Category Archives: arts and crafts

Reclaiming An Old Frame

I am nearing the finish line on an incredibly frugal master bedroom and bathroom makeover.

My inspiration for the “British Isles/ British Colonial” design is a painting that has been hanging naked on my wall for years.  Yes, NAKED!

I have long intended on getting a frame to display my beautiful painting with the distinction it deserves, but a proper canvas frame is out of my extremely limited budget.  The best price I could find was $50.00 at Hobby Lobby.  I don’t have $50.00 to spend on a frame, so that means it is time for creativity!

Why not purchase a DIY empty frame?  This painting was created by a Haitian artist who crafted and nailed the canvas herself.  It is not of standard size.    Not to mention, all of the DIY empty frames I could find are for pictures, not canvases.  Sigh.

Over the past few weeks Hubs has been cleaning out and organizing our upstairs space.  During the overhaul he found an old frame and put it to the side to throw away.  While “shopping” upstairs for something to make a frame out of, I spotted it.  It is a true canvas frame!  SCORE a free frame!

While the length was near perfect, the width was far too wide.  I removed one side of the frame carefully.

I set the removed side in the appropriate position and used a marker to draw my cut lines.  I used a battery-powered skill saw to cut along the line I made.

Next, I predrilled and inserted 1 1/2 ” wood screws to put the frame back together.  I did this at all four corners to strengthen the frame.

Then, I attached to frame hangers at the top of the frame and inserted small screws on either side the painting to hold it in place.

The final step was to hang my beautiful painting on the wall and display it properly.  A good wiping and oiling brought the frame back to its warm and lovely dark wood glory.

Want to see what my frugal master bedroom and bathroom makeover looks like? I will be posting before and after pictures next week!

Thanks for stopping by!

All for the glory of God,


Find me on:




This post is linked up with:

Someday Crafts- Whatever Goes Wednesday


Ginger Snap Crafts- Wow Me Wednesday!


The most time-consuming bathroom redo I have ever done

I love my grandma, but I have no interest in having a bathroom that is styled after the well-known “a-grandmother’s-love-of-big-flowers” design.

The kids were not fans of the outdated bathroom either.  Time for a fun and fantastic bathroom redo!

Here are a few “before” shots:

View from the main entry door.

Looking toward a second entry door.

Looking toward the main entry door.

I decided to go with an ocean theme for the kids’ bathroom.  They love going to the beach, it would allow me to insert a lot of color, and it fits with all of the water they are constantly splashing on to the floor.

Here are the after pictures:

View from the bathroom’s main entrance.

View towards the second entrance door.

All of the outlet and switch plates were detailed to match the bathroom.

View of the mirror.

Here is a closeup of the mirror’s detail.

To get the ombre paint effect, aka:  color fading from a darker shade to a lighter shade, I did a bit of research on how artists achieve this in their paintings, and then I replicated it on a larger scale.

To do this choose a paint chip from your local hardware/ paint store that has 3-4 colors on it.  My paint chip had four colors, and I chose the lightest three.  I then bought a pint of both the darkest and the second darkest of the three.  I bought a gallon of the lightest paint.

It is much easier to blend a darker paint color into a lighter paint color.  (Thank you artists I researched for that little gem)  I painted about 65% of the wall the lightest shade starting at the ceiling and working my way down.  Only do a block that is about three to four-foot wide.  You do not want your paint drying so quickly that you cannot work with it.

With the second darkest color, paint a section of wall that is about 2 foot wide just beneath the light color.  Using a sea sponge, blend the darker color into the lighter color.  Just work with it until you like what you see.

Next, paint the final bottom section, from the second darkest color to the baseboard, with the darkest color.  Blend this color into the color above it.  Again, work it until you are pleased with the results.  Continue working down the wall until the whole this is painted.

I wish I had taken pictures of the process, but I was so into what I was doing that I just didn’t think about it.

Did you notice that I did not paint any fish or underwater creatures on the wall?  I  was not interested in creating a mural in the bathroom, rather I was looking to create an underwater background.

