Archives For DIY

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the word ‘sofa’? I also hate the words ‘swag’ and ‘sneakers’ in case you are wondering (Apparently, I hate words that start with an ‘s’).

Anyway, the point is there are tables which go behind couches and they are often called ‘sofa tables’, but since I just can’t call them that, I’m going with ‘behind-the-couch table.’ Just go with it.

My living room is long and skinny which makes arranging it interesting. I’ve found that a table behind the couch not only “shortens” the distance between the couch and the rest of the room, but it also gives me a place to display cool stuff. The one I found I wanted was from IKEA and it cost $170 (It is now discontinued). So since I couldn’t afford it at the time I created my very own behind-the-couch table!

I used empty tubs and boxes to create the “table” and then covered it in fabric.

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It was like this for almost a year before I gave it a makeover by adding another layer of tub lids to make it sturdier. I also changed the fabric to a clean white sheet.
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This version lasted another one and a half years. It was always on my to-do list to build or buy something more permanent, but the temporary version worked so nicely it wasn’t a major priority.

But the temp solution definitely wasn’t flawless. Of course, it all comes back to Bob. As you know, Bob sucks. He regularly sits on this “table” meaning it was starting to buckle under his weight. Last week, when he got particularly riled up about a cat/squirrel/mail person he knocked over one of my plants. Thankfully he didn’t break the planter but it looked like this:

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If this were a solid surface I could easily wipe off the dirt, but since it’s a sheet it requires removing all of the things, washing the sheet, and then putting back all of the things. And I’m super lazy. I’m so lazy that I would rather build a table than just wash the sheet. I guess maybe that doesn’t make me lazy, just weird.

So I just did it. I followed a few tutorials (this one and this one). Here is what I bought to make a 75″ long behind-the-couch table to fit behind an IKEA Karlstad couch:

2 – 23″ tall 12″ x 2″ boards

1- 75″ long 12″ x 2″ board

4 – corner braces, size 4″

1 – 15 quantity box of 1.5″ wood screws

4 – 3″ wood screws (I had these on hand)

Honestly the most difficult part of this whole thing was buying and having the lumber cut. It was stressful because I’ve never done it before. Also, loading and unloading the lumber to and from my car and then into my house was a little sweaty.

I connected the “legs” to the main board by using the corner braces. I pre-drilled the holes which made it really simple and fast.

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When I stood the table up (quite a bit more difficult than you would think) it was a bit wobbly. I decided I’d rather lose the smooth top surface for sturdiness, so I drilled four (two on each side) 3″ screws to further stabilize it. Since this step was unplanned, I just used what I had on hand. I was lucky enough to find 4 – 3″ screws but they unfortunately didn’t have a flat profile. Ah well, it wasn’t worth a trip to the store so I have no regrets.

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Next came my least favorite part, painting. I can’t seem to go a weekend without painting something. If I believed in purgatory, I’d venture to say it involved an endless painting project.

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As you can see, I’m so lazy, I didn’t even bother to paint the underside. Future Jasmin may be annoyed at this decision, but present Jasmin is very pleased with the choice.

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I am not the best at being patient so I should have sanded more, should have put on a second coat of primer, should have bought a clear sealer, should have should have should have blah blah blah. You should do all of those things. Do as I say, not as I do.

I tried my hardest to wait a full 48 hours so it would cure, but I only made it about 30 hours. Again, do as I say, not as I do. Seriously.

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A power strip and router are hiding under the table.

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Not bad if I do say so myself!! And the best part is it only cost me $41 and one afternoon. If you are nervous about building a simple piece of furniture like this here’s my public endorsement: You can do it!*

*As long as you have a power drill and a vehicle big enough to transport the wood. Oh, and $41.

Guys, I’m not as crafty as I like to think I am. I’ve admitted this before but here I am attempting crafts again. I’m either stubborn or stupid (who am I kidding, of course I’m stubborn!). Last year my Mom made a craft request for a Christmas gift and apparently she liked the decorative ‘S’ I made her enough to request another craft this year. This years challenge? A burlap bubble wreath. Yeah, I had no idea what that was either. But after she showed me her inspiration images (here, here, here, and here) I figured it was doable. I had trouble finding a tutorial, but then came across this one which I used for the materials list and not much else. I seem to be on a crafting trend where I look up lots of inspiration pictures, read several tutorials, and then disregard everyone’s advice and do whatever I want. This may be why I never like any of the crafts I do…

But I think this wreath turned out alright.

