Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Cork Coaster Set

Happy Monday and thanks for stopping by! This weekend, I finally got a chance to work on a DIY project I have been wanting to try for a while- painted coasters! The process is incredibly easy and a fun way to spend an afternoon.  All you need is some creativity and the below supplies:

Acrylic craft paint in the colors of your choice,  polyurethane finish, cork coasters, adhesive stencils, painter's tape and sponge brushes.

First, decide on a design for your coasters.  I decided to make each one unique and opted for some cute Martha Steward stencils.  I must say, I was really impressed with these! They stuck on really easily and left nice clean lines. They are also reusable, which is definitely a plus!

Place your adhesive stencil in the desired area and press down firmly to ensure your paint will not bleed underneath.  Then, paint away! I used cheap sponge brushes and a "pouncing" (thanks, Martha) motion.

Gently remove the stencil while paint is still wet - and voila!

I played around with a few different stencils and also used painter's tape to create some clean modern lines.

Wait for your paint to completely dry before sealing with the polyurethane finish - this will help protect your coasters against moisture from glasses.

I decided to use two coats of the polyurethane to make sure the coasters last.  Once dry, you're all done!

These coasters were super easy to make and when tied neatly together with a bow, would make a great housewarming gift! Let me know if you get a chance to try them!


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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Wise Words

I don't have much to write about today, but wanted to share one of my favorite quotes.  It's so easy to forget to appreciate all that you have in life.  Too often I find myself focusing on what I don't have - whether it be the best clothes, a new house or a nice car.   It's hard not to compare yourself to others - especially hard with social media in my opinion.  I found this quote a few weeks ago and have recited it to myself many times since then.  It helps me take a step back and realize that I may not have all the material things I desire, but I am definitely blessed.  Happy almost Friday!


Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Vanity Makeover

I've always admired people who can take an old piece of furniture that has seen better days and transform it into something fresh and beautiful.  After years (years is not an exaggeration) of oohing and aahing over furniture makeovers on Pinterest, I finally decided to try it for myself.  My husband and I live in a three bedroom home and without any kids (we aren't ready yet!), have quite a bit of extra space.  I decided to takeover one of our spare bedrooms and transform it into a dressing room - something I've dreamed of having my whole life!  I'd been looking at antique vanities for quite a few months, not wanting to pay too much for something that I would be painting and redoing.  To my surprise on Christmas morning, my sweet husband gave me the below lovely antique vanity! 

I was so excited!  While I loved the vanity, I wasn't too crazy about the grayish green and white paint job.  It was a little too shabby chic for my taste.  After a few days of contemplating, and much time spent on Pinterest, I decided on a bold color for my new favorite piece of furniture.  Cockatoo from Valspar's Pantone collection.  I referenced a tutorial from CentsationalGirl and have outlined my vanity makeover below.  Hope you enjoy!

     I purchased the below materials from Lowe's, but these items could be found at any home improvement store.

Pictured above: Brasso - $3.49 (to clean the hardware),  Medium grit sanding blocks - $4, 1 quart of Valspar Ultra Paint + Primer in Cockatoo - $15.

Purdy roller ($5) and paint brush ($11), drop cloth (not pictured) - $4.

     The first step is to remove all hardware and disassemble your vanity, being sure to keep all your hardware together so you don't lose anything.  We tried to clean the drawer pulls with Brasso, but after a 30+ minute soak and some scrubbing, no such luck!  I ended up finding some awesome knobs from Hobby Lobby- more on those later! 

After the vanity has been taken apart, it is time to sand!  This was my first time prepping and painting a piece of furniture, and it was actually quite a bit easier than I anticipated.  So, if you're like me and pinning away all the projects you'd like to do, get out there and do it!  Don't be afraid :-)

     We used medium grit sandpaper blocks, which are easier to hold than actual pieces of sandpaper.  We don't own an electric sander and these little blocks worked perfectly fine!  Sand away until you get a smooth surface.  The old paint chipped off in a few areas, but for the most part the sanding didn't affect it.  You just want to make sure you have a sanded and smooth surface, so that it really takes the new paint.  After sanding, be sure to get all the dust off your furniture.  My husband has a handy Shop Vac that we used, but a clean soft cloth will work just fine.

     Since the vanity was previously painted, we did not need to prime (although the paint we purchased from Lowes was a primer and paint in one).  We started with our first coat. 

I chose a high gloss finish, since I will be getting ready here everyday, and the glossy finish will make the surface smoother and easier to clean.  High gloss paints may show brushstrokes more than a matte finish, so we used a small roller on the large parts of the vanity and a brush where we couldn't use the roller.  I let the first coat dry overnight and applied a second coat the following morning.

 I had ambitions of only using the roller for coat number 2 in order to avoid brush marks, but it was not practical for the detailed areas!  I ended up using a paint brush and think it turned out just fine :-).  I let the paint dry overnight again (the lighting in our house is awful, so I like to paint next to an open window during the day), then touched up a few areas and waited one the last time for the paint to completely dry.

     After a failed attempt at cleaning the original drawer pulls, I decided to shop for knobs.  I fell in love with some from Anthropologie, but was not willing to pay $8 a piece.  I shopped around and actually ended up finding some similar ones at Hobby Lobby for only half the price!  If you're in the market for knobs or drawer pulls, I definitely recommend checking out Hobby Lobby- they have some really great options!

We assembled the vanity and voila!

I can't wait to get ready here every morning!  The vanity did not come with a stool, but after searching through 5 antique stores, I found one for only $24!  Stay tuned for a tutorial on the stool makeover -  I am in search of some fun fabric. Thanks for stopping by!


Cheers to New Beginnings

Hello and thanks for stopping by!  My name is Aly and I am an Austinite currently living in Georgia with my sweet husband and our Golden Retriever.  I am a lover of fashion, interior design, DIYs and all things girly.  By day, I work in digital marketing and by night I am a dreamer and a newbie blogger.  I started this blog as a place to express my creativity and document some of my favorite things.  Once again, thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy!