Entryway Up-Cycle

My entryway has been a room I have struggled with for quite some time. It just never seemed to function the way I wanted it to; there was never enough storage, the layout always seemed awkward and it was dark and gloomy (The gloom could have been caused by the burgundy paint, lol…I went through a jewel tone phase a few years back.).

I got inspired by the farmhouse design that has been so popular lately and decided that was the way I would go in the entryway. (I live in an old  farmhouse after all.) The closet is a large cupboard that my husband built years ago when we had young children and a plethora of toys, so while it was sturdy and functional, it didn’t really work for our current needs. I didn’t want to completely demolish it and build new, so I reconfigured it to work and fit in the space better. In going with the farmhouse theme I decided that I wanted a bench with hooks and a shelf above it. My sister in law was getting rid of an old, very large coffee table that I thought would work perfectly; and I was right! The redesigned cupboard and table fit beautifully in the space.

So…they fit, but they were still kind of ugly (Okay, REALLY ugly.). As you can see in the picture I painted the walls a light gray so I decided to paint the closet, bench and trim a bright white. I changed out the handles on the closet with some I had salvaged from another piece of furniture and I spray painted the hinges to match. I also decided to take the doors off the coffee table turned bench.

Fortunately, I ended up having a lot of things on hand that I could use for this project; so it did not cost much to make these changes. I had the three coat hooks left over from another room refresh, I had the shelf in my pile of miscellaneous lumber, and the cushions I used on the bench were from an old camper that we had years ago. I may be a pack rat, but it sure has come in handy! Did I mention that the paint on the walls is “oops” paint from Menard’s? I painted that room for ten dollars, and I still have enough paint left over for my guest bathroom!

I still have a little tweaking to do with the accessories, but after years of just tolerating the space, I finally like the feel of the room. An entryway can seem like an unimportant place, I mean it’s essentially just a room to pass-through on our way in and out. But I think it’s really important to love that part of my house; it’s the first impression. I believe the space I greet and welcome our guests into, sets the tone for the rest of our home.

Before, the room was cluttered, disorganized and dark; I always wanted to hurry people through and just get them out of there. Now, the layout makes sense, there is plenty of storage and it seems light and airy. I’m more than happy to have visitors sit down to take off their shoes (or admire my handy-work). I’m really glad that, after years of frustration, I finally have a room that I enjoy walking in to. Whatever your taste or style, I hope that this helps inspire you to make your home a place you love. Keep creating my friends!

Advertisements

New Toys For Christmas

Now that the hubbub of the holiday season is behind us, it’s time to get back in the swing of things and start writing and creating on the regular again. I haven’t done much writing, but I have been creating because Santa (my hubby) was really good to me this year. I got new tools! I know that some girls would think tools are a terrible gift, but I couldn’t be happier.

The two most exciting items are a set of wood carving knives and my wood burning pen.

img_8121

I have been wanting to experiment with these two mediums for a while, so I’m super pumped to finally have the opportunity. I haven’t done much yet, just a little playing around with some of my own designs and very basic techniques, but I’m looking forward to learning and growing this new skill set.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I also have some other projects in the works that I’m pretty excited about and I can’t wait to share them with you as well.

Keep creating!

Sew Proud

I am currently on a cross country adventure, but I thought I’d quickly share a project I finished before I hit the road. I’m not a seamstress. This will not be a sewing tutorial; you do not want to learn how to sew from me! That being said, I’m pretty proud of this finished product.

I bought an IKEA kids table and chair set for my granddaughter for Christmas and I wanted to make it just a little special. I decided to make cushions for the chairs.

I bought my fabric and foam cushions at Hobby Lobby for about twelve dollars. I bought extra fabric for another project that I will finish and post when I return home.

I bought these supplies quite awhile ago and didn’t get started because I had an idea but no actual plan. My hand was finally forced because I ran out of time. After some head scratching and rethinking of my idea, I decided to just keep it simple. I basically made snug fitting pillow cases and sewed the cushions into them. I also made some ties out of the same fabric and sewed them into the seam and then zigzag stitched over them for extra strength.

When I was finished I felt like they need a little something so I raided my daughters button stash and gave them a bolstered appearance.

They are definitely not perfect and a more skilled seamstress could have done a much better job, but I think they are cute and my three year old granddaughter will love them. I can’t wait to see them on the chairs.

I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season and feeding your creativity.

Keep crafting and keep warm!

Burlap and Lace Garland

IMG_E7454My daughter and son-in -law recently moved out of their first apartment and because of the timing of everything, I was in charge of turning in their keys. I decided to take the opportunity to make an imprint of the key on a homemade Christmas ornament; this is what inspired the garland project.

image1

For those curious about the ornaments; The one one the left is salt dough, The one on the right is a cornstarch dough.

