Friday, January 27, 2012

Crib Teether Guard

I finally got around to finishing that crib teething guard that I saw on Pinterest. It only took me about four months :) Although now that I think about it, that's really not too bad considering all the holidays and parties in November and December.

E is a late teether, but when they came in it was crazy - six teeth in eight weeks and nobody was getting any sleep! I love the crib that we bought for her and didn't want those new sharp teeth marking it up. I was inspired by a couple teething guards (this one and this one) that I saw on Pinterest.

I had some leftover fabric and decided I could figure this out. I had to piece together a few fabrics and I backed it with the white minky fabric that we used for her quilt. (I use "we" liberally here, seeing as my mom did all the work on the bedding.) I liked the look of the bias tape on one of the pinterest examples, and used this tutorial and a few phone calls to mom to figure out how to put the blue bias tape on the edges. I always thought bias tape was one of those insanely difficult things to master, but it wasn't bad at all.

If I would have thought about it ahead of time, I would have put the ties on before the bias tape, but I guess I'm not as good at foresight as I once was. So I used a seam ripper to make some room between the bias tape and the fabric, shoved the tie in between and restitched. Not the cleanest or easiest way, but it worked. And it was on the back side so it's not really visible.

I have another one in progress that will go down the long end of the crib, but I'm not sure I need it now. The side of the crib is right by the door, so E never really hangs out by that side. We've had it in place for about a week or two now and so far she's only figured out how to pull it off once. I moved the end ties around the corner post and that seemed to help. I am optimistic that it will keep the crib in great shape for any future uses :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

$5 wall art

I bought these unfinished pine mirrors from Ikea a few years ago - a pack of four of them for $3. And I never really had a good sense of what to do with them. It's just the lure of cheap crap from Ikea. I can't resist.

Anyway, last year I painted two of them for E's room, and stuck the other two unfinished on the wall in the downstairs bathroom. I always intended to do something with them, but never got around to it.

Well today after a tea party with the girls, we visited this crazy fun shop in Antioch called Hannah's where I found some very cute scrapbook paper. When I'm out with the girls I have this horrible habit of buying lots of scrapbook paper and then never using it. I have a lot of very cute paper just sitting around waiting for inspiration and free time to coincide. Alas.

So, I was determined to do something with the paper I got today. After E went to sleep, I got out my cutting mat and some mod podge and put the paper on the mirror. Easy peasy and I think they look great - and lots better than the unfinished wood! And cheap too - $5 total!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A Few Party Ideas...

A friend of mine recently asked for some help with a few decorations for a gathering she was having with some friends. I pulled together a few ideas and we decided to try a few things we found on Pinterest (where else?)

First, we bought18 wine glasses from the dollar store and dipped the bases in chalkboard paint. My friend already had the paint, so the total for this project was only $18!

This was a pretty simple project. I dumped some paint into an old Ziploc brand container and then dipped the glasses into the paint. (The dollar store glasses are the tiniest bit too big to dip straight into the paint quart.)  The hardest part was figuring out how to let them air dry.

I used a quart of rustoleum chalkboard paint, but I think it would be easier to use chalkboard spray paint, simply because instead of dipping the bases in paint you just spray the bases and don't have to deal with all the drips. Anyway, I held them over the paint bowl until all the major drips ran off, then propped them up on a couple Ziploc brand containers and rotated them every few minutes until they were dry enough to stand upside down without dripping. I also wrapped painters tape around the base of each stem to stop any drips. This also helped keep the glasses from rolling off the containers. If I thought more about this step ahead of time, I probably would have tried slicing up an old foam pool noodle and placing each stem in a slit to dry.

Within an hour or so, they dried to a nice smooth chalkboard finish and will be a fun way for guests to mark their glasses. You could do this with anything and I am already thinking of other ways to use chalkboard paint - hot cocoa mugs perhaps? 

Next, we took some inspiration from Martha Stewart and put together some labels for the buffet table. I simply cut out an oval shape, used a hole punch on each end, and fed a ribbon through. (I'd suggest writing on them before feeding the ribbon through, if you can.) These were simple to make and look elegant on a table. You could also use these as table place cards - I made 20 for less than $4.

The final project was a bit more ambitious because I had never spray painted before and have always been intimidated by it. It was easy! We collected a few empty wine bottles (it helped that this was the week after New Year's!) I spray painted them a nickel color (Krylon has a line of metallic colors.) Then, after they dried, I used Elmer's craft spray adhesive to coat the outside and then rolled them in Epsom salt. The salt makes the bottles look like they were coated in snow. You can get the Epsom salt at any drugstore for a few bucks - I got this carton in the first aid section at Target. (The paint came from Hobby Lobby and the glue from Michael's.)

To give a little added dimension, I put some rubber bands on one of the bottles before painting. After rolling in the salt, I removed the bands to expose the clear glass. It's difficult to see here but it gave it a neat look with a stark contrast between the snowy white and the clear glass. It would be really cool to drop in a thin candle or an led light to twinkle through the glass.

I placed the bottles on a silver tray from the dollar store, then filled them with some metallic floral stems from the after-Christmas clearance at Michael's. I added some more salt to the tray to look like snow and then arranged some ornaments, metallic balls and tea lights around the base of the tray.

One note about the spray adhesive - when using it, be sure to pay attention to overspray. I placed paper around the bottles before spraying, but still managed to get glue all over my dining room table, my scissors and my hands. It definitely gets everywhere and leaves a sticky residue. Fortunately I had some Goo Gone on hand to clean everything up.

These were fun projects for me and I was able to try a few new things - like spray paint and chalkboard paint - that I had been looking to try.

Handmade by Holly

My sister-in-law Holly put together this really great photo puzzle for my daughter for Christmas. She started with a basic Melissa & Doug shapes puzzle, but you could begin with anything. First, she updated the front of the pieces with some adorable coordinating scrapbook paper. Then, underneath all of the pegs, she mod-podged photos of family members. My daughter loves pulling off the pieces to see who is underneath! Thanks Aunt Holly!