List of updates in 2014

At some point during the late summer/early fall of 2014, I got a lot of motivation and inspiration to do a lot of DIY projects (art and otherwise) and general sprucing up of my house.

So here’s a run down (mainly for my own memory) of what I did in 2014:

1.  Herringbone art which included spray painting a couple of old frames.

2. Thumbtack art (LOTS of that – set off my obsession and addiction)

3. Metallic ABC magnets

4. My kitchen:  painted the counters, added contact paper to the inset of the upper cabinet doors, changed out the hardware on the uppers, Rub n Buffed the hinges on the uppers, and made a “tile backsplash” with peel and stick vinyl floor tiles that I cut to size and spray painted then put on posterboard that was then thumbtacked to the wall.  Also spray painted the outlet covers.  Another bonus was spray painting a few of those peel and stick tiles with black chalk paint and putting them on the inside of a few upper cabinet doors.

5.  Penny art

6.  Painted the bricks in my fireplace white.

7.  Added contact paper to my French doors.

8.  Added curtains to the laundry area after I took off the folding doors.  Also cleaned up/organized my laundry area and added a small lamp so I could actually see in there.  Plus I painted 2 plastic containers for Zoey’s food and treats.  A bonus was spray painting some clothes pins and using those with shoe laces and hooks to create cheap and easy but “custom” curtain tie backs.

9.  Made stainless steel furniture!  First did my night stand then a week or so later dove in and did the dresser and chest of drawers.

10.  Rearranged my living room furniture layout.  I also repainted my end tables and coffee table but ended up taking the coffee table down to the basement and bringing up the coffee table with storage ottomans up instead.  And spray painted the baskets that go with the end tables.

11.  Bought and put out black area rugs – one for the living room and one for my bedroom.

12.  Master bathroom – totally updated that!  Painted the walls, floors, trim, doors, vanity cabinets, wall cabinets and storage, tp caddy, shutters, outlet covers and grate, towel bar, shower rod, and countertop.  Also re-hung the wall storage cabinets in different places.  Bought moulding (which was painted) and framed out the mirror.  Made a border from cut down peel and stick tiles (yes, those were painted too) and finished it off with nailhead trim.  Put some aluminum flashing on the side of the vanity cabinet that was “framed” with electric tape.  Got a new shower curtain and mats.  Oh, and spray painted the soap dispenser and cup that I use as a toothbrush holder to match the decor.  AND made 2 pieces of thumbtack art especially for the bathroom.  Then I got a cute framed image for Christmas that matched the decor so hung that up as well.

13.  Guest bathroom – new moulding for the mirror (I cut the angled edges myself!! then spray painted it) and painted the countertops.  Had planned to paint the cabinets but liked how it looked much better after I painted the counters so just wiped it down good with a vinegar and oil mix that makes the wood look richer.

14.  Made some Christmas decorations – spray painted plastic snowflakes and hung those along with some thumbtack art.

15.  Spray painted a basket from yellow to silver that I use to keep my remotes in the living room.

16.  Put a big framed poster that had been on the living room wall and placed it on the lower part of my entertainment center – it is the perfect size and goes right under the tv.

17.  Redid an old printer stand with aluminum foil and “distressed/aged” it with some black acrylic paint.

18.  Spray painted a frame I got from the thrift store and turned it from a print to a chalkboard by spray painting the interior print with chalk paint.

19.  Mosaic with old cds – used it as a frame for a massive piece of thumbtack art.

20.  Added thumbtacks to some old candles to spruce them up.

21.  Made cracked marble jewelry

22.  Spray painted some tiny plastic toys and an eraser and added eyehooks to make pendants/jewelry.

23.  Hung up some thumbtack art in the hall and other places

24.  Spray painted other things – like old tin boxes to use as a way to organize stuff

 

It’s only a few days into 2015 and I have gotten a few things done.  Been on a roll:

* Added “stainless steel tiles” to the back of my kitchen peninsula by cutting down aluminum flashing to subway tile size and using adhesive to put it up.

* Added tigerprint “wall paper” (actually gift wrap) to 2 of my bedroom walls

* Rearranged my bedroom furniture

* Been organizing my bedroom (including buying and putting together this 9 cube organizer thing)

* Painted a bookshelf and added wrapping paper to the back to give it some extra pop.

* Added paw print “wall paper” (again wrapping paper) to the wall in the guest bathroom (aka the cats’ bathroom)

* Hung up some individual wall shelves for thumbtack art display

* Rehung/moved around/hung for the first time some of my old decorations and thumbtack art in my living room

* Added a log/heater insert into my fireplace.  I never used it for an actual fire so thought it would be nice to have a fake fire and heater to give it ambience.

* I have bought 2 new comforter sets (both Paris themed) but they haven’t arrived yet.  Also ordered a Paris soap dispenser and a Paris shower curtain.  I just got the new shower curtain – but I figure I can switch out from time to time to give myself a jolt of newness.  I also think I might mix and match the comforter sets – like one comforter with the other set’s pillow shams or use both at once.  I figure i’ll just alternate the comforters every few weeks.

 

So that’s what I’ve done in the last few months and the first week or so of this year.

Upcoming goals are cleaning my basement stairs and then painting the treads (I’ll just use some of the left over porch and floor paint in a dark gray I used for my master bath floor) and then putting aluminum flashing on the risers.  Still figuring out what size “tile” I want to do and what configuration/pattern.

