I Spy a DIY – #15

Hello! I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I ate a lot of Italian food this weekend, feasted at Il Vecchio, my favorite Italian restaurant in the entire universe.  Did you know, the fabulous Ariele of BrooklyntoWest designed the entire restaurant, from scratch?! I want to kiss her feet, then eat another plate of lamb ragu.  Oh my, I digress…

Today's feature is a stunner.  It's simplicity, structure and rustic appeal has me swept off my feet.  I know, I usually get carried away with our I SPY features, I confess my love for each project and it may sound redundant, but I am genuinely in love with them all! It's the main reason why I started this series – to share all the things I fall in love with.  Selfish? Probably.  But I'm sharing them with you, to ignight the DIY spirit in everyone!




Dear Taryn, you're my hero.  I am going to copy the crap out of your wire basket wall, I hope you're ok with this! xoxo, b




Taryn, of Design, Dining & Dipers, was looking for something something rustic, vintage and a little eclectic for her family room wall.



Taryn spent the last few months collecting baskets from various shopping trips. She scavenged the Goodwill and antique stores to find the perfect baskets.  Taryn loves how easy it will be to change this wall or add to it, if she so desires. (Please don't change a thing, it's perfect!).




I am loving this vintage caddy filled with glass bottles and dried willows. I imagine filling mine with lavender and other dried herbs.  {le sigh}




check out these close-ups…




I agree with Taryn, my favorite basket is this antique steamer! $10, can you believe it?






Taryn is amazing.  She put together a shopping directory where she found each of these baskets:


    1. Antique steamer from Ruffles and Rust Antique Shop (local) ($10)

    2. Goodwill find ($2)

    3. Shabby Cottage Chic Wire Storage Basket from Amazon ($10)

    4. Goodwill find spray painted with Rustoleum Rubbed Bronze ($2)

    5. Dollar store basket spray painted with Rustoleum Rubbed Bronze ($1)

    6. Antique Style Small Wire Basket from Amazon ($5)

7. Wire Bottle Caddy from Cost Plus World Market ($6)


I'm currently exploring the rest of Taryn's blog, and you should too! Another great thing about this series is it helps me stumble on some amazing blogs, meet new people, and make new friends. 

Check back later this week to see my first project using Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint!



I Spy a DIY – #14

The weekly I Spy series is back!  To refresh your memory, this series was created to showcase amazing DIY's I find out in the blogosphere! My day job limits my DIY time, so I thought it natural to share other amazing DIYs with my readers! If you're behind on the series, check out this page to see our previous features.

Let me begin by saying, I applaud any chick who can build things out of wood.  Ana White blows my mind, she can build tables in minutes! Even the ladies who build stuff from Ana White's plans are rock stars.  I was overcome by the same feeling of awe when I stumbled on Jen's blog, The House of Wood, where she shows her step by step on building knock-off Restoration Hardware nightstands

Jen is an incredibly talented singer/songwriter and home decor obsesser.  She is super petite, and 7 months pregnant, and is building quality nightstands out of wood and using scary compound miter saws and Kreg Jigs!  Oh how I wish I had the skills.  My mind's Frankenstein voice is yelling "I WANT TO BUILD ALL THE WOOD THINGS."

Here are the Restoration Hardware nightstands, at $369 a piece:


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I Spy a DIY – #13

I have a soft spot in my heart for all things French.  Lavender fields, croissants, enamelware, old Frenchy chairs, French grain sacks… It's not like my entire personal aesthetic is French themed, but I definitely get giddy when I see rustic Frenchy things, especially DIY's that look like the real thing!

I found this DIY while browsing Pinterest (where else, right?).  For some reason this pin just called out my name, "Briiiiiiiiiittanny, look how aaaaaaamazing I aaaaam".  Just like that, for real!  I think you'll hear a voice too once you see this project:




Oh Laurie, from Heaven's Walk… these white washed French pots are heavenly!




First, Laurie white-washed her pots, then added a layer of grey paint with a towel.  Then she set them between 2 wooden spoons so the pot would stay put.




Laurie picked up this vintage French graphic from The Graphics Fairy, printed it out on paper…




rubbed some Modge Podge over the graphic…




then smoothed the graphic out on top of the pot.  Laurie left this to dry overnight.




