DIY Vintage Wooden Backdrop

Browsing through Pinterest one day I was inspired to make a Vintage Wooden Backdrop to go with my new magnolia wreath (inspired by watching Fixer Upper…I LOVE them!) In only a few steps I had just what I envisioned. Stick around and see how simple it is.

Supplies:

  • 1X4s (enough so you can make the size backdrop you need)
  • measuring tape
  • pencil
  • grey wood stain
  • white chalk paint
  • sander
  • fine grit sandpaper
  • hand saw and mitre box (or have the guy at Lowes or Home Depot cut your wood for you)
  • rag
  • metal connectors
  • screws
  • saw tooth picture hangers

Instructions:

  1. decide the dimension of your backdrop and cut your 1X4s to size (I knew I was hanging my wreath on it, so I went a bit bigger than my wreath)
  2. sand all edges of your wood cuts; they get ragged and you want rounded, softer edges so they don’t look so brand new
  3. stain your wood
  4. once your stain is dry, paint with chalk paint; two coats should do it!
  5. hand sand where you want the distressed look to show through 
  6. align your wood slats the way you want it (I purposely chose some pretty beat up wood and I made sure to put those where the wreath would NOT cover up that charm)
  7. flip your wood over and screw each connector to the back of the wood so that your slats stay put together
  8. add your sawtooth picture hangers at the top – I put two hangers on my backdrop because it was a bit heavy and thought it would be safer with two

I used a finishing nail and used that to hang my wreath on the backdrop. I eyeballed the whole thing and hung the wreath with that plastic thing that holds the price tag (I never took the tag off because I knew it would work well to hang without me doing any extra work!)

See? Simple. Farmhouse. Vintage. YAASSSSSS.

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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Scrap Wood Wall Hooks

I made this project with a scrap piece of 1X4, and then added wall hooks from Hobby Lobby. It was a pretty simple DIY actually! I’m still going strong with my love for farmhouse looking details and I wanted to get rid of our awkward coat rack that took up too much space by replacing  it with these Scrap Wood Wall Hooks. This could be the perfect thing for your entryway to hang your purse, umbrella, light jacket or cardigan when you come inside while still being stylish.

Here’s the breakdown:

Materials:

  • scrap wood of your choice in length
  • wood stain
  • rag
  • hammer
  • sander
  • sawtooth picture hangers
  • screws
  • wall hooks
  • index cards and black inky pen
  • ruler
  • scissors

How to:

  1. Sand all edges of your scrap piece of wood so that they are rounded (it looks more used than brand new that way)
  2. If you want to get a more rugged distressed look like I did, take your hammer and hit the piece of wood in random places. Try using different pressure and take the prongs of the hammer (what do they call that part of a hammer?!?!?!) and scrape it across the surface. This will mark up the wood and show up nicely when you stain it.
  3. Stain your wood. (you can follow this with painting and distressing, but I chose not to)
  4. measure where you want your wall hooks to go on your piece of wood. I used 4 total.
  5. mark and screw them in
  6. Add your sawtooth picture hangers to the back. I used two to help distribute any weight from items hanging on the hooks. Make sure they’re even.
  7. Hang your wall hooks on the wall!
  8. I had a cool spot in my wall hooks to make labels so I googled vintage numbers and came up with this design. I free handed some of it, and traced some of it directly from my iPhone screen. It was actually really convenient. Do this on index cards or paper with some weight to it. Make sure to fit your labels into their slot first, THEN do your drawing/tracing. (HELPFUL HINT: my extra fine point permanent marker did NOT make clean lines because it bled on the paper. I used an inky black pen and it was perfect!)
  9. put your labels in, and voila!

What do you think?

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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The Power of Spraypaint

This is sort of like a Transformation Tuesday thing. I had this outdoor decorative hanging ornament thing that had faded in the sun and just wasn’t cutting it for me anymore. Instead of donating it to goodwill or throwing it away I decided to see what spraypaint would do for it. It made it better, and definitely more “adult” looking without the bright lime and turquoise colors. Now that is the power of spraypaint!

