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Monday, June 30, 2014

Lilly Pulitzer taste on a Forever 21 budget

I absolutely love Lilly Pulitzer. The bright colors and enticing patterns make you feel like you're always in a "Sunny State of Mind". The only thing I don't love is the price tag of brand new Lilly. As a college student that has to pay for things like sorority dues on my own, and has no income during the school year, I can't afford brand new Lilly. I mentioned in my About Me that I love finding a good deal on something. I found a members only website called RueLaLa that offers super discounted, brand new Lilly that is a season or two old quite often! (If you want to join this site, click here or comment with your email!) Another place that sells new and EUC (excellent used condition) Lilly is the Re-Lilly Group on Facebook. In fact I just bought a NWT (new with tags) Let's Cha Cha Sarasota tunic for $100 (which is AWESOME because most Let's Cha Cha styles go for ABOVE the retail price!) that will go perfectly with my Let's Cha Cha swimsuit bottoms I found on eBay for $18. I wasn't kidding when I said I loved finding a good deal. While you're on the Re-Lilly group, go check out my XS Hotty Pink Sailor's Valentine Dress and Guiding Light Shorts listings! If you're interested in buying one of these pieces, you can email me at haydenlee2013@gmail.com with your offers. Help a college girl out, people!
Me, on the far left, with my Let's Cha Cha bottoms I got for a STEAL!

Guiding Light Grace Shorts Sz 2 - FOR SALE!

Hotty Pink Sailor's Valentine Jessy Dress Sz XS (and it has POCKETS!!!) - FOR SALE!

Let's Cha Cha Sarasota Beaded Tunic - my new purchase!

If you, or any other Lilly lover you know, are interested in one of these pieces, email me or comment on here and I will give you any information that you need! Thanks!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Oceans Free Printable

Get this free printable, and a simple printable upload how-to from this page on My Life As Hayden!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Red, White, and Better Than You

I made this 1/2 gallon cooler for a sweet friend of mine. I've had a couple of people ask me how to paint a cooler jug, so I've decided to make this post very detailed. I tried to take pictures of every step (but I did forget to take a few pics of some steps, so bare with me!).

The first thing to do is go buy a cooler jug (duhhhhh!). This was one that I have had for a while and I've been meaning to paint. Look for a cooler jug with a relatively smooth surface, and as little grooves and indentions as possible. (This one didn't meet the qualifications very well, but I already had it. So, oh well.)
When I get the cooler home, the first thing I do is wash it so as soon as I get it painted it's ready to use.
After it's washed, tape off the top with painter's tape or masking tape. This keeps all the dust from sanding, spray paint, and just gunk out of it.
Sand the cooler. I usually start out with a coarser grit (about 60) to get off the finish, then sand with a finer grit (about 220) to smooth is out. I forgot to take a picture of it before I primed it to show what it should look like. YOU HAVE TO SAND THE COOLER!!! Even if your primer says "No Sanding Required", the paint will peel right off! (Believe me, I know firsthand.) Plus, it literally takes no more that 15 minutes!
PRIME! PRIME! PRIME! This is important because this is the foundation for all of your hard work. Make sure you use a spray paint made for PLASTIC! I normally use the Krylon Fusion for plastic, but I ran out and picked up some of the Valspar Premium that bonds to plastic. Both worked well for me.
The two sprays I used as primer.
What your cooler should look like primed.

Now the fun begins! You can start painting the details. Start by deciding what you want to paint. I knew I wanted to make this cooler America themed because my friend LOVES America! 
I decided to do a Chevron background, which proved harder than it seemed. I tried to tape on a chevron design, look for chevron painters tape (which I found on Pinterest, but was sold out every where locally.), tried Pinterest tips, and everything! My problem lied in the fact that the cooler was completely circular. I ended up buying chevron scrapbook paper and cutting out a template and taping it on, then stenciling it out.
After I cut out a template from the scrapbook paper, I taped it on using painter's tape. Make sure everything is lined up correctly and evenly! Then,  I used a pencil to trace the design.
I put a painter's tape in the stripes that were going to stay white so I wouldn't accidentally paint something the wrong color. (Thanks for the idea Pinterest!)
After I painted the red chevron, I added a gold stripe on the tops and bottoms of the stripes with a metallic gold paint pen to make the lines look more crisp and clean.
I did a layer of ModPodge over the chevron so it would not get messed up. TIP: If you do a layer of ModPodge before you do anything detailed, it is easier to fix mistakes. The ModPodge acts as a sealer over the previous layer of paint, making it a lot easier to clean up mistakes without messing up all of your hard work!

My friend is from Texas, and we go to school in Alabama, so putting the states on the cooler was a no brainer! I put hearts over her hometown and our school, and also put a cross over where she is a camp counselor. 
Deep in the heart of Texas...

Go Trojans!!

To put the outline of the states on the cooler, I traced the image onto a tissue paper. Next, I placed the tissue paper on the cooler where I wanted it, then I used a fine tip black Sharpie to trace the outline. The Sharpie will bleed through the paper and leave an outline that you can paint over. 

I also put a saying from Future First Lady that says "Red, White, and Better Than You".

