Posts Tagged ‘diy’


make me pretty – zinc countertop diy

April 15, 2015

Only one thing from the original kitchen survived the renovation. The bottom of this built in seemed like it could be reworked and my plan involved a little paint and a zinc countertop.

Here is that corner before:


And after (it’s still waiting tile and trim):


I ordered all the supplies from rotometals. They had a little sample pack with small squares of zinc, all different thicknesses. They also sent samples of their different chemicals to change the color of the zinc. I found it very helpful to see and feel the samples before ordering.

The zinc sheet came rolled up so the first thing I did was unroll it let it sit for a while to flatten back out.


Then I cut a small sample piece to practice on. I practiced wrapping it around the edges. (The smaller piece was so much easier to work with than the big piece!)


Next I cut the zinc sheet down to the correct size for my countertop, leaving enough to wrap around the edges and secure underneath. I used some basic tin snips I picked up at the hardware store and it was surprisingly easy to cut through. Make sure you wear some serious gloves when handling the cut metal – it’s very sharp!


Next I used clamps to secure the metal where I wanted it while I bent the long edge that would go against the wall when the cabinet was installed. I put a piece of scrap wood between the metal and the clamps so that the clamp wouldn’t leave a mark on the zinc.

First I just used my hands and pressed the metal to make a crease and start to fold it over. Then I used a rubber mallet and hit the corner edge of the countertop to make the corner sharper.

This is an imperfect process and I ended up with some bonk marks but I wanted it to look sort of old and rustic so I was ok with that. You can also rent a machine call a break that makes perfect folds in metal. But my method also provided a free workout. I was exhausted at the end of this day!

After I finished bending that first side, I took of the metal and covered the countertop with liquid nails. I squirted it around and then spread it out to make a nice even layer.

I put a lot of heavy books on top and left it to dry overnight.


After the glue dried over night I flipped the hole thing over and secured the edge with screws. I made some little holes with a hammer and nail first so I wasn’t trying to screw through the metal.


Then I bent the other three sides and secured them with nails. I had to cut little squares out at the corners for the metal to fold correctly.


I didn’t take any pictures of the next step, sorry, but it was one of the most frustrating diy experiences I’ve had in a while. I had to solder the corners and I have zero metal working experience.

I had ordered the solder from rotometals – what they recommended to use with the zinc sheets but the coil was too thick for my solder iron to melt. I didn’t realize this at first I just thought I was the worlds worst solderer. Anyway, a friend helped me figure out that I needed some thinner solder and it got slightly easier. I ended up putting up too much metal and then filing a lot off. No matter how much I worked it my corners ended up chunky.

Anyway, after the frustration, came the super fun part! I got to paint on this chemical solution to antique the metal. This is much more in my comfort zone!


I brushed the antiquing solution all over the metal and let it sit for a couple minutes. Then I wiped it off. It left the zinc really dark, like black. I wasn’t really expecting such a dramatic change from one quick coat.

I tried to remove some of the black with steal wool but it was very slow going. Then I remembered people saying the if you didn’t seal the zinc that certain things would remove the antique finish – like citrus juice.


So I got some lime juice out of the fridge and rubbed it on. It worked perfectly. It took away some of the finish but not all of it. This is starting to look more like I had imagined it.



I sprayed two coat of sealer, also from rotometals, once I was happy with the finish. And here are some more finished pictures:

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make me pretty – kitchen looking like a kitchen again

April 10, 2015

Our kitchen is starting to come together and I am so excited. This will be the last post before the big reveal but I wanted to show you that we now have walls and a ceiling:

photo 3C photo 4C

photo 2C

And a floor with radiant heat underneath:

photo 1B photo 1D

photo 3D photo 3B

photo 1E

We Even have cabinets!


We have gotten lots of things in giant boxes:

photo 2

And we have had the giant dumpsters of trash taken away:

photo 1C

We have drank lots of the delicious beer our contractor brews:

photo 5C

We got a sparkly countertop delivered:

photo 1G

And sealed butcher block:

photo 5G

It has been a bit of a marathon but we are almost done! Really, the dishwasher and cooktop are going in today! I still need to show you the custom island and my zinc covered countertop DIY but enough sneak peaks for today. We are all exhausted, especially our awesome contractor.

