Buffet Makeover

I’ve been super excited to share today’s post with you. Almost as excited as I’ve been that this project is finished! You may have seen a few peeks of the progress on Instagram along the way, and I’m thrilled to finally get to show you the finished product.

You see, Wyatt has needed a new dresser for quite some time. I had been wanting to put the green dresser in his room (part of the de-greening I’m doing in my living room), but since we’ve been using it as a buffet for our tv, I was waiting until I found something to replace it.

I searched Craigslist for months waiting for the perfect project to come along, and luckily I found this beaute one day for $40. Joel was not one bit thrilled about the whole idea of it all, and was sure that it had no hope. But of course I knew better, as wives usually do :). I was so excited to start sanding that I almost forgot the always-important before photos.

I loved the lines and details, and functionally it was perfect. And guess what else? It was clean!!! At least until I got my hands on it. I don’t know how a 30+ year old piece of furniture could be so clean, but let me tell you, it was. And I was happy.

Want to see what it looks like now (please say yes :))?

Here’s the rundown on what I did… First, I lightly sanded the entire buffet, and then primed it. With all the details, I didn’t want to risk not priming it, and used Kilz Oil Based Spray Primer.
KILZ 13 oz. Original Primer Sealer Spray (6-Pack)
After two coats and six cans of primer, I painted two coats with a paint sprayer. In the past I’ve used a $15 paint sprayer from Harbor Freight that attached to our air compressor, but it recently bit the dust (and we have some still half-painted chairs to prove it). I debated whether to get a new similar sprayer, or get a stand alone unit instead. In the end, we bought the Wagner Control Spray Max HLVP Sprayer. It had really great reviews on Amazon, and worked really well for me. The learning curve was small and it did a great job, even with latex paint. Many decent priced sprayers aren’t suited for latex paint, but it handled it beautifully with just a little thinning.
After painting, I distressed it enough to allow the original stain to peek through around the edges.
I also sprayed it with three coats of water based Polyurethane (sometimes called Polyacrylic) for protection. If you’re painting a piece white, the rule of thumb is to always use a water based Polyurethane, as oil based will yellow over time. Somehow, my white paint still changed a bit in color to be slightly creamy, which I cannot for the life of me figure out. Thank goodness though, I actually prefer the new color to the original white. It’s just a little bit warmer and takes the edge off the white.
I went back and forth a lot on what pulls to put on the finished buffet, but in the end I really love these. They give the buffet just the look that I had envisioned, and fit my style perfectly.
I’m also happy to report that I was successful in changing Joel’s mind. He’s just as happy with it now as I am :).


Ruffled Burlap Table Runner Tutorial

Need to dress up your Thanksgiving or Christmas table?

This simple yet elegant table runner is a perfect addition to any table.

Even better, it’s an easy project that you can have whipped up in no time!

Ready to get started?

Burlap – 48″ wide and the finished desired length plus 6″
Cotton – 45″ wide and TWICE as long as the length of burlap – if you want to use your ruffler foot, it’s a good idea to have a little extra length of cotton
*You’ll have enough width to be able to make three runners out of the above amounts.*

1. Cut the burlap to 16″ wide and the cotton to 10″ wide (it’s easiest if you rip the cotton along the grainline). You can adjust these widths, but I’d recommend to keep at least 6″ difference between the two to make sure you have a nice wide border of burlap.

2. Using a basting stitch, stitch along one entire length of the cotton, without backstitching at the beginning or end. Pull the bottom thread to gather the cotton to match the length of the burlap.
Right sides together, match raw edge with burlap edge and stitch along the entire length. I used my ruffler foot, and used it to gather the cotton as it was being sewn to the burlap. If you have a ruffler foot, use it! It’s more than worth the few minutes it takes to figure out :). If you are using a ruffler foot, it’s a good idea to sew a couple of test pieces to make sure the cotton isn’t being gathered more than double – if it is, you’ll come up short when you get to the end of the burlap!

3. Repeat step 2 with the remaining long sides of cotton and burlap. You can see that my gathered cotton ended up being just a hair shorter than my burlap, but since I started with a little extra length, it’s no worry and will be trimmed soon!

4. Turn the runner right side out.

5. Keeping the ruffles centered in the middle, press the folded burlap edges flat, keeping equal amounts of burlap on each side. You can press just the edge of the ruffles, making them more billowy…

Or you can press them flat, making a more modern and sleek ruffle.

6. Topstitch 1/4″ from edge of ruffle on each side down length of runner.

7. Trim the runner to your desired finished length plus 4″. Press one end 1″ toward the wrong side, and then another 1″.

8. Topstitch close to the folded edge.

9. Repeat steps 7-8 with other end of runner.

Great job!
If only the turkey dinner could come together as quickly :).
What are your Thanksgiving plans? Travelling? Staying home? I’d love to hear!

