An update

Hello Friends! Yes, I’m still alive! I have been taking a break from blogging over the past month or so because of some health issues that I have been having. I usually don’t get too personal on my blog because I don’t want to come across as a complainer so the majority of my posts are about my DIY projects, favorite products or thrifty finds. I thought that I should give you an update though just in case you may be wondering if I had stopped blogging. Nope. I am still here!

A little background about me. My health issues started a couple of years ago and I had been trying to not let them affect my life too much. Then one day last fall I woke up with Bell’s Palsy. Thankfully, my face pretty much returned to normal but since then I have been having constant tingling sensations, exhaustion and pain which seem to have worsened recently.

I’ve had many visits to my Doctors office along with numerous tests and we still have no idea what is wrong with me. Maybe a lot of it is due to stress. Who knows?

Then I hurt my back two weeks ago which I am blaming on my “never ending plate rack project”. After my Doctor’s visit today, I was told that I need to lay off my furniture painting projects for a little while until my back heals. At this point I am just doing a lot of resting so I can get back at it as soon as possible. I try to look at any obstacles that come my way in a positive light. Things could be much, much worse and I am very thankful for all that I have.

So in the meantime, my plate rack is currently sitting on my family room floor with a primer coat like it has been for the past couple of weeks waiting patiently for more paint and a finishing coat. I am determined to get this thing done as soon as my back feels a bit better!




I also plan to give this cute little table a makeover so stay tuned for the “after” as well.



Thanks again for being so patient with me!


Until next time,
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Faux butterfly art tutorial and printable

If you are a regular follower of my blog you may have noticed that I seem to be creating a lot of art pieces with tutorials lately. Part of it is that I have been in an artistic mood in the last couple of months and the other reason is that it is too cold outside to work on anything else. I can’t paint any large pieces of furniture or do any spray painting outside so I am working hard to finish some of the outstanding projects on the inside of my house. Namely filling up some of the picture frames I have laying around, decluttering and also finishing off some of the home renovation projects that we started but never did finish.

So please bear with me if you are not in need of some inexpensive art pieces for your home at the moment. (You could share them with your friends though or Pin them for inspiration-I would be grateful for that!)  I promise I have other things on the horizon in the next few weeks such as a vintage plate rack for over my dining room buffet, a side table makeover and a recent shopping trip that I went on that I haven’t had time to share with you yet. Stay tuned for the details in the next little while.




I whipped up this little baby last night. I had recently found an amazing butterfly and moth image over at The Graphics Fairy but I wasn’t sure exactly how I was going to use it in my home. Then last night I was relaxing on the couch after the kids had gone to bed and all of a sudden inspiration struck! It was already Midnight but that didn’t stop me. I had an idea and I just had to go with it because there was no way I would be able to sleep if I didn’t. Does that ever happen to you?

I found the perfect frame to use in my basement; this really pretty ornate light gray frame. The raised parts of the frame were originally gold and all I did was sand them down with 400 grit sandpaper. I really like that a little bit of the gold and the gray undercoat really makes the carvings stand out!




As usual, I have included a supply list, tutorial and printable further down in this post so you can make your own Faux Butterfly Art.




I have to say, this piece was one of my favorite ones to do. The most time consuming part was the image transfer but since I do a few of those a week, I can usually get them done in no time at all.

As well, I already had everything on hand so it didn’t cost me anything to create! I love those kind of projects!





My idea for this piece was to create a canvas that looked like an old, tattered book page had been torn from a book and then had been tacked to the canvas. I wanted my image to look worn so I gave my image transfer a light sanding after it was dry to give it some extra aging. I also found some decorative grommets in my craft room that I aged as well and then added them to my canvas to give the appearance of tacks holding up the book page.




What do you think? Doesn’t it look like a vintage book page on the canvas?




Another favorite part of mine is all of the different textures going on at once!


