A Reader’s project : a trio of decorative books

Hi Everyone!

I received a really sweet surprise in my inbox this morning that totally made my day! It was an e-mail from one of my blog readers, Wendy. She wrote to let me know that she had used my DIY Decorative Books tutorial to make some of her own set of books and she was happy for me to share the photos of her books with you. Yah!


So before scrolling down to check out Wendy’s books, take a peek at the message she sent to me…




And here are the books that Wendy created…




I think she did an amazing job on her books, don’t you?



After reading my tutorial, Wendy set out to find all of the supplies needed to create her own set of books. Since she’s a crafty person she already had most of the supplies on hand. What she did have a hard time finding was the Reader’s Digest books to use for her project. This has me puzzled. Are there some people out there hoarding Reader’s Digest books, I wonder? Luckily she found some for $1.00 each after coming across some at the last thrift store she tried.

Wendy used the graphics supplied in the tutorial but decided to use three different stencils, one for each of the books, along with the Golden Molding Paste to create her raised stencils. I love that each of her books are different! There are so many different ways that you can customize this project to suit your tastes.



Wendy, thanks so much for sharing your decorative books with all of us. They are gorgeous! As well, thank you for the inspiration.


If you have used one of my tutorials, please drop me a line and let me know about it! I would not only love to see what you have created but share your project with my readers (of course with your permission!).


In other news…

You probably didn’t know this but my first year Blogaversary is coming up in a few days. I know! I can’t believe it has already been a year! As thanks to my wonderful readers I will be having a giveaway on the blog on Friday. Please stop by to check it out and enter my giveaway.


Have a good night!

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French art transfer tutorial



We are only into early February and I am already wishing for Spring to come!  Do you see the gray skies above in the photo of my backyard? This has pretty much been our entire winter this year here in Alberta. It has been snowing almost every single day and the sunny days are few and far between. Right about now I am so ready for my family and I to pack our bags and head off to a tropical destination. I wish!  How about you? Are you ready for Spring to be here already?


Anyhoo… I had promised you Part 2 of my most recent tutorial last week and then my Mom came to visit us just before the weekend so I didn’t get a chance to finish it up until today. Well, here it is better late then never. Thanks for being so patient with me!

If you missed Part 1: How to create a book page picture frame, you can find it HERE.




To create this French art transfer…


banner supplies - Hooked on Decorating


1. Japanese paper as shown or a stencil of your choice
2. flat 8″ X 10″ canvas or wooden panel (canvas size optional)
3. the Vintage Paris Chocolat Label from The Graphics Fairy or another graphic of your choice (printed in reverse)
4. Golden Soft Gel Gloss Medium or another brand of gel medium
5. paint brushes
6. matte Mod Podge or other clear sealer
7. acrylic paint in the colors of your choice (colors used: Titanium White, Dove Grey, Metallic Champagne)
8. Lindy’s Stamp Gang spray in Moon Shadow Mist (optional)
9. Delta Ceramics Gel Blending Medium (optional)
10. rubber brayer or spreader
11. ruler
12. scissors
13. spray bottle with water
14. kitchen dish scrubber
15. paper towels
16. newspaper or tin foil to protect your workspace
17. hair blow dryer (optional)


Hooked on Decorating - banner instructions



1. Using your paintbrush, coat your canvas with Titanium White paint leaving some of the canvas (or a wooden panel as I have used) showing through in spots

2. Dip a piece of scrunched up paper towel in the Dove Gray paint (dab off the excess on another paper towel). Apply the paint fairly evenly across your canvas using a pouncing (up and down) motion. Then randomly dab on some Metallic Champagne paint on your canvas. Leave it to dry




I purchased my Japanese mesh paper at my local artist’s supply store in the section where they sell handmade paper. They may also sell it at Hobby Lobby in the U.S. or at De Serres in Canada. If you cannot find this type of paper where you live a stencil will work just as well.

3. If using the Japanese paper, cut it to fit slightly larger than your canvas

4. Then use your Titanium White paint and a fresh piece of scrunched up paper towel or a stencil brush to stencil your design on your canvas completely with the white paint




5. Lift your Japanese paper or stencil to see how your canvas looks. Apply more paint as needed in blank areas using your paper or stencil. It doesn’t need to be perfect!




