I am not sure I have mentioned this before, but I live in the Bay Area of Northern California in a county called Marin just on the other side of the golden Gate bridge.It is truly a beautiful place. But for that beauty there is a price,in fact I once read that it was one of the most expense counties in the USA to live. For a young(ish) couple starting out, its nearly impossible to jump right into the real estate market and try to buy your first single family home for under 500k…( and that includes a fixer upper!)
So lets be clear on that- we are still renting. Which seems like a distinction to differentiate myself from a lot of home bloggers. At this point its been a mixed blessing in our lives. On one hand, renting has afforded us the opportunity to keep saving for our someday home… But on the other hand, it has also been a challenge for a girl like me whom loves rolling up her sleeves and put her own personal stamp on just about everything she touches, including her home. We are fortunate to have the permission to make just about any improvement or modification we want. However, we also have to find balance between the desire to make improvements and the reality of spending money on projects we may not be able to bring with us to our next home- whenever that may be…. So in the interim, most of our projects have been just decorative… Little facelifts here and there to make our house feel more like Our Home….And that’s what I did this weekend.
I mentioned the Bay Area above because its where this weekends little DIY originated. On the first Sunday of every month, there is an amazing Flea Market that hits the Bay Area. Its called the Alameda Point Antiques Fair. Basically, I could liken it to 5 hour in-person Pinterest pin-fest. Instead of sitting at your computer pinning things you love, you’ll walk aisle after aisle exploring over 800 booths with packed things you would want to pin on very your own inspiration boards. The very first time I was there, I was so overwhelmed at the sheer amount of inspiration surrounding me, that the only thing I managed to commit to was this little vintage oval French enameled number 28 tag (our wedding date!)
I had big plans for my acquisition… I knew I wanted to incorporate more of my favorite things around our home. Basically this little plaque embodied them all: typography, our wedding date and enamelware…. Lets be real though, I have had this sitting on my shelf for over a year. Not quite sure what to do with it, or where to put it. It was so tiny, it seemed any time I held it up to the wall it just got lost…. (Do I wait and get more vintage enamel signs and make a grouping?)
Then the idea hit me! I was recently inspired ( as usual) by Layla at the Lettered Cottage. She had been exploring options for upgrading her own bedroom door, and I was just taken with the transformation- adding even more unexpected cottage charm to her beautiful home. While it doesn’t make sense for us to change out the bedroom door to our rental, I could personalize our space by finally finding a home for our vintage enamel number plate. What better way to turn our sweet memories of “the 28th” into coming home every night to “Suite 28”
Here’s a before picture…How drab…. Having our bedroom situated so close to the bathroom embarrassing mix-ups are bound to happen. So a little proper signage is in order to avoid such things.
(This is where I apologize for my rookie blogger mistake of not taking pictures of each step of my project… Lesson learned.)
I decided to go to the craft store and buy a little wooden plaque to “build out” our enamel sign just a bit, to add a bit more definition and interest on our door…
I decided to clamp it so I could get a better hold on it for sanding… Another lesson learned the hard way since I was also using my electric sander….After a while my hand stopped vibrating (is it weird that every time I use the electric sander I instinctively bite down on both my lips? Update: It must be since I Googled it and apparently no one else experiences (
admits) this phenom).
The next step came painting…..
My husband suggested instead of painting it white to match the bedroom door, perhaps we stain it, or use the old vinegar & steel wool technique… to offer a little visual separation from the door….But after the first round of attempts, this particular piece of wood was not happy getting and oxidizing facial…
So semi gloss white it was…..( Sorry babe)
However handling this little piece of wood while painting it just kept resulting in fingerprints, and no way to let it dry… So I added temporary “legs” to the back of the plaque so I had something to hold onto while painting and letting it dry:
Worked like a charm! ( Patting self on back!) Thanks Pinterest, I feel like my hours of researching techniques must be paying off!
Then came the time to choose the hardware… I soooo wanted little brass nails to fill the 2 holes on either side.. Sadly we had NOTHING in brass other then thumbtacks…But I wasn’t above testing it. However it looked like: thumbtacks….
And since I have zero patience when it comes time to get a craft project off the ground, rather then getting out of pajamas and driving to hardware store I dug through the stash of whatever hardware we had on hand.
I ended up with these little oxidized nails which were just big enough fill the holes, and did not look like brass thumbtacks:
Fortunately by the time I went through all those hardware choices ( and photographed them!) the paint had dried and it was time to attach the sign to plaque.
:-) Pretty cute I think!
Happy with the result, I went to figure out positioning on our bedroom door…
Here’s the before again:
I measured center of the door and eyeballed the height I wanted to secure my plaque. Once again I used whatever adhesive we had in our arsenal to apply to the back.
A few dabs on the back, and a bit of painters tape to secure it in place while I cleaned up the workbench:
Drum-roll please for the After:
Voila! Welcome to to ‘Suite 28’…. Enjoy your stay!