DIY Stretched Fabric Canvas (with a shower curtain!)

I am slowlyyyy working on updating my living room to be a bit lighter, brighter, and (gulp) more colorful. It started with  painting over my Sharpie Stencil Wall, which was a little painful to do but necessary for the vision I’ve got for my living room. Even though that wall took a lot of hours to complete, it cost under $5 so it wasn’t too big of a hit.

For reference, here’s a semi-recent picture of my living room:

neutral gray living roomI painted over the faux stencil wall with one coat of primer, then 2 coats of Behr’s White Truffle- which is the same color as our entryway, stairway, and split level landing. That black bench is gone now due to a little puppy rambunctiousness that was totally adorable and worth it. (RIP bench, gone but not forgotten.)

Once the wall was painted, it came time to make some GIGANTIC art to cover that new blank wall with! I order THIS shower curtain and it is awesome. I washed (cold water!) and dried it, then ironed it forever.

Next was the fun part- I laid the shower curtain out on the floor and measured out a frame of 1×2’s. Since this piece is so big, I used my Kreg Jig pocket hole maker to make a square frame with several braces in the middle. Here’s what it looked like while I was dry fitting it all together:

sry fit the 1x2 frame for a DIY canvas

And in case you’re nervous about making pocket holes, here’s a quick one handed video I shot of me using it. It’s a piece of cake!! I used a little wood glue at the joints as well, just in case.

After the frame was built, I stretched the fabric over it and stapled it in place. I put two staples on each side just to hold it in place, then my husband pulled from one side while I stretched and stapled the other (having two people just helps make sure everything stays center and also really tight).

A million staples later and it was done. And, because it’s just some 1×2’s and a shower curtain it’s super lightweight- I used one anchor screw to hang it and that’s it.

Here’s a view from the back once it was built and the fabric was stapled on:

add support pieces into your DIY large scale frame

Once on the wall it looked great, but not me yet. It needed some BAZAM. Which in my world, means it needed some gold. I’m not patient enough to go to the store and get fabric medium, so I just grabbed some gold craft paint, mixed it with a little water to thin it out, then painted in the top of the curtain and a few other spots. Much better!

tutorial on extra large DIY art from a shower curtain

The shower curtain was about $50 and the 1×2’s were about $10, so for $60 I have a really cool piece of art that’s bigger than me! For reference, I am 5 feet tall. :)

home made stretched canvas art

To orient a bit in the house, this is a shared freestanding wall for the kitchen and living room. You can enter the living room from both the left and right sides of it, as well as from the stairs that lead to our second level.

In real life, this area looks like this:

how to turn a large cotton shower curtain into DIY wall art

Hellooooo eye sore cat tree! I’ve accepted you in my life, but I’m not happy about it.

As of today, the living room is looking like this:

unique living room wall decor ideas

I think I’m going to be painting the chairs white, but I kind of like the zebra pattern against the wave pattern so I may not reupholster them. I’m also going to redo the black coffee table and its’ two matching end tables…. wait till you see what I have in mind!

DIY stretched fabric canvas wall art from a cotton shower curtain

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Interested in making custom art? Here’s some more ideas you might like:
wood shim wall art pennant

DIY Glazed Sunburst Mirror

minwax frog tape wall art DIY

The Fab Furniture Flippin’ Contest: DIY HIDDEN LITTERBOX

This month I’m participating in a little DIY challenge called The Fab Furniture Flippin Contest and the theme is inspired by mom (because it’s Mother’s Day month!). Two of the lovely contest organizers have posts with more info and inspiration: Evey from Sweet Song Bird has one here and Stacy from Anastasia Vintage has one here.

FFFC post graphic final (png)Sooo here’s the thing. When I think of home decor, my mom’s house doesn’t exactly come to the forefront. I actually constantly rag on her for her house. Because it is SO. BEIGE. EVERYTHING BEIGE. ALL THE TIME BEIGE. Whew. She finds it calming. I find it incredibly stressful. Can you tell?

