Super Easy, Super Chic Vase


I’m not really a “chic” person.

I mean…we have really old green leather couches with holes in them.  We have deer heads on our walls and paintings of ducks alongside haphazardly hung family photos.  This isn’t so much due to my lack of taste (I hope) as it is the constant hoping that we will find a new home to move into soon, thus making decorating/painting/trying-hard-to-make-our-little-home-look-nice feel like a bit moot of a point.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t like chic things…especially since creating chic looking pieces is so easy to do on your own!

I was looking for something to do with all my cheap old vases from flower deliveries over the years when I became inspired by HGTV Magazine to make them look frosty and fun.

All you need is rubber bands, spray paint and a vase.

Basically, put the rubber bands on the vase and spray paint it.  Once the paint is dry, take off the rubber bands and…bada-bing-bada-boom…a chic new vase!

For your educational purposes, I’m chronicling a tale of two vases today….because I messed up the first one horribly and don’t want you to do the same.

It’s not so shocking to discover that easy doesn’t always mean fool proof.  And since I’m usually in a hurry to make the most of my kids’ nap times and get things done quickly, I am usually the fool who finds out the wrong way first.


For the second half of this project, I had quite the viewing party…pressure was on to do it right!PeanutGallery

First, do not make your vase look like a glass version of Anastasia from 50 shades of Grey.  No bondage scene needed for this craft project.  A few rubber band goes a long way.PaintedVase1 PaintedVaseSuccess1

Second, when painting, do not actually spray paint onto the vase.  It will run and drip and look so so gross.  As soon as you push the button on the spray can, let up.  Do one small spot at a time and don’t try to actually cover the vase with paint. You’re going for a frosty chic look here.


If you want slightly more coverage wait for the first coat to completely dry  (not tacky-ish to the touch, not mostly dry but dry dry). Hit the clear spots with a quick spot of spray.


Let the vase dry completely.

*As a side note, if you are a multi-tasker like me and cannot simply wait for things to dry, I recommend using this time to check your dogs for ticks.  I found 2 huge ones and used the spray paint can to crush them.  An excellent use of stand-by time in my opinion!*

Once the vase is dry, gently pull off the rubber bands.  Hopefully, you don’t end up with a drippy, over exposed, harsh looking vase – as I did the first time!PaintedVase3 PaintedVaseSuccess6

You could use any color of spray paint you like here.  I think a sea foam green or turquoise would be equally ‘chic’ and fabulous as well.  Or perhaps do bold colors to pop with your white walls?  You could try different designs with the direction of the rubber bands, too.  Whatever mood you’re in, now you can have a vase to match!

Happy spray painting, everyone!

Kiddy Coat Hangers: A Tracing Tutorial

I started making these fun coat hangers a long time ago…like…pre-husband and pre-child.  It was back in a day when the most important things I needed to hang up were my purse and the coat that my dog Jimmy wears in the winter time (yes –  have a miniature horse sized coat that I put on my Black Lab/Doberman mix in the winter. He is, after all, my first child).  I’ve had several people ask me for personalized versions of these hooks and there is little more that I love than making things for other people.

Here’s how to make your own, should you feel inspired to do so (and I hope you do!)!

Start with a wooden craft plank.  This one cost me $3.99 at Michael’s.  You can also use scrap wood, like from old cabinets.  Using craft paint (I suggest Folk Art brand as it covers well), paint the base the color of your choice.  This wood typically drinks up a bit of paint, so don’t be afraid to lay it on thick over a few layers.  This will make the rest of the paint take more evenly.  Allow it to dry.

Drawing your own designs free hand is a creative fun way to color your board, but for this project, I decided to paint a clip art cow.  This is where it get easy (as if it wasn’t already).  Go online and find an image you want on your craft.  The key is to keep it pretty simple (or the K.I.S.S. theory, as my mom says -Keep It Simple, Stupid! Sorry…not calling any of you stupid.).  The more intricate and the more colors required, the longer this craft will take you.  You can see by my choice of artwork that I am not very ambitious today.

