Friday, November 23, 2012

Black Friday

It's Black Friday!  I am ashamed to admit it, but Black Friday is probably my favorite day of the whole year.  It just puts me in the Christmas spirit.  I drag my mom and sister with me to shop every year at the crack of dawn and the entire way there we HAVE to listen to It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year on repeat.  I'm sure it's not annoying at all to Mom and Erin.  Granted I probably would not find it fun if I were fighting with a crazed Mom over a Tickle Me Elmo (or whatever it is kids want now) in Walmart.  That is not Christmas spirit.

Last year we hit the thrift store black friday sale.  I think Mom and I were the only two waiting in line for it to open.  I got some great stuff though.

My bed side tables

The Coffee Table turned bench - along with two matching end tables which I have yet to redo.

This Huge mirror


And a pedestal sink

All of that for maybe around 60 bucks!  I would say that is way better than any door buster.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Merry Mail

It is the beginning of the Christmas season and that means Christmas cards will start rolling in soon.  I always have trouble figuring out what to do with them when we get them.  It feels wrong just to look at them and put it aside, but I don't want them all over the house.  Last year I came across this idea on Pinterest.
I think they are super cute and so easy to make.  I had about a 6 by 14 rectangle of thin wood and painted it bright red.  After that dried I added the dots and writing
Then glue on the ribbon and you are done!  I found the tiny clothes pins at Hancocks.

And you have a cute, simple way to display your Christmas cards.

Skip To My Lou

Monday, November 19, 2012

'Merica Corkboard

This is a super simple project.  I had four of these corkboard squares left over from my college dorm.  It was intended to be a corkboard/chalkboard, but was a major DIY FAIL.  I decided to attempt to reuse them.  I traced the outline of the United States from the internet and taped it to my square.
Then started cutting.  I tried to get the shape as close as possible, but all the dips and curves aren't necessary.

And ended with a cute little US corkboard.
I want to make little flag pins for places I have been and places I want to go.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Homemade Febreeze

I don't really remember where I heard about home made Febreeze first and I must admit I was a little skeptical.  I finally broke down and tried it (out of desperation because our washer died!).  I just made up my own recipe based on a few others I looked at.  I would probably cut down a little bit of the vinegar next time, but it really is fantastic...and cheap...and easy.  I mean does it get any better!?
1 part white vinegar
1 part fabric softener
2 parts hot water
Pour it all into your spray bottle, shake, and done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Strippin Ain't Easy

I must admit, my favorite part of my new job is being off for federal holidays.  I love a three day weekend, I always intend to relax and do nothing and end up working on projects.  This weekend I made a mojito sugar scrub (which is fantastic!), a box cushion for a bench, and did some thrifting.  Plus a little bit of furniture stripping.

This settee needed a complete overhaul

 Once I got the fabric off I realized it really was in terrible shape and all the wood for he seat would have to be replaced.

Plus the wood looked really dull and dingy so I took out all those inserts and started stripping.

I followed the directions at first and painted on the solution and then waited five to ten minutes before scraping it off.  After a few tries though I realized it worked much better for me if I worked in a really small area and left it on for maybe a minute or so before scraping.

Let me tell you strippin' ain't easy.  This part of the project took FOR. E. VER. 

After stripping it, I sanded the whole thing down and was left with a blank canvas.  I think I'm going to stain it dark again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veteran's Day!  I think most of us have had enough political drama and dialogue in the past week to last a lifetime.  I for one am very proud to be an American.  Veteran's Day has always been important to my grandfather who served in the Air Force and always makes me think of him and the sacrifice so many have made for us.  Don't forget to thank a Veteran today!
Weren't they a good looking couple?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Cookie Swap Invites


It's finally Friday!  I don't know about you, but the holidays are sneaking up on me this year.  Usually I have at least started my Christmas shopping and have been planning parties and dinners in my head.  This year it has barely crossed my mind, but yesterday I started thinking about our annual cookie swap. 

