Monday

I've been featured! 25 Amazing Room Revamps


Some exciting news today, dear A house full of sunshine readers! A few weeks back Abby from Just a Girl and her Blog announced that she'd be throwing a link party with a Room Revamp theme.

Well, revamping rooms is one thing I've done quite a lot of. Creating a whole-room transformation makes me giddy and glad. I adore the entire process. Daydreaming ideas, making a plan, choosing paint colours and finishes, shopping for decor pieces, and most of all, seeing the whole thing come together - what can I say; it gives me a rush! I'm a complete sucker for a good before and after shot and have a weakness for watching room reveals on reality TV. An evening free to watch House Rules or The Block is more of a luxury to me than getting a manicure. (Which incidentally, I've never done. Ever! I know, I'm weird.)

All that to say, do you think I thought twice about linking up to this fabulous Room Revamp-themed party? You can bet your French nails I did not. Of course, I jumped on board and linked up a few of my rooms - then crossed my non-manicured fingers tight and hoped that maybe just one might possibly be considered good enough to be picked as a feature. I wasn't holding my breath - there were over 100 rooms linked up at this party, and some of them were pretty darn incredible, to say the least.

So imagine my surprise today when I discovered that not one.... not two... not three... but four of my room makeovers were picked as featured rooms!! WHAAAAAAT??!

Yep, I'm a bit excited!

You can check out the 25 featured rooms here, and make sure to have a browse through the other amazing makeovers contributed by a bunch of very talented bloggers! There are some truly gorgeous rooms in this round-up.

Big thanks to Mandy from The Hankful House and April from House by Hoff for choosing my rooms - you gals gave me the biggest smile today!

Just a Girl and Her Blog

So, let's chat! Anyone else here a sucker for the whole-room makeover? Obsessed with The Block? A staunch anti-manicurist? Do you guys have a favourite room makeover from A house full of sunshine? You can view all the room reveals I've done to date right here on my Project Gallery - just scroll down!

Thursday

Pink circus party reveal!

WARNING: Post not suitable for people ALLERGIC TO THE COLOUR PINK or those with a PHOBIA OF DUCKS. If you have either of these conditions, read at your own peril!!

*   *   *
Still reading? Hopefully that means you're not going to break out in hives when you see the excesses of pinkness in this post. Or run screaming in terror at about the halfway mark when the ducks make their virtual entrance. So... we're good? Excellent. Brace yourself for the pink extravaganza that was my daughter's 2nd birthday party!

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party















It all began with these adorable pink circus-themed invites found here on Etsy, available as a personalised digital file ready to download and print. The colour on the screen is quite dark - in real life the pink stripe is lighter and the invites have a softer, more vintage look.


Let's take a closer look at this extravaganza of pinkness. This is how I laid out the party table. Just ignore those tablecloth wrinkles... I happen to be allergic to ironing. It's a genuine condition. If ever think about ironing something, I get this strange lethargy and have to sit down and watch TV until I recover.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

I made the "backdrop" from a roll of disposable plastic tablecloth that I pleated and taped to simulate a ruffled curtain.


I found pink and white striped paper cups at The Reject Shop for the popcorn.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

We had glass bottles of pink lemonade with pink and white striped straws.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

A pretty tiered glass dish holds some pink and white iced biscuits for our little guests to snack on.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

I made a two-tiered birthday cake with a washi-tape bunting topper. If you missed the tutorial for how I made this cake using my own hand-made marshmallow fondant, you can check it out here!

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

We had pink and white marshmallows in a glass jar to cater for any mid-party marshmallow cravings, and the kids took home their own cute jar of mini marshmallows as a party favour.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

You can see the tutorial for how I made the party favours here.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

A vase of artificial flowers from Target prettified the table.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

We had iced cupcakes with circus animal toppers.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

The toppers were just plastic animals, spray painted. Um, I was going to be super-good and impale each animal on a wooden skewer so the toppers did not touch the icing, but as you can see, I kinda ran out of time to make that happen. I watched my guests closely for any signs of toxic poisoning, but apart from two people passing out momentarily, everything seemed fine. 

(Kidding.... kidding. Only one person passed out.) ;)

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

The pink Oreo pops were a big hit. I had a stash of them in the kitchen so I could keep refilling the box when it ran out. 

