Ideas For Decorating A Shabby Chic Kitchen

The kitchen is the heart of the home and is a perfect room to decorate in a shabby chic style.  With the relaxed and distressed furnishings, typical of shabby chic, the style offers lots of down home comfort for gathering with friends and family.

My own kitchen is more on the traditional side but I have incorporated lots of vintage accessories and even this old shabby sign to give it some of that shabby chic comfort.

My next kitchen will probably be much more shabby and I had fun searching for my favorite decorating ideas!  I hope you enjoy this collection too.

I love everything about this kitchen area from Coastal Living.  The weathered wood table looks just right paired with the white chair and bench.  Of course the feminine pink chandelier and French inspired pillow adds the perfect amount of chic with the shabbiness.

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This kitchen island is looking totally relaxed in it’s distressed decor.  I love the beachy feel of this kitchen with the wood ceiling and fun pendant lights as well.

The lighting is what really stands out in this shabby chic kitchen by Practical Decorating.  The dark rustic look contrasts so well with the light and airy feel of the furnishings and the rest of the interior.

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There are so many cool things to take notice of in this kitchen!  First of all, the shabby wooden shelf holding the antique pitchers is to die for!  All of the detailing blends together perfectly – the chic chandelier, the farmers sink, the shabby butchers block table and green stool, the beautiful cabinets and all of the great vintage accessories make this an ultimate shabby chic kitchen.

A common theme of most shabby chic kitchens is all of the white decor.  Here is an example of using all white on white.  The crisp clean look is anything but sterile when combined with the nostalgia of vintage accessories and old wood cabinets.

Basically, the key elements to think about when decorating for a shabby chic kitchen are to use old wood, vintage accessories, white, and some chic lighting like a glitzy chandelier.

A fun craft idea that you may want to try is my chicken wire basket that I use to store lemons on the kitchen counter.

For more decorating ideas, check out my Chic Decor page.

Happy Decorating!

Simple Crafts & Decorating Ideas Using Burlap

Burlap is my most favorite go to material for decorating and using in craft projects lately.  The rustic look and feel of it along with it’s ease of use makes it the fabric of choice in shabby chic decorating.

Another important fact to consider is that burlap is inexpensive!  You can get a yard of burlap at Jo-ann for about $4 in a variety of colors.  Plus, if you have a 40% off coupon, which I always make it a point to use, you have yourself a super bargain.  Love IT!!

I like to buy a couple yards, at least, at a time.  Now, if you are wondering what you would do with all of that burlap, I have some fun ideas for you.  Some of them I have done here and others I have found from around the web.  All of them should give you plenty of inspiration to go out and grab yourself a few yards of burlap to work with!

1. 

You can use burlap as a background for storage labels or any name you want to spell out on buckets or baskets like I did with this tin tub.

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Here is an easy project with a lot of impact.  These burlap placemats by Cottage & Vine look incredible especially under the simple white dishes.  The stenciled on words are so much fun and add just the right amount of design to make them really stand out.

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How about these burlap lampshades by Beneath My Heart?  I just love these!  The burlap definitely takes an ordinary shade and turns it into something to talk about.  Of course the numbers in red certainly add a lot of flair as well!

4. 

Did you know that you could print on burlap?  This project by Domestically Speaking is so cool!  Find out the trick for doing this by visiting the blog.

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You can never have enough storage in your home and this idea by Craftzine is a clever one.  Look closely, it is the back of a canvas with the burlap acting as a pocket.  I am loving this idea!  You have to go see how it was all put together and embellished.

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Finally, if you want to know how to make your own burlap roses, then check out the tutorial by Make Handmade.  You will be able to decorate a myriad of different things with these roses.  Try them in a grouping of different colors of burlap and even throw in a couple different types of fabric for some unique designs for lampshades, picture frames, scrapbook covers and more.

Have you done any decorating or craft projects using burlap?  Will you try any of these idea?  Let me know your thoughts and suggestions!

Happy Crafting and Decorating!

Most Creative Recycled Crafts To Make

Craft projects made with recyclable materials have been steadily gaining in popularity and it is no wonder why.  The ability to upcycle an otherwise useless item is so satisfying, budget sensitive and green.  Plus, the creative ways that these items have been used results in much more of a work of art than simply a thrown together mix of random trash items.

I have found a collection of several recycled crafts that have gone above and beyond in creativity.  These should inspire you to want to save your trash and begin your own upcycling.  Who knows what kind of treasures you will come up with, with just a little imagination!

Now!  I am going to tell you something else but you cannot skip ahead to the end of the post.  After all, all of these craft ideas are very inspiring.  However, I do have a special surprise at the end……I am so excited to have found it that I had to do a little dance!

