23. DIY Wedding: Bridal Sash

Yay, it’s time to show you another one of the projects from our [almost] completely DIY wedding!  Today’s tutorial will highlight my DIY bridal sash.

I can’t even tell you how much time I spent scouring the internet for wedding related paraphernalia.  Let’s just say if I got paid for that time, our wedding would probably have been paid for…yikes.  A small portion of that time involved perusing Etsy shops in the hopes of finding the perfect bridal sash.  When I saw the prices, I about lost it.

il_570xN.285819935

Jolie Crystal Bridal Sash, $275
Source: KirstenKuehnDesigns

$275? TWOHUNDREDSEVENTYFIVEDOLLARS?!  Listen, I get that it takes time to make these things, and that materials cost money.  I totally get that.  I have my own Etsy shop, I understand.  However, there comes a point where I think things just start to get outrageous.  This might seem like a mere pittance to some, but I only paid a little over $600 for my wedding gown…paying half that for a damn sash just seemed superfluous.

Obviously, I weaseled my way out of paying hundreds of dollars for a sash by just making one myself.  Here’s how you can make one, too!

DIY Bridal Sash
Materials:

– rhinestone applique of your choice, i.e. blingbling
– 3 yards double face satin ribbon in desired width (mine was 1.5″ wide)
– E6000 glue
– small paintbrush
– paper plate
– scissors
– pencil

1. Start by folding the ribbon in half to find the center.  Make a small mark with the pencil; this will help with placement of your applique.  I bought my ribbon from Ribbons and Bows Oh My, 5 yards for only $2.

2. Squeeze a small amount of E6000 glue onto the paper plate.  Using the paintbrush, apply a thin layer of the glue to the back of your applique.  If part of the applique will hang over the edge of the ribbon, make sure to leave those areas alone!  Here is the applique I chose:

8bfc6929045e75d48c86bc58bca50f2a.image.320x256

Brava Long Rhinestone Ornament, $59
Source: shinetrim.com

(Why yes, I do realize I picked on of the most expensive pieces that ShineTrim carries, but I really NEEDED this much bling.  I swear.)

3. CAREFULLY apply the applique to the ribbon, matching the center of the applique with the pencil mark indicating the center of the ribbon.  Allow glue to dry.

4. Cut the ends of the ribbon on an angle.

And that’s it, folks!  That’s how simple it is to make your own sash for your wedding day…or when you just want to be all fancy schmancy.

diy bridal sash belt

Photo credit: Laura Zastrow Photography

diy bridal sash belt

Me with some of my high school home girls…they traveled all the way from NJ to attend our wedding in Milwaukee! I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since we graduated. Also…did you see the awesome peacock colors going on in this photo?!

And of course, for pinning purposes:

diy bridal sash belt

Photo credit: Laura Zastrow Photography

It’s been over a year since we tied the knot, and I have quite a number of DIY projects I still need to show you.  I guess I better get going on those before they get too stale! 😉

XO,
Gabriella

Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

Affiliate link:Shop Our Holiday Hub - Elevate your Gifting - Up to 70% Off

22. Before and After: Vintage Metal Cabinet

I love vintage stuff.  LOVE it.  Especially when it’s rusted, banged-up, dented, chippy, in-desperate-need-of-a-face-lift vintage.

The thrill of turning something from “yuck” to “yum”?  It just can’t be beat.

In walks this beauty, stage left.

082813_1

I didn’t take any photos of the inside of the cabinet, but let me assure you…it was nasty!  At some point in time, this poor lady obviously sat in someone’s dark, dank basement, because her bottom was full of rust.  Gross.

I spent hours cleaning this baby up with steel wool and rust remover, and then added a thick coat of rust preventative in primer form.

To improve upon the vintage appeal of the cabinet, I chose a fun retro aqua called “Opal Silk” from Behr.

082813_2

Source: behr.com

Yep, I just used a latex paint over my primer!  As long as you use the correct primer, you can pretty much paint anything with latex paint.  I just made sure the finish was on the shiny side so you can wipe it down if it gets dirty (satin or gloss, whichever you prefer).

