DIY Kitchen Sink Backsplash

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One day, my neighbor (gotta love him) offered me some free tiles.  He had just finished a project of his own and had extra tile he didn’t plan on using.  Of course I can never turn anything “free” down, so I happily accepted them and thanked him graciously.  Of course at the time, I had no idea what I was going to do with them.  I always wanted a kitchen backsplash, but I had never worked with tile before.  He had more faith I could do it than I had in myself.  He told me it was a relatively easy project to do.  My neighbor had suggested that I buy the adhesive and grout in one.  It worked out great and was simple to use.  The tiles my neighbor gifted to me were plain white.  I wanted to add more color, so I went to Home Depot, and purchased smaller blue mosaic tiles.  I laugh at this now, but I had no idea I could cut and glue and apply them on the mesh sheet they come on.  So, yes (are you ready to laugh at me and learn from my rookie mistake?)  I took every tile off and applied them individually!  This took forever and I wish I knew then what I knew now… It would have cut the project time in half!  It also would have been easier to measure and keep the tile from being applied crooked.  I had to fight to keep it straight.  You live and you learn!  I used a tiling trowel to spread out the grout adhesive.  I them applied the tiles.  I used the same mixture to grout the tiles and fill in the spaces in between.  Luckily, I didn’t need a tile cutter, which was a good thing, because I didn’t buy one!  Did it come out perfect? No, but it wasn’t terrible and gave me the confidence to try other things.  So I would say overall it was a success and cost under $50.00.

Since discovering Mod Podge I am thinking about decoupaging a few of the tiles to add more pop, but I just haven’t gotten around to it yet!  If I do, I will be sure and share.

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Sesame Street Birthday decorations made from construction paper

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As we get closer to our daughter’s 2nd birthday party this Saturday, I thought I would share some tips from last year’s party.  One of the more expensive elements of throwing a party, other than food is the party decorations.  My husband and I always try to follow a budget the best we can.  We plan, make lists and try to keep costs down, but in this current economy that can sometimes be difficult.  Our theme last year was Sesame Street and since my daughter is still obsessed with these characters, I didn’t stray too far this year from her 1st birthday theme.  Her theme this year is all her favorite Sprout channel characters with a patriotic twist in celebration of Memorial Day.  Stay tuned for more on this idea.

Last year, I created most of her decorations from construction paper and glue.  I searched the internet for all her favorite Sesame characters and used the more basic cartoon images as a guide for making the different characters.  Most of the characters are based on simple shapes, so I drew these shapes onto the construction paper, cut them out and glued together to form the individual characters.  Pretty simple, cost effective, and I think they turned out great and are unique in their own way. I also summoned my old elementary school days cutting out strips of construction paper and making paper chains.  I also used re-cycled gift bags and anything else I could get my hands on, cut out and make into a party decoration.  There are so many great ideas on Pinterest as well, much more than I could ever try myself.  Let your imagination run wild and in the process save a little money!

Elmo Birthday Decoration

Sesame Street sign made from construction paper

Bert and Ernie Birthday Decoration

Oscar Trash Can

Sesame Street Decorations

Character Cupcake trays made with Mod Podge

Sesame Street Cupcake tray

Ahhh ugly old trays! Gotta love them!  There is no shortage of them at your local thrift store, or Dollar Store.  I am on a mission to rescue as many of these trays as possible!  They make great decorations and are simple and easy to repurpose.  I will admit as great wrapping paper is to use when decoupaging, I always struggle a bit with the wrinkles and air bubbles, but the variety of paper and styles available keep me coming back.  In this case, I used Sesame Street, but you can use any characters you like.  My daughter’s 2nd birthday theme is all of the Sprout channel characters.   Sesame Street seemed like a great choice for this cupcake tray and I thought it would make a great decoration for her party.  These are pretty simple to make.  I simply traced the tray onto the wrapping paper, carefully cutting the paper along the line with a pair of scissors.  I used Mod Podge to glue the wrapping paper to the tray, doing my best to smooth out as many air bubbles and wrinkles as I could.  I then applied several coats of Mod Podge to seal the image onto the tray.  I find when using wrapping paper the more coats of Mod Podge the better so use the Mod Podge generously!

Materials:

Ugly old tray of your choice

Mod Podge Matte Finish

Character Wrapping paper

Scissors

Thin tip black marker

Happy 2nd Birthday to my little toddler apprentice!

Today, I digress from the usual craft Ideas, love of Mod Podge and paint to wish our daughter Erin a very Happy Birthday!

2 years ago today at 6:05 pm,  I received life’s most precious gift.  The birth of our daughter Erin changed our lives in so many ways. My husband and I are beyond blessed everyday to know such a happy, kind, sweet little soul such as hers.  We are so honored god chose us, to hold her in our hands, watch over, and teach the ways of the world in the hopes that one day she can go on to have a happy, healthy life of her own. So much of what I do is inspired by her laughter and smiles!  It keeps us going despite life’s everyday difficulties.

