Thanks for all the love on the Chalkboard Wall project we completed this week. It’s always fun to watch something come together the way you had imagined. It’s even better when you get to do any project with your favorite people. And as far as were concerned, the challenge of thinking outside the box and using what you have requires ingenuity and leaves behind a strong sense of fulfillment. So just for fun, here’s a little run-down of what really went down in our kitchen the other day in the making of a bargain chalkboard wall.
The making of a bargain chalkboard wall | assets and liabilities
It’s always a good place to start, this listing of assets and liabilities. It helps to establish parameters and to have a starting point to launch creativity.
Our list of assets looked something like this …
1/2 a can of chalkboard paint
1 small wire basket
1 large white frame that once held a painting of a frog prince and a fairytale castle and probably graced a little girl’s nursery wall before being dropped off at a local thrift shop
2 rough wood frames without glass
2 smaller wood frames with glass
2 large Blacksmithed hooks, compliments of Grandpa’s forge
3 gifted artists in the house
random pieces of leather and a set of leather alphabet stamps
no less than 37 ideas swarming through our heads on how to make this work
Our list of liabilities looked something like this …
Figuring out to right arrangement and number of items to hang on a skinny little wall without it looking too chaotic
The fairytale castle picture was easily removed, and the frame was promptly dropped and busted into 2 pieces, it was a sad moment that we would rather not talk about
The awesome hooks from Grandpa were too shallow to hold the wire basket, no matter how hard we tried to make it work
First, we pour the coffee and paint the wall
Because everything should start with coffee! This particular wall has already been painted twice, so it was done shortly after the coffee was brewed. When you do use chalkboard paint, follow the directions to season your surface by going over the entire area with a sideways piece of chalk. Then wipe it off with a damp cloth. It really does make it easier to clean your chalkboard surface later. That’s another free tip from the “ask me how I know” archives. You’re welcome, yet again!
Then we arrange the frames
A frame that’s missing the glass may seem like an item for the giveaway bin, but they’re quite versatile little items for wall decor. Whether you’re framing a dimensional word, needing a space to highlight and switch out a child’s artwork, or adding definition to a chalkboard wall – they’re perfect for the job.
Several weeks ago we were discussing how to encourage more of a team attitude around the house with everyone going in different direction and without employing some annoying Disney musical tune. Speaking gratitude is a habit that takes a little time to develop, but one that is sorely needed for most of us. Hence the Thanks frame.
She had good bones, this Thanks frame, until I busted them up that is. As it turns out all she really needed after her unfortunate fall was some wood glue, a few brackets and a good set of clamps. And if by chance your clamps aren’t large enough then you just improvise, right?
And add the wire basket
You hear it all the time, but one of the best places to shop for decor is our own homes. To walk into a room, or closet, with “new eyes” so to speak, thinking outside the box to repurpose what’s already in our possession. When that doesn’t work, the next best source in my book is thrifted, clearanced or on sale. This little wire basket was on sale and exactly what I had in mind for this space.
The only problem being that it really was designed to sit on a table or desk as opposed to hang on a wall. Back to the storage closet for some hooks my dad blacksmithed years ago for another project. Great idea, but it didn’t quite work.
Options at that point included blacksmithing something that would work next time I visited Dad or purchasing hooks or a shelf since I didn’t have any at home that would work. Hmmm, something to think about while finishing the details on the Thanks frame …
Then comes a bit of embellishing with leather
There’s just something about the character of an organic material like leather. In a bag, or shoes, or furniture, or decor, it’s a fun mix of rugged, soft and real. The dark color of this leather scrap was a perfect contrast and character to add to the Thanks frame. A few crooked letters, scrapbook brads on each end and some E6000 glue and it was good to go.
Somewhere in that process, the idea emerged to use leather straps to secure the wire basket to the wall. A rotary cutter is great for creating a straight line through even the thickest of leathers. Use a good hole punch or awl for a hole on each end and you’re ready to secure it to the wall. I used anchors and some aged copper spray paint to tone down the bright silver colored screws.
A few more details
Throw in a candle holder, a skinny little clay pot with some artificial plants and a tiny white pumpkin and call it done. The candle holder stores little cards, a marker and washi tape to add thank you notes. I have to admit, I used to think fake plants were a bit tacky, but not anymore. There are some really nice ones out there, and they’re perfect for those of us who frequently forget to water the plants.
