Coffee Table Storage Baskets

Ok so this is a lame non-post but LOOK WHAT I FOUND! I have been looking for some nice baskets for our coffee table ever since we refinished it and added the storage shelf. Our board games and magazines were all over the place. It was really hard to find a storage basket that would fit on the shelf and would also fit a Monopoly box!

Last year when we finished the table, I found these ones from Pottery Barn but they were really expensive. So every time I went to HomeSense I would browse their baskets, measure them and sigh disappointedly as I once again left empty handed.

Luckily I didn’t give up hope… because today, I found them! For a paltry $17! And even my skeptical husband, who has an embargo on throw pillows and anything decorative, admitted that they were a “significant improvement.” I’m calling that a win!

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Felt Fishies Baby Mobile

Hope you had a great Christmas/New Year’s! In the lead up to the holidays I put the finishing touches on the mobile I have been working on for my sweet baby nephew, T. As per usual, this project took way longer and was much more work than I was anticipating. Also as per usual, my husband got roped into helping me!

My brother-in-law loves to fish and he and my sister both love being outside and on the water… they had wanted something “fish related.” I used felt to make fishies/clamshells and hand-sewed them with a blanket stitch around the edges, then stuffed them with batting. I followed this really helpful tutorial from TammyHallam’s youtube channel for the blanket stitch. My old button collection came in handy for the fishie’s eyes and I used fabric paint on the clamshells.

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For the sailboat, I used fabric for the sails and denim from an old pair of jeans for the boat. I machine-sewed both (I tried the blanket stitch at first but since it wasn’t as rigid as the felt it looked really shabby), stuffed them with batting, and then closed them with a ladder stitch/blind stitch that I learned how to do here. I appliqued a felt heart to the largest sail which I think was a really cute touch. The “mast” is actually an old pen barrel that used to say Holiday Inn before I wiped it off with acetone/nail polish remover!

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The frame was formed from thick gauge wire by my super helpful husband and then I covered it with packing foam and strips of fabric (I ripped the edges so they had that unfinished, rustic look I was going for… or maybe I just didn’t feel like finishing the edges?). Then I strung beads and the felt shapes on fishing line, using seed beads with a knot tied around to anchor everything in place. I made sure to choose really colourful beads that were shiny and eye-catching, hoping that will hold my nephew’s attention until he falls asleep! After all the knots were tied and it was more or less balanced, I tacked everything down with drops of hot glue. I’m really happy with how it turned out and I hope my sister likes it!

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Click here to see the mobile in action!

Can’t wait for more projects in 2014 :)
-C

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And so it begins…

Hey there! I am going to use this space to document my adventures in DIY. My plan is to eventually have photos and maybe even tutorials on some of my cool crafts/projects/adventures! In the past year I have tackled a variety of projects including the following: turned a flea market frame into a magnetic chalkboard;

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refinished a hand-me-down generic coffee table to better suit my style (before/after);

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fixed up an old sofa with a jazzy new slipcover (before/after);

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and made cozy Christmas covers for throw pillows out of thrift store sweaters/old buttons!

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Not to mention all the cool things I did for my intimate cottage wedding this past September… I made some of my accessories, hand-lettered our seating plan on salvaged window panes, and sourced tons of unique decorations from local flea markets. Here are a few teaser shots that one of my friends took… I’m going to put it all together in a future post, because there are too many things to mention and the end result was awesome (If I do say so myself).

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Right now I am working on a mobile for my adorable nephew and in January I’m going to learn how to use Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint at Malenka Originals, an awesome shop in Ottawa that I have been dying to visit.

I love having a project to focus on. It’s so satisfying to work hard at something and then have a tangible result! Also, my day job is working as a research scientist, so I find myself really needing a creative outlet.

Here is a picture of me tackling the slipcover I mentioned above… I think it was the first time I had ever sewed a zipper on anything and I was SUPER proud.

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More to come!
-C

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