I will be shifting gears this week in preparation of Erin’s party this Saturday.  Since we are having it this upcoming Memorial day weekend, we chose a patriotic theme and will be incorporating all her favorite Sprout channel characters.  We are so excited to have our family and friends celebrate her with us! I will continue posting through out the week and will share any upcoming birthday developments and ideas with all of you.  I already have a few craft ideas up my sleeve for her party so stay tuned!  Should be a wonderfully busy week!

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My little Toddler Apprentice

Sesame Street Girls Painted Kids Rocking Chair Made With Mod Podge

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Monday’s get me down, but rainy days don’t!  It has been raining all weekend and what better indoor therapy is there, than starting and finishing a new project!

Last week, I was on my lunch break and something told me to stop in the local Good Will Store. The last time I was in this store I was very disappointed with their prices and stock.  I am glad I listened to my “thrifty senses” and gave it another try.  As soon as I walked toward the back of the store where they keep all the furniture, I noticed the little rocking chair sitting there.   Before anyone else had time to notice this little “diamond in the rough”, I snatched it up.  I knew this was not going to be easy.  The chair was black lacquer and in several places on the chair, it looked like a small dog had chewed on it. The chair was also loose, but appeared it could easily be tightened up.  The chair was priced $6.99, which was a bit steep for an item in this condition, but who knows when I might find a kids rocking chair again?

I took it home and hand sanded the areas where the wood was damaged until it was smooth.  I then used two coats of latex primer and painted the entire chair.  Once dry I began the process of working out the color scheme and hand painted the chair using acrylics.This took a while as when dry I had to add additional coats.  Once the chair was painted, I used Sesame Street wrapping paper for the chair back and on the seat.  I glued the wrapping paper down with Mod Podge carefully smoothing out any air bubbles.  Once dry, I coated the entire chair with Mod Podge matte finish and repeated a total of 3 times.  The result is what you see here.  Now, My little girl will have her very own chair to sit on and read in her room. I think I am in love with kids furniture!

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Erin reading a book in her new rocking chair

Restyled Side Table

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Their is nothing I love more then a good side table.  They can add so much to a room if you can find one with the right look.  I purchased this side table at Walmart for under 20 dollars more than 6 years ago.  Sure, the table served it’s purpose well, but was far from anything special. I decided to give it a new look, but what to do?  These days, I find myself looking at things differently.  When I am out and about,  I am always looking for fabric, textiles that stand out in the crowd.  Mod Podge and fabric are great for revamping furniture.

On this day I found a really nice woman’s scarf for 99 cents at the thrift store. It was perfect to cover the table top of a smaller piece of furniture.  I primed the table using my trusty latex primer.  Once the table was dry, I painted the entire table with black acrylic paint.  Several coats were required.  I turned the table upside down and carefully traced with a black sharpie marker, onto the scarf material.  I used scissors to cut the fabric.  Now I was ready for Mod Podge!  I covered the table top with Mod Podge and glued down the material.  Through experience I find different materials are better in this process than others.  This scarf because of it’s texture was difficult to smooth out the air bubbles.  I wish I could tell you the materials make up , but the tag was cut off the item.

Once the piece was dry, I coated the entire table with 4 coats of Mod Podge. The result is what you see here and I love it especially the splash of colors (Did I mention I LOVE COLOR)

In the end, The table top had a rougher finish than I preferred so you may want to try using the gloss finish to add a bit more sheen. I generally use Matte finish in most of my projects and it is fine, but sometimes the material you use makes a difference.

side table made with Modge Podge

1960’s Inspired Decoupage Coffee Table

1960's Style Decoupage Coffee table

Impulsive.  That is the word I would used to describe this latest project.  This table was simply in the way.  I was storing it in my craft room and it was propped up against the wall taking up precious space.  I didn’t want to bring it up into the attic mainly because I didn’t want to have to drag it back down again.  After all, I had plans for this table what they were I wasn’t exactly sure.

I had purchased this great fabric at Goodwill, and to me it had a 1960’s style appeal. The material is made by Helen Trast Ikea of Sweden and appear originally to be drapes.  I was attracted to the bright colors.  There is nothing I love more than color.  I used this fabric for both the garden pig make over and step stool of my previous post.   I had an idea.  The coffee table was still in pretty good shape, accept for the table top.  In this case, I decided to give the paint brush a rest.  I thought the bright colored fabric would also go well in our family room/playroom. I went with it.  I flipped the table over onto the fabric and traced the table top with a black marker. I then carefully cut out trying to stay as close to the line as possible.  Once cut, I slathered the table with Mod Podge and glued the fabric carefully to the table top, spreading it out evenly. Once dry I did about 4 coats of Mod podge to the table top allowing to dry between coats.

I realize this fabric style may not be everyone’s cup of tea; However this simple coffee table makeover can be done to restore otherwise destroyed surfaces.  The fabric styles out there are endless and can be modified to a person’s individual taste. The free spirited 60’s and 70’s live on thanks to Mod Podge!

Decoupage Coffee Table