Chandelier Makeover – Shiny Modern to Rusty French Farmhouse

 

Chandelier Makeover

There’s something about old rusty bits from home & farm that warms my heart. Perhaps it’s the stories that a piece could tell, the work that it has seen, or maybe just the fact that it’s still here to tell the tale. In any case, when my husband & I decided to turn our standard builder’s grade family room in our new french farmhouse dining room, I knew we had to include some special rusty bits of our own to tell a story in our space.

As I took time in the room to try to visualize the finished space, every time I looked at the ceiling fan, I knew we had to have something else in it’s place. Something that would speak “french farmhouse” as our family sat around our soon to be harvest table.

But what would I replace it with? First of all, I couldn’t seem to find “the right piece”…not at a price I could currently afford anyway. So what was I to do? I had a chandelier downstairs that the builder left with us for another room, but because we picked something different, it was still in the box. It was not my style at all – shiny, modern, new… but perhaps I could do something with it, to give it more of a french farmhouse feel. It was worth the try. And after all, it had been sitting in a box for years anyway, so what could it hurt?

I wish I had taken a better “full” picture of the chandelier before I started, but you can get somewhat of an idea by this picture. The fixture isn’t terrible, it’s just not my style. Shiny. Modern. New.

Chandelier Makeover

Here was my plan…
– Remove the shades & not use them at all
– Pull off the 3 metal arms that held the shade up
– Remove the stickers from the metal arm covers
– Paint the chandelier some sort of darker color
– Use pretty light bulbs to go for a “candle” looking chandelier

I removed all of the shades, and as I was pulling the metal tubes up, I realize that they were all welded together! How was I going to get all of these little metal arms off of the tubes?

I decided to go for it & just pull it back & forth until it popped off. WHOOPS…
I didn’t expect each arm to leave a hole in it’s place. Now what?

Chandelier candle tube Makeover

I had no idea if this would work, but I decided to get out my hot glue gun, & make what looked like wax, dripping down from each hole. It stuck well enough, and I think it might work! All I need to do now is paint the tubes to look like candle sticks. I found a small bottle of antique white craft paint that I had & tried that.

Chandelier tube painting

They looked nice, but still needed a little something. So after the paint dried, I dry rubbed a little bit of antiquing glaze over each tube, that really did the trick!

Chandelier tube antiquing

Remember my love of rusty bits? Well, I found this amazing rust spray paint at the department store, that adds YEARS to whatever you paint with it! I can see a lot of things becoming rusty in my near future 😉

The can of spray paint is the only thing I had to spend money on, as I already had the other bits of paint & hot glue left over from other projects.

Before you paint a light fixture, be sure to protect the electrical areas with something. I used tinfoil because it was so easy to do. Be sure to protect the area from over spray & paint in a well ventilated area. I did mine outside.

Chandelier Makeover

Here’s a close up of the top. You have to be careful to cover all parts of the fixture when you’re painting. I used a cardboard box to sit mine on while I was painting it, that way I had both hands free to work.

Chandelier Makeover

Here’s a close up of the metal light tubes – glued, painted, antiqued, and put back on the fixture. I love the way they came out!

Chandelier Makeover

Some more rusty details

Chandelier Makeover

Chandelier Makeover

The chandelier is now installed & the bulbs are in!

Chandelier Makeover

What an amazing difference a little creative thinking, paint, and other bits can make… and for very little money I might add!

Chandelier Makeover

What can you think of in your home, that just doesn’t seem to fit with your vision of how you want the space to look?

Can you give it a makeover to make it work? Of course you can!!!

Tell us about it & share this DIY with your friends to help inspire them as well!

Angel Wings Tutorial – How to Make Beautiful Angel Wings Free!

Make these beautiful angel wings with things you already have around the house!

I just love angel wings, and they are all the rage in decorating right now. The only problem is, when you actually find some wings that you like (from Pier 1 for example), they cost WAY MORE than you want to pay!

I came up with this idea as we were preparing to decorate the stage for our special Christmas services. We needs some very big angel wings, and I wanted to find a way to do it using things we already had.

They turned out really nice, so I wanted to share the tutorial with you, so that you could enjoy some angel wings in your home this season… while not spending any more money on decorations :)

Step #1: Decide How Big You Want Your Wings

Because we are using our wings as stage props, I wanted them to be a nice size, so that everyone could see them. We decided to make ours 7ft X 4ft, but you can make them any size that makes you happy! You need to have some sort of backing to build your wings on. We had a piece of painting drop cloth laying around, so we used that. What do you have that you’re not using? A piece of cardboard, heavy cloth, drop cloth… use what you have available to you.

