Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Miniature Victorian Display House :: {Before & After}

I have a problem.

Its a very problemy problem.

I tend to hoard things I find at the thrift store.

For. Years.


I will see something...NEED THAT SOMETHING...and say to my self, 'Self, I know we don't know what on earth we are going to do with that, but, its just too (snazzy, cute, fluffy, purple, weird, neat, etc) to NOT buy. Soooo we should buy it. Raight naow.'

And so I buy it. And I take it home. And it sits. And it sits and sits and sits and I can't decide what to do with it, but I know I'm going to do SOMETHING, SOMETIME, so I don't throw it away.

This was one of those things. I saw this at a thrift store back in my home town almost 4 years ago. 4. FOUR. And I knew it had potential but I never did anything to it and it has ridden in my trunk (two separate car trunks) ever since then. Its basically traveled the world. Its gone to Connecticut and New York City and Boston and Jacksonville and Nashville and basically everywhere. I may not have had my jumper cables when I needed them when my car went dead, but at least I had THIS with me to keep me company until help arrived. BEHOLD.

Isn't is darling!? DARLING I SAY. I really just couldn't leave it. I finally, FINALLY decided to pull it out and do something with it the other day. FINALLY. FINNALLLLYY. FINLAND. O.O

I knew I wanted to pain the inside cubbies so the first order of business was getting the back off. 


Aww yusss. So basically here's the rundown of what happened here;
1) Stab hack wedge pry the back off with your husband's knife that he did not give you permission to use.
2) Clean out all the little nooks and things of the various dust and spider webs. 
3) Go to the craft store with your husband to get paint.
4) Realize the error of your ways as he stands in the aisle behind you as recites ALL THE PAINT NAMES out loud and giggles.
5) Spend four hours deciding what color to paint the shingles.
6) Finally start painting.
7) Hate the shingle color and re paint them.
8) Touch up, and more touch up.
9) 'Wallpaper' the backs and insides of the little cubbies with scrapbook paper.
10) Put the back back on.
11) Feel ill from all the glue fumes you used.
12) Yay!

And here is what I came up with! 


Oooo detail-y! 

I used several different 'vintage' inspired papers. What you can't see but actually took the longest is the inside 'walls' that got 'wallpapered' as well. My OCD kicked into overdrive and I had to make sure all the patterns were facing the right way, even though you can only see them if you look. Really. Hard.

In honor of the momentous finishment of it, my husband bought me my first miniature...a sewing machine! AH! So cute! I love that man :)


Thursday, February 20, 2014

DIY Watermelon Shorts {And The Great Bleach Fiasco of 2014}

Orrr strawberry shorts. To be perfectly honest, in short form, these fruits look alarmingly similar. Or I might have just messed up...


I had seen several pairs of these making the rounds on Tumblr and Instagram and I thought I'd give it a try. They turned out much cheaper than the $80 some people were selling them for! 


- A pair of old jeans or shorts {In an ideal world, we would all have a sparkly white pair of shorts laying about to make this project much more expedient, BUT, in this tute I will show you how to get these from a pair of regular old thrift store jeans!}
- Pink dye {I used Dylon Flamingo Pink}
- Green dye {I used Rit Kelly Green}
- Black fabric paint OR a black sharpie
- Scissors
- A bucket
- Water
- Bleach
- Gloves


If you are like me and starting with regular old jeans (or capris), you are going to want to bleach them. Here are the jeans I started with.

Obviously these shant do to be dyed, so I took my mop bucket...

...and mah bleach...

...anndd dumped the entire bottle of bleach into the bucket with my jeans. Because really, aint nobody got time to wait for jeans to bleach any longer than absolutely necessary.

After a couple hours, the pants weren't nearly as white as I liked them, so I dumped some more bleach in the bucket. More bleach = faster bleaching, right? RIGHT. I pulled my capris out an hour or so later, thrilled with how white they had gotten, and threw them into the wash. I danced about the house in anticipation while they rinsed, as dying is one of my most favorite things.
The washer dinged!
They were ready!
Fun was about to be had!
I threw back the lid and withdrew my wonderful blank canvas pants!

Annndddd what to mine wondering eyes should appear but a fantastic wad of delightfully white shredded pants pieces.

