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.

diy-pretty-shampoo-bottles-via-almost-makes-perfect

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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There is no place like home

Turns out that September is traveling month, first Hawaii and now we are up in the Tri-Cities, Washington visiting my parents and my siblings. There really isn’t much I love more than being here with everyone. I love my family dearly and only wish I could be here for longer. Vacations are great, but nothing really recharges my batteries like a visit to my childhood home. I am hoping Sunday approaches VERY slowly.

And I get to kick it with the world’s best dog: KIPPER, my agility buddy and puppy training super star.

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Tomorrow we have a family photo shoot with the beautiful and talented Meg Borders and I am both super excited and terrified that I’ll look like a frumpalumpapus. Despite the irrational lady anxiety (this is normal, right?), it will just be really nice to having some non-wedding family photos of us, since, on the whole we are a pretty attractive bunch.

In other exciting news – next week will be DIY week where I will be posting the final project from the Pinterest Challenge I joined in on with Chronicled, and maybe one or two smaller DIY’s that I’ve done over the last month or so.

I am really looking forward to this weekend of love and happy memories – hope yours is similarly stocked.

This is why I love the internets

I am a total Mac groupie. I LOVED my iPhone. It was the best, honestly and truly. I can’t even give you any super quantitative reasons for why, but just don’t bother talking to me about your Android phone as I am blindly committed to how awesome the iPhone is. Unfortunately, however, with my leaving work, I also had to hand in my much-loved, work-provided cellular device. And with it went my easy access to the best app of all the apps, Instagram.

I do have a tablet, which I used to take the photo below with, but it 1. is not convenient to carry around and snap photos with 2. it has far worse point and shoot camera specs. I am sure most are thinking, why don’t you just buy your own iPhone, like the rest of the world (less those dummies with Androids)? Well if that was a simple answer, I would share that with you, but instead just trust we have our reasons (short-term: sad yet also long-term: exciting reasons.)

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// This photo is of some totally delicious and healthy blueberry french toast that I made last Saturday YUMS! //

There is a light at the end of the tunnel though – not the happiest, brightest light, but at least a florescent bulb. My husband’s new job has ordered him some fancy (Android) smart phone and I am totally commandeering it, when needed, for my Instagram pleasure.

In the meantime, my Instagram account is a little sad and the above picture is all I have for recent photos, so for fun and because I don’t have much else to report, here are some of my favorite internet finds from this week:

+ Over 100 corgis at this event in the Pacific Northwest. I would have totally attended but I might have died of happiness.

+ If I did my wedding over again it might just look something like this (featured on Brooklyn Bride), with a little bit of YEAH! Rentals action and Max Wanger Photography thrown into the mix. Love everything – the dress, the neon sign, the invites, the bands, the gold details.. swooooon.

+ I have been told by MANY that my personality doppelgänger is Aubrey Plaza (particularly if/when I am hungover – which has never happened*…,) and while she probably shouldn’t be anyone’s role model, I am taking it as a compliment because I find her outstandingly hilarious, all of which makes me want to see this movie. Plus, being linked to her is much better than who people actually have mistaken me for. Like really, it’s happened at least 10 times – in college, one customer at Starbucks even refused to call me ‘Ryann’ and instead called me ‘Lindsey.’ EVERY. DAY.

     * this is a lie.

+ UO has Bullet Planters? WHAAAA? I want. Too bad I don’t have a money tree, otherwise I would buy one in every color, in both sizes. Also, H&M Home is kinda killing it – with this (in orange and dark green please,) this (cutest toy for Jenny,) and this (perfect for a makeup tin,) and this, and this.

+ These photos by Fiona Conrad have me daydreaming of a trip to Santorini. Just beautiful.

+ Alex and I have been talking a lot about making our own bloody mary’s. Well, this recipe by A Beautiful Mess has me ready to stop talking the talk and finally walk the walk. Or drink the drank.

