Saturday, September 15, 2012

Random thoughts...

Well, I obviously haven't posted in a while, although I've been wanting to. So I thought I'd give the Blogger iPhone app a shot. Therefore, if this post has any bad grammar or misspellings... blame my chubby fingers. I mean, a blog post on an iPhone, what am I thinking?

First order of biz-nass, I have a couple of completed sewing projects to post. One's been done for months now, and I just haven't gotten around to posting it. One is yet another Sorbetto!

I have a completed furniture makeover to post. I converted a china hutch into more of a pie safe kind of look. If you follow me on Pinterest, you've already seen it. Here's the before...

And finally, I've been looking onto methods ALL DAY for transferring images onto wood and fabric. My husband used to be a screen printer, so I'm a little spoiled in that regards. Now that he no longer has access to commercial screen printing equipment, most other image transfer methods seem just BLAH. Especially iron ons, ugh.

I did try the waxpaper transfer method onto burlap yesterday. the image looked beautiful on my waxpaper. Didn't transfer at ALL. I guess the vast majority of waxpaper transfer/freezer paper transfer tutorials I found neglected to mention that those methods do NOT work on laser printers.

So, I'm going to give the ol' Citra Silv method a try. I guess they actually sell it a Safeway? So it shouldn't be too hard for me to find. Here's hoping...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

DIY chalk paint dining chairs: a review

After the dining table was completed and in place, it took us weeks to find dining chairs. I was set on finding some metal Tolix style knockoffs, and was probably going to buy some from Overstock.

But then my husband brought home four chairs from a yardsale for just five bucks for the lot.  Yes, the same husband ( I do only have one, afterall) who bought two desks for $10 from a different yardsale.

The four chairs were three matching blond/yellow wood ones (sorry, I forgot to take before pictures!) and a fourth black one (that one lives by the computer now).
behr mint majesty
I've already mentioned our small dining area is a challenge to find furniture for, and it was going to be an even bigger challenge to find the right-sized chair for the teeny dining table.

My husband had intended these chairs to be temporary, and I agreed; I hated their yellow-and-mildew color tones!

But as time wore on, I realized they were just the right size. And, we already had them anyway... time to mend and make do.
mint chalk paint chairs
First, I tried spraypaint. The Rustoleum Satin Green Apple just wasn't the right shade OR finish. So the lone spraypainted chair sat outside for a few days before I decided what to do next. That decision came to be chalk paint.

I probably don't have to tell you that Annie Sloan Chalk Paint is taking the web by storm. I was totally surprised to find that there's an AS retailer in my town, and was all prepared to pay for it.

But then, I got to thinking... I guessed it was around $35 bucks for a quart of Annie Sloan, and I was pretty close. These chairs were just $1.25 each. It seemed to sort of go against the frugal find that they were if I were to cover them in expensive paint. Plus, there wasn't the right shade of minty green on the AS color chart.

I'd already been seeing all the DIY chalk paint recipes when this post popped up on Apartment Therapy. Most recipes have you mix Plaster of Paris, water, and latex paint in precise measurements and ratios, but the one on AT said the gal kinda winged it until she found a consistency she liked. Works for my lazy artsy, go-with-the-flow self.

I planned on using the lines on the side of my quart container to make pretty precise measurements, and filled Plaster of Paris up to the first line. I thought I was putting water up to the second line when I noticed there was way too much water.

Instead of dumping out the water and PoP to start over like I should have, I went ahead and added my paint, Behr latex paint and primer in one in the color "Mint Majesty". It took a lot of paint to catch up to all the water, and I got a very watery DIY Chalk Paint mixture to work with.

Still, I loved how my first chair came out. I'd done minimal sanding and hadn't technically primed it, which is a supposed benefit of chalk paint-- especially if you're using the real Annie Sloan deal. But it HAD been painted with that apple green Rustoleum, which was acting like a kind of primer.