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

They were pretty simple to make in theory, although of course a bit fiddly in practice. Wanna know how to make an Oreo Pop? Here's what you need:


First you need to smush the craft stick into the filling part of your Oreo, and press the cookie back together. It's tricky to do this without breaking the Oreo. I may have broken a few. There's a rule that any broken Oreos must be consumed immediately by the cook, so it was really devastating when they kept breaking willy-nilly like that. But we got there eventually. 

Next I melted white chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of water on the stove, and stirred through a few drops of pink food colouring. I learned that the easiest technique to get a reasonably smooth finish was to hold the oreo pop upside down over the bowl and ladle melted chocolate over it.

Turns out however that it's not a great idea to do this when the chocolate is steaming hot straight from the stove, because the filling in your Oreo will melt and your poor little Oreo pop will come apart and fall directly into your molten chocolate. Of course, kitchen rules dictate that said pieces must then be fished out with a spoon and consumed, together with all the melted chocolate that gets dredged up with them.

Not everyone would go to these lengths, but I am a very rule-abiding gal.

There are no photos of this process, because it involved fingers covered with chocolate and lots of rushing to finish the pops before the chocolate set too hard. I did re-melt it once, and that worked well.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

Once your Oreo pops are chocolate-coated, you need to keep them upright to set. I stuck mine into a florist oasis with a bit of tissue paper over top to catch any drips. Done!

If you're more organised than me and actually get all your food prep finished before the day of the actual party (pffft - who does that?!), you could also melt some white chocolate and do fancy things over top like drizzle patterns or dip half of the Oreo pop into the white. Clearly, I am not that organised.

Super cute pink circus party - lots of great ideas here! | A house full of sunshine #birthday #party

For our party entertainment, we set up a jumping castle. We have our own mini-version purchased on sale at Target a couple of years back for about the same amount it would have cost us to hire a jumping castle a couple of times. It makes an appearance at every party and often at other times as well; the kids love it!

Because it was a 2-year-old's party, I didn't bother planning heaps of games. But one thing Allegra does love is the Pick-a-Duck that seems to be present at any carnival or fair type occasion. I mean, it's a complete con, or course. You're basically paying $5 per child for the privilege of taking home some plastic junk that probably cost about 50 cents. But what can I say - the kids just love fishing those ducks out of the water. They are enthralled by it. They love spending their parents' hard-earned cash for the 5 second thrill of catching a plastic duck with a hook.

So of course, the Pick-a-Duck game had to make an appearance at Allegra's party. It was pretty easy to make our own DIY version, although I have to pre-warn you, the ducks we used did not exactly stay upright in the water. They capsized and lolled around on their sides looking exactly like a bunch of lame ducks. With hooks in their backs. The kids thought it was fantastic - they got to look at the numbers on the bottom and choose exactly which prize they wanted to win. Crafty little things.

Here's the step-by-step:

Pick a Duck game - what a great idea for a kid's birthday party, especially for a circus or carnival theme! Click through for more cute circus party ideas!

Yep, that's it. Make a smallish hole (I used a scrapbooking awl), then screw in your hook. Done! The fishing rod is just a hook screwed into the end of a piece of dowel. Oh, and you'll need to number the ducks underneath so the little Duck Hunters can claim their prize.

For the prize board, I painted some pink stripes on a piece of pegboard, to carry through our circus/ carnival type theme.


We had an awesome assortment of prizes for the kids, which we put into plastic ziplock bags, numbered, and hung with pegboard hooks. (I forgot to snap a photo until the prizes were half gone, but you get the idea.) The prize board sat on a low play table, behind an underbed storage tub filled with water.

Pick a Duck game - what a great idea for a kid's birthday party, especially for a circus or carnival theme! Click through for more cute circus party ideas!

The kids absolutely LOVED this game! It was simple enough for even the littlest kids to have a go, with a bit of help.

Here's our birthday girl, concentrating intently on the task.

Pick a Duck game - what a great idea for a kid's birthday party, especially for a circus or carnival theme! Click through for more cute circus party ideas!

The older kids loved it too! We made sure we had a range of prizes for the different age groups, and there were at least two different prizes available for each number, so they could pick and choose a bit to find something they liked.


All in all, the party was a great success. I'd have to say that the only low point was dropping my DSLR camera right before all the guests arrived, just as I was walking outside to take photos of the party table. It miraculously started working again once all the food had been eaten. Huh - how's that for timing??! 

