Bleaching Without the Bleach

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Looking for a less abrasive bleaching option to whiten whites and brighten brights! Try using this combination in addition to your regular detergent it really works, almost better than using bleach itself! I actually saw this on Pinterest. This combination works well for small to medium loads.

What you’ll need:

– 1-2 Tbsp Dawn
– 3 Tbsp baking soda
– 5 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide

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Ikea Hemnes Dresser Revamped!

If you saw this image on Facebook earlier. Here’s the post as promised!

So I recently bought the Ikea Hemnes 8-drawer dresser last weekend during Labor Day weekend. I’ve tracked this one for a while, when I changed my address Ikea sent me a $50 off coupon and I was determined get the most out of it!

As I started putting it together (best part about Ikea they make you work for your purchase) I realized the drawers were ugly! (See below…) And it inspired me to change it.

BEFORE:

AFTER:

Like? Here’s how I did it.

It took me a while to decide, but since my latest obsession is grey/silver I went with nickel — great decision!

It only took two cans of the white to cover the – God awful – yellow stripes on all eight. It took about 4 hours to dry completely.

Next I taped off the stripes – I thought about doing Chevron stripes which would have looked amazing, but it literally look forever just to line up two. So I scraped that idea and went with horizontal stripes.

     

I love it! Check it out in the drawer…

It took me all weekend, four bottles of spray paint and enormous patience, but I finished it!

Upholstered Bench Project

IT’S FINALLY COMPLETE!!

After 9 months of waiting/planning + 5 hours of hard work I have finally transformed this $10 coffee table to an upholstered bench!

For this project I used:

  • Coffee table (20″ x 40″)
  • Foam
  • Batting (I used 108″x90″)
  • Buttons and button kit
  • 2 1/4 yards of fabric
  • Staple gun and staples
  • Fishing wire
  • Spray adhesive
  • Upholstery needle
  • Nails
  • Hot glue gun

Prep:

The coffee table started out as a caramel brown so I stained the legs a deep espresso. I suggest waiting 24-48 hours after painting to allow the legs to funny dry. I also drilled holes for tufting. I planned to do four, which thankfully worked out perfectly. (I don’t have a drill so I used a fatter nail and hit it through to create a hole large enough for the upholstery needle.) I removed the legs of the table to make the stapling process easier. (I wish I had left them in place the fabric turned out so thick along with the batting that I now have to re-set the legs with longer, tougher screws. Which unfortunately I can’t do until my dad is in town to help, later this month.)

Fun Fact: I locked my self out of the house on my way out to rent a drill (long story short some of the screws were old and striped) and with my roommate in another state for a friends wedding I had to wait outside for about an hour for a locksmith. Did I mention it was the hottest day of the year (so far). My luck. [See I should have just left the stupid legs on and worked around them!]

STEP 1: Foam & Batting

I used 108″ x 80″ of batting for this project (a lot I know, but so worth it). I wanted to make sure the result didn’t  feel anything like a coffee table. I caught a great sale at Joanne’s and only paid $11.98 for all the batting. Woohoo!

I sandwiched the foam between the two layers of batting. I used spray adhesive on the top of the table to help hold the batting in place and then again on the batting to help hold the foam, while I played with the top layer of batting. The adhesive didn’t really hold, but it helped keep the foam and batting from sliding off the table while I tugged the top layer around the edge.

I added even more batting to the corners as I worked my way around the bench. I have a tendency to hit my shins on corners. :|

STEP 2: Tufting Prep

I read in a similar blog posting that the girl wished she dug out a little foam to allow a deeper tuft. So I pushed the needle up from the bottom cut out some of the foam. I marked the hole with a yellow paint pen and quickly realized there was no need :( but it did create a nice looking tuft! (below)

STEP 3: Layout the Fabric

I laid the fabric out and realized I may have over bought :\ (no worries I have plans for it) so I cut a generous amount to make sure I’d have plenty to reach around. Luckily I caught the pattern in the fabric and worked  to make sure it ran parallel to the edge of the bench (otherwise it would have turned out looking crooked thank God I thought of it before I stared stapling).

