4.15.2015

DIY Floor Lamp

This post was sponsored by Habitat Greater Orlando Restore.
This week myself and a few other DIY bloggers got the chance to partner up with The Habitat for Humanity Restore here in Orlando (1649 Florida Mall Avenue, Orlando, FL 32809). They asked us to basically shop around and see what I could DIY for ya'll. Um, yes. You see, when this Habitat store opened a couple years back, I think Katie (from Sew Woodsy) and I were the first ones in the door. We used to work (at our "real" jobs) quite close to there and well, who needs to eat lunch on lunch break when you can thrift shop? :) They carry a wide variety of items from household goods to home d├ęcor, furniture, and appliances. The store also accepts donations of these gently used goods. And the best part; all proceeds support Habitat’s mission of providing affordable homes for families in need. Win.


I headed over early and wandered blissfully through the goods. That hanging pendant lamp below was gorgeous and huge but a bit out of my budget. However, craft paint for 50 cents?! That's what I'm talking about. They also had tons and tons of paint brushes and paint supplies. I need to remember that when we paint the new house. :)

There were at least a hundred tiny sewing kits for 50 cents. So cute! And the hardware. Oh man. Must. Restrain. Self. There were so many good ones. Some for less than a buck! The burlap ribbon I thought would be a great 4th of July DIY. And the bins of just random parts always strike me as interesting. No idea what they are actually intended for but I'm sure one day I'll make something up.

Alas, here's what I came home with. An awesome jewelry tree for Kaley's room for $6. She's already filled it. 2 brand new ceramic picture frames–one for my bedroom, the other for the guest room. Love the texture on those. A "j" hook I intend to DIY into something for my husband's (Jamey's) new office. And, a ginormous drum shade for $2! Okay, cheater alert. I actually got that drum shade like a year ago at the same Restore. Too good of a deal to pass up, and see... lamp hoarding pays off!

And last but not least, this gem. The tag said "coat rack" but it's screaming floor lamp to me.

$20 bucks aint bad for a future 6-foot lamp!

In order to make my coat rack a lamp, I needed actual lamp parts. I picked this beauty up for $4 at a local thrift store. Habitat has tons (TONS I tell you!) of lights and lamps but they were all too nice to cut apart. This task called for a junker... and a junker I got.

Let's get started! First thing I did was disassemble the lamp. I just loosened the nut on the bottom.

And the whole thing just came apart.

Next, I clipped off the thing that holds the bulb. I know that seems scary, but it was the only way to get the pieces I needed out of the lamp.


I just used wire cutters and left myself about 6" of wire from where the bulb gets screwed in to work with.


While I would have loved to just use the thrifted lamp for parts, I did have to buy a couple things. All were cheap. I think the most expensive part was $3. Mainly I needed that harp thing to hold my shade. I also bought a shorter stem (zinc-plated nipple) because the one my lamp came with was really long, and a finial for the top of the lamp.

Once I had all my pieces, I reassembled the lamp parts I needed by threading them onto the cord. I really just figured it out as I went. Lamp parts are all standard sizes and just screw together quite easily. 

To reattach the cord I cut in half, I first made sure I was attaching the correct wires together. Lamp cords have two wires in them separated in a plastic/rubbery coating. One side should have some sort of writing printed on it, the other should be blank. When reattaching, make sure to match up the wires with the "words" and the wires that are blank. 

I just twisted the ends together tightly and wrapped each wire separately in electrical tape making sure they were secure and separate. If you're unsure of this step, consult an expert or Google :) Safety first people. Don't start any fires. Then the whole connection got shoved down into the metal stem I bought and I screwed all my parts together.

While this was going on, the coat rack got it's first coat in the yard.... of spray paint that is. You see what I did there? ;)

Then, I got my husband to help me bend the arms out a bit and we shoved the lamp stem in the middle. That sucker isn't going anywhere.

Then I added the shade and finial and BAM! New 6-foot tripod floor lamp for about $30 and one afternoon. I'm so excited! We've used it every night so far. I love the height it provides the room now, not to mention the light in the evening.

So are you inspired to visit the Greater Orlando Restore? I'll sweeten the deal. For everyone that donates to the ReStore and mentions this blog post, the store will provide $5 off your purchase of $20 or more. You could get 10 sewing kits for that $5! :) ha. A couple of my DIY blog buddies accepted the challenge too and DIYed their own Restore goodies. Hop around and check them out...


Spring Jello Mold Wreath from Shaken Together 

3.26.2015

DIY Kindle Case



Ya'll. I'm going on a cruise. Like going tomorrow. I know, crazy. It's the kids' spring break and I've been in laundry and packing mode all day. Flip flops, bathing suits, shorts, sun block– all packed. The kids even packed their own backpacks with "carry on" stuff. Included in Kaley's bag is the Kindle. I never thought I'd see the day! Suddenly my budding 7-year-old reader is excited to read on vacation and asked if she could bring it. Wha what?! Um, yes.

