DIY PROJECT: POP OF COLOR FOR MAGAZINE RACK

I picked up this lovely wooden magazine rack for $3 at the local Salvation Army, hoping it would serve as a temporary end table next to my side of the reclining couch. The rack was in good shape, with the knobby end pieces needing to be tightened and the bottom shelf piece needing glue or nails to keep from sliding back and forth. When Charlie inspected my new purchase, he kindly offered to attach a piece of leftover wood to the bottom shelf for stabilization. I love my husband so much.

As soon as Charlie cut and nailed the extra piece of wood to the bottom of the magazine rack, I started priming it with some leftover yellow paint from the kitchen paint project. I was searching for ideas and inspiration on Pinterest about repainting the magazine rack when I briefly glanced at a picture tutorial of adding stickers to the side and painting over them for a textured look. Hmmmmm. I can do that!

Luckily, a packet of heart stickers were just lying around the kitchen counter because I hadn’t found a place for them in my completely unorganized workroom. Eight hearts in the package. Four hearts to each side. I think these stickers were meant for this project! Having the hearts simply run down the side was a simple but pretty design, and I didn’t waste time with a ruler — I just eyeballed the space between the hearts.

I’m really not looking for pure perfection with the sticker placement or my paint job for that matter. As long as the paint drips aren’t too big or outrageous, I’m totally cool with small imperfections. I found myself itching to work on the project during the evenings, which meant sitting in the basement with the box fan. Fortunately, the cats had no desire to help or bother me so I was safe for a few days.

I think I have a magazine rack addiction. After having lunch with a friend and her adorable 1-year-old kid a few weeks after picking up the first magazine rack, we ended up at the Salvation Army store and I nabbed TWO more wooden racks! The darker colored one was $3 — and I would’ve been cool with paying that — but it had a 50% off sticker. No internal debate was necessary. And I didn’t need to talk myself into buying the second rack for the full price of $3.

Was yellow too babyish? Too bright? Charlie suggested placing one of the magazine racks next to the couch and looking at it among the surrounding. My husband is a smart man. I followed his suggestion when the magazine rack was dry enough to handle, and I was pleasantly surprised how much I like the pop of yellow in the sea of rich brown decor. Satisfied yellow was the correct color choice, I continued to paint two of the three racks.

For now the first newly painted magazine rack sits beside my side of the couch and holds my laptop until I can find end tables that meet my high expectations. I’m really happy that I stuck with yellow because it pops next to the brown couch and matches the curtains. The rack is perfect for housing my laptop instead of leaving it on the couch’s armrest. One yellow magazine rack down two more to go.

The second wooden magazine rack was in good shape but it was a little rough around the edges — literally. Maybe whoever made it was aiming for a rustic look because some areas definitely needed sandpaper. After sanding some areas here and there, I simply gave the second magazine rack a few coats of yellow paint over the course of a few days. Now, it sits in one of the bathrooms holding extra rolls of toilet paper. And the third and final magazine rack? Well, that one deserves its own post. Stay tuned.

REFASHION: SIDE TIE FIXES EVERYTHING

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Earlier this year, I refashioned a plain purple T-shirt by adding a super cute multi-color trim to the bottom. Well, I curved the bottom hem and then added the trim, and I really liked the refashion. But I felt the shirt was missing something — I couldn’t figure out what the shirt needed. To add matching trim to the sleeves or the neckline was too much, in my opinion. So, the shirt sat in my closet for months until I figured out the missing element.

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Even months later, I still stand by not adding more fabric to the sleeves neckline because that would look too matchy matchy (if that makes any sense), but what about a decorative side tie on the higher portion of the hem? The tie wouldn’t be used to cinch or tighten anything because the shirt fits just fine. The side tie would be purely decorative. I totally visualized the idea in my mind and believed my purple shirt could be saved. Yay for brilliant ideas and second chances!

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What I did:

  • snipped open about 6 inches on the higher hem side
  • created two narrow stripes with the same multi-color fabric (about 12 inches long)
  • sewed a strip to each side of the new opening
  • added a red button at the top of opening
  • added a small panel of fabric underneath the opening

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Love! That’s the first word that popped in my mind when I looked at the finished work in the mirror. I just needed to fix one more tiny little issue — the open space between the ties. When I move around in the shirt, I don’t want to feel self conscious about the gap so I decided to cover the gap with a knit remnant from my sewing stash. Beautiful! Now, I can show off my refashioned shirt at work! Woot!

DIY: COLOR ME AWESOME AGAIN!

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WHAT I’VE LEARNED SO FAR: Ironing white crayon onto a dark blue T-shirt doesn’t work very well at all. I know — I tried twice. No success. So, stick to light colored shirts when drawing and ironing with crayons. Also, when writing names and numbers, remember to reverse (a mirror image) the letters and numbers. The crayon picture will fade a bit when you stretch out the shirt (which I did).

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After falling in love with my awesome crayon T-shirt, I taught one niece and three nephews how to transfer a crayon drawing (on sandpaper) to a shirt. They picked out a light colored shirt and drew pictures and wrote words on their piece of sandpaper. How easy is this project? So easy! The hardest part is figuring out what you want to draw or write.

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I think the boys like the idea of having another T-shirt to wear, but I know my amazing niece Tova loves anything dealing with arts and crafts. Also, a huge shout out to Tova for sharing her collection of crayons for the project. She loved her new shirt so much that she wore it to dinner that same night and showed it off to everyone she knew.

REFASHION: COLOR ME AWESOME

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After reading numerous simple tutorials by other bloggers, I finally decided to try the crayon art-sandpaper project. The goal: color a pretty picture on sandpaper and iron picture on fabric or T-shirt. Sounds easy, right? Even the most anti-crafters thought the project was super easy with pretty good results.

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Luckily, I was hanging out with my dad one afternoon when he decided to stop by a hardware store (neither Charlie and I have sandpaper in our stash of stuff). I picked up some cheap and fine sandpaper and cut one sheet in half because I wanted a simple drawing on my T-shirt. I’m not the greatest artist in the world, but I know how to draw a flower.

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Inspired by the great video game, Plants vs. Zombies, I drew a cute little red sunflower on the sandpaper. Many crafters used white T-shirts, but I wanted to use a yellow T-shirt, knowing I would somehow ruin or stain a white shirt within moments of wearing it. I figured any light colored shirt would do if you didn’t want to work with white.

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Per my research, I drew my red sunflower with crayons and made it darker with a second layer of crayon. Once my picture was completed, I turned the sandpaper over (with the drawing facing the shirt) and placed it on my shirt. In hindsight, maybe I should have taped the sandpaper before I ironed it, but the image turned out fine anyway.

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If I had my way, I would’ve ironed it a bit more but unfortunately the sandpaper moved a smidge here and there, and I didn’t want to ruin anything. To make sure the crayon wax was firmly on the shirt, I covered my picture with a dish towel and ironed over the area a few more times. Once done, I turned the shirt inside out and threw it in the wash for a quick spin.

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After the quick wash, I inspected the drawing and tried to scrape the wax off with my fingernail, but the wax was there to stay! Woot! Even my husband, who was skeptical of the Pinterest-found project from the beginning, thought the shirt was cute (just like me!). The picture was bright as ever after a quick tumble in the dryer.

I love this project because it’s quick, easy, fun, and inexpensive. I would like to try ironing a drawing onto fabric and make a cute throw pillow or simple tote. And I wonder if a white crayon drawing would transfer onto a dark colored shirt. *sigh* So many ideas … I look forward to trying this project with my nieces and nephews and see what they create.