Happy 2012!

Welcome, won't you stay a while? There's so much to do, and we hope to share it all with you this year. Design, crafts, frugal living... You'll find this and more at Design-Aholic!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Budget Friendly Alphabet Art

One of the last projects for Baby Boy's nursery was completing some sort of alphabet art.  I had originally desired to make the alphabet a large focal wall, but that can wait until the toddler years.  After all, Z said he doesn't need to know his alphabet until at least 6 weeks... :)  So, for now, artwork in frames is what I went for.

This was a super thrifty project-  We're talking $3 in frames (yes, they're the same color of the crib and glider wood!) from the dollar store- 11x14" even-  They're big!  The letters came from a pack that was $3, and I used only 1/2 of the pack, so lets call it $1.50.  The rest of the materials I had on hand: white fabric, acrylic paint, spray adhesive, fabric glue...

So, here's how the second attempt at my alphabet artwork came together.

I found this pack of letters at the one trip I've made to Walmart in years.  They were $3 for the pack, and turned out to not be what I thought they were (I thought they were cardboard, turns out they're more like post it note letters...).  I used the holographic letters that were also included since they were coated, and I knew the acrylic paint would stick much better than to the black paper letters.

I organized them in the frames (with the black letters first), and started painting with the 5 coordinating colors in totally random pattern.  (I don't do random well, but it seemed to work this time!)

Each letter took at least 2 coats.  Some of them took 3 since the paint brand was a little cheaper (more water in the paint?)

I took these $1 11x14" frames from the dollar store, and removed the cardboard backing.  I used the spray adhesive to adhere the frame insert upside down to the cardboard, and then used the spray adhesive again to adhere the white fabric to the boards.  (I used this same curtain liner fabric for the laundry basket liner I made.  I guess it worked out that I had extra)  I used my rotary cutter to trim the excess fabric so it was nice and snug in the frame.

Then, I used fabric glue to attach the letters in the predetermined pattern to the white boards.  Clean the frames up with some windex, and snap back together!  Then, photograph for blog...

They're not hung yet.  What I'm trying to determine is whether they should go horizontal along the wall, or vertical.  You be the judge (but quickly, since baby is coming any day now!).  The reason for the question is because I still need to incorporate the mobile into the room, and I figured it would go in the corner by the dresser.  So here's the wall the alphabet art will go on.  What do you think orientation wise? 

Let me know what you think!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Two-Toned & Lined Curtains

I made curtains again!  Gosh, our baby is lucky I've taken to sewing lately...

These were imagined back in June, when I stopped off at Home Fabrics, and picked up the three main fabrics for baby boy's room.  Remember when I showed you this fabric set (polka dots used to cover the glider cushions, that I showed you HERE):

To go with our bedding set my awesome cousins purchased for us:

I wanted a pulled together room (designed from scratch) but not something totally matchy-matchy which a lot of nursery stores provide.  So, I imagined these curtains while walking through the store.  The top fabric is green and white houndstooth, and the bottom is a blue and lighter blue stripe.

The curtains, for now, are hung on the closet as doors since the doors that were installed were not going to cut it (bi-fold doors, braced together so they opened like regular doors, plus they didn't shut tight and seemed cheap).  They're fully lined, in case they become window treatments later (in order to black out the sun while baby sleeps

Since these were all straight stitches again, I didn't really make a tutorial.  But, essentially, I measured the full length I needed which was 84" (luckily the closet and the window are the same length, if I want to swap the curtains later), measured the width of the blue stripe fabric I wanted to use, and subtracted that from the full length needed.  I cut down the houndstooth and blue stripe fabric (with seam allowance) to the proper size.  I sewed the blue and green together first, and then the white liner onto the back.  The top seam is rough, but since I knew we were just going to use clips to hang them, it wasn't a huge deal.

With a typical spring loaded shower curtain rod, I hung the curtains as "doors" for the closet.  They are a nice touch, and hide the closet that's still a work in progress of organization (even though I've been given orders to kick my feet up and not do much... which bums me out, but it awefully nice!)

Oh, and Shhh, they hide this:

Yep, I forgot I still have to paint these small portions of the closet sides.  We were going to cover them in the beadboard, but time got away from us.  The paint will be fine for now.  :)  When I get around to it.

