Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Place to Rest your Head

If you’re anything like me, a bedroom can never hold enough of my crap is never big enough. Especially if you live in an apartment! You need to limit how much “stuff” you have, but then again you don’t want to skimp on anything that will make the bedroom feel homey and complete, right? I decided that I was not going to go with a traditional headboard, because they were all just too big and too “heavy” looking for a little bedroom. Besides, I knew I could make one that would be more me. Looking back, I’d change a few things to cut costs, but I am so pleased at how it came out, I don’t even mind that I had to shell out a little bit of cash. I plan to be using it for a good while!

 To start off, gather your materials. I used: a canvas, a roll of cotton batting, and fabric of your choice (in the correct width/height to cover the fabric plus about 1” on each side). You’ll also need a staple gun. To determine how much batting and fabric you need, you must first decide how large of a headboard you will make based on the size bed you have (just measure the width).
Once I knew my measurements, I went to Michaels and found a canvas that was as close to the width of my bed as possible. The biggest one they carried was just a hair shorter than what I needed, but I decided it would look okay if I centered it. No one will ever notice once I put the bed together with pillows. (To keep the price down, you could just make your own frame, rather than buying a canvas, using some thin pieces of wood cut to the size you need.)

Next step: Roll out your batting on a large kitchen table and lay the canvas face down on top of it. Cut off the batting from the roll, leaving yourself space to pull the batting up around each edge to staple. Gently pull the batting tight, and staple. Don’t pull too hard, as the batting can come unraveled from itself. Do opposite sides first (ex: Left then right, top then bottom rather than Left, top, right, bottom). This will help you keep ripples from forming.
*Tip: cut the backs of the corners off rather than trying to fold them nicely and getting a staple to go through the giant wad of cotton. When you put the fabric over, you’ll never be able to tell anyway.

Finally, roll your fabric out face down and place the canvas-batting duo face down on top. Cut your fabric to size, and then begin to staple just as you did for the batting. You will need to take special care to fold your corners neatly on the back side, so that they don’t wrinkle over onto the front. I did this buy folding one edge in and stapling, and then folding the other flap on top and adding another staple or two. (Luckily I had Dad around to help me!)

Since this project was done pre-blog, there are no step by step pictures. Thanks to my dad (again!), it is hung securely on the wall, and will likely not come off until it’s time to move. Therefore, no shots of the backside upon completion either….sorry guys!
We attached two picture hangers on top backside edge of the canvas, and then secured it to the wall. The great thing about this project is that it’s totally customized to you and your needs! You pick the size, the fabric, and even how high you want it to protrude above the mattress (just hang it higher or lower on the wall).

I absolutely love my headboard, and it’s just the perfect size for my apartment sized bedroom. When I have my bed all made, this headboard is just the pop of color that the bed needs. And guess what?! A year after I had the headboard made, I realized that I had enough scraps of fabric left to make a pillow, fill two frames that I picked up from the thrift store (and spray painted) and even enough to add detail to a rolling desk chair slipcover! Now the pattern is pulled around the room, and nothing went to waste. SCORE for being a packrat and not throwing out the extra fabric! You can see the frames and the pillow in this picture below:

If you’ve made your own headboard, like this, or some other way, leave a link in a comment below. We’d love to check out your methods and designs!

As always, let us know what you think, and keep checking back for more posts! ::sniff, sniff:: In this pleasant fall breeze there is the faint smell a giveaway, coming soon!

Thrifting in our Sleep,
Chelsea & Allison

Katie's Nesting SpotGet your craft on Thurs.
PonyTails and FishScalesHookingupwithHoH

Beyond The Picket Fence

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Spice up your Kitchen!

Let’s face the ugly truth: apartment kitchens are boring. They are in no way unique, fun, and inviting like Mom’s kitchen. Since you can’t really go crazy and remodel your apartment kitchen just as you would like to, there are a few simple and quick ways you can make your kitchen an exciting place to be.

We had these two plain picture frames just laying around the apartment after Mama cleaned out her stash. We also had some cute scrapbook paper in colors that complimented our kitchen towels (silly huh?).  So we got to thinking… pictures of us seemed weird, especially since we have some great ones taken by a talented friend hanging in other areas of the space... thus why not a quote? We typed “cooking quotes" into the almighty Google and found some that we really liked and described the roomies.  Copy/paste, adjust font, and print. We trimmed the edges and VOILA! Our beautiful and practically free ART! Hung to each side of the stove, they add a little color and inspiration to the space.

"Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all."
"If a pot is cooking, the friendship will stay warm."
It makes our kitchen a happier place :)

Secondly, another roomie found this super cute wall art at Target for less than $10. We weren’t sure where we wanted it to go at first so we had it taped in a few locations around the apartment before we decided it looked awesome above the stove. 

Our final kitchen tweak was a spice shelf. Since we live in an apartment cabinet and counter space is super limited. These shelves were found at Goodwill for 59 cents each (yes cents, not dollars) and they had an antiqued red/walnut finish that just didn’t flow with our place. Two coats of glossy white spray paint later and they have worked really well for us. 

So Spicy!

Hopefully some of our kitchen tweaks can help you spice up your boring apartment kitchen too!

Stay Crafty!
Allison & Chelsea

This post was featured on

And we linked to:

PhotobucketChic on a Shoestring Decorating UndertheTableandDreaming

Monday, September 13, 2010

Friends for all Seasons

Did anyone catch the VMA’s? They were kind of boring this year, so to make them more fun the roomies painted canvases!

Now, we’ve had these canvases for a good year and they have been hiding behind and between furniture for that same amount of time. We knew where we wanted to put them, but not how they should look.

We found some inspiration from this blog post by Kalleen from At Second Street and procrastinated a few more weeks before we actually did them.

They look so great and each of them has it’s own little quirks! Additionally, the seasons we each chose all reflect something about our personality :)

Here’s how you can get started to make one, or maybe a whole set, of your own! (This would be a great project to get the roomies, kiddos, and even friends involved in!)

Collect your materials:
- 4 canvases
- Fabrics in colors that coordinate to the seasons
- Light brown craft paint
- Dark brown craft paint
- Clear “crackle” paint medium
- Mod Podge, or Elmers glue & water solution
- Various sizes, shapes and textures of paintbrushes

Once you’ve got all that together, start out by tracing your hand (down to the mid-arm or elbow, depending on arm length) onto the canvas. Give the inside of your hand and arm a coat of light brown paint. Then paint in your sky. You can get creative with your sky, or leave it simpler so that the tree is the main focus.

Once the light brown paint is dry, give your tree trunk a coat of the clear crackle paint. This needs to dry completely before you can paint the dark brown on top of it, so try to be patient. When you can’t stand it any longer, and the crackle coat is dry, give it a light to medium coat of dark brown paint. *Don’t go heavy with the dark brown, or the crackle won’t take effect. Trust me, this is what happened to my fall tree, and there is no crackle on the trunk at all. You will begin to see the crackle come through as the brown topcoat dries.


While you let the paint dry, begin to cut out your leaves. Allison is a jump-right-in kind of crafter, so she didn’t plan the way her leaves were going to be placed. On the other hand, I am a little bit more anal careful than most, so I did a trial run of placing leaves before I actually started podging. This actually worked out in my favor, because I discovered I needed to cut leaves that were a little larger.

Whichever method you choose, once you start gluing your leaves, only apply the podge to the lower half of the leaves. This way, they are still free to flutter in the breeze blasting Florida AC. We ended up gluing in a circle, working our way along the tips of our fingers, and then inward until we reached the palm/wrist. Don’t worry about being too precise. Remember: no two trees are exactly alike, and their differences will give them character.

When you have all your leaves glued on so that your tree is as full as you’d like it, that’s it! Find a place to display them, and then be proud of all your hard work. Don’t forget to let the artist sign their work!

Hindsight tip: If you want to be able to see that the trunk of the tree is actually a hand, you may want to skip the painting of the tree trunk, and place your leaves first. Then, on a brown piece of fabric, trace and cut out your hand/forearm shape. Mod podge it on at the end. You could also paint the trunk, and then cut out just your hand, and place it on top of the leaves, so that you have both the crackled trunk, and the branches showing through.

We recommend having a good snack on hand while you do this project, as it helps when you think you cannot cut one more leaf. Another one of our roomies, Val, made us her delicious chili-cheese-bean dip:
--1 large can of Hormel Chili w/ beans
--2 bars cream cheese, slightly softened
--1 bag shredded Cheddar or your favorite cheese blend
Spread cream cheese in the bottom of a clear baking dish.  Evenly layer the chili beans on top of the cream cheese, and then sprinkle the shredded cheese on top. Pop it in the oven (or the microwave, as long as your dish is microwave safe!) on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. If using the microwave, use 2 minute intervals until the cheddar cheese is completely melted.
*Sorry we’ve got no pictures of this amazing dip…it was gone before we knew it!

So there you have it! Creating these trees allowed us time spend together, and represent that we will be friends for seasons to come!

Let us know what you think, and if you try this out, be sure and let us know how it went for you!

