DIY Pinterest Challenge (it actually happened)

Back in my undergrad, I lived with a few girls in the dorms and as sophomores, we finally had more than the 10×10 shared quarters that the freshman dorms had provided. The four of us had two bedrooms AND a living room. Plus an odd bathroom setup where there was a shower and sink room and then also a toilet and sink room, but for four women it worked out well. What we didn’t have, coming from the freshman digs, was a lot of furniture. So we decided to buy a 3×3 cubby style storage bookshelf sorta thing to hold up our 20″ TV. I will admit, and I am sure anyone who has had the pleasure of rooming with me will agree, I am probably a terrible roommate, so when these great girls just wanted to go four ways on a $30-40 piece of put-it-together-yourself-Target-furniture, I of course refused because I knew at the end of the year we would argue over who it belonged to – or who had to take it with them, depending on how much we had grown to enjoy it – and instead I paid the full amount myself and claimed it as my own on moving day.

Since then, it has always been one of the hand-me-down-type pieces that I have consistently felt ho-hum about. I appreciate the storage it provides, but also loath its appearance. That is, until now.

I found this IKEA hack a while back, and suddenly, there was hope. There was this faint brightness in the distance and I knew when I received the push I needed, I would one day head towards that light. Kisha, of Chronicled, who hosted a Pinterest challenge, was indeed that push.

IKEA hack inspiration:

ikea-hack-storage

Certainly, if you follow this blog, you have noticed it has taken me a while to get to this post and perhaps you have even read my super complain-y post about the many layers of paint it has needed, but I do kinda love it. The IKEA hack version does work better, I think it is because it has more boxes, but I do like mine and how it turned out. I didn’t end up going with the leather handles I mentioned in my initial post, but that was only because I had some unused, ready-to-go black IKEA ones. I might just stick with it though, because I do kinda love their black glossiness. If, at a later date, I decide to go with the leather ones, I will definitely paint the door white as well. Anyway, I consider this a success.

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Here are the steps I followed:

Gather the materials – for me this was only the piece of wood, white paint, and door hinges (but I had the unit, primer, rollers, paintbrush, wood stain, and the cabinet handle on hand)

Reassemble the 3×3 – None of us were pre-med or rocket science majors and it is probably a good guess we were most likely drinking while assembling (sorry Mom). So, as it turns out, this thing has been sitting pretty (ugly) while having been put together incorrectly, for years. Finally everything is facing the right way and right-side up.

Clean, sand, then wipe down the piece – Besides some light dusting and maybe a slight rub down pre and post moves, this piece doesn’t get a lot of cleaning love, and it mostly has been hiding in a corner its whole life. It needed it, especially since I was about to paint a piece of faux wood furniture.

Prime – Maybe I didn’t need this step, but I really wanted this paint to stick, so I did it anyway. Two coats. But then it was grey, which made it harder to cover with the (cheap) white paint which would follow.

Paint – SO MANY COATS! Ugh. I actually don’t mind painting walls, but this piece got to me. Dislike. But at least it looks good.

Stain ‘door’ – I got a light, cheap piece of wood to cover four of the nine cubbies. I had some stain laying around from another project. I may add another layer of stain or two down the line.

Attach door and handle – Pretty straight forward, but challenging when you don’t actually own a drill. Whoops.

Now to style it (better than done above).. oh boy.

AND! Remember to check out the other awesome gals doing this challenge with me:

Amy of Love on Sunday : http://loveonsunday.com/

Donna of Soul Pretty : http://soulpretty.blogspot.com/

Renee of Typewritten Bubbles : http://www.typewrittenbubbles.com/

Kisha of Chronicled : http://www.chronicled-blog.com/

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Never ending coats of paint

So truth time: last week didn’t end up being DIY week. Turns out, back in August I kinda forgot that September was trip month (in other words – I’m the worst) that, and my project still needs ONE more coat. This is about one thousand paint coats more than I had anticipated. Soon, it WILL look awesome (note to self: what everyone says about cheap paint needing billions of coats, is true, buy the good shiz.) But, it is happening, tomorrow, after today’s coat dries. Might be late. Might be early. This over-anticipated Pinterest challenge will have it’s day. Tomorrow. Luckily this blog is just for personal fun, otherwise I would really feel bad.

