A Table Makeover

When we moved into our home over a year ago, we had friends at the same time who moved and left us this table:
It has been the perfect table for outside activities…painting, eating, and experiments of all kinds…BUT it needed an overhaul in a bad way.  One day I finally got myself in gear and turned the old table into this:

Much better, right?!
So let me take you through the process.  Step 1- Sand, sand, sand, sand and sand.
Step 2: I stained the table in a dark walnut stain…at this point I was worried it was TOO dark, but I was not going to sand, sand, sand again, so I figured I would make this work!:)
Step 3:  Taped down a chevron pattern
Step 4: Painted the striped with a light gray outdoor paint. 
Step 5: Then I took off the tape to show this:
The lines were not crisp and beautiful like I imagined, so I kept working with it. I sanded down the top, which brought the wood grain out on parts of the chevron design (which I loved), but the gray was still too stark…

Step 6: I took the stain, painted some on and wiped it right off..and voila…JUST as I wanted:

So a before and after together:

and up close and personal:

It was a great lesson in figuring out what to do next. Sometimes I get to a point with a project and just want to stop because it “seems” ruined, but this one really reminded me how amazing things can really turn out when you keep on working with it!
Thanks for stopping by!

Ruffle, Ruffle, Ruffle Tutorial

Whew..this one has been a long time in the making!  After a hundred (yes, I really do mean a hundred) of emails and comments asking how exactly I made those ruffles:
FINALLY, here are the specific directions on all 4 of them.

{Raw Edge Single Ruffle}
You will see this ruffle has a faux raw edge, as you really are going to zig zag stitch down the two sides of the ruffle. This will make it so it will not unravel, but it still has that raw feeling.

1- Take your strip of fabric.. (this is what you have to figure out on your own…I had strips 4″ all the way up to 9″ wide to start out..some I made into tubes, others I left alone…I think a good rule of thumb is to have a good mixture. The length of the strip will depend on the size of your duvet. Usually I made my starting strip be about 3-4 times the size of the ruffle I was putting down.)..and zig zag stitch along the outside of your ALL of your raw edges.  For those who haven’t sewn a zig zag stitch, I just placed my width at the highest setting, and my length I kept at about 2.5.  All machines will vary..most now will have a simple zig zag stitch function.  I like my zig zags to be closer together, but wider, so that is the setting I went with. When sewing a zigzag stitch, keep your material going through the center of your foot (see image 1)  2- This is what your edge will look like when you finish stitching it.  3- Now to the ruffling. I ruffle simply by pushing more fabric through the foot than what it normally grabs. Keep your fingers moving, and remember..ruffles do not have to be perfectly spaced! If you bunch more at one part than another..no big deal.  The more ruffles you do, you will find your own technique that works best. As I push the fabric through, I simply keep sewing at a slow speed..the more I have done, the faster I can go! 4- Keep sewing a straight line through the center of the strip until you are done. The finished strip should look like the top picture!
{Raw Edge Triple Ruffle}

You will do all of your steps the same with this ruffle as with the Raw Edge Single Ruffle..and then you will add:

1-After sewing the middle line through the center, go to the right of the center line to the middle from the edge to the center and start sewing again. I like to make this ruffle a lot wider, so you may have to ruffle just a little as you push the side seams through, but mostly just let the machine do the work!  2- After doing the right side, I turn it upside down (not over) and stitch the other side the same way.  When you finish there will be 3 lines down your ruffle. When sewing this on to your duvet, sew over the center line!
{Tube Single Ruffle}
These ruffles are easiest sewn on strips 6″ or bigger, though I did use a few 4″ strips on my duvet cover for added volume!

1- Take strip of fabric and sew right sides together to form a tube 2- Turn right side out. 3,4-
Start sewing and once again, push more fabric through faster than the machine will feed it! 5, 6- the faster you feed it the more ruffles you will have, the less, the more spread out your ruffle will be!
Note that these ruffles will be harder to push through as they are thicker! However, having various sizes of these really adds a LOT of volume to your duvet cover!
{Tube Pleated Ruffle}

You will notice that this one has fairly even ruffles and this is achieved by pleating the tube.

1- Once again, follow steps 1 and 2 of the Tube Single Ruffle to get to the starting point of this ruffle. Take your material and start sewing in just a bit. Stop sewing, lift your sewing foot, grab just a bit of fabric..I did about 1/2″ on this ruffle 3- Fold it over on it self and on the pleats ahead of it 4-Lay down your sewing foot again and sew over the pleat. Repeat over and over until you get to the end of your strip. This one is definitely the most time consuming ruffle, but again, gives variety of texture and look to your duvet…(you didn’t want every single one of them the same, right!):)
And there you have it. I did 12 rows of ruffles on my duvet cover of varying widths and ruffles and it came out, just as I wanted it!
Yay! Now go and make one and send me a link! I’d love to have a party in a few months and feature YOUR duvet cover.  Once you make one, send me a link and I will keep it on file! If you have sent me one before this, I would just ask that you send it again and I will file it away this time!:) Thanks for being so patient with this tutorial!

Doodle Dinner Mats

I’m hoping a few of you relate to this scenario. It is 5:40 p.m. The hubby is due home in the next half hour and it is time to finish up (or start!) dinner preparations.  And then it begins. 5 minutes ago your children were happy and helpful..they were busy playing and sharing.  And now? I have a 2 year old glued to my leg begging for a snack and drink…and then back a few minutes later to be held. My 7 and 5 year old are wrestling on the ground and it is a mixture of crying/ yelling/ and noises of all kinds.  IT IS CHAOS!  And in all of the craziness, you are trying to get dinner cooked and on the table, so when your husband comes home you can all sit down and eat. Sound familiar?
During one of these episodes a few weeks ago I had an idea:
 I am sure many of you cannot relate to the above situation and just see this all day:

But either way…Chaos or Calm..I hope you enjoy these before dinner activities…and with summer just around the corner these will be perfect to add into your busy days!
These are super simple to make.
Simply download the files, print them out and get them laminated!  Provide your kids with dry erase markers and as a bonus, your dinner conversation will never be dull again!
Let me show you the goods:
#1-The Story of My Day.  This will give your child the opportunity to write or draw his/her activities from the day. When dad asks during dinner what they did during the day..there will be no more “I don’t know” or “nothing” answers!

#2- Place setting- Have you ever asked your children to set the table and they have no idea how? Look no further than this placemat which will aid them in doing it correctly everytime!  There is even a space to write a name!

#3- Tic-Tac-Toe.  Give your kids a way to play together (without killing each other, like mine!).

#4-Today… This placemat will give them a chance to remember their day in a different way than #1..and is sure to bring up some funny answers!
After setting up the table for them today, I went in to get dinner going and came back to this:

and before you knew it, dinner was on the table..and I hadn’t gone crazy!
Give it a try…it may just give them the quiet activity they need before sitting down together!
Go ahead and download all of the files HERE…and have a lovely day.
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