A Fall Dollar Tree Door Mat

I’ve been seeing the Dollar Tree Felt Pumpkins, Leaves, and Acorns used as stencils on the Dollar Tree gray door mats. This morning, I used the leaf one to create this beautiful door mat. You can do it, too!

Yes, I made that cute little fall gnome door hanger, too.

These are the materials I used. I used our paint brand we own and produce, Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint: Grannies Lace, Old Tin Barn, Bordeaux, English Ivy, and Possum Grape Jam. However, any brand and type of paint should do fine.

I used the side that was more ribbed. On my next one I will use the flatter side. This mat really soaks up the paint. This is the first coat. I eventually did two coats and then a little more to cover well the area that will be under the leaf stencil. The rest can have a more dry brush look.

I then placed the stencil on the mat and just started pounding the Old Tin Barn color on the spines and all around the leaf. You don’t have to do the whole thing at this point. I just did around the leaf area then removed the leaf stencil.

I then continued pouncing the Old Tin Barn color all around.

Using the same brush, without washing it out, I pounced the Bordeaux color on randomly over the Old Tin Barn, trying to blend it a bit.

Using the same brush again, I pounced on randomly the English Ivy color.

Using the same process, I added a bit of Possum Grape Jam color.

This photo shows all the different colors, much like you would see in nature in the fall.

The last step is to take the mat outside and give it a couple coats of the SPAR Urethane waterbased exterior sealer. It says it is gloss, but doesn’t show up gloss on the mat. I don’t think, once chalk-style paint cures for 30 days, a sealer is really needed, but in the meantime I think it just helps protect it a little.

And there it is! A beautiful Fall door mat. The pumpkin and acorn would also look nice.

And here’s my acorn one. I’m keeping this one. It’s pretty appropriate since we have a ton of oak trees (not to mention leaves) in our yard.

Day of the Dead Dollar Tree Wreath

I made a Day of the Dead wreath from Dollar Tree materials, including the mesh tubing. I love how it turned out but it was a big one and took literally all day to make the wreath and paint the skull. See pic of it at the end. I used this tutorial to make the big one: https://gracemonroehome.com/how-to-make-a-deco-mesh-loop-wreath/

I had a pile of left over pieces of mesh tubing so instead of throwing it away, I used it to create a smaller version. I think it turned out pretty darn cute!

I had a small Dollar Tree Day of the Dead skull painting kit I used for this one. It is approximately 3 1/2” x 5”. It comes with several craft paints, but I chose to use our Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint colors instead. I love how vibrant they are, but many chalk paints would work, too, as well as the paints that came with it.

I also made about a 9” wreath form out of 18 gauge wire we had here.

But, if you were going to use new pkgs of the DT mesh tubing, I would get maybe 3 pkgs (1 of each color). DT also may have a heavy wire that you can mold as shown below, and you will need the 3 1/2”x5” Day of the Skull paint kit. You will also need a pkg of pipe cleaners. I chose to use black.

I cut a piece of wire about 22” long.

I formed it into a circle about 9” round, then wove another row around in and out to make it a bit more sturdyand cut off any excess. I crimped the ends so they wouldn’t be sharp.

I wanted to make sure my skull would fit inside. I had already started painting it here. I also ended up removing the little stand as I didn’t need it.

I then cut the black pipe cleaner as needed into 4 equal pieces.

I cut the wire mesh pieces into about 6” lengths. I didn’t have enough purple, so I only did 3 of them to spread out. But if I would have had enough, this is the pattern I would use.

I put 3 colors together and then made 3 loops. I used the pipe cleaner piece and put it around and twisted them tightly together.

I then started attaching them to the wire form. I alternated the cut edges so they weren’t all going on the same direction.

I stopped adding when I got to a point where the skull would fit on the side with no wire showing.

I then painted the skull with colors that would go well with the mesh tubing. I used the black already on it as an outline, painting the face and teeth white, and painted colors inside the black lines. I also painted the back black.

I sealed it front and back with Mod Podge acrylic spray and Mod Podge Pearlized spray to give it a little shimmer.

Danny drilled tiny holes, big enough for the pipe cleaner to to through on the top and bottom and I used the pipe cleaner from the last pieces of attached mesh to hold the skull in place.

And there you have it. A mini Day of the Dead wreath next to the big one I made earlier.

Sharpie Paint Pen Coffee Mugs: It does work…..but….

This has been an experiment on how to decorate Dollar Tree mugs.

I’ve decorated mugs in a couple of ways. For example, I used Dollar Tree mugs and permanent adhesive vinyl. That works great. I have washed these By Hand numerous times and they are still going strong.

But…..put them in the dishwasher and they become a mangled mess. Washing by hand is fine, but one of these days someone is going to forget and put them in the dishwasher and all will be lost.

