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April 26, 2014

out & about // yard sales

Check out more of my photos on Instagram @wecanmakeanything

Today I did something I've never done before: I had a yard sale! I expected it to be a lot of work, I just didn't think I'd be this tired. Mama's going to bed early tonight, kiddos (& by kiddos, I mean the cat & the dog. Keep it down you two, I'm trying to sleep in here). 




My to-do list is slowly whittling itself down. Making lists is satisfying, but scratching things off - that's the good stuff.



  • Organize & de-clutter the sunroom // Right now I'm too tired to take proper pictures of my lovely, spacious, CLEAN sunroom, but I will say I've hung a bunch of stuff on the wall. Why wasn't I doing this before?





  • Look at that. Just look at it & tell me that's not genius. 



    • Decorate the fireplace mantel // This one I cannot scratch off just yet. I've made a good stab at the decorating process by brightening the place up with some DIY fabric flowers, but the whole space is still lackluster & mismatched. My problem is our walls - they're wood laminate. Don't even get me started on how much this frustrates me - who in their right mind would use wood laminate? Oh that's right - absolutely everyone in the 70s. Oh the trials of being a renter.
    • Decorate the Mom's living room // This is a big project, so I'm okay with it not being done yet. But we do have tables! Here's a sneak peek at a furniture revamp that I'll be turning into a tutorial later on. 




    Ehh?? You should've seen them before! 

    & last but not least…




    • Have a yard sale // Done & done forever, or at least until I forget how gruesome it was & decide to have another one. It was fun, but it was definitely hard work. In spite of having done our research, we definitely learned a few things. 
    First, we should have advertised more. Craigslist, Facebook, & a handful of signs alone were not enough. It's all about SIGNAGE, SIGNAGE, SIGNAGE! 

    Second, we were being all too naive & hopeful that our precious belongings would sell for the prices we thought they deserved. Halfway through the day we realized we were going to be SOL unless we slashed prices. This meant more scrambling, more signage, & regretfully seeing a perfectly good nightstand walk away for $1. 

    But now we know, & now it's time for a nap. Either that or a nice cup o' joe. Or both.

    xoxo, 
    -m.e.


    Related // See the finished tables!

    April 21, 2014

    fridge makeover


    This is one of those projects that made me sigh with relief when it was done. I dream of one day owning my own house with all of my own lovely appliances. But for now (preaching to the renters), I have to deal with the fridge I have been given. The dealing has been difficult.


    This refrigerator is icky. It's old. & it's probably a little moldy in spots I can't reach. 


    But now it's lovely & bright, thus the sigh of relief. I know most people who enter my home are not as bothered by the rust spots as I am, but ever since we moved into our house I have been discreetly trying to hide these rusty little eyesores. Over-loading the fridge with pictures & magnets, placing the garbage can just-so, downright denying their existence - but then I decided to go big or go home with some shelf liner & paint. I'm pretty happy with the results. 


    All you'll need for this tutorial are:
    • Acrylic paint
    • Masking or painters tape
    • Scissors
    • A paint brush
    • A squeegee (optional)


    First I lined the side of my refrigerator with white shelf liner. I found a squeegee & a bit of patience helped. Since my shelf liner was not as wide as my fridge, I rolled it out sideways in segments. If you look closely you can see a bit of overlap, but the painted stripes help to mask this. I cut my liner 1/4 inch larger than it should be on the sides & the top since the directions said the paper may shrink over time. 


    Then I taped out my stripes & painted them. I used acrylic paint & I found that two light coats covered pretty well. Because you're painting on what is essentially plastic, be mindful of your brush strokes. Paint in only one direction in large sweeping motions. 


    You may be asking yourself why I didn't just use a patterned contact paper, & it's because I'm cheap I couldn't find a pattern/color that would work well in my kitchen. Plus the painting works well because then you can choose your own color & pattern! 


    For now I'm going to stick with the one side decorated. I decided not to paint the front because I didn't want the stripes to be overwhelming. Just a pop of color on the side will do for my teeny kitchen.


    Much better, am I right? Goodbye rusty jerk spots, hello beautiful stripes.

    xoxo, 
    -m.e.

    // This is not a sponsored post, Amazon is an affiliate sponsor of WeCanMakeAnything //


    Related // Learn how to DIY your own Recycling Bin. Also, see an update on this project one year later.

    April 18, 2014

    out & about // what do you want to be?



    I was three years old when I knew what I wanted to do with my life. My father was an artist - actually, he was a lawyer, but I thought he was an artist when I was little because he was good at drawing & would sometimes paint in his free time. So when adults would ask younger-me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I told them I was going to be an artist, like my father. & I stuck with that response.

