Craft Room Re-do Re-Do

I loved the stripes in my old craft room.  But I needed more sewing space, especially with my new machine.  And the carpet was a minefield of hidden dropped pins. Also very difficult to keep clean of thread and craft crap.  At least that is what my excuse was. And since there was so much going on in the space, I was wanting some clean and bright walls while we were at it. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

So here is my new craft/sewing space.  Quite possibly my favorite room in the house. Because I love to be in there.  Because it super functional for my sewing/crafting wishes.  And because it is pretty to look at.

It is this clean and organized all of the time.  Insert sarcasm font.

Here is what we originally started with when we moved in.  Pink and wallpaper.

the before

And then here was the stripes and small table of the original craft room makeover.

craft room

So let’s start with the big stuff.  The walls are painted with the leftovers from the basement- Sherwin William's Eider White.  And the floors are a bamboo hardwood. 

I had a minor freakout the night before the were installed that they were going to be too orange.  As in Honey Oak orange. I may have been seen laying out a whole section of the wood out of the box on top of the ugly honey oak ones in the kitchen. At midnight. To judge if the oranges were different.  But after they went in I love them and they are so much nicer than carpet in the space.  Just a quick sweep and they are clean.  At least the floor part.

Derek made the amazing massive sewing table modifying this plan from Ana White as well as the smaller table that pulls out to give me an L shaped workspace and so that I don’t have to constantly move up and down.  Life-changing.  Both the space on the table and the ability to swing my chair to the side for a quick cut or press.  He knows the way to my heart is building furniture and he does it so well.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

I painted the bottom of the table solid black and glazed the top with a gray paint using my tried and true method with gray acrylic paint.  It is difficult to get a good picture of the finish next to the window, but most people who come into the space think that it is stone before they run their hands over it to see it is wood.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

That was not my intention with the glaze, but I love that it turned out that way. 

I love that my machine is directly in front of the window so that during the day I can look out into the backyard.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Let’s also pretend that I just snapped that photo and the midwest is looking that green this time of year.

Now let’s take a spin around the rest of the room.

The cutting table is the same, just spun around.  It still gives me a lot of floor space (and enough room for an air mattress when we need an additional guest bed).  I got rid of the ironing board, but added a an ironing space modifying this tutorial, making it instead with just a piece of plywood rather than an entire table. The cover is removable like a fitted sheet for washing purposes.  And when I need a really big cutting surface, I just take off the ironing board.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My fabric scraps and works in progress are housed in the cubbies underneath.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My bulletin board is simple…a cork board with fabric stapled around it.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My grandmother’s sewing accessories are in shadow boxes on the wall and I recovered her sewing chair for an extra space when friends come to sew.  It is tucked into the corner.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

My design wall remained the same.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And the Kona color card moved next to my bookshelves.

Derek made some simple forward facing bookshelves like these to hold a sampling of my craft/sewing books.  I have found seeing the covers instead of just having them stacked on a shelf reminds me to use them more-either for specific projects or just for the general inspiration of pretty pictures.  Not all of them fit, but I rotate them around with ones stored the typical way to keep things fresh.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

The roman shade is also DIY with selvedge fabric from Spoonflower.  I loosely used this tutorial and backed it with blackout lining so it can be dark in there for people to sleep if the space is needed for another guest space.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And that print is just perfect for a sewing room.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Also above my sewing table is my friend Lauren’s print.  I love the colors and the sentiment. 

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Notice the seam ripper is well accessible next to my machine

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And some more organization pics if you are into that.  I keep my fabric organized using the mini bolts method as explained here.  It has helped so much with finding what I need.  The top shelf is fabrics other than cotton.  Then my prints organized by color, with some subsections (i.e. Christmas).  And then my solids organized by color.  Don’t worry, my stash has increased a lot since I snapped these pictures.  Especially the solids.  My serger is below that.  My sewing table is so big, I also can keep it out if I am going to be using it frequently.  My precuts and patterns are on the bottom shelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Non-sewing craft supplies and batting are on the opposite bookshelf.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty
Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

And rulers, ironing supplies and large amounts of fabric are on the shelves over the chair.

Craft/Sewing Room- Anything Pretty

Whew! Sorry for the picture overload, but I always love looking at where people create and how they organize.  I have learned a lot about how I want a space to work for me when I am sewing and crafting and I think this space fits the bill perfectly.   I think I named most of my sources, but let me know if you are curious about something I missed. Hope you enjoyed the tour!

