Summery DIY Tablecloth

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Summery DIY Tablecloth

Ever had some super cute fabric that you just looved, but couldn’t figure out what in the world to with it?  I’ve had this adorable flip flop fabric forever, but just couldn’t find the perfect project for it.

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As I sat looking at our boring well-used patio table, it came to me.  A tablecloth.  We eat outside A LOT during the spring and summer and for some reason I just really hate to wipe down that table.  The answer – a tablecloth.  We’ve used vinyl tablecloths some in the past, but they too have to be wiped down.  Which is what I’m trying to avoid.  Then I started using some flat sheets, folded in 1/2.  It solved the wiping down issue (throw it in the wash), but wasn’t very cute.  But NOW, I could do cute!

So, I grabbed my tape measure & zipped back out to measure the table.  (That counted as my workout for the day, because the tape measure was in the craft room on the 2nd floor.) 🙂  I measured the diameter of the table & headed back up to measure my fabric.  I had just enough.  To mark the fabric, I first folded it in half, then measured the length and found the center.  Then I stuck a safety pin through my tape measure and pinned it through the fold at the center.  That allowed me to simply move the tape in a semi-circle around the folded fabric and mark the outline of my tablecloth.

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Problem.  My fabric was a little narrow.  So, I had to cut it smaller than I wanted, but I figured I could fix that with a border.  Once the fabric was marked & cut, I was ready to use some scrap fabric for the border.  All I needed was the circumference so I would know how much fabric I neeeded, right?  Umm…..I’ve been out of school for a while….and math was never my strong suit.  How do you figure the circumference??!!  No worries, all 3 of our kids received letters saying they qualified for advanced math classes this next school year.  “I’ll ask them”, said the lazy brilliant mom.  “Hey, girls!”  “Yeah?”  “What’s the formula to figure the circumference of a circle?”…….dead silence……  “Girls?”……”Hello?”…….  So, I had to start calling them by name and asking them as individuals.  “I don’t know.”  “Oh, gee, um, well, I think it’s …”  “It could be….Pie R Squared?”  Ooookaaayyyy.  Glad their daddy is a math wiz & can help with homework this year!  So, I went online & got the formula (2PIr).  Taking that number, I was able to figure the length of border fabric I needed.

**Just, please, remember to cut your border fabric LONGER than necessary.  Especially if you have my mad measuring skills!**

I wanted the border about 2 inches wide, so I cut my scrap into 2 1/2 inch strips for seam allowance.  Then, I pinned the devil out of it.  Seriously, when you are putting a straight strip of fabric on a circle, use every last pin you can find!

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I pinned, and pinned, and pinned, and …… ran out of fabric.  Great.  THAT is why you cut your strips LONGER than you think you need.  So I grabbed another piece of border scrap, and cut another strip.  I just stuck it on the sewing machine to join it to the other strip & then continued pinning.  Once it was all pinned.  Aaaalllll the way around, I realized I had not hemmed it.  Which is best done BEFORE attaching the border to the circle.  So I UNpinned it.  Gggrrrrr…  Then I decided I didn’t want to hem it, because that was a pain.

Solution…………..2″ wide navy blue ribbon & fabric glue.  I had plenty.  Right?

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Yeah, the mad measuring skills kicked in & I ended up with a frantic run to Hobby Lobby the next morning for navy ribbon.  They had one roll left.  One.  Thank you, Lord for caring about the small things.

Once all was glued on & REpinned to the circle, I ran it through on a straight stitch.  That’s pretty close to the extent of my awesome sewing abilities.  And here is how my summery tablecloth looks on our well-used table –

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You’d think I would have taken the pic from an angle that did NOT include the seam, but oh well.  It’s fun & it saves me from having to wipe the table.

Now to do something with the rest of the deck!

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Garage Organization

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Welcome, friends!  I hope everyone had a fabulous 4th!  It’s been rainy here, so we did some inside things – including going to see Despicable Me 2.  Loved it!  It’s not as good as the first one, but you just have to love those minions!

The last few months have been project laden.  I know  you can’t really tell due to the lack of posts, but I really have been busy!  My favorite project of all is my newly painted & organized paint supply wall.  I.LOVE.IT!!

I’m the primary painter here & the paint supplies had been tossed on the old (badly slanted) wire shelves haphazardly, as well as scattered in a couple of other places for the 8 years we have lived here.  It was such a pain to try to find everything when I was ready to paint something.  Which is fairly often.  So, I decided enough was enough.

