Entries Tagged as 'DIY projects'

Lake House Style: Easy Peasy Envelope Back Pillow Tutorial

32

09.1.12

Good morning everyone, we had a new addition to our Lake House Bedroom this weekend. They’re bright, bold and just the right shot of color our are newly neutral bedroom needed after receiving it’s fresh coat of paint last week. These are the first of a few doses of color our bedroom will get. They couldn’t have been easier to sew and they look so good too sitting on the bed all fluffy and colorful. I have plans to make a few more in this fabric and some others to pull the whole room together but those will have to wait for another day and another post since it’s back to work time for me today.

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In the meantime while I get my sew on for all the other pillows, here is a quick and easy tutorial on how to sew envelope back pillows. I decided to go with an envelope back because it just might be the easiest way to sew a pillow ever. I made these for my Euro size pillows on my bed which are those big square ones you see all the time. I just love the way they look but never love the price tag on those size pillow covers.

Envelope Pillow Tutorial 1

First you’ll want to choose the size of your pillow. I wanted to cover my Euro size pillows which are 24 x 24 inches.

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You’ll need to cut 3 pieces of fabric. I wanted floral fabric on the front with a neutral fabric on the back. Out of the Front Fabric I cut 1 piece 24 inches square. Yes the same size as the pillow, I like mine nice and plump so the finished size will be slightly smaller than the 24 inch pillow. Then you’ll cut the 2 back pieces. My measurements were 24 x 14 inches and 24 x 20 inches allowing for a 3 inch overlap that makes the envelope and a generous 1 inch hem allowance.

Make sure you iron all your pieces flat. Even if they don’t really look wrinkled iron them anyway. It makes sewing a professional looking pillow that much easier.

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To finish the back pieces press your raw edge down 1 inch. Fold it over and press another 1 inch.

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Using a straight stitch on your machine hem the back pieces you just folded and ironed.

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To assemble your pillow lay the front piece down face up. Next lay your shorter back piece face down lining up the raw edges with your bottom piece. Make sure the right sides of the fabric are facing together. Then lay your longer back piece face down which should overlap the first piece.

Pin your pieces in a couple of places along the edge so they don’t shift around as you move them to your machine.

Using a straight stitch sew along all 4 sides of your pillow

Turn the whole piece right side out

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Your back pieces should overlap, creating a simple envelope back pillow. Easy. Peasy

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Stuff and fluff till your hearts content.

Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’…

29

06.1.12

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Some people (mostly B) say I love to paint. Errr wrong, try again. I really just love a lot of change for my decorating buck and painting is where it’s at for big impact on a not so big budget. Actually, I usually find painting to be a long and tedious process but in the end the rewards usually outweigh the tedium… except for that one time I accidentally painted the Living Room a lovely shade of highlighter green and then quickly painted over it the next morning. But that’s a paint disaster story for another day.

So based on my lovely inspiration board for our Bedroom overhaul I had decided to repaint our bedroom in Martha Stewart’s Milk .

Bedroom Board 3

But once the Robert Allen Ikat curtain fabric and the Braemore Wonderland pillow fabric (number 1 & number 9 on the board) arrived I was feeling a little less sure in my choice being the exact right light shade.. Luckily that was quickly remedied with my generous paint chip collection and a couple of minutes of staring at a bunch of paint chips.

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So we broke out the paint chips held them up to our new fabric and chose a new white. Namely Martha Stewart’s Pip. It’s one of those so totally subtle color difference that you’d never be able to tell on a computer monitor but just feel better in person kind of differences. Believe me I’ve tried to photograph the difference between the two and it just isn’t happening, So you’ll have to trust me on this one.

With the the color decided again it was off to the paint store for an easy paint pick-up or so we thought. Martha Stewart paint happened to be on clearance for $12.00 a gallon. But due to the awesome price it happened to be sold out, discontinued, not coming back. Bummer.  So of course after some more pondering of shades of whites I went to my local Benjamin Moore pain dealer and had them color matched to BM’s interior paint in a  flat finish to minimize the look of bumps and nicks on the wall.

