Sunday, July 31, 2011

Caulking Tutorial

I love moulding.
Seriously, obsessed.
It does so much for a room-adds elegance and depth, makes me feel rich (I don't think that's important in life, but I like the feeling moulding gives me, okay?!)

We are in the process of putting up moulding and wainscoting in our hallways and entry ways and it is going great!  This afternoon, we caulked the top of the chair rail so that I can touch up the paint with one more coat tomorrow.
Caulking is a funny thing.  It makes me nervous because there really is no getting it off once it's applied, unless you are wanting to take it off (which is a whole other process).  Which means, if you "spread" it too high on the wall, you. are. donefor.  At the same time, once it's up, I can't imagine living without it.
Here is what it should not look like:

I don't know whose house this is, but it shouldn't look like this.  Sorry!  We made this mistake in one of our bedrooms and I was so unhappy with it, I wanted to be sick.  I understand this is a bathroom, but it's not hard to get it to look like this in a wall in your living room.  We bought one of these:

And I was very unhappy with it.  It started leaving little blue streaks on the paint on our wall and didn't leave a smooth line whatsoever.  I did better using my pointer finger, which was still awful.

Caulking should look like this:
Don't judge the paint job.  I still have more coats to do!
Want to know how I got it that way?  You've come to the right place!

This tutorial is dedicated to my Dad, who taught me to go perfect or go home.  He taught me not to settle for it doing anything "half-a**ed" (sorry!), but to keep working at something until it is perfect, no matter how long it takes.  This tutorial is a result of that mindset!  Once we finish the entire project, I will post a long tutorial.  Consider this an installment!
Hey girl!
  • First, hang your trim.  I will post in a week or so how we did that- or you can figure it out on your own.
  • Next, use painter's tape to tape off a very thin line above the trim.  Make sure you have a pretty solid adhesion to the wall, or the caulking might seep (it might not because it's so thick, but I don't take that chance!).
  •  Using a caulking gun, squeeze a long line of caulk into the top of the trim, in between the tape and trim.
I am not that hairy!  My hubby helped me.. or I helped him?  Joint effort.  Love him!
  • Next, use your pointer finger (no fancy tools needed!) and smooth it out.  Don't worry about getting it on the tape.  You may want to wipe off any access that happens to get onto the trim.

  • Pull the tape away from the wall slowly and at a 90 degree angle (or more!).
 and again:

Done!  Let it dry and you are ready to paint =)
So easy.  Whoever made this technique up is a genius.
Never again will I buy a silly caulking "tool"!  =)


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Lollipop Flower Tutorial

Where have you beeeeeeeeeeen?
I went to see my parents again in Charleston one last time before school starts and I neglected my blog for a whole week.  Sorry!
My flight came in at noon on Friday and Daniel took the afternoon off to pick me up, have lunch with me, and take a long nap together before we went out to eat and to Starlight Theater to see Cinderella.  So sweet!  He bought me tickets for mother's day (ya, no kiddies, but it's always been hubby/wife day for us) and they were fantastic.

How did I get so lucky?  We had I had a lot of fun and loved the show.  The weather was perfect and only sprinkled a teeny bit at the very end.  Love.

Anyway, according to the title of my post I should be teaching you how to make something. =)
I get asked how to make these all the time- family, friends, people in the fabric store for crying out loud!  I didn't invent them, just learned through the grapevine.  SO, here you go!
Fabric is one of 2 things:  Natural or synthetic.  Natural fibers are things like cotton, wool, linen, silk, etc.  Synthetic fibers are things like polyester, nylon, rayon, etc.  The way you can tell the difference (among many!) is to burn them.  Natural fibers will always burn, while synthetic melts.  To make these flowers, you need to purchase 100% synthetic polyester.

You need:
5 inches 100% Polyester

Thread and needle
Bead center if desired
If you are going to have a candle in your face, you might as well get one that smells good!  Thank you, Home Goods!  $3.99!

