Modern Painted Antlers

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Modern Painted Antlers

I grew up in a house of hunters. My husband also grew up in a house of hunters. We both lived with antlers and other taxidermy trophies and it was only a matter of time before they made it into our home as a couple. The only problem I had with this is the style or “look” they imply. See, we arent cabin, lodge, woodsy, etc kind of people within our own space. Its just not us. #nojudgement So a few coats of paint later and we are loving our “new” modern antlers!

Modern Painted Antlers

The set on the left is one Q actually hunted when he was a kid. They are sentimental and I’ve been trying to find a way to integrate them into our space for quite a while. The set on the right is from Target and completely ceramic. They are both ok on their own but neither fit our style or space.

Ive seen a bunch of tutorials and antler makeovers using spray paint but I really wanted to stick to the color pallet we chose for the living room. And finding those exact colors is basically impossible. So I used the Ceramcoat Select from Delta to mix my colors to an exact match. Its the first time I’ve used these satin finishes and I totally loved them!

Modern Painted Antlers

I separated the real antlers from the plaque to make painting easier. I wiped everything down with a damp rag to remove dust and thats it. Im not big on prep work… are you guys picking up on that? Ha!

Being that these would be mounted and nearly never handled I wasn’t too concerned with primers or sealers. I just laid out some newsprint and started slapping on the acrylic!

Modern Painted Antlers

[after 1 coat of acrylic paint]

Modern Painted Antlers

I used bristle brushes to really work the paint into the uneven surface of the antlers. It took 2 solid coats to get full coverage[see above for coverage after 1 coat] and I did a little bit of touch up on the real knobby bits.

Modern Painted Antlers

Painting over the fur was a bit different. It took 3 coats to really cover everything and I used a softer synthetic brush. Also, you need to paint with the grain so this dries “laying down”. The paint will make the fur stiff so you want to be aware of how you are directing it.

I let this dry for a full 24 hours before attempting to hang them up. And again, I did not seal these. If you wanted a different finish(glossy/high shine) Im sure you could hit them with a coat of spray on.

Modern Painted Antlers

Now lets talk hanging hardware. I’ve never been shy about decorating our walls whether we were renting or owned. And over the years I’ve tested a number of different hardware. I know that’s probably making some of you cringe because you’re team “don’t destroy the drywall”! But! I think I’ve found a pretty good compromise.

I picked up this multi-pack of hangers from High & Mighty a while ago and I’m thoroughly impressed! (No, I’m not affiliated with H&M) They can hold an insane amount of weight for their size and they only make a hole the size a thumbtack would leave. Thats tiny! And, even better, they’re a tool free product. #winning

Modern Painted Antlers

I am loving this makeover and I cant wait hear what a few of my “traditional hunters” think! So would you paint a set of antlers? Have you already given a taxidermy piece a mod makeover? You know I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

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Home Tour: Front Door

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Our loft has rows and rows of the same door/light/number entries and while they’re clean and fairly new they’re also fairly boring! I know we aren’t the only renters with this dilemma. When you live in an apartment your entryway is most likely going to look like eeeeeevery body else’s. But that doesn’t mean it needs to stay that way! You can absolutely personalize your front door and entryway to make your rental space unique.

Home Tour: Front doorDoormats:

This is probably one of the first things we add to any new space. Its functional since it cuts down on the dirt tracked into our place as well as decorative. If you’re feeling crafty your can DIY a design on a solid mat. Or you can shop any of the billion designs online(seriously theres bound to be a design perfect for your space!). We grabbed this one at Target.  Home Tour: Front DoorPlants:

Its no secret I hope to become a #plantlady and let our space be taken over by fabulous green lovelies. And our entry way is no exception! I knew I wanted something green to liven up the space but sunlight was an issue. We basically enter by hallway(even though its outdoors) which means there is very little sun. This limited our choices a bit and I’m pretty positive you wont find bright flowers gracing our front door but I’m ok with that. Luckily succulents and other non-fussy plants are popular and finding something for this nook was easy. I rarely have to water this Dragon Tree and its thriving even without great sun exposure.  Home Tour: Front DoorWreaths:

With the help of removable hooks even us renters can add wreaths to our front doors! You can find them in nearly any color so they are no longer just for the holidays. Yay! I loved this mushroom wreath the second I saw it and I know I can add decorative bits to dress it up throughout the year. Its made of dried and dyed mushrooms and it adds a ton of texture. If our front door got a lot of exposure to the elements I’d look for something less fragile. In this case, Im using that hallway to our advantage. Home Tour: Front DoorIts only a couple simple items but it changes the look of our entryway and livens up our space. So what are your favorite ways to decorate the front door and entryway? You know Id love to hear all about it in the comments!

