Friday, May 13, 2011

Old Suitcase + Old End Table = New Suitcase End Table

I love my new end table!!! I think this project took me about 15 minutes and that's just because I put the legs too close together at first. I bought the suitcase about a week ago for $6 with this idea in my head. I had some furniture legs already (who doesn't keep that stuff around) but needed the proper screws so the suitcase became good storage until when (if) I found the right attachments. I ended up finding this hideously amazing end table at the thrift store that was perfect. The legs had attachments that made this project super easy. This is great for storage and is currently hiding some of miscellaneous craft stuff and looking great next to my half upholstered wing back chair.



Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Eat Drink Be Merry Wallhanging

This was an old frame (with a hideous print in it) that I think I found by the dumpsters several apartments ago. Of course I snagged it up and ended up turning the print inside into my bottle cap heart. I coverered the frame in a piece of fabric I had and used it as a simple wallhanging. It worked well in our previous apartment that was quite large and had a lot of empty wall space. (You can actually see the fabric wallhanging above the mantle in the post about my bottle cap mosaic.) In our current much smaller apartment this floral wall hanging needed a lot more oomph. I stenciled "eat. drink. be merry." on it in a bright magenta. (I know.. pink things again!) I love my new wall hanging and have hung it above my bed. Now to hang the curtains in the bedroom and perhaps my bedroom will be complete. (oh yeah and procure a bedframe and redo my dressers)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Floral Drawstring Bags and Eyemask

This was a project I made for my MIL for her birthday this year. The bags are simple drawstring bags. The eyemask has lavender in it to aid in soothing one to relaxation (hopefully?) I ended up making two more drawstring bags in smaller sizes to use up the last bit of fabric I had. Hopefully these will be of useful but regardless they look pretty hanging.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

My Apartment is(was) Beautiful: An Apartment Tour

I found these pictures I took of our apartment awhile ago. This was at a point when I really liked how everything was decorated. Things have changed at this point as we have added things, tossed things and I think even broke a chair or two.

This picture shows our "dining room." Looking at this picture reminds me that I liked this arrangement. Unfortunately two of those Ikea chairs have since broken (which makes 3 out of the original 4) and the dresser in the corner is blocking our heating vent so that had to move. The lamp above the table (paper lamp I made) needs to be rewired as it doesn't work anymore hence the lamp on the table. My favorite part of this nook is the rug which was an old tapestry I "quilted" onto a piece of sturdy heavyweight fabric. I have since moved this to our "living room" area seeing as it didn't really match the paper lamp. This is our "living room" area. I never really liked anything here. The couch we had was awful so I pieced together a love seat cover with a curtain to create the red and yellow monstronsity you see here. This was way better than the green southwest patterned couch but the cover would essentially fall off when you sat on the couch. I never really liked the arrangement of pictures above the couch either. They definitely need more continuity (same frames perhaps) and nearly all of these have since been moved to other areas of the apartment. I do like my coffee table though and my wing-back chair (both thrifted). I have started upholstering the wing-back chair and only have one "wing" left to go but have been busy with other project so its been half exposed for awhile now. (note to self: just spend the hour and finish this!!!) This is my awesome sewing & crafting nook. I loved this wall which has a few embroideries I've collected over the years (mostly crewel work) as well as some bulletin boards I made and an original watercolor a friend painted. Everything I needed for my various crafting was either in this sewing desk or on the bookcase you can see near it. Unfortunately we have rearranged our furiture (after acquiring a hideous yet comfy armchair) and this area doesn't really exist anymore. I hope to change things soon though and perhaps bring it back. This is our hallway leading to the bedroom, linen closet, water closet and bathroom. The best thing about this hall is the coat rack on the wall. This was a pot rack we had bought for a previous apartment (from Ikea). It actually makes our hallway useful and prevents a pile of coats from forming at the entrance of our apartment. This has stayed almost the same, although I would mind relocating some of the stuff on the floor for a more streamlined look. Below are a few pictures of things in the bedroom. Our staircase dresser was from a coworker of Nate's and needs to be refinished but is fairly presentable in its current state. The books were all stacked precariously on themselves and were mostly sturdy as long as the cat's didn't try to climb them. I have downsized our book collection however and they now all sit in a makeshift wooden crate bookshelf. We have also moved out mattress onto the floor as the frame and boxspring were broken and plan on replacing those with a lower Ikea or similar frame. This is some stuff (okay my stuff mostly) in our bathroom. It essentially showcases my jewelry, makeup and such so I actually remember it's there and wear it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Poptab Sunburst Mirror

