Tag Archives: DIY

Before & After: Chalkboard Table

3 Feb

With the winter hitting us so hard I’ve been hibernating and getting creative.  I have a laundry list of projects to finish/start and I’ve been knocking them off left and right.  Oh the feeling of accomplishment! 

The idea for this cute table came a few months ago.  I picked this table up at  a thrift store in the summer with thoughts of using it in a staging.  It never made it that far and sat as our dining room table until a few weeks ago.  I had a ‘ah ha’ moment one Friday night when my husband and I had a night in of wine and games. 

As we sat playing at this table I thought how great it would be if we could keep score right on the table!  AH HA, and the chalkboard table was born.  I love this table and think it would be great for a child’s play room or even in an office.  Think of all the things you could do with it!  I had some fun thinking of my own ideas. 

This table is for sale in my etsy shop for local Philadelphia pickup. 

Making this was very simple.  I sanded the top of the table and applied three coats of chalkboard paint that I picked up at Home Depot.  To ensure a smooth finish on the base I spray painted it with a flat black Rustoleum paint.  Simple (and cheap) as that! 

Hope you like it.  I’ll be back in a few days with ANOTHER before and after so keep checking back or follow me on twitter / facebook / blog


The Staging Chick

Refurbished antique chair

28 Jan

As you all know I LOVE turning trash-to-treasure.  With my hectic schedule as of late I haven’t had much time to work on my side projects.  However, love it or hate it we were hit with 17″ of snow the other day and I was snowed in which allowed me some much needed ‘free’ time.

This beauty has been sitting in my basement for over a year…I know YIKES!  My friends found her in someone’s trash and thought of me.  How sweet 😉  I’ve really fought hard for her.  I can’t tell you how many times my (loving) husband threatened to sneak her into the trash.  I had a vision and I wasn’t going to let it pass.

I removed a few layers of fabric from the seat and lightly sanded the wooden frame.  After two coats of paint I roughed up the edges to give it a worn look.  To make it more ‘authentically’ old I used an antique glaze from Lowes which gave it a dirty brownish tint.  Finally I sealed it with a coat of satin poly and recovered the seat with some linen fabric and upholstery nails.

So without further ado I give you: Rick Allen.  Yeah, incase you didn’t notice my chair only has one arm.  I chose to leave it there in part because I think it is interesting and in part because I want to call her Rick Allen (the drummer from Def Leppard).

If you are in the Philadelphia area and you would like to purchase this chair please email amanda@sunflowercreationsonline.com


The Staging Chick

Trash to treasure and so much more

3 Jun

Although I’ve been exceptionally busy these days with staging chick duties and all things staging I’ve been fortunate enough to find a little time for my secret life.  Yesterday was a beautiful/insanely-hot-day-especially-for-someone-that- currently-does-not-have-ac but none the less, beautiful.  I decided to use the little down time I had to paint this old planter.

My husband, ‘the secret staging husband’, had a big part in the idea for this project.  So big props to ‘the secret staging husband’, I think I’m wearing off on him!  I already had a strawberry plant living in this container that I didn’t want to disturb.  So in order to spray the pot I covered the plant and soil with a plastic bag (a trash bag will do), cleaned off all the dirt and sprayed away.   I used Rustoleum in jade green gloss.  I did about three coats and used almost 3/4 of the can of paint.  Total cost for this project: $3.75.  Not too shabby considering a container this size can run up to $15.  I think I’ll do a few more maybe some blue some green to add a little more color to the back yard.

While this project was drying I headed over to Produce Junction in Bryn Mawr.  I got some awesome plants for a really great price.  If you’re in the Philadelphia area I highly recommend heading over there.  You’ll be glad you did.  Here’s some shots of some of the plants I snagged up.

To round up the day we threw some yummy chili lime marinated chicken kabobs on the grill.  I threw in some brown rice and edemame salad (left over from memorial day)….yummmm.  Had some great friends and ‘secret staging husband’s’ mamma over to watch the Flyers win game three of the Stanley Cup series.  Doesn’t get much better than that!


‘The Staging Chick’

*What I’m listening to: nothing.  my speakers aren’t working on the computer…blah 😦

Garden planter how to

18 May

A couple weeks ago I shared my adventure in gardening (how does your garden grow).  When we started our backyard garden for tomatoes, green peppers and jalapeno I had to use cinder blocks to block off an area for the dirt.  That just wasn’t doing it for me aesthetically so this weekend we trucked over to home depot for supplies to build a planter. 

My husband is very handy so didn’t go in with a plan.  All I knew was that I wanted something plain and simple, preferably wood.  I had some concerns about what type of wood to use for our organic vegetable garden.  Is pressure treated ok, what other types of wood can you use outside, will it rot?  After wandering through the lumber department we came across a fine home depot employee that informed us that they no longer use chemicals (arsenic) to treat the wood. 

