I was in Lowes last week and stumbled upon something interesting - chalkboard tape! Maybe I'm late to the game, but this stuff is awesome! What a great thing to add to your DIY toolbox! You can skip the drying time and permanence factor with this little product and jump right on over to using it around your house. Here are 4 ideas to get you started!
Now, lets get to the DIY! Just to recap, I was tasked with coming up with a project that would act as the Q Women centerpieces for 50 tables as well as an actual DIY that over 300 women could complete. It had to be something simple but substantial and CHEAP.
Brooklyn Boy helped me brainstorm and we landed on Puff Paint Vases. Sounds a little tacky/crafty doesn't it? Turns out, if you pick a simple modern design, your final product will look FAR from tacky! Lets jump in to our 3 step / 3 supply DIY:
You'll need 3 craft supplies:
- puff paint (can be found in the T-Shirt design section of any craft store. Any color will work because you'll ultimately spray paint over it.)
- clear glass vase (could be a bowl, vase, votive, etc. whatever you have on hand)
- spray paint (we used my favorite - Krylon's Gold Metallic. It is AMAZING.)
Lets get to it!
Step 1: Choose your vase. We used round bubble ball vases for the centerpieces.
Step 2: Choose a simple pattern to carefully (but quickly, because you don't want to over think it or be too precious) cover the vase with in puff paint. Keep in mind, the puff paint can be any color, you will ultimately cover it with spray paint. Here are two examples!
Step 3: Once the puff paint is completely dry, evenly spray the vase with thin layers of spray paint. Make sure you're in a well ventilated area and have a good surface to spray on (i.e. a cardboard box or drop cloth). I used gold for our centerpieces, but you could use any color of your liking. Here's what the spray paint process looked like:
This project is super easy and fairly fool proof. I loved the final result, especially once I started experimenting with different puff paint patterns. One of the great things about this DIY is it's versatility. You could easily apply the same puff paint + spray paint combination to a Christmas ornament, decanter, pitcher, etc. So many possibilities!
Once we puff painted + spray painted all 50 vases, we loaded them with flowers and placed them throughout the venue. All flowers and bubble vases were sourced from Roy Houff Wholesale flowers in Nashville - affordable supplies, really kind staff for all you Nashville people! Smaller glass votives were purchased from the Pete Garcia company.
I had a ball putting the DIY together and loved the opportunity to talk to the Q ladies about why we love DIY. Remember, DIY Challenges us to use what we have, guarantees a perfectly imperfect result and gives us the opportunity to try something new!
Why Do We Love DIY?
Prepping (as in puff painting glass vases) for the Q Ideas Women's Event gave me time to reflect on why I love DIY. I realized that DIY has become really accessible over the years. There are tons of blogs, sites, magazines and shows out there that help make us all capable of doing something ourselves. On one hand this is AMAZING. You don't have to be a professional to make something great! Anyone can try their hand at DIY - just tap into the loads of How-To content on the web and you're set!
On the other hand, though, because of this accessibility, suddenly EVERYONE's an expert. What was aspirational and approachable has now become really noisy. Maybe it's just me, but even as a DIY'er, I think it's easy to get overwhelmed by the loads of inspiration online and even easier to compare ourselves to all the unbelievable projects and crafters out there - don't even get me started on everyones ridiculous photography skills. All this noise takes away from from the sweet and simple reality of what DIY is. It's making something with our hands. Learning by doing. Being inspired to create our own version of something. When we push the noise aside, there are actually wonderfully simple sensibilities to be learned from Doing it Yourself.
Rather then focusing on beautiful before & after photos, our favorite Etsy shops or even our own crafting skills, we should reframe our perspective to see through the lens of potential. The lens of potential opens us up to a world of creative possibilities and even life lessons! Whether you have lots of DIY experience or not much at all, I have three insights I've learned over the years that I want to share with you:
DIY challenges us to use what we have.
The start on any good DIY project begins with taking inventory. What do you have? What needs changing? What's the end goal? Starting with evaluation rather then action taps the brakes on impulsive buying. Growing up, my mom developed a serious habit of rearranging furniture. I remember coming home from school on numerous occasions to a living room that looked completely different. It wasn’t until becoming an adult, that I really understood and appreciated what she was doing. She was making the best of right then. Rather than buying a bunch of stuff, she changed the way she looked at her home, spruced it up using pieces she already had, and chose to be content. Challenging ourselves to use what we have pauses the “buy new, buy more, buy now” mentality that our culture encourages. Lets simplify, organize and take care of what we do have and we might be surprised by what happens.
