Painted Sun on Old Window Frame

My step-dad wanted a sun ‘ornament’ in the backyard, but couldn’t find one he liked. Both my mom and step-dad love McMenamins, so I decided to use these ideas for their Christmas present this year. If you haven’t been to a McMenamins and live in the Pacific Northwest, I highly recommend you check one out. They are so fun!

McMenamins sun painted window frame

I already had the windows from my mother-in-law. Also, I already repainted and added hangers to the frame (see tutorial on my blog or purchase a window at my Etsy store). I am not a painter, but was really happy with the way this project turned out. You could use these steps with any image.

1) Draw the outline of the sun (or other image) on the front side of the frame with a dry erase marker.

2) Turn the window over and paint the sun with yellow-gold enamel paint within the outline you created on the front side with the dry-erase marker. (I used Americana 2-oz. Bright Yellow Gloss Enamel Paint). Let it dry overnight.
Sun painted window frame
3) The next day, turn the window over to the front side and paint the outline of the sun with black enamel paint (I used Decoart Americana Gloss Enamel Crystal Glitter 2 Ounces-Black except not glitter). Let it dry overnight.

4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the paint is the color or thickness you want it.

5) To add details to sun’s face, I used a Sharpie marker on the front side of the window. Yes, I kind of cheated, but it is so much easier for me to draw a face than paint one.

McMenamins sun face painted window frame

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Homemade Soy Candle for Under $2

how to make homemade soy candles under $2 | bexbernard.com

Homemade candles are ridiculously easy and pretty inexpensive. In our house, we save the glass container from our old candles to use later. See this blog post on how to clean the containers.

All of these supplies cost $24.03:

It takes about 0.4 lbs of wax to make one medium-sized candle, so the 10lbs of wax will make about 22 candles. Follow the instructions on your specific products for best results. I recommend using a lot of color because my candles always turn out lighter than I expect them to once the wax hardens.

Making candles could get complicated, but this is the basic process:

1) Gather supplies: soy wax, coated wicks, glass containers, color (if you want), scent, small pot, spoon, funnel, and paper towel.

2) Melt wax in a small pot over low heat.

melt soy wax for $2 candles | bexbernard.com

3) Place wicks in the center of glass containers. You may want to use sticks like we did before pouring to keep the wicks in place.

jars for soy candles | bexbernard.com

4) Add chopped up color block and stir until melted.

chop color for soy candle | bexbernard.com chopped color for soy candles | bexbernard.com

5) Add scent and stir.

6) Pour melted wax from pot through funnel into glass container. Leave about 1 cm of space from the top of the container.

how to make $2 soy candles | bexbernard.com

7) Make sure wick is in the center of the container filled with melted wax.

how to make soy candles | bexbernard.com

8) Let wax harden for a few hours.

9) Trim wax to about ½ inch tall and light when you are ready!

Will You Be My Bridesmaid? Earring Gift Set

Bridesmaid Earrings to Catherine 2

Lately I have been thinking about how I want to ask my friends to be my bridesmaids. I love making pearl jewelry, so I knew immediately that earrings would be a perfect gift. Earrings are great because they always fit and look great on every one. For a long time I want a pearl  engagement ring, but I heard how easily they scratch and fall out… and one of my best friends beat me to it when she got a pearl engagement ring last year.

*Side note: I am not engaged yet. My boyfriend and I have been dating 6 years – 2 of which were long distance. Now that we live together, I hope to be getting a shiny, rose gold ring soon… 🙂

Bridesmaid Earrings 1

These beautiful Swarovski pearl beads and Swarovski crystal rondelles can be made to match any wedding colors. The earrings are about 2″ long and a silver plated ear wire.

I attach the two earrings to a simple card with, “Will you be my bridesmaid?” written in elegant cursive. It could also say, “Thank you for being my bridesmaid”, “Thank you for being my flower girl?”, “Will you be my flower girl?”… or anything you choose.

In two pictures I wrote the name of a bridesmaid and signed it. I can leave those areas blank for you to fill out or you can tell me the names of each woman and I will print it in the same font as the question.

Bridesmaid Earrings to Catherine

How did you ask your friends to be part of your wedding? Have you seen any great ideas lately?

Post them in the comments below!

Here’s my Pinterest Wedding Board.


Bridesmaid Gifts at The Knot Wedding Shop

DIY Shabby Chic Antique Finish for Salvaged Window Frame

Window plain 3

My boyfriend’s mom gave me seven vintage, wood frame windows. After a few months of thinking about what I should do and having them collect dust, I finally started working on them. I decided to paint them all with a white and black shabby chic finish. There were a few articles on how to this, but many seemed really complicated (with over 20 steps). My process wasn’t that complicated, but it was time-consuming since I had to let the paint dry in between coats. Below are the instructions on how to paint your own or you can buy my window frames from my Etsy shop.