If you have something laying around that could use some sprucing up, try a couple coats of spray paint. You would be surprised what changing something with black, white, or metallic spraypaint can do!

I scrubbed the ornament and let it dry, covered up the marble and faux crystal with painters tape and sprayed it with two coats of Krylon Hammered Spraypaint. I wouldn’t say it looks hammered in texture, but the bronze color is really pretty and kind of rustic which is what I was going for.

Check out the pictures of how it came out. I definitely have a running list on my phone of things around our apartment that I want to “transform” with spraypaint. What are you dying to spraypaint? Give a look around and see what you find – it could make something you like, into something you LOVE!

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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Repurposed Candle Jar

Today’s project isn’t really a project at all. I think it took me all of 5 minutes (and that’s being generous). Im sure you have used empty candle jars for things like cotton balls and q-tips in your bathroom already, but this one is to “transform” an empty candle jar into a pen/pencil holder for your desk. I like the femininity of the silver lid so instead of just throwing it away and putting my pens in a clear jar, I decided to make the lid a permanent part of the jar by making it the base of the container.

This is almost too easy to count as a DIY…

Supplies:

  • empty and clean candle jar
  • E6000 craft adhesive (I’ve heard amazing things about it); I used 732 multi purpose sealant because I don’t have E6000 yet 🙂

Instructions: (are you ready?)

  1. clean the wax from your used up candle. When my candle no longer lights but there is still wax at the bottom of a jar, I use my candle warmer to melt the wax; pour it into the garbage (NOT down the drain!); and wipe it out with paper towels and then wash with soap and an abrasive sponge.
  2. put a ring of glue around the inside of the candle lid
  3. set your clean empty candle jar on top
  4. put your pens in, and voila!

See? Easy!

love & cupcakes,
Katie

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DIY Rustic Table Caddy

I am in LOVE with this DIY! In a few steps you can have this cute rustic table caddy that you could use for all sorts of things! I’m thinking bud vases for a unique flower display, candles in mason jars for a centerpiece of a table, or like I styled it here – with silverware for casual dinner get-togethers!

I made this project with scrap pieces of 1X4’s and ordered some rustic handles from Hobby Lobby (they were 50% off!). Keep reading to see how to make your own!

Supplies:

  • 3 long pieces of wood all the same length (this will be the bottom and side lengths of your box)
  • 2 end pieces that match the width of your box
  • handsaw (I had to cut the end pieces from scrap wood I had)
  • miter box (I used mine to hold the pieces of wood I had to saw since I don’t have a work bench or anything like that to work from)
  • wood glue
  • clamps
  • white chalk paint
  • good quality paint brush
  • wood stain and rag
  • rustic handles (2)
  • fine grit sandpaper (I use 220)
  • electric sander (if you have one; you could use some muscle though and do it by hand)
  • ruler
  • screwdriver/drill
  • pencil

Instructions:

  1. Take the 3 pieces that will be the bottom and 2 long sides of your caddy and use the wood glue to connect the pieces. Use your clamps to hold them together, being careful not to overtighten – this will cause the side walls to bow inward.
  2. Once that is dry (I waited a few hours), put your end caps on and glue those in place. Clamp those as well.
  3. Once it is completely dry, take your electric sander and round all the edges of your box. This softens the look of the very square edges and makes the wood look more worn instead of brand new.
  4. Wipe away the dust and stain your box.
  5. Once the stain is dry, paint 2 coats of chalk paint.
  6. Once dry, sand with the 220 grit sandpaper by hand to distress your caddy.
  7. Measure where you want your handles to go and mark with a pencil.
  8. Screw in the handles.
  9. Put your new caddy on display and enjoy your handiwork!

Check out the details below – the woodgrain and the handles…ugh love them.

