Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dresser to Nursery Changing Table Make-Over!

As I mentioned in my last post, we're going to welcome a baby into our family some time soon through adoption. The waiting period for a baby can be tough! But we've been able to make it a happy time as we have spent it preparing for the little one to arrive. Getting a nursery ready is a blast for someone who loves to craft as much as I do!

At the beginning of the year, I made a trip over to our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore, in search of something that I could make over into a changing table for the baby's room. As soon as I walked into the store, I spotted this beauty of a dresser (for $30!) and knew my search was over.

It's the perfect size for our space, and aside from the Kermit-like drawers and some minor damage to the surface, it was in pretty fine condition. With a little sanding, a little priming, painting and a coat of wax, I knew it would be like new.

Sassy gave it an inspection, and I'm pretty sure he approved.

I didn't photograph the re-do process but if you'd like to take on a project like this, I recommend checking out the many amazing furniture make-overs that can be found on the fabulous blog of Centsational Girl for inspiration and instructions. (Here's one of my favorites.)

I decided to paint the dresser white, to refinish the drawer pulls with yellow paint, and to add some railing to the top. And here's the final result!

Now I can finally share where the changing pad I re-covered has ended up:

And here's a look at the railing I added to the top. I bought this railing at Home Depot, cut it down to size, sanded, primed, painted and affixed it to the top with some very strong adhesive.

I was originally thinking that I might buy new drawer pulls, but once I sanded the original ones, primed them and painted them yellow, I thought they were a cheery addition, so I kept them:

There you have it! For $30 and a little elbow grease, we have a like-new changing table for our nursery. I wonder what I should refinish next...?

Monday, October 7, 2013

Knitty Kitty!

Now that fall has arrived, I'm in the mood to do a little knitting again. I started a scarf for Steven yesterday, and today I stopped by my favorite shop to buy some new needles so that I can finally take the plunge and learn how to knit in the round. (Wish me luck with that!)

Getting back into the knitting groove reminded me of a knit project that I worked on earlier this year that I haven't shared here yet: a knit kitty cat!

I wanted to use up some spare yellow cotton yarn that I had in my craft stash, and I wanted to make a toy cat for the baby who will be coming into our lives (through adoption) at some point sooner or later. I googled around a bit for ideas and found this cute little pattern to base my project on. 

And here's how he turned out:

He's got a bit of a wonky look to him, but I still think he's kind of sweet. And it was good for me to let go of my perfectionist tendencies and just let a project evolve for a change!

Meow! Tune in here again in a couple days to see another baby-related project: the beat-up thrift store dresser that I made over into a changing table for our nursery!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Ballet Flats Makeover!

I worked on such a quick and easy craft project this weekend!

I have two pairs of flats in my closet that I haven't worn in the longest time. I snapped them up cheap at Famous Footwear a couple of years ago for under $20 a pair. (Which was a steal, since they are Born brand; a quick check of their website shows that their flats go for around $90!) I bought them because they were cheap and very comfortable, but I never really loved the big leather flowers that were stuck on the toes. 

I have them in black:

...and in gold:

This weekend I decided to see if I could get rid of those silly flowers and give these comfy flats a more current and grown-up look.

I thought the flowers were just glued on, but when I took them off, I found that they were glued and stitched. This meant that I had sticky residue and needle holes to contend with.

Yeesh. Not cute. First I gave them a little TLC with some shoe cream, which improved their condition quite a bit. 

Next I thought that some studs and a bit of strong adhesive could cover up the punctures on the toes quite nicely. I found this post, which gave me plenty of inspiration and the idea to order these studs to get the look I was going for. 

I played around with the studs on the black shoes until I came up with a pattern that I liked, and then I stuck 'em down with a little E-6000. And here's how the black flats turned out:

(I wore them out to a very fun birthday party on Saturday night with my favorite Smurfette tights.)

For the gold shoes, I decided to try something a little more bold. I've been really enjoying all the cap-toe shoe styles that I've been seeing around, so I thought I'd try to recreate that look. 

I googled "DIY cap toe flats" to get some inspiration from the web, and decided to use some spray paint for this makeover.

I went to our local hardware store and picked up a can of neon yellow spraypaint. I wrapped the shoes in saran wrap and taped them off where I wanted the yellow to end, and sprayed on a few coats of paint.

I didn't expect the paint to cover up the needle holes on the toes... once the paint was dry, I grabbed my glue and created a studly little square to cover them up. And voila! Aren't they cute? 

Now I've got two rehabbed pairs of comfy flats for the cost of one can of spray paint (about $5), a package of studs ($3.95 plus free shipping and I've got a few hundred studs left over) and one tube of E-6000 ($6, and it too will last me through many more projects). 