I want all of the fish and the creatures to be their own works of art that create a 3D effect.  At the moment, we only have a few on the wall.  As I find different fish and such that strike my fancy and add to the over all ocean in the bathroom, they will be added to our collection!

A couple of the details are the outlet and switch covers and the mirror.

All of the outlet and switch covers are created using modge podge, colored sand, and a glossy spray sealer.  I layered modge podge and colored sand like this:  modge podge, sand, modge podge, sand, modge podge.  Once the modge podge had fully dried I coated it twice with the gloss spray sealant to protect the sand and make it wipe-able.

The final detail is the “frame” I created with glass stones.  I chose a darker color for the initial rows, a lighter color for the inside, and an almost clear to add a little “bubble” look to the very inside.  If you look at the closeup you can see the third almost clear stone.

I glued each one on using clear E-6000 glue.  It took about two weeks to get them all up there.  Once I got halfway up the sides and for the top, I used packing tape to hold the stones in place until the glue dried.  I am beyond thrilled with how it turned out.  The darker to lighter stones match the paint effect on the walls.  *grin*

Just in case you wanted to know, there are 329 large stones and 399 small stones.  No, I didn’t realize it was that many until after it was all done.

Once I have the details completed on the vanity, I will share that with you as well.

So, am I crazy for gluing that many glass stones?

All for the glory of God,


Find me on:




Fun Balloon Inspired Name Sign

It has gotten more and more difficult to come up with something different for each of our eight children’s name sign.  I have now made it through seven of the eight!  Just so you know, I have no idea AT ALL what I am going to do for number eight.  Then again, he is only 18 months old and still really coming into his personality.  I hope I get inspired before his birthday!

Layla, age 3, is our bubbly, grinning, laughing, and silly one.  How do you create a name sign that shows that?  Balloons!

For this project you need:

  • the appropriate letters for the name (purchased from Hobby Lobby at 50% off.)
  • acrylic paint (already had this in our arts and crafts supplies)
  • paint brush (also already in our arts and crafts supplies)
  • 1/4″ to 1/2″ wide ribbon (purchased at Hobby Lobby for 50% off)
  • clear spray sealant ($5.99 at Hobby Lobby)
  • glue gun

I chose to paint each of the letters of her name a different color to match the tie blanket I made her for her birthday.  Doing this really makes the “balloon” aspect of the name sign pop!

Two coats of paint and a two coats of sealant and the letters are ready to add the ribbon to.

I used a black, 1/2″ wide ribbon and tied a small bow to be the bottom of the ballon, and I cut a 3 foot long piece to be the string.  I hot glued the string to the back of each letter and the bow to the bottom of each letter.

Before you hang the letters on the wall, I want to pass on a little tip.  If you add a bead of hot glue to the bottom of each letter on the back side, it will keep the letter from moving around on the wall when doors are closed too hard.  It really helps to keep the letters properly angled!

I used the toothpaste trick to hang the letters.  I applied a small dot of toothpaste above each nail hole on the back of the letters.  When I gently touched each letter to the wall,  a spot of toothpaste marked the place for the nail.  After I drove the nails in, I wiped the toothpaste off of the wall and the back of the letters.

Once I had hung each letter, I gathered the strings together to complete the balloon look.

I want to share another little tip for keeping the letters and strings in place.  First, once you have gathered the strings together, use a small ponytail holder to keep the strings from pulling away.

I used a small nail at the point where all of the strings are gathered to keep it all held in place.  Finally, I used a small piece of the ribbon and tied it around the gathered spot.  Ta-dah!

I am already thinking of making two small changes.  Okay, maybe they are really medium changes.  *grin*

I am considering changing the ribbon to a white one, and I am also considering changing the coloring of the pink “L” to a darker, brighter shade to better match her blanket.

Here is  a photo of her blanket:

I am thinking that the white ribbon for the little bows and strings would be less stark than the black.  Also, while there is some light pink in the blanket, the letter just doesn’t seem to match as well as the other letter colors.

If I make these changes, I will update this post so that you can see the differences.