Meanwhile, my semi-tragic iPhone photos of the party table will be preserved for posterity.

Pink circus party | A house full of sunshine

Pink circus party | A house full of sunshine

Thanks for reading! I hope the pink receptors in your retinas have not burned out completely. 

I have a boy birthday coming up next, so I would assure you that this is a one-off, except that my son's current favourite colour is.... you guessed it... pink. 

Tell me - what are some favourite themes you've used for your kids' birthday parties? 

If you liked this post, you might want to check out these related ideas!

Marshmallow fondant
Party favours




















Tuesday

How to make a simple birthday cake with home-made marshmallow fondant!

How to make a sweet 'n simple birthday cake with homemade marshmallow fondant! Click through for an easy tutorial at a house full of sunshine.

I'm going all Betty Crocker on you today.

Now, if you're a professional cake decorator, or even someone who's made a cake more than, say, 3 times in your life, please don't laugh at me unkindly.

This tutorial is for the average mum like me with zero cake decorating skills, whose sum total of prior experience includes staring bleary-eyed at their batter-splattered copy of the Australian Woman's Weekly cookbook at midnight the night before a party, trying in vain to stop the icing wheels from falling off the icing train and cursing the person who ever invented the concept of the novelty cake.

There's this kindy mum I know who decorates cakes for fun and profit, and I've seen photos of her incredible and intricate birthday-cake creations, so of course with an upcoming birthday party, I had to pick her brains a little. For starters, how is it even possible to make any money doing this?? Last time I made a cake I spent about five months of my husband's wages on those little bags of ready-made fondant icing alone.

I knew there must be a cheaper way, and turns out - ta-da! - there is!

The secret is homemade marshmallow fondant. My kindy-mum friend assured me it was super easy to make.

I doubted her intensely.

"Easy" is, after all, a relative term, and this is after all a woman who whips up three-dimensional fondant models of golf-buggies and little golf-playing human beings to adorn her 18-hole birthday-cake golf course, and does it all without breaking a sweat.

But she was very persuasive, so I decided to give it a go. And you know what? She was right. It IS easy.

I'm going to give you the step-by-step exactly as she gave it to me. Be warned - there are NO MEASUREMENTS, but even if you have recipe OCD like me, there's really no need to freak out. It actually is much quicker and simpler to do it by feel rather than by measured quantity.

YOU'LL NEED:

1. Marshmallows (My cake-maker friend swears by Woolworths Homebrand!)

2. Icing sugar (truckloads - I used that entire Tupperware container full, which I'm guessing is at least 1kg.) (U.S. at least 2.5 lb powdered sugar.)

3. Food colouring if you want a different colour from white and/ or pink.


Let's talk quantities. How many packs of marshmallows will you use?

My cake-making friend uses 2 x 250g packets of marshmallows per cake. That's for a coloured cake, because you can use the whole packet (both pink and white marshmallows) and tint it with food colouring to whatever shade you desire.

If you want some (or all) of your fondant to be white, on the other hand, you'll need to separate out the white marshmallows, meaning you'll go through twice as many packets (but have heaps of pink ones left over!) You could also just use a whole pack of white marshmallows, but for some reason these are a lot harder to come by (in Australia at least.)

For this particular cake, I used 1 x whole packet for my small pink tier, with a couple of drops of pink food colouring added, and 3 x packets for my white tier, ONLY using the white marshmallows.


HOME-MADE MARSHMALLOW FONDANT: EASY 3-STEP METHOD

1. Place marshmallows in a microwave-proof bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water and mix through to wet the marshmallows.

2. Cook for 20 seconds in the microwave, stir, and repeat in 20 second intervals until the marshmallows are melted. The mixture should be silky smooth, with no lumps.

3. Add icing sugar and mix well. Continue to add icing sugar until the mixture is no longer sticky, and becomes kneadable. You'll know you've added enough icing sugar when the mixture doesn't stick to your bench.

That's it! Once you have a lovely kneadable lump of fondant, sprinkle a little icing sugar on your bench and roll it out to roughly 5 mm (1/4 inch) thick.

You'll need to "dirty-ice" your cake with a thin layer of frosting or ganache. I made my own ganache, but next time I think I'd skip that step and buy a tub of frosting. I'm all for easy.

The fondant can then be draped over your cake, smoothed and trimmed with a sharp knife. I did the tiers separately and then placed the second tier on top, already iced.


