DIY tips for sprucing up your living roomPlay Video
Here's the right way to clean your shower
Inside the Obamas' post-White House home: A mansion with famous neighbors
3 ways to throw your own mad (but fun) tea party
Bobbie Thomas surprises mom and son with room makeover
Style Me Pretty blogger Abby Larsen shares seven DIY projects that will add a touch of summer style to your home without breaking the bank.
Patterned rope vase
25-ft. cotton clothes line
Hot glue gun
Hot glue sticks
Gold paint marker
Liquid gold gilding
Step 1: Put small amount of hot glue on one end of your rope and press firmly at the bottom of the vase. Wrap the rope around the vase, and when you reach the opposite side, place a small dab of glue on the vase. Keep wrapping and when you reach the beginning, put another dab of glue on top of the rope and against the glass and press the rope in.
Step 2: Continue wrapping the rope, dabbing glue twice with each row, until you reach the top of the vase. Trim the rope and secure the end with more glue.
Step 3: Cut a diamond shape out of cardboard (about 5-inches long). Place against the vase and trace with the paintmarker. Repeat the diamond shape until the entire vase is filled with the outline.
Step 4: Use the paintbrush and gilding to trace a thicker line inside the diamonds on the edges of the vase. Then paint a smaller filled diamond shape inside the center diamonds. Let dry, then fill with your favorite blooms!
Wood gold lamp:
Wood vase (we got ours at TJ Maxx)
Lamp kit (can be found at Home Depot)
Gold spray paint
Drill bit larger than the size of the lamp cord
Wood circle, same size or larger than the vase opening (found in arts & crafts store)
Medium grit sandpaper
Step 1: Drill a hole near the base of the vase, straight through the wood. Drill a hole in the center of the wood circle, all the way through the wood. If the wood circle is larger than the mouth of the vase, use the sandpaper to grind it down to match the size of the vase opening.
Step 2: Paint the top and sides of the wood circle with a light coat of adhesive sizing. Let dry 15 minutes or until tacky. Lay a sheet of gold leaf on top and use the paintbrush to gently press into place, and brush off any excess leaf.
Step 3: Thread the electrical cord through the vase (leaving the end with the wall plug out), from the outside of the drilled hole up through the mouth of the vase. Then thread it through the wood circle, from the bottom side up through the top. Place a thin line of wood glue on the rim of the vase, press the wood circle on firmly, and let dry.
Step 4: Assemble the rest of the lamp base pieces in order according to the instructions on the lamp kit. Thread the cord through the bottom of the bulb base, and tie a knot where the cord splits. Use the screwdriver to loosen the two screws on the base. Use the pliers to wind the exposed wires around each screw, then tighten the screws to keep them in place. Be sure that the two exposed wires are not touching each other — that would cause the system to short-circuit. The goal is to get the exposed wires completely wrapped around the screws and not loose inside the chamber. Place the top cover on the base and screw in a lightbulb. Plug in the wall plug and turn on the lamp. If it will not light, you may have to remove the cover and switch the exposed wires to the opposite screws.
Step 5: Paint a thin coat of adhesive sizing on the inside of the lampshade. Let dry 15 minutes or until tacky. Lay sheets of gold leaf on the shade until the entire interior is covered. Use the paintbrush to press into place and remove excess leaf. Place the shade on the lamp, and enjoy!
Safety tips: Make sure everything is unplugged when you are working on this project. You can safely plug it in to test it (if you have the wires in the wrong place, they will just not light the lightbulb, not start sparking), but if you forget to unplug the cord and start working on it again, you can shock yourself.
Ikea laptop table
Krylon spraypaint in jade
¼” thick acrylic sheet, 36”x48”
½” and ⅜” drill bits
Clear acrylic spray
#8 x ½” long screws (for the castor wheels)
#12 x ⅜” machine screws
Plastic drop cloth
Step 1: Assemble the Ikea table according to the instructions on the box. Set aside the glass top and the particle board shelf. Move the metal table frame onto the drop cloth, and spray-paint in several light coats to prevent drips from forming.
Step 2: Paint a light coat of mod podge on the particle board shelf and wrap in patterned paper. Let dry and glue patterned paper to the remaining sides of the shelf. When dry, spray with a light coat of acrylic spray.
Step 3: Cut acrylic sheet to be 39 ⅜” x 14 ⅛” with the glass cutter.
Step 4: Turn metal frame upside down and place acrylic sheet on top. Use a pen to mark the location of the holes on each leg on the acrylic sheet. Remove the sheet and drill holes through the sheet on each mark with the ½-inch bit.
