Wednesday, December 23, 2015

DIY Santa Cookie Plate and Mug

Happy Eve of Christmas Eve!

Today's project is a good one to do with the kids while they are out for school. We did this and made sugar scrubs as a family this week. I had bought a Santa plate a few years ago, and it broke before I even got to use it. Sad day. I decided that instead of spending the money on a new set, I was going to make it. This project only cost me about $5.00.

Now originally, I was going to do the sharpie mug trick I tried two years ago (Click here for the post). However, while I was at the store, I noticed they had these handy dandy enamel paints, so I decided to take a shot at using them. I'm happy to report that everything went well. 



DIY Santa Cookie Plate and Matching Mug

Supplies

Plate and Mug (It was previously suggested to me to use cheap dollar store plates and mugs because they have a less smooth surface and therefore are more likely to take sharpies or paint)

Enamel Paints (I found my paint at Wal-Mart in the craft section for only a 1$ for each tube)*

Different Size Paint Brushes

Oven

*I should note that the enamel paints do warn not to have the paint come in contact with food. I made the personal decision that the cookies wouldn't be there for very long, so I wasn't concerned about them being on top of the plate. You could also just do a design on the outside of the plate.



Directions

1. Decide and Sketch Out Design

Before you start painting, it's a good idea to take a piece of paper and sketch out what you want your design to look like. I searched out other designs on Pinterest to get an idea of what I wanted mine to look like. My artist skills are limited so painting a Santa sounds like a good way to paint a big red blob. I decided to stick with a simple tree and lettering. 

2. Start Painting

I've done quite a few painted signs at this point so I've worked out what type of script works for me and what doesn't. I find cursive much easier and cleaner than printed text. I also have found that you always want to pick a smaller brush than what you think you need. The paint will spread so it's easier to start small and add to it. 

You will more than likely need to take your paint in layers. Always let the first layer try before adding the next layer. With light colors, you will probably need to added multiple layers to make the color more bright.

I personally find that I need to work my way from the top down to prevent smudging what I've already done. I also have to find a sweet spot speed wise where I'm being careful but not so slow my hand shakes.



Once you're done, let the plate and mug air dry for an hour. 



3. Bake Your Plate

To cure the paint, you can let your plate sit out for 21 days instead of baking it. At this point in the game, that wasn't an option. So we decided to follow the directions on the paint bottle and bake the plate and mug for a half hour at 350 degrees. 



I was surprised to see that the color didn't lose pigment when it cured. Sharpie mugs generally do, so this was a good option to keep the design clear. 

I did notice that while the design doesn't rub off, it will come off if you scratch it. The paint says that it's dishwasher safe, but I'll probably just hand wash it. After all I can cowboy up and hand wash something once a year.  







Tuesday, December 22, 2015

DIY Cabinet Christmas Card Holder

Hello! 

This tutorial is a bit late for the season but if you're like me, you probably are just now getting cards, so maybe it's not *too* late. 

Cabinet Christmas Card Holder


Supplies

Ribbon (I used a burlap and red ribbon. It's found in the curtain making supplies area)
Elastic
Needle and Thread or Sewing Machine
Clothespins 
Optional: Soft Batting

Direction

1. Cut Elastic and Ribbon

The first thing you need to do is cut the ribbon 2-3 inches longer than the length of your cabinet. Cutting the elastic is a bit of a guessing game. You don't want the holder to end up loose, so cut the elastic smaller than the length of the cabinet door. Take into consideration how stretchy the elastic is (some types have more stretch so you will need to cut the elastic piece even shorter). 

2. Sew the Elastic and Ribbon Together

Using either a needle and thread or sewing machine, to connect the ribbon to the top of the elastic. Make sure if you're using a machine, you use a zig zag stitch so the thread doesn't break as you stretch out the elastic. 

3. Optional: Add Padding to Ribbon

Since I have a brand new kitchen, the very last thing I want to do is scratch my cabinets. I added a strip of batting to the back of the ribbon. Using a color thread that matched the red of my ribbon, I sewed a line down the ribbon to keep the batting attached. 

The finished product was pretty fun and will be a great item to use year after year. 








Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Show & Tell: Salvaged Rustic Christmas Sign

Happy Snow Day!

It's a winter wonderland at Ugly House today. There was a bit of freezing rain before it start snowing which means all the trees look really cool. It also means a snow day for my kiddos. Thankfully we have a good support system when school is cancelled.



I was going to share last week this fun sign I made. Thankfully I got distracted because it looks much more Christmas like with all the snow. You may or may not recognize the wood. The wood is the top of the picnic table I salvaged this summer. (Click here for the post about the picnic table)




I put the wood aside assuming I would use it for a project at some point. When I started Christmas decorating and realized there was no way I was going to put Christmas lights down our entire fence...at least this year...I decided I wanted something you could see from the road. Ta da, free wood already the perfect size. All I had to do was add some free hand lettering. I grabbed some left over paint samples, gave the stop a good cleaning and had the entire project done in a evening. I finished the look with some large ornaments hanging from the adjacent tree. I may try to grab some more after Christmas. I might be crazy enough to try to get enough lights to do our entire front fence next year....only 300 or so feet. Yikes.






I love decorations with a bit of snow on them. Not so sure about the snow part itself. 










Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Handmade Christmas: Princess and Hero Peg People

Good Morning!

Every year I try to make a couple of handmade gifts for the kids. I have fun doing it and (usually) they have fun playing with them. {Click here for a round up of all my previous handmade gift ideas} This year I ordered some peg people off Etsy to make a chess set {Click here for the tutorial on my super awesome Harry Potter chess set}. While I was ordering those pieces, I thought it would be fun to order a set of boys and girls to make some sort of Christmas gift for the kids.

