Spring decor: DIY candle holder, cheese tray and more

Hello, friends. I don’t know about you, but I am ready for spring!

Today I thought I’d share a few thrifty spring decor projects anyone can tackle in one afternoon. (This is part of the Creator’s Studio Blogger Challenge. You also have a chance to win! By ‘liking’ your favorite submission – ooh, I hope it’s mine 😉 you’ll be entered to win a package of the same 8 Rust-Oleum® products bloggers received. Voting is open now until February 22, at 5 pm CST.)

Upcycled-Rust-Oleum-decor

These projects are derived mostly from this junk pile in my backyard:

Wood-pile-

Yes, when shopping for elegant dining room decor, what better place to start than the garbage heap? 😉

DIY candle holder

The first piece I snatched from the pile was a block of wood, a leftover hunk from one of our porch posts, I believe.

Forstner-bit-and-block

I used my 1.5″ forstner drill bit to cut three holes in the top. Then I sanded the whole piece really well. (Note: As a safety precaution, use a respirator mask and work outdoors when cutting or sanding pressure-treated lumber. More info. here.)

I gave the piece two coats of Varathane® stain, first with Bleached Blue, then Briarsmoke.

Varathane-wood-stain-briarwood

After the stain dried, I applied the Royal Design Studio Springtime in Paris Stencil, using the Pearl Oyster Stencil Creme, to the front and back of the wood block.

DIY-candleholder-Royal-Design-Studio

Finally, I filled the holes with votive holders and tealights. Done!

DIY-wood-stenciled-candleholder

DIY cheese tray

For my next project, I began with a piece of plywood, which I cut into about a 12″x10″ cutting board. I sanded it really well, including rounding the corners.

Plywood-cutting-boardI sprayed the board with a coat of Rust-Oleum Chalkboard Spray paint.

Rustoleum chalkboard spray

Courtesy photo

After that dried, I coated the piece with a few layers of food-safe mineral oil. Finally, I added chalk labels and cheese. Voila! A trendy cheese tray.

Chalkboard-cheese-tray

Rust-Oleum-Chalkboard-Paint-decor

Stenciled-candleholder

Spring centerpiece

For my final spring decor project for the dining room, I began with a few dusty rattan balls I found in the basement.

Rustoleum-mirror-effect

I gave them a coat of either Rust-Oleum Mirror Effect (Gold) or Specialty Metallic (Copper) spray paint.

I also created my own moss balls by using spray adhesive to stick faux Spanish Moss onto craft foam balls. All materials again were found in my treasure trove of a basement. 😉

DIY-moss-ballsI added a coat of Gloss Spring Green, followed by a light coat of Metallic Dark Copper spray paint.

DIY-Rustoleum-moss-balls

I displayed the pieces in a wire basket, creating the perfect spring centerpiece for my dining room table.

Tabletop-moss-balls

What do you think of my upcycled spring decor?

Dining-room-spring-decor

Have you DIYed anything spring yet? I’d love for you to leave a comment and tell me about your project.

Disclosure: I’m thrilled to help spread the word about Rust-Oleum products. I was provided the products featured in this post at no charge. As always, all thoughts, opinions and projects are 100 percent my own.  

Carport renovation on a tight budget

Hello friends! I hope you are having a spectacular 2016 and that you believe, as I do, that this year will be your best.year.EVER! 🙂

At the moment, I’m still neck deep in the house flip. This is the “messy middle” part, which means I’ve got more work ahead than what’s behind, and I’m feeling tired and overwhelmed. But … I am forging ahead one day at a time, focusing on the vision in my head and that glorious day when I’ll have an open house for all my family, friends, neighbors and curious passersby. That day, I know all the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into this project will be worth it! I am looking forward to that moment more than you can imagine. 🙂

In the meantime, I wanted to take a minute and show you the work I’ve completed in the carport of the flip house. This was one area where I really had to put the squeeze on the budget. In other words, I had to get really creative about what I could do to freshen up the space without changing it structurally or spending a bunch of money.

Let’s take a look at the “before,” shall we?

Side-door-before-2

Carport-beforeCarport-ceiling-beforeI started by emptying out the junk, scrubbing the siding, cleaning up the entrance, and scraping off any loose paint from the ceiling.

Then primer and paint became my BFFs for about 4 days.

