2014 Project #1: Fabric Storage

At the beginning of this year, I let you into the deepest, darkest, most disastrous places in my house: storage areas, and my need for them to function on a higher level. Today I’m back to share one space that I’ve organized and has served it’s correct function for several weeks.

Sewing Room Before

Enter, my sewing corner. If you’ll remember, this little corner is a part of our office/craft room/catch all room. Most days, when you entered the room, it looked like this. Here are just a few of the problems:

  1. I had WAY too much fabric, thus it was literally falling off the shelves
  2. What I had wasn’t displayed well so I couldn’t see what I had
  3. There was no room for current/future projects
  4. My supplies (zippers, Velcro, applique adhesive, etc) were taking over

Piles of Fabric Sewing Shelf Before

 

 

So the purge began. I took everything off of every shelf, sorted each item and deemed it as trash, fabric to be folded or a sewing supply.

Sorting Fabric

 

 

I read a TON of tutorials online about how best to store fabric and I ended up with these, Ultra Pro Comic Series Boards. They worked like a charm. At first, I was afraid they would be too thin but once I got to rolling, they did the trick.

I took each piece of fabric and folded it to be a long, narrow piece that was just narrower than the boards. Then I started at one end and ‘rolled’ the fabric over each board.

Comic Book InsertsWhen that was done, they were stored vertically on my shelves and I was done!

Fabric ShelvingI also added some bins along the way to store sewing supplies, fabric scraps and upcoming projects. This space has been functioning in this was for a few weeks and now and I have to say, so far, so good. I find myself wanting to work in this space and not being stressed by the overwhelming clutter. I’ve completed several projects and am looking forward to many more!

Organized Fabric

 

Fabric Organization

 

What space in your home needs the most functionality update?

Custom Mr. & Mrs. Pillows

Happy 4th of July! I know I’m a little late but the 4th is my absolute favorite holiday out of the entire year. We all spent a fun filled weekend with my family in Fredericksburg. Several of you have asked about the pillow I made for our bed so I thought I’d give a tutorial on how to make your own custom pillows.Mr. & Mrs. Pillow from the frontpoarch.comI knew I wanted navy pillows with a pop of color and I found the perfect gold ribbon at Hobby Lobby.

Gold RibbonNext, you want to cut strips of ribbon and stage them on your pillow so you’ll know exactly where to place them.

Also, don’t judge me by my pillows. I’m always on the hunt for ragged looking pillows at garage sales because a little fabric can go a long way!

Letters for custom pillowsBefore you attach the ribbon to the pillow go through and turn over the edge on all of your ribbon pieces. I did this with my hot glue gun, just be sure to turn enough ribbon so you don’t burn your fingers!

Custom letters for pillowMake a simple pillow cover and hot glue your ribbon onto each cover and you’re done!

Master Bedroom Reveal - thefrontpoarch.com

How to make a camera bag. . . .from a camera bag. . . .

I mentioned earlier this week that I’ve been on the hunt for the perfect camera bag for my recently acquired Sony Nex-5 and today I’m back with the perfect custom solution that you can make out of any bag!

DIY Camera Bag

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Bag or purse large enough to hold your camera and needed accessories
  • Batting
  • Fabric of choice
  • Coordinating thread
  • Velcro
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron & ironing board

Make your own camer bag - thefrontpoarch.comLet’s start with the bag, my bag just happens to be a vintage camera bag that I acquired from my photo-loving Grandad. (Thus the title of this post.) Like most bags, it didn’t have quite enough padding so the first step is adding enough cushion to protect your camera.

Start by measuring the length and width of the bottom and both sides of your bag. Mine was 3″ wide by 26″ long. I added 1″ to the width and 6″ to the length (3 per side) and cut the needed dimensions from my fabric. With right sides together, pin your sleeve with the pins running perpendicular to the long edge.

Camera Bag Tutorial 4

Next, stitch along the long edge. . . .

Camera Bag Tutorial 5. . . . and turn the sleeve right side out.

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You then want to cut strips of batting to stuff into your sleeve. The thinnest batting I could find was 1″ and I wanted something a little thinner so I tore the batting in half to make 2 1/2″ layers.

