Fun with Chalkboard Paint: Kitchen Cabinet Memo Board

One day I was standing in my kitchen staring at my boring cabinets when the idea came to me! My daughter loves playing with chalk and drawing.  The hubby and I often have the need to communicate through various “notes” left around the house.  We could really use a better way to communicate.  What better way then to create a family chalkboard?  I had often thought about modifying our kitchen cabinets in some way and this was a fun first step.   I was eager to try one of the most talked about craft items on the web, chalkboard paint.   My idea was to use the paint to create a chalkboard on the side of the kitchen sink cabinet, but the ideas for its use don’t end there.  Be sure and check out Brit and Co  40 Creative uses for Chalkboard paint and you will be amazed at all the fun possibilities.

I went to Joann Fabric and picked up some black chalkboard paint.  It was regular priced at around 6 dollars, but I used a 50% off one regular priced item coupon which knocked the price down to below 3 dollars!

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When I got home I cleaned and prepped the area of cabinet I planned to paint.  The bottle recommends 2 coats, but I used 4 total as I was attempting to paint over laminate.

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The project was relatively easy.  I used a brush to apply the paint allowing it  to dry thoroughly between coats.  The top side of the sink was damaged so I used a strip of fabric across the top to cover the area and add a little “pop” to the chalkboard.  I applied the fabric strip using Mod Podge and covered it in Polyurethane since it could be exposed to water being in such close proximity with the faucet.

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I waited about 24 hours for the final coat to dry before using the chalk. It worked beautifully!

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Now we can leave each other messages, post  holiday greetings, and our daughter can use her imagination and draw!

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And yes if you are wondering those are Peeps on a stick my daughter is holding.  Happy Easter Everyone!

 

 

 

Times They Are A Changing: Repurposed Kids Changing Table

Our diaper changing table was a very useful piece of furniture while it served it’s purpose.  Once my daughter outgrew it however, I wondered how I would reuse it. For a while it took up space in the craft room as I contemplated what to do with it.  It just so happened that I was looking for additional storage in our kitchen and I thought that the changing table could easily double as an extra set of shelves.

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The family and I took a trip to Joann Fabric and I purchased a colorful floral fabric for the project.  Since I had quite a bit of area to cover I purchased 1  1/2 yards of material.  I decided to leave the areas free of material in its original dark wood color, or if desired it can be painted the color of choice.  Just be sure and use a primer first especially if it is dark wood.

I cleaned the piece thoroughly before getting started.  Once dry I used a small foam roller to apply Mod Podge generously to the table surfaces.

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I cut the material with scissors allowing some extra fabric to hang over the sides.  I then carefully laid it on top of the Mod Podge smoothing out any air bubbles or wrinkles.  I generously applied Mod Podge over top of the fabric.  I repeated this for each individual shelf, and used two coats of Mod Podge for each shelf.

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Once the Mod Podge was dry and clear, I used a box cutter knife to carefully trim away any excess fabric from around the edges.  I utilized the table groove as a guide while slicing the fabric.  I then used two coats of clear polyurethane to seal and protect the table from moisture.

Repurposed Changing table

Now I have a bright and cheery shelf for the kitchen and desperately needed additional storage.  The colorful fabric really pops against our bright yellow walls, and am happy to be able to continue to use what was once a very important and sentimental piece of furniture.

 

Decoupage Diaper Changing Table

 

Materials:

Old Wooden Changing Table

Mod Podge

Foam Roller

Box Cutter Knife

Scissors

1 1/2 yard of Fabric of Choice

(Primer and Paint Optional)

Polyurethane clear sealer

Completely Stumped: Upcycled Tree Stump Ideas

Recently, my backyard neighbor approached me about cutting one of our trees down.  I have wonderful neighbors, and since it was her idea to remove the tree she also offered to pay for it.  She has a huge vegetable garden in the summer and the tree was a bit of a nuisance to her garden.  The tree was leaning and didn’t seem particularly healthy. Not to mention,  little saplings would appear everywhere in our yards and grew like weeds. Due to such factors, it seemed like a good idea to have it removed.  Unfortunately, we are now left with a bit of an ugly tree stump, and the guilt of removing a tree from nature, but the truth is our yards are too small and too close for such forestry.  I began doing research on ideas when it comes to upcycling tree stumps. I am still unsure as to what I am going to do with ours, but found some inventive ideas online I wanted to share.  After a long winter, it seems appropriate to welcome spring in such a way!

