Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Did With A Pair Of $7.00 Shutters

In yesterday's post, I wrote about making the book page wreath and my love for shutters.  This is my $7.00 purchase from the Habitat Re-Store.  It is 52 inches tall and appears to have lived in someone's kitchen for some time.  How do I know?  By all the grease and goo on it and the way it smelled - as in not pleasant.

This is how Mr. Shutter looked upon purchase.
It had been professionally painted at some point.  How did I know?  By the beautiful, smooth finish on the paint.  Excellent paint job really.  But poor Mr. Shutter had not been well maintained.  See all the grease spots on it?  If you can't see them, here is a close up.
I know, gross.   Alas, this shutter came home with me for some love and attention and the perfect spot for it to reside.    I purchased the Annie Sloan Chateau Grey paint just for this project.  It is  gray with a very green undertone - quite lovely.
I set up my paint station on the deck because it was a pleasant, sunny day and I could paint AND enjoy the out of doors all at the same time.  That is the perfect painting scenario.  I used a 1.5 inch angled brush because I knew that painting shutters is no easy task, since you have the tops and bottoms of all those little louvres that have to be painted.  Then, there is the little rod in the middle that moves the louvres up and down.  That was a real trip to paint on the back side.  With lots of patience, the mission was accomplished.  I painted the top side of the bottom set of louvres, turned the shutters upside down and painted the top half of the louvres.  They had to be turned again and painted from the opposite side in order to get all the flat surface and edges.  The thin brush made it easier to reach through and paint the back side of the rod and all the little narrow edges around the louvres.  Whew.  Was I glad when that job was finished.  Fortunately, I wanted a rough paint job and not a nice, profession job like the original one.  

After the shutters dried, I brought them in and sat them on top of the cabinet that is inside the front door.    I can't tell you how long I stood there looking at them, enjoying them, admiring them, drinking in the beauty of one of my favorite things - shutters.  I know, it's crazy.  Don't judge.  
They are the perfect height for the space.  (I wish I had not turned that lamp on for this picture.  Too late now).  I knew the book page wreath was going to hang on these shutters, so I put a push pin in the wood where I wanted the wreath to hang.  Ta da!
My daughter's neighbor has a beautifully landscaped yard that is full of hydrangeas, in pinks, blues, and late summer green, plus oak leaf hydrangeas.  Early summer hydrangeas like the blue and pink varieties do not dry as well as the late summer white and green ones.  She very generously cut me a huge bunch of the green hydrangeas and the oak leaf variety which are a beautiful combination of creams, browns and bronzes.  The oak leaf hydrangeas are oblong rather than round.  They are perfect for fall arrangements.  I let them dry for a week, and pulled a few to arrange in this orange peach basket that I found at Michaels.  Just two big green hydrangeas, and three of the oak leaf variety was all that was needed.  
Dried hydrangeas will last for years if you don't mess with them and cause them to shatter.  This arrangement will work all the way through Thanksgiving.  Thank you Susan for your generosity.  There is a friend who will enjoy the wreath I am making them from some of these beautiful hydrangeas.  

I found some beautiful candles that are green, brown and tan in various sizes marked down at Michaels and I used one of them in this vignette.  Because of the lamp, it looks yellow on the top, but is actually ivory.  A nice fall accent to add to the look.  The final touch was some burlap ribbon which I draped across the top of the cabinet and through one of the shutters and the basket handle.  Stepping back, I have to say I was very happy with the total look.  I will find some small gourds at the Farmer's Market this weekend to sit next to the basket and this entire arrangement is complete!  

So let's add this up.  I have $7.00 in the shutter, $.75 in the book page wreath, plus the styrofoam form that was $6.99.  The hydrangeas were free, the basket was $8.00.  The candle was $3.99 and the whole bolt of burlap ribbon was $9.00 and I used a couple of feet which came to about $1.00 total.  The most expensive part of the project was the paint at $37.50 a quart.  I barely used any of the paint and plan on using the rest of it to paint a spindled bed frame that I have had since 1967. Yes, it is practically an antique.  (I will let you see some pictures if and when I can face painting all those spindles after dealing with all these louvres).  Let's say I used $4.00 worth of paint.  The total for this project was under $32.00 and we will enjoy it all the way through Thanksgiving.  The shutter will be useful for years and years to come.  It may live in many different locations in the house and serve different purposes, but it will always make me smile.

Think of ways to use inexpensive items to redecorate or change a look for the season.  Nature provides so many things to use.  Now is the time to cut and dry hydrangeas if you want to use them.  You can lightly spray them with some gold or silver Design Master paint and put them in your Christmas tree or make baskets or wreaths for gift giving and you have practically nothing invested money wise.  Look around and think how you can use things in your home or for gifts that are available at little or no cost.  The book page wreaths and other book page decorations will cost mere pennies.  For gift giving,  the important thing is the gift came from your heart, your hands and your creativity.  There is no price on that!  Or, give your self a gift by creating things for your home.  Create something.  It makes the world a better place.  Everyone is creative because we come from a creator.

Everyday Donna

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