Category Archives: DIY

DIY Gold Arrows Canvas Wall Art

November 11, 2015

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If there was one home design project that I soo want to eventually do, but am most nervous to tackle, it would be a gallery wall. Ever since I was old enough to start dreaming about my future home, I’d envision huge empty white walls that I’d fill with tons of amazing colorful art – some that i’d collect and most that I’d make. Don’t get me wrong, this would be so much fun but at the same time I feel like I’d experience some type of decision paralysis from so many ideas / choices! Luckily (or not), our condo right now doesn’t have a huge amount of empty wall space so anything that I’ve hung up has had to be singular canvases or practical things like hanging shelving. It’s given me the perfect excuse to hold off this daunting task! 😛

BUT, when I do eventually have the walls (and the cojones!) to design a gallery wall, this gold arrow wall art canvas is going to be one of the first anchoring pieces that’ll go up on it. My design style is contemporary, modern and eclectic, with hints of natural elements, so the arrow motif would be an homage to the eclectic, while the clean white canvas and gold lines give the modern look that I love. With only two materials and some scissors and a ruler, this has got to be one of the easiest and most affordable art pieces you can make yourself with no special skills required!

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Materials:
small stretched canvas (I used an 8” x 8” canvas) / thin gold mylar tape / scissors / ruler (optional)

Directions:

1. Start by eyeballing or using your ruler to measure halfway down your canvas.

2. Make your first (middle) arrow by cutting a strip of gold tape that is about 2/3 the width of your canvas, which for us is between 4” to 5”. Place this strip halfway down your canvas (the spot you measured in Step 1) to create the shaft of your arrow.

3. To make the arrowhead, cut two 1.25” pieces of gold tape and place them perpendicular to each other and with their corners overlapping at one end of the shaft.

4. Now cut four 1.25” pieces of gold tape and place them on the opposite end of the arrow to create the fletching. You’ve made your first arrow! Next, you’ll be making arrows to go above and below your middle arrow.

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5. For the second (top) arrow place a strip of gold tape, about the same length as the shaft of your middle arrow (in Step 2), at the top of your canvas.

6. Create the arrowhead of this arrow the same way you did for the middle arrow (in Step 3). Make sure to place the arrowhead here so that it’s facing the opposite direction of the middle arrow.

7. The fletching of the top arrow will be slightly different than the middle arrow. First, cut about a 1.5” piece of gold tape and then make a diagonal 45 degree cut on each of the opposite corners (top left, bottom right). It should look like a parallelogram. Repeat this step again, except make sure your diagonal cuts on the second 1.5” piece are opposite of the ones you made on the first 1.5” piece (so this time, bottom left, top right). Place these two pieces down to complete your top arrow.

8. Make your third (bottom) arrow using the same steps as you did to make your top arrow (in Steps 5-7). On our canvas, we made the bottom arrow facing the same way as the middle arrow, but you can place it whichever way you’d like.

9. Press down on all of your gold tape pieces to make sure they’re secure and then you’re all done!

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The charm of this mini canvas art is that it can go anywhere: on a shelf on it’s own with some knick-knacks, or layered and styled with other art pieces:

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Do you have a gallery wall? What helped you choose which pieces to put together? In any case, if you’re as big of a fan of white and gold together as I am, feel free to check out my gold splatter coasters!

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Origami Gift Box

October 29, 2015

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Many years have gone by since my elementary school days, but to this day, I still have fond memories of my favorite class – art class! I remember the long blue worktables, the huge supply cabinet in the back corner of the room, and all of me and my friends’ craft supplies strewn all over the place. And while more specific details of our art projects in those days have escaped my memory (as have the majority of other topics we learned in elementary school :X), for some reason there is one particular art lesson we had that has always stuck with me. Today I’m going to share that with you, and that is a two sided origami box, or what I like to call an origami gift box.

For this project I used some gorgeous metallic paper JamPaper sent me, and I also used some beautiful floral patterned origami paper I brought home from my trip to Japan earlier this year. The great thing about this DIY project is that you can use literally any size and type of paper you’d like, as long as the paper is flexible enough to be folded easily and can be made into a square. The only material that you absolutely need is the paper, though using a ruler, pencil, tape, and scissors can make your box more precise and/or sturdy. I remember as a kid I would simply tear along the creases I’d made, rather than using scissors 🙂

Read on to learn how to make it yourself!

