Acting on a Hutch

This post will show the snail’s pace at which we project these days…in case you’ve ever wondered how we get it all done with four kids in tow.  Answer:  WE DON’T!  Haha…oh *sigh*. 

The hutch I’m about to unveil has been around and waiting to be finished for a few months now.  Actually, it was part of the yard sale fundraiser that this table was also a part of.  One of the teens going on the mission trip painted it and it was up to me to do some slight distressing and stenciling of the back.  I didn’t get a before shot but I did find this one Googling, and it’s kind of similar to what ours (ours as in the donated-to-the-fundraising-effort) looked like:  IMG_0554
It was brown all around with that dated gold pattern on the glass doors but thankfully, in really good shape.  Perfect for a few coats of paint and a trip to 2016.

We put the teens to work on giving it a light sanding, giving it a coat of white primer, and then going over that with a couple of coats of a creamy white latex.  We removed the backing behind the top part of the hutch (it was just held on by several small nails) and, on it and on the back on the inside of the doors, the teens painted on a coat of the leftover chalk paint we used on the table mentioned earlier. 

And then that backing sat,

and sat,

and sat,

and sat at our house, waiting for me to stencil it.

And finally, I got around to it one night last week.  I used the Beads Allover Stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils (the same stencil I used on an accent wall in the twins’ room last year) and some of that creamy white latex paint to add a unique touch to the hutch.

And pretty unique it is:

It’s currently sitting in the youth center waiting for a buyer and for sale pictures, I ran around Anthony’s office, trying to find what I could stage her shelves with.  I didn’t have many options, as you can tell but either way, it was a fun challenge.IMG_0818

The stencil goes horizontally but actually I meant to paint it on vertically.  We sort of guessed on which way the backing went on while it was sitting at our house, miles from its counterpart hutch and our guess was wrong.  But it’s okay because we were both pleasantly surprised at how good it looked going the “wrong” way.  But really, with a stencil this pretty, there’s probably no wrong way anyway.  :)

IMG_0820(spot the selfie)

The mission trip is done and over this year so the proceeds from this hutch will go towards the trip next summer.  One of the coffee tables I’m working on turning into a tufted bench is also a part of the fundraiser so you’ll see that finished on the blog in approx. three months.  Ha!  Slow and steady does not win the race folks but as long as what you’ve got looks better than what you had, hopefully no one will notice.  Disappointed smile

Spotted: Goodwill

Last weekend I had to make a run to Lowe’s and just down the street from Lowe’s here is a Goodwill.  I left Anthony at home with all the kids and don’t tell him, but I did a quick swing by that thrift store.  ;)

I left without buying anything but I did grab a few pictures of things I liked and so, once again, we have yet another post in the ‘Spotted’ series (you can read more if you click ‘Spotted’ under the drop-down, archive menu in the sidebar).

I don’t know what it was about this picture but I really loved it.  IMG_0593I might nix the existing finish of the frame, painting over it with a creamy white but then again, maybe not.  I think it’d be pretty in a little/preteen/teen girl’s room – I’d pull the bright coral color out for curtains or bedding or maybe both.

On the docket over here is turning two coffee tables into tufted benches (stay tuned!) and so, of course, that’s what popped into my mind when I saw this coffee table.
IMG_0594 I have a thing for bamboo and the bamboo on this thing was in pristine condition.  It was only $4 (!!!!) because the glass was missing.  I’d remove that thick top part and replace it with a piece of plywood.  Stick some foam, some creamy white linen, and some tufting over that and it’d warrant all the heart eyes.

At first glance, these tables weren’t anything special beyond their mid-century modern vibe.  IMG_0595But, had I the time, I’d have swooped them up and dolled them up.  The white tops were a faux marble that I might try to extend or paint down around the sides of the tops to make them look like they were slabs.  Then I’d probably paint those sides with the diamonds and the legs (white?  gold?) only because I’m pretty sure they weren’t wood.  But, I didn’t look close enough to know for sure.  If in fact they were wood, I’d sand them down and stain them a light, ashy brown.

This chair.
IMG_0596Gosh, I wanted it.  But, I’d have an entire houseful of furniture with no room to walk if I grabbed every good piece I saw.  But, it might’ve been perfecto out on the screened-in patio.  Either way, I walked out without it.  It was marked at $34.99 and in great condition.  The cushion was boring so I’d probably make another but the bamboo (how I love it) looked incredible.  And I don’t know if it came off the base or not but how awesome would it be if you took it off the base and hung it?  Swoon…

This was a fancy map of the Rocky Mountains:
IMG_0597I loved it because I have all the sentimental feels for the Rockies; lots of great childhood memories.  I also loved the colors in it; the minty green was so pretty.  I’d ditch the frame and find another though and it could be hung anywhere – office, playroom, bedroom, bathroom, etc…

I had a hard time walking away from this little hexagonal dish:
IMG_0598 I couldn’t think of a place to put it off the top of my head and now I’m wishing I’d have just grabbed it.  Our bathroom counter is crying.  My first thought was to stick some succulents in it to add a natural element to a space.