Tips and Tricks:

  • Use one of these to smooth your icing before assembling the tiers. 
  • I created a "support" for the top tier by cutting four drinking straws to the height of the cake, then pushing them into the centre of the bottom tier in a circle, with one extra in the middle. They get covered by the top tier, so they're not visible.
  • To achieve the height of these tiers, I used deep tins available from a cake decorating store. You could also line a shallower tin with a collar of alfoil that sticks up past the rim of the tin. You'll need to multiply your cake recipe if you want this look, as the tins are quite deep!
  • You'll notice my cake is looking a bit wonky in these photos. That's because I used a strawberry cake packet mix, which just wasn't quite dense and heavy enough to support the weight of the two tall tiers. Don't do that. It all held together fine, and looked lovely on the table, but the wonkiness is pretty noticeable in the pictures. Note to self: use mud-cake next time.
  • Don't put your cake in the fridge, or it will go sticky. It will keep for up to a week on the bench.
  • If you want to get creative with decorations, you can cut out shapes or letters from your fondant - the decorations will stick to the cake with a little bit of water.

This time, though, I went for simple and minimalist (i.e. I ran out of time, panicked, wrapped a bit of ribbon around each tier and called it good.)

I also made a little bunting banner from washi tape as my cake topper.


This was just a matter of folding some short strips of washi tape over a piece of twine at regular intervals, then snipping a triangle from the bottom.


I cut a pair of wooden skewers down to the right length with a pair of tinsnips, then knotted the ends of the twine around the tips of the sticks and planted them in the cake at an angle.


So that's the finished cake. Simple, sweet, slightly wonky, but achievable - and hey, minimalist is in, right?

I loved only having to spend a couple of dollars on some packets of marshmallows, instead of selling my left kidney to buy ready-made fondant. And even better, the marshmallow fondant is delicious! So much yummier than the stuff you buy from the shop! I found it really easy to work with as well.

In more good news, my cake-decorating skills can only get better from here. I hope.

Let's chat: do you tackle birthday-cake making with glee, or with dread? Any more tips I should know about? Help a newbie out here - I'll love you forever.

Linking up here: Hit me with your best shot, Enchanting Inspiration

Pink circus-themed birthday party favours


Little Miss has just turned two. We've never made a big deal of first birthdays, because I figure a one-year-old is too small to appreciate all the fuss, and so really, what's the point? But by the second birthday, there's enough awareness to warrant a bit of a happening. So we generally pull out all the stops to make up for our vague guilt over doing nothing whatsoever the year before. 

After two little boys, Allegra's 2nd birthday was therefore my first EVER non-boy-themed birthday party! And after a run of Spiderman, Octonauts, Cars and Train -themed events, I was ready for something altogether pretty and girly.

No prizes for guessing what colour featured prominently in the party d├ęcor. As one friend put it, it was a "pink spectacular!"

Yes. Mummy went a little bit pink-crazy.

I'm going to reveal photos of the complete event in a few days time, but first I thought I'd walk you through a few of the projects I put together for this party.

After choosing a "pink circus" theme, I spied this inspiring image on Pinterest, and decided to do something similar for my party favours - but in pink, of course, and using smaller-sized jars. 

I used baby-food jars, which were just the right size, and a cheap packet of zoo animals from Big W.


The first step was simply to glue the animals to the lids using craft glue.


Once the glue was dry, I used Rust-oleum Paint + Primer in Gloss Candy Pink to spray both the animal and lid. Simple!


I found it easiest to flip the lid on its side first and give the underside of the animal a quick shot of spray, then sit the lid flat and spray liberally from the top and each side. The paint gave great coverage. You'll need to be very careful that the underside of the lids don't come into contact with the paint.

I also experimented with spraying the animals and lids separately, and then gluing them together, to see if that would be any easier. It wasn't. The animals did glue firmly even with the two painted surfaces, but I found it a bit more fiddly that way for some reason. I liked having them all in one piece - for me it just seemed easier to handle.


The last step was to fill the jars with mini marshmallows - the perfect colour combination for the pink spectacular.


And here's a sneak peek of the favours lined up on the party table!


Just forgive the awful quality of these photos. There's a story behind that. I was rushing to shoot a couple of pics of the party table before our guests arrived, and fumbled and DROPPED my DSLR camera onto the deck. It stopped working completely and I had to snap some pics with my iPhone instead.

