Masterful artsiness

A few days ago, I posted this on Instagram….


True statement right there.

It’s funny how one decorating movement made on a total whim can get the juices flowing.  After I popped this guy above our bed, I actually (1) made my bed (Please, no applause. ;)) and (2) I busted out the camera and tripod and took pics of not only this space, but all of the other spaces that I’ve worked on in the past month or so.  It was a successful morning to say the least.

So, with that I give you my art…

DIY art for the master bedroom

This, my friends,  is a HUGE piece of DIY art that I created for (waitforit) EIGHT DOLLARS.  No joke.

Now, granted, a big part of this project costing practically pennies was luck.  I found this giant canvas that was already framed in raw wood at a thrift store for $7.99.  It looked like a DIY painting of a winterscape painted in brown and white before I painted over it.   Had it been attractive, I may have kept it, but sadly, it was not.   At least not for my taste.   It wasn’t signed and didn’t appear to be anything other than maybe a school project or something so I didn’t feel too bad covering it up.

Master bedroom

Now, because I was in my little Money-Pit-Funk when I completed this project, I have no process pics, but transforming it was pretty simple and self-explanatory.   Let me put it this way… My four-year-old-helped me do it.  For that reason alone, I really wish I’d snapped some pics… the little man was so excited to be wielding a paint roller.  And he did really well.

Anyways, updating the art took very little time and zero dollars.  I just used what I had on hand.   I simply taped off the frame and then Lucas and I painted over the canvas with white primer (It was Kilz Premium).  Once that was dry, I taped off the canvas and stained the wooden frame using two coats of Varathane’s Early American stain.  I then decoupaged a print that I already owned in the middle of the canvas with Matte Mod Podge (after cutting it down to size using my sweet neighbor’s paper slicer (have I mentioned that I love our neighbors?)).   I’ve found that the key to Mod Podging paper is to “glue” the paper down with one coat of Mod Podge, then let it dry thoroughly before adding coats over top.   This prevents the paper from sliding and tearing.

That’s all it took.   It was easy and pretty darn foolproof.

DIY art

I may go back eventually and add some hints of color over top of the white so it’s not so stark, but I’m still deciding on that.  Right now I kind of like the simplicity of it.  In the meantime, this over-sized art really helps to fill the wall and make this side of the room feel more finished.

Master bedroom with art

Here’s a view from the doorway (PLEASE ignore the ceiling fan… It’s destined for replacement with something more our style)…

The frame is looking a bit orange in some of these pics, but it’s actually a beautiful medium-dark wood tone that plays really well with my vintage foot stool and rattan table on the opposite side of the room.   The bed area really needed that tone to make it feel more cohesive with the rest of the space.  I still need to play with the night stand styling a bit to account for our newest addition, but I’ll tell ya.   It’s SUCH an improvement from this purple mess with stained carpeting and rickety windows that we started with a year ago…


There’s still lots to do in this room… I’d love to add an area rug, a bench at the foot of the bed, more art, and a dresser to the wall by the doorway (and the ceiling fan… OH, the ceiling fan), but for now I’m just glad to have done SOMETHING in here.

As for coming projects around the house, I’ve been on an “art mission” as of late.   I’m trying to fill the walls in thoughtful, inexpensive ways.   So, the next few posts will cover changes to the walls in the living and hangout rooms and foyer.    I’ve already taken pics, so now it’s just a matter of writing my posts.  Woot!

TDC Before and After

A Tray with Personality

So, remember when I finally found our mid-century dresser? I mentioned how it desperately needed to be styled?  Well, I decided that a tray to corral some of my decor items was just what the doctor ordered.  Several months ago, I found this guy for around fourteen bucks at Tar-jay.

More than I’d usually spend on a tray, but I’d been looking for some time and was tired of coming up empty-handed. So, I just grabbed it and ran to the register. Once I got home, I placed it on the dresser and accessorized it… but decided it was a little blah on its own.

So, I raided my fabric supply and found this remnant….


It’s a 1/4 yard that I picked up for 99 cents at Walmart a while back. I set the fabric inside the tray, added a few vases and such, then left it all like that to make sure I was completely gung-ho before enlisting any permanent changes. Honestly, I loved the fabric+tray combo immediately.  The fabric brought just the interest I was looking for, the colors were great in the room, and the retro-ish print totally meshed with our mid-century dresser (his name is Drex for any newbies to the blog). My plan was to Mod Podge the fabric to the bottom of the tray. But then I got lazy, and nothing happened for several months.

Last week, I saw that Katie over at Bower Power completed an adorable Mod Podged fabric inlay mirror, and I thought, “if she can get ‘er done (and she has 1.5 kids more than me), then so can I!”. So, last weekend I got off my tush and did it. I pretty much used the same technique as Katie did (with a few changes due to some small obstacles), which was as follows…

First, I assembled my materials…


Tray, fabric (not shown), Mod Podge, sponge brush, plate, razor blade.

I began by applying Mod Podge to the bottom of the tray. And stop. The Mod Podge started beading up and acting like it wasn’t adhering. I realized pretty quickly that the surface of the tray was too glossy for the Mod Podge as it was. So, I grabbed a damp paper towel and quickly removed all of the Mod Podge. Then, I used my vinegar/water cleaner and thoroughly cleaned my tray. Next, I busted out a liquid deglosser and applied it to the bottom of the tray to rough it up a smidge.

Once the deglosser dried, with my fingers crossed in a haze of determination, I applied the Mod Podge once again.


This time it went on like a champ. Nice and even. No beading. Woo-hoo! Once the bottom of my tray was coated, I pressed my fabric into the bottom of my tray and smoothed it out until it was nice and flat.


Next came the razor blade.

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I used it to gently score the fabric over and over along the crease until it was cut all the way through. The corners were a little challenging because the fabric wanted to lift up each time my razor got close to the corner. I pressed the tips of a closed pair of scissors right up into the corner so that I could hold the fabric down while I sliced into the corner as closely as possible. Then, I finished off the corner with a snip of my scissors.


Next it was clean-up time…


I used a lint roller to pick up any fuzz or strings that had accumulated during the trimming process. I also snipped any rogue strings along the edges with my scissors so the the edges looked as clean as possible. Then, I applied another coat of Mod Podge over top to seal in the fabric and help prevent future stains.


Which left this…

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I just love it. It really gives Drex a bit of pizazz. Plus, if I ever tire of the print, I can simply Mod Podge something else over it or spray-paint the entire tray a bold color. Nothing is forever when spray-paint’s in the house, my friends.

So now for this side of the room I’ve still gotta find/make some art to hang above Drex. I have an idea for a DIY piece, but need to get a large canvas first. I also want to replace the wicker chair with something sleeker. Maybe some sort of tufted linen slipper chair with clean lines?? Just an idea. I’m sure things’ll change depending on what I find. In any case, I’m slowly but surely getting there.

So, anyways that’s my tray! I hope everyone has a great weekend!! 🙂