Guest Post

Guest Post: How to Build Ladder Shelves

Saturday, November 27th, 2010
Today, I have a great tutorial for you from Brittany at Pretty Handy Girl.  Brittany wanted the look of the Studio Wall Shelves from Pottery Barn, but didn’t want to spend $299 to achieve it, so she fashioned her own out of a ladder found at Habitat for Humanity Restore. 
 
Brittany is a girl after my own heart, not afraid to wield power tools and use her ingenuity to create exactly what she wants!   Please welcome Brittany as she tells how she built her very own ladder shelf unit.  Take it away Brittany!
 
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“I know you’ve seen them at Pottery Barn, those adorable book shelves that look like ladders, but they are $299 a unit!  
 
 
When I saw this ladder at the Habitat ReStore for $15 I knew it had the potential to fulfill my ladder shelf dreams.
 

I hauled the old ladder home and transformed it into shelves perfect for my home!  

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Learning to Sew

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

I grew up watching my mom and my aunts sew clothing, pillows, and curtains for their homes.  There were no blogs to showcase their work, just their fellow community where they shared their tips and advice.  It was the late seventies, times were tough, money was tight, and the economy was in the you know what.  Ladies all across the nation were trading patterns and ideas, and sewing up a frenzy of home decor on a budget.  Sounds kinda familiar doesn’t it?

The very best way to soften a space, to add texture, pattern and personality, is with the use of great fabrics, so I believe one of the best tools for an avid DIYer is a basic sewing machine. You’ll find plenty of tutorials online for ‘no sew’ decor, and they are fantastic, in fact I’ve done several myself.  There are lots of times when fusible web, fabric glue, or safety pins have come to my rescue with a simple hem or a window treatment.  Yay for those solutions!  Yet one thing I’ve learned is that having the ability to work a sewing machine opens up an entirely new world.

Do you ever see a swatch of fabric, be it in the form of a dress, an apron, a napkin, a silk scarf, and you think to yourself, "This would make a great pillow!" or you find a great fabric and think "I want to make curtains out of this."  It happens to me all the time!  You can design an entire space around a single swatch of fabric that inspires, be it a damask, geometric, Ikat or simple stripe pattern, whatever speaks to you.  I am constantly inspired by patterns I find beyond the racks in fabric stores, and I’m a big believer in reinventing them into new things.

For example, take these inexpensive napkins I found in a local kitchen store.  Beautiful robins egg blue background with an apple green botanical pattern.  Love!  In fact, I loved them so much, I turned them into a pillow!

 

napkin turned pillow  

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