DIY Engraved Wood Signs [Tutorial]

I’m not usually big into art and signs with quotes and sayings…but I can appreciate a cute little saying every now and then.  I’m especially a sucker for beachy [I wish spell check would stop telling me “beachy” is not a word…it is in my vocabulary!] quotes & sayings.  I always have lots of scrap wood laying around that I like to find uses for, so the other day I decided to turn one of them into an engraved sign!  Of course I chose one of my favorite quotes to put on it…anyone who lives near the coast can relate this ;)
How to make an engraved wood sign [tutorial]

All you’ll need for this project is a piece of wood to engrave, two paint colors, and a printer!

Select a piece of wood to engrave and apply a base coat of paint to it.  I always have scrap wood laying around, my piece of wood actually came from an old table I took apart!  I chose to paint my sign in CeCe Caldwell’s Nantucket Spray to give it a beachy feel.

**For best results, I recommend using chalk paint because it will sand off and give the cleanest finish in the end.

Next, decide what your sign will say!  Again, I went with the beachy vibe, so mine said “Sandy toes, salty kisses”.  Print your message in whatever font you’d like your sign to be in.  Cut it out and arrange it on your sign.

Next, using a ball point pen (preferably one you wouldn’t mind ruining!), trace the text onto the wood.  Press hard as you go, the key here is for the pen to engrave into the wood!

After you’ve finished tracing the letters, your sign should look a little something like this!

Next, use your second paint color and a tiny paint brush to paint over the engraved text.  I chose CeCe Caldwell’s Cinco Bayou Moss, the gold was a great contrast on the pale Nantucket Spray

After you’ve painted on the text and it’s dried, take a super fine grit sand paper and rub lightly over the text.  You will see the paint on the outside of the letters sand off, while the engraved portion of the text remains!  You can touch up any areas that rubbed off too much, if you need to. This will also give your sign a nice, weathered effect!

Here’s how the finished product should look!

Now all I need is a sandy beach to dig my toes into…ah well, summer will be here soon enough!

handmade owl heatpack-lavende and flax

DIY Lavender + Flax Owl Heat Pack

Now that the rush of the holiday season is behind us, I say it’s fine time to start focusing on other important things like relaxation and our own wellness =)  I know that I’m a big hypocrite when it comes to this because I’m always running around trying to cram 17,000 things into one day (as I’m sure many of you do as well)!  At any rate, every now and then I try to squeeze in a little R&R…I was in this frame of mind the other day when I decided to create today’s adorable DIY =)  I’ve seen a few DIY heat packs around the web and I’ve always thought they’d be fun to make, so I went ahead and made my own the other day!  I sewed my heat pack into an owl shape then filled it with flax seed and lavender, I absolutely love the end result… and it forced me to relax on the sofa with it for a bit ;)



Two pieces of fabric, approx 9″ H x 8″ W

Two small pieces of scrap fabric (for eyes)

One small piece of orange fabric (for beak)

1/4 cup dried lavender buds

1/2 cup flax seed

3/4 cup rice


Cut your owl shapes out of fabric.  Start with the owls head, cutting an oval shape with ears (remember you need a back and front, so cut two pieces of fabric on top of one another). The size of my body was approx. 9″ L x 8″ W. Next, it’s time to cut they eyes.  Cut two circles approx. 3″ in diameter, using a solid colored fabric. Then two more circles approx. 2″ in diameter, using a coordinating print.  Finally, cut two more circles approx. 1″ in diameter in the same solid fabric you used for the large circles.  Last, cut out an orange triangle for the beak.

It’s time to make the owls eyes.  Begin by sewing the medium sized circles onto the middle of the large circles.  Next, sew the small circles onto the bottom of the medium circles….

Now it’s time to attach the owl’s eyes and beak to his face!  Use a sewing machine or needle and thread to attach the eyes and beak to the owl’s face.

Next, sew the front and back of your owl’s head together using a sewing machine or needle and thread.  Make sure to leave a small open space (about 2″)  on one side so that you can fill your owl heat pack with the flax, lavender and rice.

