DIY shelves

I’m almost complete with my 1 room, 30 days bathroom challenge and I can’t believe the transformation. Today I completed the shelves and couldn’t wait to post about it. I found several posts on Pinterest about DIY shelving, and thought- what the hell!

I bought a board from Lowes (10″ deep x8′ long) for less than $8. I also bought stain, brackets to hang it on, and my favorite antique bronze spraypaint because the brackets were silver. (Also on my cart was my shower rod).  

Over the weekend my husband cut the board to length for me. I decided to make my three shelves 22″, which gave me a slightly longer board left over that I hung in my laundry room for more storage there.   

Yesterday I got to work staining and spray painting. I don’t think I’ve ever stained anything before, but it was pretty easy and I only needed one coat. 

  
  
I let everything dry overnight and got to work hanging them today. I first used the long level to mark a line on one side of the toilet and used that as a guide for one side of brackets. I used drywall anchors rated for 75 pounds, so I feel confident that these shelves are secure.   

Hanging the left side was the tricky part. I needed to make sure the brackets were level horizontally and vertically. An extra pair or hands would have been helpful, but I was able to make it work using the level.    

 

Next up was the fun part. I made sure the shelves lined up and were centered on the brackets, then secured them with a screw from underneath. I am in love with how this turned out. All together, I spent around $45 (3 sets of brackets at $7 each, $8 for the board, $7 for stain, and $6 for spray paint, plus screws). 

  
Lucky me, baskets and home decor was 50% off at Hobby Lobby this week. I have toilet paper in the red bucket and wash clothes in the basket on the middle shelf. The picture frame and anchor artwork are also from Hobby Lobby, and the sailboat is from Target. Next up for my bathroom makeover is towels, but I’m going to take the next couple days and catch up on some sewing. 

   

 

1 room, 30 days- bathroom makeover

Our house is a ranch, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths. The guest bathroom/Zac’s bathroom was covered in a floral wallpaper that was peeling. It looked OK when the previous owner lived here, but Zac’s bathroom stuff from the old house clashed terribly.  Anybody who visits our house uses this bathroom, so I felt motivated to get the looking nice. 

   
A few weeks ago I decided to see what would happen if I started peeling the paper off. Good news- it literally peeled off in sheets. Bad news- behind the wallpaper was this horrible textured paint…

    

So, fastforward to April. I am taking part is a 1 room, 30 day challenge, and given the state of this bathroom it was a no-brainier as to which room needed the most help in our house. The first thing that needed done was the walls. 

The walls looked worse than they felt, but they were bad. I ventured off to our local Sherwin Williams and asked for guidance. They were super helpful and recommended a matte finish of paint. The guy said any sort of gloss, or even an eggshell finish would highlight the texture. I bought a paint + primer of their top of the line Emerald paint. While searching Pinterest, I decided on Repose Gray for color. This paint was worth the money. It covered fantastic, and while the walls still show a little bit of texture, it’s 100% better, and probably the best it could be without re-drywalling the room.

 Next, I bought a new shower rod. I wanted something to match the rest of the fixtures in the bathroom, so I bought one in antique bronze. I also hung a picture I bought from Target. This week, I’m making shelves to go behind the toilet, and trying to decide what I want to do for towels and find a bath mat. Stay tuned!  

Tuesday Tutorial, sizing down a t-shirt

Hello friends and happy 2016! It’s been a (long) while since I’ve posted. Quick recap, we moved the week of Thanksgiving, and life has been crazy ever since. I’ve used the past few months to catch up on a few projects that have been pushed to the side, and I can’t wait to tell our story of the move, and show pictures of my new sewing space. Until then…

Zac is now obsessed with Star Wars. When he started to see previews for the new movie in December he asked to watch it. My husband jumped at the opportunity, so we ordered the original trilogy off Amazon, and watched episode 4, 5, and 6 over a long weekend. He was hooked and has probably watched them 100 times since then.

Last week, I was walking through Khols and they had adult t-shirts on sale. I thought, how cool would it be to get matching shirts for Zac and Patrick. To my surprise, my husband thought that was an awesome idea. Only problem, the smallest size they had was an adult small, and my son is a 4t.

Sizing down the shirt seemed easy enough, but this is the first time I’ve attempted to do it. First, I cut the shirt down the side seams, but left the neck intact. I cut the sleeves around the seams as well, and you can see that beside the shirt. IMG_6172.JPG

Next, I used an existing t-shirt pattern to ensure I sized down appropriately.

IMG_6173.JPG

IMG_6174.JPG

This would actually make an adorable tank top. I’ll have to remember that for summer… After I cut the body of the shirt, I did the sleeves. I used the sleeves I had cut off from the t-shirt, and kept the existing hem. Because my pattern had you hemming the sleeves, I just folded the bottom up about an inch to account for the difference.

