Office Update/ I'm a Flake

  I'm such a flake.  Its only taken almost two years, but my office is done.
I know your thinking "Yeah, yeah... shut your face. You always say that."
Really. I WANT to be done.  I've tweaked and changed so many things along the way, and I finally have it how I like it.  Remember, this room started off almost 6 years ago as a nursery.
Its been about 4-5 different colors, but I kept going back to the pale pink. So pale pink stays.
I painted a chinoiserie mural on my closet/whiteboard wall
(there is a flip down queen size bed inside that closet so this doubles as a guest room).  Behind the doors there is yellow and white stripes and a leopard headboard.
I'll take some photos next time a guest comes.
 The bookcases (actually my entire office) are all IKEA pieces that have been trimmed out with crown molding or hacked in some way.
Lots of storage for all my junk.
The base cabinets are IKEA Sektional kitchen cabinets that 
I added homemade faux bamboo trim to. (see last post)
My I made the giant cork board over my desk from high density 3/4" thick foam insulation board wrapped with fabric and nailheads. It was a cheap fix, costing me under $25.
It herds my all my visual crazy to one area.
Starburst light tutorial is here.
 My white boards are made out of a 4x8' sheet of tile board ($13 a sheet) that I cut down into 4 pieces and framed with flat stock molding.  I will do a post on these.. really easy and they clean up great.  The trick is using a rag dampened with Windex.
Look how clean they are! They are usually jammed up with jibberish and to-do lists.
I made some more bamboo trim for these babies, and painted a yellow lattice background...
I change shit around here so much that I forgot how many looks this room had.
Here's a little memory lane montage...
Starting back in 2010 when I starburst the crap out of it and made it the guest room with a tiny desk jammed in it.  It was always a mess- note the laundry basket and printer on the bed!
 Then I got crafty and put my office in the big closet, and painted out the sunbursts with a dark charcoal brown:

 I really loved this set up, but the bed still hogged the room and collected crap like a magnet...
 I tested out a sofa bed option, it just wasn't comfortable.  I had a vision that I would lounge on it and read mags.  Never happened...
 I also built a work station, but the height was weird and I constantly had back problems from craning at the computer:
Then the room went coral for about a month:
And finally about a year ago I built a work area using a giant laminate counter and two IKEA Malms:

 The Malms started to buckle under the weight, not good! So that lead to where I am today.

I think this situation is going to stick around for a while.  I'm too tired to change it, and I think I have finally found a layout that is functionally pleasing.  The only thing I still need to do is make a new slipcover for my desk chair. That thing is pretty tired.

Happy weekend peeps!

(First 4 photos by Tabitha Sherrell- thanks lady!)

DIY: Faux Bamboo Moulding

I recently changed out the base cabinets of my office from IKEA Malms to new IKEA kitchen Sektion cabinets.  They are much deeper and offer a ton of flexibility with organization.  (I can do an entire post on them!) I also added a few homemade whiteboards using simple stock moulding for frames.

Everything is very basic and flat, so I spun on some ideas to hack them into something a bit more fabulous.  I have long loved the look of faux bamboo on furniture, so I did a bit of research and found a few sites that sell the actual moulding like this site here.  It comes in 34" lengths and runs about $8.50 or $12.50 per piece for the 3/4" and 1 1/8" respectively.  I needed over 60 feet for my project and many were lengths much larger than 34".  I decided to figure out how to make it myself- and I did it for under $30 for the entire project!  It was a bit of trial and error, but I think I got it down for you.  It also goes pretty quickly in the "making" department.  I made the moulding for the above cabinet in under 30 minutes, the more you do the faster you get.  The remaining workload... the painting, cutting and applying... are all things you'd have to do with the store bought variety.

You will need:

-half round molding (Any size/ length you desire... price shop if you can.  I saved $0.49 per foot by checking around with different lumber yards- that adds up quick!)
-wood putty (I liked Zar's- see pic below)
-stiff piece of plastic- I used an old rewards card from my wallet
-small brush
-bowl of water
-extra fine sandpaper
-saw to cut the moulding ( I recommend doing all your cuts before starting the tutorial.  The small bumps can throw off your 45 degree cuts.)

First off lets talk about wood putty... I found this one by Zar to work great.
I has a good consistency, not too stiff and not too runny.  

I did try some tubes with epic failure.  
It fell right off because there isn't enough pressure applied to get it to bond and this putty was very dry and gritty..
It's a big NO.
I did consider putting the Zar putty into a cake decorating tube, but you really need to make sure the putty is sticking to the wood.  The only sure way is by rubbing or wiping it on to the wood by hand.

1) Begin by gathering all your moulding and making all cuts.  It's so much easier to do this before the bamboo relief is on!   Be sure to mark the backsides if necessary so you know how to reassemble.
Next want to mark where you want to 
"add" bamboo.  I did mine every 5 inches because of drawer heights, but this is totally up to you.

2) Make a template.  Find an old credit or a store rewards card and cut two notches out.
These are going to make your bamboo lines...

