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How to Make a Chalkboard Drawing

All over Etsy, Pinterest, Craft Gawker and other crafty DIY websites you can find super cute pictures chalkboard walls and drawings...How do they make them look so perfect? Well, it is possible that they are super talented artists-it's also possible they used this easy trick.

Let's face it...fonts and lettering are hard to draw perfectly, and chalk is not the most exacting of mediums...So leave that work to someone else. You can find tons printable drawings and quotes online, the one I used for this tutorial is from Etsy shop Lady Lee and Drew Jones. You can also make your own printable quotes-just open up MS Word or Photoshop and type it out, you can find cool free fonts at dafont.com.


Once you find what you are looking for, print it out in the appropriate size. The one I downloaded was too small (and I also don't have a working printer at home right now) so I blew it up in Photoshop and sketched it out.


 Next, turn your image over and rub chalk all over the back so it covers all of the printed image on the other side.



Once the back is covered in chalk, tape your image onto the wall and make sure it is level. Use painters tape if you have it to protect your walls.



 Now you're ready to trace. Use something with a wide enough tip that it will transfer the chalk clearly to your wal l(but not too big that smaller text looks blurry). My image was pretty large so I used a pencil eraser-I also liked it because it was soft and wouldn't leave indention in my wall.



 Once you're done with that you can pull your printed image off the wall and you should be left with a good transfer of the image on your wall. Fill in any gaps in the drawing by hand, and clean up any smudges or unclean lines with a q-tip.


I have always liked this quote, and while it is fitting for most occasions, I think it is especially so during this time of year. With all the go go go of the holiday season, remember that you can say NO to the crazy in your life...sometimes it is better to skip that next holiday party and relax with a glass of wine at home :)


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DIY Refrigerator Side Storage

As I have mentioned before I live in a loft, and for those of you that know about loft living, you know there is absolutely no storage space. At. All. So I am on a constant quest to find ways to store and contain all the stuff in my house. I also want to pull the doors off my kitchen cabinets-but where will I put all the random food stuffs (because it is highly unlikely that I will keep that organized-ever).

Then I came across this gem on Pinterest-a skinny storage rack that goes between your wall and your fridge-genius! After some measuring, I was off to Home Depot.

Classy Clutter Canned Food Storage


I measured that I have 4.5” of space between my wall and fridge and my fridge is about 70” tall. I wanted the whole thing to be able to fit completely behind my fridge and be hidden when not in use, so I measured it for 2’ deep and 65” tall (the casters on the bottom are approx 3” high). I guesstimated that I would need a max of 9 shelves, but I ended up only using 7.

Supplies you will need:
  • 2 1x4’s cut to the desired height you need
  • 2 1x4’s cut to the desired depth you need
  • 7 1x4’s cut to be 1.5” shorter than your desired depth
  • 7 3/8” wooden dowels cut to 1” shorter than depth, or if you want to be fancy/lazy like me you can use inexpensive telescoping curtain rods (keep in mind this will add 3/8” to the width of the shelves)
  • 1 Drawer Pull
  • 4 2” metal casters
  • 1 thin board cut to the total external dimensions of your shelf


Tools you will need:
  • Drill
  • Wood screws
  • 2” nails
  • Finishing nails
  • Hammer

Start by putting all boards together to make the main structure. I used two screws per shelf to secure them to the frame. Play around with placement of the shelves to make sure they will fit everything you need. I had some shelves at 7” tall and others at 11”.



 Attached the rods to front of shelving approx 1.5-2” above each shelf using a finishing nail on each side. If you would like to go the dowel route, see below.

(Dowel Instructions: Drill holes for dowels that are about ¼” from the edge and about 1.5”-2” from the shelf. Insert dowels into holes. Use wood glue for extra support).


Next, paint your cabinet and back board. Since the wall that I was putting this against is painted black chalkboard, I decided to paint the cabinet with leftover chalkboard paint so it would “disappear” when not in use. The backboard I used was MDF chalkboard, and the rods were already black so I left them as is. 

Then attach the backboard to the frame using finishing nails all the way around the perimeter. Attach the casters and the handle and you're done!


