Painted Gold Stripe Tray {by Ari}

DIY decorating projects aren’t just great for saving money. I love the feeling you get when create something that is exactly your vision and absolutely unique. And it’s even more fun when you can share the experience and results with friends. I’m so pleased to introduce you to Ari, my friend, neighbor and fellow working mom/ lover of crafts and decorating. We’ve worked together on quilts for the school fundraiser and shared great times painting furniture and antique hunting. Recently, she got the inspiration to paint decorative trays, and I caught the bug, too.

We picked up some old trays at the flea market last week, and Ari wasted no time getting to work! Here’s the tray she started with, which is one if a pair she picked up for $15 total.


This play tray has a cool mid-century feel, but it’s definitely plain. Just wait until Ari works her magic!

Using an inspiration she had found, which is included in my earlier post on ideas for decorating trays, she decided to paint gold stripes on it for her dining room.

To start, she painted the inside of the tray with a base of white and let that dry overnight. Then she used blue painter’s tape to mask off this great stripe pattern. Chevron and zig-zag patterns are so popular right now, and this is a great play on that idea, without feeling overly trendy. There are metal corners on her tray, so she masked those off, too.


Use blue painter’s tape to mark off your pattern. This is a nice play on the popular chevrons and zig-zags.

Now for the fun part, she sprayed the entire tray with metallic gold spray paint. After letting it dry thoroughly, she removed the tape, and WOW! I can hardly recognize that plain old tray. The result is so sophisticated and will look great in the dining room.


A glamorous transformation for a flea market find. The gold really shimmers and the stripe pattern is so sophisticated.

We have more big plans for decoupage and stencils on trays. I’m also thinking this technique would look great on a wooden box. Come back soon to see how everything turns out.

“Jewels” and {Ari}

Ikea Dining Chairs All Grown Up – Craftsman and Regency Makeovers

No doubt it’s lovely to buy something new for your house, but it can also be fun when furniture you have had for a long time takes on new forms and uses.

Hubby and I first bought these chairs from Ikea thirteen years ago when we were living on the other side of the continent. There were four of them in birch with white seats around a small matching kitchen table in our apartment. Over the years, we accumulated more from Ikea and then through Craigslist, when Ikea stopped making them. Our collection of twelve chairs has moved across the country and through several houses with us. They’ve held up wonderfully as our everyday dining chairs for thirteen years!

I can’t dig up a good picture of the way the set originally looked, but I’ll keep an eye out for it. Meanwhile, I found this old stock photo on the internet.

original ikea chair

This is the original chair we bought from Ikea in birch, tough ours had white seats. I can’t remember its cute Swedish name, but I think it started with “A.”

Ikea borje chair

Ikea Borje chair.  A current model that has a somewhat similar look.

The cute birch table with a glass top met an untimely end (long story), and we replaced it with an Arts and Crafts/ Craftsman/ Mission style cherry wood table. At that time, I put slipcovers in the chairs, since they didn’t match.

Arts and Crafts Makeover:

Three or four years ago, I was shopping for chairs to go with the Arts and Crafts style dining table, when I realized the solution was right beneath my nose! I still liked the elegant geometric lines of the Ikea chairs, which I think are reminiscent of Frank Lloyd Wright, perhaps the most well known architect of the Arts and Crafts movement. It was just the light color of the wood that didn’t work. Staining the chairs would have involved stripping the finish and trying to match the color. Even if i had been able to do that perfectly – and that is not likely – the grain of the woods would still not have matched.

In any case, it really isn’t necessary to have chairs that match your table – nor nightstands that match your bed. It actually looks so much more interesting to mix and match. The chairs at the head of our dining table are not the same as the side chairs, either, and I feel it all works together.

So, our chairs that started as Scandinavian modern evolved to Arts and Crafts with new black paint (tips on painting in an earlier post) and tan microfiber suede seats. Microfiber suede, also called faux suede or ultrasuede, has a nice soft texture but is extremely durable and washable – I have scrubbed these seats with a soapy kitchen sponge on more than one occasion, and they end up looking as good as new. There are microsuedes intended specifically for upholstery that have a backing to give this soft material a lot more structure. If you can find this, it’s highly recommended! Four of the chairs with the tan seats are at our games table, which is our original cherry dining table, in the family room.

ikea to arts and crafts

The first makeover: I adapted our modern Scandinavian chairs to go with an Arts and Crafts style table by painting then black and adding tan faux suede seat fabric.

games table

A round games table in the family room is perfect for art projects and board games with the kids. The tan microfiber seats hold up very well!

Regency Makeover:

We move way too often, but I do like the opportunity to change the design of our rooms. We still have some great Arts and Crafts furniture, but I wanted to brighten up our home and incorporate more contemporary and Asian elements. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m trying to develop a bit of a Hollywood Regency/ Chinoiserie feel in our new living-dining room, and I love that these familiar old chairs have been able to come along for the ride.