6. This step is optional but it adds so much depth to the canvas. Lightly spray on Lindy’s Stamp Gang spray in Moon Shadow Mist or use another antiquing mist spray that you have on hand. You don’t have a spray mist to use? No problem! All you need to do is to really water down some bronze craft paint then dip a clean old toothbrush into the paint and use your thumb on the bristles in a back and forth motion to splatter the paint onto your canvas randomly. Don’t forget to protect your work space as this step is a little messy!




The following steps are where your graphic will be transferred onto your canvas. These steps are simplified so you can see how easy transferring an image to canvas is. If this is your first time doing a transfer, I recommend that you read my full tutorial HERE as a primer before you transfer onto your good canvas


7. First, print your graphic in mirror image so that when you transfer it, it turns out the right way especially if you are using a graphic with text. I prefer to use a laser printer to print off my graphics. If you don’t have a laser printer you can print out your image on your inkjet printer and then take it to your photo copy centre and photocopy it with a laser printer or print it out from a USB key. Once you have printed your graphic, trim it fit your canvas. Next, apply an even coat of the Golden Gloss Gel Medium to your entire canvas. Work quickly so your gel medium does not start to dry

8. Line up your graphic face-down and use the palm of your hand to attach it firmly to your canvas. Next use a rubber brayer or spreader (I sometimes use my Costco membership card!) and drag it across your canvas in all directions firmly, removing any air bubbles. Wipe away any excess medium. Leave your canvas to dry overnight if possible. If you are impatient like me, you can dry it with your blow dryer on high for at least 10 minutes. Then leave it to cool for another 10 minutes before proceeding to Step 9




 9. Next, spray your canvas with water in one spot, let it sit a few minutes and then use your pointer finger to rub off the paper backing until your graphic comes through clearly




10. Continue working across your canvas removing as much paper backing as you can. Be gentle so you don’t remove some of your image in the process. To remove the remaining paper residue off of your image, dampen your canvas with water (not too wet!) and using a kitchen scrubber, rub in a circular motion taking off the white paper film. Rub the palm of your hand over your canvas to remove all of the flakes of paper. Leave it to dry for a few minutes and repeat for any opaque areas



This photo shows my canvas when it was all dry and I had removed almost all of the residual paper film. If you work at it, your image can turn out very crisp and clear like mine is! It took me about 10-15 minutes to clean the paper off of my transfer from start to finish. I like to work on this on the floor while watching TV. It makes the time go quicker.

11. When you are happy with the way your canvas looks, coat it with two coats of Matte Mod Podge for protection. This will also help to make your image bright and give it a finished look. Leave your canvas to dry for 15-20 minutes before handling it




Then all that is left to do is to place it into your frame and enjoy!


Hooked on Decorating - French Art Transfer Tutorial


Here is a close-up of my finished transfer! I love it!




You can use this tutorial to make art for your home that is uniquely yours! You could also customize your own piece of art to make a handmade gift for that special someone in your life for Mother’s Day, a birthday, or Christmas.

Have you had a chance to try image transfers yet? If you haven’t, you should really give them a try. They are so addicting once you start. You will want to do transfers on everything in your house!

Maybe you have done transfers before but you didn’t have the best results or you are perhaps you are stuck on a particular step.  I am here to help you with any questions you may have. Ask away!


Until next time,

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ The Graphics Fairy – Brag Monday ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesdays Treasures ~ Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty Tuesday ~ A Stroll Thru Life – Table Top Tuesday ~ Home Stories A to Z – Tutorials and Tips Link Party ~ House of Hepworths – Hookin’ Up with HoH ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~ Liz Marie Blog – Link Up With Me Liz Marie ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ Finding Fabulous – Frugalicious  Fridays ~ Chic on a Shoestring Decorating – Flaunt It Friday ~ My Romantic Home – Show and Tell Friday ~ French Country Cottage ~ Feathered Nest Friday ~


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How to: book page picture frame

Hooked on Decorating - Book Page Picture Frame {How To}


Hello Friends! I’m super excited to share my latest project with you today! Isn’t it sweet?

As you may know I love doing photo transfers! They are one of my favorite ways to unwind after a long, hard day at work! For this reason I seem to have a lot of finished canvases lying around the house just waiting for the perfect frames to come along.

I was in the mood to make something with my hands this past weekend so I built my own picture frame to showcase some of my canvases. Now I can easily change my art around without the hassle that a regular picture frame would give me because this one has no glass or fasteners to get in the way. It is so easy peasy to use!

Today I will be sharing Part 1 : how to make your own book page picture frame followed by Part 2: how to make your own French art canvas in the next couple of days.