I might still feel a pretty bad.

Speaking of DIY’s – Almost Makes Perfect just posted a DIY I had been thinking of doing FOREVER, she just beat me to it =). Naturally I immediately went and bought some bottles after I read her post. And I am going to copy cat this so hard.

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Today I am listening to: Carried Away by Passion Pit

Am feeling inspired by: The beautiful, white apartment in Sweden where Design Love Fest is visiting (photo by sfgirlbybay)

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Want to be wearing: This cute and flowing jumpsuit worn by the perdy lady at The Tiny Closet

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Bloglovin’

Of course,  while I lay dormant for so long the internet had its changes too. Google Reader went away, which made a lot of people sad. I, myself, never used it and had been using Bloglovin’ for a while. Before that I literally had an OCD order that I had memorized the blogs I followed and would individually type them in every morning. Super ghetto, I know.

Well as I make the small strides to get a bit more serious about this blog and raise its priority in my life, I went ahead and finally claimed this site and now would like to share with you how you might go ahead and follow me using Bloglovin’.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Just call me Ms. Bloggy-von-fancy-pants-grown-up-erson.

And now here is a cute owl being cute:

Back from the Dead – and a Pinterest Challenge

Naturally, my first instinct is to apologize for being gone for so long. But then I realize that is the beauty of this blog. It is mine and I started it for me. Even if it grows into something a little more mature one day, I don’t want to lose sight of that. After all, let’s be honest, sure I would love to be specialized enough here to only do DIY and design related posts, but again, this is my blog, and while those are the things I enjoy, they are not all that there is to me and certainly I am no real expert at either (while I am always working to get there).  Those elements will always be a part of what I want to include on this corner of the internet that is mine, but I first and foremost always want this to be a place where I write whatever I feel like, when I feel like it.

I realized all of this only after specifically trying to ignore the fact that I had a blog for quite a while because every time I thought of it I was filled with a horrible swirl of both guilt and irresponsibiltiy. I have wanted to be a blogger for a long time, and now that I had it up and going, how could I let it just sit there? Then I got over myself, sat down and thought about what I wanted this site to be like and the lightbulb of the first paragraph hit me. And the truth is, life has changed a lot in this time I have been silent, and I see now that in order to keep my sanity – something I am generally holding onto by a thread – I had to put it to the wayside. It was just not the right time or place to try and create any sort of content – it wasn’t the therapy I needed then (because after all, blogging is generally my source of therapy.)

Which leads me to some very exciting news:

  1. I quit me job… literally YESTERDAY was my last day, crazy-sauce.
  2. I moved to Ventura, CA (sure its a beach town to beach town move, but this is pretty extreme for us. The comment we heard most often from our South Bay friends: “Might as well be Canada.”)

What this means for me/my family/my career/this blog:

I don’t know exactly yet, and that makes me incredibly excited (also slightly terrified)

All I can really do right now is make some goals, so far I have the following:

  1. Complete my web design/development studies on Treehouse to build upon the Graphic/Web Design program I was in at Otis College of Art and Design
  2. Make the blog a priority while never forgetting I am blogging for me and about what I want – so since I am the queen of over-promising here, I won’t say it will be every day, but I do plan to set aside sometime each day to focus on it, whether that results in 1, 3 or 5 posts a week, we will find out. This set aside time may also just turn into simply a brainstorming sessions that I occasionally share with you. I don’t have a solid plan yet, just ideas and my life is in such a transition period that really thinking about how I want to shape my life is an amazing opportunity that I can’t just squander. Well, it will be that and fun DIY or home improvement work that just makes me happy as  a clam.
  3. Be better about keeping the house clean and my plants alive – now, instead of being in the office all day, I will be around them and in my place, so even if this wasn’t a goal, it would probably still happen. I just can’t work in filth and I would love to see happy plants rather than the sad wilty ones I have today.
  4. No longer go days without moving – Ok that is a slight exaggeration, but honestly with work, school, freelancing, and finally taking a break from it all, I was successfully sitting, to go sit some more, to go home to sit at the computer or on my couch. Being at home 24/7 will make me stir crazy, so I will be taking the dog on many more (longer) walks and may even do some P90x or yoga on my “lunch breaks”

