Colourful makeover for an ’80s telephone table

As soon as I saw the heart-shaped tiers of the old black telephone table, I knew I wanted — needed — to paint them like heart-shaped rainbows.

The table was a hand-me-down from a friend* who moved to the area and passed it along, knowing I’d do something fun with it.

P.S. This friend happens to be an awesome author, so maybe buy her book?

Her dad built her the table back in 1988 to hold the brand-new telephone connected to the jack that had been installed in her bedroom for a Christmas gift.

I knew a hearts-and-rainbows table would be perfect for our seven-year-old daughter, with whom I share a dizzy love for Taylor Swift’s ME music video. There’s a part where the scene spills into a kaleidoscope of bright pastel hearts — a nod to the lyrics of an earlier song. “Kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under (paint) coats.”

Image courtesy PopSugar

Sometimes I don’t know how a DIY project will turn out until I’m finished, but I could see this table perfectly in my mind …

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …

5 DIY projects that didn’t last

Some DIY projects just seem to last a lot longer than others, either because my tastes change or our family’s needs change.

Sometimes I’ll have an inkling that a project will probably have a short run in our home, but other times I’m absolutely convinced it’s the perfect addition to a space … until it isn’t.

From too-cluttered home decor decisions to furniture that was designed wrong from the get-go, here’s a peek at five DIY projects that didn’t last very long in our Handmade Home …

1. Our DIY board game wall

Remember the time we took every board game out of its box and hung them on the wall in our family room? We built simple wooden frames for some of them, so they could be hung, and stored the game pieces in baggies behind the boards. I kept adding it to the years, as our game collection grew, and by the end, it also included a shelf for jars of dominos, extra dice and stacking games.

The board game wall was cool and we got a lot of compliments on it. It did encourage us to play more board games, too. If we’d kept the basement as a family room, we’d probably still have it up there today. (I’d have preferred a lighter wall colour behind it, though, as it was super dark and busy.)

But when we turned the room into my (larger) home office, the board games had to come down immediately. There was no way I was working with the chance of a Scrabble board toppling onto my head.

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …

3D pen home decor projects

For my birthday a couple of weeks ago, my sister came up with the idea of getting me a 3D pen.* (I think she Googled “birthday gift ideas for crafty people who have everything.”) I was surprised and excited when I opened it, since I always love trying something new.

A 3D pen prints in three dimensions, so it’s almost like a 3D printer that you hold in your hand. Instead of ink, you load it with long coils of plastic called filaments. The pen melts the plastic and you’re able to write with it in any direction.

My pen came with filaments labeled PLA, which stands for polylactic acid. This kind of filament is made from renewable resources like corn, tapioca or sugarcane, so it’s sweet-smelling when it melts and it’s considered the more environmentally friendly 3D printing material.

(My 3D pen can also handle oil-based ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) filaments, but those supposedly produce strong fumes and aren’t as safe for home use. But that’s enough science talk!)

When I first experimented with the pen, I didn’t know how to stop the flow of plastic. It flew out of the pen in a steady stream and hardened into an ugly coil. I finally managed to switch it off, and I was holding a twisted piece of hard plastic that looked like a Barbie-sized candlestick.


On the advice of my handy husband, I watched a YouTube video and learned how the buttons worked.

Sure enough, I could stop and start the flow of plastic as needed. It also ran on three speeds, so I could work slowly around a difficult part and speed up when colouring in a larger area.

Then I actually started making some really cool stuff …

3D pen home decor projects {Heather's Handmade Life}
3D pen home decor projects {Heather’s Handmade Life}
3D pen home decor projects {Heather's Handmade Life}
3D pen home decor projects {Heather’s Handmade Life}
3D pen home decor projects {Heather's Handmade Life}
3D pen home decor projects {Heather’s Handmade Life}

Continue reading in my weekly DIY column, My Handmade Home …