Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Before & After - Bedside Tables

Last month, I completed one of my biggest furniture re-dos to date: two gorgeous, curvy bedside tables. When my friend, Monica, first showed me the pic, I knew they would turn out awesome. They were heavy, solid tables with ornate curved fronts and sides. Monica didn't like the finish, the tops had scratches and water stains, and she was looking for a pop of color in her all-brown bedroom.

Here's the before:

And here's the inspiration photo of what Monica wanted the tables to look like:

Monica provided the light blue paint in flat. For the bases, I gave them a light sanding, primed and painted two coats with a brush. But then I ran into problems... Instead of a soft, light distressing, I ended up with peeling paint. 

It was a major headache, but I stripped the bases and drawers completely before starting over. I'm not sure why the primer didn't hold. My only guess is maybe the surface was oily. I've heard about "difficult" pieces. These fit that description. 

Once everything was stripped, I started over. After a soft distressing with a sanding sponge, I used two coats of dark wax. The wax gave the tables a beautiful shine and picked up all the brush strokes. I can't over-emphasize how much better it looks with wax. 

For the tops, I used two coats of dark walnut stain and dark wax. I wish I had better pics of the finished product, but those suckers are heavy, and there are a lot of steps between the little house and where I stage photos. 

Notice the hardware? It's what I used for my whitewashing tutorial here.

So here are the tables again. Monica, if you're reading this, I'd love a pic of them in the room! And if you ever decide to sell them, let me know. They really are gorgeous.

If you're interested in having me refinish a piece of furniture for you, please send me an email at aliciaslittlehouse{at}gmail{dot}com. I typically charge $25/hour plus materials.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Two Christmas Wreaths and Custom Signs

I just completed two wreaths for Christmas! I know, it isn't even Thanksgiving yet. But if you're like me, you just can't wait to pull out those Christmas decorations. A month or so ago, I taught you how to make a Felt Flower Wreath.

I adapted it for Christmas, and here it is:

I used two colors of red and ivory felt to make the flowers. Bright red berries and sparkly red ribbon add to the bright look. I finished it off with a green H. This one is for my friend, Rachel.

If you'd like for me to make one for you, please email me at aliciaslittlehouse{at}gmail{dot}com.

I was curious when I made the fall wreath about how it would hold up. Well, it seems to be doing great! Here's an un-touched-up picture of it on my door today. I do have a porch, so it's not in direct sunlight. 

Here's the second wreath. It's a burlap ruffle wreath with a little holiday bling. There are three ribbon flowers with a red ruffle on the inside rim. The polk-a-dot ribbon ties the colors together. I'll post a tutorial soon if you're interested in making your own. 


Here's a close-up of the flowers. They are made by scrunching up wire ribbon on one side and creating a spiral.

I also finished a few custom signs. If you would like to order one in time for Christmas, please let me know soon. This sign is a Christmas gift for a friend's dad. It's gray with cream letters. It's pretty small. These start around $30.

I think this one is so cute. It's blue-green with platinum accents on "priceless."

The next two are for a friend's kids' rooms. She prayed these verses over her kids while pregnant. I want to find verses for my kiddos now. I matched the colors to their bedding. 

If you'd like more information on any of these items, please email me at aliciaslittlehouse{at}gmail{dot}com.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tutorial: Fabric-Covered Binder


I do not claim to be an organizational guru. Rate me on a scale from 1 to 10, and my organizing skills are about a 5. But I do know a good idea when I see one. I also like things to look pretty. And the piles of coupons that were cluttering my house before I did this project were not pretty.

A couple of years ago, my sister created a fabric-covered cookbook for my mom. It was amazing, because everything my sister does is perfection. I loved it so much that I made one too. The only problem: it cost about $25-30 to make. Maybe I'm a cheapo (well, ok, I am a cheapo) but when I recently wanted to make a binder to store coupons, that was too much.  

And, yes, I made this binder for my coupons. I just started couponing... that's a whole different post!

Back to the tutorial...

2-inch binder
Large piece of fabric cut to 19"x51"
Small piece of contrasting fabric for pocket approx. 11"x7" (optional)
Tacky glue (this kind dries clear, definitely a must)
Scrapbooking paper (12"x12")
Page protectors
Divider stickers (optional)

Center the binder on the fabric, top to bottom, and left to right. Line up the left side of the fabric with the binder rings. You want the fabric to slide under the rings as far as it can. Under the fabric, put a line of glue in the binder fold. Slide it back in.

 On the other side, pull the fabric tight over the rings, and mark where it meets up with the fabric on the other side. Trim it to size.

Cut three slits about an inch long at the binder rings along the edge. You want the fabric to go under the clip, so you don't see any of the binder. Do a test run, and then glue it down.

Once you have the binder covered, trim your excess fabric. First, remove the fabric on the inside. Use the binder as a guide, and cut along the edge. Then, create slits at the folds and trim that to 1/2". You should have what is pictured above. Now the fun part starts...

 Fold the small flaps up and glue, then repeat.

Put a line of glue along the binder edges and secure the inside fabric.

Make a small fold along the flap edge and glue down. Put more glue along that inside edge and fold down the corners like you're wrapping a gift. Put more glue along those inside edges and fold the whole thing up.

Do this on all the sides, and you're done.

If you want to add a pocket, fold the bottom edge 1/2" and glue. Then repeat on the sides. Add a line of glue around the edge and stick it on. As long as you don't put a ton of stuff in it, it holds!

To make dividers, take large 12"x12" scrapbooking paper and fold it in thirds.  I added a file label, but you could also use paper or write directly on your dividers.

Cover the back of the page in a glue stick, making sure you cover the corners and edges. Glue it all together. Trim the dividers about 1/8" so they're the same size as your binder.

Line the divider up with the rings and punch holes. (Or use a 3-hole punch if you have one.)

I used page protectors for all the coupons. The dividers are labeled: Circulars, Loose Coupons, Restaurant Deals and Store Coupons.

I'm sure there are ways to improve upon my techniques, but the best part about this project is its simplicity. And it's pretty inexpensive, maybe $12 total?

I hope you try it out. If you do, please post a comment here or on my facebook page!
I would be happy to make one for those of you who are less crafty. Just send me a message if you're interested!

Update: I no longer do "coupons," but I still use my binder for family papers and organization. 
Thanks for stopping by Doing More Than Laundry!

I also write a blog about design and my furniture business:
The Little House. Check it out!