Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

DIY Rustic Frame

I have the EASIEST little DIY for y’all today! (You KNOW I’m all about the cheap and easy!)

IMG_9561I found this cute little tea towel at TJ Maxx & grabbed it, mostly because it’s shocking how much I have to Google: “how many ounces in a cup?” Not only was this adorable BUT it was educational (and it matched the curtains, which I didn’t even realize until I hung it up!).

Here’s how I made it:

I got 2 small boards cut at Lowe’s (free cuts = best thing ever). They were stained with Minwax Jacobean (I don’t like dark stained wood, but this tint is so gorgeous) & left to dry. I flipped them and set them up how I wanted:

IMG_9551And then used a combination of L brackets and a staple gun to secure the pieces together.

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I made sure to double check that they were as secure as they could get before I was done with them.

IMG_9559I attached the towel with thumbtacks (I told you it was easy), and then attached a small picture hanger.

IMG_9560After that, I hung it on the wall and squealed over the girly cuteness.

IMG_9563I actually wish that I was kidding.

IMG_9562I love how simple & cute it ended up being. And, I love that I have the option of changing out the towel whenever I want to! Seriously, for kitchen art, it’s pretty good. Oh, and it only cost me $7! Try it today!

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Weathered Wood

So, y’all remember the Fireman’s desk? Still totally loving it, but I wasn’t loving the awkward space above it. Since it’s in the living room, it can be viewed from literally any space in the house, and it was just way too awkward looking.

IMG_5218So I fixed it. Once upon a time, the Fireman’s brother had a gorgeous, rickety old barn on his property. It got ripped down two (?) years ago due to the porcupine population taking up residence (I kid you not), but before it came down, I begged his brother for some pieces of that weathered wood. Guess what; I never did anything with it. SHOCKING, right?

2014-05-14_0002There was a smaller piece, about 14″x3″ that I simply attached some picture hangers to and nailed up on the wall. Above it, I added some picture frames, and moved the letter holder to the other side of the wall.

2014-05-14_0003I also updated some small things on the desk with some spray paint, and called it a day. Now he’s got a place to tack up a few things that he needs to be able to see.

2014-05-14_0001I have a feeling that this space is far from complete, since it needs to flow with 3 other rooms (no big deal, right?).

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Yep, I just realized that the big picture & lampshade on my favorite lamp is crooked (perfect). I am definitely loving it, though!

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Sewing Couch Cushions

A few weeks ago, I showed you our reupholstered couch.

Still in love with it, by the way. I also mentioned that I would show you how to make a couch cushion.

Disclaimers: Never done it before. Made it up as I went along. Worked great. Can’t sew a straight line to save my life.

Okay, so. The original cushions had one giant piece of material that wrapped around the two sides (so there was no top or bottom panel).

2014-04-02_0001I kept the zippers when I pulled everything apart. Luckily, they were in good condition. First, I ran a few seams on the side panels and zipper panels (only the edges that would be up against the zipper itself.

2014-04-02_0002Then, the zipper pieces got pinned & sewed.2014-03-26_0012If your zipper happens to fly off in the process, don’t worry. All you need to do is slowly work it back on by putting it on the end of the track and pulling slightly to separate the teeth. Then just work the zipper down slowly.

Once those were sewed, one side got pinned to the big piece of material, making sure that there was enough fabric left to pin to the other side.

2014-03-28_0001Once that gets seamed, do the same thing to the other side. I didn’t sew when the cushion was still inside the fabric, but I made sure to pin with it in there!

The same technique goes for the sides. Pin, check there’s enough room for the other side, sew. Pin, sew. The sides will look like they’re too short (they are), but that’s because your zipper pieces are longer, in order to help make the corner.

2014-03-26_0014Pin the corners down and sew. I forgot to show you a picture, but when you sew directly across the zipper to solidify the corners, add a small piece of material so that the zipper has a stopping point.

Flip the whole thing right side out, and VOILA!

2014-03-26_0015A couch cushion! Granted, the lines aren’t sewed straight, and the corners are ugly, but it’s functional. The second cover I made came out a little better, and it just seems to be one of those things that you improve on every time that you do it.

Honestly, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, so if I can do it with my tiny little sewing machine (best $10 I ever spent at a garage sale), you can too. I promise!

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Unorthodox Planter

A few weeks ago I woke up with a raging headache and found a small Malibu bucket next to an empty container of mac and cheese on my kitchen counter.

It was a good night.

I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to do with the bucket, until I realized that I had a jade plant that was quickly outgrowing its container.

2014-04-06_0080Since there was no drainage in the bottom of the bucket, I put some big sea glass pieces in the bottom of the bucket.