So in the spirit of getting right to it, I have joined some AWESOME (read: far-superior) blogger ladies in Kisha of Chronicled’s Pinterest Challenge: from INSPIRATION to CREATION! While it would seem pretty explanatory, what it is is taking one of those hundreds of I’ll-do-someday pins from your DIY board (come on, I know you have one, everyone does) and making it yourself, like in REAL LIFE! Whoa. Duh I want in. And we have a month. Double duh.

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The hardest part has been deciding what to make for Settling Sideways. I do have a ton of amazing contenders on my ‘Things I want to do it myself‘ board, after all. But I figure, given that I have a little more free time on my hands than usual.. I will start with idea I like and if there is time left over, get going on second or third idea.

So here is what I will be doing first:

IKEA Hack Storage

with some yummy leather handle pulls:

Leather Handle Pulls by The Brick House

image 1 – by K. Klose as featured on IKEA Hackers / image 2 – by Morgan at The Brick House

I have had an old, IKEA-style storage thing, like the one in the first photo for years. I can’t bring myself to toss it because I always store stuff in it, but I have always hid it away in some corner of our apartment because I am not a crazy fan of how it looks. I think if I paint it white, add some lovely wood and black doors, and maybe some leather handles, I could let it shine out in the open. Maybe put some bar fixin’s on top? Should be a fun trial and error, in the very least.

With that – please be sure to check in on the other amazing projects happening for this challenge – four pretty badass ladies with some great blogs:

Amy of Love on Sunday : http://loveonsunday.com/

Donna of Soul Pretty : http://soulpretty.blogspot.com/

Renee of Typewritten Bubbles : http://www.typewrittenbubbles.com/

Kisha of Chronicled : http://www.chronicled-blog.com/

Do you find this pinteresting? Check back at the end of the month to see all our final products!

DIY Felt Coasters

Most days I come home, mildly exhausted, wanting only to lie on the couch, snuggle the doggie, and eventually fall asleep – all the while already being so tired by the thought of doing it again tomorrow. On good days, I might have enough energy to make dinner. On great days, I may even do the dishes after. Lately, I have been a bit better about it and my husband has been excited to have me cooking again, although he has been less than thrilled (I can imagine, he really isn’t a complainer) that I continue to Bring It On Down 2 Veganvillenoms, noms.

That is all beside the point. What I am getting at here is that I am a very sleepy person. A sleepy person who likes to give herself enough responsibilities that she has no choice but to keep chugging through the day. While my free time is few and far between, most of the time, if I do find myself with an unclaimed second or the rare occasion where one or a few of my responsibilities are able to relax a bit, I am all too good about giving into the temptation of doing absolutely nothing. But as one recent evening will stand to prove, when I do utilize and embrace those free moments to cross something off my long list of would-be-nice-to-dos, I feel like a spandex-wearing, makeup-rocking, Bowie-esque, rock star.

It was just a week or two ago that I sat down one night to make not only my canvas bag and my leather coin/wallet, but ALSO some fun felt coasters. I have tried to spread out sharing these easy DIYs for two reasons:

1. Let’s be honest, blogging is super fun but it is still something I hate to do half-assed. And while all of my posts are far from perfect, they still take some time. Extra time that isn’t naturally part of the schedule. Honest truth, because I love you.

2. I want this spectacular evening to motivate me as long as it can to keep up the extra effort; to milk that progress and let it fuel even more Ziggy Stardust moments.

