Tag Archives: DIY

mint + gold dresser makeover

re-finishing 101: a mint and gold dresser

23rd June 2015

In our dining room (which I’m going to give you more deets on later this week), there was this nook next to the window that had been left bare. Between it looking un-finished, and the fact that I had been in desperate need of storage to unpack things like our table clothes, napkins, candles, etc, I was keeping my eyes peeled for a piece of furniture we could use as a buffet. The one that we had used in the bungalow was too long for this space, and also broken. Womp womp. Enter, a perfect opportunity to make over a yard sale find!

a DIY mint and gold dresser makeover - via the sweetest digs

I came across this solid wood dresser at a garage sale in my neighbourhood. The asking price? $15. Oh, and that $15 also included a wooden coffee table and a round table that I plan on eventually using as a kids craft table. So basically, it was more like $5 when you divide by the 3 pieces I got. Amazing, right? This is why I ADORE garage sale-ing.

Dan was maybe not as thrilled about my finds, as he had to go lug them home with a borrowed truck and put them in our garage, which looks like an episode of Hoarders right about now. Sorry honey!

I got to work on making over this bad boy right away. I took out the drawers, and the middle cabinet door, which was affixed with some flimsy nails (it doesn’t open with a handle like the others). As with any wooden piece of furniture that you are re-finishing, I gave the dresser a light sanding by hand. There weren’t any major dings or holes, so no need for wood filler. I also gave it a once-over with a wet washcloth and a bit of water and vinegar. I find that this helps to take away any musty been-in-the-basement-too-long kind of smell.

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As you have seen in Maya’s room, I have fallen hard for a particular mint paint lately – “Baffling Behavior” by PARA Paints. Not only is the colour so damn sweet, but I’m in LOVE with the paint. It’s PARA’s Cabinet and Furniture paint line and I have been finding it amazing to use. It covers really nicely and has a finish that isn’t too glossy but yet is durable. No adding a layer of poly on-top, this paint is the primer, colour, and top coat all in one. Perfect for this lazy DIYer.

I gave the whole thing two coats. I use a brush to get into the nooks and crannies, but then a small foam roller to roll everywhere I can. That way you get the nice finish of the roller, with no visible brush marks.

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Clean-up is easy as the paint is latex and can be washed out with water. I throw out my rollers after each use, but rinse out my trays so that I can re-use them for multiple paint jobs. Quick tip: keep your roller and brush wet between coats by wrapping them in saran wrap.

As for the hardware, I was tempted to replace it all with something a bit more special… BUT we are working on a budget over here, so instead I pulled out a can of Krylon gold spray paint from a previous project and gave the knobs a quick coat. Gold + Mint is pretty much a match made in heaven, don’t you think?

a DIY mint and gold dresser makeover - via the sweetest digs

Even though I wasn’t crazy about the curly lines of the feet or door fronts of the dresser, when it’s all painted and in place, they don’t bother me as much. For the $5 price tag, I can relax about it not having more straight-lined edges, which would have been my preference.a DIY mint and gold dresser makeover - via the sweetest digsIt holds a surprisingly large amount of stuff – the perfect spot for napkins, tablecloths, placemats, notepads, batteries, etc. a DIY mint and gold dresser makeover - via the sweetest digs

Are you guys making over any furniture lately? Finding some good stuff at yard sales or curb-side? I’m totally one of those crazy ladies who slows RIIIIGHT down when I see a piece of furniture in the trash. Is it solid wood? Can I paint or stain it? Will it fit in the car? Ha. Tell me you guys are the same? 

painted driftwood hanger

DIY painted driftwood hanger

5th June 2015

I’m always on the look-out for eye-catching ways of hanging necklaces, scarves, and other favourite things. So much nicer than stuffing them in a drawer, right? I had a piece of driftwood laying around from a previous project, that I was dyyyying to do something with, so I put together a DIY painted driftwood hanger. It’s a crazy easy DIY… I promise that any of you could pull this off no probs.

