The Foyer Makeover (A Good Ol’ Before and After)

The images you are about see are of a graphic nature.

Ok, not really… But pretty hideous, right?  That is the foyer in our apartment, and this is basically the way it has looked for the past nine months.  We’re not proud of this fact (and if you can imagine, it’s even worse on a rainy or snowy day, with wet and drying rain boots, umbrellas, and towels for drying dog paws).

Surprisingly, it’s the foyer is pretty big for an NYC apartment, so we thought ourselves clever by adding some box shelves that we’ve used in previous apartments.  The effect was less than desirable (though functional).

Josh found a wooden pallet (you know I love those), which we thought we could use as shelving or as a hanging/drying station.  However we were nervous about installing something this heavy on our fragile plaster walls (if you remember from this post, they’re irritatingly delicate), so we eventually vetoed this idea (but not until after months of going “Could we?”).

When I found these awesome hooks at the dollar store (they were actually a dollar each), I knew I was on to something.

Of course I painted them (is anyone surprised?).  But first I had to remove all of the bleck brass hardware:

Then I spray painted the hooks with a metallic silver paint meant for metal (“I’d like to thank my fire escape and the hardware store down the street owned by that very nice Orthodox Jewish man”).

Then I painted the wood with the same paints (and in a similar technique) that I used in the painted wooden spoons project:

Of course, Rosario (and all of her friends) were of great help to me.

Then… it was time to hang the hooks:

As you remember from a couple of weeks ago, I also gave the ghastly 70’s intercom cover a makeover:

It’s a little sparse right now (especially on the opposite side), so we’re looking to add a few smaller things, including painting the door GREEN.

I’m pretty pleased with overall effect, especially since this is the first glimpse people get when they enter our apartment (including us), so I like that it’s a pleasant anteroom to an apartment that I already think is in pretty good shape.

Yes ma’am.  I like it.  Now, if only I had a better camera.


A Mini Makeover Plus a Really Long Preface

Guess what?  I don’t wake up and write blog posts daily… nor do I drink coffee, read the morning paper, or shave my legs (every day).  The last three things are unrelated — I’m just trying to paint a certain picture for you…

So while I am in Atlanta right now, you might find it curious that I am showing you a mini makeover from a room in my NYC apartment… as if to say “Oh, this little ol’ project?  I just did this yesterday, after I dropped the kids off at croquet lessons.” (There are no real kids in this scenario, just the dogs… who don’t like croquet…. so you know I’m telling a tall tale.  Get it?!)

I actually did this project back a few weeks ago and… I. WITHELD. IT. FROM. YOU.

(Does that sound as wrong as it felt to type?)

But I did this for good reason, because while I’m in Atlanta having a grand, old time, I also happen to be so busy that I don’t have nearly as much time to focus on the blog as I did back in NYC (nor do I have the 2 hour train commute — both ways — that I had in NYC, which was some of my most productive post writing time).  And this is something I figured out before I left for the summer, so I wrote this — and a lot of other posts — in advance.

Wow, talk about an unnecessary preface…


Ok, so since things moved around with the addition of the bicycle wheel and other Courtney-fickleness, the wall by Josh’s side of the bed was looking a little shmeh.  I thought sticking the David Bromstadt inspired painting over there would be a swell idea, but it just looked sort of green-crazy.

So, we said see ya later to the painting (we’ll find another place for it really soon!) and hello to DIY Subway Art (oh, you remember).  With this switcheroo, came a few other other changes…

See the changes on the shelf?  I used leftover jars, painting the inside of one Tiffany Blue.  Using sales fliers, I made three paper flowers and attached them with green tape to bamboo skewers.  These little projects were super easy and free for me (since I already had the supplies lying around), and I love the extra color it gives to the shelf.

Taking this oil rubbed bronze two-tiered fruit basket, I made a catch-all-for-Josh’s-everyday crap manly accouterments by adding two bowls that just magically fit (I love the basket for its intended use, but if you’ve seen my kitchen/wall, you know I have no kitchen space so a lot of things have needed new homes).

I finished the nook off by adding a silver box that a neighbor gave me for my wedding and a red alligator skin flask that my friend, Megan gave me for Lent. (That last part about Lent is untrue and slightly irreverent.  Ha.)

Now this is a shmeh-free zone.  Thank goodness!

