How to Design the Interior of Your Home

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 Please note this post contains affiliate links see sidebar for further.

Today I’m sharing with you my review of a new home design tool that’s giving me designer skills I never had before.  I’m so impressed with this product I knew I had to share all the details with you in this post How to Design the Interior of Your Home all about Tasha’s Designer in a Binder.

I’m Design Challenged

I remember the time I found the cutest lamps while browsing at a home goods store.  They called my name.  Maybe nobody else heard it, but I did.  They looked like they’d be perfect on my end tables.  There weren’t two shades on sale to match, so I just went with different ones-ya know, just for now…I know!  Sadly, they really didn’t look as amazing in my home as I thought they would.  They were too small and flimsy and were a source of discontentment for years!

Fact is I’m not a natural born designer.  Creative-yes, but interior designer-no.   I have made so many wrong purchases, and felt like nothing in my house really goes together.  For once, I feel like I have the hope and confidence to design a home I love that fits my style and budget.

Introducing Tasha from Designer Trapped in a Lawyer’s Body

Tasha has become one of my favorite bloggers to follow with her easy to understand instructions.  If you’re into easy DIY projects, and home interior design you’ll love her too.  I’ve followed her blog for some time now, and watched her progress in designing her own home.

Tasha created this product after going through the design process in her own home.  It’s called Designer in a Binder and its genius!  I’m so happy to have finally found the solution to my design problems.  And if anything I’ve said has resonated with you then I’m so pleased to share this solution with you.  Read on below for my personal review of the design binder, and my coupon code I have for you.

Product Review – all opinions are my own

I previewed the Designer in a Binder before it launched, and it shocked me at how well thought out it is, and how much substance it contains.  The quality is top notch, and I was impressed when I first saw it.  I have yet to see anything like it in the online DIY circuit.

It’s a digital download that you print yourself (see below for my tips on that part).  It’s intended for you to keep with you while shopping, so that you have everything you need to make better purchase decisions.  You have to remember your binder and be willing to carry it with you if you’re shopping.  This is serious design business folks 😉  It will work if you do.  PS it has a money-back guarantee!

From the beginning

The binder starts at the basics and takes you step by step through the interior design process so you can design the home you love.  In fact, this design tool is created for those of us without any design skills…of course, if you have some design skills you’ll love it, too.  As I mentioned above, Tasha is easy to understand, relate able, and very personable even on pen and paper.

I should mention it doesn’t matter what style of design you love.  It’s not style specific.

Who else is it for?

I also think it’s a great tool for those who are considering interior design as a profession.  I’m very passionate about inspiring others especially youth to be encouraged to chase their dreams that I could see this making a fantastic gift to an interior designer in the making.  It’s a great tool to use to design someone’s home while teaching you lasting interior design skills you can implement for future projects.

Lots of content- don’t be overwhelmed

There’s a lot of content, and it’s all relevant.  At first, it seemed a little overwhelming to have all that information, but I found it best to start at the beginning and go step by step utilizing all the tools she give you to design your home.  It’s obvious how much work Tasha put into this binder, and I promise it doesn’t disappoint.  It truly teaches you everything you will need to create the home you love.

Digital Download Tips

The binder is a digital download which means you can print it from home, but I would highly recommend sending it to a print shop where you can pick-up a cool three-ring binder while you’re there.  You’ll also want to make sure you have some basic office supplies, and maybe some clear pouches to hold onto your design elements as you collect them or to keep a pair of small scissors and a pencil handy.

Binder Options

Now, there are a couple different options available- the basic and the plus.  Of course, the PLUS has even more items and support you’ll want which Tasha gives you all the details on, but don’t fear the BASIC includes the binder which is the design tool you need.

Did you miss the part about it having a money-back guarantee???

Special Pricing

Last but certainly not least!  During the first week of launch Feb 19-Feb 23 there’s a fantastic discount pre-louding on checkout.

After that, you’ll want to be sure and use my 10% off coupon code: TRICIA+10  If you’re looking for free design help Tasha has you covered there as well click here for that.

Happy Designing!  You can share this info with your fellow designer challenged friends, and be sure to sign-up for my newsletter with DIY projects for your new designing!