Today I am sharing some quick, easy felt coasters I made and how I made them, but (again, with the honesty) it really is more for me than you. I hope this last of three easy DIY posts will continue to serve as a reminder that while sleep is nice, as long as I am still getting enough of it and I can fit it in, doing some projects like this, really makes me a happy lady.

+++ If this isn’t motivation enough Sweet Thing blogger, Jessie’s totally beautiful home, which she has only been in for THREE MONTHS, will hopefully make me feel guilty enough about my slow progress to provide me with the swift kick in the rear that I need to get some shiz done.

DIY FELT COASTERS

Supplies

Felt

Foam Sheet with one adhesive side

Scissors

Round template of some kind – I used a candle

Pen

Needle and embroidery thread

Drink to place on coaster (for testing and enjoying success)

Starting with the foam sheet, I took a candle and a pen and traced around the candle to create a circle which I could lightly see on the sheet. I repeated this process six times because given my candle/circle template size, this is how many coasters I could make from one sheet.

After I had traced the circles, I cut them out. Then removing their backing to expose the adhesive side, I arranged them one-by-on on the felt with at least 1” of breathing room between them.

Next I cut around the foam circles on the felt, leaving a little excess over the edges – about a ¼” around the entire circumference. And voila, felt coasters.

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I went on to add a little extra detail because, like many, I am digging crosses these days. I grabbed some embroidery thread, pulled back the felt slightly and with only two straight stitches, I had a simplified version of the shape.

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I especially like them against our burl coffee table. Army green with bright blood orange-red is a happy combo – what colors are you making your coasters?

Felt Coasters2 by Settling Sideways

Felt Coasters by Settling Sidewaysv2

Here is even more cross-love:

Apothecary Soap Dish by Izola

Apothecary Soap Dish by Izola, PHOTOS by IZOLA

Sam and Anne's Bedroom from Apartment Therapy Feature

Beautiful Bedroom from Sam & Anne’s Cozy Modern Blend House Tour as featured on Apartment Therapy featuring Piawallen Blanket, PHOTOS by APARTMENT THERAPY

Vinyl Wall Sticker Decal from Urban Walls

Vinyl Wall Sticker Decal Art – Plus Sign by Urban Walls, PHOTOS by URBAN WALLS

Cross Box Outlet Cover by Door Sixteen

Cross Box Cord Cover by Door Sixteen, PHOTOS by DOOR SIXTEEN

Medicine Cabinet Cross Project by Door Sixteen

Medicine Cabinet Cross Project by Door Sixteen, PHOTOS by DOOR SIXTEEN

DIY Card and Phone Case

One of my favorite things about finally having (a very small amount of) free time these days is spontaneous DIY projects. I think I was sitting down to write a thank you note for someone, which was something that was actually on my to-do list, when I noticed that I had a little left over suede from a recent project. Naturally, loving the excuse to procrastinate, I started working on something new. The piece I had was a large rectangle, so I rounded off one of the shorter ends, folded it in thirds, stitched up the two sides, flipped it inside out and called it a day. Then I think I got back to that thank you note. Yay for productivity!

Post thank you note, I realized the flap wasn’t wanting to stay closed much so I cut two slits where the flap overlapped with the inside of the pouch, threaded a few thin pieces of suede through the two holes, and the end. I carry a pretty big bag so this little ‘wallet’ is just the right size to hold my important cards, ID and phone, which is really nice when I want to go somewhere and not worry about my large bag getting in the way. I just snatch this up and party on.

Doesn’t get much easier than that.

wallet1 wallet2

Now I just need to mail that thank you note. Life, why you so hard sometimes?

DIY Canvas Triangle Bag

Happy Wednesday lovey dovies.

As I mentioned a couple days ago, my life just finally calmed down a bit after being pretty nutso there for a while, so needless to say, it has been quite some time since I was able to get any fun projects done. I figured for getting back into it, I may want to do something small and simple – not put too much stress on the situation.