Making My 70’s Intercom Pretty

If you live in a mid-century apartment like me, you’re probably overrun with tacky little things like this baby:

I’m guessing it was added in the 70’s based on the beautiful faux wood and all the other delightful details.

(Hint: If it’s in italics, it’s sarcasm.)

Yeah, it’s fugly.  Not even misused phrases like “vintage charm” can help this sucker out.

(Amazingly it still works, so that’s nothing short of miraculous.)

In my slow-going but determined attempt to makeover the foyer….

… I decided this intercom cover was something worth tackling as well.

Of course, my enthusiasm got the better of me when I tried to remove the cover and realized it was all one piece, and hard wired to the electrical supply in the wall.  Eek!  I’m sure I could have eventually figured out how to disconnect it, but that’s not something I was terribly interested in (playing with electricity and messing with things that still work after 40+ years, that is).

Time to move on to my not-yet-determined Plan B.  (Whatever that was.)

I pondered various ideas, including hot gluing a piece of paper or fabric to the cover and cutting holes for the speaker.  Even though we don’t own the apartment, I was pretty sure that I could return the cover to its 1970’s glory if necessary.

Then I remembered a silver frame that I had gotten from Dollar Tree which happened to perfectly fit the box cover.  Hooray!  Plan B!

I took some scrapbook paper left over from my cut-out planner and taped it to the inside of the frame.  I cut out the holes for the buttons using an X-acto Knife, but not before vigorously cleaning the buttons (all this time I had thought the buttons were yellow/brown, but under all the grime, they actually proved to be white!).

I attached the frame to the box (and the adjacent wall) using 3M Velcro mounting strips  (which are one of my favorite things EVER).

Here’s the finished product:

See the slits cut for the speaker?

(Forgive the less than beautiful lighting in the foyer.)

I used the X-acto knife for those as well.

And just because we all like a good side-by-side before-and-after comparison, here you go:

I would call that a major improvement.  And even though it’s bedecked in flowers and is undeniably girly, Josh gave it the OK (I actually got a high five because of my handiwork).

Now trying to persuade the pizza man to walk up four flights of stairs will be more enjoyable… at least for me.



More Before-and-Afters…


Embellishing My $0.99 Planner

The Odyssey of the Curtain Rod Bookshelf Thing

Painted Wooden Spoons

My Gallery Wall (Reveal)

Today I’m giving the award for Longest-Put-Off-Idea-On-My-Crafty-To-Do-List to…

The Gallery Wall!

gallery wall

But seriously, I’ve had my sights set on turning my living room wall into a gallery wall forever and I’ve just never gotten around to it.  I love the concept of gallery walls because nowhere else can you put that much unrelated stuff on a wall, yet tie it all together with matching frames or colors, and magically it’s design-forgivable… even chic.  Of course, you don’t have to tie everything in together with a common design element, but I sure fancy it that way and with all of the color already going on in my living room, doing it any other way might hedge on loud.


So, I came up with a list of images I already had (or could get copied), then checked out my frame collection.

A motley crew, indeed.

Yeah, something told me that all of those together on my blue wall would not be appealing.  So I took out the glass and backing and set out to spray paint them white.

I had considered doing half white and half metallic gold, but based on the images that I wanted framed, this just wouldn’t have looked best… so all white it was:

Look at that lovely fire escape/photography studio/multi-purpose room!  So handy.

While impatiently waiting for the spray paint to dry, I played with the frame templates I’d made (excuse the nighttime indoor photography).

Before I painted the frames, I had laid them out with each picture on top or in the frame in an attempt to get a balance of color, size, and orientation.  I was actually pretty fond of my first attempt, but expected that I’d change my mind once it was on the wall.  So… I did what you may have seen on a lot of blogs:  I made templates of each frame out of discarded sales fliers and newspaper and attached them to the wall with painter’s tape.

I’d labeled each template before so I knew what pic was (probably) going in it, then rearranged as I saw necessary.  The process involved a lot of walking away and suddenly turning… Then running up and moving something a half inch this way or that way.  Then repeating the process.  And then again.  And again…. Until finally I felt I was happy with the arrangement and it wouldn’t be one of those things I stared at in annoyance for months to come as I contemplated “Why did I put that frame there?!” (because that’s what I do with my free time, yep).