    Luckily for three-year-old me, "art" has a fairly broad definition. Over the years "art" has turned into words like "build" or "craft." It was when I was ten that I remember beginning to craft. My parents had bought me a pink & white dollhouse - it was lovely, large, & unfinished. No furniture, no wallpaper, no dolls, no-nothing. My parents must've known I was crafty, as they told me to fill the dollhouse with things I'd made. Over time & with lots of cardboard, fabric, glue & foam, the dollhouse filled. Every little thing inside was made by my own two hands. I made a house, I made a home. I think it was that first major craft endeavor that lead me to believe I could make anything.

    It's funny how childhood ideals travel into adulthood. I still say I want to be an artist, & I still think I can make anything. Granted, the harsh sting of reality has tainted these mantras a bit. I know I'll never be a Rembrandt or a Monet, & I know I can't build a CPU from scratch. But it's the essence that carries. I received my BFA in Studio Art this past Christmas, & I continue to make whatever I need. It's not exactly what three-year-old me had planned, but it's close enough that I'm not letting my little self down. 

    Is there anything that you've known since you were little? Or any ideas that you've held onto since childhood? 

    xoxo, 
    -m.e.


    Related // Rainy day doodles.

    April 16, 2014

    we can make anything // now on bloglovin'!



    Yes, you heard it here first! WE CAN MAKE ANYTHING is now on Bloglovin'! Follow me along with all your other favorite blogs!

    xoxo,
    -m.e.



    April 14, 2014

    no-sew clutch



    There aren't a slew of occasions for me to get fancy for in my day-to-day life. I usually keep my fashionability pretty low-key, jeans & a tee & go. But every once in a while I'll need to get dressed up & there's always the issue of where to put my keys (why don't all dresses come with pockets?). I usually don't remember this fashion-dillema until it's too late. Today I decided to prepare ahead of time & make a clutch. 




    The great part about this lovely thing is that it's a no-sew! I've mentioned before how much I love my sewing machine, but for those of you without a machine to sew with, never fear! Hot glue is here! This tutorial could just as easily be done with a sewing machine if you apply this trick before starting. 




    To make this clutch, you'll need a few things:




    • Vinyl
    • Lining fabric
    • Ribbon
    • Scissors
    • Hot glue & hot glue gun
    • Magnetic purse clasp
    • Pliers
    • Pencil
    • Measuring tape
    • Button (optional)




    First, lay your vinyl right side down. Fold your vinyl into thirds & you'll see your clutch begin to take shape. Unfold one third. This will be the flap. Measure midway (at 4 inches) on the inside & make two marks with your pencil, about 1/4 inch apart. This is where you'll insert one half of your magnetic purse clasp.  




    Make two small incisions where your pencil marks are. We're not going to install this clasp yet, but you may want to set your clasp inside the incisions to get an idea of where the second half of the clasp will go. We'll finish installing this clasp after we've done the lining. 




    On the other third of your vinyl, make two marks at the half way point for the other half of the clasp. Make sure both clasps will meet at a good point! This is where setting the first clasp in place comes in handy.




    On your new marks, make two incisions as before. Each half of your purse clasp will come with a  small metal disk. Feed the clasp through the right side of your vinyl, then through the metal disk on the back. Use pliers to flatten the tabs.




    Flip your vinyl over, & lay your ribbon over the flap in the front, folding around to the back. Make sure your ribbon covers the area where the first clasp will sit. 




    On the back, use your hot glue gun to glue the ribbon in place.




    Only glue on the back!  Do not glue on the front! We'll need this ribbon open to install the first clasp.




    With the vinyl facing right side down, take your lining fabric & lay it right side up on top. Fold the lining fabric in on the edges, matching up to the shape of your vinyl. This creates a "hem."




    Using your hot glue gun, tack just the edges of your lining down to hold it in place. 




    Now to finally install the first clasp. Since you've made incisions on the vinyl, you should be able to see the lining fabric through these teeny holes. Make identical incisions in the lining fabric. Feed your clasp through the lining fabric & vinyl, then through the metal disk. Use pliers to flatten the tabs.




    Now that your clasp in in place, glue down the remainder of the ribbon.




    With your glue gun on the high setting, glue the lining in place. Be careful! Hot glue can burn! Glue just under the lining, adhering the lining to the vinyl.




    Fold your fabric in thirds, connecting the magnetic clasps. Glue two-thirds of your clutch together along the edge, leaving the flap free. Again, be careful! If you get any glue on the vinyl, use several layers of paper or scrap fabric to wipe away while the glue is still liquid. 




    For fun, I glued a button on the front!




    Finally, a place for my keys. Now I just need somewhere fancy to go!




    xoxo,
    -m.e.


    Related // Like working with vinyl? Make a pouch for your bike! 

