think it belonged to my great-grandmother??? 
More projects from and the big reveal of the craft room coming soon!
{P.S. Because I know I’ll be asked, the fabric is from Hobby Lobby!}
Linking up here:

 Todays Creative Blog

The Rescued Rocker

A few months ago I rescued an old green rocking chair from a garage sale. It reminded me of the Cracker Barrel chairs {which it very well could be}.  The seller was asking only $10. The chair was in pretty bad shape. It {apparently} used to be a hunter green chair. The sun had faded the paint to almost turquoise and the paint and woven areas had been weathered quite a bit. But the bones of the chair were in such great condition! Especially for ten bucks! {I somehow failed to take a before shot for you.}
I used my favorite Skil sander to remove the chipping paint and prep it for painting. I love that tool! It’s a great stress reliever! 

Two {good} coats of primer spray paint. I didn’t bother masking off the rattan back or seat because it was pretty easy to spray the target areas without getting paint everywhere else.

Two heavy coats of white semi-gloss spray paint. Again, a little paint got on the rattan, but not much.

I planned on using regular stain but then thought, “Why not use that new gel stain I got from DecoArt?” {In case you missed my post last week, a box of goodies from DecoArt arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago.} One of the items included was Americana Maple Gel Stain. I’d never used gel stain before, so I thought I’d give it a shot.

I applied a generous amount of gel stain with my sponge brush, spread it evenly and then gently wiped it with the cloth. I love this stuff! It’s nice and thick, not drippy like the other stains. And it covers the area really well. 
Gawjus! {And just like new!} It even covered the little bit of primer and paint that got on this area! I sprayed the entire chair with a good coat of clear gloss lacquer to seal it. 
Here she is! My beautiful “new” rocker for just ten bucks and a little elbow grease. Never turn your back on a piece of junk! 

Linking up here:
http://www.scissorsandspatulas.com/p/link-parties.html

I Have a Craft Table!

Slowly, but surely, my new craft room is coming along. One item I didn’t have to purchase was a table/desk. We got a new kitchen table a few years ago but I held onto the old one because it was the perfect size for a desk. I noticed in my link up that a couple others used tables for their work space. 
Dorie, of Tuesdays with Dorie, did it.
So did Hannah from Young and Crafty.
So this table has been sitting at hubby’s office, until now. I forgot a before photo, but it looked similar to the one above except it had been painted black.

I’ve used traditional paint stripper many times and I know it works. When I saw this, Citristrip Stripping Gel, I was a little skeptical. I liked that it was odorless and could be used indoors, but would it really work? It did have a little bit of a strange citrus smell, but it was much better than the stinky stuff.
I brushed on a thick coat and after about thirty minutes, it bubbled up pretty nicely in some areas. I added an extra coat on the areas that had not bubbled.
I came back after thirty more minutes and was shocked at how easily it came off with a putty knife! Right down to the wood. The light wood which wasn’t gonna cut it for my room.

So, I got out my favorite power tool, my Skil Octo Sander to remove the finish. 

I didn’t have the right color stain, so I created my own by mixing a few that I had. I used Minwax Red Mahogany, Ebony and Dark Walnut wood stain.
I love how it turned out! It’s much darker in some areas than others which really gives it a rustic look. Kind of like an old farm table. 

Then I finished it off with a light coat of Minwax Polyurethane.
Finally, I primed and painted the legs in the Valspar Juniper Breeze paint. I had planned on stripping them first, but got impatient and decided just to go ahead and paint them. 
Tada! 
Please excuse the mess. I now have a craft table, but still in need of craft room storage! I’m still thinking about distressing the legs. I’m going to wait until I get the other furniture in the room. Until then. . . .


A New(ish) Piece For My Craft Room

First, let me tell you the story behind this little bugger! He wasn’t easy to get! Seriously, I had to fight for this piece, literally! 

