Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Designer Table for a Budget Price by Taylor

When looking for a table for our kitchen, I had an idea of what I wanted, but the price tag was always too high.  For example, I saw the table below at Pier One, but I was not going to pay $400.00 for it!

It looked nice, but didn't have a lot of character and wasn't even that sturdy.  SO.... I kept looking.  A couple days later I came across this table for $50.00 at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

The finish was scratched and splotchy and but I knew that underneath all that wear and tear was a beautiful table just waiting to come out!  A couple days later I found four wooden chairs at Goodwill for $5.99 a piece, so I purchased them to go with the table.  Then, we got to work refinishing the table and chairs.  Inspired by a piece I had seen at Pottery Barn, I decided to stain the top of the table a deep brown and paint the table base and the chairs antique white.  First, we detached the table from the base and used medium grade sandpaper to sand the surface until it was smooth and even in color.
 Then, we used tape to protect the sides of the tabletop so we could spray paint the bottom.  We wrapped painter's tape all the way around the table, flipped it over, and started painting.
 Then we flipped the table back over and wiped off the top.  We took the tape off and used a foam paint brush to brush our stain on.  We were very careful to make sure it was going on evenly.  We used an old rag to wipe the stain according to the directions on the can.  When that dried, we put a clear finish on it to protect the tabletop.
 Then, we lightly sanded the chairs and the base of the table to prepare them to be painted.
We spray painted the base of the table and the chairs.  Then, when the paint was dry, I took my sandpaper and rubbed off the paint from the edges, corners, feet, everywhere you might see normal wear and tear on an old table. We are really happy with our new kitchen table and the best part was the price- including paint, we did this all for around $110.00! 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Quilted Pillows by Hilary

Trying to get your living space to mesh together and don't have the money to buy expensive pillows? Who does? They are outrageously priced!!!!  Go visit your local Goodwill and buy pillow shams! I bought two quilt shams that go with my living room motif and made two matching pillows for around $7.00- stuffing, shams and backing included!

The starting look :

First cut the extra edges off:

Then turn the outsides of the fabric so that they are facing each other and do a straight stitch around. Make sure you leave a gap to put pillow filling in (big enough for your hand to fit in).  Also, if using a quilt sham, the quilt batting needs to be on the outside (two outside pieces facing each other with batting on the outside).

Next, turn your pillow inside out. I added an extra cosmetic step to make pillows look more "professionally made."  This step was nothing more than making an extra straight stitch an inch on the inside of your first stitch. Make sure to leave the same open hole you originally had to stuff your pillow. Make sure your pillow has been turned right side out first!! This will give your pillow a decorative edge.

Next stuff your pillow and hand sew it shut. After, don't forget to sew your extra strip of decorative edge on the open section for a finished look.

I recommend using a neutral backing fabric I you can't salvage the original sham backing.

Hope you enjoy this tutorial as much as I'm enjoying my new pillows!!! The next few tutorials I will be doing will be my DIY home (and baby shower gift) tutorials being as how now that I am newly married and broke (cough cough) and trying to set up my new town-home.

If you have any suggestions for my project please let me know! Or if you have any ideas for future blogs I would be happy to try them out!! Thanks for all of your support! Xoxo

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Curtain Cover Up by Taylor

When I was in ninth grade, my dad came home to see that I had taken down the door to my closet and replaced it with a curtain.  The door opened inward, and frankly, I was tired of it squishing my clothes!!!  I wanted a pretty alternative to a door, and my mom and I thought a curtain hung by a spring rod would be a great idea!  Although my dad didn't seem too pleased that I now had a door on the floor of my room, I loved the look of my new closet. We decided to put the door in the attic and leave the curtains up.  

I recently came across a similar problem in our new house.  Our laundry room is upstairs off of our guest bathroom and there were bifold doors that held the washer and dryer.  Unfortunately, the doors would not close when we installed our washer and dryer because the space was too small.  
It was then that I remembered that moment in ninth grade and I decided to make curtains to cover the space.

First, Billy took the doors down and touched up some spots where they had rubbed off the paint on the door frame.  Then, I measured the area I wanted to cover.  I bought a spring rod from Walmart that fit the space and then found some really pretty Shabby Chic (of course) fabric at Hobby Lobby.  
(By the way- make sure you look for coupons online before you shop- I didn't that day, but a lady generously gave me her extra 40% off!).  I knew I wanted my curtains to be two paneled to make them more interesting, so I used my measurements of the space to figure out how much fabric I would need.  Then, I came home and got to work.
I cut each panel and then sewed them together.  I ironed, pinned, and sewed each seam.  To hang the curtains, I bought bronze curtain clips at Hobby Lobby.  This was really easy because I didn't even have to sew a hole for the curtain rod!

