Just stick a feather in my
cap bathroom and call it macaroni art. I’m a regular old Yankee Doodle Dandy. But seriously now…I did a little bathroom art upgrade. Enter the feather art stage right.
Do you remember a week or so ago when I got the windmill print from Etsy? Then I hung it and didn’t really like how the waterfall photograph next to it didn’t play nice with the bright white frame and colorful art. Here’s a reminder:
It’s not that I hated the frame or the picture. I kind of liked both of them. The picture/frame was one of Colby’s mom’s yard sale finds that she bestowed upon us. We both love the pic, which is a professional photo of a waterfall near Colby’s hometown in central Vermont, and we intend to use it in a gallery wall elsewhere in our home, but for our bright bathroom, I was digging white.
So while I was aimlessly walking around Hobby Lobby on Saturday, which is my cardio these days, I came across a tiny 2-pack of pink feathers for a whopping $1.39. I immediately grabbed them, whispered sweet nothings to them, and brought them home with me. Hey…when the husband is away…. My other supplies for this little craft project included some leftover Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White, watercolor paper for the feather background, a little Miss Mustard Seed furniture wax, and other necessities like sand paper, glue, and a paint brush.
I love chalk paint these days. I am 100% addicted to the stuff…somebody find me a 12 step program. I have been walking around the house lately mentally adding things to my “oh…I can chalk paint that” list. The picture frame just happened to be my latest victim.
Here’s what I really love about this picture frame, and why it makes such a fabulous chalk paint/distressing subject, the texture! Look at those dangerous
I slapped on two coats of paint…like literally slapped on two coats of paint (another reason I love chalk paint) and barely cleaned/sanded/prepped the frame other than a quick little dusting (yet another reason for my chalk paint obsession). And then let the frame dry for about 20 minutes.
In the meantime…on the other side of the desk…I cut down a piece of the watercolor paper to fit the picture mat, taped it to the mat, glued the feathers to the paper, and put a few heavy items on the feathers to hold them down in place while the glue dried.
And then it was back to the picture frame. I gave the frame just a light sanding using a piece of 100 grit sandpaper. I just tried to hit the high spots…exposing the dark wood on the tops of the ridges while the valleys on the frame remained white.
After a quick waxing and a bit of assembling, this quick and easy DIY feather art project was done.
With the upgraded frame hung, the toilet nook is feeling much more polished and more importantly much more intentional than what we had hung there before. Now this is what I had envisioned! Maybe not necessarily feather art, but something light and airy to balance out the windmill art. And nothing says light and airy quite like
Anna Faris in House Bunny feathers.
And is it me or are feathers trending right now? Like those gold glitter tipped feather craft projects you see all over Pinterest, or the vessels filled with feathers, and the feather tipped arrows…oh the feather tipped arrows! I’m dying for a set, kind of like these.
With that, I think my noodling around with the bathroom toilet nook is complete. At least for now. I give it about six months before I’m back in here switching things around yet again. But what’s the fun in letting things be?! Half the fun in decorating is moving things around.
Oh yeah…and what blog post around these parts would be complete without a Goose photo bomb.
It’s been really fun these days working around the house because it feels like we’re nearing the end of all the major renovations. Granted we still have a complete kitchen reno along with other pseudo major tasks like flooring our bedroom and building in a closet. But with our home pretty much out of the construction phase it’s been a blast doing little craft projects and taking some time to think about art and accessories.
Pssst…what noodling (of the decorating variety) have you all been up to? Any easy art projects? I have to shamelessly plug one of my bloggie friends, Charming Zebra, for one of her latest little projects, a snakeskin duct tape planter. Seriously…go check it out!
This week has been one of THOSE weeks. You know the ones. The oh-my-goodness-I-can’t-believe-I-waited-until-a-few-days-before-quarterly-taxes-are-due-to-work-on-shop-accounting-and-year-end-stuff. Never again…never again. Now that I think about it, it’s actually been one of those WEEKS. An Excel and TurboTax overload kind of week. But it’s done. I’ve officially maximized my refund and taxed my brain (pun 100% intended). So I needed a little relief. And during one particular taxing section (did it again), I needed a break. So I turned to art and performed a little switcheroo in the bathroom art department with a brand spanking new print for behind the toilet.
