Learning to Grow

One of my goals for 2013 is to grow this little baby blog of mine.  I started Monograms and Makeovers almost four months ago.  I had been sharing my projects and decorating ideas on my personal Facebook page and was getting positive feedback and support from friends. {Thank you friends!}  I decided I needed a place to share what I am doing without annoying those friends who could care less if I repainted a dining table and chairs or not.  I wasn’t sure how far I would take blogging or if I would even like it at all.  Turns out, I’m hooked!

About a month ago I started to do some searching on how I can grow Monograms and Makeovers from a casual baby blog to something bigger.  I discovered Laurie from Tip Junkie’s Mom Blog to Money Blog.

The program is 31 days of learning.  The beauty of it all, you can learn at your own pace, on your own schedule {and you don’t have to actually be a Mom to do it either}.  I’ve completed Days 1-4 and have already learned so much.  Like how to create my brand, add those cute little social media buttons up there on the top right and how to add a Kindle version of the blog on Amazon.

So, if you see some strange things happening or something not looking exactly right, I apologize.  I’m still learning!

Glitter Votives

Glitter Votives

I just love a good dollar store craft.  I found plain glass votives at the Dollar Tree.  Apparently when I made my Rubber Band Votives I was looking in all the wrong places in Dollar Tree.  Their craft aisle is a jack pot people!

To get the dipped in glitter look I taped off the area I wanted to remain clear with painters tape then Mod Podged the remaining areas {on the bottom too}.  I had picked up some cheapy plastic containers at Dollar Tree and dumped my silver glitter in there to dip and coat the votives without a horrendous glitter mess.  Once everything was covered I took the votives outside and sprayed a clear coat of spray paint to secure the glitter and give it a little protecting layer.  I let them fully dry for about 24 hours and removed the tape to reveal their glittery goodness.

Glitter Votives

I think they’re perfectly wintery.  I love a little sparkle!

{Linking Up: Tatertots & Jello, I Heart Nap Time}

Valentine’s Wreath

Valentine's Wreath

I don’t typically decorate for Valentine’s Day.  After taking down the Christmas decorations this year I decided to take advantage of the only time I can decorate with pink.  The Hubs can’t argue, it’s part of the holiday!

First up for decorating was a wreath of course.  I went with traditional pink and red.

I’m still obsessed with the Michael’s scrolly frame and knew its romantic curves would be perfect for my Valentine’s wreath, especially painted pink.  The meshy ribbon is thanks to my mom.  She had some left over from Christmas and I snagged it.  I have never used ribbon like this on a wreath before so I was a little baffled as to how to get the poofy, meshy look I wanted.  I wandered Michael’s for some inspiration and found some pipe cleaners.  Probably haven’t touched a pipe cleaner since I was 11, but they were perfect!  I wrapped three layers around the wreath with the ribbon and secured every few inches with a pipe cleaner then poofed up the ribbon to create the look.

Valentine's Wreath Hearts

The pink glittery hearts were a Dollar Tree score.  Hot glued those babies on to add a little pizzaz to the meshy ribbon.

It looks adorable on our front door.  Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?  I’ll be sharing more of my holiday decorating next week.

{Linking Up: Tatertots & Jello, I Heart Nap Time, Nest of Posies}

Dresser to Entertainment Center {Tutorial}

Two weeks before Christmas, if you remember, I finally found a few options to use to repurpose a dresser into an entertainment center in our living room. Once I narrowed down which piece would work best in the space I was determined to finish the makeover before our Christmas Eve party. I did it! A few days ahead of schedule too!

Don’t you love how it turned out?

Dresser to Entertainment Center After

First, let me share why I needed to replace our existing entertainment center.

Old Entertainment Center

Our sweet, little bulldog Stella decided that our entertainment center needed a little distressing. The entire base looked like this. Thank goodness her puppy chewing phase is over. {Knock on wood.}

Since I have a couple furniture painting projects under my belt, with the teal dresser and dining table and chairs, this one went pretty smoothly. Here’s how I did it.

Dresser to Entertainment Center Before

When I saw this dresser at the thrift store, I loved the curved lines, the detail and how solid the piece was. Removing the top left and right drawers would make the perfect space for the cable box and the Hubs’ game systems.

Dresser to Entertainment Center Hardware Before

The hardware, I didn’t love so much. I knew that would be an easy fix with a trip to Home Depot. This was the perfect fit for our repurposed entertainment center.

Dresser to Entertainment Center Sanded

I removed the drawers and hardware and wiped the entire piece down. Cleaning before sanding might sound a little ridiculous, but you don’t know where the piece has been! Using my Dad’s palm sander {I really need to get one of my own.} I gave everything a light sanding using 120 grit sand paper. It is possible to sand by hand, but the palm sander really speeds up the process. Since I knew I wouldn’t be needing the top left and right drawers I set them aside. Once everything is sanded, give everything another good wipe down with a damp towel and tack cloth. This will remove all the sanding dust and give you a clean painting surface.