And there you have it! A little freshen up on a favorite space to make it even more lovely and functional. So where would you add a chalkboard wall to your home? And what sorts of details would you include? We would love to hear your ideas, because we’re always open to new ideas and adventures!
One of my favorite spots in our home is the skinny little chalkboard wall between our kitchen and eating area. For the past 3 years, it has held grocery lists, messages, childhood masterpieces and an assortment of random thoughts. After last week’s kitchen purge, it seemed like the right time to freshen it up a bit and shift the focus a little to make it a chalkboard wall of thanks.
You may remember this shot from last year when I armed our son-in-law with a jar of chalk and a few ideas. I asked him to do something magical and he more than delivered on that request. It took until Valentine’s Day for me to be convinced that maybe it was time to erase his work.
Today it was the 17-year-old, a piece of sharpened chalk, and a few more ideas. Half a playlist later, this is what she came up with.
Adding a little Thanks
This little project started last week with thrifted frames, a couple sale items and a desire to promote teamwork in a more creative way. A variety of glitches brought those plans to a screeching halt, providing some unexpected but much needed down time.
And then there was today when one of my shopping buddy / resident artists sketched out our fall tree. It’s amazing what you can to with a piece of sharpened chalk and a killer playlist!
The Thanks Frame is similar to the Appreciation Frames we made last month for the Closet Makeover. We knew this seeing of thanks would be important in cultivating grateful hearts.
Our grocery list is typically a group chat with all sorts of requests, some reasonable and others not so much. Some days it’s all about the nutella and cheeze-its and others have included items like “my dignity”. We don’t even ask anymore! Either way, it’s nice to have a spot for requests in the kitchen too.
You can expect a few tips and ideas on some of the MacGyverd details soon, but for today we’ll just enjoy the new view. And we’ll start on this practice of giving thanks before November even thinks about rolling around.
October is known for all sorts of things. The most obvious being the beginning of all things pumpkin season. Unfortunately, October can also usher in a whole new slew of allergens, and according to some experts, it’s officially the beginning of cold and flu season. This little tidbit calls for stocking your under the weather survival kit.
We’re not talking about medicines and chicken soup here, more like books and ways to occupy our hands and distract our minds a bit. We can only watch so many movies and reruns after all! Here are a few of the items in my under the weather survival kit …
** This post contains some affiliate links. Basically, that means if you click on the links I’ve provided and decide to make a purchase, then I’ll make a little commission. It does not cost you anything extra, it just makes it easier for you to find products.**
Favorite books beyond the usual novel
The book Wholehearted: A Coloring Book Devotional, written by Jordan Lee and illustrated by Whitney Farnsworth has to be my all time favorite adult coloring book. The devotionals are not necessarily the deepest you’ll find, but there’s a processing that comes in the art of coloring that brings the truth of Scripture alive in a new way and incredibly profound way.
Another Favorite is The Complete Book of Chalk Lettering by Valerie McKeehan. Not only does she cover several lettering fonts, she also includes embellishing and lots of basic tools and tips. And there’s no need to rush out and purchase a chalkboard, there are three chalkboard surfaces included in the book itself to use for as much practice as you would like. When you’ve filled them up, wipe them off and start over again.
Internet courses to develop new skills
There are so many of these courses covering so many topics it’s flat out amazing. Now is the time to find one you would enjoy and gather whatever supplies you might need. Then, when you find yourself lacking energy, you have an outlet to stave off the impending boredom.
I’ve enjoyed courses covering topics from blogging to decorating to spiritual growth to learning new skills. I’m currently slowly working through The Advanced Hand Lettering Course offered by Jeanne Oliver and taught by Jen Wagner. She is a very talented artist who has gathered other gifted creatives around her, developing a space to teach online classes.
Why not register for some sort of class that interests you and gather the necessary supplies. Your box of goodies will be waiting for you to work on a new skill when time allows. Check out her site for starters and see if you don’t find several classes you would enjoy
A bit of handwork
My other favorite thing to have at the ready this time of year is handwork. And since it’s October, why not start your own little pumpkin patch?
Last week, my talented friend Rebecca from 2 Hearts Desire posted this tutorial on how she made these cute little felt pumpkins. Won’t they be adorable out of thrifted and felted wool sweaters?
