Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Valentine Topiary with an aged, weathered Terra Cotta Pot

I was on the look out for some Valentine decor when I spotted this Topiary from IKEA.

Right away my wheels started turning. I knew I could probably bend the round wire shape into a heart with just the right touch. The Topiary was listed for $8.99, I grabbed it and I thought what do I have to lose.

To turn the Topiary into a heart took 2 people. One person grabbing onto the top center part of the wire with pliers, and the other person squeezing the sides of the Topiary in,  while the person with the pliers pulls down. Once you have the heart shape, you can tweak it by continuing to bend the wires to make it just perfect. This was simple and quick, but whenever I think of Ivy plants or Topiaries, I imaging those vintage, aged, weathered, chippy Terra Cotta Pots.

The kind you might find sitting on a window seal or potting shed in some dreamy European City.

To get this look I headed to Pinterest and started researching different Pins.  There are plenty of Pinterest Hacks, but 4 stood out to me as some what easy to pull off.

The first is a watered down/ dry brush technique I found here. On a side note let me mention how much I love Mrs. Craftberry Bush's Blog. I adore her!! Here is a picture of what hers looked like

After following her instructions this is how mine turned out.

The next Pin I followed used a textured Spray paint technique found here.
After spraying the entire pot with the spray paint you sand off bits of the spray paint to give it a distressed look. 

Once this step was complete I took black and green craft paint, watered them down with a little bit of water and dry brushed them along the base of the pot. Once the craft paint was dry, I dry brushed a touch of white paint around the entire pot to make it all blend together perfectly. Here is how this pinners pot looked...

and here is mine.

The next pin I followed was back to one of my favorite bloggers: Mrs Craftberry Bush this was her take again on an antique Terra Cotta pot transformation. Using plaster of paris ( I found mine at Walmart), you mix it according to the package directions and then tint it with a few drops of crafts paint. Next you appy it all over the Terra Cotta pots. 

It's been a while since I've worked with plaster of paris, but mine set up so quickly that by the time my pot was covered, it looked a little more like your child's first Jr. High art project in ceramics or pottery (a mysterious blob).

 I thought this was going to be a total fail, until I took a rough sanding sponge and started knocking the plaster of paris off the pot while it was still drying. This actually turned out to give the Terra Cotta pots a great unique texture. After the plaster of paris had dried completely, I blended the same craft paints as before (black and green) and stippled them randomly onto the pot. Then finished it off by lightly sanding with the sanding sponge to make it all blend. 

Here is Mrs. Craftberry Bush's antiqued pot

Here is my take on the plaster of paris technique

The final idea I used was actually mine. After I used the plaster of paris technique, I wondered if using drywall spackling paste would work too. My first step was to take a butter knife and slather on the dry wall paste in random spots all over the Terra Cotta pot. Then while it's still wet, take a dry paint brush and stipple the dry wall compound to give it a unique texture.  I let it dry for a little while, but before it had firmly set up I took a dry paper towel and smooshed the stipple mark down in certain places to give it even more texture. Once it was dry I took the same craft paints as above (green and black) and stippled them in a random fashion all over the pot. Finally I finished it off with a light sanding to blend it all together. Here is the finished project.

Here is a peek at the different aging techniques for the Terra Cotta pots with the cute Heart Topiary.

I love all the different looks and textures. My favorite technique would be the dry wall spackling paste one. Thanks to Studio 5 for Hosting "West Creek Design" in another fun segment. 

Monday, February 9, 2015


We recently repainted our entire house in Sherwin Williams "Agreeable Grey". It has changed the feel of the whole house, making it feel light airy and clean.

I was almost ( well let's be honest...almost) afraid to make the nail holes in the wall to hang things back up.

I did however want to change up my curtains after the painting was done. This became a little bit of a challenge, because I had a small budget, and needed a total of 6 curtain panels. I have loved gingham curtain panels for a long time. It's a very classic pattern that goes well with the design style of my home. Here are a few of my favorite gingham curtain pins on Pinterest.

Although Pinterest is a great source for inspiration, I still could not find anything that was in reach of my budget. I would cringe whenever I found a curtain panel I liked, because, I seem to only have a taste for things way out of my budget.  This is when I switched gears and knew I had to get creative. On a recent trip to IKEA I saw the most darling duvet cover in a grey and white gingham pattern. It's called the Emmie Ruta Duvet Cover.

I immediately thought this would be an easy solution for my curtain panels. After some quick measurements, I decided that 3- Queen/Full duvet covers could potentially turn into 6 curtain panels, that would be the right length. Each duvet cover cost $39.99, which means that my curtains would cost $20.00 a panel....SCORE! An even bigger SCORE was that the reverse print is a grey and white stripe. It's like getting 2 curtains for the price of one. Double bonus for someone like me who loves to change things around often.

When I got home I laid one of the duvet covers out. Then I marked the middle and cut it in half length wise. I made the cut on the reverse side of the duvet, where it is grey and white striped, because I knew that I wanted the stripes to run horizontal not vertical.

Then turning the duvet cover inside out. I sewed the cut and the opening of the duvet cover closed, except for a small section to allow me to turn it right side out. I finished sewing the small section of the cut by sewing close to the seam. It's not perfect or professional by any means, but because the seam is so small it's not really noticeable.

The hardest part of the whole process was ironing each panel. After my arm fell off from ironing, I used curtain clips I bought from Lowe's to hang them on the curtain rod.  I LOVE the way they look, and can't believe how relatively easy this project was from start to finish.