 

Home Tour: Front Door
Home Tour: Front Door
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The DIY Desk: Part 2

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Last week I shared Part 1 of the DIY Desk project. Part 1 was mostly about the desk top and basics but if you saw the post and/or pictures you know we altered part of our design to incorporate a few pieces we already had. Which brings us to Part 2! We used a couple of the same tricks to upcycle our old storage into a pair of fab modern farmhouse pieces.

DIY Desk Part 2

We’ve had this cube storage system for many many years. I bought them back in my scrapbooking heyday and they have served me well. (They’ve since been retired but you can find similar ones here, here, and here) They store a good chunk of my art and craft supplies as well as a handful of office supplies and files. Its been great having a “modular” system that we can rearrange and reconfigure as we move from place to place. For this reason, I really wanted to make them work in the loft. But they clearly needed a face lift! Ha!

It should also be said that you can still do this without these exact storage cubes. Ive seen great options at places like HomeGoods, Target, and Ikea. You cold also thrift a solid side table or use a small dresser you have on hand. The point is: this “technique” is easy to apply to nearly any piece of furniture you want to upcycle.

DIY Desk Part 2

After working with the peel and stick vinyl planks I knew I could use them to update the cubes. I emptied the drawers and cleaned them with a rag and some tabletop spray. I also removed all the hardware. Once the drawers were prepped I sat them face down on one of the planks with the backing still intact and marked the dimensions. I used a t-square to extend my lines and then scored with a box cutter. Its important you use a metal ruler for this as your box cutter can actually cut right into a wood or plastic version. The metal ones will give you a straight(and sturdy!) edge every time. After the planks are scored you can snap off the excess. This is waaaaay easier than I originally imagined!

DIY Desk Part 2

As I was getting my first drawer set up I also made a template for my hardware. Once the planks were attached they would be covering the preexisting holes and again Im not the type that is going to try measuring that out after the fact. So save yourself the headache (and time!) and do this before setting your planks! I just used a sheet of scrap card stock to measure where the holes would be when the top and side edges were lined up.

DIY Desk Part 2

Because these planks were going to live vertical(on the face of the cubes) I wanted to really make sure they were permanently attached. The adhesive that is applied to the back is pretty strong but if you really wanted to you could peel it up. I wanted to avoid any chance of that happening(even accidentally) so I hit the back with a small amount of Gorilla Glue. If you’ve never used GG you should know it needs to be under pressure/weight for an hour after applying it. Great way to get some more use out of those heavy art history books! #artschoolgrad

DIY Desk Part 2

While waiting for the GG to cure up I painted my hardware with 2 coats of chalk paint. I haven’t used it on something that gets this much handling but being that the part of the pull which is touched most is “under” the face I feel like it will hold up well. Yes, I have high hopes for chalk paint on this(big surprise right?) but I’ll be back after a few months with and update on this. Promise!

DIY Desk Part 2

DIY Desk Part 2

After an hour under a stack of books I attached the hardware using my template and filled the drawers up! Again, these 2 middle desks are an altered version of the original I posted in Part 1 but the change is pretty simple. Basically we’re using the cubes as the legs on one side of the desks. This makes the tops sit a bit higher than your average desk but I like being able to stand part time while working too.

DIY Desk Part 2

The desks being this height also meant we couldn’t use traditional office chairs. At their most extended height we were still sitting too low. We opted for these drafting chairs and we are loving them! They do have a foot rest(the metal ring at the bottom) but we added mini ottomans for anther option. And as a bonus they give us a bit of extra storage! Win win!

DIY Desk Part 2

So what DIYs have you added to your workspace? Are you working on a desk upcycle as well? You know I’d love to hear all about it in the comments!

DIY Desk Part 2
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Painted Throw Pillows

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If you’ve been here recently you already know I have piles of throw pillows to keep my comfy level maxed out. You may also know I’ve painted throw pillows before. But after getting my hands on a new design for our living room I was itching to use those fabric painting tricks again. These painted throw pillows have a completely different feel than my first attempt but I think they are just as successful! Painted Throw Pillows

Originally, I ordered these pillow cases to use as is. And they did live happily on our wicker arm chair for some time. But after adding the throw blanket pillow cases and seeing how punchy the colors were I knew this pillow case needed something to liven it up!

