DIY Duvet

Well, my energy cooperated with me today, and I was itching for a project to do…plus, keeping busy makes the time go by faster until the baby decides to arrive!

Our lack of guest room bedding has been bothersome as of late…I have been looking high and low for an inexpensive duvet or quilt to put on the bed, but to no avail.  We still have more work to do in the room–new paint color, chandelier prints to hang, and a new bed skirt needed…but I figured sprucing up the bed was a good start.

I had seen a sheet set at Kohls that was out of my price range, and just sheets.  But today I searched for DIY comforters/duvets on Pinterest and it led me to an easy tutorial using two flat sheets on Martha Stewart’s website.  So I decided to give it a try!

I went back to Kohls, and the queen sheet set was on sale.  And with using an additional 15% off coupon, a gift card, and merchandise credit….my grand total came to $2.02.  For sheets that started at $90.00!

I liked the funky black and white geometric print of the sheets, and thought it would look good in the guest room.  I am hoping to achieve an art deco/graphic/masculine-meets feminine look. Sounds like a lot going on, doesn’t it?  But I have a vision in my head and hopefully it will translate to real life when all is said and done!

For the underside of the duvet, I used a white sheet from Pottery Barn that we had on hand.  I pinned the sheets right side together, and stitched the two long sides together using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.

For the bottom of the duvet, I pinned the edges together, leaving a 3 foot gap to put the comforter inside.  The white sheet was slightly longer than the printed one, so it left a longer hem after sewing.  This was fine because the actual comforter was a little bit shorter than the sheets themselves, and I didn’t want it swimming in there!

Once these edges (minus the gap) were sewn together, I turned the duvet right-side out.

For the top edge of the duvet, I stitched along the outside, right underneath the top seam of both sheets. (Pictured here is the other side of the duvet, not the black and white side, obviously!)

To close the 3-foot gap once the comforter is inside, I used fusable Velcro strips–new sewing required, just an iron!

I evenly spaced the Velcro and followed the instructions in the package for ironing them on…it was very simple.

Pictured above is after I ironed on the fuzzy side of the Velcro. I stuck the loops side directly to the fuzzy side so I could make sure they were lined up before I ironed them on.

I placed both sides of the gap together, then ironed on the Velcro strips.

This is probably obvious to most, but just keep that iron moving so it doesn’t scorch the fabric, and make sure to give the Velcro ample time to cool before you start pulling open the gap to insert the comforter.

So….$2.02 for the sheets, and $1.50 for the Velcro (I used a 50% off coupon at Michaels) helped me create this cute duvet for a whopping $3.50!

Here are some close-ups of the pattern, and both sides of the duvet:

For a sewing novice like myself, I am proud of my handiwork and the finished result! Now our guests will have a warm and cozy place to sleep. : )


Home Sketch

I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas!  It went by too fast, didn’t it?  We stayed local this year, not being able to travel much in anticipation of BB!  By the way, we are still waiting….this time after Christmas has been great to get cleaning, organizing, and errands done before he/she arrives.  So I am thankful for that, but growing impatient just because we want to meet him or her already!

Not many projects to report as of late, but I did do this chalk sketch of my mother-in-law’s childhood home in Columbus, Ohio. I gave it to her as a Christmas gift.

This is a photograph of their house:

And the drawing I created:

I was happy with the result, and it was really fun to re-create in chalk form. : )

That’s really all for now…I’d love to do a project within the next few days; we’ll see if my energy cooperates!

Have a wonderful week!

Christmas Treats & More Nursery

Hello all!  Only a week left until Christmas, and life has been very busy for me as I’m sure it has been for everyone else.  I am very much looking forward to my last week of teaching before Christmas break and being able to take time off with BB!  And most of all, we are so very excited to welcome our little boy or girl into the world.  We could not be happier to be parents and I just can’t wait to hold him or her in my arms. although the thought of it is very surreal and hard to wrap my head around at this point!

