Archive for the ‘Craftiness’ Category

The playroom is slowly coming together, but let’s go ahead and put a fork in one wall. It is done.

If you’ve been following this blog since the nursery design days, you may remember those faces. The sheep and cow are original paintings by my mom. She gave them to us for the nursery, but they just didn’t fit there. But now they have the PERFECT spot.

Thanks to this dude, Kenton is obsessed with saying, “Moooooooooo!” and now thinks that’s what all animals say.

He’s working on “Baaaa” – but doesn’t quite have it down yet. (He does, however, do a great ROAR.)

Anyway, we are so grateful to my talented momma for giving us these paintings. They did look a bit lonely on that big ol’ wall, so I filled the space between them with some embroidery hoops and a menagerie of fabrics:

I’m really excited with how these turned out. Each piece of fabric has a story and some have ties to other rooms in the Dream. It’s also so cool that this little collage started out as a pile of random fabrics that seemed daunting…

I scored the hoops at a thrift store for $2 each…

I took my time and played around with which fabrics would go in the different size hoops – which wound up being primarily decided based on how much fabric I had on hand.

So, people are doing this every.where. Displaying all sorts of fun fabrics in these hoops. I never really understood how you could tie this together, but what I learned doing this project is that you shouldn’t overanalyze it! 🙂 I love that these fabrics all coordinate, but don’t match… and they all have a little story…

Yes! This is the fabric I found recently at a thrift store. You’ll see more of it in the playroom soon!

Saw this in the clearance section at Home Fabrics and had to snag it. You’ll also see more of this in the playroom soon!

Yeah, so, the “Dream outdoor collection” has been a work in progress for about two years (embarrassing). I’ve made two pillows and cut all the fabric (the hard part!) for new seat cushions, but have yet to actually sew them together. Anywho, these polka-dots are part of the patio fun.

I snagged a small piece of this fabric from the clearance section of Jo-Ann’s a while ago. I just loved the print and color. Unfortunately, there was not an obvious place for it – until now. (Ironically, I found the SAME fabric with different colors on clearance at Home Fabrics a couple weeks ago – and that will soon be making an appearance in the master bedroom and a couple other spots. Yay!)

And I had just enough of the yellow striped fabric leftover from the nursery portrait project for the itty-bitty hoop. I LOVE that the downstairs playroom has a subtle tie to the upstairs nursery. 🙂

So, this project specifically cost me $10. The paintings were free, the fabric is all scraps from other projects and the hoops set me back just $10. I would definitely call that – SUCCESS!


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So, last weekend, I ventured out to the Junk in the Trunk Trio’s Vintage Market. It’s basically a big craft sale, but with really cool stuff. They had about 60 vendors – all selling “junk” and/or treasures, depending on your view. I took a girlfriend and wisely left the hubby behind. We both scored some great treasures.

Here’s my loot:

More on that in a minute. First, let’s check out what my friend, Kristen nabbed:

How adorable is that chevron bench?! She also got that cool sconce, a couple of vintage clutches, and some sweet subway signs.

I got a major coup with this $12 vintage dish display rack that I’ll transform into diaper storage for the playroom:

I plan to paint it to match another piece in that (yet to be revealed) room. The top shelf will display pictures, the bottom will hold diapers and I’ll hang some mini-baskets with diapering-essentials from the bottom.  That’s the plan anyway. I’m EXCITED.

I also scored this sweet pillow for the playroom:

Awe, it just makes me, well, happy! And “happy” is exactly the mood for a playroom. Amen?

I also snagged a couple of pieces for the new gallery wall in the Kitchen/Family Room:

I’ll paint the distressed piece solid white and display some fabric in it. These two items will be among several on this new display wall… where we’re kissing goodbye to our wedding wall:

It’s just time, you know? The wedding was so pre-Kenton and pre-baby in my belly. Time to update things!

So, I got enough “junk” to keep me busy for a while. I’m definitely looking forward to the next Junk in the Trunk event in September!

