Posts Tagged ‘DIY’
Our friends, Andrew & Crystal, live in a tiny 2-bedroom house near downtown Oklahoma City. Fitting two kids into one bedroom will challenge any family, but when they found out they were pregnant with #3 they knew they had a BIG design problem on their hands. As an intern-architect Andrew has a definite design style he prefers, and wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty with a good design challenge.
Using galvanized pipe for the bunk bed rails and birch plywood Andrew designed a space to sleep both girls while providing clothing storage for all three kids. Since they are renting it was important to design the bed to structurally hold two kids safely without being attached to the wall. Both beds have their own bunk cubby providing a private space for the two oldest siblings. To make the most of their floor space the bottom bunk currently holds a toddler bed, but was designed to accommodate a twin mattress for the future.
Finding modern children’s furniture that is designed and functions well can be difficult and very expensive! Often times the ladder feels like it was a last minute thought and is awkwardly incorporated into the overall layout. Andrew did a great job establishing an overall clean and functional aesthetic by incorporating the ladder as a cutout from the overall bunk bed structure.
We love seeing our creative friends come up with fun solutions for their homes that are custom and affordable! Thanks Andrew and Crystal for inspiring us as we plan out James’ new toddler room!
What’s your favorite design element of Andrew’s bunk bed?
Wanna build one yourself? Visit Andrew’s blog to see the detailed bunk bed specs and materials.
From The Farm
As James Daivd is getting older I’m really enjoying coming up with creative crafts he can be a part of. Since Cale and I’s design work is mostly on the computer it’s always fun making stuff from scratch using tape, crayons, and old school construction paper!
About half of our close family and friends live in other states so it’s important to us to keep in contact–even in small ways. Coming up with little notes showing them how much we love and miss them is one of our favorite things to do! Last year we designed a Valentine using James’ handprint and it was a huge hit. This year we wanted to continue that tradition, but with a new card design.
- Construction Paper
- Scissors/Paper Cutter (Preferably NOT your fabric scissors!) :/
- White Washable Kid-Friendly Paint
- Paper Plate (An easy throw-away prop to load the kids’ hands with paint)
- Kid Size Smock (Something to cover the wee ones up just in case things get crazy!)
- #10 Envelopes
- Take It One Hand At A Time: Before I assembled the actual cards I cut and organized the strips of paper into 10 left hand & 10 right hand stacks for a total of 20 4×6 strips. Like an assembly line we went through one stack of papers at a time so that only one hand had paint on it at all times.
- Don’t Be A Clean Freak: Even with the smock on things are gonna get messy! Take a breath and let your kids enjoy the craft! As long as it’s washable paint it will be easy to wipe off surfaces and get out of clothes.
- Leave Room For Errors: Cut extra strips of each color for both the left and right handprints. We needed 6 total cards so I cut enough for 10 (20 4×6 colored strips) and was able to pick the best prints out of the batch to make the final cards.
- Make It Yours: Decorative Washi Tape and even mini confetti hearts are just a few additional ideas that can add even more Valentines Day Flare!
My favorite part about this craft is that it’s messy! At first I was a little hesitant, but watching James get at it with the paint and teaching him to work with us to “squish” each print was a blast. This craft was super easy and something we did as a family on a weeknight between supper and bath time. It’s just a little reminder that you don’t need hours to create and send a little snail mail hug for Valentines Day or “just because”!
What’s Your Favorite Handmade Valentine Design?
From The Farm
I can’t tell you how excited I have been to share my latest homemade gift with you all! To be honest I was a bit overambitious last Christmas, and didn’t complete any of the FOUR projects I started (surly I’m not the only one… !?). This year I was determined to complete ALL my projects from last year, and I’m happy to announce that I reached my goal just in time for Christmas!
Tis true, me and Martha Stewart became besties this holiday season, and I couldn’t be any more happier with the results!
Once you plan out your portrait the cross-stitching isn’t that hard, but it does take time. Personally, I enjoyed spending my evenings with the tv off, bundled under a blanket, working away while Cale studied for his latest Architecture Exam. You might think of cross-stitching as an old lady sport, but it was really fun giving an old craft an updated design.
