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Studio Living | Custom bookshelves for a closet bedroom

When we moved into the studio in May it quickly became apparent that Cora wanted a special place of her own. A place where she could keep her personal treasures safe from Lyra "the destroyer" as she so lovingly calls her little sister. 

Angelic she may seem, but this kid is a whirlwind of the best kind of little kid trouble.

We had all the leftover paint from this hanging wall organizer project, so the girls and I went to Lowe's and got the wood and trim we needed to make custom shelves in their closet bedroom.

First, I explained, we needed to sand the wood.

Cora is an earnest kid, "Is this good, mom?" She kept checking.

"Don't worry, mom, I'll sand yours too."

Thanks, bud. I've got a lot of work to do, after all, sitting here taking pictures of your adorable-ness.

My heart!!

Okay, I digress.

We worked on this project over a couple of days while Lyra napped.

Next up? Painting:

I let Cora pick the colors from the rainbow assortment we had on hand. She picked pink, pink, yellow, and green. (Hey, at least it wasn't ALL pink!)

Her painting was meticulous for an almost four year old (we did this project way back in May/June when she was still three).


Once they were installed I drilled holes on the front left and right sides and strung thin bungee up in lines from top to bottom. This way the girls could easily get their books in and out, but if there was an earthquake, the books wouldn't fall forward and down onto their sleeping noggins.

Cora can't reach the top green shelf so I reserved that shelf for some of my things.

The hot pink shelf is Cora's "special shelf." Lyra can't reach it and Cora places all her treasures there.

And the bottom two shelves hold a lot of their books.

I loved doing this project with Cora. That afternoon on the steps sanding with her is a stand-out favorite Cora memory for me.

Cora, when you read this one day, know how much I love you. And how much joy I get creating things with you, and for you.


Studio Living | Custom Sheets for a Closet Bed

View Part One here | View Part Two here | This is Part Three


At last, the third and final post in the my-girls-sleep-in-a-closet-series!

I give you the custom top sheets I made for the cushions in their "bedroom:"

Hello lovelies!

After cutting the foam to the right shape, and sewing custom mattress covers and waterproof sheets, I finished the custom top sheets.

I bought a queen-size sheet set at Target on clearance. I use the fitted sheet for our bed up in the loft. I used the flat sheet and the pillow cases to make the custom sheets for the girls.

I even undid the seams on the pillow cases to use every last usable bit of fabric to create these.

I made the top portion of the sheets fit like a sheath on the cushions, and the bottom part had elastic like traditional fitted sheets. This assured that the sheets stayed on nice and tight (and looked good too).

I used every scrap of fabric from the sheet and pillowcase to make TWO SETS of sheets.

If you are just skimming through this post looking at pictures, let me repeat:


If you are going to go through the trouble of making custom sheets, remember that kids get sheets dirty. Things happen. Have a spare set on hand while the other set is in the laundry.

I also used spare fabric on hand to make the bottom pieces (of the sheath bit) and the sides as well.

I grabbed some spare blue flannel to finish the sides and for one bottom piece.

Only problem? When I put the cushion in the bed, you could see the blue peaking out, and the perfectionist in me couldn't handle it.

See? See the blue peaking out?

Just no.

So I went to a thrift store (because I was out of spare white fabric) and found two white curtain panels originally from Ikea, and bought them both for...wait for it....three dollars.


Whew. So much better.

:random adorable photos of Lyra I took while sewing this project:

And the finished product:

Happy girls showing off their new bed.

This post would not be complete without an adorable video of Cora (and Lyra) as she shows off her bed, her special shelf, and Lyra the "Destroyer."


Studio Living | Custom Waterproof Mattress Cover

View Part One here | This is Part Two | View Part Three here


After making the custom foam and covers for their mattresses, next up was making custom, waterproof mattress covers. If you have, or have had little kids, you know they do all kinds of awesome things with bodily fluids, or really any fluids they can get a hold of. And so parents all over get those mattresses protected any way they can.

I used a twin-size waterproof mattress cover from Ikea for this project. It has terry cloth on the top and a waterproof fabric on the bottom. This is nice because it is both soft and quiet when the kids are on the mattresses (many waterproof covers are noisy, crinkly, hot plastic messes.)

Word to the wise, I had to go back and buy a second twin-sized cover because I needed more fabric. Noob mistake, I should have really measured everything out and bought a queen-sized one to start with.

Yep, definitely not going to be enough fabric there for all three cushions in their room.

First I worked on the two larger cushions (Lyra was my trusty sidekick for this entire project.)

And then I did the center cushion's waterproof cover:

I re-sewed the original Ikea tag on just to be fancy.

Nice and form-fitting, even before I finish seams and add elastic.

Hello lovely!

We get a hug of approval from Lyra:

All three are now ready for the custom sheets, but that will will wait for another post.



Studio Living | Custom Mattresses for bedroom in a closet

This is Part One | View Part Two here | View Part Three here


Cora and Lyra fast asleep on their custom mattresses I made for the closet of our studio that we have turned into their bedroom.

Each side of the closet has a notch cut out; like on a boat, each notch is a different size. I'm so used to nothing ever being symmetrical like on all my boat projects, that I just grinned when I realized I'd be dealing with more of the same.

I bought 4" foam from Joann's as opposed to the super high-density stuff I normally use for marine or home applications. The girls are so light that I knew they'd be able to sleep comfortably on the density you can get at Joann's (a bonus that helped with our budget).

Then I measured and chopped out the notches on each side and used a Sharpie on the foam so I knew which girl's mattress I was working on.

I waited until home-dec-weight fabric was on sale at Joann's and then used a coupon on top of the sale to get some lovely fabric to act as cushion covers. I wasn't worried about the bold colors showing through their sheets because I knew I'd also be making a waterproof mattress cover that would hide the bright stripes or patterns on the bottom layer.

This is Cora's finished cushion. I've got two more posts yet to come to show you how I made the waterproof mattress covers for all three cushions in their room and another post on how I made custom sheets for the cushions too.

A sneak peek to show you what I mean. This is the center cushion viewed from the bottm. You can see both the waterproof mattress cover and the custom sheets I made covering the mattress.

I leave you with this short video I made for a fellow seamstress who asked me a question about zipper placement on some cushions she was working on. I show you this very quick video not so you too can pontificate on the placements of zippers on cushions, but because it explains my thinking on how I used scraps of fabric and didn't worry too much about pattern placement on the bottom layer of their entire bedding scheme. 



Getting Crafty | Custom Animal Pillow for Lyra

Lyra has the most expressive face. I don't know what she was scowling about, but even her scowly faces make me giggle.

When I saw this fabric I knew it was time to make Lyra her own special pillow. She loves animals and the noise they make. Her favorite book is Brown Bear and her favorite thing is hearing her whole family voice the sounds each animal makes in it.

"Lyra, I made this for you. It is your special pillow."

She took about one second to realize what that meant and then she claimed it for her own by:

And then hugging it:

After losing all the special things I made for the girls on Rebel Heart, it is nice to start making special things anew.

And she always includes her pillow in their playtime.

When Lyra gets excited, she does this leg kick thing. I'm gonna say she gets that from me :)

That's my girl!


Front view: 

Side view:

Back view:

This is her 'thanks, mom' face <3

What fun things have you made today?