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial

For this project I bought:

a 24″ wire wreath frame (I lost my receipt but I think it was $10-$12)

2 rolls of 6 inch wide 30 ft long burlap ($6.99 each)

a roll of thin wire ($1.99) – I only used about 12″ of this so don’t buy a whole roll, just borrow some from a friend

hot glue gun and sticks – I used my mini low temp hot glue gun

wood cut outs (lost my receipt but I think all three were less than $10)

2 little bottles of paint ($1.99 each) – I didn’t use much but I was out of black and white so I had to buy these new

All in all after coupons I spent just under $40 to make this wreath.

If I were making this wreath for myself I would have been able to make it much faster but since I was making it for my Mom and I was unsure of exactly what she wanted… I questioned a lot of my choices. I could have made this in an hour, but it took about 2 hours spread out over two days.

The reason this is only ‘sort of’ a tutorial is because it’s really easy, but very hard to explain. So here is my best attempt to explain something simple yet hard to put into words.

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial The wire wreath frame I used was sort of curved, which you may be able to see from the picture above. Also, the burlap came in a roll so it was curved as well. I tried to work within those curves to make my job easier. So basically I just stick loops of the burlap up through the back of the wreath frame, I also twisted and turned about every other one I looped through to give it a more layered look. Like I said, it was very simple to do but hard to explain.

Side note: burlap smells awful! I mean, seriously awful! I’ve never used burlap before so I was surprised by that. Thankfully the smell faded over time, or at least I got used to it.

Here is the back of the wreath after I was finished:

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial I did not use any glue or wire in this process. This is just the burlap and wire frame.

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial I actually like it plain like this, but the inspiration images my Mom sent me all had stuff on them like fake flowers, initials, and bows. I wanted to get a large ‘S’ for our last name but I couldn’t find what I wanted to so I grabbed a fleur-de-lis and a small ‘J’ and ‘S’ (everyone in my family has a ‘J’ first name). I also couldn’t find a cool looking ribbon so I made my own.

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial You can probably follow my process in the last few pictures but basically all I did was lay out a strip of the burlap, painted it white, freehand painted black chevrons, and let it dry. It has the imperfect, rustic look that a lot of her inspiration images had. When it dried I cut it in half and started playing around with it (the burlap is 6″ wide so after it was cut it was about 3″ wide).

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial This is the part where I have no idea what I’m doing haha. Then I got a little crazy and cut my ‘ribbon’ into strips…

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial The “bow” under the fleur-de-lis I attached with a little glue from the hot glue gun and I also stitched it with the thin wire I bought. The fleur-de-lis is glued on.

Little House Design: Burlap Bubble Wreath Tutorial The strips that I stick around the bottom right are just stuck in through the wire frame. The ‘J’ and ‘S’ are glued on.

And that is how I made a huge burlap wreath for $40!

 

Nesting Dolls Art

December 5, 2013 — 1 Comment

When I was in high school my Dad went to the Ukraine and brought me back two sets of nesting dolls. I still love them to this day. Maybe you’ve noticed them?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art So cute right? I managed to keep them alive and well for like 12 years and then came Bob. I shouldn’t be surprised by now, I mean in the two years that I’ve had Bob he’s eaten $300 eye glasses, caused $500 worth of damage to my laptop, and then there there is the priceless damage to my sanity. My nesting dolls probably didn’t cost much but I really like them, so when I came home the three mini ones chewed up on the floor I was upset.

Have I mentioned Bob sucks? That dog is going to be the end of me.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art But dang it if he isn’t super cute.

Anyway, the three mini-dolls were on my campaign dresser in that spot for like six months and then one day, just one day, he decides to eat them. Trust me, he got an earful (but no physical damage, I swear).

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art *tear*

*sigh*

Moving on…

So I decided to make destruction into art because sometimes art is the only answer.

