Saturday, September 11, 2010

Anthro-Inspired Lampshade!

Aaaaand... I'm back.  Sorry for the leave of absence... again... my oldest just started kindergarten a couple of weeks ago, another in preschool... so it's been a bit of a transition for us.  I think I've finally gotten the schedule figured out, so hopefully I'll be back to blogging like my normal old self.  So anyway, how's everyone out there been doing this past month-ish?  Anything interesting?  All right, enough small talk, here's what I've been working on:  I saw this shade @ anthropologie, and knew that I could use that technique to revamp an old shade in my living room.

Here's mine:

I think I may still add some ribbon to the top and bottom, just to give it a more finished look.  It wasn't too awfully hard to do, it just took a while.

I started by tracing the shade onto a piece of fabric (something neutral, with little to no pattern, as it will show through when the lamp is turned on).  I cut it out, leaving at least an inch around the outline.

Then I traced and cut three different sizes of circles from coordinating fabrics- the more diversity in texture and pattern, the better, I say!  I used a coffee mug, a little plastic play cup and a shot glass for my circle dimensions.

To secure the circles to the base fabric, I used spray adhesive and sprayed the backs of the circles, and arranged them how I wanted them.  The adhesive was pretty forgiving, so it was easy to move circles if I wanted to.

Once all the space was covered, I took it to my sewing machine and began to sew.  And sew. I started out trying to sew straight lines from one side to the other, but by the end I was just making sure I had all of the ends sewn down.  I used white thread and a zig-zag stitch.  The spray adhesive makes the sewing pretty easy; trust me, my first go at this I tried pinning the circles down... yeah, that was not a fun time.  With the spray, the sewing was one million times easier.  Occasionally the circles may lift up a little, so just watch out for that.  I've got a few pleated circles on my shade.  Oops.

Once that was done, I folded the edges under, trimmed where necessary, and hot glued it to the shade.  Now my shade is no longer faded, and now it's color coordinated with my living room!  I've got to say, it looks pretty cool when the lamp is on.  But the best part of this project?  Completely FREE!  I had everything I needed on hand, which was awesome!


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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Transfer, the Mod Podge Way

Last week I was traveling around blogs, checking out what people were up to, and I came across a project from the blog 'What I Live For'.  Judy, the blogger, made a simple light switch plate look beautiful by using Mod Podge as a transfer medium.   I've seen what transfer mediums can do, and I've been wanting to try it, but hadn't gone and bought the special stuff.  When I saw what she did, I knew I had to try it.  I did a plate, too, but not a switch plate...

I love the color!  It really goes well with my orange living room.  I love the orange/turquoise color combo (ahem...look at my blog colors....).  ☺ 

The transferred image is the flowers, if you couldn't tell.  That was an easy find- it's a coloring page I found online and printed.  I found it here.  Butterflyfish Band has a few cute coloring pages, too (I like page 5, cute birds) here.  I printed mine with a laser printer, but Judy from What I Live For says that inkjet should work fine, too.  I also used a printed page of sheet music for my background (piano sheet music for 'A Long December' by Counting Crows, if you're wondering...).  Alright, to make a plate like mine, start by brushing a coat of Mod Podge onto the backside of the plate and let it dry.

Cut out your image and brush Mod Podge onto the printed side.  Place it onto the backside of your plate and really rub it down and make sure to get out all of the bubbles.  Leave it to dry for a while- the longer it dries the better!

When it's fully dry for as long as you can stand to wait, spray the paper with water and gently rub the paper off.  Gently is important.  Rub too hard and the image will peel off.  This is where I ran into a problem... I rubbed off most of the paper, but I just couldn't seem to get the last, thin layer off without pulling the image along with it.  So when I was finished, I had this:

Hmmm.  I was really hoping for a clearer image.  I think if I stuck with it, I could have gotten the last layer off.  I could still work with it, though.  This is where the color comes in.  I grabbed a small plastic container and mixed up some Mod Podge, a little water, a little white paint, blue and green neon food coloring, and a bit of Glitter Mod Podge.  Mixed it all up, grabbed a paint brush and pounced it all over the back of the plate.

When that dried, I added another layer of Mod Podge, followed my my music paper.  Smoothed on the paper, creasing it where it needed to be creased, trimmed the edges, brushed on one more layer of Mod Podge,

let it dry, and now it's a pretty plate!  I wouldn't recommend using it for food, just because I'm not sure how the back would stand up to being washed.  You could make a cute candy dish this way, though!  So many possibilities!

I've got some more ideas for this technique...


