Nail Art

My sister stopped by my house last night and as I gave her an update on some of my art and building projects she pointed out a piece she enjoyed and said I should share it. It wasn’t personally my favorite which is why I haven’t shared it with you yet, but she liked it so I figure it was worth posting about.

Several months ago I collected some scrap MDF (although I think the project would have worked better with real wood) and painted them. For the first piece I painted it a creamy pink color I already had (yay for saving on supplies!).

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Next I printed a heart image that fit the mdf and taped it down. I bought some small gold nails from Lowes, and used a T-square (above) to nail in the outside shape of the heart in an organized manor. I nailed it in right through the paper.

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Once nailing was complete, I ripped the paper away to reveal the nail heart outline.

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I bought pink and red thread from Michaels (look up their online coupons on your phone while in the store and you’ll find instant coupons that they scan right from your phone. SAVINGS!) and wrapped the thread around the nails in a random way. This image makes it hard to tell, but there’s an ombre effect in person of light pink to dark red.

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The piece that my sister really liked is this LA metro map made in nail art (she’s a travel buff as you know). Each nail represents every station stop, so not only does it look cool but it functions as a real metro map. I think the mdf backing is why I don’t like it and I’d love to remake it on real wood boards where the grain shows through. Ahhh, future projects.

This was made with the same technique as the heart piece. I painted the mdf and then printed an LA metro map to trace with nails. It didn’t take too long and the tread colors match the real metro line colors. It was a cheap fun project that I did while watching a netflix movie. Give it a try!

DIY Lamp Redo Fail + Fix

I have so much to share with you (LA Secret Stair posts, art projects and of course, last night’s Newsroom Season 2 premiere party) but until those are ready, I’m going to share this DIY gem I completed a few weeks ago.

It all started with a trip to the sale section of Ikea (by the checkout). Usually Ikea’s damaged goods section is still over priced for what you get, but for some reason I always check it out.

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That’s where I found this simple lamp of beauty.

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This lamp was in good condition, it just needed some cleaning and the white lampshade needed to be recovered. It had been a display lamp, so you can imagine all the hands that touched it.

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I’ve not worked with lamps before, so I was in new territory. My brilliant idea was to spray paint it. Warning: this is not brilliant, it’s actually a bad idea. But go with me…

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So I taped off the inside and sprayed the metal hardware gold, to jazz it up.

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Doesn’t the gold look nice?

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I wanted a top stripe of gold, so after a layer of gold, I taped off the top inch of the lamp, and sprayed the bottom of the shade a teal blue.

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…I thought it would be a little more blue.

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Yes, I know, together it looks like a Green Bay Packers lamp. That was not my intention.

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My other fail is that when you light fabric sprayed with paint, if it isn’t perfectly even (which is crazy hard), it looks blotchy. Very blotchy. I did get compliments on it (while not lit), but it’s a lamp and needs to look good when lit.

Thankfully, when I fail at a project I always learn something from it (don’t spray paint fabric unless it’s a canvas on a wall).

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After a trip to the fabric district, I bought this beautiful gray/white fabric. I removed the green canvas (it was just glued in, so easy to remove) and replaced it with this new fabric. Now it’s a much more subtle lamp, which works better in the room.

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I had enough fabric left over to make a small pillow for my barrel chair. I love it! It helps tie the room in together.

DIY: Herringbone Pattern Painting

When my roommates moved out, they left some rather large (36″X36″) prefab art canvases. I decided it was about time to revamp them because now they don’t match much in the house. After browsing around pinterest, I came across some great art pieces where a white herringbone pattern was painted over brightly colored designs and I thought- easy-peasy!

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Here’s what I started with. Since canvases are expensive, it’s nice to start by recycling something else to use as the base. Check out Goodwill for old canvases, and you can find something that’ll work for you, for cheap.

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I went to the fashion district recently, where I picked up fabric for several projects. Knowing this has been on my to-do list, I made it a point to find bright, colorful fabric, in a linear direction. I then wrapped the canvas with this fabric.

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Since I don’t have a ton of pinks around the house, I decided to paint and add in colors from my left over paint. I added lots of blues and oranges.

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After 5 minutes in the hot LA sun, it dried up quick.

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I was dreading this next step, because I thought it would take a long time. The next step was taping off the herringbone pattern. This past Saturday I was up early drinking coffee in bed while TBS was on. A movie had just started and I decided to use the time efficiently, and I just started taping it off while watching the movie.

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It was actually very easy, as I wasn’t being fussy with it. It was kind of nice repeating the steps over and over while watching the movie.

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Time flew by and before I knew, I finished!

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That’s a lot of herringbone! For visual interest I pulled a few pieces off to reveal…

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This! Keep in mind, where the tape is, is where the colorful pattern will be showing on the final product. It’s challenging to think reversely like this.

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Time to paint before the masking tape peels off! My white spray paint was acting up, and I was still in pjs (not about to run to the hardware store) so I decided to use a roller and my left over Dove Valspar paint from Lowe’s.

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I was careful to not un-stick the tape while rolling the white paint. Three coats of paint and a short drying time later…

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It’s time for the big reveal.

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It came out excellent! It adds just the right amount of texture and color to the room. I just can’t get over how easy it was.

Garage Makeover- Update

Remember how I told you about my garage makeover? Well, I spent this weekend working away on it.

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First off, it’s dark in the garage. Even midday, shadows make the lighting uneven. I decided to build my own pendents starting with these ikea sockets. For $8 (each) it includes a bulb and hooks for the ceiling.

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I put tape to show where the peg board will go as well as the table height. This helped me measure where I want the pennants to hang. I also ordered these light cages from amazon, which once they arrive, will be painted and hung. That won’t happen until this upcoming weekend.

