Monday, April 14, 2014

Drying Rack

I was surfing the interwebz whilst decorating the house and fell in love with this drying rack I found at I just couldn't stomach the pricetag... $239.00  yikes
So I decided to make it myself.  The trip to Home Depot cost me $40 and I had enough material to make 1 large and 2 small drying racks.  (I gave the small ones away as gifts)

Admit One Shadow Box

Another Pinterest inspired gift! 
I almost always make 2 of things I really like, one to keep, one to gift away.
The tickets in the shadow box were made from a clear stamp, and distressed.
This shadow box is one that opens from the front.  I removed the glass, and sanded a spot on the top of the door creating a slot where tickets can be dropped in.
I write the names of the people who went to the show with us, and our opinion of the performance before I drop it in the box.
I made a second box as a gift for my EX-husband, and split up tickets from our memory box of stuff we did together with the kids.
Thanks for looking!

Bleach Shirt Tutorial

I have been looking for a way to decorate shirts that does not involve heat transfer vinyl.
Cotton t-shirt
Bleach in a bottle that has a very fine mist
paper towels
freezer paper
Safety considerations:
1. Wear an apron or something to protect your clothes from bleach splatter while working on this project.
2. Eye protection is not a bad idea, especially if kiddos are helping you.
3. Wear Rubber/latex gloves to protect sensitive skin from bleach.
Step 1:  affix stencil to t-shirt (mine is a sticker I made from vinyl on my electronic cutter)
Step 2: Place freezer paper on the inside of the garment to prevent the bleach from penetrating to the other side of the garment.

Step 3:  Lightly spray bleach (mask off any area you don't want color to be removed)

Within seconds you will begin to see the loss of color.

Step 4: Blot the shirt with paper towels to remove excess bleach.... then wait
I am impatient and removed the stencil before all of the color was removed.  You should leave the stencil on until you are sure that you have the desired effect.
After about 5 minutes all of the color is gone.  If not, then repeat steps 3&4

Step 5:  Allow to dry in a well ventilated area then wash seperately to avoid bleaching something unintentional.
This is an example of the results when masking off an area.  I just used torn paper towels to make a circle around my stencil to prevent the bleach from spraying all over the garment.
Thanks for looking.

Next I will be trying out fabric spray paint to add color to white t-Shirts with Stencils...I'm totally addicted to crafts.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Linen Pantry Redo

My linen closet was an absolute mess.  No organization, could never find anything.... so I took the matter in hand!!
I started by separating things by size and type. and folding them so they would fit in my new baskets.
The baskets were pretty inexpensive at
 Next I made lables for each of the baskets, and put everything back in the closet.


Pottery Barn Inspired Numbers Table

I stumbled across a table on Pinterest, and it inspired the redo of my breakfast nook table.

This is the color of the original finish.  This table and chairs was rescued from the garage of a dear friend of mine.  I knew I wanted to put my mark on the table but didn't quite know what to do until I found this inspiration.
I stripped the finish from the top of the table and the chairs, and this was the result.  It was an extremely aromatic wood, but i have no idea what it is.
Next I made stencils using my Cricut Expression and contact paper (vinyl shelf liner).  To paint the numbers, I used a flat black paint that I purchased as a sample at Home Depot,

After allowing the paint to dry a short while, I sanded the table top, distressing the numbers on the table.  Then I applied stain over the top of the stenciled numbers.

I sanded the table legs and aprons, and painted them bright white that matches all of the trim in my house.

Finally I put about 8 coats of poly urethane on the table top to protect it.

Next, the chairs.

all four

sanded and stained

paint for the chairs

VOILA!! Fini!

Antique Frames

Just before Christmas  2013 I went on the hunt for antique frames to repurpose for chalkboards or other projects... this is what I came up with.  About a dozen frames, found on Craigslist.  The man that sold me the frames said that he gathered many of the frames at Roundtop, and he believed them to be from the 1800's.  A couple of the YaYa's took some of the frames to make over themselves, but the big one in front is still here awaiting transformation.

The one pictured at the back was the one I really had my eye on.  I really wasn't sure exactly where to start. The entire thing was filthy, with dirt caked all over it.... so the first order of business... dirt removal.