Finally, the paint had dried, the frames were singing “Kumbayah,” and all felt right in my world.  Next, I got out the ol’ level, hammer, and nails and started hanging the pictures.  Using the templates as a guide, I measured where the nail hook or mounts were on the frame, measured to that point on the template, then hammered a nail directly into the template and ripped the paper down once the nail was secure.  This involved a lot less measuring than going in blindly and helped me maintain the necessary space between each frame, preserving the gallery wall effect.

Once all the nails were up and the templates ripped down, I began the simple task of hanging the frames.  Because of the template method, they were all level the first go-round, and I didn’t have to go back and redo any of the holes.

Here’s the whole she-bang:

Isn’t she lovely?  (C’mon, sing it with me!)

Here’s the breakdown of what’s up there:

Waffle House pic — Our first date was at a WaHo after a rehearsal one night in college.  And we’ve continued in swanky style since then… so classy.

Wedding pic — This was taken right before the wedding (we did pics before).  (Photo by jk Dallas Photography).

Brooklyn Bridge —  We live here!  And we like the bridge, too.

Bailey — My family’s dashingly handsome lab/hound mix, Bailey.  We have pics of our dogs everywhere, but we thought the Fosters’ dogs should get represented, too.

Virginia Highlands sign — This was our nabe in Atlanta and oh, how we loved it so.

Silhouette — This was my sweet little seven year old self in Victorian silhouette form.  Of course I had a huge bow — what else would you expect?

Wedding pic — If you squint, you might see the other wedding pic on the left side.  This is one of our favorites, though it definitely has that air of American Gothic to it — minus the bitterness, repression, and pitchfork.

New Orleans wordle — NOLA is where we honeymooned, so I just put in a bunch of NOLA related text into Wordle, played with fonts and colors, and ta da!  (To read the whole post all about the wonders of Wordle, go here.)

Subway art — Remember this one that I made here?  Well, it worked its way up onto the wall.  It reads: “Take your vitamins/Floss daily/Get some exercise/Eat your vegetables/Walk the dogs/Say your prayers/LOVE one another.”

Ink and marker drawing — This is a representation of a quote from Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116, drawn by the amazing Flash Rosenberg (she’s the artist-in-residence at the New York Public Library).  We had this made at a fundraiser for a theatre company here in NYC — Flash was awesome and volunteered her time (and artistry) and all proceeds from her drawings went to the theatre company.  The quote she “drew” was “Love is not Time’s Fool” (little did she know that I love orange).

Cassie picture — Below the silhouette is a picture of my family’s gorgeous golden retriever, Cassie.  She passed away over the holidays, after almost fifteen years on this planet!  She wasn’t messin’ around.  This pic is a family favorite, so of course it made its way onto the gallery wall.

Because everything is hung with nails, we have no problem changing things out as we grow tired of certain pictures, or even shifting things around to reflect the holidays (spoiler alert: there will be Christmas-themed changes — I have no shame).

Let’s look at the pretty-ness again.

We really love how it turned out.  I’m often found standing in front of it saying “Look at that pretty wall.”  It has a calming effect on me.  But that’s mostly because I’m a huge dork.

Now if only we can do something about the black bulk of an entertainment center.    I see royal blue paint in the future (don’t judge — it’ll be pretty, I promise).

Things that (P)inspire Me: Upcycled Suitcase Furniture

(Sorry for the two day absence — I’ve been on vacation visiting family in the ATL, and the general sense of warm fuzziness and good times distracted me.  However, as you are reading this, it is likely that most lingering feelings of  warm fuzziness have dissolved, as Josh and I are driving back to NYC — that’s 15 HOURS of interstate, y’all.  The one thing I do have to look forward to, aside from the dazzling company of my tall companion, is Bluegrass Junction on XM  radio… because it. is. the. JAM.  Yes!)