Now it’s time to fill up your owl heat pack with flax, lavender and rice!  I chose to fill a separate pouch then insert that into the owl.  You can simply pour the flax, lavender and rice directly into the owl or fill a separate pouch and insert that if your heat pack fabric is thinner.  I made my pouch by sewing two squares of fabric together, simple!  Once you’ve filled your owl with the materials, simply sew him closed!

Your handmade owl heat pack is now complete!  Throw him into the microwave for 30 seconds to warm him up, then use him to relieve sore muscles or simply snuggle with!

Now you just have to remember to make some time for a little rest & relaxation!



Farmhouse Wide Plank Floor Made from Plywood! [DIY]

As many of you know, it was just two short weeks ago that we opened the doors to the Picklee shop in Newport, RI! Getting the shop ready was a super exciting (and stressful!) process.  We were faced with a stinky, old, run down storefront that had been neglected for YEARS, but we had big plans to make the shop a beautiful place.  Sort of like reviving a stinky old chair…but on a much larger scale ;)

We fell in love with the space because it was in historic home built in the early 1700’s, so it was packed with original details and character…oh yea, and it was in the heart of the Newport waterfront shopping district =)

When it came time to renovate the shop, one of the first projects we took on was the floor.  The shop came with a Berber carpet that was probably three thousand years old…OK, maybe not that old-but it sure looked and smelt like it.  We knew we wanted to bring in beautiful & unique flooring that kept the shop true to it’s era, and save on costs at the same time.  We tossed around ideas for a while, and then eureka!  We decided we would create a wide plank, farmhouse style flooring using good ol’ fashion PLYWOOD!  Sounds a little crazy right? That’s what the guys at Home Depot thought too…just wait until I march back in and show them this!


I am absolutely thrilled with how beautiful the Picklee shop’s plywood floor turned out!  Its classic and true to the age of the space with it’s wide plank style, yet has a coastal farmhouse feel with it’s rustic look and white-washed finish.  I’ll to show you exactly how to get the look by making your very own wide plank plywood floor!

DIY Farmhouse Wide Plank Plywood Floor

First, I head over to my local Home Depot to scope out the different types of plywood.  I chose to use standard 1/2″ thick 4′ x 8′ sheets at a cost of just under $20 each!  I opted for these because they wern’t perfect.  They had knots, markings and lots of color variations…this was exactly the look I was going for!

With (lots of) help from the guys at HD, I loaded up my cart with the plywood sheets.  I needed 14 sheets since I would be covering an area of just under 450 square feet.  My original plan was to bring the sheets home and convince my lovely fiance to cut them into into planks for me, but then a miracle happened…the wonderful man at HD offered to cut them all for me!

In order to have zero waste, I chose to have the boards cut into 8 inch by 8 foot lengths, giving me six planks per sheet of plywood.  Thankfully I picked a slow time of day to go to HD because it took a little over an hour (and two trips to the shop and back) to cut all 14 sheets.  I am so grateful to the guys at Home Depot, even though they looked at me like I had 10 heads when I told them my plan for the planks ;)

Once the planks were cut, I brought them into the shop and laid them out.  First, I took out an electric sander and sanded all rough edges and splinters.  Next, I made up a mixture of 1/4 CeCe Caldwells Simply White Chalk Paint and 3/4 water.  You can alter this mixture depending on how “white” you want your flooring.  I used a roller attached to a broom handle to apply a coat of the white washed paint to all of the planks.

This next step is where my lovely fiance came in…some days I just don’t know what I would do without him =) First, Brett applied Bostik flooring adhesive to the backs of the plywood planks.  Next, he laid them into place then used a finish nailer to secure them to the floor.  We were lucky enough to have a strong wood sub-floor to shoot the finish nails into.  Brett used 1 1/2″ nails and shot them in on an angle.  We chose this method because we wanted the floor to have that rustic look.  The nails were spaced out about every 12″, placing two all along either side of each plank.

It’s important to have spaces in between the planks because wood will shift and expand over time.  We found that a metal straight edge gave the perfect distance between planks, so Brett used that as a spacing guide.

