faux finish

I have been meaning to share a cheap DIY makeover with all of you, but haven’t had the chance yet! Today is the day.

I needed a piece of furniture to go against the wall near the entry to the apartment. I wanted it to be unobtrusive, but large enough to store my china… sort of like a mini-buffet. But, I didn’t really want to spend money on it.

Which brings me to a surprise garage sale at which I stumbled upon this gem:

2-shelf interior

The handles were kind of a nasty greenish color that matched the inside. Gross. I bought these old-fashioned looking blue glass handles for the cabinet door and small drawer.

Initially, I wanted to refinish it. (Surprise, surprise.) But alas, it was made of cheap particle board with laminate finish. But for $10, how could I pass it up? I decided to figure out a different finish. I decided on crackle paint.

Crackle paint gives a distressed look to any finish. I prefer real wood that has become distressed, but we can’t just have everything made out of historic, repurposed barnwood. Sigh.

I like the look of contrasting crackle paint. So my first step was to pick a bottom color. I chose a very dark, chocolate brown.

I painted the entire piece brown (minus the butcher block top… why would you mess with butcher block?) You have to let bottom coats dry for quite some time if you want to use crackle. This is the crackle medium I chose, by Folk Art:

Crackle medium is sort of a learn-as-you-go type of product. However, I can offer a few useful tips from my trial and error (mostly error).

Crackle tips:
* If you wait too long to paint the top coat, the crackle will just dry and offer hairline fractures only
*If you paint top coat too soon, the whole crackle/top layer will sort of melt downwards
*If you paint a thin layer of top coat, the cracks will be much smaller and appear in the direction of your brush stroke
*If you paint a thick layer of top coat, the cracks will be bigger and appear both vertically and horizontally (which is the look I prefer)
*You cannot paint another coat on top of the top coat or it all falls apart

So in summary- to achieve the best look:
*Paint the top coat when the crackle layer has become tacky (aka if you touch it, it should feel a little sticky, but you shouldn’t have the crackle medium on your finger)
*Paint the top coat with plenty of paint on the brush
*Brush in only one direction

I was pretty pleased with the result. As far as furniture goes… it’s not really that well-built, but it definitely works for our current needs and space. I imagine this being a piece that we have until we move out of our apartment, but I couldn’t keep it in such an ugly state for a few years! Especially when the whole thing cost about $15 (including the new knobs!)

Happy Thursday!



gold beads and grosgrain

So hobbs lobbs was having a huge 50% off jewelry supplies sale so I definitely stocked up. A few weeks ago I invested in some jewelry making tools and started looping and twirling again, and was dying for more supplies. After my bridesmaids necklaces turned out so awesome (if I do say so myself) I wanted to try the same concept but with something other than pearls.


 The bridesmaids necklaces (pictured left on E Elizabeth) had individual pearls wired together with vintage seam binding. I buy mine from thisgoodday (awesome seller on Etsy) and have always loved the work she does. I strung the ribbon through the jump ring, and had them tie in the back because I wanted the length to vary according to the different dresses. However, for style purposes, I think it looks a little cuter to have a bow in the front of the necklace. I did modify E’s with tea-stained ribbon tied in the front post-wedding and it def achieved the look we were going for.

Unfortunately, there really is no way for me to explain via blog how to bead using wires and loops… so I’ll just show you what I made. Maybe someday I’ll start making charming videos! 🙂

I strung gold beads with turquoise-ish center beads and wired them together. I liked how the look of the links between spacer beads turned out. I found a grosgrain ribbon that was gold, but not metallic (not an easy task… people are too obsessed with metallics these days).

The nice thing about using the grosgrain ribbon is it was really easy to melt the edges with a lighter to prevent fraying.

This is my final creation. I’m considering posting it to Etsy to see if I get any bites… but that seems a little optimistic. For now, I’ll just enjoy learning how to use the tools and coming up with new ideas!