Khepri Designs: Quick and Easy Framed Chalkboards

20130530-220753.jpgSince I am posting about photo shoot props, I thought I should add this quick and easy one that I did earlier in the week (I also made some cardstock glasses and hats on sticks for the photos, but you aren’t getting a post about that. Too bad. They are paper glasses on sticks. I think it’s pretty self explanatory:) …)
I wanted chalkboards for this shoot, too, so came up with this easy way to make framed ones. I purchased two super-cheap frames (like $2 cheap) from Staples, but you can find them at the dollar store, thrift store, etc. Just look for one with a pressboard back that pops out.

20130530-222008.jpg

20130530-222024.jpgThen just spray that pressboard piece with chalkboard paint, let dry, and put it back in the frame (without the glass or anything else in front of it). I told you it was super easy!

20130530-222212.jpg

If you have never used chalkboard paint, you have to prep it once it’s dry. Take a piece of chalk and rub it all over, then use a soft, dry cloth to wipe it off. Then you are ready to go!
20130530-222226.jpg
(Yes, only one of the chalkboards made it into the photo setup. I couldn’t think of what to write on the other one…)

Khepri Designs: De-Stressing with Distressing

20130530-214236.jpg
This one has been a long time in the making–not because it was terribly time-consuming, but because it went in stages and a lot of time lapsed between them. I had my brother-in-law’s father make me these cute little stools out of 2x4s the last time they were visiting (I’m sure I could’ve built them myself…but he is just so much better at it. And this way I don’t have to worry about them collapsing under someone’s weight :)). I wanted them to be vintage-y, but colorful. I do like color!

20130530-214723.jpg I painted them each with a white base and a brightly colored top. I bought the trial sizes of Behr paint, which was perfect for this kind of project. I will admit that I wasn’t super careful with my painting, and got some of the colors on each other, and slopped some white on them. But hey, they are supposed to be old, so I went with it. It adds more character!

20130530-214924.jpgThen it was time to distress–here are my distressing tools. Yes, that is a sock. It came from the missing mates bag–don’t use a good one, because it will be trashed by the time you are done!

20130530-215049.jpgI sanded the stools down, focusing on the edges and the places that would wear the most. Think corners, middle of the top where people’s feet would tread–you get the idea. I then bagged up my random screws and nails (we have a Tupperware of these in our garage, and I just grabbed a handful-no rhyme or reason) in the toe of the sock, and beat the stools! Use this one sparingly–a few hits were enough. I tried to shake up the sock between them so I would end up with different marks.

20130530-215416.jpgI also took the mallet to the stools in a few places, knocking some more dents in them. I took out a corner, too… Remember, it all adds to the character!

20130530-215457.jpg

20130530-215544.jpgAfter seeing them at this stage, I decided they weren’t quite what I wanted yet. They still seemed to bright. So I thought I would add some wood stain to the mix–I used the leftover from my earlier desk project. I used a rag to wipe it on, then wiped it off with a different wet rag. Try to get it into the corners, adding some ‘dirt’ to the project.

20130530-215758.jpg

20130530-215805.jpgI decided this was too dark, got a little worried that I would have to sand the entire thing down, and then realized that Goo Gone works wonders at removing stain from my hands, so… I sprayed them with the orange stuff, and wiped that off with a paper towel. Perfect! It added just the right amount of dark to the stools, and left what looks like dirt in the cracks and corners.

20130530-220149.jpg

20130530-220207.jpgThis picture shows the two outer ones done, and the middle one not. I think they are just what I wanted, and a perfect accessory to my photo shoot for tomorrow. Here’s a preview!

20130530-220306.jpg

Kalliope Kids: More Costumes

What do you do when you realize your child needs to dress as a pop star the next day? And you have been at circus and hockey and it’s 9pm and you just remembered? Two words: Katy Perry.

20130529-214853.jpg

This one was, out of necessity, quick and simple. It’s based on Katy Perry’s candy dot dress, toned down for the five year old Bug. All it took was some scraps from the stash in red, yellow and blue, my sizzix machine and circle die, and spray adhesive. I cut a pile of circles (dots) from the fabric with the sizzix, sprayed them with glue, and stuck them onto a white tank and skirt that Bug already had. The next morning required some blue temporary hair color (yes, I stock up every halloween so have a bunch through the year), and she was set! Did I mention it was an easy-peasy costume??!

20130529-215053.jpg