If you prefer softer pumpkins, how about this tutorial my sweet friend Sarah at She Holds Dearly posted last month? These would be a great way to use that stretchy velvet Christmas skirt your daughter outgrew years ago.
What’s in your under the weather survival kit?
These are a few of my favorites to occupy my hands and mind when I’m not feeling my best. Though they require a bit of thinking and focus, a little fuzzy thinking isn’t going to mess anything up. So why not try something other than the remote control while you’re on the mend.
What types of things would you include in your under the weather survival kit? If you only had $25 to spend what would be your top 2 or 3 items? I’m always up for new ideas!
I hope your part of the world has enjoyed a proper hello to fall, even if it is in the form of a bag of leaves purchased from the local craft store. Here in the Bluegrass, we’ve had a few days that peaked in the high 60’s and more evenings each week that would qualify as brisk. Fashionwise it’s a bit of a limbo season. Hence the need for some great foundational pieces that transition from one day to the next, or one time of the day to the next, as the case may be. Well, you’re in luck because it’s Fashion Friday with Glamour Farmsand today I’m sharing 5 ways to style an A-line tunic dress for fall! Our featured items are the Carson Tunic Dress in taupe and the Rachel plaid scarf in navy.
** This post contains some affiliate links. Basically, that means if you click on the links I’ve provided and decide to make a purchase, then I’ll make a little commission. It does not cost you anything extra, it just makes it easier for you to find products. THANK YOU for following along on this grand adventure at SoMuchMoore with Glamour Farms! And be sure to grab your coupon code and details for $10 off your Glamour Farms order for So Much Moore readers at the end of this post!**
5 Ways to style an A-line Tunic for Fall
Just like last month’s featured piece the Long Grove Dot Top and the Isabella Tunic Dress from August, this month’s pieces can transition from one season to the next rather effortlessly. The Carson Tunic is one of those staples that makes for a perfect styling foundation in whatever color you choose. And, trust me there are plenty to choose from – black, brown, blue, rust, taupe …
1 | The Carson Tunic all dressed up
The lovely ladies at Glamour Farms sent the taupe tunic to me this month and I’m so excited about all the ways to style this little number. Let’s start with one of the dressier options.
A long scarf with a belt to create more of a waistline with some high heeled boots can dress up the tunic.
You can add a long pendant necklace for even more detail if you like.
2 |Casual with everyone’s seasonal favorite – Plaid
If you’re going for a more casual look then how about this? Grab your favorite plaid shirt, tie knots at the bottom of each front side, and pull on your favorite cowboy boots. Add an interesting layer to worn-in boots and a playful plaid by topping it off with a blingy statement necklace. This look is just plain fun for so many different occasions – from coffee with a friend, exploring your favorite boutiques or even a fall hayride.
One of the nice things about the Carson Tunic is that it’s long enough to feel like you’re not taking any chances at embarrassing yourself if you go without leggings underneath. You know what I mean? That pretty much doubles the styling possibilities.
3 | Casual with a touch of bling
If plaid’s not you’re thing then we really need to talk about where we’re going with this friendship switch it up with a denim jacket. Keep the cowboy boots, because they’re cute and super comfortable, and grab a more colorful blingy necklace.
And do you see one of my favorite features of the Carson Tunic up there? That’s right, side seam pockets! The fabric is lightweight so as not to add bulk to the hips, who needs that sort of foolishness, and the pockets are roomy enough to comfortably to slip your hand in.
Again, it really doesn’t matter which color you choose, the Carson Tunic is such a great staple for fall because it easily lends itself to so many different looks.
Y’all, the are so many things to love about this scarf!
The Rachel Scarf is constructed of a thin yarn with a looser weave than most and the wing span on this thing is ginormous. This allows it to be super cozy and fuzzy without adding extra bulk. I have several really big scarves that I don’t reach for as often because they’re just too thick, but that will not be the case with this one. It’s going to be seeing lots of fall and winter this year!
It’s plenty big to fold into a triangle and drape around your shoulders when these fall evenings get a little chilly. Or toss it over the arm of the couch to cozy up with in front of a fire with a great book.
5 | Casual with the classic Chucks
If you’re needing a super casual look, then fold your scarf into a triangle and starting at the point, continue folding over about 8″ or so until you reach the long folded edge. Tie the two ends together and you’ve made an infinity scarf. A well broken-in jean jacket and some Converse and you’re ready for a day at the local Pumpkin Patch or Farmer’s Market.
