Inspiration: Before & After kitchen nook

So some fun news… we officially have a dining table and chairs! Woot! “Where on earth would you fit it?” I know you’re asking. Lets just say, me and the hubs spent all day rearranging every piece of furniture in our entire apartment. So hopefully I’ll take some pictures to show you.

So i adore the table. It’s a classic “farmer” table with the wood top and white painted legs. Perfectly fits 6 and its just too cute. And then theres the chairs. They definitely match but they just don’t match us. So we are on the hunt for our first piece of furniture purchase as a married couple: dining chairs. I know what else you’re thinking; “Umm, didn’t ya’ll just buy the whole set?” Nope. Randomly hanging out with some friends that were trying to figure out which goodwill to dump their table. Then I said “our apartment”.  And done. How sweet is that?! Now we can eat at a table instead of on the couch! You guys have no clue – i would make a beautiful steak dinner… and then serve it on the couch. Oh it was just sad. But no more!

Anyway, when i eat at the table, I’m usually there a lot so i definitely need some cushion for the tush. I’ve been looking around everywhere for some chairs that we could afford on a mini budget. And of course, I’m 98% sure they are from ikea. I’ll let you know when we cross that road but until then. Check out this AMAZING before and after from Liz at It’s Great to be Home.

YES! That is the same nook. Can you believe it?! Such an incredible difference. I love the flooring, the built ins got a beautiful facelift… and just look at those chairs. So cute!

Can you believe they are PAINTED? Yes. Liz painted her kitchen chairs. And they are stinkin cute! Check out the whole step by step on Liz’s blog over here.

The more i read about these chairs, the more im pretty sure its a done deal. You will find out soon though! Until then, check out Liz’s blog all about her 5 house flips in 3 years! Its one of the most incredible stories on the interwebs. So read it.

Only took 2 years…

Sometimes projects just dont go well. In this case… its taken 2 years. Yikes! I bought this “E” from goodwill for maybe 2 bucks almost TWO years ago! It started off as a badly colored gold color so i decided to spray paint it purple and go from there. One of the problems with this one was it was broken in a few places. Both the top and the bottom have huge cracks and i kept filling them with glue but since they were hollow, the glue would settle through the bottom of the whole thing. So eventually i gave up and forgot about it. Now, this is for my sweet sister, Erin. Shes the one who taught me to crochet over here. Then i had a beyond brilliant idea… not only will using yarn hold the E together, it will also be a crocheter’s dream! (is that how to spell corcheter?! is that even a word?)

So voila! It actually took a lot more yarn than i expected and it was also more difficult to wrap than i expected. All of the straight sections were pie. But all of those edges and corners… two words: glue gun. I also tried to wrap them “pretty” instead of looking like i was intoxicated while i did it… or without it looking like it has a grey cast on.

Oh, and see that little grey ball of yarn? That is all thats left! I’d used it for one or two small projects but most of it is wrapped on that there “E”!

Heres a bit more detail on the edges for ya…

I thought about adding a little crochet flower or some other decor like that but… i like simplicity. I definitely tend to overcomplicate things.

Have any projects that have been sitting around for 2 years? Get on that!

Hope you like it, Erin!!

-Rach

Wooden Spheres

I’ve really been digging wooden spheres sold at places like West Elm.

I love them but paying 30 bucks a pop didnt quite make sense. So how about 3 bucks instead? I found a really great DIY about how to use two stitching looms each. 2 small and 2 large.

To make the smaller one, you just use the 4 rings from the 2 smallest looms. It took me a while to work them into the position that really looked best. You can use the West Elm spheres above for a good reference or just wiggle them around till you like how it looks! I decided to go the easy route and just use a glue gun to make them stay in place. One nudge and the thing would shift so its a good idea to make them stay where you want them.

Next step is staining. You could keep them the raw wood but I’ll most likely stain them at some point when i finally decide on what stain! My indecisiveness is going to be the end of me…

DIY Mother Day gifts

I dont know about you guys, but im flat broke. I tend to not even do anything for mothers day! I know… im a bad daughter. BUT NOT THIS YEAR! Heres a list of fun DIY ideas to make your mom something fun, pretty or yummy this mothers day. At at only a few bucks each, theres no excuse not to! Most of these I found off of the lovely Pinterest or off fabtabulous blogs!

Clay Petal Vase

Simple project with just a vase and stone clay. Run over to Centsational Girl for the full DIY here

Handmade Bath Fizzies

There are multiple handmade Spa goodies over on MarthaStewart.com go check it out and other DIYs like Body scrubs, lip balm and of course, Bath Fizzies!

DIY Lace Bowl

Always loved this project and wanted to give it a go. For the whole DIY check it out over here.