To see the other name signs, just click the following links:  Renee and Noah, Emily Grace, Hannah, Olivia, and Susannah.

They make such great personalized gifts!  If you create a name sign of your own, I encourage you to leave a link here in the comments for me as well as for other readers.  You just may inspire someone with exactly what they are looking for!

God bless,


This post is linked up with:

A Couple of Different Name Sign Designs

Do you have any idea how difficult it is to make unique and individual name signs for 8 different people while not repeating a font or design.  It is pretty stinkin’ hard, let me tell you!

On to the design for Renee’s name sign.

For this sign you need a 1×2 that is about 3 foot long, a thin piece of wood that is wider than the letters you are using and longer than the total length of the letters put side by side, the letters of the person’s name, paint in the person’s favorite color, a sheet of scrapbooking paper for each letter, spray adhesive, a hot glue gun, and bling to decorate.

Mark was a huge part of the beginning of this particular design.  First, he measured and cut the wood to give me 5 squares that are all the same size.  Each one of them holds a letter of her name.

Next, I painted the edge of each of them with a color that worked with the scrapbook paper we chose.  I also painted the letters this same color.

After two coats of paint dried, I applied the scrapbook paper to the smoothest side of the wood.  You don’t want any bumps showing through the paper!  To do this, spray each piece of wood with adhesive…

… and place the scrapbook paper on it with the pretty side facing out.  Let the adhesive dry for a couple of hours before you do anything else with it.

Once the paper has fully adhered to the wood, use a razor knife to trim around the edges, like this:

I recommend trimming the paper on a piece of cardboard.   You don’t want to leave cut marks in your table or counters!

Next, I hot glued each of the letters to the papered wood.

At this point, Mark used a wood glue and attached the squares to the 1×2 piece of wood.  I chose to layer the squares to give a little depth to the sign.

While the other kids’ signs were all a surprise, Renee helped to create her name sign.  She found the green letters to be too stark, so I used a paper towel and sponged on a light layer of pink onto each letter.  She also chose to decorate with pearls and paper flowers.  After she arranged how she wanted the flowers to look, I hot glued them in place.

She is ecstatic with her sign.  The blues, greens, pinks, and blacks are just what she was looking for and gives her sign a more grown up look.  *grin*

I also want to share Noah’s name sign with you.  I used a few of the same techniques for his.

For this sign I used very large block letters, 4 different scrapbook pages that had the same theme, spray adhesive, a razor knife, picture hangers, and some paint.

For Noah’s name I started by painting all of the edges of the letters with a bright red paint.  After the two coats of paint dried, I sprayed the smoothest side of the letters with adhesive and placed a different scrapbook page on each one.  Take care to smooth out the paper as you lay it on each letter.

Once the paper was fully adhered, I used a razor knife to trim around all of the edges.  It didn’t take long at all.  *grin*

To hang the letters on his wall, I hot glued a picture hanger on the back of each one.

It is not easy coming up with something that is acceptable to a teenage guy, but this design hit home!

Are neither of these particular signs not really your style?  Check out Emily Grace’s, Hannah’s, Olivia’s, or Susannah’s.  Maybe you will find some inspiration in one of them.

Any questions?

Up next, Layla’s flying high name sign!

God bless,


Make a cute chalkboard tray!

Not that long ago, our family headed over to our dear friends’ house (Paige of Blessed in Birmingham) for a birthday party.  Their sweet, sweet Rylie was turning the big 3.  She and our Layla are just days apart.

While I did pick up a couple of gifts for her, I really wanted to make her something that she would truly enjoy.

I was inspired by a couple of different projects that I had going on.  Those projects may or may not still be ongoing at this moment.  *ahem*

What you need for this project:

  • Chalkboard paint (already had this in the garage)
  • A variety of sizes of paintbrushes (used a few from our arts and crafts area)
  • Acrylic paint w/ your choice of colors (had this already)
  • A wooden tray (bought this on sale from Hobby Lobby.  It cost me around $3)

First, choose a paint color that you would like to be the base for the tray and give the tray 2 coats of it.  Make sure you paint every surface of the tray, including where you will be applying the chalkboard paint.  Allow the paint to dry thoroughly between the coats.

