Tag Archives: DIY

Nativity Show & Tell

9 Dec

I’m excited about Kerry Todd’s link-up to keep us focused on the REASON for the season! I love Kerry’s¬† meaningful story behind her Nativity from Haiti, so be sure to check it out and share yours, too!

My Nativity scene is something new this year! I ran across this idea online in January and couldn’t wait to make it to display this Advent and Christmas season! It is made with three 7.5 x 7.5 inch glass blocks (available at Michaels or Hobby Lobby), wired ribbon, white lights, and custom black vinyl from Vinyl Gifts and More.

Here is the set…


Who doesn’t love more lights?!


The vinyl was pretty easy to apply! I had never done it before. I used my old driver’s license that I just renewed to help transfer and it worked really well.


I used a strand of 35 lights that cost $2.99 at Hobby Lobby. I think 25-strand lights would work, as well. They cost $1.99.


I tied a big bow on top and then tied a second ribbon and bow around that one to make it look fuller on top.


I love the warm glow that this adds to my living room!

Hmmm… I wonder what some of my family and friends are getting for Christmas? ūüôā


I hope you are having a joy-filled Advent! Have a great week!


Faux Granite Countertops with Acrylic Paints? Yup, I Did It!

30 Jul

DIY faux granite

I’ve been sharing recently about how Adam and I are getting our house ready to sell. One of the weak points of our house is the worn kitchen countertops. We’ve already put so much money into the rest of the house over the course of the past five years, that we decided that it isn’t worth it to replace the counters.

We didn’t want to give potential buyers an obvious reason to not consider the house, though, so I, somewhat impulsively, decided to update them in a kind of unconventional way. Thanks to several blog posts about painting faux granite countertops from other crafty individuals, like Tracy, Kelli, Kristi, and Kristy, who have done this rather successfully, I got up the courage to attempt this myself…

Before and After Faux Granite counters

Items Used:

-Painter’s tape
-1 Quart Kilz Primer (only used about 1/4 of it!)
-Foam brush
-4 inch foam roller
-4 inch paint tray (Nifty tip – line paint tray with foil , then throw away. No clean up!)
-Acrylic craft paint (I used 8 oz. black mixed with 2 oz. of Metallic black and 2 oz. gray and 2 oz. metallic bronze)
-Envirotex Lite (I used 40 oz. total)
-Small bucket/paint stirrer
-Large putty knife
-Plastic drop cloths/newspaper
-Vinyl gloves
-Plastic grocery bag and/or artist sponge(s)
-Paper plates

5 Steps to Faux Granite Countertops!

1. I taped off walls and the sink and primed the clean countertops with Kilz.


2. I mixed 2 oz. of the Folk Art metallic black paint with 8 oz. of the black acrylic and rolled this color on as my base. I used a small foam brush to get around the sink and close to the walls. Prior to painting, I made sure to cover the cabinets with plastic drop cloths, which was especially important for step #4.


3. Then, the fun part – sponging on the paint! Using a wadded-up plastic grocery bag, I lightly pounced the gray acrylic randomly over the surface. I then added black. I repeated this process with the same colors again. I started using an artist sponge with the black so it covered better. (I wanted a primarily black countertop with a marble-y look.) I used a small artist sponge and sparingly dabbed some of the metallic bronze paint. I used very little of the paint in this bottle. I sponged over all of the colors again with black and added a little more gray in some areas to add some contrast.

Giani Granite has some good tutorials on how to sponge on paint. I agree with them that adding on another layer while the previous color is still wet, gives the counters a more realistic, dimensional look.


4. After letting the acrylic paint dry for at least an hour, I poured on the Envirotex Lite. I spread it over the countertops with a large putty knife. It was easier, and harder, than I thought to do this step. It was easier to spread than I thought, but it was harder to make sure every surface was covered evenly. I found a couple small patches near the walls that I had missed while doing this at 1:30 AM! This had to cure for at least 3 days before using. It’s also recommended not to set small appliances back on the countertops until after one week. We’re almost there! I can’t wait to have full functionality of my kitchen again!

This is definitely high gloss stuff! It brought out the colors and the subtle shimmer in the black paint instantly! I really love the overall look, but the high gloss emphasizes mistakes, too!


5. After the sealer cured, I removed the painter’s tape. I had my husband help with a box cutter because the Envirotex made it difficult to remove the tape evenly. I mildly freaked out after the tape was removed, but after spending a couple hours touching up the walls with a little paint and a small brush, the finished product was MUCH better!

DIY Faux Countertops

Not a bad upgrade for a total cost of about $60! I bought the Envirotex at Michaels with a 40% off coupon. It typically runs about $30 for¬†32 oz. I also scored some of my acrylic paints at Michaels for 34 cents! They were on sale for half off last week! I probably could have spent less if we had already had some basic supplies on hand, but I needed a 4″ roller, plastic drop cloths, and vinyl gloves, etc. The gloves were a must! The Envirotex is sticky and it kept all the paint off my hands while sponging! I probably went through like five pairs during the whole process!

So, was I completely crazy to do this? At various times I thought I was, but overall I’m happy with how my countertops turned out!

