Bling your TV

So what happens when you are desperate to avoid unpacking boxes after your SEVENTH¬†move in 3 years…you start looking at an old TV you just hauled up three flights of stairs and think to yourself, “Self, you should throw that ugly thing out…OR!…wait for it, new idea…I bet you could waste HOURS making that billion-year-old TV look less boring…Why, yes indeed I could and I will! Thanks for the great suggestion, self. You’re so thoughtful!”

And thus I present to you, in shocking 2-D, the birth of a blinged-out TV:

Take one boring, free, mostly functional TV..

Add some thinned out acrylic paint,

Add a liberal amount of Mod Podge and paper,

And still more layers of acrylic paint and some gold swirly paint,

And you have successfully killed a potentially productive day of work and now have a TV that, while still not nearly as impressive in picture quality as everyone else you know…BUT…way more fun to have in your living room.

Total cost:
(Free TV + craft stuff just sitting around.) Booyah!


Refurbishing a Desk on the Cheap

Every house has it, the dreaded ugly piece of furniture. (Sometimes this horrific fiend has an entire family of ugly friends clogging up your space.) And like me you walk past it and sigh. You know you should do something about it…but who has the money to replace it or time to deal with it? Then one day your brain snaps and the ugly must be dealt with, but how you ask? Super Cheap I reply.¬† Behold the ugly desk.¬† This dark beast labored under my computer and piles of crap in a darkly painted entryway with no windows, relentlessly sucking out what little light managed to peek into that corner. (Whose bright idea was the dark brown paint anyway?…Oh wait, mine…moving on.) Due to drying times this project will require a weekend to accomplish.originalSomething must be done, so I took stock of what I had – you can see it there sitting on top of the desk. Three pretty pieces of paper and some Mod Podge…I’m totally prepared. My plan was to cover the drawer pulls with the gold paper and use what I could of the tiny amount of cranberry paisley paper that was super pretty and super scarce. Off to the store I go with a sample of these two papers. Turns out no paint matches both so I buy a perfect match for the background color of the paisley paper…Salmon.

Newsflash: Salmon is Benjamin Moore code speak for shocking band aid pink. You have been warned.after first coat
I determined very quickly that my new giant, band aid pink desk is not in fact an improvement over the previous incarnation. Think, think, think. New plan. Go under the sink and pull out more of the light brown paint from when we first moved in and I was painting the apartment. Using a giftcard to maintain an equal distance from the edge of the desk I tape off a square with painter’s tape and make a brown square.

Hint: for clean lines paint a quick edge inside the tape with the background color and let dry for a few minutes before moving onto the next color.
While watching TV that night I used scissors and an exacto knife to cut out the swirly flowery pattern on one of the pretty papers that I liked. After letting the paint dry over night I traced the edge of the square with a gold paint pen I had left over from an old project. (You can’t tell much but it’s nice up close.) Then I played with the best arrangements of the design for a while and put a thin layer of Mod Podge under the paper and a thicker layer on top to decoupage it to the desk. Let this dry completely, a few hours should do it. I would hit it with another layer of glue to help protect the image.
drawer details
I also decided to paint the front of the drawers brown (there was still WAY too much pink going on.) the only thing I left pink was the handles which I Mod Podged little strips of the paisley paper onto. It still looked a bit unfinished so I hot glued some mint green buttons on top of the whole shebang after the top and drawers of the desk got a quick coat of Minwax. (Along with everything else in the house I have been avoiding sealing for the past three years.) The fumes…Oh the fumes…

finished deskHere it is, my brand new desk ready to handle all of my crafting needs in style, all for the whopping sum of $15 dollars and I still have a TON of Salmon paint left, you know…should you be dying to paint something in your home the color of band aids.

Full list of supplies for non-crafting, non-packrats. Keep in mind this grew out of what I had on hand.¬† If you don’t have something improvise. I never would have come up with so many pretty things if the pink hadn’t been so unexpectedly ugly.

  • Mod Podge (or Elmers Glue)
  • Foam Brush
  • Paint
  • Paint Brush
  • Painter’s tape
  • Gold Paint pen
  • Decorative Paper
  • Exacto knife
  • Minwax sealant
  • Buttons
  • Hotglue Gun

Why do people throw awesome things away?

