Archives For Crafty Goodness

As excited as I was to move Jack out of the crib, I was a tiny bit heartbroken when I realized I’d soon be taking down the mobile I so lovingly created. I hated to just cast it aside.

I’ve got a plan to reuse the yarn balls, but first I tackled a smaller project: creating a piece of embroidery to fill the green painted hoop. I started working on it several weeks ago using a spare embroidery hoop, then just moved it over to the green one after we’d set up Jack’s new bed and taken down the mobile. My first attempt involved tracing an image of tree rings that I found online. When it was finished I wasn’t sure about the outcome so I texted a picture to my friend Lauren and asked what it looked like to her.

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So with that I started over, this time keeping it simpler. I used a backstitch for the rings and lettering and two rows of split stitches for the bark. And to avoid any unintentional resemblance to anatomy I stitched his name in the center instead of ever-narrowing rings. It’s supposed to look like his name was scrawled on a tree stump.

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The green and brown are perfect accents in his room.

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I love the addition of something round to the collection of items on his wall. I’d like to add something else to the right side but I’m not quite sure what yet.

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It’s kind of symbolic–the rings of a tree are a visual marker of growth and this is a space for a growing child to play and rest.

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It’s hung on the wall with a nail and secured in place with some museum putty. Since he’s not confined to the crib anymore I went ahead and added a bit of putty to everything else on the wall, too, just to make sure that he doesn’t accidentally pull something down and hurt himself when he’s in there alone.

I’ve been working on this embroidery project on and off since May so I’m thrilled to finally have it completed. Next project: stringing those yarn balls into a garland to hang from the ceiling!

I knew that having drink dispensers that closed for travel would be the easiest way to transport beverages to Jack’s splashpad birthday party, but dang those things are expensive! I searched high and low, unwilling to pay upwards of $20 each for something I might use once a year, and was thrilled when I finally found these for only $10 each at Target. I could have used them on their own just fine, but they would have had to sit at the edge of the table so that folks could fill their cups and that just felt awkward to me.

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I wanted to find a way to raise them up a few inches if possible. I couldn’t find any drinks stands that had the look I wanted and were worth the money so I started looking for everyday objects that might be repurposed. I really only needed something about 3″ high to accommodate the small cups we were using but whatever it was had to be pretty sturdy. Enter this wood box from the craft store! I think it was about $11 with a coupon. I totally laughed when I saw the text on it, though. I feel like Pinterest has taken our collective penchant for decor that states the obvious a little too far.

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To cover up the text, I painted the center slat kelly green. I was originally planning to stain the rest of it but that one colorful slat looked a little off so I painted the others navy and white. These are the same colors used in Jack’s room and in varying degrees throughout our home so I knew I could repurpose it to store toys or books after the party without having to repaint. I stained the remaining sides and bottom. I was going to stain the inside as well, but after some green paint dripped I painted it green. The green interior is my only regret.

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For the party, we just flipped it over to use as a platform! It was a little breezy that day so we tucked the napkins between the slats to help them stay put. I was a little worried about how the thin wood would hold up to all that weight and moisture from condensation but it did fine.

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The box is currently corralling cleaning rags in my laundry room, but the colors are so great that I think I will eventually just add some felt pads to the bottom and put it in Jack’s room. I might get another one just like it to paint yellow for the laundry room, though!

So after yesterday’s post about my total fail in attempting a painted herringbone effect, here’s the rest of the story. My new idea was to attempt the same effect with wood. I had these craft sticks left over from a previous project so I tried cutting them at an angle using a miter box.

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It looked pretty good, but I could tell right off that it was going to take forever to cut all those pieces and that keeping my cuts precise would be a nightmare. Even if I’d decided to butt the straight ends up against each other I still would have needed to cut a precise angle where the sticks met the frame. So I played around with it a little bit and decided instead to lay the sticks end to end like planks in a wood floor. This was perfect for covering up the previous layers of paint and so easy that I knocked it out in an hour.

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The sticks have a rounded end, so I used a pair of wire snips to cut off the tip. I set up a small container to catch the flying pieces like a soccer goal. I also cut the sticks to random lengths like you would do when installing wood floors.

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Once I had a bunch of pieces cut and could tell that it was going to work, I moved my work area to be near an outlet and used a hot glue gun to stick them down one at a time. I did the whole bottom row first, then followed one row at a time. After I was done with the gluing I touched up the green paint where it had been accidentally smeared with white.

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I thought about staining some of the pieces before gluing them down to add contrast, but the natural variations in tone were interesting enough that I left it as is. I still haven’t completely ruled out adding something else to the design but I’m just not sure what yet.

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It’s perfect on this sliver of wall in our downstairs bath.

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Up close you can see lots of gaps in the wood, but since the back is painted a light color it’s no biggie. I kind of dig it, actually.

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This project made me kind of wish that I had a dollhouse in need of wood floors! It was fun and relaxing, which is the exact opposite of what I think it would be like to ACTUALLY lay wood floors.

So after posting a roundup of pretty soap pumps last week I decided to go ahead and order this glass oil cruet from Amazon to see if I could make it work as a dish soap dispenser. It arrived on Thursday and I filled it immediately with my lavender-scented store brand dish soap. I was worried that it would be too viscous and I’d need to water it down, but actually it works great! It does take a moment for the air bubble to work its way up and the soap to flow out but after a couple days of use I was convinced to keep it.

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There was one other small issue: as I’d suspected, the smooth glass is a little slick on soapy hands. So on Sunday afternoon I took literally ten minutes to give it a quick little DIY improvement. I started by wrapping some painter’s tape around the top and bottom. I just eyeballed the placement but tried hard to keep it straight and level.

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Then I brushed on some of this glass etching cream that I’ve had forever. It’s pretty old and seemed kind of goopy so I tested it on the bottom first to make sure it worked. Once I was sure it was still good I applied it to the glass as smoothly as I could manage.

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I set my kitchen timer for five minutes and then rinsed it off. The moment of truth!

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It looked pretty good! The bottle of etching cream had said specifically that it wasn’t intended for use on large, solid surfaces so I was nervous that it would be splotchy but it wasn’t at all.

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It’d probably look better if it wasn’t almost empty but I’m just keeping it real here. I am not the type of blogger who will make a special trip to the store for more dish soap just so I can get a prettier picture.

DIY Etched Glass Dish Soap Dispenser

It’s subtle difference that’s not even really visible from afar but that wasn’t the point. The point was to make it easier to grip and that mission has been accomplished!

DIY Etched Glass Dish Soap Dispenser.

With all of the incremental changes I’ve been making in the kitchen lately it’s quickly becoming my favorite place to be. Nick and I even decided this weekend to challenge ourselves to go 30 full days without dining out. We usually go out at least once a week, usually more, but we need to cut back on our spending and I’m actually getting to be a pretty good cook. So between now and March 15 I’ll be spending plenty of quality time in here cooking and cleaning. Nick helps, of course, but honestly at the end of the day I’d rather send him off to play with Jack and have some time to myself. Just me, the stove, and Pinterest, haha.