DIY Black & Gold Globe

You like how I just tell you exactly what’s coming in that title? No cutesy puns or creative post titles for me. Just jumping right to the point.

But really, there’s no cutesy post title that can even come close to the awesomeness (yes, that’s a word) of this project. So I didn’t even try it.

Yup. I did that. I’m absurdly proud of this guy because I’m so, so, so in love with it.

Let’s start at the beginning, though.

We actually bought this globe from Goodwill a while back when we were looking for a project for round one of Creating With the Stars. We saw it almost immediately upon walking in the store and knew that we had to have it. It was $25, which was a bit on the steep side for our normal Goodwill purchases, but you don’t walk away from a globe with that much potential.

My mind immediately began racing with all of the possibilities for what we could do with this guy, but Corey had his mind made up from the start – a black background with gold-leaf continents. I love a man who knows what he wants.

This was an absurdly simple project – I started off with some black craft paint and painted all of the oceans black. I didn’t let myself get too fussy with this part – no one really has the entire globe memorized and won’t realize if a tiny little island in the middle of the ocean is missing. And, really, I wasn’t going for geographical accuracy so some of the smaller islands were sacrificed for the sake of my sanity (sorry, Hawaii).

It took two coats of paint for it to look good – it took maybe two episodes of Vampire Diaries. Or, for those of you who measure time like normal people, about two hours. But I’m slow…and maybe a little lot distracted by Ian Somerhalder’s jawline.

Mmm.

Uh, yeah. Moving on. Once the black paint was done, it was time for the gold leaf. I was a little terrified of this before I got started because it seems so intimidating. But this stuff is seriously foolproof. It looks amazing no matter how much you screw it up, and it’s really impossible to make it look bad. That’s my kind of crafting.

I just painted on the adhesive and waited a few minutes for it to become tacky – the directions say wait at least 20 minutes before applying the gold leaf, but I found that it didn’t take more than 5 or 10 for it to get tacky and if I waited much longer it started to lose the stick. So, I’d just paint it on and test it every few minutes until it felt nice and sticky, then I’d plop the gold leaf on and press it down until it all stuck.

From there, I just removed the excess gold leaf and we were good to go! It took a few applications in some spots to really get the whole thing covered, but when all was said and done it was a really simple process that was only slightly annoying. It did make a big mess though. Fair warning.

And just like that, it was done! We considered painting the base a fun color, but I kinda dig the wood look and we couldn’t agree on a good color so we decided to leave it as-is for now. The globe is hanging out in the living room for now, but who knows where it’ll end up long-term. We’ve talked about putting it up in the guest room or even our bedroom, so it may just migrate around the house so every room gets to enjoy it!

I’m pretty obsessed with how this turned out. The black and gold combination makes me weak in the knees, and I always love a more modern take on such a classic piece. Between our map wall and the two globes we now have in our house, I think we might have the beginnings of a collection on our hands!

Do you have a globe in your house? Anyone else drooling over Ian Somerhalder globes lately?

Creating With the Stars Week 2 Project: Knockoff

After the craziness of Creating With the Stars, I’m taking this week off for a quick breather! I’ll be posting the tutorials for two of our projects in the competition (since they were originally posted elsewhere), and there’ll be a special post on Friday for those of you who are new in these parts! Enjoy! 

Is it awkward for me to admit that I knew I would be knocking off this dresser before I even got into this competition? I’ve been in love with it for a while now, and I remember a week or so before I even found out I was in the competition I stumbled on it again and my husband Corey and I decided right then and there that if we got in and if there was a knockoff round, we’d be doing this guy.

(The inspiration – via West Elm)

Luckily, we did, and there was, so here we are!

Like I said, this dresser has been on my mind for a while because it’s just so beautiful, but if you know me at all you know I’m not the type to spend $900 on a piece of furniture. It’s just not gonna happen. So, Corey and I set out to re-create this dresser as affordably as possible, all while putting our own little spin on it.

What we used: 

An antique dresser

Scrap 1×4 wood – we used maybe one board total

White paint

Gray paint

Gorilla glue (or any wood glue you like)

3/4″ dowel rods (for drawer pulls)

1/2″ dowel rod (for drawer pulls)

We started off with this beautiful antique dresser that we found at a local flea market. We loved the clean lines, the tall frame, and (of course!) those casters. Drool. Our style is a pretty good mix of modern and more traditional/vintage furniture, so we liked that this would lead to a slightly less sleek and modern look than the original, which fits right in with the rest of our house. It was basically perfect.

