$12 DIY- Summer Straw Tote

Hello West Main Followers,

I am so excited to share today’s post with you!  No sewing required, takes minimal time, very little money, and it’s the perfect way to upgrade your summer accessory game.

Work has me traveling throughout the week with a quick 2 days at home before heading out for another traveling week.  With so little down time at home, I haven’t had the change to start, or finish, any home decor projects.

What I did have time for was whipping up a fun summer tote bag that came together so quick it was ready to use when I left Sunday for my work week in New Mexico.

If you haven’t been following summer fashion, the “it” bag for the summer season is a straw tote.  The variety is endless, ranging from neutral earthy tones to bright punchy colors adorned with pom poms or tassel fringe.  Below are a few of my favorites I have been eyeing…Splurge3Splurge1Splurge2While I have been known to spend wayyy more than I should on a handbag, I find it hard to spend much on a seasonal bag that will be used only 3, maybe 4 months of the year.

Lucky for me, a close friend was cleaning out closets in preparation for a move and dropped off this cute straw tote.  She knows I love flamingoes, and thought I would love the hot pink, flamingo dotted interior.plainbaglinerIt is the perfect size to carry as an everyday bag, or a small beach tote.  I couldn’t wait to jazz it up with some color and inspiration from the beautiful bags I have been seeing in stores and online.

The best part of this project is how simple and inexpensive it is.  Minus paint drying time, I spent about 2 hours completing the tote.  Total cost was a whopping $12!  Now remember I was given the straw bag to start with which helped keep the cost down, but you can find an inexpensive one like mine quite easily.  I would suggest starting at resale shops or a craft store like JoAnn’s or Michaels.

Ready to tackle this DIY on your own?  Below is a supplies list and a step by step tutorial with pictures to guide you through the process!

$12 DIY- Summer Straw Tote Tutorial

Supplies you will need:

  • Plain straw tote of your choosing
  • 1 can spray paint in your color choice
  • 1 can clear sealer spray paint (optional)
  • Painters tape & plastic grocery bag
  • 1 yard pom pom trim (Measurement will vary depending on the size of your tote.  Take the bag with you when buying trim and wrap it around the top to ensure you  buy enough.)
  • 1 tube E-6000 glue (Works SO much better than fabric glue!)
  • 6-8 mini binder clips
  • Fabric scissors
  • Any additional pom poms or tassels you wish to adorn your tote with.

Step 1:  Decide how tall the painted stripe should be across the bottom of your tote.   Using painters tape, tape off a line where the paint will stop.tapeline

Step 2:  To ensure spray paint does not end up anywhere on the upper portion of your tote, insert the top half the your tote into a disposable grocery bag.  For the record, Meijer is not a sponsor of this post, it just happened to be the first grocery bag I could find.  🙂

Once your tote is inside the grocery bag, use the painters tape to secure the grocery bag to the painter’s tape line already placed.  This will protect the upper portion of the tote from excess paint.topcover

Step 3: I placed my tote on a post which allowed me to paint an even coat on all sides. I recommend two light coats and allow plenty of dry time between coats.

*Optional Step* Because I am really hard on purses, I chose to apply a spray on acrylic clear coat sealer once my paint dried. The sealer will protect the paint job and keep it looking bright and shiny throughout it’s use in the summer sun.paintingstick

Step 4:  Because the DIY professionals of Pinterest do not share enough of these DIY mishaps, Step 4 is a lesson in what NOT to do.  If you are propping your tote on a post to paint evenly, do not let it sit unattended on a breezy day.  I walked away for a second only to turn and see my freshly painted tote lying on the ground, with a coat of grass clippings embedded in the paint.

If this happens, pick out all the pieces you can, then let the paint dry.  The smaller clippings come right off with a hair dryer set to cool.

Hopefully you can learn from my mistake and skip this step!grass

Step 5: Once the painted portion of your tote has dried, it is on to adding your trim!  I just loved this multi color pom pom trim I found at Hobby Lobby.  In regards to fun trims and notions, Hobby Lobby has become my go to.  Their selection updates every couple of weeks and they have a much wider variety than many of the other craft stores I frequently shop.

In this step you will need your trim, fabric scissors, a few binder clips(minis work best), and a tube of E-6000 glue.  If you have never used E-6000 glue, your crafting game is about to change for the better!  This is hands down the best glue I have found for crafting and DIY. It dries quickly, dries clear, and holds up far longer than any hot glue or fabric glue I have used in the past.suppliesStarting at the back side of the purse, place a few beads of glue across 1″ of the opening edge of your tote.  Place one end of your trim onto the glue and press firmly.  Next place a binder clip on the glued down trim.  Repeat this process along the entire edge of the tote opening.  My binder clips are too close in the picture below– spacing them every 4-5″ is plenty to firmly secure the trim.

When you reach your starting point, overlap the trim so that your last edge glues down on top of the trim where you started.  The overlap gives a cleaner finish than trying to make the edges meet up.  If you have excess trim, cut closely to the finished edge.  Here I place a little glue on my fingertip and dab it onto the cut edge to prevent any fraying.trimming

The glue will dry within an hour, and your new summer tote is complete!  finishedproductIMG_3069

For those of you DIYers up to the challenge, I would love to see photos of your own summer straw tote creations!  Please share comments below or email me photos of your finished product!

DIY Outdoor Wedding Decor

Hello and Happy Saturday West Main Followers!

I know, I am totally slacking on posts lately!  Much like my DIY projects, I have several posts in the works, but getting them perfected for you is taking just a tad more time than planned.  So keep following and keep reading– good things to come!

With that being said, I am super excited to share today’s post with you.  2 years ago today, I married my best friend.  Our wedding day was perfectly sunny, super relaxed, and overall one of the best parties we’ve thrown to date.  At the time, I hadn’t even considered writing a blog, but our DIY decor was such a huge hit, I think it deserves a place in the present!  And with wedding season in full swing, I hope sharing some of my DIYs for the big day will inspire brides to be who are looking to make their event beautiful on a budget.

Before we jump into the details of decor, I think it’s important to have the history of how our hobbies really shaped the entire theme of our wedding.  My husband proposed on April 2nd, 2014 on top of a mountain.  But not just any mountain, this was Mt. Layfayette, the second highest of the White Mountains in New Hampshire.  Why the second highest? We had already climbed the highest, Mt. Washington.

10246667_10152157828584565_1910529846_nYep- thats us, bundled up in parkas and 30mph winds.  I got a quick look at the ring and then he packed it away until we were down to flat ground.  With that kind of proposal, it was obvious our wedding would be anything but traditional!

In our 4 years of dating, we climbed mountains, scaled rocks, and spent many a night cramped into a tiny tent in the middle of nowhere.  So when it came to planning our big day, we wanted to capture that passion of the outdoors and adventure that brought us together.