First, cut at least 5 concentric circles.  The more you have, the fuller your flower will be and the prettier it looks.  I start cutting the smallest circle and get bigger and bigger.
You want to be able to see a difference in size, but not too much.  Only about 1/4 inch difference.
Light your candle and melt the edges of the circles, one at a time.  I hold the circle and turn it clockwise as I melt the edge.  DO NOT GET THE FABRIC IN THE FLAME.  Your goal is to get the fabric as close to the flame as possible without touching it so that the heat given off by the flame melts the fabric.  Otherwise, your fabric will turn black.  =(  I find it easiest to melt the fabric while aiming for the side of the flame, not the top.

Layer them together:
Sew the circles together through the center, starting from the back:
Clip your threads, glue or sew on your bead, and you are finished!  Attach to headbands, thank you cards, or even clothing.  Here are some things I have done with them:
Thank you cards
Adult/Child Headbands
Baby Headbands
Nursing Cover
Baby Booties- but they were a shower gift and I forgot to take a picture.  And my favorite...
Cardigan!  I have like a thousand of them.  Cannot get enough of them!
I bought this at Banana Republic for $10.99.  Can you see it's original price?  $50!  Double clearance, folks!  Add the flowers for $.50 and we have an awesome piece for only $10.50.

This is random, but my good friend and pen pal Tara had family photos taken of her precious and beautiful family and she wore a one shoulder dress I made for her and the little baby dress and diaper cover I designed for her Claira.  Check out how perfect this picture turned out!
Keller Photography and Design took their pictures.  Amazing!
Thanks for being such a sweet, sweet friend, Tara!  Your family is beautiful!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tea Rose Home Ruffle Shirt

I love tutorials!  They are great.  Pain in the bootay to make, but fun to follow.  I was mentioned and linked to Eat Craft Sow by means of my diaper cover tutorial (thanks Jennifer!) and found a great link on her website that eventually linked me to the Tea Rose Home.  This gal has some awesome tutorials.. lots with ruffles and lace!  Love it.  So, here is what I made, using the Ruffle Shirt tutorial at Tea Rose Home:
First, start with a shirt or tank from the closet, plus an extra T shirt.  I was planning on taking this to Goodwill but I realized I could cut it up and use it for this project (Not that I don't like my old college shirts, but it has a few stains on the sleeves).  New shirt- ZERO dollars!

Cut up T shirt and ruffle up, pin to tank, sew them on:
I loved having my dress form for this project.  I pinned the ruffles right onto the shirt while on the from.  Sweet!
Make a few fabric flowers and finished!
Sew cute!  Thanks, Sachiko for posting such a great tutorial!
Hmmm... I may use this one in the "Refashion" unit of my Sewing II class.  Yep!


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Skirt Refashion Tutorial

So, I had an epiphany the other day while doing my usual- sewing whilst listening to my daily TV show line up:

