Monday, January 30, 2012

Ruler Growth Chart

I have been seeing these wonderful ruler growth charts on blogs and Pinterest.  The first one I saw was here:
Love it!  Easy to follow instructions and great pictures!  Of course I had to make my own and make it a little bit different.  Here is what you need:

A 6 foot 10"x1" or 8"x1" board (I used a 10"x1")
Printed off large numbers in different fonts.  (I made them the size of a printable piece of paper in Word.)
Printed off  smaller numbers for the ruler part.
Clear Sealer
Paint pen

Start with sanding down the board and the sides:
Wipe all the dust off and print off your numbers:

Here is a picture of my numbers 1-6, plus the smaller numbers.  I only printed the outline of the numbers in order to save ink. Then I measured out where I wanted the board to hang on the wall.  I wanted the top of it to be level with the door opening that it was next to, and that ended up being 7 inches off of the floor.  It is important to know this from the beginning so you know where to start your measurements and numbers!  Check and double check your measurements before you lay anything out on your board.  Next I laid out all the big numbers where I wanted them to be on the board:

Notice the tape measure laying on the floor next to the board?  This is so I could see what height to place the numbers.  I made sure they were all straight and then taped them down.  Now for the second part of the tutorial: Staining a design onto a piece of wood! 
After I laid out my design and taped down the pattern, I used a pen to trace the design onto the wood:

You need to press really hard, because you want to make an indention of the outline onto the wood.  The deeper the indention, the easier the next step will be:

Here you can see the number two that was traced onto the wood.  You can see where I ripped through the paper at one point and drew on the wood- you want to avoid that if you can!  After you get everything outlined, you can start carefully staining in your design:
You want to start on the inside of the design- (in my case the numbers) and gently push the stain to the edges:

One it gets close to the edge of the design the wood will absorb the stain up the indention.  Instead of using a brush with stain, you can also use a stain marker.  Just be sure to always start at the inside of your pattern and let the stain soak to the edges or it can bleed past the indention.  If you want the stain to be darker, you can go over it with a second or third coat.  I didn't want too much contrast, so I left it at one coat.  I used a dark cherry colored stain, but any color will work! After the stain dries, you want to seal the board:

I used a water based clear satin sealer.  I like to use water based whenever I can so that cleanup is much easier.  Once that is dry, you can start on the measurements:
Remember where you need to start at the bottom of the board based on where you want to place it on the wall.  Mine was going to be exactly 7 inches off of the floor, so I was able to start measurements one inch up and then mark every inch with the first foot marker being 5 inches up.  I overlapped my markings every time I moved the ruler to keep everything precise:
Once the board was marked in inches, I went back and marked where every foot and half foot was.  I decided to make the inch marks 3 centimeters long, the half foot mark 4.5 centimeters long and the foot markers 6 centimeters long.  I marked them all with a pencil first then used a paint marker to go over the lines:

You can buy the paint markers at most craft stores and sometimes Walmart carries them in their craft section.  I use them all the time in my murals- a great way to get a nice crisp and steady line!
 Notice the tip is white when first opened.  You will need to prep the marker by pushing down on the tip to get the paint to flow.  Do this on a scrap piece of paper or cardboard before using it on your project or you will end up with a little pool of paint on your project.  I am missing the pictures where I taped down the smaller numbers, traced them and filled them in with the paint marker.   I used the same method as with the big numbers and just placed them center at the end of each foot marker.  Here is another picture of the finished project:
Next, I added pictures of my sons at each of the different heights.  Since my boys range in size from 3' to 6' I was able to fill in the wall.  A fun way to look back at how they have grown over the years and also for the younger ones to look forward to getting their pictures added as they get taller!  You could also take pictures of different relatives or family friends who are a variety of heights and put their pictures on the wall.  I know my boys love looking forward to being as tall as or taller than their Aunts, Uncles and Grandparents!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

$50 Mud Room Lockers & Bench

I have been wanting a nice landing area for all the things that are carried in and out of the house every day, and have been inspired by the many nice ones I've found online and seen in person.  I am a home stager, so I get to tour many homes and collect ideas for my own home.  We recently moved to a new home and finally had the perfect space for a mud room coming in from the garage.  Yeah! Here it is:
Here is a run down of the materials used and the costs:

2 lockers- $5 a piece at a garage sale
Wood for the bench- Free!  The previous home owners left an old water bed frame in the garage.
Wire shelf for the shoe rack- Free!  This was a builders leftover shelf from our last house.
Wood for the cubbies above the lockers- Free!  These were old closet doors from a closet we removed.
Bead board Wall paper- $20 It looks just like the real stuff and time will tell on how durable it is (Lowe's).
Paint- $5 from the oops pile at Lowe's.
Boxes for cubbies- $5 each (Ikea).
Hooks- Free!  They were on the wall when we moved in.
Trim- Free!  Leftovers from a friend's remodel.
Picture Labels on the boxes- Free!  They are actually shower hooks that were given to me a few years ago.
Total cost= $50 + tax!

