sewing

Faux Denim Wash / Tie Dye Throw Pillow

Tie Dye Style Pillow Case

I definitely took a chance on this project. No, painting on fabric isn’t really anything super new but I was concerned about how the fabric would feel after an application of paint. Would it be scratchy? Smelly? Turns out, no! The fabric is certainly more rigid once the paint is applied, but not enough so to bother me. And certainly not uncomfortable when it’s propped behind me on the sofa. I love the tie dye effect the paint had on the pillow and without the mess of tie dye.

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Serena & Lily Inspired Throw Pillow

 

DIY Serena & Lily Inspired Chambray Stripe Throw Pillow
Every once in a while, a project turns out even better than you had hoped. I should note that this does not happen to me very often, as I am usually overly optimistic on my carpentry/seamstress/chef skills. But it happened this time! 
 
As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m not a great seamstress. My skills are for the most part limited to sewing throw pillows and curtains (and the occasional editing of a piece of child’s clothing). And so I’ll apologize upfront for my basic and amateur vernacular when it comes to giving  you guys sewing instructions. 
 
Anyhow, back to the project. I’ve been eyeing these pillows from Serena & Lily for a long while. They are 100% my style and could work in pretty much any room in my house. But, given my tendencies to change throw pillows every few months, I knew that it would not be a wise investment for me to pay $68/pillow cover. Plus, the more I studied the design, I realized I could probably mimic it fairly simply with my sewing machine. Here’s how I did it!
 
Serena & Lily Inspired Pillow Cover
 
DIY Serena & Lily Inspired Chambray Stripe Throw Pillow
 
Supplies
 
<1 yard Chambray fabric (I found mine for a great price on Amazon. It’s wide, so you can get the 41 inches you need crosswise).
<1 yard White or Off-white fabric (same weight as the Chambray that you use). Again, you’ll be able to get the strips you need crosswise.
White/off-white thread
Black thread  (I like this brand)
 
I wanted to make a 20” square pillow, so the dimensions I provide are for this size. Note that the directions include pictures of two different twists on this pillow design, hopefully it’s not confusing. 
 
Cut chambray fabric into an 8” wide by 41″ long strip. Cut two white fabric strips 6.5” wide by 41″ long. 
 
Pin pieces together, with chambray fabric in the middle (as the center stripe). 
 
The lighter fabric is longer than the darker fabric only because I didn’t cut it yet. All three pieces should be the same length.

 
I used a basic straight stitch to attach the three pieces together.  
 

Next, iron each hem down the middle (as pictured), to flatten.
 
Now onto the fun part – the black decorative stitching. Somehow I’d never noticed before that my very basic sewing machine actually has some pretty neat stitches it can do. I experimented with a few of them to see how they looked and worked with the fabric. Ultimately I decided on the star shaped stitch since it seemed to handle the weight of the fabric best and looked kind of neat.
I used the dark fabric as my guide and sewed as straight as I could about 1/4 of an inch off the seam. A couple of times, my machine tied itself up so I had to go back and undo the stitch and then redo it, to keep with the pattern.

Repeat the stitch on the other side of the blue stripe.
Now you’re ready to fold the fabric into your pillow shape. I opted for a simple envelope style at the back (because I go for simple when sewing!), but you could certainly do a zipper as well.
Sew a hem on either end of the pillow (the parts that will come together as the envelope).
Fold into pillow shape inside out, overlapping your seams to make an envelope pillow style case. Sew down the sides

Good luck! I personally think this pillow is worth the effort. I’ve already made three!

Any other pillow designs out there that you think would be fun to DIY?! Let us know in the comments.

DIY Serena & Lily Inspired Chambray Stripe Throw Pillow
 

 

DIY Heart Pillow

 

Ever since I made my Land of Nod-inspired shower curtain, I’ve been looking for other applications for the loosely sewn appliqué shapes. With Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it would be cute to use heart shapes to make a pillow for my daughter’s room.

This is a super simple project,  and one that you could probably figure out without me typing out directions at all! But, since this is a DIY blog, here are the directions:

DIY Heart Pillow
Supplies

Scraps of assorted fabrics
1 pre-made pillow case (if you’re DIYing this, check out this post  and don’t fully assemble it until hearts are attached)
White thread
Good sewing scissors

Directions

First, make two different sized heart templates. The easiest way to do this is to fold a piece of cardstock in half and draw a half heart on the seam (you can see how I did this with the DIY Wall Valentines). Cut and unfold. Alternatively, if you have one of those super cool fabric cutter machines, you could just use that.

Trace your larger heart onto an ironed piece of fabric. Trace the smaller heart twice onto a different colored fabric (also ironed). Cut out with sharp sewing scissors (to reduce fraying).

Pin hearts onto your pre-made pillow case (or you can easily make one from scratch … see this post for instructions.

Either by hand or with a sewing machine, sew a vertical stitch line down the center of each heart. (Be careful not to sew through both sides of the pillow case!)

Unpin, finish sewing the case and you’re done!

 

 

Kids Bathroom Reveal

Land of Nod Inspired DIY Shower Curtain - Confetti Circles
Confession time. I have the hardest time finishing things. I know I’m not alone, but that doesn’t make it any easier! Most rooms in our home are 75-80% done but, for various reasons, I just can’t seem to finish them and call them good. Drives my husband NUTS. Seriously, if this marriage thing doesn’t work out, I’m pretty sure my inability to finish projects would be cited in the divorce papers. So, this year, I’ll be challenging myself to finish things. Hopefully this will lead to getting the House Tour more than 25% done.