Erin and I started it last year and it was a hit with the family.  I had big plans for this years invites I wanted to make these from Brooklyn Limestone

But my budget is next to nothing for this year so I'm back to square one.  Last year I did a play on a save the date design by Martha Stewart.
I thought it was a really cute idea, so I altered it to fit our cookie swap.
Cookies and Christmas - It's a winning combination
yeah I'm that cheesy.
In Martha's instructions several people commented that it did not work for them.  Mine worked fine although as you can see it only scraped off where the numbers where, but I actually liked it like that so it worked out.  It is a little time sensitive though you can not do it weeks in advance, because the longer it stays on the harder it is to get off.
Over all it was a really easy process, I mixed two parts metallic green paint with one part dish washing liquid and mixed it together.

I used the bottom of a paint bottle to make circles around the numbers.

Then started painting in the circles. 

I did one and let it dry to test before I painted all of them.

I also tried a few different methods the only way I could get the whole circle to scratch off was to put tape down and then paint over the tape. 

Once you know it worked for you paint all the circles and let dry.


I went back with silver paint and added little hooks to make the circles look like ornaments and then sealed each envelope with a penny.

Now I have to think of something to top them for this year.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

DIY Duvet

Gray duvets are apparently impossible to find.  I have looked high and low for the perfect duvet in just the right shade of charcoal, but it eluded me. 

I had a white down comforter on my bed for a while, but the stark white and the bright blue walls in my room were almost blinding during the day.  I finally found gray sheets that were perfect and decided to make my own duvet.  Ideally you would use two flat sheets one size larger than your bed (queen sheets for a full size duvet etc).  I could only find one set so I had to make the fitted sheet work.  I just put the right sides together and sewed down the two long sides and one short side leaving the top open.  I intend to put buttons across the top to close it, but it hasn't happened yet sometimes I procrastinate...a lot.  And it's done, the duvet was crazy easy to put together and a much cheaper option.  It would be great for kids rooms too, you can always find super cute printed sheets.

Now to make a bed skirt, maybe I will get around to it soon.  I love the way my room turned out, it is definitely not for everyone.  We had company over a few weeks ago and she gave me the best compliment when she said my room looked like me.  That is the best to me, a room/home with your personality.

Thirty Handmade Days

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dip dyed lamp shades

You saw the evolution of my lamps last week.  Here's the how to for dip dying lamp shades.  It was super easy and made them look 1000 times better.

You will need a cloth lamp shade, RIT dye, salt, and a large bucket that you shade will fit in completely.  I used the bottom half of a shop vac for my bucket to get something wide enough (don't tell my dad, I think it was his!).

I followed the instructions for the dye and mixed it on the stove.


 The actual dying I recommend doing outside if possible; it can be a little messy.  

I just swirled the bucket around a little to mix the dye and dipped in all but the top inch of the lamp shade.  Then pull it out slowly keeping the bottom end in the longest.  The whole process only took about a minute.  Remember you can always dip it again if you want it darker, but once the dye is there it's not going anywhere so it is better to ere on the safe side. 

Leave it out to dry for about an hour and it's done.
I added ribbon trim to the top and bottom edge of mine.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Mom's chair

Somehow my post for Friday did something squirrely so here's the actual post.I found this chair a few months ago at a thrift store (of course).  To be honest, that day I think I cleaned them out.  I left with 5 chairs, two ottomans, a table and tons of little things.  My eyes were a little too big though this is the only chair I have finished so far!

I love slipper chairs and I thought it would be perfect for my mom's bathroom.  The proportions on it are kind of wonky though; it looks really top heavy and the pleats are not so good.

 I bought it anyway, because it was a great deal and decided to try my luck with it.  I took off all the old upholstery taking pictures of everything as I went and started cutting down the foam on top. 

I mainly trimmed down the sides trying not to gouge it or leave the foam really bumpy.  I cut off a ton of foam before it looked balanced and I used the old fabric as a pattern.  Except for the bottom pleats which I measured and cut slightly larger than the old fabric.

I am still an upholstery neophyte so I am always learning.  I just try to put everything back the way I took it off and so far I have had great results.  The slipper chair had these metal tacking strips I had never seen before.  It looks vicious, but was really easy to use and gave it a clean edge without having to use a double welt piping to hide the seam.

I think it fits in perfectly in my parents new bathroom.
Sorry for the fuzzy iphone pics!

I am deeming this project a success!