Monday, January 6, 2014

Thrifted Kitchen table re-done

Today's post is about my new kitchen table! I had a round table I had purchased at wally world about 5 years ago. It had served us well, and I loved the look, size and shape of it.

But when you have little kids and you buy an MDF topped table and you DON'T put a polyurethane coat on messed up! My kids did a number on that pretty little table. Hindsight - we REALLY should have taken the time to poly the top, but we didn't. Every time I would wipe down the table it would leave black paint on my rag. Every time the table got wet it would bubble the mdf up. We eventually were left with a really ugly table top.

So I went on the hunt in thrift shops and online yardsale sites to find something I liked to re-do. I was lucky enough to come across this table that was the perfect shape I wanted, REAL wood all the way through, and only $20!

I apologize for all the bad cell phone pics, but I was too excited to get started on this project and forgot to take proper before pics. So this is the table after my hubby took the top off. My plan was to sand the top completely and restain it. Then put a poly coat on and paint the base. I started sanding the top and it was NOT coming off. It had some weird type of coating on it (not to mention years of dirt and grime) that was not coming off very easily. So I asked my husband to come take a look and show me an easier way. He ended up doing the whole top himself, lol. Yep, that was easiest for me! We tried stripping it first, but even that didn't work. It took him two days and tons of sand paper, but he eventually got through it all and we were left with an amazingly gorgeous smooth surface that looked almost brand new.

Before sanding, all dirty and scratched up even though you can't see it that well in the photo

My poor hubby working so hard to sand that table top.
After sanding for two days we re-stained the top with Rust-Oleum Early American stain. 

Two coats of stain and then we put about 3 coats of polycrylic on top of that. Here is the table top after the stain, but before the poly. You can't really notice that big of a difference from the photos, but it's a huge difference in person.

As he was sanding away, I painted the base. I like to use latex paint because it's so much more affordable than chalk paint. It takes a little more prep work, but I've found this sanding deglosser at Home Depot and it's great. As long as your piece isn't too shiney/plasticey (I make up my own words often) you just glove up your hands, rub this on and let it dry. It creates a scratchy enough surface that your paint will stick to it.

After that I used Valspar Fish Story interior Satin paint. I bought 3 sample jars and still have almost a whole jar left. I painted the table base AND 4 chairs with it. I just love those little sample jars of paint! I painted two-three coats and then sanded some of the corners down a little to give it a little weathered look. I didn't go big on the weathered look at all, I'm always nervous to do that. One day I'll take a piece and really scratch it up and maybe even wax it, but this time I let my nerves get the best of me and just scratched it up a bit. After sanding we put two coats of polycrylic on.

I did the same thing to the chairs. But I loved the top of the table so much instead of painting the chair seats we decided to strip the black paint off, sand it all the way down to the wood and stain those as well. We are very happy with the results! Here is a picture trail of our new table. We had all the supplies on hand except the paint and can of paint stripper. So I think we spent about $35 total including the $20 on the table originally.

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more projects we've been doing in our new house! :)

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ornate Mirror Re-do

So yes, I've been gone for so long!! I haven't really been doing my blog because I've been so busy. A lot has changed! My hubby got orders to a new station and we've been taking the past year to really settle down. We purchased a new home here (new to us) and I've decided I'm going to blog some of our projects! We've done A LOT of things so far in this house! We did an almost complete kitchen remodel, put in hardwood floors, new carpet, built a lot of custom furniture, decorated a tad, did the kids rooms, and guest bedroom, and still have so much more to do!! We're really enjoying it here so far, and I'm loving being able to start fresh in a new home!

So today's post is about how to paint and old ornate mirror. At our old house we had the tv mounted above the fireplace. I was 100% positive I didn't want to do that again because I really wanted to be able to decorate the mantel for different holidays and parties. So I'd been searching for an inexpensive solution for a while. I had a small mirror I got at Hobby Lobby up there, but it just wasn't big enough.

