Monday, August 25, 2014

Tutorial: How To Make Birch Log Candle Holders

Birch bark is so easy to work with! And it's so pretty. And woodburners are only around $10.

Here's what my burner from Hobby Lobby looks like:

And it comes with a bunch of different tips (these exact ones are from Harbor Freight):

Look at all these ADORABLE projects you can do with a woodburner!

The idea for my candle came from a beautiful vase in Morgann Hill's Etsy shop here

I found a bunch of birch logs on a classified ad and bought them all so that I could make Christmas gifts with them. Because they all varied in size, I did different things with them... the bigger ones got three holes drilled in the top and the ones that only had room for one were grouped in threes and tied with jute:

All I did (with a ton of help form my husband, in fact he drilled all the holes) was chop them to the desired height with a drop saw, drill holes in the top with a huge drill bit (the size of a tealight candle, mine were 1.5" in diameter) and then draw a design in them with a pencil then trace with a woodburner.

I recommend tealight candles from the dollar store if you don't need a ton or Ikea if you do need a ton (100 to be exact) or if you just want the best deal in town since that only costs you $3.99! Ikea also has scented ones in various colors for a little bit more.

You may need to buy the drill bit but don't worry it's about $6 at Home Depot. 

I love a personalized gift!

What else should I engrave with my woodburner? 


Thursday, August 21, 2014

First Day Of School Sign

Go to The Pinning Mama here to get this free printable first day of school chalkboard sign for any grade!

My dear friend Katie sent me the pin and I was so glad to have it that I wanted to share it with all of you too! Last year that same friend let me borrow this cute Kindergarten sign:

I'm sure glad I have cute friends with cute ideas so I don't miss out on all the fun! 

Here's another adorable photo idea that I loved...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Tutorial: DIY Window Film

I love a bright home with lots of natural light!

But when I moved into my house I was a little concerned about this...

See the problem? Not only lack of privacy but it doesn't look great either. 

But I didn't want to lose any light!

I was so happy to find an inexpensive solution.


It's like $5 a roll at Walmart.

Seventh House On The Left had the idea here along with a stencil of this pattern:

I wasn't ready to cut that many Moroccan tile looking pieces so I just did one in the center.

To be perfectly honest I wouldn't have gone to the trouble of even cutting one except for the fact that this top half of the window was the slightest bit bigger than my roll of contact paper.

After how easy this was I decided to do my shower as well:

All I did after reading many tutorials and trying all the different tips out there, was use a spray bottle of water and a shower squeegee to apply it. Of course you have to clean the window and wash your hands first. Spray the glass with water and then apply the contact paper. The water allows you to move it around if it's not exactly where you want it. Once in place, use the squeegee moving from the center out.

If you can get a helper it will make your life easier; the contact paper likes to cling to itself so especially if you are using big pieces like I did on my shower, so have someone help hold one end while you hold the other. It also helps a lot to have one person hold the liner while another pulls the backing off to begin with. 

I did the dining room first and threw lots of perfectly good pieces away because there was always one spot that was bubbly but you know what I learned? The bubbles must dry out over time because it looks much better after you just leave it for a few days. So be patient.

When I did the shower glass, I was a lot less careful and I didn't wash my hands first (nor did I make my 6 year old who helped me) and now there are fingerprints on the corners.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fabric Doll

What a doll!

I followed the instructions on Make It and Love It here.

Instead of felt for hair I just used some fabric I had on hand that matched some yarn I had on hand! Which is why her shoes are white as well. I used muslin for the body and machine stitched the eyes and mouth on as soon as the pattern pieces were cut out, I didn't want to hand embroider them on cuz I'm lazy like that. I also skipped the cute little sleeves and collar for the same reason. And to top off my laziness I didn't even enlarge the pattern so mine turned out smaller. 

Those tiny arms require a surprising amount of batting to stuff completely so be sure to put enough in before sewing them onto the body especially if you omit sleeves like I did. 

Oh one more thing! If you use fabric for hair like I did, after you sew it on, try cutting little slits in it to fray it a little along the edges.

Now go make a special little handmade doll for someone you love :)

Monday, August 4, 2014

Tutorial: How To Recover An Ottoman

Love my ottoman.

Found the little lady on my local classified ad website and she was in need of some TLC.

