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Posts Tagged ‘brown’

I’ve suddenly become obsessed with making clothes.  I blame it on Pinterest and all the adorable ideas I’ve been exposed to.  In one of my lives (lets pretend we get lots) I would love to be a fashion designer.  *Sigh*  Instead though, I have been breaking out my sewing machine and pretending I’m one.

Don’t get me wrong though.  I seriously am NOT a seamstress.  I know very little about sewing actually and I never follow patterns.  I don’t know if I even know how to read patterns.  I just sketch ideas out as they come or try to figure out how to make things based on other items I’m inspired by.  This is why my little sewing tutorials are relatively easy.  Because I don’t think I could pull of anything much harder.

When I do get the itch to sew something, I usually turn to jersey fabric or a stretchy knit.  This stuff is so easy to work with and doesn’t fray so hemming edges isn’t necessary unless you want it to be.  I went to the fabric store the other day in search of a fun print in a knit to make a maxi dress after becoming obsessed with the kimono style maxi dresses I’d seen on Pinterest and Etsy lately.  I took both my boys, and quickly perused the options in between shoving cookies into my screaming 14 month old and reprimanding my 4 year old for unrolling bolts of fabric down the aisle.  Ugh.  Can I just say how much I HATE shopping with my kids.  By the way, any tips on that matter would be appreciated!  Anyway, I found this colorful, kind of native american-esqu, ikat-ish print that I loved and lucky for me was 40% off.  I got 3 yards for $23.  Enough to make my maxi dress and a little whatever-else-I-feel-like-making later.  Anyway, this is a really easy dress and I’m pretty happy with how it turned out!  Hope you like it and have fun making your own!

Cost:  About $23 or so depending on the fabric

Supplies:

  • 2 and a half yards or so of stretchy knit fabric
  • Coordinating thread.
  • Elastic for waistline.
  • Pins.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Scizzors.

1.  Refer to my little sloppy sketches below that kind of walk you through it.

2.  The sketches pretty much lay it out for you but I’ll give you some extra tips.

  • TIP 1:  Try this on a lot as you go to make sure its fitting you well.  OR, take a maxi or long dress you already own and find the proper length for your new dress from that.
  • TIP 2:  Leave at least 12 inches open at the armholes when you sew up the sides, if you want less of an opening, you can always sew up more of the armhole after you try it on.  P.S.  When sewing, sew right sides together and use a knit stitch (or zigzag stitch) on your machine to allow the fabric to continue to stretch.  Careful not to pull the fabric as you are sewing to avoid rippling.
  • TIP 3:  Cut the neckline by folding the dress in half and cutting a half V on the fold.  This way the neckline will be symmetrical.  Also, cut the neckline pretty conservatively at first.  Since the fabric has stretch it will widen/deepen when you put it on.  You can always cut more from the neckline after you try it on and gauge how deep/wide you’d like it to be.
  • TIP 4:  You can omit the pleating if you’d like along the shoulder area at the neckline.  I just through that on mine for solely decorative reasons.  If you don’t know how to make a pleat, google it.  Its super easy and quickly adds a little “fancy” to any design.
  • TIP 5:  Cut a strip of elastic long enough to wrap around your waistline.  Make it slightly longer than you think you’ll need.  You can always cut the excess off when you’ve sewn it into your dress.  Refer to this post for more tips on sewing in elastic waistlines.

3.  Throw it on when you’re done and accessorize in an oh-so-bohemian-chic kind of way and be proud of your work!

GO DO IT!!  🙂

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I have been crafting like crazy lately, and my house shows it.  There are fabrics, beads, dyes, and odds and ends EVERYWHERE.  I LOVE IT.  It means I’ve done something.  It also means I have one RIDICULOUSLY huge mess to clean up.

Every once in a while I’ll hit a huge surge of creative juices.  Maybe I’m manic.  Or just A.D.D.  Probably both…  ANYWAY, I hit one of these surges around the middle of last week and have been having quite some fun indulging my crafty side.  I feel quite productive.

Probably my most favorite thing I made this past week was this little mustard number I refashioned from a frumpy long white skirt that I got as a gift a while back and NEVER wore.  Not even once.  I’ve been addicted to this site I found recently called Weardrobe and have been in love with all the mustard yellows I’ve been seeing in the fashion world.  So, I went into my closet, in an attempt to create me something MUSTARD.  I saw the skirt and thought, “Hmmm.  I’m sure I can do something with this”.  And I did.  And I love it.

