Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring Front Door

With our early spring weather, "spring" actually feels like "spring"!  I decided to make this happy looking wreath for my front door.

I know that some people are anti-silk flowers, but I just take them for what they are - not necessarily that the flowers "look" like real.  Here are the materials:
  • 18" straw wreath
  • 4 yards of ribbon
  • 4 gerbera daisies - 2 pink, 2 orange
  • darker orange Ranunculus
  • Deep red mini flowers

Bundle of Flowers
The beginning arrangement of the wreath

I started with wrapping the orange, polka-dotted ribbon around the wreath and then tied the two ends together. Then, I cut the stems of the flowers so that they would be a lot shorter - stems were probable 6 - 8 inches. I spread the flowers out and make sure that the "pop" out in a 3D way, not just plastered against the wreath. I used approximately the lower third right hand corner of the wreath. I also did not glue, simply tucked inside.

Another view of the finished wreath

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spring is in the Air

Spring is in the air. It's been such a beautiful, warm spring that all of the flowers and trees are blooming 4 - 5 weeks ahead of time. I love this time of year when the imminent buds are preparing to bloom. It's always a guessing game as to when they will actually appear. When the weather follows the averages for this area, I know that my lilacs will bloom around Mother's Day. If the weather stays this warm, I am guessing they will finally pop through in the next 3 - 5 days.
Tulip ~ Lilac Tree ~ Miniature Weeping Cherry Tree
Of course, there are the blooms that have already popped. I have always loved red bud trees and this year the three in my corner garden are doing really well.
Forsythia ~ Red bud
I also start planning my planters at the front of the house. This year, I am thinking about the orange, coral or salmon flowers. The Pantone color of the year is Tangerine Tango. Usually my front yard flowers is about deep reds, burgundies or deep fuchsia. I have some coral bells and other bushes that have purple flowers throughout the summer. So the reds work well. I think I may try mixing it up a bit and go for the orange.

Here is an orange geranium

Love this tequila sunrise calibrochoa
{Proven Winners}
This is an orange twinspur

{Proven Winners}
I'll definitely try the orange tones this year, perhaps with a purple-y blue or a lime green accent plant. Do you stick with the tried and true or do you intend to mix it up?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Home Improvement Goal is Checked Off the List

I created a couple of Home Improvement goals for 2012 and can finally check one off of the list! The once hot pink desk is now a lovely shade of gray, London Gray by Rustoleum, to be exact. I also found this shiny chrome handle and shiny chrome, square pyramid handles.

After with new paint, handles, a lamp and a few accessories

The hot pink version

This dresser has a funny story. My neighbors across the street had a big family and as one child would move out, that child would have the opportunity to take their stuff with them. What didn't go would get set out for the garbage. My next door neighbor and I spied a really neat desk and a swing. She wanted the swing and I wanted the desk. It was dark and we were looking over the garbage - I really don't do this often!  As we were there, another car pulled up and brought back a fan that he had gotten out of their garbage but didn't work. We got quite a chuckle out of that and had to enlist our husbands to help haul the stuff. I am certain that they were as over joyed about the finds as we were. The next day, I took over some money to pay them for the desk, and they were so gracious about just giving it to me.

The desk has been it's natural wood color, dark red, hot pink and now London Gray.

For this version, I removed the glass handle and knobs. It had been my intention to reuse these, but the handle dropped and shattered into a lot of pieces.

Then I enlisted the help of my son, and he lightly sanded over all of the surfaces.

Several light coats of spray paint helped to build up the color without runs, drips or errors. 

The desk is just about finished - just needs to finish drying

Here she is - new paint, new hardware, new light and new accessories. That's a lot of mileage out of one free little desk that was destined for an early demise.

Have you found any great finds from the garbage? Or have you repurposed and revisited an item several times?

I linked up with:
Furniture Feature Fridays

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Heirloom White Spray Paint Project

Heirloom White seems to be THE spray paint color in the DIY blogosphere, so naturally I thought I would try my hand at it. The last few years, I had tried to create a warm and cozy home with my color choices. One bright and sunny spring day, my cozy, brown dining room felt like a cave, so I have been changing up the colors in my house and trying to make things light and cozy, and Heirloom White seems to fit into that goal.

