make: holiday painted spoons


Tutorials for painted and dipped spoons have been floating around the interwebs for the better part of this year. I have always loved them and intended to make my own but had never found the time. Last week as I was getting ready to head to a friends for a holiday party, inspiration struck and I decided to do these but with a holiday twist. These could not be easier and a matching pair work as serving spoons or as salad servers. Here’s what you’ll need:

+ wooden spoons (i bought two three packs of michael graves wooden spoons at target – not available online)
+ craft paint (red: haberno and white: wedding cake satin acrylic paint by martha stewart crafts at michaels)
+ 1 inch thick painters tape (my fave is frog)
+ paint brush
+ food safe shellac (zimmers bullseye)
+ scissors and/or pinking sheers

You want to make sure that you buy spoons that do not have shellac on them already but if you make the mistake and do purchase them, don’t panic, just take some sand paper to them and roughen up the surface so that you can paint it. Then, you want to prep and tape the spoons for the first layer of paint. I choose varying lengths for the painted portion of the spoons, it was about the 1/3 of the spoon and I tried to make them as even as possible by measuring and marking with a pencil before adding the tape.

moderndrygoods_makepaintedspoons_round1 moderndrygoods_makepaintedspoons_taperound2

Once the spoon was taped, I painted the first layer of paint one red and one white for each of the pair of spoons. Paint two coats and allow to dry for an hour or so. Then using your tape and scissors apply the tape for the lines on the paint keeping in mind that the areas under the tape will remain the color of the first layer of paint. Make sure that you press the tape down firmly so that you get as clean as line as possible. Once the tape is in place, paint two coats of the opposite color and set aside to dry. Since I painted both the front and back of the spoons, I found that the best way to allow them to dry was to place the spoons on my counter top with the painted handle hanging over the edge. Allow to dry for an hour and remove the tape.


Do touchups as necessary and when you are happy with the final product, spray with two coats of the shellac and tie the pair in together with a bow


I did a set where I created a zig zag stripe by cutting the tape with my pinking sheers. These were by far the most “homemade” looking of them all but I fell in love and kept them for myself. The others have been set aside to hand out as I head to holiday parties this year. Make sure you let the hostess know that these are not dishwasher safe (but you really shouldn’t wash wooden spoons in the dishwasher anyway).


make: halloween caramel corn

As a kid, the weeks leading up to Halloween were always filled with two flavors: Candy Corn and Caramel Corn. With Halloween only a little over a week away, I have been craving both so this weekend I went crazy and threw them all together. And added peanuts because I also was introduced to the genius pairing of candy corn and salted peanuts this weekend. Mind blowing and totally changes the flavor of the candy corn. If you haven’t tried it, try a few handfuls of each while you are making this. This is my mother’s recipe for Caramel Corn, in my very biased opinion it is the best and easiest way to make this treat.

Halloween Caramel Corn

+ Vegetable Oil
+ 1 /4 cup popcorn kernel
+ 1 cup light brown sugar
+ 1/4 cup light corn syrup
+ 1 pinch of sea salt
+ 1/3 cup unsalted butter
+ 1 tsp baking soda
+ One 11 oz. bag of candy corn
+ 2 cups salted boiled peanuts

Start by popping the popcorn. I prefer to do this in a pan on the stove so use a large sauce pan/stock pot, add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan (approximately 1 tablespoon) and place 3 kernels of popcorn into the pan. When the three kernels pop, add 1/4 cup of popcorn. Shake the pan every 30 or so seconds until the popcorn has stopped popping. Remove to cookie sheet or bowl. This should make approximately 6 cups of popped-popcorn.
Next, make the caramel. In a medium sauce pan add butter, sugar, corn syrup, and salt to pan and stir until melted. Bring it to a boil and remove from heat. Add baking soda and stir–it will foam up a bit. Throw in popcorn and mix until the popcorn is fully coated. Add an entire bag of candy corn and 2 cups of peanuts and stir until mixed. You can either wait five minutes and then form the mix into balls or spread it out onto a parchment lined cookie sheet to cool.

make: anchors away!

I’m a sucker for anchors.  Maybe this has something to do with the fact that summer is coming and I can’t believe that I live in a landlocked state (why is the ocean so far away from Colorado!?!).  For the last few months, I’ve been pinning freezer paper transfer tutorials and I finally decided to give it a whirl.  In true Katie fashion, it took me a few attempts to get it right but all of my issues had more to do with my human error (hello paint spills) than the process itself.  This really is so easy, I made the sweatshirt above in about 30 minutes last night.  God I love it.

+ Item of clothing
+ Freezer Paper
+ Scissors
+ Fabric Paint
+ Iron
+Fabric paint brush or foam brush
+X-acto Knife
+ Hair dryer (optional)

Start by deciding what you would like to paint and where you would like to paint it.  I found an anchor image that I liked here.  I printed it out and then using a pen, traced the anchor onto the matte side of the freezer paper.  Then using your X-acto knife, cut out the image.  Remember, you are creating a stencil, so you want to cut the shape you are painting.  So for me, I had to make sure that I cut out the hole in the top of the anchor.

Once you have cut the image out, trim the freezer paper so that you have about 2 inches of excess paper around the stencil.  You will have some paint around the stencil, so make sure you give yourself the room.  Then place the the freezer paper, shiny side down, on the piece of clothing and iron in place.