I knew I wanted a mirror or old window frame. But this one just wasn't cutting it.

So I found this amazingly gorgeous mirror at a local thrift shop.

It's about 30" x 45" or so and was perfect! They wanted $120 for it though and that wasn't in my price range. Luckily I have an amazing husband and he went in and negotiated with them and got it for just $60!! I can do that! Although I did like the gold I didn't really like it with my decor. I am slowly becoming a fan of gold. I used to hate it, but I'm really liking it with other soft colors lately. So I stuck it up on the mantel and gave it a go, but quickly realized it wasn't working for me. 

I also noticed that some of the gold paint was chipping off.

So I decided painting it would be best for me. I had some extra paint from my son's lego table in the garage. It's a great darker teal color. It's by Valspar and it's called Perfect Storm. It's interior satin latex, not chalk paint so I was taking a chance. I almost always use regular latex paint for my projects since it's so much more affordable, but I didn't know how it would hold on the frame. I started by cleaning it with just water. I didn't want to chip anymore gold off than I could manage. I then used a cut up paper bag and slid it under the frame to protect the mirror while I painted.

I wanted some of the gold to come through the paint color so I just took a pretty dry brush with only a little bit of paint on it and kind of brushed and stippled it on the frame. I did one corner and let it dry to make sure it was going to hold well since it wasn't chalk paint. It worked great!

You can see in the next picture how it was "dry brushed". You can see a lot of gold scratches/brush strokes coming through the teal paint. This is what I was going for.

I did decide to go ahead and do another light coat to get a deeper teal color. Here is how it turned out. You can still clearly see gold coming through.

And here is how it looks in the house! I think the bigger mirror looks much better. I still need to finish decorating the mantel, and we are planning to add an extension to the mantel soon. It's very narrow and hard to decorate. That will be a project I'll post later. ;) But in the mean time, I'm loving my new shabby chic mirror! 

And I love that you can still see all the ornate details and the gold coming through the paint. It was such an easy project, and I only used about 1/3 of a sample jar of paint!

If you happen to be lucky enough to have one of these older mirrors hanging around and want a change I suggest trying this! It was fun, easy and pretty inexpensive. My kind of project! 

Thanks for reading and I hope to begin blogging a little more frequently, so stay tuned!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Pirate Mermaid Brother Sister Joint Birthday Party

Yes I know!! It's been FOREVER!! I just had to come back on and blog about my two kiddos birthday party we just had. I think it turned out fantastic and wanted to share with you all my theme and how I pulled it off.

 Since my husband is deployed I wanted to do something a little more low key than last year (hahahahahaha-I'm not entirely sure I even know what low-key means!!) so I decided to combine my two kids parties. They are only 11 months apart and both have birthdays in September. My daughter Ashlyn is turning 5 at the end of the month and Hayden turned 4 the 2nd. I knew I wanted to do a Pirate Mermaid theme but I was having trouble finding print-ables that I liked. I just didn't have time to make them myself so I found these one here at Simply Sweet Parties. I wasn't overly thrilled with the colors but once I convo'd her she said she could change the color scheme to whatever I needed. I had her do a teal and pink theme. They are just so cute! They were exactly what I had in mind. I asked her to change the wording on the invite and she did that as well. She was very easy to work with and I got so many compliments on the invites!

I glittered the whole tail of the mermaid and a star in the center of her flower to add a little extra cuteness. I had them printed at and for the back I had a picture of my two lovies so they were also on the invite.

I did a small food/snack table and a dessert table. I got netting and shells, chocolate gold coins, small treasure chest, and burlap to decorate with. I added touches of glitter to the banner and hung that on the netted backdrop, then glued some shells and pirate coins to it.

For the food/snack table I did the same theme, but no backdrop since it was a round table. I just added a few hanging decorations.