Dresser to Entertainment Center Dresser Primed

Dresser to Entertainment Center Drawers Primed

Once your surface is clean it is time to prime. I used Zinsser Cover Stain Primer. The primer is awesome and goes on smoothly, covers any color imperfections and a quart was more than enough. I rolled one coat of primer on using a small foam roller and a foam brush for the edges and details.

Dresser to Entertainment Center Coat 1

Dresser to Entertainment Center Drawers Coat 1

I allowed the primer to dry for almost 24 hours before painting. I decided on black since it not only coordinated with the rest of the decor in the room, but also was a classic color that would last for years to come. I used Behr Premium Plus Self Priming Interior paint, semi gloss in Black Suede. I purchased a quart of the paint and it was just enough. I rolled the black paint on using a high quality roller and brush for the details. I have found that using a high quality, short nap, roller for the color gives you the best results in the end.

Stella

{Cute Puppy Break}

I do all my refurbishing projects in the basement. Stella is always baffled where I go and what I do down there. She doesn’t dare make the trek down those stairs.

Dresser to Entertainment Center Coat 2

Dresser to Entertainment Center Drawers Coat 2

I let the first coat dry for three hours then applied a second coat. In between coats, you may need to lightly sand any drips or imperfections in the paint. Depending on your piece and how well everything was covered, two coats will probably be all you need.

For some reason, I do not have photos of the next step. Just imagine with me….

Once the entire dresser was painted, the original plan was to have my Dad measure and cut a piece of wood to slide in the spaces where the top left and right drawers had been to create a shelf. When my dad came to measure, he had a better idea. One that included a crow bar and hammer. I was freaking! Instead of cutting a shelf, he was able to pry up the center wood piece that the drawers tracked on. A little wood filler and some sanding later and I was able to paint the inside of the drawers. So much easier than cutting a shelf! He’s a handyman genius!

Dresser to Entertainment Center Hardware After

Now that everything was painted, it was time to find some new hardware. I searched Home Depot and Lowe’s and neither had anything that would fit in the existing drill holes. I was so frustrated since I really didn’t like the original hardware. I was getting closer and closer to my Christmas Eve deadline so I decided to just spray paint the hardware. I used Rust-Oleum Nickel spray paint. Two coats later and I actually was liking the hardware. It is amazing what some spray paint can do.

I love how the piece looks in the room. It is amazing how paint can transform an old piece, give it character and repurpose it into something new!

{Linking Up: Not Just a Housewife, Fancy Little Things, Tatertots & Jello, I Heart Nap Time}

Five Things I’m Loving {January}

The new year is here in full force. Lots of planning, scheduling and dreaming has been going on in my head so far in 2013. With the new year I am going to be starting a new feature the first Monday of each month: Five Things I’m Loving. Aside from my crafting and decorating I wanted to share a little more about me and my style. I’ll share fashion, food, places I’ve been, things I’ve learned, really anything. I figured since I have already invited you into my home, I’ll let you get to know me a little better!

Five Things Banner JPEG

one.

JCrew Lady Day Coat

I fell in love with this J.Crew Lady Day Coat in Retro Jade the first time I spotted it in the catalog back in September. Turns out my online stalking paid off and I scored it for an amazing 60% off. Thank you after Christmas sales!

two.

Bulldog Salt & Pepper Shakers

Yes, they are bulldog salt and pepper shakers! Thank you Pottery Barn! We received these from my parents for Christmas. I laugh every time I use them. Aren’t they cute?

three.

Dyson Digital Slim Animal

I have been dying for a new vacuum for almost two years now. Coincidently about since the same time we got Stella. This Dyson Digital Slim for Animals is amazing. Again, a Christmas score from my parents. I gets up all the dog hair, fits under all of our furniture and works like a dream on our area rug in the living room. It even sucked up the needles from the Christmas tree. Is it weird to say I love a vacuum?

four.

Pinterest Craft Room Board

I’m not sure if it the after holidays chaos that has hit or the urge to purge and organize for a new year, but I am itching big time to redo and reorganize my craft room. I am running out of storage space, hate sharing it with the exercise equipment and ready for a change. I want to be able to make it my Monograms and Makeovers headquarters too. Using Pinterest to collect all of the inspiration and dreaming until I can make the redo a reality.

five.

Gold Toe Wedges

One of my favorite blogs to read is The Small Things Blog. Kate always has amazing hair and makeup ideas and tips, plus awesome tutorials. A few months ago she posted a quick crafty tutorial painting gold toes on a pair of wedges. I had a pair of black, faux suede Payless wedges that needed a little snazzing up. I followed her tutorial and LOVE how they turned out. Now I just need somewhere to wear them. {Hint, hint Hubs.}

What are you loving these days?