Heres a look at it before:

Heres what I did.

Cost:  About $6  (for the dye)

Supplies:

  • A long skirt.  Preferably pretty straight.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Elastic
  • A long piece of scrap fabric (for the necktie).
  • Brown and yellow RIT dye.  (Find it in the laundry detergent section at Walmart).  I used the liquid kind.
  • Sewing machine.
  • Thread.
  • Scizzors, pins, etc.
Okay!  This is really super easy and I know you’re dying to make it so here are the instructions! 🙂
1.  Refer to my little diagram below.  Sorry, I know its kind of dark.
2.  Basically, you just want to fold your skirt in half and cut off the waistline (mine was elastic) and then cut from the waistline down to the side to create armholes.  Its worth it to throw it on after you cut off the waistline and get a feel for how wide you want your neckline and how large to make your armholes.  Another way to do it is use a tank top you already have as a guide, although you may still need to adjust it a bit.  Make the neckline area a little wider than you would like.  It will be gathered by the necktie in the end.
3.  Next you want to hem all your raw edges you’ve just created.  I don’t own a serger (dangit) so I just zigzag stitched the edges and then folded them under and straight stitched (on the armholes only) about a quarter inch.
4.  The next thing you’ll do it create a pocket at the neckline for the sash/necktie/whatever-you-call-it to go through.  Just fold under about 2 inches or so and straight stitch the bottom of the fold.  *TIP* Be aware of the fabric that you’re working with.  You might need to zigzag stitch the whole thing if you’re working with stretchy fabric.  Mine was linen.
5.  Now you need to make the necktie with your scrap fabric.  I had a cut up old white sheet I used.  I simply made a long sash by cutting out about a 5 inch wide strip and then folded it in half (right sides together) and stitching it together along the edge.   Then I turned it right side out and stitched up the ends.  Then feed it through the neckline pocket you made with both ends coming off to one side in the front.  *TIP*  Use a large safety pin attached to the end of your necktie to feed it through the pocket easily.
6.  Now, put on your dress.  It will look kinda like you’re wearing a potato sack with a cute little bow.  Find where you’d like to create a “waist”  and pin that area on each side.
7.  Next, take it off, and mark with straight pins (or a fabric chalk) straight across to the other pin to make a straight waistline guide.
8.  Next, wrap a long piece of elastic around your waist at the same area wear you pinned on your dress.  Find the size/tension that you like and cut the elastic to that size.
9.  Now, sew the elastic onto your dress following the waistline guide you’ve created (turn the dress inside out again and sew the elastic on the inside of the dress).  To sew elastic so that it gathers the fabric (also known as ruching), start off by tacking the elastic down (preferably on a side seam) and then pull on the elastic to stretch it a bit as you slowly stitch it to the fabric.  Practice on scraps first if you have never done this before.  You’ll get the hang of it.  Try to keep the same amount of tension on the elastic through the entire waistline so that it gathers evenly.
AND THATS IT!!  You’ve done it!
Now just follow the dye instructions (if you ARE dyeing) to create a new custom color.  For my mustard yellow color I mixed about 1/4 the bottle of brown dye in with the full bottle of yellow dye and then added it to steaming hot water (about 3 gallons).  It took very little time (about 15 minutes) for my skirt to reach the color I wanted.  Then I simply rinsed it out in cold water and laundered it as usual.
What do you think?  Easy right!?  I’m IN LOVE.
Since its a billion and one degrees here you could still wear it like this:
I love the yellow with the pops of teal for summer.
Or, when it starts cooling down, wear it like this:

Mustard yellow, grey, and pecan.  Yummy.

Heres the BEFORE and AFTER again:

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Hey again everyone!  I told you in the last post that I’d get some new pics of to show you Sawyer’s room now that its all done (13 months after his birth…don’t judge me).  Actually, its been done for a while I’m just slow at posting.  Theres really not TOO much that looks different from the nursery posts before this one, just a few added details that I think pull it all together.  Anyway, here it is.  All DONE.  🙂

Please ignore the stuff on the floor.  Sawyer was in here while I was taking these pics and was dragging all kinds of stuff out.  At least it shows how the room looks in reality!

