A Little Terra-Cotta Pot

Summer is over, at least in my book. I have survived another year of family programming in the brutal heat and humidity of Florida. Whew! Time to shift focus at work, and also time to focus on some projects. For this project, my mom wanted to join in. DIY is always fun, and even more so when you have someone to do it with you!

Project: Terra Cotta Storage Pots

I wish I could say this was an original idea. It wasn’t. Mom emailed me an idea this past Wednesday, and I just knew these terra-cotta storage pots were going to be something we both would love! I was off to Walmart for the paint, handles, and sealant; and, she went to her local farm supply store for the terra cotta pots. We already had stencils and glue.

Confession time: I’ve never worked with terra-cotta before – at least that I remember – so I went into this project a little blind. If you decide to take this on, I hope some of these tips will help you. {You should definitely watch the video above, as they demonstrate exactly what to do!}

What we used:

  • 2 large terra-cotta planters
  • 2 larger** terra-cotta saucers
  • Acrylic paint of any color* (use white if you can, as it really pops!)
  • Stencils – see notes below
  • Handles – when selecting your adorable pulls, think about griping a terra-cotta saucer. They aren’t light, that’s for sure! And, you want a larger surface area on the bottom for the glue, as that’s all that will be keeping them on this adorable top!
  • Gorilla Glue
  • Sealant

On the terra-cotta planters/ saucers: Mom had to do some searching on her visit for the saucer. Make sure the saucer is going to fit inside the planter. The ones they were originally matched with were too small to sit on top of the planter. Also, make sure that you pull any stickers – or cover permanent market in our case – before you begin. Just of note, these beautiful planters are NOT cheap! Think of this project more as cool, than saving money 🙂

On the paint: Terra-cotta seems to soak up the color. I would recommend painting white first wherever you plan to paint. Your colors will show up much more vibrantly. Also, the top is what you see the most, so decide what you want to do there, and then figure out the bottom.

On the stencils: I found the cutest pattern there was, taped and started painting. Then I realized the conundrum I was in with the stencil layout… and, I almost gave up on this project. My geometry skills did not kick in until I had taped the stencil and painted my first section. These pots are shaped bigger at the bottom, so when I went to move my tiny stencil…they did not line up. I can’t say I’ve ever worked with a stencil on a cylinder, much less any weird shape. Maybe going with a bigger stencil might have helped us? Just know it won’t be perfect.

Taping: You will notices I tore small pieces to make an even line on the pot. Same geometry problem. A bigger circle on the top line, a small circle for the bottom. They do no have the same length.

Sealant: We were worried that the glue might not stick to the sealant. No scientific backing here, but we glued the handles first, allowed everything to dry for about 4 hours, and then we applied the sealant. Within 24 hours, these were good to go!

Whatever you choose to pattern and color your pot with, have fun!

Now, what to put in here?!

 

 

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Call me Picasso.

Need an easy stress fix? Pick up a paint brush. Or better yet, don’t! Use your fingers or a squirt bottle or a knife, and just push color onto a canvas. There are no rules, at least if you are doing an abstract painting.

I haven’t sat down to paint in a long time. I forgot how exhilarating it is, to create something on a blank canvas with a few colors. Sometimes, they aren’t very good. Sometimes they kinda are. Sometimes there is something missing, and I just can’t put my finger on it. Instead of stressing over finishing it, I walk away and come back to it.

And who cares if it’s good? I like it. If it makes you happy, do it.

I found an online course with a monthly subscription at ArtTutor.com, where I recently completed An Introduction to Abstract Art with David Hallangen, which had fun challenges like painting one brush stroke throughout the entire painting, using new tools, and even time constraints. It was super fun, and I definitely recommend it. Also, Brit.Co has a few art classes that I want to try out as well.

I’m not convinced that these paintings are finished, but they make me happy – for now. The orange, pink and yellow series it a little more sentimental for me, as I actually had a little help form my niece and nephew. I think they enjoyed it just as much as I did!

For the others, if I decided I don’t like them, I can always paint on top of them.

Everyone needs a little home office!

I love my little home office! Pink flowers, quotes, lights, matching lamp and pillow, and mini clipboards. It is just so inspiring and comfy.

What do you think I should put on that bottom clipboard?

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Project: Coffee Table

Table

I have searched everywhere for a coffee table. Everywhere. Who knew such a small piece of furniture was so expensive? Since I didn’t feel like forking out a ton of money, nor could I find anything I remotely liked, I decided I would just build one.

This also meant I had to buy a drill. Squeal! Off to Home Depot!

Project: Coffee Table

Home Depot has everything you need to build a coffee table. Really – with just a couple of pieces of wood – you are all set!

Here is my list of supplies:

  • Drill – I picked a Ryobi (more to come on this)
  • One Sheet of Plywood – straight off the shelf at Home Depot
  • 4 Legs – there is a section in Home Depot with pre-made little legs. So nifty!
  • A Variety of Screws – I sent my dad back to Home Depot, because we realized our screws in the bracing boards were going to be too long to connect to the plywood and go through the top!
  • 4 Heavy Duty Top Plates – same thing, check those screws!
  • Wood glue – what a miracle product!
  • 2 by 4s cut to frame the table (for additional support)
  • Pencil
  • Measuring tape
  • Paint – I chose chalk paint from Michaels!

