Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Picture Frame

One of the most liberating things I've ever done was telling a framing store to stuff it. Well, I didn't really do that. I'm not mean, after all, but I did refuse to spend that much money on a frame that I could build on my own. I was intimidated by it, but now that I've done it? Easy peasy!

Here's how it's done:
Buy 10' of moulding (whatever you think would look like an awesome picture frame -- my theory: the thicker the better -- at least 3" for me, please!)

Figure out how big you want your frame to be (I was framing an 18x24" picture, so I made my frame 17.5"x23.5" so the frame would cover 1/4" of my picture on each side).

Miter the end of your moulding to 45 degrees (you can buy a miter box at Home Depot for $5 and just use a hand saw to do this part -- not super hard, but your arms will get way tired!). Now, where the point comes in (the obtuse angle, if you want to be technical), measure one length of your frame from there. I measured down 17.5". Mark it with your pencil.

Line up that dot with a point on your cutting line in your miter box. Make sure you're holding on really tight and start sawing there, again at 45 degrees, but this time going the opposite direction. (If this part doesn't make much sense, go look at a picture frame to see what it looks like.)

Repeat for all four sides of your frame.

Put a little bit of wood glue in between the corners (start with one corner at a time). Use a square to make sure the corner is, well, square. Then hammer in some finishing nails into each side of the corner. Repeat with all four corners. If you are cool enough to have a corner clamp, use one to make sure the corners stay super tight while they're drying. I also stapled my corners with my staple gun to help secure it.

Sand the whole thing down to make sure it's all nice and smooth. Fill in any holes or your corners with wood putty to make sure it has a nice smooth finish. Then stain it with your favorite color of stain (or paint it or just leave it if you want).

When I finished it, I taped my picture in place and stapled a piece of cardboard over the whole back of it.
My husband and I thought it was so cool that we totally had to take pictures while holding it. Cheesy cool, right?
Here's the corner. The wood filler didn't want to take the stain quite as well, but I still love it!
Here's the whole picture!
And in the room. The temple picture is by Keli B Photography. She has amazingly reasonable prices. I got my beautiful Jordan River Temple print for $40 and it was here within a week.

Benches and Storage Crate

So I have this huge seating issue in my family room. One wall is covered with windows, another is covered in a piano, and a third wall is covered with these weird archways (an entry and two little windows). The other wall just has this little love seat/hide-a-bed thing. So, in all, the seating in that room consists of one love seat and a wing back chair (poorly reupholstered by me a while ago).

IKEA to the rescue! You know those cheapy little LACK tables they sell? They're like $8 right now. Well, I love them. One day, I was browsing through one of my favorite blogs and saw a table that I swear was just two of those LACK tables put together. That got me to thinking: I wonder just how tall those things are? Are they sturdy enough to support an adult sitting on them?

Well, I got my answers. Yes! They are sturdy! And, they're about the same height as a kitchen chair. So, perfect for seating, right? I just wanted them a little bit longer, but was too cheap to buy the longer ones. So I just bought two for each bench, screwed a piece of wood to the bottom and glued the two tables together. Perfect bench! I wanted to snaz it up just a smidge more, so I found these great cheap little faux-fur rugs from IKEA, put them on top so it padded the seat just a smidge, and put on some pillows for back support. I did one for each of the archway windows. I think it turned out great!

Oh yeah! See those fun little crates underneath the tables? I built those out of some pallets my kids' elementary school let me have. The plans were actually for a floating nightstand, but I thought they'd look great as crates to store toys and books and such in my living room. Can't beat free, right? And it's helped with picking up clutter immensely!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Church Bags

I'm all about fun homemade Christmas presents right now. I'm also kind of big in wanting my kids to be quiet at church. Put the two together, and you get today's idea. Fun church bags that you can fill with crayons, paper, little toys, or whatever it takes to help keep your kids happy at church or on long road trips.

Materials needed:
1/2 yard of two different fabrics
1/4 yard of low loft batting (I actually just cut up some old flannel baby blankets my baby doesn't like)
1 button
sewing machine
erasable Fabric marker

Cut list:
1 -- 11"x18" -- each fabric (one for inside and one for outside)
2 -- 11"x18" -- batting
2 -- 11"x3" -- fabric and batting (handles)
2 -- 11"x8" -- outside fabric (inside pocket)
1 -- 5"x2" -- strap to slip around button
2 -- 8"x6" -- inside fabric (outside pocket)

Put one piece of batting on the wrong side of each piece of fabric (for inside and outside).

