Kids’ Bath Grows Up – Customized Bath Towels – One Room Challenge Week 5

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant in my first One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. For this challenge, I’ve decided to re-do our kids’ bath. It started out with a cute beach theme that seemed perfect when the boys were little, but now I am ready for it to grow up with them. Our new look features neutral colors, natural touches, and enough personality to stand up to three boys! Thanks for following along!

Recap:

  • In week one, I took this room back to a blank slate, which involved cleaning, repairs, and a new wall color!
  • In week two, I started adding accessories to make the room functional again
  • In week three, I built wall shelves to create storage and display space
  • In week four, I added whimsical printed artwork

For week five, I am personalizing towels for the boys. I wanted the look of matching towels, but I still wanted to be able to tell their towels apart, because there are some things that even the closest family doesn’t want to share…

Fortunately, I remembered how I had added trim to our master bath towels, so I adapted that project for the boys. I started with solid grey towels and white grosgrain ribbon in 1.5 inch and 5/8 inch widths. I sewed on one stripe for our oldest, two for our middle boy, and three for our youngest.

I’m showing the towels folded nicely, but I actually have robe hooks for the boys to make it easier for them to hang up their towels.

Time to head back to the One Room Challenge link-up page to check out the progress on all the other exciting projects!

Final stretch this week! Hint: I am enlisting Steve to do play with electricity!

“Jewels”

DIY Hanging Pillow Headboard

This is a great idea for a compact DIY headboard you can use in a small space – or anywhere you want! This idea first caught my eye when Emily Henderson featured Shwa Style’s version of this pillow headboard. A Pair and a Spare DIY also has a lovely version of this idea. And now, for my own take on this easy and stylishly funky headboard!

When I first created our tween boy’s room a few years ago, I made a DIY bed from Ikea bookcases, and the headboard was an Ikea floating shelf mounted on its side. These days, this room is home to different tween boy, and it was time for a cozy upgrade to his bed! I was thinking of buying leather straps for this project, but when I was at the Flea Market with my friend Ariana of Act 2 Decor, I saw these vintage belts and loved the idea of doing a twist on this project!

Upholstered headboards are really popular, but there’s part of me that just isn’t quite sure how to keep a fabric headboard clean. If you’re with me, then you should like this project, and you should also check out the washable quilted headboard slipcovers I made for our master bedroom in grey velvet and navy velvet!

What you’ll need:

  • Foam cushion. (Mine is actually leftover from our front hall bench, which I replaced with a console table.) It’s 1.5″ thick by 15″ wide by 40″ long to fit over a twin bed
  • Fabric to cover the foam. I lucked out that the green-blue fabric already on our hall bench cushion also works for the headboard. I just had to trim it to size
  • Two extra-long (54″) leather belts. I found mine at the flea market, but this belt is very similar
  • Four screws and four drywall anchors
  • Diaper pins or large safety pins

Here’s how to make it:

  • Cut your foam to size
  • Wrap the foam with your fabric. I originally sewed the cover for the cushion, but when I trimmed it, I admit I used safety pins in back to hold the extra fabric in place
  • Measure the height and placement of the belts
  • Put in drywall anchors at the top of the belts and screw in your screw, leaving the screw head out a little bit from the wall
  • Fold your belts into a sling for the cushion, leaving the tip sticking out the top of the buckle
  • Hang the belts on the top screws

  • Mark the location of the top hole in the belt and insert a drywall anchor behind it. Screw the belt into the wall through that top hole
  • Hang your cushion on the belts and secure in the back with diaper pins through a belt hole. This step isn’t in other tutorials, but it quickly became evident that this is needed, when your bed’s occupant is a twelve-year-old boy…
  • Enjoy your new headboard!

Our tween loves to read in bed, and he is really enjoying the comfy new addition to his bedroom!

“Jewels”

Feeling Blue (Velvet) – A Quick and Easy Headboard Slipcover

I love little changes that make a big difference! No, this is not a new bed – just an easy-to-sew slipcover for our headboard. I have been creating a light and neutral look in our bedroom, but something wasn’t quite … Continue reading

It’s in the Bag – Stenciled Totes

Most years, I try to make something creative as holiday gifts for our teachers and coworkers. There’s so much joy in giving, but we’re also living in a time and place where it feels like everything is at your fingertips, so something handmade feels like a good way to express how much we appreciate those around us. When I can manage it, I make a few extra to last through the year as hostess and grown-up birthday gifts. I’ve linked to previous years’ handmade gifts at the bottom of the post, if you’re looking for more ideas.

This year, I decided to make stenciled canvas tote bags as our holiday treat. They’re so pretty and unique, yet also practical, as we’re trying to minimize our use of disposable shopping bags. I had so much fun trying different combinations of colors and patterns.

What you’ll need:

How to do it:

  • Prewash the bags
  • Choose a stencil and use blue painters tape to hold it in place
  • Put an eye md magazine inside the bag, so the paint won’t go through to the other side
  • Mix paint with textile medium according to the instructions
  • Use the spouncer to apply light coats of paint
  • Once thoroughly dry, iron the pattern using a press cloth to set the paint
  • That’s all! Unless you’re me and repeat it many, many times!