This was the hardest project I’ve done so far, and I’ll admit I had some help from my dad. Maybe a lot of help! I wanted to make sure I had my new drill all set up correctly, so I even let him drill too.  We laid down how the bracing boards would go and marked with a pencil all over the underside of the table, so we could drill the top plates in the right spots. Just remember- no one will see that side and always measure twice!

I glued the bracing board frame to the table, and then drilled screws to connect the bracing boards to the plywood as well, just to make sure it did not fall apart. I love this Wood Glue stuff, but you can never be too careful with a DIY project 🙂

Next, I added the top plates, so that the legs could screw into that. Easy! After it was all put together, I put decided to put a coat of white matte paint on it. But, I wasn’t quite finished yet…it was just too white and a tad boring.

After my white coat dried, I began taping off lines to create simple stripes running the length of the table and alternated shades of green and blue throughout. The lines dried a little darker than I wanted, so I sanded them down a little and followed up with more white matte using the dry brushing technique.

Now, the lines are more like subtle little pops of color. I love it!

 

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Project: Making Furniture Beach Friendly | Part 2

Now about this super cute red couch. My first thought was to sell it. But y’all, I have had this thing since I was in grad school, and it has held up through every move and still looks as good as the day I bought it. Well, with maybe just a little love. I decided I just couldn’t part with it.

So, I started researching a few options of couch covers. Even though I love this couch, I knew the red was going to be way too loud for my beach theme.

Enter the solution: Sure Fit (check them out here). I choose this one because my little couch has separated pillows for the seat. It was a little big, but I pulled it super tight and tucked any extra into the main section and placed the seat pillows on top.

I ordered two new pillows from The Next Sew Around on Etsy – check her out here. I picked out the blue crab pillows- and absolutely love them. They are the perfect size for my small couch!

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Time to work on those red pillows! What to do….

Project: Making Furniture Beach Friendly | Part 1

Did I mention how excited I am to move back to the beach!? I can’t even believe it’s happening, and so quickly! I’ll be within 2.5 hrs of my family and have found a brand new apartment. It is very simply decorated with whites and grays; so, after much thought, my black and red motif is not going to work. While I have loved my elegant black furniture, super cute red couch and that beautiful painting of the couple dancing on the beach, I felt like it will just be too harsh for the beach.

Time for, that’s right, a make-over.  Be still my little DIY heart! Nothing that a can of paint can’t fix, but I did want to do this pretty quickly, as I am moving the the beach to frolic in the sand after all!

Part 1

Let’s start with the black furniture. Best bet, paint it all white. Maybe a little lighter to make give it an antique finish or have some sandpaper on standby. Easy. Why not stop on the way to Destin on the interstate? So that’s just what I did. I pulled over in Prattville and marched into Home Depot, determined to shake my color scheme up!  I found a flat matte paint, and picked out white.

Back at my parents’ house, the paint brushes and rollers came out, and the transformation began. Dad had some old tarp that he laid out on the barn floor, and I got busy!  I did have to apply two coats of paint to all my furniture, but it really looks great. The lamp was probably the hardest, and if you hit it just right it will chip. But all in all, the furniture with the new paint survived the move. Dad remembered to bring some extra paint when we unpacked in Destin, and did a few touch up jobs.

The only addition I will have is some cute new hardware for the drawers!

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Project: Cute Barstools

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Now that I have this cute kitchen in my new apartment, I wanted to give my bar stools a little update. I’ve seen a few people cover their chairs on Pinterest and loved it! The biggest decision I found was to pick out the fabric! This project is a little tedious but incredibly easy if you have a staple gun. I already had these super cute bar stools that fit perfectly in my small space, but I wanted to give them a little more character with a pretty piece of fabric…and make them a little more comfortable too!

Supplies needed:

  • Cute Fabric
  • Old Bar stools
  • Staple Gun
  • Foam (I used a mattress pad and cut it up)

I visited Joanna’s Fabric store – another dangerous store for my little DIY heart – and the fabric I feel in love with was of course on sale that day! DONE! It’s a pretty thick fabric, which I also used to cover the ottoman in my bedroom. I spent a total of $90 on the fabric (I know – a little expensive) BUT again I’ve used it on multiple projects! The bar stools I was re-doing were in my Nashville apartment already, so that was no cost to me at all. I found a foam mattress pad in Walmart (on special markdown) for $7. Although that was much more foam than I needed, I wanted to allow for mistakes and decided I could probably make a few pillows out of the leftovers! I borrowed my dad’s staple gun, and after a few practice tries I had it all figured out.

*Side note – I did have a little trouble when I tried to reload the staple gun. I called my dad and I told him I broke it. Have I told you guys I can be a bit dramatic? After finding a YouTube video, I discovered I had loaded the staples in backwards. After another call to my parents and a few good laughs, I turned the staples around to their correct position, and was ready to continue stapling!

This was a pretty tedious project, because I had to pull the fabric and tuck it under the chair, but not too tight because you want the foam to be nice and plump! I wish I had a few more to do, because by chair #2 I had it down!

I hope you try it!