How-to-faux-paint-a-fake-pumpkinHow to Fake a Fake Pumpkin

Have you seen those neon orange fake pumpkins and nearly vomited because you wouldn’t dream of decorating with them. I mean—get real—everyone would know they were fake. Ah ha, but have you seen the price tags? $1 – $6? For that price you might just be willing to take a leap of faith with me, wouldn’t you? Awesome, because I’m going to show you how to faux paint a fake pumpkin so you can decorate with them year after year and fool your friends.

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

materials

Instructions:

Start by painting all the pumpkins with Chalk Paint (use gray, white, green and blue paint.) Allow the pumpkins to dry.

paint-pumpkins-french-linen

Painting Realistic White Pumpkins:

It helps to look up some pictures of real pumpkins to refer to.

pure-white-country-grey

Using the stencil brush, paint a mixture of grey and white on one of the pumpkins.

paint-white-mixture

Before the paint dries, dab some of it off with the sea sponge. (Keep your sea sponge dry, not wet during the process.)

sponge-off-white

Dip the stencil brush into the white paint and add paint on the outer most bumps on the pumpkins. This is adding highlights.

highlights_on-white-pumpkin

Dab the highlights gently with the sea sponge to blend.

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Use the fan brush dipped in a small amount of green paint inside the pumpkin ridges. Dab the ridges with the sea sponge to blend.

white-gourd-pumpkin

Have you ever seen a truly unblemished pumpkin? I think not. It’s time to add some spots or marks on the pumpkin to truly fool your friends. Dip the end of the paint brush into brown paint and dot it onto the pumpkin. Blot the spot with a sea sponge and maybe even transfer a few new spots with the sponge.

add-blemishes

Paint grey around the base of the stem and into the grooves with the round paint brush.

add-dark-depth-around-stem

Paint brown and green paint onto the pumpkin stem. Blend slightly with the sea sponge.

paint-sponge-stem

Can you spot my fake white pumpkin? Well, of course you can because I just showed you how to paint it. But, it will definitely fool your friends!

grouping_left_pumpkins

Painting Realistic Blue Pumpkins:

Painting blue pumpkins uses the same technique as painting the white pumpkins, only using a few different colors.

Use the stencil brush to paint blue onto another pumpkin. Dab the blue paint while it’s still wet with the sea sponge.

add-duck-egg-blue-sponge

Use the fan brush dipped in gray and brown craft paint to fill in the ridges.

darken-crevices

Dab the paint with the dry sea sponge to blend.

sponge-crevices

Add some highlights with a mixture of grey and white. This serves two purposes. 1) It adds dimension. 2) It tones down the excess blue on the pumpkin.

add-highlights

Paint the stem the same way you learned above.

To truly fool people, set up your fake pumpkins with some real pumpkins and real gourds. Sooo, can you spot the fakes?

guess-the-fakes

How many did you get right? The metallic gourd is simply spray-painted with copper spray paint. But, I did try my hand at faking a green and yellow gourd using the same technique as the pumpkins, but adding green to the top and yellow to the bottom.

the_fakes

Okay, I’ll give you a second shot. Guess the fakes:

vertical-fall-vignette

How did you do this time? Ha, you can now apply for a job as an art forgery detective ;-).

truth_fake_gourds
Now seriously, how many people will be viewing your pumpkins that close? Umm, next to no one. Normally they’ll view them from afar.

full-living-room-shot

Get your paints and palette out and go fake some fakes! It will be our little secret.

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PHGFancySignDid you like this painting post? Ahhh, then I know you’ll like this Ballard Pear painting tutorial:

Or if you’re feeling like taking on a larger scale project…how about Faux painted bricks!

Or perhaps you’d like to perform some faux zinc painting magic:

You can do it! I know you can.

The Perfect Rustic Paint Technique {with Video Tutorial}The Perfect Rustic Paint Technique {with Video Tutorial}

I have been painting and distressing furniture and home décor for almost ten years now. Over the years I’ve tried a lot of different techniques, but the one I’m going to show you today is the one I consider “The Perfect Rustic Paint Technique!” The reason I like this technique is because I get consistent results and it’s not as messy and time consuming as painting several layers and sanding back down to the raw wood. This isn’t to say that I don’t still experiment or sometimes go back to previous techniques. I just wanted to show you my tried and true technique.

Green and purple hydrangeas in rustic wood trough. Build Your own Rustic Trough Centerpiece tutorial.