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Now it’s time to build my table! I started by doing extensive drawings and measuring the space to make sure I’m working within my limits. For example, I need to be able to open my car door and not hit it. The height is customized to my height for the best leverage when using my miter saw. I also added extra braces to make sure that when the saw’s in use, it wont shake the table (which would be unsafe).

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After doing all the drawings and cut lists, it was time to cut and assemble my table! Within 3 hours I was able to turn a pile of wood into a functioning stable work table!

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It’s time to think about color. Since I want this space to feel girly, light and fun I’ve decided to go with the color scheme above. Since I might be in the garage in the evenings, it’s important to keep everything as light as possible to avoid creepiness.

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I painted the table a creamy white (which I already owned- score!). You can see I did a test swatch of the coral color on the storage unit.

What’s next you ask? Next up is fully painting the cabinet, getting some pegboard and painting that, painting the stools, and lastly hanging the light cages when they arrive. While it sounds like there’s tons to do, I actually feel close to finishing this project and I’m LOVING it so far.

 

DIY Chalkboard

A while ago I got a gold $10 frame from a yard sale in Los Feliz. What a great find! I spent time sanding and repainting this frame which became my Christmas card holder (see that DIY here). Well I decided to take it a step further and turn it into a chalkboard where I could also hang cards and photos.

Step 1 was having wood cut to fit inside the frame. You can buy the wood and have them cut it at any Home Depot or Lowes type store.

Step 2 was making my own chalkboard paint. I bought flat regular ol’ house paint (so I could make the board any color I want). I also bought unsanded grout and added 2 table spoons into an 8oz container of paint ($3 at Home Depot). I used a mini paint roller and did a couple coats until it looked like…

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…this!!

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All the guides I found to making chalkboards recommended rubbing chalk all over the board and then lightly erasing the chalk (photo below). The light dusting helps keep the chalk from sticking in the future.

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Lastly I tapped up the board into the frame and included the twine and clips so that I could hang cards and photos and write fun messages next to them on the board.

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Isn’t it beautiful? I LOVE the blue green color. It’s so much more fun than a black board and has an antique green school board vibe. It’s perfect.

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Let the chalk fun begin!

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I’m so happy with the results. (The above photo is of my grandparents ❤ )

DIY Ikea Bookcase Re-Do

If you remember, a while back I made a vellum backing to a hand-me-down Ikea bookcase that was backless. It was an excellent fast/easy/cheap temporary solution. It wasn’t the worst bookcase ever… but it also didn’t match anything and felt like dorm furniture.

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Im not one to just throw away a perfectly good bookcase, so I got creative.

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I was inspired by Young House Love’s new book! I got it for Christmas and LOVE it. See the photo above of the white bookcase with the blue/green backing? I want that bookcase… so why not just make it?

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Since I had to work with the heavily lacquered birch Ikea bookcase, I researched the best way to sand/prime/paint this surface. So many blogs posted that the Rust-Oleum Painters Touch Ultra Coverage (X2) was the best way to go. I decided to go with the flat white and it was $3 a bottle at Home Depot.

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I did a coat of white spray paint over everything. By using this paint (made for plastic) it means no sanding! Woo hoo!

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You can see above that the spray paint leaves a texture. Im sure with multiple coats, this would go away, but I had left over white paint from my dining table so I decided to do a top coat of my paint. This also means the bookcase will exactly match my table, instead of being a cold white it’ll be a warm white.

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To create the backing, I bought 5 sheets of white foam boards from Michael’s (with a 30% off coupon!). I leaned the foam core against the back of the bookcase and traced the bookcase. This way I know exactly how much to paint.

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This was a good part to work on while the bookcase was drying. Above you can see the 4 boards on the right have 1 coat, and the board on the left has 2 coats. What a difference?! Do two coats over all the board. It’s super easy using a small paint roller. The paint I purchased was an 8oz container from Home Depot (flat) for $3.

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I decided to do the assembly of the backings inside my house (which meant waiting until everything was fully dried.

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I laid the bookcase upside down, traced the bookcase again (very precisely) and then cut the foam boards using a metal ruler and exatco blade.

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I used just a standard stapler to staple the foam core to the back of the bookcase. It was so easy and took maybe 15 minutes to do all 5 panels. Keep in mind if anything requires cords on the shelves, youll need to cut a notch. For example, we keep our internet router on the shelf, so I cut a small triangle on that shelf’s backing.

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I was so excited while assembling, I had to test out how my stuff would look on it. Love it! Do you like my spice rack/diamond shaped sculpture? Check out that DIY here!

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You like? It adds such a pop of color and fun to the room. Before the bookcase disappeared into the corner, and now it’s fun to look at and stands out. This project was SO cheap and just required an afternoon of effort.

Cheap Art Project for a Rainy Saturday

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I have MANY do-it-yourself projects in the works, and although they are cheap projects they all involve a little seed money. For this upcoming rainy weekend, I gave myself the challenge of doing an almost-free art project. I found the image on the left from pinterest and thought pixel art could be fun. Then I found an image to blow up and become the image on the right. I also made a square viewfinder out of some scrap paper. My plan is to either use magazines or paint chips to generate the artwork above. The white viewfinder is to isolate the color square making it easier to find a color match. I also numbered each tile, so when I find the color to match I can label it on the backside, so I dont end up with a giant pile of random multicolored squares. I already own the glue and paper to mount it on, and paint chips are free! I also love that instead of a frame it’s hanging via old-school metal clip (something I don’t already own, but cheaper than a frame!). I’ll have to share the final product with you next week.