Category Archives: DIY / Crafting

Painting Laminate Furniture

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I mentioned last week I finally was able to finish up a few projects I wanted to do around the house.  I think it’s hard when you move because you want things to look nice and homey right away, but for me it always takes awhile.  I like to live in the space to see how I want the rooms to function and take my time to visualize how I want to decorate.  It also really is a balancing act deciding how much time and money you want to put into a temporary rental.  But for me, I want us to feel like no matter where we are living it feels like home.  A place that feels warm, comfortable and tells a little bit of our story.

I was fortunate enough to snag this dresser from my Grandpa and sadly I don’t have a before photo, but it was an old laminate dresser.  It wasn’t looking so great, not the biggest fan of laminate of course and there was a water stain on the top.  But the lines and the construction were great and so I saw the potential!

Before doing any DIY I do a lot of research before I dive in.  What do I need to get, best practices, etc.  But since I did all that work I want to make it easy for all of you and tell you what I think is the best strategy on painting over laminate.  Back in the day when I wanted to paint furniture I would embarrassingly admit I would go to home depot and pick the cheapest paint and go at it.  But please, if you have a piece that you want to last a long time and frankly if you are putting the time and effort into a project it’s worth your while to do the steps correctly and getting the right materials, even if they cost more.

To make it simple here are the steps you should take:

1.  Make sure the piece of furniture is cleaned thoroughly

2.  Take the time to tape.  Of course if you are doing the entire piece this step is unnecessary, but I was only doing a portion of the dresser so it needed to be done.

3.  Paint a layer of primer onto the laminate.  I really only advise using the shellac base primer Zinsser (this primer is specifically for laminate and does not require you to sand beforehand, which most primers are not equipped to do).

4.  After the paint is dried completely sand it with a very light sandpaper, I used 250 grit.

5.  Once again wipe down the piece of furniture and then you can move on towards painting the piece to your desired color.

6.  Again after much research I strongly suggest using Sherwin Williams ProClassic with a Mohair Roller.  As the paint relaxes it spreads smoothly giving you a great finish and the durability is fantastic.  

7.  This is a very important word of advice, make sure to do lighter coats with multiple coats vs. fewer thicker coats.  Always make sure you have adequate time in between coats.

So that’s my advice on giving your piece of furniture a long lasting uplift that will not only looking great, but last!!

Having a background in architecture I have a ton of friends who are top-notch designers so showing you our living room makes me a little weary.  Once I have my own home I plan on doing things little more professional and permanent, but for now I like how things are coming together!  The color of the living room is not great in my books and would love if it was a bright white, but I have no ambition to change it right now.  And for the record most of the time there’s books and toys scattered throughout, it’s never that put together :).

If you have an itch to do some DIY’s in your home I recommend the following blogs for inspiration:  The Little Green Notebook, Vintage Revivals and Emily Henderson.  Of course there are 100’s of design blogs out there, but these are the ones I always check out regularly.  These people have gained my respect and I think they know what they are doing.  Some are self taught, others have trained backgrounds.

Here’s photo’s of the piece of furniture and our Living Room: DSC_0037 DSC_0036 copy DSC_0031 DSC_0038 nola wanted to get into one of the photos too 🙂

DIY Dyed Pasta Necklaces

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Hey Guys!  Here’s a simple craft that I did with Nola this week and think it’s the perfect activity to do during these cold months with any toddler.  We have all seen this craft so this isn’t something innovative or a new craft I’m sharing with you, but rather, ‘remember when we did this when we were little, it still is a good one to do!

Materials:

– 2 boxes of Rigatoni
– food coloring
– rubbing alcohol
– gallon ziploc bags
– stiff string (works best for little toddlers so they can string the pasta easily)

Directions:

1.  Add approx. 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol to each color of food coloring you are using.  The amount of food coloring is more trial and error, I used the gel food coloring and ended up using quite a bit because I wanted my pasta to be as vibrant as possible.

