Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wood & Cloth-Quick Project-Natural Stick Decor Panel

I LIKE going into a store and seeing something I like that I think I might be able to make myself.  I LOVE it when that item is priced ridiculously expensive, like gold-plated diamond expensive, and I can make it for 10 bucks. 

Seriously I am not sure who gets to set the price for home décor items, but I want that job. 

Unfortunately I don’t tend to be delusional have at a pretty good grip on reality.  Also I am pretty sure that those jobs go to millionaires or the cast members on the Real Housewives of Orange County.  Who else would look at 2 pieces of wood spray painted hot pink with a dash of glitter and think….That only costs 200 dollars, I’ll take 2.

Project Ranking
Difficulty – Easy
Frustration – Moderate
Makeability – 100% worth it

The project was semi-frustrating only because I did choose to use wavy/twisted sticks.  It was a bit of a pain to get the sticks separated from each other.


Natural sticks of some sort
-I used wavy sticks but straight would work just as well

Scrap wood
-We screwed together 2 2x6’s to get the height we wanted because that is the scrap wood we had on hand.

Step 1: If you are putting together 2 pieces of wood you will need to either glue or screw them together.  If you use 2x6 or similar you will need to add a bit of wood filler between the 2 pieces where the edges curve and sand it down to a nice smooth surface.
Step 2: Determine the placement of the holes for your sticks.  As you can see in the picture we went with 4 rows offset from each other with 1 inch between each hole.  The offset helps the piece look “fuller” as not all of the sticks will line up directly behind one another.   Depending on the length and width of your board and the spacing of your holes you will potentially need a ton of sticks so remember to calculate the number of sticks needed.  In total we had 70 holes. 
Step 3: Figure out the diameter of the sticks you are using and find a drill bit slightly bigger than your biggest stick.  I ended up putting 2 sticks in some of my holes as I had some sticks in my package that were smaller than most.  You will also need to determine how deep you want to drill your holes.  We put our down about 2 inches.  They should be deep enough that your sticks don’t just fall over.  

It should be noted that the husband wanted credit on this project as a Wood & Cloth project as he did prep the wood and drill the holes…

Step 4: Paint your wood piece. 

Step 5: Hot glue in your sticks.  The method I used was to put the stick in the hole, get it in the position I wanted, and then squeeze glue around the stick on all sides.  I would then gently lift the stick up and down a bit to get the glue to go down the hole.  You will want to hold your stick in place until the glue sets up a bit or else it will tip over.   With the wavy sticks I did try to make sure I didn’t have the turns all facing the same way.  Again this helps the piece look fuller.
I really like the way it turned out but I do wish it was a tad bit taller.  I am most likely going to have to find some small wall art piece to put above it as the wall still looks a smidgen bare.  It does however totally fit in with the safari/Panama Jack type vibe I am try to get going in the study.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Wood & Cloth-Project Update-Projects! Projects! Projects!

As often happens we don’t get nearly as much accomplished in a weekend as we think we will.  As I posted we had great plans for our President’s day weekend.  Some things got done, some didn’t.

No big whoop.

Analysis of productivity:

Projects Started:  60%
Projects Completed: 40%
Percentage of initiated projects seen to completion: 66%
Cloth projects completed: 40%
Wood projects completed: 50%
Wood & Cloth projects completed: 33%
Percentage increase in new projects added to the list after the blog posting: 30%

I know..I'm a nerd.

Mystery Project #6
Okay so this project was pretty lame we painted a door.  However when that project has been on your "To Do" list forever it feels like a pretty big accomplishment.  Sometimes you need to make a big deal out of small victories.

With the study remodel phase 2 completed it is nice to have the door actually match the room!

Mystery Project #7
If you read the last post you know that these socks turned into some cute Leprechaun table legs.  If you didn't read the post what are you waiting for....link on over!

Mystery Project #9
Not an earth shattering project but another one that had been on the list a long time.  I spray painted a paper mache pineapple.  It still counts as a project and a completion.

I actually picked up this paper mache beauty at a garage sale last summer for 5 cents.  When the husband saw me carrying it around the sale he thought I was nuts but I insisted it fit into my vision for the study.  He liked it because on Psych they used to hide a pineapple in the background of the show during one of the scenes and asked viewers to try and find it.  Maybe we will have to take turns moving the pineapple around the house for the other to find.  Or maybe it will just sit in the study looking pretty...

