A Simple Halloween Craft- Plan B

Hi ya’ll!  The last time we talked, I promised you a cute little Halloween crafty project (and also a DIY Board & Batten Tutorial…which I swear I will post soon).  You would’ve seen my Halloween project already but things didn’t quite go as planned…as occasionally happens in the world of DIY.  I always want to be completely honest on my blog, so I will be the first to tell you that this was not one of my best planned or executed projects.

I found these cute little house bud vases at our local thrift store.

Original Photo

They are actually part of the Hearth and Home with Magnolia brand at Target.  Earlier this year, I ooo’d and ahh’d over them in the store, but never actually bought any.  As luck would have it, our local thrift store snaps up all of Target’s overflow and I found nearly a dozen of these in all sizes there (actually, I found one and then my awesome hubby found a bunch more scattered all over the store).  I bought them all!  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but they were adorable and the price was right.

Earlier last month while perusing my stash in the garage, an idea finally hit me.  With a little paint and some cute orange and black sprigs, I thought they would make a cool addition to my Halloween décor as mini haunted houses.  I choose one of each size and here’s how they turned out.

Finished!

Now you’re probably wondering, I thought she said “a little paint?”  Well, I did go the paint route at first.  I thought it would great to paint little pumpkins along the bases and ghosts creeping out of the windows.  I had two small sample jars of Fusion Mineral Paint in white and orange that I thought would be perfect.  Instinctively, I prepped the houses with a good soapy water cleaning and then for a split-second thought, I should probably coat these with Fusion Ultra Grip first.

(NOTE: I know I haven’t discussed Fusion Mineral Paint on my blog before  and, honestly, its because I’ve only recently fallen in love with it and am perfecting my technique before I share all the ins and outs with you.  I’ll have all those details soon enough, but what you need to know for this little story is that Fusion needs Ultra Grip to adhere to stubborn surfaces like laminate, glass, etc.)

Cleaning Houses

These little houses were stoneware…a material I now know for certain is included in the stubborn surfaces list.  I was eager to get started so decided to forgo the Ultra Grip and move forward with painting.  Big mistake!  First of all it took about a zillion coats to get full coverage of the orange and white over the black house.  After days of applying coat after coat and allowing it to fully dry, guess what happened?  All of the paint peeled right off.  Yep, clean off.  I wish I had photos but, full disclosure here, I was pretty irritated (and the pregnancy hormones were not helping 😉) so I grumped, groaned, cursed a little and chucked them onto the table in the SheShop.  Cue the loving husband who cleaned off the rest of paint and got them ready for my plan B.

I found these adhesive wooden pumpkins in the Target dollar aisles.  Oooo, I love this section of Target- none of my shopping trips are complete without a quick perusal through them.  Buyer beware though- if you venture in, you will definitely buy something. 😊

Adhesive Wooden Pumpkins

Because they’re adhesive, it was incredibly easy to test my design plan on each house before securely adhering them in place with my hot glue gun.

Pumpkin LayoutThe Best Glue Gun EVER

P.S. this is the best hot glue gun I have EVER had (and I’ve had quite a few).  First of all, it’s battery powered so no more chords to fuss with. Oot oot!  Secondly, it gets hot- really hot- really fast so no waiting around to use it when an idea strikes.

Once I had all the pumpkins glued securely in place, I added the orange and black sprigs (I found these at A.C. Moore in their Halloween aisle).

Sprigs

And, voila!

Final Photo 4Final Photo 3Final Photo 2

I actually like how these turned out even better than if I’d used paint- the layered wooden pumpkins add so much texture.  Talk about making lemonade out of lemons.  Erica liked them too- she was my little DIY partner in crime this past weekend.

Erica 1Erica 2

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with another fall inspired crafty project and the board & batten tutorial.

Until then, remember: sometimes your first idea won’t work out but don’t discount plan B- it may turn out even better than you imagined.

Keep creating!

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Guest Room to Nursery in a Weekend

Hi ya’ll!  In my last post, you saw that we officially opened our shop at The Vintage Tin Can in Fallston, Maryland in July.  It took a lot of work to get our space exactly how I’d imaged, but it paid off and we had a great first month.  In August, we completely re-designed our space and launched our fall items.  Fall is my favorite season- I could have moved into our booth space and been a happy camper.  Here’s a few photos.  If you’re local, be sure to visit us.  The next sale dates are September 28th, 29th and 30th.