Remember when I was talking about “Intentional” being my word of the year? And how I “intended” to do something different for above toilet art in the bathroom? Well folks, this is more like what I had in mind.
And for refresher’s sake, this is what we had hanging above the toilet before…trivets. I liked them…I just didn’t LOVE them.
Anywho, no sooner did I write my little post about being intentional, in both life and in general and decorating our home, I hopped on that trusty laptop of mine to a site I’m all to familiar with and purchased a print I have been drooling over for months.
The print hails from a little shop called Laura Amiss located in the Netherlands, and was relatively inexpensive art clocking in at $20 (broken down at $14 for the print and $6 for shipping).
No sooner did the print arrive, I hopped in the truck and scooted my little butt over to target to pick out a basic, white, $16 frame for my new art. Like I needed an excuse to go to Target. The truck is pretty much in auto pilot once I get behind the wheel. He’s all “must…go…to Target” which, for the record, I’m envisioning in a robot voice with human intonation kind of like Rosie’s voice in the Jetsons.
loose in the wall later and we had an updated toilet nook.
EXACTLY what I had intended. I love how the larger print/frame combo is so much more substantial than the previous four trivets. Having one larger piece really helps ground the nook and prevents it from looking too busy with four pieces on the wall behind the toilet combined with objects on the back of the toilet. Another view from the vanity area where you can just get a slight peak of the print:
Nothing like hanging a little art for a therapeutic yay-I-finished-our-taxes moment! Now I’m itching to do a little more noodling around in the bathroom. Mind out of the gutter people. I’m talking about possibly chalk painting the old, wood frame to the right of the print. Or maybe some craft up some Valentines Day art since it’s the one day a year I can away with pink glitter in our home. Ooooh….ooooh…GLITTER!
Pssst…Any big weekend plans for you guys and gals out there? I’ve got a couple of craft projects that I’m dying to work on, along with a couple other bathroom refreshes. That is, if I can get the other half of Casa Campbell on board.
I kid you not, a mortar and pestle has lived on the back of our toilet since since early August. See:
And a closeup for the cheap seats in the back:
I told you so. For the record, mostly so you don’t think I’m the weirdo with a mortar and pestle on the back of her toilet, I picked it up and the tissue cover at Home Goods shortly after returning from Haven in early August. I came back from the blogger/DIYer conference inspired to accessorize our home more. I’m a chronic under-accessorizer and was bound and determined to course correct and rectify the situation, starting with our bathroom. I thought the mortar part of the combo would make a cute little succulent pot for the back of our toilet. It just took me three months to get around to it. Truth be told, I really had no motivation to plant the succulents and accessorize our bathroom until I came across these beauties at the flea market.
They’re old trivets that were made by a shop here in Maine, Screen Craft in Yarmouth. They went into business back in 1952 and are still in business making beautiful trivets. You can find Screen Craft online here. The going rate on their new trivets is $69 each but we scored our stack of four for a whopping ten dollars (holla!). We found them at our favorite flea market during an end-of-season coastal shopping trip extraordinaire on Labor Day weekend and knew immediately. From the moment I clutched them to my chest and vowed to adopt them, I knew they should hang in our bathroom. And after careful consideration (aka…Colby holding them up in various blank bathroom wall locations while I yay-ed and nay-ed), decided for the nook above the toilet.
As for hanging the trivets, we went the super cheap and easy route by using some Velcro command strips.
And just tacked them onto the back of the trivets, pressing down firmly for optimal adhesion.
And hung the trivets in a four square grid above the toilet.
Being a card carrying member of the under-accessorizing club (we even have secret handshakes), I thought the trivets-as-art addition was a bit on the crazy town side. I wasn’t quite sure it worked. So naturally, I decided to dive deeper into crazy town (and way outside my comfort zone) and added more art, since the trivets seemed a little off balance with the big, blank space above the laundry basket on the right. I dove into our stash of misfit
toys decor and came up with a Vermont waterfall framed pic, which was a freebie from Colby’s mom, and added it to the wall.
