Thursday, August 25, 2016

Decorate for Four Holidays with Two Pillows

I probably shouldn't admit this, but having a couple of new throw pillows ready for each of the next four holidays has given me a little peace of mind.  Creating them could not have been much easier, and now I know my home will feel a little cozier... the days leading up to Halloween...

and Thanksgiving...

and Christmas...

and Valentine's Day.

A convenient aspect of this project is that these "eight" pillows are actually only two pillow inserts and four pillow covers, each with one holiday's image on one side and another holiday's image on the back.  After Halloween I can flip those pillows to show the Thanksgiving images.  I'll change the covers for Christmas and then flip them again for Valentine's Day.

The process for creating these pillows was fairly simple.

1.  Shopping - The Ikea Vigdis covers are $7 each at Ikea, and I bought two more, already having two on hand.  I also had the two 20"X20" down pillow inserts already (they came in pillows with removable covers that I bought years ago at Home Goods).  I purchased the printable iron-on transfer paper at Jo-Ann.  The pack of 10 sheets was $9.99, and I used a 40% off coupon.

2. Etsy - My shopping continued online as I scoured Etsy for "vintage digital images" for each holiday.  The ones I purchased ranged in price from $1 to $3.50 (most were closer to $1). This took a while, mainly because I love all those old graphics and savored the fun! 

Contact me with a comment or email me at if you would like the Etsy sellers' information or links to the specific images for purchase.

3. Preparing the Images and Printing - When I bought the images, I requested that the sellers reverse them for me.  I forgot to do that for a few, though, and flipped them myself in Lightroom after I downloaded them (in Develop select "Flip Horizontal" from Photo).  This is especially important for graphics with text so they don't come out backwards on the final product. 

Then in Print I selected "Maximize Size" as the template in order to fill the transfer paper as completely as possible with the images.  Most of that work can also be done in other programs like Word, but I found those choices in Lightroom to be especially quick and effective.  

I printed each image individually on a sheet of the transfer paper.  The preparation of the images and the prospect of printer difficulties are probably what kept me from jumping into this project long ago, but that whole process went remarkably well.

4. Ironing - To adhere the images I followed the transfer paper directions.  I did the ironing on our butcher block island with a couple thin towels on it (the package said not to use an ironing board--too soft?).  I put a cookie sheet inside the pillow covers when ironing each one's second image to be sure I didn't melt the first one on the other side. Again, this process went very smoothly, and after an hour or so of ironing, I had all four (eight?) covers complete.

My kids enjoyed watching the final reveal of each pillow as I removed the transfer paper backing and couldn't resist helping to peel a couple off themselves.  They immediately suggested making some pillows for spring...with bunnies...and leprechauns...and what about summer? I can't blame them. This project was really fun and does have me considering a whole year's worth of designs!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Large Scale Wall Art: Patent Drawing Engineering Prints

Large scale wall art tends to come with a large scale price tag, so I was pleased to find an affordable and visually satisfying solution for our two-story living room.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Four Chairs

Since we have a somewhat traditional family room with a sectional couch, fireplace, and our TV, our living room inspired me as a space where we could have a little fun.  We could determine how we wanted it to function and forego the standard couch and chair or couch and loveseat type arrangements.  We could get a couple of settees, or a chaise lounge, or...what else?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Photo Ledges


With backsplash, shoe molding, and other projects dragging on a bit, Mike and I felt ready for some quick wins, some improvements that would provide significant impact and satisfaction with relatively small time and financial commitments.

The main one we chose to veer toward for a bit recently was photo ledges for our family room.

Monday, February 15, 2016

February Progress - London Grey Countertops!

In our kitchen we have new countertops!  However, I can't decide on a backsplash, so it's still not much to look at out there.

February Progress

In case you are curious, though, the counter is quartz, London Grey by Caesarstone.  We bought it from Ikea for a couple of reasons.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Doll Clothes Wardrobe

Along with a new hardwood floor, the kids' playroom will be getting the addition of a new doll clothes wardrobe.  Unlike the flooring, this improvement only cost us $6.99.

Doll Closet-2 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Man v. Floor

1/366 Man v. Floor

Mike spent the first day of 2016 installing the last of the hardwood flooring to go on our main floor.   Starting this year by checking a major project off of our home improvement list and seeing a significant transformation complete makes me optimistic about 2016.