Here it is in its original state, as I found him at the garage sale. I spotted this piece as soon as I stepped out of the car and {briskly} walked straight towards it to check out the sticker. Problem was, that there was no sticker. Gah! So, temporarily claiming it as my own, I stood by it with my elbow on the top, waiting patiently for the seller to finish talking to another customer. Just as I was about to ask, enter the thief. “How much is that dresser?” she asks. I hear the seller say $25 and I speak up, “Oh, I’m getting this. I’ve been standing here waiting.” Long story short {and this is a shortened version}, the lady said a few words and finally {as much as I didn’t want to} I walked away and said, “Take it.” At the time I really didn’t have any specific use for it, I just knew I loved it and could find something to do with it. But it wasn’t worth a fight. As I was walking back to my car, I looked back and told my mom that I bet she wouldn’t even buy it. Well, I was right! I hear the seller yell, “Are you kidding me?!” and her husband came running after me. Turns out she began inspecting the piece {because she hadn’t even looked at it yet like I had} and the seller asked her if she was even planning on buying it. She flat out said no and walked away! Crazy! 
Anyway, I got him for $25 and some drama. Not to mention that the poor seller was freaked out because I think she thought a fight was going to occur in her driveway. I was still very happy to take him home. I sanded off the finish,

primed,

and painted with two coats of Valspar Juniper Breeze.

If you are a regular here, you know what I did next. I pulled out my sandpaper and went to town.
The body of the dresser was finished, not it was time to work on the drawers.

I wasn’t quite sure what to do with them. I didn’t want the entire piece to be painted the same color, but I wasn’t sure which part to leave the original wood. I decided on the inner parts of the design on the drawers {each drawer has a different shape}. I used my Frog Tape to create a border since I tend to get sloppy. ;)

I did the same thing, one coat primer and two coats of paint. 

Even though I used the Frog Tape I still got a little sloppy. Very simple fix. I folded my sandpaper and gently ran it along the grooves.

The natural wood was in rough shape so I lightly sanded it and added a coat of Minwax stain.
Here is the before, during, after. 

The drawers were put back in the dresser, then YANKED out again. They were sticking. Nothing a little WD40 couldn’t fix! 

He was finished! He looks more like a she, huh? Either way. . . .

It’s fabulous! I love it! 
And the best part – all three drawers are filled with my craft stuff! That means a little more space in one of my closets! 
I’m still looking for inspiration for other parts of the room! I have also had a lot of readers telling me that they are also looking for craft room inspiration! If you have a craft room/creative space/office/organization idea that you want to share, please link up!


Sewing Table + Chair = Writing Desk

I was out of town all weekend for a MOPS retreat. We drove up to VA and stayed in a fantastic home in a fabulous setting. It was such a relaxing and fun weekend! Since I was gone {and had no access to the Internet} I was suppose to have a guest post for you today. However, we are having some technical difficulties, so I will have to postpone that. Luckily I had this as back up:
Some of you might be saying that this looks a little familiar. Well, you are right. I showed these pieces for a guest post I did over at Remodelaholic  several weeks ago.  Some of you might not have seen it though, so I thought I’d share it again, just in case. 

Would you believe me if I told you this desk and chair cost less than $20? Well, it’s the truth! 
As most of you know I love turning someone else’s trash into my own new treasure.  Particularly furniture. It’s garage sale season and I am up and out early on Saturday mornings in hunt of some great bargains!  I found this chair for just $5!
I gave it a good cleaning with the hose and let it dry out in the sun before taking my mouse sander to it. I roughed it up pretty well to make sure the varnish was taken off.

I used one coat of Kilz {water-based} primer and then three coats of Olympic Irish Cream {just slightly off white} in a satin finish.
Then, after all that hard work, I took my sandpaper and started distressing it! I use a very low grit to remove the paint but then use a very fine sand block to smooth it out.
Here is a preview of what it looked like after distressing. You’ll see the finished product in just sec. First let me show you the second part to this project. 
My mother-in-law gave me an old sewing table a while back. Now I know I’m going to get some grief for saying this, but I removed the table top and sewing machine and replaced it with a large piece wood because I love the look of the legs, but the table top was not functional. It wasn’t one of the nice ones with the drawers, just a flat table that unfolded. I wanted to use it for a writing desk and once the sewing machine was removed the original table top had a big hole in it. So i decided to make a new top all together. 

Here is the stained piece of wood after I took my mouse sander to it. It had a thick coat of varnish on it, so it took some elbow grease to rough this baby up.
Then I took a hammer to it and it was actually quite fun! I softened up the sharp edges a bit and put some dings and dents all over the edges, sides and top.
One coat of primer and three coats of the same paint used on the chair .

Then again, I took my low-grit {rough} sand paper and started scraping away at the paint. This knot above is a result of the hammer. Love it! I wasn’t quite getting the result that I wanted with the sandpaper, it was still too clean and white.
So out came my handy dandy mouse sander again and it worked like a charm. Sneak peak. . . 
Okay, are you ready to see my new writing desk?