Here’s a semi-before because I forgot to take an actual before.  Sorry.

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All that’s really missing is the piles of paint supplies and old, cobweb covered antlers that hubs is saving.  For some reason.

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This wall is on my side of the garage & I just REALLY wanted to do something fun and funky.  Stripes kept coming to mind, so I decided to try that.  I used a tape measure and chose random stripe widths.  To keep the lines straight, I used a level and a yard stick.   We had multiple sample jars of paint from various projects, as well as old pegboard and left over adjustable shelving tracks and shelves, so I didn’t have to buy anything for this project.  Yay!!

Here is my fun, funky, organized “after”:

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I still need to label the bins, but the sides are clear so I know what’s in them until I get around to doing labels.  It is SOOO much easier to locate my supplies now!  I love it!!  It makes me smile every time I pull into the garage.

 

DIY Wainscoting

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Doin’ a little happy dance because the 1986 country rose wallpaper in our entry is GONE!  Well, it’s still there, but you can’t see it.  Finally.  Allow me to share a “before”….  This is the view from the front door looking towards the kitchen.  The second pic is a close-up of the wallpaper that I do not miss one bit.

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After spending waaaayyy too much time on Pinterest and multiple blogs, we settled on doing basic DIY wainscoting.  The main reason is that we wanted it to match the dining room (now office) so that it looked like it had always been there.  I am SO very thankful for my handy engineer husband!  He actually enjoys math and figuring out angles – both of which were majorly needed for this project.  (A point he made sure the girls knew since they all hate math.)  🙂

The first thing we had to do was fix all the wallpaper seams, because we were not going to cover the paper with MDF.  Adding anything over the paper would have increased the depth & we would have needed to remove the existing chair rail to accommodate that.  We wanted to avoid the headache, time and expense incurred by doing that.  So, we (actually hubs) trimmed back each seam and then mudded over it with sheetrock mud.  It took a couple of coats to make it all flat and even.  Then we primed with interior latex primer so our paint would adhere to the nasty wallpaper.

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We used painter’s tape to mark off the boxes so we could see how they would fit on the wall.  Once we were happy with the size & placement of the rectangles, it was time to work on angles.  Hubs went online and printed off a protractor.  He used that to build a couple of jigs.  Everything was cut on the table saw.  I REALLY wish I had taken pics of the jigs and the templates he cut!!  But, **sigh** I didn’t.  He cut a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the size he wanted.  In this case 4″ wide so all the boxes and angles would be 4″ from the trim and we wouldn’t have to measure every.single.time.  Then he cut that into the correct angles needed so we could make the trim pieces fit.  Some construction adhesive (that didn’t work too well) and a nail gun were the tools we used to put up the trim.  I painted it to in a gloss to match the existing trim.  I LOVE our entry now!  It is SO much better!

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The next step is to hire a painter to come paint the 2-story high walls above the chair rail in the entry.  They will be Realist Beige like everything else to keep it simple.  I’m not about to put my hubby on scaffolding over the stairs to paint!

I think I promised at the beginning of this blog to put measurements of the rooms.  Not sure I’ve held to that, but I’ll do it here.  This entry is shaped like a “T”.  The top of the “T” (front door wall) is 145 1/4″ long & 56″ wide.  At the base of the stairs is a little piece that is 31 3/8″.  Going up the stairs is 174 3/4″.  The wall directly in front of the front door is 63 3/8″.  The walls on each side of the leg of the “t” (going in to Kitchen) are 129 5/8″ long and it is 39″ wide.  The chair rail is 34″ from floor.

Hopefully all that makes sense!  If you are considering DIY wainscoting, just Google “DIY Wainscoting” and you will get some great pictures and some blogs that actually give step-by-step direction.  I just picked a picture I liked, printed it and asked hubs to make it happen.  He loves it when I do that…..  🙂

Honey Do List Revamp

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It has been well established that men & women are just so very different.  (Which I think is a good thing.)  However, my sweet hubby & I are very much alike in one way – our memories are becoming non-existent.  Especially regarding things we don’t really want to do.  Anyone else experiencing this phenomena??  We would talk about all the things that need to be done around the house & yard…….and then forget about them.  So, nothing was getting done.  One day my daughter told me she needed something for school.  I told her to write it on a sticky note & stick it to my steering wheel.  I’m in the car all day, so if it’s on the horn I see it & am more likely to get it done.  **Light bulb!**  “Hmmm….if that works for me, perhaps it will work for hubs..”  Enter the new idea for our Honey Do List.