The Ever Important Basics
As always, the thing you can’t see in this pictures is what makes all of them look more flattering. That’s the Ah-Mazing Tank Long Shaper in the latte color. As many of you may well know, you don’t get to be Mama to four without feeling the need for a little help when it comes to shapewear. I had a few different pieces in the past few years, and this is by far my favorite. It does the job without making you feel like you can’t move or breathe. Once you try it, you’ll know what I mean and you’ll find yourself reaching for it more than you could have imagined.
And those navy leggings you see peeking out in some of the pictures? Those are the Ahh-Mazing Tummy Tuck Crop Leggings. Yep! A nice layer of color that also helps with the whole tucking it all in dilemma. You’re welcome!
Other styling ideas
Since this photo shoot I’ve had several more ideas of how to style the scarf. It would look adorable with a soft long sleeve shirt, skinny jeans and booties. Or even black pants, a black long-sleeve shirt and black booties for the office. And it just might be the perfect weight to add to my black pea coat as winter begins to appear in the next few months.
I really could go on, but I have four seasons to discover new possibilities with this versatile little tunic and scarf.
How is my kitchen organizing compliments of Gilmore Girls anyway?
Several weeks ago I joined Sarah at She Holds Dearly and a group of almost 100 others in a Home Decluttering Challenge based on the best-selling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Last week we purged our kitchens and then restocked cabinets and pantries with only those items we truly use. The extra space on each shelf if such a visual treat for those of us with an aversion to chaos. The purging part is great to get rid of the excess, but I’ve always loved the organizing part and today I bring you a little Kitchen Organizing compliments of Gilmore Girls.
**This post contains some affiliate links. Basically, that means if you click on the links I’ve provided and decide to make a purchase, then I’ll make a little commission. It does not cost you anything extra, it just makes it easier for you to find products.**
WHO CAME UP WITH THE IDEA OF A SKINNY LITTLE PANTRY ANYWAY?
I would actually love to know the thought process of the architect who designed our kitchen pantry to be 18″ wide and 24″ deep. Hmmmm, not really a good place for storing food with our house full of 6, so the day we moved in it was declared to be the appliance pantry. It has worked great, except that the feet of things like the crock pot and waffle iron and… tend to get stuck on the lovely wire shelving.
Wire shelving is functional and affordable, but in a lot of ways, I’m not really a fan. I made some washable fabric wire shelf covers when we did the Closet Makeover last month and those have worked great. But keeping fabric clean would be nigh impossible when pulling appliances in and out every day. They also make some pretty cool shelf covers out of a variety of materials, like these gray ones or maybe these cherry ones with a nice finished front edge. It really wasn’t really a high budget priority for me, so I opted for this cheaper solution.
What does Kitchen Organizing have to do with Gilmore Girls Anyway?
Last week, I decided it was time to replace the original, now sketchy, cardboard pieces. I also decided to add some contact paper to make them a little sturdier and wipeable. All you need is a roll of contact paper, leftover corrugated boxes from your most recent Amazon purchase, scissors and one episode of Gilmore Girls and you can have an entire closet completed. Unless you get too distracted by Lorelai’s clever lines and find yourself doing more watching than listening and cutting. In that case, it might actually require 2 episodes.
You may have to sacrifice one piece of cardboard in trying to get your pattern right, but it was just going into the recyclable bin anyway, so it’s a small sacrifice to make. It’s pretty straightforward from there so here’s a quick pictorial step-by-step.
How can I cover my own cardboard shelf liners anyway?
I covered the bottom of each cardboard piece so it would be a little more protected and so the cardboard wouldn’t absorb any odd smells, like the little blob of waffle batter that didn’t quite get wiped off the iron. …. Ewww!
Be sure to put the top of your cardboard face down on the contact paper, press it to the cardboard until is is well adhered and smooth out any bubbles before moving on to the next step. Go ahead, ask me how I learned this …
You’ll have to get a little creative on some corners if your closet has trim inside or some other random lines.
Why Kitchen Organizing compliments of Gilmore Girls?
Because you can. Period,
Simple. Quick. Inexpensive. Functional.
And some days we just need a project that can be done in 30 minutes. And, for me, an excuse to hang out with all of the girls living under this roof.
Next time I think I’ll splurge on the chalkboard contact paper. Because, chalkboard anything!
