DIY French Burlap Storage Ottomans

November 30, 2012

It was love at first sight.  Ballard Designs had done it again.  I wanted their French burlap storage ottoman!

But at $279 {sigh} it was not meant to be.

I had burlap storage ottomans on the brain.

And the other side of this cube:

It was torture I tell you.

Then one day I saw this in my daughter's closet, filled with stuffed animals.

Gotta love the gray plastic wheels.

It was a great rolling storage bin for a baby's room. (Her theme was "The Cow Jumped Over the Moon.")  But it had seen it's day and I knew just what to do with it.

Since the top was a bit uneven I glued Dollar Tree rulers to each of the four sides at the top to make them more even and better suited to accept a lid.

I knew it would make my life easier later when I tried to upholster it.

Then I added batting all around the cube to try and make it appear uniform all the way around.

Then I did the same "wrap" with burlap.

Now I'm getting somewhere.  

I used individual nailhead trim tacks to keep the burlap in place.

Notice how I changed out those plastic wheels with some industrial style bronze casters?  Even little changes like that can really make a difference.

Much better.

Next I stenciled on the French text with black acrylic paint.  

Here's the first side.

Here's the second side.

  Gotta have at least one fleur-de-lis.

And now side number three.

 I know this side looks a little wonky since it's not perfectly straight, but I'm gonna go with the "imperfections equal character" motto here!

I thought the star added a nice touch.  But seriously, what's missing from this picture?

A nice bottle of wine.

I left the third side blank.  

The final task was to create the lid.  I used some foam we had lying around the house from a long-ago dining room chair reupholstery job.  It was a bit too thick so Mr. CBD sliced it in half. No easy task, but he managed it.  

Then I glued the foam to some particleboard to give the lid stability.

I cut the corners of the board at an angle so I wouldn't be left with rigid corners that might look funny under the burlap upholstery.  Then I swathed it in, you guessed it, batting.

Finally I covered the entire lid with burlap, stapling the underside as I went along.  It's nice to be gaining more confidence using the industrial sized stapler.  I would have loved to add some tufting but this girl can only do so much.

Overall I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Added bonus:  I can hide the mess store stuff in it!

Oh, and that perfectly sized square tray I put on top?  $2.99.  At Goodwill, of course.
I can see switching out the tray from time to time depending on my mood.

I'm guessing my French burlap storage ottoman cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of around $25.00 (probably less) to create.

Now that's more like it!

For some reason it took me F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to finish this project.  My family got sick of seeing parts of it strewn all over the house for weeks.  I'm  so glad it's finally done!

    Now I can sit back and enjoy the view.

I hope you've enjoyed reading about how I transformed that old storage cubby on wheels into something worthy of living room stature.  With Christmas rapidly approaching I can't say I'll actually have time to blog about my Christmas crafts and decor, but I sure will try!

 And if you're not already a follower I'd love it if you would follow me through Google Friends Connect in my right sidebar.  You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest -- those links are right at thte top of this blog.  The more the merrier! 


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DIY Christmas Gifts: Easy Peasy Lemon Sugar Scrub

November 24, 2012

Since I've done nothing by way of Christmas preparation yet I thought I'd share one of my favorite and most popular Christmas gift craft posts from last year. My Easy Peasy DIY Lemon Sugar Scrub.


Okay, so I've given you a hint or two about some homemade Christmas gifts I was working on (with the kids) to send to family and friends.  I'm finally getting around to sharing the details of one of them.  With Christmas rapidly approaching (and just coming off an awful 24-hour bug, on the heels of my son's 36-hour bug) I'll be somewhat sparse with the details, but feel free to e-mail me with any questions.

I got my inspiration from an old post by Under the Table and Dreaming

I changed it up a bit, but it's essentially the same.


2 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 oz. bottle scented essential oil (I used Lemon Verbena)
Half-pint Ball jars (or any jars of your choosing)

This recipe ended up filling 6 half-pint jars.  You can use more sugar and olive oil for more jars, mixing as you need to.  Also, feel free to add more olive oil if the mixture seems too, well, scrubby. 

Just mix the sugar and the olive oil, adding about 2/3 of the bottle of insert whatever scent you use here Lemon Verbena oil.  You really want it to smell good!  Lemon is one of my all-time favorite bath product fragrances.  Here it is mid-mix.

It'll look better in the jars, promise!

I used these darling jars I picked up at Wal-Mart.

And you want to include some type of spoon or scoop.  Here's what I used.

Can you guess where they're from?  Dollar Tree to the rescue once again.

The spoons came with these cute ice cream serving bowls.  Three bowl/spoon sets for $1.00.  Mr. CBD drilled some holes in the spoon handles and I tied them around  the outside of the package with jute.

And here they are wrapped for giving.  I rubber stamped "Lemon Hand Scrub" on premade tags.

