shabby blogs design

Friday, October 5, 2012

      I finally did it!  Woohoo!  (What I finally DID was add numbers to my bench that I painted almost a year ago. ) I need to include my inspiration for it :  .  As soon as I saw her numbered bench, I knew most certainly that I wanted to make my own. 
       I used the technique I learned of printing my image out from the computer, then rubbing pencil on the back of the image.  Center the image where you want it, and trace around the outside of the image.  You can use a snip of tape on your paper as a hinge- very handy for checking to see how it's transferring, and if you need to go over something again. 
       Once I was done with that, I took some black paint- I used FolkArt brand, and thinned it down a little bit, so it flows evenly without thick brush lines.  I used a fine liner paint brush, definitely a good investment, and it was only a few dollars.  I definitely recommend FolkArt because it is highly pigmented, and still not very pricey all things considered (under $2) . I have learned through the years as I've bought various acrylic paints, that if you pay a little more for FolkArt or Americana, it covers better and you spend less time painting- not as much need for multiple coats with a better pigmented paint.
       After letting it dry, I sanded lightly to distress my numbers (made sense since the bench itself is distressed).  I'm really pleased with the result, yay! :)  Only took almost a year to finish...

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall Burlap Garland

       Okay, my inner craft nerd was totally stoked this afternoon... After much preparation work for our latest MOPS craft (this is not it- I willl post it soon), I was desperate to "play".  You know what I mean, by "play", I mean play with my craft stuff and create something fun.  For our MOPS group, we'd used squares of burlap tied up to hold goodies for our first meeting's goodie bag.  As soon as I saw it, I had more plans for that burlap than the garbage bin. 
      I folded it in half diagonally and cut, then repeated folding again with the 2 pieces and ended up with just enough for a little "Fall" pennant garland.  I used the empty pieces from my Cricut vinyl- the "negative space" left over, and painted dark brown paint in the open letter area... Inside, my nerd-dom was absolutely squealing at this point.  I used some cream twill tape and hot glued my burlap pieces over it.  At that point, I turned to my bag of ribbon scraps- I adamantly deny hoarding!  (My husband might dispute that!)  I actually do use my ribbon scraps!  I won't save any short enough that I can't tie a knot with.
      It was quite by accident that it ended up staying on this particular wall.  I was surprised how nicely it looks underneath the wreath- I hadn't planned on putting any Fall decor there, but I'm really pleased with how it turned out.    Sshhhhh... ( I didn't even let the paint dry before I started gluing..... I was that excited about what I was going to make :D  )
      I love recycling and reusing things and I especially love when it turns into something cute and useful! Yippee!

Monday, October 1, 2012

"Those who wish to sing" sign

Yay!  I finally made something for my own home- specifically, my girls' room.  I've been working on so many other things that I haven't felt like I've had a chance to work on anything for myself for a while.  This sign was on my "to - do" list, and was one of the first things I cut out with my jigsaw.  I wasn't sure how I felt about how the shape of the wood looked until I painted it and distressed it, now I really like how it turned out.  I love this saying and it makes me think of my little girls, who are always singing.  There's no way to stop someone if they have a song in their heart, is there? :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Make your own wood tray!