How about you? What pattern of contact paper would you use? Any shelves in your home that could use a quick little refresh?
“Onward and Upward! To Narnia and the North!” For some reason this quote from C.S. Lewis’ The Horse and His Boy has been popping into my mind a lot lately. Actually, it’s more like “Onward & Upward the learning of Sabbath”
As God is doing His work in my heart teaching me to Sabbath, He’s slowly peeling back the layers and stirring a new thing deep in my soul. There’s an awakening of sorts to the vital importance of Sabbath and soul keeping and relationship. And somewhere in the midst of it is the realization that this continuing Onward in the journey necessarily walks hand-in-hand with the moving Upward.
The lack of margin we seem to embrace in our culture is just flat out crazy. I’m quite aware of this truth, but until recently I was also quite unaware of how stealthily it has crept in and taken root in my own soul. To the point where I can easily occupy myself with to do’s every minute of every day, for this is my default. After days, weeks and months of choosing the work, a tremendous weight seems to have taken up residence.
The learning of Sabbath
This word for my year, Sabbath, just may need another go-round come Jan 1. Time will tell. Until then, there are baby steps…
… Carving out days to spend with my kids doing both the ordinary and the extraordinary.
…Taking notice of the details of each day, and calling them the blessing that they are.
… Guarding a day of Sabbath rest to read, pray, regroup, refocus, relax and play.
… Stopping in for coffee and donuts on a gluten-free Friday at a favorite coffee house.
… Saying “no” to the urgent to say “yes” to the best.
This weekend there was a shopping day with the most recent birthday girl at our house. We kicked it off with Pumpkin Harvest doughnuts and wrapped up with a mini Gilmore Girls marathon.
Next week there will be a new opportunity to accept the call to “Onward & Upward” and a deeper learning of Sabbath. My prayer is that I will readily welcome the invitation and jump in with both feet and all of my being.
How are you finding ways to rest in your current season?
Last month we did a Closet Makeover Challenge here with a few other bloggers. It was great fun to see how we each based on our specific closets and goals for our space. One of the challenges I had for my closet was to do as much as I could with items I had around my house or at my disposal. That little stipulation I gave myself led to creating a variety of items including a shoe shelf salvaged from shelving at a rental home we’re working on. Each piece was fun in its own way, and I couldn’t pick a favorite even if a box of chocolates was riding on it .. Okay, maybe I could pick something if chocolate was involved. I really enjoyed this one mostly because it’s the first thing I’ve truly built by myself with my hubby, Steve, cheering me on. I promised I would share more details on these projects and today’s a good day for or first one – a wooden shoe shelf tutorial for beginners!
Now before you decide you can’t do a wood project, please know that when I say beginner, I mean be-gin-ner. Like as a kid I enjoyed watching my dad do a variety of woodworking projects. I sanded. I fetched things. I approved design aspects. I fetched more things. I learned to love the smell of fresh-cut wood. Outside of refinishing furniture for I don’t even know how long now, I’ve never really built something out of wood by myself. Or, “All by my big girl self” as my husband had to listen to during this entire project. Personally, I think he endured it because he kind of liked my idea and wanted a better way to store shoes other than the pile system that he’s been using for years.
Bottom line, if I could do this with Steve cheering me on and giving me a few tips here and there, then you can do it too! So here ya go …
Materials supply list
1″ x 12″ Wood board – 14″ linear feet cut into the following pieces
2 lengths @ 41″ for the top and bottom
1 length @ 40 1/4″ for the middle shelf
2 lengths @ 13″ for the ends
2 lengths @ 6 1/8″ for the center support
18 – 24 phillips head screws – 1 1/4″ long (or 1/2″ longer than the thickness of your board)
Tools supply list
drill with 2 bits – we used a 1/8″ for the pilot holes and a #2 size phillips head bit for the screws (it needs to be slightly smaller than the shank of the screw)
sandpaper in a variety of grits
hammer, flat head screwdriver, chisel or similar tool to remove small chunks of wood, as needed
Basic steps for assembly
Cutting and Sanding
Measure and cut your wood to the lengths specified above. You don’t have to be a carpenter to have heard the classic rule – “Measure twice, Cut once”.
If you’re like me you’ll actually do that twice on each board, because you just can’t be too careful when you’re learning a new skill.
