Friday, November 30, 2012

1st: Modify a Plain White Tee Part III: Text Print

As a courtesy to my sweeties back in Finland (in a timezone way before ours),
it is time to reveal the first of my Christmas Calendar posts!

Christmas Calendar, Day 1

For the T-shirt fan: Print Tee

How to:

Prewash the t-shirt!


Carve out the desired words from linoleum blocks (I got my blocks&carving tool at Hobby Lobby). Remember to do the words mirrored to get them the right way!

I glued on some scrap wooden pieces I had, which makes stamping a whole lot easier. You could glue on something else that you happen to have at home, a wine bottle cork for example.  To make sure the glue holds better, scratch the linoleum block's surface a bit before gluing to make it less smooth.

 I put some parchment paper inside my Tee in case any color was going to leak through.

I used a foam brush to apply fabric color onto the stamp. This fabric color needed 4 hours to dry, and the bottle says that you can wash the Tee after 3 days.

 Remember to make your words mirrored onto the stamp! This is something I didn't even think about until I had already carved my stamps, but it turned out quite fun the wrong way, too :)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

DIY Rustic Desk with Stained IKEA Legs

Since our dining table is always just hidden under a pile of my projects, I decided we need another table, or a project desk. We bought these VIKA ARTUR legs/trestles from IKEA, but I wanted to make the table top myself. The trestles are adjustable, which is really great since I often stand cutting fabric etc. And the desk can work as a cocktail table for entertaining, we just need some more stools :)

How to:

The trestles were untreaded, so I stained them with Minwax Wood Finish, Special Walnut. 
 (Sanded on the left, not sanded on the right)

We got whitewood boards at Lowes, they will cut them in the length you need. Make sure you by long enough boards so that your feet will have room under the desk (the trestles are quite wide). You also need boards you'll attach the top boards to.

My boards are 60 inches long. That leaves about 20 inches between the lowest parts of the trestles, when the trestle is attached at about 10 inches from the ends of the boards.

Sand the edges of the boards (I used grain 60).


Lay them out to see how you want them, and drill away!

I started with drilling holes&screws at the ends, which will help keep everything in place while you put on the rest.

When I was done attaching the boards, I flipped it over and went over with a sander to make sure there were no splinters, and to even out the edges of the boards a bit. First grain 60, then 200.


Wipe off sanding dust with damp cloth. Then stain, and then wipe off any excess stain with a clean cloth.

Go over everything with your protective finish, I used Paste Finishing Wax by Minwax because it isn't shiny like some finishes. I think Rust-Oleum's Ultimate Polyurethane in Satin would work, too.

(You see the color of the trestle pieces underside is a bit wonky, that's because I wanted to see how it would look if I swept over the whole thing with some white paint/water blend to get a "washed out" look, but I did not like how the color turned out. If you do, I had about 1 part white crafts paint and 5 parts water, you can try it out for example on some extra piece of wood which you have stained)

Attach the trestles upper piece to the board.

I painted the trestle adjustment pieces, first with black and then a silver coat over it, since I wanted them to mimic the other metallic parts of the trestles, and not the wood. Am also thinking about replacing them with some hardware pieces, but we'll see, this works for now.

The boards had some stamps on them, make sure to have them on the underside if you don't want them visible, but I really like all the little "imperfections" :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

How to: Upside Down French Braid Pony

This is perfect for the gym, and works even though I have bangs :)

Start by bending forwards (keeping your head upside down), and make a French Braid starting from the neck. When I got on top of the head, I took the hair from the front into the mix in three sections so the hair wouldn't start pulling downwards. Then just secure with hairband. If you like, you can make the ponytail into a bun as well. 

(Buns aren't too glamorous with this fine Finnish hair, but you get the point)

Outfit: New Stuff

Love love love these clothes I found last weekend!

I have been thinking about this EXPRESS dress for a while, but am always a bit hesitant since I mostly turn to a little black dress for parties etc... But now, with 50% off plus an additional 40% off, who could resist? It really brightens up my mood just seeing it hanging in my closet, and I do need to bring some more California into my black&white Finnish closet...

I was also looking for sweaters since it gets quite cold outside during the evenings now, but in the end I levitated towards this gorgeous "biker" wool jacket at H&M (made out of recycled wool!) that was a steal, really, at thirty dollars.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cover Inspired: Elle 10/2011 (Serbia)

I know, you're thinking "2011? But why?"

I was browsing old magazine covers and this one just stopped me in my tracks. Just gorgeous! And feathers are all around now, so here's some cool stuff I found out there on Polyvore:

Cover Inspired: Elle 10/2011

Saturday, November 24, 2012

DIY Surfboard Headboard or Wall Art

My second week of this weird on-and-off fever is starting to get to me :( but at least I have a fun project to share with you guys:

About a week ago I posted this large wall art post, where the photo was on top of a desk. That desk was a work in progress at that time, since I realized the table top was too short for the legs/trestles that are really wide. I just wanted it to be as wide as our stairs so my little "office" could be under there, and didn't think much about the feet having room... Anyways, the board I had built to be the table top happened to be exactly the width of our guest mattress, so it got turned into a headboard.

Since the headboard was going to be for the guest room, we wanted it to work as art when the mattress is tucked away. We wanted to incorporate California somehow, and a couple of weeks after building it I came up with the surfboard stencils, and could finally finish the project.

How to:


At Lowes, we picked out 2 whitewood boards that where 8 inches wide and 8 feet tall, and had them cut into 38 inches long pieces. After two 38 inch pieces per board, the two pieces that were left over worked perfectly as the boards to attach the main pieces to (about 20 inches). I sanded the ends to even them out (grain 60). After the boards were attached, I flipped the whole thing and went over it with a orbit sander to make sure there weren't any splinters (first grain 60, then 200).


My favorite phase: Staining! I, once again, used Minwax Wood Finish in the color Special Walnut. 


I cut out a surfboard shaped piece from parchment paper and used it as a model when drawing the stencils. I drew the stencils directly onto some plastic contact paper.

Then I started to draw the pattern I wanted on them, and finally "carved" them out.


Make sure you have both ends as cut-out areas, since everything you cut out is the part that gets painted aka shows the form of the surfboard (or whatever shape you wish to make). Notice how my stencil's pieces all are connected to the outer rim. If you want separate areas of the stenciled picture to stay the wood's own color, you will have to make separate pieces that you attach on, and remove once painted. For example, if you want a completely white board with some flowers in the middle that expose the wood, you carve out the whole board and then make separate flowers out of the plastic, and attach on the board.


I first placed the stencils out to see how they would work together, and in which order I wanted them. Then I removed the protective film and attached the plastic stencil on top (note: you may want help with this!)


I used a foam brush to dab the crafts paint onto the board. To make sure the color doesn't leak, I recommend you dab out the color onto some cardboard so that you get it evenly on the brush.


Dab the whole thing, and then remove the plastic. When dry, finish with something to protect the wood. I rubbed on Minwax Finishing Paste with a cloth.

I like how the small imperfections in the wood show through: I made sure I wouldn't cover those completely with paint. 

 In one week we'll have our first Finnish visitors, yay!

PS: Notice how our pink room is no longer pink? We've been hard at work :)