Living Christmas Trees

Christmas Tree

This year we’re starting a new tradition of using potted evergreens as a Christmas tree. Last year our tree was a large branch in a vase but now I’m trying a Dwarf Alberta Spruce that we will plant in the spring and a Norfolk Island Pine that we’ll keep indoors. Our backyard had no trees or plants when we moved in so little by little we can start adding some dwarf evergreens every year. Sunset Magazine has some information on caring for a living tree here.

Christmas Tree

Another recent project is this coffee table that I made based on the directions from House Updated. Brit’s instructions and the purchase of a Kreg Jig made it a very fast and sturdy table to make. I think that figuring out the dimensions of the wood was one of the hardest parts. I haven’t done any woodworking since grade 7 but after this project I’m keen to try some of the many fabulous plans that Ana White has.

Handmade Coffee Table

At Home: Garage & Front Door Paint Makeover

Exterior Paint

It’s amazing how quickly and inexpensive it is to transform something with paint. This was a makeover I gave our front door, garage & post with these three small cans of paint.

Garage before

We have a semi detached home and I wanted our garage door to match with our neighbours so I did a colour match and then painted fake windows along the top. I love the look of windows on garages and since we weren’t going to be replacing ours this did the trick by masking off the lines with tape and using paint from the front door.

painted garage

Front Door Before

This was a really straightforward and inexpensive project that gave the impact I was looking for and worked with what we already had – except for the paint.

Front Door PaintedAdding Curb Appeal

Cable Knit Sweater Turned Pillow

White Pumpkins & Pine Cones

Like many people, I look forward to Autumn when the weather gets cooler, the leaves change colour and it’s sweater weather. Last Autumn I was looking to add some texture and warmth to the living room with pillows for our wicker chairs. Realistically I knew that knitting pillow cases would take me longer than I’d want to spend on this project so I decided to use a secondhand sweater. Cable Knit Sweater Pillow

Cable Knit Sweater Pillow

I was lucky and found this grey cable knit wool sweater and was able to stretch it out to make two breakfast pillow covers. The front and back pieces each became a pillow case and I finished the bottom zippered edge with bias tape and zipper.

Cable Knit Sweater Pillow

If you’re looking to add some knitted texture to your living room this was a fairly quick project. Finding the right sweater is probably the hardest part.

Cable Knit Sweater to Pillow

Before & After

At Home: Before & After Side Tables

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted any photos of projects. I have tons of before and afters to share so here are two living room side tables that I painted to blend in with the walls in the room. These are actually bedside tables which were the perfect size and shape for what I wanted. 
A quick coat (or two) of paint can quickly transform the look of secondhand furniture. I also painted these with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint. The light grey is a mix of pure white and graphite and the dark table is pure graphite.

Shibang Designs BeforeGraphite Chalk Paint Shibang Designs

Graphite Chalk Paint Shibang Designs IMG_0121

Paint colour for the light grey wall is Grey Taupe by Benjamin Moore Origins OR-489. It is a warm grey that changes depending on the light and I would recommend it.

Shibang Sketchbook : Paint Sample Benjamin Moore Origins Grey Taupe

Mini Studio Tour

Shibang Designs Studio
Since relocating I have not shared my current workspace. Along with all of the painting on furniture and walls I’ve been doing in the rest of the house my studio also got a personalized look.
Shibang Designs Studio Tour
For the paint colours I knew that I loved dark walls but didn’t want them to be overpowering so I chose to paint the back wall as an accent.  To contrast I used pale pink (Benjamin Moore Origins Vintage Pearl) to warm up the space and be fun since this is a creative environment.
Shibang Designs Studio TourShibang Designs Studio

At Home: Painted Kitchen Chairs

Mismatched Chairs Painted - Shibang Designs
When looking for chairs in our kitchen I wanted something second hand, good quality and durable. Knowing that I would paint the chairs made it easier to find four that were similar but different and could be unified once unified in the same colour.
Here are our kitchen chairs painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Graphite. I was lucky to find them on Kijiji from Cindy who paints a lot of furniture herself and had already done the work in collecting them.
wooden chairs
Shibang Designs - Graphite Chalk Paint
Shibang Designs - Graphite Chalk PaintAfter over a year the paint has held up well with only a tiny worn spots where the chair hits the table when it’s pushed in.
Shibang Designs - Graphite Chalk Paint Chairs

At Home: DIY Projects in Our First House

Since having our baby at the end of November I haven’t been doing as much sewing but I have been working away at projects around our new home. This is our first house and we moved in at the beginning of October so I did what I could while pregnant and then once our baby was born I spent a lot of time staring at the walls I desperately wanted to paint.

Browsing Pinterest and blogs inspired me by seeing what other people had done to transform their homes with simple updates that can make a big impact.

Using paint can go a long way. This was what I first started with since it is the focal point of our living room and this combination of oak, dark blue and beige just didn’t work for me.

Before & After Fireplace with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint by Shibang Designs
I used Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Pure White to do the fireplace. It was so easy to use with no surface preparation needed.
Oak Fireplace Redo with Chalk Paint {Shibang Designs}
Here it is after one coat of paint and in total I think it took about three coats to get even coverage.
Shibang Designs3
This is a wood scroll that I glued on to add more detail to the woodwork.
Here is a close up of the finished fireplace which was sealed with the Annie Sloan clear wax. Using the wax was the worst part of doing this project because it has a really strong odour.
shibang designs 7

Once the fireplace was painted the dark blue suddenly looked much richer with the contrast against the bright white. I knew that I would paint the fireplace white but I didn’t expect to keep the dark blue wall but that ended up being my favourite accent colour and I have carried it throughout our home. 

There are other things that have changed in the before and after picture besides the fireplace but I’ll share that painting in another post.



I’ve been away from things over the last little while since my son Sebastian was born. He’s two months old today and I’m now getting back into the studio for a little bit longer each day. There’s a little crib in my workspace where he naps while I work on orders and new designs…a few of which I’ll be posting soon.