Fall 4Fall 3Fall 7

Fall 2Fall 10Fall 11

Fall 1Fall 9Fall 8

Fall 12Fall 5Fall 6

It’s been a LONG time since my last post, but if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram then you know we are expecting Baby #3!

Outnumbered Announcement

…So it’s been a busy couple of months filled with as much DIY as I could manage with the extreme tiredness that hit during the first trimester.  Luckily, I was a lot less nauseous this pregnancy than I was with both of my girls…perhaps that means a baby boy is in our future. 😉 We’ll hopefully find out at our anatomy scan in a week- I can’t wait!  We were hoping to find out at our appointment last week, but our little peanut didn’t cooperate.

With the majority of our weekends booked up from now until December, we had planned to use this past long Labor Day holiday weekend to complete the nursery.  Luckily, the continued mystery of pink or blue didn’t stop us since I had planned months ago on a gender-neutral color scheme.  With two girls already in pink and coral bedrooms and a shared purple bathroom, I definitely needed a change.  I decided on green and gray since we’re passing down the light gray nursery furniture my mom gifted us when we were pregnant with our oldest daughter.  The set includes a smaller scale changing table and dresser so it’s perfect for the small space we had to work with.  Here’s a rough sketch of the room. (I wish I had some great before pictures, but I was so eager to get started that I forgot to take any.)

Nursery Room Layout

It’s the smallest of our four bedrooms measuring just over 10 feet by 10 feet.  As you can see from the sketch above, it’s layout also presented some design challenges with the door taking up space in the corner, a large closet with sliding doors occupying an entire wall and a window in the middle of the longest wall.

We had to get creative in order to fit all of the furniture and a rocking chair in the room while still leaving space to walk and for Baby #3 to play.   We decided to disassemble the sliding closet doors, remove all the shelving and make the closet part of the room.

Disassembling the Closet

By happy coincidence, the closet was the perfect size for the changing table. By not so happy coincidence, there was no padding under the carpet in the closet.  There also wasn’t any carpet under the metal bracket that allowed the old closet doors to slide back and forth.   Not wanting to spend big bucks to re-carpet the entire room (especially since the carpet is only 2.5 years old and is in the least used room in the house), my DIY can-do-just-about-anything hubby you tube tutorialed himself into an expert at splicing seams of carpet together and laying padding. A trip to Lowes and a couple hours later, he had the room looking pretty seamless.

Seamless Carpet (Plus New Baseboards)

(Side note: we did have to purchase an extra splice of carpet to patch the area that was missing carpet under the metal bracket.  It matched close but wasn’t quite perfect so we used that piece at the back of the closet where it can’t be seen. We slid the original piece of carpet that was in the closet forward and spliced it to the existing carpet in the room then spliced the new piece on the back as you can see in the photo below.  Kudos to my husband for his ingenuity and for coming up with that plan.)

Closet Patch

Once we had the carpet looking like one seamless piece, it was time to make the walls look the same.  I was worried about how effectively we’d be able to incorporate the closet into the rest of the room without it still just looking like a closet.

I decided to go with board and batten since I knew we could flow that onto the closet walls and it would hopefully help tie the room together.  After a 24 hour marathon session of cutting, nailing, filling and caulking, the room turned out even better than I could have imagined!

Finished 1Finished 2Finished 3Finished 4Finished 5

I decided on a double box pattern for the board and batten because I wanted some height to it so that it would extend above the back of the crib.  The green paint I chose for the upper parts of the wall is also pretty bright.  I didn’t want it to overpower the room by painting it in large wall sections.

To add some more visual interest and contrast to the room, I designed custom shelving using 1” x 12” pine boards and wooden corbels I found at Home Depot to frame each side of the window.  Since the room is small, this also adds storage at an accessible height, but also one that doesn’t impede the use of the room below.  I painted the shelves in Little Lamb, one of my new favorite colors from the Fusion Mineral Paint Tones for Tots line.