Let’s get started…


To make the book page picture frame:

banner supplies - Hooked on Decorating   Hooked on Decorating - Supplies List - Book Page Picture Frame

          • manual mitre box and saw or power mitre saw
          • ruler
          • pencil with eraser
          • wooden moulding (approximately 12 feet needed for a 16″ X 20″ wooden artist’s panel)
          • paint brushes
          • acrylic paint in the color of your choice (colors shown: Titanium White, Dove Grey, Metallic Champagne) or use white acrylic Gesso
          • matte Mod Podge or other clear sealer
          • 16″ X 20″ raised birch wood artist’s panel ( made by Gotrick or another manufacturer)
          • wood filler
          • wood glue
          • book pages or an item of your choice as a back drop ( ie. scrapbook pages, wrapping paper or a stenciled design)
          • black acrylic paint as a base coat for the moulding or a color of your choice


Hooked on Decorating - banner addtional supplies

          • flat 8″ X 10″ canvas or wood panel (canvas size optional)
          • paper trimmer (optional)
          • scissors
          • paper towel
          • 1/2″ finishing nails
          • power drill with an extra small drill bit
          • the smallest nail set you can find
          • hammer
          • 220 or 400 grit sandpaper
          • newspaper to protect your workspace
          • paper plates for mixing paint



Hooked on Decorating - banner instructions hooked-on-decorating-book-page-picture-frame-part-i


1. Use an Exacto knife or pair of scissors to cut out approximately 9-12 book pages from your book. Then trim away all of the “blank” space on each page (see photo Step #3). If you happen to have a paper trimmer this step will be a breeze!

2. Next prepare your panel by coating it with Gesso or craft paint. You can also leave it unfinished if you prefer, but painting your panel helps with adhesion and minimizes warping

3. Test out the placement of your book pages on your panel by lining them up so that they are touching each other evenly without overlapping. Be sure not to leave any gaps between pages but it’s ok if your pages don’t quite reach the outer edges of your panel as they will be covered up by moulding later on

4. Decoupage your book pages directly to your panel with an even coat of Mod Podge as outlined in Step 3 above. Make sure that there is Mod Podge both under and over your book pages so that they will be firmly attached. Try to smooth out any air bubbles. Leave it to dry

5. Coat the book pages with diluted white paint or white Gesso. Use a damp paper towel with a small amount of paint and rub in a circular motion. Then use a dry papertowel to wipe away the excess paint to give a whitewashed effect. You can also dab a small amount of the diluted paint randomly to give your panel a more aged effect

6. Finally coat the top of your panel with 1-2 coats of Mod Podge for protection. After it has dried, use an Exacto knife to trim away any excess paper that will not be covered up by the moulding




To cut the moulding for this project you will either need to use a manual mitre-box and saw or a power mitre saw. If you have never cut moulding before it can seem a little daunting at first but actually it is really easy to do once you get over the jitters or it all!  Don’t stress about it! It is only wood and it can be replaced if you happen to mess up. That is why I always buy extra moulding because even though I have cut moulding more times than I can count, I still mess up sometimes. It happens!

The best advice I can give you when cutting moulding is to follow the rule of thumb “measure twice and cut once”!  Also, it is best to cut the longer sides of your frame first then if you happen to miscalculate and cut your moulding at the wrong spot you can always use that piece for the shorter side of your frame.

For a detailed instructions on how to cut moulding for this project, please check out my Framed Storage Box {How To} post here.



7. First, cut the moulding to fit your inside frame. I cut my inner frame to fit an 8″ X 10″ wooden canvas panel exactly but you can make your frame to fit whatever sized canvas that you would like. Don’t attach the frame just yet! I will get to that further in the tutorial



8. Next cut the moulding for your outer frame lining it up exactly with the edges of your panel

9. Paint the outer edges of your panel and all of your moulding pieces with one coat of black paint followed by two coats of white paint




10. Drill pilot holes in your mouldings with a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the pointed end of the 1/2″ sized finishing nails that you are using. Try not to drill to close to the edges of the moulding to avoid splitting them

11. To find the spot where your inner frame should go, place your 8″ X 10″ canvas exactly centered in the middle of your book page panel. Then add your wooden moulding around it making sure that your frame is an even distance all the way around from the edge of your panel. Remove one piece of moulding at a time around your canvas and reattach it with wood glue. While the glue is still wet, gently hammer the /2″ finishing nails into your wooden panel. Make sure as you add each section of moulding that it fits fairly closely around your canvas and that your mitered edges fit tightly together




