Archive for February, 2011

I did this project a while back and just realized I never posted it!  So I’m doing it now. Enjoy!

Cost: $6-8


  • A round wood board. Find them for about $1 at your craft store.
  • Chalkboard paint. Regular matte or satin black paint works well too.
  • A white paint pen.
  • A profile picture of your little one. (or whoever you’re doing this project for)
  • Paint brush.
  • Access to a computer with a basic photo editing software.

I did two of these (one of each of my boys) and I think they turned out so cute.  *TIP* This project would also be adorable with a dog face silhouette or as “His” and “Hers” memo boards.

1.  Take a picture of your subject (in my case each of my sons) close up and profile.

2.  Upload it into your computer.

3.  Resize it to fill about 3/4’s of a regular piece of computer paper.

4. Print it out and cut out the profile pic.  Set it aside.

5.  Paint your round wooden board with your black chalkboard paint.  This might take a couple of coats.  *TIP*  I use a simple foam craft brush to make the paint go on evenly instead of a regular paint brush.

6.  Once your board is dry, center your profile pic and trace around it with a pencil.  *TIP*  To make the silhouette more decorative, try to end the profile at the bottom with soft curving graceful lines that flow down a bit through the chest and back to avoid a “floating head” look.  This is hard to explain but you can just look at my pics and get a feel for what I mean.

7.  Pull the pic away and then trace over your pencil line with your paint pen.  *TIP*  You’ll most likely need to blot the paint pen on a scrap piece of paper first to get the ink flowing smoothly.  Try to use as few strokes as possible so that the paint from the pen doesn’t pool up anywhere.

8.  Now just wait for it to dry and hang it up somewhere!  You can use ribbon or a picture hook or just prop it up somewhere.  Wasn’t that easy breasy?!


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Hey everyone!  So the weirdest thing happened the other day.  My starburst mirror was featured on the DIY Show Off along with a few other amazing DIY mirrors.  Although it as abnormal and AWESOME to be featured on a website like that, that wasn’t the weird part.  In perusing the other mirrors that were featured I came across this mirror by DIY-er and Interior Designer Danielle Oakley.

I clicked on it and it took me to her AMAZING design blog and I was instantly hooked.  I spent an hour or so reading through her posts and staring in awe at her impeccable taste and designs.  I AM SUPER envious of her talent and style and have decided that I want to strip my house down and start all over due to all the over-inspiration that is now nagging at me.  I came across an old posts of hers that was about her life a little bit and I was SHOCKED.  This girl is living my parallel life.  Although, her life looks much cuter.   She is my age, went to the same college as me at the same time I was there, obviously does interior design, and (heres the kicker) she had a preemie about 3 years ago at 24 weeks gestation.  Can you say COINCIDENCE.  It was weird.  And I had to write her to express my amazement.  So I did.  And now we’re friends.  I seriously just wish she were living in Texas (shes in Utah) so we could go to lunch.  Its not everyday, or ANY day, that I stumble across someone who went to the same college as me, does the same thing, has a micro-preemie kid, and happens to be my age.  Anyway, shes great and super talented and you got to go check out her blog!  Its FABULOUS!  Go see her at danielleoakleyinteriors.blogspot.com!

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Yay!! I’m so glad to be getting such a response from my Sunburst Mirror tutorial I did last week!  I’m thrilled to announce that it has been featured on an awesome site call The DIY Show Off!  Thanks for all the LOVE! 🙂

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I needed a light over by the daybed in my office/guest room and I really didn’t want to spend a lot so I took a paper round paper lantern that was hanging without a purpose in my son’s room and decided it would do the job.  The only problem is it looked so boring, just this white glowing orb against a white wall.  I didn’t want to do a lot to it, just a little something to make it more fun.  I decided to make a few flowers and attach them to it kind of cascading down one side.  I’m pretty pleased with it now.  I think it gives just the right amount of pizazz.

This tutorial is really about how to make the singed flowers I used for the lantern.  Singed flowers are very easy to make and a quick project that you can create and use for several different purposes.  Here are some ideas of ways to use singed fabric flowers:

  • Decorate a lamp shade or hanging lantern like I am doing here.
  • Make some adorable shoe clips.  I found these at StyleHive.com.
  • Attach a pin back and use them as a brooch or hang them asymmetrically off a drapey necklace.  This one I found at MissPriss.com.
  • Or as a flower BIB style necklace like this one by SheersSerendipity on Etsy.
  • Make a “never-die” corsage.  This one I found at FabulouslyArtsy.com.
  • Attach them to a headband, hair clip, or bobby pin.  I found this stretchy headband here.
  • Make a ribbon belt and attach them to it.  This one is from PaperSilkMade on Etsy.
  • Attach them to napkin rings for a beautiful springtime place setting.  This would also be great at a bridal shower or luncheon and make flowered pony tail holders that are around each napkin to use as a take-home gift after the meal.
  • Attach them to a clutch or purse.  This one was found by BellaFiore2009 on Etsy.
  • Use them as tie backs for drapes to dress up windows.
  • Sew them onto pillows.  I found this cute little one at HookedonHouses.net.
  • Make white ones to attach to a wedding veil.  This gorgeous birdcage veil with flower I found at SnowWhiteStudio on Etsy.

