We're going for sort of a subtle beach cottage feel for the room, which will be expressed mainly through the accessories. I'm liking the idea of setting the mood with just the decorations, since the dark grey walls and warm teal blue headboard, paired with fluffy white bedding could work with a variety of accessories if we ever feel like changing things up in the future.
So, to set the beach cottage mood, that meant doing something with shells. They are cheap, they are pretty, and I actually already had a bunch on hand. So I set out to make some shadow boxes, based off two pieces of inspiration.
This photo I snapped on my phone in Bed, Bath and Beyond about 6 months ago, of a framed starfish and sand dollar. I don't know if you can see it in the photo, but these were marked at $24.99 each.
And this photo that I'd pinned a while ago, a similar idea, with bright blue matting.
So with those ideas in mind, I ordered four of these shadow boxes from Target for only $9.99 each. When I was painting the headboard, I also painted the back panels of the shadow box frames the same teal (Surf Blue by Benjamin Moore).
Then I just needed my collection of shells, that were left over from last Christmas when I made a hermit crab ornament for an ornament exchange, and my glue gun.
I just picked out the shells I like the best (which also happened to be the biggest ones), glued them to the center of the painted shadow box panels, popped them in the frames, and they were ready to be hung.
However, once I got them up on the wall, I felt like they needed a little something more. So I tried cutting a thin rectangle out of adhesive backed vinyl on my Silhouette machine, and stuck it to the bottom left frame.
I really liked how it simulated a mat, and broke up the teal background, so I went with it for the other frames as well. Please excuse the not-so-great photos, since I was working on this in the evening.
In the bottom of the above photo, you can also see another thing I was working on Monday, the bookcases under the shell art.
These were the old laminated particle board bookcases that I was having difficulty painting (but was remedied by sanding them down and painting again). But painting them white wasn't enough, I also wanted to put decorative backers on them. So I used foam core poster board, which I cut down to just slightly smaller than the backs of the bookcases, and painted the same teal blue as the headboard and shadow box panels.
The foam board did curl a little as the paint dried, but since it was just regular latex wall paint, and I knew I was going to be attaching the boards to the backs of the shelves, it wasn't a big deal, they would stretch back flat once installed.
(As usual, I had a kitty "supervisor")
Once the paint dried overnight, it was time to further decorate the foam board. Originally I'd planned on stenciling a design on them. But the thought of either buying an expensive stencil, or spending a lot of time taping off my own pattern was not something I was looking forward to, especially when I was in a time crunch to finish the guest bedroom for our guests coming this weekend.
So instead of a traditional stencil, I cut out a pattern on my Silhouette, again using the adhesive backed vinyl, and just stuck it on the foam board.
Since it was a somewhat intricate design, I found it easiest to cut and apply it in smaller 12" x 12" sections, even though I could have cut larger sections on the Silhouette.
But once the vinyl was applied, that was pretty much it. No painting, no dry time, and no need to gently peel tape off and hope the pattern turned out alright. All that was left was to use some tiny nails to attach the foam board to the back of the bookcases, which straightened out the slight bowing in the boards that came from painting them.
And here is a finished bookcase, ready to be accessorized.
A big improvement over how the bookcases used to look, right?
I decided to do the vinyl "stencil" on both of my two smaller bookcases, which now live on either side of a floor lamp, on the same wall. For my taller bookcase (which is something I've had since I was a little kid), I opted to just leave the teal foam board backer a solid color. I didn't want to overwhelm the room with patterns, and I think it will be a nice contrasting background for some white accessories I have.
Have you ever painted or stenciled the backs of bookcases or shelves before? Or do any crafting or decorating over President's Day weekend?