When I finally got around to decorating a lonely empty wall in our living room, I knew I wanted a big wood-tone statement piece to balance out the printer’s tray I wanted to use.
I decided on a twist on this common sign seen on pinterest. I love the double statement about believing there is good in the world and being that good. I definitely tend to want things to happen without actually doing anything about it, so this is a great reminder for me too
[sign close up]
To make the sign, I got the following supplies from home depot (and I have most of each of the wood stain/paint supplies left over for future projects, yay!):
- 4×8 sheet of 1/4″ birch plywood: $
- wood conditioner:
- dark stain (color): $
- light stain (golden walnut): $
- test pot of white paint: $
I started by having Eddie help me cut the board down to 3′ x4′, and used the wood stain conditioner on the entire front of the plywood piece. I then stained the entire piece with the light stain. I cut out the letters I wanted to be the light wood color with my cricut, and made a grid using a ruler and masking tape for aligning the stenciled letters.
Once the letter stencils were applied (and the masking tape removed), I stained over the entire board with the dark stain, being careful to not let the stain get too thick around the edges of the letters. I had tried several techniques on my scrap piece of plywood for staining around the vinyl letter stencils: with/without conditioner (conditioner definitely helped), mod podge or wood glue to reduce bleeding (affected the stain in a not-good way), and more, but always got minor bleeding. The stenciled letters weren’t perfect, but they turned out pretty well (small imperfections add character and a hand-made touch, right?).
I then cut the rest of the letters out with my cricut on normal computer paper, and traced their outlines with a pencil. I painted them in with the white paint, but thought it was a bit too crisp. I ended up going over that area with the dark stain again. If I did this project again, I’d paint the white letters before doing the dark stain.
To finish it off, I painted the edges of the plywood with some black acrylic paint. I couldn’t nail any picture hangers to the back because it was only 1/4″ thick, so I used gorilla super glue (it says it bonds to wood and metal) to attach some saw-tooth picture hangers to the back (its been on the wall for about a month now with no problems!).
I finally got around to putting up some art on a big empty wall in our living room!
Here’s a zoomed out picture of the whole wall. To the left is our coat closet and then the front door, and to the right is a window and then the kitchen/eating area. That whole area between the TV and the right of this picture was previously empty, and I’d been meaning to put something there for ages and just never got around to it. Until now!
Along with some frames of pictures of our little family and a robot print, the two main pieces are a sign I made and a printer’s tray I’d gotten at a garage sale about a year ago.
I’ve seen this ‘believe there is good in the world/be the good in the world’ quote all over pinterest, and decided I loved it and wanted to make my own version. I’ll be posting a tutorial for it soon!
I love the look of antique printer’s trays filled with goodies and memorabilia, so was so excited to find one at a garage sale last year. And then … it sat in my garage for a year. womp womp. We finally pulled it out and cleaned off some of the dust and grime with some watered down soap. I put some of our favorite cute and memorable items inside – an L.E.D. serotonin molecule (what makes your brain feel happiness!) that was one of the first things I made my husband when we were dating, some tiny penguins I’d collected over the years, some shells we collected on our honeymoon, and more. We still have lots of gaps to fill in, but I can’t wait to pick up some new treasures and have a place to display them!
Mother’s day is coming up – May 12! In case you, like me, are still trying to come up with something awesome to make for the mothers in your life, here’s a list of handmade ideas and inspiration!
- Wooden State Plaque – if you have access to something like a jigsaw, this would be a great project for a mom who is proud of her state/country!
- Lace Clay Dish – great for holding small items like jewelry, or just for display on its own!
- DIY Floor Mat – make a custom-sized floor mat for your mom’s kitchen or entry way to match her decor.
- Photo Blocks – can be arranged to show any of 6 pictures. Moms love photos of their kids!
- Clay Pot Critters – with spring just starting, these would be a great gift to put on a porch or in a garden.
- Self-Watering Seed Starter Pots – if you start soon, you could gift some cute little plants for a garden!
- Colored Vases – these pretty vases are easy and cheap to make (try goodwill for glass!), but are no longer water-proof, so try gifting them faux flowers (bonus – they last forever!)
- Embossed Metal Decor – a simple project that could be made with any design or quote.
- Terrarium Necklace – this would be a great gift for a mom who loves jewelry and gardening!
- Bath Bombs – these fizzy balls would be a great gift for someone who loves to be pampered!
- Cupcake Bouquet - for the mom who has everything (and isn’t on a diet!) try this adorable edible cupcake bouquet.
