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how-to

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Summer Learning with Etsy Dallas

Take advantage of the slower summer months and work on sprucing up your business for the busy fall season with some classes and workshops with Etsy Dallas!

See below for the current calendar and hop on over to their blog for details on all the classes!


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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show (like a pro) Part 2.1

Now that we've covered product, layout, displays, and signage, it's time to get down to business. Literally. After you have made items to sell and put price tags on them you need to start preparing yourself to sell your handmade goods. It is really important to be well prepared for transacting business-if you are not well organized, customers might get frustrated, you may end up with a few people waiting to pay, and you will undoubtedly become frazzled, which is no fun.

From the guest post we wrote on the Etsy Dallas blog:
Prep for Doing Business
One or two weeks before the show, gather everything you need to do business and ring up transactions. Pens, calculators, invoice/receipt books, and shopping bags are must haves. Make a bank run to get change - think about your price points and plan your change based on that. If you take credit card payments via square or any other device or app, make sure they are in working order and that you remember passwords for apps. Another thing we do is create a cheat sheet of all of out items pricing with tax. At the bottom we have every price point from $1-$100 with tax added for a quick reference guide.



In addition to the bare minimum of receipt books, etc. you want to make sure that anything you plan to use to package or wrap items you have on hand as well (tissue paper, twine, gift boxes). Thinking back to your booth layout, make sure that all of these items along with shopping bags are laid out in a way that will make it fast and efficient to wrap or package items. Make knitted scarves and plan to drop them in shopping bags? Easy peasy. Make ceramic dishes and need to wrap them individually and them box them up? Plan to make some space for that and keep all materials handy. Plastic Rubbermaid drawers under a table can make for a quick wrapping station. If you make jewelry, you will want to be sure to have small boxes or pouches to protect purchases. It is also a really good idea to have boxes handy during the holiday season if people ask for them. I know it is an extra expense, but it is also part of the handmade shopping experience to have items nicely packaged. Uline is a great resource for packaging supplies.

Most craft show vendors have adopted the Square and other credit card payment methods, but it is always good to be prepared to take payments the old fashioned way (card imprint and paper receipt). Just because you have a square and the phone app doesn't mean you are guaranteed good cell signals or wifi. We have totally been to places that were the dead zone for cell phones, and with 50+ vendors trying to tap into the free wifi, forget it...nothing was working. This is when that receipt book will be extra handy, make an imprint either rubbing the card with a pen under the carbon copies (anyone who has ever worked in retail knows the drill) or write it down. Be SURE to destroy the card numbers asap after you are able to run the payment, and black out the # on the guests receipt for safety too. This is also where cash will come in handy, if your are not sure you have enough, bring more-you can always redeposit it into the bank after the show. Even if all of your items are under $10, be prepared to make change for someone who pays with a $100 bill. You know that person (can you tell we used to work retail!?) the one who comes first thing in the morning straight from the bank with a crisp hundred and you have to make $92 in change and they wipe out all your $20's...? Be prepared for that person :)

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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.3: Create Signage

Our third installment of the blog post we guest wrote on Etsy Dallas about craft show setup.

From part one of the Etsy Dallas blog post:

Create Signage
On average, a customer ask the price of items only twice before they feel uncomfortable asking again. Put them at ease by creating signage or putting price tags on all of your items. Make sure signage is easy for them to spot and big enough to be read from a distance. Also, be sure you have business cards handy and in a place that is easy for shoppers to find.

You may think that not having prices opens the door to conversations with your shoppers, but what if you are too busy to speak to everyone (and we hope that you always are)! 

Photo via Erica Sirotich Illustration


Signage should contain the following:
  • Your shop name at the top and something calling out that it is your price list
  • A list of each type of item (or item category) and it's price
  • Any special show pricing or bundled pricing you may offer
  • Show shoppers whether you take credit cards and which ones (you can just put the logos on it)
If all of your items are OOAK and priced differently, consider putting price tags on all items in an easy to find spot. Keep in mind if your item has movable parts or is delicate, putting tags on the bottom may not be wise. You are better off putting them somewhere that may not be as attractive but can cut down on unnecessary handling and breakage.

