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.


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


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~


DIY Cork Board

A while back I pinned a project on Pinterest of a hanging board to display race tags from various running events. My sister has recently taken up running and has already run a few 5km races. I’m so proud of her and wanted her to have a nice way to display her accomplishments.

The race tag plaque that I was looking at was very simple, but I was looking to do something pretty and include an inspirational quote.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Lao-Tzu

Paint an inspirational quote and use as your visual vision board, display your accomplishments or just have a place to hang pictures.

Skill Level:

Intermediate art skills for painting fine details in the lettering. All handiwork is simple and the folks at the hardware store can help too.

Time involved:

Painting – 2 hours
Dry time – 8 hours
Assembling – 15 mins


– wood piece for plaque/mounting piece of cork board (cut this yourself if you are able or take to your local hardware store and they can cut to size for you)
– sandpaper
– pencil
– masking tape
– craft paint
– fine paint brush
– urethane paint for dealing and protection
– foam roller
– small paint tray
– piece of cork (I got two 12″x12″ pieces for $1 at the dollar store. I only used one)
– caulking and caulking gun
– pins

How to:

1. Take your piece of wood cut to size and sand it down including the edges.
2. Choose your quote. Using a pencil, lay out the quote on your wood. I used masking tape to make straight lines to make sure my lettering was straight. I looked at a font type online and mimicked it, but free handed my lettering. It’s not perfect, but I didn’t have a stencil to use. You can of course use a stencil or vinyl lettering to put words on the wood.
3. Once you are happy with the way your quote is laid out, use craft paint and a fine paint brush to paint quote on wood.
4. Let the paint dry, then using your foam roller, tray and polyurethane, apply two light coats over the whole piece. Allow time to dry between coats.
5. When fully dry, take cork and mount to your wood using caulking to hold it in place. For mine, I wanted the cork board to be thick so I cut the cork to the size I wanted and doubled it up using the caulk to also adhere the two pieces of cork together.

This could be modified to be a larger cork board but my intention was for this to be used to display my sister’s running accomplishments. So the inspirational quote compliments this. But of course you could personalize however you wish.

Made beautifully by Leanne

Kid Friendly Canvas Painting

This craft was so simple and easy to do! A friend of mine (Cynthia) was inspired to create a craft from something she saw on Pinterest. She made this craft with her 11 month old daughter. I tried it out today with my three year old and it was very simple, easy, way affordable and fun.


– 8.5 x 11″ canvas (or whatever size you prefer)
– craft paints
– large letter stickers
– paint brushes
– I recommend a craft apron or old shirt on your kid because they have lots of messy fun with this activity

How To:

I took the white canvas and stuck a “G” sticker on it. (It is going to be a gift for my nephew Graydon.) My friend who did this simply used masking tape to spell out a name. So this is a great alternative if you don’t have large letter stickers. Or if you own a Cricut or Silhouette you could glue down a cut out letter.

Next, I selected the colours I wanted and let my daughter loose. I went with traditional kid colours with red, blue and yellow.

Once dry, I peeled up the letter sticker.

Et voila!





I outlined the “G” in black and did the outside edges in black as well. We also made one for my sister for her birthday with a “B”. We added a stamp to the overall piece too.


Painted canvases

You can take a piece of fabric and transfer onto a canvas to paint matching decor and accessories for your child’s room.

In this case, a baby’s quilt was used as inspiration. I free-handed the artwork, but you could use tracing paper and a marker. Then flip the tracing paper over and use chalk or charcoal to trace the reverse image. Then put the chalk or charcoal side down on the canvas an apply pressure. Then immediately retrace on your canvas with pencil or you will lose your faint image because of smudging.

From there just paint as if you were filling in a colouring book page with full colour. No need to get fancy with shading, especially for artwork for a kid’s room.

Some people like the look of outlining everything in black. Personally, I like the look of outlining in a darker version of the colour used. If you look at most cartoon images they do this for a more subtle outlined effect. Sometimes black outline can be harsh, but it does give it a clean and graphic look. Do what you think looks better.

Another thing I like to do for canvases is to paint the outside and hang it as is. Don’t worry about getting them framed as they will look great hung on your walls as they are. You could also take your wall color to paint the outside edge, or tint the wall colour a slightly darker by adding black paint to make it pop on the wall.

Total cost for this project…

– canvases found at Dollarama for $1.25 – $2.00 each

– acrylic craft paint $0.69 – $1.00 each bottle… If you have red, blue, yellow, black and white then you can mix any colour. Found at the dollar store or any craft store.

– paint brushes – dollar store has ok brushes, or pick them up at any art or craft store.






Repainted Outdoor Table

I picked up this great table and chairs a few years ago. It’s stayed out in our yard through about five years of summer sun and winter snow, so it’s no surprise that this year I had a look at it and thought we should get a new set soon. Instead, I went to Walmart and bought some inexpensive flat black outdoor spray paint to see if I could buy another season out of this set for under $3.00.

Here are the chairs before…

Here is a picture of one of the chairs. The arms were all rusted and the paint bubbled up because of water that sits on the flat handles and permeates the paint causing much damage. I took a paint scraper and worked away at the bubbled paint and I used sandpaper to sand down the edges as best as I could.

Next I took the spray paint and applied 2 light coats.

I think I could have taken more time and sanded and repainted again. Or I could have used a palm sander or other power tool to get a more even finish but in real life they look just fine to me. The table had much more damage at the edges and I chiseled and sanded as much as I could to get the loose flakes up and to try not to have any raw edges. I am going to have a look around a Home Depot or Lowe’s to see if there’s a filler product that I could use like spackle or caulking that would fill this area in better. But for now I just did two coats of exterior spray paint over these areas. This made the table look a million times better and sealed up the raw and rusty areas.

Here are my table and chairs now. Surely $3.00 is a good deal to buy another season out of my existing furniture. I think I’ll consider doing this until they fall apart.