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Studded mirror

I have a history with tile mirrors. The house in which I grew up had a rustic fireplace with 1970s tile mirrors glued to the wall above it. Painted in the center of the grouping of mirrors was a tall ship. It had a face. I swear I could see eyes and a mouth peering out at me through the sails of that ship. As a child, I was afraid of it. You wouldn’t catch me alone in that room at night. (I’ll show you a picture as soon as my mother finds one.)

As a teenager, I discovered glass etching. I bought boxes of mirror tiles and used etching cream to transfer my designs onto each mirror. I etched everything from roses and ’34 Fords to the Statue of Liberty. My older brother, Aaron, was taking woodshop at school, so he built square frames for them. Together, we gave them as gifts to family members. I still have a stack of etched mirrors that never got framed.

Tutorial and photos after the jump! 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 »

Office makeover - view from the door

This is the first whole-room makeover I have attempted on Crafty Nest. What an undertaking! I had been planning to make over my office/guest/craft room for some time. The makeover involved a ton of DIY—which is definitely why I procrastinated the job. Then SYLVANIA invited me to participate in their blogger room makeover challenge—just the impetus I needed to get started. They sent me a $500 gift card to Lowe’s, a bunch of SYLVANIA’S new LED light bulbs and light fixtures, and gave me a weekend to get the job done.

At the start, I knew I needed to call in a reinforcement: my younger brother, Troy, who blogs about his construction work at Hardhat13. And it was a good thing I did. At the end of day two, we realized we were only halfway done. So, this is technically a two-person, two-weekend job.

Check out all the SYLVANIA blogger room makeovers over the coming weeks on their Facebook page. If you “like” the page, you can enter the daily sweeps to win your own SYLVANIA lighting products and Lowe’s gift cards so you can perform you own room makeover!

Here’s the “before” video. Let’s all make fun of how many times I say “love it.” One thing I do not love is making videos. My videos are unedited, so kindly forgive my rookie mistakes. It’s hard to believe that I stuffed so much furniture in that one little room, isn’t it? Amazingly, though, there is more furniture in the room after the makeover, yet everyone tells me the room looks bigger now. Mission accomplished.

The look I was going for is beach cottage meets industrial chic. The colors: blues, greens, whites, and silver—all cool, calming colors of the sea. I infused liberal doses of galvanized steel, paint, lighting, white fabric, and tassels. Now the room is serene, less cluttered, and oh-so-practical.

Dresser corner

I designed the studded mirror to echo the look of my riveted steel magnet board. It’s made from 12-inch mirror tiles. The mirror adds more light to the room and makes the potted plants look even more plentiful. Mirror tutorial coming soon. Click here for the mirror tutorial.

The pom-pom paper lantern you’ve seen before on Crafty Nest. The white twill curtain panels and the plush Wooly Bully accent rug are from Lowe’s. I made the tassels from yarn I had on hand. Curtain and tassels tutorials coming soon.

Here’s the “after” video. As I mention in the video, the room is now organized into three zones: the craft zone, the office zone, and the guest bedroom zone. Surprisingly, Troy is more versed in feng shui than I am. He informed me that the energy in this room was all wrong. Moving the fabric cabinet to the other side of the room made a world of difference.

More photos and videos after the jump! Read more »

Matchbook box - after

Match box open with matchbooks

Unfinished cigar box - before

When I discovered that my matchbooks fit perfectly into this old unfinished cigar box, I knew it was a DIY matchbox in the making. I wanted to step up the fancy in a subtle way, so I could leave the dingy box out in plain site. I’m all about pretty and practical—and simple—crafts these days. And this matchbox was definitely simple.

Ok, I admit covering each individual matchbook with colored paper is a little bit obsessive, but in my defense, I did that part of this project years ago when I must have had more time on my hands. The match box itself was a breeze. If you don’t want to cut and paste colored paper onto each matchbook—and let’s face it: who does?—you can buy these gloriously pure white matchbooks at Amazon.com.

In case you’re wondering, a friend of mine made that little Dutch couple kissing. She gave them to me expecting that I would paint them the traditional blue and white, but I like them plain white. (I know: You’re shocked.) And, yes, that is my bizarre kitchen counter from the 60s. Boomerangs must have been big then. 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.

Frame within a frame - after

Thrift store frames

I absolutely adore this “bird cage” illustration by Emma SanCartier. And I wanted to make this small piece of art stand out. I could have mounted it in an up-sized frame with generous matting. I decided to make a frame-within-a-frame instead, mostly because I already had all the supplies on hand. The frames were thrift store finds, and the fabric was a scrap I picked up from Fabmo. To buy your own “bird cage” print or any of Emma’s other gorgeous prints, go to her Etsy shop. Read more »

Wallpapered dressing table - after

Wallpapered dressing table - before

Introducing a new guest nester! Australian Abby Matthews blogs about the things that inspire her at Two Little Dicky Birds. Abby’s remake of this tired, chipped pine dressing table reminds me of my wallpapered cart, but she used an entirely different (and better?) process, so I had to share it with you. Abby writes: “I was inspired by Bryonie Porter’s wallpapered furniture, but wasn’t confident that I could carry off wallpapering the entire table, so I decided to just apply the paper to the top. It was just as well, as I botched the first wallpaper application and used up the bulk of the paper the second time around. The wallpaper I used is a Florence Broadhurst design from an offcut won on eBay. It’s currently used as a writing/computer desk in our living area and is definitely my favourite piece of furniture.” Thanks, Abby! Read more »

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