The Table Under the Map

Monday, August 22, 2016

In the transition area between our hallway, living room and dining room we have this little alcove.  It's a cute little spot that I chose for my pallet map art not long ago.

But it needed more.  I had originally hoped for an antique buffet table that could sit here, but the empty space started bothering me before I could find an acceptable piece to refinish.  I also loved this DIY vintage desk idea, but thought it looked a little more bulky and complicated than what I needed.   Then, while putting the finishing touches on our tv console, I stumbled across this simple but similar idea on none other than

There was actually a sneak peak of it in my last post on the entertainment center that Andrew built for me, because I painted them at the same time.

I liked the idea of using a solid piece of pre-cut stainable plywood for the top, so we picked a top that would fit the space well and then made the base to fit the top with a nice overhang.  The top piece is 16" x 48" and the base is 14" x 46", which allows for a 1" overhang on all sides.

Notice we added a shelf on the bottom to use for storage because I desperately need a place to corral toys and other baby stuff.  For the shelf we used 1x3s ran lengthwise and nailed right on top of the bottom supports, gapping them to fit the width.

So my final cut list looked like this:
 A) 4 - 1x3 @ 29 1/4" (Fronts and Backs of the Legs) 
 B) 4 - 1x2 @ 29 1/4" (Sides of the Legs) 
 C) 2 - 1x3 @ 12 1/2" (Side Support) 
 D) 1 - 1x2 @ 43" (Stretcher) 
 E) I did not use because of bottom shelf
 F) 2 - 1x4 @ 12 1/2" (Side Apron) 
 G) 2 - 1x4 @ 43" (Front and Back Apron) 
 H) I) & J) are all top pieces which I omitted in exchange for a solid pine table top 16" x48"
 K) 4 - 1x3 @44 1/2" (bottom shelf planks)

My crazy girls :)

Glorious toy storage!  I love using these file crates for storing all kinds of things around the house.  They are cheap and super functional, and they look decent enough.  Plus, they seem to fit in all kinds of places, which makes them even better - see how three of them fit exactly PERFECTLY on that bottom shelf?  I didn't even plan that.  The littles can easily pull the baskets out, dump them all over the place, and then it takes me under five minutes to scoop all the toys back into them at the end of the day.  Can't ask for much more than that!

Apothecary Style Entertainment Center

Monday, August 15, 2016

A couple years back, Hubby started this wonderful tradition of making furniture for my anniversary present.  I've never been one for jewelry or flowers, but a DIY project will make me weak in the knees every time.

The first year of our new tradition, my present was our game table, which was his first major wood working project ever.  I'm still trying to talk him into helping me write a post about the game table (he took a million pictures and notes), but until then you can see our inspiration here and here.

The next year, at my request, he worked on building a TV cabinet.  Specifically this one from  I searched high and low for a TV cabinet for several YEARS and never found one that would work both in style and size/function.  At the time, we had a lot of video game consoles, media players, and other equipment stored under our TV.  I went over Ana's plan very careful for a few months and was absolutely certain that all of our equipment would fit, that it would provide adequate storage, and I assured him that this was the one.

It was nearly done in time for our anniversary that year, but still needed to be painted and stained (our least favorite part of most projects, incidentally).  And then life got in the way with the move and a million other things, so it sat for a while in his dad's garage/workspace.  

Of course, when we moved, we decided to split our equipment between the living room and the basement, so naturally, we don't need the storage space anymore.  However, I still love the style of this piece of furniture and was excited to have it finished and moved in.  I was especially excited to have this mess of a temporary solution moved out!

So we hauled it over from his old workspace, gave up our newly cleaned garage yet again, and got busy finishing it.

I painted and stained, he added the hardware and ta-da!  It is finally finished.

