Friday, September 28, 2012

Vintage Ladder Magazine Rack

I mentioned last week that I was on the hunt for a vintage wooden ladder that could double as a magazine rack in my downstairs bath. Since then, I searched high and low for one. I saw a few at a nearby flea market but they were asking way too much for them ($55 a pop!). I did a little research and decided to phone a local antique shop to see if they had any. The kind woman on the phone said she could have one in her store for me by the very next day for under $20. PERFECT. I packed the kiddos into the car and off we were the next morning. My heart sank as we drove into the parking lot. The ladder she had wouldn’t have fit in our house, never mind my bathroom (or car for that matter). I almost kept on driving, but saw the woman outside and decided I’d at least thank her anyway and then be on our merry way. After doing so and explaining that it was just too big, she quickly offered to cut it down to any size I wanted…and would reduce the price to boot! Score. I had her cut 4 feet, (so I could safely get it into the car) paid her $10 and whistled all the way home. The whistling stopped however once I got it into the bathroom. It was a bit bigger than I’d anticipated for the space. It’s growing on me though. I think I’ll leave it there until I find another place for it anyway. Here are a few shots of it in its new home: 

Thanks for stopping in, have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Burlap and Ruffle Runner

Good morning! If you like burlap, then you’re going to love today’s project. I purchased a few yards of it last Christmas with the hope of making a garland out of it for the tree. Sadly I never got around to making one, so it just sat in my craft closet…until now. I saw this adorable runner on pinterest that combined rustic burlap with a soft ruffle. Sold. Out with the garland, in with a runner. I remembered that there was an old pillow case sitting in my linen closet that had a stain on it...perfect for a ruffle! So off to the sewing machine I ran. Here’s my new runner: 
Here’s how I did it: First, I used another runner I had lying around in the closet to measure the length. I gave myself a few extra inches in width to make a seam on either side.

I ironed and hemmed the sides and ends:
Then, I took the pillow case and cut off the hemmed end. This will be the ruffle. I cut it open, then in half, and then sewed it to the ends of the runner. 

 Lastly, I sewed on some grosgrain ribbon (also from the craft closet) to hide the seams:

Voila! New table runner perfect for fall. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Lunch Served To-Day"

If you are a Sarah Richardson fan, and I undoubtedly am, you may have recognized this hanging in the corner of my kitchen:
 It’s my own rendition of the charming sign that hangs in Sarah's farmhouse kitchen: 
Believe it or not, I made it mostly out of items I already had lying around the house! Here's how: The wood was salvaged from the cabinet demo. The gray paint was left over from the painted wallpaper project.  I found another bracket in the closet (remember the ones I used for the shelf in the sunroom? There were more!) so I rescued it and spray painted it black.  I have this box full of screws, hanging materials, and other miscellaneous junk that I just don’t know what to do with (you have one too?)  where I found the ring that the sign is hanging on.  I free-hand painted the letters onto the wood and then scuffed the whole thing up with steel wool after it dried.  Lastlty I hit it a few times with the handle of a butter knife and used a dry paintbrush with a little touch of the gray paint over the letters to give it a worn out look.  The only two  items I purchased to complete this project were a tube of deep gray acrylic paint and a 99 cent can of black spray paint (both from Walmart).  Total cost $2.    
I also made the "Farm Fresh Eggs" sign using most of the same materials, only I used the leftover paint from the front door (adding in a touch of gray and white to get the ochre color).  This time I used letters I printed from the computer, traced and painted. Like so:
Use a piece of chalk on the back side of each cutout:
Then place the cut out onto your wood and trace over the letters; this will leave a faint chalk inprint on the wood.
Now fill in the lines with paint.  I scuffed it with steel wool and beat it with my butter knife to give it a worn look:
 Ta Da!
 I think I'll make another one for fall, stay tuned...Thanks for stopping in!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Heart of the Home: Open Shelves

After what seemed like months of swooning over open shelving on Pinterest and Google Images, we decided to weigh out the pros and cons of putting in some of our own.  A few people online mentioned that dishes could get dusty and the shelves could get messy looking-neither a show stopper for us.  Our biggest concern was value of our home for future resale.  With that in mind we decided it would be best to keep some cabinets (to hide the unsightly clutter that we all have) but mix things up a bit and replace a few with some lovely open shelves.  Let the demo begin!  We pulled out the three cabinets to the right of the window, as well as the outdated cornice above the window itself.  Maximum daylight is key in any room.  Next we hung beadboard on the walls.  Have I mentioned that I love beadboarding?  I have?  Yeah, I just can’t get enough of it.  Lastly, up went the shelves and on went a coat of white paint (more Sherwin Williams “Extra White”)  Not only is this project simple to do, it’s affordable too.  What can be better than that?  Here’s another shot of the kitchen “before.”

 And here it is now:

As far as dust and clutter – still not a problem for me.  We use most of the dishes daily, and believe it or not, it’s easier to put them away.  Having everything exposed also forces me to be neat…bonus.  Another pro, I get to dress them up for the seasons.  I still have my “summer” gear out, so stay tuned for a touch of fall to make its way in this week.   Removing the cabinets also makes the kitchen look and feel bigger and brighter. (The cornice really blocked a lot of natural sunlight from coming in, I highly suggest getting rid of it if you have one in your kitchen)  You might also notice that a big table made its way in there as well....another DIY project I'll share that really makes the space so much more inviting.   OK my time's up, kids are awake! Thanks for stopping in,  oh, and please feel free to leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Heart of the Home

Any room that you spend the majority of your time in deserves to be bright, cheery and welcoming. That was the goal anyway when we decided to update our kitchen. As with the rest of the house, this room has undergone a few “makeovers.”
Here is a shot of the kitchen when we first moved in:
And here it is with Valspar’s “Pewter Mug” painted on the walls.  We also updated the flooring, painted the trim Sherwin Williams "Extra White," and replaced the countertops.  I  added a kitchen island where most of my food prep took place, and changed out the light fixture.  Though the kitchen was a lot brighter, it still left something to be desired.

As I have mentioned before, while preggers with baby #2 I did a lot of pinterest surfing. One thing I kept seeing more and more of was open shelving. Any Sarah Richardson fans out there? Here was one of her makeovers that lead to my soon obsession with open shelving:
Tune in tomorrow to see what our kitchen looks like now! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Hand Towel Update

Happy Friday!    I was doing my regular “Friday morning pick-up” around the house and was just about to toss away the fabric scraps that were still lying around from the stepstool makeover.  Grammy if you’re reading this, you’ll be proud.  I decided that instead of letting them go to waste, I’d use them to make small embellishments on the hand towels in the bathroom.   Here are the towels “before.”

And here they are now:
 Another before:
And after:
And one more snapshot of it all together:

If you'd like to give this a try at home, here's how:

1. Cut fabric into strips
2.  Fold edges, iron, and hem with sewing machine:
3. To make a longer piece, (so I could ruffle the fabric) I sewed two strips together:
4. Sew onto towels, pleating the fabric every inch or so.
5. Step back, enjoy!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Repurposing an Old Window

I picked up an old window pane at one of my favorite flea markets for just $3 (talked the guy down from $5, what a bargain!).  At the time I had no idea what I was going to do with it, or where I’d put it…I just thought it looked charming and cottage-y.  It has been sitting on my dining room table for weeks until just this morning….
I decided that the bathroom "nook" would be a perfect new home for it.  Here is the "nook" before:
And here it is after: 
Now the window doubles as cottage décor and a picture frame to boot! I like how the Benjamin Moore “Healing Aloe”shows through and acts as matting.   My inspiration came from a Better Homes and Gardens email and I couldn’t wait to give it a try.  
Now I just need a magazine rack for the space.   I am on the hunt for a vintage ladder that can double as one.   If you follow me on pinterest, you probably already had a clue that I had been admiring them!   Do you have any fun décor tricks that you’ve recently tried?   I really enjoy repurposing old things and making them useful in other ways…I’d love to hear what you’re doing too!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Coffee Filter "Fall" Wreath

Last year I pinned a tutorial on how to make an autumn wreath and have been wanting to give it a try ever since.  Finally, when I found an old wreath in my basement that was doing nothing but collecting a lot of dust, I thought, why not try and give it new life?  Here is the wreath "before." 

And here it is now:

I really like how the swirls and curls of the grape vine give it a little character, so I decided to leave it partially showing.  I think I'll make another to match for my other front door...
If you'd like to give this a try, here are the materials you will need:
1. Coffee filters
2. Wreath or wreath frame
3. Crafters paint (I used red, brown, and yellow, then put brown into all three to mute the colors a bit.)
4. Masking tape
5. Hot glue gun
6. Berries, acorns, pine cones, leaves (optional - I picked some up for $1.09 at Michaels)
First, fill cups (disposable ones are better!) with a few squirts of paint and a little bit of water. Then push a bunch of coffee filters into each cup to absorb the paint.  (this is a fun activity for the kiddos to help out with too).

Now pull the filters out, and squeeze excess paint/water.

Dry coffee filters (I used clothes pins on a string for drying ours).

Once the filters are dry, get out your masking tape, and pull out a small strip (as seen below).

Put a bunch of the filters together, (the less you put together, the smaller the flower) and fold into quarters.  Now cut a scalloped edge around the outside, and cut the tips of the centers (also in a scallop fashion).
The centers will be used for the inside of the flower.  Open it up, then twist in half.  Now stick it to the tape.

Now take the bigger part of the filter, open it up, then cut it open.

Now fold and stick, fold and stick, fold and stick, (making a pleat) until you've used up all of the cut strips.

Now roll (starting from the inside "petals") the tape and watch your flower bloom!  Continue to do this with different amounts of filters to make both large and small flowers.  You will want to make a lot of these to make a nice full wreath. 

Now take your flowers, and practice placing them around your wreath - you will probably arrange and re-arrange quite a few times before you have it just the way you want it.  (It took me quite a few attempts before finally deciding to glue).  Now, use your glue gun and start sticking those beautiful blooms to your wreath frame.  Add embellishments if you desire, I used acorns, leaves and pine cones from Michaels to give it more of a "fall" look.  Step back, enjoy!