Polka-Dot Initial Mugs

DIY, Entertaining, Holiday, Paint, Pinterest, Silhouette

Apply the sticker to a basic white mug

The crafting bug bit Fanny and she presented me with a Pinterest project she wanted to create. Fanny decided we were going to make polka-dot initial mugs for each of her employees. I am always game to try a new Pinterest project.



Use oil based paint pens to decorate the mugs


  • Ceramic Mug (Fanny purchased these white mugs at Dollar Tree)
  • Sharpie oil-based paint pens
  • Initial stickers (I used my Silhouette to cut the necessary initials on Oracal 631 removable vinyl. If using regular stickers, Michaels suggests first placing the stickers on a piece of fabric to make them removable from the mug.)



Decorating the first mug

Time to Decorate:

  1. Place initial sticker on mug
  2. Press the pen on the mug to create dots. The tighter the placement of dots, the more the letter will be defined
  3. Use additional colors to add more dots
  4. Allow the paint to dry for about a minute before removing the sticker
  5. Bake the mugs to make the paint dishwasher safe. General consensus on Al Gore’s Internet is to place the mugs in the oven, warm it to 350, bake for 35 minutes once the oven is heated, then let cool in the oven. Note: The paint color will slightly lighten after baking.
  6. Enjoy!



Bake at 350 for 35 minutes

The little kids had a blast decorating the extra mugs. It is beautiful to see 1st graders exercise their creative spirit. When will they be old enough to learn how to use the sander?




A one-of-a-kind Rose creation


How to Save Money on Christmas Gifts

Facelift, Paint, Reclaimed, Upholstery

Saving money on Christmas gifts is easy to do when you avoid shopping. Plain and simple. It is a tried and true plan that works every time. I set this budget-friendly plan to action today and worked outside (it was 50 and sunny in December!).



The cowprint vinyl stool was painted to look like wood grain. I don’t even want to know why. 

While Christmas shoppers were scouring the toy aisle, I decided to finish two stools I had purchased over a month ago. Both stools were painted and badly nicked. On a previous project day, I had used paint stripper to remove the top coat of paint and most of the under layers, but not all of the paint. Truth be told, I ran out of sunlight.



The seller purchased this stool at an estate sale. It was sold with a bathroom mat stapled to the seat.

The unfinished stools were directly in my eyesight everyday when I pulled in and backed out of the garage. Overtime, I fell in loved with in the  partially-removed paint look. Back to today. I bonded with the sander and went to work smoothing out the legs and removing some, but not all of the remaining paint. I made to decision to keep some of the layered paint. Crazy, I know.



Rustic and refined

To finish and condition the recently exposed wood, I applied mineral oil to the stools. The depth of the wood grain came to life. Rae is huge fan of animal hides, but even she was happy to see the faux cow go in the trash and be replaced with a romantic and soft pink motif.

I want more warm days before Christmas!

Dough Box End Table

Facelift, Paint, vintage
Original end table- why install handles that don't open anything?

Original end table- why install handles that don’t open anything?

Rose and I were estate sale shopping when she stumbled upon an end table labeled as a “dough box”. The table had a hinged lid that revealed storage inside and pointless decorative handles on the side of the box portion. The veneer finish didn’t impress me, nor did I know the history of a dough box, but the price was right so we took it home.

Painting legs is easy when you screw them into a 2x4

Painting legs is easy when you screw them into a 2×4

According to Home Things Past, dough boxes were used in the 1800’s for kneading and letting bread rise. Since the box had legs, it didn’t take up space on a table and could easily be moved around. The lid on the dough boxes kept dust, and mice, off the dough. ReNew2U.com provided some background regarding dough boxes becoming end tables. Around the 1950’s, Ethan Allen, under the name “Colonial Furniture by Baumritter”, produced maple end tables styled after dough boxes of the past. The end table Rose convinced me to purchase was clearly styled after the Ethan Allen creation.

Fun green interior color

Fun green interior color

My first step was to remove the faux handles and fill the holes with putty. I gently sanded the veneer finish prior to priming and painting the end table. I modernized the dough box with a gray paint, but added a surprise of bright green paint on the inside. I was annoyed that I could not originally determine which side of the lid could open, so Mr. R&R mounted a dainty knob to prevent future confusion.

A new life for a mid-century table

A new life for a mid-century table

I don’t advise placing food in this dough box. That being said a dough box end table is a great conversation piece.

Vintage Storage Bench

Facelift, Paint, Reclaimed
The original Craigslist find

The original Craigslist find

I found this adorable mini dresser/nightstand/storage bench on Craigslist. I was attracted to the curve of the feet and the knobs. According to the brass plate located inside the drawer, the furniture was built by Davis Cabinet Company.  Through research on the company website, I was able to determine that the piece was built August ‘72.

Original black speckled finish

Original black speckled finish

In 1972, Davis Cabinet Company used a quality varnish to seal the finish of their furniture. This nightstand/storage bench had a beautiful base color stain, but it was finished with a black speckled effect and sealed (I’m mean, really sealed). I wasted my sweet, precious time sanding to remove the speckled finish from the drawers. In hindsight, I should have used the varnish striper in the garage, Zinsser Power Stripper, prior to sanding.

Manufacturer production date stamp

Manufacturer production date stamp

Fortunately for me, I had no intentions of sanding the entire bench. On the top and side, I applied Sherwin Williams primer, hand sanded with 220-grit, wiped off the dust, and primed again. I envisioned a color-block design with classic colors, so I applied two coats of a dreamy cream paint.

Davis Cabinet Company brand plate

Davis Cabinet Company brand plate

The front of storage bench and the drawers, after sanded smooth, were stained with Minwax ebony. The dark ebony complimented the existing hardware and provided a beautiful contrast against the cream paint.

Perfect height to put your boots on

Perfect height to put your boots on

I have no idea what the original purpose was of this piece of furniture (I can only find one online), but I think it looks amazing in a front entry. The height is ideal to sit down and put on your shoes. A cushion will be the pièce de résistance.

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” Aristotle

Art, DIY, Paint

For months I’ve been collecting mirrors at thrift stores. I knew I wanted to use stencils and paint the mirrors, but I didn’t have a vision for the exact design. I finally decided this weekend to start painting mirrors with a winter theme.

Stencil applied- ready to paint

Stencil applied- ready to paint

I created stencils of deer, Christmas lights, poinsettias, and “be merry”. I applied the vinyl stencils to the mirrors and Rose and I began painting with acrylic paint. This is where things started to go wrong; when applying paint to stencils on wood or canvas, I have had success letting the paint dry prior to removing the stencil. When the paint dried on the mirror and I removed the stencil, the paint came right off with the vinyl.

One coat of "frost effect" dabbed on the stencil

One coat of “frost effect” dabbed on the stencil

I was terribly frustrated with the results, but I was not giving up. The next day, Rose and I purchased Martha Stewart’s Frost Etching Effect. The frost etching can be combined with acrylic paint to create a custom colored frosted look. Surely, this would be the ticket. I dabbed away and was feeling optimistic. Once again, I waited for the paint to dry before removing the stencil and the paint came off again. Uggghhhhh. I was starting to wonder if this project was even a good idea because my mess was easily cleaned up with Windex.

Oh no! I let the paint dry before removing the stencil. I'm missing part of the "b" and "e".

Oh no! I let the paint dry before removing the stencil. I’m missing part of the “b” and “e”.

In hindsight, I should have taken the time to read the Frost Etching Effect instructions online as step one. The instructions very clearly indicate that I needed to remove my stencil while the paint was still wet. Duh. That makes sense. The instructions also indicate that the paint will cure in 21 days (i.e. the mirror can be cleaned with Windex and the paint won’t come off).

My 2nd attempt at a painted deer on a mirror.

My 2nd attempt at a painted deer on a mirror. The 3rd time will be a charm.