I stalked this steamer trunk in our apartment’s basement for two years, praying that no one else would take it before I was comfortable grabbing it.¬† A lot of people move in to our building, a lot of people move out and A LOT of stuff gets left behind each year, but there is always the chance that someone might have been using the basement for storage.¬† I didn’t want to steal anything.¬† However, after two years of collecting dust this baby is MINE. (Nobody but our neighbor has lasted more than two years, so we figured we are safe.)

Why would anyone throw away something this awesome?  It is gorgeous and huge.  We vacu-sealed as much as we could to free up some closet space and packed this to the brim.  SO. VERY. HAPPY.chest
One of the apartments in my building is being renovated and they are throwing away all kinds of great stuff.¬† I have had to restrain the crafting side of me from grabbing doors and windows by the bucket load.¬† I let myself take just one thing…this super great window.¬† I now have six panes to fill with artwork before I hang it on the wall.¬† I did a mock up of a papercut I might do a few posts ago and I have a couple other ideas kicking around in my head for the other five panes.¬† It is a little difficult as the spaces are long and narrow, but I love a challenge.¬† Filling these spaces might be the focus of the blog for a while…let’s see what ends up in here.¬† Should be lots of fun!

Making Stone and Wire Pendants

finished pendants
I have some well documented issues with super glue (see previous post and lack of remaining fingerprints). So this week, while bemoaning the fact that I STILL have pretty, pretty rocks that I bought on a class field trip to the science museum in sixth grade! sitting at the bottom of my sewing box, epoxy was mentioned as a possible solution.¬† Naturally, I worried.¬† Would I end up stuck to the couch? Or worse, would I have to have James use his chemistry PhD skills to keep me out of the emergency room for a thumb-to-eye situation?¬† If I remember correctly epoxy is like the crack of super glues.¬† Embarrassing outcomes flowed quickly in my mind and I was ready to run and hide from my friends and tell them I had been struck by a car and could not attempt this very high skill level task that they were proposing.¬† I mean really, gluing…that is for the pros.¬† Give me a plasma cutter any day, I am likely to do far less harm.

But I am a big girl and I can face my fears, and a date was set.¬† Last night was the dreaded night I was to learn how to use fast setting epoxy.¬† And you know what, I really like it.¬† All the great versatility of super glue and there is enough time to go wash your hands. Read the rest of this entry »

Now I call wasting time on the Internet, “Marketing my Blog.” It sounds better right?

Why oh why did I not think of this?! I have spent the better part of an hour cruising through whip up which is where I stumbled across these super functional beauties.¬† I love this site.¬† I submitted something to be posted on there…maybe I have a shot. ¬† We shall see.¬† The lady who actually posted this idea has a site called julie-bird.

I have put aside my irrational dislike of net surfing and spent a whole day exploring the web and leaving a trail of comments.¬† And yes, I will only say this once…it pains me to do so…there is a lot of really cool stuff people are making and I have not totally hated spending my time doing this.¬† But it just seems such a waste of time.¬† Like I am slacking off.¬† This is what I did when I was avoiding work when I had a 9 to 5 job so I have a hard time accepting that some amount of time web surfing is needed to make your virtual presence felt by others.¬† Simply posting on your own blog is not enough.¬† I am making a commitment to myself to set aside at east one or two evenings a week to do this more regularly.

Now I just have to figure out a way not to die of jealousy because everyone out there in the world seems more clever than I am…I mean really! How did I not think of this!

How to Make a Purse out of a Skirt

I am really happy with this recycling project.  It only takes one day and almost no space or money.  That is pretty much a necessity in my apartment.  I can still see what I could have done better, but I do not think that it takes away from the beauty or functionality of the finished product. Everything came together wonderfully, and this purse is sturdy as hell.  Click on the pictures to enlarge, the fabric trim is GORGEOUS!

Man is it big!¬† I wanted a sturdy craft bag to take to my knitting group, this thing can handle the biggest blanket I can make. (I know because I am making the world’s most ridiculous blanket…nothing like a beginner biting off more than they can chew…wait until you see this monster!…seriously 10 1/2 to 11 feet long crocheted with no holes…nuts!) And this blanket fits inside with room to spare (see last image.)

