Author Archives: Sara Syrett

About Sara Syrett

Sara is the founder and creative force behind the blog Twelve On Main, where her main goal is to inspire others to DIY for themselves. She is inspired by her 4 children and the simple farmhouse lifestyle they have created in the quaint town in the mountains of Southern Utah. She started her blog only 1 year ago, and has had an incredible following thus far in her career. In addition to raising her children with her husband, she works with him in their family business, and in her free time, can most often be found working on a new project or creating beautiful spaces for herself or others.

How To Paint Furniture Like A Pro

Have you ever had an old dresser or other pieces of furniture that you didn’t know what to do with? Maybe a hand-me-down dresser or a dining table that you got off the classifieds? Painting old, unwanted furniture is one of my most favorite pastimes and today I am going to show you how to paint that unwanted furniture like a pro! Hey, it's Sara from Twelve On Main and I am excited about this post today! I had this hand-me-down dresser that had been sitting in my closet for the past 10 years and it needed a little love. I had started to paint it once but changed my mind, so it sat in this condition for a while.

It all starts with a few decisions.  What color of paint do you want?  What kind of paint do you want to use? 

The first question is all yours.  I tend to lean more towards whites and other neutrals.  For this piece of furniture, I actually chose a charcoal color, but this choice is completely up to you.  You could either complement other pieces of furniture with the same or a coordinating complementary color.

The next decision is what type of paint to use. Some of the most common types of paints used are:  latex (water based) paint, chalk paint, milk paint, and enamel paint.

For most of my projects, I use the first three, since they are the easiest to work with.  For this project, I used milk paint. 

With both chalk paint and milk paint, there is less prep since the paint is great at sticking to most surfaces.  With a latex paint, it is recommended that you sand and use a primer to prepare the surface. 

I did not have to do any prep other than a little cleanup. 

When I paint a piece of furniture, I like to work in thin layers, making sure to let each coat dry completely.  This is important with milk paint. 

I like to keep straight, smooth strokes and make sure to catch any paint drips.  The first layer always makes you second guess yourself and the furniture will not look very pretty.  Keep going though, it will turn out.

Once the furniture is painted completely, I like to distress much of my work. Sometimes I will leave it crisp and clean, but, especially with milk paint and chalk paint, it lends itself to a more rustic and distressed look.

When I decide to distress a piece of painted furniture, I generally use a sanding block.  The sponge sanding block is really nice because it has a more squishy feel to it and can lend to an easier distressing job.

The key places to distress would be the obvious places that would be rubbed and worn over time- the edges of drawers and corners.

This is where I focus for the most part.  I like to sand a bit then stand back and see how it looks, see what parts may need a little bit more sanding.

Once you have sufficiently distressed the space, it is time to seal it.  If you paint with latex, sealing isn’t necessary in my opinion. 

Chalkpaint and milk paint are a different story, you can either wax or seal with a poly acrylic.  I actually like to seal with a polyacrylic because it’s much easier.  Wax requires being painted or rubbed on, left to dry and then buffed off.  It requires a lot more elbow grease.  Who wants that?    

Now that it's painted, sanded, and sealed, it's time to get accessorizing.  That really is my favorite part. 

I topped mine with an antique toddler bed headboard, my favorite farmhouse wreath, a rusted bucket, some books, and one of my deer antlers.   It's a simple vignette but one of my favorites. 

I hope these tips help you to want to tackle a painting project of your own.  I know there is so much to learn and so many different options and ways to do things.  I try to keep it simple and not muddy the water too much.

For more home DIY projects: 5 Easy Planters to Make For Your Home This Spring | DIY Lumbar Pillow

DIY Stencilled Tea Towels

I have a really fun DIY project for you today!  First, I will back up.  My name is Sara and I blog regularly at my website Twelve On Main.  I love to create fun and easy DIYs and crafts as well as whole room remodels.  I am a big fan of the farmhouse style, so you will notice most of my projects reflect that.  Doing simple and easy DIYs are a great way to customize your home without spending a ton of money.  That is where my DIY stenciled tea towels come into play.

I often have a hard time finding towels that fit my style or my personality.  I love to create customized tea towels for my kitchen as a way to express my own creativity.  Now, whether you are a DIY novice and don’t have much experience or do these things on a daily basis like me, you can do this!  It’s so easy!

Here are the products you need to create these DIY stenciled tea towels:

  • Tea Towels (Walmart is a great place to find these for cheap!)

