Category Archives: Uncategorized

Auction Project

My daughter’s Kindergarten class was responsible for an auction project this year.  It’s the school’s big fundraiser, and in the past years when I’ve attended, the class projects are really nice.  So, being of unsound mind and having zero extra time, I clearly volunteered to do the project myself.  I love being creative, but I quickly felt the pressure of coming up with a unique project not involving the what I’ve seen every year at every school-related auction, you know…the fingerprint whatever.  Like this:

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The typical auction project

And so, I ventured to find the next unique project by doing what every good mom does…I headed to Pinterest to plagiarize some project someone with more time already had done.  I couldn’t find anything I really gravitated toward though, but I did find one project I really liked, but it was way too involved for Kindergartner’s to do (they have to do a majority of the project).  It was this:

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I loved this reclaimed project  – but it was too involved 

I love reclaimed wood, and I desperately wanted to figure out some project that I could do with a wood backing.  But what…  I also loved the idea of this project, but didn’t like the way it was executed:

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Love the idea, not the execution

So, my internal debate on what to do perpetuated.  But then it hit me, if I could have the kids create a door, I could mount it myself on a wood backing.  Wood doors, wood back.  Perfect. So, that’s what I did.  I bought 13 doors (for the number of kids in the class), and had each student paint their own door, however they wanted.  I purchased decorative pins, cut the pin part off for my door handles & viola.  It’s a Christian school, so I used the idea above of the Proverbs verse, but ended up going with one from John.  To top off the project, I got a photo of each student, and mounted behind the door, so that when the doors are opened with their handle, it reveals the artist of the door behind it.

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Kindergarten Doors mounted

And the bible verse I used (and plaque):

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I very intentionally “aged” the wood background.  No staining here, I used good ol’ steel wool + vinegar to gray it, then I hammered the heck out of the wood to make it look more reclaimed than new.  Done.

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What’s so great about Chalk Paint?

I’ll tell you…it’s easy.  So a while back I did my first project with Annie Sloan chalk paint.  It’s expensive paint ($38.95 for a quart), but for me, a busy mom, time is everything.  I don’t have to sand, prime, or anything!  Just slap that paint on & get immediate gratification!

So, my first project with chalk paint was a learning experience.  And when I decided the color of gray wasn’t what I’d hoped, I decided to do what anyone would do, paint it again!!  Yep, even with a good coat of wax on it, you can just put more chalk paint over it.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I’ve also found Amy Howard chalk paint & accoutrement she has.  My new love to go with chalk paint is Amy’s “Dust of Ages“.  I love this stuff & that’s what you’ll see on this latest project I redid.  I used a different color of Annie Sloan chalk paint and then used the dust of ages on it.  I now LOVE this storage bench.   I looked at it every time in my daughter’s room with an “eh, it doesn’t quite go” attitude.  The color was contrasting in her room that has gray colored furniture.  Gray’s are just hard to match…there are too many variations on the color.  Here’s how it looks now & then:

NOW:

THEN:

Magic Sand knock off: for pennies

I’ve played with & been tempted to buy that Magic Sand stuff that’s like $15 for a box.  Knowing my kids, it would be spread across my floors in about 5 minutes…so I searched Pinterest for an easy recipe.  Luckily, much more creative moms than I have experimented & found easy recipes.  I used this one from TinkerLab.  She called it “cloud dough”, but whatever, it’s cheap & the kids love it.

I have to sing the praises of one of my absolute favorite kids craft, mom’s experimenting again with spray paint, items to contain the mess:
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Seriously, these things are AWESOME!  And I’m serious when I say they get thrown away by the pound at every hospital.  These are used to wrap sterilized trays for use in operating rooms.  So for one, they’re sterile (yeah for not bringing Mersa back to the kids), 2 they are water proof (or at the very least incredibly water resistant).  They’re designed to keep any germs out of sterilized trays as their transported from central sterile (which is the department you’d want to ask for them from) up to OR’s.  If you ask at the visitor’s desk for central sterile, they’ll look at you like you’ve got a horn growing out of your head, so try calling in advance to see if you can talk to someone in Central Sterile and tell them you want one of their used “blue wraps”…they’ll know what you’re talking about.  Typically, there are PILES of them.  And you don’t need a truck load.  I’ve been using the same one over & over again for spray painting, staining, etc. projects.

