Friday, October 28, 2011

Giveaway Winner and Barstool Reveal!!!

And the winner of the Cutting Edge Stencil is......
#19 Katie Anderson 
(I'll be sending you an email!)


And Now the

New Barstool Reveal:

Obviously this chair is a totally different look than my other barstools,
which is what I wanted to give you all!  

This particular stencil is from Cutting Edge Stencils "designer series" and is called Damask by Diane Papro Studio.  For my original barstools (click here to see) I wanted the majority of the chair to still be white and so I chose a stencil that had small areas that would be painted.  For this one I decided to try the opposite and went with a stencil that had large areas that would be painted.  As a result this stencil was a little harder, used more paint, and took a little longer.  The reason this stencil was a little harder was that when you bend the stencil around the curve of the top of the chair, it is hard to keep the stencil edges flat since the openings are larger on this stencil.  It was a lot easier to bend the stencil on my first chairs and keep the lines clean and straight.  However I really like the look of this stencil - just keep that in mind when picking a stencil if you are planning on painting a chair of your own. 

   I decided to paint this chair red so that if I ever decide to stencil a couple more I can have a Red Christmas Set of Barstools.  However after doing this chair I am having some reservations about the Red paint.  When I used the light grey paint on my first set of barstools I was able to very easily wipe up any mistakes and clean up any smudged lines so that they ended up looking very clean and exact.  I was sad to discover that the red paint does not wipe up easily, once wiped it leaves a pink smudge that will NOT come off for anything!  Sadly my results were far from perfect since I couldn't clean up any mistakes.  I have ordered some white paint from turtle feathers which is now on its way and I am hoping that with a very small brush I will be able to clean up any smudged pink areas.  This stencils pattern isn't one that requires perfection - it looks good even with little mistakes, however some of my mistakes were large, so I hope the white paint will help that.  From far away it looks great but you can see in the close up pictures below what I mean.  Although I ended up with a lot of smudged lines with this stencil if you were using a grey color paint you would easily be able to clean up those smudges and end up with a beautiful and crisp pattern on your chair - so don't rule out this particular stencil.

When I learned the red paint couldn't be wiped off (picture above) I decided to use tape to make sure the paint on the top of the chairs didn't accidentally carry over onto the sides.  The tape worked great for that problem.  When I painted my first set of chairs I didn't use tape on the sides of the chair since the grey paint wiped away easily while it was still wet.

I have a couple different family members that have asked me to paint some chairs for them so I am curious to see how things turn out with the paint colors and stencils they have chosen.  My guess is that Red is one of the hardest colors to wipe away cleanly - I suspect that most colors are a little more forgiving than Red.  Navy blue may be a hard one as well -but I don't know that for sure.  I'll definitely be posting more painted chairs so check back to see how they turn out!

Lesson Learned: I guess I could have used the same stencil on a red leather chair with white paint and ended up with the same look and no problems!  I love the chair and how it turned out but My Advice-- stay away from Red paint!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Last Chance to Enter!!!

Today is the last day to enter the Cutting Edge Stencil GIVEAWAY!!!  Be sure to fill out a form at the bottom of the "giveaway" post below (click here) and if you "Like" Cutting Edge Stencils on Facebook you can fill out a second entry form!!!

Remember to check back this Friday, October 28th for another Painted Barstool Reveal and to see if you won the Stencil Giveaway!

Also - just in the last week Cutting Edge has added some NEW stencils to their website, click here to see what's new! 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Stencil GIVEAWAY and a New Painted Barstool!!!

***This Giveaway is now Closed
I am amazed at how popular these barstools have become.  Thank you so much for the features on different websites and all the kind comments!  This has been a crazy and fun past few days for me!

The people over at Cutting Edge stencils saw my blog, loved the idea of stenciling on leather and want to give one of you the chance to stencil a chair (or a wall, or whatever else you may want to stencil) with a stencil giveaway!

Giveaway info:
Prize: One stencil of any value up to $50 - you can choose your favorite from their site - and they'll ship it for free! (US only)
How to Enter: Tell me what stencil you would choose for a leather dining chair or what stencil you would like for a wall in your home using the form below (Not in the Comments - Comments left below this post will NOT be counted as entries).
Extra Entry: "like" Cutting Edge Stencils on Facebook.  Don't forget to come back and fill in another entry form stating that you "liked" them on Facebook (you can simply put "liked" in the entry space under "what stencil would you choose" for your extra entry).
Giveaway Ends: Wednesday, October 26th at midnight
How many Winners?: One (1)
Also: Please only enter once, with the exception of the extra Facebook entry.  I will select the winner using by October 27th and will notify by email, so use a real email address.