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Materials: 
Paper (for this post I worked with gold and silver paper from JamPaper and floral origami paper from Japan, you can find similar paper here) / ruler, pencil, scissors, tape – optional

Directions: 

  1. If your paper is not already a square (like mine, which was 8.5″ x 11″) measure and mark your paper and cut it to make it into an even square.
  2. Take two opposite corners of your square and fold them inwards towards each other so that they’re meeting at the center of your square. Then, fold those same two sides of your square into each other once more, allow their straight edges to meet in the center.
  3. Unfold the most recent folds you just made. Using your scissors (or tearing gently), cut along the innermost creases you just made in Step 2 as far up as you can without cutting the folded corners. The uncut area in the center is the bottom of your box, so it should look like a square.
  4. Now, take the bottom half of your square (which is now a diamond, from your perspective), and make a fold as high up as where you made the crease cuts in Step 3. Flip your paper around and do the same fold on the opposite side.
  5. Take the two narrow folded sides and bend them upwards to meet each other to create the sides of your box. While holding the sides together, take one of the large flaps that are remaining and fold it over the box wall and into the inner creases of the box. Do the same on the opposite side to finish the walls of the box. (If your paper is thin or slippery, you can use tape to secure these pieces)
  6. Your first box is done! Repeat these steps again to make the other side of your gift box. To make sure that they can nest into each other, make your second box slightly smaller than the first by folding tighter in Step 2 and cutting your creases further in (by about .25 inch) in Step 3.

origami-paper-gift-box-diy(Step 1) This step is just to make a square. If you’re starting off with square paper, no need to do this!

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(Step 2) You can do this freehand, or with a ruler to make sure your lines are parallel.

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(Step 3) This is probably the trickiest part and the one that will most determine the final shape of your box. The area you leave uncut in the middle will be the bottom of your box, so either eyeball it or use a ruler to ensure it’s a square.

origami-gift-box-diy-3 (Step 4) The important part in this step is to make clean, even folds. You can see your box is starting to come together now!

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(Step 5) Where my fingers are in the first picture here is where you can place a piece of tape to hold the sides of the box together, and it won’t be visible once your box is done. This is a fun step because it’s where you see your box come to life before your eyes!

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And here is the finished product! You can stop here if you’re using this for an open ended container, or you can go ahead and make your second half so that they can nest into each other.

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These are the perfect shape for small trinkets, jewelry, candy, and love notes 🙂

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I made a few…

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They are also cute as holiday decor, sprinkled around the house!

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Do you remember any favorite art lessons from childhood?

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Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Ombre Abstract Painting

October 20, 2015

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Is ombré still “in”? I’m not sure how it all started, but I remember in the last year or two ombré (or anything blended in color, from light to dark) was sooo very popular, whether it was hair color, nail art, furniture painting, wedding cakes, and even clothing styles – ombré seemed to be showing up everywhere! I have to admit, I really wasn’t a big fan of ombré hair in particular (since to me, most of the time it just looked like bad roots :X), but I did love it in cakes, desserts, and occasionally in clothes and home decor. I noticed that the times that I did like it was when it went along with an aesthetic that I prefer, which is very clean and modern.

This DIY painting is my interpretation of ombré in a bright, office setting. If you’ve seen my past DIY paintings, I’ve stuck to pretty monochromatic color schemes and so I felt like it was time to add some color. I got the idea for this specific color combination and arrangement from a throw pillow I saw on Pinterest (of course!), and it translated to canvas and paint quite nicely, if I do say so myself! I love that it’s delicate and sweet, but is strong from the black borders.

Read on to learn how to make this yourself!

DIY-ombre-pink-and-black-abstract-painting

Materials:
stretched canvas (I used a 16″ x 16″) / acrylic paint in white, pink, purple, and black / paint brush

Directions:

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1. Place your canvas down on a protective surface so you don’t get paint on your floor or table.

