Two Frames, One Watercolor

Holy Week is here!  Lent is almost over and Easter is on it’s way!  I’m popping in quick with the what’s and how’s of the watercolor in the kids’ bathroom and then I’m out for the rest of the week to focus on JESUS!  Whoop!  I’ve been reading “Jesus and the Jewish Roots of the Eucharist” for Lent and it’s been such a great read (especially for this mainly fiction reader) and I can’t wait to finish this week.  I love history and when you mix history and the faith like this and read the words of someone who knows what they’re talking about, well, it gets me.  Highly recommend it…

So, the watercolor painting I hung in the kids’ bathroom…I really, really like it.
I picked it up at a yard sale last summer and I’ll never let it go…I mean, I can’t even figure out who wanted to in the first place, right?  It’s not a print but an actual watercolor painting!  Maybe the giver wasn’t aware?  Originally, it looked like this:
I didn’t think the frame was that bad but Anthony said it reminded him of something you’d see hanging in a doc’s office.  I could see it too, I guess.  Regardless, it was a little too big for where I wanted it so I went a-hunting for a smaller frame at Goodwill last week and found this one:
I thought the frame itself was some sort of plastic since it was nice and shiny but once I started sanding it down and prepping it for paint, I realized it was wood.  Ha!  $5 for a 22” x 17” wood frame…not bad!

Anyway, it was papered over on the back, which used to scare me to the point that I’d avoid all paper-backed frames in thrift stores.  But, since then, I’ve cast aside that fear and now I don’t care what a frame looks like on the back.  All I know is that no matter what’s on the back, pretty much any frame can be hacked into and used to display whatever I want it to.  Maybe you’ve been intimidated after seeing that paper too?  Well, don’t be.  Here’s how to take a frame like this apart:
frame1 – See the paper.  Own the paper.  Forget the paper.
2 – Rip the paper off.  It doesn’t own you.
3 – Under the paper, something will be holding everything in place.  Sometimes it’s staples all around the inside edge and sometimes, like this time for me, it’s small nails.  Sometimes you might even get lucky and just find tape.  If that’s your luck, just rip it out or grab the nearest knife or razor blade and slice along the edges.  If it’s staples or nails, take them out, one by one.  I’ve found a needle-nose pliers works best for this type of thing.  Yes, it’s a little tedious but that’s ok.  Just remember that there’s glass under there so don’t go too crazy banging and pulling.
4 – Once you get all the things (nails, tape, staples, etc…) that are holding the contents of the frame in place out, take out everything down to the glass so that all you’re left with is the frame itself.

Then, wash that glass quick because chances are it’ll need a good cleaning on both sides and put everything back in the way you had it, replacing whatever it is you want with whatever was in the frame when you bought it.  So, glass, mat (if there is one), art (I usually tape it in so it doesn’t slide around when in), cardboard (or other backing, and then nails (staples or tape).  You can even tape or glue some more paper to the back to make it look more professional if you want but I never do because who looks at the backside of a frame once it’s on the wall?  Not me and hopefully not you either because that might be really weird…

But, let’s backtrack a tad to the point where you have everything out of the frame.  If you want to change up the look of the frame with paint or anything else without having to worry about it’s contents getting in the way, now would be the time.  I wanted to go white with this one so I did a quick sanding to get rid of that glossy sheen.  I liked the gold on the frame though so I taped over that so I’d end up with a white frame with gold trim on the inside.
I primed the frame with white spray paint and then brush-painted it with leftover paint I have on hand from painting this wood couch.  I would’ve gone the spray paint route but I’m currently out of white spray paint and haven’t had a chance to grab anymore recently so latex it was.

Before I could stick the watercolor into it’s new frame, I had to trim it down a little.  So, I measured and penciled two lines on the top and left sides; where I’d need to trim to get it to the size I wanted it.
I could’ve taken an equal amount off each of the four sides but I wanted to keep as much of the watercolor itself in view so I cut off the two sides with the least amount of color.

It was now a perfect fit.  What didn’t come out so perfect was my paint job.  Either I didn’t press down my painters’ tape enough or the painters’ tape I used just stinks, but the white paint leaked underneath and onto the gold edge I wanted to keep.  I tried sanding it off but then ended up sanding off some of the gold and now it just looks a little messy.  Maybe I can call it distressed?
I think I’ll just grab some gold paint and touch it up but until that happens, at least the watercolor draws the eye towards itself and not the frame’s paint job…or maybe that’s just me playing the justification/excuse card but either way, since the frame isn’t the star of this show, I really don’t care all that much to rush to fix it.

