Unique DIY Lighting for a Loft-Inspired Teen Boy’s Room – One Room Challenge Week 3

I’m really excited to be a Guest Participant again in the One Room Challenge! This is a great way to get inspiration and motivation for your home. This spring, I re-decorated our boys’ bathroom. For this fall’s challenge, I’m transforming our teen’s bedroom. His new space is inspired by an industrial loft, with an exposed brick wall and other great features! Thanks for following along!

Recap:

  • In week one, I shared my favorite inspiration spaces and mood board
  • In week two, I added a (faux) exposed brick wall

This week, I’m so excited to show you the lighting projects for this space. These are both moderately easy DIYs, and that’s exactly what I need right now with everything else going on at home and work!

Macrame Cord Hanging Lamp:

TOTALLY in love with this project. More details, including materials and instructions, in this post. For now, just enjoy the pictures!

Stenciled Drum Pendant Lamp Shade:

This is actually one of the first projects I did, when I started blogging. The detailed instructions are in the original post. This room used to be my craft room, so I gave myself some license to use more feminine touches. Kai’s not picky, but I did want to update this lamp for him. I originally thought I might be able to just change the shade, but it was fixed in place.  While changing out the light bulbs, I realized that the room looked a lot brighter – and the light looked a bit less feminine – without the bottom glass and finial, so I left it that way for a little update.

Here’s an earlier before-and-after of the light.

And here’s how it looks without the bottom finial and with some fun Edison-style bulbs inside.

Oh, and one more look at my friend the macrame cord light…

Not sure what I’ll tackle this coming week. The answer might be nothing, because I’m co-hosting a big crazy birthday party this weekend…

A huge thank you to Linda for creating the One Room Challenge community, and high fives to all my fellow bloggers whose hard work and creativity were great inspirations! Be sure to go back to the One Room Challenge page to check out all the other projects!

Julie aka “Jewels”

Some Things Never Get Old – Vintage Superhero Wall Art 

Superheroes have been capturing our imagination for decades, and the recent revival of superhero movies shows they are truly timeless. And since everything else with kids changes way too fast, superheroes make a great and enduring theme for their decor. I really enjoyed making these art projects for our kids and our friends’ boys.

My materials for the vintage superhero art were:

The calendar pages look great framed on their own. For our friends’ boys, I made these framed initials:

Looking for more superhero ideas? You may remember the covered mirrors and pencil tins I made a while back!

To infinity and beyond,

“Jewels”

That Spells DNA – Nerdy and Beautiful Baby Quilts

“DNA, you’re in my heart
DNA, in fact you’re in every part of my body
Each cell has a nucleus, each nucleus has chromosomes
And DNA, baby, that spells DNA”

-That Spells DNA by Jonathan Coulton

I can thank Steve, who is at the forefront of all things nerdy, for introducing me to Jonathan Coulton over a decade ago. Of course, as a genetic counselor, I have a particular soft spot for “That Spells DNA.” If you’re as nerdy as we are, and you don’t already know and love this song, you will want to check it out!

So, when we found out we were having a mini baby boom in our work family, with two babies due within two months, it wasn’t too hard for me to decide on DNA-themed baby quilts as gifts.

I found the DNA-themed fabric, Color DNA stripe by Melissa McCulloch, on Spoonflower. The fabric in the quilts is actually left over from a few Halloweens ago when our group dressed up as (if terrible puns cause you pain, skip this next part!) Gene-gnomes. The colors were a perfect jumping off point for this colorful gender-neutral patchwork of yellow, blues, greens and coral-red.

Here are some close-ups of the beautiful fabrics. I wanted to use every last scrap of the DNA fabric, so there is one patch in each of the quilts that I like to call “CRISPRed.” Can you spot one?

And here are a few more pictures of the quilts during their photo shoot, before they went off to their new homes!

All the colors and patterns together make me so happy! I am excited to meet the newest babies of our work family and give them their quilts, so they can start their genetics lessons early!

“Jewels”

Custom Scrapbook Luggage Tags

These little luggage tags make wonderful gifts that are quick to make and practical!

Every kids loves having something with their name on it, and every adult fears taking the wrong bag at the airport. I’ve actually done this – and it was a huge pain, because I had to spend hours and $$ going back to LAX to exchange the bag, but I was relieved that at least the woman whose bag I accidentally took was really nice about it.

I love all the ways you can customize these luggage tags. I am showing these with scrapbook paper, but I’ve also made some out of wedding invitations to give as a gift to the couple, and you could use photos or lots of other ideas!

