A few weeks ago myself and a few other blog buddies were approached by Coupons.com to do a little sponsor post. Don’t go running away because I said “sponsor”…this is a doozy of a post! You’re gonna want to stick around for this one. They provided us with Sears gift cards and challenged us to purchase something from Sears with our gift cards, use one of their coupon codes since you know, us bloggers like to save money, and create either some fall or Halloween themed decor that could transition into everyday decor. Not one to turn up a good DIY challenge, I whipped up my first Halloween display of the season, it’s not too early, right?!
How about a few more shots for creepiness sake?
So let’s get back to the little coupons.com challenge. So remember, amidst my ramblings, that part of the challenge was to buy something to use for fall/Halloween decor that could be transitioned into other seasons. Well, here’s my game plan for transitioning the glass creepy crawlie jars into everyday life.
- Open shelves with a glass jar display found here
- Labeled glass jars from The Painted Hive here
- Counter jar display from Better Homes and Gardens found here
I almost started demoing our kitchen after ogling all the glass jar goodness! I love the idea of using the glass jars as Halloween displays in the fall, then later cleaning them out real good and using them to store things that we use pretty regularly like cereal, pasta or rice.
And now for a giveaway for you my lovely readers! Because what sponsored post would be complete without a giveway?! Coupons.com is giving away one Sears e-giftcard for $200 to one of you. Yes you. Go ahead and enter if you dare (note…giveaway is open to U.S. residents only):
This giveaway does span 11 lovely blogs. So be sure to go check out some of the other amazing projects, posts and general shenanigans. Below is a list of all the participating bloggers. Go nuts, show them some love and enter to win!
Pssst…The other participating bloggers include Brave New Home, Embrace My Space, Fancy Free Me, Inside-Out Design, Thinking Closet, Two Live Colorfully, Charming Zebra, Whats Ur Home Story, Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza, and Our Humble Abode.
My current obsession these days has been all about the industrial look. Who would have thunk it?! Especially since I work full time in industrial distribution. What I’ve REALLY been jonesing after have been all those gorgeous cage lights. I love an old school looking, exposed light bulb, and those colorful trouble-light-esque cages surrounding the bulb. But the prices?! Have I mentioned that I’m cheap? Like a Ramen noodles every night kind of cheap?! Okay, maybe not that cheap, maybe more like thrifty. So when it came time to light fixture up in the Etsy office, I jumped on the cage light band wagon and DIY-ed my own version which cost a whopping $11.
And before you can truly appreciate the after of our gorgeous cage light, here’s the before.
We call those lights “pig tail lights” and we tend to install them as a temporary light fixture while we’re working on ceilings (sheet rocking, mudding, or painting them) since they stay out of the way. But temporary in this space has turned into a seven-month long lighting solution that had to go.
So when I came across a wire basket for $1 at our local thrift store, I absolutely couldn’t resist. From the moment my eyes fell upon it, I couldn’t help but think, “CAGE LIGHT”!
I had precisely zero point zero idea of how I was going to do it, but was adamant that it was going to turn into one sick light fixture! So I dragged the hubs to Home Depot for an all out search and
destroy purchase mission for a lighting kit of some sort that we could attach the wire basket to. We almost came home with pendant kit until we came across this perfect little shade holder kit for a whopping $6.
So home we came to get to work. The first order of business was attacking the basket. We had to cut the bottom of the basket out to make room for the light bulb and light kit to stick through it. Nothing a pair of wire snips couldn’t handle. We just traced the light socket onto the basket and cut away, making sure the opening we cut out was centered on the basket.
And took the light fixture for a little test run before painting up.
Then out came some left over oil rubbed bronze spray paint leftover from painting a slew of doorknobs in our house. I wasn’t totally digging the white, flush mount part of the light fixture so it had to go. My original intention was to paint it a a silvery color, but alas, I didn’t have any. And since there was plenty of ORB (oil rubbed bronze) to go around we gave the light a little ORB-ing.