 I used a kitchen brush, and just started scrubbing and knocked off the really big pieces of dirt.
Then I realized that the dirt was not just on the surface, but caked UNDER all of those gorgeous carvings.  Using a staple puller (a tool that looks like a mini crowbar), I carefully lifted each piece, and removed it so I could clean each one thoroughly, but not before I grabbed the camera so I could remember where all of the pieces should be returned to.
 For some of the pieces, I actually scrubbed with a soft toothbrush to get the dirt out of all of the crevices.

 I used Murphey oil soap to clean up the frame, and all of the pieces, then I used a small paint brush to apply an ebony stain to the ornamental pieces before reattaching them.

(the rulers keep photobombing all of my projects)

 I lightly sanded the frame with 240 grit sand paper, only because it was badly weathered from years of sitting outside.  I couldn't decide what kind of wood this was made of, and decided not to add a tinted stain.  I used Minwax "Natural" stain to bring out only the natural tones of the wood.  I was able to replace all of the pieces, using the original nails, in the original nail holes.
 Then I gently applied pastewax and lightly hand buffed the piece.  My breath was taken away by how beautiful this turned out..... but it was missing something...
 Oh yeah... a chalkboard insert!

I used 1/8 plywood (Kevin helped me), sanded it, then applied a couple of coats of chalkboard paint, sanding lightly between coats, then I used spray chalk board paint for the final coat to eliminate brush strokes.  I reinforced the back with door shims that I glued together to make the perfect thickness, and attached with my Ryobi cordless nailer.

I no longer believe this piece to be a frame, and thought for a while, that it was a door.  But I now believe that it may have been the side panel of a piece of furniture.

As it turns out, this is the best writing homemade chalk board I have ever used.  The last thing to decide.... where to put it?

Growth chart ruler tutorial

Growth Chart / Giant Ruler Tutorial

 1”x8”x6’ pine board
black enamel spray paint (I use flat)
sand paper – 120 and 220 grit 
tack cloth
spray adhesive (temporary/repositionable)
wood stain and brushes
saw tooth picture hanger
measuring tape
optional: T-Square 36” or longer
Freezer paper
Masking tape
Rags (for wiping off stain)

To begin:
Sand your entire board with 120 grit paper, I find an orbital sander and/or a mouse sander really handy.  (I put 120 paper on the orbital and 220 on the mouse sander).  Take special care to knock the sharp edges off of the board, this will reduce splinters, and improve the aesthetic of the project.

When sanding is complete, use a tack cloth to remove the dust.

Next, along the long edge of the board you want to make a line about ½” from the edge.  This line will be used to position your stencil.  Don’t make it too dark or it will be harder to remove later.  I use the long T-square for my long edge to mark this line but any straight line will do. 

Applying the stencil:

The first time you use your stencil you need to lay it out to see how it fits together.

Notice that there is an extra tick mark at the end of the 1st stencil.  It will match up to the first tick mark on the second stencil, same with the other 2 stencils.

You will overlap the stencils when positioning them on the board, so that the end with the cut away or white line is on the bottom of the join.

To position your stencil on the board you will make sure you can see your line directly at the top of the first tick mark on the stencil, and the last tick mark of the stencil.  Once you see how that works out, you are ready to spray the back of the stencil with the spray adhesive.  Take care to spray it well.  This will reduce overspray when you paint.

Once all of the stencil pieces are in place, use masking tape to seal the seams.   Now you are ready to spray paint the board with the stencil applied.

A light coating of spray paint is all that is needed.

Let the paint dry for about 5 minutes.  Remove the stencil by gently lifting from the bottom edge. Place the used stencil on the coated side of freezer paper to keep the sticky side clean for re-use.  You will clean it later using soap and warm water.  Place your stencil aside. 

Once your paint is dry, sand the board again using the 220 grit paper.  You can distress the image as much or as little as you like.  This light sanding will remove the pencil mark you put on the board to position your stencil.  Use the sander to remove any unwanted imperfections or blemishes caused by paint overspray or paint bleeding under the stencil.

Again, use a tack cloth to remove the dust.  If you notice any marks on the board from the adhesive, they can be removed with a soft wet cloth.

Now you are ready to apply the stain.  Follow the manufacturer instructions.  Be sure to stain the sides and ends of the board.

Once the board is dry, you can affix the saw tooth picture hanger.

To prevent warping of your ruler, either hang to store, or lay on a flat surface.  Leaning the board on a wall will cause it to warp (hard lesson to learn).

Your Friend,

Shelley Tumino

To order a stencil set, email me at  
$25 free shipping