The Cheapest way to Frame a Canvas

framed boat pic

 

This project takes me back to my High School days when we stretched our own canvases and framed them ourselves for school assignments. This is the absolutely cheapest way to frame a piece of art, without having to get a frame.

screen molding measurements

Get yourself a piece of screen molding at the hardware store. They are less than $3 for 8 feet.

screen molding

They look like this from the front.

unframed boat picture

Get your unframed art.

lining up the trim

Hold your trim up to your painting and draw a pencil mark on the underside.

hacksaw for the trim

I used a little hack saw to cut the trim. I cut the top, then the bottom so it didn’t break and snap into a rough edge.

Tiny nails

I used these tiny nails.

nailing in the trim

They are tiny nails, so be careful not to hit your fingers. You can use a needle nose pliers to get started if it helps.

boat picture

Nail the side down, then do the opposite side, and repeat for the top and bottom.

trim on clalkboard

Match up the corners carefully. You can always sand them down if they overhang.

framed boat picture

Finished product!

framed chalkboard pic

Here’s another one! I think they look great, they are light weight and you can stain or paint the trim before nailing it onto your art.

Happy Framing!

My Dream Business Venture

I was recently approached by Kabbage.com asking me about my “Dream Business Venture”. Kabbage.com is a great company that provides small business loans online to help ambitious people like me start and grow their businesses. Now, thinking of my dream job isn’t a new concept to me, this is something I’ve been thinking about for the last year or so. It’s the thing that is inspiring the fiancée and I to move back to the Green Bay / Door County area this fall from the Milwaukee area. I would channel my passion and creativity into launching a new business by taking some time to build inventory. In this time (less than a year) I can see then what works best for me to make, what takes vs. saves time, and what people love to buy. Feedback from the public is one of the best things for me! How do my products work in the real world? That’s what I love to hear. We would love to work the craft fair circuit for the next year or so, which will be an awesome outlet for my creativity and get us ready to find the perfect storefront space in Door County for a Boutique store. It would be a source of income as well as great networking.

Where I’m at now: 

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Pics from my first craft fair! It was a success, and I would like to keep doing them. They will help me greatly with feedback from the locals and tourists what they look for in a great boutique store, and in my products.

fabric

I get a LOT of fabric for free simply by knowing the right people. I get inspired by trying to find matching fabrics to make bags out of.

fabric on a shelf

 

It may look a mess, but I know where everything is. I would love a great big workstation for my fabrics and sewing machines.

my paintings

I would like to display my art, as well as other local artists. Even having gallery showings and teaching art class.

my belts from goodwill

I hit the belt jackpot at the local thrift shops this week! I will use these to make straps for bags.

Striped bag

My first belt strap bag of the season, and more to come.

my creativity book

Ideas…

page from my creativity book

I have many books filled with ideas I would like to come to life.

picture of my friends

Of course I have my girls to keep me motivated! A few of them even have my bags too.

The Vision:

If I would start a business TODAY what would I do? Well, open a boutique store! It would not be like any other store you’ve walked into. We would be a blend of thrift, antique, home made, home grown, re-purposed and hand built. We would inspire friends and family to take their hobbies and turn them into something they can share with the community. I would love to teach classes as well: how to sew, fixing your clothes, how to paint, intro to wood stain, fun with Bondo… Things that I’ve learned over the years that have helped me be self sufficient I can easily teach to the community and help them to be more self reliant. My fiancée is a chef and would love to teach cooking classes as well as teaching people how to grow their own food.

boutique inspiration

Gorgeous inspiration and window front display.

My shop would be focused on a theme: taking what is existing and making it great again. Old wood, pallets, fabrics, antiques, curb finds, thrift store and garage sale goods, discarded paint. It can all be made great again with the right eye, and the right touch. I want to be someone that does that full time, and inspires others to do the same. I would love a small rack of clothing I hand selected from garage sales, and thrift shops that I can make look awesome by either dying or altering them. boutique with balloons

A place to work, socialize, play, be creative, and inspire. image link

Our joint dream business would be “Verbena Simple Living” on my part, where hand made and repurposed home decor and home goods are sold, and we inspire a simple lifestyle to the community. “Verbena Simple Eating” would be his venture, where he grows his own food, teaches others how to grow and cook, and he would even run a little kitchen 5 days a week where he can make the food he grows and do what he loves, garden and cook.

Boutique cafe

This will work just fine for the chef in my life.

Our ideal location would be a storefront space with living space above and workshop space in the back or above. We would have a storefront big enough for me to do my thing, and for him to do his thing along side of me. We would be selling a lifestyle, simple eating, crafting, home decor, and lowering your carbon footprint.

boutique with chalkboard

A window to decorate would help constantly churn my creativity. image link

boutique shelving idea

Handmade fixtures are a must.

boutique idea 2

I can see myself working here.

The Wishlist: 

What I would need to create my business is simple! Or at least I think it’s simple because I’ve been thinking of it so often. I would need to find a store front space in Door County. Somewhere high traffic, with great sunlight. We would have to fit it into our budget as well. I would need the money to get the start up costs rolling, leasing a space, basic construction costs to make it my own, rent money. I would need enough inventory to fill the store (we are on a head start with all of the furniture we found this summer in the alleys of Milwaukee.) We would need time to build and make inventory, getting in touch with the right vendors (I can’t make every thing myself) and set up shop, get all of the permits needed to sell and do taxes properly, signage, and merchandising. We would do most of the marketing ourselves, with the help of our friends. And hopefully shortly after we would be open for business! I will do what I can to make my dream a reality, and have already started. What are you doing to make your dreams a reality?

Happy Dreaming!

DIY Chicken Wire Picture Frame

DIY this display picture frame in an afternoon!