First step is to find your piece of driftwood. Got kids? Make it an activity on your next walk in the woods! “Who can find mummy the best piece of driftwood?” Ha!

Once found, next up is to smooth out your piece with some sandpaper, if necessary. Mine had a few gnarly, flaky spots, but turned into a lovely soft piece after some sanding.

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Then you want to use some painter’s tape to tape off some stripes. I did different widths and wasn’t too careful about where I was placing them. It’s nice if it looks a bit random.

I started out with white and gold paint, but you can totally customize to whatever colours suit you.
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Once you remove the tape, you’ll be left with some stripes. Then you can free-handed a few more stripes (in between two painter’s tape ones is good so that you have straight lines to conform to), and then add some triangles and/or a zig zag. You don’t need to be too perfect…. just have fun. I stuck with a colour scheme of white/gold/black/pink/teal.

Next up is to screw in your hooks (purchased in a pack at the hardware store) by hand. You need to apply a bit of force, and use any cracks in the driftwood to your advantage. I had one long crack down my piece, so I used it as a guide for my hooks. Just maybe hold the piece of driftwood up against the wall before screwing in the hooks, to be sure that it can still lay flat.3 driftwood hangerThen it’s just a matter of hanging it up. I used a simple string looped around both ends of the stick and then hung it from a finishing nail, but you could also screw the stick into the wall or hang using whatever method you prefer. It might vary a bit depending on how sturdy you want it to be.

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Rather than just being storage, it totally turned into a piece of artwork!

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Easy project, lovely result. Those are the best kind, don’t you think?

FYI – this project will be featured in the spring/summer issue of Merry Mag, which is hitting the internet on Monday!! Stay tuned … it’s going to be PACKED with loads of amazing ideas and inspiration from a group of amazing bloggers (seriously, I’m in incredible company…!).

If you’re looking for other jewelry organization ideas, you might want to check out the DIY gold and white jewelry stands that I still use and LOVE, the industrial style necklace holders I made out of pipe, and the chalkboard tray for organizing your smaller baubles.

How do you guys organize your jewelry at home? Ever done a project with driftwood?

 

DIY paper mache bowl - the sweetest digs

a craft basic: a paper mache bowl

27th February 2014

Before diving into this week’s crafty stuff – I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you guys for the overwhelming support on my post about my breastfeeding experience on Monday. I was completely surprised about the number of comments, facebook messages, and even private emails that I received from other parents out there who could connect in some way with the post. Clearly we need to talk about this stuff more, and throw all of that judgment out the window! So anyway – thank you. It was lovely, humbling, and touching to hear from so many of you.

Okay – back to the usual fare around here. We are kickin’ it old school today, guys. Remember how you used to make paper mache as a kid? Well I don’t quite know why I got a hankering to do some recently, but I did. I kept it to a basic bowl… but you know what? I’m kinda loving it.

DIY paper mache bowl - the sweetest digs

First up are the supplies. You can make your own paper mache solution with flour and water, but had some modpodge hanging around so opted to use it instead. Along with that you need a balloon, some newspaper, and a paintbrush unless you want to get messy and use your hands (this is admittedly the more fun option!).

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It’s pretty simple. Smear modpodge on the balloon, put your strips of newspaper down, and cover them with more podge. If you had a bowl of the flour and water paste, you just dunk in the strip and then stick it to the balloon. I would do a layer, let it dry overnight, and then do another. In total I did 4 layers as I wanted the bowl to be reasonably sturdy.

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In a craft fail, the smaller balloon did not hold up. When I popped it, the whole bowl collapsed into itself (you can see it on the right). Good thing I had that bigger guy to keep me going. After you pop the balloon, you need to cut around the edges of the bowl to get it smooth.

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I got all the bits of the balloon out from the inside, and then gave the exterior a coat of white paint. It took a few coats to totally cover up all of the newspaper.

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I had planned on doing the inside in gold, but then was craving a little black + white action, so did the inside in a matte black. I loved the look – it’s pretty striking – but it was lacking a little something.

