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Guest Project: Samantha Sciotti’s Nightstand Update

29 Mar

Just a couple days ago I received a text message from our friend and former roommate, Sam, asking about the best ways to paint a piece of unfinished wood furniture. In return for our knowledge, she promised to take pictures of the process and send them our way:


Piece of unfinished furniture or wood

Paint or primer


Paint brushes

A piece of plastic on which to do this, if working on this indoors

Dry cloth or rag

photo 1

“I took an old Ikea night stand that I have had for years.”

photo 2

“Stenciled on a design I wanted”

photo 3

“Took primer and painted the areas I wanted white then used a stain and stained the whole night stand.”

photo 4

“I took a dry cloth and wiped down the white areas after because they seemed a little sticky but it wasn’t really necessary.”

photo 5And there you have it! In just a few simple steps, Sam turned this run-of-the-mill nightstand into a personalized piece with lost of character!


Framed Fabric Wall Art

22 Jan

So I have this pillowcase that is probably older than me, and it is subsequently the softest thing I own and one day I noticed a small rip in the fabric. I flipped the pillow over and tried to pretend it would mend itself in my dreams. Unfortunately, life doesn’t work like a fairy tale so I threw it in the wash with my sheets and the rip more than quadrupled in size, which equaled minor devastation. I take pride in my ultra-plush bed that would make the “Princess and the Pea” sleep soundly through the night, so I decided to turn my sad, unusable pillowcase into a piece of art.


Poster frame – or any frame



Santa brought me a few large frames for Christmas and I hadn’t gotten around to filling them yet, so when the pillowcase ripped beyond repair, I suddenly had something to frame.


First I ripped the seam of the pillow case to open it up wider and give myself more options for layout. They sell seam rippers at any fabric store, but I didn’t have one on hand and just used some nail clippers and they got the job done just as easily.


Then once the pillowcase was just one large piece of fabric, I laid it out on the cardboard backing for the frame and took a peek at the composition. I was pleasantly surprised with the contrast between the white fabric and brown backing, as well as the black frame. Afterward, I just folded the tabs down on each side, making sure to pull the fabric nice and taught in the frame.


Here you can see what the fabric looks like all framed. A bit of simple, modern-style art using something most people would have thrown away or turned into rags.

IMG_0079My office/studio had some blank walls that were begging for some artwork, so this piece got hung up promptly. While my framed piece of fabric has a bit of sentimentality to it, the project could be done with endless other things – wallpaper, patterned fabric, ribbon, material samples, scrapbook paper etc. In just ten minutes I had turned my unhappy accident into a beautiful piece of art!


Budget-friendly Frame

23 Dec

Some of you may know it was my birthday at the beginning of December and my thoughtful sister, Anna, got me an amazing gift – a huge map with pins to mark where I’ve been and where I hope to go. I was excited to get it hung up and start marking off my past travels and future trips, but the walls in my apartment are very old, making the plaster super hard and crumbly(I don’t know how this combo is possible). Also, I realized that when I want to move, I would have to remove all of the pins individually. AND the map was so big (50″x32″) that any of the frames I found were upwards of $100. So I got to work on a much more budget friendly frame.


Cardboard/Foam Core


Glue – I used white glue and rubber cement

Staple gun or small nails and a hammer

Two small screws or nails and wire

Poster or photo

Canvas Stretcher Bars

photo-6Here is the inspiration – lots of pins and a very large map.

IMG_0037I even had the perfect spot on my wall for it! I hung it up with some tacks for the time being, which also helped to flatten the roll out.

IMG_0038I was out shopping for art supplies for my self-portrait when I came across the canvas stretcher bars and the lightbulbs went off in my head. For under $30 I could purchase these and assemble them to look like a frame.

IMG_0040They already have the corners mitered and are super easy to put together.

IMG_0059I had originally planned on buying the largest piece of foam core I could find to mount the map onto, giving the tacks something to go into, then I realized I had quite the cardboard box collection from my Christmas shopping. I decided instead to disassemble the larger boxes and tape them together to make the backing.

IMG_0060Once the boxes were taped together and trimmed down to the correct size, I smoothed the surface out with some brown craft paper. I just glued the paper down with white glue and taped the edges down. I then glued the map down with rubber cement, which helps keep the paper from wrinkling while drying. After it is dry, I attached it to the frame with a few staples on the corners and edges.

IMG_0061I thought I would paint the frame but I couldn’t decide on a color so I left it natural for now, which actually matches the map and wall very well. To hang the map, I inserted two small screws onto the back of the frame and string a taut wire between the two.

IMG_0063Finally I can mark off some special places! The warm colors are places I want to go and the cool colors are places I have been. I’m very fortunate to have traveled as much as I have, but there are an awful lot of places I hope to go to soon!


100th Post- Blogs We Are Thankful For

22 Nov

We are excited to announce that this is our hundredth post! Thanks to everyone who has come along for the journey, and we can’t wait to share our next 100 projects with you.

We decided to pay it forward on this post and share with you a few of the blogs we love! In the Thanksgiving spirit- here are the top 10 blogs we are thankful for.

