IKEA Hack – Wardrobe to Sewing Room

FACT. I’m thrilled about our little one whose arrival can’t come quickly enough.

FACT. I already love our little one more than sewing.

FACT. Our house is small. Just under 1,000 square feet, two bedrooms.

FACT. One ENTIRE bedroom, is filled to the brim with my sewing/crafting stuff. Machine(s), glue, fabric, thread, paper, scissors, notions, pins, stickers, gift wrap, patterns, on & on & on & on.

FACT. Small children whom you love should not co-exist among such chaos. They bring their own baby-friendly chaos.

FACT. I need to sew.

FACT. My husband is the bomb diggity.

FACT. He turned this discontinued HEMNES wardrobe from IKEA into a lovely, totally functional sewing closet.

FACT. I’m not mourning the loss of an entire sewing room…cause look at this thing!

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Before:005 After:012Features I love:
Matt added a pull out table (which a chair fits perfectly under) and drop down desk to fill the gap behind, so I never have to unplug-replug things, and there is space to spread out. 
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Matt also added a shelf for our printer. That printer gets a lot of use. I print several recipes a week, not to mention the odd pattern, photo or receipt. I was bound and determined to have our printer set up so it was ready to go…always. He left a small gap behind the shelf for the cord to drop down, and drilled a hole at the base for an extension cord to seamlessly connect everything.

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The side shelves have plenty of room for the essentials and then-some.

016FACT. Yes, I’ll have to use the kitchen table to cut out those big projects.

FACT. Big freaking deal. I’m blessed to have a kitchen table to use and blessed to be starting a family.

FACT. Getting rid of things and keeping only what you actually need feels fantastic .

FACT. Gideon appreciated the fabric purge…if only for a few moments.
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Pinterest Fail – Watercolor Streamers

Well it’s happened again. I turned to Pinterest for help with some cheap DIY party decor. And once again, I botched a project.

A dear friend of mine has a baby on the way. I was decorating for her shower at our church. Church baby-showers are not typically supported by big budgets. So I figured I would try out this streamer water color idea. Cheap, cute, unique. And I had several roles of white Dollar Tree streamers left over from who knows what. How could it go wrong?

Here is the original pin:

dyed-party-streamers7

IMG_8142Now I thought the outcome of the above project was subtle but cute. I bet I could make them more vibrant.

Here’s how it works:

Mix food coloring with water until you get your desired color.

IMG_2749Dip the streamer into said water. IMG_2750 Give it a second. Pull it out. IMG_2751 Let it dry. IMG_2753

Seems simple enough. I started this project 2 days before the shower. (The shower was on a Sat morning…I made these on Thursday morning). Who would have thought it would take 2 whole days for these to dry? Not I.

Well. It didn’t take two days to dry. It took 8. EIGHT WHOLE FREAKING DAYS.

In the original post, she mentions the whole drying-slow thing and she actually took a blow dryer to hers. I was not in the mood for blow drying streamers. HENCE why I gave myself 2 WHOLE DAYS of buffer time.

Beyond the whole drying thing…here’s how they turned out:

First off, they became really brittle and crunchy. And Secondly, most of them ended up looking more like something in a surgeons trash can. (Which I noted would be handy come October.)

IMG_2873The colors bled, which could actually look cool…
IMG_2874…IF the color actually soaked all the way through the streamer. Instead the colors ended about 12 inches into the darn thing.

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They also soaked up rust off my old-craft cooling rack I set them on. Good for the crappy cooling rack…bad for the streamer.
IMG_2875I even set them out in the sun at one point, to get them dry faster. One rolled off and landed in the dirt. Ugh.
IMG_2876All in all, the lessons I learned for this are as followed:

#1. Use less water. Like a 1/4 cup is enough. But you probably won’t see the color by the end of the streamer…I’m guessing. And I’m not going to do it again to find out.

#2. This will be most handy when you actually need a bloody-gauze look. Halloween.

#3. Buy colored streamers.

My calming corner.

I am extremely blessed. We’ve got a tiny little house, but in that house are two bedrooms. One of those bedrooms in my very own “craft room”. As far as I’m concerned having a whole extra room to hold crap that you make more crap out of, is a luxury and I don’t take that for granted one bit.

As any of you crafty people out there will know, craft rooms can get a little…cluttered. My craft room has a hodgepodge of old/free furniture items in it, none of which are actually fitted for their current use. For example I’ve got a rickety old shelf holding about a ton of fabric pieces that spill out onto the floor. There is also an old clear bin that is overflowing with thread and ribbon. So even when things are “away” it looks chaotic in here. To some degree that’s fine, but in its current state it’s completely uninspiring.

BUT I’ve finally got one corner of the room, exactly how I like it. A while ago I picked up a $5.00 dresser at our church rummage sale. It used to be spray painted silver with some gnarly drawer pulls, but my hubby brought it back to life for me. We used left over white paint, old cabinet knobs with a fresh coat of dark spray paint, and Matt did a number of things to the structure of the dresser to make it “better”. He basically beefed the thing up a little, I won’t get too into that now :)

So after filling the drawers with all those little things that don’t have a home and look cluttery, I took a step back and let out a sigh. I will actually feel good when I open this door now. The pinwheels spin when the window is open, and just like a baby and a mobile, the movement is calming for some strange reason.

I found some old frames and decorations and used old spray-paint to get them all matching. I hung pictures of things that make me smile. My chickens, my dog, and a picture of me as a kid.

The pinwheels are left-over decorations I did for a friend’s wedding. With the help of some trusty friends (especially you, Amy) we made tons of them out of old music sheets and book pages. We hung them all around ceremony site. I, of course, snagged a bag full when I left.

I probably wont be doing a whole lot of crafting literally on this dresser. This room gets so much light and a nice, flat, white surface is the perfect place to snap photos. It’s amazing how much it improves your pictures when you have a white backdrop to reflect all the natural light streaming in the windows. Here are the first pictures I tested of it, with a bouquet of flowers from our garden that I arranged for a friend’s birthday.

I’ll save this surface from the terror of my hot glue gun as long as I possibly can. All craft room projects will be on hold for a while but I hope to get a bigger shelf and a large table in the fall to finish off the space. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll make another awesome “bins” discovery.

I hope you too have a nook, wherever you call home, that helps clear your mind and allows you to really appreciate life a little more deeply.