So, I went back to researching. This time I read and watched videos on what others had done. I finally chose to follow this method on my Dollar Tree mugs.

1. Of course, the first thing to do is always clean well and then wipe down with rubbing alcohol to get rid of any oils.

2. I make stencils from contact paper, which does well as it fits so tightly to the mug and is easy to remove. For this leaf pattern (purchased from the Silhouette store) I made my stencil, put it on the mug and colored it in with a brown Sharpie paint pen. It has to be the oil-based paint pen. The regular Sharpie permanent ink one won’t work.

3. Then I let it dry for 72 hours. Once dry I put it on parchment paper on a cookie sheet in a cold oven. Set the temp. For 250 degrees F turned it on and baked the cup for 20minutes. I then turned the oven off and left it in there untouched for an hour or so, until it was cool to the touch.

My mug turned out great. I experimented with it and washed it with hot soap and water by hand several times. It came out perfect every time! Yay! A success for creating painted mugs to hand wash!

But! What if I forgot or if someone buys a mug from me and they forget I said to hand wash?

So, now it was time to possibly say goodbye to my cute fall coffee mug as it might get ruined in the dishwasher.

I did make sure I put it in the top rack. When it came out, it was still in one piece and looked great. However, a change has taken place.

The leaf was now lighter, the yellow tones looked gray and the mug itself took on a creamier color.

It still looks great! I’m happy it is not ruined…but…I was a little disappointed in the color change.

I did learn that if I do want to sell these, I will need to run them through the dishwasher before I take a photo due to the color change.

Here’s a before and after. It is a noticeable difference.

Now, I’m going to be trying something else. I learned, in my research, that Mod Podge makes a dishwasher safe sealer. I’m going to try that next and will let you know what happens.

Be watching this space. Also, be sure to follow my blog to be notified when I post something new!

The Flowers of Summer Forever in Bloom

Sometimes I will do anything to keep from cleaning the house…..so I went in search of projects on Pinterest.

One that caught my eye was using flowers to create art. I kept reading and knew I had to try this. it involved pounding the flowers with a hammer. 😳

Yes, my vase is a black antique doorknob painted a navy blue and distressed. The flowers are a type of miniature petunia called Millionbells.

I actually saw two different tutorials. One was to use watercolor paper and wax paper. The other was to use a piece of fabric and tape. They used a white paper-like tape. The only thing I had was wax paper and packing tape. And no watercolor paper or fabric that would work.

I started looking around and my eyes fell on some storage boxes I bought at Dollar Tree. Those collapsible fabric type ones. I’m not sure they are exactly fabric, but I figured they would work to practice with. I didn’t have white tape, but I did have some packing tape, so I thought I’d try it, too.

The storage container had two different weights of material, so I thought I would try both.

I have to say straight up, my practice became art. I am so amazed! I wish I had known about this at the beginning of summer. Anyway….on with the tutorial.

I gathered my supplies, including a hammer.

For my first try I used wax paper, the lighter weight material, and a bunch of flowers and stems.

I covered the flowers with the waxed paper and turned it over so I would be pounding on the material itself.

When finished, I removed the wax paper and the flowers and let it dry. It was like a beautiful, muted watercolor.

I then used the heavier material and this time used the packing tape and taped the flowers to material, trying to make sure the flower head was face down as much as possible. I then turned it over and started pounding again. I pounded until it looked like I got most of the flowers and stem.

The photo above shows what it looked like when I turned it back over and started removing the tape. Beautiful!

Shiny tile from Home Depot

So then I had to figure out what to do with them. I cut around the flowers on the first one and decoupaged it to a tile. When dry I sprayed it with a couple of coats of spray matte lacquer. I can display it or use it as a coaster. For the other one, I framed it in a vintage frame I had. It looks like it has always been in that frame. It looks so vintage!

Close up of the framed print
Close up of the tiled print

My house is still not cleaned, but now my curiosity is satisfied, I am ready to tackle it ….. tomorrow.

Decoupage Napkins in a Faux Galvanized Tin Holder

Here are the steps I took to create the coasters:

1. I purchased these stone tiles as part of a package at Home Depot. I cleaned the them thoroughly.

2. I usually paint the tops and sides with our Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint in “January” as white paint will really help the print stand out. But these coasters were already white on one side so I skipped this step.

3. I chose areas of the napkin that would look good centered on the tiles and cut them a little bigger than the coaster. I peeled off the two white layers of the napkin so that I was left with only the printed part. Sometimes napkins will only have one white layer.

4. For the decoupage medium, I used Mod Podge on this set. I applied a layer over the white paint and while still wet I applied the napkin. I used a piece of plastic wrap to press the napkin into the stone, making sure I had no bubbles.this plastic wrap helps to keep the napkin from sticking to my fingers.