And that is that.

I hope you all have a wonderful and powerful Holy Week and an even better Easter!


Last post I went into what was in my head and on my Pinterest board for the kids’ bathroom.  Today, I’m here to show you a little bit of progress. 

A quick refresher first though.  Here’s what this bathroom looked like when we moved in (picture from the real estate listing prior to our purchase):
guest bath b4
And, after having a little bit ‘o fun in there last week, here’s what it looks like right now:
I know decor can make a huge difference but really, the huge difference in the before and after of this little room can really be attributed to paint and better/brighter/more neutral lightbulbs (my favorites are these from Lowe’s…we use them everywhere we can).  It’s pretty amazing, no?

Last week I transferred the yard sale watercolor find to a thrifted frame (post to follow) and hung the letter hooks on the biggest (but still little) wall.  At the last minute I grabbed the burnt orange pom-flower-things onto the light fixture (even though I kinda want to spray paint them yellow…)
While out hunting for a new frame for the watercolor, I found this white ceramic and and wood vase at Goodwill:IMG_7718Eventually I’ll probably just grab some fake flowers to toss in there but right now, the trees in our yard are in need of some pruning and so I thought I’d start.  ;)

But let’s talk about the ‘bathe’:
IMG_7719I got the letter hooks on clearance from Pottery Barn* a couple of weeks ago using a gift card I had had for four years and, after wanting to spell ‘love’ but realizing that the letter ‘v’ was sold out, I sat at my computer and played something like a game of anagrams with what was left to finally come up with ‘bathe’.  Bathroom appropriate, no?

So, along with the hooks, I’m going to dig into the trenches called “boring home improvement stuff” and write about…wait for it…how to use dry wall plugs to hang stuff.  Why Sheena?  Whyyyy?  Because five years ago, if there was ever anything that I needed hung that was just too heavy-duty to hang on the simple nail-in-the-wall, I had to wait for Anthony to do it because I had no clue how to use a dry wall plug.  I would’ve eaten a post on how to use them up like chocolate on Easter.  Maybe, just maybe, some of you feel the same way or maybe you’ll just file it away for later.  Here goes…

The letter hooks came with screws and dry wall plugs.  I thought the included plugs were overkill though.  They were huge and metal and I felt like they’d hold up an elephant plus just the kids’ towels I was only planning on hanging on them. 
So, I stowed away the hefty plugs and grabbed some plastic ones we had in our stash.  I made sure they would fit the screws that came with the hooks though (there are different sized plugs for different sized screws).

Before I even began hanging hooks, I needed to remove the towel ring over the countertop.  My plan was to have the ‘b’ replace it as hand-towel holder so it needed to go to make room.  (White I was at it, I removed the matching towel bar above the toilet too since we only used it for decoration purposes which is silly because who hangs decorative towels anymore, right…wasn’t that done in like the 70’s and 80’s?)  Once unscrewed and off, I filled in the holes with spackle*, waited for it to dry, did another coat, and sanded everything nice and smooth before I laid paint over it.
When all evidence of the towel ring’s presence was obliterated, I did a ‘dry-run’ placement – I hung everything on the wall where I thought I wanted it with some small nails.  I didn’t want to go straight to the plugs only to find out the placement I had in my head didn’t translate so well to reality and then have a ton of huge holes in the wall to repair and start again.  Here’s what my practice came out to look like:
IMG_3073I wanted a hook for each kid plus one additional to hold a hand-towel to serve those at the sink so centering the whole phrase on the wall seemed to be the best plan.

To hold the letters in place for the practice round, I just hung each one on a nail from the top screw hole and stuck some sticky tack on above to keep them from going topsy-turvy.
When I had each letter straight and exactly where I wanted it, I held each on the wall so that the small nail was centered in the top screw hole and then I traced the bottom screw hole with a pencil to show where the bottom plug and screw needed to be.

