Category: Crafts

DIY Roman Shade in Breakfast Nook

DIY Roman Shade 02

I must be the last blogger in Blogland to make a DIY roman shade from a mini-blind. There are so many tutorials out there on how to make this frugal alternative to a pricey roman shade, like this one, which I think might be one of the earliest ones (or maybe the original?). But perhaps you DIY-ers out there will benefit from seeing how I did it and what issues I ran into. I’m ultimately pretty happy with the result. I know my DIY shade won’t last forever but I’m happy with it forĀ now, and realistically, by the time it’s ready to be retired, I’ll probably be ready to change the look anyway.

This is, by the way, the reason I still shop at Forever21.

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After we removed the mini-blinds from the window in order to paint the wood trim and wainscoting, we were constantly being blinded (heh heh) by the sun shining right into our eyes at dinner time. So something needed to be done.

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I picked up a 70″ mini-blind at Home Depot for about $30. I cut off the ladder cords, being very careful not to cut the pull cords. I then cut the pull cords right at the bottom, removed the slats and put 6 slats back on, along with the thicker bottom slat. I knotted the pull cords at the bottom to secure the slats back on.

NOTE: When I put the slats back on, I reversed them so the concave side was oriented towards the top of the blinds. This makes it easier to glue the convex (domed) side down later, as you’ll see.

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I laid the mini-blinds out on my fabric (back side up). This fabric is actually a cotton shower curtain I picked up at HomeGoods. I loved the color and the pattern, and that it was just exactly the width of my window so I wouldn’t have to sew any seams up the middle or worry about matching up the pattern.

The hardest part here was squaring off the fabric. The shower curtain wasn’t perfectly straight long the edges, and it was slightly larger than my mini-blinds. So I used fabric glue to hem the edges and even them out.

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I wanted the roman shades to fold up small. They will be inside-mounted so I didn’t want them to block too much of the window when folded up. I spaced the slats 7 inches apart.

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Then I carefully glued the slats to the back of the fabric, domed-side down, using a bead of fabric glue. I made sure to leave a gap around the area where the pull cord was! At the bottom, I wrapped the fabric around the thick bottom slat and glued it down (no picture of that, sorry).

This was my first time using fabric glue and I was really impressed at how well it stuck! It definitely works better fabric-to-fabric than fabric-to-plastic though. I had to touch up a few loose areas after I hung up the mini blind.

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You can see the slats through the fabric, but I don’t mind. In fact it makes it look more tailored. I can always add a liner later if I feel like I’d like to hide the slats and block more sun, but for now, I like how it filters the sun while allowing plenty of light through.

DIY Roman Shade 01

And as you can see, it folds up nice and small to maximize our window space.

DIY Roman Shade 02

DIY Roman Shade 04

The only downside is that the cord hangs behind the shade, which makes it a little more difficult to pull up or down, but it’s not that hard. I guess what I could do is to bring the cord through to the front through a little buttonhole in the fabric, and then add a flap of fabric (like a mini valance) over the top of the shade to hide it. I might do that later if the pull being at the back ends up bothering me.

Sharing at Remodelaholic, ShabbyCreekCottage, SavvySouthernStyle, TheBlissfulBee

Super Easy DIY: Baby Block Photo Holder

baby block photo holder

My little sister recently had a beautiful baby girl and I threw her a shower while I was back in Canada a few months ago. My other sister and I made these cute baby block photo holders as a party favors for the shower guests and I really like how they turned out!

You’ll need:

Wooden baby blocks
Wooden clothespins
Acrylic craft paint + paintbrush
Hot glue gun

Paint the clothespins with the craft paint in the color of your choice (I chose yellow). Let it dry (I pinned mine on a piece of cardboard to paint and dry, so I didn’t have to be holding onto it anywhere).

block back

Decide which side of the block you want facing outwards, and hot glue the clothespin to the back of the block.

It’s as simple as that!

The guests had a lot of fun looking for the letters of their choice. We also used them during the shower to hold baby pictures of the future mom and dad! They were a fun and budget-friendly party favor (less than $1 a block when you buy a set of blocks).

block with pic

I think a fun twist on this idea would be to use washi tape to decorate the clothespin instead of (or perhaps in addition to) the paint. If you wanted to make it fit your color scheme you could also paint all the blocks a uniform color. Can you think of other variations?

Sharing over at See Vanessa Craft!

DIY Clutch from a Placemat

diy clutch from a placemat

I’ve been wanting to make a diaper clutch for a while. I have one that is a diaper clutch + changing mat all in one, but it’s kind of bulky. I just wanted something a little more compact that I could throw in my purse. This clutch is perfect. It’s cute enough to use as a little purse on its own too. I can just slip my wallet inside and carry it along with a diaper and a pack of wipes when I’m out with the baby.

I got this awesome idea from Nalles House. She takes a placemat, folds it, and sews up the fold to create a 5-minute clutch, perfect for toting diapers and other stuff. I decided to make mine a little shorter, and to add a strap, so it ends up taking a little bit longer, but it’s still pretty simple.

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I grabbed a blue and green ikat placemat from Target. It was nice and stiff, and I love the pattern for a clutch. Here’s the how-to!

I wanted my clutch to be a little shorter so it would hold diapers/wipes more snugly. So, cut off about an inch on each side (lengthwise).

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Use one of the extra strips to make a strap for the clutch. Cut off both ends; then fold the raw edges under and iron them, like so:

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Fold the strip closed so that the folded edges are flush. Then top-stitch with the sewing machine:

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With the layers of interfacing that are already sewn into the placemat, you now have yourself a nice sturdy strap:

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Now you need to close up both sides of your placemat proper (since we cut off the sides). Turn it inside out so the wrong sides are out:

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Sew along each side (leaving about 1/4 inch seam allowance). Remember to leave about a 3-inch gap at one corner so that you can turn the placemat back right-side-out!

right side out placemat

Turn the placemat right-side-out and iron it flat. Tuck the raw edges of the gap under and iron them flat so they lie flush with the sewn edge.