Mystery Project #10
Not all projects are glamerous and fun.  Some projects just have to get done.  Wood & Cloth took a break from some of the fun stuff in order to do a much needed mop down of all of our tile.  Sometimes it takes doing one of your "have to" projects to enjoy working on your "want to" list.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Cloth-Quick Project-Leprechaun Table Legs

Last year around Halloween I came across a witch leg version of these table socks at a local store.  I immediately thought to myself “I could make those”…so I did.  But why stop at witches?  Elves have legs…Leprechauns have legs!   I decorate for St. Patrick’s Day even less than I decorate for Valentine’s Day but I couldn’t pass these up.  As you can see from the picture I chose to only “feet” the front legs of my table but if you are feeling extra festive or your table is observed from multiple sides...go crazy. 

On a side note…it kind of stinks that I have an odd number front table legs on my hall table (a Pottery Barn inspired Wood creation).  If anyone needs an extra leg…

Project Ranking
Difficulty - Easy
Frustration - Low
Makeability - 100% Worth It

*Knee-high socks, tights, or nylons
NOTE:  You will need to figure out how tall/wide your table legs are to make sure that whatever you choose is going to work.  I found my socks at JoAnn's but I used children's tights for my witch version and those worked just as great. 

The pattern pieces are in pdf form and can be found by clicking on the pattern link.  They should be to size so no resizing is necessary. There are 2 copies of the shoe pattern one may print out better than the other depending on your printer.  In all you should have 4 pattern pieces. 
Table Leg Pattern

Pattern Pieces (cut numbers below are for a single leg/shoe)
*Shoe Pattern - Cut 2 pieces
*Buckle Pattern - Cut 1 piece
*Sole Pattern - Cut 1 piece
*Heel Pattern - Cut 1 piece

Step 1: This step will depend on what kind of sock/tight you purchased.  If you have knee-high socks you will need to cut off the foot part before the heel.  Measure your table leg to see exactly how much to cut off.  If you purchased nylons or tights you will need to cut the tights in half, stitch the sides so you have a tube, and then cut off the toe part so you end up with a tube open at both ends.
Step 2: Cut out your felt pieces.  Remember you will need 2 of the shoe piece and 2 of the heel piece.  

Step 3: Pin one of the heel pieces as shown in the pictures below.  You will have a bit of bunching around the curve at the top of the heel.  That is fine as you will just trim off any excess later.  Line up things as best you can but don't freak-out if it is not perfect.  There is a ton a wiggle room here and things will still look great!  Sew the pieces together using a 1/8 inch seam allowance.  Trim off any over hang from the heel piece.

Step 4: Repeat with the other shoe and heel piece.  You will need to flip your shoe and heel piece so that when you put the 2 shoe/heel pieces together the shoe looks correct.  If you sew both sets exactly the same you will have 2 of the same, not a right and a left side like you need.
Step 5: This step is pretty difficult to describe in words.  It is not hard but I honestly think it is easier to just start pinning verses reading the instructions.  The take home message is that you will be turning the shoe inside out so you want to pin everything on the "right" sides so when you turn the right sides are out.
Take the 2 shoe/heel pieces and pin the black part of the heels together with the "right" sides facing each other.  Once the shoe pieces are pinned at the black part of the heel pin the sole piece onto the right sides of the shoe piece lining the round part of the sole up with the back end of the green heel parts.  The pointy part of the sole should line up where the 2 shoe/heel pieces also come together in a point. 

Pin all of the edges to each other with the exception of the top part of the shoe where the sock will go.  Leave that open!  Sew all pinned areas using a 1/8 inch seam allowance.  DO NOT turn your shoe right side out at this point.  It needs to remain inside out for the next step.

Step 6:  With the right side of your sock or tight facing out (DO NOT turn your sock inside out) stuff your sock top part down into the shoe.  Notice in the picture that the buckle design on the top of my sock is not visible, it is tucked into the shoe. Pin the bottom part of your sock to the inside top part of the shoe opening.  Sew around with a 1/8 seam allowance.

Step 7: Now for the fun part!  Reach in and pull the sock up and out of the shoe.  Reach into the sock and pull the shoe out through the sock.  You should now have a Leprechaun leg!  Using a bamboo chopstick or something else pointy push the pointy toe out.  Stuff to desired puff with Polyfill.  You will want to start with a very small amount of Polyfill and push it into the pointy toe.  If you shove a big ball of filling in it will be hard to get it into the pointy part.  You do not need to stuff the sock part.

Step 8:  Last step is to hot glue on your felt buckles.

If your table legs are really skinny and your sock seems to fall down you can always use a rubber band or a hair twindie to keep it from falling down.

