Thursday, June 30, 2011

New "Vintage" Sign

      My little pantry consists of some built in shelving with no doors or anything to cover it. I've attempted to make it look attractive with baskets and such since it is exposed for all to see. That has worked fairly well, however it still looks a cluttered eyesore to me. I have a few ideas to improve it, and I started with this sign.
     I like vintage things to decorate with, but can't always find authentic ones. I'm totally fine with a good imitation though! I swiped a board from my hubby's scrap pile and gave it a coat of dark brown paint. Before it dried completely, I brushed it with a whitish grey paint. I wanted the brown to streak through it a bit.

     I used a stencil to paint on my letters.

     After it dried completely, I gave it a good rough up with sandpaper.

     I hung it on the wall at the top of my pantry. I like it. Its a start anyway, I have a fun idea to try that will cover the bottom section of those shelves.

     I'm not really sure how to get my idea to work, so I'll just have to keep thinking about that one for now and be content with my cute sign.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Little Lady Skirts

     I happened upon a lovely sale going on at my nearest fabric store the other day. Love when that happens! Among my yummy new fabric, I purchased some fun polka dot material to make summer skirts for the little girls. The first set, made from orange polka dot, are variations of the simple circle skirt.

      You can find an easy tutorial for circle skirts from MADE. The larger skirt, a 2T size, is simply two circle skirts sewn together to form the two layers. Cut out one skirt just a little longer than the other. Put the shorter over the longer, right sides facing out.

     Sew elastic to the waist, and finish off the edges. I lettuce edged this one since I used knit material. I think this one would be fun to do with two coordinating prints or colors. I didn't have anything that matched orange on hand so I stuck to the same fabric.

      For the newborn size one, I only did one layer. I sewed the elastic on and then sewed ruffled ribbon to the edges. Ruffled ribbon might be my new obsession, LOVE that stuff!

     These skirts take no time at all to do and look just cute as can be on little girls.

     The other set I made is out of red polka dot knit.

     For the 2T size, I cut two rectangles and two longer rectangles. The smaller is about 4 inches wider than my daughter's waist and the bottom is about 5 inches longer than the top.

     I gathered the bottom section and sewed it to the top.

      I then sewed the front of the skirt to the back and made a casing with elastic around the top. I added a little bow to gathered waist and finished off the edges with a lettuce edge. You can use this exact same method to make an adult size peasant style skirt. They are very comfy!

      The newborn one is just a rectangle gathered with elastic along the top. I sewed ric-rac to the bottom to give it some fun.

      I think this will be a great Fourth of July skirt for the little lady, if I can come up with a cute top for it.

Linking to:
Sew Much Ado
My Girlish Whims
Goodbye City Hello Suburbs
Someday Crafts
Tea Rose Home
Sew Woodsy
Singing three little birds

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bookcase redo and a quick re-arrange

     Welcome to a new week! My serger had to go to the shop for a week...or two. Boohoo! I can sew stuff without it obviously, but I don't really like to. I don't feel like its as sturdy or as neat. So, I've been spending my spare time fussing with furniture. After I fixed the "closet" in the girl's bedroom, I had an extra bookcase I had to do something with. It is just a cheap particle board bookcase.

      I decided if I had to look at it, I mine as well do my best to make it pretty. Out came the spray paint...and it failed me miserably. Never thought I'd say that! Apparently, spray paint does not like fake wood. The stuff just turns to powder when it dries. Once I figured out I was just waisting my time and paint, I broke out the bucket paint. That worked much better! I covered it in poly acrylic after I was finished to help protect the paint. It is still pretty sensitive to scratching, so I don't know that I would recommend this for a high traffic piece. I distressed it so that extra scratches would just fit right in! I put it in the corner of my dining room.

     You can check out how I did my plates on the wall in this post.

     As you can see, I have a thing for old crates. In my little house, a lot of things have to be stored out in the open because of lack of space. Crates, baskets,and buckets are my go to items for making storage cute. I pick them wherever I can find them, usually garage sales. I find that crates in antique stores are usually super expensive. These three hold table cloths, dish towels, and cookbooks. I get a chuckle out of the one that says "High Explosives Dangerous" on's no coincidence it hold things related to cooking. You just neeeeever know what might go on when I'm in the kitchen! =)

     So there, you see? Even a cheap bookcase doesn't have to scream "hey! I'm from Walmart!" Paint works wonders people!
     I also had this dark little corner in my living room that needed fixing.

