Friday, January 21, 2011

Scrapbook Paper as Art

Have you ever gone to a specialty scrapbook store just to drool over the lovely papers found there?  I sure have.  I'm not a scrapbooker but when I see those artistic papers I can't help but try to figure out where I can use them.  A friend just asked for some ideas of what to do with her inherited stash of gorgeous paper, so here are some ideas. 

A while back I showed you a project I helped a friend with:
She had a huge wall that needed something big, yet didn't cost too much.  We found a Ginormous frame at a garage sale, painted out the background, and then mod podged scrapbook paper she had selected.

Here are a whole bunch of other ideas I've found using scrapbook paper:




 You can find square frames at places like IKEA, dollar stores, and Kirklands.  Or skip the frames and just mount the paper on wood squares or foam.

I like how this gal found these pre-matted $5.99 frames at Michael's, added the paper and grouped them together to make a bigger impact.

I love breaking out of the mold of the square frame and placing the paper in chunky mats.  Very artsy!

While these are framed fabric, this unique arrangements would work well with paper.

I personally like mixing in family photos like in the arrangement on the left (sorry for the cruddy quality.)

We've seen all these tile mosaic art pieces in Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn. You could make one easily.  But the cost of the tile and the weight would be crazy.  This lady made hers from paint sample chips and you could do the same with scrapbook paper. See how she did it here.  I like the metallic glaze she did over the top of it.

Here's another version of the mosaic. See her tutorial here.

This whole playroom wall was covered in scrapbook paper!  Perhaps a bit bold, but you get the idea.

These paper butterfly specimen art go from simple to very detailed.  You can just use a butterfly-shaped paper cutter or print out butterfly shapes from online and use delicated scissors to cut out varied shapes out of your paper.  I don't know about you, but I'm going to start snatching up shadow boxes and deep frames at goodwill!

I LOVE these ones!  While the shapes are all the same, they made each butterfly out of 3 layers.  So pretty!


These are basically the same idea as the butterflies, instead, fold your scrapbook paper into origami cranes, flowers or whatever shape you want.

These paper chains were made from scrapbook paper, shaped in to squares and framed for a unique piece of art.


This creative art was made with textured wallpaper as the background and the flower pieced together from scrapbook paper.  Lovely, huh? Reminds me of a quilt.


These would be easy to do using a piece of plywood or mdf, paint a background, a branch and then make your blossoms out of scrapbook paper (look for tutorials of flowers online-they're everywhere!)

From very simple to very artistic.  Hope you found some ideas to decorate using such a gorgeous and inexpensive resource.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Our Basement is "Finished"

Wooo-hoooo!  We have been hard at work finishing our 1000 sq foot+ basement by ourselves.  Last December we officially kicked it off by my husband putting in four new egress windows.  Then around March we pulled the permits and officially started work.  There were cracks to seal, lots of heating ducts to move and install, cement to crack and install the bath rough-ins.  Then it was on to framing, electrical conduit to install, wrap and insulation.  Even though my husband only had evenings and Saturdays to work (and usually one week long business trip a month,) he got it ready for drywall by this past September.  After that lovely, dusty mess, we all got in the action with all the finish work of moulding, priming and painting, sealing and such.  My husband installed the carpet mid-December and it was time to move in!  Our two girls moved in downstairs in time for Christmas and the whole family is loving the new rec room.

Want to see it in it's "finished state"?  Okay, I'll show you if you just keep in mind that I have a lot of decorating yet to do. Sure wish I had a better camera to capture the colors better.  Oh well.

As you open the door to the basement this is what you see:

(No, the "no food" sign the kids made is not staying!  It was just up for our annual New Year's Eve Family Party.  We had over 100 people and needed to keep the food to one level.)

The landing half-way down:

The vintage roller coaster poster I mod-podged onto a cheap canvas and the old wood tickets sign I made earlier (details here.)

Are you asking about that Ladder about now?  That ladder leads to my husband's pet project and favorite part of the basement finishing.  It leads to a tube slide down!  Cool, huh?
That's an old bunkbed ladder that some dear friends gave us.  It sits in holes to hold it steady, but leaves it so we can remove it when moving furniture down or slide it up into the hole if we don't want small kids to use it.  We have two sets of stairs going upstairs and this set had this wonderful empty space.  We really had to search the internet for a tube slide that would fit between some tricky beams and poles.  My determined engineer husband twisted the top section and added an extension piece and made what I call "the death drop slide." It's very steep at the start, making it fast (perfect for our kids!) It does a zig-zag and comes out gently downstairs (you'll see in a minute.)

Needless to say, there was a line at the slide the whole night of our party!  And, yes, the adults can slide too and they do too!!

As you turn the corner of this landing, you can see down the next set of stairs to the actual basement.

Straight ahead it the bathroom, to the left are the two bedrooms and to your right the main room.

We decided on a board and batten style treatment to the hallways and the main room.  I felt the basement needed some architectural umpf to make it feel nice and the white visually keeps the space from being the typical dark dungeon.  We chose 4" baseboard trim and a nice, curvy chair rail.  I chose a less-traditional slat by picking something not as boxy.

If you turn to your right, this is what you see:

Here is MY favorite part of the basement, the bookshelves!  I have always wanted a library for our whole family's books.  We had a pipe that had to be soffited along this wall, so it made a perfect place for built-ins.  I pulled out a bunch of pictures of what I thought would work and my husband built it!

We found some lovely, wide crown moulding and some fluted trim at Habitat REstore (if you have a Habitat for Humanity REstore near you, you ought to check it out!  The prices are amazing!)  Since this was going to be a long wall of shelves, we divided it up into thirds and bumped out the center section to add visual interest.

