Monday, January 31, 2011

Adding Closet Storage

I wanted more storage in our craft room/ office.  I saw these shelves on she added to her daughter's closet and was excited to make my own.
You adjust the dimensions according to your own doors.

The best part is having the doors swing open with the hinges on each side.
This is the "before" shot.  The closet was a sliding door, which slid into the corner.  So the door to the room had to be closed and it was just a pain to get anything squished in the corner.  What I hate about the sliding folding doors, is the fact they don't slide all the way, so it seems like you only ever get them open 75%. 

But now I have added storage on the back of the doors, and they open so I can access the rest of the closet a lot easier. 
I was really glad to have a place for wrapping paper, the huge roll of freezer paper, and a few thin bolts of interfacing that always seem to be in the way.

I customized the shelves for my needs obviously, adding the 3 ribbon dowels.  I just bought a 3/8" dowel for less than a $1.00 and drilled the holes on each side for all the ribbon.  

The rest of the shelves hold all the craft supplies in a way I can see the better, as before they were all mixed in drawers. 

All these plastic drawers held all my supplies and junk.  Now they are sorted in colors to hold all my scraps.  I actually use the scraps quite often, and before they were all in grocery bags all over the closet.  It's nice now to just open the blue scrap drawer to find a piece I need. 

if you're interested

MDF:  I actually saved money by buying the huge 4'x8' sheet of 3/4" thick MDF rather than buying all the pine 1x6 boards as listed in the plan.  I had the guy at Home Depot cut the sheet into 6" tall strips.  So I ended up with 8 strips 6" tall and 8 feet long.  I only used 4 strips for these shelves, and have plans for the rest.
So rather than the $40.00 for pine boards, I used half of a $35.00 MDF sheet, so this project for the wood only cost $17.50 instead.

It was also easier in the end, because I really didn't need to sand the MDF much at all, where pine boards need to be sanded and primed to seal the sap that can leak out from the knots in the wood.  So I skipped the primer and just painted the 2 coats of white.

ANCHORING TO HOLLOW DOORS: In a comment on the plans, there was a link to using the plastic sheet rock anchors for hollow doors.  But I read more on that, and everything recommended "molly bolts" to anchor for hollow doors.

Here's a link that explains how they work and how to install them (just scroll down to molly bolts) I bought the shortest molly bolts, and they seem to be awesome for hollow doors.  A package of 5 was only $2.11 at Home Depot, mixed in with all the other anchors in the hardware section.

About 1.5" along the edges on my doors were actually solid and not hollow, so I could use screws to secure the one side and bottoms of the shelves to the door.  The rest of the anchoring used the molly bolts.

I am loving the new the closet storage and doors that open rather than slide!
Thanks to the genius mind of Ana White for the awesome idea and easy to follow plan.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pacifier Clip Tutorial

I guess I've started realizing I'm having a baby in less than two months and need to "nest" somewhat and prepare to have a baby around the house again.
So I made a few pacifier clips. 
These are quick, easy, unique, and would make great baby shower gifts.
Each one took less than 10 minutes, so you could whip out a bunch in no time.

The tutorial is mainly in the photos, so there won't be that much commentary between.

For the pink 1.5" wide ribbon, you need to iron 1/4" in on each side.  To make it easy, I put the green 1" ribbon inside and ironed the pink edges over the green. 
I found the suspender clip in the notions section of the craft store, it came in a package of 2 clips for I think $2.50 or something.

1. Attach ribbon loop to 1" ribbon 
I didn't measure the length of the loop, just eyeballed it and pinned it on.  You just need the hole in the loop big enough for the rest of the clip to fit through.

2. I sew the whole length of the ribbon, because it will show on the other side if you just sew the skinny loop ends. 

3. Finish one end of wider ribbon 

4. Put the narrow ribbon inside the wide ribbon 

5. Finish the edges, securing ribbons together. 

6. Finish the other end 

7. Attach metal clip 

Finish off the ends and you're finished! 

In case you're wondering how this works with a pacifier, I couldn't find an old pacifier to to hook mine on, but here's a photo.
 The thin ribbon loops through a hole or handle on the pacifier, then the whole clip loops through itself as shown.
I just ordered these Gumdrop pacifiers, that seem to be pretty good. I liked that you can sanitize them in the dishwasher, and it is one piece so gunk can't get trapped.  I guess the top is cut down to fit their face better too.
Has anyone ever used them?

So if you have babies with pacifiers, or your friends/ family have pacifiers falling on the floor and getting dirty or lost, get some cute ribbon and make some useful clips!
You could also just use two pieces of 1" ribbon and sew the sides together right on the edge, rather than have the wide ribbon to fold around a smaller ribbon.  Just an idea! 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ottoman Reupholster

A little tutorial on reupholstering and adding storage to a dead ottoman I received as a hand me down from my mom.

This was the whole trashed set we inherited.  The fabric just wasn't very durable, thus the shredded arms of the chair and entire top of the ottoman.