I hope to be back either later today or first thing tomorrow with the guest post. 

This week I’m linking up to these fabulous parties:

Granny’s Old Dresser

My {amazing} sister-in-law, Ilke, gave me this dresser a couple of months ago. It belonged to my hubby’s grandma {we call her Granny}. She didn’t need it anymore and she asked if I wanted it. Ummm, yes please! 
It’s beautiful, and I loved it the way it was, but I knew I could make it so much more!  
So out came the mouse sander. 
Surprisingly, this varnish came off very easily.

There were a couple of places in the wood that needed repairing though. 

I’ve seen hubby use Elmer’s Wood Filler for several projects and thought it might work for this.
I globbed it on. Let it dry. Sanded it smooth. Then painted over it. It worked like a charm!
One coat of primer and two coats of Olympic Heavy Cream paint and it looked like this.

I decided to leave the top the natural wood color. It was pretty damaged to begin with.

So I sanded. 

and finished it with a coat of Minwax Polyurethane.

Of course I added a little bit of a distressed look by sanding the paint.
Same as always, I start with a low-grit paper and smooth it out with a very fine-grit sand block.
The knobs were an antique brass and my dining room is silver and nickel-finish so I sprayed the knobs in my favorite paint, Krylon Brushed Nickel.
And when it as all said and done. . .

I had a beautiful new piece of furniture in my almost-finished dining room!
Love it! Thanks Ilke!

Summer Porch Decor

It started with a chair from Goodwill that cost just $12. It reminded me of some chairs my parents had when I was little. It was in almost perfect condition. Even the paint looked good. It just needed to be cleaned. I kept walking but in the end, left the store with the chair.

I went from Goodwill to Home Depot to pick out the perfect color of  paint to fix this baby up. I left with  Krylon Bright Idea.

Two coats later, my pretty chair was good as new and a bright sunny yellow!
On to Hobby Lobby to find some things to add to my new chair.
A straw wreath, some fabric, buttons and yarn came home with me.

I already showed you my summer wreath tutorial a couple weeks ago. Besides the yellow paint, it was the inspiration for my summer porch makeover.

I had lots of extra fabric and a pretty yellow {but boring} chair. Hello, PILLOWS!

I added a simple square pillow and a monogrammed bolster pillow to complete my chair.
I’ve given you a full tutorial on how to make a monogrammed bolster pillow here.
Some bright {and of course, matching} flowers.
It ended with a welcoming porch that screams “Happy summer!”

Welcome to our home!

Recovering the Dining Room Chairs

Part of redecorating my dining room included recovering the dining chairs. Hubby and I purchased this set back when we bought our first house and I recovered them then with gold curtains I found at a discount store. Two panels were much cheaper than three yards of fabric so I thought, “Why not?” But over the past six years the fabric has become picked and snagged. Plus, it didn’t really match the new decor. What I would really like is a new dining table but I can’t really justify that since there is nothing wrong with the one I have. 
Solution? Recover the cushions for a like-new dining set.
This is really a very easy fix for any chair. All you need is fabric and a heavy duty staple gun. Here is what the chairs have been covered in for the past six years. The original fabric was like a twill or tweed. Not really sure to be honest. But it was odd for dining chairs and very informal which is why I re-covered them immediately after purchasing the set.

First you flip the chairs upside down and remove the screws securing the seat cushion to the wood. 
The cushion should easily pop out after the screws have been removed. {Some older chairs might need extra pressure applied if screws have rusted or corroded}.

Measure and cut your fabric about three inches longer on all sides than the cushion. {Longer if your cushion is  super thick.} Start with the front and back edges tightly wrapping fabric around the seat cushion and securing with heavy duty staples every couple of inches. Once the front and back have been secured, fold all four corners in a fashion similar to how  you would wrap a present, securing with staples. The hardest part is just pulling, folding and tucking to make sure it is tight and that there are no {or very few} obvious wrinkles and/or folds on the upper-side of the seat cushion. After you’ve finished you can pull and tug some of these wrinkles out.
Put the cushions back in the chair the same way you took them out.

And there ya go!
Okay, so this one has a few wrinkles which I have since gone back and smoothed out a little better. I was just trying to get a photo before it got too dark. 
There you have it. An easy fix for any old chair. 
I know I already showed you a picture of the paint color, but here it is finished!
LOVE! So bright, so fresh! I’m in the process of making the drapes, so stay tuned. . .