       First things first :  I found the tutorial for how to make this tray at : .  This blog is fantastic for tutorials on how to make your own, well, lots of things! I didn't add hardware other than the handles.  These handy dandy wood trays are made from furring strips- not the smoothest wood you could use, but it adds to the distressed, less than perfect look.  It also made this tray around $5 ish dollars or so to make- including the handles.  It's a pretty decent size tray too- sturdy!
       So the details:  I painted parts of it brown, then aqua.  I decided it was a bit too aqua for my liking, added a vinyl stencil, then painted white.  Before the paint dried, I peeled off the stencil, revealing the undercoat I'd distressed a bit.  I'm still not completely sold on how I painted it, but I'm not sure what I'd do differently.  I have more wood in my garage to make another one, and I want to put some kind of a word on the side, I just can't figure out what I want to put.  I can't really paint it until I decide. Bahhh! 
      I definitely recommend making these- I did use my miter saw instead of the hand saw the tutorial recommended.  Maybe mine was really dull, but I tried it and it just was not a happening for me.  Then I ended up with an uneven cut.  Double Bahhh!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Talk about a quick craft!  If you have a spare picture frame you're not using, and a whole lot of hair clips that need to be organized, then here's a great idea to help you out.  I took an empty frame that I found at a rummage sale (50 cents,can't be beat!! ), sanded it and painted it, then hot glued strips of cute ribbon to the back of the frame.  I started to run out of ribbon on the last one, so I looped it and glued it to make spots for our headbands to fit in.  Both the frame idea and the looping I've seen on blogs and Pinterest, but never seemingly to a specific person....   Please excuse the layout of the pictures- if they're a little bit wonky it's because I haven't figured out the new format of Blogger...   if you have a lot of headbands, you could make a frame devoted to the headbands in addition or instead of the clips.  So go reduce, reuse, recycle! (and ORGANIZE in the process! :)  )

Sunday, May 6, 2012


     I  made this sign for a friend from church, who decided that it would be the perfect gift for her mother.  It was a pretty simple project- paint the wood black, then a sage green, distress with sandpaper, and add vinyl lettering.  I know of a few grandmothers who would enjoy this sign too ;)

Children's Name sign

     First things first, let's give the credit to what inspired me to make this in the first place : .  This supremely talented woman makes beautiful signs, which inspire me in a huge way (UNDERSTATEMENT! )  Anyhow, I made this for a friend from church.  I used the technique of printing the wording out, then rubbing in pencil the back side of the paper, and attaching it to my board with a little piece of tape as a hinge.  I then traced around the words, and when I took it off, the paper had transferred a light outline from the pencil underneath.  This is a great technique, and not one I thought of on my own either.  I honestly can't remember where I found it now, since I've looked at so many blogs and sites that have given tips on sign making.  I used my fine tipped brush to paint in the lettering.  It takes a bit of practice, but the second time I tried it on this, I was much happier.  Yes, you heard that right, the SECOND time- because I was not happy with the original font I'd chosen when I painted it in.  So, I PAINTED OVER IT AND STARTED OVER.  'Cause I'm anal-retentive like that.. yes, it's painful being me in so many ways- the least of which is creatively.
       For my board, I used a scrap of MDF board and used a piece of scrapbooking paper with this shape as a template.  I used my jig-saw to cut this out.  This also took a little bit of practice, but I'm getting better at using my jig saw :) .  I used contact paper measured and cut into strips to make the stripes- it makes such a clean line, I love it.  I only had to clean up a few spots here and there.  I would have had this thing done at least a month ago if I hadn't re-done it... bummer.  My friend was very happy with it, and that's what counts, right? ;)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

hair goodies

I've been on a hair flower making kick lately- I have 2 girls and they like hair goodies, and have you priced that stuff in the stores? Exxxpensive! I found tons of tutorials online, and used some of them to make these. The hair clip holder is one I made for our MOPS auction ( - I used a metal hanger from Craft Warehouse for a template and traced around it so I could cut one out of thin MDF board with my jigsaw. I will share the links I used for my flowers- all but the middle spikey one I used tutorials for. The link for the first row of flowers (left to right) is : .
The middle row of flowers are made by cutting an approximately 36" x 1" strip of felt, then cutting slits across the one inch side to about 1/4 inch of the end (if you go too far you'll cut it off). At that point, you use a glue gun and glue and roll the felt strip up, and add a clip on the back. You can fluff it out to make it nicer.
The last row to the right- the very top flower, tutorial :
The bottom two on the last row, tutorial : The only difference is that I used a hot glue gun instead of sewing.