Custom Shelves (Framing Window)

I added floating shelves in the same color above the changing table as well.

Custom Floating Shelves (In Closet)

We installed the board and batten ourselves.  You want to know a secret…it’s actually just “batten.” We opted not to install boards because our walls are drywall and are relatively flat.  That definitely saved us money…money I can use on accessories once I find out if this little peanut is a boy or girl. 😊 Yay!

I’ll be posting a tutorial for do-it-yourself board and batten in the coming weeks.  I took tons of pictures during the process and am looking forward to sharing everything we learned along the way with all of you in case you’d like to tackle your own board and batten project.

I’m also working on a cute little Halloween crafty project that I’ll be sharing soon.

Until then, keep creating!

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We Did It!

The shop at The Vintage Tin Can is finally fully stocked and ready for our opening weekend this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (July 27-29).

We have been working like crazy this last month…I say we because my sweet husband has officially become part of The Road Less Traveled Design Co Team.  We have worked side by side for weeks prepping, painting, waxing and staining tons of forgotten finds in preparation for this weekend and we CANNOT WAIT for you to see them!

If you’re local, stop by this weekend and see us.  We’re located in The Loft at The Vintage Tin Can- that’s up the stairs on the right when you first walk through the large garage door.   The address is 1008 Main Street Fallston, MD 21047.  You can also click here for directions.

And…if you’re as excited as we are and just can’t wait to see everything, I’ve included a sneak peak below.  Hope to see you there and thanks for all your support!

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You’ll know where to find us by looking for our banner!

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Look to the right as you head inside the garage door and head up the stairs to see our shop.

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Farmhouse goodies EVERYWHERE!

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Check out the shiplap on the walls- this was our DIY version that we installed a couple of weeks ago.

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SheShop shirts for sale!! Oot Oot!

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My oh my, I wish I had room for this sideboard in my dining room.

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And this cute little rolling cart…awe

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All the smalls!

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I considered keeping this rocking chair for my daughter’s room, but we already have 3 others! Haha

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You may recognize the two tiered cart on the right- its the one from my Custom Rolling Cart Makeover 🙂

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Be sure to grab a “Check out my blog” postcard and a furniture care tip sheet!

 


Window Frame Message Board & A Quick Announcement

Hi ya’ll!  I have a fun little makeover for you today and a quick announcement.

You may have noticed that I’ve been a bit MIA these last couple of weeks.  We’ve had a busy month at home filled with family visiting (which is always my favorite time) and spending lots of quality time with our kiddos.  We’ve also been working like crazy getting ready for our debut weekend at The Vintage Tin Can on July 27, 28 and 29.  I’m also working on that surprise I promised you a couple of weeks ago (still a couple more weeks until that reveal), so for the next month or two, I’ll only be posting once a week or every other week.  I promise I’m not going anywhere though- I just need to build some inventory for the shop, but also need to make sure I’m not sacrificing family time to do it.  Thanks for being so understanding.  Now, on to the makeover!

I found this cute little wooden window frame at a discount store at the end of last year.

Before

It’s been hanging around in the SheShop for months now while I settled on a plan for it.  I wasn’t crazy about the dark color, so I knew I wanted to lighten it up.  I also wanted to add some functionality but wasn’t sure what.  I finally decided on a message board and ended up with this…

Final Photo

I’ll admit, I have a mini-obsession with chicken wire- can you get more farmhouse than that? 😊

Chicken Wire on Finished Frame

I started by painting the entire frame with my absolute favorite paint in my absolute favorite color- Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

Then I dry brushed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and sealed everything with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

Check out these posts here and here for a complete tutorial on chalk painting.  You can also see the full process for dry brushing in my Custom Rolling Cart Makeover.

Time to cut the chicken wire.  You can pick up chicken wire just about anywhere- Tractor Supply, Amazon or even your local craft store.  I actually found mine at Joann fabrics on sale for half off.  It already had a great patina to it instead of the galvanized look new chicken wire usually has so that was a big plus.

I used my Tekton cutter to cut the wire to size.

Cutting Chicken WireCutting Chicken Wire 2

I love these cutters and use them frequently for most of my DIY projects.  Be careful with this step- I should have worn gloves- I got stabbed more than a few times. Eek!