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Time for some stamping! I cut a sponge into a triangle shape, dabbed it into my black paint, and stamped around the edge of the bowl.

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The result is actually pretty cute. I had totally thought that this might end up in the ugly craft category, but I’m happily digging it. I like that the stamps aren’t totally perfect, and that you can see the texture on the bowl. I haven’t put a coat of a sealant on it, but might down the road if I notice it’s getting marked up.

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I haven’t quite figured out where I like this guy yet, so have been moving it around from spot to spot over the last few days…

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So easy, right? And for free? Love those kinds of projects.

Have you done any paper mache-ing since graduating from 8th grade? Any stamping? Any other little crafts lately? 

DIY raindrop mobile - square

project nursery: a DIY raindrop mobile

8th July 2013

What would a baby’s room be without a mobile, right? As you could guess, I was itching to DIY something. I did some thinking about the theme of the room and gave myself a good helping of inspiration from other people’s projects on Pinterest.

My two starting points: I knew I wanted to do the stick idea after I saw my sister-in-law’s versions for her kiddos (see them in their house tour here), and also knew that I wanted something that had some sort of rainbow element going on. I was a rainbow freak as a kid – my parents’ always talk about how I would churn out rainbow drawings on the daily. You’d think I grew up in a rainbow factory of something.

When I saw some cute felt mobiles on Pinterest, I was inspired. There were cute hot air balloon versions, ones with animals, but considering my sewing skills are pretty rudimentary, I liked the simplicity of the clouds and raindrops. Here is my version.

DIY raindrop felt mobile for a nursery - via the sweetest digs

First up was to grab a bunch of felt. I picked up various sheets from Michael’s – dark and light pink, yellow, grey, and white. I could have done all of the actual rainbow colours, but I felt like it might be a little overkill. Keeping it to a few colours in the scheme of the room seemed more cohesive. Oh, and felt is super cheap – less than 99 cents a sheet?

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I started with my raindrops. I didn’t pay too much attention to how many of each colour I was doing – I just started cutting and sewing. DSC_1043

I put two sheets of the same colour on top of one another, and then free-handed cutting the raindrops. Some are a little smaller than the others, some have wonky sides, but I figured it would just add to the imperfect handmade effect.DSC_1044

Next up was to sew the two pieces of each raindrop together. I used embroidery thread and a big needle (again both from Michael’s). Since I wanted groups of 3-4 hanging on pieces of string (which I would later hang from the clouds), I threaded the long piece of string down between the two pieces of the raindrop, and then sewed around it.
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Then once I got to the next raindrop I would thread it onto the same piece of string, and sew that one. Once I had 3 or 4 raindrops on the piece of string, I moved on to the next. I had originally planned on stuffing the raindrops with some batting, but didn’t like the way they looked stuffed, so just left them as-is.

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The clouds. Again same method – I free handed these with two sheets of felt on top of one another.
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Just like the raindrops, I sewed around the perimeter. Once I got almost the whole way around, I grabbed some batting (I had it leftover from old projects, but you can purchase at any craft store) and stuffed the clouds. Once they were stuffed, I finished sewing up the edges. DSC_0176

Three clouds, six raindrop strings, and a big stick, I laid everything out for the assembly. The stick I had found on a walk, and my lovely mama gave it a good sanding so all the gnarly bits came off and it became nice and smooth.DSC_0177

To attach the raindrops to the clouds, I sewed the piece of string up into the bottom of the cloud, tied a knot in it, and cut the excess. In the pic below, you can see that the string on the right has been tied and cut, and the one on the left has just been sewn through.DSC_0180

Then I also needed to somehow sew the bottom of each raindrop string into the bottom raindrop (so that you wouldn’t have raindrops just falling off the string – make sense?). I double-backed the loose string into where the raindrop had been sewn before. I did this almost all the way around again so it was nice and sturdy, tied a knot and tucked the remaining string back into the inside of the raindrop.
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Some string loops on the clouds to hang it from the stick, and I was finito. Cute, right?DSC_0193

Sweet hubs came in and got up on the chair to screw in the hangers from the ceiling. They are just those little metal loops that are pretty inconspicuous and easy to install.DSC_0337

I ran some thick ribbon through the loops, and then tied off each piece on the stick.