The fact is, though, that all of these recycled craft ideas are super creative and will be sure to inspire you.  So let’s get the show started:

Wine cork crafts are quite popular but making a wine bottle and accessory holder is an especially fun idea.  It makes the perfect bar decor!  Check out how You Really Made That put this set together.

As long as you are saving wine corks, you might as well save the wine bottles too.  There are plenty of things to do with wine bottles but this diy shelf by Crib Fashion has to be one of the most creative uses.

This lamp byCacareco is made from tin seals from cans and looks super chic.  Who would ever think it was made up of a common throw away item like tin seals?

Now, if you are going to start saving tin can seals, you will want to also save the cans themselves.  There are so many creative ways to decorate cans for storage or to use as vases like these wallpaper covered cans by Martha Stewart.

This is probably the most fun use that I have seen for recycling bottle capsApartment Therapy gets very creative with this fun backsplash which would be perfect to do in a home bar area.  The bottle caps get applied the same way as tiles and make a decorative way to display your favorite types of beer or soda.

Newspaper is usually readily available and I am loving this basket craft idea by How About Orange. I may even use the basket to store……newspapers – haha!

Here is something that I hadn’t considered before – repurposing old tires into useful and fun seating!  Frangiaecochic refurbishes old tires into chairs, ottomans and tables.  The bright paint really gives it a fun look.

From bathroom trash to kitchen treasure, this refrigerator pen and pencil holder is super easy to make from an ordinary toilet paper roll.   Sew And Dippity shows how to give it enough pizzazz to display front and center.  There are many other very creative toilet paper roll crafts here.

Okay, so I told you that I had a surprise at the end and I am getting to that right now!  Are you just holding your breath in anticipation?  You are going to love this – I promise!

If you are like me, you have lots of old cd’s just hanging around collecting dust.  With the popularity of ipods, those little rascals just don’t get used as often anymore!  Well now I have a super fun way for you to make use of some of them.  This idea and the surprise comes from White Life.

First of all, let me show you what you can do with those cd’s:

Yep!!  Those wonderful looking clock faces are actually recycled compact discs!  I am so in love with the look.   ******11/27/12 UPDATE – White Life has taken the clock face printables off of their site.  You can purchase and download software for CD clock faces at Software Informer.  I also found a free printable for a plain clock face at Print Free.

Of course I saved and printed off a few of the images!  This is what I did:

First I printed off one of the images.  You will want to make sure your printer page setting is not set on “fit to page”.  I had it set that way first and the image printed off too big.  I printed an 8×10 image to get just the middle clock face.  For the full image to fit the cd, you will want to print a 5×7 size image.

At first it didn’t occur to me to change the print size from 8×10 to 5×7 and I just used the center part for the cd.  I was a little disappointed on not being able to use the full image until I figured out that I could print it out as a 5×7 and get the entire image to fit on the cd – hello!!

Sizing the two pieces up, I then applied spray adhesive to the compact disc and carefully laid the paper over it, rubbing it smooth.

Walaa!!  Since this was just quickly done as a sample, I only printed it on regular paper.  I do have plans to make an actual clock and will probably print the label using photo paper to get a better image quality.  I have a few other ideas in mind too but I will save those for another time!

What was your favorite recycled craft idea?  Do you think you will try any of these?  Let me know what you think.

Happy Crafting!

Best Selling Crafts To Make For Profit

Everyone always wants to know what crafts are the best sellers and which will bring in the most money.  The answer is that there isn’t a certain craft.  Instead it is all about a few key factors, which I will be getting to.

Let me start with the experience that my husband and I had with selling primarily birch lamps.

Initially, if we had been looking for what that hot craft item was that was selling like hot cakes, we definitely would not have found birch lamps on the list.

In fact, at any of the craft shows that we had visited, before selling, I don’t think that I ever saw a booth selling birch tree lamps!

Are you wondering if they were a good seller?  Well, the answer is that they were HOT! We could hardly make them fast enough, between shows, to keep up with the demand.  We had a great little business going and probably would have kept up with it if it hadn’t been for a job change and relocation.

Here are a few pictures of some we kept for ourselves:

So, what made are lamps profitable?  Here are the keys to their success:

Key Elements To Making A Best Selling Craft:

1.  Quality:  Make something that you are good at.  Don’t try to force yourself into a niche that you are not comfortable or proficient at.  Just because someone else has been super successful at selling jewelry crafts doesn’t mean that you will be if you don’t have the same passion or know how for that type of craft.  Stick with something you enjoy and make it well.  Chances are, if you enjoy your craft it will be reflected in how the end product turns out.

2.  Uniqueness:  Don’t try to be just like everyone else.  Buyers will get tired of seeing the same thing booth after booth.  Add some type of unique element to your design that makes it stand out from the rest.  This will give you an edge over your competition, especially if you are creating a common craft.