Hand painted Porcelin

For just 5 bucks you can pick up a Pebeo Porcelaine paint parker and hand paint on some white mugs. Full DIY here. I like the idea to stick with a theme such as botanical… makes the set really go together. Theres also a free template as well!

Personalized Scarf

Heres another project that I’ve been wanting to try for a while. You’ve got two options, either take a white scarf and use Fabric markers like in the DIY featured here… OR use a colored scarf and a bleach pen! Most likely you already have one… paint, let it sit for 10-15 minutes and wash it off under running water. Thrown them in the wash and thats it! Cant wait to try this project.

 

You BETTER do something for yo mama this year… you have no excuse now.

Much love!

-Rachel

Lake Painting

Nope. Not a painting of the lake. Rather a painting i did at the lake. Back in this post i shared my wonderful vacay with my bff. Here is a shot from my set up on the deck overlooking the beautiful lake!

We decided to hang it over our couch and my husband actually loves it! I thought the pinkish hue and purples wouldn’t be his idea of awesomeness but he said, and i quote “I like the meshing. its all like… bluuuhhh… colors!” all while attempting to “mesh” with his hands. Thats my lovely husband! The art critic.

See the meshing? And the “bluuuuhhh… colors!”?  I know i do.

Its up on Etsy now if you wana see an identical beauty above your couch for your husband to critique!

-Rachel

DIY Reupholstery Bench

I’ve been wanting a good reupholster project for a while now. I have done exactly ZERO reupholstering but I have a love for it (and a respect for those that do it well!)  I’ve seen a lot of bench re-dos and it seemed like a good starter project. So i found a storage piano bench on craigslist for 10 bucks!

Here is the before and After. Scroll down for the full step by step how to!

This piece has a great structure, nice storage and was very sturdy. But the velvet brown fabric was just begging to be thrown in the trash. First off, i unscrewed the cushion from the bottom.

Once the cushion was off, i started removing the 50,000 staples. ok there wasnt that many but AT LEAST 100 of them. it was pretty nuts.

Remove more staples for the piping..

And MORE staples for all the fabric. Seriously they used up a whole box of staples. I removed the sick nasty brown velvet fabric and was happy to find the foam in great shape. I was worried about stains or smells and needing to get new foam but thankfully it was perfect-o!

I then attached the fabric i wanted to use. Since i have a lot of fabric left over from the wedding, i decided to use that! Nothing better than paying zero bucks for fabric.

The buttons were the fun part. I got a button making kit from Joanne’s and it was pretty self explanatory. Plus they look so schnazzy with new fabric on them. I tried to use the old buttons but they just weren’t having it. It was only a few bucks for the kit so it was worth it. I also used scrap fabric left over from trimming the edges. I couldn’t take out the old staples without damaging the wood so i just cut the string to the old buttons and took them out. For the new buttons they suggest getting an upholstery needle… i definitely wish i bought one because it was difficult to get a piece of string through wood, foam and fabric. But i managed. Six times. Once I got the string through, strung through the new button and back.

I flipped it over to the other side to make sure it was tight enough. The tighter the string, the deeper the button. Once i got it to where I wanted it, i stapled the string to the wood.

Once i threaded all six buttons and stapled it once, I’d flip it to the front and make sure the buttons were at the same depth. If one was too shallow, i took pliers and tugged on the string until it was where i wanted it. then flipped the string the other direction and stapled it again.

I then added fabric to the underside to hide all the wood and staples. I just used the same fabric because I have so much of it. I also decided to go to the edges for a clean look.

Then I strewed the cushion back onto the base.

And Voila! Fancy new bench! I love the storage capability and the height. Its perfect for an entry bench, an ottoman or the end of your bed. Definitely going to get a ton of use out of this $13 project!

I really want to encourage you to just go out and try something. I never would have thought i could build furniture or reupholster but you never know till you try. This project was much easier than I thought it would be and maybe took a total of 2 hours (minus driving to joanne’s for the button kit and new staples from Lowes!) I love a project that makes you smile every time you see it!

-Rachel

Create Create

Hey guys! Just wanted to share a fun creative types get together from last week. This is our second time to meet up and hang out and each time has been eye opening. As an artist, i believe its important to surround yourself with other creatives. We had interior designers, bloggers, event planners, photographers, graphic designers and writers all together talking about what we do and what inspires us.

This was our lovely host for the evening, the creative Clair Zinnecker. She is an incredible interior designer for Joel Mozersky. She also posts to an adorable blog Camille Styles all of her fun DIY ideas in her Transformed series.

This is the oh so amazing Ashley- yes, the famous Ashley that planned my wedding! If you ever need a day of coordinator or someone to plan the whole thing (which i HIGHLY recommend… goodbye stress!) then please hire this sweet, talented lady! Since she is in the process of making a website, im going to just post her email to the entire world. Hope thats ok, ash! Avehslage22@gmail.com Please only email her if youre interested in her fab services!

