So, my sister was telling me about some article she read about how things don't HAVE to be perfect. They can be perfectly imperfect, which can be just as fabulous... and no one really notices the teeny place that fabric is misaligned in the corner of one window. I do. But I need to get over it. After we moved, I finally decided to attempt some of these projects... with some success! Here are two of the many I have done (mostly at 1am when the girls are sleeping, of course). More to come in future posts.
This bench has been an utter lifesaver in the kitchen. You have absolutely no idea how many shoes these little girls somehow accrue and leave EVERYWHERE. I did it the weekend of that massive storm last fall (Sandy??). I went to Home Depot and everyone was getting batteries, generators, flashlights, bottled water, etc... ya know, things to survive. Here I am getting supplies for a Pinterest project. I got the instructions here at IHeart Organizing (I'm literally obsessed with this woman. I mean, she has amazeballs colorful labels on EVERYTHING.), and I will tell you how I did it. My apologies for not having step-by-step pics. I wasn't doing this blog yet so documentation didn't really happen.
-IKEA Expedit Shelves $59.99
-MDF board at Home Depot $6.27. I brought the exact measurements of the shelves and I had them cut it for me there.
-2" foam sheet-- $58.99 but I got it from Joanne fabrics with a 40% off coupon so it was around $35
-Fabric of your choice (I have gotten tons of adorbs prints from fabric.com. I ordered 2 1/2 yards for this and it was beyond plenty). All of the stuff I have ever gotten has run from $6-$8 per yard.
-Fabric glue (see pic below. I got it from Michael's or on Amazon) usually anywhere from $7-$10.
-Velcro- (to eliminate the cushion from sliding off when someone sits down) I got a pack from Michael's but you could get this from Amazon for $5-$6.
-Baskets/Bins-- I recommend getting them from IKEA so they fit perfectly in the shelving. I got these for $16.99 each but there are some cheaper options. You could also order extra fabric and do these amazing DIY bins (I plan on doing them myself very soon for other parts of my house).
-Knife (for cutting foam to size. Much easier than scissors).
- Build the shelves per lovely IKEA instructions (fortunately these are super easy).
- Lay the foam out on the floor and put the cut MDF board over. Use a sharpie to mark and then cut (a knife because it was SO much easier than scissors).
- Decide how you are going to have the pattern (if you have one of course) appear on the cushion. (I recommend ironing your fabric before. Possibly wash it if that is what is recommended for your particular fabric). Lay the foam and MDF board on top of the fabric. Cut your fabric leaving several inches around the edges to allow you to glue it to the MDF board.
- Spray the fabric glue and pull as tight as you can (the fabric may stretch over time when people constantly are sitting on it).
- Apply the velcro by adhering it to the bench itself, then carefully lay the covered cushion on top (make sure it is lined up how you want it to be).
Extremely easy and it can somewhat contain some of the chaos that is constantly everywhere. Each girl has their own drawer and I use the others for hair stuff, rain boots, etc. It also has provided great additional seating in the kitchen since we always seem to hang out there. The only other thing I would recommend is to scotchguard it if it is in a high-traffic area or in the way of grubby hands.
No-Sew Roman Shades
Let me preface this by saying if you can sew, you are amazing. I most definitely cannot, which is why I chose this fake-me-out window treatments option. They are not functional (aka can't go up or down) so they aren't the best in a place where you need privacy. They are super easy and inexpensive. I found several different tutorials, but I ended up using a combo of a few.
I did these for both the windows in our breakfast area as well as the window in my laundry room (hence the different fabrics in the pictures). If you are making a bagillion (I have six windows in the breakfast area), it can get tedious. The one I did in the laundry room took me just 20-30 minutes.
-fabric (once again, fabric.com). How much to order depends on your window size and how many folds you want. The width of the fabric is typically around 56". For the smaller window in my laundry room (25"), one yard was plenty. For the six windows (33"), I got 10 yards and I have tons, TONS leftover.
-tension rods (a few dollars at Target. I got three per window and so I have two folds in each shade. You can do whatever you think looks best).
-Stitch Witchery (from Michael's, see picture below). This stuff is magical.
-towel (white is best so you don't transfer any color to your fabric, and don't use one that is nice and you want to use again).
-bowl of water
-ironing board (or some other hard surface... but I don't recommend doing it on your new kitchen table even if you do put like 20 towels down. It WILL make marks on the wood and you will be extremely angry with yourself. Good news is after six months, the marks will eventually fade).
-wooden dowels (Michael's. I got the ones with the red on top. Around 50-75 cents each)
- Measure window width from the inside of the window where the tension rods will go. Add one inch to this measurement so you can make 1/2 inch creases on either side.
- Iron the 1/2 inch creases on either side. I did one side first, then measured the fabric to the width of my window (no more than 1/8 inch smaller). Continue to re-measure as you go.
***Sidenote- geometric fabric is great because you can line it up, but you can also see if it is off at all***
- Unroll the stitch witchery and place it underneath the crease. Spread a wet towel (not soaking, but definitely wet) over the crease carefully (make sure the stitch witchery doesn't move from underneath the crease). Place a hot iron over the towel (it will hiss) for 10 seconds. Voila! You have a non-sewn hem. Repeat for both sides of the shade.
- Take one tension rod and place it at the top and pull the material over it to create a loop for it to hang on.
- Repeat the stitch witchery process. You can also do this on the bottom (but make sure you know the length you want before you do that).
- Adjust the tension rods to fit your window width. Place one at the top with the material looped through. Place the others below, maybe 12-16 inches lower (you can readjust until you like the look).
- Use a handsaw to cut the wooden dowels just slightly less than the width of the shade.
- Insert a tension rod through the loop you created and place at the top of your window. Let the material hang in front of the other tension rods. Several inches below the next rod down, fold the fabric back up so it goes over and behind the rod, creating your first fold. Put the dowel inside the fold/pocket to weigh the fold down. The rest of the fabric should be hanging down in front of the next tension rod below. Repeat the same process for how many folds/tension rods you have/want.
As I mentioned before, you can create another pocket with the stitch witchery for your final fold to keep the material on the last tension rod. I did that for some of the window, then I got ghetto and sort of just taped it to the tension rods. Readjust the fabric, distance between rods, folds, etc until you love it.
I have gotten SO many compliments on these, and while I tell people not to look too close, they have been the perfect addition to the windows.
You will see a picture of the laundry room chevron ones when I post my laundry room transformation (coming soon).
All-in-all, I am so happy I have attempted to adopt the 'perfectly imperfect' thought process. It is far better to have all of these awesome things in my house that I did myself than to just daydream or attempt (and fail) to save endlessly for everything (since everything seems to cost a schmillion dollars). Hopefully these instructions make some sort of sense. I promise, it really isn't as hard as you think.