Con-TRAY-ry to Popular Belief

Contrary to popular belief, we still have a blog.To prove that, here’s a little something we whipped up as part of our living room redesign.

After over 6 years, we got ourselves a new couch. Along with that new couch, we moved our coffee table, and replaced it with an ottoman. Still following? Well, I hate to admit it, but we like to eat meals in the living room fairly often, and an ottoman just isn’t a sturdy table to eat off of. So, we decided to get ourselves a serving tray for drinks and plates. We didn’t see anything we totally loved, so we made one. We started with a basic wooden tray that we picked up at a craft store and painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. I’ve made things with milk paint before, and working with chalk paint is similar.

Tray with Plywood

While preparing this tray I quickly realized that it needed something extra to support the weight of drinks and plates so I reinforced it with two pieces of plywood on the top and bottom.

Scored Plywood

The tray is about 12″ x 12″, so I bought a piece of 24″ x 12″ plywood and scored and split it.

First coat of chalk paint

Chalk Paint is really easy to work with and doesn’t require priming. You could probably get away with 1 coat, but I did two. I painted the sides and handles but left the bottom and top unpainted because that’s where the plywood will be going.

Annie Sloan English YellowWe decided to go with Annie Sloan’s English Yellow, which we figured would provide a nice contrast to the marine color of the ottoman, and the gray palette of the couch.

Tray Partial Paint

I used wood glue to attach the plywood insert and let it sit overnight with some weight on it.

Tray with Weights

While the glue was drying, I painted the insert for the other side.

Clear Wax

 

That right there is clear wax. To seal the chalk paint a regular poly won’t really work, it needs two coats of clear wax.

Tray with Clear WaxThe wax can be applied with a cloth, but also needs to set and then be buffed. I did one coat, buffed it out, let it sit overnight, and then did it all again. This should provide a watertight seal.

DIY Chalk Paint Above

There’s the final product. I think it looks pretty good with our other decor and it fit pretty well on the ottoman.

Final DIY Painted Tray

I’ve seen a lot of info online about how chalk paint is difficult to work with, but I found it really easy to handle. We bought a relatively small amount of it and it went a long way. I’d like to try it on some other projects in the future, it seems like a good alternative to traditional paint and finishes.

Christmas in the New Place

So with no new projects on the horizon (we’ve got some ideas, but haven’t started executing anything yet…we know, boring, lazy, not entertaining, etc.) and the holidays taking up all of our time, we figured we might share a quick post about what Christmas is like here in our new place!

As you know, I’m a big huge gigantic fan of Christmas. This is due, in part, to the fact that I was born on Christmas day. I know, ‘it’s amazing’, right? Joking aside, Christmas is super important to me. You can read all about my crazy obsession with Christmas tree ornaments here.

Now that we have so much more space, my Christmas decorating has been taken to a whole new level (of crazy)!

We have a bay window in the living room and a bow window in the kitchen now. These are two fantastic new places to add decorations that we couldn’t have otherwise accommodated in the past. I made a little pine, berry and candle/lantern display for the kitchen window:

DIY Christmas display, pine and berries DIY Christmas display in the kitchenI added my mom’s classic manger display to the bay window in the living room right next to the tree:

Christmas manger display

We also now have a mantle on our fake (it’s electric…boogie, woogie, woogie) fireplace, so of course I had to spruce this up with some lights, and some familiar old decorations that just didn’t really have a proper spot in the old place. I’ve got to admit, even though it’s a fake fireplace I am SO excited about this because we can actually hang our stockings by the chimney – with care, of course. 😉

As you saw in one of our previous new house/old house comparison posts (click here) we still have our coffee bar. However, there just so happens to be a very handy electrical outlet right above the mug rack, so I took full advantage of this by adding a little light display here too!

Coffee bar Christmas light display

Of course we still have our tree, but now with the added space and bay window, we thought this would be a great opportunity to make the tree even more of a focal point. In our old house, we really had no choice but to kind of stuff the tree in the corner next to our couch. Now, we have the tree right in the window for all to see. So this makes for a nice display looking in from the outside and also a way better setup for enjoying the tree on the inside of the house. Don’t mind my fun Instagram filters. 🙂

Christmas tree (old house)Christmas tree (new house)

And of course, our outside display is still just as fun. We are thinking we will probably add to this as years go by, but this is a good start for our first year in the new place (pardon the low lighting in these quick cell phone snaps). We also have these fun bushes now that we spiraled some lights around!:

Outdoor Christmas light displayOutdoor Christmas light display

How do you use your space to decorate for the holidays? Head over to our Facebook page to let us know!

