Makeover: Bedside Tables

Next up, bedside tables!  I found this totally cute pair of bedside tables on eBay.  It was love at first site!  I loved the shape and they were the perfect height for my bed. 

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My vision for these babies was a two tone white & turquoise finish.  I went for a semi gloss paint this time and wanted complete paint coverage, rather than a distressed look.  To prep, I removed the handles and gave the side tables a good clean and sand.  I then gave the pair two coats of paint, allowing a few hours of drying time in between coats.  I was happy with with the handles and so left them as is.

 

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And there you have it, bedroom furniture is complete!

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I will soon post the wood pallet bedroom wall art, stay tuned! 🙂

Bedroom Dresser Makeover

When my partner and I were shopping for furniture to fill our first apartment together, we soon realised we had very different taste.  I preferred an eclectic style, bright colours mixed with lots of timber materials.  My husband favoured a more modern look with glass and metal furniture, in darker colours.

At that time (8 years ago!) we made furniture and colour choices that we were both comfortable with.  We opted for dark timber furniture, with a large sand coloured couch and lots of turquoise/aqua accents throughout.  Soon enough, we needed a change.  I felt last year, before the move to our larger family home was the time.  I sold our existing furniture via Gumtree.com & eBay.  I then purchased a second hand dresser and side tables.  I purchased the bed head & frame from Domayne.

Here is the before shot of the dresser:

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I loved that, like my previous dresser, the back and part of the sides of the top were framed, preventing jewelry and other items from falling behind the dresser.  This feature also added character.  It is solid timber, with no laminate, making it easier to paint and achieve the distressed effect I was after.  Colout choice was a no brainer; turquoise.  Although vibrant and full of life, I find it is an incredibly calming colour, perfect for the bedroom.

I started by removing the drawer handles.  Next, I sanded the dresser all over.  No need to sand like a madman, a light sand will suffice.  I then got to work painting.  Because I wanted a distressed look, I painted lightly with uneven strokes.  Once dry, I filled the “indents” that framed each drawer with white paint to create contrasting effect.  I purchased new drawer handles from Bunnings and spray painted them white.

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As you can see, my aim wasn’t perfection, I was after a distressed paint effect.

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Part two of the bedroom furniture makeover is next, the side tables. 

I would love to know your thoughts or see your own projects!

 

 

Collect & Decorate

The streets of Melbourne are truly beautiful.  Each with it’s own unique character, their lovely stores, divine cafes and friendly faces.  I absolutely love that our streets are also lines with wonderful, huge trees.  Adding luscious colour and life to the otherwise grey pavement.  In summer, these majestic trees are full and vibrant.  In Autumn, they fill the streets with their golden leaves.  When out with my daughters, they love collecting the fallen leaves to later use in a craft activity or game. 

One particular Sunday afternoon, my best friend and I were out shopping in Smith St , Collingwood.  The large Sweet Gum Trees had dropped their seed pods all over the pavement.  They were too pretty for me to ignore!  In a crowded street, my best friend and I started collecting a pile of them.

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I had plans to display the seed pods in a bowl/vase or jar, but first wanted to add some colour to them.  I used a paintbrush and some acylic paint.  I left the stems on which made perfect handles while I was paining them.

 

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I painted most of them, but also left some unpainted.  Once dry, I removed the stems and filled a clear glass vase with my new colourful seed pods.
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A simple and virtually free DIY project that you can complete in under 30 minutes!  Your kids will also enjoy this 🙂

Tie Dying

When looking for craft activities to do with my girls, I try to make them as entertaining as they are useful and educational.  Tie dying t-shirts, ticked all three boxes for us.  It is a simple and enjoyable activity to do with children and with the right equipment there will be very little mess.

I came across the “The Complete Tie Die Kit” by Creativity for Kids at our local toy store, and thought it looks like a winner!

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The kit includes:

  • Easy-squeeze bottles come with pre-measured dyes
  • Craft apron, table cover and craft gloves
  • Extra dyes, stencil, fabric marker, beads, embroidery thread and needles to create more projects
  • Extra Large T-shirt included – with instructions to create a bag, headband, smaller t-shirt all from the large tee!

Of course, you don’t need a kit, some fabric dye and plastic squeeze tubes will do the trick.

My girls and I went through their cupboard and picked out a basic white singlet for Emel & white t-shirt for Talia.

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Yes, they were excited 🙂 

Before you get started, you need to soak your garments in a salt + water solution for about 30 minutes, this will help set the dye. 

Next, choose your design.  The kit comes with the “how to” designs, but for the purpose of this post, we can refer to this very handy diagram:

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(photo credit: flickr.com/photos/weavingmajor)

Talia chose the “donuts” design and Emel opted for “bullseye”.

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Tie the elestic bands wherever you would like to colour.  For best results, get them on tight!

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Talia was 4 years old here, and she did a great job on her own needing little help from me.  Emel, who was 3 at the time, required more help, but was able to do all the fun bits on her own 🙂

 

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Once complete, we left them to set for 24 hours.  The following day, while still tied, I rinsed the tops under cold running water until the water ran clear.  Then untied the tops and washed them in the washing machine, again with cold water.

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….and the end result?  Two very happy little girls!  Next time you’re stuck for ideas, give tie dying a go 🙂

 

 

Printable Calendar

Like most kids, my girls, aged 5 and almost 4 years, love counting down the “sleeps” until their next event, outing, well…anything really!

