Friday, April 13, 2018

Crafting | Newspaper chicks wreath

Hello, blog readers. I'm going back in time today to make a new home for some old friends.
chalk painted wreath with newspaper chicks and flowers
Loyal readers (with good memories) might remember the newspaper chicks I made back in 2015 by decoupaging newspaper onto some yellow plastic Easter chicks.
decoupage craft project
Back then, I had them displayed under glass...
decoupaged newspaper chicks
.. and made them their own miniature cheeseheads and Wisconsin Badger pennants. This year, I decided I wanted to perch them in a wreath.
www.wisconsinmagpie.com
Here is the back side of the wicker wreath I picked up at a thrift store to use for this project. You might be wondering why I took a picture of the back of the wreath instead of the front. So am I. #BloggerFail
white wreath
Here's the front side of the wreath after I had it painted with some Rust-Oleum Chalked paint in Linen White. It only took one coat to cover.
newspaper flowers by www.wisconsinmagpie.com
Next I made some flowers, by first cutting a few stacks of newspaper squares in various sizes. If you make your own flowers, I'd recommend not cutting any more than four or five layers at a time because you're going to have to fold these squares in half three times.
newspaper flowers by www.wisconsinmagpie.com
Here's my first fold.
newspaper flowers by www.wisconsinmagpie.com
Here's my second fold.
newspaper flowers by www.wisconsinmagpie.com
And here's my final fold. You've probably deduced already that at this point you will want to take a sharp scissors and round off the two outside corners, like the photo says. Make sure you leave the inside corner uncut.
newspaper flowers by www.wisconsinmagpie.com
Here's what the rounded corners look like.
After your corners are rounded, you can unfold the flowers and cut about an inch or so into the petals along each fold line.
newspaper flowers by www.wisconsinmagpie.com
I wasn't happy with the shape of my petals at this point, so I went back and rounded the corners a little more.
newspaper flowers by www.wisconsinmagpie.com
 Once your petals are the shape you like, you can give them some dimension by pulling the layers apart and wrinkling them a bit or bending them around a pencil to make the paper curl.
making newspaper flowers
I also spattered some black paint on them. Then I restacked some of the papers so I had smaller pieces on top of larger ones. To finish off the flowers, I pierced the middle of each one with an old earring.
white wicker newspaper wreath
My wreath had a Styrofoam base under the wicker, which meant all I had to do was poke the earrings into the wreath to secure the flowers in place.
newspaper wreath
The last step in making this wreath was adding a newspaper nest for my chicks. I just ran a piece of newspaper through my shredder for that.
decoupaged craft
Don't they look happy all nestled in to their new home?
newspaper chick wreath by wisconsinmagpie.com
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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Painting | A home address sign for the porch

two-sided chalk-painted sign
I made a new sign for my back porch. If you think it looks familiar ...
chalk-painted sign
... it's because this is what's on the other side of it. I made the "noel" side of the sign back before Christmas (and blogged about it here.) After I put my holiday decorations away, my porch looked a little bare, which is why I decided I'd paint the flip side of the sign and put it back up. 
chalk-painted sign
To create my "new" sign, I started by basecoating the back of the old sign with some Folk Art Home Decor Chalk Paint (rich black) that I had on hand. chalk-painted sign
Then I typed up my street address and printed it out. The font I used was Didot. The numbers were huge (1100 points), so I had to tile the pages and scotch tape them together.
chalk-painted sign
 To transfer the design onto the board, I rubbed chalk all over the back of the paper ...
two-sided chalk-painted sign
 ... and traced around the letters and numbers with a sharp pencil, which transferred the chalk onto the sign board. (This is always my favorite part of the process. I love to lift up the paper and see the outlines magically appear.)
chalk-painted sign
 After that, I just had to fill in the outlines with white paint.
two-sided chalk-painted sign
I used Rustoleum Chalked (linen white) paint; it took three coats to cover the black base coat.
chalk-painted sign
Later I brushed on a couple of coats of Rust-Oleum Protective Topcoat (matte clear). (Word to the wise: If you're working with Rust-Oleum Chalked Paint, make sure the paint has dried and cured sufficiently before attempting to put the topcoat on. In my haste to get this project done, I started applying the topcoat almost immediately after I was done painting. The sign was dry to the touch, so I thought it would be OK, but the white paint smeared something awful. I touched up the paint at that point and left the sign be. When I went back to it a couple days later, I didn't have any issues with smearing.)
double-sided chalk-painted sign
I propped the sign up by my back door in the same spot I had it when the noel side was facing out. It fills in the empty spot on my porch, and it makes me smile every time I walk past it. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Makeover | Giving a dark, dated curio cabinet a new look