I tried to name all the food to fit the theme. We had sushi sandwiches which were really good! You just cut the crust off a piece of bread, spread some cream cheese on it, then for the filling I used julienned cucumber and cheddar cheese, and a little turkey lunch meat. Then just roll it up and cut it in two pieces. Stand them up on the plate for a "rolled sushi" look.

We also had chips and gold fish I named "fish and chips", cheese balls named "cannon balls", little smokies in bbq sauce named "dead man fingers", cheese cubes named "gold nuggets", and for the punch I used the blue hawaiian punch and added sprite. We named that Mermaid Punch. I tied some twine around the jug to decorate it a little bit.

For the dessert table I have to brag a little about the cake because I ALWAYS stress out about the cake. The night before I almost decided to not do it because we already had cupcakes and I just didn't want to worry about it, but I had already baked the cakes and made the fondant treasure map so I went ahead and did it. I really love the way it turned out! I did an ombre ruffle cake I saw on Lori's Bakery for the top tier and added seashells and sprinkles. For the bottom tier its just white buttercream with black fondant stripes, then I added the treasure map that actually broke before I got it on the cake, but I liked it that way, lol. And the mermaid, ship and pirate hat are decorations I found at hobby lobby. :) It really pulled the table together I  think so I'm happy I didn't get lazy and not do it.

I made cupcakes to showcase the adorable cupcake toppers from Simply Sweet Parties, and we also had pearl pops and fishy pops that were oreo pops, and I made some cute little pirate pops from marshmallows. They were quite possibly the easiest thing I made! you just stick a lollipop stick in melted candy melts, insert the marshmallow, dip the top 1/3rd or so, stick them in styrofoam and let them dry. Once dry use a food coloring pen and draw on a pirate face. For the pearl pops I used the oreo pop recipe of one package of oreos to one package of cream cheese. Grind the oreos in a food processor until fine and combine with the package of softened cream cheese. Roll into balls. Dip them in candy melt and for the sprinkle ones, add the sprinkles while still wet. For the sparkly ones I let them dry first and then brushed them with edible luster dust. For the fishy pops I did the same technique for the sparkle pops, but for the fish I waited for them to dry then took melted candy melts in an icing bag and piped the blow fish mouth and fins on the side. Once that dried I added two dot eyes with the food coloring pen. For all the plates I dusted with brown sugar for "sand" and then added the food.

Other food items on the dessert table were rock candy lollipops we called "mermaid crystal wands", the chocolate gold coins I ordered from ebay, rice krispie treats we cut out using a star cookie cutter and drizzled some candy melts on called "krispie treat starfish", and I can't forget about the super yummy sugar cookies that I ordered from Sunshine Bakes off etsy. I convo'd her a picture of the invite and she made the most adorable mini fish and starfish to match the party colors. They arrived 2 days before the party fresh and completely in tact! Not even ONE broken cookie!! I was amazed. They were packaged very well and very cute! She even wrote me a little hand written note saying she hoped the party went well. Great customer service. I definitely recommend Beth for any of your cookie needs! And did I mention they tasted great!!??

And for the activities - well I went SUPER easy and rented a 30 foot inflatable slip and slide. I got a GREAT deal from living social and the kids all thoroughly enjoyed it!! They didn't want to leave! That's a party I call a success! ;) So happy my two kids had a great party! It made all the work totally worth it!

Both the kids shirts and my daughters mermaid tail skirt were made by me! I don't sell these but can always do them as a custom. Check out my etsy shop here - Ashlyn's Bowtique 
And the made to match OOAK (as of now, lol) headband was made by Knottyfrog - she also does crochet items and the most adorable necklaces for little girls!! Go check them out, I promise you won't be sorry you did...unless you become addicted like I have and buy your little lady a ton of them!! Don't say I didn't warn you! ;) 

I hope I was able to help anyone else out wanting to do a pirate mermaid party! It was great to do something that all the little boys and girls enjoyed. And I loved the outcome. I think this might be my favorite party I've done so far!