Friday, July 31, 2009

Stencil Madness!

Lately, I've been wanting some bold, patterned curtains for my living room. Ideally, I'd have some grommet-panels custom made from imperial trellis fabric:

(one day I'm going to be great at spending wealthy people's money giving them gorgeous homes... ;) ) Or from this fabric: But.. if you've seen the price tag on that stuff.. well, it's just not happening in this decade. So, if you've gotten to know me at all, you know the wheels in my brain started turning. Well, a couple weeks ago pk had the perfect solution in her post. Stencils!! Perfect, my friends, perfect. The idea came from here.
And, while you're at it- look what else you can do with stencils:

Gosh! I just love it!!

Last night I actually made my own stencil for a project I'm oh-so-excited about- I absolutely cannot wait to show you guys!

With the rate the project ideas are coming into my head lately, we're going to have to upgrade to a bigger home, and fast!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Transformed Shelf

I found this little shelf at a yard sale for $1. It was a bit too country for my taste, so I decided to give it a little facelift.

First I removed the wooden pegs and the metal "Welcome" sign.

The sign was glued and screwed on there, so I had to use the hubby's tools (yet again) to get it off. Then I used our lovely redneck ice scraper & sandpaper to get the glue residue completely off.

I skipped sanding the rest of it, and gave it a coat of primer.

After removing the pegs, I used a stainable wood filler to fill in the holes. I kind of did this backwards- but I only decided to replace the pegs after I'd already primed it, and gotten the first coat of paint on. Ideally, you do this before any paint or primer hits.

I then traced the size of the "Welcome" sign on piece of scrap metal from Menard's. I used Z's "Tin Snips" to cut the metal- you have to be super careful not to cut yourself on the raw edges.

Once the metal was cut I took pencil and sketched the letters "L-A-U-N-D-R-Y" backwards on the back side. Next I took a metal punch & mallet and made little indentations around the outside of the sketched letters. The front side will end up looking like this:

I also punched a hole entirely through each of the 4 corners to screw it back in. To get it to lay completely flat, I applied Gorilla Glue to the back, set it where I wanted it, placed a piece of 2x4 on top and clamped it for 24 hrs.

Since the wood filler isn't strong enough to drill through and attach hardware, I had to drill just below the holes. Bummer, but it's going in the Laundry room, so I didn't sweat it. I used regular cabinet knobs to replace the pegs.

After this step, I was finished! Well, except for hanging it on the wall & accessorizing, which I still have yet to do.. :)

And as always, the BEFORE:

And, the AFTER:

This post is linked up @ The Shabby Chic Cottage, ASPTL, and Bloggeritaville.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Making the Bed with Yours Truly

I'm a bit of a bed-freak (minds out of the gutter, people!! Bed freak = someone who has to have everything straight, ironed, tucked, & made up right). I blame it on my parents- we were never allowed to leave the house without making our beds growing up. But now, I'm thankful. I love having a nicely made bed. :)

This week my beloved new bedding arrived, and last night I got the time to get it all put together. So, I grabbed the camera, and decided to take you guys along for the ride. Exciting, right? I thought so... ;)

Where to start? Take all the old bedding off & flip the mattress up on it's side, off the box spring. Remove the old bedskirt. Now we've got a clean slate to work with.

STAGE 1: The Bed Skirt

I always start by ironing the part that hangs down- not the part that's hidden by your mattress. Although, in these pictures it barely looks like I've ironed it, I have- it just gets a little crinkled when I'm doing the opposite side. Then I lay it down on the box-spring. I don't think you can actually call ours a box spring, as it doesn't have any springs, but I don't know what else to call it, so feel free to clue me in if you know.

Anyway, I like my bed skirt to just kiss the floor, like so:

Apparently, this bed skirt was made for a taller frame, because it was 3-4 in. too long. My solution? Safety pins! I just fold it under and pin it to the fabric top of the box spring.

Once the bedskirt is all secured, I flip the mattress back over onto it. We have a foam topper we put on it, and then a mattress protector/pad.

STAGE 2: Sheets

I actually just bought new sheets to match as well. They're 400TC cotton sateen w/ a 100% silk cuff. I got them at Marshall's for $39.95. Looove them!

I always lay mine face down (so the back of the hem is facing me) with the cuff folded down.

My mom is an ER nurse, so she started me on folding hospital (or military) corners as far back as I can remember. Here's a little picture tutorial of how it's done (or at least how I do it!).

Get it? :)

Since it's summertime, I don't bother to put a blanket on.

STAGE 3: Comforter (or Duvet, Coverlet, or Quilt- whatever you use)

Usually when you take these out of the package they're ridiculously wrinkly, so I (being OCD) iron these as well. I ironed the outside trim piece of this comforter on the ironing board, and the rest, I did right on the bed! Here's a comparison of one side ironed, and one not.

Totally worth it- no matter how crazy Z thinks I am!

Once I've got it all ironed out, I fold down the top & fold the sheet down over it.

STAGE 4: Pillows

I also iron the pillowcases and shams, since they show. I placed the "shammed" pillows behind the others to break up the continuous pattern.

I also add throw pillows. However, I only had one on hand that worked. I plan on creating a couple more out of some pretty fabric I picked up last night.

STAGE 5: Finishing Touches

I like adding a coordinating throw blanket, quilt, or something similar folded at the end of the bed. Lukcy me, I had the perfect one sitting right in our linen closet!

