Life Inspired Link Party #4 + Home Depot and Martha Stewart Living Giveaway

It's that time again. Life Inspired link party #4, plus an awesome giveaway from the Home Depot and Martha Stewart Living! Before we get to that, check out some of my favorites from last week in no particular order.

And, if you're wondering what the rest of the girls have been up to this week, head on over to their blogs and check them out.
Balancing Home

So here's the deal! Martha Stewart Living at The Home Depot Pinterest Inspired Workshop

If you are in the New Jersey area this Thursday, August 1 The Home Depot and Martha Stewart Living are helping families get organized before the kids go back to school with a free in-store Workshop. Martha Stewart Living designer, Anduin Havens, will co-host the Pinterest-inspired Do-It-Herself Workshop at the Union/Vauxhall The Home Depot store where women will learn how to create a custom chore chart. The first 50 attendees will receive a July/August issue of Martha Stewart Living magazine signed by Martha Stewart!

The event is part of a series of free monthly Do-It-Herself Workshops aimed at helping women tackle popular home d├ęcor and design projects. This event is a sneak peek at the nationwide Home Depot Do-It-Herself Workshop presented by Martha Stewart Living that will take place August 15th at The Home Depot stores across the country. Attendees will leave the Workshop having learned how to select the right materials and tools for creating a chore chart and how to decorate and personalize their chore chart to be functional for their homes and families. Space is limited, so advance online registration is encouraged at workshops.homedepot.com.

If you aren't in the New Jersey area, there are still ways to join in on the fun! Join Martha Stewart Living and The Home Depot on August 1 at 8:00 PM EST where you can follow along and engage during the hour-long Twitter party by using the hashtag #DIHWorkshopBe sure to RSVP here if you plan to attend. 

In honor of the Pinterest Inspired Workshop we are giving away the following:
•   $50 The Home Depot Gift Card
•   Martha Stewart Living Silver Shimmer Glitter Project Paint
•   Martha Stewart Living Thundercloud Metallic Project Paint
•   Martha Stewart Living Gold Dust Glitter Project Paint

All you have to do is leave a comment in the Rafflecopter widget below (and you can earn some extra entries with some "likes" if you want). Contest ends 8/6 at 11:59pm EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now get to linking and grab a button! I can't wait to see what you come up with this week :)
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Trash Pile Tire Made Trendy Table Tutorial

It's time!  Time for the tire table tutorial. A lot of you know, I competed in Creating with the Stars back in March and this sucker sent me to round 2. It was a really great, busy, crazy, stressful, non-sleeping, couple of weeks. I'm thrilled I got to be a part of it (and talk to Sarah, Thrifty Decor Chick, WHAT!) but I think I'm still recovering. Now on with it.

On a run a week or so back, I passed a house in my neighborhood with 6, count 'em 6, old tires on the curb (Where you at HOA??). My slightly hoarderish brain immediately tried to think of projects I could use them for. Alas, as Beyonce blasted in my ears, I thought of nothing and ran past. Fast forward a few days to when the Creating with the Stars announcement was made and I learned theme one was Upcycle (and that Sarah was going to be my partner!). In the midst of picking my jaw back up off the floor, I remember those grimy tires. Early Saturday morning, still bra-less and in my PJs, I drove to that house and hurled the one tire that was left into the back of my car. Let's hope the morning fog prevented most from seeing that. Don't be fooled, though the kids look excited, they are confused as to why mommy threw garbage in the car.

As the tire lay in my garage, it dawned on me that it was the perfect size/shape for a side table. 24" round. Just needed some legs and some (a boat load of) prettying up.  Here's what I did.

  • Old tire - Mine still had the rim... it will still work if it doesn't.
  • Plywood - One circle for the base and one for the top. My plywood is 1/2" thick.
  • Legs - Get creative! I used wood but you could use an upside down flower pot, metal, or buy pre-made legs from Ikea. This tutorial will show you how to make wood legs.
  • Rope - to disguise the tire. I used 350 feet (yikes!) of 1/4" sisal and manila rope sold in little bags at Home Depot.
  • Glue/Screws/hardware to attach the legs - This will vary depending on what legs you get.
  • Construction Adhesive - To glue the tire to the base and the rope to the tire. I used Liquid Nails.
  • Basic tools - This will vary depending on what your base is made from. I used a jig saw to cut the circles. A chop saw, table saw, and jig saw the cut the legs. Drill to attach the legs.
Step 1
Scrub your tire.
Chances are it's going to be really grimy. Give it a scrub with some dish soap to cut the grease.  This will also help your adhesive stick better. Let it dry.