Here is the final product:

082813_3

Isn’t it amazing what a coat of paint can do?

We originally used this in our kitchen when we lived in Bay View (a Milwaukee neighborhood south of downtown, right on Lake Michigan).  That flat was the upper floor of a duplex built in 1905, which meant basically no cabinet space.  It used to house all of our dishes, wine glasses, and pots and pans.  It fits a LOT of stuff!

After we moved to our new flat, we had no need/room for this cabinet.  The new kitchen has plenty of cabinet space, and there are two built-in china cabinets in the dining room.  This lady, unfortunately, took up residence in a basement yet again.  This one is dry, so no worries of rust, but I still felt bad about neglecting the poor thing.

I decided to sell the cabinet on Craigslist in hopes of finding her a good home, and lo and behold, I did!  She is now sitting pretty in an academic office space in an updated warehouse.  Hooray!

I obviously have a strange attachment to furniture…don’t judge me.

“Before and After” time!

082813_4

I hope I’ve inspired you to make something old and yucky look new and pretty again!

XO,
Gabriella

Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

Affiliate link:Shop Our Holiday Hub - Elevate your Gifting - Up to 70% Off

21. I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 4)

This is the fourth installment of a four-part series.  You can catch up on the plans for our living room, dining room, and master bedroom by clicking the links below.

Part 1: Living Room
Part 2: Dining Room
Part 3: Master Bedroom

Today’s topic: the spare bedroom.  It’s just slightly smaller than the master bedroom, with a decent sized closet and hardwood floors.  The starting color wasn’t actually that bad.

082613_1

Since our landlords were okay with us changing the wall colors, we decided to go ahead and paint anyway.  The color choice for this room was a really pretty dark gray with blue undertones, “Dark Pewter” by Behr.

082613_2

Source: behr.com

I love this color on the wall.  I almost wish we had painted our bedroom in this color, but I’m also fond of the dark blue we have in there.  Win-win, I suppose.

This room currently serves as our in-home music studio, complete with vintage organ, various pieces of recording equipment, and Jason’s computer setup.  We’ll probably be living in this flat for the next 3-5 years, and if we decide to have a baby within that time frame (which is completely possible), this room would obviously be converted into a nursery.  This means all music stuffs would have to find a home elsewhere…probably divided between the living and dining rooms.

No baby is in the works yet, so don’t get too excited.  We are spending the first few years of our marriage enjoying our time alone and getting our debt paid down (trust me, there is a LOT of that to take care of).  We are definitely not in a rush, and we’d like to be responsible parents!  Imagine that.

Anyway, one thing I’d really like to add to this room is some sort of sleeping option for overnight guests.  We have a full-size air mattress, but it would be nice to offer out-of-town friends and family a real bed to sleep on.  I’m debating between a full-size bed and a daybed with trundle.  I’m leaning towards the daybed because it would take up less space and is more versatile in terms of sleeping options, especially if we can find the type of trundle that pops up to the same height as the bed.  I like this option from Overstock.com (especially since it looks more like a couch than a bed):

My dad lives down in Florida, and it would be nice to have a separate room for him to sleep in when he comes to visit.  It would also work out well for any other family and friends that visit from New Jersey.

As for the inspiration for this room, I am really at a loss.  Surprising, I know!  I feel like I always have a ton of idea when it comes to decorating, but I’m really not sure what kind of “look” I’m going for in this room.  Maybe something vintage?

I guess you’ll just have to keep reading to find out.

XO,
Gabriella

 

Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

20. I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 3)

This is the third installment of a four-part series.  You can catch up on the plans for our living room and dining room by clicking the links below.

Part 1: Living Room
Part 2: Dining Room

I’ve already told you all about our living room and dining room decor plans, so now it’s time to move on to the room I’m most excited about: the master bedroom.