3.  Pricing:  Compare what you are selling to what is out in the market and try to price your craft as low as you can with still making a nice profit.  For example, no one was selling lamps like ours at craft shows however you could find manufactured lamps or artisan made, that were similar, in retail rustic stores.  We found that many of the floor lamps were priced at above $300, and some much more.  Since our costs into the lamps were quite low, we could price the floor lamps at $120-$150 and make a nice amount of profit.  The key is to find ways to keep your material costs as low as possible.  We found a wholesale lamp company that was willing to sell us lamp parts and shades at wholesale prices if we bought a certain amount per year.  This helped us tremendously in keeping our costs down.

4.  Style Trends: If you are making a craft that is to be used for home decor it is very important to stay on top of style trends.  Some items are fairly classic and traditional but the more trendy items will not stay in style forever.  I remember going to craft shows when I was first married and seeing nothing but Country crafts –  shelves with the heart cutouts, wooden figures to set everywhere, cute little wooden signs.  Today, Country is still in but the look has changed a bit.  It is now more shabby chic with distressed signs and more use of vintage and old wood.  Just little changes that could have a big impact on the way your craft appears.  Keep up to date with decorating blogs and magazines for what is being seen in homes right now and be willing to update and change your craft decor as needed.

So now that I have explained all of the key elements to keep in mind, maybe you are still having a hard time coming up with what you want to sell.  Maybe you are good at making a lot of different things and need help narrowing it down.  I can tell you this – from my experience with seeing what people are walking around with as their purchases at shows, these seem to be popular categories to think about:

  • wooden signs
  • kid toys/decor
  • trendy decor
  • jewelry

I hope this helps you to narrow down your choices.

Good luck and happy selling!

Button Crafts: Ten Things To Make With Buttons

A while back, I bought a small vintage case stocked full of vintage buttons and I have been having fun with button crafts ever since.  I especially like the old mother of pearl buttons or the rich dark brown rustic looking ones.  Old buttons are quite easy to find too at most antique shops.  Other places to look are estate sales, resale shops, flea markets and garage sales.  Of course you can also just clip buttons off of old shirts, that can no longer be worn, and start your collection that way!

Button Crafts

1. BUTTON BRACELET

There are so many things you can do with buttons and jewelry is just one of them.  This button bracelet is super easy with a chain containing flat round discs.

Supplies: bracelet chain with round discs, small buttons, jewelry glue, lobster clasp (if needed), jewelry round (if needed)

Tools: small pliers for adjusting chain length, tin snips (if needed)

Directions:

  1. Some bracelet chains come with the clasp and round already attached and only need the length adjusted with pliers to remove a link or two. However, if make the bracelet from a long line of chain, you will need to first cut the chain to size with tin snips.
  2. Attach the clasp and round to opposite ends of the chain if you need to add your own.
  3. Glue buttons to the flat round discs with jewelry glue.

button bracelet craft

2. BUTTON LABELS

 

Another fun thing to do with buttons is to spell out words on labels or any other type of craft project. With this bucket, I just glued a section of burlap to the bucket to use as a base for the button word. Then, I outlined in pencil the word I wanted to spell and glued on the buttons.

button craft

More Ideas For Buttons

Here are some more great button crafts that I have found from around the web:

Buttons make a great replacement for digits on a clock.  This craft idea by Martha Stewart would be a fun one to try with a variety of different button patterns and sizes.  I may make one with burlap around the base and use my brown buttons for a more rustic looking clock.

Here is one I found on Pinterest.  You can create all kinds of art if you have a large supply of colorful buttons.  Attach the buttons to wood, canvas, or burlap in a frame for some fun wall art.  Monograms are really popular too, which you can do in buttons of all one color.

Salvaged Grace came up with a fun way to use buttons in lighting.  What a great way to spruce up a boring lampshade!  You could even use all of the same color buttons for a more subtle look and still get a lot of textural interest.

A glowing candle sets off these button votives by Ihanna just perfectly.

These button flowers by Jones Design Company look quite elegant in their silver container.  I love the fun artsy look.

This button tree, on a thread spool base, by Kitsch And Curious is just so cute.  It would be a fun accent in a craft or sewing room.

Use buttons to embellish cards or other paper crafts like Tiny Natt did.

Finally, Michelle from The Scrap Shop shows you how you can make a button bib necklace with shell buttons that you can purchase inexpensively.

If you don’t already have a stash of buttons, hopefully this list of button crafts inspires you to go out and start collecting! Buttons are great to use for holiday decor as well. Check out these posts for more ideas:

Button Valentine Crafts

Button Garland

What types of crafts can you think up?  What do you think of this list of ideas?  Let me know your thoughts — I love to hear from you!