Tuesday, September 28, 2010

DIY: framed chalkboard

I finally found a spare minute this past weekend to get into the garage and start working on all of my projects that have been piling up this summer. So with my spray paint gun in hand I got to work. My first project from my pile of goodies that I picked up this summer at the 127 sale is a framed chalkboard. It's another quick and easy project and coming in under $7 a steal! I saw some other framed chalkboards at the Country Living Fair for upwards of $60 and $70! Do a little scouring at your local Goodwill or thrift store and search for good wooden ornate frames in any shape.

plywood or mdf board
chalkboard spray paint
spray paint for the frame
staple gun

Step 1: Remove any ugly, misfortunate print that your frame may contain (I wish I had a picture of the print that was in this frame but it got pitched in a garage cleaning frenzy...it was epicly ugly)

Step 2: Clean the frame and make sure it's dry
Step 3: Spray the frame and let dry

Step 4: Cut your plywood or mdf board to fit inside the frame
Step 5: Prime the wood with white paint

Step 6: Spray several coats of the chalkboard spray paint onto the wood

Step 7: Let wood dry for 24 hours (per instructions on the back of the can)

Step 8: After the wood has dried for 24 hours, use your staple gun to hold your blackboard in place

Step 9: Rub the side of a piece of chalk over the whole chalkboard and wipe clean
Step 10: Your chalkboard is ready to go! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Country Living Fair

As a very devout Country Living reader I am surprised that it took me as long as it did to get to the Country Living Fair that is held in Columbus. But, this year my dear friend and fellow follower of Country Living extended the invite to me and so we began our journey. Off we headed up I-71 to Columbus and my little pregnant friend made the 2 hour trip with only one restroom break!

What's a road trip without total junk food for fuel?

We anxiously waited in line for the gates to open...

And off we went to explore!

How much fun to see some of the same exact people I read about in Country Living were live and in person manning their booths!!!! Truly awesome.

We mostly just admired the talents of the crafters and jotted down notes of ideas to try on our own. I came home with a few finds: an official Country Living Fair t-shirt, a delightful purple mason jar (diy project!) and these funny little seeds from India called putka pods that look like little pumpkins that had been scented. The best deal of the day at 3 scoops for $1!

Of course we ended our day with with lunch and the B-E-S-T ham sandwich wrap I've ever eaten. Country Living wouldn't have it any other way other than all together in a cute little boxed lunch.

The day was perfect! The weather was beautiful and even a little chilly. We have made a pact to make this an annual girl's day out. I can't wait to make the trek back to Columbus next year ready to do a little more shopping and soak up some more inspiration.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

DIY jar of vintage buttons

Obviously, I love buttons, and that might be an understatement. I have since I was a little girl. My grandmother was quite the seamstress in her day and always had a mass of buttons. Some vintage, some new, but always beautiful little baubles in my mind. I have several jars of vintage buttons that I sometimes like to spread out on the floor and just spend some time looking through them. I like to think about my grandmother sewing all of my mom's clothes when she was little and even her wedding dress. She was so good at recycling buttons from old worn out clothes and saving them. Some of my vintage buttons still have bits of fabric attached. How cool is that? So in this post, I'm going to show you a few DIY projects and some other button inspiration that anyone can do with buttons. They certainly don't have to be vintage, but if they are, take a second to spread them out just imagine the stories they could tell...
Put your favorite buttons on display in a lovely jar or something like this.

I found this gorgeous pink compote bowl for just $1 at a thrift store. The little pink birdie perched on top is a Michael's craft store find that I accessorized with some pink glitter. I'm still thinking of the perfect spot for my little friend in our new house.

Button Magnets:

Magnets on an adhesive strip
Super glue
Step 1: Pick out a few of your favorite buttons
Step 2: Cut a square from the adhesive strip of magnet
Step 3: Place adhesive side on the back of the magnet
Step 4: If you wanted, you could stack your magnets for an extra touch
Step 5: Hang up your favorite cutie on your fridge and leave the rest of the magnets in a cluster
Also think what a cute, easy, CHEAP gift a set of these would be. Arrange them on a piece of cardstock with a beautiful ribbon. A tiny dab of hot glue will keep them secure to the cardstock but can be easily removed from the back of the magnet when they are ready for use.

Monogram Frame
* this is one I had already made so you get the idea*

Picture Frame
Piece of cardstock to fit inside frame
Monogram letter of your choice
Glue dots

Step 1: Print out your monogram letter of choice being mindful of what size frame you are using. My frame is a 5x7 so my letter is about 4x6
Step 2: Carefully cut out your letter
Step 3: With a pencil, lightly trace the outline of your letter onto the cardstock
Step 4: Begin arranging your buttons to fill in the monogram letter and secure each button with a glue dot

Step 5: Once you have filled all of the voids with buttons gently erase what did not get covered up of your pencil marks and place your masterpiece in the frame. Enjoy!
Button Ring

Ring base (I've had these for several years, I purchased them from a jeweler wholesale company called Rings & Things and I had to order about 144 of them, but I'm sure a quick Google search will help you find something more reasonable)
2-part epoxy or other super strong glue

Step 1: Find a combination of 2 or 3 buttons to stack on top of each other

Step 2: Mix your two part epoxy and glue the buttons together

Step 3: Glue your button combo to the ring base

Step 4: Let dry overnight
Step 5: Rock your awesome new button bauble!
Decorate a gift

Why not use your buttons to add a little fun to a gift? Pretty ribbon, buttons, and a few glue dots are all you need.
For more button inspiration visit: