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A Lantern Planter

Hello, hello! I hope everyone is having a good week. I’ve got family coming to visit this weekend, so I’ve been cranking out a few “ankle-biter” projects over the last few days! You know? Those projects that don’t take a ton of time or effort, they just need to get done so you can cross them off your list and move on? 
The project I am showing you today is one of those projects! In less than 15 minutes and with some very minor handiwork, we had a new addition to our dining room! 
Meet our new hanging planter!

You might just recognize this lantern! I bought it months ago at the Goodwill for $5. I showed it to you here as one of my very fun craft finds! I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with it then, but I had a strong suspicion it would involve plants! When it so brilliantly matched my new dining room, I knew exactly what to do with it!

Here is how it started…

The rest of the tutorial is after the jump!

Greg did all the handiwork…I just watched. But here is what he did!

1. Lift metal clips. Using a needle nose pliers, he opened the small metal prongs that were holding the glass panes in the lantern sides.

2. Remove glass pains. Once the prongs were lifted, it was super easy to just pull the glass out. The four glass panels were safely tucked away for another project – you never know when you will need some glass sheets!

3. Install ceiling hook. Although the planter doesn’t weigh that much, we went ahead and installed a heavy-duty hook (I think it can hold up to 60 lbs!). They are really easy to install and are about $3 at any hardware store.

4. Buy and place plant into the lantern. I’m not so good with plants; however the Philodendron and I are good friends! I can neglect them for days (even weeks) on end, and they never die on me! They also re-generate! When any branch gets too long, I clip it off, stick it in water, and it soon becomes a whole other plant!
I bought one at Walmart for about $4 along with a plastic tray. I placed the plastic tray in the base of the lantern then the plant inside the tray. I helped guide the plant’s longer branches out of the lantern…and that was it! 

I love the visual interest of the lantern planter hanging from the ceiling. It’s different and unexpected. It almost feels like a birdcage…only without the bird and the mess! Complete with our glass cake stand, a tall candlestick, and my collection of sea urchins (dried), I really love this corner of my dining room!

Hope everyone has a great weekend! See you Monday!

I am linking this post to:
The 36th AvenuePositively SplendidLil'Luna

See My New Backsplash Over at PS Today!

Hey Everyone!

Another month has gone by already (how?!?), and it’s time for my next tutorial over at Positively Splendid! I am SUPER, SUPER, SUPER excited for this month’s project…so hop on over to Amy’s blog to see how I made this OH SO FUN “tile” backsplash in our new home!!!

If you’re visiting me from PS, WELCOME! I am so glad you’re here! I’d love it if you took a look around, dropped a comment to say “hi,” and followed in my crafting adventures!
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Stars and Stripes (reversible) Tote!

A friend’s little boy just had his first birthday! After “toying” (ha!) with a couple different gift ideas, I decided it was a good opportunity to try this reversible tote I had seen on Dana’s amazing blog a little while back. I’ve given totes as gifts before, and they are always a big hit. Really, who doesn’t need a cute little bag for playdates, outings to the library, or just to store stuff in around the house!?! After a quick assessment of what I had on-hand in my fabric stash, I set off to make this bag a one-of-a-kind gift, including an appliquéd monogram and my twist on the stars and stripes!
Lots more pictures after the jump!

I can’t say enough about this tutorial – it was easy to follow and the bag’s design is awesome! I can’t wait to  make some more in some other fabrics. I just LOVE the reversibility of it. Instead of using four different fabrics, I used the same fabrics on the inside and outside of my bag, just in opposite locations!

I didn’t use the heavy-weight fabric she recommended so it didn’t turn out quite as sturdy as I hoped! My stripes are a home decor fabric, but not as stiff as some (and didn’t fully realize it until the bag was mostly done!). The stars are a light-weight cotton, so it definitely serves more as a lining than a true reversible look…but I just love that bottom with the stripes making a checkered pattern, don’t you?!?