And this is what Ollie thinks about it all:

photo 2H


learn how to decoupage paper onto furniture

July 8, 2014

Join me tomorrow on Virginia This Morning where I will demonstrate how to decoupage paper onto furniture. Or check the latest R•Home magazine for step by step instructions.






















Here are some other pieces I have done using this technique:






















Girly Cabinet



















Happy Cabinet




















Sweet Dresser



make me pretty – make your own upholstered bench

July 26, 2011

So my little man started crawling a couple weeks ago, two days later he started pulling up and two days after that he was cruising. When Jasper got mobile we put those foam edges all around the coffee table but there were still so many bonks! So this time around I decided to go a step further. I wanted to make an upholstered bench to replace the coffee table.

I happened upon two 75% off outdoor cushions at Target and snatched them up. At $8 a pop, taking them apart and using the foam would be way cheaper than buying foam at the fabric store!

Next, I went to Lowes and found a piece of MDF that was the right width and had them cut the end off so it would be the right length. Then I picked out some legs and the hardware to attach them.

Here are all my supplies – I also needed batting, fabric and a staple gun.


First I attached the leg brackets.


Then I screwed in the legs, painted them (you could also stain them) and put some rubber feet on so it wouldn’t slide on our wood floors.


Each of the cushions had 2 layers of foam – I decided to use three of them, then covered it with batting and then the fabric. If I didn’t have two little boys (and a husband) I probably would have sewn a more tailored cover for my bench, but let’s be realistic here. This fabric will probably last less than six months (I’ve actually already bought a back up yard of fabric to replace this one when it gets too dirty!)


I used my fancy new upholstery stapler to secure all of my layers and then trimmed the extra fabric.


This whole project cost less than $50 bucks and even better, it is going to save us hundreds of head bonks. Plus, it is so nice to prop our feet up on which is all we ever really did with our coffee table anyway!


And Emerson seems to be liking it too!



make me pretty – re-cover your own lampshade

June 26, 2011

People – You need to be making your own lampshades! It is super easy, pretty quick and makes such a huge impact. You can have a totally unique lampshade, in whatever fabric you love, in about 30 minutes.

Check it out. First I was going to re-cover this lampshade. This Ikea lamp is in my living room. I love the lamp but the lampshade doesn’t really go with my gray, green, blue color scheme. But I actually really like the lampshade so I decided to use it somewhere else in the house.


I bought this new lampshade at Target for less than $4 on clearance to go with my living room lamp.


The first step is to strip the lamp shade of its original fabric. Just find the seam and start slowly pulling. Be careful not to bend the plastic of your shade. (PS – If you buy a beige or white shade, you can skip this step and just put your fabric over the original fabric.)


Next, I like to make a little pattern for my shade. Unless, you are using a drum shaped shade, I highly recommend this. You will see that the pattern ends up being a kind of half circle because the shade is skinnier at the top. I use one of those rolls of paper you find in the kids art section of Ikea – but you could use an opened up grocery store bag.


Start your pattern at the seam of the lampshade and roll the shad along the paper as you draw a line on the edge. Then go back and do the other side.


Next, use your pattern to cut out your fabric. Remember to leave a little extra fabric at the top and the bottom so you have something to fold over the lampshade.

When you are choosing your fabric, think about how much light will show through. You probably don’t want to use a super thick fabric but that is up to you.


I use to use Super 77 Spray Mount to put the fabric on my shade. This works great but you really don’t want to breath this stuff in and you have to go outside and work super fast – because it dries quickly. Lately, I have been using Mod Podge. Because I use it for everything else and because with Emerson (only 8 months old) around, it’s easier to just stay inside and paint it on. I work on little patches. I wouldn’t try to glue the whole thing down at once.


To finish the end, I use a thicker craft glue (I love Aleene’s – I have been using this stuff since I was a kid and it is the best!) Fold the end over and glue it and then use the craft glue to attach the finished end to the shade.


The last step is to fold the top and bottom ends over the wire of the lampshade. You have two options here: 1. You can cut the fabric so there is just enough to fold over so you won’t really see the rough end of the fabric or 2. You can not worry too much about the end of the fabric and just cover it with ribbon or edging when you are done.

So, I did this whole project while juggling my two kids, so I know you can do it too! Get to it and then tell me about it!

Here is my finished project:


And all lit up!