Thursday, February 28, 2019

Skinny Jeans Tutorial

Do you have a nice comfortable pair of jeans or pants that you love and fit you well but are no longer stylish because they are way too wide at the hemline? And you wish they were more updated? And besides, they are just too good to throw out? 

You can fix that! 

Here’s what I do: 
      1. Make sure there is a bit of stretch in them so after they're altered, you can still get     
      them on over your feet. Measure how far you want to "skinny" them up. Usually about to          the knee.

2.  Start at the hemline. Just take out the hem all the way around. 
     (This will make the finished garment look more professionally finished in the end.)

3.  From the bottom of the jeans, open up the side seams. You can use scissors or a  
     seam ripper. The seam ripper is preferable because it will probably be faster and 
     you won’t accidentally cut too far up or into the legs. (UGH!) Ask me how I know! Or 
     maybe not…

4.  Lay the jeans out flat so you can see how much to take out. I use a pair that fit well     
     as my guide. At the hemline and at the knee, pin both pair together so they won’t come 
     out crooked or off center!

5. Then draw with a fabric marker or chalk the outline of those pants onto the pair you 
    altering. I used a marker so you could see the line. Do this on both legs. This will be your 
    seam line.

    6. Now cut 1/2 inch OUTSIDE the lines. Be sure to leave at least 1/2 inch! This is your 
        seam! And pin the front of the pant leg to the back pant leg as shown. The back leg 
        should be wider than the front.

   7. Starting at the bottom, sew up the pant leg being careful to tie in smoothly to the 
       original seem.  And finish the edges. I use a serger, but you can just as easily zigzag 
       the edges.


9.  The last thing is to hem them. Just fold and pin the hem back in where it was. Then top  


     10. And tadah! You have just altered your pants and made them into “skinny” jeans!

Now look at the difference between the first photo and this one. 

Really not too complicated. Let me know how it worked for you.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

DIY Pinecone and Wood Slice Wreath Under $10

I'm so excited about how my new pine cone wreath turned out! It's classy, it's festive, and it's CHEAP... which is always a plus. :)

I was in desperate need of a new wreath. You see, I was using this terribly outdated, cheap-looking wreath that looked very tired. Then I moved. Guess what didn't make it to the new house... the old wreath! Hooray!!!

But anyone who's moved also knows that moving can get very expensive. Since my wallet is still recovering from this last move, I knew whatever I got would have to be super budget friendly.

I know I said it was a $10 wreath, but it was actually cheaper than that for me. Cool right?  When I realized I could make this wreath with stuff I had lying around, I was soooooo excited!

Want to know how much it actually cost me?
  • Wreath Form: $1
    You can get them from Dollar Tree... or yard sales, or thrift stores, or....
  • Wire and Wire Cutters: Free
    I had wire on hand, but you could also use the floral wire from the dollar store.
  • Pine Cones: Free
    My sister's tree sheds amazingly large pine cones that were fabulous for this project. She was happy to have someone help clean up her yard too. ;)
  • White Spray Paint: Free
    I just used the left over paint from another project. But the 99 cent white spray paint from Home Depot would more than do the job.
  • Wood Slices: Free
    I cut up a branch that fell off a tree in the backyard. However, I've seen round wood slice gift tags in the dollar section at Target. They have chalkboard on one side, but if you turn them over they're blank. Perfect!
  • Red Acrylic Paint and Paint Brush: Free
    The brush came from my crafting stash. The red paint was actually borrowed, and I hardly used any at all!
  • Hot Glue Gun: FreeI already had it, of course.
  • Hot Glue Sticks: $1
    I was out of glue, but the dollar store had my back. ;)

In the end, it actually only cost me a whopping $2. Yes, I said $2 whole dollars. If I had to go buy the supplies today it would cost me right around $10 bucks. So no matter how you look at it, this is a pretty inexpensive wreath.


So here's the low down on how to make your own charming pine cone wreath.

Supplies and Tools:

  1. 14" wire wreath form
  2. Wire
  3. About 30 large pine cones 
  4. White spray paint
  5. 12 wood slices (or a branch and a saw)The dollar spot section at Target has a package of wood slice gift tags in a package of 6, which makes a great substitute if you don't want to cut your own slices. Just turn the chalkboard side over and you have a blank piece of wood!
  6. Red acrylic paint 
  7. Paint brush
  8. Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Step 1: Lay It Out

I laid out my pine cones around the wreath frame just to make sure I had everything exactly where it looked best. I realized that my bigger pine cones looked better on the inside and my smaller pine cones did better around the outside edge.

Oh, and make sure your pine cones aren't too brittle. They won't stand up to the wiring (or the test of time for that matter).

*HERE'S A TIP: If your pine cones are closed up or wet, preheat your oven to 300 degrees Farenheit. Put your pine cones on a foil lined cookie sheet and set them in the oven. Some will dry out and bloom in 30 minutes. Others can take a couple hours, so just keep checking on them until they're done. Here are more detailed instructions on how to dry out, bloom and debug your pine cones.

Step 2: Get Wiring!

Stretch out a long piece of wire and cut it off. You want it long enough to wrap around the bottom portion of a couple pine cones and the wreath form.

I used 2-3 feet of wire at a time. Any more than that gets all tangled and messy.

Wrap part of the wire around the pine cone, then tie it onto the wreath form.

Tie another pine cone with the same wire keeping them good and snug, then back to the wreath form. When the wire gets too short to tie again, get another 2-3 feet piece of wire and repeat the process.

Don't worry about the straggler wire. And don't worry about wobbly pine cones either. We take care of those in the next step.

Just make sure the wire is good and snug.

Step 3: Glue That Baby

Now that you're done wiring those pine cones in place, it's time to make your final adjustments and glue them exactly where you want them to stay.

I turned my wreath face down and hot glued any piece touching the wreath form. That keeps them from wobbling. I also glued some of the pine cones to each other where there wasn't enough surface area touching the form. Just be careful not to get blobs in the front.

Then just twist up or cut any loose wires on the back of your wreath.

Step 4: Let It Snow

Get your can of white spray paint, shake it like a Polaroid picture, and spray your pine cones until they are as white as you like. I sprayed it from several angles to get them a little more on the white side.

It makes the pine cones look like they just got a fresh dusting of snow. So pretty!

Step 5: Add Your Berries

What berries? Oh yeah, you have to make them.

Get Your Wood Slices

If you're bought ready-made wood slices or ornaments, go ahead and skip to the painting.

If you're making your own, this is where you get out your saw and branch. My branch was about 2 inches in diameter.

Slice off about 12 rounds of wood. It doesn't matter how thick you cut them - mine were between 1/4 an inch to 3/4 an inch deep. You can sand them too if you like, but I prefer the rough look under the paint. :)

I did pick off the left over bark around the edges though. Most of it was falling off already.

Paint Them Red

When you're done, paint the middle of your wood slices red. I left a bit of the wood showing around the edges because I liked the look, but do what you like.

Attach 'Em

Just hot glue them wherever you want! I covered a few places where the pine cones broke or where there were huge globs of hot glue.

All Done?

If you wanted to cover the uglies in the back, you could always use some gray felt, but I was afraid that would make it feel more bulky and unnatural.

No felt for me, thank you. I love it exactly the way it is. (insert *eeks of glee* here)

Can I tell you how much I love it?! I just love it!! So fresh. So festive. So unique. I'm really enjoying the natural look with a bright pop of color. And to top it all off, it hangs easily from the wire wreath form. It's nice that I don't have to whip up some wire contraption to hang it up.

What do you think? Are you going to try it? I'd love to hear about your own DIY pine cone wreath in the comments below!

May your porches be merry and bright, and may all your pine cone wreaths be white! Heh, heh. :)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

How we fixed our windows

See this stuff? It is to lubricate the garage door so it runs more smoothly. I am in no way connected with this product, and I'm not promoting this brand necessarily, but I wanted to share what it did for our windows.

When we moved into our house a few months ago, we discovered the windows were a mess! They wouldn't open properly and just as important they wouldn't close right. So locking them was really hard and sometimes I couldn't lock them at all. So when the air conditioner or the heater came on, you could hear the whistling of air seeping out the bottom of the window. UGH!!! Not only was that inefficient, it would be costly. I hate the thought of paying to cool or heat the outside! So I looked up everything I could find on the internet on how to fix the windows. I couldn't find the answer to my kind of windows. So this is what we did instead of removing them, or calling in a repair guy, my oldest son got out this garage door lubricant and just sprayed it in the sides where the balances are hidden. And it worked. 

Just aim it in the slot on the side of the window, slide the window up and down a couple of times and there you have it.

All but one of the windows works!!! Wahoo! 

The one window that doesn't slide, needs to have a replacement part. (The balance)

 So I'm feeling pretty good about this wonderful little bottle of help!

Like I said before I'm not promoting any particular brand, just the garage door lubricant. (NOT WD40) It can gum things up. Hope it works for you, if you need it.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

CAR Organization

Have you ever been driving along and you really needed that "thing" that you keep under the seat.  So you pull out the old drink cut, flashlight, trash bag, sippy cup, newspaper, shoe, dog biscuit, popcorn kernels.....and on and on.  BUT you still did not find that "thing".   I have!  Way too many times.

I found a solution.

Plastic pencil boxes. I just used a permanent market to label each box.  They slide under the seat beautifully and keep you organized.  Everything you need right under your rump.  It has been working excellently.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A little Family Tree

This year for Christmas, we (as in all 8 siblings)  wanted to do something special for the folks. The idea appeared in the form of our version of a family tree.

