Posts Tagged ‘Tutorial’

How to work with faux fur

Yes… I covered something with faux fur.  Maybe it doesn’t make any sense?  Maybe it’s not even in style?


I don’t care!  It’s quirky.  And fun.  And it makes me smile!!!


Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

And as quirky as faux fur is, it’s just as quirky to work with!  If you don’t follow these simple tips, you. will. have. fur. everywhere.



So I have this hope chest that Mom gave my when I was like 17 or so.  It’s handmade by a guy in Falls City who makes these amazing cedar chests.  It smells so good!!

Unfortunately, Kaydee (My rather large boxer) did a number on the top and something needed to be done.


Entrance: Faux Fur



Okay… Let’s get started!  Never cut fur with a scissors.  That’s rule number one, Jack!


Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

Instead, use a razor or X-acto knife.  I used the latter.  Simply flip the fur over and cut the backing.  Don’t cut too hard or you’ll end up with that “shaved” look and a crazy furry mess.



Also….Make sure your fur is running the correct direction!  I forgot that step and got verrrrrrry lucky!  I did happen to have it in the right direction, but almost suffered a heart attack when I happened to think of it mid-way through cutting!  *WHEW!*



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

Excuse the blurry photo… It’s all I had for this step in the process.    I simply covered the top of this hope chest like you would recover any chair seat.  This tutorial by Southern Hospitality is a good explanation! Although I just used a hand stapler as opposed to a air stapler.



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

A little fur… A few staples… And WAH-LAH!  Quirkyness!  Makes me smile!



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

It’s also perfect for storing all my blankets in. Since it’s a cedar chest (Thanks for giving this chest to me all those years ago, Mom!!!) it makes them smell goooooood!




Now I didn’t sew this fur as I was just covering the top of my chest.  (Wow.  That might bring me up on some awkward Google searches.)

But if you are sewing it, brush the fur in the opposite direction and put the 2 edges together like usual and sew them.  If any fur happens to get caught in the seam it can usually be brushed out with a comb.


Above all, if covering a hope chest top with fur is what makes you smile, then go for it!!!  There’s nothing better than a home full of things that make you happy!



Simple Secrets to working with faux fur -

How to make throw pillows from placemats!

Yes… These pillows are made from placemats.



Making pillows out of table placemats by


Awesome, no?  And they totally took me like 5 minutes each to do!



Making pillows out of table placemats by

I bought this and this placemat from Target…….  I also bought a table runner (The yellow one) from TJ Maxx and made pillows the same way as the placemats!


Making pillows out of table placemats by

They’re double thick with a front piece and a back piece, so it was SUUUUUPER simple to  just cut the end off, leaving me with an open “sack-like thing” for the lack of a better description.

Making pillows out of table placemats by

Then I pulled the stuffing out of another old pillow that I didn’t use any more and crammed it into the new pillow.

Making pillows out of table placemats by

I even managed to do it all with this young munchkin in the sling while I worked.

(Come on….. You had to know I’d get a picture of Emma in here somehow!!! 🙂  )

Making pillows out of table placemats by

Then it was just a matter of sewing up the end and throwing them on the couch!

How easy is that?!?!?!

I’m totally into pattern mixing right now so expect to see a few more pillows here in the near future!  In the meantime…. Adoring these!!! 🙂

How DIY batten walls saved our lathe & plaster dining room…


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


As you can see…. Our dining room walls were a mess.  They were lathe and plaster and extremely cracked.  And to top it all off, they were COVERED with layers and layers of wallpaper like so many old houses are.  By this time the dining room came around, we had demolished and moved so many lathe and plaster walls that I was in NO mood to rip out all the lathe and plaster in ANOTHER room and drywall it.

And therefore… Necessity is the mother of other creative options that mean less dust.

Or something like that.  However the line goes.  😉 lol!

So enjoy the sega of how we went from

DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls

To this!



Step 1: Remove the loose wallpaper.  Don’t worry about getting it all…. I’ll explain that part later.



