Friday, July 22, 2011

Cupcake Flower Pot Tutorial

So I guess I’m on this Teacher Gift kick this week even though its summertime! I found all of these pictures I had uploaded from the school year and forgot to blog about. Maybe some of these ideas will come in handy for Back to School gift ideas. It’s kind of around the corner!
I was watching a show sometime last spring called D.C. Cupcakes, about a bakery, well, in Washington D.C…. anyhoo, they were doing a wedding with these really cute flowerpot cupcake  centerpieces.
Fast forward to the last day of school this year….and I needed 4 preschool teacher gifts plus an office staff gift, pronto! I’m a Mama on a budget, so this is where I have to get creative. I thought back to those flower pots and knew they’d be a hit with the teachers.
Now, I’m a lot of things, but a Baker is NOT one of them. So I called up Sam’s Club and ordered 30 cupcakes decorated like flowers. Only $12.00 (averaging $3 per pot).
You have to be very specific when ordering from Sam’s. I wanted them to look like roses (as seen above), but they decorated them like big cartoony flowers. Oh well they were still cute!
Then I scored on 50% off terra cotta pots at Hobby Lobby for $0.75 a pot. I got one large pot for $1.00 for the office staff gift.
To start, you will need a flower pot, floral foam half circle form, and toothpicks.
If you’re using regular sized cupcakes, you’ll need mini cups (you know the ones you used to make jello shots in college ….not that I ever made these of course!) As I learned the hard way, the big cupcakes need more than toothpicks to hold them on the floral foam without falling off.
Pierce your plastic cups with 2 toothpicks, aligning them in the center and then placing them a few inches apart around the floral foam.
Then go back with some green tissue paper squares and fill in between the cups, piercing the tissue with toothpicks to secure in place.
*NOTE: Make sure before adding your cupcakes that you pierce little holes in the cupcake wrappers so that they slide onto the toothpicks easily.
After doing this little project with big cupcakes, I found that the mini cupcakes looked better and were a lot easier to work with since they didn’t need the jello shot cups…just toothpicks to hold them in place.
I found these lemon mini cupcakes at Walmart for $2.00 a package and I used 2 packages to cover the large flowerpot for the office staff.
I believe I spent $6.00 total on this large pot, including the cost of the premade cupcakes.
I know this isn’t my usual blog post, but thought it would be fun to share some crafty gift ideas this week! I’d love to see some of your ideas, so send them my way if you get a chance!
Happy Friday!!!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sunshine on a Stem

It always seems to sneak up on me….Teacher Appreciation Week that is! Now that my son is in Preschool, I have to remember these things. I was a teacher before having Nikolas, so I know how important it is to recognize all that they do for my child.
With that said, I also know how awful interesting some of the teacher gifts can be! No more soap on a rope, please!
While it isn’t that time of year, I thought it might be nice to post an idea that I did in the spring for Nikolas’ teachers. It was super easy and made a big hit at the school!
I found these cute Sunflowers in the garden section at Walmart for $2.00 a plant.
They needed a little charm, so I layered yellow and white polka dot tissue paper, $1 at Walmart, with a square of burlap fabric at the base of the pot and tied it secure with a piece of twine.
I happened to be walking through Hobby Lobby one afternoon and saw these cute little tags in the garden section for $0.49 each. PERFECT!
So I tied them to the stems with a little twine and then instead of a card, I used my Cricut machine to make little tags that read, “You are my Sunshine.”
Nikolas had 4 teachers last school year, so I couldn’t spend a fortune on gifts, but I wanted to do something really special. I think these averaged me about $3.50 per pot once I added the embellishments.
Not too shabby, considering the soap on a rope alternative! Smile

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Vintage Dresser Turned Media Console

It’s never a sure bet I’ll find what I’m looking for when I’m out thrifting. One thing’s for sure though, there never seems to be a shortage of old dressers!

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Okay, so you get the point!

One thing I’ve noticed about these dressers (other than people don’t clean their drawers out before donating)…is that they’re all long and much shorter than the standard dresser made today. I guess to most people that means they’re useless.

To me, that means they are PERFECT FOR MEDIA CONSOLES!!!

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Sometimes I like ’em just like the one above, but it does make it difficult to change channels when the box is hidden behind solid wood doors.

