Wake and Whimsy


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{basically} Free Wall Art: DIY

If you are looking for some free, custom wall art, this is the tutorial for you. Here is how you can transform black and white printed pictures into colorful works of art! You will need standard sized paper that you can put in a computer printer. I used just regular printer paper, but I recommend finding something that has a little more weight to it so that it doesn’t wrinkle up from the water. The size is usually 8.5″ by 11″. You’ll also need a printer, watercolor paint and paintbrush, and an 8.5″ by 11″ picture frame. I was able to find my frames at the Dollar Store!

***these images do NOT belong to me***

BFF

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So the first thing you’re going to do is find the pictures you want to print out. Be specific with your search, and make sure you search for “black and white”. You want the picture to have a lot of definition and depth to it. If it looks too “cartoon-ish”, then your final product is not going to look very good. As you can see, the ones that I chose have a lot of shading. I chose pictures that have more than just an outline.

Now you just need to add some paint. Watercolor is really the only thing that’s going to work for this, so don’t try to use acrylic or just any kind of craft paint. When you are painting, be really careful not to get too much water on the paper, because this will make the paper all wrinkly. If you have paper that is a little more thick, that will make it easier. Just keep dabbing your paintbrush on a paper towel to get rid of excess water. This makes the process a little longer, but it’s worth it! To get the right effect, paint mostly just on the parts that are white. Don’t get too much paint on the black areas or your picture will end up looking “muddled” and all smudgy. If you do get too much water on there, or you get too much paint on the black areas, just quickly use your paper towel to dab it off. Think of your paint as just an accent to the picture. It looks kind of neat when you leave some of it black and white.

A little patience and a little practice is all it takes to turn these printed pictures into colorful art. I was actually really happy with the way mine turned out! This is a really easy project, it just takes some time and precision. With that being said, it may be a good idea to do a practice run first. But if I can do it, so can you!

Enjoy!

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At Home: DIY Round-Up

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

As this month comes to a close, I have been reflecting on all the fun projects I’ve been working on for our very old, new house. With it being our first home, we can’t help but put so much energy and work into it to make it feel like ours. Since we are on a tight budget, and just because I love making things, almost all of the decorative items in our house are/will be handmade, DIY projects. Sometimes, yes, it would be nice to go shopping and buy a lot of shiny, new things. But my love for handmade pieces has grown exponentially in the past few years, and I know how meaningful and unique they are. Since this house is so very special to us already, it only makes sense to fill it up with the things that are most special to us. Obviously, that would be the things we make with our own hands; the things we make with love.

Here is a quick round-up of some of my favorite projects from September.

DIY Pillowcases

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Making these is so fun, and incredibly easy. I bought 4 pillows at the thrift store that were very close in size. These were only around $2 a pillow–insane! Then I went to the craft store and chose the fabric. (I made sure to put them in the washing machine before adding fabric) Custom made pillows are not something you see in every home, and these are actually less expensive than any you would buy already made. Here is the awesome tutorial that will blow your mind and make you say, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

 

Wooden Initial

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Once again, adding those personal touches really makes a big difference. Our last name starts with a “K”, so I knew I wanted one in our house somewhere. I bought this plain, wooden letter at the craft store for around $4. I spruced it up using some acrylic paint that I already had on hand. I painted it black first, then added some soft yellow for a worn, vintage look. Another way is to paint it yellow first, or whatever color you choose, then paint over it. Once it dries, you can scuff it up with some sand paper so that the bottom color comes through.

Embroidery Hoop Art

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I love the homemade, vintage feel that embroidery hoops offer. These are pretty self-explanatory. There are a variety of sizes you can choose from, and I have found that a quarter of a yard of fabric will work for any size. Between the hoop and fabric, I paid less than $4! You can add felt or buttons, like I did, to personalize it and make it a little more special.

Old Windows

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I’m not sure if you’ve noticed yet, but I really love anything old/vintage/antique. Old windows are definitely a favorite of mine. You can usually find them for around $7-$10 at thrift stores, flea markets, or consignment shops. There are so many possibilities! Obviously, I turned this one into a beautiful picture frame using twine and mini clothespins. It serves as a beautiful focal point in our living room.

