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Entries in DIY (33)


DIY Floor Couch | Bohemian Style Floor Cushion

When we first moved into the new house this was our "couch." It was just the cushions from the girls' former closet bed and a bunch of floor pillows I had made for our studio.

My brother mentioned he had a full size mattress we could use as a floor couch and I jumped at the opportunity. We already sit around a lowered table to eat, AND we have little kids, so why not keep everything low to the ground?

OMG they are so cute!The foam was in good shape, but the cover was not. I ditched the cover (and saved the zipper) and got out a bunch of fabric scraps to make a new cover.

Before long, this was covered with this:

Of course as cute as this pieced cover was, you are crazy-sauce if you think I'd leave it like that.

Did I mention I have little children?

On went a waterproof covering from Ikea.

And on top of THAT, I found a colorful sheet that would hide marks and stains, and that became the top layer of my DIY floor couch.

I actually bought the full sheet set in that print. I turned the flat sheet into a fitted sheet as well so now I have two covers for when one inevitably gets dirty or needs washing. 

I had made these gorgeous floor pillows for the studio. You can view all the detail photos of these floor cushions at Sew Sew Sew Your Boat. The problem with their size though, is that we just kept doing this when we used them:

Kind of a waste if you ask me. And since I was asking "me," I decided to do something about it

I straight up cut those suckers in half.

After I cut them, I created new seams and now I had a bunch of bolster-sized pillow forms. 

Before I show you what I did with the pillow cases, let me show you the giant body pillows I made as back rests.

Target sells a body pillow for $10. Not a bad price for a pre-made pillow with stuffing. I ordered four.

I knew that one wouldn't be firm enough so I cut them all open and took the filler from one and wrapped it around the filler from another. Then I repeated the process so I had two much firmer rolls of batting.

Those rolls got shoved (with Eric's help) back into the original pillowcases. The result was two very firm back rest pillows. One for our floor couch downstairs and one for the guest room floor couch upstairs (which I have yet to show!).

Eric approved.

I was ALMOST done. I took some spare fabric from the custom sheets I made for our upstairs bed and made the covers for the big back rest pillows, using coordinating fabric from the new sheeet set on each end to get some matchy-matchy going on.

Then I turned my eyes to all the smaller pillows I had created.

I cut the pillow cases in half, just like I had cut the pillow forms. Then I re-sewed them and slipped them back on.

:::::::::::::::Drum roll please:::::::::::::::::::::


I give you our cozy family, boho-style floor couch.

My loves.

Total project cost was $75. $40 for for the four body pillows I ordered, $20 for the sheet set I got on sale, and $15 for the water-proof cover under the sheet.

BOOM! I may never go back to a real couch again. 

Bonus? It can double as a bed for overnight guests!


DIY Dress Up Cabinet | Kids' Costume Armoire

Back in December last year a kind neighbor in my local Buy Nothing group gifted me this little mini-armoire. 

She installed that closet rod on the right and her kids had used it as an armoire for dress up clothes. I had a bigger vision though. And to cut right to the chase, I took it here:

Ta da!!!

First I pulled out all four drawers and then cut the wood beam piece between the two bottom drawer areas to create a larger open space.

I chopped off that bar right there.

The four drawers were re-purposed as shelves in the outdoor play kitchen:

Pretty sweet, right? I'll be doing a full post on our outdoor play/mud kitchen soon.

Waiting for stripes to dry so I could finish the rest.

I got to work scrubbing, sanding, priming, and painting. I used paint I already had on hand. Recognize those colors and that pattern?

Yes, when I asked the girls how we should paint the new dress up wardrobe they immediately pointed to our mason jar organizer and asked for the rainbow. I love it when things work out like that.

(Like our solar system chalk board wall? You can read about it here.)

The bottom bin holds all the dress up bits-n-bobs that can be easily stored in a cubbie. The other shelves hold books, puzzles, and games.

The spaceship on the wall on the left is drawn by Cora.