Small Projects

How to Hand Paint Metal: Upcycled Brass Elephant Figurine

I’m so excited to share this project with you of how to hand paint metal with this upcycled brass elephant figurine turned teal boho beauty.  There are lots of great ideas about spray painting plastic animal toys, but not a whole lot about hand painting small metal figurines.  I hope you find this helpful, and it opens your eyes to see how a little paint and time is all it takes to easily change an older metal decor item to better fit your current home decor.

Since I had recently purchased Unicorn SPiT, I went looking at a local consignment store for a few small items to try the products on.  I found two things that I had to have: the elephant in this post and this vintage wooden box you can check out here.  The elephant was in good condition with these pretty mother of pearl type inlays in diamond shapes on both of its sides.

Here’s the before picture of the elephant…

Brass Metal Elephant Figurine Statue

Prep Work or Lack Thereof

From what I have found, there isn’t a whole lot of prep work or anything special you need to do to hand paint metal if it’s brass.  I simply gave him a quick wash with a little liquid dish soap and water.  I always wash everything I bring into my home especially from second-hand stores since often times they haven’t been cleaned or have been collecting dust on a shelf.  After wiping him off with a dry cloth I gathered the following supplies:

Supply List:

  • Unicorn SPiT
  • Polyurethane Spray
  • Cotton Swabs
  • Old Rags or Cheesecloth
  • Paint Brushes in small to medium size
  • Small Cup of Water

Hand Paint Metal

To hand paint the metal I used a medium sized paint brush with a 50/50 diluted mixture of Navajo Jewel by Unicorn SPiT(US) to paint a base coat of color.  I could have used the stain undiluted which would have given me a thicker product possibly reducing the need for a second coat.  However, I wasn’t too sure how the stain was going to look and I didn’t want to waste more than I needed to trying it out for the first time.  I painted it on, but you could just as easily use your fingers if you prefer.  The Unicorn Spit Gel Stain is easy to work with, and if it starts to dry just add a little more water to make it fluid again.

Special Note: Keep in mind the brass metal will be a smooth surface to hand paint, so you won’t be able to play around with your painting much.  On the flip side, if you don’t like how it’s looking you can just wipe it off.

After painting two coats working from one side to the other then back around I had gotten to the coverage I wanted. Smaller brushes came in handy to get in the detailed areas and in between the stones.

Paint the Stones

Hand Paint Metal Brass Elephant Teal Pink Blue Stones

  1.  Use the cotton swabs to apply full-strength US gel stain in Pixie Punk Pink and Blue Thunder
  2.  Let it dry
  3.  Use clean cotton swabs to rub and polish the painted stones.


Distressing the Paint

Lastly, I used a lightly dampened cloth to gently rub all the teal ‘paint’ to remove some of the color…distressing it to have a worn or aged look.

Sealing Hand Painted Metal

At this point I liked him, but decided he needed to be shiny and sealed properly. Since US is water-based it has to be sealed.  I chose to spray paint using semi-gloss polyurethane.  As you can see, US’s color changes greatly with the sealer.




Isn’t he so cute!?!  I love how the colors really pop after the sealant and the stones are still a little opalescent.  Thank you for checking out this post.  If you are going to hand paint metal please leave a comment below to share with the community of DIY’ers like yourself.

Oh, and here’s the link to the other US project where I upcycled a vintage wooden box into a custom boho jewelry box.

Interior Wall

How to Prep an Interior Wall for Painting

You thought it looked ready to go, so you simply rolled a coat of your new favorite paint color on the wall and called it a day.  Afterwards you could still see an old patch job and holes that weren’t properly filled by the previous homeowner who didn’t know how to prep an interior wall for painting.  We’ve all been there!

Allow me to share my tried and true tips for how to prep an interior wall for painting which will make your next interior wall painting job much more successful!  No more ‘why didn’t I notice that spot before painting?’ moments.

how to prep an interior wall for paint


I’ve found through experience taking the extra steps to prep a wall makes the actual painting part much faster and your results more professional.  First, let’s start with gathering supplies to which I have included some affiliate links for your convenience, I may earn a small commission should you decided to make a purchase through these links.