She’s also seriously against any kind of clutter. There are no tchotchkes. There are no knick knacks. Everything has a purpose. Sometimes when I go over to her house I swap around the pillows and move the table runner just to mess with her. SO. When thinking of an “inspired by mom” project I decided to alter a piece of furniture that I think can work a little harder for me, something that’ll hide an unsightly element of the house and clear up some floor clutter.

In 2012 I bought this dark wooden end table at the Habitat for Humanity restore (also in 2012, I had terrible photography skills):

dark wood end table - before picture

Then I spray painted it silver, glazed it with black, and swapped out the hardware (here):

dark brown end table - after - silver with black glaze

For while this held vases and vase fillers and candles and a whole bunch of other nonsense. And in the “inspired by mom” spirit, I donated 90% of that crap and cleared out the drawers.

THEN I got to work… hollowing out the drawers and cutting out the side and turning this fab piece of furniture into a DIY HIDDEN LITTERBOX :).

Hollowing out the drawers was easy, a few knocks with the hammer took care of it because the pieces were dovetailed together without much glue. Then I used the bottom of one of the drawers as a base and Gorilla Glue’d both drawer fronts on it. Once it was dried it was all one piece; I screwed it into the frame of the end table from the inside:

updated knobs on an old side table - fake drawer fronts

Next I had to hollow out the inside of the frame. Holy moly I did not have the right tools for this. I had a jigsaw, coping saw, and a hand saw and I Tim Gunn’d it (MAKE. IT. WORK.). I removed all the screws I could find, then used the coping saw to remove the middle divider between the draws. The ledges on the sides were a bit more complicated, and the hand saw worked for that part. I didn’t use the jigsaw at all for this part because it didn’t really fit.

Once the inside was hollowed out, I next cut a hole in the side (where the cats will enter to do their business). For this I needed a scroll saw. I don’t have a scroll saw though, so I used a jigsaw and hand saw and ripped all my hair out and then I finally got it.

Tip: to use a jigsaw when the point of entry isn’t the edge of your piece, just drill in a few large holes with a large drill or spade bit, then fit the blade of the jigsaw in the hole to start cutting.

disguised litter box in a repurposed end table

The bottom inside of the end table has a particle board piece underneath a frame of 1×2’s, so I caulked the seams where they met just to make sure no litter gets caught under there.

Then I bought a tupperware bin, filled it with litter, and popped it in:

secret litter box in an old end tableI used the cover of the container as an extra tray at the bottom and scooted the actual container all the way to the back, so the cats can walk in to the piece of furniture then step into the litter box (which will help stop litter from getting on the floor outside of it) Awesome! No more unsightly litter box hanging out in our living room! I think mom’d be proud :)

DIY Hidden Litter Box from SandpaperAndGlue.com

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So what do you think of my updates? A prize package from CeCe Caldwell’s Paints is up for grabs and I’ve got my fingers crossed!!

Also, if YOU are a blogger interested in participating in an upcoming challenege just email Stacy (info@anastasiavintage.com) or Evey (info@eveyscreations.com)!

Lots of little updates

Today I’m sharing a few little things I’ve updated around the house. Things were feeling ultra neutral-y and not as unique as I wanted it to be, so these small changes really helped. Prepare yourself for lots of pictures….

First up, some decorative pillow I originally bought for the living room but ended up in the guest room:

nate berkus decorative pillows

They’re Nate Berkus for Target and they are pretty awesome… I bet they could easily be recreated with a drop cloth and some DIY leather tassels, but I didn’t have any inserts or fabric so I just bought them (the cost would have evened out).

guest room wide

The whole room is very bright and airy, which I really like since my built in closet office is opposite the bed with all my craft supplies.

Next is a little art update in the kitchen:

kitchen art with Silhouette DIY

A looooong time ago I updated this whole piece after I found it decrepit in the basement (see it here). More recently I switched out the art and pictures, added the day of the dead statue Matt picked up on a vacation, and used my Silhouette to add Mr Skull Chef to the mirror.

