Category Archives: Paint

Kitty Cottage

I have a dog and four cats.  The dog is the newest addition.  She joined our pack as a 4 month old puppy and considers herself another one of the cats.  The cats disagree.  The dog even sits in the windows like a cat.  I used to correct this behavior because I didn’t think the window shelf in our old residence would support her.  I gave up because she doesn’t understand why all the other cats get to sit in the window!As you can see, she also thinks cat beds are fair game.  This would be fine except the cats reject the beds after she takes them over.

This brings me to my mission: Create a dog-proof cat haven.  I saw this cat house in a Martha Stewart magazine a long time ago and kept it in the back of my mind.

This cardboard box found it’s way into our home a few days ago and Mango immediately took a liking to it.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to make that haven!

Materials needed:

  • One intact cardboard box large enough to fit kitty comfortably
  • A bunch of other cardboard scraps
  • Hot glue gun
  • Paint, brushes, etc.
  • Pencil (or something else to write with)
  • Scissors and/or utility knife
  • Cat bed (I used an old polar fleece blanket)


  1. Remove any tape or other ickiness from the box.  Carefully pull apart the side and bottom seams and glue the box back together inside out leaving the top open.  This will save you from having to paint several layers over all that writing.
  2. This part is probably going to come across as confusing, but I will do my best to explain it.  (Note:  Feel free to scrap my roof idea and create your own.  I will not be insulted.) This is where we work on the top flaps to make the base structure for the roof.  Fold the sides of the shorter flaps at an angle towards the inside of the box(I drew a line in pencil first).  Glue these folds to the inside of the longer flaps so the top edge of the shorter flap is the same height as the top edge of the longer flap.  Make sure you leave enough space in between all of the flaps to have access to the inside of the finished house.  Pictures will probably help.
  3. Time for the roof.  Cut a large piece of cardboard as long as the box.  When folded as a tent, this cardboard needs to reach from the bottom of one longer flap to the bottom of the other longer flap.  Basically, this cardboard tent needs to sit easily on top of the box so you won’t be able to see the longer flaps anymore (they are just for support).  Feel free to piece together multiple pieces of cardboard.  My cardboard came from a long skinny box, so I chose to keep the skinny side of the box for the top edge of my roof.
  4. Cut a rectangular piece of cardboard large enough to fill the gap in between the shorter flaps and the roof.  Fold the edges at an angle like the flaps in step 2.  Glue the pieces in place on the inside of the roof.  Do not glue the roof to the box.  This will be your access point to the inside of the finished house!
  5. Draw a door on the front of the house large enough for the cat.  Mango is pretty tubby, so her door is on the larger side (but, not big enough for the dog).  You can draw windows too!
  6. Use a utility knife to cut out the door and windows.  Be careful with this step…these knives are really sharp!
  7. Let kitty check on your progress.
  8. Paint the outside of the house as desired.  You may want to skip this step if your kitty happens to eat cardboard.  Mine doesn’t.  I chose light blue with dark blue streaks for the sides and a mixture of silver, gold, and bronze for the roof.  I’m not a big fan of one flat color…can you tell?  Give me a little texture any day!
  9. Decorate the house however you want.  I made a rooster weather vane for mine!  Look below for directions on how to make it!
  10. Add a cat bed or blanket to the inside and you’re all set!

The Weather Vane

I’m not going to go into great detail for this part, but I will give a brief description.

I used thinner corugated cardboard, 4 toothpicks, tiny ball of yarn, hot glue, and bronze paint.

Draw out a rooster standing on an arrow onto the cardboard.  Also draw an E, W, N, and S.  Use a utility knife to cut these out.  Stick two toothpicks through the ball so they are perpendicular and the ball sits in the middle of the four ends.  Stick the end of one toothpick in the bottom of this ball and the end of the last toothpick in the top of the ball.  Thoroughly coat the ball with hot glue and allow to dry before continuing.  Apply a small amount of glue to the ends of each toothpick except for the bottom one and put the cardboard pieces in the correct places (rooster on top and letters in compass order around the four shorter points).  Paint the entire weather vane with bronze paint.  Stick the bottom toothpick into the roof of the house.  Use glue to secure.  I needed to use a nail to start the hole in the roof and I added a few cardboard pieces to the inside of the roof for additional support for the toothpick.

