Friday, July 22, 2011

Pennant Banners - How To

I just made these pennant banners for the girls' room and I love them!
I used them on the curtains, but they'd look great hanging across the ceiling, along a wall, or trimming a piece of furniture.  They're so fun and can be made with any scrap material (or paper!) you have lying around.  And they're growing in popularity - I see them everywhere!  So join the fun and make some of your own for a party, a holiday, or everyday decor.  Here's how:

Assemble your fabric. You'll need at least 9 inches x 2 feet of fabric for mine.  I like to mix up the fabrics - different colors, some solids, some various patterns.  Then iron them all out, nice & pretty!  Helpful tip:  I've found the better ironing job you do, the easier the sewing will be!  And I'm still a little intimidated by sewing -  I'd rather use any other power tool than my sewing machine. So ironing is my friend.

Make a pattern. Whatever size you want, its up to you.  I drew out a long triangle on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of card stock (about the biggest that could fit). Card stock is ideal for the next steps! Then I made a second one.  I taped their ends together - making a diamond shape.  This way the fabric will fold in half at the top, to make a double-sided triangle.

Cut fabric.  Cut your fabric 1/2 an inch larger than your diamond pattern - for your seam allowance.

Iron seams. You will iron your fabric around your card stock pattern.  I put my pattern on the fabric, folded the 1/2 inch allowance over and ironed well.  Then take out your pattern and press the seams again.  Pin the bottom tips to keep them nice and pointy.

Fold & pin two sides together.  Since the top of your triangle is folded over, you only have to sew the two angled sides.  

Sew two sides together.  But leave about a half inch near your top fold unsewn - this is where your twine will thread through.

Arrange pennants.  Now is the fun part, play with the different triangles until you are happy with the arrangement of your pennants and the length of your banner.  I ended up removing a few pennants (which I'm sure I'll use someday!) so that my banner wasn't too long for the curtains.

Thread pennants together.  I used twine (taped to a long chop stick!), but string, rope, ribbon or fabric would work too.  I didn't need to sew the pennants to the string.  I like the look of the triangles end to end, and they didn't move or slide once in place.  If you space or swag yours more, you may need to secure the pennants in place.

Hang those beautiful Pennant Banners proudly!  You will be in love with them!  I love mine.  I made similar ones with bandanas for my daughters' cowgirl birthday party last year, and that's when I was hooked.  Now I'm fighting the urge to put them in the other kids' room!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Curtain Call

This week, I'm continuing to post about the newly-finished girls room.  Today - curtains!  As you can see, the original curtains were plaid (maroon, navy, forest and dark yellow).  

They don't match my vision of "romantic, country girl, blue".  But I left them because whatever curtains go up, probably will have to stay with the house once it sells.  And being that its on the market now, I didn't really want to lose my own personally-made curtains.  But its bugging me enough, that I had to end my pain!  

It didn't costing me anything since I already had a few yards of blue & white ticking from a project years ago. Plus, *bonus* I had enough for 2 sets of curtains! Where will the second set go, you ask?  In this cubby here:
I took care of the cubby curtains first (it seemed like the easier of the two).  I added a little tension rod and some black curtain clips to hang the cubby-curtains.  So all I had to do was measure the space, iron and hem a big fabric rectangle. Easy!  Here's a glimpse of how they turned out:
They are perfect for hiding the girls' toys or a set of drawers in the future.

As much as I like these, I realized they may be a little plain-Jane for a big window.  I still wanted to use the ticking, but needed a little more for this focal window.  Then I thought, "What about some rodeo-style banners to hang in front of them?"  I used a version of them (with bandanas) for the girls' cowgirl birthdays last year.  And I may be officially addicted to using them.  Here's the final product:
They turned out great and when we move I can just take them down from the curtains.  I'd love to hang them all over the room, but I'm keepin' it simple and staged for now.  Wanna see how I made my version of these pennant banners?  Stay tuned... I'll post a how-to in a few days!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Burlap Monogrammed Pillows

I'm in love with burlap.  I could find a use for it everywhere, every season, I love it.  Its cheap, versatile, adds a bit of texture, and looks great under silver or under a picnic basket.  I love it. (Did I say that already?)  I also love monogrammed pillows, especially made with - you guessed it - burlap.  
I see these in magazines and in other people's homes, and I always think, "I could do that!"  But I never have. So it is high time I used some of my left over fabric to make some of these coveted monogrammed pillows.

