Mod Podge Sign

 I’m continuing the restyle process of my sweet friend’s living space. If you want to catch up, you can read about project number one here

This next project is a wooden sign makeover.  

It was a simple, pretty, creamy white with some distressing. I loved it like this, but as you may remember from  my last post, my friend’s goal is to inject some joy into the space using color.  

Enter the cheapest, simplest solution ever: scrapbook paper! I only had to purchase two sheets from our local craft store (though, as “goof” insurance, I bought three).The distressed turquoise fit right in with our theme! 

If you want to make one like it, all you need is this: 

  • Scrapbook paper in the pattern of your choice
  • Mod Podge
  • Sharp scissors
  • A pen or pencil
  • A paintbrush

I began by laying the letters face-down on the paper’s back side

 Next, I carefully traced around each letter with a very sharp pencil. It is important to be accurate as you don’t want to spend time trimming, retracing, or troubleshooting.   Be sure to hold the paper and letters still! 

Next, remove your letters and cut your pattern!  

You should stay on the line with smooth cuts. See how carefully I followed? We want to minimize overhang and cover the letters precisely. If you don’t have a steady hand, it’s time to beg a friend who does and pay her in treats!  

Once the cutting is done, test the cut for accuracy. Make sure it aligns all over. There is no point in gluing a piece that doesn’t fit. That will just create more work! 

Now, it’s time for one of my favorite products: Mod Podge! It is more expensive than regular glue, but it lasts forever! I’ve had this bottle through more DIY projects than I can count, so I feel it was a worthy investment. I probably used only a few cents worth for this project. If you’re strapped for cash, you can even make your own. A quick Pinterest or Google search should show you plenty of “recipes.”  

Brush the liquid onto the wood first! You want a smooth, even layer. No dry spots, even at the edges, but no big lumps either. I think of a beautiful, smoothly-frosted cake as my goal.  

Following the same guidelines, brush a thin layer on the back of the paper.   

Next, gently press it in place. You’ll be able to reposition the paper by wiggling it for the next minute or so. Then, smooth the paper with your fingers, starting in the center and working your way outside.   

Use an old card to smooth any bubbles that may have appeared and give a nice seal. Holding the card perpendicular to the piece, scrape the surface from the inside toward edges. Do not press firmly or you’ll risk ripping your damp paper. Just a gentle brushing is what we’re after. If you’re not sure if your pressure is correct, try it on the underside of your arm. It should  just tickle, not leave a scratch. 🙂 

Lastly, apply a thin coat of the Mod Podge to the front. It comes in many finishes, but I chose matte for this rustic project.  When you do this step, a slight rippling may occur, but have faith, it will dry flat! 

And voilà!  

Weathered, Painted Frame Tutorial

A friend of mine started her career as a counselor somewhat recently. I know she must be fantastic at her job! She led one of the first Bible study groups I was in as a college student. 

Though I’ve never been a counselor, I don’t think anyone would argue if I said I think counseling has the potential to be both very fulfilling and very emotionally draining at once. 

My friend realized that, when she walked into her beautiful, neutral home after a day of counseling, she really craved color! I believe color can affect our feelings and give us energy, so that reaction is understandable. 

  Rather than paint a wall or buying a wild piece of furniture, we decided to add it in through accessories. She already had some great ideas for her space, it was just a matter of execution. 

The first project on the punch list was to refinish these frames. I noticed that she had a few items around her home with a super cool look I’ll call “polished distressed.” Taking my cues from what she already had and from inspiration frames we found at Hobby Lobby, the goal was to create a weathered, painted finish. She had these particular frames on hand, but you can find similar frames anywhere! The key elements here are the dark color and obvious grain. Any old rustic frame from Goodwill would do the trick.   I mixed up some too-pale duck egg blue and too-bold turquoise blue.  The result was this nice, medium shade. If you mix a custom color, be sure you have plenty! You don’t want to waste paint, but you do want to be sure to have enough to cover the whole project. If you run out half way through, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to replicate the color exactly. I probably made about 3 tablespoons worth of paint and didn’t use more than half of it. 

For honesty’s sake, I’ll disclose that I broke every painting law there is and mixed chalk paint with acrylic because I’m a rebel like that. I mix oil and latex all the time, too. Don’t tell anyone my deep, dark secret, OK? 

If you do this, it’s important to remember that both chalk paint and acrylics are relatively fast drying, especially when you’re applying the thin coats this project requires. 

Next, I began to dry brush the paint on. If you’re not sure what that means, I’ll show you below: 

 This brush is loaded with paint. See the shiny glob of paint on the bristles? You do not want this to go on your frame. 

 Instead remove excess paint by swirling off the extra until the bristles show. It’s still shiny, but can you see the difference?  

If you’re still not convinced of the importance of this, look at the difference in the brush strokes above. The top stroke was the result of a wet brush. If my goal was to totally coat this thing, it would be fine to slip it on and then spread it around. But for this project, we want the frame to look more like the stroke on the bottom. This was accomplished with the dry brush ! Apply the paint using gentle pressure (just barely touching the surface) and be sure to run the brush in the direction of the grain. If your frame doesn’t have grain, the dry brush technique applied as if there is grain will give it the subtle appearance there is.  

Remember that, while you can go back and add more paint later, it’s harder to remove it. Less is more! 

 Next, remove excess paint with a soft rag. This will remove any globs as long as you do it quickly, before the paint has a chance to dry. If you applied the dry brush layer thinly enough, it will leave the majority of the already-mostly dry paint in place. I painted one side at a time, then immediately wiped it off again.  


 I added some brush-on gold leaf liquid from Hobby Lobby. I will warn you, this stuff works well but definitely has a strong odor. You’ll want to be sure to work in a well-ventilated area and avoid breathing in the fumes directly (no putting your nose right over the project and inhaling). 

 Apply the gold sparingly using the same dry brush technique as before. The drier the application, the better! You don’t want a drenched-in-gold look.  After the piece is completely dry (within the hour if you worked carefully enough), use some rough sand paper and lightly rub away paint (still with the direction of the grain), and let some of the original frame show through.  The finished look will have a lovely, beachy, worn appeal, and just enough color to add interest without being overwhelming.  My best attempt at an “after” shot in my dark home.  

Enjoy, friends! Happy crafting! I can’t wait to share the next project with you all!

Spring Shenanigans


I saw this beautiful map vintage map of Tennessee on Instagram recently. It was too far to drive, and the store was unable to ship. But, a sweet high school friend just happened to see my comment and offered to pick it up for me and meet me with it! I am so thankful! I think Mr. S will love it! I love that, no matter where life takes us through the years, we will always have a reminder of our home. 


Spring days at home have felt so gracious and long after a winter full of cold, dark days.  


I’ve been loving gorgeous views on my outdoor runs and walks with Lucy. I am trying hard to be moderate in my exercise and not tax my knees unescessarily, but it’s like a joy overwhelms me when I see a sight like this that says, “Go forward!” 🙂 

      A few sweet ladies from church and I enjoyed a big breakfast and long hike at Bledsoe Creek State Park. This is where Mr. S and I had our first date over six years ago.  

Yesterday, we had another “date” with us! He was such a trooper and the whole way!