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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Create Paperweights from Light Fixture

It sounds crazy but you can turn a light fixture into beveled glass paperweights. I heard about this a while ago and finally found my gem ($3 light fixture) at Goodwill last week.  I was intimidated to remove the glass but that was actually very easy.  

 The top brass balls unscrewed and the glass pieces just slid out from the fixture. 

 After you have removed your beveled glass, select how you would like to design your paperweights.  I played with using notecards (I liked the pattern) and some extra photos.  You could also print out labels "file", "to do" etc. if you wish to make them more practical. 

Trace over your paper and then spray the right side with spray adhesive. Place under your glass and you are done. It will dry in a matter of minutes.

It is optional to add felt to the bottom.  I didn't on mine, they are flat and smooth enough for my desk. 

I love projects that cost less than $5. This is a great gift idea now wedding season, mother's day or even just a nice gift for yourself. I reward myself with gifts on a regular basis. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Personalized Porcelain Projects

I think this project may be my favorite new gift idea.  I love gifts that are personalized, affordable and easy.  Porcelain pens were created to allow you to design, write and create whatever you wish on ceramic and porceain objects.  You can purchase the pens are most craft stores, I purchased mine from Amazon for $9.  You'll use the pen like you would on any object; allow it to dry for 24 hours and then bake in your oven at 300 degrees for 35 minutes.  This allows the ink to become food safe and dishwasher resistant. I designed a serving tray in just minutes flat with a stencil and my entire porject cost less than $25.00.

Gift Ideas:
  1. Allow guests at a party to write messages for the part recipient. Baby shower, bridal shower, birthday, etc.
  2. Give the children an opprtunity to get creative and design their own plates.
  3. Create custom coffee mugs for Mother's day or Father's day.
  4. Design artsy plate to hang in your dining room.
  5. Label your ceramic storage containers.
  6. Make a piggy bank to remind you to save for something special.
Going Home To Roost

Going Home To Roost

Maiden Jane

Video on Knox Fox Morning Show Channel 43

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Contact Paper Projects Ideas

I was recently in need of an affordable way to block the 3pm sun from my office window.  Decorative contact paper became my cheap solution.  You can purchase self-adhesive contact paper or shelf liners are most convenience stores like Target, Home Goods or Wal-mart.

I remember in college freshman year I had to get really creative with contact paper to cover up the 1980's fake wood paneled closets and it worked like a charm. 

Fourteen Contact Paper Project Ideas
#1- Line the inside of your drawers (actual intent)
#2- Line windows for privacy
#3- Line serving trays
#4- Frame the pattern
#5- Frame between photos for a decorative border
#6- Cover the outside of  your cabinets
#7- Stick to your ipad or laptop for a decorative decal
#8- Use as wallpaper
#9- Cover a cork board or magnetic board for extra pattern
#10- Gift wrap ugly boxes for reusable gift giving
#11- Use as a kitchen back splash
#12- Stick to the top of your desk
#13- Cover your dresser drawers or other furniture
#14- Place inside a bookshelf

Additional ideas:

7th House on the left

Barrie Briggs Spang

Design Sponge

Apartment Therapy

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Fabric Coaster Tutorial

I want to first thank my mother who gave me fabric coasters as a gift.  She requested small portions of my favorite fabric from projects that are special to me.  I assumed she was making a quilt and was very surprised when she mailed me these adorable and special fabric coasters.

Items Needed:
Meaningful Fabric (Clothing, napkins, curtains, etc.)
Spray Adhesive
Tiles ($.70 from hardware store)
Felt (I used self-adhesive felt)

Cut felt to the size of the tile and adhere to the bottom of the tile

Cut fabric to the desired size of the tile
Next, use spray adhesive to adhere the fabric to the top of the tile.  Smooth out any wrinkles or lines.  Then, spray the top of the fabric with polyurethane.  I suggest using the spray in a well ventilated area and allow time to dry as directed on the can.  Then repeat at least three times.  I used three coats and might even add an additional coat next time.  The polyurethane helps the fabric from discoloration and seals the fabric with a shiny top coat. 

This is the perfect gift for mother's day or father's day. You can turn in childhood clothing into a usable keepsake.  

Join me on WBIR Fox Morning Show 3/9/2012 at 8:30am for a tv tutorial of this project. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Today is a fantastic day.  I was told that I am listed as a nominee for Metropulse's Best of Knoxville's awards in the category of Best Local Blog.

I am shocked and excited. Who can I hug?

If you'd like to support me, I promise I will let you.  I am listed as Danielle Benson on the final category to vote on at  Thanks Knoxville, I love you!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Great Couch Search of 2011

To say that couch shopping is time consuming is an understatement. I spent over fifty hours researching, shopping, calling, and web searching to find our perfect couch. I plan to not buy another couch for a very long time.

We thought our desires wouldn't be very difficult. After the first couple of shopping trips we narrowed down our wish list.
1. Sectional (optimal for our lifestyle: dogs, narrow living room, and lots of movie nights)
2. Modern Shape/Style
3. Tufted back
4. Fabric (long-lasting, stain-hiding with texture or slight pattern)
5. Optional bonuses- nailhead detail, warranty, in-stock and under $2K

This seemed to be reasonable in our minds. We were in for a long ride. All things were considered when choosing where to purchase our couch. We investigated all of the options- web purchase (can't see it prior, reupholstering a couch (more expensive and long delay), big box discount furniture stores (lots of options and affordable), local shops (better customer service), and all of the options in-between.

We encountered a lot of salespeople who were clearly working on commission. The adventure lost it's excitement when walking into a store and being attacked by salespeople. We felt watched and unable to express our true opinions about the items until we left the store. We also didn't enjoy the stores who didn't mark the price on the couch- it was a negotiating game and I don't play that game. I want to walk in and know how much something is.


The long saga ends with us purchasing our couch from Bliss Home, a local modern furniture store. We were able to design a couch with no extra charges. All of the options are available in one price (except fabric). We picked a 3x3 sectional with wood feet, brown tweed fabric, matching pillows and a tufted back. Our final sale price was in the middle of the big box stores and design furniture stores. Our couch has a new loving home.

Knoxville Wholesale Discount Section

Comfy, good deal but kinda ugly

Not a good color for dogs

Bassett Furniture, we liked the shape and price

This picture doesn't do this couch justice. It was crazy expensive though.

Bryan loved this couch but I didn't love the price.

Thomasville, love the details but they couldn't do tufted on a sectional. Crazy!

Thomasville, floor model on clearance. To order a sectional felt like buying a used car from a bad car lot with a lying salesman.

Bliss- what we actually ended up customizing.

Bliss- so easy to customize. No extra charges!!

Finally here!
The lighting is bad but here it is!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Support: Vote: Share

Please help support Decorella on Apartment Therapy for the 2012 Best DIY Blog Competition. I have a lot of fantastic competition but I know that I have the best followers. Create an account and vote today (voting end today at midnight). VOTE HERE