Category Archives: DIY

Screenprinting 101, My take!

I know I have enough on my plate. I know I may probably have too much on my plate. But thats very fitting since my mom always told me “your eyes are bigger than your belly Lisa Jayne!”. And yes that is a real saying. At least in my childhood it was anyway.

So when I was at Dick Blick and I saw the Speedball Screen Printing Kit a few months ago I held out the urge to purchase it with my hot little hands. Until I went back 2 weeks ago. Then, I had a coupon and well with a coupon comes great responsibility.

So I took it home all ready to screen print my lil’ heart out. Til’ I read the directions and realized this was going to take a bit more planning that I had anticipated and I tried not to cry and get depressed.

Which brings me to a week or two later when I had been messing about with making a few screens and printing on a few tees I had laying around. I finally got around to doing a good “run” and actually stopped long enough to take pictures. Heres a few things I learned….

First off mix your emulsion and the little bottle of sensitizer that comes with it. It really stresses that in all the YouTube videos I watched and in the directions of the Speedball Screen Printing Kit. I don’t know why you wouldn’t do this but from the amount they stress to do this I’m assuming a lot of people didn’t and it didn’t turn out right. Mix it good! It will smell like Elmers Glue. I’m assuming there’s glue in there.

Then use the red plastic scraper and in a dark room or in a room without direct sunlight (the emulsion is light sensitive) pour a little from the bottle onto your screen. So with that being said I poured a lot, like the whole bottle and made a huge mess! Ugh gross. So that first screen was toast!

Pour a little and spread spread spread with your red scraper moving the emulsion all over the screen. You want an even and THIN coverage. Keep flipping the screen back and forth and scraping like your scooping up all the excess emulsion. This will take a few tries. Don’t get bummed if you mess it up! Once you think your screen is evenly and thinly covered on both sides scoop the extra emulsion left on your scraper and try to put it back into the bottle it came out of. This is tricky so make sure you have plenty of paper down if you drop some.

Then place  your screen into a cardboard box with the raised lip side down so that the screen itself is not sitting on the bottom of the box. This takes a little forethought. You want the bottom of the screen butt up. Then place it into a closet or somewhere dark and leave it alone for a few hours. You want it to dry. I used an old cardboard box from Costco and folded the flaps up so it was closed.

It will dry bright green. The screen is still photo sensitive so leave it in the box or cover it up with a dark t shirt. Get your print. Now thats a whole other blog post but print something out on clear transparencies like the ones from Staples. I like to print out images from the Graphics Fairy or I just use Google Drive and come up with a saying and print it out from there. Here is an example.  Graphics Fairy Image

My image I made on Google Drive

The next part trips me out! Put it on your dry screen and flood it with light so as to “burn” the screen. There are great directions in the Speedball Screen Printing Kit for this. We used one of my husbands construction lights for working outdoors at night. I set my timer for 10 minutes and it always burned a clear screen. I did try and use several lamps with low watt bulbs with my first attempt. I ended up ruining the screen. So make sure you have a good light. I do believe these construction lights are 500 watt and are NOT LED.

I put down a few sheets of black paper underneath my screen so as not to reflect the light. I also used a piece of glass from a picture to weight down the print onto the screen. Again the time it takes to “burn” the screen with your bulb will depend on high your watts are of your lightbulb. There are excellent directions explaining this in the Speedball Screen Printing Kit. Once your image is burned. It will appear a lighter green than the rest of the screen. You may not see it at first and this does take some experimenting with to get the right “burn”.

