New Ikea Favorites

The new 2017 Ikea catalog is out and as always there are a few gems hidden among the plastic bins (who am I kidding - I love Ikea).  Here is a sample of a few of my new Ikea favorites.  Bonus:  They are all under $30.

Enighet Candlestick - $12.99

Enighet Candlestick - $12.99

The Enighet Candlestick is beautiful, simple, and classic.  It would look great on a table by itself, but also lends itself to decoration.  The bottom tray would be a great place to arrange a few holiday decorations.

Harliga Glass Dome with base - $9.99 (Multiple Sizes Available)

Harliga Glass Dome with base - $9.99 (Multiple Sizes Available)

We are planning a Harry Potter themed party for the Girl's birthday this year.  The Harliga Glass dome would be perfect for a spooky specimen in a potions display, and at $9.99 a piece, I might actually be able to afford presents after paying for the decor.

Viktigt Carafe with glass - $14.99

Viktigt Carafe with glass - $14.99

When I saw the Viktigt Carafe I immediately thought "nightstand water dispenser".  I think it would be especially nice in a guest bedroom.

Gladom Tray Table - $29.99

Gladom Tray Table - $29.99

It is a table, it is a tray, it is perfect for the small seating arrangement on my front porch.  I love that it is not only a great size for a side table, it can also be used to easily bring stuff into and out of the house like snacks or drinks.  Also, I am a sucker for multiple purpose furniture.

Have you spotted a new favorite in the Ikea catalog?  Let me know about it in the comments.


Salvaged Skirt

After my first child was born I was in need of some new clothes, as mine didn't fit. I wasn't willing, or able to go out and buy a new wardrobe full of clothes that I was hoping I would only wear for a limited time. My solution was making some new clothes that could be easily taken in as my waist line diminished.

One of my first and favorite post pregnancy creations was a pleated, green linen skirt in New Look Pattern 6566 (I don't think it is in print any more). The skirt was worn extensively, taken in several times, and worn some more. The skirt was finally retired when one of it's small holes turned into one giant rip, that was beyond repair.

This skirt was recently reincarnated as a pillow cover. It is sized for a standard 14" x 14" pillow form with a side Velcro closure (a closure type I am not planning on using in the future). The leafs were simply painted on with fabric paint. I would have liked to make another with the same fabric; however, the fabric was in such bad shape that while there was enough fabric for a second pillow, it could be used. My kids enjoyed playing with the extra fabric though.
You can see in the second picture that the area directly under the leaves is slightly lighter than the surrounding fabric. That is because I originally tried to bleach the pattern into the fabric, rather than painting it on. Needless to say the bleach didn't work. That is probably what I deserve for using a harmful chemical I probably shouldn't have had in my house in the first place. My only excuse is that it is a left over from my nesting, have to sanitize everything, phase from my last pregnancy, and I didn't want to waste it.

Napkins, napkins everywhere

What can you make with nearly any piece of clothing past it's prime? A napkin of course.
Napkins range in size from a 16 to 18 inch square dinner napkin, 12 to 14 inches for a lunch napkin, to 4 to 6 inches for cocktail napkins. You can cut at least one square, of one of these sizes out of even baby clothing.

A little while ago my husband ripped a large gash in a nice button down oxford shirt. When I finially got around to cutting it up, I was suprised to find that I was able to cut 4 12" squares from the back and sleeves of the shirt that I can make into luncheon size napkins. The rest of the shirt should yield at least 4 more 4 to 6 inch squares for cocktail napkins. One of the finished napkins is pictured below.
How to do it:
1) Cut as many squares of the desired size as possible out of the ruined piece of clothing (make sure you cut the squares with the grain of the fabric, rather than at an angle to it. If the fabric is woven, and as thick as you feel a napkin should be you can simply stop here (woven fabric cut on the grain will unravel very little after washing).
2) I felt that my squares were too thin, so I doubled them up. You could then hem the pieces under, or stitch around the edges so that the pieces stay together and leave it at that. I decided to make mine a little more polished, and decided to use bias tape to finish the edges.
3) Bias tape can be found in any craft store; however, it can also easily be made out of any light weight woven fabric, and since this is all about reusing that is what I did.

how to make bias tape;
If you have any questions feel free to ask.

4) Pin the bias tape around the edge of your napkin, so that the bias tape encloses the edge of the napkin, then stitch around the edge of the tape.

Ta Da! A beautiful napkin.

Cork Trivet

Do you try to recycle? Do you drink wine? Do you save all the corks from all the bottles of wine you drink, because you don't have a way to recycle them, and feel bad about throwing them away? Well I do. I must have a hundred or more corks in my house from years of collecting, and I never had any idea what to do with them. Until now....
How to make a trivet out of corks
Materials: One pipe clamp (I used a 5" to 7" pipe clamp. It was about $2.50 at home depot.), and lots of corks of approximately the same height (the number of corks you will need will vary based on the size trivet you make, but 50 is a safe number to start with).
Procedure: 1) Gather corks, standing on their ends, inside the pipe clamp; 2) Organize corks as desired; 3) Move clamp so that it is centered in the middle of the corks - see pic below; 4) Tighten pipe clamp - At this point you may need to adjust the number of corks so that there is a tight fit; 5) Trim loose end of clamp if desired
That is it. A brand new trivet for the cost of a pipe clamp. It even looks cool.

I also found a book that is all about reusing objects in fun new ways, and I thought I would pass it on. The book is "Ready Made: How to Make (Almost) Anything."