Remember when our living room fireplace looked something like this? the mantel was in need of a makeover.
One day I’d like to either knock down the brick to expose an original (fingers crossed) fireplace or fill in the brick with plaster to create a Spanish-style fireplace to match the house. Until then though, my first thought was to create a solid beam look by fitting a wooden box to the top of the current mantel. Kind of like the last image in this post.
So… I took my ideas and layout to my local hardware store that has a milling department and we created a mitered edge box that was just what I had in mind. But it came back looking like this.
And now, we’re finally back on track!
First up is staining. Since different types of wood will each have their own unique look with different types and colors of stain, I flipped the wood mantel over and tried out three different stains. The perfect shade? We chose the red mahogany in the center.
If our mantel had been cut from a softwood (uneven wood grain or blotchy patterns indicate that wood might be softwood), I would add a pre-stain wood conditioner to prevent an uneven covering (the conditioner seeps into the wood to create a consistent surface). Back when we were choosing materials originally, my carpenter friend recommended a vertical grain cut, this means that the growth rings run at 45 degrees and that the wood was quarter-sawn at the lumberyard – it increases the hardness by 20%, is a bit more expensive, but it looks beautiful.
1. Stir stain well.
2. With rubber gloves on, I used a brush (you can also use a sponge or old rag) to cover the bottom of the mantel. Applying stain to the bottom first means you don’t have to worry about dripping while the mantel is upside down! Or I should say the stain will still drip, but you’ll be covering it up when you stain the front – and cover it up quick, that dripping stain dries immediately. Next up is the top of the mantel and then finally the front, making sure to brush in one continuous movement in the same direction of the grain.
3. I then let the first coat of stain dry and reapplied several times.
4. It’s a good idea to apply a top coat of polyurethane to seal in the mantel (and off gasses) and to protect it from water rings from future vases, wine glasses, etc.
5. The entire mantel stayed outside for 3-4 days to prevent any off gassing in the house.
Here she is, all dressed for Easter! It makes such a difference in the room, I love it.
The extent of our Easter decorations this year is fresh flowers and beautiful hand blown eggs decorated by my Mom when she was my age.
What a neat gift to pass down through the generations, right?
My dad recently sent us this picture that he took of Liv when she was just two weeks old, he had it mounted on photo board – I love her little expression and her little scrunched forehead. So alert when she was so young!
And now the living room has a brand new look!
More living room posts: mantel progress, updating a fireplace mantel part 1, bookshelf styling tips, decorating in layers: stage 1, inspiration boards, picking the perfect couch, custom lampshade, coffee table-to-ottoman, and the‘before’ photos.
Tags: Before & After, Construction, Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Living Room, Tutorial
Posted in Home, Our Living Room, Renovating Adventures | 14 Comments »
Remember back when I first started the nursery curtains only to discover a little snag in the plan when the fabric arrived? The back-up fabric for the curtains worked out beautifully, but I was left with five yards of a great fabric that I needed to find a project for.
Enter basket liners part 1. Our changing table (which received this makeover) holds four baskets from Amazon that fit it perfectly - but the white liners were lacking for looks.
When my aunt (an excellent seamstress whose skills I envy) asked if she could sew something for Olivia’s nursery, I asked her opinion on the liners and a couple of other projects (soon to come).
Liv loved the idea!
And the baskets look amazing, just what the space needed!
To sew liners for your own baskets, create a pattern by using a seam ripper to take apart the current liners. If your baskets are empty, use the measurements of the width, depth and height of each edge and the base of the basket to create a pattern out of paper (don’t forget to take into account the hem and overhang on the outside of the basket). Use the paper to cut your fabric pieces and sew each edge. A little elastic in the outside hems around the corners will help keep the basket liners in place!
Easy! A quick makeover that changes the entire look of the baskets.
That’s our hanging diaper pail from our cloth diapering adventure hanging on the right side of the table next to the hanging hamper that we love. Dirty cloth diapers go into the wet pail (which keeps all smells out) and dirty clothes are tossed right into a washable hamper.
Liv digs it.
Thanks great auntie Laurie!
More Project Nursery posts: the great glider makeover, sewing the curtains part 1, part 2, part 3, nursery fabric board, curtain fabric selection, rocking horse find, new pendant light, vintage wall art addition, changing table makeover, nursery wall striping tutorial, painted animal project, the initial inspiration board and the before picture posts.
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, DIY, Fabric, Home, Nursery, Sewing, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Home, Liv's Nursery, Renovating Adventures | 8 Comments »
Check out this before & after, I’m so thrilled with the results!
I’ll be recovering the footstool shortly in the same Thibaut print which I so L-O-V-E. I’d cover every chair in my house with it if I could.
My dad purchased our Stork Craft Hoop Glider as a gift for the nursery back when we found out we were expecting. I loved the comfort of the glider but wanted to add a slip cover for two reasons, a. I wanted a washable option just in case spit up, etc stained the cushions and b. it was a great opportunity to add a modern pattern to the room.
Instead of tackling the project myself (beginning sewing novice over here…) I took the cushions to my local alterations/dry cleaning company (a hidden gem for upholstery work) and had the chair cushions covered for just $15 per piece. I had an actual upholstery company quote me just over $300 to do the same job.
I’m just getting the cushions back now because of my ordering error on the fabric. Lesson learned: always take into account shrinkage due to washing fabric before you determine how much you need! The 54″ width of the fabric shrunk to 48″ and I ended up needing twice as much in length to account for the missing width.
But the glider is in full use in the nursery now and it looks great! I couldn’t be happier!
More Project Nursery posts: sewing the curtains part 1, part 2, part3, nursery fabric board, curtain fabric selection, rocking horse find, new pendant light, vintage wall art addition, changing table makeover, nursery wall striping tutorial, painted animal project, the initial inspiration board and the before picture posts.
Tags: Accessories, Before & After, Decorating, Fabric, Home, Nursery, Patterns & Color, Sewing
Posted in Home, Liv's Nursery, Renovating Adventures | 19 Comments »