  • Stencil (Use a design you want, I found Plaid has some really great ones)

  • Stencil paint brush

  • Fabric Paint

  • A piece of cardboard, the size of your stencil

Take your tea towels and fold the into thirds.  This is how I generally hang my towels in my kitchen so this is how I fold them to stencil.

I find the spot I want to stencil the design, generally centered on the towel, eyeballing it is a great way to do it.

Now, you want to insert the piece of cardboard in between the tea towel so that when you stencil it, you don’t risk the paint bleeding onto the other side of the towel.

Once you have the card board secured and the tea towel nice and flat, you can lay your stencil on and place it where you want.

Now, take your stenciling paint brush, and apply some fabric paint to it by lightly dabbing into the paint.  You want to dab off the extra paint because if you have too much, it will make a mess of your stencil job.

Apply the paint by tapping straight up and down with the brush, do not apply it like a regular paint brush or the paint will get smudged under the stencil.

Keep applying the paint until you get the look you want.  I like a slightly uneven look, so I did not cover it completely.  Once that is done you can take the stencil off.  Once the paint is dry you can take out the cardboard.  Fabric paint generally dries fast, especially if it’s a thin layer.

I recommend following the paint's instructions.  Mine said to prewash my fabric then once the paint is applied let it dry for 72 hours and then wash it.  Each paint may be different.

I love this technique.  Its such a great way to customize your kitchen.  And just think, nobody will have the same towels as you.  They will be completely unique!

I chose not to make matching towels, but you totally can.  I like the combination one with a fun design and then one with a quote or something similar.

I hope you try this fun and easy DIY!  I love the way mine look in my kitchen.  Have a great day!

For more DIYs: DIY Lumbar Pillow | DIY Macramé Wall Hanging


How to Style Your Shelves Like an Expert

Hey there, its Sara from Twelve On Main.  I am back today with one of my most favorite subjects:  Styling Shelves.

Styling any kind of shelf can be a daunting task.  Did I add too much?  Is there not enough?  Does everything coordinate and make sense?

It can be common to over style shelves as well as under style them.  I’m here today to give you a few tips on how I style my shelves like an expert.

Before I start styling my shelves, I think about what I want them to look like when I am finished.

  • Are there certain colors I want to maintain?

  • Do I have any collections I want to feature?

  • Do I want to add baskets for organization?

Recently I remodeled my master bedroom and we installed a large section of built in shelving, as well as 2 window seats.  I was quite overwhelmed with the idea that I had to style all these shelves.

So I answered a few of my questions.  Yes, I wanted to keep the colors neutral with whites, tans, beige, as well as black and navy.

I wanted to add my collection of salvaged antique pieces that I had collected over the years.  I also wanted to add books (obviously) and I collected books that I had that consisted of those colors.

I also had a collection of white pottery that I wanted to use.

So, as a general rule of thumb, I like to gather up all those things I want to include in my shelving and set it all out together on the floor.  I separate it into categories of books, baskets and wooden boxes, greenery/plants, and small knickknacks or fillers.

I start styling my bookshelves by adding books first.  I don’t fill the shelves of books, rather, add 2 or 3 to one shelf, either standing up or stacked laying on their sides.  If I have, say 10 shelves to fill, I will use books in approximately half of them.

I then add larger pieces, such as baskets, crates, and antique pieces to the other shelves.

The next step is to take stock of which shelves need more filler.  I add small knickknacks, greenery, pottery and other small décor items alternately, moving them around until there is a balance.

The key is to not overfill the shelves.  You want to style them and have them look complete.  Some of my shelves only contain one item, since it is a large item.  I will arrange them next to a shelf with something opposite, like books and greenery.

For more styling ideas: How to Shop Your Home | How To Use Color In Your Space This Spring

DIY Macramé Wall Hanging

I love making homemade wall décor for my home, and this simple DIY macramé wall hanging is super easy and an instant way to add style to your home.

I have been remodeling my master bedroom over the past month and I really wanted to make a macramé wall hanging for the room.  This type of wall hanging is super easy to make completely your own.  You can make it large or small, or change the color of the rope.  You can also use a wooden dowel, copper pipe, or even a tree branch to hang the rope from.

Here is how I made mine. I used:

  • 3 lb kitchen twine

  • ¾ inch my ¼ inch piece of trim

  • Scissors

I started by cutting 26 pieces of the twine at 6 ft lengths.  You want to cut extra length because the knotting will make the length shorter, and you will want to make sure you have enough.