Step 2
Cut out two plywood circles.
First circle should fit in the center of your tire to make a flat surface to form the table top.  I measured, then nailed a piece of string into the center of my plywood, attached a pencil, and drew the circle.  I had to sand the edges of the circle here and there to make it fit in the tire.
The second circle is the base that the tire will sit on.  Trace your tire and cut the circle one or two inches smaller than that.
I bribed the hubs with lunch so he would cut them out for me. :)

Step 3
Cut out some legs.
Since this table will be replacing another (ugly) table in my living room, I measured the height of that existing table.  It was 20". The tire is 9" high, so I needed 11" legs. Side tables vary in height though. They should work well with the seating they will be next to. So measure your tire and then figure out how high you need your legs.

I must confess, my husband came up with the idea of using the rocker slats from our rocking octopus, cut in half, for the legs.
Since I didn't want to destroy the octopus (poor Ollie!), we took them off, traced them onto some scrap pine from the garage, and cut them out. If you don't have rocking octopus legs to trace :) rectangles would be fine!

Cut out.
Cut in half and sand smooth.

Step 4
Assemble the legs.
Take your larger base circle and arrange the legs equally spaced around the perimeter. To make the table a little more sturdy, I cut some small blocks from the scrap pine to use as supports for the legs. I glued the blocks to the legs with wood glue and clamped overnight. Once they were dry, I glued them to the wood circle, attached L brackets, and put a screw in through the top of the wood.

At this point I stained the legs and the rim of the base circle.  However, they didn't turn out that great.  I'll fix that in a minute.

Step 5.
Glue tire to base.
Once the legs are secure and dry, flip the base over, apply generous blobs of construction adhesive, and set your tire in the center.

Step 6.
Glue smaller circle to top of tire.
The smaller circle should fit slightly inside the inner curve of the tire so when it's in place, the whole surface is flat... or close to flat. Since my tire has the rim, I just glued to that.

Step 7.
Glue rope to tire.
Attention: hot glue does not stick to tires just incase you were considering it. :) I tried... no go. Stick with the liquid nails. Bonus: Liquid nails is the same color as rope. Some of it bled through. You can't even tell. Turn the table over, start around the base, and work your way to the top of the table.
Keep going! Once you get around the lip it's easier if you flip it back over. I used a combination of sisal rope (the lighter color) and natural manila rope (the dark color). Both are sold in 50' sections at Home Depot.
Once you get to the top rim it gets tricky.  The rope kept wanting to pop off so I had to keep it taped down with painter's tape as I went until the adhesive dried.
Then, when I hit the plywood, I switched to hot glue.  Much easier! (Does anyone else have toys mixed in with their projects?)

Step 8
Paint the legs.
Remember how the stain on the legs came out kind of meh?  Sarah from Thrifty Decor Chick had the great idea to "dip" them.  Basically, I painted the bottom half of the legs bright citrus yellow. Not meh anymore! I think this is my favorite part of the whole thing.
And that's it. You can put the rope down. You're done. I can't wait to have people over and see if anyone knows it's an upcycled tire!
My staging assistant. ; )
And so you know how CRAZY hectic Creating with the Stars weeks are with a 9-5 job and 2 kids... here's a lovely shot I took of myself, gluing rope to a tire at midnight while the rest of the family snoozed. Enjoy.


Life Inspired Link Party #3

It's that time. Life Inspired link party #3, open for business. Thanks for coming. Last week was fab-u-lous! You guys impress me so much. Check out a few of my favorites in no particular order.

And, if you're wondering what the rest of the girls have been up to this week, head on over to their blogs and check them out.

Now get to linking and grab a button! Now that this party is rolling, I can't wait to see what you come up with this week :)

Grab a button.
Grab button for Life Inspired        
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How to Make Pocket Top Curtains

How to make pocket top curtains. I finally did it! I finished the curtains for our bedroom only 1 year after deciding to make curtains for the bedroom. haha Longest. Project. Ever.