5. Once dry, I used 220 sandpaper to sand the edges.

6. I then used 2 coats of Rustoleum spray lacquer on the tops and sides to seal the napkin. Using lacquer will not reactivate the poly, so no bubbles formed.

I used a painting technique to create a faux galvanized tin look to a plain black coaster holder.

You can see how I did this technique in another blog post, found here.

I enjoyed doing this technique so much I have used it on a variety of items.

A Faux Galvanized Tin Hanging Pendant Light

https://sharsumpaint.com/2020/08/06/a-faux-galvanized-tin-hanging-pendant-light/

I found a great tutorial for creating faux galvanized tin using paint. I repurposed this brass plated hanging pendant light and it looks like the real thing.

The tutorial shows it on a cardboard box. Since I was painting on metal, I used a spray primer first.

https://shellyhickox.blogspot.com/2015/04/decoart-media-faux-galvanized-canisters.html?m=1

This is what I did:

1. Took the light apart and scuffed up the pieces. Cleaned well.

2. Sprayed all pieces with primer.

3. Painted with Metallic Silver waterbased paint. I put a small amount in plastic cup and painted out of it. I even painted the cord.

4. Added a little Medium gray color chalk-style paint to the metallic, stirred it in, and using a piece of natural sponge, I dabbed it on each piece. I used our brand we own and produce: Missouri Limestone Paint Company.

5. Then I added a little white and dabbed again all over.

6. Then I added some black and dabbed again.

7. Finished by dabbing a little silver metallic with a brush, making sure there wasn’t much paint on the brush.

8. Sealed with Wise Owl Salve.

Creating a Faux Concrete Pot

An experiment to reimagine a small terra cotta pot into a faux concrete one.

Not bad for a first attempt. May use sea salt next time and see what that does.

  1. Mixed calcium carbonate with Missouri Limestone Paint Compamy chalk-style paint with “Coal Shovel” and painted on the pot with a foam dauber to get as much texture as possible.
  2. Painted a light coat of “Cupboard Green over that. Made sure I painted the inside, too.

I didn’t do a light sanding after adding the green. In hindsight, I wish I would have done that to bring out a little of the black.

  1. Painted a light coat of “Sunday Silver” over the green.
  2. Painted a light dry brush of “Winter Gloves” over the “Sunday Silver.
  3. Sanded a little by hand with 220. No sealer necessary.

I added couple of faux cactus from Dollar Tree for a new look.

A Black and White Coffee Bar Sign

I created this fun coffee bar sign. It was easy and turned out great!

I started with an 11×14” thin canvas board from Dollar Tree and a package of Priss wall stickers from Dollar General. I used Mod Podge to glue them down and Varathane water-based polyurethane satin finish to seal them.

I laid out the words in a design I liked and then took the backing off the first one to apply. I saw right away the adhesive wasn’t sticking well to the canvas board so I made the decision to use Mod Podge to glue each one down.

Once they were all down and sealed well l gave them another coat of Mod a Podge.

I will usually use a hair dryer to help the dry time and use my fingers to press down to help alleviate any lifting or bubbles.

I didn’t care for the gloss of the Mod Podge so I used the Varathane satin finish polyurethane to seal and gave it two thin coats. I like to use a damp car sponge to apply polyurethane. It now had a nice matte finish.

I thought a black frame would set it off. I didn’t want to go to Dollar Tree so I started searching for an 11×14” frame I might have. Score! I found a frame and it is vintage! I know it is vintage because it held my husband’s 1971 college diploma. Lol! Not anymore!

I kept the glass in as it will help with durability.

And there you have it! An adorable black and white 11×14” coffee bar sign. Wouldn’t it look great paired with a set of Rae Dunn coffee mugs?

A One of a Kind Floral Cow Skull Tray/Wall Hanging Decor

I’ve been on a kick creating stencils lately of farm animals on my Silhouette machine. My latest project has become my favorite! 🙂 I also tried a new staining technique on this one. I will definitely be using this technique again.

I started with a plain new pine board. Danny, my husband and partner in our world of painting and creating, had previously cut a long pine board into 9 x 11 1/2” boards, sanding and rounding the edges. Some we will make into cutting boards, but this one I wanted to make a tray that could also hang up and be used as a wall decoration.

My idea was to give the board a natural, white washed look. I created a coffee stain with used coffee grounds, vinegar, and a steel wool pad. Here’s the tutorial I used: https://www.familyhandyman.com/woodworking/staining-wood/how-to-stain-unfinished-wood-with-used-coffee-grounds/?_cmp=stf

This worked well to darken the wood and bring out the grain. I would have liked for the wood to have been a little darker. When this dried, and after 3 coats, I still thought it would be a little darker but it was fine. I let the solution sit for 24 hours after I mixed it. The next time, I think I would let it sit several days.