Organizing and decluttering – so much crap to clear out and organize from my closets, linen closets, guest bedroom, office, basement, and garage.

I’ll probably paint my upstairs foyer and hallway

Perhaps add some “crown moulding” to the top of my kitchen cabinets

I’d also like to do something to my basement “foyer”.  It’s often the first thing I see when I come home (I have to go through it to get to the stairs when I come in from the garage) so I’d like for it to be more interesting than how boring and plain it is now.   It used to be Zoey’s “bedroom” before I allowed her to sleep with me.  The only thing in there is a cabinet thing on the wall.  I want to keep that more than likely but it could be painted.  Don’t know what sort of furniture – if any – would go there.  Going to have to ponder it for awhile.

Some other things I want to do but that aren’t a big pressing thing – do the same paint treatment to my dining room table and old desk.

Eventually I might like to remove the wall paper and paint below the chair rail in my dining room/Elvis room.

I’ve got other book cases to paint as well as another printer stand.

Also have some furniture in my guest bedroom (a whole set) that might need some sort of facelift/update.

I’d like to try my hand at re-covering some old throw pillows with new fabric.  Also I want to try recovering this chair I have.  I bought a cute tablecloth that should work – just don’t know how to go about it.

I’d also like to get my back deck fixed up.  It’s seen some wear and tear and I’d like to have it looking decent again.

Of course, I always have plenty of thumbtack art pieces I want to make.  Also want to try some other arts and craft type things – like making a sunburst mirror and doing fun stuff with crayons – like melted crayon art and the scratched away crayon art.  And I still want to o some sort of arty thing with tin foil.

Always plenty to work on!

 

All of my “stainless” steel furniture

Here’s a quickie post to have all 3 pieces of my bedroom furniture that I updated using aluminum flashing and nailhead trim to look like stainless steel.

If you want the original posts/tutorial they are:

http://stacyrocks.com/stainless-steel-nightstand-makeover/  (This is the tutorial that gives all steps i took to make over the furniture)

http://stacyrocks.com/more-furniture-made-over-to-look-like-stainless-steel/  (This is mainly pictures but does give a few tips that I learned as I did those pieces.)

Stainless Steel Nightstand

Stainless Steel Nightstand

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Side of nightstand painted gold.

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Inside of drawer of nightstand painted gold.

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chest of drawers

chest of drawers

Front view

Front view

Dresser top

Dresser top

Sides are gold too - same gold as mirror and sides as chest of drawers!

Sides are gold too – same gold as mirror and sides as chest of drawers!

Using Aluminum Flashing as Tiles

I became a fan of aluminum flashing – the roofing material you get in rolls from Home Depot or the like – ever since I saw a post on using it to update furniture.  (Here’s a post with all the pictures of the furniture:  http://stacyrocks.com/all-of-my-stainless-steel-furniture/)

I bought the 50 foot roll for that project and despite doing 3 pieces (and the side of my cabinet in my master bath) I have TONS left over.

My mind wouldn’t let it go – it needed to come up with ways to use it – at least some of it.

So I came up with using it as tiles and putting them on the back of my lower kitchen peninsula thing.

It was pretty simple and cheap to do as I had all the supplies on hand except the adhesive.

Here’s what you’ll need to turn aluminum flashing into tiles for a huge array of projects.  You can put these on the wall as a backsplash, on the fronts of cabinet doors, and what I plan to do next – my stair risers that lead from the basement to my living area.

Supplies:

A roll of flashing (I got my 50 foot roll at Depot for about $33, I think.  It does come in smaller rolls – can’t remember the length – for about half as much.  I do know it wasn’t half the length – maybe 10 or 15 feet.  I get the larger quantity as I figured if I needed more than the smaller roll, I’d be paying less for much more by getting the 50 foot roll)

Adhesive (I used the cheapest tube they had – Loctite PL375 Heavy Duty).  I used more of a construction adhesive.  It was the stuff I used to put the moulding up around my 2 bathroom mirrors.  It was $2.40 for a tube.  You could likely use something more everyday – like hot glue or something else.

Chaulk gun (if you go the route of the tube of adhesive – if you go with a hot glue gun or something in a squeezable tube like Gorilla Glue then you won’t need one)  (I have no idea how much they cost – I had one down in my garage already from years ago.  I have no idea if someone gave it to me or if I bought it and what it cost back in the day.)

Metal scissors (some say regular scissors will work for cutting the flashing – I wanted to be sure I had a good way to cut them so sprung for the metal shears/scissors.  Also from Home Depot and I think they were about $13).

A big ruler (or some way to measure)  I use the L shaped one (cost about $7 at Home Depot) because it is wide enough that I can make a line all the way across the flashing and I can line up the shorter edge to the opposite side of the flashing to KNOW the ruler is perfectly straight.  I’m horrible at making straight lines so this method helps me a lot.

A Sharpie or some sort of marker/way to make lines on the flashing

Paper cutter (technically optional but HIGHLY recommended.  Again, I already had one that I bought YEARS ago from an office supply store.  It maybe cost $20 or less back in the day.  It isn’t a high end one or anything fancy.  But it is really helpful for getting the pieces even and straight.  The metal shears or scissors kinda crimp the edges while cutting.  The paper cutter slices it smooth and evenly.)

Paper cutter, chaulk gun, and adhesive I used.

Paper cutter, chaulk gun, and adhesive I used.