IMG_6176.JPG

Once those were cut, I assembled my shirt just like you would if you started from scratch. I attached the sleeves with my serger, and then stitched the sides together. Finally, I hemmed the bottom. I love how this turned out, and using the existing neck binding saved me time. My son woke up this morning and even though it’s currently snowing outside, insisted on wearing his new Star Wars shirt to school. I can’t wait to get a picture of him and his daddy in their matching shirts when my husband gets home tonight.

IMG_6177.JPG

I hope this inspires someone else to tackle this quick sewing project. 🙂

IMG_6188.JPG 

Tuesday Tutorial- bridesmaid dress quilt

A few years ago, I came across a pin on pinterest for a baby quilt used from a bridesmaid dress. Since then, I’ve made several of these blankets for customers and they’ve become one of my favorite projects to sew. The idea of making a quilt scares a lot of people, and I’m hoping this step by step tutorial eases your fears. If you can sew a straight line, then you can take on this project. I suggest investing in a cutting mat, a rotary cutter, straight edge, and a quilting ruler.

For the quilts I make, I usually pick out 4 fabrics that coordinate with the dress. My blankets measure anywhere from 36″ to 42″ square when completed, and if this is the size you desire, 1/4 of a yard is all you’ll need of each. IMG_8833

When you get your fabrics, iron and then cut to your desired size. For this quilt, I used a 6″ quilting ruler (which is actually 6.5″ square). To make my life easier, I cut my fabric in a 6.5″ strip, then used the quilting ruler to cut 5 equal sized squares. 
  

Repeat this with the remaining three fabrics.

When it comes to cutting the dress, don’t be afraid. Cut along the seams to give yourself large panels to work with. Do just like you did before and cut a 6.5″ strip and then use the quilting ruler to cut squares.

  

Once all of your squares are cut, lay them out in a design or pattern you think looks best. I always like the dress to be the middle square, and then I spread them out- always making sure each of the 5 patterns are represented in each row and column.

Now it’s time to sew! If you look behind my sewing machine in the picture, you can see how I have each of the rows laid out so they’re in order and ready.

Ta da!!! Once you have your five rows sewn together, iron the seams flat.

Now it’s time to sew your rows together to make into a blanket. I think this is the part that worries most first time quilters because with this type of blanket you want to make sure everything lines up. When I lay out two of the rows, I make sure that the seams line up exactly, then pin them in place. 
  

Once you’re pinned, it’s time to sew. Repeat this process with each remaining row. Then, just like before- iron your seams flat.
  

It’s up to you how fancy you want to get. I really like a border (or two) around the outside of my quilts. For this quilt, I used a double border and because the bridesmaid dress was long, I was able to use that too. For shorter dresses it’s not always possible to get strips of fabric long enough. For the first border on this dress, I used a grey fabric and cut it in 1.5″ strips. I sewed the strips along the sides, then across the top and bottom. Iron flat when you’re done.
  

Next up, I cut dress. I used 3″ strips for the outside.

Once your front is done, it’s time to attach the back. I used minky dot fleece for this quilt. This fabric sheds. A lot. It’s also sometimes almost slippery to work with. Use lots of pins and sew slowly. To attach the front to the back, lay your fleece down on floor, good side up.

Next, lay your quilt down so the “good” sides face one another. Cut off the salvage fleece at the top. Now, it’s time to pin. Make sure you leave yourself an opening, so that you can flip the quilt right side out.
  

When you’re done sewing, flip your quilt right side out. Iron your edge flat, and pin your hole closed. To give a finished look, I like to top stitch all the way around the quilt. Because you can see the thread, try your best to match the top thread to your top fabric, and your bobbin thread to your fleece.
  

Congratulations, you’re done!!! IMG_8938IMG_8945

Kitchen Table Makeover

The first weeks of summer are when I get projects done. I think it goes back to my days teaching, and waiting for summertime to conquer my projects. 9 years ago, my husband and I bought our first (and only) house. We felt the need to fill it with furniture even though we didn’t really have the extra cash to do so. One of our first purchases was a new kitchen table. A kitchen able should be something you invest money in because it takes a lot of wear and tear. We did not… It didn’t take long for our new table didn’t look new anymore, but we just lived with it.  Perhaps you’re in the same situation. Well, if you are, keep reading!! A few months ago, I was browsing pinterest and this picture came up. I immediately fell in love. I desperately want a farmhouse table, but I know this house isn’t our forever home and don’t want to invest the money until we move. This project looked so easy- paint and slap some wood on top (my husband is a woodworker so he could help).

