Picture frame makeover

Update that tired frame

Painting an old frame is by no stretch of the imagination a new or exciting DIY trick. Interior designers and crafters in magazines and in those home renovation shows on t.v are always slapping on a few layers of paint to ‘update’ an old frame.

Yet, I’d never felt compelled to do it myself. I was convinced it wouldn’t turn out as well.

But buying a new frame is expensive. Especially if you want something that’s good quality and looks great. So I finally yielded and decided to give it a go.


Frame before

I have this frame that’s been sitting in my garage for a while, waiting for a new life. It’s a nice frame, but needed updating.

I finally got round to buying some spray paint, my husband insisted that it be a high gloss black – he thought it would update the frame and make it look more modern.

When you are choosing your paint, make sure you use a spray paint that is appropriate for what you’re painting. For instance, the one I used can be applied to wood, plastic, concrete, metal etc. This was perfect because the frame was made of wood and the gold gilded part is plastic molding.

I removed the picture from the frame and roughly sanded the back of the frame by hand. The masking tape was so old and degraded it almost chipped off.

Frame being sanded

Then, after dusting the frame with a cloth I put down a drop cloth and began spraying.

I didn’t bother priming the surface first, since this was just going to sit on the wall and was unlikely to get bashed around much causing the paint to chip off.

Spray painting the frame

It’s important that you do several light coats, building it up, rather than one heavy coat as droplets can form on the surface (learned this the hard way). You can actually see some of the droplets forming on the frame in the photo above.

Just be sure to wait for about 15-30 minutes after each application to do the next layer, it should be dry to the touch, but it’s okay if it’s a bit tacky

Loki helping with the frame

Loki was an invaluable assistant, lying right under the frame. Good thing he’s black!

Once the frame was completely dry I flipped over the old picture and re-mounted a new one. I had left the small nails in along the back of the frame, these held the back in place, so it was just a matter of pressing them back down and re-masking over the back.

Using the high gloss spray paint gave it a really sleek, modern look, but the older baroque-style decorative elements still show through. It’s a really great balance.

And this is the finished product.

Chevron fabric in finished frame

Pretty great huh?

PIcture frame makeover detail

I made the black and white chevron print in the frame myself using masking tape and black spray paint. I will be covering it in a follow up post so stay tuned…

Leah The Crafty Rabbit



How to make unleavened bread…with a newborn

I’m a bit limited in what I can do now with the youngest member of the Crafty Rabbit household being attached to me (literally) 24/7. This is my little man asleep on me in my Moby Wrap.

Cooking with Ethan

So I decided to make something simple and unleavened bread is just about as simple as it gets!

For those of us in Australasia, unleavened bread is very similar to what we know as damper. You remember damper right? That stuff they made you cook over an open fire at school camp.

By the way, I have to confess that this recipe is no family secret ~ in fact I actually got it off wikiHow!

But you know what, it’s super easy, so give it a go.


  • 3 cups standard flour
  • 2 tbsp butter/cooking oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dried rosemary and flaky sea salt

Beat together the eggs and oil then add to the dried ingredients

Dry and wet ingredients

Add wet ingredients to dry

Then add milk and mix until it looks a bit like this…

Add milk to create batter

Pour into a bread tin and cook at 450 Fahrenheit or 230 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle dried rosemary and flaky sea salt liberally before cooking (it makes it a bit more interesting)

The bread finished in oven

Unleavened bread is pretty dense (obviously) but goes well with soup

Bread and soup


Tip: If Rosemary and flaky sea salt aren’t your thing then you could also try cheese and paprika or dried basil

DIY White Paint Dipped Wicker Basket

Hi all!

The Crafty Rabbit has been quiet on the blogging front lately ~ I can blame the latest addition to our family in the form of a screaming, squirming, adorable bundle of joy. As many of you know newborns are, well, time consuming, so there hasn’t been a lot of DIY or crafting going on in the last month and a half.

I kinda anticipated this would happen so in the late stages of my pregnancy I wrote this post about creating a Paint Dipped Wicker Basket

Finished basket collage

Remember these wicker baskets from Inorganic Rubbish Collection post?

I’d used one as a planter, the other ended up in our garage being used for everything and anything.

Wicker baskets

But I am having a bit of a storage issue at the moment.

With our first baby on the way either me or my husband was going to have to give up one of our spare rooms – he has a computer room and I had a craft room. It made more sense to use the bigger room as the nursery and I happened to have the larger room, so goodbye craft room…

This prompted a monumental clean out and downsize. Most of my stuff has been relegated to the garage, some of it ended up in this corner of the dining room.

My craft corner before

As you can see there is zero storage and my coffee sacks have been stacked precariously on top of a stool.

I decided I needed a basket to store them in hence dusting off my old salvaged treasure.

I really love the paint-dipped effect which is in vogue right now and thought this was a great opportunity to give it a go.

I dusted off the basket and then used masking tape to create a nice clean line around the base where I wanted the edge of the white paint to finish.