You’ll see I’m actually in a bunch of these pictures- my hubby decided to join me for a night of DIY so he was my photographer. 😊

I stapled the wire to the back of the frame using my Dewalt Multi-Tacker and Brad Nailer.

StaplingStapling Close Up

The edges of the cut chicken wire were pretty sharp, so I covered them with this burlap tape I found at Michaels.

Burlap TapeApplying Burlap Tape

It ended up not sticking very well so I just glued it down with my Ryobi Cordless Glue Gun.

The day I found the burlap tape at Michaels , I also found some small clothes pins.  I stained them with Minwax Finishing Cloths in Walnut then dry brushed with Old White to give them some dimension.

Clothes Pins

Once I was finished, I decided it needed a little more pizazz, so I created the small wreath with a few flowers I cut from a floral stem (also from Michaels) and a small grapevine wreath that was a yard sale find ages ago.  I hot glued the flowers on and screwed the wreath to the front of the frame.

I love how it turned out and believe me, if we didn’t already have a message board in our house, I would totally be keeping this one!

After Photo 1After Photo 3After Photo 2

Hope you enjoyed this cute and functional makeover.  See you in a week or two!

Until then, keep creating!

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Get the Vintage Barn Wood Look with Brand New Wood

 

Hi ya’ll!  Are you as in love with the vintage barn wood look as I am?  I have an obsession with old wood- whether it’s a weathered piece of fencing laying on the side of the road or a well-worn piece of barn siding on sale at one of my local honey holes.  (The term honey hole is widely used in the furniture refinishing world- it’s how us DIY’ers refer to those awesome hole in the wall places where we find all of our old goodies. 😊)

But what happens when your stash of old wood runs empty?  Today, I’m going to show you how to get that vintage barn wood look with a brand new piece of wood.

I found this cute little lantern under a pile of other goodies at my local thrift store.

Before Lantern and Hook

I can hardly ever pass up a lantern- they’re such a fun way to add charm to your décor.  I gave it a quick coat with one of my favorite spray paints, Rust-Oleum Chalked Spray Paint in Serenity Blue

Rustoleum Serenity Blue

Normally I prefer to use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint and brush apply it, but this lantern was really tiny and I was not looking forward to hand painting all those little slats.  Spray paint to the rescue!

While I spray painted the lantern, a small wall hook and a few other goodies, my DIY’er in training was working on her own project- a wooden cabin birdhouse for her Pappy’s 60th birthday. 😊

Erica DIY

I distressed the lantern and wall hook lightly with this fine grit sanding sponge and then sealed them with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

Check out Part II of my Chalk Painting Tutorial to see how I seal with wax.

Distressed Lantern and Hook

I knew an old piece of barn wood would be the perfect backdrop to this cute little lantern, but I didn’t have even a single sliver left.  Plus, it was only Monday and my favorite honey hole for barn wood wasn’t open again until Thursday (I’ve told you before that I’m super impatient, right?) so I decided to make my own.

First, I dug out a piece of pine wood from my scrap bin.  It actually turned out to be the perfect size so I didn’t even have to trim it (I love it when that happens).

Scrap Wood

The first step was to sand the edges smooth and round off the corners with a 320 grit sanding disc and my DeWalt Orbital Sander.

I know this seems counterintuitive to the “old” look, but this step will limit the potential for splinters.  To help maintain the old look, I usually sand a bit haphazardly angling my sander and pressing it harder into some areas than others.  This gives the edge a wavy look.  Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of this process, but you can see the end result (aka the “wavy” edges) in a few of the photos below.  If you’re interested in learning more, let me know and I can put together a quick tutorial.

The next step is to give the wood that well-worn, aged, beat up look.  To do that, place your wood on a soft surface.  I placed mine on the carpeted section of my SheShop.  Then, CAREFULLY, beat the would with a piece of metal chain.  Any chain will work- an old dog leash, a swing set chain or a couple feet of chain from a local home improvement store (they usually sell it by the inch).

Chain Distress

This part of the process is funny and will make you feel a bit silly, but I cannot stress this enough: be diligent and take care or you could hurt yourself.  I never do this process when other people are nearby and I don’t swing the chain like I’m trying to hit a home run in baseball.  Pine is a relatively soft wood so light easy swings will be enough to get the look you’re going for.

