“Where the Wild Things Are” Hand Painted Sign

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So I predict that this will be the first of many posts about baby P’s “Where the Wild Things Are” themed first birthday party. This particular project was part of the DIY “snowball effect” that resulted as my mind raced with DIY inspiration with each party decor addition, lol. While I was already spread way too thin trying to get everything done with for the party, I couldn’t resist adding one more little decor detail in the form of a cute little “we love you so” sign – especially because it cost me nothing but time to create! I used the same piece of wood (taken from my neighbor’s trash) that I used to create my DIY coat rack and my DIY Mason Jar Organizer and the same homemade chalk paint (made using “Stone Mason Grey” by Valspar) that I used when making my first DIY Hand Painted Sign for our laundry room/command center. Since I really liked the font I used for his invitation (called “Hello Goodbye” which I downloaded for free here from dafont.com) I used the same one for the sign and as for the silhouette of “Max” I found that here via Google images. For a full tutorial refer to my DIY Hand Painted Sign post for detailed step by step instructions to create your own sign!

 

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The sign as we displayed it with P’s guest book and favors.

Interested in making a scrap fabric banner like the one pictured above? Check out my tutorial here!

DIY Hand Painted Coat Rack

Ever since I successfully created the hand-painted sign for our laundry room/command center I felt as though I’ve opened a Pandora’s box of DIY decor options, lol. The second I finished my sign my imagination ran wild with endless possibilities for … Continue reading

Baby Rocking Chair Re-Do – My first re-upholstery project!

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One of my biggest (and smallest, lol) inspirations for so many of my DIY projects has been none other than my own baby P! Whether it be items for is nursery or coming up with ways to work all of his adorable photos into our decor (check out my DIY Rustic Picture Display!) I am thoroughly amazed by the creativity that this little guy has prompted in me. One of my latest projects was upcycling an old rocking chair that I found at a used furniture store (at the same time I picked up my old shutters that turned into my DIY shutter shelf!) for $8, actually funny story: it was actually $15 but jokingly as I was checking out I said “how about $8.00?” and the guy said “Ya know what, sure. That’s what my wife gets for making me work today instead of fishing!”, haha. Honestly, although the chair is good quality wood, in the state it was in at the time of purchase it wasn’t worth more than $8.00, haha, the seat was covered in a raggy, dirty old cowboy print cloth and smelled like old people (don’t even pretend you don’t know the smell I’m talking about, lol) but despite all of these factors I saw potential!

As soon as I got the chair home I got super motivated and removed the upholstered part of the chair as well as all of the staples that were holding it in place. I even went as far as to borrow a staple gun from a friend for the re-upholstery part of the project, but that was as far as I got before getting swept up in another project and forgetting all about the little rocker. Flash forward to last week, I had used the same paint that I was intending to use on the chair for my DIY Owl Themed Coat Rack/Hooked Sign and knew that this would be a good opportunity to get cracking on the chair.  For the fabric I chose a beautiful grey/brown chevron print decor fabric that I happened to find in the remnants bin at my local fabric store for only $7.00, making the grand total of this project just about $20.00! Now I know that a random $8 cowboy-themed rocking chair probably isn’t an option at your local thrift shop BUT lucky for you this project can be duplicated with any kid-sized chair (or an size for that matter) that you happen to find, even if it doesn’t already come with a piece to reupholster (I was able to salvage the original seat from my piece) you can absolutely fashion your own using a small piece of plywood and simply attach it to the existing seat! You will not believe how easy this project is, especially for how amazing the result. If re-upholstery seems daunting to you don’t let it deter you, I was extremely skeptical about this project as it was my first time working with upholstery but now that I know how easy it is I can’t wait to try my hand at it again! Happy stapling, watch those fingies 😉

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SUPPLIES: 

*For this project I used chalk paint (find out how I mix my own here), feel free to refer to my re-finishing wooden furniture with gel stain or latex paint posts for alternative painting methods. If you want to add a cushion to a chair that did not have one to begin with simply follow my steps below but use a piece of plywood (something cheap but sturdy), you can even have your local home improvement store cut it for you for free!

