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Monday, February 28, 2011

Faux Tin Star (cardboard)

Faux Tin Stars
I totally love tin stars.  I've always wanted them...but as usual...I don't want to pay for them.
So...of course I figured out how to do it for free (using what I already had).
They are made from...cardboard.  One of my all time favorite supplies.

cost = FREE
(already had everything I needed)

Supplies Needed:
  • cardboard
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • box cutter/exacto/etc.
  • tape
  • newspaper
  • school glue/mod podge
  • paint (spray paint or acrylic)
  • sand paper
 1. Find a pattern of a star that you like.  print it out (or just draw one).  I found this one on yahoo images.  There are lots of different types and styles.  I like the chunky ones.
Cut it out and tape it down.

2.  Find the center of your star and draw lines out BEYOND each point (if you want to enlarge your pattern like I did.  I did a 2:1 ratio.  The long points are double the size of the shorter points (I measured the long lines at 8 inches beyond my pattern and the short lines 4 inches beyond my pattern).

3.  poke a hole through the center of the star.

 4.  remove the star.

5. connect the lines through the center hole.

6.  connect the outside points.

7. Cut out the star. 
Score each long line of each star. 
Turn the star over. 
Redraw the lines and from the score all the short lines (on the under side).

8.  Bend the star so that the long lines are raised and the short lines are indented to create a 3D effect.

9. "Scrunch" your star so that it is the height that you want it and trace it onto another cardboard.
(p.s...the hairy arm is not who:)
Note: depending on the size and shape of your star you may need to trim the points at the short lines to get it to lay flat.
How to trim:  locate short line point measure in (1/2 to 1 inch in).  From that point, draw a line to the long line point.  Cut the trim line.  Repeat this process all the way around the star.  
This will help your star to lay flat.

10.  Cut out the 2nd star (it is the backboard) and will be smaller than star#1.

11.  Tape each long line (outside points) of star #1 to star #2.

12.  Also tape each short line (inside points).

it should look like this.  See how it's

13.  Paper mache/mod podge one layer newspaper onto the front of the star
(the paint will take to the newspaper better than the cardboard...and it will help to hide your tape). 
I use white school glue watered down with a little water to thin it out to do this.

14.  Let it dry and then paint it black.  I spray painted these.  You could also use acrylic paint.

15.  After it was dry, I sanded each raised edge (the long lines) and around the outside edges.


They have texture and character. 
I really like the way that they turned out.

I made a bunch of different sizes for variety.
If you want to hang them all you have to do is make a hole in the back star (star #2) and hang it on a picture hook, screw, nail, or push pin...whatever you fancy.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Paint Chip Mosaic Hide-a-Box Wall Hanging

I have a wall in my kitchen that has my thermostat smack dab in the middle of it (as well as a phone jack and a light switch).  I thought it might be kind of hard to decorate that wall.  Decorating around it was an option but I just couldn't stand the sight of it.

So I decided to hide it.

Guess where it is...

it's hiding in a box...


cost = FREE

  • corn dog box (or other box-with a flip top-or make one with a flip top)
  • news paper
  • school glue/mod podge
  • paint brush
  • paint
  • paint chip samples

1. I went to my local Home Depot and scored me some

2. I cut them into smaller pieces (tiles) to fit onto the top of my box.  I don't like to measure.  I like to "eyeball" a lot of stuff.  You might be the measuring type of person.  If you are you might want to measure.
All in want the tiles to fit on the box leaving small gaps in between each tile.

3. I cut a hole in the back of the corn dog box to fit my thermostat.

4. I covered the front of my box with one layer of newspaper using my home recipe for mod podge (school glue diluted with a little water) to get the newspaper to stick to the box. I like this technique because the paint takes to the newspaper better than the cardboard box. 

4. let the box dry.

5. paint the box black

6. let the box dry

(here you can see the layer of newspaper and black paint)

7.  glue tiles onto the top of the box alternating tile colors.  I did it randomly.

