Thursday, July 28, 2011

Baby Clothes

Once we moved into our house, I began wondering about how to make baby clothes.  We have 5 adorable nieces and nephews and I thought it would be fun to make something cute for each one.  After I did a little blog research on one of my favorite blogs, I came across this:

I decided to make ties for the boys and do something really girlie for the ladies.  I went to Hobby Lobby and got my fabric, thread, and "Heat n' Bond."  For the ties, I put computer paper over the plain white shirts and eyeballed the ties.  I then took the "pattern" and traced it on the fabric.  Next, I followed the directions on Heat n' Bond and attached it to the material and then cut out the traced tie.  (Note: For these first projects I bought Heat n' Bond that wasn't double sided, so while it stuck to the fabric, it didn't stick to the shirt.  Not a good idea!)  
After cutting all my pieces I very carefully pinned the ties to the shirts and then hand-sewed them to the shirts.  Here's a tip:  Don't do this!!  Get the double sided Heat n' Bond!!  
While, I think these are really cute, they are a little lumpy and not as even and I would have liked.  

For my niece, my friend Molly, helped me draw and sew this on.  The legs were drawn from fabric paint and the eye is a sewn on button.  

For my other niece, I made a tutu from elastic and 3 different colors of tulle.  This was incredibly easy!  I took the elastic and sewed two ends together and then cut the 3 colors of tulle into multiple pieces of similar length.  Next, I took the pieces of tulle and tied them around the elastic, one-by-one.
(These are pictures taken in the car, because this is a great road-trip project.)

For the front of my niece's shirt, I made the J out of an old pink sock and hot glued it to the fabric.  I then hand-sewed the circle to the shirt.  

Because I was finally getting the hang of the hand-sewing, I decided to do her initials on the bottom of the onesie.   

While these might not be the most durable, they were fun to make.  Over the last few months, I've started downloading pictures offline for patterns and I bought Heat n' Bond that irons on to the fabric and shirt.  Another thing you can do is wash and dry the clothes before decorating so that they won't shrink and buy clear fabric glue so the edges don't fray.  Here are a few other projects:

(GQ for his initials:)

As you can see, the ironed on look is a little sharper than the sewn look.  However you do it, its a ton of fun and there's a lot of inspiration online.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I've been wanting to do something with a few blank walls in my house and this is some of my inspiration:  

Of course, I can't find the one picture that I love but these will do for now.  I'll let you know what I decide to do with these blank walls!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sewing Table Update

Before we moved in, my wonderful mother-in-law asked me if I wanted her old sewing machine.  My answer:  YESSSS!  I had been looking at blogs for quite sometime and thought "I should learn how to sew pillows."  This was a very clear indication that it was meant to be:)  Here are a few pictures of her generous gift:

I had a bit of time before I could get it out to our place, so I decided to do some research.  Once again, I looked to my trusty blogs for some advice.  "The Nester" had a tab on her blog ( ) called "how I paint my furniture" so I clicked on it and came to
I read through the info and decided to download this tutorial for $10.  It was a great decision!  The author outlined exactly what products I should use in order to refinish the sewing table and the best place to get them.  I made a list of what I needed and went to Home Depot.    The first thing I did was to sand the table in order to get the shine off.  

I used a combination of a hand sander and sand paper and then wiped it clean and used spray primer.

This was important because if you don't use a primer on stained wood it may show through your finished product.  Yuck!  
My mom told me to lightly sand the table between coats to make sure the finish would be smooth, so as always,  I listened!  After sanding I began painting the table a light blue color I had in the basement and matched the guest room.

I wanted this color to show through the finished product as I was going for a distressed look.  You can't really tell from this picture, but I painted 2 coats of the blue. 

I once again sanded and then moved to the white coats of paint.  (This was all paint we had in our basement when we moved in.)  I allowed multiple hours between coats so that it was completely dry and then began lightly sanding the edges to give it a distressed look.  

After I was done, I wiped the dust off and used a few coats of high gloss polyurethane to give it a smooth and clear finish.  This also brought out the blue color and made the overall piece look richer.  The final step was to find some new handles, so I was off to Hobby Lobby! ( Before I started anything, I filled in the old screw holes with wood filler and sanded them down so they were hidden.)   Here's the finished project:

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Board and Batten

Wow! It is hot! Over the last 2 weeks I have slowly been redoing one of our guest rooms.  Thanks to Jane, Yvonne and Grandma, the Mr. agreed to let me redo it:)  I have been wanting to try board and batten for a while, but didn't want to pick a large room.  I decided the guest room was the perfect choice.  Here's a picture of what it looked like before:

Ugly butter color.

 I think he was getting ready to jump...he LOVES projects:)
The first thing I did was paint the bottom (about 4' 5" up the wall) "Swiss Coffee" by Behr.  It's a semi-gloss finish so that it can be washed should something get on it and it's a great finish when working on any trim.  The great thing was that the top line of the white didn't need to be perfect because it was going to be covered with board.

After painting the bottom white, I painted the rest of the wall a light tan color.  (The second picture is a better representation of the color.)  It's also a Behr paint called Gobi Desert in an eggshell finish.

Once everything was painted, I measured each of the walls on the horizontal line where the paint met.  I took these measurements and had the wonderful people at Lowes cut them!   I bought 3 pieces of primed MDF board that were 12' X 5 1/2" and 1 piece that was 8' X 5 1/2".   I then bought a piece of unprimed 4x8 MDF board and had them cut it into 32 pieces measuring 4'X2" each. ( I knew I needed that many boards because I did some measuring before I went.)   I saved a ton of money by buying the whole sheet rather than buying them individually.  A great resource for this project is    

I also had the guys at Lowes cut me two pieces that were 12 inches long.  This allowed me to space out my boards without having to measure each time.  It's also really helpful to start wherever there is an outlet or window and to not be too strict with the 12 inch rule.  Some of my boards are a little more or a little less than 12 inches.  

I taped the boards so that I would be able to change things around should I get to the end and it not look right.  I also had to track down a friend who would let me use their nail gun.  I put about 4 nails in each board. 
So excited to get started!! 

As you can see, the room was quite a mess!  Here's a tip:  shut the door when your hubby is home and he won't freak out!  

After the vertical boards were all up, I started putting the horizontal boards on top.   When I held them up with my hands I realized that because the boards had detail at the top they didn't match at the corners.  Because I don't have my own table saw and because I am not a gifted trimmer, I went back to Lowes to have them cut new boards!  I found boards of the same size that were completely rectangular and used those instead.  This was about $50, but well worth it!  
 I used a combination of nail glue (for trim) and the nail gun.  The nails I used were 2 1/2 inches long and fit the gun I was borrowing.  I didn't worry about finding the studs on the wall because not only were they going really deep into the wall, but I was using the nail glue.  The only thing about using the nail gun is that you have to go back and spackle all the holes.  

(Getting annoyed with spackling!)

Once you spackle all the holes, you have to go back and sand them down so that there isn't spackle on the board.  (tip: vacuum the walls and around the floor before painting.  It's also a good idea to wipe them off with a damp cloth.)  I then painted one coat of paint.  This helped to fill in most of the cracks between the boards and the walls.  Once that paint was dry, I used white paintable (only get paintable) caulk to fill in the gaps and painted a final coat.  A great resource for spackling and caulking is :  She has some great ideas for other projects as well!
Here are some finished shots:

 I'm still figuring out if I like the quilt, but I'm really happy with the way the room turned out.  It's soft, neutral colors but it has a lot of potential when you bring in accents.