Category Archives: Crafting

Painted Table

end table (1)

I liked our painted kitchen table so much that I decided to paint our old round end table in the family room to match. It’s small, so it took only a moment with the palm sander to denude the tabletop. I only roughed up the legs and apron because primer can go over an old finish.


Two coats of primer and, later, two coats of white latex to the lower section of the table modernized it nicely. Then my favorite part: wiping on dark walnut stain and watching the color change. Lastly, two coats of oil-based urethane, followed by a few days of curing before it was safe to put the decor back.

end table painted (3)


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Cone Trees – Update


Our cone trees were a huge hit at the ladies luncheon on Saturday.


After the luncheon, we bravely offered the trees for sale in sets of three, and most of them sold! The remaining ones will be centerpieces at a second luncheon later in the month, and perhaps more will sell then. We hope to just recoup our costs.

Below is my “brown bag” lunch in a basket. I created a liner in pink polka dots, which matches one of the fabrics we used for trees. I made a cranberry-chicken croissant sandwich and added fruit for a treat.


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December 4, 2012 · 12:40 PM

Making Table Centerpieces

The woman’s Christmas Brunch at church is coming up and I was asked to create centerpieces for the event. Pinterest wins again: I found cone trees and I thought they would be easy and inexpensive to make. Heather, Joyce, and I got together one day a couple of weeks ago and started brainstorming ideas.

I started with a stack of lime green upholstery fabric scraps I had in my stash. I had no plans to use them for my home decor projects, so they could become trees. Shopping at Hob Lob, we decided on the color scheme of lime, turquoise, and bright pink. Each table will have three trees, one each of small, medium, and large. 
It was fun choosing coordinating fabrics and brainstorming trimming ideas. They had to be inexpensive, but otherwise, any idea was a possibility.
Then we spent three long days cutting, gluing…

 and trimming 36 poster board trees.

I’ll post an update after the event in December.

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Rustoleum Paint and Primer in One

I’ve been reading rave reviews by bloggers for the spray paint made by Rustoleum, called Universal Advanced Formula Satin Paint & Primer In One. Because I had several projects in mind, I bought a can of white at Home Depot today.
Project #1: change my three-decades-old brass table lamps from aging brass to…something. White? Black? Oil Rubbed Bronze? I couldn’t decide, so I figured white could easily be painted over, and besides, I wanted white for another project.
One old brass lamp. They were never that shiny brass, but an antiqued brass, and they look even more aged now than they did way back when we bought them.
Easy, easy spraying project: no primer, no sanding, just wrap up the electricals and spray away.
One new white lamp. Well. I’m not so sure I like it white. I’m thinking oil rubbed bronze is more my style, and I think we need more contrast against the pale lemon walls. So I may go black (Rustoleum) or oil rubbed bronze (Krylon). Please excuse the shade. I’m very tired of these granny shades. I want drum shades but I can’t find white or light ones when I have the $$$. 

Project #2: Old cork bulletin board to new, refreshed Job-Tracking System above the Professor’s desk. We hope and expect the jobs will be visible now and therefore actually get done before two years go by. Sorry, I was so overly enthusiastic to begin painting the old cork that I forgot to take a “before” shot. As you can see, it’s just a standard, Walmart variety, wood-framed cork board.

So, how did I like the paint?

At first I wasn’t impressed. I couldn’t figure out how to make it spray (Duh. Slide the little red band UP and off the nozzle. Up arrows mean UP, not down.) Then it spit globules amongst the spray. But, miraculously, the globs all evened out and it looks smooth and perfect. After two projects, I can say that I really like-like-like this paint. I’m sad that it’s nearly twice as much as my old Krylon from Walmart, but sometimes I will want to splurge on this paint with primer.

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Skeleton Leaves

 Greta and I played around with another Pinterest idea: turning leaves into skeletons. No, I don’t mean that they become the shape of a human skeleton. Instead, they lose the fleshy part of the leaf and all that remains is the skeleton of the leaf
It was fun to try it out, but I’m not sure it is worth it to me to go to all the work it takes to skeleton-ize them. 
The Pinterest pin was only in Japanese and photos so we had no instructions to read. But here’s what we guessed we were supposed to do: we put about one cup of washing soda (buy it in the laundry aisle) in a big pot, added a lot of water, and brought it to a boil. Then we tossed in leaves: dry, crisp ones; dry but not crisp ones; and even some green ones. We boiled and boiled them, two hours maybe?, until I decided that they would not come out of the pot with all the fleshy parts boiled away. 
By this time, the fresh green leaves had turned to mush – something like overcooked spinach. Well, that was a fail. Maybe they should have come out of the pot after 10 or 15 minutes.
I started taking leaves out one at a time, and laid them on a thick layer of paper towel. With an old toothbrush, I scrubbed on the backside of each leaf, up the center vein, and out each side vein. Eventually, I could see the fine veins appear. But it sure took a lot of scrubbing. And lots of holes appeared where, I assume, I scrubbed too hard.
I never got my leaves as “clean” as the Japanese photos showed, but maybe it was because I was using a different leaf variety. After they air-dried, I ironed the skeletons flat between sheets of waxed paper.
This isn’t a project that I plan to do again, unless someone can suggest a fabulous use for skeleton-ized leaves.

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Pinterest Craft Day #13

“Leaf Art” was the theme today for our Pinterest Craft Day.

Greta made a cute little banner by pounding fresh leaves onto muslin triangles.

Here she has finished pounding the leaves, but she has not picked the moist leaf pieces off the muslin yet.

Here is a finished muslin triangle…

…and her leaf banner.
Kathy and Adie made marbled leaves using shaving cream and acrylic paint.
After cutting leaf shapes out of cardstock, they covered the bottom of a plastic container with shaving cream. Next they swirled in several layers of acrylic paint, and marbleized it with a skewer. They poked the leaves into the mess, pulled them up, and let them sit to soak in for a few minutes before using a squeegee to wipe off the excess paint and shaving cream.

 Marbleized and drying.


 Leaves used in a banner.

Heather didn’t do a leaf project; she worked on her project from last session. She is continuing work on her stenciled canvas with old keys.

She cut key shapes from paper and laid them on a bronzy painted canvas. Then she began spray painting over the whole thing. She has many more layers of blue spray paint to do before she peels off the paper keys to reveal her bronze keys under the blue paint.

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Pumpkins for the Mantle

After great success with decoupaging foam pumpkins for church decorations, I decided to make some for myself. I waited until Michael’s had the carvable pumpkins at 50% off, and then I bought several in sizes that would fit on my mantle. 
I looked for autumn-friendly quilter’s prints at several stores until I found the colors I was looking for at Hancock Fabrics. No oranges and reds for me! I wanted to stick to the greens and yellows of my home decor, but I found only greens and browns. I decided that would work just fine.

The process was the same for these pumpkins: a coat of primer (this time I used gesso), tearing the fabric into strips and applying to the pumpkins using Mod Podge, and a final coat of clear sealer. Easy, easy. 

 A large pumpkin in a green print, and a smaller pumpkin in a tiny dark brown print.

On the left side of the mantel, a large pumpkin in the reverse print as the green print, and a smaller pumpkin in a smaller green vining print. 

 A few small china pumpkins are scattered throughout.

 This shows the scale of larger pumpkin to the smaller pumpkin better.

 Large green print up close.

One candlestick has a bit of leftover trim from the pumpkins we made for church.

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