Cheap and Chic No Sew Easter Pillow Cover DIY

Cheap and Chic No Sew Easter Pillow Cover DIY

I love decorating my house for every holiday. Even more so because here in LA we generally have two seasons- warm and sunny and hot and sunny.

Easter is one of my favorites (okay, every holiday is my favorite!) because I love using all the springtime colors. You know what DOESN’T go with springtime colors? Red! I have these red pillows on my couch that are ultra comfy, but pretty much only work at Christmas.

The offending red pillow!

Instead of changing out my pillows or buying expensive covers at a store, I decided to go with a cheaper solution and make some Easter-y, springy pillow covers. My first thought was to use burlap, but I wasn’t feeling any of the weaves I saw at the craft store. Canvas was on sale, so I got some for $6 and headed home.

YES, I MADE OVER MY PILLOWS FOR $6! I had all of the materials at home, so you may spend a little more, but if you’re an avid rehabber, you’re really only paying for the fabric itself.

Here’s what you need for this project:

  • Fabric
  • Fabric paint and a paint brush
  • Liquid stitch (or a needle and thread or your sewing machine. Depending on the fabric you choose, you may need a heavy duty needle.)
  • Fabric scissors (well, you don’t really need them, but why would you do that to yourself?!)

Your first step would usually be to wash your fabric, but since I’m only going to be using these pillows for about a month and I’m super lazy, I skipped this step. I just ironed the major creases out of the fabric so that I would be able to get a good, straight cut. I put my pillow on top of the fabric to measure what I’d need and cut out my three pieces. To put the pillows together, I used this tutorial from Amy at Homey Oh My since I’ve only ever made pillows using my machine or by hand.

After cutting out fabric pieces came the fun part- painting! Using pencil (couldn’t find my fabric pen or chalk), I lightly traced a bunny form that I had on hand. If you’re good at drawing, you could totally sketch something out. Then I painted over and filled in my outline with white fabric paint. Easy!

My bunny right after painting, right before drying overnight.

I let my bunny dry overnight then got to gluing. This is where you really want to pay attention to Amy’s tutorial!

Yes, I did use a trash bag to protect the floor from glue, just in case! I used the triangle to make sure I applied the glue straight on the edges.

Here’s where I made a mistake– when you’re sewing and pinning fabric, it is easy to see if you put a piece on backwards. When you’re gluing, make sure you check before you apply the glue! I put the back pieces on backwards, which ended up being okay because I like a rustic look. But if I was sewing, it would have been easy to just rip out the seam.

Here’s where I messed up! Make sure to check how everything lines up before you glue!

I let the cover dry for the day, then flipped it inside out and stuffed the red pillow inside. Voila! A whole new look!

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DIY Birthday Banner

I absolutely love banners, especially homemade banners. Today I’m going to tell you how I used cheap gift wrapping supplies to make a custom birthday banner, and how you can easily make one, too.

I was walking through the $1 section at Target and found this collection of items and decided they would make for a fun project.

The supplies I scored from the dollar section.

When I got home, I gathered a couple more things from around the house and got to work.

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Everything ready to go.

First, I arranged  the gift tags to see how many I would need, then simply wrote the message in Sharpie. How easy is that?! The gift tags were $1 for a pack of 8. I got 16 brown tags and 8 white tags, which was way more than I needed. Don’t worry if you mess up on the lettering, just keep writing. If I stop to fix or redo a letter in the middle, I always start obsessing over every little mistake and end up messing up a lot more. I looked through the letters at the end and replaced the ones that looked really bad (this is why it is good to buy extra tags!)

After the message was done, I set out to add a little sparkle. The glitter bags came in packs of two, but they were only glittery on one side (rats!) I cut the bags open and drew templates to cut out on the back. That way, I could play with the sizes before committing to the cut and wasting paper. I chose hearts (but you could do any shape, stars would also be cool.) I used double stick tape to attach them to the gift tags. Glue would also work well if you have that around the house instead.

close up of the hearts

I used the clothes pins to attach the gift tags to some twine I already had at home. At first, I wasn’t sure about what kind of spacing I wanted or if I wanted it to be one or two layers. My solution was to wait to cut the twine until all of the tags were attached so I could assess how it would hang (and not waste twine!)

the finished product

I just taped the banner to the mirror, but it could easily be hung by tying knots in the twine and hanging them on command hooks if you want it to look a little fancier. I chose the mirror because my boyfriend was coming home after dark, and that area of my place reflects light well at that time of day, calling attention to the banner and reflecting light on the glitter hearts.

