Saturday, January 30, 2010

Before and After....The 10 Dollar Mirror

I found this cheapo mirror for ten dollars at the thrift store the other day.  I believe it goes on the back of a dresser?
I had an idea floating in my head, but it involved crown moulding.  I was terrified because I really had no idea how to cut crown moulding.  A few months back I googled a how-to and found an instructional video from This Old House that explained it so simply. I love PBS!  I am a "life-long learner!"
I chopped off the attatching legs for the dresser, and then I almost ruined it!  I stepped on it, and I heard the wood crack.  My mom always told me I was as graceful as a bull in a China shop.  I seem to have a clumsy issue. Really, my mom does tell me lovely things about myself too! :)
Anyway...I had to back the entire thing with 1x2's.  This actually made it look better by giving it a little more depth. So, it's a good thing I'm clumsy!
This is the scary part.  Look at the angle of the saw.  I believe you set the bottom at 34 1/2 and the top at 31 1/2?  I'll double check that later. You first cut one side for the side piece, then flip it over and cut again. It made a perfectly mitered piece.  The tricky part was figuring how to cut the other side and not ruin five dollars worth of crown moulding.
Look at that!  I like the mirror, but this was worth it learning how to do this!

I found this little scroll work piece and thought it might look nice on it.  It's unbelievable all the stuff I have stashed in my house.  My sister and I use to take our kids to the same preschool for two years and we would hit the craft and hardware stores intending to make stuff.  All of it is coming in handy now that I'm doing projects left and right.  The point is...I'm using it!

I glued and nailed on the moulding. I also attatched some extra small moulding on the inner rectangle.
Next came primer and paint.
I liked it in white and thought I might keep it that way, but it blended into the trim of my house. 

 So, I tried the ORB that everyone has talked about.
am I the last one to know how great it is? 
I'm usually a couple years behind on everything...TV shows, movies....
 The spray was so even, and there's a slight flicker of copper in it. 

I highlighted with some acrylic copper paint to make the lines pop.

The pictures don't do it justice.  I had a hard time catching the light.

Not bad.  Now...I need a bench to go underneath. 
 Anyone have any ideas? :)

Linking to
Domestically Speaking's Power of Paint Party
A  Soft Place to Land's DIY Day
Between Naps on the Porch, Metamorphosis Monday
Funky Junk's Saturday Nite Special
Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday 

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Shaggy Quilted Hearts

 This is my kind of quilting.....sloppy!  No need for detail sewing. These hearts have a raw edge that you top stitch.

A few years ago, my mother in law (her name is Kathy) helped me make a sunflower wall hanging using this method.  I thought it would be fun to try with hearts. 
I didn't intend to make pillows, but as I was piecing them together the idea came to me.
  I had a ton of pink dyed and coffee stained filters left from my last project, so I used them with the fabric.  I love their texture! 
My topstitching was NOT 100% accurate, but that's alright!  Don't cringe Kathy! One day I'm going to spotlight her quilts.  They are AMAZING!   
I added a little tulle. Is that how you spell it?  Why oh why does blogger not have spellcheck?
Here's how you do it...if you want to try.

Sew them back together.
 I sewed and stuffed this pillow and sewed the extra two onto linen and put them into an old frame. 
Good sewing skills are not required! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Had to Try it!

I just shouldn't turn my computer on.  Everytime that I do I see something I want to make.  It's like feeding craft drugs to a craft addict! Does anyone else have this problem? There's too much information and too many ideas!

Jen from Tatertots and Jello made the cutest coffee filter garland the other day and I had to make one.  I believe she found the original idea from Pam Garrison and Heather Bullard. All of theirs are fun and I hope it's alright with them that I tried it.

Tatertots and Jello gives great instructions on how to make these if your interested.  I gave mine a little pinch to pucker them as I wove the needle with the string.

Linking up with
Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
Strut your Stuff Thursday at Somewhat Simple

Saturday, January 23, 2010

PB Ottoman Copycat

About four or five years ago, my friend Angela and I decided to copy Pottery Barn's ottoman.  The only building we had ever done involved a simple train table for our Thomas the Train lovin boys. After we built the tables, we thought we could build anything. (scary!)  We studied the magazine, the dimensions, the fabric...and the legs.  I remember walking into the Pottery Barn store and touching and feeling the REAL ottoman.  I measured the height against my leg, trying not to look like a CRAZY lady in the store!
Image from Pottery Barn

We had the hardware store make our major cuts and Angela's husband cut our legs out of a 4x4. She sanded the legs for many hours trying to make them smooth.  We knew we needed a box topped with upholstery foam, but we were unsure of how to attach the legs.  We asked the guy in Lowe's  and he said that on piano legs, they sometimes attatch the legs using large dowels.  You know, it worked! We chose a suede fabric for upholstery, sewed, and it was beautiful.

My boys have trashed it since and it was time for a new cover.      
So sad.
I ripped off the old upholstery and began sewing a new one!
This is the old back. (oh ,all the work it took to make that!)
This is the frame.  It's basically a box made out of plywood, with (4x6's?) glued & screwed in the corners.  We drilled out the dowel size in the legs to later insert.
This is my first quilt top I made and it taught me so much about the basics of quilting!  My expert MIL patiently taught me how to cut squares and piece them together, making sure that I matched seams up evenly.  It eventually led me to think that I could quilt upholstery fabric!
I found in Home Fabrics a couple of months ago,  faux leather that is sewable.  I thought it would be fun to try on the ottoman.  Only thing is...there's no room for error!  You can't unpick vinyl, it leaves holes! Over the last few weeks I have cautiously sewed this together. If I were to do it again, I would probably pick microfiber or upholstery fabric instead.  I could not round the corners like I wanted to, because I couldn't unpick and fix it.  It's also a little too vinylish....I think I prefer the feel of fabric.
I pulled out my old pattern.  I think I may have been smarter four years ago.  Is it true that with each baby you lose a little of your brain cells?  It took me forever to decipher my old pattern!!!
I cut out each of the squares using my templates.  The templates help keep the squares accurate, which is imortant when quilting. (btw...I'm NOT an experienced quilter....just learned the basics!)
Matching seams carefully, sew each square together.

Here's a picture of the piecing process.
After the top was all done, I put it on the ottoman to make sure it fit. I didn't remember it this time...but the pattern was a wee bit to big.  It makes it harder to have nice corners when you upholster, because it bunches from the extra fabric.
I was going to make my own buttons like last time....but the make- your -own buttons are really, really crummy! I went searching all over town for true upholstery buttons and had no luck.  I found these buttons in a fabric store already made.  Only problem was that they were a shade off.  So, I colored them walnut with a stain pen.  Just right!
Here's a close up of the leg.  I never glued mine in just in case I wanted to change something.  I'm glad I didn't!
I didn't have popsicle sticks to wrap the string around for the buttons, so I improvised with pencils.  (TRUE upholsterers and carpenters are probably dying with my technique!)

I cut and stained trim pieces to finish off the edges.
I nailed the trim on with the nail gun. You like those PENCILS? :)

Anyway, that was a reeeaallly long post.  Hope it was helpful to anyone that wants to attempt to build and upholster an ottoman. There's probably a better way to make it, but this thing has made it for four years with little boys catapulting off it.

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