I was so excited about it brought it home, slapped a test swatch on the wall and quickly realized that in order to cover the dark green color we’d need to prime first.

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Thankfully things got Rollin’ even if it was a little later in the day than I had planned after we made our third and final trip to the store to grab some primer. Give 2 cheers to under-planners like us! I set out to start the cutting in/edging process. This has always been my job whenever we set out to paint. B just doesn’t have the patience for it. He’s more of the immediate gratification of slapping some paint on the walls with a roller kind of guy. Even though he’s had more painting experience then he’d care to remember given that he married me.

Since where the walls meet the ceiling are awfully crooked and never look quite right no matter how carefully I edge. I decided this time to tape along the ceiling about 1/4 of an inch in. I would carry the wall color onto the ceiling instead of stopping right out the edge. It’s given the walls so a pretty finished look without the crooked edges even if some of the ceiling paint peeled slightly when I removed the tape. Oh well nothing a little patching and touch up paint can’t fix.

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As for what we did with the furniture, we just pushed it into the middle of the room and squeezed around it. Doesn’t it look just lovely completely painted in primer with the glow of the flash against the room since it was pretty late by this point? We painted over a 2 day period since it ended up needing 1 coat of primer and 2 coats of paint to completely cover the old green paint. We finished the first coat of primer around 10:00 pm and camped out in the Living Room over night.

By the next afternoon, 3 coats of paint later and the help of our resident measurer…

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We had the room completely painted and the TV newly hung on the wall instead of sitting on the dresser by the next evening.

We’ll be the first to admit that the room was already starting to look much better without changing the wall color and just by changing out a few accessories and bedding but we’re going for a whole new look here. So far the bedroom has gone from greens and oranges just thrown together haphazardly from whatever we had lying around.

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To this with a few quick tweaks, like changing out the side tables, switching the lampshades. Adding some vintage chairs and a new side table between the bookcase.

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All the way to this with a coat of paint.

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The white is really soft and pretty in person, while we were rolling it on it kept reminding me of butter cream frosting and perfectly matches the colorful fabrics we chose for the curtains and pillows. I’m glad we switched at the last minute.

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It’s a small room, so it’s feeling a lot more open with the lighter color paint. I’m fond of dark greens in a room but when we painted this one right as we moved into the house we didn’t realize that the light only really streams into the room in the morning not so much in the afternoon. The room felt more like a cave which could be good for sleeping but not so good for rising and shining.

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On the side tables I added a couple of pretty placemats to protect the furniture from glasses of water and phones charging on the bedside tables at night.

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My mom has always added a pretty little table scarf to the tops of furniture to lay things down and protect them from water rings and the daily grind.

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Over time I may change these our for something larger. Maybe a vintage item, the sweet vintage style clock is also a new addition courtesy of an awesome friend for Christmas.

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We’re also loving how big of an impact hanging the TV on the wall versus it sitting on the dresser has had on the space. It really opened up the entire area even in it’s unfinished state with Wires hanging down the wall and the not so pretty cable box sitting on the dresser. We definitely need to figure out what to do with that next.

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It also really goes well with the new side tables we purchased allowing for a more open seamless feel across the back wall.

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Overall we’re really happy with how bright and airy it’s making everything feel. So the next thing on my to-do list is to sew some pillows for the bed using the Braemore Wonderland fabric pictured above. I’m think ones with an envelope back in a neutral fabric so I can make the most of the 2 yards I have and spread it around the room. Then it’ll be onto sewing the drapes, picking out some nice colorful art to break up all the neutral walls and add pops of colors. I’m really liking the idea of using some original art pieces combined with prints. Oh and of course we still need to pick fabric for our two vintage chairs and get to reupholstering them. Fingers crossed it will be a record breaking fast sewing experience so we can add some color back into our nice neutral backdrop.

