Thursday, November 14, 2013

I Painted A Piano... YELLOW!!! With homemade chalk paint... check out the before and after tutorial

I know nothing about pianos which I realize is an odd way to start a tutorial about a piano, but to be completely honest and to prove my ideas sometimes do start out as certifiable craziness but somehow, most of the time they work out.. so here goes my confession, I've never owned a piano, in fact I can't play a single song, but when I saw a wood piano painted turquoise about a year ago I knew I "HAD TO HAVE ONE"!!! So I patiently watched the classifieds and craigslist, waited until my husband was overseas (haha), and then this summer I found one... for FREE on craigslist!!!

This old gal, I've named her "Penelope", works great, had recently been tuned and the previous owners whom I'd never met but happen to live just up the road from me, even delivered it all for free, but cosmetically "she" had seen better days.

 A couple keys were stuck, the hinges on the top were broken, another piece covering the keys was no longer attached and the board above the foot pedals was missing.  But thanks to a you tube video on how to fix stuck keys (where would we be without you tube???), a piece of scrap wood, some sanding, wood fill, more sanding, lots of cleaning and paint... in 24 hours my piano went from junk....

... to a GEM!

Here it is with the broken pieces taken off and wood fill drying in the nooks and crannies that needed some repair.  That strange black hose in the corner is my trusty shop vac, it got a workout on this project! I did everything right where it sat in my house, which four big burly men placed there when they took it off the trailer, because I didn't want to mess with moving it.

Once the wood fill was dry and hardened, I carefully took out all the keys, lifting them out one at a time, keeping them in order on my guest bed to make putting everything back properly a little easier, because remember me and piano aren't acquainted!

 Next I used my shop vac to suck out ALL the dust, and debris that had fallen under the keys over the years.  I found $1.14 in change, 7 hair pins, lots of dust, lint and dirt and a matchbox car... no kidding I have no idea how it go tin there! I'm so glad I took the time to take the keys out and really clean it.  I knew this piano was a treasure, but never imagined all that would also come with the deal :)

And as a bonus having the keys out made painting really easy.  I know originally I said I wanted a turquoise piano and I do, but because of my furniture painting addiction my house is full and this would only fit in one spot on a wall near my dining room and turquoise just wouldn't work, so instead I went for this great yellow, which these pictures don't do justice... sorry about that.  The paint I got at Home Depot for $7 a gallon, it was a mis-tint that someone else didn't want... so I grabbed it! It's a great way to save money on paint if you aren't set on one color.. just ask at the paint counter next time you are there and see what mis-tints they have on hand you might get lucky.

If you have read any of my other blog posts you know I love Annie Sloan Wax, its AMAZING! I've recently stumbled across the most amazing antique store and Annie Sloan distributor in Olympia, Washington, Courtyard Antiques (link here) if you are ever in the Seattle area you have to stop in and check out all the amazing treasures!  The fabulously talented owner, Mary, has inspired me to finally take the plunge and work with the Annie Sloan paint, and I'm so excited.. so stay tuned.  

But this project I did before meeting her, and because I trying to save money anywhere I could, I made my own chalk paint by mixing one part plaster of paris with warm water until it dissolved and then mixed in three parts paint, stirred again to combine and painted away. The beauty of chalkpaint, no priming, just make sure the surface is wiped clean and paint!

While the first coat was drying I cut a piece of scrap wood we had from another project to fit the empty space in front of the foot pedals and then painted it as well.

After the second coat was dry, I put the keys back in and replaced all the now painted loose wood pieces.

TAH-DAH!!! My now fabulous yellow piano.  I can't wait for my kiddos to learn to play, they already love "playing" it.

The art gallery wall is in progress, but I couldn't wait to give you an sneak peak.  With the addition of some twine and clips, these recently painted empty frames from my stash will soon be the perfect spot for my kiddos art work.  Stay tuned for the tutorial!

But back to the piano, not too shabby for about a buck in paint.. well actually I did find that $1.14 in the keys so I guess I made 14 cents painting this puppy!!!

If you have an old piano or just have a burning desire like me to get one, don't be afraid to paint it and give it a new life.  This took me less than 24 hours, and even my husband, who wasn't in the car 15 seconds after getting off a plane before my 4 year old totally ratted me out... "Daddy guess what we got a piano!", good thing he likes it or just tolerates my crazy, either way... PHEW!

