You Pin, I Do: Growth Chart

This new series is where I show you cool things I have found on Pinterest….and then I actually do them.  Crazy thought, I know.  Today I will show you how to make a custom handmade growth chart from things that are (potentially) lying around your house.  This project cost me less than $2 but I’m no fool.  Not everyone has ALL of this stuff just lying around but you can find most/all of it for free if you take the time to look around your local area.

Give credit where due!  Ashley from domesticimperfection.com is amazing.  Her charts are gorgeous.  Here is my inspiration post:  http://www.domesticimperfection.com/2012/12/custom-name-growth-charts/

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Hers are phenomenal but I am cheap.  If I can make it free/cheap, I am in.  Otherwise, I get overwhelmed when I spend money on a project and it doesn’t turn out right.  A few great places to find cheap/free materials for TONS of projects are Craigslist, Varage Sale (Craigslist-type app for local trade/sale), Facebook trading pages, Habitat For Humanity Restore (great source for building supplies), friends, neighbors, community boards, etc, etc, etc.  Look around – there is great stuff everywhere just waiting for you to turn it from trash to treasure.  It is great for our environment to reduce, reuse, recycle, UPcycle!

Instructions:

Take one privacy fence slat and paint it whatever color you like.  I used a light base color blue (leftover from my bedroom…free paint from CL) and then dry brushed over it with a darker blue which is also the same color as the boys’ walls (also free from CL).  Sidenote – get free paint from wherever and then take it to the hardware store and change it to the color you like.  My major chain hardware store does this for free.  I got a gallon of “bees wax” color (gold-ish) free on CL and had it tinted to a dark gray for my living room.  If you aren’t counting that is THREE ROOMS painted with free paint.  You can’t beat that….until I do the playroom which would make four.  🙂  So, once it is painted you then measure out your marks.  Remember to factor in however high it will hang from the floor.

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Next you can use stencils to add your numbers.  I free-handed mine because I don’t have stencils and when I decide to do a project I want it done yesterday.  No time for going to the store to search for the perfect stencil.  I like the imperfect handmade look of it in the end but I know there are great stencils out there if you like a cleaner appearance.

That’s really all there is to it.  Decorate it however you like.  My only cost was the little hanger I attached to the back to hang it on the wall.  Pick that up at your hardware store when you get your free paint tinted!  😉

Tell me what you think!  If you have a Pinterest project you’d like me to test out before you dive in, let me know.  I’d love to see what projects you have done as well!

Easy-Schmeasy Pillow Cover

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I live for the quality Hand-Me-Down.  Whether it be clothes from the older cousins, great-grandma’s recipes, or these pillows that just needed some love and attention.  These pillows are feather-stuffed and fabulous….except for the stains and broken zippers.  We’ll look past that and see them for their true value of feathery softness!!  They will look great on my other recent hand-me-down, a huge brown microfiber sectional couch in nearly-new condition.

This guide is very easy, but very non-specific so you can apply it to any size pillow you are updating.  I would like to thank all of the perfectionists for stopping by.  I truly do appreciate you but this day is not for you.  There are no measurements, just a method of assembly. Read on if you wish, but any hair-pulling on your part will fall under the “I warned you” category.  😉

So, here is what we are working with – large dingy old pillows with broken zippers but they are stuffed with feathers just waiting to be loved!  Fluffy and cuddly and yes please!  One final goodbye:

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GOODBYE!

First, bring your pillow to the fabric store with you.  I didn’t because I am a rebel but you should unless you also throw caution to the wind.  I figured I’ll just make an awesome bag out of any leftovers.  You will need three layers of fabric just larger than the size of your pillow.  See pic:

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After you cut something similar to the above pic (times 3), you then cut several inches off of two of the layers on one end.  I ended up cutting off more (3 inches shown) – cut off about 6 inches or so depending on how large the pillow is that you are covering.  Major “ish” factor applied.  It doesn’t matter as long as you leave plenty of room for overlap.  (I folded the fabrics up so you could see all three layers – nothing special happening there, just visual clarity.)

2014-03-06 12.12.53Next, on the two short ends that you have cut:  SEPARATELY make a clean edge each.  Fold under twice and sew as shown.  We are just making a pretty edge for the opening.  Again, no need to measure as long as you can handle a straight line.  If not, iron before sewing to make life easier.  See below:

2014-03-06 12.15.52Now we are going to assemble the pillow.  Essentially, we are making an envelope.  Place the largest piece right-side-up.  Top with the two smaller pieces, overlapped in the middle right-side-down (so right sides are together) and pin all around the edges.  Sew all four edges and clip the corners.  Turn right side out and stuff with your pillow.

A few hours (and 700 distractions) later….(excuse the toys in the background)

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Enjoy your gorgeous new pillow at an insane savings.  Decorative pillow covers can cost you well over $50 per pillow in large brand name stores.  For this set of four, I spent under $20.

If DIY is not for you, visit Heather at Castaway Cove Decor on Etsy.  She has beautiful covers at a very fair price.  She also provides her scraps to me for my bag creations – Thank You Heather!