Decide how deep you want your pocket to be and fold your placemat accordingly.

IMPORTANT! Make sure the 3-inch gap is in the front corner of your clutch (see picture below):

folded clutch

The placement of your gap is important because that is where we will insert the strap. The ends of the strap will sit inside the top layer of the placemat, so the raw ends can’t be seen on the inside of the clutch.

Sew from the top corner, down across the gap, the straps, and the rest of the edge of the clutch. You’re sewing through multiple layers, and your machine may not like this. I recommend going very slowly, and you may need to manually turn the wheel of the machine to make the needle go through smoothly. Backstitch across the straps for added security, then continue sewing down the rest of that edge. Backstitch and trim your ends.

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Now start at the opposite diagonal corner (beginning at the fold), and stitch along the remaining open edge. Continue topstitching all around the rest of the top flap, ending at the place where you stitched in the strap. Backstitch and trim off your thread.

sewing clutch

Note: While you’re sewing you may want to backstitch along any areas where there will be tension.

Now, you’re pretty much done! You should have something that looks like this!

(I hand-stitched in a hook-and-loop closure. I didn’t want to sew right through the fabric so I just used a whip-stitch to sew it into place. Please, please, please don’t make fun of my hand-sewing. It’s a good thing my marital prospects…and future…don’t depend on my sewing skills…)

diy diaper clutch

Voila!

diy clutch from placemat

You could, of course, have made this from your own fabric instead of from a placemat. However, I liked how the placemat was already the right size, and came with all the interfacing and lining fabric so I didn’t have to buy those and cut them to size. My sewing skills are pretty much limited to sewing a (more or less) straight line, so this was a quick and easy project for me!

Hand-wash your clutch and DO NOT tumble dry! I find that these placemats shrink abominably and get all wrinkly when you machine dry them!

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This makes a perfectly sized diaper clutch, but you could also use it as a mini purse, or to store toiletries or other little things in! Do you like?

 

DIY Gilded Picture Frame

diy gilded picture frame

Thrift stores are a great place to pick up picture frames. Even if they’re a bit beat-up, they can often be restored or re-invented with just a bit of paint. I found this wooden frame last year and it has been sitting around for a while:

thrift store frame

I wasn’t a huge fan of the generic print, but the frame was wood and was a nice shape, and the matting was also in decent shape. So I decided to reinvent it with a bit of paint.

painting a picture frame

I picked up a jar of Martha Stewart Metallic Paint in Vintage Gold at Home Depot. It was only $6 and it’s a pretty big jar (10 oz) so I should be able to use it for lots of projects. The description says it is an “all-purpose finish for walls, furniture, and accent pieces”, so I thought it would hold up better than a simple craft paint.

I didn’t bother to sand, just wiped the frame down and painted the gold paint on with a sponge brush. I decided to leave part of the frame bare just for a fun twist. After I let the first coat dry (about an hour), I brushed on a second coat, which seemed to give it the coverage it needed.

diy gilded picture frame

(Sorry about the lack of process pics. I got caught up in it and forgot.)

I didn’t have any art that I felt would fit the style of the frame, so I just made my own art using some colored Sharpie markers on watercolor paper and added a few gold accents.

Modern gilded picture frame diy

Right now, my little DIY gilded picture frame is hanging out on a little chest of drawers that is tucked under the spiral staircase in the family room. It was kind of a dead space so I thought I’d fill it up with something useful.

Have you updated an old picture frame lately?

Sharing over at Thrifty Decor Chick!

DIY: Fabric-Covered Shoebox

fabric covered shoebox

Kate over at Centsational Girl today posted an awesome tutorial for covering craft store wooden boxes with fabric for some pretty and functional storage. Her boxes look so beautiful that I decided I was going to try my hand at it too! Definitely go check out her tutorial and beautiful pictures of the finished product!

Unfortunately I didn’t have any wooden boxes on hand, nor did I have the right kind of staples for the staple gun, so instead I decided to cover an old shoebox. That’s the kind of thrifty DIY project that really gets my blood pumping. I never throw away old shoeboxes, thinking that I’m going to repurpose them for storage, but they’re so ugly that I never end up using them.

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I started out with an old shoebox and some $1/yard fabric that I had picked up a couple of years ago. I intended to make pillow covers with it but the fabric was so thin I didn’t think it would hold up too well. It was perfect for this project, though, cause the lightweight fabric didn’t add too much bulk.

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Instead of stapling, I just hot-glued the fabric to the box. I basically followed Centsational Girl’s directions, just substituting hot glue instead of staples. (Hey, gotta use what you have…)

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After hot-gluing both long sides I trimmed the fabric on the short sides (as per her directions), and folded it up over the side.

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More hot glue. Lots and lots of hot glue. I may have burned a finger or two. I also added a bead of hot glue just on the seam on the corners to help it lie flat.

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Just for fun, I lined the box with orange craft felt to hide the jaggedy edges. I hot glued that down too.

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I basically did the exact same thing for the lid, except that I couldn’t line it with felt because it would have fit too snugly. Who knew a shoebox could be so pretty?

fabric covered shoebox

My little fabric-covered shoebox is now living on the Expedit where it corrals loose photos, magnets, and cards that I don’t have room to display, but don’t want to throw away.

I love fast, functional projects like this! I was able to complete the project, shoot the photos, and post this blog post all during the baby’s morning nap! Woot!

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