As Brett went on nailing down the boards, he used a table saw to cut some of them into different lengths so that we would give the boards a staggered look.  You can see some of the shorter lengths above…

See I helped a little here, passing him the pieces ;)

Once the entire floor was down, about 6 hours later…we applied three coats of Minwax Polyurethane (in satin) to give the floor a protective finish.  We waited 24 hours in between the first two coats, then only 2 hours between the second and third coat. Less than $300 and a day later, the floor was complete!  I couldn’t be more happy with the results =)

Sheer bliss….


Here’s a photo of the floors inside the Picklee on Spring shop, 4 months after the install!  They are holding up wonderfully and we receive compliments daily!

I’ve had lots of questions about how to calculate square footage needed, here’s how…

Each sheet of plywood it 4′x 8′ (32 square feet). Simply divide the total sqaure footage of your space by 32 to figure out home many sheets you’ll need. Then just add an extra sheet or two for scraps!

UPDATE! We’ve done it again!  Check out our latest painted plywood floor in our new home office!

Spruce up your home with these DIY Home Décor Projects too!


fabric scraps christmas cards 4

Fabric Scrap Christmas Cards [DIY]

“Sending Christmas Cards!”…I just can’t seem to get that phrase out of my head from the infamous 12 Days of Christmas song!  Why you ask? I’ve been busy making Christmas cards from fabric scraps!  I got the idea from a recent Fresh Picked Friday’s post I published with similar Christmas cards using fabric scraps…Since I have a bajillion pieces of fabric scraps, I knew this was one project I had to try.  I decided to make reindeer faces out of different fun prints, then draw on the reindeer’s features.  This was such a fun project, and it saved me from having to spend a lot on Christmas cards too!  Here’s how my fabric scrap Christmas cards turned out…

I just love how each card is unique and one-of-a-kind! Plus, I ended up personalizing the cards a bit depending on who I was sending them too; for example, my friends with new babies received a card with two big reindeer and a little baby reindeer =)

These DIY Christmas cards were super easy to make.  First, I picked up some blank card stock with envelopes for $5 at Target (I love that place!)

Then,I started out by cutting pieces of fabric into these round shapes for the reindeer’s head.  I simply cut a wide round bottom, then a small round top like this…

Next, I used a few light swirls of Elmer’s Glue to attach the fabric to my blank card stock…

For this next step, I used fabric paint “pens”, but you could use regular paint, or even markers for a similar effect.

Using my fabric paint pens, I drew the antlers, eyes, and smiles onto my reindeer. You can be creative with this step and have fun with creating different personalities for your reindeer =)

Next, I used a red fabric paint pen to draw the big red noses on my reindeer…this is what really makes them ;)

Now all you have left is to wait for the cards to dry, then personalize each one with a message on the back side!  Who would’nt love to receive one of these handmade Christmas cards?!  I know I would ;)

If you like these DIY Christmas cards, check out these DIY paper mache Christmas ornaments!


Paper Mache Newsprint Ornaments [DIY]

One of my favorite things about Christmas is setting up the tree and admiring all the ornaments I’ve collected through the years.  Most of my ornaments have either come from places I’ve visited or bring back special memories.  This year, I decided to make a few of my own ornaments after I discovered these amazing Newsprint ornaments on Terrain

After falling in love with these ornaments, I figured I might be able to make my own DIY version!  I ended up creating a few different ornaments, but the first was the funky flamingo!  So I started off with a simple paper mache recipe:  3 parts flour to one part water, and a dash of salt.

Next, I added a bit of paint to give the flamingo it’s pink color.  I used a transparent gloss enamel paint by Deco Art because I wanted to be sure the newsprint on my flamingo would show through, all while keeping it’s signiture pink color.  I slowly mixed in the paint until I arrived at the perfect pink color…is it true that flamingos are pink because they eat shrimp?  I’ve always wondered….??

Next, I used 16 gauge wire to create my flamingo body…this took a bit of time to get it just right…

I stuffed a little paper inside the flamingo’s belly to keep it’s shape! Next, I cut newspaper into small strips to get it ready for the paper mache…

To apply the newsprint to the flamingo, I dipped it into my flour, water and paint mixture then simply stuck it onto the flamingo’s body…

I applied two coats of newspaper to the flamingo then let it sit out and dry for about two hours.   He looked great after this, but I decided he needed a bit more color, so I used the Americana transparent gloss paint again and brushed on a very light coat.