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2. Starting about 1/2 of the way down on the canvas, paint a wide section with pink paint, filling in about 1/4 – 1/3 of the canvas (as shown below).

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Feel free to leave it a bit streaky and uneven, since this gives your painting a bit of texture and you will be going back over this area of paint again later anyways. Make sure to apply a good layer of paint in this section so that it doesn’t dry too quickly, and remember to paint all the way over to the sides of the canvas as well.

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3. Without waiting for the pink section to dry, clean your brush with water and paint a section of right above the pink section with white paint. As you paint along the pink section, allow the white and pink paint blend together to start creating an ombre effect.

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4. Rinse your brush again with water, and then go on and paint a light section of purple above the white section, leaving about 1 inch from the top edge of the canvas unpainted. Just as you did in the previous step, allow your brush to blend where the purple and white paint meet to create more ombre effect.

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5. Using your brush that now has a mix of white and purple paint on it, move down to the bottom of the canvas and paint a section right below the pink painted area, leaving about 1 inch from the bottom edge of the canvas unpainted.

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Add more purple, white, or pink paint as needed to make more of the ombre effect.

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A great tip to help your paint blend more smoothly is to dip your brush in water to get it slightly damp. This helps to re-wet your paint so it can blend together better. Just make sure not to get it too wet!

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Once you’re happy with this light section of your painting, you can move on to adding the black accents. You can always go back to this area to touch it up later.

ombre-wall-art-diy-9 6. Using a clean brush, paint the remaining 1 inch of the top and bottom sections of the canvas with black paint.

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Remember to also paint the edges!

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7. Just like in the previous sections, gently blend the black and light purple paint sections together to create the ombre look.

ombre-wall-art-diy-138. Go back and add paint or re-paint any sections you’d like to touch up or smooth out.

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9. Let dry completely and then you’re ready to hang!

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What do you think of ombré? If you like modern DIY decor as much as I do, check out my DIY black and white canvas art and DIY triangle wall art!

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Candy Corn Wall Hanging

October 8, 2015

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When it comes to crafting, one thing I try to avoid as often as possible is buying one tool or type of material, using it once or twice, and never using it again. I’m kind of a craft supply hoarder, so that’s happened to me more times than I want to admit. But thanks to this blog, I’m more motivated to think of different ways to use the craft materials I have and transform them into something useful – a fun tutorial!

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This cute DIY candy corn wall hanging is a perfect example of that: I have a box full of different colored crepe streamers (from when I was obsessed with making crepe paper flowers) and tons of plain white cardstock, so this was a project I didn’t have to buy any extra materials to make! I love that this is such a simple and inexpensive project that doesn’t require any special tools, and adds such a cute, extra detail to a Halloween treat table. With child-proof scissors, this would be a really fun craft project to do with kids too. 🙂

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Materials:
Crepe streamers (in orange, yellow, and white) | plain white cardstock or heavy weight paper (mine was 8.5″ x 11″) | ruler | pencil | wrinkle-free craft glue | scissors | tape (regular and washi tape, not pictured here) | cotton twine/string 

Directions: 

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1. Fold your cardstock into thirds.

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2. With your ruler and pencil, draw three triangles of equal size on the paper.

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3. Cut paper along the folds you made so that you end up with a stack of 3 even sheets. And then, holding the three sheets together, cut out your triangles.

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4. Put a layer of wrinkle-free glue on one side of your triangle. Using one color of crepe streamer paper at a time (white, orange, then yellow like candy corn!), cut small pieces of the steamer paper and layer over the triangle from bottom to top, making sure that streamer paper covers the entire triangle. Press down on the paper to make sure it’s fully glued down.

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5. Turn your triangle over, and trim the edges of the streamer paper.

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6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have the amount of candy corn you need. I had 8 for the wall hanging I made.

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7. Finally, use scotch tape to attach your candy corn to your cotton string, spacing them evenly along the string. To hang, a great tip is to use a festive colored washi tape, since it sticks to your wall just as well as regular tape but it won’t lift off any paint (which is the worst, and has happened to me before!) and also looks really cute.

