Easy Faux Marble Clock

4th February 2015

Do you ever come across beautiful (but insanely overpriced) items from Danish homeware companies and then have a lightbulb moment when you realize that you can DIY it for a fraction of the cost? Or am I just hopelessly cheap thrifty?

DIY-Marble-Wall-Clock

Because I don’t think I’m alone in not being able to justify forking over $270 for a marble clock, I’m sharing my DIY tutorial for anyone else wanting to attempt their own knock-off.

clock-supplies

Supplies:

  • 1.75 lb pack of Original Sculpey in White
  • 2 oz pack of Sculpey III in Elephant Grey
  • Clock movement kit (I used this one)
  • rolling pin
  • wax paper
  • math compass (or 11″ to 12″ diameter round object to trace)
  • exacto knife or clay knife
  • cookie sheet

marble-clock-instructions

(1) Condition the clay. Warm up and knead the clay with your hands until it is workable. I had to break my 1.75 lb pack of white clay into four fist size portions.

(2) (3) Roll, Twist, Repeat. Roll the clay into thin worm shaped segments and twist a couple gray segments in with white segments. I portioned out the clay into manageable amounts as I worked and repeated the rolling and twisting a few times until the gray was organically blended into the white but still distinguishable.

(4) Combine into ball. Roll all of the clay into one sizable ball and flatten it slightly with the palm of your hand onto a large piece of wax paper.

(5) Flatten. Roll the clay out onto the wax paper using a rolling pin until it’s roughly the shape of a circle and a consistent thickness approximately 3/8″ thick.

(6) Trace. Utilizing a math compass or a circular object 11-12″ in diameter trace out a circle onto the clay with a pencil. (I chose to use a math compass so there wouldn’t be any guessing where the center of the circle is!)

(7) Cut.  Carefully use an exacto or clay knife to cut out the circle you just traced. (Bonus tip: I re-purposed the trimmings and created smaller circles to create coasters).

(8) Finishing Touches. Create a hole for the shaft of the clock movement all the way through the center of the circle. I pulled the end off a basic pen to use as a hollow tool which created the perfect size hole for the clock movement I used. Also inspect the surface of the circle for any small air pockets. Puncture them with a sharp implement and gently press them out and smooth them.

(9) Bake and Assemble.  Transfer the wax paper to a cookie sheet and bake in an oven heated to 275°F for 60 minutes. I know the Sculpey package instructions say 15 minutes per 1/4″ thickness but mine needed much longer to fully cure. After the clock face is baked and cooled, assemble the clock following the instructions that come with the clock movement.

Faux-marble-clock

There you have it – a beautiful and easy knock-off at a savings of over $250! Happy crafting!

everard-blue

Bedroom Progress

27th January 2015

Our bedroom makeover is starting to come along with the recent completion of painting the walls. I ended up opting for the color Everard Blue from Benjamin Moore and it’s a drastic but welcome change from the neutral we started with. I usually purchase my paint from Ace hardware in the ben interior paint line but for some reason this color was unavailable in the ben line. Instead of forking over nearly $70/gallon for the Aura line, I embraced my inner cheapskate and chose to get it color matched in the Clark+Kensington line. It took two coats for good coverage over the off-white but this would have likely been the case regardless of the brand. everard-blue After painting, Jens and I also managed to get the start of our “fauxdenza” installed on the wall. These IKEA cabinets will we getting a dark wood counter top and waterfall edge treatment. In an effort to clear out some more of our garage we’re using some leftover oak flooring. I can’t wait to see how this comes together.fauxdenzaIn the coming weeks I’ll be working towards the finishing work of the platform bed drawer fronts and face frame. I ran into a hick-up with the finishing but think I’ve found a solution – I’ll share the details of that near disaster in a future post. And hopefully our new window blinds will be shipping soon so our neighbors don’t start thinking we’re nudist :) It’s not much yet but we’re already a long way from where we started. masterbedroom_before

Benjamin-Moore-Halo-OC-46

Benjamin Moore Halo

15th January 2015

Our dining room recently got a subtle update in the paint color department. It’s so subtle that I debated if it was even worth a blog post but then I stumbled across the Benjamin Moore 2015 Color Trends pallet and figured it deserved a short post since my color pick, Benjamin Moore Halo OC-46, made the elite list.

Just over a year ago, after installing board and batten in the dining room, I painted the upper walls in Benjamin Moore Edgecomb Gray. It’s a lovely tan-ish neutral but it didn’t look good against the gray color of the kitchen cabinets so I couldn’t carry the color throughout the open areas of the main floor for continuity.

Edgecomb-Gray

After holding up a couple dozen off-white paint swatches against our BM Sandy Hook Gray cabinets I narrowed it down two and purchased some actual paint samples. The winner was Benjamin Moore Halo.

BM-Halo

Narrowing down to one perfectly subtle off-white was painstakingly difficult for me and I suffered from paint paralysis for nearly a year but finally decided to commit go for it (it’s only paint). This time I think I nailed the subtle color I was going for … it only took me a year!

