Monday, April 19, 2010

Sewing Room Redo Under $5

As a birthday surprise for my mom while she was out of town, my husband and son and I added some fun decor to her sewing room wall. I wanted it to be pretty and fun, but I also wanted it to be something she could take down and redo if she didn't want to live with it. And I knew that I would have to do it on the cheap. Otherwise, even if she hated it, she would never change a thing. She's a sweet mom like that.

With that said, I set myself a $5 budget and started brainstorming ideas to take her bare wall and turn it into something that would make her smile.

I started in my pantry. It seems a little unconventional, but you just might have some great tools to transform that blank wall in your playroom/study/sewing nook in there. For me, it was three jars. What? There's only two in this picture? The other one was filled with some pretty fantastic didn't last long enough for its beauty shot.
Then I made a trip to Goodwill. I tell ya, it's feast or famine in that place. But one thing they always have plenty of is frames. I picked up these matching (read: awful) frames for a $1 each. I don't know what material they were made of, but it wasn't wood.

A little Rustoleum's heirloom white spray paint later, followed by some distressing with my sanding sponge and they were good as new. I filled them with vintage sewing patterns that I found online and printed off.

Spray paint does wonders.

The lighting in these pictures is awful. So please excuse the fuzziness and yellow-tint. I tried!

I stopped at my local crafts store and picked up three embroidery hoops and floss, as well as two coordinating fabrics. It was all on sale and cost me around $3 and change.

Don't be scared away from embroidery. This was my very first ever hand-embroidering project and it was a cinch. I knocked it out in about an hour in front of the TV one night.

But freehanding the entire thing was a little intimidating to me so I printed off an enlarged letter "M" in a font that fitted the style I wanted (and would be easy for me to follow). Then I placed it underneath my muslin fabric and put it on top of my bedside lampshade. The light made the "M" shine through the fabric so I could lightly trace it with pencil. Then I just followed my pattern. The starbursts are simple straight lines in a circle. You could trace these beforehand if it makes you nervous. Knots are an easy idea as well, and end up looking like dots. Keep in mind that sets of three will likely look most appealing.

See my imperfect lines? No matter, I think it turned out great anyway.

One thing I do recommend is using an embroidery needle. I totally forgot about it until I was desperately trying to thread the floss through my ordinary sewing needle. I kept telling my husband, "If I could have asked Mom about this, I wouldn't be having this problem!" She's my sewing guru and thinks of everything.

Wondering where those jars of garlic, baby food and oh-so delicious queso come into play? I had these three ribbons on hand already, as well as super glue, a white shelf and some silver metallic paint. Use what you've got on hand. I couldn't even find a paintbrush so I painted by dipping a soft paper towel into the paint and wiping it on the lids. So barbaric, I know. After the paint had dried, I super glued the ribbon and rick rack to the edge of the lids. Then I raided Mom's incredible stash of notions, bobbins and lifetime supply of buttons to add some color.

The finished product. Not bad for $5.

(And don't worry, I did get her another present as that cost more than $5, I promise!)

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  1. Wonderful projects....I especially love the framed picture!
    Happy day!

  2. I love vintage sewing patterns. I didn't know I could print some on-line. I am going to check this out, thanks.

  3. So glad you girls enjoyed these ideas!

  4. That is an amazing $5 redo. Loving your framed sewing pattern. :-)

  5. Such a cute wall. I love those vintage patterns in the frames!


  6. Oh, I love the vintage patterns!!! Can you share the websight you found those on? You done really well on 5 bucks

  7. Thanks, Norma! Truthfully, I don't remember! I simply did a Google image search and shuffled through until I found two that matched the color scheme and look I was going for. Just be sure that you read the copyright protection on the websites you choose from. Most likely, if you're just using it for personal use in your home, it's fine. But if you decided to use these for a craft that you sell, etc. you'd want to make sure the copyright usage is set up for that. Hope you find one you love!

  8. I love the artwork you chose for the frames!! Great re-do! :)

  9. Oh my goodness, I thought I was the only one who used baby food jars for decorating! So nice to see how frugal AND creative your sense of decorating is. I absolutely LOVE the "M" embroidery hoop too. So cute!

  10. What a sweet thing to do for your mom! I love that you framed those old patterns. I have some old patterns of my mom's that I could frame for my craft room (that doesn't exist yet) :)
    Thanks so much for linking up to my party!


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