Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Dresser

Sorry it has been awhile since our last post, It has been a crazy busy month. We have been working on a very large project which we will reveal soon, unforunatley we last our camera when we were on vacation so we have lost a lot of the project photos that we had. Hopefully we can find some old pictures from when we bought the house. Anyway onto our newest addition

We found a dresser at a consignment shop for 60 dollars. All it took was a little white paint and some hammered gray spray paint for the handles and we had new dresser for our bedroom. Take a look.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Serving tray

I finally found some use for that old picture frame that I had. I decided to make a serving tray with it.

Step 1. I sprayed a 1/4 inch piece of wood that I cut to fit into the frame with chalkboard paint.

Step 2. I removed the old painting and attached the wood to the back with woodglue and very small nails.

Step 3. I attached some old spoons that I had with some screws for handles

Below is the finished chalk board serving tray.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Wainscoting Picture Frames

Carolyn was looking to add some photos to our upstairs hallway and she wanted to use Wainscoting. The previous owner happened to leave me some extra pieces so all I to do was build some frames.

Step 1. I cut some 1x3's into 16 inch pieces and cut them at 45 degrees at the ends. I attached all 4 pieces together with a staple gun. The frames aren't holding a lot of weight so the staples will hold. I used about 5 on each side and hammer them in to make sure they are tight.

Step 2. The next step was cutting the Wainscoting. Just used a jigsaw to cut them to 16" X 16".

Step 3. I attached the wainscoting to the frame with wood glue.

The next part took a little planning a head. I decided that the easiest way to add the photos was to just add a 5 X 7 frame to the back. So I bought 2 frames from the dollar store.

Step 4. I cut out the opening with a jigsaw and made sure that it was about a 1/4" less than the 5 X 7 inch frame opening.

Step 5. After all the cutting was done I sprayed everything with a satin white can of paint.

Step 6. I attached the frames to the back of the wainscoting with some wood glue.

Below is the final result after they were added to our upstairs hallway.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Old cabinets turned headboard chic

So I just completed my first commission piece - a new headboard! I was looking to do something a little different from the project I designed for our room, so I started digging through the shed and I found two cabinet doors from our old entertainment center. I decided to use these as the focal point.

The first step was to build a frame to hold the doors. I used some 1 X 3's to frame it out.

After the frame was built, I cut the cabinet doors to fit. I attached them and added a 1 X 6 on the top and a 1X 4 on the bottom.

For the top, I picked up some decorative crown molding from Home Depot. Here is a closeup of the detail. I attached this to the top and top the sides and used a 1 x 8 on the top for the ledge.

For the final step, I painted the whole headboard with Behrs Polar Bear white and sanded some of the edges for a distressed look. Below is the before and after install.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Not your grandmom's quilt

Quilting. Isn't that for grandmoms? At least that's what I thought, until I saw this.

And then this.

And this.

Seeing these beautiful quilts with their whimsy, texture and fabulousness inspired me to tackle my first quilt about five months ago. It was a daunting task that required a lot of googling, alcohol and stitches but it all came together in the end. For your reference, the first quilt is pictured below: "Eat, play, sleep."

In addition to the links provided above, here are some nuggets of advice I've collected about quilting (mostly through my own mistakes):

1. Wash your fabric before sewing.
2. For beginners, when given the option of spray adhesive or pins, choose spray.
3. In basting your quilt make sure the back of the quilt is about an 2 " larger than the filling and the filling about 1" larger than the front.
4. Use caution when cutting out letters. The "e" in the eat, play, sleep quilt landed me in urgent care with five stitches to reattach my fingertip.
5. Painters tape works great if you're doing diagonal or straight quilting.
6. A useful video for teaching a beginner to attach bias tape.

*Here are some of my babies.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

A Reading Nook for a Young Girl

Remember the entertainment center we turned into a wine cabinet? Well, we also made two other projects using the adjacent sides to the center cabinet.

For this project, we created a reading nook for our seven year old, Ava.

I wish we could take all the credit for Ava’s room, but she chose the color palette and fabric for this particular project.

Here’s the side shelf we had to work with.

Jason sanded, primed and painted the visible parts of the shelf in a pale pink chosen by Ava.

She chose a fabric that matched the aqua and pink theme in her room perfectly. An extra bonus was the 60 % off sticker price from JoAnn Fabrics.

