Monday, August 27, 2012

Fun With Chalkboard Paint

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Chalking it up

If you're like me you have seen a million pins and pics showing yet another funky, creative way to use chalkboard paint. I mentioned in previous posts that I have been working on painting my fridge with black chalkboard paint....ok, maybe "been working on" is a bit of an overstatement. I started this months ago and it really could have been a 2 week project, but with a 2 year old who just loves to yank open the fridge door every chance she gets, on top of just being a bit of a procrastinator by nature (what can I say? I work better under pressure) I finally painted the final coat during Violet's nap and it looks fantastic. I can't wait to let her go chalk crazy all over it, but I will follow the directions and wait the 3 days to "condition" it (I am dreading this step. It sounds like a whole lot of chalk dust all over the place.)  After a full week, Ill be able to wash it down and open it for business. Lets be honest, I myself am anxious to doodle all over it, so it's going to be tough to wait... We will see! Anyway, the post detailing my adventures from start to finish is already in the works and will be up in the next week once I can add some pics of the chalkboard fridge in full swing and chalky glory.

Here's a preview of the finished product:
Our old, white fridge with a makeover.
Stay tuned for the detailed "how to" post!
In the meantime, whilst I had the chalkboard paint out today, I couldn't help but spread the love and paint a few more things...

Giving things a little repurpose 

A collection that I assembled on my rocking-chair porch and TA DA!
chalkboard paint pots and accents!

To Spray it or Brush it?

I have a can of chalkboard spray paint that has been collecting dust in my studio for almost 2 years now, just waiting to be used. I thought about cracking it open for this project, but in the end I had a bunch of sponge brushes handy and a whole lot of paint left in the roller tray.

It was storming like crazy, but I had a nice, dry spot on my porch to set up shop and get to painting. There's not much to say about "how to" paint a terracotta pot really, but I'll post my experience with it and maybe it will help someone out along the way. I also painted a square on an old metal bucket I found in my garage (such a killer find. I did a little dance when I spotted it amongst the lawn furniture and beach paraphernalia) using electrical tape to frame out the area; unfortunately my painters tape, which would have been the better choice, was somewhere in the depths of my studio so I conducted an experiment in the midst of my craft session. 

It doesn't look like much, but I was actually
SO close to buying something like this on Etsy.
 It was under my nose this whole time! 


I do love a terra cotta pot, but I just couldn't
wait to see it in a sleek black! 

With a few items being painted simultaneously, I was able to go back and forth between the 2 pots and the bucket so that when I got back to a second coat on one, it was already dry. Two coats were necessary on all parts, painted on thick and evenly with a wooden handled, craft spongebrush.

 The large terra cotta pot after two coats, inside and out. To be honest, I'm not 100% sure how the chalkboard paint will stand up to dirt and watering, since I fully intend to get some plants in all these things, but I thought it would look silly to leave the inside unpainted. Notice the electrical tape! Haha... Not ideal to use for something like this because it's stretchy and obviously not meant for this use, but it worked! I was able to paint on top of some of the seams, and though there was a liiiiittle bleed that happened, it is barely noticeable and I was far to happy with the overall outcome to care.

I am looking really looking forward to personalizing and getting creative with the chalk and will definitely post pics of the pots done up with our Halloween and Christmas decor. I have seen some great stuff on Pinterest that have the gears turning...
How cool is that? Click HERE to check it out at Good!

Can I draw on it yet??!?

So that's the first installment of fun with chalkboard paint and there's more where that came from! I am so excited to share my experiences with the fridge and whatever else falls prey to my chalky whims. I hope you've been inspired too and please feel free to share your own DIY with me should you get a chance to try it out yourself!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Mason Jar Lamp

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The Mason Jar Pendant is extremely popular lately, and for good reason. I have seen them in clusters and rows, tinted and clear, and all shapes and sizes, but it never gets old.

Finished pendant with a 32oz. jar.

