Friday, August 24, 2012

DIY: Painted Shutters

I love the outside of our house. I think the mix of brick and wood siding looks really nice and overall, I think we have good curb appeal. Ever since I painted our front door blue, I've wanted to paint the shutters, too. I figured it would tie everything together a little bit more. Plus, I still had a lot of leftover paint from painting the bathroom and the front door, so why not?

Here is a part of our house (yes, I am a weirdo and will only show half of our house because I don't want creeps on the internet finding out where I live. This is only part that matters for this post anyway.) This was before I painted the door or the shutters.

If you recall, this is what our door looks like now. 

And here it is with the shutters painted!

At first, I wasn't too sure about it. But I like it now. While I was painting the shutters, two neighbors commented that they had never even noticed we had shutters before. So now they are much more noticeable and I think it ties the outside of the house together. 

The only thing I would have done differently is primed the shutters first. They are plastic, so the paint probably would have gone on a little better if they'd been primed. But if we need to repaint them in a few years, it won't be a big deal. I only spent about 1 1/2 hours to do this! 

Monday, August 20, 2012

DIY: Menu Board

This is a super easy DIY project that anyone can do! All you need is a picture frame, some scrapbook paper or fabric and a dry erase marker.

I used fabric from a cute pillow cover I got at Goodwill for the background.

I also cut out paper circles and put the letter of the day on them to designate what we'd be eating on what day that week.

There are some other really cute boards on Pinterest!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

DIY: Decorated Onesies

I've had so many friends have babies in the last year or so that I wanted to come up with a cute, homemade gift that I could give them. I'd seen these adorable onesies all over with either a necklace for a girl or a tie for a boy.

How cute is this little guy?
Source: via JayMi on Pinterest

And for the girls...

I didn't attempt the boy one for a while because I don't know how to sew and most of the tutorials involved sewing the tie to the onesie. However, I found the non-sewers God send while perusing the aisles of Jo-Ann Fabrics one day.

Steam-A-Seam!! It's a permanent, washable, iron-on fusing. Can you hear the angels singing?

After I found this amazingness, I knew it was time to get cracking on those little boy onesies! 

I bought a few men's button down shirts from Goodwill that had good tie patterns and got started. 

I found a tie pattern online and traced it onto some cardboard, then traced that onto the fabric. Usually men's ties have strips that go diagonally, so I made sure to trace the fabric that way to make it more realistic. 

I also bought some Fray Check and ran it along the edges of the fabric so the tie wouldn't fray in the wash. 

Fray Check and tie pattern. 

Then I put the Steam-A-Seam sheet on the back of the fabric and pressed the iron on it (using a piece of wax paper between the iron and the fusing). 

Peel the wax paper off the fusing and you're ready to iron your tie to the onesie. 

A few tips:
  • I cut a piece of cardboard to put between the two layers of the onesie just to protect the back of it from any excess fusing you might have.
  • I lined up the tie on the onesie and then put a thin towel over it before putting the iron on top. Again, just a little layer of protection from any residue you might have on your iron
  • After the tie was nice and secure, I used the tip of the iron to rub down the edges of the tie really well (no towel between iron and tie). 
Some of my results: 

Source: via Malisa on Pinterest

For the girls, all you need is some fabric paint and a few felt flowers glued to a pin and you have an adorable necklace onesie! 

I just dipped the end of a Sharpie and the end of a paint brush  into the paint to get the different sized circles. 

Source: via Malisa on Pinterest

I had more pictures of the kiddos wearing my creations, but then I accidentally wiped my phone and lost all of my pictures! :(

I think these are just adorable for baby gifts and are very easy too!

Friday, August 10, 2012

DIY: Painted and Stenciled Night Stand

I bought this night stand at a yard sale earlier this summer, thinking it would go nicely next to the Mr.'s side of the bed. We currently just have a little Ikea table there because it was cheap and it fit, but I wanted something with more height and a drawer so all of his junk wouldn't just be laying out in plain sight. This was $5 and it fit the bill, and even though it's not the sturdiest thing ever, I grabbed it.

