Category Archives: Create

Tile Backsplash 


I have done a lot of updating in my kitchen over the years. I think it is because it is the room in the house that we spend the most time in.  Either sharing a meal together, completing homework, cooking together, or playing a game at the table. It is also the room you see when you walk in the front door.

You can see some of the changes in the post: Kitchen before and after.
I have always wanted a mosaic tile backsplash in the kitchen, but at a minimum of $25 a square foot, it can be cost prohibitive. I have 18 feet of counter that needs a backsplash. That easily becomes $450 before purchasing adhesive and grout.

I make a habit of checking the clearance section whenever I am at Lowe’s. I have bought everything from light fixtures to faucets there. I was lucky enough to come across the tile I used for my backsplash in this clearance area. There was just enough to complete my backsplash.

This tile was perfect for my kitchen because it pulled together the dark gray of my lower cabinets as well as the gray paint on the walls. The stone picks up the colors from the countertop, as you can see in the photo above.

The tile was originally over $25, but I bought it for around $3 a square foot. Some of the tiles were broken or chipped, but I bought an extra square foot of tile and used the extra square foot to take apart and replace the broken tiles.

Because the tiles came in so many sizes, I was able to remove and replace tiles to fit around a lot of the light switches. There were very few cuts to complete this backsplash.

Here is the finished result.

Until next time, happy creating…

Dawn Marie

Category: Create

A Fireplace Update


This is the one room in my house that has been at a bit of a standstill. We have a very different vision for this room, but minus gallons (and gallons) of paint, not much has changed here. 

When we moved in, all of the paneling around the room was dark and there was an old heater attached to the wall next to the pot belly stove. This room was an addition, and when it was built (long before we lived here) there was no duct work put in, meaning no a/c and no heat. We could never really make the heater work, and it was ugly, so we took it out a few years ago. Unfortunately, this room is very cold in the winter…

Recently I just couldn’t look at the fireplace anymore. I know people have very different opinions about painting brick, but I just could not look at that dark corner anymore. 

I was feeling as though all of the light in the room was sucked into the corner. Therefor, I needed a change. Ultimately I would like to remove the brick from this room and put a gas fireplace in, so painting the brick isn’t really a forever fix for me, which made it a little less scary. 

I bought a really good primer and started. 

This was definitely the scariest step, because primer is awful and always makes you wonder if you did the wrong thing. But, I charged ahead and after two coats of paint, I was happy. 

To cover up the concrete shelves that sadly hung off the wall I made simple boxes out of wood boards. I left one side open and just hung them over the concrete. I am really happy with how they turned out. They are much more substantial and seem more proportional to the space. 

What was once a dark hole, has new life. For now…

Until next time, happy creating. 

Dawn Marie 

Category: Create

Concrete Planters


The boys and I were looking for something to do today, and it was a beautiful day, so we decided to try a new project. 

I had been wanting to try concrete pots for a while, but just didn’t gather the supplies to try it. I knew I wanted several different size pots and I knew I needed an outside and inside form for each. 

I wasn’t exactly sure what to use for the forms which is why I didn’t start this sooner, but, I was inspired at the dollar store. I collected a bunch of plastic buckets of different sizes. Then, we headed to Lowe’s for quickcrete and spray paint. I bought a few paint mixing buckets there as well. I wasn’t sure how many pots I was going to be able to make with a bag of quickcrete so I wanted to be sure I had enough forms as to not be left with extra concrete. 

I was lucky enough to have two helpers to mix the concrete. We mixed in an old wheel barrow according to the directions on the quickcrete bag. 

Once it was all mixed, we filled our forms.  We sprayed the part of the plastic that was touching the concrete with Pam cooking spray, to help the form slip off the concrete. I’m not certain whether or not this worked, because some of the plastic buckets came off, and others I had to cut. I put concrete in the bottoms of the plastic buckets first and patted it flat, then I put the smaller plastic pot in and filled around the edges. 

