We chose to be surprised by the gender of both of our children. Which is SO fun. I highly recommend it. The only downside is that it makes planning the baby's nursery a real challenge. With both of our kids, I ended up waiting until they were here to start planning the decor for their rooms.
Will's room started with his quilt. I wanted to go with a farm/vintage western theme and thought the little stars in Make Life fabric was perfect (think sheriff's badge). Of course, by the time he got here and I got my act together I had to really scrounge to find more fabric in that line to be able to make his bumpers, crib skirt and curtains.
Justin grew up around horses and rodeos and his grandfather still has many horses, so this seemed like a theme that Will could grow into. As you can see from the pictures, nothing is permanent, so this blue room could easily be transformed something completely different down the road.
My favorite part of his room is the photos. Below you can see Will's great grandfather with one of his first horses at age 18, then Justin plowing with his grandfather, an old newspaper cut out of Will's grandpa and his daddy as a little boy at a county fair and then Justin showing sheep at a 4-H fair. I have a few more old photos that still need to be enlarged and framed - then they can also find a home on Will's walls.
On his dresser below you can see Daddy's bull riding buckles and a trophy from a horse camp he won when he was 12.
I store his toys in a wooden crate my sister personalized for him and a wicker basket. Larger toys are stored under the crib and on the bottom shelf of his changing table. The closet is still overflowing with my fabric and craft supplies, so he'll just have to live without that for a little while. ;)
I didn't have a full vision for this room when I began, but it came all came together and I'm really happy with it. It's functional, simple and personal. :)
Molly Notes: The fabric for the quilt, bumper, crib skirt, curtains, sheet and bunting is from the Make Life by Sweetwater line. You can still find bits and pieces of it on Etsy. The bumper form was an old pottery barn bumper I bought at a yard sale and recovered. The mirror and spurs and lone ranger tin and cowboy cut-out came from Hobby Lobby. The ceramic boots came from Happy Harry's (I purchased those years ago!) The wood pallet bookshelf is a DIY project I blogged about here. The dresser was a $25 thrift store upcycle. I sanded, repainted and used rope instead of replacing the hardware. The "W" above the crib was purchased from this Esty seller - I HIGHLY recommend. The name puzzle came from this Etsy seller. Another gem! They don't have puzzles listed in their shop, but they will do custom orders if you ask.
When I saw this project on Pinterest, I knew I just *had* to make it for Will's room. Luckily, my hubby was able to get his hands on a wood pallet for me. When he brought it home, our conversation went something like this:
"Here's the wood pallet you wanted for that bookshelf."
"Oh, thanks! But...it's so....new."
"Yeah, I got the best one I could find."
"I was kind of hoping for something older and more weathered. Now I'm going to have to beat it with a hammer."
"What? But I thought....I just.....never mind."
I'm pretty sure he's done trying to understand me when it comes to my crafting and DIY projects.
So I loaded my new pallet in my car and headed to my Dad's garage to borrow his tools. Or...just, ummmm, just watch him use his tools.
But in all honesty, this is a pretty basic woodworking project and if you have a saw and a drill, you can totally do it sans husband.
Some wood pallets are slightly different, but they generally look like a variation of this:
One pallet should make four shelves. Make your cuts as shown in the picture below. Except, you know...straighter.
Next, you'll need to measure the inside of the bottoms of your newly made shelves so that you can cut 2x4's to size and screw them in place. Otherwise, all your books will fall out the bottom of your nifty new shelf.
To finish them off, I took a little electric sander and tried to get the edges and corners as smooth as possible. Because I wasn't happy with the new wood, I took a hammer and some nails and scraped to give the wood some more character. Then, I took my can of stain and used a brush to run over the surface of the shelves one time. After each brushstroke I immediately used a rag to rub in the stain.
Then I had to wait a week for the smell to wear off before I could bring them in the house. I couldn't wait to get these things on the wall!
I am SO pleased with how they turned out. They hold a lot more books than I excepted - each shelf holds at least 20-25 books of various sizes - and it's so easy for kids to access and put away their own books.