Then you will flood the screen with cold water and watch the burned area flush away. It becomes liquid and slowly gets washed out.  Make sure you use cold water. If you use hot it will take off all of your emulsion. No bueno! Make sure your tap is set to cold.
 Flip the screen back and forth in the sink to wash away the “burned” area. This will take a while. Better to use a hand held sprayer. I’ve heard that some people will use their hose outside but don’t take it outside as the emulsion is still light sensitive.  Hold it up to the light and check that you’ve washed away all the words and there is “negative” space. This is where you will “push” the printing ink through the screen to create an image.   Once you’re sure all the words have been washed away with cold water then you can put it outside to dry where it will further dry and the remaining emulsion will harden and change color to a sagey green. Yes I said sagey.  Just a photo of my light setup in the garage where I burn the screens.  My t-shirt. This is one from Bella + Canvas. I think its a toddler size. I did not prewash it.  A picture of the clear acetate sheet on top of the shirt to visualize how it will look once printed. You may want to do this before burning your screen to give you an idea if your letters are large enough and look how you want them to look.  My screen. I marked the wood frame with inches like a ruler and then Imarked the center. I read somewhere to line the center of the frame up with the shirt tag to make sure its centered. The red tape I also purchased at Dick Blick. Its for covering up holes and or areas that didn’t get covered with the emulsion.  I put a line of blue Speedball ink across the top of my screen. Its pretty thick.  The ink.
Then I “pulled” the ink down with my red scraper that came in the Speedball kit. I also bought a more “professional” scraper and I must say I keep going back to this one that came in the kit. Its just lighter and easier for me to handle.
Pull the ink down at a 45 degree angle.  Cover the entire screen where the image and or words are.
Once youre happy that the entire image is covered you are done. Lift the screen straight up off the shirt. If you have extra ink at this point scoop it up with your scraper and put it back into the ink jar.  And there you have it! YOUR SHOES UNTIED!
Wash your screen out immediately after your’e done so that the ink doesn’t dry on it. Wash both sides of the screen and your scraper.  You can use hot water with this wash. I then waited until my printed image on the shirt was touch dry and used a hot iron NO STEAM with a thin tea towel in between the shirt and iron and heat set the image for a good 4 minutes moving the iron back and forth. The t shirt is then ready for wear.

*Please note that if you made a mistake with the screen and the ink is water based you can rinse out your shirt before you heat set it if you need to do it over. Once heat set with the iron you cannot wash the image out.

Swedish Paint Finish, part 3

Here is the last installment of video on how to achieve a Swedish Paint Finish. Here we will be adding the last ingredient, wax. I use Annie Sloan Chalk Paint dark wax, you can probably use any dark wax you have.


There is an extra special treat in this video, my daughter, Emma Jayne. She wanted to be my assistant, heheheh

Swedish Paint Finish


Here is the coffee table I refinished using my own version of a Swedish Paint Finish Technique. I’ve been scouring the blogosphere looking for a Swedish Paint Finish How-to with not much luck. So I racked the brain of my friend who does custom wood work for a living and he gave me his advice on how to achieve such a look.

So here is my first video tutorial. Today I will give you part 1 and Friday Part 2.

Please leave a comment below if the tutorial was helpful.

What paint finish would you like to see a tutorial on?

Cheers! xo


Vintage Home OC

February 5, 2013

Mini Lampshade Tutorial



sewing machine

glue gun

new material

old lampshade

I have a few little lamps around the house and the shades are old and granny-like. I have been looking at them for years thinking about recovering them. For some reason i kept looking at the seams in the shade and thinking that it looked awfully hard. Well it’s really not. It’s very easy and I finally got around to it last night. I got some great fabric from my trip last week to the fabric store, Michael Levine, in Los Angeles. At only $11 a yard I got 2 yards of this awesome bird, vintage print and I’m planning on making some pillows or a footstool with the rest.

lamp2Take off the old shade, see what I mean when I say it was ugly. You want to take it off in one piece to get your pattern for the new material. Usually you can peel it off from the top and bottom.

lamp3Once you have the frame of the lamp you can set it aside. Now get out your sewing machine. Really not much sewing here. Only two seams. Place your old shade fabric on top of new pretty fabric and cut around the old piece. Easy peasy. Cut two pieces exact same size and face outer sides together and sew along the right and left side. Following how your old shade is sewn. My old piece was sewn from top to bottom at sort of at an angle. Remeber to secure your beginning and end of the seam by reversing. You’ll want to do this for later when the fabric is pulled and stretched over the frame. Here the closer the better. You want the new shade to fit over the “bones” of the lamp snugly so it looks nicer. So once you sew it turn it inside out and test over frame to see if it’s snug, if not sew a little closer to the edge.

lamp4photo copy 6

photo copy 7You can’t tell from this picture except for looking at the top fabric how taut it is. Pull it down onto the frame like your pulling on a favorite pair of tight jeans ;). Your seams should be stable enough to handle this.