Basket with masking tape

I used an acrylic base coat for the first layer and applied it with a paint brush. I had considered just painting it with regular acrylic paint, but wasn’t sure it was going to give me the coverage I wanted and I didn’t want to actually ‘dip’ it in the paint as I would have needed a LOT of paint.

As you can see the base coat was quite patchy which confirmed to me that finishing it off with a few layers of acrylic paint with a paint brush wasn’t really going to do the trick. I didn’t want it to look blotchy.

Primer paint collage_reduced_size

So, once the base coat was touch dry I wrapped a layer of packing tape around the masking tape and did a thin layer of white spray paint over top.

Spray painting basket

This had a much better effect and filled in all the small creases and crevices with paint. I did about three thin applications using the spray paint.

I was really pleased with how clean the line was, apart from one small area where it smudged (nothing a rag and a bit of nail polish remover couldn’t fix).

This was so easy and fast! Give it a go and let me know how it turned out ~ maybe you used acrylic paint you applied with a paint brush and it turned out fab (which would suggest that my painting technique is something to be desired).

As usual, Loki was assisting me the whole way through this project. There are some delightful dog hairs permanently spray painted onto the basket now. Thanks Loki.

Finished basket collage

I’d really like to see a white-washed version of this if anyone has done it…

Leah The Crafty Rabbit

Inspiring Maternity Photos

This is a bit outside of the Crafty Rabbit realm of DIY, junkĀ  and crafts, but I thought I might share our maternity photos we had done a few weeks ago. My husband happens to work with a very talented photographer (Andi Crown Photography at andicrown.com) and lucky for us she agreed to do a photo session of us and our bump!

Maternity photo collage 3 watermarkWe went to Cornwall Park in Auckland but didn’t count on how busy it would be. Trying to get photos without joggers and tourists in the background was a bit challenging.

We were lucky with the season as the trees have just started dropping their lovely, golden autumnal leaves, and the late afternoon sun created a wonderful filtered light.

Maternity photo collage 4 watermarkThese photos were made special by the fact that the tartan rug was given to me by my nanna many years ago and the baby booties were knitted by my aunty.

My husband really wanted a photo of us with our childhood toys (see below), he’s holding a teddy bear his mother made him when he was little and I’ve got ‘Monkey’ (appropriately named).

Maternity photo collage If you’re umming and ahhing about whether you should get maternity photos done my advice is do it! As long as you find a photographer who you gel with and their style speaks to you then you can’t go wrong. I recommend you check out their portfolio of work and make it really clear what appeals to you. I created a Pinterest board of maternity photos (http://www.pinterest.com/leahmccurdy18/) that appealed to me, then shared it with our photographer so we were both on the same page.

Anybody else had bump photos done recently? I would really love to see them!

Leah The Crafty Rabbit

You never know what you’ll find on the side of the road…

Peeling paint, rickety and old…yes please!

My husband knows me pretty well.

The other day he told me he had a surprise for me. He had found something on the side of the road in Grey Lynn, next to all the beautiful old villas.

I had absolutely no idea what it could be.

When he got home he unloaded this lovely, rickety chair.

White chair with watermark

It was love at first sight and was put to work as yet another plant stand.

Just look at that gorgeous flaky, white paint!

White chair with flaked paint

You never know what you’ll find on the side of the road.

Love it!

How to Display Antique Locks and Keys

DIY Antique lock and key display cabinet

Got antique locks and keys and don’t know what to do with them?

Lock and Key Cabinet Collage with watermark

We collect antique locks and keys whenever we travel overseas.

They’re great because they’re a perfect excuse to stop off at every antique/junk store.

Also, they are nice and small (usually) which makes packing them easy when space is at a premium in your luggage.

But how to display them?

I wanted to remember each and every one and which country they came from – I didn’t want to throw them in a jumbled mess on a shelf or in a bowl.

I’d bought two of these old windows off Trademe for $2.50, so I decided to convert them into display cabinets.

Window frame before

I considered re-painting them, but loved the old shabby-chic peeling paint.

Close up of shabby frame

Using some old MDF wood we had, I cut two backs for the cabinet.

Then I painted them with some white paint we had stored in the garage.

Next, I arranged where I wanted my locks and keys to go.

Locks on backboard

I marked with little crosses where I wanted to insert my hooks

Close up of key

With a pencil I drew a light line where I wanted to the names for each country, placed the letters on and transferred them

Transfer sticks2

Transfer stickers3

I used these transferable stickers because I wanted quite a polished look, but ordinary stickers would have been fine.

Transfer stickers1

Then drilled pilot holes in each and screwed in the hooks

Screwing in hooks

With all the locks and keys in place on their hooks I carefully drilled pilot holes through the back board and window frames and then inserted the screws.

Antique locks and keys in display cabinet with watermark

If you’ve come up with some nifty way to display locks and keys then I would love to hear about it. Believe it or not but I still have more locks and keys I want to put on show but am not sure I want an entire wall of display cabinets…

Thanks and hope you enjoyed the post!