My daughter has the most active imagination of any child I've ever known. When we moved to our new home, I wanted to give her a room for her imagination to flourish but also one that would grow with her as she gets older. We found a great bunk bed and after my husband's hard work putting it together, I made a few small changes to give it the feel of a sea worthy vessel.
The only ambitious part of the makeover was creating the "sail." For this, I used an old wooden valence that I purchased at Goodwill for $1. This was all about re-purposed materials.
I didn't bother removing the old fabric. I just wrapped the valence with a cotton shower curtain (another Goodwill find), removed the excess fabric and hot glued it to the back.
Before I moved on, I tied two pieces of rope to the valence equidistant from the outer edges of the valence, making sure the knots were hidden on the back side of the valence.
Next, I took two curtain rod holders and removed the piece with the U shape. I use the straight section in the next step.
To create a mast, I used a large wooden dowel and attached it to the wall with flexible pipe clamps. I purchased the clamps at Lowes for about $2. I used the level to make sure the mast was perfectly vertical. Then, using my level again, I marked and attached the pieces saved from the curtain rod holder to the wall, one on either side of the mast. I used dry wall anchors to be sure the pieces were securely attached.
Before you spend money on a room makeover, try "shopping" around your own house. I bet that you'll be surprised at all the materials at your disposal.
This is an easy tutorial that will show you how to repurpose a fabric belt into a headband holder. This took me less than 30 minutes to make and only cost me almost nothing. I bought this belt for $1 at the thrift store, but you may even a belt lying around your house you can use.
1. Cut off the end of the belt.
2. Use a seam ripper to separate the front piece from the back piece.
Your belt now looks like this...
3. Using a zigzag stitch on your machine, sew along all the edges. This will prevent any fraying in the future.
4. Gather the top piece and create loops, pinning as you go. I made my gaps varying distances. I made tighter loops towards the top of the belt and larger ones towards the bottom. That way I have slots for both skinny headbands and bulky ones.
This is what your belt looks like from the side once you have pinned your loops. You can see how these are going to be slots for headbands once we are finished sewing.
5. Now, simply sew a straight stitch across the belt where you have placed your pins. Remember to backstitch when you start and finish each row.
6. Trim the excess fabric at the bottom of your piece (all the loops means the top piece is now much shorter than the bottom), and finish the bottom with a zigzag stitch.
You now have a home for all those headbands! And it is so easy to slide them in and out that my 4 year old can put them away all by herself (just another added bonus :) )
My oldest daughter is an animal lover and huge Wild Kratts fan! So for her 4th birthday, we decided to throw her a Wild Kratts themed party. It was a blast and turned out great! I had a tough time finding ideas on Pinterest, so I wanted to share mine with you in case you are looking to throw a party for the little Wild Kratt in your life.
The Butterfly Pavilion was the perfect venue for my daughter's party. After eating pizza, opening presents and cutting the cake, we had the opportunity to explore the pavilion for as long as we wanted. The kids all held Rosie the tarantula and had up close encounters with butterflies, spiders, starfish and more. Best of all, Caitlin felt loved and had an awesome time.
Looking for some quick and easy projects to fill the empty space on your walls? Here are just a few ideas direct from my home to yours.
1. Bird Panels. These were made using a pack of studio wrapped square canvases from Michaels. I painted all the canvases the same color, cut out and pieced together card stock from old baby shower cards and scrapbook paper to create this design, then modge-podged them on the panels.
2. Graphic Art Panels. These are just the top of photo storage boxes that have been mounted to the wall. I paid $2 a piece for these at Michaels. I have the box tops hanging on the wall in the bathroom and use the box bottoms for storing small bathroom items under the sink. Multiple purposes and it doesn't get any easier than this!!
3. Fabric Covered Letters. Find some cute fabric. Trace out your letters onto leftover cardboard and cut them out using an exacto knife. Then simply arrange the letters in correct order with desired spacing and spray with 3M Fabric Adhesive (I'm sure Modge Podge would work well too). Once dry, cut away the excess fabric and mount using foam mounting tape.
4. Hang a Quilt. I know this one seems really obvious. We drool over the Pottery Barn nursery pictures with the pretty quilts hanging over the crib. But if you are like me, you ordered your baby bedding, excitedly started setting up your nursery and thought... 'Wait, how do I hang this darn thing?' Well, I'm sure there are more professional (and expensive) ways of hanging a quilt, but mine only took a few minutes and cost a few pennies. I simply found some medium sized binder clips and repainted them to get rid of the black (you can't tell from the picture, but these are actually blue). Once dry, clip them onto the quilt with even spacing. Fold the back bracket behind the quilt so that it's hidden and the clip will lay flush on the wall. Put nails through the hole created by the top bracket and you have hung your quilt.
5. Flashcards. Speaking of hanging things, why not hang some cute flashcards? My oldest daughter is an animal lover, so when I saw these, I knew they would be perfect for her bedroom! I just put a few nails in the wall, tied twine in between them and used clothes pins to hang the flashcards. FYI, this is the link to the Alphabet Animal Flashcards. I bought mine in store at Anthropologie, but I'm pretty sure Amazon sells them as well.
6. Postcards. One of my favorite stores at the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder is Bayleaf. They are an eclectic store with a vintage feel that I absolutely love! One of the things they sell are postcards. I bought these three, adhered them with double sided tape to a piece of white paper and framed them. These postcards are not merely beautiful. They will always remind me of the great times I've had in Boulder.