I also mentioned earlier this week that I am trying to be a bit healthier (physically, mentally, etc.), and with that, I have started taking lunch and snacks into work (sorry Chiptole, I ❤ Teriyaki, Havana, and others). But in doing so, I wasn’t overly excited by any of the typical lunch bags you see out there. So in an effort to create something a bit more unique yet simple, I figured I’d start with a $1.50 canvas bag. To spruce it up a bit I pulled out my painters tape and some black fabric paint I had left over from a school project.

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And a few minutes later, boom! Triangle bag. I am kinda in love with it. It is so easy, very graphic and was SO cheap that even if something spills in it or a handle breaks or any other traumatic event occurs, it can be redone in just minutes.

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What are your favorite quick DIYs? I am feeling really addicted to the instant gratification they provide; in fact, right after I made this bag I  quickly started a second project that was just about on par with the simplicity of this one and will be on the blog later this week.

Europe in Review: Antwerp

Living very close to the beach, we have the pleasure of paying lots of money to live in a box, well, that and experiencing perfect weather, pretty immediate beach access, and a ton of fun stuff in walk-able distance. Our apartment doesn’t even have a heater or AC because the temperature is mostly perfect (anyone who feels envious, just remember glorified closet + $$$, there are pros and there are cons).

Needless to say, when we landed in Germany and it was snowing, we were a bit out of our element. But warmed and motivated by our shear excitement to be out of the country and on a fun, new adventure, we somehow we made it to our rental car and drove straight to Belgium.

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And thus begins our trip in review, with Antwerp.

This may be a reoccurring statement for all the places we visited – but it is cold there in March. If you are making traveling plans, keep this in mind. But besides cold, it was charming, totally walk-able, not completely touristy and just super interesting.

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We were Bert and Marley’s roommate for two days – using the spare bedroom, and I can’t recommend this AirBNB spot enough. Beautiful views, stylish furnishings – including a piano that had been brought in by CRANE the day we arrived-, friendly cat (Marley), and what is probably the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on. I’m serious, he had a guest book and almost everyone (I’d say at least 50+ people) commented on the bed.

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We spent our days exploring. Alex is a beer guy, as I discussed briefly here, so we made a point to try a few of the local breweries. Almost everyone has a Double and a Trippel. I tend to prefer the Trippel, but Alex was feeling more of the Double’s. All beers come in goblet-style chalices, which will make any peasant briefly feel like a royal.

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Alex’s only real complaint was regarding the size of coffee’s available. I, on the other hand, didn’t mind their size, or their price as much because that was some very delicious small sips of coffee.

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My favorite spot was easily the MAS, the Museum Aan de Stromm. The way the entire building is organized was really fun and intuitive – you knew exactly where and what to see next; and it gave us a great overview of Antwerp and its history. You can also walk on the roof and get a full 360 degree view of the city. It is absolutely a must-see if you ever find yourself in the area.

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Another amazing spot was the Middelheim Open-Air Museum of Sculpture. It was huge. And this would have been the best day, had it been summer – grab some food, have a picnic in the park, and stroll through some incredible art.

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We also tried the fries, as many suggested. Now, we don’t speak Dutch, like not a single word, and while this was fine because everyone was super nice and often spoke at least conversational English, the fry place was a challenge in that there was just a TON (like so much, you guys) of fry-able items that were completely indiscernible. Rather than being those annoying American’s who ask what everything is (since it was labeled in Dutch and again, indiscernible) we stuck with the fries and the fries alone. Anyway, I thought they were OK, maybe there was too much hype beforehand. And maybe I tried them with the wrong sauce (I went with ketchup) because, like the options for frying, there was a great many options when it came to sauce too. The best part was that they come with mini forks, which are just adorable.

All in all, it was beautiful, and would only have been more so if we had been there on a friendlier-weathered month. I also really loved taking photos of our cat roommate. Only regret – there was this great little place down the street from us called Burgerij – Burgers voor Burgers (Burger also means citizen in Dutch, which is why THAT’S super cute), but when we tried to go they were very busy and ended up getting doners instead – Alex’s favorite.

