Painted Clementine Box

It took me forever to give clementines a chance. I've always hated tangerines (still do), and clementines looked way too much like tangerines for my comfort. But one day at work many jobs ago, a coworker offered me a clementine when I said I was hungry and had forgotten to bring an afternoon snack. I didn't want to be rude, so I took it. Of course, it was amazing. 

Now when clementines are in season, I eat at least two of them every day. Maybe four. It depends on how snacky I am and how sweet the particular batch I got is. Some days I feel like they're the only positive element of winter - that and getting to wear chunky sweaters.

Every now and then I buy them in one of those orange netted bags, but usually they're in a wooden box. By the end of the winter, I've thrown away perhaps a dozen of them. They're not recyclable (at least not here), and I feel terrible about it. So I've started to put them to use as storage containers. 

I had a perfect spot for one at the bottom of the new multi-shelf floor lamp in my studio, but it needed to look pretty. So I did a quick paint job, and now it's holding all of my stamping supplies (of which I have a surprising amount) and looking good doing it. 

You may have noticed a theme with my craft projects. For the most part, easy is the name of the game for me. It's not that I don't love more involved projects. It's just that I have a hard time finishing them - they're all in partially completed form in rubbermaid containers in the closet. Whoops.

No need to put this one away for later. You can finish it in an hour, tops. And most of that time is waiting for the paint to dry. 

Clementine box
2 bottles of craft paint in coordinating colors
paint brush
painters tape 

1. Tape diagonally from corner to corner across each side of the clementine box to mark off the bottom section of the box. 

2. Paint the taped off bottom section with your first paint color. I chose a metallic gold. 

3. Once that has dried, remove the tape and then tape again across the straight line of that gold paint from corner to corner to mark off the top section of the box. 
4. Painted the taped off top section with your second paint color. I chose a soft purple. 
5. Once that has dried, remove the tape and voila! 

Note: You could paint the box all over, then tape off the bottom section and paint that in the coordinating color to save yourself the effort of taping twice. But since the taping doesn't take much time and cuts down on the amount of paint I use, I went that route. 

It fits perfectly on that last shelf of my new lamp and corrals all my stamps and ink pads, which had previously been floating around in a giant bin that had a random assortment of crafty things. Organization win!

p.s. That crocheted bag. The sewing machine. The needlepoint save the date. 

Like what you just read? Share it with a friend! You can also follow ktmade on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram so you'll never miss a post. And you'll earn my undying affection!

Stenciling the Bathroom

Sometimes you envision a project, and you get so excited about it that you immediately rush to the internet and buy all the materials you need.  Then you start to work out the details and you realize...maybe it's not possible.

If you're lucky, your mom comes to visit and while she's telling you that you're insane and that there's no way it can be done, she still figures out all the ways to make it happen and works alongside you so that at the end of the weekend, you're left with perhaps your favorite DIY project ever.

If you're looking for a stenciling project, you might not want to start in the bathroom.  But then again, I love how this turned out.  Of course, it meant taking the medicine cabinet and light fixture off the wall, standing in an awkwardly hunched position on the sink, balancing on the edges of the tub, and getting cozier with the toilet than I'd ever like to be.  So, just keep that in mind.

For stenciling this single wall in our hall bathroom, I used the Endless Moorish Circles from Royal Design Studio Stencils, and here's the only way we got it to work: we cut the stencil.  I don't have a picture of this, but it's a large stencil - over a foot long and wide.  There's a border of about 2 inches all the way around the stencil.  At the edges where the stencil hits the ceiling, the other walls, the floor, or the shower stall, the two-inch border would have left a two-inch gap with no stenciling.  The instructions that come with the stencil tell you to remedy that problem by pushing the stencil into the corner where the walls or ceiling meet, securing it to the wall you're working on, and leaving the other part of the stencil hanging free.  (This might be confusing unless you have a stencil and a wall in front of you.)  That sounded good, but the stencil was quite firm and not super pliable.  Also, at the parts where the wall I was stenciling met both the ceiling and the opposite wall, the idea of folding it seemed impossible.  Even if we had been able to made it work, the whole thing would've taken double the time.

What my mom suggested instead - and what ended up being the bright idea that made it all possible - was that we cut the borders off two sides of the stencils.  We measured and cut carefully, and then we had the straight lines we could press right up against the wall or the ceiling with no border.  It was simple enough to cut and made everything so much easier. (I did use their method of pushing it into the corners for the opposite side where the stenciled wall met the other non-stenciled wall, but the big benefit was that I didn't have to do that on the ceiling at all.)

The basic painting of the bathroom took me about 4 hours, and then the stenciling took me and my mom together about 5 hours.  I love it so very much that it was 100% worth the time.  Every time I walk by, I smile.

For the background paint color (the lighter color on all the walls), I used Benjamin Moore Riviera Azure.  For the darker accent color, I used True Value Wanderlust.  For that accent color, I used a $3.99 can of sample paint, and I still have half the can left.

For as challenging as it was, I would recommend a stenciling project to anyone because the outcome is so stunning - like wallpaper but without all the yuckiness of wallpapering and without the difficulty of changing the wall later if you grow out of the design.  Not that I can ever imagine that happening here.

Poem Canvas

I've been wanting to paint a big canvas with words on it for a while. I was inspired originally by Alisa Burke's and then later by Elise Blaha's script canvases. 

Since I've been getting into fiddling around with acrylic paints and have been blessed with ample wall space, now seemed like a good time to put some words up. 

My favorite poem - Wild Geese by Mary Oliver - was an obvious choice. I wanted the canvas for over my dresser, and the words seem like exactly the ones I should read as I go to bed each night and when I wake up in the morning. 

I primed the surface of my canvas with white acrylic paint mixed with water, and then I got to it with regular old black acrylic paint. I wrote everything out once fairly quickly to get the natural flow of my handwriting, and then I went back over it all a second time to even out the thickness of the paint on each letter. 

I'm on the fence. 

I'm feeling now like it's too neat. I'd like it to be a little messier. Perhaps I should have skipped going over it a second time and just allowed the imperfect look of some letters being darker than others? Or done it in all caps? I thought about that at first but decided against it because the capital letters seemed a little aggressive to me for the gentleness of the poem. But now I'm second guessing.

I just propped it on the dresser for now because I'm going to give it a little time to be before I decide which way to go with it. 

I've also been brainstorming ways that I could make it a little messier or more interesting now. 

Any thoughts??