Ok so this is the second time I’ve met Katie and she is one of the sweetest women I’ve met! She is also a riot which always makes get togethers more fun. Maybe blame it on the fact that she’s a hilarious writer that posts constantly to her blog KatieSchnack.com. She also posted about the get together here including awesome advice from all the ladies on how to pursue your creative dreams. So head over and read it! Here writing is maybe 50 times better than mine!

We enjoyed some delish wine, cheeses and fruit… cant have a get together without some delish grub.

And what an incredible house! Its beautiful… a house from the 40s that has slowly been brought back to life by such an incredible interior designer.

Just check out her front entry wall that was featured on her blog posts. So great, right? Just check out the DIY over here.

Photo by Claire Zinnecker

And thanks to Kate Stafford for all the other images! She is an incredible wedding photographer so check out her website over here at KateStafford.com . She works for Peacock Photography so check out more of her work over here at PeacockPhotoBlog.com .  What has been inspiring you lately? Planned any get togethers? Pinterest parties?!

DIY Nursery Canvas

A friend of mine is pregnant with her first baby, a lil girl named Finley Gray (how cute is that?!) Anyway, i wanted to make something for their nursery and just started creating. I knew the nursery had grey walls so i decided to have the canvas stay mostly white so it would pop. They also arent the typical pink and purple type of parents (yay!) so i decided to pick out some paper with different fun colors, feminine patterns and write out “Finley Gray” in the paper. Of course i decided to use the Silhouette to cut them out or else it would have looked like a 5 year old made it. Not exactly the look i was going for. And i went with Amy Butler paper (got it at michael’s like 50 years ago) because i just adore her patterns.

So i started out by making the page setting as large as the canvas – 20X16 so that i could see what the final product would look like. Once i found the font i liked, i made it the size id like – just slightly going off the edges of the canvas.

Once i had the letters the size i wanted, i made a separate page set at 12X12 and put random letters and a flower on it. I used maybe 4 or 5 different types of paper so that the letters would be different colors and patterns. I cut out more letters than i needed just so i could play with it a little bit and see which colors i really loved.

Then i got to cutting:

Once they were all cut out and ready to go I placed them on the canvas and moved them around until they were exactly where i had in mind. I thought again about painting the canvas before i started to put the letters on it but I just liked the simplicity and it would be over complicated if i added more colors.

Initially started glueing them down with an extra strength glue stick. I knew i would be painting over the whole thing with a clear glaze so i didn’t think it would matter. It did. Didn’t work out too well. So i just went straight to a mod podge type of adhesive to stick them down. That work well so i went through and stuck them all down like that. When coating the whole thing, i had never tried paper on canvas and i wasn’t too sure what would work. So i started off with mod podge. BAD idea! It made the letter start warping and wrinkling badly. (can you tell which letter i messed up?!) I didnt a little online research and found out that acrylic medium works the best. It worked WONDERS. There was no warping, and it painted on beautifully. It will also seal the paper enough to avoid damage. So i highly suggest using medium!

One of my favorite parts was the flower. Just a lil smidge of girlie-ness for the new lil one. The bottom two layers of the flower i stuck down to the canvas and did a few layers of medium. The center piece i glued down in the center but let the petals stick up! I coated those petals on all sides with medium to keep it sturdy.

How cute is that?!

I love how it turned out so hopefully the happy new parents and sweet baby girl love it!

Newest Hobby

I love trying new things. My sweet lil sister, Erin has been tellin me to start crocheting for months now so last time i was in Michaels, i finally made a lil purchase! Some yarn and crocheting thingamajigs. Hooks i think they are called?!

I’ve been doing some research and found a great site with lots of tutorials over here. So basically, you just need to learn a few of the stitches and you can make anything from there. Erin’s favorite crochet pro is Lindsi over on Peoplewebs. Lindsi makes everything from mini pugs, circle scarves to house booties! So cute. I’m definitely inspired. Check out some of her shots:

How stinkin cute are these mini owls and pugs?!

Heres some more fun projects I found on ETSY. I NEED that zebra… so cute!

source

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Why hello big fat penguin pillow!

source

So far it hasn’t been going well, but i know you have to just practice, practice, practice! I tried knitting a while back and it ended up being a bit of a mess… we will see how it goes! Have you guys been trying anything new lately? Tried crocheting? I would definitely love some advice if you have!

-Rachel

DIY Floating Shelves

First off, please excuse the crummy before shots. Blame my phone! Anyway, I’ve been in need of some office organization for a while. I just had boxes and papers everywhere. Ok, im slightly embarassed to show this… but this is what my office was looking like for weeks:

Yikes! I know! We just didnt have a filing cabinet so we had stacks of papers everywhere and there just wasnt enough space in there for everything. Thanks to my DIY vintage trunk filing cabinet, I’m halfway to organization!  So i also decided i needed some more shelving space. So on the far right wall, i switched out that small wooden shelf for a larger vintage metal one (you’ll see it in the after pictures). And i decided to make floating shelves!

