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Dan’s Tables


I received a call about some laminate end tables that needed a little jazzing-up!

RawI scrubbed them down with soap, water and eventually a bit of Windex. I also pried off the ancient pen holder that was stuck to the side with what could only be a mix of cement and a curse. I decided to skip the primer because I felt like living on the edge (my middle name is Danger, in case you didn’t know.) I removed the hardware and scuffed the laminate a bit with sandpaper, mixed my colors and got my paint on!

Dan had originally wanted these to be burnt orange with red on the inside. But as I do with ALL of my customers that I know well, I changed the plan a bit. I thought the burnt orange would be a bit too dark so I mixed a dark peach color. As for the red, well I hoped he likes pink. Dark red seemed too bold so I mixed a light salmon and prayed…and prayed…and hoped…cried a little…and prayed some more.

I used an average of three coats of polyurethane over the paint just to ensure that the paint was going to stay put. I say “an average of three coats” because the tops got at least four coats (perhaps even five) while the sides got about two and the inside only one. The reason for the inconsistency in the number of coats is that, well you see, I was attacked….by bugs. Gnats and mosquitoes were flying kamikaze missions into my wet poly! Many times I would pick off a bug, scratch the paint and need to reapply both paint and poly.

ALSO there was one night, one tragic, tragic night when I didn’t pay attention to the humidity in the air, the odd direction of the wind or, ya know, the local weather channel. I left the tables out under an overhang (thank God, at least) to dry, which ended up having the opposite affect considering we had an Amazon-like monsoon that same evening. I sort of flipped. I had to peel 1/3 of the paint off and layer paint fairly meticulously in order to make it appear as though it doesn’t have four coats of chipped paint. Ay-yiy-freakin’-yiy!

Buuuuuuuut…..it all worked out.

Donzo!

And even better news? Boys totally like pink.

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The Midas Touch


It all started with an empty picture frame. Behold—->

I had a conversation with my garage, and he (yes, my garage is male) said he was going to pop a spring at just the right moment and sever my head with his door if I didn’t remove the gold picture frame that had been stationed inside of him for the past two months. Now he is a pretty big talker (and a little bit of a drinker, between you and me) so I didn’t know if I should believe him or not. Regardless, I decided to play it safe, remove the picture frame, buy my garage a 30 pack of Bud Ice and keep my head intact.

I have seen decorators in the past staple chicken wire to the back of frames to clip up pictures and notes. And when I say “decorators,” I obviously don’t mean one, or a few for that matter. I have seen dozens of examples of the same thing by SEVERAL decorators. So I decided to switch it up a bit because even though it may be a little tired, that doesn’t negate the fact that it’s still a good idea. But instead of chicken wire, I created my own pattern.

First I spread out a blanket on the floor. I like to do all of my projects that deal with sharp tacks or staples on a bright blanket, which makes the little, shiny pieces easy to spot, so I don’t “spot” it with my foot in five days.

Next I pulled out all of the old staples (which were jagged and crooked) with pliers, then I placed dots equal distance apart on the frame.

This may seem counterproductive, but I then put staples back in the frame, making sure to line up the center of the staple with the dots.

The thing that I feel makes my DIY projects work so well (or so terribly) is that I am not a details fanatic. If a measurement is a bit off (and it doesn’t affect the outcome) or a nail is a little crooked, I am most likely not going to fix it. Reason being; I do not want to torture myself with the insignificant technicalities. I would never finish a project because I’d be so frustrated with my minor errs, so I just close my eyes and continue (figuratively speaking… and sometimes literally.)

Once all of my staples were in I started to weave thick wire (usually used for beaded jewelry) in and out of the staples.

I experimented with a few patterns and finally decided to quarter the frame with one empty section at the top, two sections with just diagonal wires on each side and one section of diamonds at the bottom. And this is what happened…..

The setting in which this piece resides is, well, less than formal. I didn’t feel the need to straighten out wires or ensure that I went over then under instead of under then over on my wire weaving. If I were making this for a friend, it would be a flawless masterpiece (I’m sort of serious) but it’s just my house and I know what level of shoddiness I can accept before it’s too much to bear. My point is that if you pay close attention to detail, this could look amazing, but again I’m sure yours won’t be accented by a Step 2 Play Kitchen.

Fabric Shades from Ugly Blinds


I love the privacy of blinds, but I absolutely hate how synthetic and manufactured they look. As I mentioned before, I enjoy a good cottage, which is the antithesis of mass production. However, I am not a fan of the price tag that usually accompanies unique items. But with a little effort (and patience) I was able to disguise my plastic blinds as a classy shade. Let’s take a peek-see.

Supplies: Fabric glue. Scissors. Fabric. Tape measure. Blinds.

Step 1: Measure your window dimensions.

Step 2: Let your blinds out all of the way, so the cord on the side is all the way up to the top. Then cut away all of the little ladder strings, but make sure to STAY AWAY FROM THE MAIN, THICK CORD. When you’re done you should only have the 2 thick cords left.

Step 3: Pop the plugs out of the thick bottom part of the blinds. You are then able to slide the bottom part off, as well as slide off theunnecessary slats. I ended up keeping only 7 of the slats.

Step 4: Reinstall the big bottom slat and tie it off. Cut away the extra cord and replace the plugs.┬áRecalling the window measurements, decide how long you would like your blinds. I added an additional couple inches because I didn’t know what kind of mistakes I would end up making…true story.

Step 5: Use the outline of your blinds as a guide for cutting the width and length of your fabric.

Step 6: Fold the top of your fabric over and glue it to top thick park of the blinds avoiding the ends as you need them free to put them on the brackets.

Step 7: Space your slats evenly down the fabric. I spaced mine 3″ apart because I wanted smaller folds. The bulkier you want your shade, then farther apart the slats need to be.

Step 8: Glue your slats with the convex side down so there is more surface area for the glue to stick. Make sure not to glue the main cord to the fabric as it must slide smoothly.

Step 9: Fold the other sides of the fabric over the slats and glue them down. Fold the fabric at the bottom under and behind the big bottom slat and glue down.

Step 10: Hang shades up as you typically would (once dry). If necessary you can glue down the sides to the brackets. Then stand back and feel super proud of yourself!

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