Besides the tears in the top of the vinyl she was in good shape so I found some old curtains of mine and made a new cover. I measured the top (3'x3') and sides (3'x16"), adding 1/2 inch to each side to account for seam allowances and about 2" on the bottom to tuck under. I sewed the cover together with invisible thread and used the already finished curtain hem for the bottom of my cover.

Demolition time! I removed the feet and the mesh lining that was covering the bottom of the ottoman. The original tufting was created with a string (no buttons) that was tied and stapled underneath so I cut those strings and carefully peeled the vinyl cover off, leaving the foam and batting untouched. 

I placed my slipcover on, reattached the feet and stapled any loose fabric that needed it. You could leave it like this but I wanted the tufting like it originally had. And I wanted buttons. 

So I added my own covered buttons that I made with some leftover scraps of fabric. You can make your own buttons using the same fabric as your slipcover with a cover button kit from Walmart. They're cheap, come in lots of sizes to choose from and make covering buttons easy. BUT... make sure you check out my tufted fabric headboard if you're using a thicker fabric. I used 4 large regular buttons on the underside of the ottoman. These buttons allowed me to pull tight when knotting so that it made a deeper tuft.

I could have pulled the bottom right button a little tighter...

The great thing about this is that you can remove it if you need to wash it. I debated about using velcro on the bottom like Tiny Side Kick did here which looks very nice and easy!

But my ottoman's feet were much bigger than hers were so I figured they'd hold the majority of the fabric under for me. One day I may switch the feet and copy her to make removing it for washing easier. I would still have to untie the buttons each time but it's worth it because I love them.

OH! And it's not pictured here but I was able to use a leftover piece of fabric to make another pillow (since I'm clearly in desperate need of some more pillows). I used the "wrong side" of the fabric for my pillow so that the color of the pillow wouldn't match the ottoman exactly. It's shiny and a bit darker so it works well.

Ain't she cute? Soooooooo comfy. I will never go back to a hard coffee table again. Top her with a cute tray and you're good to go!

This is easily my most favorite piece of furniture. I love the color, how comfortable it is and the tufting. What's yours and why?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Tutorial: How To Make A Tufted Fabric Headboard

 So as you know there are a lot of DIY headboards out there. But this one is a bit different.

 He was originally inspired by Ikea's Bekkestua Headboard:

Then as I set out to find a tutorial online I decided I liked this beautiful headboard on Jenna Sue Design better because of the curve:

But my guy has a secret... he's made out of cardboard instead of plywood! Shhh! Don't tell! He was cheaper, lighter and easier to cut so that's why I chose him. 

Now I must tell you that although this is how I chose to do it, I would still recommend you use plywood over cardboard any day. But if you really want that curved edge and have no tools then cardboard would be the way to go. If I did it over though, I would use plywood and just leave the top edge straight. In fact I may still do that so be prepared to see that on my website in the future!

Anyway, all I did was cut the cardboard from a box we got a new table in, into the shape I liked. I wanted the bottom of the headboard to hit the top of my mattress so I just eyeballed where I thought I wanted it above my bed then measured. Taping the wall off with painters tape first is probably a better idea though. That way you can really see if that's the size you want. You also have to consider the width of your fabric when determining the height of your headboard.

There wasn't any prep work on the cardboard for the button holes (like drilling holes ahead of time) so I just layered the foam, batting and fabric over the top of the cardboard. I used some spray glue to hold down the foam but that was pretty pointless so don't bother. Then I stapled the batting and the fabric to the back of the cardboard (I had to get some longer staples for my gun as the short ones weren't cutting it). Then I covered my buttons with the leftover fabric and used a chunky needle to attach them to the headboard where I wanted them. I used a regular button on the back to hold the thread in place. Once it was ready I poked two holes in the cardboard for hanging the headboard with a couple of 3M hooks!

I will mention that the buttons were a bit harder to cover than they would have been with a thinner fabric, like my ottoman slipcover. In fact my husband had to do this part for me. I also found that because of the weave on the fabric, when I take a picture with a flash at just the right angle, I can see the metal shine through. You could remedy this by using a marker of the same color on the silver metal button before covering. Take a look at the shine...

And that's all folks. So what do you think? Straight or curved? Cardboard or plywood? Tufting before or after stapling the fabric on? I do like the look of this deep tufting from Involving the Senses where they added the buttons before stapling:

There's just something so cozy about a fabric headboard that I love. Resting your head against it while you read a book or watch a show just can't be beat. 


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