thrifty decorating

05.18.12 | pillow diy

Happy Friday, friends! I’m excited I finally have a little DIY for you (hopefully soon there will be some garment sewing DIYs coming…) Remember my pep talk post recently about decorating and getting started on covering up those ugly, beige accent pillows? I finally did just that! I’ll show you the fruit of my labors first and then there is a mini how-to further down for those who might be curious about the process. (Apologies in advance about the rumpled slip cover; it only stays un-rumpled so long with SH and the puppy!)

05.18.12 | pillow diy
05.18.12 | pillow diy

A nice little perk-up, no? I originally had grand plans for making plain pillow covers and stitching vintage hankies on, but SH deemed that idea a little too girly. (And since it’s his sofa too, I figure he gets say!) So I scaled it back a bit from the pinks, reds and exuberant florals I had wanted to use, and used an old tablecloth instead. Now, before my fellow vintage lovers want to bop me over the head for cutting up a vintage tablecloth: this one had some serious stains that would not come out despite my valiant efforts. So it had officially been banished to the “cutter” pile. I ended up using the four corners to avoid the worst stained portions, and like the effect of the oversized print and minimal color scheme.

The back of each pillow is a simple overlap style made out of an inexpensive canvas dropcloth from the hardware store, and embellished with a button from my stash. For days SH can’t take the vintage-pretty florals any longer, we can flip the pillows around to reveal the button placket backs. Clever, no? Now I just need to use the couple of smaller pillow forms my mom gave me during the winter and make some smaller accent pillows… It’s all about breaking up the massive size of this sofa!

05.17.12 | pillow diy

If you’d like to know how I made these (they’re super easy–I made all four in about the space of an evening!), be sure to click through the post-break below.

{ click here to continue reading this post }

May 18, 2012 · 17 lovely thoughts
posted in around the house,tutorials · tags: , ,

Before we moved here I was excited: a new home to decorate! How fun! Except once I realized how much stuff our little family had (both of us have hobbies, sports equipment, my clothes, his uniforms, rabbit stuff and now the puppy accouterments), and how little space we had since we had to downsize, I got discouraged. I knew logically things wouldn’t go in as seamlessly as they had into our Florida apartment because it was a different layout (much less open), but in my heart I was having a hard time with getting into the spirit of making this place our home. Which means that nearly six months after we moved in there are still pictures to be hung, the dining room set needs to be painted (cream and robin’s egg blue), and the sofa still needs accent pillows. The reason you’ve only seen the mantel area in the house? Besides the kitchen, that is the only spot I really feel is worth showing to the outside world–everything else is still a bit blah and unfinished.

Then I realized the other day why things were still in a half-finished state. I had fallen into that trap one can when renting: “we don’t own it, so why bother?” or “we’re only going to move eventually, so why put in the time/effort/money?”. I think this is especially easy if you live with a sense of impermanence due to a spouse’s job. But this is our home now despite it’s quirks, lack of storage and “cozy” layout. Our bedroom furniture may not fit well into our new master bedroom, the coat closet may be sorely lacking in size, or the dining room may have to share space with the dog’s crate, but it’s still home for right now. Not ideal, not the sort of place I’d buy if that’s what we were doing, but considering what else we could have ended up with it does for now! It needs a bit of personality though…

Which means that I have to get creative in a thrifty way to perk things up around here. I made a teeny list of spots I want to redo or add a bit of flair to. It makes it more tangible and–dare I say–exciting. I want to make this place a bit less “cramped-cozy” and more “homey-cozy”. The sort of place people don’t notice the wonky walls (bad past repair jobs) or the fact that our sofa is really too big for the space. Welcoming and comfortable, colorful and yet calming, a bit quirky too (anyone noticed the Captain America action figure on the mantle yet?).

I think this is a little pep-talk to myself. I get in ruts from time to time and get discouraged easily. This move and first six months have not been a shining moment in my life; and I feel bad that SH has had to come home from super-long days at work and deployments/training exercises to a house that still doesn’t feel like home. I know for him, it’s important to have that sense of calm and stability in his life since his work is so often the opposite. So here’s my little goal for the next six months: work on small ways to make everything fit (it’s like a jigsaw puzzle!), add some more color, finish those lingering projects, and for gosh sakes get the rest of the artwork on the walls (and maybe buy a few new prints on Etsy…)! lol.

First up: covering those ugly accent pillows on the sofa. The slipcover has been done for months, but the pillows remain uncovered. Yes, I’m showing you a picture of my rumpled, dog-slobbered sofa, topped with a quilt that has seen better days. That’s life right now with all it’s little warts and quirks. (See–I don’t have a Perfect Blogger Life by any means! lol.) I have a cute and wallet-friendly idea up my sleeve for those pillows though! (Aren’t they ugly??? Augh!) Stay tuned!

April 25, 2012 · 35 lovely thoughts
posted in around the house · tags: , ,