I am not giving up. I know that I can paint the perfect Holiday mirror. I will do it. And while I’m at it, I’m going to double down and try glass etching with Armour Etch too.

Mom said I’m becoming more like Dad everyday. He doesn’t read directions either. (Note: Mother added this comment when editing and didn’t think I would  notice her commentary.)

Stayed tuned.

Black Walnut Signs

Black Walnut, Holiday, Paint, Silhouette

Quick post tonight…my mind is slightly pre-occupied by family, work, and a little thing called a craft fair in November (what if we don’t have enough product to fill our booth? what if no one wants to buy anything?)

Last weekend, Mrs. Keto and Goodie stopped by for “girls crafting time”. While they worked on their projects and the little girls played, I stenciled on scraps of black walnut. I sanded each piece and applied Danish oil to bring out the natural beauty of the wood. I used the Silhouette to create a custom stencil for each piece of wood.

I can’t decide which is my favorite!

For Unto Us a Child is Born

For Unto Us a Child is Born



Angels Among Us

Angels Among Us

10 Ways to Decorate a Pumpkin without Carving

DIY, Holiday, Paint, Pinterest

It is now pumpkin season! See that, it’s October 1st. October is pumpkin season. My family will soon be decorating our pumpkins.

Here is my list from the Interwebs of the best ways decorate your pumpkins this October (without carving):

  1. Glittered pumpkins by HGTV

    Glittered pumpkins by HGTV

    Glittered Pumpkins- If you have little girls, you already have glitter all over your house. Why not add some to your pumpkins? A girl can never have too much glitter.

  2. Duck Tape– Seriously? Is there anything that can’t be done with Duck Tape?
  3. Monogramed Pumpkin– Classy. I love it.
  4. Pumpkin by crafty morning.com

    Melted Crayon Pumpkin by craftymorning.com

    Melted Crayons– I think melted crayons on canvas are so beautiful (I’m a simple girl at heart); melted crayons on a pumpkin…even cooler!

  5. Decoupage– I was sold as soon as I saw Mod Podge as a required material.
  6. Gold! – Oh yeah. How can you go wrong with a gold pumpkin? This would be gorgeous on a table top with assorted shapes and sizes of those silly little decorative gourds.
  7. Pumpkin by unoriginal mom.com

    Glitter Monogram Pumpkin by unoriginal mom.com

    Glitter and a Monogram– I think I’m in love.

  8. Chalk Paint Pumpkins– These pumpkins exude rustic elegance.
  9. Boo-tiful Button Pumpkin – I am in awe of the creativity that some people possess. Buttons glued on a pumpkin to spell “Boo”. Genius.
  10. Choose your own adventure. Follow these simple steps to prep your pumpkin prior to painting. Our family followed these steps last year and had a blast. We painted the pumpkins white and black for a the base and used assorted metallic tones for details. I tied burlap and glitter ribbons on half of the pumpkins for a little extra pizazz.

So many amazing options! I can’t decide which one to choose this year.

Chalk Paint Pumpkins by percfectlyimperfectblog.com

Chalk Paint Pumpkins by percfectlyimperfectblog.com

Pumpkin by

Monogram Pumpkin by radiobutlers.blogspot.com

Pumpkin by bhg.com

Button-Boo Pumpkin by bhg.com

Bedside Manners

Facelift, Paint
The original

The original

During Thanksgiving break a few years ago, I was staying at my parents’ house and decided I want to read in bed to relax. My parents had recently purchased new furniture for the guest bedroom and I was excited to cuddle under the blankets and escape into a new book. Then reality hit, they hadn’t yet purchased a bedside table. There was no lamp for ambient light and no place to set my glasses and book when I was finished (they have one now).

Take apart the stand and prime prior to painting

Take apart the stand and prime prior to painting

Prior to that moment, I never realized how much I treasured bedside tables. My attachment to bedside tables has grown worse now that I use my phone as an alarm clock. I feel a responsibility to help educate others about the importance of bedside tables and to help produce attractive bedside tables.