 Same guy!  I knew I recognized that voice twice in one day!
One day?  Yeaaah, both of those shows in one day for me!  Here is your chance to make fun of me (as if there wasn't so many other things you could make fun of me for):  My lineup.
Mornings:  Breakfast, workout, chores (My grandma always told me I can't just sew all day-Gotta Clean house!)
12-2 Greys Anatomy
2-3 Cold Case
3-4 Roseanne
4-4:30 Kind of Queens
4:30-5 OFF to make dinner
5-6 King of Queens
SAD I know.  BUT, I vowed at the beginning of the summer (being my first summer off and all), not to ever sit and watch TV all day, gain weight, and be unproductive.  During the school year I have all these dreams and visions and no time to do them- summer is my time, yo!  So far, so good.  Since it seems I will actually have to go back to school (less than a month), it seems I will keep my vow.  It might seem like my TV schedule is pathetic, but I really am just keeping current with my curriculum and sewing the. whole. time.  AND so far Daniel had lost 12 pounds and I have lost 8.  Why do men always prevail?  Boo.  I don't feel like I've been working out more than I do during school, but I think Zumba finally caught up with me... and I don't have samples of students' baking to eat from the cooking room!
I went to go get my haircut today and stopped in to Goodwill to kill some time.  I was disappointed in their selection (but happy I didn't fit into a skirt that is my usual size!  Yay!), but found another skirt that wasn't my size either, but definitely makeover prone:
It is a cream polyester-esque material with a black lace overlay.
It was originally from Target and, since I wear a Medium, 3 sizes too big.  I saw it a few months ago in Target, so I know it couldn't have been at Goodwill that long.  What did I do with it?
I made a dress!  I already had this black linen in my scrap bin and black thread, so no additional materials needed.  Cost?  A whopping $3.49, which was what I paid at Goodwill.  So, here is my...
Skirt Refashion Tutorial 
  • First, gather your materials.  I used:
    • Skirt (big enough to fit around my bust)
    • 1/4 yard material for the top
    • Thread to match
  • Second, prepare your skirt for it's new life as a shirt or dress.  I actually think the back and zipper was really cute exposed, but it had to come off to do what I needed it to.  I cut up the length of the skirt in the back on both sides of the zipper to remove it.  Then, I cut off the tip elastic band, but left just enough to keep the skirt pleated and intact.

  • Then, I serged the back together to make a back seam and turn it back into a "tube" of fabric, not one long piece as pictured above.  Make sure to remember to sew the fabric right sides together!
  •  Sweet.  Now, we can move on to the bodice.  I know!  These seems scary, but it's really not.  Take a shirt you already own and want the same shape to be and lay it down on your bodice fabric.  Make sure you cut around the shirt with a margin for a seam allowance.  Make a second one, but cut the neck a little lower.  The first will be the back and second with be the font.
  •  Put the bodice pieces right sides together and sew the side seams and shoulder seams together, as shown:
  •  Sorry to do this to you again, but go back to the Sleeves to Sleeveless post and read about how to face arm holes and necklines.  Once you have that technique down, it goes by so so fast.  Face the arm holes and neckline just like the post explains.  You will need to measure the circumference of the arms and neckline and cut bias strips that measure than length, plus and inch, and an inch wide.  Go get em, and get back!
  • All we have to do now it attach the dress to the bodice!  Place right sides together and pin around the top.  Sew and finish to serge the two together.

  •  Flip right side out and we are done! Before and after:
 In love!  So cute.  School ready, too!
Hubby and I are putting up trim tonight.  Will update our progress tomorrow!


Monday, July 18, 2011

DIY Home Updates

I actually took a break from sewing last week {gasp!} to put together a little home decor project for the house.  Not quite sure where I want to put it because I am so in love with it- we will figure that out soon!
I had bought this huge frame from Michael's on clearance for $5.  It holds an 8*10 picture and the mount is huge, if that gives you any dimension.  It was originally this light wood color that I didn't like, so I decided to spray paint it black when we were living in our apartment last year.  Didn't work so well.  It turned out okay, but it didn't cover very well and some parts of the paint did this really weird "pooling" thing.  I shook the can just like I was supposed to, the temperature outside was fine (I know that can make a difference), and I painted 3 light coats in a sweeping motion.  The "pooling" only happened in 2 spots, so I'm thinking there was some finish or chemical in that spot that wasn't on the rest of the frame.  Anyway, it looked like crap and I never put them up.

 You can really see the weird finish in the right photo.  Ewwwwww.
A few weeks ago, I found this iron cross at Goodwill for $3.99.  LOVE.