This, my lovely people, is what happens when you don't dilute the bleach. You can't rush these things...because when you do you have to wait even longer because the thrift store is closed for the day until tomorrow, and all you have to keep you company is your wadded pile of pants parts that mocks you and declares your shame, even from the garbage can.

SO. Now I will show you the proper way (or at least better way) to bleach pants. ONWARD!

STEP ONE : Grab yer pants! The first pair I bought were not a very high quality denim. It was thin, and I *should* have known better. The second time around I got these, which are Lee brand, and the denim is much heavier. I would not recommend bleaching an overly thin denim. Or at least don't do it like I did :)

STEP TWA : Also something I didn't do the first time around but should have...go ahead and chop off the legs. I laid a pair of shorts I already had over the pants and used the existing leg-line as a guide.

STEP THIRD : Mix 1 part bleach to 1 part water in your bucket, and toss your pants in. Resist the urge to keep adding bleach. RESIST. RESIST I TELL YOU. Also, its a good idea to stir them around occasionally.

Here are the cutoffs after a few hours...

Back in the tub!

Andddd a few MORE hours...

All told I think I left them in the bleach for about 18ish hours. It did take longer than I wanted (read : I almost added more bleach, despite already having ruined the previous pair of pants), and they didn't get super duper white, but I was paranoid about leaving them in for much longer, and they were decidedly lighter. SO.

STEP FOUR : DYE DYE DYE. Wash out your bleach bucket thoroughly and mix up your pink dye (or green, I just decided to do the pink first) according the the package directions*

 I used Dylon dye in Flamingo pink and LOVE LOVE LOVED how bright the color came out. 

*TIP : I nevereverever use as much water as they suggest on the package... the less water you use, the brighter your color will be. I think I halved the recommended amount.

 STEP FIVE : Submerge ONLY the bottom 3/4 of your pants. You might need to clip/clothespin the waist band of your pants to the side of the tub to make sure they don't dunk under. You don't want to dye the entire thing!

I left my pants soaking for about 1.5 hours. They say you only need to do it for about 45, I think, but again...the longer you soak, the brighter the color!

STEP SIXFTH : Repeat the above, but with the green dye (or with the pink if you did the green firstly).

I used Rit dye in Kelly Green. I would have preferred a more flashy green, but this was all that I could find on short notice {I have a patience problem if you didn't know}, and I ended up being rather pleased with how it came out. 

This time dunk only your waistband in the dye. It might take some finagling (and you will want to wear gloves) to get your shorts adjusted to the proper depth...and its also a good idea to check on them occasionally to make sure they haven't fallen down. Mine fell down on one side and I didn't notice until much later :)

Again, I left mine soaking for longer than the recommended time...probably close to 2 hours.

STEP SEVENTY : After both sets of dye are to your liking, CAREFULLY rinse the dye out in cold water, and then toss your fancy new pants into the cold rinse cycle of your washing machine. I then followed that rinse cycle with a full wash cycle and a TEENSY bit of detergent.
AND after they dried I had these!

STEP ATE : Take your fabric paint (or Sharpie, because I didn't have no fabric paint and I had loads of black Sharpies) and draw (paint) on seed-shaped...seed, things.

Ninety thousand seeds're finished!* **

*I ended up cutting my shorts down a little more
**The hems, if left alone, will get much more distressed-y when you wash them a few times. If you are impatient, you can take some sandpaper to them!

And here is me trying to take a picture of them while wearing them! Yayfail!

Sooo I hope you like them! These would be exceptionally cute little girls' shorts for the fruity cutie toddler in your life!

Thanks for checking the tutorial out!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Melted Bead Suncatcher DIY

I came across this idea a few years ago on a crafting website and I have always wanted to try it. It looked super easy and the possibilities are truly only limited to your imagination! And how many beads you have. But MOSTLY your imagination! Check out this bowl, this LAMPSHADE, and this AMAZING bead version of Van Gogh's Starry Night!

Its SO easy! 