Since the tote is definitely more of a gift for Mom rather than the one-year-old, I tucked in some age-appropriate puzzles for the birthday boy!

I made a cute coordinating birthday card using MDS and tied it right on to the tote like it was a gift bag!

Such a fun project and such a fun gift! The possibilities are endless..I can’t wait to make some more totes to tote around all our stuff!
I am linking this post to:

The 36th AvenuePositively SplendidLil'Luna

It Was Supposed to Be a Weekend Project – the Garden Bench Makeover

This is one of those projects that became much larger and longer than intended! What was supposed to be a quick in-a-weekend makeover, turned into three weeks of blood, sweat, and tears. Okay, maybe I’m being a little dramatic…but there was a A LOT of sweat involved, and just maybe a few tears!
You see, we started here…with this sad little bench. We bought her in Okinawa, where we used her as an indoor garden bench. We then moved her to San Diego where she became an outdoor garden bench, for which she was NOT intended! She got pretty beaten up and started to look very sad. We moved her to Virginia, where she sat, ugly and unloved for a whole year on our front porch. When we placed her outside our “new” house in North Carolina, she became even more of an eye sore, and I wanted her fixed up ASAP!

Three weeks later, she looked like this!

You can read her story and see how I did it after the jump!
Here was the main problem (other than that that bench was ugly): chipping and cracking paint. Because we left her outside in San Diego, the paint job in several areas had chipped away all the way down to the bare surface! As such, we really had no choice but to strip the entire thing!

Having never stripped a piece of furniture before, I thought this would be a piece of cake. Ha. I used this stripping gel according to package directions. I lathered on a coat, waited 30+ minutes and went to scrape off all my paint…only to find that the top surface was about one of (at least) 4 coats. Arg. Friends, there is nothing like stripping off a coat of paint to reveal an entirely different design on the next layer down. While fascinating for a minute, I knew I had to change my plan for getting this baby down to her bare wood.

The stripping gel was messy, somewhat ineffective, and did I mention messy? I was NOT game for using the stripping gel on every layer of paint. We set off for the hardware store for some 60 grit sanding discs…and this is what I did EVERY DAY for two straight weeks…I sanded….and sanded…and…you get the picture! 
(By the way, this is where the few tears came in! Again, I thought this was going to be a quick paint project. When I realized how much work had to be done, I had a little moment of pure frustration, then forced myself to move on. I couldn’t leave the bench as it was. I committed to sanding at least one hour a day, most days I did at least 2. In 13 days, it was done!)

About 20 hours of sanding (and an inch of dust all over my garage) later, I had her as bare as the day she was born…um…made 😉

Not 5 minutes after I finished sanding her down, I had the paint cans open, ready to roll! (There’s nothing like plopping paint right on to something you spent 2 weeks sanding…the irony was not lost on me). These are the paints I used to get her done…isn’t that red fantastic?!?

2 coats of primer, painted on with a brush…sanded with a 200 grit sanding sponge between coats…

And three coats of red paint later, she was nice and red and shiny! (and most importantly…protected for outdoor life!)

I really had my heart set on making a cushion for this bench. After putting so much work into it, I wanted it to be used and to look fabulous.

I bought a cushion at JoAnns (using a 40% off coupon!) and notched it at the corners to fit into my bench. I then traced the cushion onto my outdoor fabric.

Here is one of my little tricks for making custom covers: trace your cushion with one color (in my case I used blue)…then, using a ruler, go around your entire line and add a 1/2″ (or whatever your seem allowance is) in another color (in my case red). Then cut the adjusted (red) line!

I also decided to go ahead and making coordinating piping for my cushion. I find piping to be monotonous and a pain to make…but the effect on the final product is always worth it! I made 10 yards of piping…I only used about 7 so I have extra for a few other projects!

I used a coordinating stripe for the vertical panel on the cushion. Sewing around those notched corners (with the piping!) was totally difficult and a huge pain…but I think my cushion ended up adorable!

It fits right in, and because it’s notched, there is no need to attach the cushion with ties or velcro…it doesn’t budge!

We toyed around with the idea of removing the circle inlays along the back. We kept them for the time being, but I’m still not sure. With that thick cushion, I think they might need to come out!

What a HUGE difference on our front porch. Even though we haven’t gotten to any landscaping or other projects for the porch yet, the huge pop of color makes it a much more inviting place to hang out! Now it’s time to get the rest of the space on par with this vibrant bench!
This bench makeover is the first in a long line of furniture projects to come. It was a good “warm-up” piece…I learned a lot and feel more confident taking on some of our nicer items! Although she took a lot longer than anticipated…it was well worth it!
I am linking this post to:

The 36th AvenuePositively SplendidLil'Luna

Organizing Craft Supplies

Happy Monday Everyone! It’s the start of another week (man, how do those weekends fly by so fast?!?), and I have some really fun projects to reveal to you this week! Before I get to those though, I wanted to show you how my new crafting space is coming along!
A few weeks ago, my husband gave you a great tutorial for our new Craft Counter and a sneak peak of how our “Cr-Office” (Craft Room + Office) was taking shape! Today, I want to show you how I organized this huge mess!
I have lots of fun organizing ideas to show you!
Let’s get started!

The last time you saw the Craft Counter, we had just installed it! I have since filled almost every nook and cranny with storage.

Let’s start here!
In our past three homes, I have only had shelves to store my craft supplies (consequently, I’ve put almost everything into plastic bins!). At first, I was a little lost on what to store in the drawers!

While I was brainstorming ways to use them effectively, I went ahead and made them pretty to look at! Remember when I bought all that fun patterned contact paper? Even though I primarily bought it for some other craft projects, I couldn’t resist the way this paper matched my theme fabric for the room. This stuff goes on SOO nicely, and I absolutely LOVE the vibrant pop every time I open the drawers!

In drawer number one, I made a one stop shop for all my cricut cartridges and tools. I simply took the trays out of these storage boxes and laid them right in my drawers. By eliminating the plastic box, I was able to create more space AND now I can access all my cartridges a lot easier and quicker! In the back, I have all my extra supplies to make more ribbon rings as necessary!

The two middle drawers are much skinnier. The left one holds some of my 12×12 scrapbook paper. It’s hard to tell in the photo (left), but I have clear plastic dividers to separate out each color and collection. (These will get labeled at some point!). 
In the right-side drawer, are all my go-to sewing supplies (my sewing machine sits just to the right of this drawer!). I searched and searched and searched for clear, affordable drawer organizers that would help me make the most of this space. I found these here…while not the most affordable, I can’t say enough about these! They are sturdy and have lots of great compartments. I love the two-tier slide-able trays so I can easily access things underneath. I’ve done a few sewing projects since getting this space organized, and I must say I LOVE having all these tools right at my fingertips instead of tucked away in a plastic bin!

My last drawer is the odds and ends drawer – everyone’s got to have one, right? I put another acrylic organizing tray in here to hold things like my adhesives, screw drivers and other small things. I also keep my sewing machine manuals handy (tucked under the tray) as well as all my paint swatches and fabric choices for our current home!

Let’s take a peak in all those cabinets!
Even though it’s nice to have some things out of plastic bins and into drawers, I was really excited to see that my plastic bins fit perfectly along the top shelves of all my cabinets. I have found these bins to be invaluable for storing oddly shaped things…you can see more about these bins here!
This is the cabinet below the drawer with all the circuit cartridges, so I thought it best to put all my paper and paper-punching/cutting supplies here! The bins on top contain things like punches, adhesives, and extra cricut tools, while underneath are all my papers and vinyl arranged by color!
The next cabinet over is the double cabinet and the hub for all my odds and ends craft supplies! In the baskets are all my stamps and stamp supplies.  I don’t use them much these days, but wanted to keep them accessible in case the stamping urge hits! Paint, glues, cards, beads, plain canvases and much more all find their home here! When I am organizing a space, I try very, very hard not to pack things in because I want to be able to get things out without much effort. It took some time to get this cabinet just right, but I think I accomplished it!