I got the Merry Christmas label download  from eighteen25. (If they look familiar it's because I used the exact same ones for my homemade snow globe soaps last Christmas!) First I printed, then cut them out and glued them onto cardstock.  And for a little glitz I brushed them with Mod Podge and a sprinkling of glitter.  

And today they went out in the mail.  I just love getting packages at Christmas, don't you?


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YAK Apparel Giveaway Winner!

November 22, 2012

Thank you all for entering my YAK Apparel giveaway.
gray faux fur lined purple trapper hat with pom poms for women
We have a winner!

Karla Schmidt!

Congratulations, Karla. 
And Happy Thanksgiving to all.


I Won My Shabby Streamside Studio's Nate Berkus Book Giveaway!

November 19, 2012

The Things That Matter by Nate Berkus (Hardcover)

I don't know about you, but I've always loved Nate Berkus.  From the first time I saw him on Oprah, I don't know how many years ago. And I love Sandy Foster's blog, My Shabby Streamside Studio.  It embodies all that I find romantic and magical and serene.  Put the two together and what do you get? A fabulous book written by Nate that includes a chapter on Susan's ethereal cottage by the creek in upstate New York. And this girl was l.u.c.k.y. enough to win Sandy's giveaway of his book: The Things That Matter.  Thank you, Sandy!

I can see why Nate chose to include Sandy in his book.  If you're not familiar with My Shabby Streamside Studio you need to stop by for a visit.  Here's just a glimmer of what you'll find there.

{The following photos courtesy of My Shabby Streamside Studio:}

Her mountain hideaway is like a dream come true: surrounded by serene whites, drippy sparkly crystals and gossamer angel wings. A little heaven on earth.

I'm sure you've seen Nate in magazines and on t.v., including his own show.  I've always loved his down to earth personality and sense of humor.  Both qualities shine through loud and clear in this book.  It's Nate's story of personal loss and rebirth, as well a commentary on a diverse group of friends' unique and personal living spaces, as well as his own.

The book is written in such a way that Nate's true personal style becomes more apparent with each passing page. He shares his likes and dislikes about decorating, as well as what he admires about his friends' myriad decorating styles. I really mean it when I say that I had a hard time putting it down!

For Nate, it all boils down to, well, the things that matter. Buy the book to find out just what those things are. Enjoy his relaxed way of storytelling and the fabulous photos throughout.  You won't be disappointed.  I'm so glad I got a chance to read it.  I think this one's going to be on my coffee table for a long time.

My YAK Apparel winter hat giveaway ends tonight at midnight.

If you haven't already, don't forget to enter here.

Happy Thanksgiving all!


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Some Thanksgiving Chalkboard Ideas

November 15, 2012

Since my last post was about Thanksgiving printables I wanted to keep the holiday momentum going with a few words about giving thanks and chalkboards.

As for the first topic, I have so much to be thankful for.  I try to make it a point of saying thank you every day, but sometimes it gets hard.  Life can be difficult and messy.  We do the best we can.  But around this time of year the whole "attitude of gratitude" frame of mind is all around us.  And that's not such a bad thing.  It reminds us to slow down and take the time to actually count our blessings.  When was the last time you did that?

As for the second topic, you all know how much I love me some chalkboards!  And after seeing this beauty of a Thanksgiving chalkboard made by Vanessa over at Crafts Unleashed I just had to share it with you {and of course try to copy it}.

Vanessa's is a calendar of sorts, with thirty lines, one for each day of the month of November.  What a nice reminder to give daily thanks.

I originally tried to make stencils of her beautifully scripted letters but gave up after a bit of a struggle and decided to just wing it.  I've never been one for drawing freehand but I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out.

You might recognize the chalkboard as one that I made.  I also used it recently to add to my fall decor.

You can get my plexiglass chalkboard tutorial here.

One other Thanksgiving chalkboard idea I have to share is from Better Homes and Gardens.

You can find their video about it here.

Just so happens I already had the perfect homemade blackboard for this Thanksgiving centerpiece.  The ironstone pitcher was a Goodwill steal.  I love it!

You can use this as a real conversation starter.  I think it'd be cute to scatter some "I'm Thankful Cards" printables {you can get them here} around the table.  Your guests and family could then fill them out and share their thanks just as you all sit down for that Thanksgiving meal.  I always love hearing what my kids are thankful for.

  I thought this was kind of cool with the sun gleaming in behind the flowers which, by the way, were a gift from Mr. CBD.

So what are you thankful for?

Kids are home for a four day weekend, and only two days of school next week.  That means things will be crazy and I might not get another post in before Thanksgiving.  If I don't, I wish you all a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

And don't forget to enter my fashionista fur hat giveaway here!  Time is running out and the entries are still pretty low.  Good Luck.


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