Decorate notepaper

I found a new way to decorate paper for letter writing. I used a circle hole punch in a piece of cardstock, leaving a 3/4 inch border around the circle. I dobbed ink with a sponge inside the hole and onto pieces of looseleaf that I had cut to 6×8.

decorate notepaper

decorate notepaper

Then I used a corner rounder to edge the looseleaf (not pictured).

DIY headboard update

There wasn’t anything too too wrong with our master bed, but it wasn’t nice.

Our bed, headboard, and the "always kiss me goodnight" stencil left by the previous owners.

Our bed, headboard, and the “always kiss me goodnight” stencil left by the previous owners.

I can do better.

I measured the length of the headboard between the two posts, 58 in, and sewed a white, waffle duvet cover we had (from where?) to that length. I then hung it over the headboard and safety pinned it at the bottom, under the bed.

The stencil/decal had to go.

free new headboard

free new headboard

But what to replace it with? I couldn’t just leave all that empty wall space. I FINALLY remembered that I had 4 unused small decor mirrors in the basement closet. I used my new beepy stud finder, found 3 studs because this is THE house and I will be hanging things properly, and hung the mirrors.
headboard remodel

headboard remodel

The best news is that Hubby absolutely loves it! He usually just tolerates my decorating or thinks it’s “nice”, but this one got him.

Reuse toilet paper tubes to hold pencils

With four bathrooms in this house and 2 kids, I can collect tp tubes in a hurry. I needed to organize all my scrapbooking pencils and computer cords so I took my tp tube collection, covered it in paper, taped it together and voilà.

If you’re going to cover your tube you will need a piece of paper 5 3/4 inch by 3 7/8 inch, Mod Podge and 2 paper clips. Paint the back of the paper with the Mod Podge, wrap around the tube (there will be a slight overlap) and hold in place with a paper clip.

Let dry for an hour and tape the tubes together for greater stability and space saving. Or don’t, it doesn’t matter that much.tp roll pencil holder (1)

reuse toilet paper tubes as pencil holders

reuse toilet paper tubes as pencil holders

into my bamboo bucket with other supplies

into my bamboo bucket with other supplies

tp roll pencil holder (2)

Reuse leggins into headbands

My daughter had a pair of black leggins that got a few too many holes in a sensitive area to be repaired so I began wracking my brains for something else to make with them. Leg warmers was the obvious choice but we’re heading into summer so she wouldn’t be wearing them.

The material is thick and stretchy, the perfect thing for a headband. I cut the legs into strips, sewed three of them together across the top, pinned it to my pencil holder at the top of my scrapbook table and braided away. Then I gave it a bit of a pull and wrapped it around her head. When we found the perfect blend of comfortable and secure I safety pinned the ends together, overlapped them for about 2 inches and sewed them together.

reuse leggins into headband

reuse leggins into headband

the original hole-y leggings

the original hole-y leggings

As many same length strips as possible

As many same length strips as possible

sew three together

sew three together

pin to something solid and braid

pin to something solid and braid

Reuse coffee can

Two more painted containers for pretty storage.

reuse coffee can

reuse coffee can

I just happened to have paint in the exact blue colour of the lid so I added some stripes and didn’t paint the side of the lid. Now it’s a container for my sewing ribbons.

upcycle tin

upcycle tin

Peel plastic label off coffee can.

Peel plastic label off coffee can.

A pretty Dutch tin but the inside was getting rusted and beat up.

A pretty Dutch tin but the inside was getting rusted and beat up.

Reuse ballet tights into leggins

Big surprise, my daughter is growing and the ballet tights that fit last September are now in danger of ripping. In an effort to make them last until next September, I cut off the toes right under the heel part, double folded the ends and hemmed. Now she has leggins since her legs got longer but not her waist.

I cut at the red lines.

I cut at the red lines.

reuse ballet tights into leggins

reuse ballet tights into leggins

Upcyle tutu into ballet bag

There is a long history for this tutu. tutu to bag (5)First, it was was mine when I was 6, for my first ballet performance. I remember being measured for it and not knowing what all the fuss was about until I wore it and thought I was the principal dancer for Swan Lake. I think my mother made it, or one of the other ballet moms.

Anyway, I outgrew it (duh). I saved it because it was so beautiful. Then about 20 years later I had my daughter and I promptly put it in her closet. It turns out that she loves ballet more than me and wore the tutu faithfully for everything. Including lunch! It got stains that it never should have gotten, but it was being worn and being loved so I did my best at chemical stain removal.

