Monday, September 30, 2013

Painted Tray

I have a new obsession with thrift stores. Now that I have a little imagination I see endless possibilites with the amazing deals at these places. This started about 3 months ago. Already I was dropping stuff off about once a month but I never went in. On a whim one day I entered and now it is a biweekly habit.

This tray was a recent aquisition. I'd been wanting a tray for my living room table and seriously considering buying this one from West Elm. I really loved it but was hoping to find something less expensive. While I originally was thinking a square tray, this caught my eye at our local Goodwill and was only 2 bucks!

It was dark black with red undertones. Even though it was rectangular the 10" x 15" size was right and the nailheads were great. I decided on a white finish with a raspberry outline on the bottom. After wiping down the tray it was sprayed with Rustoleum Universal because it's a paint/primer in one and does not require sanding beforehand.

The next day the inside received 3 quick coats of Valspar spray paint in Plumberry left over from a previous project. By the way, the dark berry spray paint was a pain to find. No luck at Home Depot for the Painters Touch line or Walmart for the Krylon line. Even though Lowes was a half hour away I reluctantly drove and was relieved to see the color I envisioned on the shelf.

Anyway...a few days after spraying the berry paint I used 1" painters tape to tape off the design on the bottom of the tray.

Once again it was sprayed with the same white spray paint for 3 more quick coats. The tape was removed about 5 minutes after while the paint was still wet. A little Rub n Buff was applied with a small cheap paintbrush to the nailheads later that day. Here she is empty in her new home.

Eventually maybe a few decorative items will fill it out but for now my magazines fit perfectly. The living room is a favorite place to catch up on magazines and this is the real world - these babies need a home! Where do you keep your magazine stash or am I the only one still on paper subscriptions?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Silver Sunburst Mirror

For many years I read beautiful decor magazines but never thought I could implement those looks in my home. Between a tiny budget and no skills it never even occurred to me that I could recreate any of the images or pieces I saw. Then I discovered blogs 3 years ago. It was amazing to see what was happening in peoples houses. Some bloggers were designers, some professional bloggers. But some were like me, at home raising kids except they lived in amazing spaces. Many of their projects appealed not only to my eyes but also my pocket book.

Feeling inspired a little over a year ago I attempted my very first project. I had recently purchased a new upholstered bed and didn't know what to hang above it. When I stumbled upon this tutorial I just knew I had to try it. I was a little nervous since I'd never used spray paint or a glue gun. Crazy right? Well here she is hanging above our bed.

The tutorial I followed was tweaked just a bit. I needed mine smaller so every cedar shim had to be cut. Also I used a beveled mirror since I didn't have the patience to wait for delivery of a convex plus beveled mirrors were less expensive. I loved the natural texture of raw wood and made sure to include shims with cracks.

Silver spray paint was used to tie in with the silver lamps and nailheads on the bed. I first tried a satin nickel paint but it looked beige so it was followed up with a true silver color. Here is the view when entering the room and also the first thing seen coming up the stairs.

Almost $25 was spent for all supplies to make this. I was totally out of my comfort zone with this project. The shims were cut manually with a small handheld saw. Buying the floral rings, shims, paint, glue and mirror took me to three different stores where I didn't know the lay of the land and I discovered spray painting was fun!

Once the mirror was completed I couldn't wait to try out new ideas for my home which became the catalyst for this blog. It was a great first project for a beginner since it was simple with a big impact.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

DIY Fabric Storage Boxes

Who doesn't need more storage? Nobody! But it's just not something I enjoy spending money on. In fact it's a little painful. I would much rather buy fabric, paint or furniture. I challenged myself to make something with supplies already on hand to solve the problem.

The area above the basement fridge was empty and more storage was needed for toys. A few Pull Up boxes were used to fix the problem.

The top flaps were cut off with scissors. Leftover duck cloth was used to block the manufacture's colors from peeking through. It was cut into one strip long enough to wrap around the entire perimeter. I determined the width of the fabric by measuring the height of the box and added a 5" allowance to create a 1" overhang for the top and 4" overhang for the bottom.

The first box was taken outside and a long exterior side was sprayed with adhesive. After waiting 1 minute for tackiness I slowly smoothed the fabric onto the box using a credit card to eliminate bubbles. Each side was repeated with spraying then smoothing until the box was covered. A little fabric overlap was folded under to create a clean seam.

The exterior bottom of the box was then sprayed and the extra 4 inches of fabric were folded in like wrapping a present. At this point the entire outside box was covered. After carefully spraying the top part of the interior, the rest of the 1" overhang was folded in. A few small wrinkles were created in the interior corners because of fabric bunching, no biggie.

I then started on the second box and realized the fabric was short a few inches to fully wrap around plus it wasn't wide enough to fold in and cover the exterior bottom. After playing around I decided to glue a piece of scrap fabric to bridge the gap where the ends would have met and glue a rectangular scrap to cover the bottom. The second box was a little more time consuming but it was going to sit on a fridge and cost nothing so I wasn't picky.

