Friday, August 30, 2013

DIY Paper Mache Deer Head for around 20$

So I have tried for quite some time to convince myself  I really didn't like those fake deer heads, that I really didn't need one, and they probably wouldn't be in style that long.. the real reason? Have you seen the price tag on some of those things? I just can't spend that on wall art that I was pretty sure I could replicate. My husbands response? A bullet is like 3$... yeah not going to happen, I wanted wall art not a dead animal on my wall, it just isn't the same. No offense to anyone who does have a trophy buck displayed at home.
So the thought process. I knew I needed a base for the molding of the deer.. I came across this free template found here. I took it to Fedex to have it enlarged. Im not sure what percentage they increased it, but I  had it printed on their largest paper which I believe was 46x36 and was 9$ to print. While I was there I also saw a perfectly lovely size cardboard box. It was called their golf box and was 10$. I decided to get it since I really didn't want to haul my two kids all over town looking for cardboard, but if you have some you could make this for even cheaper.. I also picked up some scotch masking tape from there which was probably more than at walmart, but again I was lazy. 

After Ryker was alseep I cut out all the paper pieces and traced them onto my cardboard box. I used an exacto knife to cut the pieces out. I found it worked best to score the top then kinda saw through in a up and down motion.. just watch your hands and floor. 

Kinley helped me assemble the head it went together pretty easy. 

Next I cut out a couple triangles to help shape the bone structure of the nose and eye bones.. and of course I forgot to take a picture... but I just hot glued the pieces in place and shaped them to how I wanted them.. I also made the front flaps for the ears to make them more 3d.. again I used hot glue to attach. I used a thinner cardboard for that part. 

I then started working on taping and smoothing out the ridges between the pieces. 

I just continued to stretch the tape over the ridges to hide the rough edges and make a more smooth texture molding it as I went. 

Here he is all wrapped and read for the paper mache. 

I had never done paper mache so I did some googling and watched a couple videos. It was acutally pretty easy.  I didnt try to make it super smooth. I kinda liked the different texture. I decided to use viva paper towles, and a past recipe.

I doubled this.
1/4 cup plaster of paris
1/4 cup white glue (elemers ect)
1 tblspn cold water
1 tspn vinegar. 


You basically tear you paper towels in half and tear the clean edges off to make them rough they blend better that way. Then dampen them. Paint your paste on your form with a cheap paint brush. I used one of those little cheap wooden natural bristle ones. Then lay your paper over and stretch it to fit. Tear off where needed. Here is a video I watched to learn how to do it. 

I let him dry over night. 

I painted him in the morning a light blue I think it was Behr valley mist and did the antler a dark chocolate brown. Im very happy with how he turned out.

These pictures really don't do it any justice it looks great in the space and it shows up much more blue than the photos pick up. 

If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment or email me I will try to answer promptly. Hope I inspired someone who also was thinking they really don't need a fake deer head :). 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Our new DIY dinning Table

I'm so excited last night we finished our dinning room table! That's right Adam and  I built this! We got the plans Here. Ana white has some amazing plans that are easy to follow. I originally saw this on Jen's blog found Here. I love her blog also! 

After building the table I decided I wanted to use a natural stain technique that "ages" the wood. It was so simple. Here's how I did it..

Testing the steel wool the pine didn't even turn on the side with out the tea 

I used a tea, vinegar and steel wool stain.
Fist I made up my steel wool and vinegar concoction... I used a huge mason jar prob about 50 oz.. I 1.5 pads of 0000 steel wool and washed it in soapy water to remove any oils that would keep the oxidation from happening... I broke the steel wool apart in to small pieces and put in the jar then filled the jar with the white vinegar... I let it sit  about 25 hrs... Many blogs I had read said to let it sit like 3 days so I wasn't sure it would have had time to oxidizes that quickly but when I tested it it was already plenty strong. I removed the hunk of steel wool to make sure it didn't oxides anymore and make it an uneven job as I got near the bottom I also stirred it regularly during the process. 
Pine has very low levels of tannins. Which is what the vinegar and steel wool react to.. So to up the tannins. I first painted a tea stain all over... I simply brewed strong black tea I think I used 4 large bags in about 20 oz of water. I let the table dry for about 3 hrs then put on the vinegar mixture... 
Once the table had dried I decided I wanted to warm it up just a tad. It came out very blue grey which would have looked awesome in a modern home...
So I mixed briwax clear, Annie Sloan clear, and a tiny but of briwax Tudor brown... The mixture was just a very light tan. I applied a single coat over the whole table, let dry, then applied a second on top... Buffed it out and was so happy with my new table!!! It took a lot of wax the wood really soaked it up. 

table before sanding
starting to oxidize 
pre wax

It looks so amazing in person. I wish i could have taken better pictures of it.. Im so thrilled with how it came out!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Kitchen Update For A Tight Budget

This post has been a long time coming. What I thought would be a simple tear down to open up the kitchen a little turned into a wonderful and simple update to our semi-dated kitchen. 

We had this row of cabinets that were pretty high and stuck out over our bar counter blocking most of the view into the Kitchen. So I suggested to Adam, why don't we just take them down. He said absolutely not, well one day later the cabinets were down. It inspired me to go ahead and update some. We had a very small budget since this wasn't really planned out. Here is what we did.

tore out old hanging cabinets (free)
adam built a new display cabinet in place of the old hanging cabinets (Free)
tore out small tile backsplash (free)
replaced the backsplash and covered the wall with bead board (40$)
bought all new hardware (121$)
bought a new faucet (175$)
built a range hood cover (free used wood I had on hand)
Painted all top cabinets with fresh coat of paint ($50)
Painted and waxed the bottom in a blue and dark wax. ($40)
tore out old saltio tile (free)
2 new light fixtures ($100)
replaced the tile with plywood plank flooring and I whitewashed and stenciled (100$)
we just recently updated all our appliances to stainless, now that wasn't part of the first small budget we did that about 6 months later. (4000)

so i guess it was $626 there were some other misc. cost like paint brushes, nails, caulk, ect.. 

So on to the pictures, and of course I'm horrible about before photos, but trust me this looks so much better. Im not sure what we spent total but I would guess less than 1000$ not including the new appliances. 

P.S. sorry for some of the cruddy ipad pics. I have got to order a wide angle lens soon!  

I made the range hood cover. I got the idea here

appliances are all GE 

hardware here and here

new faucet ordered from amazon here

Adam (my hubby) built this cabinet. He used the wood from the cabinets we tore down.  Inspiration and tutorial here

Fisherman light in aged copper here

World Market  

Oak plywood floors ripped into 6" boards then laid like wood flooring. white washed and stenciled. Inspiration and free downloadable stencil pattern. here