Once I was good on placement, all the screw holes were marked, and I was ready to begin plugging away (pun intended), I took everything down and was left with marks like this for each letter:
Next, I grabbed our drill and the appropriate drill bit for the dry wall plugs I was using (the plug package will tell you which size drill bit to use).  Using my marks as my guide, I drilled two holes; one for each plug and screw.
Then I plugged those holes up.
plugWith just a gentle hammering, all the plugs were in and ready to hold screws.

Last, I held each letter up onto the wall and drilled the screws into the plugs.
I was a little disappointed that the letters came with black screws, I have to admit.  These letters are the very first purchase I’ve ever made from Pottery Barn and the place just oozes glamour and quality but at the original asking price of $24.99 per hook (I paid around $7 each thanks to a clearance plus a coupon), I feel like maybe they could’ve made matching screws?  Maybe it’s just a look and maybe it’s just not my look and that’s cool too.  But, either way, I didn’t like the black so I grabbed a tiny paint brush and went over each with my favorite Martha Stewart gold paint (I bought this paint a couple of years ago in-store at Home Depot for $6 but it’s looking like it’s not in stores anymore and is only sold by the case online). 
paintedAnd the perfectionist inside her cheered.

And that, my friends, is how easy it is to hang something using a dry wall plug.

I’ll be back next week with details on the watercolor and how to hack a thrifted frame but until then, feast your eyes on what I started working on this week:
And then feast your eyes on this goofball:
I had to lock the doors of the bathroom to keep him out for quick blog pictures and when I finally let him in, turns out all he really wanted to do was feed his understandable and very justified vanity with a few mirror faces.  :p

*affiliate link to products I purchased

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budget bathroom makeover

how to use dry wall plugs

Throne Room

Pinterest, I heart.  But, one thing I can’t understand is what the point of having followers or in a bloggers case, growing the number of your followers is.  I mean, I pin things that inspire me from across the web without even thinking about other people.  So, someone enlighten me on the whole followers thing, will ya?  I guess I sort of get how you would want to follow people who seem to have the same style/vision as you so that you can catch all their ideas but the push to grow your followers?  Clueless.  I pin things I plan on using as inspiration for future projects and recently, I started creating pin boards for each room in my house.  My good friend Lauren makes boards for the rooms in her house and it’s just a brilliant idea.  It’s one place you can put all the inspiration or ideas you have for that room so that they’re in one spot; not in the midst of the inspiration for every other room in the house in a jumbo board you call “All Things Nesty”.  Yes, that is/was my virtual house idea dumping ground and it’s a little overwhelming to go in and sift through to find something you pinned a few months ago that you now want to make happen in the kitchen.

Anyway, I feel like I always start off my posts with a lengthy brain dump and it might be a problem…

What I’m really here to share today are my plans for the kids’ bathroom.

Here’s a before picture taken from the house listing right before we purchased it:
guest bath b4

Shortly after we moved in, we painted the walls a minty-green and the doors and trim with a basic, semi-gloss, off-the-shelf white from Lowe’s.  And then a year after that, I slapped a quick coat of white paint onto the cabinets. 

Here’s pretty much what it looks like currently, but usually with a spotty mirror and colorful hair elastics and tiny toothbrushes tossed around:
guest bathroom - fsbo (1)

But, backtracking to the whole pinterest board per room thing, I’ve found it incredibly helpful because usually, I find myself so all over the place when designing a room in my head.  And, since I’m on a teeny-tiny budget, I’m even more all over the place because I can’t just go out and buy whatever I think will look good.  I have to find it for a price we can afford, fix it up, refashion something, or trash the idea and come up with something else and that makes for a lot of changes from start to finish.  Most of the time, I don’t really even have a list of what I’m looking for for a specific room.  It’s usually that I just spot something in a thrift store and think “Hey!  That’d look great in the kids’ bathroom/kitchen/master bedroom” and then I put it in there but I have no idea what to pair it with nor do I think that far ahead because, yep, there’s that budget again.  I just spent all my home decor budget on this one thing so, in a few months, I’ll maybe look for something else for that room.  But with a pin board, I can pin my ideas and know what I’m going to be hunting for.  Make sense? 