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My dear friend, Abby, is having a little mini-Dreamer of her own.

So, of course, she needs to be showered with baby gifts.  So, a few of us got together and did a little soiree a few weeks ago.  We had a loose “cookies and milk” theme.  Here are some highlights:

Abby's last name starts with "O" and the baby is lovingly referred to as "Little O." So, the name tags had every guest declaring their love for "Little O" (a cheerio!).

Carrie – the hostess of this partay – is my super-creative friend. You know, the friend that constantly inspires you and frustrates you at the same time because you’ll never keep up with her Martha-Stewart-prowess? Here she is with the guest of honor:

 She came up with this fabulous idea to create onesies for Abby to use for her baby’s monthly photos:

It was a bit tricky because Abby and her husband are waiting on a delivery room surprise (like us!), so Carrie tried her best to choose gender-neutral fabrics.

As the guest activity, we had people write down notes for each month, that we then wrapped up in the onesies.

So, when Abby grabs the appropriate onesie each month, she’ll have a sweet note of encouragement from her friends to go along with it!

This is also the gal who got the shower caddy diaper storage project I told you about on Monday.

She’s registered for green bedding from Pottery Barn Kids. I stopped by the store and got a swatch of their fabric and then headed to Home Depot to match a spray paint to it. I think it came pretty close:

Anyway, Abby was really happy with it and texted a picture of it hanging above her changing table.

This was a great gift idea – but I wouldn’t do it for just anyone.  I knew Abby had some empty wall space in her nursery and this piece would fit right in.  I also know her personality and that she’s open to suggestions and did not have specific ideas already planned for every aspect of her nursery (like, eh-hm, some others I know, yours truly not excluded). So, if you’re thinking about something similar – just make sure you know it will be well received!

Here’s the gang responsible for the shower:

(Yes, I already have a baby bump! Crazy.)

It was a fun day and, most importantly, Abby felt loved.  So, in my mind that = success.

PS: Carrie and Genevieve (pictured above, next to me) own a business called Red Dutch Door.  For those in the Phoenix area, they will have a booth at the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market on May 5th at WestWorld in Scottsdale.  Don’t miss it!  It’s going to be awesome.  The last sale they went to, they were the most popular (by far) and most of their products were sold quickly.  They make subway signs (the “love is all you need” pictured above is an example), bunting, scarves, wreaths and rumor has it – they’ll also have some bike baskets.  So fun.

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Okay, I’ll admit it.  This post is born out of guilt.

First, I confess – I’m amazing.  It’s true.  Okay, that’s a lie.  It’s my mom that’s amazing, but I’m her off-spring, so maybe I get a bit of the awesomeness in my DNA?  Anyway, while perusing Ikea during the nursery-shopping-frenzy pre-Kenton, my mom spotted a fantastic magazine wall rack and thought it would make for good diaper storage.  Boy, was she right!  With a little silver spray paint, this puppy fit perfectly into the nursery and is an awesome spot for diapers.  It holds about 200 diapers – all within arm’s reach of the changing table.  Various pictures of it have popped up all over Pinterest, which I loved because it’s a cheap and fun nursery addition.  Until, dumb Ikea stopped carrying it.  I have no idea when that happened, but it happened.  BOO!!!  I felt really bad.  I did Google, eBay and Craig’s List searches for people who asked me about it.  For a time, there were a few out there to be found.  (If you’re lucky, it’s called the Ikea Allamala Magazine Rack.)


So, I promised to do some searching/digging/crafting on my own and come up with some alternative solutions, which I (finally) have for you here.

We’ve got baskets, magazine racks, floating shelves and shower caddies – yes, shower caddies!

Who knew that creative diaper storage could come from such random objects?

First up: the shower caddy.

I actually loved this one so much, I spray painted it and gave it away as a baby shower gift.  I matched (or tried to) the color in the bedding my friends had registered for – gave this puppy a coat of primer and two coats of green spray – and voila!

more on this baby shower gift later this week!

