Building a faux fireplace mantle, part 3

When we last left you, our beautiful antique mantle with its faux firebox looked like this:

Nothing was painted, no stone was laid. Things were kinda bare. And unfinished.

Our first item on the agenda was to paint it.

First, we caulked any cracks or areas we felt needed filling in. We painted the mantle and the adjoining boards behind it with white paint in satin finish.

Next, we installed Airstone to the surround and the bottom of the hearth.

This stuff is amazingly easy and fun to work with. Simply spread the adhesive on the back of the stones like you’re frosting a cake and press into place. You can also cut the stone with a hacksaw or circular saw.

We then laid faux slate vinyl tiles across the top of the hearth. We may upgrade it later to real slate but I am loving how this looks, and how little it cost.

We then painted the faux brick paneling with some matte black chalk paint. I just like the finish.

We still have a few areas to fill in and some trim to add, but all in all, I am loving it!

Stay tuned! The rest of our living room is about to change in a big way, and I can’t wait to show it to you!!

Have a great Monday!

Cute and Functional Study Spaces

Cute and Functional Study Spaces

My daughter needed a quiet, well-lit and organized place to study and do homework. We bought her this desk off Craigslist some time ago, but we never really decorated or did anything to make it inviting.

It wasn’t bad, but it was missing some key elements. Check this post for elements of an effective study space.

We decided to purchase a lamp

And we repurposed an old towel bar, S-hooks, and decorative buckets to store writing utensils.

Just $16 made a huge impact on her study space.

Her desk is far less cluttered and much cleaner now.

What small change has made a big impact at your house?

Make it Monday: Paint stick burlap star

Make it Monday: Paint stick burlap star

You may recall when I made the folk art-inspired flag from paint sticks this summer. My folk art flag was beginning to fall apart and it had passed its phase of being useful…so I decided to repurpose it.

I started by taking the flag apart. See the paint? I didn’t bother taking the paint off since the sticks would be covered with burlap.

I laid it out in a star pattern and hot glued it together.

Then I began wrapping the star in wide burlap ribbon, taking the time to glue it at each pass. It took a long time and lots of ribbon, but when I finished, I had this:

I’m planning to hang it up and hang a wreath in the center of it. Isn’t it cute?

What crafts have you done lately?

Create a Fixer Upper style sign…for cheap!

Create a Fixer Upper style sign…for cheap!

I don’t know about you guys, but I love Fixer Upper. I’m always impressed by what Joanna puts together and I always love seeing the final product.

Have you ever visited the Magnolia Market website? There are so many things on there I’d love to buy, but we are trying to save money AND live with less.

I’ve recently been coveting this bakery sign:

I was set to order one but then noticed the pile of scrap wood in my garage. I instantly knew I could DIY one of these signs.

I created the letters in a font type and size I liked, printed them out and cut them out. Then, I painted the board white and traced the letters.

I then filled them in, taking care to make the letters look a little aged to add to the sign’s rustic charm.

I then attached a hanger to the back and displayed it in my dining room.

What Magnolia/Fixer Upper style craft have you completed lately?

Styling a farmhouse china hutch

Styling a farmhouse china hutch

My china hutch in the dining room was full, but it lacked interest and charm.

In fact, it was boring and didn’t really add anything to our dining room. I’d been looking for a way to showcase our milk glass collection, so I thought I’d combine the two.

I took everything out of the hutch until it was empty.

I arranged the cups, plates and dishes into interesting arrangements and added a basket for texture.

Then I featured my favorite milk glass pieces in various areas of the hutch.

I am really pleased with the result.

What do you think? Isn’t that way less boring?