I used the same process for outlining the states. I freehanded this, but check out daFont.com for cool free fonts!

For the front, I decided to put her monogram, because, DUH!
Same process because it's super easy!
Final result!

The overall goal was for the cooler to mimic a flag, so I painted to top portion blue with white stars.

Add any decorations. This can be rhinestones, glitter, etc. I puts bows that I got for $1 a piece at Wal-Mart on both sides of the handle. 

SEAL! First, I do 2 or 3 layers of Mod Podge, then I use a spray sealant. Make sure the Mod Podge is COMPLETELY dry before you use the final sealant or you will end up with a mess!! I tried this Rustoleum sealant that someone suggested, but I wasn't a huge fan of it. I guess I am going to have to break down and buy the MinWax Polycrylic to dry.
ModPodge goes on white, but dries clear! I use at least two coats before I do the final seal.
The final sealant I used. I sprayed two coats.

The final step is to WOW everyone with your awesome crafting skills! And post it to The Cooler Connection on Facebook!

The final result! Can't wait for my friend to get it! P.S. It only costs $6.85 to ship this cooler jug from AL to TX!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Cooler Jug Crazy

I FINALLY finished my cooler jug. I have been through quite a lot with this particular cooler, and I'm so glad to be finished with it. The first time I painted it, back before Christmas break, I had to completely redo it. I had seen everyone on Pinterest painting coolers, and I thought this would be a great way to start. Plus, it was only $5 at Dollar General! I should have read more into it, because I did not know to sand it. I primed it, taped it off and began to paint. I got one side completely done, and that's when tragedy struck. The painter's tape completely peeled off my primer and all of the paint. Being me, I got upset and didn't touch it for a few more months. I was bored one day while off at school, so I decided to get the cooler jug back out and sand all of the paint off and get it ready to paint again. I ended up not touching it again for a while due to painting a formal cooler and finals, but I finally got it out a week ago to finish it. I painted Lilly Pulitzer's You Gotta Regatta on one side with my monogram, and I got the inspiration for the other side from a shirt I found on the Chi Omega Shirt Swap. I freehanded everything on the cooler jug except for my monogram (and the mermaid, but my brother drew that so it still counts right?) So you don't end up like me the first time I tried to do this, here are a few tips.

2. Prime. I use Krylon for plastic primer in white. (It says no sanding required, but you have to sand to get the smooth finish off so the paint has something to adhere to.)
3. Pick out your designs. I love Lilly, and You Gotta Regatta seemed fairly simple to paint. But be warned, it was a lot more time consuming than I thought. The trick is to pick something that will work with your skill level so you don't get frustrated. I am a decent painter, but I don't do anything super intricate because I get frustrated with myself if I don't get it exactly how I imagined it. (I'm also a bit of a perfectionist…)
5. Paint! Below I'll show you the progress of painting my cooler. I forgot to take pictures of some parts, so just bear with me!
6. Seal it so the paint doesn't chip off!
To do this side, I just used the white primer as my background color. I went to The Printable Monogram and printed out the monogram that I wanted, and used the circle to draw a circle on the cooler where I wanted my monogram to be. (This is the actual monogram I used.) Next, I painted the waves, and then the sailboats.
To do the monogram,  I traced it onto tissue paper (the cheaper quality, the better!)
I licked the corners of the tissue paper to get it to stay in place without having to use tape. Then I used an ultra fine tip Sharpie to LIGHTLY trace the monogram. If you do the Sharpie to dark or thick, it can be hard to cover with paint, especially if you are using a lighter color of paint.
This is what it should look like. ^^^
It's going to take a few coats of paint, so don't get frustrated if it doesn't look like you want it to right away.
This is after three coats of paint, and what I was happy with.
To do the silver dots around the circle, I took a clean pencil eraser and dipped it in paint. Super easy and all of your dots will be the same size.
For this side, I didn't want a solid, plain background. Instead I took the colors that I used on the other side and made "waves". My brother then drew the mermaid for me (he got all of the artistic talent). Then, I did all of the painting and lettering.
I freehanded all of these letters. I used Simon Script from DaFont as a go-by for the big letters, and the small letters are just my regular cursive.
I used a paint pen to go over the letters. I deviated from my normal brand of paint pens because this brand had the color and size I wanted in stock. The paint pen was absolutely awful, but nevertheless I finally got it all outlined.
For the pearls on the side, I traced the lid of a bottle of nail polish onto a piece of copy paper and cut it out and used it as a template. After I traced out all of the pearls like I wanted, I painted it white. After 375823794 coats it seemed (more like 5), I used a silver Sharpie to outline the pearls.
If your cooler jug has ridges around the bottom like mine, it's easier just to paint it a solid color that coordinates with both sides instead of trying to paint on them.
Once you're finished, just Mod Podge and clear coat. On The Cooler Connection people suggest using MinWax polycrylic to seal, but I haven't tried that yet. I just use a Krylon clear coat spray over the Mod Podge.
Here is the finished project!!

I would love to see your projects! Just send them to me on Pinterest or leave a comment with a link to the pictures!