I had a casual crafting afternoon with my sister and two girlfriends today…I had gifts for parents volunteers that I wanted to get together.  I made two batches of cracker candy (this goes by many different names, and I am sure most of you have either tried it or made it yourself, but here is the recipe just in case you have yet to experience this delicious and super-easy treat!) :

Cracker Candy:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place one layer of saltine crackers on top of foil.

Heat one stick of butter and 1 cup of sugar (you can use brown or white–I used a half cup of each) in a saucepan until melted together.

Pour heated mixture over top of saltine crackers.

Put baking sheet in oven for 5 minutes.  Crackers should come out golden and bubbly.

Pour one bag of milk chocolate or semisweet chips over top of saltines and let sit for 5 minutes.  Spread melted chips evenly over crackers using a spatula.

Top crackers with sliced almonds or pecans (I used crushed pecans sent from Fla from my Grandmother).  I’ve also seen this done with crushed peppermints for a festive holiday touch.

I placed the sheet in the freezer for a while to make sure everything solidified and hardened, and then you can break it up into irregular pieces.

I bagged the cracker candy and tied a personalized ornament onto each baggie.  I bought matte green balls at Hobby Lobby and wrote each parent’s last initial using a gold Sharpie paint pen, as well as our school’s initials and the year on the back.

For my two room mothers, I made these poinsettia vases:

I discovered the idea on Pinterest, and thought they’d make a cute Christmas centerpiece.

I used empty coffee cans and spraypainted them gold.

I wrapped each can in double-sided tape, and then placed a rubber band around each can.

I then slid the candy canes behind the rubber band, lining the around the circumference of the can.  The double sided tape kept the candy canes from sliding.  (Tip: some of the candy canes had excess plastic wrapping around both ends…I trimmed these off with scissors.)

I have to give my husband credit, I did not purchase enough candy canes at first and he had to go to 5 different stores to find more.  Everywhere seems to be completely sold out of white Christmas lights and now red and white-striped candy canes!

I tied a bow around each can with red tulle.  I wrapped the tulle around a few times to make for a more opaque band and to cover up the rubber band.

He also purchased mini poinsettias at Watson’s, which is a big garden store near us.  I took them out of their plastic containers and “planted” them in the cans.

On another note, I have installed the beautiful bumper pads my mom made, and our glider arrived!

The bumper pads are a wonderful finishing touch…all that’s missing is a little baby in there!

The glider was ordered from a great company called Posh Tots …I heard about them from my friend Alison who ordered one for her daughter’s nursery.  The Valentino glider comes in many different fabric options…we chose this nice neutral ivory with a tone-on-tone print.  I love that it looks like a real upholstered chair and could really work in any room in the future.  It’s also VERY comfortable, which is great because I plan to log many hours in this thing!

That’s all for now…I have a few more gifts to make, lots of wrapping to do, and Christmas activities with 25 first graders to accomplish before Thursday!  Have a great week : )

Bird Sketches

Here are the bird prints I created for the nursery:

….and how I made them:

I used a  similar technique as my chandelier sketches, but started with a white frame instead.

I had blown up Audubon-esque bird prints on the copier, and then trimmed them to size to fit inside the mat of the frame.

I selected this taupe color of paper to bring out the shade of the branches in the curtains.

I used white transfer paper, placed it underneath the bird picture, and traced over the basic design, focusing on the bird because I knew I’d struggle drawing each free-hand!

After I traced the design, I went over it with rougher chalk lines, and added branches and leaves:

When I had “chalked” to my liking, I trimmed the paper down to size and put them back in their frames.

I’m very pleased with the result, and love how they add height to the nursery walls and give a finished look to the room.

Now onto a few Christmas crafts…look for them in the next several days!