Tutorial: A Frameful of Flowers

I love flowers. I love my sewing room. Flowers on my sewing room table would be a bad idea, considering the amount of fabric and supplies that’s taking over my table at any given time.

I created this piece of art for my sewing room, and can’t wait to make another larger piece for my living room, with the flowers spaced a bit further apart and in purple.

Something about a frame bursting with voluptuous flowers is just heavenly.

Want to make one too? Let’s get started!


Fake flowers – one “vine” from JoAnn supplied enough flowers to fill a 10″x10″ shadow box (you can adjust amount of flowers based on the size of shadow box you use)
Shadow box – mine was 10″x10″
Glue gun and glue sticks
1. To prepare your flowers, trim each close to the base of the stem. I used only the large flowers from my vine at this point.
2. Remove backing and glass from your shadow box and glue a flower in the center of shadowbox back cardboard.
3. Keep gluing…
4. And gluing…
5. And gluing! Place the flowers as near or far from each other as you’d like. I wanted so see mostly petals, and not necessarily the middle of the flowers, so the my flowers are between 1-2″ of each other at the bases.
6. Slide the shadow box over the flowers and tuck all the petals inside the frame.
7. Use any left over flowers to fill in any spaces and to get the exact look you want. I used the smaller flowers on my vine for this step, and they worked perfectly as I glued them in the corners and any other areas that needed a bit more fill.
8. Replace any other backing you have for your shadow box and secure it in place using the tabs on the back of the frame.
Enjoy your new piece of art!
Hang it on your wall…
Use it as a centerpiece for your summer party…
Or make a few in different colors and display them all together! Have fun and be creative!

Valentine Wreath

I can’t believe it’s time to pull out Valentine decorations (in my case, decoration) again.  I made this wreath last year and it seems like I just barely took it down.
Either way, I’m happy to put it up again, I love looking at the bright pink and red flowers for a few weeks.
You can find my tutorial for the fabric flower Valentine wreath here.  Do you decorate for Valentine’s Day?

Gathered Pillow Tutorial

Ladies, I got news for ya.  I don’t think ruffles are going away any time soon.  At least not in my house they’re not :).  I love the feminity that a simple ruffle or gather can bring to any project.  And trust me, living with three boys, I need all the feminity that I can get!  I smile everytime I look at my new pillow.  I take that back — I don’t smile when I’m watching it be jumped on and thrown around by my boys.  Definitely not a smile in that case.  Good thing this pillow can be washed.  On that note…
Let’s get started…
For Pillow Front:
     printed fabric: 2 – 4″x9″ pieces
                           2 – 4″x15″ pieces
     plain fabric (will be ruffled middle section): 1- 9″x18″ piece
For Pillow Back:
     printed fabric: 2 – 12″x15″ pieces
14″ pillow form

*All seam allowances are 1/2″ unless otherwise noted.*
1. Using a gathering or basting stitch (longest stitch length on your machine), stitch along each entire 18″ edge on plain fabric.  Do not backstitch at beginning or end of stitching.
2. Pulling on TOP THREAD ONLY,  gather one 18″ side of plain fabric until it is 9″ long.  Pin gathered edge to right side of 4″x9″ piece, along 9″ edge.

3. Gather opposite side of plain fabric, and pin gathered edge to right side of the other 4″x9″ piece, along 9″ edge.

Tip:  Before adjusting the gathers, I like to loosely pin my gathered piece to the printed fabric, and then do the final adjustment to ensure the gathers are evenly spaced.  Instead of tying the threads off, I wrap the loose thread ends around the end pin several times to temporarily secure them.  That way they can be easily undone and re-adjusted if needed :).

4. Following gathered stitch line, stitch ruffled fabric to printed fabric pieces.

5. Turn all right sides outward.

6. Press seams toward printed fabric.  This is the beginning of your pillow front.

7. Right sides together, pin 15″ edge of one 4″x15″ piece to one long edge of pillow front.
8. Right sides together, pin 15″ edge of second 4″x15″ piece to other long edge of pillow front.
9. Stitch pieces together along pinned edges.
10. Press seams toward outer edges of pillow front.

11. Lightly press gathered piece to slightly flatten ruffled area.
12. To form back of pillow, press 12″ edge of one 12″x15″ piece 1″ toward wrong side.  Turn another 1″ toward wrong side and press.
13. Stitch close to folded edge.
14. Repeat steps 12-13 with second 12″x15″ piece.
15. Right sides together, pin one pillow back piece to pillow front, matching raw edges.
16. Position second pillow back piece over pillow front and already-pinned back piece.  Pin in place.
17. Stitch around ENTIRE pillow edges.  Stitch around entire pillow again for stability.
18. Clip four corners of pillow.
19. Turn pillow right side out.  Poke corners with a dull pencil if needed.
20. Slide pillow form through opening in back of pillow cover.
Get a good book and curl up in your favorite chair with your new pillow!

I’ll be linking to a few of these linky parties!