What an easy and fun way to craft your way into a festive environment! The best part? You can create extra tags for each family member or friend and customize the banner for each occasion!

Another look at my cheap and chic banner.

 

DIY Side Table Made From Flea Market Finds

I recently got a new bed and have been wanting to get new side tables (night stands, whatever you like to call them) and a console for under the window. Looking online, I just wasn’t finding a side tables I liked and decided to create my own out of old suitcases. They make the perfect side table, really. They’re sturdy, have stood up to the test of time, and provide storage.

I checked out some options online and found this for inspiration:

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It isn’t quite right, though. I think it looks cheap for the price. It is too uniform, I don’t like the edges, and I wanted something more authentic looking.

I started looking at vintage stores around town for suitcases to stack and use as a table. The cheapest one I found in a store was $80, talked down from $100. Some suitcases even went up to $250 each.

Well, if you know me, you know that won’t do.

I decided to brave the heat and check out the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market. Armed with a hat, an umbrella and TONS of water, I set out early, fearing the heat wave we’ve been experiencing in LA.

It was SO worth it! There was so much good stuff this month. I got way more than enough for my side table and even walked away with a new toolbox for my Craftsman collection!

Vintage Craftsman Toolbox
The newest addition to my Craftsman collection. It even has the tray inside! I’m in love.

The toolbox was a last minute purchase. We were carrying the suitcases out and stopped at a favorite stand that usually has awesome cameras, typewriters and adding machines. My boyfriend spotted it first, kind of hiding in the corner.

I was standing at the edge guarding my suitcases. He kept calling for me to come over to see the toolbox, and the second I would start walking away, people would pick up the suitcases and begin enquiring about them. It was actually quite funny.

Just to give you an idea of how we looked with all of these suitcases so you can understand my struggle protecting my purchases:

Rose Bowl Finds
Beating the heat and taking a break from carrying our finds with a frozen lemonade. Don’t worry, I helped carry them!
Flea Market Suitcase Haul
Sneak peak into my backseat on the way home!

Here’s the final result:

Vintage Suitcase Side Table
The final result! I got the bottom two suitcases as a package deal for $60. The top suitcase was $25. I ended up not using one of my finds ($20) but I’m sure I will use it for something else around the house.

I am obsessed! A unique, customized side table for only $85. That’s a steal compared to the boring table going for $899 at Pottery Barn.

DIY Custom Computer Case for $5

My laptop has had the same boring clear case since I got it. I figured it was time for an upgrade, but didn’t want to pay for a whole new shell when I have a perfectly good one. I’m about to tell you how I completely changed the look of my old case for under $5!

First, I went to Paper Source and picked up this wrapping paper. It is a map of Paris Monuments.

Map of Paris

Next, I put my clear case over the map to see which parts I wanted to use. I knew I wanted Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower.

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After I positioned the cases, I used my craft blade to cut out the pieces I would be using. If you don’t have a craft blade, you can just trace the shape in pencil then cut it out.

After I cut out the pieces, I applied Modge Podge to the back (I attached the paper to the outside of my case) and then simply put it on the case.
I used a tool from Modge Podge to smooth out the paper from the center in order to avoid bubbling. It’s kinda like a mini-crafty-squeegee.

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I let the case dry overnight (because I got distracted… You really only need to wait about an hour.)

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Then I realized I wanted the grippy part on the bottom of the case exposed so my laptop wouldn’t slide around. I carefully cut around the area with my craft blade. Next time, I would do it before actually attaching the paper because I couldn’t get it quite perfect.