Then, I let it dry. As I mentioned, some of the plastic I was able to remove and can use again, others I had to cut. 

Once the pots were out, I used paper and duct tape to cover the part I didn’t want to spray paint. 

When I removed the duct tape, I had nice clean lines. I like the contrast of the metallic gold with the rustic feel of the concrete. 

Happy creating….


Category: Create

Christmas Front Door

Holiday Front Door

It was pointed out to me the other day that I haven’t posted anything in a while.  That wasn’t news to me, but I thought, what better reason to write something.  Because the weather has been so beautiful outside, I was able to finish a few projects that I started a year or two ago.

Front Door

Holiday Door

Holiday Front Door 1

Joy Sign

The first was this JOY sign.  A year and a half ago, there was a sign on the road that read free barn wood, and I noticed a guy in the back pulling down a barn.  I stopped to see what wood was a available and ended up with a few pieces with weathered, peeling paint. (I wouldn’t bring this wood into my house, because who knows what the paint is, but seems safe on my front porch and stored in the front corner of my garage.)

back of Joy Sign

I pulled out the old nails and simply used some scraps of wood on the back to attach the two boards together.  (I used some larger pieces of scrap to give the board some weight, so that I would not have to pick the sign back up every time the wind blows.)

Wooden reindeer

I also put this little reindeer together with some scraps of wood that I had.  I drew the shape of the body on a large piece of paper and traced it onto some scraps of wood.  I also traced a second peice for each side to give him some dimension.  The legs are spindles from a craft store.  (They are silver becasue they were part of the candlesticks that were in the center of all of the tables at my wedding. Yes, they were beautifully hand made by my mother and aunt.) I used bark from a birch tree, that I had to sadly cut down, for the ears and the tail.  The antlers are made from metal crafting wire I purchased at the Dollar Store.

Holiday Pot

I filled the pots by my front door with evergreen branches left over from trimming our Christmas tree along with some of the branches from the birch tree.  The pots are topped of with some large ornaments.


sled with reindeer

The green sled was made by my grandfather years ago and I filled it with some birch logs to carry the birch theme through.

Front Door

I updated the door which you can see here.  Also, I made the wreath last winter, and you can see the instructions here.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and holiday season.  Thanks for reading.

Holiday Front Door

If you have a front door you would like to share, please feel free to add it in the comments. Thank you.

Until next time, happy creating…



Category: Create, Decorate

DIY Magnetic Door

Magnetic Door

This will definately not be for everyone, but my soccer crazy son, loves it.

This project came from an idea my husband had, he wanted me to attach “something” to my sons door so they could set up a soccer field.

He wanted a soccer field on the door so they could set up soccer positions.  My husband puts his team and the ball on the field before he leaves for work in the morning and Caleb’s job is to set up his team to defend.

I really didn’t want to attach anything to my doors, so I looked for an alternative.

I knew magnetic paint existed, but I had never tried it, so I thought I would give it a try.

The product is made by Rustoleum.  I purchased it at Lowes.

Rustoleum Paint

Several years ago, we replaced the plain hollow core doors that were in our house with  these two pannel doors that I picked out at Lowes.

white door

I painted the center panels with the magnetic paint.  I carefully read the directions on the back of the can.  The paint required a lot of stirring.  In order to make it magnetic, it contains a lot of metal and therefor takes a long time to mix it to an even consistency. After that, the paint goes on easily with a roller.  I used a mini roller designed for smooth surfaces.

The can suggested at least 3 coats, but when that was dry, I did not feel it overly magnetic.  I decided that I would just use up the rest of the can.  Honestly, I couldn’t think of what else I would use it for.  I ended up putting six coats on each panel, the paint dries very quickly, so this didn’t take very long.

magnetic door

I want to note that the directions imply that cleanup is easy.  I did not find this to be the case.  I would suggest that you plan on throwing out whatever brushes you use.

I painted over the magnetic paint with the white semi-gloss that I originally used for the door.