Thankfully, it started working again perfectly within the hour, and I've had no problems with it since, but of course by the time of the camera's resurrection all the food had been eaten. Sigh! I'm no fabulous photographer by any stretch, but iPhone photos just aren't quite the same...


Nevertheless, the favours were a big hit with the kids, and they were all quite excited to choose the animal they liked best from the line-up and have their own special jar to take home. All up, this is one of the simplest and most effective party favour ideas I've tried thus far. It gets a thumbs up from me!


Stay tuned - more party projects coming up this week! 

Let's chat: Before I had kids, I imagined that elaborate parties must be more for the parents' benefit than the children's, but having seen the way our kids talk about the event for the next six months, I know that ours appreciate the extra effort and creativity we try to put in. Our boys are already talking about what theme they'd like for their next party. But I think there's definitely a case for simplicity as well. Parties can be expensive! So, what do you prefer - a simple get-together or an elaborate event?


Friday

Blog hop round-up and happy 4th of July!

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY!!!!

As you know, I joined up with more than 30 AMAZING bloggers to tackle the challenge of creating a patriotic project or recipe without using the traditional red, white and blue color scheme! We started the first week of June and the projects have been flowing ever since. We shared over 30 awesome patriotic projects with you, and today, I am recapping all 30+ of them for you below. Whether you're American like the majority of my bloggy friends here, Aussie like me, or wherever else you may hail from, I hope you'll find some creative inspiration for your home in this round-up.

Stay and have a browse through some wonderful blogs by clicking on any link that takes your fancy. Don't you just love the uniqueness of each of these ideas? So much creativity goin' on here!

Oh, and you can still enter to win for your chance to win the $310 Target Gift Card using the Rafflecopter at the end of this post. But hurry, time runs out at 11:59 pm on July 4, 2014!

Do you have a favourite project? A top three...? Let me know in the comments! My two absolute faves are the star-stamped oar by Finding Silver Pennies, and the planked American flag by Maison de Pax. Stunning!

(Pssst - can you spot my project?)

Patriotic Projects without the traditional colors!
  1. DIY United States Pillow by Wood Grain Cottage
  2. Free Anchor Printables by Lovely, Etc.
  3. Weathered Star Wall Art by A House Full of Sunshine
  4. Vintage Patriotic Holders by Migonis Home
  5. Homemade Star Marshmallows by Confessions of a Secret Crafter
  6. DIY Wood Map by Bigger Than the Three of Us


Patriotic Projects without the traditional colors!
  1. Patriotic Vignette by House by Hoff
  2. 4th of July Party Printables by The Blissful Be
  3. Statue of Liberty Pledge Art by A Prudent Life
  4. Star Spangled Entry by Finding Silver Pennies
  5. Stars & Stripes Tea Party by My Creative Days
  6. 4th of July Subway Art by Just a Girl and Her Blog
  7. Canadian Map Art by Inspire Me Heather
  8. Star Spangled Door Decor by 3 Little Greenwoods
  9. Patriotic Mason Jars and Free Printable by Place of My Taste
  10. Neutral Pallet Flag by View From the Fridge
Patriotic SBH Week 2 Collage
  1. USA String Art by Sypsie Designs
  2. Lady Liberty Art by Delineate Your Dwelling
  3. Planked American Flag by Maison de Pax
  4. Fireworks Drink Stirrers by Homey Oh My!
  5. Mounted Declaration of Independence by Everyday Enchanting
  6. Land of the Free Because of the Brave Printable by Black and White Obsession
  7. Fireworks Table Runner by One Krieger Chick
  8. Chalkboard Bunting by The Dolen Diaries
  9. Vintage USA Framed Art by Made to Be a Momma
  10. Let Freedom Ring Utensil Caddy by Tiny Sidekick
  11. Wood Slice Canadiana Coasters
MUST PIN!  Amazing patriotic project ideas that DON'T use the traditional colors!  Very creative!  1. USA Map by Paper & Fox
2. Let Freedom Ring Gold Art by Life on Virginia Street
3. Wood Shim Flag by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body
4. Corrugated Metal Star Art by Addicted 2 DIY
5. Neutral Nautical Pallet Flag by Southern State of Mind

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday

Weathered star wall art tutorial

You may remember me mentioning recently that I'm part of something pretty cool. I've joined up with more than 30 AMAZING bloggers to tackle the challenge of creating a patriotic project or recipe without using the traditional red, white and blue color scheme!  Starting three weeks ago and running through July 4th, more than 30 projects have been shared on some of the most awesome blogs around.  I've really enjoyed checking out all the projects and hope YOU will find some inspiration as well. And now - it's time to share what I've been up to for this challenge! 

