sam's room | slow goings

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sometimes I get overwhelmed looking at all of the fabulous room reveals on blogs and think to myself, "why can't I get my room's pulled together like that?!"  But the truth is, nothing is easily pulled together.  For us regular folks that don't have designers working on our homes, it takes time.  One piece at a time, bit by bit.  And if you're like me, there will be snag after snag along the way.

For example, Sam's room.

My little guy isn't yet three years old has had lived in three different houses.  He was maybe 4 months old when we moved out of his first house.  The only one that had a somewhat thought out room/nursery.  We were then in a rental for 9 months before moving into our current home.  Once we moved in here I knew it wouldn't be too long before he transitioned from his crib to a real bed.  So creating a new nursery in this house that would only be functional for a few months didn't make sense.

This summer he ditched the crib and we gave him a big boy bed.  I have a Jenny Lind bed in the garage that I've been working on but haven't finished.  His bed has moved from wall to wall while I try to decide flow.  I think it's in it's final resting place now.  



The nightstands are a nightmare.  This is what happens when IKEA hacks go wrong.  I stained them at different times.  One on a normal day and another on a bake-the-flesh-off-your-body-hot day.  The one on the right side soaked up the stain so fast that day I couldn't wipe it up fast enough.  I'm hoping I can sand it down to resemble the other one so I can move forward.  Still have some ideas up my sleeve for those puppies!

The painters tape.  I have plans for a DIY large scale piece of art for above the bed.  It's a good thing I taped it out because the size in my head was WAY to small once I got it measured out.  The tape really helps visualize things.


Right now the one thing that has gone right for me in here are the sconces I recently found.  LOVE them!!!  I had wanted sconces for beside his bed, but of course, all the ones I fell for were $200 a piece on up.  Whyyyyyy are light so expensive?!  These bad boys were a find straight from Heaven (aka World Market) at $39.99 a piece!


The other side of his room is just a hot mess.  Art is still hanging in the same spot from when his changing table sat below.  And the hanging chair which was once hanging on the opposite side of the room (from before I moved the bed around) is now waiting until I get around to drilling into a support beam in the ceiling.  Which means it could be sitting in this spot for days/weeks/months.  Which also means I now have an insanely huge hole in the ceiling I haven't yet patched from where I did have it hanging for all of just a couple of weeks.


Anywho... all of this to say don't ever feel discouraged when you see room reveals.  There are often times quite a few hiccups and set backs along way, and in the case of mine, they sit unfinished WAY longer than they should :)



DIY nap mat cover | tutorial

Tuesday, August 18, 2015



True to form, I almost completely forgot about a key item Sam needs to take with him when he starts Mother's Day Out next week.  A nap mat.  Luckily I already had the mat from when Izzy was in preschool.  Bullet dodged there.  But, it was still sporting the bright pink floral cover I had made for her.  No bueno.  With a little more experience under my belt (aka: don't make things harder on yourself, haul in as few separate items as possible) I decided to make Sam's with an attached pillow, attached blanket, better straps for holding it together, and a handle.  Boom!  No more worrying about leaving something behind or dropping it in the parking lot.  You're welcome ;)

MATERIALS: 
  • PRE-WASH YOUR FABRIC FIRST!!!
  • 3 yards of fabric for main portion of cover (no less than 44" wide)
  • 1 yard of minky fabric for inside portion of blanket
  • 2 yards of trim for straps
  • sew on velcro strips
  • sewing machine, thread, and pins
  • nap mat insert (mine is approx. 18x42)
  • small toddler pillow (mine is a lumbar pillow insert 12x20)

STEP ONE:  Make sure you have pre-washed all of your fabric and adjust measurements according to your mat insert!  We'll start by making the blanket portion of the cover.  Cut a 1 yard by 33" wide piece of your outer fabric and a 1 yard by 33" piece of the minky fabric.  Pin them face sides together leaving one of the 33" sides open.  I used several pins here since the minky fabric is kind of shifty.  Sew your three sides together.



STEP TWO:  Snip your corners off so that they lay smooth when you flip it right side out.  To give the blanket a finished look I did a double row of stitches on the outside.  I pinned before hand to keep the minky fabric in place (good grief, auto correct keeps switching "minky" to "kinky"!!!). 


STEP THREE:  Now we're making the main mat cover.  With your remaining 2 yards of outer fabric, cut it in half straight down the center.  Leave one side the full 2 yards, and cut the other side down to 48".  At the top edge of each piece, fold over the edge and stitch flat.  This will become the envelope opening for the mat.  

