Shower Curtain to... Curtains

Monday, May 23, 2016

The horrible vertical blinds on our back door were one of the very first things to leave the house after we closed.  I really don't like vertical blinds anyway, but these had some weird “snake skin-like” texture to them that was especially hideous.  Good Riddance.  But that left our large glass back door wide open to the neighbors viewing pleasure, and that’s not so cool either.  So we picked up a pack of plain gray curtains during a trip to Ikea.  Better boring gray panels than snake skin or lack of privacy.

I knew these plain gray curtains were going to be temporary so there didn't seem to be any reason to hem them even though they were way too long.  The dogs seemed to like them in their extra long state, in fact they have been using them as cuddle blankets and intentionally wrapping themselves up in them….

But I had happened across some awesome fabric shower curtains by surprise at the dollar store a few weeks ago, and it took me all of .25 seconds to make the jump from shower curtain to window curtains.  With the help of a friend, we tracked down enough to do all the windows on the first floor.  I figured since the supplies were already sitting here, it was time to get these Babes done.

I used one full shower curtain panel for each half of the back door, so two panels all together.  Since the new curtains are not long enough, I decided to utilize the gray temporary curtain for a ruffle.  I measured from the bottom of the shower curtain to the floor and added 3 inches for the seam and hem.


Now would be a great time for me to give you a mind-blowing trick for sewing gathers, but honestly, I've got nothing...  My feelings towards gathers are much like Laura Ingalls felt about sewing buttonholes... I dislike them so much that I do them as quickly as possible to get them over and done with.  In fact, I didn't take a single picture of the process.  Sorry folks.

This is the resulting seam:

After I cleaned it up a bit with a top stitch:

And from the front:

I chose to hang the curtains with shower curtain hooks, since they already have the holes for such.  I picked these up from Target for $8/12pack.

And the results are in!

I think the puppies approve.  Even if the curtains no longer double as blankets ;)

For the rest of the curtain project check out No-sew Curtains

Quick Dresser Refinish

Monday, May 16, 2016

We have had this dresser for years.

Hubby got it as a thank you gift for helping an elderly friend move - they were downsizing and they gave us this dresser and a really super comfy (albeit ugly) couch, that we also still have.  This dresser is my favorite dresser ever.  It is an old solid wood kind, the drawers slide super smoothly and its got huge deep drawers that hold tons of stuff.  We had it in our master bedroom for a long time, but when we moved we handed it down to AJ.

I do have a dirty secret to reveal though... when this dresser first entered into our lives it was wood colored.  I don't know what wood color it was, and I don't have a before picture, but it was darker than oak.  I didn't like it.  I don't know what kind of finish was on it, a veneer maybe, but I painted over it with normal white paint the day we got it home.  I will let that sink in for a moment.

Now that I have some experience building and refinishing furniture I realize how incredibly lucky I got.  I did not sand the dresser, I did not prime it, I also did not seal it when I was finished.  I simply painted over it and moved it into my bedroom.  Since then I have tried to paint furniture with white paint and even after sanding, priming and painting three or four coats I have not achieved such wonderful results.  I do not know how I got so lucky with this dresser, but I did and I am thankful.

You can see that it has some marks and scuffs, but considering we have had this thing, improperly painted and all, for about 8 years.... Well, yeah.  Lucky.

Since I subscribe to the philosophy :

I decided to just go ahead and paint over it again.  We used just regular old black flat finish paint.  Then I got the great idea to paint the inside edges of the drawers green to match AJ's bedroom wall, so we did that too.


A few hours later the dresser looked completely different and even more fabulous.  Since AJ honestly did most of the work (he stayed outside and kept painting while I made lunch), he really does get to take credit for this one.  I am super proud of him and I hope he loves this dresser as much as I always have.  I decided again not to add poly to it.  Since he is still a tween I figure at some point he will be interested in changing the color again so why make it harder for him to do so?

