March 28, 2014

Celebrating Two Years!


Amazingly, another year has gone by since we created our blog and store. Can that even be possible? So much has changed since March last year. Our blog got a new look, we started selling products on our StoreEnvy shop, we had a fantastic summer photoshoot, Lizzie got crazy with cooking and added a Recipe section to our blog, new products, and Lizzie accomplished some pretty big DIY projects

As we did last year, we feel that we have a few words of thanks that we need to say:

To Emmy: You are probably our biggest follower! Thank you so much for reading ALL our posts and telling us when we misspelled things :)

To Kaela: You're still our favorite model! We wish we could see you more and are both incredibly thankful for your love and support. We hope you'll be a part of everything we do here for a long time.

To Corbett: Thanks for making sure Lizzie didn't kill herself with the power saw, haha. Also, thanks for being supportive of our blog and giving us shoutouts!

To Honor: We are both appreciative of your occasional suggestions and are always glad to hear new ideas! Thanks for sending ideas to us on Pinterest and liking our posts on Facebook, haha.

And finally, thank you to everyone who has liked, followed, repinned, and retweeded us. Spreading the word is the most helpful thing you could possibly do for us. Every day we get more pageviews, and every month we have more likes and followers. Keep the support coming, and know we appreciate every bit of it!

Love,
Lizzie and Diana

March 13, 2014

DIY Lamp Makeover


Here is the second project that I mentioned I've been working on for a while! This poor ugly lamp needed a makeover. It was previously sitting on a table in my mom's living room, and she had been wanting to replace it for years. The shade was quite sad looking; it used to be lined but it got a tear in it. My mother eventually cut the torn lining out so whenever it was on, you could see the light bulb quite easily. 

Anyways, my mom finally got a new lamp to replace this tired one, and I asked if I could have it. It may be ugly, but it was a really nice lamp back in its hey day. She said yes and it has now been sitting in my apartment as is for over a month. 

But no more! The same day Corbett helped me build my mirror frame, we spray painted the lamp! It certainly looks better white. I also recovered the lampshade. 

So this post is really a two-part DIY. How to spray paint an old lamp and how to recover a lampshade!


1. Tape off the electrical parts. This is pretty simple and self explanatory. Grab yourself some painters tape and tape away. To cover up the cord, I got a grocery bag and put the cord inside, then taped it shut. 


2. Sand it first. Even though spray paint is oil-based and sticks to everything, it is always a good idea to sand your item first. I found out that I am terrible at this, so if you have no idea what you're doing, ask a knowledgeable friend if you've done it right.

3. Cover your work space. We used a garbage bag. This eliminates most of the mess.

4. Paint outside and not in cold weather. Unfortunately for me, the day we painted was pretty chilly. Cooler weather makes the paint dry very slowly. SO! Don't do what I did. Paint on a day when the temperature is around 50 degrees.


5. Give it at least two coats.  Mine could have used three, but I was impatient to get this done and didn't give it another go over. One coat will definitely not be enough though.

Once it was dried I was very pleased with the end result! It looked so much prettier. Once it wasn't bronze, I realized I actually liked the shape and size.

Alright, now for part two! That pesky lampshade.

You will need...
1 yard of fabric, depending on shade size
Spray adhesive (I used Elmer's)
Hot glue
Scissors
Ribbon that matches your fabric


1. Pick a fabric and create a pattern. I used a brown grocery bag so I would have a stiff pattern, but in a pinch you could use another piece of cloth. (Also, if your lampshade is round, cutting out your pattern will be much easier. You could even opt to just measure it and forgo the pattern altogether.)

2. Pin your pattern down and cut out pieces. My shade had 6 panels, so I cut out 6 pieces of cloth. I bought 1 yard and had plenty of extra. (In fact, I had more than enough to cover a book! Recognize the fabric from my fabric covered books DIY?) 

**Be sure you leave a half inch on the top and bottom of your fabric panels so you can fold them over the rim and glue down later.

3. Spray one panel with spray adhesive and apply fabric to a panel. Smooth our wrinkles. The spray adhesive is NOT what is going to keep your panel of fabric on the shade. It simply helps get rid of wrinkles and keeps the fabric flat on the lamp shade. 

**I suggest laying down newspapers, because spray adhesive gets everywhere.

4. Trim the side edges of the panel of fabric so it fits perfectly. Don't worry about it looking messy along the seams where the panels of fabric meet; we will fix that later. Also, don't worry about tucking the top and bottom edges under the rim yet.