This Friday’s round-up features something that I first saw a little over a year ago while browsing around the ol’ Interwebz: Upcycled Suitcase Furniture.  I’ve always loved using suitcases as furniture or as a unique form of storage. Growing up in my parents’ house, my mom always had a stack of vintage suitcases that functioned both as storage and as an end table.  Carrying over that same idea, I’ve used a vintage suitcase both as a conversation piece and as a storage space for a couple of years:


However, this round-up takes it to the next level.  These artisans have crafted everything from suitcase chairs to suitcase dog beds.  Per usual, you can click on the pic below to go the original source (the websites are listed in the captions as well). Enjoy!

suitcase dog bed

Suitcase dog bed {Source: Houzz}

suitcase credenza

Stacked suitcase credenza {Source: Waterfront Hotel via Apartment Therapy}

suitcase chair

Suitcase chair {Source: Recreate}

Pinned Image

Suitcase cat bed {Source: Vintage Renaissance Etsy shop via Recyclart}

Suitcase dresser {Source: James Plumb via Modern Home Today}

suitcase end tables

Suitcase end tables {Source: Salvage Shack Etsy shop}

suitcase chair, katie thomspon, recycled suitcases, recycled materials, upcycled materias, samsonite suitcases, green chairs, recycled chairs, recycled seating design, diy

Suitcase chair {Source: Katie Thompson via Inhabitat}

Suitcase chair {Source: Recreate via homedit}

Pinned Image

Suitcase chair {Source: Recreate via Kaboodle}

recycled suitcase iOZBg 5638

Suitcase furniture {Source: Eco Friend}

Grab a button if you were featured in this week’s round-up!

Image URL:

Link URL:

Craigslist: FREE!

There’s an ever-present, but oft-neglected section of Craigslist called “free.”  (As in zero dollars.)    While it is housed under the “for sale” section, it’s like its own little planet, with its own language, patterns, and rules (well, not really rules, maybe… caveats?  terms? conditions?).  So, a little 411 on this Craigslist feature can definitely help you navigate the sometimes murky waters (I’ve used two different metaphors in the last two sentences — it’s hard to say if my language arts teachers of the past would be scratching their heads in confusion or patting me on the back in congratulations… hmmm…..).

Whut up, list?!!

  • As with all features of Craigslist, you can subscribe to the RSS feed, specifically a search that you may have run.  For example, if you really need some extra lumber that might be leftover from someone’s project, you can go to Craigslist, search scrap lumber or wood (or whatever smart thing you come up with), subscribe to the search results (the yellow RSS logo is in the lower right hand corner of the screen), and you’ll be notified instantly when something becomes available.
  • The free section is frequented by people who have just finished projects and have leftover materials, people who recently had a garage sale and don’t feel like driving to Goodwill to get rid of the last vestiges of their crap, or people who just don’t want to take the time to deal with a potential seller.  This means that the free section runs a wide gamut, having everything from leftover paint to barely used furniture and electronics.
  • Because of the last minute, loosey goosey nature of the “free” section, most people will not take the time to photograph their item or items and they certainly won’t be delivering to you.  In fact, some people don’t even list their e-mail or phone number; instead, they just give some cross streets and a city, announce a “curb alert,” and do exactly that: place their items on the street curb in hopes that they’ll be picked up before the trash truck comes.  This means that things on the free section are not meant to be mulled over.  If you think you might want something, go and get it (especially before it’s snatched up by someone else).  It’s definitely first come, first serve, and in my experience, most former owners of this free stuff aren’t going to swear some allegiance to the first person who called them about the item.  They just want to get rid of it, and it goes to whoever gets there first.
  • Considering the reasons that most people use the free section, the best time to search is on weekends — especially mornings.  That is, if you have opted out of subscribing to the RSS feed (but you really should just subscribe).

And for your reading pleasure, one of my favorite features of Craigslist, the Best of Craigslist.  If you’ve never checked out this section before, do it now!  It is a user-driven round-up of links to real Craigslist postings that are at times hilarious, bizarre, confusing… but always entertaining.

Check back tomorrow for the continuation of that Wedding series thang… :)

Previous Posts in the Craigslist Series:



Job Hunting

Apartment Hunting

Things that (P)inspire Me: GREEN

With St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday, I thought a verdant Pinterest round-up was appropriate.

And I also happen to really love green!

Photo by jk Dallas Photography

To check out the whole Pinterest board, go here: GREEN

To redirect to the original source, click on the image.  And… if you were featured this week, grab a button at the bottom!

I have long harbored a love for green sofas. {Source: Design Sponge}


Chartreuse Tablescape. Loooove. {Source: Weddings by Color}

Green Chevron Decorative Pillow Cover

Green and White Chevron Pillow {Source: The Linen House Etsy Shop}

green kitchen

Not only is this a green kitchen -- it has a green gingham ceiling. For real. {Source: House Beautiful}


Seafoam green kitchen {Source: Better Homes and Gardens}


Green floor! {Source: Who Orange}

green kitchen me!