Magnetic door paint

Braden has magnetic phrases on his door so he can write silly sentences.

Braden's Door

Now, for the soccer part…I left the top panel on Caleb’s door black.

soccer door

soccer door 1

soccer door 2

My husband figured out the scale of the for field and I drew it on the door with a white paint pen.  It’s actually pretty cute, and I can just paint the door white when he is over the soccer field.

Magnetic Door

Until next time…happy creating.





Category: Create

Chandelier Dresser

Chandelier Dresser

I have had this dresser since I was a little kid.  I actually remember things being on top of it that I could not reach.  Before that it was in my Grandparents house.  So, it has been around for a while and it needed an update.

I was very interested in trying the chalk paint that I see in the craft stores and now Lowes carries their own brand.

Here is the dresser before I painted it.


It has simple lines, but I love the decorative touches at the top back, bottom and the feet.  The handles are also made out of wood to match the dresser.

This dresser is in the guest room of my house, which currently is being redone (by me).  I had a bed with a bonnet canopy, that I had all of my life, and before that it was my mom’s as a child.  Unfortunately, because I had boys, and my sister had girls, my grandmother felt the dresser should go to my sister so she can continue to pass it down.  I was sad to see it go, but a twin bed in my guest room doesn’t really make that much sense anyway.  Also, it gave me a chance to change up this room.  But, back to the dresser.

Because the dresser is so simple, I wanted to dress it up with a stencil. I chose to use the wall clings as my stencil, because they adhere to the dresser and I would be able to separate it to attach to the drawers.

chandalier stencil

The down side of this is I had to use a Exacto knife to cut out all of parts of the chandelier.

cut out stencil

I wanted the chandelier to be gray when it was finished, so I painted the part of the dresser that the stencil would be on gray first and let it dry.

gray paint

I used Chalk Paint that I purchased at Joann’s.  I would not use this brand again for a large project like this, maybe for a picture frame or something like that.  I found the paint difficult to work with because of the rapid dry time.

dresser paint

Once the paint was dry, I attached the stencil.

stencil on dresser

I used the Exacto knife to slice the stencil where the drawers open.

dresser with stencil 1

dresser with stencil 2

Be sure to really push the stencil on to the dresser so paint doesn’t seep behind it.

dresser drawers

Dresser without drawers

dresser top

To make this a more temporary design, you could paint the entire dresser and add the cling atop the paint and pull it off when you are tired of it.

After I had the dresser pulled apart, I started my coats of white paint.  I painted right over the stencil and pulled it off when I was done.  Because I basically painted it onto the dresser, it took a little work to get it all off.  I ran a very fine sandpaper over the entire face of the dresser so that there were not ridges in the paint where I pulled the stencil off.  Beacuse this paint is made to give a little more of an aged look, the sandpaper works great.

stenciled drawer

It is a little hard to see, but the drawer on the laft was sanded and the drawer on the right was not.  It gives it a softer appearance.

The last step with this paint is to apply the wax.  This was very easy to do.  I used an old tshirt to rub the wax on and another one to buff the wax the next morning.

Chandelier dresser

I bought antique glass knobs at a flea market for a dollar a piece, and my dresser is complete.


Chandelier Dresser

Until next time…happy creating.



Category: Create

DIY Stump Table

Stump Table

I love this project because it cost me absolutely nothing to make and only an hour of time.

A friend of mine gave me the stump from a tree that was recently cut down. I let it dry out for several months.

tree stump 1

I used a crow bar to remove the bark. This only took a matter of minutes.  If the crow bar doesn’t fit between the bark and the wood, y

crow bar

bark removal

bark removed


Once the bark was off, I sanded the stump to smooth out the rough edges.

I then used a protective clear coat, since it will be sitting outside. The clear coat really brought out the grain of the wood.

With a little help, I carried it to my patio.

Stump Table 3

Stump Table

Stump Table 1

Stump Table

Until next time, happy creating…


Category: Create

Mini Gallery Wall

gallery wall

Because of the crazy weather this year, my school schedule and my kids school schedule were not quite the same over Easter break.  So, I found myself with two days all to myself.