Step #2: Choose Your Favorite Shape of Angel’s Wing

I looked at all kinds of pictures online (mostly in google image search) to find a shape that I really liked.

Step #3: Trace The Shape Onto Your Backing & Cut it Out

Angel Wings Tutorial

Step #4: Turn The First Wing Over & Trace it Out For The Second Wing (if you want 2 wings)

Angel Wings Tutorial

Angel Wings Tutorial

Step #5: Make The Feathers

I decided to use regular brown craft paper, but you could use brown paper bags, newspaper, or any other paper you might have.

Angel Wings Tutorial

– Cut strips of paper with a scalloped bottom edge
– Scrunch each one into a ball to give the paper lots of wrinkles
– Open it back up & try to give the center a little crease, so it will stand out more & look more like a feather

Angel Wings Tutorial

Step #6: Hot glue each strip of paper to the backing, beginning with an outer edge first. Glue one side, being careful to let a bit of the paper hang off the edge so you don’t see the backing. Then pull the paper towards you a little bit & hot glue the other side. The reason you’re not going to simply glue them down flat, is because this technique gives the appearance of a creased feather instead of a flat piece of paper.

Angel Wings Tutorial

Continue adding as many layers as you’d like. For the size of our wings, 3 long layers and a few short ones looked best. As we got to the top, we just angled the feathers a bit more to look like a wing.

Angel Wings Tutorial

Here is one of the wings all put together. It’s so tall my son can barely hold it up high enough!

Angel Wings Tutorial

Step #7: Decide What Finish You’d Like to Have
You might want the look of newspaper print, in which case you wouldn’t have to have any additional finish. Or, if you want a solid color, you could apply a full coverage of whatever left over spray paint you have. You could also add some glue & glitter around the edges for a nice touch.

Angel Wings Tutorial

We wanted sort of an antique look, so we opted to only highlight the feathers with some off white spray paint, then hit them with some translucent gold glitter paint.

Angel Wings Tutorial

Here’s a close up of the little hint of gold sparkle.

Angel Wings Tutorial

We love the way the finished product came out!!

Angel Wings Tutorial

Send us some pictures of your wings ~ we’d love to see them!

Vintage Cabinet Redo

I LOVE vintage pine cupboards! I’m not sure why they hold such a special place in my heart, but they do. There’s just something that feels so “heart & home” about them. Perhaps it’s the memories of grandma’s kitchen, scenes from some of my favorite movies, or captured ideas from magazines that have stayed with me. I’m not exactly sure, but in any case… I LOVE them!

I know these bigger pieces can be VERY expensive, many times costing $300 – $2,000 or more! But, out of my 3 largest vintage pieces, the most I’ve paid so far is $50… which is the piece I’m sharing with you today. I found my largest piece at an estate auction for $17, and another vintage pine step-back cupboard at a yard sale for $2! You can find great deals as well, if you’re the last to leave estate auctions (the best deals are to be had after the large buying crowd goes home & the auction heads to the garage, basement, or barn :) ), and if you keep your eyes open at yard sales & curbside during trash day!

This new piece had a destiny of becoming my new “Cabinet of Curiosities”, and as you can see in the before picture, it started out being a bright blue. I know that many people would have left it just the way it was, but the room it was going into was a soft blue & antique white, with black accents… so I wanted this piece to have a softer feel to it.

Cabinet Makeover - Before

Because I wanted to use this piece to display special objects, I wanted the inside of the top to be painted dark, so everything inside would pop against the dark color. I finally decided to use flat black. As a matter of fact, we decided to give the whole cabinet a coat of flat black, then a coat of antique white. After it dried completely, I gently sanded off the antique white in some spots revealing the black underneath, to give it a more vintage look. To finish the piece off, I wiped the whole thing (except for the inside of the top) with a very small amount of antiquing glaze.

You can see how nice all of these vintage stockings & mittens, that I found for $3 at a yard sale, show up here in the Winter display.