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DIY: iPhone Case

The rumors are true – I finally got an iPhone. And I doubt my world will ever be the same. Social media has now officially taken over my life. I am in love with Twitter and Instagram, in addition to the platforms I was already a part of pre-iPhone. I want to read everything anyone has ever said, ever, and view every single filtered image in existence! But, since I know that I am joining this whole smart phone/social media world a bit late, I will leave it at that.

Naturally when I was waiting for my iPhone to arrive, I spend countless hours combing the internet for the world’s best cover. I discovered two things: iPhone accessories, in general, are pretty obscenely expensive for what they are, and I WANT THEM ALL. I found myself with a rotating list of 20 favorites that I just couldn’t minimize.

One day, after spending way too much time on the internet again looking for the phone cover of my dreams, I came home and snuggled with my adorable and loving puppy to ease my woos. Then I Instagram-ed 10 or so photos of her, a few of which I have included below:

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Jenny image

 Then I had an idea.

Jenny is a beauty and would be so perdy on an iPhone cover, how about I attempt something myself? Great idea! (In theory..)

Sometimes when I make a plan for a project in which I won’t be following someone else’s tutorial, I take the intelligent route and do ton of research and planning – like when I did my duvet cover. Then there are times when I get incredibly impatient and just jump in, feet first, into the frigid and sharp-pebble infested waters, and due to my slow reaction time I sit there long enough to freeze off my toenails and cut up my delicate foot-pads, eventually running out crying to my dear doggie, who doesn’t exactly feel sorry for me since after all, this was my fault.

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And pour vous, today, you all are the lucky recipients of a tutorial riddled with lots of “to dos,” and possibly more “do nots.” Please learn from my mistakes and make your very own:

BOMB-ASS iPHONE COVER

Supplies

–          Blank or unwanted iPhone cover (do not buy the “bestcase” from Best Case and Accessories, Inc, it is extremely over priced for what you get and if you go with the white version, it will stain immediately, such as when you are trying to put it onto your new, fancy iPhone – yay brown smudges! Also, I might be dirty.) Here is a cheap, sufficient case: clear case from Amazon. 

–          Spray paint in the color of your choice (may be omitted if you would like the case background to remain as is)

–          Rubbing alcohol

–          Dish soap

–          White vinegar

–          Construction paper

–          Exacto knife

–          Cutting board

–          Glue sticks

–          Toothpicks (optional)

–          Mod Podge

–          Sponge brush

–          Acrylic sealer

Step 1 – Clean off your blank cover to prep for spray painting. And just like that, fresh out of the gate, we are onto our first do not:

DO NOT – just use dish soap to clean off the case if it is possible there is a film on the case. What will happen is that once you spray paint, the paint will crackle and not adhere to the surface. This will then cause you to cry over the sink as you try to get all the black paint off the sink itself, your hands, and naturally the phone case for a do-over.

DO – take some rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab and run it over your case to see if any film comes off. If it does, use a greater amount of your solution with some paper towels to get that entire filminess off prior to moving on.

Now you should be safe to clean off your case with some soap and water. I also took a cotton ball with a little white vinegar on it to try and get off any nasty spots/smudges. Let your case dry completely before spray painting.

Cleaning the case

Step 2 – Using an old shoebox or your scrap paper of choice to prep for spray painting. Because I wanted to get all the edges and the back of my case, I used two rolls of doggie bags to hold my case off the ground slightly. Anything small with a few inches of height will work. Spray the case in a back and forth motion, adding new coats as necessary. I did about three coats with 20 minutes in between. Allow to dry for several hours or overnight, or while you are working on the artwork for your case.