Now for the fun part. Plug in your glue gun. Don’t burn your fingers!

photo copy 8

Starting at the top, put a bead of glue about 1 inch long along the top of the inner edge of frame and roll fabric over the top of the frame with your fingers almost like your pinching the fabric together from the inside and the outside and wiping your fingers on the fabric at the same time. Make sure your fabric will pull down over the bottom frame while gluing and that you have enough at the bottom to cover the frame.

photo copy 4

When done with the top flip it over and do the same to the bottom. Pulling tautly. lamp11Snip off loose strings, etc. At this point you can do the same thing to the inside but then you have to put trim around the top and bottom to hide your glued edges. It depends if you want the inside lined or not. I did not line mine.

photo copy 10

photo copy 13photo copy 9What do you think? Can you see the matching lamp in the background? He’s yelling “me next, me next!” Yes, I am a little delirious. I think it was pretty easy and definitely not worth all the procrastination.

Be Blessed, xoxo

How To Build a Chevron Table/Tray out of Pallet Wood

IMG_5217Alright so basically what I did was figure out the final measurement of my piece which was 24″ square. Then I divided it into 4 for the 4 sets of wood that went in strips.

198791771023542624See the 4 strips above?

So each strip is 6″ and I marked that out on my work table with tape.


Cutting the first piece was the hardest. I put my chop saw at a 45 degree angle and did some test pieces to figure it all out. All I can say is that you should have some extra pallet wood for this. It just takes some doing. I am not good at math and I’m sure there is a scientific way to go about figuring how long your piece should be but that’s not what I did.

IMG_5216So here are my first pieces, they are set up this way because I was messing around with them. I had one piece go from the outer edge of the tape to the inner edge of the middle tape. Then I cut both matching pieces “together” on the chop saw. To get an even cut.

IMG_5218I love this “arrow” look. It reminds me of traffic signs in England. Anyway, your next few pieces are all going to be the same cut. I used my laser A Lot and brought down the blade on the saw to the wood before cutting to see where it was going to “hit” the wood.

IMG_5220So this is the next piece that is a different measurement because I’m going to fill in the last in this row. I did something totally technical here and eyeballed it and marked my lines with a pen! And guess what? It worked! I have no idea how my camera got switched to B&W here…


Cut Piece, do the same for the other side.

IMG_5224 Bottom triangle, same method, eyeballing it and marking it with a pen. This was a lot of fun because it was like a puzzle and actually once I got going it went faster than I thought. IMG_5226Finished side. I did make one mistake. my lines don’t connect down the middle. I guess that’s a pretty major mistake but I don’t really care. I’m not going for perfection and I will tackle that next time.

IMG_5228 They almost go together but not really. I’m totally OK with this. If you’re not then I’m sure if you get this far you can figure out how to make them match. IMG_5230Completed cuts. Then I used wood glue to glue down my pieces and let it dry for a few hours. I did not stain or paint my pieces beforehand. I think next time that is something I will try for a different look. Once the glue was good and dry I took my electric sander and sanded over the whole piece to make it smooth. I used 120 grit.

I will show you my finished piece tomorrow. I did put some sides on it to hide the plywood underneath. My brother showed me how to do an angled miter cut to form a “frame” around the whole piece. I will be using this as a coffee table tray for our ottoman. I will also add a piece of felt to the whole bottom and maybe some handles.

I’m really excited and proud of myself for doing this. It looked harder than it was. Don’t let the intricate cuts fool you. Go for it!

SHARPIE Paint Oil-Based Paint Marker Review

I’ve been a little quiet lately in blogger land but I’m still crafting and DIY’ing my little heart out. I have a big surprise for you. But more on that later!

I have a review today on Sharpie Oil Based Paint Marker. I’ve been using them for a while now to do some signs and they work great! I’ve only used the white and the black so far but I aim to use all the colors. Hear that Sharpie? I WANT to use all the colors…you can send some to me to test out on my super cool wood signs.

Anywho, they really work great and the color lasts for a long time. 

I noticed them a while ago at my local Joann’s Craft and Fabric Store. I kept asking the girls at the counter if any of them had used them yet and they kept saying No. So I decided to give the Sharpie Paint Marker a whirl for myself.