I am linking up with-

TDC Before and After

New Kid on the Block

Last weekend was very exciting for us.  And by us, I mean me and Carter.  After not so patiently waiting a couple of months for it to come in, my new sewing machine has arrived.  The Bernina 750 QE. (If you follow me on Instagram, pretend to be surprised)

new Bernina 750 QE

And Carter got a new box to play with.  Win win.

new Bernina 750 QE

Did I need a new sewing machine?  No.  My old Bernina was still doing great.  But it was missing a number of things that you can’t get on a mechanical machine. 

My grandmother passed away a couple of months ago and with the money from her estate we wanted to get something to remember her by.  Something that 10 years from now we wouldn’t have to try to remember what we had used the money on.  Something that when I look at it, I will think of her.  For my other grandmother, it was the grandfather grandmother clock that sits in our foyer.  But we did not need two clocks.

We kicked around a couple of ideas, but nothing was perfect.  So we did nothing.  Then Derek mentioned a sewing machine.  The one I had gushed about months before (the Bernina 750) but then promptly did not think much of because of the price and the “lack of need” for a new one.  He is awesome.

new Bernina 750 QE

It would be something that would bring me a lot of joy.  And something I will use very frequently.  Perfect.

Best husband ever.

new Bernina 750 QE

I had loved my previous Bernina and when the new 7 series came out, I knew that’s what I wanted.  There is a bit a learning curve obviously going from my old machine to the new one with all the bells and whistles.  And with a touchscreen. 

new Bernina 750 QE

It is much larger (and heavier) than my old one.  When we get to know each other a little better I will do a more thorough review of what I like and don’t like and specifically why I chose this machine.

new Bernina 750 QE

What about my old machine?  We thought about trading it in, but we decided to keep it and house it in the basement.  One of things I do not like about sewing is how solitary it can be.  Just me and my room.  Carter has limited interest of playing in there and honestly with all the pins and rotary cutters, it is not best place for him.  So my hope is to be able to do some simple piecing on old machine while he is playing in his area in the basement.  And since Derek has already won the “best husband” award, the man room will now include a sewing machine.

And my old will be the machine I travel with to sew with friends.  Which happens more often than I would have thought.

So if you need me, you know where I will be…

Quilt Design Wall

Meet my old quilt design wall. 


Difficult to visualize quilts on.  Especially without a ladder.  And prone to destruction by toddlers, dogs and the vacuum.

I am lucky to have a devoted space to my crafting and even luckier to have a huge free wall.

Quilt design wall


Derek was not well versed in quilt design walls for some odd reason.  I explained the basic premise of wrapping batting over something light so that cotton fabric would stick to it.  And it should be large as we had about a 7 foot square to work with.  And since it was going to be permanent, I wanted something that looked nice. And not temporary.  Almost like a framed piece of art. 

This is what he came up with-

Quilt design wall

Well the wall, not the quilt.  That was me. But you get the idea.

So how did we do it?  Here is the how-to if you want your own.  This makes one approximately 6ft x 6ft design wall.

Quilt design wall


13 6-foot 1x2 boards

4  6 1/4 foot  pieces of molding for the facing


Duct tape

Foam backing for vinyl siding equal to the interior of the frame size. 

Finish nails and about 16 3-inch wood screws (A finish nail gun is your best friend on this project)

A couple of straight pins

An exacto knife.

7’ by 7’ sheet of batting


Quilt design wall

1. Make an L-shaped frame out of 1x2. Use 8 1x2s to make 4 “L’s”.   We used a nail gun and finishing nails.

2. Screw your four L’s into studs on the wall in a frame shape. By making the L shaped frame out of 1x2 it provides a 3/4” interior lip to screw into the wall and creates a 2 1/4” inch frame that is perpendicular to the wall.

Quilt design wall

Quilt design wall

3. Cut up a 1x2 into 2 pieces that measure about 1 foot a piece.  This does not need to be exact.  Install these two pieces horizontally into the studs in the middle of the frame.  These will serve as supports for the vertical pieces.  Quilt design wall

4. Nail 4 1x2s as vertical supports-on the two sides onto the frame and two in the middle, crossing over the horizontal pieces in the middle.

Quilt design wall

Quilt design wall

5. Paint the exposed edges and the molding.  I painted before we started anything and tried to be strategic about only painting what was going to show.  However, as you can see by the painted 1x2s above I over painted.

6.  Measure and cut your foam (the kind they use behind vinyl siding) to your inner frame size. Make sure it fits with a little bit of space on the edges (about a half inch).  He had to duct tape two pieces together to get one this size.

