spray painted doormat

Rustoleum-Night-Tide-Spray-Painted-Herringbone-Chevron-Doormat-Closeup

The weather was absolutely beautiful this weekend, and I took advantage of it by spending some time outside spray painting a new doormat for our front door.  Our old one was falling apart, and I haven’t been able to find any doormats in stores that I like so I figured I’d just make one myself.

This project was quick and easy, and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  I’ll never buy a ready made doormat again!

Materials

  • Plain doormat (I got mine from Ikea for $10.  Can’t beat that!)
  • One can of spray paint
  • Painter’s/masking tape (I recommend using the light green Scotch masking tape for hard to stick surfaces)
  • Pencil and ruler (depending on your desired design)

I was inspired by this rug that I saw from Serena & Lily.  The pattern is a combination of herringbone and chevron.  The best of both worlds…how can you go wrong with that?

I started by taping the horizontal lines across the rug, making sure to press the tape in firmly.

Taped-off-doormat

The rug was 35″ across so using a measuring tape, I penciled a mark every 5″ on all three pieces of tape.  Using the pencil marks as a guide to make sure everything was evenly spaced, I taped the diagonal sections off.

Taped-off-doormat-pre-spray-paint

Again I made sure to press firmly on the tape to minimize the chances of any spray paint bleeding under.  Crisp lines are key!

Taped-off-herringbone-chevron-pattern-doormat

For the spray paint, I decided to go with Rustoleum’s Night Tide.  This is the same color I used for the base of my fabric covered lampshade.  It’s a perfect peacock blue.

After shaking the can well, I stood over the doormat and sprayed down straight onto it (to minimize bleeding under the tape) in long even strokes.

spray-painted-doormat-halfway-done-first-coat

About halfway through, I realized I’d need to do a second coat since the fibers were absorbing the paint pretty well.  I didn’t think it was necessary to let it dry between coats so I went ahead and finished the entire doormat.

Spray-painted-doormat-post-spray-paint

After letting it sit for a few hours in the sun to dry thoroughly, I peeled back the tape and was happy to see that the lines were nice and crisp.

Closeup-Herringbone-Chevron-Spray-Painted-Doormat-2

The pattern turned out just as I hoped it would.

Rustoleum-Night-Tide-Spray-Painted-Herringbone-Chevron-Doormat

It adds such a nice pop of color to the front porch, and it makes me just as happy to see it on my way out the door…

Rustoleum-Night-Tide-Spray-Painted-Herringbone-Chevron-Doormat-Inside-View

…as it does coming in.

Rustoleum-Night-Tide-Spray-Painted-Herringbone-Chevron-Doormat-Door

Strider agrees.

strider-on-spray-painted-doormat

By the way, for anyone wondering I’ve walked on it and wiped my shoes on it several times already and there hasn’t been any paint coming off onto the soles of my shoes at all.

I’ll definitely be spray painting another rug for the back patio door at some point in the future.  At less than $15 for a custom doormat, how could I not?

Rustoleum-Night-Tide-Spray-Painted-Herringbone-Chevron-Doormat-Closeup

 

 

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a new front porch light fixture and wedding invite sneak peek

Remember when I showed you all our newly painted house exterior and mentioned that we hadn’t decided on a light fixture for the front porch yet, but I had found one I liked?  But Devin didn’t like it, and I needed a little more time to work on him?

Well, I worked on it :).

I love it!  A couple weekends ago we went to Lamps Plus and looked at the fixture in person.  Not only did Devin end up liking it when he saw it, but it was on sale.  Score!  Not only that, there’s a matching longer one that we’ll be getting for the back of the house by the sliding door.

I like the simple clean Mission style and the rubbed bronze finish…and the clear seeded glass.

It hangs just far enough off the wall to be noticeable but not in the way.