2.  Make sure the rubbing alcohol and food coloring is thoroughly mixed together and set aside.

3.  Divide half a box of pasta into a gallon ziploc bag, which allows the pasta to not be overcrowded in each bag.

4.  Pour each food coloring and rubbing alcohol mixture into one of the ziploc bags, seal it up and shake and spread mixture throughout pasta in bag.  This could be a great task for maybe a 3 year old?  Not something I had my 2 year old do however.  If you have your little one help, double bag!!  Continue doing step #2 with however many colors you are doing, I did four.

5.  Set the bags of pasta onto baking sheets, spreading pasta out in one layer.  Let it set in the bag for an hour so the pasta can really absorb the color.

6.  Line baking pans with parchment paper or tin foil and pour pasta out of the bags and spread out.  The pasta should be dry in 1 to 2 hours.  I set mine out overnight.

7.  Cut long pieces of stiff string and let your toddler create the cutest pasta necklaces you will see!  (*tip, tie a pasta at one end so when they string the pasta it doesn’t fall off the other end)

*** the alcohol seals the color in the pasta and avoids any concern of the color getting on their little hands, furniture, clothes, etc.***

Nola was really intrigued by the colorful pasta and excited to make the necklaces, however 10 minutes into the project she had enough of it.  Which lets be honest, sometimes after getting everything ready you question was it worth it?  But what was great was that later that day she did it again with CJ and seemed to really enjoy it!  We just keep the pasta out and whenever she feels like it we set it all out.  This is a great project that requires them to use their motor skills.  We also told her to make some necklaces for her cousins which she was excited about.  Yay for teaching them young how fun it is to make something for others, am I right?

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Timing is Everything

Hello!!

I didn’t fall off the face of the planet, I swear. I’ve been meaning to check in on the blog for weeks now but somehow the time keeps getting away. Or maybe that’s what life is like now?

The past few weeks have flown by as visitors, family, and grandparents have come and gone. In between, baby Ara and I are getting to know each other better. We are discovering a daily routine (eat, play, sleep, repeat with a stroller walk/moms session/office visit/ some kind of outing in the middle). It was slowgoing in the beginning but I’m growing more confident in taking her out, especially after we survived our first diaper blowout change in the car backseat and public nursing session. Sidenote, they should give out medals or at least free glasses of wine when these mommy milestone are achieved….

Our first Mother’s Day was wonderful and low-key. We spent the day together as a family, took a walk on Alki Beach near our house, and Nick and Ara made me a beautiful journal that will become filled over time. In this year’s entry, there’s a photo of me holding newborn Ara and her handprints at 6 weeks old. I love it.

Ara is 9 weeks this week and has been cooing and smiling for a few weeks now. It warms my heart every time. It’s fun to interact with her at this stage now since she’s so alert and aware of her surroundings. Her personality is coming through. So far we know she’s pretty easygoing and a generally happy kid. I often catch her just taking in the world around her with these BIG eyes. I made her laugh for the first time a couple days ago while doing something incredibly mundane- squats of all things. Her face broke out into a smile while I was breathlessly counting off each squat and she started laughing in her bouncer as she watched me go up and down. It must have looked pretty funny. Forget the last ten pounds I need to lose, making her laugh again was even better motivation for me to continue, but MAN, I realized how out of shape I was after a few minutes.

Life as we know it is changing rapidly. Nick graduates at the end of the month and is busy studying for his boards in July which is 10 days after graduation. (WHAT SICKO SET THAT DATE?) We are also trying to pack our townhouse to list and hopefully sell in a few weeks. In the midst of everything, we leave for Salt Lake City early June to try and find a rental for a year. This short trip will also be Ara’s first travel experience. And her baptism is the same weekend as graduation. I know what you’re thinking: it’s going to be a totally boring month for the Wegners.

