72. DIY Wedding: Table Runners

So, I haven’t done one of these posts in a LONG time.  We’ll be married three years this May, and I still have a few of these left up my sleeve.  I got an email the other day asking about our table runners and whether I had written up a tutorial for them…and I haven’t.  I decided to write up some easy instructions in case anyone else was interested!

DIY Fabric Table Runners

First, I picked out some fabric.  I decided to go with cotton, mostly because the print I happened to like was on cotton fabric, but also because it’s the easiest to iron and sew.  I purchased my fabric from fabric.com.

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I ended up making about a dozen table runners, each measuring 13″ x 72″ (please note: these are the final measurements AFTER the sewing was finished).  You can make yours narrower or wider, but this worked out well for me because the fabric I chose was 42″ wide and fit three runners across perfectly.

I cut out long rectangles measuring 14″ x 73″.  Next, I ironed a 1/2″ hem down each of the longer sides and sewed a seam down each side.  Then, I repeated this process on each of the shorter sides.  Finally, I ironed the table runners and rolled them up until we were ready to use them.  THAT’S IT.  Easy peasy.

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If you have basic sewing machine skills, and you know your way around a tape measure and scissors, this project should be a piece of cake.  It just takes up a chunk of your time!

Thanks for reading, I’ll try to post the last of my wedding projects over the next few weeks!

XO,
Gabriella

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61. Before and After: Vintage Dressers

So…yeah.  I’ve been really terrible at keeping up with this blog lately.  I blame the nice weather!  And going to the gym.  Both fabulous excuses, if you ask me.

Here’s the next post in my furniture series: a lovely makeover involving a set of vintage dressers.  Vintage Kroehler dressers!  That I found on Craigslist for $65.  (You know I’m patting myself on the back over here…)

Here’s what they looked like when we first got them home.

vintage dressers

vintage dressers

vintage dressers
I sanded them and gave them a couple of coats of Behr Popped Corn, which is a nice “warm” white.  I also gave them a bit of distressing with a sanding block and a cheese knife shaped like a miniature meat cleaver.  My tools known no bounds.

Don’t they look perty?

vintage dressers

vintage dressers
I’d eventually like to switch out the hardware to something a little more modern, but they work for now.  Drawer pulls are expensive, and mama’s gots bills ta pay!

Happy Monday, fools.

XO,
Gabriella

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Do you like fashion?  Check out my newest blog, Gabby Gets Dressed!

60. Before and After: Antique China Cabinet

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!  I’ll be joining the festivities later this evening, but first, a blog post.

I promised to make last week all about furniture.  I failed to keep this promise and only wrote one post.  Shame on me!  Let’s try this again.  Hopefully I’ll find the time to write up everything on my list!

Today’s before and after is a lovely antique china cabinet I found on Craigslist.  The young lady who sold it to me only wanted $35!

antique china cabinetIt’s hard to tell from the photo, but the wood was not exactly in great shape.  I decided to paint the cabinet, and decided on a deep turquoise from Behr called “Caribe”.

behr caribe

Source: Home Depot

Jason ended up being the one who painted this cabinet; I had a lot of projects going on at that time, and we just wanted to get them DONE.  I think he did an excellent job.

antique china cabinetThis cabinet got painted almost two years ago.  I use it for storing all my yarn and knitting accessories, and the fact that it didn’t have a handle was super annoying.  Last month, I went back to Home Depot and bought an antique-style cabinet pull, drilled a few holes in the door, and installed the handle.  Much, much better.

antique china cabinetYou’ll notice that the paint job has gotten quite a few dings.  We moved since acquiring the cabinet, and it’s moved around a bit in our new place.  Battle scars, my friends.  Battle scars.  I think they add a bit of character, so I probably won’t fix them.  I also don’t have any more of this paint, so I’m sure that also has something to do with my lack of caring.

before and after antique china cabinetI seriously cannot believe it took me so long to show you this cabinet!  The worst case of procrastination if I ever saw one.  Make sure to check back tomorrow, because I’ll be showing you another furniture makeover: a set of vintage dressers!

XO,
Gabriella

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Do you like fashion?  Check out my newest blog, Gabby Gets Dressed!

59. Before and After: Vintage Desk

I’ve decided to dedicate this week to furniture.  There are actually several finished projects in my flat that I haven’t showed you!  How terrible of me.  Today, I’ll show you the newest addition to our household, a beautiful vintage desk for my husband, Jason.