It needed a new paint job desperately, but I didn't really know what I wanted to do with it, so it sat in the garage for a few months while I thought about it (meaning I had other projects I wanted to do first).

After looking through Pinterest at other dressers and night stands, I decided I wanted to do a metallic paint on it. I thought it would look nice next to our new headboard and our bedspread has silver in it, so I gave it a try.

My supplies:

I lightly sanded it to remove the yellow paint on top and smooth it out a little bit. Although I normally don't prime things before spray painting them, I did this time since it's a furniture piece and I wanted it to look nice. After the primer, I sprayed on several coats of Rustoleum's Metallic Spray Paint in the color Chrome. As you can see, it's a pretty shiny finish.

After I had two full cans of the chrome spray paint on the whole thing, I stenciled the drawer with a darker pewter paint to add some contrast. My sister-in-law loaned me some Martha Stewart stencils so I didn't have to buy them.

You can see there is some seepage where there shouldn't be, but I just cleaned up the areas with a wet q-tip right after I removed the stencil and most of the excess paint came off. 

Finished drawer.

The stenciling was kind of a pain in the ass. Lining up the stencil in the exact position was tough and making sure all of the little crevices were stuck down took some patience. But I really like how it turned out! 

Since our bedroom is dark, here is the finished product in a better lit room. 

And in our room:

(Sorry for the darkness)

The stenciled shape matches the shape on our pillow covers almost exactly, so I was pumped about that, too. 

Tips for using metallic spray paint:

  • This stuff is very unforgiving. Metallic spray paint shows off fingerprints like no other. I touched the drawer with my thumb and the fingerprint is just hanging out there, never to be wiped off. Thankfully, it got stenciled over. Maybe wear gloves when handling the items? The night stand also has a few imperfections in the form of dents/scratches and the silver spray paint accentuates them. I'll pretend that it adds "character." 
  • It does not cover nicely. I used at least four or five coats to get a good cover on this thing, which meant two full cans of spray paint. 
  • You have to do thin coats. If you spray excess in any one area, it shows through on the next coat and can make it look splotchy. I tried to make mine as even and thin as possible, but there are still spots that look a little darker because that area went on too thick. 
Tips for using stencils:
  • Make sure all of the crevices of the stencil are really stuck down to the item by using a spray adhesive. Most are temporary if you only spray one side (so just spray the back of the stencil). I had paint seep under the stencil in a few places so I had to go back with a q-tip and clean it up.
  • Don't wait for the paint to dry to remove the stencil. You want the paint to still be wet so you can go back and touch up if needed. 
  • Wash the stencil between sections so any paint that did seep through the back is wiped off and doesn't get on the next section of whatever you are stenciling. 
Cost breakdown:
Night Stand: $5 at yard sale
1 can Rustoleum Primer: $3.44
2 cans Rustoleum Metallic Spray Paint in Chrome: $3.71 x 2 = $7.42
1 min jar of Rustoleum Metallic Accents Paint in Real Pewter: $3.98
Stencil Brushes, which I didn't use: $2.97
Stencils: Free, borrowed from sister-in-law

Total: $22.81 

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

DIY Tutorial: Custom Headboard

Here is my tutorial for the headboard we just made. I'll apologize in advance that it will not be a detailed tutorial with instructions on how to do every minor step. I think most people can figure out how to do this stuff! 

**As a disclaimer, I am not claiming to be a carpenter or professional, this is just the process the worked for us. 

The materials you will need to make a headboard are:
  • A sheet of plywood cut to size (our headboard is 2.5 feet tall and about 6 feet wide because we have a California King bed). 
  • A 1 x 4 piece of wood cut into the height from the floor to the top of the headboard (ours was about 4.5 feet tall). 
  • Batting
  • Foam (or in our case, carpet padding)
  • Fabric
  • Staples and staple gun
  • Screws, nuts and bolts
  • Nailhead (optional)
We laid our piece of wood on the garage floor and cut the carpet padding (we used carpet padding because it was about 1/4 the cost of foam that we found at Jo-Ann and nobody was going to see it.) to the size we wanted. I wanted there to be a 2" space around the headboard so we could pound in the nailhead. Plus, it gives it some dimension.

