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Lengthening Dining Room Drapes

05 November 2011

Lengthening Dining Room Drapes

You saw me post the other day about my rainy adventurous trip to the fabric store.  Well, I worked hard this weekend to get all of my other task items done before today so that I could celebrate Presidents Day (Queue President's theme music here...Dun Da Da Dun Dun Da Dun Da Dun Da Dun Dun!) by finally working on the high-water curtains that have been on my "Stupid Little Things" list. 
I started this project by assembling all of the needed materials for the day's work:
What you see here is a vanishing ink sewers pen (the ink vanishes after 24 hours!), sewing pins, iron on hem tape, fabric scissors, and a measuring device.  Things that are not pictured, but that were also used frequently throughout this project were an ironing board/iron, a yard stick, spray bottle, fabric (of course!), and a sewing machine.
Once I had all of my materials I looked around for a large area that I could use as a work surface.
Turns out my dining room table is just about the size I needed my curtains to be when they were finished, so I figured it would be a good thing to use as a reference.
I pushed the chairs away from the table and against the wall, then I took a damp cloth to wipe down the table.  I didn't use any type of cleaning product because I didn't want any chemical residue to get on my fabric.
Next, I ironed the curtains and the piece of gray fabric to remove any wrinkles.  This helps the fabric to lay flat when you are measuring and cutting. 
Once all of the fabric had been ironed I measured the gray fabric and used the yard stick to draw a reference line across the width of the fabric. 
I wanted the main portion of the gray panel to be 24" finished and I wanted a 3 1/2" trim on the bottom.  To incorporate enough fabric for the hem, I cut two pieces at 26" each, and two pieces at 4 1/2".
Next I determined how much fabric I would need to cut off of the existing curtains so that the panels of gray fabric would reach the floor.  I wound up cutting off about 18" from the existing curtain panels, and this included a 1" allowance for a hem.
Once I figured out how much to trim off, I used the same method to measure and mark the reference line as I had before.  The line you see is actually the vanishing fabric marker that I mentioned earlier, so don't worry about marking on the front side of the fabric.  24 hours later, you won't see a thing!
Once the existing curtains had been cut to size I pinned the panel of gray fabric to the bottom edge of the curtain panel.  When making hems, it is important to visualize how the fabric will open up after you sew the hem.  You want to be sure that you place the back-side up, and the front-side down (referring to the gray fabric here) so that when you sew the hem and flip the fabric over you will see the front side instead of the back.  The existing (Ikea) curtain was laying face-up, but this picture doesn't show it. Basically, you want the fabrics to be cheek to cheek (face up on fabric 1 touches face up on fabric 2)...make sense...??? 
After the two pieces of fabric were pinned together I used the reference line I had drawn to sew the hem.  Be careful not to poke yourself here.  Those little pins might seem harmless, but they can throw a mean right-hook, if you know what I mean.  
Once both panels had been sewn together it was time to clean up the edges and the bottom hem.  All I did here was trim up any extra fabric--still leaving a 1" overhang--then I folded the 1" overhang so that it lined up with the outer edge of the existing curtain.  For this portion, I used the edge of the table to line up the edge of the curtain so that I knew I had a straight edge to use as a reference. (Side note: You can see my cat, Zach in the background.)
Next I used the sewing hem tape and iron-pressed a hem on the bottom and the edges.  This was a really easy way to get the job done, and it leaves a nice, clean edge when finished.
As soon as the hems were all hemmed, up to the curtain rod my new curtains went...and just in case you didn't notice, they're touching the floor!!!  The best part about this entire project is that since I found the fabric on sale at JoAnne's, this whole thing only cost me a whopping $3.50!
Here's a closer view:  (I know the pictures make the fabric look purple, but don't be fooled, it really is gray.)
Now, they are even a smidge too long, but I would rather they be too long than too short.  It really makes me want to jump on fixing the sheer curtains behind them soon too.  Having curtains that finally look right really make make the others an eye-soar.
Oh well...another day...another project.  For now, I'm just going to bask in the glory of having two curtain panels that touch the ground and look as they were meant to look!
Once everything had been sewn I only had a few scraps of material left over.  Talk about cutting it close!  I was a bit worried about not having enough fabric, but thank goodness it came out okay.  I'm already scheming up some plans for these scraps as well, so be on the lookout for an update in a future post.
Have you ever attempted to make or extend curtains for your home?  How did the project turn out?  I hope that this post will help out if anyone is thinking about taking on a new curtain sewing project in the near future.  Be sure to let me know how it goes!              

This project was contributed by one of our fabulous readers! We love to share your projects with this great blogging community. So, if you have projects from kitchen renovation ideas to small bathroom remodels, overhauled and repurposed furniture, spray paint updates you name it please send it in! Thanks for reading Remodelaholic!

