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Pinterest Challenge Winter Edition


Beebop and I pinned some ideas for yoga mat straps and bags last week. We weren’t quickly making any decisions about which one we were actually going to make. Then, I was talking to my sister Kiki, (who made a really cute t-shirt necklace for her Pinterest Challenge B.T.W.) saying I wasn’t sure what to make to hold my mat. Kiki just bought a new yoga mat last fall, she had debated whether or not to buy a bag to hold her may but she talked to the yoga-lady and she wasn’t a big fan of her yoga bag because it was a pain to get her mat back into. Well, that helped make my decision.

I had found a tutorial, through Pinterest, on Design Sponge for a “yoga bag” that was open so we could easily roll up our mats and put them into something to hold them without having to worry about fitting them into a bag.


The one issue I had with this bag was it didn’t have a pocket for keys and phones. Right now, I stick them in my coat pockets but in warmer months I’ll want a pocket on my yoga bag to throw them into during class. I had read this tutorial for making a yoga bag with a pocket, and used it as the inspiration for my bag. I decided I would make the Design Sponge bag but add a fun and functional pocket to the front.

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We needed two yards cotton ducking (it’s a thicker material so it will stand up to wear and tear), a coordinating fabric for the pocket, two yards webbing (strap material), and magnetic snaps to hold the pocket shut.

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Then I followed the tutorial from Design Sponge. In the tutorial she makes strap covers, it’s a great finishing detail that adds extra support to the strap as well. I didn’t add the strap covers because my pocket would be covering my straps on the one side and for the other side I can always go back and sew it down more.


For the pocket I eye-balled how long and wide I wanted my pocket to be. Then I curled the raw edges under for a crisp look.

For the magnetic snaps I lined them up right under the straps. Then I followed the directions on the packaging for attaching the magnetic clasp. They may be too far apart but at least the pocket isn’t flapping open.


(These are what we used)


The pocket needed to cover my magnetic snaps and look balanced from each edge, so I pinned the bottom edge down while I added the magnetic snaps


I started sewing the pocket down bottom first then each side, I could have done it differently but the bottom of the pocket was secure and couldn’t shift around when I sewed the sides.


Here Is the finished bag! I am pleased with how my mat holder turned out. Beebop’s will turn out a little better just because I’m putting her’s together second and I’ve had my trial and error with my bag. This was pretty easy to make so if I’m still not pleased with the few uh-oh’s I made, or grow tired of my fabric choice, it won’t be difficult to whip up a new bag.

Once I’ve finished B’s as well I plan to update this post because her bag will be a little different from mine.

This weekend Bb and I are going to look stylin’ for our yoga class, and finally have something to keep our mats rolled up with!


Check out the Projects from the Challenge Hosts, as well as the link party at the bottom of their posts with all the other fun projects people made! : Sherry & John at Young House Love , Katie at Bower Power, Michelle at The Remodeled Life and Megan at Decor and The Dog


It’s Pinterest Challenge Time!


Get your thinking cap on and start browsing your Pinterest page for inspiration for a Pinterest project you want to get made or done! Maybe you want to finally make that t-shirt necklace you’ve been eyeing like my sister Kiki, or make a lampshade, or sew something, or cook something, or organize something…

The Pinterest challenge was started by Katie Bower of Bower Power and Sherry Petersik of Young House Love, to get them to stop just pinning awesome projects and start doing them. This time they have linked up with two other lovely bloggers: Megan from The Remodeled Life and Michelle from Decor & The Dog.

The deal is you have a week to take something that you pinned and put your own spin on it.  If you blog about the challenge be sure to follow the rules laid out by the host ladies.  Remember, your project has to be done by next Wednesday Morning, the 27th of February, 2013.

         Image      Giam Yoga Mat

Bee and I have been taking a yoga class on Sunday mornings and both of us just roll our mats and stick them under our arms like the rookie, cheap-o’s we are. Last week after class we discussed how we wish we had a yoga bag or a strap that would hold our mat. So, for the Pinterest challenge Beebop suggested that we actually pin some ideas of yoga mat straps and bags and get them made. Kind-of a “Dude get on that!”  like Sherry from Young House Love. I started to pin some ideas, and then Bb and I are going to look them over and discuss which ones we like the best and want to make. They may be the same, they may be different, guess we shall see what we end up with next week!