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I love the rustic but sweet vibe it has going on. And the stuffed clouds make it more dimensional, which is fun.DSC_0339

 

I think it’ll be pretty fun to look up to from the crib, don’t you?!DSC_0342

So, mobile: check! We’re in that final stage of finishing things up in here, when everything looks a bit crazy before it looks better… know what I mean?

Have you guys DIY’d any mobiles before? I have also done this one using paintchips for my sweet godson, and apparently he has loved staring up at the different colours. In other news, did you have a good weekend? We saw the Dixie Chicks at an Ottawa outdoor festival on Saturday night – SO much fun. Baby Sprout was dancing away in my belly the whole time! 

the nursery: a DIY ribbon garland

26th June 2013

Alright guys, back to the nursery. After we picked out and setup our crib, I knew I wanted to do something crafty to dress it up a little. I could’ve done a bunting, but I have done quite a few of those before… and then I remembered seeing some seriously sweet ribbon garlands on Pinterest. Winner winner, chicken dinner.

I grabbed a bunch of ribbon in my room colours (pinks, turquoise, gold and white) from the craft store and got to work.

Step 1: Cut your ribbon into strips. You don’t need to have these be *exactly* the same length, but it’s good to have them pretty close for a nice fring-y look.

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Step 2: Cut a long piece of string to attach all the ribbon to.

Step 3: Start attaching your ribbon to the string. What I did was a loop in my ribbon (at the middle point), put the loop behind the string, and then brought the long pieces back through again to form a knot around the string. Practice a few times and you’ll get the hang of it pretty easily.

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Then you just keep repeating and adding ribbon, switching out the colours as you go (and sliding them up to be close together). I wasn’t too careful about what colour went next, as I wanted it to look a bit random. Oh, one tip was that I found some of the really thick ribbon was harder to loop and knot – so medium and small sized ribbon was definitely easier.

The whole thing took a bit longer than I had anticipated. Probably a few hours – which seemed long for a relatively short garland. But worth it! Here is the final product. Kinda whimsical and sweet, right?

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It was super easy to tie to the crib – I tied it around the last post on either side and tucked in the string so there are no loose parts floating around.

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The colours are perfect in the room, and I think it just adds a little sweetness to the space.DSC_0256

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Oh and you may have noticed a few other new crib goodies. The first is this super lovely organic fitted sheet, which a girlfriend got me from Pottery Barn. Love those elephants.DSC_0268

And the second is this beautiful quilt, handmade by my sister-in-law. She’s the bomb and clearly a super-sewer (you can check out her pillow covers on her etsy shop here). I think the blanket is definitely going to be one of those treasured items that I’m sure our little gal will have forever.DSC_0269

Lots more crafty projects on the go for this room (you might have spotted one above in the pic with me in it!). Tutorials and details coming!!

Have you guys made one of those ribbon garlands before? It would be perfect for a party decoration or could look really cute hanging on a wall above a dresser. The really nice thing about them is that you can customize the colours to match your space perfectly.

the DIY files: a vintage card box

1st March 2013

TGIF! Hope you guys have been having a good week. Mine has been busy – I was travelling for work and then got stuck thanks to a big snowstorm that hit Ottawa on Wednesday. I got home yesterday afternoon (just a day later than planned), but this girl is tired! It’s amazing how much things tire me out way more than they used to, pre-pregnancy! Anyway, I’m looking forward to a quiet weekend at home with the hubs. I see some winter walks, hot chocolate, and a few crafty projects in my future.

So… remember my no-sew fabric bunting that I whipped up for the Wed by Hand show? Well, that wasn’t the only bunting I put together. The other was a teeny tiny paper bunting for a ‘cards’ box.

