Category Archives: Projects
I’ve loved fall before the advent of pumpkin lattes, the tall-boot trend and the desire to add pumpkin to everything I stuff in my face.
These things have just deepened my love for fall.
In addition to these fall must-haves, I’ve discovered that I need a new fall wreath every year. Not want. NEED.
You may remember last year when I fell in love with this guy:
My heart still skips a beat when I see this. I love everything about it.
Problem was (and still is), is that it’s made out of cornstalk tops (yes, that’s the technical term). And lots of them. I don’t have access to cornstalk tops…so last year I settled for my second favorite wreath, the Nonna wreath from JDC:
I still love the Nonna, and she’s proudly hanging in our living room again. But I couldn’t get ‘ol cornstalk-top out of my head, so in an effort to deter myself from poaching a farmer’s field after midnight, I went back to Pinterest to find an alternative option.
I liked all of these options (especially the upper-right one)…but then I found this one:
And I knew it was The One. I mean, it was big, crazy, and disheveled…just like the cornstalk-top one. Plus, it’s made of raffia, which is easily-accessible. Unlike cornstalk-tops.
I’m not doing a tutorial here because the one at Stone Gable is great. I will say a couple of things though:
- I didn’t bother with hot glue. Mostly because I bought the full-size sticks instead of the mini-sticks and I was too annoyed to wait until I had time to exchange them.
- It’s a very messy project. Don’t do it on your couch while watching America’s Next Top Model. At least….I hear that you shouldn’t do that….it’s not like I watch that show.
- The tutorial only instructed you to do 1 row of raffia around the wreath. I did three. I like it big. But because of this, it took a little over 2 hours to do. Not exactly a speedy process.
- I can’t find those damn bleached oak leaves for the life of me (ok, I went to one store). So mine doesn’t have them. I wish it did though…
So…here she is in all her big, crazy glory:
(oh, and yes. I did paint my front door black. Thanks for asking!)
It’s surprising to me that I like this unruly thing….but oh how I do. The only thing that could make it better is the bleached oak leaves. I suppose I could check out more than one a few more stores. Or I could just strut around in my tall boots with a pumpkin latte eating pumpkin everything.
Yes. That sounds like a better idea.
What about you? Do you like clean-cut wreaths or crazy messy ones like this? Have you made any this fall that I need to see?
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I’ve been in desperate need of a project. Something quick and easy that could be worked on in the evenings. Something that would scratch my project itch.
Because, ya know…I haven’t really done anything DIY since a certain little pumpkin came around.
Which was fine….
Until it wasn’t fine.
Projects are an outlet for me. They keep me busy, inspire me to want to do more, give me a creative outlet, and give me a sense of accomplishment. And frankly I just like doing them.
It’d been over six months since I tackled something big. Something more than just a burp cloth, ruffled flower, or quick roman shade.
I looked around my house and my eyes landed on our rusty, scratched, dirty patio table.
Yep, this thing could use a little TLC.
I bought this table 6 or 7 years ago thinking it would be great for a summer or two. You know, until I bought real, grown-up patio furniture.
Yet here she sits.
And since grown-up furntiture really isn’t in our budget anymore, the least I could do was give her a facelift. AND, since I don’t have the luxury of (aka, time) being indecisive about things anymore, I decided I wanted this table BOLD. Something super fun, happy and springy.
Surprising, right? Given my neutral tendencies.
Brace yourself. Things are about to get cuh-ray-zee up in here.
…wait for it….
Eek! Isn’t it awesome!? I mean, it’s a little out there, but what the heck? It’s just what I wanted: bright, bold and fun.
And bonus, I finally got to introduce some ikat into my repertoire. Probably just in time for it to go out of style. Sigh.
In case you’re wondering, it’s Richloom Solarium Outdoor Sumter Ikat Sky.
It’s a breath of fresh air to get some color around here.
As for the degree of difficulty – I’d give it a one on a scale of one to ten. It just took me three nights to get ‘er done. The first night I recovered the seat cushions by simply unscrewing the seat bottoms and covering the existing grey cushion. Which was super easy and fun. Who doesn’t love to use a staple gun? The second night I disassembled the table, washed everything up and gave it a few good solid coats of spray paint. Then I ran out of spray paint. So the third day I bought two more cans and finished with a final coat that night. Easy peasy. I used the Valspar Outdoor paint which is awesome because you don’t have to do a primer or a top coat. Score.