We were blessed to have the materials to use to make this- rethink, reuse and recycle!  There are lots of freebies on Craigslist that you can use for your projects as well as cheap furniture that can be reused for other purposes.  I don't have any instructions for you on this since my DH is the mastermind behind the building.  I just drew him a bunch of pictures, gave him measurements and pointed out the supplies he could use.  Fortunately for me, he loves me and likes to play with his power tools!  Here is a picture of the project when my husband was done with it:

I guess this was before the last trim piece was added!  Then it was my turn to add wall paper, paint and pretty it up:
With 3 boys, 2 adults and a dog- there is no way it will stay looking this pretty though!  Here are a few more pictures:

The metal tab was already on the locker, as well as a circular indent.  I used photoshop to make tags for both, printed them on photo paper and just glued them on.  An up close look at the picture frame/shower curtain hook turned label:

One last picture:
My next project will be to paint the wood walls and install new lights.  Another adventure for another day!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Adding Faux Architectural Interest

My husband and I went to a party at our neighbor's house a while back and I loved what the builder did above their fireplace.  They had a nice inset cove that added a lot of detail to the fireplace.  I knew I wouldn't be able to talk my DH into building one in for me, so I decided to paint my own:
I taped off the area where the shadow would be and then using the wall paint mixed with a little bit of black, I painted in a shadow.  After that was dry, I taped off the shadow and added a highlight around it using watered down white paint.  The decor was a work in progress when the picture was taken!  Here is another view of it when entering the room.  People are seriously shocked when they find out it is not real.  When we sold the house, I mentioned that to the buyers during the closing and found out that they thought it was real as well! 

Cute Nursery for a Boy or Girl

This nursery was designed for a boy, but it would work well for a girl too!  The walls are painted a light sage green with cream trim.  Then I added a fun graphic mural based on a scrapbooking element:
The branches were just done in a solid brown color, and the leaves in a solid medium green.  I then used the wall paint to paint the veins on the leaves- much easier than trying to not paint that area!  The circles were painted using different sized lids that I held to the wall and traced around them directly with a loaded paint brush.  Then I painted some replica Calvin and Hobbes artwork to go in the room:

This nursery styling should be able to stay for a while as the baby grows!

Skater Room

Here's an idea of what to do with a tween boy's room that will hopefully grow with him for a few years!  I started out by painting the bed with skater graphics:

Really easy to do with a projector and paint markers!  The room the bed is in now was not going to be the bedroom that it went into- although the colors worked really well in here!  In the new room, I painted two walls a light grey and two a darker grey.  Then using my projector and some skater graphics (I found some online and drew some), I painted a mural on one of the light grey walls using the darker grey color:
The next project was to add some valances to the windows.  I used cheap super thin mdf and 2x4's to create some simple boxes.  They were then painted cream to match the home's existing trim and then I added skateboarding posters picked up for free at a local skate shop:
We added a few more favorite posters- including a huge one on the ceiling above the bed.  

Dr. Seuss Room

Another fun project I did recently was a Dr. Seuss nursery that will hopefully grow with her for a while:
The room was prepped for me with the sky and hills already painted.  I came in and added a few of their favorite characters to the walls and then did a growth chart on canvas so it can be removed if they happen to move and want to take it with them!

Cars Mural and Cheerleading Mural

When my s-i-l told me she was going to decorate her new nursery in the Cars theme, I had the perfect gift idea- a custom Cars name mural:
I painted this one on a canvas drop cloth- I have also used canvas on the roll bought at fabric stores.  I have started painting a lot of my children's murals on canvas so that they can be easily removed as the child grows.  I install them with wall paper paste when finished.  *Note: you need to paint the back of the canvas as well so that the canvas doesn't adhere to the wall permanently! 
I also created a matching one for his older brother who shares the room, plus a cheerleading one for his big sis:

Willi's house

A while ago, I was asked to do some different projects for my friend Willi.  Here are some pictures from that project:

I did a faux finish on the wall with a dark brown and tan, then went over the top of it with a tan glaze to knock it back and add some dimension.  Then we rearranged the furniture and brought back in her wall hangings.

This is the surround that I added to her fireplace.  It was a flat wall previously.  I taped off the area I wanted raised and used a faux stone plaster texture to give it some dimension.  Then I added a custom raised stencil.  After it dried I painted and antiqued it.

The next project I did was to paint some faux shutters to add around a window on the inside of the house.  For these I used the basic white plastic shutters you can buy at a hardware store and painted them to look like real wood.  I then painted the handle and then the hinges on canvas and cut them out to give them added dimension and hot glued them onto the shutter:
I wish I would have taken a picture of them installed, but forgot my camera!

Christmas Decor for El Paradisio

After I did all the murals for the Parade of Homes house El Paradisio, I was asked to style it for a Holiday Tour.  Here are some pictures from that project:

This is the massive main living room area.  The three vases on the fireplace were lit from the inside, although it was hard to capture that with photographs.  I hung giant ornaments on the chandelier- everything had to be over sized to fit in this house!  The star and fabric treatment in the windows were also added for the holiday tour.

Details from the dining room.  One of my murals is on the wall in the background.  The reindeer were one of my favorite finds for the project.

The hood in the kitchen was so great- it had to be decorated for the holidays as well!  I used greenery and sugared fruits.

One of the buffet tables.

Just a few small details added to the library nook.  I loved the giant chess table!