+ Here are a bunch of incredible tricks that my dog can’t do. But we love her anyway. This dog is very appropriately named ‘Jumpy’. How adorbs.

+ This week’s soundtrack has simply been these two songs on repeat: Lucius, Two of Us on the Run (really all of Lucius’ songs) and Walk the Moon, Shiver Shiver (officially unofficial band-made music video)

+ If you know me in real life and we have happened to discuss kids at all, you have probably heard me say that I really only would want one/them to decorate its/their room(s) and to dress it/them up – see my Pinterest board ‘If I ever change my mind about children‘. Its a pretty horrible, but honest truth. I like kids, I really do, I just have little-to-no baby fever. This Buzzfeed post, however, does make me want to borrow one for dress up reasons (much like my Halloween post from last year.) Also, I am a horrible human being, but seriously, have kids and let me be the crazy aunt-lady. (Alright, fine, #6, 12, and 22 do give my lady parts a tiny twist of desire to have a little Wesley James Moore, some day. The tiniest bit of desire.)

+ An older article, but one I reread this week and if you are a bride, you should to: Why you need a Wedding Planner.

+ Whoooo wouldn’t want these awesome Owl Letterpress Cards? See what I did there?…

+ I LOVE this embroidery artwork that the Jealous Curator tracked down by Stephanie K. Clark. Along with the JC, I am thinking “DAMN I WISH I THOUGHT OF THAT.” Besides that, I want them all.

+ Alright so my plan is: devote one room’s wall space to Stephanie K. Clark’s creations, and another to these gemstone prints. Must collect them all!

+ I am overloading you with dog stuff today, but really how totally cute is this make your own felt dog kit? What a great gift idea for (ME) someone who loves their pooch?

+ Speaking of gifts, this has to be one of my favorite finds of the entire year, not just this week. Not Another Bill is a service that allows you to sign up/subscribe so that you or a friend receives cool new surprises in the mail every month. Some of their past month’s gifts seem amazing.. now if only I could find that money tree…

Happy weekend to all, and to all a good night.

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.

chronicled-blog_2ndPinterestChallenge

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.

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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.

Working for the Weekend

Although the week has started and I am already well into my crazy schedule, my mind is stuck on my weekend. In my mind I am still bike riding along the strand or sipping mimosas with a good friend after finishing our 10K.

Only a few more days before we get to enjoy another little life break.

weekend

For some extra fun-timez, here are a few great things the internet has introduced to me today:

  1. I just can’t quit watching the NPR tiny desk concerts, here is a great one of Swell Season.
  2. While I was considering just making some myself, these coasters may have changed my mind.
  3. Last chance to vote for Homies on Apartment Therapy – everyone should vote! (If you are dying to know who I voted for, here is a hint: rhymes with Ranhattan Fest)
  4. I think I could literally listen to Amy Winehouse singing Valerie for the rest of the week, straight.
  5. Booked our flights and our rental care for our spring break, Europe trip. Countries will include Belgium, Germany, and France. Send any must-see’s my way. (So far I have taken about 20 pages of notes from Oh Happy Day’s Paris posts)
  6. My type-friends will appreciate this: Kern Ring Set. I also appreciate and want to own them.
  7. Two favorite recent (crazy stylish and beautiful) blogs I have found: Sweet Thing and JASPR.
  8. My web design class meets for the second time tonight and I can already tell this is going to be one of my favorite classes of all time. Big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  9. This Design Sponge, Bri Emery of Design Love Fest and Blogshop feature is so inspiring and motivating. Repeat – big plans, huge goals, and exciting future – here I come.
  10. This vegan paleo recipe posted by Jeremy and Kathleen has me wanting to go vegan paleo.

What are your weekend plans? What are your huge goals?

**Don’t forget to immortalize your favorite pet or loved one in a DIY cell-phone cover, either for the Hallmark holiday around the corner, or just because.**

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.)

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