Contrary to what I've have tried to teach my daughter, she is very much a girly princess type of girl. No problem with princesses, but I want her to know it's okay to have other pursuits. My son loves super heroes, specifically Spider-Man and Batman. So I decided to make a set of princesses and a set of super heroes from the peg people.



This project is very inexpensive. I think each set of peg people was maybe $5.00. The real expense is having the time and patience to draw out what you want to do and letting each layer dry completely. I got frustrated when I had to redo something due to an unsteady hand. Once I was done with the people, I took some superhero fabric and princess fabric and created storage rolls for each set. My thought process is these would make perfect toys to throw in my purse if we're going out to eat. That way my kids aren't glued to a phone or iPad while we're waiting for food.

I had a ton of fun doing this and I'm thinking I might do something similar (on a smaller scale) for Valentine's Day.


Batman, Superman, Captain American and Spiderman

 Elsa, Rapunzel, Anna and Cinderella.

The carrier for the peg people was very easy to make. I first cut out a piece of fabric large enough to cover the people and have some left over to fold over. Then I placed the peg people on the fabric so I could pin pockets for each one.



I made sure to add straps before I sewed everything together.


Ta da! Perfect roll for transporting peg people.









Monday, November 30, 2015

DIY Sunday: $20.00 Door Rehab

Good Afternoon!

As I promised, today's tutorial is how to update 1970's boring bi-fold doors for only $20.00. The process is actually really simple and definitely adds some visual interest to a blah door. (You could easily use this technique for old hollow core interior slab doors as well!)

$20.00 Door Rehab
Supplies

Old Door
Lattice Strips (Bundle of 50 strips for $14.97)
Liquid Nails (I used the Heavy Duty type)
Caulk (Latex caulk that is paintable and cleans up with water)
Caulk Gun
Wood Filler
Clamps and/or Weights
Miter Saw or Hand Saw
Sand Block/Sander
Paint (My paint is a custom mixed Olympic One Paint and Primer in One)
Paint Roller & Brush
Optional: New Knobs and Primer

Directions

1. Prepare Wood

First, you will need cut the wood strips to the correct length using either a miter saw or a hand saw. I chose to do a small square on the top of each door. I thought about doing squares down the entire length, but after looking at our new interior doors (click here for the post about that saga) and the new board and batten (click here for that post), I decided to go with a craftsman one square on top style.

Since the wood is cheap, you may need to do a careful check of the wood before you pick it. Look for any warping, splits and any other cosmetic issues. Some of that can be fixed when you adhere the wood to the door, but not everything. Since there are so many strips in a bundle, you should be able to find some good straight boards in the group.

Once the pieces are cut, you will need to sand the wood smooth including the edges.



2. Prepare Surface

I removed my door and placed it on sawhorses, so it would be easier to work on. To remove a bi-fold door, you need to close the door and lift up. The top pin should compress in, and you should be able to lift the door off the bottom bracket and pull out. If your door is being stubborn (like mine was) you can also screw the bracket off the top track and slide the door inwards to remove. Remove the knobs.

Since there is more than likely some sort of finish on the top of the door, you will need to roughen up the surface. A smooth finish will keep your lattice strips and paint from adhering. You need to rough up the surface with a sanding block. You don't need to get crazy about it,  a fine grit sandpaper will work.

3. Attach Wood Trim

Since the door is hollow, it won't do any good to use screws or nails. You will need to use Liquid Nails or a similar adhesive.

Once you lightly sand, you need to fasten the wood to the door. Apply Liquid Nails on the back of the wood strips in a wave pattern. Put the wood on the door and clamp it down. Use a wet rag to wipe away any adhesive that spills out from the trim. Let the door dry. I let my door dry overnight.If I couldn't reach a section with a clamp (i.e. in the strips on the inside of the door), I used a 10 pound weight to keep the trim from moving.



4. Wood Fill

Using wood fill, fill in anywhere the trim meets other trim. This is especially important if you have to join two pieces. The goal is to make the long piece appear as one piece, not two. After you let the wood fill dry for the time specified on the package, take either your sanding block or sander to the wood to level it out. I found that a block worked fine on everything except the long pieces joined together. To make those appear as one piece, I had to use a sander to take more surface area off.




5. Caulk the Gaps

You will need to caulk the gaps anywhere the trim meets the door. Caulk is one of those steps that many people overlook when doing trim. It does amazing things when it comes to making a professional finish.


This is the trim without caulk.
Trim with caulk


You will want to caulk prior to painting because paint will catch less dust than the caulk by itself (not to mention, it will clean up much easier). Caulking used to intimidate me, mostly because I did such a terrible job on our tile back splash. However, once I threw out those caulking tools and just used a damp finger, the process was much easier. Once you have everything caulked, let the caulk dry according to the directions on the tube.



6. Paint the Door

If you would like, this is the time to apply a coat of primer to the door. I didn't have primer on hand, so I just went straight to my paint and primer in one. Primer would help keep the paint from peeling; however, I haven't seen any issues with the paint coming off my doors thus far.

Using a brush in the crevices and a foam roller meant for doors on the larger portions, I painted the front and sides of the door. I decided not to paint the back since no one will see that portion of the door. If you want a more professional finish (or are using this tutorial on an interior door), you may want to start with the back and then paint the front last. My door took three coats to completely cover.

After the first coat of paint, it's clear it's going to need some additional coats.


Once I was done with the front and edges, I propped my door up so I could paint the middle section where the hinges are located.

The door is propped up so the hinge side can be seen.

7. Rehang Door

After everything has completely dried, it's time to rehang your door. I always expect to do some touch ups after re installing the doors, so keep your gallon of paint handy. Once the door was rehung, I added new knobs to the existing holes.