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…& a nursery update

Hello everyone!  It’s been quite a while since I posted last…lots to do in the last few weeks before BB’s arrival. : )

This weekend we bought our tree and garland for our little banister.  I’m not used to having our tree up so early, but this year is an exception with life changing in a big way January 1st (or earlier!).  Here are some pics:

Our tree…I have been aiming for a vintage (1950’s) tree the past couple years…big bulb colored lights, a peppermint tree topper, tinsel, and a silver lame tree skirt.

Our garland…I was very happy with how it turned out!  I had a vision, but not really a game plan, so it took a bit of trial and error.  Jason helped me wrap 20′ fresh garland (from Lowe’s) through and around the spindles, and then I followed with silver beaded garland and candy-striped giant shatter-proof ornaments purchased at Hobby Lobby.  Lastly, I tied big bows with this great polka dot wired ribbon, also a Hobby Lobby find (all Christmas decorations were 50% off that day!)

Now for the wreath…I have seen many “ornament” wreaths, both on Pinterest and other blogs, so I have planned to make this for a while.

I bought a 14″ green foam floral ring, and wrapped it carefully with Duck Tape…they come in so many great colors these days! I think my roll is called “silver coin”.

Here’s a close-up of the polka dot ribbon, which I also used to tie a bow at the bottom and then later at the top of the wreath.

A few weeks ago, I purchased these tubes of plastic ball ornaments from the Target One Spot.  I’m glad I did, they were pretty much gone by the next week!  I purchased 4 tubes of the larger balls- multi, gold, red, and green.  And then 2 tubes of the small balls, both multi.  It was just enough for the whole wreath.

I removed the plastic tops off each ornament.  At first I tried to glue them upside down by the top of the ornament, but it wasn’t enough surface area to adhere to the wreath.  So I just applied hot glue to the side of each ball and angled it so the top wouldn’t show.

I had fun gluing the balls onto the wreath randomly, and then filled in open spaces with the smaller balls.

I added small balls on top of the first layer, for a “piled on” look.

For the finishing touch, I added a small red ball to the center of each bow.

Here is the wreath, hanging on our front door!

She was very easy to make, and so cheery don’t you think?

The Nursery!

BB’s room is finally coming along, and I have some pictures I want to share.  We still have a few details to work out…we’re waiting for the glider to arrive, and we need to install a dimmer switch for the overhead light, and have to hem the curtains, etc…but it’s looking great–everything I envisioned and more. : )

The dresser/changing table was given to me by my sister…it was her old dresser, already painted white so it just needed some touching up!  I love the pink handles, so I figure I’ll keep them on there for now, and if it’s a boy we’ll have to change them!

This is a lamp purchased at a barn sale this summer…it just needed a wipe-down and a new shade! I loved the pair and am so glad they worked for the nursery.  Its twin will go on an old phone table we plan to hang by the glider.

I purchased some rattan, canvas-lined baskets at Target for storage in the bookcases and beside the changing pad. The original bows were dinky so I tucked them down into the handles and tied cuter ones over them…this pretty ribbon was from a shower gift’s wrapping!

Here are the beautiful curtains my mom made.  I love them.  We used our bird curtain rod from the living room and bought a sturdier one to replace it.  They just look perfect in the nursery!

Here is our crib and crib skirt! My mom sewed the skirt, and did a fabulous job again.  I LOVE the fabric and it works so great in the room.  The crib was such a tedious endeavor, but very worth it when it was put up!  The color is Olympic One in Antique Moss.

The carpet was a Pottery Barn Kids purchase, on sale!

The bookcases were a fantastic handmade gift from my father-in-law…he is so talented with woodworking!  He created these all based on a picture from a blog I sent him.  I fell in love with these bookcases on Elements of Style’s blog, and he made them for us!  They turned out perfectly and make such an impact…I couldn’t be happier with them.  They are great storage and display for a tiny baby room!  I wish I could take a head-on picture of the pair, but the room is that small I couldn’t fit both in the shot!

I am so happy with how our little nursery is turning out…hopefully tomorrow I will be able to post the bird sketches I created to hang above the dresser!

Until then, goodnight!