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?

a little less PURPLE, a little more DESK

So, my computer was all like “Yo, Ryann, I am feeling like I am really ready to commit and settle down in one location, the life of a drifting laptop is getting a bit old.”

To which I naturally responded, “I hear ya, let me see what I can do, because I’m just that nice.”

I had thought of making a pipe shelving unit/desk, a la, The Brick House, but let’s be honest, I was too lazy. Instead we went with a much more simple DIY:

IKEA VIKA ALEX storage unit, white $50

IKEA LAGAN kitchen countertop 1″ x 25″ x 49″, beech $39

IKEA EKBY VIKTOR shelf 29″, white $6 (2)

IKEA EKBY STODIS shelf brackets, black $.50 (4)

Home Depot heavy-duty shelving brackets in white, $9 ea (2)

Screws, long and short

Screwdriver

Total Cost: $121

The challenge was the limited amount of space for the “office” in our apartment. In our previous place we had a whole second bedroom, but even there we never had a proper setup. With my classes I have been very excited to have my own space, a devoted area to do homework, and a much better spot to focus on my work rather than the couch or in the bed.

We needed something small for the very awkward, approximately 4′ deep space off the bedroom by the closet. Here is a before photo (please note again the purple):

First I painted over that yucky purple, which was the last of it – paint me a happy lady.

Secondly, I put together the storage unit. I am really happy with it and seems very sturdy. I also like that it is finished on the back, so there isn’t a bad angle for it to be seen from.

From here Alex and I went on a super duper fun wild goose chase – turns out Alex and I haven’t really ever bought any wood or been to a lumber yard — it also turns out a 1″ x 2′ x 4′ piece of wood isn’t something too easy to come by, at least in the South Bay. Everything is planks or thin pressed wood sheets. Maybe this is something most people know, but we didn’t and it was slightly embarrassing asking some workers who clearly thought this was common knowledge, that no, they didn’t have anything like that. So since we had already bought and put together the storage unit and had our plan, we didn’t want to back out and still wanted to find a way to make this work. As you can see from the supplies list above, we did find a solution, and while the dimensions were not perfect, I actually love it more than I thought. The IKEA countertop is great, it has a nice thickness and seems like good quality wood. I lightly sanded the countertop, cleaned it off with Murphy’s Soap and gave it some Teak Oil love and it came out looking perdy.

Once we had everything we needed, the rest was very easy. We put the storage unit up against the wall, marked the height and screwed in the heavy-duty L-brackets. Once the brackets were in the wall, we balanced the countertop on them and the storage unit, ensured that the placement was straight, and used small screws to attach the brackets to the countertop from underneath.

After then hanging a couple shelves, our make-shift office was turning out to be a nice little computer nook. It isn’t fully styled yet, but I am loving it so far. So is my computer. And Jenny. She is very pleased to be my fuzzy foot rest under this nice desk-cave we have seemingly built for her.

All we need now is to be on the lookout for a sweet office chair.

Waterproofing

Alright people, look alive — this one is exciting.

My Problem:  No dining room.  No outdoor furniture.  Small outdoor “patio.”  Left over dining table and chairs from previous apartment, which was much bigger (but also less glamourous – and if you know me, I basically ooze glamour.)

My Solution:  Waterproof that shiz!

Well if there ever was going to be a simple tutorial this is it…

SUPPLIES – Murphy’s Soap, Wilco’s Teak Oil, sandpaper, paper towels, rags, Waterproofing Finish, and item to be waterproofed

Step (1) sand any trouble spots–  I started with a cheap, plain wooden IKEA table that had been bumped and bruised a bit over the years, so I only sanded those  spots that needed a little love.  ONLY SAND IN THE DIRECTION OF THE GRAIN.  YES, I AM YELLING, and NO, I WONT STOP UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND THE SEVERITY OF THIS STATEMENT.

Step (2) clean —  I used Murphy’s Oil Soap, because it is the best, but feel free to use a lesser soap if you like being less awesome.  Try to get any little wood dust from the sanding and make it a fresh base for our next steps.

Step (3) rub oil all over it —  I used Wilco’s Teak Oil, which you need to be very careful with, but looks super duper beautiful.  Basic rule is to obviously follow the directions on whatever oil treatment you use, but here I simply took a rag covered in the oil and rubbed it on pretty generously.  Allow for this to sit for about ten minutes then rub off any access.  Depending on how much came off, consider doing a second coat.  The chairs only really wanted to drink up one coat and the table was a bit more thirsty and took two.  Generally, when you rub off the excess, if you have a lot come off, you were probably generous enough with the first coat and don’t need a second.  Naturally, the reverse is true, if you don’t have much rub off go ahead and do a second coat and repeat until your furniture appears to not be soaking up much more.

Step (4) waterproof — once your furniture feels dry and your excess oil has been rubbed off, use a waterproofing sealant to lock in all that hard work and beauty.  Be careful when purchasing a waterproofing finish, as most are tinted, for the look I wanted I selected a transparent solution because I wanted the color of the table to remain unchanged.  I used Behr’s transparent waterproof stain.  Mostly because I haven’t had horrible luck with Behr and it was the smallest available can.  It worked great and am very happy with how it turned out.

Unfortunately I didn’t take before pictures, mostly because I thought it would look the same, but afterwords I was kicking myself because the oil step really made the table shine and just look yummy.

Here are some after photos – yay!  Now come over, we will eat dinner, outside, whilst watching the sun set over the ocean!  Sorry to be such a snooty-puss about my view, but I still can’t get over it.  Too bad that Jenny’s legs are too short for her to see the view, she has no idea why we moved into this little box.

 

In other news, last week, about a couple weeks in, at 3 AM in the morning Alex and I were woken up by what sounded like raccoons fighting.  We run to the door, look outside, and there, in the pond right outside our door, were three soaking wet real-life RACCOONS…. FIGHTING.  It was pretty fascinating, but very loud so Alex told them to “get outtahar!”

In other, other news, I have primed the bedroom and living room and bought my paint.  Only took me about a month to prime, at this rate all the projects I have planned for the place will take me approximately seven years.  I suppose that highlights one pro about the apartment being barely bigger than 500 sq ft… at least there is only potential for about 500 sq ft of projects.

More photos and posts to come, lovelies.

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