Don’t you love how this looks?! I love seeing the wood grain through the chalk paint. I think I’m a little obsessed with the farmhouse look lately. Please don’t go out of style anytime soon!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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DIY Coastal Farmhouse Picture Frame

With the cooler temps and mild humidity happening in Houston recently, I’ve been getting my DIY projects done! (paint dries better when it’s not 100+ in temperature and humidity!) This DIY Coastal Farmhouse Picture Frame has that beachy charm with farmhouse vibes all in one. Sure, it sounds like a mish mosh of styles, but personally I love it. Check it out below!

So I had made this frame more than a few years ago after buying this print in Bermuda that I just fell in love with. I thought the natural wood frame looked best at the time when I decorated it with the spanish moss and seashells. Over time, it just felt like it needed something but I wasn’t sure what that was. Until I realized it would look nice and bright with a couple coats of white chalk paint, and distressed of course. You could even buy a frame already painted with the distressed look and add the spanish moss and seashells to it!

I pulled all the old seashells and spanish moss off of the frame and got to work. Here’s the directions for what you need to do with a frame from scratch.

What you need:

  • natural wood picture frame
  • wood stain
  • white chalk paint
  • fine grit sandpaper (220 is good)
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun and glue
  • spanish moss
  • seashells

Directions:

  1. take the glass and picture (if there is one) out of your frame and set it aside
  2. stain your picture frame with stain of your choice (this will show through when you distress the paint)
  3. let the stain dry (I let mine dry for 24 hours), and paint 2 coats of white chalk paint
  4. once dry, distress with sandpaper by hand
  5. wipe down with damp cloth to remove all the paint dust
  6. using your glue gun take clumps of your spanish moss and hot glue it to your frame (I chose opposite corners)
  7. lay out your seashells in a design you like BEFORE gluing! Once you like the layout, then glue them down
  8. trim some of the spanish moss so it’s not too unruly and clean up any strands of stray hot glue
  9. shake off your frame from loose moss and hang up your picture frame!

ta da!!!

after

I really dig the “after” look of this frame. Is this something you would try?! It really brightened up the spot on the wall where it was hanging in the bathroom.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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DIY Photo “Clothesline” Display

I need to stick a DIY project up on the blog because all these yummy recipes I’ve been posting are doing a number on my waistline! #worthit  This DIY Photo Clothesline Display can easily be done in an afternoon, and it’s so simple to get a really cute finished project in just a few steps. And the only reason why it even takes that long is because you have to wait a couple hours for the paint to dry before sanding to distress it.

I orignially stained this frame and had it up on my wall as you can see in the picture above, but I just wasn’t enjoying it as much as I wanted to. I knew some white chalk paint and distressing would make me love it. (Thanks, Joanna Gaines. I heart you!)

Here’s what you need:

  • stained or natural wood empty picture frame in a size you like (empty, meaning no glass/backing)
  • twine or hemp
  • small eye screws
  • scissors
  • chalk paint in white color
  • paint brush
  • fine grit sandpaper (I used 220)
  • mini clothespins or cute paper clips

Instructions:

  1. paint frame with chalkboard paint (two coats)
  2. wait two hours for paint to cure
  3. sand to your liking to get the distressed look
  4. figure out how many “clotheslines” you want and how far apart you want them to be; mark on the inside of the frame with a pencil
  5. screw in the eye screws where you made the marks for your clothes lines
  6. tie hemp or twine from one eye screw to another
  7. hang your picture frame on the wall and decorate it with photos, cards, or drawings!

From this: (covered in Christmas cards and sunglasses)

To this!!!!!!

This was my first time using chalk paint to distress anything and I have to say it was a dream to work with. I didn’t have to break a sweat just to sand through the layers of paint and the finish was silky smooth when I was done!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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Hanukkah Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Happy Hanukkah and Christmas Eve, everyone!! I’ve been wanting to try out my Hanukkah cookie cutters for far too long (I’m talking years, people), and decided to amp up the traditional sugar cookie by making Hanukkah Chocolate Sugar Cookies! I didn’t decorate mine with icing because I was too lazy, but you totally could or I even entertained the idea of melting chocolate and drizzling it over the top. Laziness won and I left them plain. They’re still really tasty though with a glass or milk, eggnog, or even your morning cup of coffee. Hey, cookies don’t care what time it is when you eat them! My belly doesn’t either. Lol.