Until now, we usually have hand written countdown charts (of about 10 days or so) for an upcoming special occasion.  We have also been learning about “months” and “days,” and so everyday I am asked, “is it still March mum?”  🙂 

I thought it is time for the girls to have their own personal calendars in their bedrooms.  The calendars would serve a few purposes.  First, it’s a great way for children to familiarise themselves with the months of the year & days of the week.  Second, it will help in teaching them which day of the month they are at.  It’s also an excellent tool for them to mark down upcoming events & occasions, and have a “months view” of what is to come.

I decided to make my own calendar for them, mainly because I wanted one that is A3 in size, which will give them a little more room to write in the boxes.  Also, I find store bought calendars have a bit too much going on.  The idea with these calendars is that my girls will also decorate the boxes with stickers when marking a special day, so I wanted the calendar itself to be pretty basic.

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I designed the calendar a month to a page, to fit an A3 page and used my daughter’s favourite colours (well, for this week anyway!).  I haven’t attached the pages together, which will further simplify its use. 

 

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My older daughter can write in her own events and decorate with stickers.  I will write in for my younger daughter and she can then decorate with stickers.

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I have created different colour combinations for you to save and print for your personal use.  Since we’re at the end of March, I’ve started the calendar from April. 

I hope your kids (or maybe you!) enjoy the calendars 🙂

A3 CALENDAR – Pink & Aqua

A3 CALENDAR Orange & Blue

A3 CALENDAR – Pink & Purple

A3 CALENDAR – Blue & Green

A3 CALENDAR – Blue & Aqua

Fun Kids Keyboard

Like most mums, I love spending time with my kids. An added bonus is – many of my family and friends can attest to this – I’m a big kid myself so I have a knack for understanding kids and activities that will amuse them.

We all know children love pretend play and how beneficial it is for them. Which is what inspired me to make them their very own “Do Anything Keyboard.”

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I took a pair of old keyboards and spray painted them silver. I do most of my spray painting outside, in a box – that way the wind doesn’t carry the paint all over the place damaging other surfaces. For larger pieces, I use larger boxes, or go without and simply cover the area with drop sheets.

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Yous should allow 2 – 3 hours for the paint to dry. Always read the directions on the spray can, as times may vary. Dry times can vary largely based on weather conditions and the amount of paint you have sprayed, the thicker, the longer. It’s always a good idea to spray a few light coats rather than one thick coat. You will get more even coverage and a better finish.

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Once the paint dried, I decorated some of the keys by painting them using vibrant acrylic paint and added some number stickers.

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It was (and still is) a huge hit with my girls! They use their “new” keyboards as rocket controls, shop cash register, a computer keyboard or whatever else they want to be!

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Wall Mounted Coat Rack

My home entry was screaming for a coat rack. Of course, I could have just bought one. They range anything from about $50 to $200+, depending on the size, style and designer you choose. But where’s the fun in that? 🙂

My brother and best friend – yes my brother is married to my best friend, I know, it’s awesome! – recently renovated their house, and I grabbed a nice piece of scrap timber from them. I already had a vision for a rustic/eclectic style coat rack, so all I needed were some cute hooks. Without too much searching, I found perfect hooks at one of my favourite stores, ISHKA. They are the cutest ever porcelain heart hooks, all uniquely hand painted in vibrant colours.

My piece of timber had a few nasty rusted nails that seemed to have made themselves home for who knows how many years, so with hammer and chisel in hand I got working.

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Once the nails were out, the rest was easy. I lightly sanded it, then gave it a light coat of paint in white. I say light because I wanted it to have the aged rustic appeal.

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Next, I marked out where I would position the hooks and then it was simply a matter of drilling them in place with a screw (sorry no photo of this step).

Once complete, hubby and I mounted our coat rack straight onto the wall of the entry way near the front door.

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I must say, it turned out just as I envisioned it.

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Not only useful, it’s become a decorative piece that gets quite a few comments from friends.

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My Wall Mounted Coat Rack was complete in under a couple of hours, an easy and enjoyable project for anyone to attempt. There are plenty of funky hooks available to suit your individual style, from ultra modern to novelty hooks. Let’s get creative 🙂

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Desk Makeover

I needed a desk, but it couldn’t be just any desk. I wanted something with character, something that invited me to get up and study. So I started searching on EBay and Gumtree. I was shocked when I picked up this gorgeous solid timber desk for under $20! Whaaaat?? Yes, under $20!

 

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No shock to my husband, I wanted to paint it turquoise. I went over to my local Bunnings to find the perfect shade. After deliberating over 3 different shades, I decided on British paints, colour #312, Amanzi.

I love the look and tones of timber, so I decided to simply repair and re-stain the top of the desk. There wasn’t much to repair, some of the wood panels had separated so it was just a matter of using wood filler to fill the gaps and a light sand all over.

This was the biggest piece of furniture I was attempting to makeover at the time, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. I am by no means a professional painter, and made some rookie mistakes along the way, but I accepted that my mistakes would help me learn…or so I told my self 🙂

Once painted, I changed the drawer handles to something a little more fancy that really complimented the fresh new colour of the desk.

And here it is, my new and in my opinion, improved desk!

 

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