A Screen for Laura

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Our friend Laura lives in a newer apartment building in Chicago; her bedroom has a large opening from her bedroom into the kitchen/living space that makes it “up-to-code” because it replaces the fact that her bedroom doesn’t have a window. Not that you could climb out an opening at the top of your wall in case of emergency without a ladder…


Beebop and I offered to build a screen to go in the hole in the wall and block the light and sound that carries easily into Laura’s room from the living room and kitchen. Laura’s roommate liked the idea because in the mornings, when Laura isn’t up, but roommate is getting ready to go to work, she has to try and be really quiet in the kitchen to not wake Laura. Also, Laura and her roommate are kind enough to host our friend group at least once a month at their apartment, where we all usually end up sleeping over in the living room. Bb and I thought it would be a nice “thanks for letting us crash here” gesture to fix this little annoyance for them.

We measured the space and came up with a plan. Two rectangles attached together in the middle, either to be able to fold them to balance on the wall or two pieces to make them easy to move. The next week we went to Hancock Fabrics with Laura and she picked out a fabric for the screen. Then Bb and I went to Home Depot and got the supplies we needed to build two simple rectangle out of wood for the screen. Why two? easier to move in a car, easier to get up into the wall, and in case our measurements were off we could manipulate two pieces more than one long piece. We had decided that instead of hinging the screen we would use mending plates to attach the two pieces together, and use L brackets to hold the screen to the wall so we picked those up at the store too.


Beebop screwed the pieces together at the ends.


We bought a piece of slab foam when we bought the fabric to cover the screen with. It was too long and just slightly too wide for the rectangle we were building, I trimmed down the foam while Beebop put together the wood rectangle.



We used the extra foam to pad the other side of the screen in combo with batting.



I don’t have a picture of us covering the screen with fabric. We were a little busy. We stapled the fabric along the bottom and stretched it over the top, stapled it on the bottom again and then stapled down the sides. We folded the corners like a present and stapled them flat.

We loaded the two screen pieces in the back of my car then drove our screen downtown with us. The tricky part was getting the screen up in the hole in the wall. When we measured the wall we didn’t account for the slight slope in the ceiling and the fact that a rectangle doesn’tt fit in a slope. Wah-Wah.


So we came up with a Plan B, which I think turned out to be better option than Plan A. We decided to bump the screen down to sit on top of the upper kitchen cabinets and then we screwed the screens into the top of the cabinets with the L brackets. Because the cabinets are slightly lower than the wall hole the other side of the screen will be supported by the lip of the wall cutout.  Plan B is much sturdier than Plan A.


We, well mainly Beebop, climbed up on the counter to screw the screen into the cabinets, while on the other side we had our friends assist by making sure the screen didn’t come crashing down on the other side of the wall we weren’t working on. Which was smart, because at one point the screen did tip their way.


On the kitchen side, Beebop was being convinced to step down and let Gorman finish up. As he said, “I don’t doubt that you can do it. I know you can do it. But I’m taller than you and I don’t have to stand on my tippy toes to screw the L brackets down. Again, I believe you can, it would just be easier for me to do it, not because I’m better, because I’m taller.” He really didn’t want to sound sexist in suggesting that he do it instead of Bb, he did make a good point, he is 6’3″ and Bee is 5’2″ so…… yeah…. he made a good point.


We all hands on deck and got the screen screwed down into the cabinets. I need some better after pics, this is what I get for using my phone at night. The gap is good to have because it allows the air to move between the rooms and when Laura shuts and closes the door it allows the air to move without sucking the screen out of place, which happened when it was just balanced up in the hole. You can see the slight slant in the ceiling, where the light is visible from in Laura’s room along the top. It’s not noticeable till a rectangle doesn’t fit along it.


The screen isn’t maroon, it’s a purpley-grey. I chalk it up to bad lighting plus phone-camera pic. Here is a view of the screen from the bedroom.


