Saturday, April 11, 2015

DIY Coffee Table to Bench Encore

Hi all,

After finishing my mirrors, I went right into another long overdue project. I have had a small little bench at the foot of my bed for years.  I found her on the side of the road back in Southfield. She was in really good shape so it just took a can of paint and piece of velvet and she was good to go.

                                                    This little girl was found on the curb.

I have since longed for a larger bench at the foot of my bed. Well, I knew I wanted to give a coffee table an encore and make it into my bedroom bench, it just took me a while to find one that I liked.

                                                         $10 Coffee Table

This one was at the right place at the right time and the right price. How many of you know someone who had one of these?  So, for $10.00 my hunk brought this hunk home for me.

Since it was going to sit right across from a vanity painted in Annie Slaon Paris Grey with silver accents, I knew I had to paint this the same color. All of the rest of the furniture in this room was silver.

I painted this piece very quickly and didn't bother to paint the top as it wouldn't be seen due to the upholstered top I planned to add. I didn't like the faux wood ( plastic) "thing" on the sliding door, so I removed the door and made a new one  from the 1/4' plywood that I had on hand. I added moulding to the door for a more finished look. This was pretty easy except  that I had to remove and sand the tabs a few times to get them the right thickness and height to slide freely in the grooves.

 Once it was painted I sealed it with Annie Sloan Wax. I joined two different pieces of 3" thick foam that I had left over from other projects using 3M Spray Adhesive. The fabric was a great price at my favorite fabric store, Fabric and Fringe in Marietta, GA. I used the spray adhesive on the top of the "bench" to a attach the foam. I then just stapled the fabric to the foam top. I added a plain trim around the edge under the top to finish off the edges.

The door was just a little too plain so as I looked around my garage, I noticed a picture frame that I hadn't used in years. I took the back off and spray painted it with silver spray paint to match the vanity. You can find the greatest drawer/door handles at Hobby Lobby these days.

So, for just a bit of glam I added one and she was done. At first it looked really big in my room but I still have more than 3 feet between it and the vanity and I've grown to like it's "ample" size.

I thought about adding bun feet to the bottom but am glad I didn't becasue the current height is just right. It's so comfy that I sat down, leaned back on my bed and watched a whole episode of Rehab Addict.

                                        Cass tried it out last weekend! It was a hit. Total cost was less than $35.00!!

I think I'm done with this room.  For now!

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Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fretwork Mirror Reveal!!

Hi all,

Well, it’s taken me some time to finish this project but I've finally got my mirrors finished and hung on the wall. I wrote a blogpost (read here) a while back on mirrors hung behind nightstands and a design that really caught my eye.  I was eager to try my hand at cutting fretwork for my mirrors. In case you aren't familiar with the term fretwork, it is an interlaced decorative design that is either carved in low relief on a solid background, or cut out with a fretsaw, coping saw, jigsaw or scroll saw.

So after reading Kristi who blogs at www., I set out to make my own. I wasn't going to reinvent the wheel  so I chose a simple design that was similar to the one Kristi used. Besides, I liked it!  Just in case you have a hankering to try this I am going to give you a blow by blow account of how this was done. But promise me that if you try it, you’ll share your results with me! So…

                                     These are the doors that Kristi made...My Inspiration

Off I went to Home Depot to buy 2 cheap inexpensive, full length mirrors. Hey, I discovered something in the process. Even though they were right together, and looked the same I found out there was a slight difference in their sizes.

Anyway, the next step was to buy the wood. I decided that the thin, ¼ “ sanded plywood would work for this project. I was worried about the mirrors being too heavy if I used ½” plywood. I knew I couldn’t get a 4’x8’ sheet in my car so I had 3 pieces cut to the actual size I needed and saved the rest for…you know it, another project. After all, isn’t there always, another Project?

This is when I discovered that the 2 mirrors were slightly different sizes. Luckily, I checked both pieces to make sure they would fit inside the frame and was able to sand one down just perfectly.

I had already drawn out the design on the back of some wrapping paper. This worked well because the back of the paper had a grid marked off in 1” increments and that helped to keep the design symmetric. Well, as symmetric as can be drawn by little old me! Ha-ha. I then cut the paper pattern and traced the lines onto the plywood inserts.

From there, it was on to cutting the plywood. But, I must admit that I did have to make a few adjustment to the pattern that was drawn on the plywood. Truthfully, I think I could have skipped the paper pattern and just drawn my design right on the plywood, but first using light pencil marks so that adjustments could still be made.