The white Jenny Lind crib and changing table set I got off of Craigslist for $125.  The vinyl wall mural I found here.

I found the empty frame at Hobby Lobby in the clearance section for $8.  I made the banner with a template and cardstock and chipboard letters I covered in scrapbook paper.  Here is a template you can use to make your own.  (Just cut the little corners off when you fold the top over your string).

Above are some close-ups of Sawyer’s bunting name banner.

The woodsy vinyl wall mural totally MADE this room.  Since I wasn’t spending much on the rest of the room decor, I “splurged” on it and got it for around $100 or so.  I could pick the colors I wanted and I think it turned out FABULOUS against the teal wall.  (p.s.  Sawyer is so cute rockin his new mowhawk!)

A tree branch made the perfect curtain rod for this space.  I also used a tree branch for the DIY mobile below.

This mobile was SUPER EASY to throw together.  A tree branch+wooden cutouts in woodsy shapes from the craft store+orange craft paint+hemp string and a hook screw= a graphic naturalist simple baby mobile.  You can also buy a little hand drill in the wood pieces section of the craft store for easy hole drilling into small wood pieces like this.

The lamp above was made from an old shade I had leftover from a client’s house, and some extra orange and white fleece from other projects.  My little sis helped me cut out a bunch of “leaf shapes” alternating between regular scizzors and pinking shears.  Then I simply sewed them together like a long garland right down the center of each.  I then cut varying lengths off of the “leaf garland” and hot glued them to the lamp shade, being sure to cover the entire shade and vary the lengths that dangled.  It turned out pretty cute I think and was an easy way to add fun, whimsical lighting.

Sawyer’s baby quilt was another DIY project.  I had found a towel at Walmart for $4 that was the PERFECT color and then decided to applique birch trees and leaves onto it with scrap fabric from other projects for the room.  Then I simply bound and backed the entire “towel quilt” with white fleece.  It has held up really well through several washings and ties in the wall mural nicely.

Below is the block printed bird pillow I made.  Martha Stewart has a great tutorial on block printing using Speedy-Carve blocks here.

And below again is another pillow I hand stamped.  That tutorial can be found here.

I also made this DIY fabric wall art.  That tutorial is here.

And above is a pic of the white $4 thrifted antlers (I sprayed them white with high gloss spray paint), and a photo set I took and framed (got the white frames at the Dollar Store), and also a little owl I made with a hand towel and scrap fabric.  I love this little vignette.

So there you go!  This is my cheap and easy DIY’d, aqua, orange, brown, and white, vintage modern, refurbished, thrifted, woodland creatures, little boys nursery.  Phew.  Hope you like it and can go and DIY one for your little man (or woman) ! Happy crafting!

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Finally!  I’m back to post my Pinterest challenge project!  I was away for a funeral for a while and had to get back to regular life and catch up and of course it took me much longer than I wanted it too.  Anyway…

So I’m totally into this faux taxidermy trend.  I kind of love it and hope it sticks around forever.  In Sawyer’s nursery I have a pair of antlers (not faux…they’re the real deal) that I bought at a thrift store for $4 and spray painted white.   This is a pic from this post:  (Wow!  I need to get pics posted of Sawyer’s completed room.)

I also found a little porcelain cow bust at a thrift store for $3 that is now hanging on the wall in my master.  This is a pic of it from this post:

So even though I already have a couple of animals hanging on my walls, I couldn’t help but want to get some more!

For the Pinterest Challenge I went into my DIY folder and purused my past pins.  When I saw this image

I thought it would be the perfect project!  I was fully aware of course that my DIY version would most likely be uglier than this but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway.  Maybe the ugliness would add to the charm. 🙂

So off to Home Depot I went in search of some wire.