Keep Your Change

This article is part of my Keep Your Change series! For more money saving posts, click here!

5 FREE Father’s Day Printables!

11 Jun

Keep Your Change

I’m always on the look-out for cute, easy, and¬†inexpensive sentimental¬†gifts! While searching for Father’s Day ideas for my husband from our two little girls, I found some great printables that I’ll be holding on to for future years! Below are five of my favorite¬†FREE Father’s Day¬†printables that I stumbled upon online! (And since they’re free, this is a perfect post for my Keep Your Change series!)


Father’s Day Photo Collage & Printables from Positively Splendid¬†

Detailed step-by-step instructions listed. There are also additional names to choose from instead of just Daddy.


Free Download: A Book For Dad from Eighteen 25

All that is needed to create this project¬†is a 4×6 photo book, ribbon, and a stapler! BONUS: There’s also a downloadable book for Grandpa, too!


Father’s Day Handprint Tree 2013 from The Crafting Chicks

I’ve seen this one all over Pinterest, so you may have already, too!


Father’s Day Subway Art from Pink Ink Doodle

The printable is available in 8×10 and 5×7 sizes.


Father’s Day Questionnaire Printable at The Crafting Chicks


Five Favorites, hosted at MoxieWife.com

I’m also linking up again with Hallie this week! Be sure to check out everybody else’s five favorite things and join up, too!

Five Favorites vol. 7

14 May

Five Favorites, hosted at MoxieWife.com

Another Tuesday is here, which means it’s time for another Five Favorites¬†link-up with Hallie! If you haven’t joined yet, you should!


Catholic Underground is an event geared towards young adults that is active in some other big cities in the U.S. and even Europe! If you haven’t heard of it before, click here to read more about it!

Adam and I first heard about Nashville Catholic Underground through a friend who suggested Adam should play a show. Fortunately, we were able to go check it out this past Saturday! The evening began with Eucharistic adoration and ended with a concert in the basement of St. Mary of the Seven Sorrows, which is the oldest church still standing in Nashville! Adam is going to play a show when the new season starts up after the summer!


Buy the EP now!

Another cool part about making it out to Catholic Underground the other night, was that I met up with a fellow Nashvillian and Catholic musician, Tori Harris.  I ran across her blog last fall and recently saw that she released her EP at the beginning of this year. I saw this awesome article on EntreCatholic.com last week and mentioned it on Twitter, which led to a conversation about when we should meet-up. How convenient that Catholic Underground was the very next day?! Has to be a Godincidence, right?!

Be sure to check out Tori’s EP, Adoremus, which is¬†available on iTunes!¬†I got chills a couple times while listening in the car the other¬†morning!


I love this eyebrow kit from Bare Escentuals! I never realized how much filled-in brows can really enhance your make-up look until I started using this powder a few years ago. It looks natural and very little product needs to be applied, which makes one jar last a very long time (like, years)!


Could this homemade scrub¬†be any easier?! I made some as a gift for Mother’s Day. My hands felt very smooth after using it!


Dietrich Bonhoeffer Quote

¬†I absolutely love these words by Bonhoeffer! I used to just try to “be good.”¬†Now, I’m really trying to listen to what God wants me to do.¬†I’m continously growing every day and¬†I live life with much more energy and purpose! For more of my favorite¬†inspirational words of wisdom, click here!


Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

3 Easy Spring Activities for Kids!

23 Apr


For most of us in the country, warmer weather has arrived! It’s time to break out the sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and sand! Sometimes, though, it’s nice to do something a little different than the usual go-to outdoor activities. After exploring Pinterest and some other fun ideas that I had bookmarked, my young girls and I spent some time doing the following three activities. BONUS: All of the items were things we had around the house (or printed out)!


Sidewalk Paint


I found this idea for Liquid Sidewalk Chalk on Pinterest. This recipe is so simple.  Just mix 1 cup of water with 1 cup of cornstarch and then pour into muffin tins. Stir in food coloring. 

Next time I will use a little more food coloring because our colors came out more pastel than vibrant once the girls started painting.¬†I also don’t recommend using foam brushes, since they got torn up on the concrete!¬† This¬†was a little messy for my 2-year-old,¬†so it was bathtime afterwards!¬†Her clothes washed up nicely, at least!


Toilet Paper Roll Butterflies


I found how to make these cute little guys on Pinterest, too. The PDF template for these butterflies is available via Krafy Kid. Also, the site Kids Kubby showcases several different toilet paper roll craft activities. Who knew there were so many uses?!

I had to quickly take the picture above, since my youngest daughter was anxious to tear the eyes, antennaes, and wings off! At least they were cute for the few minutes that they lasted!


Nature Bracelets


This nature bracelet is so simple! Just wrap a piece of packing tape around your kid’s wrist, sticky-side out.¬†Then,¬†let them loose around the backyard or the park to find flowers, leaves, etc.!¬†This would be fun to do in the fall, too!

What is one of your family’s favorite activities?¬†


Keep Your ChangeThis post is part of my Keep Your Change series! For more money-saving posts, click here!