OH, one more thing!
Look what arrived on my doorstep this morning. . .

My new Silhouette SD package {cutting machine, heat transfer materials and a gift card for Silhouette downloads} that I won from Kim at Today’s Creative Blog!!!!! I’ve been watching out the window for this delivery for almost two weeks now. Like a kid at Christmas! Eeeeeek! Thanks Kim and the Silhouette team!

As Promised, Headboard Bench Tutorial

Yesterday I showed you a sneak peak of the project I have been working on this week for the American Crafter Contest at Nap Time Crafters
As I promised, here is the tutorial for how I turned this. . . .
Trash
{old, broken headboard}
into this. . . .
Treasure
{cute little foyer bench}.
First, let me give you the story behind this trash to treasure. This was my hubby’s bed as a child. It was broken into several pieces and was collecting dust and cobwebs in the shed at my in-law’s. It was going to be tossed to the curb until I claimed it for myself because I had a vision of what to do with it. So, being the little scavenger that I am, we loaded it u in the car and hauled it home. Then it sat in my garage for a few weeks {collecting dust and cobwebs} until the American Crafter theme for round one was announced. “Trash to Treasure.” At first I panicked because I had nothing. Nothing and only three days until submission! Then a little birdie reminded me that I had this piece of trash great headboard in the garage begging to be rescued!

First, I sanded all the pieces well to rough it up for painting. I used a mid-grade grit for this because I wanted to remove the varnish. It scratched the wood a little, but I’ve learned from my experience that the paint will fill in the these scratches.

Next I primed all the pieces with water based primer.
This is where I turned it over to the hubs. 
I told him what I wanted and he purchased a 2×4 piece of wood and a deck board. The 2×4 was cut into four pieces and the deck board into three. He did some sawing, some rearranging, some screwing and some gluing to create this. . . 

The entire bench was created from the headboard with the exception of two 2x4s which attached the front of the bench to the back of the bench. The other wood is used below. At this point, I put two good coats of paint {Olympic Irish Cream}on the bench and deck boards.
The deck board was used for the seat.
The other two pieces of the 2×4 were attached under the first to hold the boards in place. 

I then sanded random areas of the bench, allowing the wood to show through to give the bench an aged, distressed look. 

It was a huge sigh of relief when I was finished, but I couldn’t have been happier! It was exactly what I had wanted!
I’m so glad I had a vision, rescued and brought back to life an old broken headboard. I am using it as a bench for my foyer. Now my kids have somewhere to sit to put on their shoes!
If you have a chance, please head over to Nap Time Crafters American Crafter Contest and cast your vote! There are some amazing projects in the competition and you have to choose three which might be difficult! If you like mine, it’s #14. I’d really appreciate your vote! Voting for round one ends tomorrow {Sunday} night at midnight, so hurry! Hope you are having a fantastic weekend!



Little Changes for a "Big Boy"

A little over a month ago I shared with you, in this post my second little man Parker’s nursery.

I absolutely love his room. In fact, it’s probably my favorite in the house. Unfortunately, Parker is 18 months old and quickly outgrowing this nursery! As beautiful as it is, it’s not exactly decorated for a “big boy.” But I’m not ready to change the decor yet! So I’m doing my best to add and change a few things around his room to make it a little more appropriate for his age with out having to sacrifice the decor. 

I started with this. . .
A cute little work table. Every growing kid needs a table or desk of some sort for reading, coloring, etc.
Before: 

  This little table was made out of an old bedside table my parents had in their house forever. My dad cut the legs down to make it a kid-size table for the playroom at their house. It was handed down to me last year and has been sitting in the attic. The chair is an antique, also given to me by my mom.
I used my handy-dandy mouse sander on the table to take off some paint {this table had layers of it}. I used it on the chair to rough it up to help the paint stick.  I rubbed wax from a candle along some of the corners and edges of areas that I wanted to look distressed.
I used a sponge roller to apply one coat of white semi-gloss paint. Then I did some more sanding for a distressed look. Actually I ended up sanding a lot more than I had planned on. My new tool is fun and I got a little carried away!
This is what they looked like after painting and distressing. I also added some distress ink to both pieces just to add a little extra “age.”
After:

And here it is! 
Perfect size for the little guy! Most important, I think he likes it!
Before                                                                               After