Heres the breakdown:

Cost:  About $6

Supplies:

  • Plenty of 16 Ga. Dark Annealed Wire (I bought the 2lb reel).  OKay.  So now that this project is done, I can tell you I HATE THIS WIRE for this project.  It is too stiff and hard to shape and really beat up my hands and fingers!  I suggest a covered clothesline wire or floral wire.  I saw some colored floral wire at the Dollar Store and am going to try it out again with that I think.  But, for the sake of accuracy in the tutorial, I used the 16 Ga. wire from Home Depot for this project.
  • Wire cutters.
  • Pliers or jewelry tools are helpful for twisting the wire ends.
And thats it.  Simple and cheap.  Now the fun part…
1.  The first thing I did was make a wire circle to use as my base.  Depending on how large you want your animal head you can determine the size of your base.  I also was sure to add a little loop up at the top of the base for hanging.
As you can see from the pics above, this wire made it hard to keep smooth and straight so my faux deer head turned out a lot more wobbly looking than the inspiration pic.  I just convince myself it adds charm.
2.  The next thing I did was build a neck.  I used 4 equal lengths of wire and attached them to the base.  I curved them slightly so that they weren’t sticking straight out of the base but concave in a bit as a neck of an animal does.  Then I made another circle (slightly smaller than the base circle) and attached it to the ends of the neck wires.
3.  Then I started building the head.  Following somewhat my inspiration pic, I built the head using curving pieces.  First, one coming up from the neck to form the chin piece, then two others curving down from the top of the head to the chin piece.
4.  Next I added a long piece of wire that connects all three of those new parts together.
5.  Then I added another wire that curved a bit and came down forming the front of the face from the base of the neck to under the chin.
6.  See how its starting to kinda look like something?  Even if it is a little whompy.  😉  Then I added a couple more curvy piece to either side on the center wire on the face and made and added ears.  From here you could probably make this into a variety of different horned creatures.  Although I originally wanted to copy the inspiration image and make swirly cool horns like that, after several attempts, it just wasn’t working for me and I decided to make my little guy a deer instead.  Maybe if I had used easier wire, I could’ve done it.  Meh.  Another day…
7.  Next I made the antlers.  To do this I took two really long pieces of wire cut to the same length.  I folded them in half (at the same time), and started forming the “branches” up the sides of each.  Then I pulled them apart and attached them to the top of the head inside each ear.  I had to mess with them a bit to get them to look somewhat symmetrical.
8.  Then I stepped back and took a look and decided the face needed a little more so I added a cross wire across the nose of the face and also decided to give him nostrils.   This was the finished result!
What do you think?!  Like I said, not nearly as pretty as my inspiration Pin but I love him nonetheless. Just take my advice, get some really good wire cutters and really pliable wire if you decided to do this one!
And thats it!  Thats my first Pinterest Challenge project!  YAY!  I’m sure there will be many more to come.

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A friend of mine tried to update her honey-oak cabinets with a dark espresso gel stain.  No bueno.  I have never worked with gel stain before but from what I’ve researched it seems like a fickle medium.  Anyway, I’m not sure if it was the way my friends applied the stain or if it was the type of finish that was on the oak cabinets before but the stain went on blotchy and, once dry, immediately began chipping off with the slightest touch.  They were in a pickle so they called me up to get my opinion on the matter.  I went over and took a look at the cabinets and got a handle on what had been done.  We then came up with a plan of action to get their kitchen looking lively and updated again.  Then they got to work stripping and sanding the cabinets back to bare wood.  BIG JOB but worth it.  If you are reading this post with your own cabinets in mind I should tell you that stripping and sanding back cabinets to bare wood ISN’T ALWAYS necessary if you’re planning on painting them and/or refinishing them.  In the case of my friends, we had to strip the gel stain away because you never want to paint on top of a coat that was never correctly bonded to the original cabinets surface.  So basically, and I’m not an expert so you might need a second opinion depending on the state of your cabinets, if you have chipping finish (stain, laquer, paint, etc.) stripping and sanding are usually necessary before refinishing.  If your cabinets are in good condition (no chipping finish, bubbles, drips, etc.) a light sanding with medium grit sandpaper (just to give the existing finish some tooth for the new stain/primer to hold on to) should do the trick just fine.  On my cabinets (we had standard builder grade oak cabinets when we first moved in that I wanted to “jazz up”) I simply went over them lightly with sandpaper and then antiqued and stained them with a stain 1 shade darker than the original finish.  Heres the before and after (sorry the pics aren’t great).

If you are going to stain over pre-stained and laquered cabinets without stripping them, you should only apply a  new stain that is one or maybe two shades darker than the existing stain.  Also, keep in mind that if you have any “fake wood” (mine have fake wood on the sides of that cabinet shelving) this will not “take” the stain like wood so if you go more than a shade or two darker you will have to most likely replace those areas with new “fake wood” to match the new stain.  I stained over my fake wood with the same new stain I used on my cabinets and it blended in fine since I didn’t go much darker than the original color.

