Throw & Go

For me, the hardest part of making throw pillows is finding the motivation to get the sewing machine out of storage! I’m no expert by annnymeans, but I’ve learned a few things that I thought I’d pass on.

1. Use fabric napkins!

Picture this… you walk into pier one and walk to their wall of throw pillows…and walk away because you can’t find one for less than $30 (even the clearance).  Instead of leaving disappointed, head on over to where they keep the napkins for $1.50, pick up two, and sew them together!  You’ll probably even find a few napkins that are the same pattern and fabric as their pillows.  Plus – a lot of cloth napkins have texture on them, which gives the pillows a little something extra.

2. Use place mats!

Examples from target.

Though a little more expensive than napkins, place mats usually have awesome details!  Most of the time, you can even pull the seams out that are holding the front and back of the place mat together and stuff in a pillow!

3. Create a removable pillow cover.  It is so much easier to take off the pillow case and throw it in the wash, than to try to spot-clean a throw pillow. Thrify and Chic has an awesome tutorial for creating an awesome pillow cover.

4. Buy cheap ugly pillows.  Depending on the size and plush-ness, even insert pillows can cost over $10, so next time you see that super ugly – super clearance throw, pick it up and recover it!

5. Recover your pillows.  Going along with #3, instead of buying a new insert pillow every time you make a pillow, just recover a pillow you already have.  I mean – you can only have so many pillows before your guests have to start sitting on the floor!  This works perfect for holiday themed pillows, since they’ll only be out for a couple of weeks.


Monogram Monday

I woke up Friday morning, and after getting my coffee, decided to spend my morning looking for new DIY projects online (even though I have quite a few half-finished ones waiting to be finished).  Not even ten minutes later I found this - a button monogram (I believe to be used at a wedding).  I instantly thought of making one for Nick’s soon to be niece, Bailey.  Since my friend Christina was visiting we decided to make two – both a little different – for her niece Ellianna.  Everything was purchased at Michael’s for this simple project. **The Michael’s by our house can scan coupons on your phone, so I don’t have to even print them!  Good thing because we were able to use TWO coupons each for this activity.

Materials

- Frames $10 (20% off framing coupon)= $8

- Cardstock (I have a ton from scrapbooking but you can buy it at Michael’s for $0.50) $0

- Buttons! You can purchased an assorted package for $5 (40% coupon ) $3

- Craft glue (already have!) $0

Total $11 per frame

First things first, dumping out the buttons (kind of went overboard, but now I have extras!). We got to work laying out the button pattern.  For the B we used a pencil to trace a B on the cardstock, and for the E we eyeballed it.  If you can get away with it, I would recommend eyeballing your monogram and just laying out a button pattern first. 

 Why is the pencil a pain you ask?  Buttons are round, and the pencil line is straight, so you end up having to add a ton of extra buttons to cover the pencil line. PAIN!

Two strawberry daiquiris, and one movie later we were left with two unique button monograms.

We used pink and yellow paper since they are for babies, but you could also use white cardstock, or even fabric for more dimension. I’m not sure I like how thick the B is, so I might experiment with making another one. 

The nice thing about a shadow box is, you can set it on a table or dresser, or even put something else in the base of the box. The possibilities are endless!


Meet Otto.

Time to update you on my most awesomely, creative DIY project to date.  The suspense must be killing you!

Oh the woes of a thrift store shopper.  The hardest part of this DIY project was finding the desk  to repurpose – honestly – and it even involves a saw.  I know, stepping up my game. After spending the better part of three afternoons at our local Goodwill-esk thrift stores I found IT. Otto, the lovely, if broken, coffee table.

I originally wanted a desk because it would be smaller, but then I got to thinking.  One day, when there is more that a foot of space at the end of the bed, I hope to put an ottoman there.  You know, to throw my clothes on ;) So I decided that this coffee table would work perfectly.

Want to know what was even better?! $12 – solid wood. I know! And it gets better.  The glass pane that originally fit into the coffee table broke and there was a pre-cut piece of plywood laying overtop.  It’s like Otto knew he was destined to be an ottoman and did all the prep work for me.

First step, I spray painted the legs (look at the detail on those babies!) black to match our other furniture.

I thought ahead and measured the dimensions of the coffee table, so I could have the helpful people at Lowe’s cut my 2 x 4s for me  I text my friend Sarah (Otto spent the night at her house – she owns the saw) after getting to Lowe’s and had her measure the dimensions for me.  The idea was to nail wood underneath the overhang of the top of the table (see picture below) to create a straighter side. I think it was meant to be, because a 12 ft. piece fit perfectly – not kidding, the table was 70 in x 22 in!

