Thursday, July 31, 2014

Gallery Wall

So, if you read my rant on crib sheets, then you can probably guess how I feel about wall art in a nursery. I am not an artist and I could never produce something like this--but I really enjoy seeking out pieces that I find interesting or beautiful in some way. The kind of art you stop and stare at, to admire and appreciate the shapes, colors-- and ask yourself questions about it, what is drawing you to it...

Sorry for the geek-out moment. 

EVERYTHING you see on this wall was a free download and all the frames were purchased at Goodwill from 50 cents to $2.00.  After a coat of white spray paint, and replacing a few hooks on the backs--they were ready to go!  I didn't mind taking these to Target for printing--the resolution is fairly high for all these, and the colors came out close enough for the quality/price. It was about $2 for each 5x7 print.  To hang, I used 3M sawtooth hooks depending on weight/size; and the strips for lightweight frames.

The Vintage Owl Engraving (1) I took it to Staples.  I didn't *think* this would be difficult enough for someone else to there is NO tutorial for this...but between you and me? I've made pie. Once. And it was kinda hard. I promise this is EASIER than pie.  For an 18 x 24 engineer's print, it was a whopping $1.92. I used a small foam roller to apply matte Mod Podge on the back of the paper and carefully attach it to a 16 x 20 canvas.  I trimmed extra length from the print, then Mod Podged the sides of the canvas to wrap around. The ink bled just a little bit while I was smoothing it down, but its not noticeable on the print at all. After letting it dry completely, I topped with 2 more coats of MP and 2 thin coats of clear sealer.   

The  bird (2) &  butterfly (3) are also from The Graphics Fairy. She posts amazing, real vintage images that are in the public domain. I did use Photoshop Elements to resize and extend the background for the butterfly picture.

The other two prints are from Feed Your Soul: the free art project page.  Unfortunately, its no longer updated--but downloads of past artwork is still available. I used Jo Cheung's untitled piece with the  sleeping fox (4) and Nancy Mungcal's Pretty Little Thieves (5)  These are direct downloads for PDF. After magnifying to 300%, I used the snapshot tool to capture the entire image, then open it in Photoshop Elements so I could resize them to fit my frames.  

More images I <3 from The Graphics Fairy....
Colorful feather  Really pretty feather These are just two from similar feathers available that caught my eye. 

Victorian Alphabet Chart  If I don't put this in baby girl's room, there's a good chance I'll find a place for this somewhere else in my house!

Man in the Moon is so cool without being overly cartoony-cute. If you have some skills with photo editing software like Photoshop or Pixlr, you could add a quote or other layers to create a unique piece.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Vintage Frame Makeover!

I picked up this sexy set of pictures for $1 a piece at Goodwill.  I didn't know much about them, other than they were vintage. I did find a few on sale on Ebay...for more than I paid of course! I wasn't quite sure what I was going to do with them, but I knew I was going to repaint them.  Spray paint makes everything look pretty. ;)  Donna over at My Shabby Chateau was also lucky enough to snag a set a couple years ago and also gave them a fabulous redo.

This past week was a little rough than it has been this summer.  My 5-year-old has had a stubborn streak lately, and will argue with me over every.little.thing.  Kinda like the other day.  He got upset because his brother (who is 2) flushed the toilet after me. "But I WANTED TO FLUSH!"  Uh-huh... Now, I know I am not the only one who can't make a trip to the bathroom without their kids barging in. The total meltdown that followed because he didn't get to flush instead of his brother was almost comical. Luckily, he'd finished most of his wailing before we got into the car.

Upon nearing the store, he exclaimed, "The GREEN store?  Why are we going here?!"  I told him, "Well, remember I need to get paint today? For something for baby sister's room."  His reply: "You always buy paint. Why do you have to have a lot of paint?"  All I could do was laugh.  My husband asks me the same thing.

This tutorial can really be done with any frame--I loved that these had curved glass.  Maybe the next time you come across a really nasty, gawdy looking frame you could take it home and give it a little chance at a second life. Especially if its only a dollar. ;)


  • Frames
  • Scrapbook paper or fabric
  • Rust-oleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint (Dark Steel)
  • Pen or pencil
  • Scissors
  • Photo, vinyl decor, stickers, etc. (your choice)

SCRUB A DUB. The first thing I did was pop open the wire catches holding the back on, and take out the glass.  I was a little miffed when I realized that hot man in blue was actually glued to the after a dunk in some hot soapy water, the first layer of paper was peeling off pretty nicely.  To get the rest of the image off, I scraped at it with a plastic spoon in between spraying it with water/vinegar mixture I usually use for cleaning.  The nice part was I didn't have any sticky glue residue left on the glass; they both cleaned up well.

LAY & TRACE. I didn't realize until I got cut one out what my mistake was...when you're laying the backs down on the reverse side of the paper, make sure the pattern is going the direction you want to hang your frames. Whoops.  ;)

PAINT. I had used Rust-oleum Universal Metallic spray paint on baby girl's dresser handles--and I really loved the realistic finish.  It doesn't look like spray paint when its done!  The color I used for these frames is called "Dark Steel."  Its a rich, metallic silver. 