I have absolutely no use for teacups and saucers but these were so pretty.  IMG_0600There were only two anyway and if I were to start a high tea tradition here in this roost, we’d need just a few more.  The teacups might’ve made cute little succulent planters though.

I’m really not much of a dog person (hello allergies) but this little guy was cute.
IMG_0601Sometimes styling shelves can be ruff but the addition of this pup would make any shelf quite fetching, ya know?

And last, I spotted this gem:
IMG_0599’Reconstructive Plastic Surgery’ – this one would be the star in a frame collage.  Hang it somewhere prominent and you’ll forever have the perfect ‘statement piece’.

*wink wink*

Wall to Pillow

Let’s see how I do at writing quick, short posts, shall we?

I’m just flying by today to commemorate some old pillow covers.  It’s out (and into the donate pile) with the old…

and in with the new!

Just over five years ago I wrote a post about those old covers; how I sewed them and then used a free stencil to paint a design on them.  I used latex paint leftover from painting the walls to paint the design, thinking I’d bring the exact wall color to the bed in the form of pillows.  I didn’t add any fabric medium or anything to the paint, just brushed it on straight from the can.  To this day, after being tossed in the washing machine a bajillion times, the paint hasnt peeled, cracked, or worn off one bit.

So, go grab yourself some plain pillow covers and grab that leftover paint you’ve got laying around!  There’s design to be had!

DIY Fitted Sheet

Remember back when Sebastian was about to arrive and we were just finishing up making his co-sleeper out of an old changing table?  Well, along with that co-sleeper, I whipped up a fitted sheet to fit the irregular-sized “mattress” that we cut to fit it.  I didn’t document the process or write a tutorial because I was seriously winging it and didn’t know if I’d be writing a ‘What Not to Do’ post instead of a success story.  But, ‘twas a success and so here we are today with a tutorial.  We went the whole of Sebatian’s time in the co-sleeper with one sheet (a big pain when it needed to be washed) but now that Gianna is here, we need at least two.  So, last week I whipped up another one.  Here’s how I did it and how you can too!

First, grab your supplies.  You’ll need fabric (I used and cut up a queen-size fitted sheet), elastic (you can reuse the elastic from the queen sheet if you go that route), scissors, a measuring tape, a safety pin, and a sewing machine.  (Abby at Sew Much Ado made up a great chart to help you figure out how much sheet fabric you’ll need for what size mattress you’ve got!)

Next, get the measurements of the mattress you intend on making a fitted sheet for.  The mattress on our co-sleeper was a piece of two-inch thick foam I bought from JoAnn’s that I cut to fit inside the co-sleeper – 34.5” long by 17.5” wide. IMG_0406 
With the mattress measurements in hand, you’ll cut a big rectangle out of your fabric.  To figure out how big your rectangle needs to be, you’ll add the depth of your mattress (x2) plus an extra few inches for extra fabric around the back to the measurements of the mattress.  So, since my mattress was two inches deep and I wanted six inches (including the pocket hem for the elastic) of extra fabric to extend around the underside of the mattress, I added 4 (depth x2 for each side) + 17.5 (width) + 12 (6 inches of extra fabric around each underside) to get 33.5; the width of my fabric rectangle.  The length of the rectangle then, was 50.5 or 4 + 34.5 + 12.  Does that make sense?

Here’s my mattress in comparison to the fabric needed to make a fitted sheet for it:
IMG_0410Because I measured and cut the fabric while also tending to the kids, I messed up.  After many, many mistakes made because I wasn’t cutting/sewing/painting with my full concentration on my work (read: while the kids were not napping), you’d think I’d learn.  Oops.  Well, what I did was measure the width and not the length before I decided to cut the rectangle out of the fabric.  I didn’t realize my mistake until I had tossed the remants of fabric so, out of the trash it came so that I could cut out two pieces to sew onto each end to make it the length I needed it to be.  I’m telling you all this because in most of the pictures below, there are two seams on my rectangle of fabric and fitted sheet that are only there because of my mistake.  They shouldn’t be so I put a white squiggly line over them hoping for less confusion.  In reality, you’ll just have a big rectangle without any seams.


Now then, where were we?  Oh yes, your rectangle of fabric.  At this point, you’ll want to serge all around the outside edge to keep your ends from fraying.
If you don’t have a serger or your sewing maching doesn’t have interlocking stitches, it’s ok!  Just iron the edges over just the slightest bit – enough that, when you fold over your edges again to make a pocket for your elastic, that you can sew a stitch right over it to keep it in place.

Now, you’ll have to cut squares out of each corner.  The sides of the square cut-out should be equal to the depth of your mattress plus the extra fabric you left to go around the underside of the mattress.  So, I measured out an 8 x 8 inch square at each corner – 2” (depth) + 6” (extra fabric) = 8”.

Next, you’ll sew together the two sides of your square.
Pull the sides together, right side of the fabric pieces touching, and stitch them together.
Or, if you have a serger, just serge them together like I did.  If you don’t have a serger, sew a zigzag stitch along the very edge to help keep the edges from fraying.
At this point, you’ll have something that looks like this:

It’s time for elastic to come into play.  You’ll need to sew a hem or pocket all around the bottom edge of your soon-to-be sheet into which the elastic can fit.
The size of your hem/pocket depends on how wide your elastic is.  I used 1/2-inch wide elastic so I made my hem 3/4-wide.  So, sew that hem but make sure to leave an opening so that you can insert your elastic.  I left about two inches unsewn.

Now, grab your elastic.  This is the elastic I used:
IMG_0439(This is post-unpackaging obviously…in case you were wondering where I got invisible elastic Winking smile )

For the first fitted sheet I made for this co-sleeper, I took the elastic out of the queen-size sheet I used to to make the sheet.  I just used a seam ripper to rip out the thread holding it in and easy was it.  I used 52 inches of elastic, or the equivalent of two sides of my mattress, in the fitted sheets for the co-sleeper.
To make threading easy, stick a safety pin in the end of the elastic.  You may also want to pin the opposite end close to the opening in your hem so that it doesn’t get threaded into your pocket.
Use the safety pin to help your fingers guide the elastic through the fabric pocket.
Once it comes out the other end, sew the two ends of elastic together.


Then sew that opening shut.

Now you can make your bed/crib/co-sleeper/whatever it is you’ve made the sheet for.IMG_8085

And then daydream about all the cute fitted sheets you’re going to make now that you have thousands of cute fabrics to choose from and not just the pre-made sheets found down the aisles of stores!  I mean, look at these

In other news, you might’ve noticed that we added some fabric straps to Gianna’s co-sleeper.
IMG_8090We were 98% comfortable in the fact that our newborn wasn’t going to pull herself up and out of her bed through that space between the top two rails but for the sake of the 2% of worry, I just cut out some strips of fabric we had leftover from our headboard and tied them in knots along the top.  They’re not hemmed or anything so they’re fraying a tad but I guess we’ll call that the rustic vibe.  ;)

So anyway, now that we have two sheets for the co-sleeper, we’re not hastily washing the one sheet before the next nap arrives but just swapping out clean for dirty.  It makes life over here a little less harried and chaotic…emphasis on a little less.  :)


State of the Painted Cabinets

It’s been awhile since I’ve filled you in on the state of a project or two so, since I just finished super cleaning the laundry room, it’s a perfect time to snap some pictures before the dust setttles once again.  So, let’s focus in on the cabinets, yes?  Shortly after we moved in, I painted them white.  This was prior to the blog so I don’t have a tutorial or anything but I scrubbed them down and then just slapped some Kilz primer up on them followed by some white latex paint.  (You can see kind of see what they looked like before on our Current Nest page.)  But the thing is, they’re laminate.  Laminate can be tricky to paint.  Sometimes it holds paint well and sometimes it doesn’t.  A lot rides on what paint you use and how you paint, whether or not you prime it first, and what state it’s in before you start.  Our cabinets were in great shape and I’m happy to say that, after almost seven years, they still look good.
IMG_8072 There’s no peeling paint to be seen but some of the edges by the knobs are a tiny bit worn with a little of the brown peeking through.  I added knobs to these cabinets three years ago so before that, they were opened and closed by pulling on the lower edges and corners, hence why those areas are worn.

Speaking of the knobs, they still look as good as they did the day I painted them, despite their frequent use.
And, while we’re at it, the mirror I glued toothpicks to gets an A- because it’s missing one toothpick (11:00). IMG_8080I keep forgetting to grab pointed toothpicks when I’m out but someday I will so it can be complete once more.

In other laundry room news, we hung our ironing board awhile back.
IMG_8078It used to just rest against the wall but having it up and off the floor feels so much better.

We grabbed one of these small hooks* to hang it on (this mount* would work if you’ve got a t-leg board).   It hangs on that short horizontal bar between the legs.  IMG_8079
It was centered on that small expanse of wall until I added the tall shelves where we store our shoes.  The diaper box holds all the kids’ shoes until I can gussy it up or find a prettier basket.  The metal trash can holds all of our recycling…I mean, holds it for about two days at which point it overflows onto the floor.  We still have yet to figure out a good organization system for our recycling.  We have a fairly large laundry room but it’s pretty full of stuff (we don’t have a garage so it holds tools and paint too).  Ideas on how to tackle the recycling pile are welcome!  Please!

Also in other news, I nabbed this big basket from Goodwill last weekend.
As you can see, one of the handles was hanging off and the other was just peachy.  So, to even things up, I just cut them both off.
We’ve got plans to build a bigger countertop atop the washer and dryer area so eventually, that basket might hold all of our laundry supplies.  That will free up lots of space in the cabinets above to store tool and whatever else needs a home for the sake of organization.

Per the usual, I’ve got lots of other plans for this room (and a Pinterest board to prove it) but first we’re reluctantly staring down a few other necessary but not-so-fun projects like rebuilding our entire chimney, replacing the collapsed floor in our outdoor shed, and getting our backyard into shape.  Ugh, you always gotta get the work done before the fun starts, dontcha?  It’s okay though because I’m a pro at slipping in little projects between those big, boring ones. 

Stay tuned.  :)

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