Crafting through the seasons,
Chelsea & Allison

Promised Fall Décor Blog!

We told you a while ago that our apartment is ready for fall and now we can finally prove it to you!

This wreath hangs on the inside of the front door

While this one hangs on the AC door

A Dollar Tree fall garland dresses up the chandelier

Another fall garland dresses up our ugly blinds

This centerpiece sits on the dining room table

We used a plate, a fake pumpkin, loose leaves, and pine cones

We dressed up our antique chest with more Dollar Tree decorations

Fall rocks!

Autumnally yours,
Chelsea & Allison

Friday, September 10, 2010

Check THIS out!

Cassity at Remodelaholic is hosting a Friday linking party. Pop on over and see all the other awesome ideas she and her readers are posting!

Have a thrifty weekend!
~Chelsea & Allison~

P.S. Keep checking in here, because pretty soon one of our followers is going to be getting lucky! More details later!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Five Buckaroos Make a Wreath!

After wandering into the danger zone (aka Micheals), I was inspired and determined! I was going to make a beautiful wreath for fall and was not going to pay the ridiculous Micheals price for a wreath.

Well, before class one day I went to Dollar Tree (the cheaper danger zone). I found supplies to make the wreath for a grand total of five dollars. Oh yeah!

Here’s what I bought…
- An 18” wooden wreath
- A 13” wooden wreath
- Two fall colored flower stems
- A garland of fall colored leaves

What I had/borrowed…
- Brown grosgrain ribbon
- Chelsea’s hot glue gun

First, I set them up how I wanted them on the ground (more space than the table as I like to make a mess spread out while I craft). I used the ribbon to hang the smaller wreath inside the larger wreath and used hot glue gun to secure the ribbon.

After that, I just kind of went for it and started hot gluing leaves on here and there and EVERYWHERE! Then I cut off the flowers and some of the beads that came on the same flower stem. I proceeded to glue those on and it was perfect :)

Our apartment is now totally decorated for fall… but more on that later!


Chelsea & Allison

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Not-so-antique Antiques sign

What do you do with an old rectangle of wood with decorative edges, painted in colors that no longer match your décor? You spray paint it of course! (There aren’t pictures of the “before” or the step by step...I got a little excited to start painting.)

I had purchased said piece of wood from Michaels a year or two ago and painted it with my monogram to match the colors of my dorm room decorations. But, since moving off campus and getting to create my ‘big girl’ room for the first time, it was no longer something I was proud to display as-is.  
No worries! I got out the trusty spray paint and spray primer and gave it a good coat or three after it received a good sanding. (Yes, THREE coats. The bright turquoise and brown craft paint used the first time around was not so willing to be replaced.) After I primed and painted the wood, it took a few tries to come up with the best way to stencil the letters onto the wood.

I downloaded the “antique” looking font (called Old Newspaper Types) from the internet for free, and researched how to add this font to my list of fonts available in Word. Easy stuff. Then, I printed the letters in the layout I wanted (so the word read up and down on one page only). Using an Exacto knife, I painstakingly cut each letter out to create my own stencil. However, the normal computer paper was too thin, and the letters were too small, so my cuts were jagged and messy. The paper ended up getting torn in too many places, and I knew that trying to paint on this stencil was not going to go well. So scrap that idea.

Try number 2: I printed each letter at the actual size I wanted, which I believe ended up being size 105. After I printed the letters, I cut the letters into small squares, with one letter per square. I placed them onto the wood so they were evenly spaced from top to bottom. (Type-A personality that I am, I even measured to be sure I had the letters centered from left to right!)

This is where I totally invented my own strategy. Leaving the paper letters in the appropriate layout on the wood, I used a ballpoint pen to trace each letter’s outline. You really have to apply some pressure here so that you are making an imprint in the wood. I lifted the paper letters off of the wood as I completed them, because I have no patience to wait for the end product.

Using brown craft paint and one of Allison’s thin, stiff paintbrushes, I carefully painted each letter, following the outline I created for myself. At first I was really worried about not going out of the lines, but after realizing that this was nearly impossible it occurred to me that an antiques sign would not have such harsh edges anyway. It ended up being really easy to do, and took me about 10 minutes to fill them in.

But when it was done, the clean ivory color of the background just didn’t seem right for a sign that was supposedly “antique”. I had some more brown left on my paper plate, and I added another blob of a slightly lighter brown into the mix as well. Then, with a paper towel, I dipped into the paint and wiped it around the letters, in the direction of the wood grain. *Make sure your letters are completely dry, so you don’t accidentally smear the word.* I let the paint set for 15 or 20 seconds, and then wiped it off again with another, clean paper towel. Most of the paint remained, making it look like an old, weathered piece of wood.