Now we’re balanced. The waterfall art really helps balance out that empty space above the laundry basket and makes everything make a little more sense. And after actually putting tissues in the tissue box cover and planting the succulents, our toilet nook was looking a bit less naked and a lot more interesting.
Although, every time I come into the bathroom to go take care of business-es (the term we use when it’s time to let Goose outside), I get spooked when I turn the corner and see the art and accessories. Every time. Good thing there’s a toilet nearby for those pee my pants out of scared-ie-ness moments.
My favorite “moment” of the accessorized nook is the addition of the succulents in the mortar. Now that’s an appropriate way to utilize a mortar in the bathroom.
The added bathroom accessories definitely add a bit more interest to an otherwise boring nook. Our bathroom is pretty much the most finished space in our home. It is oh-so-close to done. It just needs a little bit of noodling around and a little bit of editing. Maybe I’ll lock myself in the bathroom until it’s done. Although, that might be weird. You know, when guests come over to visit and need to go pee and I’m locked in the bathroom until after I choose just the right accessories and finish painting those open shelves (which I shamelessly still have yet to do). I’m not certain our guests would ever come over again. Awkward!
Until then, I’m reveling in my small accessorizing VICTORY! Any Entourage fans out there? Do you also channel your inner Johnny Drama and shout “VICTORY” in your strongest viking voice?! And maybe throw up your hands and your head back in dramatic fashion as you yell it out for all the Viking Quest fans out there at Comic-Con?! And maybe even sport that horned hat?! Just me? Okay. I believe the term you are searching for is……anyway…one final shot of our bathroom accessories.
Pssst…So what odd object have you had sitting around your bathroom? Any mortar and pestles? Or anyone else want to join our under-accessorizers club? We’re not terribly exclusive. We meet on Thursdays. Bring wine.
Last week, we played the big tease card and revealed to you our absolutely amazing mirror makeover. It was a builder grade mirror that we gave the little West Elm-ish treatment to and turned it into something like this:
But to fully appreciate the mirror makeover, you need to know that it used to look like this:
Our bathroom has come a long way, no?! So now it’s time for the “How To” behind the mirror makeover. I have to admit, the project was super easy AND it cost us a whopping $5.00 for a piece of pine to build the frame. Other than that, the project consumed scrap wood and materials we had hanging around our workshop. The first step in operation mirror makeover was un-assembling the old mirror which basically involved removing a ba-gillion tacks from the old frame before we could remove the mirror. Pliers became our new best friend in tack removal.
The game plan was to build a basic mirror frame, almost identical in size and shape as the old one except that the front surface would be flat. That would create a nice foundation to essentially tile wood “bricks” onto the face of the frame. So Colby got to work replicating the frame in pine. The first step was measuring…both the inside lengths and the outside lengths. Then cutting the pine boards to the same size using the mitre saw.
Since mirror frames are typically beveled (you know…so the wood frame holds back the mirror and keeps it from falling out) the next step was beveling the wood frame pieces. We are lucky enough to have a sweet a** table saw that allows for adjusting the depth of cut. After Colby measured the recess depth on the old frame, he adjusted the table saw to that depth and ran each frame piece right through the saw.
The final step in frame assembly was attaching each of the pieces together, which Colby quickly whipped through using his handy Kreg Jig.
Thankfully, when we tested out the mirror to see if it (and the cardboard backing) would fit, everything pieced together seamlessly and no mirrors fell out of their frames. Note in the pictures above and below…you can see that we didn’t do 45 degree cuts. If we were painting the frame, we probably would want to go the 45 route. But since we were covering up the entire frame with wood tiles anyway, it didn’t really matter for us and we chose the simple, non 45 degree route instead.
