As much as I admire black and white kitchens, once our renovation was finished I realized they can feel a little cold unless you add some homey touches. I was on the fence about decorating the tops of my cabinets until I found a few inspiration photos using that space to add more texture, color, and interest to neutral kitchens. I’ve decided to add items slowly because I don’t want my kitchen to look cluttered. But what to I add? I knew I needed storage so baskets were a no brainer. But it needed something more than just baskets. While staring at a few favorite pictures pulled from the pages of House Beautiful magazine, I studied this one to figure out what I loved and the answer smacked me in the face:
CLAMS. Clams sorta smacked me in the face.
While there’s so much to love in the picture (and the house as a whole, the entirety of which I think I pinned) I was totally drawn to the ‘clam broth’ and ‘steamed clams’ pots. They remind me of my New England upbringing and summers vacations on the Cape. I wasn’t sure if I’d find black enamelware like the ones in the photo (plus, it can be expensive!) so I went to the thrift store to find a pot to paint black with white splatters to replicate the look. Guess what? At my second stop, I found the enamelware mecca and I didn’t need to recreate my own at all. I grabbed the largest one– this baby– for $8 with promises to the other pots I’d come back for them another time.
After a good scrubbing, we were ready to go. Using my favorite crafting item in the history of crafting items (these lowercase alphabet magnetic rubber stamps), I figured out what I was going to say.
I thought about writing ‘chowdah’ or ‘lobstah’, but that seemed a teeny touristy (even though it’s true, whaaaat?). Even though this is more of a pot for a clambake, I decided on ‘chowder’ since I love me some fresh New England Clam Chowder. After measuring to see how my letters should be spaced, I laid them out and was ready to go.
Using a good paintbrush, I applied regular ol’ white craft paint to the stamps.
Then I rolled them from left to right to apply the paint to the pot. In areas where the paint didn’t transfer I used my brush to add some extra paint to the letters. I actually wish I hadn’t though, because those are the letters I liked the least.
They aren’t perfect, but either are old New England Chowder pots. Plus, it’s going to live on top of my cabinets so no one will be looking at it up close. If perfect letters are important to you (I’m not judging whatsoever), then this is a great way to lay down letters as a guide and then paint a second coat with a paintbrush. Here’s a close up of the texture achieved by stamping craft paint onto the metal enamelware:
EEK! I love it!
Then I went after this galvanized planter, found at a thrift store for $1.50. It took my husband 3 days to figure out what 814 stands for (hint: guys stereotypically tend to forget this date) but that smart guy eventually realized what it meant. I used the same process as the chowder pot, but with black craft paint.
Even as they dried, I fell more in love.
Since I was on a typography roll, my baskets started screaming at me for some labels.
Tags, alphabet rubber stamps, and some ink solved that problem. Thank goodness because screaming baskets are annoying, y’all!
Now my flour sack dish towels need to quiet down. I still use my DIY stamped tea towels all the time and am looking to make a few more. They’d better watch out, I’m coming for them next.
It’s all coming together now! Not fully there, but getting there.
Got stamps and a surface to stamp on? If so, let’s get crackin’ on adding some ooomph to the kichen!
There you have it, a few DIY coastal kitchen accessories with a typography theme you can make in under an hour, for just a few dollars. Now, let’s dish (HA): what words would you include in your kitchen? Anything with significance for your family or hometown, or words associated with a special memory?