Chicken wire display frame

This project literally cost me $0 and came about when the fiancée offered me a scrap of chicken wire, or it was going in the trash. I had saved a picture frame from my Dad’s old thrift store and planned to one day make it into a chalkboard. But hey, chicken wire works too!

Chicken Wire and frame before and after

Here’s the old frame

Chicken wire for frame

And the chicken wire.

Black satin paint for frame project

I love this paint. I painted my kitchen cabinets with this paint. (It’s from True Value hardware store.) So durable!

Stapling the chicken wire to frame

I used a staple gun to staple the chicken wire to the back of the frame. The chicken wire was the same size, there was one side I cut a little off of with some tin snips.

Hanging wire

I moved the eyelet screws from the long across the frame to the short way.

Chicken wire display frame

Hang it up and you’re ready to go! All you need is some clothespins!

Display frame

You can display anything for sale in a frame like this, or you can display projects and ideas too.

Chicken wire in frame after!

It’s a great way to get inspired with fabrics, colors, and pictures.

Chicken wire frame

I love it! Especially for a free little project I did in an hour!

Chicken wire frame project

Play around with the items you want to hang till you find what works for you.

Display cards in a picture frame with wire

Display projects in a wire frame

Display anything in a Chicken wire Frame

Happy DIY!

Fixing a Teak Chair with Bondo

When my Dad moved out of his house and put everything in storage, I begged for this Teak chair I remember as a child. It had big arms, and was cozy to curl up in. I’m a bit bigger now, and curling up in this chair isn’t quite as cozy, but nostalgia kicked in and I had to have it. He warned me it was broken, and I instantly told him I could fix it. Two years later, I decided to do something about it. I read an article a while back about a guy that fixed part of the outside of his house that had been infested with termites using Bondo. Bondo is a 2 part, epoxy / putty like substance sold to fix major dings and dents in cars, and dries rock solid. I thought it was worth a shot on this great chair. You may remember this chair from an article I did on coconut oil improving the appearance of wood.

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My chair. It has some great bones, but was missing all the good stuff. No cushion, and two of the back supports were popped out of the back, which was broken.

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I attempted to put a screw in the back, which may not have been the best idea.

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So, Bondo. It’s a 2 part deal, with a small tube of red stuff and a quart can of gray putty. It’s hard to mix, so read the instructions very well before using. Mix it fast and use it fast, because it becomes rock solid within a matter of 4 minutes and then you can’t use it. I had to mix, spread on, sand,wait 20 minutes, mix, spread on… 3 times to get desired results. You can see my butter knife marks. Ha.

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I applied and sanded each time, trying to avoid sanding the chair too often.

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The Bondo looks angry.

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For the last round of Bondo, I grabbed bits and smooshed it into the chair, making sure to stick out farther than the chair, so I could sand it flat with the back of the chair.

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Not perfect, but better! It’s so strong. Within 20 minutes I was able to sand and paint it.

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This was my attempt to see how well Minwax stain took to the Bondo, which was like concrete. It didn’t stain well, so I decided to just paint it.

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I put a coat of something close to wood colored paint on the chair, but it still wasn’t perfect.

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I cut little wood grain notches in the chair so I could stain over the paint.

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This is where I ended up. It’s not perfect, the color is a little off, and I may keep playing with it, but it’s still WAY better than it was. The Bondo is super strong, and holding the wood in place!

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I got this cushion off of a curb sofa, and meant to use the foam for the seat cover. I took off the ugly sofa cushion and febreezed the cushion.

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I chose a great canvas fabric from Hancock Fabrics. Only $5 a yard!

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I sewed a little box cushion with a zipper in back for easy on and off. The zipper was only $1 from the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.

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The cushion fits perfectly without me having to cut any sides off!

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My finished chair! I’m so happy to have fixed this chair I remember sitting in as a kid. It’s something I plan to always have. While I was at it with the Bondo, I fixed a doorknob plate with a loose screw. I took the plate out of the jamb, filled the hole, and put the plate back on. The screw went right into the Bondo, no chipping or cracking.

Happy Bondo-ing!

My First Craft Fair: Part 2

Now that the dust has settled from my first craft market, I can say that it was a success! I learned a LOT. From how to use the Square reader, adding proper tax (NOT .055%  but 5.5 %), how to merchandise a tent, and how to best make your items appealing. The other venders were really curious about how well I did financially, and I just told them that I broke even, all of the money that I spent on the market rental fee, the new sewing machine I bought, the fabrics and materials, I made all of that money back and from this point on everything is profit, and they told me that was a really good thing. I was told some amazing compliments, like how unique my items were, how some people thought my tent was the best at the fair, and how cute and well crafted everything was. I will totally be doing that again, and the brainstorming has begun on how to turn this into a career.

craft booth instagram

I found a Living Social deal from BannerBuzz.com and got my 3×6 banner for just $18!

craft booth 6

My fiancée made the branch display with hooks to hang the larger bags off of. We got the branch in his parent’s woods.

craft booth leather display 2

We got the idea for these branch displays from Pinterest too, and he was able to make them for me. He just loves an excuse to use the hole saw.

craft booth 9

I made price signs for bulk items in picture frames from the Dollar Store.

craft booth 11

I found some great display pieces in the alley up the street.

crazy tshirt

We saw some interesting characters, and pet a lot of puppies.

chickens at the booth

I made rice pack chickens for door stoppers or kids toys. They were a good attention grabber!

whales at the booth

The whales were a hit too. I sold more to adults than to children.

craft booth branch

It was fun to see my creations on display to let people look at. Months of hard work was finally paying off. If you are a crafter and love to be creative I totally recommend doing a craft market. Everything that didn’t sell will be on my Etsy store in the next few weeks.

Happy crafting!