Category Archives: DIY Projects

Square lampshade redo

In my quest to finish my little man’s big boy room, I decided to add a few more projects to the list.  One was a new lamp that was more fitting with the rest of the room.  This idea started when I saw this lamp shade at a thrift store for $3 and a recollection of the 20,000  tutorials to recover a lampshade. Interestingly I never found a tutorial for a square lampshade, so here’s my stab at it!

While I pulled some ideas from a few of them, I followed the tutorial from shanty 2 chic the most.

I started by cutting down a seam and then carefully removing the outside layer of fabric (Keep the liner on). Try to keep the fabric all in one piece as that will be your template for your new fabric.  Good thing I read the tutorial before attempting this, because I’m totally that girl who just rips everything apart and then tries to figure it out later.  You’ll end up with just the lampshade skeleton

Because my lampshade was square, and my fabric didn’t have much give to it.  I ended up cutting 4 pieces and sewing the edges together.  This was different from all the other tutorials I had seen. I added 1/2″ of extra fabric all around my previous fabric template before cutting it out. Then just ran a stitch connecting all 4 sides. I trimmed the excess fabric off about a 1/4″ from the seam to make it less bulky and allow it to look more smooth.

Place the new fabric over your lampshade skeleton. (sorry for the bad lighting.  Some project are done best at midnight!)

I used my cameo to add an acrylic barn red-painted stencil of the number “10” to coordinate with my little man’s decor and vintage car theme. I was afraid that it would have been too hard to paint this once the fabric was on the lampshade, so I chose to do it before.  I don’t know if I would bother doing it that way again.

I placed the new lampshade over the skeleton.  Using E-6000 and clothespins I stretched the fabric, glued with e-6000 and held in place with clothespins.  Oh I should mention that I cut all the corners at a diagonal (essentially cutting the bottom corner off) to make the fold over and gluing much easier and again to make sure it laid smoothly on the lamp shade.  I clipped the top of one side with clothespins to hold it in place, then glued and clipped the bottom.  I did each side then waited a few minutes before moving to the next side.  I did all 4 sides on the bottom of the lamp shade before tackling the top.

To finish it off I added my own DIY bias tape to the top and bottom of the shade using excess fabric cut into strips long enough to wrap around the bottom and top of your shade.  Fold over a side and iron, then fold over the other side iron.  Wrap around the bottom of the shade and use e-6000 to glue on.

This little project inspired me to make my own lamp, and night stand too.  Stay tuned, you might even see little man’s vintage care themed bedroom reveal yet this summer?!

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Frozen Sweet Tarts

We are not accustomed to hot and humid weather in Wisconsin.  Usually we are complaining that it’s too cold, and summer goes by too fast.  Today we had heat indexes of 105 degrees.  It’s so hot no one seems to even want to eat…that is until I made this refreshing treat.

Frozen Sweet Tarts

They are made with 4 ingredients and take 5 minutes to whip together.  Ready?

Ingredients:
Frozen Yogurt (half of a quart…which would be a pint right?)
Frozen Juice (I used pink lemonade) 1 container
Cool Whip 1-8 oz container
Nilla Wafers

Set out the frozen yogurt and frozen juice on the counter until the sides are slightly melted and in the middle is somewhat soft.  Combine the frozen juice and frozen yogurt in a large mixing bowl.  Whip with mixer.  Add container of Cool Whip.  Continue mixing until smooth and creamy. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners (I used the mini’s to make bite sized treats). Place a Nilla Wafer on the bottom of each cupcake liner, flat side down.

Place a heaping spoonful of the sweet tart mixture on top of the Nilla wafer until the cupcake tin is nearly full.  Place in the freezer for about an hour. *Note you can garnish with fresh fruit, but if you put the fruit on before placing in the freezer the fruit freezes and makes it harder to eat.  I suggest adding fresh fruit just before eating

When they are ready you simply open the freezer, grab a frozen sweet tart and pop it in your mouth.  They are such a refreshing treat.  They somehow revitalized my wilting family.  Just don’t let them sit out of the freezer too long, they will melt which makes it a little trickier to eat 😉

Linking to:
Funky Junk Interiors,

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How to decorate with Red, White & Blue

In honor of America’s birthday, I thought I’d be a little festive. The vignettes are easy and fun, however the above the cupboard space always proves to be more challenging than you think. I thought I’d share some tips and tricks on how to decorate these spaces with simplicity using art principles and a whole lot of thrift! (Sorry if that isn’t grammatically correct, it’s a phrase commonly used in my neck of the woods)

Side table Vignette: Just a touch of Red, White and Blue and chalkboard word art with some from the Star-Spangled banner to take the stage.

I free-handed the phrase with the help of some old-fashion white chalk and one of my many repurposed picture frames turn chalk board.

Add some country garland, a metal canister on one side (courtesy of IKEA) and a Vintage Blue Bottle on the other and we have ourselves a simple table vignette to celebrate America.

Above the cupboards {Grr, insert frustration here}.  When we bought this house I loved the idea of having the space above the cupboard to decorate for the seasons.  Sometimes I wish I could just leave the same decor up year round, but I simply can’t.  It bothers me to walk into our house and see the same old thing all the time.  It’s like a bad habit, with every change in season I struggle over how to change it up.  There is almost 3 feet of space to deal with, keep in mind the top of cupboards with trim covers nearly 4 inches of the bottom. This means I need to find ways to prop things up with 2 x 4 remnants, and also make sure to include big stuff.  The name of the game, I’ve learned,  is layers and angles.