Camera Bag Tutorial 2

Next it’s time to cut strips of the batting. Since my sleeve was 3″ wide I cut strips that were 2 3/4″ so they would fit snuggly inside.

Camera Bag Tutorial 7

Next, on one end only, create a finished edge by rolling the unfinished edge inward. Press the new seam.Camera Bag Tutorial 8

Double stitch your finished edge and attached a piece of velcro. It doesn’t matter which side of the velcro you attach to the sleeve, I chose the ‘hook’ side.

Camera Bag Tutorial 10

Now it’s time to fit your sleeve to your bag and make measurements for the second unfinished edge.

As you can see, I had to trim several inches off of my sleeve. Trim your fabric and batting to fit making sure to cut the batting about 1″ shorter than your fabric so you’ll have enough fabric to turn under. Repeat the finished edge process on this end, double stitching the fold and attaching the velcro.

Camera Bag Tutorial 11Now for the back piece. I cut a rectangle that was slightly wider that the back of my bag and double the length. Here it is folded over.

Camera Bag Tutorial 12Then, cut a piece of batting that is exactly the size of the back of you bag.

Camera Bag Tutorial 13Insert the batting inbetween the folded fabric, like a pocket and stitch around the 3 open edges.

Camera Bag Tutorial 16Now you’re ready to assemble! I put the back piece in first with just a small piece of velcro at the top with the idea that the sleeve would mostly hold that piece in place.

How to make a camera bag from a purse - thefrontpoarch.comTo attach the sleeve, cut a piece of ‘loop’ velcro, line it up with the hook piece on the fabric. Attach the adhesive side to the bag and let it set overnight.

Camera Bag Tutorial 14

Attach the other end of the sleeve and you’re done!

I made another shorter sleeve to serve as a divider between my camera and extra lens.DIY Camer Bag from thefrontpoarch.comEnjoy your new custom bag!DIY Camera Bag

DIY Screen Door Art

Today I have a super fun project to share with you, it’s simple and makes a BIG impact!DIY Pantry Door Art @ thefrontpoarch.com

A few months ago I shared with you how we swapped my pantry for this lovely screen door, which recently got a new coat of paint. Since then, I’ve been dreaming about adding some custom art to it so last week I whipped out my needle and yarn and set to work. Want to make some screen door art of your own??

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Yarn, in a color of your choice
  • Large sewing needle
  • Tape, I used painters tape because it’s what I had on hand
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Optional: needle threader
  • Optional: silver Sharpie

Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 1

Start by deciding on what you want your yarn art to say. Since my pantry is adjacent to my eat-in kitchen table, I chose Let’s Eat. Next you’ll want to think about the style and placement of your wording. I chose to use to different ‘fonts’ but wanted the words to be roughly the same width. To accomplish this, I gave my lettering a 2″ buffer on each side and then marked off 2 horizontal lines so that I could keep the text mostly level.

*If you use painters tape like I did, it probably won’t have enough sticky to stay on the entire time. I used my tape as more of a guideline to get started and then free handed it from there.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 2

Thread your needle (I used a needle threader to help me since the yarn is so thick) and tie a strong knot in the end of your yarn. I found that a yard of yarn is about the right amount to work with (when you double it over it will be about 18″) because as you sew in and out of the screen the yarn closest to the needle will begin to fray. In other words, your yarn will likely fray before you can use the entire length of it.

Your first ‘stitch’ needs to start on the back side of your screen, meaning that you’ll pull in through to the front. This will allow you to ‘hide’ the knot on the back.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 3

I recommend starting with your first letter, for me that was L. The first ‘font’ I chose was a block font so I started with the outer layer and then worked my way in, using the ‘rows’ of yarn to create a block effect.

Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 14

You may find that the tiny squares that make up your screen aren’t exactly what we would call level. Don’t be discouraged by this. Just do the best you can and know that in order for a letter to be straight, you might have to jump from row to row.

Once you’ve finished your fist letter I would suggest stitching your letter last letter, the one that will be furthest to the right. This way you will have 2 ‘bookends’ and will be able to fit your remaining letters in between. It also ensures that you won’t make your letters too big and run out of room at the end.

Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 5

It took me about an hour to complete the ‘Let’s’ portion and then I moved on to ‘Eat’.