 

In other news, yesterday marked the two month countdown to our wedding!  I can’t believe how fast time is flying.  You may have noticed that it’s been pretty quiet around these parts in the last few weeks.  That’s because I’m neck deep in wedding projects, but I can’t share any of them on this blog yet because I want our wedding guests to be seeing all of the details for the first time on the day of.  Fear not, I’ll be providing detailed posts on our wedding after I get back from the honeymoon :).

To whet your appetite, here’s a sneak peek of the kraft paper tags I made with a custom stamp for our wedding invitations.

I’m really happy with how they turned out, and all of the guests have been loving them…I can’t wait ’til I can share them with you all in their entirety!

 

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dog silhouette art and an ode to my pups

I haven’t talked much about my dogs yet on this blog, which is surprising to me since I talk about them to basically everyone else in the universe.  I love them to bits and pieces, and we rarely go anywhere without them.  Thankfully the bay area is a very dog friendly place…in fact I heard somewhere that it is one of the most dog friendly areas in the country.  Dog parks, off leash beaches and dog friendly trails abound.

This is Strider, our five year old black lab.

He’s pretty much the handsomest, gentlest, most loving and awesomest dog in the known universe.

Maybe I’m a little biased in saying that, but so does everyone else who meets him.  I adopted him when he was four months old, and he’s been at my side ever since.

I joke with Devin that he fell in love with my dog before he fell in love with me.  (But it’s true.)

Who can blame him?

Last year we decided that Strider needed some company.  (Though if you ask him, Strider may or may not disagree with that fact.)

So that’s when we brought home Echo, our now one year old chocolate lab.  This was the day we brought her home.

I KNOW.  Those sad puppy eyes.  They slayed me.  And THIS…

…and THIS…

Don’t let these cute puppy photos fool you though.  She’s a wild child.  This girl is full of sass and personality and she pretty much drove us batshit crazy her first few months with us.  Just ask Strider.  He pretends sometimes like he can’t stand the sight of her, but secretly, I know he loves her.

She’s come to fit into our little family just perfectly, and I can’t imagine life without her.  She LOOOOVES her big brother and tries to be just like him.

I call her his “mini me.”

This is Echo now at over a year old.

Have you had enough of the dog pictures yet?  Because I have thousands more!  Just ask!  Haha…

Anyway, all of this preface is to say, our dogs are a big part of our lives.  I’ve been slowly gathering bits and pieces for the office redux, but have yet to settle on any art for the walls.  I decided that the dogs needed to be represented in the new office, so this past weekend I created some silhouettes of them.

Supplies

  • Canvas (I used 12″ x 12″)
  • Contact paper
  • Profile photo of subject
  • Acrylic paint (I used Americana Deep Midnight Blue and Titanium White)
  • Foam brush
  • Fine paint brush for touch ups
  • Scissors
  • Pen/pencil

The hardest part of this project was getting good profile shots of the dogs.  Correction…getting a good profile shot of Echo.  Strider was easy, like he always is.  “What ma?  You need a profile pic?  Okay how about this?”

Echo on the other hand gets spazzy the minute I grab the camera.  Which is why you may have noticed that in almost all of her photos, she’s asleep.  Ha.

I finally got it by yelling out “Echo look!  What’s that?!” and pointing out the front window.  She probably thought it was a visitor or a cat or something so she went all on the alert.

A little mean, I know…but I gave her a treat afterwards :).  (Also please divert your eyes away from the tangled mess of cables behind her.  We need to take some zip ties to them.)

The first thing I did was to paint my canvases with the background color.  This is the color that you want your silhouette to be.  I did one white and one in dark blue.  I found that squirting some paint directly onto the canvas and spreading it out with a foam brush worked fine for me.  (Hey, I never said I was a professional painter!)

While the canvases were drying, I resized the photos in Photoshop to fit my 12″ x 12″ canvases, printed them up, then carefully cut them out.

Next I turned the cutout face down onto the back of my contact paper and traced around it.