Supplies? An old book of sheet music (bought from the thrift store a while back for projects like this), scissors, a 1-hole punch, and some string.
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Cut out matching triangles to size. I needed at least 5 to spell out “c-a-r-d-s”. Then it’s super simple (well, the whole thing is super simple, frankly) – just hold punch in the top corners, string the string through, and write out whatever you want on the triangles. I used a black sharpie and free-handed “CARDS”.

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Here is the final product! Cute, right? I just used a bit of scotch tape to tape the bunting on the back of the box.

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The old toolbox is one part of the inventory for my Pieces of Love business, and I think it makes such a sweet box for cards or other stationary at a wedding/event.

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I know I’m a little bunting obsessed… they are just too sweet. Have you guys done any paper ones? Have any other good ideas about collecting cards at a wedding? Or cute card signs? Do tell. And what are you guys up to this weekend? Anything fun?

side entrance makeover: the lighting issue

21st January 2013

So before the holidays, I shared with you guys the first couple of steps of our side entry makeover: the uuuugly before, painting the space aqua and yellow, and adding some artwork.

Still on the to-do list for this phase 1 makeover? Addressing the lighting. It had a bad case of dated lighting syndrome. Not only was this was one of those small brass glass-covered chandeliers, but the glass was actually etched with some sort of floral design. Barfity barf. Let’s take a look back at where we started.

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Since we were trying to keep the budget to the bare bones for this project, I had to get creative with the lighting. Imagine my delight when I uncovered this oversized pendant at the thrift store. My sister, nieces, and Mum looked at me with a bit of a puzzled look when I was totally squealing, but I knew this guy had potential. Plus, at $4.99 I couldn’t beat the price.

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Although I’m kinda digging brass and gold tones these days, this brass was scratched pretty badly and beyond repair (it was worse in person than how it looks in the photos). Spray paint for the win! It took several thin and even coats, but I turned this bad boy into a matte black beauty.

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Hubby got up on a precarious ladder (leaned up against the door – giving me a heart attack), to remove the old fixture.

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I was in charge of shining the flashlight (and taking photos – ha ha). What would I do without my handsome man?

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Bye bye dated lighting, hello sweet pendant. It sort of has a schoolhouse vibe, don’t you think?

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I like the way the black sets off the space and doesn’t try to compete too much with the other stuff going on. It would have been totally fun to spray the pendant a bright yellow or electric blue, but it would have been just too much with the aqua wall and yellow door.

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And although we moved from the four chandelier bulbs to the one in this pendant, it still provides tons of light.

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So phase 1 of this little makeover is officially complete. We’d still love to tackle the stairs (new paint + runner), paint the handrail, spray the door hardware and other little tweaks. Another phase for another day. I think we’re putting a cork in this one for now!

 What about you guys? Had any great lighting finds lately? Other fab snags from the thrift store? Or get up to something fun over the weekend? Do tell.

the christmas twig “tree”

19th December 2012

We haven’t done a Christmas tree this year (I know – grinchy!), so I had to come up with a different idea for some sweet ornaments that I had ready to hang somewhere. The alternative? A twig “tree” in a vase. I was originally going to just grab some twigs from one of our trees outside, but then I came across these faux pussy willow stems at the dollar store. I thought they might turn out to be rather pretty, so I shelled out 3 bones and grabbed a couple.

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First up was to place the stems in a tall vase (sorry for the crappy light time lighting – it gets dark too early these days!).

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Then you just hang your ornaments. This two-step “project” reeeeally doesn’t require much!

I didn’t pull out all of our ornaments (they are stashed away in a tupperware bin in the garage), but these few crafty ones are totally quaint.pussy willow 4

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Just a little splash of christmas for our pad. It’s feeling downright festive now with the decorations we’ve added (without pulling out our huge tupperware) – mason jar snow globes, a rustic chic wreath, and other recycled decorations from years past. It’s a Christmas miracle! Ha.

