Wednesday, September 26, 2012

DIY Decoupaged Night Stand

Decoupage Night Stand
I've always been a student of slow decorating-- more out of necessity and budgetary restrictions than anything. But these days I am starting to see that decorating slowly is a really fun proces. I'm the type of person who is a perpetual decorator-- I'm always adding to things and nothing is ever 100% finished. Whether I am adding things to our tiny New York apartment, adding to my closet, or creating a monstrous doodle on my notebook, I'm never done embellishing. And I've got the stash of paints, Mod Podge, and fabric scraps underneath the couch to prove it. ;)

For as long as I can remember, my dad has been trying to get rid of this little wooden nightstand. Apparently his uncle or cousin or someone got a new tool and was just messing around with some wood and they made this little nightstand. Now my dad, who is the son antique shop owners with a furniture stripping business, does not like this nightstand. (My dad is a full-fledged furniture snob... and this nightstand is made of pine.) So when I asked if I could take it to New York with me, my dad was very happy. :)

Decoupage Night Stand
Since no one really cared about this piece of furniture, I figured it was okay to experiment with it. I received a note from Midori, asking if I wanted to use their products for any projects, and once I saw their selection of gift wrap, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with that old nightstand. :)

Decoupage Night Stand Decoupage Night Stand
The little night stand, pre Mod Podge. :) Also, the pineapple gift wrap I chose. I had a serious inner dilemma choosing between the pineapples and these crocodiles, but I decided that the pineapples might be (slightly) more practical. I still might go and buy those little crocodiles myself, though, because the Midori papers are incredibly thick and luxurious. Those whimsical crocodiles need to be permanently adhered to something. (Right?) ;)

Decoupage Night Stand
For the project, you need a piece of furniture, (obviously) some Mod Podge, (where would I be without that stuff) gift wrap, and a brush to spread the Mod Podge. Plan which way you want the design of your gift wrap to go and then spread a layer of Mod Podge onto your furniture. Place the paper where you want it to go, adding more Mod Podge along the way. It's really easy, but perhaps a little time-consuming.

Decoupage Night Stand
After your base layer of Mod Podge has dried, just add a few top layers to seal the paper onto the furniture. If you use enough Mod Podge, that paper won't go anywhere. Just be sure to do it in smaller layers so that you don't get buckling paper or drips.

Decoupage Night Stand
In the end it's a very cheap way to update a piece of furniture and make it look more expensive than it is. :)

Decoupage Night Stand Decoupage Night Stand
Definitely going for a whimsical themed bedroom, huh? ;)

Disclosure: A huge thanks to Midori who gave me these awesome papers so that I can make another project with Mod Podge. ;) As always, I would never promote something I would not buy myself... And now I need to brainstorm a project to buy and use those crocodile papers! ;)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Project 365: Week 38

This post is part of my Project 365 where I am taking one photo every day for a year. Click here to see all of my photos in the series-- and if you want to join, feel free to do so anytime! :) (All photos taken with a Nikon D7000.)

Project 365
Project 365
258/365: 9-14-12 A Friday trip to the Feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy. :) And then a punk rock show in the East Village.

Project 365
259/365: 9-15-12 Some Saturday screen printing experimentation.

Project 365
260/365: 9-16-12 Sunday happy hour in the East Village again.

Project 365
261/365: 9-17-12 Sean made challah bread! :)

Project 365
262/365: 9-18-12 Mz. FridaLovelace, the snaggletoothed office pup. ;)

Project 365
263/365: 9-19-12 Necklaces. :)

Project 365
264/365: 9-20-12 A Thursday night Bon Iver concert, thanks to Becky. :) :) :)

For more photography tips, see this post on digital photography tips for beginners. You can also check out the rest of my photos from the year for my Project 365!

If you want, you can always join the project!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Cheapskate Midwestern Dork's Guide to Living in New York City: Part 1

So I've been living in this city for about a month now, and there are quite a few things I've learned in the process. I lived in New York for a semester in 2010, but it feels a lot different the second time around... It might be the whole employment vs. internship thing. :) Here are a few things I've realized in the city so far:

1. Scooters are the greatest invention. They fit on the subway and you can get to the train station really fast. (I live 5 blocks away.)
DSC_8851 DSC_8859
Also, scooters are really great for late-night grocery store runs. :)

2. Speaking of grocery stores, Trader Joe's is the best. A bit crowded, but the best. And the cheapest. And when you don't want to pay the $2 bus fare, it's only an hour walk across the park to the closest T-Joes. Ha.
You can also buy a basil plant at said Trader Joe's. You might think it's a great investment, but it doesn't work out so well when you accidentally kill the plant 1.5 weeks later. (RIP.) ((Also, we need moaR sun.))