I’ve made tags with two different types of lamination:

img_5487

There’s really nothing better than a beautiful combination of scrapbook paper and stickers, is there? … Well, maybe dark chocolate and red wine… or world peace… okay, but these are really fun and pretty, so go and make some, because world peace may take a while to achieve.

“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”

Experiments in Underwater (iPhone!) Photography

My kids are so happy in the water, and yet I’ve missed pictures of many of those moments, because I needed to keep my phone high and dry.

So, for this year’s summer vacation, I decided to buy a waterproof phone pouch.  Even though I tested it according to the instructions, it was still scary to put my phone in the water the first time. After I got the hang of it, though, it has been a lot of fun.

Although you can control the phone buttons through the case, I found it to be hard to do. My husband came up with the idea of setting the timer for the pictures. The timer on the iPhone takes a burst of ten photos, so you can usually capture some good moments and delete the rest. Another note is that the water cuts down on light, so taking your underwater pictures at the brightest spot possible helps.

These are some of my first experiments. JJ loves the diving weights, and it was fun to capture him playing with them.

This is my favorite – the little imp actually posed underwater and flashed me a smile!

And look at these little feet in action!

We have a river rafting trip planned for next week, and I look forward to bringing the waterproof pouch along to capture some more wet adventures.

Have fun and stay dry!

“Jewels”

 

 

Father’s Day Portrait Gifts

It’s so fun to get the boys involved in a creative project for Father’s Day. Remember when we made the mugs and aprons? Or even these simple cards?

This year, the boys and I created these portraits for Steve and their grandfathers. You know by now that I have an endless supply of scrapbook paper, which I used to create the letters. The boys were really good sports (they aren’t always!) with taking the pictures, and I love the final products.

I printed individual pictures and put them in a frame with three openings and a matte that the boys signed.

And you couldn’t take pictures of three boys and a rascally pup without some outtakes!

Wishing the best to all the hard-working and loving fathers out there!

“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”

DIY Kids’ Play Teepee

You’ve probably seen these adorable kids’ reading tents on Pinterest or your favorite blogs. I’ve had this project in the back of my mind for a while now and, with a little help with the boys, finally made it happen!


I browsed tons of pictures and tutorials to come up with the version I wanted for our family. Here’s what I know I wanted to include:

  • 4 poles with dip-painted tips
  • Rope at top and bottom to create the structure
  • Contrasting fabric for the door

There are lots of methods out there for making a play teepee. I decided to sew ours. Don’t get me wrong, I love my glue gun and staple gun, but since I can handle the sewing, I wanted to go with something more durable and removable for washing (not that my kids ever get anything dirty, but…).

I started with four poles made from 1″ x 2″x 8′ wood molding. These were only $0.91 each! Since we had all the other supplies already, this whole project cost us less than $4!!

Here are the steps to your new favorite hideout!

1. Lightly sand the wood

2. Paint the tips of the poles

3. Drill holes 8″ from the top and 1.5″ from the bottom of each pole. I did the pilot holes and the kids finished up. It was fun seeing them use the tools.

4. I threaded rope through the top holes and wound the rope around to create our structure. Next, I threaded rope through the bottom of the poles and knotted it to keep the poles evenly spaced. I didn’t put rope across the opening, to prevent tripping!

5. When the poles were arranged the way we wanted, I measured for the panels. I measured the openings and added 2″ to all the measurements for hems and seams and finished everything with French seams, since you can see them from the inside.

When your tent is done, you can accessorize with pillows, blankets, bunting, lights, or anything else your heart desires!

“Jewels”

Recipe for a Stylish Boy’s Room

We have two rooms for the three boys: one big shared room and a small bedroom that was J’s nursery and is now our tween’s.

The big room has been slow to come together. Little boys interests change so often, not to mention that they are tornadoes that leave a mess in their wake.

I’m now ready to make a push to polish their space. As I discussed in this post on my steps for designing a room, and inspired by the Design Cookbook, here’s my recipe for the little boys’ room.

  1. Main color palette of navy and light neutrals
  2. Natural materials like wood, metal, and leather
  3. Whimsical accents like bunting in red and other fun colors
  4. Eclectic gallery wall with elements like a paper mache bust, kids art, and quotes
  5. Hideout area
  6. An unexpected sophisticated touch such as wallpaper or a luxurious fabric

I developed this recipe by collecting my favorite images on a Pinterest board.

Here are some of my favorite inspiration rooms:

Photo by Julia Lynn design by Jenny Keenan

From Design Sponge

From New York Cottages and Gardens

And here’s a list of projects I’ve already done for our boys’ room:

I’m looking forward to showing you the latest updates soon!

“Jewels”