A Mantle to Hang the Stockings

0

30.11.11

Ok so our stocking aren’t hung yet, but we have a bright as a shiny new penny mantle on which to hang the stockings. Which I would say is more than half the battle.

Since I last wrote I found a old picture from our home inspection back in September of 2009 of how the fireplace looked when we bought the house. We’ve never been really fond of the awkward corner fireplace that left a lot to be desired in our minds in the terms of the style of home we were after. Apart from painting the paneling and adding a a pellet stove insert which provides awesome heat in the winter that we got for free from my aunt who was replacing hers. All in all we’ve mostly ignored it not really knowing where to start.

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When last we left off in our story, our hero Bryan had completely removed the paneling and wall on the top of the fireplace to find some “creative” use of 2 x4’s and drywall damage from an old roof leak that had been repaired long ago but the damaged drywall had never been removed.

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It was fun job reframing the support wall and removing the water damaged sheetrock …not really, but a necessary step to getting the mantel complete in time to hang the stockings. Good thing Bryan had his Father here to help. At least I managed to stay behind the camera for this step. Score one for the camera woman.

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Removing Water Damage

After all the behind the walls work was done Bryan moved on to adding the new pine bead board to the wall and building the mantel box. The core of the mantel itself is a simple wood box screwed into and few supports that he added during the framing stage to support the mantel.

Bead Board

And then he got a little bit ahead of himself and decided he needed to hang the TV over the fireplace before we could call it done. Don’t get in between a man and his 47 inch TV mounted on the wall even if the wall is still a work-in-progress.

Hanging the TV

At this point it still needed A LOT of extra molding to dress it up and finish it off, including where the stone bottom meets the pine bead board.

P1130445 copy Thank goodness for the long weekend. Over the next couple of days Bryan diligently added additional molding and trim around the top and sides, a piece of wood I’ve been calling the apron to transition from the stone to the wood and some pieces to dress up the boxy molding.

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You can see above where he added the vertical pieces to add depth and break up the long horizontal line.

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Then as a finishing touch we added decorative molding to the top edge taking it from just a wood box bolted to the wall to a beautiful mantle we are over the moon about.

Just for comparison sake and mostly because we can’t believe how much has changed here’s how the fireplace looked when we first bought our home.

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Then it evolved only a bit once we painted the top and added the pellet stove. It still left a lot to be desired in our minds though. Fireplace

And today this is how it looks.

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Overall we’re kind of giddy excited over how this whole fireplace mantel thing turned out. Bryan’s also pretty impressed with himself on how he was able to pull it together. Seeing as this was his first big project with large amounts of 45 degree angles to cut he was cautious as he cut each piece, checking and double checking as he went.  We went into this with an idea to move the TV allowing us extra floor space in our narrow living room and are pleasantly surprised how much it changed the look of the entire room.

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But before it’s actually ready to hang stockings on we’ll need to stain and seal it. Right now we’re leaning towards a white washed finish to keep with the Lake House feel since this room has a direct view of the lake through the sliding glass doors. But I’ll be sure to show off how it all ends up.

Hopefully we’ll get that all completed this weekend along with putting up the tree.  But for now we’re totally in love with the way it turned out. Is it weird that we keep staring at it?

Whimsical Christmas Tree

14

28.11.11

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. We did. We got a lot done on our fireplace mantel project and it looks so great.  I’ll promise to share all the details soon.  I’m so happy that it will be ready just in time to hang our stockings by the chimney with care.

Now that Thanksgiving 2011 has officially come to a close we can officially begin Christmas decorating of course. And nothing says handmade projects to me more than Christmas time.

Growing up we always had special holiday art that my Mom had made, hers was a wonderful embroidered Santa Claus I always admired. Each year at Christmastime it was part of the holiday preparations that magically transformed our house into the familiar Christmas home we’d grown up loving.