These are just miniature versions of the big ones on the hair clip board, you can refer to the link above- I didn't use the bigger petals with these, I just used the little petals that lined the bigger ones. I thought they were kind of cute that way.
I found the tutorial for these ribbon rosettes here :
These are just a handful of the tutorials I've checked out (and the easiest to me). Happy flower making! (and money saving! )

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring blocks

It's a new season- well, it's supposed to be, but if you looked at the weather outside my window today, you wouldn't think spring, that's for sure! I decided to make some fun "spring" decorations for our MOPS auction- although I'd like to keep these for myself. I don't know why the "n" looks wonky in this picture- I think it was how I was standing, I assure you it's lined up right if you look at the first picture :) . I used my trusty technique of base coating the wood first, then applying vinyl, painting over it, and peeling off the vinyl to reveal the brown underneath. I used the Storybook Cricut cartridge for these images, and I'm happy with how they turned out. So many options to try!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dry Erase tiles for buffet table/drinks/ place cards

I found the idea for these on Pinterest- and here's the link to the original source (the source that I found) She has a great blog- I'm definitely a fan! These tiles were about $1.58 at Lowe's- they're approximately 2x6 inches.. I used the Storybook cartridge with my Cricut to cut out different vinyl, and I love the look of the black on white. You could use any color vinyl you wanted- or tile for that matter. Ooohhhhh, wouldn't red vinyl look great on the white? I could go on and on. These would make a great housewarming/wedding gift. Depending on your budget, you could use these for place cards for a dinner you're having. They'd be fantastic on a buffet table or beverage area. I made these for our MOPS auction, I just need to get a dry erase pen to go with it- I like how she tied them up with ribbon too :) . So check out the Madigan Made blog, I bet you won't be disappointed!

He will cover you with his feathers wall art

Since I've tried this with the tongue and groove board, I decided to play around with a scrap I had, to see if I could pull it off for a sign for our MOPS auction ( Again, I must give credit to the original source of this- I used pretty much the same colors as her and the same configuration, it is her design- I just loved it! Check out her new Etsy shop too, she is super talented and makes some darling signs :) Have I mentioned how much I love this color combination? I used the same technique again, with the Cricut vinyl letters- a combination of the Jasmine cartridge and the Plantin Schoolbook. For the blue lettering, when I painted the base color of the board, I strategically painted parts of it blue where I wanted blue lettering. Fun, fun, fun! :) Oh, a little side note- the bird is from the Storybook cartridge. I hope this does well at the auction- the more I look at it, the more I like it- even though I already have the tongue and groove board version of this in my entryway.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

"He will cover you with His feathers.."

Before I say anything else, I have to say that I found this idea from a super talented woman's blog- here's the link to what started a new obsession : She has now started her own Etsy shop. If you check out this link, I'm sure you'll find your way over there. I think my tongue and groove board might be thicker than hers, but I just found some thinner board like this at Home Depot that I want to get and cut down. I'm super excited about making more. Anyhow, I loved the look of her decor that she made- the bird, the colors, and the Scripture. I didn't end up adding the Scripture reference on this sign, but I'm working on another that isn't tongue and groove board that I will include it on. I have this in my entryway with my spring decor and it was just what that whole spot needed. I used the technique that has been super fun for me to use lately : painting a base coat, applying vinyl die cuts, then painting over and peeling the vinyl off before the paint dries completely. It's so fun to do that, it makes me feel like a kid with that little bit of excitement... otherwise known as "CRAFT NERD ALERT!!!!". It's always better if you're enjoying yourself, right? Check out the link and see what else this fabulous lady is coming up with!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Best things in life aren't things photo holder

I finally finished this project inspired by one found on Pinterest. Here's the link to the original source and directions : . I want to give credit where it is due. I loved this idea- and it can be tailored to how many pictures you want to display (children, grandchildren, etc.) I painted and crackled my wood, then painted and distressed some mini clothespins- I thought it might be a bit much to crackle them also- but, on their own, they'd be pretty cute that way :) I pretty much copied the tutorial other than that- I think the look of the ribbon on the clothespins adds a pretty touch. Anyhow, one more thing from Pinterest accomplished! This is going into our MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers- ) auction next month.