While I love the look of the dress up armoires below they all have the same problem, and so did this armoire before I got a hold of it.

While it looks ADORABLE to have a mini-closet rod and little hangers holding all those dress up clothes, you know what a 22 month old cannot do? Hang up their dress up clothes on a tiny hanger and put them back the way they look in all those photos.

You know what that means, right? It means that the grown ups in their lives are cleaning up after them, day in, and day out, and in the long list of things-I-don't-want-to-do-today, cleaning up after my girls is NOT one of them.

No. I installed hooks all the way around instead. The girls can easily reach in and hang up their various costumes, PLUS, the hooks-method means we can store a lot more outfits. We keep the pirate hat on the floor space in the center of all the poofiness.

My kids clean up after themselves, thank you.

The clear white and blue boxes on the top left and right are 12"x12" bins that hold the artwork the girls want to keep until I can take a picture of it. It was a bit inspired by this blog post, but I have yet to turn it all into a book of art for the girls....YET.

This DIY cabinet has been a hit with both the girls and their friends when they come over to play.

Hope this inspired you to do your own creative DIY as well. Thanks to the Buy Nothing group for being a wonderful group of giving neighbors.

To see my last big Buy Nothing project, click here: http://www.therebelheart.com/charlottes-blog/2015/3/29/diy-outdoor-couch-thank-you-buy-nothing-project.html


Tiny House Bed | DIY loft frame, mattress, and bedding

Remember the loft bed Eric and Dan built for our tiny studio last year? 

It was an epic bed set up for our tiny home. You can read about it here. This post is about the foam, mattress, and bedding, you know, the stuff I do :)

We ordered a piece of 4" high-density foam and had it cut to the size of a queen bed. I know people spend thousands of dollars on mattresses, but I have never slept better than when sleeping on this type of foam. We had the same high-density foam in our v-berth on Rebel Heart. It is the best.sleep.ever.

I made a cover for the foam out of some awesome home-dec weight fabric.

The only thing I would have changed about making this cover is to have added handles. I forgot and a mattress without handles is a pain to move.

Next up was making a mattress protector. I had a king-sized white fleece blanket that I thought I'd turn into one for us.

While it looks lovely, and it is, this was a project fail. I first cut it to size (of the queen bed top) and then added satin blanket binding.

The reason it failed? When I added the fabric to tuck around the sides and the bottom of the cover (to turn it into a fitted cover), I miscalculated. I made the measurements from the edge of the blanket but realized I didn't want to sew into the beautiful blanket binding. Instead, I sewed the edge/bottom fabric into the seam of where the binding meets the blanket, moving my math by 2".

See? I sewed the fabric to the red line to preserve the satin binding, but my inital measurements were for the blue line.

Of course this meant that I made the cover too small/tight.


Sometimes, however, perfect is the enemy of done. I pulled an "ain't-nobody-got-time-for-that" and just cut the fabric in a few places and stretched it around the corners, quickly putting our fitted top sheet on to hold it into place.

And that is how the project stayed for quite a while. Technically, it worked. But underneath the fitted top sheet, the messed up project sang to me, calling out to be refinished correctly.

I finally got around to it.

The small blanket came off and I set it aside so I could carefully use a seam ripper to detach the side fabric and keep the beautiful binding intact. Now we'd at least have another pretty blanket in the house.

This time I used a much bigger orange fleece blanket for the cover. (Fleece makes an excellent mattress protector.)

All I did was pin the corners to size and then sew those lines. No chopping, no cutting. When I want to turn this back into a blanket, I can rip those seams and it will be back in business.

Ta da!!

Meanwhile, Lyra is doing her thing in the bathroom. Love that kid.

A perfect, tiny, minimalist bed.

I also made a custom pillow case for my memory foam pillow.

From too-large pillow case to...

A pattern drawn to....

A custom, zippered, matching pillow case to our bedding.

Here is the loft bed in our old studio.

And our bed in the San Diego house. 

I love that it is simple. I love that is comfortable. And I love to put a custom, personal touch on where ever we are living, on land or at sea. 


