How to make a "green" tote~

I believe in trying to go "green". I'll admit, I'm not 100% good at it, but I do try. So when I saw this idea in a magazine ages ago (sorry, I don't remember what magazine it was) I decided that I had to give it a try.

Here's how to make a great "green" tote out of an old wool sweater. (you can left click on the very ugly photo above - I took it when it was getting dark and I realized I didn't have a "before" photo to share - to enlarge it if you want to be able to read what I typed in the boxes. )

EDITED TO ADD: I've had a couple of readers that mentioned they think the article was from Country Living.

1. First find yourself a wool sweater. I haven't worn the sweater that I used for my tote in probably 10 years, but I still liked it and always knew I'd find something to do with it.

2. Wash the sweater in hot water and then dry on a high heat setting. This will cause the sweater to shrink and will felt the wool.

3. Then cut the sweater as shown on the photo above.

4. Fold the sweater so the side seams are now in the front and back. (The felting will cause the seams to be much less obvious)

5. Turn the cut sweater inside out and sew the bottom closed.

6. Fold the cut edges over and hem.

VOILA! A recycled wool tote that will look great all through the fall and winter.

Linking to DIY day at A Soft Place to Land.

Have a great day~


Posting about Pillows~

Another crop of pretty pillows...

Look at this lovely special order Rosette Pillow done in white. I *heart* it completely! In fact, I love it so much I'm going to list another one in the shop...

Look at those lovely little posies...

I am a romantic at heart...and I just love the fact that flowers and ruffles are so stylish right now. What's a romantic girl to do? Add them to...just about...everything.
This pillow is made from a painter's drop cloth. (There's always another project to do with those...check out my drapes...and my tablecloth...) I got this idea from all of the "corsage" shirts we've been seeing this season. And a little tutorial I saw here. I just love the scruffy, puffy flower on this pillow...

Here's a closeup in all of its frayed loveliness...

And finally, this fun Halloween pillow using a great vintage graphic from The Graphics Fairy (one of my favorite blogs...OH the inspiration.) I'm loving this.

All of these are now listed in my shop...just waiting for someone to love them and give them a good home.
Coming soon on the Shabby Nest...
  • "Green" totes - repurposing sweaters
  • How to turn a Christmas Wreath into an Autumn Beauty
  • Make your own party platter

Have a great Tuesday~


An Eye for Pretty~

One of my favorite compliments I've ever received from a reader was being told that I have "an eye for pretty." I just love the idea of finding the pretty in the everyday. And when it comes to this little lamp that was certainly the case.

On Friday I showed you this little lamp in its "before" stage. Too sugary. Too precious. Too....brass.


So I gave her a few coats of spraypaint.

The spraypaint helped. But now the pretty lamp needed a lampshade that suited her new look. And the lampshade I had planned on using just wasn't going to cut it. So I thought, and I thunk, and I thinked. And it hit me. I had to make the perfect lampshade for this little beauty.

Now, I have purchased and used self-adhesive lampshades before, but when I went to buy another one, I was surprised at how expensive they were. I REALLY don't remember them being that costly. And this lamp IS a Frugal Friday project afterall. So I had to rethink my plan.

I was still mulling it over as I ran to Target to pick up such glamorous items as pull-ups and AA batteries (yes, I know, my life is sooooo glamorous!) when I happened to walk past the lighting section and see a small, plain white lampshade that was just perfect - and half the price of the self-adhesive version.

I had to make my own pattern for the fabric (which was actually very easy to do...I just rolled the fabric around the lampshade and cut it to fit. I could have been much more technical, but I am not a patient person when it comes to these sorts of things...sigh.) Then I hot glued it on to the shade. But the shade would be nothing without the addition of three sweet little rosettes. They made it just perfect. A little shabby, a little chic, a little romantic. Perfect!

Linking to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land.

Have a lovely day~


Frugal Friday~

Interesting how you can start out with one thing in mind and end up with something totally different once you get going. Inspiration works in funny ways.

Take this little lamp for example.

I saw her at the local thrift store, and thought she might be good for the Princess' room. Of course, the brass just didn't do it for me, and the pink roses with their green leaves made the whole thing just a little too "precious" for my taste. I thought of spraypainting the little lamp, but ended up putting her back instead.

Of course, it doesn't take a genious to figure out the rest of the story. I went back a couple of days later, and luckily, the little lamp was still there. This time I scooped her up and took her home.