Skipping back to the kids’ bathroom (I know, catch me if you can), here’s what my pin board’s carrying so far:
kidsbathroomideaswall color  //  It’s Lyndhurst Celadon Green by Valspar (Lowe’s) and we painted these walls way back when we first moved in and I still love them so I’m not changing them.  But, if I was in the mood for a change, I think I’d maybe paint the walls a crisp white and the vanity this pretty minty-green.
rug  //  I’m leaning towards a black and white rug but I can’t decide which of these to DIY.  I bought a woven runner last year from Dirt Cheap (originally from Target) that can easily be tossed in the washing machine and the plan is to paint it like I did our flat-weave kitchen rug.  One side has blue and green stripes but the other side is a blank slate; perfect for paint.  My two inspiration rugs are this one and this one from West Elm.  I think if I go the West Elm route, I’d just make a stencil to mimick that design and stencil it in black onto the white rug.
knobs  //  Anthropologie is my go-to place for knob inspiration.  Not all of the knobs they sell would be easily DIY-able but I feel like these clover knobs might.  I could use the same knobs I used to create these Anthropologie knock-offs in our laundry room.  If the real things weren’t $10 a piece, I might even just buy them but dropping $50 on knobs alone seems a little ludicrous to me.
art  //  I love anything Teil Duncan paints.  The colors are just gorgeous and the abstract but not-abstract is the coolest.  But, last year I scored a big, beautiful, colorful framed watercolor at our church’s yard sale that kinda resembles her style and so I’ll be hanging it in the kids’ bathroom asap.  It’ll add the color I so want in there and pop out from the other gender-neutral accents.  The octopus print is from colorZen etsy shop and prices start at $38 depending on the size you want.  I wish I had $38 to drop on a print but since I don’t, I’ll use it as inspiration to paint my own version to hang over the twalette.
lighting  //  Right now there’s a builder-grade, four-light fixture over the mirror in this bathroom.  It’s great except for the fact that it seems to have too much wattage for some reason and bulbs that are supposed to last years only last months in it before blowing.  So, for the past year, we’ve only stocked two of the four light sockets with bulbs so we’re not having to constantly spend money on and change out bulbs.  As you can imagine, that looks silly.  So, replace it with a two-lighter we shall.  This one is only $50 in Sazerac Stitches etsy shop, which I think is an incredible price, but I’m personally not a fan of edison bulbs (they give off a light that’s too orange, in my opinion) and diy-ing one sounds kinda fun so, the plan is to make one and put clear glass globes on each end with regular light bulbs instead of the edison bulbs.  I’m thinking of using industrial piping and either leaving it as is or just going gold with spray paint.  We shall see…
towels  //  I love these tea towels and they’d be so fun to make!  However, what I really in hand towels in the kids’ bathroom are anything with some mustard yellow in them.  I’ve been crushing on mint and mustard as a pair and so I’ll make that happen by hanging some mustard yellow-infused towels up against the walls…come to think of it, we actually have some yellow and greige striped tea towels in the kitchen that rarely get used because they’re smaller than the big ones we normally use…hmmmm, be right back………….
storage  //  I’m on the hunt for a clean-lined magazine rack like this one to set next to the throne and fill with rolls of toilet paper and pull-ups.  No thrift store or resale site anywhere is safe from my hunt.
shower curtain  //  I’m not set on stripes but I kinda love them (shocker there!) and when I saw this shower curtain from H&M, my mind immediately thought of the fabric I used to cover Sebastian’s ceiling fan shade and how it would only cost me about $15 to make a long shower curtain out of it (psst, I guess the fabric is sold out online but I recently just saw it in store).  The H&M curtain is only $20 but I need an extra-long one and so simply sewing my own would be my best bet, I think.
hooks  //   So here’s the deal with these, I’ve had a $25 Pottery Barn gift card that I was gifted FOUR years ago and that I just haven’t been able to use.  I’ve scavenged theirs and West Elm’s clearance sections a thousand times during those four years but just haven’t been able to pull the trigger on buying anything because there is zero at both places that only costs $25 and that I could find useful.  I almost bought a king-sized duvet cover last year at West Elm that I had plans to turn into curtains for the three windows in our master bedroom but then I didn’t because I couldn’t spend the extra $50 on top of the gift card to buy it.  Ho hum.  Well, last week I finally went onto Pottery Barn’s website with a mission to buy something when I got greeted with a coupon code equal to an extra 20% off all clearance.  So what did I buy?  These brass letters…even though I did have to spend an extra $20 on top of the gift card to get them.  They’re going to hold the kids’ bath towels.  Upon deciding to buy them, I was just going to go with what was shown and grab the L O V and E, but good grief, the V was sold out.  So then I literally sat at my computer for a half hour trying to figure out what word I could spell with the letters that were left and finally decided on…well, you’ll find out later this week.  ;) 

So with all those pretty things, here’s the kicker.  Per the usual, we don’t have a ton of money to toss towards a kids’ bathroom overhaul.  If we purchased all of the things listed above, we’d come in at around $480 (not including the money spent on the hooks).  Nope, not gonna happen while we have other things to pay for like food and shelter.  I need to get all this done for under $50 which means that everything you see will be either thrifted or diy-ed.  Not surprising though, is it?  That’s just how I roll.

On top of all the decorative accents I want to incorporate, we need to rip up the laminate floor and lay tile.  We have tile in our attic that we got for a steal at Dirt Cheap a couple of years ago that will eventually be laid on the floor in this bathroom (somebody buy me some time!!) but that won’t happen until after we rip out that awkward partition + posts in the middle of the room because we’ll have to tile over that spot.  We’re also planning on building/pouring some concrete countertops for both this bathroom and the master bath down the road and framing out that big ‘ole mirror (I pinned this tutorial from Young House Love for that).  We also need to replace the aging/leaky sink and faucet so, we’ll add another $100 onto the budget for all of those updates bringing us in at around $150 for the entire mini-reno.   If we were staying here forever, we’d swap out the cream, square tile tub/shower surround with some white subway tiles but since the tiles are in great shape and we probably wouldn’t get that investment back, with the cream we’ll stay. 

So many plans and ideas and so little time to fulfill them all.  But, I’m okay with that.  If we did everything at once, we’d be bored at the end…and yes, neglect would be the road down which our kids would be walking so obviously, when you have kids, it’s realistic to expect projects to take days/months/years.  Until the day when we can sit back and say there’s absolutely nothing left to do to this house (ahem, that’ll never happen), I’ll just be over here pinning…

My Couch Baby

Ever since the screened-in porch on the back of our house was just an idea, I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for a great wood or bamboo couch to settle in back there.  The tough thing though, is having the idea and then actually finding something that would be perfect, only to realize that you have zero room in your house to store a couch to put in a space that may or may not happen.  Sometimes I feel like that’s the story of my decor life, I find something that would be perfect in some space in my mind but a space that I don’t have or don’t have yet in my house.  Womp.  Two years ago when we were searching for the perfect entertainment center to turn into the girls’ play kitchen, we stumbled upon the coolest wood frame couch in a thrift store in town and man, I wanted it for the porch we had just started saving up to build.  Like, I wanted it bad.  It was marked at $60 and it had clean lines and a concentric, cut-out circle pattern in wood on each side and in white, it’d would’ve been amazing!  I left a piece of my heart with it when I walked out those thrift store doors that day.

But it all turned out okay and I have no regrets because right after the screened-in porch was built, I was at another of my favorite thrift stores here and out on their front stoop they had a wood frame couch with a piece of computer paper taped to it that said “Please take.  I’m free!” 
IMG_1280I guess they had tried and tried to sell it but nobody wanted it.  I can’t imagine why…

It wasn’t my style at all – too many big curves – and the springs holding the bottom on were broken.  The fabric was awful (but I planned on reupholstering whatever I bought anyway) and the wood faded and in need of a good sanding and paint job.  But, it was FREE.  I was so torn.  Either way, at the moment I saw it, I had all the kids with me and no way to get it home so I snapped the picture above and home I went to later bring it up to Anthony.

Then, as fate would have it, we drove by a few days later on our way to church and the couch was still there.  We decided that, since we really wanted to get our porch put together, that’d we’d go grab it and see what we could do about making it look more ‘our style’.  Better than in a landfill, right? 

Here she was, home and in all her vintage glory:
And this is the story of how we made her a little, or a lot, happier…

First, Anthony removed all of the springs/metal rails that held the bottom in.  Like I said above, many of them were broken which made sitting in this thing impossible or dangerous at very best.  Then, I unscrewed all of the metal loops that held the springs in place along the inside of the couch. 
Now since there weren’t any springs, there wasn’t anything besides the two support bars left to hold seating.  This is where holding onto pieces of construction material for long periods of time comes in handy.  We have had a sheet of plywood stored away from our previous home (yes, we moved down the country with it) just in case we ever needed it.  Well, that day came.  Anthony cut it to fit down into the recess of the couch seat where it sat snugly atop those two wood support bars.
It’s so much more firm and sturdy than springs; nobody’s falling through now.  Stay away Dumbo.

