Tag Archives: Karlie

Pallets on board!

There is a reason I’ve been MIA for the past week – a pretty big one. I’ve been working on building myself a new coffee table from old pallets! Re-using and re-purposing old pallets has been such a craze lately – I have a huge folder on my computer filled with projects I’d like to tackle. And with the weather being so nice last week, I decided to give it a go and try to fix an area that’s been bothering me in the living room lately – our mismatched coffee tables. These were both just sort of throwaway items that got donated to our house (as is the case with much of our furniture).

Pretty bad, right? Different colors, different styles and different heights, I just couldn’t handle it anymore.

A quick search on Craigslist resulted in a batch of really nice, big and free pallets.

First step was tearing off all the boards – this took quite a bit of time and arm power. My grip strength was pretty much nonexistent after two days of this.

After pulling them off, they went right back on! Hammered out the screws and lined all the boards up as close as possible to create a flat-top for the table.

All put back together, nice and flush. There did end up being about an inch overhang that we took a saw to for a quick fix to even everything out.

Flipped it over and pulled off the boards on the opposite side – did the same with a second pallet, but left the other side with evenly spaced boards for the bottom of the table.

I added 4 extra boards to the bottom outside in order to give it some more height, I didn’t want it too low.

A few passes with the sander to smooth out the biggest problems – pallet boards are notoriously gross and rotten but I got pretty nice boards to start off with.

Then it was time for staining! One coat of Jacobean stain, with a few coats of satin polyurethane finish and then the hardest part – waiting for things to dry.

Once dry, I attached the two pallets with brackets on the inside.

Flipped it over to attach rolling casters. I knew this table was going to be pretty heavy when all was said and done, and these make it so easy for me to move on my own.

And after!! So much nicer, a big uniform coffee table that actually has some personality!

I love the space for magazines or storage between top and bottom, and the different wood grains from each board.

My advice? If you’re thinking about a project like this, go for it! Pallets are easy to come by, and since they’re free you won’t have any guilt over messing anything up. Everyone has to start somewhere.

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Rose Overload

So I recently discovered my new favorite aftermath of Valentine’s Day. Usually it’s the shopping carts full of chocolates on sale, but that was until we went to the grocery store last night and I saw a sign advertising rose bunches for $2. $2!!!! They were originally $25 so you know I went crazy and bought 5 bunches. What usually would have been $125 worth of flowers ended up costing me $10. Is there a better deal than that?

For those of you that know me, you’ll know my obsession with everything green – gardening, plants in the house and fresh flowers. Obviously I’m thrilled to have these flowers in pretty much every room of the house.

In the kitchen…

the dining room…

the living room…

my bedroom…

and even the bathroom! I’ve been wandering around the house rearranging them all morning, I seriously can’t keep my eyes off them.

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To clutch or not to clutch

I’ve always loved the look of clutches, but I’m definitely one of those people that have a hard time with them. I either misplace them, can’t fit in everything I need for the day or simply handicap myself to using only one hand. And yet, here I find myself, tackling the sewing machine again in order to make one. I figure they make a great accessory for date nights and and exciting change to my regular over-the-shoulder bag.

I got a roll of vinyl for half off in the remainders section so I had to adjust my idea to fit 11 inch parameters. A few cuts with my rotary cutter and a ruler and I had a rough two feet rectangle.

Trimmed one end for the flap. The inside of the vinyl isn’t very appealing but I wasn’t too worried, this was mostly a trial run anyways.

Folded over my rectangle, sewed the sides together and added a button and button hole.

And within about 15 minutes I had my very own handmade clutch! I think it needs a stiffer fabric, perhaps leather would hold up better. I also want to try my hand at making my own laptop case – just add a layer of padding sewn inside for cushioning.

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Sewing Adventures

I think I might be getting a little addicted to the sewing machine. We had a huge fight yesterday (how can one bobbin winding misstep cause me so much agony?) but we’re back on track today!


Some more Montana pillows and a little motivation as well. We’ll see how much it inspires me in the mornings. Two-toned back and front pillows add excitement too! You can hardly see it from the front, such a fun surprise when reversed.

Pillows White

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Home Sweet Home

After my confession last week about my sewing abilities I decided to bite the bullet and start doing more crafts that involve, you guessed it, the sewing machine. Up to this point, I’ve been hand-sewing the infamous dinosaurs, but when Krista shared her adventures tackling this post on the Letter 4 blog, I had to give it a go. It took a few tries, but I ended up with a lovely lavender and rice filled “polar bear” that I affectionately refer to as Lavender Butt. (I hesitate to label him as a true polar bear because there’s a bit of special sloth in there as well. Hey, it’s a learning process.)

Lavender Butt

Today I wanted to try another simple sewing machine project and I was inspired by this pillow.

However, feeling a little uninspired I couldn’t think of any phrase I wanted to emblazon upon a pillow for all to see. So instead, I settled with a local favorite, a cutout of our home state, Montana.

I started by simply cutting out my rectangles from an older home-made pillow cover. However, if this isn’t available, just measure your pillow and add one inch to each side to account for the seam. (A 12 x 12 inch pillow would require a front square of 13 x 13.) For the back square, add 4 inches to one side to create the envelope. (A 13 x 17 rectangle.) Fold and pin one one end of each piece for the hem.

Here’s my cutout- a simple shape, but I’m definitely going to try letters next time! Time to get sewing.

The decal, sewn pretty far from the edge, to give it a little texture.

Pin the front and back together, inside with the flap folded inside, and sew around the 3 sides. Reverse and fit around your pillow!

You’ll notice my decal ended up on the same side as my flap. This was not intentional, but I do end up liking the look of it. As Katie said, “It’s wearing a little hat!” Or something of the sort. She also suggested how fun it would be to use different colors fro the front and back, so the flap folds over with a different color. Something to try next time!

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Meet Phil

I’ve never been great at sewing. The extent of my training was a home economics class in middle school whose end project culminated in a handmade pair of boxer shorts. And yet, here I find myself, trying my hand at making my very own stuffed dinosaurs. Meet Phil (I also have a series of cartoons featuring a dinosaur named Phil, but we’ll leave that for another day).

Materials include fabric (I used a sort of flannel/felt mix), stuffing, thread, and pins and a needle.

Cutting out the body.

Sewing him together.

Adding teeth and eyes.

Sewing on the stomach, and turned inside out.

The body all stuffed and sewed up!

Arms and legs being made.

Time for things to get real.

Meet Phil!

The growing army.

Is it sad for a grown woman to make stuffed dinosaurs for no purpose other than that she loves the t-rex? I hope not, otherwise we’re all in trouble…

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