Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Today I thought I'd share a simple sewing project I completed to store baby wipes. We buy our wipes in bulk at Costco and although they are cheap and packaged in a very practical way, they are not exactly pretty. So in order to keep my wipes in close proximity to the changing pad without having to toss them in a drawer or compromise the aesthetics of the room, I whipped up a little wipe holder. Want instructions? let me know and I'll email an easy to follow PDF your way!
Monday, March 29, 2010
It has been sitting in my craft room just waiting to be used. When I was trying to think of ways to use the fabric I had left over from Baby Girl's curtains, it immediately came to mind. It will be a great place to pin her hospital bracelet, hat, and other little mementos from babyhood, and it was super easy to customize it with my fabric.
First I unscrewed the tiny little screws that attached the back to the frame. Then I took out the insert that I wanted to cover with my fabric. I cut my fabric to be about 2 inches bigger on all four sides, lay it face down on a table and wrapped the insert. I used double sided tape to hold things in place. Next I simply popped it back in the frame and screwed on the back. It will only be a matter of weeks before I am filling it with little mementos.
Friday, March 26, 2010
To avoid filling up boxes with Baby Girl's keepsakes I created a memo board and a shadow box for her nursery. I think you will agree that not only are they practically, but they are also pretty.
First the Memo Board. I had a tray similar to the one pictured below(sorry for not taking my own before photo) that was stained, a little rusty, and scratched. My grandmother gave it to me when I was in college and I rediscovered it when we moved. After confirming that magnets would in fact stick to it, I lightly sanded it then sprayed it with primer. Next I painted it with the same pink that I used on the nursery walls (Benjamin Moore Pink Peony). To tie it into the decor even more I free handed a pattern from the curtain fabric in white paint. Lastly, I sprayed the the tray with a clear mat finish sealer.
I made magnets out of little wooden discs (available at any craft store)and antique buttons. To avoid having to cut the loops off some of the buttons I drilled holes in the discs so that the buttons lay flat when hot glued.
I hung it on BG's closet door because it really needed some visual interest. I hate all of the doors in our house - they are all hollow core with ugly knobs). Unfortunately, replacing them is not in the budget at this time. I used 3M Command Picture Hanging Strips to attach the memo board to the door.
Next up the shadow box...
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
I was very lucky to have inherited two antique (circa 1940s) bassinets. I gave the one in the best condition to my sister. I used it when Elliot was a baby, and had lined it with fabric that coordinated with Elliot's nursery. The other bassinet, although very sturdy was not in great shape. To prepare it for baby I cleaned it with a stiff brush to remove any paint chips, then spray painted it white. After letting it dry for a few days I lined it with white chenille fabric accented by pink and white polka dotted ribbon. I used extra fabric from Elliot's curtains to cover the handles. Lastly, I bought a new bassinet pad that I dressed up with a white and green polka dotted sheet.
I love the way it turned out. Although BG will probably sleep in the pack in play bassinet at night during those first few weeks, I plan to use this bassinet during the day because it will be easy to move around the house with me. Once BG outgrows the bassinet I'll use it to store pretty receiving blankets and special toys.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
First, the hubby and I replaced a clunky ceiling fan installed by the previous owners with an antique chandelier that I bought on eBay for a steal a few years ago. It hung in the foyer in our house in Richmond, but unfortunately the foyer in our new home is very short and there isn't enough space to keep the chandelier from getting hit by the front door. Not only does it add a little sparkle to the nursery but it creates a nice bright light that is perfect for playtime. I am considering adding these candlestick covers to add a touch of whimsy but I am torn between the pink dots and the green dots - what do you think? To make the chandelier even more versatile I plan to ask the hubby to install a dimmer switch.
I also brought a small table lamp into the room. I love the modern shape of this little gourd lamp and the color. It lived in our guest room in our last home, but seemed better suited to the nursery in our new home. When Baby Girl transitions to a big girl bed it will become her bedside lamp.
I would still like to add a nightlight to the room, but I haven't found one that I love. I also really like the idea of flanking either side of the crib with sconces like these from pottery barn, except with less boxy shades, but I think that would be a little much for my little nursery.
Monday, March 15, 2010
I hung them a little higher than I normally would to "add" some height to the room. Working with wood hardware was a little tricky because the rods had to be cut to size. This meant I had to make perfect measurements, as there would be no opportunity for adjustment once the curtains were hung. I must admit there are a few tiny holes that need to be patched as a result of my poor measuring.
Stay tuned, next I'll be turning my attention to lighting the room.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
For Baby Girl’s room I have chosen to make simple straight curtains (no pleats or pinches) that will hang from rods by curtain rings.
Step 1: Cut Fabric. I cut the curtain fabric and the liner to the predetermined length, 65 inches. Although I love drapes that hang to the floor, both windows in the nursery have radiators under them so I made shorter curtains that will not interfere with the distribution of heat into the room. BTW, the saying "measure twice cut once" doesn't just apply to carpentry.
Step 2: Hem the side of the curtain fabric that will hang the closest to the floor. I did not double up my hem since it will not be seen and the fabric that I selected doesn’t fray easily.
Step 3: Find a big space on the floor where you can lay the fabric flat. Lay the liner with the side that you want to face the window face up. Lay the curtain fabric on top of the liner face down. Line up the tops of both fabrics. Position the fabric so that it extends over the liner by 1.5 – 2 inches on either side. You will likely have to cut the liner on one side.
