small updates with big impact

Today, I made two small updates around the house that I think made a big difference.

ONE: I spray painted the nasty A/C unit that lives in our wall. (Side note: we never use the a/c and kind of want to replace this unit with a stained glass window? Is that totally nuts?)
Here is a before photo:

And here are some process shots. First, I took the cover off and uncovered a world of nastiness. Witness the furballs hanging onto the screws that held the cover on.

After a serious cleaning, I spray painted with Rustoleum Protective Enamel in Flat White. I painted the part still in the wall with the same Zinsser primer and Clark + Kensington paint combo I used on the trim throughout the room.

I let it dry overnight, then hung it back up.
Wow! … am I right?! So much better. Although it’s still an ugly part of the room, at least now it recedes rather than being framed with brown wood. I seriously think this A/C unit might date from 1987, making it my age. Woof. (PS: We still need to switch out that outlet!)

TWO: I ran to this amazing local fabric/yarn store, Gather Here, and picked up three cute fabrics. I was sick of our couch throw pillow worn-out-cover situation (glimpsed here), and our bed’s throw pillow just didn’t go with our new bedding. Et voilĂ ! New pillowcases make everything better.
It probably took me 45 minutes to make three pillowcases, making me wonder why I had never done so before. Ah, laziness!


outdoor bench revamp

One of the things I liked the most about our little house when we moved in was the back patio. It has so much potential! There is a built in bench, and it is covered with a corrugated plastic roof, so it is sheltered from the rain. I envisioned making it into an outdoor dining room and maybe even buying a grill!

Four months later…

outdoor bench before

Yep. I was also bummed with myself. Would you ever sit there? I wouldn’t. Also, this is AFTER I scrubbed it with bleach.

With a little fabric and foam, plus three zippers and two pillow forms, we now have:

outdoor bench after 2

We got the foam from an upholstery foam outlet in town. The owner custom-cut it for us out of a massive piece of foam so it exactly fit the weird trapezoid that was the bench (for only $40!). I made the cover for it out of bargain bin fabric. It was a huge pain in the butt and I made a ton of mistakes so I don’t think I’m qualified to tell you how to do it! However, I am proud of how it turned out!

I also made the solid-colored pillowcases. For those, basically I just sewed straight lines and installed a zipper using the instructions found in the zipper package. The other pillow is from Target.

I love our revamped bench! Now if we could only get a table out there… hm… xo. h

make your own roman blinds

I don’t know about you, but for me, there’s nothing that says “rental” like those awful plastic Venetian blinds. They’re always broken and always seem dirty. They always go up crooked. And in our case, they were this awful ivory color (the walls are white). When we moved into our little house, we decided to replace them.

Want to do the same? Can you sew in a straight line? Can you use a hammer? Can you loop thread a million times around a little ring? Good, you can make roman blinds.

roman blind living room

I used this tutorial from Jen Duncan’s blog. It was so straightforward. I’ve made five total around the house!

The best part about the ones in the bedroom is that they are so light and airy that we never have to open them! This is great because that room is on a busy street and, well, it’s our bedroom so we want it to be cozy and private. Duh.

roman blind bedroom

Would you try this to spruce up your space? I heartily recommend it! xo. H

button earrings: the world’s fastest d.i.y.

See how smug I look?

button earrings face

That’s because making these earrings seriously took me under 2 minutes. To make two pairs. Seriously.

button earrings 1

All I did was hot glue some bright buttons to earring backs I bought at the craft store. I got gold posts because my ears are sensitive. I glued the posts right under the holes, which kind of makes them sparkly. I like it but you could always put the posts to one side if you don’t want them to show.

button earrings 2

Have fun making seventy pairs of these in five minutes flat!
xo H.

(After the jump, the reason the duck face is a bad idea…)

Continue reading