Here you can see the almost-complete exit for the slide.  We still have a bit of mudding to the trim area and touch up to complete that.  We slanted the wall leading into the main room to make a nice, wide entrance to the room.  The door lends access to the slide and should someone want to remove the slide, it would be easily done and leave a nice storage closet behind.

You must notice the biggest drawback to the slide- the piles of socks! After a few rides down, the kids end up shedding their socks so they can climb up the slide, leaving me with a constant pile of socks down there! Oh well.

We threw down some furniture we had and I've since found the perfect smaller-sized sectional. I plan on slipcovering it and those red chairs with dropcloth.
I found the cabinet sitting by someone's trash on garbage day and brought her home.  I fixed her up, added some cute paper to the inside and it made the perfect media stand.  The DVD player and Wii fit beautifully inside and I don't have to look at it!  We chose this wall to place the TV on because I didn't want the TV to be the focal point of the room as you walk in.  We did add extra wiring in the bookshelf wall in case someone should ever want to mount the TV over there.

The kids also love the swing from Ikea.  We reinforced some boards between beams and marked the spot before we drywalled the ceiling.  The air hockey table was a $60 score at a garage sale a few years ago and the $10 foosball wasn't out of reach either!

I pulled together a collection of posters, maps and prints from a few places we've traveled to. My handy-dandy mat cutter made it easy to use some old frames from Goodwill and a few standard, cheap frames to frame the artwork.

I found this huge clock for a measley $5 at a garage sale and the old door pediment was also in someone's trash (yup, no self-respect!)

Here's a close-up of the moulding treatment we chose.

This is looking into our storage room just past the swing (which is nice because if a long-legged kid is swinging, we open the door to the storage room and the door doesn't get kicked to bits.)  We still kept a good sized store room for all our "stuff" and space to work on projects. We're still working on making it neater and adding another shelf.

Alright, this is heading back towards the stairs and the rooms.

This is heading into the bathroom:

The bath vanity we found at "Cabinets to Go", a wonderful resource.  They are known for their assemble-yourself kitchen cabinets.  They cost TONS less and are actually made quite well (we helped a family member redo their whole kitchen with these cabinets and we very impressed. The drawers even had dove-tail joints.)  They have a great selection of bath vanities of all sizes and these not only come assembled, but they include the marble top in the price.  This one had been returned for some slight marring to the paint so they gave it to us for almost half price!  Honestly, you can barely notice it that I haven't even touched it up yet!

We chose to lay the typical square 12" tiles off-set from each other instead of square to add more interest.  We really like how it turned out.

The walls in here are painted more of a greenish-blue, a sort of sea-glass color.  I found the mirrors on clearance at Lowe's for only $9 each!

An old bookshelf we had fits this little space perfectly and works well as a linen shelf.  The doorway leads into the shower and toilet.

The shower was tiled in a fairly neutral color, so we added a little interest by adding a stripe of smaller, contrasting tiles.
Across from the shower  we squeezed in the toilet (maybe you don't need to see it, but here it is anyway.)

Now, we'll head into the first of the bedrooms.  My oldest wanted an asian feel to the room. This was her inspiration picture that we were going for:

And here's ours so far.  We need some more accessories and such, but it's off to a good start:

I made the upholstered headboard with nailhead trim (I'll try to do a tutorial on it later) and made the bedspread.  We already had the artwork by VanGogh and just repainted a second-hand frame.

I found a very long $2 frame at a garage sale, cut a piece of thin plywood for the backing.  After painting it, I screwed on a kitchen drawer pull and hung a Japanese Obi we had from our stay in Tokyo.  It makes a fun art piece, yet does something much more practical; it hides the ugly electrical box that had to stay situated in the bedroom.  It's on hooks for quick removal should we need access to the circuits.

Some wonderfully talented friends came over and painted these branches for us in a nice metallic paint.

On either side of the closet we placed some old Chinese screen panels:

 We're on the lookout for a fun desk for her room, but it's coming along.

Next door is our other daughter's room.  She's been warned that she's the first to get kicked out when guests visit since we put a queen size bed in.

The headboard was found at a garage sale for $20, repainted the famous "Heirloom White" (we left off the footbard so it wouldn't close in the room as much.)  It's positioned in a bow in the foundation since this room sits right under the den in the front of the house, which has a bow window.

We already had these mini chandeliers from the girls' old rooms.  They have very dim bulbs so they can be used as reading lights.  They're connected together and put on a button switch attached low on the bed frame for easy on and off.  This very old, delightfully rough frame was found for a $1 and the bird print in the center was found at Goodwill.

On either side of the bed are these great old window frames I found on Craigslist.  We painted them gray and distressed them a bit.  We're patiently waiting for some free mirror on craigslist or Habitat REStore to turn them into mirrors.  It'll help reflect more light into the room.

To the right of the bed is a sleeping beauty print we had in their old room.  The frame is a fun antique find for $5.

We're moving in a slant-front desk and need to make some curtains, as well as look out for a few other accessories.

  All the doors still need their topcoat of white and a few touch-ups here and there, but it's pretty much done.  We chose really plush carpet and a thick pad to make it fun to relax on (we've already had two sleepovers down there!)  It'll be fun to accessorize, arrange the shelves more pleasingly and get to those slipcovers.  It was a big project but taught our whole family the power of doing things yourself and the satisfaction that comes with it.

Paint Colors used:
Main Blue: Behr River Rock
Bathroom: Behr Nurture
Shabby Chic room: Behr Cottage White
Asian Bedroom: Valspar Dolphin Cove
Trim/ceiling/moulding: Behr Decorator White

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