1.  Paint Prep Supply List

  1. Basic tools to remove anything on the wall:
  • Flathead screwdriver to remove switch plates
  • Hammer to remove nails
  • Drill or screwdriver to remove any screws in curtain rods or blinds
  • Needle Nose Pliers to help remove drywall anchors

2.  2.  Soap & Water and/or TSP (if a degreaser is needed)

3.  Course Rag and/or Large Sponge

4.  3M Sanding Sponge/Block Medium Grit

5.  Dap’s DryDex® Spackling with Dry Time Indicator

6.  Small Putty Knife

7.  Paint Scraper

7.  Vacuum (Bear with me here!)

8.  Optional Depending on Your Walls:

  • Orange Texture Spray- this will require extra work time and priming
  • Patch Kit – if you have a large hole

2.  Everybody Clear!!  The Walls & Room

Move everything out of the room you can.  Large furniture can be moved to the center as long as you still have plenty of room to walk around it.  Cover anything you wouldn’t want to find a splatter of paint on.  But wait!  Before you move EVERYTHING out read this tip…

Special Tip:  Make sure to have a flat surface at waste or table height to put your paint tray on like a nightstand or dresser.  It’ll be much easier on yourself to not have to bend down to the floor or hold the tray.  Pick strategic locations where you can have this set-up around the room especially if you’ll be painting with a partner.

No More Lazy Prep Work

Repeat after me, “I will no longer paint around nails, switch plates, curtain rods or anything else on the wall, and I will remove said things before painting.”

Welcome to the professional results side of DIY…taking those extra steps to prep.  Part of being a great DIY’er and loving your results is thinking about it from the view of someone who’s hired out the job.  If you hired a painter, and that person didn’t remove all the nails-just painted over them you’d be upset, and likely feel a little swindles by a so-called professional.  Keep those same standards for yourself, because you are using the currency of time.  By the end of this post, you’ll be your own professional knowing how to prep an  interior wall for painting.

When Not to Remove Something from the Wall

If you know for sure you’ll be putting something back in the same spot then and only then you don’t need to bother filling the hole especially if it’s a drywall anchor.  That would be silly to remove and patch just to do it over again.  If you’re hanging the same curtain rod or blinds back in place you still need to remove them and the mounting brackets, you just don’t need to fill the holes.  Likewise, remove any towel racks or bars in a bathroom.  Next we’ll do a little cleaning.

3.  Clean Dirt Off the Wall

Clean the wall with diluted liquid dish soap and water.  Be mindful not to soak the wall.  I clean the wall first to get it out of the way plus it helps in the next few steps of prep work.

If you’re painting in the kitchen, clean the wall with a degreaser or TSP to break down the build-up of grease and grime.  This is especially important if your walls are glossy since it will dull the shine making the new layer of paint able to grab a hold better.  When using TSP make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions for safety and dilution.  After cleaning with TSP, rinse the wall using a damp rag.

Some may argue using a primer like Bin’s Zinsser will block anything from coming through and block smells.  While I agree with that primer’s ability to do that, I still opt to take the extra step to clean the walls first.  It doesn’t take long, and it ensures all the past funk is gone for good and it’s an added method to ensure proper adhesion for the new paint.  Now let’s fix that Swiss cheese look.

4.  Fill Nail Holes in the Wall

After removing all the nails and screws from the wall it’s time to fill all those holes, and do any patch work.  I’m not going into detail about patching a wall in this post-only nail holes since that’s more common when prepping your walls for paint.

I do want to tell you I don’t like using the tube of filler products, because they tend to be only good for one project.  The kneading hurts my hand, they dry-up, a hole busts in the base…I could go on and on.  Mostly, I prefer to have something that seals well, and will keep for future use.

My preferred product is the Dap’s DryDex® SpacklingDryDex Spakling Tub to Prep an Interior Wall for Painting  listed in the supply list for three reasons:
  1. It seals and keeps for future projects.
  2. The color changing allows me to see when it’s dry which comes in handy if I’m prepping and painting in the same day.
  3. It’s easy to use.

Filling nail holes is a simple and easy process:

  • Fill the hole with a fair amount of spackle (you can always add more if you see it sinking in as it dries)
  • Wipe the wall on top of and around the filled hole with a damp rag to wipe of any excess spackle.
  • Make sure there is enough spackle in the hole and at the entrance to the hole to make an even level on the wall, but avoid excess causing a large flat spot on the wall.
  • Allow to dry.  Color changing spackle will turn from pink to white as it dries.
  • Sand with the medium sponge/block until the filled hole has a smooth and even surface.