The first step for us was figuring out a way to inset the drawers a bit so that when we added the wood tiles they wouldn’t stick out. We wanted the entire front of the dresser to be flush (the West Elm one has the drawers slightly inset, but we thought a flush look would be a bit more fitting for our dresser). Our original plan was to just move the drawer slides back a few inches in the dresser, which would hopefully make the drawers sit the way we wanted them, but thankfully it was an even easier fix than that with this particular dresser – there were little metal pieces on the inside of the drawers that stopped them from going all the way in. All we had to do was pull those out and make some new stoppers with some little dowel rods and we were good to go.

Next up was cutting all of our wood tiles. Let me warn you – this project isn’t for the faint of heart…it took forever! But, I think the end result is totally worth it, so I won’t complain.

For the tiles we took a few 1×4 boards that we had already laying around and cut them down to 1/4″ thick tiles. It was the quickest way we could think of to do it, and it also meant that the end-grain of the wood would be showing, which added some fun texture. It was a pretty quick job to cut the tiles – we just used a chop saw with a piece of wood clamped to it to make sure all of the tiles were the same size. Our stack quickly grew, and soon enough we had a giant pile of wood tiles.

When they were all cut, we gave them a quick whitewash. I wanted a bit of variety within the tiles, so we did a whitewash on some of them and a graywash on others. It was a subtle difference, but it makes the end product look a bit more random and varied, which I like.

Once our tiles were all dried and ready to go, it was time to attach them to the drawers. We didn’t want to nail them in because then we’d have a billion different nail holes to fill, so we just used some wood glue. We glued ‘em on in a subway pattern and then clamped a board to the drawer while it dried to ensure they all stuck. As the tiles got wet with the glue, some of them started to bow, so clamping it down also kept that to a minimum. We let it all dry together for about 12 hours (just to be sure!) then removed the clamps, sanded down the edges, and that was all there was to it!

The last step was creating the drawer pulls – we knew we wanted ones similar to the inspiration piece, but we also knew that actually finding and buying those pulls would be challenging (not to mention expensive!) so, we decided to make our own! Corey bought a 3/4″ dowel, drilled two holes in the back, and inserted a small, 1/2″ dowel piece . We then spray painted the whole thing with some oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, and screwed ‘em in!

Once we put it all together, it looked a little something like this:

And that, my friends, is how we created our own version of West Elm’s wood-tiled dresser – and under $200, to boot!

DIY Anthropologie-Inspired Hardware

Remember the beautiful jute-wrapped hardware on our china cabinet I showed you on Monday?

It’s time for me to spill the dirty details of how you can make ‘em yourself! They’re incredibly cheap and easy, so settle in and listen up!

Let’s start at the beginning – when Corey and I were looking for hardware for the china cabinet makeover, we wandered into Anthropologie to scope out what they had. We have always loved all of their hardware options, though they can be expensive, and we were hoping to find something unique and fun that would work for the piece.

We were immediately drawn to these gorgeous, nautical jute-covered pulls, but at $12 a pop, they were a bit too expensive for our taste.

(Via Anthropologie)

I told Corey that I was pretty confident I could re-create these at home (for much cheaper), so we headed out to track down what we’d need.

We got some jute at Hobby Lobby for $3.99 – it has way more than we needed, so I have some leftover for another project. I also could have gotten it for cheaper if I’d had a 40% off coupon! We didn’t see any pulls at Hobby Lobby that we liked, but we found some perfect ones at Lowe’s for about $2.50 a pop. I also used hot glue and super glue (not pictured) to attach the rope to the handle.

This is probably the easiest project I’ve ever done – promise. Here’s how it works:

Cut a piece of jute to about 18 inches or so. I just eyeballed it based on what I thought I would need. Attach it to the handle with super glue (hot glue will not stick to the handle at all, so super glue is important!).

(Please excuse my awful-looking nails. They are desperately in need of some new polish!)

Pull the rope around to the front and add some more super glue. Press and hold while it dries.