The next two chairs were another story. With having a little one, I didn't get to do all three at once. So my DIY chalk paint mixture sat overnight. Maybe I should have Googled whether or not leftover DIY chalk paint keeps.

By the next day, the PoP had settled to the bottom in a thick layer. The water was on top. I mixed it up and started painting anway.

I love the color of all three chairs, although I think the first one came out more saturated because of the layer of apple green underneath. But the second two also came out with some large glops of PoP here and there thanks to the day-old mixture. There are brush strokes on the seats, while the first one came out with a smooth seat.

I distressed all three before finishing them off with a couple of layers of Minwax pastewax.

The verdict: I might use DIY chalk paint again, but not for any projects I have in my current queue. This hasn't turned me off from trying the real ASCP, but I think the price for AS has. I like my Behr latex paint and primer in one and plan on mostly sticking with that.

This post is linked at:
Ginger Snap Crafts, Someday Crafts, Southern Lovely, House of Hepworths, Momnivore's Dilemma,

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Thomas the Tank Engine" post round-up

diy thomas party
I hadn't planned on posting these cupcakes from my son's Thomas the Train first birthday party, because we all know I'm no baking expert, or cake-decorating expert.

But then a lot of people started landing on my blog by Googling variations of "Thomas the Train DIY Birthday Party" and the like, so I thought it might be helpful to share what we actually did. I also thought it was a good way to round up my previous Thomas posts...   diy thomas train birthday
My husband baked these cupcakes, and then we decorated them together. He made the cake batter from scratch, but we cheated and used store-bought frosting! We're kickin' it on the "Semi-Homemade" tip. The frosting was a white (so likely vanilla, buttercream, or creamcheese?) flavor from Pillsbury or Duncan Hines. I know, helpful.

We didn't use foodcoloring on the frosting, opting instead for Wilton frosting coloring (available at WalMart and Jo-Ann) in red, blue, and black to create gray, light blue, and hot pink red cupcake tops.

I sprinkled some with red and white sprinkles, some with red only, poked some Thomas the Tank Engine Party toothpicks, and placed sugar Thomas icing decorations on others. We bought the toothpicks, sugar decorators, and lots of other decorations from Party City. Some plates and cups were purchased from Target.

For our DIY Thomas the Tank Engine Smash Cake, we just picked out one of our smaller rectangular cake pans and backed it in there. Once it was baked, we cut a good-sized circle from the rectangle (pictured in the collage above). Husband frosted it with gray frosting and I used a Wilton black icing tube to draw Thomas' face on it.

Links to my other Thomas and Friends posts:

Before & After: Dining Table Makeover

Our dining area in our small eat-in kitchen is a challenge to get just the right-sized table for.

We'd first bought an awesome mahagony table off Craigslist for just $40... and it ended up being way too big.
farmhouse table before after
So we snatched this table up when we saw it at the thrift store. It was priced higher than I wanted to pay for a rinky-dink table like this, even on sale, but it was the right size for the space.

I directed my husband to remedy the yellow/orange wood with a coat of dark stain on the top, and to paint the base white. I'll just say, I would've used different materials than what he chose (spraypaint and all-in-one stain/poly), but it's still pretty close to what I wanted. I wish he would've put one more coat of poly or the stain/poly on top, but I love the color.

I know I usually post a materials breakdown, but I have now idea what either of these colors are! A satin Rustoleum on the spraypaint with no top coat, and the stain/poly in one is most likely by Minwax.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Thomas & Friends birthday party bunting (paper)

thomas the train bunting paper 1
I hadn't planned on making two sets of bunting for the young mister's birthday party, but when I saw this book for just a buck at the thrift store, I thought it should come home with us.
It's one of those books that makes sounds... but this book was pretty old and beat up, so the sounds were less children's book and more creepy horror movie-- all scratchy and hard to hear.

