Category Archives: make-a-week

Dresser to Credenza DIY

A few months ago I turned an old dresser into a credenza to put my t.v. on. Since I moved into Ryan’s house I’ve finally been able to use it and since I found my camera I have pictures too!

I didn’t take any before pictures but imagine that brown with two more drawers. I took the drawers out along with the stuff that holds drawers in ( I don’t have any idea what that’s called). I hand sanded everything, primed it, and painted it.

The wood there is old barn wood that was at my parents house. I used a hand saw to cut it and felt very strong for a few hours.

The credenza spent a few months living in my parents barn before I moved into the house with Ryan and there was room for it. Now I keep my camera collection on it, electronics cables in the drawer, and the t.v. and Wii on top.



You probably (haven’t) noticed but I didn’t make anything to post this week. Oops!

That is because I have been busy learning to take care of twin babies. My boss had twins 3 months ago and now she unfortunately has to go back to work. I, on the other hand, am still only working weekends until the middle of June. So for 3 days of the week I’m twin-sitting most of the day.

I have been thinking about how much blogging I’m going to be able to do once I start working full time again and now I think I’ll get to ease into figuring that out.

One of the things I find frustrating in my life right now (one of very few things, I’m very lucky) is that I feel like I’m living in two places. I live at home, where all of my things are. And I spend a few nights a week at Ryan’s, where I have to plan ahead if I want to have my things with me. I find it hard to get a lot done when i’m shuffling between hanging out there, working, and being home. I think to solve some of this I’m going to start bringing my camera with me more places so I can take pictures and have something to blog about.

One day I’ll just live one place and be able to come home after work and do things, eat, sleep, and repeat.

Until then, and to make up for not making anything this week I’m going to make a list of the things I’d like to do this summer. So, if you get these posts in e-mails, I’m sorry to send you two in one day, and if you came here on your own- thank you and please check back later to see the list!

Make Things: Spring Swap!

Spring has sprung, even if it’s a little confused about what kind of weather it’s supposed to bring with it.

Thankfully, March had 5 fridays so it was time for a Phat Quarter swap. The theme is “spring” and I had lots of wild ideas about making a really crazy weather forecast thing, but it wasn’t going to work out the way I wanted it to, so I took this as an opportunity to practice some stitches. I don’t often do fill stitches, because I  forget they don’t all have to be satin stitch to fill something well.

The S is just running stitch, the P is filled with french knots, and the R is filled with fern stitch.

The I is satin stitch. The N is a detached chain stitch (also known as lazy daisy) but I kept the entry and exit points wide so it would look scalloped. The G is done with running stitch.

I probably should have painted the back of this frame too, huh? Oh well! Having a frame with staples in it makes it easy to finish a piece. I cut a piece of thin cardboard to the size of the frame, wrapped the fabric around it and stuck it in the frame. Then I folded the fabric down and pushed the staples down.

I thought about putting a nice piece of fabric on it to really make it look “finished” but I don’t want it to be complicated if the recipient needs to take it out to wash it.

I did add some string so it can be easily hung up though.

I’m going to send it out in the mail tomorrow, but I wanted to show it off today!

What have you been making lately?

Make Things: Painted Frame

Today I got a late start, Ryan didn’t have to work until 1pm so we spent the morning watching TV. When I finally got home I painted a frame to prepare it for an embroidery swap. Here are some photos! It’s not exactly a tutorial because the only directions you really need are “step one: paint frame”. Haha

I started with some plain frames, white and teal paint, a brush, and something to put the paint on.

Next I mixed my paint up! When you’re mixing a color and white it’s best to start with the white and add the color a little at a time. This way you don’t end up with too much paint because you had to keep lightening it.

Next, and very importantly, paint your frame! Even more importantly, take an instagram picture while you wait for the first coat to dry.

The last step for me was to use the extra paint on a plastic triceratops.

Paint Chip Bunting

It was gorgeous out all last week so on Thursday I got to work and made some bunting to decorate my room. I really like how it turned out and I think it has a nice quality of looking “DIY” and handmade without looking crappy (not that anything any of us ever makes looks crappy, haha).

I started with a handful of paint sample cards I got at the hardware store down the road. if you want each triangle to be one color you should get the cards with larger squares of color (the bunting above is actually the in-between parts of the triangles I cut). The bigger the square, the bigger your triangle can be without words on it. I didn’t mind having a little bit of the color names left, so I just cut them as big as I could.

Next I took a thick thread meant for sewing buttons and hot glued it to the back of each triangle. Tape would work just as well if you don’t have hot glue. Any other kind of string or ribbon will work fine too- this is a very versatile project!

I would consider this for wedding decoration, easy to sit down with friends and make a lot of it some afternoon.

(If I were better at staging my photos I would have backed the cars out of the frame, oh well!)

After taking these pictures outside where you can actually see the colors I hung them up in my room. I took pictures but my orange room makes everything orange, see for yourself-

and that’s after lightening it!

I actually really like the duel color bunting I made with the leftover triangle parts (see the first picture). It says to me “I know I’m made out of paint samples, and I’m not trying to fool anyone.”

Mocking Jay Patches

Ryan bought the first book in the Hunger Games series with a gift card he got for the holidays. He read it quickly and then debated getting the second one in hardcover vs. waiting for the paperback. I told him he should wait because it would be cheaper. He bought it anyway and after having read them I understand why!

