Clever and earthy. I could imagine if one wanted to make several of these, you could use them as lovely stepping stones in the garden, maybe between the garden beds.

Easy to make floor mats. Use the indoors, outdoors, doorway, bathroom and more.Supplies:Outdoor rubber mat – with holes or spaces for water to drainSmooth ocean or river stones – make sure they are porous, not slick and polished. The amount will vary on the size of the mat and can be found near rivers, oceans,…

via HOW TO MAKE SMOOTH STONE FLOOR MATS — DIY Gardening & Better Living


Get Your Shabby Chic On!

I’m so pleased with the results of my first shabby chic project ever. I’ve read a lot about the process and the brands of chalk paint available. Annie Sloan paint comes to mind as being top of the line. But as fate would have it, Home Depot had a comparable paint for a lot less, and seeing that it was cheaper and in order for me to purchase Annie Sloan paint, I would have had to drive to the next town, common sense prevailed. I opted for the cheaper Americana Decor brand at Home Depot. And as the truly frugal person that I am, I will admit that my bed frame is a hand-me-down from a family member. As much as I love the style of the bed, two things truly bugged me about it: the wood stain did not match my dressers and the bed posts were so high that they obstructed the view of the tv (because watching tv in bed is so important). So, these two issues were the focus of my makeover. This is a snapshot without the tall bedpost. I was able to find wooden fence post toppers at Home Depot as well that made the perfect bedpost topper.

I did spray paint the post toppers in a light coat of black paint. There is a reason for this which I will divulge shortly. I will say that one 16 oz. container of paint provided two generous coats with some to spare. I chose the chalky finish because, well, white goes with everything. Plus, I wanted an old world, antique finish. The beauty of this paint is that it dries extremely fast. So, by the end of the day, I had a completely revamped bed that brightens the whole room. The fun part about this process is the distressing technique. Having a drop cloth down is just as important for this part of the project as it is for the painting, maybe even more so.  Because after the paint dries, the next step is somewhat messy. To distress, use fine sandpaper (I ended up using at least 4 or 5 pieces). Rub the corners and the raised areas such as the intricate designs and pretty much anywhere you want it to look worn. What this does is remove the paint, revealing the dark color below. Hence why I added the light coating of black spray paint to the post tops. Rubbing the areas that naturally would experience wear and tear is what gives it that aged shabby chic look.

The final step in the process is the protective wax coating. Because chalk paint is so porous, it should be protected. I used the Americana Decor Creme Wax. With an old rag, I rubbed the wax all over, making sure every nook and cranny was covered.  The wax also dries fast. The easiest thing about shabby chic is that any mistakes made can be easily fixed with a dab of paint. I have to say, I am loving the new look.