And while we were at it, three a little turquoise paint into our paint sprayer and sprayed the cage as well. After both light fixture pieces were spray painted and thoroughly dry, our next step was assembly. Since we were fully on board with the work-with-what-ya-got train and were plum out of plain old wire, we used some flux (typically used for soldering) to attach the light base to the cage shade.
There were three holes in the light fixture base that was meant for attaching the light shade to. So we just snipped off a piece of flux, looped it through the whole, and twisted it around the wire cage using a pair of needle nosed pliers.
And voila…a somewhat assembled, DIY cage light fixture.
That was the easy part. The hard part…installation. After a short battle that I coined “Battle Royale: Colby vs. Light Fixture” (super creative, I know), Colby installed the light fixture. For some reason, the screws that were provided with the fixture weren’t the right size. I guess that’s what you get with a cheap light fixture. But after a couple beers, a few swear words, some new to me, the light fixture was in.
Since the light bulb was totally exposed, I couldn’t just throw any ol’ light bulb in it. I really wanted one of those Edison bulbs but since Home Depot didn’t have any Edison bulbs I settled for the next best thing, a cabinet display bulb.
And done. One DIY cage light fixture for our Etsy office space.
I know it’s hard to tell in these pics since the sun was setting and I was trying to squeak out these pics before losing all light, not just the good light, but I’m loving how the turquoise in the light fixture goes so well with the turquoise in the recently installed shelves. I’m loving the turquoise/green/coral color combo so much that I’m seriously debating spray painting the tractor seat stool the same turquoise color. Thoughts? Good idea? Too much turquoise? Is there such thing as too much turquoise?
Pssst…So I know that’s I’ve been totally MIA these days, but I swear there are good reasons. BIG announcement coming soon along those lines. I can’t wait to share it with you!
Do you ever have one of those weekends where you should do something in particular? You put it on the list, have every intention of tackling “said something” and yet it never gets done? You know, something like utilize the most perfect, rain free weekend to finish painting your porch windows because it’s (look for the blue moon) not raining? But somehow you find yourself installing shelving in the Etsy office? That was my weekend. Obligatory before and after:
Did you also notice the return of the coral curtains?
I couldn’t help it. I needed some shelving. It was one of those if-only-I-was-organized-I-would-get-soooooo-much-done kind of things. Which I totally believe in. I feel I finish ten times as many iPad stands when I can see my go-to stain and don’t have to dig through piles of old t-shirts to turn into rags before getting to it. Of course, it didn’t help that I had recently picked up a mess of these beauties during a trek to the flea market. We got 17 of them for $25. I couldn’t resist. They were cheap and had flaky bits…and in my world flaky bits equals purchase.
Because I knew I wanted to store quarts of stain on the shelves we made damn sure that the brackets would attach to studs. Colby copping an attitude…I mean…finding a stud.
And screwing the brackets into the stud.
When it came to installing/placing the brackets, we used a very sophisticated method of eyeballing it height wise. Width spacing wise, the studs were equidistant apart so we just picked three studs that spanned the area that we wanted the shelves to go.
We decided that it would be best to first hang the brackets to help us decide the length of the pine board shelf. We opted to give the shelf about a 2″ overhang on each end (meaning the shelf is a total of 4″ longer than the space between each end bracket). Colby quickly cut down the pine board to the right size, 8-1/4″ x 68″ total size.
Then I quickly slapped some white paint on the board, not bothering to prime it beforehand. I was going for a ‘white washed” look in theory but in reality it was just shear laziness. Like a I-don’t-want-to-spend-more-than-20-minutes-on-this kind of laziness.
After letting the painted
lady shelf dry overnight, it was just a matter of screwing the brackets to the shelves, ironically using some brass screws that we use to assemble our iPad stands.
And scene…shelves installed. The entire shelf building, finishing and installing process took a whopping twenty minutes (minus the dry time). But that was the quick part of the project.
The longer part of the project…organizing what goes on the shelf!
Lining up my water based wood stains in ROY G BIV order is totally my idea of a good time on a Sunday evening.