2014-04-06_0081I added more soil, and VOILA!

2014-04-06_0082It’s quite happy in it’s new home.

2014-04-06_0083I’m glad I found this solution, because I have a funny feeling I’ll somehow end up with more buckets.

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Hey guys! I’ve got a loooong picture filled post for y’all today, so buckle up & remember to keep your hands and feet inside the ride at all times. Ready? Here we go.

I reupholstered my couch.

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I only wanted to burn it about 7 times & threw my hammer twice during the whole thing, so I’m no worse for wear. However, I’d recommend having someone around for a second set of hands. Take it from me.

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Heres what I started with. We have had a tan slipcover on it for 2 years but I was so frustrated with having to constantly tuck it back in every time I sat on it. So, one random Tuesday, I decided to take the slipcover off to see what the pattern was on it, and before I knew it, I had stripped half of the couch. Nothing like just jumping into a project with no warning. 2014-03-28_0002Originally, I was thinking about a dark gray couch (not too dark, but not light enough to be easily marked up). I searched high and low for fabrics, and basically accepted that I was going to pay no less than $75 for just material. Um. No.

Once I started ripping the couch apart (with absolutely no plan, by the way), I realized that I didn’t even have the time to wait around for material to show up in the mail, and realllllly needed supplies like, yesterday.

Off to Home Depot I went, and came home with a heavy duty canvas dropcloth, a new staple gun (I recommend it like crazy), and some Rit Dye from Walmart. And then I realized that my project just got a hell of a lot more complicated, since I now needed to hand dye my material.

I really like to just jump in with both feet, don’t I?

So first, dyeing fabric. I did it in the bathtub (which isn’t recommended, but we don’t have our own washing machine, so it was my only choice). First, I filled the tub and soaked my material thoroughly. In all the research that I did, I found that this is a crucial step, since you need to have all the material wet beforehand so the dye doesn’t look patchy.

2014-03-26_0006Once it had soaked enough, I filled an old tub with warm water, the entire bottle of Royal Blue dye, and half of the Black bottle. Then, I put the canvas in and worked it around for about 45 minutes. Because you normally dye in the washer, the material is constantly being moved around, hence the stirring. And kneading. And lifting. Do you have any idea how much 108 square feet of soaking wet material weighs!? Once it looked to me like the color(ish) I wanted to acheive had set in, I started to rinse it. I will admit that this was my least favorite part of the whole process. It was such a big piece that I felt like I had a lot of trouble rinsing it. Once it was (mostly) rinsed, it got washed in the machine, and then dried fully to let the color set.

I’m not going to lie, I actually hated the end result. In the lamplight, it looked purpley and I was worried I would have to redo the whole process. Once I started moving it around into different lights, however, it looked a lot more blue/demin, which wasn’t exactly the color I was going for, but fit perfectly in the living room.

By this point, the couch was in several pieces. Here’s another tip (actually, much more like a step): take lots of pictures. I mean, tons. It will help you when you start putting it back together. Make sure you photograph every piece that comes off, so you know how to put it back on.

2014-03-26_0005You’ll feel like its a time suck, but it’s really a huge time saver, especially when you can’t remember because it’s been three days and you haven’t been able to walk through your living room without stepping on a staple.

2014-03-26_0007Trust me on this one. Oh, and you might notice that the upper right hand corner picture shows a strange backing to the sofa. Why, you ask? Because it’s a sleeping sofa. Let’s not talk about the cursing that went into pulling the sofa bed out.

2014-03-26_0004It was ugly. However, I did make sure to take pictures of the mechanics inside the couch that were holding the bed in place; DO THIS!

2014-03-26_0001It pretty much saved my brains in the end.

2014-03-26_0008Stripped down, this is what the couch looked like. the batting was old and discolored, but for the most part nothing was screaming, “REPLACE ME!” Oh, and you’ll see the weird strips laying on the console table behind the couch. It’s tack paper and tack strips from the couch pieces. SAVE EVERYTHING. If your tack paper rips, no big deal; you can cut new ones from thin cardboard. But keep the tack strips.

2014-03-26_0009Once everything was taken apart, I laid all my pieces out on the dropcloth and maneuvered around to fit them all. It turns out that I was a little short, so luckily I had this great fabric left over from my pendant light, and was able to use it on the cushions. Once the pieces were cut (worst part), I started to put the big parts back together. Oh, and I didn’t mention that I wrote on every piece what part it belonged to so that I was able to keep them all straight.