Today was the sad day that the tutu no longer fit her. I thought of saving it for a granddaughter but quite honestly the fabric might not last that long. Inspired by the gorgeous and intricate ballet bags that the other girls in her class have (made my grandmothers), and by Pinterest, I turned this tutu into a bag.
tutu to bag (4)First I sewed the tutu shut at the bottom, this meant spreading the tulle to find the lowest edge of the blue fabric.

beware how the handles fold

beware how the handles fold

Then I added handles to the tutu front and back. In my case, the tutu is higher in the front than the back so the forward strap had to be shorter so both straps would be even. Pay attention to how the straps are folded since one goes across the front and one goes across the back. You could make them shorter to be a purse-like bag, but I went long for stability and security for my somewhat clumsy 5 year old.
upcycle tutu into bag

upcycle tutu into bag

Free diy picture frame for long, narrow bathroom

There is a big, giant, bare wall in the main floor bathroom that is just begging for renovation or decent artwork. We do plan to redo the bathroom, but it’s on our 5 year plan, possibly even 10 year plan. In the meantime, I made this.

free diy art frame for rotating artwork

free diy art frame for rotating artwork

free frame for rotating art

free frame for rotating art

I went outside and collected dry branches and twigs that had fallen from my trees. You could do the same in a park if you didn’t have trees in your backyard. I made sure they were good and dead and therefore dry before more or less measuring them to make a frame. I did have to cut to fit, then tied the pieces together at the joins with appropriately coloured brown yarn. I added a small glob of hot glue under the ties just to make sure a branch didn’t slip out.

I measured 50 cm down from my ceiling, centering this frame with the mirror already in the bathroom. I nailed in two not excessively long nails more or less a quarter of a way in from the frame edge on each side. I set the frame on top of these 2 nails (the branches aren’t heavy so two nails is sufficient to hold this frame up).

I don’t have any marvelous works of art to display inside this giant frame (giant wall = giant frame) but I do have some postcards my dad has been sending me from Europe. He sends them with the intention to brighten my day and they do. I had them leaning up against my books in the bookcase but framing them is much better. To fill in the extra space I added paper fish that the kids had made.

The great part about this project is that it won’t be straight and that’s ok! When in doubt, go with a nature theme. The end result of this project is a busy wall, but it was so plain, huge and boring that it needed busy and now it looks so much better. Plus my daughter helped to hold the nails and offered an opinion about placement so it was a bonding moment as well.

There will be plenty more “bathroom update” posts in the future (hopefully near future) and the reason for that is that this new house HAS 4 FUCKING BATHROOMS. AND THEY ALL NEED WORK.

Lego Digital Designer

Due to the “hundred millions of Lego” that we have here, Hubby and I discovered http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/ which is an online way to design and build your own Lego creations. Or you can browse the gallery archive for patterns, such as Thomas the Train.

http://ldd.lego.com/en-us/gallery/archive

Type “Thomas” in creation name and select your model to download. I made the 5th one from the left, top row, first page.

My guess would be that I had 50% of the pieces that the pattern called for and totally improvised the rest by running up the stairs to my son’s room then down to the basement to the playroom. It took a few days to make Thomas this way but it was totally worth it for all the joy Thomas brings my son. He had to make a few adjustments to Thomas, for instance, putting windows on the cab so the driver could see out, making the funnel all one piece and adding a lantern so Thomas could see.

My son let me draw on his Lego piece (cardinal sin otherwise) because I showed him that rubbing alcohol will remove permanent marker.

My son let me draw on his Lego piece (cardinal sin otherwise) because I showed him that rubbing alcohol will remove permanent marker.

Lego Thomas

thomas front

Didn't have enough square single pieces so used round ones.  Artfully.

Didn’t have enough square single pieces so used round ones. Artfully.

I had no train wheels or train sets to draw on so Thomas' carriage is totally improvised.  The front buffer is a "holey" blue piece with a flat single piece pressed into the holes to hold the buffer button pieces.

I had no train wheels or train sets to draw on so Thomas’ carriage is totally improvised. The front buffer is a “holey” blue piece with a flat single piece pressed into the holes to hold the buffer button pieces.

Today I’m making a princess castle for my daughter, as per her request. She’s already made a giant, poufy dress out of Lego for her princess.

DIY Dove body wash from Dove soap bar

Dove Body Wash

Dove Body Wash

My favourite soaps are the Dove soaps: bar for handwashing, liquid body wash in the shower. I need the moisturizing soaps or my skin would fall apart. The downside of a moisturizing bar soap is that it cracks and breaks apart while there is still 25% of the bar left. I hate to fiddle with little shards of soap so as soon as that happens I replace the bar.

Not wanting to waste perfectly good soap, I break the pieces as small as I can get them, pop them into an empty pump bottle that I have and just barely cover them with water. Leave this on a window sill for a few days, shake and voilà! Dove Body Wash. Just keep adding more shards as they become available.