||| diy | the ottoman |||

ottomanour aunt (the ultimate diy-er) recently sent me a picture of a table she bought at a thrift store for $5. once she mentioned she may turn it into an ottoman, i highly encouraged the idea so i could share the steps with you! her instructions follow:

1}  find a table! the main thing you are looking for is sturdy construction and attractive legs.

2}  remove the legs (this is not necessary if you are happy with the height of the piece. i planned to add 4 inches of foam on the top so the total height was more than i wanted.)

3} if needed, cut the legs off to the height you want. stain or paint the legs, as your project requires.

4} draw on the top of the table where you want to place your tufted buttons. drill two holes about 1/4 inch apart at each location.

5} trace the outline of your table top onto the foam. i used 2 pieces of 2inch thick foam instead of one piece of 4inch thick foam. it is about 1/2 the cost and makes no difference in the project. Hobby Lobby had the best pricing on foam (and there is always a 40% off coupon online!)

6} cut the foam.  (i found the best way to cut foam is by using a serrated bread knife.)  place on top of table.

7} cut a piece of quilt batting about 3 inches larger than the foam. place the piece on top of the foam and tuck the extra 3 inches over the side. wrap more quilt batting around the side until you are happy with the shape of the piece. you may need to tack the quilt batting down with a needle and thread so it doesn’t slide off the piece.

8} place your material centered over the foam.

9} using a long upholstery needle (available at any sewing store), starting from the underneath side, push the threaded needle through one side of the hole you drilled earlier until it pokes through to the top. run the needle through the button and back into the foam, making sure to find the other hole you drilled 1/4 inch from the entry hole. pull until you have correct tension you want to create your tufting. tie off underneath. (note:  if you want to use matching fabric covered buttons, you can buy button cover kits at any sewing store.) use embroidery thread or a strong thin string (regular thread will not be strong enough.)

10} continue until all buttons on your piece.

11} flip the piece over so you are looking at the underneath side. staple the loose material underneath. trim excess material.

12} put legs back on.

13} i wanted a little extra interest at the bottom so i tacked a decorative border at the bottom using upholstery tacks (available at any hardware store).

now put your feet up and rest on your new ottoman!

||| wrap it up | gift wrapping tutorials |||

gift wrapping is somewhat of an obsession for me during the holiday season.  to me, the presentation of a gift is almost (i said almost) as important as the gift itself.  i am constantly looking for gift-wrapping ideas on blogs and pinterest and i think i have found the best of the best!

||| enjoy! -t |||


||| 1.   glitter dots, because i’m addicted | 2.   gift bag, hello sandwich  | 3.   hand stamped paper, cotton & flax | 4.   fringe, willow day |||

||| going away party: supplies |||

i threw a little get-together, or “going away party”, if you will, the weekend before my trip to Italy began.

i came up with a teal/light pink color scheme and went from there.  here are my online party finds!  i purchased all of my supplies online (which ended up being cheaper than browsing countless stores!).  The Bakers Confections had the perfect colors I needed, Modern Lola (a children’s store) has an adorable party section & for all the basics a chain like Party City is ideal.

Going Away Party {supplies} ||| Planned Spontaneity |||With a little arranging on the new buffet table, a tissue flower (cut circles of nesting sizes, secured in the center and crunched) & crepe paper (folded many times lengthwise and with short snips on either side and crunched for dimension), it’s time to party!

(party recipes to follow)

||| happy planning! – R|||

||| Sophisticated Paper Chain |||

Not sure what to do with those never-ending September issues and gorgeous ads?  Sew them together, of course!  I can rarely go without cutting up a magazine, even in Italy.  It’s like therapy.  With a strict “no tape on the walls” rules, I had to come up with a collage alternative: a paper chain of my favorite pages.

I cut out my favorite advertisements and photos and sewed them together with thread, tying the knots in the back.  A needle was a necessity (luckily the Euro store had a sewing kit!).  Though this may not fit with your home decor (I’m in a temporary apartment during my time abroad), the paper chain is also a nice twist on an inspiration board.
||| caio! Rachel |||

Side Table {updated}

One of the great lessons I’ve recently learned is that it’s cheaper to buy and refinish old furniture than to attempt to buy the same quality of furniture today.  We followed this video by Jon Peters with step-by-step directions on how to refinish antique furniture; it was super helpful and easy to follow!