Archive for ‘DIY Projects’

December 29th, 2013

Fabulous Framed Fabric


Anyone who knows me knows how much I love my job! Days spent at the sofa shop are great days. One of my favourite things about my job is the fabric, I mean what’s not to love about playing with fabric all day?

Since the boys and I moved into the condo, I have been trying out different ideas to fill the endless blank-slate walls. Mirrors, art, photos and typography to name a few, and still! More walls!

Back to my love for my job…I thought why not incorporate some discontinued fabric into the scheme of things and voila! A project was born.

I happened to have a spare frame at home I wanted to use. I sifted through a few boxes of disco’d fabric and found three that would work together. It took me all of five minutes to frame these little darlings (not including the drive time to Ikea to find two more frames) and I just love them!

Of course you also get a glimpse of the feather tree the kids and I decorated (and the cat messed up) and the turquoise reading chair I got from the sofa shop a few months ago. The third piece is hiding behind the tree, but I assure you it is lovely.

About the framed fabric? These particular swatches are from one of my favourite Canadian custom furniture manufacturers Decor-Rest The patterns are elegant and they act as a reminder of good things!

You can do this too! But what can you frame if you don’t have access to discontinued fabrics?

•Fabric remnants

•Vintage tablecloths

•Linen with patterns stamped on them


•Sheets or blankets with pretty designs

The more meaningful the better! As with all things. That’s one thing I adore about textiles. You can fall in love with a design and base a whole room around it and when it works it’s a little bit magical, don’t you think?

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November 1st, 2012

Vintage Crystal Door Knobs

Crystal Door Knobs[Amore, Linguini and Me]


If you have ever lived in an older home, namely ones built in the 1920’s, 1930’s and 1940’s, chances are you have come across vintage crystal door knobs. While the clear crystals are most prevalant (and my favourite!) they were also made in a range of jewel tones like purple, green, amber and blue. Each design is different and most contain a pattern, like a star, in the center of the knob.


Purple Crystal Door Knob



Look for vintage crystal door knobs at estate sales, flea markets, antique stores and garage sales.  They can be used in a variety of ways, first and foremost as door knobs, but if you look beyond the norm, to the translucent beauty of each door knob you will see new and exciting ways to showcase and enjoy them.


Crystal Door Knob on an Iron Base

[Evie Met Hugh]


  • Use vintage crystal knobs to hold messages or old photographs, and visit Petite Michelle Louise to read about her inspiration for creating the message holder. Lovely sentiments!


Crystal Door Knob Message Holders

[Petite Michelle Louise]


  • Refashion one into a hook and hang it by itself, or use a series of crystal knobs to make a hanging jewelry display.


Crystal Door Knob Hooks

[Evie Met Hugh]


  • Make handmade table markers for a wedding or event. Simply mount the crystal knob on a rustic board.


Crystal Door Knob Table Marker

[Wedding Chicks]


  • Curtain tiebacks add a little vintage appeal, perfect for a new house.


Crystal Door Knob Curtain Tie Back

 [The Hunted Interior]


Vintage crystal knobs range in price depending on quality, colour and condition. For a DIY project look for inexpensive variations you can manipulate to include in your design.


October 27th, 2012

5 Second Painted Key

Painted Key

Ever fumbled in the dark through a chain of keys looking for the right one because you forgot to leave the porch light on? Ever fumbled with your arms full of groceries and/or kids looking for that key of keys when they all look the same? Ever tried to not turn into a popsicle because you live in a partially sub-arctic climate as you searched for the key that will end your foray into chill? Do you have 5 seconds to spare? The 5 second painted key will take the guesswork out of getting into your home.


I saw these painted keys on Pinterest and I thought, what a simple, yet great idea. I should try that. And in literally 5 seconds the mini project was done. Yay Pinterest! And yay, painted keys! All you need is your favourite shades of nail polish and some keys. Remove each key from your key chain and paint the end of it. You could get all fancy and paint stripes or polka dots or a French manicure, but for me a couple of coats of my dazzling red sparkle polish was just the thing. I also tried cotton candy pink. I know some people have lots of keys, why not try doing a sparkle set, a greens and blues set or a random rainbow set? Have fun with it!


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July 31st, 2012

DIY Vintage Wire Basket Spray-Over

Vintage wire baskets spray painted


What a beautiful day to be painting with spray!! A long time ago, many years, I had all kinds of time to browse thrift stores and markets, yard sales and such. Treasure hunting. I bought two vintage wire basket shapes within a few days of each other. Although I found them at opposite ends of the city, they matched! I have used them to house fruit, books, keys, cards, and all sorts of other stuff. I love the metallic patina, but it is time for a change. For a fresh look, I am going to spray paint the baskets a beautiful pale turquoise, I imagine the baskets in yesteryear’s farmhouse kitchens holding cherries or apples.


I like the idea of unifying small details in the home through the use of colour. All three of the pieces done here will live in my kitchen, which is primarily red, white and black. Pops of pale aqua add interest and make me smile!! I thought about painting them white, but then I saw this colour and went kind of gaga over it. Can you blame me?