I have small floating shelves from Target but they are very poorly made and easily pull screws out of the wall. I really wanted to make something more substantial. Since i follow Young House Love everyday, i knew where i needed to go. Ana White did a floating shelf how-to on their site over here so i went to check that out. If you dont know either of those bloggers, you definitely need to check them out. Anyway, so on the how-to, Ana put together a digital guide to show you how to build them. I went with this concept because its a really solid construction and goes directly into studs. Since my wall was a lot smaller, i went with 4ft shelves instead of 6. The three graphics/images below are by Ana White!

I just really liked the simplicity of these shelves and the solid construction of them so i went to work! Go to the step by step how to for details.

I also got to use my fancy Laser guided Miter Saw for the first time on this project! Woot! Maybe one of the best gifts we got on the registry. And my favorite part? It was one of Kenny’s friends that got it for him so that he could actually have something as a wedding gift too… little did he know it was actually for me 🙂 Of course, as always… i had to use my (teeny tiny) side porch to use this sucker. Cant wait for a garage.

Once i had all my wood cut, nailed, glued and all put together, it was time to paint! Since I painted these shelves the same grey (That was Kennys vote instead of “boring white”) as the vintage chest so it made sense to paint them at the same time.

Here is what i used:

  • Paint – Olympic All in one paint + primer in semi gloss
  • Minwax Polycrylic protective finish
  • Small foam roller (get a high quality dense foam. trust me, its worth it)
  • Paint tray
  • screwdriver

The trick is to do multiple THIN layers. Lay it on thick and you’ll get lots of bubbles and drips. Eww. So here it is after 2 thin layers.  For these you dont need an angled brush so pretend thats not there. Here are the shelves after one thin layer. I did three layers for these guys and didn’t take much paint at all. I used one quart for these three shelves and the vintage trunk. And then spilt the rest on the carpet. but thats another story.

I threw them up on the wall to check how well they were spaced, if they were balanced, etc.

Im going to be honest because, well… thats what blogs are for. This project was a horrible pain in the butt. Lets just put together a list of all the things that went wrong:

  • Since i dont have the best set up to cut plywood, i had them cut it in the store. Which they cut horribly wrong. So i had to go buy more plywood from a different shop. Which also cut them wrong.
  • The 1X2s were just slightly warped (though they were the straightest i could find in the store) which made one of the entire shelves horribly warped so i had to go buy more 1x2s.
  • i used my fancy new miter saw to cut the 1X2s and smashed the crap out of my thumb. thankfully i didnt cut it off.
  • Since i dont have a nail gun, to nail the plywood on the 1x2s i had to nail them by hand. smashed the crap out of my thumb. again.
  • The screws i used initially would BREAK OFF INTO THE WALL. The metal was just too weak even thought they are wood screws. Yes, there are maybe 4 different screws stuck in the wall. (Dont tell my landlord) So i had to make new holes for new screws. Kennys dad just happened to have bad ass screws in his car so he gave me a handful of them. I just highly suggest spending extra on higher quality screws.
  • If you read over here, you already know that Maggie (the puppy) spilt the entire can of paint onto the drop cloth and seeped into our carpet (PLEASE, dont tell my landlord! Hopefully my landlord doesnt read this…)
  • Once they were all together and on the wall i realized they were sagging! Without even anything on them! I talked to my dad in law (aka carpenter extraordinaire) and he says to A. either use brackets or B. screw the right side into the wall. Because of the way these shelves are built, i cant go with B and A would make sense if i had solid shelves. They dont sag TOO much so i decided just to leave them as is and deal with the fact that they arent perfect. by any means.
  • I also used a filler that didnt do a good job at filling so theres about 57 blemishes. Im ok with it for the most part but they are very far from flawless.
  • They can’t hold much weight. Considering i needed to put boxes and books on them, basically this whole project ended in shelves for decoration. Which of course, im ok with but its not what i needed.
So to conclude… this was one of the most frustrating projects I’ve done. I think if i were to do this all over again, i would just go with solid wood and brackets. Thats not my ideal visually but they would be much sturdier and better for what i needed them for. If you want shelves that dont hold a ton of weight and just want them to look good, then go for it!

With all that said, i am happy how everything turned out. My office is much more clean and organized and its really been staying like that. Plus it was fun to decorate these beauties with some fun new artwork.

Oh, and I just got this cute shelf from Home Goods. Love it! It has that vintage feel and cute little drawers. Im a sucker for little drawers.

I’ll have the whole office before and after soon!

-Rachel