Category Archives: Crafts

Valentine Chair Backer

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season.  Ours was full of fun and family… and bronchitis.  I’ve been down for nearly 3 weeks with the stuff.  Yesterday was the first day I felt like myself again, so I put away all the Christmas stuff and got out a few Valentines Day decorations.  I don’t decorate for every holiday, but there is something about Valentines Day that I like.  I’ve always left little notes and treats for the kids on Valentines Day–probably because my mom did the same for us kids when we were young.  A couple of years ago, Pottery Barn had these way cute chair backers, which are perfect for leaving little notes and treats for the kids.

They are also $20 each.  Yikes!  I knew that was going to happen.  They didn’t look really hard to make, though, so when I came across a tutorial for something similar, I made my own.

The tutorial is over at Our Scoop, and I highly suggest you check it out!  It is a great tutorial and super clear and easy to follow.  I made one for each of the kids and one for Mr. Type2Fun and myself.  It cost WAY less than the $100 it would have cost us to buy five of them at Pottery Barn.

There are two different styles–one with ruffles {perfect for girly girls} and one without.  I used embroidery floss to embroider their names on the front of the pouches.  They just attach to the chair backs with straps that button to the back of the pouch.

We’ve had them for about two years now, and the kids love opening them up on Valentines morning.  I leave them up for a few weeks before the big day, and the kids can put whatever they’d like into their sibling’s {and parent’s} pouches.  No peeking until Valentines Day!

The pouches are nice and deep and hold quite a few notes and treats.  Then the kids all get to open their pouches at breakfast on Valentines Day.  I like that it encourages them to think of their siblings, and they usually end up writing heartfelt notes that I couldn’t drag out of them any other time.  Sometimes, they even use their own money to buy each other treats.  It’s astounding, and it wouldn’t happen any other time of the year, but you know what?  I’ll take it! :-D


I’m linking up to these parties this week.

{More} American Girl Doll Beds

The holiday season is always busy for us, and this year has been no exception.  I’ve been working away on Christmas gifts, but haven’t had much time to blog about it.  These two cuties were just too adorable to let slip on by, though.  Not long ago, I shared a fun (and cheap) American Girl doll bed we made for a friend using an Ana White plan.  When my sister-in-law asked me to make a couple of those beds for her girls, I happily took on the project.    Because these beds were going to sisters, I wanted them each to be a little different and unique.  I had some leftover plywood lying around from my trumeau mirror project, so I cut it to size and used it to replace the slatted 1×3 headboard and footboard panels in Ana’s plan.

The headboard panel was cut 6″ x 12.5″ and the footboard was 3″ x 12.5″.  I pretty much followed the plans for the rest of the build.  I did add a piece of 3/8″ thick board cut 1.5″ x 6″ to make two panels in the headboard.  I also added some cove molding to the inside of the headboard and footboard panels and routed the top and bottom header boards with my ogee bit.

This gave everything a more finished look.  Then I puttied all my nail holes and sanded everything down.

This was how the headboard looked when it was ready for paint.  I gave everything a coat of primer and two coats of spray paint.  The other bed I built exactly according to Ana’s plans.  We wanted a more country feel for that one.

Here you can see the difference between the two headboards.  I realize the black is hard to see, but it really does look quite sophisticated in person.   ;-)

I made all the bedding myself.  I didn’t really use a pattern, because I was sort of winging it.  I will say, though, that I found this tutorial for making a fitted doll sheet at From an Igloo, and it was immensely helpful.  She even has a tutorial for making pillows and pillowcases for your doll beds.  It’s awesome!

I love modifying Ana’s plans.  They are just so versatile, and you can always put your own twist on your builds to make them reflect your taste.  I just love the way these beds represent my nieces’ personalities–completely different, but totally cute.  They are sturdy enough that they will be around a long time, too.  I can’t wait to see how they like them.

Did you build any of your own Christmas gifts this year?  I’d love to see them!

