My Craft Room

Sorry for the delay…I know I promised this last week, but right now my full-time job is taking most of my time and energy, which doesn’t leave a lot of time left for me to create and blog in the evenings.  I should get back to a better balance of work and fun soon!

When we finished the basement, one of the perks for me was that it freed up one of the spare bedrooms upstairs  so that I could create my craft room.   What is now the craft room, has had many different looks since we moved into our house.  Our initial plan for the room was to use it as the guest room.

Craft Room - Before as spare bedroom

It was very crowded.  And, we never used it as a guest room.  Then, we swapped the guest room with the office.  It worked better for us, and the guest room was transformed into its current look.  The office was originally a combination of furniture from my house and Bob’s house.  Then, eventually we got the desk that Bob now uses in his Music Room in the basement.  It was in the office upstairs before the basement was finished.  So, when the basement was finished, it left a blank slate for me upstairs to create my craft room.  I had a clear vision for the room – I wanted a large desk that I could have room to spread out when I was working on crafts, and I wanted a comfortable place to relax and maybe read a book.

Craft Room - After full view from doorway

I have everything I wanted, and was able to furnish the room with all used furniture.  I’ll admit I made a mistake on the desk at first.  I caved and bought a little desk at a used furniture store, but quickly realized that it wouldn’t suit my needs.  At the time, I still had a desktop computer, so I wanted room to hide all the components under the desk.  The little desk didn’t cut it.  I made it work until I found this large desk when I was out for one of my Saturday morning thrift store adventures with my friend.

Craft Room - Desk before

The desk matched the dimensions of the space almost exactly, and it was only $119 for this large desk.  It was a bit deeper than I originally wanted because of the windows in the front of the room, but I really did want all the space.  I knew I could change the look of the desk with a quick coat of paint.  Next step was the place for relaxing.  I began my search looking for a daybed, but I wasn’t finding anything.  But, then I found a sleigh bed on Craigslist and thought a bunch of pillows could make it function like a daybed.  I think I ended up paying $70 for the daybed.  I did the same thing with it as the desk, just gave it a quick coat of paint.

Craft Room - Desk and Bed before decorating

At this point, the room was very bare.  I did buy new bedding, I believe it was from Kmart.  After I got the desk and tried working at it, I ran into another problem.  Most of the chairs I had or found were too high.  Once I sat on them, I couldn’t fit my legs under the desk.  So, I spent a lot of time going to yard sales and thrift stores with my tape measure trying to find a chair that I could make work.  Finally, I had luck at the Goodwill.  Unfortunately, I must not have taken a before picture, because I can’t find one in my files.  But, it was a plain wooden chair for $5.  I inspected it and knew that I could easily remove the wooden seat, add foam and fabric to make a cushioned seat and give it a coat of white paint like the rest of the furniture in the room.  I did just that and I have a very comfortable desk chair, that I can actually sit in and fit my legs under my desk (its where I’m sitting right now).

Craft Room - Desk Chair - painted and reupholstered

The other projects I did on the desk side of the room, include the fabric bulletin board for family photos.  I found a cork board at a yard sale, popped it out of the cheap frame, wrapped it in batting and fabric and then used ribbon and bronze nail heads to make the grid.  I love that I can easily change the photos as time passes.  The floating shelves we originally in our living room, and we weren’t using them anymore, so I moved them to the Craft Room to give me more space to decorate.  I change them seasonally.  I just went back to mainly butterfly décor, because I have tons of it from my previous home.  The lamps are from the same thrift shop that I bought the desk.   The desk decorating is still in flux.  I had a desktop computer until a couple months ago, and I have not finalized how I want everything to look now that I have the laptop.  Its weird, but the desktop monitor provided height in the middle of the desk, and now I feel like everything looks flat.  The wicker chair is the mate to the one in the basement that I got from a friend at work.  I sewed the seat cushion and pillow cover.  Even the trash can and little chest were yardsale/Goodwill items that I picked up.

Craft Room - After Desk side of room

When I just added the new pillows to the bed, it led to me changing all the décor in the room.  It quickly went from this:

Craft Room - Before

To its current look, which includes the new pillows and a bit more butterfly artwork.

Craft Room - After sleigh bed with new pillows and wall art

I had bought this book years ago, because it had colorful butterfly book plates in the back.  It cost $1.48 at Ollies.  So, I used two pages in my new wall art.

Craft Room - Butterfly book for artwork

One is in the small 5×7 frame on the shelves.

Craft Room - Butterfly decor on floating shelves

And the other page is part of the gallery above the bed, in the center on the bottom.  I kept two of the frames the same – they just each have a piece of scrapbook paper in them.  The larger butterfly print was originally a fabric stretched on canvas that I bought at the monthly church thrift store for 10 cents.  I removed the fabric from the canvas (it looked cheaper that way) and then popped it in  a white spray painted frame.  The individual butterflies were from my grandmother.  They got a coat of spray paint too; they were originally very brassy with a wooden center.