If you know me at all, I can not just sit still, so I decided something needed to be done about this wall…

the blank canvas

I walk down the stairs every morning and it taunts me with its nothingness.  It was time to put a stop to it.

I gathered old frames that I had lying around, purchased the wooden R from Target, and set about my project for the day.

It turns out that my island was the perfect size to replicate the wall space.  I covered it with wax paper to protect it from the paint, and started laying out the frames I had.  After moving them around a lot, I decided on this layout.

gallery frames

It is not very pleasing to the eye right now with all of the different colors and textures, so I grabbed a can of black paint from the basement and set to work painting them.  (One of the frames is made out of plastic, so I roughed it up a little with sandpaper to help the paint adhere better.)

painted gallery frames

Much more uniform.

Once they dried, I hung them up…

gallery wall

I even painted the frames you see on the distant wall.  They were a dark wood, but I wanted them to match the new gallery wall.  I put black and white photos in all of the frames so the look wasn’t too busy.  I had a great time going though old photos and picking my favorites.  I choose old ones for the distant frames, the boys got a kick out of looking at themselves…”When we were little.”

Gallery Wall

The black piece you see that looks like it has a white circle in it is a hook my Mother-in-Law bought me years ago.  It is a little architectural piece with a crystal doorknb and two hooks.  It is unusual and I love it, we use it to hang car keys when we walk in the door.

gallery wall 2

 (Last summer we went to Charleston, SC and the iron work there was amazing.  The boys and I took pictures of pieces that represented our initials.  You can also buy letter photos at most craft fairs these days, it was just more fun to find them all ourselves.)

architectural letter

initial gallery wall

Gallery wall 3

Until next time…Happy Creating.


Category: Create, Decorate

DIY Spring Wreath 2015

Spring wreath2.jpg

Yes, I am aware that I made a wreath last year for Spring, but as my husband I’m sure will attest, I am constantly changing things in my house.

Also, truth be told, the yarn I used last year faded, and I am no longer happy with the way it looks. You can see the original here.

I also changed the pillows on my front porch to grey which you can see here.

All that being said, it just made sense for me to make a new one.

So with a quick trip to Joann’s, I purchased my supplies.  It turns out that I purchased way too much felt, but I will put it away for a later date.


First, I wrapped the yarn around the wreath.  It took two packages of yarn.  When I got to the end, I tied the two ends together and cut off the excess.




Now it is time for the flowers. I used a CD to cut circles out of the felt.  I then cut the circles into spirals.


Start with the center of the spiral and wrap the spiral around the outside and use hot glue to secure the end.




I made yellow, white, and grey flowers and arranged them on the wreath.




I attached the flowers with hot glue, added a yellow bow, and hung it from the front door. Now lets hope for Spring!




Until next time…happy creating.

Dawn Marie

Category: Create

DIY Lamp Update


Here is an easy one.

I have had this lamp since I was about eight years old.  My mom painted it to match the pink flowered comforter I picked out…it also coordinated with my pink wall to wall carpet and matching pink walls, also my choice. (It may surprise you that I no longer enjoy the color pink.)

When we decorated our babies room, I used the lamp, with the flowers facing backwards and a light green shade, but other than that it has been in my basement for years.

So, with my mothers blessing, I decided to give it a facelift.  My boys had recently knocked over the lamp in the family room playing catch, so I needed a new one. (Who allows kids to play catch in the family room you may ask?  Someone who lives in the frozen tundra known as Western New York.)

Here is the original lamp.

flowered lamp

I decided to use an enamel spray paint.  Enamels are more durable than a traditional spray paint.

enamel paint

 My garage was freezing because it was zero degrees outside, so I set up a heater in order to paint.


 So, here are the results…

finished lamp

lamp update

updated lamp



Until next time…happy creating.

Dawn Marie

Category: Create