Pardon the feet.  Whenever I lay something on the floor Sam feels the need to walk on it :)



 STEP FOUR:  Lay your outer cover pieces right sides together.  In this photo below, the edges you just sewed down are staggered at the bottom and the raw edges are together at the top.  Fold the bottom piece up 16" to create the envelop opening.

Now slide the blanket portion into the left side of the cover minky side up, raw side out.  Pin around the three sides leaving the bottom open.  Stitch in place.  Turn right side out and make sure your blanket is properly attached.


STEP FIVE:  Now we're making the straps that hold the mat together.  Cut two strips of trim that are 4ft. long and one that is 1ft.


Stick the two 4ft. long strips inside the bottom unsewn portion of the cover about 5 inches from the side seams.  Pin and stitch in place.  TIP: Back stitch over the trim so that it holds up to repeated pulling from use.


STEP SIX:  Flip the cover right side out.  Finish the edges of the trim by rolling them over and stitching in place.  Now attach the velcro pieces.  I used two 12 inch long strips.  With the cover laying blanket side up, lay the straps over top of the blanket.  I placed the softer loop portion of the velcro about 4 inches from the bottom of the cover.  Flip the top pieces of the strap up and place the rougher hook portion of the velcro right at the end.  Stitch in place.


STEP SEVEN:  Use the remaining 12 inch portion of trim to make a handle.  Attach it toward the base of the straps, about 2 inches for the end of the mat cover.  I rolled my edge under and stitched in place with a box and X to make sure it held up (I'm sure there's a technical term for that).   


STEP EIGHT:  Slide the nap mat insert inside your cover through the envelop opening and push it all the way to the base of the cover, toward the straps.  Insert the pillow at the top.

YOU'RE DONE!!!  Grab your little one and take that puppy for a test drive.


And when it's time to put it away just flip the pillow back, lay the blanket flat, fold it all up and strap it down.

How to fold the nap mat


DIY inlay mirror - 2 ways

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I've been really excited to share this DIY inlay mirror with you!  I mentioned my love of them and the inspiration for the mirror in my last post.  

I made this one for Izzy's room.  There is still some work that needs to be done before the room is checked off the list, but you can see just a little bit of what's going on in the mirror.  For starters this dresser (which served as a changing table in both of the kids' nurseries) badly needs to be repainted.  Since Sam no longer needed a changing table I swapped out their dressers.  Once it was in Izzy's room it was crying out for a mirror.  I kept thinking about a plain sheet of mirror I had stored away and thought it would be the perfect size for this project.



MATERIALS:
  • 1x6 strips of wood
  • scrap wood or plywood for the upper decorative piece
  • 6 flat braces (or 4 if you're not adding the upper piece)
  • mirror clips
  • primer, paint and brushes (Gray paint - Martha Stewart Zinc)
  • plastic cup with a little water (I watered down my gray paint a bit)
  • Indian Inlay stencil from Cutting Edge Stencils and brush
  • compound miter saw or miter box and saw
  • jigsaw
  • sandpaper
  • safety glasses
  • screw driver

STEP ONE:  Determine the size of your mirror and cut your 1x6's at a 45 degree angle with a compound miter saw or miter box and saw.  Don't forget to use your safety glasses!  Attach the pieces together at the corners with flat braces.


STEP TWO:  Sketch out your design for the upper decorative piece and trace it onto your scrap wood or plywood.  



Carefully (and with safety glasses on!) cut out your design.  Use your sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges.  And just so you know, this was my first time using a jig saw and it was much easier than I expected and actually really fun.  Don't let this part scare you!


STEP THREE:  Prime and paint your frame letting it completely dry in between coats.


For the gray paint, I ended up watering it down so a bit of the white primer would show through.  To do this I just poured a little bit of paint into a plastic cup that had some water in the bottom.  No particular measuring, I just messed around until I got the consistency I wanted.


STEP FOUR:  Bust our your inlay stencil and start stenciling!  Pardon the phone, I quickly snapped this picture to send to my mom and then later forgot to take a nice picture for the tutorial :)


I'm the queen of indecision, so I decided to keep the decorative piece off while I stenciled so that the top of the flat piece would also be stenciled just in case I should ever change my mind and decide to use the mirror someplace else.  If you decide to use the top piece, you just attach it to the frame using two more of the flat brackets, in the same way the mitered corners were attached to each other.   

STEP FIVE:  Once your stencil is dry you can flip the frame over and attach the mirror to the back using the mirror clips.  I used 10 clips for my mirror.  3 along each sides, and 2 along the top and bottom.



You're done!  So, here are the two versions:

With the decorative top piece.


And without.


In her room I definitely prefer the piece on top, but it's nice to know I have options!

If you like this, you should also check out the other mirror I made using this stencil a while back.


I don't think you can have too much of a good thing.  Nope, I do not!



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