I technically made this for a craft challenge on but have been thinking about a sunburst mirror for awhile. I also have a very substantial pop tab collection. (and bottlecaps and wine corks and milk caps but that's an entire different story) I've been trying to work on downsizing my stash of crafting supplies lately and knew I need to start putting a dent in my tab collection. A challenge on Craftster allowed the perfect opportunity to put those tabs in action. I spent only $10 on the round mirror as everything else I had on hand. I used an old metal panel for the main back piece and cut foam board for the extra spires. I was too lazy for paint so I used black gaff tape to adhere the spires and make everything black. Epoxy was used to adhere the mirror and wood glue for the tabs (all I had on hand.) Now I have a great unique sunburst mirror that only cost me $10. I think I'm going to hang it in my bedroom, although it's quite heavy so I'm probably going to need to either find a stud or use anchors in the drywall.

Monday, April 4, 2011

West Wing Swap

I found these pictures on my old defunct camera. These projects were from a West Wing Swap I participated in at It's a show Nate got me hooked on and we now have every season on dvd. Anyone who has seen this show is bound to get these projects. The first item is an embroidered quote from the show. "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc" which is latin for "After therefore because of." I also made a tote bag (super sturdy too!) with a "napkin" saying "Bartlet for America" which is something seen in a few episodes of the show. The last item is a zippered pouch using an old t-shirt with bambi on it and stenciled the back with "Bambiesque?" which is a quote from the show. "Bambiesque: as does pertain to Bambi."

So anyone who has not seen this show please watch it because it's awesome! I really didn't think I'd like it at first but have now probably seen all 7 seasons at least 3 times. Just writing about this makes me want to start a West Wing marathon.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

African Dashiki Dress to Wrap Skirt

I love wrap skirts and recently had one essentially disintegrate (I wore it too much for many years) and have been trying to replace it. I found a large mu mu like dress with a great pattern at a thrift store and knew that it was destined to be my new favorite wrap skirt. Of course I forgot a before picture but imagine it looked similar to this picture but longer. I've already worn this a lot and am looking forward to ditching the boots and wearing it with sandals. The action picture if from my recent trip to New Orleans where the weather was amazing.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Vodka Soap Dispenser

Sick of your ugly brand name kitchen soap dispenser? Replace it with a liquor bottle! I've done this before with a glass bottle but plastic really does work better. All you need is a plastic liquor bottle and the old lid to your bottle of soap. Drink the liquor (not all at once hopefully) and replace with soap. Easy! I wish they made more liquor bottles plastic as the variety is limited to lower end liqueurs with ugly labels. (I have since replaced the blue soap with clear to make it more realistic looking as vodka.)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hooded Sweatshirt Jacket

I never ended up posting this sweatshirt I made my sister for her birthday this summer. I just found the pictures so I'm posting it now. I'm pretty proud of this sweatshirt/hoodie/jacket.

Nate was camping so I was home alone and stayed up until 4am one night making this for my sister's birthday. It's up-cycled from a strange yet awesome cardigan found at the thrift store that I bought to make into a hoodie. I used various other t-shirt scraps for the lining, hood and pockets. I started getting fancy with some of the decorative stitches on my still newish sewing machine and really love how it came out.

Now my sister has a kick-ass sweatshirt with long enough sleeves, an interior pocket, and it bears the Lacoste logo, which means I spent lots of money on it right? I used only stuff I had on hand which worked out well until I went searching for a long enough zipper. I had none, so I decided to use buttons, but of course I didn't have enough matching buttons in the size I wanted. I ended up stealing them off an old chef's coat I had, which means I need more jackets for work.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sweater Vases

I have been saving all my old sweaters for awhile now, with plans to make a blanket at some point. I still don't have quite enough, but have been using the sleeves for other projects. Inspired by a sweater vase tutorial at Under the Table and Dreaming I "upholstered" some vases I had. I hadn't actually used them until Valentine's day (Nate got me roses). Seeing the flowers in one of the vases made me fall in love with these even more. The red sweater sleeve I used really makes the flowers look great. I also have three round vases I covered in pink and red, but will have to wait for more flowers to test these out (stargazer lilies maybe? hint hint hint).