To get good stain coverage on the ceiling and walls, I applied a thick coat of Zinsser® Cover Stain® Oil-Base Primer. When I suspect I may have issues with water stains or wood knots bleeding through the paint, I don’t mess around with anything else to try and hide them. I use this primer to knock out the problem with one coat. Period. In the past, I’ve used water-based primers because, well, I prefer the ease of soap and water cleanup. But there is just no substitute for a good oil or shellac-based primer for hiding stains. Cover Stain is my absolute, hands-down, all-time favorite for this purpose, especially for exterior applications. It’s quite affordable, too, at about $20 a gallon, and it saves work in the end.

After priming, I finished off with a thick coat of Rust-Oleum® 2x One Coat Solid Stain (in white).*

For the floor, I used Rust-Oleum® EPOXYSHIELD® Concrete Floor Paint in Armor Gray Satin. This product goes on smoothly and quickly and I think the color is just gorgeous. I got the entire first coat rolled on in less than an hour.

EpoxyShield

via Rust-Oleum

I would definitely recommend when using this product that you have dry weather in the forecast and an ambient temperature above 50 F. I’ve got a few spots to touch up because we got an unexpected rain shower and it kept the paint from adhering properly.

Between the white walls and ceiling and the newly painted floor, this space now looks fresh and bright.

Carport-after-low-resSide-door-after

I also removed the broken ceiling light and replaced it with this inexpensive fixture. I think it ties in well with the front porch light.

Carport light after

What do you think of this budget-friendly transformation?

Before-and-after-carport

If you’re curious about what the inside of the house looks like right now, check out this video I made and be sure to enter to win a $50 Duluth Trading Company gift card, too.

Later this week, I will be sharing the finished downstairs bathroom. I am so excited because I think it looks amazing! Stay tuned.

Special thanks to Rust-Oleum for providing, at my request, the white solid stain and gray floor paint I needed to complete this project. As always, all opinions are 100 percent mine. 

*Affiliate link provided for your convenience

Follow this flip: An almost-done porch

I hope you all had a very blessed Thanksgiving! Oh how I enjoy taking a break from the usual grind to spend time with family and friends, eating and recognizing the many, many things we have to be thankful for. Is it just me or is it tough to “get the train rolling” again after such a glorious holiday?

Anyway, although the caboose seems to be running a little slow this week, 😉 I’m back on the tracks again, so I wanted to share a bit of progress on the white house.

The front porch is this.close to being completely done. I’ve got to do a little bit of touch-up painting on the stairs and some staging to do. And I’ll be installing a new front door (new windows and trim are coming later as separate projects). Then this tiny part of the huge project will be wrapped up.

Let’s rewind a few weeks, shall we?

Front-porch-before Landcaping-BEFORE-1 Landcaping-BEFORE-2 Porch ceiling before Porch-rail-before

And now?

Almost-finished-porch

I did a bit of thrifty landscaping out front. Then I painted the porch posts, porch trim and floor.

I am absolutely in love with the color I chose for the porch ceiling.

Haint-blue-ceiling-light

I decided on a “haint blue” color I was inspired by while living in South Carolina. There, you’ll find many gorgeous, historic Southern front porches with this blue-green hue on the ceiling. Haint blue has a rich history you can read about here. I went with a fairly subtle blue so as not to scare all the Northerners away. 😉 I chose Clark+Kensington brand from Ace. I’ve had good success with their exterior paint in the past.

Before I added the haint blue color, I used Zinsser Peel Stop® Triple Thick High Build Binding Primer to seal all the cracks, chipping paint, etc. It made this old porch ceiling look brand new again! If I could marry this primer and have its babies, I would. 😉

I picked up an inexpensive porch rug at Ross to tie together the new ceiling and floor colors.

Porch-floor-and-rug

I spray-painted the old porch swing a rich mahogany color. My HomeRight® Finish Max Pro painted this thing in a snap and created such a flawless finish, the wood almost looks like it’s composite! I LOVE how it turned out.

Stained-porch-swing

It’s been raining cats and dogs outside for the past few days, so I’ve moved inside to work on the bathroom. It is a scary, scary place right now, people. I’m completely demolishing the walls. So far I’ve managed to step on a rusty nail, smash my pinky finger with a hammer, choke myself half to death on drywall dust, and nearly electrocute myself from a “mystery” outlet. All in a day’s work …

*Affiliate links are provided in this post for your convenience.