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Finally, I applied a couple of coats of Modge Podge to the exterior of the paper, waiting a couple of hours in between coats.

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I love it! I think it looks more like a cute little notebook or journal than a laptop! And the best part is that you can totally transform your old case with whatever you like for just a few bucks!

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If you don’t have Modge Podge sitting around, it costs between $5-$10 and you can just get a cheapy brush to apply the glue and use a credit card to smooth out the bubbles.

Hand Made Stamped Linen Napkins

photo 4 copyI got the idea for making hand stamped napkins because I’ve been seeing a lot of fabrics with geometric patterns lately, and everything I’ve been liking has been out of my budget.

Like any good rehabber, that just means a DIY project is on the horizon.

 

I found this article from Apartment Therapy on how to make the napkins. I got half a yard of linen from the local fabric store. Then I washed the linen to pre-shrink. After that, I got to cutting. The only difference from the tutorial is that I couldn’t get my linen to rip (it was 100% so I don’t know why) so I ended up cutting it and then just fraying the edges myself.

I remembered an article about using fruit and veggie stamps from Parents magazine. I cut a triangle out of a potato and got to working.

The potato stamp with paint.
The potato stamp with paint.

I got two colors of fabric paint and mixed them to the grey that I wanted. Then painted it onto the potato for even distribution. A couple of times, I dropped the brush or the potato or moved it around a bit, so there are imperfections. I think that just adds character.

I wanted to play with the patterns and ended up making all of the napkins different.

The finished napkins (I still need to pull the threads out of one.)
The finished napkins (I still need to pull the threads out of one.)

I think they ended up pretty good, don’t you?

*note: be sure to put something under the fabric you are stamping. You don’t want the paint to bleed through and stain your work surface!

$10 Side Table Transformation

Recently a friend gave me a couple of things for helping her pick out some new furniture pieces for her house.
Among them was this side table.

photo 2

It was in awful condition– it was super scratched up and had even been stored outside for awhile. Not necessarily the shape or style I would normally choose, I decided to jazz it up with a bright electric blue paint and a fun knob from Anthropologie.

The first knob I tried didn't quite work.
The first knob I tried didn’t quite work.
The second knob was much better!
The second knob was much better!
Here's the finished product. Pretty fun, huh? I could totally see this jazzing up a room!
Here’s the finished product. Pretty fun, huh? I could totally see this jazzing up a room!

I’m saying this cost about $10 because the knob was $7 and I didn’t even use half a can of paint or primer. It was a totally simple fix, so before you throw away that piece that’s been bugging you, try painting it and giving it a new life!

Cleaning With Vinegar: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

It isn’t just for Easter Eggs or salad dressing.

I’ve heard about mixing up vinegar and water to clean mirrors and windows. I grew up using a vinegar soak to keep new bikinis bright. Recently, I learned that there’s a whole community online talking about the ways you can use vinegar and other natural ingredients in household cleaning.

I guess I have hard water because my sinks have gotten this gunk from limescale that won’t come off with regular cleaners. I was googling what to do about it, and I came across vinegar. Articles said to soak a cloth in vinegar and let it sit on the spots for a few hours. On some sinks, I had more luck than others.

Before: yuck!
Before: yuck!

In the bathroom, I poured the vinegar on, scrubbed a little with an old toothbrush, and then poured a little more on and let it sit for about half an hour before the white stuff just scrubbed right off. It felt like a miracle!

Look how clean it got!
Look how clean it got!

The kitchen was a different story. I probably should have tested a small spot first, because the vinegar wasn’t working so well. One site suggested putting a ziplock over the vinegar soaked cloth, so I tried that and left it on for a few hours. It ATE AWAY at the finish and seemed to corrode part of the faucet. Yes, the green limescale came off of the sink, but so did some of the finish. My boyfriend came over and was excited because he thinks the sink looks a lot better, but I’m voting for a new fixture.

Anyway, I would say that the best thing to do is to scrub with the vinegar and to leave it on for only a little while. I wouldn’t do the whole vinegar soaked cloth thing again. It seemed like a lot more work, and not really worth the risk of corroding the sink.