And yes - it WAS a challenge. Would you believe me when I say that when I signed up for this, I had NO IDEA it was a 4th of July thing? I just got asked to be part of a "blog hop". And said yes. And signed my name on the dotted line. And THEN found out (quite a bit down the track) what the deal-io actually was.



Coming up with a 4th of July project is a challenge when you happen to be Australian. (Minor detail, right?) Luckily, I have a long-running obsession with star motifs for kids' bedrooms. So I knew that I could pull off something with an American patriotic vibe that I would also be happy to display for keeps in my son's room. I actually love the classic North American aesthetic and have quite a "thing" for Hamptons style. I'd already been mulling around with the idea of some star motif wall art for Jaxon's room - and this gave me the kick up the rear that I needed to make it happen!



I started by purchasing some rough pine fence palings from Masters. At $1.73 for 1.8m, they came in waaaaaay cheaper than the dressed and sanded version. Total cost for five lengths of timber? $8.65. I liked the rough, neglected feel, very similar to old pallets (which you could also use for this project if you have any handy). I had the palings cut in half at Masters to create ten x 900mm lengths.


I wanted to improve on the raw timber and create some interesting depth and texture, to give my artwork a real vintage, weatherbeaten look. I started out experimenting with various methods, like you see above - painting stain onto the timber and then dry-brushing over top with grey acrylic paint (latex for my U.S. readers); using watered-down stain; painting the timber first and then dry-brushing stain over the top; and various combinations of these. Once I'd found the look I was after, it was time to begin. Let me break it down step by step for you!


1. Assemble lengths of timber to create a rough square. I'd had my palings cut to 900mm long, and they were each meant to be 100mm wide, meaning I should've been able to use 9 palings to create a perfect 900 x 900 square. Actually, as it turned out there was quite a bit of variation in the widths, and with 9 palings my square was higher than it was wide, and looked too top-heavy, so I removed one paling. It looked more "right" that way, even though it's not a perfect square.

2. Screw two more palings onto the back of the square to hold all the pieces together. Be sure you choose a screw long enough to embed firmly in both layers of wood, but not so long it pierces through the front of your artwork. I used a pen to mark the correct depth on my drill bit when pre-drilling the holes, so I didn't drill right through. (There's probably a more technical way to do that, right?)

3. I used Minwax Express colour wiping stain in walnut, but on my test samples, I didn't like how it went on thick and opaque like paint. It completely covered the grain, and because the timber I used was so rough, it did not wipe off effectively either. So I chose to water it down and apply more coats, building up transparent layers to get the same richness of colour. I used about 1/4 stain to 3/4 water, and applied three coats in total.

4. Next, I applied a wash of watered-down grey paint for a weathered effect. I used some leftover Dulux "Timeless Grey" with a mix of about half paint, half water. I swiped this on unevenly, allowing the stained timber to show through quite a lot. I also went back over using a dry-brushing technique and a stronger concentration of the paint in places. The trick here is not to over-think it! Just whack it on.


5. I created my oversized star template in Microsoft Word. First, I set the document size to 500 x 500, which was the actual dimension I wanted my star to be.


Then, because I only have an A4 printer, and this shape was well outside the printable area, I copied and dragged the shape into a separate A4 sized document, which had the effect of cropping the star into a printable-sized portion without altering its dimensions. I repeated this for each section of the star.


I then printed out my star piece by piece, and re-assembled the sections, as you can see below.


6. Tape around the star, and remove the paper template. I thought I'd try something new, so I used "FrogTape" (From Masters.) The little blurb on the back of the packet suckered me in: "FrogTape is the only tape treated with PaintBlock technology. PaintBlock is a super-absorbent polymer which reacts with latex paint and instantly gels to form a micro-barrier that seals the edges of the tape, preventing paint bleed. The result: Very sharp paint lines!" Hey, sounds fancy. I'm all for super-absorbent polymers and micro-barriers if they mean no bleeding paint. Would the super-tape work? Only one way to find out!


