Monday, October 28, 2013

Life {DIY Art}

We interrupt your regularly scheduled programming for this thing called LIFE.

As in, I've been so busy I haven't been able to keep up with my series. Such is life, and since it's a personal goal, I've decided to lower my expectations of myself (set impossibly high!) and give myself a little grace. I will finish my 31-Day Series on DIY Art for Your Home, but it will have to extend into November.

Thanks for being my faithful reader!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Architechtural Art {DIY Art}

I'm a big fan of architectural art. I especially love found objects, and if they have some sort of meaning behind them, even better!

What I'm referring to specifically here is this old window. It's from our barn on our property in Iowa. (Here's a post from a couple years ago where I showed off this faux mantel!) When we lived there, I proudly displayed it on top of a bookcase in the kitchen where I stored extra dishes and cookbooks.

During our brief stay in Ohio, the mantel became home to our old barn window.

Here in Nebraska, the window is on a wall in the entry that you can see from the living room. Each time it is grouped with other similar found objects, such as the watering can (also from our barn), or things that look old and rustic (like the G monogram sign painted on barnboard, or the star made from sticks).

If you love how something looks or have something that is meaningful to you because of the place you found/bought it, why not display it? It adds so much character to your space. Take a look in your basement or garage, your shed in the backyard, or in a catch-all closet in the house. You might be surprised what you find and how cool it looks on display!

Today is day 24! If you've missed any, browse through my October post titles on the sidebar. You might just be inspired!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Framed Drawing {DIY Art}

Today I want to share with you a different art medium: the colored pencil.

You first saw this room in July when I took you on a little tour of our younger boys' room in Ohio. The art dates back a few more years and I'm sure it's in other pictures of our boy's rooms as they've evolved. But at one point I didn't have this piece of art. In fact I had nothing where I needed something so I created it.

And you can too!

I knew I wanted a picture of an airplane and I knew I wanted to use certain colors to go with the rest of the room. I had shiny red paint, so I painted an old frame shiny red. Next, I googled images of biplanes. I found something similar to the above drawing and used it as an example for mine. It's wonky, the lines aren't straight, I did virtually know shadowing, but it looks like a biplane!

I still needed a mat for my frame, so I used diluted craft paint on the back of wrapping paper--use what you've got! I like how it didn't dry even; it kindof looks like clouds in the sky.

In a matter of one evening, I had exactly the look, colors and size of art that I needed for the original room, and this piece has been a star player in every room since then! Now I'm not exactly sold on the idea of doing more drawings and framing them around the house, but I like this one! If you don't want to frame your own sketches, you can always frame a masterpiece that one of your kids drew or colored or painted.

The sky is the limit! Biplane not included.

It's day 23! Hope you're inspired!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Sign for Grandpa {DIY Art}

I had intended during this month of DIY Art for your home, to actually finish the remaining rooms in our house. I seem to have bad timing with cleanliness and sunlight corresponding in the kitchen, and while the younger boys' room was the first one set up back in August, I still haven't put any art on the walls. Nor have I hung stuff in our master bedroom, and there's a box of frames waiting to be hung in the hall! 

Excuses, excuses. 
Today we're taking a little trip back in time to see one of my first signs. It's also one of my favorites and one that I know is well-liked by a certain Grandpa as it hangs on his shop door. So enjoy this re-post from August 2010. We only had two kids!
My awesome in-laws were here this weekend. I am one of those lucky (blessed!) people who love their in-laws! They are wonderfully helpful and supportive. They and the boys have a mutual adoration thing going on, and it's so fun to live relatively close (a day's drive) to them so they can see their grandbabies grow up.

We were given some crabapples and my MIL and I spent an afternoon making freezer jam. Did we take pictures? Nope.

On Sunday we went to a neighbor's house and picked up as many apples as we could. They weren't great apples and wouldn't keep long, so we made applesauce. Not including picking time (which was hot and sweaty) it took the 4 of us 8 hours to process all of the apples. We made 33 quarts. 

Did we take pictures? Nope.


I did take pictures of the Father's Day gift we finally gave my FIL. Yes, I know it's August.

Back in June (see, I had good intentions!!!) I took a piece of plywood and sanded down the face just a little bit.

I slapped on a coat in my favorite brown house paint.

When the paint was dry, I used more house paint to stencil 'Grandpa' on the board.

When THAT was done, I put on handprints of the boys using, you guessed it, more house paint.

I wrote their names and ages with a sharpie.

My husband drilled holes and threaded them with twine so Grandpa could hang the sign. Here it is completed:

I think he liked it.


Today is Day 22 of 31 Days of DIY Art for your home! I've gotta get the rest of my art on the walls to share with you!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Simple Name Sign {DIY Art}

One of my favorite things to give new parents is a sign with their baby's name and birthdate. I made this one a few months ago and thought I'd share it again today in case you want to make your own.

I had a piece of wood--I look for things like this and save them. You'd be surprised where they pop up. If you don't have any, lumber is not expensive at Lowe's or similar stores. They'll even cut it to the size you want. This name sign is approximately 14" x 8". After sanding the wood by hand, I painted it pink. You could use a power sander and spend a fraction of the time, but the point here is to show you how anyone can do it!

As far as the paint goes, you can either use spray paint or acrylics for the most variety in colors. Again, Lowe's has a great selection of paints, but even Walmart has spray paint and lots of colors to choose from if you rather have acrylics from the crafts section. Of course you can use any leftover house paint you may have too!

I originally used a Sharpie to write the name on this sign. I wasn't thrilled with the saturation, so I bought a paint pen (from Walmart, also available at craft stores) and went over it again.

I then doodled butterflies and little dotted flight paths. You can make whatever designs you want, or use stickers. If you don't want to free-hand, you can use a stencil or glue on some wooden letters or small designs. Your imagination is the limit!