I think she's finally hit that point where it's not work to read anymore and she's discovered that books can be funny, scary, happy, exciting... everything a movie can be. So we got a Kindle this month (It's National Reading Month too!) with Amazon Free Time Unlimited. Basically, for $2.99 a month, she can download thousands of chapter books specifically for her age without actually lugging them all around. Great for school since her homework is to read every night and we just can't get to the library weekly. Austin has even downloaded a few early readers for himself. We've only had the thing a few weeks and she's on her 5th book. I can't tell you how excited she was to find Mr. Popper's Penguins. (It's all the rage among 1st graders I tell ya.) They read it in her class a while back and now she's reading it to me at night. :)

So, since I knew the cruise was coming up, and since I had some pretty cute fabric in my stash, I decided to take a crack at making a case for her new Kindle. Maybe she'll be even more inspired to take it more places. Here's what I did.

Supplies:
  • 2 coordinating fabrics, approximately 20" x 10" each
  • Small scrap of fabric for pocket 
  • Interfacing, 20" x 10"
  • Double fold bias tape, 1 package
  • Small Button or Velcro

Step 1: 
Measure your Kindle and cut.
I'm sure you can find the actual specs for a Kindle online but my tape was handy so I went old school. A Kindle is about 4 1/2" x 6 1/2". So I guess this step should really be called trust me and cut your fabric. ha.


I did a bunch of scribbly math on an old birthday invitation that was within I-don't-have-to-get-up proximity to figure out how I wanted this thing to work. Don't worry, that should not make sense. I just think it's fun to see the process. Measurements are below.


Cut both pieces of fabric and the interfacing into 19 1/2" x 8 1/2" rectangles.
You'll also need a piece of fabric for a pocket. That should be 6 1/2" x 4".
Picture below shows everything except the pocket. My bad.

Step 2:
Measure and mark your folds. 
There are 3 folds along the case. Measuring from left to right on the fabric that you want to be the inside of the case (the long direction), mark the folds at:
  • 3"
  • 8 1/2"
  • 14 1/2"

I drew mine with a light pencil but you could use pins or chalk or whatever. 

Step 3:
Make your fancy flap.
This step is kind of optional but I wanted the closing flap to be fancy. Stack your lining fabric, interfacing and outer fabric on top of each other. Fabrics face right sides out. On the 3" section we marked out (shown in blue), I freehanded a shape (in yellow). I just started from the center, and ended at the pencil line I drew. Then I cut that out (through all 3 layers).


Then I folded the whole thing in half lengthwise and cut the other half so it was symmetrical.

Step 4:
Add bias tape to the pocket.
Just sandwich it around the 6 1/2" side of the fabric you want to be the top of the pocket and sew. Trim the ends even with the fabric.

Step 5:
Add the pocket.
For this step you just want to work with the lining fabric and interfacing. Ditch the outer fabric for a bit so the pocket stitching doesn't show through on the front of the finished case. Fold the sides of the pocket under 1/2" so the pocket fits nicely in the 5 1/2" section you have marked out on the case (second section, next to the fancy flap you just made). You don't have to hem the bottom, it will be sewn into bias tape soon :) Pin in place and sew around 3 sides.

This is what the back should look like.  Stitching showing on the interfacing, not the pretty outer fabric. Once you admire your work, stick all three layers back together again.

Step 6:
Add bias tape to the end.
This step is pretty simple. Sew a quick line of bias tape on the opposite end of the fancy flap :) Like so. All 3 layers should be in that bias tape.

Step 7:
Fold over the Kindle pocket.
This is the pocket that's going to hold the Kindle. This is the line we drew at 14 1/2". Fold and press. You might need to pin it in place.

Step 8:
Add bias tape around the whole thing.
Woo hoo, last step! I started at the bottom, just under the pocket and added bias tape around the whole thing. This is how I handle corners. I just kind of fold and crease until it looks neat and keep sewing.

I added a couple felt buttons for decoration and some Velcro to keep the thing closed (shhhh, don't tell, they're hot glued). Totally optional but I think they finish it off. 


I still can't get over the screen. When we first opened it I thought there was a sticker on it! haha It really does look like a book page.
So I hope you're inspired to try it yourself. It might just make your budding reader more eager to bring his or her favorite titles on your next vacation. Bon Voyage!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

3.16.2015

Adding Indian Inspired Color

This post is sponsored by World Market.