Scraping Any Previous Oopsies Found on the Wall

  I like to use a paint scraper to scrape off any large bumps from old paint drips or bad patch jobs.  Just run the scraper along the wall gently.  Make sure to do a quick sanding to smooth out the different paint layer edges after scraping.

At this point, you’ll want to check for evenness including those filled nail holes on the wall.  Shine a concentrated light down the wall, and use painter’s tape to mark any spots that need correction.  Repeat the steps of patching and sanding as needed.  Next up is adding texture.

5.  Adding Texture to Wall Patches

If you have textured walls and had a large patch job you’ll need to add texture to the flat patched surface.  There are several ways to do this.  If you used joint compound you may have used that to create a little texture.  If not, I prefer using the orange peel texture spray.

There is a little learning curve, though.  The can has different levels of texture, so practice it on a piece of scrap cardboard or newspaper before using it on your walls.  You may need to practice knocking it down a little with a putty knife to flatten the texture to match your wall’s texture.  Sand that area a little afterward, too.

Lastly, you’ll have to paint a couple coats of primer otherwise you’ll see a noticeable discoloration after your new paint color has dried.  Almost finished!

6.  Clean All Debris Off the Wall

Clean off all debris from the walls by using a dry lint-free cloth or large sponge.

Special Tip:  If your walls are heavily textured or very dusty it is easier to put the brush head attachment on your vacuum and vacuum the walls.  This ensures the wall is truly dust free and ready for paint.

You Now Know How to Prep an  Interior Wall for Painting & Are Ready to Get Your Painting Supplies Ready

If you’re painting the same day, your next step will be to tape off the wall, but I’m going to save that step for the actual painting a wall post.  These steps on how to prep an interior wall for painting are enough for me for one day.  I hope these tips helped you for your paint project.  Leave a comment with any added tips you may have.

Cleaning Hacks

How to Remove Adhesive from Glass

When doing a final apartment clean-out, I discovered a quick and easy solution how to remove adhesive from glass.

What to do About That Sticker Adhesive Stuck on Glass Windows…

I had placed alarm company stickers on all the windows even though we didn’t actually have an alarm system-there’s a bonus security tip for ya!  Unfortunately, when I pulled the alarm stickers off the adhesive stayed on the glass.  I was bound and determined to get as much of the security deposit back, so I had to figure out a solution how to remove adhesive from glass with very limited supplies.

Use What You Have

Since most of the items had been removed from the apartment already, I only had a few cleaning items at my disposal.  A lot of tricks suggest using oil, but I didn’t have oil left in the apartment.  What I did have was window cleaner!  And for some reason, cotton swabs.  It was just the trick to remove the adhesive from the glass windows.

The Shortest Supply List Ever

The only supplies needed are window cleaner, and a cotton swab or paper towel.  Well, really anything that will hold the liquid and is lightweight enough to stay put on the glass.

Quick & Easy Directions How to Remove Adhesive from Glass

I soaked the cotton swab in the window cleaner then placed it over the adhesive left on the glass.  I let that soak for about 5 minutes then simply wiped it away.   No scrubbing required!  The adhesive is a little sticky when removing, but all I had to do was pull it off with the swab or really just wipe it again, and it all came off.

Here are some photos I took along the way.  I thought this was such an awesome hack I had to share!  I’m also proud to have gotten 90% of the security deposit back.  Woohoo!

Leave a comment ‘Worked Like a Charm’ if you tried it!  Check out my other adhesive removal hack here.

Sticker Adhesive on Glass

Supplies Bottle of Windex and clean cotton swab to remove adhesive from glass

Spraying Window cleaner on cotton swab

Window Cleaner Soaked Cotton Swabs pressed on the glass to soak

Removing the first soaked cotton swabs

Removing both soaked cotton swabs adhesive removing from glass window

Wiping clean after removing adhesive from glass



Lessons Learned from a Christmas Village

‘Tis the season to show your Christmas village, and today I’m sharing mine which is very dear to my heart, because it belonged to my late grandmother ‘Grammy’

This Christmas village is stitched plastic canvas, and its contributors include my grandmother, aunt, and my mother.  I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas spent at my grandmother’s, and this village was there every year.  At least the way I remember it 😉  I remember telling her long before she passed that I wanted this, and my wish was granted.

