Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most


DIY Wallpapered Lamp Shades

DIY lamp shadeWell, I found my first use for the gorgeous wallpaper samples I received from Farrow and Ball!  Enter plain jane yet totally functional (and affordable!) Arstid.lamp shades beforeI just couldn’t bring myself to pay almost $200 for the plug-in swing arm wall lamps I had been eying.  Ikea to the rescue!  There are some things that Ikea can just not be beat on (come on, $30 for a pair of wall lights, light bulb included!?) and their lighting selection is one of them.  I lived with the lights for a bit just to get a feel if they fit our needs (and they did!)free farrow and ballinspiration and color guide and wallpaper samples with arrowI picked out the lattice wallpaper from my samples.  Per Farrow and Ball, lattice is brassy and elegant, brave and modestly chic.  Sounds like the perfect choice!ikea lamp shadeA close up up this ho hum lampshade.  I care for white lamp shades very much it’s just that this accordion cover had me wincing. stripped lamp shade  First, I got to deconstructing the lamp shade.lamp shade templateThen I made a template of the lamp shade using some advertisements (no way I’m making a mistake on such beautiful paper!).taping wallpaper to lamp shadeAfter cutting out the shape, I simply used double sided tape to adhere the wallpaper to my lampshade.  I think I’ll probably recover these with cloth somewhere down the line so I wanted a less permanent decorating solution for the time being.painting lamp shade ribbonI saved the original ribbon from the lampshades and painted them grey.  They too got attached to the lampshades a la double sided tape.close up lamp shade redoI used white duct tape to hide the chord.  So many things to love about having white walls!pair of recovered wall lampsAnd lastly, I repositioned the lamps above our bed.  After snapping a few photos, I realized they looked better balanced above our bed compared to the side.

Linked to Alderberry Hill, City Farmhouse, The Gunny Sack, It’s Overflowing, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths.

Do you think the new position over the bed works better?  Have you used any interesting materials to cover a lamp shade?

dark grey jennifer at brave new home signature



DIY Bath Foam Paints

DIY Bath Foam PaintsI like to do special little things with my son to celebrate the end of the work/school week—life is about the little things, right?  His internal clock shifted (read, he’s going to bed about a full two hours later each night consistently—talk about an adjustment!) so we’ve been having more time to enjoy each evening.materials for DIY bath foam paintsI had given this a try before when he was a bit younger but Anak was largely uninterested.  Since I had all the materials on hand, I decided to give it another go.  All you need is a muffin tin, shaving cream, food coloring, and a brush.shaving cream with food coloringJust put some shaving cream and 5-8 drops of food coloring.stirring up shaving cream with food coloringThen mix it up with something non-pourous that won’t stain, like a plastic chop stick!still stirring up shaving cream with food coloringStir it up…
finished colored bath foam paintsTa da!  Yeah, I really did show ya’ll how to mix shaving cream with food coloring :P  I know it’s not rocket science but after mixing all our foam bath paints, I realized I didn’t make Anak’s favorite color—pink!  So I used the opportunity to snap a few more pics.painting on the shower door with bath foam paintsHere’s one of his creations.  I had envisioned us making shapes and pictures for minutes and minutes (which for a toddler is like saying hours and hours) like we usually do in the fog of the glass door but like most projects with kids go, his interest wasn’t in the purpose of the project.foam bath paints sprinkled with waterHe was much more fascinated in the way water drops removed the color from the shaving cream.pouring water on foam paintsAnd how the foamy paint floated when you poured water into it.

My tips for you and your kiddos if you attempt to make your own bath paint foam paints are to:

– Do a test patch to make sure the bath foam paints don’t stain whatever surface you’re painting on.  They shouldn’t stain the bathtub but we all know how the color red doesn’t like to play by the rules…

– Don’t actually let your kids paint while they’re taking a bath.  Little eyes are sensitive and the last thing you’d want is to get shaving cream into the water.

– Make sure you don’t have any portrait sessions coming up!  The stain on the skin from the  purple foam bath paint looked a lot like a bruise.

Linked to Lines Across, Alderberry Hill, City Farmhouse, The Gunny Sack, Home Stories A to Z, It’s Overflowing, Gingersnap Crafts, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths.

Have you ever tried making bath foam paint?  Do you have any other favorite bath time activities to share?

dark grey jennifer at brave new home signature


Pool Toy Turned Wreath

DIY Pool Noodle WreathAh, I love me a good wreath!  And this one took me all of $3 to make, double score!felt fabric ribbonI picked up some felt for less than $1 total and a spool of ribbon for 99 cents.  The striped fabric I had leftover from re-doing our bar stools.    duck tape pool noodle into a circleI picked up a pool noodle from the dollar store so that was obviously also a dollar.  Duct tape the ends together to form a circle.  At first I was having my wreath hold with just the duct tape so I ended up hot gluing the ends first.mod podge doesnt workI started by mod podging the fabric onto the foam noodle but it wouldn’t take.  I have to say I was surprised, a surface that doesn’t bow down to the almighty mod podge, what?wrapping fabric around the wreathFor a cleaner look, I fringed the fabric and ended up hot gluing it on.  If you were working with a busier print or a solid fabric I don’t think keeping straight lines would be such an issue.folded felt for ribbonFor the felt ribbons, take a piece of felt and fold it in half.  Hot glue the end together and cut notched along the seems.cut felt and roll into ribbonThen roll your ribbon up and hot glue along the way.striped wreath from sideAlong with the ribbon I picked up for this project, I added in some polka dot ribbon I had lying around for some more spunk.  striped wreathI think I would have liked for the wreath form to be thicker but for a dollar I’m not complaining!yellow ribbon closeupAren’t all those patterns and colors just the happiest?front door with wreathThis is definitely a fun wreath to come home to every day.  And it’s on the less precious side so I think I’ll be able to throw it into our utility/home decor/miscellaneous closet without biting my nails over if it’ll make it out alive.