I will announce the winner here on my blog Friday, October 28th at which time I will also reveal A new painted barstool!  Sorry that is kinda long to wait but I need time to pick a new stencil, have it shipped, paint it, assemble it, etc.!

The barstools from were sold in pairs of two so I bought four barstools.  Which means I still have one blank white stool left.
I can't resist - and this time I'll be using a different stencil and color just to show you another option!!!!

The VERY hard part is deciding which stencil to use!  Cutting edge stencils has so many to choose from that would work great on chairs.  Here are some of my favorites for custom leather dining!

There are a lot more options on their website as well - go check them out then come back here to enter the contest by telling me your favorite stencil.  If you are a first timer at stenciling and nervous about the process just check out their great new "how-to" videos on youtube.  Trust me - it is not hard to get great looking results!  I was so happy about my choice to use a stencil for this project - anything free-handed would have turned out looking like a painted chair - the stencil helped the pattern have such precision that it looks like an upholstered chair instead.

I used one of their stencils on my dining room walls (see here) and used a foam roller brush just like their website recommends - it worked great and was very fast.  I felt like I wanted to be even more careful and precise though on my barstools so I used a small stencil "spouncer" brush (you can find them at most craft stores) which gave the desired result and I was glad I took the extra time to do it that way.  

DON'T FORGET TO CHECK BACK OCTOBER 28th for another Barstool Reveal and GOOD LUCK!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Painted Leather Barstools

No matter how many decorating projects I do in my lifetime this one will surely go down in history as one of my all time best!  I am so happy I had the idea and even happier that I dared to try!  It was a little scary -especially since I searched the internet for days trying to find anyone that had done something like this and I came up empty handed.  Ok, Enough talking, drumroll please.......................................

Here is the plain white leather barstool before

And After!!!!

The stencil I used is the "Marrakech" from  The paint is from and is called angelus paint.  It is made especially for painting leather (it has a bit of give to it and won't crack).  The colors I choose were "light grey" and "mustard", and finally I finished off the chairs with a coat of their Acrylic Finisher (in Satin).  Before stenciling the chairs I lightly sanded them with a fine sandpaper to give the paint something to grip to.  Since the chairs came unassembled I decided to leave them that way to make it a little easier to stencil.  The chairs worked well for stenciling since they have a very basic shape (not a whole lot of curves or crevices to try to stencil).  I was amazed at how easy the process was - total time was only about 4 hours.  Once they were done and had dried for a full day I assembled them.

 For the stencil I decided to use a small stencil sponge brush (called a "spouncer" - you can find them at Michael's) rather than a foam roller.  I just wanted to go a little slower and more carefully and I was glad I did.  The paint is water based so it was easy to tidy up any smudged lines once the stencil was removed and while the paint was still a little wet.

Because I used two different colors I taped off the areas of the large stencil that would be the mustard color.  After I stenciled all the chairs in grey, I went back with a small single stencil (it comes free with the large stencil) and painted in the small "mustard" areas.  To hold the stencil in place on the chair I simply put two big pieces of rolled up tape on the center of the back of the stencil then stuck it to the chair.

If I didn't already have a full-time job of mother I would consider being a custom leather furniture painter!  Just kidding - but really somebody could make a living doing this!  There are endless possibilities since there are tons of stencil designs these days and lots of different colors of leather paint.  If you are a real artist you could free hand a design.  If you didn't want to purchase a stencil you could print something off the computer and trace it then paint by hand.  (I didn't trust my skills to freehand anything).

  I loved that I could pick out the exact style and colors I wanted for these chairs - a custom chair at a very cheap price!  I spent $40 on the stencil and another $40 on the paints.  For the paints I bought a 4oz bottle of the mustard color, a 4 oz bottle of neutral color (which I didn't end up needing), a pint of the light grey, and a pint of the acrylic finisher (in matte) - by the way the website recommends a preparer-deglazer but it is only to be used on leather -not manmade stuff - and my chairs are made of "leatherette" whatever that means so I didn't use the preparer-deglazer on it).  I overbought on the paint (but I figured it was better to be safe than sorry).  The particular stencil I chose really didn't require a whole lot of paint.  I probably could have gotten away with just a 1 oz. bottle of mustard and 2 4oz. bottles of light grey.  Click here to see my unhappy thoughts on the "Acrylic Finisher."