Here are a few shots of the curtains from different angles:

(those small frames resting on the crib will be hung on the wall soon...)

(Do you see that laundry basket at the bottom of the closet?  Check that revamp out HERE!)

So, what do you think?  I can't wait to show the whole room put together- there are just a few finishing touches that hopefully we'll have time to get to this weekend. 

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Boat Applique Pillow

Wow, I AM getting good with the sewing machine!  Or, at least I hide the imperfections well.  :)

Remember when I made the polka dot slipcovers for the glider?  It's super cute by itself, but I thought the small little 12x16" I had bought would be so cute as an accent (Plus, potential actual lower back support on the glider, if needed!)

I've had a few pillow cover creation mishaps, so I thought since I've taken to sewing lately, that I might be able to do this one quicker and easier, and I did... but I cheated.  How, you ask?

This small pillow was encased in a plastic bag when I bought it, that I realized fit PERFECTLY around the pillow, and allowed it to be nice and plump.  So, I cheated by using the bag as fabric cut guide.  You know what?  It worked!  It even had an envelope closure, instead of being seamed all the way around. 

So, with the extra drapery lining fabric I had (solid white) leftover from the nursery curtains, I made the 3 fabric cuts: 1 for the front, and 2 for the back to make the envelope closure.  Again, straight seams made this easy to put together.  I did turn it right side out, and fit the pillow in, and needed to bring the side seam in a bit, so I just turned it out, and made a new seam.  Fit better the second time.

I pulled the quilt out, and picked the boat I wanted to duplicate, and drew it out on a paper so I could cut the fabric to the right size (after all, the rest of the nursery is starting to look polished and pulled together, and the last thing I wanted was the accessories to look sloppy)

I had planned to sew the appliques on, but since I did kind of mess up by sewing the whole case together first, that didn't quite work...  But, fabric glue worked just fine.  I could hand stitch them later, if I feel so inclined.  (yea right, after the baby is born?!)

But anyway, as it's all coming together, I love it!  Here are some photos of the little pillow on the glider, and how it all fits together in the room.  Oh, and did you recognize the sail fabric?  It matches the "C" artwork frame I did a few weeks back.  Check that project out HERE.  :)

And, if you're interested in the painted barn stars on the wall, I love them!  I posted about them just the other day... check that post out here.

So as it all comes together, I can thank this little puppy:

Who knew I'd become a sewing fanatic!  I always felt more crafty than being a seamstress, but perhaps it's just another tool to be crafty.  Who'da thunk?!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lined Laundry Basket

Wow, sewing up a storm over here, and pretending to be a pro!  So, one of my last nursery projects (yes, ONE of the last...) was this laundry basket.

Let's just say I whipped up the liner.

First, I bought this basket probably a year ago ($4.99!), thinking I would actually turn it upside down, and use it as a side table in our family room... Then, all decor projects stopped when I got pregnant, because I just lost all energy.  Anyway, last week, we realized we had the diaper pail, a small trash can, but no place for those dirty clothes everyone seems to remind us we'll have.  :)  I asked Z to pull the basket down from the garage storage loft, and I re-purposed it.

Here's the basket before (perfect size I believe for baby laundry :) )

I painted the basket blue to start- a nice royal blue in a glossy finish (spray paint, of course...)

Then, I essentially sewed up a really large pillow case (thanks mom for the idea.)  I had originally thought I would cut a circle that fit the bottom of the basket, and then sew on the sides in a tube type style.  My mom quickly helped me realize with my novice sewing skills, that simply making a pillow case type liner would be quicker, easier, and just fine for this use.  I measured the depth needed, used some extra drapery lining fabric, and winged it sewing it together.  The finished seams are on the inside, where the clothes drop in, and the rough edges are on the outside of the liner.  I just move the basket so you can't see those.  :)

I added 1/2" elastic to the roll over sides of the liner so it stays in place.  Voila!  Totally simple, and an inexpensive final touch.  I love it in the closet now, but honestly like the color so much I might find a place for it in the room out in the open!

Oh, and notice the closet doesn't have doors?  Yep, those curtains I gave you a sneak peek on are up, and totally cute & functional.  I'll share those shortly with you all... They were another glorious sewing project.  :)

Hope you're enjoying the nursery posts!  I find myself walking in the room all the time, loving how it's turning out.  More to come still :)

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