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Monday, September 19, 2016

Transferring a Printed Design to Wood

Last week, I posted about how I found a wooden box at Goodwill and upcycled it by removing the dated handle and painting the box with milk paint.  The other part of the project was to transfer a design onto the top of the box to make it even more Christmas/vintage looking.  My step 1 was to design what I wanted to transfer.  Taking it back to before step 1 - here is my design inspiration - the fictional Inn in one of my favorite Christmas films - White Christmas.

Back to step 1 - here is my design:
Step 2 was to reverse the image using photo editing software:

Then I did a test using a method I found online - which was to print on regular paper and brush the back with water and then rub the ink into the wood.  This method didn't transfer very well and came out kind of blurry and light.

So I searched for another method and found this tutorial on Pinterest that was very helpful: 

It directed me to print the reversed image on freezer paper, on the shiny side and then position it and rub over the back it with a credit card. The freezer paper is very important - not saran wrap, not waxed paper, not parchment paper - FREEZER PAPER.

Since I was using milk paint, which requires an oil rubbed finish, I decided to transfer the image on after I'd painted but before I applied the oil.  This is how it looked after that step.  I think I could have rubbed it harder and it would have come out darker, but I was worried it might smudge.

I gave time for the ink to dry and then I did applied the oil.  I was really concerned that the oil might smudge the ink, but it didn't!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Painting with Milk Paint

I found these two things at Goodwill last weekend - I took a picture of them together because the bracelet was the color inspiration for the box.

Here are two other "before" pictures.

Step 1 was to remove the handle.

I went to Hobby Lobby and I thought that I would get chalk paint, but right next to the chalk paint was milk paint - which I had never used and really knew nothing about.  I googled it right there in the aisle and decided I'd give it a try.  I learned it would paint flat and a little bit lighter and then you also buy milk paint oil and that will finish, smooth and darken the paint and give it a smooth luster finish.

Here are the paints I bought and if you want to try them, you can buy them here:

I did two coats of paint.  Here is the box painted with the milk paint. The darker patch in the bottom is the beginning of the finishing oil.

Here is how it looks when adding the oil - which you rub on with a soft cloth.

I really love the color and how it turned out - it is exactly what I envisioned!  I added plaid paper in the top and I'm crazy about how Christmas-y that makes it!!!  The cute gift tags in the picture below were handmade by my mom!

Next week - I'll blog about how I added the graphic to the top of the box!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Organizing a Family Photo

My family traveled to spend labor day weekend together and we have had a great time! Since we were all in one place, I organized a family photo. Everyone else just has to show up at picture time, but as I am the "picture taker" of our family, I put a lot of thought into organizing the photo.

1. I set the time and date. Just to make sure everyone will be there and there are no surprises. For the time, I picked an hour before sunset (also know as the "magic hour" for photographers).

2. With the collaboration of my mom and sisters, I picked the color palette. We chose navy, light blue, coral, white and khaki.

3. I got my camera equipment ready.  Last time we took a photo - I had the crazy job of setting the timer and then running as fast as I could (which is not very fast) back to my place in the photo.  (Until I got tired and made my brother-in-law do it!) so I went on Amazon to find a solution.  I have a Canon Rebel T3 and the only remote clicker that works with it has to be plugged in.  So I discovered that a 2.5mm Stereo Headphone Extension Cable would work as an extension for the remote I have!  This is what I got:

I made sure my battery was charged and packed up my camera, lenses and tripod (along with the remote and new remote extension cord).  Unfortunately I used my telephoto lens and the extension cord wasn't long enough. 

4.  Then I thought about posing.  I loved the pose for our last family photo (taken two years ago), but I wasn't sure if I wanted to use it again or try something new.  

5. Normally I would already have a place/backdrop in mind and would visit the site at the exact time of day to get a feel for the lighting or any peculiarities to that location, but since we were headed to the small town in western Kansas where my sister's family lives, I didn't have the chance to scout the location.  I knew her backyard was an option or the park nearby.  I thought I'd check out the downtown area and any fields nearby as other options and make a decision once I was there.  I ended up choosing the park. 

6. Props - I considered a bunting to hang in the background, but decided against that.  I wasn't sure if we'd need chairs or stools - again, I figured I'd assess our options once I was there.  I didn't end up using any. 

7. Having a 4 year old, 2 year old and 5 month old in the photo presents a special challenge.  A lot of times when taking photos of just the kids, I make use of the parents and grandparents to get them to look at the camera and smile, but since all those people were in the photo, I needed something else for them to look at and smile at.  I decided on a Minnie Mouse balloon from Dollar Tree.  I tied it to my camera to capture the kids attention.  I think it did give them a focal point...but it was crazy windy outside and  it may have own the camera off center a few times so that wasn't good.