I’ve thought long and hard about the look I’m going for in this room, and I think I’ve finally settled a color scheme.

brcolors2

Source: behr.com

Yep.  Navy, coral, tan, and white.  I am super obsessed with this color palette right now!  It’s really classy.  I’m serious, look:

We already have dark blue walls and white dressers, so I’m thinking adding in our natural linen upholstered bed, white linens, and some pretty patterned curtains will look awesome.  I would really love to make some curtains with this stuff:

082113_3

Source: fabric.com

Remember the initial inspiration board for our master bedroom?  Here’s an updated version with an added pop of coral.

brinspiration

Here’s what needs to happen to have our current bedroom “match” the bedroom above.

1. Find antique/vintage suitcases.
2. Purchase/make shag carpets.
3. Purchase bedding (I’m currently the highest bidder on eBay for a duvet, wish me luck!)
4. Reupholster chair.
5. Finish building platform bed (currently ~50% completed).
6. Make curtains.

Not a terrible list, but it will still be quite a while and a LOT of work.  I know I can do it!

Next time: the spare bedroom!

XO,
Gabriella

 

Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

19. I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 2)

If you missed the first installment of this four-part series, you can catch up here.

Last time, I talked all about my plans for the living room.  It’s time to turn the corner (literally) and take a peek into our dining room.

Here’s how it looked right before we moved in:

081613_1

I love the built-ins…like, a lot.  (There are actually two, one on either side of the window.)  There is no longer a door to the kitchen, it’s just an open entryway now.  I’m not sure at what point the door went byebye, but it wasn’t there when we moved in.  Again, the color on the walls is staying the way it is…it’s the same color that’s in the living room, and also the same pain in the booty textured walls.  I’m not mentally prepared to deal with something like that.  Nuh uh.

Here’s the progress we’ve made so far:

080513_1

I am seriously so frickin’ proud of that table!  I love being able to tell people we built it ourselves, especially when they give the compliment before they know.  It’s like a ton of pats on the back.  All at once.  I’m really proud of the deal I got on those chairs, too…I know they were still a pretty significant chunk of money, but I totally did my research and got the very best price I could find ANYWHERE.

Our Expedit bookcase from IKEA is currently housed here as well (it’s out of frame to the left), but that will get a makeover and find a new home in the living room.  Other than that, there are only three things I’d like to add to this room to finish it off.

1. A bench or settee.  I’d love to put it along the right-hand side of the table (i.e. the side next to the window).  It will hopefully be something antique, and it just so happens I found the PERFECT bench on…you guessed it…Craigslist.

081613_2Oh. My. Gawd.  It’s chippy.  And old.  And did I mention it’s exactly the right length and width?  And the EXACT same height as our current chairs?!  I seriously wouldn’t change anything about it, I’d just park it right next to the table and be done with it.  Well, I’d probably sew up a nice cushion to make it more comfy for its patrons, but that’s it.  I am trying not to jump the gun and buy it, but I’m so afraid it will be gone right away!  And I’m not sure I would find something that perfect again.  If you read Victoria’s blog, you know about the raccoon in her head that tells her to buy things (especially awesome things from Craigslist).  I’m pretty sure I suffer from the same affliction.  We should start a support group.  Actually, it would be better to call it an encouragement group.  Anyway, I digress.  Next!

2. A desk/dresser/buffet.  The space currently taken up by the Expedit will be quite bare after it travels to the living room, so it will need to be filled with something else.  I currently don’t have a “desk”, so it might be nice to find something small…just a nice area to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee while I write my blog…and do my science thinking, of course.  I know I can just do this at the dining room table, but that means constantly moving my laptop and other stuff to keep the clutter contained, and I’d rather have a designated spot where I can just plop those sort of things down and not move them.

3. Wall art.  I should just go ahead and say that hanging things on the walls is an area of complete naivety to me.  In all of the places we’ve rented (and there have been many), we’ve never bothered to hang anything.  I never had anything hanging in my room growing up either, save a poster of a baby seal on the back of my bedroom door.  I’ve never really known how to hang stuff to make it look good, but I’d LOVE to have some sort of gallery wall.  I think this room would be a great place for it.  I’m thinking above the new desk.