BATable

Much to my disappointment, my husband pointed out that the grooves in that table would be a magnet for crumbs and the other gunk that our toddler leaves behind. So, back to Pinterest I went for new inspiration and I found this-

DSC_0038I loved the contrast of the chairs to the table. Our kitchen walls are painted a light blue, our cabinets and floor are a dark wood, and I have orange accents in the kitchen. I considered orange chairs for a pop of color, but didn’t like the way that looked with the floors and cabinets. Matching a blue to coordinate with the wall would be too difficult, so I thought I’d play it safe and just go with grey. When I googled grey chairs/white table, this picture came up and I knew we had a winner.

gray-table

I went to Lowes and bought some supplies, 4 cans of Valspar satin spray paint. It’s a paint plus primer and seriously the best. I did a couple of coats of the paint on the chairs. IMG_9861All of this was done the Sunday before Memorial Day. I woke up, told my husband- “hey, I think I’m going to start the table project”, and by dinnertime the chairs were painted. He’s come to understand that this is how I work. I get an idea and run with it. While we were at Lowes that morning, I picked up several (ok, probably 30) paint swatches for different greys. We decided on  “armitage grey” from the HGTV Home collection by Sherwin Williams. Monday night I primed the table. I had primer left over from my guest room makeover project last spring, and Tuesday I painted the table grey. During all of this, we ate our meals in the family room. 🙂

11257836_10102179878293551_5667762676562468475_n

11295915_10102183516307941_6657329803688140732_n

I let the paint dry a couple days before I put on 3 layers of polyurethane. I needed durability, and didn’t necessarily want a lot of shine, so after talking with the wonderful people at Lowes, I went with a semi gloss. It went on really easily and the smell was almost nonexistent. Best part is, it dried in 2 hours! They recommend 48 hours before using the table, and 7 days for it to fully cure, so we continued to eat in the family room through the following weekend. The final touches were placemats and seat cushions. I loved the grey and white, but it needed some color. I spent probably $60 on painting supplies for the table and chairs and felt I could splurge a little for cushions. I am so glad I did because I LOVE how this turned out.


Tutorial Tuesday, how to make a hooded towel

Happy Tuesday friends! Life here has been busy, hence the lack of blogging. Today I was finishing up some towels and thought it would make a great tutorial, so here we are.

Right around the time my son turned 1, all the cute hooded towels I got when he was a newborn magically shrunk (I refused to believe my baby grew), and I was in the hunt for new ones. I found some at Khols, but just like so many things in my life, I realized I could totally make them myself. Today is your lucky day because I’m going to teach you too.

Materials:

  • Full sized bath towel ($5 at Walmart)
  • Hand towel ($3 at Walmart)
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (not necessary but helpful)
  • Embroidery machine (optional)

I embroider my towels. This is not necessary and I’ve seen tons of Pinterest tutorials with ribbons or other decorative accents on the hoods. There are also tutorials on Pinterest where you get two hoods out of a single hand towel. Warning- if you do not have a serger, your towels will fray, especially doing it that way. I personally find my way easier and if you don’t have a serger, your seams are hidden with my method.

So, here we go. I take my hand towel and fold it over, leaving one or two fingers of clearance at the bottom. I then eyeball and sew around the sides and top with my sewing machine.

Next, I trim around the edge and leave about 1/2 from the seam. After that, I serge around the edge. This step is optional!

You’re almost done!! Flip the hood back right-side-out, line it up to the middle of your towel, and sew a straight stitch to secure it.

   

Enjoy!!

No excuses, play like a champion

A long time ago, I purchased a pattern from Etsy for Maxaloones (baby/toddler lounge pants). I then joined a Facebook group for people who make these pants. For months, I observed, and oohed and awed over their photographs. The week after Christmas I decided to give the pattern a shot and I was blown away by the result. I’ll go more in detail about why these pants are the best pants ever for little kids next week when I launch them in my Etsy shop, so stay tuned.

Yesterday, while procrastinating on other projects, I decided to see if I could make a pair of Maxaloones out of an old t-shirt. A quick walk through my closet and I knew just the shirt. I measured to make sure the front logo of the shirt would fit on the bum of the pants, and to play it safe I made them a size larger than what my son currently wears (a decision I now regret, but he’ll grow into them). So, here they are! I used a cotton/lycra jersey blend fabric for the waist and ankle bands. The lycra helps it to have a great stretch, making it so elastic or a draw string isn’t necessary. Overall, I’m pleased with how they turned out. It’s always great to be able to reuse something old and give it new life.

2015/01/img_4905.jpg2015/01/img_4907.jpg2015/01/img_49271.pngIt’s becoming increasingly difficult to photograph my child these days…

2015/01/img_4954.jpg2015/01/img_4953.png