Monday, January 30, 2012

DIY Wall Panels

A few weekends ago my roommate and I FINALLY decided to paint an accent wall in our living room after talking about it for...oh about 7 years or so.

What finally prompted our motivation after so long was inheriting a dark green sofa set from my sister back in November. Because our living room decor previously consisted of red curtains, the addition of the green couches was a bit too holly jolly for us. Luckily the combo worked perfectly with our Christmas decor, giving us some time to come up with and agree on a new color combo.

We decided to go with a neutral color palette against the green with subtle pops of orange. The first thing to go were definitely the red curtains. The panels we chose were a rustic burlap style from Target (LOVE them). Once the curtains were chosen the rest of the room just fell into place. Overall the redesign of the living room was very inexpensive. New curtains, throw pillows, a can of paint...and the room was transformed!

Custom wall Panels
A few years back I painted floral wall panels for one of the walls, pulling in all of the colors we were using in the living room. Although I still liked the painting, it no longer went with the room.

Being perpetually on a budget and a committed DIY girl, I knew I was going to make something myself. I tossed around a few ideas and actually had settled on a plan when I passed by these tin tiles at Michaels in the exact burnt orange and brown that we were using in the room. Believe it or not, the tiles were only $1.50! I may have to go back and buy the rest of them. I visualize so many uses for them, and they were so inexpensive! These specific tiles were found in the $1 bin at Michaels, which changes often so you may not be able to find them at your local store, but any lightweight tile or square accent would work. I am merely showing you an idea of something you COULD do rather inexpensively for your home.
6 Blank canvas squares
Acrylic Paint (I used pearl white and sand)
Stencil of your choice
Tin tiles
Foam blocks
Paint brush
Hot glue gun

The process was really very simple.

First, I painted all of the canvas squares in a neutral color (a few shades lighter than the painted wall I planned to hang them on). I lined up the canvas squares the way they were going to hang on the wall so that stencil lined up correctly. I suggest labeling the back of your panels so you know the order they go in. I did not do this, and it was a pain in the ass when I went to hang them because the stencil was so light. Keeping the canvas in place, I painted the stencil in pearl white acrylic paint in a straight pattern. This was the only tedious part of the project, but the part that I feel was the most worth the time. The iridescent paint is so subtle and elegant against the wall.

I always use painters tape when I am painting with a stencil because the slightest shift will screw it all up. You may have to replace the tape every 4 or 5 applications. Be sure to wipe your stencil with a wet rag every other time so the paint doesn't start to spread onto unwanted spots when you are placing the stencil down on the canvas.

 I used foam blocks to raise the tiles slightly off of the canvas by gluing them down using a hot glue gun. Foam glued to the canvas, tiles glued to the foam. 

Alright now I have inspired myself to go back to Michaels to buy more tiles! 
You never know when you may need a decorative tile laying I right girls! :-)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy 2012!

Now that the dust has officially settled from my "first" holiday season online, I am able to update everyone on what I have been doing, and more importantly what I have been making.

Anyone who follows this blog or my facebook page knows that I do not try to present myself as a seasoned jewelry designer who knows all of the tricks of the trade. I am learning, trying new things and making mistakes all of the time. I have no problem admitting to my newbie status. We all have to start somewhere. Why not invite everyone to follow along. Maybe you will learn from my mistakes...maybe you will appreciate my designs knowing the road traveled...maybe you will be kind enough to lend some of your own advice...maybe you have been supporting me from the very first pair of earrings and are excited to see where I go with this. So, although you have not heard much from me these past few months, I have been working very hard and learning so much throughout this past holiday season and I am ready to finally share it with you.

Wasn't it just October?!?
This was also my first official holiday season offering my photo necklaces and ornaments in my Etsy shop. I was excited and hopeful, but also a little nervous. Luckily I was able to keep up, and next year I will be much more prepared. I knew going into November and December that I was just to do the best I could but that I was probably going to make some mistakes along the way. I just put my head down, got it all done and took notes along the way. The plan for January is to implement what I have learned and get myself organized. You will see a few changes this month. I will be expanding the options of photo jewelry available to you within these next few weeks. So stay tuned and get your pictures ready!! There will be a contest coming your way where you can win a personalized photo necklace at 1/2 the price!

Take a look at a few of the orders I competed for Christmas, and what some of my wonderful clients had to say about their necklaces. Unfortunately sometimes getting the order to the post office on time took precedence over taking pictures of the final outcome. Note: always make time to take pictures!

Personalized Photo Ornaments!!

I was pleasantly surprised with how many orders I received and how excited people were to give their family and friends something that I had made! I was able to work with some really wonderful people. Everyone was so friendly and helpful. Thank you, to everyone who chose to give one of my handmade necklaces as gift this year!