Before And After: Desktop Organizer {Tutorial} Antes y Después: Organizador de Escritorio {Tutorial}

August 31, 2012 at 23:21 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY, Tutorials | Leave a comment
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On one of my trips to Thrift Town I found this desk organizer, and I thought it would help to organize the mail or patterns or random papers (that last thing: we have a lot in this house). I hated the design but I bought it anyway. I wanted it to make it more colorful and modern. It was very tempting to paint it in a chevron pattern, but I am tired of seeing it EVERYWHERE (still) these days. So I painted it in three diferent colors and added some polka dots to it. Here it is before and after.

Encontré este  organizador de escritorio de madera en una de mis visitas a Thrift Town, y pensé en usarlo para organizar el correo o los patrones o los papelitos que andan alrededor de la casa (que en ésta, nuestra casa, abundan). No me gustó el diseño pero lo compré de todos modos, pensando que lo podría pintar más colorido y hacerlo más moderno. Casi lo pinto con un diseño zig-zag, pero estoy un poco cansada de verlo EN TODAS PARTES (aún) por estos días. Así que lo pinté de tres colores diferentes y a lunares. Aquí está el antes y el después.

I got the paint for free with Benjamin Moore coupons that came in the Sunset Magazine. When I went to the store to redeem them, I was pleasantly surprised with the size of the cans! Lots of paint for free. That makes me happy 🙂 The total cost of this project was… $1,49!!! Whoopee!

Conseguí la pintura gratis con unos cupones de Benjamin Moore que vienen en la revista Sunset. Ccuando fuí a la tienda a canjearlos, el tamaño de las latas me sorprendió gratamente. ¡Un montón de pintura gratis! Eso me hizo muy feliz 😉 El total de este projecto fué: ¡¡de $1,49!! ¡Yuuuupiiiiiii!

If you want to make one, you will need:

  • A desktop organizer (preferably wood).
  • Dot stickers.
  • Paint.
  • Brushes.

First, paint the whole thing white.

Esto es lo que necesitas si quieres hacer uno:

  • Un organizador de escritorio (preferiblemente de madera).
  • Calcolmanías circulares.
  • Pintura.
  • Pinceles.

Primero, pinta todo el organizador de blanco.

Then cover the front and sides with the dot stickers. I did mine in a polka dot pattern (I eye-balled it) putting one line diagonally and then adding another one next to it and so forth.

Una vez seco, cubre el frente y los lados con las calcomanías circulares. Yo hice el mío en un esquema a lunares (a ojo) ubicando una línea en diagonal, otra al lado y así sucesivamente.

Paint over the stickers. Be careful when doing this, the stickers are a little tricky and paint can bleed through or the brush can peel them off.

Pinta sobre las calcomanías. Ten cuidado cuando lo hagas ya que las calcos son un poco difíciles pues la pintura se puede pasar o el pincel las puede despegar.

Wait until the paint is dry and remove the stickers. Be patient and leave the paint to dry completely before attempting to remove them. If you are like me, it is really hard to wait but trust me, it makes it so much easier and less messy (talking from experience here!) If you find any mistakes after peeling the dots, they are easy to fix with a little touch-up of white paint. Now, paint the rest of the organizer as you wish (be creative!) After this, you are done! Easy easy, no?

Espera a que se seque la pintura y empieza a despegar los redondeles. Ten paciencia y deja que se seque completamente la pintura antes de intentar despegarlos. Si tú eres como yo, es dificil esperar pero confia en lo que te digo, es mucho mas  fácil (te habla la voz de la experiencia aquí). Ahora pinta el resto del organizador. Después de seco, ¡ya está! Fácil, fácil, ¿no?

I hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend! We are going to LA to celebrate Michael’s parents 35th wedding anniversary. They are throwing a 70’s party! I will share photos next week.

Espero que todos tengan un lindo fin de semana largo por el Dia del Trabajor. Nosotros nos vamos a LA a celebrar los 35 años de casados de los papás de Michael. ¡Hacen una fiesta de los años 70! La semana que viene compartiré las fotos.

I would love to see your organizer makeover if you make one. Please share it at the Mother Crafter Project Pool!

Si transformas un organizador, me encantaría verlo. Por favor súbelo al Mother Crafter Project Pool!

I craft all night and party everyday at these Craft Parties. Check them out and party with us!

Hago manualidades toda la noche y festejo todos los días en estas Craft Parties. Vení a festejar con nosotros!

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Tea Towel Spring Dress {Tutorial}

March 20, 2012 at 20:57 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY, Tutorials | 5 Comments
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My aunt Melissa sent me several boxes full of goodies at the beginning of the year. Boxes filled with old linens, amazing clothes, bags, and sewing notions, even the coolest aprons you have ever seen. Not only these boxes are a great source of inspiration and motivation, but most of the items are handcrafted and vintage, so they are all very special.