Lest I go on and on about all the wonderful memories flooding my mind right now, I’ll just share the village in all its cuteness.You can click through and don’t forget to scroll down after you’re done…there’s more! [metaslider id=645]

Oh, and some lessons I’ve learned about life from a Christmas village…

  1.  Proportions don’t matter when you take a step back and look at the whole image before you.  This includes yourself!  God made you perfectly proportioned just the way you are.
  2. Big and Small, Short and Tall, we’re all important and belong.  The little bunny needs the giant cow to snuggle to keep warm and find shelter or hop on for a ride.  The little Santa needs the little nutcrackers, so they can relate to one another.  The giant Reindeer feed…well, the giant cow can eat that too right!?!  Find those like you, those who have the same hobby, career, family, religion, etc.  You’ll realize you are not alone.
  3.  Your neighbors may be closer than you want and see more than you think.  I do believe the two little houses are quite close and may not always get along, but they’re stuck with each other.  They also look down on the ‘big’ house and see all the things they do and don’t do.  It seems they can look straight into the upper story window.  Curtains are a must.  Especially with giant cows roaming around.   Seeing beyond your view/circumstances is important…and again,  so are curtains. Ask a bigger, taller, shorter, smaller person what their perspective is.  It’s actually quite interesting and funny to talk with a friend about these differences in ourselves.  I’m super tall, and I’ll never forget a few years ago in the Urgent Care office sitting on the table and just watching as I swung my feet as they hung off the edge not touching the floor.  Can you believe my feet pretty much always reach the floor no matter where I sit?  I told ya, it’s funny right!?!
  4. You never know when you’ll need a helping hand.  Those cars seem small for the size of the Christmas trees, and you may need a friend or two to help you load it up or get it home another way.  Always know that one friend with a big truck to help you move.  Please remember, everyone calls that same friend, so bribery is important.  Bartering is not lost in the village of limited resources.
  5. Santa is not dead.  He’s on Mack’s garage right now…go see.  Remember, those who believe…receive.  Believe in all the good that life still has to offer you.  Don’t lose sight of Santa’s reindeer!  Remember that child-like hope and belief in things unseen.  Hope is always there if you keep looking for it.  You’re not a fool for believing-the world needs you to hope.  Ask a friend they’ll let you borrow some! And they’ll have belief in you, too!
  6. Common sense is not so common.  Who the heck thought it was a good idea to ice skate next to the train tracks?  Geez!  And that skier is way too close to the houses.  Danger!
  7. Don’t be afraid to live your dream.  The farmer started the tree farm, just a little modest one to start.  But, he wasn’t afraid to start!  And you shouldn’t be either.  Ellen Wiley (Grammy) started her little craft store, and turns out it’s the only one in the village so she has the whole market!  That worked out quite well…ya never know my friend! See #5
  8.  Church is important to the village, and your life.  You see, there were two churches in the village but I put them together.  Because, we need to work together and build together in the Church (Big C) as a whole.
  9. Be a train.  Choo choo!  Toot your own horn once in a while.  Stop at the station when you need a rest, but keep going.  Pick-up some new friends along the way, but remember many times you will outgrow your friends or they will outgrow you.  It’s okay, some friends are for a time, a little trip along the ride of your life, but then they have a stop to get off at.  And it’s okay.  They don’t want to go where you’re train is going and they have to hop on another train.  Make sure there’s a little bench at the station and leave them with a little Santa (see #5).  Don’t be afraid to open-up and go fast when you have the open track ahead.  Don’t go too fast that you miss the view though.  About 60 mph is decent, right?!  Oh, who am I kidding go like 100 or more if ya can-just a little bit.  Then stop and drop off that friend that’s getting car sick.
  10. Plan for winter.  Oh, the seasons of life.  In the village, stocking the wood pile for winter is vital for survival.  As it is in your life-and pocketbook(I can hear Grammy say pocketbook still 🙂  or if you prefer, your wallet.  You have to plan ahead.  You know winter is coming, it comes the same time every year.  Why are you surprised?  There will be winters in your life, too-plan for those.  Bask in the summer rays, but have a plan for your life so you don’t end-up being the house without the woodpile in winter.  Find the planner in your life to come alongside you.  Planners, share your gift with others!  As the good book says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Merry Christmas to you!  I pray you find the peace and joy Jesus brings!

