Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Board and Batten Coat Hooks

My husband informed me that he wants a coat rack by the front door.  A free standing coat rack.  I nearly laughed in his face.

A free standing coat rack?  In our house?  He clearly forgot who he's living with.  It would be used not only for hanging our coats and hats, but also as a toy, a weapon, and it'd be the perfect sized chew toy for Bernie (our St. Bernard, whose real name is Odin).  I imagine that a few windows would be taken out, and our interior walls would have a few windows put in.

Before he could go pick out something horrendous, I got busy and made this:

First, I marked off the area where I wanted the B&B, and painted the wall in that area.

The wood was VERY hard, so I pre-drilled the holes.  Since I was using finishing nails to attach the 1/2 x 2s, I drilled 3 tiny holes in each board.  On the 1/2 x 4, I laid out the hooks where I wanted them, and marked the screw holes to attach the hooks to the wood.  After drilling those holes, and using the hooks as a guide, I drilled a 3rd hole centered below each set of the hooks' holes.

I measured 4 feet up from the top of the baseboards, centered, and leveled the 1/2 x 4, and screwed it into place.  On each end, I attached the rosettes.  I know I should have used finishing nails on those, but I didn't.  I was worried about being able to see the nails too well, so I used carpet tape!

I then nailed one 1/2 x 2 on each end, just under the rosettes.

With the third, I centered it under where the middle hook was going to go, and put it there.  I screwed in the hooks, and I was done!

Sources, Costs, & Notes:
1/2 x 4 (3 feet long) - Menards, $3
1/2 x 2 (4 feet long) - Menards, $3 each
3-1/2 Rosettes - Menards $3 each
Hooks - Walmart, $2.27 each
Paint Color - Muslin by Color Place (Light Base, Formula: C-2, T-4, L-8)

You could easily make this cheaper.  The wood I used was a higher grade and well sanded wood because they had it in the perfect size that I was looking for when doing this small project.  If I had done a larger area, I would have used either MDF or lower quality 1x4s and 1x2s.  Also, the only rosettes available in the size I needed were in wood.  MDF versions are cheaper.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Grab-N-Go Cereal

We throw away sooooooo much cereal. Every single day, at least 1/2 - 1 Cup of cereal gets thrown away. It drives me nuts!  The boys tend to fill their bowls so full of cereal that there's hardly any room for milk!  My constant nagging of, "Start out with just a little - you can always get a little more" hasn't gotten through their thick skulls, so I've been tempted to just stop buying cereal all together.

This morning, Awesome asked me to explain the nutrition facts to him. As I was explaining everything, an idea came to me, and as soon as the boys were dropped off at the bus, I got busy.

I poured 1 cup of cereal into Snack Size Ziploc bags, and put them in a basket (big thanks to my grandma for her ca-ra-zay basket collection!).

Now, the boys can just grab a baggie with the right amount of cereal for their bowls, and if we all oversleep (it has happened, and more than I'd like to admit!), they can just grab a baggie on the way out the door!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Love Letters

All last week, Kindra hosted her 2nd annual Be Mine Bonanza.  If you missed it, you really should check it out!  It was seven days of talented ladies showing off some wonderful Valentine's Day inspired crafts.  Tuesday was my turn to show off what I made.  Focusing more on the romance of Valentine's Day, this is what I came up with...

Last year, I showed you how to make some pillow forms and pillow covers.  This time, I decided to do something a little different.  Thinking of the kinds of things I love (simplicity, all things vintage, history) and things that I don't particularly care for (lots of heartsy stuff), I came up with some wall art that is inspired by old letters, including a letter my great-grandpa wrote to my great-grandma during WWI.

Today, I'm going to show you how I created both versions above.

For the one on the left, you will need:
12x12 Scrapbooking Frame
12x12 Scrapbooking Paper
8x11 Scrapbooking Paper or Printer Paper
Xacto Knife & self healing mat

First, if your frame is black (like mine), but you want it a different color (like I did), just spray paint it.  Decide on a poem or song that you like.  I chose Etta James' "At Last" because that was the first song my husband and I danced to.  Below, you'll find some links to PDF's for At Last, What A Wonderful World, I'll Be Seeing You, It Had To Be You, As Time Goes By, and It's Been A Long Long Time.  Or type and print your own (font and template info found below).  I printed mine on some textured card stock, and I love the way it turned out.

Take your 12x12 scrapbooking paper, measure and mark lines 2-3 inches from each side.  I did mine at 2 inches, but I wish I would have gone with 2.5 or 3 inches.