The next step was where I really got excited. Using my new Orbital Jig Saw  to cut out the fretwork was so much easier than I expected it would be. Have you ever been afraid of a step in a project and realized that you blew the whole thing way out of proportion? Well, that’s what I did.

 I actually got so excited that after just a few cuts I ran in to see what it would look like and even snapped a pic.

Anyway, after I had cut both panels I used my Dremel Rotary tool to sand the edges. Well, all good things come to an end and my Dremel finally bit the dust in the middle of this project. Not wanting to buy another one right now I discovered that Wal Mart sells a very cheap, I meant inexpensive rotary tool with lots of attachments for, get this…$11.97. It worked just fine.

 After sanding the edges, I set up my professional paint station, a tarp attached to a tree truck in the backyard and ….spray painted both of the fretwork panels and the frames of the mirrors.

They looked so good (to me) I couldn’t wait to hang them up.
This is how they look hanging up in my bedroom. I used my go to Command hooks to hang them on the wall.

 This bedroom is on the back of the house and there isn't a lot of natural light (too many trees), and I don't get really good pictures in here, but...

Almost forgot, a big part of DIY projects (at least for me) is to see how little I can spend on a project. This project did go way over my expected costs because I had to replace the rotary tool. My costs were:

2- 11.5x 47 “ mirrors                     $12.69
1- 4’x8’ plywood                           $13.76
1 rotary tool                                   $12.69
Additional sanding accessories
 for rotary tool                               $21.19 ( strictly optional)

2pkg.  Heavy Duty Command
Hooks                                              $10.58
                                                        $70.91 tax included

Breaks down to about $35.00 per mirror, but would have been a lot less without the optional accessories, and would have been a really great price if I hadn’t replaced tools along the way!!
But I have plywood and a rotary tool for my next project, so it's  not too bad.

I would love some feedback on what you think. Please leave a comment here on the blog. Is this something you might try?

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hi all,

Well, first of all let me say Happy New Year. It’s been a while since I wrote a new post. I've been thinking about what direction I want to go in this year. No hard fast decisions yet. So in the meantime….
If you know me well, you know I like mirrors. (if you don’t know me well, stick around, get to know me better!) I am planning to make a couple of mirrors for my bedroom. These won’t be the first ones I've made. Two of my earlier  projects were mirrors that I made. Both are simple enough that you could totally reproduce them without tutorials. 

The first mirror was this one circa 2007..

                             Thanks to an old Facebook post, I actually found a picture of this one progress.

This mirror is a beast. I used a piece of ¾ “plywood as a base and that made this a very heavy mirror. If  I were making it again I would use ½” plywood. The zebra stripes were etched onto 6- 12 x 12 glass tiles using this  and I used a trim from Home Depot to finish it off. Framing this mirror was my first project using my miter saw! 

My next mirror project was making these 2 mirrors, again using 12 x 12 mirror tiles, trim , plywood and trim from Lowes and this  awesome turquoise iridescent glass tile. This tile can be found on Amazon.

                           Sorry for this picture it  really doesn't do the tiles justice.

I didn't want to use white grout so I added a small amount of acrylic paint to the sanded grout and it worked, turquoise grout!
A friend fell in love with these and actually had me make two for her. One of my first DIY projects that I sold.

So from those somewhat basic but great mirrors, I plan to do something a little more challenging.  These pics were my inspiration...

                                       I love the mirrors behind the lamps on each nightstand.

So, from those inspiration pics I found these two ideas online.


SO, my first project of the new year is to combine some of the steps from  and the great tutorial I found on to make my own fretwork to create 2 killer mirrors for my bedroom. Stay tuned for more on this project.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Christmas Project- Stenciling

Hi all,
Beautiful Christmas decorations abound, and I'm getting in the spirit!! I always like to make something new each year so here it is....


The perfect opportunity to try something new came from Royal Design Studio.  I partnered with them to try out their new Holiday Stencils  and selected from their Christmas Stencils. There was a great collection of Christmas Stencils created by the talented Jennifer Rizzo that l had a hard time choosing from. I wanted most of them!!

Now I ordered these stencils, not really sure how I would use them. I just knew I liked them...

Reindeer Christmas Stencil
Classic Letter Christmas Stencil
Holiday Garland Christmas Stencil

A popular trend in home decor has been the use of antlers. Well, that's not really my style, but I did think the reindeer was close !