First thing the next morning, Laurie applied a bit of water to the dry paper, and rubbed the paper off with her thumb…




And the ink from the graphic was left behind! Modge Podge is amazing. 




They're so pretty! That big one on the left rocks my world. 

And now I'm off to make 100 of these 🙂


I Spy a DIY – #12

Let's kick the week off with a new I Spy feature! It's taken me about a week to get back into the groove of things after the long holiday weekend.  I'm happy to say I'm back on track, ready to kick butt, and finally move into our new place.  T-minus 3 days!

Today's feature is one you'd never guess was a DIY.  Erin over at Lavender and Lemon Drops DIY'd this faux brick wall…




This DIY is so urban chic, I love it!  It's also a twist from the expected.  What I mean is, usually you see home owners covering up, painting, or removing old brick walls.  Not Erin! She found used this photo from Decor8blog.com as her inspiration.  I'm drooling over all the white-washed old brick yummyness…




What I love most about this project is, Erin figured out a way to bring the beloved urban loft-style living straight into her home.  She didn't even have to lift a brick!




She simply bought a few brick panels from Lowes, applied to her walls with liquid nails and a nail gun, then smeared joint compound in the crevices (versus using white paint) which gives the most realistic look to the faux brick. Erin used her fingers and a mud spatula to smear the compound around, giving it added depth and texture that you otherwise wouldn't have with the bare brick panels.




I love this action shot of her kids jumping on the bed with the faux brick in the background.  I would have never guessed faux brick, it looks so real! Great job, Erin! 




I Spy a DIY – #12

Happy Monday! I want to share this super sweet and amazingly simple project I found this weekend.  It's one of those projects that can be the perfect gift for all those grads out there!  I have a sister graduating high school this week, and as she preps for college this summer, I know she'll be looking for new and personalized supplies to take with her.  I was out browsing around for gift ideas, when I found these adorable watercolor notebooks over at Claire's blog, Fellow Fellow.  I thought "what a perfect idea!" I could design a bunch of personalized notebooks for my sister out of some Kraft notebooks, wrap them together with jute rope and give them to her as a gift. 

I am so smitten with Claire's watercolor notebooks.  Thankfully she agreed to share her DIY with us today as our next I SPY feature! Thanks Claire! You should check out her portfolio of DIYs, guarantee you'll have a favorite within minutes!

::Let's see how Claire made these beautiful watercolor notebooks::




I have to agree with Claire, there is something so beautiful in the simplicity of these notebooks. I love them even more dressed up in a little watercolor and gold paint!  And let's be real here, Claire had me at gold paint.



 First, gather your supplies:

– Some blank-cover notebooks (Claire used Moleskin pocket-size)
– Paint brushes in various sizes/shapes
– Watercolour paints
– A tray you can mix your colours in
– A cup with some water in it
– A blank piece of paper or cardboard




Claire's instructions are clear and easy to follow:

Step 1: Put some of your chosen paint into your tray (you won’t need too much), and mix in some water with each.

Step 2: My flowers are a combination of just dabbing the brush onto the card, and making short strokes. If you’re not super experienced with watercolour (like me!), a good place to start is by experimenting with your brushes and paints on a blank piece card. Dab your brushes from different angles, drag them, press them lightly and heavily. Doing this will just help you get an idea of the different ‘flowers’ you can get with the different brushes. You may also notice that you’ll get different results with more/less water, so just play around.

Step 3: Once you’re feeling confident, start working on your notebook. It’s best to start from the top of your cover and work down so you aren’t dragging your hand through wet paint. I did my flowers in stages – blue/orange flowers (the biggest ones) first, then layering the rest over that. Wait for each layer to dry before doing the next. My final colour on each was a metallic gold watercolour, which made everything really stand out.




That's it! Let your imagination go wild!





Beautiful, Claire! Thank you so much for letting us share your DIY today!  I already have a pack of 3 notebooks in my Amazon shopping cart.  Can't wait to try this myself!