Okay, off that tangent.  Here’s the recipe:

Magic Sand Recipe

4 cups of flour
1/2 cup of vegetable oil

Yep, that’s it.  Obviously, you can double that.  I wouldn’t halve that recipe though, this is about the right amount for 1-2 kids.  Clean up was a flash (with my trusty free OR wraps).  Except for my kid that decided to decorate her hair with the flour/oil combo (ugh).  Off to the bath tub…

Magic Sand knock off

Magic Sand knock off

DIY Bench redo

In my last post I blogged about doing a bedroom makeover. Well, step 1 is complete…I still need to mention and convince my husband to let me paint & recover the headboard & all our furniture (aside form the bench I just did on my own). With many of my projects I live by the motto:

Better to beg for forgiveness than ask permission

Yes, I don’t typically ask dear husband, I just jump right in! I think when taking on a large & rather visual project as our bedroom furniture & headboard…I better ask if I want to actually sleep in the bed I paint…

So here’s the bench. I’m still deciding on nail heading it or not. I have them, just can’t decide if they’ll look right. What say you? Leave it as is, or add nail heads?

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A New Obsession…sort of.

I’ve always loved to do projects.  There’s simply more satisfaction in doing it yourself than running to the store and buying it.  My last project was the table that I built.  Well…the mood struck me to whip out another one, done.  Not sure if I’ll keep this one or donate it to an auction at church…we’ll see.

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I literally finished that table yesterday, and today I’ve already started the next one.  Unbeknownst to my dear husband, he’ll probably cry when he finds out what I’m up to now…good thing he never bothers to read my blog posts!  I’m going to redo our master bedroom bed and bench (and nightstands).  I ordered some fabric to cover a bench we currently have (which is all brown).  And some other fabric to cover our headboard.  I’m starting on the easiest job: the bench.  I unscrewed the top of it & will recover that.  First, I need to paint it.  I’m defaulting to my favorite new paint: Annie Sloan.  Not cheap paint, but I’ll save myself the task (and mostly the time) of having to sand & prime that bench.  Annie Sloan chalk paint is amazing, I highly recommend it.  My MBR was way to brown, and I’d grown tired of the dullness of the room.  Our walls are a light grey (Annapolis Grey by Benjamin Moore to be exact), so I wanted to lighten up the room while taking the grey of the walls into my planning. I failed to get a good shot that included the bench (prior to dismantling it & starting in on the paint), but here’s what I had to start with (you can see the bench in the foreground of the photo – or at least the top of it anyway):

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Master Bedroom: BEFORE

This project is To Be Continued…

I built a table!

In under a week. My first real, get-out-the-saw, cut-the-wood-yourself, screw-it-together, and paint-it table, or anything of the like really. Inspired by Pinterest, I credit my Dad for helping me to cut the wood. But I drilled every little pocket hole myself. I’m so excited about my table!! I loved it (and so did Tom) when I showed him this photo of it on Pinterest (though at the time I believe he though it was something we’d purchase, not that I’d build myself:

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I have always wanted to do something like this, so I bought the wood (my table would have 2 legs as my space was smaller than this one) & asked my Dad if he’d help while in town.  We got the saw out & did the measuring & cutting together:

startprojectBMSHe was only in town for 48 hours, so there wasn’t time for him to help me actually build the table.  But here’s step-by-step as I put it together:

You can click on all those little pictures to see them closer up…but here’s what I did next:

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And then finally, I painted & did a wee bit of sanding on it:

And the final product:

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