Now if only we could magically make real pots of gold appear......

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Wood & Cloth-Beginning-Projects! Projects! Projects!

It is a four day weekend for Wood & Cloth which means a rediculous amount of project shenanegans.  President's Day weekend last year found us acting on an impulse and remodeling the front room.  This year we may have up'd the ante on craziness.  To be specific...the wife may have up'd the ante and is taking the husband along for the ride.

So what are we going to be busy doing?  Here are some teasers.  You will have to check back in to see the final results.

Mystery Project #1: Wood & Cloth
This project is desperately needed to fill a large wall that has remained empty since we bought the house.  I have been heming and hawing over what to put on the wall in the stair landing for 2 years...I finally have a plan!

Mystery Project #2: Cloth
A little something to keep me from getting pinched on St. Patty's Day!

Mystery Project #3: Wood & Cloth
A decor project for the newly remodeled study.  This project has potential for being a frustrating one and may not turn out like I am picturing it in my head.

Mystery Project #4: Cloth
A good friend recently had a new baby...

Mystery Project #5: Cloth
Is any one else getting spring fever?  A little something to freshen up my wardrobe.

Mystery Project #6: Wood
This project has been on the "To Do List" forever...hopefully we get to check it off this weekend.

Mystery Project #7: Cloth
Do I really want leprechans in the house?

Mystery Project #8: Wood
The first step to any project is the planning.

Mystery Project #9: Cloth
Does anyone watch Psych?  Once this project is done you will be able to spot this in our study.

Mystery Project #10: Wood & Cloth
This project will give multiple rooms a fresh perspective.

Wish us luck!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cloth-Quick Project-Bumpered Dog Bed Tutorial

We have 2 dog beds.  We have 3 dogs.  We have a problem.

The wife’s Mom gave us 2 small bumpered dog beds a few years past.  The pugs never liked them.  They always gravitated to one large bed or to whatever blanket may have been left on a couch or floor.
When Sophie joined the mix all of a sudden the small beds were a hot commodity.  Now it is like Thunder Dome every night as the pugs race up the stairs to claim one of the coveted spots.  While they sometimes end up all snuggled together and cute like the picture above, more often there are nips, barks, and scuffles.  After being woken up in the middle of the night for the umpteenth time by growling savage beasts defending their turf I decided to make an additional dog bed.

Project Ranking
Difficultly – Easy
Frustration – Low
Makeability – 100% worth it

Polyfill or some other type of stuffing/filling

Cut List
1 piece 70 inches x 20 inches
2 pieces 21 inch diameter circle

Step 1: Fold your 70 inch piece of fleece in half the long way and pin along the open bottom to make a tube shape.  If you have a wrong and right side to your fleece you will want to pin your pieces wrong sides together as we will not be turning the pieces out.  Sew the pieces together using a 1/2 to 3/4 inch seam.
Step 2:  Fold your “tube” in half and match up your open ends.  Pin ends together.  Starting at the sewed seam (not the folded fabric part) sew together for 4 inches using a 1/2 to 3/4 inch seam.  DO NOT sew completely shut!  You need an opening in order to get the PolyFill into the “tube” later on.

Step 3: Unless you happen to have a 21 inch diameter circle lying around you will need to make a pattern.  An easy way to do this is to take a piece of poster board (or craft paper, old wrapping paper, etc.) and using a pen and piece of string make a half circle pattern.  Tie one end of a string to a pen and measure string out for half your diameter (your radius).  For the dog bed you would measure 10 ½ inches.  Hold the string at 10 ½ inches along one edge of your paper and extend the string attached pen out to the middle of your paper so that the string is tight.  Draw a half circle with the pen.  Cut out your half circle from your paper.  Fold your fleece in half and line up your straight edge of your half circle on the fold of your fabric.  Trace and cut your fabric and you should have a 21 inch circle.  Cut a second circle and you are done.
Step 4:  Pin your 2 circle pieces together and sew using a 1/2 to 3/4 inch seam leaving a 5-6 inch opening for stuffing.  Stuff your circle with your desired amount of stuffing.  I would recommend that you don’t go super crazy and stuff it really full.  You want some padding but if you get it really full you will have a hard time sewing the tube onto the padded circle.  Sew your circle piece completely closed.

Step 5: Pin your tube to your completed circle piece by matching up the sewn ends.  Your “tube” will most likely be a bit larger in diameter than your circle so you will have to bunch up the fabric a bit as you are pinning.  No big deal we are making a dog bed after all!  Sew using a seam allowance that is ¼ inch larger than you have been using.  So for example if you have been sewing at ½ inch use a ¾ inch.  This will ensure you are out past your seam so you won’t see it later…again this is not a really big deal as it is a dog bed.