I have one shelf left that I didn't use in Will's room and I think I'm going to paint it white and use it as a craft supply/coloring book/school book center in our little craft corner. The possibilities are endless! Honestly, I wouldn't mind having a set of these in my living room!
I have pictures of all the DIY projects I did for Will's room, hopefully I'll get that posted this week. I love how it all came together, it's definitely a room he can grow into and hopefully he'll stay interested in horses and cowboys. :)
Remember the chenille blanket I made in case baby #2 was a girl? Well, now Madeline has inherited it. She calls it her "nap time" blanket and totally loves it. I do too! Right before Christmas, I received an Etsy order to make a matching pair for a set of newborn twin girls. These blankets are a labor of love, that's for sure, but the end result is SO worth it.
I used my favorite all time fabric line, Hunky Dory by Chez Moi. You might remember it from...uh, EVERYTHING in Maddie's room.
I used hot pink, light pink and white flannel for the chenille back.
Don't they look so pretty all packaged up and ready for shipping?
I have some really cute fabric and some yummy flannel to make one for Will, but I haven't gotten around to it yet. Maybe that would be a good fall project...
This is the post wherein I catch up my readers on all my crafty news from my 4 month long blog hiatus. Which was not intentional, I assure you!
Hmmm, where to start? Well, I continued the tradition of making Madeline's Easter dress. I really, really love this pattern (you can find it here)! Will also wore his first bow tie, which was totally adorable, if I do say so myself.
I made Maddie an Easter Bonnet Headband , inspired by this post. She loved it and it almost made up for not having a hat. I had a better picture of it, but I can't find it...
Maddie recycled her Halloween costume for Plow Days this year and as I mentioned before, me and my cousin made a boatload of stick horses to sell. I also made about 2 dozen bonnets. I simplified my Sunday Bonnet so I could crank them out quickly. Fun, busy day!!
I revisited my most popular blog post of all time, the reversible sundress and made a matching pair for two little sisters. I started working on patterns for sizes 3 months - 6 years, plus some revisions to the fit that I think work a little better than the original. For now, that's still on the to-do list!
I made this little old fashioned set for customer's grandchild for her school play. I used this pattern for the apron, but opted to use regular elastic instead of shirring the neck and arm holes. I love this fabric!!
This is the little peasant style dress I made Maddie for the 4th of July. I'm in love with this style! So easy to make and so easy to wear! I have an extra-special peasant dress all cut out for her that I'm dying to start sewing. I'll definitely share when I'm finished.
My biggest project this year was completing Will's bedroom. I made crib bumpers, crib skirt, curtains, refinished a dresser and tracked down some cool wall art. I also made something very cool out of this pallet...can you guess what?
It definitely needs it's own post, but I need to clean his room before I take pictures. So in other words, don't hold your breath or anything. ;)
I think that's about all the crafty related news I have! I always slow down a bit in the summer months, but I have so many, many projects (that's a lot, Pinterest!!) that I want to make, so I'll have to start putting the pedal to the medal come fall. Speaking of Pinterest, you can follow me here.
In the meantime, we're have a blast this summer, spending lots of time at the pool and the beach and making lots of memories with our two little munchkins.
So...4 months later...here is that stick horse tutorial. It's a little bare bones and there are a TON of ways you could spruce this up and make it sturdier or cuter, but this will give you the basic idea. These took me about 30 minutes a piece, but I did all of mine at the same time, so it would take longer than that to just make one.
My cousin and I made another batch for our booth at Plow Days this year and made a few modifications that I'm going to note as I go along.
1 Dowel Rod - I got mine at Hobby Lobby, there are all different sizes, I just went for the cheapest I could go without it feeling like it could potentially snap. If you have an old broom handle hanging around, that works too!
1 bandana - Again, I picked this up at Hobby Lobby for $.99
2 yds. Coordinating ribbon
Google eyes - I think a pack of 16 was around $2.50 - Cute buttons would be adorable as well!
Small amount of felt - You can pick up a square of felt for $.25 at most craft stores.
Poly fill - I cut open a couple old pillows for my stuffing - that really helped keep the cost down!
Hot glue gun
Matching thread and needle
Rope or cord - If you are feeling ambitious and want to add reins....
Okay, so I didn't take the time to scan in the pattern I used, because it's very simple and if you can draw a stick person, you can draw this. To get the scale right, fold your bandana in half like a triangle. You'll need two sheets of paper for the pattern. You want the pattern to go all the way to the edges of the bandana. Okay, here's the picture, because hopefully that will make what I just said make sense. :)
Now trace your pattern onto the folded bandana and cut out, positioning the pattern in the position shown above.
You will also need to cut out two ears from your felt. Cut out a triangle and then lop the top off of it. That would be called a...trapezoid? I've been out of school for too long.
To cut your ribbon, measure from the end of your horses nose diagonally to the top of his head. Cut three of this length.
Here's the fun part! Grab a book or another flat rectangular object (I used the lid to a plastic bin) and begin wrapping your yarn around it.
Wrap it about 75 times around. The more times you wrap, the thicker the horses mane will be...but the harder it will be to sew, so you have to find that balance. 75 times was just about right. Also, the wider your book, the longer the mane will be, so keep that in mind as well.
Now you need to decide whether you are going to hot glue the bridle on the horse after construction or sew it on. I hot glued the ones I made for the kids party, but I sewed the one I made for Plow Days and it's really a MUCH better idea. Don't have any pictures of that, but basically, you are going to take your two head pieces and lay your ribbon on the head and pin. Make sure they line up on both sides. Sew down both sides of the ribbon.
If you are sewing button eyes, now is the time. Don't forget you're going to lose about 3/4 inch when you sew the mane in , so don't do it too close to the edge.
Same story with the ears. I hand-sewed mine (see below) but the 2nd time around I machine stitched them and I liked it better. Here's how I did it: Fold the ear in half lengthwise. Position the ear with the point facing DOWN and stitch as close as you can get to the edge of the felt. I positioned mine about 2 inches below the top edge of the horses head. Then flip the ear up and stitch again. That ear isn't going anywhere!
Sorry I don't have pictures of those steps, if you have questions - feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll try to answer them there.
Okay, back to the mane. VERY carefully, slide the wrapped yarn from the book. Do this right near your machine so there is no chance of it falling apart (says the voice of experience). Sew straight down the center of the looped mane. You want to end up with a mane about 12-18 inches long, so go slow and adjust accordingly.
Now you are going to fold your mane in half along the seam you just made and position it on the RIGHT side of the horses head.
Sandwich it between the other horse head piece, right side DOWN.
Pin generously and then sew around the edge of your horses head, leaving only the neck hole open. It's going to be a PAIN to sew around the mane, especially if your want a nice thick mane. Go slow and don't cuss too much.
Reinforce at least the mane portion of the horse with a zig zag stitch.
Flip your horse right side out. Yay! We're almost done!!
Now take a pair of scissors and cut all the loops out of the horses mane.
Next, we get to stuff the horse! Don't under stuff - especially through the nose. Floppy horses can't run fast. ;)
Now that your horse is all stuffed, we are going to give him legs! Or...at least a body. Grab your dowel rod and wrap a piece of felt around the end. This will prevent the stick from making it's way through the fiber fill and poking a hole through the fabric.
Stick the rod into the fiberfill and position it so it feels secure but not so that the top of the rod is touching the top of the horse. If you fill the horse adequately, it will be easier.
Use your hot glue gun and put a good amount of glue on the stick where it meets the fabric. Squeeze the fabric around the glue to attach. Don't burn your hand!
Wrap a length of yarn around the bottom of the horses head to help secure. Use a dab of hot glue to secure end.
I added a mouth by looping some heavy duty thread around the snout several times. Like this:
If you added the bridle, ears and eyes before assembling, you could call it a day! If not, fire up that glue gun and start gluing!
You can use the third piece of ribbon to wrap around the snout. Or not. Your call. If you decide to add reins, stick the ends under this piece.
If you are hand sewing the ears, position them and use a whipstitch to secure.
You're done! Easy peasy, right? Now hand your adorable stick horse to your favorite cowboy or cowgirl and watch them ride off into the sunset!