Archive | May 2011

It’s my table and I’ll Krylon if I want to

I inherited this table when I moved into my apartment. It was old and oxidized and badly in need of some TLC. The overall structure of the table was pretty solid. There was a small crack in the back of one of the chairs but nothing a little gorilla glue couldn’t fix. I threw around some ideas and settled on a few coats of spray paint and a stenciled pattern on the top. Easy and cheap and I knew it would make a big difference. Here we go.

I started by cleaning up the table, washing all the dirt away and then got the stencil ready.

I had actually found this pattern on the back of a catalog. I scanned it in and then replicated it in illustrator. I mentioned in a previous post that I prefer to use paper for stencils since they’re easier to cut. This was the same deal. With the stencil all cut out and the table cleaned up, I took it into the studio for painting. This time I did apply a coat of primer prior to painting. The final touch was a small 5′ umbrealla that I got from World Market. Here’s the final product. I settled on my favorite color of blue and went with white for the stenciled area. I chose white because I wanted to add depth and texture to the table top but didn’t necessarily want high contrast.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler! Thanks for reading and remember, today’s dreams become tomorrow realities.


You put zee Plant in dee Coconut

This is one of the easiest projects ever. I started with a coconut that I got at the farmers market. The vendor was selling coconut water. Basically, it was just a coconut with a straw in it.  After it was finished I had intended to send the coconut shell straight to the compost. The coconut however, had a different idea and must have known it was destined for greatness. On the way to the compost I thought it seemed too good to waste and left it out. The shell sat around for a few weeks until inspiration hit me. I planted a few succulents that I had laying around, straight into the coconut shell and used some left over leather cord given to me by a friend. I tied three pieces of cord together to make a sling for the coconut and placed it inside.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice on making your own, just holler!

Thanks for reading and remember, today’s dreams become tomorrow realities.

Jenny Pop(s) Art

The houndstooth is back! Yes.  I do seem to have an affinity for this pattern. I haven’t shared any paintings yet so here goes. My favorite medium to work on is melamine, because it’s so cheap (Under $2 for an 1/8″ thick sheet that measures 24″ X 48″). Lately I’ve been into spray paint and stencils. I started with a photo of my magical and beautiful friend and creative protegé, Jenny Johnston (aka Jenny Pops). Her blog is here and is most definitely worth checking out. She is always a source of inspiration for me. I worked with her photo using photoshop and illustrator until I got it down to one color and then combined it with the houndstooth. From there I printed it and cut it out. I prefer using paper over plastic since its easier to work with. After a few coats of spray paint it’s just the same as plastic. Here’s the stencil.

To prepare the melamine canvas I use a coat of spray primer.

From there I layered a few different colors of paint for depth and then layed down the Houndstooth. Here’s a close up of the stenciled portion.

And here is the final product.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice making your own, just holler!

FREEcycled Outdoor Wall Art

Its true what they say. Sometimes, the best things in life ARE free. When I’m doing projects the only thing better than free, is free + recycled = FREEcycled. It feels good to take something that was about to be thrown away and turn it into something fit to gawk at. For this idea I started with a stack of FREE packing materials that I scavanged salvaged from the garbage. I used about $2 worth of purchased materials to get the final product. There’s a pretty good chance I could have done this completely free but I was pretty set on a particular final look. Use your imagination! Like I’ve mentioned before. You don’t have to spend much to create something that looks really fantastic.

Packing Materials

If you look at the top part of each tray it has “feet” which help it to hold the product upright in the box. Those were not part of this project. So, I cut them off using a straight edge and knife. I want to note that I did not throw them away. I will most likely use them in a future application.

Packing Materials Edit

After I had all the “feet” trimmed off of the trays I layed them out to get an idea of the pattern I ultimately wanted. The cool thing about this material is you can rotate it any which way and it will give you a different pattern.