He originally didn’t look like that AT ALL, but I accidentally put the vinyl on crooked and had to recreate it by hand. It also used to have a quote with it (Many have eaten here, few have died). Oh well. If you’d like the original file send me an email, I’m happy to share (sandpaperandglue @ gmail . com)

kitchen wide

 

The  kitchen chairs are on my hit list because I desperately want 4 of these chairs instead, but they’re in perfectly good condition and I can’t sell them for enough to cover the costs so for now they’ll have to do. Otherwise, I’m pretty in love with our kitchen- honey oak and all.

Third on the list of ch-ch-ch-changes in our front entrance:

white and gray front entrance

I got rid of the chalkboard wall that used to be there (see here for the how to) and added the vignette that’s in it’s place with stuff I already had around the house. Then I decided to disguise the thermostat with some mirrors and an empty frame and pop the shark jaw bone onto the mirror. We actually don’t use the front door to our house at all, which is why there’s a litter box tucked in the corner there…. it’s a very out of the way spot.

how to hide cover disguise a thermostat

The mirrors and frame were from a gallery wall I took down, and I painted the thermostat with some gray craft paint I had on hand (no primer, just 2 coats of paint).

And attached to the front entrance is our living room, with it’s AWESOME AND AMAZING brand new 7×10 rug that I got from just $90 at Bed, Bath, and Beyond (this is my first rug! I am so excited!):

neutral gray living room

I have been crazy hesitant to invest in a rug because of our 3 cats, but we added  cardboard scratchers under each of the chairs and the cat tree along the back wall and they’ve been totally fine with it. You can see here we also have some double sided tape on the side of the couch. These are all things maybe I could have removed for the sake of staging a picture- but you know what, this is real life with 4 animals. And I think it still looks darn good :).

gray and white living room with zebra print

That empty slice of wall on the left used to have the gallery wall, but I’m on the hunt for something large and simple to replace it with. The black tufted bench is actually in rough shape (cat scratches, of course) so I have plans to reupholster it, I’m thinking with some white faux fur to break up all the black.

 

And that’s everything! What do you think? What’s your favorite update? Mine is 100% the living room rug- it looks SO much more grounded now.

Have you been doing any little updates in your houses? Tell me all about them. :)

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Want to read more? Here’s some other projects seen in this post:

DIY wood slice art || silver spraypainted and glazed end table || DIY faux tile backsplash

sharpie stencil wall || DIY sunburst mirror || painted faux door moulding

How to Get Rid of a Chalkboard Wall

I know many of you are still dying to get on the chalkboard wall train, but I am so excited to have hopped off it. The previous owner of the house put up ours and it was crooked, off center, and just made so. much. dust. For someone with severe allergies, it was just a bad idea.

I hate this wall so much that the most recent photograph I could find of it was from October 2012.  Maybe I should have photographed it before I took it down, but sometimes you just need to take a hammer to a wall RIGHT NOW and can't wait to get your camera first.

I hate this wall so much that the most recent photograph I could find of it was from October 2012. Maybe I should have photographed it before I took it down, but sometimes you just need to take a hammer to a wall RIGHT NOW and can’t wait to get your camera first.

Getting rid of this thing was a beast. First, I used a hammer to rip out the (crooked, unpainted) trim that was installed around it. Next, I patched a zillion nail holes and wall dents (how did they dent the wall? HOW?!) Then I washed it like crazy and let it dry. Once it dried, I went at it with a palm sander. Then a sanding block. Then I washed it again. Then I repeated the wash/palm sander/sanding block routine about 4 more times. Eventually I gave up on getting rid of all the dust so I just sealed it in with a few thick coats of Zinsser primer.

how to get rid of a chalkboard wall

I was actually really impressed with the whole painting process- the chalkboard is black and our front entrance and landing are white so I thought I’d need a zillion coats. Instead, I did 2 coats of primer and two coats of paint (White Truffle by Behr) with just a few touch ups to make things blend easier since I just painted the chalkboard area and not the whole wall all over again.

sorry for such a strange, shadowy picture- it was nighttime and overcast when I got this done.