8.  paint over the tiles with a layer of school glue mod podge (to help seal the tiles down).   The water may warp your tiles and they may curl up a little.  You may have to push them down and add more glue. Nothing a little glue and pressure can't fix.

9. let dry

10.  I put one drop of black paint onto a cup of water.  It creates a wash.  Paint over the tiles.  It helps to give the tiles an aged look.  (careful this will moisten the layer of school glue mod podge - swipe/paint/ wash over evenly).
11.  let dry

12sand edges

13screw to the wall from the inside of the box.

(Here the thermostat is covered can also see the phone jack and the light switch...
that's why this wall was such a pain.  Too much going on.  Now it's way better!)

cost = FREE

I had everything I needed...
except for the paint chips (which I got for free:)'s still free:)

Happy Hide-a-Boxing.
I have plans to use this idea but in a different way...stay tuned.

Awesome Find: Paint Chip Sample Cards (FREE)

On a trip to Home Depot I stopped by the discarded paint area (in this area they sell paint that was mixed incorrectly...also known as "oopsie" paint at a discounted price).  They didn't have any colors that I was interested in that day.  But...on my way out I passed the paint chip samples (those little paint sample cards).  These cards are available to customers for free.  So...I helped my self.

I think a got a little carried away...but I couldn't help myself. 
I love neutral colors and it's free.
(p.s. 2 of our girl's names were chosen from paint chip samples;)

Here is what I walked away with...
I took brown, cream, and white tones.

Here is what I made with it...

Mosaic Hide-a-Boxes.

It hides my ac control panel.  It is creative, awesome, and artsy all at the same time.

(You can also visit your Walmart or local hardware store to find paint chip samples)

Friday, February 18, 2011

How To: Chunky Distressed Frames (cardboard)

How To: Chunky Distressed Frames

Made from....CARDBOARD

cost = FREE

Supplies needed:
  • cardboard boxes
  • tape measure/ruler
  • tape
  • box cutter (if needed to adjust box size)
  • mod podge/school glue
  • newspaper
  • paint brush (preferably foam)
  • acrylic paint
  • screw
  • screw driver/drill
  • Velcro

This is a Mac and Cheese box I got from Walmart. 
I cut it in half.
1. I cut up the sides to create flaps. 
I measured it so that when I folded and tucked in the flaps it would create a box.
I taped the flaps on the inside of the box.
(you might get lucky and find boxes that are exactly the size you want...I wasn't so lucky.
If you can't find it...make it!)

2. Then I used my home made mod podge to apply one layer of newspaper onto the outside of the box.
(I like to do this because the newspaper absorbs the paint better then the cardboard box.  Sometimes cardboard has a thin water resistant layer and doesn't absorb paint well.)

(home made mod podge recipe:
school glue watered down with a little water)

3. After drying the box, I painted the edges of the box (see the picture above) with a cream color.  That is the color that will show when you distress the edges. 
You don't have to paint the edges cream.  You can do it without the cream under layer and it will be fine (I've done it before without painting an under layer).

4. When the cream paint was dry I painted it black (using acrylic paint).
5. Then I sanded the edges to give it a distressed look.

6. I cut off the end of a capri sun box.  This will be your frame hanger.
(measure it so that it will fit inside of your frame.  If you don't cut it enough your frame will stick out from the wall and not make contact/sit flush against the wall. 
If you cut it too much then there is less of a surface area for your frame to sit on).
You don't have to use a capri sun box.  This is just what I had on hand.  You can use any box.
& screw it to the wall.  You could nail it if you wanted to.  I prefer a screw for this project because I think it holds the frame hanger to the wall more securely (if I choose to turn the frame the other direction-if my picture is landscape instead of portrait direction). 

7. I attached a small piece of velcro to the top (to hold the box frame on).
Then I screwed the capri sun box to the wall.

(NOTE: I chose a capri sun box because it is sturdy.  You will want to use a sturdy box.  Your cardboard frame will be sitting on this box.  It is what will hold your frame up. 