To create your own canvas…


banner supplies - Hooked on Decorating



  • 12″ X 16″ canvas panel
  • wooden picture frame to fit your canvas – optional
  • my customized Butterfly and Moth Printable found below. The original image came from The Graphics Fairy HERE
  • white Artist’s Gesso
  • light gray craft paint (optional)
  • Golden Soft Gel Gloss Medium for transferring your image
  • matte Mod Podge or clear acrylic sealer
  • metal grommets – optional
  • spray bottle
  • dish scrubber
  • paint brushes
  • plastic putty knife or spreader
  • Frog painter’s tape
  • ruler, pencil and an eraser
  • scissors or paper trimmer
  • newspaper to protect your work space


 To save the printable above: Click on the image to open the attachment page then right click on the image to save it to your computer.



  Hooked on Decorating - banner instructions


  •  To prepare the image for printing on your laser printer please follow the steps below. NOTE: If you don’t have a laser printer you could follow the steps below for printing out your image on your inkjet printer and then take your printout to Staples or another photo copy shop and have your image color copied. You will want to make sure your image stays backwards as shown above so that it comes out the correct way when you transfer it.







  • Next, trim your image leaving an even border all the way around.
  • Measure your image and add a 1 cm border to the measurements on all sides. Then subtract the measurements from the size of your canvas on the applicable side and divide by two to find out how wide of a border to leave around your image. For my canvas I measured 5.5 cm for the long sides and 6.0 cm for the short sides from the ends of my canvas.
  • Use your pencil and ruler to transfer your measurements to your canvas. You will be drawing a rectangular box to place your image into.
  • Next place your image in the middle of the rectangle you drew to check that there is an equal border all the way around your image.
  • Then tape the outside of your rectangle using Frog tape painter’s tape. Line up your tape directly on your lines.
  • Apply white Gesso to the inside of your rectangle with a plastic putty knife. Be careful not to get any paint on the outside of your rectangle! Drag the putty knife across the canvas randomly leaving the outer edges uneven and leaving some of the original canvas showing through. If you wish you can also add some light gray craft paint over top to age your canvas further. Leave your canvas to dry.
  • To transfer your image to canvas please read my How to Guide: Transfer Photos to Canvas.
  • Once your transferred image is dry, remove the painter’s tape from your canvas.
  • Optional: To add the metal grommets to your canvas, use a hammer and nail or a drill with drill bit to make a holes in your canvas as shown below. Then rub a light layer of white Gesso onto your grommet and rub off any excess leaving the original finish in the indentations. Push your grommets through the holes and open them up on the back side to secure.
  • Coat your canvas with either 2 coats of matte Mod Podge or 2-3 coats of a clear acrylic spray. I like to use Krylon Matte spray sealer.
  • Optional: Place your canvas into a frame and enjoy!





I’ve already started decorating with all things that remind me of warm weather and Spring! With all of the cloudy, cold weather we have been having, it is a necessity for me.





These shells and sea rocks were brought back from our last trip to Barbados. I think another tropical vacation may be in our near future because right about now I really could use some relaxation and fun in the sun!


Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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 Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Funky Junk Interiors – SNS Linky Party ~ Be Different Act Normal – Show and Tell Saturday ~ I Should be Mopping the Floor – Mop It Up Mondays ~ DIY Showoff – DIY Party ~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin’ Up With HoH ~ Embracing Change – Creative Inspirations Party ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious Fridays ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday ~ Craftionary – Friday Link Party ~ What About. Co – Show Off Friday ~


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The winner of the custom canvas giveaway is…

Hi everyone! I hope you had a really great time with your loved ones yesterday celebrating Valentine’s Day.

My husband, my kids and I had a pretty low-key evening. We went out for dinner together and then ended up watching a movie at home. What did you end up doing?


I hope you had a chance to enter my One Year Anniversary Custom Canvas Giveaway over this past week! I am very excited to announce the winner tonight.



The lucky winner was chosen using


And the winner is…




Jennifer B., please contact me at regarding your prize. I cannot wait to create a special art piece especially for you!


