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Sunday, February 24, 2013

{DIY} Painted Toy Animals

We've had a pretty quiet but fun weekend here complete with a visit from a special friend from college for a date night filled with reminiscing. The sunshine was a nice and welcome change.

Today's DIY is a two-parter. There are pictures all over Pinterest of the growing trend of painted animal figurines. So, today I tried my hand at a DIY animal toy makeover.

Part I

To begin this DIY, I made a trip to the store I despise the most-Walmart.  The truth is, it takes patience of steel for me to get in and out of this store without having a complete meltdown.  Just ask Mr. H.  The aisles are too skinny and the store overcrowded.  Just not my idea of a fun shopping experience.  With that said, it is common knowledge that Walmart has everything!  So after unsuccessful trips to the Dollar Tree and Target, I decided to give ole Wally World a chance in hopes of finding the perfect sized plastic animal toys.

I found these guys for $1 each.

Before (poor giraffe. Excuse my poor photography)

They also have lions, tigers . . .no bears (can't help myself).  But oh my, I was most drawn to the elephant, giraffe and naturally the horse.

To be completely honest, I bought these little guys on Saturday but never made it home with them.  After the excitement of finding the perfect sized animals for the perfect cost,  I apparently left the bag that they were in hanging in the carousel of shopping bags at the express checkout counter.  Has this ever happened to you?  I thought I double-checked every bag in that carousel!  Words can't describe the frustration!

Anyway, due to my complete obsession with gold I decided to try a new product out on these guys-liquid gold leaf.

I picked up this liquid gold leaf at Hobby Lobby for about $4.00.

I chose the horse to be the liquid gold leaf guinea pig:

The application was so easy with a small paint brush.  And, a little bit of gold leaf goes a long way.  It only took about 2-3 dips of the paint brush in the pot of leaf to coat this stallion.

Here he is in all of his golden glory:


 Here are a couple shots of this golden beauty in an equestrian vignette on the buffet:

Next up, the elephant.  Same application, same beautiful and easy results.


And who could forget about the giraffe.  Sometimes they all like to hang out in the jungle together on the dining room table:

Don't they look fun and chic?  I can see these figurines perched on bookshelves in a beautiful nursery (out of the reach of children-not sure gold leaf should be ingested), as table decor at a baby shower or just as a fun addition to a coffee table.

I found similarly painted plastic toy Elephants on Etsy for $25.00 - $33.00 each. For just a little more than $1 each, these are an easy and inexpensive DIY project to add some whimsy and fancy to a room.  

Part 2

Now, this part incorporates painting some smaller plastic toy animals with organization.

I searched for some smaller plastic toy animals and found a set of 3, white, paintable guys at a Kroger Marketplace for about $3.

While at Hobby Lobby buying the liquid gold leaf, I picked up 3 mason jars for about $2.50 each.  

 And also this pink spray paint on sale-30% off:

I knew I wanted a shiny gloss finish in a fun color for this DIY.

I used a hot melt glue gun to secure the mason jar seal to the metal ring.  Then I placed a dot of hot melt glue on each hoof to secure one animal per jar lid.


After about 2-3 coats of spray paint, we have fun organization store-all's for a kids room or your own!


You can really choose any color you'd like.  I'd recommend a high gloss paint for this glossy shine effect.

These are so fun for a kids room to corral anything from hair bows and ponytail holders to rubber bands and paperclips.

For about $3.50 each, these animal-topped mason jars are unique and functional.  I may make myself some for the office in a glossy gold-of course.

Hope you've had a great weekend and feel inspired to go rummage through your little one's toy chests and paint some plastic animals - make sure you get their permission first!


Sunday, February 17, 2013

Bedroom Reveal & IKEA Dresser Hack

Welcome back. I hope you all had as relaxing of a weekend as we did! We have cuddled up with hot chocolate and blankets, had a dinner date with some great friends and worked around the house (of course). I was very thankful for some sunshine, yesterday, so I could get some shots of our dungeon bedroom with a small amount of natural light.

We finished up a small project yesterday in the bedroom that really isn't a big enough DIY project to even be worthy of it's own blog post!  So, I've coupled it with a tour of our bedroom.

We bought a dresser from IKEA a few months ago to serve as Mr. H's bedside table.  I've gone back to try and find the dresser on IKEA's website but I don't think it's available anymore so I can't give you any specifics on it's name or price (thinking we paid about $50).  I really didn't like the hardware pulls on the dresser drawers so this DIY was simply changing the existing hardware.

Here's the hardware I ordered online:

Here's the dresser mid-hardware change.  You can see the horrible hardware that the dresser came with on the bottom drawer:


                                                                        Dresser before

The new drawer pulls were about $1.50 each plus shipping. 

                                                                         Dresser after

 I am loving the antiqued brass look against the dark ebony wood.  Easy, simple, IKEA dresser face lift.  If you find a piece of furniture that you love but the hardware is dreadful, just remember, hardware is an easy fix.

Here are some other pics of our bedroom.  Unfortunately, I don't have before pics but this bedroom has undergone a drastic transformation since my husband's bachelor days in this condo (just picture typical male dorm/fraternity room).

                                                                  DIY Upholstered Headboard
                                         Our wedding photos grouped together to make a bigger impact

                                           Love the texture the cowhide rug gives the space

                                                              Headboard-DIY project
Bedding-Lewis Paisley by Pottery Barn
Pillows-custom made by my mom
Dark bedside table-IKEA
Mirrored bedside table-Kirklands
Lamps-Stein Mart
Picture frames-Pottery Barn
Mirrors-Garden Ridge
Chest-Home Goods
Cowhide rug-Sams Club
Paint color-"Ashes" by Behr

 As you can see, this bedroom was pulled together with items from lots of different stores.  I like approaching a room that way because it gives it a collected feel with more depth.

Mr H says this room is very relaxing.  What do you think?

Do you prefer subtle muted colors in your bedroom sanctuary or bursts of color?

 (She always has to be in the middle of projects-maybe she thinks she's helping)

See ya soon, xoxo

Saturday, February 16, 2013


Well, here goes nothing. I would like to introduce to you, "Bluegrass Pearls", a blog on interior design, DIY projects, cheap finds, tablescapes, and just about everything else. I toyed with several names, but this one kinda stuck on me. "Bluegrass" because I'm from the heart of the Bluegrass State, Kentucky, and "Pearls" because they are my all-time favorite fashion accessory. I also like how the title is a sort of play on words, if you will. The old saying "pearls of wisdom" could also be inferred by the title. Although I don't consider myself to be wise in the field of design/DIY, I do consider myself to be passionate with a bit of experience. Okay, enough with the name.

As this blog grows and evolves (with formatting and colors), I am very interested in hearing from my readers on what I'm doing well, what I can improve upon and what interests you. So, please comment on posts to let me know how I'm doing! I am a first-time blogger so I'll definitely be learning as I go! My vow to you is to post ideas and projects that both succeed and fail. The last thing I want is for my readers to think that all DIY and restoration projects are perfect-far from it. You win some and you definitely lose some.

Initially, until I figure out how much time I can devote to blogging, I am committing to 1 post per week. This post will likely be published on Sunday nights but I'll be sure to announce it on Facebook and other social networking until things become more consistent.

If you follow me on Instagram (lori_bluegrasspearls), you may have seen this picture:

                                                                             Or, this one:

Come back tomorrow for a post on an IKEA dresser hack and a bedroom reveal. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!
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