Thursday, May 29, 2014

DIY Copy Cat with a Twist!

The other day I was browsing around through some of my favorite DIY bloggers and came across this cute and useful idea by Carmel @ Our Fifth House.  (I'm sure I don't have to tell anyone how awesome and talented she is but definitely go on over and peruse her site!)  Carmal has the same pet peeve that I'm sure most of us who share a house with other people have...replacing the toilet paper roll!  Mine always sits on top of the empty holder....ALWAYS (exception:  when we have people over I bend).  I sometimes feel like it's a game.  Who's going to put it on?  How long will it sit before someone breaks?  Well, no one ever seems to care.  My littles are too little and my hubs just doesn't think it's a big deal, so I sort of just let it go. UNTIL something ghetto unfortunate happened to the holder in my downstairs powder room.  It was starting to slowly come out of the dry wall...like the screws were stripped and there was no putting it back in, unless I filled the holes, repainted, and moved the holder to a different part of the wall.  UM...no thanks!  Then I came across this fab idea from Carmel!

 
Isn't that rad!?  So... I went on over to Hobby Lobby for some inspiration in creating this idea with a DIY Lori spin.  Since I just wanted to cover up the awful holes in my wall I needed a large piece of somethin' to cover it horizontally.  I went straight to the craft wood plaques and they were the perfect size and had a great price tag.  (I've used them many times and I just love how accommodating they are no matter what I want to do to them.)  Next I went over to Target and found some inexpensive curtain tie backs.   They come in a set of two so of course I was going to make two TP holders. :)

Back at home I had all the supplies needed to paint, modpodge, etc., etc.  Let's get started!

I have a lovely assortment of craft paper/card stock and mixed some paints together to get the right grey color.  As you can see I only painted the sides of the wood plaque. After the paint and modpodge dried, I attached the tie back hooks with  upholstery tacks I had left over.  I could've used the screws that came with the hooks, but I wanted it to be a little more decorative and unique.  All I did was hammer them in and the hook is secure.


Here are the two versions I did...aren't they cool and different!??  I love different.  Different is cool.



Luckily these hooks did not need a smaller knob on the end.  My toilet paper roll fit nicely. Yay!


My almost-six-year-old said, "Mommy, I like the toilet paper rolls....MUCH easier."  :)  I live for simple and cute.  I'm glad I was able to achieve that.  Thank you, Carmel for planting the seed in my head!

I'm not afraid to admit that I'm a total copy cat-er.  That's why we "DIY bloggers" are here, to share ideas and inspire others to create.  

~Lori

Monday, May 19, 2014

From Brown to PINK!--A DIY Chair Makeover

So it's not surprising when I have a chair makeover post.  I have a love/hate relationship with upholstery projects.  They kill my back and my fingers but dang....I just LOVE the outcome so much!  Not to mention the feeling like you are assembling a really hard puzzle.  The little bits of confidence sprinkled in with the mayhem of the project are what I live for. :)  Let's get into it, shall we?

I acquired this little guy at one of my local Good Will stores.  There wasn't much inspecting going on by me, I just sat in it to see if it was "sit-able."  It was and I grabbed it (along with a small filing cabinet I have some fun plans for that will be featured on the blog soon!).



The purpose of the chair was for it to go in my master bedroom as a vanity chair (for when I figured out what my vanity situation was...ha.  I do things SO out of order!).  Turns out that it was too wide for said purpose.  The good news is that I needed a nice little chair to replace the glider in my 3 year old's room. ( I don't know about you but it hurts me to get rid of anything that is linked in memories with my littles.  :(  BUT that glider is something I never liked even with my first kid and it was starting to creak somethin' creepy so "hasta luego, dude." )

 OK..onto the upholstery.  This fabric was funk-a-delic in a 70s? 80s? 90s? way.  (I really need to research furniture from the different eras so I can be more specific.  Plus the dos and don'ts of home decor styles of those decades are so fascinating! ) 



I ripped off all of the fabric and cording.



I decided that this new chair had to be candy pink, and that's the exact color I got!  Rutoleum "Candy Pink." 

While sanding this chair I noticed lost of cracks in the wood and one of the arms was not attached.  OOPS.  No worries though...I sanded down as much as I could and then reattached the arm with wood glue and staples.  Good as new!   Sorta.
There were rips in the wicker weave side panels that I actually had noticed in the store.  I thought about doing something different there, and still might, but for now those holes are hidden by a ruffled purple heart pillow. :)



 The batting/foam fill was not very pretty...GOLD?  Every time I reupholster a chair I replace the stuffing.  It's not something you HAVE to do, but I just like making it new and fresh from the inside out and sometimes it just needs some extra spongy fluff.
I had some fabric left over from curtains I made for my oldest daughter's room makeover .  I would say it was "perfect" for the chair, but it is a very light weight cotton material that is a bit flimsy.   I didn't want to buy anything else, and well...the colors were perfect if nothing else.  I pushed through and got it done.  (I personally would recommend a heavier material for projects like these, especially if you are a beginner.  Choose medium to heavy, like duck canvas or of course the upholstery fabrics.)  I got this gold dot pattern at fabrics.com.



