New Year, New Post {Welcome to 2014}

Hey everyone! I hope that 2014 is treating you well! Thanksgiving and Christmas were lovely. We saw lots of family, got together with many friends, and had a wonderful time. I have big hopes for 2014 and what it might bring. … Continue reading

Going Yard With Fabrics {Deck Pillows}

I may have gone a bit overboard with my pattern selections for the pillows on our deck. I wanted to match and enhance the color of the chairs, tables, and flowers on our deck. But my main jumping off point was our deck umbrella. Its stripes have blue, green, yellow, red, and even orange. They’re bright and perky, perfect for an outdoor living space. I feel as though you can take more risks and be a bit bolder outdoors. Plus, if you really don’t like it, or get sick of it after a season, it’s easy to change! No walls to paint!

Here are all the finished pillows. I'm starting from the end of the story and then shooting to the beginning. Bear with me here...

Here are all the finished pillows. I’m starting from the end of the story and then shooting to the beginning. Bear with me here…

Anyway, so here’s how I made those lovely pillows.

I purchased six pillow forms (with plenty of fabric and coupons to boot) from JoAnns. Make sure, when making outdoor fabric pieces, that you actually choose outdoor fabric. These fabrics are typically more durable, machine washable, and are less likely to fade in the sun as quickly as a typical cotton fabric. I originally picked two coordinating fabrics to use, but ran out of the stripe and needed extra. So I went back and purchased the floral print, which I also adore (though I think the red is probably my favorite, I’m a sucker for a geometric print).

I wanted to make sure that these pillows weren’t like the ones that I had made in the past. I actually wanted to tackle a pillow slip cover, so that if I decided to change it out, it wouldn’t be removing stuffing and starting all over again. I looked online and landed on a simple, straight forward tutorial over at vixenMade. She gives tips and suggestions for making an envelope style pillow cover which is almost exactly like what I wanted.

So here it goes, how to make a simple slip cover, with a few differences from the vixenMade tutorial.

First, measure around your pillow form. I left about an inch around each side. This is more because I'm not totally proficient at the sewing machine. Giving myself some extra room just in case my stitches aren't straight insures that the pillow covers will fit.

First, measure around your pillow form. I left about an inch around each side. This is more because I’m not totally proficient at the sewing machine. Giving myself some extra room just in case my stitches aren’t straight insures that the pillow covers will fit.

 

Two: cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the pillow cover. I cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, so that it would still be the same size after hemming the cut edges. Cut the larger piece in half. This will be the back "envelope" part of your slip cover.

Two: cut two pieces of fabric for the front and back of the pillow cover. I cut the second piece slightly larger than the first, so that it would still be the same size after hemming the cut edges. Cut the larger piece in half. This will be the back “envelope” part of your slip cover.

 

Three: iron down the sides that you will add the hem to. Then hem/serge with a stitch that you are comfortable using on your machine.

Three: iron down the sides that you will add the hem to. Then hem/serge with a stitch that you are comfortable using on your machine.

 

Pin these pieces to the other larger side piece. Make sure you do this inside out! I accidentally sewed an entire pillow, only to remember I didn't put the pieces inside out so half had the inner part of the fabric showing. What a pain to take out all those stitches!

Pin these pieces to the other larger side piece. Make sure you do this inside out! I accidentally sewed an entire pillow, only to remember I didn’t put the pieces inside out so half had the inner part of the fabric showing. What a pain to take out all those stitches!

 

And let’s not pretend that bad things didn’t happen. Because, whenever I complete a sewing project, something is BOUND to go wrong.

Hmm...that's not what it's supposed to look like...

Hmm…that’s not what it’s supposed to look like. I miss measured and just went for it, of course. That was a mistake. Not to mention I forgot what color thread I’ve already set in the machine, so it definitely didn’t blend with the fabric.

 

But after all the mistakes, sewing machine headaches, and having to get some extra fabric, I’m happy to say that this project is done!

 

Happy? Perky? I hope our neighbors don't mind all the color!

Happy? Perky? I hope our neighbors don’t mind all the color!

Aren't my new red chairs the cutest? The pillows work perfectly and make it look a bit more inviting. Now, if only I could find a tiny table to go in between...

Aren’t my new red chairs the cutest? The pillows work perfectly and make it look a bit more inviting. Now, if only I could find a tiny table to go in between…

 

Now, I know it’s a lot of color and pattern, but I think because the color family plays so well together, it doesn’t seem quite as busy. But even if it is busy, that’s all part of the fun!

 

XOXO,

Ashley

 

PS- This project was a bit more expensive than my typical projects. I spent around $50 for all the fabric and the pillow forms. Because I had so many coupons, plus a gift card, I was able to get better pillow forms and fabric that wasn’t necessarily on sale. I will say, however, that all the gloriously done pillows I found at places at HomeGoods were at least $40 for a set of four, and I needed six. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to pick all different fabrics!

On Display, On Display, On Display {Shadowboxes for the Office}

Why hello there!

Can it be? I’m posting multiple times in one week? Who would have thought. It must mean I’m on a break or something (Happy Passover/Easter!)…

Anyway, in my previous post I mentioned some tutorials for wall decor and art for a beachy office. By now you should have checked out my post on making metallic seashells (but if you haven’t, you can find it here). My next task is to show you how I made some awesome shadowboxes for a sea star, sand dollar, sea biscuit, and a couple urchins.