Painted Throw Pillows

When I was considering how to add those punches of color I was reminded of star patterned quilts and adult coloring books. Both of them have negative space which I wanted to replicate to keep the design from getting too busy. I started playing with options in my sketch book and made sure the colors matched up with the other pieces already in the living room.

Painted Throw Pillows

Once I got the pattern mapped out and the colors finalized I set up for painting. The only prep you really need to do is wash/dry the pillow case and place a magazine(or other barrier) inside. This keeps the paint from bleeding through to the other side of your pillow case. You can also add a small amount of fabric medium to your paints. This will keep the painted sections pliable.

Painted Throw Pillows

I used a soft medium sized brush to fill in the larger portions of the design. This helped get most of the spaces filled quickly. I later filled in the edges with a small flexible brush. The paint will get a bit watered down in consistency from the fabric medium. Although, I found using a damp brush also helps with fluidity. This was mostly helpful when I was working on the edging. Be sure to add water sparingly as it may make your paint “bleed”.Painted Throw Pillows

It only took a few Netflix reruns to fill in the design and I think the pay off was well worth the time. So another throw pillow success in the books! Ha!

Painted Throw Pillows

Have you tried any throw pillow DIYs lately? Painted any fabric? Tell me all about it in the comments!

Painted Throw Pillows

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3 Simple DIYs

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As much as I’d like to design and create all the decor and furniture in our homes from scratch its just not realistic. On the other hand, plucking something off a shelf and bringing it home to use “as is” is pretty rare. So generally I do a little of both. Some projects are more involved and some (like I’m about to share) are very simple. I promise it doesn’t always take a great deal of time or skill to customize your decor and I’ve got 3 simple DIYs to prove it!

  1. Paint.

Its generally my go-to when I want to alter a piece. Its inexpensive, nearly limitless in options/colors, and you can add it to pretty much any surface. I picked up this awesome wood planter at Target to update my bedroom plant scene. I loved the raw wood and it fit perfectly in my copper plant stands. Except… it just… needed a liiiiiiiiil somthin…ha!

3 Simple DIYs

After placing it next to the other pot I was using I figured I could pull some of that stripe-y goodness and make them look coordinating without actually matching. I threw on a couple wraps of painters tape and filled them in with craft acrylic. Since the plant will live inside a liner Im not concerned with moisture getting to the paint and didn’t bother with any sealer. Adding simple painted patterns or stripes is a quick and easy way to get some of the colors you want in your space on your decor.

3 Simple DIYs

2. Ribbon.

Ribbon, twill tape, twine, yarn…. basically anything you can wrap and tie! I may or may not have a crazy amount of ribbon(and the like) from my days working at both a craft store and then fabric shop. So it shouldn’t be a big surprise this is another quick trick I use often. Again, the variety factor is amazing with these materials and you can generally find something that works with the vision you have for your space. Another perk about simply tying or wrapping something up is the zero damage factor. You can embellish something and later on down the road change or remove your addition to suit another room or design.

3 Simple DIYs

This was truly as simple as: wrap, knot, and trim. Its not a crazy makeover but repeating that white stripe makes it visually tie in with the rest of the room juuuuust a bit more. Not all upgrades need to be big to make a difference!

3 Simple DIYs

3. Washi Tape

Speaking of zero damage, lets talk tape! Washi tape that is. You can add this to so many surfaces and it will peel right off whenever you decide your done with that look. The last time I hit the craft store there was a whole section dedicated to washi tape so the possibilities here are pretty fab. I’ve used washi tape on quite a few projects now and I will say it does better on smooth surfaces. Surfaces like glass work especially well so when it was time to upcycle this old candle holder into a planter I knew tape was going to be my quickest bet. Also, you can layer your washi tapes to create your own patterns and designs. Yay for getting bonus tapes!

3 Simple DIYs

And you can finally keep your collection on display in these adorable dispensers(yes, Im totally obsessed!).