I have tried just about every craft technique out there, but stenciling has always been a challenge for me. I have avoided it on purpose, because it never looks as good as I want. But, I put on my big girl pants and decided to make this work.
 I decided to make a pillow with the reindeer and the garland. I thought I'd glam it up a bit and used gold glitter paint for my reindeer with a small glitter tassel for his tail. It worked so well. I added a little brown paint to the gold glitter for the garland and WOW!

This worked so well that I started looking for other things to stencil. Here's what I found..
A few months ago I found a bunch  (10+) of  large wooden embroidery hoops and I used my Minwax Stain Wipes in Mahogany to give them a more finished look. I had hooped one with a fun plaid that I had and .....

If you are looking for great stencils for any reason, any season you definitely want check out Royal Design Studio.

I did not receive financial compensation for this post. I did receive a gift of the stencils from Royal Design Studio. The opinions expressed in this post are all mine!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Hi all,

Just before Thanksgiving, I went on a much needed vacation. JP and I met up with some longtime friends of mine from the Metro Detroit area on board Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas. Our ship was destined for 4 ports in 7 days, more importantly it was destined for FUN.
Of course there’s so much you can do on a cruise that you really have to pace yourself. Each port was 1 full, but quick day. As you can imagine, with a group of 8, everybody liked to do different things so most of our time spent together was around a table eating.

 I enjoy the days at sea as much as the days in port! Luckily for us  (and mostly my hair) the first of our 2 formal nights was the day before our first port.

                                                             I think we all clean up Really Well!!
 It was great that 3 of us had new cameras so this trip was very, very well documented. I wish I had thought to take a pic of our cameras as they were often masquerading as our table centerpieces!!

                                  This is what a Retired Detroit Public School Teacher looks like, x's 3!!!

Our first port was Labadee, Haiti. This is a private resort area owned by Royal Caribbean, we spent the day frolicking in the water and soaking up the sun. The most adventurous ones took a zip line ride on the longest zip line over water!! (No, I did not).
                  The ocean floor here was covered with coral and shells and was difficult to walk on!

The next port was Falmouth, Jamaica. I had been to Falmouth and had walked up Dunns River Falls and other excursions. While the others took tours, etc. we went shopping!! Armed with Christmas shopping lists we walked and shopped almost the entire time in port. It’s a bit of a challenge to be totally disconnected from family, friends and the internet so we took advantage of the free Wi-Fi available in the larger stores like Diamond International. It was a great break to sit, sip cool drinks and connect with folks back home. Oh yeah, and trying on crazy expensive jewelry just for fun.

Every night the group reconnected at dinner and sometimes caught a show before dinner together and sometimes after or just hung out.


We all had a cute treat each evening as our cabin stewards made "animals" out of our towels. But my stewart took the prize, I cracked up over this one...

The next day was spent doing more shopping in Georgetown, Grand Cayman. The view along the shore was amazing and we carefully chose our lunch spot to sample local food. (Careful to make sure they offered free Wi-Fi!!) 

          We took a break from shopping in Grand Cayman near a beautiful fountain and along the shore!! 

The onboard activities that we enjoyed included, a great magic show by Drew Thomas, an adult comedy show,  Love & Marriage , a game show with 3 couples competing for prizes.We also enjoyed playing Putt Putt Golf on the 14th deck in the middle of the ocean .
And there was the casino. I actually took a short lesson on playing Blackjack, but ended up feeding the slots and letting JP teach me to shoot craps. My motto is as long as I leave with some of their money, I had fun. I had fun!
There was also this crazy fun adult scavenger hunt game called Quest. This was a lot of fun. The cruise director spotted JP and I doing the twist (he told everybody to do it) and called us and a very senior couple from Israel down front and center to do it for everybody!! We ended up in the DVD that they make of the cruise. For the rest of the trip people kept coming up to us and commenting on it. And no, we didn't buy a copy of the DVD!!

Our last port was Cozumel, Mexico. We took an interesting tour of the Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio and finished up shopping.

                                             Iguanas were out in numbers at the Mayan Ruins at San Gervasio

                                                             Dry stacked arch at San Gervasio

                                                              On the beach in Cozumel

When I saw this view of the water off the coast of Cozumel, I thought of the commercials that claim they can color match anything!! I’d like to see them try. This is headed right to my Pinterest board :Color Au-Natural!!

                                            How many shades of blue can you count?!!

       At the end of many nights we sat quietly on deck in the dark, listening to the ocean and just being still.