Monday, January 27, 2014

DIY Jewelry Screen

One magical afternoon, Brent hauled in an armful of these wooden frames.  My eyes lit up.  Oooohhhhh...the possibilities!

Emma happened to have a birthday party for one of her friends quickly approaching, so we thought it would be fun to turn one of them into a jewelry screen - much like the one I made for my own jewelry a few years ago.

That one in my bedroom was much easier though.  I just had to pick it up off a pile of junk from the side of the road, paint it, glaze it and hang it.  

 This one for Emma's friend was going to involve a little bit more.  We gave it two coats of hot pink paint we had laying around from a previous project.

I remembered I had this cool piece of metal in our garage, another one of Brent's finds.  It had all of these tiny holes in that I thought would translate into polka dots on the pink frame.

I laid the piece of metal on top of the pink frame.

And used this light pink spray paint to give it a light dusting.

Part of it turned out great...

But the metal didn't lay perfectly flat on top of the pink frame, so where the metal had pulled up and away from the frame, the polka dots weren't very defined.

And this upper corner was really blotchy.

If the polka dots had been even all over, it would have been adorable...but this one wasn't meant to be.  I tried to paint over it, but the polka dots kept poking through the layers of paint.  So I scrapped this one and just started fresh with a new frame - luckily I had a ton of them!!

This one got started the same way - 2 coats of hot pink paint...

And instead of polka dots, we hit it with some spray glitter.  Every home in America should keep a can of spray glitter just never know when it's gonna come in handy.

This is what the back side looked like and you can see how it has a tiny space around the inside edge where we could staple the screen material.  And yes, we have a huge roll of screen material in our basement - we use that surprisingly often as well.

Before we wrapped it up for the birthday girl, we staged it with some jewelry to get some pics.  This jewelry screen is pretty small - only about 14 inches square, so it doesn't hold a ton of jewelry, but enough for a little girl.

I used some Christmas ornament hooks, cut in half, for the jewelry hooks.

This picture, of the frame next to a dresser, gives you a better idea of the size.

This was a fun, easy little project - and the birthday girl's mom tells me she loved it!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Wood Block Tea Lights

One day, Brent came home with this huge, thick piece of wood.  I know, you're snickering.  But seriously, it was huge.  It sat in our garage for several months and every time I would pass by, I would think about what in the world we could make out of it.  I thought about cutting big, thick letters out of it, like K R U S E - but we don't even have a saw big enough to cut through something this big.

Brent cut it in half and used a Forstner bit to drill holes in each of them.

I gave him a tea light so he would know exactly how large the holes needed to be.

Using some of our leftover stain from finishing the basement, I gave each piece a good rub down.  That's the technical word for it, right?

We keep a bucket of Brent's old socks around - the work perfect for staining wood or keeping your hands warm.

It's a beautiful grain, isn't it.

All done staining.

I wanted to give them a little clear coat to shine them up a bit.  Make sure you use this stuff outside and in a well ventilated area.  It's pretty strong stuff.  For small projects, the spray can of lacquer works really well.

After my coat of lacquer had dried, I gave each piece a very light sanding with 150 grit sandpaper to make them super smooth.

Monday, January 13, 2014

A Quick Bathroom Update

Back in November, my mom came to us with a problem - her main floor toilet was on it's "last flush" and needed to be replaced.  Normally my dad would take care of this but he was working at an out of town job, which only brought him home on the weekends.  

And in true Kruse formerly Erickson style, we couldn't just replace the toilet...that would be waaaayyyy toooooooo easy.  We figured we might as well paint and replace the vanity top at the same time.  Her current vanity top was starting to show it's age from all of the scrubbing, because my mom, unlike me is an over-cleaner - while I am an extreme under-cleaner.  Wearing something out in my house from cleaning it too often will NEVER be a problem in my house.

Here is what her bathroom looked like before - it's very small so it's very tough to get full photos that show you everything in one shot.

And here's the after, with a lighter tone of paint, new toilet and countertop.

Her faucet was still in excellent condition so we re-used it on the new vanity.

This was one of the easiest, cleanest make-overs ever!  I don't think we've ever really done a job WITHOUT creating a huge cloud of dust - but I guess there's a first time for everything!

Monday, January 6, 2014

RE-Upholstered Headboard

Tension has been running high around the Kruse house - I have officially been cooped up in the house for too long, with nothing to do but housework.  For a couple days, I shrugged my responsibilities by becoming completely absorbed in Scandal, but when that ran it's course, I was left with nothing to do.  I told Brent that if we didn't find SOMETHING to do, right this insant, I was going to start ripping up carpet in Emma's bedroom or tearing out bathroom tile.  We needed a project, pronto.

A year and half ago, my sister's bridal shower was held at our house.  For the special occasion, I made my own tablecloth because I couldn't find anything else that I loved.  This fabric was so gorgeous that I bought an extra 2 yards of it, knowing it would be perfect on a headboard.  Here's what it looked like at the bridal shower:

Photo by Robin Long {}

So of course, if it looked good on a tablescape, it was definitely going to look good on my bed!  Today was finally the day to re-upholster our headboard!  Here's what it has looked like for the past 10 years - my dad helped me build it when I bought my first house.

This whole process took less than an hour, since we were basically just re-covering the old fabric with the new.  A couple bolts secure the frame of the headboard to the bed frame, so we started by removing the bolts.
Then we had to take a 10 minute break to clean all the dust bunnies from behind the bed - it was borderline terrible.  That's the good and bad part of hardwood floors, good being, at least you can see them and sweep them up so they aren't getting ground into carpet.  Bad, because you can actually see them and you can't ignore them.

While Brent was disconnecting the headboard, I headed downstairs to iron the fabric - best to do this step BEFORE attaching it to the headboard.  I used the highest heat/steam setting, as this fabric is very thick.

I had to chuckle and this little "warning" printed on the fabric.  Only because our children spend a fair amount of time in, above and around our bed....and their hands are rarely clean.

 After ironing, we cleared some room in our living room to work.  First I layed it print side up to admire it and pet it for a bit.

Then it got flipped over to prepare for application.  Wow - blurry photo - sorry.

We hauled the headboard out to the living room - this picture gives you an idea of how it was originally constructed.  My dad and I made a frame out of 2x4's, then screwed plywood over top.  Next we glued thick foam to it and then covered it with a layer of batting, to soften the edges.

I tried to tell myself that those are just shadows on the headboard when you see those dark spots - but I'm definitely not convinced - you can see perfectly where our heads have been for the past 10 years!

Here's another shot of the construction.

We laid the headboard on top of the fabric and positioned it so that the fabric would wrap around all sides.

Brent stapled while I pulled the fabric tight.  And tried not to get my fingers stapled.
**************It should be noted that I had to have Emma take this photo and I told her to make sure she didn't get my head it the picture.  Mommy needed a shower.  And some make-up.  But she didn't feel like doing it.

Not all of our staples went all the way in - as is evidenced in Exhibit A.

We tapped those in with a hammer - and in case you don't know what that looks like, here's another pic.

Corners are tricky.  From the front of the headboard, everything looks good, but if you look at the back, its a tangled mess of fabric.

The walls are looking very green in this photo - they are actually much more of a blue.  This photo was taken in the evening - as you can see by the blue light in the window.

I got a new comforter to compliment the headboard.  It's like crushed velvet on one side and sherpa on the other side - I may never get out of bed again!

The sherpa reminds me of the Downy bear....

So this ended up being the most versatile headboard in the world!  Whenever we want to change it, we just need an hour and 2 yards of fabric!  Don't tell Brent that we'd also need a new comforter, pillows, throw pillows and possible a bolster pillow.