   So I bought the chairs 2 for $152 from overstock (however I DON'T recommend them - click here to see why) then add in the $80 in materials and my total cost is $384 for four barstools or $96 each!!!!!!  To have these stools custom upholstered in a fabric of my choice would have cost a lot more than that and they would have been ruined so quickly.  I am hoping this painted leather alternative means they will stand the test of time and 3 boys!

Here is the Before and After of my kitchen.

I honestly have never had so much fun making something.  It really was easy and I enjoyed every minute of it.  I am seriously considering making a set painted in a red design for Christmas time.  If anyone reads this and is inspired to make their own please, please, please send me a picture!  I am so excited about the possibilities that I would love to see some of them come to life.  And don't hesitate to ask me any questions you may have.  I now think every kitchen and dining room should have some custom painted leather dining chairs!  It's worry free custom dining!

I have painted more chairs!
Click HERE to see all my Leather Chair Posts.

Thanks for the Features!!
Young House Love
All Things Thrifty
4 Men 1 Lady
Emily A. Clark 
Apartment Therapy

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Barstool Inspiration

I found an inspirational photo online that helped me make my barstool decision.

So I bought these from (a set of two chairs was $152).  
 *Since writing this post and using these chairs I DON'T recommend them click here to see why.* 

Not even close to the first picture you say?  "Not yet" would be my reply - ha, ha, ha!  I have done some research and found a company ( that sells paint for leather.  Yes I am painting these leather chairs!!!!! I am so excited and scared all at the same time!!!  My husband is mostly scared.  The chairs in the first picture are fabric and although beautiful they would only look that beautiful for the maximum of one meal at my house before they would have permanent damage done to them.  Thus the reason I will have leather barstools with a pattern painted on them.  I'll be working on them this weekend  and should have the final post Monday!

I figure if all else fails I could sew slipcovers for them (like the picture below) and just throw those in the wash every time they got too dirty to stand (or should I say sit?).

Wish me Luck! 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Book pages wreath

So these wreaths are on just about everyone's decorating blog.  Here are some of my favorites. (go here for a great tutorial)

Source: unkown

I caved and I am making one too!  I needed a small one to fit in a small spot on the wall in my bathroom that needs some decorating.  I like the look of the "s" shape on the pages in the first wreath so after folding the pages in an "S" I then folded the page in half (since my wreath is small) and stapled the end.  Basically making two S's from one book page.  Then I glued them all around the wreath form.  The wreath form was $2 and that was my total cost since I already had a book to tear apart!

Here's how mine turned out.  Now I am on the hunt for something cute to hang on the wall below it.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dollartree Black Crow

I saw this cute idea on a blog (click here to see) and had to go get me some black crows for a dollar!  They had a ton at the store I went to so no worries about them running out soon!

Here are a couple on another person's mantel (yes they also printed the same Halloween sign as I did).  Click here to see more of this girls blog.

And here are mine - maybe someday they will do more than just sit there!  
Here he is sporting an orange card stock crown.  Funny bird - makes me laugh!

And here is his friend!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Want to see what it looks like inside my house during October?
 As you can tell from my front door shot - there's not a whole lot to see!  As much as I love decorating I really don't decorate for holidays.  Christmas is the only exception.  I don't decorate at all for Valentines, Easter, Thanksgiving, etc.  The following is the little I do for Halloween.

These two frames are always on top of my secretary desk I just swapped out the pictures this month for more Halloween looking ones.  Both pictures I got off the internet and downloaded them for free.  You can then upload them to costco's photo center and have them printed to the size you want, then pick them up!  Very easy, cheap, and cute art!!!  You can find the spider web print (and much more) here and the halloween subway art sign here.

 Candy Corns look (and taste) great in a bowl in the kitchen.

 I carved a "funkin" with my monogram and added some black twigs to my vase with the lettered balls.

I do enjoy having little (yes very little!) pops of orange around the living room.  It works well with the black, white, and blue colors I already have all over my house.  Click here if you want to see more about how we built this sofa table.
Sorry to disappoint on the Halloween decor but that's all I got!