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Posts Tagged ‘decorating’

Egg Cups As Mini Vases

To justify collecting “stuff,” I try to think of as many ways as possible to use my collections. For example, every March and April, I use my eclectic collection of egg cups to bring spring joy to my home. I fill them with sweet treats, flowers, or candles and use them as decorations. If you don’t already have a collection of egg cups and you’d like to start one, now is the time to start looking! Egg cups are normally inexpensive, unless you buy rare antique ones. Most of mine were treasures found at peddlers’ fairs, flea markets, antique stores, import stores, department stores, and discount stores, such as Tuesday Morning, T.J. Maxx, and Marshall’s. If you have any ideas or suggestions on other creative ways to use egg cups, I’d love to hear about them!

Egg Cups as Individual Candy Dishes:
Egg Cup Candy Dish Whether you use egg cups that match your china or you use a variety of egg cups, they are the perfect size to fill with sweet treats for your guests. Don’t feel restricted to filling them with jelly beans – a single chocolate truffle would add elegance to your table!

Egg Cups as Candle Holders:
Egg Cup Candle Holders Start by spreading a small amount of paper grass on a platter, tray, or serving dish. Arrange your egg cups on the platter, trying to vary the heights and colors of the cups. Put tea lights inside each of the egg cups. If desired, sprinkle Easter egg candy on the grass around the egg cups. I particularly like Cadbury’s Mini Eggs!

Egg Cups as Mini Vases:
Egg Cups as Mini Vases This is my favorite way to use my collection of egg cups. After arranging the egg cups on a tray, again placing the taller ones in the center and surrounding those with shorter ones, I use a measuring cup to fill them with water. Then I go out into my yard and look for small flowers and little bits of greenery. I try to keep the flowers and greens to scale with the size of my egg cups. Obviously, putting a camellia blossom inside an egg cup wouldn’t work, because the blossom would topple over. Most herbs work well in this case, because they have small leaves.

Decorating with egg cups is eggs-tremely fun!

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giving an old chair new life
If you’ve got the urge to spruce up your place and don’t want to spend a lot of money, go shopping in your own home first. Odds are you already have something in your home or garage that can be upcycled into something fabulous. Two weeks ago the decorating bug bit me and I’ve been busy transforming my oldest son’s former bedroom into a guest room. Gone into storage are his Pez collection and other bric-a-brac that he hasn’t looked at for over a decade. A new bedspread and throw pillows turn a formerly male-feeling room into a much brighter space. By hanging a painting taken from another room and placing one of my chintz teacups on the nightstand, the room instantly becomes inviting and cozy. “A small chair for guests to sit on or to put their luggage on would be a nice addition,” I think to myself. I don’t want to spend a lot of money on it, though. That’s when I remember an old chair in the garage. Buried under a pile of crap and with water-stained legs and a flat sticky seat, I’d almost forgotten about the chair I purchased over 20 years ago for my first furniture refinishing project. Time flies while you’re raising three kids.

I wanted to give the chair a shabby chic feel, so I did a little research on glazing furniture and then went off shopping for supplies. It was a relatively easy process and I’m really pleased with the chair’s transformation. It’s the perfect addition to my updated guest room!

Paint Supplies:
paint supplies for glazing furniture Kilz Primer
Satin or gloss spray paint
Glaze
Test-size flat paint, tinted to desired color
Wood glue, if necessary
supplies for glazing furnitureSmall paint brush
Rags, old ripped up tee-shirts worked great
Plastic container
Measuring cup
Paint stick
Bucket of water

Supplies for reupholstering:
batting for reupholsteringThick batting for cushion and thin batting to wrap around the seat

fabric for reupholsteringUpholstery fabric for seat cover and black fabric for underneath the seat
Large piece of paper, pen, and ruler for seat cover pattern
Supplies for reupholsteringStaple gun, hammer, and safety goggles

Instructions on Glazing the Chair:
1. Remove seat.
2. If the chair is wobbly, remove braces, gently knock apart the chair frame just enough to apply wood glue into the spaces. Screw back on the braces or use a vise grip to hold the parts together. Let glue set.
3. Minimal sanding is required, because the chair is meant to have an aged look and slight defects and imperfections are desired.
4. Spray one to two coats of primer, letting each coat dry thoroughly.
chair after priming
5. Spray with base paint as many times as necessary to get even coverage, letting each layer dry sufficiently.
6. Watch instructional videos Glazing Furniture 101 at All Things Thrifty.
7. Mix together 1 cup glaze with 1/4 cup paint in plastic container.
8. Brush on some of the tinted glaze and wipe off with a damp rag. Repeat process until all areas of the piece have been glazed. Rinse off rags in water as you go along. Layers of glaze can be reapplied for a darker look. Chair after glazing