This piece holds about 100 diapers.  I found it at Marshall’s and it cost me less than $20 (+spray paint and diapers!).

Next up: the magazine rack.

Imagine this with a coat of bright blue or yellow?  This is a nice piece too because as baby grows, it can be repurposed for coloring books (which is exactly why I didn’t return it as originally planned.  It now has a reserved spot in our new playroom!).

Next, some simple items you may already have or can find anywhere for CHEAP: a basket and a floating shelf.

Again, image these painted in a nursery accent color – perfect!  These also can be repurposed when the bambino is potty trained.

So, there you have it – a few alternative and creative ideas for diaper storage.  What do you think? Anything here you would use – or do you have another item you repurposed for diaper storage?  Do share!

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It’s party time, people.  Pinterest partayy time!

So, a bunch of cool blogs that I follow — What the Graham, Mrs. Priss, Stucco Bungalow (among others) — are hosting a Pinterest Partayy today and I thought I’d join in the fun.

Basically, we’re all taking something we’ve “pinned” on Pinterest and instead of just leaving it there on our virtual board of DIY dreams… we’re making these projects reality.

Here’s my Pinspiration:


1 – West Elm

2 – Tulip and Turnip

3 – Kara Paslay Designs

4 – Pepper Design Blog

And here is our finished product:

Disclaimer: For some reason, the photos do the fabric no justice.  It’s not as gold/red as it appears.  It actually has some silver and gray tones to it and blends really well with the color palette in this room.  I tried tweaking the colors in PhotoShop, but it still didn’t come out just right.  

We’ve been discussing making our own coffee table/ottoman for over a year.  Sad, but true.  I looked high and low for a used coffee table we could upholster, but never found one.  So, this entire piece is DIY by the Dreamers – the Mr did the construction and I did the upholstery – we tufted together.  (Sounds sexy, right?  Not really.)

I plan to do a more detailed Dream It Yourself (DIY) tutorial, but for the sake of getting this post up in time for the PARTAYY – here’s the shortened how-to version.

You start by enlisting your husband to build the frame:

We actually used fence post caps for the feet and they turned out perfect – and cheap!

Then, comes the upholstering…

Prequel… I didn’t get a photo, sorry!  We put furniture cushion foam (you know, the green kind) cut to measure – atop the wood frame.

1. Cover everything with batting.  I did two layers on the sides and one on top.  I secured it all with liquid spray adhesive.

2. Sew corners. (Sewing assistant in background is optional.) Sorry, no detail pics of this either.  It was a little frustrating.  In the end, I turned the fabric right-side down on top of the ottoman and pinned the corners.  I wanted it really taught, so I made sure I pinned it very snug.  Then, I sewed one line, about an inch below the corner of the foam down to the corner of the wood.  I cut out the access fabric, angling my cut to leave room for the corner to be covered.  They turned out really nice!  One corner was a little too snug, and I just sewed a new hem about a quarter-inch outside the original one, then ripped out the first one.  It fits perfectly!

3. Cut the bottom of the fabric, leaving enough extra to pull under the wood frame far enough that you won’t see the staples.

4. Staple away!

5. Be careful on the corners.

Here’s what it looked like when we were done with these steps…

(Again, it looks really red-orange here… not true to life, promise!)

So… now it’s time to TUFT.  That’s a term I, admittedly, had never heard of before starting this project.  I knew that tufting – or, adding buttons – would really take this piece up a notch… so… here we go…

Yes, we’re going a bit out of order here.  The tufting process actually begins before the fabric is upholstered.

