Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reupholstering is F-U-N

A week or so ago I saw some really lovely upholstered headboards on Pinterest. There are some DIYs for them out there but the voice of reason (my boyfriend) steered me away from starting such a huge and ambitious project in our tiny apartment.

I was still obsessing over the idea of upholstering something pretty, so I went thrifting on my way home from work one day. I found myself driving home with this pretty blah 6-dollar chair. Pretty scratched up, not a nice color, and it looks like it was originally upholstered with a piece of plastic table cloth or something.

Even Lars was disapproving at first. The one important criteria chair is that the seat is screwed on --not nailed or glued-- which allows you to remove the seat and reupholster. If you have everything together you can knock one chair out in less than 15 minutes.

All you need for this project is:
-upholstery fabric cut to size
-needle nose pliers
-screwdriver (probably a Phillips head, depends on the screws)
-staple gun
-foam if you need to replace the seat foam

The reupholstering part only took a few short steps:
*Unscrew seat from chair
*Use pliers to remove stapes and take off original upholstery
*Replace foam if desired (I did this because the foam under there looked really old and needed replacing)
*Lay the fabric wrong side up on the floor and then place foam and seat on top of them
*Wrap and staple in place
*Screw seat back onto chair

One thing I was unsure about was how to tuck the corners on my squarish seat. This awesome photo tutorial from craftaholics anonymous really helped

I kept my seat off to slap on a few coats of black semi gloss paint before putting it back together. Here's the final product.

I'm pretty pleased with it and now I want to reupholster some more furniture. It's a little bit of work for a huge pay off-- instantly prettier furniture!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Art Vs. Art 2011

I decided to participate in the Art Vs. Art painting contest this year! We had four hours to paint any subject.

Now the photos have been uploaded on their site where the public can vote for their three faves. At the end of the voting period is the main event where paintings are pitted against each other in a death match! The paintings that don't get auctioned off to an audience member will be destroyed. Their fate is decided by "the wheel of death"-- an over sized spinner with different methods of destruction. The last painting standing earns the painter a prize of $4000.

It's all in good fun. I'm not banking on winning or even having my painting sold, but I wish I could see it get destroyed. There is a lot of talent here in Indy and it was a blast getting to see everyone paint.

Here is a photo of the painting I made in the four hours I was given. I'm really loving woodland creatures right now and of course tea parties :)

Let me know what you think or take some time to vote on your favorites :)

I've been so busy in my classroom I haven't had much time to work on my own projects lately, so it felt good to paint for myself.  More projects to come soon! Share yours with me too.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Recent DIY Ventures

Since school has started up I have been super busy planning lessons, getting my classroom organized, and the like. In the evenings and on weekends I have been working on a few projects of my own. I recently started playing around with embroidery-- just basic stitches on some remnants fabric.

Here is my first attempt:

I think You're foxy

Here is another fun little project that I have been working on. I picked up some cheap frames for a couple of dollars each and decoupaged them with some pretty scrapbook paper! I framed some of my work. I'm not sure if I will hang them up in my office/crafting space or bring them into school to show my students some of my work.

Colin and Me with our anniversary :)
Mr. Fox

 Thanks for looking!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

I heart repurposing!

I just finished making this shaggy pillow for my mom. It's made out of shirts I had to wear as part of my uniform for a sales job I had my Senior year of college.

It was super easy and quick to make.  I found the tutorial on craftgawker a couple of weeks ago -- here is a link to the tutorial below. You don't have to use old t-shirts to make it but it's much cheaper and more green that way :) I even stuffed the left over snippings from the shirts inside my pillow along with polyfil I had lying around.

**Check out the Pillow Tutorial from V and Co

The repurposing project that I am most excited about is my teacup planter idea! I picked up some teacups (and one gravy boat) at my local thrift and repotted some houseplants into them. I thought it would add a cheery bit of color and fun to my classroom's windowsill.

Here is a pic of me and Lars (my wiener dog) hanging out on the patio after repotting. (BTW, this patio furniture is repurposed too-- it used to be a dingy white abomination in my mom's back yard until I spruced it up with some spray paint and took it home with me).

