How to give galvanized metal an aged look

The other day I purchased a little galvanized milk jug from Walmart. I love everything thing about this little milk jug except for the fact that it was super shiny and looked brand new. My style is a bit more vintage so I decided to see if I could age the metal. I had read somewhere while searching how to age wood that you could also age galvanized metal. So I decided to give it a try. All you need is some sandpaper, vinegar and a piece of galvanized metal.milk jug 012Here is the shiny milk jug I started with. I purchased it from Walmart for about $7. milk jug 005 Take your sandpaper and scratch the entire surface. Make sure you take your time and get all of the little spots around the edges.milk jug 008Now take your metal piece and either submerge it in vinegar or keep wiping vinegar over it. I just took an old rag and soaked it in vinegar and every half-hour or so wiped more vinegar onto the jug. Towards the end once it was reacting, I took the vinegar soaked rag and layed it right on top of the jug. This definitely sped up the aging process. About 4 hours later my jug was aged.milk jug 013Pretty isn’t it? It almost looks like an old milk jug and not a new one that I just purchased from Walmart.
milk jug 010I love the looks of the aged milk jug so much better.
001 collage (1)

Pretty Peony

My peonies have started blooming.
bibs 017Isn’t it beautiful?! I’m not sure what kind it is other then it being white and beautiful. I really need to keep track of such things. So if any of you know, please pass on the info to me. I would love to buy like 50 more of these plants.
bibs 018See my cute little canning jar lid? Yes, another to add to my ever-growing canning jar collection. I purchased it from Decor Steals. Decor Steals is like a Pick Your Plum but for home decor items. They usually carry vintage knock-offs at super cheap prices. Their style is everything I love and I have a hard time not buying something everyday. Seriously go check it out!
bibs 019How are you flowers growing this year? What are your favorites?

Cleaning/Utility Closet

I spent the morning doing some spring cleaning. My many trips to the Cleaning/Utility Closet reminded me that I still needed to post pictures of it. After all, it is one of my favorite rooms in the house now. For some reason, this little room just makes me smile. Do you remember a few months back when I showed you my plans for the room. Of course at the time my hubby laughed at my plans. He thought my scaling was way off. Of course I disagreed with him at the time, but now I have to fully agree. The room is a bit smaller then I first thought and that changed my layout a lot, but thankfully I was still able to fit everything in there that I needed to. You will have to forgive me for the picture quality. It was really hard to get a good picture of such a small and poorly lit space.
When I was cleaning out the closet I realized that I had a ton of extra cleaning supplies. I had no idea they were all hiding in there. Actually there were a lot of things hiding in there. One more reason to be organized, right? Let’s start with the top shelf. As you can see I store all of my cleaning supplies there, along with my extra laundry supplies. Above this shelf is a little shelf that I use to store all of our batteries, light bulbs and cords. The second shelf stores my “cleaning buckets”, garbage bags and throw rugs. I made up these “cleaning buckets” a few months ago and they have cut down on my cleaning time drastically. When it is time to clean a room I just grab my bucket and go. Everything is already in there that I need to clean a room. One bucket is for the bathrooms and the other is for all the other rooms. The little bucket on top is used when something needs a really good scrub down. I use it when I am  cleaning the sinks, toilets and windows. It has also come in really handy with my spring cleaning.

In the picnic basket I store all of my cloth rags. I do not buy paper towels at all so I have to have a huge supply of microfiber cloths on hand. I buy all of my microfiber cloths at The Home Depot in the cleaning section. You can get a huge bag of rags for peanuts. The little bucket in the corner holds all of my supplies and attachments for my vacuum cleaner. The green file boxes on the right are empty right now, but some day they will be filled with important papers or who knows what.

A big ole basket on the bottom holds all of our toilet paper and baby wipes. In the corner is a little basket full of plastic bags from the store. Eventually I would like to make one of those cute hanging fabric bags to use instead. Add that one to my ever-growing sewing to do list.It was really hard to get a picture of everything since it is such a small space, but on the side wall I hang all of our mops. In case you have noticed I do not have any brooms in the house. I guess I just prefer to use vacuums. 