7. Famous Artwork. While visiting the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, FL, I picked up one of their brochures. They had fabulous prints of some of their procured art right there in the free brochure. I loved this one by Homer so I cut it out and framed it. Keep an eye out for interesting prints in brochures. You may be surprised at what artwork you can find for free.
8. Storybook Art. These images came from one of my favorite children's books, Guess How Much I Love You. I drew replicas of a few of my favorite images from the book with a sharpie marker and colored them with colored pencils. It was an easy and enjoyable project for me. However, if you are not comfortable with drawing, you can always make copies of some of your favorite storybooks or by an extra book to take your favorite pages out of and frame them.
9. State Maps. I saw a similar project on Pinterest and decided to do one for myself. The significance of these states is that they are the states that each of our family members were born in. I found the state maps online and created a Word document with them. I adjusted the sizes of the states so they were comparable to each other and would fit in my frame and also put a little heart icon over the cities where each of us was born. For the background, I cut strips of coordinating scrapbook paper adhered them to the frame backing using double face tape (this allowed me to easily move the pieces around to get a look I liked). Then I adhered the state maps to the now decorated backing using double faced tape as well.
I hope you feel inspired to try some of these ideas for yourself, or perhaps some new ideas came to mind while you were reading this post. If you have an easy DIY art projects that you've completed or would like to share, I'd love to hear about them! -Amy
Cleaning your coffee maker is something you should do on a regular basis to keep it running properly and your coffee tasting good. I'm guilty of not cleaning my machine as regularly as I should. In my ideal world, I'll be in the habit of cleaning it once a month. Here's how I keep my coffee pot looking like new.
Now, brew yourself a nice fresh cup of joe and enjoy.
I found this dresser at a flea market for $45. It was in fabulous shape, the perfect size for our bedroom, and well made (it's an old Bassett Dresser). I immediately saw the potential. I painted it with the same technique and materials I used for the refinished hope chest and I couldn't be happier! It just amazes me how a little paint can bring a 40 year old piece of furniture back to life.
Quite an improvement isn't it? This was a very straightforward project.
Voila! Here are a couple more detailed pictures of the finished product.
This is a continuation of the Aden & Anais Security Blanket project. My initial goal was to make a couple of super breathable security blankets, but I had so much leftover material, that I was able to make the perfect size blanket for my daughter for the summer. The steps are very simple and this blanket was just the right weight. We don't have AC, but it can still get cool at night. The swaddle blanket by itself was too thin and her knitted blankets were too heavy. By adding a piece of flannel to the back of the Aden & Anais blanket it became the perfect blanket!
Unfortunately, I don't have pictures for this project. However, it is very similar to making the swaddle blanket... but a lot simpler. Here is goes:
You're done! Like I said, it has been the perfect weight blanket. I'm so glad I had the guts to do this project. Happy Sewing!
Your Aden + Anais Jungle Jam blankets have arrived and you are super excited! Now, what to do while you are awaiting the arrival of your little one...
Why not make a security blanket?
I have to admit that as an beginner seamstress, I was a little hesitate to cut up my favorite receiving blanket (this was actually the one she was swaddled in the day she was born. But, I'm so glad I had the guts to do it. Because now she has a blanket that is as unique as she is.
Cut two equal pieces of your blanket in desired size.
Cut two strips of silk material so that their length matches the width of your blanket material.
You are going to fold these pieces in half lengthwise in another step, so whatever you want the final width of the accent pieces to be, double it when cutting. For example, if you want your silk to extend 1.5 inches beyond the length of blanket, measure a piece 3 inches wide.
Step 2. Place your two muslin pieces together, right sides facing each other and pin.
Step 3. Sew along two sides of the blanket, be sure to backstitch every time you start and stop. Do not sew the edges where you want your silk pieces to be. We'll insert those in the next step. Leave about a 1 inch gap in the middle of one of these sides. The reason for this is so we can pull the material through the hole in a later step. If you forget to leave this gap (as I have once or twice), just use a seam ripper to make a gap when the time comes.
Step 4. Take your muslin and silk pieces to your ironing board. Fold your silk piece as seen in the photo. What you are doing here is turning about a 1/4 inch in so that it'll fit in the pocket we've created for it on the blanket and so that the final product won't show any raw edges. This will make sense in a minute...
Spray this edge with starch and iron. Repeat on the other side so you now have 1/4 in turned in on both sides.
Step 5. Fold the silk piece in half lengthwise, spray with starch and iron.
Repeat steps 4 & 5 with the second silk accent piece.
Step 6. Insert your you silk accent pieces into the "pockets" you created, matching the raw edge of the silk accent to the raw edge of the muslin blanket.
This is what your blanket will look like once you have inserted the silk piece. Be sure to leave a little of the raw edge of the silk sticking out the top as shown here. This way you will be sure to encase the silk accent in the seam in the next step.
Step 7. Sew the raw edges of the silk accent piece and muslin pieces together. Repeat on the second side.
Do you remember how we left that gap? See the two pictures below. You are now going to gently pull your material through so that the right sides are out.
Step 8. Iron your blanket so it lays nice and flat. I know you are excited to get to the final product, but do not skip this step.
Step 9. Sew a final topstitch around the entire blanket. When you reach a corner, make sure your needle is in the down position and lift the foot so that you can turn your piece. Put the foot back down and keep sewing. Backstitch at the beginning and the end of your topstitch and make sure you tuck the edges of that gap in when you reach it so that it won't come undone in the future.
You're done! And now you can make another one so you can always have one for your baby and one in the wash.
Also, check out my post for how to make a light summer blanket out your leftover material.
My daughter doesn't go to sleep without hers. And I've been able to rest easily knowing that she's safe with her super breathable security blanket.