If you have a blog of your own that you would like to share- please post the url in our comments section and we will be sure to check it out. 🙂

The Jealous Curator – “A collection of artwork that inspires & depresses me. I know it’s good when I’m left thinking, Damn I wish I thought of that.” I couldn’t have said it better. This is the perfect site to visit to give your eyes a treat and view some fine art that is unique, beautiful, sometimes strange, but always impressive. -Emily

Design SpongeThis is definitely an example of a design blog done right. They cover everything from interiors, to interesting cities, to fashion, to (our favorite) DIY. Over the past few years Design Sponge has become a household name with a best selling book, over 75,000 hits a day, and New York Times even named it “Martha Stewart Living for the Millennials”. One of the most impressive aspects of this blog is that it is updated around 6 times a day. (If Heather an I update 6 times in 2 weeks we are impressed with ourselves.) -Emily

Young House Love – The cutest little family with the most amazing blog. I stumbled across this blog on pinterest recently and it was where I originally heard the idea of raising your shower curtain to update your bathroom in my last blog. This family is full of amazing ideas and projects to update their new home, and I guarantee you will be as hooked as I am! -Emily

Made in a Day – The perfect site for all of you crafters out there. There are tons of easy DIY tutorials and there are always new blogs being featured. Two Girls was even featured a few times! She hosts awesome link parties every week too, and who doesn’t love a good party? -Emily

Knock Off Decor – Exactly what it sounds like. Find ways to make those expensive items at Pier 1, Anthropology, Williams-Sonoma, and more. And make them for much, much cheaper. Love. -Emily

Wellness MamaThis woman has done so much research and tried so many options in the quest for the healthiest life for her and her family. This blog is where she shares those tips with the world. With tips on living naturally and recipes galore, this site speaks to everyone. – Heather

Apartment Therapy – “Helping people make their homes more beautiful, organized and healthy by connecting them to a wealth of resources, ideas and community online.” But it’s WAY more than that! I was introduced to this site six months ago (Thanks Francine!!!) and have been hooked ever since. Whenever I am fresh out of ideas, this is the place I go to and just scrolling through the first page usually sets things in motion in my brain. -Heather

MoCo LocoI found this blog when I was studying interior design at SCAD and I spent hours devouring page after page of the site, and it quickly become a daily read. A lot of what they feature is industrial design and architecture, but I have also been introduced to many interesting artists through their posts. I am ever-inspired by the work that practicing designers are creating right now. -Heather

Extra Extra ExtraThe best thing about going to art school is meeting creative people, bouncing ideas off each other and being fueled by that energy. Lucky for me, my assigned dorm roommate ended up being this amazing artist and a great friend who I don’t get to catch up with as often now that we are separated by five states. This blog gives me a peek at what she’s up to, and nowadays she’s making it as a freelancer, which is such an inspiration for all those struggling artists out there. So snatch this lady up for your next project! -Heather

Design For MankindI honestly cannot describe to you how much I LOVE this blog. Every single post makes me excited, the writing is perfectly quirky and sincere, and the overall style is the most amazing combination of beautiful and weird. This site is my brain vacation. -Heather

Inspirational Interiors- Easy Bathroom Upgrade

18 Nov

Just wanted to throw some inspiration your way. I had read somewhere along the way that raising your shower curtain is a quick and easy way to add some cache to your bathroom…and I think they were right!

I purchased a new shower curtain today because our old one just wasn’t cutting it. It’s been through 3 apartments with me and had a good run.

So when I strung up my new curtain I decided to try the easy trick of raising the curtain rod a few inches and I really like the way it looks. I think it would look even better if I had purchased a long window curtain so it went all the way to the floor- so keep that in mind if you decide to try this. I was pretty excited to share the results, so pardon the un-steamed curtain.

It’s easy, it’s free (if you like your curtain you have), so give it a try!



Table Lamp

13 Nov

Well, now that I am back in school my art has taken a backseat, but we were assigned a project that asked us to create an abstract visual representation of what we would like to be as a teacher. I don’t have a tutorial for this but I still wanted to share with you all, just to give you an idea of what I have been up to!

The concept behind this lamp is the idea that as a teacher I want to create a community of empowered individuals.

On top of working out what my goals are in becoming an art teacher, this project challenged me to figure out how to do the electrical wiring so that the lamp functioned as well as learn how to drill through glass – both of which ended up being fairly simple.


Wine Crate Shelves

1 Nov

My roommate, Alex, asked if I had any suggestions on how to revamp her bedroom and for some reason wine crates had been on my brain, so I suggested she use them to free up some of her storage space and display her stuff in a fun way.


Wooden wine crates

Paint – optional

L brackets


Power drill

The wine crates are great because they’re sturdy, neatly made, free and the options for customization are endless – paint, decoupage, connect them all together, leave them separate, I even saw an amazing wall built out of them!

Here is the before photo of Alex’s room. That small set of drawers on the floor blocks the entry way, but acts as her vanity so it needed to stay close to the mirror.

We also thought a display area above the radiator would be a nice addition to her workstation.

Alex decided on a neon pink accent color painted just around the front edge.

Once the boxes were painted, we hung them on the wall using L brackets.

We wanted the brackets to be hidden, so we attached them to the wall so that the boxes would sit on top of them which you can see above.

Here is one of the boxes all set up! She went with a green accent to match her drawings already on display.

And here is Alex’s new makeup/bookshelf storage area!

So for a total of $10, spent only on the hardware, Alex has some new shelves and more open floor space. So go ask your local wine retailer to save you some wine crates!


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