Here's the big reveal!!  All this planning and organizing resulted in a pretty great family photo!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Instagram Feeds I Love

(I painted this with my watercolors, so I'm pretty proud of myself!)

This week, I thought I'd share with you some photos from my Instagram feed that I am loving - you may find someone that you want to start following!

There's so much to love about this photo - the children's books displayed (like I did here), the wood floors, the gorgeous antique rug, the fun swing, the use of whimsical lyrics as decor, the styling - but my favorite thing is that string of unique, colorful lights.

A photo posted by Lauren (@farmhouseforfour) on

People who know me know that I love decorating with words. I love these boards and I love them even more when they have quotes from my all-time favorite TV show (The Office)!

A photo posted by Letterfolk (@letterfolkco) on

I love Katie's paintings inspired by nature - they are gorgeous and magical.  She has such a unique, recognizable style and I love that.  I also love the styling of this photo.

I love following Nesting with Grace - her home and her children are absolutely gorgeous.  I love everything about this kitchen - every time I see a shot of her home, I think she has impeccable taste.

I like following Love of Character because it's a local shop. I haven't been there yet, but I'm cheering her on and like the owner, I love the character of this building and the things she sells in her shop!

Such a beautiful photo of colorful flowers - and all her photos are always like this - I love seeing it in my feed!

Probably my favorite Instagram feed - my sister Jordan posting pictures of my crazy cute niece and nephew!!

A photo posted by Jordan Waugh (@jordw0426) on

What Instagram feeds do you follow that you would recommend to your friends?

Monday, August 22, 2016

DIY Daily Prayer Journal

Christian prayer journal, create your own prayer journal

I looked around for a prayer journal that was modern looking, that had Scripture on each page and that gave me a place to write.  I also really wanted the pages dated.  When I didn't find anything that met my specifications perfectly, I decided to make my own!  I knew right away that I wanted to be able to print each page, so I would need loose-leaf paper.  After shopping around online, I found exactly what I was looking for: 

My next step was to design my pages.  For the date I used the font "Bakery" and for the verse I used "DJB Brewhaus Special" both of which you can find on http://www.dafont.com/ and both are free for personal use.

Then I had to come up with all the verses - which takes way longer than you realize!  I actually only have about 2 months done, so if you have a favorite verse - write the reference in the comments - I'd love to use it!

I love how it turned out and I'm excited to begin a yearlong journey of prayer.

*Disclosure:  This post contains affiliate links.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Yarn Wrapped Burgundy Fall Wreath with Handcrafted Burlap and Lace Flowers

burlap and lace flowers, DIY flowers

I bought some burgundy yarn at Goodwill a few weeks ago with a vague idea of making a fall wreath. This weekend, the idea fully formed in my brain and I decided to get an assortment of lace and burlap and see what I could come up with.  It was really fun to just play around with the materials and see what I could create!

Here are the materials I started out with:

Then as I was watching a Veep marathon, I wrapped the yarn around the wreath form.  Other times I've done this, I just wrapped layers of yarn around, but this time I made sure to do a single layer, which took more time, but I like how smooth it looks.  This shows my progress in motion!

Then, using various methods as detailed in some of my previous blogs (Shabby Chic Fabric Rosette Toddler HeadbandFelt Flower WreathEasy Toddler Dress) I made flowers out of burlap and lace (and cheesecloth and tulle that I had in my craft supplies).

I love how it turned out!


Monday, August 8, 2016

Upcycled Frame

I had bought this welcome sign at the Target Dollar Spot because I liked it's cheery colors.  My vague idea was to put it in a frame to elevate it from a bulletin board punch out sign to a cute piece of wall art.  But I discovered it was an odd size and I'd have to special order a frame.  So when out shopping at Goodwill, I found this frame that I thought my Welcome sign would fit in.  As you can see - it's definitely an outdated frame.  But it was unopened and wood and I knew it had potential!

I painted the frame with chalk paint.  Only 1 coat was needed.  I also painted the cardboard backing gray.  

Here are the other things that I think help elevate it - since it was a punch out piece of cardboard, there were perforations around the edge, so I got out a nail file and filed all the edges to make them smoother.  Also, I cut out squares of foam and used double sided mounting squares to attach the sign to the gray backing.  This gives it more dimension.  This project cost around $6 and I think it'll look great in my craft room!



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