Craft Room - New Butterfly wall art

The mirror that was here got relocated to the other wall, which is the small space between the closet and the door to the hallway.   The mirror now reflects the light from outside instead of just the other side of the room.  Framing the mirror are more butterflies with a fresh coat of spray paint.  These were originally dark brown.  They are very sentimental because my Mom has a set at home.  I found these in my thrift shopping travels and knew I needed to have them.  I’m happy to finally have a place to hang them.  The bamboo shelf is from the same thrift shop as the desk.  As I think about all my purchases from that shop, I’m very sad that it is now closed.  This whole wall, as skinny as it is, contains many sentimental items.  The little tin lamp is a tart warmer, that was a housewarming gift from  my Mom when I bought my first house.  The shadowbox is one I made with my wedding bouquet, Bob’s boutonniere and our wedding invitation.  The bottom shelf has all of my scrapbooks that I have filled with pictures of our trips, wedding, and just life in general.  And, they are sharing the shelf with our unity candle from our wedding.

Craft Room - Bamboo shelves and wall decor - after

I am thrilled with how this room has evolved.  It functions well for me as a craft room, and is pretty enough that I just enjoy sitting in it to relax.

Craft Room - After full view from doorway

I’ve seen some beautiful and amazing craft rooms out there.  Do any of you have a designated craft space?  Or, do you just use whatever space suits the project at hand, table, floor, etc.?

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Bamboo Chairs – Before and After

I took my mother-in-law on one of my recent thrift shopping adventures.  We were actually shopping for her, she wanted to find a new nightstand.  But, of course I had fun looking as well.  We both lucked out at Charlie’s Used Furniture in Lancaster.  As she was checking out nightstands, I was just browsing the store.  I found a pair of bamboo chairs.

They were definitely used, but in good enough condition for me.  I didn’t really know where I would put them, but I inspected them and knew they could easily be reupholstered. I still wasn’t sure until the owner ventured over to see how we were doing, and informed me that the pair were half price.  So, instead of $19 each, I could have the pair for $19.  SOLD!  Meanwhile, my mother-in-law also found a nightstand she liked, so we did good on our first stop of the day.

I had flipped the chairs over to see how they were put together, so when I started my disassembly at home, it was a pretty easy process.

There was only 1 screw in the front and 2 on the rear of the chair holding the seat to the base.

I removed the seat and was left with the fabric staples to remove.

I found a surprise after removing the fabric, which I just use a flat screwdriver and then pliers to pull out the staples.

There was another layer of fabric under the first one.  I’m sure this was the original fabric, and the previous owner had just added new fabric  on top of it.  I wanted to make sure that the foam was in good condition, so I also removed this layer of fabric.  Once all the fabric was gone, I found the foam in very good condition.

I had some batting on hand, so I just added that as an extra layer to maintain the condition of the foam and hold everything in place before attaching my fabric.  I purchased 1/3 a yard of fabric at Jo-Ann Fabrics, on sale for only $14.99/yd, so my cost was $10.  The fabric is called Signoria Harvest, and it was in the 55″ rolls of home decor fabric.

The batting and new fabric are secured only with the staples.  I do one side at a time, then the opposite side and then repeat the same steps on the other two sides, saving the corners for last. I didn’t want a seam to show on the corners, so I rounded them the best I could and stapled.  That part took two hands, so I don’t have an in-process picture.

To make sure I was fine with the corners, I tested it by putting the seat back on the chair.  Looks good to me.  I also used some wood glue to secure sections where the accent details (not sure what they are called) were coming loose.  Then, I had to get Bob’s help to secure the seats back on the chair, as it was much more difficult putting the screws back in than taking them out.  I held the seat in place and he used his drill to make them really secure.

 For now, the chairs have found a place in the basement beside the console table and under the sconces.

Puddy gives his approval by testing them out in their new home! 

While I was rearranging, I started to take down some of my Fall decor and change up the look on the console table.  I still feel like it needs something else.  I seem to always struggle with getting the right look on tablescapes and vignettes….it takes me a few tries before I get it right, and I have to live with it a while in between the tries to decide what I think about it.   Any suggestions on how to finish off this spot in our basement?  Am I the only one who is ready to take down all the Fall decor and start decorating for Christmas?

Be Our Guest

Our guest room is a good example of working with what we have.  Puddy says, “Come on over and be our guest!” Of course, you might have to kick him out of the guest room….that bed is one of his favorite spots, mainly because he can see right out the front windows and bark at anyone who walks by.