I had some leftover milk paint after last week's jewelry box redo, so I decided to use it on a sad little curio cabinet I had stored away in my basement waiting for inspiration to strike.
curio cabinet before being painted
The cabinet was a thrift store find -- although calling it a "find" might be a bit of a stretch. 
1970s curio cabinet before being painted
It was dark. It was dingy. It was dated. Literally. There was a stamp on the back that read "Enesco Imports 1979.
1970s curio cabinet before makeover
And get a load of the felt glued onto the back of some of the cubby holes. Ooo-la-la. 1970s chic.
wall-mounted curio cabinet redo
Fortunately, the roof section was separate from the rest of the cabinet, so the first thing I did was remove it. Then I pulled up all the felt squares and sanded off the glue residue left behind. 
replacing curio cabinet handles
I took off the one handle that was still on the cabinet door. The other one had been sheared off previously. I wasn't able to remove the portion of the metal screw that was still embedded in the wood.
replacing curio cabinet handles
So instead of screwing in new hardware, I had to glue a couple of wooden knobs onto the door. It's not ideal, but it will do the job. The door isn't going to get opened real often, and the knobs aren't going to have a lot of stress on them, so I'm sure the glue will hold.
curio cabinet makeover by www.WisconsinMagpie.com
Next I broke out the milk paint. Just like with the jewelry box I redid last week, I didn't use any primer or bonding agent in hopes that the paint would peel off at least a little, leaving me with a nice chippy (faux aged) finish. But just like with the jewelry box, the paint didn't chip at all. Maybe I need to invest in better milk paint? Or maybe I've just been using it over the wrong kinds of finishes? 
curio cabinet makeover by Wisconsin Magpie
Except for the lack of chippy-ness, I have to say I'm happy with how the milk paint looks. It's got a nice flat finish, and it's a definite improvement over the original dark stain and felt.
decoupaging newspaper into curio cabinet cubbies
I decided to decoupage newspaper onto the backs of a few of the cubbies, because (imho) everything looks better with a little newspaper decoupaged onto it.
curio cabinet makeover
Then I decided the newspaper was too distracting, so I whitewashed it with a quick coat of paint. Now a hint of the type peeks out, but it's very subtle.
I also screwed hooks into a couple of random cubbies, so I could hang things off of them.
white wall-mounted curio cabinet
Here's the cabinet with the doors closed, all ready to be put to use.
curio cabinet makeover
With Valentine's Day coming up, I rounded up some heart-shaped items, like this little frame, to put in a few of the cubbies.
milk-painted curio cabinet
These hearts are metal cookie cutters that I backed with newspaper-lined cardboard (proving once again that everything looks better with a little newspaper decoupaged to it).
milk-painted curio cabinet
I found this sweet heart-shaped lock in the bottom of a thrift store bin a while back. 
white milk-painted curio cabinet
I also put a couple of keys in the cubbies. None of them fit in the heart-shaped lock, but they were the right size for the cubbies. I've had this rusty old skeleton key forever.
cabinet makeover with milk paint
This one has an old-timey skeleton key look to it, too, although it is definitely not old; it came from Michael's craft store a couple years ago.
newspaper flower by Wisconsin Magpie
I filled some of the cubbies with newspaper flowers.
milk-painted curio cabinet
I blogged about making the flowers here.
white farmhouse-style curio cabinet
I filled a few of the other cubbies with some random treasures from around my house.
faux pocket watch
You might think this is a vintage pocket watch, but it's not. It's actually a lip gloss compact that I bought at Urban Outfitters about 10 years ago.
curio cabinet makeover by Wisconsin Magpie
Anyhoo, here's the new, improved curio cabinet.
curio cabinet makeover
Anybody else have experience with Folk Art brand milk paint? If you've got any advice, leave a comment below. I'd love to know if there's anything I can do to get it a chippy finish with it. Or what brand would you recommend?