Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Homemade Headboard!

Our bedroom is the catch-all place. 

I think it's the room that I know nobody will just waltz in unless invited, so I don't worry as much.

And, I'm totally ok with that, but our bed was looking ridiculous.  We are grown adults, and we needed an "adult" bed.

Since my two strongest characteristics seem to be cheap and stubborn, I decided that we should make it ourselves.  So, I did what I always do when I want to take on something new--I read and read and read.  Mostly blogs with lots of pictures (thank you, bloggers!!). 

The next step was convincing Bryan.  Thankfully, he's usually on board when it involves saving money, and after seeing the steps online, we decided to try it, and we LOVE our results!

First, Bryan did the preparation steps--cut a piece of plywood to fit the wall space in our room (ours couldn't be too high because we like to rearrange the furnitre, and we have eaves in our bedroom) and sand the edges just a bit.  We happened to have the wood on hand, so the cost = $0 for that part.

Second, he measured out equal distance between where we would space the buttons for the tufts and drilled holes there.  Then, he played FIFA on his PS2 for most of the evening.

I took it from here.  I went to JoAnn's and bought a very large piece of foam, 2" thick.  You MUST use your 40 or 50% off coupon here--the foam would've been about $120 without it!  I had batting at home, so the cost was free, and I found the perfect fabric in the clearance section for $6 a yard--such a deal!

I also picked up plastic buttons to cover in fabric and some spray glue.

The first step was to put down an old sheet and use the spray to glue the foam to the plywood.

Of course, this headboard was really just a very expensive toy.

Anyway, after that, I laid the headboard foam-side down on the batting (which was on top of the fabric) and stapled the batting all the way around.  Note: small pieces of foam may be used as swords.

Or, if you wish to make the project take twice as long just to help mommy, sit on it and watch Yo Gabba Gabba and refuse to move.

After moving all small children out of the way, I attached the fabric.  Basically, I just pulled the fabric tight and stapled it, too, taking special care with the corners.

Then, I decided to take a break to take a pretend nap with Wardie and all of the friends he brought to his "pillow" aka leftover foam, which included 2 babies, a soccer ball, a toy camera, plastic farmer and steering wheel.  In our world, even the smallest baby dolls sleep face down and inanimate objects also get tired.

After said distraction went to bed, I made the fabric buttons which was easy peasy and attached them to the headboard which was AWFUL.  So awful that it made me question my sanity and wonder if it would look as nice just left as is.  NOT fun.

Here's what I did.

I took a long needle with several thicknesses of thread and poked it through the back of the holes through the foam and fabric and attached the button.  Awesome.  Simple.  Perfect.

Then, I had to pull the needle back through the same VERY tiny hole to pull the button tight and create the "tufted" look.  Not awesome.  Or simple.  Or perfect.

But, after about an hour, I had them all pulled through and stapled, although I think I ruined my thumbs in the process. 

Finally.  All finished.  Bryan added legs attached all the way up, and we attached it to the frame on our bed with bolts rather than the wall; again, because we (aka I) like to rearrange. 

We are SO happy with the final product.

If I were to do this again (and I honestly would), here are the things I would and wouldn't do again.
  • I would make sure to save up my coupons and wait for sales at JoAnn's.  Crucial.
  • I would do the tufts again.  I love the look of them and the detail they add.
  • I wouldn't use string to pull the buttons.  I need something stronger, although I'm not sure what.
  • I wouldn't make the stinkin' holes for the buttons so small and IMPOSSIBLE to find with the point of a needle.  Bad choice.
  • I wouldn't do the project with a 22-month-old running around (unless I had to, of course).
I told Bryan that recently, I saw a blog with directions to upholster an entire bed...

I'm waiting on Bryan to file the divorce papers:)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Wintertime blanket-making

There is nothing I like more in the winter than to cozy up under the covers with some trashy reality tv and a project to sew:)  Lately, I've been working on baby blankets for friends. 

This one is a pattern from Lion brand yarns online called "Bright Flower Throw."  I chose different colors (Little Boy Blue, Sweet Pea, Chocolate Cake and Lamb) mainly because most of my friends seem to have boys:)

I started off by making bunches of the same granny hexagon:)

And, then simply whipstitched them all together to form the pattern.

This looked wonderful, but came out about the size of a placemat, so I decided to double the pattern.  Then, I realized that with hexagons, the part where they came together wouldn't have been even, so I made a strip of the "lamb" hexagons to be the bridge between the two blankets.

I think it turned out pretty nice overall, and I was much happier with the finished size of this one.  (Excuse the Christmas decorations on the table, this post should've been finished a LOOOONG time ago!)  Anyway, it made a lovely gift for our friends Ward and Jodie's new little boy, Rafferty.

So, I made a blanket, and Wardie made this.

Very creative use of the crochet needles, don't you think?

The sad part is, this is probably what my sewing looks like in his eyes...sigh...I also found some of my needles in the bed of his tractor.  I think I rounded them all up, but we'll see when I start the next project.

Crocheting is awesome.  MUCH easier than knitting, in my opinion.  I'm knitting a blanket right now, and it takes me forever to keep counting stitches and make sure I'm not dropping any, etc.  What a pain!  Crocheting is almost foolproof and clearly, I need that:)

I have a book of blankets that I love for knitting, but I found the Lion Brand website that has both free crochet and knit patterns on it.  Here are my thoughts about the Lion Brand patterns on the website after trying a couple of them.
  1. The website is awesome.  Easy to navigate, easy to find colors in projects, and easy to order the yarn right then and there.
  2. They send you free email newsletters with sales and new patterns to try--very cool.
  3. However, the patterns seem to be MUCH smaller than expected and the yarn called for seems to be less than needed, too, which of course means more expensive projects than originally anticipated. 
I'll have to try some projects other than blankets to see how those turn out before I make my final call.

Happy sewing!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Review: The Book Thief

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was amazing. On par with The Giver or Number the Stars or any other adolescent lit. I love that it's written from death's perspective, too. One of those books that takes a week to process after you're done reading. Wow.

View all my reviews

Salad Theories

Bryan told me I should post this.  I don't really have anything more important to say today, so I'll share my theory about salad.

When you make a salad, you should use no more than 5 ingredients per salad.

This excluded potato salad, jello salad, macaroni salad, etc.  Those are in their own category.

But, a lettuce salad should have no more than 5 ingredients. 

I used to make salads with approximately 5 million vegetables or whatever I had left in the fridge, and it's just not the same.  A few flavors makes for a delicious salad that allows you to taste each ingredient.

Tonight's awesome salad that my hubby even raved about:

1. spinach
2. red pepper
3. craisins
4. gorgonzola cheese
5. Certified Angus Beef flat iron steak

I thought about adding walnuts for more texture, but then I would be breaking my own rules, wouldn't I?

Do you have any food rules?