Tag: DIY Project

The Makeover of a Clothes Valet

The Makeover of a Clothes Valet

In a home, it’s the little things that make a difference, and that’s what inspired this makeover. I’ve wanted to paint the clothes valet you see here for awhile now, even had the paint to do it… But I use it to display my Grandmother’s…

DIY: Zipping Up A Lamp Shade, Painting It With Colour!

DIY: Zipping Up A Lamp Shade, Painting It With Colour!

I picked up a little glazed ceramic lamp base at the thrift store not too long ago, but had no idea what to do for a shade. Knew I wanted to DIY something, but not sure what. And then I came across a tutorial by…

My Design Ode to the 2012 Summer Olympics

My Design Ode to the 2012 Summer Olympics

Twelve years ago I started off a 5-week holiday in London, toured around the UK, and then enjoyed some of the great cities that Europe has to offer. When I holiday I like to buy at least one piece of art to remember the trip by, and on this journey I opted for a few pencil drawings.

The two large ones are from the City of Bath, and the small one is of Stonehenge.

Pencil Drawings of Bath & Stonehenge

I love these pieces, and have enjoyed them since the day my Dad matted and framed them for me. That is until this home we moved into last summer. You see, I’ve had a project for a TV stand brewing since about this time last year. I know, right. Who leaves a project for a year? You can catch my teaser post about it here.

Anyway, I always thought the space behind the TV stand (upon completion, of course!) is where these prints would go. You know, something like this.

With the TV stand sitting out in front, I thought they would be a good fit for this spot, both in their look and scale. And so they’ve remained unhung just waiting for the stand to be done! I’ll let you in on a little secret… the TV stand was finished 3 days ago, which is why you see the chaos of cables in this photo. We were in the middle of switching stands over, but I’ll be posting that reveal a little later.

To cut to the chase, my well-laid plan for the prints was a FAIL! And I didn’t have to hang them to find out. What I did first was make a template for each print out of newspaper, and then gave the placement a test-run. I got this tip from Young House Love way back when, and I’m so glad I did! I seriously recommend this step if you’re trying to decide on art placement before you bang the nail in!

When I knew this spot was a definite miss, I had to go to my option B location.

And test it out with my trusty templates…

Tip to hang multiple pieces of art

With the templates I could see this spot was best with just the two larger prints. With three, the top piece would fight for attention with the trim above the window… and that would just create visual pain for anyone looking that way! I tried the templates lower, but the lamp started to fight with the frame of the bottom print…

It’s hard to see, but the top print is slightly narrower than the bottom one, so getting these two pieces hung just right took a lot of measuring, leveling, shifting and re-leveling with the templates.

Template System to hang multiple art pieces

Did I mention how the templates made this part a lot easier?

And, voila!

Pencil Art of Bath UK

All this after living here for a year! And to think I could’ve been enjoying the prints so much sooner 😐

Here’s where I decided to hang the Stonehenge print…

Even though I was only hanging one piece, I still used the template, because I wanted to make sure the size of the print wouldn’t overwhelm this spot.

Template system to hang art work

Ooops! I wasn’t planning to feature my kitchen, and totally didn’t prep the space :-0  Oh well, it’s a day in the life of…!

I think the print looks great in this spot.

Template system to hang art work

Okay, I’ll crop the shot and remove the visual distractions for you! 😉

What do you think? Do you like ‘Stonehenge’ here?

Here’s one more look at the ‘Bath’ prints in location B…

Artwork stacked vertically

When you see them in context, it makes a difference, doesn’t it?

Notice the stacked pieces over the fireplace? The top piece was also hung up today. I wanted to repeat the vertical stacking of artwork… but this particular piece also has special meaning and I thought it was a great place to feature it.

