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 Little Ikea Lack Map Hack

I dare you to say THAT three times fast.  Even better, do it in front of a mirror.  I tried.  I failed.  I laughed.  Yes, this is what I do in my spare time.

Anyhoo, I’ve been searching for a new nightstand for Lucas’s room for some time now, but never quite found what I was looking for. I wanted something that was light colored, or able to be painted a light color, with storage.  His current night stand, as seen here…


…was too dark in my opinion and was falling apart.  The bamboo pieces around the edges were falling off, and we’d lost the door handle.  Normally, this wouldn’t bother me.  I’d just fix it, replace the hardware, paint it and move on.   What did bother me was that these pieces were basically stapled on.  And when they come loose, there were sharp staples just waiting for Lucas to hurt himself on.   And there was no telling which area would come loose.  Lucas would just walk out of his room carrying yet another broken piece.   So, it needed to go.

The other day I attempted to sift through No Man’s Land (our spare room/resident dumping ground for those who don’t know) and I came across a hand-me-down Ikea Lack table that was given to us a while back. I’d kept him (and his twin brother) with the thought of turning them into a headboard for Lucas’s bed. This plan never came to fruition because I didn’t like the scale of the tables with the bed, so they’ve just been taking up space in decorating purgatory ever since.

It’s funny how leaving an item alone for a while and then coming back to it later can give you a fresh, new perspective. Upon rediscovering the table, I realized that at least a temporary solution to the nightstand dilemma was waiting for me for free in our spare room this whole time. As I continued to organize our junk, I found a map that we’d used to find our way to Eureka Springs for our honeymoon years ago… And the thoughts connected.

Lucas’s transportation themed room + Map = YESSSSS!!!!!!!

So, I busted out my materials…


I started by cutting off the mustard trim on the edge of the map, as I wanted to finish off the table with it later.


Then, I unscrewed the legs a smidge to make it easier to trim out the top….


I thoroughly cleaned the table and used a liquid deglosser to rough up the surface. Then, I applied a coat of Mod Podge, which the little man helped with….


I applied the map over top and did my best to smooth it out….


Then, I trimmed the corners (sorry for the blurry pic. This is what happens when I multitask) …


Applied Mod Podge to the sides and folded over the edges….


Once I was through with this, I carefully lined up my border and applied it all around the edge….


And followed it up with three coats of Mod Podge over top.  I did have an issue with air bubbles. On the bad ones I simply sliced a small hole in the paper and filled it with Mod Podge to allow it to seep under the paper, then I smoothed it with my finger.  I probably should’ve applied a thicker coat of Mod Podge to the table before applying my map, but ya live, ya learn.

Here’s the final result….




It’s definitely not perfect. It has creases and air bubbles, but I actually like it that way. It looks leathery and weathered. I was actually thinking of tinting some Mod Podge and going over it again to give it more of an aged look. For now though, I’m gonna leave it as is.

I added a basket underneath that was also living an unfulfilled life in No Man’s Land to fill my storage requirement. It now holds the books that were in Lucas’s old night stand. I like that Lucas can always pull over his rocking chair and use this table to read or color or whatever. It has enough table surface to serve more than one purpose for sure.

I’m still going to keep an eye out for a more permanent solution as I feel like this table is a bit low for a nightstand, but for a completely free (and more importantly… SAFE) alternative to his old nightstand I think it’s a pretty darn good option.  🙂