  • Kid-sized rocking chair
  • Chalk Paint – I mixed my own (refer to this tutorial to find out how I made it using a sample sized latex paint), the color is “Opera Glasses” by Valspar which is now one of my favorite paint colors as I’m always looking for a good “greige” which is oh-so popular right now.
  • Minwax Finishing Paste Wax in “Special Dark”
  • Sanding blocks or sand paper
  • Black foam paint brush
  • Manual staple gun (if you’re super hardcore and have a power stapler you can use that as well, I’m too clumsy to be around things that shoot out metal, lol)
  • Foam or fiber cushion – I used this one that I purchased at my local fabric store (with a coupon, yay!) but it is also available online via Amazon and most other retailers of fabric.
  • Fabric of your choice – the amount you will need depends on the size of your seat (you won’t need much though, I used about 1/4 of a yard!)
  • Heavy Duty All-Purpose adhesive – anything that says it will bond to most all surfaces, you can’t go wrong with E-6000 or any of those “E” adhesives or Gorilla glue)
  • Scissors

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: I began by ripping all of the original fabric and batting from the chair to reveal the frame. I kept the board that made up the seat as it was in good condition and I wanted to reuse it. I then removed all staples that remained in the wood using needle-nosed pliers.

Dirty and torn, but still promising!

Dirty and torn, but still promising!

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Step 2: I sanded down the chair by hand using a sanding block (150-grit), while I do have an electric sander I feel some projects move quicker when they’re done by hand, especially ones with a lot of nooks and crannies like this chair. Once I had finished sanding I wiped the chair down with a damp cloth to remove any remaining dust particles.

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chair post-sanding

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Step 3: Using a black foam brush (I prefer these to regular paint brushes because they don’t leave streaks) I evenly painted the top half of the chair with an even coat of my chalk paint, I then waited about 2 hours before returning to my chair, flipping it upside down and applying the first coat to the bottom. I continued in this fashion for two more coats (three total). I found this was the easiest way to paint the chair on all sides and on the bottom of rocking part.

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Step 4: Once my final coat had dried I waxed the chair by applying a thin coat of paste wax using an old rag, waiting the appropriate amount of time (15 minutes I think?) then buffing it out using another rag. At that point the re-painting part of the project was complete – yay!

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After the chair was waxed. I like that the wax gives it an antiqued look. You can also get a natural or clear wax for protection and sheen without color!

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Step 5:  I began my reupholstering part of the project by cutting a piece of fabric that was about 4-5 inches wider than the piece of wood that would make up my seat. NOTE: If you are using a thinner fabric that you think may be prone to ripping use a sander to dull down the corners of your wood or cut the tips of your corners off so that they are flat, this won’t make a difference in the look of the chair but will prevent the corners from protruding through the fabric over time. After cutting my fabric, I cut my foam piece to be just big enough to reach over the edges of my board.

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Baby P playing peek-a-boo with the fabric, lol!

Baby P playing peek-a-boo with the fabric, lol!

Step 6: Once all of my components were ready I laid my fabric face down, my foam piece atop it in the center and then my wooden seat atop the foam. This step is best done using two people but if you’re all by your lonesome just use your knees to secure the board in place while you tighten and staple – but be careful! Pull one edge of the fabric taught over the edge of the wood and make sure that the foam will wrap nicely around the edge of the wood, if you are happy with the way it looks staple along the edge of the wood, about 2- 3 inches in, I used about six staples per side for good measure! NOTE: The corners will be a little trickier so do your edges first and then your corners last because you may need to manipulate and fold them a bit to get them right.

Step 7: After I made my cushion I trimmed any excess fabric from the bottom that was sticking out too much. Then I was ready to bond my seat to the base of the chair. I did so by applying a generous amount of adhesive to the bottom of the cushion (not too close to the edges, you do not want it oozing out!) and to the base of the chair where the cushion was to be attached, then pressed down firmly to secure it. You may want to place a book or something else flat and heavy on top the seat to hold it in place as it dries (this would be a great job for a kid in time-out! Just kidding, haha). Voila! Finished and beautiful and ready for baby P’s adorable squishy butt to sit on it 🙂

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Finished product!

NOTE: An optional Step 8 would be to add decorative upholstery nails or trim along the edge where your seat meets your chair. My hubby was opposed to this idea so I left the chair as is (and it looks just adorable without them so it is not necessary to do this by any means). However, this is a great way to add a little extra flare or elegance to your chair and to hide the area where the seat meets the chair.

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The most rewarding part of this project was seeing how much baby P loved the rocker, which completely took me by surprise because I was sure he wouldn’t want anything to do with it because it’s just a chair, however he loves rocking it and sitting in it and when he sees it he gets so excited, points and says “this! this!”. What a warm feeling to have my crafts appreciated by even the tiniest of people 🙂

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Baby P’s Nursery

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“Whoooooo” has the best nursery of all? Baby P!!! This week has been crazy to say the least, J returned from fleet week (yay!) and most importantly I was able to snag us a beautiful house on base, ya know, so we won’t be homeless when we close on this one in just a few short weeks! Since we will be moving very shortly and will need to rearrange it, I am excited to share baby P’s original nursery, as it is my favorite room in the house!