3) Smear the putty onto the wood moulding by using your finger or a butter knife...
 It should look something like this:
When you start, only do one or two at a time since the putty dries quickly.  Once you master the technique you can do as many as you feel comfortable doing.  
If you find the putty getting too stiff or dry before you are able to manipulate it, try misting it with a little water.  You will also want to keep the lid of your container of putty closed when not in use.

4) Swipe that card! Starting from one side press the plastic card into the wood and drag it over to the other side creating two channels.  I liked to swipe towards me when working.  You can try angling the card down when you get toward the end, and be sure to go slowly.
Wipe the excess off the card.

 You should now have something like this:
If you totally blow it the first few times don't give up. Just wipe it off and try again.  It takes a bit of practice.  If you finding that you are missing the tops or getting random bumps try cutting the template a little smaller or try adding more putty.

5) Now get your water and brush.  Its time to clean up...

 Dip your brush in the water and run it along the edges and down the center.  This also helps create a nice smooth bond to the wood.
 You can also wipe off excess and shape the edges with the brush.  Don't go too crazy.
You can sand off small bumps and excess when it dries.  
6) Now let it dry for a few hours.  It will get very hard and should bond to the wood since the putty is made from pulverized wood and glue.  I was afraid this might chip, but I dropped a few pieces and they held up fine!
 I made a cabinet's worth of 1 1/8" moulding as well as several strips of the 3/4" moulding (painted white below)...

7) Once it is dry lightly sand with a fine grit sand paper (180-220 grit is good).  Be sure to sand the back sides too if any putty got on them.  (I used a 100 grit for areas that had a lot of excess.) 

You can prime and paint them, and then apply them to your project.

I will be adding the 3/4" strips around all four of my white boards to dress them up:
And  the 1 1/8" strips are going around the two base cabinets at my desk.
I used a nail gun to apply, but you can also use a strong adhesive glue.
 Be sure to putty the seams and nail holes, sand and touch up the paint.
 Add your hardware and your done.
This can be used on picture frames, mirror, table edges, doors, walls... 
the applications are endless!  
I will be bambooing the crap out of my office over the next week and I'll be sure to post better "daytime" photos.  (sorry for the sucky night ones)
Happy bambooing!

New Patterns

Winter is just ridiculous here.  Boston is buried.
This is my house...
My kids have had more snow and vacation days this past month than school days.
I'm a cranky shell of a human and snow is a four letter word.
 And I have developed an unhealthy relationship with memes from texting with snowbound friends,
a territory I NEVER thought I'd enter..
I've officially cracked and I now find myself cackling at pictures of giant snow penises.
Wait.  I always did that.
OK, so nothing new...

 One of the things I've been doing to pass the time this winter
-besides over eating and drinking-
has been designing some new stuff on Spoonflower
Dragons, splats and pirate skulls with a paisley tossed in.
I usually start by designing for myself- in this case the boy's bath- 
and then it grows into several color ways.  You too can be a snow bound fabric designer, 
so get busy and get on it!

 I wound up using the Splat in Indigo for the boy's shower curtain...
as you can see the "Bleeding Sharpie Fail" is still on the walls.

I still am trying to decide on the wall pattern.
Most of you know decision making for myself is not my strong suit, 
so stay tuned for like ever....

I'm stuck on these two:

Paint is no problem, I can change it quick. It's like decorating speed dating.
Wallpaper and I though, ugh.  It's a commitment thing.  I have to really really like it, and basically want to marry it- for a good long while.  

I also design this one, the Aztec Trellis in Valentine, for my living room ottoman:
Living room is getting some updating love slowly...

like super slowly.  
Go ahead and blink.You won't miss anything.
Up next are these chairs.  
They need some reupholstering, and I'm on the "citron or aqua" velvet fence.
Bases are getting gilded.  But at this rate it will be summer, but who knows.  
Give me another snow storm and I just might get crazy enough to do it.

and the winning color is....

Pale citron.
I just bought 10 yards of this fabric.  
It looks like velvet and it's kid proof (deal-sealer). 
Now for the real work....
Be back with upholstery pics!

Weekend Project- DIY Upholstered Headboard with Nailhead Trim

I have been busy redoing the boys’ bedroom.  One of the biggest changes was getting rid of their old wooden beds and switching over to upholstered headboards. The old beds were very durable, but not that comfortable.  I can’t tell you how many times they’ve banged their heads while rough housing.  I was over the head injuries, and secretly I was looking forward to a soft place to rest my head during story time.  I found the style I liked, a clean and simple rectangle with a double row of nailheads, but I was shocked by the price.   The lowest I found was $299.00 for a twin size, and I needed two!  This called for a DIY.  Making an upholstered headboard is so easy, especially this style. You will save hundreds by doing it yourself.  As an added bonus you will get to pick your own fabric, so you will have unlimited options as opposed to having to select from what’s available online.  

I created a simple tutorial with materials that are easy to find.  Almost everything below came from my local True Value Hardware or a fabric/craft store.  I sized the project to fit 24” wide foam, a size that is readily available to purchase online and in craft stores. I also sized the twin and king sizes to fit 2’x3’ and 2’x 6’ pieces (also easy to find, no trimming required).  You can use 2” or 3” thick foam, the choice is yours.  I used 3” thick foam, which created a greater profile. The 2” thick foam will give a flatter look.

