Love You More burlap pillow with felt lettering – includes print out!

DIY "Love You More" Burlap Pillow with felt lettering!

DIY “Love You More” Burlap Pillow with felt lettering!

Let me start out by saying that I DO have a sewing machine, however I always gravitate to projects that are easy and don’t require a sewing machine. So if you know how to use scissors, trace something, and can do an easy basic hand stitch (we’re talking 6th grade home economics level), you can make this pillow!

Here is what you will need:

A burlap pillow cover (mine is from IKEA for $10)

A pillow insert (from IKEA as well for $4)

A piece of white felt (23 cents at Walmart)

A piece of fabric or a burlap bandana, which is what I purchased from Hobby Lobby. (You get a large bandana for $1.99, or $1.00 when they are on sale which seems to be every other week.)

Fabric Glue

A fabric pen or other marker

A needle

Button Thread

If you want to do my exact pillow you will want to download and print these files:

LOVEYOUMORE

LOVEYOUMOREreversed

Ready to get started?

First you want to print out the files above, or your own designed words from your computer and put them on a window with painters tape while you still have adequate lighting outside.

IMG_20141007_133728_425

 

Now you cut out an area of your bandana that will fit the wording and a heart at the bottom with at least a half inch margin for the stitch. I just eyed mine. The pillow has a hand made look so I didn’t want the lines to be perfectly straight.

Put the piece of fabric over the lettering and trace lightly. You can use any type of pen to trace. Since my fabric was dark I used a fine tip white paint pen to lightly outline the letters.

IMG_20141007_134431_066Here is how it looked when I was done:

IMG_20141007_135201_729

Then you want to use the reversed version for the felt. I trace it in reverse so that the pen doesn’t show on any of my felt letters.

Here is how it should look after tracing:

IMG_20141007_135208_397Then you want to very carefully cut out your felt letters and fabric glue them to the other fabric piece you traced the lettering on. The traced area will help you place the letters perfectly on the fabric. The fabric glue will also hold the letters in place when you stitch them to the fabric.

At this time you’ll also want to cut out a felt heart with your scraps. I drew mine by hand then cut it out so it looked hand made and not computerized.  Glue the heart underneath the lettering, or wherever you choose.

Then you get to stitching. Simply stitch around all your letters and the heart. I just stitched right in the middle of all of mine with a gray/tan button thread.

IMG_20141013_162705_276

 

Once you have your piece stitched, fabric glue it in the middle of your burlap pillow cover. Then stitch around the whole piece with more basic 6th grade home ec skills.

Stuff your cover with the pillow insert and you’re done! This project only takes a couple of hours but it has a wonderful hand made look and adds great texture to a chair or couch.

DIY "Love You More" Burlap Pillow with felt lettering!

DIY “Love You More” Burlap Pillow with felt lettering!

 

 

 

Barnwood and Beachwood staining tutorial

Barnwood and Beachwood are pretty popular these days. You can find furniture and other home goods with these finishes just about everywhere. When I first saw this look surface, I was trying to think of a way to recreate it. I ended up stumbling upon this method by accident and then eventually refining it.

Here is what you’ll need:

Rust-oleum small stain jars. Driftwood, Kona and Weathered Gray.

Rust-oleum small stain jars. Driftwood, Kona and Weathered Gray.

You’ll also need a stain brush, paper towels, some light grit sand paper and a bare wood surface.

This method is so easy, that I don’t even need to really include pictures of the process because it’s fairly straight forward and there isn’t really a wrong way to do it.

I start with the Weathered Gray stain and cover my piece then rub it in well with a paper towel.

Next I make some random brush strokes over the surface with the Kona color. Some of these I rub in, and others I keep the brush marks more obvious.

Finally, I do some light random strokes with the Driftwood stain and do not rub these in. I want it to almost appear like lighter wood grains.

And lastly, after the stain has dried, I sand my piece almost like I would if I were distressing a painted piece.

Here are some pictures of some pieces I have used this technique on:

photo-(1)

 

I made the shelf have a barnwood feel.

photo-(2)

 

The shutters now have a nice rustic vibe. They were originally pine.

photo-(4)

This shelf was oak. I only used Driftwood and Kona for this piece to make it feel more beachy. Forego the Weathered Gray if you want more of a Beachwood look and start with Driftwood then rub in some Kona to make the color more rich.

photoThis was a wood frame I sanded and stained with the barnwood look.

