Monday, May 25, 2015

Rustic Charm Bedroom - How to make your head board taller Part 1

Let's go back in time, before we start today's project. 
Remember in my first post about Ashlee's room revamp?
I wanted a taller headboard for her. Let's look closer into why?
Em and Ash have shared a room for most of their lives, 
(shocker that twins shared a room!)
Emilee's half of the bunk bed is in front of the window. 

It was perfect and I felt no need to see more of it. 
A taller headboard would have just blocked the light. 
 (I am a light person.)
So I just gave it another coat of white paint!!
But Ashlee's bed was positioned on a blank wall and needed more presence.
I am adding a box spring beneath the mattress, which means only a sliver of the head board would show. And once I put some pretty pillows on the bed there would be none of it showing!!
Buying a new bed seemed dumb since I had a perfectly good one, besides, I liked how high the bed rails were off the ground for extra storage. 
So I just decided to make some minor changes to this here bed!!

I wanted to get rid of that awkward peg that was used to connect the bunk beds.
 I wanted to paint it a fun bright color, and I wanted to raise the head board a lot!!!

Challenge one, and definitely the hardest, was how to make this baby taller!!
(Behind the scenes I spent some time working this out in my brain, and even borrowing other's brains!!)
Once I had a plan in mind I set out to find what I needed.
I wanted a square post the same dimensions as the bed posts.
Sounds easy, 
Any lumber I could find was too big including landscaping timbers. I decided I would just have to cut something down. But I made one last ditch effort and stopped by my favorite second hand store DI.  
I felt my heart beat double when I saw this awesome bed!!

Maybe it didn't look super awesome, OK it looked crappy with it's worn finish and rickety connections, but I was only looking at the posts!!
I measured and believe it or not they were the same size as my bed posts!!
(Cue the singing DIY Angles!!)
To make it even better the bed frame was only $10. 
The lumber I was heading to Lowe's to buy was going to cost well over that!!
(BatchelorsWay note, always keep measurements with you. I keep mine on my phone, then you will always be able to know if that super deal will work. Also look outside the box. Look for alternate sources for wood and fabric at second hand stores. This is how to save tons on money!!)

First step was to disassemble the bed frame I had just bought. 
 (Of course I didn't throw away the metal part, I'm sure I can use it later on something!!)
Once I had the wood posts I needed to test my technique.
I made a sample by cutting a section apart and seaming it back together.

After waiting a day for it to dry I tested this thing and it was solid!!
So I went forward with my plan!
I wanted to retain the feet so it would still match the foot board. So I cut a few inches above the foot. Measure so you can get both sides the same. I had a helper and we cut the legs off on our chop saw. Next I used a square to help me mark the middle of the posts. Find a spade drill bit that is just slightly larger than your dowel and drill a hole about 1 1/2 inches in all post ends.

Next I cut the new wood posts that I was going to insert. I wanted to add 20 inches of height, so I cut the new post 20 inches. Once I had holes drilled in the center of all the posts I cut dowels about 2 3/4 inches and inserted them in the holes. They actually turned out to be about a paper's thickness difference between the old and new posts. So I rotated the two pieces until I got the straightest looking posts. Then I marked a line across the seams. This way I could line things up easily while gluing it up.

I used a generous amount of wood glue in the holes and glued all the post sections together and let it sit flat so it could dry really well.  
Like a day!!
I think it's looking pretty good!!

Now I had to add one more piece of MDF so there would be solid support from the top of the mattress up. I just used my Kreg Jig to attached it.