Happy Holidays!

Easy-Peasy {Faux} Rust Treatment

Yay!  It’s Friday!  Unfortunately, the Richardson house has caught the stomach flu…  Boo!  So with my girls home from school, there was no time to work on the half-finished trumeau mirror in the garage.  Bummer.  After about the 15th rerun of Good Luck, Charlie, I’d had enough.  I decided to tackle something small.  Something quick, easy, and able to be completed in under an hour.  I’d seen this idea on Pinterest where you take cinnamon and sprinkle it over wet paint to get the look of rust, and I’ve been wanting to do a collection of letter C’s for my son’s room.  It was a perfect quickie project!

I took a small piece of sheet metal, which my step-dad cut for me ages ago, and used that for my sign.  Then I gave it a coat of Rustoleum Colonial Red spray paint.

After the red paint dried, I used my Cricut to cut a large letter C in a rustic font out of vinyl.  Then I stuck it on the front, not being really careful or anything.  I didn’t mind crinkles and bubbles.

Once I had my vinyl placed, I gave the whole thing a coat of Rustoleum Heirloom White, and while the paint was still wet, I sprinkled ground cinnamon all over it.

I just sort of sprinkled it here and there, dusting it off in places and leaving it clumpy in others.  Then, in places, I gave it another coat of Heirloom White.

Once I had it pretty much to my liking, I removed the vinyl letter.  Because there was no “rust” on the C portion of the sign, I used a clear sealer over the whole thing.  Then I sprinkled more cinnamon over the letter.  I love the way the cinnamon gives the whole thing the texture of rust, too.  So awesome!

Then I used a drill to put some holes in the corners of the sign.  I wanted them to look a little like they were punched, rather than drilled, so I wasn’t very careful about securing the sign or evenly spacing the holes when I drilled.

That’s all there is to it.  I love, love, love the final look.  I have a major soft spot for all things vintage, but metal signs (especially in the kids’ rooms) make me nervous.  This has the look and texture I was going for, and I know there is no lead paint on it.  I can’t wait to try it on a bigger sign!

I hope you all have a fabulous {healthy} weekend!

Linking up to the parties here and also The Shabby Creek Cottage.

Thrift Store Jewelry Box Makeovers

The kids were on fall break last week, so I made an effort to find some projects we could work on together.  The girls were recently introduced to thrift store shopping, and they LOVE it.  It is so much fun for them to find something old and give it a new look.  They are just like their mom!

So while we were at Savers the other day, we came across a couple of really cheap jewelry boxes.  It never ceases to amaze me how much junk treasure those girls can amass.  I hate finding it scattered all over their dressers, so this project seemed like a perfect solution.  Tatertot picked out the box above for only $2.99.

And Bug liked this simple one for $.99.  We got right to work ripping out the insides, carefully, so we could save them and recover them with a fabric that matched their rooms.

Once we had the insides removed, we took a tiny screwdriver and removed all the hardware.  Then we gave each piece a light sanding, wiping them down with a damp cloth after.

Once everything was scuffed up, we gave it all a coat of Zinsser primer, followed by 2 light coats of Rustoleum spray paint.  Bug just wanted plain white, but Tatertot chose Green Apple in a satin finish.

Now the Green Apple paint was pretty dang bright, so I toned it down with my Ralph Lauren glaze.  I use this on a lot of my projects because it just adds so much depth.  You can’t beat it.

I recovered the existing inside pieces with fabric that matched my girls’ rooms.  I simply used some iron-on hemming tape to make sure the fabric adhered without being stiff or clumpy, which you might get if you used hot glue or E-6000.  Then I used epoxy and clothespins to glue the liners back in.

Once you get the liners back in, you simply reattach all the hinges and hardware, and you’re done.  These little pulls had a tiny nail that I pried out with a small screwdriver; then I gently tapped the nail back in with a hammer.  Some handles are attached with a little screw that is only visible once you remove the lining.  If that’s the case, you’ll want to reattach the handles before you glue the lining back in.

