Dreamy DIY Daybed

I have a serious thing for daybeds. There is something so primally cozy about curling up on a deep bed, surrounded by cushions.

This window seat daybed is so inviting and simple to assemble.  Details on this DIY project from Jewels at Home.

Daybeds are practical, too. I have one in my craft studio, which is also our guest room. It’s a twin bed for our single guests, and there is a pop-up trundle below that can be combined with the main bed to make a king bed for couples and families.

When we added built-in closets to our master bedroom, they created a little alcove under the windows that was perfect for a window seat. Rather than a narrow bench, I decided to fill this space with a deep daybed, perfect for reading, napping, or lounging and taking in the view.

This space will also work out for those nights when a nightmare brings a little one into our room in the middle of the night… see, practical!

I considered building something myself, but I was nervous that that kind of project might never get done, with three kids running around. So, I did a lot of browsing and measuring to find ready-made materials that would fit together into an almost-built-in deep window seat and then added handmade touches with the pillows and storage boxes.

I found that three of these Closetmaid 3 Cube White Storage Benches filled the space almost end to end, leaving just enough room to access the electrical outlets on the walls at either end. The benches I bought are only 14″ deep, but I was able to add extra depth with some existing pieces boxes and shelves around the house, to create a luxurious 30″ deep daybed. To top it all off, I used two basic crib mattresses which fit perfectly across and provide great support. This Safety 1st Heavenly Dreams White Crib Mattress is reasonably priced and on the larger side (did you know crib mattresses were not a standard size?!), so it fills up the bench nicely.

Although I used benches out of a box and ready-made mattresses, this project has lots of handmade touches as well:

  • seat cushion cover
  • round bolster pillows and other decorative pillows – I used a variety of fabrics that capture the color scheme of the room – warm neutral gray with accents in red and turquoise.
  • fabric-covered storage boxes – JJ is potty-trained now, except for overnight, and these are overnight diaper boxes, that fit perfectly inside the cubbies, with just a half inch trimmed from the top. I have complete instructions for these and other storage boxes in another post.

I’m beyond happy with out new window seat and am looking forward to enjoying many quiet moments here.


This window seat daybed is so inviting and simple to assemble.  Details on this DIY project from Jewels at Home.

This window seat daybed is so inviting and simple to assemble.  Details on this DIY project from Jewels at Home.

This window seat daybed is so inviting and simple to assemble.  Details on this DIY project from Jewels at Home.


Bench Made From Chairs

So, I’ve been a bit crazy for chairs this year…

First, I picked up this beauty at the antiques fair on New Year’s Day.

Living room vignette with vintage chair, painted chest, and new cushions.  From Jewels at Home.

Living room vignette with vintage chair, painted chest, and new cushions.

Then, I refinished these free Queen Anne chairs found through Craigslist…

Queen Anne chair makeover by Jewels at Home

Free Queen Anne chairs found through Craigslist: from worn and boring to fresh and elegant!

And I went on to paint and reupholster our dining chairs

Ikea dining chair makeover by Jewels at Home

Another step in the evolution of our old Ikea chairs. This new fabric gives them an elegant yet whimsical feel that fits in with the Chinoiserie/ Regency look I am working on in our living-dining room.

Along the way, I could not resist these traditional Chinese chairs, also a deal on Craigslist.

Solid wood traditional Chinese chairs.

Solid wood traditional Chinese chairs.

Suddenly, I had too many chairs… and I still wanted a bench for our front hallway. Do you sense a solution here? I did!

While you could certainly get clever with carpentry and join chairs together in a number of creative ways (side by side in a row; on either end with a board in between; with two chair backs turned 90 degrees to make the ends of the bench, etc..), I didn’t want to permanently alter these chairs, since they are well-made and beautiful and might move on to a new purpose some day.

Instead, I chose to strap the chairs together and use cushions to give the feel of a single piece of furniture.

Strapping the chairs together

To make the chairs work together as a bench, I started by strapping them together. I used felt strips that were 2″ wide and long enough to wrap around two chair legs with 2″ overlap. I put straps at the back of the chairs, at the top and bottom of each leg. Measure the top and bottom of the legs separately, since they might not be the same width.

In the picture below,

  • Because my felt was thin, I started by sewing two layers of fabric together. (top left)
  • Then, I sewed velcro onto each end of the strip, as shown: the hook side on one end, and the loop side on the back side of the other end. You could use 2″ wide velcro, but I just used the narrower strips I already had and put two strips side by side. (top right)
  • This is how the finished straps look with the ends joined. (bottom left)
  • Here’s how they work on the chairs. These simple straps held the chairs in line pretty securely. (bottom right)
Sew straps to link chairs together into a bench.  Jewels at Home.

Sew straps to link chairs together into a bench.


I took off the three separate chair cushions and added a single big one. After going around and around with all the options for fabric, I chose this textured fabric that has shades of blue, green, and grey in it. It ties together a lot of elements in the foyer and living room and doesn’t compete with the design of the chairs.

I added two bolster cushions in this really fun print: Barber in powder blue by Premier Prints. The technique for making the bolsters was detailed in the tutorial on sewing pillows. I used two, rather than three, to take attention away from the three separate chairs. I’m thinking of ways to use some more of this fabric on the living room that is right off the foyer.

Storage baskets
Finally, I tucked these faux leather storage crates¬†under the chairs for the boys to keep their school bags and library books, so these things don’t get lost.

Finished “Bench”

Our new entry bench and storage system is working very well, and I like how it looks, too.

Ideas for joining chairs into a bench.  From Jewels at Home.

Ideas for joining chairs into a bench.  From Jewels at Home.

Ideas for joining chairs into a bench.  From Jewels at Home.

With a little bit of creativity, this “bench” has turned out to be a useful and attractive addition to our front hall. ¬†Now back to some other chairs I picked up for free on the side of the road…


Shoebox Makeovers – Mani-Pedi Kit and Decorative Box

I’m lucky to have a sister for so many reasons – she’s the one person with whom I can be completely myself and share all the funniest and saddest moments. As a fun bonus, little sis loves designer shoes, and I get the beautiful boxes!

Today is definitely TGIF. Work was busy this week, and I’m ready to shift gears for the weekend. Tomorrow is our school’s annual dinner, and I love the chance to get dressed up and enjoy some time with friends. I don’t get fancied up often, but I decided to paint my nails tonight and was reminded of how easy and fun it was to decorate this shoebox to organize my nail polish and accessories.

Easy mani-pedi kit made from an old shoebox.

Easy mani-pedi kit made from an old shoebox.

Mani-pedi kit inside

There’s enough room for nail polish and accessories. I love the damask lining of this box. You could add your own to a sturdy plain box.

This box was already lined in that pretty metallic damask, but you could glue in a paper or fabric liner to any sturdy box. I used a ribbon and some stickers on the outside to cover up the printing, and now practical little me gets to feel girly and pink once in a while.

shoebox decorated for display.

This beautiful shoebox has a ribbon closure. I added scrapbook paper to the outside.

Another of my sis’ shoeboxes is in our living room. This time, I glued some scrapbook paper over the printing, and it’s ready for display. (Yes, putting photos in frames is on my to-do list!). The style of this box, with the attached lid and ribbon closure gave me the idea to cover some extra test kit boxes from work. Hope to show you that soon.

Okay, now go raid your (sister’s) shoe closet and create your next project!