So, as you can see, once you learn this little technique you can make countless amazing little doo-dads for you, your home, and all your friends!

So lets get started then:

Cost: $4 for the light kit.  The rest I had on hand.  The total cost of this project would probably be around $10-$15.


  • A paper lantern. Find these at Ikea for about $5.
  • A light kit. Also at Ikea for about $4.
  • Chiffon, organza, satin, etc. scrap fabric. I used white chiffon that I got out of the remnant bin at Joann’s Fabrics.  Basically you want a synthetic light weight fabric that will “melt” a bit under intense heat.
  • A needle and thread.
  • Something to decorate the center of your flower. I made a little fluffy center out of scrap fabric that coordinated with my room.  You can use beads, rhinestones, fabric, buttons, etc to give your flowers centers.
  • A glue gun.
  • A candle and lighter.

And thats it!

1.  Cut your fabric into circles (or petal shapes if you’d like).  Cut various sizes from large to small.

2. Light a candle.  It is best to use one that is not inside a canister or glass cup.  Just so its easy to get close to the flame.

3.  Hold an edge of one of the fabric circles several inches from the flame and move in closer (slowly, you don’t want to catch it on fire!) until you see the edge begin to melt a bit and curl.

4.  Turn your “petal” to singe all along the edge of the fabric to create a complete “bowl-like” petal.

5.  Continue to singe all the fabric circles to create petals in varying sizes.

6.  Layer your petals to create a flower.  You can layer more or less depending on the size and fullness you’d like.  Play around with the petal layout to create different looks or layer them all the same to create uniform looking flowers like the ones I attached to my lantern.

7.   Using your needle and thread, attach all the petals together through the center.

8.  Depending on what you’re using as a center piece, attach that with the needle and thread.  I used a small round piece of blue-green fabric that i frayed and pinched to create a little “tassle” in the center of my flower.

9.  Create the rest of your flowers the same way.  I made 5 for my paper lantern.

10.  Arrange them on your lantern in a way that you’d like and use straight pins to temporarily maintain that layout as you glue them down one by one with a dot of hot glue.

11.  Enjoy your fancy new paper lantern!

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Yay!  I’m so excited to FINALLY have my craft room/office/music/guest room decorated and ready to use! Heres a bad picture that sort of gives you the idea of what it used to look like.  Sorry, I didn’t take many before pics.

As you can see,  this just shows you one side of the room where I housed all my craft junk.  Although it was somewhat organized into labeled bins, it looked super cluttered and chaotic.  The other side of the room had a small rickety computer desk and my keyboard on it.  And that was pretty much it.  Oh, by the way, if you read my sunburst mirror tutorial I described the “decorated” version of this room with the diarrhea wall color.  The pic above is before I painted it back then.  Sorry, I don’t have a pic of the ugly “decorated” room (I’m trying to block it from my memory).

Anyway, we really needed to be able to use this room as my craft room, our office, our music room to house my keyboard and our recording equipment, and a guest room for when family comes to visit from Idaho.  Thats a lot to ask of a relatively small space.  I sat in the room with a paper and pencil for like 20 minutes before I came up with a functional solution.  I decided the crappy desk had to go in order to free up that wall for a day-bed with trundle for guests.  That meant I’d have to reconfigure the shelving (thanks Daddy for putting it up for me!) and build a desk area on that side of the room.  This made my hubby happy when he saw it complete and realized how much extra desk space it created.  I also needed to fit my keyboard in there along with my drop-leaf craft table.  So the keyboard went on the wall by the closet door, I organized and put shelving in the closet to free up the floorspace which allows me now to be able to roll my craft table in there when I’m not using it, and I also brought an old bookcase that was in our garage in with some baskets to house guests’ items and create a little vanity area with a mirror and lamp.  And voila!! It is done.  And BONUS, my husband caved and agrees that it now looks much better and is much more functional.  Heres what it looks like now:

Awwww.  Much better.

The wooden day-bed and trundle were a $50 craigslist find and fit perfectly on the back wall.  I bought the white twin bedskirt at Target as well as the white comforter.

I REALLY needed some functional storage for all my craft supplies.  I found these photo boxes at Hobby Lobby for $4 each but I bought them on a 50% off day for $2 a piece.  Think outside the box (no pun intended) when looking for organizational supplies.  Office storage boxes like these were at least $6 each in the office supply section of the other stores I visited.   In the bottom left you can see some of my white stackable bins that I keep on the bottom shelf to store things I need often like scizzors, glue, markers, tools, etc, and I found them as a set of 3 at Walmart in the kitchen section.

Heres a peek at the “office” side.  Peyton really wanted to be in the picture.

A few Dollar Store clipboards got a makeover with ModPodge and scrapbook paper and keep our mail organized.

This frame was a quick project:  Take an old frame, paint it, attach wire or string across it in rows (I used push pins to hold it to the frame), and clip on small clothespins.  It makes a cute little photo/memo board.

This is my DIY mirror and a lamp that was needing a home.  I spray painted the lamp Jade from Krylon and sanded it back a little to distress it a bit.  I wanted a little place where guests could get ready and put some belongings.

