Smuggled paint sticks and two DIYs

DIY no.1

So there I was. With one of those 'car' Home Depot carts with steering wheels, packed with three kids. Other than the kids, my cart was empty. To save a tiny bit of dignity I grabbed a few cans of wood stain, then proceeded to prowl around the paint counter. Both my children, and innocent standbys, were all blissfully chatting and going about their business when I reached my shaking hands out and picked up their entire bucket of paint sticks. A quick look around to be sure I wasn't caught, then I walked. When I felt safe, about 5 aisles away, I dumped the bucket of paint sticks into my cart and ditched the bucket. Obviously I went through the self-checkout to pay for my stains, avoiding all contact with anyone wearing orange.

Paint sticks are free folks. Clearly I've never stolen anything in my life because walking out of Home Depot with what turned out to be 100 free paint sticks was a serious rush. My palms were sweaty, heart was racing - all over something that was free to begin with. What. A. Wimp. Home Depot store #4602, I'll see you again


But alas, it wasn't a rush I was after. I smuggled all those paint sticks in the name of DIY! (...nope, that really doesn't justify it as much as I was hoping it would). However, I was actually able to use them for two projects, one which I'll save for Monday. The first was to give the boys a significantly more awesome lamp in their room than they had before. What they had before was my poor attempt at painting cabana stripes on a thrifted lampshade. Not awesome when the light was on... I really wanted something that measured up to the rustic, casual, All-American boy / Aviation theme that we had going on. After settling in the two flea market finds, their room was looking so good! So I came up with this:

It's just paint sticks glued to a cylinder shade and stained, but it totally works!

Want to see how it was done?

First, you need a cylinder shade. Just keep checking your local thrift store, it'll pop up. Then you need about 40 paint sticks, give or take depending on the size of shade, and hot glue. Staining is optional - the natural blond wood would look really cool with some decors!

Using a hot glue gun, glue one stick to the shade at a time. I found it easiest and most accurate to apply the glue directly to the shade and then lay the stick on top.

Press firmly.

Voila! Your shade is done! There are, of course, options with this project. Like I said, you can stain or not stain, up to you. I chose to stain this shade in Hickory, which I wiped on with a staining sponge, (found at Home Depot), after the shade was assembled. I also chose to leave the sticks longer than the shade, but you could always cut them down to size if you don't want any extra hanging off.

All finished! The lamp base was another thrift store find from a couple years ago which I spray painted in flat black by Rustoleum.

For our boys' room, the beautiful orange Home Depot stamp that you can see on the inside of the sticks really doesn't bother me. It's kind of fun! We're there often enough so it's only fitting that Home Depot be represented somewhere in our home.

I love this lamp - and how cool would it be as a hanging piece?! (whatdaya think, Cate?)

DIY no.2

This one was in my head as one thing and then turned into something else. I was wanting to make some sort of angular, geometric airplane art to go somewhere around the aviation chart I found at the flea market. I bounced around a few ideas, one involving string, then a Sharpie, and finally landed on doing something with wood stain to balance out the use of  wood around the room.

To make this, I used a scrap sheet of plywood from our garage, ScotchBlue Edge Lock tape, a box cutter, and wood stain, (Hickory again).

First, I found the middle of my board of plywood and made a light mark where I wanted the tip of my painters tape to be. Then I crossed the pieces, one over the other, so that both were intersecting the middle mark.

I used a box cutter to trim off the excess tape that I didn't need.

Then I made a light mark on each side where I wanted my wings to reach, and laid a strip of tape on either side, meeting that mark.

Again, I used the box cutter to trim off the excess tape I didn't need; in other words, forming my desired shape.

Then I dipped my staining sponge into the stain and wiped it all around the blue tape. 

As soon as I finished the stain I removed the tape right away.

All finished!

I would almost call this abstract art. My test was asking our kids, ages 4, 4 and 3, if they knew what it was. One said "airplane" right away. Another said "I don't know". The last wouldn't answer the question. Soooo, the jury is out on whether this really looks like an airplane or not. I think it does; my husband thinks it does but he thinks it's a rear view, (I'm looking at it from the front...or at least I thought I was). I guess we all have different perspectives!