Next, paint the inside bottom of the tray with chalkboard paint.  You will want 2 coats of this as well.  The chalkboard paint sticks better if you painted the whole tray with the base color first.

Pink and purple are Rylie’s favorite colors, so I chose a dark purple for the base color, and I followed that by painting small pink flowers randomly around the tray.

After adding some more details, I had to let the tray set for a while.  Chalkboard paint must not be drawn on for 3 days.  In order to condition the chalkboard part of the tray (after waiting the 3 days), rub it with a piece of chalk, and wipe it off with a dry cloth.  No wet cloths for the first 7 days.

Unfortunately, you cannot see all of the details very well in this picture.  Each light pink flower petal has a dark pink stripe down the middle, and the center of the flower is marked with a dot of happy yellow paint.  I also used a very soft green to draw vines and leaves connecting the flowers.

This would make a great gift for any child, but it holds advantages for younger kids.  It is easy for a child to keep up with their chalk and eraser, because they  can’t slide off of the tray!

We rounded out the gift with a pack of white chalk and a pack of colored chalk.  Her Momma has reported that it is a big hit, and I know Paige would never lie to me!  *wink*

Baseballs, soccer balls, camo design, cars, trains, and the like would make a great chalkboard tray for a little boy.

Other little girl designs could be stripes, rainbows, balloons, and ballerinas, just to name a few.

I have a great appreciation for gifts that are versatile, easy to do, and can be personalized.

Do you have a child you know that would enjoy a gift like this?  How would you decorate it?

All for God’s glory,


~~Join us on Yes, They Are All Mine’s Facebook page~~

Creating My Own Canvas Photo Display

Not long a ago, while I was obsessing over glancing around Pinterest, I saw a couple of pins that caught my eye, and one of them was about creating my own canvas art.  I was completely inspired and knew exactly what I wanted to do.

Remember where I showed you how I was able to use the peel and stick wall writing but still be able to move it with me?  I had another saying that I wanted to find a way to use, and this is how I did it and made it match my canvas photos.

The wall lettering part of the project required:

  • The wall art (50% off at Hobby Lobby)
  • A large canvas (40% off at Hobby Lobby)
  • Black glossy spray paint (already had it in the garage)
  • Glossy spray sealer (already had it in the garage)

First, I arranged and applied the vinyl lettering to the canvas.  It was not easy, as the lettering didn’t want to stick very well, but I was persistent!  After finally getting it on the canvas, I flipped the canvas over and put canned goods on the back of it.  The pressure helped it to stick better.

Then, I spray painted over the whole thing.

After the paint had dried, I gently peeled off all of the letters.

At first I was disappointed that the lettering didn’t have the clean edge that you would get on a solid surface, but then I started liking how it had an I-just-wrote-this-in-chalk look.  After all of the lettering was peeled off, I gave it a nice coating of clear gloss sealer and allowed it to dry.

This is how it turned out.

The next step in my project was to create my canvas photos.

Supplies for this part of the project:

  • Black and White 8×10 photos of each child ($1.49 each at Costco)
  • An 8×10 canvas for each photo (30% 0ff at Hobby Lobby)
  • Clear glossy sealer (already had this in the garage)
  • A large bottle of Modge Podge ($7.99 at Hobby Lobby)

I used the cardboard backing of a large coloring book as a work surface.  It caught any Modge Podge I dripped.  🙂

First, you cover a canvas with a generous coating of Modge Podge.

Next, align your picture on the canvas and gently work out any bubbles with your fingers.  Make sure the edges are firmly adhered to the Modge Podge.

Once the picture is secure, paint a generous layer of Modge Podge over the entire picture.  Make sure it is as even as possible and every inch is covered.

I wanted a textured look as if it had been painted on the canvas, so after the first coating of Modge Podge I applied from top to bottom dried, I painted a second layer going from left to right.

You can also use cheesecloth or a sponge to stipple an effect on the photo.  Get creative with your texture!