Thank you again to all that entered. I wish I could create a special canvas for each and every one of you, but don’t worry. There will be more giveaways coming up on my blog in the future!

Have a great night!

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Valentine’s Day Crackle Art Tutorial

I have a confession…I dropped the ball this year and did not decorate for Valentine’s Day! Oops!

A few of weeks ago I was all excited about decorating and had made plans to stop at Dollarama (one of our Canadian dollar stores) for some supplies, but then life got busy and I kept saying that I would do it tomorrow and then the next day and so on. With only four days left to Valentine’s Day I finally decided that there was absolutely no way that I would have time to decorate this year.

Then this past weekend my 11 year old daughter was feeling crafty and asked me if I would help her make some Valentine’s Day presents for a couple of her teachers. She had already bought a small wooden box from the Michael’s craft store that she wanted to use for one gift and I suggested that we create some art with canvas panels that I had laying around the house for the other gift. Of course, I couldn’t forget about my 8 year old son so we had to make something for his teacher as well.




Here is the crackle art that we made. I think they turned out really cute! Don’t you?


As well, below is the little wooden box that my daughter designed with a little help from me. I think she did a beautiful job!

She plans on filling it up with chocolate heart candies for her music teacher. I am sure her teacher will love it!




I know it’s probably a little late for you to gather up the supplies and make your own crackle art with it already being Valentine’s Day tomorrow, but I thought I would create a tutorial for you anyway. You can still “Pin” this project for next year to get an early start on Valentine’s Day. Don’t do like me and wait until the last minute!

Besides, the techniques that I explain in this tutorial could easily be used for a totally different project at any time of the year. All you would need to do is paint your canvas another color and use a different stencil and text and you would have something completely different.


To make your own Valentine’s Day Crackle Art…


banner supplies - Hooked on Decorating


  1. one 6″ X 8″ and one 8″ X 10″ canvas panel (or sizes of your choice) (found at the Dollar store for $1.00 each)
  2. acrylic paint for the front 6″ X 8″ canvas in colors of your choice (colors used: Titanium White and Rockwood Red)
  3. transparency film or a stencil of your choice
  4. acrylic paint  for the back 8″ X 10″ canvas in colors of your choice (colors used: Titanium White, Dove Grey, Metallic Champagne)
  5. Golden Soft Gel Gloss Medium or another brand of gel medium
  6. text printed in “mirror image” using a laser printer for transferring to the canvas
  7. matte Mod Podge or other clear sealer
  8. Viva Croco Cracking Color in Transparent Clear and Viva Basecoat for porous surfaces (found at De Seers)
  9. a picture frame to fit your 8″ X 10″ canvas (optional)
  10. a stencil or Japanese paper for the 8″ X 10″ canvas
  11. paint brushes and/or a stencil pouncer
  12. printer paper
  13. black Sharpie pen
  14. rubber brayer or spreader
  15. ruler and scissors
  16. plastic spatula
  17. spray bottle with water, kitchen dish scrubber and paper towels
  18. newspaper or tin foil to protect your workspace


Hooked on Decorating - banner instructions



Mix together the Titanium White and Rockwood Red craft paint until you get the color you desire and then coat your 6″ X 8″ canvas with one coat of paint . Before it has a chance to dry, age your canvas by pouncing up and down on top of the wet paint with a damp scrunched up paper towel to create the design on the left. Or if you prefer, you can create the design on the right by dragging a damp paint brush through the paint to create a striated effect.




Next, fold a piece of printer paper in half and cut out the shape of a heart. Check that it fits the top middle of your canvas.

With a Sharpie pen, trace out your heart shape onto a piece of transparency film or stencil acetate. Carefully cut it out and place your stencil on the canvas as shown above. Be sure to leave room for the text you are going to transfer later on.




Prepare a small mixture of Titanium White and Rockwood Red paint in a slight lighter or darker shade than your canvas background and stencil the heart shape onto your canvas.