See all those knots hanging over and looking tacky? Don’t worry, we’ll fix those in a little bit.

Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 6

Since I chose a scripted ‘font’ for the word Eat I chose to free hand a template onto the screen with a silver sharpie. This made the stitching process a lot quicker since I wasn’t having to stop and figure out what direction I needed to go next.
Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 7

In less than 30 minutes, this baby was done.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 8

Now, back to the ugly knots. Heat your hot glue gun up and move to the back side of your screen.Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 9You want to place a small drop of hot glue on the actual knot of each piece of yarn. Immediately press the knot, glue side down, back in the direction of the yarn. This will keep the knot in place and ensure it isn’t visible form the front. Once all your knots have been glued, go back and trim the extra yarn.

This step will make a HUGE difference! Here are a few before and after shots.

Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 10

See what a difference it makes?Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 11

Finally, step back and admire your handy work, you’ve just created custom art for your screen door!Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 12

Pantry Door Art thefrontpoarch.com 13

Does your screen door have to be on your pantry to create custom art? No! You could easily do this on an exterior screen door with a welcome message.

DIY Pantry Door Art @ thefrontpoarch.com

 

A year in the making – 1 Year Blogiversary

365 days ago, a dream of mine became a reality.TFP Sign

It started probably a year before that when I stumbled across a blog called House of Hepworths. Who even knew DIY blogs existed? It was the first one I’d ever heard of and I was instantly infatuated with Alison and her amazing DIY skills. I was hooked. I read every post she’d ever written and waited anxiously for new posts to be published (yeah. . . I was kind of a creeper). I began to dream and really think, I could do that!

TFP 945 Front Poarch

At the time we lived in a tiny 2-bedroom duplex whose owner barely let us install a ceiling fan (it had NO ceiling fans. . . in the middle of west Texas. . . . yeah, not smart) so I knew a DIY blog was out of the question as long as we lived there. Time went on and I began to follow other blogs like I Heart Organizing and Primitive and Proper and as the DIY bug grew within me and I worked on small projects around our home.

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In January of 2012 this all changed when, through a series of God sized events, we bought our first home. I was ECSTATIC. Long before we moved my head began to spin with renovation ideas, paint colors and flooring options. (Side Note: I didn’t join Pinterest for a long time because my friend Katie told me it was like my brain on steroids. She was right.) I immediately knew the time had come to launch my very own blog, and that my friends is how it all began.

I was so excited I had probably 2-3 posts written before we moved. That’s right, in two weeks time I packed our entire house, we cleaned our new house, did all the techy stuff that goes along with starting a blog and I wrote several posts. Oh yeah, and we both worked a full time job. Needless to say, we were pumped about this dream coming true.

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Over the past year we’ve learned a lot. A LOT. We’ve learned about working together and communication. We’ve learned that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want something to drink. We’ve learned that I am a mouse. . . .and I want a cookie. We’ve learned that I have big dreams and can always see the final product where as Phillip never sees the final product and often says things to me like,

“You aren’t finished with that project. . . are you?”

“You want to paint what?”

“Those things don’t match.”

Yet he always loves the result. It’s been an entertaining year of growth and discovery.

TFP House Numbers 5

I’ve learned 3 things about myself over the past 12 months;

  • I love to dream up big projects and see them through to completion.
  • I love writing about what I’ve done. I do the staging, shooting and editing. . . .so that I can write.
  • I love that there are people out there whom I’ve never met who actually read the things I write. It never ceases to amaze me.

So to you, faithful reader, thank you. Thank you for reading, dreaming and learning with me. You are the reason that I continue to write so thanks for the encouragement and love.

Speaking of love . . . . wouldn’t you just LOVE to win a new purse?? I thought so.

Daily Tote Giveaway - thefrontpoarch.com

Without further adieu, the winner is. . . .Heather Jernigan!

Heather be sure to check your email for prize details.

 

Here’s to many, many more DIYing years to come!

How to Upholster Chairs

Last week I showed you my newly redone kitchen chairs and now I’m back with an upholstery tutorial!TFP Upholstery 25

Here’s a basic overview of what you’ll need:

  • flat head screw driver
  • hammer
  • pliers
  • sharpie
  • scissors
  • upholstery or other heavy weight fabric
  • foam batting
  • staple gun
  • husband or other handy helper
  • Scotch Guard

Start by removing your cushions from your chairs.

