Balsa wood canvas frame – Monthly DIY Challenge

Whatup, yall!   It’s time again for our DIY Monthly Challenge!  (Applause!!!)

This is a challenge where my bloggy friends and I are assigned an item and must simply make something with it!

This month, our item of choice was craft wood.

And I chose balsa simply for ease of use.  For those who don’t know, balsa wood is very soft, so you can cut it with an X-acto knife or scissors.   Totally my type of material.

I have to say that this month’s theme couldn’t have come at a better time.  See, I recently found this canvas art at a thrift store for $6.  And was completely enamored….

I loved the colors and the contrast.  It immediately caught my eye (as did the price tag), so I adopted it and we held hands as we walked off into the sunset I took that badboy home.

The only downside was that it was an unfinished canvas with staples on the sides.  I wanted to make it appear more finished, thus, I decided to use balsa wood to create a frame.   This was SUPER easy to do, but I wanna caution… because balsa wood is so soft, you mainly wanna use it on lightweight items or items that you know wont be bumped around much as it can dent and become misshapen easily (at least mine did).   I learned this pretty quickly as I constructed my frame.  My canvas was borderline too heavy so I had to be careful that I didn’t set it down on our unevenly textured slate floors too firmly.

Anyways, I chose to use four pieces of 1″ x 1/4″ x 36″ balsa wood, which I purchased from Joanne’s.  Then, I simply measured my canvas and cut my balsa wood to size using the straight edge of my ruler as a guide.   I made multiple passes of the knife until I cut entirely through the wood…

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Next, I spray painted my balsa with my new fave, Valspar’s metallic spray paint in gold.  Once it was dry,  I simply hot glued it to the canvas…

That’s all it took!   And here’s what I was left with…

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Purdy, no?  I just love this art.   Seriously.  I think it was just a homemade piece that somebody created then donated, but it’s genius.

I decided to hang it in the hangout room for now…

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I’m not sure if this will be it’s permanent home, as I’d like to add shelving or a picture ledge to this wall eventually, but for now I’m sort of loving it…

Here’s the view from the doorway…

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I’d like to change out the grey patterned pillow cover because I feel like it’s a competing a bit with the curtains, but all in all I’m happy with the direction this room is going.  So anyways, this was a really simple and quick project that really packed an impact!   I really couldn’t be happier with how my frame turned out!

Now, check out what my bloggy friends came up with for their awesome projects… 

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Easy Gilded lamp – DIY Monthly Challenge

Howdy, folks!!  It’s time for another Monthly DIY Challenge!  The rules, you ask?  Easy… My bloggy friends and I are simply assigned a theme and must make something with it!

This month, our theme was paint!  And we were allowed to choose any kind of paint that floated our boats.

Now, I’ll admit…  My project is definitely not something new to my blog.  It’s actually one of my regular go-tos for changing up random items.  It’s quick, easy, cheap, and wholly effective, thus, it’s one of my very favorite DIYs.  You guessed it…. spray-paint!   I’m a true believer running with what works.  So, I do.  😉   And since my little blog-baby here is about our home and its progression, I wanted to choose something from the list of projects on my to-do list.   So, I chose a lamp makeover plus the transformation of the little nook that it resides in.   Basically, I’m talking spray paint + a nifty new shade + art.   It’s simple, but in my opinion, makes a world of difference in the space.  And I’m not gonna lie… I want to pet the pretty lamp every time I see it while whispering sweet nothings.   I really love how it turned out.

So, let’s start with a shot of Lucas being a ninja turtle while watching the Ninja Turtles…

While it’s pretty much the cutest thing you’ve ever seen, I’d like you to pry your eyes from the adorable Leonardo and relocate them to the decor.   This picture was taken in October of last year shortly after we moved in.   I’d actually forgotten how mis-matched it looked at first.  It makes me feel really good about myself now.  Heehee!  #bloggingmakesconfidence   This photo was taken months before we found our mid-century-dresser-turned-media-stand.  And the nook in question for the purpose of this post is that corner with the black chair.   It was clearly messy, and the orientation was wrong… it looked unquestionably better once I rotated the chair so that it was facing the sofa directly.   And that lamp…. I got it on clearance about 7 years ago at Walmart for $10.   It wasn’t a bad lamp.  It was sturdy, and it didn’t look cheap close-up, but it needed some love.  You can’t really tell in the shot above, but the shade was kind of dingy and had a dent on one side.

So, yeah… It’s fair to say that I’ve wanted to gussy up that area for some time.  Each night, my eyes would inevitably stray from Gossip Girl to the corner.  It was naked.  And not in a good way.  And I would brainstorm ways to dress it.  To make it feel more cozy and welcoming.  I experimented with some of the wall art I had on hand, but nothing looked right, so until recently, activity remained at a standstill.  That is, until we were given a super cool Fort Worth Stockyards print by Joey’s parents, which then inspired me to spring for a sweet new geometric lampshade (from Tar-jay)…

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So, here we were.  And it wasn’t too shabby.  It was just VERY grey/silver.  Now, don’t get me wrong… that’s not a bad thing.  It’s just that there wasn’t anything to tie this corner in with the rest of space in terms of finishes.   I mean, sure, I have stainless steel accents throughout the space, but I also have lots of gold.   For example, our swanky new pulls on our built-ins and wet-bar…

And I wanted that corner to join the cool-kids club to make the gold seem even more intentional.   So, I whipped out the gold spray paint…

Taped off my lamp…

Wiped it down with vinegar spray to remove any dust and dirt, and gave it several light, even coats of my pretty gilded spray paint.

Now, when it comes to spray-painting, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… apply light, even coats with dry time in between to prevent drips.   HOWEVER… READ THE CAN.   If the label says “Paint within one hour or after 48 hours” abide by this.  For the love of Pete, save your sanity and listen to the can.  If you spray within the non-recommended time-frame (Ie: between one and 48 hours), the paint will be too dry to accept wet paint, but not dry enough to properly adhere to your item.  Thus, the spray paint will crackle and wrinkle and develop an almighty attitude.  And you will ugly-cry.  And it will be sad.  Trust me.  I know this from experience.

So anyways, I painted per the instructions on the can, then allowed my lamp to cure up in the garage for a good 24 hours.    Once he was good and dry, I pulled him back inside, which left this….

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And just so you don’t have to scroll up, I give you “The Before”…

Although my little lamp makeover isn’t a huge change in itself, that small pop of gold really helps to tie the corner in with the rest of the space.  I think the change may be more noticeable in person.  If only I could take a picture by blinking.  Then you could see what I see.  Anyhoo, I REALLY want to change out that pillow for a more colorful kilim style pillow, but I haven’t found one that strikes my fancy quite yet.  And I have an idea for storage on the other side of the chair as well… again, it’s a matter of locating my item of choice.   I must say that having really specific decor pieces in my head can be such a pain sometimes… tracking them down is like hunting unicorns.  Ie:  Majestic creatures that *probably* don’t exist.  Not that I’d ever “hunt” a unicorn.  I’d find it, then ask it to be my friend and grant me wishes.  Because clearly unicorns speak English.  And also grant wishes.  I mean, CLEARLY.   Aaaaaaanyways, when my mythical decor items finally present themselves, I’ll let y’all know.

In the meantime, you can fully enjoy yourselves by checking out the fabulous projects created by my fellow bloggers for this #monthlyDIYchallenge….

TDC Before and After