Sand off any rough surfaces until they reach your desired smoothness. I wanted mine to look a little rugged, so I sanded just enough to keep clothes from snagging on the edges since my shelf lives in our closet.
Before moving on, check your cuts by fitting the pieces together as best you can.
Cutting the Dado
Now the fun part, cutting the dado. Before I did this it was the part that made me the most nervous, but now that I’ve done it I kinda feel like a rock star. Seriously, it’s probably a kindergarten level skill in the woodworking world, but it’s all new to me, so it thought I was kind of a big deal. Again, poor Steve had to endure my little happy dance and chant about building something all by my big girl self. He’s a good man!
A dado (pronounced day – do) is simply a slot or ledge cut into the face of one board, in which to fix the edge of another board. It’s the technique we used to add our center shelf. We had considered using a type of wood cleat but decided on the dado to give us a slimmer design.
Measure halfway down the 13″ side of each end piece. Measure just over 3/8″ on each side of the center and draw two lines all the way across the board 3/8″ out from this center line.
Set your circular saw to cut a little less than half-way thru the board. Follow the outside lines and make 2 cuts across each end piece. Go back and cut two more parallel lines inside these two lines.
At this point you can chip out the narrow lengths of wood with either end of a hammer, a screwdriver or chisel to create a solid groove. You can also use your circular saw gently moving from one side to the other to smooth out the bottom of your dado. Don’t even ask me why, but that part was fun. If you have a router it seems to be a recommended way to create a dado.
Assemble you pieces again to make sure they fit together correctly and make adjustments as needed.
Securing your Shoe Shelf Together
If you want to paint your shelf, now would be the best time. Otherwise, continue on with the final assembly steps.
Before you screw the entire shelf together, you’ll want to pre-drill some pilot holes to help ensure that you have straight angles when you screw the shelf together. We used three evenly spaced screws down the center of each dado on the end pieces. We also added three to each end of the top and bottom boards at about 3/8″ in from the edge.
One of the little tips Steve gave me is to use the level on the end of my drill. Ya’ll probably knew all about that, but it quickly became my friend to make sure I was perpendicular to the board when drilling.
We assembled the boards in this order
Center board secured and screwed into the end boards at the dados
Bottom board secured to end boards
Top board secured to end boards
Slide center supports into place on each shelf. You can secure these with a few more screws through the top and bottom of your shelf if they do not fit snugly.
And there you have it! I hope you’ve enjoyed this very basic tutorial and, as always, I would love to see any pics if you decide to make a shoe shelf.
Like I said, it’s not complicated and I felt like it was a great beginner project. Steve is a little curious now as to what I’ll come up with next and I’m just thinking through which power tools to add to our collection first. What beginner woodworking projects would you recommend?
Are y’all just loving all the fall home tours as much as I am? It’s such a colorful and cozy season that invites us to slow down and gather with friends and family. As much as I’m loving all the beauty and inspiration to be found, what if fall decor is actually about my own vision and creating cozy spaces to gather together. It’s not some sort of misguided standard I devise in my own mind with which to compare, leaving my own home or decor skills lacking. That’s not why people share their home tours, it’s to give us a peek into their world and their own special spaces and what gives them their meaning.
With that in mind, I would love to offer you a steaming cup of coffee and invite you to sit and hopefully enjoy what I see when I look at our own decor for fall. Beyond that, I would love to see what makes your own decor special and what makes you smile in your own space.
Thrifted couches and a coffee table rescued from the trash pile
Depending on the day, I can look at this view of our family room in several different ways. I can see the red couches that I’ve wanted to make slip covers for going on I don’t even know how many years now. I can see the rug that’s too small for this space and a variety of things that need to be repaired or edited in some way to achieve the decor look I want.
But on a good day, I see the fur throw and pillows I picked up for the bajillioneth time this morning because our college son spent much of the weekend at home this weekend and slept on that oh-so-cozy couch.
I see Steve and the kids and I filling up the seats last night as we all sat and chatted about our day and the week ahead. I see our 90-pound ever-faithful companion, as opposed to the 70 pounds of hair that he seems to shed on an annual basis.
I see the chippy painted finish Mama added over a decade ago, holding a collection of her baskets, boxes, antique jars and other treasures.
I see a basket turned shelf from Dad’s house and the Polish Pottery he and Mama brought back years ago from one of their European adventures.
