Adorable DIY Projects To Spruce Up Your Kitchen

I refuse to open this fridge until it’s covered in polka dots.

1. Paint wooden spoon handles in different shades to make an ombré set.

Paint wooden spoon handles in different shades to make an ombré set.

Instructions here.

Also an option: neon!

Also an option: neon!

Or stripes.

Or stripes.

Use painter’s tape to make clean lines. Instructions here.

2. Sew an oven mitt out of fabric scraps.

Sew an oven mitt out of fabric scraps.

This project requires a little sewing knowhow, but you’ll never want to take off the mitt when it’s done.

3. Crochet your own cozy potholders.

Crochet your own cozy potholders.

They don’t take long to make, and are great gifts if you suddenly find yourself producing millions of them. Get the instructions here.

4. Or embroider these pretty quilted ones:

Or embroider these pretty quilted ones:

“Sashiko” is the Japanese stitch used to make these cool quilted patterns. Get the instructions here.

5. Build a vintagey breakfast tray out of plywood.

Build a vintagey breakfast tray out of plywood.

6. Make a one-of-a-kind teapot with porcelain paint.

Make a one-of-a-kind teapot with porcelain paint.

This blogger used a toothpick dipped in paint to make the dots. Patience required.

7. Washi tape can add a little pizzazz to your cabinet shelves.

Washi tape can add a little pizzazz to your cabinet shelves.

Washi isn’t just a tape. Washi is a lifestyle.

8. Use a glass paint marker to draw dishwasher-safe designs on dishes.

9. Add some excitement to your cutting boards’ lives by painting the edges.

Add some excitement to your cutting boards' lives by painting the edges.

Just because they’re pieces of wood doesn’t mean they don’t want to live life to the fullest. Get the instructions here.

10. Use iron-on transfers to DIY a terribly whimsical tea towel.

Use iron-on transfers to DIY a terribly whimsical tea towel.

This butterfly pattern is based on a towel from Anthropologie, but you can cut out printed fabric in any shapes you want.

11. Even easier: Paint stripes onto white linen towels.

Painter’s tape makes it easy to keep the lines straight and clean. Get the instructions here.

12. Make functional fridge magnets out of cute containers.

Make functional fridge magnets out of cute containers.

If you stick a magnet inside a metal container, the whole thing will become magnetic; for other materials, you can glue the magnet on the outside.

13. Give your fridge a polka-dot makeover with contact paper dots.

Give your fridge a polka-dot makeover with contact paper dots.

Is this silly? Yes. Is it also delightful? Uh huh. Get the instructions here.

14. Or heck, put temporary wallpaper on the whole shebang.

Or heck, put temporary wallpaper on the whole shebang.

Gotta admit, it’s tempting. Instructions here.

15. Dress up your stand mixer with a pretty stencil pattern cut out of colored wall vinyl.

Dress up your stand mixer with a pretty stencil pattern cut out of colored wall vinyl.

Get the instructions here.

16. Mason jars can be repurposed as cute-patootie soap dispensers.

Face it, you were never going to get around to putting jam in it anyway. Get the instructions here.

17. Hang spice jars on the wall with wire for easy access.

Hang spice jars on the wall with wire for easy access.

They could all be white if you’re of the Calvin Klein school of decorating, but you do you. Instructions here.

18. Turn a closet door into an organizer by adding hooks.

Turn a closet door into an organizer by adding hooks.

Great for when you’re renting and not supposed to be putting lots of holes in the wall. Get the instructions here.

19. Spray-paint the lids of random leftover jars to make a matching set.

Spray-paint the lids of random leftover jars to make a matching set.

They’ll be so happy.

20. Chalkboard paint makes neat jars you can re-label any time.

Chalkboard paint makes neat jars you can re-label any time.

Listen, chalkboard paint is a ubiquitous scourge upon the craft world for a reason: It’s cool. Get instructions here.

21. Finally, the nuclear option: Paint your entire fridgewith chalkboard paint.

Finally, the nuclear option: Paint your entire fridge with chalkboard paint.

Just keep that artwork clean, people. Instructions here.

Easing the Painting Process

There’s progress in the laundry room! The walls have been painted!

It’s always helpful to take a little refresher course before starting a project and of course our DIY blog friend, Lindsay from Makely Home, does a great job with the Glidden “Show Me How” videos (she’s such a natural).

Since I do a lot of painting, I always have paint supplies on hand but when I ventured down to the basement this time, I noticed that my angled brush had seen better days. And I have to tell you, when I’m ready to paint…I want to do it right then. No shower, no make up……….

