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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Ok, guys, we are in the last two weeks of competition with Creating with the Stars and to say that the contestants exceeded our expectations would be the understatement of the century. We have six competitors still fighting for a spot in the final 3 and no one is going down without a major fight.
If you missed the first two weeks of projects, check them out below:

This week some amazing prizes are at stake. The semi-finals winner will take home….
$500 Gift Card to Home Depot (Contestant & Blog Star!!)
$100 worth of Martha Stewart supplies from Plaid Crafts
$125 Gift Card to Lucent Lampworks
Project featured by HomeTalk


Now, we know you’re all dying to see what amazing projects our contestants have come up with this week with paint! Let’s go!
1. Painted Couch Featuring a Handmade Horse Stamp
We have all seen these couches before in someone’s grandma’s house.  This vintage couch is not the good kind of vintage, but I may have some of you convinced that this traditional style can be made more modern.  I painted the couch white, carved out a horse, and stamped the living daylights out of it with black paint from Home Depot.  Enjoy!
2. Painted Map Coffee Table
Painting! I’m not going to lie, I was pretty stoked about this week… and amazed I made it here. Painting is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to transform almost anything. And my table was in need of some transforming- big time. I picked it up at a flea market type place for $40… peeling, chipping, splinters, dirt and all.
I sanded and scraped (forever) until no more paint chips fell off when you walked by. Then I gave the entire table a coat of latex paint from Home Depot (mixed with a little plaster to make chalk paint), leaving some of the peeling paint texture on the legs. After that was dry, I taped off a large “X” pattern on the smaller shelf and added a painted stripe detail to IKEA storage boxes for the bottom.
On the top, I made my own basic map stencil by cutting away the continents on a large world map I printed out. I stuck the map to the table with painter’s tape, then painted over top with blues and greens. Once that was “roughed in”, I removed the paper map and spattered the rest of the painted detail free hand using mostly a plastic spoon and really watered down paint. The last step was to give the entire table a coat of protective finishing wax.
I kind of think the end result is out of this world… hehe, get it?
3. Painted Desk and Accent Wall Using Custom Stencils
I love paint! It sets the mood of a space and has the power to completely transform a piece.
I found this large bookcase at Goodwill and loved the detail on the doors, arch at the top, and the drop panel but didn’t like choppy layout, worn finish, and heavy bottom. Luckily, all of my dislikes were easy to fix with a little paint and reconfiguration of the layout.
With a little help from the Home Depot, I was well on my way to getting started. Thanks Chris!
Fix #1 – I moved the drop panel down to 30″ so that it can now be used as a secretary desk. Goodbye choppy bookcase, hello new desk!
Fix #2- Paint! The finish was worn and it had a few areas that needed to be filled with wood filler so painting was the perfect solution! I chose a classic ivory and paired it with a deep turquoise stenciled background. I created the stencil based on one of my favorite Farrow and Ball wallpapers.
Fix #3-the thick base and doors made this piece look bottom heavy. To fix this, I added small feet to lift it off the ground and create a little visual space at the base.
I also created a large stencil based on one of my favorite rugs. The large scale  and contrast provides a lot of visual impact and adds variety from the small scale stencil used on the back.
With the help of paint and a few power tools, this bookcase has been given a new life and I love the way it looks in my new space!
4. Painted Chalkboard with Map and Games

This week’s theme was my favorite so far…I love the many many ways that paint can be used to make an instant change and impact on a space or an object. I also love chalkboard paint. This week’s project is dedicated to my kiddos who surprise, surprise…love to get that their craft on too! 😉

In designing the chalkboard wall, we decided to have a map of the U.S.A…I love the way it looks and it will be fun to track the different states we go to as a family. After coloring in the states my kids have been to, they commented “well that’s not very many”, so I let them each choose a state they would like to go to someday…which explains why Hawaii and Alaska are colored. 🙂
Lately my oldest child has loved playing tic-tac-toe, so I thought a large, interactive wall version would be super-fun! I also included many “frames” for the kiddos to draw their masterpieces in. I picked the step-stools up at IKEA and painted them in fun colors, and the animal hooks holding our chalk and erasers came from Anthropologie.
It was a blast picking out all the fun paint colors at Home Depot! Because I was using so many colors and didn’t need a gallon of each color…Home Depot made my day when they told me that they can mix any color in a small, 7.5 oz jar…perfect!!!