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All done and ready to jazz up your Halloween display!

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Are you as into modern Halloween decor as I am? Check out my sharpie & metallic painted pumpkins, or my other DIY projects!

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Sharpie & Metallic Painted Mini Pumpkins

September 29, 2015

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It’s not even October yet but, as usual, the Halloween candy and decor is all over the stores already and since we have until the end of next month, a lot of it is even on sale! I’ve managed to resist stockpiling on the candy (for now), but I just couldn’t resist getting a few mini pumpkins to get creative with. Aren’t they so cute?

Anyways, as you might know from my last DIY projects, painting is my fave so I obviously had to paint these little guys. To mix it up a bit, though, I used sharpie to do different details on each pumpkin and I was really happy with it! Sharpies can be a pain to work with when you’re not writing on a completely smooth surface, but I’ll give you a tip on how to avoid that. Other than that this project is super easy, with pretty much only 3 main steps!

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Materials:
Mini pumpkins | acrylic paint in a metallic color (I used bronze) | paint brush | sharpie

Directions:

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1. Start by painting all of your pumpkins, making sure to cover the stems and underneath.

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2. Let them dry completely before moving on to the next step.

DIY-sharpie-metallic-painted-pumpkins-2 3. One by one, draw patterns on the pumpkins with your sharpie. I started with a random triangle pattern on my first pumpkin.

*A good tip for drawing on pumpkins with your sharpie: press gently as you’re drawing, because if you press down too hard, the tip of the sharpie will dry and won’t dispense any ink.

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For the second pumpkin, I did a diagonal criss-cross pattern. I didn’t plan for it, but this ended up resembling a spiderweb! Cute, huh?
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And for the last one, a wanted a bolder and less linear design to balance out the other two, so I just did little swoops around the pumpkin and two little loops like the one pictured (on opposite sides of the pumpkin). Then you’re done!

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Stay tuned for more Halloween DIYs and also some fun holiday recipes! In the meantime, feel free to check out some of my past favorites like these gold splatter coasters, this modern black and white painting and this perfect fall salad.

Thanks for coming by!

DIY Modern Cross Pattern Wall Art

September 16, 2015

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Now that summer is on its way out and Dave and I are traveling less (still traveling a bit more this year, though) I’ve been at home a lot getting a lot of cool craft ideas. And especially since the holidays are just right around the corner, I find myself wanting to buy a ton of seasonal stuff like things to make holiday wreathes, wrapping paper, and I even almost bought a whole basket full of mini pumpkins I saw at the market today. But no! I was able to resist and only got a few. 🙂

But anyways, I told myself I won’t buy anymore craft supplies, even from the dollar store, until I’ve exhausted some of the stash of crafty stuff I already have. So this project uses up some of the same exact materials I’ve used for my recent DIY art project, but in a different way.

I was inspired by the Swiss cross pattern that you might typically see in black and white, or maybe in red in white. To mix it up I chose the color navy, which to me kind of gives it a more masculine feel, don’t you think? You could also do this project in black and white, or even a bright or pastel pink or yellow would be awesome I bet!

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Materials:

Canvas (I used an 18″ x 18″ stretched canvas and that’s what the measurements I included will work best with) | multi-use painter’s taperuler | pencil | acrylic paint (in navy and white) | paint brush (this set is similar to the set I have) and detail brush (optional) | scissors

Directions: 

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Step 1: You’ll need 16 crosses for this sized canvas and for the arrangement I have here, which equals 32 pieces of painter’s tape measuring 2.5″. Measure out your painter’s tape pieces a bunch at a time to make your life easier.

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Step 2: Begin placing your crosses on the canvas, starting from one corner. Using your rule, measure 1″ from the edge and place the first piece, and then lay the cross piece also 1″ from the next edge.

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Step 3: With your pencil and ruler, mark where you will place the next 3 crosses in the row. For a balanced canvas, you should aim to leave 1.75″ between each cross.

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Step 4: Place the next three crosses to complete the first row.

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If necessary, you can draw a light pencil line across the canvas to make sure the crosses are in a straight line (see above and below). You’ll be painting over everything, so no worries about leftover pencil marks!