I folded the strings in half and secured them between each other like this:

I spaced them apart at about 1 inch.

Start by tying two of the strings together, which means you will actually have 4 strings tied together.  The trick here is to keep the knot loose until you have it at the right length.  I just eyeball this.  There’s no real exact science to this.

Once I had them all tied, I then separated the knots, taking 2 strings from each knot and tying it together with two strings from the knot next to it.  I then tied them together slightly down.

I then took two of the new knots and tied them together about 2 inches from the knots above.

The last knot I decided to do was to take 2 string from each knot and tie them together.  What happens is the previous knot had 8 strings so I left 6 hanging and tied the other two together.  It broke up the line and gave it a bit of interest.

I could have kept going, but I really liked the way it looked at this point.  I hung it on my mantel and let all the strings hang.  I then decided to cut the strings at an angle, being longer in the middle.

The last thing I did was tie a piece of the twine at both ends of the piece of wood.  This is what you will use to hang the DIY macramé wall hanging.

That’s all there is to it!

I love the simplicity of the colors.  It allows the pattern to be the star of the show.

This took me approximately 1 hour to make start to finish.  Try making one for yourself!

For more DIY home decor: 5 Easy Planters to Make For Your Home This Spring | Craigslist Hack: How-to Update a Vintage Dresser

DIY Shibori Wall Hanging

I have recently fallen in love with Shibori.  If you don’t know what that is, to put it simply, it’s a form of tie-dye.  The difference being, Shibori technically uses real indigo dye to create the designs on the fabric.

I bought an indigo kit online which made the process much easier. It came with all the items you will need to create the Shibori effect!

With Shibori there are a lot of different ways to fold, tie, and secure your fabric to create different designs.

The basic idea is to fold your fabric, securing it with rubber bands or twine.

Then, you dip your tied fabric in indigo dye and let it oxidize.

Once complete, undo the folds, and rinse it out well. You are left with fabric that has really awesome designs.

I was really thrilled with the how my Shibori dropcloth turned out. It was a simple pattern that did not overtake the entire fabric and it was muted enough to work well with my home décor.

If you want to read more about the Shibori dying process you can see the whole tutorial here.

I have previously made pillows with my fabric but really wanted to make a DIY Shibori wall hanging.  It’s another great way to add some color and pattern into your home, and a very easy DIY project.

All you will need for this project is:

  • Shibori cloth

  • Dowel or rod (I used a copper rod we had laying around)

  • Hot glue gun

  • Scissors

I really love the frayed edges on unfinished fabric and wanted to keep that look for my wall hanging. I clipped the edge of the fabric and tore it straight down.  This will give you a straight cut and also add that frayed edge. I did this to all sides and made it a rectangular shape. If you don’t like the unfinished look, you can hem the edges but that will take just a little bit more time and skill.

Next, I laid the fabric down and set the copper rod at the top where I wanted it to hang from. I folded the fabric over the rod and checked to make sure everything was straight and even.

Now, take your hot glue gun and run a bead of glue on one side of the fabric.  Fold the fabric back over and secure it to the glue. This creates a pocket for the dowel or rod to sit.

Now take some twine or rope and tie it to one end of the dowel or rod.  Pull the rope up to create a triangle shape.  You want to do this so that the rope can hang nicely. I like mine to pull about 5 inches from the dowel.

Tie the rope to the other end of the dowel and cut the excess rope.

Now you are ready to hang it!

The process couldn’t be simpler. There are so many options for this DIY project - I hope you’ll try it out and give your home some color!

For more DIY projects: 5 Easy Planters to Make for Your Home This Spring | DIY Chicken Wire Mason Jar Candle Holder

How To Use Color In Your Space This Spring

I sometimes feel like a walking contradiction. While I love neutral, soft, white décor for the most part, I also have a huge soft spot for those spaces with strategically designed pops of color. I guess that’s the problem with being a DIY and home décor blogger. I spend my days lusting over so many different types of design and interior design styles. I’ll call myself “well rounded”.

This spring, I have found myself gravitating towards a few select colors in my home and have been loving it. Adding pops of color to your home can be a great way to update and refresh the space. It doesn’t have to be difficult. Some great ways to add pops of color to your home is through pillows, rugs, art, and accent furniture.