For some added age and distressing, you can also randomly hit the wood with the front and back of a hammer- again, CAREFUL is the name of the game here.

Hammer Distress

Now its time for stain.  I used my favorite Minwax Finishing Cloths in Dark Mahogony.

Minwax Finishing Cloths

I love these-they are a huge time saver.  Check out this post for my list of time-saving DIY products.  These finishing cloths are pre-soaked with stain, have little smell and dry in an hour.  Just wipe on, remove the excess with a clean cloth and an hour or less later, you’re ready to go.

Stained Wood

The stain helps to highlight the age marks we applied with the chain and hammer.  This could be the final product if you prefer (I built a headboard where I stopped after the staining step), but dry brushing on some paint really adds to the vintage look.  I actually started dry brushing just about 15 minutes after applying the stain.

Check out this post for a complete dry brushing tutorial.  To achieve the vintage barnwood look on this piece, I first dry brushed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Coco.

Coco Dry Brush

Then dry brushed with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old Ochre and Old White.

Lastly, I decided to add just the tiniest bit of dry brushing with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Provence and then sealed with Annie Sloan Clear Wax.

Provence Dry Brush

Provence is very close in color to the Serenity Blue Chalked Spray Paint I used to finish the lantern and I thought it would tie the entire piece together perfectly.

I added some hooks for hanging to the back of the board then attached the wall hook to the center of my finished barn wood. I attached everything with basic construction screws and a ratcheting screwdriver.  That’s another plus to working with a soft wood like pine- no drill necessary.

I hung my finished lantern from the mounted wall hook and voila!  Instant charm!  Giving this piece of new pine the old barn wood look took less than an hour.

I hope this post has inspired you to create some vintage barn wood looks as well.  If you can’t find a honey hole, just make your own!

Keep creating!

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I have an idea, but I need your help…

Hi ya’ll!  I have been busy gathering up some awesome forgotten finds to transform in time for my first weekend at The Vintage Tin Can.  I have exactly 1 month to fill my 10 x 20 foot space with farmhouse goodness.  Lots of DIY has been happening over here so I promise there are tons of makeover posts in your future.  For now, though, all my time has been spent thrifting, painting, sanding and waxing and I have seriously been slacking in the writing department.  Whoops!  I also have another surprise for you all that’s been occupying a lot of my time, but you’ll have to wait a few more weeks for that reveal.  🙂

I have been bouncing around an idea in my head and would love some feedback from all of you before I take the plunge.  I thought it would be cool to start a Get the Look blog series that would focus on a room pictured in a magazine or advertisement and seek to replicate the look using forgotten finds and big transformations.  I’m thinking it would be an 8 week series that would include voting on a room, shopping for pieces, transforming those pieces and then revealing the final result.

What do ya’ll think? Click the like button below or post a comment if you’re as excited about the idea as I am.  I’d love to hear from you.

Keeping creating!

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In A Day’s Work: Top 7 Time-Saving DIY Products

Hi ya’ll!  In the words of the great George Jones…

“It’s finally Friday!  I’m free again.  I got my motor running for a wild weekend.  It’s finally Friday!  I’m out of control.  Forget the working blues and let the good times roll!”

As I type this, I have that very song blaring on repeat in the background.  Yeah, it’s definitely been one of those weeks.  But, I’m so glad to be back here with you again.  Today’s post is all about time and how to maximize yours.  If you’ve been following me for awhile, then you know I have a full-time job, an awesome husband and two amazing little girls not to mention all the other things that come along with being an adult like paying bills, cooking, cleaning and my least favorite, doing laundry (actually, paying bills may be my very least favorite 😉).  All those responsibilities leave little time for DIY.  And let’s face it, for me, DIY time is like a glass of wine at the end of a long day- complete stress relief.  There’s something so freeing about being creative and getting my hands dirty so I try to make it a priority at least a couple of nights a week.  Since I usually only have about 2-3 hours of me time after the girls go to bed, I’ve found clever ways to maximize my time.  In fact, I almost called my blog In A Days Work instead of The Road Less Traveled since so many of my projects only take a day to complete because, well, that’s all the time I really have.