Mine were attached with a screw at each corner and came off rather easily. Be sure to save whatever screws/clips you pull out so that you can put your chairs back together when we’re done!

TFP Upholstery 1

Now we’re going to remove the old fabric from each cushion. Most fabric will be attached with upholstery tacks (small nails) or staples so let’s start with upholstery tacks first.

Grab your flat head screwdriver and place it, flat side parallel to the wood, between the wood and the fabric at the base of your tack. You want to see-saw the screwdriver underneath the head of tack and use the leverage of the screwdriver and the fabric to loosed and pull the tack free.

If you have really old fabric like mine it may rip instantly, now worries, just go ahead and rip it completely off the tack so you’ll have a better view of the screwdriver.

(Sorry for the blurry photo – my handy helper wasn’t around to help at this point!)

TFP Upholstery 2Ahhh. . . . much better!

TFP Upholstery 3

If you have a few ornery tacks, grab your hammer and pull them out the old-fashioned way.

TFP Upholstery 4Onto staples! If your fabric is attached with staples you’ll want to use your flat head screwdriver for a tap-and-loosed approach and then use your pliers to pull any staples that break or need a little extra encouragement. I found it easier to enlist the help of my handy husband, Phillip (aka, he’s does the hard work around here).

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Throw away all that nasty fabric and be sure you pick up all the little pieces of upholstery tacks and staples, they are not fun to step on. And if you feel like you need a tetanus shot you’re not alone!

You’ll then be left with a wooden seat bottom and whatever kind of padding was underneath. Next you’ll need to determine how gross the padding is and whether or not you want to reuse it. For me, I kept the old padding and added some batting to it (more on that later). Just trust your gut – it never hurts to start fresh.

TFP Upholstery 5

*Bonus Tip: after I pulled all of my tacks/staples out, the bottom of my seat cushions looked like they’ed been to the gun range. I grabbed my sharpie and circled the hole that I was for attaching the seat to the chair. This helped me not cover it with fabric and easily reassemble my chairs.*TFP Upholstery 7Now it’s time to densify! Is that a word? I don’t think so. . . .

Back to the chairs, my cushions measured about 14″x15″ at the widest point so I chose this densified batting that was on sale at Hancock’s and this floral print which also made an appearance on my recently added, Kitchen Command Center.TFP Upholstery 24

Before you can attach your new fabric, you’ll need to cut your batting down to size.

Place your seat bottom, top down, on the batting, trace it with your sharpie and trim the excess.

I cut on the outside of my sharpie lines, knowing that I could always come back and trim more later. I also cut batting for each specific seat bottom. In theory they should all be the same size but I wanted to be double sure that everything fit perfectly.
TFP Upholstery 23

Now it’s time to staple! Lay your fabric, print side down on a smooth surface (I used my living room floor). Next, layer the batting and then the seat bottom, again, top side down. Grab your staple gun and get ready!

TFP Upholstery 8Start at the back of the cushion and secure the fabric with one staple in the middle (just eye ball it).

TFP Upholstery 10From there work your way to the edge and repeat for the front edge.

As you staple, it’s a good idea to flip the entire cushion over to make sure the tension is correct. You want it to be tight but not look strained. When you first start, you’ll probably want to turn the cushion over after each staple but as you go you’ll get the hang of it and only have to check once per side (or so).

TFP Upholstery 9See what I mean?

TFP Upholstery 11Now comes the tricky part, the corners.

You’ll want to play around with your fabric and figure out the best way to fold them so they’ll look finished and professional. My advice – find something that works and go with it. Don’t feel the pressure to make it perfect with some kind of hoyty toty fold!

For my fold, I took the piece coming from the back (or front) side and folded it first meaning that the side that is already attached to the wood goes on the bottom. I then took the side piece (not yet attached) and made a top, pretty fold. Clear as mud?

TFP Upholstery 12

Staple 1 corner and then work your way toward the other corner, picking up the slack as you go and tucking it into the 2nd corner. Repeat on the other side.