My flamingo ornament turned out so great, I decided I would make a few more animal ornaments to go along with him!  I ended up making a whale, seahorse, and a silly octopus…these are the colors used to create them (by Deco Art, Americana):

Here are the rest of my Newsprint ornaments!

Which newsprint ornament is your favorite?

Feeling extra creative?  Check out Deco Art Paint’s 12 Days of Christmas for many more Christmas ornament ideas using their paints!

You can find these ornaments available for purchase at Picklee on Spring!


diy tag stamp envelope

Fresh Picked Friday [Vol. 26]

Happy Friday! [11/30/12]

Sending Christmas Cards! [DIY Tag Stamps]

Who said fried rice wasn’t healthy? [quinoa fried rice recipe]

Be-dazzle your Christmas packages! [one-minute pom poms!]

Lover of all that it French…[Revived French Armoire]

Gifts for him [100 gift ideas for men]

The perfect holiday dress [Izabel London]

Frosting Christmas goodies [amazing “magical frosting”]

vintage fan7

The Vintage Fan Restoration [before & after]

Every so often, the stars align just right and I’m able to convince Brett to come along with me on a flea market trip.  Generally, he enjoys those types of things (not as much as me, but enough ;) ), he just gets too busy and forgets!  On a recent trip, we stumbled upon this awesome vintage Kenmore fan.  I think these things are great, I just won’t normally buy them because I’ve got pieces of furniture on my mind.  I was glad Brett tagged along because he convinced me to pick up this fan, and promised he’d take on the restoration, fine by me!

Brett did a fabulous job documenting his transformation.  He first shared it on his blog, DailyMilk, now we get to enjoy it!

We’ll start with the before and after of the fabulous vintage Kenmore fan transformation:

Pretty amazing transformation, huh? Brett did all of this using plenty of tools, a ton of patience, and good quality spray paint!

In order to properly restore the fan, Brett decided to completely disassemble the whole thing.  He wanted it perfectly restored and painted.  The first thing he did was remove the fan cover by taking out a screw on the back of the fan. The cover slid right off to reveal the motor and brackets holding it in. Before he got into cleaning the inside he figured it might be best to remove the fan cage too. He pried the cage off with a screwdriver, cleaned it, and set it aside. Brett thoroughly scrubbed and cleaned every part and every particle of dust with antibacterial cleaner.

Next, Brett removed the fan blade by squeezing an Allan wrench between the blades.

Brett then removed the entire motor. Mainly because he wanted to paint the fan shaft gold, the same color as the fan blade, without getting paint all over the black motor body. Also, since this fan was so old, it had all kinds of dust and grime stuck to the motor and vents, which you could also smell…this absolutely needed to be addressed!

When it came to cleaning the grungy brass “Kenmore” plaque Brett first assumed he’d have to go out and buy brass cleaner.  Then he figured there must be another solution on Google; sure enough, he found a fer great options. What he chose for an easy brass cleaner alternative was good ol’ worcestershire sauce!  He used an old toothbrush and scrubbed the brass with worcestershire until it was clean. It worked really well!

To prepare the fan for it’s paint job, Brett taped up the newly cleaned brass.  He first traced it with a pen to make sure it fully adhered to the brass, then trimmed it with a razor blade.

Now that all the parts were separated, Brett used gloss black spray paint on the fan body, and gold metallic on the blades.  Three coats of paint later, the fan had dried and it was time to put it back together!

What a wonderful transformation!  I’m so glad Brett took this on too, he’s already itching for another one…I can see why, the results are incredible!

This fan fit perfectly on my newly revived industrial modern desk too!

What do you think of Brett’s fan?  Share your thoughts and rate it below!

chalkboard_mug DIY

Fresh Picked Friday [Vol. 22]


It’s Friday, yippee! So sit back, relax with a Spiked Apple Cider Spritzer and take in some great inspiration! 

Snuggle up with some hot cocoa [DIY chalk board mug]


Simple dinner with “use what you have” ingredients [sweet & sour chicken]


Halloween, Christmas…you name it! [DIY Wopper Candy Garland]


Crafts with the kids [DIY felt starfish]

Simple & Chic [rustic planter with white roses]

Now THAT’S what I call a kitchen!

