b&a: guest bedroom dresser

This post is LONG overdue, but… I bought this ugly thing off Craigslist about a year ago. BW reluctantly accompanied me to a very sketchy storage unit where we met a one armed man (seriously) who was thrilled for us to take it off his hands…er, hand? Either way. I had no place to put it, but at $40 it was such a bargain I couldn’t pass it up. It sat in my sunroom untouched until, ironically, it found it’s way into another storage unit.  Several months and a new city later, it finally has a home. We needed a dresser for our guest bedroom and this puppy fit the bill. But before it could make it’s way in to Kendall… it needed some help.

SIDE NOTE: How cool is that fan in the background? It was in the attic when we moved in and I made BW lug it down stairs. It weights close to 30 lbs. and it must be at least 50 years old. And it still works!

1. It was covered in the most disgusting red candle wax. No clue how/why that happened, but with little bit of elbow grease I was able to scrape it all away.

2. The back of the dresser (basically a sheet of pressboard) was practically falling off. I didn’t get a picture, but it didn’t take long for BW to tackle that one. With some new screws we were back in business.

{ I put BW to work while I was busy snapping pictures }

3. These awful (almost as awful as my manicure – or lack thereof – in this picture), dirty plastic pulls. Which I quickly swapped out for some pretty ones purchased for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.

4. It needed paint. Bad.

I was very eager to use my Annie Sloan chalk paint, which I actually ordered back when I bought the dresser. It too has been sitting in the storage unit. So much for completely projects in a timely manor. The beauty of chalk paint is that it doesn’t require priming or sanding, which is an idea I can get behind because it means quick and easy. After filling in the extra holes left from the old drawer pulls with a little wood putty and sanding to make sure everything was nice and smooth, the whole dresser got one coat of paint. It wasn’t quite the coverage I was hoping for, so I opted for a second coat.*

I sanded it at the corners and edges to give it a distressed look. I decided not the paint the top of the dresser. I just liked the look of the natural wood against the blueish green color. We popped on the new knobs and voila!

*The first coat went on nice and smooth, however the second coat seemed to go on a little thick. After some sanding it turned out just fine. I was planning on using chalk paint to paint our kitchen cabinets (another project for another day), but after using it on the dresser I definitely think I will take the ‘ole paint and prime route. I am just looking for a cleaner, smoother, as little brush strokes as possible finish on the cabinets.

Oh and also, just about everything I’ve read about chalk paint says that you need to finish it off with wax. I have yet to do that. I was too eager to get it back inside. But when if I get around to it, I will be sure to give you an update.

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no butts about it

In an earlier post I mentioned our fab engagement party – full details still to come! I’m waiting for pics – but in the meantime I wanted to share the DIY hostess gifts. I really struggled with what to give our hosts to say thank you. BW and I finally decided to give everyone a good barbeque rub. I mean, who doesn’t love barbeque? BW shared his secret rub recipe and we bottled them up in jars. My friend Sam helped by offering her graphic design skills for the cute pig tags. She did a fab job of capturing exactly what I had envisioned. We added a set of tongs and tied it all together with some twine. I think they turned out pretty adorable!


So, if you decide you want to whip of your very own (which I would highly recommend!) I’m letting you in on BW’s super secret recipe!*

{ BW’s barbeque pork rub }

  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet paprika
  • 3 tablespoons black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

*In all honestly…he’d tell you it’s not really much of a secret at all. But somehow it makes it a little more exciting if you feel like you’re in on the secret.

wingback chair: part 1

I’ve been pretty busy lately, so unfortunately “project: wingback chair” is not moving along quite as quickly as I’d hoped. What I originally thought would be a weekend project has turned into more of a month-long project…I haven’t give up yet, so there’s still hope. Here’s an update of what’s happened with the chair so far…

Last weekend my mom stopped by to give me a hand. We decided to use the muslin I’d purchases as a pattern. I sketched out this little drawing of the chair to use as a guide for our pattern pieces. Then I left my mom to work while I went out in search of more straight pins…we clearly did not have nearly enough. It seriously takes an obscene amount. My mom also managed to slice her hands up pretty badly with the straight pins. The joke of the day was “just don’t bleed on the slipcover” (spoiler alert – she did.) I don’t think she quite realized what she’d signed up for. Sorry, Mom! After a few Band-Aids and some new pins, we were back on track. We began pinning and cutting the muslin. We used a pencil to draw each piece and then I later cut them out leaving about an 1-1 1/2 seam allowance. Here is my adorable mom helping with the chair…

{ mom }

Fast forward one week: I spend Sunday evening pinning the pieces back on the chair to make sure that the patterns we cut would fit. The next step will be to baste (loose stitch with a needle and thread. Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know this term. I didn’t either, I had to Google it. I probably learned this in a fashion course at some point, but obviously it didn’t stick.) the pieces together. I will then flip it inside out and make sure everything looks alright. Then, I will have to rip it all apart and use these pieces as the pattern on my actual fabric. Ugh, I’m already exhausted and feeling a slight tinge of anxiety at that thought, but at the rate things are going I’ve got at least two weeks before I get to that point. I had been toying around with the idea of using drop cloths to make the slip cover. I read about that here. They are super cheap and easy to work with. But since I don’t want to have to go through this again anytime soon, I decided to go with fabric I’ve had in mind all along. Otherwise, I don’t think I would be 100% happy with it. I ordered this oatmeal colored natural linen online for an incredible deal of $5/yard.