I want to add that you can’t really go wrong with this method. Just play around and use your sand paper if you need to soften any areas. But most of all have fun!

 

Decorative Vintage Drawer

I’m back from a very long hiatus and I have a lot to blog about! In short, we went to China in June to bring home our new daughter! She’s been home with us about 3 months now and I am finally getting back into the groove. She and my oldest daughter are keeping me pretty preoccupied, however I make sure to make time to do some projects now and then.

I thought I would start off with one of my more simple projects just to get things rolling again.  I’m excited for all the things I have in store for this blog so please stay tuned. Thank you for your patience as I slowly add more projects that I have completed as time allows.

This project was simple and fun. I found a lone vintage drawer at our local thrift store. It was sitting underneath another piece of furniture without a price tag. I asked the staff if it was for sale, and after they searched the store and their back room and didn’t find a home for it, it became mine for $4.24. A real steal, in my opinion!

beforedrawer

Vintage Drawer

A lone vintage sewing machine drawer. How could I resist?

I loved the detail on it and it had a slit at the very top front that I knew I could make use of. I used some left over Annie Sloan Pure White chalk paint, however acrylic paint would’ve worked just fine as well. I also had some wooden tags left over from another project that I sprayed with chalkboard paint. They just happened to be a perfect fit for the slit:

finisheddrawer2 Finished DrawerI added a little bit of twine to the tag and pushed it in the slit, then filled the drawer with pine cones. Most of the pine cones were found around my neighborhood. I painted a few of them with white tips for a seasonal touch.

Decorative drawers are a perfect addition to a coffee table, or side table. They are so charming and each is unique.

In the coming weeks I am going to show you how we did budget wainscoting in our living room to really give it an elegant look, and how to make some really inexpensive palette-looking wall art. I’m excited!

Crazy for Clothes Pins – $10 Projects

I love clothes pins because they can be such a cool design element but they are also so cheap. Here are a couple of projects I did this weekend using clothes pins. I’ll explain below how I did them below:

Clothes Pin Picture Holder

Clothes Pin Picture Holder using a cabinet door

Clothes Pin Picture Holder using second hand frame and twine.

Clothes Pin Picture Holder using second hand frame and twine.

Both of these projects were easy, quick and fun and they add punches of color and interest to any room!

The first project is similar to my “LOVE” sign that I blogged about a few weeks ago. Just like the “LOVE” sign, I used a cabinet door from IKEA’s “As is” section. I love it when they have the skinny cabinet doors because you can do so much with them. This particular door was $1.99.

Hobby Lobby decorative wood filigree spray painted dark brown and glued with wood glue to the cabinet door.

Hobby Lobby decorative wood filigree spray painted dark brown and glued with wood glue to the cabinet door.

The wooden filigree from Hobby Lobby was about $1.99. I spray painted it dark brown so that when I distressed the piece it would match the color of the rest of the door.

Painted and distressed cabinet door with filigree glued in the middle.

Painted and distressed cabinet door with filigree glued in the middle.

Then I took some wooden craft clothes pins (you can find these for cheap at Wal-Mart in their craft area), and painted them with some acrylic paint I had on hand and then simply hot glued them to the door since they would only hold light weight pictures.

Add some cute scrapbook paper cut outs and stamp them, or display family photos or greeting cards.

Add some cute scrapbook paper cut outs and stamp them, or display family photos or greeting cards.

Add some hanging hardware in back and you have an adorable decorative accent for a child's room/nursery, office etc.

Add some hanging hardware in back and you have an adorable decorative accent for a child’s room/nursery, office etc.

This second project is pretty simple as well. Using the same idea as the IKEA cabinet door, I instead used a secondhand frame, painted and distressed it, then painted 4 clothes pins and hot glued them to the sides of the frame:

Another cute way to display your photos, greeting cards, etc.

Another cute way to display your photos, greeting cards, etc.

I cut a couple of pieces of twine and clipped them into the clothes pins, then used mini clothes pins to secure the cards and pictures to the twine.

There are endless possibilities here. Play around and create something fun for your own home!

 

 

 

 

“LOVE” decorative sign with hooks

As promised, I am going to show you how I created the “LOVE” sign I made for our mudroom. I had a really fun time with this project!

"LOVE" Sign with hooks

Decorative “LOVE” hook rack/ wall hanging.

