Author: Lauren

WINE, CHEESE, AND CHALK:
Chalkboard Wine Bottles

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

Wedding Season: Part Three

Do you have some wine bottles you have been saving, but don’t know which project to make with them yet? Look no further! I was experiencing the same dilemma until I stumbled upon this cute chalkboard wine bottle idea. They were the perfect finishing pieces to go with my chalkboard serving tray and decorative pillow wedding gifts!

 

The idea of using chalkboard paint on wine bottles creates tons of versatility in the project. Just think with three bottles you can write initials for bedroom décor or baby showers, his and her initials for wedding showers, “JOY” for Christmas, swap out seasonal floral, and so much more! I made this set to be used as a wedding gift as well as décor for the bride’s brunch. After having completed this project, I knew I had to make a set for our home too!

 

Want to see these wine bottles in action? Check out our post, A Bridal Brunch (post coming soon!), to see more!

 

 

Materials

3 Glass Bottles

Dried or Faux Floral

#28 3-Ply Natural Jute

Chalkboard Paint

Sponge Brush

Gloves + Mask

Hot Glue Gun

Wax Paper

Chalk

 

Prep + Paint

The first step is to determine which three glass bottles you are going to use. I chose to use two varying sizes to add dimension; two of the same size wine bottles and one spiced cider bottle. Remove the labels and any residue from the glass until the surface is free of any gunk. Your bottles are ready for paint!

 

 

There are two ways you could go about painting your bottles: liquid paint or spray paint. I had some liquid chalkboard paint on hand and decided to use that. When working with either liquid paint or spray paint make certain to work with THIN coats; otherwise, you will end up with paint drips running down the sides of the bottle – darn gravity! Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate drying time between each coat. I chose to not paint the bottom of the bottles; therefore, I was able dry them upright on wax paper. The wax paper works great by preventing any residual paint from sticking to its surface when dry.

 

Note: An option for painting the bottom of the bottles is to brace wooden dowels, or something similar, to suspend the bottles upside down. I have not personally tried this method, but have seen it done. Read all directions on your can of paint before use. Remember to stir the paint before use, do not shake. I recommend wearing a mask and gloves when applying paint along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

Decorate

Let your creative side shine and start decorating your bottles! You could choose to add any fun details you like such as flowers, rhinestones, metal art, bows, etc. I kept mine simple with only using jute to remain versatile for everyday décor, holidays, and other occasions. Use a hot glue gun when adhering the jute and periodically apply beads of glue while wrapping the jute around the bottle.

 

 

After you have finished decorating the bottles, break out the chalk and test out your new chalkboard surface! Arrange your bottles and finish them off with dried or faux floral. 🙂

 

 

Don’t miss out on the other posts in our wedding season series!

 

 

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial! Don’t forget to leave us a comment with your thoughts!

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PALLET AND CHAIN SHELF:
A Chili Bowl Display

 

 

When I was in college, I found these adorable $1 chili bowls (yes, a dollar!!) at my local grocery store. I loved their western, vintage flair and knew I had to display them in my apartment somehow! I did not have a wall shelf at the time, but I did have a pallet and some tools! I chose to do a basic construction, but added the chains for a special feature and enhanced stability. By keeping the construction of the shelf simple, it enhances the vintage aesthetics of both the shelf and the chili bowls. This cute little shelf is the perfect quick and easy project to add some rustic flair into your home. 🙂 Plus, the size of this shelf makes it easy to find a wall to hang it on in any home or apartment!

 

Be sure to check out our post, A Country Arrangement, if you are looking for the perfect dining room set up to go with your new shelf! Are you ready to start making your own rustic shelf?!

 

 

Materials

1×8 Wood Board

2×4 Wood Board

2’ #14 Black Jack Chain

(4) #8 Steel Screw Eyes

(4) 1” Steel Cup Hooks

(3) 2” Black Screws

(2) 4” Black Screws

Black Paint or Nail Polish

Long Nose Pliers

Electric Saw

Electric Drill

2 Bar Clamps (optional)

 

1×8 board at 32″ with 1″ overhang on top of 2×4 board at 30″

 

Preparation

Begin by retrieving and cutting your pieces of wood to size. You will need a 1×8 board cut to 32” and a 2×4 board cut to 30”. Next, use pliers to detach the links of the jack chain and create two 9½” long strands. Lastly, paint the steel screw eyes and cup hooks with either black paint or black nail polish.

