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Archive for the ‘home improvement’ Category

Now WE have a sewing/workout room. ūüôā

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After my husband starting joking lately that my hobby is thinking about crafting, I figured it was about time that I got back to doing some actual crafting. And the time was right to get back to crafting- we had to buy a new computer (unfortunately our less than 3 yr old laptop screen died- must have been doing too much thinking about crafting while surfing online) we decided to move the computer out of the “office” so that now I have a room devoted entirely to sewing & crafting. My new craft room was in need of some decorations.

I bought some embroidery patterns and a hoop frame from Sublime Stitching. My husband spray-painted the frame black for me with some spray-paint made for plastic.

Here’s the finished product:

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I’ve been scoping out craft rooms and offices on flickr for inspiration. Here are my faves:

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1. Visual Artist, The Netherlands, 2. Yay new shelves!, 3. my desk-spot, 4. the office, 5. Wide Shot, 6. A Place to Sew, 7. joy_office5, 8. New Improved Studio 01, 9. New Improved Studio 03

I’m hoping to start posting more frequently. Next on the agenda is some posts on the many craft books I’ve acquired. Have a nice day!

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I needed to add some color to our extra bedroom, so I made some quick and easy curtains. 

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I bought a king size flat sheet at Ikea.¬† Ideally you want your fabric width to equal 2x your window width.¬† A king sheet is only about 100″ wide and my window was 72″ wide, so it wasn’t quite 2x the width, but I think it worked anyway.¬†

I cut the sheet in two (halving the sheet’s widest part), then¬†sewed seams along the cut edges.

I¬†folded over the top of each half and sewed a seam¬†about 2″ down¬†parallel to the top to create the tunnel for the curtain rod to feed through.¬†

I also hemmed the curtains for the length of my window, but you could leave them the sheet’s original length so that you’d have less hemming to do.¬†

Next, I used the extra fabric to make 4 rectangles: I sewed 2 pieces back to back, leaving a small opening to turn right side out, then I hammered in 2 large eyelets, and repeated for the other tieback.  

Lastly, I hung up the curtains and hung the tiebacks by the eyelets over  small hooks.

¬†To make these a little fancier, you cut buy 2 sheets and sew them together¬†so that your curtains are lined and don’t appear as sheer as¬†mine.

I think curtains are pretty¬†cheap these days, so they aren’t really worth¬†making your own, unless¬†you¬†want a specific color.¬† And I definitely think that using bed sheets are the way to go, because it is hard to find fabric¬†in the width you would need to cover a large window, most fabric is only sold in 44″ to 54″ widths so if you followed the 2x window width rule, your window would have to be less than 25″ wide, and I believe most are usually¬†32″ to 36″ wide. ¬†Although you could order decorator fabric which comes in much wider widths, however the color and patterns are usually limited and look more like traditional drapes, and would of course be much more expensive per yard. ¬†

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More ideas I used to help spruce up the house before putting it on the market.

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I bought some blank canvases and covered them with fabric and paper to add color to the house.

For the fabric all you need to do is staple gun it to the back of the canvas frame. I used a tablecloth for the fabric above the bed because I couldn’t find the right colors elsewhere. Another great wall decor idea using fabric is to hang it in embroidery hoops.

For the paper I used mounting spray adhesive (found in the framing section of craft stores). You could probably use regular glue or decoupage glue if you were careful to keep the paper from wrinkling when laying it down and smoothing it out. I used scrapbook paper from Martha Stewart’s new craft line.

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Even though I did this a few years ago, I figured I would post it to give my tips to others so their projects will turn out better.

1. I bought a cheap unfinished table at a craft store
2. I bought moulding to create my framed top to set the mosiac in
3. I bought a handsaw to cut the moulding to size, and sanded down to fit the table, before gluing the pieces on.
4. I used tile nippers to cut the tiles into my shapes.
5. I used a little bucket of white grout, spread it into the sunken table top
6. Stuck the tile bits on top in my star design
7. Spread grout between the tile pieces

What I would do better next time:
-Spend more time and effort finishing the table itself nicely (sand more, stain or paint the wood a different color, actually miter the moulding to frame the tabletop more professionally)
-Use something better than tile nippers to cut the tile- nippers made it VERY difficult to get an accurate cut, as a result, my star pieces didn’t look as nice as I hoped they would
-Not worry so much about the background pieces (white tiles) because the grout just fills in all the spaces so you wouldn’t notice the imperfections there

But it is really easy and I’m glad I did it. I’ll probably use this table as a plant stand when I actually have a porch, but until then, It’s housing an alarm clock because I need it for a bedside table.

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Because I never got around to painting the upstairs, the walls had gone undecorated. Now that it’s time to sell, we are scrambling to make the house look more homey.

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First project is the Postcard Collage.
I’ve saved every postcard anyone ever sent me, and I make sure to bring one home everytime I travel.
It was very easy to make- I just used some of that green sticky stuff to arrange the postcards in one of those frames where the glass pops out the front.¬†¬† I didn’t want to glue these on in case someday I’d like to read the backs again.

Second project is the Sand Dollar Shadow Box
I’ve been meaning to make one of these ever since I saw a smaller version on my friend’s bathroom counter. Luckily another friend gave me the 2 natural sand dollars that she brought back from a trip to Nicaragua, and I got 2 more as a favor from a wedding in Florida. I just added the red fabric to match the room and cover the gray that came in the shadow box I bought at Michaels. The box even came with the pearl head pins. I think it fits in well with our semi-tropical bedroom. And you could use the shadow box to display other travel mementos if you aren’t into sand dollars- like ticket stubs, foreign dollars, photos, whatever.

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I couldn’t find a table runner to match my green-and-white dining room, so I used the leftover fabric from my Ikea curtains.¬†

For a year I had the end pieces taped up under the table with blue painter’s tape because I was worried The Dog would eat the dangling fabric.

Important to know when hemming Ikea curtains- wash first before you hem. That way they won’t look silly (high waters!)¬†when you have to wash them after The Dog’s fur gets all over them.

¬†All I did was sew the two leftover¬†pieces from my curtains together, and hemmed all around the edges.¬† I did this project before I got my real sewing machine (I just used the $30 small machine from Joann’s) so it could probably turn out better if I did it again.

The table is 78″ long, so I made the runner about 24″ longer for a total length of 102″.¬† The table runner width is 16.5″

If I change the colors of my dining room, I can always embellish the table runner with ribbon or trims, but for now, I like its simplicity.

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