I thought I could rescue it by giving it new life-- Thomas the Train Book Bunting! I used thrifted bias tape for the project as well.
thomas the train bunting paper 3
I actually made this one before the Thomas the Train Fabric Bunting, which is now hanging in his room. I decided that hanging this one too might be overkill, so... I'm actually going to disassemble this one and use it in a different project! This Thomas the Train book is getting more lives than a cat.

I used a fancy paper punch around the edges, which kinda gave it a Papel Picado feel.
thomas the train bunting paper 2

Thomas & Friends Book Bunting
Materials: Thomas the Train Book ($1 - thrifted), bias tape (.50 cents - thrift store), thread
Total cost: ~$1.50

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sewing Inspiration: more Shabby Apple

As promised in my previous post, here are more Shabby Apple inspiration dresses... (if you're reading this on the home page, don't forget to click "Read More" to see the rest!)

(I have this pattern, can't wait to make it!)

(Butterick has the WORST line drawings-- I can't believe I had to use the pattern cover.)

Co-Ed Skirt - BurdaStyle "Kasia"

Pineapple Princess - Simplicity 2282 OR New Look 6124
(I have this Simplicity pattern as well. I didn't realize until I saw this dress that I wished the peplum went all the way around the front.)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Please Reissue: Simplicity listened!

Seems like we've gone several new pattern releases without Simplicity putting out a new re-issue of a vintage pattern.

Well, it seems they read my first "Please Reissue" post, because they've put out a new 1940s dress pattern... and it's AWESOME looking! They even styled the model with victory rolls!

Simplicity 1777 is a sweet 1940s dress with gathers down the front and long sleeve or three-quarter sleeve options:
Simplicity circa 1943 Misses' retro dress includes front inset with V or jewel neckline with button detail, front bodice ruching and pleated front slim skirt. Dress can be made with long or 3/4 sleeves. Simplicity archives vintage pattern.
The red and black contrast one is a little Star Trek looking for me, but I'm loving it made up in the floral like the brown one on the model. I can't wait to buy Simplicity 1777!

Just on an aside, nothing else from the Simplicity Early Autumn 2012 Pattern Collection really jumped out at me... what about you? It's probably a good thing, my pattern stash is overflowing as it is.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sewing Inspiration: Shabby Apple

Even though I'd seen it mentioned around the blogosphere, I'd never visited online clothing retailer Shabby Apple. I thought it was just another "The Shabby/Lettered/Tattered/Old/Rustic Cottage/Nest/Home/Farmhouse Blog" or something.

I finally clicked on one of their ads the other day and was pleasantly surprised with their cute dresses. While most were out of my price range, I liked that they went up to my size-- as long as I were to order a dress that goes by their "Fits Generously" size chart.

Alas, it seems like they may be phasing out that size chart in favor of more petite sizing. So I guess I'll just have to stick with them for sewing inspiration... something I found plenty of on their site! In fact, there were quite a few dresses that I knew instantly the pattern I would use were I to make up a Shabby Apple inspired dress...

So many that I don't think I'll be able to include them all in one post. But here's a few to get started. Please let me know if you make any of these, and send me pics!

Bernini - also looked like a Danielle to me

Friday, June 8, 2012

WIP: craft desk & sewing nook makeover

Well, I'm still plunking away at my sewing nook. You may remember I did a DIY wallpaper collage on the back of it. I covered up a non-functional cork board.

Next order of business was a sewing machine cover.
sewing machine cover1

I basically drew my inspiration from here, but my sides are rectangular instead of trapezoidal. Trapezoidian? Trapzoidular?

They have a free pattern that I followed loosely.

Mine's muslin, not upholstery fabric like theirs, so it's much droopier. But I like it.
sewing machine cover2

When I was researching this project, I came across a lady on a message board who responded to others talking about their own sewng machine cozies who said "why would you want to sew a machine cover? It comes with one..."
  sewing machine cover3
Um, huh? Am I the only one who thinks that's a weird reaction from a person who enjoys sewing enough to own a sewing machine and to be participating in a sewing message board?

In other news, I'm working on Simplicity 2176. Hopefully that's done soon.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Please reissue more...

I shouldn't be complaining, really.

Us vintage fans are lucky that the big four pattern companies re-issue patterns at all. But I've noticed a certain... propensity... of said pattern companies to mostly stick to the slight variations of the same full-skirted 50's dress. Even the ones they label circa the forties seem to have the same silhouette.

Don't get me wrong, I love the full-skirted 50s dress as much as the next gal. And clearly, so do most other sewers, as they're pretty much the most popular pattern reissue I see sewn up again and again.

Or is the 50s dress sewn up so much because that's the most easily obtained vintage/retro pattern re-issue? It's like the chicken or the egg question.

So I'm calling on the big four to add more variety to their pattern re-issues. Something besides dresses, jackets, dresses, suits, and oh yeah, dresses. And something more than a bunch of 50s, with a couple of 30s, 40s, and 60s thrown in for good measure.

I suppose you're wondering why I just don't do like everyone else in the online sewing world wander on down to my local thrift shop and pick up a vintage pattern. That's all well and good if I'm looking for a 90s patterns fit for Elaine Benes (I complain a LOT about my local thrift stores, in case you're not a regular reader). Or you may be wondering why I don't buy what I'm looking for on eBay or Etsy. And I tell you because they either don't have my size, or the pattern costs too much, or both. In some cases, the pattern maker didn't even originally make my size. And as for grading-- I don't want to spend 15 bucks on a pattern only to have to adjust it.

And as long as I'm on the subject, why doesn't McCall's have any reissues? Two others under the McCall's umbrella do (Vintage Vogue and Butterick Retro). And while Simplicity is the only one who's at least provided us with some fun pants and tops in it's Simplicity Retro reissues (in fact, they currently only have one 50s pattern and it's not a full-skirted one), it's total number of retro offerings are scarce at best.

Of course, I'm not talking about the indy brands. There are a few indy brands that specialize in new patterns modeled after vintage looks, including Wearing History and Decades of Style. And it's widely accepted that Colette Patterns are contemporary clothes with vintage flair. If you're new to sewing, the "Big Four" I've been referring to are McCall's, Vogue, Butterick, (Kwik Sew is under their umbrella as well), and Simplicity (which includes New Look and Burda). Burda does have a small handful of reissues as well.

So, at the risk of sounding like I'm giving a 4-H presentation... in summary, the major pattern conglomerates should include more variety in their re-issues because of...

  • Cost - Hey, it's no secret that Simplicity, McCall's, and Butterick can be nabbed for $.99 to $1.99 a piece during sales at a certain chain, while sale Vogues can run you $3.99. Real vintage patterns, on the other hand, can sometimes command a hefty price on eBay, Etsy, flea markets, and other outlets.
  • Size availability - Am I the only one who can never find vintage patterns in my size? Seems like they're mostly in the 32-36 bust range. Petite girls and fuller girls alike enjoy vintage styles too. Not to mention, we're larger than we were back then. And I don't mean fatter. Each generation gets taller as well.
  • Availabilty in general - There were only so many patterns made back in the day-- before they became "vintage". There isn't an endless supply of patterns from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, and they're bound to become more and more scarce. Re-issues are like history books come to life, enabling individuals to experience fashion from the past.
So, I had planned on making this a single post with a list of specific patterns and styles I wished the biggies would reissue. But I just kept thinking of more and more patterns, and decided to make this a series on my blog. There's one specific pattern I'll be discussing at length, that when I asked Simplicity's Facebook (that's a hint) to about reissuing it, tons of people chimed in and agreed.

Are there any specific patterns, styles, or eras you'd like to see reissued? Remember, if you go too far back in time, some of those patterns are available in the costume section as opposed to the various "Retro" or Vintage" sections.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thrifty finds: woah mama!