Aluminum flashing

Aluminum flashing

Metal L shaped ruler

Metal L shaped ruler

Metal scissors/shears

Metal scissors/shears

 

First determine how many tiles you need.  I was using 3″ x 6″ “subway tiles”.  The flashing is 20″ across (at least mine was – not sure if it comes in different widths).  So that meant I could get 6 3″ x 6″ pieces with one 2″ x 6″ piece per “sheet”.  (To be clear these are in inches – the inches symbol almost looks like the foot symbol on my computer screen.)

Pictures should help explain that:

The tick mark is just over 6" from the end.  I do bigger than I need so I can cut down jagged/uneven edges.

The tick mark is just over 6″ from the end. I do bigger than I need so I can cut down jagged/uneven edges.

Used the Sharpie to mark across the width of the flashing.

Used the Sharpie to mark across the width of the flashing.

Just cut across that line with the sheers/scissors.

Then when you have all your “sheets” set up your paper cutter.

Mine is 12″ as far as measuring – but I had 20″ pieces.  So I first cut a 9″ piece and had an 11″ piece left.  So I cut that down and had one more 9″ piece and the remaining 2″ piece.

Then I turned it so I could cut down the rough edges and was left with true 6″ by 9″ pieces. (If you’re going to use the 2″ piece that is left over then you need to trim it down so it is also 6″ and get off the rough edges.)

From there I cut down those to 3″ x 6″.  (Like said I started with a 20″ x 6+” piece that I cut from the flashing.  When trimmed and cut down I get 6 pieces that are 3×6 and 1 that is 2×6.)

I suggest having a good program on to watch while cutting (BUT be CAREFUL – you don’t want to be TOO distracted while using a paper cutter).

Once all your “tiles” have been made it’s time to add them to your surface.  And what pattern/configuration and spacing is up to you.  So depending on what type of pattern you do, you may need to have some of your full “tiles” cut down.  Since I did the brick pattern I had to cut some down in half.

A note:  I did actually use my 2″ x 6″ pieces for the very top.  The measurements of my surface called for an area that was too short for the full piece – so it worked out perfectly for me.

I just eyeballed the spacing between the “tiles”.  I liked the idea of the black showing through like grout, which is why I left space in between.  You could also have it so the tiles touch and there is no space in between.  And of course, you can do different sized tiles and configurations.

At any rate – it’s time for putting the tiles up.  I just put adhesive to the back of the tile I was working on.  Try not to get it too close to the edges because it will ooze out.  Then press in place and move on to the next piece.

The good thing about the adhesive I used – it doesn’t set instantly so you have a bit of time to adjust things.  A good rule of thumb is to do your outline – one row across and all the way down so you know how the tiles will fit and if you’ll need to make any additional cuts.

I had originally measured and cut with the idea of having NO space between tiles but then I went ahead and put space which changed my numbers a bit – so I just had to wing it.

So here’s the before, during, and after photos:

Plain black back of the peninsula.

Plain black back of the peninsula.

First side in progress

First side in progress

First side completed

First side completed

2nd side in progress

2nd side in progress

Both sides all done!

Both sides all done!

This was a really easy project.  None of it was difficult – just a bit tedious or time consuming at points.  But it wasn’t even that long of a project.  I think what took the longest was measuring, marking, and cutting from the roll of flashing.  THEN definitely cutting it all down with the paper cutter.  Actually putting up the tiles didn’t take that long.  I think all together both sides took me about 2 hours or less.  I did have to make more “tiles” during the second side because I deliberately didn’t cut enough since I had changed from the no space between tiles layout to space between and I knew I wasn’t going to need as many as I had originally planned.

Again, you can do what ever size tile you like and whatever configuration you like.  I plan on using the flashing to jazz up the stair risers of my basement stairs.  I just don’t know yet what size tiles and configuration.  It will be different than what I just did though.

Additional thumbtack art

A few more pieces that I hadn’t added to the blog yet.

Gold antique key thumbtack art - with turquoise and white chevron pattern duct tape for the background.

Gold antique key thumbtack art – with turquoise and white chevron pattern duct tape for the background.

Gold Paw Print Negative Space Thumbtack Art on tigerprint wrapping paper.

Gold Paw Print Negative Space Thumbtack Art on tigerprint wrapping paper.

Silver Heart Thumbtack Art - in a silver frame

Silver Heart Thumbtack Art – in a silver frame

Silver Swirly S thumbtack art - background is gold spray paint.

Silver Swirly S thumbtack art – background is gold spray paint.

Trio of Gold Paw Print Thumbtack Art - hung up all 3 of my gold paw print pieces together.

Trio of Gold Paw Print Thumbtack Art – hung up all 3 of my gold paw print pieces together.

Thumbtack Art as Christmas Gifts

This year I gave friends thumbtack art as Christmas gifts.

Some came out really cute – and were new attempts for me.

Here they are:

Gold mustache thumbtack art with black duct tape background - my friend said to make sure what I made him was "butch" since he's a dude.  I took him at his word.  It's actually one of my favorites.

Gold mustache thumbtack art with black duct tape background – my friend said to make sure what I made him was “butch” since he’s a dude. I took him at his word. It’s actually one of my favorites.

Silver R initial thumbtack art - liked this font.  It's one of my smaller pieces - 5" x 7".  Also went to the friend who got the "butch" piece since that one was smaller too.