Step 2: Seal remaining wallpaper and upper walls (That will not be behind the batten walls) with GARDZ by Zinsser.



DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls Step 3: We just used 1/8 inch thick sheeting found in the panelling section.  You can skip this step if you are doing this on nice drywall walls and don’t need to cover up cracks and just less than ideal walls! 🙂



DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


Step 4: We used 1×4’s for the batten… battens… whatever you call those boards.  😉   I opted for a taller batten wall to both cover more cracks and we have super tall ceilings so it just seemed more proportionate.  Feel free to do whatever suits your fancy!  We did the horizontal pieces and then the vertical ones but again, do whatever makes sense to you.  We didn’t glue them since we put them every 18 inches on the original studs behind the lathe and plaster.  We just went crazy with our handy dandy finish nail gun. 🙂


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


Step 5: If you look closely, you’ll see that we used 1×2’s along the topside to finish it off.  Again, that is just a matter of preference as to how you handle the top.  There’s about as many ways as there are various shaped of trim.  And that’s a lot! 🙂


DIY in Real Life: How to Install DIY Batten Walls


Step 6:  Finally!!!!  Those cracked walls ABOVE the batten.  I had you wondering, didn’t I??  I textured the walls.  Unfortunately I neglected to take pictures of that step.  *Sigh*

All I did was get a bucket of drywall mud and a 8 inch drywall knife.  There was absolutely NO method to my madness!

Slap it on,

spread it around,

and kinda scrape it back off in a slight random curved motion.

ABSOLUTELY no right or wrong way to do this.  I didn’t leave a whole lot of mud on the wall because I didn’t want a TON of texture.  Just enough to hide what was behind it.


It worked PERFECTLY!!!!   Love the walls now and you totally can’t tell that they were in such bad shape at one time!  Score!!!


Step 7: Caulk all the cracks in the batten walls.  You MUST do this step because that’s really what finishes it off!!!


Step 8:  After the drywall texture has throughly dried, quickly and lightly scrape all of it.  that just takes of the pokey high spots and makes it look more finished



DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


Step 9: Paint 1 coat of primer on both the batten walls and the textured walls.


Step 10: Topcoat both as desired.  It took 2 coats of white high gloss for the batten and 3 coats of the red satin for the upper walls. (It only took 3 because I didn’t use a tinted primer and because I was painting a deep red.  Reds don’t cover the greatest! 😉 )


DIY in Real How to install batten walls over less than ideal walls


The finished product!


I TOTALLY loved this super easy fix to really lousy walls!  Even if you DON’T have lousy walls, this is an AWESOME fix!!!




Check out some of my inspiration for the Batten Wall re-do!






Just a Girl has an AWESOME step-by-step tutorial!





I just read this week about how Young House Love just did a batten wall in their hallway and it really MADE their hallway! They used much thinner boards and I’m digging it!!! Fantastic!  Awesome tutorial and cost break-down.

And there are OODLES of other tutorials and styles of batten walls out there!  Get out there and just TRY it!!!  You’ll be AMAZED at how easy it is for the impact it will make!

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How to Paint Clouds for Non-Artists!

DIY in Real Life: How To Paint Clouds for Non-Artists!


So…. I’m not an artist.

Not by a long shot…

A very VERY long shot….

I mean we’re talking best sniper in the military LOOOOOOOONG shot.

Yes, I love to paint flat surfaces… But I like to paint them all one color.  Maybe two or three with the help of tape for lines.

I don’t do artist-y things.  Ever.

Creative? Yes, perhaps.

Artist-y? No.

So when my friend (the-overly-confident-in-my-artsy-abilities-Angela) said she would love clouds on the upper walls and ceiling… I freaked out.  Inwardly.

I’m sure that my confident bluffing as I said, “Sure!  Why not!  Let’s try it! WHAT’S THE WORST THAT CAN HAPPEN??!” totally fooled her! 😉

So I did what any normal person in this situation would do.

I looked it up on YouTube and Pinterest.  (My heroes!)