Spray painting

Step 3 – As I mentioned, I chose to do a photo of Jenny, but any image would really work here as long as it will fit on the back of the case. Remember the more detailed the photo, the more teeny tiny pieces you will be dealing with. I would say this image of Jenny was pretty detailed and therefore took quite a while to cut out and glue together – if you want a faster result go with a more simplified image. This is the photo I chose for my case:

Starting Image

Once I printed the image, having it scaled to the size I wanted for my case, I traced the lines that would separate my color layers, like so:

Tracing image

Another, DO NOT: Don’t pick a complicated image and assume it will only take you one American Horror Story episode. If you don’t want to spend the majority of the afternoon on this step, again, pick a simple image.

Step 4 – Start with the most prominent or base color of your image and cut out the entire outline. From this we will layer on the other colors, gluing as we go.

Cutting out part two

Step 5 – Just work up from there. I generally cut all pieces needed in one color before moving onto the next. I also found it easiest to first cut out the color pieces from the original image and then use them as a template to cut from the actual color paper. I used toothpicks to help with getting glue on the small pieces and transferring them to the master. Make sure your image is all glued down as you go, rather than just placing the paper bits on top of each other. This will keep them steadily in place as you continue onto the next step.

Cutting out part three

Step 6 – Once all the cutting and gluing of your image has been completed, place these pieces on your previously spray painted cover. I used a small amount of glue just in the center of my piece to try and keep my image in place before I “sealed” it. Carefully paint a thin layer of Mod Podge over the entire case. Repeat this step once or twice until you have a solid good layer of clear, dried Mod Podge. Ensure the case has fully dried before moving onto the next step.

DO NOT: Paint a thick layer. And definitely don’t paint on a thick layer with a small paint brush. Not only will this take much longer to dry, you will end up with pretty significant brush strokes in your dried glue.

DO: Use a sponge brush. They are generally about 99 cents at the hardware or craft store and work much, much better for this sort of project. The Mod Podge might not go one 1000% perfectly, and that is ok, but it will be much better than the regular bristled paintbrush.

Before Mod Podge

Right before mod podge

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Step 7 – Using 220 grit wet/dry sandpaper, wet sand your case to smooth out any imperfections, bumps, or textures in your Mod Podge layer.

DO NOT: Use water to wet-sand your case. Mod Podge is water based so this will make your case tacky again and mess with the overall layer. This image documents my mistake:

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DO: Use oil, such as olive oil, for the wet sanding process.

Step 8 – Use extra fine steel wool to polish your case (if desired.)

Step 9 – Mod Podge should be mostly waterproof, but it isn’t completely. It is always best to add an acrylic sealer to any Mod Podge project once completed. I used an old can I had of Acrylic spray sealer that I used to use in my drawing classes. This worked great and even gave my case an added glossy look. I would recommend using a spray sealer as it is much easier to have it go on smoothly. Let dry in a well ventilated location (that spray sealer is stinky stuff.)

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And you are done! I don’t have any photos of my phone in the case because my actual camera is temporarily broken and I am stuck with only Instagram or my camera phone in the immediate time-frame, but you get the idea.

Overall, I do love the case. I am stupid-proud of it and I keep showing it to my friends (often thinking something like, “oh, Suzie hasn’t seen this yet!” Only for Suzie to respond, “yeah, that’s cool, you have already showed that to me a few times” – AKA “stop fishing for compliments, you crazed dog loving loser who spent all day on a silly iPhone case. You and your dog are dead to me.” Sometimes I wish **Suzie wasn’t such a bitch.)

** I have no friend named Suzie, and everyone has been nothing but nice to me about my silly case and I love them all forever for that. Sorry for saying “bitch,” by the way.

It did take a long time, but I think that would have been greatly minimized if I had done a bit of pre-planning and had less screw ups. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, it has some bumps and slightly odd textures that can be noticed under bright light, but I do think if I ever did a round two, it would be pretty stinking close to perfection. In other words, I learned a lot from this go-round and think if you avoid the ‘do nots’ you should end up with pretty great results. I believe in you!

