Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Framed" Canvas Artwork: Corner Conundrum Solved

Remember a couple weeks ago when I told you about my new canvas print? Here it is again to refresh your memory.

Pretty small in this space, right?

My genius remedy was to paint a "frame" on the wall around the canvas to beef it up a little bit. Well, the result was still underwhelming and somehow incomplete.

My next move? Paint a second frame, of course! (I wasn’t going to give up on this idea, dammit.) So, back to the paint samples I went. I wanted to go with a color just a couple shades darker than the original aqua-ish wall color. We happened to be at Menard’s, so I bought a sample of Pittsburgh Paint Marine Reef for $2.94.

This time the taping was a little more tedious, since I had to tape off two rectangles instead of just one. After my last experience, I also decided to take Kim’s advice to help prevent the paint from leaking under the tape (due to our heavily textured walls). I painted a coat of the Breakwater White on the inside of the frame in hopes that it would act as a “seal” when I painted the new Marine Reef color next to it.

Then, after a couple coats of Marine Reef, I carefully pulled off the tape. Much to my dismay, there was still some bleed-through. *Insert curse words here.* (I must need Kim to come over and do that part for me.)

Stupid textured walls... Anyway, I couldn’t just leave it like that, so I grabbed a small artist’s paintbrush and painstakingly painted over the excess Marine Reef spots with Breakwater White. It actually wasn’t all that hard, just time consuming. In the end, it turned out pretty good (if I do say so myself) and left a nice, crisp border. *Insert sigh of satisfaction here.*

BUT… this space was still missing something. I scrounged around the house and found this “Relax” word decor, which was originally black. However, a few coats of trusty white spray paint would change that. *mwahahahaha*

But wait, there’s more! My final item to complete the “beachy” theme was a vase filled with sand and seashells, which I hijacked from our master bathroom. finally looked complete. The canvas isn’t floating in the middle of nowhere, and I think the painted “frames” helps give it more weight. The added accents fill the extra space and pull everything together (I hope). Let’s recap again, just for fun:


After #1 (single frame)

After #2 (double frame)
So, what do you think of my cheap decorating solutions for this corner?

11x14 Canvas Artwork - $12 (with discount)
Two Paint Samples - $6
Misc. Accents - Free

Friday, September 23, 2011

Guest Post: Fall DIY Ideas for the Unemployed Homeowner

Today I wanted to share with you a guest post by Jakob Barry. Jakob is a writer for and covers various home improvement topics including house renovation and concrete driveway repair.

The topic at hand happens to be Fall DIY Ideas for the Unemployed Homeowner. (Yes, I conveniently timed this with the first day of fall!) But these tips can really apply to every homeowner. With that said, take it away, Jakob!

As is the unfortunate case in today’s economy many Americans are doing whatever it takes to find substantial work but overall they are still having a tough time.

Unemployed homeowners are especially hit hard and their situation can be very discouraging when homes need work and the financial means to hire help isn’t available.

Nevertheless, the forecast isn’t completely dreary as various tasks that may once have been assigned to a handyman can be taken on by some of the most novice DIY homeowners and with the internet as a tool there’s a wealth of information and services ready to assist.

It just takes a little bit of patience and some extra confidence to be successful and autumn chores are the perfect place to start:

Yard work: Whether it’s weeding, pruning, or clipping bushes, most of what needs to be done in the yard doesn’t require paying someone else and if you’re careful with all the waste, much of the uprooted vegetation can be salvaged to enhance next year’s garden at no cost. Turning it into compost and mulch will provide much needed nutrients and if you’re really savvy some clippings can also be repotted and sold.

Seal windows and doors: When trying to heat or cool a home these are the most likely places where air escapes or drafts enter. The result is usually rising costs and extra stress on heating and air conditioning systems. With the winter just around the corner, the fall is the latest time to seal windows and doors with caulk and other materials.

HVAC filters: Speaking of heating and air conditioning, if the system has been running often the filters and vents should periodically be checked. After a while they get blocked and start re-circulating dirty particles making the systems work harder and sending unclean air back into circulation.

Check gutters: Rain gutters and downspouts are extremely important as they collect water and direct it away from the home. When clogged from leaves or other debris water sits, overflows, and often finds ways into the roof and walls. The importance of cleaning the gutters and downspouts cannot be underestimated since the alternative could be major water damage to the home. NOTE: Be extremely careful when climbing ladders for this kind of work and if you aren’t comfortable don’t attempt going up without supervision or help.