For my friend’s cabinets, we discussed staining the oak a darker medium brown color.  They liked the look of natural wood antiqued cabinets.  Their home has a french-country flair to it so we wanted to do something inkeeping with that feeling.  Heres the issue we had with staining the now bare oak cabinets:  Wood grain.  Tons of it.  Oak (especially oak that has been stripped and sanded bare) has tons of gorgeous, open, porous wood grain that soaks up stain like crazy.  It is BEAUTIFUL no doubt, but in this situation would have made the cabinets far too rustic and busy looking alongside their beautiful speckled granite countertops.  Now, I have heard of ways you can lessen the graininess of oak cabinets so that they take stain more uniformly.  You can “seal” the grain before you stain with different things.  I’ve never done it and I can’t vouch for it as a DIY’er.  So with this realization we decided to paint the cabinets instead and antique them.  I know.  The purists out there are going to hate me for that.  But to each his own.  In this case, this was the best option to 1. Update their cabinets and spruce up their kitchen, 2. Make the cabinets POP with the granite counters and black/stainless appliances, 3. Create a nice flow with the style of the house and the homeowners decor.  So what we decided on, after much deliberation, was to go ahead and paint the main cabinets an antiqued cream and the island antiqued black to make it POP.  And I’m telling ya, its gonna be gorgeous.  You may even forgive me for painting over wood. 😉

So how’d we do it?  I brought home a couple of doors as a demo for you guys.

Cost: Varies depending on the size of your kitchen

Supplies:

  • Primer: Ask a pro or get a recommendation from the sales associate depending on the state of your cabinets.  There are tons of great primers out there.  I used Behr primer for these.
  • Paint: Interior latex paint in semigloss.  The semigloss finish helps the stain go on smoothly and creates an easy-t0-clean surface for future wipe-downs.
  • Sandpaper: Medium grit and fine grit.
  • Stain with a polyurethane coating built in.  This will eliminate the need for an additional laquer coat and seal the areas that have been sanded back.  *TIP*  Buy a stain that is darker than your paint color.  For example, for an antiqued cream finish I bought white paint, and a medium brown stain.  The stain gets into the corners for the antiquing and creates a soft variated wash over the entire cabinet turning the cabinet cream.  Realize when you are buying your paint and stain that for this technique that the stain will darken and dull the paint color.  So, buy a paint that is lighter and brighter than your intended result and a stain that compliments it.  If you are nervous, just buy some sample paint colors and a stain and test out the technique on some scrap wood until you find the color combination that you like.
  • Good paintbrushes. You want the cabinets to have as little paint strokes as possible so find a couple of great paintbrushes with fines, soft bristles.  If you have decorative moulding, get a 1″ angled brush to get in all the corners and a 2″ flat brush for the flat surfaces.
  • A sponge.  They have different size sponges in the paint section of your local hardware store.  I got a big one and cut it up as I needed.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Blue heavy duty paper towels.  Find them in the paint section as well.  You will use these to wipe off the stain when you do the antiquing.
1.  Prep your cabinets.  This might mean stripping them and sanding them down to wood (as mine are), or simple hand-sanding them with a medium grit sandpaper.  Thoroughly wipe down the cabintes with a damp cloth to remove excess dirt and debris.
2.  Begin priming your cabinets.  If your cabinets have decorative moulding (like these), take a small angled brush and prime the moulding first being sure to get in the corners, follow the woodgrain as much as possible, and being careful of drips and puddles.
3.  Next prime the flat surfaces with the flat brush, following the wood grain as much as possible.  Try to keep your strokes as steady and straight as possible and be sure not to overload your brush with paint.  Also, be careful not to over-brush your cabinet; the primer is typically quick drying and will quickly develop a skin that may be hard to smooth out if over brushed.  Also, always prime and paint in a well-ventilated area and keep out of direct sunlight.
4.  Once the primer has dried, paint the first coat of paint color onto your cabinets.  Follow the same painting style as with the prime: moulding first, flat surfaces second, follow wood grain, straight strokes, don’t overload, don’t over brush, etc.  If you are seeing more prominent brush strokes than you would like to, don’t worry.  Just paint the cabinet up and let it dry.  If you need to you can “buff” out some of the heavy brush strokes with fine grit sandpaper in between coats if you need to.
5.  Let the first coat dry.  Survey the cabinets for drips or heavy brush strokes.  If you see any that bother you, lightly “buff” them out with fine grit sandpaper.
6.  Apply the second coat of paint the same way as the first.
7.  Allow that coat to dry and do any touch-ups as needed.
8.  If you’d like to do some distressing at this point you can.  Lightly sand back to the wood edges, corners, grooves, of your cabinets until they are distressed to your liking.
9.  Now comes the fun part!  Get out your stain, sponge(s), and paper towels, and disposable gloves.  Cut a medium sized wedge shape out of your sponge (this will help get the stain in the grooves).  Open up your stain and get ready to work fast.  (If this intimidates you, practice on a scrap piece of wood until you are familiar with the technique and timing).
10.  Dip the end of your sponge into the stain and quickly apply it to one side of the cabinet.  Make sure to squeeze the stain into all the grooves and corners.  Only do one section at a time as this stain will set up fast and you need to be able to focus on one area at a time to make it look right.  Be careful not to overload your sponge with stain.  You want it damp, not dripping.
11.  Now that one section is covered, pull off one paper towel and fold it into fourths.  Firmly press the paper towel onto the stained portion of your cabinet and begin wiping off the stain, following the wood grain as much as possible.  If you see too much stain puddling in the edges, use a corner of your paper towel to sop up and evenly distribute the stain throughout that area.
11.  Do the remaining sides of the cabinet the same way.  *TIP* If the stain starts to dry too early for your liking, re-wet your sponge with a little more stain and work it into that area.
12.  Do the flat surfaces the same way, following the wood grain and blending the stain in to the stained sides.
13.  Let the newly stained cabinet dry overnight.  Then do the insides the same way.
And thats it!  Gorgeous eh!  I’ll get pics when my friends kitchen is complete!

