Ugly Desk DoOver

My husband picked up this super ugly desk at a thrift store.  We got it for a good price because the top of it was a cheap PINK laminate.  Yeah- not too many takers on that one.  The good think about this desk is that the wood part of it was actual REAL wood- not laminate.  (It also made this super heavy!)

desk1The hardest part on this desk was the laminate top.  I wasn’t sure how any sort of paint would take to it.  I tried to lightly sand it in one spot, but the sanding showed through the paint so DON’T do what I did!  I used a spray paint made specifically for plastic, which overall worked well.  There were just a couple tiny spots where the paint wouldn’t stick to the laminate.  Since this desk was going to be a work station for my husband and covered with stuff anyways, I wasn’t too worried.  I hit it with a couple of thick layers of polyurethane to make sure the paint wouldn’t scrape off.  In hindsight, refinishing a surface like this would be best if wiped with acetone, then with a clean wet rag, dried, and treated with the laminate countertop paint you can get a home repair stores.  That sort of paint is made to cover laminate and would be your best bet for a nice finish.

The wood on the desk wasn’t bad, but was a little light for our preference.  I lightly sanded it all around, then applied a darker stain.  The darker stain really brought out the natural grains in the wood.  Since the stain on the wood had a sealer in it, I didn’t have to do anything to it after applying the stain.

The “after” results are so much more appealing than the “before!” and my husband loves it.  :)

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Sewing Machine Stand Makeover

sewing2I got this sewing machine stand for a great price at a local thrift store.  It’s the kind of stand that allows the sewing machine fold down into the stand, then a lid  covers it when not in use.  When I did this project, I was living in a small apartment and my sewing machine had no other place to live than my living room.  This was great, because when it wasn’t in use it was tucked out of the way and I could put items on the stand as a display.

Since the stand is a low quality particle board, I lightly sanded it so the paint would adhere.  I knew I would have to paint this as opposed to stripping it because it’s not real wood.  The top had some water damage when I bought it- particle board isn’t too fond of water.  I managed to smooth most of the bubbling out that the water had caused by sanding it.  The condition wasn’t ideal, but it was worth the price I paid!

After giving it a light sand, I chose to spray paint it an off-white color.  Before painting it, I removed the hardware to keep it’s original color.  I chose to paint the decorative handle to match the stand, but I left the hinges alone.  Usually when hinges are painted the paint rubs off anyways.  After a couple of coats of spray paint, I let it dry, then applied a brown glaze to it.  The “wipe on, wipe off” method was utilized for the glaze application. :)  After the glaze was fully dry, I sprayed a clear coat of polyurethane to protect it from further water damage and to keep the glaze from rubbing off.

The finished result was nicer than I had hoped and the best part is that it hides my ugly sewing machine in the living room!

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Weekend Easter Cross Wall Hanging

The Finished size of this wall hanging is 24 inches by 36 inches, which is a nice size to work with.

The Finished size of this wall hanging is 24 inches by 36 inches, which is a nice size to work with.

Easter will soon be here, and I wanted to make a cross wall hanging for my entry way.  I have been making different themed wall hangings so that I can change them out with the seasons.  It’s a great way to celebrate the changing seasons and to use fabric as a medium for creativity.

I created the pattern for this wall hanging myself, and it was actually super easy.  I drew out my design on a piece of graph paper,  decided how big I wanted my finished blocks to be, and the rest was just math.

Every small block represents 3 finished inches, and the blocks outlined in blue represent four of those blocks sewn together.

Every small block represents 3 finished inches, and the blocks outlined in blue represent four of those blocks sewn together.

I wanted my finished squares to be 3 x 3 inches, so I cut every square 3.5 x 3.5 inches for a 1/4 inch seam allowance.  You could make your blocks whatever size you wish and still follow the basic cross pattern.  I have included the specifics for my particular design below.

 

Weekend Easter Wall Hanging:

1.25 yards of background fabric (I chose to get 5 colors in 1/4 yard each)
1/4 yard of cross fabric
Material for the back (I chose to use part of a recycled sheet, but if you purchase it you’d need one yard)
Bating for inside (Optional- I did not use batting for this project)
Leftover material for binding, or purchase some at the store (You will need 120 inches)

1. If you will be making a scrappy binding like mine from leftover fabric, first cut a 1.5 inch strip from each of your outside fabrics.  You will need a total  of about 120 inches.

2. Cut your material into 3.5 x 3.5 inch squares.  You will need: 68 of the outside squares and 28 for the cross.

3. Sew your squares together in the pattern shown.  I would suggest sewing them into 2 x 2 blocks, then connect the blocks vertically and work your way down.  Be sure to line up your squares, especially those in the cross.

