Monday, March 31, 2014

Ikea Rast Hack - Union Jack Night Stands

Whew - What a crazy couple of weeks! I have been dying to get this transformation up but who knew that when you kid turns four the world stops turning for some crazy amount of time. I think we're still recovering from her party and out of town guests!

As I teased a few weeks ago, I had big plans for a couple of tiny $35 dressers that I had grabbed at Ikea. As part of my commitment to the Country Chic Blogger Squad this was one of the first projects that I checked off my list because once my tufted headboard came together it was just looking so naked next to my bed and it was finally time to fill it with some night stands!

Before we even put the Rast together I had Tim stain the outside perimeter and then I painted the entire drawer fronts in Country Chic Midnight Sky. When that had dried over night I got to work tapping off the largest parts of my Union Jack. I wasn't a perfectionist about it and just did some quick measurements and eye balling. First color was Country Chic Simplicity (white) and then after that had dried a bit I re-taped for Country Chic Devotion (red). The red was a little thinner and needed two coats but the upside of chalk based paint is how quickly it dries! Right away I did some wet towel distressing - easily my new favorite way to get that vintage rubbed look without the mess of sanding. Later in the day when it was fully dry I added some Country Chic Antiquing wax all over with a wax brush. I ended up doing two coats to get just the right tint.

I am super happy with the results and love the statement it adds to our bedroom!
xoxo melissa

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Purge - Are You In?

Out! Out! Out!

That has been my motto these last two months - If you haven't looked at it, touched it, worn it, or even knew where it was, into the donate bag it goes. I read a great article recently about someone who downsized from thousands of square feet to a couple hundred and was pleasantly surprised on what she was ok with letting go. Birthday cards, clothes you're "sure" you will wear again, etc etc. However her and I didn't see eye to eye on one suggestion - Throwing out things like your graduation announcement or invitation to your first baby's shower, those are things that I love to find of my past and I can only imagine my kids will appreciate that I kept them. You know what I really didn't need to be storing anymore? All my pregnancy tests from the kids - Ya, I know, you don't want to be friends anymore…

It is amazing how freeing it has felt to throw away throw away! With each bag I filled and tossed my mind felt less cluttered and I was feeling more and more inspired to keep up with housework. The other best part is I feel less inclined to buy things that aren't absolutely necessity. Target trips don't take a few minutes actual shopping plus a hour of wandering and impulse buying because the thought of driving the clutter back in keeps my will power to say no strong.

Here are some ideas to get you started getting rid of all the stuff.

Photos, cards and crafts crap - Some major purges I did included going from six bins of photos down to two. It was time to let go of blurry photos, ripped photos, and thousands of duplicates. Pictures of people that I don't share my life with anymore or had any real good memories with, the seven thousand wallets from the fifty-five different formal dances I went to, and more. In the craft closet I went from two sets of drawers and six bins down to one set of drawers and three wonderfully organized bins. I threw away tiny scraps of paper and fabric that I was now sure I would never need. I threw out sixteen of the seventeen versions of each type of crayon, marker, and glue stick that we had. Half finished projects and supplies from projects that didn't make sense on their own went. I just let it all go.

Clothes and toys - Tim, the kids and I all cut our closets in half. There was no more mourning over clothes that would never fit again or things that needed major repairs. Going forward I am going to be more purposeful with my buying. Only purchase things that we really love, that will last, and will stand the test of time and trends. Toys are a huge issue in this house as I am sure they are in a lot of houses. Bottom line we had way to many - It was my fault too, I had real issues with letting go of toys that I carefully picked out and spent a lot of money on, even if no one ever played with it and it was pink and probably wouldn't interest Robin down the line. I got over that last month, thank god. We picked out the few toys that each kid really played with on a daily basis and the rest went. Then those left toys were divided in half and will be rotated monthly.