Friday, February 17, 2012

God is our refuge

This is one of my latest creations using the Cricut vinyl as stencils- by painting the base color white, applying my vinyl lettering, then painting over it and removing the vinyl to reveal the white underneath. I almost feel like it's cheating! It's a very fun process- (if you're a craft nerd like me ;) ) I have a friend who is going through some health issues, and she has found great comfort and encouragement in this Scripture verse. I wanted to make something for her that would be an encouragement and comfort- enter the wall hanging. I don't think she's anticipating it being this size, but my 9" x 9" square signs didn't seem big enough. I had fun using a bigger piece of wood, and using it vertically for the sign. I took some liberties to capitalize the first letters of "Refuge, Strength, and Help"- I like how it makes them stand out. They really are the focus of the verse to me. I love creating something that focuses on the character of God. I hope she enjoys it as much as I enjoyed creating it for her :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Tile Picture Frames

As I was perusing the tile department at Home Depot looking for tiles to make photo coasters for Christmas gifts, I came upon these slightly larger tiles. I thought.. hmmmm.. that would make a perfect photo mat. I'd seen other photo frames done with the pretty travertine tiles, then set on an easel, which was so pretty.. but, those are slightly spendier.. and these were under a dollar, by far...
I treated this as I would a typical scrapbook page, distressing my paper, stitching along the edges, and adding some simple flowers and bling. This was for my mother in law, who took the picture and loved it, so putting it in a frame made perfect sense. You could embellish something of this nature as much or as little as you are inclined. I tend to be more minimalistic (mainly because I can't think of how to decorate it! ugh.... ) These two cuties are sweet enough all on their own, so they really didn't need a lot added to them. :) I made one for my sister in law with a picture of her and her granddaughter sharing a sweet moment for Christmas, too... gotta find the pictures of those. This, I finally just finished.. Superbowl Sunday.. slightly AFTER Christmas... we'll just leave it at that... we won't even go into the photo coasters that were supposed to be part of the gift but are sitting less than half finished in my bedroom. Because I need more pictures for it, yeah, that's it.. Oh well, at least this finally was finished and given. So, don't be afraid to try out something unconventional to display your pictures- I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly this came together, and sitting on the easel makes it look that much nicer.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Love my Bench

So, there's a story behind this bench. It used to be brown- stained and varnished- and belonged to my in-laws. In fact, when my husband and I were first married, they gave it to us. After moving a few times, I gave it back because of lack of room. I was sad to see it go... Fast forward 17 years, and I had the room, but no bench. Bummer. I noticed that the bench was languishing (do inanimate objects languish? ) on their back porch, in the elements- varnish peeling, wood warping... Sad indeed! It took me a little while to ask them if I could have it. My mother in law was thrilled to give it to me- YAY!! I did a happy dance, yes INDEEDY!
It took a while to sand it down, but I knew exactly what I wanted to do- Paint that Baby!!!
And then my husband makes comments about being stuck in the 70's when everyone painted all the furniture, why didn't I just stain it and varnish it, etc.. etc.... Well, I was a young child in the 70's, so I dont' recall painted everything... I do however have memories of large cabbage rose carpets, and dark yellow cushions, and very large print wallpaper... ooh... then there's those pictures where they put the said young child who still had QUITE chunky legs in a MINI skirt and knee socks... Darling.... NOT.... But I digress....
Okay, back to the point..... I would have considered staining it again if it had not been in such poor condition- you can't unwarp wood, and I felt that since I wanted to paint it and distress it anyway, it was in "good" condition for that. So, off I went, priming it, then painting brown, then painting aqua- my Home Depot find- $7 for a gallon of aqua paint, I was in love! Add a little sandpaper, and now I have a place in my entryway to put all the kids' backpacks ready for school- and no worries of the kitties peeing on them... Ugh... does anybody else's cats do that? Grrr.... Anyhow, I love my bench, and my mother in law is happy that the bench is being used and loved, and not (sigh....) "languishing" out in the weather, unappreciated and unloved.... Well, without the drama, she's glad that it's being used. yeah, that's it. :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine Decor