Once you have your artwork printed out, flip it over and scratch heavily with a pencil over the entire area you want traced onto the board.  Lay it on heavily so it transfers easily.  No need to be exact or precise…just scribble.  Brings out the Kindergartener in ya!

Once you have used up plenty of pencil lead and your wrist is tired, turn the paper back over and place it on the board where you want it to be. Secure the paper in place with tape.

*TIPS HERE*: Make sure to measure (don’t just eyeball it) as it’s a bummer when you get done and realize your image is too far to one side. Also, don’t forget to account for where your hook will be screwed in (I’ve moved my cow up on my board so the hook will sit underneath it).*

Now, simply trace the design.  Use your pencil to draw over the entire drawing.  Press firmly to insure the lead (or graphite, I should say) on the back of the page transfers to the wood.  Don’t be tempted to peek!  You risk moving the paper, causing the artwork to look misshapen after you’ve traced it.

Once you’re done, you should have a very faint outline of your image.

Now you’ve earned the right to paint (the fun part)!!  Start with the larger areas and move to the smaller.  I started with the white…

…then finished with the black.  Easy!

Once the craft paint is dry, hit your board with a coat or two (depending on how much wear and tear your craft will need to bear) of clear spray paint.

Lastly, it’s hardware time!  At your local Target or hardware store, you should be able to find a variety of hooks as well as picture hangers for the backside of the board.  Size small picture hangers suffice for this craft…unless you’re planning on hanging bowling balls from it. Most important thing here: measure, measure, MEASURE.

 Then, attach the picture hanger and hook.  Attach the picture hanger first, followed by the hook (much easier this way).  Depending on the hook you selected, you may need to purchase shorter screws, however most smaller hooks come with short enough screws that will not stick out the back.  And there you have it…a fun addition to your mud room, nursery or bathroom.

Guest Room Makeover

As I mentioned in a previous post a while back, I’m trying to turn this house into a home.  One room at a time, I’m freshening things up, cleaning, decorating and organizing.  It has, almost literally, never been done before.  My latest project has been a small room at the very end of the hallway, which is normally only used for a few months in the summer when the polo players are here.  Luis is the tenant of this room during that time (a very sweet gentleman from the Dominican Republic),  so I decided that upon sprucing up this room, I’d give it a Dominican theme so it’d be more exciting for him when he’s here.  It will also be a nice place for in-laws and friends to stay while in town for holiday visits.

The room started as a blank canvas.  The most bland, horrible shade of beige was used to paint all the walls several years ago when the room was added on.  It hasn’t been touched since.  And, lordy, did it need it.  These pics were taken just before I painted (obviously).  As person with a colorful personality, this room just didn’t do it for me.

So, I painted, I decorated with a few pieces we already had and I supplemented with some crafting.  We are on such a shoestring budget…shopping for any decor just wasn’t in the picture.

The two paintings are actually from the Dominican Republic.  If you ever visit the island (and you should) people sell these colorful paintings on just about every corner.  I absolutely love the bright colors and tropical scenes.

To take up some wall space, I painted “Bienvenido” (or “Welcome” in Spanish) on a board from the burn pile and added some fun stencil designs. 

I used the same tree stencil on some canvas planks (3 for $2.99 at Michael’s) and framed it with an old empty picture frame, painted green.

This poster was in the room previously.  I like it for the fun colors, but also the Des Moines mention.

I’m babysitting this plant for my mother for the winter.  I figured this was a great spot for it (can you tell yet that I’m grasping for free decor?).

The pictures were given to me by my sisters.  I felt they had a beachy/Caribbean feel to them, so they got added to the room.  Ironically, one was taken in Maine and the other in Pennsylvania. 

I made this serving tray a while back when I was really into making glass mosaic pieces (not so easy to do anymore with a 10 month old…wish I could).I’m pretty pleased with how this room looks.  Pleased enough to leave it alone, I guess.  I’d like to put a chair and a rug in before Luis gets back in the spring.  It needs curtains, too, but I’m not handy enough with a sewing machine (yet) to make some for this awkward window size.   Now for the next project….