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View from dining room to living room

Living room - naval wall

Whenever people tell me they love painting, I’m suspicious. If you do the job right (protect the floor, clean and prep the walls, tape off moldings and edges, and start with primer), painting is anything but fun. And that doesn’t even count cleanup. But it’s worth the hassle because paint (or wallpaper) has the biggest influence on the mood and light of any room. Read more »

Sherwin-Williams paint samples

To say that choosing paint colors was difficult for me would be an understatement. Each color looked completely different depending on lighting, which I found to be extremely frustrating—especially now that days are short and sunlight is limited. Two months, 22 paint samples, and multiple splotchy walls later, I finally picked the colors I want on my walls. Read more »

DIY checkers game

This checkerboard is made from two free carpet samples. By the way, if you can’t find carpet samples to make any of these crafts, FLOR modular carpet tiles work just as well, and they come in better colors.

Two carpet samples

I’m excited that my DIY checkerboard rug idea actually worked. I was a little trepidatious about cutting carpet. I thought it would be difficult and require special tools. I was wrong on both counts. Cutting the carpets was the easiest part of making this checkers set.

Sure, a black and ivory checkerboard would be more classic and classy, but I already have plans for those carpet samples. Plus, the blue and green is fun and unexpected.

Checkerboard at an angle

A carpet checkerboard and felt checkers makes for the quietest checkers game you’ve ever heard. And it’s transportable because the felt doesn’t slide off of the carpet. If you’re more of a chess person, you can buy chess pieces or make your own.

I made the entire game from supplies I already had on hand. I love it when it works out that way. And it only took half a day to make.

Click here for carpet-sample craft number one. Five more carpet crafts coming soon.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

My first ever DIY blog posts appeared in Sunset magazine’s now defunct blog, homebysunset.com. Because Sunset is no longer hosting these projects, I’m making revised and updated versions available here at Crafty Nest. This post comprises Dressing up a boring bookshelf, Part 1-3, originally published August 2007.

DIY china cabinet - after

Bare bookshelf - before

This small unfinished pine bookshelf was shuffled from room to room. I planned to paint it, but never did. I was on the verge of kicking it to the curb. Then, after unsuccessfully searching for a china cabinet for my tiny dining room, I decided to dress this bookshelf up as a china cabinet.

I started with a sketch (see below). I wanted to lift the shelves off the ground, hence the legs. I also added crown molding and trim boards on each shelf. After a friend cut and routered all the salvaged wood I had piled in my car, I was ready to start building.

I bought the molding and other pieces of wood (for trim and reinforcement) at a nearby salvage yard. I love salvage yards (two others that I frequent are Urban Ore and Omega Salvage). But beware: Most salvage yards are for-profit businesses, and they often aren’t cheaper than buying brand new, so compare prices first.

Tutorial and photos after the jump. Read more »

Chandelier - after

Chandelier - before

My heartfelt apologies to everyone who has been waiting since last summer’s blog post for me to share this chandelier tutorial! A few detours and roadblocks delayed my ability to pass on this information.

First there was girls camp, and then I got a new job, and then I moved. I’m still waiting for Troy to help me hang the chandelier in my bedroom. Yes! I’m moving it from the dining room to the bedroom. Meanwhile, the chandelier sits on the floor in the corner. I gave up waiting for my brother and slung it over the bar in my closet to take some photos.

And then the hooks I used were so old that I could not remember where I purchased them. I searched Michael’s, Jo-Ann Crafting Supplies, and every online bead store that I knew of and came up empty. Nobody seems to sell the exact hook-and-eye that I used. I finally found some that are close enough at Fire Mountain Gems, to which I linked in the supplies list. I sincerely hope they work for you.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

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 »

Painted lampshade - on & off

Table lamp - before

You probably remember this lamp. Its first makeover was four years ago. Frankly, the fabric-covered lamp shade was a disappointment, and brass just isn’t my thing. When I found an eBay store that sells nickel-plated lamp parts at unbeatable prices, I almost cried tears of joy. Then all I needed was a new lamp shade to paint. This off-white fabric drum shade was perfect.

This isn’t my first time rewiring a table lamp either. Last time I used a lamp kit and didn’t go into much detail. This time I’ll show you how to assemble the individual parts, which should be of more use to you.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! Read more »

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