This project came out of 2 different ideas I saw, so I combined them. The first idea, I don’t have a picture of, but I saw someone use a cabinet door (like the one I did), and they glued wooden letters on it to create a sign. Then I saw this at Hobby Lobby:

DIY Love sign with hooks

Adorable Hobby Lobby Wall Chalkboard with hooks

I seriously loved this so much. However, it was priced at $100. I wanted to get a similar look but for much cheaper.

To create my sign I used the following items:

1. A cabinet door from IKEA’s “As is” section. They have TONS of random cabinet doors. The one I purchased was only $2.99.

2. Wooden letters from Hobby Lobby. These were just over $1 a piece. I measured the space of my cabinet front and took those dimensions with me to see what word I could fit within this area.

3. Wooden decorative pieces for the top of the board. These were also from Hobby Lobby and are found in the same aisle as the letters. I found 2 of the same decorative pieces to mirror that were only a couple of dollars for both.

4. Hooks from Hobby Lobby. Make sure you buy them when they are 50% off, or use your HL 40% off coupon.

5. Acryllic paint from Wal-Mart. I used the “Patina” color for the main color. I used a white and coral for the hooks and clothes pins. Wal-Mart has really cheap acryllic paint less than $1 each.

6. Wooden craft clothes pins from Wal-Mart.

7. Sand Paper

8. Hanging hardware

9. Polyurethane to seal the paint on the hooks (optional).

10. Wood glue

I started by figuring out where to place the letters and decorative wooden pieces on the cabinet door. I measured carefully to make sure everything was centered and evenly spaced. After I got each piece where I wanted it, I traced it with a pen so when I glued each piece down I knew exactly where to put it.

DIY LOVE sign with hooks

I used wood glue to adhere the letters and decorative pieces to the cabinet door.

Using wood glue, I covered the bottoms of each piece and put glue within the traced areas on the cabinet. After that I set a bunch of heavy books on top until the glue set. Then I made a mistake that I am hoping to spare you from making. I left on a date with my hubby and was not around to check on the glue situation. So while the glue set, it oozed out around the letters. It wasn’t a make or break situation but if I make another one I will check it periodically to wipe away any glue oozing, or gloozing, as I like to call it. (Wah wah…)

Once the glue was completely dry, I painted everything with my “Patina” acrylic paint. I think I needed about 2 coats.

DIY Love Sign with Hooks

I wanted it to still see some brush strokes because of the style of the piece so I only did 2 coats.

Once the paint was completed dry, I lightly sanded the piece.

DIY Love Sign with Hooks

Here is the piece after it was sanded. I also used some dark brown paint and a fine brush to give more of a distressed look to the letters since they were a light wood color.

You also want to paint the hardware/hooks (if you choose to). I just used acrylic paint to paint those as well. You can seal them with a polyurethane, however I did not because our sign is just decorative and won’t actually be used to hang coats.

Hooks and Clothespins

Painted hooks and clothespins.

The last steps are to find out exactly where you want the hooks/clothespins/hardware to be placed, to secure those items onto your board and then to add hanging hardware of your choice in the back. I screwed the hooks in and used wood glue for the clothespins. We used a wire in back secured on each side to hang our sign so that we could secure it to the wall in a way that our kids would not be able to yank it down and hurt themselves.

Hardware Placement

Figure out where you want all of your hardware and then adhere or fasten it to the board.

You can take this idea and do whatever you want with it, whether it means using the space where I placed the letters to make into a chalkboard similar to the Hobby Lobby inspiration piece, or you can do a vertical sign with a special date (2 numbers for each row). The possibilities really are endless. There are so many fun color combinations you could do and so many fun hooks that you could mess around with to create something truly unique.

This piece cost me about $25-$30 to create. You could make it as cheap as you want depending on what you want to include and what items you already have on hand. Then hang it up and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Thrifty and Original Light Features

Whenever the time changes and it starts to get dark earlier in the evening, I start trying to add additional light to my home. I just love lights and the warmth they give off. They provide excellent ambiance during the holiday season and create a cozy and homey feeling.

This year, I have 2 light features I’m especially thrilled with. Both are created from secondhand items and they provide a unique look.

Light Fixture, Vintage, Birdcage, Bird Cage, Pendant Light, Crystal, Light Bulb

Vintage metal birdcage with pendant light and antique-style light bulb.