These are some of the inspiration photos I looked at on Pinterest:



This one came with a wee bit of a tutorial… I didn’t really follow it, but they were a good basis for when I ended up just “winging it.” Haha!



Yes… These clouds are totally better than mine.  I’ll totally admit it.

The key is just going for it!!!!!  Even if you don’t know what you’re doing and you’re not an artist!  What’s the worst that happens??!!  You merely re-paint over it and try again?!?!?  That’s not so bad!!!

Then I just looked at pictures of lots of real clouds.  Google Images is magic! 🙂

Then… SINK or SWIM…

I went for it!!!


I hand mixed several colors with the white, blue, and gray I used for the walls.

4 colors are what I ended up with.


Lighter Blue (Mixed about 1/2 and 1/2 of the white and the blue)

Lighter Gray  (Mixed about 1/2 and 1/2 of the white and the gray)


Blu-ish Gray (Mixed about 1/3 white, 1/3 blue and 1/3 gray)

Then I used those cheap sea sponges.

Yes… I totally forgot to get a picture.  Shame on me.

They are pretty standard though… They’re in the paint department at pretty much any home improvement store…

Craft Store…

Wal-Mart… 😉 lol!

And I grabbed a paper plate.

And just started at it!


First I did the main shape of the cloud in white…

Then I did the gray shadows…


Then I started blending along those gray shadows with the Blu-ish/Gray…


Added some of the blue here and there for depth…

(Okay real-artists… You should leave now.  I’m probably driving you completely out of your miiiiimd! Haha!)


And then finished blending it with white again.



Okay… Just to Re-interate…

I am NOT an artist!

BUT I tried it!

And it doesn’t look half bad!

And Levi (The little man munchkin that lives in this room now) apparently can’t stop looking at the clouds on the ceiling!  So at the end of the day, I’ll consider that  a smashing success!

So TRY it!  Just TRY it!!!

What’s the worst that could happen?!??!?!






Check out the nursery reveal I updated and the tutorial on how I managed to paint these super crisp lines quickly and easily!




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How to paint a super-crisp line….

Okay…. So…

You know the drill… When you want to paint a crisp line, you…

1. Paint first color….

2. Tape the line…

3. Paint over the line with a light coat of the first color to seal any bubbles…

4. After that dries, paint the 2nd color…

5. Remove tape!

Waaahhh-laaahhh!  Perfect line!


But what do you do if you have a room that is already been previously painted and you want to paint a crisp line but don’t have any of the original paint to seal the tape with?

If that’s the case for you, you’re in the right spot!



This was a nursery I helped a friend out with this last summer…

(Before had nursery on my brain! Haha!)


This is what it looked like before.  We were doing an airplane room, so the green had to go, but we liked that brown stripe!


This is how it all went down:

1. Tape the line.  After it’s been taped, press along the tape like crazy!  Rub it… You can even use an old credit card or something.  Whatever the case, just put a little effort into getting as many of those bubbles out as is humanly possible!


Go Christina! :)

Go Christina! 🙂

2. “Paint” a light coat of Modge-Podge along the entire line that you will be painting.  No need to “goop” it on.  You just want enough to seal any remaining bubbles. Obviously I would suggest using the matte Modge-Podge if you’re painting with a flat paint and the high gloss Modge-Podge if your painting with a higher gloss paint.  Not that you’ll ever really see it, you just want the sheen to be as close as possible.


3. Once the Modge-Podge dries, (it doesn’t take very long!) paint your remaining coat.  (We did sky blue above and grey below.  It’s kinda awesome!)



4. When the paint is semi-dry, pull the tape….   Then you merely need to OOOH! and AHHH! over the nice crisp line you have going on.  And show it off to everyone who visits.  Go ahead.  They’ll be impressed! 😉





Will be doing a complete nursery “reveal” soon so you can ogle all the plane adorable-ness. 🙂

Also, check out the tutorial on how to paint clouds even if you have no artistic talent! 🙂



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