You may have seen the DIY Trough Centerpiece I built last week. If you don’t have a piece of furniture you want to try this technique on, go ahead and build this quick little (or should I say long) DIY Trough Centerpiece to experiment on.

Finished trough build.

Then you’ll want to gather some materials and coffee (this is optional, but I find I enjoy DIYing with a cup of java.)

Materials:

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Instructions:

Want to cut to the chase and watch the video tutorial? Well, be my guest:

If you like to see the step-by-step tutorial, here’s the break down:

Step 1: Sand & Stain

Lightly sand your piece to remove any rough spots.

If you’re working with a pre-finished piece of furniture, clean well to remove any dirt or oils that would resist the stain. Then sand everything lightly to give the surface a little “tooth” for the paint to grip to. Skip the next step unless you have sanded down to bare wood.

Put on your rubber glove and grab a rag or slip an old sock over your hand. Dip the rag into the stain and wipe it on the wood. Wipe off any excess stain. If you want a darker look, apply a second or third coat of stain. Allow the stain to dry (overnight is best.)

Wipe on Minwax Early American Stain.

Step 2: Painting

A quick note about chalk-like paints: I have tried a lot of different chalk paints and still don’t have an absolute favorite. Personally I like to buy them based on a pre-mixed color I like. That being said, I do have some that I don’t like as much. Although the Annie Sloan Chalk Paints were first on the scene, I struggled with them having unmixed chunks in them and they tended to dry out too quickly for my taste. That being said, most chalk paints will dry out quicker than latex paint. So make not to leave the lid off too long (it’s better to pour a small amount onto a tray or paper plate.) And store chalk paint in a temperature controlled environment. 

Dip your chip brush into the chalk paint and dab off most of the paint onto rag. Your paint brush should have very little paint on it.

Lightly drag the chip brush over your piece following the direction of the wood grain. This technique is called dry brushing (in case you wondered.) Allow some of the wood stain to show through. This will cut down on the need to sand down to the wood later.

Dry brush Fusion paint.

Step 3: Adding Dimension

Allow the paint to dry (which shouldn’t take very long.) Dip another chip brush into the white color stain. Wipe off most of the paint and dry brush some “hi-lights” onto your piece. You don’t need as much coverage as the painting step. This is just adding some extra dimension to the piece.

Use DecoArt white stain for highlights.

After the white stain has dried, dip another brush into the antiquing glaze and wipe most of the glaze off the brush. Once again, dry brush some areas on your piece to give some more dimension.

Dry brush Valspar Antiquing Glaze.

If you make a mistake or put too much glaze on, you can wipe it off within the first few seconds. Alternatively, you can always sand off any paint, stain or glaze you apply.

Sand smooth.

Once you’ve achieved your desired amount of paint, stain and glaze, get ready to seal in the beauty!

Step 4: Wax Finish Coat

Apply some dark wax onto a wax brush (or stencil brush.) Rub the wax on in a circular pattern.

Apply Dark Wax.

Then buff it off with a clean dry rag. The wax gives your piece a soft luster and protects it from water. If you are working with a piece of furniture, you may want to apply another coat of wax. And you will need to re-apply in a few years.

Buff off wax.

Now stand back and admire that Perfect Rustic Paint Technique!

She’s purdy, don’t you think?

Pin this picture to share the rustic love!

The Perfect Rustic Paint Technique {with Video Tutorial}

Liked this tutorial? I think you’re going to love my Secret Formula for Aging New Wood:

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you enjoying Tote Week?!

Tote Week | Pretty Handy Girl

If you’re just joining in here’s the line up:

Today I have one of my closest friends and blogging buddies here. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, she’s the amazing, the incredible and the always vivacious Sandra from SawdustGirl.com. And she’s going to give you a tutorial for sewing those cute reversible and reusable tote bags!

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Howdy Handy friends! I’m Sandra of Sawdust Girl – formerly Sawdust and Paper Scraps. I try to reduce, reuse and recycle anyway so this tutorial for reusable, reversible, ruffled totes is fitting. Don’t ya’ think? I like to use my totes as grocery bags and have given a pair of these as gifts along with a few reusable produce bags found at the dollar store.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

I used an old sheet and a set of pillowcases to make mine but for a gift item, maybe use new fabric. If you look for sheets on clearance you can get a LOT of fabric for just a few dollars.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

This is a really easy pattern that I made from looking at a canvas tote. (It fits perfectly on a standard pillowcase.)

*Seam allowance? I run the fabric along the right side of the foot. I think it’s a waste to take a wide allowance and then trim!