I am really happy with the final result- Billy doesn't even mind that they are just a little bit pink ;) I think this idea would be great for someone who doesn't have a sewing machine too- just get some curtains or pretty sheets and hang them up!  It adds a lot of color to the room, and it is very functional- just slide them aside and it is easy to get to work in the laundry room!

They make a great hiding spot too!  :-)


Saturday, July 16, 2011

From EEK! to Shabby Chic- Making Your Furniture Shabby Chic by Hilary

Being newlyweds with no furniture I decided to go on a coffee table hunt. On my first trip to the Goodwill, I found a claw foot coffee table that was a horrible shade of what I call "wood brown".  I have learned to be optimistic when finding pieces and think, "What can I do to make this perfect for me?" Well luckily on this particular table all I needed to do was buy a can of ivory paint and sandpaper.

When decorating a room I would recommend to decipher what you want your primary furniture color to be (in my case ivory) and buy a gallon or more of paint because you will need it for your other amazing furniture finds! As for sandpaper the more coarse it is, the easier and faster it is to rough it up.

Here is a before of the coffee table :

First you want to lightly sand down your surface to achieve a textured look so your paint adheres properly. Take a old rag and wipe down the wood dust to have a clean surface. 
Next, apply your first coat of paint and allow it to dry. Usually depending on how dark your surface is you may need to apply one or possibly two more coats of paint. I would recommend allowing your furniture to dry over night. 
The next morning take your coarse sand paper and rough up the edges. To have an authentic weathered look, make sure to pay special attention to the areas that would normally have damage. These areas would be corners, sides, legs, feet etc. 
Once again, wipe off remaining wood dust and you're finished! The project takes only a half a day to complete total time!

When purchasing furniture, pay special attention to the material used, claw feet and embellishments on the top and sides, etc.  Usually these can give you clues as to whether you are buying antique furniture.  There are a lot of replications out there too, so be aware of that while shopping!

The finished product!!


Even my cat Meeko loves Shabby Chic!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Shabby Chic CHEAP! by Taylor

 When Billy and I first got our house back in February we realized that we REALLY needed a desk for all our important business-like things :)  I wanted it to have a large surface, because I am a teacher and often need to spread out when I am grading a bazillion papers.  We found this gem at Habitat for Humanity in Cornelius for 30 bucks!!!
 The desk had been painted brown and had drawers, but no handles.  We sanded it down and painted it a shade of gray-blue.
Then we added dark brown handles that we found at Lowes.  This is the finished project, sitting in our office/my craftroom.

We are pretty happy with the way it turned out- especially because our total investment was around $65 including paint and hardware.  That is one of the best things about decorating Shabby Chic- it can also be cheap if you know where to look!

Meet Hilary

Although Taylor and I have very similar tastes when it comes to crafting and decorating homes, we at the same time, have very different tastes.  I would describe my style as a vintage 1920's shabby chic with a hint of bright colors. I visit Goodwill, antique stores, and Habitat at least once a week, most of the time to make purchases but sometimes to get creative ideas. Creating a vintage motif can be a very cheap and fun process. Finding an old claw foot table or old desk and painting it our favorite color, ivory, and using sandpaper to distress and change the drawer pulls always gives the piece a sense of individuality.

My husband Brian and I on on one of our many trips to the NC mountains!

Our goal:
Throughout this blog we will upload before and after pictures of what you can find in our own homes, and also of the hand crafts we are currently making on our new sewing and embroidering machines. We would love to eventually sell some of these crafted items for a bargain price that we ourselves wouldn't mind paying. But for now we will just focus on instructions showing you how you can create these pieces on your own at home! Good luck and we look forward to hearing from you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Meet Taylor

This is me, Taylor, with my new husband, Billy!

We just got married this past June and moved into our new house!

I am so excited to decorate that I can hardly stand it- and luckily I have an extremely understanding husband who doesn't mind a little pink or some floral patterns here and there!

My decorating style is definitely shabby chic- but not on the overly frilly side.  It is more about using light colors (sage, rose, sea foam etc.) and furniture that is comfortable and gives that "lived in" feel.  To me, decorating doesn't have to mean that you spent a fortune.  I buy a lot of my furniture at Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, yardsales, etc.  A new coat of paint or a new finish and it has a brand new life!  My mom has been using this technique for years and I guess she unknowingly instilled it in me.  I love anything that has been reused or re-purposed.  Even our wedding was my version of shabby chic (which I will post on as soon as we get our pics back)!  I hope you enjoy keeping up with our blog, and that maybe you can get some ideas for your own space!  I know that I have a lot of creative family members and friends that inspire me every day, so hopefully this will be a way we can share our ideas!  Thanks for reading!

Taylor :)