Here’s where the pictures of reupholstering end (only had two hands), but honestly? I thought it was the easiest part of the whole thing. I would line the pieces up, and staple one side down. Once it was attached, I started with the other side, making sure to pull it snugly. I used my tack paper and strips exactly where they were supposed to be to create the sharp creases (again, pulling tightly). The material itself is very forgiving if you misstaple or need to pull it apart for some reason. Basically, I just went slow and put the pieces back on in the order they came off. Once the back and sides were finished, I screwed them back together and added the bed back in. At this point, I started working on the cushions. Those were pretty labor intensive (I threw them too; nothing says mature like getting frustrated with a pile of batting), so I’ll put them in a separate post.

The last step was adding the nailhead trim. “It’s going to be pretty!” I thought to myself. “It’s going to look classic!” I hummed.

NO NO NO. Just no. I ordered this off of Amazon, and if you’ve never used it, this is what it looks like:

2014-03-28_0004For some reason, this is not what I expected. Basically, you detach the amount of trim you want from the roll, and tap a nailhead in every fifth or so nail (where there’s a hole). Sounds deceptively easy, no?

Let’s just say I ruined 5 nailheads before I got 2 fully in the couch.

2014-03-28_0005They were super cheap, and maybe the wood I was putting them into was too thick, but we’ll never know. I ended up using a straight edge to keep them straight (duh), and tapped in a small nail before putting the nice pieces in. It went much easier with the arms, so those look fine, but the base? Not so much.

IMG_8795Next time, I’ll be buying the individual nails.

Here it is all finished:

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Worth it. Worth every single time I ripped a piece of fabric, or almost stapled my fingers, or got a splinter. The canvas is exactly what I wanted, and I love the look of it. Now that there’s no slipcover looking bulky and tucked in, the living room looks more streamlined. I swear up and down that I won’t do it again, but let’s be honest.

I probably will.

And now, some tips:

-When dyeing fabric, wear rubber gloves.

-Use a pair of needle nose pliers to help pull staples.

-Save your pieces; label your pieces.

-Take a million pictures…it will save your butt in the end.

Don’t throw the hammer.

-Keep your staples, because at the end of the day, you’ll look at it and think, “damn, I’m a badass for pulling all those staples by hand.”

2014-03-28_0003And honestly, it feels pretty freaking awesome to say, “yeah, I reupholstered my couch.”

Do it. Let me know how excellent it feels.

Then take a long hot bath, because God knows every muscle in your body will need it.

Oh, and for a budget breakdown…

Canvas Dropcloth: $26
Rit Dye: $6
Nailhead Trim: $14
Total: $46

BOOYAH!

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I’m always on the lookout for something to paint. If you know me, you’re not surprised at all by this statement. It’s also been tundra like here for the past few weeks months, so I’m literally hoarding things to paint until it’s warm enough, and then I do it all at once. The gold frame in our bedroom & this little thing were painted on a day that was in the mid 40’s (so much warmth!), and I’ve already got another little pile going.

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I found this (somewhat creepy looking) bunny for $1 at Savers a few weeks ago, and realized it would look great spray painted a single color. I also have nothing really spring-like in the way of decorations, so I whipped out the gold spray paint and gave it a few coats.

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I really love me some gold, and this is just the ticket on top of my DIY runner (that’s edged with gold sequins, obviously). It’s also reminding me that Spring is coming. Maybe. At some point. But probably not. Also, Whopper Eggs are coming.

That is all.

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Colored Clothespins

I just wrapped up a huuuuuge project that I can’t wait to share with y’all next week! Seriously, it is rocking my socks off. But my back is killing me and I finally picked my house up for the first time in a week last night, so I guess it’s 50/50 on whether I’m just happy that it’s over. I digress.

We’ve chatted about these little clothespins before (used here to hold necklaces onto chicken wire, and here to hold pictures in a frame), and I still love them to death. I have a quick little fun DIY today that will help you jazz them up! A few weeks ago, I was in the Target dollar section and found some super cute clothes pins that had been painted, and thought, “I could do that!”

Fast forward: IMG_6906It couldn’t be easier. I used Behr’s Lipstick, some white acrylic paint, and chunky gold glitter along with a gold Sharpie pen.

IMG_6908I painted, Modge Podged & glittered my little heart out…

IMG_6912And VOILA! Cute little clothespins, just right for hanging whatever small things you have for them! I used these in a fun little project that I keep forgetting to finish (typical), but I can’t wait to show you!

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Coffee Station

I love coffee. And tea. And red wine. Anything that will stain my teeth apparently.

My dentist hates me.

Enough about my chompers. I have the easiest little DIY for you today!