- Embroidery Hoop
- Embroidery Thread (Just ask around and borrow some from your crafty friends if you don’t want to buy a bunch–thanks Courtney!)
- Embroidery Needle
- Embroidery Aida Cloth (I started with 22 count and the stitches were way to small and close together. Definitely aim for 11-14 count squares, or even 8 if you would like a bigger design.)
- Graph Paper (I just stole a few pages from Cale’s Moleskine Journal, shhh… don’t tell!)
- Colored Pencils
- Scotch Tape
- Select a Wider (smaller) Embroidery Aida Cloth Count: I started my first portrait with a 22 count and hated the whole process. The wider squares (11-14 count) show off fun details better, and you won’t be cussing as much as you try and poke your thread through tiny, TINY, little holes!
- General Size/Scale Chart: 8 stitches across for adult heads, 7 stitches across for teen/kids heads, and 3 stitches across for babies.
- Plan it Out: Use graph paper and colored pencils to plan out every detail. Having a solid plan creates a smooth transition once you start cross-stitching.
- Customize each family member: I found the inspiration for this project sifting through an old subscription of Martha Stewart Living. Visit her page for ideas and suggestions on how to each person in your portrait their own unique style. Think about the person’s hair, the type of clothes they wear, and even fun accessories.
- Use Back Stitching for Small Details: This simple technique allows you to create fine details like glasses, baby eye’s and mouth’s, letters, and numbers.
This was my first cross-stitch project so don’t feel intimidated if you have never done this before. I stitched two full portraits of the same family until I got the style, layout, and the scale just right.
You can do it! Old ladies unite!
What new Christmas projects did you take on this year? How did they turn out?
From the Farm
You know it’s wedding season when your mail box is full of wedding and shower invites. Some of our dear friends are getting married in May and recently bought their first home. We wanted to do something special to help them celebrate so we threw them a DIY Around the House Couple’s Shower. We really tried to think through the decor and made sure that everything we created for the decorations was something the couple could turn around and use in their new home.
Of course what new home isn’t full of paint swatches, brushes, paint cans, stir sticks, and messy floors? We loved the paint chip garland tutorial found here but instead of getting out the sewing machine we just used a glue stick.
For an afternoon Sunday shower we wanted to keep the food simple and sweet. We decided to do a cookie bar (complete with cold whole milk of course!) and asked a few close guests to share a batch of homemade cookies.
The large paint swatches (found for FREE at your local paint store) worked great as simple ways to label each platter and table activities.
Each table was furnished with a house plant and brown kraft paper painted with teal and purple smudges. We wanted to come up with a fun way to encourage guest interaction. Each table was assigned a different activity and guests were encouraged to move from table to table throughout the shower.
HIM Table: Guests were asked to write “tips and tricks on how to love a man” on blue paint swatches for the wife to be.
- HER Table: Guests were asked to write “tips and tricks on how to love a woman” on purple paint swatches for the husband to be.
DATEGAME NIGHT Table: Guests were asked to choose a month out of the couples first year of marriage to host the newlyweds. Mickey and Reagan love spending time with their friends and playing games. This was a fun way to keep in touch with friends and a creative solution for inexpensive date nights throughout their first year of marriage. We printed this lovely 8.5 x11 2013 calendar here and had guests write down what month they would host the newlyweds.
- BLESSINGS Table: Guests were asked to write marriage advice and/or prayers for the couple.
Notice the handmade burlap pillows? One of them says “lets make…” while the other pillow says “pie” on one side and “whoopie” on the other. I’ve seen this done with “coffee” and “love” before as well. Either way, it’s a really cute way to customize a gift that relates to the couple’s since of humor. Find a basic tutorial here.
Overall it was a wonderful afternoon and we enjoyed blessing our friends with love and good things for their life together as a married couple. The shower was perfectly simple and definitely made for easy cleanup.
From The Farm
* Review more work like this and others by visiting our graphic design portfolio at Green Couch Design.
