Friday, September 30, 2011

Halloween Mantel

I'm so glad Halloween is on its way! Definitely my favorite time of year. This year is the first year I have a mantel to decorate. Whoo-hoo! It's been so fun getting out all my Halloween decorations. I've made a few new things this year too.

The Halloween subway art was a free printable from eighteen25. So gorgeous!

 I had an extra frame hand that I painted black, then just framed the printable.

The vase I found at a garage sale for $1 - and I got the black river rocks from Hobby Lobby. I found a few branches in my neighborhood - spray-painted them black - and made this spooky little tree. I was inspired by my friend Brooks and her gorgeous black branches last Halloween. (Thanks Brooks!) I made the framed crow tree art. I love how it looks!

Finally, I stitched up the little spider and painted another frame for it. I added the spider web and the word blocks I made earlier this month.

Rounding it out are my favorite Halloween ornaments, some spooky LED eyeball lights, and some fun candy corn candles. I put a black spider web under the whole thing. So happy with how it all looks!

It's especially fun at night with the little lights on...

I have a few more fun Halloween projects to share - coming soon!

Linking up to these parties:

        The DIY Show Off

        Tip Junkie handmade projects

Monday, September 26, 2011

Halloween Door Art

I made some new door art for Halloween! Love how this turned out!

I've had this cute door hanger for a few years and I love it but I thought it needed some freshening up.

So I had hubby cut a board from some scrap wood, painted it black, then sanded the edges. I sealed it with some matte craft varnish as well - I love the subtle sheen it gets. Then I used my Silhouette to cut the Trick or Treat (trick_or_treat_C20090907230548_18816 in the Silhouette store).

I finished it off with a brass cup holder screwed into the bottom - spray-painted black - then stapled the orange polka-dot ribbon to the back to hang it up. I love it!

So stinking cute!

Updated: This project was featured on Craftaholics Anonymous as part of the 2011 Fall Frenzy. Wow - I'm honored!

Excited to link up to these parties:

All Things Thrifty Home Decor's All Things Spooky Linky Party


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wood Word Blocks

Last month, I picked up this *adorable* wood block word kit from Thoughts in Vinyl and finally got a chance to make it up. Love how it turned out! The kit came with wood blocks and vinyl letters - I used my own papers and paints for the backgrounds. Summer-themed on one side - patriotic-themed on other.

I was further inspired by the Halloween and Fall word blocks and decided to make my own. Again, I used paints for the backgrounds, but grunged it up a bit with some distressing ink from my scrapbooking stash. Then I cut the vinyl letters out with my Silhouette using Howser for the Halloween words and Wish I Was Taller for the fall words. Both fonts are wonderful frees fonts from Amanda's Free Scrapbooking Fonts. I also used a few shapes from the Silhouette site: Echo Park Halloween Shapes (echo_park_halloween_shapes_C00245_48353) and Leaf Silhouettes (leaf_silhouettes_C00060_30551). I think the blocks turned out great - love how they look!

One quick tip - if I was doing these again, I would keep to having words on just 2 sides of the blocks. The blocks are up on my mantel, so you can't tell - but when they are lower - like on a table - you can see the other words on the other sides. Doh! I didn't think about that until it was too late. Oh well. They still look great to me...

Monday, September 12, 2011

Tile and Paper Coasters

I saw these coasters on Just a Girl's blog and loved them immediately. I had been searching for a set of coasters since we bought our very first grown-up, real wood coffee table. (Yes, our first, and I'm turning 37 next week - can you believe it??) But I hadn't found any I loved at any of my usual shopping stops.

So off to Home Depot I went to grab up some floor samples to make my own version. There were lots of different floor samples to choose from, but I really liked the faux-tile (aka linoleum).

I found cork board at Michaels in big 12x12 squares, which worked perfectly. I cut the cork just slightly smaller than my tiles, then hot-glued it onto the back. I could have stopped there - but I thought it would be cute to mod-podge some pretty paper to the top. After letting it dry, voila - my coaster masterpieces were ready.

This set is now on my beautiful, new coffee table. I love red toile.

And this set I gave to a dear friend who hosted our family for a weekend visit.