12. Next use your nail set and your hammer to tap your nail heads slightly below the surface of your moulding as shown above

13. Attach your outer frame to the edges of your panel the same way as you attached your inner frame



14. Use wood filler to cover over all holes and mitre joints so that they are hidden. Sand lightly to smooth. Use additional white paint to touch up any uneven spots on your mouldings

15. Then sand your mouldings and the sides of your frame with 220 or 400 grit sandpaper to distress all of the raised edges of your picture frame. You will see whatever color you painted as your first layer coming showing through

16. To protect your frame, coat it with two coats of Mod Podge or your favorite spray sealer



All that is left to do is place your piece of art into your frame opening. It may stay on its own but if it doesn’t you can either use painter’s tape or double sided tape to secure it.




To remove your canvas, simply use a flat object such as a letter opener or a butter knife to carefully pry it out. Then replace it with another piece of art.

The painter’s tape or double-sided tape should come off cleanly because the frame has been coated in Mod Podge.




I think my favorite part of this frame is the distressed mouldings. I love me some aged mouldings!






Here are a couple of my different photo transferred art canvases to show you.




What would I do without The Graphics Fairy with her endless supply of amazing graphics to use for my photo transfers? Thanks Karen!




You can also use this frame to display smaller photographs.




This one was taken at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. It has been attached to the middle of the picture frame using removable photo corners.



1. Use it to display your children’s artwork or a favorite mementos from your past travels

2. Paint an 8″ X 10″ canvas with blackboard paint and then insert it into the frame and use it as an chalkboard to help you remember your to-do list or grocery list. When you are done using the chalkboard it is easy to remove and store for later use

3. Create a piece of canvas art for each of the holidays (ie. Valentine’s Day, Christmas or Halloween). When it’s time to put the decorations away, you need only to store the canvas which takes up very little space

4. How about painting the main panel with your favorite stencil or covering it with burlap, textured paper, or scrapbook paper instead of book pages? What about covering the back with beadboard?

5. Why not use your picture frame horizontally as a display stand for your treasures on a side table or dresser?


As you can see, this frame has so many different uses! I know that it will be getting a lot of use in my house and I can’t wait to create some new canvases to display in it.


UPDATE: For Part 2: how to make your own French art canvas, please click HERE.

Until next time,

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Domestically Speaking – 162nd Power of the Paint Party ~ The Trendy Treehouse – Create and Share ~ The Thrifty Home – Penny Pinching Party ~ Savvy Southern Style – Wow Us Wednesdays ~ I Gotta Create – Wildly Original Linky Party ~ House of Hepworths – Hooking Up with HoH ~ The Shabby Creek Cottage – Transformation Thursday ~ Somewhat Simple – Blog Linky Party ~ The Brambleberry Cottage – Time Travel Thursday ~



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The best of 2012

I can’t believe this year has flown by so quickly. So much has happened this year on my little ol’ blog and in a couple of months it will be coming up to its one year anniversary already! Totally amazing! I am still in awe that my technically-challenged self was able to figure this whole blog thing out and also cross so many projects off my to-do list this past year.

I want to thank all of you that have been following along with me in this journey so far. I very much appreciate that you take the time to check out my latest projects and leave me your thoughtful comments. Your comments give me the motivation to keep on creating! Everyone likes to know how they are doing, right?

With the New Year almost among us, I have decided to reflect on some of the highlights from my blog over the past year. You may have seen some of these projects already but there may be a few that you may have missed.


Best of 2012 Hooked on Decorating

{Click on the photos below to read the posts}


# 10

Reinvented French-Style Sideboard


 # 9

Vintage Book CabinetMy Vintage Book Cabinet


# 8 How to Easily Transform an Outdated Bathroom Vanity CabinetHow to Easily Transform an Outdated Bathroom Vanity Cabinet with Molding


# 7

Turquoise Antique Sewing Cabinet MakeoverTurquoise Antique Sewing Cabinet Makeover


# 6

Some of My Absolute Favorite Products for Furniture RefinishingSome of My Absolute Favorite Products for Furniture Refinishing


# 5Photo Transfers onto Wood: a Vintage Sewing Storage Box MakeoverPhoto Transfers onto Wood: a Vintage Sewing Storage Box Makeover


# 4

Large Ornate Frame to Chalkboard TutorialLarge Picture Frame to Chalkboard {Tutorial}


# 3

Poster-Sized Art Canvas & Do Inkjet Transfers Really Work?

Poster-Sized Art Canvas & Do Inkjet Transfers Really Work?