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Yay!  I’m so excited to FINALLY have my craft room/office/music/guest room decorated and ready to use! Heres a bad picture that sort of gives you the idea of what it used to look like.  Sorry, I didn’t take many before pics.

As you can see,  this just shows you one side of the room where I housed all my craft junk.  Although it was somewhat organized into labeled bins, it looked super cluttered and chaotic.  The other side of the room had a small rickety computer desk and my keyboard on it.  And that was pretty much it.  Oh, by the way, if you read my sunburst mirror tutorial I described the “decorated” version of this room with the diarrhea wall color.  The pic above is before I painted it back then.  Sorry, I don’t have a pic of the ugly “decorated” room (I’m trying to block it from my memory).

Anyway, we really needed to be able to use this room as my craft room, our office, our music room to house my keyboard and our recording equipment, and a guest room for when family comes to visit from Idaho.  Thats a lot to ask of a relatively small space.  I sat in the room with a paper and pencil for like 20 minutes before I came up with a functional solution.  I decided the crappy desk had to go in order to free up that wall for a day-bed with trundle for guests.  That meant I’d have to reconfigure the shelving (thanks Daddy for putting it up for me!) and build a desk area on that side of the room.  This made my hubby happy when he saw it complete and realized how much extra desk space it created.  I also needed to fit my keyboard in there along with my drop-leaf craft table.  So the keyboard went on the wall by the closet door, I organized and put shelving in the closet to free up the floorspace which allows me now to be able to roll my craft table in there when I’m not using it, and I also brought an old bookcase that was in our garage in with some baskets to house guests’ items and create a little vanity area with a mirror and lamp.  And voila!! It is done.  And BONUS, my husband caved and agrees that it now looks much better and is much more functional.  Heres what it looks like now:

Awwww.  Much better.

The wooden day-bed and trundle were a $50 craigslist find and fit perfectly on the back wall.  I bought the white twin bedskirt at Target as well as the white comforter.

I REALLY needed some functional storage for all my craft supplies.  I found these photo boxes at Hobby Lobby for $4 each but I bought them on a 50% off day for $2 a piece.  Think outside the box (no pun intended) when looking for organizational supplies.  Office storage boxes like these were at least $6 each in the office supply section of the other stores I visited.   In the bottom left you can see some of my white stackable bins that I keep on the bottom shelf to store things I need often like scizzors, glue, markers, tools, etc, and I found them as a set of 3 at Walmart in the kitchen section.