Here’s what Bug’s looked like after.  She’s not one for a lot of drama or bright patterns and colors.  Remember that stained glass on the top?  I just replaced it with glass from an old picture frame.  I used a glass cutter (available at Home Depot for $7, and super useful) to cut the glass down to size.

She likes simple and clean.  This box fits her personality perfectly.

And this is Tatertot’s.  She wanted a monogram added to the top, so I just used my Cricut to cut one out of vinyl.  It adds a lot of drama, and she loves the zebra lining.  So different, those two girls.

We come across jewelry boxes all the time at thrift stores.  This project couldn’t be easier, and so much fun to work on with my girls.  I love that they didn’t take much time at all.  The hardest part was waiting for paint and glue to dry.  Now we’re on the lookout for a couple more to store lip gloss and hair clips!



Linking up:

Someday Crafts | The Thrifty Home | Domestically Speaking | House of Hepworths | My RePurposed Life | Chic on a Shoestring | Tatertots and Jello | Miss Mustard Seed | 30 Handmade Days | The Shabby Nest | Fingerprints on the Fridge | Be Different Act Normal | I {Heart} Naptime | DIY Showoff | The 36th Avenue | Beyond the Picket Fence | Seven Thirty-Three | Three Mango SeedsThe Shabby Creek Cottage | Tidy Mom | The Well Crafted Home | Six Sisters’ Stuff | Positively Splendid | Flamingo Toes | It’s Overflowing

DIY Pallet Wood Gate

I’m back today to share with you a super quick and easy project I made with some free pallet wood.  My brother-in-law has access to a lot of pallet wood through his work, and I’m always trying to figure out something to build from it.  When I built my shoe cabinet, I wanted some way to display wreaths or pictures on top of it.  Then it hit me!  Pallet wood!

I had all these pallets sitting on the side of my yard, so I went to work taking a couple of them apart.  I used a crow bar and a hammer (and ear protection…  YIKES!) to pull them apart.  Then I used my hammer to drive the nails back out through the boards.

Once I had my boards pulled apart, I cleaned them up and sanded them just a bit.  Then I used my Kreg Jig and some glue to join them all together in one big piece.

Now, at this point, I wanted some supports on the front, mostly for decoration.  So I went through the pallets and found some boards that were thinner and more narrow.  Unfortunately, these boards were also quite a bit lighter than the ones I already had, so I knew I was going to have to age these other boards somehow.  I laid out my board and made the cuts I wanted, so I could treat the cut ends as well.

I’d seen on Pinterest that you can age wood with a vinegar stain.  I decided to try it on my support boards.  I poured apple cider vinegar in an old washed out jar and put in a couple of rusty nails and a small amount of steel wool.  I let the mixture sit overnight and brushed it on my supports the next morning.  I found that this stuff works differently on different types and textures of wood.  To show you the difference, I treated a sample piece of pallet wood and a sample of standard pine 1×4.

These are the boards before being treated with vinegar stain…

I simply brushed on a coat of my vingear/nail/steel wool mixture…

…and then I let it dry for several hours.  I took this picture after it had dried for about an hour.

Now you could leave it like this, but my other boards were aged just a bit more than that.  Since I was trying to match the other boards, I brewed some strong black tea and brushed it on over the vinegar stain.

This was the final result.  I was really pleased with how it turned out.  Once it was dry, my newer boards matched my other weathered boards quite well.

It’s still a little wet in this picture, but I glued up my supports and attached them with finishing nails to complete the project.

I also hammered one of the old rusty nails in the front of the gate to hold a wreath, but I may change that eventually.

You can see how well the vinegar stain worked to age my newer boards.  You can hardly tell they were from two different pallets.  I love the warm, rustic look it adds to the entry…and you can’t beat free!


