DĂ©coupage Vases (teacher gifts)

Happy New Year! I hope the first 20 days of 2014 have gone well for everyone 🙂 Like most people, we had a crazy-busy holiday season, and blogging was last on my priority list.  But I hope to post more frequently this year, because I have lots of projects to share and other topics I’d like to write about!


I’m co-room-mom in both girls’ classes this year, and teacher gifts are one of my responsibilities. The norm at their school is to collect money from whoever would like to donate, and then get the teacher a gift card along with some kind of “handmade” project from the kids. Last year, the room mom in my (then) kindergartener’s class had each kid fill out a page titled “my favorite thing about Mrs. H.” and then compiled them into a book for the teacher. It turned out really cute, but I didn’t want to do the same thing again this year. You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to come up with an idea, especially for someone like me who likes that crafty kind of stuff, but I literally spent hours searching Pinterest (and the Internet in general) for ideas. I was under certain limitations, mainly that I had to come up with something that the kids could do (for the most part) at home – it’s not like I could go in and command control of the class for an hour to do a project.

I came across a vase that was dĂ©coupaged with magazine pictures, one chosen by each kid in the class. I liked that idea, but instead of using magazine pictures, I decided to have each kid decorate a small square of paper. I sent home a letter explaining this to parents, along with a pre-cut square of white paper, and an envelope to send it back in (along with any money they’d like to donate). I wanted to make it as easy as possible for them to return their square, in hopes that I would get the majority of the completed squares back by my deadline. (Believe me, I know how much of a pain it is to manage the mountain of paperwork, etc., that comes home from school!)

Most of the kids did return their squares within the next few days, and they were all so unique and cute. There were 5 or 6 kids in each class that didn’t return their square though, so I stopped into class one afternoon (with teacher permission) and pulled aside these kids for 5 minutes to have them decorate one.

Of course, procrastinator me waited until the night before the class parties to start dĂ©coupaging. My original idea was to use a planter (and put a houseplant in it), but when I went out shopping, I couldn’t find a square or rectangle planter that was the right size (It’s much easier to dĂ©coupage on flat sides, and I knew it would turn out better this way.)  I ended up buying tall ceramic vases instead.

The dĂ©coupaging itself was a bit puzzle-like. I knew how many square-inches of artwork I had, and had measured the vases in the store before buying them, so I knew that they were roughly the correct size. But it took some trimming white space to get them all to fit, and that resulted in some small gaps at certain spots around the vase. I ended up using small pieces of colored paper to fill in these gaps – going for a random, kids-artwork kind of look. I also dĂ©coupaged colored tissue paper around the top edge of the vase, and wrote the class year (in paint marker) on the bottom of the vase. I used several coats of Mod Podge applied with a sponge brush, and sanded lightly in between coats. I finished it off with a layer of waterproof glossy polyurethane sealant. The vases were left to dry overnight, and the next morning I picked up some brightly-colored flowers to put in them.


One thing I wish I had done differently is asked the kids to use colored pencils or crayons, because the squares done in marker smeared slightly when I applied the dĂ©coupage . (It may have also worked to use a layer of hairspray over these prior to applying the Mod Podge, but I didn’t have any on hand.) Other than that, I was pretty happy with how the dĂ©coupage vases turned out, and got lots of compliments from the parents who attended the parties where we gave the vases to the teachers (along with a generous Target gift card). Although I came up with the idea, I really can’t take credit though- the kids’ awesome artwork is what really made them great!  The teachers seemed to really like them too – one asked me “how did you do this?” and the other one sent home a note saying how much she would always treasure this as a reminder of her 2013-2014 class.

Now I have a few months to come up with something for their end-of-year gifts 🙂










For this project, I used:

Mod Podge CS11202 Original 16-Ounce Glue, Gloss Finish

(similar) 9in Matte Black Square Ceramic Vase


Storage Footstool Makeover

footstool collage

Finally getting around to sharing this little furniture makeover!

I got this small storage footstool sometime last year at a secondhand shop. It was only $6 and in great condition! The only problem was it’s completely dated look, with faded floral upholstery and scratched-up wood finish. I knew it would be an easy fix though!

