Sunday, April 29, 2012

plywood artwork

Finding large artwork is proving to be difficult and expensive. We have a number of walls with huge voids.. I think this low cost project is perfect.

Inspired by apartment therapy  I decided to tackle a very large project using plywood and some paint

Supply List
1 sheet plywood
paint or spray paint
painters tape
vinyl letters


1. Choose your text, ours is from the TRAGICALLY HIP song Ahead by a Century

2. Remove any stickers or price tags from your plywood

3. Paint or spray your plywood if you would like your text to be colored, otherwise skip this step if you would like your words to be natural. I used rustoleum spray paint

4. Spray or paint a nice even coat and let it dry

5. Make sure you have enough vinyl letters for your text, I purchased 4" letters from staples as they were slightly cheaper than Michaels. Letters could be larger or smaller depending on your personal preference.

 6. Using painters tape create a line to follow. I placed my lines 5 inches apart and used a level to ensure the tape was somewhat straight.

7. Add your text making sure the bottom of the letter is lined up with the tape. I used my the width of my thumb as a guide for spacing between letters and I used the width of 4 fingers for spacing between each word.

8. Once you have added your text, smooth over each letter with your finger to ensure that its secure and there are no air bubbles. Remove painters tape.

9. Next apply paint directly over the plywood and your letters. I used a martha stewart tester size in "Zinc" and a foam roller brush

My assistant made sure I didn't miss any spots

10. Once the paint is dry, carefully peel away the vinyl letters

11. If any of the paint has bled onto your text you can take a knife and softly scrape away at it, I didn't want mine to look perfect so I just tackled any major spots.

12. And the final product!!! We will probably just drill it right onto the wall

Thanks for looking!!

Family Room
Area Rug
Make Pillows
Fireplace Makeover
Lengthen Curtains and Hang higher
Photo Wall
Large artwork
update sofa covers

Monday, April 23, 2012

Dear Ikea

Dear Ikea,
I don't know why I continue to run back to you. Even when I'm certain I can do better I continue to stay loyal. I thought that one day I would have beautiful grown up furniture not purchased at Ikea, I huffed and puffed and made the argument that no matter what happens with our reno budget  WE WILL, WE MUST purchase new furniture that will not need to be hauled home in a million boxes and assembled. My loving husband agreed. We began our crazy long search and found.. wait for it.. NOTHING.

Okay that's not entirely true, I did have my eye on a cute little number from Urban Barn and after scouring the city we realized our options were limited. Ken and I headed back to Urban Barn hand in hand to make the big purchase.. stood in front of this lovely grey sofa with tufts, took one look at each other and walked out. Her handsome price tag did not make her that much better than her cheap cousins at Ikea. So here we are again.. unwrapping boxes and crossing fingers. So Ikea, its because of your amazing prices, your comfortable furniture (if you get the right stuff), your kid friendly and removable fabrics that keep me coming back. Its a love hate relationship.. but so far you and me.. we're good.

When Ikea gives you more boxes

there is no excuse not to make forts

or cardboard houses

our first sectional sofa.. the karlstad

found these pillows at superstore! great price at under $15 each and adds a bit of color for now

Front Room
complete bookshelf
area rug
side table project
window treatment
purchase sofa
spray sofa legs

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Bye Bye Beige.. Hello Grey

We have owned the Ikea Ektorp sofas for many years and our old beige cover has been washed one too many times. To see the covers in person they are completely faded and would not see the light of day again. We have kept our floral covers on the sofas for awhile now but its time for a change. I'm in love with the new Svanby Gray  cover which Ikea has recently brought out..
I brought the new cover home and loved the updated look instantly. Here is our sofa $329 later

But what to do with the old beige covers? There had to be something I could do with them other than post on kijiji for $10 or throw in the trash. I began seeing posts here and there about a new dye on the market that could be used for front load washers called IDye. Honestly the thought of dye freaks me out a bit, we splurged big time on our new washer and dryer and they are on the list of  most expensive things we've bought for the house. I couldn't imagine them ruined. I would be devastated.  After much research I found my courage and gave it a go. I was able to find IDye online HERE but luckily I found a great Art Store  downtown that also carried the line. I purchased 2 packages of Silver Grey which retail at $4.95 each. Here is how it went down and here are the DIRECTIONS from the website.

Old Beige covers - this photo has been kind

IDye Silver Grey

Dissolved 2 packets in 4 cups of hot water and added 2 cups of salt

Add mixture to shiny new washing machine and pray
Next add your WET sofa covers

Set your machine to the hottest and longest cycle possible, I chose SANITIZE and added extra rinse

Let the magic happen! Once the washer has stopped you run the covers through a regular wash using a mild detergent

The result was a DYE FAIL. The covers were blotchy.

My Mistakes
1. Not enough dye!! I used two packs which according to the website should be enough for appx 6 pounds of fabric. I should never guess when it comes to dye.. our love seat covers are just over 11 pounds!!!!

2. There was too much fabric in the machine, the material could not move freely and therefore some parts didn't get great coverage.

So back to the store to pick up 4 packages and do it right. Unfortunately the store only had 2 packs left. We made the decision to try again anyway (I have no patience)  but this time we used one pack for the sofa cover and the other pack just for the cushion covers. We repeated the above steps and our final result wasn't too bad. There were a few lighter spots but i think it would have been completely even if we had used enough dye.  Its not a perfect match to the Svanby Gray but for a grand total of $20 opposed to $329.. I think I can live with it :)

Monday, April 16, 2012

DIY Roman Blind


I adore our new  kitchen however I'm not fond of the terrible view which looks out directly to the side of our neighbours house and window. We have lived here for approximately 5 months and haven't even bothered to change out the horrible plastic mini blinds which I'm certain are original to the house.. straight from the 80's !
After browsing pinterest I found many posts on do it yourself roman blinds.  No sewing? the chance to use beautiful fabric? sold.

I found the directions at involving color  to be most helpful. She clearly has great taste as her kitchen is very similar to mine!

I've had my eyes on Maize Print Vintage Blossom  and had no problem finding a yard of it at Chintz. Next I purchased a small bottle of no sew fabric glue from Walmart.

Here we go..

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After careful measurements, we began cutting fabric and gluing seams (Hubby hands, not mine)

Note to self: next time purchase fabric glue that does NOT require ironing.. this increased the project time by HOURS.  

Basically you remove all of the slats except for a few, this will determine how many folds your blind will have. Once you lay your fabric out, ensure you have about 1/2 inch allowance on the sides to ensure the blinds are hidden. Glue the fabric to the blinds and let dry