Tag Archives: paint

DIY Striped Wall Art

The great thing about wall art is that you can change it as often as you change your mind, and for me, that’s pretty frequent.  The great thing about making your own wall art is that you don’t have to spend a small fortune to add a piece to your collection.  Here’s my latest DIY wall art endeavor!

diy striped wall art

I started with two 16″ x 20″ canvases (about $4 with my Hobby Lobby coupon).  They got an all-over coat of Valspar Delightful Moon, the same buttery yellow that I used on my accent tables.

diy striped wall art

Several days later once that dried, I broke out the ol’ Frog Tape (which I’ve been known to use for wall art before).  I used little scraps of tape to space the stripes evenly.

diy striped wall art

Then I separated each stripe in random spots to make two stripes per line.

diy striped wall art

I recently picked up a couple more Valspar samples (I have a serious lack of control when Lowe’s releases their color palettes).  These are Redstone Blue Spruce (left) and Perfect Storm (right) from the Playful Pumpkin palette.

diy striped wall art

Each stripe got two coats of paint, Perfect Storm on the left and Redstone Blue Spruce on the right.

Just for funsies, here is a gif of my paint process:

diy striped wall art

I carefully pulled the tape off while the paint was still wet and was immediately obsessed with the bold, stripey design.  Imagine my face resembling the emoji with hearts for eyes.  Smitten!

diy striped wall art

After repeating the taping process (I measured the stripes on the first canvas and taped them off on the opposite side of the second) and repeating the painting process, I had two bold, stripey little works of art to put on our floating shelves in the living room!

They look really cool in both landscape and portrait orientation, so it will be fun to switch them around every now and again.diy striped wall artDo you have a favorite of the three orientations above?  Have  you made some wall art of your own lately?  Do tell…


dream BIG

Here’s a story about a finishing touch. I’ve blogged about my media stand and the shelves I constructed out of inexpensive IKEA tables. Now it’s time to talk about the last bit I did to finish off the media area. Although I never really consider any area of our home “finished”. Our living space is ever-evolving!  Check out the media area as I last left it here in blogland (please excuse my horrible photoshop job over the tv screen).

DIY Media Stand

I mentioned once before that the media stand lives on a massive wall, and believe me that is not an exaggeration. The main wall in our front room is 11.25′ tall by 18.5′ wide. That’s a LOT of wall. Over 208 sq ft of wall to be exact. See, this wall comes down from the peak of the roof on our condo. I knew I wanted something to frame out the area over the TV and give character to the big empty “canvas”, I just wasn’t sure what…

I knew I didn’t want to hang a mirror. I have frames (that are still empty!!!  need to get on that…) and a world map hung on the opposite wall and I didn’t want the reflection to compete with whatever we happen to be watching on TV. Fun fact – you can usually find us watching Arrested Development (with which the fella and I have an unhealthy obsession), Arrow, Undercover Boss, Master Chef or trying to find out who the gal with the yellow umbrella is. We love Netflix and Hulu. Cable Schmable. Who needs it.

Back to the wall… After much careful deliberation I decided that artwork on a floating shelf would be a delight of a sight above the tv. I love all of the typographical artwork that peppers my Pinterest feed.  And artwork atop a shelf above the tv was just the thing to add height to our little setup.  I have been known to sketch out my plans.  Not to scale or anything, I just like to put pen to paper to help visualize what I want my end result to look like.  Fancy, no?

Sketch of media stand idea

And then it was off to Hobby Lobby I went, where thanks to a sale and my coupon from the HL phone app, I scored a two-pack of 16″ x 20″ canvases for a pretty nice price (I think it was around $8). I have oodles of acrylic paint in my craft stash, so I picked a blue that was similar to my shelves and media stand and a soft green that resembled my jade-colored frame gallery (I’ll have to show that off on here at some point).

Acrylic Paint Colors

I went for a “washed” or “water colored” effect by mixing about one tbsp of paint with a few oz of water. I just squirted the paint right into a little jar, screwed the lid on tight, and shook it like crazy until it was mixed.

There was no method to my painting madness – I just slathered the stuff on with a little coarse bristle brush until I liked the look of it.

Wash Painting

After one coat of green and one coat of blue these canvases were asking for more. So I gave them some wispy, whimsical squiggles courtesy of some leftover yarn in my stash.  I soaked the yarn in the blue paint mixture for a few minutes and then laid it haphazardly on the canvases to create the squiggly lines.  I then let them dry for around 24 hours.


Then it was time for the fun part – the wording!  “Dream big” is a serious statement.  It serves as a reminder that we can definitely accomplish great things if we dream big enough and stay focused on our goals.  It’s just the kind of encouragement I want to look at every time I walk in my front door.  I went with a cursive font for the word dream and “impact” for the word BIG.  I simply printed them out on paper and traced them on to my Martha stencil film, then cut the words out with my handy-dandy Xacto.

