Spooky Mirror

September 26, 2012

I never tire of scoping out thrifty finds.  It's an addiction, I'll admit.  But one I can live with {insert smiles here}.  Today I want to share with you a recent thrifty find that I transformed and put to work as Halloween decor.

I scored this fabulous intricately made scrolly mirror at a local church barn sale a few weeks ago. It was all of $3.00.  It was a bit too dark for me, but I'm glad I bought it.  As usual, I didn't quite know exactly where or how I would use it, but I knew I'd come up with something.

I decided to paint it {surprise} white. To say it was an easy job would be an understatement.  Once it was painted {two coats} I gently sanded it to emphasize the underlying dark wood.  Love the chippy, shabby chic vibe going on here.

I originally thought I'd use it on my dresser as somewhat of a vanity piece.  For some reason,  once it was painted white it reminded me of the evil Queen's mirror in Snow White.  I guess it was the Snow White vision that led me to my other idea  - a spooky mirror!

I started with Mr. Rat. Then I added a few other Halloween-y friends and pumpkins.

It's hard to see them, but I added "the birds," which I have to say are probably my single-most favorite Dollar Tree Halloween decor item ever.

Can you see them now?

Mr. Rat (also a Dollar Tree item) is precious, and there's more where he came from.  I can't wait to share a separate post on him and some of his friends.  Really, I'm not crazy. Just a Halloween lover, who loves one-upping Martha every chance I get.

What thrifty finds have you used for Halloween decorating?

Hope you're having a great week!


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I'll be linking up here:

DIY French Stenciled Burlap Table Runner

September 21, 2012

Okay, am I the only one who hasn't made one of these yet?  I've been seriously crushing on the many burlap table runners I've seen on other blogs, Pinterest, etc. and so I finally bit the bullet and made one of my own.
I started with this.

No, there'll be none of that buying burlap by the yard for me.  I got this roll of burlap table runner from Michael's at 40% off so I think it was like $7.00 for 15 feet of table runner.  15 feet, people.  This worked out perfectly since we have a huge farmhouse kitchen table that's about  9 feet long and seats 8 comfortably. I love the table, we had it made out of reclaimed red barn wood.  But that's fodder for another story altogether.

I measured the burlap to around 6 feet long and cut it to size.  Then I got to work making my stencils.  I know there are many French stencils available for purchase these days, but I didn't want to pay the cost plus shipping so I improvised.  Making the stencils was easy.  Deciding what to actually put on the darn thing was much harder.  I plan on posting all about how to make your own stencils in a future post.

Since rustic chic is all the rage these days, I went with it.  You know, it's all numbers, number, numbers.  They're on everything from galvanized tin pails to glass jars.  Easy enough.  Then I threw in "Paris" and a fleur-de-lis for good measure and it was a done deal.  Now if only I had the right camera lens (wide angle?) to capture this properly without having to stand up really high on a chair.

This later became a 59.  Don't ask me why I chose the numbers I did.  I just did.  I used basic black acrylic craft paint you can buy at Michaels or Jo-Ann's very inexpensively.  I used one of my kids' watercolor set paint brushes (pretty thin) and went to town after taping the stencils down onto the burlap.  Word to the wise:  be sure to place wax paper beneath the area you're painting, that way you don't actually paint the table.  Not that I did that or anything. Just sayin'.

What could be more French than a fleur-de-lis?  I was going for simple images, since I had never done this before and wasn't looking to make the project any more difficult.

Then I tried a few vignettes.

I love this ironstone pitcher.

I got this vintage wire bowl at Goodwill the other day for $1.99.  Loving it.

I love the look of the ironstone with the burlap.  Tureens are my thing.

Aren't these toile pumpkins fabulous?  They're my absolute favorite fall decoration.

So there you have it.  I hope you're having as much fun decorating for fall as I am.  I love the way it turned out.  It's a good thing, since it was a practice/dry run of sorts for a MUCH MORE INVOLVED project that also includes burlap and French stenciling.  I can't wait to reveal it to you, hopefully sometime soon.  


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Wire Cloche Topiaries Can Create That Farmhouse Feel in Your Home

September 15, 2012

I'm a farmhouse kind of girl.  Do I have one?  Nope.  Do I want one? Yep.  Will I get one?  Probably not.  Odds are slim that it'll ever happen, but I can still decorate my home with things that create a farmhouse feel. Enter the wire cloche.