So, in our current home, I’ve changed the seats on the majority of the chairs to a whimsical Chinoiserie print in blue and cream: Robert Allen Lake Paradise in spa, an outdoor fabric that’s durable and wipeable. These are chairs that are used daily – including by the kids – and I just didn’t think that ordinary fabric would hold up. The polyester is not as soft as a nice upholstery cotton, but our bottoms haven’t minded. I showed how to upholster the seats in earlier post. Start looking around, and you’ll find that outdoor fabrics now come in almost any color, pattern, or texture. Many great fabric designers have beautiful prints meant to stand up to the outdoors, often including some of the same patterns they have in their indoor collections and more!

ikea to regency chair

Another step in the evolution of our old Ikea chairs. This new fabric gives them an elegant yet whimsical feel that fits in with the Chinoiserie/ Regency look I am working on in our living-dining room.

Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining Room with new chairs. The space is still a work in progress.

Dining Room with painted and reupholstered chairs by Jewels at Home

Dining room from the other side. I’m happy with the wallpaper inside the shelves.

The dining room is starting to come together. I do like how the Imperial Trellis silver wallpaper looks inside the bookcase. Now that I look at the collection of plates again, I think I could use a couple more. I also want to make over or replace the sideboard. My fantasy is to find an old Thomasville or Henry Link Bali Hai dresser with faux bamboo accents to repaint for that area. And most of all, I would love to change the fireplace mantel. It is plaster with a cheesy faux marble finish, and there are two disembodied heads that stare out at you! Part of me wants to take the whole thing out, but since it’s historical, I might keep it and try to remove the heads and repaint it. I’d also like to do a few small projects like recover or replace the cushions on the head chairs, sew a runner for the sideboard, work on accessories, etc.. Well, one thing at a time. I’m having fun every step of the way!


Silver Spray Paints – DIY Apothecary Jar and Painted Screen

Spray paint itself is an amazing product – goes on quickly and evenly for a smooth finish. Metallic spray paint takes the level of wonder a step higher. I have been experimenting with two paints from Krylon’s Special Purpose Metallics line that I found at our neighborhood hardware store, and I think I’m addicted!

Dull Aluminum (1403) is what I used on the little box from the rummage sale. Despite its name, I don’t find it dull. It gives a cool grey/silver finish that looks like it’s painted – okay, I know that sounds obvious, but I mention it in contrast to the Bright Silver (1401), which looks more like a real metal finish.

metallic spray paints

Projects using Krylon “Dull Aluminum” and “Bright Silver” paints.

Here are some projects I’ve tried with each, and I’m already thinking about what to do next. Let me know if you have suggestions!

Bright Silver Paint
I’ve been trying to find more projects that reuse old things. Recycling is great, but it still uses a lot of energy and produces waste. Reusing is good for our planet and our pocketbooks, too! The challenge is to find projects that reuse old items but don’t look like a preschool art project!

This idea for a DIY apothecary jar is not original to me. I’ve seen it in several places, including Parties for Pennies.

DIY apothecary jar

DIY apothecary jar made from a used jar, a cabinet knob, and metallic spray paint.

You will need:

  • glass jar with lid
  • cabinet knob with bolt
  • washer
  • drill
  • sandpaper
  • spray primer
  • metallic spray paint
  • clear finish spray

1. Sand the lid to roughen it up for the paint to stick.

2. Drill a hole in the center of the lid

3. Insert the the bolt and washer from under the lid and screw on the knob

4. Spray primer, then paint (2 coats), and seal with a clear finish. Let each coat dry before continuing.


Another view of a DIY apothecary jar made from a used jar, a cabinet knob, and spray paint.

It’s such a creative and satisfying project. We use jars all the time, and I have a ton of knobs leftover from replacing the dated brass and black ones in our kitchen, so I’m thinking of making lots of these as gifts!

Dull Aluminum Paint

I used this paint on a couple of projects recently. This is actually a pretty silver-colored paint; I don’t like the word “dull” in it’s name! The first was for painting this box I picked up for five dollars at a rummage sale:

side table styling

This dull old box was painted silver with Krylon Dull Aluminum paint and looks beautiful in our living room!

I also used this more muted (I refuse to call it dull!) metallic paint to finish off a screen I was painting to hang in our master bathroom. This was an example of “the third time’s a charm.” I started with the bare wood screen, and hoped to use it that way, but it was just too rough and unfinished. Next, I painted it a pale blue (Swept Away by Benjamin Moore), which I had leftover from painting our kids’ bath and also used to paint another screen. The blue paint was an improvement, but it still felt unfinished, so I masked off the center and sprayed the border in silver. Sometimes, it takes a few tries to get the look you want, but it was worth it!

painted screen

It took a few tries to get the look I wanted for this screen. The silver spray paint really makes it feel elegant and finished!

painted blue and silver screen

A closer view of the finished screen in blue and silver.

These metallic paints are really so easy to use for a spectacular effect. Some other great uses I’ve seen and would love to try are:

  • spray branches for a vase arrangement
  • spray a decorative tray
  • spray ceramic vases or bowls for display
  • make pendants out of clay – thumbprints, engraved words, etc. and spray with silver, so they look like stamped metal
  • more DIY apothecary jars for sure!


This project is shared at: