Monday, December 19, 2011

Teacher Gifts: Button Monogram on Canvas

My kids got out of school for winter break on Friday, and sometime on Tuesday I realized that I hadn't come up with anything for their teachers' gifts yet. Pinterest to the rescue!! I knew I wanted something personal, handmade, easy, inexpensive and (preferably) non-edible.

When I came upon this photo, I knew what our project was going to be. I mean, how stinkin' cute is this framed button monogram?

After searching around town for some inexpensive white frames with mats and coming up empty, I opted to go with plain white canvases instead. I picked up a 2-pack at Hobby Lobby for about $6 (but used my 40% off coupon to get them for even cheaper).

I already had a pretty good stash of buttons, but just in case I also bought a couple of packs of assorted colorful buttons at Joann and some colorful brads at Hobby Lobby.

Using simple, thick fonts, I printed my kids' teachers' initials and used the trusty pencil-on-the-back-of-the-paper technique to trace the outline onto each canvas.

From there the kids and I pretty much followed Jen's tutorial for filling in the letters with buttons, brads and snaps, starting with big buttons first and working our way down to the tiny fillers.

I had them use plain old white glue on each button and they stayed on perfectly once they dried. For the brads, I ended up clipping off the prongs on the back with wire cutters and gluing them on because I didn't want to fool with trying to poke them through the canvas.

Didn't they turn out great? This is my 5-year-old's masterpiece (with some help from Mom with the tiny ones).

And here is my 8-year-old's work of art.

I loved that they did most of the work themselves, and they loved having creative control to choose the shapes, sizes and colors of materials that they wanted to use and configuring them how they saw fit.
And I'm pretty sure their teachers loved them, too!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Before and After: Maple Dresser/ Sideboard

This maple dresser started out pretty plain-jane, but sturdy. It was a steal of a deal from Craigslist but it took a while for it to "tell" me what it wanted to be.

In the end we went with a heavily distressed duck-egg paint job with distressed white hardware. (And please forgive the sloppy Photoshopped background, but I figured that was better than showing you all the crap that was surrounding this thing when I took the picture.)

I just love how the top turned out after I sanded it.

Wouldn't this look so cute in a nursery as a changing table?

Seriously, I do love these kinds of dressers. I've lost track of how many have come in and out of my garage now, but this surely won't be the last one!

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Recycled Wood Sign and More Christmas!

Like a lot of you out there, I'm still working on getting my home decked out for Christmas. It's not a one-day event for me, but this year it's been happening slowly over the past couple of weeks. I think I'm just about there, now. All that's really left is the clean-up. (Boo.)

While I was in my hall-decking mood yesterday I leaned an old window up behind my computer monitor and, while I really liked how it looked, the wall above it looked kind of bare. It needed something. Something I didn't have already, so what else was I going to do but make that something?

I poked around in my garage and on the side of my house and discovered these old boards that were once the top of this old writing desk that I turned into my kitchen island.

They were perfectly weathered and beaten up, so I didn't do anything to them except sand the grossness off the backs.

I had these little dealies laying around from another project (I'm not even sure what they're called or what they're really for) and used 3 of them to attach 2 of the boards together in the back.

Then using 2 screws and some heavy wire I made a hanger. Betcha can't guess what I made...

Okay, so maybe it wasn't real hard to guess (especially if you paid any attention to the title of this post). This sign required zero painting- just my trusty old print 'n rub technique that I've used over and over again.

Now that gap between the leaning window and the ceiling doesn't look quite so vacant.

Just for fun, I'll give you a spin around our front room to show you some of the other Christmasy things I've got going on in there.

Happy hall-decking to you all!