When tackling a new challenge, I like to start small, in a non-overwhelming fashion. So I picked the smallest room in the house to start (and finish) decorating: the kids shared bath. It should be noted that this really only includes the bathtub/shower and toilet that they share. I didn’t even include their sink areas in this particular challenge.

With a 5-year old girl and a 2-year old boy, I knew that the space had to be both gender neutral and FUN. Neither one of them is a huge fan of bath time, so, selfishly,  I was hopeful that a fresh space might make it a little less painful. The palette I settled on was mint, orange, light grey and dark grey and I am pretty pleased with how it came together.
Since the space was so small, I had to be bold with the color palette. The shower curtain was the obvious choice to make a statement in the room. After shopping around, I decided my best bet was to customize and DIY the Confetti Party curtain I’d seen at Land of Nod. You can check out that tutorial here.
I kept the paint color pretty simple. The walls were already painted white, so I just added some accents in mint. I decided to do the diagonal stripes to stick with the whimsical style of the room. I’m still trying to decide if I should add a fourth stripe higher up on the wall…but, for now, I’m calling it done (see, I have issues…).

Gender Neutral Kids Bathroom Reveal - Diagonal Stripes

I’ve had these monogrammed towel hooks sitting in the kids’ bathroom for about 2 1/2 years. I bought them from World Market (they still actually sell them). This seemed like the perfect opportunity to put them to use. I found two old black frames in the basement and made them new again with bright orange paint. Then I printed off and mod-podged black and white pics of the kids onto foam poster board and attached them to the frame.
Kids Bathroom Reveal, Mint, Orange & Grey
I picked up this cute “splash” bathmat at TJ Maxx, and the orange bath toy organizer at Buy Buy Baby.
Kids Bathroom Reveal - Mint, Orange and Grey
The picture below is one that I’d picked up for Ryan’s room, before I decided on a different color palette. Since the colors are right, and since bath time is usually right before bed, I think it works in this room.
The “Hot Showers” sign I DIY’d (will do a quickie blog post showing the how-to).
To be honest, I like it but don’t love it, so I’ll be on the lookout for something better, but it fills the space nicely for now. (See, there I go again, prolonging the project).
DIY Bathroom Sign
And, just for fun, a shot of the kids’ favorite bath toy.

 

Land of Nod – Inspired DIY Kids Shower Curtain

Land of Nod Inspired DIY Shower Curtain - Confetti Circles

I’m currently in the midst of designing / decorating my kids’ shared bath area (reveal coming soon here). It’s the standard Jack & Jill set-up and I’ve selected a gender neutral palette that I think they’ll both approve of. The main color is a minty turquoise kinda color,  and then I’ve accented with light grey, dark grey and orange.

The room is obviously quite small, and pretty much just houses a bathtub and toilet, so I didn’t have a whole lot to work with to insert some personality into the space. I knew the shower curtain HAD to be a focal point. So I started shopping around, perusing the usual sources – Marshall’s, Pottery Barn Kids, Target, and, finally, Land of Nod. I fell in love with this shower curtain (the “Confetti Party” curtain) at Land of Nod. It’s whimsical, fun and colorful …although it didn’t quite jive with the colors I’d committed to. Fortunately, it looked pretty simple to DIY, so I could customize the colors to my exact palette!

In total, this curtain cost about $15 to make. I picked up this plain white shower curtain from Amazon, and then picked up a yard of the mint fabric, plus a few fat quarters of the accent colors from Joann Fabrics. Not bad, considering that the Land of Nod version runs $89. I will say that the Amazon shower curtain had a bit more of a “plastic-y” feel than I anticipated, but it still looks just fine.

Land of Nod – Inspired Shower Curtain


Land of Nod Inspired DIY Shower Curtain - Confetti Circles


Supplies

Land of Nod Inspired DIY Shower Curtain - Confetti Circles

1 plain white shower curtain
2 1/2 total yards of assorted fabrics
White thread

Tools

Scissors (use a good pair for a clean cut … I use these)
Sewing machine

Directions

The first step involves cutting lots and lots of fabric circles. I know there are machines that can do this for you, but I presently do not own any such machines and so I did this the old fashioned way. I ended up using a small paint can to trace circles on the fabric. I doubled the fabric over so that I could cut two circles out at once. You’ll need a total of about 135 fabric circles to do the whole curtain. Honestly, this step wasn’t as bad as I feared. Do it while you’re sitting on the couch watching TV – it really takes very little focus.

I used a small paint can to create a circle template. Trace the bottom of a can onto some sturdy cardboard and cut out the shape.

Trace the shape lightly with a pencil onto ironed fabric (doubled over for more efficient cutting).

Cut out your circles.

 

Once this step is done, you’ll want to lay out your pattern on the curtain. In keeping with the Land of Nod inspiration curtain, I kept it pretty random. I ended up with 9 rows with 15 circles per row. I probably could have added another row or two, but I knew once it got bunched up on the rod, there would be plenty of dots.

To start, I’d lay out my pattern. While I did want a random look, I did my best to avoid having two dots of the same color next to one another. Then I’d put two pins in the sides of each circle and, once a row was completed, I sewed them on, with a straight line down right the middle. I opted for white thread as I wanted the stitch to be noticeable (contrast).

 

Sorry that it’s out of focus. I think this was late Saturday night…

 

Pin and sew, pin and sew…

Just keep going until all your circles are sewed on.

Land of Nod Inspired DIY Shower Curtain - Confetti Circles