Hey hey HEYYYY!! Beth here from Sawdust and Embryos once again! Do you follow my blog yet? You probably ought to… because we have a rock-awesome time. TRUE! All kinds of tutorials, crafty projects, and furniture transformations! (oh my!)

On to business!

So a few months ago, the hubs and I acquired this lovely little secretary from a distant family member who no longer had any use for it. I knew I wanted to use it in our living room as my blogging headquarters, and I was slightly obsessed with all the little organizational cubbies. SO dreamy.


It took me awhile to decide how to ‘update’ it, because it wasn’t altogether unfortunate-looking to begin with. But if you know me at all, you know that I can’t just leave a perfectly good piece of furniture alone. I want it to be unique.

DISCLAIMER!! heh heh… this doesn’t always mean painting, mind you. I do like to play with stain too, but on this particular piece of furniture, I wanted it to look a little Anthro… and a lot awesome. And since it already possessed a beautiful woodgrain, I decided to maintain the integrity of the wood… and just simply did a paint-wash over the entire exterior of the secretary desk. (For details on how this was done, click here!)


But here’s the part that really matters, my little lovlies… It’s the ‘inside that counts’, am I right? *nudge nudge*

I painted the whole interior white, to start out with… and then painted the very back bright orange (after my man-child removed the cubbies, which also got painted white).


I somehow stumbled upon Rachel Cave’s AMAZING fabrics that are so colorful with a funky retro vibe, and this one happened to be my very favorite:

rachel cave (2)

My first thought was… I could paint that!

And then my second thought was… I certainly CANNOT paint that. So much detail!

My third thought was, perhaps a stencil? But unfortunately, because of the nature of stencils, the various parts of the design or pattern can’t be ‘touching’ each other, otherwise the stencil would just fall apart. Additionally, it’s so difficult to use multiple colors in one stencil. I’M FEELING SO LIMITED!

So I set out to create this design by cutting three different stencils!!! It sounds time consuming and tedious, but it really wasn’t. It maybe took me 45 minutes total to make the stencils. Check out my SUPER SIMPLEMake Your Own Stencil TUTORIAL!


Stencil #1   ~ {Outer petals}

P9122069 P9122073


Stencil #2    ~ {Leaves}


Stencil #3 ~ {Smaller Inner Petal and Inner Circle}~




I mean, as with ANY painting project, there were some touch-ups involved. You can see the little dotted flower stems… just hand painted them on!

I would recommend only doing this kind of painting treatment on a small-ish area. Unless you have a serious chunk of time to set aside for an accent wall of some sort… HA! But truly, it’s such a fun way to brighten up a piece, using any color scheme you want. And it will be so custom and sentimental… because YOU PAINTED IT.


Please feel empowered to try this yourself. It’s so easy. And so awesome.

HANDS DOWN my favorite piece of furniture I’ve ever laid my hands on (and there have been MANY), not to mention my absolute favorite thing in my entire house (other than the hubs and my sweet twin babes).


Thanks so much for letting me hang out with all you crazzzzy ATT readers! Hope you come on over to Sawdust and Embryos and have a look-see!



  1. Katherine :) says

    Wow, that looks great. I love that you took the time to paint it yourself!
    That pattern is gorgeous, I really could see some seriously lovely throw pillows made out of that fabric.

  2. says

    holy guacamole this is great ;). i don't normally like the bright colors but this i do . also just so you know pinterest is fine but many times i am looking for a tutorial and that is hard to find. so i always return to the blogs and check yours several times a week 😉

  3. says

    I pin stuff from your site all the time that you made using the Cameo. It would be such a blessing to be able to make Christmas gifts this year for family and friends! I have wanted to buy a Cameo since it first came out. I was so excited I even downloaded the software and started importing SVG files for cuts and projects. Unfortunately, I have not been able to purchase one. I have been slowly putting away money to buy one but something always comes up. someone gets sick, car problems, kids needs come first, ect. I am stoked for the opportunity to win one.

  4. amomwithnails says

    I love it! Such a great idea to put the attention in the inside where you can enjoy it. One question was wondering, is the fabric you copied copyrighted or protected? Just wondered how that worked.

  5. Heather Grant says

    I have wanted one of these for forever! I have SO many projects around the house I want to do from vinyl "laundry today or naked tomorrow" in my laundry room to beautifying my kitchenaide. PLEASE let me win this!

  6. says

    I'm DYiNG!!!! This is soooo amazing! What talent you have!!! I recently bought an old buffet where the top opens and I'm totally stumped how I want to paint it. This certainly gets my juices pumping!!! I'd love it if I could get your email to send you a pic so you maybe could advise me?? Do you do that??

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