Thursday, May 22, 2014

FREE Graduation Quote Printable and Updated Frame

It's almost graduation time! If you know any high-schoolers or college students who are walking the line soon, I have a fun printable to share. It comes in two color schemes and is perfect for gifting or party decor!

I found this quote while shopping for party decor for my niece's graduation party. I wasn't crazy about the tacky other frame I saw for sale in the store, so I updated a thrifted frame I already had on hand and designed my own "The tassel was worth the hassle" quote with a trendy chalkboard theme.

First, I wanted to share the frame project. This started as one of your classic '80's country designs. The pickled wood frame with a country blue and mauve matting that surrounds the picture of a...sofa

Where do you hang a picture of a couch? ...Above your couch? 

I think I missed that tip somewhere along the way. Thankfully.

Well, I saw passed the dated print and thought the frame was great. I gave it a complete makeover with DecoArt's new Americana Chalky Finish Paint. Love this stuff. This is not my first rodeo using this paint; I've used it on furniture several times now, and I love the versatility. I've been seeing at Michael's for some time now.

First, it got a coat of "Refreshing." It's a soft shade of seafoam green.

Once that dried, I brushed on "Everlasting," a crisp white. I worked the paint into the cracks with my brush, then wiped away the raised areas for an antiqued effect. It adds a little more depth and contrast to really accentuate the frame's detail.

Next, I used my sanding block to rough it up a little and add even more dimension. 
A coat of Soft Touch Varnish finished off this frame for a silky smooth finish. 

The photo mat got a new shade of pink and I highlighted the second mat with antique gold metallic paint. It gives a nice shimmer.

Once the frame was done, I popped in my new design and it was party-ready! 

Below are links to the 8x10 printables, designed by yours truly. Just click on the image you like for the Google Docs version and print! I made two color schemes, so choose your fave:

Thanks for stopping by! I've got a few other graduation related posts if you would like to check them out:

Monday, May 19, 2014

Vintage School Desk Redo

In preparation for my niece's High School Graduation Party, this vintage school desk was the perfect compliment to use for the party decor. My friend Tina is moving (boo!) and offered up a few old school desks from her homeschool room, free for the taking. I reluctantly declined because I have no more square footage for furniture. But then, weeks later, I realized a school desk would be perfect compliment to the
party decorations. What's a girl to do?

Well, I took the furniture, of course!!

When I messaged Tina, and she had two desks left. Phew! I just loved this one. Underneath the updated formica top and blue paint job, you could see that in her former glory, she was beauty!

I got busy with my orbital sander and removed the blue paint from the wood seat and top. I started with a heavy grit (60-120) and finally polished to a 220 grit for a finish that was smooth like butter. I gave the metal desk frame a rough sanding to prep it for paint. I didn't bother filling in the cracks in the old wood because I thought it added to the character of the desk. I even left some of the old paint on the wood to add a little depth and show it's age.

Don't you just love furniture that tells a story? All those imperfections make me wonder how many kids did their work from that seat. I almost wish that the desk had a name carved into the top, for posterity, you know?

For the paint, I went to Lowes searching for a green tone reminiscent of Jadeite or depression-era green milk glass. When I pulled out the color "Jaded Lime" from the Valspar section, I knew I had a match made in heaven! I just love this soft green; it goes perfect with the party color scheme too.

My DIY projects have been moving at a snail's pace since somebody showed up around here. He's just too adorable for words and I can't resist a smiling baby.

 Finn is already six months old!

After painting, I stained the desk and chair with Minwax's "Special Walnut." Since the wood had been replaced on the desk top, the seat and desk were two different tones; so I also gave another coat of Minwax's "Red Mahogany" on the seat to try to bring the two together. They still have a slight variance, but I think it adds to the charm.

Next, I asked my Facebook and Instagram followers whether I should distress the piece and it was almost a split decision!

The new paint looked so crisp and pretty, but some of the details were washed out. I asked my husband and he said "Distress it! It will bring out the detail of the frame and highlight the lines on the legs."

Then I had a heart attack because I get really excited when my husband talks "DIY" to me! Hehehe. 

So there she is. All pretty and renewed. My husband says we should keep it now and put it to use. I just don't know where it is going to fit!

I do know she is going to be a showstopper at the graduation party!

(oh yeah, our cat Prince had to stop by and say "Hi!" too.)

Linking up and partying here:

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Party Drinkware on a Budget...and the Cheapest Place to Find it!

If you are like me, summer time means outdoor get-togethers. And with spring kicking into full gear, we have already had a few family events. My brother-in-law was recently married, and now, my oldest niece will be graduating from high school in less than two weeks.

With all of these functions, I've been elbow-deep in party planning. Since I started working on all of the details for Brooke's graduation party, I've been on the hunt for some fun drinkware. Milk bottles are all the rage now, and looking at the party supply stores, they were out of my budget (unless I was willing to buy a pallet of them shipped on a slowboat from China) for something that would only be used for special occasions. 

If you have noticed, Starbucks makes a sugary Frappuccino drink (I have to cut it in half and brew a couple extra shots of espresso to stomach it) that is packaged in the perfect-sized milk bottle. You can sometimes find them on sale for a dollar, and compared to the $2.00 and up from the party stores, they are a steal.

However, last week Costco sent me a mailer with their latest sale price. The twelve-pack of Frappuccinos is $3.00 off their regular price now until June 1st. At my store, that made them $10.69 for 12, just .89 a piece! AND, they come with free coffee in them (that's how I chose to look at it)!

I called my sister-in-law and asked her to pick up a case on her next Costco run. And between the two of us, we now have 24 adorable little milk bottles to use with fun straws for the graduation party. I will save these to reuse at other events as well.

I thought the most difficult part of this would be removing the gluey labels. But it turns out, reminding my husband to bring back the empty bottle from his car, work, and digging through the trash has been the biggest task! My sister-in-law called and said that a little elbow grease with a magic eraser did the trick. I had the Target brand at home, and sho 'nuf, worked like a charm!

So, run to Costco and grab up all the Frappuccinos. Your party guests will take notice!

Linking up and partying here:

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