Once I had my pattern finalized I used hot glue to mount them to a piece of 24″ X 48″ melamine. The melamine costs under $2 and is very light weight. The perfect material for wall art. Its good to do a dry fit, to make sure the material fits on your board the way you want it. In my case it wasn’t exactly the same size so I ended up just letting the material hang over the edge a bit at the top and bottom. Because the melamine is so thin (about 1/8″) it won’t impact the final look.

We’re almost there. All the pieces have been attached to the board just using tiny dobs of hot glue. The final step is to finish it in any color you like. I chose a metallic silver for this since it will be hanging outside and I wanted to give it the illusion of tin. I thought the sun hitting it might have a nice effect.

Recyled Packing Material Wall Art

Here’s a close up of the final product. This is actually a different version than the one shown in the set up but you get the idea. I rotated each tray so that different sections catch the light and reflect it in a different way.

Recycled Packing Material Wall Art

I ended up hanging the piece outside in the garden. I like using unexpected elements outside to help the indoors flow out. I love the way  this super modern looking material looks with the more rustic siding and vegetation. I wrapped it all up with a vintage side chair that I painted neon yellow to help give it a fresh look. I’ll show you how I did that in a future post.

As always, if you have any questions on how I did this or need advice creating your own, just ask!

Karma’s a Chair

Karma Chair

So the story goes: One night, someone stole this chair off my front porch, broke the back off it and threw it in the bushes. Granted, it was a little worn out, paint chipping, wobbly etc. but still… it was lame. I thought it would be cool to give it a new life as a statement piece. I used my favorite color paint, which I picked up in the “mistint” section at Home Depot. The total cost of this project was around $5. I took a paint pen to the chair to get my message across.

What goes around, comes around.

Chairing is Caring

These old Ikea bar stools came to my by way of the alley behind my apartment. Here is what the looked like when I found them.

Bar Stools

I mentioned in my last post that I don’t enjoy painting but I should have qualified that statement. I don’t enjoy painting walls. But, who does? I love using spray paint. Be sure to wear a respirator if you’re using spray paint in an enclosed space. I started the overhaul by cleaning all the cobwebs and stuff off the chairs and brushing off any rust. Then I took them into my workshop and tightened up all the screws and took off any hardware I didn’t want painted. Its pretty amazing how much studier flat pack furniture becomes just by tightening up the screws.

Bar Stool Repair

The paint guy at home depot would say you should primer these first and that’s probably true. Maybe on the next project. Here goes the paint.

Bar Stool Painting

As a final touch I wanted to do something fun and different on the seat. Since these are a pair I wanted to do something that would tie the two together and turn them into companion pieces. I settled on a stencil I had previously created of an eye. Maybe I will do a future post about making stencils. Its easy! The end result is graphic and bold, which is what I wanted and while it ties the two together it doesn’t keep them from being used separately. Here is the final product.

Bar Stools

My favorite kind of projects are free and easy and this meets both criteria!

Getting Hounded

When I started considering how I wanted to spruce up my living room I knew I wanted something bold. Given that I rent and I don’t like painting, I wanted something that would be easy to put up and take down. I found some faux leather contact paper at Home Depot and started brainstorming.

What I settled on was an overscale houndstooth pattern. I pulled a pattern that I found online and took it first into photoshop and then into illustrator to isolate it

With the pattern now isolated and vectorized I pulled into an 11″X17″ document since I knew this was about the scale I wanted one of the single “teeth”. Next I printed out the pattern and spray mounted it to a piece of cardboard and cut it out.

The beauty of this pattern is that each piece fits into itself. So the front of each “tooth” fits into the end of the one in front of it when you’re cutting out them out. This makes cutting out all these shapes much easier. You can also just cut one long strip of contact paper the width of the pattern so it really saves time.

Once you’ve got a suitable amount of “teeth” cut out its time to stick em to the wall. I started in the top left corner and worked my way across the top first and then down. Its tricky with older walls as they typically aren’t plumb or level so sometimes eyeballing it to compensate works well. In this case, it had to since I didn’t have a level or a chalk line. To make this step easier I would recommend using either one of those tools or both. Here is the finished product.

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