Friday, June 26, 2009


I like mobiles. I think they're sweet and pretty and very fun decor for a child's room. The other day I got the notion to make one for my son, but I'll show you that one in a minute. First, here's the first mobile I ever made.

I made it for my daughter a couple of years ago using some very simple materials. The butterflies came from a mobile that was used as decoration at my baby shower when I was pregnant with Pyper. The hoop was purchased in Wal-Mart's craft department, and the leaves and ladybugs were made by me.

The leaves were cut from fleece, then zig-zagged onto fabric covered wire stems and attached to the hoop using floral tape.

The ladybugs were made out of flannel, black wire, black pom poms and hot glue.
Everything was then suspended from the hoop with simple sewing thread (though now I wish I'd used something less noticeable.) The string above the hoop is just embroidery floss attached to a key ring.
Now here's Hakan's new mobile.

I'm really loving hot air balloons lately, ever since I discovered this fabric, which has now become the inspiration for two projects.

For this mobile I didn't have to buy anything. I used scrapbook paper from my stash, a stiff cardboard insert that I think had come with a set of curtains or sheets, some monofilament thread, some Mod Podge, a bit of fabric, an embroidery hoop from my collection and some plain white string.

I had a sheet of scrapbook paper that had clouds on it- perfect for my cloud pieces!

Simple paper-covered circles for the balloon, attached to a plain brown basket with string.

I didn't have any ribbon that I liked or I would have used that to wrap the embroidery hoop. I could also have painted it or just left it natural and it would have been fine. What I ended up doing was cutting a 3/4" strip of fabric and wrapping the hoop, tacking with hot glue every few inches or so, then sealing it with Mod Podge.

It hangs pretty low so it couldn't go over Hakan's bed, but I like how this mobile fills the corner by his closet.
Yay for free, fun decor!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Pyper's dresser- complete!

And here she is!

Well, almost. This was taken yesterday (in some very bad lighting, I might add) before I got the dresser polyurenthaned. I just couldn't wait! I was hoping to also have a photo to share of it sitting in its place in Pyper's bedroom, but at the moment her room's not in a state fit to photograph. :) Maybe this afternoon she'll decide to tidy up, and maybe the sun will decide to come out for a decent picture. Maybe?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pyper's Dresser- Day 2

The transformation continues.

Last night I dug out this book from Better Homes and Gardens that I've had for a while and realized why I'm so bent on painting this dresser.

Isn't that just so sweet? I even had the pages marked where it shows bits of this pretty vintage-inspired little girl's room. I'm sure this is where I got a lot of inspiration when I was decorating Pyper's room at our previous house.

I'm aiming for a very similar look with this dresser I'm working on. I don't know that the color will be quite the same, as I'm hoping for something a little more blue. But I like the white top that will tie it together with her other white furniture. And can you believe that this one even has wheels, too?? Alas, no glass knobs for my dresser. I would have loved to put some on, but Hubby hates them with a passion (his words) for some unknown reason and, heaven help me, I value his opinion. Keeping the original hardware doesn't break my heart, though. It's still really pretty.

So here we go. On to priming and painting!!

The trouble with spray paint is the lack of accuracy and control. I hate overspray, so to minimize it I made a little apron out of craft paper and taped it around the bottom portion of the drawers.

Worked pretty well, I think. I only made one and just moved it from drawer to drawer as I went along.

I made sure to tape off those cute little wheels as well.

Placing my blue tape a hair away from the front edges, I also masked the inside edges to protect them. This isn't really necessary, but I didn't like the idea of having paint end up where I didn't really intend to paint.

One can of primer later and I've got all the drawer faces and the entire chest ready for my Marina Isle.
I actually did get one coat of paint on the chest, but then clouds rolled in and I didn't want to take a photo under my crappy garage lighting. Hopefully I'll be able to go back out this evening for coat #2 and then post the big reveal tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

At long, long last!

Finally, FINALLY, I have a new(ish) dresser for Pyper! I have been searching Craigslist and thrift stores constantly for months and months in hopes of finding a dresser that's just right for her room. Actually, a few months back I did find one, but the lady up and sold it out from under me before I could get there to pick it up. I cursed her for weeks. Anyway, by some miracle this one didn't get snatched up by anyone else and I brought it home yesterday. Isn't it cute?

Here's the dresser Pyper has been using for the past few years. It's teeny. It worked at first, but recently her clothes have outgrown it, and now it barely holds her underwear & socks, a few shirts and some pants. The rest end up strewn around her room or in baskets on the floor. It was a bargain wood piece from Ikea that I painted and dolled up with some decoupaged scrapbook paper birds.