Before we found out if we were having a boy or a girl, I began brainstorming ideas for a nursery for our little babe. Since I had been hoping for a girl (sorry baby P, don’t worry I’ve changed my mind, haha), I hadn’t given much thought to a boy’s room at all but ironically, once I stared looking, I realized that I wasn’t really in love with any particular girl items but was quickly becoming obsessed with the idea of an owl themed nursery for a boy. After picking out a bunch of owl items I actually got a little sad thinking that I might not get to purchase any of them if the baby turned out to be a girl, haha! Once we found out that baby P was in fact a boy, I had SO much fun bringing his owl themed nursery to life, mostly thanks to my sweet family and friends who spoiled unborn baby P rotten. We kept the room pretty simple but I think it turned out so cute and although owls are getting super popular they are still more popular with girls than boys for some reason, so if you’re in search of a boy-themed nursery but are like me and don’t necessarily care for characters or typical sports themes, owls are a great option! Since I was too lazy to change the wall color of the upstairs bedrooms upon moving in, I was lucky enough to have the color work with nursery theme that I chose, so all that we needed to do was decorate (I will provide sources for all of the items below). I hope you love baby P’s nursery as much as he does 🙂

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Baby P enjoying his room at 7 months (in an owl PJ outfit no less!)

SOURCES

Crib // Catalina Fixed Gate 3-in-1 Crib in “Sun Valley Espresso” available via Pottery Barn Kids for $549 (mine was purchased as a gift using a 20% off coupon so it came in at around $495 after shipping costs).

Dresser // Craigslist find for $45.00. See my post here on how I refinished it using gel stain. The changing pad was a shower gift along with it’s light blue minky cover and the basket I purchased at Michael’s for about $5.99 using a 40% off coupon.

Bookcase // Thrift store find for $5.00. See my tutorial on refinishing laminate furniture which features this very bookcase! The “Parker” wooden letters were purchased at Michael’s for $3.99 a piece using a 30% off of purchase coupon, if you are looking for a cheaper option see my post on easy scrapbook wooden letters here!

Green Owl Lamp // Purchased at Hancock Fabrics for $11.99 (sale item, woo-hoo!) but it is also available here. The lampshade is part of the Sweet JoJo Designs owl collection which matches the bedding purchased here via Amazon for $25.99 plus shipping.

Owl Bedding // The owl bedding set I chose included the comforter, crib bumpers, throw pillow, toy bag, diaper holder, fitted sheet, two widow valences (that I ended up not using) and the crib skirt. The set is by Sweet JoJo Designs and available here via Amazon for $179.99.

Owl Mobile // Purchased via Amazon as part of the Sweet JoJo Designs “Night Owl” collection. Available here for $42.99.

Owl Curtains // The curtains are part of the Sweet JoJo Designs set purchased via Amazon but available at Target for $49.99 for a set of 2 panels. We ended up trading out the curtains for blackout curtains once daylight savings rolled around, but I plan to try my hand at lining the owl curtains myself once we move into our new place so be on the lookout for that post!

Brown Glider/Rocker // Purchased via Amazon for $160.00. I thought this was a great deal as it was a prime item so shipping was free and it included the ottoman which many didn’t. I’m so glad I decided to puchase it becuase

Floating Shelves // Purchased from Home Depot in espresso for about $24.00 a piece, but no longer available. The “BYOB” sign and feathered owls were all gifted to baby P from generous friends :).

Owl Tree Poster// This was an activity at my baby shower which doubled as a guest book, each guest was to sign a leaf for baby P. The poster was purchased via Etsy from Peachwik, it was originally a listing for a wedding guest book but the graphic artist was kind enough to add a baby owl so we could use it for the shower instead!

Three Owl Fabric Wall Hangings // Purchased via Amazon as an accessory to the bedding set for $22.99 for the set.

“Grow Wise Little Owl” Decal // Purchased from wallartsy via Etsy for $32.00.

Owl Tree Decal // Purchased from StickitDecalDesigns via Etsy for $69.00.

Crochet Owl Stuffed Animal // Purchased from YouHadMeAtCrochet via Etsy for $36.50.

Large Brown/Blue Owl Stuffed Animal // Purchased from OneCraftyKing via Etsy for $26.00.

For the nursery we obviously threw caution to the wind when it came to budget as baby P was our first and we were just so excited to create this nursery, thankfully we were so blessed to have many of the expensive items ($69 decal!! wth!? lol) gifted to us which helped a lot with the cost. Wait to see how we recreate baby P’s nursery in our base house coming soon!