If you are on Pinterest at all I’m sure you’ve seen the DIY Mug Art craze. I’ve been pinning a few ideas and decided to give it a try for a special wedding gift. I found the white mugs at a thirft shop for $0.48 cents! Spring is always full of weddings so if you are looking for an inexpensive, quick (takes about an hour to create and about three hours to bake and completely cool), handmade gift look no further! This is definitely my new “go to” gift if I’m wanting to do something a little special.
- Cup(s): Can be different shapes, sizes, and colors
- Paper: To practice illustrating your design(s)
- Sharpie: Can be black or try a colored sharpie on a white cup
- Dish soap and Paper Towel: To erase mistakes before you bake
- X-Acto Knife: For possible mistakes after you bake
- Practice illustrating the front and back designs on a piece of paper. Feel free to do a scripture or fun quote that relates to the couple. Look for ideas on Pinterest, the couple’s Facebook Page(s), their Wedding Invite, or visit their Wedding Website. Make sure you double check the correct spelling of the couple’s name(s) and wedding date. For mistakes (before you bake) wet a paper towel with dish soap and the sharpie should wipe off.
- Pre-heat oven to 425
- Place cups upside down on the rack and bake for 30 minutes.
- DO NOT REMOVE. Turn off oven and let the cups stand and cool completely in the oven. If you find a mistake (after you bake) take an X-Acto and scrape the sharpie off. Re-do the sharpie and bake again for the full 30 minutes. There might be a slight smudge where you scrape the marker off but you should be able to wipe this off after it is baked. This method works best if you catch any mistakes while the cup is still hot!
Let us know how your mug designs come out! I’m already taking notes on ideas for other upcoming holidays like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day. It’s definitely a fun way to personalize a gift for someone you love.
From The Farm
Things have been super busy around here as we are in full baby prep mode. One of the bigger items we have been looking for is a unique rocking chair. What good momma doesn’t need a cool looking rocker to keep her weary body moving in the wee hours of the night?
Luckily for us Meg’s Aunt and Cousin love to collect old furniture and reupholster them. They found this beauty at a garage sale for only $20.00!
I don’t know what garage sale they have been shopping at but I think we need to follow them around the next time they go bargain hunting!
When they found this Shaker Style Rocker it’s cushion’s were still filled with original straw! They wanted to paint it because of the veneer chip on the top right corner but we were not quite ready to see this piece covered in paint. I think it adds character. So they are sanding it down and putting a dark stain on it. Other then that and some new fabric this piece is gonna be just what we need to welcome our new little one to the family!
Can’t wait to show you the finished piece! We’ve got our first baby shower this weekend. It’s getting more REAL and little Baby Noodle is moving more and more everyday.
What weekend projects are you planning on tackling this weekend?
From the Farm
This week we are excited to announce that we are posting a week of gardening advice at Curbly! Last January Meg met Chris, the editor-in-chief, at ALT Summit, and hit it off immediately. With a love for creating homemade design to personalize his home and life Chris is a maker, writer, and crafter in the most manly of ways! We joked about how it’s ok for real men to wear pink, love musicals, and still know how to swing a hammer!
“Curbly is a Web community for people who love where they live. Curbly is the best place to share pictures of your home, find design ideas, and get expert home-improvement advice.
Everyone should have a happy, beautiful home. With the right tools and know-how, every person can create a place that fits their personality. Curbly helps you bring out the best in your home.” – Curbly About Page
Here is a sneak peak of the topics we will be covering. Check back cause we’ll be updating the links throughout the week and/or look for our garden post header with the set of three plants (at the top of this post) at Curbly.
It’s time to get inspired, get outside, and get gardening! You can do it!
- How to: Choose the Best Spot for Your Garden
- Good vs. Bad Soil: How to Prep Soil for Your Garden
- Top 4 Things to Consider When Picking Plants for Your Garden
- DIY Upcycled Garden Weed Block
- Roundup: DIY Trellis Ideas
The first post is already live so hop on over and tell the Curbly crew we said hello!
From the Farm
I first met Ryan and Chelsea this past January at a special dinner prepared for ALT Summit attendees. They arrived all sleek in their New York attire and to be honest it made me wish that Cale could have attended the conference with me. It’s always amazing to me to see other couples who work together creatively. I love hearing their process and how they balance work and life.