Remember, this storage is not attached to anything that keeps it upright. Strategically placed casters will help keep it balanced, but DO NOT pull this all the way out and think it will balance on it’s own. When I pull mine out I usually leave the last inch or two behind my fridge for stability.

The final product look like this:



After using my new storage for a little while, I can offer some suggestions that may or may not improve on this design…
  • I would probably buy rigid casters instead of swivel casters. There is always one caster that wants to turn around wonky and makes the shelf hard to pull out
  • I would also consider attaching the unit to a track mounted on the wall so it was anchored to something to keep it from tipping over if you accidentally pulled it out all the way. This would require pulling the fridge out to install, so it’s not worth it for me, but if you had small kids at home it might be worth it

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How-To Tuesday Give an Old Dresser a New Look

A friend came over the other day and asked me where I found one of my dressers. I told her it was the same one I have had since I lived at home with my parents! I have updated it since then and she asked me how so I thought I'd re-post the how to-from the old blog....
I had been wanting a new dresser for a while-the one I had was super old and UGLY. But when I decided to buy a new one, my car decided to have a complete meltdown. New steering wheel column, new shocks, more freon, and work on my brakes. Ugh. So I was stuck with my old dresser, that I would throw away in a heartbeat, if I didn't need the storage (a necessity in loft living).
I decided to take matters into my own hands and try to transform my ugly dresser into something I could live with. I don't have a "before" shot, but this is pretty much what my dresser looked like:

Generally an OK dresser, if your 5 or have a French countryside decor theme at home.

The inspiration for this project came from some items in my home, a few paintings from local artists and a floral arrangement. These all have pops of colors, like orange, red and tourquoise.
All my inspiration artwork were from local Dallas artists-April Greenlee, Jennifer Morgan and Jacque Forsher

It was pretty easy to redo the dresser. First I removed all of the hardware, then lightly sanded the entire piece. I removed all of the drawers and painted the frame first, then all of the drawers-all in a bright tourquoise semi gloss. I wanted a super glossy finish, so I added an additional coat of high gloss polycrylic. Next I hunted down some cute hardware to replace the original ones. I found some inexpensive red and white pulls that I though would pull the look together nicely.
Total cost: $8 for paint at home depot, $8 for Polycrylic, $40 for the hardware = $56!


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How to Make New Wood Look Old and Distressed

As part of my loft redecorating spree, I am in constant search for old, rustic looking storage. I have seen lots of storage units built with old wooden crates and loved the look. In my search down the antique stores on Riverfront, I found several, but they were pricey and none were the same size. But then I found these brand new and shiny wooden crates at Home Depot for around $10! The only problem was they were brand new and shiny, not old and weathered.
I knew I could stain it, but I wanted the wood to look old, and staining just doesn't give you quite the same effect. After some google searching, I decided on the steel wool and vinegar plan of attack and am surprised at how well it works!

What you need:

  • Vinegar-regular or apple cider
  • Steel wool-I used #00 or finer
  • Container
  • Paint brush
  • Well ventilated area-to escape the vinegar smell
Pour the vinegar into your container and drop in a torn up a piece of steel wool . Regular vinegar will leave a grayish cast on the wood, and apple cider vinegar will leave it more rusty colored. I started with apple cider and then moved to regular because that's all I had. Leave the vinegar/steel wool mixture for at least 24 hours. The longer you leave it the darker it will get.
Grab your paint brush and apply a liberal wash of the liquid over your bare wood. At first it won't look like much, but pretty quickly you will start to see it oxidize the wood. You can also brew some black tea and stain your wood before you brush on the oxidizing solution for a darker finish.


About 30 min after painting with oxidizing solution


Finished crate after sitting outside for a few days


 Once your piece has dried completely you can leave it as is, or seal it if it might be exposed to liquids (like a coffee or end table). Depending on the look you want you can use a polyurethane seal like Verathane (I like the matte finish) or a wax seal. Since I will be using this crate for office storage I left it as is. My plan is to buy some more of these crates and build a shelving/storage unit with them kind of like this:







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