My favorite part of the shelf organizing was utilizing a trio of green, metal storage bins that I picked up from Home Goods a month or so ago. They were only $9.99 each, so about $30 for the set. I organized them by task…for the most part. So when it’s time to stain, I grab the bin in the middle which has rags, my staining brush, drop cloth and stir sticks. No more rummaging through a box under the desk looking for that gosh darn staining rag! Which usually ends up me empty handed and running to our closet contemplating cutting up Colby’s Patriots tee (I’m a Giants fan…can you blame me?), but that could never end well.
I even spent a little bit of time organizing the green bookcase underneath the shelves.
I picked up a few old, wood drawers at a local antique store for about $4 each and used them to store like items. Like extra rolls of twine which I use assembling the iPad stands or stamping supplies for product tag making.
The beauty of the whole shelf building/reorganization is that it freed up soooo much space underneath the desk for product storage. The old, wood boxes used to hold stains and iPad manufacturing supplies mixed in with the stands. But now…all that space is dedicated to product.
Pssst…What have you guys been organizing lately? Craft supplies? Paints in ROY G BIV order?
August was Instagram insane folks! We’re talking Cypress Hill “Insane In The Membrane” kind of insane. And by insane I really mean ridiculously awesome and full of firsts. For instance I Instagrammed up my first blogger conference, the first time I met my bloggy buddy Lindsay from Life Of Splendor, the first time I traveled to Atlanta, and oh yeah…the first time we had our house featured in a national glossy magazine (but I’ll get to that in a moment). I’m not gonna lie, this Instagram roundup is officially my favorite.
Oh, I believe it’s also the first time that I posted a pic of myself on Instagram! Look for the blue moon folks! And Colby even joined Instagram this month! Seriously…where is that blue moon? It has to be out there somewhere. You can follow him @campcolby but he’s not terribly active now that I’ve returned from galavanting around Hotlanta. We’re talking a solo picture kind of not active. I’ll work on him. He’ll be a social media fiend before you know it.
August also marked the first time we played golf all summer (shameful), the first time I used chalk paint, the first time we used fun beachy colors on our iPad stands, and the first time we looked at another house since we bought our current home three years ago. We just so happened to fall in love with that house and the only thing that kept us from not trying to purchase it was that it’s on the wrong side of town making for an extra long work commute for both of us.
As per our usual routine, every Instagram roundup time Colby and I each pick our favorite picture for the month. Sometimes we cheat and pick a couple faves. We make the rules so we can make them, right?! This time around Colby picked out this snap shot.
With a caption of “The boys and their babies”. Colby with our dog child Goose, and one of our best friends Aaron and his son who is oh so adorable. Notice who the better behaved child is? And notice who’s child is trying to lick the other child. We’re never having kids if they act like our dog!
And then there’s my favorite pic which was an obvious choice for me:
How could I resist the picture of our staircase in This Old House magazine? I kid you not, our home is featured in the September issue. There’s still time to go pick it up so go grab your copy. And if you’re a Maine-ah, come see us as we’ll be signing copies at our local Rite Aid this weekend. #kidding I’m still pinching myself that our home is really in a national, glossy magazine. Is this real life? And I owe you guys a big ol’ blog post about this adventure because it really was quite the experience and we’re definitely wanting to document this in our blog diary of sorts.
Pssst…So what have you guys been Instagram-ing these days? Pooch pics? Painting work? Obligatory thrifty finds? And as always, you can follow us @angiesroost on Instagram.
If there was such thing as “Blogger Scouts” I would totally be getting my “Annie Sloan Chalk Painting” badge for my inaugural chalk painting experience, making over our living room end table. Not bad for a first timer, huh?!
The old end table was in rough shape but still a keeper. I’m pretty sure it’s the one piece of furniture that I let Colby keep from his “pre-Angie” years. Well, technically he bought it about six months into our then infant relationship. It was a yard sale find at the neighbor’s house at my old apartment in Bangor. It was well worth the $5 price tag. But I wasn’t feeling the color in comparison to the other furniture pieces in the living room. I envisioned it a vision in white…not rough looking dark stained.
