Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chalk Paint and a Table Makeover

Chalk paint.
Milk paint.
Chalkboard paint.
These types of paints are all the rage these days in the furniture consignment and shabby chic market.
This week I decided to make my own chalk paint.
I do have Anne Sloan chalk paint, but I'll discuss that product at a later time.
Chalk paint is easy to make.
You'll need:
Plaster of Paris
Flat Latex Paint
Hot Water
Small Plastic Mixing Bucket
Paint Stick for Mixing
Mix 1/2 cup of hot water and 1/2 cup of Plaster of Paris together in the plastic mixing bucket.  Mix thoroughly with the paint stick.  A mixer will work for this step as well.  However, the mixer should be for paint only- not food preparation.  You want to eliminate any and all lumps.  Next, mix 1 1/2 cups of a latex paint of your choice with the Plaster of Paris mixture. I used a quality sample paint from Sherman Williams. Again, mix thoroughly.
The above recipe works great for me.  I love the consistency- not too thick or too watery.  However, feel free to add more Plaster of Paris if you want the chalk paint thicker.  The Plaster of Paris will also lighten the latex paint color slightly. I had extra paint left over and stored it in a covered glass jar to use for a future project.
I picked up a table from The Salvation Army.  I loved it's shape, but it was UGLY!  This table was a great chalk paint project.  With chalk paint, you do not have to sand or prime. Just apply the mixture with a good quality brush.  Woo Hoo!  Because the top of the table had a glossy finish, I decided to sand it down to the bare wood before painting. Again, it was not necessary, just a personal preference.
Enjoy the photos~
Sorry, I do not have any before pics.  I always forget to take pictures until I'm halfway or even finished with the projects.

I applied two coats of chalk paint to the table and sanded it to give it a distressed, shabby look.  I followed up by applying 5 coats of Polyacrylic to seal it.  Polyacrylic is waterbased.  Oil based products have an unbearable smell for me so I don't use them.
A close up of the top.  Halfway through the sanding process, my hand sander broke.

I finished the sanding process by hand. A lot of muscle work but worth every sore muscle I had the following day.
This is the finished product waiting to be adorned in one of my shops.  She is a beauty if I say so myself.  She even has a removable leaf- an extra bonus.
She is now in her spot in my booth awaiting the perfect owner to come along and take her to a new home.
Have you had any experiences with chalk paint? Please share!
Thanks for stopping by~

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Discarded Book Journals: A Tutorial

This week I will be participating in this local outdoor event with a very creative friend of mine.

We will be marketing in the Artist and Crafters Market.  I've created unique journals to sell in our booth.  I create journals from discarded books, which I display in one of my consignment corners.  Each journal is unique and has a story of its own. I LOVE, LOVE books, and I'm a sucker for patterns.  I have been lucky to find a batch of Reader's Digest books at a college bookstore at a very minimal price.  I love the Reader's Digest books because the book covers are very decorative, super cute, and have great patterns. 
A few samples from my most recent book store scavenger hunt.  Look at all the patterns and colors.
To begin the transformation process, I use an Xacto knife to remove the bound pages from the book.
I am left with the front and back covers of the book.
Sometimes I save the gutted pages for other projects.  However, this time, I will place the pages in the recycling bin.  Still good though, right?
This is what I'm left with. What an assortment!
Using a heavy duty paper cutter, I remove the front and back covers from the spine.

It is easy to do.  No real muscle work required in this step.  The muscle work is coming soon.
I band the front and back covers together.  It's easier to keep up with the pieces this way.
I save the spines that were not damaged in the cutting process.  I will eventually transform them into bookmarks.  That will be another tutorial later.
I take the measurements of the book over.
I always round down to the nearest quarter of an inch.  I don't do well with cutting paper into eighths.
It doesn't take long to whip through the stack of books I have.  I'm loving the covers more and more. How about you?
Now it's paper cutting time. I prefer using colored paper, however from time to time I will use plain white.  It is definitely not my first choice.
I cut 80 sheets of paper for each journal at 5" x 7 1/2".  Luckily, I can get two pages from one sheet of paper with little waste.  Again ,I band this step to keep the materials for each journal together.
I add a pocket to the front of each journal for tags and small paper items.  To do this I take a 12"x12" piece of  double sided scrapbook paper and cut it down to 10"x10".  I then score it horizontally at 7 1/2", turn the paper and score vertically at 5".  Fold the 
7 1/2" score line up creating a pocket and fold the 5" score line in half creating a page. EASY~
I, then use my Cinch to begin the book binding process.  Punching the holes into each book is the most time consuming and labor intensive.  I really have to flex my muscles doing this step. 

After punching all the books, I band them again.  All the banding is not necessary if you are only doing one book, but I have almost a dozen today.
This is a view of the front pocket. 
The finished books on a trial run display on the dining room table.
I created 11 journals in a few hours.  I will be making a few more to fill the display rack.  I will be adding the journals I don't sell to my etsy shop after the show.
I hope you enjoyed the tutorial~
Thanks for stopping by!

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