Doily Stenciled and Stained Desk

This DIY was a labour of love for about 3 months! When I moved into my new place I couldn’t take my old desk because it was too big. I had seen a post on Pinterest – Paisley Stenciled Table – that I had fallen in love with and knew I wanted to find a way to make it happen for my new desk. There was some trial and error with it but in the end I love how it turned out. I looked into buying a similar stencil but they are pricey! So I found another way to make it happen. I own a Cricut, so I started looking through my cartridges to see if I had anything suitable to use for a stencil. I found a cute “doily” like cutout that I thought would work. Below is my final product. I love it! It was a lot of work but totally worth it!

Stenciled Desk

I chose not to do an all over pattern on the table because I thought it would be too overwhelming with the small stencils I was using. Here are the steps and materials involved:

Materials Needed:
– a table (I bought a pine table top and legs from Ikea. I had looked into getting a table second hand but couldn’t find one that would work for this DIY.)
– white paint (I didn’t need very much so I bought a Behr interior/exterior paint sample size at Home Depot)
– pre-stain treatment for the wood
– wood stain in the colour of your choice
– foam brushes (1 and 2 inch sizes)
– cotton cloth
– sand paper and sander

Step 1

You will need to start by sanding the table and legs. At first I had thought I could sand it by hand, I quickly realized that would take FOREVER, so I moved to plan b. I borrowed an electric sander from my grandfather and also got some help from Leanne with her heavy duty sander! Its important to have a smooth surface when you apply the stain. Don’t forget to sand the legs as well. (I didn’t and learned the hard way that I should have.)

Step 2

Cut out your stencils. I knew I wouldn’t do an all over pattern on the table because it is such a large table but I knew I wanted a mirror effect from one side to the other. So I cut out my stencils in 5 sizes so that I had some variety. I used 5.5″, 5″, 4.5″, 4″ and 3″.

cricut cartridge
I laid out my stencils as I went to figure out the pattern I wanted. I used a 1″ foam brush to apply the paint and used a daubing technique to get in all the holes on the stencil. This definitely requires patience! It helps that I am a perfectionist so this tedious step was right up my alley.

step one

Yes that is a glass of wine in the photo on the floor. 😉 I often have a glass of wine while I am crafting! You can see I used alot of stencils. Even though I used the heaviest card stock I have I still found I needed to cut new stencils often. The paint got caked on the stencils pretty thick and it made it harder to use the stencil. I also made a map as I went (that’s what the notebook in the photo was for). I wanted to make sure I could mirror the exact pattern on the opposite side of the table. Tip: use only white paper for the stencils when applying the paint. I used the red ones just for placement value of the pattern.

stenciling

Step 3

Take your table outside or into a garage if you have one, to start the staining process. You need good ventilation for staining. First you will need to apply a coat of the pre-stain treatment (red can). Read the can for proper directions. If I remember correctly – apply with foam brush, wipe lightly with cotton cloth and let it dry for about 15-20 mins.

stain materials

pre-stain

Step 4

First coat of stainFirst coat dried

Apply the stain. I did 3 coats and stopped because I was happy with the look. You many want it darker, it will all depend on the colour stain you buy and the look you want. I used a 2″ foam brush to apply the stain. I would do one whole coat and then go back to the beginning and start to wipe the stain with the cotton cloth. The photo on the left was taken after I had applied the first coat. The photo on the right is after the first coat had dried. I took these photos to show how different it looks after it dries. This is why you need more than one coat.

Step 5

Last step will be to apply a few coats of polyurethane or varathane. This helps to seal the stain and protect the wood. I knew this desk would be used daily so I wanted to make sure it was well protected. I applied 4 coats to the top. Between each coat you will need to do a very light sanding to make it smooth. And I mean LIGHT sand, a very gentle swipe and that’s it. On the bottom of the table top and the legs I only did one coat because I knew they would be ok with less. I allowed the varathane to dry 24 hours between coats. (Not because you have to but because I had to due to my work schedule.)

Here is a close up of the pattern:

doily pattern

I learned alot in this project! I thought I’d share a few of my trials and tribulations with this DIY…

1. My original plan was to use a piece of lace and use a paint roller over top and have this beautiful lace pattern show up on the wood. Well it didn’t work at all! It looked awful. That was when Leanne came in and saved the day with her heavy duty sander and got rid of my mistake. Here is the evidence of my “craft fail”… it’s hard to see but I assure you it looked bad and nothing like lace! Leanne and I even tried using a spray can over the lace and that didn’t work either.
craft fail!