7. Apply an undercoat to the star. I went with a mint colour, so I could later sand back my top layer and have some colour peeking through. I used a custom mix of paints that I had leftover from other projects. I also took a deep breath and dry-brushed some mint paint on the background. Just ignore the patchy awfulness: sometimes things have to look worse before they look better. (Incidentally, I'm hoping that will prove true of other things in general, such as, oh, my face.) Anyhow, unlike the ageing process, this is all pre-meditated - there's another step to come here. It's all part of building up depth and texture, one layer at a time.

8a. Paint the star white.

8b. Leave the garage for 5 minutes to go to the toilet, and come back to find THIS.


Uh-huh. Yep. That permanent marker that I used to mark my drill bit earlier? Turns out I left it lying around, and little Miss Two seized her opportunity with wild abandon and joyous glee. She has fully fledged DIY ambitions, that girl.

8c. Freak out completely. Clutch hair. Walk around huffing and puffing very deeply like an asthmatic rhino at a yoga class. Narrowly avoid a complete meltdown.

8d. Gather my wits and do what one must always do in a crisis: Google it. 

8e. Follow Google's instructions for "How to remove permanent marker". A frantic rub with some Nail polish remover does the trick. Ta-da! Amazing! Sunshine and happiness is restored. I decide to keep my two-year-old after all.

8f. Remove tape and decide that the makers of FrogTape are geniuses. 

Guys. GUYS. The super-polymer micro-barrier thingamajig ACTUALLY WORKS. Even on that rough, grainy, unsanded timber. Incredible. It totally worked.


9. The final step: sand back the entire surface, particularly the painted areas, then apply a final watered-down wash of stain to bring out the rich tones of the timber and tie everything together.


I'm just loving the texture - exactly the layered, weathered effect I was going for! Did you notice that mint paint peeking through on the white star?





To wrap up, I thought I'd style my star wall art is if for a celebratory gathering. If you're one of my readers who celebrates the 4th of July, I wish you the happiest of holidays!





And if you're on Pinterest - a special pin for you! This has turned out to be quite an in-depth tutorial, so I've created a less holiday-focused pin that won't be out of date in three days' time. My star art is going to end up in my boy's bedroom, after all!

DIY Rustic star motif wall art from A house full of sunshine

Now, before you head out, be sure to check out the AMAZING projects that were shared the last three weeks AND be sure to enter for your chance to win a $310 Target Gift Card by using the Rafflecopter at the end of the post!

Patriotic Projects without the traditional colors!


  1. Patriotic Vignette by House by Hoff
  2. 4th of July Party Printables by The Blissful Be
  3. Statue of Liberty Pledge Art by A Prudent Life
  4. Star Spangled Entry by Finding Silver Pennies
  5. Stars & Stripes Tea Party by My Creative Days
  6. 4th of July Subway Art by Just a Girl and Her Blog
  7. Canadian Map Art by Inspire Me Heather
  8. Star Spangled Door Decor by 3 Little Greenwoods
  9. Patriotic Mason Jars and Free Printable by Place of My Taste
  10. Neutral Pallet Flag by View From the Fridge
Patriotic SBH Week 2 Collage
  1. USA String Art by Sypsie Designs
  2. Lady Liberty Art by Delineate Your Dwelling
  3. Planked American Flag by Maison de Pax
  4. Fireworks Drink Stirrers by Homey Oh My!
  5. Mounted Declaration of Independence by Everyday Enchanting
  6. Land of the Free Because of the Brave Printable by Black and White Obsession
  7. Fireworks Table Runner by One Krieger Chick
  8. Chalkboard Bunting by The Dolen Diaries
  9. Vintage USA Framed Art by Made to Be a Momma
  10. Let Freedom Ring Utensil Caddy by Tiny Sidekick
  11. Wood Slice Canadiana Coasters
MUST PIN!  Amazing patriotic project ideas that DON'T use the traditional colors!  Very creative!  1. USA Map by Paper & Fox
2. Let Freedom Ring Gold Art by Life on Virginia Street
3. Wood Shim Flag by Designer Trapped in a Lawyer's Body
4. Corrugated Metal Star Art by Addicted 2 DIY
5. Neutral Nautical Pallet Flag by Southern State of Mind

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I'm linking up here: Hit me with your best shot, Enchanting Inspiration

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