Sometimes Refinishing Furniture Makes Me Want to Throw a Tantrum

Back in April 2014, I found on bed on Craigslist that I just HAD to have for Zack’s room.  It had great lines and only needed a little work, which sounded awesome after just finishing Emma’s green bed.  I wasn’t quite ready to work on it, so I put it aside in the garage.

Two in a half years later, I decided that there was no better time than the present.  HAHA!  Procrastinators unite!

After I got the bed cleaned up, I could tell that the finish on the veneer was peeling and bubbling in places.  It wasn’t in perfect shape when I got it, but I’m sure that hanging out in the hot garage for a few years didn’t help its case.

No hassle update for a Mid-Century Modern bed

Well, it was time for me to get started refinishing furniture again.  I decided to do some light sanding on it to see what would happen.  It’s always touchy when you sand a thin veneer, because if you can easily go through the veneer.  Like this.

No hassle update for a Mid-Century Modern bed

Okay, so that’s not EXACTLY what happened.  The veneer was pretty marred in these spots and felt really rough, so sanding it down was a decision that I made and not an accident.  But, it could easily happen if you aren’t careful!

Because I just couldn’t handle this turning into a multi-day project, I started thinking about how I could save this bed.  I could paint it, but I really didn’t want a painted finish.  My friend Marian suggested that I use a chemical stripper to take the stain off the veneer (which was actually the “right” thing to do), but that made me feel like Andy from Wet Hot American Summer.

So…that wasn’t going to be the right answer for me.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor, Decorate Your Home

Building This Adjustable Five Arm Brass Chandelier Basically Put Money in My Pocket

As is the continuing saga of my life, I fall in love with light fixtures on a daily basis.  DAILY.  And if see a homeless light fixture, it comes home with me.  Some people adopt pets.  I adopt light fixtures.  Well, I do have two adopted dogs, so don’t throw things at me.

So, when I was planning for Zack’s new room, I desperately wanted a $350 light fixture from Shades of Light.  Y’all, that’s a lot of money to spend on a light for a bedroom.  I’m okay with that kind of cash in a living room, but not so much in a room that not many people will ever see.  However, I was obsessed and really considering it, but then I noticed that it took G9 Halogen bulbs and I CAN’T GET DOWN WITH THAT.

Back to the drawing board.  I knew I wanted a brass fixture that had room for fun bulbs.  After lots and lots of searching, I came across the Odyssey 4 Chandelier from Schoolhouse Electric.  ANOTHER $350 light fixture, y’all.

5 Arm 5 Arm Adjustable Brass Chandelier DIYAdjustable Brass Chandelier DIY

Okay, so hear me out.  This one is pretty cool.  The socket connectors are adjustable, so you can change the direction of the bulbs.  Fun, right?

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 10.47.05 AM

But, even though I think it is cool, it is still $350.  And the fact that it had an even number of arms really bugged me.

After some more searching, I came across this post from Mandi at Vintage Revivals and this post from Kelsey at Simply My Simple.  They both pointed to a website where they bought brass parts to build their own chandeliers.

Challenge accepted.

5 Arm Adjustable Brass Chandelier DIY

So here’s what happened.  I ordered a bunch of parts and was going to do a tutorial for you on how I built it.  But, my sweet husband put it together one day as a surprise when I was at roller derby practice. I actually really loved that he did that, so sorry that you don’t have a tutorial.  However, Mandi’s and Kelsey’s tutorials will walk you through the general things you need to know.  The rest is like Tinker Toys.

5 Arm Adjustable Brass Chandelier DIY

Filed Under: Create Your Decor

How to Paint a Modern Ombre Wall and Finally Get Moving on a Long Ignorned Project

Well over a year ago, I came up with the game plan to transition my then 8-year old son’s room from a little boys room to one more fit for the confident, brilliant, and creative young man that he’s become.

Mid Century Modern boy's room moodboard

He was excited for us to get started on it, but then life got in the way (as it has been doing for the last few years).  And then he turned 9.  And then he was mere months away from turning 10.  And then it was REALLY time to get started, because I was embarrassed at my lack to time management, if nothing else.

So one day last month, I decided that it was time for the massive paint job to begin.  I emptied the room, taped off the trim, laid down the drop cloth, and somehow convinced Tom to help me with the paint sprayer.  We primed all of the walls and ceiling and then painted the ceiling and top half of the walls Lindsay White.  This is what it looked like – pretty and pristine on the top and full on hot mess on the bottom.