To reign in slivers and to keep up appearances though, I grabbed some thin cotton fabric at JoAnn Fabrics and upholstered the side of the plywood that would be facing up.  It was as simple as laying my fabric out on the floor, cutting it so that I had a few inches of extra fabric all around, wrapping it around the plywood, and stapling it down.IMG_1684Since no one was going to see the underside of the couch lest they were a feline or pup, I wasn’t too particular about making straight cuts.
Lazy?  Maybe.  Efficient?  I vote yes.  ;)

Next up was prepping for paint.  After I had all of the looped screws out, I had to pry the fabric-covered piece off the front of the couch.  I didn’t know what it looked like underneath but there was no way on God’s green Earth I was keeping it there so find out, I would.
A flathead screwdriver did the trick nicely followed by a needle-nose pliers to get any remaining nails pulled out.  Luckily, all that remained was the flat piece of curved wood at the front of the couch and some nail holes.  After filling all the holes left behind by those nails and giving the entire couch a good sanding (a workout, let me tell you) to roughen it down to a matte finish, I was ready for paint.

Because it was wood and wood can bleed through latex paint, I opted to prime the couch with two cans of RustOleum spray primer in white.  Spray paint is typically oil-based (or maybe it’s all oil-based?) and better at inhibiting wood-bleed.  (Don’t ask me where I read this little rule but I’ve found it to be true in both following and not following that direction.  I’ve seen wood bleed through latex paint and primer and so I’ll stray from that combo as long as I live.)
To paint, I used a latex paint (Swan White by Glidden in an eggshell/satin finish) sprayed on using this paint spray gun*.  My friend Jesse let me borrow her Critter paint gun I had read great reviews about and then, at Christmas, I used some gift cards to buy my very own on Amazon.  It’s really as awesome as I had heard!  My favorite part is that it uses mason jars to hold the paint so, if you’re doing a big job, all you have to do is have a few mason jars lined up to be screwed on and you’re good to go until you’re done.  There’s no stopping because you have to refill the paint canister.  My other fave part is that it doesn’t cost an arm and a leg…it’s under $50 (I paid $41.97).  (However, it does need an air compressor to run so if you can’t borrow one from someone, you’ll have to tack that onto the cost.)

A few days after painting, I ruined the paint job.  Okay, not really.  I just upped the ante by distressing it a tad.  This part was the most fun of all.  I grabbed a hand-sander and some light-grit sandpaper and went around sanding down some of the edges of the couch.  Nothing to crazy.  Just a slight distressing for a slightly old piece.
So, the couch was painted and distressed and looking quite jolly but the cushions?  Even though the white couch made them look like they might convert to a cute outfit (distressed white jeans below with a plaid button-down up top), they did absolutely nothing to help aesthetics on the couch.  Plus, they were so old and worn that if you rubbed them, they’d start crumbling into tiny pieces.  Ewww…

I’d never reupholstered couch cushions before so the task ahead of me was very (very, very, very, very…) daunting but then I found this tutorial on how to sew box cushions by Christy from Confessions of a Serial DIYer.  I ordered 5.5 yards of this Robert Allen outdoor fabric (it’s says chocolate but after seeing it in person in JoAnn Fabrics, I’d say it’s more of a charcoal gray) from and I followed Christy’s directions almost to the T; the only difference is that I wanted to make mine zipperered so I removed the zippers from the old cushion covers using a seam ripper and re-inserted them into my new covers.  I inserted the zippers first and then sewed the side seams and corners.  The foam cushions were in good shape, albeit a tad smelly and minus a large stain one had that looked like a big glass of wine was spilled (or at least I hoped it was just wine or coke or something not gross).  Oh the foam; cleaning it all was an ordeal.  I scrubbed and swelled with soapy water and squished and repeated that process with each individual cushion in our bath tub and then, when I was done scrubbing, I threw each one into the washing machine with some clorox.  My guess is that they had never been washed (because who washes couch cushions?  I know.  Not me.) and, even though they still held their shape, I didn’t want to recover them with brand new covers much less sit in them without knowing they were oh-so-fresh-and-so-so-clean.  Washing those was a labor of love, let me tell ya.