5. Hot glue the fabric down. Start in the corners, and if the edges need it, apply there as well. Again, don't worry about the seam where the fabric panels meet.


6. Turn your lampshade on its side and tuck the top and bottom edges under the rim of the lamp shade and hot glue down. Trim any fabric off that you can once the glue dries.

 7. Repeat these steps for the remaining panels. 



8. Add ribbon! Remember those ugly seams where the panels messily meet? Time to fix them! Cut yourself a piece of ribbon that is 2 inches longer than your lamp shade. Hot glue one end to the inside of the top rim in alignment with the seam. Gluing as you go, carefully press the ribbon down the length of the seam. Once you reach the end, hot glue the loose end under the bottom rim. Repeat for every seam.

**I glued ribbon around the inside on the top rim on my lampshade to give it a more finished look. (See below picture) While not necessary, it is a nice touch, and if you have extra ribbon, why not?

Once you're done, stand back and enjoy your gorgeous lamp shade! 

Reattach it to you lamp base and add it to your decor! Then stand back and admire it again. My boyfriend was actually extremely surprised at how well it turned out. I'm not sure if I should be upset that he had so little faith in me or happy because I have amazing hot glue skills, but either way, I have a gorgeous lamp that I only paid $4 for (and that $4 is from the fabric and ribbon). 



How do you like it in my apartment? (And please ignore the ridiculously ugly couch. I wasn't there to help the housing board pick it out back in 1968.) The mirror and the lamp really helped to make the whole space seem less empty and more me. I hope to post an apartment tour sometime soon!

Anyways, I hope you all enjoy this DIY, as well as a sneak peak into my apartment!

Love,
Lizzie

Obsessed with the transformation of Lizzie's lamp? Like her 1968 couch? Interested to see the rest of Lizzie's apartment? Leave us a comment below!

March 9, 2014

Antiquing Adventure... March '14

As a person naturally drawn to thrift stores and old things, it's no wonder that I could be content in an antique store all day long. The same principles in thrifting apply in antiquing: the thrill of the hunt, scoring things for good prices, and finding things that could be perfect with just a little TLC. However, the investment is slightly more than the investment in thrifting, and the best deals are often on furniture rather than knick-knacks, so I rarely buy anything when I visit an antique store. When I'm older and have a house where I can put furniture and have room for whole sets of dishes, I might let loose with my money a little more frequently. But until then, I am content to just enjoy looking. 

Last weekend, my cousin, boyfriend, and Corbett (who you have already met) went shopping in a great antique store in a small town near campus. We had a lot of fun yelling "LOOK AT THIS!" and I got in some great practice using manual on my new camera. Totally a win-win.

Here are some of the best things we spotted!


First was this precious little tea cup! As you will realize after reading this post all the way through, I really like things with ships on them. Ships have been a love of mine since childhood, and for the longest time Treasure Island was my favorite book.


My cousin, Honor, found this gorgeous silver dish. I don't know what it was used for, but the details were so pretty. I bet it could be polished up nicely, but I kind of like the tarnished look.


See? Already another ship item. This is a doorstop! Things were so much more detailed back then. I would love to have this on my future porch.


Here's something that we actually bought! Corbett loves sailing too, and he has hopes to one day build a sailboat. Until then, he is content making stringed instruments; however, this book still got him excited. It's a 1945 Sea Scout Manual and has all kinds of information on sailing. He was totally willing to pay $6 for it.


Every time I go to Goodwill, I keep an eye out for anything Jadeite. I love the vintage look of Jadeite pieces and the color is gorgeous, too. I have no idea what these chickens are supposed to be used for, but the orange juicer is adorable!


Ah, a combination of my favorite color with my bottle obsession. It's like they set up this vignette just to ensnare me. I especially love the fish bottle and the teal one in the back on the right.


My favorite dish designs from the 50s/60s are definitely the atomic patterns. It's also something I'm on the constant lookout for while thrifting. The abstract shapes are usually blue or green, so that may make me like them more than anything else, but I also love their spunky patterns. They're just so fun!


Diana is probably drooling right now. She loves old bikes and yellow. This vintage Schwinn bike was in amazing condition! My bike back home is close to this color and it made me really miss my bike and all the summer bike rides I usually go on.


Vintage Pyrex casserole dishes with unique patterns are always a great find! I had never seen this pattern before. These were $14 for the pair, but they didn't have their lids. If they had, I probaly would have scooped them up.


I've been looking online and in thrift stores for pretty tins recently. I really would like to have an herb garden in my apartment and I think my herbs would look fantastic planted in some vintage tins! These were sadly not even close to my price range, but they were still nice to look at.

