No-Sew Changing Liner

When it comes to changing diapers in this casa, we ran into a minor problemo after we added another kid to the mix.  That is, there’s only one changing table/pad to serve all diaper-wearing folk and it’s in the girls’ room so when the girls are sleeping it become inconvenient to change Sebastian. 

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Of course I could go find the diaper bag and pull out the diaper changing liner, bring it into our/his room where most of his diaper paraphernalia is anyway (aside from the few diapers in the girls’ room), and change him there, making sure to remember to put the liner back into the diaper bag for when we decide to venture out of the house.  However, the easiest thing to do would be to change Seb where most of his diapers are without having to have a small treasure hunt first and that happens to be on his co-sleeper.  But, and if you have boys or have ever changed a boy you know this, baby males have this thing not unlike a small, powerful fire hose attached to them that can release at any given time, dousing anything and everything around with pee.  It creates many an opportunity for patience...and more laundry.  Therefore, so that I could change Sebastian on his bed without having to worry about his bedding getting sprayed, I whipped up a quick and easy changing liner just for his space using some laminated fabric I found at Hobby Lobby.
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All I did was cut it to fit perfectly inside his co-sleeper and that’s it.  (When I first cut the liner, I had planned to hem the ends but realized there’d be no point since they didn’t fray at all, not even when I pulled on them.) 


It gets folded up and placed in the basket underneath his co-sleeper with his diapers and wipes when done, unless it needs to be wiped off quickly.  Quick and easy, perfect for any mom with more than zero kids because we all know quick and easy are key words in those kinds of households.  Of course it would also work to use on couches, floors, tables, the gross changing stations you find in public outhouses where it protects the surroundings from overspray and the babe from germs.  #winwin

The fabric itself is really lightweight so it can shift a little with little bare-footed kicking so to eliminate that you could glue or sew a heavier fabric to the back.  If I ever get a few thumb-twiddling moments of time in the future I might do that…read: I’ll never get around to that.  But, just sayin’. 


Speaking of diapering, there’s three wet ones waiting for me.  Sayonara!

From Mini-Blind to Roman Shade

A very long time ago when the world was a little younger, I pinned Jenny’s (from Little Green Notebook) genius idea of making a roman shade out of mini-blinds.  (Since then she’s revised the process and so I’ve updated my pin to lead me to the new tutorial.)  As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, I finally got around to executing it for our front door.

I followed her instructions by the book blog all the way until the last step and so if you’re hankering to make one for yourself (which you totally should be), you can get all the details from her.  There were a few parts that I was a little confused on and since I’m the tutorial nerd I am, here’s the very detailed way I made our newest roman shade.

First of all, the supplies.  You’ll need a mini-blind (I got mine at Target), fabric of your choice, either a sewing machine or some iron-on tape for a no-sew version, a needle and thread, craft glue, and some plastic rings.

Measure the window or door or whatever it is you’re covering with your shade before you start.  That way you’ll know what size mini-blind to purchase and how much fabric to buy.  I used one of these Room Essentials curtain panels for my shade:
photo 1
It was originally from Target but I found it at a local discount store, Dirt Cheap, for $3.

I cut and hemmed it according to Jenny’s instructions.  If you’re doing a no-sew version of this shade, you’ll only have to fold the edges once as you iron on your tape so you’ll really only need to cut your fabric to be two inches longer and two inches wider than the size you want your finished shade to be (here’s a great tutorial on how to use iron-on tape for hemming).  That way you’ll have a one-inch hem on all four sides of the fabric rectangle that will soon be your finished shade.

After you’ve hemmed your fabric to size, lay out your mini blind.  (P.S. You won’t need the tilt wand that you turn to open and close the blind.  Toss it or use it to stir your grande latte…whatever makes your boat float people.)       

Completely cut off the bottomrail by snipping through all the strings attaching it.IMG_4198

Then cut all the strings holding the slats on but don’t cut the string that controls the raising and lowering of the blind, aka the lift cords.  In other words, cut the vertical strings that run down the front and back of the slats and all of the horizontal, ladder-like strings, but don’t cut the vertical strings that run down the middle/through the holes in each slat. 
On the mini-blind I bought, the strings holding the slats on were thinner than the thick ones that controlled the blind.

To completely remove the slat strings you can cut them off where they loop around the inside top of the headrail.IMG_4201

Next, pull off all the slats.IMG_4204

Give a couple of slats to your kids to buy a few extra minutes of time to work on this project uninhibited.  Don’t worry, they’re too flimsy to do any real damage.  :) IMG_4203

So, the slats are all off and you’re left with the headrail, the lift cords, and the bottomrail (not pictured but keep it!)  Side note:  Depending on the width of your blind, you may have three lift cords vs. two like mine.  Make sure you don’t cut any of them off! IMG_4205

Now grab your hemmed fabric and line it up along the headrail (where it’ll soon be permanently glued).  I lined mine up so that I had about 1/4 of an inch of fabric above the very top of the headrail.  Next, pull the lift cords down so they’re nice and straight and parallel to the sides of the fabric and, starting from the bottom of the fabric, measure up eight inches along each string and make a small pencil mark.  This is where the bottom set of rings will go.  After that, continue to measure up each cord, placing marks every 10 inches.  (You can make the spaces between rings shorter or longer depending on whatever you think looks best.  I followed Jenny’s recommended measurements.)


Here’s a pixlr’d image showing where I placed my marks: IMG_4240
(I realized after I was finished with the entire shade that I didn’t need the two topmost marks/rings.  If there’s less than four inches between where your topmost marks are and the headrail, you probably don’t need to place rings at those top marks.)  Note the little feet…somebody wouldn’t nap while both her sis and bro were so an audience she became.  :)

After you’ve marked where all of your rings will go, measure the distance between where the cord comes out of the headrail and the end of your shade on each side.IMG_4241
Then, using that measurement, double check to make sure all of your marks are that distance in from the edge of your fabric all the way down.  If you laid your cords out nice and straight before you started marking, you should be spot on if not pretty close but I did this just to double check.

Next, grab your plastic rings (I used the ones in the photo below), a needle, and coordinating thread.  Jenny used clear thread and I would recommend that as well only I didn’t have any and you know this mom ain’t running out “quick” for clear thread.  I’ll settle for white in exchange for less stress, thankyouverymuch.   IMG_4247

Now simply sew a ring onto your shade at each mark you made, except for the very bottom set of marks.  The bottomrail of the mini-blind will go there.

After you’ve attached all of the plastic rings, grab your craft glue and glue your fabric along the headrail.  Hot glue would probably work too though it might be more ‘bumpy’ under your 1 (1)

Once I had the fabric glued on straight, I made sure it was flat along the headrail and then I propped some books on top of it to hold it down while it dried.  I left it this way for 24 hours, giving the glue lots of time to dry completely. 
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While the glue is drying, grab the bottomrail of the mini-blind.  In her tutorial, Jenny used a thin slat of wood and eye screws as the bottom part of her shade, but once again, I didn’t have either of these things.  So, I improvised.  First, I cut about six inches of string off the bottom of each of my lift cords.  Using the existing workings of the bottomrail of the mini-blind, I popped off the small round plug that holds in the all the string, threaded my six inch piece through the hole, strung a plastic ring onto the string, tied a knot, stuffed the string into the rail, and stuck the plastic plug back on.  Get all that?  In case you didn’t…blind

Now the only thing left to do is to glue that bottomrail along where you made the bottommost (Word?  Not a word?) marks.
photo 3

Just make sure when you glue it down that your rings are at the top of the rail/closest to the top of the 4

Once all the glue is dry, the last step is to thread the lift cords down through each plastic ring and tie each onto the bottom rings that are attached to the bottomrail like so:photo 2

And that’s it!  Hang your completed shade with the hardware that came with the mini-blind and you’re done! 

Here’s what ours looks like down:
photo (1)
[Excuse the toddler litter.]
Anthony’s not a fan because he thinks it looks like there’s a painting on our front door but I love it.  It’s a far cry from boring and that’s exactly what this previously hum-drum space needed.  (Speaking of painting though, as I was mid-project I couldn’t help but think how cool this curtain panel would’ve looked stretched over a wood frame and mounted as artwork.  So cool, no?)  Hopefully once I get the new lighting up and add some other details, Anthony’s mind will be forever changed…or at least until I decide to redecorate.

The only negative part about this shade idea is that, because the fabric I used is more silky than stiff, I have to adjust its layers after I raise it.  The ends fall and it looks like this:  IMG_4252
I could change that by somehow placing some long dowels horizontally along each set of rings but the few seconds it takes me to straighten things out isn’t a big deal so I’ll probably just take it as a lesson learned and use a thicker, stiffer fabric next time.

Cost?  Well, let’s see:
Mini-blind:  $3 (Target)
Fabric:  $3 (Target curtain panel via Dirt Cheap)
Plastic rings:  $1.50 (JoAnn Fabrics with a 50% off coupon)
Thread and craft glue:  $0 (already had but both but they’re from JoAnn Fabrics and Michaels, respectively)
Project total:  $7.50

As long as mini-blinds are being manufactured and I have windows and doors to cover with roman shades, I’ll be going this route again and again because, not only it is a lot cheaper and less difficult than making ‘real’ roman shades, but they also look almost if not exactly the same.


So, is there any shade-making in your future?  I know it seems like it might be a tedious task but really it was pretty easy and if I’d had an hour to devote to making it, it would’ve taken me just that hour plus drying time to finish it vs. the weeks I had it laying around half-finished because my life be like kids, kids, kids.  Either way, I love our new shade and I’m so very grateful for those kids, kids, kids.

Happy Hump Day!  :) 

Shut the Front Door…

…and let’s focus on the entry way, shall we?  After I finished the gallery walls in our hallway a few weeks ago and then gave the light in there a little pick-me-up with some paint, I felt so great to gaze down it and see the cohesiveness that “completing” the space gave (even though no space is ever really “complete”, right?)  To a visitor, it looks finished and put together.  None of the rooms in our house feel/look like that except the hallway now.  Why?  It’s because I jump around from project to project, room to room, never staying in one space long enough to complete the 48 projects I have in store for it. 

Well, it’s 2014 and while I’m not one for New Years’ resolutions, I am making a resolution to work on one room at a time.  You see, what happens when you’re like me and you’re constantly jumping from one room to the next is that you have supplies for a few projects for this room squirreled away while you work on the project in this other room over here.  Eventually there are supplies stored everywhere.  You check one project off your list and keep moving to the next.  Meanwhile, you’ve found an amazing deal on something for another project and have had some awesome luck thrifting so you get all excited and work on something new and things get back-burnered and then clutter arrives at your house and settles in.  You get the gist, right? 

So, no more scattered projects.  One space at a time for me.  After the hallway, the next space I’m putting my energy into is the entry way.  I’ve had plans and materials for projects in here for a long time.  Here’s what it looked like shortly after we moved in:
entry blog
This is after I replaced the mini-blinds that were there when we purchased with a rattan roman shade I found on clearance at Target that I later deemed too narrow (not to mention too long at almost six feet).  It’s also after we painted all the off-white trim and the door a crisp white and the walls with Valspar’s Hopsack.

Last January we installed a hook system by the door and since then, nada.  It’s not been touched.  Until now.  I just finished making a roman shade (tutorial tomorrow!) to replace the boring brown shade and have plans for a new rug, a new light fixture (a chandelier!!), a mirror, and some other things.  Stay tuned. 

While I’m (slowly) plugging away at the entry way, I’ll still be doing some little projects here and there – alterations and such – so those will be sprinkled in the mix of posts along with a few love stories.  I’m not a fool to think I can pound out one space/project every week like I once could (read ‘like before I had kids’), so I have to keep you entertained and coming back somehow, right?  ;)

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So, tell me.  Am I the only one that creates to the tune of House of Pain’s “Jump Around” or is there a support group to be had?  Maybe you’re a Mission {insert a room} person and you have some words of wisdom to give?  I’ll take any and all!

Sebastian: Two Months

The kid has gained two pounds and one ounce since month one and is a half inch longer…growing, growing, gone to college.  That’s how quick it’s going.  When I think over the last two months everything’s a blur but mostly because of my constant movement (thank you climbing twins) and not because of the fast pace of time.

Other than his physique, not much else has changed.  My hands are still full, my heart even more so, and I’m continuing to take it crazyday by crazyday.  We did get out of the house once (and in “we”, I mean me + three kids – daddy) to run an errand/brave the public and I swore up and down I’d never do it again.  And I haven’t because I’d like to think I learned my lesson.  (Friends houses and the doctor don’t count because at those places there are extra arms so less chaos.)

Anthony took a bunch of seniors (as in the high school variety) to Nashville last weekend for a three day excursion, leaving me and our tots/baby to fend for ourselves and it went surprisingly well.  Yes there were a few meltdowns and times when I contemplated learning to use my feet for everyday tasks, but we’re alive and everybody’s still sane…I think.

Anyway, I digress.  I have a two month old whose cooing and smiles are making every struggle so very worth it…or that’s what I hear.  ;)  

seb2mnths ftkalinga

Made by Heather

Stripes.  I love them.  That’s why when Heather emailed me and told me she’d painted stripes in her little girl’s room I was ecstatic and with enthusiastic fingers, emailed her back asking for pictures.  Check out her toddler’s sweet little (big!) room:



The room was already tan so all she did was put up the white stripes.  She said taping and painting the stripes was tough because of the odd shape of her little girl’s room, which I can imagine, but after a little trial and error, she had a friend help her and all was well.  Doesn’t it look awesome?

And speaking of awesome, the curtains!  They were Heather’s first sewing project (umm, can we say natural talent?) and they turned out great (I’m pretty sure my first sewing project went straight to the garbage)!  The chevron pattern and the bold pink add so much to the room!  She also painted most of the canvases and artwork on the walls and she painted the corner shelf.  There’s so much she did in here for her sweet baby girl and that kind of love can’t be bought.  Ya know? :) 

Thank you for sharing Heather!

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Need more stripes?  Check out our twins nursery (& the how-to), this painted rug, these pillow covers and their matching faux roman shade, this sweater-to-cardigan refashion, these DIY baby legwarmers, and this Instapic.  Do I have a stripe addiction?  #yes