After cutting the silhouette out, I peeled the backing off and positioned it onto my canvas, pressing outward firmly to flatten out any bubbles.

Then I painted over the whole canvas with my top color starting from on top of the cutout and working my way out to the canvas.

I let the first coat dry, then put another coat on for good measure.

Next, I carefully peeled the contact paper off, pulling straight up from the canvas.

It looks pretty good, but the edges were a little rough, so I went in with a fine tipped brush to touch it up.

I repeated the same steps with Echo’s silhouette in opposing colors, and voila!

I think I may touch up around the edges of Strider’s canvas with more blue, but overall I’m happy with the result and I think they’ll add a nice touch to the new office :).

I’ll wrap up with one more gratuitous dog shot for good measure.

 

 

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DIY kindle touch slip case

About a month ago, I came across this tutorial for a Kindle Fire slip case on Pinterest.  I pinned it, even though I don’t own a Kindle, because I thought it was just so darn cute.  So a couple weeks ago, when Devin’s mom mentioned that she bought a Kindle Touch, I immediately decided to make her that case.

This was by far the most complex (even though it’s really not, but seemed so to my novice self) sewing project that I’ve attempted to date, so I was a little apprehensive, but all things considered it turned out pretty good if I say so myself :).

The original tutorial I linked to has the measurements for a Kindle Fire, but I amended mine to fit a Kindle Touch.  The Kindle Touch measures 6.8″ x 4.7″ x .4″.  My measurements below resulted in a case that was approximately 7.25″ x 5.25″ and Devin’s mom said that her Kindle Touch fit in it perfectly.

Supplies:

  • Two pieces of 8″ x 6″ fabric for outer panels (green dots)
  • Two pieces of 5.25″ x 6″ fabric for outer pockets (floral print)
  • Two pieces of 8″ x 6″ soft, non-scratchy fabric like flannel for the inner lining (yellow flannel)
  • One 4″ length of 1/8″ wide elastic for button loop
  • One button
  • Coordinating thread

(Note: All of my supplies were purchased from Jo-Ann Fabric.)

The first thing I did was fold the top edge of the pocket panel over 1/8″ to the wrong side, pressed, folded over once more, then pressed again.  Then I stitched the edge in place, and repeated this with the second pocket panel.  (Sorry, no photos of this step.)

Then I lined the pocket panel up on top of the outer panel right sides up, and sewed along the two sides of the pocket.

I decided to backstitch at the top of the pocket on each side to make sure it was secure.

Next, I decided which panel would be the back panel, then I folded the elastic into a loop and stitched the bottom edges to the top center of the back panel (since the loop will come over the top of the case to hook to the button on the front panel).  I backstitched a couple times over it to make sure it was secure.  Don’t worry if it’s not pretty, this part will not be visible in the finished product.

Once I was done with my loop, I placed my inner lining material on top of the outer panel, right sides facing in, making sure that the loop stayed tucked in.

I sewed just the top sides together, pulled the two sides apart flat, then I ironed the seam allowance over towards the lining side.

When I turned the panel over, it looked like this.

Then I did the same with the front panel (except for the loop part of course).

Next, I lined up the two long sides together, right sides in, pocket to pocket and lining to lining and pinned everything together.

Then I sewed around the outer edge, pulling out the pins as I went, starting about a third of the way out on the bottom edge of the lining, making my way around, and stopping about 3″ short of closing the seam.  You need to make sure you keep a big enough opening to be able to turn the whole thing inside out.

I then clipped the corners and carefully turned everything inside out, using a chopstick to poke out the corners all the way.

Then I folded the edges in of the remaining opening at the bottom of the lining and sewed it shut with my machine, but you can hand stitch this if you prefer.

Next I tucked the lining into the outer fabric, and pressed along the top edge to make everything nice and flat.

I opted to not stitch around the top of the slip case, since I liked how it looked without a top stitch and the lining seemed to stay in place pretty well.