I see some of the thrifting days spent with my girls collecting discarded books, clearance rack treasures and antique jars. I see the way a child’s artwork progresses from bedecking a fridge to being more beautiful than a signed masterpiece, and I wonder where this continued exploration of their passions will lead them in the years ahead.
Layers of color and texture
I see crocks that once held walnut lids and light kits fashioned by my Dad because I thought it would be cool and, as usual, he figured out how to make it happen. I see twine-wrapped rolls of flannel that Mama was working on for a cozy quilt of some sort.
I see brass candlesticks that once graced my Grandmother’s home if my memory serves me well. I see a tattered quilt gifted to me years ago by Mama and Daddy.
I see a birthday gift received over half my life ago. The first major restoration project, that took hours of messy scraping and sanding and solidified a passion for redeeming of the old and discarded. I see wooden boxes thrifted and passed down and wonder at how many things they have held over the years.
I see a half-spent candle because everyone knows winter evenings past have been sweeter with their burning. I see a sister-in-law who loves and laughs and pursues relationship and gives knitting needles when she knows they will help create something beautiful with a new skill she has taught us.
I see childhood dishes in my favorite childhood color and pumpkins whose stems will return next year gracing new pumpkins of a more lasting variety. I see the soft plaid of a new friendship that signifies the encouraging cheering on in a new journey.
I see the brass detail of our “I do” day so many years ago atop the delicate weave of Russian linen from my brother’s part of the world. I see the wonder of years spent schooling our kids at home and the slowing down enough to truly enjoy the world full of nature around us.
I see an old sewing machine drawer and the hours Mama spent teaching me to use her machine that instilled a passion deep in my soul for this process of creating. I see special occasions and one-of-a-kind life-shaping trips scattered on the walls.
Tucked here and there are pumpkins and colorful touches of fall. Yes, I would love to have loads of heirloom pumpkins and other fall treasures to add. But today, I’m focusing on the sweet memories found in the details around me.
My hope is that tomorrow I will do the same. And each day following – wherever I may find myself. It may not be the month of giving thanks quite yet, but I for one can use the reminder to give thanks every day of every month.
What treasures do you have in your home that tell your story and make you smile? Would you be so kind as to share a picture and a quick story with us? I can’t think of a better way to decorate that never goes out of style, whatever the season.
On shelters and stools and spray paints and a giveaway
With the arrival of fall and cooler temperatures, we squeeze in all the outdoor weekend activities we can – from pumpkin patches and hayrides to hiking and bonfires. In a matter of weeks, we’ll tend to spend more free time inside than out – roaring fires, hot chocolate, chunky afghans and a good book. Our DIY projects tend to do the same thing – outdoor gardening is replaced by indoor handwork. Painting projects have always been an interesting one for me. When we lived in south Florida, I usually did spray painting outside, but that doesn’t work so well farther north. But fortunately there is a solution and today I want to share with you a little project and thoughts on shelters and stools and spray paints AND a giveaway!
This weekend was one of those projects for me. It had great potential for creating a tremendous mess, but the only clean-up was a bit of paint overspray on my hands. It was a quick makeover that fit nicely between a wedding, a birthday dinner, church family gatherings and a surprise visit from our soon-to-be daughter-in-law. What’s not to love about a dramatic transformation that is both quick and tidy?
**This is a sponsored post. I did receive a Small Spray Shelter from HomeRight to review if I found it to be a helpful product. I have used the shelter several times and all opinions shared here are my own. You will also find some affiliate links. Basically, that means if you click on the links I’ve provided and decide to make a purchase, then I’ll make a little commission. It does not cost you anything extra, it just makes it easier for you to find products.**
Supply list for transforming your stool
The basic materials you’ll find helpful in reupholstering a stool …
*Click on the highlighted text for items similar to those I used for this project.
Disassembling your Stool
Before you get started, take a picture of your stool. I know, you’re embarrassed because it’s a hot mess. Get over it! All that means is that you have found a great stool that has been loved and is too useful to throw out – great choice! Even if you have no intention of framing your before and after, or starting a blog to write about it, or including it on this year’s Christmas card, just go ahead and snap the picture. There’s just something satisfying about seeing a dramatic change, and without pictures it’s hard to remember the before.
Chair pads are usually secured with screws, whether it’s a Phillips head or a hex screw, they are easily removed with a screwdriver or Allen wrench, also referred to as a hex key.