Laura was pretty excited about how much darker her bedroom was with the screen, as for noise, it’s hard to tell when a whole bunch of people are talking in the kitchen and fake “testing” the noise absorption by yelling. I’ll have to ask her how her mornings have been with roommate getting up and being in the kitchen, really how it is with normal everyday noises.

Anyone ever have a moment where you ask “What was this builder thinking?” and have to come up with a fix? The opening seems like a good idea until you’re living with it as Laura can attest too.

A big shout out to our friends for being awesome, being classy, and helping us out with installation.


Desk Makeover

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Our client for this project was a six year old, Little M. Little M’s mom picked up this wood desk at an estate sale. It was painted a light blue with a white drawer tower and a veneer top. It was in good shape it just needed some T.L.C. A fresh coat of paint and some new drawer knobs would give this desk a new look.



M’s room is bright pink and Beebop suggested that we paint the desk a turquoise or a yellow. She gathered some inspiration from Pinterest.

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From House of Turquoise


 Project Nursery

M and her Mom decided to go with the Turquoise and picked the color of her desk at the paint store, Poolside Blue.


It’s bright but M’s room is a bright and saturated pink, the desk needed to be a saturated color too. When we held up the muted turquoise on the swatch against her wall color it was just kind of blah in M’s room. So we set up on top of a tarp and we got to work sanding down the desk to prep for paint.



Took it apart, and got to work painting it. Because the original paint job was sanding off unevenly we primed it first with Kilz no V.O.C. paint.


After priming the desk and letting it dry over night we painted the main desk with an enamel style paint in the turquoise with foam rollers for a smooth finish.


The drawers were painted white to pop against the turquoise.


M’s mom picked up some new drawer hardware from Anthropologie that was a pretty close match to the color we painted the desk.


The drawers are white, the room is just a bright, saturated pink that is reflecting in the white of the drawers. Two turquoise handles and one white. Here is the desk all put back together and in Little M’s room.




DIY Lampshade Makeover

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lampshade copy

I have been lukewarm about the lampshade in my bedroom for awhile. It has gotten pretty dinged up moving to and from college a couple times; the plain white shade with the dents is not my jam.


Before following through on the bamboo covered shade I had considered some other options before now.

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There’s this sweet little shade that had a Sharpie taken to it over at a little glass box, or this Anthropologie inspired DIY ruffled burlap shade how-to on Tatertots & Jello

A couple nights ago I was on Pinterest and came across a tutorial on House of Fifty by Janell Beals. I was clicking around, browsing through some of her projects when I came across this post where Janell covered a basic, drum shade with bamboo she had spray painted white.


Her tutorial seemed really doable and the texture of the bamboo on the lamp shade is really beautiful. You can see her finished shade on the pendant in the room here.

When I was out running some errands, I stopped by Michael’s craft store to pick up a bundle of bamboo. Once I read House of Fifty’s tutorial I wanted to just follow through on it.


I laid out my pieces on the floor. I didn’t want to cut ones that were too big, or bowed. After I measured how wide I needed my bamboo pieces to be I started by cutting them to size with a saw. The saw was not my friend. I figured if bamboo is about the size of the branches on the bushes in my yard I could use garden clippers to trim the stalks.


I cut a whole bunch of the bamboo stems, until I couldn’t cut anymore. I ran out 😦  I got as far as I could with the bamboo I had. I laid out all the pieces I cut to make sure the pieces fit together, which didn’t really help in the long run because gluing them to the lamp was different from having them laid out on a flat surface. Laying them out did help me see the different widths of stalks, or if one had a curve in part of it. It looked like House of Fifty’s bamboo was a little more uniform in shape and size which would make it a bit easier to glue all the pieces in a row next to each other, but I’m not sure where she found her’s, and I was working with what I could find in stores.


So, this is how far I got.


I sent my mother to grab another bundle of bamboo on her way home from work for me so I could finish my shade. So after round two of clipping bamboo and hot-gluing it onto the shade here is what we have:



Here is how the finished shade and lamp base look.