What I wasn’t ready for was the cost– it seems as though adding the word “wedding” to anything instantly adds to the price.  Oh, you are using those napkins for your wedding, that’s an extra $100.  I mean really, it gets kind of ridiculous!

Friends had also warned that as soon as you become a bride to be, everyone has an opinion.  And by everyone, they mean EVERYONE.  Friends, family, the lady behind you at Starbucks… Granted it all tends to be very happy and excited inquiries, but just remember to stick to your guns and plan the wedding YOU want!  And be sure to include your husband to be…he gets to make a few decisions along the way.  🙂

As we began our wedding planning, there were really only 3 things we were set on.  Keep the cost low, incorporate our love of nature, and make sure everyone had fun.  In an effort to keep this post relative to DIY and interior design, I am featuring photos and information on our wedding space and the decor within.  If you have questions, or want to see more, please post in the comments below!

Photography credit throughout this post must go to our wedding photographer, Jennifer Morgan.  Jennifer is a friend and fellow climber, so it only made sense that she do the photography for both our engagement photos and our wedding photos.  While she has recently re-located to Colorado, I highly recommend checking out her website and blog.  Truly inspiring work!

Okay enough back story, let’s get to the photos!

streamersstreamers2

streamers3As you can see from the photos above, our outdoor space really didn’t need much decoration.  The green space was in full bloom, and the brick path was the perfect aisle, leading up to the gazebo where the ceremony was held.

Since there weren’t many flowers in the green space, I wanted to bring in color, and my mom suggested the crepe paper streamers and tissue pom poms.  While some brides may cringe at using neon streamers from the party store, I think they added just the right amount of festive-ness!

bouquetMost would consider me more outdoorsy than girly girl, but I have a weakness for the color pink and costume jewelry.  I knew I wanted a brooch bouquet for my wedding, and lucky for me, my very talented mother put this one together for me.  For brides considering this option– it gets expensive quick!  It takes so many more brooches than what you think!  I recommend hitting flea markets and bargaining for a bulk discount.  It was totally worth the expense, and the best part is it lasts forever!  I have mine resting in a vase in my office so I can enjoy it everyday.

The lodge where our reception was held is aptly named “Optimist Lodge” and was a short walk from where the ceremony took place.  It had so much charm and character, it really didn’t need lots of decor.  Much like the gazebo area, a few pops of color added the perfect amount of cheeriness.

Again, many brides and bridal pros would absolutely cringe if they saw those plastic table cloths and paper plates in a rainbow of color.  But I ask you to think back to the last wedding you were at…do you remember what the plates looked like?  Probably not. Same goes for chair covers– we considered them, but the cost, along with the hassle of putting them on then returning them after the wedding just wasn’t something I cared to mess with.  It saved us time in prep and clean up, and definitely saved us money!

lodgetablesheadtable

Sticking with our natural, outdoorsy theme, all of the wildflowers came from a local farm– we picked up a wagon full the day before the wedding, and my wonderfully talented bridesmaid Devon, arranged all the vases for the tables, as well as the bouquets and boutineres for the wedding party.tequilavaseI made around 15 of these little vases and they are my absolute favorite!  It is a Patron tequila bottle that I spray painted with stone textured Rust Oleum paint.  Be sure to prime first, and then it takes 2 coats to really make the stone texture pop.  The twine and beads were supplies I had on hand from macrame and jewelry making projects.  I made one as a test, and when it came out so cute, I went to a local bar and asked if they could save tequila bottles for me.  They were thrilled to have someone putting them to good use!

tabledecor2tabledecorflowersmantleThe stone fireplace mantel was a great way to bring in more natural elements.  The logs and wood slices we picked up outside the lodge.  The birch candles are LED with timers– I found them on clearance at Kohl’s.  I think I paid $40 for around 6 of them, and they get used constantly in our home!  The Mountains are Calling frame was such a thoughtful shower gift from a friend.  I knew it would have a place in our wedding decor!  Lastly is the Ale8 bottle used as a vase– Ale8 is a ginger ale brewed in Red River Gorge Kentucky where we have climbed many times.

tentcardsOnce again, my mom nailed it with her creativity.  We needed a place for cards, and she showed up with this adorable little tent made from dowel rods and canvas fabric.  She even thought to use the tea light and rocks to make a little faux campfire.  Mom for the win!

trailmixIn addition to S’mores cupcakes, we chose to offer a trail mix bar as our guest favors.  We purchased all the ingredients in bulk from Costco, and I collected the galvanized buckets with half off coupons at local craft stores.  Super easy, affordable, and the guests loved it!

cornholeLastly- Mom wins again with custom cornhole boards!  Outside the lodge was a large yard where I knew most people would be spending their time.  We wanted to offer something for guests besides dancing and drinking, and cornhole is a favorite in our circle of friends and family.  The scene painted on the boards came directly off our wedding invitations.  My mom took one of the invites and blew it up to use as a stencil.  She then painted the scene, matching the colors back to the invite.  Last was a clear coat to seal in the artwork and protect from scratching.  These get pulled out for backyard parties constantly, and the camp scene is always a conversation piece.

Overall, I absolutely love how all of the decor came out and worked together on our big day.  While we kept the cost low by doing most of the work ourselves, it really allowed us to personalize each piece and add meaning at every table.  Each piece had a story, and sharing that with 75 of our closest friends and family meant so much.

I want to thank you readers for allowing me to share a little bit of our special day with you!  I hope that the festive colors will encourage you to bring in some brightness to your home decor this summer season.  And if you are planning an upcoming wedding, maybe consider some DIY to bring a personal touch to your big day!

Master Bedroom Update- Making Do With What You’ve Got

Happy Sunday Friends!

I am so excited to share today’s post with you, as I think it is something we can all relate to– the need to re-decorate but the lack of budget available.  With spring finally arriving in Ohio, much of our house budget is going to tree work, landscaping, and outdoor improvements.  While all those tasks are much needed, it means my interior budget is out the window.

Knowing that I had no money to decorate, and that I had 4 other projects already going, the sane decision would be to finish the projects I have.  Save up the money to start new projects later in the summer, or wait until the fall.  Unfortunately, my brain doesn’t think in that way…

So despite all those other unfinished projects, the lack of budget, and multiple work travel trips approaching, I decided that a weeknight re-do of our master bedroom made total sense.  Because starting a home project at 5PM on a Thursday night is what everyone does right?!

Okay so now maybe you are asking, why the master bedroom?  Well our master bedroom is a classic example of a room that didn’t come together as I had planned, and therefore it was left in an unfinished, “I’ll come back to it when I’m inspired kind of state.”  Thursday evening, after another week of rainy, gray weather, I walked into our sea of grey bedroom and decided I couldn’t take it any longer.

When I originally planned the design of our master bedroom, I envisioned pale gray walls with white and charcoal bedding.  Something simple and classic.  The paint color I chose went on much darker than planned, and had a blue tinge to it which felt more 90s country blue than Joanna Gaines neutral gray.  My husband I painted the entire room, convinced that it would dry to the shade of gray we were hoping for.  No such luck.