For all the complaining I do about our local thrift stores on this blog, I was bound to have some good luck sooner or later.
60s fabric
First up, this fabric, which my sweet baby's chunky little wrist is helping to model. To the left is a 100% groovy polyester. It's so totally 60's and much more navy in person.  It reminded me of a more angular Amy Butler print. It's 2 1/2 yards and I paid a buck a yard.

On the right is a whopping 8 1/4 yards of mid-century upholstery fabric. IN LOVE. Paid nine bucks for it, and I can't wait to find the perfect re-upholstery project for it.

I almost titled this post "I will NOT buy more fabric, I will NOT buy more fabric," but it's finds like this that make me glad I don't stick to that mantra. I can't believe I was initially on the fence about buying this fabric!

food pantry
I got this sweet little food pantry, which will be great for storing pastas and canned goods. If I didn't need it in the kitchen, it would be great towel storage in the bathroom, or a sewing stuff holder. It was marked $39 and I was all ready to pay that, but it rang up for $27 including tax. Gotta love surprise sales!

ironrite mangle
Here's the doozy; my husband brought me home an antique Ironrite mangle so I can iron my yardages and quilt tops quickly. I wish I took a picture of the manual-- it has a lady holding an extremely stiff baby girl's dress, like a piece of cardboard. He tells me it was originally $100, but wasn't selling so they marked it 75% off. So he bought it for $25, plus the manual, and the chair.

And, if you're a design freak, yes, it came with the mint condition Ironrite Health Chair (not pictured). Yes, THAT Ironrite Health Chair.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Maternity patterns: are they a good idea, and where to buy them?

I've already said that sewing is realy only economical if you're (or the person you're sewing for is) going to remain the same size for a while, and the garment will see years of use.

Still, there's something appealing about sewing your own maternity clothes... at least for me. Being able to choose fun patterns, and lengthen what needs lengthening. So I've been mentally cataloguing companies offering maternity patterns.

But first; if you're not a mom and don't plan on becoming one, I realize this post is about as fun as watching grass grow. So I promise posts like this will be few and far between. Further, I'm not pregnant now, so I'm not going to be going all boring-blogging-only-about-my-baby on you. Although the baby I already do have is the best baby ever. Just sayin'.

I do hope to maybe have another baby in the future, and the problems I had last time I was pregnant were the same ones I always have with RTW. Pants too short, sleeves too short, this too wide and that too snug. You know.

But. Just nine months of wear, or less than that actually, seems like too short a time to put a bunch of work into making a garment. I'd probably rather be sewing for the new or current baby, or nesting, or whatever. Not to mention the cost involved with buying maternity patterns and enough fabric to stretch around that expanding girth. My last preg belly was huh-yuuuuge!

So even though I won't be sewing an entire maternity wardrobe if I become pregant again, I'd probably like to me-make a couple of pieces.

Here's a list of maternity pattern resources! Did I leave any out? Have you made any? Do you think maternity sewing is worthwhile?


Of the "big four" pattern companies, they're the ones who seemed to have maternity the longest in recent memory. I was going to complain how kinda boring theirs were, maybe even somewhat dated, until I went to the site just now and saw the one I pinned above. Ruching is pretty typical when it comes to maternity wear, but pretty cute nonetheless!

Butterick's selection was limited to just two patterns and labeled simply "maternity" until recently. Sometime last year they added a second, seperate section called "suitable for maternity", which for some reason has just two of their now four regular maternity patterns, plus some of the more loose-fitting regular patterns. Which I must say, does NOT make me want to buy said regular patterns for non-maternity use. I mean, what non-pregnant person wants to wear a dress that's been deemed "suitable for maternity"?

Butterick Maternity & Suitable for Maternity


McCall's doesn't have any maternity-specific patterns, but added the same "suitable for maternity" section that Butterick did at around the same time. McCall's section does denote, however, that "Hem adjustment may be necessary."

Again, not too sure I'd wear these regular patterns for normal use. The one I pinned above is great... if you'd like to channel your inner pregnant Nicole Richie.

