DIY Wine Cork Bulletin Board

In my slow quest to turn our townhouse into a living Pinterest board, I have another project to share with you guys today.  This was the first project I attempted and successfully completed in our new place.  Let me take you on a journey to that time I converted the side of an exposed kitchen cupboard to a wine cork bulletin board!

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Disclaimer:  I had been diligently drinking wine and saving corks for about a year and a half to two years when we moved in.  I was waiting and hoarding wine toppers like a drunken squirrel for the perfect project to use them with.  So I did not have to steal, beg for or, most horrifically, purchase these corks in order to do this project.  I earned it and I can tell you it is all the more satisfying.  Do your own damn drinking for your crafts.

Step 1:  Removing the dirty cork that was peeling off the cupboard.  The previous tenants that the same idea, “let’s stick stuff up here!” but by the time we got there the thin cork sheets they had put up there were mangy and dirty.  It bothered me so much I started picking at it the night we signed our lease and neglected to take a photo.  After some broken nails, a butter knife and half a bottle of Goof Off here is what it looked like:

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Step 2:  Since we are renting, I knew I would have to remove the corks one day so rather that perma-gluing them to the wood and hating my life more than I already will when we move out one day, I cut a piece of chipboard to the size of the wood slab and fitted the back with poster tabs.  It is hella secure but will pop right off if I wanted it to.

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Step 3:  Cut your corks!  You want them to lay flat on the board rather than trying to glue a round object, so you need to cut each cork lengthwise with an Exacto knife.  This part is laborious and I did get some blisters due to the sheer volume of corks that needed cutting.  However by chopping them in half, you get two pieces out of each cork and you double your supply!

Hot Tip:  Soak the corks in hot water for 10 minutes or so before you cut and it will be much easier to slice the knife through them.

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Step 4:  Arrange your pattern and glue (I used E600 permanent fixative).  Gloves are good idea, but I am notorious for getting too excited to remember to put them on.  I decided on a patchwork pattern of alternating between two horizontal rows and one vertical row.  I love the pattern it created and allowed me to showcase the different writing and graphics on each cork the way it was oriented and designed.  Not every row matched up with the space on my board exactly, so I did some shaving on a few of the pieces to get the corks to fit all the way across.

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I love puzzles and this was the ultimate one; designing it as I went and gluing row by row and allowing it to dry.  It took about a week to complete working on it here and there, waiting for it to dry and resetting.  I glued everything onto the board already hung up on the cabinet so to battle the gravity of wet glue, I loosely taped each row in place as it dried so it would stay where I wanted it.  Ta da!

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It was a labor of love and each piece of my bulletin board is a memory forged over a bottle of wine with friends and loved ones.  I encourage every patient and ambitious crafter out there to do your own wine corking project and upload your pics to the comments!

For more buyable decor for the home, check out what’s on sale in my Etsy Shop!

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I Love Gold: Project Glamfan

I used to really dislike gold. I mean really not like it. I chose silver jewelry, silver everything all the time because gold felt tacky. I was probably rebelling against the gaudy 80s and the faux brass fixtures in my house growing up, but as of late I’m changing my tune.

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The style cycle continues and now gold everything is making a comeback and basic bitches everywhere are dipping, spraying and shellacking their shit gold.  I particularly fancy the white and gold decorating combo. If it were up to me I would redo my living room white and gold, but reality, Boyfriend and future puppies dictate a more durable color palette. I deserve to have some glamourous accents though, so I started with this glam fan makeover!

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To call this a “project” feels like cheating because it was so simple and easy. I kidnaped Boyfriend’s old fan that was too ugly to be outside of the closet.  Carefully took each piece apart and washed them with soapy water.  I spray painted the fan cage only in metallic gold foil and voila!  The cutest fan in America!

For more white and gold decor check out the handpainted animal toothbrush holders currently on sale in my Etsy shop and Follow Avant Dante LLC’s board White and Gold on Pinterest.//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js


This is the Story of a Chair

Too long I have been away from this blog and neglecting to share all of the wonderful projects I have been working on. Moving, building my workshop, decorating and keeping up with the steady Etsy orders have made Jack a dull girl… Online.

I’ve decided to expand the essence of this blog to go beyond my products for sale and the fandoms they come from, and include my everyday projects and gift making that I do for me and my dear ones.

I’m made of home improvement projects these days and it’s time I shared some of that too! To kick things off, I present to you the most challenging undertaking of the year, the reupholstering of my parents’ old armchair.

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This little beauty was bought in ’85 and graced our various living rooms across all our houses growing up. It was the “nice” chair we weren’t allowed to sit but certainly did anyway. After 30 years and at least 7 moves, she had taken some beatings and lost her twin sister along the way.  It was time for a facelift.

Boyfriend and I took a trip to Downtown LA’s fabric district and found the crazy purple fabric of our dreams at Michael Levine’s for I shit you not, a grand total of $35.  So far I was winning. I called on my seemingly all-knowing, innovative and talented friend @sarad314 who had done this before. Who showed up with her staple gun and a whole lotta chutzpah and we went to work.

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After spray painting the legs matte black we ripped into this thing like the last wild buffalo and made slow progress over the weekends of the next 3 weeks. I’d like the record to show that the pace of our work was subject to Boyfriend’s continued help by pumping us full of fresh fruit margaritas while we worked. The curved arms and the wing backs were the trickiest and there was many a staple removed and replaced until my perfectionist goblin was satisfied.

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When it came time for sewing a case for the cushion, I knew I was just kidding myself. I beelined for my incredible Godmama’s house and begged her to help. She is such a badass  that she took the cushion with no pattern and whipped out a PERFECTLY fitting case for it with a zipper on back in under three hours. Behold the goddess of sewing and her handiwork:

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Just a few more margaritas while we stapled up the back and we were done. The entire project cost next to nothing and gave me the chance to spend some quality creative time with my fave ladies. Now Boyfriend and I have a new chair that no one is allowed to sit in!

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Check out my work that’s for sale on Etsy and find the perfect gift for any occasion

Let’s go shopping!