Monday, June 29, 2009

Thrifty Treasures

Today I'm joining in on Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality's Thrifty Treasures Monday.

I stopped by goodwill this past week and picked up these treasures:

Wooden Tray- $1.49- I plan on painting this a white & tan zig-zag pattern for our living room coffee table.

2 faux grass plants - $.99 each - The square one of these is going to sit on top of a stack of books in our living room & the rectangular one is going in our kitchen window above the sink.

6 galvanized metal buckets (new from target) - $.29 each - these are for a secret project.. stay tuned.

2 milkglass bottles - $.79 each - I have no idea what I'm going to do with these, but they were just too cute!! Any suggestions?

I'm hoping to get some projects finished up this week before we head off to vacation, but we'll see. Speaking of vacation, I have a fabulous line-up of guest bloggers for while I'm away. I'm sure you'll be excited to hear from them!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Easy Peasy DIY Message Board

K, so are you guys ready for a project anyone can do? I bet even your little brother could manage this one! All it takes is a tray, some painters' tape, chalkboard spray paint, and ribbon.

First, find yourself a silver-looking tray of some kind.
You can pick one up super cheap at a thrift store- I have yet to see a thrift store without a plethora of silver plated or faux silver trays/platters. However, I actually picked mine up at the dollar store.. whenever inspiration strikes, go for it!

You can grab painters' tape anywhere from Lowe's to Wal-Mart. Heck, masking tape will even work.

Chalkboard spray paint: I stopped at our local Menards and all they had was a quart-size can for $12.. time to keep looking. Then, of course, I found some at Wal-Mart for $4. Score.I chose white grossgrain ribbon to complete my project. However, you can get whatever works with your decor.
Tape off the outside rim of your tray with painters' tape. Then give the inside a good 3-4 coats of the chalkboard spray paint. When it dries, remove the tape. Then attach two pieces of ribbon to the top sides of the tray with whatever you choose (duck tape, hot glue.. whatever- no one will see it) and tie in a bow at the top. Write a little note with some chalk & hang it on your wall, and voila!
My little guy actually served a dual purpose, much like these shelves. Wanna see what I covered up?? ...thought so!
You can't exactly rip a phone jack out of the wall when you're renting, so covering it up is the best option! We went from this:

To this:

Much better, don't you think? And it's a lovely reminder that we'll be enjoying the lake very soon! :) What have you all done with chalkboard paint? Isn't it an awesome invention?

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Seeing Potential- Part 1

I've gotten lots of comments from people in the blog world, and IRL, saying they love the idea of taking on some ugly DIY projects, but had a hard time seeing the potential in things. Well, here's lesson one in learning to see it! I scoured some craiglists from across the country since I can't really go peruse your local thrift stores with you (although, if you're ever in town, I'd love to go thrifting with you!!).

Chairs are some of the most common DIY projects, so let's take a look at those first. You can click any of the pictures to see their listing. Some might not even need much more than a good cleaning:
Probably the easiest type of chair to overhaul yourself is similar to the following- they only have upholstery on the seat and/or back.
The first chair is $65 and the second two are $20. Total steals. With these, I'd either sand them down & re-stain them (directions on all that later) or prime & paint them. If the cushions are still in good condition, you can just rip off the fabric & reupholster, much like I did with this chair. Be warned though, if you're anything like me, picking fabric will take you FOREVER.
This Rocking chair is only $30. It would look perfect in a nursery, painted an antique white, with the ruffle removed & the cushion replaced.

The following chairs would take a little more work, or you could take them to a professional. But for the price you can steal them for, and the amazing lines.. seems worth it to me!
So... who's ready to take on a chair project??

We Have A Winner!

Thank you all for participating in Project Pretty's first ever giveaway! Now, I'm so excited to announce our winner...


Congratulations, girl! I'm sure there are quite a few jealous ladies out there!

Please contact me ( ) with your prize choice, and your mailing address, and I'll forward your information on to Christy, our amazing Giveaway sponsor. If you liked seeing her products, please show her some love here and here. I fully support entrepreneurs like her, and will do whatever I can to help their business grow.

And for those of you who didn't win, don't worry, this won't be the last giveaway on Project Pretty!! Thank you so much to those of you who have tuned in & decided to follow along. If anyone would ever like to share a project of their own, I'd just love to post it here! Email me! What ugly things have you made pretty??

Monday, June 22, 2009

From the Side of the Road to the Side of the Kitchen

This was just another lesson in seeing potential. Z (the hubby) and I were driving along this country road a couple weeks ago and saw some people piling a bunch of furniture out by the road. So we figured, let's check it out! Turned out they were trashing everything that hadn't sold in their garage sale. So.. we picked up an old shelf that looked kind of like it used to be a "hutch" that went on top of a desk or mini-buffet. It was in sad condition.

I can't find my before pictures to save my life, but just trust me- the finish was flaking, there were all sorts of stains and drink rings. But, that's what we do best, right? - Make the ugly pretty.

EDIT: Found some befores!!

So I whipped out my trusty sand paper, primer, and spray paint. Here it is, all spiffed up, making itself useful in my kitchen (and let's pretend my apartment doesn't have ugly 70's floors, k?):
And trust me, when apartment living, you need every bit of storage space you can get! Not bad for free, huh? :)

REMINDER: The Ebellished Bayou giveaway ends TONIGHT at 7pm- make sure to enter & pass the word along!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

An Embellished Giveaway

Good news for all Project Pretty readers!! I just placed an order with Christy of Embellished Bayou because I absolutely love her products. So much so, that I wanted to share them with all of you! She has so wonderfully obliged to do a giveaway for you guys, as a way to kick off this blog & get her etsy shop up & running! One lucky winner will get their choice between the following:

A Custom Handpainted Antique Tin Ceiling Tile

A Handpainted Personalized Wood Frame
Don't you just love her designs?? They'd make the perfect gift or addition to your own home! The winner will get their prize completely personalized to whatever they choose.