Of course if you don't want to make a sign yourself, you could commission someone else to make one for you! Signs like this are available in my Etsy store, Beauty4AshesEtsy.

Today is Day 21! This month is flying by!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Two Little Somethings {DIY Art}

Tonight I have two little ideas for you. They happen to live in our bathroom, but they would work in other places in your home. If you took our little bathroom tour earlier today, you already got a peak at them.

So let's start with the sign.

Awesome chippy piece of fencing + black paint pen + blue acrylic paint + paintbrush = beYOUtiful sign. It didn't end up being centered, but that's ok. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beYOUtiful, right?

Next up is the clock.

This was your average brown wooden clock. It wasn't expensive and in all our moving, the three had popped off. I glued him back on but there's a little residue you can see--somehow I'm feeling the need to justify why I painted a clock! So yeah, the wood tone just wasn't making my bathroom seem happy, so I painted it white, took some sandpaper to the edges and tacked a ribbon on the back. Now the clock hangs from a hook and that makes me and my bathroom happy!

So there you have it, two small, simple, easy things you can do to pretty up your place!

And because I felt like having some fun with PicMonkey, here's a collage of the last 10 days. If you've missed anything, just look at the sidebar with the posts from October.

Our Bathroom {Tour}

It feels kinda weird sharing pictures of my bathroom with the world. But it's a cute little space even if it's not fancy and even if it needs painted--walls, ceiling, vanity, everything! It is what it is, and I've been able to make it cute without spending any money, and I hope you can get a few ideas for your home.

I like to pick a color for a space and go for it. And while matchy-matchy can be overdone, sometimes it can really simplify and unite a small space.

For instance, when we needed a shower curtain for our house in Ohio, we found this pretty paisley one at Walmart. We got coordinating bath and hand towels as well as the rug. It makes the bathroom look less crowded and more put-together.

Every bathroom needs a clock. This is a cheap one we've had for years, but the wood tone was bugging me. I painted the clock white and hung it from a blue ribbon. Much better!

I also made this sign to fit in a blank space. It didn't end up being centered right, but that's ok. 

To add more blue to the space, I used these little kebobs--how come I can never remember what they're called! I also have a couple jars of pretty glass the boys and I collected in our garden in Iowa (there's another one on the back of the toilet). Not shown, we use a new blue Ball jar for toothbrushes too.

I used one of my large frames and hung a wreath on it to fill a large blank space. I like that it adds texture yet the contrast with the wall isn't huge so it feels really neutral.

So there you go! Have you shared your bathroom with the world at large lately?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Simple Sign Solution {DIY Art}

Want to know a secret? You can make your own signs too.

Some of my favorite signs are the simplest, such as the sign above. I used a piece of old fencing, a layer of poly to keep the chippy white paint from chipping too much, and ...

... a Sharpie.

No fancy Cricut or Silhouette machine, no ordering vinyl quotes online. Just a steady hand and a Sharpie.

I used the same technique below on the "I am a child of God" sign.

Here's a link to that post, or you can find more about our third son's nursery in our old house by searching "nursery" in the side bar.

Of course if you're not into creating your own art, or if your hand isn't too steady, or if you don't have much time, you could order things from someone who has an Esty shop. You could try looking up the shop Beauty4AshesEtsy and contacting the owner with a custom order. Just saying.

It's day 19 of my 31 day series!

What have you created lately?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Giant Ruler Board {DIY Art}

For today's DIY Art, I have another one of my favorites! I know it's silly to say that every day, but it's true. However after the last year of moves and changes, I don't have much of anything that isn't a favorite! This giant ruler, though, is in our third home with us, and we're so glad! It would have been even harder to move several times if we had had to leave the growth marks of our kiddos at each new house!

I'm showing you pictures from when I first made the board. It's now marked up with growth lines and names and dates for our three boys for the last two years or more. They love to pretend measure themselves too!

Here's the original post.

You've seen the giant rulers everyone's making, right? Love the concept, love the look, had to make it.

We have a small wall in the middle of everything that fits the ruler perfectly. You can see our living room to the left, the hallway to the right. The open door is our bedroom. You're standing in the kitchen while looking at the ruler. (Should I be freaked out that there's a stranger in my house, or excited that you came to visit?)


I took some time away from sorting boxes in the storage room (will it ever end?!??) and created something. As much as I like sorting and organizing, creating is better!

My husband just so happened to have a piece of wood hanging around in the garage. I stole it. Mwah hah hah! 

Here are the steps I took to make my ruler:
  • sand the face and edges of the board with a power sander tool thingy
  • stain the board. I used minwax's special walnut, one coat.
  • measure and mark the lines with a tape measure and pencil
  • draw the lines with a sharpie and a ruler/straight edge/something
  • use stencils to draw the numbers, again using a sharpie
  • apply two quick coats of poly
  • measure (kind of important!) and hang the finished ruler 

Did you catch my supply list? Here it is again:
  • board 
  • sander
  • stain
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • sharpie
  • poly

Since we had all of the supplies on hand, this awesome giant ruler was free! Now I can paint the doorway we were previously marking up, and if we should move one day, this precious family heirloom can come with us!

Just in time for the birthday markings in a couple weeks!

Have you made something fun lately?


Seriously, Jonathan is so little there!!! 

I do want to mention that I have opened an Esty shop! It's called Beauty4AshesEtsy and I just have a little inventory listed for now. I'm still collecting supplies and getting set up, then I'll be able to list more. I do custom orders, and one I'll consider doing is this ruler. I need to double check on the shipping costs to set a price, but if you're interested, let me know! 

Can you believe it's Day 18 already? Me neither!


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