So, with a little tweaking…


I added shelving where the drawers used to be and some dental molding for instant charm and VOILA, this dresser became a perfect living room console.
Here’s a few more I did for my showroom last fall…


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….and they were all SAVED yet again from the Dreaded Landfill!!!!
I just LOVE a Happy Ending!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coastal Subway Wall Art

I heart the Subway Art that’s popping up everywhere these days. The simple black background and the large white letters that pop off the canvas. It’s just, well…cool, right?

Pottery Barn’s Version

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Courtesy of Pottery Barn

Restoration Hardware’s Version

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Courtesy of Restoration Hardware

Yes, I was a fan of the standard Subway Art, until I saw this and my jaw dropped!


Now this is MY kind of Subway Art! I love the wooden weathered planks and the silhouette Seahorse. Check out the message hidden within the words that reads, “Follow the River and you will find the Sea.”


Seahorse Wall Art from Aidan Gray retailing for $306.

I have a huge blank wall in my front room when you walk in my house that is screaming for some wall art. Now my wheels are turning again! Definitely food for thought!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Driftwood Finish Tutorial…Part 2!

Finally! I know, I know! This was promised weeks ago!

I had BIG ideas for this post…I wanted to show you this great technique and not just write about it, BUT since I couldn’t get my four-year-old to hold the camera still while I set up a video workshop….this will just have to do! (Just kidding about the child labor comment BTW)
Okay, so you’ve gathered all of your materials. Let’s say you’re painting a tabletop, but you could really do this treatment on anything I guess!

Step 1: Scratch the heck out of your tabletop! I know, you think I’m Mad, but for real…rough that sucker up! Just make sure that you go WITH the grain of the wood, while you’re getting your aggression out. Use something you have…get creative…a kitchen utensil or wire brush for the grill will do the job. I happen to have a wire paint eater brush that I run across the table. This will help raise the grain of the wood, knocking off the old finish a little, and give it a “salvaged ” look.


Step 2: Prime It! Spray a light coat, you don’t have to go overboard.


Step 3: Paint your tabletop in 2 coats of the lovely 1980’s Peach Flat Paint. Again, make sure you go with the grain.  Let it dry until it’s no longer tacky to the touch…about 45 minutes should do.


Here’s a picture of my driftwood chairs after the Peach Paint. If you have chairs or lots of area to cover, it’s okay to use the Sprayer for the first coat in Peach. Unfortunately, the next steps come out a lot better using a brush.


Step 4: In a bowl, water down your Gray Flat Paint. Dip your graining tool in the bowl and mimic the lines of real wood along the tabletop by gently pressing and dragging down the table.
This is the hardest part. If this is your first time using a graining tool, like me, you may want to practice on a piece of scrap wood or cardboard first. It can take some time to figure out the pattern that looks most realistic. Take your time on this step, as it will be crucial to the end result! Let it dry to the touch before moving on to the next step.

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Step 5: Mix equal parts Glaze to the Honey Mustard Flat Paint. A little goes a long way, so I just mix mine in plastic cups. Paint a layer over your tabletop. I like to take the graining tool and swipe through each brush stroke so that the colors underneath really come through. Let this layer dry.

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Step 6: Rub the tabletop with Steel Wool firmly. This really helps to bring out the gray and blend everything together well.

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Step 7: Repeat Step 5 substituting the Saddle Brown Flat Paint. Let dry. Repeat Step 6.

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This is what my table looked like at this point in the process. You can stop here if you like the way it looks. I wanted a lighter finish to mine, so I added the last step with the Cream Glaze, but this looks great too and lends itself to a subtle Weathered effect, much like Restoration Hardware.


Step 8: Mix equal parts of Glaze, Water, and the Cream Flat Paint. Use your Graining Tool to layer on the last coat of paint. I like this layer to go on lightly. Then rub the entire table again with the Steel Wool.

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At this point use your own judgment to determine if the effect looks the way you want it to. You can always go back over the top with fine grit sandpaper to soften the effect.

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This table set was such a labor of love! I’m so elated by how it turned out and even happier that it went to such an awesome newlywed couple! Thanks Bo and Britney!

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I totally forgot to give a shout out to Lucianna Samu who wrote a great post on Living In Color about her paint techniques for the Weathered Wood Finish. Check it out as she lists exact colors from Benjamin Moore for this technique.

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