 

Note: I was able to get my hands on a very unique and gorgeous wood pallet that was used to deliver some furniture. I honestly do not know what kind of wood this pallet was made of, but I know that it has a red tone on the inside and did not require staining – yay! I have since not seen another pallet made of these quality 1×8 planks instead of the typical 1×4 pine. Therefore, you may have to use other scrap wood or purchase new boards and stain them.

 

 

Assembly

Lay your 1×8 board with the top facing up. Drill pilot holes where two of the steel screw eyes will be, mine are located ¾” by ¾” from the two front corners, and hand screw the eyes into the holes. Use pliers to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye. Be careful to not chip the black coating of the chain. Do not worry if you do, simply use the black paint or nail polish from earlier to touch it up.

 

Clamp or have someone hold the back of the 1×8 to the top off the 2×4. Evenly space your three 2” screws along the back of the 1×8, drill pilot holes, and drill in the screws to attach the two boards. You can choose to add more screws depending on the anticipated weight of décor. Remove any clamps used. Next, lay your shelf with the topside facing down and evenly space your four cup hooks across the underside of the 1×8. Drill pilot holes and hand screw the cup hooks into the holes. You’re shelf is done and all that’s left to do is to hang it up!

 

 

 

 

Hold your finished shelf against the wall, check to make sure it is level, and drill two pilot holes through the 2×4 and into the wall. Drill the two 4” screws into the pilot holes to hang your shelf on the wall. You can choose to add more screws depending on the anticipated weight of décor. Finally, take your chain and extend it towards the wall until taut. To ensure a tight tension, leave a small space between the wall and the end of your chain to allow for the screw eye to fit in between. Mark the location of your two screw eyes, drill small pilot holes, and hand screw the eyes into the wall. Use your pliers once more to open the end links on the chains and attach them to each eye.

 

 

It’s decorating time! Hang your favorite chili bowls or coffee cups and enjoy your new pallet and chain shelf! Are you looking to make a handmade whimsical flower vase to go on your new shelf? Head on over to our post, Hand Picked (post coming soon!), for the tutorial.

 

 

Please leave us a comment to share your thoughts! We love to hear from our readers. 🙂

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THE FIRST ROSE:
Flower Preservation

 

 

Do you want to cherish those heartwarming feelings you got when your special someone brought you your first flower? I know I did when my darling husband, then boyfriend, brought me my first rose on Valentine’s Day. To make it doubly as sweet, my husband began a tradition with this single flower. Every year he adds a rose to the bouquet he brings me to signify how many Valentine’s Days we have shared together. Each time I look at that single rose I am reminded of the days of our blooming relationship, his sweet smile as he stood there holding the brilliant red rose, and the beautiful memories of our first Valentine’s Day together. 🙂

 

The First Rose continues to be one of my favorite projects to this day and beautifully resides on our Storytelling Fireplace mantel. This shadow box is the perfect addition to our homes living area for it serves as a conversation piece as well as a visible daily reminder of the wonderful husband and beautiful life God has graciously blessed me with. 🙂 Are you ready to preserve your own special moments?

 

You can find written instructions below; however, I do not have pictures of the process for making this shadow box since I had made it some time ago. If you would like some visual aids along the way, check out my other post, Treasured Shadow Box.

 

Materials

5” x 7” Shadow Box

Decorative Scrapbook Paper

Dried Floral Arrangement

Decorative Ribbon

Hot Glue Gun

Glue Stick

Scissors

 

Background Panel

A Treasured Shadow Box and this project follow the same basic process: you begin with the background first and then move forward towards the glass of the shadow box. The first step is to select a decorative piece of scrapbook paper that compliments your dried floral arrangement. Cut the paper to fit the back panel of the shadow box and use a glue stick to attach. Using a glue stick for adhering the scrapbook paper will prevent any uneven or warped surfaces.

 

Dried Floral Arrangement

Cut and arrange the floral to your satisfaction if adequately dried and ready for use. Take care to test the placement of your floral so it does not interfere with the 1/8-1/4” lip of the framework when assembling the shadow box. Attach your floral arrangement to the previously assembled background panel with a hot glue gun. To make for an easier assembly, place small beads of glue in multiple locations to stabilize your arrangement. And now for the finishing touch! Cut and tie your ribbon into a bow and attach to the base of your floral arrangement with the hot glue gun.

