DIY

DIY Plywood Plank Floors

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

One of the many things I love about blogging is connecting with people from all across the globe, and I really love hearing from those knee deep in their own renovations and reading about their innovative home improvement solutions. Last week, Courtney from New Zealand sent me pictures of her DIY plywood floors and I was so impressed with her resourceful approach I asked that she share the details of how she achieved this look on a budget so I could share it with you!

graywash plywood floors

 

First, here is a little background on the project from Courtney:

“I am a full-time mother of one (currently), wife, and homemaker.  My husband, son, and I live on a farmlet in the foothills of the Southern Alps near Christchurch in New Zealand, complete with animals and an ever-expanding potager garden.

In addition to living a semi-rural lifestyle, we are in the process of updating our home, a grand circa-1905 Edwardian villa. We’re no strangers to DIY; however, most of our projects here have been borne out of necessity because of the unique proportions (8-foot windows, arched windows, high ceilings, lack of closets, etc.) throughout. As we are starting family life and live in the country, an easy-living and "not-too-precious" attitude toward our furnishings sees me sewing curtains and blinds, painting secondhand furniture, and curating an eclectic collection of home goods compatible with dirt, little hands, and the occasional spill.

The "craft room" (as it’s known) inspiration came as a result of all of these things: we wanted a space for sewing, painting, and letting the littlies experiment without worry. I loved the driftwood look, and the vinyl equivalent in my area was around $140.00/square meter, or nearly $13 per square foot – definitely out of the budget. 

The beautiful plywood floors I saw on Pinterest and beyond convinced me this was the flooring solution for us, and after searching for a tutorial on how to DIY the driftwood look, I found none. So, I gave it a go with some paints I had on hand, and even surprised myself with how well it turned out!” 

gray painted plywood floors

 

Materials: C/D grade ½” pine plywood (we looked for sheets that had lots of knots, minor cracks and other “character” on the D side); 16-gauge 2” nails; 100-grit sandpaper and cork sanding block; 2:2:1 wash with white or off-white chalk paint, water, and light grey paint (optional); large paint brush; black oil-based enamel paint; turpentine; foam brush; flooring top coat (wax, polyurethane, etc.); face mask for dust and fumes; knee pads. 

Tools: 16-gauge finish nailer; table saw; circular saw; random orbital sander (with 240-grit pads); mitre saw for cutting planks to length/angle cuts (optional).

plywood plank flooring

 

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DIY Lined Shower Curtain

Monday, January 27th, 2014

I love having a cat, ours is a keeper with a great personality but the one thing I wish we didn’t have to deal with is a litter box. Ugh. So I’ve hidden it in the hall bathroom shower for over a year and I just can’t take it anymore. Besides, we needed to reclaim that shower for the kids turning 8 and 10 who have been showering in our bathroom for too long, and for guests that come stay with us.

I wanted to make a shower curtain for the space that was taller than standard 72 x 72” curtains using my new Dewdrop fabric – now a new one it hangs at 86” tall on a new higher rod in the hall bathroom.

lined shower curtain

 

This is a view of a space I’ve never shared before mostly because it wasn’t that exciting, just a toilet and shower and old curtain rod but I do love the little glass tiles set into the floor – a project we completed before I even started blogging. There’s that pesky litter box…

bathroom before

 

The process of sewing your own shower curtain is like sewing one giant pillow cover, but with a seam down the middle. I used two 88” lengths of basic lightweight cotton to line the curtain and my dewdrop fabric for the outside pattern. The first thing you do is sew together the length of the liner.

sew liner together

Repeat the same process with your pretty fabric, if it has a pattern, align the repeat and pin together for a less visible seam. Since the curtain remains gathered when not in use it’s not noticeable. 

 

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Easy Throw Pillow Zipper Enclosures

Monday, January 20th, 2014

It was as if a veil had been lifted from my eyes, as if the clouds parted and the sun shined down upon me . . .  that’s how I felt when I finally mastered how to sew a zipper enclosure for throw pillows.

In the past I’ve chosen the envelope pillow enclosure for its ease and because truth be told perfect zippers intimidated me, but now that I’ve learned how to do it, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back! Over the weekend I stitched up ten pillow covers and all of them with zippers, each one faster than the next. I figured out how to do it by studying pillow covers I’ve purchased from retailers, and in my excitement, I just had to share.

simple sew pillow cover

I use a zipper that is slightly smaller than my pillow cover. For example, I use a 18” zipper for a 20” pillow insert and a 22” zipper for a 24” pillow insert, etc. and I always sew my covers 1 inch smaller than the insert (the seams for a 20” pillow insert are actually 19” for the pillow cover) so a zipper that is two inches smaller than the size of the insert works best.

Here’s the easy peasy technique! Cut your two sides of fabric and pin the fabrics inside out like you would if you were sewing an envelope cover, with the right side of the fabrics facing each other. Pin the zipper to the edge of the fabric with the front of the zipper facing down allowing for ¾” inseam.

pin fabric together

 

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