I was hobbling around my kitchen when I made these as I was recovering from foot surgery so I didn’t bother taking pictures of the process for you. And I used a recipe from here at Sally’s Baking Addiction that is very simple and straightforward. I had all the ingredients on hand already so I didn’t need to make a trip to the grocery store to get anything.

Have fun making these into whatever shapes you desire!! Happy baking!

Use this recipe.

love & cupcakes,

Katie

Ps- do you spell it Hanukkah or Chanukah??!

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Clean & Current Nightstand Styling

Do you ever look around your bedroom and think it is too cluttered, yet you truly need all the things that are taking up crucial surface area spaces? This clean and current DIY will save space on your nightstand for sure! Keep reading…..

That’s totally me and our whole apartment but especially my bedside table. I have items that are sentimental to me gathered from all over the world-sea glass from Riomaggiore, Italy; a ginkgo leaf dish from Weimar, Germany; a heart trinket from Geoff’s road trip through Canada on his way to our new apartment together in Minneapolis. I obviously can’t part with that stuff because I love it. Then I have the “essentials!” : candles, lotions, perfumes, chapstick and earplugs (sense the sarcasm?)

I use it all on a regular basis so I don’t want to store it out of sight because then I’ll be too lazy to get it out every time I need it, but my nightstand is just so crowded!

I was brainstorming how I could keep all that stuff out but give myself more room. My thought? Add height!!!

I needed to find something that had a skinny enough footprint to not take up more room while the “platform/top” be narrow enough to not disturb the base of my lamp. Wouldn’t you know I couldn’t find anything that wasn’t a normal size cake stand. And that would definitely not work! So I went out in search of my own DIY version.

Off to Homegoods I went and a-wandering the aisles did I go!

Behold the candle stick holder and the neglected cheese plate/trivet!

I found this marble trivet with missing feet in the clearance section and the clear glass candle stick for around $10 total! I brought it home and set it up and it worked perfectly! I arranged my perfume bottles on top and it freed up some space nicely! You could super glue the pieces together, but I was too lazy and might use that candle stick someday for an actual candle! (What an idea!! Lol) Also, because the surface area at the top of the candlestick is so wide, the trivet on top is actually very stable and isn’t tippy at all!

I highly suggest adding height wherever you need some extra surface area. It not only solves your space issue, but it adds a lot of visual interest as well!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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DIY & Thoughtful Gift Giving

Christmas and Chanukah are just around the corner, and I thought I would round up some of my previous posts to help inspire your gift giving. If you’re stuck on a few people on your list and just don’t know what to give them, check out a couple of my simple DIYs for easy gifts. There’s a few extra ideas thrown in there for you too!

  • For the girlie girl and accessory lover, try this DIY Leather Tassel: click here!
  • For the caffeine lover, get them a Cold Brew Toddy System. They will love you FOREVER. Check out my post here and read about it/where to buy!
  • For the skin care fanatic, take your leftover coffee grounds and make them a delicious body scrub. Find out how here!
  • for the girl boss working from home/lover of chic office supplies and decor, you’ve got to make them a marbleized clipboard! Pair it with a chic set of pens and stationary and voila! Perfect gift! 
  • Lastly, if you have a certain someone on your list that you THINK you should buy a present for, but aren’t really sure? (we all have those, right?) Why not bake them something delicious and tie a cute bottle of nailpolish to whatever you package the sweet treats in? I know I would enjoy a gift like that, and it’s simple! (plus, you could keep a few of the desserts for yourself!!! BONUS!)

Here’s some easy giftable dessert recipes:

I hope this gave you a few ideas for those hard-to-buy people on your list!

Have you been naughty or nice?!

love & cupcakes,

Katie

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