Step 6:  Stuff the “tube” to desired fullness.  Because the “tube” is so long you will want to stuff from both ends.  Once stuffed, pin the open tube ends together with their seams facing the same direction as the existing seams.  Sew with a ½ to ¾ seam.

Step 7:  Turn your pieces so that all of the seams are facing into the dog bed.  With all of the stuffing in place you probably won’t even be able to see them.

Step 8: Buy, or better yet, adopt a dog from your local human society and place him/her in their newly crafted bed!
NOTE:  If you already have a dog you can skip step 8.  If you don’t have a dog and don’t plan on getting one I am not sure why you followed this tutorial.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Cloth-Quick Project-iPad Cover Tutorial

Warning, this post includes talk about nudity! 

My iPad has gone naked since I got it as a present from the husband this past Christmas.  Shameful and scandalous isn’t it.  Right now some of you are disappointed that the nakedness I am talking about is a hunk of electronics, others are most certainly relived. 

Truthfully my iPad is not completely naked (it’s not a total floozy) it does wear a Smart Cover.  I did however want a fun padded sleve to slip it into for transport. 

Instructions and measurements for sleeves with and without Smart Covers are included below.  Don’t ask why I have both versions.  I may or may not (may) have built 2 of these cases as my first attempt was not large enough to include the Smart Cover.  Stupid Smart Cover! Is that an oxymoron…stupid smart?  

Project Ranking
Difficulty – Moderate (only because you need a sewing machine and sewing around the padding is a bit tricky but less so if you have a zipper foot)
Frustration – Low
Makeability – 100% Worth It


*Outer Main Fabric (Back and Pocket Front)
-I picked somewhat durable fabric for the outside verses just regular cotton.  Outdoor fabric, home décor, or anything with a bit more heft to it will probably wear better in the long run.  If you plan on packing your iPad in your purse, work bag, etc. you will probably want something with a bit more weight.

*Outer Accent Fabric (Front)
-I chose a linen fabric.  I was worried about the sheerness of the linen I had so I actually just made my fabric cut on the fold and doubled the linen over.  Worked like a charm. 

*Inner Liner Fabric (Inside sleeve and inside pocket)
-Regular cotton works great.  A Fat Quarter should be enough material for all of the linings.

*Ironing Board Padding
-This padding gives a really nice, stiff sleeve.  You could just use regular batting if you wanted a bit more flexible sleeve.

*Button (~1 ½ inch)

*Elastic cording

Note these instructions and measurements  are for a snug cover/tight fit.If you want something a bit looser you could just add a ½ inch to the measurements below.

Cut List – iPad 2 (no Smart Cover)

*Outer Main Fabric
1 piece – 11 x 8 3/8 (Piece A)
1 piece – 6 1/4 x 8 3/8 (Piece B)
*Outer Accent Fabric
1 piece – 11 x 8 3/8 (Piece C)

*Inner Liner Fabric
2 pieces – 11 x 8 3/8 (2 Pieces D)
1 piece – 6 1/4 x 8 3/8 (Piece E)

*Ironing Board Padding
2 pieces – 10 1/8 x 7 5/8

*Elastic Cording
1 piece – 6 inches

Cut List – iPad 2 with Smart Cover
*Outer Main Fabric
1 piece – 11 2/8  x 8 7/8 (Piece A)
1 piece – 6 3/4x 8 7/8 (Piece B)
*Outer Accent Fabric
1 piece – 11 2/8 x 8 7/8 (Piece C)
*Inner Liner Fabric
2 pieces – 11 2/8 x 8 7/8 (2 Pieces D)
1 piece – 6 3/4 x 8 7/8 (Piece E)
*Ironing Board Padding
2 pieces -  10 3/8 x 8 1/8

*Elastic Cording
1 piece – 6 inches

Instructions are the same for both versions of the cover. 

Step 1:  Pin pieces B and E right sides together along one of the longer sides and sew with a ¼ inch seam.  After sewing turn fabric out so that the rights sides are facing out and iron the seam so that it lays flat.