Yes, I have three mops. Kinda crazy I know, but the truth is I had even more hiding in there before. I use each of them for certain things. I use the spray mop in the winter months for those quick clean-ups and this is the mop the kiddos use when they help me wash the floors. This is the perfect mop for them to do so. No buckets to spill over and they love the spraying part of it. For the most part I use the old rag mop and bucket. In the bottom corner you can just barely see my Bissel Cordless Stick Vacuum. I have to mention this little vacuum because it is simply amazing! If I knew I was going to use it and love it as much as I do I would have spent a little extra money and purchased a more powerful one. I use this vacuum all the time! It is perfect for after meal clean ups and for shoes tracking in dirt. No, it doesn’t replace a real vacuum and doesn’t pick up really heavy spills but it definitely cuts down on the times a day I have to drag out my big vacuum. Plus it is the perfect vacuum for the kiddos to use as well. It is very lightweight and easy for them to use. So there you have it our little cleaning/utility closet all organized and being used daily. I no longer have to quickly slam the door shut in worries that everything is going to fall out on me.

And you know me, I love a good before and after.
See why I wanted this room redone? The before picture was taken a few minutes after the hubby started working on it, so it looks a little worse then normal. But for the most part that is what it looked like before…minus all of the junk piled up.

New Curtains for the Kitchen

I finally got around to making and hanging up some curtains in the kitchen. For some reason I struggle with curtains in our house. Some times I like them, some times I don’t. For that reason, most of the windows in our house are still bare. I am just at a loss when it comes to curtains for some reason. A few months ago I saw Wild Poppy Milk-Gypsy Caravan from Amy Butler and just fell in love with it. I knew it would be the perfect fabric for some curtains in the kitchen.Coming up with a design for the curtains was a little tough. Like I said, I am just at a loss with curtains. I do love the looks of ruffled curtains but don’t like them when they are ruffled where the curtain rod is, so I came up with my own design. I was hoping to have the bottom part of the curtains ruffle a bit more, but I didn’t purchase enough fabric. And as you all know me by now, I am an impatient person and didn’t want to wait to order more fabric. In the end, I am really happy with how they came out. To make the curtains I measured the width of each window and then doubled it to get the measurements for the ruffled part. The top part of the curtains are the exact width of the windows plus added on for the sew seams. For the lengths I just went with what looked right. A simple design that was simple to make. Although I did break 4 needles while making these curtains for some strange reason. So don’t look too close at a few of them. The stitching is really bad. It really is amazing how different a few curtains change the whole look of a room.
Since I was already taking pictures of the curtains I had to show you this cute little cake/bread box that I purchased a few months ago. I just love it! No I don’t keep cakes/bread in it. Instead I keep our vitamins, sunscreen, bug spray and sun glasses. And on top I keep band-aides, a thermometer and some first aid stuff in that little tin basket. I have found that keeping all of those things right by the back door more convenient then always having to go into the bathroom to get it. Yes, it may be a weird spot to keep such things but it works perfectly for us.Little by little our house is finally feeling like our “Home Sweet Home!”

Flower Shopping

Last weekend the kiddos and I spent the day digging out flower beds along the front of the house. I thought May Day would be the perfect day to finally buy some flowers and start planting.
Looking at all the rows of beautiful flowers was so much fun and added so much cheer to our day. We spent nearly two hours smelling and admiring all of the flowers. The greenhouses were by far the girls favorite part.  They enjoyed our little shopping trip just as much as I did.Here’s to hoping I have a green thumb this year! Although I may have already messed up by planting my fall bulbs too early.

Making progress

We are really making progress on our bathroom renovation. It is hard to believe it has only been one week and it is almost complete. All we have left to do in the laundry area is add a counter top and do a little bit of trim work on top of the cabinets. Thankfully all of the painting is done on this side of the room.Unfortunately this side of the room still needs a lot of work. Tonight we will finish up all of the tile work and then I will finish painting the upper edge of the walls. As you can see, we still need to put up more bead-board on one of the walls and of course put in a toilet, sink and a tub. But at least it is finally starting to come together! (The walls are actually red but for some reason they are looking more orange.)We have definitely had some good helpers!The best part is that they cannot reach where they shouldn’t be painting. So it really has been the perfect project for them to be involved in.So now I am off to do about 5,000 loads of laundry. It’s amazing how much laundry can add up in one week!