 

Note: Follow these steps if you are unsure of how to dry your floral. Wipe off any excess water from the stems and hang them upside down for a few days to a week until dry – I have tied mine onto a cabinet knob or clipped them onto pants hangers. I recommend hanging them in a well-ventilated space to help them dry quicker in addition to not getting icky. Keep in mind that if your floral is not completely dry when worked with, it will continue to dry over time and change color. The greenery in this project continued to dry after assembly and became less green over time than when I first made it, but that is okay, because I actually love the way the colors work with the background!

 

 

Assembly

Before you go and eagerly assemble your new shadow box, first spray and wipe down your glass! You do not want to find fuzzes or fingerprints on the interior glass after careful assembly… ask me how I know this. 😉 Now you may assemble! Very gently set the back panel into place on the shadow box and close the latches. It’s time to display your beautiful arrangement! I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial and use your shadow box to always remind you of life’s sweet moments! 🙂

 

 

Please leave a comment to share your thoughts with us!

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“CHALK TO ME”:
A Chalkboard Serving Tray

 

 

This post contains affiliate links. We choose to only provide affiliate links for the products or businesses we trust and use personally. The affiliate links are provided for your convenience to recommended products and to help support the Navy Home. You can find our full disclosure here.

 

Wedding Season: Part Two

Summer is fast approaching and that means pool parties, BBQ, and good company! All of this equals up to everyone’s favorite thing – entertaining! With entertaining comes serving ware. I was actually searching for wedding gift inspiration when I stumbled upon the idea of these neat chalkboard serving trays. I decided to give it a go and make one as a wedding gift for my best friend in addition to using the tray at her bridal brunch. I definitely fell in love with the finished product and wanted to keep it for myself. 🙂 Needless to say, I will certainly be making one for us pretty soon! If you need a great gift idea this is it!

 

Materials

1×12 Pine Wood (at 30” long)

Wood Stain

Polyurethane

Chalkboard Paint

Painters Tape

Staining Rag or Paper Towels

(2) Sponge Brushes

(2) Decorative Handles

(4) ½” Screws

Electric Sander

Electric Drill

Electric Saw (if needed)

Gloves + Mask

Wood Burning Kit (optional)

 

 

Prep + Wood Burning

Begin by either finding a piece of scrap wood in your garage, or by cutting a board to your chosen dimensions. I had managed to find the perfect size of scrap board in our garage that was left over from a previous project we had done – no cutting required! Use an electric sander to round all corners and edges of the tray. I wanted to add a unique feature to the back of the tray so I chose to wood burn my logo into the lower corner. If you would like to add a special feature of your own just follow these simple steps! Print out the image or text onto a piece of paper at the size you want. Lay the paper onto the wood and use a pencil to trace the outlines you wish to display. Press hard when tracing with the pencil to make indents on the wood. Remove the paper when you are finished and make sure all of the outlines you want are pressed into the wood. Simply trace the outlines with your wood burning kit and you are ready for staining.

 

Note: I recommend working in a well-ventilated space because the burning wood can get stinky! Please be careful when working with wood burning kits as they can burn more than just the wood!

 

 

Stain + Polyurethane

Select your choice of stain color and apply with an old rag or paper towels. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired color, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. Next, use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of polyurethane, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. I decided on two coats of polyurethane to be sufficient for the tray.

 

Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the stain and polyurethane before use, do not shake. If using paper towels to apply stain, make sure the paper towels are not too soft and leave paper remnants on the project. Always wear a mask and gloves when applying stain or polyurethane along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

 

Tape + Paint

Once your tray is nice and dry, apply painter’s tape around the edges to form the area that will become the chalkboard surface. Before applying the tape, I recommend 24-48 hours drying time depending on the weather. Using the painter’s tape, create a 1” border along the length of the tray with a 2” border along the widths where the handles will be added later. Be sure to press tape down firmly around all edges to ensure the chalkboard paint will not bleed underneath.