Linked to The Gunny Sack, Home Stories A to Z, Its Overflowing, Ginger Snap Crafts, Liz Marie Blog, Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, City Farmhouse, Lines Across, Alderberry Hill.

Have you ever tried making a wreath with a pool noodle?  Any other interesting ideas of projects to make with pool noodles?  I may commandeer Anak’s pool noodle come fall ; ]

dark grey jennifer at brave new home signature


Some More Sea-Inspired Wall Art

DIY wall sea urchinsI’m smitten with these little wall “sea urchins.”  I typically go for framed photos or art for my walls so these guys are a nice change of pace.


They’re a bit whimsical and add a nice nature element to any space.  I’m sorta surprised they can be incorporated into such elegant decor.


One thing I’m not smitten with is the price.  $20 an urchin?  No thanks.  I had a lot of left over supplies from the last time I attempted a sea inspired decoration so I gave it a go.  For this project I used clay, wire, toothpicks, wooden skewers, and spray paint.  Asides from the spray paint I already had everything on hand I needed to complete this project—score!sea urchin supplies  I started making little mounds of clay.  I purposely went for a more organic shape.sea urchin clay moundThen I bent a bit of wire and inserted them into the back to create a little hook for hanging them on the wall.sea urchin backingI started with my longer wooden skewers and stuck them into the clay mounds.  To give more dimension, I built some clay up around the sides.  sea urchin kabob sticksThen I filled in the surrounding clay with the toothpicks.sea urchin with toothpicksI had major cracking problems the last time I used clay which must have dislodged some clay wisdom I had stored in the back of my mind: cover your clay in a plastic bag to slow down the drying process.  It took over three days of increasingly opening the bag before my little urchins were completely dry but guess what?  No cracking here!sea urchin coveredI bought some gold spray paint  and gave them a coat of paint.  Only the paint was much more silver than gold—how did that happen?  Make sure you rotate your creatures to get all the spines coated in paint.spray painted sea urchinsI didn’t really have anywhere in mind to put them so I put them in our upstairs bathroom for now.sea urchins on bathroom wallI haven’t really shared any photos of this bathroom yet because other than painting it (twice now) I haven’t done anything to decorate it.  Next project maybe?sea urchin from sideAnd here’s a close-up.  If I were to re-do this project, I think I would have tried making smaller mounds of clay and maybe adding in even more toothpicks.  Overall, it was a pretty simple project.

Linked to Alderberry Hill, Lines Across, Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths, Liz Marie Blog, The Girl Creative, Simply Designing, 733 Blog, Design, Decorating and Diapers.

Where would you arrange these sea urchins in your home and how?

dark grey jennifer at brave new home signature


An Updated Entry

entry way before and afterThe title probably should have read “an updated kitchen” because that’s what I initially got this  Turkish rug from Pottery Barn for.  I was going to layer it on top of the impact absorbing mat currently in there for more visual interest but this indoor/outdoor number isn’t something you want to be standing barefoot on—washing dishes is already enough of a chore!rug at entranceI tried it at the front door and The Hubs commented that it was just too nice for such a high traffic area.  So I moved it over to the little hallway that leads to the first floor.  And things just snowballed (in a good way! should I say snowconed instead?) from there.entry way beforeHere’s what the wall looked like before.  I found this frame next to a trash can and painted it white (it was originally black).  White seemed like a “safe” color at the time.painting framesThe rug really helped giving me some color guidance.  I was sorta stuck on what color to paint the frame then I looked up and saw the grey concrete pot in my living room and went with that color.  I had leftover paint so I painted a dollar store frame I had on hand a shade darker.coat rack materialsI thought it would be neat to make a wall mounted coat rack for Anak’s jacket and my purse (which is always laying around on the kitchen floor) so I bought some wood for $4 and three coat hooks for $4.30 a piece.  The hooks were on the more expensive end of what Home Depot carried but I knew exactly the look I wanted and these hooks didn’t protrude out too much which is exactly what we need for a high-traffic narrow hallway.
wood medallion beforeI had this wood medallion made in Thailand that I picked up from Ross for $12 a few years back but have never been able to incorporate into my decor for some reason.  So I popped it off the stand to play around with it a bit more.rubber draw liners as rug matsHere’s my tip for rug pads: buy drawer liner at the dollar store and just cut it to size (works for smaller rugs).  This was all I had leftover—I think a trip to the dollar store is in my near future!unfinished wood rack mounted to wallHere is the coat rack mounted pre-paint.
entry way from doorwayAnd here’s the view from the front door.  I’m quite tickled with it since I never had any intention of updating this spot.  I think the rug helps anchor the space and define it as an entry way.  I think this wall would be a perfect candidate for wallpaper treatment, too!hooks for coat rackI’m hooked on these hooks!entry way from stairsThe view from the stairs.  I thought my little color scheme could be too heavy and dark especially going into spring but the yellow really helps liven it up.entry way mantel closeupAnd my little floral arrangement is another dollar store deal (this post just seems full of those!).  I bought two sprigs of flowers for a total of $2 and the little pot was from Target’s dollar bin.  I just put in some of that green floral foam and stuck those branches in.

Linked to Lines Across, Mad in Crafts, Keeping it Simple, Cheerios & Lattes.

This post is sponsored post brought to you by Pottery Barn.  All opinions are my own.

Have you ever bought something for a specific purpose only to use it in a completely different way?  What are you tips for faking an entry way?