Thursday, March 29, 2012

New and Improved Mason Jar Soap Dispensers

I have been loving our mason jar soap dispensers over the last few months, but with use I've noticed a few things that could use a little re-working.  The pump of one of the dispensers became loose so a stronger method of attaching the lid to the pump was needed.  Also, where I made the hole in the lid to insert the pump rusted.  So I searched online and with a few helpful hints from you guys as comments on the last post I decided to try new pumps and a new method to attach the pumps to the lids.

I bought some nice metal pumps online in a satin nickel finish and some galvanized lids that match pretty closely.  I also bought a metal punch set that Brian used to "punch" round holes in the lids to fit the pump.  Then he inserted the pump into the hole and used epoxy to attach the pump to a rubber stopper added on the underside of the lid to hold it in place.

Then all that was left to do was screw the lid onto the mason jar.

And a full view:

As for painting the jars, the jars I painted last time around have held up pretty well.  There are a few tiny spots where the paint scraped off but nothing very noticeable.  If you are relatively careful with the jars (no scouring pads for cleaning) then I think the paint will hold up well.

An advantage with the clear jars is that you can add any color of soap to match your decor or to add a bit of color.  Also, there are beautiful blue glass jars, like the "Ball" jar below, but they are harder to come by.  I found two blue jars at an antique store a while back, but for clear jars, thrift stores usually have a few in stock for a lot cheaper, or you can use any old jar you have on hand!

Brian and I are actually opening up an Etsy shop to sell these and other things we have made on our blog.  Right now we have two sizes for sale, the smaller and larger of the clear jars.  (The blue jar soap dispenser is a wedding gift for a friend.  She is using old jars as flower vases so I figured she could use the jar for that and then after the wedding she can use it as a soap dispenser, a little wedding memento!)  So if you are in the market for a mason jar soap dispenser follow the link below or click on the icon on the right of the page.  :o)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

A Book Rack for the Nursery

We have a few projects in the works, but as always things are taking longer than expected.  But we did get a tiny project completed this weekend, it took us a whole 5 minutes to finish.  I love those quick and easy projects with immediate results!

When I saw my aunt a few weeks ago for my grandma's birthday she gave me a metal wire rack.  I wasn't sure what to do with it but I liked the design of it and figured I could find a place for it.  Yesterday morning before getting out of bed I stared at the rack leaning against the wall in our room and thought it would work perfect in the baby's room to hold some books.  I had been picking up books at thrift stores and found a few more today, hopefully our baby is an avid reader!

 So here's a picture of the wall where I thought it would work.  I also put some stuffed animals in a basket on the nightstand I painted here.

 I recruited Brian to help me with the hanging.  We used a level to position the rack.  Then Brian drilled pilot holes and attached the rack to the wall with extra long screws to hold the rack tightly in place.

And here we have the after:

And a closer view:

I figure we can rotate the books we have in the rack as we read them and as our baby's tastes changes.  And I also have a whole collection of my own Nancy Drew books that I can now pass on to my daughter.  Yep, it's a girl!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Kitchen Curtains!

We have lived in our home for almost 3 years and I am finally getting around to putting up curtains in some of our rooms!  We've had curtains in the living room and the bedrooms since we moved in but none in the kitchen or dining rooms.  So I decided it was about time to get some curtains up and figured it would be good to have some extra privacy when the baby comes.  After searching the internet for different fabric options I fell in love with a pattern from Annie Selke called "Scramble".  I found a couple of remnants on Ebay in a blue called "bluemarine" and a lime green called "citrus".  I decided on the citrus as it was very similar to the wall color of our dining room so it could work to tie the color scheme of the two rooms together.  And it just so happened the remnant was large enough to cover our kitchen windows!

Here's a picture of the fabric, isn't it nice?  I love the swirling vine pattern and the textured, woven look of the linen fabric.

I first measured the fabric to fit the kitchen windows, making sure to account for seams.  I used my handy-dandy no-sew tape from Joann's to make the seams as previously mentioned here.  I decided to hang the curtains with a curtain rod, rather than do something like roman shades for the kitchen, 1) because that's a lot easier! and 2) since we have plants on the window sill I thought it might be a hassle closing shades every night.  So I bought a curtain rod and curtain rings with clips from Target in an oil-rubbed bronze finish.  Brian helped me with hanging the curtain rod as I made sure things were level and decided where I wanted the curtains to hang to.

Here's a picture of the windows in the kitchen before the new curtains:


And here we have the new curtains!

And closed for privacy:

I really love the pop of color they add to the kitchen and  I'm so glad I can finally cross kitchen curtains off my to-do list!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

An Easy-Peasy No Sew Blanket

On a trip to Joann's to buy brown fabric for my storage nook curtains I perused the remnant bargain bin and found really cute light green and white polka dot fleece fabric.  I figured I could use it for a baby blanket or something so decided to buy it.  I remembered a friend of mine had made a no sew blanket by tying a couple of pieces of fleece together so I decided to give that a try.  So back to Joann's I went to find another piece of fleece for my blanket..........but you know how it is, you go for one thing and end up leaving with something else (at least it's that way for me!).  So trying to find something to go with the fleece I already had I came across some super soft "ultra cuddle" fleece.  It was just so soft I couldn't resist so I bought a yard each of two different "ultra cuddle" fleece fabrics.  I picked a pretty teal color..........and a lime green and white polka dot pattern :o)

The width of the fabric was 60" so I cut it down to 1 1/3 yard by the 1 yard I had cut to make it not so long and narrow.  If I was going to do a blanket for an adult or larger child I would probably get 2 yards of each piece of fabric.

I looked up a couple tutorials online (here and here) for the actual "how to" and went from there.  The first step was to place the right sides of the fabric together (if you are using a patterned fabric) and cut 5" to 6" squares from each corner (depending on which tutorial you follow), so I took the middle road and cut 5 1/2" squares.  So when measuring your fabric make sure to take into account 10" to 12" will be lost to the making the knots.  I also found out the "ultra cuddle" fleece sheds a lot where it was cut so my work surface was covered with blue and green fuzz.

After all the corners were cut, cut strips about 1 1/2" wide to the depth of your corner squares (5 1/2" for my blanket) all the way around the blanket.  I didn't worry about being perfect and measuring everything, I just eyeballed what looked like 1 1/2 inches.

Next I tied the corresponding strips of the bottom and top fabrics together with a basic knot.  And here we have the finished blanket.  I really like how the ties of the teal fabric contrast with the lime green polka dots of the opposite side.   

And quality control (a.k.a Bailey) had to perform the final inspection, he takes his job very seriously!

To get rid of all the fuzz, I put the blanket in the washer.  Which worked well at removing the fuzz but most of my knots also came out so I had to re-tie them.  I think with regular fleece the knots would hold better through washings but with the ultra soft they slipped out.  Oh well, it wasn't that big of a deal to re-tie and I think the softness makes up for it!

So here it is after washing and re-tying:

I think I really need to make one for myself, and Bay may need one too, this baby blanket is a little too tempting for his kneading claws :o)