I had a couple of old accessories, and bought these little birds and rabbit at the dollar store. I thought that these would be perfect for this soft and creamy shade of white.
Before the spray paint

After the spray paint 
Here they are in their spots before:

And here they are after:

I think the little dollar store finds are much more elegant and and a little more expensive looking with a touch of Heirloom White:

I am pleased with how these turned out, and I can see why so many DIYers are using the color. I am a new convert to Heirloom White.

What colors are you in love with these days?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Upholstered Headboard

I love the look of upholstered headboards. I've had this one from Ballard Designs saved in my favorites for a while but it starts at $679, which is more than I wanted to spend. I did use it for shape inspiration. I like this one from West Elm, too. This one was a great find from a DIY blog. I loved the color of it and the nailhead trim. I couldn't find the nailhead trim that was attached in a strand, just the individual nailheads. Time is a luxury so that option got nixed...

Tools and supplies:
  • Graph paper to sketch out your design
  • Fabric that is large enough to fit your desired plywood size
  • Quilt batting (I did 3 layers)
  • Covered button kit
  • Plywood
  • Fishing line or sturdy thread
  • Long needle
  • Scissors
  • Nail or something to attach the button
  • Jig saw if you are doing a shape
  • Drill if you are adding buttons
I started with sketching the button location on graph paper. This gave me the approximate proportions of how I thought it should look. There were two graph paper squares between each button. There are 18 squares that made up the width.I found one queen size headboard online that was 62". So, I took 62 divided by 18 and came up with 3.44444. That's too difficult to measure. So, I rounded the 3.4444 up to 3.5, which would be much easier to measure. Are you with me still? I took the 18 squares and multipled by the 3.5 and got 63.This established the width of the headboard.

To determine the height, I just measured above my mattress to the height that I wanted (about 32").

Sketching out the headboard

Lowe's cut out the plywood at 63" X 32". I sketched and gridded out the headboard onto the plywood according to the graph paper plan.

Then, using a jig saw, my hubby cut along the sketched edges.

Then he drilled the holes.

I laid the fabric on my table with the right side facing down. I also added 3 layers of quilt batting on top of the fabric. Then I placed my newly cut and drilled plywood on this.

I started in the middle of the top and started stapling. I pulled firmly, but not with a lot of pressure because I didn't want to distort the fabric. To staple around the curves, I cut 1 inch slashes into the fabric and quilt batting in the curved section.

Then I stapled each "slash", smoothing as I went along.

I made some fabric covered buttons and then attached the buttons. I used fishing line as the thread and tied the fishing line to a nail. I then fed the thread through the hole and attached the button with a couple of stitches.

When I got finished, I used duct tape to attach the nails to the plywood. I think this also helps to keep the button tight against the quilt batting.

Here is a preview of the headboard. More to come when the bedroom is finished...

Monday, March 12, 2012

Fabric Covered Buttons

I think that fabric covered buttons can add a look of class to your projects. These are simple to make and do not cost much money.

You can purchase covered button kits at Wal Mart, Joanne's, etc. The kits are very inexpensive. I think I paid about $1.65 for this kit of 5. I laid out the pieces in order. There is a white rubbery piece that acts like a form.
  • Place you fabric so that the wrong side is facing up and the right side is facing the rubbery piece.
  • Place the metal button form into the white rubbery piece. The fabric will wrap around the button form. Smooth the fabric into the button form.
  • Add the back of the button on top of the fabric. All fabric should be hidden by the back of the form.
  • The blue plastic piece goes on top of the  button back. Press firmly. I found myself tapping this gently with a hammer to get it snapped in there once in a while.
A funny note: I first tried to use a denim type of fabric. It was TOO thick and I felt like I was going to break a thumb trying to get the back on the button. I ended up finding a great table cloth at Wal Mart. I loved the sheen and texture of it. These buttons are for my headboard project. Isn't she lovely?

Think of all of the uses on pillow, chairs, couches, headboards, ottomans, picture frames, other crafts, decorations...


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