3 Simple DIYs

So are you a customizer? Have you livened up a new piece? Or upcycled an old treasure? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Painted Fabric Chair

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We bought this chair from a Habitat For Humanity ReStore for dirt cheap. It was goldilocks scenario since the chairs that are most comfortable for me are rarely comfy for Q but somehow this one fit both of us! Only problem was the color. It was a really unattractive mauve with green dots and that just wasn’t going to work with everything else in our place. We bought the chair thinking we were going to reupholster it and quickly decided that was entirely way too much work. After a bit of research I planned on painting it… and then a whole year and a 3,000 mile move happened. Since I was getting down to business with the decor in the loft it was time to finally tackle the ugly pink chair. Luckily this painted fabric chair turned out better than even I expected.Painted Fabric Chair

See, if you search painted fabric chair(or furniture) you will get a ton of results and nearly all of them are done just a bit differently. Being that I’ve never painted any fabric furniture I just wanted to make sure two things happened. First, I wanted the fabric to stay soft and pliable. I mean whats the point of a comfy upholstered wingback chair makeover if it ends up a stiff mess? No point! Second, I wanted full coverage on that awful pink color! Side note: if this color is your jam and you make it work in your house more power to ya! But this is just simply not the case in the loft.

After pulling from a handful of tutorials I did the following to get some pretty fab results:

-Vacuum the chair thoroughly(esp. all those nooks and crannies!).

-Mix 1 part fabric medium with 2 parts interior paint.

-Spray the area you are painting with a light mist of water.

-Use a stiff brush to paint light coats over the entire chair. A smaller bristle brush is also helpful to get into all the creases and corners.

-Sand the surface in between coats(once completely dry) with fine grit sandpaper.

[After the first coat. Yes, it looks patchy and scary but just keep painting!]

Now comes the fun part! If your chair has a distinct texture like ours you can layer your paint to keep the textured design. This idea came to me after sanding the first layer. Because the sanding is what keeps the chair from getting stiff you always end the layer with sanding. This will expose a layer below the current top layer of paint and in doing so you will also accentuate any raised pattern or texture in the fabric.

 

Painted Fabric Chair

I started with a couple coats of classic silver and hand tinted the paint for the remaining layers. I went darker by adding a couple ounces of black paint which I measured out on a scale (so I could replicate it if need be). Once the final coat dried and I sanded it down the texture really popped. And still no sign of the ugly pink!

[before & after sanding]

This does add a more rustic or even shabby chic feel(which isn’t typically us) but in this space its going to fit right in! All the wood in our bedroom is raw or unfinished so another perfectly imperfect piece is totally making us happy!

So have you painted a fabric chair? Or any other fabric furniture? Tell me all about it in the comments!

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Bouquet Boxes

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Bouquet Box Before and After      Keepsakes. Memorabilia. Trinkets. Call them what you want but us sentimental types all agree they have personal value for so many reasons. I used to spend a large portion of my free time scrapbooking and obviously as a photographer my pictures and images are especially important to me. But what about the other “stuff”? Say… maybe… a bouquet from a special occasion? This last year Q and I renewed our wedding vows and I’ve been hanging on to my bouquets knowing I wanted to make them into more of a keepsake. I’ve seen several versions of shadow boxes out there for wedding bouquets but I wanted something more open(no glass) and stand alone(no stationary/invitations). Moving around some old canvases I noticed the frames are essentially the perfect size and shape for my version of a bouquet box!

Bouquet before.

The bouquets I put together myself(very long story) using artificial flowers so they’ve held up extremely well. And the real touch… sigh… if I had only known about this at my actual wedding! I tell every bride about these flowers because I have been that impressed. These are some next level blooms y’all!

*Side note: if you had a real flower bouquet you could still do this project! Just preserve the flowers first and take a little extra care when assembling and cleaning. Preserved flowers can be a bit fragile but absolutely gorge so totally worth it!

Bouquet Blooms

I stripped the blooms off the stems and separated most of the foliage. Once I had the blooms cut I just flipped over the canvas to see how many would fit and/or how many canvases they would fill. My bouquets filled two canvases(10″ and 12″). Obviously these were some well loved canvases…. Ha!Bouquet Box Canvases   I slapped a couple coats of Navy paint(sticking to my Navy/Rose Gold palette) on both sides of the canvases. No need to be concerned with any brush strokes, lumps, or bumps as the majority of the canvas is actually just  covered in flowers or facing a wall. These two were covered in hot glue, tags, and super thick coats of acrylic from a project too old for me to remember! But hey, extra points for upcycling old supplies right?