Comedic side note: the home depot employee in the midst of telling us that they no longer put arsenic in the wood said “you wouldn’t have known the chemicals were in there anyway, I’ve been eating it for years and I’m fine!” Not sure what he was eating; arsenic or pressure treated wood????

Getting back on track here is a list of supplies you will need to build a simple planter.  We were able to use our existing fence as the back “wall” of our planter so we only needed a piece of wood for the front and two sides.  Our measurements were 8×3.  

  • (2) 8ft 1×10
  • (4) 2″ metal brackets (used to keep the inside corners square)
  • (1) box decking screws
  • Total cost: $37.00

My husband was sweet enough to do all the building for me.  He had to make a few cuts to the wood then attach the brackets in each corner.  It’s a pretty simple process if you have the right tools (home depot will cut the wood for you if you have the measurements on hand).  The final result is this awesome planter.  I tried spraying it down and rubbing dirt on it to make it look a little worn, but I guess that will happen over time. 

Oh and the plants are doing very well!  I added a mint plant (in a pot) this weekend that I’m very excited about.  Fresh mojitos anyone?  Until next time my friends.


When to hire a stager

22 Mar

Sometimes the questions that seem very ‘DUH’ to me are the hardest for other.  That’s why I decided to do this post.  As a home stager I can tell you a million reasons why and when you should use a stager, but for someone with no knowledge of the little niche industry known as home staging they may have trouble answering that.  Here are 10 reasons why/when you should hire a stager to help with your listing:

1. ALWAYS!!!!

Just kidding!  Here’s the real deal:

1.  You’ve never been able to get the furniture arrangement to make sense in your living areas.

*A home stager is an expert in furniture arrangement.  They can tell you where to move the furniture, what to remove, what to bring in and how to maximize the space you are working with.  They will make sure all the space you have is highlighted even if you live in a postage stamp studio.  Check out this difficult space recently staged by Sunflower Creations.

2.  Friends/family have referred to you as a ‘pack rat’ or collector of junk.

*When you list your home it is no longer your “home” it’s a product.  Removing all of the clutter (also called decluttering) is essential!  A home stager will help you get organized and streamline the space so potential buyers can see the property and not your junk (er I mean valuables).

3.  Your house still looks like you just moved in.  Bare rooms with a splash of stark white walls.

*This should be good right?  Not really.  A home should bring feelings of ‘comfort and joy’ not cold lifelessness.  A home stager will help you choose warm neutral colors to paint the walls and will help you accessorize.

4.  You want to get the maximum return on your home investment.

*Staging is your number one marketing tool, use it.  The average cost of a staging consultation is $200.00 and $1300.00 to stage a vacant home.  That means a stager will work their magic and your home will sell faster without losing any equity.  Staging before listing is the smartest thing you can do.

5.  You are a workaholic and making time to get your home “buyer ready” isn’t on your list of priorities.

*You work hard and that’s great!  Let the stager handle everything.  Stagers can coordinate contractors, painters and get your home staged so you don’t have to lift a finger.

6.  You’re already living in your new home and the one pending sale is sitting vacant.

*A vacant home really shows off the amount of space my home has, right?  Not exactly.  A vacant space can be intimidating to potential buyers.  They need help picturing where they will put their furniture.  A home stager will bring in all the furniture, decor and art necessary to make the property look picture perfect.

7.  You just renovated a home and want to maximize on the investment, but again, it’s vacant.

*While the renovation may be gorgeous a stager can bring in furniture so the property shows what its full potential is.  After all that hard work you want to sell fast, right?

8.  You want someone to walk you through the steps of staging and you want to do the work yourself.

* You’re the DIY kind of person but you just need a push in the right direction.  A home stager will typically do a consultation for $150-$300.  They will do a full walk-thru of the home, tell you what should go, what should stay and how to rearrange.  You will receive a full report with all of their recommendations and you are free to do the work yourself!

9.  You know updating your kitchen will add value to your home but you want to make the right decisions to get the best return.

*Stagers can tell you where to spend money on your kitchen so you get the best return.  They can also help choose finishes and colors.

10.  You think your home looks great but you want a second opinion from an expert.

*Hiring a stager for a two hour consultation can help put you at ease.  They will make recommendations on the best way to arrange furniture and repairs to make.

Hope this helps those of you on the fence about home staging.  View the 2010 RESA Staging statistics for the facts on how staging sells!

Visit our website for before and after photos and more about home staging in the Philadelphia area:

Sunflower Creations: Philadelphia Home Staging

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers email amanda@sunflowercreationsonline.com