Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A DIY Lori Christmas Special!

Greetings and happy holidays to you all!  I wanted to share some Christmas spirit and what better way than a DIY Lori Christmas decor extravaganza!  My house is FILLED with my creations this year.  I probably took on too much considering Santa needs a ton of help and my husband's birthday falls so close to the "big day," but I just couldn't stop myself.  A few things were created last year; acquired several years ago;  some updated pieces; a lot of the items hot off my glue gun and paint crusted work table. :)

First off, welcome to my home...(maybe one day I will brave a full on tour, after I've accomplished some other big projects I have planned for early 2014.  If my husband is reading this right now he probably sighed loudly and his eyes rolled around a few times. ;)  



Soooo...let's get on with the tour, shall we?

 I'm starting with my mantel because I love it so much.  My taste and admiration for things change occasionally, so this mantel got a holiday sprucing from what it was last year.
(I apologize for the brightness in this picture, clearly I need to KEEP practicing with ye ole professional camera.  I do like the way the lights twinkle though. :)  The stockings were made by me from scratch...like I made the stocking itself....not fun. pfff.  BUT they came out great (after I threw away the first set :) and I am proud!  The white stars I got at Hobby Lobby  were wood that I painted white and sprayed with gold glitter.


I made this "JOY" sign out of a burlap canvas that I smeared with silver and gold paint; grey spray painted cardboard letters; small wooden stars I hand painted white; and sprayed the whole thing with gold glitter.  The white Christmas tree was an ugly wood, green '90s style piece that I got at Goodwill and painted to make it look snow covered.  The owl is a Hobby Lobby beauty I got 50% off. (I looked on their website but can't find it.)

The grey tree was also a hidden gem I got at Goodwill for $2 that is wooden and was still wrapped in plastic.  I'm not sure what it was supposed to be.  I glued jingle bells in a row down every other corner and sprayed it grey and with gold glitter as well.  (Have you figured out that I am really into glitter spray this year! :)  The pink glitter trees and white owl are also from Hobby Lobby.
I <heart> owls.


This plank sign and garland was about as good as I could get with decorations considering I am always having to decorate around a ginormous TV and surround sound !  UGH.  Anyway, I made this Christmas sign out of  a plank I had in my garage and a piece of scrap wood from my staircase make over.  I wanted something unique and this little beauty was born.  Something was missing, however, so I added some white glitter stars for some extra twinkle and magic. :)

The stairs were touchy for me since I didn't really want to hang anything on my newly painted banisters, but my husband loves this so I did it for him. :)  Instead of intertwine the garland like I normally do, I looped it and added, white sparkle stars to tie in with the mantle.



I went with something simple for the crate table since I have kiddos who mess with EVERYthing.   Lanterns on a tray say "old fashioned Christmas"....especially with flame-less tea lights! ;)

Kitchen love.  

For a while I had been looking for a rustic rectangular box to house napkins and silverware for my kitchen table, but came across this cute box shelf that was 50% off at Hobby Lobby (check it out here---on sale!). It's perfect, and when I'm sick of it (and that WILL happen), I can hang it somewhere.  I did things fairly simple in here with some jingle sprigs and soft cotton snowflakes. 

My Dad cut these wooden presents out for me that I was originally going to use outside, but was too worried they'd get ruined.  So up they went to add some color and cheer!  
Wonder which one is for me? ;)

If you follow my blog you have seen my "mudroom" before.  Here it is dressed for the season.
  The Christmas tree art is more scrap wood from the stairs I painted free hand and hot glued clear jewels to.  (Nothing gets wasted from my projects y'all!) 



I changed out the scrap book paper in these frames to go with the decor for the holidays and of course had to clip in some old school Christmas photos of my girls.  :)

Here's a better shot of the black Christmas trees on the shelf that were originally white foam cones I painted and decorated.

 Living room wall:  Buddy the Elf saying on canvas with wooden, sparkly music notes and stars is probably my favorite.  I started off wanting to stencil the words, but me + stenciling = epic fail....EVERY....TIME.  So I copied the letters from sight and painted them myself.  Trust me when I say that this is MUCH better than the way the original plan was playing out.

 This poor bookshelf got shoved in the corner because this room is the only place for the tree and well, I have GIANT furniture.  

Guess what this is made out of???  YES!  Another scrap wood block painted into a winter wonderland. :)

Dining room side table.


  As you can see our Elf on the Shelf, Starry had to make a cameo. :)

I found that gold reindeer at Goodwill, he was a tarnished silver, but you know....
he needed a gold glitter shower. :)

Our Tree.
(Singing: "Aaaaaaaaaaaah'!)