Packing with a baby is basically a lesson in patience and efficiency (translation: a futile exercise). Ara is a sweetheart but she’s also the liveliest kid. We are in trouble. She now wants to be held or entertained all the time, so I’m racing around the house when she’s napping to try and get things done. She has become more sensitive to noise and light in her naps and now I almost miss the newborn stage when she was able to sleep through anything. Almost. That newborn stage was a hot mess for everyone involved.

Even now, she’s down for her first morning nap and I’m sitting at my kitchen table silently cursing out my neighbors who are working in their yard with a backhoe. Yardwork on a beautiful sunny weekend morning, what were they thinking..

Sure enough, she’s up again….now’s a good time to sign off. Hope to be back soon with hopefully some good updates about graduation, moving, and a home sale!

Here are a few photos from the past couple months. Sorry if these are redundant for my Instagram followers, but these favorites are on there for a reason! 🙂

Gymboree: 5 weeks old and already sleeping in class

Gymboree: 5 weeks old and already sleeping in class

Saturday morning

Saturday morning

Bedtime reading-ish

Bedtime reading-ish

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No hair don't care

No hair don’t care

Daddy and me

Daddy and me

Mommy and me

Mommy and me

We call her Bright Eyes

We call her Bright Eyes

My little joy

My little joy

 

DIY Bunny Garland

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Here’s an easy, but adorable DIY Bunny Garland you can do with your kiddos to help make your home a little festive for Easter!  The great thing is you can customize this garland with what you got lying around or head on over to a craft store for minimal items.

Materials Needed:  Paper/cardstock, bunny template, ribbon, white pom poms, scissors, glue, small hole punch and tape

Step 1:  Print out bunny template and cut out

Step 2:  Trace bunny onto selected paper/cardstock.  You could use white paper and paint polka dots, use construction paper, really the ideas are endless!  For my desired length of garland I cut out 6 bunnies.

Step 3:  To get Nola to be part of this craft I had her paint a few of the bunnies with watercolors

Step 4:  Tie a bow around the bunnies neck (I used different colored embroidery floss, but any type of ribbon would work

Step 5:  Glue pom poms to bunny for the tails

Step 6:  Hole punch on outer edges of each bunny under the neck

Step 7:  Determine the length of ribbon and then string each bunny on

Step 8:  Once bunnies are spaced evenly, ribbon is not twisted and centered onto ribbon, tape the back of each bunny onto ribbon to keep in place

Step 9:  Hang and enjoy!

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photo 3 (2) pretty cute right?!

DIY Personalized Heart Shirt

For Valentine’s Day I wanted to do something special for the number one guy in Nola and my life.  So I made these very simple shirts to tell the world how much we dig our guy.  To top it off it was very easy to put together and didn’t take a lot of time!  I know this was something I did for Valentine’s Day, but I’m still sharing it because this is something you can do for any special event and personalize it with a fun quote, a person’s name, really the ideas are endless!

Materials Needed:

T-Shirt (I got Nola’s from Target and used an old one for myself)

Red Jersey Fabric

Heat and Bond Iron-On Adhesive

Thread to Match Red Fabric

Fabric Paint (I used gold)

Small Paint Brush

1.  Cut out desired shape and size of heart from a piece of paper (always position it on shirt so you can adjust accordingly).  Trace heart onto Red Fabric and cut out.

2.  Follow instructions per Heat and Bond you purchase and iron heart to desired location on t-shirt.  I did not do this step, but I highly recommend it to ensure the fabric lies flat and there’s no bubbling.

3.  Sew heart onto t-shirt, follow the outer edge of heart leaving 1/4″ inch from outer edge.  This step is not necessary if you do step 2, but if you have a sewing machine I recommend this step to give it a more tailored look.

4.  Next sketch your word/words/phrase and design before painting because it’s like the saying, “measure twice, cut one.”

5.  Wait for the paint to dry and wear your shirt with pride!!

As you can these are not perfect by any means, but I still liked how they turned and it was fun to do!

DSC_0265 this photo best represents how I do things during the day, ha!

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