If you’re craving something sweet this weekend, try whipping up this Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Cake!

Have a fabulous weekend!




the tangerine bead strand bracelet

Tangerine Bead Strand Bracelet [DIY]

When it comes to jewelry (especially bracelets), my motto has always been “simple is better”.  I really don’t like the feeling (and sound!) of clunky pieces clanging together on my wrists… I’m not really a costume jewelry girl either, when I put on a piece of jewelry it usually stays on until it I either get really sick of it or it falls off…partly because I’m not the best at “accessorizing”, but mostly because I get so busy I just forget!  That being said, I’m really loving the string jewelry right now.  It looks so simple & classic, and the best part for me of course is that you barely know you’re wearing it!  I created today’s DIY bracelet with this trend in mind…here it is, the Tangerine Bead Strand Bracelet

The Tangerine Bead Strand Bracelet [DIY]

For this DIY string & bead bracelet, you will need embroidery string (color of your choice, there’s a million options!), 6-8 tiny beads (of your choice), and a metal finding post. 

First, slide your beads onto the metal finding post…

Secure the beads onto the post by using jewelry pliers to roll the end of the finding into a loop.  Keep in mind that you will need two loops on either side of the finding to slide the string through.

Cut two pieces of string in equal lengths (each of mine were approx. 10″).  Then slide them through either end of the finding.  There should be extra string length so that you have enough string to tie the bracelet around your wrist.

That’s all folks!  Your bead strand bracelet is complete!  Simply tie it around your wrist, trim the extra string and your done!

The possibilities for variations on this bracelet are virtually limitless! Here’s another variation on the DIY Bead Strand Bracelet…

Oh, and if you like that blue & gold chain wrap bracelet click here to learn how to make it!

beach wood-iron rustic table-diy

Rustic Wood & Iron Table [DIY]

After finally completing our finished basement, Brett and I (let’s face it, mostly “I” ;)) were left with the task of furnishing it…  To me, this was the fun part, the moment I had been waiting for!  We had already decided that the basement would be Brett’s space, a “man cave” if you will, minus the flashing Budweiser signs and football branded memorabilia…I’m sorry, I just can’t!  So we found a style we both agreed on- coastal/ rustic (hence the comfy nautical striped built in seating area we created).

As we began filling up the space, one piece we were in need of was a sofa table.  There was no way I was going out to buy one…we’d spent enough money on this basement already!  So since we were going with the whole coastal-rustic vibe, I decided to hit up a nearby marina/ beach for some inspiration.  I came across a huge pile of salvage dock pieces, coincidentally the same length as the sofa table we needed ;)…I convinced Brett to help me load it into the car (despite how ridiculous we looked to onlookers!)  I had a clear vision for my DIY rustic sofa table…I wanted it made from this simple salvage beach wood, and black iron legs, sort of like this rustic farm table from Restoration Hardware:

Using lots of inspiration, I created my own rustic wood & metal table for a fraction of what it would cost to buy one!  Here’s how the finished product turned out…

Rustic Wood & Iron Table [DIY]

The first step I took in creating the rustic sofa table was to measure the exact height that I wanted it to be.  I took my measurements to Home Depot, where I found this fabulous threaded black iron pipe (1″ diameter).  The wonderful thing about good ol’ HD is that they’ll cut just about anything for you!  So I grabbed 4 pieces of black iron pipe, then brought them over to be cut and re-threaded (such a cool process if you’ve never seen it before!).  Once the pipes were cut, I grabbed 4 flanges to mount to the wood (which I would screw the pipes into), along with 4 black iron end caps (these would be the feet on my table).

Here’s a better image of the piece of salvage dock I picked up :)

Once I got my table parts home, I flipped the table top over then measured and marked where I wanted the legs to go.  This was the spot I would attach the flanges to.

l’m getting much better with the power tools!

Next, I simple screwed my pre-cut pieces of black iron pipe into the flanges underneath the table…this is too simple!

For the last step, I simply threaded the iron end caps onto the bottoms of the pipe so they would be the feet for my table….

…and that’ it!  I was really surprised at home simple this table turned out to be, and it looks truly amazing!  I think I’ll leave the table top raw for now, then maybe I’ll apply a coat of poly later…