Monday, December 30, 2013

New Year Resolutions & Free Printables!

Like pretty much everyone, I hope to improve my fitness in the coming year. In an effort to help myself be reminded of this and to keep track of my progress, I created these free Fitness Tracking Printables. Each file is the same, but in different color schemes. Download and enjoy!



{Linked on Fluster Buster, Ginger Snap Crafts, I Gotta Create, Vintage Zest}

Monday, December 9, 2013

Kitchen Island Makeover

As mentioned in a previous post, my husband and I are working to get our home ready to sell at the beginning of the year. We live in a town home and it has been a great first home for us. But when I converted our one storage closet into a craft room, we officially reached capacity. Now we feel it is time to move on.

We have a list of projects to be completed and it is great that we're starting to check things off that list. The first big project was to makeover our kitchen island. Our kitchen does not get a lot of natural light as the only windows are the glass doors in the dining area, so we have been doing what we can to brighten the place up a bit. That was the original intention with this project.

Our cabinets were originally knotty alder and a few years ago, we upgraded our flooring from whitish linoleum to a cherry laminate. It was a major improvement, but left the kitchen feeling darker and like there was too much wood.

To transform the island from knotty alder to white, I decided to use beadboard wallpaper. This stuff is great! It is affordable and easy to use. The biggest issue we had with it is that it is not hard like normal beadboard, but has a foamy texture, which means it can be easily dented.

I have never wallpapered before, but it only took me approximately 45 minutes to apply all the wallpaper to the island. I papered both sides and the front (pictured), then papered the small area below the cabinets on the back side.

We prepped our cabinets and drawer fronts by filling the knots in the wood and thoroughly cleaning all the wood. Then, we painted them white. After three coats, they were covered and we added some poly-crylic over the top. This gave the cabinets a nice sheen while also protecting them from chipping. The last step was to add trim along the top and bottom edges, as well as the corners. Here is the result:

I absolutely love how it turned out! I still need to fill in the nail holes and do a final coat of paint on the trim, but that won't take long. This was an inexpensive and fairly easy makeover that makes a big difference on the overall feel of the kitchen. What do you think?

{Linked on Huckleberry Love, Carrie This Home, Sew Can Do, Uncommon Designs, Sumo's Sweet Stuff, All Things Fee, Serendipity and Spice, This Gal Cooks}

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Pieced Journal Cover with Initial Applique

Another day, another handmade Christmas gift! 

These journals with pieced covers are the perfect personalized gift without breaking the bank. I made mine with help from a tutorial found at Stitched in Color. The great thing about these is you can piece your fabric into any pattern you want! Once you've pieced enough together to cover the notebook, simply trim it down, and finish it off. I also added an initial appliqué to personalize my covers. If you do this, just be careful not to make my same mistake -- don't stitch your appliqué on and accidentally sew the cover closed!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

DIY Peg People Ornaments

Lately, I have been extremely busy. I keep adding items to my "to do" list and not checking many things off. Not only is Christmas quickly approaching, but we are attempting to get our home ready to sell at the beginning of the year. I'm making several homemade gifts, cleaning and decluttering, planning my daughter's 3rd birthday, teaching sewing lessons, painting kitchen cabinets, doing Christmas activities with the kids, making baby quilts, and attempting to keep up with the laundry. So my posts will probably be few and far between over the next couple of months.

And now for a fun and simple holiday tutorial! Each year before Christmas, we like to get our kids one new ornament that is just for them. Last year I splurged on character ornaments, but this year, I wanted to try my hand at making ornaments instead. After some research, I found some super-cute wooden peg people and decided to give them a try.

You can find similar items for sale on Etsy, as well as tutorials on various blogs. This was not my original idea, but I made these in a relatively short amount of time and wanted to share!

What You Need
  • Wooden pegs (I found mine in an 8-pack at Hobby Lobby)
  • Craft paint
  • Fine paint brush
  • Pencil
  • Small screw-in hook (similar to the one pictured at the right)
What You Do
  • Decide on what kind of people you want to make. I let my kids decide which characters they wanted. Eddie chose Iron Man, Captain America, and Spiderman. Violet chose Winnie the Pooh, the Grinch, and Rapunzel (not pictured because she is missing somewhere in the house).
  • Find an image or toy to use as your model.
  • Using your pencil, sketch your design onto the peg. You really don't have to be good at drawing for this. I am awful at drawing! These peg people are meant to be "minimalist," so use simple shapes and straight lines. And if you mess up, erase and try again!
Mr. Darcy, in progress
  • Start painting. I generally begin with the most prominent color in the design and save my outlining for the very last. For most of my pegs, I used two coats of paint. Don't forget to paint the bottom of your peg, too, as it will be visible when hanging on a Christmas tree!
  • Once your paint has dried, insert your screw-in hook. Depending on the size of hook you use, you may be able to do this without a drill. I used a drill and our smallest drill bit to drill a hole into the top of each peg, then screwed the hook in.
Pegs for my niece and nephews -- Sleeping Beauty, Ninjago, and Buddy the Elf

{Linked on A Little Claireification, The Wondering Brain, Sewlicious Home Decor, Be Different...Act Normal}