Lastly, I sewed the button in place on the front panel, making sure it was in a spot where the elastic could slip over it. (Confession:  Up until this point, I had never sewn a button on.  I KNOW.  Thank goodness for YouTube video tutorials haha.)

I love the fun flannel that I picked for the lining.

Isn’t it so cute?

Here’s the back…

…and the front finished product!

 

 

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succulent and ranunculus bouquet

My absolute favorite flower in the world is the ranunculus.  If you’ve never seen or heard of them, you’re missing out.  We’re nearing the end of ranunculus season here in Northern California, but thankfully I’ve managed to snag some really beautiful ones in the last few weeks to enjoy in our home.

I mean, really…

I could stare at these flowers all day long.

Since I plan on incorporating ranunculus in my bridal bouquet, I wanted to do a practice run now while they’re still easy to find.  I’ll have to special order them come September for the wedding.  We’ll be using a lot of succulents in our gray and yellow wedding palette so to compliment that, I decided that my bouquet would include yellow and white ranunculus, succulents, yellow craspedia (aka “billy balls”) and seeded eucalyptus.  For my actual bouquet, I’ll use succulents that have more of a blue/gray color, but for the practice one I just used green hens and chicks that I had on hand.

There are tons of video tutorials online of how to make a bouquet so armed with that knowledge and my supplies, I was able to put together a pretty little bouquet in about half an hour.

Supplies:

  • flowers of your choice (# of stems depends on desired bouquet size)
  • succulents of your choice (# of plants depends on desired bouquet size)
  • floral tape
  • floral wire (I used 20 gauge and 24 gauge)
  • wire cutters
  • fabric/twine/ribbon for wrapping handle
  • floral pins

In order to include succulents in my bouquet, I needed to give them a long “stem.”  First I pulled off all of the roots and dead leaves from my succulents, trimmed the stump, rinsed them in water to clean off any excess dirt and then dried them thoroughly.

Then I inserted some 20 gauge floral wire, cut to around 10″ long, into the base of the succulent. (Note: the succulents I used had an unusually thick stump…stumps on most smaller succulents around this size are usually narrower and easier to work with.)

Next, to reinforce the new stem, I cut a 10″ piece of 24 gauge floral wire (thinner and more flexible), folded down the top third, then lay that next to the base of the succulent and along the wire stem.

Then I took the other part of the wire and wrapped it around the base of the succulent, making my way down the wire stem.

Finally, starting at the base of the succulent, I wrapped floral tape all the way around, making my way to the bottom of the stem. (Tip:  When you cut your length of floral tape, stretch it out a little with both hands.  This helps make it extra sticky so it’ll hold well when you wrap it.)

I repeated this with the other succulents.

Once I had my succulents ready, I started assembling my bouquet.

The key to a bouquet is to start with three blooms.

Then from this point on, I added three more blooms around the first three, and so on and so on.  Since I was mixing my flowers, it was a matter of eyeballing it as I went to decide which type of floral I wanted to add where.

If you’re making a bouquet using all of the same type of flower, it’s much easier since you just need to add flowers all the way around until it’s the size that you want.

Lastly, I added a few sprigs of the seeded eucalyptus around the outer edges of the bouquet.

Once I was satisfied (and out of flowers!) with my bouquet, I then wrapped the entire bunch together tightly with floral tape, starting at the top and working my way down the stems then cut the excess stem tips off the bottom.

Then I wrapped the handle with some scrap fabric I had laying around.  For my actual bouquet, I’ll be using burlap.

Finally I pinned the fabric in place with floral pins, inserting them pointing up towards the top of the bouquet.

I was pretty happy with the composition.

Though for my actual bouquet, I think I’ll use less yellow ranunculus and more white, since the craspedia already add a nice touch of yellow.

Also, I’ll make the bouquet a little bigger and incorporate a few more succulents.

This one would be a perfect size for my bridesmaids though :).

 
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