I used to be into store bought decor, hence the FREEDOM word art from Hobby Lobby.  I have since tried to use only repurposed items and be a little more creative in my decorating to make or reuse items in a different way. The 7-Up crate you have or will see in 42 other pictures.  I use it ALL THE TIME ( sorry didn’t mean to yell, I just really love my old crates).  The candles were a DIY project from my Christmas Collection of projects. The flag pillow was a rummage sale item for 25 cents and the grapevine was cut several years ago from my parents back yard and has been used in various locations including the swag above our wedding arbor. Notice the layers of items overlapping, this help create more contrast and depth to the decor making it more appealing to the eye.  The grapevine acts as a filler without taking over the decor.

It’s also hard to get pictures of “Above the Cupboard decor” so bear with these next couple shots.  From this angle you can see the angles that I used to add some depth and provide focal points.  The angled stars in either corner (3 for a $1 at rummage sale) help draw your eye to the center.  The square red tin behind the lone little start stand help create some contrast and make the little star POP out.  The dark blue bowl (another $1 rummage sale find) grounds the decor with a different height from the other pieces.  Now a straighter but darker image

ALthough it’s challenging space to work with, using  pieces of various sizes and providing some layers of texture and angles for depth you can easily pull together an Above the Cupboard space to honor America 🙂

Linking these parties:
The Kurtz Corner, Home Stories A to Z, Not Just a Housewife, Elizabeth & Co, The Salt Tree

 

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Not JUST a coffee table

When I met my husband, he was in transition from the other side of the state to where we live now.  He was in the process of creating this amazing piece that currently resides in our basement.

She is made out of  Walnut, with tile inlay for the top.

Isn’t she amazingly gorgeous?!  It is one of my favorite of my handy husbands many projects.

Again, my husband is not a blogger so of course there are no pictures of the process, but if you are interested in making one of these for yourself, shoot me an email and I’ll have him pull the plans out of his brain and share them with you.

This concludes the “handy” husband series honoring my husbands work.  He truly is an awesome ma who supports my creative juices or helps out around the house or by taking the kids so I can work on one of my many projects!

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Hope Chest

I think was one of my first furniture requests to my husband after we were married.  We have a TON of blankets and quilts for the various different sized beds in our home, without a good place to store them that don’t take up precious closet space.

We had some spare space at the end of our bed to house this beauty.

To my surprise she is lined with cedar to make everything smell fresh, which brings back so many memories of my grandparents and their cedar closet.

(Please stop judging our master bedroom.  It’s slated for a makeover, just trying to finish one of the other 3 rooms in limbo right now).

The husband truly has an eye for putting my vision into a reality.  Thanks to my “handy” husband for yet another project.  Stay tuned tomorrow you’ll see one of my FAVORITE pieces yet!

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Secure and recharge

Our beloved first child (our dog) happens to LOVE bread.  When we leave, he finds a way to get all the bread an eat it.

(How can you get mad at this face)?!?! He’s a pure bred Weimaraner if you’re curious, whose can rest his head on a “normal” sized dining room table.

My husband came up with a solution, that not only secures the bread from the dog…it also helps to store the toaster and also serves as a recharge station for all of our cell phones, iPods, iPads, etc. every night.  This is one of my husband’s favorite projects. You may have already seen this here.

To appreciate this here’s what our little kitchen corner looked like before.  A useless spice rack (since I store all of my spices in the cupboard), weird empty space, and a smorgasboard of cords.  One of my BIGGEST pet peaves is having cords showing! Have I also mentioned that I like the spaces in my home to be not only pretty but functional whenever possible.

Here’s the inside- deep enough for house the toaster freeing up some space on one of my two pantry shelves.  It’s also wide enough for several different bread products.

You can kind of see how he made it above.  The door is made by “a bunch” (real technical, I know?!?) of thin wood slats glued to a piece of canvas.  There is a curved groove on the sides that the door travels up and down in.  There is a small open space in the back to allow the board from the toaster to pass through.

The top shelf has little slits in the back to fit our cell phone and iPod charging cords, with felt glued to the back to hold them in place.  I love that our phone and iPod have a place to rest peacefully each night to recharge without 17 cords spread out throughout the house!

This is just one more example of how I can tell the handy husband an idea of something I want, and he brings that idea to life!

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Multipurpose Arbor

The next of my handy husbands project started 4 years ago, when we were planning our wedding.  We were married outside at my parents front yard, and I wanted some to serve as the focal point for the ceremony.  So he made a simple design that I could attach our rustic swag to and everything was perfect.
 

Of course I have a problem making something for a one time event and I wanted to reuse as much of our wedding decor as we could.  Just so happens we completely landscaped our yard the following year and the arbor was a perfect addition to our garden under the big pine tree.  Unfortunately for the arbor, an insane wind storm took the arbor to a state of disarray to the point that it was completely twisted.  RIP wedding arbor.

Last summer I talked my husband into creating a garden path into our garden under the big pine tree, by using the left over stone from our basement fireplace. (Yes my 1 year old little man supervised this project). He also laid all the landscaping stone you see to make this a raised bed.

Ooo, that wooden wagon you see in the picture above was made by my husband for our wedding too.

I digress.  Sorry, back to the arbor.  Turns out I really wanted out garden under the big pine tree to have a little welcome place, especially now since we had a cute little path.  And I love planting Morning Glories and they like to climb! So one day I came home and this is what I saw.

Apparently my little man liked it too!

Unfortunately my husband doesn’t capture the process of his creations for my blog.  All of the projects you will see this week he creates in his head.  if you are looking for plans for something email me and he can maybe help you  out!

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