That’s it!  Not a ton of work, really…as long as I can find a bench that’s already perfectly shabby and a desk/dresser/buffet that only needs a new coat of paint.

Make sure to check back soon for the next installment, the master bedroom!

XO,
Gabriella

Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

18. So, let’s be brutally honest…I have a lot of projects. And plans. (Part 1)

This post is the first of a series of posts dedicated to the crazy plans milling about my brain.  Please stay tuned for all FOUR posts!   (Don’t act all surprised…you read the title, folks.)

Too many projects.  And yet, I have the urge to add more things to the list.  Poor hubbins, he will want to declare mutiny one of these days.  Some of these projects are actually completed…or close to being completed, and I just need to write up a nice, tidy blog post about each of them (tidy? ha!).  Others are in the midst of being worked on, and yet others…are just in the back of my mind and don’t actually exist yet.  Yes, I am a crazy person.  I just feel like there is always something that can be rearranged or reworked or refinished or replaced (with an equal or greater thing).

Again, if you don’t know me well enough…I WANT ALL THE THINGS.  ALL OF THEM.

Let’s begin with the living room.  Here is the blank canvas with which we started.  (I know you grammar fiends out there are smiling at my beautiful sentence construction.)

081313_1

The color is staying because a. I don’t mind it, and b. you can’t tell from the photo, but the walls are textured (almost like Spanish plaster), and ain’t nobody got time for that.  Also, we can’t change anything structurally (remember, we are just lowly renters), and I also can’t paint any woodwork that isn’t already painted.  I love me some white trim, but that’s not gonna happen in this house.  That means the off white carpet and light fixtures also stay put.

Here’s what we have as of today.

081513_2

Not terrible, but it’s definitely a far cry from what I’m picturing for this room.

Plans for this room:

1. Get rid of wooden spool tables.  They are super awesome and I love them, but they just aren’t practical.  They are a bit too high to use as footrests, and that was the original purpose I intended us to use them for.  They also have holes in the center (into which lots of things get lost…remotes, earrings, crumbs, etc.) and bolts sticking out of the top.  I currently have one in the corner between the couches, but it’s a little low (you can’t even see it in the photo above).  Maybe I could add some height with a few hairpin legs?

2. Fabricate new ottoman(s) to replace the tables.  I will probably make these from scratch.  I’m thinking low, tufted ottomans with a chic print.  Maybe something like this.  I’m already cooking up some plan and a tutorial!  It will be frickin’ magical.

3. “New” stand for the TV.  I haven’t decided whether I want to hack our current stand from IKEA, or replace it with a distressed dresser or buffet.  They don’t sell the exact stand at IKEA any more, but this one is pretty close to what we have:

Source: ikea.com

Source: ikea.com

I’m thinking I might try to hack it first…and I’m sure that idea would sound better to Jason than hauling yet another piece of second-hand furniture into our house.  I’m pretty sure he gets a horrible sense of dread every time I start a sentence with the words, “So, I was looking on Craigslist…”  (The TV and stand are to the right of the radiator…just out of frame).

4. New throw pillows.  Don’t get me wrong, I like the ones we have, but I feel like the colors are clashing a bit too much.  I’d like to tone it down and have them all in neutrals like gray, white, taupe, and cream.  It’s not boring I swear!  We have a pretty big antique cabinet in our living room that houses my yarn addiction…um, collection…and it’s a deep turquoise (you can see it in the back right corner).  I’d rather let that color be the focal point and not throw in too many other crazy hues.

5. Wall art.  We don’t really have any cool pieces of art to display (besides a painting or two from my dad).  I want special pieces, so I’ll be keeping my eyes open while perusing thrift and antique stores.  We honestly have only one piece of art displayed right now.  You might have noticed it in the photos of our DIY rustic dining table.  It’s a really pretty print of “White Mums”, a painting my Neal Butcher.  I couldn’t find out much about him, so I’m not sure if the print is worth anything…but it only cost me $7 at Goodwill.  Sweet deal.  I’m debating about whether or not I should change out the frame (or at least paint it).  Perhaps that will be a future post.