- Birds’ Nest Necklace - If your mom likes jewelry, try making her something like this fun necklace.
- DIY Infinity Scarf – it may (or may not!) be warming up wherever you are, but a gauzey infinity scarf would still be great for spring!
- Etched Glass – etching glass is surprisingly easy, and the possibilities are endless!
And to go with your gift, here are some great free printable cards!
For the past week or so, I’ve been working on putting together a project gallery for this blog to make it easier for you to find more of what you’re looking for! You can check it out by clicking here, and you can always access it easily from my blog by clicking on ‘projects’ in my top header.
Its split into categories such as home decor, sewing, and seasonal. You can see a preview of a few posts in each category, and then you can click on the ‘more’ arrow to see more of my posts in that category.
Its still a work in progress, and I’ll be adding more of my older posts as I get a chance. I’d love for you to check it out here, and I’d super love any feedback via comments on this post or email (starsandsunshineblog at gmail dot com). Thanks!
One of my favorite projects I made for the photo ledge I recently made for our bedroom was this stenciled water color-style quote painting. I love this quote, and it’s a nice reminder for my husband and I to see every morning and night. I had some canvasses I wanted to use in our bedroom, but painting is not something I’m good at and even my handwriting is usually not awesome, so I knew I wanted to try a stencil. This would be super easy for someone with a craft cutter like a cricut or silhouette, but you could always do the same thing with a computer print out and an exacto knife. There’s also a free printable at the bottom if you want an even easier option! I started by whipping up the design. I then cut it out of vinyl on my silhouette, weeded the design, and attached some contact paper (which I like to use as vinyl transfer paper). I had a harder time getting the vinyl to stick to the canvas than I do on other surfaces such as wood, but with a little patience I got all the pieces down where I wanted them. Make sure to press down on all the edges with something like a thumbnail to prevent the paint from bleeding under the stencil! Once I had my stencil applied to the canvas, I picked out 6-7 colors of acrylic paint that fit the color palette I’m going for in our bedroom, and blended them into the open canvas spaces. I love how it ended up with a texture that reminds me of the color blending I love in water colors! I ended up with a tiny bit of bleeding under my stencil, but I used a tiny paintbrush and some white acrylic paint to touch them up. Here it is on the photo ledge in our bedroom. You can find links to several other tutorials in that space (including the photo ledge itself!) here. If you like this design, but don’t want to deal with cutting the vinyl or painting the canvas, here are a couple of free printables you can download! Clicking on the images will open the pdfs for you to save.
If you follow a lot of blogs (hopefully including this one!), you may have heard that google reader is apparently shutting down soon. I’m super bummed because I love using google reader to follow my favorite blog in one place in an organized way, but it is what it is. I’ve been using feedly lately and am pretty happy with it, but another popular option is bloglovin.
Feedly is a lot like google reader (you can even log in with your google reader account). It has several visual layout options for you to play with (via the four icons in the top right of the picture below). If you want to get started with feedly, just visit http://www.feedly.com. If you want to follow me there once you have an account, you can search for starsandsunshine.com in the sidebar or click here.
Bloglovin is easy to use and add new blogs too. If you want, you can follow Stars & Sunshine on bloglovin too!
I’m still not sold on either feedly or bloglovin, so if you love one of these (or a different feed reader!) I’d love to hear about it.
Dahlias are my very favorite flower. I love their colors and the shape of their petals – they just always look so happy! When I saw this awesome dahlia wreath, I immediately fell in love and knew I needed one for my own door.
I’m just posting a few step-by-step photos because Talitha at Love, Pomegranate House has a great tutorial for this simple flower here. If you haven’t visited her blog, you should! She has gorgeous pictures and lots of fun projects
I actually found I got better results if I used different sized pieces of paper for different sized petals – I used 1/4 sheet 8.5″x11″ paper (4.25″x5.5″) for each of the darkest petals, 1/6 sheet 12″x12″ paper ( 4″x6″) paper for the outer row of medium petals, 1/9 sheet 12″x12″ paper (4″x4″) for the inner row of medium petals, and 4″x4″ squares for the inner petals.
I kept even my outer ring of petals as close together as I could, and tried to line up each row such that the points of that row lined up with the middle of the previous row’s petal opening. To hang, I used a loop of ribbon on the back and a 3M hook on my front door.
And here’s our front door. We also just redid the areas on both sides of our walkway. Before we had just grass on the side next to the house and some plants on other side, so I’m really excited for it to be a bit more balanced out. We’re still planning to plant some flowers in between the bushes and the walkway, but we haven’t decided what to put there yet.