What do you think?  
I know I must be crazy!!!!
So far I have only spent $10 on the used bed frame, the dowel and MDF scrap I just had leftover from other projects.
Next time we will see how well my plan worked.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Rustic Charm Bedroom - Mini blinds to Roman Shades

Still working on Ashlee's room! 
Today I want to talk about her window covering. 
Ashlee's window is now surrounded by my new built ins, including the arch over the top.  The window coverings is an opportunity to add color and softness against the white hardness of the built ins. There is only about 2 inches on either side of the window so I decided that I didn't want curtains.  I wanted roman blinds that could pull up behind the arch and not block much light when they were drawn.  That being said, I went on the search for my fabric which I knew had to have teal and coral colors in it.  I found the perfect material, went to the cutting table and they only had a little more than one yard!!  That was not going to be enough.  And as luck would have it, this fabric could not be ordered; stores sometimes just receive a bolt or two.  After locating only one other store and driving 30 minutes I was successful in purchasing all the fabric I needed for the Roman blind and a pillow.  I may or may not have done a happy dance in the store!! I bought it on sale, so it ended up costing me about $25. 
 (If you want to know I bought it at JoAnn's and it was referenced as Brnd JQ Cttillion Calypso.
 I have made roman blinds before but didn't like having to put a cleat on the wall, so I decided to try the new fad of making a roman blind with a mini blind.

I searched the web and found all kinds of tutorials on how to do this.  As usual I followed a combination of the tutorials and added my own ideas.  
So here is what "I" did!
Let's start with what you will need.

Material of your choice
Lining Material
Mini Blind (new)
Fabric Glue
Straight Pins 
Sewing Machine
Needle and Thread

Most tutorials base your measurement off your inside window dimensions. I wanted mine to lay on the outside of the window, so I based it off of where I wanted the finished blind to hang. For me, that was 56" long by 49" wide. Cut your fabric about 3" inches wider and about 6 inches longer. I cut mine 62" by 52".
  My fabric was not wide enough so I had to piece it.  I will talk about that in a minute.  I also wanted to line my blind.  I cut the lining material the width and length of my finished blind, 56" by 49".  Once I had my piece the right size I ironed out the wrinkles and laid them on the floor. Blind fabric face down with the lining on top; good side up.
  (Hope that makes sense.)
Center the fabric so about 1 1/2" of the blind fabric is exposed on both sides and across the top.  There should be about 4" extra across the bottom.  Fold the blind fabric over the lining on all edges, except the bottom, enclosing the unfinished edges and pin it in place.

Next, I marked every 8 inches with a pin. I started from the bottom of the lining material.
  (Warning you may have to do some math to get your section's to end up evenly.)

I then placed a straight edge (my level) between the pins on either side and drew a line.   I then place several straight pins along this line to secure the lining to the top fabric.  

Here is where I went out on my own. Most tutorials say to just glue the edges in place.  I am a sewer and felt they would be better sewn.  I also wanted the lining to be secured to the front fabric.  So I took my carefully pinned blind to the sewing machine and sewed all around the three sides and across each line I had drawn across the blind.
While I am talking about sewing, let's revisit how I pieced the fabric together to make it wide enough.  I very carefully pinned the two pieces together making sure to line up the flowers and sewed them together. 
 Can you see the seam in the photo below?

Once I was done sewing I took my fabric and laid it back on the floor the same way.  Next I laid my mini blinds on top of the fabric.  Let me make a side note about the mini blinds. I have had lots of mini blinds over the years in my kids bedrooms.  They do not last very long.  They are inexpensive for a reason.  The slats break and the mechanism eventually fails.  Ours average 5-8 years. I did not want to go to all this work and have the mechanism fail, so I bought NEW mini blinds. I know you are freaking out that I actually bought something new!!  But it does happen sometimes!!
I pretty much followed all the tutorials from here on out.  

Photo from allParenting

Pull the strings and extend the mini blinds all the way out.  Cut the strings that control the angle of the blinds.  It looks like a ladder.  It is very important not to cut the thicker cord that actually lifts the blinds up and down. Pop the plugs out of the bottom weighted bar and pull out the strings and untie the knots.  This allows you to pull the weighted bar off and most of the slats. The top bar is lined up with the top of the fabric and one slat every 8 inches. 