Silver R initial thumbtack art – liked this font. It’s one of my smaller pieces – 5″ x 7″. Also went to the friend who got the “butch” piece since that one was smaller too.

Gold cat profile thumbtack art - for one of the many cat lovers.

Gold cat profile thumbtack art – for one of the many cat lovers.

Silver paw print thumbtack art - I'd done this in gold before, but this was my first time doing paw prints in silver.

Silver paw print thumbtack art – I’d done this in gold before, but this was my first time doing paw prints in silver.

Gold Christmas phrase thumbtack art - surprisingly not that easy for me.  I have some difficulty with the words only.

Gold Christmas phrase thumbtack art – surprisingly not that easy for me. I have some difficulty with the words only.

Gold cat cartoon style thumbtack art - for another cat lover.

Gold cat cartoon style thumbtack art – for another cat lover.

Mary Jane leaf gold thumbtack art - a friend of mine has his own comic - so this was a tribute to that.

Mary Jane leaf gold thumbtack art – a friend of mine has his own comic – so this was a tribute to that.

Silver Civil War confederate flag thumbtack art - my interpretation of a Civil War era confederate flag.

Silver Civil War confederate flag thumbtack art – my interpretation of a Civil War era confederate flag.

Silver Civil War confederate flag thumbtack art - I was surprised I could pull this one off.

Silver Civil War cannon thumbtack art – I was surprised I could pull this one off.

Silver Fleur de lis framed thumbtack art - I did one for my bathroom - but this was for a friend and was framed.

Silver Fleur de lis framed thumbtack art – I did one for my bathroom – but this was for a friend and was framed.

Joy and Peace Gold thumbtack art - this ended up being given just as a last minute Christmas decoration.  Didn't come out great - but it was ok.

Joy and Peace Gold thumbtack art – this ended up being given just as a last minute Christmas decoration. Didn’t come out great – but it was ok.

Christmas Decorating for the Lazy

So yeah, I’m pretty lazy and I’m not a Christmas person.  Hadn’t decorated for Christmas (or any holiday) in years.

This year I was inspired to do a tiny bit of something.

The full extent of my holiday decorating.

The full extent of my holiday decorating.

Gold snowflake and silver thumbtack tree.

Gold snowflake and silver thumbtack tree.

Silver thumbtack tree on red background with red and white bow.

Silver thumbtack tree on red background with red and white bow.

Gold thumbtack tree with green background and silver bow.

Gold thumbtack tree with green background and silver bow.

Gold thumbtack art and silver snowflake.

Gold thumbtack art and silver snowflake.

Found the snowflakes at Dollar Tree in October or so.  Both were in a single pack – so only $1 for both.  Just blasted them with my favorite Rustoleum silver and gold spray paints.

Decided I could add some really quick thumbtack art.  Cut down foam board into 2 pieces of 5″ x 7″ each, painted the background of each with green and red acrylic paint.

Decided to do the same image but with the different thumbtacks.  Then added some ribbon I also picked up at Dollar Tree to jazz them up/top the trees.

For the thumbtack art enthusiast (such as myself) this was an extremely easy DIY way to decorate.  And super inexpensive.

Master Bathroom Overhaul

It is well and truly amazing how you can totally transform a room (or object) using paint.

For a long time, I’d been wanting to transform and change up my master bathroom – but in a completely DIY way and for pretty cheap.

I had done some stuff since I bought my house but nothing too major/drastic.

Here’s the original before – soon after I moved in.

The original master bath before

I had removed the wallpaper border and painted the walls from a mauve to a sky blue.  Also did my version of a border – I painted the very top white (helped to get any paint goofs fixed – I’m terrible about getting paint on the ceiling – so I was able to touch up those goofs with the white), then used wide painters tape in their classic blue under the bit of white to have a “double border” – my sky blue walls, then the stripe of painters tape in darker blue, then a stripe of white.  Worked well and lasted the whole time.  That tape stayed up with no problems for years.  I had a rubber ducky theme going when I first bought the place – had a shower curtain in rubber duckies including the shower curtain clips in the shape of the duckies.  Plus yellow accents (mats and toilet seat cover, etc.).  I’d even started painting the cabinet but only did it half way.

Ugly before Blegh Yikes Only decent part

And then I made one of the worst decisions – I tried covering the ugly linoleum with peel and stick floor tiles.  The problem was – I didn’t think about how to cut around the toilet and what to do when there was more tile than space (like when I got to the edge of a wall or the tub).  So there were gaps because I didn’t know how to best cut the tiles to deal with those situations.  THEN it got worse – where I did have the tiles down – they started breaking and turning on the edges and corners.

I tried pulling them up – but they were good and stuck so the faux tile part came off but the sticker/adhesive remained.

It stayed like this for YEARS.  I hated it but learned to ignore it.

Ugliest flooring ever

Ugliest flooring ever

Seriously how did I live with it like this for so long?

Seriously how did I live with it like this for so long?

About a year or so ago I was in my initial phase of DIY motivation and stumbled into the world of DIY blogs.  And with that came a bright beacon to my floor woes – a tutorial on how to paint linoleum floors.  Paint – who would have thought?  And it was right up my alley because I could do it myself and it would be cheap.

I had actually had a little bit of experience with painting linoleum floors.  In my guest bathroom, there is a tiny bit of (ugly) linoleum floor.  I figured what the hell and tried spray painting it.  And it actually turned out ok.  It’s held up rather decently considered this is the cats’ bathroom and it is walked on by kitties with claws and abused with cat litter on a daily basis.