Another tactic is to price sections of product. For instance all items on one table are $20, you can put up one sign that states that for each table. You may also want to add signage to differentiate your product, even if it is all the same price. Do you sell dog collars for $15 in all sizes? Maybe your signage needs to point out sizes to help shoppers locate the item they need.

Consider putting up an additional sign or two where appropriate to tell shoppers pertinent info about your product and what sets it apart. Is your yarn hand spun by you, or is the wool sourced from local farms? Does your jewelry re-purpose vintage pieces? Do you take custom orders? Is it eco-friendly? Tell people about it!

Need some inspiration? Check out our craft show display board on Pinterest for more!


Be sure to check out the rest of this series on the blog!

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How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.2: Lay Out Your Booth Space and Displays

A continuation of the blog post we guest wrote on Etsy Dallas about craft show setup.

From part one of the Etsy Dallas blog post:

Lay Out Your Booth Space and Displays
About three weeks before the show, plan your booth space. Decide what your table layout will be, how your displays will be set up and where chairs and product storage will go but still be easily accessible. Tape off the booth space on the floor or driveway and be sure everything fits. Once you have a "floor plan," decide how your goods will be displayed.



It is important to do this because often you only have an hour or two to unload and set up for a show. Depending on your product unloading could take you 30 mins or more. Have to set up a tent? Add 10-15 min for that...tables? 5 more. That is 50 of your time right there, give or take 10 min based on the product you make. So it's imperative that you plan ahead on set up or you will either be unprepared or rushing right before the show starts.

What should you do in this dry run setup? Tape off on the floor or driveway (with painters tape) your exact booth space. Bonus points for setting up your tent in your driveway and working with that (and double checking that your tent is in order and you have all your parts and pieces).

Once you have your booth space marked off or tent set up you should consider the following:
  • How many tables will you need and what should their layout be-keep in mind you should leave room around the tables so you can enter and exit your booth space
  • Where and how will my displays be set up
  • Will my displays hold my product?
  • Can I see over and work around my displays?
  • Did I leave work space for myself to write receipts, wrap or package purchases, put my soda?
Try a couple different layouts. You may think you have laid out the best option, but try a few more anyways. You never know what you will come up with and it is a good exercise to do, just in case when you arrive at the show your booth space or location changes. It pays to be prepared with  a few options and be flexible.

Missed Part 1.1? Find it here:

How-To Prepare for a Craft Show Part 1.1: Make Enough Product



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Etsy Craft Party 2014: Recapture!


Who's ready for a partay! Join Etsy Dallas and other area crafters for an evening of fun, food and drinks. This years theme focus is on transforming photographs into display worthy works of art using a variety of craft supplies and techniques! This years Craft Party will be held at City Craft this Friday (6/6) at 7pm!

Take a look at some of the inspirational pieces our team members have already cooked up in preparation of the event! Bring you own photos (or copies of them) or you can choose from photos on paper or fabric that will be provided at the event.
Photos from Etsy Dallas

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How To set up a Craft Show Booth Like a Pro

A few weeks ago we were asked by Etsy Dallas to guest write an article on how to set up for a craft show. My question back was "the day of? or all the actual work that goes into it?" Both! They said.

The resulting brainstorming session of me and my sister resulted in a two part series covering everything from the weeks leading up to the day of the event. We covered topics ranging from inventory forecasting to what's in our disaster kit.

There were several things I would have loved to delve into deeper, but I'm pretty sure they weren't going to change it to a 10 part series for me! :)
So over the next few days and weeks I will hit each subject in more detail so you can learn a little more of the behind the scenes buildup to a craft show.

But for now, head on over the the Etsy Dallas Blog to check out part one of How to set up a craft show booth like a pro!