Furniture, documents, and keepsakes - There was at least five pieces of furniture or large storage that were sharing the same purpose - Storing documents that we were pretty sure would be important one day and trinkets friends gave us or we collected randomly years ago. Tim and I spent two hours one night sorting and shredding what we didn't need down to a few relevant items that are all now in one functional file box. The trinkets? If it had been stored out of sight for this long then its feelings wouldn't be hurt to hit the trash. Boom - five pieces of small random furniture now in the garage sale pile.

Other ideas:
Kitchen gadgets you never use or have something else that can do the same thing.
Toys missing pieces or are slightly broken
Organize really special notes, tickets, etc into one nice book and chuck the rest.
Puzzles and games - In our house puzzles are usually one time use so we like to cycle them through goodwill.

That's it, you're ready to get started! Do you have some great ideas of things people can shed from their clutter? I'd love to hear them - I might use them myself!
xoxo melissa

Monday, March 10, 2014

Ikea Rast Hacks You Have To See!

It just so happened that I was selected for the Country Chic Paint Blogger Squad right around the same time I wrapped up my tufted headboard DIY - That had me immediately dreaming about bedside tables for my first CCP project. I searched Craigslist for days but nothing was really speaking to me (because furniture speaks obviously). I had aways pictured something a little taller and more regal so I was really hoping to luck out on a pair of small dressers. When that dream came and went I hit up Pinterest to inspire me - That is when I found an unlimited search of Ikea Rast hacks.

The Rast is filed under "dresser" on Ikea's website but at 27" tall and 24" wide, I would hardly label this a dresser unless I only owned three shirts. You know what it is perfect for though? A night stand! I already had a design in mind before I found the Rast but that didn't stop me from drooling over some of these hacks. At about $35 a piece I might just end up with them all over my house serving different functions. I am totally inspired by the people who built up their Rast to add trim, molding, new larger tops, etc - This inexpensive Ikea furniture is hardly recognizable anymore! 

What do you think? Are you inspired? Guess which one mine will be similar to - Stay tuned this week to see what I do with my Rast dressers.
 Source: One, two, three.
 Source: One, two, three.
 Source: One, two, three.
xoxo melissa

Friday, March 7, 2014

Country Chic Paint 2014 Blogger Squad!

I may have leapt out of bed when I sleepily read an email congratulating me on being selected for the Country Chic Paint Blogger squad. Out of dozens of applicants I was chosen based off my vision and the furniture redo dreams floating around in my head. I was being given the opportunity to tackle some fun projects both in and out of my comfort zone!

Two seconds after replying to the email I was already searching Craigslist - At the top of my furniture redo dreams is a curvy and fun buffet with a set of nightstands for our bedroom following closely. The untouched mismatched chairs around our farm table made the list and so did the girls bunk beds…maybe. You may see a lot of stripes but I also want to push myself to try some fun new patterns and techniques. I even ordered a canister of antiquing wax - I can't wait to see how it brings a piece or two to life!

You can follow along with the rest of the blog squad both on their blogs and Pinterest:

Lindsay from My Creative Days: blog and Pinterest
Krista from The Happy Housie: blog and Pinterest 
Jen from Migonis Home: blog and Pinterest
Jane from Mamie Jane's: blog and Pinterest 
Heather from Inspire Me Heather: blog and Pinterest
DeDe from Designed Decor: blog and Pinterest
Carissa from Carissa Miss: blog and Pinterest
Rachel from Maison de Pax: blog and Pinterest
Randa from The Everyday Domestic: blog and Pinterest
Sarah from Life on Virginia Street: blog and Pinterest
Tricia from Little Cottage on the Pond: blog and Pinterest
Ashley from Dirt Stains and Paint: blog and Pinterest
Stacey from Embracing Change: blog and Pinterest

I can't wait to share this journey with you! I'd love to hear what kind of pieces you would like to see made-over or techniques you want to try out with me. Let's here it and i'll try and make it happen!
xoxo melissa

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our Valentine's A Month Late - Pin For Next Year!

