I'm so excited to share that I have written a guest blog for 52 Weeks Blog! 52 Weeks Blog is a great DIY/crafting blog that features a new project every week. I go there regularly for inspiration, and I am so thrilled to have been given the chance to write a tutorial for them! The project I shared uses plain ceramic kitchen tiles and alcohol ink to make pretty little coasters.
Please head on over to 52 Weeks Project for the full tutorial!
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
The West Elm Pouf's have been all over the internet, and I can't help but to have been sucked into the hype. I love them. They're so cute, and so pretty. And SO expensive.
Maybe it's because I spent the first half of my summer teaching math, or maybe it was a desperation to have a pouf of my own, but I look at those and I think, that's nothing more than a cube. Like, it's really just one of those seventh grade, net style cubes that I just spent 3 weeks teaching to a group of 13 year olds.
I decided to try making my own pouf. I will say right now, it was so much easier and quicker than I could even have imagined. I'd say under 1.5 hours to do this entire project.
-A pretty, sturdy upholstery fabric (about 1m)
-Some cardboard to make a template
-Sharpies, or something you can safely use to mark up your fabric
-Stuffing (I just tore apart old pillows that have been in our basement for years)
I began by dividing my cardboard into two pieces - one that is 40cm by 40cm, and one that is 20cm by 40cm. These are the two pattern pieces I need to make this pouf.
Now you will build your pattern piece, moving your pattern pieces along your piece of fabric, tracing as you go (I used Sharpie but be careful depending on your choice of fabric). You will build your pattern to look like this:
Once you have finished tracing, you can cut out your pattern piece in ONE big piece. Following this, you are ready to begin sewing! I've made a sewing guide to make it even easier:
Start by sewing the first part of the box. Holding the right sides together, start by sewing the green line to the green line, as seen in the picture above. Continue by sewing the orange to the orange, yellow to the yellow, and red to red.
When you're done, you’ll have a half box finished.
One note I will add - I wanted to make a fancy edge on my pillow. I've never added an edge to a pillow before, so I was really just guessing as I went. If you want to add an edge, do it before you sew down the top part of your pillow. I added a photo below of how I made a corresponding edge so that it blended well with my pouf-to-be!
By this point, you should have an insideout pouf!
Then using the little hole you left, flip it rightside in.
Once it's stuffed, hand sew your pouf closed.
Once you are finished with those seams, you are finished! Sit back and enjoy your $5 pouf.
Please let me know if you try it! I'd love to see your results!
Monday, August 6, 2012
I found a dresser that I loved at an estate sale, for $15. It required quite a bit of work, including repairing two big gashes at the top. I fell hard though, and figured I could handle it.
From the start, this dresser was trouble. To get it home, I had to cram it into my Golf. I didn't remember until after I paid for it that our trunk hasn't been opening, so it had to be wedged into the backseat.
After removing the hardware, the first thing I did was buy a roll of veneer (ugh...$25!) to redo the top of the dresser. I used contact cement to attach it, giving myself a terrible headache for the night, but I was okay with that, because I loved my dresser.
It looked good at first, but after a few hours, I noticed that the veneer was buckling. By the next day, I noticed that there were huge air bubbles everywhere. No amount of rolling and pushing and working at it could get it to go away. Finally, I realized that I would have to remove the veneer. I figured I could remove the veneer off the top of the dresser, but leave it on the curve, where it wasn't actually buckling. This was also the only part that actually needed to be repaired to begin with. I really should have only worried about that part from the start.
The next day, I began priming it. I used a stain blocking primer by CIL, so that I wouldn't have to stain the entire dresser. I have read about these stain blocking primers, and I have to say, I was super happy with the results. It made that part of refinishing the dresser much easier!
I used the color Tempest by Matha Stewart. I was looking for a color that had a nice, antique, powdered blue kind of feeling, and I am really happy with it. Here you can see it against the white stain, to get a feel for how different it is.
Once the curve was refinished with the wood filler, I was finally good to re-prime and repaint the top of the dresser. The curve isn't perfect. I didn't sand it as well as I could have, and I didn't take my time as much as I had been. All I cared about, though, was that it was done.
The last little detail I had to do was refinish the hardware using brass finisher. I just love these handles, and I was so happy with how nicely they cleaned up.
I am so, so happy with how it turned out. But if I can offer anyone any advice - stay away from veneer unless you really know what you're doing!