03.08.2012 / DIY

DIY: Pimp my Kicks

While its fun playing around with Nike iD and other websites that let you customize your sneakers, you realize pretty quickly that there is a limit to the amount of artistic freedom they will allow.

If you’re serious about standing apart from the crowd then making your own custom kicks might be the best option.


Take off laces and clean shoe with cotton balls dipped in nail polish remover to remove the top layer of clear coat. This step is essential so that your paint will adhere to the leather itself.

Before you go toitown oniyour new shoes with paints, I’d recommend taking the time to do a rough sketch on paper of what you have in mind of first. If you’re handy with the computer, Photoshop can be a great tool for this step.

Carefully map out the design you want to do in pencil. Make sure that both shoes have identical designs from all angles.

Begin coloring in with your paint markers. Start with the lightest colors in your design and progressively work towards the darker shades.

Allow your design to dry for 3-4 days.

On day 2 of the drying process apply a thin layer of the clear coat.

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03.01.2012 / DIY

Rip This Room: DIY Faux Bois

The wall covering...used in the inspiration image is a pricey faux-bois by Nobilis.
I love how a faux-bois can warm up a room and introduce pattern and the illusion of
texture while remaining comtemporary and still neutral.

We found a much less expensive paintable faux-bois by Martha Stewart at Home Depot.i
But for the DIY’ers out there faux-bois walls can be created
for little more than an investment of elbow grease.

Here’s the technique:
Using a 9-inch paint roller with a 1/4-inch nap, paint the surface in desired color using latex paint.
Let dry thoroughly.

Make the glaze:
Mix 1 part latex paint (pearl finish or satin finish) with 1 part latex or acrylic glazing liquid and 2 parts water. (If using oil paint, mix 1 part oil paint with 1 part oil glazing liquid and 1 part mineral spirits.)

Proceed with any of the patterns, applying the tinted glaze over the dried base coat.

Smooth irregularities as you work (they can catch the glaze and obscure its effect).
Working in sections, apply a thin coat of tinted glaze to dried base coat.

Make knots:
Drag a wood-graining rocker through the tinted glaze, working from the top edge of the surface to the bottom, and gradually rocking the tool, tip to end, just once. Turn the rocker in opposite direction (to change direction of grain),
and repeat process to create a second panel next to the first.

Make straight grain:
Drag a combing tool through the glaze, working from the top edge of the surface to the bottom.

Repeat process, alternating knots and straight grains. For the best pattern, alternate 2 or 3 rows of knots with 2 rows of straight grain.

Well done!

But faux-bois shouldn't be limited to wall coverings. Here are some beautiful applications in textiles and flooring.

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02.29.2012 / DIY

Rip This Room: DIY Mirrored Screen

IniJackie Astier’s libraryithey use a mirrored screen to soften the corner of the room.
A mirrored screen can help to brighten a dark space as well as to expand a room and add shine.
Hers was custom made.

Below I'll show you how you canimake your ownifor a lot less.

I love the way three totally different kinds of mirrors are layered in this room. A mirror, or several mirrors used together can replace the need for art over a mantle.

In this example there are multiple mirrors used in thei
room, the antiqued screen, the mirrored table top, as well as the mirrored tiles inlayed in the table side.

A mirrored screen can do double duty as a headboard.

You’ll need to get:

6 full length rectangular mirrors (look for antiqued glass for the best match!),3 15-inch-by-50.25-inch pine panels,
2 inches thick Sandpaper,iPrimer Paint, Paint brush,iPaint tray,iLong straight edge,i4 brass hinges Drill with bit,
Mirror mastic caulking tube,iCaulk gun

Here’s the technique:

Sand the edges of your pine panels, prime them and then paint the edges. Consider using silver paint, as it matches well with mirrors.

Lay your three panels on the floor, all in a row. Check that the panels are properly aligned by placing your long straight edge underneath the panels.

Set two hinges on top of the gap between two of the panels, placing one hinge 1 foot from the bottom and the other hinge 1 foot from the top. Mark the locations of the hinges’ screw holes with a pencil. Remove the hinges.

Drill pilot holes where you made your marks. Attach the hinges to the panels using the pilot holes and hardware included with the hinges.

Flip the two attached panels onto their backsides and leave the other panel as is.
Attach the remaining panel to the center panel using the same technique you used to attach the first two panels.

Load the mirror mastic into the caulking gun. Apply mastic to the surface of all three panels.
Start out by creating a border of mastic around the fronts of the panels, then fill in the center with lines of mastic.

Lay a rectangular mirror over each panel, carefully matching the edges of the mirror with the panel’s edges.
Allow the mastic to set for at least 24 hours.