I am so behind with the holidays! What is it about preschool and kindergarten that make days like Valentine's etc so nuts? Both Stella and Rowan had actual Valentine's off from school so it was a bit of a race that week wrapping up gifts and making sure we didn't forget anyone - Teachers, friends, bus drivers, neighbors, etc…check.
Rowan asked to recreate the same card we handed out at pre-k last year. I tried to steer her towards something different but she had final say so we went with it. Just like last year we picked out some fun festive fabric and hung it where we had some good light. Then we spent twenty minutes trying to explain to Rowan how to make a shocked and disturbed face like she really had an arrow in her head. It's really hard let me tell you. When we finally got a good one I pulled it into Photoshop to edit it and throw on some text. I print stuff like this at our local Staples for cheap. I had already grabbed packs of six long stick heart lollipops at Target for $1 so when we got home with the prints all we had to do was cut slits and stick the pops in. So easy and really fun to hand out!
Stella and I hit up Pinterest for hers - She was immediately drawn to a play-dough one she saw and with only 9 other kids in her class I didn't mind putting that one together for her. I picked up 10 Wilton heart cookie cutters at Joann's for $1/each and then 20% off my total. I also grabbed some pink Wilton fondant coloring, cellophane bags, and some glitter tape. We made one batch of dough using this recipe and chose to do three different shades of pink so there was a variety. With my ocd kicking in a little I weighed and rolled it all into perfect little balls.

I printed a similar dough recipe onto little cards, changing the name to "heart dough" and adding a XOXO Stella to the end. I took them into Staples and had them laminated so that her little friends could use the recipe over and over at home. We put everything together in the clear bags and finished it off with the tag and glitter tape.

I'm a major fan of Valentine's that don't have candy and I think her friends parents were too!
With some really great teachers in our lives I wanted the girls to give them something fun but practical. I was drawn immediately to this fun one on Pinterest and was thrilled to see it even came with a printable! I picked up several inexpensive glass measuring cups at Target and had the girls investigate their teachers favorite candy - Mrs. Nelsons was M&M's. Who doesn't need more Pyrex in their lives? We also tied on a EOS lip balm for a little something extra.

I am already dreaming of the fun boyish ones i'll get to do with Robin in a couple of years but for now i'm off to find some fun treats for St. Patrick's day!

It's my own personal preference to go all out with things like Valentine's. No judgement here for those that have just as much fun picking out pre made cards but I cringe when other mom's tell me they "hate me" (all in good fun) when I post pictures of a crazy fun holiday craft I just busted out. Only love here people, only love.

xoxo melissa

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Happy Birthday Dr. Suess + A DIY Olivia Costume

Happy birthday Dr. Suess! Even though the official date is March 2nd, Rowan's school spends all week celebrating him and all great books and authors alike. They kicked off the celebration last Friday with their annual "book character day". As soon as the fliers starting coming home, Rowan and I started planning. Unfortunately we couldn't squeeze her back into her Eloise costume from Halloween but we got right to work on her next very favorite book character - Olivia!
Stripes being all the rage right now I knew it wouldn't be an obstacle to find something. After a quick tour of Ebay I figured out pretty much anything Hanna Anderson would be perfect and found several great options at just the right price. I love the dress we picked out in the end - It is something she can wear again even when she isn't channeling her inner adventurous pig that day.

To make the ears I picked up some felt and a similar colored headband from Joann's. I googled searched "Olivia book" and narrowed down my results to only large ones to find this image. Then in photoshop I cropped Olivia's left and right ears to print so it filled one page each - I used these as stencils to cut out my felt. I threw a quick stitch around a front and back then looped some wire in before closing them up. To attach them so they wouldn't droop over I wound them once around the headband and hot glued them in place. Voila!