When Bob and I bought our house, I didn’t have much furniture to contribute to it, outside of the living room furniture, because most of my furniture was hand-me-downs that were on their way out.  Bob fortunately had more furniture that we could use in our new home.  Since we had decided on purchasing a new bedroom set for our bedroom, we used Bob’s old furniture for the guest room.  He had a queen size bed on just a frame and a set of dressers and night stands.
Just like many other rooms in our house, it took a while before I decided on how I wanted to decorate the room.  Finally, I decided to paint it a nice cheery yellow.  I can’t recall if that was before or after I completed the headboard makeover.  I knew I wanted an upholstered headboard, but wanted to make it as inexpensively as possible.  I finally found one on Craigslist that I thought would work.

I can’t remember exactly how much I paid for the headboard, maybe $45.  I know the person was trying to sell the whole set of matching bedding to go with the headboard, so I negotiated the price by buying only the headboard.  I took off all the old fabric and then used a white duckcloth to reupholster it.  I used a white trim to hide my staples in the seam, because I have not yet mastered welting.  I’m still considering using nailhead trim in that space to give it a little more interest.

The rest of the guest room has some other small projects of mine, as well as yard sale finds and Home Goods/TJ Maxx purchases.  The quilts are from Home Goods/TJ Maxx, as well as the flower pillow.  I bought the yellow pillows at a church thrift store.  The 3 pictures are Monet prints that I bought at a yard sale with the intention of just using the frames and painting them and adding my own pictures, but one day I held them up in the guest room and decided that they will work for now.

The only other projects are the “vases.”  I took a wine bottle and some vases that I either got for free or 50 cents or less at yard sales and decided to spray paint them.  The wine bottle got a nice yellow color, while the vases were painted a metallic silver.

Anyone else reupholster a headboard?  Or maybe spraypainted vases for a new look?

Breakfast Room Conversion

When we first looked at our house, my only concern was it felt like there were too many eating areas.  With just two of us, I wasn’t sure how we would use a kitchen bar, breakfast room, and dining area.  Here is our floor plan, so you have a point of reference for the multiple eating areas all within very close proximity of each other.

But, we loved the house and since it was my only hesitation, it was nearly a forgotten thought shortly after I said it.  We ended up purchasing a new dining room set, because neither Bob nor I had one that we felt suited our new home.  Bob did have a small table and set of chairs that we thought could work in the Breakfast Room, as well as an antique buffet.  So, we moved in and set up the room with what we had.

This was the state of our Breakfast Room around Christmas time 2007, just weeks after we moved in.  Bob and I actually used the small table quite often to eat, until we got stools for the kitchen bar.  Once we purchased our bar stools, eating in the Breakfast Room, even if it was for dinner, became a thing of the past. 

I kept picturing the room as more of a sitting/sun room.  But, with the rest of our decor and style, I knew I couldn’t furnish it with really light and airy sunroom type furniture.  Fortunately, I make it a habit of popping into Goodwill and Salvation Army, which are the common thrift stores in our area.  One day at lunch, I decided to go to Salvation Army and lucked into 50% off furniture day.  I spotted two of these chairs.

I liked the chairs, and since they were 50% off, it made them only $25 each.  I wasn’t positive that Bob would like them, so I snapped a cell phone picture and texted it to him.  I didn’t have time to wait for a  response, so I went back to work.  He checked out the picture and decided they were good.  So, I rushed back to the store after work and snatched up the two chairs. I had never done any reupholstering with tufting, but I figured I would give it a try.

I offset the cost by selling the old table and chair set on craigslist.  With cash in hand, I was able to purchase the supplies I needed:  fabric, a button kit and trim, and still have some money left.  I knew the room needed something else besides the two chairs, so I kept searching the thrift stores.  One Saturday, as I shopped with my thrifting friend, Judie, I spotted a $20 side table.  It was ugly, but it had potential, and it matched the measurements I was looking for, except it was a bit tall.

When Bob saw the table sitting in our Breakfast Room, he really thought I was crazy!!  I explained my plan to convert it into an ottoman…he still doubted me, but for $20, agreed it was worth a try.  I needed his help though, because at the time I was not using power tools, especially not a saw.  I gave him the measurements I was looking for and he sawed off the bottom portion of the legs.  I purchased foam and attached it to the top of the table and secured it with batting by stapling it underneath.  I used the same method for the fabric and Bob had drilled holes in the table top so that I could use them as my guide for the buttons for the ottoman.  That may have been the most challenging part, getting the needle through the thick foam and securing the buttons in place, but Bob helped and we made it work.

Today, our Breakfast Room is more of a Sitting Room, and it gets so much more use.  The sunlight streams in the room in the morning and its a great place to sit and read, chat, or just relax. 

And, the wonderful sunlight is also the reason I tried taking twilight pictures of the room.  Its not the best, but it gives you a truer picture of the colors.  The bright morning light washed out the pictures too much.  The side table has a marble top and wooden legs, and was a later addition to the room when I found it at a yard sale for few dollars.

Anyone else have successful thrifting and repurposing projects to share?  How about rooms that were transformed into a different use?