We moved the furniture back in, and as soon as I dressed the bed, I realized the gray bedding was the exact same color as the walls.  Clearly I was so un-inspired by the room that I didn’t even have the energy to replace the vent cover.  Nothing says classy like a giant hole in your bedroom wall!

So that you can get a feel for what I was working with, take a scroll through the before photos…

MasterBedBefore1MasterBedBefore2MasterBedBefore3MasterBedBefore4MasterBedBefore5That is a whole lot of gray for one bedroom… Can you see why it felt so blah and depressing?

So how do you go about redecorating a room when you have no money in the budget and no more than a few hours to complete it?  You get really creative!  I decided to give myself the challenge of transforming this room using items I already owned, and a timeline of 4 hours.  No re-painting, no purchasing new items, nothing brought in from outside our four walls.  It was an intimidating thought, but you saw those before photos– could it possibly get any worse??

I started by stripping off the grey quilt.  I kept the white sheets as they provided some much needed brightness to the room.  I pulled out this multi color patchwork quilt I made a few years ago that will eventually be used in our guest bedroom.  The guest room is rarely used and has not made it to the top of my project list, so the quilt was folded away in the closet.  Many of the colors matched back to our stained glass window panel, and it definitely brought some life to the drab gray walls.bedding

Next up I needed some artwork above the bed.  I have been collecting vintage doilies with the plan to craft them into a piece of wall art similar to the one you see here. Each time I purchased a doily, I would add it to my collection on the dresser in my office. I realized that I now had enough to make into a small piece of wall art.doiliesMasterBedAfter2

I tied each doily together with a small piece of string, and added some braids and tassels using yarn leftover from another project.  I am happy with how the project came out for the short term, but it definitely needs some tweaking before I find a permanent home for it (My husband thinks it is way too girly and boho for our bedroom).  You can expect a full tutorial post in the future with what worked the best, and how to make your own doily wall art.

I don’t like a lot of clutter piling up, so when it came to the nightstands, I wanted both to be clean and simple.  Each stand has drawer space which is perfect for storing books, and magazines rather then letting them pile up on top.

The wood and black of the nightstand is a little too masculine for my taste, so I grabbed a scrap of fabric from a vintage wool blanket and cut it into a runner to cover the top of the nightstand.  The wall art was a birthday gift from a friend, and it’s the perfect motivational quote to see at the beginning and end of each day.

AlisaNightstand

The elephant ring holder is where I keep my wedding rings, and the glass box was made by my mom– it is ideal for holding jewelry pieces I tend to wear everyday.NightstandCloseup

Much to my annoyance, my husband tends to pile up clothes for the next day on his nightstand, so I chose to keep it uncluttered of items that would ultimately end up on the floor or pushed off to the side.  The “Canter” sign was a wedding gift that I loved, but could never find a spot for in our home.  The lamp is a set of two that I picked up for $20 at a flea market last summer.  Both lamps were badly tarnished, and if you have ever tried to clean brass, you know it is an enduring process.  Hence the reason only one of the lamps has been finished…MikeNightstand

Last on the list was the wall opposite our bed, which was a blank slate of gray wall.  The vintage mirror was given to me last weekend by my aunt, and will eventually go into the re-design of our guest bath.  It is so pretty it seemed silly to store it in the basement until we start the bathroom re-do.  I may go back and add some greenery or floral garland around it, but for now it does a great job of filling the empty space.

The bench is an Ikea coffee table that I covered with a throw blanket to add some color and texture.  I made yarn pom poms and attached to the straw basket which is a grey place to store clean laundry that needs put away.MasterBedAfter3

With all the rain and warm weather, our yard is in full bloom, making for a very scenic view out our window.  I grabbed some scrap rick-rack trim from my sewing box to use as curtain tie backs, and brought up some plants from downstairs to add some color.MasterBedAfter4

Below is a look at the room all together– yes I know the vent cover did not get painted to match the walls, but at least there is a vent cover!  Remember, I only had 4 hours and no money!MasterBedAfter1

For the full effect, below are Before & After photos, side by side.

Am I still unhappy with the gray wall color, yes.  But now I can walk into this room and feel happy and inspired by all the color and creativity I was able to bring in.  With so many celebrity designer blogs and perfectly photographed Pinterest interiors, it can become overwhelming and frustrating to achieve those looks without spending a fortune.

I hope this post will inspire you to give your home and your stuff a second look before heading out to buy brand new.  While this bedroom is still a work in progress, it is at a state that I can happily live with, which means I have money in my pocket for other projects or vacations.

So what do you think of the final result?  Are you up for the challenge of transforming a room using only what you have on hand?  What room are you giving a try?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Alisa

 

Spring Pillow DIY Under $20

TGIF!  Ugh, this week is dragging on and the rainy Ohio weather isn’t doing much for my productivity!

This afternoon I pushed myself to spend 2 hours of my day finishing a simple project that kept falling to the bottom of my to do list.  Despite the fact we are into the first week of May, our couch in the den had not moved past fall…

The couch pillows match the lodge feel of our den, but the dark colors and thick textures felt so heavy for the spring season.  The faux fur throw is my favorite blanket to cuddle with, but it screams winter!

couchfall

Knowing my husband would throw me and my collection of pillows to the curb if I brought another one home, I set out to cleverly disguise the stash I already have.  Most pillows you buy have a removable cover, making it easier to wash them, or change out patterns for each season.  fallpillows

Another great part of swapping out covers in exchange for more pillows is the space you save in storage.  I don’t know about you, but finding a place to store those covers on the left is much easier than squishing away the stack of pillows on the right!pillowstack

As you can probably guess, my fabric was a bargain find in the JoAnn’s clearance section. $15 total and I have enough left to make another 3-4 pillows.  I only had 2 hours today, so check my Instagram feed in a week or so to see what else I make with the leftover fabric.

I wanted to make something that would be quick and easy, so I went with an envelope style cover for all 3 pillows.  It uses a little more fabric, but there is no fussing with zippers or buttons, or any extra supplies.  All you need is fabric and thread!

If you are new to sewing, this is the perfect project to start with.  4 straight seams and you are done (Okay, 6 if you count hemming your envelope edges).  Below I am going to walk you through the process on 2 of the pillows I made today:

Envelope Pillow DIY:

This butterfly print fabric was too pretty to pass up.  I bought 1 1/2 yards for $9.  There are 6 butterfly blocks on that yardage, so I have plenty left for more projects.  The other detail you will notice below is the difference in color.  The image on your right is technically the wrong side of the fabric, but I liked the more muted colors so I chose to make the wrong side the right in this case.  Because that’s not confusing at all! 🙂

butterflybothsides

First step in making my pillow is cutting out properly sized panels.  I laid my original pillow cover centered on the butterfly panel and then cut 1/2″ larger around all sides. The 1/2″ will be your seam allowance when the pillow is sewn together. patterncutout

Next step is cutting out the back panel.  I chose an orange crushed silk from my fabric bin for the back panel of the butterfly pillow.  Since you never see the back of the pillow, it didn’t make sense to waste another butterfly panel when it could be used for another project.