Waste Not, Want Not | Use up broken Crayon pieces

We go through an exorbitant amount of Crayons. It's a small price to pay for a childhood full of art and color.

Still. All those broken pieces! Years ago, on my friend Cindy's blog, I saw her melt Crayons to make new ones. I found this genius and it eternally cemented Cindy's creativity into my mind forever. I resolved to do the same with my kids one day.

And a few weeks ago, we got started.

Don't let this photo above fool you. It took forever to get to the organized beauty you see above. I didn't take any pictures of it, but for about two days prior, Cora worked diligently at peeling the labels off of all the broken Crayons. She eventually did it and then we sorted by color and I chopped each color set into similar sizes.

At last her hard work paid off and she was able to start creating.

Each girl mixed the colors differently and each was equally proud of the way they set up their trays.

I haven't gone into the details on how to do this yourself because there are already fifty billion tutorials on Pinterest just waiting for you to read them.

Going into the oven. (I set the oven at 175 degrees F and cooked them for about 25-30 minutes).

And coming out of the oven. Look at that melty goodness!

I popped them into the freezer to harden.

Yes. That is our freezer.

After eight years of living without a freezer, I still can't get the hang of how to use one.

SWEET, right?

We made this batch of DIY crayons as gifts for Wes and Miles for Easter. Cora sorted them into the cans I made as gifts as well.

I used Mod Podge on cans I had saved and Cora helped me pick out fabric for cans for Ella, Gray, and each the boys.

I can't get enough of the fabric covered cans. I'm going to make so many more. They appeal to my sense of order and also, how cool to have completely unique storage containers!

And the best part? We still have a ton of Crayon bits to make some more. Cheerio!


DIY Fabric Easter Bags

I included a few photos of the bags I made for Cora and Lyra in my Easter 2015 post here. I've finished a third one so I thought I'd share all three finished products.

Ta da! They are Goldilocks style, with a small one, a slightly bigger one, and then a large one.

I used this image as inspiration and then hand drew my own pattern.

I made the littlest bag first and then expanded the pattern by about an inch and a half for each proceeding bag.

The littlest bag was for Lyra.

The exterior fabric is from a kitchen towel I bought at Target. I was so enamored with the towel that I put it in my fabric stash instead of the kitchen.

I forgot to take a close up shot of the interior but you can sort of see it in the photo below. It's just a nice, soft, yellow fabric with white flowers.

Cora's basket is the mid-sized one. I used some fabric a friend had passed on from her stash and carefully positioned that rocking pink bird in prominence on the front.

The interior fabric is from scraps I had from the bench I made for Mele last fall. The pink is from the piping I handmade for it.

More photos of the bench can be found here.

Oh to have trimmed that one tiny thread sticking out there on the left. The perfectionist in me cries out in protest. The realist in me refuses to get off the couch to take another photo.

Sometimes. Sometimes I dream about fabric.

True story.

Oooh, you can see the interior fabric in the fruit basket pretty well in that photo.

Isn't it cute how they stair-step in sizes?

Being nautically-minded, the biggest basket is my favorite.

The fabric is remnants from the home-dec weight fabric I bought to make a mattress cover for our bed

So, soon. Soon.

I.can't.even. with this lining fabric. Just look at that buttery-pale yellow & white stripe with the little beach terns trailing their prints behind them in the sand.

You may have noticed that I used a zig-zag stitch on the trim for all these baskets. 

Since I knew that the girls were going to be banging their bags around to kingdom-come, and because I want these to actually be used in real life instead of sitting on a shelf somewhere just looking pretty, I opted for zig-zag over straight stitch.

The former will do a perfect job of going the distance and keeping all the layers of the bag (exterior fabric, interfacing, lining fabric, interfacing, & bias tape) together.

The starfish bag is going out in the mail as a birthday present for a friend. I can't say who because that would ruin the surprise.

Also, here is Lyra just doing her thing.

Ta-ta for now!