Friday, February 27, 2009

Wood Cut Outs from The Craft Store

It really amazes me how many new, innovative crafts are available these days. If you like doing crafty things around the home then the craft stores of today are a regular field trip filled with ideas for creating.

I found these wood cut outs.  They cost less that $1.50 and come with a small package of markers.  I suppose these are geared for kids to work on, but I couldn't resist them.  I thought they would look cute posted up on my kids doors.  Although they are probably too old for this kind of thing I think they'll enjoy them.

This is basically "paint by numbers" with the craft company placing all the lines in it for you to paint.  I used mine to put up on the kids bedroom doors, but there are so many other uses for them.  There are so many to pick from and some are already painted for 
you.  Some cost as little as .25 cents.  You can't go wrong there. They work well for wall decor or even as a border.

Monkey man pictured below is going on my son's door (he's almost 18 years old).  This guy is "not" painted. Look how easy they make it.

He's kind of cute.  You can see how easy it will be to paint this guy. 

The two above are all painted.  I used acrylics and finished it up with a high gloss finish. The fun part is that each girl is painted to look somewhat like the kid who lives behind the door.

I'll admit that this is just fun for me!

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Another Faux Finish For Your Walls

Another Faux Finish

My last post showed a faux finish where a whisk broom was used to create texture on walls.  This next one makes use of large pieces of plastic.  Frottage comes from the french verb "Frotter" which means to rub and that's exactly what you do to create this look.   This beautiful finish is fairly quick and easy to accomplish.  You can do this alone, but a second person is an asset and naturally makes the job go faster. 

I chose to do my dining room walls using this technique.  I was looking for an "old" wall look that would resemble leather.  This finish accomplishes the look I wanted. I picked two colors very similar to one another.  That's the key.  If the paint colors are very different the look is too dramatic. Similar colors blend well, so that's what I recommend.  Pick a color and find another one at least four shades darker or lighter.

 Prep your walls first.  Spackle up the holes, sand and clean all walls before starting. Apply a base coat and pick the finish that you want-eggshell, flat, satin, etc.  Get good coverage and let it dry.

Purchase large pieces or rolls of plastic (like cellophane).  I buy the plastic drop clothes from Home Depot.  They are very large, very efficient for this task and cheap.  Purchase one gallon of glaze and mix 4:1.  Four parts glaze and one part paint. 

Roll on your glaze quickly, working a 6 foot by 6 foot section at a time.  If you have a second person, quickly roll the entire wall.  Now, have your plastic ready.  Apply the sheet of plastic to the wall, use both your hands and "smooch" it around, all over.  Now leave it for a few minutes.   Pull the plastic off and let it dry. 

This technique works the best with a dark color under and a lighter color on top.  The lighter the color, the more dramatic the results.  
Subtle, but very beautiful when done.
Below the same technique, different color scheme. 
This happens to be my favorite faux paint finish and yields great results.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How About a Built In Window Seat?

How About A Window Box?

So I have an area in my daughter's room in front of a large window that would be great for a window box, but how do I do that?  Well, I think building a large box would do it, so that's what I did.  I measured out the area and figured out exactly what height and length I needed.  One problem hits me almost right away.  The room is wall to wall carpet.  Do I cut the rug out and build the box on top or leave the rug and build the box over it?  I'm leaving the rug there because it's easier-plain and simple.

I have also decided to be practical. My window seat will have storage in it.  That just makes
 sense!  This space, in front of the window is not really functional either.  It's too small for a bed so creating a "space" where you can sit and read, and enjoy the scenery makes more sense.

I 've decide to use 2 X 4's to make a simple frame (including a center support for weight), cover the front with bead board, install plywood on the top and add a piano hinge for my opening.

The frame went up in no time.  I actually carried my trim saw upstairs to make all my cuts so I wasn't running up and down for every board.  The important part for me was making sure the seat was level, which it was.

Above is a not-so-great picture so you get the idea.  Unfortunately, the glare from the window didn't give me the best photograph.

The front of the window seat is bead board which was simply nailed onto the 2 X 4's.  The top opening is fitted with a piano hinge (available at Home Depot), so it opens and closes easily. The piano hinge works well here because it is very long.
 There is plenty of space in that seat for storing stuff.  The entire
 seat was painted with high gloss white.  I added floor trim to the base to blend in with the rest of the trim that surrounds the room.  I've since purchased a long piece of foam rubber that I will cover with fabric so the seat is comfortable.

The seat is all done, but not really.  I've decided to build a small library all around the box and window.  I started that several weeks ago (it was a big project) and it is almost done.  I'll post that next.
This may seem like a complicated project but it was actually very simple.  Thinking it out, measuring accurately and being creative gets the job done.

Some of my tips:
  • counter sink nails and screws so you can put in some wood putty for a smooth finished surface.
  • Use liquid nails to install plywood and bead board-but always use small nails too so it holds together
  • Trim hides everything and also gives a finished look
  • Caulk, caulk and caulk.  Placing caulk where the wood meets gives a nice finished look when it's all painted
  • Always think out the project and take measurements twice

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