Hubs came home from work on Tuesday to find his new “Honey Do List”.  🙂  It was displayed prominently in his favorite spot.  Do you see it?

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Yep.  The “List” is now on sticky notes.  Post-It notes to be exact, because their “sticky” is just better.  No, they aren’t paying me to say that.  I can assure you they don’t know I exist.  But I know their sticky notes exist & that’s what matters.  Now, when I need hubs to take care of something, I write it on a sticky note & put it by (or on) his computer.  When he completes the item, he trashes the note.  Actually, he folds the note in 1/2 and lays it to one side.  I trash the note.

If you & your sweetie (or kids) are having trouble getting things done, perhaps this will work for you too.  Just write one thing on each sticky note.  (I’m also careful to begin with the word “Please” to make it a little less demanding.)

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Once the item is done, the note goes in the trash.  Probably not the best solution for recurring things, but for occasional things, it works really well.  So far.  For our recurring things (ie: kids’ chores), we use our laminated chore cards.

Valentine’s Boxes

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School Valentine’s parties are about to round the corner!  For the younger kids that generally means  it’s time to create cute V’day boxes for friends to deposit your Valentines in.  Our girls have pretty much reached the age of no Valentine swapping, but I came across some pics of boxes we have done in the past.  These are super easy!

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The hot air balloon was definitely a favorite!  The base is just a box with top cut out.  You can use a tissue box, small shoe box, whatever.  Then we covered the box with red paper inside & out.  Save yourself some grief & cut the top out of the box FIRST.  If you’re using a shoe box, just leave the lid off.  You could also paint the box if you have red paint on hand.  Next we stuck 4 bamboo skewers into the corners of the box.  You can get these in the kitchen accessory section at WalMart.  We wrapped these with red paper as well.  After that, we grabbed some sheer red ribbon that had hearts printed on it & strung some pink heart-shaped ornaments on it.  I think the ribbon & hearts came from Hobby Lobby.  We wrapped the ribbon around the top of the box and secured it with scrapbooking glue dots, then tied a cute little bow.  The “balloon” is just a small paper lantern.  The heart was already printed on it.  We cut some red, pink & white curling ribbon and tied that under the lantern.  To hold the “balloon” up, we stuck the skewers through the paper on the lantern.  It was a little easy to knock off, but that was okay.

Next up is one my middle daughter made herself.  She is VERY independent!  She also made a dog shaped box last year, but didn’t let me take a pic of it.  It was really cute.  Anyway, here is her iPod box:

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I thought it was pretty cute, actually.  She used an old shoe box, covered it with pink paper and ribbon, then glued on some jewels.  Her friends raved about it & that’s all that really matters I suppose.  This is great for that night before panic.  Oh, your kids don’t do that?  Lucky you.  🙂

My eldest wanted a house-shaped box one year.  This one is slightly more labor intensive.

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We used a detergent box and cut the top out of it for the house part.  We covered that with pink paper.  The door is white paper.  The little fence is wood & I think it’s from Hobby Lobby in the little wooden letter & box area.  The jewels, flowers & buttons came from the scrapbooking area.  The silk butterfly came in a pack of like 6 or 8 of all different colors.  I don’t remember where I bought those.  The roof & chimney are from a shoe box that has a flip open lid as opposed to a detached lid.  I just cut it the way we wanted it with some scissors.  We hot glued it all together.

Hope this helps you with some ideas for your child’s school Valentine box.  I’d love to see what you come up with!

Bathroom Drawer Organization

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What is it about pinning up a new calendar that sends us into clean out/organize/lose weight/get fit mode??  Or is it just me?  Judging by all the pins and blog posts out there relating to those categories, it is not just me.  Whew!  I’m normal.  Kind of.  🙂

I know most posts about organizing talk about making more space in small places, but as small as our rooms are in this house we actually have too much storage space in the bathrooms.  Weird, isn’t it?  Our Master Bath is only 14.5 feet x 5 feet.  Yep.  5 feet wide, of which base cabinets take up about 2 feet.  So, only 3 feet of walking through space.  BUT in that small amount of space the builders fit 2 sinks in an “L” configuration and a floor-to-ceiling cabinet.  It’s a LOT of unnecessary cabinetry that we will deal with one day in the near future.  For now, let me show you how I organized 3 of the drawers in our bathroom.  The under sink & tall cabinets will be another day.