I Spy a DIY – #11

I can't tell you how many hours I've spent gazing at Restoration Hardware's Spring collection catalogue (and website).  I've gained sooo much inspiration from their collection that I am eagerly planning to incorporate the rustic look and feel into our new apartment (which shall be termed 'home' from this point forward).  Luckily, I was blessed with enough patience to be able to hunt for less expensive alternatives to high end home decor.  It's exhausting, but totally worth the effort! So far I've scored some pretty amazing finds that I can't wait to reveal!  In due time, in due time!

My trusty DIY eye led me to find Amy's Restoration Hardware factory cart hack.  The minute I saw it, I knew it was my next feature.  Amy, from The Blissful Bee, wrote the most incredibly detailed how-to on her blog, so I thought to just share a peek of Amy's project, since she deserves ALL the credit for the steps she took to recreate this fancy factory cart.   

Amy's inspiration – the $1,400 Restoration Hardware Factory Cart:




Amy's version!




Here's the visual on how Amy and her hubby made their own factory cart!



(please pin directly from The Blissful Bee!)


Oh man, old rusty casters make my palms sweaty and my heart flutter. Do you see the level of detail Amy went with this cart? It seriously looks as if she and her husband paid $1,400 for the real thing!

Bravo, Amy! You deserve all kinds of recognition for this amazing hack! 


I Spy a DIY – #10

I'm happy to finally admit, thanks to this I Spy series here, Monday has now become one of my favorite days of the week!  I spend all week hunting for a project to feature.  That's the easy part.  The hard part is choosing from hundreds of killer DIY projects.  I like to choose a project I think is the most mind blowing.  A project that makes me say "WOW!" (with the jaw-drop and everything). 

This week I stumbled on Kristin's brilliant blog – The Hunted Interior.  I can't believe it took me this long to find her blog! She was recently featured on Centsational Girl's BOTB for her cinder block planter DIY.  Serves me right for not clicking thru! Kristin is a pro (literally!) at high end design on a budget, and she has wowed us again with this mastermind DIY! I must give her a thousand thank-you's for letting me feature her project on this week's I Spy installment.

Let's check out Kristin's project…




ZOMG YES!  Kristin DIYed this live edge table! It looks so professional, and REAL. You'd think she paid a few thousand bucks for it! Kristin and her hubby make it look so easy too.  My hands are shaking, I think I need to DIY this too.




It all started when the glass top on Kristin's outdoor table crashed and shattered.  She and her husband immediately decided to make a new one.  They took 2 large pieces of pine, with a narrower piece in the middle, and joined them using liquid nails.  Then they glued and screwed a couple scrap pieces of wood on the bottom side to secure the top pieces.



Kristin and her husband also decided to add an ice bucket in the center of the table.  You can see the bucket above, but check out her tutorial to see how they got that guy in place.  So smart!




Now for the fun part! Kristin grabbed her belt sander (one of those tools just chillin' on my wish-list) and went to town! Belt sanders are SUPER powerful and can tear through any piece of wood.  The perfect tool to create this faux live edge!




Next, Kristin pre-conditioned the wood to avoid any blotchiness when staining.  Then she stained the entire table, which she says "brought the edges to life!"  Once the stain was dry, she sealed the entire table, top and bottom, with 4 coats of varnish.




Lastly, Kristin and her husband attached the table to the base with some thick metal braces.  This step ensures the table wouldn't go anywhere!




Gorgeous! Now Kristin and her family can enjoy outdoor eating in style! You'd think this table stepped out of a West Elm catalogue!




And that ice bucket! SO Smart!




Check out that detail.  These edges looks alive to me!




Kristin used this image above has her inspiration for her table.  Remarkable results, right? Seriously, she is a pro.




Wow, right?! Kristin is amazingly talented, to say the least.  Check out her blog, especially her tutorials and "Get This Look" design pages, you'll be hooked!



I Spy a DIY – #9

The I Spy series is holding strong! We're on week 9, can you believe it? I've enjoyed every moment, immersing myself in the blogosphere every week, making new friends and amazing contacts, not to mention I'm now following a bunch new favorite blogs.  My bookmark toolbar is overflowing!

I'm very excited to share today's DIY.  The project itself is very near and dear to my heart, mainly because I've been making and designing jewelry since I was in High School.  While I was in college I sold my designs at a fashion forward boutique in NorCal.  It was great experience and I received excellent exposure, but sadly, jewelry designing took a back seat to my career the minute I started a full time accounting gig.  I've since picked it back up, with this ol' blog here as my main vein of encouragement. 