The back panel is double the length of your front panel, plus 5″.  Remember you are making an envelope to slip the pillow form into, so you need enough fabric to cover your form.fabriccutoutback

Okay so now your pillow panels are cut, it is time to hem the edges of your envelope. Working with the back panel, place the right side of your fabric face down on the ironing board.  Fold the edge of your fabric down 1/2″ and press flat.foldedge

Working with that same edge, fold down another 1/2″ and press, creating a clean, folded edge hem.  Pin in place and sew along the folded edge.pinedge

This is what your finished hem will look like.  Be sure to hem both edges of your back panel.finishededge

Now it is time to put your pillow together!  Place the back panel of your pillow on the table or floor, right side up.  The clean, hemmed edge should be facing you.  Place the front panel, in this case the butterfly, center on the back panel.  Be sure your front panel is placed right side up.puttogether

Fold your back panel over top of the front panel.  You will do this on both sides and pin around all four sides.bkpnelfold

After sewing all four sides, your pillow will look like this.sewnNow that all four sides are sewn, simply turn the pillow inside out to see your finished product!

Be sure to check all your seams, and get each corner pushed out completely.  Then gently slide your pillow form into the cover.  If it is a lofty pillow, be sure to take your time stuffing it so that you do not rip out any seams.

finishedbutterflyfinishedbutterflybkEasy enough right?? Ready to make another?

The next two pillows I made were from 1 yard of clearance fabric.  $7 for two pillows?? Such a steal!

Instead of using two fabrics on this pillow, I used one long piece of fabric to make my envelope.

bearcover

I always fold over my fabric and mock up the final product BEFORE sewing.  It is a great way to visualize the final product, and saves me a lot of time ripping out wrongly sewn seams!bearcover2

Typically the “envelope” portion of the pillow is placed on the backside of the pillow.  It is a cheaper, easier form of construction that most people don’t want you to see.  I decided to change that up on this pillow and give my envelope a little flair, with some pom pom trim.bearcover4

After trim is added to the envelope edge, sew up all four sides and you are done!  Turn the pillow right side out and it is ready to stuff!bearcover8

Below is a look at our couch now, updated with our newly sewn spring pillow covers. The colors are bright and bold, but still complement the navy walls and carmel colors we have throughout the room.  I replaced the faux fur throw with a vintage afghan I picked up at Goodwill for $3.  It is a little more boho than the rest of the room, but I love how the cream color pops and brightens up the whole space.couchafterSo glad I took the time today to knock these out.  Decorating for each season can be an overwhelming and expensive task, but it doesn’t have to be!  For less than $20 I was able to give our most lived in space a nice spring update.

What you do guys think?  Like the colors?  Inspired to sew a few pillow covers yourself? Would love to see your feedback in the comments below!

Enjoy this raining Friday and happy DIY-ing this weekend!

Alisa

Two for $40- Side Table DIY

Happy Sunday Friends!

It has been a busy DIY weekend in our household and I am excited about all the projects I have to share with you this week!  Today’s project post is simple, cheap, and one of my favorite DIY’s I have completed in awhile.

Recently I was given these two antique stoneware crocks:

crocksTypically these crocks are used in more primitive, or rustic farmhouse decor.  I loved the size and texture they bring to a room, but my challenge was finding a way to transform them into something less primitive and more of a match to my own design personality.

First step in narrowing down the plan was to decide where these crocks would go.  They are big enough to function as an accent table, which I needed in our den.  Our patio set is a dark navy, so I decided the second one would be a perfect side table on our front porch.

Since I wanted to use these as tables, I needed to find a solid topper.  I searched through the lumber section of Home Depot and found these pre-cut, pine wood disks.  They also happened to be on clearance, so I scored two of them for $5 each!  The stain, as you can see from the can, was left over from a previous project.  Why choose stain over paint?  The wood grain on these disks was so pretty I wanted to highlight it, instead of covering it.  Once I stained the disks, I let them dry for a full day.

pre-stain Crock Table #1 is going in our den, which is our lodge, mountain adventure themed room.  We have lots of globes and maps in the room so I thought it would be fun to incorporate a compass rose on the table top.  Originally my plan was to stencil, but finding the right stencil and having a steady hand was intimidating.

Over on Etsy, I found this compass rose vinyl decal from a company called Krittah’s Stickers. I was so impressed that my decal arrived in less than a week and they even included a test decal so that I could practice!  I HIGHLY recommend using a test decal first…if you mess up on the final product you don’t really have the option of a re-do.  The decal itself was around $15 which was the most expensive part of the project.  However, the time I saved and ease of use compared with stencil painting was totally worth it!

testdecal.jpg

First step, which I missed a picture of, is marking where you want the decal to go.  I made small pencil marks on all four sides that I could erase later.

Next step is peeling off the paper backing, exposing the decal.decal1

My decal came with a small tool that helps smooth out the decal.  You want to make sure all the air bubbles are pushed out so that the decal sticks.  I spent extra time smoothing around the small compass points and the letters– those small details are often the first place to peel up if your decal isn’t fully pressed down.decal2

decal3If you look closely here, my decal is fully pressed into the wood.  The wood grain is showing through the paper, which is a good sign all air bubbles are gone.

Now for the moment of truth– time to start peeling off the paper and see the finished product!  Be sure to peel very slowly so that the decal does not come up with the paper.decal4decal5decal6At this point, I let out a squeal and a jump of excitement– I just love how it turned out!

Here is a look at the finished product…finishedcompass

crockstagedcrockstaged2

I was so happy with how the first table turned out, I couldn’t wait to start on the second!

As I got to thinking about the second table and it’s function on the patio, I wanted something with more color and pattern.  I also realized that if I added two small handles to the wood disk, the table topper could double as a serving tray.

Moving on to Crock Table #2, below are all of my supplies laid out before getting started.  The fabric is scrap leftover from making my patio furniture cushions.  If you missed that post, you can find it here.

The 2 handles came from Hobby Lobby.  At 50% off, I paid a total of $5 for both!prefabric

First step is cutting out the strips of pattern fabric I planned to use on the tray top.fabriccut

Second step- apply Modge Podge glue to adhere fabric to the wood disk.  If the modge podge gets outside the fabric area, you can wipe off the excess, but also know it will dry clear.modgepodge

As you apply the glue, gently smooth the fabric and be sure there are no wrinkles.  Press gently, otherwise the fabric may move or twist.fabricmodge

Now the fabric strips are glued, it is time to let everything dry.  I trimmed my fabric edges after glue, as I wanted to make sure I didn’t cut the strips too small.  Next time I would mark the strips and cut first– it was a little difficult to cut a clean edge once the fabric had been glued on the disk.