- Clear or translucent plastic pony beads. You can find these at Joann's, Walmart, or basically any craft store. 
- Oven-safe ceramic, glass, or metal baking pans. I wouldn't use your good, normally-bake-food-on- these-pans pans. Check out your local thrift store for some old Pyrex! Dollar Tree also has several baking sheets and cake pans to choose from!
- An oven
- A drill or Dremel tool (optional, but SUPER HELPFUL)
- Thread (only if you want to hang them)
- Suction cups (for hanging)


I picked up these beads at JoAnn's...they were pretty cheap PLUS I used a! I got a bag of rainbow colored clear ones and the little bag is an assortment of random shaped beads that I *thought* would look cool mixed in with the clear ones. MORE ON THAT LATER.

These old Pyrex lids worked awesomely! I found them at the thrift store for $.50 a piece!


1) Arrange your beads in your pans. They don't all have to be facing the same direction, just make sure that there are no big want lots of nice bead-y coverage! Also. Make sure you go alllll the way to the edge of the pan with the beads...its okay if they go up the sides some; you'd rather have too much than not enough.

Here is the pan I did with the fun-shaped, assorted beads I picked up. 'IT WILL LOOK SO MOD' I said. 'THIS IS GOING TO BE MY FAVORITE ONE' I said. 

2) Bake your beads on the center rack in your oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Alrighty then. You may have noticed this isn't my oven. You are right...this is my toaster oven and it is OUTSIDE. Why is it outside? Because of BEAD FUMES. When in doubt of it outside. Not a 'well ventilated kitchen', or a 'kitchen with the window open and a box fan while you and your husband wear shirts around your faces', outside. The several of these I have made so far have all been stanky. Major stanky. Especially if you are doing this project with your children or if you are pregnant or apt to fainting, I would highly, HIGHLY recommend, if you can, doing this outside. I'm just going to say outside once more. Outside.

OKAY. Onward!

3) You will want to peek in on your sun catchers every now and then to see how they are progressing. Some of mine have take longer than 20 minutes, some have taken more. Just make sure you don't forget about them! After they are sufficiently melty, carefully pop them out and let them cool for a few minutes in a safe place.

Remember that 'going to be awesome' one I did with the random other beads? Yeah. LOOKS LIKE POOP. Its basically like a rainbow had a case of food poisoning and just tossed its cookies all up in my pan. Several of the beads didn't melt well and the silver ball I thew in there didn't melt at all. Oops. I wasn't too pleased with this one, so I re-did it :)

4) After your pan is no longer super steaming hot, pop it into the freezer for about 10 minutes. This speeds up the cooling process and helps it release from the pan. I don't like putting scalding hot pans straight into the freezer, which is why I let it sit out for a little bit first. 

 5) After it gets all nice and chilly, take it out, and turn your pan over onto the counter. If the sun catcher doesn't come out right away, you might have to pick at the edge a little, but is shouldn't stick the the pan for more than a second or two.

6) Drill a little hole in the top and loop some thread or string through it. A Dremel tool works fantastic here. Especially if you know where your Dremel tool is. If for some STRANGE REASON you have MISPLACED YOURS RECENTLY WHILST MOVING, you could do what some of us might have had to do and dig these super ridiculous looking holes out with an X-acto knife.

7) These suction cups were $1 at Dollar Tree and so far they are doing a magnificent job! Suction cups are usually with the clotheslines and ironing board covers and things of that nature. 

8) Hang them up and BASK IN THE SPARKLY! The big one on the left I did with a pizza pan. Inside. MISTAKE. MISSTAKKEE.

An upclose of the big one...this was the first one I did (inside. MISTAKE) and for some reason these beads got a ton of tiny bubbles in them. I'm not sure why, but I actually kinda like it! You can see the difference in the next picture...

See how glassy and clear the little one looks for the most part? Hmm. I'm not sure why, but such is the experimental nature of crafting!

Trying to find some sunshine!

Like I mentioned before, the flexibility with this is ENDLESS. You can make bowls, spoon rests, night light covers, anything!

If you are super patient (read: if you are not me) you can make a picture or a pattern by sorting out the colors. Play with it! Use shaped cake pans! OR if you have metal cookie cutters, lay a few down on a cookie sheet and fill only the insides of the cookie cutters with beads and melt them that way!

Thanks for stopping by!

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