So instead of that hand me down being an eye sore, PAINT YOUR PIANO and you will be the envy of all your friends!


Monday, November 11, 2013

No Sew Felt Play Tea Bag Tutorial

We got invited to a birthday party for a little friend recently and I found a great play tea set to give her, but I wanted to add a little special handmade something to go with it. I plan to do a tea set for my little munchkin for Christmas and I've been looking at sewn play tea bag ideas, but of course I procrastinated and waited until the last minute for this gift so I totally winged it and tried using felt and gluing them and it turned out so cute!!!

I made these all the same just for efficiency, but you could have fun and use all kinds of colors and combinations.  I decided to try to make something close to the look of a real tea bag, so I used cream felt for the bag, dark brown for the tea, red for the tag and heart and some cotton string and hot glue to hold it all together.

First using pinking sheers (you can absolutely use regular scissors but the sheers give the fun zigzags that really make these special) cut a long rectangle for the bag, a small rectangle for the tag and some small pieces for the tea.  The key to making these simple play tea bags I found is the combination of using thicker felt (the really thin stuff will show the glue) I bought mine by the sheet at Hobby Lobby for 25 cents and not using too much glue.

Fold the long rectangle in half and put a few pieces of the "tea" in the center, then put a thin line of glue along the three raw edges, quickly set one end of your string in the center and then press the edges together while it cools to make sure the sides seal together.  Finally fold the small rectangle in half around the other end of the string, lightly glue the edges and press until cool.  If you want, use some of the extra red felt to make a heart and glue it to the front. 

I made a dozen or so and put them in a simple paper box from Michael's, with a matching red felt heart glued on the lid.

These turned out so cute, I can hardly wait to make some more for my little "aristocrat" and have our first tea party ASAP :)

If you have a little tea party lover in your life or need a quick gift for one, this could not be easier.

So grab some felt and your glue gun and whip some of these up today!


Monday, November 4, 2013

Reclaimed Wood Horseshoe Lucky Sign Tutorial

Anytime you can do something with a hunk of old wood, some paint and maybe an old horseshoe thrown in for good measure, I'm in! So when I asked my dad, a horse guy, for some old horseshoes I'm pretty sure he thought I had lost my mind yet again, but because he's used to my crazy ideas he got them for me no questions asked.. well maybe a few questions but long story short he got me the goods and I've been itching to use them ever since.  If you don't have a horse or know someone who does, call a local farrier (horseshoer) in the phone book, I'm sure they'll help you out. 

My first project with my new stash took only a few minutes and I love it, so the questions about my "NEED" for old horseshoes were well worth it! 

To make the sign I used a piece of old barn wood cut to fit the four large letter stencils and the shoe, this picture is actually of another sign I made on a piece of scrap wood because I was so excited about mine I forgot to take pictures.  These stencils are just inexpensive paper 4 inch stencils that you can find in any craft section. I love to use paint pens for stencils, but if you have a steady hand a small brush and any color paint you have will work great. I have a caffeine addiction to help facilitate my crafty endeavors and I have the shaky hands to prove it, so the pens are more my speed.

Once the letters were dry I brushed on a layer of this great weathered grey stain over the letters on the sides and back of the board then wiped off the excess.  It takes a little extra stain and effort to do the sides and back but I like everything I paint to look nice and finished from all sides.  I think you will be glad you took the few extra minutes now to do it.  

To finish it off I used sand paper and lightly rubbed over the painted letters, brushed on a little Annie Sloan dark wax to age the paint even more and then nailed on the horseshoe using long black carpet tacks.  After a long hunt in Home Depot for the perfect nail, the long carpet nail heads are flat, they look rustic fitting with the sign and they were long enough to go through the shoe and the board but narrow enough to fit in the small holes, just make sure you get the long ones. 

Ours is just leaned against the wall on top of a dresser, but a few tap-in claw hooks on the back would make this ready to hang anywhere.

If you do have to cut your board to fit, the stain on the ends also helps hide where the new wood is exposed and no one will know that you didn't just pull this wood off of a 100 year old barn as is.

It's a really cute, unique sign and we love it, and who couldn't use a little extra "Luck" around the house???