Then re-install the bottom bar by threading the cord back through it and tying knots.  I did not put the plugs back in, I just threw them away.  Once everything is lined up and in place, run a line of fabric glue down each slat and press to the fabric for a minute.  Stop applying the glue just before and after the cord on all slats, so the cord is still free to move.  I started at the top gluing the top bar first and each slat in secession till I reached the bottom.  I then glued and wrapped the extra fabric around the bottom bar.  Trim the material if necessary.  Let the whole thing dry for a few hours. 
 (Resist the temptation to pick it up and see how it fits! I was strong and resisted!!)
Once dry, you can use the mini blind instructions and install the new blind. 
 Here are a few more tips.
1.  When gluing the top bar, stop the glue about 2 inches from the ends so you can install the top bar into the brackets. Also I glued the blinds face down and then cut a small hole to allow the pull cords to exit on the front of the blind.  I knew this would be hidden by the built in arch and really wanted the cords to hang down the front for ease of use.  
2. I did not have much room to install the brackets.  In fact my smallest drill would not fit if I install it from the front.  I had to install the brackets from the sides.  In order to get them in the right position I had to add blocks first and then install the brackets to the blocks.

3.  Because I chose to have my blinds rest over the window as oppose to inside the window, I couldn't find the right sized mini blinds.  I just bought the blinds that would fit in the window and then had the fabric extend about an inch past each slat.  It doesn't affect the functionality of the blind and you can't tell from the front.
4.  All the tutorials showed the slats in different orientations.  It seamed it didn't matter how the slat and cord went.  I am here to tell you it does.  Mine have the cord passing behind the the blind and then out the slat.  
That is wrong!!!
It works but sometimes catches when you pull the blind up and down.  If I do it again, I will make sure the cord enters the slat and then exits out the back against the fabric.  

OK enough talking!!!
Here how it looks.

This photo shows the blinds partially drawn open.  When fully drawn you can see only about 5 or 6 inches of the blind.  You can see I added the cute orange pompom trim.  I added this after it was hanging to get it in the right placement.  I just used a needle and thread and sewed it by hand.  

Here is what it looks like with the blinds closed.  

I am happy with the way these turned out.  
They give Ash privacy at night, and let in full light during the day. 
 They also add color, softness and    .  
It was actually really easy and I would do this again!!
What do you think?  
Do you have experience with making roman blinds out of mini blinds?

I am getting close to finishing this room, just a few more projects!!

Thanks for stopping by.

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Monday, May 11, 2015

Rustic Charm Bedroom - Grab it! DIY Knobs!

Hope you had an amazing Mother's Day!!
I did!!
I received lovely gifts from my children, that they spent their hard earned money on.  Chocolates, flowers and movie tickets. They were very nice but what I will treasure the most are the notes and letters that said how they really felt about their mother!! They helped me to know I am not completely failing at this mother thing.  Thanks to my wonderful children!!
And my wonderful Mother!!

Enough mushy stuff!!
Let's look at some more details on Ashlee's built ins.  When I started building these built ins my husband pointed out that the doors on the window seat section were different than the doors on the side cabinets.
Not a problem to me!!
I decided to to put handles on the window seat doors, making them look like drawers.
I used these cute handles I picked up at Target on clearance once.
Originally $20, I bought them for $6 for the set of four.

For the side cabinets I wanted something with color,
but I couldn't find anything I liked, in the color I wanted, for a reasonable price.
Story of my life!
(This was before D. Lawless came out with there new super cute Handcrafted Ceramic Knobs!!)

 So I did what I often do ......
I went through what I already had.
 I found a few extra knobs from our master bathroom remodel.  They were white ceramic knobs with a little textural design.
 I paint everything so why not these?
 I searched online and found a few people who had painted knobs with sharpies, so I went for it.
I liked the the tutorial over at Teal & Lime.

After I colored the knobs I let them dry and then put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes, just like Jakie at Teal & Lime did.  I did one extra step that she did not do, after they cooled I gave the knobs 3 or 4 coats of clear coat for added protection.
I was really liking my new knobs at this point but wanted them to relate to the pulls on the window seat which were oil rubbed bronze.  I went to my favorite on line hardware store, D.Lawless and found these Oil Rubbed Bronze Back Plates.
Perfect way to link the two!!

Here they both are side by side.

That's 4 new knobs and 4 handles for less than $8!!!
What do you think?

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