Stencil - Dream

Martha Stewart vinyl stencil paper.

The stencils were carefully adhered to the canvases and I went to town with plain white acrylic paint.  I had to keep little segments on the stencil on the d, e, a and b so that I could keep from painting the inside of the loops.

Stenciled Words

As soon as the words were painted, I carefully peeled off the stencils while they were still wet to keep the edges from peeling.  Then I painted over the areas where my strips were to close my letter loops and let the canvases dry for another 24 hours.

Wall Art - Words on Canvas

As for where these beauties hang out now, I bought two white 48″ floating shelves and mounted them to the wall according to the instructions.  This took a lot of measuring, drilling and screw-driving, which my handsome fella was so gracious to help me with.

Mounting Shelves

I set my newly made artwork on the shelves with a few miscellaneous decorative items (they’re designed to hold around 30lbs each so I didn’t want to load them up crazy style).

Media Stand Entertainment Center DIY

As for this “finishing touch” on our media area – I’m in love!  It’s so nice to glance up there and get a little inspirational shot in the arm on the regular!

Any other folks out there jazzing up massive walls with homemade art, floating shelves or any other fun items?  Do tell…

The LACK Hack

I’ve done a lot of work in our living room. And why not? Much of the time that we clock at home is in there. I’ve already boasted about my media stand, and I promised to return to tell you about the shelves I built to surround her.  I absolutely love them!  Here’s a muddy iPhone pic sneak peek…

LACK Table Hack

My shelves are the brainchildren of a shelf that well-loved home bloggers Sherry and John Petersik made and shared in their book – Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update and Show Your Home Some Love.  Sidebar – if you like to DIY, please [safely] run, don’t walk, to your nearest bookstore and treat yourself to this book.  Like right now.  It’s chock-full of tons of creative (and inexpensive!) DIY ideas that you can recreate or re-imagine to make your own.  And with my book in hand and thinking cap on, I did just that.  Ikea hacking has been around for a minute, but I saw how the Petersiks married a few LACK tables with simple assembly techniques to make a shelf and I jumped right on that bandwagon and told the driver to floor it.

Project Checklist

  • Fairly simple – check!
  • Inexpensive – check!
  • Totally customizable – double check!

I batted my eyes and used a bit of cheap bribery to get my fella to make the trek to IKEA with me.  We picked up six white LACK tables at a cool $7.99 a pop!  My wallet gave me a kiss afterwards.  Not really.  It should have though.  Here I am opening them up like a kiddo on Christmas [note my previous “shelving” set-up in the background, which was a beat up, wobbly hand-me-down]:

LACK Tables

The tables were covered in paper veneer, so I roughed up the surface with a bit of medium sandpaper.  That step was probably unnecessary since I used Zinsser B-I-N primer (which sticks to AN-Y-THING).  But you see, I am paint-paranoid and wanted to be absotively sure that the paint stuck.  Here you see the first set of tables laid out and waiting for a new coat of paint:


I wanted the shelves to complement the media stand since they’d live next to it, but I wanted them to have a unique feature.  I decided that the exterior surfaces would wear Valspar’s Fountain Mist to match the media stand, and the interior surfaces would wear a shade darker.  Behr’s Rapture Blue looks ravishing next to Fountain Mist, no?

Valspar Fountain Mist and Behr Rapture Blue

Photo sources: Valspar, Behr

You might be thinking “why didn’t she use another Valspar color to get the best match?”, to which I’d reply “chill, man, I had a Home Depot coupon!”.  Ok, maybe I wouldn’t be that blunt.  You get the idea.  So the insides got two coats of Rapture Blue, and the outsides got two coats of Fountain Mist…  I somehow lost the progress pics where the exterior was painted. #blogfail.  But here’s a bit of Rapture Blue for ya:

IKEA LACK Tables Painted Rapture Blue

Once painted, the tables all got a double-dose of polycrylic to protect the paint from chipping.  For direction on how I assembled the tables to make these fine shelves, check out Sherry and John’s book.  You’ll thank me, I promise.  And now the finished product!

IKEA LACK Tables Turned to Shelves

Of course I decked them out with some of my favorite books and a few other decorative items.  I like to switch what lives on them according to season or upcoming holidays too, just to keep it fresh and fun.

IKEA LACK Tables turned Shelves

The media stand was nice, but she looked lonely hanging out on the HUGE wall all by herself.  The shelves were just the thing she needed to bolster her self esteem.  Now it’s a substantial, cohesive unit!

DIY Media Stand

DIY Media Stand

I actually added another component to the media area to help fill the void of blank wall that once existed there.  Stay tuned, I’ll be posting about that project too!

Anyone else getting inspiration from Sherry and John or another fascinating home blog out there?  And who else is charming their partner into taking trips to massive, crowded furniture showrooms?  Do tell…