But alas, I lost my updating mojo and put my dreams of updating my master bathroom on hold.  Until recently.

Despite having more of an urge to update my bathroom, I got sucked into working on my kitchen.

Then because I saw what a pain it was to get the floor tile adhesive removed (I had similar ones on my counters) I ended up procrastinating and just generally being a slow poke about the bathroom.  First order of business was getting up those floor tiles and even worse – the adhesive it left behind.  The tiles themselves were fairly easy to get up with a longer handled scraper and heat gun.  But that adhesive – I seriously rued the day I put those stupid things down because of that adhesive.  What a massive pain in the butt.  It literally took me weeks to get around to getting it all up.  Goo gone and the scraper was the best method – but that Goo Gone made the floors slick.  Then I ran out of it.

Eventually it took Cinderella style getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing.  FINALLY, I got all that adhesive off and could get down to business.

Still ugly but not as bad.

Still ugly but not as bad.

Here’s a quick list of all the tweaks I made:

  • Painted the floors dark grey
  • Painted the trim and doors (just freshened it up to a brighter white)
  • Painted the little insets on the doors black (for some interest/contrast)
  • (re)Spray painted the door knobs (used Rustoleum’s Oil Rubbed Bronze)
  • Added some silver leaf rub n buff to the door hinges
  • Spray painted the main light fixture silver (was brassy gold)
  • Spray painted the wooden towel rod black
  • Spray painted the shower curtain rod silver
  • Spray painted the outlet covers silver
  • Spray painted the grate silver
  • Spray painted the shutters that go over the window
  • Added some silver leaf rub n buff to the smaller light fixture on the ceiling
  • Removed the tape border and painted the walls (went with pure purple)
  • Added a “tile” border (used the same technique as with my kitchen backsplash)
  • Then added nailhead trim around the border to pretty it up/make it look more finished
  • Painted the cabinet – frame and drawer faces in black and doors in silver
  • Added aluminum flashing and electric tape border to the side of the cabinet (tried to do nailhead trim but it just would not go in – so decided to just add the black tape to cover uneven edges and attempted nail holes)
  • Painted the counters to give it a granite look
  • Painted my toilet paper caddy silver
  • Painted the 2 wall units from white to black
  • Switched up the positioning of the wall units
  • Bought moulding and painted it black to go around the mirror
  • Bought a new shower curtain in silver and black
  • Bought new mats/toilet covers in black

The only things that were purchased was the moulding (which was painted) and the shower curtain and mats.  Everything else was changed thanks to paint (even the tiles I used for the border – spray painted those black and silver).

The timing of things was important to me – because I knew some things I would be messy so I wanted to do as little touch up/repeat/fixing as possible.

One of the first things I did was prime the floors (after cleaning them and sanding them).  I had started painting the trim and doors but realized that the primer would get on the lower trim parts when I added it to the floor.  So I let that happen.  I don’t know why – but I had never used the extender/attachment on rollers.  I just took the handle off a broom and screwed that into the roller.  Made it so much easier!  Then primed the trim and doors just to be on the safe side.  Then painted them with semi gloss white paint.

Without bothering to tape it off (though I did cover the mirror below) I just doused the light fixture in spray paint.  Since I did this before painting the walls, I didn’t care that I got spray paint on the walls at that point.

Next I painted the door insets and respray painted the door knobs. I’d done them about a year ago but didn’t do them perfectly.  Forgot to get the underside.

I bought the cheapest paint possible for the walls.  I think I spent around $11 for a gallon.  Store brand interior latex flat paint.  I was a little worried that flat would not look good – but it does.  I’d used semi gloss on the prior color and it was too shiny to me.  I really like the color.  I wanted a really purple color.  The actual name of the color is Pure Purple.  When it first went on I was worried it wasn’t going to be as dark as I wanted.  But it darkened up when it dried (helped too once I had the 2nd coat on).  If it had been a bit darker I wouldn’t have minded- but I do really like it.  I used a combination of these paint pad things , brushes, and rollers (using the broom handle) to get the paint on the walls.

Painted the cabinets in black.  Took the doors and hinges down to the garage and spray painted them silver.

in the meantime, I was doing a lot of spray painting of stuff like the toilet paper caddy, rods (shower and towel), shutters, cabinet doors and hinges, and one of the wall unit things.  I did paint the bigger wall unit with paint from a can – and did that in the bathroom – and of course some of it got on the primed floor.

Since I made a mess of things (originally I used old primer that was gloppy – ended up buying a new can), plus I got wall paint and cabinet paint on the floor, I re-sanded and re-primed the floors.  Then did a coat of the porch and floor paint.  I scored on the porch and floor paint – i bought a can of Glidden for about $12 or 50% off because it was in the mis-tint section.  I knew I wanted it to be dark and I found this can in a super dark grey.  I think it is called charcoal grey.  Something like that.  Anyhoo, was really stoked to get a color I wanted for super cheap.  Decided to get as much as I could done before doing my final coat of porch and floor paint because I wanted to let that cure for a good 48 hours before walking on it.

Then it was priming, painting, and poly-ing the counter.  I used all the colors that were in the room in the counter.  I just primed it white, then started using my acrylic craft paints sponged on in silver, black, and purple.  I almost covered it in black then added in purple and silver.  I really like how it came out.  I feel like I have a better hang of it since I’d done my kitchen counters.  Thankfully I have way less bathroom counter space so it was pretty quick and easy to do.