Step 5: Place the castor wheels ¾-inch from the edge of the acrylic sheet on all four sides, and mark the holes with a pen. Remove the wheels and drill holes through the sheet on each mark with the ⅜-inch bit.
Step 6: Place castor wheels on the sheet and drill screws in to secure in place. Place sheet on the metal frame (wheels up) and drill the machine screws into the legs. Place the patterned shelf into the shelf slot and drill the remaining four screws in to secure it.
Step 7: Flip the table over and place the glass sheet on top. Style with your favorite cocktail accessories, and wheel out to party!
Wood stain (try to match the color to the color of the tray)
Balsa wood flat sheets (we used three sheets that were each 4″x 24″x 3/32″)
Turquoise paint (or color of your choice)
Step 1. Paint 1/2 of one of your balsa sheets turquoise. Stain the rest of that sheet and the other two sheets with the wood stain and let dry. (You only need to paint or stain one side of each sheet.)
Step 2. On the back side of each sheet, draw a line down the center vertically (it should leave you with 2 inches on either side). Then use your ruler to mark every 1/2 inch down the length of the wood — draw the lines across horizontally.
Step 3. Use your utility knife to slice out each rectangle strip, keeping the size and shape as even as possible. Once you have all your strips, you’re ready to begin gluing.
Step 4. Arrange your strips in a herringbone pattern. You’re basically making a zigzag pattern where the end of one strip overlaps the other. Start on one end of the tray, and make a zigzag line with your wood-tone strips that touches the sides of the tray. Make sure your angles are correct — you can tell if the lines of strips meeting are straight. When you are happy with the first row, you can glue it in place. Dab wood glue on both the tray and the strip, and make sure the ends of the strip are glued down so they’re not raised up later.
Step 5. Continue by adding rows down the tray. After about halfway down the tray, you’ll want to put a book down on the section you’ve glued so that the strips don’t lift up as they dry. Continue and when you are about 2/3 down the length of the tray, do two rows with the turquoise strips instead of the wood strips. Do another row of wood, one more in turquoise, and then continue in wood until you reach the other end and can’t complete another full zigzag. Put on several books and let dry for a few hours.
Step 6. Now that the center is full, you just have to fill out the edges. Hold a strip up to the spot where you would next lay it, and use your pencil to mark where you need to cut it to make it fit.
Step 7. Cut it, and glue in place. Continue until the sides are full. Lay books down again, and let it dry. Your tray is ready to go!
4 fl oz red, yellow, blue, black, brown, turquoise acrylic paint
8 fl oz white acrylic paint
(1) 3” paintbrush
(4) 1” paintbrushes
Medium round paintbrush
Bristle brush for glue
Plate for mixing paint
Plastic painting drop cloth
Step 1: Tape the plastic drop cloth to a wall and let it cover a thin table or chair so that you can rest the canvas vertically on the table or chair and lean it against the wall. You can also set it up on the floor and paint there, as long as the canvas is upright against the wall.
Step 2: Use your bristle brush to paint a thin layer of the glue sizing on several spots around the canvas. Let dry 10 minutes or so until tacky to the touch. Press sheets of gold leaf on the glued area and gently brush off with a dry paintbrush. You can paint gently around these areas or slightly over the edge as you develop the painting (and if you paint over too much, you can always add more gold when the paint is dry).
Step 3: Mix some black, a small amount of blue, white, and a pinch of brown until you get a dark warm gray. Use the 3-inch brush to paint several large sections of the canvas dark navy, from the lower left corner up through the center. Rinse the brush and paint the remaining canvas a thin layer of white. Keep your brushstrokes loose and swirly while painting.
Step 4: Mix the turquoise with some white and a pinch of yellow to make a mint shade. Use a 1-inch brush to paint large middle sections mint. Mix in with the navy as you get close to the edge.
Step 5: Mix some black and white to get a light gray and use a 1-inch brush to blend large areas starting from the middle left of the canvas.
Step 6: Mix red with some white and a pinch of yellow to make a bright pink. Create a few spots of bright pink with a 1-inch brush in the lower right and blend with more white as you blend outwards into a larger area.
Step 7: Now that you have your color areas blocked out, keep playing with the colors to add depth. Try blending, using paper towels to smudge, or drawing thin scribbles. This is a fun time to experiment, and if you don’t like the look of something you did, just add more color on top of it to “erase” it. You can’t mess up! When you feel good about how it looks, let it dry for 24 hours and then hang away!