1. Interior Holic 

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Who wouldn’t love a tree table!  Just one of many ideas on this site!  Tree stump natural flower planters, Tree stump side tables covered in polyurethane you name it this site has it!

2.  A Cultivated Nest

A DIY site dedicated to crafts is home to the unique idea of a tree stump chair!  I love this idea!  It not only recycles an old broken chair, but saves the old tree stump creating a unique piece of furniture in the process!

3. And… there is always HGTV ! Lets not forget our other backyard neighbors, birds!  This link will show you all the ways to greet and care for birds in a natural garden setting. This lovely idea uses a tree stump with a basin resting on top for a natural looking bird bath.

Bird Bath Tree Stump

Do you have any creative ways of  recycling tree stumps?  Are you as excited as I am to get outside and do a little spring cleanup?

Spring into Decoupage: Scrapbook Paper Drawer Makeover

Spring fever has hit the suburbs, despite the meteorologists predicting yet another snowstorm/nor’easter early next week.  With that the spring cleaning begins which was apparent yesterday after receiving a knock at the door from one of my many fantastic neighbors.  He was cleaning out his garage and wanted to know if I was interested in a really lovely unfinished celestial shelf.

Unfinished Celestial Wooden Shelf

and this absolutely lovely unfinished wooden bench with seat storage!

Unfinished Wood Bench With Storage

I thought it was a dream that these beautiful pieces would literally show up at my door but it was true!  If I didn’t want them, my neighbors were taking them to Goodwill to donate them.  I know Goodwill would have been happy to have these items especially during this unsuccesful trip when I snapped a photo of their depleted furniture room which is usually FILLED with items.   It has been a tough winter indeed!

Empty Goodwill store

Now, the challenge begins… I have to come up with design ideas for these wonderful pieces that do them the justice they deserve.  Meanwhile, all of this did make me think about my own much-needed spring cleaning and looking for items to reuse and repurpose that I already have instead of buying additional pieces.  A project I did fairly recently incorporates that idea.  As crafters we accumulate various supplies some of which we never use.  I have a collection of scrapbook paper that fits this profile.  The good news is there is nothing better than scrapbook paper when it comes to decoupage.  It can be used for so many projects not just it’s obvious purpose.  One of my very first projects involved a pair of upcycled bedroom tables.  It has been almost a year since completing these tables and they have held up fantastically well.  When I restyled them, I left the inside of the drawers undone and decided this would be a great way to use up some of that scrapbook paper.

Decoupage Nightstand with drawers

The process is simple first I figured out how much scrapbook paper I would need.  I added creases on areas I would cut.  I set these pieces aside.

Scrapbook drawer lining

I applied Mod Podge to the drawer surface with a foam brush.

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I carefully applied the paper smoothing it out with my hands.  The Mod Podge Rubber Squeegee Tool  also works well for this, especially in the corners.  Once the Mod Podge was dry, I applied an additional coat over top.

Line your drawers with Scrapbook Paper

A great way to reuse, restyle, repurpose. Do you have any green crafting ideas for spring? Am I the only one excited at what I might find while Spring cleaning?

 

An Old Favorite: Irish Nachos on St. Patrick’s Day

I love St. Patrick’s Day!  It has special meaning in our family.  It is not only part of our Irish heritage, but also our wedding anniversary. This year we celebrate 8 years married, 13 years together as a couple. Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary by going out as a family for a late lunch in one of the places it all started for us. The first dinner the future hubby and I shared together took place at Dunleavy’s Irish Bar and Restaurant in Hainesport, NJ.  Their website describes their place as “American classics served in a cozy, 100 year-old real log cabin. All in the heart of South Jersey.” and it is all that and more! We sat at the 1st booth by the door.  It was the first time I had ever been,  for my husband it was a place his family had gone to for years, and a place where his parents frequented.  He had the Hainesport Burger and I had sweet sausage and linguine.  The rest is history…

This weekend they are featuring live bands playing Irish music and feature a menu with genuine Irish fare.  Since we travel as a family we prefer to go out before the evening rush. Things tend to be more family friendly right before the official celebration begins.  Our daughter behaved wonderfully and enjoyed soaking in all the stained glass and “‘other” items adorning the walls of the log cabin.  They feature a free kids meal with the purchase of any adult entrée.