Heres a peek at the “office” side.  Peyton really wanted to be in the picture.

A few Dollar Store clipboards got a makeover with ModPodge and scrapbook paper and keep our mail organized.

This frame was a quick project:  Take an old frame, paint it, attach wire or string across it in rows (I used push pins to hold it to the frame), and clip on small clothespins.  It makes a cute little photo/memo board.

This is my DIY mirror and a lamp that was needing a home.  I spray painted the lamp Jade from Krylon and sanded it back a little to distress it a bit.  I wanted a little place where guests could get ready and put some belongings.

These are the pen and ink sketches from this tutorial.  I bought the frames at the Dollar Store.

I layered tons of fun pillows on the day-bed which I just took from other places in my house.  I also took a paper lantern from my son’s room (he already had another lamp in there) and spruced it up a bit with some fabric flowers.  The tutorial for that is coming soon.  I bought an ugly painting a while back at a thrift store for $5 solely for the frame and painted the frame and a picture to go inside and hung it over the bed.

Here is a close up of the painting I did.  I wanted something kind of fun and quirky with just a POP of color.  I sketched the picture on a white canvas board (find canvas for really cheap at Walmart and BigLots) and then gave it a watercolored look with watered down acrylic craft paint.  I like that its imperfect and kind of whimsical.  The dusty blue-green fram makes it really pop off the white wall.  I spray painted the frame with Jade paint from Krylon and then glazed over it with watered down black craft paint and wiped it back before it dried with a paper towel.  Then I just set it all with a clear gloss spray lacquer.

I spruced up this lamp with singed fabric flowers I made and I think it really gives it a little more oomph.

This chalkboard was made by spray painting the old backing to a mirror (regular spray paint in a matte or satin finish works GREAT as a chalkboard on a smooth surface).  I decorated it with a white paint pen and hung it off of some silver chain I had.

And thats pretty much it!! It actually looks much better in person and I am loving the results!  I’m so excited to start using this room more now and my hubby is excited that craft junk will no longer be inhabiting the dining room table!  🙂

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So sorry to everyone who has been waiting for a new post!  I had family in town and some pregnancy issues and just couldn’t get to my blog like I would’ve liked to last week.

First I want to show off how my baby boy nursery is coming along and the projects that have gone into creating it.  Heres a look at the nursery “BEFORE”:…and another:And heres what it looks like now:

(Remember the fabric artwork?  Doesn’t it look great in here!)And heres a close up of the little stuffed owl I made out of a hand towel and scrap fabric:And heres a better look at the easy DIY leaf lamp my little sis and I made out of polar fleece and an old lamp shade:The baby quilt was I made from a $4 bath towel, white polar fleece, and scrap fabric.  I just used the scrap fabric to applique birch trees that mimic the wall mural.  You can also get a look at the block printed bird pillow I made.And finally, heres the Alphabet Pillow that I will be showing you how to make right now.Theres still a lot I want to do in the nursery.  The drapes need to be hung (I’ll be using a tree branch as the curtain rod), I need to make the baby mobile (I’ll be using branches and wood craft cutouts of woodland creatures), once we pick out a name for this little guy I’d like to make some sort of name banner over the crib, and I’m in the process of crocheting a rag rug for the floor.  But, I’m loving the way its turning out so far.  My hubby was hesitant (I don’t get why he still doesn’t trust me) when he saw the aqua wall colors (he thought they were “too girly”), but once the mural was on the wall and the antlers were hung over the changing table, he was in love.  Now I catch him just sitting in the room with the lamp on, rocking in the chair.  Preparing the nursery has really made us both excited for baby boy #2.

Anyway, like I said, I’ll be showing you guys how to make the alphabet pillow today, but let me know if there are any other projects from the room that you’d like me to write a tutorial on and I’d be happy to share all of it with you.

So lets get started on this crazy easy pillow! Heres the breakdown:

Cost: Mine cost $0 to make since I had everything on hand already.  But if you don’t have everything I’d estimate the project will cost between $10-$15.