I ended up picking a vintage pillowcase to reupholster it with. I wanted something totally different that you’d probably never see on a footstool in the store, and this was such a pretty print. The paint colors were an easy choice because they accented the fabric perfectly.

So I forgot to take a picture of the inside, but I actually lined it with pages from an old McCall’s magazine. (I just mod podged them to the inside, then coated them in more mod podge and then a poly glaze.)

This ended up being one of my favorite projects – I love how it turned out! But since we have no place in our house for it (we have a tiny living room in which we already have a large storage ottoman) I ended up selling it at my booth at the Florence Antique Mall. It sold within a few days. I hope the new owner loves it!

Side Table Makeover

(am I the only mom who can’t help but think of Blue’s Clues when I hear “side table”?)

So I got this little table off Freecycle – someone had rescued it from her neighbor’s trash, but didn’t have a need for it. I knew I could make it into something cute!

But my ideas don’t always work out the way I’ve planned. This is actually this table’s THIRD incarnation. I had first decoupaged a cool picture from a magazine on it – it looked good, but it wasn’t the best decoupage job, and when I decided to sell it, I couldn’t do so with someone else’s artwork on it. I’m going to stay mum on the second idea, because I’d still like to try it on something else – it was just going to take too long, and I desperately needed to get some finished pieces out of the house (and into my new booth at Riverside Center Antique Mall & Resale Center!)

First, I painted the table red, and that stayed the same throughout – I love the color, especially on a little piece like this. The top is decoupaged with vintage wallpaper that I actually found sitting next to someone’s trash can! There was a whole roll of it, and a roll of another print (not quite as cute.) I happened to drive by, and stopped because they had a little shelf thing sitting out too – I ended up passing on that, but scooped this up, and 2 minutes later it started pouring rain – whew! Anyway, I finished this off with a few coats of acrylic sealant, and distressed it just a tad around the edges to go with the vintage feel.

(poor lighting resulted in not the best pictures)

Mini Makeover Monday Debut!

This week I’m starting Mini Makeover Mondays, where I’ll share a rehab project that took me 30 minutes or less to complete!

Eventually I’m hoping others will join me! If you grab the MMM button (or just link to my site) and let me know that you participated in MMM, I’ll post a  MMM recap each Tuesday and will list and link to everyone’s projects.


So we’ve had these hooks hanging in our bathroom for a couple of years – I picked them up on clearance somewhere for a $1. They’re not hideous, but I was never in love with the look.

When I recently painted our bathroom purple (from yellow) I decided it was time to update this to match.

I spray painted it white, and then cut a piece of fabric to fit the top section. I applied it with Hard Coat Mod Podge and put a few coats on top, followed by an acrylic sealant.

Since I’m not including drying time, the project took about 15 minutes to complete! I like it so much better now.

I’d love to see what everyone else can “prettify” in less than 30 minutes!


A special thanks to Power of Paint for featuring my chalkboard dresser on their site today!

Beat-up Bench to Kids Step Stool

Remember this, that I found on the side of the road a couple of weeks ago but wasn’t quite sure what it was (bench? stool? step stool?) From the looks of it, it came from someone’s workshop – or was used as a target for hatchet-throwing practice. Seriously, the thing had about 1,000,001 little nicks over the entire top.

old step stool


I was happy to find it though, because it’s a sturdy, solid piece, and is the perfect height to use as a step stool for our bathroom. Once I told the girls they were getting a new step stool they got all excited, so this quickly moved to the top of my list.

I started by filling in some of the bigger holes and ruts with pre-mixed grout (I figured it would be more durable than spackle.) I didn’t attempt to fill every little knick – that would have been impossible, plus I like the slightly-worn look. Once that was dry I lightly sanded and then painted it with two coats of Pink Carnation by Glidden.

Because I planned on varnishing the top, I wanted to add something to make it a bit more slip-resistent, and decided to use a roll of non-slip shelf liner from the dollar store. I drew the shapes freehand (I didn’t want them to be too perfect) and used Mod Podge to apply them, then added two layers of MP over top. I finished with two layers of glossy craft varnish.

I liked it, but wanted it to have a little more color, so I painted the piece underneath with a turquoise craft paint that I had – it’s not exactly the same color as the shelf-liner cut-outs, but close enough!

The finished product:

All in all it cost me $1, because I got the stool for free and already had the paint.