This is a vintage metal birdcage that I’ve hung a decorative pendant light in. I chose one with a crystal-like shade because I wanted the light to reflect in all different directions, like a chandelier. Originally I wanted to use a small chandelier but I couldn’t find one that would fit inside nicely. I think I still achieved the same effect though. Although they are kind of pricey, I splurged and purchased one of the antique-style light bulbs from Lowes. I really love the way it turned out and how warm the light is.

birdcage3

Light Fixture, Vintage, Birdcage, Bird Cage, Pendant Light, Crystal, Light Bulb

Vintage metal birdcage with pendant light and antique-style light bulb.

birdcage2The second light feature I recently made, was really simple. I found a wooden case of an old clock from the early 1900’s at the Goodwill. The clock pieces weren’t all there anymore, but the case itself and the woodwork was beautiful, so I had to get it!

DIY Old Clock Case Light Feature

Antique germanic clock case, turned upside to set on a mantel. Secondhand mason jar with bulb lights inside.

Look at the beautiful domed and beveled glass! They wanted $30 for this solid piece and I thought it was totally worth it. I added a secondhand mason jar that I got for .29 cents and put battery operated bulb lights inside (Big Lots). I love that you see the glowing jar centered through the antique domed glass. So pretty!

oldclocklight2Both of these projects were relatively simple but add so much character to my antique buffet and family room mantel. And best of all? They are the only ones of their kind. Mission accomplished!

 

The art of upcycling

I’ve been busy keeping my Etsy shop stocked over the last month and have been having so much fun finding new treasures to rescue, upcycle and sell. And with all of these projects I have forgotten 99% of the time to take before and after photos. The following item is the 1%.

I thought I’d write a post that explains what I look for in an item, and how I transform it from a piece of junk on its way to the dumpster, to become something that others want to actually have and display in their home. It’s really neat to give an item a complete make-over and a second chance. There is so much potential in many of these forgotten pieces. It takes vision, creativity and time, but the end product is worth it.

The item I’ve chosen to use as an example is this old sewing/craft box:

craftbox insideboxI found it for $1.49. I liked that it was made of solid wood. I also liked the general shape of it. What I didn’t like was the nasty mustard yellow felt lining that had seen better days, The chips on each corner of the bottom drawer, the scuffs/dings/scratches, and the awful pin cushion fabric. But all the things I didn’t like about it could be changed. The doors on top still functioned just fine, the pulls were intact, the lines were cute, and the solid wood was a huge plus. I knew when painted it would feel higher quality.

I wanted to get rid of the yellow felt and replace it with something else. I also wanted to cover the old fabric with something cuter, and I wanted to paint the entire box a different color to give it new life. All of these things were totally doable and didn’t take much time.

It was easy to rip off the top pin cushions. They were just hot glued on so they peeled off. I just covered those and used a stapler underneath to secure the new fabric.

While I had the pin cushions off, I painted the entire box and Aqua color (acrylic paint), distressed it and waxed it with a protective coat with Annie Sloan’s clear wax.

After that I attempted to get rid of the felt. The yellow felt peeled right off. I measured those areas and cut scrap paper to size, then glued them back in.

The scrapbook paper made a huge difference!

The scrapbook paper made a huge difference!

Upcycled Sewing Box

Ahh… much better!

Since I already made this look shabby, it was no big deal that there were chips in the drawer.

I just distressed these areas to make it look more intentional. It still functions the way it needs to.

I just distressed these areas to make it look more intentional. It still functions the way it needs to.

Projects like these are rewarding because the material cost is very low. In this case I used 1/2 small bottle of aqua acrylic paint, 2 scraps of fabric and some scrapbook paper. Since I already had the vision, it only took about 2 hours to complete the project and it was fun to do!

Here are some other projects I’ve done recently that don’t have before pictures but hopefully they can still be inspiring:

Owl bookends made out of 2 secondhand mini wall shelves.

Owl bookends made out of 2 secondhand mini wall shelves.

Earring organizer made out of a vintage weather barometer, some chicken wire, and scrapbook paper.

Earring organizer made out of a vintage weather barometer, some chicken wire, and scrapbook paper.

Cake stand made from a secondhand candle holder, plate and glass dome.

Cake stand made from a secondhand candle holder, plate and glass dome.

As always, if you want to support our upcoming adoption efforts or get ideas for more DIY projects, please visit my Etsy shop to see more items I’ve created from secondhand pieces.