We have 7 total drawers in the bathroom.  The 3 I organized are all 3″ deep.  The first two are 9.5″ x 15 5/8″.  Here is a “Before” pic of one of those:

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Yep.  That’s all that was in that drawer.  For 6 years.  Well, I mean those EXACT items are not 6 years old, but you know what I mean.  Toothpaste, carmex, a sunscreen stick and a little electric shaver.  The drawer next to it is just like it, but it had a jumbled mess of travel size items.  Wish I had done a “Before” on that.  Or….maybe not.  It was a little gross & scary.

For the 2 smaller drawers, I just shopped the house & attic.  (Is it weird that about 1/3 of our attic space is taken up with organizers?)  Anyway, I was able to find several things to get the two smaller drawers whipped into shape.  Here they are now!

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Toothpaste drawer on left now houses extra do, q-tips, carmex, floss, toothbrush covers, sunscreen sticks and a couple of small toothpastes (that will actually be moving to the girls’ bathroom soon).  Most of this stuff was in the jumbled drawer.  The jumbled drawer on right is now first aid central.  The first aid items were all stored under one of the sinks and were kind of a pain to get to.  Now, we can access all the most needed items quickly and easily.

To the right of these drawers is a wide drawer – 23.75″ x 15 5/8″ .  I obviously don’t know how to convert 5/8 to a decimal.  Sorry.  Guess I could ask my 5th grader….  🙂  Aaaannnyway, the wide drawer is mine and holds mostly stuff I need in the mornings.  The main exception is my daily makeup, which stays in a bag in another drawer.  So, here is the semi-organized “Before” shot of that drawer:

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Not very well utilized & it had become a “dumping ground” for hair clips and ponytail holders.  For this project, I actually had to go buy what I needed to fill the space.  I found 2 of these bamboo organizers at WalMart and they work really well for this space.

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There is a central compartment with all the little “boxy” spaces and then the sides can slide in or out as needed.  Some of the inner dividers can also be removed if more space is needed for a particular item.  After playing around with it for a few minutes, I came up with this:

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There is still a little bit of space at the back, but over all it is perfect for what I need.  The hair clips are separated, there is space for my “back up” make up items as well as the little perfume samples I love.  The red & green ribbon things you saw in the “Before” pic were Christmas ponytail holders that go with my “Who” costume I wear every year.  They now live with that costume.

It’s been a few days since I did this & I have to say I really love the change.  If you’ve been busy organizing, I’d love to hear about it!

Valentine’s Pennant Banner

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I love pennants!  Especially strung together in a banner.  They have been quite popular for a while now, but I’ve just been to lazy to try to work them in around here.  Better late than never, right?!?

To give the whole story on this, I should backtrack to Christmas.  I decided to turn an antique mirror frame into a card holder at the front door.  The frame originally went with a dresser that belonged to my great grandmother, but we were not using it.  It fit perfectly over the chair rail in the entry, so I just added some picture hanging wire to the back and chicken wire in the mirror opening.  And there, you have it, a card holder.  Easy peasy!

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Took the picture at night.  Sorry about that.

For Valentine’s Day decor, I decided to make a cute pennant banner like I’ve seen all over Pinterest.  For the pennant shape, I just googled “free pennant pattern” and found one I liked.  It looked like this (sorry I don’t remember site).

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I used the measurement line to cut it down to the size I wanted.  Then it was just a matter of choosing my papers from what I had on hand, tracing the pattern on the back of each paper & cutting everything out.  Once it was cut, I pinned the pennants up to figure out placement and how many I would actually need.

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I knew I wanted the word “love” on it & thought I had some stickers in my stash that would work.  No deal.  Oh, I have LOTS of letter stickers, just not the right size.  And I didn’t want to spend any money on this project.  I decided to just print the letters from Word in a font I liked and cut them out.  Of course, I wanted them to be black and my black ink decided to run out.  So, I printed the letters in blue & went over them with a Sharpie before cutting them out and gluing them on the pennants.  A little fuzzy yarn & it’s all done!

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I added some pics of our girls to fill up the space.  And because they’re cute.  🙂  They have had much fun looking at pics from their younger years!

Sharing this (free) project at 52 Mantels & Little Inspiration.