Source: Town-n-Country Living

This space is a great example of using simple pops of color in a home. The colors compliment each other and look more stunning against the soft white background.

Another great example of keeping it simple, this bathroom uses just a few colorful items in the space.

Source: Gary Rosard Architect - Caesarstone Blizzard countertops

I love the way these rugs and accent chairs add a strong pop of color to this bathroom but do not overtake the room.

There are simple ways to add a pop of color without making a huge commitment and by keeping the color scheme simple. By using 2 to 3 colors throughout, you can create continuity to your home. Using complimentary colors is always a win/win.

Source:  PMQ for Two

The combination of colors in this room work so well together, and those green walls are stunning!

You can also add some more permanent color to your home through kitchen countertops, backsplashes, and cabinets. I would not recommend adding color to all three though. Instead, choose one to be the focal point to add more impact.

Source: Idea Space Architecture & Design - Caesarstone Frosty Carrina countertop

I love the backsplash and blue cabinets in this kitchen. It is colorful, but simple and stylish, especially next to the beautiful Caesarstone countertops.

Source: Marc Michaels - Caesarstone Buttermilk countertops

The soft aqua backsplash is a wonderful accent to this kitchen. Sometimes the bolder colors can be more subtle and not overtake the space.

Try your hand at adding some color to your home. Just a few pieces will really make a statement.

For more colorful spaces: How To Design A Kid-Friendly Bathroom | House Tour | Coddington Design

5 Easy Planters to Make For Your Home This Spring

Hey there all it's me Sara from Twelve On Main. I have been spending a ton of time this spring working on fun DIY projects and complete room makeovers, but I have also been doing some fun planter ideas, and lets face it, as spring emerges, so does our wish for a green thumb. Incorporating planters into your home can freshen up the space, clean the air, and is an easy way to add style. Take these incredible rooms for example:

Sublime Architectural Interiors- Caesarstone Concetto Puro countertop

Plants warm up otherwise cold spaces.

Red Lily Renovations- Caesarstone Blizzard countertop

Love the design on this planter, and that fiddle leaf fav!

White Door Design- Caesarstone Blizzard countertop

Adding planters, whether permanent or stationary, can really bring warmth to a space.  I love that planter built into the wall! It adds so much interest to the room.

As an avid DIYer that is obsessed with home décor, I have been creating my own planters for a while now.  It’s amazing what you can create if you just try a little and think outside the box.

This easy DIY mason jar planter is a great way to get started with an herb garden if you are a beginner. This can be made in under 10 minutes!

Sometimes you may want something a little different, or maybe you want to use the vertical space in your home.  This farmhouse style wall planter is the perfect thing.  It is easy to make and it adds a lot of character.

This rustic planter made from pallets makes a statement at the entrance of a home.  Reusing materials is always a good idea and we all know that pallets are a very popular material to use.

I used some leftover plywood to create these simple wall planters.  You can add as many as you want to create a fantastic feature wall.

This last planter was a fun one to make- a chalkboard planter.  I used an old planter and painted the outside with chalkboard paint.  It’s a fun way to be creative with an otherwise bland planter. Draw designs, write up little notes on them, the possibilities are endless.

This spring make sure you add some planters to your home. You’ll be amazed at how the space is transformed. Thanks so much for hanging out with me today! Make sure you spend a little time each day being inspired!

For more spring decorating: How To Style Shelves In 5 Simple Steps | DIY Macrame Plant Hanger

DIY Chicken Wire Mason Jar Candle Holder

I am kind of obsessed with chicken wire these days.  It is such a fun medium to work with and you can use it for so many different applications. Today I want to show you how to make a farmhouse style DIY chicken wire mason jar candle holder. This project really could not be simpler.

You will need:

  • Chicken Wire

  • Needle Nose Pliers

  • Mason Jar (any size will do, I used a 2 quart jar)

  • Candle

1. Start by cutting a piece of chicken wire to the size you need for the mason jar. I use the finished end of the chicken wire as the part that will be at the top of the jar when it is finished. The size doesn’t need to be perfect because you will be able to cut it down a little more as the project goes on. Also, make sure to cut the wire with a little extra wire on the end.  It will make it easier to work with.

2. Lay your jar on its side inside the chicken wire and wrap the wire around the mason jar, you will be able to see how much more you will need to cut off.