1. We marked out the frame – penciling in where we knew the buttons would go.

2. Drill holes for the button threads.

3. Make buttons out of extra fabric using a kit sold at most craft stores.

3.5 (not pictured) – using upholstery needles, pull wax thread through the holes underneath, through the foam, batting and fabric.  It seems like it would be easy to loop the button and then draw the needle back through – but, for us, it was IMPOSSIBLE.  We drilled the holes bigger, tried every thing we could think of – but we could not get the needle back down through the hole.  So, unfortunately, we only had one piece of thread to work with. We tied it to the back of the button – then tied the two back-end threads next to each other together.  This is definitely a two person job – so you get the buttons really snug and TUFTED.  The word is making more sense now, isn’t it?  (Still not sexy though!)

4. It may be hard to tell what this is – but it is the underside of the buttons… the threads tied together.

And here, once again, is the finished project:

And some more looks… I am pretty damn proud of myself about those corners!  That’s the part I was most worried about…

So, what do you think?  Give me a comment below and let me know.  Meanwhile, check out the other Pinterest Partayy participants and their projects:

This is my kind of party!

If you did a Pinterest Partayy project, please link to it in your comment.   I can’t wait to see what everyone did.

Psst…. This ain’t my first rodeo.  A while back, I did another Pinterest-inspired project for the nursery – a “You are my Sunshine” wood canvas quote.  You can see that project here.  

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Recently, this magazine arrived at the Dream:


How fun is that wreath?! I set out to do my own version and even took before pictures of my pile of items needed for the post I was planning about my citrus-with-a-Christmas-twist wreath:

It was a complete failure.  I’m certain if I allowed myself more time, it would have really come together.  However, time is not something I have a lot of these days.  So, the above “ingredients” became Thanksgiving table centerpieces…

… and I did a happy dance when an LL Bean box from Maine arrived on our doorstep with a simple, guaranteed Christmas-y feel decoration for our door…

Thank you, in-laws!  Whew.

Meanwhile, we did get these done this weekend… so early (for us):

It will feel so good to drop 120 of those bad boys in the blue box tomorrow.  CHECK off the Christmas to-do list!  We have the wonderment of a six-month old’s first Christmas to get to…

… and a few more decorations to put up!

How about you?  Get anything on your list accomplished yet?

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DIY Dreamtraits

You may or may not remember, but I did carry this child for 41 weeks.  I blabbed all about that experience here.  However, I’m afraid those photos are the only proof I have that this child is mine.  Little does he know right now, but Kenton appears to have the good genes – his dad’s.  He’s tall, lean, blonde with big blue eyes.  He even seems to have Mr. Dreamer’s laid back personality.  WHEW.  I was really worried I’d have one of me, which would be frightening.  The only thing I would like are some more of those fantastic baby fat rolls, but they are nowhere to be seen on my little love.


Wondering who our babe would like was the inspiration behind one DIY nursery project.  We DIY’d some Ikea frames showcasing the baby portraits of the two grownups responsible for this pile of adorableness.  We’ve already featured how that ended up looking, but here’s a refresher…

This DIY project is so simple I almost didn’t post it.  But I took the photos – albeit with my phone – so, what the hey?  Here’s how I took $10 basic Ikea frames and made them coordinate with our nursery…

First, I picked out two different yellow fabrics – one striped, one polka-dot and cut them to the size of the mat – with some room to spare.

don't fret - the Dream does not have pink carpet. terrible, terrible lighting - and apparently the iPhone can only do so much

Then, I broke out the spray adhesive – and sprayed a light coat on the mats…

I then set the fabric pieces on top and smoothed out with my hands.

After that dried… I cut into the corners at a 45 degree angle.

I also sprayed these sections with the spray adhesive and let them dry.

Once they were dry – I simply put the mats back in the frame, with the 6-month portraits of Mr. & Mrs. Dreamer.

So easy.  So cheap (under $30 – not including blowing up the photos if you need to do that). We think it adds a nice touch.  It will be fun to compare the baby pics when Kenton is 6 months old – the same age we were in our portraits – but it’s pretty obvious who he favors, and I love that!  A baby boy should take after his handsome father, AMEN?!

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