These are the pen and ink sketches from this tutorial.  I bought the frames at the Dollar Store.

I layered tons of fun pillows on the day-bed which I just took from other places in my house.  I also took a paper lantern from my son’s room (he already had another lamp in there) and spruced it up a bit with some fabric flowers.  The tutorial for that is coming soon.  I bought an ugly painting a while back at a thrift store for $5 solely for the frame and painted the frame and a picture to go inside and hung it over the bed.

Here is a close up of the painting I did.  I wanted something kind of fun and quirky with just a POP of color.  I sketched the picture on a white canvas board (find canvas for really cheap at Walmart and BigLots) and then gave it a watercolored look with watered down acrylic craft paint.  I like that its imperfect and kind of whimsical.  The dusty blue-green fram makes it really pop off the white wall.  I spray painted the frame with Jade paint from Krylon and then glazed over it with watered down black craft paint and wiped it back before it dried with a paper towel.  Then I just set it all with a clear gloss spray lacquer.

I spruced up this lamp with singed fabric flowers I made and I think it really gives it a little more oomph.

This chalkboard was made by spray painting the old backing to a mirror (regular spray paint in a matte or satin finish works GREAT as a chalkboard on a smooth surface).  I decorated it with a white paint pen and hung it off of some silver chain I had.

And thats pretty much it!! It actually looks much better in person and I am loving the results!  I’m so excited to start using this room more now and my hubby is excited that craft junk will no longer be inhabiting the dining room table!  🙂

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I’m still getting my office put together and I wanted some family photos in there somewhere but I have family photos EVERYWHERE in my house so I thought I could do something a little more creative with it.  I have seen some really amazing pen and ink sketches on etsy and in design mags and love the free flowing sophisticated feel they bring.  I especially LOVE the pen and ink art of etsy seller V.H. McKenzie.  Here are a couple of my favs:

Aren’t they cool!?  I just love the simplicity of them.  So with this style in mind I decided to try my hand at creating some pen and ink portraits from my family photos.  And honestly, not to discredit real artists out there (I definitely cheat), it really wasn’t that hard.  I pulled back on the “abstractness” a little more than the artist above, and I’m pretty pleased with the results.  I love that I have pictures of my family hanging in my office without having yet another family photo wall.  So do you want to do it too?  OK!  I’ll show you the easy way!

Cost: $0… to create the art except for maybe a buck or two to buy a sharpie and a piece of white paper.  I got some frames at the Dollar Store and made mats out of cardstock that I will be mounting this in.


  • Computer and printer.
  • Access to Picnik online.
  • A piece of white paper or cardstock.
  • A fine tipped sharpie marker.

Okay then here we go.

1.  Take a picture of someone (or something).  This project would be pretty cool with objects or animals too.  *TIP*  For easiest tracing (you’ll see) it is best to use a photo that has a pretty plain background that is lighter than the subject.  I used a picture of my hubby I took as a practice shot against a white backdrop a while back.

2.  Upload it to your computer and open it in Picnik.

3.  It will come up under the “Edit” tab.  My husband will kill me for using this pic but I thought it would be a good one to draw.  Plus, I just think he looks sexy. 🙂

4.  Now go to the “Create” tab and click on the “Effects” toolbar.  Convert your image to Black and White and hit apply.

5.  Next, scroll down to “HDR-ish” and adjust the radius and strength until you feel like your photo is finding its edges.  I left my radius at 20 and pulled my strength to the far right all the way to the end.

6.  Hit apply and scroll down to “Pencil Sketch”. Play with that until you’re edges really start to come out.  What we’re doing here is making a photo that will be easy to trace for a pen and ink drawing.  I brought both the radius and the strength sliders to the far right.

7.  Hit apply and go down to find “Posterize“.  Play with those sliders to get even more of a “drawn” look.  I brought the number of colors down to 2 and set the detail at 79%.

8.  Hit apply and go to the “Save and Share” tab above.  From there you can save it to your computer or print it off.  I printed mine off to use as a template to “trace”.

9.  Now, grab your sharpie and your printed photo along with another sheet of white paper or cardstock and head to a window.  The window will backlight the image to allow you to see through enough to trace it.   P.S.  This only works in the daytime. 🙂

10.  Okay.  Summon your artistic skills here a bit and start tracing the hard edges of your photo trying to keep your hand moving and your lines smooth and steady.  Only trace the prominent lines.  The smaller details will muck up your finished art piece.  Think of it like the missed portions are implied by the overall composition  (wow…that was artsy of me).  For example, when I traced mine, there were portions of my hubby’s shirt that didn’t show through as strong lines so I left them out.  But you can still tell he is wearing a shirt because of the other more prominent folds the fabric made.  I hope this makes sense.  This is supposed to be somewhat abstract so don’t stress if its not PERFECT.  When you’re all done tracing pull it away from the photo and check out your new awesome pen and ink art!!

P.S.  This is pretty much the way I made my little “headshot” drawing in my banner at the top of my blog.  I LOVE tracing.  It makes me feel like such a cheater but who cares if the finished product looks so FABULOUS!

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