I had most of the supplies already on hand but I did pick up the jingle bells for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  I think I paid $3.50 and I have some of the red ones left. The burlap is left over party decor from about five years ago, the lace I picked up on clearance a few years back (Because I knew eventually it would be perfect for something!), the red and white twine I found at Target last year (I absolutely love it!)  and the regular twine I used for the garland base is something I always keep on hand. Oh and I almost forgot, I had the white fabric on hand too. I try to live a somewhat minimalist life, but this paragraph makes me sound a little bit like a pack rat!

I made the stars and trees. I had a lot of cornstarch dough left over and I wanted to use it up; that’s when the garland idea hit me. I made as many stars and trees as I could, so I would be sure to have enough. It’s similar making cookies, I rolled out the dough and used my cookie cutters to cut the shapes. Once they were cut out, I poked holes in them for the string and then baked them according to the directions. Here’s a link to the recipe I used: http://the-pickled-herring.blogspot.com/2012/12/scandinavian-christmas-day-1.html

IMG_7448

While the ornaments were baking, I gathered my other supplies and got to work. I cut the fabric and burlap into 1/2 X 12 inch strips and I cut the ribbon into 12 inch lengths. I don’t know how many I used, I just made a bunch and then cut a few more when I ran out. I cut an 8 foot piece of brown twine to make sure it would be long enough for the project. Once I had that done, I started adding them to the twine. To attach them I folded each strip in half and the threaded the ends through the loop and around the twine. (see picture below)  Initially, I started with just the burlap and lace (that’s why the fabric isn’t in the picture) but I decided it needed another texture and color. Also, next time I think I’ll try to find a narrow burlap ribbon, because the thin strips of burlap proved a bit challenging  to work with.

img_7451.jpg

After all of the strips were attached I started adding the jingle bells, trees and stars. I used the red and white twine to tie them to the garland. I tied a knot around the twine and then finished it off with a bow. To string the ornaments, I had to thread the twine on a needle to get it through the holes. ( I wish I would have made the holes a little bigger because threading the twine on that needle made me act a little ugly a couple of times!)

This was a learning experience and I would do a few things differently next time, but overall I am really happy with the end result. I hope my daughter is too because the garland is going to her new house along with those ornaments that started this whole thing.

Outdoor Christmas Wreaths

I thought I’d take a few moments on this snowy Monday to share my most recent Christmas decor project. I live in an old farmhouse and I have always loved the pictures of houses where there is a wreath in every window. However, I do not like the idea of spending money on all those wreaths; so I came up with a plan. I went to my local Walmart and picked up five of their cheapest evergreen garlands. The were $2.38 apiece. I then went to Menard’s and found a big roll of sparkly red ribbon for $4.99. ( I just love things that sparkle!)

I did this project in my kitchen…that wasn’t the best idea I’ve ever had; my kitchen was COATED in sparkly goodness. I’m pretty sure my family is still eating red glitter.

IMG_7385

The tools I used for this project were wire cutters and a ruler. I cut all of the garlands in half and cut pieces of ribbon to hang my wreaths. I cut the ribbon at about 33 inches to get them to hang where I liked them in my windows.  I twisted each of the lengths of garland into a circle, flattened the back and fluffed up the front. I didn’t quite loop it around twice; I left the top quarter a single layer so I could make the wreaths a little larger. Once I had the ribbon tied on, it wasn’t noticeable. I used some of the garland greenery like twist ties to hold the loops firmly together. Once the wreaths were made, I tied a piece of the ribbon in a loop around each one.

To hang them I simply opened the top sash of my windows and shut the ribbon in them, leaving the knot on the inside. At this point I thought I was done, I was so very wrong. That night it was a bit breezy and those adorable little wreaths made an absolutely awful noise rubbing against the window glass. At 1:30 am the bedroom windows were aggressively stripped of their noise makers! In the morning, I got out my husband’s fishing line (shh….) and cut pieces to loop around the bottom of the wreaths. I secured the lines by tying them around a piece of dowel and shutting the fishing line in the window with the dowel on the inside. It works well, but it isn’t very pretty, so I just decorated the window sills!

I very happy with how these wreaths are working out. I only put them in the windows on the two story section of our house but I think next year I’ll make a few more (okay, like 10 more) for the rest of the windows.

IMG_7438

How they look wearing today’s snow.

I’d love to see what other people are doing to bring a festive feel to their homes. So show me what you are up to! Happy Holiday Decorating!