After a few coats of spraypaint, this is how she looks. No precious pink roses, no yucky brass. Not only that, but the base looks a little more substantial now that the whole thing is the same color. (She wasn't actually dry yet when I took the photos...that's why she's still a little "shiny"...)

I planned on adding the lamp shade that is currently on the lamp in the Princess' room (pictured above), and thought it might be a nice contrast to the more formal lamp base. But as I was doing this post, and looking at the photo of the lamp in all of her cream-colored perfection, I had a flash of inspiration...

You'll have to wait until next week to see what I decided to do...(I know, I know, how could I make you wait? It'll be worth it, though!) And you know, the little lamp probably won't end up in the Princess' room after all...of course, I could redecorate...

Have a great Friday~


So I was given this award by Julie at Jam n' Jilly. I haven't played along with one of these awards in a while, so I thought I'd give it a go. The idea behind this particular award is that you are supposed to list 10 honest things about yourself.

Here goes nothing...

1. I never leave the house without makeup on...and hair done.

2. I also can't leave the house unless all the beds are made.

3. The clothes in my closet are arranged according to color...in the order of the rainbow. (yeah, there's a little of that design OCD going on there, I think.)

4. I find sweeping to be therapeutic. (I just really figured this out about myself a little while ago, and I think it's kind of weird...anybody else think cleaning is therapeutic?)

5. I have had a lifelong goal of becoming a published author someday...I even have a children's book manuscript that has been waiting to be submitted...but I'm chicken. I write a blog...but I'm afraid to submit a manuscript...go figure.

6. I hate folding laundry. Hate. it.

7. I am obsessed with decorating magazines...and I can't bring myself to throw them out.

8. The only network TV I watch? Dancing with the Stars. Other than that, it's HGTV all the way baby!

9. I claim to be 5'4", but in reality, I'm only about 5'3 1/2" . That's close enough, though, right? RIGHT?

10. I have freckles...and a love/hate relationship with them.

So there you have it...10 things you probably didn't know about me...and probably didn't care to know. Ha!

Have a great day~


Party like a dinosaur (and a Shabby Nest interview)~

Mr. Two is a huge dinosaur fan... so this weekend we celebrated his 4th birthday with a dinosaur party! Some of you may recall the invitations that I posted about a week or so ago. Of course, my design OCD* extends to birthday parties, so I had to coordinate the invitations with the decor. *Obsessively Consumed with Decorating.

I just love a banner...and the one I made for Mr. Two used the same scrapbook paper, as well as the dinosaur and number 4 motifs that I used on the invitations.

For the party favors I made these fun little coloring books for the guests by printing out a bunch of free dinosaur coloring pages and then sewing them (yes, with my sewing machine) together into books. You might notice that the font on the front of the coloring book is the same font that I used on the invitations. (There's that design OCD again.) Of course, what are coloring books without crayons?...so I put several crayons and some glow-in-the-dark dinos that I found at the dollar spot in Target in cellophane bags and then sewed them shut with papers featuring the same dino clip art on the front of the coloring book.

The dino clip art made another appearance on the water bottle wraps.

And it just wouldn't be a birthday party without cake. I personally am a huge cupcake fan, so I created these little darlings and topped each with more dinosaurs that I found at Target. The kids loved these! (Just had to remind them that the dinosaurs were NOT edible.)

All in all, it was a great party, and Mr. Two couldn't have been happier with it (which is, after all, what really counts!)

My good friend Jen over at Sanctuary Arts is featuring an interview with little ole me today on her blog! I was so honored that she asked me. Hop on over and check it out! Thanks Jen!!

Have a great Monday~


Chalkboard tales~

Just found this link to an article on chalkboard ideas...and I'm included. Got to love a little press. ;-)


Rosettes...brooches...a winner~

Happy Friday to you everyone!!
The rosettes are multipying, and some of them are even becoming brooches!

Just lovin' them on my sweater!! I'm going to list some in Etsy along with the new pillows...

and speaking of the rosette pillow...

the winner of my 300th post giveaway is From the desk of Mrs. S. So, Mrs. S, drop me an email, and we'll get that pillow to you!

If you didn't win, but you'd like a rosette pillow of your own (or if you'd like to actually see what one looks like...ha ha) I'll have some in my store by next week...