8. I put the other side of the velcro on the inside of the frame.  This is what holds the frame to the hanger.

9. Getting all of the boxes lined up on the wall can be a little tricky (not necessarily just takes time and a little patience).  I recommend: measure twice, check twice, hang once:) 

10. I put a piece of packing tape in the center of the frames.  This is where the double sided tape will go to attach the picture to the frame.  This will protect the frame when pictures are removed.

Faux Chunky Wooden Distressed Frames

cost = FREE
(I already had everything I needed)


Take A Tour: The Front Living Room (Chunky Frames)

I love cardboard!!!


Cuz it's FREE!!!

My favorite place to get cardboard is at Walmart...although you can find it practically anywhere.  Craig's List often has listings for FREE cardboard boxes.  A favorite pick-up story of mine is...we (Brandi & I) were on our way to Michael's and we saw a new store setting up with tons of boxes outside.  What did we do?  We stopped, went in, and asked if we could have the boxes.  We totally scored that day!

I'm not too much of a picture person...but I want to be (baby steps).
I don't really take too many pictures and I don't really display them (don't ask...long story). 
But...I want to be.  So I do a little here and there. 
I've started to scan some old pictures into my computer and I have a plan. 

The plan:
1. Display pictures, 2. rotate them, 3. store them.

1. This is how I display them...

 Don't you just love the pictures?  I do.
 Guess who took them...Brandi.  U Rock!
These are 2 years old.  Scroll down to see an updated group picture.

These frames are awesome!
They look like chunky distressed wood....but...

...these are cardboard boxes.

Can you believe it?

cost = FREE

2. My plan is to rotate out the pictures.

3. The shelf below is where I plan to store their photo albums. 
When each picture is removed it will go into their individual photo albums.

Listen to this...

I'm not that great with taking pictures (or even remembering to take them in the first place).  My plan was to take Valentines pictures of my kids and put them in the frames as holiday decor.  Well...I took the pictures and then I never got them printed (in time)...I still plan on printing them and hanging them.

I don't have a fancy dancy camera...and felt that if I didn't have one my pictures wouldn't turn out perfect.  I decided to be thankful for what I have (the camera in my cell phone) and make do.

I've always felt that I was a pretty sucky photographer (if I even dare try to call myself that).  I decided that I needed to put my foot in my mouth and JUST DO IT!  So that is what I did...

I have to toot my horn a little (toot, toot)...I think it came out pretty good. 

This picture was taken with my (Nokia Neruon) phone camera. 
It only has 2 mp.  I did edit the picture a little. 

All the kids:)


What do you think?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Heads up! "Valentine's Sale"

Heads up people! This is the time to buy all your Valentine's decor! All Valentine's decor is at least 50 percent off right now and they can go up to as free as can be! Never, ever buy seasonal stuff full price! Always buy it on the off season so you can get that wonderful little (or big!) discount that we all love so much! Keep in mind you need a place to store all that stuff so take it E-Z ok?

Good Luck Peeps!


Awesome Finds: New Wooden Boards!

I was out and about yesterday delivering Valentine's goodies to friends when I had an awesome find! To the untrained eye it will look like trash but in my eyes, they are a dream! (to find out what I did with them, click here)

It was sticking out of someone's trash can on the curb, getting ready for the ride to the dump. I could not believe someone would even throw this stuff away!

I got 5 boards at 7 in X 3 1/2 feet long. There are sooo many things that could be done with these. They look practically new! The red paint is a minor matter, the boards will be sanded and painted anyway.

Another cool thing about them is they have these tongue and groove sides which helps them to "snap" together and allow for a flat surface kinda like wood flooring (in fact, I think it is wood flooring!) These boards could be used either separately or together. Fabulous!

Have you had a cool find lately? The random trash finds are my favorites! I will have so much fun with these. . .I hope you will come back to see what I've done with them!

One man's trash, is another man's (or woman's) treasure!

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