Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My $25 Piano

I’m taking a little brake from curtain week today to tell you about an AMAZING DEAL I got a few months ago!  (This one is for you Tracy!!)

Until recently I have never owned a real piano.  For the last 12 years I have had this beautiful little electric piano (and just pretend you don’t see my new piano in the background).


Now this little electric piano has been SO WONDERFUL over the past 12 years.  It was more than just a keyboard—it really was like a mini piano—but it was light weight and easy to move around when we were moving from place to place and had lots of cool features.  I LOVED this thing.  I even made this little cover for it so it wouldn’t get dusty.


But as my family is getting older and we aren’t planning on moving houses again, And our piano teacher was telling us that we really needed something with weighted keys—we decided it was time to look for a real piano.

After weeks of searching on craigslist I found this piano listed for $150!!!


After looking on line forever—I knew this was a good deal.  So we marched on over and bought it.

After it sat in our home for a few weeks we had it tuned and the tuner guy couldn’t believe how much I bought it for!  He told me it would have been a great deal if I had got it for double the price.  But at that price, it was a steal!

And then to make me even happier—I put my little electric piano on craigslist and sold it for $125!!!

So—that means that in the end I spent $25 on this little beauty!


And now with my own piano, I feel all grown up.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Sketchy Shower Curtains turned Living Room Curtains.

Continuing on my theme of “Curtain Week”—today I will tell you about my curtain selection for this room (picture courtesy of the previous owners before we moved in):


Right before we moved into our house I took a wonderful trip to Arizona with my sister, mother and some very dear friends.  It was the best girls weekend EVER.  We had so much fun.  And we did a lot of shopping.

Well, one of the stores that shopped at was Kirklands Home Store.  I have never shopped there before but I fell in love with practically everything in the store.  And I fell in love with this fun shower curtain.


I was looking for some fun curtains to hang in the living room/kids hang out room.  I saw these shower curtains for only $16.99 and new that I could make them into really cute curtains.  And that I could get 2 panels out of each one!  So I bought 3 panels for my 3 windows for a total of $50.97. 

The plan was brilliant—I would just cut each shower curtain in half and hem the raw edge and get some fun hooks and hang them up in my living room.  Easy Peasy.

Well, when I got home and opened up the packaging I knew I had a lot more work to do.  I have NEVER seen such poor quality of sewing in a ready made product.  I could hardly believe it—and HAD to take several pictures to document HOW BAD IT REALLY WAS.

So here are the photos for your viewing pleasure (look really closely at all the details—seam allowances, button holes, hems, etc.):






CRAZY right? 

And the crazy thing was that all three panels were all that way!

So I was now back in Washington and couldn’t return them.  And I still loved the fabric.  So I just started picking out all the seams and cutting off all the seams with button holes—till I was left with just the material.  And started from square one.

So I ended up just hemming them all the way around and forgetting the button holes.  Instead I hung them with little clips.  And I think they turned out MARVELOUSLY!  And here is what the room looks like now:


The only bummer about using a shower curtain is that they are shorter than other curtains (especially when you have to cut off an inch and a half of a lousy button hole job off the top!)  I would have loved for them to be floor length.  But I still love how they turned out!


And the fun print makes a big impact—as it is usually one of the first things people see as they come in our house.


I get asked all the time if I made these curtains.  And—because of all the ripping out of seams and cutting and trimming and pain in the neck work I had to do—I say HECK YA!  I did!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Master Bedroom Curtains—Adding Grommets

As always, I have so many projects I want to post about.  I thought this week I would focus my posts on some of the window treatments that I bought, made, and did major reconstructive surgery on.

We’ll start today in our Master Bedroom.

Our master bedroom has two enormous windows that let in a TON of sunlight (that is when the sun actually shines here in the northwest!).

This picture is right after we bought the house and were just starting renovations and painting.  This room needed a bunch of dry wall repair (after we took off all the shelving and other things that had been left attached to the walls), new window blinds, a new light fixture and a whole lot of paint.  I will give you all the before and after details in another post—today we are just going to talk about the curtains.


First of all—I just want to tell you that I bought 12 different sets of curtains that were eventually returned because they were either the wrong color (they didn’t match with our bedding), or they were not room darkening enough (we were waking up when the sun came up at 4 or 5 in the morning!) before we finally settled on these:

Eclipse Samara Blackout Energy-Efficient Curtain from Walmart

Eclipse Samara Blackout Energy-Efficient Curtain

My hubby and I are really happy with the quality and the price of these curtains ($9.77/panel!!!)  However, I was not in love with the rod pocket look—as I wanted to open and close them on a daily basis, and rod pockets can be awkward to open an close often. 

So I tried using curtain clips to hang them from the rod.  I obviously hadn’t ironed them yet when these pictures were taken.



I just wasn’t in love with this option either.  I had really wanted a curtain with grommets.  So I decided to see about adding my own grommets.

I found these DIY grommets at Joanns:

Dritz Curtain Grommets 1 9/16" Inner Diameter 8/Pkg Pewter 443-68

But they were $12.99 for 1 pack for the size that I needed.  And I needed 3 packs!  That would make double the price of these curtains!!!

I was bummed and had resigned myself to the fact that I would just have to live with them as is—until I saw that in Walmart’s Fabric section—they had these black plasitcy looking grommets for $5.99!


I didn’t want the cheap black plastic looking grommets—but I knew that I could fix them with my favorite spray paint that is made for plastic!

I have used this exact spray paint for more projects than I can count.  Here and here are just a couple of examples.

So the grommets come apart into two pieces—the front and the back.  Here all the fronts and backs got a makeover.


Next I used the template that comes with the grommets, and carefully measured and traced out where I wanted the grommets to go.

Then I simply just cut around my tracing lines.  Then I put the back grommet on the back of my fabric, and the front grommet on the front.  And then I pressed the pieces together and they snapped into place.  All my cut edges are neatly and securely encased inside of the grommets. 


Then I just repeat those steps 24 more times until all of my panels were done!

Then I gave them all a good pressing and hung them up.


Now they open and close easily and they look amazing.  And this spray paint is tough as nails.  Its not going anywhere.  We have been opening and closing them every day for months and I have yet to see any signs of wear. 


AND thanks to the miracles and wonders of SPRAY PAINT--this little transformation only cost me and additional $18 for the grommets instead of $40!


And that makes me happy.

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