Pull it back around again and add super glue to the handle, then add some hot glue to the rope that you already have glued down – press it together for a few seconds.

Continue wrapping around, adding super glue to the handle itself and hot glue to hold the rope together. You could just as easily use super glue for the whole thing, but it’s a bit pricey and I always glue my fingers together, so I used hot glue whenever I could!

At the end, I just used a combo of super glue and hot glue (to make sure it really stuck) to attach the end of your rope to the back of the handle…and voila – you’ve got a super cheap jute-covered handle!

Want a little before-and-after action?

And here’s a reminder of how awesome they look on our chine cabinet:

I love them!

Have you made over and hardware lately? What do you think about the ever-popular nautical theme? It’s definitely been my obsession lately!

DIY Silhouettes: The Tutorial

As promised last week, I’m back with an in-depth tutorial on how to make silhouettes like the ones I made for the Pinterest Challenge.

This project was a lot easier than I expected it to be, and the results are fantastic – I can’t help but grin like a maniac every time I walk past the guest room now!

So, let’s get to it. To get started, you’ll need photos of all of your subjects’ profiles – something like this:

Capturing the dogs’ profiles was definitely a two person job. I had Corey stand off to the side of the camera with a treat, and give them the “watch me” command (basically, they sit still and look at you) while I took the photo. If your dogs don’t know this command, you can probably achieve the same thing by simply holding a treat right in front of where you want them to look. We had to play around a bit with how Corey was sitting, because if they looked into his eyes while he was up too high, the photo didn’t work. So, it took some trial and error but we finally got a few good photos.

Once you’ve got the photos, you’ll need some sort of photo editing software. I don’t have Photoshop, so I used Gimp (which you can download for free here), and that’s what this tutorial will be tailored to. I’m sure that if you have a different photo editing software, it will be pretty easy to translate the instructions into something that will work for you.

So – you’ve got your photos, you’ve got your photo editing software, and you’re ready to get started.

Step 1 is pretty self-explanatory – open your photo in Gimp (or whatever photo editing software you are using)

Next, click the little button that looks like a sheet of paper on the layers toolbar. This will bring up a second layer on your photo, which you can name whatever you want. Do this twice, so you end up with a total of three layers on your photo.

Next, you’ll want to have the top layer of your photo selected (I named mine “3″), and click on the “Paths” tool. It’s the second button from the left on the second row – it looks kind of like a pen with a line next to it.

Now comes the fun part. Start clicking points on the outline of your image, and the paths tool will begin highlighting it for you. Every time you click, it will create a straight line from the last place you clicked to the new place. If you keep your points too far apart, your image will turn out really blocky, so take your time and don’t be afraid to put a ton of points pretty close together.

This part will feel really tedious at first, but once you get the hang of it it’s really easy – I probably took 10-15 minutes per photo on this step. Once you’ve gone all the way around your image, connect the last point back to the first one (or as close to it as you can) and press enter to complete the path.

Now that you’ve got your outline all taken care of, you’re ready to fill it in. Select the fill tool (it looks like a little bucket) and pour the color into your silhouette. I used black, but you can change the color by double-clicking the top square of color and changing it to whatever you want.

Before you color in the background white (or whatever color you plan on using), be sure to click “Select” then “None”. If you don’t do this, you won’t be able to fill in the background, so it’s an important step!

And finally -

Now you’ll need to switch over to the middle layer (I named mine “2″), and simply use the fill tool to color in the background white, or another color of your choosing. If you’re more talented than I am with these programs, you can probably even add in a pattern to the background for a little something extra.

And that, my friends, is how you create your own silhouettes!

All that’s left to do is print ‘em out and hang them up on the wall!

I know it may look intimidating, but I promise this is an insanely easy project that you can absolutely do yourself. There are also about a million other ways that you can create a silhouette, this is just one of them.

Have fun!

Have you ever created art for your home? Tell me about it – I need ideas because my DIY art addiction is quickly growing!

Craigslist Tutorial

Almost every time that I post a new Friday Finds post, I have several people mention to me that they don’t understand how I can find such great things on Craigslist, and that they feel like all they ever find is junk. I have been thinking for a while that I should put together some type of quick tutorial over how I find great things on Craigslist, but I’ve always brushed the idea off because it’s so simple that it didn’t seem worth it.