The final cabinet is for all my sewing notions. The bins hold elastics, Velcros, snaps, felt, surger thread and more! The plastic box and portable file organizer hold patterns (store bought patterns in the plastic bin, patterns I print out from online are in the file organizer). The center basket holds other odd items, namely yarn and a bunch of “notion”-type fabrics: stabilizer, interfacing, etc!

On the floor in the nook between two of the cabinets, I have a sturdy basket tucked away to hold all of my vinyl and patterned contact paper!

Let’s take a look at that counter, shall we?!?
The WHOLE point of the 2-station craft counter was so I had space not only to stash my supplies, but also have permanent homes from my sewing machine, my cricut and my serger. Since sewing (typically) requires sitting, the two sewing machines are positioned at each “station.” The cricut sits in the middle, where I can stand at it no problem! A cutting mat takes up the far right-hand-side of my counter and is where I cut and assemble all my projects!

Because we bought this countertop from a warehouse store, we were not able to customize it in anyway  (like add a hole for cords to go through), and we were too scared to drill through it ourselves. Ultimately, I have one powerstrip plugged in at the far end of the counter. To keep all my machines plugged in yet the cords tidy and out of the way, I found these great little clips! They stick right on, and several cords can fit in them at one. LOVE them!

Last thing on the counter is my new craft caddy!

This was an old iron silverware caddy that never really got put to good use. Because of the “basket”-ness of it, I was never able to store things in in effectively. But while walking through Michael’s, I found some huge mason jars, and I knew they were just the thing to make this caddy useful!
First thing I did was spray it with some Valspar spray paint. I devised this pretty clever system to “hang” the caddy while I painted it (yes, those are garden stakes…)

In went the mason jars and all my “vertical” craft supplies: pencils, glitter pens, markers, scissors, paint brushes, pipe cleaners and popsicle sticks! Just love the order and transportability of this new caddy!

Last but not least, let’s look up on the wall!
Ahhh….there it is…all my pretty fabrics and ribbons…all in one place, all organized and so pretty to look at! Sometimes I just come in here and look at this wall…is that weird? 😉

We put up two plain white shelves from the hardware store to hold all my fabric. Home decor fabric is on top and my cottons and prints are down below (and to the right on top) organized by color! All my ribbon is stored on two curtain rods from IKEA that we already had from our last house! Big spools are all on top and my rings of ribbon are all on the bottom!

Fabric is wound on “bolts” made of comic book storage boards. I made a deal with my husband that all my fabric HAD to always fit on this shelf. I better get sewing if I want to buy more fabric…I don’t have much room left!!

I love how all my ribbon is in one place and so easily accessible. Whether for a project or to wrap a present, I can just pull the ribbon right down!

My last storage solution was to make some hanging fabric baskets to store scraps and other things that tend to collect in a craft space! Since I found this idea on etsy, I’ve actually seen others do really great tutorials on how to make your own (although I just made mine up as I went!)! 

I made three of these cute little baskets…the outside is my main fabric for the space, and they are lined with a coordinating cotton. I lined both the baskets and the rod pocket with heavy interfacing…in hindsight, I wouldn’t have lined the rod pocket because it gets bunchy! Otherwise though…they turned out great and do exactly what I need them to do!

This room isn’t quite finished, but I have done a few other projects in here. Here’s a quick peak of the center of my wall, just above those hanging baskets!  Once the rest of the wall is done, I’ll have it up for you!

Alright! That’s it for today! I hope you enjoyed seeing how I put those cabinets to good use and maybe gave you a few good ideas that you can use in your own space!
Have a great start to your week!!

I am linking this post to:
The 36th AvenuePositively SplendidLil'Luna