Tag Archives: project

DIY Leather Clutch

DIY Leather Pouch Clutch I have the worst time trying to keep a purse clean. My purse is generally filled with crumbs, random medications and crumpled papers. And it seems that I never carry exactly what I need. Why is that?! Rules of physics?

After cleaning out my purse and accidentally throwing one of my favorite earrings away, I decided I need to get organized. Not only will this help me in my time of need, but it will help me to save money. I won’t buy 50 bottles of eyedrops because I have it on hand when I need it.

Here’s how I created this cute clutch to store band-aids, eyedrops and alcohol wipes for life’s little ouchies.

Here’s what you’ll need:
A piece of leather or faux leather (mine was 16 inches in length and 7.5 in width)
A threaded sewing machine or a thread and needle
A piece of chalk
Scissors
An alternate color leather
Fabric glue
A leather snap and a hammer

Cut your leather to size. Fold the leather up to create the pouch. I made my pouch 6 inches in length. Sew each side together, leaving the flap on top open on the sides. I then sewed the top edge to make a neater line. Take the chalk and trace an outline for the letters on the alternate color leather. Cut out each letter. Glue the letters to the bag. Let dry. Cut a hole for the snap in the middle of the bag using a pair of scissors or a knife. Hammer the leather snap into the leather on each side of the flap.

Instant purse organization! I feel like Wonder Woman some days.

love,
melanie

Knitted Baby Blanket

Knitted baby blanket We see too much perfect on the Internet. It’s all about being pinnable and having these amazingly beautiful and totally unrealistic lives. So, I’m going to tell ya’ll the story of how this cape came to be. It’s an ugly story with a pretty cute ending.

I was sitting in my office during my lunch break with the lights off. (It helps me relax.) I was knitting and listening to my Broadway station on Pandora. You know, reveling in my nerdiness. In an effort to change one of the songs (I just cannot bring myself to like Cats), I spilled black cherry tea on a baby blanket I was creating for a friend. It was one of those accidents that happen in slow motion. I let out a long “Noooooooo!!!” and maybe some cussing. I tried to dab out the stain, but there was no saving it. Or so I thought.

Thank God that I was taught as a kid that when you fall, just make it part of the dance. Really though, there are many home videos of me dancing in my childhood living room, falling and making it a killer addition to the dance. My Ninja Turtle slippers also added a touch of elegance, if I do say so myself.

So instead of being bummed about the stain in the baby blanket, I thought hey, let’s make lemons into lemonade. Or tea into tea dye. I don’t think that metaphor worked. But what I’m trying to say is… I tea dyed the blanket!

knit baby blanket detail Then I washed it and all the tea came out. Whomp. Whomp. What can I say, it all comes out in the wash. Regardless, I think it turned out pretty damn cute.

What disaster projects have you turned around? Let me know in the comments!

love,
melanie

A Faster Progression: Airstream Update

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How long does it take to get paint out of one’s hair? I still have paint in my hair from two weeks ago and I’m doubtful that it will ever come out. It took way more coats of paint to cover the walls than we expected. We had to use a primer, two base coats and a top coat to cover the icky, dated walls. But at least now the airstream now has a floor and painting is complete. We also installed a “real” toilet. No creepy camper potties for us! (TMI?) Anyway, what I’m trying to say is “we made some serious headway, people.”

If anyone is curious, we ended up using Kilz Premium as the primer, Valspar Contractor Finishes 2000 in Ultra White as the base coat and Valspar Paint and Primer in Ultra White as the top coat. We also put a coat of Kilz on the floor before we laid it to ensure the floor was sealed. If you can’t tell, I want the Airstream’s interior to be as bright white as possible.

Bed Build Progress Our budget is getting a little tight as we are progressing through this project. Flooring is expensive! We chose laminate flooring to keep the cost down and keep the airstream light in case we ever wanted to tow it. And again, we had to buy much more paint than I ever imagined. It can be cheap, fast or good, but it can’t be all three– is that how the saying goes? Le sigh.

bathroom in airstream We’ll definitely be reusing old lumber from previous projects and trolling Craigslist for free stuff. My friend already found us a 3/4 size fridge for $75 bucks on Craigslist and I’m hoping to score a few more steals! (Gabby, you are awesome!)

Does anyone have any tips for acquiring free fabric or lumber? I need both! Let’s hear them in the comments!

love,
melanie

Airstream Renovations: A Slow Progression

The past few weekends have been a whirlwind of work. I’m not complaining but, man, I could use a nap… or two… or five. Here’s the progress we’ve made on the airstream.

lights before and afterThis picture accurately describes the first weekend we worked on the airstream. The lights at the bottom of the picture are indicative of how dirty everything was. The lights at the top were thoroughly cleaned by moi! We had no clue that the inside of the airstream was covered in mildew and mold. I guess it was hard to look past the ugly blue carpet!

I scrubbed every square inch of the trailer with a bleach mixture while George demoed. I even used a toothbrush to get in the cracks! A perfectionist’s dream! We had no idea the extent of the mildew, so we ended up demoing a lot more of the inside than we had imagined to just get everything clean. More demo means more building we will have to do, but at least I’ll sleep safely knowing we won’t be living in a petri dish.

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after priming George cleaning out an old bee nest!

The weekend after the deep clean/demo, we primed! I think it already looks better with just a coat of primer on everything. What do you think?

Next weekend, we’re planning on painting the entire place a bright white. With such a small space, I think too much color on the walls would be overwhelming. And after seeing all that mold, I definitely want the place to look and be clean and bright.

There’s been a few obstacles, ahem, Mildew McMilderson, and our to-do list is a mile long, but we’re making progress. We won’t be moved in before I start my new job next week, but we’re figuring it out.

Living positive and living small,
love,
melanie