Here are just some of the combinations I made!

Tile stencil in navy and in ombré blues:

Arrows, with a contrasting accent color and (bottom left) ombré blues:

Feathers,with a contrasting accent color or (bottom) ombré blues and greys.

I really liked the feathers!

I loved the tile in this mix of copper and gold paint. The metallic paints were very thick and made very crisp designs.

A close up of the feathers:

The birds were fun to arrange in different patterns and colors.

My mother-in-law likes gingko leaves, so I made this one for her:

And I got to keep this one for myself!

No matter how I plan, the holidays are hectic. I definitely all felt worthwhile when I went to give out the bags. Our teachers and friends were so excited – it definitely put me in the spirit of the season!

it made me happy to make the people I care about happy. My friend Liane took this great photo of her bag:

Looking for more handmade gift ideas? Here are some from past years:

“Jewels”

Festive Boho-ho-ho Christmas Stockings

Yup, I have become one of those people who does a themed Christmas each year. I am still not sure if this is a sign of greatness of madness! While I admit to having accumulated many boxes of decorations, I … Continue reading

Macrame Madness: A Simple Plant Hanger

Everything old is new again! I’m visiting my dad and fantasizing about magically unearthing some old macrame projects from the 70s. Meanwhile, I’m trying my hand at making some plant hangers. This macrame obsession pairs perfectly with my newfound love of plants!


Tying knots in string shouldn’t be that complicated, but I was nervous getting started, so I chose the simplest project I could. Using some heavy cotton rope leftover from hanging a birthday piñata, I based my plant hanger off of these instructions.

Because the rope was so thick, I chose to use a gathering knot in blue cotton yarn rather than tie a heavy knot with the rope at the top and bottom.

Being a busy mom, the first chance I had to work on this project was on a plane! Luckily, the tab that holds up the tray table works perfectly for attaching the loop at the top;)

Here’s how the plant hanger looks empty:

And here’s how it looks planted with Golden Pothos.

Stay groovy and green!

“Jewels”

DIY Ribbon Leis

It’s graduation season! Somehow (well, I guess we know how), I ended up with boys graduating from middle school, elementary school, and Kindergarten all in one year. This calls for some crafting. I decided to make graduation leis for the boys and their friends using ribbon.

I researched a ton of ideas, which you can browse on my Pinterest page.  Some of those ideas are definitely for the expert level lei-maker, and I am a humble beginner. However, I did find inspiration for something that is both easy and pretty over at Sakacon.com.  These spiral ribbon leis don’t require advanced skills, but they do take some time. I modified the method a little, and I love how you can mix and match so many ribbons for infinite ideas!

Materials:

  • wide ribbon 7/8″ to 1.5″ (8-10 yards). This is the ruffle-edge ribbon I used.
  • narrower accent ribbon(s) 3/16″ to 1/2″ (same yardage). This is the picot ribbon I used.
  • embroidery floss to match the accent ribbon
  • clear nail polish to finish the ends of the ribbon
  • needle, scissors

Instructions:

First, go to your local craft store and go crazy! I actually feel like I have accomplished a project just by getting supplies (…but I realize this isn’t quite true). Since the design of the leis is simple, you can add a lot of detail by picking interesting ribbons. You can see i found some ribbons with ruffled edges and picot ribbon (apparently this is what you call the ribbon with the little loops in the side) that really make your “flowers” look more realistic. For fun, I bought some rainbow stripe ribbon, and the possibilities are really endless.

To make the lei, thread three strands of embroidery floss onto your needle. I used about 18″ of floss at a time. Tie a secure knot at the end of your floss.

The Sakacon version has a long tail you can use to tie the lei on with a bow. I decided to make a continuous round lei, because I thought it would be more comfortable for the boys. I still staggered the length of the wide and narrow ribbons – ie left a long tail of the wide ribbon before starting my lei – so there would not be an obvious join in the lei.

I lined up the narrow ribbon to one side of the wide ribbon, folding under the edge to avoid fraying, and sewed a few stitches in place to secure it. I then started doing a long running stitch, with stitches every centimeter (3/8″) or so.

Once you have sewn a few stitches, pull the thread to make the ruffles and guide them into a spiral shape to look like a chain of flowers. This really feels like magic!

You basically continue this for a long, long time. To make the lei a continuous loop, I cut off the wide ribbon first, and picked up the section of wide ribbon I had left as a “tail” at the beginning, continuing I until I reached the start of the narrow ribbon.

I bought spools of craft ribbon, which comes in 3-6 yard sections, so there are several joins in the lei. These aren’t visible, because the ribbons are staggered, and there are so many ruffles. At the ends of the ribbon, I used clear nail polish on the wide ribbon and just folded under the ends of the narrow ribbon. I also changed embroidery floss a few times, being sure to tie secure knots and hide the ends.

Behold! Here are the finished leis. I’m still making more and will add the pictures when they are done, to give you more ideas for ribbon combinations. I can’t wait to share them with my boys and their friends in a few more weeks!

Aloha!

“Jewels”