If we're secret BFFs via While They Snooze on Facebook then you might know the walls are up at the new house. And ever since I've been able to physically walk around in my shell of a house, I've been planning what furniture will fit where– including my $100 thrifted gem of a couch. The thing is, I love color. And, well, this lovely shade of yellow beige isn't exactly doing it for me.
So I had/have plans to completely reupholster the thing in navy blue velvet. Yes, one giant blue couch. 75% of me thinks it's going to be gorgeous. The other 25% is scared people. I'm scared. What if I get sick of it? What if my tastes change? What if blue suddenly turns into the hunter green and mauve of the 80's and in 5 years my living room looks like a scene from Family Ties?? I just don't know!

Just in case, I'm considering a plan B: Incorporating the saturated colors I love through decor and accessories and leaving the large pieces neutral. (Wimp) I know. But I think it could be awesome. I love the jewel tones of Indian clothing. My entire wedding was actually inspired by Indian sari's. It was bright green and hot pink... just ask my bridesmaids. I'm pretty sure those dresses never got worn again. :) I think I can pull the same thing off with Indian decor in my home without overwhelming the entire space (or my husband).

A few weeks back when I was shopping the International Food section at World Market for my Oscars party, I may have eyed some of the Indian-made items above. That geometric pillow at the top has my name all over it. Love it. I think even with the yellow-beige couch I could pull off the warm, jewel-toned look I have in my head. What do you think? Am I crazy? Need some inspiration?

I've got that, AND a contest for you. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is in theaters now. It follows Sonny and his dream of opening a second hotel while planning a traditional Indian wedding to the love of his life Sunaina. The imagery is vibrant and warm and exactly what I'm hoping to translate into my home.

After you see the movie, enter to win World Market’s Best Exotic Marigold Sweepstakes. You can win an epic adventure to India inspired by the film. The Grand Prize Package includes:
  • Trip for 2 to India; 6-day trip includes airfare, accommodations and excursions
  • Free movies for two for a year, $1,000 WM gift card

I'll keep you posted on what I decide. Blue or no blue... that is the question. Either way, that pillow is will be there. ;)

3.03.2015

Flea Market Swap: Old Records and a Shower Curtain


Swap it like it's hot! It's here! Today is day 2 of the Flea Market Swap challenge where 33 lovely bloggers (whole list is at the bottom of the post) went out thrift store shopping and sent their finds to other bloggers to transform into something more than neglected nicknacks. I participated last go round and ran into quite the craft fails along the way. I think I pulled it out though in the end. I think. Anyway... this round was much more successful! :) Today the 7 blogs above show off their stuff... come see!


Emily from Two Purple Couches sent me my goods--> 4 old records and a striped shower curtain :) Try as I might, an idea combining the two items just didn't happen. So I tackled the records first.

I had this awesome idea for navy and gold candle holders that in my head was going to get Pinterest aflutter. Seriously. I was going to be famous. So, I hit up the garage and got some metallic gold spray paint and a flat navy that I used in my son's room. Normally I'm a Rust-Oleum fan but they just don't make this shade and finish of blue. Anyway, I crossed the streams and used both.

Turns out records sprayed metallic gold do look amazing. Records sprayed flat blue... not so much. The different records took the color differently and well, they just looked like poo. So, I tossed one that there was no coming back from and sprayed over the other with more gold. 

Then, I got a small pack of round mirrors from Hobby Lobby for like $3 and glued them to the center of the records. I can't decide if I like them better as chargers for my entryway table or if I'm going to stick them to the wall as mirrors. Either way they up the glam in here. (Just look past the play tent and plastic princess heals as you walk in... it's cool).
I got that clock at a garage sale and the vase at Goodwill... both $1! :) It's a thrift extravaganza really.

Now on to the shower curtain! Backstory: A couple weeks ago I chaperoned my daughter's 1st grade field trip to LEGOLAND. They discouraged the kids from bringing their full-sized backpacks on the trip for fear that they'd get sick of carrying them around and end up piled on the poor chaperones all day. (smart teachers) But, they were allowed to bring small bags to carry snacks and little stuff. Anyway, a lot of the kids had mini-sized backpacks. And, my kid did not. So naturally she's been asking for one ever since. Enter shower curtain transformation.

I probably only used 1/4 of the entire curtain and sort of made it up as I went. The entire project took about an hour and she loves it! I'll post the full tutorial later this week should you come across shower curtains that need new life too.

I used a shoelace for the drawstring closure, hot glued some wood beads on the ends, and added a pocket to the outside. It's now ready for juice boxes and squeeze apple sauce. Bring on the next trip.

Now that you've seen what I did with Emily's finds, head over to The Gathered Home to see what Brynne did with the crazy stuff I sent her! I'm going with you since I haven't seen what she did yet either! Let's hold hands.