After all that was dry I added the moulding to the mirror.  I had bought a miter saw but ended up not needing it because the guy at Home Depot cut the moulding for me!  I was so grateful he did because I likely would have measured wrong or cut in the wrong direction or something.  Even he got messed up on one piece – but was able to correct it – and I only bought what was perfectly cut.  I got really inexpensive adhesive (I think it was $2.40 for the tube and I didn’t need that much).  Already had a caulk gun and just loaded that in and was good to go.  Putting the moulding up was super easy.  Just try to keep the adhesive from getting too close to the edge or it shows up in the mirror/come out from underneath.  Oh, I’d also seen someone on a DIY blog say to paint both sides of the moulding – which I did since it was white when I bought it and I wanted it black.  While the adhesive dried, I just added a bit of painters tape to make sure it stayed in place.  I don’t know if I really needed to because it seemed to bond pretty quickly – but didn’t hurt to be extra sure.

In the meantime of doing some of this stuff (like having the coats of primer, paint, and poly dry on the counter), I did a tile border.  Originally I tried putting up some silver foil electrical/hvac tape.  But it didn’t seem to want to lay flat and it didn’t go on real smooth – it crinkled really easily.  So I took that down and had the idea to do something like I did with my backsplash in the kitchen.  I still had enough of those floor tiles and cut them into 3″ x 3″ pieces, spray painted them silver and black, and then attached them to posterboard in a checker pattern.  I used the posterboard so I didn’t have to do it directly to the wall.  Just used a few silver thumbtacks to put them up.  That way if I want to remove them – just have to pop out a few thumbtacks.

After I did all that, I cleaned the floors again and did one final coat of the porch and floor paint.  Let them cure for a solid 48 hours.  I noticed with the first coat that even though it was dry after a few hours – it would scratch.  But it was less likely to scratch after the 24 hour mark.

Finally, after the floors were done, I added the piece of aluminum flashing to the side of the cabinet and tried adding the nail head trim but it just was not allowing nails to go in.  I did use a bit of the same adhesive I used on the moulding to get the flashing to stay.  Just added a bit more adhesive then added black electrical tape to the top and side by the wall to make sure the edges looked more even and cover up the nail holes from trying to put on the nailhead trim.

I managed to get the wall units up by myself – even swapped out their positions.  The bigger one was always too close to the mirror so placed it in a different location.  Added some cute storage boxes for the lower open part.

Also did 2 pieces of thumbtack art specifically for the room – a silver heart on black and a silver fleur de lis in silver on black.  (Used some of the silver foil tape as a border instead of putting it in a frame like I did with the heart.)

Then it just a matter of removing tape.  I still need to touch up things (did some in between some of the steps listed) but have been lazy.  Despite needing to do this (and it may show in some pictures) – wanted to get the pics up.

The mirror looks so much better framed out!

The mirror looks so much better framed out!

Painted counter - the purple doesn't show up very well but it is there.

Painted counter – the purple doesn’t show up very well but it is there.

Grey floors, painted grate, and painted tp caddy.

Grey floors, painted grate, and painted tp caddy.

A glimpse of black and silver cabinets with counters and mirror before the wall units went up.

A glimpse of black and silver cabinets with counters and mirror before the wall units went up.

Silver and black cabinets.

Silver and black cabinets.

Newly painted and positioned wall units with storage boxes and thumbtack art.

Newly painted and positioned wall units with storage boxes and thumbtack art.

Another angle - and you get a glimpse of the window shutter.

Another angle – and you get a glimpse of the window shutter.

"tile" border with nailhead trim

“tile” border with nailhead trim

More of the border

More of the border

Just more border and the thumbtack art

Just more border and the thumbtack art

Side of cabinet with flashing and tape.

Side of cabinet with flashing and tape.

Flashing and tape.

Flashing and tape.

Floors and a bit of the doors.

Floors and a bit of the doors.

Doors updated with a fresh coat of white paint and the insets painted black.  Also doorknobs and hinges were freshened up.

Doors updated with a fresh coat of white paint and the insets painted black. Also doorknobs and hinges were freshened up.

New shower curtain - good mix of silver and black.

New shower curtain – good mix of silver and black.

I really am happy with how it turned out.  Definitely not for everyone but I am digging it.  Reminds me a bit of old Hollywood glam with a twist.

 

 

Latest batch of thumbtack art

These were some really easy, fast pieces to complete.

Cat whiskers thumbtack art

Cat whiskers thumbtack art. Whiskers in silver and nose and mouth in gold on paw print wrapping paper.  this one is an “odd” size 5.5″ x 10.5″

Gold at Sign thumbtack art

Gold at Sign thumbtack art on green polka dot message board from Dollar Tree.

Gold exclamation point thumbtack art

Gold exclamation point thumbtack art on blue polka dot message board from Dollar Tree.

Silver Question mark thumbtack art

Silver Question mark thumbtack art on pink polka dot message board from Dollar Tree.

The three punctuation ones will likely go in my home office since I work from home and do a lot of typing. Good theme based art. :-)  They’re each 8″ x 10″.

Gold pawprint thumbtuck art

Gold pawprint thumbtuck art – originally did outline only then did second to have a solid one. Both on tiger print wrapping paper.  Also each are 8″ x 10″

Lips thumbtack art in gold

Lips thumbtack art in gold on red foil wrapping paper.  Another 8″ x 10″.