Nick nailed the 2 x 4s to the sides and we put that pre-cut piece of plywood that came with the table back on top.

Next came a big foam pad from Jo Ann Fabrics.  The nice lady who cut my foam told me that the $17 a yard foam I was buying today was on sale for $8 a yard tomorrow, and I could bring my receipt back and get the discount (as long at it was within a week of purchase).  Deal! I cheated and bought two layers and stacked them, instead of the thicker stuff. ($72 a yard, you have got to be kidding me!) A spray adhesive held everything together nicely.

After the layers of foam, I flipped the table over and stapled loft batting, wrapping around the edges. But, I forgot to take a picture – sorry!

I repeated the same flip, and staple technique with the fabric. 

I picked up some black furniture nails when I was at Lowes, and spent the next hour hammering them into the bottom of the ottoman to make a trim.  Voila! Meet Otto – the ottoman. He’s currently hanging out in the family room since he’ll have to wait until we move to go into the bedroom.


…you are my sunshine!

My baby sister is heading off to college (actually she’s already there now, but wasn’t when I made this for her), and I knew she would need something to spruce up her dorm room.

Enter the sunburst mirror.

I am completely in love with sunburst mirrors (or starburst mirrors) because each mirror is completely different – like this or this.

But everything I saw was too heavy and taste specific for a dorm room. Until a quick google search came up with these beauties from amazon and west elm.  Perfect! Light & simple,  and I knew where I could get all the materials – MICHAELS! (my home away from home).

Materials

- Silver spray paint (had this on hand) $0

- Mosaic mirrors, they come in a pack of 25 in three sizes smaller than 1 inch $2.50 each *4= $10

- skewers (like the kind you cook kabobs on!) $4 – I think I used 36

- Mirror for the center $3

- Hot glue and gun $0

Total $17

After picking up all my supplies I started sticking the skewers in a piece of styrofoam I had from a recently purchase blender, so  I could spray all around the skewers without having to touch them.  Two coats later I was ready to start gluing.

I started by tracing the center mirror on a piece of cardboard and cutting it out.  If I wanted the mirror to look more “store-bought” I probably would use wood, but since that would make it heavier and I don’t have a saw - cardboard it was!

I used my eyeball it method and one of the skewers as a ruler to break the cardboard into 16 sections (I didn’t take a picture of this, but I’m sure you can image a circle broken into 16 parts!)

Then I got to work hot gluing the skewers to the cardboard back, alternating how far I glued the skewer in so the mirror wouldn’t be perfectly even.

I couldn’t think of a better way to secure the top, center mirror – so I squeezed a ton of hot glue all over, and placed the mirror on top. *Note: two months later it’s still hanging strong!

Now for the time consuming fun part! I glued 100 of those tiny mosaic mirrors (averaging 3 to each skewer)- making sure nothing was symmetrical, and there were no repeating patterns.

Since I couldn’t exactly nail a picture wall mount to the cardboard, I went with plan B, hot glue! The whole mirror  is so light that I wasn’t afraid of the glue not holding.

I couldn’t resist hanging the finished product on my wall to see how it looked – and decided I had to make one for myself!

LOVE! I may have gone a little overboard with the mirrors, but I love how they reflect light around the room.

For the mirror I made to keep, I added  a simple circle cut out from foam to frame the (larger) center mirror, but everything else is the same!


Who likes painting?!

Growing up, my mom always let us paint our bedrooms.  Which means, at one point I had a ROYAL blue and YELLOW room (including the shoe molding around the floor, who lets a 10-year-old paint their floor trim royal blue – my mom!). Now my old bedroom is currently feather dusted white and pastel pink.  EVERYTHING used to be feather dusted in our house – if you’ve never seen feather dusting, you take an actual feather duster, dip it in paint, and stamp it on the wall. Super textured! And my mom loved it.

I guess I can thank my parents for my “painting attitude”.  I’ve never been afraid of painting ANY color on the walls, since I know with a little work, you can quickly paint over the old paint if you hate it!  In fact, my college roommates and I looked at over FIFTY places to rent because we wanted to paint our bedrooms, turning down some beautiful places. You live and you learn.

Now that we live in an apartment, anything that you paint has to be returned to primer white before you move out.

The extra work might deter some people, but not us!

I didn’t really like the darkness of the green, so we tried blue.

As you can tell, it’s definitely not a soothing color. (honestly, don’t know why we ever thought this color would work for a bedroom!)

Currently, our bedroom is the lighter blue-green that it is in the glue-tastic diy project but I’m sure that will change once we move.