In one of the boxes there was this gorgeous Vera by Vera Neumann vintage linen tea towel. If you do not know who Vera Neumann was, she was an iconic artist that created the first signature scarf in history around WWII, by kepping her signature on art transferred to the scarves. She was the innovator of cross-licensing and one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of her time. Her philosophy: fine art should be accessible to everyone, not just a select few. She believed that artwork should not be relegated to walls. Rather, people should surround themselves with art–wear it, dine off it, and dream under it. Pretty cool lady, don’t you think? Her art is bright and colorful.

As my aunt told me, it stayed pristine because it was “too pretty to use”. Linen dishtowels were a popular gift item in the 1970s.  They were very handsome graphically but had to be ironed when used. I also thinks that it is too pretty to use, so I made it into a dress for Paloma. For the top, I used an old romper that I got at one of the baby clothing swaps at the Library, but it was too small. The colors were very close and the material very similar too;  they were made for each other! So now they live together happily ever after 😉 Here is the tutorial. Enjoy!

You will need:

  • A tea towel
  • A romper or shirt or onesie.
  • Sewing supplies (scissors, sewing machine, thread)
  • Trim, ribbon or fringe for decoration (optional).

First, measure the garment that you will use for the top of the dress and cut it at the desired length. You can go to the waist or to the chest. If there is a pocket on it like in mine, remove it with a seam ripper. (I cannot resist! I have to show off my cool vintage hem clips too!)

Then fold your tea towel in half (width-wise) and cut it. Pin the sides and sew them together.

Iron the seams flat.

Matching the side seams of both pieces, pin them in place and after doing this, start pinning the rest, making a couple of pleats every 1 1/2″ or 2″. Sew them together.

Finito! You can add a trim or ribbon or fringe as decoration.  I used an orange pom pom fringe I got in Argentina. CUUUUUUTE!!!!!!

And on her, super cuuuute!! 🙂

Perfect spring dress that cost me absolutely nothing,  ZERO money, just friends and love.

I craft all night and party everyday at these Craft Parties. Check them out and party with us!

Vacation Month: Guest Blogger Kathryn from Ugly Ducling Transformations!

November 14, 2011 at 12:24 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY | Leave a comment
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Hi everyone! My name is Kathryn and I blog over at uglyducklingtransformations. I’m very excited to be a guest blogger at Mother Crafter today! I started my blog a little over two months ago as a way of sharing my passion for painting and diy projects. So far, the experience has been truly rewarding…   I have learned so much and been inspired by all the other amazingly creative people that I’ve come into contact with.

I live in Vancouver, Canada (the best city in the world!!) with my husband and two children. Today I’m sharing a desk and chair that my daughter inherited from her Omi. This desk had been well loved over the years, and was begging for some paint. For those of you that read my blog regularly, you won’t be surprised to learn that I forgot to take pictures before I started priming and painting!! What can I say… I’m always way too excited to start new projects!! Here’s a pic I took of the underside, once I realized I’d forgotten my camera…

Anyway, I wanted to keep the same color scheme as her dresser, which is the first project that led to the start of Ugly Duckling.

So, first I primed and painted both pieces – 2 coats primer and 3 coats of latex satin. Painting the chair almost drove me bonkers! I would have MUCH preferred to spray paint this finicky little thing, but because I wanted to use the same paint as the dresser, I had no choice but to tough it out with a brush on all those little corners and nooks! I don’t know if any of you have ever used the paint conditioner Floetrol, but it is my best friend when it comes to painting these days. You just need to add a little bit (2-3 tbsp) per 3-4 cups paint. It slows the drying time of the paint and makes it so much easier to go back and correct any mistakes drips before they dry. It also lessens the appearance of brush strokes. I highly recommend it!!

For the top of the desk I chose a grey Martha Stewart chalkboard paint from Michael’s that is very similar to the color (a brown/grey) on the top and sides of my daughters dresser. I applied three coats of this. Then I got out my princess stencils that I found for $2 at Michael’s this summer and got to work stenciling the the desk and chair.

My daughter loves to draw and paint, and over the past year, I don’t think a single day has gone by where she didn’t draw a picture of a princess (I am making a book for her of all her princess drawings for Christmas!!). Sooooo, keeping this in mind, I wanted to create a template of sorts for her to create her own princesses using chalk on her new desk.

Here’s what I came up with:

She loves her new desk and has created her first (of many) chalk princesses!

My 4 year-old artist.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this post – please stop by and visit Ugly Duckling sometime! Thanks so much Vanina for having me!!


Before and After: Shoe Makeover {Tutorial}

October 12, 2011 at 23:55 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY, Tutorials | 9 Comments
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Did you know that the original TOMS shoe are called “alpargatas” and are the characteristic footwear of “gauchos“, the cowboys of Argentina? They are an Argentine trademark, and you can see them everywhere, worn by all kinds of people, from teenagers to the elderly, rich and poor .