The glue takes about an hour to dry.  I then moved my disk outside and applied an acrylic clear coat spray.  The clear coat takes longer to dry, but it will seal in both the fabric and wood, giving the tray tabletop a longer life.fabricglued

After letting the acrylic top coat dry for the afternoon, it was time for the last step, which is adding handles.  I measured from each edge to be sure handles were even, then marked my drill holes with a pencil.  Small brass screws attached the handles.  handles

Here is a look at the finished product– I just LOVE how this one turned out!  I cannot wait for our next backyard party so that I can use it for serving drinks.traytablefinished

As I mentioned earlier, these two tables are my favorite project I have completed in awhile.  It was so easy and inexpensive!  If you are inspired to make one of these yourself, I have provided a materials list below with cost listed next to each item.

Compass Crock Table:

  • 1- 15″ pine round disk from Home Depot- Cost $7
  • 1- 11″ compass rose vinyl decal from Krittah’s Stickers- Cost $15
  • 1- small can Minwax Wood Stain (I used color Honey on this project)
  • 1- old cloth to wipe down stain

2-in-1 Serving Tray Table Top:

  • 1- 17″ pine round disk from Home Depot- Cost $5
    • Note: Because I plan to use this for serving drinks and snacks, I went with the larger diameter.
  • 1- small can Minwax Wood Stain (I used color Honey on this project)
  • 1- old cloth to wipe down stain
  • 2- small handles from Hobby Lobby- Cost $5 for two
    • Note: Cost of handles will vary on your style choice.  Hobby Lobby always has a 40% off coupon online which saves you money if they aren’t already on sale!
  • 4- 3/4″ brass screws
  • Rust Oleum Acrylic Clear Coat Spray
  • Modge Podge (I prefer the gloss finish)
  • Scrap fabric of your choice (if purchasing fabric, be sure to buy long enough pieces to fit your disk!)
  • Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Drill

That’s it for this project- such an easy afternoon DIY!  I would love hear your thoughts, or see photos of your version in the comments below!

Interior Inspirations from Patagonia

Hello West Main Followers,

I’m baaack!!!  For those following me on Instagram, you make have noticed less design posts and more adventure activity over the past couple of weeks.  My husband and I just returned from the vacation of a lifetime– 12 days exploring the beautiful country of Chile.  A large portion of our trip was spent in the southernmost tip of the country, in a region known as Patagonia.  We hiked in the mountains, kayaked among the glaciers, and were lucky enough to spot some pretty amazing wildlife.  Flamingoes in the wild were my favorite- for my husband it was the rare sighting of two pumas.

Our 2 week getaway was exactly what I needed– a much anticipated break from the daily work grind, as well as a reminder of how much I truly love travel and being in the great outdoors.  What I also found was an unbeliveable amount of interior design inspiration.  From the incredible scenery, to our unique lodging, I came back with plenty of ideas for updating our home and how can re-live little bit of Patagonia everyday.

Today’s post is a focus on sharing inspiration through some photos of our lodging, the scenery, and other highlights of the trip.  You can look forward to future posts sharing how I translate these inspirations into my own home design projects.

So let’s start with a look at the scenery that is Patagonia…

IMG_2619This is one of my favorite photos from our trip, but a photo cannot do justice to the beauty of this place!  Because Patagonia is so remote and not heavily travelled, the lakes are pure glacier runoff.  The sediment from the glacier gives the water this beautiful turquoise color.  I have already started the searching for paint colors, as I plan to use this shade for the walls of our guest bedroom.  The jagged peaks and snow capped mountains add to the backdrop, and you will see them everywhere you turn in Patagonia.

Horses were introduced to Chile by the Spainards, and are still used throughout the privately owned lands of Patagonia.  You will often find them grazing in the valleys, or carrying supply loads up to camper cabins in the mountains.

Horses&Mtns

SupplyHorses

River2I love that the  photo above captures all of Patagonia’s landscape in one– mountain, valley, river, boulders.  All formed from the glaciers, it provides a spectacular view as you hike up through the mountains.

On to our lodging for the week, which was one of my favorite parts of the trip.  EcoCamp Patagonia is the world’s first geodesic dome hotel. It is also 100% sustainable, meaning your stay has minimal impact on the beautiful environment surrounding it.  Everything here is recycled, and the entire place runs on solar and wind energy.  The domes are cozy, with a rustic, boho decor throughout.  You can read more about EcoCamp here— if you are looking for a vacation that incorporates relaxation and adventure seamlessly, this is the place for you!  Our days were filled with hiking and kayaking, then gathering back at the dome for cocktail hour, and 3 course gourmet dinners using locally sourced ingredients.

Below is our view out the door of our dome.  Pretty spectacular right??  The designer used green roofing material so that the domes blended into the landscape, rather than detract from it.

Domes

My husband snapped this photo at sunrise as we walked over to the community dome for breakfast.  It was the one cloudy day we had at camp, but as you can see, the clouds provided a beautiful canvas of color across the sky.DomeSunrise

Moving to the inside, the below shots are from the community domes at EcoCamp.  There are 3 total- a bar/lounge, dining area, and a small quiet lounge for reading or relaxing.  The textiles you see covering the couches, or made into pillows, are handcrafted in Argentina, from a company called Huitru.  I desperately searched for places to buy their products, but outside of Argentina they are quite pricey.  I guess now is the time to start planing a shopping trip to Argentina….

BarDome2

BarDomeLoungeDomeLoungeDome2

MapDisplayThe use of a framed map for decoration is definitely something I will incorporate into our decoration at home.  It is an inexpensive solution for artwork on the walls, as well as a fun way to look back and where we have adventured.

Of course no lodge in a place this beautiful would be complete without an outdoor living space.  The collection of textiles and mix and match furniture added to the coziness.  It was a great place to relax in the afternoon, after our hikes.OutsideDomes

Our last stop before heading back home was a couple of days in the capital city of Santiago.  A bustling metropolis of more than 5 million people, it was a very different atmosphere than the quiet mountains of Patagonia.

We began our city tour with a visit to one of the most beautiful landmarks in the city, Cerro San Cristobal.  The short ride up via the Furnicular, an open air cable car, gives visitors a beautiful view of the city, as well as an up close view of the Virgin Mary statue perched atop the hill.

CerroSanCristobalCerroSanCristobalLookoutCityw:Church

While I much prefer the mountains over the city, I loved the amount of art displayed through Santiago.  While walking through a small neighborhood of the city, I came across  buildings all painted in bright yellows and blues and greens.  South America is not afraid of using color!  I was particularly drawn to the shop below, painted with birds native to Chile.  While I don’t think I can pull off giant birds in a room of my house, I am searching for botanical and bird prints that I could use as wall art in my office.BirdBuilding

Our last stay of the trip was Meridiano Sur- a quaint boutique hotel in the heart of the city.  I loved the Spanish influence of stucco and arched doorways, but those black and white stairs were my favorite!  I’m thinking a black and white runner, or searching for black and white tile for the risers of our stairs to incorporate this look at home.MeridianoSur

While it is never easy coming back to the real world after a vacation, I always return with incredible experiences and memories that last long after the trip itself. For me, incorporating those memories through displayed photos or souvenirs, is how I add personality to our home.  It is a way to continually be inspired and working towards more travel and more adventure.