I apologize for the poor quality photo - not a good day for taking pictures!

With your Xacto knife (or scissors), cut the middle out.  Take your printed song, center it (it's okay if the words on the edges don't completely show), and tape it in place.  If you have a little bit hanging over the bottom, just cut it off.  Add any embellishments, attach your paper to the frame backing, and pop it all into the frame.

For the frame on the right, you will need:
11x14 frame with 8x10 mat
18" Baker's twine
Heat & Bond
Paper, ruler, scissors, and pencil for making template

First, you will need to pick out your song that you want, then print and frame it like you would a picture.  I printed mine on plain white cardstock.

Now, the no-sew mini bunting.  Cut a piece of paper at 1x3 inches.  Then, mark the half way points on each side, and draw a diamond shape using the halfway marks as a guide, and cut the diamond out.

Next, cut (5) 1x3 strips of Heat & Bond.  Iron the shiny/non-papery side of the Heat & Bond strips to the wrong side of your fabric(s) and cut them out.

Then, trace the diamond onto the papery-side of the Heat & Bond, and cut out your shapes.  If you want scalloped edges like mine, you'll need to use pinking shears or a pinking rotary blade.  With wrong sides together, fold your fabric diamonds in half, and iron the bottom half.  Slip on to your baker's twine, and iron the rest.  I spaced my mini pennants about 1/2 inch apart.  Since the bunting is light enough, you can just tape it to the back of your frame.

I've already printed out the lyrics to some of my (and my family's) favorite songs that I plan to periodically switch out.  I'll also change the background & embellishments in the first frame, and the bunting on the second one to fit the song and/or season!

Sources, Costs, and Notes:
For the printed song in the first frame, I used the "Justify" alignment, and knocked the margins down to .5.  You may also have to adjust the header and footer (I set mine at .3)
Font - Jane Austen, free from
12x12 Frame - Hobby Lobby, $19.99
12x12 Paper - Hobby Lobby, 59¢
8x11 Paper - Hobby Lobby, 39¢
11x14 Frame with mat - Walmart, $14
Baker's Twine - Bella Creationz, $8.95/160 yards
Fabric - my personal stash
Heat & Bond - Hobby Lobby, about $3/yard, I think
At Last - Vertical  Horizontal
What A Wonderful World - Vertical  Horizontal
I'll Be Seeing You - Vertical  Horizontal
It Had To Be You - Vertical  Horizontal
As Time Goes By - Vertical  Horizontal
It's Been A Long, Long Time - Vertical  Horizontal

Thanks again, Kindra for hosting this event, and inviting me to be a part of it!  And, thanks to all of you for checking out this lil tutorial o' mine!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Guess Where I Am

As I mentioned yesterday, I'm hanging out over at Kindra's today, sharing with everyone how I made these:

Come on over and say "HI!"  While you're there, prepare to be inspired by all of this year's participants!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Be Mine Bonanza

Oh, my! Things have been ca-ra-zy around here! So much to do, with almost no time to do it.  Have you ever had one of those days where it feels like every time you turn around, you have another thing piled on your plate? That's been the last few months for me.

A big thanks to all of you who emailed to let me know my feedburner sign up wasn't working.  I think it's fixed, now, and I signed up those of you who sent me emails asking me to do so.  You should have received an email authorizing your subscription (or should receive one soon).

Between my plate being piled up through the roof, and trying to fix this whole feedburner thing, I have dropped the ball, and almost forgot to let you all know about a great event going on this week.  It's Kindra's 2nd Annual Be Mine Bonanza!

It started yesterday with Kindra's tutorial for some great Sweetheart Ornaments.  I'm thinking it's time to dig out my mirror spray paint and some spare frames, and dig through my craft supplies to see if I have any little mirrors in my stash!

Today, Christina shared how she made an adorable Throw Pillow.  Considering my ongoing addiction to cute pillows, I probably should have bypassed this post.  As it is, I'll be going through my fabrics today, and since I won't be able to decide on just one, there's a good chance that my mom, sis-in-law, and nieces will also be finding a version of this pillow in their homes/rooms!

Tomorrow is my turn (so be sure to check it out!), and the rest of the week looks a little like this:
Wednesday - Tiffany
Thursday - Sarah
Friday - Michelle
Saturday - Gwen

I have never really decorated for Valentine's Day because I'm not too big on the hearts-y, pastel-y stuff, but the tutorials that were posted during last year's Be Mine Bonanza have not only inspired me, but they've made me look forward to decorating for Valentine's Day!  I can't wait to see what the rest of this week brings!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's for Dinner?