Check out more lovely curtain ideas:


Make Your Own Blue Glass Jars Tutorial

25 October 2011

Make Your Own Blue Glass Jars Tutorial

No, I'm not having crazy preggo cravings (cuz I'm not preggo)...and no, I haven't lost my mind either!  I just happened to make some candles out of some saved up jars that used to be in the fridge...holding food.
Honestly, most of these jars would typically wind up in the recycling...but I finally got smart.  You see, there have been times when I've said to myself, "self, that's a cute project that involves a glass jar!" But then I realize that I don't have any glass jars.
On one occassion (cough, cough, hint, bridal shower) I even bought some mason jars because I didn't have any on hand.  Boy was that silly!  After seeing the stash I'd collected in just a few weeks, I'm hoping that I've learned to go green and put those containers to new use, through one craft or another.
This project was something that I've been dye-ing to try!  LOL!  I crack myself up!
I'd heard it was possible to dye glass different colors using glue and food coloring, but I wanted to give it a test run.
Honestly, the most difficult part of this project was getting the stinkin' labels off of the jars.  I couldn't find my trusty Goo Gone, but I found soaking the jars in warm water to be helpful.
Once they were soaked, I peeled off what I could, and scrubbed with soap and water to remove the rest of the sticky gunk from the jars.
Then I went all out and spent a whopping $.50 on some school glue.
To get some color, I used a few drops of blue food coloring and a hint of green food coloring.  This created an aqua color, and in case you haven't noticed, I happen to be in love with aqua!
After one coat, the glass had a nice soft tint, but I wanted to go for something with a bit more pop.
The second coat was just what I was looking for.  I loved the color and the level of transparency!  These photos were taken when the glue was still wet...
...and these were taken once the glue had dried.... 
One word...L.O.V.E!
This project was so easy, so cheap, and the results are so fun!  I can think of so many fun things to do with this, but for this photo shoot, I just threw some candles in.
I tried to get some shots from different times of the day so that you could see the color in different lighting.  I loved how the color appeared soft in strong light, but more vibrant in darker light.  They looked pretty natural to me, but what do you think?
Granted, there were a few spots where I didn't catch the air-bubbles or the drips, but I never sweat the small stuff when I try a project out for the first time.  
I learned that I need to wait a bit longer in between coats so that the glue can dry completely first, but you might remember from this project that waiting patiently has never been one of my strong suits.
Grand total on this project...$.50, and a few hours.  A great project for some weekend craftiness on a tight budget!
So here's what I learned:
  1. Keep food jars! It's green and fun! This is just one of many crafts you can do with them.
  2. Patience is a virtue.  Wait longer in between coats.
  3. Don't sweat the small stuff.  Projects don't have to be perfect all of the time.  In fact, in many cases, imperfection creates an aged or weathered look.
  4. It is possible to craft for less than $1.00.  You don't have to spend a lot of money.  Use what you have around the house.
  5. This idea could be used to make cute gifts.  Fill the jars with bath salts, or even snacks.  The glue is on the outside of the jar, so it won't contaminate any food items!
So tell me, what would you do with these jars?  What color would you paint them?  I think I might try some red and orange ones next considering fall is just around the corner.  I'm so glad I tried this!

This project was contributed by one of our fabulous readers! We love to share your projects with this great blogging community. So, if you have projects from kitchen renovation ideas to small bathroom remodels, overhauled and repurposed furniture, spray paint updates you name it please send it in! Thanks for reading Remodelaholic!

Other fun DIY projects HERE:


Repurposed Faux Fire Place Mantel

24 October 2011

Repurposed Faux Fire Place Mantel

It’s been about two weeks since we shared our faux fireplace redo, and gosh darn it, I think it’s nifty. There are two problems with it, one of which I think we finally solved. The plants in the apple box just didn’t quite go with it, and it is a little big in scale for the living room. While we are considering moving this beauty to another part of the house sometime down the road, we finally got to the project of redoing the inside.


Colorful Dresser To Kitchen Island Upcylce

22 October 2011

Colorful Dresser To Kitchen Island Upcycle 

People often ask me if I've ever refinshed furniture before or taken on painting projects. Of course! Have I ever actually documented them, yes! But not very well or in depth with step by step explanation. So drum roll please! You are about to be shocked and amazed. Why? Because I actually finished a BIG project almost all by myself with lots of photographs!

The problem, a lack of kitchen storage for all my culinary toys! Solution, make it myself!

We went from this....

To this...

(Flat against the wall for more walking space)

 (Perpendicular to the wall for a galley kitchen flow)

Isn't it great. And if you ask my Father-in-Law (Big Papa), he'll tell you its great because its "so functional"! Ha. Well thanks to my Mum in law I have been reafirmed in my bold color choice, which I totally dig, as it appeared on the Nate Berkus Show recently!  Not to mention this color scheme has made its way to Pinterest a bunch!