Quilt design wall

7.  Wrap that sucker with batting.  We secured it with duct tape on the back and stuck a couple straight pins in the front close the the corners.  Pins/staples/anything sharp would be a bad idea on the back because of the potential poke factor on the front.

Quilt design wall

8. Stick it back up there inside the frame.

Quilt design wall

8.  Cut molding to fit the frame and nail it to the edges of the wood around the frame.  The batting layer is now enclosed and won’t move.


9. Caulk your nail holes and your mitered edges.  Honestly we still have not done this step.  It is functional without it but prettier with it. 

Quilt design wall

And you are ready to go.

I have been using my design wall for awhile and it has been invaluable.  The cotton fabric just sticks right to the batting.  It is like temporary art.

Right now it is sporting some triangles.


I received a couple of charm packs of Lotta Jansdotter’s upcoming line- Glimma and after adding some solids (all from my stash) the design wall was put to great use.  Making sure the triangles were not forming any funky shapes.  And that the colors played nicely together.  Because random takes a lot of planning.  That is what a design wall is for.

And providing great fabric to look at while I sew.  IMG_0017

Hmmm….maybe I need two design walls.

Dear Label Maker,

Sorry Label Maker but you may have be dethroned as my favorite organizing companion.


You had a great run with organizing lots of things like the linen closet and numerous other closets.  But in the craft room I needed a little something different.  Like these-IMG_0497

You see I have a this problem with the craft room….my attention is always shifting from one craft to another.  You were just too….permanent.  I could not commit to static labels that long.

I can change the post-it labels so quickly and easily.  They stick just like the adhesive on the top of a traditional post-it….except the entire label is covered with it.  But you can move it and change the label just as easy as switching a normal post-it.  My one hint….they are not found next to the post-its.  I had to go to the “label” aisle at the office supply store to snag them.

For example… in the closet…..I started with this. 

With the help of my Post-It Labels and some heavy duty sorting and purging, it now looks like this-


Now all my magazines, fabric, partially finished projects and wrapping supplies are handily organized.

And you see that empty shelf?  There is a plan for that….my new craft obsession is quilting (like I happened to mention here) and therefore all my new fabrics already have a home waiting.

My other fabrics that have greater yardage are organized in a hanging system.  IMG_0378

All the cotton fabrics are hanging on the white hangers, knits and flannel on the navy hangers and the home dec fabric are on the tan hangers.

I thought about being an over achiever and measuring each piece of fabric and writing the yardage on customized dry erasable labels hanging from each hanger.  Then I got tired and decided that the color coding was going far enough to keep in semi organized.  Maybe when I am bored this summer I will take on that idea but until then just pretend I have ultra cute tags.

Next to the hanging area I have my project boxes.  These will be changing a lot (at least I hope) and the post it labels are perfect.  (Notice the honey oak is still hanging on in the closet.  That way I can remember it’s ugliness and be grateful that is gone from the rest of the room.  Or I just was so incredibly sick of painting trim that I decided that the closet did not matter)


Hopefully this box will be empty soon as it was supposed to be a gift for this past Christmas.


I am loving all the pieces of a project in one centralized location so that I do not lose any pieces and can work on multiple things at a time.  This just feeds the crafting ADD.

Miscellaneous fabric (like linings, interfacings, and left over batting) joins all the wrapping supplies in this organizer.


I try to recycle magazines…but some I cannot part with and before the “great reorganization” were just stacked everywhere.  Now they are nicely stacked at the top of the closet where i can easily access them them but they are out of the way.



The rest of the craft room also received a good organization courtesy of the post-it label.  But that will have to wait for another post.  Don’t want to provide everyone with too much riveting entertainment at once…

The Final Handmade Gift Post...I Swear

As the holidays draw to a close, the purging and organization bug has officially bitten me.  But I have no idea why....


I got three hours of sleep before we left town for the holidays furiously hand sewing a binding on a quilt....and it got done.  But the craft room was a disaster. However, I have been organizing like crazy the past couple of days and can't wait to share the results.

Until then I want to show my first two completed quilts.  I know you are sick of handmade gift posts by this time, but I want to show them anyway.

The first quilt was a baby quilt that was inspired by a fabric remnant I picked up at Joann's for a couple of bucks and a subway tile pattern (sticking close to the home reno roots).

I was very scientific about this quilt....I used a notepad for the sizing of the squares and cut a lot of them.  Then I laid them on the floor in a random pattern.  When I thought the quilt was large enough I stopped cutting and started sewing.   I am probably making real quilters groan right now.