I love alpargatas.  The other day I realized one of my beloved pairs is ripping on one side.  I knew I had another pair in the closet. The problem is, they are camouflage print. I bought them a couple of years ago when I was back home, even knowing I was not going to wear them often because I do not like camo print. But they are really comfortable and it was that or black ones in my size (I already had them in black) so I bought them anyway. And of course, I barely used them, until yesterday, when I decided to paint stripes on them. So for this new tutorial, I will show you how I did it.

You will need:

  • A pair of shoes, preferably canvas.
  • Metallic silver acrylic or fabric paint.
  • Black acrylic or fabric paint.
  • Brushes
  • Newspapers and drafting tape.


Start by stuffing the shoes with newspaper so they are firmer and easier to paint.


Cut strips of drafting tape and cover the shoes placing them at an angle at about 1/2 inch apart or the width of the tape. I chose to go all the way to the mid-sole too.


Paint the stripes with the metallic silver color, trying to be as even in the paint distribution as possible. (If you are using different colors than mine, paint the lightest color first. That way you can paint over with the darker if your stripes are not perfect or you have run-over paint.) You might need more than one coat if the original color of your shoe is dark.


Let them dry for a couple of hours outside.


Peel the tape.


Paint the rest of the stripes with black and let it dry once more completely. Check if you have any chunks of paint and if you do, try to remove them with an X-Acto knife. Put them on and take them for a stroll! 🙂


I would love to see your shoe makeover. Please share it at the Mother Crafter Project Pool!

I craft all night and party everyday at these Craft Parties.

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Before and After: Bookshelf to Planters

July 15, 2011 at 13:08 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY | 6 Comments
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Remember the Seed and Grow planters I painted on the last day of 30 Days of Creativity? Well, they used to be a very old and forgotten bookshelf  we had in the corner of our backyard not being used. Until this Spring, when we realized we could re-purpose the wood and make planters out of them. It was actually Michael’s idea, and he built them in a sunny afternoon.

Of course, Juancho and Paloma had to help him too.

We planted some tomatoes plants.

I painted them later with some left over paint we had from when we painted the kitchen and bedroom, and they look so much nicer!

I can’t wait to start eating our tomatoes and veggies!

I craft all night and party everyday at these Craft Parties.

Before and After: Seed and Grow Planters – 30 Days of Creativity, Day 30

June 30, 2011 at 21:47 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY | 1 Comment
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Last one! Last project of 30 Days of Creativity. I am so happy I made it! And also a bit sad that it is over.

Last month Michael repurposed an old and tired bookshelf into two planters for his tomatoes and veggies (I will post about the process soon).

Because they were too plain, I painted them with the words Grow and Seed on them.

I think it is the perfect message for the last project of 30 Days. Seed and Grow… everything you want in your life.

Chin Chin for a completed 30 Days of Creativity!

Before and After: Fabric Lined Basket Tutorial – 30 Days of Creativity, Day 27

June 27, 2011 at 22:46 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY, Tutorials | Leave a comment
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Back in January I bought a Christmasy storage basket at Target. It was  on clearance, 60% off, so I think I paid less than $4 for it. I’ve been using it for Paloma’s prefolded diapers and fabric wipes. But we hated the look of it. Too much Christmas!

So for Day 27, I lined it with a pretty cute Ikea fabric.

This was very easy to make. It will take you less than 1/2 hour (nap project!).

You will need:

  • Fabric (if used for the nursery pick a color or print that will go with the rest of the room)
  • Fabric Glue
  • Cloth pins

Draw the side panels on the fabric and cut them 1/2″ bigger. If you can,  pull apart the box lining. My bottom panel came out very easily, but the sides were glued a lot so I carefully pull them enough to insert the new fabric in between the panels.

Once you have pulled the fabric or paper of the box, start gluing your fabric very tightly and removing any bubbles that the glue might form (I found it easy to start at the longer panels first). Use cloth pins to secure the “sandwich” of fabric.

Repeat with the other long panel. Glue the fabric on the other two panels, this time folding the fabric at the edges. For an optional upgrade, you can cut out the handholds (I wasn’t brave enough tonight) or add handles at the top, like this.

And you are done! See… very easy and fast.


Before and After: Stenciled Beach Chairs – 30 Days of Creativity, Day 25

June 25, 2011 at 21:23 | Posted in Before and After, Crafts - DIY | 2 Comments
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Our friend Yusuke was getting rid of two beach chairs and asked if we wanted them.

You know us. Free chairs? Of course we want them! They needed some TLC, so I revamped them with some paint and stencils.

Baker Beach and Russian River, here we come!

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