DIY guarantees a perfectly imperfect result.
There is no such thing as flawless in the world of DIY, and you know what, that is OK. We were created to be creative, not perfect. Listen, I know how great it feels when a project turns out JUST as you had planned. But more often than not, we have to roll with the punches, and embrace our happy mistakes. Thankfully, there is lots to be learned in the process of making and it doesn’t just depend on our final product. Process is good for our soul. I was a painting major in college and one of my drawing professors would never let us erase our work when we felt we had made a mistake. Instead, she wanted us to layer over our beginning sketch as the drawing developed. So I’d have layers and layers of charcoal as I continued working on the piece. Initially, I didn’t really get it, but overtime I grew to love the imperfections left on the white of the page and the remnants of where the artwork started. It was a reminder of the process, not the imperfections.
DIY projects give us the opportunity to try something new.
I know that sounds overly simple, but I think it’s important that we take time to try new things. If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s really easy to only do what we’ve done before. Lucky for us, though, the world of DIY provides a safe little landscape to escape the monotony and try something new. I know this from very experience. In the past 5 months, I’ve transitioned from being a married girl working in New York City, to a new mom, who stays at home with a baby and lives in Franklin, Tennessee. Don’t get me wrong, it’s wonderful and such a blessing, but it is QUITE a change! As I’ve slowly gained confidence as a new mom, I’ve realized how important small successes are. For me, trying a new project during naptime has helped me feel like I’ve done more with my day then empty the dishwasher and change the laundry over. I’m sure you all know what I mean - it’s that feeling of being busy all day but never really accomplishing anything. I really believe, that sometimes we need to start a new project JUST so we can finish it! We need small wins! Learning a new skill or trying a new project could be just the shift your normalcy needs.
All this to say, We don’t love DIY because we like keeping up with the trendy crafts on Pinterest. “Doing It Yourself” has more relevance to your life then you think. It’s a practice of choosing to be content with what we have, celebrating imperfection and boldly trying new things.
Stay tuned for the DIY that accompanied this talk!
A little over a week ago, I had the total honor of speaking at Q Ideas annual women's event. Brooklyn Boy (aka Lance) took a job with Q earlier this year and we have recently moved to Nashville as part of that job. To say he loves working there would be an understatement!
Brooklyn Boy (do you think I need to change his name since we don't live in Brooklyn any more?) and his team thought (for some crazy reason) that I'd be a good DIY addition to their lineup of women speaking. I was tasked with coming up with DIY centerpieces + a simple variation for all the women in attendance to complete as well as talking about Why We Love DIY.
Coming out of maternity hibernation, this project / assignment was a welcomed challenge! Right out of the gate, I thought the DIY for the event would be a synch. But after some initial brainstorming I realized that I had no power source for hot glue guns at each table (Hello almost ALL DIY projects), there little drying time available for any paint/glue, and we needed to keep this CHEAP, as there were over 300 women attending. After lots of thinking and troubleshooting with Brooklyn Boy, we came up with a project that uses supplies most of you have around your house :: A puff paint + Spray painted vase! I would have laughed had you told me this would be the project we landed on, but you know what, it turned out to be a super easy project that looked great once it was finished! Sneak peek right here -->
While I was prepping and creating the centerpieces, I had time to really think about Why I Love DIY. It was a great exercise to remember why we love the craft of DIY. In hopes of not getting to lengthy here, I'm splitting this into 3 posts. Tomorrow, I will share the 3 reasons we love DIY and Friday, I'll follow up with the easy How To instructions as well as before and after photos for the DIY. Hope you stick around!
I love to paint.
My painting major from college has since morphed into re-doing furniture which has in turn, become a steady stream of diy's & decorating. I'm currently at home with the babe and occasionally find myself with an hour that isn't filled with life admin or baby tasks. So, rather then showering (overrated) I've found myself painting. Nothing fancy, just using bright acrylics and some tear off canvas sheets. Here's what my process has looked like lately -
I can't get enough of these quick paintings! They are so therapeutic. I just finished a massive floral using a street merch canvas I found in Brooklyn and even did a matching mini for Rosie's room. I'll share more in the coming weeks, but wanted to give you a peek!