I’m sharing a fun tutorial today over at the amazing 6th Street Design School on how to glam-up a closet staple – the crew neck sweater!
Hop on over and read the full tutorial here.
Phew! THIS PROJECT.
Boy, this project was a beast.
I guess it’s bad blogger form to tell your readers how hard something is. Projects are supposed to look easy and error free, right? If I’m being completely honest, this project probably shouldn’t have been beastly, or terribly hard for anyone who’s built something from scratch before. In my defense, when I started this X bench (back in January!) I hadn’t ever built anything from scratch out of wood. Well, I was itching to use the Kreg Jig I got in my swag bag from last year’s Haven conference, and I was also itching to have myself my very own upholstered X bench, but no way was I ever going to fork over $200+ to buy a brand new X bench. So I thought I’d scratch both itches, give my Kreg Jig a try and make an X bench myself!
*Disclaimer #1* Building an X bench is HARD!
In building this X bench, I mainly referenced Beth’s tutorial. I tweaked her tutorial a bit to fit the specifications of a bench, rather than an ottoman. I also chose to use 2″ x 2″ oak boards instead of 1″ x 2″ boards, which in Beth’s tutorial you have to glue together to make a 2″ x 2″ board. I’d rather pay a couple dollars more to skip that glue + clamp situation.
Here is a short montage of the work it took to build the bench…
I definitely used my Kreg Jig, and bought some fancy clamps. You probably noticed I built this whole thing in my kitchen…. eh, that’s how we roll.
*Disclaimer #2* Upholstering an X bench is HARD!
I originally wanted the upholstery to be perfectly seamless. I started by hot glue gunnin’ the batting over the wood, but it was taking WAY too long to dry (I know, I’m impatient). I started to worry once the batting was completely attached, ‘this upholstery business isn’t going to go well’. I ended up stapling the fabric in strategic places around the X legs and middle bar.
The seat was easy: foam + batting + staples that you can hide, no worries there.
I wanted the option to remove the the top cushion in case it needed to be cleaned, so instead of drilling it into the base, I secured the top with velcro. I also drilled the lower base onto the X legs for added stability.
Boom. X Bench done! It’s vibrant and luxurious, and full of staples, but what the hay, it’s perfect for me.
I’m a big fan of benches at the foot of any bed. They’re the perfect touch to an otherwise boring (and awkward to look at) foot of the bed.
My advice to you is – just go and buy an X bench. It’s worth the $200.
As much as I hate to admit this, I’m no party planner. I get overwhelmed obsessing over all the details, (usually the details about what cheese and delicate meats to buy… ), or I end up planning SO MANY details that I’m unable to execute everything. I’ve learned party planning isn’t my forte, and that I throw better parties when I keep things simple, because then I’m able to step back and have a good time with the guests, instead of worrying over all those details like striped napkins and paper straws. Although I LOVE striped napkins and paper straws, they just overwhelm me.
My sister-law asked for some help prepping my brother’s birthday bash this past weekend. Perfect! A party for dudes only care what beer’s stocked in the fridge? Boom. Done. We planned Rock Band sessions, beer pong (apparently men don’t grow out of college drinking games), lots of snacks and cheese, and one little unexpected surprise…
My favorite party gal ever, Kelly of StudioDIY, makes the most mind blowing piñatas. I followed some of her piñata tips to create this ‘ol dirty ‘stash.
Using a giant piece of cardboard, scissors and an Xacto knife, I traced and cut two exact mustaches. I used the sides of the cardboard box, which measured ~3″ deep, cut them off in long strips and glued the edges down to one of the mustaches using a hot glue gun. Next, I glued the other mustache to the top, leaving a trap door at the top in order to fill it with candy later. Next, using a package of black tissue paper, I cut ~2″ strips of tissue, then sliced some fringe with my scissors.
There are a few ways you can cover a pinata in fringe. One way is to glue the fringe, the other way is to use double-sided tape. I didn’t have time to wait for the glue to dry, so I used double-sided tape. First, I taped the tissue fringe down in long strips across the front and back sides of the mustache. Once the front and back sides were covered in tissue fringe, I essentially did the same process with the sides, laying a long piece of double-sided tape down, then a long piece of tissue. Once the mustache was completely covered, I poked two holes at the crests of the mustache, tied some hemp cord, then filled the piñata with my bro’s favorite candy.
Let me tell you, this dirty ‘stash was a hit! And seriously, if you want to impress your friends, make a piñata! For some reason people are so shocked when you say you made the piñata, as if piñatas couldn’t possibly be hand crafted. It’s like they just appear at the grocery store with no point of origin. Crazy people.