I would first like to thank my cousin Stephanie who was very patient with the fact that I am not a seamstress and my sewing table consists of a $10 TV tray from Target with a cheap sewing machine on top (someday I will have a home and a craft room…)¬† She helped me figure out what might work and together we totally butchered another skirt first to learn everything the hard way.¬† Take a look at the tiny, tiny, tiny fabric hemmed onto the shoulder straps; ALL Stephanie…you go girl. (It was all the fabric I had left in this pattern.)

Major lessons that we learned from killing the first skirt:

  • The smooth gap between the top of the skirt and the pleats is very important for the look of the purse.¬† This allows the purse to look like a purse, not just a skirt with the bottom sewn shut.
  • The longer the pleats you leave behind, the more unmanageable the hemming process becomes even if you have tacked the pleats down.
  • Sew the handles on first, the fabric is too pretty to have the handle stitching showing.
  • Little girl’s skirts are so cute…but if you are a beginner…they might make you cry, you have been warned.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† So. Many. Small. Pieces. And. Pleats. (shudder)
  • Sometimes zippers are just sewn in too well, we now call that a feature on the purse.
  • When lining a pleated purse, you sew in pleats at the top of the lining (not the straight line that we did…duh.)
  • Lining part two: Purses made from durable skirts are pretty sturdy without linings; remember these were meant to be worn. (I chose not to line the final skirt as it would only be used for crafts and yarn.)
  • Last lesson: you bought the skirts at Goodwill and only spent $4 dollars each…know when the attempt is dead and let it go.¬† When you sleep on it and try again in the morning with the second skirt everything will fall into place.

I had a little bit of difficulty getting the two sides of the fabric to join together properly so I made this nice little bow and ribbon to go over the bad seam.  It is now my favorite part.  Never get frustrated by failures, they force you to be creative.

I was not able to take pictures while we were working (too busy talking and getting stuff done.) Please let me know if you have any questions about how to do anything you see here and I will be glad to help.  When I have a craft room in three years I will definitely be making these to sell for a little extra money. Total cost to me in supplies $6.50 for skirt and fabric.

If you happen to have skirts or sweaters sitting around and are not sure what you want to do with them check out this site for some great ideas.  She also has a tutorial here.

If you are looking for another fun and cheap one day project check out naturally coloring eggs here.  You can do this for almost nothing but the price of the eggs.

And last but not least, do you need an awesome skirt, have some old jeans? I have a post on how to make a skirt out of old jeans, check it out here.

We did it, we took the plunge. I now run a Female, Veteran owned Small Business.

From now on all posts will be uploaded at Go Places, Baby!

My family and I could not be more excited to start bringing you the very best products that we can.

Thank you to everyone that visits and supports us!

How to make a jean skirt from old pants

I do not have a pattern for this skirt.  I just put everything on the floor, pin it together and then sew it.  Good news is, the pictures tell the whole story here, the bad news is, you may have to tweak things as you go along. That said, this came out very well.
I grabbed two pairs of old jean pants. From one pair,  I removed the stitching from the inside seem. I did this by hand without cutting the seam so that the fabric would not fray.
Then I cut off the leg of the other pair of pants and removed the stitching from that as well, I used this for the front and back panels.
I pinned these to the pants while it was inside out and then turned it back right side out (carefully) to mark roughly where the cuts needed to be made with some chalk. I made sure to mark which was the front and back panel.
Before cutting and pinning these panels on I sewed the crotch and bum area of the pants to get everything to lie a little flatter. Then I laid the panels out again to check them one more time before I cut them to shape. I pinned them so that the seams would be facing the inside of the skirt.

I sewed the panels in with a light blue thread and just kept turning it right side out to check and make sure that I was straight, going over areas a few times until all of the seams were as straight and hidden as I could make them. It is not perfect but good enough to wear out around town without blushing.
I then cut the bottom to make the hem even and turned it under and pinned it. I made two hemlines about a 1/4 of an inch from the bottom and 1/2 an inch from the bottom (the width of the side of the foot on my sewing machine, which I used as my guide to make a straight line.)
I made a couple more passes to flatten out the bum area at the seam and viola; I have a new skirt that reaches my ankles.

I just finished making an AWESOME purse out of a skirt I picked up at goodwill, check it out here.  This might be my new favorite sewing project yet for recycling clothing.

We did it, we took the plunge. I now run a Female, Veteran owned Small Business.

From now on all posts will be uploaded at Go Places, Baby!

My family and I could not be more excited to start bringing you the very best products that we can.

Thank you to everyone that visits and supports us!