I printed out the phrase “Happy Valentine’s Day” to transfer onto the canvases but your could use whatever saying that you like. If you don’t want to transfer text then skip down past the next photo.

Instead of transferring the text you could also use rub on transfers, stickers, a paint pen or a stencil to add text to your canvas.




To transfer the text to your canvas:

1. Print your image in reverse (“mirror image”) with a laser printer, then trim your text leaving a white border around it. Coat the area on your canvas where your text will be going with an even layer of gel medium. Don’t let the gel medium dry out.

2. Line up your text as straight as possible before placing it down onto the wet gel medium. Press down firmly then wipe away any excess medium. Next use a brayer or a spreader to make sure your text is firmly stuck down. Leave your transfer to dry for up to 4 hours. To speed up the transfer you can use a blow dryer set on high for 5 minutes, but before moving on to the next step leave your canvas to cool for 5-10 minutes.

3. Wet the back on your transfer with water and then leave it to sit for a few minutes. Then use your pointer finger to rub away the paper backing. Be gentle or some of your text may rub off. TIP: A kitchen scrubber works great for removing the paper.

4. As you are removing the paper backing if some of your text comes off, don’t panic! This happened to me while preparing this tutorial. Sometimes it can be difficult to get a clean transfer when using text as there is usually not much ink there and it wants to come off with the paper. If this does happen to you your text can easily be touched up with a fine tipped black Sharpie.




Once your transfer is dry, coat your canvas with 1-2 coats of matte Mod Podge.




Place your heart stencil back onto your canvas and line it up over your previously stenciled area.

Coat it will an even layer of Viva Color base coat. The base coat helps with the adhesion of the Croco Cracking Color medium in the next step. Leave your canvas to dry for at least 10 minutes before moving on to the next step.


This next part is my favorite! If you haven’t ever used Viva Croco Cracking Color before you are in for a real treat. It is so easy to use and it gives an amazing shiny, crackled finish with oodles of character!




Using your spatula, apply the Croco Crackling Color medium over top of your heart stencil working from the outside edges inwards to avoid getting the medium underneath your stencil.




Once you have applied the medium to all of the outer edges, add more medium to the middle section and use your spatula to spread it evenly across your stencil making sure to cover any bare areas. It is just like icing a cake!

TIPS: Whatever direction you apply the Croco Crackling Colour to your canvas will be the direction of the final cracks. Also, the thicker you apply the medium the bigger your cracks will be.

When you are happy with how your medium looks, carefully lift your stencil straight up. You should be left with a nice clean design. If you have more than one canvas to do, you can reuse the stencil as many times as you would like.

Make sure to wash all your tools immediately after use so the medium doesn’t dry on them. The transparency film can be just tossed into the garbage though.




Here are both of my canvases right after applying the Croco Crackle.




After about 10-20 minutes look closely at your heart. You will start to see small cracks appear along the edges.Then about an hour later you will see larger cracks appear as in the above photo.

As your medium dries it will become more and more transparent and your base color will show through. See the little white dots in the medium? These will show up in your final crackled finish and give it an gorgeous aged patina.




This is what the Croco Crackling Color looks like when it is fully dry (which takes about 24 hours). It looks like it almost has an “ombre” effect to it with the age spots and all.




If you like you can frame your canvas as is or you can take it a step further and use a larger 8″ X 10″ canvas panel to create an outer matte for your 6″ X 8″ canvas.

I used this recent tutorial to create an aged design on my 8″ X 10″ canvas. I only painted the outer two inches of the canvas all the way around because I knew that the middle part would be covered with the smaller one. This only took a few minutes to do.

To paint your own 8″ X 10″ canvas, first coat it with the Titanium White. Working on one side of the canvas at a time randomly apply the Metallic Champagne using a stencil or the Japanese paper that I had shared in the the above linked tutorial. Over top of that apply the Dove Gray paint. When you lift your stencil your canvas should look identical to the one below.