Roof maintenance: Like with gutters, roofing problems can mean severe water damage. Precautionary measures include removing debris from shingles, checking that they aren’t ripped, warped, or damaged, and inspecting flashings that protect around structural beams, pipes or vents protruding from the roof. Again, take great care when climbing a ladder and if you just aren’t up to it a good substitute is zooming in on the roof with a digital camera or at the very least checking the ceiling in the attic for discolorations, mold, or mildew. If some of these are found, some patchwork may be necessary.

Tools and machines: Preserve garden tools by cleaning them off, and instead of leaving gas powered machines standing with fuel through the winter it’s a good safety measure to empty them out. Also, role up extension cords and disconnect the hose closing the spigots for the winter so they don’t run the risk of freezing.

Hope you found this post helpful, as it will only be a matter of time before winter's here. Got any other good tips that weren't listed here? Share them in the comments!

For more home improvement articles, check out Thanks again to Jakob Barry!

Monday, September 12, 2011

DIY "Ombre" Canvas Artwork - ScotchBlue Painting Party

Let's face it, Mondays usually suck. But I've actually been looking forward to this Monday, because I'm part of today’s ScotchBlue Painting Party! Here’s the low-down: A group of DIY bloggers (including moi) all completed projects with the help of ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector. Now we’re sharing our projects with you to give you ideas and inspiration. Before I go any further, please do make sure to check out all the other fantastic ladies participating in this party... after you're done here, of course! ;)

1. Wendy @ The Shabby Nest
2. Anna @ Take the Side Street
3. Amanda @ Little House on the Corner *You are here!*
4. Rachael @ Lovely Crafty Home *Continue to this blog next!*
5. Stacey @ A Sort of Fairytale

And as a shameless bribe additional incentive for sticking it out through my lengthy post, there’s a GIVEAWAY at the end for you! Three lucky ducks will win their own roll of ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector. Details to follow, but in the meantime, let’s get this party started!

I contemplated for weeks (yes, really) on what project I should use my tape for. I thought about painting an accent wall in our living room, but couldn’t decide exactly what color(s), so I’ll save that for another time.

Then I started thinking about other bare walls in our house, like the one in the guest bedroom. Don’t ask me why I'm putting so much effort into this room, since no one sees it that often, but it looks so much better after last year’s makeover that I might as well add the finishing touch with some artwork, right?

So, it was time for more decisions (in case you didn't already know, decision-making is not my strong suit). I’ll spare you all my thought processes that led up to my final idea. I’ve seen a lot of “ombre” projects around the web and really like the effect. Here are a couple different applications (i.e. pretty pictures!):

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

It was a great opportunity to use my painter’s tape for some stripes (not exactly an original idea, but I’ve never tried it myself). I picked up a 22x28” artist’s canvas at Jo-Ann’s for $12 (on sale). I was about ready to go buy some blue-ish paint, and then remembered that I had a sample of dark teal “oops” paint that I had found for 50 cents at Home Depot awhile back. At the time, I had no idea what to use it for, but now it would come in handy!

I had never painted on canvas before, so I was just hoping that wall paint would be okay to use on it. I decided to do 6 stripes on the canvas and made a small mark on each side at the appropriate width (about 3.6”). My measuring probably wasn’t perfect, but to the naked eye, it seemed pretty even. Then I used the marks as guides to tape off my first stripe, pressing down the edges onto the canvas and around the back of the frame. Time to paint!

Scotchblue painter's tape... The most important part of this ombre artwork.

I brushed on two coats of the teal color to get it nice and even. After it had dried most of the way, I carefully pulled up the tape. There were a few tiny spots that had leaked under onto the blank canvas, but I kind of expected that with this type of surface. It didn’t matter too much anyway, since I was painting another color right next to it.

After the first stripe had fully dried, I taped off my next stripe. For this color, I poured some of the teal into a paper bowl and added a little bit of white (which I also had a sample of). I continued this process with each stripe, but I was by no means precise with my increments of white. I just kind of mixed it until it looked about right, knowing that I wanted the final stripe at the top to be pretty light.

I was also getting really impatient waiting for each stripe to dry, so I eventually wised up and started using the blow dryer to speed up the process. Finally, my stripes were finished! I was pretty proud of myself with how it turned out.