STEP 4: Buttons

I used a button making kit to make these, but the fabric was too thick to work normally so I used hot glue gun. (Thank you random google search result!) I put hot glue on the inside of the button, folded the fabric down and held it until it dried. Once it dried I put hot glue on the fabric and placed the back of the button on. I kept pressure on the back for around 30-45 seconds to make sure it dried correctly and stayed! It worked — thank goodness!

STEP 5: Tufting

Since I took off the legs I placed the table top over a basket so I could get under to push the needle up through the fabric. The thickness of the fabric made it hard to pull the fishing wire through so I had to cut a small hole in the fabric to pull it through. I tied the fishing wire to a nail to help me pull the button tighter and staple the wire to the top of the table. Hint: hammer the staples down to keep the wire from moving. (Not pretty but it did the job!) Note: I made sure to pull the fabric extra tight before working on the second set of buttons to keep the middle from looking wrinkled later.

STEP 6: The finale!

I stapled the fabric on to the table. The corners took some time, but I folded them to create a military sheet fold. The fabric was a bit thick on the edges so I used small nails to help keep the fabric in place.

And…

TA-DA! It is finished.

I skipped the re-attaching the legs step because I had a tiny issue — since I chose an upholstery fabric (thick and durable) I had trouble re-attaching the legs, so they are on there superficially. I plan to re-address this issue with my dad when he comes in town later this month. I plan to add longer screws to pull the legs in tighter – fingers crossed it works.

And that’s it!

It feels great to finish this project  (well almost) and to do it 100% on my own! I hope this gives some much-needed reference for anyone other DIY-er’s thinking about doing a similar project. I know it looks like a big job and while it was tedious and a bit time-consuming.. it was worth it!

I still feel a bit exhausted from this project so if I skipped a step or if something seems unclear please feel free to leave any questions in the comments box below or email me at lifebyemily@gmail.com.

Car Care: Clean Your Headlights

Recently, I’ve realized how dirty or shall I say foggy my headlights have become. So I found this tutorial on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.

Here’s what you’ll need:

– Toothpaste — paste only (I think the cheaper the better)

– Steel wool (the article suggested a cloth, but I had a lot of grime)

– Gloves

– Bucket of hot water (not pictured)

– Rag

Here’s the before:

             

I just applied the toothpaste and scrubbed with the steel wool in a circular motion.

             

Once I felt like I scrubbed enough I wiped off the remaining toothpaste and poured the rest of the hot water over the headlights and…

It worked!

After:

             

Just to show the difference here they are side by side.

Left:

Right:

Worth the $2.95 for the toothpaste? Heck yes!

Hi, I’m Random

While surfing Pinterest today I found District Lines with their “hi, I’m awkward”, silently wishing they had one that said “hi, I’m random” and then I discovered you can design you’re own t-shirts. And they actually look really great. I kind of want to make one for myself! So go make a t-shirt or sweatshirt that makes you laugh and post it below!

Idea!

Keep your wireless password on your fridge for easy access? Me too, until I realized why don’t I write it on the back of a picture! Seriously this is such a simple idea, but I never thought of it until this past weekend.

Oh and excuse the mess, but my roommate and I have a ton of weddings to attend between the two of us.

Simple idea, but I hope you find a use for it!

I tip my hat…

These two pumpkins definitely put my little owl design to shame. At first I wasn’t sure if I should post this, but they are just so good I couldn’t deny the talent and creativity that went into them. So maybe it isn’t so hard for those who have a knack for carving?

**Disclaimer: While I am a huge Saints fan, I do not support the views or fan-hood of the second pumpkin, Mississippi State. I still and forever will bleed purple and gold! Geaux Tigers!**
Posted in DIY

It’s harder than it looks

So in an attempt to fill my free, unemployed time this Halloween season, I decided to carve a pumpkin. I went to fresh produce and bought a pumpkin and the carving kit. I decided to go with the owl/tree design since it’s listed as a beginner design. (by the way beginner = holy shiz that’s hard) As I went in for the first slice, I bent the carving knife in two places. How this is possible I have no idea. It took me two hours and 35 minutes, but I pulled it off by myself and without an ounce of blood – always a plus!

Posted in DIY