McCall's Suitable for Maternity


Kwik Sew offers the standard, basic, maternity fare and is easy to get your hands on if you live near a Hancock Fabrics.

Kwik Sew Maternity


Burda Style Magazine's popular website is another one I don't remember having maternity patterns until very recently.

The handful of maternity pattern downloads they offer are pretty great; basic maternity staples that, if made properly, could be extremely stylish-- which is just how you want to feel when you're heavily pregnant. And while their downloadable patterns aren't readily available during $.99-$1.99 sales like the above pattern-makers, Burdastyle's maternity patterns are reasonably priced in the $5 range.

Burda Style Magazine/ Maternity

Burda has a line of already printed patterns as well, which are easily available at Jo-Ann and other retailers.

Burda actually has one of the more decent-sized selections of maternity patterns when it comes to the major pattern retailers, and certainly the best selection under the Simplicity Creative Group umbrella. That's because Simplicity and New Look don't currently offer maternity patterns.

Burda's patterns tend to look cute in the thumbnails on the Simplicity website. Then you click on them and they... don't. Their maternity patterns are no exception. Case in point, the pattern on the left above, which, once I clicked on it, turned out to be some sort of a belly-baring maternity crop top over a satin jumpsuit. If you say so.

The one on the right, a bonus pattern image to illustrate my point (plus I was too embarrassed to actually pin these to Pinterest), it's likewoahmaternitygeniepants. Not the most flattering look on anyone, let alone a swollen-ankled pregnant lady. Note to Burda: it's not the mommies who need the diaper allowance.

Still, don't let these patterns fool you. Burda offers a couple of great maternity basics, including a winter coat and a maxi dress. At least that's how the thumbnails look...

Burda Maternity Wear


Fear not, Colette, Sewaholic, and Pattern Runway fans! There's an indie pattern company for the pregnant set, too!

Megan also has some of the absolute best DIY maternity wear tutorials on the web on her sister blog, DIY Maternity.


There are a whole host of maternity wear how-to's online... in fact, too many to list. Megan Nielsen's site that I mentioned above is a great starting point. You could also check Pinterest or simply Google "maternity tutorials". Some of my favorites include the various maxi skirt tutorials and ruched T-shirts. There are also various methods to alter non-maternity patterns to include a wider front and longer hem.

Source: via Elisha on Pinterest

Just because some of the big pattern companies don't currently offer maternity patterns, doesn't mean they never did. The usual suspects, Etsy and eBay, are great places to start if you'd like to purchase some of these.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Before & After: nightstand makeover

nightstand makeover before
Shabby chic: ya either love it or ya hate it.

I happen to love it... as long as it's not total overboard like you're living in some countryside Northeastern (1980s) bed and breakfast. I like the muted whites and florals that the look is known for, but I also love color and other graphic prints too much to go full-on with it.

And of course I love vintage, retro, antique... just plain OLD stuff. Always have. So that's perhaps what I find most appealing of all about the SC aesthetic. The aged, loved, worn, and yes, distressed (even it's it's faux distressed) fabrics and woods.

Don't be hatin'.

Among the old things I don't love: 1970s veneer. So when I bought this nightstand, I full intended on painting it all along.

And here she is now!
nightstand makeover after 2
I know you've seen these "white with distressed paint" makeovers all over the blogosphere so it's nothing really special, but I'm really happy with it!

It was my first attempt at making over a piece of furniture. Oh, I've painted plenty of stuff, but I've never sanded, primed, chosen new hardware, done specialty finishes like faux distressing and blue washes, then sealed.

My previous endeavors were "paint over the old paint until you can't see said old paint any longer aaaaannd.. done".

It'll now live next to my bed and probably hold some sewing stuff spilling over from my craft nook. I hope I get to do more projects like this in the future! nightstand makeover after 1
White Nighstand Makeover
Nightstand: veneer and wood nightsand (~16.50 - thrift store)
Hardware: mismatched knobs (~15 - World Market)
Paints: white primer and latex paint in one (husband chose it! $14 for full can used on two night stands - Home Depot), Minwax past wax (~$10 - Lowes)
Total cost: ~48.50

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Colette Sorbetto: purple floral

floral sorbetto1
Here's yet another Sorbetto.