You see, it’s a cross-stitch that my Mom started, but never got to finish. She purchased it in England, and it’s of a little thatched roof cottage. We were on this trip together, and drove through the countryside where cottages with thatched roofs were scattered along the way. It was just so pretty and quaint. When hubs and I got married, my Aunt finished this piece and gave it to us for a wedding gift. My Aunt was on this trip too, and she was the driver… that’s right, wrong side of the road out in the English countryside! Can I just say, I’m so glad she was the one dodging the Hawthorne bushes, driving the M3, and navigating the 4-lane round-a-bouts?!!! 🙂

The point of this post is to share a tip for hanging artwork, but it’s also to demonstrate something I really believe in. And that is the value of the stories behind the pieces in your home. There is a sweet irony in the timing of this post… the 2012 Summer Olympics are taking place in London at this very moment, and these special pieces just happen to be attached to my time in the UK twelve years ago, almost to the day! So as we catch some of the Olympics, and I glance at my prints, I am reminded of a time in my life that feels like just yesterday, and I feel connected… See what I mean about the stories?…


All Photos by Sheila Zeller

A Little Gloss and Too Much Shine!

A Little Gloss and Too Much Shine!

I love summer, and am seriously enjoying it while it’s here! You’ve probably noticed fewer posts per week, and I just want to say, it’s all good! I’m taking this time to enjoy the sunshine, my friends and family, and all that summer brings our…

A Mini Porch Repair… Curb Appeal Love!

A Mini Porch Repair… Curb Appeal Love!

Not sure if you remember, but back when I shared our DIY BBQ Pad project I mentioned another project that was on our ‘to do’ list. A little porch repair… We had to wait out the weather (like 3 months worth of waiting!) before we could…

Tweaking it up with Twine

Tweaking it up with Twine

It’s the little things that make a difference. Seriously. Do you think I would string you along?

Okay, that was a bad pun! You’ll see 😉

Enter house plant exhibit #1.

Plastic Trays for Ceramic Pots

Notice the green plastic trays?

So pretty, right?

They’re in place because the ceramic pots in front aren’t glazed, and though the pot in back is, I wanted to elevate it a little from the other two.

Now, here’s the thing. Rope and twine is pretty hot in decor right now, so I decided to trend up these trays… you know, just to give them a touch of pizzazz like these plant pots have.

I picked up these balls of twine from the Dollar Store…

Dollar Store Twine

And applied the first row with a glue gun to set the twine firmly in place, and give the next row a solid guide to work from.

Twine DIY Project for Planter Trays

The rest was applied with Modge Podge craft glue. Notice the twine sitting in the basket? I fed it through one of the holes to keep the ball from rolling on the floor… just a little tip if you want to give a project like this a try.

Don’t worry about applying too much Modge Podge. It dries clear, and you want enough coverage to hold the whole length of twine in place.

DIY Twine Project for Planter Trays

I applied a thick layer with a toothpick as I went along. Just be careful not to completely coat your twine with glue, or you will wreck the look of the raw, fuzzy jute fibres.

DIY twine wrapped planter tray

You might have to stop and wash your hands a few times if your fingers get coated in glue. Mine did!

Once all three trays were wrapped, I set them up on containers to dry.

DIY twine wrapped planter trays

They don’t take very long to dry, but I let them sit for a couple of hours before moving them into place.

DIY twine wrapped planter trays

Now that the glue is dry, notice you can still see the fuzzy jute fibres? That’s what I mean about not coating the twine with too much glue.

Here’s a ‘before’ & ‘after’ of the larger tray, the one used to elevate the pot that’s glazed…

Jute wrapped planter tray

I like it better with the twine on it, but never thought to actually cover the bottom of the tray. I’m not sure about that green still peeking through, and might go back and finish it up by coiling a length of twine to cover the bottom, too. What do you think?

Here’s a look back at where we started…

DIY twine wrapped planter tray project

Notice the dirt in the pots?

And here’s where we are now!

DIY twine wrapped planter tray project

Twine wrapped planter trays on the bottom, and polished river rocks on top!

I got the river rock idea from my friend Jessica over at Decor Adventures. Makes such a difference to finishing the look, don’t you think? Thanks, Jess 🙂

And in total this mini project only took an hour and a half!

Who would’ve thought? A Dollar Store ball of twine. That’s what I love so much about the inspiration I get from other blogs, and of course, from Pinterest. Some projects are definitely on the larger scope of make-overs, but then there’s these little things, too. It’s not how grand the scale of a project, but rather, how much difference a project will make to you!

 Have you made any tweaks to your place lately? If not, is there anything you’ve been planning to do?