Supplies:

  • A white pillow (or pillow cover; check out Ikea for plain throw pillow covers in various shapes, sizes, and colors).  My pillows were actually pillow inserts that were meant to be covered but I just simply unstuffed them and then sewed them back up when I was done printing my letters on them.
  • Medium to large foam alphabet stamps.  I got mine at Michaels a while back and they are double sided with the capital letter on one side and the lower case letter on the other.  Any font will work as long as it is not TOO busy and easy to read.
  • Fabric paint in two colors that coordinate with the color scheme in the room.  I did this project obviously for my baby room which is in aqua and orange but I also think it would be smashing in a library or family room in more sophisticated colors.
  • Paper or cardstock to put inside the pillow case to prevent the paint from seeping through.
  • Foam brush to apply the paint to the stamp.
  • Iron to heat set the paint when dry.

And that is seriously it!  So easy and I bet you have a lot of this stuff on hand or you know a crafty friend who’d let you use hers.  Ready to go then?  Lets do this!

  1. Cut a hole big enough to get the stuffing out of the pillow along the seam of one of the sides of the pillow if you’re like me and using a pillow you already have.  If you have a pillow cover, simply lay it flat on the table and insert your pieces of cardstock.  Be sure to have enough cardstock in there to cover the entire portion that you’ll be stamping to prevent seepage (what a lovely word “seepage” is…ugh).
  2. Organize your stamps in alphabetical order so that you can work quickly and easily.
  3. Squirt your fabric paint colors onto your painting pallet (I use a plate covered in tin foil as my pallet).
  4. Okay, nows where you can decide how “perfect” you’d like your pillow to be.  Like I’ve said before, I like imperfect projects because I don’t have the patience to “perfect” them so I simply found the center of my pillow, decided how many letters I’d like on each row, and went for it.  But if you’d like something less “handmade” looking I suppose you could use a ruler and painters tape to tape off your rows like writing paper to insure that everything is straight.  If you are lacking the confidence to just “go for it”, I suggest that when you stamp your first pair of letters (a “pair” meaning the capital and the lower case) you do the pair that is going to be in the center of your pillow.  That will give you a good starting point to work the rest of your alphabet around.  Basically, step 4 is just to decide how you’d like to lay out your letters.  Heres my finished pillow again to give you a reference point:You can see I did 4 letters across and 6 letters down with the “Y” and the “Z” in the center at the bottom.  Based on the size of your pillow and the size of your stamps, you can play around with the layout to find which you’d like best.
  5. Once you got a plan of action you can now decide which letters you’d like to POP out by using the second accent color.  I was originally just going to choose random letters throughout the alphabet to paint in orange (my accent color) but then my little sister Jenna came up with the brilliant idea to spell “F-O-X” with my accent letters.  I thought it was great since the letters happened to fall in such a way that your eye read them as “fox” and that it was inkeeping with my woodsy theme for the room.  You can try doing a word like this or just accent random letters.  Whatever you decide, I love the look of just a few simple letters standing out on the pillow like this.
  6. Once you’ve decided, its time to get stamping!  Are you ready for this?  The trick is to wet the letter stamp with not too much and not too little paint and to quickly and firmly press straight down onto your fabric and pull up.  If you press at an angle or move you’ll smudge your letters so it might be a good idea to practice a few letters on some scrap fabric until you feel like you got the hang of it.  Heres my craft stamps I used to do this project.  (Sorry its kind of upside down but you get the idea).And heres a look at my pillow halfway complete.  A little skeewampus but I guess I’m a little skeewampus myself so its befitting.
  7. Once you have all your letters stamped onto your pillow, allow adequate time to dry (it took mine about 30 minutes but follow the instructions on the paint you have) and then heat set with a dry iron if your paint so requires.  Most fabric paints will.
  8. If you printed your alphabet on a pillow cover then YOU’RE ALL DONE!!! But if you’re like me, you simply need to restuff and fluff your pillow and sew the seam closed.

And thats it my friends!! So EASY and cute isn’t it!  Here are some more tips and ideas you can use for this same project:

  • Dye your plain white pillow case with teabags and use sepia tones for your letter colors to make a vintagey fun alphabet pillow for your home or office.
  • Use foam letter stamps in different sizes and fonts to create a oober-eclectic alphabet pillow.
  • Try to highlight your little ones name in the alphabet by stamping out the letters of their name in the accent color.

What do you think?  Can you do it!? Of course you can!!! Have fun and let me know how yours turn out!  Stay tuned for my next tutorial “How to Make an Antique Clay Rose Necklace”. Tata for now and happy crafting everybody!

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