After stapling the corners, my seat bottom looked like this. At this point you want to trim off the excess fabric, remember those holes we circled with the sharpie? We want all of them to show!TFP Upholstery 13

Flip it over and the top will look like this. Give it a few coats of Scotch Guard and you’ll be ready for reassembly!TFP Upholstery 14So there you have it! What chairs are you going to upholster? Be sure to share your finished product, I’d love to see what you create!

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Thrifted: Chair Restoration

Last weekend I was busy busy busy painting painting painting, here’s the before. . . TFP Kitchen Bar 10here’s the after. . . Can you spot the difference?

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My recently thrifted kitchen chairs got a new coat of paint and new seat cushions! An upholstery tutorial is coming soon.

TFP Upholstery 16TFP Upholstery 22Do you remember the built-in kitchen desk that I recently restored? It’s chair got a face lift too!

TFP Upholstery 18TFP Upholstery 19Hello beautiful.

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The pantry door also got a fresh coat of paint which I simply love. . . . I think gray and yellow could be my new thing.

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Oh hello yellow polka dots, thanks for brightening my day!

TFP Upholstery 20What color scheme are you digging right now?

 

 

Living Room Curtains

Our house is still quite a mess from our marathon of renovations last week but as promised I’ll have an update for you later in the week – the good, the bad and the ugly!

After we traded out our couches, the living room was finally starting to come together. I decided that the next major step would need to be curtains. (These curtains were in the living room but since I painted a few weeks ago, the fabric was just to close to the wall color.) For weeks I’d been buying sample fabrics and pinning them across the window until I visited our local Hancock Fabrics (Abilene’s only real fabric store) and stumbled upon this green and coral print. It was already on clearance for $14.95 and they were having a HUGE sale so I got it for 70% off of that. I bought the entire bolt!

As it turns out, even with the rest of the bolt, I still didn’t have quite enough fabric to cover my large windows. I started to brain storm other ideas and then it hit me, a color block would be perfect! I ordered a few yards of solid colored coral fabric and set to work using this tutorial from Alison at House of Hepworths.

The tutorial was great and gave detailed, step-by-step instructions (with pictures!) on how to press, line and sew curtain panels. Since I had 2 different fabrics, I stitched the pieces together after I ironed each piece but before I started to fold and iron the side seams. If you do this, be sure to iron the seam as well so it will lie flat!

The entire process took me a total of about 4 hours and before you knew it my living room went from looking like this. . .

. . . to this!

Pretty dreamy huh?

PS – Alison also has a great tutorial on how to make cheap curtain rods, which I used as well.

Craft Room: Storage Solutions (Part 2)

In addition to my ladder, I needed some smaller storage in my craft room. So I visited my local ReStore in search of some old drawers and came home with 3 solid wood drawers, from the same collection, and set to work.

I began by gathering a few J-hooks and all of the things that I wanted to hang from the top of the drawer.

I laid everything out so they would be spaced evenly and then marked the top of the drawer with an X where each piece needed to be hung.

After the spot for each J-hook had been marked I drilled a small hole, being careful not to drill all the way through the wood, and screwed in each hook.

In a few minutes every hook was in place and I began to hung all of my items.

Discovered any great finds at the ReStore lately?

Craft Room Reveal

At the end of each summer, I take a week off to rest, relax and catch up on projects around the house. This year was no exception and my major project for the week? Tackling my craft and sewing room! When you last saw it on the house tour, it looked a little like a tornado had blown through it.

After many hours, the help of my wonderful husband, Phillip, and a LOT of organizing, it now looks like this!

For my purposes, the room now has 2 basic functions; sewing corner and craft corner.

The sewing corner provides space for my sewing table and machine, shelving for the growing fabric collection and storage for all of my sewing accessories.

In the middle of the room, Phillip used and old ladder and scavenged pallets to create some much needed shelving.

These shelves allow me to store everything from upcoming projects (like these awesome vintage coasters) to frequently used supplies.

Finally we reach the craft corner!

This allows me space to store craft supplies and large upcoming projects as well as. . . . . (drum roll please)

My brand new SILHOUETTE CAMEO!!!! Can you tell I’m really excited about it? I made a few small projects over the weekend and I can’t wait to use it even more!

Do you have a room/space devoted just to your creative side?