I have to tell you, Mason Jars in general just charm my socks off. It just so happens I have about 15 of them in different sizes to play with- so this is just the beginning!

Jars of all sizes for an elegant centerpiece
We used mason jars for the centerpieces at my sister's bridal shower (above) and had a lot left when the festivities were over, however they're extremely cheap by the case at Ace Hardware. For my DIY I was choosing between the two largest jars, both which had the wide mouth opening and fit the same lid. I can (and already have) switch them back and forth until I decide which one I like best and as of right now, I remain undecided...

Ok, but is it really that easy?

Decisions, decisions...
64oz and 34oz wide mouth,
 Ball Mason Jars.
There are tons of tutorials out there that will have the different ways to accomplish this project, so let me just say this; I have no particular way of telling you that mine is better or worse than the rest. What I will tell you is that I decided to do this project on a whim, just using stuff I had lying around the house and figured if it doesn't work, no harm no foul. I am floored that it was as easy as I hoped and will do my best to clearly convey the steps I took.
Maybe these same steps, or even parts of them will lead your to your own version and that's ok too!

The existing pendent light I had in my kitchen.
Purchased at Lowes with lots of shade options
at a reasonable price.



- Mason Jar of your choice and the lid.
- a preexisting pendent light.
- hammer.
- 1 nail.
- a block of wood or safe hammering surface.
- permanent marker
...and that's it!

The Steps:

First, make sure all power to the light fixture is turned off. Then, unscrew your light bulb and find the attachment piece on your pendant that holds the shade on to it. Usually it's a small metal piece that screws on to the socket.  
The metal piece that attaches the lamp shade and the mason jar lid insert.

Next, take the metal disc insert from the mason jar lid and flip it over so the white side is facing up. You are going to be tracing the opening for the metal attachment piece to settle in. Images are below, but the best suggestion I can give that might not be 100% clear in pictures is to pay attention to how the original shade attached to your pendent. Your basically using the same process, but we have to create the hold in the top of the shade, which in this case will be in your lid.

Centering and tracing the inner ridge of the
attachment piece. 
Then, Use a permanent marker to trace the inner ridge of the attachment piece. You could also trace the hole in the existing shade, something I discovered later that would have been easier the first time around. The hole has to be big enough that the top part of the attachment piece fits through it, but not so big that the entire thing will slip through.

Side note: If this seems confusing, read ahead a few steps first and check out the images that show the assembly after the hole is cut.

Now it's time to cut out the hole. This is where the hammer and nail come in. If you're like me, you don't have a slew of saws that can easily slice through metal at your disposal. This was where the real experimentation came in for me. I knew the hole didn't have to be pretty, it just had to be the right size so I use the nail and hammered holes around the the perimeter of my traced circle, spacing them about 1/8 in. apart initially. I did this right on my kitchen counter with a scrap of wood underneath.

Notice the 2 tracings. The better of the two
created by tracing the hole in the lamp shade
Close up of two hammered holes.

At this point you may have figured out how all this hammering tin will eventually lead to a bigger hole, and if you have a saw that will work for this, by all means give it a go, but this worked well and was probably only slightly more time consuming.

After the initial 1/8 spaced holes you'll go around once more hammering hold in the existing spaces and carefully punch out your circle.

Tip: I used the claw side of the hammer at times to wedge into some of the more stubborn areas.

Putting it all together: The fun part!

Now you're finally ready to put your super-cool Mason Jar shade in place! 

First, get that attachment piece and make sure it fits in (but not through!) your hole. (See right---->)

Finally, put the other part of the jar lid around the disc and hold the attachment piece from the bottom as you screw it on to the pendent. Once you have the lid attached to the pendant all you gotta do is screw your light bulb back and then attach the mason jar to the lid. Just twist it right on there and voila!

A cute and easy way to add a little funky style to your space.

The 64oz jar attached. A bigger statement,
but still not sure if it's just TOO big.


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