After seeing it on the lamp base I’m not sold. I really like the texture that the bamboo brings to the room. I don’t believe that painting it white would save this pairing either. I think the cool, modern, sleek feel of the lamp base doesn’t jive with bamboo lamp shade. I’m might look into getting a new lamp base from Target or some other store.


Industrial Clamp Lights

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For Daniel’s room makeover I knew it was going to be a tight  fit for a lamp and side table with his bed right next to the door. I didn’t want to put a lamp next to his bed  because he would either have to crawl across his bed if it was by the window to switch on a light or it would be right next to the door and it would only take one time of bustin’ into the room to knock a lamp off a table, or to knock over a floor lamp. Also, Daniel’s bed is one of those lower, almost platform beds and so regular bedside table would tower above the bed.

I wanted to make sure that whatever lighting we found fit in with the masculine, quirky study. I had in mind an industrial looking light that was wall mounted. When it came down to the bed being on the same wall as the door I really just had in mind  this really simple lighting update that Jenny Komenda did over on her blog Little Green Notebook. She bought basic, outdoor clamp lights that she then spray painted a pretty icy blue color which gave them a cool vintage look. She then hung them outside on her balcony to light up her balcony and yard. To read up more on how she did her light makeover you can head over to her blog to read all about it.



I knew it would be an inexpensive light fixture that would fit his bed and look great in the room.

I bought two regular clamp lights from Lowe’s and I had some white glossy spray paint on hand that I planned to use. We picked up a small piece of wood and some L brackets to attach the lights to the wall with.


So I brought home the lights, took off the “shade” part and spray painted the metal “shade” part with some white spray paint I had.



I think spray painting them white definitely gave them a vintage lamp vibe, while still being cool and industrial looking. Here’s the after shot with the lamps clipped onto the piece of wood that is attached to the wall with the L brackets.


Sorry, that picture is really terrible.


The lights work really well in the room, they don’t take up space in the danger zone behind the door and they add an industrial feel to the room. They really look great for how inexpensive and simple a project it was to do. I haven’t touched base with Daniel to see how they worked for him when he was home over winter break. Though I did notice that he had tilted them at different angles than they are in the pictures when I was over at the house.



A Simple Cork Board Makeover

So here is the really simple How-To for the cork board makeover. I read somewhere back in August or September, current to the time of the room makeover, about a simple tutorial of how to cover a plain Jane cork board with fabric and make it look good.

For Daniel’s room I wanted to cover up the cork board I found in his closet to define the “office area” of his room. I  wanted to hang something on the wall in that corner, I had been looking for some kind of inexpensive art but when I found the cork board I thought it would be really functional.

The Materials: Cork board- had on hand.

Plaid fabric- from Hancock Fabrics

Nail-head roll- from Hancock Fabrics

Blue fabric- had on hand


I used some wood glue to reconnect the wooden frame sides to the cork center, they were coming apart.



Then I used spray adhesive, sprayed the top of my board and put my fabric down on top, smoothing it out and making sure, and trying to keep my lines as straight as possible. Sorry no pictures, didn’t take pictures while I was doing it because I had to just get it done. I sprayed and then put the fabric down, then sprayed some more and put the fabric down to try and keep my lines straight.

I wrapped the plaid fabric around the edges, the back wasn’t looking so hot and more importantly it was kind of sticky from the spray adhesive. So I used some blue fabric I had and hot glued it to the back of the cork board and covering all the sticky spots.


Nail heads have been making their way around in the DIY world. They are a great way to add a finished edge, or look to a DIY project. The nail heads served a purpose by making sure the fabric stayed taught. They gave the edges a finished look, It’s like putting earrings on with a great outfit.


Then I hammered in some picture hanging, teeth things…. technical name? Hammered some nails into the wall where I wanted to hang the cork board.


Here it is all done and hanging on the wall. It looks great in the room! The cork board adds a great “manly” feel to the room with the plaid fabric and nail heads into the room, and it’s functional.

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Want to see some more inspiration photos? Jenny from Little Green Notebook covers a plain cork board with fabric in this post.