My husband recently started working from home, and he was in need of a new desk.  A real desk.  Something better than the cheapo Ikea tables we had sutured together like Frankenfurniture.  I stopped by our local ReStore on Friday afternoon, and found this handsome fella.

vintage desk furniture makeover
He was a bit tired and had some broken hardware, but overall in great condition and very sturdy.  The price tag said $40, but lucky for me green tags were 20% off.  The final cost was $33.79 including tax.

I couldn’t bring this guy home that night (I had a performance with my dear friend Lex Allen), but I made a pit stop at Home Depot on the way home to pick out some paint.  I decided on “Curry Powder” for the main body and “Ethiopia” for the drawer fronts, both colors by Behr.

I bought a quart of the main color and a tester for the drawer fronts.  The total for paint was $19.24.  I wanted to buy new hardware while I was there, but I wasn’t able to measure the current hardware in order to purchase the correct size.

Jason and I picked up the desk on Saturday morning, along with some hardware from Home Depot.  Four new drawer pulls came out to $21.04, bringing the grand total for the desk to $74.07.  A steal, if you ask me.

I got to work as soon as we got home.  Jason helped me sand all the surfaces with medium grit sanding blocks.  After wiping off all the dust, I gave the main body of the desk three coats of paint; the drawer fronts got two coats.  I let the desk sit overnight to cure before adding the new hardware and moving it to its “permanent” position.

I really love how it turned out, don’t you?

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Make sure to come back all this week to see my other furniture transformations!  I’ll also be posting tutorials for our platform bed (finally!) and a cute ottoman I built from scratch.

Happy Monday!

vintage desk furniture makeover

XO,
Gabriella

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58. Before and After: DIY Shoe Bows

Every good project needs a good back story…and this one is no different.

There is a pair of shoes from J. Crew that I absolutely adore.  Tell me they aren’t adorable?

I’ve teetered on buying these several times.  Problem #1 – They are $98.  NINETY. EIGHT. DOLLARS.  I’ve actually paid that much for a pair of shoes before, but not for a pair of flats (I wear them out too quickly).  They aren’t even real leather!  The J. Crew Factory website has sales quite often, sometimes when these shoes are already marked down.  Even so, I’ve never seen them for cheaper than $60, and that doesn’t include the cost of shipping.  Problem #2 – Even if I was willing to pay any price for these shoes, my size is back ordered until April.  They are SUPER popular shoes!

If you’ve been reading my blog at all, you obviously already know what I decided to do: make them myself for a fraction of the cost.  Whee!

Without further ado:

DIY Shoe Bows/Clips

Materials:

patent flats in the color of your choice
matching grosgrain ribbon in 5/8″ and 1-1/2″ widths, about a yard of each
shoe clips
hot glue gun and glue sticks
scissors
measuring tape

Directions:

1. Buy a cheap pair of patent flats.  I bought mine from ebay for $20 (with free shipping!), but the exact same pair is also over at ZOOSHOO (affiliate link).  You can save 15% off orders over $50 with the code 15OFF50 through 3/31/14, and they always ship free. 🙂

diy show bows clips tutorial
2. Find matching ribbon.  I ordered mine from Ribbons and Bows Oh My.  I wasn’t sure what color would be closest, so I ordered two different shades.  For these particular shoes, the “oatmeal” color was almost a perfect match.  Sweet!

diy shoe clips bows tutorial
3. Cut two 8″ pieces of 1-1/2″ width ribbon.  Glue the edges to the center as shown.

diy shoe bows clips tutorial
4. Cut two 7″ pieces of 1-1/2″ width ribbon.  Glue the edges to the center as you did for the 8″ pieces.

5. Attach the smaller bows to the larger bows with a thin strip of glue at the center.

6. Cut two 3″ pieces of 5/8″ width ribbon.  Wrap around the center of the bows as shown, securing at the back with glue.

diy shoe bows clips tutorial
7. Cut two 4″ piece of 5/8″ width ribbon and tie a knot in the center of each piece.  Center the knot in the front, and wrap the remaining ribbon around to the back, securing with glue.

diy shoe bows clips tutorial

8.  Attach shoe clips to the back of each bow as shown.  Optional: Cover shoe clip with a small piece of ribbon to further protect shoe (especially if you plan to wear them at all without the bows).  I already had some shoe clips on hand, but they are fairly inexpensive.  I bought mine from Etsy.

diy shoe bows clips tutorial

9. Clip bows onto shoes, put them on your feet, and prance around the house.

diy shoe bows clips tutorial

I seriously love how these turned out!  I love the cost breakdown even more:

Shoes – $20.00
Ribbon – $2.90 + $3.15 shipping and handling
Glue gun and glue – $0.00 (already owned)
Shoe clips – $0.00 (already owned)
TOTAL COST = $26.05 (a savings of over 73%!)