Linking up to:

My RePurposed Life | Whipperberry | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Home Stories A2Z

This and That

I’m absolutely thrilled that my candlesticks are being shared over at Knock-Off Decor today.  If you haven’t been over to Beckie’s site yet, you MUST visit, but be prepared to stay awhile.  There are some great knock-offs over there!

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I’m trying my hand at reupholstery for the first time.  Yikes!

I was very intimidated by this project.  So much so, that I put it off for 2 years!  But things are going really well, thanks to some great tutorials I found around the Internet.  I can’t wait to show you this transformation and give my 2 cents on the whole affair–so check back soon!

And while we are talking about Twitter and Facebook…

You can follow The House on Harrison on Twitter here.

Are you more of a Facebook kinda person?  The House on Harrison is here.

And I’ve been pinning furiously on Pinterest lately.  I LOVE that site.  Wanna see what inspires me?  You can follow me here.

I’m off to try my hand on double welt cord.  Thank goodness for Centsational Girl!

My New {Old} Candlesticks

I’m taking a break from working on Bug’s room to show you a quick, easy fix for those ugly candlesticks you always see in thrift stores or may even have hanging around the house.  I needed some candlesticks for my bathroom, and Pottery Barn had the perfect ones.  Aren’t they pretty?

Image Courtesy of Pottery Barn

I really loved these, but unfortunately, these babies were gonna set me back $180 for all three!  Yikes!  There was NO way those were even remotely in the budget.  Mr. Type2Fun would have freaked.out.

Then I remembered I had these packed away from our move.  At one time, I liked these.  I actually bought them for our other house.  I know, right?  Hideous!  But, a little spray paint can make all the difference.

I gave these guys a couple coats of my favorite Rustoleum spray paint in Ivory Silk.  They were better, but still too shiny and new looking.  Not enough character.

So I grabbed my can of Ralph Lauren glaze…  you know?  The one I use on EVERYTHING?  I brushed on a coat of glaze, and then I wiped it off, making sure to leave lots of glaze in the nooks and crannies.

I can’t say enough about glaze.  I really love it.  Spray paint is fabulous, but sometimes, it makes things look a little TOO shiny and new, and it often times covers up the subtle highlights that make the piece interesting.  Remember that bird in Bug’s room?

I used the same spray paint/glaze treatment on her.  I just love the way the glaze highlights the flowers on the bird’s back.  They would be lost in a sea of turquoise otherwise.

So after I applied my glaze, I gave it lots of dry time.  If you have puddles of glaze in places, you are going to want to make sure they are nice and dry.  Then I gave it a quick coat of sealer, and they were ready for candles.

That was it!  Seriously the easiest project ever, and they look so good in my bathroom.  They aren’t the Pottery Barn ones, but I had everything on hand, so they were basically free…  and that I like.  A lot.


Linking up to:

Skip to My Lou | Today’s Creative Blog | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Home Stories A2Z | Not Just a Housewife | Domestically Speaking | Someday Crafts | The Thrifty Home | My Repurposed Life | House of Hepworths | AKA Design | Chic on a Shoestring | The Shabby Nest | Thistlewood Farms

Polka Dot Picture Frame

Today I thought that I’d share a cute frame I made for Bug’s room.  We are personalizing her room with pictures and mementos, and I was trying to find cute frames for some of her favorite photos. It’s hard to find anything that wasn’t simply white, so I decided to make my own frames.

I started with a blank frame I bought at Michael’s years ago.  I think they still have them.  This particular one was MDF, but I’ve seen them in wood as well, which should work just fine.  I took the backing out and gave it a coat of white spray paint.

While the spray paint was drying, I used my hole punch and some leftover vinyl from another project and began making my polka dots.

Then I staggered the dots and began placing them all over the picture frame.  I liked the random look that hand placing them gave me, but you could certainly use a ruler or draw lines to line them up.  You could also make a striped or chevron pattern, if that’s what you are going for.