Read entire article here>>

laundry room before

In prolaundry room walls



How to paint furniture

#1. Do I use an oil-based paint or a latex-based paint? 
The answer is that you can use either one. Their are pros and cons of both. Latex dries faster and is easier to clean up, but it’s not as durable as an oil-based paint. For something like my desk, I chose an oil based primer and oil based paint because it gives you a really hard, durable glossy finish.
#2. What paint do you usually use? 
With the exception of my desk and a couple of other small projects, I usually opt for latex. It is durable enough for what I need, it can be cleaned up with water, and it isn’t smelly like an oil-based paint. That stuff lingers. Emphasis on the lingers. For most of my furniture, I’ve simply used a flat interior paint in the color of my choice, usually Behr or Valspar. Then, I use a topcoat of my choice.
#3. Do I use wax or polycrylic or polyurethane as a topcoat?
I always prime first, then I usually paint with flat paint, then seal with a wax or polycrylic. Wax is less durable but gives it a softer/matte look. Polycrylic is more durable and can be bought in satin, semi-gloss, or gloss finish. I only use Polyurethane on furniture I’ve painted a dark color. It’s super durable, but it yellows overtime, so it’s not ideal for light colored furniture. My preferred method is polycrylic.
#4. How do I get the smell out of old furniture?
Wiping the insides of drawers out with vinegar can help remove any old smells. If that doesn’t help, wipe down the drawers and then paint them.
#5. How do I repair small dents or scratches on furniture?
I use wood filler on any dents or scratches. Just smooth a small amount over the dent, let dry, then sand until the excess is removed. Once painted, you won’t see any of the imperfections. I do this to almost every piece I paint.
#6. How do I get rid of brushstrokes?
I usually use a high quality brush followed by a small foam roller , but I’ve recently discovered a great new tip that I am loving! When using latex paint, you can use a product called Floetrol. You add a few tablespoons to your paint and it’s basically like a conditioner for your paint that leaves barely any brushstrokes behind. It’s kinda awesome, and I can already tell that I’ll be using it a lot going forward. More on that later.
#7. How do I change the hardware out for a different size?
If you want to swap a knob for a pull, or vice versa, remove with a screwdriver, and just fill in the current holes with wood filler and drill new ones wherever you want your new hardware to go. Once painted, you’ll never know the old holes were there.
#8. Do I have to sand my furniture before painting?
Easy answer. Nope. Sanding a piece first will always give you better adhesion, but these days I usually just prime it using a primer like Zinsser. It holds up really well.
#9. Can you just spray paint a piece of furniture?
 Sure. Spray paint is predominately oil-based, so it clings really well to just about anything. The only con is that it’s super smelly and difficult to clean up, so you’ll want to do it outdoors in a well-ventilated area. I often have a really hard time getting spray paint to look even on table tops or large flat surfaces, so I usually only spray paint smaller pieces of furniture like chairs or end tables. Plus, it takes a lot of cans of spray paint to cover a large item. All of the above reasons usually mean I end up using a pint of latex paint on my larger pieces. :)
#10. What about using a paint sprayer?
I’ve never used one before, so I can’t give you any advice on that one. However, I can promise you that a paint sprayer is at the top of my list of ‘things I want asap’, so I promise to share my findings with you once I finally get my hands on one. For those of you seasoned painters who have them, any suggestions? I’m listening! :)

17 Things You Can Make At Craft Camp

Brooklyn Craft Camp is a day-long event where all of your wildest DIY dreams come true.

1. Papercut art.

Papercut art.

One of the many classes Craft Camp attendees could sign up for was taught by Julie Schneider of Your Secret Admiral. Papercut art is one of those crafts that looks wicked impressive when it’s done but isn’t at all difficult (or expensive) to execute.

You can most likely do it yourself with things you already have in your house.

You can most likely do it yourself with things you already have in your house.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

All that’s required is a frame, an X-Acto knife, two pieces of card stock in contrasting colors, a pencil, and a piece of scrap paper and tape if you want something to sketch your design on beforehand.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

Simply trace the width of the frame on the scrap paper, then draw or write whatever you want (it’s important to make sure the shapes are connected and not TOO intricate, or you’re in for a world of pain during the cutting process.

Tape the scrap paper over one of the pieces of cardstock; this will be the top color, and you’ll save the other so that it peeks through underneath. Carefully use the X-Acto over a self-healing mat to cut out your shapes. When you’re done, affix the second piece of cardstock underneath the first.

Pop it in the frame and force everyone around you to admire your handiwork.

Pop it in the frame and force everyone around you to admire your handiwork.

For an added challenge, start to play around with negative space and connecting different shapes.

For an added challenge, start to play around with negative space and connecting different shapes.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

Here is how to use your newfound papercut skillz to make adorable Valentines out of doilies.

2. Felted sloths.

Felted sloths.