Painted and sealed!

Painted and sealed!

I picked up a 2 ft tall, double-shelf table stand that was in much need of love. Fanny thinks it was originally designed as a plant stand, but I saw potential. I took the table apart prior to sanding and painting. Since my vision was a “fun” bedside table (for the record- bedside tables do not need to match), Fanny helped me select “Into the Green” for the color. We scored by purchasing a sample pint-size container of paint because I was too nervous to commit to a gallon of such a bold color.

Ready for guests!

Ready for guests!

The table makes quite the statement. I placed the table next to Rae’s white bedding and I was blown-away with the dramatic effect. Who says practical things can’t look good too?

Painted Stools (with bold colors!)

Facelift, Paint, Silhouette
Original barstools

Original barstools

Rose requested one-on-one time with me and what better bonding than estate sale shopping. We had quite the adventure driving around town, searching for the best pieces to give new life. I love hearing her ideas and seeing her design style take shape. On this particular shopping trip, Rose was attracted to stools.

Vinyl stencil applied- ready to paint

Vinyl stencil applied- ready to paint

Natural pine is not my favorite finish, but I saw the potential in the short pine bar stools Rose found. I started by sanding away the varnish before I put Rae to work staining. Rae was new to staining furniture and since that day she has asked to mow the lawn instead of staining. Ouch. After the Rust-Oleum American Walnut stain was dry, I applied a round vinyl sticker and painted the top of the stool “blue midnight”. The end result is a beautiful blue top with two circles of the stained wood peaking through. I sealed the stool tops with two coats of polycrylic.

Completed barstools

Completed barstools

Stepping stool sanded

Stepping stool sanded

In addition to the bar stools, Rose selected a small stepping stool. Rose loves purple and it was just her luck that I found purple paint, Rare Wine to be exact, in the basement, left by the previous homeowner. I sanded, but did not stain the stepping stool. I applied a scroll vinyl design directly to the raw wood prior to painting. Similar to the bar stools, I applied two coats of polycrylic to protect the stencil work and paint.

A pop of purple stepping stool

A pop of purple stepping stool

The new stools are striking and full of life. The blue and purple paint offer a fun “pop” of color.  I think Rose and I will have many estate sale shopping trips together in our future.

Ice Bucket Stand

Facelift, Paint, vintage

Some days I don’t craft- no painting, staining, or sanding. Some days I don’t wash laundry, cook, or unload the dishwasher. When the stars align and I have a day of not doing any of the previously mentioned tasks, I will likely be found binge watching Netflix with a drink in my hand. On days that I don’t have the energy to craft or clean, the idea of walking to the fridge for a fresh drink is exhausting. If you ever feel this way too, please say so, do– don’t leave me hanging.  An ice bucket stand next to the couch is a perfect solution.

Original knitting stand

Original knitting stand

I was out thrift store shopping and stumbled upon a mini whiskey barrel-looking  container that had a lid and legs.  It was the perfect height to compliment a sofa. The stand is from the 1960’s and was designed to hold knitting materials, get this, while sitting on the couch. I returned to the office and showed off a picture of my find and everyone responded “is that an ice bucket?”. By golly, I was going to make it an ice bucket.

Time to clean the brass

Time to clean the brass

After reading online reviews of Flex Seal, I could not bring myself to risk the product malfunctioning and creating a leaky ice bucket, not to mention the lack of insulation. I was fortunate to find an ice bucket at Goodwill that fit perfectly inside the wooden barrel.

Drinks on ice at the perfect height!

Drinks on ice at the perfect height!

I love rustic, but wooden barrels and brass are not my thing. I am open to the return of gold and brass, but not barrels with brass. Fanny selected a beautiful blue paint since the ice bucket will be a fun accent piece. I made a mess when painting and was forced to use the Dremel to remove paint from the brass, then polish and buff it. At this point, I began to question why I “had” to paint the piece.

The good news, the knitting basket has left the ‘60’s and is now rustic, refined, and practical. Drink up!