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How-To Tuesday Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites

I have been a bit obsessed with quinoa lately. High in protein and fiber it leaves me feeling full for hours and has enough carbs to keep me going for after work runs. Tonight I made these cheese and broccoli quinoa patties that were pretty darn yummy-and they were really easy to make (because if it makes more than 3 dishes dirty to prepare...I'm out!). These were great on their own, but would also make a great side for grilled chicken or salmon!


Ingredients:
This made 15 2.5" patties, I like to make enough to have leftovers for lunch/dinner for a day or two, but you can cut it in half if needed.

1c Quinoa
2c Water
3c Broccoli Florets
1/2c Sharp Cheddar
2 Large Eggs
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Onion Powder (you could also use 1 small onion, but I'm not an onion fan)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Olive Oil or Cooking Spray (I used an Olive Oil spray by Pam)

Add quinoa and water in a pot and bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to low for 15 min until cooked. Remove from pot an put in large mixing bowl to cool.

Cook broccoli until slightly tender. Dice up broccoli florets into small pieces and add to quinoa along with cheese, garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper. Mix well, then add eggs last to hold the mixture together.

Add/Spray pan with oil and bring to medium heat. Scoop up mixture and roll into balls-mine were a tiny bit bigger than a golf ball, and place into pan, pressing them down into patties.

Cook on each side for 7 min or until golden brown on each side.

Enjoy!


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How-To Tuesday Stuffed Shells Recipe

In an effort to eat more like an adult and learn to make food I wouldn't be embarrassed to serve my friends I have been playing around in the kitchen. Generally I like to eat foods that are low in fat and carbs and high in protein, but am a really picky eater so it makes it hard to strike a balance. This dish definitely fits the bill packed with ground turkey and beans with just enough pasta to satisfy. It's pretty easy to make so that's a bonus too :)

First brown your meat. I like to use ground turkey or turkey Italian sausage. But ground beef or pork works well too. If you are not using sausage, add some seasoning for flavor-I used and Italian seasoning with basil, rosemary, garlic and thyme.



Next boil the pasta shells till they are "al dente", usually 8 min or so. Once they are cooked, transfer them to a bowl of ice cold water. It will keep them firm and make them easier to fill. Put them in the fridge while you do the next step.


With the pasta shells cooling in the fridge, finish preparing the filling. Combine the meat, veggies, ricotta, and pasta sauce in a large skillet and mix it while it is simmering. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.


 Remove the pasta shells from the fridge and start filling. Place the filled shells in a baking dish. Pour leftover pasta sauce over the shells and top with some shredded mozzarella and parm. Bake for 30 mins.



You will need:
1 box (12ozs) Jumbo Shells
1lb Italian sausage (casings removed) or ground meat of choice
1tbsp minced garlic
16oz Ricotta cheese (I like to use the reduced fat kind)
10oz package frozen spinach-thawed and squeezed dry
1c grated cheese (I used a 50/50 split of mozz and parm)
1 jar of pasta or marinara sauce-use half for the filling and half to pour over them to bake
Seasonings-either use a pre-made Italian seasoning, or use fresh chopped basil, rosemary and thyme


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DIY Dog Cookies

It should come to no surprise to anyone that both my sister and I are big time dog lovers. Like in a my dog is my furry child and no one messes with my baby sort of way. :)

Last year there was a huge ordeal of dog treats made in China that were making dogs sick. So after immediately tossing lots of treats, we started looking for good ole made in the USA treats. But they are a little harder to find than one would think. Green Pet in Bishop has several options, but the way my 100lb dog snaps them up I was going to go broke! So my sister decided (after much Pinterest searching) that we could make our own.

We have landed on two recipes that have our dogs drooling (pun intended). And even though it may not be too hard to impress a dog with food, I do have to say that both our pups really do prefer the homemade versions over the store bought. Like crack. Doggy crack-no joke.

So here is the recipe for Opie's favorite cookies:

They are super easy, with only 5 ingredients!