Would like to share some custom ornament ideas with you guys, so I will. :)
 I bought some clear ball ornaments of various sizes a couple of years ago and wasn't quite sure what to do with them...then.  
Here are a few ideas I came up with:

1.  Fill it up with ribbon, in this case I chose pink.

2.  Add sparkly family name initials. 
 

3.  Painted with initials.  First, I poured white craft paint inside-about a 1/3 full and flipped it upside down in an empty egg carton.  It coated the ornament beautifully!  I made 4 of these and hand painted each of our initials on them in black and dotted with a heart.
I <heart> hearts.

 4.  Continuing with paint, I did this swirly, tie-dyed effect by pouring pink and white paint inside the ball and turning a few times to get it to smear and run together.  Then I flipped it upside down into the egg carton.  
(Just a suggestion, but try to let painted ornaments dry at least 24 hours before 
turning right side up.)

TELL ME you guys have made one of these for your kiddos!  I saw something like this on pinterest last year and had to give it a try.  Felt sticks to felt!  Have fun with it!  
My girls love decorating their tree. :)

Here are the wreathes I put together, inside and outside of my house.




I hope y'all are still with me!  We are sadly at the end of the tour, but I saved the best for last!  

Our snowman!
I picked this handsome guy up at Goodwill.  He had no hat; he was faded and yellow; he had an ugly piece of old garland stapled to his body and he was shamefully sporting a country vibe maroon ribbon scarf. ew.  Luckily for him I saw huge potential!  I repainted him a bright white; repainted his face and base; added new buttons; made a top hat out of a foam circle, cardboard paper and batting; gave him a cool gold scarf; and anointed him with the VERY important job of address holder/front door greeter. :)
The girls call him Frosty and we're happy he's here. :)
 (address snuffed out-he's our guard too!) :)


I hope you guys enjoyed this very, very long Christmas Decor post.  I wanted to share all the ideas I've had "exploding" in mind this year and I think this sums it up nicely.  

There is no way I could thank you enough for coming by to take a walk through my DIY world over the last several months.  I love to share my ideas with all the creative peeps in the world and it makes my heart soar to know that maybe you got a little spark from something I shared with you.  Creating is my passion and this blog needs to reflect that a little better so it will become more of a priority to me in the new year to share my projects more often.  Blogging definitely helps my mommy brain take a break and recharge for our family's next adventure.  

Crafting is good for the soul so let that creative flag fly high and show the world whatcha got!  

2014 Is going to be a great year full of new projects, big and BIGGER.   I can't wait to get started and show you what I've got up my sleeve! ;)

Have very, very happy holidays.  I wish you peace and much joy now and in the coming year.

~Lori

























Monday, December 9, 2013

Upholstery and Design and a Giveaway!

Greetings DIY-ers!  Today I'm going back in time and revisiting my upholstery projects and sharing a giveaway tip I received from a fellow DIY blogger.  Yay!

If you follow me here at home or on My Pinterest Boards, you know that I have this love/hate relationship with upholstering.  I hate the work, but love love love the outcome MORE.  It's all worth the bloody, stiff fingers and many mistakes and do-overs that I have to power through to get to the finish line. Would you like to see the projects (again)?   Sure!  :) 
























I like to remind myself that hard work and determination is all I ever need to put forth when doing super huge projects like these!

So, recently I received a sweet comment on the pink chair post from the lovely ladies at The Little Yellow Couch.  Sad to say I wasn't aware of their blog since sometimes I barely have time to breathe, let alone look at the glorious creations of others-hate that.  However, I spent most of  my free time today (in between nap time and pick-up-kid-from-school time and photography practice) going through as many of their posts as I could and I was/am super impressed by their creativity!   If you haven't checked out their blog yet, do yourself a favor and head on over!  Did I mention you can SHOP there too!?  They have some really cute gifts for the holidays in their store.  
Ok, let me get back on track. :)  I'm not the best at linking up with others in the DIY blog world and/or spreading the word on cool things I find, like I've said a million times before, things for this mom can get cray (without the "z").  I am now putting forth my best efforts to share things and people that inspire me.  Because I am fully aware that upholstery projects ain't for sissies, I think what the gals (Zandra and Karen) at The Little Yellow Couch are doing is great.  They are currently giving away a copy of Spruce which is a super informative, step-by-step guide to upholstery and design.  (Hands in the air and singing:  "AWESOME!")  Check out The Little Yellow Couch giveaway and DIY project here!  Enjoy and good luck! 

Remember that hard work does pay off in the end! Never give up on what your creativity wants you to create.

Looking forward to sharing my DIY Christmas decor this week so stay tuned!

~Lori 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

DIY Staircase Makeover!