Nguyen Le taught needle-felting, which can a) draw blood and b) result in life-endingly cute projects like this lil’ guy.

3. And Cheshire cats.

And Cheshire cats.

4. And pigeons.

And pigeons.



In her opening speech, Craft Camp founder and all-around DIY powerhouse Brett Bara recounted the backstory of the church where the event took place. After remaining open for over a hundred years, the Greenpoint congregation dwindled to around 35 members and was on the brink of closing when it started to rent out space to artists and musicians. That revenue and community spirit helped keep the church open, and resulted in “a second life for creative, entrepreneurial small businesses.”

Because of that, Bara added, “the restrooms are, um, extremely vintage.” The entire crowd laughed because everyone knew what that meant in Etsy-speak.

6. Sequined bracelets.

Sequined bracelets.

As taught by Jessica Marquez of Miniature Rhino.

7. Terrariums.


Terraria? That sounds weird. Either way, creating an entire self-sustaining naturescape in a candy dish makes you feel a whole lot like God.

Gönül Yetim, who taught this class, is a former attorney-turned-terrarium-seller, which is possibly the most delightful narrative of all time.

Beach it up.

8. Lady power.

Lady power.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

Crafting is totally for everyone, but this event happened to attract four dudes in a crowd of around a hundred attendees. NOT MAD.

9. Extremely full stomachs.

Extremely full stomachs.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

The almost-too-cute-to-eat-jk-all-food-should-be-immediately-devoured meal was catered by local Brooklyn chef Lisa Leonard-Lee.

Just look at those ‘nuts.

Just look at those 'nuts.

And those Pinterest-worthy treats.

And those Pinterest-worthy treats.

Glenn Robinson / Via Flickr: brooklyncraftcamp

10. Nail art.

Nail art.

As (very patiently) demonstrated by Jessica Washick of U Don’t Need a Man, U Need a Manicure.

10 Painting Tips & Tricks You Never Knew

#1. How to spray paint glass

10 Paint Secrets: what you never knew about paint (like how to paint glass!). This is GREAT!

I find glass vases at the thrift store for about $1 each and then I spray paint them to mimic ceramic. It’s a super great alternative for those of us who aren’t yet in the market for a $50 vase.
High five, girl.

10 Paint Secrets: what you never knew about paint (like how to paint glass!). This is GREAT!

To paint any sort of glassware, all you need to do is clean it with soap and water, then wipe the entire thing with isopropyl alcohol about 10 minutes before you spray paint it. I use this high gloss white spray paint (affiliate link) and with just a few light coats, it turns out super shiny, almost like white ceramic. I wouldn’t recommend washing it in the dishwasher, but if handled carefully, it should last for awhile. You can prime it first if you want, but I usually don’t just because in my experience it tends to make the finish less glossy. Plus, spray paint is oil based, so it’s made to stick.

My latest faux-ceramic vase ended up on the blue dresser, and she couldn’t look sassier. Btw, that’s my latest thrift store mirror that I scored for a few bucks. You may have spotted it in the living room reveal post.

#2. Use a dollar store shower curtain as a dropcloth.
After painting an entire house and painting about 20 pieces of furniture (seen here), I’ve gone through my fair share of dropcloths. Canvas dropcloths usually cost between $10-$30, so lately I’ve been using shower curtains from the dollar store. 

They only cost a dollar, and they usually last me through a few projects. 

They aren’t as high quality as your standard dropcloth, but if you’re like me and go through a lot of them, then this is a great option.
Plus, while you’re there, you can pick up a great ladybug or bumblebee bath….mitten??

#3. Put your paintbrush in the fridge. 
All the cool kids are doing it.
This is a tip that you guys suggested to me after the last post, and I’m obsessed. It’s a total timesaver. Basically, when you are done painting for the day, just put your paintbrush in a ziploc bag and store it in the fridge. The paint doesn’t dry on your brush for up to a week, and you save tons of time not having to wash the paint out of your paintbrush.
Let’s all have a little laugh at the fact that I painted an entire house by myself before learning this. Where do I submit my request to get back those 42 days of my life spent washing out paintbrushes?

#4. The oil versus latex test
When painting over existing paint, it’s super important to know if the old paint is latex or oil. If you don’t know, you can figure it out with this simple test. Just rub a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol over the painted surface. If some of the paint comes off onto the cotton ball, the surface is latex. If not, the surface has been painted with an oil based paint. If it is oil based, make sure to use oil based primer before starting.
 See my tips on oil vs. latex paint here.

#5. The cardboard box trick
This tip is new to me, and I am forever thankful to the reader who suggested it to me. 
My graffiti-covered yard thanks you, too. 
Basically, use a cardboard box to prevent overspray when spray painting small items. It’s simple, and it works. 
Voila! No more spray paint mess! 