# 2

DIY Decorative Books With Raised Stencils and Image TransfersDIY Decorative Books With Raised Stencils and Image Transfers


And the post with the most views for 2012 was my tutorial on how to transfer photos to canvas. It had 60645 page views and hundreds of pins! Wowee!


# 1

Transfer Photos to Canvas {How To}Transferring Photos to Canvas {How To}


Wishing you and your family a….





I look forward to sharing many more projects and chatting with you again in 2013.


All the best,

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Parties I’ve Linked Up To:

~ Diana Rambles – Best of 2012 Party ~ Southern Hospitality Blog – Top DIY Projects of 2012 ~ One More Time – Share It One More Time ~



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Our merry little Christmas

I can’t believe that there are only two more sleeps until Christmas. It’s amazing how time seems to be moving so quickly. Don’t you agree?

My kids are super excited to spend time with our family on Christmas Day and of course open up all of their presents. I do need to get cracking and finish wrapping their gifts, which I plan to do tonight after they go to bed. How about you? Are you all set for Christmas?

This holiday, I decided to keep our Christmas decorations pretty low key because time got the better of me. I just didn’t accomplish all that I wanted to get done. I did manage to make canvas Christmas trees for the top of our TV console which I shared yesterday HERE.

Yesterday, I also took some photos of my family room decorated up for the holidays. Please excuse the grainy photos. It has been snowing almost every day this winter and this room is on the north side of my house, so not much light shines through the windows in here.




Oh ya! Please also ignore the missing baseboards. It’s on my to-do list once I can get this room re-painted a lighter color. Hopefully I can check it off my list sometime this Spring. Y’all know how it is…




Our Christmas tree is all decorated in reds and whites. I started out with some of my Mom’s ornaments that she made me many, many years ago and over time I have added candy themed ornaments, snow flakes, pine cones, glitter houses and birds. It’s kind of a “mish-mash” of styles but I love each and every ornament so it works for me.






I recently found these glass cupcake ornaments at Homesense and I think they look really good with my wooden berry garland. I can’t help but smile when I look at them. Love these!




Here are some of the other ornaments I have collected over the years. I found six of the vintage red elf ornaments (top left) at a garage sale last year. The little glitter house came as a set of four and they were purchased from Superstore here in Canada. The owl ornaments and the red and white striped balls I found at Homesense.




My mantel was kept simple also with reds and whites. I used my hand painted and glittered pine cones for the top and added some red berry sprigs for color. The willow stars were purchased at the dollar store and the rest of the decorations I have had on hand for quite a few years.

I have to be honest with you. I am not too fond of my fireplace from the 1970′s with its tacky pitted metal doors but it is not in the budget to rip it out, so for now I am just working with what I have until we move in the near future.




I found four white snowflake stockings at Homesense a few years ago and then I made labels for them with each of our initials.

These stocking labels are extremely easy to make. I used a cardboard circle ornament from Michaels and painted it white. I then added white snow glitter to it, glued on a wooden snowflake applique and added a silver monogrammed sticker to the middle. Lastly, I glued white ball trim to the edges of the ornament and then added a piece of white satin ribbon to the back for hanging. Easy peasy!

What do you think? Aren’t these so cute?






Here is a close-up of the glittered pine cones that I made. To make your own all you need to do is coat the tips of pine cones with white paint or white gesso. It doesn’t need to be perfect! You can then add clear crystal glitter while the paint is still wet or you can add Mod Podge over top of the painted areas and then sprinkle on glitter and tap off the excess.

I made these pine cones a few years ago and I still love to use them. They are timeless and bring a lovely sparkle to my mantel.






When I go all out decorating for the holidays I have vignettes like these all over the house. This glass cloche holds a wintery scene. The bottle brush trees I made a couple of years back. The glitter house came from Home Outfitters, the figurines from the dollar store and the snow is actually Epsom salts from my bathroom cupboard.




This little sign that sits opposite the Christmas tree has a special meaning to me and to my kids it is meant to be a visual reminder. “No peeking, no sneaking, no shaking!” Ha! If only I had followed those rules when I was a kid. I used to meticulously untape and retape all of my Christmas gifts under the tree and my Mother didn’t have a clue.

Well I’m off to wrap some gifts, have a cup of tea and then off to bed.

I hope you and your loved ones have a wonderful Christmas holiday and a Happy New Year! Thank you for taking the time to read my little ol’ blog throughout 2012 and I hope to share some new projects with you again soon.


Until next time,







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