From my home and heart to yours,


Thank you for reading this post, if you enjoyed it please share it and follow ArtfullyStained on FB.



White Picture Frame Makeover

I created this quick post to show you a tip on customizing a picture frame for this DIY Mermaid Art.  In this post I’ll show you an awesome little trick for a white picture frame makeover.  This is a great way to use an old frame you already have.

Maybe your picture frame was like mine, not in bad shape, just outdated-in need of a makeover.  It was raw wood and kinda blah.  It didn’t match the contemporary vibe I wanted for my artwork.

1.  First, give your frame a quick wipe off with some soap and water.

2.  Lightly sand with a medium grit or 100 grit sandpaper.

3.  Paint your picture frame white with acrylic paint.  Mine was a little too shiny, so I sanded it with a 220 grit sanding block afterwards.

4.  Lastly, use a Sharpie marker to draw a line in the grooves.  You can use any color Sharpie that matches your artwork.  The great thing is if you get out of the lines a little just have a cotton swab or tissue with IPA on it handy to wipe it off.

Blue Sharpie to give White Picture Frame MakeoverBlue Sharpie in frame grooves to five White Picture Frame Makeover








I’d love to see how you gave your White Picture Frame a Makeover using a Sharpie.  Come on over to my Facebook page and share a photo with the Artfully Stained community.

DIY Mermaid Art

Mermaid Art Aqua Blue Scales White Frame

I have a fun DIY Mermaid Art project for you today.  It’s a Disney’s Little Mermaid theme, but with a contemporary inspiration for an adult.   

* Post edit:  I have since made a larger version & added its photo here to the right of the small one.

This project uses your basic painting and paper crafting skills.  Grab your tools, a cup of joe, and let’s get started!  As always, your supplies list is at the end of the post with convenient affiliate links for some items you may need to purchase.  

Step 1: Paint the Scales

Start with two pieces of 9 in x 12 in, 90 lb.  Cold Press Watercolor Paper.  

*Note: If you’re making these 3 x 5 or smaller you’ll only need one piece of paper.  

I chose this paper because it has a little texture to it and I knew it would hold-up well.  

Using a wet on wet watercolor painting technique or just drop some wet paint on your paper in greens, blue, and purples.  Mix some of these colors together to create additional colors to use, too.  When painting watercolor you don’t want to overwork an area, so move around your paper constantly.  For example, start at one corner then move to another corner then go back to the first corner and add more paint, and so on.  If you get it too wet you can dab it with a clean paper towel.  Try not to water down/thin out your colors too much, so that they stay vibrant.  

*Note: You may opt to stretch your paper first, but if you aren’t familiar with watercolor painting skip this- you shouldn’t be saturating it with water too much.  If your paper warps it’s won’t matter since you’ll be cutting it apart anyway.

Allow the paper to dry thoroughly overnight or use a heat gun/blow dryer to speed-up the process.  

Step 2: Enhance the Colors with Chalk Pastels

watercolor painting aqua blue green blended colors


Next, use chalk pastels in the same colors as your paint, and go over your watercolor painting to enhance the corresponding colors.  Rub the chalk in and blend it all to not have any harsh lines-fingers work just fine here!  Think of how scales look under water, all the colors flow together.

Step 3: Seal Your Painting

 Now you’re going to want to seal and protect your painting.  This Mod Podge sealer will  darken the color just a little-almost like a wet look.  I opted for two coats which enriched the colors to my liking.

 Spray according to manufacturer’s directions in a well ventilated area, and allow to dry accordingly.  This sealant allows you to layer another medium without the risk of your watercolor being affected, so when you go to the next step you can wipe off a mistake without ruining your painting.  

Step 4: Design the Shape of the Scales

After the sealant is dry, it’s time to turn your painting into individual scales.  I chose to design mine in a ‘U’ shape, but if you have a 1”-2” paper punch in the scale shape your work will be much easier and faster (and I’m jealous).  Just find something around your house that’s round and the size of the scales you want; trace on card stock-half the rounded side then use a ruler to finish off the straight edge.  I made a couple different sizes until I found the one I liked best.  

Tracing Shape of Scales on the watercolored paper


Using your card stock scale template, trace scales across the entire painting.  Try to trace them as close together as possible to make sure you don’t run out of paper.  