I also wanted to show off one of my recent thrift store finds. Its a piece of rock with a hole drilled into it, creating a vase. I have seen these before at Pike Place Market but deemed them a great idea but too expensive for me to actually buy one. I found a large one though at a thrift store for $6.99, which seems expensive to me but the size I bought is usually sold for $75! (found them here) The piece of slate reminds me of the rocks that grow out of the ground around Delaware county.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Button Jewelry for Mom

I lucked out thrifting awhile back and found tons of great vintage buttons in various colors. They included some great blue glass buttons that were calling out to be made into jewelry. I made these for my mom's birthday. (Mom, I swear I made these on your birthday, I just didn't mail then until recently)

Nobody thinks I have a button problem do they? So many of my projects include buttons. Yes, I admit, I may be an addict.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Valentine's Button Tray

I've had this tray for awhile (I can never seem to pass up trays when I'm thrifting so I have quite a few) and finally decided to make it prettier. My button collection is still quite massive so I figured lining the inside with buttons was perfect. Currently I'm using this as a decoration but it will still work as a tray as well. If I poured resin in the tray the surface will be flat again, but I'm trying to control my spending and crafting only with what I have, so that will have to wait.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Water Resistant Oilcloth Aprons

Now I won't get soaked at work! Some coworkers of mine had some oilcloth aprons to help stay dry at work. (A kitchen... and we wash our own dishes usually which equals wet clothes) I made my own bias tape which took awhile, but is super sturdy (old tablecloth up-cycled). The best part of this project is how cheap it was to make. A yard of oil cloth under $10 and I was able to make two aprons from it. The bias tape was free to me so I now have three $5 aprons which usually retail at least $20.

(I found some chalkboard oil cloth can write on it! at the store as well which I bought a foot of so keep posted for a future project using that)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Birthday Quilt for Eric

It was a friends birthday last week and I decided that he needed a quilt. He has given me various fabric pieces over the years from his world travels, usually old clothes so I wanted to incorporate those pieces. I went through my fabric stash and found some coordinating fabric (mostly more old pieces of men's clothing). I had a few pieces of cotton batting left over from another quilt, so that determined the size of this quilt. I was able to have the entire top sewn in a few hours and finished basting and quilting the same day. It is a smaller quilt, (lap sized) but I can't believe most of this was done in only one day. The colors are fairly basic and the shapes geometric, making it a great guy quilt. All the fabric came from either men's clothing (notice the pocket and buttonholes) or old sheets, except for the red fabric. It looks fairly wrinkled and puckered in the pictures, but it just needs to be washed and ironed, due the small size (and maybe my great skills?) there isn't any puckering from the quilting. I also was quite proud of the wrapping of this gift. I used an old map of Albany, NY (not something I likely need to keep anymore) and twine.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sweater Tote Bag

An old sweater, some old curtains and some chair tape(super sturdy cotton webbing) made this cool tote bag. I actually used interfacing on this bag, which makes it nice and sturdy even without anything in it. I love the lining fabric I used. It's upcycled from a curtain set I bought years ago and is slowly dwindling. It was first used on my first quilt and was recently used as a lining for my twig bag.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Knitted Ottoman

Inspired by these stools that I first discovered on the blog decor8 I set out to make my own version. I found some cheap and mostly ugly stools at my local thrift store for $5 each. The tops were ugly particle board, but at least the legs were real wood.

I used two old throw pillows I hated as the cushioned part. I cut a piece of red fabric and draped it across the pillow on the stool, stapling it underneath. The knitted part is from an XL sweater also found at a thrift store. (I've been saving/buying/acquiring sweaters for another project I'm working on.) Then I stapled the sweater over the red cushioned part. I love my new staple gun, I think it's my favorite new tool.

Now I have some great new ottomans that match my new (to me) couch. Next I need to figure out how to make my chairs match my couch, but that's likely going to be a much bigger project.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rotary Mat Coasters

I had this old rotary mat hanging around that I never used. I acquired it from somewhere and have a much bigger one that I actually use. This one was warped, so it wouldn't really serve its original purpose anyways. The mat was definitely screaming to be chopped up into coasters. I simply cut them into squares (really easy when there are lines marking exact inches!) and hot glued some felt to the bottoms. The corners are rounded to give it a more finished look.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Another Wedding Certificate

This was my first commissioned piece. I think I might be a professional at these now. I used a feather stitch on the heart outline, chain stitching on all the words and lazy daisy for the leaves. There is also a little bit of back stitching, french knots and bullion stitching (my first time with this stitch).