Silver Eiffel Tower thumbtack art with CD mosiac frame

Mixed Media Thumbtack Art

I do a lot of browsing online/on Pinterest for cool art/craft ideas.  The latest thing to catch my eye was ways to use old CDs to craft with.

One thing in particular was this post - they used old CDs to make a mosaic on a frame.  I LOVED how it turned out, but didn’t have a mirror or even a frame that had enough width that was flat.

Then inspiration struck – incorporate this idea with my main obsession – thumbtack art.  I decided I wanted to do a BIG Eiffel Tower thumbtack piece in silver and thought the cd mosaic would work great with it.

I took one of my Elmers foamboards, spray painted it glossy black, traced out the lines for the frame (2.5″ all around), took some brown package paper, cut out a piece that was the same size as the center of my foamboard (minus the framed area), folded it in half, then freehanded a sketch of half of the Eiffel Tower, then cut it out (I did it that way – so I only had to draw one side yet both sides would be symmetrical).  Then just traced it on the foamboard and got to adding thumbtacks.  It actually didn’t take that long.  I was watching tv and I think I got all the thumbtacks done in about 2 hours (maybe more – tv helped keep me distracted).

Oh, I did use a piece of Dollar Tree foamboard behind the black foamboard to keep the ends of the tacks from sticking through.  When I use an entire piece of foam board, I just use another full piece (always the Dollar Tree ones since they’re less expensive) as the backing to double up.

Today was the CD mosaic part – and it took FOREVER.  I had never used CDs for art and the tutorial I listed above said they used a hammer – but that didn’t work great for me.  So I looked up some other tutorials and all those mentioned using scissors and cutting the cds.  I did that instead and for the most part it worked better.

I was using old software on CD rom – like the cds that came with printers and other crap I never used or was to old printers or whatever.

Some cds cracked a bit and some cut pretty smooth.  I did end up breaking my scissors (the plastic in the handle cracked) and the metal shears I have (that I bought to cut the aluminum flashing) gave me a blister on top of my thumb knuckle.

Initially I tried using hot glue to lay down the broken pieces – but that just didn’t work.  So I just busted out the 2-sided tape.  Worked like a charm.

As I mentioned I never ever did a mosaic piece so I didn’t know what I was doing/know the best technique.  I’m done for the moment – but I might go back and add in some little pieces to fill up the large gaps later.  Possibly.

Large Silver Eiffel Tower thumbtack art with CD mosaic frame

Large Silver Eiffel Tower thumbtack art with CD mosaic frame

Silver Eiffel Tower thumbtack art with CD mosiac frame

Silver Eiffel Tower thumbtack art with CD mosiac frame

I do love how it turned out – but I’m in no rush to do anymore projects that involve cutting CDs.  Biggest pain in the, uh, thumb.  I still need to clean up all the little shards as well.  Blegh.

There is another project with CDs I intend on doing – painting the backsides black, then scoring out/scratching off the paint in a specific design.  I saw an example and it’s really cool.

The Thumbtack Art Obsession Continues

It’s well and truly official – I’m obsessed with thumbtack art.  I can NOT stop!

Fortunately, it’s inexpensive and the options are unlimited.  Plus – they’re going to make great gifts.

When I first started (did 6 pieces initially) I used recycled materials and fabric.  Basically cardboard and styrofoam.

Then I “discovered” foamboard.  Really inexpensive but great for using as a canvas.  I do tend to double up because one piece generally isn’t thick enough to keep the ends of the tacks from poking through.  I initially found foamboard at Wal-mart then found it at Dollar Tree.  The thing with the Dollar Tree foamboard – it does NOT take to spray paint well, but the ones from Wal-mart (Elmers brand for $1.77 per 20″ x 30″ piece) can be spray painted.  I also used acrylic paint brushed on with a foam brush on the Elmers but haven’t tried it on the Dollar Tree ones.  The Dollar Tree foamboards started curling/peeling with spray paint.

I will still use cardboard if I have it handy rather than doubling up on foamboard.  Using cardboard makes it even less expensive per piece.

But a good work around is still using fabric or paper (just bought some cool wrapping paper from Dollar Tree) to cover the foamboard to get the color and/or background you prefer.

So here are the ones I just finished (I went on a spree after taking a break from the original 6).  (Note:  Please excuse the crappy photography – my camera with a flash threw a hissy fit and stopped working and my phone camera is not great – but all I have currently.)

Just did this one super fast today.  Found a good dolphin image online, printed it, traced it and knocked it out super fast. The foil paper looks better in person.  This one is 8″ x 10″.