I didn't have any dog bone cookie cutters, but I did happen to have a squirrel one (not as random as you may think!), which I thought was still pretty fitting for a dog biscuit. He gobbles them up so quickly, I have since resorted to just cutting the dough up into 2x1 inch rectangles to speed up the process.



Cookie please! Look at that smile!


Here is what you will need to make them:
2 Eggs
1/2 c Canned Pumpkin
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tbs Powdered Milk
2 1/2 c flour (I used whole wheat flour)
water as needed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add water as needed to make the dough workable, but make sure it is still pretty dry and stiff. I found that kneading it with your hands works best. Roll out the dough to approx 1/2" thick and use a cookie cutter to cut shapes (or just slice it up into rectangles if you don't care if they are cute). Bake for 20 min flip them over and bake for another 20 min.

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Top O the Mornin' to Ya!

It's almost St. Patrick's Day and we thought we would share a quick and easy craft that you could give as a gift or make for a St Pats Day party for people to snack on. This one is pretty simple and could be easy and fun to do with kids too.

Gold at the End of the Rainbow Jar

What you'll need:
Rainbow Skittles (includes red, yellow, green, purple, orange)
Easter Skittles (if you are an over achiever and want to add more colors)
Gold Coin Chocolates
Mason Jar
Green Decorations (option, think green ribbon, fabric, or a hat like below)

Step 1-Sort the skittles...It took me about 5 min while watching TV.



Step 2. Start layering. Starting with the gold coins, then purple, then the blues if you got them, then green, yellow, orange, and red.



Step 3. Decorate. I added a little hat to mine to keep it simple, but you could add ribbon, fabric, stickers, beads or whatever else you can find in your craft drawer.


P.S. I'm kind of a perfectionist and it really bugs me that I didn't have blue-but it was too cold and I was too lazy to walk to the store (two blocks away) to get the Easter Skittles. I may have to go get them and re layer them! :)

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National Craft Month

March is National Craft Month and the Craft and Hobby Association and Cre8time want you to devote more time to creative expression doing the things you love! For the month of March, use the #Cre8time hastag on your Facebook and Instagram posts, as well as your tweets and pins. AND you can enter to win $500 when you submit a photo of how you are celebrating National Craft Month to Cre8time's Facebook page.



Whether you decide to learn a new craft, or dust off your scrapbooking paper, what will you Cre8time for?

Need some inspiration? Here are some of my favorite sites:

Pinterest (Duh!)-The most obvious and possibly most popular source of DIY inspiration with tutorials. If your interested in what inspired us here at Pig and Peacock, you can follow us @pigandpeacock

Craftgawker-Before there was Pinterest, I could spend hours on this site (as well as it's sister site FoodGawker). Most of what you will find here is super beautiful, it's awesome for inspiration, but iffy on the tutorials.

Etsy-Need some fresh ideas in your medium of choice-look no further than what others are producing on Etsy. You won't find tutorials here, but with hundreds of thousands of sellers, you are bound to get some fresh ideas and inspiration.

Craftsy-Want some more in depth learning? Head over to Craftsy and you can enroll in online classes that will give you more than just a 4 picture how to.

Martha Stewart-Lets face it, because she is the queen of DIY and crafts.

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Candle Burning Tips

Woo! It got cold this past weekend here in Dallas! Time to bundle up with some blankets and relax at home with your favorite holiday candle burning to fill your home with yummy smells.

So we thought it would be a good time to post some candle tips to help you burn your candles safely and help you get the most burn time out of them.

A little science lesson first though...Just exactly how does a candle work? Understanding this process is important for candle makers but will also help you understand how to use and enjoy candles more :)
The wax in a candle serves as the fuel for the flame and is absorbed into the wick through capillary action. Too much melted wax and you can drown out your flame, not enough and you will starve the flame of fuel to continue burning. This brings us to our first candle burning issue, inadequate burn time.

