Tips & tricks category

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Paint cansPhoto by lisegagne/iStockphoto.com

Remember last year when I mentioned that I would share my brother Troy’s painting tips? Well, now is as good a time as any to follow through—especially because Sherwin-Williams has proclaimed this National Painting Week.

All this week Sherwin-Williams is offering design, color, and painting ideas at NationalPaintingWeek.com. Each day has a designated color with a fun project idea to try in your own home. Best of all, in honor of National Painting Week, Sherwin-Williams will provide one lucky Crafty Nest reader with five gallons of FREE paint! Keep reading to find out how to win.

I paint a lot of furniture, so I’ve offered advice on that subject. But I’m far from an expert when it comes to painting walls. Instead of giving you the same canned advice that we’ve already heard over and over: fill nail holes, paint in a W shape, etc. (yawn), I interviewed two pros who aren’t afraid to name the best tools and colors.

First Becky Ralich, a Sherwin-Williams color and design expert, will share her paint color advice. Then Troy Ewing, a builder and house painter, will share his best painting tips and favorite tools for getting the job done fast—and right the first time.

Tips and photos after the jump! Read more »

Embossed numbers clock

Can you believe it? I finally took my Silhouette CAMEO out of its box and fired it up last week. I seriously don’t know what took me so long. I have lots of projects I want to try, but I decided to start with this square clock idea that I was hatching.

Crate&Barrel Karlsson Clock with embossed numbers

Inspired by Crate and Barrel’s Embossed Numbers Wall Clock

As soon as I saw this Embossed Numbers Wall Clock at Crate and Barrel, I wanted to make my own. It’s made by Karlsson, a Dutch clock brand. One of Karlsson’s best features is the chunky numbers that they use in many of their clocks. I couldn’t find a font to match, so I created my own pattern that’s close.

In addition to the numbers, I adored the white-on-white. My plan was to make my clock white too. But my friends are always encouraging me to break away from all-white-all-the-time, hence the orange. I admit that I like the bright color better than the all-white clock now.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

Silhouette Cameo

I got a new toy. (Grin.) I can’t wait to open the box and try it! I’ve wanted a Silhouette CAMEO electronic cutting tool for a while now, and I’m jazzed that I finally got the CAMEO. This machine cuts paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and more — up to 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. I’ve got several projects planned using the CAMEO. But until I get a chance to break it in, I wanted to share some exciting Silhouette Black Friday deals and a special discount code just for Crafty Nest readers! Read more »

Making custom stencils

X-Acto sent me a few of their latest craft knives, which I love. Especially the fat pink Designer Series #11 craft knife in the photo above. In exchange, they asked me to show you how I use X-Acto around my home. Considering that crafting is mostly what happens in my home, I decided to share three of my top craft uses for X-Acto knives.

1. Creating custom stencils

The first time I ever picked up an X-Acto knife was in junior high (grade 7). I took a stained glass class. We started out etching mirrors with our own drawings, which we made into stencils with Con-Tact paper and an X-Acto knife. I was hooked. I made more than a dozen etched mirrors. (I still have some of them. I’ll show you someday.)

Since then, I’ve made many more stencils. Jess Chamberlain and I made the stencil above to paint onto a roman shade for Sunset magazine. Read more »

My SYLVANIA craft room makeover taught me a few things that I wanted to share with you. Here are my top five decorating and lighting tips:

1. Combining up and down lighting

Most homes—especially older rentals like mine—don’t have enough built-in lighting. And one lamp will not do the job, even in small rooms. To brighten up your space without much effort, combine up lights (table or floor lamps) with down lights (pendants) and spotlights (under/inside cabinets and closets or hung over a piece of art).

Up lighting

Up lighting

Down lighting

Down lighting

FOR EXAMPLE: My small office/craft/guest room now has eight light sources: three up lights, two down lights, two spot lights, and one night light/flashlight. All of them use SYLVANIA LED bulbs, which are so energy efficient I can afford to have all of them on at once. With multiple light sources, I have more control over the level of light in the room. And SYLVANIA’S ULTRA Aline LED light bulb is dimmable, so my main light is now on a dimmer switch, giving me even more control. Read more »

Drywall ruler

Drywall ruler with cardbaord

This quick fix was one of those aha! inspirations for me. Ever need a straight edge to measure and cut a large piece of fabric, cardboard, or paper? Forget cheap yardsticks (you’ll only slice slivers of wood off when cutting) or expensive T-squares (that for some reason are never really square) or fancy metal rulers (that usually aren’t long enough). Pick yourself up a Drywall T-Square. They’re four feet long, sturdy, and only about $12 at your local hardware store. I use it for cutting everything now. And the next time I cut drywall, it will come in especially handy. Read more »

Spray paint tent

Check out my new spray-painting “tent.” I don’t have a garage, and I don’t like to spray paint inside my apartment. Spray painting outside is also problematic because of the lovely ocean breezes. Then I found a plastic wardrobe discarded on the side of the road. It wasn’t sturdy enough to hold clothes, and it was covered in rips. A few pieces of white duct tape, and it was good to go. I simply turned it upside down and laid down a sheet of cardboard to create a spray-painting tent. Works like a charm. The tent blocks the wind while spraying and keeps what’s inside dust free while it dries. Plus it keeps the overspray from floating everywhere. The trick: Zip the flaps closed after each coat and wait about 30 minutes while the paint dries and the dust settles.

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