My original idea was to create a sort of mosaic with all the broken pieces, but like most art projects I changed my mind midway through.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art I bought a shadow box picture frame on sale at Michael’s for $5.99. The background was black so I covered it in a scrap piece of white fabric I had. My plan was to then glue all the pieces of the broken nesting dolls onto the fabric but then I noticed that amid the destruction, four nesting dolls had survived (mostly) unscathed. Then I found a second unexpected thing.

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Inside of each of each nesting doll there was a tiny piece of paper, two of which survived the Bob mauling. I’m completely aware that these are the tags that come with some products that say “made in China” or “inspected by Veronica”, but come on, they have a cool design! they are in a foreign language! written in pretty script! And let’s be honest, they had me at tiny paper.

And then I called it a day. I kept all the little pieces and maybe some day I will do my original idea, but I like that I was able to save and display some of the original dolls. Bonus: Bob cannot get to them!

So where did I hang it up?

Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art Little House Design: DIY nesting dolls art The bathroom, naturally.

 

 

 

I’ve always been enchanted by flocked Christmas trees (although, I didn’t know they were called ‘flocked’ until more recently). Artificial trees are expensive enough but the ones that have fake snow on them are even more expensive. And since I was gifted a perfectly fine pre-lit tree last year I decided to try my hand at flocking my tree on my own.

Little House Design: How to flock a pre-lit Christmas Tree

I googled and found that there are several different ways to flock a tree, but I landed on this tutorial as the easiest and most cost effective.

Little House Design: How to flock a pre-lit Christmas Tree

I mixed all of these ingredients in my mixer for about five minutes until it was all whipped up like icing.

Little House Design: How to flock a pre-lit Christmas Tree

If you are wondering if I started to doubt myself when I put GLUE into my very expensive (albeit 12 year old) Kitchen Aid mixer the answer is YES. But, like so many weird projects I’ve done before (most notably when I bathed my sheepskin rug) I pressed on. Did I feel ridiculous putting glue and shaving cream all over the fake tree that will be in living room for the next four weeks? The answer is in the question.

As for the the application, being the resourceful lady that I am I just stuck my hand in a plastic baggie and started wiping that crap all over my tree. And despite how ridiculous it felt to do it, the results aren’t bad!

Before:

Little House Design: How to flock a pre-lit Christmas Tree

After:

Little House Design: How to flock a pre-lit Christmas Tree

Little House Design: How to flock a pre-lit Christmas Tree

Little House Design: How to flock a pre-lit Christmas Tree It does have the tiniest bit of a blue tinge (most noticeable in the last picture) but in person it isn’t too bad. Plus, I have no ornaments or anything on it to draw attention away from it. I really like it! I think if I were more ambitious I would do another half-batch and add more to make it that much more snowy, but that’s probably not going to happen.

It dried hard but not like rock solid or anything, it definitely flakes off. So there is the possibility that it will all come off by the end of the season but I kind of doubt that will happen. It’s definitely less messy than just throwing fake snow all over the tree!

It was a super easy and fast project that cost me less than $10 so I highly recommend attempting the DIY version before buying a $150 Christmas tree. Also, it only took me like an hour tops so that was a bonus.

Disclaimer: This is a pre-lit tree and I globbed glue and shaving cream all over those lights and their wires and I have no idea if that is a safe or responsible thing to do. If you are worried about doing it I would ask someone smart and/or an electrician first. I had the lights on all day today and there was no fire! I also touched the lights several times and they don’t seem to generate hardly any heat so the glue/shaving cream mixture wasn’t melting or anything. 

I apologize for the light programing last week. I got food poisoning which morphed itself into a miserable cold, but I’m finally on the mend!

I bought my Buddha lamp at a vintage outdoor market over a year ago. In the time since, it’s moved around a bit but mostly it’s been on my nightstand. I really like the lamp but I like it even more for being only $10! When I bought it I had plans for painting it and changing the shade but you know, time passes and things don’t get done. Until this weekend that is!

Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint I decided to spray it gold! It’s bold and crazy, but I think I really like it.