Turn the privacy screen over. Attach mirrors to the other panels in the same fashion you attached them on the other side.
Allow the mastic to dry for at least a day.

Stand up the screen, using its accordion-style construction to balance it.


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By Patricia Wadzinski on February 29, 2012 07:41 AM
02.28.2012 / DIY

Rip This Room: DIY-Damien Hirst

The Damien HirstiEtchingithat hangs above the sofa works to marry all the colors in the room.Not to mention the fact the the simple graphic adds visual movement in the room without distracting from anything else.Seeing that these go for thousands of dollars (and we won't even talk about the paintings themselves), a muchiless expensive option would be to try your hand at replicating the artwork using a potato print technique we found on Oh Happy Day.


You’ll need to get:i
5 potatoes, acrylic paints in white and shades of blues, greys, and blacks for this, paper cups, cheap brushes for mixing paints, plastic plates for mixing paints, ruler, pencil, large pieces of paper (however big you want your artwork.)


Here’s the technique:i
Using your ruler and pencil place little marks where you are going to stamp your potato. For a close match to the Hirst model try spacing them 2" apart.
I would use a chalk line and snap a grid, but thats not totally necessary.


Mix paint. To get the greatest v
ariety of colors mix your colors yourself in the paper cups. (Not to mention they come out so much prettier when they aren’t right from the tube.) Pull out your color wheel and make darks and lights in the palate you want. Be sure to add a little water so the paint is a nice consistency not too thick and not too watery either.

Cut one or two of the potatoes in half and cut out a 3/4″ circle with a knife. You’ll want a few potato stamps so you can print with a few colors at the same time

Printing with one color at a time, place the paint on the plate so you can stamp the potato in it. Then start to stamp randomly throughout the print. Keep a scratch paper nearby to test it when the stamp has too much ink. It isn’t important that the stamping is perfect. They might be a little sloppy but as long as you get in theivicinityiof your pencil marking it will still come out great. Continue stamping with all the colors until it is all filled out.
Its important to do all in one sitting because your paints will dry out and your potatoes will get moldy. The painting part took 3-4 hours so get someone to help do the stamping to make it go quicker.
For framing you don't have to spend a lot. A simple white poster frame can be picked up at your local Home Depot or Ikea for very little.
Jordan used a frameless frame here and it looks great!

Here is the result on Oh Happy Day.

Happy painting!

And for those without a crafty side we suggest theseiSweet 16 wall decals.

For more DIY Damien Hirst don't forget about our Spin Art Video!

The results will even have Damien himself jumping for joy!

Or, you could buy this Banksy Rat Spots that is super cool and not that expensive!

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By Katie C. on February 29, 2012 08:45 AM
I love this crafty painting project! Great idea.
10.18.2010 / DIY

Grow Your Own...herbs!

Blueberry Lemon-Verbena Popsicles from the book Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski

For the past two weeks I've been scouring the city for lemon verbena, which is a key ingredient in the Blueberry-Lemon Verbena popsicles I've been wanting to make for my daughter. After a few weeks with no luck, I finally broke down and ordered an entire lemon verbena plant on-line.

This led me to the realization that it's impossible to find good herbs in the Fall/Winter! So, armed with the sunny ledge in my kitchen and my Amazon account, I got to work on building my very own herb garden. I've ordered all of the components and now it's just a waiting game. I'll keep all of you posted on this little project of mine as it develops.

Here's the sunny ledge, currently home to my cookbooks, the lemon verbena plant, some faux grass, and of course-a pineapple.

Here are all of the components that I'm so patiently waiting for. 1. I started off with a self-watering windowsill planter in white. It has it's own mini- irrigation system so I don't have to worry about forgetting to water the herbs. 2. The Chia Herb Garden provides you with six different basic herbs. 3. My entire family loves cilantro so I had to order a little bit extra. 4. I couldn't resist ordering the Chia Hippo so I could start teaching my daughter how things grow.

Oh, and by the way....here's my little happy camper eating her poposicle:

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06.16.2010 / Spin Art Art

Still Spinnin'!

As you may have seen in our Craft Room Video, all of the kids had a blast playing in the Central Park with spin art machines and LOTS of paint! Ever since we filmed the video, my daughter will NOT stop asking to do Spin Art. I guess I started it, so how can I say no? A few weeks ago, Livvy, my mom, and I packed up and headed to the park to create more custom pieces of art.

You can NEVER use enough glitter.

Livvy and Grandma Kiki!

I always think she sparkles but in this case, she really did! So did the rest of us, and my apartment for the next week!

So, if you are ever in need of something to do with the kiddos, just go out in the yard and start spinnin'!
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