About Me

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Corona, California, United States
I am 28 years old and married to my best friend, Nicholas. We have two beautiful boys together, Caleb and Noah. I am a full-time stay at home mom and these are my confessions...


{the Hubby}


{the Oldest}


{the Baby}



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Monday, February 18, 2013

New Crate turned Vintage Easter "Basket"

Every time I set foot in a store I am bombarded with a multitude of pastel reminders that Easter will be upon us quickly!!  Our two boys are the first grand kids on my side of the family, and with my brother and sister-in-law being stationed on the east coast we have yet to have an Easter egg hunt around here! In fact, our boys have no clue who the Easter bunny is and he supposed role in Easter. In all honesty we will probably never share that with them. Because it's not about the bunny!! We want all our holidays with our boys to be focused on Christ and the reasons that we as born again Christians celebrate them! Granted we aren't grinches and do intend to let them have divulge in some fun...just minus stories of false gigantic bunnies running around planting random eggs in our yard and leaving pastel baskets filled with far too much candy than humanly possible to consume, in the mornings.

This post however isn't about what we will and will not take part in, but rather I wanted to share with you a tutorial on a alternative to the plasticky, or wooden bright Easter baskets that are available in our stores. First off, they are expensive...$9.99+ for a basket? One that is so specifically colored that there is no way on earth I could incorporate that in to my home decor to give it more use. Secondly, they are as I just stated very specifically colored. Thirdly, have you ever tried to store these things? They are such a odd shape and I can never find a great place to store them without them getting damaged or buried underneath random items in our garage or closets. So this year I sat, trying to think of an alternative to the traditional Easter basket. Something that looked great and I could incorporate in to my home decor, if I decided to. Or, something that would be functional the boys could continue to use all year long. Thus the Easter crate idea was born!

Here are the supplies you will need:

-Small Wooden Unfinished Crate -Bought mine @Michaels with a 50% coupon for $3.77
-Wax Paper
-Ink Jet Printer
-Damp Towel
-Miniwax Stain
-Old rag
-150+ grit sandpaper
-Craft Paint
-Sponge Brush 

First things first remove the label off of your crate. It does leave a sticky residue that WILL NOT stain properly so I used some Krud Kutter to remove the residue and gave it a light sanding with 220 grit paper to make sure it was a smooth as a baby's bottom!!


 Now on to the ink transfer! Having not liked the fonts available to me on my computer program, Pages, I searched the web and found a plethora of free font downloads! I was torn between doing a very classic stencil font or something a little more vintage looking without being overly girly for my two boys! I ran across this font, Hawaii Killer, I am not sure what's so killer about this font, but I loved its vintage appeal!

After a green light from the hubby that it was not too girly, I proceeded to print some trials to get the sizing right! The first letter of their names was printed at 175pt font and the rest of their name at 200pt. Otherwise the first letter would not fit on to the crate correctly. Trial and error! Of course any font will do, so find something you love!

 Make sure to MIRROR your image before printing also! My program has flip horizontally button at the print screen, which took care of that! Easy peasy, as my four year old says!
For the actual printing I experimented with wax paper transfer! It worked the first time like a charm for my oldest sons crate, but I did run in to a few snags the second time around! So in the end I was able to print both names in two different ways which I will share with you.The first way was to cut a piece of wax paper the same size as a sheet of paper and tape it down to a sheet so the printer accepted it as one piece.  You do need to find out the way your printer will print the image on the paper, in my case I had to lay the wax side down in the paper feed for it to print on the wax side. I had no problems the first time I did this. I tried again this method and this time my printer ate it up!! So instead of wasting tons more wax paper and jamming my printer I printed the image on a normal sheet of paper and cut a wax piece a little larger than that and taped it on to another black piece of paper in the spot it would print the image again. I fed it in upside down and it worked perfectly! 

I separated the wax paper off the paper carefully and being conscious not to touch the ink in any way as it is very wet and WILL smudge if touched! I dampened the wood with a wet rag, just enough to help take the ink on to the wood darker. You don't want the wood to be sopping wet but just lightly run the dampened rag over it and it should work! Then just eye balling it I looked for the center and then lightly layed the wax paper down. I have seen many tutorials saying to use a credit card to transfer the words, and I did do that the first time around and it caused a lot of ink bleeding that I later had to sand out with the first crate. So I just lightly used my fingers to lightly tap down on the letters and transfer the ink.

I used a sharpie to carefully add any ink that I felt didn't transfer well onto the wood and sanded off any bleeding or markings I didn't want on the crate. Now you are ready to stain! I wanted a lighter, weathered look, but you can use any stain you prefer! I took my hammer and used the back part, I have no clue what the techincal name for it is... and made a bunch of dents all over the crate to give it a older look! Then I took my Miiwax, Classic Grey stain and used a sponged brush to apply. Make sure your words or images are completely dry to the touch before proceeding to stain!

Be sure to cover ALL your crate, for a true vintage look! You don't want parts of unstained new wood peaking out from the crevices! I gave my crate about 10-15 mins to soak in the stain and then wiped off the excess with a old rag. To give it some warmth I also used some brown craft paint I had on hand, and just wiped it on with a rag! You could also use some darker stain, but I was too lazy to go to the garage to retrieve it. I love the warmth it gives to the piece, and I think the colors really compliment one another.

 Be sure to seal your crate, I personally like buffing a layer of wax for a perfect finish! I love that my boys can continue to use these crates all year long to store toys or books in! I may add some caster wheels to the bottom that was they can roll them around the house as well! Good luck making your crates! 



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