Quick Low-sew F’Roman Shades

That’s right, people. We are talking about faux-roman shades. F’roman. As in, they don’t move up and down… they’re just there for their good looks! Side note — OMG I just achieved the “they’re, there, their” trifecta!!!

But first… let’s talk about this photo below. What do you do if you don’t have enough wall space for your couch? Just slide your couch right in front of your “extra” french doors, of course! And then make really cute and inexpensive f’roman shades to blend it all together.

wpid-20150121_221547.jpg

That was my solution, at least. We do love our two sets of french doors in the den, but with the fireplace on the adjacent wall and the entertainment center on the opposite wall, there just weren’t a whole lot of options for where to put that large piece of furniture. I’d like to tell you that we ran headlong and unapologetically into the land of breaking basic home functionality rules, but really, it just happened. We pretty much gave up on ever finding a couch to fit the space between the doors, and instead focused on finding one that would fit our budget. Equally challenging, I assure you.

Aaaand, I just now remembered that this post was supposed to be about curtains. So here we go! I used to have floor-length curtains on these doors, but they kept ending up getting crammed behind the couch or pushed out of the way, so I wanted a more practical solution without spending a lot of money. These simple f’roman shades turned out to be the perfect fix! Once I had collected all the supplies, I was able to get all the crafting done on a Saturday afternoon.

image

For the four shade panels, I used a 6×9′ canvas drop cloth that I cut into 4 equal pieces. Here’s a kinda messy phone drawing super-sophisticated diagram for you visual folks:
image

So after the drop cloth was all cut up, that left me with only 6 sides that needed hemming, since the outer 2 sides had the original hem. The tops and bottoms of each panel also already had the factory hem. I just sewed a little rod pocket at the top of each panel for the curtain rods. Honestly, if you wanted to go all “no sew,” a semi-finished look could easily be achieved with iron-on hem tape and hot glue. If you know me, you know I am a firm believer in the power of hot glue!

But I had the time to spare, so I hemmed the raw edges and added a 1/2″ rod pocket at the top of each panel.

image

It’s kind of hard to tell from the photo below, but I hot glued a 27″ wooden dowel into the bottom of each panel to make a stiff base for when they are tied up. I could have used another rod pocket here, but the hot glue was quicker, and I figured once it was all bundled up you would never see that part of the panel.

image

Then I took dark brown grosgrain ribbon (which I literally 2 days ago learned is NOT pronounced “gross grain”) and created loops about 1 yard each. I know that sounds a bit arbitrary, but I basically took two 4-yard spools of ribbon and divided them each into 4 sections, 36″ long per section, by folding them half several times then cutting at the folds. (Whenever possible, I break things up into equal portions to avoid measuring over and over. That could either be really smart or really silly, depending on the circumstance.) Anyway, when the ribbons are looped over the curtain rod, the shades will hang about 18″ from the top (36″/2).

So here is what they look like with the loops hung over the rods before the panels are all bunched up. Don’t you love that didn’t even bother to iron the wrinkles from the packaging? I think it adds… “texture.” Yeah, that’s what we’ll call it!

 

image

Then, starting at the bottom, I folded up each panel trying to keep consistent folds that were about 4″ wide. Once I reached the bottom of the ribbon loops, I smushed the panel against the glass with one arm to hold it in place while I slid the ribbon loops in place.

image

At first, it looked sort of uneven…

image

So I went all perfectionista and messed with it until the folds were nice and neat and all lined up.

image

And here’s what they look like from the side…

image

And this shot was just to show my handy magnetic curtain rods… made for just for steel doors!

image

And this shot is just to show off the mantle shelf over the couch, which I love!

image

So what do you think? I feel like they turned out pretty decent for getting 4 “f’roman” shades for under $50… even with the crazy couch-in-front-of-the-door situation. Sort of makes the couch and shades look like good friends that just wanted to be extra close to one another!

image

So what about you? Have you broken any sacred design rules lately? I’d love to hear about it so I can steal your great ideas borrow fellow my rule-breakers’ genius solutions!

image

Until next time, I’ll just keep making it up as I go and getting creeped on by my own cat… 🙂

XOXO

IMG_6802

Hall Bath Update – The Details!

image

Brighter! Whiter! No longer the color of a peach crayon!