A little rusty, but, just like our patio set, nothing a little Rustoleum won't cover.  I didn't love it because I thought it was pretty (although it is), but because I want people to walk into our home and know what team we play for (and in case you didn't get that- it's Jesus).  Unfortunately, I think some people decorate with them not because of their meaning but because they are pretty.  And, I know, I am making mine pretty, too, but it was important for me to find a special cross for our home.  One side of the cross beam is actually missing the end "tendril" of iron, but I like that about it.  The cross wasn't glamorous and neither are we.  We are broken people, just like my little Goodwill cross.  Love it!

First, I primed the frame after I took it apart.  I had skipped this step when I painted it black.  Priming can be tedious and make the project longer, but it really is worth it when refinishing something.  The people who previously owned our home left us a smorgasbord of paint, so I already had it.  Just one coat!  Let it dry.

Second, I spray painted the frame with 3 light coats in a sweeping motion.  I wanted it to "match" the trim in our house, which is white, so I used a semi-gloss enamel.  Perfect.
I didn't buy Rustoleum brand for this part.  $.99 off brand, baby!
Meanwhile, I painted the cross with some textured black spray paint to cover up all the rust and give it a new, fresh look.  I had to makes sure to get into all the little nooks and crannies, but it turned out fantastic.
 I glued the cross to the frame using Epoxy:
Be careful!  This is some pretty gnarly stuff!  It comes in a syringe like this or 2 big tubes.  This syringe was so much easier than the tubes!
 Put them together and what do we get?
It's actually still drying!  I will show you where I put it.. when it gets there!
Love it!

Daniel and I are working on one last project that we can finish before school starts again (UGH- I think I am dreading it more than the kids!  Once I get there I will love it again, but the freedom... magnificent.).  The people who lived here before us took really awesome care of the house, but they had a one year old and another toddler.  Some of the walls have just a few little scuffs and fingerprints on the bottom 1/3 of the wall.  We have flat paint, so touch-ups mean repainting the whole wall.  Not really wanting to do that.  Plus, we are planning on staying in this house for a while and our future kiddies will be doing the same- i.e. trying to pull up, touching the walls, etc.  AND since we will be Uncle Daniel/Aunt Katie at Christmas Time, this might be happening sooner than later.
SO, we have decided so put up some "faux" wainscoting in the hallway and up the stair ways.  I am SO excited!  I think it looks amazing and will be great to cover the prints and scuffs and prevent future ones.  Since the paint will be the same paint used for trim, it can be wiped and washed without a problem (i.e. semi-gloss).  LOVE.

I know.
What. Is. Wainscoting?
1.  Wood, especially oak and usually in the form of paneling, for lining interior walls.
2.  The lining itself, especially as covering the lower portion of a wall.
3.  A dadoo, especially of wood, lining an interior wall. (Yes!  That was a serious definition.  Dadoo.)
4Wainscoting is a decorative paneling that commonly adorns the lower part of walls and stairways. It can be found in upscale homes, offices, conference rooms and other assorted commercial spaces. Wainscot adds architectural interest and detail to otherwise bare walls.
Upscale?  Sure!  We'd love to fake it!
Here are some pictures we've looked at for design inspiration.  For the Hallway:
No so much the beadboard in this one, but it looks like our house, only with wood floors.
It should look exactly like this =)
And for the stairs:
Mmmm... the things moulding can do.  If only my house looked this nice- can I get an Amen?!?  I would really like to use moulding to frame my bathroom mirrors like I posted I would back in February.  Still convincing the hubs!

Real wainscoting is actual wood paneling put up onto the wall under the trim/chair-rail with "boxes" put up on top of it.  To cut costs, we are just painting the wall with the semi-gloss paint, putting up trim above it, and attaching the trim boxes straight onto the wall.  Wait until you hear the price.  You. Will. Die.
For now, here is a little teaser of what's done so far.  When all is said and done, I will post a tutorial =)
Already in love!  AND our stairs carpet is not that dirty.  There is a tan towel heaped on the floor in front of the window by our door.  It makes it look awful!
Off to sew a little and go for a girls night with the Gibson gals.  Woot!

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