I had already made a slip-cover for the chair, and just recently figured out a way to resurrect the ottoman.  Here's the whole set finished:

So on to the ottoman, which recently looked like this:
The top fabric totally gone, and my 2-year old had got a hold of the exposed batting on the cushion, shredding it even more.
So my new plan was to reupholster it in the matching chartreuse suede, and to flip the base of the ottoman upside down, to use as a storage chest.  This would mean I'd have to build a sturdy new lid out of the trashed cushion.


I measured my base, and it was 20" x 38".
So to support the bums that would sit on this, I decided to use a sheet of 1/2" thick MDF as the base.
I bought the tiny 2'x4' sheet for $10 at Home Depot.  While I was there, I had them cut it down to my dimensions.

I decided to tuft the lid, so I measured off a grid to position 8 buttons on the finished top.

The intersections of the above grid are the holes in which to thread the tufted buttons to the underside of the lid.  So I used our largest drill bit 3/8" to make 8 holes where the grid intersected.

Next I had to fill in the holes in my old cushion with polyfill batting to try to make it even.
You could always buy fresh 3" thick foam and cover it with new batting, but this was free.

To get the layers connected before I started using my nicer final fabric, I took a yard of cheap ugly fabric to connect the MDF to my cushion (and keep my globs of batting in place).  I quickly stapled the two sides, trying to keep the fabric smooth and tight around the cushion.  This step just makes the rest easier.

I was using the fabric scraps from the chair slip cover, so I actually had to piece my fabric into a big enough rectangle to cover the entire lid. 
Then, using a standard cheap staple gun and 1/4" staples, I stapled two sides around onto the MDF, pulling the fabric tight and smooth across the cushion.  Then I worked in the opposite direction, stapling the longer sides up and around.

For the corners, I first trimmed off all the excess fabric hanging off.

Then folded the sides under to make a nice, neat edge.

To add the decorative buttons on the top of the cushion lid, you first make the buttons.
I used 7/8" fabric covered button kits you can buy in the notions section.
You also need long upholstery needles.  The package I bought had 6, 8, 10, and 12" long needles.  I used the 8" for my cushion.
You can use thin cording, or I just used embroidery floss quadrupled for extra strength.

The first part is the easiest, stabbing through the hole in the MDF, through the cushion and out the front of the fabric.  Then you thread on a button, and stab the needle back through the cushion, aiming for the hole in the MDF.
Getting the needle back in the MDF hole was the biggest challenge.  I had the cushion on its side, and kept stabbing the needle in, until it went through the hole on the other side.  I kind of felt like a violinist just stabbing over and over until it made it out the hole.

Once the needle made it out the hole, you need to tie the two ends of cord.  Obviously a knot would just go down the hole.  I used scraps of fabric, rolled up as a blocker to tie the cord around.  You could also use washers or something flat, that would probably look a little better.  So I pulled the cording as deep as I wanted the button to pull, then tied it around my fabric rolls.

This is the bottom of my ottoman lid once all 8 buttons were tufted, and tied around the scrap rolls.

So at this point the cushion or lid of the ottoman is finished!

Taking base to turn it upside down to create storage room for a chest ottoman.

This ottoman had a hanging skirt and welting that pulled off easily.
Just the bare base.
Most ottomans probably have fabric stapled on the bottom to cover the inside, but ours had been torn off years ago.  So this upside down view is how the storage box will be.  I was just using the trampoline-like black mesh as the bottom support for the chest, then of course need to put the feet on what was the top. 

I measured the height of the base sides, and cut fabric strips about 4" wider, to have enough to wrap on the top and bottom of the base.  I sewed the strips together to make one large circle of fabric to fit around the box.  I sewed it about 2-3" less than my perimeter measurement.  This way, the circle of fabric was just a little too small, and fit tightly around the box.
**my suede has a little stretch, so 2-3" may be too small if your fabric doesn't stretch** 

To secure the fabric to the base, staple the fabric on the bottom of the ottoman, stretching and smoothing fabric tightly as you go.  Then flip it over and do the same thing to the top.  

Because I was flipping the base upside down, I needed to add new leg plates on what used to be the top of the ottoman.  These plates are $1.00 each and just screw into the frame of the ottoman in each corner.
Then I used the original feet to twist into the plates. 
At this point, the base is finished!

Obviously there are different ways to use the ottoman as a chest.  You could attach stoppers to the bottom of the lid so it won't slide, and just lift the whole lid each time.  But it was heavy, and I decided to use hinges to lift the lid in order to access the storage easier.  I went with one skinny long "piano hinge" for $8.50.  It was 30" long and 1" wide.  I first screwed it to the back edge of the lid, so I could lay the lid flat and drill straight down.  Then I positioned the lid on the chest base to screw in the other side of the hinge. 

So now the upside down base acts as a storage chest to hold quilts.  Obviously, not that good-looking inside, but shut the lid and it looks a lot better than the shredded original trashy ottoman.  

Upside Down Ottoman Reupholstery

I am so excited to be guest blogging today at Infarrantly Creative.
Head over and check out Beckie's awesome blog!

You can get the details of my upside down ottoman reupholstery.


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