Over the Christmas break when I had some decent time off from work, I decided to start chipping away at the bathroom “fix it” list. There are lots of items on that list, but fortunately they are all cosmetic. I must say that I’m thankful to have a fully-functioning bathroom, even if it is in dire need of a makeover. 
image

I figured the easiest part was to paint the cabinet and mirror glossy white over the flat (yes, FLAT) peach color that was there before.

Now, I know you’re probably thinking… “Hey, don’t you think peach is sort of a weird color to paint a bathroom vanity and mirror?” Well I thought it was weird too at first, but then I realized, “But wait, the shower tile is peach… so it all MATCHES. It all makes so much sense now!” 

image

Peach colored tile… I’m sure this color was très chic in the ’60s.

Just kidding… the peachy color is SUPER weird! Or should I say… WAS super weird? Hasta la vista, peachy! The vanity and mirror look 100% cleaner and fresher now with a few coats of paint.

image

To dress up the very blah cabinet doors, I added lattice moulding to make them more “shaker style.” I had to do some pretty… “creative” wood filling on the rounded door fronts. Hopefully you can get the gist from the pictures below.

image

image

image

image

image

image

Once I was on a roll making over the vanity, I decided I had to rip out the “base tile” that went around the whole bathroom. What had happened was… I was painting the walls in a greige color that I knew I loved (Behr Sculptor’s Clay), but it looked totally strange. I couldn’t tell whether it was because of the lighting in that room or if it was just clashing with the peach-colored tile. So you see, I HAD to remove the tile before I could finish painting the room. Seriously, it seemed like the only logical thing to do.
image

Here’s my actual thought process, which was fairly logical (albeit brief). I measured the height of the tile and then measured the height of the baseboard in the hallway. When I saw that they were the same, I knew I could rip out the tile and cover the damaged part of walls with baseboard. If the tile had been taller than the baseboard, I would have had to go a different route – probably beadboard – to cover the damaged drywall.

Lastly, I attempted the faux granite painted counter idea I saw on Pinterest.
image
image

It turned out OK… but i will probably still end up replacing it with stone at some point. For now I’m just happy that it’s not creamy yellow anymore! Hooray!

Next, we are planning to re-tile the shower and add a jetted tub, but that’s a ways down the road. A nice new shower curtain will buy us some time by covering up that part of the room. 😀
image
image

I always say this, but it’s amazing what a difference a few coats of paint make!
image

Thanks for taking a peek at the work in progress!

Until next time,

image

Pretty-fied Christmas Tree Stand

Hey gang! In honor of my New Year’s resolution to blog more often, here is a quickie post for you! I know it’s a little late to be useful this year, but hopefully you will flag it as a great idea for NEXT year!

This ended up being a perfect solution for us and our lack of a tree skirt since our male cat insists on… ahem… “owning” any scrap of fabric within his reach. That same problem also inspired the Roman shades seen in this post since our floor-length curtains had to go bye-bye. More on that later. 😉

image

image

That’s a $6 apple basket from the craft store  (I had to ask for it… they were using it on top of the aisle dividers to hold extra inventory).

image

I cut the bottom out with a jigsaw and then zipped the saw up the back to cut it open. I used a cedar shim to splay the basket open wide enough to cover the tree stand base. You can see it’s just propped in there somewhat precariously. I’ll probably staple or glue it in place when I take the tree down.

image

Next year I plan to use a skirt in addition to the basket… but I think it looks great either way!

I have to give full credit to pinterest and the pin / blog post that gave me the initial idea. Check out the link for more great Christmas decorating tips!

http://www.homestoriesatoz.com/christmas/christmas-decorating-tips-and-tricks.html

Happy New Year!!

Kitchen Wall Decor

I know what you’re thinking… “Plates on a kitchen wall… isn’t that just TOO obvious?” Maybe, but it’s also “pretty and practical,” and that’s what this blog is all about! Plus, I like to think the random corbel in the middle adds a little something unexpected.
20140727-221008-79808961.jpg

This morning I was getting ready for my husband’s birthday barbecue when I noticed a scratch (or more accurately, “gouge of suspicious origins”) in the kitchen wall. Who knows which piece of heavy construction equipment that’s been steadily trickling in and out of the house actually caused this damage. Not that it matters… but what DOES matter is that there are people coming over today and they will all be standing around with nothing to better to do than stare at this humongous scratch in my otherwise completely blank kitchen wall! Right!? OK so I get a little carried away sometimes… there is no way anyone would have noticed that mark with all the delicious food and yard games going on. But I decided a year is a long enough time to wait to decorate the kitchen wall and figured “there’s no time like the present!”