Benjamin-Moore-Halo-OC-46

 

industrial-style-coffee-tab

DIY Industrial Style Coffee Table

11th January 2015

I was reminded the other day what a lucky woman I am because among many things I have a husband who is both a banker (by profession) and carpenter (by hobby). Sometimes I know I take it for granted that he can build me just about anything so I figured this would be a good opportunity to brag about him a little bit and show off one of his recently completed DIY projects – our new industrial style coffee table.

industrial-style-coffee-tabInitially I was inspired by the Beaumont Coffee Table. Jens liked it but being the wood purist that he is wasn’t too thrilled about the MDF construction. The solution: he’d build one similar out of solid hickory for us.

We had planned on doing a welded together square tube metal bottom half with the slatted wood shelf but that plan fell through and we went to plan B: joining the square tube metal together with metal brackets. While I had my doubts about this plan B, we forged ahead with it only to find out that it was too flimsy to support the solid (and heavy) top. Finally we resorted to plan C: threaded together round black pipe and forego the slatted wood shelf.

And plan C ended up turning out better than I could have imagined. Take a gander.

pipe-legs

I had little to do with this project besides the wood finish work in which I used two coats of a light toner (clear finish + dye stain) to bring out the warmness in the wood followed by a couple good clear coats of my favorite water based General Finishes High Performance Polyurethane in semi-gloss.

industrial-coffee-tabletable-box-joints ring-pulls
drawer-storage

It’s nice to now have a proper coffee table in our family room and a place to stash away the remotes so they don’t get lost. It also makes a perfect spot for endless lego construction when not “styled” for blog post photos :)

So far this piece gets the award for my favorite piece of furniture my husband has made for me. Anyone else have furniture pieces made by loved ones that they cherish?

Master Bedroom Updates

6th January 2015

Well last year was a rough year for blogging and I could go on and on with excuses but it wouldn’t change anything. It’s a new year and I’m finally feeling inspired to share content again and hopefully get into a regular posting schedule but I also know that I’m also likely to totally drop the ball when life gets crazy so I’m not going to over promise. Let’s face it, blogging  is hard work (even when it’s a hobby) and sometimes I’d rather just binge watch my latest TV series obsession on Netflix.

I think Allison from House of Hepworths hit the nail on the head with this post and her new resolve for a more simplified focus on inspiring blog content and forgetting all the extra blog promotion, SEO, analytics and advertising crap that goes with it. I got too caught up in the “extra” blog stuff in 2014 and just fizzled out on it. For 2015 my plan is just to keep hacking away at my never ending project to-do list and share the progress along the way- keeping it simple and not worry about all the “extras” that make blogging feel more like work.

Since it’s been such a long time since my last blog post there’s a lot to update you on in the next coming weeks like a DIY industrial style coffee table, dining room updates, and the start of a master bedroom update. Today I’m starting with the plans for the master bedroom since nothing gets me more inspired than a putting together a fun mood board and throwing paint samples up on the wall.

Currently our bedroom is a pretty blank canvas. It’s one of the only rooms in our house that hasn’t really been touched and it needs some love desperately. The room is tiny and has two doors (hall and master bath), two windows, and a smaller closet with bi-fold doors. I’ve struggled for years on how to make the furniture arrangement work for us with a queen bed, and two dressers but nothing ever clicked and mornings were always chaotic as Jens and I tried to maneuver around the furniture and open doors/drawers while getting ready. I finally had a light bulb moment one day and realized that we could ditch the dressers if we could utilize the storage under our bed.  Here’s how simple the furniture layout will be.

bedroom-layout

On Christmas Eve we did what other normal people do while having company over – we pulled all of the furniture out of our bedroom and ripped out our nasty beige carpeting to reveal the hardwood floors below. Thank goodness for grandparents and their ability to entertain the grandkids while we’re taking advantage of a block of time to accomplish this two person task.

My plans for the room are:

  • paint the walls
  • replace the trim/baseboards
  • finish constructing a platform storage bed
  • add new lighting
  • remove/find an alternative for bi-fold closet doors
  • organize and add storage to the closet
  • add a fauxdenza for storage
  • add a gallery wall
  • purchase new mattress/bedding
  • and finally some new decor to bring in some texture

I’m envisioning a dark sophisticated teal blue wall color (inspiration photo one and two) and simple textured decor for the room as I’m showing in this mood board.

MasterBedroomMoodBoards

So far we’ve got a good start on the storage bed and moved our new Casper mattress (our Christmas gift to ourselves) into the room yesterday. I have a couple dark teal paint swatches up on the wall and I’m currently leaning toward Everard Blue on the left. I can’t wait to start painting but I’m forcing myself to finish a few other painting touch-ups throughout the house first.

Dark-Teal-Color-Swatches

Stay tuned for an update soon on our new coffee table and some small updates in the dining room coming soon.