 

Time to pop open your can of chalkboard paint and get to painting! I must admit this is when I walk outside, find a stick in the yard, and use it to stir my paint. 🙂 I am not too sure professionals would recommend this method, but it works for me. Use a sponge brush to apply a thin coat of chalkboard paint to your tray within the taped off work space. When painting at the tapes edge, make sure your brush is lightly soiled with paint and paint with strokes moving away from the tape, not towards. If you paint with stroke towards the tapes edge you are liable to end up with paint under the tape resulting in an unclean line after the tape is removed. When painting the length of the area, follow the edge of the tape with your brush to ensure all strokes move in the same direction. Apply additional coats until you reach the desired thickness of chalkboard surface, allowing for adequate time to dry between each coat. I chose to do five coats of chalkboard paint to build up the surface some compared to the stained surface.

 

Note: Read all the directions on each product before use. Remember to stir the paint before use, do not shake. I recommend wearing a mask and gloves when applying paint along with working in a well-ventilated space. A well-ventilated space creates a cleaner workspace to breathe in and faster drying time.

 

 

Assembly

After your new chalkboard surface is completely dry, especially at the tapes edge, carefully remove the tape by pulling at a slight angle towards the painted surface. The only thing left is to attach your decorative handles! Mark off the locations for your screws, use an electric drill to make small pilot holes, lay the handles in place, and drill in the screws.

 

You’re done! Look at that beauty! Now you have a fun and beautiful chalkboard serving tray for all your summer festivities!

 

Don’t miss out on the other posts in our wedding season series!

 

 

Thinking about making this tray or have already done so? Leave us a comment below to share!

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A COUNTRY ARRANGEMENT:
A China Cabinet Substitute

 

If you have read my post, A Storytelling Fireplace, then you already know we recently rearranged our living room setup. But, before we did, this was our original arrangement for what was the dining room portion of the area. We do not have a big and beautiful china cabinet full of fine china, but I felt this was a nice country inspired substitute. 🙂 Let me just say, I apologize for the not so fantastic picture quality; I did not manage to get nicer ones before we moved everything.

 

 

I loved this set-up for the dining room area because it was able to showcase some conversation starters, such as college stories, our favorite vacation spot, and The First Rose my husband gave me, all while storing additional serving wear in the buffet cabinet. This country arrangement was a fun and decorative statement to the room that added storage and color to the standard barren rooms of rental properties.

 

Anyone who lives in a rental home or apartment knows that storage space is key. The buffet cabinet was actually a piece I purchased when living in the definition of a “zero storage space” one-bedroom apartment. When apartment hunting, I somehow did not notice the massive lack of storage space until I moved in. Of course, this meant I then had to go out and purchase four new pieces of furniture in order to have a place to put everything. Food had to be stowed away in the very few kitchen cabinets, which left any dishes to be placed in the buffet cabinet. Once everything had its place it was the perfect sized apartment for me… until my husband moved in… there was no storage solution after that. 😉

 

One of the things I love about this particular piece of furniture is its versatility. A china cabinet is exactly how it sounds, a cabinet for fine china, and most always located in the dining room. However, this buffet cabinet is really just a cabinet that can be used for anything and in any room making it a great choice for those who move often. Another perk is the reduced size of this cabinet versus a china cabinet. This allows for greater versatility in where the piece will fit in each given room or new home.

 

 

After you have your required storage, all you need is to decorate! Choose some decorative conversation items if the arrangement is in one of your common rooms where guests will be. Be sure to appropriately balance your pieces with one another and with both the size of the room/wall. For example, the Pallet and Chain Shelf adds a nice upper balance to the weight of the buffet cabinet below with its size and quantity of décor. You want to avoid overtaking or understating your décor in each space of your home.

 

The floral arrangements were originally for the townhouse that I shared with my brother during college. My brother did not want any décor that was “too girly,” but I had already found these adorable burlap bags and had to get my floral arrangements in them somehow. 😉 So I decided to use flowers that were not too feminine in both color and appearance with greenery. The key element here was I chose to use a more masculine twig-like greenery and moss to seal the deal. I explained to him my balance between masculinity and femininity in the arrangement… I am not sure if he actually bought my reasoning, but he caved either way!

 

If you have a lack of storage space, try not to look at it as a bad thing. Instead, look at it as an opportunity to get creative! You could end up inspiring your friends and help them solve their own storage issues. 🙂

 

Have a great day!

 

 

We would love to hear what you have to say! Please leave a comment below! 

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