4. Once the top of the wall hanging is finished, pin it to your batting and back material.  If your type of wall hanger requires a rod pocket, attach one now.  Machine quilt or hand quilt around the inside of the cross.  I chose to use a light pink color of thread.

5. Once your cross is quilted, make and attach your binding.  Making scrappy binding is easy.  Simply sew your strips of material together in various patterns until you have enough to make about 120 inches.  If you’ve never made binding before, check out my instructions here.

The Finished size of this wall hanging is 24 inches by 36 inches, which is a nice size to work with.

The Finished size of this wall hanging is 24 inches by 36 inches, which is a nice size to work with.

 

Enjoy!

 

Frameable Button Art

Cute Easter/Spring button art.

Cute Easter/Spring button art.

This button art is great for spring or Easter, and you can make objects to match any theme.  I used old book pages for the background, drew my image, then glued on the buttons.  I had to place my pictures on top of the glass in the frame, because the buttons stuck out too far.

Change out your art seasonally, or make monogram or image that matches your year-long décor.

The cross décor fits in with my regular décor and is great for Easter.

The cross décor fits in with my regular décor and is great for Easter.

This tulip is great for spring.

This tulip is great for spring.

Easy Spring Wreath

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I searched my local craft store for a spring wreath, but was unable to find one fitting to my personal style.  (Or budget!  Those things aren’t cheap!)  So I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own budget spring wreath.  All of the materials I used to complete this wreath were things I already had in my craft stash, so the cost was super budget friendly- free!

I started with a thrift store grapevine wreath and some old pages of a book that I had used for another project.  I gathered a few buttons for flower centers, and scissors and hot glue.  After a few attempts at hand drawing flowers, I decided to print out a template from my computer.  I searched for flower clip art, and found hundreds of designs.  I chose to print three but only used two for this project.

My supplies gathered and ready to go.

My supplies gathered and ready to go.

I experimented with a few flowers until I got them right.  I used my pencil to curl the petals a bit.

Once I had my flowers made I decided to make a little flower-like poof of paper.  It looks kind of cool.  I made two of them but only put one on my wreath.  It was super easy- just bend strips of paper and but a bunch of them together, then staple the ends.

wreath5

After I had my flowers ready, I needed some type of ribbon.  I dug thought my craft supplies and found this old silk tie.  I used one end to make a loop for hanging the wreath, then hot glued the tie around the wreath like you would a ribbon.

Once that was glued, I glued on my flowers and hung it on the door!

wreath4 wreath2I like this wreath because it gives a sense of spring without the bright colors that a lot of spring items have.  Right now I still have snow in my yard, so although I’m not quite ready for bright flowers on my door,  the Valentine wreath and winter wreath don’t really fit either.  This is a cute, whimsical way to welcome spring without your neighbors thinking you’re ahead of the season.

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Preschool Spring Craft

kids craft

I teach a preschool/kindergarten kids discipleship class at my church on Wednesday evenings.  Our lesson was about Jesus talking to the woman at the well and telling her about living water that will allow her to never thirst again.  He was talking about eternal life, but this is a hard concept to get a rowdy group of mostly preschool boys to understand.

Since spring is just around the corner (and here in Alaska it has been unseasonably warm) I decided to come up with something a little different than the traditional well craft.  Most kids don’t know what a well is- but they do know what a watering can is!  I wrote their names in the center of the flowers to make it more personal.

How I did it:

Using the internet and Microsoft publisher, I copied and pasted the watering can image and flower image onto a single 8.5 x 11 page.  On a separate page, I used Microsoft publisher to make a text box with the wording “Jesus waters my soul” and John 4:14.  I copied and pasted that text box so I had 4 per page.  You could do just one per page, but I waned to save some paper.  I printed and copied my pages so that there was enough items for each kid in  my class.

Since I have a bunch of preschool boys and I wanted a nice project, I chose to precut my items before class.  That way they could focus on coloring and gluing the items onto a piece of construction paper.  Otherwise, by the time they had cut out the items they would have mentally checked out and scribbled some color on them and slapped them on the page.  If you have older kids or kids who do well at sitting for projects, letting them cut out the images would be totally fine.

I think putting their names on the flower is a key element, because the subtitle is “Jesus waters my soul”.  Otherwise, it kind of just looks like a spring craft that they would do at preschool or anywhere else.

Enjoy!

Top 10 Free Spring Printables

spring printables cover

Spring is in the air, and I’m ready to start decorating!  I scoured the internet for the best free spring printables, and here are the top 10.  Stay tuned for some awesome Easter printables coming soon!