And after a super-busy week painting…I’ll go to bed tonight and dream about being on a beach in…

 5. Aztec Wonder Painted Rug

I have been in love with the Aztec inspired rugs that I have been seeing in catalogs and online lately. The drool kind of love. But alas, rugs can be expensive. They are not something I can change an a whim. So, when the paint round came about I decided that it was time for me to get my hands on my latest crush and do it in a budget-friendly way. In DIY style, of course.

Isn’t she beautiful?! This rug was a labor of love. And a lot and lot of sponges cut into stamps…applied one by one. Fabulous colors, a gentle application of paint from Home Depot, and lots of patience made this rug come together into something lovely.

My rug is more then happy living with me. And, I am so pleased to have my own version of this latest craze. And… you know what? I’m glad we’ve moved on from Chevron to Aztec. I’ve got my Aztec rug and I’m ready to go!

6. Painted Wall Mural and Dresser

I have a thing for maps right now – doesn’t everyone? So, when it came time for the “paint” challenge, I was pretty excited to hop right in and paint a giant world map on my wall. Because who doesn’t need one of those?!
I used a projector to hand-paint the whole thing, and then for a bit of contrast (and fun!) I added an old Ikea sideboard we had laying around that I painted Sunny Side Up by Behr from Home Depot. For a couple more little touches, I added bicycle drawer pulls (because, why not?) and numbers to the door fronts – you can barely see them from straight on, but if you look at it from a different angle, they suddenly show up. It’s a subtle touch, but I didn’t want anything to compete with the map above it!
  I love how the black and yellow work together, and I’m pretty excited to finally achieve my dream of covering a wall with the entire world. And, really, I find it hard to believe that this bright and sunny sideboard was once a plain, boring black Ikea piece – don’t you love how big of a transformation paint can make?!
It’s time to vote!

You guys have a ridiculously hard job- we don’t envy you a bit!

You can only vote one time, but you can vote for your favorite 3 projects.

**The voting glitch for Round 3 has been corrected and voting will be adjusted accordingly.  Thanks!

In order to vote, please LIKE EC2 on Facebook.



The comments +

  1. Cyndi says:

    Oops! You don’t have #4 on the ballot!

  2. These projects are freakin’ amazing! Such talent!

  3. Jill says:

    I’m only seeing the option to vote for entries 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6, and no option to vote for #4 (the chalkboard wall). Am I missing something? All the projects look great though!

  4. Sarah says:

    This is such fabulous talent. I have a random comment on this round. It seems like voting for three made more sense back when there were ten. Not that you can change it now, but wouldn’t it make more sense to be able to vote for only two by now? I mean, I liked two a ton, and then picked a third, but all those votes have equal weight… anyway, just a thought. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Sarah McK says:

    I want to vote for #4 it’s my favorite!!!!! Do sad for them not to make the ballot! Gonna be hard to catch up! ;(

  6. I would love to vote for #4 but it’s missing in your line up!. 🙁

  7. Kristin PG says:

    I’m going to wait for a few minutes to vote because I love number 4 but it’s not up there yet!

  8. Loving that stamped couch!! So creative and original!

  9. Wow! Great job everybody! Why don’t we all have our own DIY show??? lol I’d watch!

  10. it’s getting harder and harder to vote. such awesomesauce projects! look forward to each week! so fun!

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. Belle says:

    Where do you hide the ballot? I’ve scoured your facebook page and all I see is a post about spring break lunch and another about office wall art.

  13. Julia Konya says:

    Wow it’s extremely hard for me to vote this week. They are all so great!

  14. Briel says:

    This was a tough decision but I chose the map & games wall. Fun!

  15. Great projects, lots of fabulous ideas. I think it would be interesting to know how much time went into each project.

  16. Amanda says:

    You ladies are all so talented! I’m so impressed with all of these projects – and can’t believe I’m actually a part of this!! 🙂

  17. The photos for the Aztec rug are not showing up for me. Or is it my computer?
    Another week of incredible projects! I’ll check back later to hopefully see the rug before I vote.
    Debbie 🙂

  18. […] 4. An old sofa’s fresh coat of patterned upholstery from East Coast Creative […]

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