Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Milk Paint Tip: Easy Chippy Technique

It's another rainy afternoon here in STL, so I thought I would post this sunny piece I just finished. Well, almost finished. I also wanted to share a chipping technique I accidently discovered {although, I'm sure I'm not the first to do this}.

So, here's the before. This dresser came with a taller "brother", but I've painted them differently and don't plan on them selling together. Both are unique pieces and I wanted them to have two different looks (I'll share the other piece in a later post).


It was in pretty good shape when I got it. A little chipping veneer, but not bad. I loved the tall legs and old caster wheels.

I'm not typically a stencil/script person, but I wanted to try something new. I picked up the stencil below from a nearby shop, Dawn Lynz Surface Design. She does amazing work and has a great selection of stencils.

I used MMSMP in Mustard Seed Yellow and stenciled the writing in Ironstone {I carry both of these colors in the shop!}. It's finished with furniture wax.


I love how sunny and light it turned out. I think it would look cute in a nursery (as a changing table) or in a dining room as a buffet.

I had already painted the "brother" to this piece, so I knew I most likely wasn't going to get any chipping. Which I wanted. However, my laziness to just use hemp oil or a wax puck outweighed my desire for chippiness. But, decided to just let it go.

For the stencil, I had to tape it on with Scotch Tape to hold it in place. And, wouldn't you know, when I removed the stencil, a bit of paint came up here and there.

Almost like chipping!

So, I applied it in various places all over the piece. Any "chipping" you see actually came from where I applied the tape and then ripped it off! I did this before I waxed (the wax will seal the paint in and you most likely won't get this effect).

Miss Mustard Seed Yellow Dresser
Red Door Furniture Co. Dresser in Mustard Seed Yellow

While this method might be a bit unconventional --- it worked! I would love to know...what painting techniques have you accidentally discovered and now love?

Monday, May 12, 2014

How To: Host a Succulent Bar

Like everyone else, I've been a bit obsessed with succulents lately. I brought a few that I planted in vintage containers to Vintage Market Days last month and they were a hit. Trying to think of a fun way to bring people to the shop for some spring shopping, I came across the idea of a succulent bar. We supply the succulents, soil, rocks, containers, etc. and customers could stop in and put together their own potted plant. Leaving the mess to us!

This would also make a great addition to a birthday party or gathering. It's a fun way to get creative and plant something of your very own (without having to buy more supplies than you actually need).

Here's a few tips to get you started:

Note: If you are able, check out a wholesale nursery that sells to the public. I headed to the St. Louis Floral Market or Florist Row to pick up our succulents. It was my first time and I was completely overwhelmed. The nice folks at Baisch & Skinner helped me out and got me all set up. The selection was much better than what I would find at Home Depot or Lowe's garden centers (and better prices).

1/ Choose a selection of small, medium and large succulents. Depending on the size of containers you will be using, your guests could pick just one succulent or several. Make sure to have a good variety on-hand.

2/  Get creative with containers! I searched for a few weeks, curating a unique selection of containers. Popular planters included milk glass, vintage tea cups, vintage trays, and newer mercury glass candle holders.


3/ Give a little guidance. We hosted our succulent bar as a special event at the shop, so I printed up a la carte price sheets. The cheapest potted succulent went for under $10. Depending on the container, they went up to $50. I picked up some tips while I was at the floral market, and I offered those up as customers put together their plants. {hint: over watering seems to be the #1 killer of these cuties).

4/ Don't forget the details! Put out some gardening gloves, small scoops and shovels and mini watering cans! Give your guests all the tools they need to dive in!

5/ Have fun! Many of the people who stepped up to the succulent bar just happened to wander was a fun surprise for them. Mother's Day was right around the corner, so alot of pots were put together with Grandma and Mom in mind. It was definitely messy, but that was the point!

DIY Succulent Bar

Succulent Bar

The succulent bar was a huge hit with kids (they loved planting in the vintage tea cups) and it was fun watching guests carefully select each item that went into their finished piece. Everyone not only left with a truly unique plant that they created, but a huge smile on their face.