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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tea Light Candle Holder

My favorite Christmas project so far this year has been my wood tea light holders.  I love the way they turned out, but I also love that they were completely free!  Everything I needed, I already had in my garage.

I used leftover 4x4 blocks from when we built our new fence a couple years ago.  I drilled the holes using a 1 1/2 inch drill bit (like this) for the tea lights, then stained the block of wood with a dark ebony stain.

When the stain was dry, I painted two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White.

I printed the words onto a piece of paper, then traced over them with a ballpoint pen.  I pressed just hard enough to see an outline of the letters in my wood.  Then I used a tiny paintbrush and filled it in.

I don't have a very steady hand, so I was really disappointed with my paint job.  However, a little distressing takes care of all the painting outside the lines.  It also took care of all the paint marks when I dropped my brush!

I let everything dry, then started sanding away with my sanding block.  I love how soft this paint is after you distress it.  So soft and smooth.  My girls kept "petting" the wood because they loved the way it felt.

I think this will make perfect hostess gifts this season.

Linking to:
Elizabeth & Co., A Bowl Full of Lemons, Coastal Charm
Blackberry Vine

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

DIY Growth Charts with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

I have always loved growth charts.  So when I saw all the distressed growth charts on Pinterest, I knew I would eventually make one. 

They are so easy and inexpensive to make.  It took me a couple days to complete because of drying time, but the actual work is quick.

I used a 1x6 from Home Depot, sanded all the edges and corners and then stained it.  I let it dry overnight and then lightly sanded it again so it was nice and smooth.
I marked every six inches and then taped my squares so I could apply paint.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because it dries quickly and distress easily. 
After the painted squares were dry, I used a plastic stencil from Michaels to paint the numbers.  I did get a lot of bleeding from the paint under the stencil, but once everything was distressed, it was not noticeable. 
I did two coats of white paint and only one coat of the blue paint before distressing.  I definitely like it better with two coats of paint.  The blue looked too washed out, not really distressed.
I love the way these turned out.  I can't wait until I can actually starting marking both my girls' heights!

Linking to:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Wooden Christmas Signs

The Plumgrove Boutique was this past weekend and it was so much fun.  I can't believe how many people came to shop.  There was an endless stream of customers.

So, I'm really happy that I made the extra effort last week to finish up these little wooden Christmas signs.  They were so easy to make and I had a lot of fun painting them. 

I used an old 1x6 I found in my garage.  I stained it with Minwax in Ebony (my favorite because it is such a dark color), painted it with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White, and then used regular acrylic craft paint to paint on the words.

After the paint dried I used my sanding block to distress it, added a couple eye hooks and twine and it was good to go.

The only thing left to do is decide which one is my favorite!

Linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch, DIY Showoff, Keeping it Simple
Making the World Cuter, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia

Monday, November 18, 2013

34th Annual Plumgrove Holiday Boutique

My Annual Holiday Boutique is coming up this weekend.  If you are in the Sacramento area I would love for you to stop by and do some shopping.

Over the years, our boutique has gotten bigger and bigger.  Last year, Good Day Sacramento came early in the morning and filmed a few segments for their show.  It was so much fun!  Here's a clip of one of the segments:
And a few pictures from last year to give you an idea of how much stuff we have.

Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wine Cork Pumpkins

I love fall decorating.  Specifically pumpkins.  I pick up pumpkins every time I go to Trade Joes.  Which means right now they are all over my house.

So I'm not sure what took me so long to make these cute little pumpkins, but I love they way they turned out!

I was able to make four pumpkins last night.  They are so fast and easy.  I'm sure by Thanksgiving, I'll have several more around the house.

Linking to:
DIY Showoff, C.R.A.F.T., I Should be Mopping the Floor,
Keeping It Simple, My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia
Elizabeth and Co., Coastal Charm, A Bowl Full of Lemons

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Desk Redo with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and New Top

We have one more project we can now check off Madison's Big Girl Room makeover.

When she started kindergarten last year, the first thing she asked for was a desk.  She couldn't wait to do her homework in her room at her very own desk.

We searched for a long time for just the right desk (i.e. cheap).  I finally found it at an estate sale for $20.00.  It was a hunk of junk.  I got the usual eye rolls when I brought it home and then I started to wonder what I was thinking when I bought it.  I did not have high hopes for this makeover.

When we first started working on Madison's room she wanted pink walls.  I did not want a pink room, so we compromised and I told her we could paint her new desk pink.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Antoinette.  Madison told me not to distress the desk because she thinks distressing makes everything look old and she didn't want that kind of stuff in her room.  Her reasoning:  "I'm getting a new princess room and princesses do not have old things."