Now I want some for the girls room.  One on each of their beds with their initials on them.  All my ingredients were free (found around the house).  Here's what I needed:
  • Small pillows - I had two that didn't match anywhere, perfect to recover!
  • Burlap - I have plenty around from previous projects
  • Complementary fabric - for the back side I used some left over blue & white ticking for one & a matching dishtowel for the other.
  • Stencil - I printed out a big "A" and "Z" from Word and cut them out.  I thought I'd use black paint, but we had some transfer paper left over from a T-shirt project.  The transfer worked great & took a lot less time & energy than stenciling!
Left over fabric - burlap, ticking & even a dishtowel.
 I didn't take any pictures of the sewing steps, but I figure that is pretty self explanatory.  (Just follow your basic square pillow directions: Iron your fabric, cut it to size, put the face of the fabrics together (wrong sides out).  Sew three sides, turn it right-side out.  BUT before inserting the pillow and sewing the last side closed, STOP for stenciling monograms!
Transfer paper & an iron worked great for the stenciled monograms.
I printed the mirror image of the letters on the transfer paper, cut them out, and ironed them onto the burlap.  After they cooled, I carefully peeled off the backing, and touched up as needed with my iron.  I finished by inserting the pillow and sewing up the fourth side.  I also added a button on the larger pillow's fourth side.  Here they are!
Burlap Monogrammed pillows - front side (with another DIY'ed white pillow)

Opposite sides of the pillows - blue & white ticking stripes (and the other pillow in toile)
I love the combinations these can make on the girls' beds!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Girls' Bedroom - Before & After

Here are the "before" shots from our moving day:

Notice the snow frozen on the window!  What a day to move, brr!  Anyway,  let's break down what I'm working with:
  • 2 built in desks with cabinets - love the built ins, not crazy about the dusty blue laminate desk tops & hardware (but we're renting, so we'll work with it!)
  • Light blue walls
  • Long, narrow room - but kind of built for two (the bookshelves create this)
  • Plaid curtains of maroon, navy, green, and dark yellow.  Those will go. :)
I've decided to work with the color of blue already in the room.  I have a lot of blue & white ticking, some toile & burlap fabric left over from projects years ago.  Using all things I already owned (free!), I created a sort of country girl feeling.  A little bit country, a little bit romantic & feminine... perfect for a girls room in the middle of the wheat fields!

I'll tell you how I did the projects that pulled this room together soon - including those lettered throw pillows & the banners hanging over the curtains.  I managed to do all of this for free(!) with things I had around the house.  You totally can too... stay tuned!
P.S. I may add a little more to complete it.  But this is a staged room - so the rule is sweet, simple & clean decor - not too fussy or full.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Master Bedroom - Before & After

This is really more of a "Before & During".  But since we are staging/renting this house while it stays on the market, there's only so much I can do without permission.  So here's the before shots:
Left side will be Headboard wall, right side is a nice window alcove.

Other side of the room - window alcove continues, right side will be dresser wall.

Working with the existing sage green color on the walls, I pulled out all my green and white accessories & furniture to fill the space.   And here are the after shots:

More pictures to come!  It is still plenty open and could easily fit another dresser or two armchairs and a small table for a cozy sitting area in the window alcove.

Some things I would recommend (starting with minor/short-term fixes and moving to a bigger projects) to improve this room would be:
  • Remove the wallpaper border at least (fast & free!)
  • Replace with large crown molding, paint it & the ceiling a soft white
  • Add some layers of curtains to play up the big window alcove
  • A bigger project for the long-term: There's enough room on the left wall (opposite the bed) to add a beautiful built-in (Candice Olson style!) with room for upper shelves, lower cabinets, a TV & maybe even a fireplace.  It would add some architectural detail and warmth.  So the room could look something like these designs from HGTV's Candice Olson:
The room layout & size is similar - walls for bed, window & built ins are the same.
Again, same layout - this one has fireplace & hidden TV behind the french painting!

If we were staying in this house long-term, a beautiful wall of built-ins would definitely be on my dream/project list!  How about you?  Do you have a dreamy Master Bedroom space you've worked on?