The best part of painting – with an hour or two of work, you can completely transform a space without spending big bucks.  Thankfully Nick is here now to steer me away from royal blue and yellow color choices.  Oh, and to paint the trim, I dislike hate painting around the floor and ceiling. I would much rather eyeball it and hope for the best, but I’m sure you can imagine how that turns out!

Nick and I even had help last time we painted :)

Apparently paint smells good (?) , and Cooper couldn’t resist investigating…


Glue-tastic!

Get ready for a less than $10 DIY wall art project! Believe it or not, the idea came from a 6-year-old I was watching.  To make “mountains” in the picture she was painting, she would glob glue on the paper, then paint over it (it looked as messy as it sounds!) Since I have a mild obsession with texture on wall art, I used kids glue to make streaks on a canvas (make sure they aren’t even).

Then, I mixed white acrylic paint and pearl medium, both from Micheals,

that I had left over from another project and painted over the entire canvas – make sure you wait until the glue is dry!

The finishing effect is tons of texture, and the pearlizing medium makes the canvas shimmer when the sun light hits it. bea-u-ti-ful! I’m going to experiment with other designs, and putting the glue strips closer together (but my hand was getting tired this time!)

* Please excuse the unmade bed (I’m currently trying to oxiclean our down comforter to turn it from off white to its original white!

These pictures were taken after it got dark, so ignore the awful contrast, and pretend you can see the shimmer!  I promise you can see the texture in real life, and it doesn’t look like you hung a blank canvas on the wall!

Materials

- Glue (I used crayola since I had it from scrapbooking) $4

- Canvas (Michael’s, pack of 5 $19 BUT 40% off means $12! or $2.50 per canvas – steal!

- paint (any color works! and pearl medium) $1 per bottle

Total for two $10 (with supplies to spare!)


Fabric Headboard

A couple of months ago I decided to tackle a DIY fabric headboard.  Since college I’ve wanted one of these dramatic headboards, and combed the internet for one I liked and could afford.

$308 + shipping (I mentioned that I just graduated from college right?!)

but the prices kept going up and up $1,000+ *dramatic sigh.

So I decided to tackle the project on my own, since I my grandpa had any tool I could possible need handy.

My idea was to measure the width of the bed, buy some 2 x 4s and plywood, wrap the batting and fabric around frame, staple everything together and call it a day!  Two hours TOPS… Nick and my Grandpa had other ideas.  First, I needed a blue print of measurements.  I have a queen bed, and decided to make the headboard 2 inches longer on either side, and five feet tall. (I wanted the headboard to be pretty tall so I could use lots of throw pillows!)

Then, with Nick’s help,  I headed to Lowe’s to purchase 2 x 4s and plywood for the frame.  I quickly found two 2 x 4s, and after looking at the prices I decided to get chip board and cover it with polyurethane instead of plywood, since I was going to cover it up with fabric anyways. ($10 vs. $25 – good deal in my boat!)

Onto Jo Ann Fabrics for batting and fabric.  I chose a thicker batting (they have cheaper batting for $6.99 a yard) but ended up going with two yards at originally $8.99 a yard, BUT I had a 20% off coupon so I ended up spending less than $15.   Onto the fabric…oh the choices! We finally decided on a cream linen so we weren’t stuck with a specific print, thinking we could change it with a slip cover when the mood struck us.

Here’s the part where I was kicked out of the workshop, and the men took over. From what I was able to photograph, the frame was laid out and then secured with a nail gun. Nick is painting the polyurethane in this picture, and the wood was glued and nailed together at this point. * If you look closely, you can see that the edges are rounded off (thank you Grandpa!) I never would have thought of it, but he had a handy-dandy tool that rounded the edges, and it took less than 5 minutes for both sides. Score!

After the wood dried, we wrapped the batting around the edges and stapled it in place. The fabric followed, and we had JUST enough!

We screwed the headboard onto my metal frame with a long screw and bolt, and its held perfectly! I was afraid it would be too heavy, but the headboard doesn’t even lean on the wall. After we got the headboard home we realized that it was the exact same color as the wall – so off to the paint store! (Since everything has to be repainted when we move, we only painted one wall – yes, lazy!)

Materials

- Chip board (lowes $10)

- 2, 2x4s (lowes $8)

- loft batting (Jo Ann Fabric $15)

- Fabric ($15)

- Wood glue, nails, staples, 2 screws, 2 bolts $0 (Thanks Grandpa!)

Total $48 –waaaay better than purchasing it from a store! In fact, my mom called me a week after we made the headboard to tell me she found one that looked identical for $600 – maybe I should start selling them?!


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.