I hope that you enjoy this look into our adventure and I cannot wait to share the home projects and wall art I create based on this once in a lifetime experience.

 

 

$40 Blanket Duffel DIY

Bonus post for the week!  Today I am sharing a simple project that took me FOREVER to complete!  I started it, took a break from it, then forced myself to finish it.  The finished product was well worth it, as I have already used it once and love how it turned out!

By now we have already established my love of print and pattern, but for those that do not know me, I have a long obsession with handbags, totes, purses, duffle bags…any sort of purse or pack period.  Unfortunately I also have very expensive taste, so it can be an obsession that is hard on the wallet!

I have been in the market for a new weekender duffel bag for awhile.  Something large enough for a 2-3 day road trip, but with more fashion to it than the typical luggage duffels.  Below are photos of my top 3 choices:

Unfortunately, the price range on these bags is anywhere from $300 to $700!!  For a second I actually considered the $300 option, but with a big vacation coming up, it didn’t seem like the best idea.

During what has become a weekly trip to JoAnn fabrics, I decided to peruse through the pattern books and see if I could find something to sew up myself.  I came across this Burda pattern and it had exactly the style of bag I was looking for (Option A).

BurdaPattern

I had scored this vintage wool blanket for $30 at an antique shop a few months back. Originally I planned to use it in an upholstery project, but it had some holes, and felt too itchy for use on a furniture piece.  I knew it was ideal for my bag project.

woolblanketI love that the color pattern is slightly different on each side and wanted to incorporate that detail in the bag design.  I used the brightly striped portion for the main bag panels and the bag sides used the panel with more green to it.

For those that may be newer to sewing, below are two tips I highly recommend when working with a store bought pattern.

Pattern Tip #1– Iron your pattern pieces.  Be sure your setting the iron to DRY, no steam!

You can see in the photos below what a difference the pressing makes.  It is much easier to accurately cut your pattern pieces when the pattern lays flat with minimal wrinkles!

Pattern Tip #2– Once you have all your pieces cut out, lay ALL of them out together and cross check with your pattern direction sheet.  There is nothing worse than getting into the sewing portion of the project and realizing you have to stop and cut out a piece you forgot.

pttnlayout

The sewing portion of this project is fairly straightforward and went rather quick once I sat down and committed to finishing it.

bagfinish1bagsidehandledetailThe original pattern called for sewing the handle wrong sides together, then turning for a smooth finish.  The leather I used was much too stiff to turn, which is why I sewed the two wrong sides together, then trimmed the raw edge.  I like the looks of the raw edge finish better on this bag.

insidebagThe bright orange floral lining may be my favorite part of the finished product.  Even better is that I found the lining material in the clearance bin for $6!zipfacing

I also like the incorporation of an inner zipper facing on this particular pattern.  It makes the bag a little more secure.  I chose the orange zip for a pop of color and to tie back to the outside stripes, as well as the lining.

The one thing I wish I had done differently on this project was to add a stiff interfacing to the bag pieces before sewing it together.  The fabric is a little soft, so if the bag isn’t fully stuffed it can look a little droopy.

I used the bag last week for a two day work trip to Michigan and it worked perfect!  It held my yoga blanket, extra pair of shoes, 2 days worth of clothing, makeup bag, and grocery bag.  Made life so much easier to carry one duffel instead of 3 separate bags!

All in this project cost me around $45.  Much easier to take than $300!

So I am curious– what item have you been eyeing that you could make yourself?  Not sure where to start?  Send me a picture in the comments below and I will help you get started!

Dining Room Reveal!

Hello West Main Followers!!

I knew I had fallen behind on blog posts but whew, 2 weeks?!  I’ve been so busy flea market shopping, sewing, and DIYing that I haven’t had time to post updates of the projects I am working on!  Lucky for you I have had all weekend at home to get caught up so look forward to at least one extra post this week.

While I love sharing all my flea market finds and DIY projects, my absolute favorite part of blogging is when I can share a completed room makeover, incorporating all of those little details that give a room personality and style.

Today’s room reveal is our long awaited dining room.  Before jumping into the updates,  let us start with a look at the space before…

DiningRoomThe previous homeowners put in these beautiful tiger wood floors which were one of the selling points for my husband and I.  We tried to write into the contract that the large bookcase stayed with the home, but that was a no go.  When we got the keys and started to move in this room was so intimidating- with all the large furniture pieces moved out, it was a huge, empty space.  We didn’t even own a dining table at this point, so I had no idea where to begin!

As I started looking at different dining room table options, my husband had the idea to build one instead.  In the 7 years I had known him, I had never seen him build anything so I was a little nervous…

He definitely proved me wrong– the table turned out beautiful!  And now I am aware of his carpentry talents, his project list has grown considerably.  🙂

Once we had the table and matching bench stained, we moved them into the dining room and I decorated with some of the items we already owned.  It was starting to come together, but the lack of lighting above the table meant we really couldn’t eat at the table after dark.  That can be difficult in Ohio winters when it is dark by 5PM.

Dining

Aside from lighting, you may also notice the ridiculous amount of dark stained wood taking up the space.  It was too much brown so I started searching for an area rug that would pull the room together and brighten up the space.

So lights first– the task of finding just the right lighting took so much longer than I anticipated!  We didn’t want something standard off the shelf at Lowe’s or Home Depot.  When I worked in retail, I purchased our store LED lights from a small business here in Westerville, Northern Lighting.  If you live in the Westerville area and are in the market for any type of lighting, give this shop a visit.  They were so kind and helpful, but never pushy.  When we couldn’t find what we wanted, the man helping us pulled out catalogs of items he could order for us.

I am so happy with our final decision!  These geometric pendant lights with Edison-style bulbs turned out perfect in the space.  I was a little nervous about the bright gold finish– it was much shinier than I had expected.  However, I think it adds an elegant finish, and breaks up the darker finishes throughout the room.

lights

Okay, so I guess it’s time to share the completed project…DiningFaceOutViewIf I had to pick out one favorite piece in the room, it is definitely the rug.  I absolutely LOVE the vintage kilim rugs out there right now, but I cannot justify $500-$1000 on a rug.  I picked up this one from Wayfair.com during one of their sales.  Free shipping and it arrived within 2 days!!

The tree print canvas was purchased at Ikea several years ago.  We had it hanging above our bed in the apartment but when we moved into our home, we realized it fit perfectly on this half wall separating the kitchen and dining.