Ever since Haven, I’ve been dying to try out chalk paint. So I figured the side table would be the perfect piece to try my hand at it. It wasn’t a precious piece or a large piece, and would be the perfect project for my first go at chalk paint. Just in case I screw it up. So I whipped out the Annie Sloan chalk paint color chart, picked out “Pure White”, and trekked down to the closest Annie Sloan Chalk Paint retailer to us down in Nobleboro to pick up the paint.
Not only did I pick up the chalk paint but also some white wax from Miss Mustard Seed’s paint line. The one rule to working with chalk paint is that you have to seal it in the end and you do that with the wax.
Here comes “Angie’s beginner guide to working with chalk paint”. You’re gonna want to write this down. Slap on some paint, slap on another coat of paint, distress away. That’s it.
This is the beauty of working with chalk paint. You don’t have to worry about smoothing it out real nice or if you’re getting visible brush stroke lines, or if you’re dripping just a little bit. You don’t even have to sand or prep the work surface other than a little cleaning. It’s soooo quick and easy to use. The type A personality in me had a hard time not painting carefully and evenly since that’s what I’ve pretty much been trained, as a type A personality, to do. But once I let my hair down…ooooh eeeeeh, watch out!
I literally slapped on two coats of paint using a regular old paint brush (no need to buy those fancy chalk painting brushes) and then after it dried, sanded the whole piece of furniture down since I was going for that distressed look. I started by hitting all the high areas…like the edges, ridges around the table legs, etc. The beauty of chalk paint…if you mess up a little and sand too much off, just layer on some more paint and try again! Layers of paint blend seamlessly together.
For our Etsy shop, we offer white painted distressed iPad stands. Distressing chalk paint is officially one thousand times easier than distressing latex paint. The chalk paint finish is nice and soft, easily manipulated with a piece of sand paper, and just flakes off in a cloud of dust. The latex however, requires extra sanding oomph and often clumps when coming off.
The final step of our Annie Sloan chalk painting adventure…the wax.
There are several wax or finishing possibilities out there including different wax shades (clear, white, dark) and oils (like hemp oil). But after trying a few samples at Haven, I was sold on Miss Mustard Seed’s furniture wax. I liked the color, it’s ease of use, and the durable furniture finish it gave to chalk painted pieces.
Using the wax was equally simple as using the chalk paint. It was a matter of using a clean rag to wipe the wax onto the piece of furniture.
I ended up going over the entire piece twice, waiting a few minutes in between coats for dry time, to make sure I waxed all the spaces I needed to. In total, sanding AND waxing took a whopping 30 minutes to finish.
After about an hour of dry time, I moved the
beer holder end table back into it’s rightful position next to Colby’s “spot” on the couch. #thegoodwife
And soaked in the beauty of how the refreshed white end table plays off the breezy, white curtains with wood toned blinds. The living room is really starting to go down the beach cottage road. Oh…who I am kidding, we’re so far down that road we’re just about ready to turn back. Modern bohemian look time anyone?
Here’s a closer view of the end table so you can really see the distressed edges on the legs and table surface.
You know how when you’re slowly working on morphing a room into something just a bit more cohesive and more you? And you have that ugly thing? Then you make the ugly thing not so ugly or replace it with something oh so perfect? And then something else turns into the ugly thing?
The end table used to be that ugly thing in our living room…until I painted it. Now it’s a toss up among the too-small-and-ridiculously-dirty rug, the yellow toned coffee table, or the pink-coduroy-like-hand-me-down chairs. Me thinks a new rug is in order, the coffee table is also getting a white painting makeover, and those chairs are getting slip covered (with drop cloths perhaps?!). But now that I have the chalk paint itch (not to be confused with other not-so-pleasant itches), that coffee table just might be next on my list. Or refinishing those 11 porch windows we started but have still yet to finish. Doh!
Pssst…Have you guys tried chalk paint? Did you love it? Hate it? Do tell! And does it make you want to paint everything in your house with it? Dog included? Oh Goose…..here Goose-ie, Goose-ie, Goose-ie!