The paint is not actually as bright as it looks in this picture, it's more of a pale rose color.  I just have terrible lighting in this room so none of my pictures came out very clear.
This is what it looked like when I first got it home.
Not only was it chipped and dented, but it had water damage on one side and was so dirty.  I think it sat in a garage for many years.

The first thing I did was do a lead test on the paint.  It was negative so we were good to go.  I pried off the top because there was no way to fix it. 

I used 1x6's and 1x3's to build a new top.  I cut the boards to size, sanded the tops and sides, rounded the corners and stained the boards.

I used flat metal plates from Home Depot to connect the boards together to make one solid top.
I placed the top on the desk and used L brackets underneath the desk to connect everything together.
Last, I cleaned the hardware with Brasso and steel wool and put everything back together.
Madison and I both love it how turned out.  The only thing left to do is get a piece of glass for the top so she can actually use the desk.

Linking to:

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

DIY Bookshelves

We started working on Madison's room earlier this year.  She is so excited with all the new stuff in her room and I am excited that I almost have one complete room in our house.

Our most recent project was a set of bookshelves for her wall.  I love that it adds a little bit of decoration to the room and I love that it's so easy for both my girls to put away the books.  No more piles of books laying around on the floor.

I had some leftover wood from an old project so the only thing I had to buy was a countersink drill bit. 

I used a 1x6 for the back piece against the wall, a 1x4 for the bottom and a 1x3 for the front piece.  I put all five shelves together in one afternoon.  The priming and painting took the longest with all the drying time.  Once they were done, I hung them by drilling right into the wall studs.  It was such an easy project.

Most days I find Madison sitting in front of her shelves reading a book, then rearranging the shelves so they look pretty.

Linking to:

Friday, August 2, 2013


Usually I'm not a huge fan of summer.  It gets hot in Sacramento.  But this year, except for a one week 110 degree heat wave, we have had a fantastic summer.  Warm days and cool nights I can deal with. 

Madison made a summer list and we've only gotten about a quarter of the way through.  With only three more weeks of summer, I don't think we are going to be able to finish up the list. 

But, we did make it through three sessions of swimming lessons.  We started the first session in cold, rainy weather.  Definitely not something we're used to in the summer.

We used the indoor pool for the first time.
Sidney had her first official lesson and Madison made huge improvements this year.  She went from not even wanting to get her face wet, to jumping into the deep end and swimming back to the wall.

We went to an engagement party about an hour and a half away from home (during the 110 degree heat wave) and had major car drama.  Our car died while driving down the freeway.  Luckily we were pretty close to an exit and we were able to get a tow truck to take it to a repair shop.  Unfortunately, the repair shop kept our car for a week and a half and we had to get a rental car. 
We had a fun Fourth of July watching fireworks and parades.

And hung out with cousins we don't get to see very often.


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Bedside Tables

It's not very often that I hear the word "No" from my husband.  In fact, I don't think it was until this project that he ever said no to any crazy thing I wanted to try.

I searched for bedside tables for quite some time.  I wanted something substantial, and I wanted them similar, but not matching.  I found one at a garage sale for $7.00 and the other at a rummage sale for $20.00.

Here's what they looked like before I started painting.


The original plan was to paint the bottom yellow and stain the top.  I actually like the way they turned out, but the yellow was really pale, almost white.  It looked so bad against our white walls.  I knew I would have to redo them if I wanted to keep them in our bedroom.

Every time I look at this table, all I see is a smiley face.

They sat in my room for a couple weeks before I could figure out what to do.   I ended up deciding on purple.  Not something I would usually consider, but it was that or gray, and I really wanted some color in our room.  When I told my husband, he didn't even consider it.  He said no and walked away.  Obviously he ended up giving in, because now I have purple bedside tables.

So, an unusual color choice for sure, but I love them.  I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Emile.

Linking To:

Friday, June 28, 2013

Painted Mason Jars

I love jars.  Even my husband knows that we never throw away clear glass jars.  They get added to a shelf in my office for future flower arrangements.  But who really needs 30 clear glass jars?

Last week I got out my Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and painted two coats of pure white over my mason jars.  A little distressing on all the raised edges and some random spots and I have cool vintage-y vases.

I filled them with Trader Joe's flowers and set them all over the house.

Some on our mantel, a couple in the bedroom and one on our kitchen table.  Flowers make every room so cheery.

The jars did not get a coat of wax since they will inevitably get water all over them.  I wasn't sure how the paint would hold up without wax, but they are holding up great.  I even had a hard time distressing some parts of the jars.  After a few days, that paint is set.  

Linking to: