Monday, February 10, 2014

Some Recent Baby Gifts's baby making season! Not officially or anything but people are having them so I've been able to make some gifts!

The first two were for some University of Louisville fans. I used Super Soft Transfer Paper to put the cardinal logo on the onesie and the L1C4 on the back of the pants. The transfer becomes a part of the fabric and "sinks in" so they it doesn't have that plastic-y look (I'm not entirely clear on the L1C4 thing since I'm a Kentucky fan but my understanding is it means "Louisville First, Cards Forever". If any fans would care to elaborate, please feel free!)

Anyway, the pants are Rae's Big Butt Pants pattern (which I love!). I also made some cardinal baby booties to finish out the outfit. 

For one of the showers, I used my Silhouette machine to cut out the baby's monogram and put it on a galvanized bucket I found at Hobby Lobby! I love the's cute without being too cutesy! You know I have the compulsive need to monogram everything so this made me extremely happy :)

The last present was for my friend's band. (It's Cover Me Badd…if you're in Louisville, go check them out. They're fantastic!) Some band mates had babies so what would be a more fitting gift than onesies with their band logo on them! :)

I wound up doing the logo on a patch because the transfer paper only works on light colored fabric but I feel like the patch looks kind of rocker-ish (not that I know what looks rocker-ish from experience but that just what I thought ;) )

Love you all! And if anyone has a custom baby request - let me know. 


Monday, January 20, 2014

Welcome Ya'll Mason Jar Door Hanger Tutorial

Remember how I said I was jumping around? Well this project we worked on over Thanksgiving and I used it as my Yankee Swap present when I got back to school. (also…I'm sorry in advance for the lack of pictures on steps so bear with me as I try to verbally explain :) )

I had pinned this "Welcome Y'all!" mason jar door hanger forever ago and finally got around to making it. 

I made the basic layout in Illustrator. One of my tricks for printing things larger is to print it on multiple pages then tape it together. I already did it for this project so you can download it here! When you print it out choose "do not scale" or "actual size" for your printing option. 

After you print the pages, cut one along the lines and tape it to the adjoining page so the triangles meet. Here's what the full layout should look like.

Next, flip it over and on the back color over the lines (on the back of the piece of paper). This works so that when you put it down on your board and trace over the original lines on the front of the paper, the part that you colored on the back will transfer to the board and leave you a guide to cut from. (Sorry I don't have any pictures of this step but if you need a visual guide look at this here)

Use a jig saw to cut it out of the wood. For the really sharp curves, we used a drill first to make the curves then the jig saw after. And if you cut like me, you'll get a really great flag piece as well from around the mason jar shape :)

Next, I sanded the whole thing down with my palm sander. I used a Behr paint sample from Home Depot to pant it (the sample size was more than enough for the two coats). I repeated the process above to trace the details onto the board once the base coat was dry then painted those on using just craft paint.

Once the whole thing was dry, I drilled the holes in the top for the string then sealed the whole thing with two coats of polycrylic. 

The last step is to put the string though the holes and tie it. I made a bow with burlap wire ribbon to add as a finishing touch.

Now, hang it on your front door and admire your hard work! :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Painted Dresser

I have all these projects that I need to write about and I had the good intention of writing then in chronological order of when I did them. Then I realized I hadn't blogged about a chair I refinished back in since I was already off I might as well throw that idea to the wind.

This project is one I just finished for my aunt and it's my favorite piece I've done to date so that's what I'm going to write about :)

The dresser to start out wasn't bad at all. It just had a very "Pottery Barn" look about it (probably because it was from Pottery Barn but that's beside the point). Anyway, so it used to be in my cousins nursery and they're redoing her room now and it doesn't fit with the new decor there or in the rest of the house so it had been living in the basement. 

My aunts house is mostly browns, golds, and cremes. It's a mix of classics with a touch of what I'd call "glam". 

Luckily, my aunt was game for pretty much whatever. She just wanted the chest to be a chocolate brown. I sent her the idea for the painted chest (which I saw here) and she loved it. 

I started out by using a little gold rub n' buff on the edges in the hopes that it would show through when I distressed it. However, it wound up rubbing off quite a bit when I distressed it so next time I think I'll use another kind of paint. 

I made my own chalk paint again using this tutorial. The just bought another Behr sample from Home Depot in Dark Truffle. I did two full coats and then a touch up third coat where it was still not completely opaque.

Then, I put the drawers back in and sketched out my design to paint. (I actually had only painted the drawers at this point and not the dresser base because I was anxious to paint the detail work :) ) I used a white kind of charcoal crayon because I couldn't find any chalk but basically the idea is to be able to sketch out the shape of what you want to paint with a medium that you can wipe off later when you finish.

I only sketched out the general shape because I wanted it to have that really hand painted feel and not be completely perfect. I used a cream Behr paint (I can't remember the name of it now!) and watered it down. I used that with just a craft paint brush to create a sort of "leaf" shape for the vine design.

When I had completely finished painting everything, I waxed everything down using Annie Sloan wax (2 coats on the drawers and 1 on the base). The drawer pulls I used were just from Hobby Lobby. I wanted something cream and simple with a sort of flower shape that would compliment the vine design.

The last thing I did was to add some drawer liners. It wasn't necessary, but I think it added another fun touch and helped the piece feel more expensive and like all the details had been though through. I found the wrapping paper I used locally at Celebrations and simply cut it to size and used double sided table to keep it in place in the drawers.

I was SO pleased with how this piece turned out! As usual, my parents wanted to keep it, but it went back to live with my aunt. It has yet to find a permeant home but has been moving around for now :)

Here's the final before and after. I love how such a simple piece can be so special after a bit of work!

PS I "staged" the shots for the finished piece in our house. It's so funny how it looks good in the shots you take but really the room looked like a complete wreck and it was too small for the space! ;)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Chairs That Almost Weren't (How to Upholster Broken Caning)

So...hello again everyone! Still here. Although I'm not sure if my other half is coming back, one of my New Years Resolutions is to try and blog more. My goal is once a week so we will see!

This wonderful story you're about to hear took place back in about July. Abigail and I were driving home from a bridal shower and we decided to stop at a yard sale. They were wrapping it up and had 4 SUPER crappy looking chairs for sale for $10. For me, the worse something looks, the better the challenge is so I was all in! (In reality, I was only mentally invested because Abigail was the one who put up the capital since I had forgotten my money :) ) 

Anyway…when we got home, the situation at our house was something like this: Abigail's stuff was EVERYWHERE. She had shower presents that filled the finished part of the basement and all her furniture was in the unfinished part of the basement, slowly encroaching on my Dad's work space. So clearly, tensions were running high and the obvious first item to go would be Katie's junky chairs.

I don't actually think my mom would have thrown the chairs out without my consent but she threatened to for a few weeks until one night at dinner I finally said fine! throw them out.

As fate would have it, Tori, one of Abigail's bridesmaids, was over that night to help with programs. She saw the chairs and said she would buy them if I refinished them. So the chairs were saved from a sad dumpster fate. 

To start out, almost all the caning on the backs were broken and one of the seats had been broken through as well. 

I knew the caning would have to go but luckily my grandma had a friend who graciously cut me a new seat!

I started by making my own black chalk paint (you can find the recipe here!). I very lightly sanded the parts of the chair that were super beaten up but generally left most of the dings. I painted the chairs (it only took 2 coats of black), lightly distressed them with fine grit sand paper, and waxed them (I used Annie Sloan wax for these but you can use this wax as well!). When I distressed the chairs, I tried to distress them where the dings were so they would look older!

After that, I addressed the caning. It could not be salvaged so my options were either recaning them or upholstering them. I chose the latter. I started out by fitting a piece of foam core in the back behind the caning. It fit pretty snugly but I used E6000 glue (LOVE this stuff) to glue some of the broken parts to the foam core.

Next, I cut my foam to fit the front and the back (I believe it was 3/4" foam for the back and 1/4" for the front - both from Jo Ann's). I used spray adhesive on the foam then stuck it where I wanted it (make sure to only use spray adhesive outside!). The spray adhesive held the foam in place so I could upholster over it. 

I cut the fabric (which was a bleached drop cloth - you can find a tutorial on how to do it here) generally the right size and stapled it into place, starting top middle then bottom middle, then left, then right so it was all taut then worked to the edges. (Sidenote: please enjoy the conversation that ensued as I'm a terrible speller and blanked on how to spell "taut"  meaning "pulled tightly")

And back to the I tried to keep the staples in a straight line because then I covered them with trim when I finished. The trim was just from Hobby Lobby and when I trimmed back the fabric I first tried to use small scissors but that was really tedious so I found that carefully using my rotary blade next to the staples worked best. 

I also forgot to mention my favorite part - the backs of the chairs. Luckily Tori was super game to my ideas and let me use an old coffee sack as an accent. Heine Brothers occasionally sells their coffee sacks and the money goes to a women's shelter. The last one they had has hot pink writing and it was PERFECT for this project. I just washed it in the washing machine and let it lay flat to dry and it was good to go.

So there you have it. The extremely long (sorry!) epic saga of my rescue of some yard sale chairs. I've mentioned it before, but every time it feels like I'm rescuing and rehabilitating a puppy and I love sending it off to a good home :)