Step 1: Sand. Wipe down the frame to remove any dust, cobwebs, etc. Use an electric sander to remove the old paint. If some paint is remaining, that’s fine. Just make sure the surface is even so when you paint the frames there aren’t uneven spots.

Step 2: Prepare the window. Stick blue painter’s tape on the border of both sides of the window. This will help not get paint on the glass, but if you do, you can slide a razor blade on the glass to remove the paint.

Step 3: Primer. I had left over white primer in my garage, so I used that. Lay the window frame face down and paint the back and sides of the frame with a bristled brush (not foam). Let dry for about 24 hours. Turn frame over the next day and paint primer on the front side. Let dry for another 24 hours. Place brush in a Ziploc bag and keep cool until you paint the next layer of white in a few days.

Step 4: Prepare the Shabby Chic look. Run a wax candle along the edges and corners of the wood frame. Brush excess wax off the frame. This will not allow all the black paint to be on the bottom white layer.

Step 5: Black paint. Use a clean bristle brush to paint a thin layer of black paint on the front side of the window. The bristle brush adds texture and shows the brush strokes for a vintage look. Let dry for another 24 hours. Wash brush thoroughly.

Step 6: Last coat of white paint. Paint a thin coat of white paint on top of the black paint and wax. Let dry for another 24 hours. At this point you must judge for yourself if you want more white or black showing, and paint another layer accordingly.

Step 7: Finish Shabby Chic look. Use fine sand paper to remove the top layer of white paint from the edges and corners of the frame. This will be especially easy where the candle wax stuck.

Step 8: Clean up. Wipe down frame with clean cloth to remove dust. Remove painter’s tape from the glass. Spray glass with glass cleaner to remove paint and dust. Slide razor blade over any remaining paint on glass to remove.

Step 9: Install D-ring hangers. Place window face down. Measure 3-7 inches from the top on each side of the frame and mark with a pencil. Use drill to start holes in the D-ring. Fasten D-rings on each side with screws that come in the D-ring package. All done!

Window back 4

Ideas for using your window:

  • “White board” for kids to draw on
  • Dry erase board for weekly meal planning
  • Calendar
  • Menu for special dinners
  • To do list
  • Schedule of events for guests to see on your wedding night
  • Picture frame
  • Chalkboard (paint glass with chalkboard paint)

Are there any other uses you can think of?

Window wedding 1   Window meals 2

Upcycled Cabinet Door with Vinyl Quote DIY

Cabinet Door Dream Laugh Live Love 3

I rescued this vintage cabinet door from my neighborhood antique shop. It was set outside the back of their building for the trash. The cabinet has a tempered plastic middle framed by finished light-colored wood. The metal hinges and handle give this piece charming character.  I’m selling it at my Etsy shop.

The unique wall decor hangs on a wall with one nail by the sawtooth frame hanger I nailed on the back. The sawtooth hanger is affixed slightly off-center in the back in order to hang level on the wall (the hinges & handle weigh it down unevenly).

The vinyl quote I added reads:
“Dream Big
Laugh Daily
Live Happily
Love Tenderly”

This is a great welcoming sign for an entry way, a thoughtful housewarming gift, or a fun vintage addition to your home. The new-old mix fits many styles and tastes. Next time I make one of these I will use white or light colors to make it stand out better. It does look beautiful with black letters in a sunny room or hung on a light-colored wall though.

Cabinet Door Dream Laugh Live Love 1

DIY Elevated Dog Feeder from Vintage Trunk

Finished Elevated Dog Feeder

I found this cool, silver trunk at the Goodwill for only $12. My roommate and I shopped there during the 50% off Black Friday weekend. I love sales especially when they are on already cheap items. There were also two bowls for $1 each, so I picked up everything for this elevated dog feeder for only $14!

Step 1: Wipe the trunk down and measure where you want the bowls to sit. Mine were about 7″ from each side and 1.5″ from the bottom. You will want the bowls closer to the edge and not in the middle so your dog can easily eat and drink.

Step 2: Draw two circles where the bowls will go. Lucky for me, this plastic tub was the exact size I needed for the bowls.

Step 3: Drill holes in the circle to make it easier to cut. Use your hand saw or keyhole saw to cut a straight line from the center of the circle to the edge. Then, saw along your outline to cut out two circles.