If you want to hear my feelings on the Hunger Games series (and oh do I have feelings!) you can see my accidental book report I wrote after finishing the third book.

The symbol on the patch I made is a mockingjay. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I won’t explain it any more, but if you read any of the books you’ll understand.

This is the first time I’ve ever done a stencil with more than one layer. The stencil wasn’t perfect but it worked well enough. I did the bird, arrow, and circle in separate parts.

I only made two patches, one for myself and one for Ryan, but I may make more if anyone wants one.

I’d like to try and make a pin as well, perhaps out of a plastic lid of some sort. It wouldn’t be fancy but it would be free, and that’s my favorite kind of thing.

The movie comes out tomorrow (or just the first book) but I’m waiting to go on Sunday with Ryan. Don’t worry I’ll let you know what I thought of it!

Make Things: More Scarves

For the holidays my sister got me some beautiful yarn. It’s 100% wool, by Quince & Co. The color is Bird’s Egg and I just love that they name the different thicknesses of wool after different birds. This is Puffin, a chunky wool. My how I love chunky wool!

I had it sitting in my stash for months waiting for the perfect project to arise, but since it was getting to be the end of February I decided I needed to make something soon!

I cast on 26 and did a simple seed stitch until I ran out of yarn then I did a three needle bind off (my favorite way to join a scarf like this one). This took two skeins   and ended up being exactly the right size.

The color is more like the first two pictures, the second turned out very blue. It’s definitely a robin’s egg color, which if you haven’t guessed, is one of my favorite colors. I’m glad I finished it so quickly because it’s been warm out these past few days. I hope I get some wear out of it before spring really gets here!

What do you knit once it gets warm out?

Stencil time! Plus a Giveaway!

 In college I got to know an amazing group of women through the GYN clinic we all ran on campus. We lovingly refer to each other as “wemoon”. They are some of the most fantastic feminists I’ve ever met. I don’t get to go see them as often as I’d like so I made some patches inspired by how much I miss them.

I ended up making around 30 patches, some just the feminist symbol, some lightning bolts, and one fancy combo! A few weeks ago I sent one to each of the Wemoon whose addresses I have.

I may make a new header image out of this I love it so much.

I also did some experimenting the lightning bolts and think they came out pretty fantastically.  Perhaps I have a future in amateur printmaking!

I think the stencil itself looks beautiful with all the rainbow paint on it as well.

This is just some store bought stencil paper (thickish plastic). I held it up to my computer screen and traced the design with a thin permanent marker and then used an exacto knife to cut it out (not on my computer screen of course!)

I tried a few methods of painting the stencil but because it is so small and delicate I ended up just using my finger and kind of dabbing the paint on. That way I could push the stencil down to keep it in contact with the fabric so no paint got under.

I have friends who do some serious stenciling and I would love to have a better understanding of multilayered stenciling designs.

I have some extra patches too so to celebrate the leap year I’m doing a give away!

If you would like to have one comment telling me where you would wear or display your patch. Each patch has a lightning bolt side and a feminism symbol side, if that makes a difference to you.

If an astounding amount of people comment I may randomly generate the winners but if not I will send patches to the first 5 or 6 people that comment.  Make sure I have a way to contact you so I can get an address when the time comes!

December Phat Quarter Swap

Every month that has a fifth Friday we do a swap over at the Phat Quarter group on Flickr. December’s theme was “it’s not the end of the world.” Sometimes I think I take things too literally, but I also think I put a funny spin on this.

The fish on the jacket is my way of paying a little homage to my swap partner, filmresearch. He does a lot of amazing embroidery including his coelacanth (it’s a fish!) collection. I was lucky enough to receive an awesome piece from him in a previous music themed swap. It’s here if you’re interested.

I stitched this on canvas and decided afterwards to back it with a fun polkadot fabric I had on hand. I ended up sewing it together like a pillow without stuffing. I think it would have looked a bit less like a pillow if I had ironed it as well- ah hindsight!

My partner’s already received this and I’m happy to report he likes it very much, which makes me ecstatic!

I also received something pretty great in the swap.

SalvagedMutiny made this for me and I think it’s awesome! The fabric is hand rust-dyed, which is a process I had never seen before, and the red thread is metallic! I love swaps because you get to see such a wide variety of techniques.

Make Things: Glitter Key!

I saw this great tutorial on how to glitter your key over at All Things Charming. I was inspired to try and make my own sparkly key too! Here’s how it went:

First I gathered my supplies. It turns out that although I have a zillion random craft supplies I don’t have simple white glue. Bizarre. I do have ModPodge though so I used that.

I used a paint brush to get the key nice and gluey.

After you get the glue on it’s time to dump the glitter. The most important thing I learned teaching arts & crafts to kids is to always have a piece of paper under your work that you can use to funnel the glitter back into your container.

The last step is to seal the glitter with a few coats of clear nail polish. The tutorial at ATC suggests using a few coats and she is spot on. Keys go through a lot of jingling about and not only do you want to keep the glitter on your key, you want to keep it off of everything else.

Thanks to All Things Charming for the tutorial, be sure to visit her blog for a lot of great crafting and DIY inspiration!