Dunleavy Stained Glass

One of the items on the appetizer menu is so wonderful we make it at home every St Patrick’s Day.  I wanted to share my DIY version of the recipe.  If you are ever in the Southern New Jersey area stop by for a drink and a bite to eat and try the original.  You won’t be disappointed!

How To Make Irish Nachos:

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Ingredients:

Waffle Fries

Shredded Cheese

Ground Beef

Sour Cream

Pre-Cooked Bacon (Not Pictured)

Chives (Not Pictured Optional)

Pre heat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle a bit of Olive Oil in the baking dish.  Line the dish with a layer of frozen waffle fries.

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Brown the ground beef in a pan on the stove top.  Drain the grease from the meat and mix the crumbled pre-cooked bacon and beef together. Sprinkle on top of the fries, along with the shredded cheese.

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Repeat layering of fries, meat and cheese.  Top off the dish with more cheese, sour cream and a sprinkle of dried chives (optional to taste) Bake in the oven for about 60 minute or until prefered fry crispness occurs.

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More Brass in Pocket: Reuse Old Blue Jeans

I am hoping I am not the only one this has happened to.  You are at work walking around minding your own business, when someone whispers to you. “uhh you have a hole in your pants.” As embarrassing as it seems at first you are still thankful for this person telling you.  Unable to see it, you probably walked around all day like that, or even worse for weeks like that!

I wear my clothes until they are literally falling off my back.  Especially if I find clothes I like that I feel comfortable in (which for me is rare) I wish I was more of a fashionista.  I love fashion when it comes to others, but struggle when it comes to my wardrobe.

Since starting my upcycling mission I tend to think on the “green” side of things.  Before these jeans let me down in a big way, I loved them and the comfort they provided me.  Why not pay homage to them by allowing part of these pants to live on?  Why not turn my initial shame into a useful repurpose?

This is problematic when your weakest crafting skill is sewing.  So I decided to think simple.  I  repurposed the pockets. Separating them from the jeans was simple.  I used a pair of scissors to cut the thread connecting them to the jeans. These pockets when removed make stylish change purses and are great for storage of small electronics like USB storage devices.  The possibilities are endless!

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got storage anyone?

No worries my environmentally friendly crafters! Despite my shortcomings as a tailor I saved the left over denim.  Learning to properly sew is on my bucket list, so I am hoping this denim will come in handy in the future!

Travel the Old Fashioned Way: Vintage Decoupage Suitcase

I love vintage suitcases!  I especially love all of the decoupage and repurposed vintage suitcase ideas I have seen while strolling through the web. I was eager to restyle a suitcase of my own, but hard case luggage proved to be a challenging find.   Over the last two years, I searched for suitable suitcases in every thrift store, yard sale, and managed to stumble across only one along the way.   You can imagine my surprise recently, when I came across not one, but three vintage blue suitcases in the same shopping trip.  The small case was inside the medium case, and the large case was empty. The set was not priced.  I asked for a price check and expected an individual price on each piece of luggage.  Instead, Goodwill decided to price the small and medium cases together for only $3.99!  I checked with them twice, because I could not believe it!  The larger case (pictured below) was priced at a reasonable $7.99.

Vintage Blue Suitcase

 

For my first suitcase decoupage, I decided to keep it simple. I purchased a yard of fabric from Joann Fabric.  I searched for material that would blend with the color of the suitcase, and found a nice blue and white floral pattern. I cleaned the case to remove any dust or dirt. I generously applied Mod Podge with a foam craft brush.

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I carefully laid the fabric on glue, smoothing out any wrinkles or air bubbles with my hands along the way.  I carefully worked the fabric in the creases of the case, and covered the entire area with another layer of Mod Podge.

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Once dry, I trimmed any excess fabric with a box cutting knife applying minimal pressure using the natural crease of the suitcase as my guide.  I added a 2nd coat of Mod Podge. I repeated the same process for the opposite side of the suitcase.

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Decoupage Fabric Suitcase

 

Now, what to do with the other two?