Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easy twine necklace
I have been busy lately, but no matter how busy I am, I still find myself crafting and creating. It is just part of how I express myself, so it happens nearly everyday in small ways.

Take this necklace for example. I wanted to make something late one night, but I was exhausted and not interested in exerting much effort. So, I began fiddling around with my tiny stash of beads and things. (It really is tiny by crafty standards.) Five minutes of effort and look what happened? I got a casual yet elegant little twine beauty.

Almost anybody could make this project with things they already have at home. No jewelry pliers, fastenings, or findings needed! All that is required is:

1. twine, string, or even embroidery floss.
2. a few beads
3. a metal charm if desired

*Note: Most of my stash of beads, charms, and pendants come from neglected pieces of jewelry or jewelry I occasionally buy on clearance to take apart. You probably have some unused jewelry lying around too, so don't run off to the craft store!

This process is so straightforward, it's obvious right? Well, just in case...

Step 1:  String your beads on the twine as desired. ( Less is more here people.)
Step 2: Tie some knots on either side of your end beads to keep them from sliding off.
Step 3: Tie your twine into a loop and wear.

The best part of this breezy project is the satisfaction of making something so lovely so easily. Happy impromptu crafting!

Saturday, March 7, 2015

How to Make Temporary Back Painted Glass with Contact Paper

back painted glass
Remember the Ikea cabinet in my bedroom office? When we first purchased it and I picked out glass doors, my husband was baffled. "Glass doors don't hide junk," he said.  I know, but glass doors reflect light and feel more open. They are easy to clean and they double as message boards! What's not to love? The mess. I was not loving the cluttered jumble I saw every night as I lay in bed. Luckily, I envisioned those glass doors as a canvas for paper, fabric, or even paint that would hide the mess.

After seeing this painted contact paper on Apartment Therapy, I wondered. What would happen if I painted the contact paper like someone might back paint glass? Turns out that good things happen. Very good things.


alter glass cabinet doors

To accomplish the opaque glass doors you see above right, I used clear contact paper painted with  Martha Stewart Metallic craft paints. (FYI: clear contact paper is actually slightly frosted.) Then I applied the contact paper to the interior side of the glass doors. So, just like with actual back painted glass, the front side of the doors are smooth, glossy, and easy to clean. But, unlike actual back painted glass, I can just peel this off to change the look. Cheap, easy, and changeable. Love it!

Wanna temporarily hide the junk behind your glass cabinet doors? Here's my method:

paint contact paper

1. First, determine what color, method, and amount of coverage you want. I played around a lot. These are some of my attempts. I tried using a brush and sponging the paint on. I tried 1, 2, and 3 layers of paint. I also tried the paint layers in different colors and orders. Remember, with back painting, the first layer is the most visible. Here, I used gold first, but decided in the end to use a metallic cream for the first layer.

2. Roll out the contact paper, vinyl side up. I laid mine out with some wrapping paper under it to protect my table and weighted it down with cans around the edges. Start sponging one paint color on all over in a fairly light layer. Let dry for at least 30 minutes.

3. Time for the next layer! Repeat step 2.

4. Do one last layer for 3 layers of paint in all, then allow to dry at least an hour. Measure and cut the contact paper for the desired space. Allow an extra 1/2 inch around all edges. It is a so much easier to place the paper this way.

5. Slowly, peel a little of the paper backing away. Place your contact paper on the interior side of your glass door and begin to adhere it. I started at the top and slowly worked my way down, using a credit card to rub out air bubbles as I went. Don't rush or you get all sorts of bubbles.

6. Last, using an ex-acto knife, trim off the excess around the edges. Be careful not to trim too much or knick your furniture with the sharp blade!

You could easily complete this project in an afternoon and for less then $10. Happy painting.

Friday, February 27, 2015

My Dream Work Space is a Dining Room?

As you know, I am a confirmed desk-hater. I don't use one. I don't want one. Enough said, but I do adore a big table for spreading out projects on or gathering around for a shared workspace.  So, since my ideal work space must have a great table, the home office of my dreams would be….in the dining room?
dining room office

I know. I know. Most people tend to put the home office in a bedroom or den or something with a door. They don't want their work mess in a communal space and certainly not on their grandma's antique table, but look at these spaces from WeWork? They aren't your traditional office cubical are they? They are mostly co-working, shared spaces. As an extrovert and a mom, this appeals to me. My creativity and passion are fueled by being around people. I work better with and around them (even if my little people are sometimes a distraction). Additionally, I need to be able to see my children to supervise and care for them. So, I dream of a multipurpose office where the whole family can get down to business. I dream of a dining room. *Sigh*

For those of you out there who are fortunate enough to have a formal dining area, how often do you use it? I have seen too many wasted dining rooms. Either they sit pristine and unused most of the time or they seem to be magnets for junk. Don't let it waste away! Make it a library, a game room, or a very functional office. Here's how:
office dining room

Besides a hardworking table (no precious family heirlooms please), choose lots of closed storage for corralling books, electronics, games, whatever! Just like any dining room, you need comfy seating, good lighting (hopefully with lots of natural light), and beautiful artwork. I would add a clock, a pin board, and stackable stools for versatility. (Stackable stools are so useful.) Then last of all, get to work and use your space!

Source List:

Earth Tones Room, Cost $3000
Table, West Elm
Cabinet, Ikea
Pendant Lights, Home Depot
Molded Plywood Chairs, Ikea
Armchairs, World Market
Rug, Dash and Albert
Stackable Stools, Overstock.com
Gold Scallop Pinboard, Pottery Barn Teen
Bird Art, Alice Melvin
Engineering Print, Etsy
Clock, Target

White and Bright Room, Cost $2500
Table, Ikea
White Cabinet, Ikea
Silver Chairs, Crate and Barrel
Blue Chairs, CB2
Rug, Dash and Albert
Stackable Stools, Ikea
Gray Scallop Pinboard, Pottery Barn Teen 
Map Art Print, Etsy
Geometric Art Print, Etsy 
Chandelier, Home Depot 
Clock, Target

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