Don’t worry about your brushstokes! Paint sideways, vertical, swirled— whatever — you’ll do so much mixing of colors on this painting that it will all come out in the wash. The more relaxed you feel, the looser and more effortless the painting will come out.
Step back frequently, take a look at the picture as a whole, and see if you like where it’s going. This is why I had you set up the canvas vertically and not laying down—because it helps you get a perspective of what you’re making, as you’re making it.
If you are hanging the canvas without a frame, definitely splurge on the canvas that wraps all the way around the sides (you’ll know because you won’t see staples running down the sides) and be sure to paint the sides as well. This feels more luxurious and will look great when hung.
Target X benches
Fabric to reupholster benches (2 1/2 to 3 yards for 2 benches)
Upholstery foam (one for each bench)
Gold spray paint
Lacquer spray paint
Step 1: Turn the bench upside down, and use the drill to remove the screws. Place the screws in a safe place. Remove the legs from the seat.
Step 2: Remove the leather from the seat. The best way to do this is to use a flathead screwdriver to pry up each staple, but if you’re having trouble or just want to get it done faster, you can do what we did and cut the leather along the bottom edge of the seat board.
Step 3: The original foam on the seat curves downward slightly, but we wanted ours to stay square. Flip the seat so that the foam is on top. Cut rough triangles from the cotton batting and place on the corners of the seat to help raise the corners, then stack the green foam block on top.
Step 4: Roll out your fabric on the floor or low table, underside facing up. Flip the seat and foam onto the fabric (foam side down). Position the seat so that there is enough fabric on each side to pull up onto the underside (about 8-inches from the base). Trim the excess fabric and save for the next bench.
Step 5: Pull up the fabric until it is snug and staple in the center of one side. Repeat on the opposite side of the seat, and follow with the other two sides. Continue stapling on all sides until you reach 2-inches from the corner.
Step 6: When you reach the corner, fold the corner inside and bring the two outside folds to meet each other at the corner — this will give you a straight, crisp corner. Staple in place.
Step 7: Spraypaint the legs gold on a dropcloth. Spray lightly from a distance so no drips develop, and spray two coats for coverage. When the gold is dry, spray a light coat of lacquer and let dry.
Step 8: Place the legs upside down on the seat bottom and position until they are centered on all sides. Drill the screws back in to secure the legs to the seat. Flip the bench over, and you’re done! Repeat the steps to make a second bench.
No Sew Pillows:
White silk fabric (enough to cover your pillow inserts)
Throw pillow inserts
Fabric measuring tape
iDye packets for natural fabrics
Glass or stainless steel bowls
Foam paintbrushes in various sizes
Plastic drop cloth
Step 1: Iron all fabric. Measure the size of your throw pillows. Add 1-inch to each side and then measure and cut that out of the silk fabric.
Step 2: Put on latex gloves. Shake a *pinch* of dye into a bowl and fill with hot water. These things are potent so you really don’t need much. Stir with the spoon to mix and test the color by dipping in a piece of paper towel. Add more color until you reach your desired shade. Repeat in other bowls for remaining colors.
Step 3: Lay out the plastic dropcloth to protect your worksurface. Lay out your silk square (and layer two sheets of fabric together if you want the front of the pillow to match the back).
Step 4: Use the foam brushes to paint stripes, dots, or squiggles on the silk. Experiment with colors and mixing. When you are pleased with the design, place the silk in a plastic freezer bag, seal it, and microwave for 30 seconds to steam the silk, which sets the dye. Rinse in cold water — the water will run clear. Then lay out on a clothes rack (or on porch railing if the weather is nice) to dry.
*Be careful with this! Be sure not to leave it in too long or too high as you risk setting the silk on fire. Also be careful opening the bag- the steam is hot!
Step 5: When the silk is dry, iron the fabric again. Layer two pieces of silk — place the two sides you want to be the outside of the pillow on the inside, facing each other. Measure ½-inch from one edge and draw a line of fabric glue along that border on the inside of the two fabric pieces. It can be helpful to place a ruler there to use as a guide for drawing a straight line. Repeat on one other side, then let dry (about 20 mins).
Step 6: Place the pillow inside the two pieces and check to make sure it will fit. Remove the pillow, then glue the third side and let dry.
Step 7: Flip the silk inside-out and place the pillow inside. On the open side, fold each piece of silk down ½-inch, so that the folded sides are on the inside facing each other, and pin in place. Draw a line of fabric glue between the two pieces of fabric and let dry. Remove pins, and enjoy your new pillow cover!