Wednesday, August 31, 2011

forward facing bookshelves

I've seen the idea to use the Bekvam spice rack shelves from IKEA as forward facing bookshelves.  I love the idea.  But since the closest IKEA to me is 4 hours away I decided to make my own.

I custom made them to fit the end of a storage cabinet in our playroom.  Here is how I did it.

To make four 20 inch bookshelves, I bought 2 8ft 1x4 pine boards and had them cut at Home Depot.  I normally use the least expensive lumber, but this time I used "choice" lumber hoping it wouldn't splinter as bad.  It's a lot smoother and didn't require sanding over the entire piece but the cut edges still splintered and required sanding.  Not sure it was worth the extra $10.

I butted one edge unto the other to make a 90 degree angle.

I secured the pieces together with wood glue,

and wood screws.  Make sure to pre-drill the holes so the wood doesn't split.  Also make sure you have a good grip on the drill so it doesn't slide and slice your hand.  A mickey mouse band aid will make it feel better if you do get an injury though.

Oh and don't forget to charge the battery for the drill. 

Or you'll get to take a little break from your project waiting for it to charge. 

For the front of the shelf, I used some lattice moulding to hold the books on.

The moulding is what I like to call "fake wood."  It's very light weight and easy to cut to size with a miter box.

I used wood glue and finish nails to attach the molding. 

Then I used this little thingy (I don't even know what it's called) to push the nail heads farther into the wood,

so I could hide them by covering with spackle. 

After everything was good and dry, I sprayed the shelves with red spray paint. (missed a pic of this step but I'm sure you can imagine it)

To attach the shelves to the cabinet, I just screwed them right into the wood. It wasn't super easy as that storage cabinet is solid. I had to pre-drill the holes again and use longer wood screws.    If you enlarge the picture above you can see the screw the arrow is pointing to.  I didn't counter sink the screws or  use plugs to hide them.  I just covered them with books.  Works for me!

My kids all have bookshelves in their rooms but its nice to have an extra place to stash a few books or movies. 

I may even keep a few shelves for myself to store my books and magazines. 

Friday, August 26, 2011

beautifying a notebook

I try to always keep a little notebook in my purse to jot down ideas and notes, let my kids draw, make a list, etc. But the other day I searched and searched the abyss that is my purse and was unable to find my notebook. Well, that won't do at all, so I set off in search of another one.

I found this little beauty at the dollar store.  I love spiral bound notebooks because they lay flat.  I did not however love the cover.  So I decided to alter it.  This technique is an oldie but a goodie!!

I used old dictionary pages to cover the front.

First I applied mod podge to the cover.

Then I put the torn out pages right on top of the wet mod podge.

After that dried I cut the excess paper off.

Then applied a few more coats of mod podge and let it dry.  As you can see in the picture, I only covered up to the holes of the binding.

To hide the rest of the cover, in between the binding holes, I used this paper tape.

I cut little slits in the edge of the tape to go around the metal binding.

The tape lays nice and flat and covers up the parts of the cover the paper didn't cover.

Then I dug some ribbons out of my embarrassingly large stash and tied them onto the wire.

And there it is, a cute little notebook for my purse.  They would make great gifts as well!!

Monday, August 22, 2011

a new lamp

I've been doing some changing and rearranging around my always.  Nothing ever stays the same for too long around here.  When I tackled the dining area, I moved around a few things and found that I needed a new lamp.  Something substantial and that made a statement. 

I think this lamp does that.

I started with this lamp base found at Goodwill that was already painted green.

I gave it a coat of flat white spray paint.  After sanding it down a little so the green would show through, I sealed it with a spray sealer.

For the lampshade, plain white just wouldn't do.  I found some great fabric at Hobby Lobby to cover the drum lampshade from Target.

Now I'm not going to tell you it was easy to cover this.  I made many mistakes.  But I used hot glue as my adhesive so I was able to pull it apart and try again.  It takes double the width of fabric you think you'll need.  Trust me on that.  The little strip shown in this picture was not enough.  I used hot glue along the seem edges, pulled it over the top and bottom and secured on the inside edges with more hot glue. 

I'm really happy with how it turned out. 

Here it is in the room.  More pics of the entire room to come.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

pillow from placemats

A couple of weeks ago I decided I needed a new throw pillow.  So I searched all my favorite places:  Target, Home Goods and even Walmart with no success.  Too big, too small, too expensive or not the right color.  I even looked at fabrics to see if there was something I could make one with.  No luck. 

Then I made another trip to Target and ended up in the kitchen aisle and found the perfect color of place mats. 

But they were the right size so I decided to make them into a pillow cover.

I first sewed around the edges on 3 sides.

I left the 4th side open...

so I could shove the pillow inside.

It was a tight fit, but it worked!

Then I smooshed the entire thing up under the foot of my sewing machine and stitched the open side closed.  I was worried about whether the thickness of everything would work with my sewing machine, but I didn't have any problems.

It's the perfect color of blue for my living room, a cute pattern and was inexpensive.  I love projects like that!!

Monday, August 15, 2011

A winner!

Thank you to everyone who commented!

The winner is:  Sara!!

Sara, I have sent you an email.  I just need your address and I'll get this sent to you.

Again, thank you to everyone that reads and comments on my blog!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


My blog has grown quite a bit over the past few months and I am thrilled!  When I got my first follower I was so excited.  Now that I am up to 100, I am totally pumped.  So to thank everyone that reads and comments on my blog, it's time for a giveaway!

Here is the fun stuff you can win!!

button pins

a cute notebook with matching pen

and a $10 gift card to every one's favorite store- Target!

All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment, introducing yourself!  Also I would appreciate if you would become a follower too.  Don't forget your email address so I can contact you.  I will chose a winner on Sunday.

Thank you for your comments and encouragement!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Excuse me for a bit...

School starts one week from today.  So I'm going to take the rest of this week off from my blog to school shop, swim, go meet my kids' teachers and generally soak up this last bit of summer with my kids.  I'll be back next week with some new posts and a giveaway!!!