Instructions:

1. Use the same pattern for the bag and the liner. You could use the same fabric for both or mix it up for fun. I like to use 2 different fabrics so I can flip it inside out and have a totally different bag!

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

2. Sew all 4 pieces (excluding the bottom) together like this: front/side/back/side making one long piece of fabric.

Reversible Tote Bag Tutorial by Sawdust Girl | Pretty Handy Girl

3. If you are going to add any kind of embellishment, now is the time. I’m adding three rows of ruffles! Read more

DIY Marble Toss Game | Pretty Handy Girl

This summer, parents are busy trying to keep their children busy with quality games and toys. Any seasoned parent knows that those electronic noise-maker toys have no place in a sane household. With this in mind, my friend Stefanie from Brooklyn Limestone has started a summer long series called “Die Ugly Toys Die.”

Die Ugly Toys Die

Every Thursday she’ll feature another DIY toy or game that you can make for your children. It’s time to get back to the basics and send those annoying and ugly toys off a cliff.

My tutorial for creating a DIY Marble Toss Game is starting the series today.

Click here to find the instructions to build your own. Then watch your kids have hours of fun challenging each other in a tossing game.

Be sure to check over at Brooklyn Limestone every Thursday for a new DIY toy or game.

PHGFancySign

Installing a Wall Mount Flat Screen TV + Hiding Cords | PrettyHandyGirl

Do you have a flat screen TV? Do you have children? Wish you could mount your TV on the wall for space and safety? Or have you already mounted your TV, but the wires are visible and hang below your screen? GASP—not the dreaded visible wires syndrome!

Installing a Wall Mount Flat Screen TV + Hiding Cords | PrettyHandyGirl

Today I have a tutorial to show you How to Install a Wall Mount for your TV AND How to Hide those Unsightly Wires in a cable management system. SANUS sent me their Full-Motion TV Wall Mount and In-Wall Cable Management to use for this tutorial. Before you start thinking that you can’t do this, or that you have to hire an electrician to run power behind the TV, you don’t! And this is a very easy DIY project! The SANUS In-Wall Cable Management System is the coolest product. It allows you to hook up to an existing outlet elsewhere (within 60″ horizontally from your TV)! (Per FTC regulations, you should know that this is a sponsored post for SANUS, but I approached them after researching TV mounts and cable management systems. )

Genevieve Gorder has some good information about why you want to use a SANUS mount in this short video:

Why did I want to use the SANUS mount? Here’s just a few reasons:

Installing a Wall Mount Flat Screen TV + Hiding Cords | PrettyHandyGirl

You can pull your screen out from the wall or press it back to just a few inches away. (The arms extend a full 20″. Further than shown, because our cables are too short to fully extend.)

The power cord plugs into an ultra low profile in wall cable system. All wires are hidden behind the TV.

Installing a Wall Mount Flat Screen TV + Hiding Cords | PrettyHandyGirl

The TV can also extend and swivel from left to right. This allows us to be able to watch TV from the adjacent room! Which means the kids can eat pizza AND watch a movie because they can safely sit at the kitchen table and view the movie in the living room. Score one for Mom!  No more pizza stains on the rug or sofa.

Installing a Wall Mount Flat Screen TV + Hiding Cords | PrettyHandyGirl

Ready to learn how you can easily mount your flat-screen TV on the wall AND hide the wires? Let’s get to it! Read more

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever had something get stuck in your wiper and you don’t realize it until it is pouring rain. Instead of pulling over to remove the object from the wiper, I tried the old “reach out the window and flick the wiper up.” Big mistake! I ended up breaking the wiper blade off the wiper arm. Ugh. Luckily we weren’t far from home, and I was able to drive home and swap cars before driving off the road.

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

Lesson learned, next time I won’t be so lazy.

New automobiles have improved the ease with which you can change the wiper blades. In fact, it will probably take you less time to change your automobile wipers than it takes to read this tutorial. Do you have 2 minutes? Great, let’s get to it.

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

Buy a new set of wiper blades. Go ahead and splurge for good quality wipers so they won’t start squeaking in a few months. Grab a flathead screw driver.

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

Insert a flathead screwdriver under the tab on the wiper.

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

Lift up and expose the wiper arm hook.

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

Press the lever down and push the wiper in toward the arm to slip the blade off the hook.

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

Remove the broken wiper.

2 Minute Wiper Blade Change | Pretty Handy Girl

All wipers aren’t the same, so take a look at your’s. Sometimes you need to squeeze the sides or remove a small clip. Here’s a video to help you remove two different types of wipers: Read more