Now what else do I have laying around here that I can give some new life to?

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Mad Men Season Six Withdrawal

Well, folks, season six of Mad Men has ended and Don Draper is not the only one having the delirium tremens. HOW, I ask you, HOW am I to carry on living until season seven comes??? And let's not even talk about what survival looks like when the show is actually over; I am quite sure that residential rehab will be required to treat my Mad-diction.

So here I sit, with Zou Bisou Bisou playing in a never-ending loop, and I thought I'd finally share the rest of the pics from the season six shindig we threw back in April.

In my last post, I shared that our Mad Men season six premiere party had a luau theme, inspired by the fact that episode one was set in Hawaii: 

Back in the late winter and early spring when our party plans were coming together, I was totally on the prowl for a perfect late-60's hawaiian muu-muu. I knew that I found my dream frock when I stepped into a thrift shop in Woodstock, NY named Castaways (which is apparently so retro they don't have a website!) and spotted this little beauty:

I loved the colors, I loved the pattern, and I loved the fit, but I was not feeling the super-long length. Fortunately, I knew that could be fixed easily enough, so fourteen bucks later, this baby was mine.

The dress is a Ui-Maikai brand muu-muu, made right in Hawaii. If you want to snag one of these for yourself, a quick etsy search will lead you to heaps of them.

To get this thing party-ready, I set about chopping off all that excess fabric at the bottom. The faint blue dotted line on the left of this photo was my cutting line.

Whenever I want to shorten a dress, I always pull out a dress that already has a length I like, and use that as a guide:

Once the excess fabric was safely tucked into my fabric stash (and I can't wait to figure out what I'll be doing with it!), it was a simple matter of pressing the raw edge under:

...and stitching the new hem in place:

Now, before I reveal the after shots of the dress, I have a few other party preparations to share with you!

We knew we'd have some very hard-core fans at our gathering, so a Mad Men season five trivia quiz was created:

...and season five-themed prizes were procured for the trivia quiz winner:

In our goodie bag of prizes, we had Heinz Baked Beans, a bag of Bugles, and a mix of our favorite tunes from season five.


Since we were throwing a luau, of course there were leis for all:

As everyone knows, if you're expecting the gang from Sterling Cooper Draper Price to come over, you better stock up on booze:

...and going along with our tiki motif, we knocked back Blue Hawaiians and Mai Tai cocktails:

And here's how I pulled my newly shortened dress together with my refurbished earrings and some big, teased and hairsprayed hair:

Steven and I snapped a couple of selfies before our guests arrived:

We had an absolute blast welcoming season six in with a bunch of really wonderful friends. I cannot believe that the entire season is already behind us!

I don't think it's too soon to start dreaming about season seven, and to start pulling together our final premiere party ideas, do you? 

I can hardly contain my excitement over the fashion options for next year's big soiree! (Will somebody please alert the local vintage/consignment shops to expect a run on polyester pantsuits?)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Mad Men Season Six Premiere Party -- Mod Earring Make-Over!

We were so very excited last Sunday when Mad Men finally returned to the air with the season six premiere!

We had seen some advance photos from episodes 1-2 so we knew we'd find the Drapers in Hawaii when the new season opened up. This gave us the perfect excuse to have a few friends over for a Mad Men viewing party, luau-style!

I'll share the fabulous vintage Hawaiian muu-muu that I scored in my next post, but first I thought I'd highlight the fun earrings that I pulled together for the event. Since Mad Men is firmly in the late 1960s now, we've got some more mod fashion elements coming into view. I was loving some of the dangly earrings that we saw in season five, such as this pair worn by Cynthia Cosgrove in episode five:

For weeks I was on the HUNT to find something similar to wear at our viewing party! I had just about given up, and then the day before the party, I came across just the thing while browsing one of the antique shops in town. Here's how they looked before:

I instantly loved the shape of these earrings, but I wasn't feeling the color or the worn off paint. And there's just something a little icky about wearing used pierced earrings, right? No problem! I bought them for a couple dollars and brought them home for a make-over. First step was to remove the used earring findings:

I knew that I wanted white earrings so a paint job was next. I wired the earrings so they dangled off our workbench:

And gave them a spritz of white paint that we already had leftover from an earlier project:

I let them dry overnight, and then pulled out some new earring hooks, also from my craft stash:

And here's the finished look:

Aren't they fun? Soon I'll share the muumuu that I made over for the party, along with the big old late-60s hairdo that I teased and sprayed into place for the night. I better run; the next episode of Mad Men is on in a little while!