Green and white kitchen {Source: The Glitter Guide}

Green Chair Kitchen

Green chairs {Source: Visual Feast pinboard}

green chevron dresser

Green chevron dresser {Source: Triple Maxtons}

Green cabinets {Source: My Gingerbread House}

green kitchen!

Green tile wall and backsplash {Source: Faucet Station}

Green kitchen. Very green.

Green wall {Source: Domino on Design Crisis}

green wall + apothecary glass

Lovely Dark Green wall (the apothecary jars aren't too bad either) {Source: Dear Golden}

green wall

Green beadboard... and lots of equestrian accessories {Source: Ralph Lauren Home}

green. very green.

Green Subway tile {Source: Red Online}


Green backsplash {Source: Domino Mag}


GREEN bedroom wall. Capital letters necessary. {Source: Josslyn T's Photostream via Flickr}

green wall

Green wall {Source: Style Files}


Charteuse Living Room {Source: jinkazamah's flickr}

green green green, green!

Bathroom with green accessories {Source: Easy Living Magazine}

Green, green, green

So much green {Source: Flea Market Finds with Matthew Mead}

Green Door

Green door {Source: Unknown}

Grab a button if you were featured in this week’s round-up!

Image URL:

Link URL:

Handmade Gifts (and other reasons I’m patting myself on the back right now)

So, I said I wouldn’t return to the regularly scheduled blogging for another two weeks (holidays are hard!), but I did want to do a little show-and-tell with some of the gifts I gave this year, particularly the handmade ones.


As you may remember, Josh and I made the (ambitious) commitment to making all of our Christmas gifts for family by hand.  We knew this would help us save money and create truly personalized gifts, but we also wanted to see if we were up to challenge!  You have already seen some of the gifts (via previous blog post), but I’m going to show them again anyway.  Because I can.

Here we go:

For my mother, I took a song that reminds us of each other (“You Are My Sunshine”), printed it out (it turned out to be three pages) and framed it in three black Ikea frames.  And then I proceeded to wrap it up, ship it off, and not take a darn picture.

(Insert tear-jerking picture here)

Oh well…

For my mother-in-law, I gave the beloved linen spray:

homemade linen spray

You remember that stuff I made here?  I gave it to her as a Christmas gift (along with a host of other bath/good smelling/candles-girly things).  I think this stuff is fun for any occasion, and definitely a great alternative to Febreze… or other sprays with ingredients that are more than five syllables long.

For my orange-wearin’, University of Tennessee supporting father, I gave him the string nail art of the state of Tennessee (check out the tutorial here).

Tennessee nail string art

After the warm fuzzies of successfully completing a crafty venture set in, I decided to do the same for my Georgia-born brother-in-law, this time making Atlanta the heart and point from which all of the strings “radiated.”  Not the winning-est pics, but that’s because I only remembered at the last minute that I should snap a few before giving it away.

state string art nail georgia

Instead of buying a $10 pre-cut piece of wood from Michael’s like the last time, I decided to go with a wooden cutting board from the local dollar store (it wasn’t Dollar Tree, so the board was actually $3.99).  Then I sprayed it with a wood stain and painted the sides lime green (my fave detail).

state string art nail georgia

state string art nail georgia

The wooden cutting board came with its own hanger, and I let it remain, in hopes that my “utilitarian” brother-in-law will hang it on the walls of his spartan apartment (fingers crossed).

For my brother, we made a set of Scrabble magnets (heart-warming story found here… well, mildly heart-warming).

scrabble magnets

For Josh’s dad (my father-in-law), we decided to take advantage of a slightly long-term endeavor of mine.  Being a big fan of beer and an even bigger fan of preserving our planet, I have held onto to nearly all bottle caps whose removal I have been responsible for over the last year.  Other members of my family have been helpful in this endeavor as well (I didn’t really have to twist their arms).  At the time, I didn’t have a clear plan for said bottle caps, but I knew I would figure something out (I even have a Pinterest board devoted exclusively to this interest: check it out).