For the record, I think some people get the idea that I’m “effortlessly” creative, but sometimes it just feels compulsive. Like, I have to do it and I have to do it RIGHT NOW!

So, instead of, I don’t know, say, prepping food or doing anything else more pressing, I went and picked through my collection of mismatched dishes and got to work laying out an arrangement. And thank goodness I had a handful of little plate hangers, too!
20140727-221429-80069610.jpg

First, I laid everything out on the ground to see how I wanted it all positioned. The wine bottle was a placeholder for the little shelf that I wanted to use but hadn’t yet tracked down.

20140727-221630-80190768.jpg
I took this picture primarily to give myself a point of reference for how things needed to go on the wall. I ended up referring back a bunch of times. I hung the shelf first, right over top of the scratch, then hung all the other pieces around it. Even though I had laid it all out on the floor beforehand, Adam still had to do a bit of patient plate-holding in various positions while I stood back and assessed the layout to be sure it looked OK.

20140727-222029-80429704.jpg

Pretty cute quick fix for a bare wall, don’t you think? I don’t know if it’s my “forever” kitchen decor, but for about 15 minutes of work I think it’s definitely a look that I can live with for a while.

Happy hanging!

20131010-172150.jpg

Super Quick No-Sew Pillow Covers

Ah, the thrill of instant gratification! The trouble is, “instant” usually also means “thrown together,” but if you’re OK with that sort of thing once in a while, it just adds to the fun. If you like quick makeovers and hot glue and believe that “C’s get degrees,” then this is the perfect project for you. On the other hand, if you like straight edges, lasting quality, and general perfection… well, I hope you’ll look the other way. This project requires: existing pillows in need of a makeover, scrap fabric 3x as long and just over 1x as wide as your pillow, hot glue, and a hot glue gun. Oh, and 10-15 minutes of semi-uninterrupted work time. Pillows Before So I think I had buyer’s remorse about these “medallion” pillows pretty much from the moment I left the store with them last year. On top of everything else we needed for the house at the time, pillows seemed like a surprisingly expensive luxury. (Side note – there must be some sort of “pillow makers’ union” that I have not been informed of, and that artificially inflates their prices, because I’ve seen pillows that you would think were comprised of golden fleece stuffed with unicorn hair… but I digress.)

Anyway, when we first moved in last year, the living room looked cold and bare without accent pillows, so I broke down and hurriedly bought a 2-for-1 pack at an outlet store and called it a day. I was over the pattern almost immediately. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, necessarily! I do love the colors… but it’s just overall a little too bold for my taste, which has a more neutral, rustic-glam lean.

Fortunately, I was addressing a potential hoarding situation cleaning my craft room today and came across some scrap fabric left over from a failed but valiant attempt at making my own Roman shades. It was totally one of those “Pinterest fail” incidents that you hear about. I really tried… I mean, I went so far as to hang them up! They just looked incredibly DIY once they were up there, which is sort of a HUGE “no-no” in the land of DIY-dom. One of those, “a magician never reveals his tricks” kind of things. I think I’m officially off-topic. Anyway, I tossed the whole gluey, mini-blind-skeleton mess and kept the scrap fabric, which had been a Target tablecloth in a previous life. Just wait ’til you see the fun pattern! No sew pillow cover This was the shape a size of my fabric. No cutting, no nothing. I laid the pillow on top of the scrap fabric strip, and as luck would have it, it was just barely wide enough and plenty long enough to cover the pillow. I played with folding it a few different ways before I found a method that allowed me to cover all the sides. I figured with some hot glue (a.k.a. greatest craft supply EVER), I could finagle it all into place and then tack it in a few spots. It ended up being a lot like wrapping a present… especially if you are trying to wrap a weird-shaped present with too-small wrapping paper and are feeling a little deliriously desperate to make it work. We’ve all been there. (I’m looking at you, Dad! That gift-wrapped jumbo popcorn tin will go down in history as the funniest wrap job, ever.)

OK so here’s the low-down on how I made the easiest pillow cover known to – well… just me I guess. (And I finally took pictures for once, y’all!)

