April 30, 2012

Vintage Chalkboard Revamp

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Last summer, this easel chalkboard was sitting at an antique store just begging to be thrown in a dumpster taken home by me with its clearance price tag. At $15 I couldn't resist.

I imagined using it to write fun messages on it for birthdays and letting the kids use it as an art easel. So far, it's been used for all of those things, but I had been wanting to do something bright and cheerful to the top scroll part.

(I guess from my research the scroll had been used in some way for school-for the alphabet or nursery rhymes.) Well, I finally made some beautiful changes that I'm happy with: But I do have a question about the wood-should I paint it? 

Here's what I did to change the look of the chalkboard so far:


starting to paint the scroll a pale aqua

I had some upholstery samples I had bagged up at my local Scrap 4 Art store and thought all the bright colors would make a great pennant. So, I used my fabric scissors, hot glue gun and some twine to create the look below: 

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Wouldn't this chalkboard be a cute message board at a vintage style wedding?

But,  I'm still sitting on the fence about painting the wood-what do you think I should do?

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April 27, 2012

Martha Stewart Mother's Day Campaign: Stenciled Garden Sign

A couple of months ago I signed up to be a part of an exciting Blueprint Social campaign sponsored by Plaid to test out a new line of Martha Stewart's Craft Supplies. You can guess that I had a lot of fun getting this huge box of freebies and dreaming up a project to make for a Mother's Day gift. (Check out what I got to choose from here.)

When I found out that  Martha's new craft paints were good for use indoors or out on wood, glass, metal, fabric and just about any surface I figured the sky was the limit with what I could create.

So, my task was to create a pretty Mother's Day gift using any of the supplies in my goody box. Knowing how much my mom enjoys being outside made me think she might like a decorative garden sign.

 So, in the spirit of repurposing I grabbed a pallet plank from my stash, picked out some of the adhesive and monogram stencils, paint and brushes to design a bright sign to hang outdoors.

Here's what I used for my pallet garden sign:

pallet plank
staple gun
Martha Stewart Monogram stencils
Martha Stewart Craft Paints
Martha Stewart Adhesive Stencils
stencil brushes
paint brushes
stencil tape
electric sander and sandpaper

First, I secured a piece of rope to the back of each end of the wood with a staple gun so it could be hung from a branch or nail. 

Then I spread out my monogram stencils to spell out the word "GARDEN" across the pallet. 

I drew a line down each edge of the stencil so I could paint the background in sections before stenciling the words.

Next, I painted in the penciled in sections with two alternating colors of brown and fuschia.

I decided to sand down my dried painted wood before adding the stencils to give the sign that nice distressed, weathered look I love.  

Then, I used the adhesive stencil, stencil brush and paint to add a design between the sections where my letters would go with a light aqua. 

I also taped off squares in each section using the stencil tape and painted them in a medium aqua in for even more color borders before adding the letters. 

It was finally time to spell out my word!  I used my monogram stencil and smaller stencil brush to add each letter in brown.  Once these were dry I outlined each one with my light aqua to add contrast. 

I decided my sign was done after adding a few flowery stencils around each letter in light aqua. 

And the humble pallet was transformed! The project had taken a few more steps than I had envisioned in the first place but it was worth it because I was really happy with the nice pops of color in the end result.

Here are a few beauty shots of the garden sign hanging in my yard:

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I have to tell you, I was really impressed with the quality of the Martha paints. I loved the pretty, modern colors and how smooth they were to apply. And I admit stenciling was a craft I used to shy away from because I thought it would be too easy to mess up, but the adhesive ones were so easy to work with and could be used again. Also using stencil tape to hold down the letters helped too. 

Now, I love stenciling and plan on using these again-maybe on fabric next time?

If you like what you see here and want to be inspired by more Plaid craft ideas and find out about their latest products, ideas and promotion, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

I wrote this post as a part of a paid campaign with Plaid and Blueprint Social. The opinions in this post are 100% my own.

Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple-hope you enjoyed your time here and left with a little inspiration!

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April 25, 2012

Simple Greenery Display

Who loves Hostas? I know we do! My husband is the big landscaper around here while I pretty much take care of the inside, but while he was transplanting some Hostas, a few branches fell off. Because the leaves were so pretty I didn't want to just leave them laying outside, so I grabbed a jar, tied some lace around it, filled it with water and added the Hosta branches. 

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I love having fresh plants around the house and they look just as pretty as a bunch of flowers to me and cost nothing. Wouldn't these be an easy and frugal table decoration for a summer party? Ferns would be another easy and pretty plant to add to water-filled jars. 

 By the way, if you noticed my chalkboard framed sign in the picture and want to know how I made this interchangeable photo/chalkboard frame,  click HERE for the tutorial. 

Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple! I hope you enjoyed your time here and come back on Friday for the reveal of my Martha Stewart Mother's Day Campaign project! 

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April 22, 2012

DIY Interchangeable Framed Chalkboard

So, I have this frame that is a combination of key hooks, mirror and four picture frames on the side. I found it years ago on clearance at TJ Maxx, but it kind of looks like something Pottery Barn would sell.

I have been getting tired of the photos inside the frames and wanting to change up the look of it, so I came up with the idea of making interchangeable chalkboards for it so I could use it as a chalkboard or switch it back to photo frames if I get tired of that look.

(This works for me because you might be able to tell I get tired of looks and like to switch things around regularly!)

This idea would work for any photo frame that has a hard (not cardboard) frame backing.

What my wall frame looked like before as photo frames

Here's how I did it: 

First, I pulled out the hard backing and glass out of each frame. 

I set the glass aside and then, I painted each backing with chalkboard paint. 

I painted two coats of paint, one horizontal and one vertical, allowing to dry an hour between coats. 

After the paint was dry, I put the backers in first, storing the glass plates carefully behind them so I could use them as a frame later on. 

Here's what my new framed chalkboard looked like when it was done:

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I decided to take my chalkboard markers and write the words "HOME" in the four framed spaces with a cross stitch pattern.

I filled in the metal key labels with pages from a vintage Shakespeare's Sonnets book I have. 

And here is my finished wall frame! (I guess I already wanted to switch out the lettering on the frame...I told you I get tired of how things look.)

I love the new look of my frame-even more like Pottery Barn style than before, I think. (I'm not sure I'm going to ever want to switch it back to regular photo frames again.) Now all I need is to find something to hang from the hooks. I'll be on the lookout for a garage sale box of skeleton keys...

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Thanks for visiting ReMadeSimple! I hope you enjoyed your time here. I'm looking forward to sharing more revamps and a special Mother's Day Campaign post later this week. Hope you'll come back again soon!

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