Well, I gave it the ol’ college try, and I came up with a fun art project:

bottle cap frame

I took a Ben Franklin quote (since then, I have learned that he may have not actually said this quote, but whatever), printed it off on regular printer paper, made a matte of hot-glue-gunned beer caps and stuck it in a shadow box (thanks again, Ikea).

In keeping with the beer cap theme, I decided to make some beer cap magnets for my sister-in-law’s boyfriend (who also came to visit us in NYC).  Then I liked them so much, I almost kept them… but Josh said no.  “Oooookkaaaayyy, Jooosh…”

beer cap magnets

I took the beer caps and attached a small magnet with hot glue, but not before I added a spacer to fill the cavity of the beer cap.  And what did I make the spacer out of???  Champagne corks!  Turns out that a champagne cork fits perfectly inside a bottle cap, so after I glue the cork to the bottom of the cap, I used a serrated knife (and took my time) and sawed of the remaining part (and you’ll bet I used the rest for the other bottle caps).


beer bottle cap magnets

Two upcycling efforts in one!

beer cap magnets

For my sister-in-law’s gift, I re-used the same method from the previous post about tile coasters, but this time I used images from her favorite movie of all time, Nightmare Before Christmas (when asked whether she considers it more of a Christmas movie or a Halloween movie, she enthusiastically replies “It’s an ANYTIME movie!”).

nightmare before christmas tile coasters

nightmare before christmas coasters

nightmare before christmas coasters

Handmade Christmas Gifts?  Check!

Oh yeah, and of course the handmade gifty-ness extended to the gifts Josh and I gave each other!

But more on that tomorrow…

In the meantime, subscribe (duh) and check out these links to previous posts (you know, in case you’re wondering how I made some of this stuff).

Handy Dandy Links:

Tile Coasters

State Nail/String Art

Linen Spray (Febreze alternative)

Scrabble Magnets

A Follow-up from Teresa (Crafty Tips)

When I posted the blog-style birthday tribute for my mom last Tuesday (check it out HERE), I got an overwhelmingly lovely response from the comments and e-mails I received, and it turns out that you all think my mom is as cool as I think she is (though I’m not surprised, I had a feeling you were smart people, you GPP readers).   I decided to get a follow-up from her —  specifically, I wanted to get some more details on some of her crafty projects, and hopefully make them accessible to all of you.  After all, Christmas is really soon and a lot of her ideas and projects would translate brilliantly into handmade, cost-effective gifts.

So, instead of me trying to summarize her response, I decided just to directly quote her here, copy-and-paste-from-the-e-mail-she-sent-me style, and I have also augmented some of her responses with clarification and elaboration of my own (in italics) per her request.  Hope these tips help!

First, I want to start with a project that I actually forgot to mention in the previous post, but which I love all the same.  If you’re an HGTV fan, you may be familiar with David Bromstad, the first winner of HGTV’s Design Star, and also the host of Color Splash: Miami.  This interior designer, who is also an accomplished painter and muralist, loves to create original art for each room project he works on, and they often take on an abstract style.  Here’s an example of one of his paintings (found here):

by David Bromstad

Using a similar technique, my mom created her own version:

david bromstad inspired painting

By Teresa Hyke Foster

And here’s a some close-up:

David Bromstad inspired painting

David Bromstad inspired painting, close-up

Yeah, I like hers more.

So, here’s a step-by-step directly from her to help you achieve a similar effect (my comments in italics):

“The David Bromstad- inspired painting is done just by lightly wetting the canvas (with a spray bottle of water), dripping craft acrylic paint — from the little bottles, not the tubes — onto the canvas, and then using a spray bottle to spray the wet paint (no brush is needed, and DO NOT use oil paint as you will have a hot mess).  The paint will start dripping.  Add more paint, and allow to drip until the desired effect is achieved.  Very simple!”

Thanks, mom!

About the Preservation Hall painting, my mom says: “I wanted to paint you and Josh a picture that would remind you of your honeymoon and your love of NOLA. With Preservation Hall, I Googled a publicity photo, printed it out, and drew the design on the canvas and painted it. If transferring a picture is out of someone’s ability, then a picture could be blown up and transferred by using graphite paper and tracing over the design.”

(Oooh, graphite paper.  That’d be the option I would have to take.)