Then using your foam brush or paint brush, paint in the stencil.  Make sure that the paint layer is even.  Let the paint dry for about 2 hours and paint a second coat.  If you are impatient (like me) you can speed up the process by drying with your hair dryer.

Once you are done painting and it has dried, carefully peel away the stencil.  Then place a scrap piece of fabric over the painted design and iron to seal it.  That’s it!

I love this and I can’t wait to start embellishing everything.  Wonder if I can pull of a monogram… Be sure to let us know if you make one!



make: chevron throw pillow cover

After my sewing debacle earlier this week, I decided it was time to repair and finish the Chevron Stripe pillow.  Boy am I glad I did, I love this bad boy.

As I mentioned on Monday, the original back to this pillow was supposed to be black, white and grey striped but as you can see in the picture above, I failed to calculate and measure properly and ended up with a back that was 2 inches too short.  Of course, I figured this out after I had already sewn in the invisible zipper.  I knew I didn’t want to go back and have to start over, so I decided to repair it with a quick and easy fix.  I simply measured the black section of the first back and cut it four inches from the zipper.

I then cut another piece of black fabric 4 x 20 to be the bookend on other side.  Then I measured and cut the center panel so that it was 13 x 20.  This gave me 1/4 inch seam allotments to sew the center panel to the left and the right to the center resulting in a 20 x 20 back.  If you measure correctly the first time, you won’t need to do this.  I recommend that you simply cut a 20 x 20 piece to start with and skip this whole headache.  But if you do happen to screw up like I did, realize for the most part there are ways to save a project.

If done properly, pillow covers are a cinch to make.  Start with two matching sizes panels, my pillow form was 20×20 so that’s the size of the panels I used.  Sew the invisible zipper along one of the sides.  For more on how to do this, see this post here.

Then once the zipper is in, pin the panels right sides together along the remaining three raw edges.  Make sure that your zipper is open at this point.

Sew using a 1/4 seam allotment.  Trim the excess fabric and turn the pillow right side out.  Insert form and there you go.  Houston, we have a pillow.

To learn how to make your own chevron stripe fabric, check out our tutorials here and here.

Let us know if you make these, we’d love to see your new pillows.  Enjoy the weekend!



make: framed chalkboard art

For the last few weeks, I’ve been playing with a few different DIY artwork techniques.  Until now, they’ve all been pretty disastrous.  I’ve used water colors and puffy paints; tried words and patterns but nothing really worked.  So, I turned to an old favorite.  Chalkboard paint.  Maybe its the repressed teacher in me, but I have always loved writing on chalkboards.  Plus I am amazed that you can buy paint that will turn any surface into a chalkbaord.  Sidenote, did you know that you can also buy magnet and whiteboard paint.  Those folks over at Rust-oleom are geniuses!

So, this easy project only took about 30 minutes of real work time (25 hours total with drying time).  Plus since I tend to constantly move art around my house, I love that I can pop that bad boy out of the frame and change the quote whenever I feel like it.   Ah chalkboard, you are my favorite!

Here’s what you’ll need:
+ 1 piece of poster board (larger than the frame/matte)
+ painters tape
+ pencil
+ ruler
+ chalkboard paint (I used rust-oleom spray paint in black)
+ chalk

With a pencil and ruler, draw an outline of the shape of your chalkboard.  Then using painter tape (or masking tape) outline the shape.

Follow the instructions on the paint can for application.  If you are using spray paint, be sure to work in a well ventilated area.  I got a little bit of a headache from this project (even though I was only applying the paint to a 12 inch x 12 inch square.)   Spray in even sweeping motions from side to side.  Allow first coat to dry for 1 hour and then apply a second coat.

Once you have finished applying the second coat, carefully remove the painters tape. Allow to dry for at least 24 hours.  Then to finish the paint, take a piece of chalk rub the side on the chalkboard surface.  Erase and you are ready to go.

Start drawing or writing.  I came across this quote recently and knew I had to put it somewhere in my house to remind me to stop comparing myself to others.

I’m think I’ll make a few more of these and put them in frames around the house.   What’s your favorite use for chalkboard paint?



make: holiday photobooth

Every year on Christmas Eve, my family gets together with two others to celebrate.  This always ends up being a big party filled with food, booze, friends, laughter, photos and more booze.  Every year about half-way through we gather around a makeshift tripod (usually a ladder with some books on it) we take a group photo.  This year, in an attempt to spice things up and to ride the end of the photo booth trend into the sunset, I have decided to set up a makeshift photo booth at the party.  This way, families and different groups can gather together and take some non-traditional photos together.   For a backdrop, I’m simply going to hang a roll of wrapping paper from the ceiling.   Because I couldn’t resist making something homemade for this, I decided to make sets of Santa and Rudolph props.

For this you will need colored foam (found at any craft store), wooden dowels, scissors and foam glue. The templates can be found below, if you print these on 8.5 x 11 paper, they should work for adult sized props (you can also shrink them for kids).  You’ll see in the image below, I used an extra dowel to make sure the antlers didn’t fall over.

I hope that everyone has a blast with these and I can’t wait to share the pictures with you.  If you make these, please upload to pinterest and tag us.  I’d love to see your family fun!