A common problem we see with candles is inadequate burn time. A candle needs to burn approx one hour for every inch in diameter. When candles are not burned long enough to create an even wax pool, it will not allow all the wax to melt in future burns, and will leave a wall of wax around the wick. It is important that every time you burn your candle, you allow it to burn long enough to melt all the way across to prevent it from tunneling down. Sometimes when a candle tunnels down too far, there is too much melted wax and your candle will eventually drown itself out. When you don't have enough time to burn a candle for a few hours, consider burning a tealight or votive.

Example of uneven melting:



Proper candle melt pool:


Another cause of uneven melting is placing your candle in drafty areas. Not only will this cause uneven melting, but it may cause wax to splash out of the container or the wick to smoke.

In addition to that, another way to keep wick smoke to an absolute minimum it to keep the wick trimmed to 1/4" before burning your candle. A flame that is too big may melt too much wax for the candle to burn and may drown itself out. Don't cut it too short though or your flame will not be big enough to melt the wax!

What can you do if one of your candles starts to tunnel? Take a knife or spoon and scrape out the excess wax that has formed a wall around the wick. This will help allow your candle to burn properly, provided you allow it the correct amount of burn time in the future.

When you want to extinguish your candle use a dipper or snuffer to put it out. This will create less smoke and soot. If you don't plan to burn a candle for a while, store them in a cool dry place to preserve the fragrance.

One last tip-Never, ever leave a burning candle unattended! Regardless if you have kids or pets-it is never safe!

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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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Adventures in DIY Home Improvement-Reclaimed Wood Shelves

I decided recently that I wanted to update the decor in my loft and give it a more industrial feel. Among the many things on my list, I want to change up my gallery wall where my photographs are displayed. When I originally hung the photos, I was excited, but I quickly realized covering a 9x8 section of my wall a) cut down on a lot of reflective light, and b) did not quite have the look I was going for.

Then I came across this pin on Pinterest and it was perfect-I love the look of the reclaimed wood, and the industrial feel. Off to Etsy I went, shopping for reclaimed wood shelving...I am truly impressed with the level of craftsmanship I found there, but no one had 7' shelving, and at the prices listed for 3-4' I wasn't going to be able to afford it anyways!



So I turned to the internet for a DIY solution and found this great tutorial: the simple life: Lusting for [Restoration Hardware] and decided that I could handle making them myself. The only difference is I didn't really want to beat up the wood shelving myself, so I set off to try to purchase some reclaimed wood. After looking up some local architectural salvage places in the area, I found some great reclaimed wood...$150 for 15' (I need 35' total), maybe it was reclaimed from somewhere really fancy, but it was too much to pay for old planks. I finally ended up at Orr Reed Wrecking, and jackpot! Found nice old weathered wood planks for 50 cents a foot (happy dance)! They even offered to cut them to the length I needed.

It took two weekends (and half a dozen trips to Home Depot) to finish-one weekend to finish and seal the shelves and one to mount them. First think I did was roughly sand the boards to get rid of anything that might splinter. Next it needed to be sealed. I used Varathane semi-gloss and did two coats to get a nice seal on them.The hardware was all ordered from Amazon and Home Depot, and is black malleable piping which has a nice industrial feel.
Black Malleable piping parts to make the shelf brackets.
*As an aside, my sweet dad always saves the Sunday comics for me and I get loaded up every time I come visit :) 

Once the brackets were assembled it was time to start mounting the shelves to the wall. I have a very specific but handy way of hanging things to make sure they are level, especially when you are dealing with large items (mirrors, art, etc...). It involves measuring everything (from the floor and ceiling) and marking the mounting points. Then you stretch painters tape across, and check that with a level-then you always get it right on the first try!
Template to mark the shelf bracket holes

Tape marked off and leveled for where the shelf brackets will go


Closeup of the shelf and bracket

The finished product with my photography back on the shelves!
The "before" shot with the gallery wall-looks cluttered


'via Blog this'

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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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