Sorry for such a strange, shadowy picture- it was nighttime and overcast when I got this done.

The art I hung there was purchased for the living room (it’s an original silkscreen piece by Pippin Frisbie-Calder that I picked up in New Orleans), but the scale was perfect here so I’m on the hunt for something else for the living room. The frame was $10 at the Habitat Restore and needs a fresh coat of black paint to clear up some of the dings, but otherwise it was an amazing find.

Can you paint a thermostat? Because I kind of want to.

Can you paint a thermostat? Because I kind of want to.

You can see a version of the print here, though mine is in different colors. It’s super weird and creepy and I’m very much in love with it. I can just picture my mom coming in and saying “Oh… that’s… different.” I’m also really trying to bring more color into the house, which is pretty much gray and white. But I want  color to just sort of exist here, not pops of color all over the place (yellow blanket! aqua bird! pink pillow! …vomit) so I’m working on learning what that means. In the words of Nate Berkus, “pops of color have popped.” Tips on layering in color are much appreciated!

small entry way

I love how sleek this area looks now and it coordinates really well with the dining room, as well as providing extra storage and a display spot for some sentimental pieces and interesting things.

inexpensive entry way

The art was not cheap, but since everything else was I was able to get it. Save where you can so you can splurge when you’re in love! Also, maybe dust the spots between furniture before you take a picture… whoops.

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Like this post? Then you  may like:

how to remove wallpaper - a step by step tutorialDIY sharpie stencil wallhow to paint perfectly crisp lines on your walls

How to liven up a thrift store lamp

Today’s post is short and sweet: I bought a lamp for $3 at my local Habitat Store, it came with a shade but it was so hideous I “donated it back.” I’m super generous like that:

IMG_2513

The brass was not working for me so I wiped it down, taped off the top and the wire, sprayed it with 2 coats of primer, then 2 coats of Rustoleum white in a satin finish. I also hit it with a coat of ModPodge clear acrylic spray to seal it just in case:

Screen shot 2013-05-28 at 6.56.48 AM

Follow me on Instagram for all sorts of project sneak peeks.

I got a shade at Target.com for $18 (5% off, plus free shipping with your card!). It is fabulous, however the metal-lamp-shade-attacher-part was not working with it. To remove it I very professionally bent it back and forth until it broke off then just placed the drum shade right on.

And now, a picture parade:

IMG_2545

For the regulars- no, that’s not Dutch. It’s his girlfriend, she came to stay for the weekend. :)

The best part of the lamp is the curves on it, which of course are impossible to capture on my camera.

The best part of the lamp is the curves on it, which of course are impossible to capture on my camera.

IMG_2543The shade is a little off white and the gray has just a hint of purple in it, but I may be just noticing that because I’m nitpicking. I picked the shade because it goes well with the stencilled wall right across from it, and so far I’m loving how this room is coming together. There’s definitely a few changes kicking around in the back of my head though, like adding a matching floor lamp to the other side of the couch… so stay tuned. :)

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Linking up with: Inspire Me Please (via Liz Marie), and A Blossoming Life

Glazed DIY Sunburst Mirror

On Monday I shared with you my DIY Sharpie Stencil Wall, and to go with it the art on the wall got a little update too.

A while back I made a DIY Sunburst Mirror out of wood shims, gorilla glue, and an old mirror. After it was spray painted white it looked like this:

hello, gorgeous.

hello, gorgeous.

Once that wall got the stencil treatment though, it was a little too white on white. I decided to shake things up a bit. WITH COLOR. I know, I know- it’s crazy. I painted something a color other then white. I was feeling wild.

After a few light coats of Rustoleum Aqua it was looking pretty stunning so I hung it up on the wall (with the tape still on the mirror) to marvel in the sweet, sweet shade of aqua.

before glazed

If this were a staged shot, with maybe just the chair up against the wall, the aqua would be lovely. But within the room it was like HI! I’M HERE! AND I’M THE ONLY COLOR IN THIS WHOLE JOINT! So I got out my glaze and roughed it up a bit.

sprayed

Once you’ve got your mixture ready get your foam brush and brush it on a few sections at a time, then lightly wipe it off with a damp cloth. If you’ve never glaze before I recommend wiping off most of the glaze then going back and doing a second coat (and third, if you need it). Slow and steady wins the race so you can tweak the look the way you want it.