Prepping your Stool
The prep work is what most of us want to skip because we want to get straight to the fun part where we can see a difference. My advice? Don’t! Don’t skip the prep or you’ll find yourself having to repair your new project entirely too soon. Ask me how I’ve learned that little gem of wisdom over the years.
There really isn’t much prep on a project of this sort, but check each of these areas …
If the rubber caps on your stool legs are worn or don’t match your new paint color, replace them. They’re cheap, they make a big difference in the finished look and they protect your floors.
Tighten any other screws or areas that have become loose over time.
Sand all surfaces to be painted, paying special attention to any scratches, random splotches or whatever else has adhered itself to your stool. Don’t worry, with a house full of kids I won’t be judging what you may find!
Wipe your stool clean with a damp cloth and air dry of wipe dry with another lint-free cloth.
The Homeright Small Spray Shelter
See, that didn’t take too long and now the fun starts!
This new toy tool was half the fun for me. It’s the Homeright Small Spray Shelter and it’s already a hit in my book. Technically this is the 17″ diameter zippered case that the spray shelter slips into, complete with handy carrying straps.
The above picture is what it looks like folded up. If you’re like me, you may find yourself a little amazed the first time you pop it open. It’s like a magical little cabana for your paint projects!
It’s designed to be used inside, with appropriate ventilation, or outside. There are webbing loops on the front that could be staked to the ground if you are working outside in a light breeze. The back has a mesh window and a nylon flap that can be opened or closed depending on your situation. For this project, I set it up on a little make-shift workbench in our mid-construction basement. It may take a few tries to perfect folding up the shelter, but you’ll get the hang of it pretty quick, and once you do that part becomes fun too!
Spray painting tips
I plan to build the Spray Booth Turntable that Brad at Fix This Build That shared last month, but I didn’t quite get it done in time for this project. Until I get that turntable done, it seems the only paint clean-up I’ll have to deal with is what gets on my hands from turning a piece around to get to all the sides.
A few spray painting tips to remember …
Just like nail polish, two light coats are always better than one heavy coat.
Sanding with a fine grit sandpaper (200-400) between coats ensures a smooth top coat.
Spray a uniform distance from your piece to get an even coat on your entire project.
While the paint dries you can reupholster your stool. The first step in reupholstering is removing the old fabric. Use a flat head screwdriver of upholstery staple remover and a pair of pliers to remove old staples from the cushion.
A sharpie pen and the seat frame will work great to draw a cutting line for your new foam. I drew a line around my seat piece and cut about 1/2″ outside that line to have enough excess to create a smooth tapered edge for the new seat. The easiest way to cut foam is with an electric knife. You can do this on a cutting board, or simply hold the foam vertically and cut it with nothing behind it.
Starting on one edge of your seat cushion, wrap the fabric around the foam and seat base and staple close to the edge, being sure not to cover the holes to reattach your cushion. I used 1/4″ staples to be sure they were securely attached to the wood but not so long that they would poke anyone sitting on the stool. Move to the other side of the stool, pull the fabric tightly around the cushion and base and staple in place. Turn the cushion 1/4 turn and secure the fabric on the edge between the two staples, and repeat on the opposite side of the stool.
Continue this process, pulling the fabric tightly before adding each staple, until your fabric is securely attached around the entire cushion. If some of the staples seem loose, remove them and restaple one at a time. Trim the excess fabric to reduce the bulk and to make sure the holes are exposed for reattaching your seat cushion.
Using the screws you removed earlier, reattach your cushion to your stool and you are done. This is when you’ll want to pull out your before picture and look at the dramatic difference. Or, if you’re a little picture nerdish you can make a split picture …
Now, how about a giveaway?
Honestly, I’m pretty sure it took more hands-on time for me to edit pictures and write this post than to complete the entire project. I’m not even kidding!
And just to make your sticking around for the entire tutorial worth your while, who’s interested in a free Homeright Small Spray Shelter? I’m already thinking of all the things I can paint, from pinecones for Christmas decor to shelves and who knows what else my crew and I will find to transform!
You can check out the details for the Spray Shelter here. To be entered in the giveaway simply subscribe to SoMuchMoore at the top of the sidebar. If you’ve already subscribed, then comment on this post with the first project you would work on in your new spray shelter and you will be entered in the drawing. You have until Saturday, October 15th at midnight to comment and be entered in the giveaway.