Then I gave the whole thing a couple light coats of lavender spray paint.  I knew I wanted to distress it, so I didn’t give it many coats or go too heavy.  If you like a crisper look, you would want to make sure the white paint doesn’t show through anywhere.

Then the fun part!  I peeled up all my polka dots and gave the whole frame a light sanding with a 220 grit sanding sponge.

You could leave your frame as is at this point, but I really wanted a frame-within-a-frame (my son calls it “Inception frame”) kind of look, so I went to Home Depot and grabbed some cheap molding.  This was in the decorative molding section, and it cost about $2 for a 4′ piece.  I used 2 pieces.  I simply mitered the corners and made a frame for the outside and one for the inside.  Then I gave them a couple of coats of white spray paint.

I attached my molding with some glue and finishing nails.  Once everything was in place, I touched up any nail holes and cracks with some white painter’s calk.  I think I could have simply glued it in place with E-6000 and skipped the nail gun, and I may do that next time.

And that’s all there is to it!  It is a perfect way to display some of her favorite pictures, and it took hardly any time at all to put together.  It’s a perfect afternoon project, and now that I have one made, I think I’ll let Bug make a few in different patterns herself.   :-)

{Cabinet Door} Knock-Off Holden Desk

I love everything about baby’s first birthday–baby in the highchair eating fistfuls of cake; mom opening all baby’s gifts and baby playing with the wrappings; family cooing over the birthday baby, who is pretty much oblivious to it all.  I love it the whole thing–and I miss that time with my kids, too.  So, naturally, when we realized that my niece’s first birthday was coming up, we really wanted to do something special.

Pottery Barn Holden Desk

I absolutely fell in love with the idea of a floor desk.  We loved the Holden Desk from Pottery Barn Kids, but we didn’t love the price…  $54 on sale + shipping.  Ouch!  No thanks.  Then inspiration struck.  Remember those cabinet doors I rescued from the curbside trash pick-up?  You know, the one I made into our cute snack tray?

Well, I just happened to have a few more in the garage.  So, armed with some left over wood from the never-ending stash and my trusty Kreg Jig, I made a desk frame for one of those rescued cabinet doors.

I used 2×2′s cut at 18″ for the legs.  Then for the aprons, I used 1×2′s.  I measured the length of each side and subtracted 4″ (to account for a 1/2″ inset on each side and (2) 1.5″ wide legs).  So, for example, my cabinet doors were 22″x27″.  I cut my aprons at 18″ and 23″ respectively.

Then I drilled my pocket holes and used glue and screws to attach everything.  I used leftover wood from another project, so my pieces happened to be cheap pine.  Because I didn’t feel the legs were sturdy enough on their own, I added a brace to the bottom on three of the sides.  I left the front open so my niece could still slide her legs under it if she wanted.  If you used popular or a higher grade wood, you could probably skip this step.

And then, because I knew I wanted to make this a chalkboard desk, I had my husband (yes, I was too scared to do it myself) use the plunge router to make a recess to hold the chalk.

Then I sanded it up, gave it a coat of primer, taped off the center, and gave it a couple of coats of this cute pink color.  I love this spray paint from Rustoleum.  It covers really nicely, and it has a nice wide spray pattern.  Oh!  And it’s cheap!  Gotta love that!

After I painted it, I scuffed it up a bit.  Then I used a paint pen (Minwax Early American) to darken any exposed wood.  The raw wood on the legs was quite a bit lighter than the cabinet door, so this helped to even things out.  Just use a dry rag to wipe off any excess stain.

From here, I finished it the same way I did the snack tray.  I used Ralph Lauren glaze to distress it, and once that was dry, I applied Minwax Finishing Paste to get a nice hard topcoat.

Then I just taped off the pink frame and sprayed it with chalkboard paint.  Once you let the paint dry for 24 hours, you can season your chalkboard and draw away.