This whole project started with the fact that  I have more kitchen items than some people have clothes. I love to cook, bake, decorate cakes, make homemade pastas, you name it and I like to try it!  So how was I going to solve my problem. Lucky for us we have a great sized kitchen which gave us a chance to have an Island. Not a huge one, but one big enough to offer more counter space and storage for my odds and ends. So let's begin.

Step 1: Find a piece to fit your needs and budget. At just $45 we found this beauty on craigslist. I was drawn to the price and the small bead boarding design on the doors that could make it more casual farm once painted. Plus the whimsey detail on the toe board.

Step 2: Use a paint thinner to clean off the grime and as many layers as possible. Or in our case the new and terribly done stain the seller put on the same day we said we were going to pick it up. STICKY pick up!  Then sand that bad boy down till it's nice and smooth, in my case by hand! My fingers hated me after!

2a. (optional) Add wainscot to match the details on the front doors and to give me the option of having the island rotate to show the back side and not be ashamed!

2b. (optional) Add support 2x4's. We planned on adding granite on top so we were going to need the support.

Step 3: Get a solid primer and prime all surfaces you're going to paint then sand till smooth. Repeat for good coverage. (note: don't leave your brush out like me! It might dry out if its super hot out)

Step 4: Paint it!! Yay. We use spray paint. Why? It's inexpensive, user friendly and you can change the color if you don't like it and you'd only have wasted $3.

 (Color: Rustoleum Satin Lagoon) 

Step 5: Distress. I just took a razor blade and some sand paper and had at it. I'd never done this technique before and from what I read there is no bad move. Just try and wear it down where you think it would have naturally been worn down. Or in my case...EVERYWHERE!!

(Before the distressing)

Note: sandpaper does leave some tracks of roughness if that matters to you. If it does then just stick to the razor blade.

Step 6: Add stain (Sorry no photo). Just pick your color, we chose Dark Walnut by Minwax, and wipe it all over the place with a clean rag. The longer you leave it the darker it gets. For this part I realized I liked the exposed wood alot since it shows nicely with the contrast of the teal color we picked. Also, if you live somewhere very warm then your stain will dry MUCH quicker so don't go have a lunch break or anything!

Step 7: Wipe off excess stain to reveal your new finish. You can always add more later if you think it's too light.

7a. (optional) Then add some casters to your bottom frame to make the island mobile. With lock option of course.

Step 8: Add hardware and admire your new Island.

Now we did want to add granite but it simply was not in the budget right now. So we cleaned and sanded the top down like we did the rest of the piece and got some wood conditioner that's for surfaces that need to be safe for food preparation.

Buffet (no tax)  $45
Paint (3 cans) $2.98/ea
Sandpaper $8.30
Wainscot (2 pks)  $10.79/ea
Wood Oil   $12.44
  *sandpaper  $3.97
Nail setter $1.98
Hammer  $0
Drill $0
Saw $0
Wood Filler $2.99
Stain $4.58
Hardware $22.61
Wood for Support $7.90
Castors** $21.48

+ Taxes $7.72

Total $169.49

* Not mentioned but needed this sand paper for the oil application.
**Hub retured original hardware for different and cheaper ones and lost the receipt so I'm keeping this for the sake of adding a total

This was a bit more expensive for us since we just moved and down sized on our supplies and ended up needing to buy some more stuff we use to have. If you have some basics on hand it would be cheaper. Especially if you already have the piece you want to make over. 

Overall I love it!! The optional steps I mentioned made the piece so great for us. It gave it the diversity I wanted and made it mobile with the chance of a granite upgrade later. I must add a big thanks though to the Hubby. You know men, there are just certain things they're better at and won't let you do anyway with a their power tool. So he really gets the credit for the support, castors and wainscot application. And considering I tried for months to find an island this was worth the money. The best I ever found was for about $150 for an island half this size and no personality or color. For something that would truly have met MY needs it would have been about $400-$450. So that made for a $200+ savings.

And my problem or issue with my many spices is now obsolete! Silverware drawer turned Spiceville!

And just enough room for my rolling pin which was an issue too! An unplanned bonus!

Now I have a great new piece in the kitchen to give me just the extra space I needed to make my culinary adventures a bit more cozy and "funtional"! Love you Big Papa!                                                                                     
This project was contributed by one of our fabulous readers! We love to share your projects with this great blogging community. So, if you have projects from kitchen renovation ideas to small bathroom remodels, overhauled and repurposed furniture, spray paint updates you name it please send it in! Thanks for reading Remodelaholic!

More marvelous dresser and counter makeovers:

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