Linking up here:

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Filed under Cardboard, Paint, Pets

Tea Canister

My sister recently found a really cool tea and spice shop in our local downtown called PA Dutch Tea & Spice Company.  I was so excited about all the impending loose tea I was going to buy, that I had to find some place to store it all!  I had just finished the tea in this box, so it was the perfect solution!  Yes, it was a tea box to begin with, but a very specific tea box and I was looking for something a little more general.  On a side note…my mom made my tea basket (in the picture) before I was even born.  Isn’t it fantabulous???

We finally visited the tea shop today (I painted the box about a week ago in anticipation!) and I loved it!  One whole wall of any spice you can possibly imagine and another whole wall of loose teas!  Flavors I’ve never heard of like Rootbeer Chai and Chocolate Rooibos.  I opted for Rose Rooibos and Mango Green Tea….heavenly!  They smelled so yummy, I’m surprised we didn’t buy them all!

Materials needed:

  • Canister (mine is metal, but plastic could be used)
  • Paint (I used dark blue, light blue, and white)
  • Paint brushes
  • Corks
  • Knife to make stamps
  • Mod Podge
  • Stencil for lettering (optional)


  1. Make sure you start with a clean canister.  This is what mine used to look like!  Not bad, but like I said, not the tea I planned on storing in there!
  2. Coat the entire outside with a few layers of your base paint.  I think it took three coats for mine to cover completely.
  3. You can make the stamps while you wait for the can to dry!  Use a knife to carefully carve shapes into the top of a cork.  I chose a straight line and a petal sort of shape.  I like the cork because it adds some texture to the print, but you can certainly use a rubber stamp!
  4. Once the canister is dry, use your stamps to create a pattern.
  5. Next is the lettering.  I free handed, but you can use a stencil or stamp or whatever else you prefer.
  6. Touch-ups may be necessary at this point.  You should do these before sealing your project in the next step.
  7. Time to coat with Mod Podge!  Make sure your canister is completely dry and then get to coating!  I chose two layers for durability.
  8. Add the tea!  Voila!

Linking up here:

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Filed under Containers, Metal, Paint

Recycled Flower Pot

My apartment complex doesn’t recycle, so I always feel guilty throwing recyclables away.  Therefore, I try to re-purpose my “trash” before disposing of it.  My inspiration for this project comes from the following three facts.  Fact 1:  I have been holding on to this coffee canister for weeks trying to come up with a new job for it.  Fact 2:  I have some baby spider plants in need of a home and no spare pots to put them in.  Fact 3:  I am always drawn to the fun pots at the store, but hate paying the elevated prices for these planters.  Brilliant idea!  Make my own fun planter out of a container destined to sit in a landfill for all eternity and find a home for my baby spider plants at the same time!

Materials needed:

  • Plant needing a home and potting soil
  • Container large enough for this plant
  • Something to punch holes through container (I used a large screw and screw driver)
  • Piece of fabric large enough to cover the intended area (fabric on completed project will be slightly darker than original fabric)
  • Paint in a coordinating color
  • Mod Podge
  • Paint brushes


  1. Begin by removing all labels from from the container.  Thoroughly wash the container and allow to dry completely before proceeding.
  2. Punch a few drainage holes in the bottom of the container.  I made three holes, but this is dependent on the size of the container and the holes.  This prevents the soil from becoming overly soggy and keeps the plant from rotting.  Just remember to use a drip tray under your pot!
  3. Decide which area you wish to cover with fabric.  I chose the flat area in the middle of my canister.  Paint any area that you do not intend on covering with fabric.  You do not need to paint the very bottom or the entire inside of the container.  You only need to paint the inside of the container to just below the soil line.  Multiple layers of paint may be necessary to achieve full coverage.
  4. Measure the height and the circumference (the distance around the container) of the section you intend to cover with fabric.  Add 1″-2″ of fabric to the circumference measurement to allow for overlapping.  Carefully trim any frayed edges.  Paint a small section of the container with Mod Podge and place the first end of fabric over the Mod Podge.  Smooth out the fabric.
  5. Continuing painting on the Mod Podge and smoothing out the fabric until you run out of fabric.  Allow the container to dry before continuing to the next step.
  6. Touch up any painted areas that need touching up.  Coat any area that is painted or covered in fabric with Mod Podge.  Overlap the Mod Podge onto the unpainted surfaces to ensure complete coverage.
  7. Apply two more coats of Mod Podge.  Wait until the project is dry before applying the next layer.
  8. When the container is completely dry, add your plant!  If you are new to potting plants, this video provides an excellent tutorial.