Step 2: Make a ¼ inch top seam across the folded spot of your pocket pieces.   I would recommend placing a few pins along your folded seam just to make sure that it stays down while you are doing the top stitching.
Step 3: Take piece C and line up the pocket piece you just sewed along the bottom and pin the 2 pieces together like in the picture above.  You should have your main fabric facing you and the liner fabric down against piece C.  Determine where you want the seam for your pocket.  I placed my seam right down the middle of the cover but depending on what you may want to put in your pockets or the pattern you have chosen for your fabric you may want to tweak the placement a bit.  Make a small mark on the fabric for where you want to sew your seam.
NOTE:  I am not a terrific “blind” seamstress.  I like to be able to use guides to make sure I am sewing straight.  You will most likely cover up your guides with your fabric.  I made my own guide with a piece of masking tape on the side of my machine arm. 

Step 4: Pin the front piece you just assembled and one of the D pieces right sides together along the short side that does not have the pocket.  Be careful not to pin and sew together on the pocket end.  Sew with a ¼ inch seam and then turn and press out the fold flat.  Set this piece aside for now.
Step 5: Take your piece of cording and make a loop with the two ends together like shown in the picture.  Hold the 2 pieces together with a small piece of masking tape. 

Step 6: Place your final D piece and piece A right sides together lining them up along one of the short ends and pin.  Measure to the middle of the pinned pieces and place the elastic cording loop in between the 2 fabric pieces loop (the loop needs to be inside the pinned pieces, not sticking out the top) and pin in place.  You will want about ¼ inch of the loop ends sticking out of the fabric, it should not be flush with the fabric ends.

Step 7: Using a ¼ inch seam sew the pieces together and the loop in place.  Turn the fabric right side out and iron the fold flat.  Your loop should now be visible sticking out of the sewn together pieces.

Step 8: Position one piece of padding in between the layers of fabric on your front piece (the one with the pocket).  Place the padding as close to the top sewed seam as possible without bunching up the sewed seam.  The padding piece should be positioned equal distant from the long sides.  Once in position carefully fold the other piece of fabric on top of the padding and in the padding into place along the sewed seam side.  You can put a couple pins along the other sides if you want just to hold everything into place.  Repeat this process for your back piece (the one with the loop).

Step 10:  Sandwich the front and back pieces with the padding inside with the lining facing out for both of the pieces.  Line up all of the edges and pin. Take special care to make sure that the pocket pieces are not folded in.  You should have about ½ inch of fabric along each side except for the top (the top should have the folded/pressed edges and the loop).
Step 11:  This is the only really tricky part.  You want to sew about 1/8 to ¼ from the padding.  You do not want to sew through the padding!  You also don’t want to sew the top shut!  I sewed one cover using my zipper foot and one without.  They both worked fine.  I would recommend making sure you reinforce around the corners by backstitching a few times on each side of the corner to make it a bit stronger.

Step 12: Trim of any excess fabric along the edges and especially at the corners.  Now is the fun part, you get to turn your cover right side out!  Depending on how tight you made your cover it may take a bit of manipulating to get it turned out.  Gently push your corners out with a bamboo stick (or something else).  Your corners will most likely be a bit rounded especially if you are using heavier weight fabric and you made the snug fit sleeve.

Step 13: Final step!  Place your button where desired on the front panel.  You will want to make sure it is in the middle from the sides and is within range of your loop.  Sew the button in place by sewing through the front cover including the padding and inner lining.

Now your iPad is fully clothed in a stylish sleeve!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Wood & Cloth-Beginnings-Laundry Room Remodel

I'm feeling antsy.  The study is done (for the time being) and I only have the husband's undivided attention during the weekends for a short while longer.  As soon as the weather gets warmer he will be off playing tennis or mountain biking.
If I want big wood stuff built the clock is ticking.

Our laundry room is boring.  Not that a laundry room can be a ton of fun mind you, but I at least want to make it less blah.  It is a small room so I am not planning anything ridiculous like a laundry-shoot slide with a swimming pool at the end.  I do however want to be a bit on the bold side with patterns and color.  When it comes to color I typically land on the conservative side, although little by little I am coming out of my earth-tone colored shell.  I am also seriously entertaining the idea of wallpaper.  That scares the husband… which makes me want it an itsy bit more.

I have been batting around some ideas for awhile but this week things really started to click and I can see how it is all going to come together. 

*Black and white with bright yellow for accent color.
*Wallpaper or a painted stencil pattern on at least one wall.
*Handmade roman shade for the window.
*Hand built white beadboard panel cabinets with black pulls.
* Two double-wide/extra tall cabinets (one set on each side) with open shelves in between the cabinets sets.
*Hand built risers for the washer and dryer with slide-out drawers.

Where is my tape measure?   I want to get this project started!