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Antique Painted Desk Re-Do

Once again, I really do feel like a broken record, I'm apologizing again for being a "bad blogger"! I'm so sorry for the lack of posts lately, my hubby surprised us and came home early from a long stretch overseas.. it was the best surprise ever, oh and he didn't have a heart attack when he saw the pile of treasures in our garage.. yet another miracle.  Then, I did my first vendor show and despite the paint on nearly everything I own it was a big success and I had a blast, but I worked for weeks getting ready and slacked on blogging.  SO stay tuned because I promise some fun tutorials are coming!

But, today I am keeping my end of a promise I made when I shared my new reclaimed wood barn light headboard (tutorial here), that I would also show you the desk next to it that really did go from junk to a jewel!!!  SO here goes! 

This is the rough diamond I scored at a thrift store this summer for $5.  Real wood, dove tailed drawers, lots of character but a few flaws.  One of the legs was broken, but in a drawer, a piece of trim was broken but also in a drawer, there was water damage on the top in the middle and two of the rounded leg bottoms had been squared off I'm guessing to fit into or out of its previous home.  Not afraid of a little work I brought this baby home, and then procrastinated for 5 months before finally tackling it one warm afternoon :)

First, I used wood glue to reattach the trim and let then tackled the water damage.  The top layer of wood was cracked and pulling away from the surface so using a scrapper (or putty knife, anything with a sharp edge) I scraped back any loose pieces.  Since the majority of he surface was still good I decided to leave it and try and fill in the gaps.

To do that I used wood fill, it is your friend in refinishing scratched, dinged and damaged wood furniture.  I like Elmer's but any brand will work, over fill the gaps so you have something to work with, let it dry and then sand until it is even and smooth. Then I used my trusty little jigsaw to square off the other two legs to match the two that had been cut, sanded and rough spots and wood glued the broken leg back in place.

After everything dust free was wiped clean, I love using my shop vac and baby wipes o do the job, then I sprayed the entire piece with flat black paint, used sand paper to distress the edges and finished with Annie Sloan clear and dark wax.  The finishing touch was the addition of the great knobs from Hobby Lobby (bought on a 50% off week) a little bit antique, a little bling, perfect for a girly touch to my side of the room.  Adding new knobs really is the best easy trick for updating a piece of furniture, especially if you get them on sale!

This super inexpensive project has been the perfect addition to our bedroom makeover and it serves two purposes, it's now my bedside table and my creative space to keep my computer and hopefully blog more often :)

The chair is actually one I showed you before (tutorial here) I had painted it blue, but once the desk was done it fit perfectly so I took off the seat and used the left over flat black paint from the desk to update the chair.  I love it when those kind of things just work out!  The idea for the wall piece over the desk came from Pinterest.

I found the huge raw wood frame at a thrift store for $2, painted it black then brushed on a light coat of red like the bed side table I did for the hubby's side (tutorial here) and the letters were purchased at Hobby Lobby also on a 50% off week and then using little nails I hung them right on the wall centered in the frame. The whole piece cost less than $20, not bad for something that covers a huge space!

The bedroom still needs some work, window covering are next on the list, but we really love our rustic western retreat! Hope you do too! Now, go rescue some "rough" treasure today and please let me know how it turns out!!!


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reclaimed Wood Barn Light Headboard Tutorial

I've been wanting to update my bedroom for awhile now.  My husband is a "guys guy" and he didn't want anything frilly or girly, so when we found our beautiful aztec print "Crossroads" Pendleton Woollen Mills blanket (shop here) it started the design. Ours had a small flaw n a corner so we got it half off!!!

 Then I saw this idea on pinterest (link here).  I loved the masculine and western touches.

And this is how mine turned out! It is still a work in progress, but I wanted to share the work so far. The big star is obviously the barn wood lighted headboard, I'm really excited with how I turned out and the best part, it cost less than $100 bucks!!!

Instead of nailing boards to the wall I wanted something I could move so I made an over sized headboard. To make the headboard you have to start with a frame.  We have a king bed so I just measured the width of the metal frame and used that for the width and then I decided on about 6 feet tall for the height.  