The idea is that as a tree grows, the leaves and branches come and go. The roots however, grow deep and wide will keep the tree strong and healthy. So, we need to always nourish the roots.

On the back of the tree plaque is an inscription that says:  "A family tree spreads deep and wide, sweeping our legacy in it's stride."

With 8 siblings, we can't help but create a spectacular family tree!

Basically, we took photos of every member of the family at approximately age 2 (or as close to it as possible) and mounted the on wooden tags.  Here is where the tree- or roots- comes in.  At the top, was mom and dad.  From there were each of their children (the siblings) and then the grandkids that belong to each child.

We hung them from a long wood plank and mounted the wood tags to chain, so there is some movement.  As a bonus, we took pictures of just the grandchildren and mounted  them to wooden plaques.  This was a kind of then and now thing.  Black and white was the theme because some of the old photos did not look good in full color, which means oxidized pink.

Tada!  Merry Christmas Mom and Dad.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Painted Waterfall Dresser - How To Cover Water Damage On A Dime

I found this beautiful, wooden waterfall dresser... OK, it was pretty ugly actually, but I needed a dresser and it had potential. This one was going for pretty much nothing on Craigslist, so I picked it up and started playing dress-up with it. :)

You can see from the pictures that the veneer on the top of the dresser was peeling off. It was the same story on the dresser sides at the bottom where there was water damage. But the refurbishing ideas were brewing....

I'd heard that you could peel off the veneer on waterfall dressers and still have a decent top. So I did it - and immediately regretted it. As you can see from the picture below, under the veneer was warped, cracked, and sorry looking to say the least.

The next idea was to cover it with contact paper. But to do that I would need a smoother surface. So I tried to glue it down, then attempted a sanding and paint job...

...but to no avail. Leaving me with a severely misshapen surface, this dresser was determined to look ugly.

Calling on my clever sister Summer, she suggested I try covering the damage with duct tape and THEN with the contact paper.

I gave it a go.

I was delighted with how well it worked! Seeing that the duct tape was sticking firmly to the painted wood (no peeling up) and it smoothed out the surface, I covered the whole top with a duct-tape veneer.

Yes! Now it was time to test out the contact paper and see how well it stuck to the duct tape.

Beautiful! The contact paper had a bit of a hard time adhering to the back of the dresser (which was NOT painted). Another strip of duct tape just along the edge did the trick (of course, where no one will see).

Time to address the water damage on the bottom of the dresser (thankfully just on the sides). I covered them with contact paper, but seeing that the warped wood showed through the contact paper, I turned again to my sister's brilliant idea...

...and covered every cracked and peeling piece of wood with duct tape!

I even covered the underside of the dresser because it looked pretty sorry too. I was afraid the contact paper wouldn't stay tucked under if it didn't have a good surface to work with.

I didn't bother painting the underside. I simply cut off the pieces that were destined to fall off anyway, cleaned the surface of any dust and splinters, and put the tape right on there. And it worked!

I finished applying the contact paper, using my trusty library card.

The edges got a perfect trim with my never-leave-home-without-it pocket knife.

Once I finished covering the dresser sides with contact paper, I tucked the contact paper up and underneath the dresser sides. And just like I did with the top of the dresser, I tacked on a couple strips of duct tape over the edge of the contact paper to make sure it wasn't going anywhere.

With all the water damage and peeling veneer now taken care of, it was time to make it pretty!

After taking off the hardware and painting each drawer front white, I taped off a thin square on each drawer and gave it a sharp black edging.

It looked a little unfinished, so I grabbed a rubber stamp, dabbed it in black paint and PRACTICED ON A PIECE OF PAPER! Always practice first. It keeps you from making really dumb mistakes and having to repaint your stuff.

The first stamp always blobbed, but the second one looked good and the third looked even better - perhaps a bit distressed. The slight imperfections of the second 2 stamps were perfect!

So I stamped a beautifully *imperfect* row of flourishes across the bottom of my dresser. Press rubber stamp in the paint, stamp on paper (to remove blobs), stamp on dresser once or twice, and repeat!

And that did it! It was finished. I put the handles back on (which already had a great worn finish, almost an industrial look to them) and put it in my room.

See? Much better!

And just so you know, I made this project about a year ago and everything is holding up really well!

Just remember to follow the contact paper instructions... I should have overlapped the contact paper on the top more than just a quarter inch. Half an inch to an inch would have been best since I had plenty of contact paper to work with, and you can't even see the seam in the design across the top.

But everything else - duct tape, contact paper, paint and all - is working out just swimmingly (and with a couple of young kids that love to use everything as a hammer on my dresser, that is saying something)!

I hope this helps someone out there refurbish their water-damaged, warped, or peeling furniture piece that needs a little love. I'm tickled with the way my painted waterfall dresser turned out. :)

Happy DIYing everyone!

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