3. Wear cowboy boots when you feel like it.

4. Dance with old men on the Coney Island boardwalk when the situation presents itself.
Midwestern Dork's Guide to New York

5. When Rolling Rock is on sale at the grocery, buy 11 cases. (Why is beer so expensive in Manhattan?) The cashier might think you're an alcoholic/throwing a rager, but you know the truth. (That you'll just stash the beer away in strange places around the apartment like a chipmunk storing nuts for winter.)

6. Always buy sweaters with dogs on them whenever the situation presents itself. (Even if you don't work at a company all about dogs.)

7. These cookies are cheap and beyond delicious.

8. Strategic placement of Indiana barn pictures throughout the apartment filled with Indiana roommates is important.

9. Quidditch in Central Park is not nearly as cool as you might imagine. Just think dodgeball/bloodball with broomsticks... and no flying.

10. Gnomes are an acceptable form of apartment decor.
DSC_8837 DSC_8838

"Blue Steel." ;)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Project 365: Week 37

This post is part of my Project 365 where I am taking one photo every day for a year. Click here to see all of my photos in the series-- and if you want to join, feel free to do so anytime! :) (All photos taken with a Nikon D7000.)

Project 365
251/365: 9-7-12 The cutest thank-you note from the kindest apartment guest. ;)

Project 365
252/365: 9-8-12 A rainy Saturday in the Met.

Project 365
Project 365
253/365: 9-9-12 Sunday street fair.

Project 365
254/365: 9-10-12 Sometimes you just need a margarita on a Monday. ;)

Project 365
255/365: 9-11-12 "Do not bend, there is art in here."

Project 365
256/365: 9-12-12 The greatest little Schnauzer. (He writes blog posts, you know!)

Project 365
257/365: 9-13-12 My roommate, reading Vogue... where she works.

For more photography tips, see this post on digital photography tips for beginners. You can also check out the rest of my photos from the year for my Project 365!

If you want, you can always join the project!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

DIY Painted Geometric Dresser

Ok, so remember in one of my earlier posts about painting a filing cabinet I talked about this wonderful furniture graveyard at my old work in Indiana? In that same furniture scavenge, I also found an old (heavy) office cabinet. I thought it might make a nice dresser with some little drawers for the New York apartment. :)

Headboard-16 Headboard-17
The dresser/cabinet with the beginning of my Instax collection on the door. :)

This is what the cabinet looked like before:
My dad helped me add a little base at the bottom so that the doors wouldn't brush on the ground every time you openend them. I think this cabinet was hanging on the wall in one of the bank offices originally-- and now it's got a new life holding clothes.

Here's my dad painting some furniture. Heh. The table and chairs are my sister's, so he just painted the cabinet while he was painting her stuff. :) Those paint sprayers like the one my dad is using are INCREDIBLE.

DIY Geometric Dresser
And here's what the cabinet looked like in my room of the apartment all white and sterile-looking. At this point I was totally regretting the paint job because it looks like a hospital cabinet or something. But then I saw this print on A Beautiful Mess and I knew that I had to try something on the dresser. :)

You need:
DIY Geometric Dresser
A sponge cut in an equilateral triangle, paint, a plate, and of course, the trusty, trusty Mod Podge. #AmIrightAmy? ;) I used the matte kind.

Optional for this project-- a very kind boyfriend who helps you fill in the hundreds of triangles. Ha ha ha.

DIY Geometric Dresser
While this project is not very difficult, it is a bit on the tedious/time-consuming side. The first thing that I did to the dresser was stamp all of the triangles on the dresser as a template. Then Sean and I filled in all of the triangles with black paint. I contemplated using a potato as a stamp because there wouldn't be as many holes to fill in, but I'm glad that I used a sponge in the end because I didn't have to refill on paint as much.

Also-- Sean had never heard of a potato stamp. What person who grew up going to school in the United States of America doing finger paintings and art projects has never heard of a potato stamp?? :)

After you fill in all of the triangles, add a layer of Mod Podge on top so that your dresser is sealed. I've said it before and I'll say it a million times again, Mod Podge is the most incredible stuff for finishing projects!

A closeup of the print. Not perfect, but still a lot better than the white cabinet.


Some of my necklaces-- including a few from the Styled by Tori Spelling post I did a while back. :)

Nothing makes a room more cheerful than some Christmas lights and pennant banners. :)



Headboard-9 Headboard-4


And we've definitely got a black and white + color theme going on in the apartment. Kind of feels like my wardrobe, now that I think of it. :)

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