The best part is being able to wear these shoes without the bows, too.  You could get even more wear out of these by pairing them with different colored bows; I’ve been thinking about making another set in gold glitter.  Ooo la la!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

diy shoe bows clips tutorial
XO,
Gabriella

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55. Before and After: Shutter Door Jewelry Storage

Remember the door I showed you on Friday?  I finished its transformation today.  I turned it into a display for my jewelry and heels!

To refresh your memory, this is what I started with:

shutter door
And this is what I have now!

shutter door jewelry storage
I’m super happy with how it turned out, and can we talk about how EASY and INEXPENSIVE it was to make?  Okay, let’s talk about it.

How to make a shutter door into a jewelry organizer!

Materials:

window shutter or shutter door
pliers
paint
crackle medium
wood glue
small clamps
s hooks

Directions:

1.  Wipe down the door with mild cleanser to get rid of any dirt and grime.

2. Using a pair of pliers, remove a few slats from the bottom half of the door.  (You can skip this step if you don’t plan on using this to store any shoes.)   Admire the destruction you have created.

shutter door jewelry storage
3. Here is what the door looked like after I took out three of the slats from the bottom.  You may be able to take out more or less depending on your door.  In order to figure out the spacing in between slats, I just hung a pair of shoes from the top row in order to figure out where to take out the next piece.

shutter door jewelry storage
4. Paint the door to give it an aged look.  Here’s what I used, and the steps of my painting technique:

shutter door jewelry storage

shutter door jewelry storage

1. Raw wood.
2. Streak on brown paint.
3. Layer on tan paint.
4. Add crackle medium + white topcoat.

5.  My door had a hole for a door knob, and I decided to cover it up.  I found these wood accents at Home Depot for a little under $6 for the pair.  If you decide to use these, make sure to paint them to match the door.

shutter door jewelry organizer
6. Once the accents are painted and dry, attach them to the door using wood glue and clamps (or heavy books).  Allow to dry completely.

shutter door jewelry organizer
7. Prop your door up against the wall of your choice.  It’s now time to add all your trinkets and pretty shoes!

8. To hang necklackes, bracelets, etc., add s hooks to the slats on the top half of the door.  Add necklaces to your heart’s content.

shutter door jewelry storage
9.  Hang your shoes.

shutter door jewelry storage
And there you have it!  You made your very own storage unit for loads of pretty jewelry and shoes.

shutte door jewelry storage

I can imagine this project being used in so many different ways.  You could:

– make a bunch and line them along an entire wall…imagine all the shoes and jewelry you could own! 😉
– create a pot rack for the kitchen
– use as a towel rack in the bathroom
– hang family photos with clothes pins

It’s such an inexpensive way to create more storage, I’m considering making another one.

Here’s the cost breakdown:

shutter door – $8.45 at ReStore
wood accents and s hooks – $12.53 @ Home Depot
paint and crackle medium – already owned

Total cost = $20.98

shutter door jewelry storage
What would you use this for?  I’d love to hear your ideas!

XO,
Gabriella

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49. Made From Scratch: DIY Rustic Dining Table (UPDATED!)

Remember our DIY dining table?  I showed it to you in August of last year.  I’ve realized that the instructions I gave could use some improvement…especially after I realized our table was sagging a bit on one side.  The good news is that I fixed it with my AWESOME new drill, and you reap the benefits by getting an improved building plan.

DIY Rustic Dining Table

Materials:

2 – 2x10x12 boards (make sure these babies are STRAIGHT! no warping allowed)
2- 1x4x8 board
4 hairpin legs, standard height (28″)
1-5/8″ wood screws
circular saw (if you plan on doing your own cutting…but most hardware stores will do the cutting for you!)
drill
screwdriver
sander
sawhorse legs (or a long workbench if you have one!)
large clamps
medium and fine grit sandpaper
wood glue
wood filler
several old rags/t-shirts
prestain
stain and/or Danish oil
wood sealant (we used wax paste, but you can also use polyurethane)

Directions:

1.  Cut the 2x10x12 boards exactly in half; this will give you four boards that are each 72″ (6 ft) long.  Take some time laying the boards out to figure out which boards should go next to each other, and also decide which side of the board will face up for the top of the table.  Some of the wood may have small stamp marks, but don’t worry too much about trying to hide these…those marks will come off with the great deal of sanding you’ll be doing later!

diy rustic dining table

2.  Flip all of the boards over LENGTHWISE to ensure that the boards will remain in the correct order.  At this point, you will want to transfer the boards to the sawhorse foundation, or to a workbench if you have a large enough space.  Run a strip of wood glue down each edge of the boards (where they will be touching in the finished project).  Secure the boards together with clamps.

diy rustic dining table instructions

3.  While the glue is drying, cut the 1x4x8 boards into 6 pieces, each 32″ long (you’ll only use 5 of the pieces).  Apply wood glue to one side of each board, and position the boards across the existing boards: one at the center, one at each end, about 3″ from the edge of the table, and space the last two boards evenly between the end and middle boards.  Predrill holes for the screws across the board, spacing the holes about 3-4″ apart.  MAKE SURE TO PREDRILL THE HOLES!  If you don’t, your wood may split later on, and all your work will be for naught!  Secure these supports to the table top using 1-5/8″ wood screws.

diy rustic dining table instructions

4.  Allow the wood glue to dry completely.  After the glue has dried, flip the table top over.  Using your fingers and some wood filler, fill the gaps between the boards (this process is pretty similar to caulking a tub).  Don’t forget about the ends of the table, too!  You should also fill in any splitting knots; they might look cool, but they can split further and ruin your handiwork.

5.  After the wood filler is set and dry (which shouldn’t take too long), it’s time for the “fun” part…the sanding!  This is honestly the part of the construction that takes the most time, and rightly so.  You want the finished project to be smooth and splinter free!  We did two rounds of sanding: one with medium grit sandpaper, and one with fine grit sand paper.  We also used two different types of sanders.  A belt sander is great for smoothing out the length of the boards, while an orbital sander works like a boss to finish off the edges.  If you are looking for a more rustic finish, make sure to pay extra attention to the edges and corners of the table; really round those babies off to give the appearance of age.

diy rustic dining table instructions

6. When you’ve finished the exhausting amount of sanding required to get a nice, smooth surface, wipe off all that dust with some old rags.

7.  Apply a coat of pre-stain using a clean rag.  The pre-stain is optional, but it really helps with an even coat of stain and prevents blotches.  Allow to set for about five minutes, and wipe off excess stain with another clean rag.

8.  Now it’s time to add the finish of your choice!  To get our desired color (a dark brown with gray undertones), we used two different types of finish.  We did two coats of Minwax Wood Finish in “Classic Gray” followed by two coats of Watco Danish Oil in “Dark Walnut”.  Make sure to follow the directions on the container and allow each coat to dry for the suggested amount of time before wiping off the excess and applying the next coat.  We used rags to apply/wipe off both products; I think rags lend themselves to a better application and more coverage than a paintbrush.

Here is what the table looked like after both stains had been applied and allowed to set overnight:

diy rustic dining table instructions

9. After the stain has dried completely, flip the table top over and attach the legs.  I ordered legs from hairpinlegs.com.  They are 28″ standard height 3-rod hairpin legs in raw steel (they are listed in the “Sale Items” section for $20 a piece).

IMPORTANT: Raw steel will rust, even indoors!  I had to learn this the hard way…I’m passing on my knowledge to you so the same does not occur.  In order to prevent rusting, just cover your legs with a few coats of matte acrylic spray.

diy rustic dining table instructions

10.  Finally, it’s time to add the protective topcoat.  I really loathe “shiny” wood, so we opted for a wax finish.  It will have to be reapplied every year, but it has a more natural finish and still protects the table from water stains.  Make sure to follow that manufacturer’s instructions for whatever topcoat you choose, but with wax, you just rub on/off with cheesecloth and buff it out.

Voilà, you have your very own rustic dining table…and you made it all by yourself!

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I was incredibly apprehensive about starting this project, mostly due to the fact that neither my husband or I had ever built anything!  This project ended up being a lot easier than I thought, especially since Home Depot did all the cutting for us.  If we can build it, you can, too!  The best part: this table only cost us about $150 to build (including the cost of all materials).

diy rustic dining table instructions

If you do decide to build a table using our plans, please share them!  I’d love to see how it turns out. 🙂

XO,
Gabriella

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