Happy birthday big bro!
Sometimes you just can’t help but jump on the bandwagon. I’ve been loving all the DIY versions of the black ink abstract art, and just HAD to make my own for the gallery wall in my bedroom.
But friends, get this, I didn’t just use a bit of paint and a paint brush. I used something more incredible, something brand new to the art market. Now let me introduce you to a life changing product from Montana Cans, the company that brought you worlds best gold spray paint….
Acrylic paint markers!!! The anatomy of these markers is basically pure genius. A tube full of acrylic paint topped with a sturdy felt tipped head constructed with a pump system which releases the paint as you go. Perfection! Montana Cans knew what artists needed, we needed the ability to paint with a pen, not with a sloppy brush.
Instead of re-creating one of the art pieces West Elm is selling, or by some more famous artists, I really wanted to create something with my own mind. Think of it as a stress release. Just close your eyes and go to town on a few pieces of paper, pick your favorite one and frame it! It’s art, I don’t care what anyone else says. We are creative beings and we should pat ourselves on the back (or shamelessly display your art by framing it in a vintage gold leafed frame and blog about it) whenever we step out of our comfort zones and create a masterpiece. Maybe not a “masterpiece”, but be proud of your work, people!
Get to it! Get one of these pens (or a boat load, as you can see I did in the photo above) and go crazy. Literally.
Oh, and that weird little thing beneath the abstract art is also a crazy painting of mine, using the same acrylic markers! Now it’s your turn. Go!
I’ve been eying this pillow for quite a while, going back and fourth “should I buy it? or should I make it myself?” I wasn’t very confident in my railroading skills (the sewing technique of lining up a pattern along a seam), so I never tried making it myself. Well, when I was working on my bedroom it just hit me, my bed needed a striped geometric pillow. Otherwise my bedroom wouldn’t be complete!
I rummaged through my stash of fabric, and of course I had some extra striped nautical fabric on hand. I had no excuse but to try my best at recreating this pillow.
The first pillow I made (in photo above) I used 2″ striped fabric. For this tutorial I used 1″ stripes, the same type of fabric Kassapanola uses. I love how both of them turned out, they’re very different looking!
First, I drew a perfect 20″ square on a scrap of Kraft paper, then cut it out. I folded the paper in half diagonally once, then again, to get a perfect 90-degree right-triangle. I traced the triangle out on the fabric using chalk to draw my lines (which you can easily clean off later with a damp towel or baby wipe). Trace 4 triangles, but make sure the top point of your triangle matches with each triangle you make. Cut out the 4 triangles, giving yourself at least a 1/4″ seam allowance.
Now for the hard part. Lay two of your triangles on top of each other, wrong side out. Line up the stripes. Sometimes it helps to hold up the fabric to the light to make sure the pattern lines up.
Pin in place. The more pins the better! Sew with at least a 1/4″ seam allowance. Make sure your seam allowance is the same for each piece. Next, take the second set of triangles, and repeat this exact step.
You’ll be left with two sets of large triangles. Next, railroad the two large triangles (basically repeating the step above but using two larger triangles). Once you’ve sewn them together, lay flat and iron out. Your pattern should be a perfect geometric striped square! Now, instead of doing this again for the back of the pillow, I recommend using a complementary fabric for the reverse side. I finished the pillow by referring to this ol’ this pillow tutorial. I even included a zipper! I actually find it easier to sew zippers, but you can always make an envelope pillow if zippers scare you!
What do you think? Which pillow do you like better? The large stripes or the small stripes???
It almost feels like my wedding never happened – we came back from our honeymoon, and things got back to normal waaaaaaay too quickly. It’s true what they say, it all goes by so fast!
I’m still in that weird in-between place, that empty space somewhere between waiting for our photos and procrastinating on (and straight up hiding from) all those thank-you cards. Most of the wedding projects I want to share are dependent on the pics, which means I’ve straight-up forced you all right here beside with me in this weird void, as we wait for all the good stuff to arrive!
BUT(!!!) I do have one really fun one to share with you today! I’m going to show you how to make this gorgeous centerpiece!
** For all you floral enthusiasts out there, this fireball arrangement was made by the ever talented Amanda Luu, with the following flowers: White Hydrangeas, antique White Spray Roses, blush pink Garden Roses, green-bellied White Scabiosa, Dusty Miller, Pink Jasmine, Queen Anne’s Lace, and White Veronica **
When planning the look and feel of our wedding reception, I couldn’t help but be drawn to tall, golden candlestick centerpieces. We had 15 tables (I think), and “real” candlestick holders of the right size and shape are absurdly expensive, so, naturally, I thought the best way to approach this problem would be to hack it.