    April 11, 2014

    fabric flowers



    Slowly but surely I am tackling my to-do list. Today I worked on re-decorating my fireplace mantel. I don't have any concrete plans as of yet, but I know flowers will be involved. I love the look of fresh flowers but have been in the market for something long-lasting. Fake flowers are nice, but DIY flowers are more my style. I picked cotton fabric in yellow & tulle fabric in a soft white for my flowers. I think the tulle makes for a nice airy flower, while the cotton adds some texture. 




    To make your own fabric flowers, you'll need a few things:

    • Fabric 
    • Needle & thread
    • Scissors
    • Floral tape
    • Wire
    • Pliers




    Step 1 // Cut your fabric into small squares, about 3" wide & long.

    Step 2 //  Cut your squares into circles. Don't worry about the shapes being exact, a little lopsidedness is okay!

    Step 3 // Fold 3 or 4 (depending on thickness of fabric) of your circles in half, then in half again, then in half again! Stitch through the bottom to hold in place.

    Step 4 // Repeat step 3 as many times as desired, stitching each cluster into the next. The more clusters you add, the bigger your flower will be! Wrap remaining thread around the base of your flower, sew through, then tie off.

    Step 5 // Wrap wire around the bottom of your flower, then lead the wire down as far as you'd like your stem to be long. Bend the wire back up & wrap around the flower again. This doubling adds thickness to your stem.

    Step 6 // Twist the wires of your stem together.

    Step 7 // Wrap the stem in floral tape, starting with the top, & ending at the bottom of the stem. Make sure you wrap up around the base of the flower to cover the wire.




    Now you have fresh spring flowers that will last for ages to come!  





    There are many ways to make DIY flowers, & lots of different material options. I'm going to try experimenting with paper flowers next!





    xoxo, 
    -m.e.



    April 9, 2014

    bunting banner



    Today's post features two very popular crafting trends: bunting & chevron! This banner is the new addition to my craft room. I love how it looks in the light, & it makes me smile every time I come into the room. Honestly I'm thinking about making a banner for every space in my house, but I need to remind myself not to go over-board!





    Bunting banners are pretty self-explanatory - triangles sitting prettily in a row. These triangles can either be glued to a string, or sewn together as I've done with my banner. There are endless ways to make bunting banners, but how you make them all depends on the banner's intended purpose. 




    Before you make your bunting banner, consider how you're going to use it:

    Indoor banners // Indoor banners can be made from all sorts of materials, from felt to paper bags to scrapbooking paper!

    Outdoor banners // Outdoor banners need to be made out of weather-proof materials, like oil cloth or outdoor fabric. You also need to consider the cord your banner hangs on outside. Nylon or fishing line work well against the rains & winds. 

    Non-permanent banners // If you're making a banner for a party or a wedding, use cheap materials like paper or muslin. There's no reason to spend a bunch of money on something that's going to end up being used only once. Craft within reason.

    Permanent banners // Permanent banners need to be made with care. Use materials that will last. Fabric works well for permanent banners, as they can potentially be washed. Paper banners work well for holidays, as they can be stored & reused. 




    How do you use your banners? How many have you invited into your home? Are you as tickled with this trend as I am? 

    xoxo,
    -m.e.


    Related // Decorate with Felt Hearts.


    April 8, 2014

    out & about // reset & regroup

    For more photos, follow me on Instagram @wecanmakeanything

    Lately I've been feeling the need to reset & regroup in my life. I know everyone must feel like this from time to time, & I wonder how different people deal with this feeling. I tackle most of my life problems with lists, & regrouping is no exception. How do you reset?




    There are a lot of projects that I've been looking forward to, some of which I'm sure will find their way onto this blog. It seems as though I will be staying put housing-wise for a bit longer than I anticipated, & this has brought on a desire to "prettify" my space.

    Upcoming projects: 
      • Organize & de-clutter the sunroom (this is one of those spaces that seems to catch all, in addition to housing the washer & dryer)
      • Decorate the fireplace mantel (drawing inspiration from here, here, & here.)
      • Decorate the Mom's living room (my dear sweet mother has decided she hates everything about her current living space & has asked me to help in the redesign. She's looking for warm colors paired with green & off-white. This is quite the project, as everything she currently owns is "beach themed!" Stay tuned for more on this redesign, I think it will be fun!)
      • Decorate refrigerator (as you can see in my recycling bin post, my fridge is rusty & just overall pretty gross. Since we're renting, I'm going to see what I can do with contact paper to liven it up a bit. I keep perusing the lovely prints on Chasing Paper, but they're a bit out of my price range. C'est la vie)
      • Have a yard sale (part of prettifying my space involved removing things from the space, so we've been planning for a big yard sale in a few weeks. Since we don't have enough things to sell for a proper yard sale, we've been asking friends to bring over their unwanted belongings so we can have a giant yard sale! It's going to be tiring with all the fliers, pricing, & advertising we have to do, but I think it will pay off in the end)




    Don't lists make you feel better? Maybe that's just me.

    xoxo,
    -m.e.


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