Doing any last minute decorating at your place? Done all of your holiday prep? Still have anyone left to buy/make a gift for? We just mailed out our Christmas cards (hopefully they make it in time!) and have all the gifts ready. Still some wrapping to do, but we’re getting there! 

the DIY files: getting frosty

16th November 2012

I am pretty embarrassed to admit that this project has taken us 3 years to do (granted we didn’t live in the house for a year of that, but still!). You know our main floor bathroom that we renovated earlier this year? Well, you might have noticed that there is a window… and that that window has a great view out to our driveway and our neighbours house. Right into their kitchen window. Well, hello there!

As you can imagine, there was a lot of quickly-hopping-into-the-shower-so-that-the-neighbours-don’t-see-me behaviour. Doesn’t really make for a peaceful, relaxing space. Haha.

So out came some of the peel and stick frosting you can get from most hardware stores (ours came from Home Depot). We got the plain stuff – so nothing with any kind of pattern or special texture. It comes in a big roll, so you measure out your window and cut it down to size using an exacto knife. Just make sure to cut on some sort of hard surface underneath (I used that brown board you see in the photo).

Next step is to give the windows a really good cleaning. Luckily my lovely mum had just cleaned our windows for us with vinegar and water (I know, I have the most amazing mama!). Right before applying the frosting, you want to give the windows a good spritz of a water and soap mixture – I used a few drops of dishwashing liquid in my spray bottle.

Then peel the backing off the frosting and stick it on the window. Follow that up with a second, liberal spritz of the water + soap mixture on top. At this point you will see lots of bubbles… don’t panic!

Take a credit card out of your wallet (or air miles card in my case) and smooth out the bubbles. I found it was best to work from the middle out towards the edges. You’ll get quite a bit of water coming out from underneath, so I found it useful to have a small towel nearby to wipe it down as I went.

Once it’s all smooth, give it a last wipe down, and let it all dry. They say it’s good to leave a gap between the edge of the film and the window. Mine is probably slightly bigger than what I needed to leave, but I figured since the screen would be on top, it wouldn’t be too noticeable.

And here it is the next day. Look at all that privacy! I could even start to do some air drying in here… hahaha.

I was a little worried that the frosting would look ultra tacky, but actually it’s pretty inconspicuous and doesn’t really take away from the window or the light streaming through.

Have you guys used this peel ‘n stick frosting stuff before? Have a window directly into your neighbours pad? Feeling a little too ‘out in the open’ like we were?  Have a great weekend!! 

the DIY files: a mason jar soap dispenser

6th November 2012

Ever since we finished renovating our bathroom (check that out here), we had a super ugly soap dispenser that just wasn’t cutting it. A plastic dollar store dispenser next to my beautiful carrera marble floor and floating vanity? Yeah, I don’t think so.

After seeing tons of mason jars turned soap dispensers on Pinterest that looked oh-so-sweet, I figured it was high time I took a crack at this project. I found an old mason jar that fit the lip of our sink perfectly, and removed the pump piece from our previous dispenser.

DIY Dan used his drill to drill a small-ish hole in the lid. You don’t want to make it too big, but big enough that the dispenser mechanism can slide right in.

Then I grabbed some flat white spray paint for the lid. I figured that spraying the lid would give the jar a more clean, finished feeling.

A couple of light coats and lots of time to dry (I tried bringing it in too early and smudged it… and had to go back to the drawing board.. ugh!).

I slid the dispenser mechanism onto the lid and dabbed some super strong clear glue onto the bottom of the metal piece. I held it in place on the lid for a good couple of minutes to make sure it was completely stuck down. You need that pump to be on there pretty solidly, since it’s going to get pulled and pushed so often.

And the finished product? Ta-da!

I love the way the white came out – the flat finish gives it this sort of chalky texture.

The little guy fits snugly on the back lip of our sink. It’s the little details like this that make me cheery. Just some thought and love for the small stuff.

Have you guys done any mason jar projects recently? Aren’t they useful for just about everything? I have painted them, used them for our wedding favours, turned one into a ‘date jar’, and hung some as aisle markers. Such simple and lovely things.

Linked up at DIYshowoff and Between Naps on the Porch and Tip Junkie