2. This is definitely easier to do if you have a garage! I do not have one, so I was propping up the table top on tupperware containers outside in my driveway to do the staining. This is okay as long as you have nice weather. I started this project at the end of summer into the beginning of fall. So this is what caused my biggest delay in getting this done. It also didn’t help that I got sick and it rained for a few weeks. I finally took the table over to my grandparents and used my Grandad’s garage.
3. I wish I could have found a good second hand table like the one that had inspired this DIY but alas I couldn’t. I ended up having to wait about a month to get the pine legs from Ikea because they didn’t have them in stock! Just another delay in this project. By this point I was so frustrated, I gave in to the fact that this table was going to be the longest DIY I had done yet.

I may have had alot of set backs with this project but in the end I am very happy with the outcome. I love my desk! And I can proudly say it is an original. 🙂

~Made beautifully by Heather~

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Great Loss in the Family

We haven’t been writing lately because sadly, we have experienced a great loss in our family. We lost a mother and aunt last week and have been trying to make sense of this great loss in our lives. 

My mother was very sick and taken away far too soon in life from complications due to a long existing disease with the acronym C.R.E.S.T. associated with scleroderma and pulmonary hypertension. She always looked at her health ailments as obstacles which she would overcome and fight with determination and great strength.

We are dealing with this loss in our family as best as we can and will be celebrating her life this coming Sunday.

Throughout all of this time, we are able to honour her memory by continuing to make things beautiful. Idle hands have been put to use assembling photo boards and family and friends will be fed with homemade desserts from family recipes. We have also been receiving many beautiful things in return including beautiful flower arrangements, gift baskets, homemade meals dropped off, sympathy cards… and the list goes on.

Thank you to those who support us and know that we’ll be back on here soon with great tutorials and how-to’s and updating you on our projects and love of beautiful things.

We lost a beautiful person, a close follower of our blog and someone we love dearly…

xo

Leanne

Farmer’s Market Wonderfulness

This past weekend we visited the Farmer’s Market in Ridgeway, Ontario. For those reading unsure of where this is, it’s between Fort Erie and Niagara Falls. A cute little town near Crystal Beach on Lake Erie. During the spring and summer, this quaint little town near my home is alive with small shops, restaurants and of course a Farmer’s Market.

I love the relaxed and cool vibe of any Farmer’s Market. Local growers, bakers, crafters and artists selling their goods. I have found that you can always find unique and well priced items. At times, too well priced! Sometimes I want to yell at these people to increase their prices because I’m not sure how they even make any money… But not before getting a steal on great, local product.

This weekend was the last weekend until it starts up again in the spring and I’m seriously considering getting a booth next season… But maybe that’s a future post in the making.

The Ridgeway BIA sponsored free pony rides for the kids, a small straw maze, colouring contest, face painting and free pumpkins. Amazing! So my three year old was in heaven. My heaven was smelling fresh baked goods, rooting through home grown veggies, looking at crafts, jewelry, teas, soaps, etc…. Heaven!!!

I can’t wait until next year to visit again… But until then, it’ll be a long winter online shopping on Etsy.
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Coloured Pasta – Prepping for Future Crafts

Coloured Pasta – Prepping for Future Crafts

Leanne here… makin’ it beautiful… So I’ve seen this around on the Internet and we had some time today, so I did this craft with my three year old. It was super easy and I was able to engage my … Continue reading

Sweet potato squash

Heather and I went to a local farmers market last weekend and stocked up on some locally grown goodness. We stumbled upon some new and strange looking squash and inquired about what it was and go my amazement… Sweet potato squash is a thing. I bought one and decided to make it today and see what this fusion vegetable was all about.

Cut that bad boy right down the middle and scooped out all the goop and guts.

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Put some butter, salt and pepper in there and tossed it in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes. I didn’t cover it with foil, but I suppose I could have done that too. Or even put some brown sugar in there. I wasn’t sure of the taste so I opted not to add any extra sweetness.

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I forgot to take a picture of the final outcome because my eagerness to eat it overtook me remembering that I was gonna post about it for the Internet. However, I will describe it for you. The edges browned and it looked like all squash does when you cook it in its skin: delish. It doesn’t taste like sweet potato, but it was tasty all the same. Next time I might try it with the brown sugar and some foil.

See! When it comes to food, I know how to complete a project.