     The shelf that used to be where I put the bookcase got moved here. It really lightened up that corner!

      See? There is the ever present crate, and basket again. The crate stores candles and small such things and the basket helps my two year old corral her books a little easier. Funny how moving one piece of furniture can change the whole feel of a room.
     Well, I'm off to fiddle with my next project! Have a happy day!

Linking to:
Boogieboard Cottage
Between Naps on the Porch
Running with Glitter
Someday Crafts
Tea Rose Home
Organize and decorate everything
Restore Interiors
The Inspired Room

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scripture Plate Wall Decor

     I have a large tote filled with odds and ends I've picked up for a few cents or dollars at garage sales and thrift stores. If you are a habitual "junker" like me, I'm sure you have a collection like this in some dark corner too! I am constantly cycling through my stash, using pieces to create whatever I have need of at the moment. This week, my serger sadly has a bent part, so I'm amusing myself with other projects that don't require sewing. I've been eyeing a section of wall in my dining room for quite a while, trying to conjure up some sort of suitable decor to hang there. I resorted to my junk stash and came up with these eight plates.

     I'm sure you've seen plenty of the like at thrift stores and such. I took my plates and covered them with some lovely white spray paint.

     While they were drying, I printed off words from the Scripture verse I used as my inspiration for this project. The verse is Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law." I used one word from the list for each plate.

      I'm actually short one plate to finish the last word, "temperance". I'm pretty sure I'll be able to find another one that matches the set though. I cut out an oval shape to fit into the bottom of the plates, and mod podged them to the plates.

    Next, I just arranged them in order and hung them on the wall with picture hanging tape.

     I think all of those virtues mentioned in that verse are very challenging. This is a nice way of reminding me to work on them while doing daily activities. I mean seriously, who doesn't need to be reminded to have a little joy when cleaning up the same messes for the umpteenth time! You can see how the words look a little better in this picture.

      I think I spent maybe $2 on the plates to start with, so this definitely was not an expensive project. I think the wall is much improved!

     More to come on that bookshelf soon!

Linking to:
Simple Home Life
Iron Violet Designs
Just a Girl
Tatertots and Jello
Funky Junk Interiors
lolly jane
be different act normal
Boogieboard Cottage
Between Naps on the Porch
Running with Glitter
Someday Crafts
Tea Rose Home
Organize and decorate everything
Restore Interiors

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Baby Mobile

      I'm still working on getting the girl's room situated and ready for the new baby. I needed a mobile for the crib, but wanted to find something simple and colorful. I couldn't put my finger on what I wanted, until the idea of painted craft hoops popped into my head.  The circles go perfectly with the polka dots on the bedding, and the simple wood hoops fit my idea of the clean, airy look I want in their room.

     You can find these at craft stores, thrift stores or garage sales very inexpensively. I simply painted them to match the colors in the room.

     I crisscrossed the two pieces one inside of the other and then dabbed a bit of hot glue to hold them in place.

    I used fishing line to hang them...Super fast, super easy, and very cute.

     I think I'll add one or two hoops more as I come across them. I'm pretty satisfied with it for now though.

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Shortcut freezer paper stenciling

      Happy Monday! I hope you all had a lovely Father's Day weekend.  This one little tidbit came from a Father's Day present the little lady and I worked on. I wanted to do a freezer paper stenciled shirt for the mister...but when I gathered my supplies, I found I didn't have any freezer paper. Being the super duper patient person that I am, I decided rather than take a trip to the store, I'd see if contact paper worked. I'm quite happy to report that contact paper works wondrously! In fact, I think I like better than the freezer paper option for one simple reason. You don't have to iron!! I dislike ironing intensely! Contact paper is already sticky. All I did was print out my image, trace it on to the contact paper, cut it out, stick it on the shirt, paint, wait till it dries and pull it off. Easy!
     Here it is in process.

     And here is the finished product.

      We did two and they turned out great. Make sure you use paint for fabric, or mix a fabric medium into regular paint so all your hard work doesn't wash off!