Winter Display in my Cabinet of Curiosities

For the Winter display, I started with a vintage garden urn, added a branch from a thorn apple tree, tucked in some moss around the base of the branch, hung up my vintage mitten & stocking collection, strung vintage wire that I kept from a broken Christmas ornament, added a candle covered with a bubble glass globe, and let my vintage style snowman stand guard over it all.

Winter Display

Here’s a close up of my beautiful snowman. I love how his colors just pop against the black background!
Winter Display in my Cabinet of Curiosities

Don’t be afraid to change up some of the pieces in your home. I hear from people all the time, that are afraid to use paint & go with new colors for fear of not liking the finished product. But I say… what’s the worst that can happen? Maybe you’ll have to paint it again, but then again… maybe you’ll love it! At least step out and try it, and let your creative ideas come to life in your home!

I really love the finished product, both the display space, and the storage space for all of my stationary & office supplies. I already have lots of ideas about how to change up the display for every season! What do you think? How would you decorate this piece? Let me know by leaving me a comment below :)

Cabinet of Curiosities

Magnetic Chalkboard – How to make a beautiful magnetic chalkboard from old mirrors or pictures

magnetic-chalkboard

How to turn an old picture or mirror into a magnetic chalkboard.

Magnetic Chalkboard

I just love finding new uses for old things, especially when those “new uses” add a bit of extra beauty to our home decor for very little cost! Recently my husband & I have been doing just that … taking found objects, or items that I have picked up VERY cheaply, and have turned them into our very own little works of art.

And I have to tell you, there is such a satisfaction that comes with seeing the possibility in something that others have discarded, then adding your own creative touches that seem to breath new life into it. Then… there is the added joy of actually using your new creation to feather your nest to add even more warmth and comfort to your home.

My husband & I have enjoyed watching several of our creative projects come to life in one of our home offices recently, and I know you will love today’s project as much as I do! After today, I promise that as you visit those yard sales, auctions, and thrift stores, you will never look at that old mirror or picture the same way again… I know I don’t :)

I’ve always had a love for beautiful picture frames, and I just seem drawn to them at every sale I go to. I’m not sure why, but perhaps it’s the fact that they have the ability to beautifully showcase any creative idea that your mind can dream up!

If you’re like me, you’ve looked at a picture in the thrift shop and said… I love the frame, but that picture doesn’t go with my style. Or maybe you’ve seen a nicely framed mirror, but the mirror had already outlived it’s original purpose, and you thought you had to pass on it.

From now on, I want you to try to look at things through a new perspective. Always remember, colors, textures, and contents within the frame can ALWAYS be changed into something that you love & that matches your home decor!

Here’s where our project began…

Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

This was a nice mirror for someone, but it didn’t quite fit into our space.
– The color didn’t match our room
– We really didn’t need another mirror in that space
– It felt more like “eastern world travel”, instead of the “french country” feel that I was looking for

Magnetic Chalkboard Before

I decided to transform this mirror into a magnetic chalkboard that I could both write on as well as hang things on.

#1. Remove The Mirror

To do this, we had to first remove the mirror so we could give the frame a new look & feel.

With the new paints that we have available today, you could simply just paint right over the mirror with chalkboard paint, but since I wanted a magnetic chalkboard, I decided to replace the mirror with a scrap of sheet metal instead.

#2. Change The Look

After we removed the mirror (we will use that for something else), it was time to give the frame a new look with some different painting techniques. And, to be very honest, I had to paint it twice to get the look I wanted.

* It’s ok to just take a step & try something. After all, what’s the worst thing that could happen? With me, I just had to paint it again – no big deal.

I started with a fresh coat of flat black paint. I used spray paint because it was easier & I already had some on hand.

Up close
Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

The whole frame painted black
Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

#3. Prepare & Paint Sheet Metal

While my frame was drying, we started painting the metal with chalkboard paint.

You want to be sure that your sheet metal is clean & free from any oils or dirt before you paint, so the paint will be sure to stick to the surface. One of the best ways to do that, is to simply clean it with some regular white vinegar & a soft cloth.

Paint the piece of sheet metal with your chalkboard paint according to the product instructions. We decided to use spray paint to help eliminate any streaks or drips, but you can use whatever type of paint you feel comfortable with. You will most likely need 2 coats, maybe more, depending on the type of surface that you are covering.

#4. Add Crackle Topcoat

Because I wanted a crackle finish, after the black paint dried, I added a layer of crackle medium. Once that dried, I painted on a layer of antique white in a satin finish (I don’t want the finished product to be to shiny).