I visit this salvage shop by my work, Urban Ore, a few times every week. I strike out most of the time, but some times I stumble on the best stuff. In this case, during that time I was mulling over hacking a candlestick centerpiece, I stumbled on a basket full of raw wood 20″ table legs. They were unmarked, I remember wishing to myself “please be less than $5 each”. I brought the basket to the cashier and asked the price, the cashier said “$5 for the lot”. Duh. “I’ll take it!”
Most craft stores, like Michael’s, sell these raw wood plaques which are the perfect size for a candlestick base such as this. I drilled a pilot hole into the bottom of each table leg, then a hole through the plaque. Then, to secure the base to the leg, I drilled a wood screw from the underside of the plaque into the base. I repeated this process for all 15 table legs.
Once the bases were secure, I primed and spray painted the legs in bulk. Lastly, I used my trusty favorite gold spray paint, and applied about two coats.
Now, I bet you’re wondering how the heck you secure a big arrangement on top of that skinny candlestick. Well, I thought it was going to be super tricky, but apparently all you need is one of these bad boys:
A floral bowl! Genius. There are a few ways you can secure the flower bowl to the candlestick, Amanda used some puddy, but you could probably just nail it, or staple it, in place… don’t quote me on that.
Now, my mom is a florist (which was a total score on my part! $0 floral budget – thank you mom!), so it was only perfect to have her arrange the flowers for my wedding. After a few consultations with Mom, we decided it would be more fitting if we had even TALLER arrangements! Here are the arrangements we actually had on the tables at our wedding:
So beautiful, right? My ma’s got mad skillz.
Thank you all SOOOOOO much for your great comments on our wall gallery yesterday. Every comment is like a big hug – they make me feel all warm and toasty! The gallery wall was such a fun project. Check back tomorrow, I’ll be sharing sources, and maybe more!
In the mean time, you can find me today over at 6th Street Design School, I’m sharing 3 fun and unique ways to customize your (boring) Ikea frames. Those Ribbas need some sprucing, don’t lie to yourself.
Check out the entire post here.
Happy Monday friends! I promised some fabulous wedding DIYs, and now that the wedding is over, the honeymoon is over (boo! come back to me Italy!) and we’re finally unpacked, I’m going to share with you the crazy ideas that went into our big day. First up, DIY marquee lights from paper mâché letters!
I crafted these marquee lights out of the 24″ paper mâché letters from JoAnne’s. I believe they’re about $12 each, but you can get them cheaper if you have a coupon. These letters were going to be indoor decor, which is why we opted for the paper mâché ones. I don’t recommend using paper mâché for outdoors! If you’re interested in making an outdoor marquee letter, Kristin has a great tutorial on crafting outdoor marquee lights.
Alrighty! Let’s show you how to make these bad boys. First, I flipped the letters on the reverse side, took an Xacto knife and cut out the backside. You’ll find some crimped cardboard inside the letters which the manufacturers use as stability. You just pull out the crimped cardboard, it’s that easy!
Next, I flipped them back over and primed them, then drilled holes every ~2-3 inches. You can actually see my math in the second picture below!
Once the holes were drilled, I sprayed 2 coats of high gloss black spray paint. I let the first coat completely dry before I applied the second.
Attaching the bulbs was so easy, but it started to get tricky once I had to attach the cord and sockets. I wanted the cord to be hidden inside the letter so that the letter would lay flush against the wall.
For these four letters I used 4 packs of the frosted bulb lights from Target, you can also find them at Cost Plus but I think Target’s are cheaper. I had some bulbs leftover which was no big deal, I just hid the empty sockets inside the last letter.
All of our guests were so impressed with the sign! Our initial plan was just to have the sign hanging behind the dance floor, as a neat background for any pictures taken while we were dancing.
But then the party got cray cray and the LOVE sign became the backdrop for our costume/photo booth!
I have to thank my husband for owning that Mexican wrestler mask.
It’s so awesome how some things turn out a thousand times better than planned.
Typography art is super popular. It’s legitimately the easiest way to communicate the art’s message to the person admiring or viewing the art. It’s also the easiest way to display a meaningful quote, poem, or scripture in a way that is simple, clean and impactful. Typography art is classic and timeless in nature, it’ll never look dated and will always appear en trend. What better style of art could you ask for, and it’s so easy to create yourself!