So, how'd I do using manual? It was actually a really great place to practice because the lighting was constantly changing, especially when we went down in to the basement. I think I've gotten the hang of it. 

Love,
Lizzie

Love antiquing? Think Lizzie saw some great things last weekend? Think she should have bought those two casserole dishes? Leave us a comment below!

March 6, 2014

$15 Mirror DIY


Here it is! Finally, the big project reveal! I've been hinting at it for over a month now and I am so excited to finally share it with everyone!

Behold, my shabby-turned-chic $15 mirror! Though to be honest, it only cost me $10 because I got the mirror for free. More on that in a second.

Ever since I moved into my new apartment in January, I've been attempting to spruce it up with pretty plants and knick-knacks. However, that still left the walls empty. Goodwill wasn't much help in that area (can you believe I just said that?). I found several small things to hang up, but nothing big to bring the room together. I was ideally looking for something to hang over the couch.

So, when my friend's friend offered me a free floor length mirror, I couldn't say no! It was definitely not in great shape... Broken plastic frame, covered in stickers... Yeah, it wasn't pretty.



See, I wasn't kidding.

But I had a plan.

I did some exploring on Pinterest and sifted through the DIY ideas. I finally settled upon this tutorial from Shanty 2 Chic. Unfortunately, it required the use of a miter saw and a few other things I didn't have access to while living on a college campus.

BUT! I did have a friend who I knew was an expert with such things, and he happened to have all the tools I needed. So, after a trip to Home Depot and a drive over to his house, we were able to start building.

Oh, I believe some introductions are in order. Meet Corbett (technically pronounced the way it looks, but I like to make it all French, so I pronounce it Corbayyy). He's a construction major who loves hats and cars, and makes stringed instruments on the side (check out his blog). Here he is looking super intense...


Corbett is an awesome friend for putting up with my incompetence and impatience. You don't know just how good a friend someone is until they've said "DON'T TOUCH THAT, IT ISN'T DRY!" and you touch it anyways and screw up the paint... And they still love you. That's real friendship, guys.

DISCLAIMER: I did actually help Corbett with this project. Some. He didn't really trust me with the saw (for good reason), and since I was taking the pictures it looks like I made him do everything, haha.

On to the DIY!

You will need...
Cheap floor-length mirror (Walmart has them for $5)
Around 12 ft. of 1x6 wood
Wood glue
Staple gun
Miter saw
Wood stain in color of your choice (I went with walnut)
Liquid Nails
Picture frame hanging hardware (if you want to hang it on a wall)

1. Rip off that plastic frame. Carefully, of course. These mirrors are pretty cheap and can break easily if you aren't careful. Plus the edges are sharp. If it has stickers on it, use some Goo Gone to get them off.

2. Measure your mirror. I don't know if yours will be the same size as mine, so be sure to measure it. Don't forget to take into account the fact that you will be cutting 45 degree angles at the corners.

3. Mark the wood. Mark on your wood where to cut with your saw.

4. Use the saw. Or get your experienced friend to use the saw for you. Cut your pieces to the size you need.



 5. Lay out your pieces and glue them together with the wood glue. Piece the frame together. It is best to do this on a level surface.


6. Staple the pieces together. At the corners, staple the pieces together. You don't have to wait for the glue to dry to do this. Obviously, you should staple on the back of your frame.


I was (kind of) good at this part!


7. Wait for it to dry. Give it a few hours to dry. You don't want to disturb it before the glue has bonded completely. When it's done, it'll look something like this!


Now, on to the staining.


8. Stain the frame. See, I did do something! I suggest setting up saw horses so you can easily stain the edges. An old paint brush is ideal for applying the stain, but an old rag will do the trick in a pinch! Be sure to get the inside edges as well as the outside edges. I gave my frame two coats because I wanted a darker shade, but one coat would have worked too.

**If I could do this project over, I would have stained the back of the frame as well as the front. Once I attached the mirror, the edges of the mirror reflected the unstained back if looked at from a certain angle. You have been warned; choose what you will.


9. Wait for the stain to dry. Give it at least a day to dry. The blog post I got my inspiration from said she was done in an hour, but that just isn't possible. Unless you want stain on your wall, then let it dry for a day. This part was hard for me, haha. I ignored many a "Don't touch it, it's wet" warnings from Corbett.

10. Glue mirror to the frame. Once the frame is totally dry, flip it over. Grab your Liquid Nails and dab it along the inside edges, as close to the edge as you can. Slowly and carefully lower the mirror onto the frame and press firmly. This should be enough to hold it, however, due to the fact that the wind blew my frame over and made it much less sturdy, I also added a large gob of Liquid Nails at every corner for good measure.