DiningStairsViewThis shot taken from the stairs gives you a better look at the opposite side of the room.  The turquoise dining hutch was a flea market flip– you can read more about it here.  The small table covered in the blush blanket is a place holder.  I plan to build a taller, skinnier table that will hold decor that blends with the artwork above.

crossstitchframedI knew I needed something to fill the blank wall space, and when I came across these cross stitch panels I knew they were perfect!  The colors matched back to the rug and hutch nicely.  The two pieces cost me $5 each.  Frames came in at $10 each from Michaels during a 70% off sale.

DiningSittingAreaUnder the tree print is a large amount of blank space.  Eventually I would like to have a vintage sideboard or buffet, but I have yet to find the perfect piece.  Until then, I have it set up as a small sitting or reading area.  The white footstool has been carted through several moves.  That patterned, fringe textile on top is a scrap I found for $1 at the flea market. The gold floor cushions came from a Target clearance rack.  I plan to recover them when I find the right fabric.

Last little detail of the room brings us back to the entry into our dining area.  When you walk in our front door, the dining room is directly to your left.  It is a quick place to set your keys, or drop your phone when you come in the door.  I wanted a simple piece of furniture that would accommodate small items, but not become cluttered with coats and shoes.  (We have a mudroom for that, which is in desperate need of a makeover!)

I found this vintage gossip bench at a flea market for $35.  It was in pretty rough shape, but structurally solid.  Just in need of a little TLC…

gossipbenchBEFOREGossipBenchI stained the top and side, painting the rest black.  New foam and fabric for the chair cushion.  Oh and that lamp?  A $3 resale shop find!  I used gold spray paint, added a shade, and good as new!

Now you have scrolled through all the projects and pieces, let’s take one more look side by side of the Before & After:

What do you think of the finished product?  Would love to hear your feedback in the comments below!

 

 

 

Dark Navy Den Update

For those of you following my blog, you may have noticed a trend in recent posts.  Less finished rooms, more small projects to fill rooms.  When I scroll through Pinterest or look at other blogs and see these beautifully finished, perfectly accessorized rooms I get intimidated to share my own work.  Buying a house isn’t cheap, nor is it cheap to furnish 2100 square feet.  Some of those Pinspirations I drool over are clearly not working on a tight budget.

As I scrolled my photos and Pinterest boards for inspiration on what to share with you this week, I came across this quote I saved just after we bought our home;

“If you wait until you have enough money to decorate and make your home your own it will never happen.  If you wait until you can afford to buy everything new you are missing the point.  It is the old, the new, the made, the hand-me-down, the collected, the worn (but loved) things in your home that make it your own.”  – Stacy Risenmay

The quote was a great reminder as to why I started this blog in the first place.  It can be overwhelming and sometimes frustrating to choose decor that fits your style, and your budget.  And while you may not be able to make every update and purchase you have planned, there are endless opportunities to transform a space with a little paint and some creative staging using items you already own.

So with that quote in mind, today I am sharing photos of the first space we updated upon moving into our home, the den.  Below is a shot of the BEFORE– the walls were a basic grey.  The plain walls, combined with the grey tile and grey fireplace, felt like a blank canvas. It is a huge room, as you can see with that wrap around sectional couch.  den2

This is the AFTER– pretty amazing what a difference paint and furniture staging can make right??  den2The den connects to our kitchen, front entryway, and leads to the backyard.  I wanted to keep the walkway open to all of those spaces, so I moved our couch to the wall and placed the chairs back where the previous owners had placed the curve of their sectional couch. One major splurge we made in this room is the new furniture– my husband and I agreed that our tattered red Ikea couch was not making it into our first home.  The sellers left the curtains in place, and since they have a navy/grey pattern I kept them.

Here is a closer look at the fireplace before– the previous owners did a great job painting the brick.  I am not in love with the cream-colored mantle but it is nice and simple, which makes it easy to decorate around.  Most of the homes in our area have the old red brick and brass fire insets, so I was thrilled that this update had already been done!den

I love, love how much the fireplace stands out after painting the walls the dark navy.   I tend to use seasonal decor on the mantel, but since I do not have much for spring decor, I opted for a neutral option that can be used between seasons, or when I just don’t have the time to change it out for something new.  denfireplaceThe candles, initials, and decorative bottle are decorations left over from our wedding.  The vintage maps I found at an antique store– the center one is of New Hampshire, where my husband proposed.  On the left is South America, one of our favorite places to explore. On the right is Africa– Kilimanjaro is on our bucket list to visit.  The antique Coca-Cola cooler and copper pot of logs are a little heavy for spring.  Those will most likely be swapped out for decorative lanterns or glass vases and greenery to lighten up the look for spring and summer.

dencouchI wanted to create a large gallery wall that comprised photos and souvenirs from all the mountains we have climbed. The blank space just above the couch will be filled with mountain photos from our honeymoon once we get them back from the framing shop. Longterm, the plan is to expand the gallery wall over to the ladder as we collect more photos and more adventures.

The footstool was a hand me down from my mom, which I recovered with a plaid blanket I found for $5.  The end table is an old school desk I picked up last week for $15 on a local Facebook sell page.  It will get a cool decopauge top and new coat of paint on the legs once I decide on a color.  The brass lamp and globe shade, as well as the blanket ladder were treasures I swiped from my parents.

dentvWall mounting our TV and sound bar made such a big difference!  I love that it can be tucked away on a side wall so that it isn’t the first thing you see when you walk into the room.  My husband made the table using reclaimed barn wood he found in his parent’s garage.  The stack of books are some of our favorite adventure novels, which fit nicely with the theme of the room.  The vintage thermos and suitcase were flea market finds.

denchairsThis shot gives perspective on how the den connects the entire house (I am standing in front of the fireplace for this shot).  Using two separate chairs maintains an open flow from the kitchen to  the den, and outside to the patio.  I didn’t want the room to feel cut off from the rest of the house.  A few friends thought I was nuts when I picked out the cowhide chair, but I LOVE it.  It provides a bright pop and relief from the heavy carmel leather furniture and dark navy walls.  That square floor lamp is the first piece on the list to go.  Once I can sell it, I plan to replace with a brass floor option that will add some bling and give the space a more sophisticated look.

And now I am sure you are asking about those hanging string lights behind the cowhide chair… it is a small nook that we weren’t sure what to do with at first.  Since the den is right off our kitchen, we decided it was the perfect spot for a small bar.

bar2My husband made the bar cart in an afternoon using construction lumber and metal pipe parts from Home Depot.  I hung the string lights (leftover from our wedding) from a piece of reclaimed barn wood and hung that from the ceiling to provide some much needed light in the space.  Copper bar ware and the gold tray provide bling and brighten up the dark stain used on the cart.