P.S. – When we’re not blogging, we are posting photos to Instagram and pinning great/inspiring DIY projects and ideas for house and home. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Pinterest as well to stay connected.

Headboard Bored | DIY Headboard Project

You may recall us mentioning our headboard and some changes we were making in our bedroom. Things are really coming together and the hardest part is over – picking out all the pieces and coordinating the headboard fabric with the rest of the look.

In our old bedroom, we had black accents, so naturally, we went with black headboards. The fabric we used was nice because it was sort of like a quilt, giving the headboard that pillow-y look and feel. It made a lot of sense at the time, but since then, we’ve become bored by this – headboard bored. We wanted to lighten and brighten in our new space, so it was time to ditch the dark colors.

I really wanted to be able to play with a pop of color and the style of the headboard in our new bedroom. With subdued aqua-colored bedding and light white curtains with an added pop of silver, I was sure to do just that. Here is what we picked:

Headboard fabric for DIY project

We wanted something that looked more like a painting or a landscape as opposed to just a pattern like dots or stripes. I think this fabric does a great job of that. You may be surprised to hear that this fabric actually comes from a shower curtain! Yes – we I spent A LOT of time looking at fabrics, so when the standard fabric stores just weren’t going to cut it, I had to get resourceful. As it turns out, shower curtains are PERFECT for this project.

Follow my DIY directions here for creating your very own fabric headboard!

DIY Headboard Project

You will need:

    • 2 standard, blank canvases
    • Fabric of your choice
    • Staple gun (a simple crafting gun is more than enough)
    • Zero patience because this is just so easy! 🙂
  1. Buy some blank canvases from your local arts and crafts stores. Michaels or A.C. Moore will do the trick. They are pretty inexpensive, especially if you can catch a sale.
  2. Measure your canvases. Jot down the dimensions before heading to step 3 below.
  3. Find your fabric! This sounds like the easy part, but it’s really the hardest (see above). Make sure if you are ordering fabric by the yard you get the proper size with a little extra to spare. Keep in mind that you’re going to be wrapping about 2 inches of fabric around the back of the canvas on all sides to secure it with staples later in the project. Measure twice, cut once! If you find yourself buying a shower curtain for this project like we did, just one will do! It’s the perfect amount of fabric for the size typical queen-sized headboard.
  4. Cut your fabric. I just laid the shower curtain on the floor, placed both canvases on top of it and that gave me a rough idea for where to cut. Cut two pieces, again, keeping in mind that you will be wrapping the fabric around the edges of the canvas on all sides.
    Cutting fabric for DIY headboard project
  5. Start with one canvas at a time. Place the canvas on top of the fabric so the printed side of your fabric will be wrapped around the front of the canvas.
    Preparing your DIY headboard
  6. Start with one side – any side – and start wrapping the fabric around the edge of the canvas, pulling it as tight as you can.
  7. Get stapling! Staple all the way across the edge so the fabric will be secure. No need to overdo it.
    Stapling DIY headboard
  8. Move onto the next side, giving the fabric a nice tuck and fold around the corner of the canvas. Now you want to start keeping everything very tight. This way, the fabric will be flush around the front of the canvas. Keep stapling all the way around and continue in this way for the remaining sides of the canvas.
  9. It’s a lot like wrapping a present! When you get to the last side, you’ll just want to be sure you’re pulling everything tight and sealing off that final edge.

Wrapping fabric for a DIY headboardThat’s it! Repeat steps 5 through 9 again on your second canvas. Then you’re all set to hang them!

We place ours on the wall behind our bed so that the bottom of the canvases is lined up with the top edge of the mattress. This gives the illusion that this headboard is part of the bed and not part of the wall. We use a nail at the top of each canvas, then we use those Command Velcro strips to secure the headboards even more. This way, when you’re resting with your pillow on them, they don’t shift around or fall off the wall.

It’s really that easy. What do you think?

DIY headboard completionFinal product after DIY headboard project

Hanging a DIY headboard

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