So, to help you maximize your own time, here’s a list of my top 7 time-saving DIY products.

  1. Drill

Drill

A drill is a major time-saver!  Don’t get me wrong, I have done plenty of DIY with a trusty Philips screwdriver, but hand turning just can’t compare to the speed of a drill and since most of them are battery powered you still have the freedom of easily taking it wherever you need it.  I use mine nearly every time I’m in the SheShop.

  1. Self-Tapping Screws

Self Tapping Screws

I seriously love these things!  I use them all the time like on this Rolling Cart, Grain Sack Striped Stool and Vanity Bench.  What makes these screws such a time-saver is that they rarely require pre-drilling and self-countersinking.  Just screw and go.

  1. Minwax Wood Finishing Clothes

Wood Finishing Clothes

These wipes are great because they’re not messy so you save time on the clean-up, they barely smell so you can use them indoors and they dry in an hour. That’s right, only 1 hour!!  I usually use them to stain bare wood before I paint it so I never seal the top with polyurethane.  I’ve also heard from fellow DIY’ers that these wipes seems to be self-sealing and work well without a polyurethane topcoat.  I did use them to stain an end table top that I never painted nor polyurethaned and it’s held up great.  I also used them on my Primitive Pantry Box Replicas.

  1. Painter’s Pyramids

Painter's Pyramids

These little gems help to prop up your piece so you can paint all sides in one shot instead of having to paint one side, wait for it to dry and then paint the other side.  I always use them when I’m painting small home décor items like frames, bowls and trays.  Since they’re a pyramid shape, only the tiniest surface actually touches your piece so even if the paint is still wet in that area, it is rarely affected.

  1. Elmer’s Carpenter’s Color Change Wood Filler

Wood Filler

This stuff is great.  It goes on purple and then dries tan so there’s no second guessing when its ready for sanding.  It also dries pretty quickly especially when filling shallow holes and gouges.  Check out Part I of my chalk painting tutorial for more details on how to use this wood filler.

  1. Rust-Oleum High Performance Enamel Spray Paint

Spray Paint

I’ve used many different types of Rust-Oleum spray paint, but this one is by far my favorite.  I typically will spray paint metal hardware with flat black paint and then apply chalk paint.  That way when I distress, the matte black shows through giving a more shabby chic look.  This spray paint dries to the touch in only 15 minutes and can be re-coated in less than an hour.  Woohoo!

  1. Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Chalk Paint

Well, considering I wrote a two-post tutorial about chalk painting, I think it comes as no surprise that Annie Sloan’s chalk paint made the list.  Chalk paint is a time-saving miracle.  As long as your piece is in good shape, there is no prep work required other than a quick wipe down to remove any dirt or dust.  Even if you have to make some repairs to your piece, many of the other products that made the list can make that process a snap too then it’s on to paint.  Check out Part I and Part II of my chalk painting tutorial to see the whole process start to finish.

Hopefully these products can help you squeeze some DIY time into your busy day too.  If you have a favorite time-saving product, I’d love to hear about it.

Enjoy your weekend and see you Tuesday!

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Big News!!

Hi ya’ll!  Sorry this post is a day late, but there have been some crazy good things happening at The Road Less Traveled Design Co.

My transformed forgotten finds are now officially being sold at The Nest on Main in downtown Bel Air, MD!!

The Nest on Main Logo

To copy my 2 year old daughter’s excitement, let me throw both hands in the air and shout, “Yaaaaaay!”  This is a dream come true and I couldn’t be more excited.

The Nest on Main Store Front If you live nearby or are in the area, stop by The Nest on Main and visit the owner, Kathi.  Her store is filled with and amazing selection of furniture and home decor from local artisans.  I promise you’ll find something new and unique every time you visit.

AND….

that’s not the only big news…

The Road Less Traveled Design Co has leased space at The Vintage Tin Can, a monthly destination tag sale in Fallston, MD.  We have an awesome nearly 20′ x 8′ space in The Loft to fill with our farmhouse finds.  Stop by and see us at one of the sale dates below.  Click here for directions.