I love how bedding can change the whole look of the room! In this case, it gave our bedroom a much more light, relaxing feel.

How about you guys? Anyone else swapped out their bedding recently? Are any of you a bed-freak? What's your preference- hospital corners, or not?

Cool Refreshing Living Room

Every once in a while, I'll see something and it will spark the idea for an entire room. I saw these blue couches this morning and it inspired the following living room idea board. I love how it turned out- so cool & refreshing. I thought I'd share it with you all- enjoy!

Cool Sophisticated Living Room
Cool Sophisticated Living Room by weddedwhims on

For a source list, click on the room title above. If I were actually designing this room, I'd choose a very light sea green paint for the walls, and dark, distressed hardwood floor.

Don't you love the tree-like floor lamp? I first saw it in the genius work of NY designer, Amanda Nisbet:

If you're looking for some serious inspiration, check her out!
Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Revamped Bench with Nailhead Trim

This little bench/footstool was an $8 Goodwill find. I've been searching for one for a while now, so I was more than excited when I found it. Of course I couldn't let some other project crazy woman snatch it up while I went up to the counter & told them I wanted a piece of furniture (like you're supposed to do..), so.. I just piled that thing on top of my cart and walked tip-toed (to see over it) around the store to do the rest of my shopping. But anyway, on to the real exciting part- ripping & stripping! ;)

This thing was old. And whoever owned it liked animals way too much.

This fabric on the underbelly was nasty.. check out the pet fur.

So, of course, we took care of that!

STEP 1: Rip. If you can, that is. If you can pull the upholstery staples out by just tugging on the fabric, wahoo for you! I couldn't on that flimsy grey stuff so I used a flat head screwdriver & needle-nose pliers (thanks for teaching me about tools, dad- at least I kinda sound like I know what I'm doing).

STEP 2: Check 'er out. The padding/batting that is. Mine was still in good shape, so I didn't have to replace it. Score. I kept the fabric on it for the next step to protect it, but I did fold the corners down so that I could get up close & personal with the legs.. tee hee..

STEP 3: Strip It. This was my first experience with a stripper (gosh. The inuendos in this post just keep popping up. I swear I didn't plan this. Ignore them.. or just laugh. :) ). My advice is to leave it on a little longer than the can reccommends & apply a thick coat- just in case. I ended up applying stripper twice to get the thick varnish & stain off these legs. I probably would have been fine if I'd just left a hefty coat on for 1-2 hrs. the first time. You can tell when it's working by the bubbles:

STEP 3a: It says you're supposed to use a plastic scraping tool initially to get the old stuff off. So brilliant me.. I grab the hubby's windshield ice scraper! So if you're feeling a little red-neck and don't have the proper tools sitting around.. improvise! :)

Improvisation Part 2: If you don't have the proper stripping scrubber thing, a kitchen sponge dunked in paint thinner will work.

STEP 3b: Sand. Just in case there's any finish left over, sand it down with a medium, and then fine grit sandpaper. Once it's to your liking, wipe the dust off with a damp cloth. Don't proceed to the next step until the wood is fully dry. *By this point, you'll be super glad you left the old fabric over the batting.*

STEP 4: Stain. Apply your stain of choice. I used Minwax's Red Mahogany. I like using two foam brushes to stain. One to brush the stain on, and one to wipe any exess off. You can use a cloth, but make sure it's lint-free- you don't want any fuzzy stuble on those legs. Your stool will look just about as good with it as us ladies do (which is not too good, in case you've never known).

STEP 5: Poly. I love using Minwax's wipe-on poly in a satin finish. Shiny, but not reflect-your-face shiny. I used cheesecloth to apply it. Make sure you're wearing some disposable gloves to do this- poly is s.t.i.c.k.y. once it starts to dry!!

Once you've let your poly dry for a good 2-3 hrs., pull that fabric off!

STEP 6: Upholster. I chose a light colored linen for this project. Lay your fabric out on the floor & put the stool upside down on top of it. Cut about a 4-5 inch margin around, depending on how thick your cushion is. Start by stapling 1-2 times on each of the 4 sides. Then gradually add a few staples on each side, making sure the fabric stays tight and straight. Staple right up til about an inch from the legs. To do my corners, I made two small folds and tucked the edge under. You'll probably want to trim the fabric down so you're not tucking too much back under.

I also trimmed the fabric all the way around. Then, I tucked it under & stapled (about 3 in. apart) it to the inner edge of the wood. If you want, you can add another fabric like that nasty original grey one to the underside. I opted not to.

Once you're done upholstering it should look something like this.

STEP 7: Embellish. (Shout out, Christy!) I was super excited about using nailhead trim on this project. Somehow I forgot to take any action shots of this step, but it's super easy, so I'm sure you'll get it just fine. I started in the middle of the curved-in side (because that side would be facing the footboard of our bed, where no one would see it).

The trim is made up of a string of faux nailheads, and every so often one has a little hole that you poke a real nailhead through & hammer (with a rubber mallet) into the wood to secure it. See?

It makes the corners look much better!

Once you've finished with this step, you're done!! I'm pretty happy with the results, and mine looks just great in our bedroom. This was step two in a Master Bedroom Revamp I'm almost finished with. Stay tuned to see the rest of the projects & the final product this week!

And just because we all love a good before & after-