After the glaze dried I hung it up and fell more in love then I ever thought possible.

oh yeah. much better. RAWR.

much better. RAWR.

And so now here’s some gratuitous shots of the whole room:

wide left

It’s basically impossible for me to take a picture without a cat and/or dog in it.wider

Love, love, love the view of this wall. And for reference, here’s what the other side of the room looks like:

Maybe I got a little over excited about aqua and sprayed a bird too... I couldn't help myself.

Maybe I got a little over excited about aqua and sprayed a bird too… I couldn’t help myself.

DIY Glazed Sunburst Mirror___

Like this post? Then you  may like:

wood shim wall art pennantDIY large frame

How To Draw On Your Walls With Marker… And Make It Fabulous!

You guys, I’m SUPER excited about today’s tutorial. It has been a loooong time coming. I’ve been working at my living room for quite some time, trying to figure out what was missing, and then when I did figure it out it was magical.

how to draw on your walls with sharpie  marker

First, let me remind you what my living room looked like the very first time I saw it:

yikes.

yikes.

When I first moved in I painted the room immediately, and because that crimson accent wall was so THERE I had somehow convinced myself that wall was supposed to be accented. I painted it yellow. Then I realized that is the wrong wall to accentThat wall all the way on the right side of the picture, that you can’t even see because there’s so much stuff against it? THAT is supposed to be the accent wall. So the yellow went away and I’ve been staring at the soon-to-be accent wall for almost a year trying to figure out what to do…

A few months ago Mandi @ Vintage Revivals posted a DIY Wallpaper technique she basically invented out of thin air using nothing but her mind grapes and a gold sharpie. However, her tutorial had a whole lot of measurements. I’m not the measuring type. I hates math (sorry, mom). So I combined it with this awesomeness from Sarah @ While They Snooze.

I took the Sharpie paint pen idea from Mandi and the hand drawn stencil idea from Sarah and mashed them together like a pb & j.

DIY morroccan template pattern made from cardboard

The Sharpie paint pen I bought was just over $5, and it was the only material I paid for. I bought three of them and ended up using 2, and technically I think I could have just used one if I was easier on the tip (heh heh heh). I used the cardboard from the box the pens came in to make my stencil.

Here’s the how to:

  • I printed the stencil on computer paper from Sarah’s site (it took up four pieces of computer paper).  I folded it long ways and cut it to be symmetrical, and I folded it horizontally and cut it to be symmetrical. This is very important, do not assume it will be. Fold it both ways! Snip, snip, snip!
  • Then I traced it onto the cardboard and cut it out with a box cutter (heavy duty scissors would do too)
  • Finally, I got my paint pen, estimated what might be the middle of the wall, and started tracing. I traced it approximately 9 million times and every single time I traced it I first checked to make sure it was level. Always check to make sure it’s level! Don’t get lazy! (Tip: download a level app on your phone, tape your phone to the cutout, and check that way)

That’s it- super easy. No need to buy a $50 stencil, no need to buy a pint of paint. Just put on a good playlist and trace, trace, trace. I spread it out over 3-4 days but if I just focused for 3-4 hours it could have been done all at once.

So here’s what the room looks like now:

DIY sharpie wall

heck YES. This angle is from where the tv was in the “before” picture.

Here’s another glorious look:

sharpie marker wall with DIY stencil

Um… sorry.. there’s a cat in the way. Let’s try that again:
gray and white stencil wall inexpensive

Yes, much better.

So what do you think, are you going to run out and get some Sharpies? Or are you an old fashion stencillin’ kinda lady?

PS- To learn how to make that wood shim mirror, check here! And to find out how to glaze it, check here!

DIY wallpaper - draw on your walls with marker

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