Here is how my texture turned out.  I over-exaggerated it in the picture so you could see it well.

Once the Modge Podge had firmly dried, I gave each canvas photo a generous coating of the clear glossy sealer and allowed it to harden.

When everything was dry, I created my very own canvas art display!

I am beyond thrilled with how well it turned out!

If I (my oh-so-not-crafty-self) can do this, so can you.

I looked to buy as much of the supplies as I could on sale or clearance, so it wasn’t expensive.  The whole thing took just an afternoon, and that is with doing 8 kids’ photos.  I let it all set overnight and hung it up the next day.

Inexpensive and not time-consuming, double bonus!!

With Father’s Day coming up, you can get creative with the pictures you take and have a great canvas photo display to showcase your beautiful family!

So, whadda think?  Be nice, please.  *grin*

All for God’s glory,


Answering Homeschooling Questions

As a mom who has been educating her children at home for over 10 years now, I receive a lot of questions about how and what we do.

I enjoy answering every question I get.  I see them as opportunities to encourage, empower, and educate parents in their own homeschooling journeys.

Today, I chose four questions I have received quite frequently in the past few weeks.  I encourage you to leave your own answer(s) to the question(s) in a comment.  We all do things a little differently, and maybe we can help someone who is looking for options!

What kind of preschool curriculum do you use?  Is there a particular curriculum package you would recommend?

I get more questions about preschool and kindergarten than I do about any other grade.  My simplest answer, I don’t use a packaged curriculum.  Littles have such a thirst for knowledge and desire to be involved, and I want to harness and direct that with activities and experiences.  I don’t want them thinking that learning only comes from a book or a workbook.

Let me give you an example of working with Susannah (who just turned 5) when she started her preschool years.  While cutting up a banana to add to her granola, I would take the opportunity to ask her to identify the fruit and the color.  We then would talk about where it grows, what animals like to eat it, and what color the banana is before it is ripe.  I would maybe print off a coloring/ activity worksheet about a banana, the color yellow, the animal(s) we talked about, and/or the letter “b”.

There are many great places to print off free worksheets (I have several pinned) that work with the idea or subject you are enjoying with your Little.  Hands-on art, time in the garden, field trips to museums and zoos, and every day happenings like cooking are all great opportunities to cover letter sounds, colors, shapes, cause and effect, science, history, and more.  I prefer for my Littles to get into and active with their learning as opposed to only sitting at the table and working on workbooks and curriculum packs.

We also use flashcards, games, sand trays, and puzzles.

What homeschool conventions do you like to go to?

Um, I have never been to one.  Sad, I know.  It is not that I do not want to attend a conference, I REALLY do, but I have to find one that is around me without having to travel to Atlanta (I am in AL).

What science do you use for your middle school children?

I use Exploring Creation with Astronomy, Exploring Creation with Botany, and Exploring Creation with Zoology by Apologia.  I also use God’s Design for Life- Studying Plants and God’s Design for Chemistry by Answers in Genesis.  I am looking to get all of the Exploring Creation with series by Apologia.

Click picture for sourceClick picture for resource

How do you include art?

Art is a very vast subject with many mediums, inspirations, and personal experiences.  Our history (History Revealed by Diana Waring)  includes art (self-expression) in each chapter.   Our science also has opportunities to get creative, as well as geography.  While these subjects give great art assignments, I want more.  The kids love to do more!  Some of the art that we dabble in:  working with clay, pastels, watercolor paint, sand, acrylic paint, charcoal rubbings, sketching, origami, leaf art, and more.  If you are going to fit art into your schedule, you will have to intentionally create a day and time every week, or it will fall by the wayside.

What advice would you offer to the parents who asked these questions?

Do you have any homeschooling questions for me?

Next week, I will choose four more questions to answer.   I invite you to come back next Tuesday and join in to help encourage others!

This post is linked-up with Hip Homeschool Hop.  Pop over and check out many great homeschooling blogs.

All for God’s glory,


~~Join us on Yes, They Are All Mine’s Facebook page~~

You can also find me on Pinterest and Twitter!