Despite taking approximately 200 pictures of the project (I wish I was kidding…apparently I’ve taken out my “it’s raining and can’t spray paint” aggression out on my camera), I didn’t take a single pic of how we made the wood tiles. But here’s the run down…scrap wood cut to all the same height and width…cut pieces off of scrap wood with mitre saw…all at the same depth. The tiles ended up being 3/16″ thick, 3/4″ tall, and 3″ in length. Next came the fun wood tiling part. We broke this part up into two segments. First up, we used construction adhesive to glue tiles around the sides of the mirror frame. Why construction adhesive and not wood glue? The wood glue doesn’t dry nearly as fast and isn’t nearly as strong. We feared these tiles would slide right off the frame before they fully dried thanks to our dear friend Mr. Gravity.
After tiling all the way around the frame and letting it dry for about 24 hours, the next step was wood tiling the face of the frame. We had two tile pattern designs in mind for this part. On the left was the “start in the corner” method which staggered the tiles slightly kind of like steps. This method looked great at the corners but in the middle we would need to get a little creative about how the tiles would come together. The pattern on the right was the “start in the middle” method where the tiles were laid more like bricks, splitting the tile above and below it in half. This method looked great in the middle but the creative part would come at bringing the ends together.
We ended up choosing the start in the corner method since we liked how the corners looked the best. After choosing the design, we laid all our tiles out, made a few custom cuts (we’ll get to that in a moment) and started gluing away, starting at the corners. This time around, we used wood glue…copious amounts of wood glue.
So here’s what I mean by the middle gets wonky.
Because we started in the corners and worked our way to the middle, the pattern didn’t quite line up. And by “quiet line up” I mean it REALLY din’t line up. So we got a little creative and chopped a few pieces here and there and came up with a pyramid like pattern for the middle of each side, the top and the bottom. But see below how nice the corners turned out?! Swoon!
After all was glued and dried (we left it for another 24 hour dry time), it was stain time. Since I’m mildly obsessed with my new lightening stain technique, I brought it out again for the mirror frame. This time I went with about 1 part stain to about 3 parts mineral spirits, mixing it in a Red Solo Cup. Toby would be proud.
But not too proud because apparently either the stain or the mineral spirits is not Red Solo Cup appropriate because eventually the mixture ate right through the cup and made one serious mess. Note to self…don’t do that again. The pic below gives you an idea of how light the stain ended up. It just gives the wood a hint of color but nothing too overbearing or saturated. It’s like a nice little wash.
After letting the stain dry for awhile, I slobbered on a couple coats of water based poly and let the entire frame dry overnight. This is the point in the project where I fell mad in love with the frame and couldn’t wait to hang it up. Seriously…I wanted to make out with it in the truck while Boyz II Men was playing in the background.
The next day it was back to the workshop to re-assemble everything. Back in went the mirror…back in went the cardboard backing.
We had a package of tacks on hand, pretty much the same ones that we took out of the frame while un-assembling it, and tacked the cardboard backing into place using a small hammer.
As for the hanging hardware, we just recycled it. The hanging hardware easily unscrewed from the old, about to the go to the dump mirror frame. Colby was smart enough to measure their exact location and reinstall them at the same location on the new frame. This prevented us from having to move any hanging hardware already in our bathroom wall. I would never have thought of that. Colby is mildly genius…sometimes.
Then back up to the bathroom the mirror went. I’m really liking how nicely the mirror fits into our new, minty bathroom. AND how (more importantly) it upgrade our sink nook from builder grade boring to West Elm charm awesome (FYI…the mirror frame was inspired by those West Elm wood tiled night stands which you can read more about that back here). Although, now it has me questioning whether or not the light fixture above the mirror needs upgrading. Now it’s the boring element in the space.
Isn’t it funny how sometimes an element seems so right until you change something else and upgrade it (like our mirror) and once that used to be ugly thing is no longer ugly, something that looked okay before now is the “ugly thing”. That’s how I’m feeling about the light fixtures in our bathroom. I’m already scheming up ideas.