Here’s the cost breakdown.
- 2 yrds of Richloom Solarium Outdoor Sumter Ikat Sky ($8.98 ea): $17.96 – which ended up only being $14.36 after googling around for a 20% off coupon.
- 5 cans of Valspar Outdoor spray paint in peacock blue ($4.98 ea) : $24.90.
Not too shabby for a complete update. Honestly, it made me wonder why the heck didn’t I give this thing a facelift years ago. We’ve still got a long way to go on our patio itself (I didn’t even put flowers back there this year….whoops), but our bright new table has given me renewed interest in working on a few things out there.
And to be honest again…I’m sliiiiiiightly worried I’ll be over the turquoise someday (like, maybe next spring??). Luckily I know it’s not that big of a project to tackle and it’s easy to switch up. So if I find myself longing for neutrals again (and who are we kidding; it’s just a matter of time), all it will take is 2 nights and 5 more cans of spray paint.
So for now, my project itch is satisfied. But I do have quite a few others up my sleeve that hopefully I’ll be starting on soon! I mean, it is nearly hunting season….I’ve got to come up with a few things to keep me occupied.
What say you? Do you like the bold choice of color? Do you think I’ll be sick of it next summer?
A tablecloth turned into a crib skirt you say? No. Impossible! It’s too crazy!
Or is it?
Couldn’t it be that a tablecloth is just a big piece of fabric waiting to be concocted into something fabulous?
And if you’re like me and you can’t stand the thought of paying $50, $100, or more for a crib bedding set…you learn to cut corners. Or…”take inspiration where you find it.” (Booyah! Remember when I said I was going to start saying that?!?!).
To be honest, this project was primarily fueled by the fact that the one and only bedding set I fell in love with was $500. That’s right.
Dollareenies. (The Jerk anyone? Anyone?)
Apparently I have impeccable taste:
It was the bedding set that all other sets would thereby be judged against. And never come close to.
So knowing I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night after paying five. hundred. dollars for a bedding set, I kinda put the search on hold for a while and turned my attention elsewhere.
Then I ran across these guys at Target which served as my color inspiration. Remember?
Well not too long after that, I got a text from my sister asking if I’d seen the matching tablecloth/napkins in that set:
Why no, no I hadn’t. I immediately secured 1 tablecloth and 1 (set of 4) napkins.
Some of you may recognize the napkins from this project.
And the tablecloth? Well, it’s now our totally-functional-and-adorable-yet-affordable crib skirt. Here’s how it all went down.
First: buy your husbands favorite beer and ask him to pretty please help you put the crib together.
Second: paint the crib drawer because the current “amber” color doesn’t match the espresso wood you have elsewhere in the room.
Third: smack yourself for being so Type A.
Fourth: measure the width/height of the desired skirt and add 2 inches for a seam allowance. For example, I wanted the front panel of my skirt to be 10″x49″ when all was said and done. So I cut my fabric piece to 12″x51″.
Fifth: Repeat for each side section.
Sixth: Iron a 1/2 hem on all sides of each skirt piece.
Seventh: Sew your recently ironed hems.
Eighth: Sew each panel together so you have one loooooooong crib skirt.
Ninth: Iron on small velcro pieces every 4-5 inches.
Tenth: Secure to the mattress frame using the velcro pieces.
Lastly: sit back and admire your handy-work that saved you four hundred and eighty dollareenies.
Not too shabby for $20, eh?
Hmm. Do my pictures look super grainy to you?? I’m not too pleased with them myself…I think my ‘ol point-and-shoot is finally rebelling against me and my blogging. It obviously isn’t because I take bad pictures.
So what do you think? (no, I’m not asking if you think I take bad pictures!)
Can you understand why I fell for that $500 bedding in the first place? It’s to die for, right?! But my conscience and my wallet are thanking me for cutting corners and settling for something that will work just as well. Not only did it save me a bundle, I actually really really like it!
Now let this be a lesson to ya’ll…napkin, tablecloth or curtain…things aren’t always what they seem!