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Here is another option that I love. This is an old window, turned chalkboard, that we are using as a message board in our kitchen.  I did not use chalkboard paint for this. I actually used chalkboard contact paper! The contact paper cost me a whopping $3 as opposed to the $15-$20 I would have spent on paint and primer. It works just as great as a normal chalkboard, it erases easily, you can gently wash it with warm water if needed, and if you decide you don’t want it anymore or want to replace it….just peel it off! So easy, quick, cheap, useful, and beautiful. Not to mention it adds a ton of character to any room.

Fall Wreath

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I’m sure you’ve seen a ton of these already, but I still love them. Although it’s not a new idea, the design can always be new and fresh. The Styrofoam ring was around $5, and I already had the other supplies on hand. I just wrapped it with yarn, and embellished it with ribbon and felt flowers.

There you go: 5 quick, cheap, easy projects that anyone can do. I hope you feel inspired, and are ready to accomplish some DIY’s of your own!


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DIY: Bathroom Window Privacy Screen

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Buying your first house is such an exciting process. When my husband and I saw this adorable 1930’s farm house, sitting all by itself on top of a hill, we fell in love and made it our first home. Right now we are in the process of getting it move-in ready, and with it being an old house built in 1932, you can imagine the work we have to do. Honestly though, for the most part we got really lucky. The previous owners updated so many necessary things, while keeping all the charm and character in tact. So while my husband is working hard on making our house livable, I get to do all the fun stuff.
Our “new” house has a really nice sized bathroom. It’s very spacious, has tons of storage, and has a lovely little window to let in some natural light. I love having a window in the bathroom, but privacy is naturally a concern. Luckily, we don’t really have neighbors on that side of the house. There’s just a very small church that meets once, maybe twice a week. Still, everyone has already voiced that they would feel more comfortable if the window wasn’t just wide open. So of course, one of my first projects was to make a privacy screen. We are on a strict budget, but this little project only cost me about 6 bucks, and didn’t take long at all.

              Materials:

  • CLEAR (yes, clear) contact paper
  • Scissors
  • Razor or X-acto knife
  • Poster board
  • Marker

You can make this screen in any pattern you’d like. There are a lot of stencils you can print out online, you can use a store bought stencil, or you don’t have to even use a pattern at all. My husband and I looked at some different pictures and chose this pattern that looks like scales or scallops. It was very easy to make!

The first thing I did was grab something that I could trace to make a perfect circle. I used the lid of a medium sized mason jar, and drew three different circles onto a piece of poster board:

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You can space them out as much as you want to get your desired size. Just remember, the smaller you make your stencil, the more you are going to need. I shaded the part I wanted to cut out, and very carefully cut around the lines.

Here is my stencil!

Here is my stencil!

Next, I used my stencil to trace out the pattern onto the back of the contact paper. Just keep placing and tracing until you think you have enough. (It’s probably going to take more than you think) Once you are finished tracing, very carefully cut them out. Make sure you are making them as similar as you can, because they need to fit perfectly into each other. This part takes a long time, but it will be worth it!

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Once you have all of your pieces cut out, it’s time to apply them! First, make sure the window is clean and completely dry. Next, carefully peel off the backing, and place your first piece in the very center at the very bottom of the window. When applying these, make sure you smooth them out so that there are no bubbles. A credit card will help you do this, but don’t be too rough or it will tear. Now you will be tempted to just start putting the pieces together like a puzzle, but trust me, you don’t want to do that. After you place your first piece, you need to place them side by side, and complete the first row along the bottom of the window. This will ensure that everything is going to be even. I love this stencil, but the only downside is that there are no straight edges…everything is round or pointy, so you must be really careful lining them up. When you get to the edge of the window where the entire piece won’t fit, just stick it on, firmly pressing down around the edges, and use your razor or X-acto knife to trim the excess. Do every row the same way as you did the first one.

Just keep sticking…just keep sticking…just keep sticking, sticking, sticking…

Now you’re done! Step back and admire your work, and enjoy some privacy!

Before

Before

After

After

I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.  There is no need to go to a home improvement store and buy pricey material for window privacy when you can just use a roll of inexpensive contact paper. Who knew?!

Thanks for stopping by!