Milk Paint Frame

I recently heard of milk paint for the first time. Sounded a little weird so I thought I would join a workshop in town to see what it was all about. You can read all about the paint here, but basically it's a natural paint with no odor and when used in combination with different techniques, you can get some really cool vintage-looking results.

The idea was simple. Pick two colors—one for the bottom that shows through and one top color. I chose gray and yellow. After I painted the first coat (it dries super fast), I added some wax to the areas that I wanted to show through. Then I painted the top yellow coat. The whole project was done and dry in an hour.

Repurposed Spice Rack

I came across this spice rack at a local thrift store and thought it would be perfect to organize all our bottles and shakers. I estimated the sizes of the bottles and assumed they would fit, but in the end they didn't. So why not turn it into a jewelry rack!

I'm a big believer in using things I already have lying around, so for this piece I used paint and fabric left over from previous projects. I started by removing one of the shelves and lightly sanding the surfaces. Then I covered the whole thing with a coat of dark brown paint.

Since the teal paint is from a previous furniture project I did, I went for the same effect on this piece. After it was all painted, I wrapped a piece of cardboard with leftover fabric, stapled it to the back and added some hooks. It actually ended up being way more useful this way than as a spice rack!

Pinterest Project Success

I spend my fair share of time on Pinterest. A while back I was seeing lots of pins for how to decorate with lighted marquee letters. But purchasing them was out of the question. Just one letter can set you back a few hundred dollars. Luckily Pinterest is also a great place to find the DIY version of practically anything!

So I found some instructions on how to fake old metal letters using card stock and a little spray paint. DIY project success!

I started this project on the computer of course. I'm a graphic designer and a perfectionist, so free-handing was not an option. I printed the letters, cut them out and traced the outlines onto black card stock.

I cut those letters out, punched holes where I wanted the lights to go, and then hot glued 2-inch strips of card stock all the way around each letter. Finished up with some dark orange spray paint and a string of white twinkle lights. And that's it! Made a cozy little edition to our place.

Ornithology & Drawing

Six weeks ago I signed up for a class call Ornithological Drawing at The Art Box. I love birds, but I’m terrible at drawing so I thought it was perfect! It was taught by Emily Smith, the Natural History Collections Manager at Randolph College. She is equal parts artist and scientist, so we were able to get up close with the bird specimens.

We started with basic techniques in pencil, moved to Micron pens and finished up with watercolor. The bird I chose is called a Pyrrhuloxia. Looks kind of like a Cardinal, but lives in Texas apparently. I’m a fan of any bird with a fluffy crest. 

The other finished birds from the class.

The other finished birds from the class.

Upcycled Dresser

One of my favorite things is to find something old and broken and to give it a new life. My first big project was this yellow dresser that I turned into a vintage-looking storage piece.

I picked it up for about $50 at Faith Farm in Fort Lauderdale. It was pretty ugly to begin with and once I got it home, I discovered some termite damage on one of the legs. Oh well. I patched it up with some wood filler and it was good as new.

Being my first project, I wanted to keep it simple. I first removed all the handles and then sanded all the surfaces just enough to give the paint something to stick to. And then I painted the whole thing dark brown. Once that dried, I applied the teal paint very roughly. I used a cheap brush because I was trying to get some of the brown to show through.

While the paint was drying, I took the handles outside and applied a paint stripper. It took a couple applications before the old paint all came off, but once it did they were good as new! Here's the finished piece!