GLAM IT UP. I (stupidly?) decided to cut out some vinyl images with my Silhouette Cameo. I settled on a vintage telephone and typewriter--that kinda ties in with the giant typewriter keys tutorial I made to spell baby girl's name.  After my 4th time getting these cut out and wasting more vinyl than a DJ, the size was finally perfect and and I could begin the tedious painstaking extremely joyful task of picking out the microscopic pieces. After the enjoyable time I had with this part, I rescind everything I said before about changing it later. To transfer the images to the glass, I used the "Glad Press n' Seal" method.  Me and My DIY has another using lint roller sheets I'd like to try next time.

ASSEMBLE! Put everything back together and hang it on a wall.  Is something crooked? Good.  Then you can tell it was made with love.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

DIY Drop Cloth Ruffle Crib Skirt

I LOVED the look of linen bed sets online! Some of them had a silky fabric peeking from behind, or ruffles of lace stitched along the bottom.  But I definitely did NOT like the three-figured price that came with it.  In my search, I also came across burlap crib skirts--which had a nice look, but a scratchy texture and definitely not a washable fabric.  While I was looking for curtain ideas for our living room, I'd seen so many twists on drop cloths I had to try this out for a crib skirt!  It has a look close to linen, its cheaper, softer than the burlap, AND you can wash it.  

This tutorial makes 3 panels for a crib skirt for less than $30 in materials. (It took me about 3 hours, but that's including my time stopping to take photos along the way.)  A panel for the backside isn't necessary unless you decide to put your crib in the middle of the room...which would be a little weird. :) 


  • One 4' x 15' canvas drop cloth (without the waterproof backing)
  • Scissors
  • High quality polyester thread (Sulky or Gutermann)
  • 4 yards (2 packages) wide Twill tape
  • Tape measure
  • Thicker sewing needle (I used a #18)
  1. Wash, dry, iron.  Trust me.  Canvas is all cotton, so its going to shrink.  The crib skirt isn't going to get super dirty, but it will get dusty so you'll want to be able to wash and dry without it shrinking.  Ironing takes some time, but it will make cutting your panels much easier!
  2. Measure.  I took three measurements: the width and length of the spring mattress support and the the distance from the support to the floor at its HIGHEST setting. My measurements were 50" length, 26.5" wide, and 17.5" to the floor--without adding any allowances.  For each panel, I multiplied my length and width measurements by 2.5 so I have a really nice full ruffle. Doing it this way, it was more of a reference point. I didn't have to be obsessed with getting an exact measurement and account for seams while cutting. The final cut of fabric for the length from the support spring to the floor may be longer than needed, so the ruffle puddles on the floor a bit.  You can always go back and shorten your hem if you like.
  3. Cut. The manufacturer's hems are dis.gus.ting! Mine had white thread, 2 rows of stitching all around. Not pretty.  So cut it ALL off but DO NOT THROW IT AWAY! You need it later. We use all parts of the cow in this tutorial. :)
  4. Fold.  Fold the drop cloth in half the "hamburger" way. (You teachers will know what I'm talking about when I say this!)  It really means folding so the 2 short ends of your drop cloth (4 foot sides) come together. 
  5. Cut some more! Eye-ball it again, or measure...if you must...and cut down the center through all layers of your fabric.  When you unfold, your dropcloth should now be in 2 long pieces.  To make your longest panel, cut off the excess of one of the halves.  With the other half of the drop cloth, you can cut your 2 short panels.  My long panel I cut 125" and my 2 short panels were each 66".   I did all my cutting and measuring on our dining room floor-it was the only clear space big enough!  I used a tape measure because of the length involved, and the little locking slider on top holds my tape in place. 
  6. Hem.  Roll & sew a narrow hem all along the bottom length and short sides for all 3 panels.  The top length of each panel is where you will create the ruffle; leave that part for the next step. 
  7. Ruffle. Okay, people. Here's where it gets tricky.  I would be lying if I said I didn't mess up this part.  I tried to do it the *RIGHT* way, and make 2 rows of parallel stitching, no backstitching, then pull the top threads to make my ruffle, yada yada. This worked all hunky-dory until I tried to do the longest panel--all 125" worth of fabric and BOTH of my threads broke at different points. @#*$!...... So, I ended up bunching up the fabric as I went a long, zig-zagging. And it turned out just fine, and took me less time than the other 2 panels.  So---that part is kinda trial-and-error, and we all love to learn new things, yes?!  Moving on.
  8. Twill tape. After you're done torturing yourself making ruffles, on the back of the ruffle you made, stitch your twill tape the entire length with a zig-zag stitch.  I used this so the ties and ruffle stitches would hopefully have a stronger, more stabilized edging.
  9. Sew ties. Remember the ugly hems we cut off? Yay, you get to sew them back on!  Cut to lengths of about 10".  To attach, fold it in half to form a V shape, and zig-zag the folded point to the twill-tape on the top of your panel.  I used 3 ties for my short panels, and 7 for the long panel. The top edge where all this ruffling and junk is going on is going to look, um....messy. Maybe even terrible? But its not going to show, so don't freak out. :)
  10. Tie to spring support. This step is slightly self-explanatory.

11. Admire your hard work. <3