Use one outside pocket piece and attach a button.

Using the outside pocket squares, sew them together with right sides facing. Leave a little gap (about 2 inches) from the final edge. Turn the whole thing inside out and sew 1/8" all the way around the edges. Pin to outside fabric close to upper edge (about 2"). Sew in place leaving top part (closest to edge of outside fabric) open to create a pocket.

Sew your inside pocket pieces together. Just sew the top and bottom edges together, then turn the whole thing inside out.

Fold the inside pocket in half and either iron it or just use your fingernail to create a slight fold to show where the halfway point is. Do the same thing with your inside piece of fabric. Line up the folds and pin in place (through the pocket, the fabric, and the batting). Mark the middle fold with your fabric marker just so you can know where the middle is.

Now, with your ruler, measure along one side of the inside pocket marking every inch (only go to the halfway line that you just marked). This will be the slots for your crayons or pencils. I marked mine on the outside part of the pocket and again on the halfway line then drew a straight line between the two dots. You should get 10 lines. Sew straight along these lines. (Just turn your fabric around when you get to the end of a line, but don't sew between the lines.)

Next up, handles. Put one piece of batting one the wrong side of each handle. Fold in half lengthwise (so that the fabric folds in on itself and you'll end up sewing on the batting). Sew a straight line creating a tube. Turn the tube inside out (I used a safety pin and just fed it through to the other end). Pull your seam a little just to make sure it lays smooth. Sew a straight line right down the middle of your handle (lengthwise). Repeat with the second handle.

Attach your handles to the inside fabric. I found the middle of each of my ends and moved it out about 2" from there. Be sure to put your handles so the curved part goes to the inside of the fabric (toward the middle line).

Fold your strap fabric in half lengthwise (same way you did with your handles). Turn it right side out. Pull seam just a little to smooth it and zigzag stitch all the way down the middle.

Pin the right sides of your inside and outside together (making sure the handles and the strap are all on the inside!). Sew all the way around leaving a little opening on one side (about 3-4"). Turn the entire thing right side out, pull your seams a little to make it smooth and sew 1/8" from the edge all the way around (make sure to turn the opening in just a little bit).

Now, sew down that halfway line that you marked earlier (on the inside pocket). Trim threads and you're done!

Sorry I didn't have pictures of the whole process. I'm kind of one of those girls that can't be bothered with a camera in the middle of a project, but once it's all done I want to show the whole thing off, so here you go!

This is the inside of my 3 year old's. I didn't get the whole pencil slot thing when I was making this one, but I love the pattern contrasts with this fabric!
Here's my oldest's bag. See, I figured out how to do the button and pocket and everything!
I should have filled the pockets with pencils and stuff, but you get the picture.
Here's one for my oldest boy. My husband says it's too girly, but I think it looks great!
And here they all are in all their glory!

*Edited -- I totally forgot to give credit where credit is due! I got the instructions/idea for these from my friend Aubrey. She does some amazing sewing projects. Thanks!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Arm Warmers

Sorry for the hiatus for a long time! I got kinda frustrated trying to figure out how to do scheduled posts, then got super busy with school starting, sick kids, etc (you know, life stuff. Hence the reason I wanted to figure out scheduled posts).

But, I'm back on track, and oh man! do I have some fun projects to share!

This first one is one I found on They have tons of fun ideas, so I didn't link up to the actual post with these arm/leg warmers. The instructions are just so easy, why bother, right?

All you do to make these is head to Target and get the great super long socks from the women's department. I think I paid like $1.40 per pair.

Then, get out your scissors and cut them just above the heel. And guess what? You're done! The first time you put them on, they'll kinda curl up a little bit on the raw edge, thereby making it look finished.
I tried this pair on to make sure it would roll nicely and it looks great!

I'm planning on using three pairs of these for my 3 year old as leg warmers and the other 3 pairs will be for my 8 year old as arm warmers. I'll have to post pictures of them wearing them after Christmas, because these babies are going in the secret stash closet until then!

Hope you like them!