And… since that lovey, dovey red and pink holiday is around the corner, and there are so many people who are a part of a(n) (annoying) couple (myself included) I thought I would throw out an idea/variation for a Valentine’s Day gift – which would be a lot less time consuming then a Jenny cover:

Valentines

I hope someone out there does try this someday and that they (you, perhaps) have better luck with it having read through this trial and error. Maybe even for this V-day – if you need a last minute gift idea for your significant other, your crush, your best friend, your not-so-best-friend that you know is getting you something and you have to therefore get something for, or for yourself, if you are single or if you just want to celebrate how awesome you are.

After all, I am quite jealous of the magnitude of your awesomeness.

Have an extraordinarily sexy (like Rihanna at the Grammys – say whaaa?) week. Hugs for all.

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P.S. I can’t stop watching these incredibly adorable videos . Check them out, you will undoubtedly keel over due to cuteness. (Olive Us didn’t sponsor this post, I just stumbled upon them and I am now addicted.)

A bit more about SCREENPRINTING

Last week I wrote this silly little illustrated post about screenprinting. Today I wanted to follow up to that and share some images of one of the screenprinting projects I completed that remains close to my heart – my wedding invitations.

Now I haven’t spoke much about my wedding, but it was a lovely little affair, if I do say so myself. My favorite part of the whole thing (apart from marrying the best man, ever) was that because our budget was so tight, we had to be very DIY heavy, which ended up just making the day that much more special; that much more personalized to who we were as a couple.

I wouldn’t normally call myself “lady-like,” or refer to myself as a “girly-girl.” Actually I would say you might be more on target to use the opposite of those words to describe me, but I wanted my wedding day to be a bit more “lovely,” “soft,” and “whimsical” than I usually am. I was able to channel my inner-bride and develop a higher appreciation for delicate decorations like lace and handkerchiefs and vintage vases which made the day feel that much more like a dream. Maybe I myself am not that joyous and sweet, but after all the love Alex and I shared is and that is what we were celebrating, so it all seemed appropriate.

I have to apologize, I am writing this as if I have to defend my decisions to steer away from some of my normal aesthetics, but that isn’t what I mean to be doing. Really, I want this blog to cover more than our apartment (and hopefully eventually a house) renovations – to cover all things in our lives and our wedding day was absolutely an important milestone in our history together. Maybe that will mean that there will be some variety in the style on here, and that’s ok. I certainly have a great appreciation for all styles; I am just a bit pickier when it comes to what I have in my home.

End of the story is – I should have wrote about my wedding a long time ago on this blog. There were so many DIY elements and after all that is what I love to talk about. I just don’t want to go too much into weddings on here, so for now, here is this post and we will just have to see how successful it is and if any readers are hungry for more.

To summarize the wedding, here is a list of the elements we decided to do ourselves:

  • Screen-printed Handkerchief Invitations
  • Flowers, as in the centerpieces, my bouquet, and bridesmaids bouquets (because I am a completely insane person)
  • My birdcage veil
  • Boutonnieres for Groom, Groomsmen and all immediate Family Members
  • Programs and POM-POM packs for tossing
  • Escort Cards
  • Guest Book
  • Card Box
  • Music (not much to share here, we just used iTunes)
  • “Just Married” sign for the car
  • Thank You’s
  • Rehearsal Dinner (again, not much to share, we just bought some goodies and had a picnic in the park)
  • Didn’t have a cake, instead 20 PIES (we didn’t make them, but my Father-in-law did – NOMS)

Now the (illustrated) example I used in the last screenprinting post was on handkerchiefs and I decided to do this to best explain exactly the process I did with my invitations, although the post image was more for a season’s greetings.

screenprinted invitations

The best part of this whole project was that I was able to order 150 assorted handkerchiefs on eBay for approximately $40 and got my kit for $50, so these just cost over 50 cents each to make, including supplies I will use again. These ended up being an epic money saver, I got tons of compliments on them, and they were so unique.

So if you were wary about the illustrated results in my last post, I hope this puts your mind at ease. Screenprinting is pretty sexy.

And so are you.

Toodles.

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