Easy-Sew Envelope Pillows

Monday, August 8, 2016

A while back I finished up the curtains in the main room and I am really pleasantly surprised that they look as good as I imagined them.  There's always that moment of panic after I make a purchase (especially the kind made on a whim) that maybe it's too dark/bright that it isn't going to match or it's going to be too matchy....
But I am really, really happy with the curtains.

Since I cut a bunch of fabric off the bottoms of one of the shower curtains to make the short kitchen curtains, I ended up with a chunk of fabric leftover.  This was the perfect amount for a couple of coordinating pillows to throw onto the couch.  The couch looks so Plain-Jane that even hubby says we need some throw pillows. I picked up a couple of inserts from Ikea, and whipped up these little babies in just a few minutes.

Living in a house full of munchkins and puppies, it is important that everything be washable.  That means that pillow covers have to be easily removed.  Enter the envelope pillowcases.  My favorite thing about these is that there are no zippers to fuss with.

  •          Fabric & thread
  •          Pillow insert
  •          Scissors, Pins, measuring tape
  •          Sewing Machine
  •          Iron & ironing board

Envelope Pillowcases

1)   Iron your fabric if you are a dedicated to straight lines.  The cut your front piece to be 1" bigger in all directions than your pillow insert.  My pillow was 20x20 so I cut my pillow front to measure 22x22.

2)   Cut your back pieces big enough so they will overlap fairly significantly when finished.  Again, my pillow insert was 20x20 which means I cut two back pieces to measure about 22x16.  The exact length will depend on how big of an overlap you want.   Be sure to make it overlap by at least a few inches, but there is wiggle room in case you have a limited amount of fabric.

3)   Fold & Iron the edge of each back piece that will be the hem for your overlap.  Then fold and iron a second time.  Doing a double fold on your hems covers the raw edge of your fabric so that it doesn't fray and also evens out your edge in case you are bad at cutting straight lines like I am.  

4)   Sew the hems that you just ironed.  Then lay the front piece (right side down) and top with your back pieces (right side up) and hems overlapped in the center.

5)   Sew all the way around the outside edge of the square and trim your corners.

6)   Flip your pillow case inside out, so the right sides are together.  Pin around the entire outside edge of the square (iron it first if you are feeling frisky).  Sew around the entire perimeter again, but leave a slightly wider seam this time to ensure clearance for the raw edges of your first seam to be totally enclosed.  Do not trim your corners this time.

7)   Flip your case again, right side out.  Insert your pillow.  Enjoy!

Here are the pillows on the couch with the curtains in the background.  It's the small touches that really make a big difference.  Anytime you use fabric in a room, finding a way to incorporate it as an additional accent piece can go a long way to making the room feel cohesive.

Pallet Art - Chevron Map of the USA

Monday, August 1, 2016

Six months after we moved in the very first picture got hung on the wall.  This empty alcove wall, to be specific.

I keep trying to tell myself it's because I have been so busy, but the reality is that I was just plain scared.  After all the hours and effort that went into painting the walls in this house, I was terrified of poking holes in them.  I didn't want to hang something and then change my mind about it and have to fix any nail holes.  So I made very certain that I was sure before I hung anything.  As you can see, the map has been sitting in that alcove for a while, as I tried to get up the courage.

It's kind of fitting that this would be the first thing we hung, though.  This pallet art, my version of this DIY Pallet Art, was a project that I worked on while we were house hunting.  In fact, I was in the middle of gluing the boards together when our Realtor called to tell me that our first offer had NOT been accepted on the house that we now live in.  Thankfully the house eventually worked out.  And thankfully this particular piece of art turned out beautifully as well.

I am imagining a buffet table of some kind sitting under this map.  I am currently trying to decide if I am going to build my own table or refinish a Craigslist find.  It will probably be a decision of opportunity.

We are also working on a gallery wall for the living room, but it is going painfully slow because.... well, if I was that afraid to poke enough nail holes for a single piece of art work then you can imagine my anxiety over an entire wall of pictures...

*update - the gallery wall finally went up and you can see it here!

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