After the paint was dry, I rubbed on a very thin layer of antiquing glaze to give it that “old world” feel.

#5. Preparing The Chalkboard

Most chalkboard paints recommend that you prepare your new surface by “chalking” the entire surface before using it on a regular basis. You do this by rubbing a piece of chalk lengthwise over the entire surface several times, then wiping it off. Now you’re ready to go!

*Chalkboard paint tends to scratch when a clay based chalk is used, so I purchased mine from the office store instead of using crayola chalk.

#6. Bringing It All Together

Insert your new metal chalkboard & add a sturdy backing (like stiff cardboard or chip board) if needed.

#7. Decorate!

I decided to add one of my favorite family pictures, as well as a favorite scripture that says “As for me and my house we will serve the Lord” in French :)

Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

You could use decorative magnets, a collection of pictures, lists, menus, or whatever you’d like to dress up your new magnetic chalkboard!

Magnetic Chalkboard Redo

Enjoy,
Pearl

Needle Felting – How to Turn Wool Into Art

boomtingbunting

What is needle felting?

Needle felting is the process of turning a pile of wool into different shapes and artistic designs, by using a special barbed needle. As the needle is poked back & forth into the pile of wool, the special barbed end catches the fibers & binds them together. There are also special tools that have several needles attached, to help make the process much faster. You can continue to add as many shapes & colors together as you wish, to make your very own piece of fiber art.

It’s been several years now since I saw my first piece of needle felted fiber art, and I have to say… I am as amazed today as I was then! The creative ideas that people come up with, to turn a seemingly insignificant pile of wool into something so lovely, still inspires me.

The perfectly round felt balls with colorful designs, beautiful one of a kind purses with no visible stitches, inspiring wall art unbelievably painted with wool… the things I have seen never cease to amaze me!

Look at just a few of the things these creative people have come up with.

* Click on any of the pictures to find out more about the artist or their store.

 

felted bunting
 

When I saw these little guys swinging from their necklaces, I couldn’t help but smile out loud :)

needle felted Squirrel necklace

needle felted sheep necklace

needle felted Orangutan necklace

 

I love the work of this artist!

needle felted mouse

needle felted house

 

Beautiful Felted Wool Bracelet

needle felted green and purple bracelet

 

Colorful Felted Bangle Bracelets
Wet felted Bangles

 

Felted Ankle Bracelets
Felted Multifunctional Ankle bracelets

 

Needle Felted Eyeglasses Case
Needle Felted Eyeglass Case

 

Felted Foxgloves – aren’t they beautiful!
Foxgloves 2

 

Needle Felted Nest Ornament
needle felted nest ornament

 

Look at these beautiful toys!

Needle Felted Landscape playscape
Mama and Baby
Needle felted Wool monkey Bluebird Rattle

 

 

Needle Felted Purse

needle felted bag

 

Beautiful Purse (you can get this kit)
needle felted purse

 

Needle Felted Christmas Ornament
DSC_0019

 

Don’t those creations inspire you to ask… how in the world did they do that?

If so, you’re in luck, because in my next post, I will be showing exactly “How to Needle Felt“, so you too can turn something as inexpensive as raw wool into something very chic & beautiful. And, with the holidays right around the corner, you’ll love the things that you’ll be able to make & give as gifts!


How To Eat An Artichoke

artichoke

Artichoke? What’s that?

Seriously though, it wasn’t until the last few years that I had ever really eaten an artichoke. My family was from the south, and we usually stuck with your everyday “normal types” of veggies, so believe me when I tell you, that I wouldn’t have been able to tell you what an artichoke was if you had asked me!

Skip ahead to the last few years…

I LOVE ARTICHOKES!

My husband & I have raised our family smack dab in the middle of Italian country, and let me tell you, they love their artichokes! But even with my new found love of this veggie from heaven, I still have never been brave enough to buy them from the store & cook them myself… until now!

If you’re anything like me, you love the great artichoke recipes that you have out in your favorite restaurant, but haven’t braved the “cook your own at home” scenario yet :)

So… I’ve decided to share a few GREAT resources that I have recently come across, that I think will help you uncover the mystery of cooking artichokes at home. Even though there are several different ways to prepare artichokes, they are delicious any way you slice them!

How to Eat an Artichoke Video:

artichokes-trimmed

Click Here for a great step by step how to article, including detailed pictures