Organizing paint chips and fabric swatches

A few days ago if you were to look in the bottom of my bag you would have seen a big pile of paint chips and fabric swatches. And from time to time you would be able to see pictures of things that I had hoped to find in our travels…complete with dimensions and all. Yes, some would call me crazy(and slightly obsessive) but I would like to think of it as being prepared and ready to find a deal at a moments notice. Although I was prepared with this big pile of color it was far from being organized.So the other day I decided to make a little fabric book to hold all of my paint chips, fabric swatches and decorating ideas.Now I am one step closer to getting my life organized…or at least my bag.How do you organize all of your paint chips? Any other great ideas for me?

Sheet Metal Dry Erase Board

So I am one of those people who does not allow ANYTHING on the front of my refrigerator door. Yes I know it is kinda crazy especially since I have 3 kids, but that is just how I am. The only problem with that is the lack of places for my kiddos to play with their magnetic toys. Once the playroom was finished this winter I began thinking of a way to incorporate a magnetic board into the room. I knew I was going to use a large piece of sheet metal since we have a bunch of it in the barn, but I also wanted it to double as a place to draw on. I didn’t want to use chalk because it is just too messy and dusty. So my next option was to use dry erase paint on the sheet metal. But before I started painting, the hubby told me to just draw on a plain ole piece of sheet metal to see how that worked first.  Well by-goll-ee, it worked! I actually love the looks of the sheet metal more then a white dry erase board. It ties in all of the metal we already have in our house and especially with our sliding barn doors. I have used a bunch of different brands of dry erase markers and have even left the marker ink on the sheet metal for days and no stains or imperfections have occurred.So now my kiddo’s have a place to play with all of their magnetic toys plus their dry erase markers. But the best part is that I am finally able to get rid of all those cookie sheets and mini dry erase boards that I have been storing away. Can you tell I’m on an organizing frenzy again?

Using canning jars to store touch-up paints.

So I’m still working on the house, it’s never ending I tell ya! I’m just doing little touch-ups and finally adding stuff to our bare walls.  It is finally looking and feeling like home. Since Christmas I have either painted or repainted 7 of our 9 rooms. With that comes a lot of little touch-ups. So one day I decided to organize all of our paints and make up little jars for all those little touch-ups that are constantly happening. In the past I would put off all of my touch-ups because I would have to get out the gallon paint can. It just seemed like too much work for me. But now these little jars make touch-ups so quick and easy…and I actually use them.Of course I chose to use canning jars with plastic lids to store my touch-up paints in. Did you expect anything different from me?Then I store all of my little jars in a box that I bought in the office section at Walmart. It fits them all perfectly and even has a little extra room for my sponge brushes and paint can openers that always seem to disapear.

The box is stored in the house with all of our office supplies. Kind of a weird spot you would think, but it works for me and that is what is most important.And since we are talking about painting, how many of you have tried Frog Tape? It is the best! Yes, a little more expensive then the cheap stuff, but well worth the extra buck. I can’t even begin to tell you the amount of Frog Tape that I have gone through in the past year.So now you can organize all of your paints and keep your walls looking brand new and clean. Gotta love that! Now I’m off to the paint store to buy more white paint for the trim. Like I said, it is never ending!

Anthropologie Inspired Toddler Bed Comforter Tutorial

In case you missed my tutorial over at Me Sew Crazy as part of Jessica’s New Years ReSEWlution series, here is my Anthropologie inspired toddler bed comforter.

As most of you know my husband and I just recently finished renovating 5 rooms in our old farmhouse. So now we have a lot of empty, undecorated rooms that echo like crazy. Yes, I have a HUGE to do list right now. First on my list was to make matching bedding for my three little ones that still share a bedroom. I wanted to make each of their bedding a little different and personal, but still use the same fabrics. So after seeing this duvet from Anthropologie I knew that at least one or both of the girls bedding would be similar in design but with a few added touches. My middle child right now just turned 3 and loves to button and unbutton things. She will spend hours buttoning and unbuttoning anything in sight. So it made perfect sense to make her bedding with some fun little flowers that she can play with. Maybe I’m just hoping that these buttons will keep her busy a few extra minutes at naptime so that I can spend a few extra minutes sewing. But whatever the motive, I am loving these sweet little interactive flowers.

So let’s get started.