How to Paint an Ombre Wall

And Tom was all, “Good luck!”  Ok, thanks.

In an effort to give Zack’s room an ocean feel (without being theme-y), I wanted to paint an ombre wall – starting with dark blue at the bottom and transitioning to white at the top.  Instead of it being a graduated, seamless ombre, I wanted a more modern, choppy feel.

So, I divided the wall into three sections – dark blue, medium blue, and white – and marked them with painters tape.  I left a six inch gap between the two blues so I would have a space to blend the colors.  I was going to blend the white and light blue, but I didn’t need to leave a gap since the white was already painted, if that makes sense.  Probably not.

How to Paint an Ombre Wall

Then, I painted the middle section with Glidden’s Paint + Primer (flat) in Marine Blue.  I (obviously) didn’t worry about painting sharp lines, because I’ll be blending the colors together.  I just used my paint roller to slap the paint on the wall.

How to Paint an Ombre Wall

Filed Under: Create Your Decor

How to be the Talk of the Neighborhood by Making Ridiculously Elaborate Halloween Costumes with HomeRight Tools

Every Halloween, Tom sets out to create an incredibly elaborate costume for Zack.  I think it started when Zack was a toddler, and I would sew cute little costumes for him, like a “Zack in the Box” and a Munchkin.  Secretly, or maybe not so secretly, Tom wanted to prove that he could make better costumes than me.  But, that’s okay, because now Halloween is his problem and not mine.

This year, Zack really wanted to be a dragon.  If it were me, I would have hot glued some wings and spikes onto a hoodie and called it a day.  But oh, no.  In the Ballard household, things get quickly out of hand.

How to Build Elaborate Halloween Costumes with HomeRight tools

It’s hard to tell from this picture since it was taken in the daylight, but the dragon’s eyes light up red and the mouth glows white.  There’s also a hidden Bluetooth speaker hidden inside the mouth that Tom could control from his phone and make it roar.  Yes, it was absolutely ridiculous.

Filed Under: Create Your Decor, Giveaways & Product Reviews

How to Bend PVC Pipe

How to Build PVC Pipe

Have you ever needed to bend a length of PVC pipe for a project?  PVC is such a great, light-weight building component for structures and costumes, but the sharp angles and straight lines leave a lot to be desired.

Today, Tom is going to show us how to do with with the help of our HomeRight Dual Temperature Heat Gun (affiliate).  We use this heat gun for all sorts of projects around here, but using it to bend PVC was a new one for me.  I’m sure there are plenty of other ways to bend PVC pipe, but this is how he does it.

Tom is building Zack’s Halloween costume (he goes ridiculously all out for Halloween!), and he needed some nice curves in the PVC pipe.  Using heat resistant gloves, he turned the heat gun on the highest setting and warmed up the pipe, trying to bend it as it heated.  Once the pipe was heated enough to become pliable, he curved it to the angle he wanted it to be.

How to Build PVC Pipe

Filed Under: Create Your Decor

Spooky Thrift Store Halloween Figurines + a HomeRight Giveaway

As soon as the kids go back to school, my thoughts turn to fall.  The football.  The Halloween costumes.  The pumpkin spice everything.  But, because I live on the surface of the sun (aka Texas) where it’s still 100-degrees, it doesn’t even begin to feel like fall until most of you already have inches of snow on the ground.  So, I have to occupy myself with little fall-type projects while I sit in my air-conditioned house.

We’re getting ready to start teaching our DI kids some costume building skills so they can create their own Halloween costumes this year, so I have Halloween on the brain.   During a recent trip to Goodwill, I spotted these teddy bear figurines and a crazy idea came to mind.

Halloween Teddy Bear Figurines

I set up my HomeRight Spray Shelter so I could give these beauties a coat of paint in my garage.  It was one zillion times easier to set it up in the garage than it was in my bedroom (who knew?  Ha!).  I put down a drop cloth and then covered a little table since it’s easier to spray paint when your items are waist high.  You’ll notice that the drop cloth is smaller than the Spray Shelter footprint – we’ll talk about that in a minute.

Halloween Teddy Bear Figurines

Filed Under: Create Your Decor