paint samples and paper

written by tammy
is this a trash heap or a piece of trash?

is this a trash heap or a piece of trash?

Once again, I’ve transformed a piece of furniture that has been following my family around since the 70′s. This record hutch used to be some other color? before my mother stained it black in the 90′s. The doors no longer slide and I would have tossed it to the curb, if not for the serious lack of places to put things in my apartment.

paint samples from home depot are everything I dreamed they could be

paint samples from Home Depot are everything I dreamed they could be

Instead of adding it to a landfill, I discovered paint samples from Home Depot. These 8 oz tintable testers come in a variety of brands and can be color matched to anything, all for under $3 a pop!

The last time (and first time) I redid a piece of furniture I went with a semi-gloss, a recommendation from a friend. At first, I was upset to learn that the testers only came in an eggshell finish, but after I was done, I learned that I prefer eggshell for furniture. Try and learn.

prep and paint!

prep and paint!

Preparing this piece for painting was a bit more entailed than I envisioned. After I got started with the sanding, I decided to find a way to get rid of the non-working sliding doors. It took a lot of elbow grease, hammering pulling and prying, but I managed to pop the pieces out one by one. (I saved the pieces for other projects)

oh, the choices...

...oh, the choices...

Once the prep and paint was complete I decided to get crafty and transform this piece of furniture into a work of art.

it's getting exciting

it's getting exciting

After choosing some beautiful paper and carefully cutting out my designs with an x-acto knife, it was time to test out a layout.

layout, decoupage, seal

layout, decoupage, seal

I decoupaged the paper onto the chest with mod podge. I applied a thin layer and then let dry completely before applying another. This is important, because if you try to paint more glue over the paper before it is dry you WILL tear the paper.

the hardest part is aways... waiting

the hardest part is aways... waiting

I wanted the design to lay seamlessly on the chest so I applied several layers of mod podge. The last step is to seal the entire piece with an acrylic sealant so that water will not damage your hard work.

Pretty nice!!

admire     <i>(note to self: take better pictures)</i>

(note to self: take better pictures because these don't do it justice)


sew happy

written by tammy

I’ve been busy, busy, busy, sewing surprises for those I care about (will post details AFTER the gifts have been received).  In the meantime, I thought I would post some pictures of last year’s holiday project.  I’m happy to see that many of the little critters I gave away last year have made a holiday comeback.

felt owl keychain

felt elephants

felt owls

Happy Holidays. xoxox


recycled snowflake mobile

written by tammy

holiday catalogues

Holiday catalogues…

scrap wood

wooden scraps

cut snowflakes from recycled paper

chop chop and a little thread

string recycled snowflakes together


recycled magazine snowflake mobile

..dangle & dazzle!


resisting temptation for inspiration

written by tammy

magazine wrapping paper

I was about to make an impulse buy and purchase a charming roll of recycled holiday paper (placed cleverly near the register so you drool over it while waiting in line)… then I remembered all the magazines in the recycling bin, and put it back.

There’s beauty in resourcefulness… plain and simple.

reuse magazine tears to wrap gifts


chains of love

written by tammy


While boot chains may be the latest runway runoff, this project is more like the poor girls solution to the glitzy holiday party. New boots were not on this year’s priority spending list, so instead I bought two new things for my holiday getup.. bright teal tights and a $20 necklace overflowing with chains. (If you could imagine, the necklace pictured above is actually what was leftover AFTER making boot chains, so I got 2 new boot chains and a necklace all for twenty bucks!)

All you really need to make DIY shoe jewelry is an amply overflowing necklace, some old shoes and needle-nose pliers (pictured on top). Every girl should have a pair of these in the house, both for crafty projects and DIY jewelry fixes.. they have a pointy tip for squeezing tiny pieces and a cutting mechanism near the axis.

how to make shoe jewlery

Pull apart the circle links holding the necklace to the clasp and save them for reattaching. Wrap the chains around your boots to determine the length needed to create your jewelry, and then cut the chain at the appropriate place with the cutting part of the pliers.

Now, reattach the chains in the form you want by inserting the circular link between the two ends of your cut chain, and then squeezing the circle back into shape. I did a wrap-around anklet with dangling ends…

boot chains

While writing up this how-to post Refinery29 conveniently dropped this link in my inbox, check it out for some more great ideas… and then make your own!


add-on houses

written by tammy

With the holidays approaching you’ll soon find yourself knee deep in packaging waste. This is the perfect time to add another type of recycle bin to the home. A projects bin, like this one, can be used to collect empty packaging and other discarded items that have art-project potential. Everything, from the plastic and twist ties holding dolly in place to empty candy containers and wrapping paper, can be re-imagined into something useful.

add-on houses

This project takes a simple idea, and multiplies the fun!

You start with a shoe box, or a box of similar size, and create a room for your toys to dwell. The best thing about this project is not only do you get to do it over and over, at different times, with different friends, etc., but you get to take them all home, and assemble each piece into a grand mansion.

The bedroom, for instance, could have been made at a cousin’s house over Thanksgiving, the kitchen, at a sleepover and the playroom on a rainy afternoon. Creating add-on houses is great for holidays, sick days, vacation days and sleepovers.

The examples below are from one of ingenious kids I spend time with. She used wallpaper and wrapping paper scraps to adorn the walls. Altoids tins became closets and beds. Popsicle sticks are now hardwood floors and stamps transformed into artwork.

Click on the pictures below to get a closer look at the creative uses for everyday trash.

(You MUST click on the pictures to see the incredible detail!)

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