Bouquet Box Assembly    Once the paint dried I simply hot glued the blooms into place. I anchored a couple blooms to the sides and the rest were attached straight to the fabric. Also, I added in the shell picks and some faux coral. Which, of course, I hit with a couple coats of my favorite Rose Gold spray paint. Our master bedroom has a few beach touches (and we renewed our vows on the beach!) so I liked sneaking in a few extra beach elements.  When everything was set and dried I just cut a couple lengths of rope, knotted the ends, and tacked them on with tiny finishing nails.

The corner of our loft/master bedroom has a small sitting area which is totally a work in progress. I’ve slowly been adding pieces and testing items… but Ive got a few big ideas brewing so I’m sure this will be changing. For now, the bouquet boxes were the perfect wall art for the area. They have only been hanging a couple days but they make me smile every time I come up the stairs!

So what keepsakes have you decorated with? Did your wedding or renewal bouquet get upcycled? You know I’d love to hear all about it in the comments! Happy Friday peeps!

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MALM Nightstand Hack

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I used to hate that old saying “better late than never”. Well, to be honest, I truly can’t stand when people aren’t punctual(thanks Pops!) but when it comes to hacks I’m all for it! Ikea hacks that is. I know, I know, people have been hacking Ikea goods for probably as long as the place has been churning out affordable furniture but I’d never joined the party. And while I’ve bought plenty of Ikea furniture over the years its  never been with the intention of pulling off a hack from the get go. That is, until this move. Until this Ikea ‘As-Is’ section. Until this MALM nightstand hack.

NightstandBA (3)

If you’ve been reading these posts a while you will remember our Ikea haul that maxed out our Prius packing capabilities(above). Hidden in that pile of discounted goods were two beat up MALM nightstands priced at a whopping $27. We may have knack for finding crazy as-is deals(what can I say?!). These guys are normally around $55 each and seeing the pair marked down so much with what I considered strictly cosmetic issues I threw them on our cart as quickly as possible.

After rolling around a few color schemes for our new bedroom space I decided on a Navy // Rosegold // Beachwood combo. With that in mind I skimmed the chalk paint color selection and grabbed a container of FolkArt Home Decor in the color Nautical. The label looked pretty close to the shade I was going for but after I swatched it I realized it was way too light(closer to a royal blue?). So I grabbed the  container of Rich black and started mixing. After 2 coats of paint, 1 coat of Wax, and 20 minutes of elbow grease buffing these looked good as better than new!

KreatingHome_Nightstand-3

*Side note: if you’re mixing a custom color its really helpful to weigh it as you go. I use our little digital kitchen scale and and write down the “recipe” as I go. This way I can mix as I go and when you’re covering larger areas like furniture you can duplicate your shade over and over again as needed. The final color came out to about 3 parts blue and 1 part black.

Now to the hardware! I’ve used these simple pulls for other projects in the past and loved them. I knew I wanted to use them again to keep the look pretty clean. Plus, you cant grab the multi pack of 10 which is great because I have plans for the other 6 handles(more on that later). I’d been lusting after all the gorgeous rose gold hardware floating around Pinterest for some time but after seeing a couple price tags(who pays this much for handles??) decided I could get the same look with some good ol’ spray paint.

NightstandBA (1)

I started off with the Valspar Rose Gold since it was so highly recommended online. This was great on coverage and it did have a rosey hue but I like my Rose Gold pushing the line on Copper so I went in search of something else. Now looking at the Dusty Pink by Krylon you would think this is going to come out straight Pink sans any Gold but NOPE! It came out in my dream color mashup of Copper and Rose Gold(que the spray paint angels singing! Ahhhhh!). You can see the difference pretty well below. The right has just one coat of the Valspar and the Left has the additionally coat of Krylon:

NightstandBA (2)

I know I have been blowing up my social media with a lot of #chalkpaint but I’m still totally in love. Get used to it peeps! Any product that has this kind of coverage and staying power without me having to sand a single square inch is here to STAY! This covered all the scrapes and scratches these floor models had and made it look like part of the wood grain. And again: NO SANDING!

KreatingHome_Nightstand-8

We talked about adding feet/legs(and we may still) but for now we are loving these new-to-us nightstands! So have you intentionally hacked any Ikea goods? Done a nightstand makeover? Tell me all about peeps!

MALM Nightstand Hack
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