I have been using the black Sharpie Paint Marker in Medium Point. It outlines my stencils well with little to no bleeding and then I fill in the lines. It smells like regular Sharpie but looks a little glossy which is what an oil based paint is supposed to look like.

I really like the steady control the Sharpie Paint Marker gives me vs.  a regular paint brush.  It’s super easy to get into tight corners and have my letters appear perfect. 

I am still using the first Sharpie Paint Marker I bought in black and I’ve done quite a few wooden signs with it. Its still going strong.

I’m super excited to use all of the colors. Now I can coordinate my sign color to my lettering color. Yay!

How To: Union Jack Dresser Tutorial

I have been wanting to attempt a Union Jack Dresser Makeover ever since I saw Miss Mustard Seed’s….

And lately they have been all over Pinterest. So I decided today was the day to go for it! I also wrote a tutorial along the way because I couldn’t find one. There are a few ways to do it but since I’m English I decided to be true to my homeland and do it the right way. I’m not saying another way isn’t right I’m just saying I wanted to follow an accurate drawing. So I used this one

This is from a website called There is a lot of good info there about how this Union Jack is correct and some others aren’t. It also has a good history of how the Union Jack came to be. Very interesting!

The Union Jack is all straight edges and angles. Just like English folk, LOL….I can say that I’m English…..double LOL. Thus you will need a straight edge (I used my husbands level) for this project. FYI this is my 2nd attempt at this and it is a little daunting but well worth it.


1. Long ruler or level (straight edge)
2. Frog tape or painters tape
3. A dresser! or you can just make a sign or paint it on a box, a wall, etc…
4. pencil or chalk
5. second smaller ruler
6. paint (3 colors)
7. patience!

It would be a good idea to read through all of the directions first and look at the website mentioned above. Study it for a few minutes and familiarize with the lines of the flag. They are not even mirror images of one another (left vs. right). Which as a child I can remember this bothered me very much. I wanted each side to match! But they don’t. Anywho onto directions….


1. Draw a straight line from corner to corner, twice. Like this:

2. Draw 6 more corner to corner lines, mine are 1/2″ apart. Make two dots at either corner and line them up. Like this:

3. Do the same from the other corner. So you should have a bunch of lines like this:

4. In the middle of  all the stripes you should have made a bunch of diamonds. Count in 2 diamonds from the left corner and draw a line thru the point where the 2nd diamond ends and the 3rd one begins, line up all diamonds above and below this point with your straight edge. When you line the diamonds up you are going to go thru the middle of all of them above and below.  Mark a line:

5. Do the exact same thing to the other side, this is to make the Cross of St. George, the large red cross in the middle of the flag. Count in 2 diamonds from the right and line them up thru the middle of the diamonds above and below and mark a line all the way from top to bottom of your top of dresser. You should have two lines in the middle running vertically.

6. Now make the horizontal line of the Cross of St. George by going thru the top of the very tippy top diamond from left point to right point.  Use your straight edge to go all the way across. Measuring the thickness of your vertical line and that’s how wide your horizontal line will be. Mark a line.

This is not going to be completely even on all points, just try and do the best you can. Its supposed to be as twice wide as it is high. So unless your piece of furniture is exact then that’s why it won’t be totally even. But it will still look great and hopefully no one is going to measure your Union Jack table!

You should have this so far:

See how I made a few mistakes and tried to erase my lines? Chalk paint isn’t very forgiving when it comes to erasing. But this will be covered by paint anyway. My diamonds are not perfectly in the middle but we won’t be looking at diamonds once it’s all painted.

If you need another point to make a straight even horizontal line what I did was use my little ruler to measure from the top of my level (straight edge)while it was lined up on the center diamond to the upper edge of the dresser. I did this on both sides and made a mark and then joined the two points.

7. So know all you have to do is a few more lines. Now the lines around the Cross of St. George, (the shadow lines if you will) are approximately a 1/3 of the size of the Cross. Don’t lose me here, almost done. So if my cross measures 3″ my shadow line is going to be 1″ wide. So mark those now, they go all the way around. Like this:

I used chalk for this because my pencil lead was gone at this point and I had a piece of chalk laying around, now I wish I would of used chalk for this whole thing as the pencil is going to be hard to erase. Oh well that’s what paint is for right?