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Friday, July 16, 2010

Easy Dollar Store Shoe ReDo


A couple of days ago I got these shoes for $2 at a Family Dollar store.

They've got a nice chocolate brown color, and I knew when I saw them that they had potential.  But the huge flowers had to go.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who thought so!

I took the scissors to those things, and had this:

I couldn't get the gold centers off, but that wasn't a problem because I was just going to cover them, anyway.

After cutting the flowers off, I had tons of brown petals left over.

I grabbed six plain petals and one studded petal, and hot glued them in a line like this:

Then I made another one for the other shoe.

Once those were finished, I grabbed some coordinating fabric,

and cut two strips about 28-ish inches long.  Definitely not perfect, but they didn't need to be.

I twisted one end,

and started wrapping it in a circle, twisting and dabbing hot glue as I went.

I stopped wrapping before I reached the end, leaving enough to cover  the backside of my 'flower',

folded it over,  hot glued it to the back, and trimmed off any excess.  (Oh, and repeated the process for the second strip of fabric.)

Now all that was left was to put them on the shoes.  First I hot glued on the brown petal line, a little off center,

followed by a fabric flower, slightly overlapping the studded petal.

Did the same for the other shoe, and I now have myself a super cute, unique pair of shoes for $2!!

I love them!!!

Oh, by the way, about the project I mentioned earlier this week... well, it's still not done.  Apparently my sewing machine will sew anything but my project... and I'm only two seams away from finishing it!  So until I can figure out why it won't sew what it's already been sewing (argh!), that project is on hiatus.  It's a bummer, but it'll get done eventually!!! I promise!

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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Men's Button-Up Refashion... into Ladies Tank!

A few years ago, when the hubby and I lived in Florida (this was pre-kids, so make that 5-ish years...) I bought him a button-up shirt for his work.  The deal was that he had to wear blue or white button-ups, so I thought, "Why not both at the same time?"  And I got him this:

It used to have a pocket...
Apparently when he wore it to work, his boss told him he looked like a picnic basket, aaand the shirt was retired to the closet.  Well, I don't care if I look like a picnic basket, so I decided to turn it into a tank top for myself!

It was actually really easy to do... let me try once again to tell you how I used a sewing machine... eh....

First things first, I chopped the sleeves off.

Then I slipped the shirt on and pinned in the sides so that it fit.

I took off the shirt, flipped it inside out and sewed up the sides where my pins were, trimmed off the excess, flipped it rightside out again, and tried it on to make sure it fit.  It did, much to my amazement!  I was actually proud of myself at that moment- it gave me a little boost in my sewing confidence.

Then I pinned the armholes the way I wanted them... carefully...

Looks a lot like a vest at this point...
...and sewed them.  Not one of my favorite things to sew, those armholes.  Once the arms were taken care of, it was on to the neck.  I pinned the neck down- I went down about two buttons, which actually ended up to be a little to far down, so I had to sew it closed again.  Anyway, I pinned, sewed, and trimmed...

Then I cut a piece of thick white ribbon, gathered one side/sleeve/armhole-front up kind of like a fan, and wrapped the ribbon around it.

To secure it in place, I attached a button (cut from the excess shirt) with a needle and white thread.  Then I did the same thing to the other side.

At this point I tried the shirt on and decided I wanted more of a fitted look to the waist area, so I made some ties for the back.  For the tie fabric, I used one of the sleeves I cut off the shirt.  I trimmed the cuff off of the sleeve, and cut alongside the seam to open the shirt.  Then I cut a rectangle from the longest piece, making sure it was wide enough for two ties.  (Sorry, I didn't measure... )

I cut the fabric in half lengthwise (hot dog style!), folded the pieces in half the same way, and stitched the long side and one short side.  Then I flipped them right-side out (I used a super long wooden skewer to push the corners out- a smore's stick!).

I found the spot on the shirt where I wanted my ties to be, folded the rough edge under and pinned the ties in place.  Then I used my sewing machine to attach them on, doing that pretty x-in-a-box thing (technical term?  not sure.)

That's it!  Sorry I'm not more descriptive when it comes to my sewing things, hopefully I'll get better at that as time goes on, but I hope you kind of get the general idea of how I made my shirt!

And sorry for the somewhat moody facial expressions, it was super hot and humid out, and after a gazillion pictures, I was getting slightly uncomfortable! I got more pictures that I liked than I first thought, though...


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My name is Sarah. I am a wife; the mother of three beautiful and crazy girls; a person of many interests, many that I am just finding out; and just generally me in every way.
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