One of my favorite things to do as a jewelry designer is recreate, or hack, a major designer's piece.  In today's feature, Kelly from Herringbone Lane made a knock-off Kate Spade necklace.  And just like Kelly, I can never justify buying a piece of jewelry with a high price tag.  Especially something I can make myself. 

Here's Kelly's gorgeous Kate Spade knock-off:



Let's put it side-by-side against the Kate Spade version…


#9 kate spade

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I Spy a DIY – #8

If everyone in the blogosphere, readers and bloggers alike, collaborated their wish lists… chances are you'd find that we're all wishing for the same thing – to stumble upon a reasonably priced antique card catalog or apothecary-like filing system.  The unfortunate reality is, antique dealers and thrift shop owners are well aware these items are a hot commodity. This reality is what drives us DIY-ers to do what we do best – make or hack our own version.

While browsing around my favorite blogs Thursday evening, I stumbled on Kristine's amazing blog, The Painted Hive.  Kristine shared a project which is arguably world's greatest Ikea hack – a rustic card catalog out of $16 Ikea Moppe drawers! So freakin' genius! Check out her step by step:


IKEA Moppe Drawers Before

Kristine gathered her supplies: a set of Ikea Moppe drawers, some brass plated card holder pulls she bought on Ebay, and some timber stain and sealer.  If you haven't already noticed, Kristine is located in Australia, but perform a search on Ebay in the US and you're sure to find similar, if not the exact drawer pulls.


Kristine was not a fan of the finger slots that were pre-cut on the Moppe drawers.  She wanted to use the drawer pulls, and her solution was simple – just turn the drawers around!

Next, Kristine gave the corners of the drawers a heavy sanding to round them off a bit.  She suggests this step to give the drawers a tired and rustic appeal.

After sanding, Kristine applied 2 coats of stain to darken the wood, let the stain dry, then applied 3 coats of sealant.  The sealant adds a soft lustre and enhances the richness of the dark stain. 

Once the sealant was dry, Kristine added her drawer pulls.  I love her placement of the pulls.  She positioned them at the top of each drawer, versus positioning them in the center.  I'm definitely a fan.


Card File Drawers After

Vintage Card File Drawers Corners


I can't believe how amazing these turned out! These drawers look truly vintage.



That's not all! Kristine is so awesome, she designed some simple antique style tabs for the card holders, and is offering them as a free download on her site!


IKEA Drawers After


Product Guide
Small Drawers – IKEA (Moppe) $16.00
Timber Stain – Feast Watson (Dark Teak)
Timber Sealer – Cabots Danish Oil

Stained Paper Texture


I love Ikea hacks, I find them fascinating – even the bad ones!  But Kristine's hack blew my mind! I was on Ikea's website the minute I read her post, searching for the Moppe drawers, but unfortunately I don't think they're sold in the US.  What a shame! Someone contact their local Ikea Rep/Buyer and tell them we need these drawers!  Kristine should stock up, she'd make a killing selling Moppe kits to her US fans and readers. 

Kristine – do it do it! I'll pay you twice as much!

Sadly for me, a card catalog remains a wish-list item…


I Spy a DIY – #7

Hello blog family! Let's kick off the week with a remarkable piece over at 551 East Furniture Design that will surely invoke many shades of envy.



Julia from 551 East Furniture Design is exceptionally talented.  Her business is restoring furniture, and she is a pro! I found her blog by way of a weekly linky party.  I spotted her Bohemian vanity right away! I loved it, I pinned it, and couldn't get it off my mind so now I'm sharing it with you!



Julia scored this vanity from a local auction.  It was originally all black, and she had a vision to lacquer it in a golden/mustard yellow.  Once Julia started sanding the top, an amazing bright green started to show.  I can imagine exactly what she felt that moment, giddy at the gem she might have stumbled upon.





What a unique piece! And I love the original hardware. I agree with Julia, the natural water ring she uncovered is a perfectly aged blemish that adds to the character of this Bohemian vanity.



I am so smitten with what Julia discovered, simply by peeling back a layer! Hop on over to Julia's blog to see how she distressed and protected this beautiful Bohemian vanity!


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