Oilo Modern Berries Crib Set pic found here. Sigh.
I should probably be posting something Halloweenie today…but I just couldn’t wait to share the nursery dresser with all of you! So that’s what you get. Hope all of you have a spooktacular Halloween!
When I started thinking about the nursery, I knew we’d need some sort of dresser and I was determined to find an older one that I could give a little TLC. Not only to save some money, but because I’m weird and like doing that sort of thing. So I literally started scouring Craigslist when I was about 10 weeks pregnant. It took a lot longer than I thought to find something that I liked, or one that the seller wasn’t being completely insane about their asking price.
I finally found a dresser that was solid wood, good construction and in need of a little lovin’. The price was a bit more than I wanted to spend on something I was going to have to put work into…but I ended up liking it so much that the $100 seemed worth it. Especially given how long it took me to find this one! If I remember correctly (which it’s quite possible I don’t…pregnancy brain is REAL) I was about 18 or 20 weeks along when I finally found it.
It’s not often you find furniture these days with any character. I love the curved legs and detail on the top two drawers. It was perfect.
Not to mention that it’s solid wood (another rarity it seems) and had good construction. Like dove-tailed joints:
My plan is to use this dresser as the changing table for the first few years. I personally don’t see any reason to buy a “changing table” when you can simply put a changing pad on top of a dresser and then remove it when you’re done. Right? Right!
The process I used for refinishing this piece was pretty straightforward; I relied on one of Kate’s tutorials over at Centsational Girl. This girl can work some magic with a paintbrush! Check out her Project Gallery if you have some time! You’re sure to be inspired.
Based on Kate’s suggestions, here was my arsenal:
I started with about 20 minutes of light sanding. Since I planned on painting (and not staining) sanding isn’t of upmost importance. But it’s still good to give it a once-over and clean up any dings or remove varnishes.
Next comes the wood filler. This stuff is great for filling in any significant scratches, blemishes or old hardware holes.
Next up? Primer. Easy schmeasy. I’m going to be honest, I kinda forgot to take many pictures at this point. Please refer to pregnancy brain comment above. So if you’re looking for a full tutorial, I highly recommend Kate’s link I included above. She’s the real expert here anyways.
After one coat of primer, four coats of paint (yes, you read that right. FOUR coats), and two coats of semi-gloss top coat we were in business. I just had to wait for the current furniture to sell so I could move it up to the nursery – which as you know happened last weekend.
That was my queue to put the finishing touches on the dresser: drawer liners and new hardware.
Here she is in her happy new home!
The drawer-liners are simply a roll of gift wrap (found a Michaels) cut to fit and then secured with double-sided tape. I found the yellow knobs at Anthropology (I couldn’t stomach buying enough for the whole dresser at $8 a pop!) so the silver pulls are from Home Depot.
I love the crisp white and how it really shows off the character of the dresser. Once we bring in the white crib I think the room will really start to look a bit more cohesive. And of course once I start adding more pops of that yellow (er, saffron) color around it will make those knobs seem a little more intentional.
I’m sure some of you are wondering about cost. I mean, the goal of DIY-ing something on your own is typically to save some mula, right? Well, to be honest, I’ve been a little scared to add it all up. Since I didn’t have any of the supplies onhand I had to buy everything (like paint, primer, floetrol, etc.). And then there’s the hardware, etc.
My best guess is that I came in right under $200. Which I suppose isn’t bad considering that (1) that’s still cheaper than some of the already-finished dressers I was originally looking at, (2) it’s a one of a kind piece, (3) it’s solid wood unlike most of the veneer-finished dressers today and (4) it was made with love. Can you really go wrong there?
I didn’t think so.
I’m just thankful I did all of this work before showing too much because I’m not sure I could maneuver around as well these days! Oh, and don’t worry pops – I was wearing a mask the whole time and bought the no-VOC paint. Safety first.
So there you have it. Again, I apologize for the lack of photos during painting….but that’s pretty self-explanatory anyways.
There’s still lots to accomplish on the nursery to-do list but it’s nice to see progress being made. I actually took on the Pinterest Challenge this weekend and made a mobile…so stay tuned for that reveal on Wednesday!
Oh, and aren’t ya’ll proud of me for not painting it black?!