I can't list them until then because I ran out of polyfil...good planning, I know. I promise to let you all know as soon as their listed!

Have a great weekend.


How to revive a dresser~

I've had this little black dresser in my upstairs hallway for a couple of years now. I loved the black, but the dresser was looking a little worse for the wear, and I really wanted to lighten it up.

I took a clue from these little egg prints that hang above the dresser and decided to paint it blue. I matched the paint to the background of the prints.

And. I. hated. it.

I wasn't sure what to do. Repaint? Choose a different color? Well, I decided to try to age the color a little bit so that it better matched the egg prints. I went and bought a small tube of acrylic paint in Burnt Umber. I watered it down (a lot) and then brushed the wash over the entire dresser, wiping off the excess as I went.

It brought the color down a notch and made it look a little worn. Much. better. But, I had more plans for this little dresser. I wanted to add numbers to each drawer (of course I did!) Now, I have tried many different ways of painting numbers on furniture, but this time I decided to use this idea from Layla. It worked great!

I didn't want the white to be too bright, so I toned it down with some burnt umber as well, and then painted the little numbers right on each drawer. I just love the finished product.

Here she is in all her glory. (The color is a little off in these photos....my walls are not nearly that orange, and the dresser isn't nearly that powder-blue...but you all get the idea, right?)

Now I've fallen in love with this little piece all over again! Hooray for a little paint!

I'm linking to DIY day over at A Soft Place to Land.
Oh, and join me over at Blissfully Domestic where I'm talking about how to create chic and fun canopy beds on a budget!

Have a great Thursday~


Tick talk...and a 300th post giveaway~

I love mattress ticking! It has such a wonderful vintage feel to it...even when I purchase it new at JoAnn's. Ha!

This past weekend I was working on a special order for my Etsy shop....vintage-firetruck pillows. Some of you may remember these sweet little pillows. They are made with mattress ticking and photo transfer paper. Two of my favorite things!

As I sat at my table with cotton ticking everywhere (I'm kind of messy when I'm in creative mode), a thought occurred to me. I make birthday shirts for the kiddos to wear on their special day, and I had been having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do for Mr. Two whose birthday is coming up in just a few days. I have had the t-shirt for a while, but none of the fabrics I had on hand really worked. Well, the ticking and the photo transfer called my name and I came up with this...

I made a patch with the ticking which I appliqued to the t-shirt using Heat n' Bond Lite .
Then I just sewed around the edges.

After I had the patch in place I printed out a reversed "4" on some photo transfer paper and ironed it onto the patch. ( I learned the hard way that I couldn't put the photo transfer on first...)

Here's a close up of the patch...so graphic...and kind of sporty...I couldn't be happier with the result.

But that ticking was still calling my name. Can you guess what I might be doing with this little rosette?

Why I'm making new pillows for my Etsy, of course! Actually, since yesterday was my 300th post (yeah, I didn't notice that until today)...I think I should give away one of these new rosette pillows...don't you?

Just leave a comment on this post and you'll be entered for the drawing! Blog about the giveaway, or mention it on Twitter or Facebook (or all three) and I'll give you one additional entry for each. But please make it easy on me and leave one comment for each thing that you do.

The drawing will be open until Wednesday, September 16th at 11:59 pm.

Edited to add: THE GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Thank you to all who entered!!

Have a great Tuesday~


Linky Love~

First, thanks to everyone who participated in the Frugal Friday Linky Party here at the Shabby Nest. Today, I thought I'd share a little bit of the Frugal OCD* goodness that was shared! You all never cease to amaze me! So many great ideas floating around out there in blogland... (*Obsessively Consumed with Decorating)

September Acres shared this super easy and super creative way to create some customized art!

Room to Inspire took some odds and ends from around her house and created this great decorative cone!

Shanty to Chic shares a tutorial on how to make these fun vintage-looking dice.

Carri at Little Orange Monkeys has a dresser redo that sports a brilliant fix for hard to find hardware sizes! I was so impressed by this!!

I was completely amazed by this free laundry-room redo at 2 Brown Eyed Beauties!

Enchantresses 3 shared a great entry table redo! Love everything about this beauty!

If you haven't had a chance to check out the other great participants in this edition of the Frugal Friday Linky party...scroll down to Friday's post and take a look...you can thank me later! ;-)

Oh, and a heartfelt thanks to everyone who is now following the Shabby Nest on Twitter! Y'all know how to make a girl feel welcome!