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A few years ago, I accidentally won a Keurig on Ebay (my first and only foray into the world of online auctions). We use it every single day. It’s perfect for us, since we’re usually only 1 cuppers in the morning & we’re not wasting a whole bunch of coffee now. However, since it is a one cup machine, it does come with a few little accessories: mostly K-cups & loose coffee. We have a reusable cup (best $10 ever), so we’re not constantly going throwing away cups (and quite frankly, saving a ton of money in the process). Everything sits out on the counter, but I was sick of it all getting pushed around and jumbled, so when I found a few acrylic frames at Savers, I snatched them up so fast I may have scared the little old lady next to me.

But really. Big acrylic frames for $1? Move it, lady.

I used a 9×12 frame to hold everything, but noticed that there was a little bit of coffee grounds that always seemed to jump out of its container into the tray, so I realized that I needed a wipeable liner.

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I had some laminating paper, so I used that and a white piece of art paper (which turned out to be 9×12) to line the bottom.

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In order to jazz it up a little more, I used some gold washi tape to go around the edges, which also effectively sealed it against any water getting through the edges.

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Once it was done, I popped it back in the tray, and replaced everything! Seriously, even though nothing has moved from this spot, it just looks so much better corralled together like this. Oh, and the tin and coffee holder are super old vintage scores that I absolutely love.

And I’m off to make more acrylic trays!

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The Entryway: Volume Two

This summer, I made over our entryway into a functional area that as an added bonus, was fairly adorable.

beforeafterNot bad, right? The very first problem was encountered approximately 45 minutes after this picture was taken when the Fireman got home and opened the door. Right into the shelf. Because of the shelf’s placement, the door was unable to open all the way. I told him “just be careful when you open the door,” and left it at that, because really, who wants to admit defeat an hour after a project’s completion? Except that over time, everything came off the shelf because I was worried it would all get knocked down. I was trying to squeeze in the door every night, and it became too much of a nuisance. The Fireman also stole the letter holder off the wall and commandeered it for above his desk. Better placement anyways.

I was left with this big blank, awkward space when I took the shelf and decal down, and thought, why not extend the pictures to the corner of the wall? Y’all know I love me a gallery wall (or seven), and I hoard frames like a fat kid hoards french fries. I really love the how the corner gallery wall featured on A Beautiful Mess went perilously low to the ground, so I used that as a jumping off point.

abm gallery wallI’d like to say that I used a really scientific method to hang the frames, but honestly, I eyeballed them all. I kept the original frames up there and hung around them.

IMG_6884You may recognize the antlers from here! So far, there have been no problems with them hanging on the wall since I used a wall anchor. I found the pencil drawing of an elk in one of my grandfathers old sketchpads as I was flipping through it a few weeks ago, and loved it so much. The other photos are ones that I’ve taken over the years.

IMG_6883Are you someone that just takes photos and leaves them on your computer? I am, but I’ve recently started to print out more and more photos to display in our home. I think it’s important to surround yourself with pictures of what you love, and you can always find deals with prints.

I’m so thrilled with how it came out! Now, I’m not worried about opening the door into a shelf or knocking anything down. The whole wall looks bigger, and the colors flow so well with the dresser on the adjoining wall. Sadly, I think that this might be my last gallery wall for a while, since we seem to have run out of wall space. Whoops, my bad.

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Antlers on the wall. Yep, you heard me correctly.

Antlers.

On.

The.

Wall.

Not real, obviously for the simple reason that I love Bambi, but I’m sure one day in the future I’ll be trying to figure out how to style a mounted deer head. #newhampshirelife

Until then, I’ll have this piece to act as a placeholder:

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Pretty cute, right? The design is from my photography logo, and the project was super easy to do. I’ve made string art once before and loved the outcome, so I did basically the exact same thing. Same nails, wood stain, twine, and wood.

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For an added pop of color, I painted the edges with Behr’s Lipstick, also seen here in the back of my shoe shelf. It’s almost exactly the same as the color of the heart in the logo, and it adds a fun flair. I can’t believe I now have two things painted sort of pink in our house. Am I becoming more girly? EW.

IMG_5521In order to hang it, I marked out the center of the piece and drilled a large hole (not all the way through) so that a screw head would fit comfortably in it.

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I printed the logo out (pretty big) and then taped it together and figured out where I wanted it on the wood piece. Once that was secured, I started putting the nails in, and when that was done, I started stringing it. More in depth directions can be found here.

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I love it! It’s just the right amount of rustic and fun to add to our walls. And speaking of adding it to our walls, it’s going on a wall that is currently in the process of being made over as we speak. I may or may not have filled the house this week with drills, hammers, and wall caulk. Lots of wall caulk.

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But seriously, string art. Do it.

P.S. Can I just say that due to shenanigans at work, it has taken me literally all day to write this post!?

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