First things first, my supplies. Unfortunately, sea biscuits and other sea creatures are not made equally (or proportionally). I found several affordable shadowboxes at our local Michaels. They were originally $9.99 a piece, but marked down to 40% off. What I love about Michaels is that they STILL take your coupons on top of the already marked down price. I just happened to have a 25% off frame and shadowbox purchases, so I added that discount onto the already marked down prices. This means I ended up with three awesome shadowboxes for the price of one and a half (about $14). I was so happy with my purchase, but they came with meh black backgrounds. Typically, I love the black-white contrast, but with a beachy theme, it’s a bit too stark.

See? Loads of contrast. Too much for what I'm going for in the room, perfect for other places in our house. It needed to change.

See? Loads of contrast. Too much for what I’m going for in the room, perfect for other places in our house. It needed to change.

The next supply necessary, if you so choose to change the background, is a fabric, paper, or background design you would like to add to your shadowbox. I chose a burlap. I thought it would be very easy to find some cheap burlap at our fabric store, but boy was I wrong. Apparently no one wants to wear scratchy, itchy burlap. Possibly because it may look like a sack? Who knows. What I did find, at a little bit higher of a price, were scrap-booking sheets of burlap that are intended to be page backgrounds. They were about $3 a page, but fortunately on sale for a little more than $2 a sheet. I bought three and also picked up some more shadowboxes. I quickly learned that one shadowbox may fit a flat sand dollar, or even a skinny sea star, but not a sea biscuit or armored sea star. Bummer. Why don’t the shadowbox companies PLAN for these things? Sheesh. So I picked up a few more shadowboxes, which also happened to be on sale at our local JoAnn’s.

After I pulled out my trusty glue gun, a pair of scissors, and my purchased supplies, I got to work. Some of you may have seen this lovely Vine video which included a quick cut of the process.

First, take apart the shadowbox, you can use the backing of the box to cut your burlap/paper. Cut around the edges, making sure that you don’t have TOO much extra around the sides. This will cause your burlap/paper to be wavy and not flat against the backing. That will make it just look messy and you don’t want to do that! Heat up the glue gun, it’s time to go to work. Glue each of the four corners directly to the backing, making sure to not leave room for waves, wrinkles, or the like. Then, center your object (if you so choose to have it centered), making sure it fits proportionally when the shadowbox is reassembled.

WILL IT FIT!?

WILL IT FIT!?

For the items that had natural holes in the back, I used both push pins and tacks to hold it in place. I also used a liberal amount of hot glue to attach the objects to the burlap. Let it dry completely and if you’re a daredevil (as I am, obviously), give your backing with the object a gentle shake to make sure it’s fully attached. Worse case scenario, you’ve got a flying sea biscuit. Best case scenario, you’ve glued and anchored PERFECTLY and it will not fall in your awesome shadowbox. Once you’ve done this quick test, place the backing back onto the shadowbox, wiggle until you can anchor all of the back brackets and enjoy your hard work.

Why hello sea biscuit! You will be beautiful on my future office wall.

Why, hello there sea biscuit! You will be beautiful on my future office wall.

Seriously, this project should only take you about 10 minutes. I may have had some missteps (sorry pink urchin, you were a good one), but it took me less than 10 minutes to accomplish the whole project and I made 4.

On the left, a pencil sea star. On the right, a sea biscuit.

On the left, a pencil sea star. On the right, a sea biscuit. Just a little detail shot.

The gang's all here! Pencil sea star, urchins, sea biscuit, and sand dollar.

The gang’s all here! Pencil sea star, urchins, sea biscuit, and sand dollar.

Fortunately, the things featured in the shadowbox were mostly free because they’re from nature (except for the urchin and the pencil sea star). The shadowboxes cost about $25 and the burlap around $8. Overall, I probably spent under $40 for this project and I still have one more shadowbox to fill. So, I call it a success and a step in the right, beachy-office direction!

XOXO,
Ashley

Don’t Stop Me Now {Even With Travel Plans}

Hey all,

So as some of you have seen, via twitter/facebook/instagram, I still felt the need to craft while packing for vacation. After taking down those sad, small ring paintings above our bed and replacing them with the awesomeness that is this project, I just couldn’t stand re-hanging them somewhere different. Most everything in our room has evolved and changed since our new bed came into the picture. Everything really, except those two paintings.

So when I bought the fabric for the big project, I couldn’t let go of a much-to-small fragment that wouldn’t work for the original planned project. I had originally seen it in JoAnn’s and thought I would use it for the larger bedroom project, but it was only barely a yard and not nearly wide enough for what I wanted it to be. I also couldn’t figure out how to use it anywhere else but I needed to take it with me because of the fun pattern and colors.

When I brought it home and completed the other project, I realized that I COULD use the other unknown fabric for an update. I could recover those lovely, but passed off, ring paintings. So as you will see in this Vine video, I first measured about an inch all the way around the frame. This way I had plenty to stretch and staple down to the frame and no worries that it was too short. I stretched and stapled the fabric directly to the framing of the canvas. I tried my best to cut and stretch so that they would look great together and almost (or as close as I can get) to continuous. Because it was a canvas, it does have to cover the sides. So the perfect, continuous look is just a bit off. This project took me less than ten minutes and because I already owned the canvases, it really only cost me the price of the fabric ($9.99 plus tax). Quick fix and fun to look at!

I think it goes perfectly directly across from the new, large art piece above the bed. Plus it fills a dead space above our tv, which is always nice.

I think it goes perfectly directly across from the new, large art piece above the bed. Plus it fills a dead space above our tv, which is always nice.

And there you have it! Even in a “I have to finish everything before I leave” stressed situation, I still HAD to do these and put them up before I left. Enjoy!

XOXO,

Ashley