Here are some close up shots in my classroom

 I found a great tutorial for labels for my planters-- these sweet spoon plant makers. I ordered some metal stamps and I should get around to these next week.

From Shrimp Salad Circus

I'm loving my teacups--  and what will I use to water them with? A teapot of course (also from the thrift)

The total cost of this project has been about $12 including the plants. Lots of plants will be on sale this time of year due to the lateness in the season but despite that these house plants can thrive year round with proper sunlight and water.

What are you doing to save money and resources these days? Share your projects :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

DIY Journal

I made this little journal for my friend who is going on a road trip this week. I thought I would throw together a quick DIY tutorial for anyone who wants to make this quick and easy little book.

What you will need:

* thick paper or cardboard to make into the cover
* paper for the inside pages
* a needle and thread
* scissors
* a pencil
* an exacto
* ribbon or some paper for the outer spine
* decoupage glue to collage the cover

Step 1:
Gather the paper for your inside pages and give them a crease. (I used lined paper, drawing paper, and construction paper to give the inside of the book some variety for drawing and writing.)

Step 2:
Cut the inside paper to the same size as the cover so that none of your pages stick out the sides after the book is finished.

Step 3:
Open your folded papers and sew a running stitch along the crease-- this will become the spine of the book. It is up to you whether you want to sew the cover along with the pages or if you will glue it later. You can machine sew or stitch by hand. (if machine sewing be very careful about not breaking a needle.) Make sure your knots are on the outside of the spine so that you can cover them up with your ribbon or when you glue on the cover.

Step 4:
If you chose to stitch the pages separately from the cover you will now glue the cover to the outer two pages.

If you sewed the cover to your pages you will now glue your ribbon the the spine to make it pretty and cover up your stitches. You can also use a strip of paper for this step. I happened to have some scrapbooking ribbon with an adhesive back that worked like a charm!

Step 5:
Decorate your journal!! I love collaging anything I can :) so that is what I did with this little book. Here is were you will need the mod podge decoupage glue (I prefer the matte finish but the also make a gloss which gives a nice effect) and the exacto.

Lightly sketch the shapes you will need and cut them out with the exacto or scissors. I chose a station wagon and the word "travel" for the journal I made. Arrange the collage pieces on the front cover and use a small brush to secure them with mod podge, then add a coat on top of the pieces with the mod podge to seal them. Sewing on embellishments can be a fun detail too. I used some buttons for the wheels of my station wagon.

That's it-- you're done and you have a beautiful, unique journal for yourself or to give as a gift!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Craft Caddy From Scratch

This is my first summer after graduating and it has been awesome having all this free time to work on projects. Also I was recently offered a job teaching art at an elementary school near my home so I'm done with my long and stressful job quest!

I'm really into fabrics and hand stitching, and I recently got myself a cheapo sewing machine and have been teaching myself how to use it.

Colin and I share a small one bedroom apartment and workspace is limited. He has been very tolerant of my the mess that comes with my crafty hobbies, but with the addition of the sewing machine I have been taking up not only my usual craft desk but our kitchen counter as well.

I took it upon myself to build some storage for my machine and other sewing stuff. Here is a pic of my original sketch-- measurements changed a bit between the drawing and the final product. The most important elements were a space that could fit my machine and some spaces that could fit shoe boxes which are great for storing odds and ends.

To be honest, the part I am most excited about is the thread spool storage. I used dowel rods to create little pegs to fit the thread spools.

Here is a pic of the final product:

I used pine boards and primed and painted it a pale yellow afterwards. I lined a few of my shelves with this adorable fabric with a fruit print.

I've been working at a fine arts day camp at the local art center over the summer and one of projects we did with the kids was origami. I learned the paper peace crane and have been making them kind of nonstop. It's strangely addictive :) I'm thinking of making a paper crane garland to hang above my newly claimed craft space in the kitchen so I made some in coordinating colors to go with the fabric.

Needless to say I have been having a fun and productive summer thus far! Please share your latest projects and thanks for reading :)

Check me out on etsy  :)