Happy weekending, folks! As always, thank you so very much for stopping by!


This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.

Flea market finds, meet The Boys

Hi All! The other day I shared an eclectic collection of recent thrift store, flea market and Craigslist finds. Two of them ended up in our boys' room, (along with a couple DIYs coming up tomorrow)!

Actually, ALL of the boys' room is a second hand collection of sorts, like the blue bookshelves, below, which I found at the Lucketts Spring Market a few years ago.

But, if you look close, you can see the two newest additions which both came from the big D.C. Flea a couple weeks ago.

See the Mexican blanket on the floor? We're using it as a rug! These blankets are always thicker than a typical throw blanket and are easily durable enough to handle the heavy use of little boys.

And there's item no. 2: The aviation chart!

This was exactly  what I was looking for to stick above the second bed. The sweet woman who sold it to me at the flea market, (she decoupaged the map over a large canvas!), told me that she was hoping it would be taken for some boys. Clearly meant to be. We even found where we live!

Coming up tomorrow are two DIY projects that I whipped up for this room, (but could easily be translated for any room of the home). See you then!

Thank you so much for stopping by!


This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.

Want a daring DIY? Paint a rug!

Hi all! So, here's a fun fact; boys are weird! If you married one, grew up with one, and/or are raising one of your own, this is no shock. If you are a man, this should also be no shock. Your kind is downright crazy.


We've bunked our boys, (ages 4 and almost 3), in one room together for the past year and a half, (not literally; they're in my husband's old bunk beds but for now they're not stacked). For the most part I've kept their room pretty simple for the obvious reason that putting two boys of this age together in one space is like cornering wild animals. Their sudden, desperate impulses to start wrestling are baffling. We'll say good night to them and they'll seem really tired, snuggling into their pillows, and then 5 minutes later it literally sounds like a zoo. I'll see one on top of the other rolling around, fighting for position and laughing. See? So weird!

But I digress. The point is, for their own protection I haven't decorated the room much. I made some paper airplanes to hang from the ceiling, painted stripes on the curtains, hung a couple pieces of art and called it a day. I love their room; I love seeing them play in and enjoy it, but sometimes it felt a bit sterile. Because I didn't want to put more up on the walls I figured an area rug would be a great way to add a bit of warmth. But let's be honest. They're little boys and I didn't want to invest in a nice rug for their room just to worry about it getting ruined. So, I found a simple navy rug on sale at Home Depot, (brand is Heavy Traffic, so perfect), and painted my own design on it!

For a 6' x 8' rug that cost $19.40 I felt pretty comfortable slapping on some paint. I started by taping off three stripes on the ends.

I used watered down white latex paint and a regular bristle brush, (2"), to paint the rug. After I painted between my blue taped stripes, I started free-handing the diamonds. I really didn't want it looking too perfect, so I let the paint go on unevenly and didn't worry about making exactly straight lines. I did, however, measure off where I wanted the points of the diamonds to be, (every 12"), and marked those off with a piece of blue tape to use as a reference.

Here is the whole rug before, (before I vacuumed, too)

And after!

Another little look around their room 

I painted the stripes on their white curtains using Country Grey by Annie Sloan Chalk Paint, (I used the same color for the stripes on their lampshade).

I used a black paint marker to write this verse on canvas. Don't use a black paint marker on canvas. Use a thick Sharpie. It won't smudge every time sweaty little fingers touch it and will save $!

The propped up xylophone has been in my husbands family for at least 50 years!

Paper flag garland was a gift found at Paper Source and my Dad put together the red model plane hanging in front of the closet.

Final note: The bedding. Their coordinating gray sheets are from Target's Threshold collection, as well as the matching dark red knit blankets.

So there you have it! A painted rug. Could you, would you paint a rug? (Reading lots of Green Eggs and Ham lately).

Thank you so much for stopping by!


This post was originally published on Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.