Monday, December 15, 2014

Hallway Picture Gallery

Upstairs we have a long hallway with two 8-10 foot walls on either side. Without anything on the walls the hallway looks really big, really plain, and really white. I used to have a bunch of black frames on the walls, but somehow a few of them broke and my two boys (the hubby and the kid) have absolutely no idea how that happened.
So for some time I wanted new frames, but just hadn't found any that I liked. One day walking through Michael's I saw the frames below. But they were $29.99 each. Yes $30 dollars each. Who can afford that. So I gave up and thought someday I'll find something that'll catch my eye.
Well, about 6 months later I was walking through Michael's looking for tye dye for Jake's school and I saw them, my frames were on sale, not just sale but clearance and were marked down to $8 a piece. So I snagged up what I could and quickly checked out. While I was checking out, it was a nice surprise to find the frames weren't $8 each, but $6 each. After a trip to 3 different Michaels, and an estimated $100 I had 18 frames to use for my gallery walls.

As you can see I used 9 on one wall and 9 on the other. Below you can see the blank wall I started with.
Measuring to hang all of these frames was definitely not fun. I started with the very middle frame and worked my way out on either side, then the top, and then the bottom. I measured the entire wall both horizontally and vertically and got a mid-point for the first frame. Then I measured out about 15 inches from each hole and marked the next hole. I used our metal square to make sure everything was equal and level.

Next, I added the nails and hooks again starting in the middle and working my way outward, double checking all my measurements as I went.

And finally I got to pick out my favorite pictures and add them to the frames. I set out all 18 frames with pictures in them and picked which ones to add to which wall. I wanted the frames to feel cohesive so I tried to evenly distribute the colors.


I am thrilled with my hallway. And I want to give a shout out to Lana Estrada Photography because she took 17 out of the 18 pictures that I framed. Check out her link on the right hand side of my blog, she's an awesome photographer, as you can see!

Monday, December 8, 2014

How to Build a Pottery Barn Replica Treehouse/Clubhouse/Fort Bed

A few years ago I had seen this treehouse bed in an issue of Pottery Barn and burned it into the back of my memory as a some-day project.
So when it came time to build our son a "big boy" bed I somehow recalled that awesome Pottery Barn bed. I showed it to my hubby and he was immediately on board. We started talking blue prints that night. Before we got too far into the blue prints I decided to hop online and see if there were already blue prints out there for this bed, why re-invent the wheel, right? Luckily, we found them over at Because the blue prints are provided on the previous website, I'll just give you an overview of our experience building this bed as opposed to a step by step building guide.  
After a few weeks of gathering wood and supplies we started to build.
Following the blue prints, the build was pretty easy. 

There was a lot of measuring, cutting, and sanding. 

And then while putting the back side of the bed together my husband went to rip a couple of the boards on the table saw and ended up chopping the tip of his pinky off! Luckily, there will be no long term damage, but don't forget safety first, it can happen to even the most experienced wood workers!

After we built each piece we would line it up to it's neighbor just to make sure there were no mismatches. We didn't want to put all this effort into building this huge bed only to find out at the end the pieces don't line up.


After everything was measured, cut, drilled, sanded, etc. we started staining. And there was a lot of staining. You can see here a little stinker jumped in front of the camera. 

There was roughly about four solid weekends spent just staining and poly-coating this bed.

Seriously!! This bed took about two months to build. This is not for someone looking for a starter project, this project is for the dedicated builder! I will give you some hope in finishing more timely than we did, we only work on the weekends and there were a few weekends we had other plans besides just building this bed. 

But still, there was A LOT of staining! And poly-coating. We did one coat of gel stain, Minwax Provincial. And four coats of semi-gloss poly-coat, also by Minwax. 

We built the four pieces of the bed individually. The front, back, and two sides. Then we took each piece up to his new big boy room individually and put all four sides together in the room. And here is the finished bed.
Here's a few shots of the inside with the mattress. 


These were hard angles to take pictures. And here's the bottom.

You can see the mattress slats, that hold up the mattress.

Jake's dad made him this wooden sign with his name on it a few years ago. It had been hanging above his door, when he switched rooms and we took it down, we realized it fit perfectly right above the door.

Even Foxy loves his new bed.

Jakey now invites everyone over to see his new bed! He loves it! I was worried about the transition from his old room to his new one but there wasn't any reason for concern. He loves his bed and his new room.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to Make Custom Fabric Picture Frame Mattes

I got these frames 5-6 years ago at Michaels. And they've been hanging on the guest room walls since we've moved in. Well now that the guest room is Jakey's big boy room I had to take the frames down. But I LOVE these frames and didn't want to get rid of them. And then I noticed the frames look like they belong in a tree house type room. I asked Jakey his thoughts and he was excited to pick out pictures and hang the frames. But in order to make the frames more Jakey's style and less my style I figured I would add some custom frame mattes.  

We went to Joann's Fabric store and Jakey picked out three different super hero fabrics he wanted to use.  First I laid the fabric pattern side down. 
Then I put the matte front side down on the fabric and lined up Spiderman's face as best I could, so that when I cut and wrapped the matte you see Spiderman's face as much as possible instead of his foot. Make sure you have about an inch on each side of the matte, you can always cut the excess of later. 

Then I made a diagonal cut at each corner.  

Then I glued down the top and bottom pieces with hot glue, followed by either side. 

After all the sides are glues, you can flip over the matte and this is what you'll see. It looks just like a square of fabric. Don't worry if the corners aren't perfect, you won't see them from inside the frame.

Next, take your scissors and poke a hole right in the center of the fabric, in the middle of the matte. And from the center cut diagonally to each corner. With all four cuts made it'll look like a "X" with four triangles. 

Flip the matte over again. and glue the first corner. I usually start with the top and bottom, followed by the sides. 

This is what the matte will look like after all sides have been glued. 

Next, cut off the excess pieces of fabric. And this is what the back of the matte will look like when you're all finished. 

Here is the front of the matte. If this is your first time you might want to get a little extra fabric because it's easy to over-cut and mess up on the inside corners, but once you do this once, you'll get it. And if you should happen to mess up it's okay to tear it off and start over again! 

Next, add pictures of your choosing and hang on the wall!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

DIY Envelope Super Hero Pillows

I've had these three pillows sitting in a storage closet under the stairs for a while. When we decided to build Jakey's bed, I wanted to add a bunch of pillows for him to cuddle with. Jakey loved this idea. We went to the fabric store and Jakey picked out three different superhero fabrics that he liked and wanted to use. Let me also preface this tutorial by saying that I do not have the best sewing skills, but practice when I can because practice makes perfect!
Each pillow is 18X18 inches. I bought a yard of each fabric, but that's because I had a second project in mind for these fabrics as well, which will be posted next week. But start by cutting the fabric to size; about an inch extra on the long sides and the short side should be double the height of the pillow plus two extra inches.

Start by sewing the seam on the two short sides. Typically, I see in every sewing book and tutorial that the seam should be about half an inch, but I'm just more comfortable with an inch, again my sewing skills are still at the very beginner level. Next, fold the pillow with the pattern side of the fabric facing the pillow. 

Pin the line where the fabric meets and slide the pillow out as slowly as you can so as not to disturb the pins. 

Next, sew the two open sides. 

Flip the pillow case inside out and add the pillow. And you're done!

Now just put them on the bed and enjoy!