 I'm debating whether I should add some other element to my canvas -- whether painted on or otherwise (any suggestions?). But I don't want to screw up the stripes and not be able to repair the colors, since they were just mixed willy-nilly. In the meantime, I'm pleased with it as is.  

I still needed to hang this baby on the nekkid wall, so I got some Sharks' Tooth Hangers at Hobby Lobby for $1.29 and hammered one of them into top center of the frame. All in all, my artwork cost me under 15 bucks. Whaddaya think?

* GIVEAWAY ALERT*  (This giveaway is now closed to new entries.)
This was a pretty fun project that I would probably do again sometime, in some form or another. Now, aren’t you all inspired to go use some painter’s tape on your own project?? You’re in luck, because three lucky readers will win a roll of ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector! It's easy to enter:

1) Leave a comment on this post telling me how you'd use your painter's tape.

2) If you want an extra entry, get on your Twitter and tweet the following:
@scotchbluebrand I want #supersharppaintlines for my next project!
Then, leave a separate comment here letting me know you’ve tweeted it.

While you’re at it, make sure you follow @scotchbluebrand on Twitter, and “like” their Facebook page. You’ll get the scoop on the rest of the painting parties and get all sorts of other painter’s tape inspiration that ScotchBlue shares! You'll be amazed at all the creative people and projects out there.

This giveaway will close on Monday, September 19 at 1 p.m. (CST), after which I'll notify the winners (so be sure you leave an e-mail address in your comment!).

Pin It

Disclosure: ScotchBlue Brand reached out to me to participate in the ScotchBlue Painting Party to celebrate the launch of their new ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape with Edge-Lock Paint Line Protector. My post represents my honest experience with ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape. I am not being paid for my answers, but I did receive ScotchBlue Painter’s Tape to assist in completion.

Speaking of parties...I'm linking this post up to:
Making Monday Marvelous @ C.R.A.F.T.
Motivate Me Monday
Made By You Monday
Toot Your Horn Tuesday
Get Your Craft On! Tuesday
Show & Tell @ Blue Cricket Design
Whatever Goes Wednesday
Inspired By You Wednesdays
What I Made Wednesday
Link Party @ Cookie Nut Creations
Weekend Bloggy Reading @ Serenity Now

NOTE: Little House on the Corner is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A "Floating" Cabinet

Our laundry room has been in dire need of some storage solutions. Currently, we have one wall that we use to stack things up against, but we also wanted to figure out a way to utilize the space above the washer and dryer for additional storage.

Awhile back, Luke scored some free cabinets from a school/office that was being renovated, and we’ve had a couple of them sitting in our basement ever since then, just waiting to be put to use. (And let me just say, these things are heavy.)

I wasn't sure how to go about hanging a cabinet in this space, with all the plumbing/drain pipes against the wall. But Luke had the idea to built a “floating” frame of sorts to house one of the cabinets above our washer. In theory, it seemed pretty simple, but it ended up taking quite a bit of figuring, measuring, leveling, squaring, and tweaking. In a nutshell, this is how it all went down:

First, we measured the depth of one of the cabinets and cut a 2x4 that length, then screwed it into the studs of the wall in the laundry room. Then, we cut a treated 2x3 to the height of the cabinet and glued it to the concrete wall with LocTite. Once it had set, we also nailed it in for extra reinforcement, using our handy Duo-Fast Strike Tool. (We used a 2x3 here because we were up so close next to the drain pipe.)

Next, we attached a 2x4 to the joist above, in case we ever decide to finish the laundry room and add a ceiling.

After that, we cut two more pieces to support the other side of the cabinet. These were screwed together at the corners, and then screwed into the treated 2x3 and the 2x4 above. Now we had a frame for the cabinet to rest in.

It wasn’t fun trying to lift that sucker up above our shoulders and shove it into the space, but we finally managed. It was a very snug fit. From the inside of the cabinet, Luke also added screws to attach it to the frame. I have to admit, I was a little paranoid about how this set-up would support the weight of the cabinet, but it seems pretty sturdy. We may go in and add another 2x4 beneath for extra reinforcement.

Now I have a convenient place to store detergent, dryer sheets, and miscellaneous items that would otherwise be scattered haphazardly around the room.

As you can see, I still need to fill it up. Not a bad problem to have. Eventually, I'd also like to add a rod to the left of the cabinet to hang clothes to air-dry.

What's your laundry room storage situation?


Related Posts with Thumbnails