So that’s it– new paint, updated staging, and lots of accessorizing with re-used items and flea market finds.  Take a look below at the Before & After photos side by side:

While the room is not completely finished as how I envisioned it, I absolutely love that it now functions well and reflects our personality.  For the small amount of money spent, it is a drastic improvement!  I am happy with where this room is for now, but when I have the time and budget to come back to it, below is my working To-Do List:

Future plans:

  • First on the list– a large area rug.  Something in a lighter, neutral tone to keep the room from going too dark.  I am hoping to snag an indoor/outdoor rug on clearance at the end of summer that would work in the space.
  • Curtains- Ideally I would like to have a darker, flannel curtain set for winter and a light, brighter cream or white for the warmer months.
  • Artwork- There are several open wall spaces that desperately need artwork. Rather than fill with inexpensive, knock off pieces, I would prefer to splurge on something really I truly like and will not grow old of.  Another plan is enlarge photos of some our favorite adventures and have those framed for display.
  • New Mantle & Fireplace- Down the road we plan to re-face the fireplace with tile and replace the mantel with a floating reclaimed wood beam.  It will be an expensive update, so it will be some time before that project reaches completion.

I hope this inspires you to think outside the perfectly completed box of rooms filling your Pinterest boards and get creative!  And please, let me know your thoughts on the room. Suggestions for a rug?  curtains?  I would love to hear it in the comments below!

Upholstery 101- Trunk Lid Tutorial

It’s Thursday, and I am thrilled that not only did I get a post up before Sunday, I also completed this project off my to do list in one evening!  At $40 in supplies and 2 hours of time, it was the perfect way to relax after a day of work and try my hand at upholstery.

Upholstery is a craft I have wanted to learn for a long time, yet it seems to be a dying art.  While the YouTube videos and tutorials are endless, there are details and tricks you learn from an expert dedicated to their craft that you cannot pick up from the Internet.

Until I find that expert willing to teach, I am taking the route of teaching myself through trial and error.  Below is a look at the first piece I am choosing to take on:

woodlid.jpgThis wicker trunk is one of the first furniture pieces purchased when I moved into an apartment after college.  It has traveled from Kansas City to Ohio, survived 8 different apartment moves, and is STILL here.  It’s nothing special but it has always fit my decor and is great for extra storage.  Currently it is sitting in our living room, collecting magazines and random clutter.

trunkbefore2.jpgThe whole space is a little too beige for me, and lacking in seating.  This area is right off the kitchen so it has become a gathering place when we people are over.  I always thought the trunk would be great as extra seating, but the wicker lid cannot support the weight of someone sitting on it.

Not only would the trunk be more useful as seating, but it was an especially easy piece to start my new hobby.  Before we get into the tutorial and picture overload, below is a list of supplies to get you started.  Keep in mind your list might vary depending on the type of project you choose to upholster.

Supplies List:

  • Object to upholster
  • Wood board cut to size for support (if your item is a weak material that will not support a person’s weight)
  • 1-2″ foam sheet cut to the measurements of item to be covered
  • E6000 Glue
  • Batting (found at craft stores)
  • Fabric (thick, tighter weave fabrics provide the best results.  NO stretchy fabrics!)
  • Staple Gun & Staples (I prefer the Arrow Brand Power Shot and 1/4″-3/8″ staples)
  • Mounting hardware and screws (see photos later in post)
  • Hardwear clamps (see photos later in post)
  • Extra set of hands are always helpful

Okay, so now we have supplies it is time to start upholstering!  I wanted to make sure the trunk lid was still functional, so for this project I am going to upholster the foam board and then attach to the trunk lid.

To begin, I chose to glue my foam to the board using E6000 glue.  This was a huge help, as it keeps the foam from moving and sliding when you wrap the batting over it.  Take the glue and make dots along the border of the board and through the middle then place your foam on the board and press down gently.  I suggest gluing the foam down then gather all your supplies and iron your fabric while letting the glue dry for about an hour.

supplies.jpg

Here is a visual before you start adding batting and fabric.  I went with a dense 2″ foam that will provide extra cushion, but also maintain it’s shape.  Foam sheets can be expensive, so plan to buy when you have a 50% off coupon for JoAnn Fabrics or your local crafting store.beforefabric

Next step is batting– this will ensure your finished product has a consistent thickness on all sides, and pads the hard edges of the bottom board.  Start by laying out your batting and placing the cushion on top, cushion side down.  Be sure to give yourself enough extra batting and fabric; it is always better to cut off excess rather than come up short.

I started by wrapping the long edges first.  Pull tight and staple close to board edge, starting in the middle and working your way out to each edge.  When you get to the corners, try to fold in your edge as smoothly as possible.  I chose to tuck the short edge in, then pull my long edge batting up and over to staple.  I also moved my folds in slightly so that when I add the fabric, I don’t have the bulk of two folded edges sitting on top of one another.

Now that your batting is secured, it is time to add the fabric.

**Disclaimer** I took this photo BEFORE ironing my fabric panel.  Be sure to iron your fabric panel before starting your project!  While you will be pulling the fabric taught, you want to minimize as many wrinkles in the fabric as you can.  It makes the job much easier on yourself if you start with a smooth fabric panel!

fabric-layout

Now you are essentially completing the same steps used to attach the batting.  Be sure you are not stapling into the same place you have a staple in the batting.  Here you can see I staple really close to the edge because it keeps the fabric tight, with less room to wiggle and come loose with wear.fabricstape

Wrapping the corners can be difficult the first few times, but it does get easier with practice.  Keep working the fabric until you can smoothly tuck away excess and wrap the corner.fabriccorner

Once you have your layers in place, secure with 2-3 staples along the folded edge.fabriccorner3

I officially just completed my first upholstery project!  Not bad right?!  Now it is time to take that finished cushion and attach to the trunk lid.  My hubby had the genius idea to use these hardware clamps to hold the cushion in place while we attached it to the trunk.  The clamps will compress your foam, but since they are used for such a short period of time, your cushion will bounce right back.clamptopclampinside

These metal screw plates were perfect for attaching the cushion.  I used 4 total, one in each corner of the lid.  Since the weave of the wicker is horizontal, I chose to place the screw plates on the vertical for additional support.mountinginside

And now for the finished product!  You can see on the left side of the picture, I pulled my fabric just a little too tight in places, causing it to look become wavy.  Lesson learned, and hopefully those waves will disappear as the seat starts to get used and broken in.finishedproduct

The upholstered cushion and a few new plants add some much needed color and pattern to the boring beige.  The trunk now has purpose, other than collecting clutter.  I replaced the gold cushions with the stacked crate and and picnic basket to serve as a side table.  If someone is sitting on the trunk, I want them to have a space to put their drink.  Also- the picnic basket is a great way to stash magazines and clutter before guests arrive!trunkafter

While it was a very easy place to start, I now feel confident in tackling more upholstery projects on my own.  I also love that for $40 and 2 hours of my time I was able to transform what was once a boring piece of furniture.

Let me know what you guys think!  And if anyone in the Columbus, Ohio area knows of an upholstery shop willing to teach, please pass their info along to me!

Alisa