I had a hard time trying to figure out how to attach the back part of the seat.  It took some pinning, folding and tucking, but I eventually came up with something that worked.




I thought maybe I would use cording to cover up the staples but cording hates me and I always have to glue it on.  BLAH.  I also despise sewing that thin/ long strip.  Sometimes I do it because there is no other option, but sometimes I just add tacks...and in this case I used gold ones. :)



The last step came to me in a flash while I was finishing up the tacks.  I kept wondering what I should use to put around the bottom of the seat to cover up my tucks and staples.  I did a fair job of making it look neat but it needed to have more of a finished look.  I had a roll of wide burlap ribbon with a dark pink chevron pattern in my crafty stash.  Would it work? I asked myself.  Would I have enough?  I again muttered under my breath.  I had JUST enough!  YES!!  After stapling and spraying it heavily with fabric glue so that it wouldn't fray (that burlap can be a stinker!) I adorned it with gold brads/tacks.


(It definitely needs a duster and it shall get it's wish soon.)

I must say it's funky but SO cute.  Do I love it?  Yep.  Most importantly my "customer" loves it too!  She has a self described "princess chair" of her very own!



Sometimes the projects that perplex you the most are the ones that turn out the very best.
Fear is not an option.  Face it and try your best.

Have a wonderful day!
~Lori


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Three Tables, Three Ways

A while back I found a steal of a deal at one of my local Good Will stores.  THREE tables for under $35!  All different sizes and uses.  I was really only looking for a small table to set up in my girls' new and improved playroom (Playroom/loft makeover post coming soon!).  And there it was!


Someone had tried a "fun" stucco/crocodile texture (strange comparison I know, but I still can't figure out their reason for adding it or what they were trying to achieve---we've all had those crazy ideas that were much better in our heads than they turned out to be!)  I didn't want to have to do too much to it and because it is black already (which is one of the colors in the playroom) I just cleaned it and started thinking about what I should do with the top.   Because it is SO textured and has a lip all the way around sort of tray-like, I needed to do something to smooth it out.  Shopping around in my craft room (aka DIY Lori headquarters ;) ) I found some batting and  this Damask/floral vinyl in my fabric stash.  It ended up being just enough to cover the entire table top.  Phew!  No extra trips to the store and no money spent!


I used my regular staple gun and had a fairly easy time attaching it all.  Now it is a nice, soft, flat surface for my girls to color and do puzzles on.  And if they get any messies on it I can just wipe it away!  I love that kind of easy breezy cleaning!  This is such an easy project especially for upholstery beginners.

 (I used tin buckets from Ikea for markers, puzzle pieces, etc.)



And now on to table #2!  When I found this piece I thought how fun it would be as a little bookshelf for my youngest girl's bedroom.  I had one in there already that was sort of a complete fail as far as projects go, but she never cared cause she's 3. :)  Anyway this was a plain, late 80's early 90's style bookshelf...on wheels.  In fact it was probably used for a printer or something like that.  My own "wheels" were turning so I brought it home.



I sanded and cleaned it which I thought about doing more than once which I'll get to in a minute.  I stopped over at Hobby Lobby for some inspiration and decided to go with a large jar of DecoArt Designer Series acrylic paint in Spa Blue.  Why I thought I should do the sanding/cleaning phase more than once is because this paint took several coats...like...a LOT of coats, y'all.  I was so annoyed but I think I handled myself with grace under pressure (NOT.  Never happens that way. I DO, however, like the thought of keeping calm in duress...but I just don't work that way. ha.).  I let it dry after every single coat and finally it started to look like the beauty I had envisioned.  The cardboard back was less than impressive so instead of painting it I just covered it with some contact paper I had in my stash.



And here it is in my daughter's room!  Isn't it the sweetest??  Most of her room is lilac and dark pink with a pink heart duvet cover with some aqua in it, so I decided she needed another pop of that aqua color.


 It's the perfect spot for her fave little toys and flashlight too! :)  This bookshelf fits her to a tee because it's little just like her! :)



And finally....table #3.
This guy gave me some trouble when it came to creativity and necessity.  Those two don't usually go hand in hand but in my world they do.  Since I was revamping my "mud room/entry" I needed something with some purpose to help out with storage and style.  This old desk, with wheels was kinda rad and retro and I thought it would be the perfect size for what I was thinking...."thought"...ha.