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Step 5: Finish laying out the rest of your crosses, one row at a time. You can do it in any order that you’d like, but I went along the perimeter of the canvas first since it was easier to use the edges as a guide. Don’t worry about them being exactly, perfectly aligned, but try your best to make it look even to the naked eye.

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Step 6: Paint the entire canvas with your paint color of choice. I chose a really nice navy color and gave it two full coats.

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Remember to paint the edges of your canvas.

modern-navy-white-cross-art-diy-10 Step 7: Once your painting is almost dry, gently remove the painter’s tape. A great tip so that you don’t have to smudge your painting trying to lift up the tape; lift the top piece of tape of each cross where the top and bottom pieces of tape are overlapping, and then lift the bottom  piece where there is no paint.

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A few paint smudges here and there are inevitable, but don’t worry too much about it. This is a DIY project after all, so the little imperfections are what give it character!

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Step 8: If you’d like to clean up your painting a little bit, use white paint and a detail brush to even out the corners of the crosses and to fix any other stray marks. Once that’s done you just let the painting dry, and then it’s ready to hang!

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DIY Modern Black and White Abstract Art

September 2, 2015

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As you might already know from my last DIY wall art project, I tend towards a modern style. I also kind of have a thing for geometry. While we don’t always have the same home decor preferences, I think an overall modern style is one thing that my husband, Dave, and I actually agree on when it comes to interior design choices (thank goodness!), so I’m glad that I can indulge in these types of modern pieces and he won’t be totally opposed to it. 🙂  In any case though, I get a great sense of satisfaction from making art that’s both abstract yet very linear and structural, so this was a fun one for me whether or not it’ll stay hung on the wall.

I got the idea for this painting while browsing on Pinterest one afternoon (as usual!) and noticing a trend of really chic, monochromatic throw pillows in my feed as well as a handful of super modern living spaces. You know those ultra light and bright, simplistic, Scandinavian style living spaces? Something like these…

 
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Yeah.

Seeing as my home will never be as perfectly clutter-free as those gorgeous Scandinavian homes, I’m not about to try and mimic that exact aesthetic in my home decor. I also wasn’t about to make a pillow, as I have a strong love / hate relationship with my beloved sewing machine. But since I was so inspired to make something, anything really, this easy modern black and white painting project was going to have to do!

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Here are the materials you need and directions on how to do it yourself:

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Materials:
Canvas (I used a 16″x16″ stretched canvas) | acrylic paint (black and white) | painter’s tape | paint brush | scissors

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Directions:

  1. Tape off three to four parallel stripes on an angle at the top corner of your canvas with your painter’s tape. Press down and smooth over the tape so that there are no bubbles, and run the tape all the way over the sides of the canvas.

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2. Paint in between the tape with black paint, making sure to cover all of the white area right up to the tape. Also be sure to paint all the way to the sides of the canvas (see #6 below for example)

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3. Carefully remove tape while paint is still slightly wet. If you wait until the paint is too dry, it will crack and come off with the tape. Don’t worry about any unevenness – you can touch it up at the end!

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4. Once the first corner you’ve painted is dry, tape off another three to four parallel stripes on an angle on the next corner of your canvas. You can choose any angle you want, just take your time to make sure that once you lay down the first stripe that the rest of the stripes are parallel.

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5. Repeat step 2 on this area.

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6. Again, remember to paint all the way over the edges.

black-and-white-abstract-diy-6 7. Remove tape carefully while paint is still wet.

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8. Repeat the previous steps for the bottom left and right corners of your canvas, and the final middle section. (*before finishing this canvas I added another stripe to the middle section that is not pictured above)

black-white-diy-abstract-art10. Use a small brush to touch up any mistakes or stray black paint marks throughout your painting. And then you’re done!

 

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You can hang it any way you’d like! As you can see here, I rotated the canvas once counter clockwise before I hung it.

 

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Are you a fan of modern geometric art? Feel free to check out my abstract triangle wall art and cross pattern wall art!

Thanks for stopping by!