About two months ago my sister-in-law hired me to re-design her new Italian bakery shop. Her previous location was a great starter location, but it was off the street and she was missing prime foot traffic. She found a location that will be much better for the growth of her business, and she’ll start to offer a wider array of Italian treats, coffee and more biscotti! I can’t wait!
During the design and planning process, I wanted to incorporate some typography art that would wow customers. Something different, something big, but something totally Italian. I researched Italian travel advertising campaigns, classic and popular Italian quotes, quotes about Italy, and so much more! I settled on a few that were absolutely perfect, of which I’m sharing with you today!
The first is a quote by Giuseppe Verdi, who was one of Italy’s most influential opera composers of all time:
The second quote was inspired by a travel ad. I fell hard for these 3 simple words, of which I felt held so much more meaning than just the words themselves:
Go there, seriously! It’ll change your life.
But, how did I make these posters, you ask? It was so easy! Basically, I created a file in Photoshop Elements the size of the largest Ikea Ribba frame, 27.5″ x 39.25″. Then, I selected the font I wanted to use for the typography art. For both posters, I used the free font Equal Sans Demo in all caps. I saved the files as individual jpegs, then took my USB drive over to Kinko’s to print. Kinko’s has this killer over-sized printer that can print things about 3′ wide. The crazy printer looks like this:
I believe they quoted me $.75 per square foot, which turned out to be $8-$9 for each print. Not bad I say! I printed one each for the bakery, and one for my bedroom, which you may have noticed in Monday’s post.
My husband doesn’t get it, but I couldn’t love it more!
AND GUESS WHAT! I’m giving everyone the jpeg file for FREE! So you can download and print one for yourself. Who doesn’t love free stuff?! Just click on the link below:
So there you have it, the secret to over-sized typography art
Blog-land is raging with excitement right now! Rust-oleum has partnered with NeverWet and just busted out the most amazing product of the century! I was thrilled when I was asked to review this product, I’ve been following its progress for a while and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.
Now, I’m going to warn you, this product is going to blow your mind. You can pretty much spray this stuff on ANYTHING, which is both the beauty and challenge of being asked to review a product. Coming up with something unique can be a bit tricky. Many peeps are spraying this stuff over their outdoor pillows, which is genius! In theory, you’ll never have to bring them back inside again during a storm! Or how about your outdoor rugs? Say adios to mildew! Oh the possibilities! This gets me so riled up and excited, I need to calm down.
As you know from my Home Depot Patio Challenge, I actually don’t have my own outdoor space – we live in a loft, and I borrowed my brother’s patio for the Patio Challenge. Outdoor rugs or pillows weren’t an option for me to review Rust-oleum’s NeverWet. I started thinking, what is something I use every day, that is exposed to water and moisture…. hmmm…. thinking…. thinking… and bam!
MY SHOWER CURTAIN !!!
You heard me right! No more nasty plastic liner! Seriously, I buy a new plastic liner every other month it seems since they get so nasty.
See, NASTY. (And please kill me now. I can’t believe I just showed you a pic of our bathtub. We’re renters, don’t judge!)
Now, at first I thought one box of NeverWet would be sufficient to cover the entire shower curtain. After spraying the shower curtain with one full NeverWet set (it comes with two cans, a base coat and a top coat), I spot tested with some water, some areas were still soaking up the water, so I applied the second box of NeverWet. Lesson learned in this case, my shower curtain ate up 3 boxes of NeverWet! It didn’t literally eat it up, but it took all 3 boxes because I was working with a large test subject. I can imagine one box of NeverWet would cover a few outdoor pillows no problem.
For all you skeptics out there, I made a video to show you the magic that is NeverWet:
Did you see the beads of water just bouncing off the shower curtain?! Here’s a close up of the water “beads”, I took this picture with the shower curtain laying on the floor, after I had treated it with NeverWet.
The take-away here is, use NeverWet on a small project. There’s no sense in using 3 cans on a shower curtain, although this does show you just how powerful and life changing this product is! Another thing to note, NeverWet leaves behind a subtle milky haze. Now, I sprayed NeverWet to the back side of our shower curtain, so I didn’t have to worry about the appearance of the fabric being altered. But in all honesty, I didn’t notice much of that milky haze the box warns. I think you’ll see that in darker objects, like black or brown or gray.
*** I was asked to review this product and received a sample for this review. All opinions are my own (obviously!), and I really do recommend this product!