Wake and Whimsy


{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***



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!




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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


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.


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


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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Corkboard Makeover


Although I have owned this cork board for years, I’ve never really wanted to hang it on the wall due to its shabby appearance. But, since it was still usable, I refused to go spend a lot of money for a new, more fashionable one. So, I gave it a makeover and turned it into a functional piece of art–the best of both worlds.

For this project, I went for classic geometric shapes. They are less likely to go out of style in a year, unlike chevron or something similar. But really, the possibilities are endless. Just think of it as a blank canvas.

I used electrical tape to avoid messy lines, and I painted the typical wooden border a clean white to make the colors pop. This also gives it a more modern look.

Updating the push pins was a cinch. I used some beautiful cardstock paper and a craft puncher. After punching out a ton of little butterflies, I attached them to the pins with a dab of Gorilla Glue. Cork boards are a lot more fun when you have butterflies holding up your memos.¬†There are a ton of different things you could use for the pins: buttons, fabric flowers, plastic googly eyes…it all depends on how creative you want to get. Just make sure you either use hot glue or super glue. Anything else probably isn’t strong enough.

If you are planning to use light colors, be prepared to put on 2-3 coats. The cork really absorbs the paint quickly. Darker colors only need 1-2 coats. Just remember to let it dry completely before taking the tape off. This is terribly difficult for people such as myself who crave instant results, but it’s worth it if you want the clean, straight lines.

I hope you enjoyed this quick and easy craft! How will you update your old cork board?