Silver dolphin thumbtack art

Silver dolphin thumbtack art on purple foil wrapping paper

I’m not sure if this one is done – or if I want to fill it in.  Might leave this one as is and do another one but filled in.  Just freehanded the paw outline on this.  Thumbtacks are gold.  Also sized 8″ x 10″.

paw print outline thumbtack art on tiger print wrapping paper

paw print outline thumbtack art on tiger print wrapping paper

This one was a test and will be redone – I just freehanded it and the letters aren’t sized/lined up right.  My nickname is Tiger and I named my house Tigerdown Manor – so thought this would be cute on the tiger print wrapping paper.  When I re-do this one I plan on putting it as a “plaque” near the front door.  This is silver thumbtacks and also another 8×10-er.

tigerdown manor thumbtack art

tigerdown manor thumbtack art

This one is using a full-sized piece of foamboard (20″ x 30″).  I had scraps of aluminum flashing laying around after updating my bedroom furniture and wanted to use it with thumbtacks. I had some glossy turquoise spray paint just waiting to be used – so I spray painted the foam board and cut the squares (4″ x 4″) with my paper cutter. This was the first time I tried spray painting one of the boards – and luckily it was the Elmers board from wal-mart so it took the paint just fine.

turquoise and silver flashing checkerboard thumbtack art

turquoise and silver flashing checkerboard thumbtack art

I totally copied this idea from something I found on Pinterest. Seriously super simple and fast to do. The word is written out differently so it’s all one line. I just used some left over foamboard after cutting down a piece to make several 8×10″ pieces (for framing).  This is about 4″ x 10″.

Love thumbtack art

Love thumbtack art Just shy of 10″ x 4″

Another one that was super easy. I took a piece of paper, folded it in half, drew a backwards “c” of sorts, cut while still folded, then had a perfectly symmetrical heart. This was a true old school technique for making a heart – probably learned this in kindergarten! On a black piece of foamboard from Dollar Tree cut down to 8×10 (I might frame it). PS – You can get foamboard that is already black at Dollar Tree – no extra cost (unlike at Walmart – black foamboard is more expensive than white).  Also 8×10 in size.

Gold heart thumbtack art - now I can say I have a heart of gold.  :-)

Gold heart thumbtack art – now I can say I have a heart of gold. :-)

This one is one of my favorites of them all. I really like skulls. I got the idea from a rhinestone skull piece of art I saw that is sold on Etsy. This is the only piece (so far) that I used acrylic paint with. I just used a 50 cent tube of acrylic craft paint and put it on the Elmers board with a sponge brush. I was going for a streaky rather than a solid color look. I freehanded the skull with pencil. This is one of the few pieces where I WANTED decent amounts of space between the tacks since I wanted some purple to show through. I am not 100% sold on how I did the mouth area. I tried to do teeth but that didn’t work. I might switch out a few tacks with black ones (I had to spray paint some tacks black for another project but didn’t end up using them after all).  This is bigger than 8×10 – it’s 1/4th of an entire piece of 20×30″ foamboard.  so it is 10″ x 15″.  I might leave the binder clips on (put them on originally to get the pieces to bond after using spray adhesive) as a way to hang them.  Might put some string tied to the top binder clip so I can have it hung with a single nail/tack rather than trying to get it even with 2.

Silver Skull Thumbtack Art

Silver Skull Thumbtack Art

I don’t even know what to call this one. It’s just free style. I used the entire 20″ x 30″ black foamboard and just freehanded it with no sketch or outline in mind. Ya’ll, there are about 2,000 gold thumbtacks in this one piece!  I think I used about 7 boxes of tacks (300 tacks per box.)  I kinda lost count after awhile.  I was trying to emulate a piece I saw but just was NOT getting it right so I mixed it up more. I think it could be used as one of those psychological tests where people guess what they see. It’s the thumbtack version of cloud watching. I haven’t officially named it – but I think of it as “Mardi Gras”. For some reason that’s just what it reminds me of – New Orleans and jazzyness. Alternately it reminds me of Cthulhu.  Hmmm, maybe “Cthulhu Goes to Mardi Gras”?

Free style thumbtack art

Free style thumbtack art

And finally, the last of the newest round of thumbtack art pieces (ironically the first one I did in this batch) – simple stars. I used a small framed corkboard I had laying around. Used a silver sharpie on the frame then added some blue fabric to cover up the cork. Used the same star outline in 3 sizes. Pretty simple. If I were to re-do the stars I’d just do the larger ones and use a bigger canvas.

Gold and Silver Stars Thumbtack Art

Gold and Silver Stars Thumbtack Art  10″ x 16″

This doesn’t really count as a true art piece – just a bit of sprucing up. I have had this print forever (over 14 years) framed on top of blue construction paper. There was some roughness/uneven edges showing so I took a piece of foamboard spray painted it a very similar blue and then just put silver thumbtacks around the edge of the print to frame it out and make it more pulled together. Also added some Rub n Buff in Pewter to the frame for more updating and to tie it in better with the silver thumbtacks.

Silver thumbtacks outlining print

Silver thumbtacks outlining print

So that’s my latest batch of thumbtack art. I have a very long list of things I still want to try. Like a very fancy swirly S (for Stacy, naturally), different patterns (like Greek key, Moroccan, and a zig zag), swirls, more free style, something else with the aluminum flashing (maybe a chevron or herringbone pattern or triangles), I want to do words, phrases, initials/monograms, a different variation on the word Love, penguins, an owl, maybe even a tiger.

For a quick recap, here’s my original six pieces (for full info please go to this post)

Cat and Moon Thumbtack Art

Cat and Moon Thumbtack Art.  Just less than 5.5″ x 9.5″

Eiffel Tower Thumbtack Art

Eiffel Tower Thumbtack Art.  6.5″ x 10″

Gold and Silver Ampersand Thumbtack Art

Gold and Silver Ampersand Thumbtack Art  Each are just short of 9″ x 9″

Treble Clef Thumbtack Art

Treble Clef Thumbtack Art.  Right at 4″ x 10″

Two Color Thumbtack Fleur de Lis

Two Color Thumbtack Fleur de Lis.  8.5″ x 10.5″