Long time no see me!
 I've been working for a few weeks on  my awesome staircase makeover project.  It was a LOT of work.  A LOT more than I (and everyone else involved) had anticipated.  Yikes.  This project was definitely not done in haste.  There was a tons of researching and even more convincing to do where my husband was concerned.  Usually it doesn't take much to say "hey, babe....I'm thinking of doing this..." and he's on board.  However, the staircase was major construction in his eyes which I thought was just crazy....he was crazy, NOT me. :)  If only I had looked through his analytic vision instead of my usual overly creative, rainbow colored glasses.  Everything was going to be simple I assured him.  Well I was <gulp> wrong.  That left a dirty taste in my mouth.

My research began in the folder of home building pictures we had an abundance of.  If I could see what was constructed before the carpet was put on I would be able to prove my case and not be going in blindly ripping off carpet and deal with it later.  I thought I found a good pic.



Clearly....this was not a good pic, but I thought "hey there is real wood there and not mdf!"  

What seemed really lucky to me was that all the tutorials I had seen, for the exception of one, carpet was pulled off and unveiled a nice set of wooden stairs.  I just new from the above picture that this was what we were going to have.  Um.  I was wrong. (In all fairness we did not pay for  the nice set of stairs.)

Lets start with something positive though, shall we? I decided that I would paint the banisters first.  They were stained the traditional pecan color....and I was just over it.  It didn't match my floors, my entertainment center, and it no longer matched my white painted kitchen cabinets, so it had to go.  I know there are LOTS of people out there who gasp in horror at the idea of painting over stained wood, but whatever.  Se lave!  My husband grumbled a little but trusted me to improve upon our home.  I saw the stairs as a feature in our grand family room, not just something functional.

Here is the before and after (I would like to mention that we started off with white spindles and then had professionals install the black iron ones a year after we built the house-2006).


Here is the freshly painted banisters (Valspar 4000 Series in Semi Gloss Neutral Base---Color: Cinder Fox).  I sanded and sanded and sanded some more.  Wiped them down really well and put on two coats of Kilz Latex Primer from Lowe's.  I had bad luck with the oil base when I did my kitchen cabinets and this definitely worked better.  After the primer sat for a day I sanded and wiped some more and on went two to three coats of the Valspar Cinder fox.   Forgive me for not mentioning who specifically inspired and helped me out with their tutorial, but there were so many in the DIY blog world that I researched.  One person mentioned using small side to side swipes on the banister knobs for even coats, so if that was you....thank you.



And there's the yucky carpet that I HATED to vacuum.  It was a hassle and getting so matted. Later bro.


As you can see ripping off the carpet (after the banisters had over a week to dry and cure) was messy and dusty.  To my horror, what was under that carpet was even more disgusting than the carpet itself.  I did not take into account the over spray of the texture for the drywall and paint.  It was a dried gloopy crusty mess.  (Did I mention that this was messy and dusty?)  Some planks were split, some were horribly "patched"---including the second landing.  My husband and I just stood there and stared at the gaping holes between the stairs and the wall that framed it.  I can't tell you how low I felt at that point.  "What....the HELL did I JUST get myself AND my family into?????"  I have two small children and all of our bedrooms are upstairs!  How were we going to function?  Remember I said I did a lot of research?  But nothing I read or watched on youtube could have prepared me for this.  Yowza.

We put our heads together, my man and I, and after a lot more reading and researching we decided we should just replace the treads and risers.  It would've been even more work if we had to patch and sand the original treads for hundreds of hours.  I felt bad that we had to spend so much extra money on a project I thought wouldn't cost much at all.  Off to Lowe's we went to look at options.  I had this really cool idea to add beadboard to the fronts of the existing risers so it would save a little  more money plus it would give the stairs more personality.  The plan was to buy the treads and cut them to the size we needed.  To throw another wrench into the plans (as if we needed any more troubles) our treads were not standard size. blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah.  My dad agreed to come over and bring his saw.  Even though I really wanted to take a crack at the install myself, it was my husband and dad who took over and killed it in 6 hours.  They were hurting, but did such a great job.  Ripped off the old treads, installed new ones and the beadboard.  (**SIDE NOTE: the three levels of landings on my stairs were wide planks and were a little bit banged up, but we decided to keep them for that modern/farmhouse look.  I just patched up the nail holes and painted them.) After that was completed I caulked all the cracks and spaces and sanded.  I cleaned it all up and put on the Kilz primer.  The beadboard was already white, so I just gave it a fresh coat.  For the treads I used Behr Porch and Patio Floor paint-deep base (which they colored for me---you can get it in other colors though)--I used the color "Carbon" to tint mine.  At first I thought it looked like ink which is sort of blue but it dried to a very cool black. 