I'm so enamored with them that I've started my own Pinterest board dedicated to them. So it stands to reason that I'd own a few of my own, right?  Right.
For me, it all started with two of these.

Chicken wire cloches on a pedestal.  L.O.V.E. them.  I got them at JoAnn's for around $8.00 each with my coupon.  But I just wasn't sure what to display in them.  Whatever it was had to be tall, and not cost a lot of money.  So they sat.  And they sat.  And after sitting some more they finally called out to me with the answer.

Topiaries.  I picked this one up at Goodwill for $1.99.  I knew from just looking at it that it would be perfect.  So cute, and the porcelain pot is white, my current favorite color.  Yet it still left me with another cloche to fill.

Recently on another trip to Goodwill I spied this.

What's that you say?  It's a Christmas topiary?  Look again, people.

All it took was a firm resolve on my part to yank off the Christmas decorations and then saw (yes, saw) some of the really thick wooden dowel off to make it all short enough to fit within the cloche.  That was by far the hardest part.  But once I sawed it down to size, I stuck it in some floral foam and placed the whole thing in a vintage green milk glass egg cup I had in my china cabinet.  Not bad for $2.99.

Then I experimented with a few vignettes.

Here they're displayed with the tool box I revamped twice (once with a paint job here and once with a French graphic transfer here)  and filled with silk artichokes I got on clearance at Target.

  Um, this was a big N-O.

Um, N-O again.

Then I finally found it.

Looks like they found their home.  At least for now.

Hope you have a great week!


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Vintage Frame and Plexiglass DIY Chalkboard

September 11, 2012

Are you tired of seeing exorbitantly priced home decor chalkboards in just about every catalog you read?  Well, I've been tired of it for some time.  And while some trends come and go I do believe that home decor chalkboards are here to stay.  Personally, I love them.  I've made so many of them that my family is almost blind to them.  Basically, they look the other way when they see me coming with another one.

One of my prior chalkboards garnered quite a bit of attention a while back.  You can read about that one here.  And my chalkboard books were quite popular, too.  They're actually very timely now since Halloween will be here before we know it.  Check them out here if you'd like a fresh idea for your Halloween decorating.

This time I fell in love with a perfectly chippy ornate frame at a fabulous French Market I had been dying to check out.  If you're ever in Morris, IL you have to check out the 3 French Hens French Country Market.  I'm so glad I did.  

This thing measures  35" by 28" and I thought it would make a great family message board.

Don't you just love the burlap embellishment?  The added bling was something that caught my eye and sealed the deal.

Along with this scrollwork, of course.  And the pink just creeping out from under the white.  I really felt like I hit the chippy, shabby jackpot.

This is the first time I chose to go with plexiglass as the actual chalkboard surface.  Mr. CBD went to Home Depot and bought a square of it.  Then he used a carpenter's knife to custom cut it to fit the frame.  The plexiglass is actually clear.  That yellow-orange color you see is a reflection of the leaves in the trees in our back yard, already starting to turn fall colors!

Then I got out my can of Krylon Chalkboard Paint (no priming!) in black and got to work.

 It took three light coats before I was satisfied with the look.  You really don't have to wait too long between coats.  I was busy with other things so I probably painted the coats about an hour apart, but if they're thin enough you can add the next coat fairly quickly.  The can doesn't even mention timing on this, so I just winged it.  

I can't decide which I like more ~ a newly painted chalkboard or one that's written on. Once it's done and dried (the can says to wait 24 hours) you have to "cure" the board first by rubbing chalk all over it.  Just lay the chalk sideways and rub it in.  Then you can erase and write to your little heart's content.  

I've always wanted an old painted sign to hang in my kitchen.  One that says something like "EATS" or  "PRODUCE" or some such thing.  I think I just made one.  And mine's even better because I can change what it says whenever I want.  Ultimately I see a family message board.  But right now I thought I'd go with an Autumn theme since it's apple picking time here in the midwest.  And yes, that's an apple I drew in the bottom right hand corner.  Clearly, I can't draw anything freehand, including letters, so out came the stencils.  I was really pleased at how they worked so well with the chalk.    

I added a Longaberger basket filled with apples as well as two candle sticks from Target's $1.00 bin (I picked them up for Halloween decorating).  And then I added the white pumpkins.

Aren't they adorable?

I hope this has put you in the mood for a little fall decorating.

I've only just begun!


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