**This post was shared on Trash to Treasure Decorating**


Filed under Containers, Fabric, Paint

Fun Heart Frame

I started collecting picture frames in college.  None of them match (but I have already told you about my eclectic tastes in decorating).  Since college I have moved about 6 times.  Needless to say, many of my frames have seen better days.  This particular frame had several chips across the front detracting from the overall appearance (I forgot to take a before picture).  Rather than trash the frame, I decided to give it new life.  Since Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I picked a heart theme.  Not exactly a genius concept, but I like it!  Husband isn’t thrilled to be featured in a pink frame, but he can deal 😛  Sorry about Husband’s tongue in the picture…I have very few pictures of him without a goofy face.

On another note, I edited my instructions for the Easy Refurbished Dog Collar to include interfacing inside the collar.  This will make the collar stronger and last longer!

Now, back to the picture frame…

Materials needed:

  • Picture frame
  • Different colors of acrylic paint (I chose white and three shades of pink)
  • Stencil with different size hearts
  • Sponge brushes
  • Mod Podge


  1. Wipe down your picture frame to remove any dirt or dust.  Paint your base color on the frame.  You may need to use several layers to achieve full coverage.  Wait for each layer to dry completely before starting the next layer.
  2. Pick several different sizes of heart stencils to add variation to the frame.  Start with the largest size and position it on the frame.  It is ok if the heart runs off the edge a bit as long as you position it so that it still looks like a heart.  Use the sponge brush to lightly apply a layer of a contrasting paint color through the stencil and onto the frame.  Repeat this process with different colors on different sections of the frame.  Be creative about their placements!  If some of the edges of the hearts don’t come out clean you can touch them up later or paint another heart over the rough spot.
  3. Wait for the paint to dry and repeat step 2 with a slightly smaller size heart.  You can begin overlapping some hearts using different colors of paint.
  4. Repeat this process for any other size hearts you wish to use.  I used two smaller heart stencils.
  5. Wait for the paint to dry and use the base color to touch-up any misshapen hearts or stray spots of paint.
  6. Apply a layer of Mod Podge to seal your frame.
  7. Once the frame is completely dry, you can add the picture of your Valentine!  Voila!  Super easy and really customizable.


Filed under Decorations, Paint, Wood

String Art – Wall decoration

How do you draw a circle using only straight lines?  Tangent lines!  Ok, so math dork humor aside, string art looks pretty cool, is easy to create, and is a very forgiving medium.

Materials needed:

  • A wood base (you can use scrap wood or purchase a wood plaque at your local craft store)
  • Paint (optional)
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • 1 inch nails (you will need quite a few of these depending on the size of your project)
  • Hammer
  • Embroidery floss in various colors
  • Hanging kit


  1. If you want to paint the wood base, start with this step.  If not, move onto the next.  Natural wood can be just as beautiful as painted wood, so this is your judgment call.  If you choose to paint the wood, allow it to dry fully before moving on to the next step.
  2. Decide what sort of pattern you want to create.  Basic string art begins with circles or straight lines.  You can run an internet search for string art to see all of the different options out there.  I will show how to create the string art shown at the top of this page, which is made up entirely of straight lines.  This picture shows a circle base.
  3. Draw your desired pattern on the wood.  You may choose to trace a bowl or plate for the circle or use a ruler for the straight lines.
  4. Hammer nails into the wood along the lines.  I positioned the nails about 1/2 inch apart (my project is roughly 16 x 12 inches).  You may choose to space them farther apart for a larger project or closer together for a smaller project.  Do not hammer the nails all the way into the wood.  You need to leave enough nail sticking out to tie string around.
  5. Tie the embroidery floss on your starter nail with a square knot and start weaving the string around the nails.  When you are finished with one string, tie it to a nail, but do not cut the string.  The fantastic thing about string art is that you can take off the string at any point and start over if you do not like the direction you are headed.
  6. Continue adding different colors of thread until you are pleased with the results.  Trim the excess thread.
  7. Install the hanging kit as per the manufacturer’s instructions and proudly display your art!(Note: the last string art was completed by a friend of mine)


Filed under Decorations, Paint, Wood