Anthropologie Inspired Toddler Bed Comforter Tutorial
(allow 4+ hours to complete)

Materials Needed:

*1 twin flat sheet

*One 46″ x 60″ piece of batting or terry cloth (purchase about 2 yards)

*One 46″ x 60″ piece of minky fabric or any backing fabric of choice (purchase about 2 yards)*Cut 12 pieces of fabric that are 12″ x 4″. (These strips will be attached to the flowers and are needed if you want the flowers to have the ability to be buttoned and unbuttoned.)

*Assorted small scraps for flowers (about 1/2-1 yard of fabric total)

*6 buttons

Start by printing the template above. Go here to print template. Take two small scrap pieces of fabric and place right sides facing. Trace around template onto wrong side of fabric.
Sew right on top of marks. Trim excess fabric. Cut a little slit in the middle of the top layer. Make sure you cut just the top layer. Use this hole to pull fabric right side out. Don’t worry you will not see the hole once the flower is finished.
Pull fabric right side out and iron flat. Make sure you push out all of the edges neatly. Repeat with another piece of matching scrap of fabric. (You are going to end up making 12 of these single flowers to make 6 double flowers.)
Take 2 small scraps of fabric and place right sides together. Trace the larger or smaller circle onto the wrong side of fabric. (I made two sizes of circles just in case, but ended up just using the larger circle.) Sew around marks, trim excess fabric. Cut a small slit in top layer and pull fabric right side out through opening.
Take 2 of the 12″ x 4″ strips and sew the two together with right sides facing. Leave one end open to pull right side out. Iron flat and top stitch on sides. You should now have this. You may want to zig-zag or top stitch the flowers for a little added detail. If so, do so now.
Start by taking one of the flowers with the slit side up and place the strip on top of flower. The end of the strip should cover up slit in flower.
Take the other flower and place it slit side down on top of strip. Then place the circle on top and pin in place.
Zig-zag or straight stitch around circle. You will want to repeat this 5 more times to give you 6 flowers with strips attached.
Cut button holes into the flowers.
Use more scraps to make your buttons or use whatever you have on hand. Now set flowers and buttons aside and gather sheet, batting and backing fabric.
Lay sheet flat on floor. Place batting on top of sheet. Line up the side of the batting to side top of the sheet, minus the large finished edge. Cut sheet to the same width as the batting. Do not cut the length of the sheet at all.
Now determine how many rows you want. Take that number and divide by 46″. That will tell you how far apart to make your rows. I made 5 rows at about 9″ apart. Draw the rows in the whole length of the sheet.
Now you need to change the settings on your machine. Set the tension of your machine to the highest setting and the stitch length to the highest setting. This is a little trick I learned from these gals a few months ago and love to use it to ruffle. Of course if you have a ruffle foot you can use that instead.
Start sewing on top of marks. Now I decided to double my rows to cause the fabric to ruffle more. If you want the fabric to ruffle even more, sew a third row.
The top of my comforter all ruffled.
Now take the batting piece of fabric and lay it on top of ruffled top piece of fabric. Draw a line across the length of the ruffled fabric where the batting lines up.
Now before you trim off the excess fabric sew little stitches across the top of the stitches you just made to ruffle the fabric. If you don’t do this the threads used to ruffle the fabric will come out over time.
Now trim off excess fabric. Just make sure not to cut off little stitches just sewn in.
Save that fabric to make a little pillow with.
Assemble quilt like so. Batting on bottom, backing fabric right side up and then ruffled sheet right side down on top. Pin together…a lot. At points you will need to fold and ruffle edges by hand. Don’t get too picky on the edges, just make sure they line up all around. Now decide where you want your flowers to be. Pin them on the top of the sheet in desired locations. Line up the edge of the strip with the edge of the sheet. Pin flowers on right side up.
Layered like so.
Top stitch all around leaving a 8″ opening to turn right side out. Turn right side out and stitch opening closed.
Now fold strip and flower over onto top of comforter. Make a mark in the center of the button hole.
Attach button on mark.
Top stitch the straight strip in place for about 5″. This will allow the flower to be buttoned and unbutton but still safe and not allow too much room between the strap and the button to harm little ones. This step should not be skipped if using for a toddlers bed! Remember safety first!
And that is it. A cute little Anthropology inspired toddler bed comforter.

Now use your left over scraps to make some matching pillows.

Or a stuffie or two…or in my case three.

Thanks for having me Jessica and for inviting me to be part of your New Years ReSEWluation Series. At least now I have one project checked off that HUGE to do list!