Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A little freshening up is good for the soul...

After I took all the Christmas decorations down and cleaned everything up I took a step back at our family room and thought 'wow, everything is so dark'. Our home in California had a bigger, more open family room, it had lots of windows and we had white built-ins that my cabinet builder husband put in. Here there are no windows in the family room and the only shelving we have is black. So much of my decor is brown, black and red. Dark. Too dark for this room and quite frankly I wasn't feeling it anymore.

Here is the room...oh my gosh, I just saw my dog. Isn't she cute, trying to get in the picture.
 The more time I spend on Pinterest and in blog land I am so inspired by brighter, lighter colors. I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday to take a walk around and get some inspiration. I found this.
I took the picture with my phone so the colors aren't super vivid, but you get the idea. I then went and bought two cans of spray paint and came home on a mission. I pulled these things off my shelves and walls.

See how dark everything is? I took these things out to the garage and started painting. Umm, let's just say that spray painting isn't nearly as easy as it looks. In the past my aforementioned cabinet making husband has always been in charge of painting and finishing, it's not my department. At all. But of course he has a job and isn't home during the day when I get all these wild hairs. Dumb job getting in the way of my decorating.
I sanded this before I painted it since I knew that would be the first thing my husband asked me when I screwed it up "well, did you sand it first?" "why, yes, yes I did...and I STILL screwed it up"
This was the first coat for both of these. They both look much better now.
I let Gianna paint these since they were being painted with a brush and she is severely asthmatic an having her spray paint is border line child abuse. Although, it might be worth it cause there is a good chance she is better at it than I am.
Anyway, after seeing that painting wasn't going to my forte I woke up today with a new idea. I would make a box and a new tic tac toe board for my shelf. I can do that. I mean shoot, not only can I do it, I make a little business out of doing these things...yee haw, no more painting!
Here is a little tutorial on how to make yourself a cute little box.
I start with a plain wooden box (Hobby Lobby has a great selection). I pulled out about 15 different papers and narrowed it down to these 3.

next you are going to want to measure all sides of your box and write the measurements down, that way you won't have to do it fourteen more times. Trust me, I speak from experience.
After all of your pieces are cut you are ready to mod podge. I LOVE mod podge. I use it a.l.o.t.
If you haven't used it a lot let me give you a couple tips. Always brush the mod podge on both surfaces, the surface you are going to adhere to and the back of the paper. After you have your paper on the surface rub your hand across it several times working out any bubbles you might have and also squeezing any excess glue out.
When you first have all your paper down it looks kind of rough and unfinished...not impressive at all. No worries, a little bit of sandpaper and ink will fix that.
Thoroughly sand all the edges of your box. You want the edges of the paper to look like they are part of the box. Does that make sense? Well anyway, when you are done sanding your box will look like this-
See how it is kind of rough-ed up and shabby loooking? Well you can stop there if you would like or you can take it a step further and ink the edges.
This will give the edges a distressed look. Just rub the ink pad around all of the edges of the box. Everywhere that the paper and box come together should be inked.
Next, you can add some embellishments to the top or front if you would like. I had a sheet of some cute die cuts that came with one of the papers I used.
I was going to use the big one that my thumb is holding in this picture but then I decided to use two flowers instead.
I added the two flowers, brushed on a coat of mod podge over the entire box and then added a button center to each flower. Voila...a new knick knack and I didn't have to paint a thing. :)
Here is a picture of what my one shelving unit looked like before-
and here is what it looks like now-
Not a huge difference, it's pretty subtle but I think I am pretty happy with it. here is a close up of some of the things I (we, me and Gianna) made and painted.
This is a newer version of my tic tac toe board. I make these and sell them in my etsy store.
This is kind of like an every day snow globe. The picture inside is my Grandparents. Aren't they just the cutest couple?
I like the way the box works with the colors of my books. :)
I also painted the pedestal bowl thing but it really only looks good from afar. lol.
So that's it for today. I have been so inspired lately by other blogs so I am on a roll right now. I made a new side dish today, potato pancakes. I am going to share the recipe on here tomorrow.
Oh wait!! I have big news, I can't believe I almost forgot. Yesterday this girl got her drivers license.

That is my big girl. I realized yesterday that I don't really have any pictures of her on this blog. It's because for one, Gianna enjoys doing all the crafting, cooking and creating with me so she ends up being in all the pictures and for two Allison is a teenager, she works and she has a boyfriend.  I was very proud of her for getting her license and super nervous at the same time. We let her drive back to the school tonight to go to a wrestling match. I wasn't nearly as nervous as I thought I would be. She did great. She's growing up. Ugh.
Come back and visit tomorrow if you want to see the yummy potato pancake recipe and tutorial.
Linking this post up here


  1. You so crafty... I love the brighter colors and the DIY tutorial on the box. Such a great idea!

  2. MODGE PODGE is my BFF! LOL! I love freshening up but it never last long with the dogs and my! You did a great job!