To make the base I used 5 (you may only need 4), 2x4's that we had left over from another project, but if you have to buy them they are only about $2 a piece.  I used one for each side and two as the cross pieces.  Just lay it all out flat, measure your cuts, I used a little jig saw to cut off the excess.  Then I used the last 2x4 and cut the shorter center piece, and I had some left over so I made two more short pieces to go at the bottom so there are four legs instead of two (sorry I forgot that picture).  

To keep it all together I drilled small pilot holes and then screwed everything down tight.  While I had the drill out I also drilled holes in the two outside legs big enough for the bolts to secure it to my metal bed frame.

Now for the wood front.  I got these 5 old boards (roughly 11 inches x 7 ft) at an industrial reuse store in my area for $4 a piece and they even cut them for me, but ask around you may be able to find some for free. I love that they are weathered and not perfect, to me the knots and uneven edges give it character.  I started the boards about 12 inches from the ground, laid them flat on the frame and once I go everything even I wood glued the boards to the frame.

With a little help from my home gym I weighed down the boards while the glue dried. At least those wights got a little use that day, I did have to carry them across the garage :)  These days my "projects" trump pumping iron nearly everyday!

The glue gives a little exra support and helps hold the boards in place while you screw everything together. I put two black wood screws in each board, trying to stay in a pretty straight line up the sides and along the edge of the top and bottom boards.  

I also did a row of screws up the middle, basically I wanted to secure the boards anywhere there was a frame piece on the back.  I chose the black wood screws because I didn't want the silver screw heads to stand out and just in case my line of screws wasn't super straight, which with my skills was bound to happen I wanted the screws to be hidden in the dark stain.

I did sand the edges just a little to smooth them out, but I didn't worry too much about it being perfectly straight I wanted it to be "rustic".

Now for the color.  You could totally leave the boards as is, but I wanted a dark wood, so I used Jacobern stain on a nice sunny day brushing it on and then wiping off any excess.

I tried to get the stain in every crack and crevice including the sides, any place that you might see when it is up against the wall.

You could stop here and be done, but I waned lights because I love these Hampton Bay Zinc barn lights that I found at Home Depot for $19.97 (link here) and it solved the problem of finding bedside lamps.  After adjusting a bit I decided on mounting the lights at about 5 ft up or about 3/4 up the boards.  If you are really tall and like to sit up and read in bed you may want to mount them in the top board, but this height works for us. 

Once you get the spot you want drill a hole in the center for your wires, then secure the bracket and light to the front.

Your three wires should come through the back like this.  

If you are handy with electrical things you may have a better solution for how to get this wall fixture to work off an outlet, but after harassing several employees in mulitple electrical departments I came up with this appliance replacement cord.

It cost around 8 dollars (and you'll need two, one for each light) but the wires are already exposed and all you have to do is wist together the coordinating wire in the cord with the wire from the light, cover the wires with a small plastic electrical cap and secure it all with some black electrical tape.

Finally, drag this massive beast (by yourself.. no recommended but hey where there is a will there's a way) into your room and secure with the bolts from your frame.  Because our bed is so low and the headboard so tall it leaned out just a little at the top, so I put attached some heavy picture hanging wire to the top of the headboard in he center and secured it to the wall with a screw just for a little extra stability and it works great.

Our outlet behind he bed is not connected to a light switch, plus it's in an awkward place and who wants to crawl behind the bed to unplug the lights??? So I bought this little remote off of amazon (link here) you plug the box it comes with into the outlet, plug the cords from the lights into it and the remote easily turns the lights on and off with the touch of a button.  Because of the angle and prongs of the plugs on the cords you may need an adapter too, but still an easy fix!

I love the galvanized lights. I will say I put in some regular light bulbs and the metal did get a little warm after awhile, so I switched to the spiral "fancy" energy efficient bulbs and it solved the problem.

The horns were from my dad, he didn't want them so I totally stole them, cleaned them up and gave them a new home.  Stay tuned for more on the desk and MR & MRS sign, you won't believe what that desk looked like before!!!

Our new bedroom still needs some work, but it is getting there!  Hope you like it as much as we do!

If you too have been pinning all the barn wood headboards for months like me, bu haven't yet tried it... do it! I did this by myself in one weekend and couldn't be happier with the end result, oh and he hubby liked it too... phew!! :)