To makeover your picture frame, first give it a light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper. Next paint it with two coats of white acrylic Gesso leaving a small amount of the original base coat showing through. When your Gesso is dry, apply two coats of matte Mod Podge for protection.

Finally, attach your top canvas to the matted canvas as shown above using either Gorilla Glue or mounting tape. Then all that is left to do is to insert your art canvas into your frame and sit back and enjoy it!




My daughter and I had a lot of fun making these crackle pictures for her teachers. I will definitely be using the Croco Crackling Color medium again for more projects in the near future. I can think of so many things I can use this for!


I hope you and your family have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Link Party ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ Not Just a Housewife – Show Me Whatcha Got ~ Hope Studios – Tutorial Tuesday ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Link Party ~


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Hooked on Decorating’s one year blog anniversary giveaway!!!

~~~*The Giveaway is NOW CLOSED!*~~~

Lit Candle on Birthday Cake


Today is a very special day because it was one year ago today that I conquered my fears and created and published my very first blog post!

I originally started this little blog as a hobby. I had dreamed that it would be a place to share my furniture painting techniques, my favorite tutorials, my thrifty finds, DIY projects and shopping adventures along with tips for decorating on a budget. I never ever thought that my blog would have grown this much over the past year and I am still amazed that I have over 400+ subscribers of my blog, 385 followers on Facebook and 1044 Pinterest followers. All I can say is “Wow” and thank you!

It makes me so happy to see many people visiting my blog each day and leaving me such wonderful comments. I have met so many great “friends” over the past year. Let me also not forget all of the sweet fellow bloggers that I have gotten to know as well. Thanks again for stopping by and for motivating me to keep on keepin’ on.


To celebrate Hooked on Decorating’s one year anniversary and as a “Thank you” to my readers, I am giving away a Custom Art Canvas that can be personalized to suit your tastes.



The Deets:

I will take your chosen photograph and/or graphic and transfer it to either a canvas or a wooden panel using my favorite image transfer technique. You can also add in a saying, lyrics or embellish your canvas with a raised stencil or utilize one of my other paint techniques (examples: aging, crackle and/or a stenciled background) for your custom canvas.

Here’s your chance to make a unique piece of art for your wall!


Have you had a chance to check out my Project Gallery page yet? Do you see any of my past techniques that you would like recreated on your canvas?


A few more things that you should know:

- I will try my best to fulfill whatever your request may be for your custom canvas provided that I have the supplies on hand.

- Your canvas will be unique as it is the nature with transferred images to have some slight imperfections in the quality of the image being transferred. The transferred images used for your canvas will be printed from a laser copier from a photo or graphic that you provide. That said, I will do my best to create a piece of art that you will love!




For your custom canvas you can choose one of the following base panels in one of the sizes listed for your art piece:


1. Canvas Panels:



2. Gotrick Wood Panels:



Now you are all probably wondering how to enter? It’s simple…

  • All you need to do is leave a comment below letting me know what you would like your custom canvas to be like for one entry
  • Become a follower of Hooked on Decorating if you are not already
  • “Like” or Follow Hooked on Decorating on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest for an additional entry and let me know that you did so in the comments


Giveaway specifics:

  •  No purchase necessary
  • Must be at least 18 years old to enter
  • U.S. and Canada entries only
  • Odds of winning are based on number of entries
  •  A winner will be chosen using Once the winner has been chosen I will contact them and they will have 48 hours to respond to claim their prize or another winner will be selected. Please be sure to leave some way that I can notify you if you are the lucky winner
  • Your finished canvas art will be mailed directly to the address you provide
  • Total value of giveaway: $40 CDN
  • The giveaway starts on February 8th, 2013 at 10:30 pm ET and ends on February 15th, 2013 at 10:30 pm ET


Thank you so much for reading my posts, commenting, and sharing Hooked on Decorating with your friends.  I am very excited to share another year of my adventures with you all!


Good luck and enjoy your weekend!


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