Archive | October, 2013

Recover a Storage Ottoman – It’s Easy!

22 Oct

Disclaimer: This project requires a sewing machine. So, if you don’t have one or can’t sew, I can’t help this time. All you need besides your sewing machine is a staple gun.

It’s no secret – I love me some hidden storage. I’m realizing that maybe I even love it TOO much – I have clever storage areas that are…ahem…still empty. Maybe that’s because I’m an anti-hoarder. But hey – these little nooks and crannies are nice to have, just in case.

Anyway, I really wanted something to put my feet on when rocking the wee one in the nursery. We have an extra ottoman that I thought about covering, but it’s pretty much just a cube – no storage. I really wanted something with storage to put little baby toys and such in it.

I ran across this gem in Target for – wait for it – six bucks! 75% off! Sold…I took it home. However, the fabric was aaaall wrong based on the nursery colors.


I found some yellow and white chevron fabric at Hancock Fabrics that worked. I wanted to bring in a pattern but not too much extra color. I completed the barrel part of it first.

I basically laid my fabric out, right side up, and cut enough to have about 4″ or so extra on the top and the bottom. This is what you’ll fold under and staple, so it’s nice to have a little extra to work with. If I did it again, I’d leave more like 5″ because it was a little tight to fold over and staple. Since my fabric has a pattern, I was careful to keep it as straight as possible.


Next, I pinned my vertical seam, and I pinned it tight. Really tight – I didn’t want any slack on this fabric.


Next, just sew your vertical seam. I turned it back so the right side was out, and shimmied it on to the barrel. If you do it right, it should take some effort to work it back on!


Next, just fold under your rough edge and start stapling.


Here’s what the bottom looks like. Not the prettiest, but it’s functional and no one can see it. Except whoever is reading this, I guess.

Do the same for the top:


Barrel is done! The cover is next. Still pretty easy, just a bit more sewing and measuring. First, I laid the cover out on the fabric. I did a rough pencil sketch about a half inch wider than the circle; that’s for the seam allowance. Cut out your circle.DSC_0726

Next, I cut out a strip of fabric for the outside. It’s the same length as the barrel; it’s just maybe 3″ or so high. Be sure to leave a few extra inches to fold under and staple.

And that’s where I forgot to take a picture. Moving along…

First I sewed the outside strip, pretty much the same way I sewed the barrel fabric. Make sure it’s nice and tight around the edge of the cover. Then I worked it on to the outside of the cover (wrong fabric side out).


Next, take your circle and lay it on top (wrong side out). Pin it around the circle so you have about a 5/8 inch seam allowance. Never mind the wet spot on the fabric. That’s just where I washed the fabric after bleeding on it when I stabbed myself with a pin.


Sew those two pieces together, turn it right side out and shimmy this piece onto the cover.


Last but not least, turn under your fabric and staple along the underside of the cover.


Done! This took me a surprisingly short amount of time to complete – maybe between an hour and an hour and a half. So, if you have a sewing machine, it is super-easy to create a new ottoman cover!






Our Gender-Neutral Nursery

8 Oct

Greetings! After another extended break from posting, I’m back and rarin’ to go. The break was for various reasons, most of which involved home improvements that are too boring to blog about. We recarpeted our house (four bedrooms, stairs and the basement), and while our old carpet was out Ryan was busy with repairs, and I was busy repainting walls and finishing painting all the trim, doors and closet doors in our house white. Roughly seven months pregnant at the time, it became a tad overwhelming and completely all-consuming for both of us. Plus, for awhile our living room looked like an episode of Hoarders:


So, now that the fiasco of new carpet is over, I’ve had a chance to finally get the nursery done. For those of you who don’t know, Ryan and I are expecting a baby this month, and we opted to not find out the gender. We’ve been having fun wondering and guessing whether a boy or girl has been kicking the heck out of my ribs! Of course, not knowing the gender makes a gender-neutral nursery necessary for us. However, even if I did know what I was having, I probably would lean toward neutral colors anyway – I just prefer it that way.

I have been thinking and planning for quite awhile what I wanted to do for colors, décor, etc., so it had all been planned out by the time I got down to the actual work. The room that is now the nursery was previously a room that wasn’t being used for much except my sewing desk, rocking chair and dresser. I painted it a very light greenish-blue a year or so ago with the intent that whenever we did have a baby, this would be the room color. So I didn’t have to repaint – yay! Here are a few befores (prior to the rocking chair redo which is why it’s missing from these pics):




And without further ado, here are some afters:






You can see there’s not really a theme to this room (also something I wanted to avoid), but a slight theme did emerge over the course of gathering decor…leaves, trees, owls. Since our carpet is sort of cappuccino colored and the crib is dark brown, I wanted to keep everything very light and airy with regards to the walls and curtains and bring in some stronger colors (like the greens, reds and oranges) as accents.

Here is a rundown of everything (some of which will be future “how we did this” blog posts):

  • Paint – “Morning Fog” by Olympic
  • Leaf mobile – made myself (future blog post)
  • Mirror – spray painted yellow (you can see the “before” – it was gold – in the before photos above)
  • Curtains – sewed myself
  • Storage ottoman – purchased on clearance from Target; reupholstered myself (future blog post)
  • Owl paintings – purchased from TJ Maxx
  • Green antique window with banner – Window came from flea market, and the banner I made myself (future blog post)
  • Tree wall hanging – purchased from Kohls
  • Crib – hand-me-down from my brother and sister-in-law (and restained with the same java gel stain used here) – thanks again Jason and Lezlee! 🙂
  • Chair – refinished myself (read about that here)
  • Dresser and side table – refinished myself (read about that here)

I still have a couple things to do, including adding a shelf near the crib for our new sound machine/projector (thanks to my friends!) and video monitor, as well as making a white crib skirt (I’m a sucker for hidden storage so I’d like to camouflage those baskets under the crib), so I’ll be tackling those over the next week or so and will include posts on how I did those.

So, stay tuned for more posts to come! As always, thanks for reading.