 

The Vintage Tin Can Logo

 

JULY 27TH, 28TH & 29TH ***SEMI ANNUAL SALE***
AUGUST 24TH, 25TH & 26TH
SEPTEMBER 28TH, 29TH & 30TH ***HALLOWEEN EVENT***
OCTOBER 26TH, 27TH & 28TH *** THANKSGIVING EVENT***
NOVEMBER 15TH, 16TH, 17TH & 18TH ***THANKSGIVING/CHRISTMAS EVENT***
​ DECEMBER 6TH, 7TH, 8TH & 9TH ***CHRISTMAS EVENT***

Hope to see you there!

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Fabric Lined Keepsake Box

 

Hi ya’ll!  It’s finally Friday and I’m so looking forward to the weekend.  We’re supposed to have nice weather over here on the East Coast so I’m hoping for some pool and playground time with the family.

I have a cute little makeover for you today.  I found this wooden jewelry box over a year ago on one of my thrift store shopping sprees.

It was definitely a well-loved piece with a few bumps and bruises, but the wood was solid and I loved the dark stain.  The inside on the other hand was…well…yuck.  I know it doesn’t look bad, but there is just something about that velvet that grosses me out.  It’s just one of my quirks- old velvet = eww.  Haha I nearly put it back until I decided to put my brave face on and quit being so squeamish.  I’m glad I did, or I would have missed out on a great transformation.  Here she is now.

To get started, I first removed the hinges from the top and bottom using a small Philips screwdriver from this Dewalt set.

Then, wearing gloves, I removed all the velvet from the inside.  The gold hooks were actually attached to a single plastic strip that was screwed into the top so it was quick and easy to remove them as well.

Velvet Lining Removed from Box

I removed the small knob from the front (it was threaded directly in the wood) and then went to work removing the handles on either side.  I’ll admit, I was a bit stumped at first since they were press fit into the wood instead of threaded.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how to pop them out.  I tried a pry bar…nothing.  Then I tried hammering a nail into the backside and all that did was bend the nail.  My hubby was away with the Army so I ended up consulting with our maintenance supervisor at work who introduced me to these little gems.

Nail Set

They’re called nail sets and are designed for aligning crooked nail heads or countersinking protruding ones.  By happy coincidence, they also worked perfectly to pop out these stubborn press fit handles.  Just place the nail set over the press fit piece and then tap it repeatedly with a hammer until it pops out.

Removing Handles

I knew I wanted to use different hardware on this piece, so I filled all the holes with my favorite wood filler.

Check out #2 in Part I of my Chalk Painting Tutorial for complete instructions on filling holes and repairing scratches or gouges.

Wood Filled Holes

After the wood filler had dried (it took less than an hour because these holes were so small), I sanded the surface smooth with my favorite fine grit sanding sponge and painted the entire outside and inside edges with two coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen.

French Linen Paint

I know you’ve heard it before, but I love love love this color- such a pretty neutral.  Check out these posts here and here to see how I chalk paint a piece start to finish.

After the paint had dried, I thought the top needed a little something extra so I decided to apply this pretty flower stencil down the center.

Stencil

To hold the stencil in place, I use Loctite spray adhesive.

Loctite

It’s repositional which makes it great for applying stencils.  Just a light spray across the back of your stencil is enough.  Trust me, I’ve doused it with adhesive before.  It leads to one big mess and a lot of residual stickiness on your finished piece- no fun.

Place your stencil in the desired location and then press firmly into place with your hand or a small rubber roller like this one.

Rolling Stencil

I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in White and a paint brush from a set similar to this one to fill in my stencil.

They do make designated stencil brushes and tools called pouncers for filling stencils.  I’ve tried both and like neither.  Perhaps I’ve not found the right brand yet.  So far, I’ve achieved the best results by using the paint brush above.  I apply a little paint and then brush it from the edge of the stencil inward to prevent paint from leaking under the stencil.

Painting Stencil

I applied two coats allowing the second to dry for about 15 minutes before I removed the stencil.  I usually remove the stencil before the paint is thoroughly dry to prevent any peeling.