Every weekday, between 4:00-5:30, I hear "What's for dinner?" at least 6 times (more on weekends). Keep in mind there are only 4 of us who live here, and I almost never have to ask myself this question.  So, yeah.  Because everybody thinks they're starving all the time, and nobody listens, I have to answer the same question a minimum of half a dozen times in an hour.  I'm hoping that since we can all read, I will not longer have to answer, "What's for Dinner?"  Instead, I'll get a workout as I constantly point to our new menu board!

I used the same, super easy method that I used for my Perpetual Calendar and the boys' Chore Charts.

Supplies Needed:
10x13 Frame
2 sheets 12x12 scrapbooking paper
Printer & Printer paper
Dry Erase Marker
Glue/Double stick tape
Regular scotch tape
Ruler & pencil (or paper cutter with ruler if you have one)

Cut the "header" paper (the green paper I used behind the M-E-N-U letters) so that it measures 3 x 10 inches.

Cut the body paper so that it measures 10 x 10½ inches.

Print and cut your letters.

Take the back off your frame, and lay your body paper in the frame so it butts up against the bottom.  Then lay the header paper in so it butts up against the top of the frame.  Tape the 2 pieces of paper together where they overlap.  Mine overlapped about ½ an inch.

Take the papers out of the frame, and attach your letters.  Pop it back in the frame, attach the back of the frame, and you're done!

Sources, Notes, & Costs:
Frame - Walmart, $5
Scrapbooking Paper - Hobby Lobby 59¢ each (I got them on sale for 1/2 off)

To download and print a PDF with the letters I used, click here.  The smaller letters are 1 inch circles, so if you have a punch that size, it'll make it go a lot faster!

**I think I fixed the PDF link so you don't have to log in or create an account in order to be able to us it.  Sorry for the inconvenience!**

Monday, November 21, 2011

Simple Tree Skirt Tutorial

Thanksgiving is only days away, which means Christmas is right around the corner! Every year, I go in search of the perfect tree skirt for our tree. I want something pretty, but really busy, and I want it to be reasonably priced. I've never been able to find a tree skirt that fit all three criteria, so I decided to make my own.

*I have actually added a really cute pleated trim since this picture was taken.  I'll get a new picture taken soon.  It just adds an extra bit of prettiness!*

This tutorial is for a tree skirt that measures about 36” in diameter. For mine, I decided to use only a single layer of fabric, but I’ll include instructions for a skirt with a top, batting, and underside.

1 1/8 - 2¼ yards fabric, pre-washed
If you want a different fabric for the top and bottom of the skirt, you’ll need about 1 1/8 yards of each fabric.
1 Fat Quarter, pre-washed OR 3½ yards bias tape
Coordinating Thread
Batting (optional)
Ruler & Yard stick

1. Fold your fabric in half, right sides together. Then fold in half again.

2. From the folded corner, measure out 18” along each side, and a few spots between the two sides. Make a mark at each spot.

3. Tie your string to your pencil. Place your pencil on one of your marks, then pull the string to the corner. 
Hold the string in the corner while you draw the lines from dot to dot. I found it is easier to make short dashes instead of one long line.

4. Cut along your line through all four layers.

5. We have an artificial tree, so my inner circle is only 1¼” diameter. (If you have a real tree, you will want to make yours larger. Just measure the diameter of your trunk and divide that in half to figure how far from the corner you need to measure for the inner circle.) From the corner, measure out about ¾” and make your marks.

6. Draw your lines to connect the dots.
7. Cut out the inner circle, then unfold your skirt half way.

8. Slip your scissors between the two layers, and cut along one folded edge from the outside to the inner circle.

9. If you want to add any kind of embellishments, appliqués, reverse appliqués, etc to the top of your skirt, now is the time to do it.

If you’re just doing a single layer, skip to #12.

10. This is a quick and easy way to cut the batting (you can also use old towels, mattress pads, etc) and backing fabric. Lay the backing fabric right side down. Layer the batting and top of tree skirt, and pin together.

11. Using the skirt top as your pattern, simply cut around it through the batting and backing fabric.

You can go here to find a tutorial I posted a while back on how to get several yards of bias tape from just one fat quarter.

12. Once you have your bias tape ready, all you have to do is sew it along the rough edges, and you’re done!

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