When Ryan and Chelsea first met, they were both full-time actors; actually they were doing a national tour of a show. Since then, Ryan has mostly left the acting business and started his own web design company, called Roundhouse Designs. He specializes in designing websites for actors and creatives while Chelsea has continued acting and has added blogging to her plate. Together they take on DIY projects, designing and re-designing Chelsea’s DIY blog; Lovely Indeed, auditions, and all that a New York City life has to offer!
Q1) What was the inspiration behind starting your blog Lovely Indeed?
A1) When Ryan proposed, I knew that I wanted our wedding to be very DIY, so I started reading DIY and wedding blogs regularly. After a while, I realized that I had a lot to share, especially while planning our wedding, so I put together a blog of my own. We documented all of our wedding projects and planning stages. I’m so grateful for it now; it’s almost like looking at a scrapbook of our engagement. I’m still so surprised and grateful at how it’s taken off – even though our wedding has passed, the blog has grown and transitioned into something that I hope is long-lasting.
Q2) What about your lifestyle inspires your work or makes it better?
A2) We’ve been so blessed during our time in NYC. While Ryan was still acting, we had the opportunity to work together on two U.S. tours, and to work together on a job in China. That kind of travel is so inspiring and eye-opening. In each new place, we’d be sure to try new foods, hunt down local shops, and go on photo tours. Those are memories that we both absolutely treasure, and seeing so much of the world together has exposed us to so many beautiful, inspiring things.
Q3) It seems you and Ryan work very closely together. How do you balance a healthy home while running a blog, graphic design clients, auditions, shows, etc.?
A3) For us, everything sort of runs together. One day may be filled with three auditions plus two client meetings and seeing a show in the evening; the next day might be staying home to get the laundry finished before we go to a rehearsal for something. To be honest, we know that it’s not necessarily something that’s a long-term lifestyle; but in the theater world, you have to somewhat roll with the punches and fit the puzzle pieces together however they will fit! And while we’re living in the city, we’re trying to soak up as much of it as we can.
Q4) In your opinion, define what makes a great DIY Project?
A4) To me, photos are key. If the project is attainable and the photos are quality, there are times when you almost don’t need instructions. I think that it’s easy to want to push through a project without taking the time to make sure the photos are beautiful and descriptive; but the truth is that much of the blog world is image-driven, and people want to see beautiful things – even if it’s a DIY tutorial.
Q5) What advice do you have for others interested in starting a DIY blog?
A5) Be ready to invest the time to make it great! DIY blogging is extremely time consuming once you add everything up – you have to conceive the project, shop for materials, do the project (do it again if you mess it up), photo it, edit photos, and put the post together. And that’s just one project. So you’ve got to be ready to work. But on the flip side, it’s so rewarding to share ideas with people and see your work making the world a little more beautiful!
AND NOW FOR THE FUN STUFF!
Q6) If you could co-star with your husband in any show what would that be? Why?
I’d probably go with us playing Robert and Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone (even though I’m so wrong for that role!). The show is kind of old-school, and Ryan comes from an old Vaudeville family, so he’d be hysterical in it. That, plus I’d get to wear lots of sequins!
Q7) What is the DIY project you are the most proud AND the one you will NEVER do again? Why?
Sometimes in your marriage you have to think back and remember what it was like when you we’re dating. What were the things that you just did to say “I love you” and how can you apply those things to your relationship now? They may not come as natural as they once did but after a little soul searching you’ll remember the simple things you once did to make that special someone feel all warm and gooey inside.
I remember a time when I was really good at at this. I would send Cale cards and make cute “I love you” books. Yes, I know… cheesy but hey it’s what I loved to do! In my opinion there is nothing better than a handmade Valentine’s Day gift. I think it has something to do with my childhood memories of cutting hearts out of construction paper, decorating an old shoe box with glitter, and adding as much red, white, and pink as possible! Handmade gifts, although simple, take time and thought and that fellas can go a lot farther than a box of chocolates!
This year let that special someone know all the weird, cute and funny things you love about them by making a handmade gift.
To help you get you started think of the things about that person that made you fall in love with them… and then onto the weird, quirky and even serious things that you cherish about them today.