3. Start to wrap both ends together feeding one side under the other.

4. You will bend the wires over each other.

Now you have the chicken wire roughly fitted to the jar.  Make sure you have a tight fit.  If you don’t, make sure to cut off the excess and tighten the wire.

5. Now take the wires that were folded over each other and start to twist them together with the pliers.

6. Here they are twisted together.  Now take that piece and bend it into the seam where the wires all come together.

7. Now start bending and adjusting the wire around the base of the mason jar.

8. Take your time and twist the pieces together, cutting and reattaching where it is needed. Since the wire won't exactly bend to this shape, it makes it easy to cut a piece out and reattach.

Once the bottom is all done, make sure that there are no pieces of wire sticking out and that the bottom remains flat so that it will sit flat on the surface.

I added this simple white candle to the chicken wire mason jar.

Here it is all finished! What do you think? Is this a project you could manage?

Don’t want to use it as a candle holder?

Add beans for décor, cotton balls, and bathroom supplies for a fun bathroom storage piece. You can use if for practically anything! It’s a great way to add some farmhouse charm to your home, keep it simple, and try something new.

For more fun projects: DIY Macrame Plant Hanger | Craigslist Hack: How-to Update a Vintage Dresser

DIY Macrame Plant Hanger

Are you looking for a way to brighten up your space this spring?  My favorite way to brighten any space is with some plants.  We are seeing some real dreary winter days here where I live so I needed to install some life ASAP.

I also wanted something different and unique.  Are you familiar with macramé?  I am sure you are, but if not, it’s a textile style with knots instead of weaving or knitting.  It has become increasingly popular over the years and it’s a great way to hang and display plants.

Start with rope, twine, or yarn. I used twine since it is easy to work with, strong, and has the perfect color.

Cut 8 pieces of twine to the length you need to hang it. You will want to measure how long it needs to be before you hang it. Then add an extra foot to account for the knot details.

Take the 8 twine lengths and tie them all into a knot at the top.

Lay out the knot and separate the twine pieces into pairs. There will be 4 pairs.  Then tie the pairs together about 3 inches down from the main knot.

Start with one of the knotted pieces and take the right piece of twine from the knot and grab the left piece from the one to the right of that piece. Does that make sense?

Now repeat that step for all the pieces.  You will end up with 4 diamond shapes.

Now repeat that step again, and make the knots a little lower down on the twine so that it creates a larger diamond shape.

Since I was making this for a bowl, I was able to get away with tying three rows and then inserted my bowl.

If you are using a taller planter or jar, you may want to add a few more rows.

I fed my bowl into the tied macramé, adjusting it as needed.

I tied all the pieces together at the top of the bowl, leaving plenty of space to add the plant and give it room to grow.  This is totally a personal preference.

Now tie the end of the twine.

I installed a hook in my ceiling and then hung the knot from there.

And ta da!  It’s all done.

I love the way this hanging macramé plant holder looks in my living room.  It is a fun addition and it brightens up the room.

Try one for yourself!

For more DIY projects: Craiglist Hack: How to Update a Vintage Dresser | DIY Chicken Wire Message Board

DIY Chicken Wire Message Board

Have you ever found a really cool picture frame at a thrift store and didn’t know what to do with it?  Frames are one of the most common items you can find at a thrift store and today I have a really easy and fun DIY project for you.  We are going to DIY a chicken wire message board!

Now, if you don’t have a picture frame lying around, make sure to stop by your local thrift store and see what you can find.

You will need:

  • Picture frame (without glass)

  • Chicken wire

  • Staple gun

  • Wire cutters

I had this drab picture frame and the wood did not go with my home décor, so I painted it.

I then cut my chicken wire with my wire cutters to the size of the frame.  I made sure it was slightly larger.

I then started stapling the chicken wire to the inside of the frame.  You can use a hammer to secure the staples in further if they are not tight.

Start on one side and staple it in, and then work on the opposite side.   Then do the same with the other sides making sure to pull the wire tight when stapling.

Once the chicken wire is completely secure, cut off the excess.

Now if the frame already has a hanging device on it, go ahead and hang it on the wall.  You can easily add hanging wire if needed.

I like using my DIY chicken wire message board to clip on little messages and reminders with some mini clothespins.  You can use your message board to keep track of your bills, hang pictures, or leave a sweet message for a friend or loved one.

Try making one for yourself.  They are super easy and add style to your home.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

For more how-to's: 15 iPhone Photo and Instagram Tips | How To Make A Tree Stump Coffee Table