60th Birthday Gift {Favorite Memory Post Cards}

Favorite Memory Post Cards

Last Saturday, my Dad turned 60.  My mom and I planned a surprise party for him and he was so incredibly surprised.  So glad we got him!

I don’t know about you, but my Dad is one of the hardest people to buy for.  If he wants something he gets it himself, if you ask him what he wants he always says nothing and his birthday is four days after Christmas.  Back in the summer I saw this idea on Pinterest and thought it was perfect for a milestone birthday.  My mom and I complied a list of family and friends new and old and mailed self stamped and addressed post cards with instructions to everyone.  It was so fun getting the cards in the mail and reading all the stories.

Memory Post Cards Album

I put everything together in an album from Michael’s and cut out the art for the cover using my Silhouette SD and white adhesive vinyl.

The gift was a success and it is a great idea for milestone birthdays and anniversaries.

Monogram Lucite Tray

Monograms Lucite Tray

I made a monogram lucite tray for our coffee table during my living room redo this summer.  It has come in pretty handy and I figured one would be a great gift for my aunt and uncle for Christmas.  They spend a lot of time at their pool during the summer and a tray to carry drinks out would be perfect.

Monograms Lucite Tray Supplies

I found a bright, summery coral fabric to use for the backing and a plain lucite tray from Amazon.  I cut their monogram using white adhesive vinyl and my Silhouette SD.

Monogram Lucite Tray Mod Podge

After applying the ‘E’ onto the tray {Make sure you reverse the letter since you applying it to the underside of the tray.} I coated the underside of the tray with Mod Podge.  If you don’t have adhesive vinyl or a Silhouette or similar cutting machine you can simply print a letter and trace onto paper and Mod Podge onto the tray.

Monogram Lucite Tray Mod Podge Fabric

After applying the Mod Podge, carefully place your fabric onto the underside of the tray right side down.  Let dry for about an hour and apply another coat of Mod Podge to the wrong side of the fabric.  If you don’t have fabric you could use paper, wrapping paper, wall paper, anything really.  That’s the beauty of Mod Podge!  Again, let dry for about an hour and apply one last coat of Mod Podge.

Monogram Lucite Tray details

Once you have allowed the final coat of Mod Podge to dry you are all set to enjoy your tray!  You may have to trim a few frayed edges to finish.  Since we applied everything to the underside, the tray is safe to use with liquids and foods and can be wiped clean between uses.

The tray is great for entertaining or organizing items on a coffee table, dresser or desk.  They make great gifts too!

{Linking Up: Not Just A Housewife, Tatertots & Jello, I Heart Nap Time}

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Subway Art

Happy New Year!

I’m not big on resolutions.  I rather call them goals, or maybe even a general, year long to do list.

There are things I would like to accomplish, personally and professionally for Monograms and Makeovers.  Through research and educating myself, I am looking forward to big things for 2013!

Have a safe and healthy New Year!

It’s Vintage {Notre Dame Starter Jacket}

Notre Dame Starter Jacket

{Photo courtesy of an envious co worker}

Yup, that’s a vintage Starter Jacket from the early 90’s.  You’re jealous right?  If you’re my age you definitely had one.  Most girls I know had Charlotte Hornets {Are they even the Charlotte Hornets anymore?} because they liked the colors, teal and purple.  Me, I had to have Notre Dame.

 This one, isn’t my original, but a pretty close second, thanks to my best, Sarah.  See, last year the girl shocked, surprised and awed me with my first Erin Condren Life Planner.  {You can read about it here.}  I had told her the planner was one of my top gifts of all time, right up there with my Notre Dame Starter Jacket my parents gave me in 5th grade.  Since I’m pretty sure they don’t make Starter Jackets anymore, she scoured Ebay and found this gem.  It is in perfect condition and she got it for a steal!  I’m such a lucky girl.

I’ll probably be wearing this while watching my undefeated Notre Dame play in the BCS Championship Game on January 7th.  GO IRISH!

Christmast {Latergram}

Instagram Christmas

Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas with family and friends.

Just wanted to share a little Latergram of our holiday.  If you follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram – Becks519 you may have already seen these.

After all the stress and to do lists, Christmas Eve was a huge success at our house.  Christmas Day I went to mass with my mom and Babe.  Enjoyed a much needed nap with the hubs. And, had dinner at my parents’ house with Babe, hubs and Stella.  As always it was delicious.  The best part – dessert.  My dad made an amazing Barefoot Contessa Mocha Chocolate Icebox Cake.  To. Die. For.  Eric Daddy is an amazing cook, by the way.  I am very excited over bulldog salt and pepper shakers and a new Dyson.  Hubs had a very Merry Notre Dame Christmas this year.  GO IRISH!

How were your holidays?  Are you looking to a little sane time after the New Year like me?