Now at this point you’ve marked everything out and you just have to paint. My dresser is gray so I want to use blue and white for my flag with the gray as the 3rd color. Whatever you choose you should use 3 colors that complement one another. Or don’t it’s your choice.

This is where the FrogTape comes in. I used my FrogTape to mark off the lines I want to paint first. Start with your inside lines first.

8. Mark lines of St. Georges’ Cross with FrogTape and then  paint. I’m using gray here which is the same color as my dresser but since I have so many pencil lines I’m going to give it another coat.

9. Pull off FrogTape immediately when done painting. I use ASCP because I love how fast it dries and I can move on! See here:

10. Now you are ready to start working on the triangular shapes within the flag. Start with upper left corner. Remember all those annoying lines well here is when we are going to use them.

11. Tape off  lines for the triangular shapes. For me these are going to be ASCP duck egg blue.This diagram is really helpful for taping off lines. So depending on what colors you are using follow the diagram below. My blue will coincide with the blue in the original flag below. Be sure to use your lines and double check the diagram before taping.

 Once finished you should have 8 triangular shapes painted. I only completed 5 here, but was anxious to see what it looked like so I started pulling off tape before I was done painting.

 When you are pulling off old tape lines please pull gentle. If your other paint isn’t dry then it may peel a little and you don’t want that unless you are planning on heavily distressing the whole piece. Which for me after all this work I do not want to do! But I did end up going back over the parts that came off with a little angled paintbrush for touch ups.

12. Now you should wait for your paint to dry a little more before taping off the 3rd set of lines. Again refer to the diagram above for taping off your 3rd set of lines. Mine will be painted in ASCP Antique White. Similar to white in the original flag.

Picture of 3rd set of taped off lines here:

I think I’m ready to paint. All I can say is keep referring back to the above diagram of the flag. Even if you think you’ve taped it all right. There were a lot of times I thought I had taped everything right and then I looked again at the diagram and I was so wrong. Also when fitting your tape to a specific section it helps to use your ruler as a straight edge and gently, with a razor blade, cut off your sections you need to go into a tight corner. See picture below of how I did this:

Be gentle, remember you are making a cut along an edge you’ve already painted. It doesn’t take much pressure to cut through the tape and it should just pull apart.

Once you are all taped up and you’ve checked and checked again you are ready for your 3rd paint color! Good luck and I hope it turns out great! I know I am so excited about how mine turned out. I love it.

Oh yeah and here’s a before picture. This too was a curbside find!

Now I just need to figure out where to put it….

Be Blessed XO, Lisa

** Please, I am in no way a professional painter, just a girl who likes to find trash and make it pretty. Proceed at your own risk and have fun!

I am Linking up to to:

How To Elevator Pitch – Part II

Ready for it? Think I have my Elevator Pitch completed. This came to me just as I was dozing off last night, of course, so I had my husband who was still up on his Ipad write it down for me…thanks babe!

“Hi my name is Lisa Lee. I’m a stay at home mom of 3 beautiful babies and wife to one tall roofing contractor. In order to keep from losing my sanity on a daily basis I try to incorporate creativity into my everyday life. I’m an avid DIY’er who specializes in recycling and upcycling cast off furniture pieces with a little paint and staple gun. I also love interior design  and jewelry design.  I write about all of this on my blog…”
What do you think? I’m not sure I can actually “pitch” this in a elevator. Maybe out to left field? Lol…did Martha Stewart have to write an elevator pitch?….. 

A Church Rummage Sale

Milk Paint – Miss Mustard Seed Yellow PreOrder now

   Tomorrow is the biannual church rummage sale here in Yorba Linda. This is a great opportunity to find some unique pieces to upcycle and redecorate. I am definitely on the lookout for some vintage and antique furniture to paint with Miss Mustard Seed’s new paint line….I can’t wait to try it out. Especially this fabulous butter yellow color. It’s available as a preorder on this Etsy site. I have been following Miss Mustard Seed for a few years now and it’s been great to watch her grow and read her daily furniture and decor posts. She definitely is a gal who I could be great friends with. We have a lot in common…..moms, believers in Christ, furniture DIY crazy, bloggers, and the thrill of the hunt for a good yard sale. 

Good luck Miss Mustard Seed! I hope your paint moves mountains in many homes!