Have a great Monday~


Do You Tweet?~

Stopping in on a Saturday because I finally started a Twitter account.
I'd love you all to follow me at Twitter...and here at the Shabby Nest (if you're not already a follower!)
My readers are the best!!

If you didn't get a chance to check out all the Frugal OCD* goodness at yesterday's Frugal Friday Linky Party...what are you waiting for? Scroll down and see the amazing ideas and super frugal finds!
*Obsessively Consumed with Decorating
Have a great weekend~


A little bit of patience~

The hubby had the day off of work yesterday, so I took advantage of the situation to go to an antique/junk shop that I've been trying to get to for weeks months years. I was not disappointed! This little shop was full to the brim with all kinds of wonderful things! I could have come home with a truckload of treasures. But, unfortunately, I am on a very tight budget (aren't we all) so I had to limit myself.

But then I saw it...a vintage Chatillon scale! I have been wanting one of these babies for.ev.er! And every time I have seen one, the price has been astronomical. Well, it didn't have a price marked. Not usually a good sign. So I grabbed it and made my way to the front of the store. I hesitantly asked the price...and...it...was...not bad. It was pretty good, even. $10. I didn't even try to negotiate. Even though it's face is crooked. I just paid and left. Quickly. Before the shop's owner noticed how excited I was, and changed her mind. I was right too! I came home and did a little search on-line...found an almost identical Chatillon vintage scale on ebay for $49.95. Yep! I'm so excited!

You see, I had a little bit of patience, which I never have, and it paid off in the end.

Now I'm off to find the perfect place for my treasure.
Linking to the I'm a Flea Marketeer party at Flea Market Style magazine.

Have a great Thursday~



I know my blog has been a little short on the decor-related posts this week...my apologies to all you decorating-obsessed types - like me - who come here for a little inspiration. But I have a good excuse. (I always have an excuse - but this one is a good excuse.) You see, Mr. Two has a birthday coming up. And he is a little bit excited. Yeah, that may be an understatement. He is a lot excited. He is turning four, and this is the first year he really "gets" the whole birthday party thing.

I admit, I LOVE throwing a party!!! So we have been planning, and planning, and prepping and planning some more. Mr. Two wants a dinosaur party. He asks me daily about his "Dinosaur Birthday". It's really very sweet.

I just finished the invitations for his party, so I thought I'd share them with you all.

They're simple, but really cute. And he couldn't be more enthusiastic about these paper dinosaurs...he just doesn't understand why we're giving them away. Ha!

Two little notes about invitations...

  • I always make a point of saying whether we will serve food or simply dessert on an invitation to one of my children's parties, so that parents know how to plan accordingly.
  • For those of you, like me, who make your invitations, it's always fun to use a unique font. I created the font that I used on these invitations from my own handwriting! You can go to this website for the template and instructions on how to create your own free fonts! It's so much fun!!

EDITED TO ADD: I was just informed by one of my readers that the fonts on this website are no longer free. They are now $9.95. My apologies. When I created my fonts several months ago, it was a free service. Still, as far as font prices go, $9.95 is not a bad deal. :-)

And don't forget Friday is the Frugal Friday Linky Party here at the Shabby Nest! Can't wait to see all your Frugal OCD* goodness!! *Obsessively Consumed with Decorating!

This post linked to DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land.

Have a great Wednesday~


Fleurs and cakestands~

So what are all the fashionable elementary-school girls wearing these days?


In their hair, that is.

And since it is extremely important for a six-year-old to be fashion forward, my sweet friend Trisha and I spent the better part of one morning last week, deconstructing silk flowers and then reconstructing them into pretty posies for our girls' hair.

In all honesty, it was a bit more work than I thought it would be...I had visions of just gluing clips on the back of each flower. No such luck. But on the bright side, I didn't burn myself with my hot glue gun for the first time...ever! Ha!

They turned out quite pretty, though, and they had the added benefit of causing the Princess to ASK me to do her hair every morning. If I'd know that was going to happen, I'd have made some ages ago!

And look at the wonderful cake stand I won from a giveaway by sweet Layla at The Lettered Cottage! Thanks so much Layla!!

This photo - The Lettered Cottage
Oh, and I almost forgot...Frugal Friday Linky Party here! Friday! Be there! Please. ;-)
Have a great day~