Step 4: Make sure fabric is smooth and lined up. Use straight pins to secure the two pieces together at the op of the curtain. Sew the two pieces together on the sewing machine. I gave myself a ½ inch seam allowance.
Step 5: Flip and smooth the seam so that right side of fabric is down. The liner cannot be ironed so you’ll have to smooth and flatten the seam by hand. As I smoothed it, I secured the seam with pins to ensure that it lay flat.
Step 6: Cut the bottom of the liner so that it is approximately 1” shorter than the fabric. You do not need to hem the liner.
Step 6: Fold fabric over liner (double fold) and secure with pins on both sides. Once both side have been pinned iron the pinned fabric.
Step 7: Time to break out the needle and thread. You could do this on a machine, but I think hand sewing the sides of the lining looks more professional. I used a wide whip stitch, but you could also use a slip stitch; click here to see how to videos for both. When you are done hand stitching run the iron over your work one more time.
Step 8: Return to the sewing machine and sew a straight stitch, 2 to 3 inches from the top if your curtain (across the top of the curtain). This will ensure that the curtain doesn’t pull or hang funny when you insert the drapery ring hooks into the liner. If you were not lining your curtains you would use drapery header tape to serve the same purpose.
Step 9: Lay the curtain on the floor, fabric side down and secure hooks by simply pinning them through the liner. Once pins are secure attach curtain rings.
Your curtains are now ready to hang!
So that wasn’t too bad was it? As soon as the rest of my hardware arrives I’ll post some curtain hanging tips and photos of the curtains in the room.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
WARNING: This post contains no pictures just practical info and resources.
Baby girl’s room is the only one in the house that does not have blinds on the windows. A dark room is essential for a baby so addressing the windows in this nursery is a priority. My husband and I talked about installing blackout roller shades (not exactly pretty) or blinds similar to the ones in other rooms ($$$). Since we knew that we would also hang curtains in the room, I decided to make curtains lined with blackout fabric and forgo the blinds to save a little money and keep the windows from feeling too fussy.
If you would like to tackle making and installing your own curtains you’ll need the following:
- Sewing machine – nothing fancy needed
- Cotton thread and straight pins
- Fabric, the yardage is really dependent upon the length of the curtains. To calculate yardage measure the area that you would like the curtains to cover (top to bottom) and add 4 inches for seam allowance to each panel. You’ll most likely need two panels per window so multiply the length per panel by the number of windows, then multiply that number by 2. If your fabric has a pattern add 1 to 2 yards to your total. This is very important because you’ll want to cut each panel at the same point on the pattern, otherwise the patterns won’t line up when the curtains hang side by side. The fabric I used was $9 per yard.
- Blackout drapery fabric. I purchased this fabric from Fabric.com for $4.98 a yard. This time I added an extra ½ yard to my total yardage just in case.
- Harware. I really wanted white wood hardware, which is a bit pricer than metal, for this project and I found great deals through Capital City Lumber. Regardless of whether you use wood or metal you will need the following:
- Drapery Rings ($7.67 for a pack of 7 - 7 per panel is standard)
- Drapery Rods ($14.15 per 4' rod and $32.88 per 8' rod.)
- Rod Brackets ($11.67 for a pack of 2)
- Finials ($9.68 for a pack of 2)
- Drapery hooks – to attach rings to curtains ($1.49 for a pack of 14)
Total cost for supplies (excluding sewing machine, thread and straight pins which I had on hand) = $292. This may sound like a lot, but it averages out to $73 per curtain panel – including hardware. You could easily spend $140 per panel on custom curtains and $200 on similar hardware.
Tomorrow, Curtains 102: Cutting, Pinning, and Sewing.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
When designing a room, the first thing I like to do is think about the pieces that I already own that I would like to use in the room. In this instance I was working with a crib, 2 dressers (the larger of the two is a Goodwill find that had been in our guest room and the other was mine from childhood), and a blue rug. I purchased the rug from Pottery Barn Kids when Elliot was born. At the time, I wasn’t thinking that we would move and that I would completely redecorate his room before he turned two. The rug is very nice and wasn’t cheap so using it in the room was a must.
The furniture was easy to deal with. I painted the two dressers a fresh coat of semi gloss white and simply wiped down the crib (it was pretty dusty after sitting in storage for 5 months). With all of the furniture “matching” I set out to find fabric for the curtains and crib bedding that would complement the rug and give the room a girly feel. After MUCH searching I found both.
This time around I decided to purchase bedding. I made Elliot’s and although I love that it was custom, it was a very time consuming process. I settled on Pottery Barn’s Coco Dot bedding. With the bedding being somewhat simple, I decided to have some fun with the curtain fabric and selected a print called DF66Ivory from the Leanika collection by Dena Designs. I love the hand drawn feel of the pattern and that it complements the blues of both the bedding and the rug.
With fabric in hand it was time to choose a paint color for the walls. I find that it is much easier to select a paint color based on fabric vs. a fabric based on paint color. Now for the shocker – I immediately gravitated to the pinks! I found what I think is the perfect shade, Benjamin Moore’s Pink Peony. It is a couple of shades lighter than the pink it the curtain fabric so it doesn’t overwhelm the room.
So there you have it. The key elements of the room have been selected, however the work is far from over. Next I’ll be turning my attention to sewing and hanging curtains, selecting lighting, dressing up the walls, organizing, and accessorizing.