DIY Gold Splatter Coasters

August 19, 2015

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In the past, I honestly never realized how important coasters were. I mean, I understood the idea of coasters, but since I never owned any furniture that was prone to water damage (or that I cared enough about if it was), I never used them. The only places I would ever put my drink cup down on would be our old glass dining table, my kitchen counters which are granite and basically damage-proof, and maaaybe my old ikea coffee table I’d had since college which, let’s face it, isn’t something i’m going out of my way to save.

But earlier this year I invested in a beautiful reclaimed wood coffee table that I had been wanting for the longest time and the first time I put my cup of water on it I could already see a ring of water seeping into the wood! Now I get it. Coasters are important. Cute coasters are even better.

I’m into gold details lately and wanted to make something modern but still fun, so I came up with these gold paint splattered coasters. They’re actually very easy to make and you can use the same technique to make one with black paint (or any other color) as well, which I think would look really cool too.

Materials:

acrylic paint in gold and white | squeeze bottle | water | mod podge or waterproof sealant | cork coasters | paint brush | cardboard box (optional)

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How to make it: 

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Paint coasters white (or whatever base color you want).

gold-splatter-coaster-DIY-2Make sure the paint covers all the way around the sides.

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As the coasters dry, squeeze a small amount of gold paint into the squeeze bottle. You don’t need much, probably the equivalent of 1-2 tablespoons. Add water to thin out the paint so that it can splatter easily. I found the best ratio is between 3:1 or 2:1 paint to water ratio.

gold-splatter-coaster-DIY-4Cover the top opening of the squeeze bottle and shake so that the paint and water are nicely mixed. This may also create bubbles which you can either leave those for an interesting paint effect, or you can wait for them to dissolve.

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With the squeeze bottle at least 8 inches or more above the coasters, drip the paint onto the coasters to make an unpredictable, abstract design. I started with both coasters together and then separated them to work on them separately – you can do it however you’d like.

gold-splatter-coaster-DIY-6As you get the hang of it, you can drip closer or farther away from the coaster to achieve different splatter effects.

Once you’re done splattering, let the coasters dry completely. For the final step, be sure to cover the coasters with 1-2 even layers of mod podge (or any other waterproof sealant) before using so that your design is sealed in.

Additional Tips:

  • Before painting and then before applying mod podge, make sure there is no dust or particles on your coaster, or else they’ll get painted on.
  • Although optional, a cardboard box is really handy when doing this project since its high sides ensures that you can freely splatter your paint without getting it all over your floor or workspace. When you’re done you can just recycle!

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DIY Triangle Wall Art

August 13, 2015

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I got the idea for this DIY while doing one of my favorite things, which is perusing through Pinterest home decor pins for beautifully designed home interiors. I wouldn’t say I always prefer an ultra modern home design, but I know that I do love geometric patterns and clean lines. So when I saw a few home interiors using things like circle patterns, cube patterns, and triangle patterns on the wall as design accents, I was inspired to make an easy, modern wall art piece similar to that aesthetic.

Since painting is my fave, this DIY is naturally a painting project. But instead of painting stretched canvases like I would normally do, the surface I used for this project are birch wood painting panels. I think gives it more texture and a more modern feel from the clean lines of the wood, especially when you view them from the sides. Don’t you think?

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Materials
acrylic paint / paint brush / painter’s tapebirch wood painting panels

How to make it:

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Additional Tips:

  • Since you only use one paint color at a time, you really only need one good paint brush to complete this project. My favorite brushes are Royal & Langnickel and this small set of paint brushes is great for DIY projects like this.
  • Lay newspaper or a drop cloth on the table or surface you’re working on to catch any paint spills. I have a huge roll of lightweight newsprint wrapping paper (which is also awesome for diy wrapping paper!) that I use for this purpose, as you can see in the photos.
  • If you’re wondering what the best way to hang these without damaging your walls, these picture hanging strips and these wire hanging hooks are my two favorite ways to hang art without putting nails in my walls.

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See how clean it looks from the side? I keep going back and forth about wanting to put a huge gallery wall arrangement in this wall area or even a floating shelf, but it looks quite nice as is. Very minimal, but still colorful and interesting.

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