Step 1 – Fold the fabric over one side.

no sew pillow cover step 1

Step 2: Fold other side to an appropriate length and into a slight taper

no sew pillow cover step 2

Step 3: Fold second side over and tack in place with a little dot of glue

no sew pillow cover step 3

Step 4: Play with folding the open edges (like a present!) and tack them with a little glue every few inches

no sew pillow cover step 4   no sew pillow cover step 4

Step 5: Step back and admire your handiwork. The “front side” looks pretty decent!

no sew pillow cover step 5   front side You can see above that depending on how I folded and glued the corners, some turned out pointy and others turned out more rounded. I ended playing with them some more to get them to look a little more uniform. Plus, once I threw them back on the couch, all inconsistencies were forgiven!

Step 6 (optional): Repeat with other pillow

no sew pillow cover How about that? Looking nice and neutral! no sew pillow coverOK so you can definitely see the folds along the back if you look at the pillows from the side… but for about 10 minutes of effort, I am fine with it. And, since I used such a minimal amount of hot glue, if I ever decide to change these pillows again, I can totally salvage this fabric to use for something else. There’s always a “something else.”

I’ll admit the folding process was a little tricky on the sides where there wasn’t much margin – not a task I would recommend for the easily-discouraged-newbie-crafter-slash-perfectionist. I just did the best I could and figured I wouldn’t see the back and sides much so they didn’t have to be exact. (Also, there is a certain amount of freedom and serenity that comes from knowing you are completing what “should” be a sewing project with naught but scraps and glue.) There’s really no way to permanently mess this up! Just try, adjust, adjust again, and if all else fails, start over. No harm done!

PS – As I’m writing this, my husband just came home. He says, “Honey, you got new pillows…? Nice!”  I. Am. Beaming.

Bonus feature: For those who don’t know me, THIS is my idea of a hot glue gun: fully loaded and complete with a 15-foot extension cord. Because I don’t like to be tied to one corner of the room when I’m slingin’ hot glue! glue and cord

Extra bonus feature: For another quick and easy update idea, check out this brilliant no-sew ottoman recovering project over at Found This, Painted That:

Quick Ottoman Makeover

Thanks for reading, and happy scrapping!

20131010-172150.jpg

Winter Wreath DIY

Are you experiencing withdrawals after putting away your Christmas decorations?

You, my friend, are not alone.

Now that the new year has come, my sparkle quotient is running seriously low. Luckily, I have a most brilliant husband who recommended I make some “winter” decorations that weren’t specific to any particular holiday. (Yes, we talk about how I feel about putting away Christmas decorations, and he listens sincerely and makes helpful suggestions.) I hit the ever-craft-loving jackpot with him, folks.

At his suggestion, I began setting aside blue, gold, and silver ornaments and accessories from my Christmas tree when I was putting it away. (I had a blue themed tree a few years in a row so there was plenty of wintery swag to spare.)

20140106-211928.jpg

I also broke out my giant box o’ glue. Adam says I should join “hot gluers anonymous.”

20140106-211944.jpg

Lastly, I had a straw wreath on hand from a Christmas wreath I never got around to making. Optional: The watchful cat who’s just mad he got kicked out of “his circle straw bed.”

20140106-212016.jpg

By now you know I’m terrible at taking “in progress” pictures… (sorry!) but basically, I laid out all my materials around the outside edge to see how it all needed to be arranged to get the best coverage. Thank goodness for the poinsettias! Those made for a great flexible filler.

20140106-212111.jpg

I just went one piece at a time, placing a mound of hot glue where I wanted each trinket, until I had the front of the wreath all covered. (I left the plastic wrap on the wreath and used a screw driver to dig “pilot holes” for certain sprigs as needed.)

Lastly, I found a little peacock guy that needed a home, and popped him into the bottom left of the finished wreath. 20140106-213257.jpg

Here’s how it turned out:

20140106-212129.jpg

It feels like this cost next to nothing since I had the supplies on hand, but realistically it’s probably a $15 or $20 project. The straw wreaths are $4-$5, clearance ornaments are maybe $10, then a few bucks for glue sticks. Total project time was maybe an hour, but I was also watching Jimmy Fallon Late Night so I was doing some serious multitasking. It probably wouldn’t take a more dedicated crafter more than 30 minutes or so.  😀

Anyway, hope this inspires a little “winter decorating” and decor recycling of your own! XOXO

20131010-172150.jpg