Christmas Tree

I’m definitely no stranger to fun Christmas projects to bring in that Holiday cheer. I love to paint and this little whimsical tree was a fun afternoon project.

To paint this Whimsical Tree I used a 12 x 12 inch canvas I had in my art closet and painted the entire canvas, background and sides a light blue color.

Background

Next I transferred my Christmas Tree Sketch I drew (downloadable here) using carbon transfer paper.

Sketch

Once the background is dry to the touch I painted the body of the tree a light Christmas Green.

Christmas Tree Green

I  painted the snow by using the eraser end of a pencil in cream, white and gray dipping the eraser in the paint and dotted in a random pattern. The Christmas lights are painted the same way using an eraser in dipped and dotted in purple, pink and yellow paint.

Christmas Tree Snow and Lights

Next, I painted the hot pink tree skirt and outline the tree in dark green and the tree skirt and star in black.

Christmas Tree Outline

Finally paint the package squares first in white which acts like primer over the darker background paint allowing the present colors to shine.

Christmas Tree Presents

If you’re looking for a fun project to do with the kids this would be a fun and simple project. Just sketch yourself a tree or use my sketch and add some painted snow dots, Christmas lights and presents.

Christmas Tree Finished

It also looks pretty darn cute propped on a table with few of your favorite Christmas things.

An Impromptu Project

0

23.11.11

Inevitably when the holidays roll around there’s always one or two or twelve things you’d like to accomplish before the big day. The holidays always spur a flurry of activity around here from the traditional holiday baking, shopping and gift wrapping. To the more in depth projects like making room for the Christmas tree by completely redesigning our fireplace to allow for the television to be mounted to the wall above it.

I don’t think I’ve shown photos of our Living room how it is now on the site before. It’s a good size space but relatively long and narrow at about 20’ x 12’, with multiple doors, a wall cut out, a window and a fireplace that chop up the space and make for difficult furniture arranging not to mention the challenging act of adding something large like a Christmas tree.

Living Room

It’s come a long way and of course we still have big plans like adding some art to the walls, rearranging/changing some furniture and moving the TV to it’s future home over the fireplace. For comparison’s sake here’s what it looked like during our home inspection back when we were just two months short of our move in date.

Living Room Before

Oh, and just so you have a better idea of how this is all laid out here’s a quick little (totally not to scale)  floor plan I put together to help visualize where everything is including the fireplace in the corner and the TV along the back wall. living room plan 2

The fireplace is not original to our home and is set into the corner of the room at a slightly odd angle. The construction of the top portion is a bit wonky to say the least. The trim piece weren’t put up correctly and in when you’re in person you can tell the top angles of the bead board don’t quite match the bottom angles of the stone, making for a generally wonky looking fireplace.

Fireplace

For the most part it’s been neglected and ignored by us other than painting the to paneling from it’s original light wood existence as we focused on other areas of the house. So far we’ve been using it as a place to dry my latest works of art and a catch all for random items as the mantel is too narrow to hold most everyday objects.

So with that in mind and the approaching holidays we had a brain storm to finally put the TV over the fireplaceto free up some much needed floor space for a Christmas tree at this time of year and some occasional chairs for the rest of the months of the year that don’t require us to have a 7 foot tree in the middle of the room.

Fireplace deconstruction

So Bryan set out Friday night to remove the paneling so we could add new knotty pine, run the cable for the TV and add some additional supports to hold the TV so it doesn’t come crashing down.

Which led us to find all sorts of wonderful stuff like drywall damaged from an old roof leak that had been repaired from above but the never removed behind the wall.

Water Damage

After that was all sorted out, cleaned up and removed they made quick work of reframing it in a slightly more sturdy fashion.

framing

We also bought some really great knotty pine that we plan to whitewash and add chunky mantel  along with some other ideas that are kind of up in the air. Needless to say we’re super excited and we have our fingers crossed that we can finish it up over the Thanksgiving weekend so we can put up the Christmas tree in it’s new home.

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