This new(ish) dresser is a great size and is in fantastic condition. In fact, the gal that sold it to me said that she'd wanted to paint it but couldn't bring herself to do it. I can totally understand why- the wood is in such good shape! I've gone back and forth in my mind about whether or not it's a sin to paint over wood that looks this good. And I've come to the conclusion that no, it isn't a sin. Paint can be undone if one (eventually) chooses, and this wood color simply does not suit me or my daughter's decor. Her furniture is all white and she has very colorful bedding. I think as-is, this piece would just look too serious among her other things.

These photos were taken at our previous house after I'd painstakingly painted and decorated her entire room. Then 5 months later we moved, and her room in our rental just isn't quite as cute. *sigh* See the itty bitty dresser in the corner?

I'm definitely going to have to do this hanky treatment in her room again. It's a great way to fill up a wall that has un-centered furniture on it.

Anyway, back to the new(ish) dresser. Is it annoying that I keep calling it new(ish)? I want to call it new because it's new to me, but because it's an antique it isn't actually new new. Whatever, I'm just going to call it "the new dresser", because soon it's going to look new new. Now the word new sounds weird. Stop saying new.

ANYWAY- the hardware on this piece isn't half bad either...

...though I'm pretty sure the top two knobs aren't original. Oh, well. They're still cute, though, right?

And I love the turned front legs and the cute little wooden casters. Don't you just love furniture that makes it easy to move?

Today while the kids were napping I attacked it with my power sander. Instead of stripping off all the varnish I just went at it with some medium grade sandpaper and scuffed it up reeeeally good.

See? Good and scuffed and scratched and dusty.

I also went in with just a piece of sandpaper and got into the grooves, the curved sections and the turned legs that the power sander couldn't do. Then I took a damp cloth and wiped it down to get all that dust off. It still looks hazy even after being wiped, so I know I did a good job sanding. Lastly I got out my trusty Dyson and cleaned out the inside of the dresser and all the drawers.

That's as far as I got today. I'm so excited for the next steps- priming and PAINTING! Tonight after tee ball and dinner we went to Home Depot where I picked out a lovely blue (Behr Marina Isle) semi-gloss paint for it. Oooohh, it's gonna be so pretty! My other dresser project is going to have to wait until this one gets done. Pyper needs her new dresser!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tutorial: Make a quick infant bodysuit/Onesie extender

By the time Finnley was 2 months old, he had pretty much outgrown all of his 0-3 month size bodysuits ("Onesies"). He measured a whopping 25" long at his 2 month check up, which put him in the 95th percentile for boys his age. This is all thanks to the long waist he inherited from yours truly.

Having a long torso has always been challenging for me, especially when looking for long-enough shirts and one piece bathing suits. Now it's a challenge with Finn because the uniform of the first year and a half of his life will be the Onesie. So to help those cute little things last a little longer, I decided to make an extender. I was a little lazy in making this, though, so I ended up with a somewhat rough finished product. None the less, I'll show you how I did it.
I started with a bodysuit of his brother's that was headed for the garbage due to some gross discoloration around the neck which for some reason has magically disappeared in this photo (Hakan was a major barfer). The crotch, however, was in lovely condition.

Using your straight edge and rotary cutter (or scissors if that's what you've got handy), cut off the bottom portion of the bodysuit just above the leg band.

Then snip the front and back pieces apart at the side seams.

Next, trim off the "wings" on either side of the 2 pieces, about an inch away from the snaps.

Not shown: You'll probably want to take off a couple of inches from the back piece now, otherwise your extender will be way too long. I think I cut enough off of mine so that the two pieces ended up being about the same length.

Sew the two pieces together using about a 1/4" seam allowance. *Make sure you place them together so that the snaps are facing up on both peices.

Next, stitch down the seam allowance towards the back piece (this has the stud/prong part of the snaps).

Last of all just finish off your edges. This is where I took a few shortcuts that led to the somewhat rough look of my finished product. If I wasn't so lazy I would have serged the edges, but I didn't feel like re-threading my serger with white thread instead of the pink that was on there. I also should have re-threaded my sewing machine with white instead of cream but, again, I'm L-A-Z-Y. Anyway, I just used a (kind of messy) zig-zag stitch.

If you try this project you'll find that your extender may not work on all bodysuits, as not all snaps are created equal. But so far I've found it to work with at least two...

This tie Onesie I made Finnley got all of one use before he was too big. Next I think I'll have to shorten the sleeves and he'll be able to wear it for quite a bit longer.
I really love this little mouse & acorn one. It's probably my favorite.

Doesn't he look happy with his new extender? :)