Friday, March 04, 2011


I have been meaning to make new throw pillows for our couch and bed for a few months now.  Everytime I head to the fabric store for a costume or some other sewing project, I check out the remnants room and usually find something that I love (good thing I have lots of storage in my sewing room!).  I have also been obtaining pillow forms for some time now with grand plans to sprinkle throw pillows all over the house.
One important thing to note with every throw pillow I make, I put a zipper down one side so it is completely removable and every supply that I use is machine washable.  This means that I can change out the covers as I get bored and wash them as they get dirty.

The first pillow that I am working on is the most labor intensive by far.  I saw this image on crafting a greener world

It was over.  I was sold, I swooned.  I became obsessed with googling pictures of button monogrammed throw pillows.  On my button pillow, I wanted to do a 3 (to represent the members of our family: Matt, myself, and the pup).  This pillow was made out of white buttons and some leftover white linen dyed a dark blue-ish gray.  Note:  I am still thinking about making a 4 pillow if and when we have a kiddo. 

The cost for this throw pillow was minimal.  I already had the fabric (leftover from the roman shades I am making for the front room), I had the dye (but it only runs about $2 a box at JoAnns if you want to try this project yourself), I already had the thread, I already had all of the white buttons (I've been sewing for a long time and had collected a few small containers full of buttons over the years.).  The pillow forms I have were each less than $5 (I get my pillow forms from Hancock fabrics or JoAnn fabrics if they're having a sale, or from Atlanta Thread Company if I'm making a large-ish purchase and can justify paying for shipping).  The fabric paint was $1.19 at Michaels.  For the 3, I used Elephant font, bolded.

After I printed out the number, I traced it onto the cleaned and dried gray dyed linen.  With the text traced on the pillows, I used white fabric paint to fill in the number a little bit.  I did this only so that if I did leave any gaps or a button falls off in the future, it'll still look okay until I notice and fix it.  Here is my 3 traced on and painted very lightly with iridescent white fabric paint:

Then, I laid out my buttons and just started sewing. 

I'm still sewing on buttons, but when it's done, I just have to sew on the back, put the zipper on, and put it on the pillow form.  I'll update with pictures when it's all done.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I am a spray paint addict

I firmly believe in the power of spray paint.  When we moved in, we had a lot of things that were still functional, but not incredibly pretty.  Some things that we had from our renting days or that came with the house (like the mailbox), were perfectly fine, I was just unhappy with the color.  I constantly have a mental list of items in our house that I would like to freshen up with some spray paint. 

A few weeks ago, while on a Lowe's trip, I picked up a few cans of white glossy spray paint and spray primer.  I just got around to gathering everything that I wanted to paint, prepping it, and getting the jobs done. 

Project 1:
Picture Frames
I got a dozen 11x14 picture frames at Michael's for $1.50 each a couple of months ago (on sale, plus a coupon!).  Michael's only had the frames in black.  But, they are very sturdy plastic that came with a mat and quality mounting hardware. I used one coat of white spray primer that is made for plastics and two light coats of spray paint to get these from black to white.  The mats were white when I bought the frames.  I took them out of the frames and spray painted them with metallic silver paint.  I have to say, I'm pretty thrilled with the end result, especially for the price.  Here's an idea of what the frames looked like before:

And the after:

Project 2:
Firewood Holder
Fine shape, great price, wrong color.  Matt and I picked this little baby up at Menards for just over $10.  I didn't actually remember to take a before picture of this piece, but here's the after (just imagine it in black for the before)  

Project 3:
Garbage Can
We bought a couple of these garbage cans at Target way back in college.  They were cheap and could hold garbage.  And, at the time we bought them, that is all we were looking for.  These days, they were looking a little bit rusted and gross.  After a quick once-over with some sandpaper, I was ready to spray prime and spray paint.  The garbage can is still as functional and cheap as it's always been, but now it matches my color scheme and looks clean
Before and After:
Much nicer looking, no?  And here it is in our bedroom (it's right under the calla lily picture from my this post)
Project 4:
Matt got these mirrors from one of his tenants.  They were planning on throwing them away.  I am always on the lookout for big mirrors.  I love how much a mirror can open up a space and reflect so much light back into a room.  Matt snagged these before they met their fate in the dumpster.  I cleaned them up and primed and painted them white.  I think it's a big improvement from the icky, dated gold color.  Here's the before, during, and after:

Project 5:
Thread Rack
I ordered two of these unfinished wood thread racks off of Amazon for my sewing room:
They're functional and hold a ton of thread.  But, they were kind of blah.  Two coats of Valspar Glossy Tulip Pink spray paint later and they are a cute little punch of color in my sewing room:

Next on my spray paint itinerary:  A few of the planters that live in our sunporch, some pieces of trim to finish out a mirror in our guest bathroom, an old light fixture on the sunporch, a recycling bin for our kitchen, and some more picture frames.