The black floral making up the main part came from Gramma's stash and is probably from the early 90s. I thought adding another floral for the bias tape would make it more contemporary... but to me it looks like I made another old lady Sorbetto!

Not that there's a problem with that, I'm an old lady at heart.

I bought the purple stuff I made the bias tape from at WalMart, when I went there to pick up the Thomas and Friends fabric. I'd already been planning to make this one, and when I saw the purple stuff, I thought it would be perfect! ended up a little off on some of the colors. But, since I made the bias tape just an inch and a half wide (as opposed to two inches on the Thomas the Train Sorbetto), the two work OK together. floral sorbetto 5You may notice the purple strip down the center of the pleat. I had a lot less of the black stuff than the 1.5 yards called for in the Sorbetto, but I knew there was still enough to squeeze a top from it. So instead of cutting the front on the fold, I just cut it twice in two different spots. To stitch it together, I put a strip of the contrast in between, but only decided to do so after I cut it into a 1.5 wide strip. floral sorbetto3The Sorbetto is still a little wide in the hips for me, but I've gotten it to the point that it fits much better than my first Sorbetto. I'm basically cutting a 16 down the sides and at the top shoulder seam, while leaving the armscyce, neckline, and length an 18 (or longer). The darts I put at size 16. floral sorbetto7
1990's Floral Tank
Pattern: Colette Sorbetto (free)
Materials: Purple floral quilting cotton (I don't remember what I paid for this half-yard, but I think it was ~$6/yd - WalMart), black & purple floral fashion fabric (free - Gramma)
Total Cost: Under $8, probably around $5 or less

Friday, May 11, 2012

WIP: craft desk & sewing nook makeover

I can't believe I'm about to show this mess up in here, but I keep it real... so here is the "before" shot of my sewing desk...

In all fairness, this was still unpacking from the move and at a moment that I remembered to whip out my iPhone to snap a "before" shot.

My husband picked up this desk, AND that white desk chair, AND a second, very similar desk AND a matching headboard for $10 at a yard sale. Not $10 each, not "like, ten bucks"... $10 for the whole she-bang. I was so glad he thought of my sewing desk when he saw the dueling desks-- I LOVE the one I picked out! And it fits just right in our bedroom nook.

The prob: that corkboard behind the work area is completely useless. The tacks won't stick all the way in before hitting the back of the hutch, and everything falls out.

So, rather than leave a discolored, useless corkboard, I decided to cover it up.

Behold, the "after"... kinda.
Yeah, yeah, there's still a LOT of organizing to go. I went back and forth one whether to label this postt "WIP" or "Before & After" before settling on the former. Because SRSLY, I still have some spots to paints and some hardware to change out and LOTS of overall organization projects for this area. But I'll keep you posted with the various updates.

This particular "Before & After" was what I was hinting at here, and instead of wallpaper, I used Modge Podge and scrapbook paper.
Ugh, I NEVER thought I would be saying I used Modge Podge OR scrapbook paper, let alone the two together. It's just so... mombloggery.

OK, well maybe Modge Podge, especially after this project. You've won me over, Modge Podge! You do, indeed, "rock".

As for the scrapbook paper, I got a huuuuuge tablet of it at Ross for $9.99, and there's still the majority of it left over. I thought it would achieve the look I wanted without me having to order a wallpaper sample book off eBay... and I was right! I LOVE the color this adds not only to my sewing nook, but to our whole bedroom!

What about you, do you have desk or an entire room to craft and sew in? Do you have any tips for organzing my notions and supplies? So far, I've put my patterns in that Costco chicken stock box pictured above (that'll get Modge Podged too), and used old spaghetti sauce jars to put my spools of thread into (much cheaper and handier than hunting for antique mason jars).
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