So this was not meant to be a tutorial because I didn't have enough pictures or time to document all that I did.  There was a lot of scraping, a lot of staple pulling, a lot of everything.  I just finished 3 days ago and it's look fabulous.  If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in my comments and I will answer to the best of the knowledge which I gained during this CRAZY project.

I'm sure you want to know....was it worth it?

Hell.....YES.


NEVER be afraid of getting your hands or your house dirty when you want to accomplish something you feel is too much trouble.  I have backed off from so many things in my life but changed my tune when I realized what doesn't kill you makes your stronger....and SO MUCH MORE CREATIVE!!

I'm feeling good, and I knew that I would. ;)

Big thank you to my hubs and my dad who helped get my creation started in a big way.  Babe...you are always the voice of reason in my crazy world but you are also my biggest cheerleader.  I wouldn't love this life near as much if you weren't in it.  You are the calm to my crazy, the solid to my pattern, the straight to my crooked.  There aren't enough metaphors (you would never use metaphors) to describe how much my life rocks.  I think that you like that I'm a beautiful disaster, don't you? ;)

Have a great day and an even better holiday friends!!  
Go create something in your time off...it's good for the soul.

~Lori


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

DIY Master Bedroom Decor Update

Yesterday I did a quick makeover to our master bedroom.  I received our new comforter and hadn't realized how much it did NOT go with the decor I already had and loved.  SIGH....dilema.  So I went to Hobby Lobby for some inspiration and threw several things together and updated what I already had; re-purposed a plank my husband had in the garage; changed out the curtains; and reorganized my art. :)

This is what it was before with the old comforter that turned into complete TRASH in less than a year.   Note to self, "buy cheap, receive cheap."


This is the close up to my DIY art work (fabrics on canvas, painted mirrors,etc)

After I put on my new bedding and realized how awful it looked with everything currently in the room (tear) I decided I needed to make it look a lot more cohesive and romantic and who doesn't need a little more of that? ;)

All of the artwork on the walls are my own designs and creations except for the white wash iron emblem that I got at Hobby Lobby.

 Isn't it so much more romantic?




I absolutely love it and how the colors and patterns mesh so well together.  I still have some work to do like possibly make a soft head and foot board, paint my night stands and a few other things.  Stay tuned!

Monday, October 21, 2013

DIY: Updated Thrift Store Clock!

Greetings, friends!
In my busy days of ideas, projects that are completely over my head, and well mommyhood, I squeezed in a quickie project. :)  This post is going to be short and sweet.  I went to Goodwill a couple of days ago which was my first trip in over a month, or 2?  Needless to say I was looking for some "thrift-spiration!"  I found it in this wonderful old clock that I scored for $9.


Maybe it was too much, but the clock motor was new and I trusted that it would work...and it did. I knew I wanted to paint this clock a bold, vibrant color like coral or turquoise, I did NOT know, however, what I would do with the face.  Most of the ideas I had went out the window when I couldn't figure out how to open up the back of the clock to remove its paper face.  UGH.  I got the important parts off (ie; the glass flip top and hardware including hands), sanded this wooden beauty and painted it, well you'll see... :)



As you can see I decided to paint the face with chalkboard paint! (Martha Stewart Chalk Board Paint-Grey)  I wanted to do something unusual with it and where as chalkboard paint is extremely popular on the home decor front, to me this was unique and a super cool idea...if I do say so myself! :)  What's awesome is that I can change the look of the face any "time" I want! hee hee...

I hope you guys find something that inspires you today and make it even more beautiful with your own touch.

Have a great day!
~Lori

Sunday, September 29, 2013

DIY: Halloween Decor!

Hey y'all!  Halloween is just around the corner! Time to get out the decorations and I have a great idea for you.
Last year while browsing Pinterest for spooky ideas, I was inspired by this fabulous sign from Sharon Burkert @ As The Ink Dries.  I just had to give it a try, the DIY Lori way.

I had a frame that could be recycled, but headed to Hobby Lobby for some boo-tiful scrap paper, wooden letters, black spray paint, and double sided tape.  All of the aforementioned and some scissors or a rotary cutter is all you'll need to complete this project.

Lets do this:

Obviously you can spell out whatever you want, but I chose "BOO."

I painted the letters first so they could dry while I work on the rest.
Rust-Oleum is my go-to spray paint.  In my experience/opinion it works the best and dries fast.


Cut your decorative paper to size.  (I decided to overlap three different patterns/paper.)

Use double sided (clear) tape to make your background and then to tape it to the INSIDE of the glass frame.

(Sorry for the glare.)


The last step is to line up and position your dried letters, and secure with hot glue.  
Don't ya love it?!

I love Halloween, it's my top 3 favorite holidays.  Expect more posts on this spooky, fun tradition in the near future. ;)

Have a fun and creative day!
~Lori



 
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