Maybe paint it gold?  A bright brassy gold and add a wooden desk organizer I had bought at the city wide garage sale ---a year ago ?(yikes.  sometimes my ideas take a while to hatch).  The desk was the perfect width to set my desk organizer on and later install so it didn't flip over.  Here's the organizer shelf I am referring to:

(It has other shelves and HAD drawers but I used those in my DIY tray project for the crate table a while back.)


Back to the desk:  I painted the desk a bright brassy gold.  G.R.O.S.S.  Seriously? What was I thinking??   Maybe like that person who textured that black table it was good in my head but bad when executed.  (No picture available---I was too mad.)  Moving on.  I went back to the drawing board and attempted to sand and paint my desk organizer shelf.  Another total #FAIL.  UGH.  It was so frustrating.  I finally decided that I would paint the desk a light grey color because it went with my decor a lot better.  That color gave the desk a cool vibe which was the turning point with my bad luck.  I spray painted the desk organizer flat black cause, it's the best--here's my reasons.  Both pieces came out great, BUT....they didn't look great together.  <sigh>  SO, my desk sat in the garage for days and days as I decided what I should do with it.  I didn't want it in my mud/entry way because it served no helpful purpose and lets be honest, I had already gotten a better idea. haha...That's my brain for you!   What I started to think was, "OH I could make a drink/food cart out of it for my dining room!"  Then I was brought back down to reality when I remembered that I don't entertain much unless it's for a kid's party and I only drink wine.  Good idea, but back to the drawing board...remember I need some necessity in my creation.   A few more days crept by and in the middle of rearranging my confusing front living room I gave my grey retro desk a home, finally.







I really like the design and unique aspect of a metal desk placed vertically like an end table.
PS...the wooden desk organizer is STILL in my garage.  :(

So there you have it!  Three tables, three different designs, three different uses.  I love finding an awesome bargain and eventually they all got a great place to chill....for now.  :)    

No matter how long it takes me to implement an idea I'm usually 90% happy with what I create.    It's a process....greatness can't be rushed! ;)  Don't forget that.  Take your time and make something beautiful.

So many more cool things to come....please visit DIY Lori again soon!

~Lori

Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day is the best day.

Even though most Mother's days since I became a mommy just under 6 years ago (not counting utero), I spend "my" day on duty.  That's ok, because that's WHY I'm a mommy.  Why I choose to walk through life holding onto little dirty fingers with a "boogie rag" in my handbag.  Why I have said handbag (and all other handbags) in size LARGE to hold sippy cups, little zips of pretzels and crackers, hair ties, and miniature toys that the little hands don't want to hold anymore.  Why I have listened to/read/watched Frozen a gazillion times and always tear up for the love of sisters.  I walk through life as a mommy who gets stressed, overwhelmed, overjoyed, and every other emotion included in the human brain.  When I think back on the first time I found out I was pregnant, I was scared and excited.  As I felt my little one moving and watched my belly grow and grow throughout my pregnancy, I started becoming more scared out of my mind than happily excited.  I definitely wasn't in the mommy "zone" then because I had no idea what to expect out of this little creature that we created.  The instant, I mean...THE very MINUTE she was put into my arms for the first time and I felt her touch me, I changed forever.  I was no longer me.  I was someone new.  I was re-born a mother.   It became a whole new thought process for me.  Selfishness was no longer an option, it was all about her and how I was going to make sure she was safe and taken care of every second of the day.   I was (and still am) lucky because she was a fantastic first baby experience.  She made it easy on me to be the mommy I never knew I wanted to or even thought I could be.  The second time around I knew exactly what it was like but just when I thought my heart couldn't get any fuller, baby #2 proved me wrong.  As I type, type, type away on my keyboard, I realize that it's actually quite difficult to convey in words what it feels like to love a child.  I've never known this type of true love in my life.  I mean seriously, when someone draws a picture of you every week, and even sometimes daily, you can't help but feel like a superhero-in truth, I have no words.  When you walk in the door and someone comes running to you, screaming your name (Mommy!!) with open arms because they haven't seen you in a really long time (like an hour)-I have no words.  When you are constantly told "you make the best cookies ever"-I have no words.  When this little person says "I can't sleep if you don't sing to me, Mommy."-I have no words.
To whomever thought I would make a good mother...thank you.  Thank you for giving me this experience, this journey this joyful/stressful/meaningful life that is motherhood.  I am fortunate.  I. Am. Loved.


To my girls who were put on this earth to love me like no one ever has.  To test me like nothing has or ever will.  To be my rocks and my soft places to land when I get old and need you the most.  Every day your eyes twinkle and your smiles sparkle. You make me special and for that I couldn't love you more.  I will love you for all of my days and beyond.




Happy Mother's Day, Mommies!  I hope you squeeze those little munchkins harder and longer on your special day.  Remember to put everything into perspective and I'll try to do the same. ;)

~Lori
 
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