After all of the trial and error, I emerged victorious with a beautiful “Antiques” sign of my own! I placed it on a floating shelf in my bedroom hallway, along with some flameless candles, and two of my thrift store finds.

The best part of this project was that it was pretty much free; I had everything I needed for this project already, or was able to download it from the internet for free!

So before you drag all that junk to the curb, take a second look and see what might be worth giving a second chance. You may just fall in love all over again!

Goodluck, and Happy Thrifting!
Chelsea & Allison

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

No Shame… Dumpster Chairs

Okay only a little. Imagine this scenario….

It’s roughly 100 billion degrees outside and even my eyeballs are sweating. I’m about to drop my friend off on the other side of town and I see this guy carrying these chairs to the dumpster. He then continues to throw them into the dumpster. This is the point where my adrenaline rush starts.

About an hour and a half later…

There’s four chairs in the dumpster!!! Okay so I’m mighty vertically challenged (shorties unite!) and there is no way I can reach into the dumpster without pulling a muscle, breaking a bone, or getting a third degree burn from the metal dumpster. I call Val and we were able to rescue two of the chairs. They were the winners who weren’t broken.

Solid oak chairs!  SOLID OAK CHAIRS!!

But they were sort of ugly… and Val needed a desk chair… so I took them home with me the week before school started and redid them.

I did a coat of glossy black spray paint and I thought it would look super great, but it looked like a chair from a collection of “modern” 80’s furniture :/

Thank goodness for Wal-Mart! They have these inexpensive cans of black spray paint for 96 cents so I got some in a flat finish this time. I did another coat and oooopsies, there were these teeeeny weeenzzzy bubbles on the chairs. I’m no chemist, but I’m guessing the two finishes had some sort of reaction.

I took a risk and used a sanding block to see if that would take the bubbles away. It didn’t, but it created this very cool antiqued/distressed look. I’m really happy with how they turned out.

I reupholstered the seats using a staple gun (LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!), fabric from Wal-Mart, and some batting I found lying around at home.

The chair on the left is in the living room and the chair on the right is Val's desk chair. 

They look fabulous in the apartment too and the final product definitely makes the whole dumpster diving incident worthwhile. 

Thriftily Yours,
Chelsea & Allison

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Gameday Accessories on a Budget!

High school and college football stadiums across our great nation are filling up with fashion forward fans. Sometimes, fashion forward also means pricey though.

We made these cute little hair accessories in our school colors for less than $2 dollars each. We wore them to the game and got so many compliments from the people around us, we thought we’d share.

So first things first, you need to grab some materials which include the following:

- 2 Different widths ribbon in your school colors
- Bobby pins
- Football shaped buttons
- Hot glue gun

- Scissors

Pick one of these two styles…

                       Sweet                                or                                  Sassy

Directions for the Sweet Bow
1. Cut one length from the widest ribbon three times the length of your bobby pin.

2. Find the center of this length of ribbon and apply a dot of hot glue gun.

3. Quickly, bring the end of the ribbon to the center where the glue is.

4. Without burning your fingers, press down for a few seconds to ensure bond.

5. Repeat these steps for the slim ribbon.

6. Place the wider ribbon with the glued ends face down.

7. Glue the slim ribbon (glued ends facing the “pretty” side of the wide ribbon) into the center of the wide ribbon.

8. Find the center of this sweet bow and glue on your football shaped button or any other ornament.

9. Flip over your sweet bow and attach a bobby pin using hot glue gun.

Look cute on gameday!


Directions for the Sassy Bow
1. Cut four lengths from the widest ribbon three times the length of your bobby pin.

2. Find the center of each of the lengths of ribbon and arrange them to look sort of like a snowflake.

3. Glue the snowflake together by applying a dot of hot glue on the center of each length of ribbon.
4. Apply a dot of hot glue to the middle and bring end to middle, a few at a time.
5. Without burning your fingers, press down for a few seconds to ensure bond.


6. Repeat this until all ribbon ends are in the center and you have a present type bow.

7. Repeat these steps for the slim ribbon if not working simultaneously.

8. Place the wider ribbon with the glued ends face down.

9. Glue the slim ribbon (glued ends facing the “pretty” side of the wide ribbon) into the center of the wide ribbon.

10. Find the center of this sassy bow and glue on your football shaped button or any other ornament.

11. Flip over your sassy bow and attach a bobby pin using hot glue gun.

Look cute on gameday!

<3 Chelsea & Allison