I used free motion quilting as my machine does not have a walking foot that would allow me to do straight lines.  It took me awhile to get a handle on in I ripped out seams over 10 times at the beginning because I wasn't liking it.  But after I got over my fear and figured it out, it was not as difficult as I thought.

The second quilt was a little more ambitious and I used a Figgy Pudding Jelly Roll to put this together. 

I added solid red in between the figgy pudding and on the back.  I bound with with some figgy pudding yardage.  I used a similar free motion design on this quilt because frankly I was running out of time and I knew I could do it without breaking out the seam ripper.


Sorry for the less than stellar quality of these pics....they were taken after the quilt was given as it was not finished in time to snap some before we left.  There is nothing like having someone open a gift and then snatch it back to take pics of it:).  The red is not so bright in "real life."  Also looking at pics snapped with the old camera, I am loving the new one even more (if that is even possible).

So now that I have officially completed two quilts I wanted to share all my "knowledge".....

Things I have learned about quilting-
  1. It takes a long time, especially when you are like me and don't know exactly what you are doing.  So when you see a quilt and scoff at the price (like I used to do) know that someone took many many hours putting it together.
  2. Quilting involves very straight lines and exact measurements. And straight cutting. And straight sewing.  And good ironing.  Because if you are just a little bit off, the whole thing gets wonky....and you know what that means....hello seam ripping.
  3. Hand sewing binding is not fun.  Yeah it looks nice and all but it takes forever and my fingers killed me for two days afterwards.  Maybe my technique sucks and I am doing it wrong.  Or maybe it is just not fun.
  4. Quilting is fun....and an awesome excuse to use amazing fabrics.  I can't wait to start another one. 


Craft Room Reveal

I love craft rooms. They can be painted in fun colors and contain DIY projects on the more "funky" side and can get away with it because it is a "creative" room. They also have to be heavy on organization if they are not going to be a mess. Not to mention that they are a room that you can start projects in and then leave them out without worrying about stuff being all over the house. I am so lucky that we have space so that I can have an entire room to myself right now. Once we have two kids I will have to fight them for it.

This craft room reveal has been a long time coming. And honestly there are some things that I can see changing in the future.  But before we see what it looks like now, let's take a stroll down memory lane and see where we came from.

All my favorite design features in one room-wallpaper, honey oak and a poorly anchored brass ceiling fan.

When we moved in I thought a good solution would be just ripping down the wallpaper and enjoying the pink paint until I got around to painting. Unfortunately after ripping down the wallpaper I learned that the previous owners had not painted all the way to the ceiling. So I lived with this for about a year.

It was nice to have a room dedicated to creativity, but I was majorly lacking organization and did not have enough workspace.

That brings us to what it looks like today-

The cutting table/craft desk was DIY and you can make one too following the tutorial here.  I knew that this was the one space I could get away with some fun stripes and while it took awhile for all the taping, I loved how it turned out (tutorial here).

And I love my sewing corner….

craft room

Across the back wall I had Derek install a curtain rod for me to hang “in progress” projects.  I love how it works, except for the fact that a lot times projects don’t move from “in progress” to “complete”.  Oh well.


Above the rod are pictures I cut from an old Anne Taintor calendar.  Would they look better in frames…yes.  But this is a low budget craft room redo.

craft room
Above the cutting table is my inspiration board/bulletin board to hang random stuff.  To make it look non-bulletin board like, I wrapped it in fabric and stapled it to the back.  Super quick and easy.

In the other corner we have more storage space.

craft room
Oh and the chandelier.  I really wanted something cool (and expensive) of course.  But the ole budget brought us back to DIY as I detailed here.

I still have one blank wall which my ironing board sits below.  My plans for this area include adding a quilt design wall so that the floor can be retired for this purpose.  Oh and getting a new matching (and unstained) ironing board cover.

craft room

At one point I wrote a post about how I was organizing everything (here).  Well that has all changed as my fabric stash has grown and I am making different things.  And it will most likely change again.  But for now here is the newly organized closet.
craft room
Yes that is what I call organized….you should have seen it a couple of days before this.
I am also utilizing the storage on the cutting table for in progress projects.  each cubby is a different project.
craft room
Like I mentioned before, this room was done a low budget. Here is the breakdown in case you are curious:

Craft Desk: $125 (how-to here)
Sewing Desk: $100 (JCPenney outlet store)
Paint: $70 (painting stripes how-to here)
I used one gallon of Tupelo Tree and one gallon of Sassy Green from Sherwin Williams in this room. We had all the other painting supplies.
Chandelier: $40 (how-to here)
Drapery: $20
For the curtains I used some of the fabric I had originally bought for the kitchen (you know the ones that turned out to be two different colors like I mentioned here). Well, I recycled two panels of that fabric and I had lining fabric left over from the family room panels. So all I needed to buy was the rod and the rings.
Shelving: $125 (from Home depot)
I decided to go with adjustable shelving because at that time I was not sure how I was going to organize everything and it would give me flexibility in the future if I ever changed my mind. Not that that ever happens....
Miscellaneous Organization supplies- $75
Most of the organizational things I had previously and either repainted or recovered them. But I did buy some things to organize all the drawers as well as other things for the shelves.
Sewing Chair- Free
I swiped this chair from Derek's poker table in the basement. Eventually I would like something cuter....but this one matched as was the right price so it got moved to my room.

Grand Total: $555

Not bad for an entire room make-over.  But of course that does not include my fabric stash.

Putting the Craft Room to Use

It's official.... the new craft room has produced one completed project (and 14 works in progress but we don't need to dwell on that)

Tah Dah!
The lines on the stripes are straight, it is just the way it is hanging....I swear

....a cute baby blanket for the future son of the girl who cuts my hair. So why did this get done when everything else is stranded "in progress". Uh, mostly because I had a deadline since I had a hair appointment. Sadly I was not able to wash it to give it crinkly look before I gave it to her, but honestly I was lucky to snap a couple of pics of it before heading to work that day.

This blanket was super easy to make and only took me a couple of hours to construct. I used this tutorial at My Spare Time as general guidance especially on the binding since it was the first time I had used it.

If you want specific instructions especially about things like pressing open seams, basting and what stitch to use, refer to her tutorial, but here is my quick and dirty version. I planned on taking pics documenting my steps but I was in too big of hurry to get it done.

I used 3/4 yard of the white fabric (did not use it all though), 1/2 yard flowered fabric for the front and 1 yard cozy flannel for the back. I cut the fabrics for the top in strips of random lengths. Then I laid them in out in a pleasing design and sewed them together. Next I quilted the top with the flannel back using straight lines like you see here (again in a random pattern)-
To make sure the lines stayed straight I used an old DIY standby- blue painters tape. In my world blue painters tape is the new duct tape.

Finally I added binding to the edges. I admit, this step involved some cursing and having to rip some seams at the corners. Fortunately I think I finally got the hang of it by the last corner. We will see if that skill sticks for the next blanket I make.

Here it is all ready to be tied with a bow and given to the mom-to-be.

While I was sewing, Derek dared to venture in the room once and made the comment "When you are pregnant you are never going to leave this room are you?." Nope.....well I guess maybe to sleep.

Spray Paint+Brass=:)

When I was redoing the craft room one of the must-haves was a new light fixture. Previously a small white ceiling fan was there and every time you turned it on, it swayed.....badly. Not to mention that it was ugly. So I was on the hunt for a new chandelier. I found this one at Lowe's that I loved.

But it was $178 which honestly for a chandelier is a good price .....but I needed to remember that it was for the craft room. I put it in the cart and walked around the store looking at it for awhile before I finally talked myself into parting with it because it was not a need. Sigh......

Plan #2- Find a cheap ugly brass chandelier and spray paint it black. This is the only time I have kicked myself from throwing something away from the house's previous life. The old dining room chandelier would have been perfect in the "ugly" category.

After hunting around local hardware stores we found this pretty one for $30.

Much more in line with the craft room budget and really more in tune with the DIY spirit of the room. At least that is what I told myself. I probably could have found one for free or cheaper on Craigslist but for $30 I decided it was not worth the hassle.

So we brought it home, and taped the parts that shouldn't get paint on them (like the wires).

Then we hung it our professional spray painting apparatus in the back yard (also known as a tree branch). Not the first time the neighbors have thought that we were crazy.
We placed a board and trash bags against the trunk so that we would not end up with a black tree for the next year or two.

Next I spray painted it with a couple of light coats. I originally used Black Rustoleum in a Matte finish. But after getting two coats on, it looked too much like wrought iron and not modern enough for the room. Of course my spray paint collection included a gloss clear coat so I added that and it turned out exactly the way I was picturing.

Then the tape came off and it was hung.....sort of.

The hanging part actually took about two weeks. I mentioned before that a couple of projects in the craft room did not go as planned. This was one of those projects.

When we took down the fan we realized that it was hanging from this inside a recessed light casing.

Yep those two wires were all that were holding the fan. No wonder it swayed.

Plan B was to install a recessed lighting adapter that they sell before putting in the new fixture like we did in the guest room. But there was no place to hook it in because at some point the wiring and lighting component were ripped out. And we could not get the recessed light out without totally messing up the ceiling. So the craft room sat dark and empty for a week while we "thought" about it.