Most people knew who she was right away and some others thought she was a bunny. It was super fun to see what all the kids choose to dress up as - There were lots and lots of Cat in the Hats and her teacher was Mrs. Wishy-Washy. This Friday they wrap up the week with green eggs and ham, yum!
xoxo melissa

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


I've been talking about, pinning, and planning this headboard for months now. Ever since we upgraded from a full to a king and were left bed frame-less I knew I wanted something custom and eye catching to fill the space. It took me about two days of work, four hours or so, from start to hung. I went back and forth on if I would have it attach to the wall or bed but in the end it seemed like a much simpler process to just attach it to the wall. Of course I learned some awesome finger skin saving tricks right has I was wrapping up the last few buttons but at least I can pass them onto you!

This is going to be long and wordy but I know I work well with very specific instruction so hopefully this will help!

Step one: Cover your buttons! This is such a pain the butt, especially with a thick upholstery fabric. So you know what? Tim and I said screw it and hot glued the fabric on. You can use the press too - Either way looks great in the front and is holding up well. I covered 43 buttons in the span of a few Grey's Anatomy episodes.
Step two: Tim had my peg board cut at Home Depot. We went with 26"x80" to fit the foam I had and the width of our king bed. I laid it flat and planned out my buttons with a Sharpie - I choose to do 3 rows of 9 and 2 rows of 8. I found the very center peg hole and counted out 7 up and 7 across from there. This is totally personal preference though - How you want it to look in the end. I would just advise not getting closer then I did to the edge.
Step three: I cut down my foam (it was weird sized, a piece from Amazon or Joann's will be much easier to work with) and adhered it with a little spray adhesive. Next I worked to attach my batting around the foam to the back of the board using a staple gun. I highly recommend using a nomadic gun with an air compressor - Peg board is very dense. To finalize this step I used a long screw driver to punch through my selected holes into the foam, then I followed up that by cutting a X in the foam to create a passage for the buttons to sink.
Step four: I centered my fabric on my foam and started with the very center button. I put my needle, threaded with cording (similar to the kind on blinds), from back to front grabbed the button and came back through the same hole.
Here is the fun part - Once through with both ends of the cord, I would slip them onto a button. I would give it a quick tie, lay the board flat (back up), then using to pairs of pliers I would grab each end of cord and pull the knot as tight as I could while standing on the board. Then I would knot once more and glob with super glue for security.

I worked kinda in rows from the center and kinda up and down. I personally didn't worry too much about getting the perfect folds in the fabric. Finally when the buttons were all in I trimmed my fabric and attached to the back with staples. Tim was able to easily attach it to the wall using screws and the fact the board already has holes in it. We're about  a week in and it is holding up really well and I still stop and stare at it every time I walk in my room.
I'm not going to lie and say that this will be a super budget friendly project. It could be for a much smaller bed or if you have access to discounted materials. For example you could easily work with a cotton fabric that would be a quarter a price per yard or a twin bed would be less buttons and foam cutting the cost way down. In the end I spent about $80 on my project.

Things I would do different next time:
Use smaller buttons, maybe 3/4" or even smaller.
Burrow actual holes in the foam for the buttons to sink into. Maybe using a foam punch tool.
Do more of a "hospital" fold on my corners.

Supplies and price breakdown for my king sized headboard:
Peg board - $15
Foam - Free on trade from my mom. Similar found on Amazon for $50+.
Upholstery buttons - $20/for 50 purchased from my mom. Similar found here for $40+.
Fabric - $26/3 yards of upholstery chenille on clearance at Joann's.

Other possible purchases if you don't have or can borrow:
Long upholstery needle
Cord (I used cord exactly similar to the kind you find in blinds. It was perfect for pulling tight and having a good hold).
Random small buttons
Spray adhesive
Super glue

I am so in love with the way our room is shaping up! Stay tuned for some amazing ikea hack nightstands coming next week. My Country Chic Chalk paint arrives today and I am so excited to dive right in.

If you have any questions feel free to ask in the comments! I would love to hear of you try to make one of your own. It's really pretty easy once you get going.
xoxo melissa