One of the main reasons this makeover got delayed is because I have been looking for the right lampshade for a year. Here’s something that I didn’t learn in Kindergarten: Lampshades are stupid expensive. I mean seriously, it is nearly impossible to find a white drum shaped lampshade for under $20. You can find used lampshades for pretty cheap but they are all horribly shaped like the ‘before’ version of this lamp. I wanted a simple straight up and down circular white lampshade without pleats for under $15, is that too much to ask for?? Apparently, yes, it is.

Finally I caved and bought one for $25 and it hurt. I also bought a $4 can of gold spray paint.

Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint All in all the makeover cost $29 plus the original $10 lamp which makes it a $39 lamp. Still a great price for a lamp, but more than I wanted to pay for it, sigh.

Little House Design: Lamp makeover with gold spray paint My only reservation about my new gold lamp is that it is just so… so gold. That was my intention obviously, but it’s pretty shiny even for me. I think what it is missing is the dimension it had before. Maybe at some point I’ll go over it with black paint and add dimension in the shadowed areas. Check back in a year to see if I’ve gotten around to that, ha!

 

Guys, my latest obsession is paint by number.

Trend Spotting-

Okay, so technically paint-by-number was invented in the 1950s but for some reason it has always seemed so ’80s to me. BUT, all things come back into style at some point and it’s time for a paint-by-number revival!

I was at this antiques shop in the middle of nowhere a few weeks ago and I swooned over all of the paint by numbers they had. They were overpriced though (and let’s be honest, I don’t need anymore art) so I didn’t go for one of them. But I’m definitely going to keep my eyes open for either a kit to make my own or a cheap vintage one.

What do you think? Are into the trend?

 

Guys Ladies People, I love buying souvenirs. I know it’s lame and expensive, but I just can’t help myself. I love to travel and buying little things helps me remember all my fun trips. This past summer some friends and I went to Seattle to visit a friend of ours and it was such a great trip! Seattle is a very cool city. I’ve always wanted to visit the city and it finally happened. We also got lucky because the weather was super beautiful. We did some shopping but I never found anything that I liked enough to buy. Until I got to this bar and I saw their coasters. I know, weird. But they were those throwaway cardboard kind so I took two home with me. I didn’t really have a plan for them so they sat in a pile of random crap for the past five months. Then I unofficially decided to start updating my gallery walls and I put two and two together.

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All I did was tape two coasters to a piece of card stock so nothing super creative, but I actually really like it. This is exactly what I am looking to do with my gallery walls, update from the filler stuff (formally this frame housed a free printable I downloaded online and printed on crappy printer paper) and move toward gallery walls that reflect where I am in my life right now.

It’s the best when projects turn out great and it’s the extra best when said project is free!

Photographs of my Bathroom

November 6, 2013 — 1 Comment

This is my bathroom as of September 2013, enjoy!

Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates Little House Design: Bathroom with hex tile and hanging crates

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

This is my dining room as of September 2013, enjoy!

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall My Little House: Dark teal dining room with postcard wall

All photographs are courtesy of Ashley a. Photography, thanks Ashley!

Decoupage Pumpkins

November 1, 2013 — Leave a comment

Halloween is over so I suppose this post is a little tardy but oh well, pumpkins can work for Thanksgiving too right? Just say yes.

I went to a pumpkin decorating party the other day and it was adorably fun. We decoupaged strips of scrapbook paper onto pumpkins. It was just as easy as it sounds, although much messier. While we were adding the paper to the pumpkins my friend (who has known me since I was five) said, “Whenever I hear the word decoupage I think of you.” It’s true folks, as a kid I was obsessed with decoupage. I would decoupage anything I could get my fingers-covered-with-dry-glue on. Picture frames, trinket boxes, binders, if you can name it I glued weird crap to it. While I’ve never decoupaged a pumpkin, the smell of glue brought back all the fun, strange memories.

IMG_0001 IMG_0006 IMG_0007 IMG_3693 *excuse the iPhone pics

This year I just didn’t get around to decorating for Halloween/fall. So it’s nice to have a few little pumpkins around to celebrate the season.

Maybe next year I’ll do a fall craft before fall is nearly over… or maybe not!