I worked with Jason to staple the batting and then the fabric to a piece of plywood for the bench. Tip: Use the tush test to help decide how much batting to use.

We had leftover mosquito netting from the porch project which we used to frame the reading nook. The flower lights are from Ikea.

Project Difficulty: Super Easy
Alcohol Consumed: 2 Miller Lites (one for Jason, one for me)
Assistance: Yes, Ava!

Friday, June 17, 2011


I'm sorry I didn't get this up yesterday like I said on twitter but I ran into some electrical problems with the wiring in the house.

I have been searching high and low for a chandelier to go into our bedroom. We wanted to replace the old ceiling fan with something a little more eye catching.

I found THE CHANDELIER in a small thrift store nearby. As you can see from the photos, it wasn't in the best condition but it did have potential. At $35, it was impossible to pass by.

Step 1. The first thing I did was removed everything I could. I took off each light holder and removed all the old wiring.

Step 2. The CLEANING. This was the worst step by far. I used Windex and a microfiber rag to scrub each glass piece one by one.

Step 3. Used sand paper to rough up eveything I needed to paint. We decided to go with white, so I used Polar Bear White paint and a small brush to carefully paint everything.

Step 4. After the paint was dry, I added new white lamp wiring from Home Depot. Attaching the wire was a little tricky because the original had metal wiring. I decided to go with plastic zip ties. The zip ties worked great to hold the wire to the metal frame while I connected everything. Finally, I finished the chandeleir with new socket covers.

Step 5. Removed the old ceiling fan!

This project was well worth the work. Now the only problem is that our daughter wants one in her room too. Final photos are below. If you have any questions or want to take on a chandeleir project of your own please let me know if you need any tips, or have any ideas on how to make the project quicker.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Domestic Failure Learns to Sew

Crafting and sewing don’t come naturally to me. But similar to running, these are hobbies that I’ve worked really hard at and have come to enjoy.

Roughly nine months ago, I discovered this pool of talent in the blogosphere. Bloggers like Sarah, Amanda, Melissa, and Lindsay who showcased their creations, and were kind enough to post tutorials.

Burlap seemed to be all the rage among the craft bloggers back in the fall. I dreamed of a wreath trimmed in burlap and fall ornaments, or a wall hanging with our family’s initials. Then, I came across Lindsay’s tutorial for a burlap table runner to drape over our brand-spanking new Amish-built farmhouse table. I was immediately smitten, and just knew: I HAD TO MAKE THAT RUNNER!

I have absolutely no experience sewing, which was blatantly apparent to the woman selling the machines at JoAnn Fabric the day I went in to ask questions. She said “foot” I thought “pedal,” she said “bobbin” I though “thimble” – if there were ever a sign that I should quit, it was then. Rather than face scorn from the community I was so eager to join, I figured I could buy the machine online where I could enjoy anonymity and a salesperson who wouldn’t scoff at my poor sewing vernacular.

I’ve included a photo below of our 8ft burlap table runner. In hindsight, burlap isn’t an ideal material for a sewing virgin to work with, but I was committed. When you look closely, you’ll notice the runner does not follow a straight path, it balloons in some areas and concaves in others, but I made it and I love it for all of it’s flaws, not in spite of them (sort of like our first child).

Project Difficulty: If you can sew a straight line, you’re golden.
Alcohol Consumed: Two beers
Assistance: My mom

*Would love to hear about your firsts (if you can remember back that far)!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Repurposing an Old Entertainment Center

The trouble with moving into a new home - your old furniture doesn't always fit. We had a ginormous entertainment center with no place to go, so, we gave it a makeover.

Step 1. Removed the hardware and the sliding doors on the TV cabinet.

Step 2. Added a piece of 3/4 inch plywood to the back of the unit because the orginal had holes for the cable wires.

Step 3. Cut a 3/4 inch piece for a shelf. After staining the plywood to match the orginal color, I expertimented with wax technique to give it an aged look. I added the wax to the corners of the hutch as well as random areas throughout.

Step 4. Painted the unit with Behr flat matte Chianti (it was only appropriate) and then rubbed all the wax off with an old rag.

Step 5. Secured wine glass holders to the top from Bed Bath and Beyond and added a wine bottle rack below the shelf.

Step 6. Threw some lights on the top and it was complete.

*Here is the before and after.

Repurposing an old entertainment center

Linking to A Diamond In the Stuff's Party"