And here’s a picture, just to remind you:

Preservation Hall painting

Preservation Hall painting

And… last but not least the Statue of Liberty pillow:

Statue of Liberty pillow

Statue of Liberty pillow

This is an example of me assuming a project was done one way, when really it was a bit more complicated (albeit still totally accessible to the less artistic like myself).

Here’s what Teresa says about it: “When I painted the Statue of Liberty pillow, I Googled Peter Maxx (my family has one of his prints in their home). I drew a black and white version on paper with a black sharpie, then transferred the design with a vanishing pen to the fabric (when the ink gets wet, the marks vanish — those can be found here for under $3). I held the design that I had drawn with a sharpie up to the light (I taped it to the kitchen window and transferred the design to the fabric with the vanishing pen). If you have a light box that would work also (who has a light box, mom?).  Then I just painted the picture (with black silk screen paint), let it dry over night, heat set it with an iron, and then sewed the pillow. You could also use regular black fabric paint.”

(Doesn’t she make it sound so easy?)

Hope these tips help and inspire you!  If you have any more questions for Teresa/my mom, let me know and I’ll pass those on to her and try to get them answered!


You might also fancy…

The Power of Paint

DIY Dry Erase Boards

Free Butcher Block Table Top

Twelve Weeks of Christmas, Week 8: DIY Personalized Dry Erase Boards

***To check out the previous parts in the “Twelve Weeks of Christmas” series, go HERE.

A I mentioned earlier this week in my –LINK–postcard post (ha), I recently realized that I am behind on my twelve weeks of Christmas.  Oops.

That’s why you’ll see this post says “Week 8,” but that’s not exactly true.  However, bear with me, pretend we’re using Hermione’s time turner from Harry Potter, and all will be well.

Today, I have a DIY tutorial for those who are still looking for last minute Christmas gift ideas.  It’s SUPER easy, takes almost no time, and can be personalized in any way you want.  DIY Dry Erase Boards!

I’ve recently become very interested in this idea when I saw a few inspirational ideas on Pinterest:

Source: Little Birdies

Source: The Aesthetic Writer

(I loooove the dry erase calendar idea and this is definitely my next project!)

Pinned Image

Source: Supercalifragilisricexpialadocious

Basically, it’s just a piece of paper in a glass frame, and you use dry erase markers on the glass.  EASY!

So, with one particular gift recipient in mind, one unused frame, and a little bit of word processor magic, I made one!

DIY to do list dry erase board

I used the “Angelic War” font found here (free for personal use) and made the “To Do” list using a white 8 1/2″ X 11″ sheet of paper.

Here’s the step by step:

1. I started with a picture frame that had a motivational message on it.  It was a gift at some point, but we’ve never found a place for it, so we kept the message but used the frame.  I figured it was time for the frame to get a promotion.

2.  I removed the hardware in the back so I could remove the original picture:

3.  Next I printed out the page to be inserted into the frame.  I now the inspirational images used colored or patterned paper, however I know this is going to a room that has colored/textured walls, so I thought something simpler would be more appropriate.  The dry erase markers can provide the color.

Here’s a close-up:

4.  Because my frame is 8″ X 10″, but the paper is 81/2″ X 11,” I traced around the frame insert so that it fit perfectly:

5.  Next, I framed the page and re-attached the hardware.

Here’s what happened when I was allowed to play with the dry erase markers:

diy dry erase board to do list


And here’s the document, if you want to copy it yourself (and perhaps use more exciting paper):

To Do List template

Obviously, the personalization possibilities are endless!  Here are a few more ideas that I’ve come up using the same method:

  • framing scrapbook or wrapping paper
  • using old newspaper (like the stocks or classifieds section)
  • making the header a monogram
  • printing a watermark on the page
  • making a border out of comics or pretty paper, in lieu of a matte
  • attaching flowers, medallions, ribbon, or other small details to the frame
  • making a frame for “Inspirational Quotes”
  • making a frame for the letter, number, or word of the day for children learning to read and write
  • various kinds of to do lists including “To Buy” or “Future Projects”
  • for kids: frame a simple outline of a body and let kids draw on the clothes, hair, and background scene (like dry erase paper dolls)
  • homework list
  • weekly and monthly calendar
  • daily workout/nutrition plan, i.e., number of reps, servings of vegetables, et al.
Those are just a few ideas that come to mind — hopefully you found them helpful!

You might also like:

a nap