My handy and sweet boyfriend sawed the trunk. I don’t think he trusted me to cut circles on my first try. I’ll show him next time!

Step 4: Now that your holes are cut, vacuum the dust inside the trunk and wipe down the top.


Step 5: Add your two bowls, fill with water and kibble, and bring your dog to his new feeder!

Finished Elevated Dog Feeder

St. Bernard Silouhette Art

St. Bernard Art

I got this idea from The Creativity Exchange.

She had her dog sit, took a picture, made it black and white, then stenciled it. I didn’t want to make my puppy sit and wait for him to be at the perfect pose for a picture, then do all the photo editing. So, instead, I cut out the outline of a St. Bernard, spray painted the navy blue, then painted the dog. It turned out much better than I expected!

At first I was worried because there were tape marks on the dog where I adhered the outline to the canvas. This is why I painted it white myself. I wanted it to look simple, professional, clean, and natural. The lines are fuzzy more than clean and straight because I wanted that shadow look.

St. Bernard Art Close Up

New Etsy Banner

Some of you (but probably not any of you) may have noticed my website has changed a little from SensibleWellbeing to BexBernard. Originally this blog was about food, fitness, and frugality, which to me, equalled wellbeing. My blog has taken a turn more toward food, crafts, and my dog. I will always be frugal, so money-saving tips and all of my crafts will have elements of saving money and reusing items. However, I didn’t realize the big difference between wordpress.com and wordpress.org sites. I may switch to wordpress.org so I can have more freedom with my page.

Anyway, I’m really getting in to my Etsy store and desperately needed a new banner. My old one was a blurry, kind of stretched picture of dog, Hank. The size requirements of 760px x 100px makes it difficult to design with a regular picture. Here’s my old one:

BexBernard Etsy Banner

I needed a banner that was clean, simple, and eye-catching. I wanted it to still have a picture of Hank (since he’s the Bernard in BexBernard) and the same light teal color. I designed it in PowerPoint, took a snapshot of it with the Mac tool, and then saved it as a .png file. Here’s my new one:

New BexBernard Etsy Banner

What do you think? I would love suggestions and input! Post a link to your Etsy store in the comment section so I can see your store and banner too. 🙂

How To Refinish Furniture with Contact Paper for Only $3!

Refinished File Cabinet Final

I loved this black and white French print as soon as I saw it… at the Dollar Tree. Yes, this refinish job only cost me $3! Of course, you must have furniture to put the paper on, too. I bought this oak file cabinet from a garage sale earlier this summer, knowing that I would redecorate it somehow.

Ugly cabinet, huh?

First, wipe down the furniture piece with degreaser or 409 cleaner. You don’t need to sand it because the contact paper will stick easily to a clean surface. The paper suggested dampening the surface a little to help the paper adhere, but my cabinet was pretty dry when I applied it.

Second, place the contact paper over the largest surface area and cut the paper according to size. I left a little extra paper around all edges so there would be no ugly oak showing along the edges.

Refinished File CabinetThird, pull the backing off the contact paper and line the edge of the paper with the edge of the furniture. Starting from the middle of the paper, smooth out the bubbles with your hands or a squeegee. You may need to pull the paper off and reapply it. This is totally fine because it will still stick just fine to the furniture.

It’s really difficult to see the seams with patterned paper. It doesn’t have to be perfect!

Refinished File CabinetFourth, repeat steps 2 & 3 until your entire piece of furniture is covered in the pretty patterned paper. I didn’t put paper on the back of my cabinet since it will never be seen. I folded the edges as if I was wrapping a present to make sure it stayed tight and neat.

Refinished file cabinet drawersThe hardest part of this project is making sure there are no bubbles. Since the paper is so cheap and can be either removed or recovered, you don’t have to stress about messing up!

My roommate loved the finished product. She thought I should sell it on Etsy, but that would be wayyyy to expensive to ship! I liked her suggestion of adding bold, black handles to it though. Maybe I’ll do that later. For now, it’s just what I wanted!

 If you like this easy tutorial, add it to Pinterest!

PS: The picture below is in our unfinished basement office, so don’t mind the mess!

Refinished File Cabinet

Made My First Etsy Sale!

 

6 weeks in business.

17 items.

43 shop views.

128 listing views.

$7 in search ads.
…all this equals my first sale!

dog treat jars

I say first, but if you look at my shop it’s technically my second. My papa bought a dog toy first, I just didn’t think that fully counted 🙂

It feels so good to have some one want something that you made. Hopefully this will start a trend and I can get a few more sales.