Now, I did have some of the white primer show through when I distressed the pink.  The stain pen helped to hide it somewhat, but there was still some white peeking through.  If that’s a problem for you, you may want to consider skipping the primer on the frame only.  The chalkboard will absolutely need to be primed first.

I’m thrilled with how it turned out.  Here’s the breakdown on what it cost me:

Cabinet Door:  Roadside find $0

Lumber:  Leftovers from other projects – $0

Primer:  Zinsser Cover Stain – $6

Paint:  Rustoleum Sweet Pea – $4

Chalboard Paint:  Leftover from other projects – $0

Grand Total:  $10

That’s a far cry from $54+shipping, and we were able to customize it to match Lucy’s room.  And that’s what I love so much about DIY.  I can do it MY way and save a little money while I’m doing it.  It’s like having my cake and eating it, too.  (…and now I’m hungry.  Good thing I know a good place for cake… :-)  )

Linking up to:

Home Stories A2Z | My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia | Not JUST a Housewife | Today’s Creative Blog | Someday Crafts | House of Hepworths | Hubby Made Me | My Repurposed Life | AKA Design | Chic on a Shoestring | Miss Mustard Seed | Tatertots and Jello | Be Different Act Normal | DIY Showoff

Wall Art for a Glamour Girl

I had grand plans today.  I was going to paint several projects I’d been working on, one of which is a present for my niece’s birthday–which is tomorrow.  Then it rained.  A lot.  For a really long time.  So I tackled a different–one I’d started a few days earlier and never finished.  It involved rhinestones.  Lots and lots of rhinestones.

Tater Tot’s room is bright pink and zebra.  It’s crazy loud, but it fits her personality.  She also has a love of all things Audrey Hepburn.  I don’t know why, but she just loves her.  So when we came across a large Audrey Hepburn print in Ross one day, we snatched it up.  I haven’t hung it up yet (shocker, I know), but I wanted to do a gallery wall or something with it.  I found a couple of quotes by Audrey Hepburn on Pinterest, and inspiration struck!  I knew they would be perfect wall hangings for the room.

So I took some leftover MDF from the garage and cut it into two 8″x10″ squares.  Then I gave each one a coat of spray primer and a coat of semi-gloss white spray paint.

While the boards were drying, I used my Cricut to cut out the quotes in vinyl.  I laid everything out on the boards and marked where I wanted everything to go.  Once you apply the vinyl, you may want to put a hanger on the back.

I just picked up a few sawtooth hangers at Home Depot and attached them to the back.  Then I started searching for something to frame them with.

On one of my many trips to Lowe’s, I picked up some stop molding.  I used one 7′ board to frame both pieces.  I simply measured and mitered the ends with my miter saw.

Then I sprayed the trim pieces with some black spray paint I had laying around.  I believe the finish on this one was satin.  You can’t even tell that I used two different sheens.  After the pieces were dry, I used some wood glue and my nail gun to attach the frame to the pictures.

It was at about this point that I realized I should have paid better attention in high school geometry.  (sigh)  I just used some wood putty to fill my nail holes and less than perfect mitered corners…

…and a foam brush and some black spray paint sprayed into a paper plate to cover my putty.  You can’t even tell where my nail holes are.  It worked like a charm, but it still needed some glamour.

I picked these little cuties up at Hobby Lobby for 40% off.  Each quote took one package.  I think that some people have fancy Silhouettes that do rhinestones for you or something.  I don’t have one.  :-(  My Cricut is way old school.  So I just cut apart the strips and applied them by hand.  A pair of small scissors and some tweezers come in really handy here.

It was actually kind of therapeutic.  I grabbed my tweezers and rhinestones and watched a couple of episodes of Downton Abbey while I worked.  I messed up a few times, and it was really hard to get those suckers off.  The adhesive works really well.  I didn’t even need to apply a clear coat or anything.

They are the perfect inspirational pieces of art for my little glamour girl.  Now let’s see how long it takes me to hang these babies up!  ;-)