Finally we came up with the solution of taking it out through the attic. So my loving husband climbed up into the attic in July all in the name of my craft room light fixture. Even when he found old insect/spider foggers and mouse poison he trekked on. But maybe that involved some complaining:).
This is what he pulled out-

And here is what he put in-a box properly supported with a ceiling fan brace.

But we were still left with a giant hole around the light fixture base. No dry wall patching for us.....enter ceiling medallion. I thought about painting it green to match the walls. But that would require paintbrushes and dry time. The faster solution-pink spray paint. The faster solution won and even though it is a little bright, it brings more creativity to the space.

I also did not want it to look like a traditional chandelier so I changed up the bulbs. I am also toying with the idea of adding some shades to change it up some more. We will see what I can scrounge up.

How-To: Painting Stripes

My interest in painting stripes on a wall started many years ago during my freshman year of college. My parents moved into a new house and since they were never planning on me moving back home, I was assigned the smallest bedroom to stay in during my summers. My previous rooms growing up, I had also chosen bright colors on the wall or stenciled neon colored bricks (I know it sounds beautiful doesn't it?) so I thought that while I wanted to go neutral, I still wanted to do something to the walls that was a little different. Stripes were the perfect solution! The first time around I decided vertical stripes would be best in lilac. Looking back, I am not really sure why I considered two shades of purple to be "neutral" but remember I was coming from neon stenciled bricks. So my first experiment of stripes went up. I can't find a pic while I was living there but I did scrounge up this one that I was posing in my old room with my wedding dress. I believe that was the day that the veil came in so I wanted to try to entire ensemble. But ignore me...look at the stripes.
No one liked them as they were compared to a circus tent and a nursery by my siblings. Sadly the lilac stripes were painted over last year who did not want them in her new office.

But I was not discouraged. Stripes Round #2 were the third repaint in the master bedroom at our old house-

This time I really liked how they turned out and my siblings grudgingly did as well.

So when it came time to do the craft room, my mind immediately went to stripes again because our current house was currently stripe-less. This time I did not have to make it neutral since it was my fun room, but I did want to go with horizontal stripes to avoid the circus tent look. Since it was my third time with stripes, I thought I would share the knowledge of how to make the go as smoothly as possible with the least amount of paint.

Paint (in the craft room I used one gallon of each color)
Frog tape
Tape measure
Laser Level (must have for stripes)
Paint roller and brush

1. Prep your walls. In the craft room this involved filling thousands of tiny holes since they hung everything with straight pins. Also at some point a wall paper border around the middle of the room messed up the wall. Instead of repairing it, the previous owners just painted over it. So I had to even it all out and then prime all the places I patched.

2. Decide how many stripes you want and if you want them all the same size. Measure your wall from ceiling to floor board and divide by the number of stripes. Mark the wall with small pieces of painter's tape on the inner "sides" of the stripes. For example, if your stripes are going to be 12 inches, measure 13 inches from the ceiling and place the top of the tape there. Then measure 11 inches from the top of that tape and place the bottom of the tape at that spot. Repeat for all the stripes. Next, mark which side will be the stripe.

3. Using the tape as guides, paint the lighter color in between them. This does not have to be perfect, just eyeball it. After the first coat is dry, add a second coat.
4. Now for the fun part. Measure each stripe on a wall. And then measure it again. After that measure one more time. The bust out the tape and the laser level. Taping is a two person person needs to hold the level while the other tapes. When you tape, even if you want even stripes, the tape will not look even because you need to account for the width of the tape. After you get one wall taped, measure again. There is nothing like the feeling of getting to the fifth wall and realize you had mismeasured. Not that ever happened to me:).

When you do stripes you will realize that your walls and ceilings are not straight. This was especially true in our old house. So you have to walk the fine line of making it really level and making "look" level in relation to the wall or ceiling. We have done it both ways depending our how off we were. 5. After all the tape is up, run over it with a plastic putty knife or old credit card to really seal the tape to the wall.

6. Paint two coats of the darker color. While the second coat is still wet, pull the tape.
7. Touch-up any paint that seeped under the stripes.


How-To- Craft Desk

I knew that the first must-have in my craft room was a tall workspace for cutting fabric and laying out patterns. You don't realize how much you are bending when you are using a normal table until your back hurts so much that you can't stand up. I have been drooling over this tall desk at Pottery Barn for oh like 5 years.