As for what’s left on the good ol’ bathroom makeover to-do list, here’s what it’s looking like these days:
Find a dresser/buffet to convert into a bathroom vanity(we found a buffet on Craigslist for $75) Hack up said dresser and paint it(vanity hacking post here and here during installation; the vanity is painted Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore which you can read about here) Demo out the old “temporary” vanity that had been in our bathroom for nearly three years and patch the sheetrock(vanity demo go boom…note…Colby challenge me to spoof the KFC “Game Day Bucket Go Boom commercial in every post…challenge accepted) Prime and paint the bathroom wall a cool, minty color(we painted the bathroom Mantis Green by Benjamin Moore)
- Add bead board above the built-in shelves and paint the bead board and the shelves glossy white (for shame that we haven’t yet painted the bathroom built-ins…it’s been three years!)
Build a first aid cabinet for the space above the toilet paper holder(we didn’t build it though…we found it…for six bucks…here’s the post)
- Organize, organize, organize!
Build shelves for the blank wall space beside the vanity(that would be the rope pulley shelves)
- Build another shelf, maybe one out of driftwood, to hang over the back of the toilet
Find or DIY some interesting towel hooks(read about that here)
- Finish off the space by hanging a little art and accessorizing here and there (I’m sensing some Etsy art I’ve been drooling over in our future!)
Makeover the builder grade boring mirror
- Patch the cracked ceiling (kind of broke it while working in the attic) and paint it
- Replace the light fixture with something fun and less boob-light-like
Oh…so…close! Until next time…Angie…out! Pssst…okay HGTV star fanatics, did you watch last night?! I was kind of sad to see Abby go. I would have kicked off Borris first, he kind of creeps me out.
So I sat down tonight to write up a nice little reveal post/tutorial on how we took our builder grade boring bathroom mirror and DIYed it into this amazingly awesome, West Elm-ish mirror. It’s totally awesome and one of my favorite projects to date. But then I realized I took OVER 200 PICTURES over the process. 200 PICTURES PEOPLE! Of a mirror! Who does that?! Crazy blogger photographer say what?! Since I don’t want to be up all night sorting through photos and attempting to write the tutorial, I’m just gonna leave you with a little end of the week eye candy with some before and afters. We’ll get to the tutorial portion of the program next week. But without further ado, I bring you one of my favorite projects that we’ve tackled to date…our refreshed bathroom mirror.
And just because you can’t truly appreciate the amazing after effects without a solidly boring, plain white mirror before shot….thar she blows in all her builder grade boringness.
Way back when, over three years ago, we picked up that bathroom mirror at a yard sale for $10 after Colby accidentally broke our previous mirror (he’s still paying off that 7 year debt of bad luck). It used to be some weird, tortoise shell, brown colored monstrosity that we quickly spray painted white to shield our eyes from all that is bad and wrong. We lived with the white mirror for a long time until we painted the bathroom mint and turned an old buffet into a bathroom vanity. Then the builder grade mirror just wasn’t cutting it anymore. It needed some jazzing up to fit in with the freshened space. And around the same time I was racking my brain for ways to refinish the mirror, I feel in love with a night stand from West Elm.
I loved the wood tiled style of the dresser front and given that we had tons of scrap wood kicking around, it practically cost us nothing to give the mirror the West Elm treatment. But I’ll share more on that next week. For now, a little more eye candy.
Do you like my little $5 flower arrangement tossed in the mix? I love cheap flowers! I picked them up at our local Hannaford while grocery shopping the other night. They’re “filler flowers” and I had intended to put them in the jars on the rope shelf. But I had tossed them in a clear vase with water to bring them up to the bathroom to start playing flower arranger. Once I plopped them on the vanity top, I loved them there so much I couldn’t bear to move them. It was like a Bob Ross happy little accident.
Alright…playtime is over. I have to go start sorting through those photos or else I’ll be at it all weekend trying to put the tutorial together. And I have SOOOO many better things to do this weekend…like gardening! That is, if it ever stops raining! Seriously rain…go away. We’ve had enough and we miss our good friend, Mr. Sun!
Pssst…What do you guys have planned for the weekend? Any projects going on? Or a little drooling over West Elm items? Oh West Elm how I love thee!