Now I need another set for our family room. These are super easy and make great quick gifts. Just make sure to let them cure for a few days before stacking them or they'll stick together a bit. You can still pull them apart, but it's slightly embarrassing from a gift-giving standpoint for your gifts to be stuck together... :)

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ugly Couch Transformation

My first-ever furniture transformation project! Yes, I'm kind of nuts starting out with something this big. I'm not sure what possessed me, except that it started out like most of my craft projects do - with an overwhelming urge to just jump in and do it.

I had some red leaves upholstery fabric on hand that I was planning to use in our bedroom - but then I bought a different bed set and the new fabric really didn't go with it at all. So I thought it might look good on our couch.

Our couch. Sigh. It was old - more than 10 years old. The fabric was not in good shape. Lots of worn spots and stains. The pillows were all super flat. So it was either figure out a way to recover it - or burn it. So I decided there wasn't much I could do to mess it up, right?

I went back to Home Fabrics and Rugs to get more of the fabric, knowing that I didn't have enough on hand to cover the whole couch. I literally drove for 3 hours not even knowing if they would have any more of the fabric. I didn't call ahead to check either. I just wanted to leave it up to fate. (I'm a dork like that.) I got to the store and frantically started looking for the fabric, all the while trying to act like I wasn't on a mad mission. Luckily, they had another bolt. Whoo-hoo! I ended up paying about $8/yard for this fabric. I love, love, love it so much.

Use the big guns.
Don't waste your time using a wimpy staple gun. I started out stapling my fabric on with a little Black and Decker battery-operated 19 volt staple gun. In fact, I had gotten it for my DH at Christmas with the express idea that I would be using it to recover furniture. Alas, this staple gun wasn't powerful enough to handle this project. After recovering just one arm of the couch and lamenting to DH about how hard it was to get the fabric to stay put around the curvy arm, he brought out the big staple gun, with the air compressor and everything. What a difference. Smooth sailing from there.

Do some initial prep.
Before working with the new fabric, I cleaned up the old couch. I use a butter knife (very professional) to take off the back of the couch. Those staples were in there good, and this took some time.

Once it was off, I vacuumed out the inside of the couch. I even found a few Hot Wheels cars from my boys. Too funny.

Trust your instinct.
Just start putting your fabric on and stapling! This is easy for me to say considering we were going to get rid of this couch unless I could salvage it in some way. Also, my fabric didn't have an direction, so if you are using a stripe or a plaid, you'll have to do more planning than I did. But since I didn't have that challenge, I just laid the new fabric over top the old and started stapling, pulling, stapling, and trimming.

Initially, I worried about stapling this new fabric over top of the old. I'm sure the proper way is to take the old first. But I had no patience for that. So I just plowed ahead, putting the new right over the old.

Lastly, I reconstructed the entire back from a new piece of fabric, just folding and cutting as a I stapled.

Reconstruct the Pillows
As I said, the pillows were flat from years of use. To fix that, I slit each pillow open, stuffed them with more stuffing, and sewed them back up. That one little fix made an amazing difference - big, fluffy, comfy pillows!

Then I sewed new covers for each pillow out of the new red fabric to match the couch, plus a coordinating blue and yellow for the four smaller pillows.

The last pieces were the big couch cushions. I didn't even attempt to do those myself. They're big and curved, and I just didn't trust my sewing skills for that one. So I found a local upholstery shop - Pechous Upholstering here in Lincoln - and had them recover them for me, using my fabric. The total cost was about $160 - well worth it to me! They turned out beautifully. I highly recommend their work!

The Big Reveal
Ready to see how it turned out? I'm so excited with how it looks!

I even add fabric-covered buttons and tufted the little yellow pillows. Love how those turned out.

I was pretty nervous about the back of the couch as this would be the only place where the staples would actually show. But it was really a pretty smooth process. I think it looks awesome, and you can really barely see the staples. I thought about gluing a piece of braided trim or something over the staples but I don't think I will even bother - you can really hardly see them at all.

And one more time....tired and boring before:

And fabulous, beautiful after!

Thanks for looking!

This project was featured at Coastal Charm!

Entering this project in Not JUST a Housewife's Best DIY Project of 2011:


Linking up to these parties:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...