They looked a little bland when finished so of course I had to add ribbon trim to the top. I used iron on hemming tape almost the same width as the ribbon since other types of glue would have shown through.

A little glue settled into the box which left a slight stickiness. This could have been avoided by lining the interior with a small plastic bag before spraying. The glue was definitley strong enough to keep the fabric in place but little hands would have no problem peeling it off so these are best kept up high in our house.

If I had to purchase the supplies it would have come in around $8 for fabric and $2 for ribbon. Since everything was already on hand it was free. Who loves free? Everybody!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Kids Mini Jewelry Dresser

My girls jewelry was starting to overflow. You know, a gajillion rubber bracelets, plastic princess necklaces, rings a million. I wanted to corral all of the little bits and pieces and have it look cute at the same time. This dark speckled wood jewelry dresser was picked up at a secondhand shop to solve the problem.

16" x 10" x 6.5"

Before priming hardware was pryed off but the original metal posts stuck in the wood and had to be ground down (I think Mike used the Dremel). The drawer holes were patched and everything was lightly sanded then wiped down with a damp cut up t-shirt to eliminate lint. I spray primed 2 coats with Zinnser Cover Stain. For color a green tester pot of Valspar paint was mixed with some turquoise craft paint.

The original hardware broke when removing so reusing it wasn't an option, plus I didn't love it. I searched everywhere for small drawer knobs or pulls - basically anything that was even close in scale to the piece. No luck. There were some options online but I was hesitant to order without seeing. I remembered some DIY pulls from a favorite blog and followed this tutorial exactly. An awesome Ace Hardware employee helped me find a 3/4" ring. We played with various cotter pins and beveled washers until we had a good fit. I felt like a kid in school with a science experiment list and am still not very comfortable at hardware stores. The employee really helped get me in an out quickly.


The edges were slightly distressed since it will receive lots of wear and tear with children. I loved the idea of brass hardware but wasn't able to find it at the hardware store. A little Rub n Buff to the rescue plus the custom paint color and we now have a great jewely storage solution. 

$20 Dresser, second hand store (way too much!)
$0 Zinnser Cover Stain already had, Home Depot
$0 Valspar Pine Green test paint (free w/coupon), Lowes
$1 Apple Barrel Crystal Blue craft paint, Michaels
$14 Hardware, Ace
$35 Total

In a perfect world I would have paid around $5 for the dresser but I had my 3 not perfect children with me, was stressed and made an impulse buy. Since then I've seen similar dressers for a lot less and wish I would have waited it out. It currently sits on top of a short bookcase in the basement. The hardware problems made this project way more complicated than originally planned but I love it!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Living Room Update

I'm in the process of adding more color to my house and taking a few more risks. In the past I felt paralyzed. Why? I mean, it's only decorating right? A new rug from Rugs USA arrived last week purchased during their 80% sale. It was difficult to gauge the color online but I just went for it and ordered it knowing it could be returned. Many of the items were sold out but I found something that hopefully would work with the room. It's overdyed and traditional with a worn, faded look.

Once the furniture was placed it felt way too dark and heavy so some adjustments were needed. The peacock campaign dresser was moved in front of the stairs. The leopard chair is in a tight spot but I love the color combination and really have no other place for it.

This white table use to be dark green and was my mother's. I painted it white to lighten up the room and tie in to the other white accents in the room.

Here's a small collection of blue milk glass (hard to find btw) with a vintage ceramic and brass lamp found on Craigslist for only $20. The shade was huge and hideous so I replaced it and added some black ribbon left over from a previous project.

The black and white pillow moved over across to the couch for balance. The 2 Waverly fabric pillows only $10 each at Garden Ridge - a steal!

My growing milk glass collection sits in one of my favorite accessories, a lucite tray with red hearts. It's fun, unexpected and subtle. I'm looking to replace the lamps with something chunkier and colorful.

This is how the room looks today. Still many touches to work on but for the most part I'm happy with how it's turned out. I wish I still had a picture from when this room was a big brown and beige blob. It's come a long way!

Monday, September 9, 2013

My First Zippered Pillow Cover (and Blog Post!)

Well I finally did it. I've been wanting to try a zippered pillow for months but was hesitant since I only started sewing 10 months ago. Since my current obsession is black and white I thought this would be a great project to get my feet wet.

In dreamland I would use the beautiful Le Touche fabric by Brunschwig & Fils but it is crazy expensive! After searching high and low I settled on some IKEA fabric within my budget. I purchased one yard for $8 but only used half of it for the pillow cover.

A basic 14" zipper from Walmart for $2 was used. I was a little overwhelmed with all of the choices at Joanne Fabrics so it was just easier to pick one up at Walmart while running errands.

 I followed these excellent instructions to the tee. Along with a $3 travel pillow also from Walmart I am left with this pillow.

This project took about 1.5 hours but hopefully future pillow covers will take less now that I have an idea of what to do. The additional black and white elements are just what this space needed and for a total of $9 including pillow form I'm thrilled with the result. By the way, how did I go this long without embracing this black and white concept?