Note: If you’re piece exhibits residue from the spray adhesive, don’t worry.  Once the adhesive dries, you’ll be able to lightly sand it off prior to waxing.  Just be sure to wait until its dry.  I’ve made the mistake of sanding before it’s dry before.  The sanding dust got stuck in the adhesive and I had to sand the piece pretty aggressively to remove it all.  I ended up sanding right down to the bare wood and had to repaint the entire piece so you definitely don’t want to do that! 😉

Removed Stencil

Next, I attached new handles to the sides.  I decided to forego a knob on the front since I like the simple lines with the stenciled top.  I drilled new holes in the sides using my Dewalt drill  and drill bit set then attached the new hardware.  I picked these handles up at Hobby Lobby.  I love the shabby chic look of them and the white matched my stenciling.

Drill Holes & Install Hardware

Then I distressed the entire piece including the stencil to give it some age and then sealed with Annie Sloan clear wax.

Check out steps 9 and 10 of this post to see how I distress and wax chalk painted pieces.

Waxed & distressed

(Disclaimer: Normally, I distress and wax before installing hardware but I guess I was just too excited to see what these handles looked like so I did that first. 😊)

Now for the inside.  I could have sanded off the adhesive that attached that dated pink velvet the box and then painted the wood, but I was hoping to preserve its original use as a jewelry or keepsake box so I decided to line the inside with new fabric.  Check out my Pantry Box Replica post to see the full tutorial for lining drawers, boxes and other containers.

Lining Inside

Here’s a final recap:

From This to This 2From This to This 1From This to This 3

I’m so glad I didn’t pass up this diamond in the rough.  Do you have any pieces at home that you’re not sure are worth the time?  Maybe even some that are as eww as this dated jewelry box was for me?  I hope this post has inspired you to put on some gloves and get to work. 😊 Have a great weekend and see you soon!

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My First Show & Working for The Middle

Hi ya’ll!  If you saw my She Shop Shape Up post a few weeks ago, then you know my first show was on Sunday.  That’s right, The Road Less Traveled Design Co finally made its debut at The Belle Aire Market. 😊

Kate & The Booth

It was a cloudy day with torrential rains in the forecast, but there was still a great turnout.  I met many people, passed out several Check Out My Blog postcards (perhaps some of you are even reading now) and networked with a few local businesses.  For me, though, the most fun part of it all was finally getting to see all my transformed forgotten finds in one place displayed together in all there distressed, farmhouse, shabby chic glory.

I’ve been working like crazy for weeks to get ready and it was awesome to see it all come together.  But, as awesome as it was, it was also equally intimidating.  There’s something quite unnerving about putting your work, and by extension yourself, out there for everyone to see and critique.

Several years ago, I was knee-deep in another endeavor- jewelry design.  My husband and I had a booth at a weekly farmer’s market in the city and I remember being a bit nervous the first week or two then as well.  This time; however, those same nerves seemed to have multiplied by a thousand.  I can’t say for certain, but I think it’s because this time I want it more.  I’m more passionate about interior design and home décor than I ever was about jewelry.  It was a creative outlet, but not much more.  The Road Less Traveled Design Co is the culmination of years of collecting home interior magazines, reading books on design, rearranging rooms, trying new DIY techniques, succeeding at this one, failing at that one and dreaming big dreams.

I’ll be honest though- I still have a long way to go with even bigger dreams and aspirations on my mind.  Unfortunately, sometimes I let my head get the better of me and I start down a path of discouragement.  I get trapped in an infinite loop of negative thinking naming all the reasons why this can’t work or why I shouldn’t have even taken the plunge in the first place.  It usually starts with me looking at the successes of someone else and instantly feeling bad because I haven’t hit those milestones yet myself.  It’s a fool’s errand really.  There’s no good that can come from thinking that way.

I know we’ve all been there at some point in our lives- as athletes, students, employees, friends, spouses, parents- at one time or another we’ve all compared ourselves to someone else that we thought had it all together.  So, on Sunday, as those negative thoughts kept creeping into my head, I battled back with a quote I read the other day on the Artsy Chicks Rule blog and I thought I’d share it with you…

Quote

What a powerful saying- I hope it helps give you the same solace as it did me when you’re going through your own Am I good enough? struggle in your mind.  Keep chasing those dreams and running your race.  With a lot of hard work and perseverance, someday we’ll both be in the middle!

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