Monday, December 21, 2015

DIY Canvas Frame

I built a frame.  All by myself.  Power tools and all.  I don't need a man (finger snaps).  Scratch that, yes I do.

I have this print that I bought on  I really like it but it looked unfinished.

So I searched for a frame but because it is 2" thick and an odd size I couldn't find one for less than $100.  The art was really cheap (and I'm really cheap about some things) so I wasn't interested in paying that.  It is 4 pieces of wood - how hard could it be?  Off to Home Depot I went and picked up these oak craft boards (2" x 1/2").  $20.  I'm sure I could have figured out a way to pay less but I had about 10 minutes before I had to get the kids off the bus so I was in a hurry and grabbed the first thing that worked.  I could have butted the corners and it would have looked fine but I mitered the corners.

Then I conditioned the wood.  Don't skip this step - it is super important to help the wood accept the stain.  I've been using this same can of pre-stain for about 8 years and as long a it doesn't dry out I'll have it for the rest of my life.  Then I stained it using Minwax dark walnut that I've used on every project I've stained in this house.  Wear gloves.  I didn't and my fingers are still brown.

After letting the wood conditioner sink in for 15 minutes I applied one coat of stain and got the color I was after.  If you want to go darker you can continue to add layers.  If you want to go lighter you can wipe off the stain quickly after you apply it.  And yes that is a silk shantung drape I'm using as a drop cloth.  As the most interesting man in the world says, "I don't always DIY canvas frames but when I do I use silk drop cloths."

Then I assembled the frame by applying a bead of gorilla glue (just a dab will do ya or it'll ooze out the sides) and then clamping to dry for about an hour.

Just for added security I added a staple to the corners.

Then add a screw from the inside of the canvas frame to the finished frame itself.

My goal of coordinating the mirror frame to the art was achieved. 

Not perfect but the $20 price tag was way better.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

DIY Cyanoptype Prints

Remember when I showed you the overall idea for the family room?  It originally had those blue prints behind the couch.

Well Pottery Barn has them for $509 for a group of 4.  $509!?  Um, no.  
Pottery Barn
Mom to the rescue.  She created 7 of them for me using an old printing process called Cyanotype.  You can get 15 sheets of the specialty papers for under $10.  My accounting degree tells me $10 is much better than $509.

Sun sensitive paper (affiliate link)
- Leaves, flowers, etc...whatever you want to make an image of
- A bowl of water


1) Lay out a piece of the sun sensitive paper and place the object on the paper.  If it is windy you can lay a sheet of glass over the object.
3) Place it in the sun.  You can adjust how white or blue the image ends up being by the amount of time you leave it in the sun.
4) After the image sits in the sun, quickly place the paper in water for a minute.  This will stop the development process.
5) Remove the paper from the water and let them dry.  
6) The ends will probably curl so after they're dry place heavy books over them to flatten them out.

Admit it.  You kinda want my mom to adopt you.  I get it.

The original plan was to place them over the couch to pull through some more blue into the room but when I taped up some prototypes I couldn't get the layout right.  2 rows of 3 was too short and 6 or 7 across was too long.  I'm glad I used paper and tape before I started putting holes in the wall.  Thank you Amazon Prime and all the packing paper you send me.

I ended up finding the perfect place for all 7 prints above the wainscoting we did earlier this year.  I love the contrast, repetition and how it pulls the clean lines from the wainscoting up onto the walls.  

Tip for hanging pictures correctly the first time: Put a level up on the wall to get your top point and draw a line.  Then put a dot of toothpaste on the picture hanging hardware on the back of the picture.  Line the top of the frame up against your level line and push the picture against the wall.  It'll leave behind a dot of toothpaste where you can hammer in your nail and leave your walls smelling minty fresh.

What I love about these prints that the $509 Pottery Barn prints could never give me is the sentimental value.  They were made by my parents using nature found in their yard.  Take that Pottery Barn!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Powder Room Reveal

Finally this room is DONE!  I knew it was a hard working room but man was that 3x5' space missed!

A quick reminder of where we started when we bought the house:

Then it looked like this (briefly) before we discovered water damage. 

Today it looks like this!

Bright and timeless (I hope because I don't want to do this again anytime soon).

Who doesn't love a herringbone floor?  See how the design features all full sized tiles end to end?  That took a ton of math and tile cutting.  I'd recommend not doing that again :)
We replaced the other toilet with one a bit more standard.  The other, while the prior homeowners spent about three times what I would have spent on a toilet, was an odd size.  Disappointingly this one does not clean the pee from poor boy aim on the seat as I would have hoped.


The mirror was sourced at HomeGoods by my personal shopper (thanks Mom) and I think does a nice job of stretching out the narrow room a bit.  We swapped the sconces for one overhead light.  The best part about the room isn't something anyone else would notice but we replaced the awful drywall, builders grade molding and the and the ceiling.  It all looks so clean now.


And for good measure - one last look at that pretty floor :)                                And because when it rains it pours I'm awaiting my new couch delivery any minute!  My kids told me yesterday that there were 23 wake ups until Christmas and 1 wakeup until couch delivery day.  There is no denying they're my children :)