{ love this fabric }

I’m excited for the fabric to arrive and I’m even more excited to share the next stage of progress. I’m not yet ready to throw in the towel or admit I’m in over my head, so hopefully another update is on it’s way!

chair-y tale

I’ve been searching for a wingback chair for my living room. After searching high and low – along with some help with my mom, thanks mom! – I was able to track this one down on Craigslist for $30. Since I’m not loving the blue faux velvet (what’s not to love…right?!) all it needs is a good slipcover. It’s not much to look at now, but I love the shape and the style of the legs. A good slipcover should completely transform the chair. I’m going for more of a loose, shabby chic look. I haven’t been able to hunt down a pre-made slipcover that I love and since having one custom made is not really in my budget, I’ve decided to make one on my own. Next weekend I am loading up the chair and my sewing machine and heading over to my parents house. I have enlisted the help of my mom. I figured two sets of hands is better than one. Here are a few different styles I’ve pulled for inspiration.

Oh and did I mention the chair smells of moth balls? I guess that’s what 3o bucks gets you. Nothing a little fresh air and an obscene amount of Frebreze  won’t fix. Hopefully beautiful slipcover pics are on the way!

diy: printed gift labels

Things are always so busy around the holidays. With some much going on, I haven’t really had a chance to keep up with the blogs I normally read. So, while catching up on my reading I stumbled upon these on Creature Comforts (if you haven’t checked out the blog, you totally should! LOVE her!) Not only did she design some beautiful gift tags, but she complied an ah-mazing list of tags from other sites, if only I would have had these BEFORE the holidays! Either way, I thought they were too beautiful not to share. Guess I’ll
just have to file them away for next year…

{ from creature comforts, download here }

And how much do you love these candy bar wrappers?

{ from creature comforts, download here }

{ from design*sponge, download here }

{ miss pickles press, download here }

{ from blush printables, download here }

{ eat drink chic via love, obsess, inspire, download here }

{ domestifluff, download here }

{ domestifluff, download here }

{ from is•ly via this pin, download here }

{ from lovely design, download here }

DIY |burlap wine bags

{ burlap wine bag }

I had several yards of burlap left over from my wreath project. So, I tried to come up with a little project to use what I had a left over. I came up with burlap wine bags. Not only was I able to find a use for the burlap, but also I thought these would make great Christmas gifts. Plus, I already had all of the supplies on hand. Here’s what you’ll need…

  • burlap
  • ribbon
  • paint
  • cardboard (for stencil)

I made a few stencils out of cardboard (the thinner the better – I found that manila file folders worked best).

{ the stencil }

After using a wine bottle to measure how much fabric I would need, I ran a few simple stitches to form a sleeve.

{ sewing the sleeve }

I used the stencils to paint seasonal words on the burlap.

{ joy. }

I folded over the excess fabric at the top of the sleeve to make a large hem.

{ the hem }

Then I ran one more stitch about a 1/2 inch from the hem stitch – this created a little pocket so I could create a drawstring. I snipped the front of the drawstring pocket so I had a place to string the ribbon. After running a ribbon through the pocket (the first try wasn’t so easy!) it was finished.

{ the drawstring }

{ all finished! }

diy: magnolia leaf wreath & garland

Okay, I don’t know what the deal is lately, but I have been doing some serious crafting. Maybe it’s because I have been decorating for the holidays, so I’m motivated to do lots of little projects around the house…who knows. Anyway, this is the latest little DIY.

My sweet grandfather gathered some (and when I say some, I mean more than I could have ever used!) magnolia leaves from his yard for me. Magnolia leaves are a perfect way to bring the outdoors in during Christmas. With a little bit of floral wire and a wire wreath form I created some beautiful holiday decor. The first magnolia leaf project was a garland for my dining table. I gathered three and four leaves together at a time, and wrapped the stems with floral wire.

{ the how-to }

I continued to add leaves, turning some right side down to mix it up a bit. Since my dining table is not very big, it didn’t take me very long – so simple! Once it was finished I added a linen table runner and some candle sticks from here.

{ the finished product }

I wish I could say the next magnolia leaf project was just as easy! It took a lot of time, but I think it was totally worth it. It really makes such a statement in my living room. I took a large wire wreath frame and used the same technique that I used for the garland – I wrapped a few leaves together with floral wire, then used the wire to attach them to the frame. With the addition of some brown ribbon I hung it over the large window in my living room.

{ the finished wreath }

And trust me…at the rate things are going, there are more DIYs to come!