To get started you will need to gather supplies.  Choose your bed size below for quantities of each specific item:

You will also need:
1/2” Thick Quilt Batting (I bought a twin size and did 2 headboards)
30” Heavy Duty Picture Hanging Cleat (I used this one, holds up to 300 lbs.)

Step 1:
On a flat surface you are going to assemble your 3/4” plywood and 2x4 pieces to create a frame to hold your foam.
Apply wood glue to the back sides of the 2x4s.  Arrange with the long 2x4 going across top and the two shorter 2x4s along the sides.  The bottom remains open.  Pre-drill two holes on the sides and three holes across the top. Using 2” screws, set the 2x4s in place with a drill.

Step 2:
Spray the inside area of the headboard and the backside of your foam with spray adhesive. 
Press the foam into the framed area and let set a few minutes. 

Step 3:
Wrap the entire front of the headboard in batting. I used 2 layers of batting because I wanted a very plush headboard, but one will suffice.  Batting is important because it will soften the 2x4s.  Staple the batting along the backside edge of the headboard every couple inches being sure to smooth the front and gently pull as you go.  Don't make the batting too tight… you want it smooth, but not “facelift” tight.  You will be adding nail heads, so if using the 3” foam you’ll want a little give when you push down on the area over the 2x4s.  Trim any excess batting from the back.  You are now ready for fabric.

Step 4:
Time for fabric.  Be sure to use a suitable fabric, nothing too thin or flimsy.
-Twin frames can handle 48+” wide upholstery fabrics vertically right off the bolt since they are so narrow, so no railroading is necessary.  If your fabric pattern can be “railroaded,” run horizontally across the frame, you are all set.  For full to king sizes you can easily railroad a solid, stripe or small patterned fabric so no seaming is necessary.  If you chose a pattern that needs to go vertically, you will need to seam it together by sewing it to create a large width.

-I like to find the center point of my fabric at the top and bottom.  I cut a small notch in it to mark it.  I then mark the center point of the top and bottom of my headboard with a permanent marker.  When I begin to apply my fabric I simply line up the top mark with the top notch in my fabric and start stapling from this point.  Next I smooth it down across the front and staple the bottom center at its respective marks.  This guarantees a straight pattern layout.  I then continue to smooth and staple the fabric to the backside of the headboard, stopping a few inches from the corners. Be sure to tug gently and pick up any slack as you go.

-When you get to your corners, you want to make a neat fold to keep your edges clean.  You can cut away excess fabric here before you tack it down to keep it from getting too bulky. 

Step 5:
Once you have stapled all four sides and corners flip the head board over onto its back.
You are now going to apply the nailhead trim.  This trim comes as individual nailheads (single nails), or in connected rolls in 5 yards lengths.  I prefer the look of individual nailheads, as there is no connection points visible like with the rolls of trim, but since I am going to be using 10 yards, that would take forever to do individually.  Also, since I am using a velvet, the fabric’s plushness disguises the connections a bit.
-The rolls of trim have a blank every 5 nailheads that requires you to nail through it to attach the trim.  You will want to begin in a corner.  I like to unroll the trim and lay it out to make sure that I will have a blank pretty close to the opposite end.  If not, I center the piece so I can add single nailheads to each side to balance it out.
-Hold the nailhead trim with needle nose pliers and use a rubber mallet** to drive the nails in.  Continue along the outside edge, straightening the trim as you go.  When you reach a corner, finish on your last blank and then bend the nailhead back and forth until it breaks off. 

-Add single nails until you are close enough to the corner to start the perpendicular edge.  Continue until the top and side edges are finished.  Now for the second (inner) row, measure in about 3 inches and begin again.  This time use your fingers to press and smooth the fabric towards the foam.  Continue around until you have two complete rows. 

**If you don’t have a mallet handy, here is a little trick I’ve used… 
Stick a 1” round felt furniture pad to the tip of your hammer.  It keeps the nailhead from getting scratched or dented and does the job!

Your headboard should be looking good, and it is almost ready to hang.

Step 6:
Using a heavy duty picture hanging cleat system, follow the instructions on the packaging to hang.  I measured and marked 4” down from the top of my headboard in a few places and used this as my guide to attach the cleat to my headboard.  I then determined where I wanted the height of my headboard over my bed and attached the other cleat to the wall.  I used a stud finder and marked where to drill.  I really loved how easy this system was to use. It even had a built in level!  

Step 7:
Once it was attached I simply slid the headboard down onto the cleat.  It attached so easily and is very stable.

I can’t tell you how excited I am by this project.  It has totally transformed my boys’ room, and my youngest absolutely loves his new bed.  Each headboard cost less than $100, and I even reused the plywood from their old bed’s platforms.  And best of all this only took a few hours to do, so it is a great weekend project.

Be sure to check out my past projects and more by visiting, as well as True Value on Facebook

 I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.


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