This little sign came together really quickly- gotta love projects like that! I started with a scrap of 1x4, then painted it white. I cut out vinyl with my Cricut, stuck it on, then painted red over that. When the red paint was almost dry, I peeled the vinyl off with my little Cricut pick tool (you could use anything- a pin, etc.) When it was completely dry, I distresssed it just a bit. That's all there was to it! I love the pop of red that this little sign gives- I think I like it the best in this little easel.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Felt Mice- to hold Candy Canes

The idea for these little mice came from I originally saw it on Pinterest, which took me to "good old Martha". My daughter was looking over my shoulder and requested me to make them for her class. That was my first mistake! My second was thinking I could bust 30 of them out the night before she'd be taking them. They don't take too much time in general, it's just more the cumulative effect. They were a hit, and I saved the pattern in case I want to make some again. I think they're reasonably cute...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dinner choices, in black and white

This is the second sign I've made of the Dinner Choices- I didn't use the beadboard this time. I like the look of both. My friend asked if I could make her one in black and white- and I have to say that I really like the combination. It's a very clean look. I put a metal sawtooth hanger on the back, so she could hang it on her wall or place it in an easel. Depending on if I were making it for someone, I'd use a ribbon hanger instead, and drill holes for them. She has now asked me to make her one of the "Chocolate Understands" signs... and I'm more than willing. They're easy enough to do. And chocolate does understand, doesn't it?...

Saturday, January 21, 2012

"Thankful" Wall Art

Soooo... yeah... again, I saw this saying on Pinterest, and knew I had to do something with it. I ended up settling on an oversized sheet of compressed wood stuff- what do you call that stuff? MDF? maybe? Anyhow, I had it, and I thought, I could make this work. I actually (because I don't usually) measured off even lines- just making slight hash marks, so I could have the lettering not off kilter. I usually eyeball it, and it takes a lot more time. I still had to work on centering, but if you at least don't have to factor in the up and down part of it, it makes it a lot easier.
I have been enjoying using the technique of the paint on the bottom, vinyl, then painting over the vinyl and pulling it off before the paint completely dries. It is really fun, yes, sigh... I'm a craft nerd! I just touched up a few of the letters a bit, and then distressed it. All it took was adding a wire hanger, and I was done. Surprisingly, for the size, it was a really quick project! I love this saying, because I really, strongly, believe in being thankful. It is something I hope to get through to my children.

Chocolate Understands wall hanging

Soooo, I've been on Pinterest a lot, and I came across this saying. It immediately amused me, and I thought, "I gotta make that!" So, I did! This sign is about 5 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches. I painted a base color of a vintage white/cream color. After it dried, I stuck on my vinyl that I cut out with my Cricut. For this size sign, I used the 1 1/4 inch size for the "chocolate" and 1 inch for the rest of the words. I used the Plantin Schoolbook cartridge. I then painted over it with a nice chocolate color (how appropriate!) Before it dried completely, I used a little pick tool to grab at the vinyl and pull it off. It only needed a few touch ups. After it dried completely, I distressed it a bit and added a sealer coat and a hanger. A friend of mine claimed dibs on the first one I made, and I'll be making another for our MOPS auction. Again, I have to plug MOPS : If you'd like more information about it (Mothers of Pre Schoolers), here's a link :
Ahhh... yes... Chocolate does understand, doesn't it... ? :)