But that baby is over $1000 and there was no way that I was going to drop that kind of cash in the craft room. Luckily creative people figured out to recreate it on a very small budget. Jannypie inspired to recreate it on my own.

I mentioned in a previous post that many things in the craft reno did not according to plan. This table was one of those projects. And all because I wanted it to be black.

The supports of this desk are Closetmaid shelves that you can buy lots of places and they come in a rainbow of colors......except black. But I thought that it would be no big deal, I would just buy the dark brown and add a couple of coats of black spray paint. Derek had his doubts but I knew I wanted black and was convinced that it would be so quick and easy. I was especially excited to try Rustoleum Universal paint which supposedly sticks to everything.

So I set out my outdoor spray painting studio, grabbed one of the 8 cans of spray paint I had bought and started the transformation. Unfortunately this is what I got:
While I would not consider myself a spray painting expert, I have used it quite a bit and never have had problems with thick splatter. The lines on the laminate (top pic) magically appeared when I applied the paint. I was discouraged but still had some ideas. I sanded a couple of pieces since I assumed I needed to have a rougher surface and then tried again. Same results. So now half of the shelves were painted badly and I was out of ideas.

After going to sleep very frustrated, I woke up determined that I would just have to do it the old fashioned way with primer, paint and a brush after it was put together. So I scraped off all the universal paint with my fingernail and a putty knife. It scraped off no problem. Obviously it was not universal.

So here is how I really had to do it. It would have been a very quick and easy project if I could have been happy with a white desk (or espresso, pink, blue, red or natural)


2 Closetmaid 9 cube shelves
1 sheet MDF (the top I used we had cut to 3x6 at Home Depot. It is much easier to get it into the car in pieces)
2 1x4's
1 1x3's
decorative moulding
Hammer (or nail gun)
Wood Filler
Primer (used oil-based Zinnser)
Paint (used Ace Cabinet and Trim)

1. Construct the Closetmaid shelves per the instructions in the box.

2. Space the shelves according to the size of the MDF top. Screw the MDF into the shelves using screws. We countersunk the screws so that they could be hidden with wood filler. Countersinking involves first drilling a hole with a drill bit the size of the screw head before screwing in the screw so that it is just below the surface of the MDF.

3. Screw 2 1x4's into the two long side. Make sure they line up with the MDF top so that you have a smooth work surface in the end. Add 1x3's to the opposite sides (in the inner part) to help support the top.
4. Add trim to make it pretty. We added two different types of trim, one at the top and one at the bottom. Derek received a nail gun as a Christmas present last year and this was the first project since then that we needed it for. So we were super excited to read all the instructions and get it out of the box. Obviously Derek listened about the part with protective eyewear but missed the section about not using a nail gun in bare feet. 5. Fill all the screw/nail holes with wood filler. Since my husband wants to make sure it is really "secure" he added lots of extra screws. So this step took me awhile. After the first coat dried, I lightly sanded it and then did a second coat of wood filler. Then I sanded again. Since we countersunk the screws, the top was smooth with no screw heads.

6. Next came primer. When I normally paint things black, I use a tinted primer. But since I had such bad experience with paint sticking to these babies, I decided to use Zinnser's oil based primer. I wanted to use what I had already had in the basement, so it had to be white.7. Then came the black paint. I put three coats of Ace Cabinet and Trim Paint in Cannonball (the same color as the kitchen cabinets). Normally it takes two coats, but with the white primer, I felt like I needed a third.

8. After the desk was black, I added a coat of MinWax Polyurethane in Satin finish. Then I lightly sanded and added two more coats.

Budget Breakdown:
$80 2 Closetmaid shelves (normally $50 a piece but got them on sale at Target.)
$45 total lumber cost
$0 paint/other supplies since we used what we already had

=$125 for entire desk

Who needs Pottery Barn??

Wanna see the entire room put together?  Click here.


Sneak Peek

All week I having been saying to myself that tomorrow was going to be the day that I got to post the new craft room pics. But each day I kept thinking that I needed to to one or two more things before it was ready for it's unveiling.

Well it is the end of the week and there are still things on my DIY to-do list. So I am going to to a little preview of the progress so the new craft room does not go the way of the new laundry room (you know the room that I have been promising pics of for over a month and have never posted because it still needs finishing touches).

Almost everything in this room is DIY- the tall cutting table, the chandelier, the cork boards etc. Stay tuned because I have tutorials, more details and budgets for everything coming up.

I went a little crazier with the paint since it was my creative space and I love the way it turned out (even though Derek has coined it the "Dr. Seuss room").

Things that should have been simple in this room like spray paint and changing a light fixture turned into long projects which was incredibly frustrating. But again....details later.