Linking to:
Between Naps on the Porch
Homemaker on a Dime

Friday, June 17, 2011

Simple Summer Mantle

     I tend to be a "cluttery" decorator. I'm learning, slowly, not to stuff every nook and cranny. Simple can speak for itself.

     I read in a book recently, "God doesn't give us a flaming sunset to look at all day long". It was meant as an explanation of how to use color when decorating. Use colors that are soothing to look at in large doses and use explosions of color sparingly. I thought that was very helpful, and I'm trying to follow that advise a little more.

Another flipflop refashion

     Yes, I realize I just posted about this...but it's summer here people! Its HOT! Besides, I have a shoe fetish. I like options. And when you are pregnant and your feet swell to unattractive proportions, flip flops are about your only option unless you plan on going barefoot everywhere. Enough excuses already? OK, so I bought these ugly little black flip flops for $6.

     I chopped off the rhinestones and applied a healthy (or unhealthy) portion of this stuff. E-600 glue holds super well.

      Slap on some ruffly ribbon purchased from Hobby Lobby and a cute little bow...and tada!

      By the way, did you know that ribbon is stretchy?? Do you know what you can do with adorable ruffly ribbon that stretches??!! My girls need headbands in every color of this stuff! OK, commercial over, back to my flip flops.

     I. Love. Them. The end.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

refashioned sleeves

     This is a quick little sleeve refashion....with horrible pictures. Just pretend they are clear. =) I picked up this long sleeve maternity shirt at a thrift store. Obviously, summer and long sleeves don't mix very well, so I need to fix it a bit. I chopped of the sleeves leaving the serging around the arm holes.

     I cut open the sleeves so they laid flat and then shortened them.

     I sewed a gathered stitch along the top "bell" shape part.

      I then top stitched the sleeve back onto the arm hole, but only on the top three quarters or so. I left the gathered portion exposed. Knit won't ravel and it adds a nice little ruffle detail.

     I took the corners of the sleeve and sewed them down to the arm hole.

      And now I have a nice little flutter cap sleeve that only took me about five minutes!

      Much better than long sleeves! Again, sorry about the icky pictures....bad lighting and black fabric don't mix very well! Anyway, its a different way to re-do a sleeve than simply shortening it, or cutting it off all together.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Flat Front Shirred Skirt

     I made this skirt specifically for a maternity skirt, so I can't vouch 100% for it working as a regular skirt. I see no reason why it wouldn't though, because the measurements are all your own. The front waist is flat and the back waist is shirred for easy fitting.
     I know that skirt tutorials pop up on here quite a bit. That is because they are a staple for my summer wardrobe, I don't think there is anything more comfy when it's a 100 degrees outside! They are also monstrously easy to make! =)  You can make your own this way.
     Cut out the following pieces.

     You can make an A-line skirt by simply adding a few inches to the bottom width of the skirt. Angle up at the bottom corners just slightly when cutting out.
     I had to put a lining in mine, because I used a light yellow seersucker that was see through. I just sewed the lining and the skirt portion as if it were one piece. Start by taking your front waist, folding it over in half, right sides out, and sewing along the top.

     Take your back waist and make a casing for elastic along the top. Make sure that the width of the back piece equals the width of the front waist. I like to serge along the edges first to keep it all neat and tidy.

     Sew lines with elastic thread beneath your casing. I think I did about nine rows. Leave about a quarter inch at the bottom so you can sew it to your skirt.

     Thread your elastic through the casing and sew down the ends. I used inch and a half knit elastic.

    Now the front waist and the back waist are finished.

    Sew each waist to its respective side of the skirt.

     When you do the back, just stretch the waist as you go to line up with the top of the skirt. Now sew up the sides, right sides together. Hem and you are all done!

     I really like how, even though it has an elastic waist, there is no extra material in the skirt part. It looks like a typical A-line skirt without any waist bulkiness.

     Seersucker is a great fabric to use for this, because it works wonderfully with elastic thread. My only complaint with it, is that it wrinkles easily. It's a super comfy skirt, lightweight and perfect for hot summer sun!

     Have fun sewing!

Linking to:
Someday Crafts
Tea Rose Home
Sew Woodsy
Sew Much Ado
Fabric Bows and More
My Girlish Whims
Simple home life
The Freckled Laundry