But then, I started to get requests for a tutorial. Several requests, in fact. And I like nothing more than to make y’all happy so I am, of course, obliging.

So, let’s walk through what a typical session of Craigslist perusing looks like for me.

BROWSING CRAIGSLIST:

For starters, you have to (HAVE TO) use Craigseasy. It’s the most amazing invention ever (more on what it actually is in a second) and I kind of hated Craigslist until I discovered this wonderful little tool. Just trust me on this – go to Craigseasy and add the “Easy” bookmarklet to your browser. You won’t regret it.

I always start off in the “Furniture” section of Craigslist. Once you get there, it’s a easy three-step process to get you ready to browse.

Side note: If you don’t want to use Craigseasy, or if you don’t have a handy little bookmarks tab on your browser, you can always just use the “Show Images” feature on Craigslist. I prefer the larger images and functionality of Craigseasy, but this is a great alternative!

Once you’ve got the “Show Images” feature activated, you can mouse over the things you’re interested in, and the photo will get slightly larger. Again, the photos don’t get as large as they do in Craigseasy, but this is also a great way to see the photos without clicking on every link.

And just like that, you’re ready to browse Craigslist!

I have had a ton of people ask me what I search for when I’m looking on Craigslist, but I’ll emphasize once again: The majority of the time, I do NOT search for anything! I just bring up all of the furniture posts and browse through it while I’m watching television. It requires a little bit of patience, but while I was writing this post, for example, I happened to stumble on this beauty in about two minutes of scrolling:

I usually have absolutely no problem finding amazing things in just the “Furniture – By Owner” section of Craigslist, but I usually venture out to two other sections as well.

The “Household” section is a favorite of mine because you can find all sorts of fun non-furniture items. Things like lamps, dishes, light fixtures, and other decorations. Take, for example, these amazing crystal decanters that would be perfect for a project Corey and I are planning right now.

And finally, I like to hit up the “Antique” section.

This section usually has some more expensive items (they are antiques, after all) and some of them get downright ridiculous, but I usually am able to find at least one or two pieces for a good deal. Like this set of dressers for only $225!

And that’s how I do it! Like I said, it’s a really simple process, and really all it requires is a bit of patience and a lot of imagination (some of the best pieces I’ve found have looked awful in the post photos, but I knew that they had potential).

SEARCHING CRAIGSLIST

Now, I know I said I don’t usually search, but sometimes if I am looking for something specific or if I’m just not finding anything I like by browsing alone, I’ll use the search feature. So here are a few tips for searching on Craigslist:

1. Always (ALWAYS) try at least 3-4 spelling variations of what you’re searching for. If you’re looking for a dining room table, for example, I would search the following terms:

“Dining table”
“Dinning table”
“Kitchen table”
“Dining set”

You have to remember that a lot of people rush through posting these items, and there are always people who mis-spell important words in the post. Aside from misspellings, there are also variations on what people might call the pieces, so I usually try a few different phrases, as well as some misspellings, when I’m searching for something in particular.

2. Use broad searches. If you’re looking for a pretty brass bed or a new leather couch, I would start by just searching “brass” or “leather”. You never know what people will title their posts (a bed could be listed under bed, headboard, footboard, or bedframe, and a couch could also be a sofa or a loveseat) and so just doing a broad search will ensure that you’ll see everything in that material – who knows, you might find something else amazing too!

3. Search for stores! A lot of times if I’m not looking for anything in specific but I don’t see anything I like just by browsing, I’ll start searching names of stores I like just to see what comes up. Again, when you’re doing this make sure that you serach a couple of different varieties on the store names – Crate & Barrel could also be listed as “Crate&Barrel” or “Crate and Barrel” and the mis-spellings possibilities are endless (“Cate & Barrel,” “Crate & Barrell,” etc.)

And that’s about all you need to know to browse & search Craigslist like a pro (or, you know, me). I’ve had amazing success using Craigslist over the past few years, and I’m kind of obsessed with how easy it is to find amazing pieces if you have a little determination.

Happy Craigslisting!

Do you have any more tips for using Craigslist?

Pssst: If you hop on over to the 101 in 1,001 blog today, you’ll see a little post with an update on an item we’re working to cross off the list!