PS – I forgot to mention a few things…

  • First, wishing all my friends south of the border a Happy Independence Day 🙂 I hope your day is filled with fun in the sun, the love of your family and friends, and great BBQ food!!!
  • Second… today is the 2nd anniversary of my blog! 352 posts later, who knew time could fly by so fast? To all of you stopping by, leaving comments, and showing your support, thank you so much for reading what I write. Truly, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU!
Hugs, xo

All Photos by Sheila Zeller


Old 2×4 Reclaimed, Repurposed & Brought to Life

Old 2×4 Reclaimed, Repurposed & Brought to Life

So I came across this weathered, rust stained scrap piece of 2×4, thoughtlessly discarded and left for… well, scrap. See, it even comes complete with the dust and grime from where it was left to decay! But I saw beyond all this. To me there was…

The Reach of Pinterest: Highschool Project Inspired by Mom’s Pin!

The Reach of Pinterest: Highschool Project Inspired by Mom’s Pin!

If you’re a Pinterest fan, then you know all about the pinning craze. And I bet you’ve been inspired to try an idea or two that you’ve pinned. But would you believe me if I told you Pinterest inspired my daughter’s History 12 project? Here’s the…

DIY: Giving Terracotta Pots A Second Life

DIY: Giving Terracotta Pots A Second Life

Last week I took a little gander at my random collection of plant pots, you know to start thinking about prettifying the yard a bit. I love terracotta pots, but mine have definitely seen better days.

Like this one!

Chipped Terracotta Plant Pot

This is the biggest one I have, and it’s been around for at least 10 years, not to mention through a move or two…

Here’s a few more added to the mix.

Prepping Terracotta Pots to Paint

See what I mean? The big pots are in pretty tough shape around the rim.

So I decided to paint this bunch and give them a new life. It’s not like there’s anything to lose, right?

I started by brushing off all the dust and dirt with a stiff-bristled hand broom, and then lightly primed each pot with spray primer.

Primed terracotta plant pots

The wind showed up just in time, and made spraying evenly almost impossible.

I decided to give this Krylon ‘Make-It-Stone’ textured spray paint a try.

Krylon Make It Stone Spraypaint

But I didn’t notice until it was too late that this paint is an indoor paint. Oops! Oh well, like I said, there’s not much to lose at this point.

The pots took the paint really well, but they looked a little boring all sprayed out in stone.

So I went over the rims and sprayed them black instead.

Painting Terracotta Pots

I was trying a little ombre touch here, but a few days later, decided I didn’t really like that either! My technique was a little too blotchy, don’t you think?

So I prepped the pots for another coat of the Krylon Stone to go over the Ombre attempt.

Taping Terracotta Pots to Paint

This additional coat made a big difference to the finished look. I liked the outcome much better than the first round.

Here’s a little peak at round two.

Krylon 'Make It Stone' & Black Rim

I think they look better like this, even up-side-down 😉

And since I liked the way the pots looked, I gave them a few clear coats to seal them, and called it a wrap. Hopefully this will help protect the ‘indoor’ paint from the elements, at least for this season!

Want to see them all planted up?

I stayed with bright red Geraniums and Dracaena in all the pots. They’re pretty hardy plants that I usually manage to keep alive!

I wanted the red to pop against the black and stone colours of the pot, and once the Geraniums fill out, I think they’ll be showy.

The Rhodoes in the background are actually our neighbours, but we get to enjoy them as a backdrop!

Remember the ‘before’ of the big planter?

Chipped Terracotta Plant Pot

What do you think of it now?

Notice the water on the rim? I think that’s a good sign that the sealer is doing its job!

Have you painted terracotta pots for outside? Were you happy with the results?

We spent our weekend weeding, and planting up flowers, herbs, and some of Makaria Farm’s famous tomatoes. I hope you’ll pop back for a little tour of what we’ve done!



It’s about coming home… and home is a special place that tells your story! 

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 Photos: Sheila Zeller

Featured at hodge:podge

Featured at hodge:podge

I’m very excited… My closet redesign is being featured over at hodge:podge today 🙂 If you live in a rental, this post is for you! And if you don’t, well, this post is for you, too!! It’s a little inspiration for a lot of closet maximization! Is…