Easy Boxspring Cover Up

Monday, May 9, 2016

Thanks to our wonderful rainy moving day, our boxspring got a little dirty during the trek across the front yard.

No big deal, really, its just a bit of dirt and our bedspread covers it anyway.

But we all know by now that I'm pretty picky about details.... I know the dirt is there.... I was really thinking about tackling one of these upholstered boxsprings that I keep seeing on pinterest, because I like them anyway.  This one is my favorite with the burlap and studs...

But it just seemed a bit too overwhelming at the moment in the midst of all the other craziness right now.  All the tutorials swear that it's an easy undertaking, so maybe one day I will tackle it.  For now, though I wanted a quick fix and it just so happens that I had an extra white sheet set in my closet from some good-intending-project-that-never-came-to-be.  So Andrew helped me lift all ten thousand pounds of mattress up and off the boxspring, we stretched the fitted sheet on the boxspring and then hoisted the mattress back up.  Shame on me for not getting any photos of the process, but I was busy sweating and straining my back.  Yeah, I know it only took 5 minutes, but it was a really hard 5 minutes!  Also, when hubby says, "hey let's take care of...." you just don't argue and make him wait while you run all the way down two flights of stairs to grab the camera or else the moment might be lost....  

Banister Makeover

Monday, May 2, 2016

After enduring honey oak cabinets in my kitchen for 8 1/2 years, one of the things that I insisted we would not have in the new house is... you guessed it, honey oak.  It shocks and horrifies me how many houses have honey oak cabinets in their kitchens.  Hubby thinks I'm the odd one for not liking them because not only did so many houses have them - they even brag about it in their listing descriptions! But I keep referring him back to the many pinterest posts on how to makeover oak cabinets and telling him that I am far from the only one!  Anyway, I was thrilled to find a house without oak cabinets in the kitchen, but I do have oak in the bathrooms and the stair banisters.

The banisters were removed when we first began painting, and they hung out in the basement for several months because, well, there were a lot of other things occupying our time.  Instead of putting them back on as is, I decided it would be the perfect time to refinish them.  One more thing checked off the list and NOT put off til a distant future day (like never?).

Hubby was a bit nervous about me doing this since replacements would cost.... well I don't know how much but probably a lot.  I somehow convinced him that I would take good care of them.  I decided to follow the directions from this post, which happens to be about cabinets, but the steps worked out pretty much the same.  I'm not going to go into details because, really, these instructions are wonderful.  Just go read her tutorial.  Really :)

I am, however, going to share my own process photos so you can see how similar this was to the cabinet refinish and because I'm so happy with how they turned out.... well, I just want to brag a little.  It kind of makes me wish I had been brave enough to do this in our old kitchen... maybe I wouldn't have wanted to move SOOOO badly.... yeah, j/k I really wanted to move for more than the oak cabinets.  (but they were up there on the list of reasons why :P)


Yeah, I didn't really plan on refinishing these things so quickly, so I didn't get any decent pictures of them before they came off.  These are my general stairwell Before pictures, old carpet and all.


Lightly sand:

First light coat of stain:

2nd coat

Here's where I deviated from the tutorial... I wiped on the second coat with the handy dandy sock and personally, I didn't see a difference in the darkness of the stain between the first and second coat.  I decided I really wasn't interested in doing number of coats in order to achieve the dark, rich brown that I was going for, so I pulled out a foam brush and put it on heavier than my first coat.  Not heavy, just heavier.  I did get some streaks and brush marks because of it (which disappeared after all the layers were done anyway), but it served the purpose and got it dark in a hurry.  So use your own judgement and preferences on your choice of application product.

3rd coat




Honestly I only spent a few hours of actual work on these, but because of the lengthy drying time, it was spaced out over an entire week.  The amount of effort was totally worth it, though.  And the gel stain was only $9!  Make sure you seal it with your choice of polyurethane or other clear coat, though, or the stain will likely rub off on whatever brushes against it (I applied two coats of a satin polyurethane).  They turned out great and it's a really close match to our floors.

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