#6. Use tacks to elevate small objects when spray painting.
This is another great spray paint tip, and this is one I’ve been using for awhile now. I use tacks to prop up small items when spray painting so that the paint can fully cover it. This works especially great for frames, which is something I frequently spray paint. 
(You can see the other ridiculous amount of items I commonly spray paint here.)

#7. Repair dents on old furniture with wood filler to create a smooth paint finish.
I paint a lot of old thrift store furniture, and before I even pick up a paintbrush, I usually have to spend a solid ten minutes repairing dents and cracks in the wood. The good news is that it’s really easy, and a little prep work goes a long way. Just fill in any dents with wood filler and once it’s dry, sand it even with the surface with some fine grit sand paper. This creates a nice, smooth even surface, and your paint job will look so much more professional.
You can see some wood filler in action here. I totally messed up that piece of furniture, but it wasn’t the poor wood filler’s fault.

#8. How to paint the door and NOT the hinges.
I’ve painted 15 doors in this house, and therefore this tip is 
 Rather than painstakingly remove all of my doors, I just covered up all of my hinges with painter’s tape, using an exacto knife to remove the excess, and then painted the doors while still attached. 
My hinges stayed paint-free, and no one is the wiser.
I definitely earned some of my 42 hours worth of paintbrush-washing hours back with this tip. It’s still a net loss of about 40.5 hours, but who’s counting.

#9. The easiest way to gold leaf.
Remember when I silver leafed my vanity table and it was my own personal nightmare (even though it turned out kinda awesome.)? Well, since then, I’ve been searching for an easier way to get a really great metallic finish, and after a few wasted dollars on stuff that totally didn’t work, I finally found it. It’s called Liquid Leaf (affiliate link), and it’s amazing. It has a killer finish that’s way shiner than spray paint or even my beloved Rub n Buff. It comes in a tiny little jar, and it’s exactly what it says it is: liquid leaf. It’s super easy to use, too. 
Just paint it on.

I’ve used it on a couple of frames so far, and I’m smitten. Definitely easier than using actual gold or silver leaf. I just painted the mirror frame in my kitchen yesterday, just for fun, and boy did it deliver.
And there’s a story behind that awesome ginger jar. A $7 story.

Break Out the Paint Brush For Fall Painting

The autumn is a great time of year for being outside. The kid’s outdoor sports and activities usually keep most parents pretty busy running around from one event to the next. In between those activities, you should take a moment to soak in the fresh fall air, enjoy the beauty of the fall foliage, and maybe even enjoy the warmth and coziness of a fireplace or a fire pit on a brisk fall night.

But what about the things that need to get done at home? You know the fall chores like raking the leaves, clearing the gutters, and sealing the driveway?

With all the outdoor work you need to get accomplished this time of year, be sure not to overlook painting as one of the must-do’s on your list. The autumn season is a wonderful time of year to get any exterior painting done around the window panes and door frames. The weather conditions are just right to freshen up the outside of your house a bit in preparation for winter. Daytime and evening temperatures are never too cool or too hot this time of year for outdoor painting to dry effectively.

Start your fall paint job by first looking around outside and inspecting the condition of the exterior frames. If it’s been a while since you painted, odds are you will see areas that desperately need your attention.

Before you head off to get your gallon or two of paint though, be sure to scrub and clean the entire area. Sometimes the only thing you need to do to freshen up the exterior of your house is provide it a little elbow grease. Get a hot bucket of soapy water and go to work. Often times, if the window and door frames do only require a simple cleaning, dish soap will do the trick in cleaning off the gook and grime that has accumulated on your window and door frames over the past season or two.

Even if you still need to paint your window and door frames, you would have had to clean them anyway prior to painting, so don’t consider it a wasted activity. After all, if you would have painted without cleaning the dust, spider webs, and dirt off the window and door frames, you would have just painted them directly into the frames. Cleaning the surface should be your first task no matter what you are painting whether it is an indoor or outdoor painting job.

Once you have completed your task of painting the exterior window and door frames to your house, take a step back and take notice how a simple painting job of the window and door frames has freshened up your home. (Be aware guys, now that you have completed this painting assignment, there will probably be a few more painting assignments your wife assigns you before the fall season is over).

A fresh coat of paint does wonders to freshen up the exterior look of your home, but it’s not an activity you probably want to get yourself involved in every year. To keep your exterior looking fresh, put a to-do item on your list for every spring and fall to just clean the window and door frames with hot soapy water. Cleaning your window and door frames a few times a year will not only keep your exterior looking fresh, but will also help add to the life of your window and door frames.

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