6. Give our Expedit a makeover and move it into the living room.  I love the storage space, but I’ve grown tired of the dark “wood”.  We have this one:

expedit-shelving-unit__0092703_PE229404_S4

Source: ikea.com

I’ve seen some really cool hacks for this system whilst browsing the internet, and I’m especially fond of this one.  I’d like to paint ours gray and add wooden doors to half of the cubes…perhaps the center columns, just to do something a little different?  Another reason to keep reading my posts, I suppose. 😉

Well, that’s pretty much what I have planned for the living room!  Make sure to check back soon to read all about the plans for the rest of our place.

XO,
Gabriella

 

Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

17. Ah, finally the story of the dining room chairs!

Did you ever find that one thing you were looking for, only to be disappointed by the price tag?  I love finding exactly what I want within my price range!  It’s such a rush finding a great deal, and I get an insane amount of satisfaction from telling other people about my finds…especially if it helps them save money, too!  Case in point: my search for the perfect set of metal dining chairs.

I am in love with metal dining chairs, specifically the Tolix A chair.  If you haven’t heard of this chair, you don’t know what you are missing!  Here it is, in all of it’s wondrous glory:

Ch-a-rouge_3quart

Source: tolix.com

These chairs were designed by Xavier Pauchard in 1934.  Definitely a timeless classic.  The popularity of this model has only increased with the revival of the Tolix company in 2004, so one can imagine that I would not be so in love with the price tag that comes along with this popularity.  Getting your hands on an authentic Tolix chair will not require you to ship them over from France, but it will cost you a pretty penny.

Pottery Barn sells the Tolix A in black, white, red, and bare metal for $269 each.  Yikes!  We wanted 6 of these chairs for our handmade rustic dining table, but with the $60 surcharge ($10 per chair) plus $168 shipping and handling (10% of the order), the total would be over $1800.  None of the available choices were even close to the color we wanted! Um, no.

After perusing the interwebs for another source, I discovered Industry West.  They sell the Marais A Side Chair for $145 each in a TON of different colors.  Better price, but the cost of 6 chairs plus shipping would still cost almost $1000.  I’m the queen of deals, people; there is ALWAYS a cheaper price!

At last we come to Restoration Hardware’s Remy Side Chair.  These normally sell for $129 each, but I happened to catch them on sale…for $89 a piece!  Also, as if the heavens parted and showered me with extra special rays of money-saving goodness, shipping was FREE.  Yes, that’s right.  F-R-E-E, free.  And no surcharges for being an oversized item!  Although I had stumbled upon a great deal, I was hesitant to order from RH after reading page after page of horror stories.  Items being back-ordered for months without notice, delayed shipments, extraneous credit charges, and damaged furniture…needless to say, not a pretty picture.  However, after inspecting said claims, it seemed that most of these issues stemmed from custom items and large pieces of furniture which were shipped via “white glove delivery” (i.e. a crappy third party delivery company).  Luckily, these chairs did not require the special delivery service, so I pulled the trigger.  I ordered them on a Wednesday, they shipped the following day, and I received them via UPS less than a week later.  No back-orders.  Quick shipment.  Perfect condition.  No suspicious credit card charges.  Pretty hassle-free, no?  I suppose this may be another case of “don’t always believe what you read”, but then again, maybe I just got lucky.  I guess we’ll never know!

I’m so glad I found these chairs.  Look at how GORGEOUS they look in our dining room!

080513_1

The best part?  A set of 6 chairs plus tax came out to less than $570.  Are they the “real deal”?  No.  However, these are such a close match that I’m still in love.  Maybe one day we can get some authentic Tolix chairs, but I’m totally okay with using these in the meantime.

XO,
Gabriella

P.S. If you also love the dining room table, we built it ourselves!  Check out this post for the tutorial. 🙂

 

Remember to follow me to see all my latest posts, and don’t forget to share me with your friends!

Affiliate link:Shop Our Holiday Hub - Elevate your Gifting - Up to 70% Off