Vintage fruit basket prepped for painting

What you need:


Vintage wire basket(s)


Wire brush


A ventilated workspace

A table you can cover with newspaper

Beach rocks to keep the newspaper in place


Vintage wire basket prepped for painting


  • Examine the basket for rust, chipped paint or other debris. Use the wire brush or sandpaper to eliminate rust patches and dirt. My baskets were pretty clean, so a hot sudsy soak did the trick.


  • Wash in warm soapy water.


  • Move the project outdoors for ventilation.


Vintage fruit basket first coat


  • Line the table with newspaper and secure with beach rocks or weights you don’t mind getting discoloured or re-coloured.


  • Read the instructions on your choice of spray paint


Vintage wire basket coat one


  • I turned the square basket upside down to paint the bottom first. The other basket I stood right-side up for the first coat. The Krylon I am using suggests passing over the baskets with a thin layer to cover them evenly and prevent drip marks. This works!


Vintage wire fruit basket spray painted pale aqua


  • If you happened to notice a little metal friend (a metal stand that holds a set of Tarot card coasters) in some of the frames, I decided to paint him too, in order to unify some of the metal in the kitchen.

Spray painted vintage wire baskets

This project didn’t take long, mostly dry time. I love the outcome and I am excited to use them. Another option would be to rough up the surface of the paint to reveal the metal underneath. For now, I like the fresh look of the pale turquoise on the vintage wire basket and the vintage wire fruit basket, but if I want to get all crazy and mix it up, that’ll be the first thing I do. I gotta say, spray paint is fun. Almost too fun. What have you enjoyed spray painting?

June 19th, 2012

Jacey the Junk Collector

“Jacey, what is all this junk?!”


No answer was forthcoming from the inner depths of the room in question. He turned back to the kitchen.


“This is out of control. My mother is coming in three days and she is going to flip her lid, if she sees all this.”


“Come on, Don. We can’t very well stifle the child’s creativity now can we?” Lucy looked him up and down with that look she was so good at. It made his resolve shiver with a shuddering shake. He didn’t like it anymore than he liked the situation at hand.


“Her bedroom is like the Leaning Tower of Pisa of used furniture.”


“Jacey is learning the fine art of upcycling.” Lucy turned her back to Don and wiped down the already glistening recycled glass countertop.


“She’s eleven! What does she know about upcycling?”


“Well, apparently more than we do. She decorated Emma Mendosa’s sun-room and it is the talk of the town. I think we may have a prodigy on our hands Don. This is no laughing matter.”


“I don’t believe I’m laughing, Lucy. There are more kitchen chairs stacked in that bedroom of hers than there are tables on this whole block. What will my mother think?”


“Don, your mother will be delighted. Jacey has spirit. She knows what she wants. Also, when will the grown man stop fearing what his Mama is gonna think??”


“It would just be really nice, Lucy, to be able to park my car in the garage. Do you know how long it has been?”


“A small price to pay Don. She is happier than the cat that caught the canary. You watch her when she comes back from her consult.”


“Consult? Oh, Mon Dieu. The child is on a consult?”


“Yes, Mrs. Knox at the end of the street saw her sun-room and has asked her to design some pieces for her front porch. An ombre bench in some new dipped technique.”


Ombre? Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but what about the junk problem. This house is beginning to look like an HGTV special on hoarding.”


“Roll with it Don. Jacey has talent. You’ll see.”


“That I don’t question. What I do question is how I am supposed to live amongst the ruins of Jacey the junk collector.”


Don sashayed across the living room to glance back down the hall towards his daughters out-of-control bedroom. He shook his head in dismay, still worried about his mother’s impending visit. What was she going to think?

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May 12th, 2012

DIY Wainscoting Ideas

Wainscoting in the Apple House

The hallway that bridges the space between the living area and the kitchen in the Apple House (named after the colour scheme—red kitchen, cream hallway and apple green living area) is home to two doors. One door leads to the main floor bathroom and the other door houses the pantry. Previous owners had dented the wall behind the door with less than gentle use of the door knobs. After it had been patched and sanded, I could still see where the door knob had marred the wall and it kind of drove me crazy. After months of rumination I came up with a cure-all plan to fix the wall, brighten the room and class up the eighties nature of the Apple House. Diy wainscoting ideas were just the fix!


Now, if this had been my forever house I would have done the proper beadboard tongue in groove treatment, plank by plank, so it would last forever, but the Apple House is a starter home and I wanted this done quick and fast. In fact, this whole project took less than $300 to complete, including the paint.



Panels of wainscoting are available at most hardware stores and come in a variety of patterns and styles. I chose a classic wainscoting look. It was paired with a thick decorative baseboard and topped with a simple chair rail to finish it. After installation the whole thing was painted bright white.


Back to the damaged walls…the height of the wainscoting can be altered a few inches here or there depending on the baseboards and chair rails you choose for finishing. My main objective was to both cover the marred walls and provide cushioning against the usage my own boys were about to unleash on the house! Not only does it look good but it feels like it opened the space up as it draws the eye about the hallway in a linear fashion making it appear wider and longer. All good things!


I love wall treatments. I could easily see using this wainscoting in a nursery with hooks added to it for displaying the cutest onesies. Or, with a wider chair rail you could place photos or artwork to spice up a foyer or a hallway.


After all is said and done, I am very happy with the results! Are there any areas you have hidden with diy wainscoting ideas?



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