Category Archives: Get Crafty

DIY Kitchen Word Art: What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin’?

Easy DIY Word Art Tutorial - Design Lively

Last week I posted on my latest adventure with beadboard wallpaper – my kitchen backsplash. Well, I got inspired and decided to re-do the art above my stove.

About a year ago I made a word-art sign that hung above my stove that said “What’s Cookin’ Good Lookin'” because it’s not an unusual occurrence for someone in this household to burst out singing this song.

While I loved the pop of yellow, the text didn’t read well from far away, so once I had my new backsplash I was inspired to give it another go! This time around I choose a higher contrasting blue and white letters and a chunkier typeface – Helvetica.

As a reminder of how I transfer my letters on to my wood board, see below!

The EASIEST Way to Transfer Fonts to Wood Boards:

Easy DIY Word Art Tutorial - Design Lively

1. Choose a font and what you’d like to say – and print it out!

2. Turn the paper over and rub it with chalk

3. Tape the paper (chalk-side down) and tape it into place. Trace over the outlines of the letters with a pen or pencil.

4. The pressure of the pen should leave a chalky residue behind, transferring your type.

5. Begin painting! Start with the outlines and then fill the letters in. I used craft paint and a tiny paintbrush.

6. After the paint has dried, the chalk residue will just wipe away.

Easy DIY Word Art Tutorial - Design Lively

You tell me, what’s cookin’ good lookin’?

(And on that note – I need to cook some dinner!)

I submitted this project to Beneath My Heart’s “Best of DIY October” Link Party

Autumn DIY Project Roundup!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Christmas must have hijacked that song from the lesser-known autumn carols, because October definitely wins that title.

While I am certainly one to celebrate the seasons a bit more than the average Jane, autumn sends me into hyperdrive. Most of the world depends on the arrival of pumpkins at the grocery store to turn their fall-brain on, but here in Massachusetts we are fortunate enough to smell it in the air when it’s decided to arrive.

It definitely smells like fall.

This week I made Pumpkin Chipotle soup, hosted a Pumpkin Ale and Cider tasting with friends, and I’m currently listening to my ice cream maker churn Pumpkin Pie ice cream (a first – we will see how it is!). What can I say – I’m a girl on a mission.

I’ve posted on a number of fall DIY projects in the past, here’s a roundup of some of my favorites:

DIY Frankenstein Halloween Door

DIY Felt Autumn Leaves Garland

DIY Rustic Twig Coffee Can Centerpiece

DIY Autumn Wreath

Nearly No-Sew DIY Patchwork Bunting

and don’t miss my Halloween font round-up for all your Halloween DIY projects:

My 10 Favorite Free Halloween Fonts

The only question – which new project to try this year?

What’s your favorite pumpkin-flavored item? Starbucks pumpkin spice latte? Pumpkin pie?

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

As I’ve slowly been dabbling in the world of furniture rehab the last year, I’ve learned quite a bit. Namely, that restoring wood furniture takes time and patience. I understand why people choose to go the painted furniture route because, frankly, it’s a lot easier!

A few weeks ago I revealed that I had finally finished DIYing my mom’s childhood bedroom dresser.

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

It’s been a beast to get it done. Nonetheless, I definitely don’t regret this DIY dresser project!

I shared a few months ago the dresser and how I stripped it of its (many layers) of paint.

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

Read about my sanding process here.

After that, I spent a boatload of time sanding. Usually I just use a palm sander (starting with rough grit paper up to very fine).

But the gouges in the surface of this dresser were so deep I needed to use our belt sander. (And as you can see by the photo below I needed a bit of assistance using it. I was a little Lucille-Ball-esque letting it carry me away with it!)

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

It was well worth all the effort of sanding though – it now has a nice new surface!

It goes well with the other DIY dresser I have refinished!

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

This time around I did use one new method: pre-staining.

Why Pre-Stain?

Pre-Stain is typically used on raw or soft wood materials. The pre-stain helps to prepare the wood so the stain will soak in more evenly – preventing blotches and streaks.

How to Use Pre-Stain:

Using pre-stain is simple. Going forward, I would definitely use it on any furniture staining projects I have, just to make the final color that much richer.

I used Minwax Pre-Stain conditioner. A large can will run you about $10, but will last you forever! After you have finished all your sanding, brush on the pre-stain with a foam brush just like stain, and let it sit for 5-15 minutes. Then just wipe off any excess.

You will want to stain your piece within 2 hours from pre-staining it for the best absorption.

Read how I stain and polyurethane here.

This dresser was stained with Minwax Special Walnut stain and topped with Cabot Semi-Gloss Fast Drying Polyurethane. I always use foam brushes when applying stain or poly, and just a friendly reminder – DON’T SHAKE THE POLY! Stir it gently! Otherwise the air bubbles will dry and your dresser will feel like you spilled PopRox on it.

DIY Tutorial: Refinishing a Painted Dresser and How to Pre-Stain Wood

Dresser Hardware

For the hardware,  I chose with mercury glass knobs. I found a 4-pack in HomeGoods for $8.00! You can find the same ones on Amazon ($12 for 2) or let yourself be seduced by the glitz of Anthropologie and get ripped off for $8.00 a pop for the exact same knobs!

For the top drawers I found smaller mercury glass knobs at Target for a whopping $20 for set of 4. I couldn’t find smaller knobs like them anywhere so I bought them. And they are perfect!

For the keyholes, I gently pried out the old metal inserts with a screwdriver. I’ve seen replacements online for $2/each, and may add those at a later point.

That brings my grand total for this DIY dresser makeover to about $45. (Pre-Stain – $10, Hardware: $28, Sandpaper: ~$5)

While this project took me ages to finish, I’m so happy I kept at it! It was totally worth it!

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Thanks for stopping by! : ) Kat

I’m linking this project up to one of my favorite furniture rehab gurus – Miss Mustard Seed’s Friday Furniture link party.

Easy DIY Earring Organizer

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

I am an accessories girl.

Accessories are less commitment, easy add-ons, and can be inexpensive (!).

You’ve already seen my DIY Necklace Rack.

I love having some of my jewelry on display so I wear different pieces more often. I keep the rest in two green fabric boxes on my dresser.

IEasy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

When it came to earrings… I didn’t have a very good solution.

I was re-organizing my earrings one day when the idea came to me. While I’m sure this isn’t the most original idea I could have thought of, it was fast, easy and free. How much better can it get?

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

I used an old needlework hoop I had sitting around in my craft supplies and a scrap of gray/white seersucker fabric.

I stuck the fabric in the hoop, snipped off the excess and voila.

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

For now it’s just hanging on a removable 3M hook. (I wanted to make sure I liked using it before committing.)

And I’ve been happy with it! It’s very easy to get the earrings off and put them back on.

Easy DIY Earring Organizer - DesignLively

So this is my happy little get-ready corner.

I store the rest of my jewelry in those two little green boxes.

You might have already noticed some visual changes on the blog here – and it’s about time. Things around these parts haven’t changed one bit for the last two years – so I’m trying out some new things! Let me know if you love/hate it. I’m still exploring myself!

What’s your favorite accessory. I can’t decide if I like earrings or scarves better… : )

TDC Before and After