*Note: Make sure to trace the scales in the same direction, so that the textured lines on the paper don’t end up going in different directions on your scales.  I preferred my lines to go horizontally across the scales.

*Post Edit:  I barely had enough when I did the small frame, so when I made the larger version I traced my first row as seen in this image then I flipped my stencil down to trace the next row.  That allowed me to tuck the curved part in between the two curved edges of the previous row.  The third row I matched the flat ends together still keeping the lines horizontally across the scales though.  I had just the right amount with two pages for the larger frame.

Step 5: Cut Out the Scales

cut out scales

Cut out all the scales using a pair of scissors for detailed paper crafting.  Precision is key!

Step 6: Add Shimmer to the Scales

Gold Shimmer Paint Brushing off onto paper towel Very little paint dry brushing the gold scales with the gold dry brushed on them

After you have all the scales cut out, it’s time to add a little shimmer.  Dry brush with Modern Masters metallic paint in Warm Silver.  I actually used an old cosmetic brush that’s full and fluffy as you can see here.  Use what you’ve got!

Dry brush from one direction focusing on the lower portion of the scale since the upper will be covered when it’s tucked under the scales above it.  Going the same direction & focusing on one side mimics how a single light source would shimmer under the water.

Step 7: Attach the Scales

Mermaid Scales glued in rows on base paperNext it’s time to assemble and attach the scales.  Do a ‘dry run’ first by laying out the scales on the paper to make sure you have enough.  Using the frame’s backing as a template, cut a piece of card stock out for your base to glue your scales on.

At first I used glue, but I didn’t like how the scales were looking and I had to carefully tear all the pieces off the paper which was a hot mess.  I then used a tape runner and found that to work best since it gives you a little work-ability/move-ability.  

With your tape runner in hand, run a strip of adhesive along the back, upper/straight edge of the scale.  I did one at a time to not get too ahead of myself, but you could opt to have all the scales taped and ready to apply.  

Starting at the top, apply one row of scales butted-up next to one another but not overlapping.  The second row will go below that one.  Tuck the scales under the first row while alternating where the scoops are.  Ya know, like when you lined-up in PE and used the ‘windows’ layout so the teacher could see you all.  

As you’ll see, you’ll have some half ones to cut off the sides.  Go ahead and cut them as you go and set those pieces to the side.  You may be able to use them further down the paper.  

Just eyeball the rows by lining-up the bottom of the scales with one another.  If you prefer, you could use a ruler as your guide.  If some of the rows are tucked under further than others, don’t worry about it.  Once all the scales are on you won’t notice any little differences.  Once you’re all done and satisfied with the look, press down on all the scales to make sure they’re adhered well.  Gently tug at each one and re-tape or glue it if you need to.

I liked leaving the bottoms of the scales free, so they stood up a little from the ones below it.  You don’t want it to all be flat.  This is also why I focused my metallic paint on the bottom portions, so that each would stand out from the scale below it.  

Step 8: Make Your Quote to Finish Your Mermaid Art

Choose a quote to use.  The one I chose from The Little Mermaid is Ariel saying, “Who says that my dreams have to stay just my dreams.”  Find a free font online or type your quote in a word program in whatever color you like, then print it out on white copy paper.  I used colored pencils to write mine out.

Cut out each word separately leaving a little margin around each word.  To make them pop and not look half-fast, use Glue Dots and adhere the cut-out words onto silver foil paper.  Then cut out the silver foil, leaving a little more margin around each word.  This is again why those precision scissors are important!    

Mermaid Art small white frameStep 9: Mount the Words Onto Your Painting & Ta-Dah!

Do a dry run first to figure out your preferred layout of the words over the scales.

To mount the words, I used mini clear Glue Dots.  Glue Dots will also give you a little work-ability upon initial placement.  Using your Glue Dots go ahead and stick your words onto the scales and enjoy your gorgeous artwork!  

If you’re using a purchased frame for your artwork you should be all set!  If not, I wrote this separate post just for you to re-purpose and customize an old frame just for this!



Supplies List

Watercolor Paper

watercolor paper pad

Watercolor Paints & Brush

Chalk Pastels

Mod Podge Matte Water-Based Sealer

Glue Dots: Clear, Mini

Modern Masters Metallic Paint: Warm Silver

Silver Foil Paper

Paper Crafting Sissors



How to Easily Paint Lettering

In this post I’ll be teaching you how to easily paint lettering on your artwork.