11. Attach picture frame hanging hardware. I got a picture hanging kit at Home Depot that had everything I needed. Corbett and I decided the saw toothed hanger would be best for this project, so we hammered it to the top middle of my frame. (Which was not easy. The nails were tiny AND I didn't have a hammer in my apartment. We ended up using a glass jar...)

12. Hang on the wall! I hang pictures by putting a dab of toothpaste on the back of my frame where the nail will be, then deciding where on the wall I want it and pressing it to the wall. Once you pull the frame away, there will be a dab of toothpaste where your nail should go! Simply hammer in the nail and wipe off the wall. You'll hang your frame perfectly every time. (You learn the weirdest and most amazing things on Pinterest...)


Or, like the post where I got my inspiration, you could simply lean the mirror against a wall as a floor mirror. Whatever floats your boat.

How does it look?? Not quite as bad as it did originally, that's for sure! I LOVE the way it turned out. It really brings the space together and helps cover the bare walls.

Again, a million thanks to Corbett of An Amateur Luthier. I couldn't have gotten past step 2 without him.

Hope you all enjoy this DIY! And try it yourself, should you be so adventurous ;)

Love,
Lizzie

Like how Lizzie's project turned out? See her second DIY project in the corner? ;) Leave us a comment below!

March 4, 2014

Fabric Covered Books DIY


Happy Tuesday, everyone! I have been in DIY mode recently because I have been working on all kinds of projects for my apartment. I will soon be sharing the two big ones I've been hinting about for a month now, but today I thought I'd share a DIY that only takes 10 minutes. I got my inspiration from blogger Two Twenty One, however, her technique was a little too time consuming for my tastes. Here is my rendition of how to make these pretty fabric covered books!


You will need...
Hardback books (I got mine out of a free box at a local used bookstore)
Fabric (the $2 quilting packs at JoAnn's work great for this)
Spray adhesive (I used Elmer's)
Butter knife
Hot glue gun
Scissors


1. Lay book out on fabric. I highly suggest ironing your fabric before you do this. (As you can see from this picture, I did not; I sadly do not have an iron.) Also, I suggest laying down newspaper, because the glue will get everywhere.


2. Spray one side and the spine with your spray adhesive. Don't go wild; aim for a light, even coating and you will do just fine. Set it firmly down on the fabric where you want it and smooth out any wrinkles. I suggest leaving about 1-inch borders all the way around, just to be safe. Press the fabric into the grooves on either side of the spine.


It should look something like this once you flip it over. It's okay if the fabric isn't sticking as well to the side of the spine that touches the cover you haven't sprayed yet. See how mine looks like it's peeling away a bit? Don't worry about it. It will get fixed.


4. Do the same to the other side. Once you have, this is a good time to trim the edges if you ended up with more than an inch on all sides. Or, if you like living on the edge, you can trim it down to 1/2 inch. I did, but that's just how I roll.


5. Cut slits on each side of the spine for both ends of the book. We'll get back to the spine later. If you already know what the butter knife is for, pat yourself on the back.


6. Grab your glue gun. Add a line of glue along the long edge of your book and fold the fabric over. Press down. Avoid burns.


7. Fold the corners over. Secure with a dot of hot glue. This step is optional, but it makes it look much neater and less like a first grader's project.


8. Now, add a line of hot glue along the two shorter edges and fold fabric over. Do for both covers.


9. Use the butter knife to gently slip the slits into the spine. Don't push too hard or you could break your binding. This shouldn't be too difficult.


It'll look nice and pretty like this when you're done!


Next, make a few more and use to decorate! I picked mostly cool colors because I love blue, but you could use any kind of color and pattern combinations. Also, as you can see in the picture, I left one book uncovered. I liked the color and thought it would mix things up a little.

By the way, this tutorial works with scrapbooking paper, too. The top book on the stack was made using a piece of scrapbooking paper. It's more difficult because you can't use just one piece; you have to cut a separate piece for each cover and the spine. But it is cheaper than fabric and the options for color and pattern are much larger.

A word on fabric: the quilting squares I'm taking about are the ones that are single packs. I think they are $2, and if you have a coupon (download their app, sign up for emails, or check their sale paper), you can get it for really cheap!

Enjoy!

Love,
Lizzie

Love this cheap and easy DIY? Like Lizzie's heart-shaped cactus? Like her frog planter even more? Leave us a comment!