So, how do you enter??

It's simple! This giveaway is open to all Followers of Project Pretty. So, before entering, make sure your display picture shows up in the followers section. Unfortunately, your entry won't count if you're not a follower.

For one entry: Visit Embellished Bayou's Etsy store. Let us know what your fave item is in your comment on this post.

For two entries: Post about this giveaway on your blog. If you do this, make sure your post links directly to this post & let us know in your comment.

The giveaway will end Monday night, June 22, at 7:00pm EST.

While you're crossing your fingers & wishin' on a star, make sure you check out Christy's blog, Embellished Bayou.

Good luck!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sneaky Shelves

I'm all about solving eye sore problems on the cheap. So, when I spied these shelves at a local thrift store I knew they were just the solution I needed!This little mirror was the other half of the solution to this problem on my living room wall:Talk about bare! This wall stumped me from the time we moved in. The thermostat panel threw things off balance & made it impossible to hang anything here without it looking horribly off balance.

But, a little painter's tape,
Some primer,Some paint,And some accessorizing, and you've got a pretty little display and not a hint of the panel to be found!See that little guy back there? Pretty nifty, don't you think?

Note: Plant & pot from Ikea, Wooden 'W' from Michaels, Candle from The Christmas Tree Shop, Mirror & white bowl from Goodwill.

Monday, June 15, 2009

People Really Live in These Places..

I'm guessing you ladies won't complain if I share a little eye candy, so let me present some of the awesome homes my cousin and I spied this weekend. We had a little time to kill, so we got lost in a part of a neighborhood I didn't know existed. It's a very old, historical area. I completely enjoyed imagining the families who built and lived in these houses. Let's take a look, shall we?

(You can click on each of the photos to enlarge them)

Every beautiful home is preceded by a beautiful entrance:Doesn't the stone work, the black awnings, and the little curved-rail patio make you weak at the knees?How about a dose of this amazing pillar-y goodness? Does it not make you just step back and "wow"? (The big pillar facades are on both sides!) I was about to post this when Z pointed out that this is the Wright Brothers' Mansion. For more info, go here.I couldn't get a good shot of the home that went with this charming Arch, but I had to share anyway:
I'm loving this driveway & the 3 car garage!
This charming wonder of architecture reminds me of something tucked away in the mountains.. almost made me forget I was in the midwest!For those of you who are fans of Stucco, search no more!I saw this home and immediately thought: Cottage on steroids! It just kept going and going. Please ignore my dash & wiper blade! :)Can't you just imagine an ornately dressed woman in an oversized straw hat walking out here sipping tea?
This is another place that just kept going and going.. I'm guessing the outbuilding to the left is an indoor pool?More stately columned patios.. love it!
This southwestern-style plantation home is big enough for like 4 families!And lastly, a beautiful brick masterpiece (please excuse the car window again):
Hope you enjoyed this little tour as much as I did!

Thank You!!

Today when I opened my google reader, I was greeted with a lovely surprise! Roeshel, whose project I just featured on here, had given me the One Lovely Blog Award. I've really enjoyed getting to know her via the nest & the blog world, and have a sincere admiration for her Decorating and DIY skills. Thank you so much, girl! Project Pretty is only in it's very beginning stages, so I really appreciate your vote of confidence that this blog, will indeed become a lovely place for people to gain inspiration.
I'd like to pass this award on to the following ladies who I think are just lovely!

Domestic Goddess
New England Girl

The only request I have is that you specifically tag people to receive this award instead of just your followers or something. People feel way more special when you specifically tag them! :)

Thanks to everyone who's making this new blog fun! Yesterday I went Papparazzi-stalking some GORGEOUS homes, and I can't wait to share the pix with you! Thanks again Roeshel!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Baubles on Display

On one of my recent trips to Goodwill, I spied just what I needed to create something pretty, yet useful- a Necklace organizer! This ugly blue frame used to hold a mirror. It was the perfect size!
Here are some step-by-step instructions on how you can get yourself one of these bad boys! In order to create it, I picked up the following supplies:
  • Corkboard (found @ Lowe's, $6-something)
  • Wire Screw-In Hooks (Found at Lowe's, ?cheap?)
  • Fabric (already had it)
  • Primer & Spray paint (already had it)
  • Staple gun & staples (already had)
  • X-acto knife, or something similar
Step 1: Disassemble your frame & prime and paint your frame.
Step 2:
Lay the frame back on the corkboard & trace around it. Cut along line. I used 2 pieces thick, so that the hooks had room to screw all the way in.

If you can't fit the whole shape on one sheep of cork, just continue it onto another piece, like so:
Step 3: Glue the pieces of cork together if you're using two thick. Then staple both pieces together like you see below.
Step 4: Cut out a piece of fabric about an inch larger than the cork.Step 5: Wrap the fabric back around the cork & staple, making small pleats.

Step 6: Staple your frame back to the cork, for support. Staples should go through the back, not the fabric.Step 7: Attack the cork & back to the frame. This is where the whole project went ghetto. :) The stapler wouldn't cooperate and attach the back to the frame, so we went with our good old duct tape! Hey, no one will ever see it, right?? (the blue drips are from the previous owners)
Step 8: Firmly press the point of the screw hook into the fabric & twist while pushing downward. It should go right through the fabric & twist into the cork. When it feels tight, you're done.
Step 9: Staple ribbon onto the back of the frame on the top sides & tie in a tight bow at the top.
Step 10: Hang it on your wall, add some baubles, and smile! :)