After drying, the board was ready for the white wash, I mixed our brand of chalk-style paint Missouri Limestone Paint Company (MLPC) “January” with a little water, painted it on, then used a damp rag to rub it in and wipe it off. I let that dry well and it was ready to stencil.

I really liked the look of the end result – I will be using this technique on a small table top next.

It was now time to stencil. I found an SVG image I loved on Etsy from HeyLena Arts and purchased it. https://www.etsy.com/listing/744390593/cow-skull-svg-floral-wreath-svg-boho-svg?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=floral+cow+skull+svg&ref=sr_gallery-1-3&organic_search_click=1&pro=1

I uploaded the SVG file to my Silhouette machine, traced it and cut it out, using Contact paper. I find this is a cheap and easy way to cut stencils. The Contact paper adheres nicely and is easy to remove. I also use clear Contact paper to transfer the stencil to my project. Press n Seal will also work as a transfer.

Then I did all the “weeding” (picking out the areas of vinyl) for the dark area of the skull. I stenciled those areas with MLPC “French Roast”, a dark brown.

For the flower area, I decided the best way to finish that would be to hand paint it, so that’s what I did. I am no artist, but I did learn to pretty much stay in the lines when coloring in elementary school. ☺️

The MLPC colors used: Crepe Myrtle, Farmhouse Green, Cornflower, Radio Flyer, Sour Green Apples, English Bluebells, and MO Buttercup.

Once all the flower area was dry I sealed front, back, and sides with Varathane water-based Crystal Clear Polyurethane in Satin Finish. I used 5 thin coats for durability. This piece may be used as a tray so I wanted it to stand up to hard use. (It was so pretty out I did the sealing on my deck. I had my book and coffee handy and read while my sealer dries. It only took about 10 minutes for each on this day.)

Now it was time for the handles. I remembered seeing a DIY on Pinterest for creating handles out of strips of leather. I happened to have the perfect belt made of genuine cowhide that I thought would be perfect! I had purchased it at Goodwill some time ago to create handles for a suitcase dresser, so used it for this project instead. I cut two strip of 8” each and we attached them to the edges of the top and bottom of the board using vintage wood screws.

This beautiful, floral cow skull tray/ wall hanging decoration is now complete! I absolutely love how it turned out!

Here are the other projects I have recently completed.

This is a charcuterie/cheese board
Wall decoration

Gray Weathered Wood Nesting Tables

https://sharsumpaint.com/2019/06/30/gray-weathered-wood-nesting-tables/

I have been searching for a good way to create a gray weathered wood look for a table top ever since I saw my cousin’s new dining room table. I was sure I could paint something similar.

These nesting tables had been waiting patiently for me to work the gray weathered wood magic on them. The time was now.

I came across a tutorial from Angela Marie Made which showed the look I was going for so I pinned it and waited for the right time to try it. Thank you so much for sharing this technique!

First up, the legs – the tables are well made – solid wood with metal inserts for the legs to screw into. I’m sure there is a furniture term for that but I do not know what that is. Just know the legs easily screw on and off with no worries. We cleaned, hand sanded, then cleaned again and they were ready for paint.

My original idea was to paint the legs a light gray, but once I painted one with a new custom color “MO Graystone” we created in our Missouri Limestone Paint Company chalk-style paint line, I knew it would be too light. So I started dry brushing “Sunday Silver” over the lighter gray, lightly in the detail areas and heavier on the rest! I used just a small amount of paint, dabbing most paint on the brush on paper towel first. This is a great way to distress without sanding and it was fun to watch it happen.

Two down, 10 to go!

Love this distressing technique

Table tops: My husband cleaned, sanded, and cleaned again (top and bottom) and I used Varathane Premium Fast dry stain in Kona. I stained the bottoms for a finished look but did not do the weathered wood finish on them. I thought that Kona would darken them a lot, but actually didn’t. The wood is a very hard wood so I probably could have given them another couple of coats, but I lack patience in waiting for oil stain to dry so I chose to do just one coat.

I watered down the “January” color 50/50 and painted it on, then wiped off excess and rubbed in what was left. I could tell it was going to be lighter so I also used a little “Sunday Silver” here and there and rubbed it in. Yes, it turned out lighter than my inspiration, but I love how it turned out.

Love when the furniture decides how a technique is going to look.

I put five coats of Varathane water based Crystal Clear polyurethane Satin on each table, sanding lightly between coats. I love the satin finish!

Now that I’ve experienced how nice this technique is, my plans are to use this finish on this farm table set I have to paint and sell. But that’s a project for another day.