What the foam looks like.


We did 4 layers of 1/2" carpet padding. We stuck them together using a spray adhesive. 

After we had the foam on, we used the staple gun to staple on a layer of batting. The batting just adds another layer of "cushiness." I don't know if it's 100% necessary, but I guess it protects the fabric from any splinters in the wood, too. 

Stapling the batting to the back of the board.

You want to get the batting as tight as possible against the wood, so this is really a two person job. We stapled down one side, then pulled the other side tightly and stapled that side.

Next, of course, is the fabric. This was probably the trickiest part of the project because obviously we wanted it to look really nice. We had to figure out how to get the fabric to look nice around the corners and make sure it was super tight as we stapled. Don't want a saggy headboard!

Fabric is 'Zia Chevron' from Tonic Living

What we did was make sure the pattern was even so we didn't have crooked zig zags, then stapled along the bottom side of the headboard, then the top. Since we had that raised area, we stapled around that section, then worked out the outside left and right edges. The whole time we made sure that the fabric was tight against the board and that the pattern was straight.

Once we had the fabric stapled, it was time to add the nailhead trim to that 2" border around the edges. We went with a roll of nailhead instead of pounding in individual nails. That sounded like absolute torture, so we went the easy route. With the roll, we only had to hammer every 5th nail.
Lazy crafter's dream. 

Close-up of nailhead goodness. 

The nailhead didn't go as smoothly as we expected. We ben about 25 nails trying to hammer them in and it was tough to go around the corner naturally. There are a few spots where the nail went in a little out of line, but I never said I was a perfectionist. And this method seriously beats trying to line up individual nails. 

Once the nailhead was on, we were pretty much done! All that was left to do was nail the 1 x 4 posts onto the back and mount it on the bed frame. As I previously mentioned, our 1 x 4s were 4.5 feet tall because the headboard was 2.5 feet tall and then it was another 2 feet to the floor. We wanted the headboard to start right at the top of the mattress. This portion of the project was all my husband's doing, so I don't really know how he figured the rest out. 

Boards screwed to the back of the headboard

Screwed to the metal bed frame.

The reason we chose to screw it into the bed frame instead of getting brackets for the wall was because 1. We didn't want to put all that hardware on the wall and 2. We want to be able to take the headboard if we ever leave this house and typically things that are screwed into the wall have to stay. 

Once we had that sucker screwed in, we moved the bed back into place and admired our work!

This is the biggest project I've ever done in terms of size, but it actually didn't take that much time. I'd guess we spent about 10 hours total on the whole thing including shopping, gluing, stapling and assembling. Not bad!

Another thing I love is that this was a pretty cheap project for the size of it. Below is a cost breakdown.

  • 4' X 8' sheet of plywood (cut down to size): $16.97 @ Home Depot
  • 10' 1X4: $2.28 @ Menards
  • Carpet padding (used as foam): $15 @ Menards
  • Spray Adhesive for foam (used about half): $9.97 @ Home Depot
  • Batting: $20.97, but used 40% off coupon: $12.58 @ JoAnn 
  • Staples for batting and fabric: $2.95 @ Menards
  • Nuts and bolts for screwing headboard to bed frame: $4.39 @ Menards
  • 3 yards of fabric: $54 with 5% discount and shipping from Tonic Living 
  • Nailhead trim: $27 with shopping from Fabric Farms Interiors (through Amazon)

Total: $145.14

I think this is extremely reasonable, considering how much you have to pay a store for a headboard!

Good luck if you try it on your own!