All you need is some water soluble crayons(pastels would work too), and a water brush.  You may be wondering what those are and where to get them.  I’m here to help with that, too!  I’ve included my affiliate links for your convenience, and when you do purchase through that link I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Water Soluble Crayons or Pastels

These are water soluble little sticks of pigment that have the look and feel of a regular wax crayon.  This makes them easy to write or color with.  Then you add water with a brush which basically liquefies the product making it look like you painted it.  They’re very easy to use!

Water Brush

This super handy tool is one of my must-haves for any creative person.  It’s a nylon tip brush with a plastic barrel  which you fill with water, so it’s self-moistening.  There are different sizes available, but I like the large one the best.  I show you exactly how to use it in the video.  Easy, easy, easy my friend!

Grab your tools and lets get started.  Here’s the short video showing you how to easily paint lettering.  If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.  Oh, and if you use this technique please share a photos with me on my FB page @ArtfullyStained.


Supplies & Product Links:

Water Soluble Crayons

Caran d’Ache Classic Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels, 15 Colors

Here’s a Complete Color Set I found that would make an awesome gift-it comes in a nice box!
Caran d’Ache Neocolor II Water-Soluble Pastels, Wooden Gift Box – 84 Colors

Water Brush Pen

I found a great deal for you on a pack of 4, so you’ll have all the different sizes.  This is around the same price I paid for my single brush, so it’s a really good deal.

Arteza Water Brush Pen – Self-moistening – Portable – Watercolor – (Assorted Tips, Set of 4)

framed owl painting
Small Projects

Quick and Easy Way to Change a Picture Frame to Match Your Decor

Quick and Easy Way to Change a Picture Frame to Match Your Décor

Have you ever had a hard time finding just the right picture frame for a painting or photo?  Maybe the colors in the store don’t match your décor or your current frames need an update.  Refinishing frames is one of my favorite projects, because it’s so quick and easy.  Let me show you this quick and easy way to change a picture frame to match your decor using acrylic paint.

While visiting my dear friend, Jessica, and delivering this watercolor painting to her we found we needed to find a frame for it, so we headed out to shop for one at her local Wal-Mart. Watercolor Painting of an OwlWe did find a decent and affordable Mainstays™ frame that was pretty close to what we were looking for it just needed a little color adjustment.  I found PLAID® craft’s FolkArt multi-surface acrylic paint in 2951E Patina and 2921E Aqua although after trying the colors out at home we settled on just using the Patina one. Bottle of Acrylic Paint in Patina

I also bought a small pack of acrylic brushes which was a great deal for the lot plus it came in a clear carrying case.  I used the largest paint brush from the pack which was a size 10.  You can find a similar pack of brushes here.

Frame and paint brush

Here’s a short video loop showing how I lightly brushed the new teal paint onto the frame.  There was no prep work involved, and there’s no need to seal it.

With the time it took me to gather my supplies, try out the two colors, and paint the entire frame it probably took about 15 minutes to complete.  This is such a quick and easy way to change a store bought frame to match your décor.

framed owl painting

Faux Finishes

How to Make Your Own Faux Finish Paint Roller

Have you seen metallic paint?  It’s the paint little girl’s dreams are made of.  It shimmers and glimmers, but is not cheap.  Although a little goes a long way it’s still not a cheap paint to purchase.  That’s exactly why after purchasing some I needed to keep money in my pocket, and make my own faux finish paint roller.

Here’s an after photo of the Metallic Faux Finish I used the roller for:








After you have an idea and some paint, you need a roller.  Those faux finish rollers are an added cost and are a little hard to find these days.  I certainly didn’t need to spend any extra money or time looking for one, so I decided to make my own from a used roller, and an old t-shirt.  It’s really easy!

Faux Finish Paint Roller Video Tutorial

Check out my video on How to Make Your Own Faux Finish Paint Roller

…You’ll need an old t-shirt, regular paint roller, safety pins or straight pins


Now you know how easy it is to make your own faux finish paint roller.  If you need help getting started prepping your wall for paint check out my insider tips here.  Don’t forget to opt-into my newsletter for creative ideas every week.