Instructions on Reupholstering the Seat:
1. Remove tacks or staples from the seat cover underneath the seat.
2. Make the fabric pattern: using the seat as a template, trace around it on a large piece of paper. Determine the thickness of the batting you are using for the seat. Add this amount to the perimeter of the seat tracing. Add another inch or so to allow for stretching and tacking the fabric onto the back. Seat cover pattern
3. Cut out the seat fabric using the outer line. Cut the thin wrap-around batting using the second line in from the edge. Cut out the black fabric (for underneath the chair) using the third line from the edge. And finally cut the dense batting the size of the seat tracing.
4. On a clean surface with the right side of the seat fabric facing down, place the thin batting over the fabric. Next add the thick foam batting and then the seat itself.
5. Staple through the layers along one side first and then pull the layers taut on the opposite side and staple them down. Repeat with the other two sides. Adjust the corners and staple them down.
6. With seat cushion facing down, place the black fabric on top of the seat. Tuck under the raw edges and staple all the way around the seat.
7. Screw the seat bottom back on the chair and stand back and admire your fabulous creation!
Completed glazed chair

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Surprise crossed my face when, several years ago, my daughter informed me that Easter was her favorite holiday. “Really? Not Christmas?” I replied while thinking about all the years I attempted to create wonderful Christmas memories for my children. Holiday season after holiday season, colorful decorations covered every nook and cranny in our home and the scent of fresh pine mingled with the sweet smell of cookies baking. The Christmas holidays always sparkled with good times, love, and laughter. I listened while my daughter explained about her favorite holiday and soon my initial disappointment over perceived Christmas fantasies faded away. I hadn’t failed, after all. The good times, love and laughter I longed for my children to have, were not just restricted to one holiday. For my daughter, Easter brings the promise of spring, with its sense of renewal, fresh colors, and beautiful flowers. But it also brings back fond memories of silly egg dyeing experiments, crazy, competitive Easter egg hunts with her brothers, and much anticipated visits from her grandparents. She’s an adult now and home for only a brief visit, but I can still create good memories for her. She was childishly happy when I asked her, “Would you and your friends like to dye Easter eggs?” After gathering supplies, I let the three creative gals take over. Below are tips and techniques on creative egg dyeing from my daughter and her friends.

Supplies:

Hard boiled eggs
Box of assorted food colors
Boiling water
Vinegar
Bowls
Spoons
Electrician’s tape
Sharp scissors
Rubber bands
Paper punches
Contact paper
Old pantyhose
Small leaves
String, optional

Electrical Tape:

Electrical tape is great for cutting out shapes and sticking to an egg. Because it is so sticky, it can be used multiple times and is easily repositioned. Remember to gently smooth down all edges of the tape, so that dye does not seep under the tape and clean lines are formed. Plan ahead the sequence of colors you will be dipping – always start with a white egg or dye the egg the lightest color first. Let the egg dry between colors.

Contact Paper:
Smooth, adhesive, shelf paper, such as Contact Paper, acts like electrical tape by blocking out dye, but the advantage the shelf paper has is that it can be punched out into shapes. Using paper punches, punch out shapes from the adhesive shelf paper. Peel off the paper backing, place shapes on egg, and smooth edges down. Dye egg as desired. Bigger and simpler shapes punch out better than small intricate shapes. Some shapes may require additional trimming with scissors.

Rubber Bands:

Wrap rubber bands tightly and securely around an egg. For more interesting and intricate designs, vary the width and number of rubber bands used. Dye the egg and let it dry. After drying, some of the bands can be removed and the egg can be dipped in another color.

Leaves and Nylons:
Select small leaves that can lie flat against the shell. Herb leaves and carrot leaves work well for this technique. Place leaf on an egg, being careful to spread and flatten all parts of the leaf. Cut out a piece of sheer pantyhose and wrap it around the egg. Twist stocking at the back of the egg and tie it tightly with a small rubber band or a piece of dental floss or string. Dye the egg. Let it dry completely before removing the stocking and the leaf. The nylon wrapped around the egg slows down the drying process.

Tips:
1. The best way to hard boil eggs is to put eggs in a single layer in a pot and cover them with one to two inches of cold water. Bring the water to a boil and immediately reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for no more than a minute and then turn off the heat. Cover the pot and let the eggs sit for 10 to 12 minutes, depending on the number of eggs and the amount of water used. Drain water and run cold water over the eggs in the pot until they have cooled. Blot eggs dry before dyeing them.

2. Don’t rush the dyeing process and be sure to let the eggs dry between colors.

3. To avoid an egg from turning an ugly brown color, it helps to plan out the color sequence before dyeing each egg.

4. Keep hands clean to prevent dye transfer to other parts of the egg.

5. I lined a baking pan with paper towels and placed a cooling rack in it, to provide the eggs a place to dry.

6. Refrigerate completed eggs as soon as possible.

7. For another fun way to dye eggs, check out my post on Tie-Dyed Eggs.

Have fun!

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