Dollar Tree Picture Frame Facelifts

Super short post!  I had several old picture frames I had purchased from Dollar Tree a few years back (20 or so).  They were not in great shape and, to my knowledge, never have been in grade shape!  I took a red can of spray paint, a can of white spray paint, and the most fabulous product EVER Minwax Helmsman.  I coated all of the picture frames with red spray paint.  Then I added a coat of white spray paint and distressed the frames.  Finally, I put three coats of Helmsman on the frames.  They looked MUCH better!  What a great quick fix for Dollar Tree Picture Frames :)

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Dollar Tree Picture Frame Facelifts

DIY Distressed Shelves

We have donated and sold all the furniture from our guest bedroom.  I showed my husband the headboard I wanted to make…  It was from a beautiful antique mantel I found at Antiques at the Loop.  He hated it!  Aaaarrrrgggg!  I explained that I wanted to be able to hang the antique mirror on the wall but make it look like it was sitting on the mantel…  He still hated the idea so I had to come up with a new plan.

I still wanted the mirror in the guest bedroom and I still wanted it to look like it was sitting on a shelf.  I went to Lowe’s and bought a Kiln-Dried Poplar Board 1″x3″x96″ (2), Kiln-Dried Poplar Board 1″x6″x96″, and a Kiln-Dried Poplar Board 1″x2″x96″.  Then I picked up some spray paint – red, ivory, and yellow.  (I made two different sized shelves.)

When I got home, I cut each board to a length of 4′ and sanded each of them.  The wood grain in Poplar is beautiful!  Next, I painted the edges and corners yellow.  When the yellow was dry, I painted the entire board with red.  I let the red dry overnight.  The next morning I painted the entire board ivory.  I put two coats of ivory on but I did not let the paint dry all the way before I started sanding.  I used a sanding sponge and a medium and course piece of steel wool.  I distressed the entire board.  When I was finished I let the paint dry for about two hours.

I decided to put the shelves together before coating them with Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane.  I predrilled 3 holes with a Dewalt Countersink Drill Bit in the back of the 1″x3″x48″ and the 1″x6″x48″.  Then I used wood screws to attach the top of the shelf to the back side of the shelf (like a splash board).  Finally, I put three coats of the Minwax Helmsman Indoor/Outdoor Spar Urethane on each of the shelves.  The Minwax really brought out all of the colors!

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Quick and Easy Lamp Shade

My husband loves this hideous metal floor lamp we found several years ago… It just wasn’t working for me!  I did not want to spend any money on this lamp! In fact, I really wanted to throw it away or donate it so what can I do to spruce it up a bit. As I stand on the deck watching the birds and looking at the pool, it dawns on me! I’ll use an old hanging pot I have!  This really was a quick and easy lamp shade!

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I painted it with the Rust-Oleum paint.

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Then I decorated it with a little ribbon and some beads.

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Here it is in the guest bedroom…  I can live with this!

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Memory Lampshade Fail, Redesign, and Success!

I love all the old slides my husband has collected over the years but they were just sitting there in the closet.  :(  I saw a Wedding Upcycled Anniversary Photo Slide Lamp on Etsy.  I thought, “WOW, what a great way to show off old slides!” so I set out on a quest to create the lampshade with my slides.  First, I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a 1.5mm hole punch and 6mm Black Nickel Round Jump Rings.  I quickly realized that I did NOT have the patience to punch holes in 80 slides and add the jump rings!  This was NOT going to work for me.  I returned the unopened packages and started hunting for wood strips.  I found the Balsa Wood Strips and decided that I could make the top and bottom of the frame from these strips…  Then I headed to Lowe’s for a 2 x 4.

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I soaked the Balsa wood in the sink for about an hour.  This makes the wood bendable.

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Once the wood had soaked, I bend them until I had a top support and bottom support for the lampshade.

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Now it was time to cut the side strips…  I had my husband cut a 2 x 4 into 1/8″ strips.

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The side strips where 20″ tall.  I connected the side strips to the top and bottom support.

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The slides will go in between the slats.  Next, I stained the slats before putting the slides into the shade.

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When the slats were dry (over night), I started putting the slides in place…

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Et ici nous sommes!  The lamp shade looked GREAT and was very interesting BUT I did not take into account that you had to reach under the shade to turn the lamp on and off…  The shade sat too low on the lamp.  When I tried to make adjustments, I started having the slides fall out of the shade and it just wasn’t working the way I wanted it too…  So, I started over.  Here is the 1st design.

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The second design I made with ribbon, Velcro, craft mirrors, needle and thread, and hot glue.  Oh, I did put some beads on the shade too.Try2c

Ok, I didn’t take pictures of each step so I will explain how I made this…  I found an old lamp shade in the attic.  I used the bottom metal ring from that lamp shade for the top of this one…  I took the Velcro and put the “fuzzy” side on the front edge of the slide and the back “prickly” part on the ribbon.  I repeated this until the the slides went all the way around the metal ring.

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I folded the top part of the ribbon over the metal ring.

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Then I attached two wooden slats so to the top of the ring with copper wire.  I used some glass beads I had to decorate the wire.  I also put some hot glue on the wire so it would stay in place.  Once you have the wooden slats attached to the wire ring, you will need to drill a hole in the slats so it will fit on the lamp’s harp.  The hole should be big enough for the end of the harp to fit through it and the slats must be thin enough so that you can screw the finial on the lamp.

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Finally, I added little circular mirrors to the top of the ribbon just under the metal ring.  This served two purposes – one decoration and two to make sure the ribbon would stay wrapped around the metal ring.  Then I added some ribbon to the bottom of the lamp shade.  I used a needle and thread to “scrunch” the ribbon up…  It kind of looks like the Mad Hatter’s Hat!

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I really liked how the wood in the 1st design blocked out some of the light from the light bulb, but the second design was much easier to make…  Here is the finished product!  (And, some close ups)

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Filing Cabinet… Pass or Fail???

In my redecorating/refinishing frenzy, I decided to paint the black filing cabinets we had in the office. I HATED the black filing cabinets and wanted wooden cabinets – I’ll paint them to look like wood! Well, I’m just not sure how I feel about the outcome… Filing Cabinet… Pass or Fail???

First, I painted them light green to make some wood grain.

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Then I painted them an off white and added a little more green…

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Next, I mixed glade and a dark cherry stain and painted the cabinets…

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I’m not sure how I feel about these cabinets… Some of my friends say they really like them but my students told me they look like moldy cabinets (ha!). But, pass or fail, they are staying this way for a while!

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Last Days of School 2013-2014

I have gotten so far behind on my posts!  I was ready for school to end and glad to see the students go!  I was glad to have a short rest before starting summer camp!  Now that I’m rested, I wonder what my students are doing for the summer.

I spent two years with my last group of students and it was a wonderful experience seeing them change from the beginning of 7th grade to graduating 8th grade!

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I wish all my students ALL the successes life has to offer!  Good Luck! (and come back to see me!!!)