You see, our bedroom in this rental has blinds. And, knowing this place is temporary, I'm cool with blinds only (no matter how much they reminded me of my college apartment). However, my husband is the lightest sleeper on earth. Some how, each morning, soft light comes through the blinds, pierces through his paper-thin eye lids like laser beams, scorching his retinas, and waking him up at the crack of dawn. The kids are so used to seeing him sleep with a pillow on his face that they "play daddy" by putting pillows on their faces. I, on the other hand, could sleep on the face of the sun. :)

But, I do really like the look of curtains and would like to see the hubs get a good night's sleep one of these days, so I finally made some. Originally I was going to do grommet-top curtains but decided later to keep them pocket top. I don't know... is grommet-top going out? I'm still on the fence about that, and might add the grommets, but for now, this is how to make pocket top curtains.

  • Fabric - Lots. This will vary depending on the height and width of your window, but in general, you will need lots. At least 3 yards for one panel.
  • Sewing machine - unless you're crazy and want to sew this by hand
  • Pins, thread, scissors, measuring tape - all the regular sewing stuff

I bought 2 fabrics to make these curtains. The first was the vibrant blue paisley. But after taking it home, I realized it wasn't really wide enough for the window. That's when I decided to look for a contrasting fabric for bands on either side. This, mind you, took months. Finding not 1, but 2 fabrics I liked for the curtains. Plus, I'm cheap so they both had to be less than $10/yard. Yay Joann's clearance + coupons!

Step 1
I made a little doodle on my kids' easel. There was already a curtain rod in the wall from the previous tenant, so I measured from the curtain rod to the floor. That was 99". Then I added 2" at the bottom for the hem, and 4" at the top for the pocket. Total length, 105". (If you have a really beefy rod, you might need a slightly larger pocket).

Step 2
Find a huge area and cut all your fabric to the length you just figured out. If you're having trouble cutting such large pieces of fabric straight, try using a laser level. I used it on my duvet cover project. Works great.

I cut my contrasting fabric like this. Larger band for the outside of the curtains and a thinner one for the inside of the panels (or the middle of the window). This fabric is doubled up. So there are two thin bands and two thick bands to make two finished curtain panels.

Step 3
If you're making contrasting bands like me, lay them on top of the center fabric, right sides together, lining up the outer edges. Then pin like crazy. If you don't have any contrasting fabric, ignore me :) and skip way ahead.

Step 4
Stitch seams.
I sewed my fabrics together with about a 1/2" seam allowance.

But then it did this on the back.

So I tightened up my tension. I just tightened a little and sewed a little and kept checking the back until my seem looked tight and normal again.

Tada! Yup, that's what that wheel is for.

I also zigzag stitched my seems after sewing them to help prevent fraying since I don't own a serger.

Step 5
Iron your seams.
I folded the flap on the back towards the paisley fabric and ironed it flat that way.

Really, take the time to iron. Look how much better it looks.

Step 6
Top stitch.
Now sew a straight stitch on the front of your curtain, just to the side of your seam. Make sure you're sewing on the side that you ironed the back flap to. This will make your seem lay flat, be stronger, and look fancy pants. :) And if you're counting, yes, you will have sewed each seam a total of 3 times when you're done.
Nice top stitch.

Step 7
Sew side hems.
Take the raw sides of your curtain panels, fold them in towards the back about 1/4" (or as small as you can get it), then fold them over again about 1/2". You're just hiding the raw edges. Then sew close to where you folded. Here's a little drawing to try and clear that up. You're folds won't be that big, I just wanted you to be able to see them in my stellar drawing there. ;) And, I didn't iron this until after I sewed.

Step 8
Sew your pocket and hem.
This is exactly like step 7, except at the top and bottoms. For the top pocket, fold your fabric over however large you want your pocket to be. So, I folded my raw end under, then folded again 4" down. Then sew really close to where you folded. Do the hem the same way at the bottom and you're done!
Notice the DIY Herringbone Metallic Artwork getting some air time in these pics :)
I love how much softer the bedroom looks now (and how much darker it is in the mornings). I looks like a lot of steps, but it's really not hard. So if you're just not finding the curtains you like for a price you're willing to pay, consider making your own.