After washing, I cut the top cushions so that they were a tad shorter and only just hit above the back of the couch by sawing a few inches off the bottoms with a serated knife.  The bottom cushions, even though in good condition, had seen fluffier days so I wrapped some one-inch thick batting (from JoAnn Fabrics) around them to fluff them up.
IMG_3007Butttt also, I made the mistake of sewing the covers for the bottom cushions a little too big so the fabric was really loose and wrinkled once on.  I tried to figure out a way to resew and take them in so that they fit more snugly but, with the zippers, I couldn’t, so batting was the answer for that too.  Win, win.

Anyway, in case I lost you on all the details ten paragraphs ago, here’s the 1000% better after:
It’s not pictured outside in the screened-in porch because, in the time that’s passed since I finished this piece, we found a bamboo set for $40 on a resale sight and that couch and loveseat are currently waiting to be snazzed up.  I love you old, vintage, wood couch, but the bamboo really has my heart and so my heart I must follow.  We don’t really need the loveseat from the set so my plan is to fix that up and sell it but the couch will be my resting place all summer so you can be sure I’ll have all the details on that makeover.  I’ll be sure to write some better tutorials on how I sew the new cushions and wash the foam (if need be) on that since my first try was successful and now I kinda know what I’m doing...kinda.  Stay tuned.

As for this wood couch, we staged it for a blog and sale picture and sold it within four hours of listing it.  It’s a little bittersweet but the sweet lady who bought it is putting it in an old building in her backyard that she’s fixing up to be a little retreat; pinterest-style.  It sounds so delightful and this mom’s happy my couch baby went to a good home.  Okay, couch baby Sheena?  I know, forgive me of my unhealthy attachments to furniture…

But, it’s yet another furniture project in the books; quite possibly the most demanding furniture project to date.  I’ll be taking a short break from those to recover and working on some simpler stuff.  If you’re sitting back wondering how I got this thing done with three four kids under my belt, know that this took me weeks to finish.  I know it all looks like I did this in a day or a weekend but let’s be realistic, shall we?  Things around here happen slowly.  Just ask Dwija.

.           .          .

So, let’s talk Labor of Love’s:  Home Edition?  What’s been yours recently?  Maybe painting a room?  Sewing?  Remodeling?  Give me all the details!  It’s my love language.  This week I’m deep-cleaning the kids’ bathroom and you know what that means…project in the bathroom time!  Here’s a sneak peek if you’re interested.  :)

Have a fantastic week eeerbody!

*affiliate link to paint sprayer gun I purchased

thrifted wood frame couch makeover

The Kids’ Room–Before & After

Done in my best game show host voice…

IIIIt’s time for another rouundd of BEFORE ANNNND AFTER! 

We’re zooming in on the room that was our home office prior to kids and became the very first room of each kid once they came along.

Back when it was our home office, it was made up entirely of hand-me-downs except for the duvet (a $7 TJ Maxx clearance find) and maybe some of the diy-ed pillows.  I put in under $100 to get it to girly status for the girls and then maybe another $50 to de-girlify it for Sebastian.  Those numbers would be a lot higher if it weren’t for the numerous hand-me-downs and thrift store finds that fill the room.
So basically, over the past three years and from left to right, there’s a $150 difference.  I used a lot of stuff I had on hand, like the paint for the wall stripes, to get it from start to currently, but even if I had to buy the on-hand stuff initially, it would still be under $200.  I know it’s not something that you’d see in a home magazine but I love that it’s cute and I didn’t have to spend an arm and leg to get it that way.  :)

boy room before  n after

Twin Frames

Last year at our church’s yard sale, I snatched up these two big, brown and tan frames…
IMG_2929…really I didn’t snatch them because they were left when the whole thing was over, lonely, and wanted by nobody.  Crazy since they’re so awesome, right?  I know, they’re so ugly and because of that, I paid only $3 a piece for them.  But, wait for it, wait for it…

Look who’s crying now!  All the people who passed them up, that’s who!


And I’ll tell you who else is crying…me.  I’m crying because I was in such a hurry to get them painted one day last week while Diego and baby Jaguar entertained the kids that I didn’t take progress pictures of that part of the makeover.  Sorry!  One of my biggest pet peaves is when a DIY blogger doesn’t post enough pictures of the process and here I am, making my peave real.  Way to go, Sheena.

I will tell you though that, after I gave them a good wash-down with a damp cloth, I took the glass and mat out, took them outside, and gave them a coat of my favorite spray primer* in white:
Then, since I didn’t have any white spray paint on hand, I brushed two coats of  latex paint from a sample jar I had on hand onto them.  I’ve been struggling with finding a white spray paint that is more of a creamy white lately so this was just perfect anyway.  I love their chunky edges all covered in white.

After painting the frames, it was onto the mats.  They were layered with three different pieces – the two bottom pieces were brown and tan and the top had an ivory, woven fabric laid over the top.  I loved the woven texture of the top mat but the color…not so much.  So, I tried to paint it gray.

First, I carefully peeled the top and middle layers apart from each other.  IMG_2940

Then, I took the two fabric-laden mats outside and gave them each a couple of light coats of this spray primer:IMG_2944I found it for $1.99 at Dirt Cheap and didn’t recognize the brand or know what exactly it should be used for (turns out it’s mainly used for metal), but it was gray and gray was what I wanted.  Paint is paint, right?  Maybe…

Well, it went on fine but it left the fabric looking a little, ummm, furry?  However, I think it was the fabric more than the paint that caused the furriness. IMG_2973
Brushing the mats with a small cleaning brush post-paint seemed to help a little though and I really wasn’t bothered by it not looking exactly like it did before, so I continued on after bedtime one night…

Originally, I had wanted to just cover up the old fabric with new fabric.  I had fabric leftover from this desk project:IMG_2930But sadly,  I didn’t have enough leftover to cover the mats seamlessly and thanks to a spending freeze last month, I couldn’t just go grab some.  But I loved the gray and white, hence my desire to turn the fabric to gray.

Anyway, I digress…

For the white, I grabbed the same sample jar of paint I had used to paint the frames and a painting sponge, laid the frames on an old sheet in the living room so I could watch Flea Market Flip while painting…
IMG_2979…and very imperfectly sponged on a cross-hatch design.

IMG_2980I’m talking very imperfectly.  No measuring here folks.  And really, to be honest, I was going for a herringbone pattern at first but messed up on the first dab of paint so cross-hatch was born.  First rule of DIY:  Always be open to improvising…or something like that. 

The next day, when all the paint was nice and dry, I used some plain ‘ole Elmer’s glue to reattach the top mat to the bottom two.
IMG_2981Oh but I shouldn’t forget to tell you that, when I spray primed the frames white, I also used the same primer to paint what could be seen of the two bottom mats.  No more tan and brown.  Just white.

Reattaching the frames with the glue was super easy except I did need to be careful to make sure the top one went on straight and that there was equal spacing all around the inside of the mat.IMG_2982
Last, I put everything back together and the frames back up where they were days before.

I think these might’ve just bumped themselves up to Favorite-Frames-in-the-Whole-House status.IMG_7691
And lucky Sebastian gets to have them in his room.

I also had plans to fill them with a few blown up pictures of Sebastian but, yep, there’s that spending freeze again.  Dang it.  Plan B was to whip up some watercolor art with stuff I already had but then the week ended and this week began and they’re still just hanging empty.  But it’s okay because the corner they’re in just got a little happier and time will fill them with something I’m sure.

On a side note, I pulled out that old, black and white poncho/blanket of Anthony’s from the window where it’s been hiding (he got it in Mexico while on a mission trip there in high school) and laid it over the chair and either it looks great or the brown slipcover just looked so blah that anything helps, but I kinda love it.

My favorite part is the fringe along the bottom.

The string lights hanging across the corner are another project that I can’t wait to finish (think unconventional lamp) but probably won’t finish for a bit (how I roll around here, if you’ve noticed) and here are the posts for some of the other things you can see when you peep into his room:
ceiling fan shade // greek key design on the window seat // stenciled curtains

It’s a happy little boy’s room that I’ve probably poured all of $50 into (if that) since he evicted the girls and it’s also the room that stays the cleanest in this house so I kind of love it.  All that and the fact that every afternoon the sun comes pouring into the window making it light and bright might make it my favorite room in the house.  :)