So here is the before in case you don't remember it from a previous ugly pic post-

So pretty.....

And here is the preview pics. Another room is officially de-oakified.

Of course, I still have a lot of accessorizing to do and more shelves to hang but I thought everyone would like to see what we have been working on. The color looks a little off in the pics-the green is more muted....I swear.

Stay tuned for the final unveiling and all the how-tos (I have enough in this room for a post a day for entire week-whoo hoo).

Crafty To-Do List

I am the queen of completing 90% of of a project and then stopping to start a new project. It is just so much more fun to start something new than to complete boring details at the end of a project. Even though my craft room is not even started in terms of a remodel, I have been spending a lot of time in there working on my sewing skills. I have bought some books to help me make the jump from sewing straight lines on drapes to actually following a pattern and making clothing. I have been making steady progress but I still have some many more projects on the to-do file and none in the completed file. So hopefully by the end of the month the majority(ok some) of these will be done. We will see.....

1. Finish this dress (I am doing the one without the sleeves)-
So far everything is cut and the bodice is almost completed. This is is my first clothing sewing project ever and I probably really over-estimated my sewing abilities with this being my first but I don't think I have screwed it up....yet.

2. Start this dress

So far I have read the back of the envelope. Need to get moving if I want to wear it before September.

3. Finish What I Wore Skirt-

I don't think this will take me all that long to complete but I want to wait to finish it until she posts the last set of directions so I can do it all in one sitting. Right now it is all pinned.

4. Sew A-Line skirt in this fabric

Hey I bought fabric which is some progress.

5. Make this cute spring scarf (directions found here)
Again I need to get moving because scarves are not that much fun to wear when it is 90 degrees. I am thinking about pink for a color.

6. Make this apron from The Feathered Nest
It probably would have been smarter to start with a simple apron than with dresses...oh well

7. Make this apron from Living Creatively (cause a girl needs a full length one too)

8. Make the Buttercup Bag

9. Finish Family Room Throw Pillows

10. Finish Kitchen drapes
It is going to take awhile to sew seven lined panels. I bought this fabric forever ago and swore they would be done by winter to help insulate the kitchen windows. Now I am saying by July...

11. Finish Scarf-
Finally something I have time to get done since it is not wearable until November-

I need to get busy. Maybe a renovated craft room will inspire me?

Craft Room Dilemma

My craft room needs an intervention.......

I am almost embarrassed to post pictures of it in it's current state but one thing I have learned about having a blog is that it is motivation to complete projects so I actually have something to post about. So I probably should have named this post "Jenny's Motivation to Get Off Her Butt."

Here is the craft room in the current state. It used to be a little girl's bedroom obviously. It did have wallpaper on the top half of the room and I wrongfully assumed that if I took it down I would just have normal pink walls. However, they did not paint all the way to the top so now it looks even worse. Since it looked crappy I got lazy and did not take the rest of the wallpaper off behind furniture. The furniture is my now-teenaged cousin's old furniture that I am hoping to refinish this summer for our future nursery. But we will see since Derek doesn't like to talk about anything involving the "B" word. Also, it is currently home to some of my seedlings until I can get them planted outside. Obviously my current organization system needs some help. This is the room that when we moved if we did not know where to put it, it went into the "pink room."

So the first dilemma is paint color. This is the only room in the house that I have free reign over the decision without needing to get input from Derek. Also this is not a public room so I can do something a little different. But on the other hand this room is visible from the front door.

Idea 1: Until 2 days ago this was the only idea. I am thinking doing a neutral paint palette in horizontal stripes somewhat like the master bedroom at our old house.

or like this
This is an image I saved forever ago and have no idea where it came from even after tons of searching....let me know if you do so I can give them credit

Or maybe this:Image from Apartment Therapy

or switching it away from stripes:

Image from This Old House

I like this because it is a little something different without being overpowering. But at the same time- this is the room where I can get away with something bold and I am still doing neutrals? What has happened to me? How can I be creative in a space that isn't even me?

Those cons started to take over after I received this (like I explained here)

So Idea 2-

I have a new favorite color:
Jack Horner's Plum- Pratt and Lambert

Here it is in a dining room.
Image from House Beautiful

It is bold and girly but still muted so that it is not neon pink. Also painting a room a solid color is so much easier than doing stripes. Or do I do stripes and this color? Or do stripes with this being an accent color? Or do another bold color? Or......

So many decisions and I haven't even gotten to the furniture/organization part yet. I guess I will need a another post....maybe then I will have the paint color figured out at least....