Pressed Baby Clothes = Laundry Art

Our recently remodeled laundry room is almost a square, with cabinets on either side of the door.  This arrangement left a blank wall directly ahead, desperately screaming for something colorful.

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I briefly hung a custom flag there, but decided it worked better in the hall, so the wall was empty again.

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While getting the Halloween decorations out of our crawl space storage, I also rummaged through bins of the boys’ baby clothes.  I pulled out the baby blue two piece outfit they both came home from the hospital in and another favorite I forced them to wear.  I’m not really one for theme-y decor, but the tiny clothes were far too cute to continue to hide away in storage.  Fortunately, baby clothes are small and fit into a couple of 16 by 20 inch frames I had on hand.

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After ironing the clothes flat, I carefully laid the clothes face down on the glass.  For a bit more color, I backed the clothes with a piece of green mat board before securing the bulging backs in place.

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They’re certainly not perfect, but I adore the little details.

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Itty bitty pockets!  Mini arms that can’t reach the head!

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As usual, I’ve fallen victim to the ‘if you give a mouse a cookie’ syndrome, and am planning more art.  Near the garage door, I snagged a 20 by 30 inch American Bison screen print from Wolf Jaw Press.

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A frame is still to come.  Oddly enough, the cello sleeve and tape aren’t cutting it, but he sure is a handsome fella.

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In the guest room, I’m still on the hunt for a pair (matching or not) of proportionately sized dressers to flank the bed.  Until then, I’m propping a random, rotating display of art on the dresser.

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Poor, poor blank room.  Still, I’m happy to give things time to naturally come together.

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Same goes for the theater room, though I do have a single piece of art to go directly ahead.

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Tom Selleck, one of Ben’s favorite cowboy actors and the handsome guy he is, will greet our tv watchers.tom-selleck-print

Just as soon as I make a walnut frame, thanks to the odd, custom size.  I’ve also been dreaming of the beautiful art from Linton Art.  I especially love the gigantic, detailed, graphic look of the Locust Tree to fill the large, empty walls of the theater room.

It’d be a simple, yet striking contrast against the deep green walls.  Any artful additions going on in your home?

Railroad Spike Coat Rack

Our entry isn’t huge, roughly eight by four and a half feet, but it is very nice to have a separate designated space.  With the door slightly off-center, there’s a sliver of wall with a box shelf to keep keys, sunglasses, and other necessities close by with a stool tucked below.  Across, there’s a half wall, where the living room floor starts.  It’s an awkward little wall, with the stairs going up that turns into a strange polygon.

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Though we have an entry closet at the top of the stairs, and our newly added mud nook right inside the garage door at the base of the stairs, those are areas mainly used by our family.

Build in a mini mudroom: https://ourhumbleabodeblog.com/2016/04/01/mud-nook/

I wanted a quick and easy drop spot for our guests to hang coats, purses, and backpacks close to the front door.  After a day visiting Ben’s dad at the ranch, I found some great items to turn into a unique coat rack.  I also came home with an old horseshoe and another turtle shell to hang above the art in the dining room.  Such a treasure trove of goodies!

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Anyway, back to the coat rack.  To start, I snagged a board of live edge wood along with a bunch of railroad spikes.

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After discussing my idea with Ben, he helped me make my idea a reality.  While I thoroughly looked at the board, I settled on the most character filled three feet and cut it to size.  At three feet wide, I wanted to space 5 spikes six inches apart, leaving six inches on either end.  Following the shape of the wood, I marked five dots while Ben used a steel cutting chop saw to cut the spikes to three inches.

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I didn’t want any visible attachment, so Ben drilled 3/4 inch holes, then used a rubber mallet to pound the spikes in.

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Who says you can’t jam a square peg in a round hole?

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The result is seamless, simple, and rustic-just the way I like it.

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Hanging was as easy as two screws through the wood, into the floor joist.

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Turning that little sliver into usable space should come in very handy this winter season, especially.

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Style wise, the simplicity blends seamlessly with the adjacent living room.

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The best part is that it took about 30 minutes, start to finish to make and hang.  I’m wondering if it’d be too much to make another to use as a towel rack.

Flags as Art

For a long time, I’ve admired the look of a big flag hung in a room to serve as art.  Doesn’t matter how simple or detailed the flag, I’m a sucker for the look.  Emily Henderson has two that show how great this large-scale art can be.  A vintage Red Cross flag above a sofa fills that large expanse without feeling overbearing.

In her current house, she has a simple blue and white stripe flag above a credenza.  Both designs are simple, two color styles that make a bold statement, without needing a frame.

Or, when framed, the flag becomes a piece big enough to anchor a bed, serving as a headboard.

Division Street

So I know flags as art isn’t a new thing, but I’ve recently added one to our home, with a twist.

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The lovely ladies behind Flagology recently asked me if I’d want to try a custom house flag, either outside or indoors.  A million options ran through my mind, designs, colors, even where I could hang it.

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With such a neutral laundry room, I thought it’d be fun to add large scale, colorful art in the mix.  At 28 inches wide by 40 inches tall, the size fills the end wall perfectly.  While I loved everything about it, I realized the light weight piece would work even better in the basement hall.

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Why does the weight matter so much on this wall?  Well, this wall is mostly a pocket door and essentially only drywall to hang anything on.

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So I found a section of wooden dowel, ran it through the top pocket, and added twine to hang the flag from.

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A thumb tack easily holds the flag in place, and doesn’t need heavy-duty hangers.

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Thanks to the thick, outdoor quality fabric, I don’t have to worry about mess hands, shoulder bumps (not to be confused with shoulder pads), or anything else damaging the flag.  That’s not something I can say about traditional frames with glass or even canvas paintings.

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Creating a custom flag was as simple as uploading a .jpeg file, clicking the mouse a few times, and done.  Knowing I wanted this to look a bit more like art than a traditional flag, I created a design based on a paint by number scene.  The Flagtastic fabric kept the greens of the mountains and trees vibrant to really liven up this dark little hallway.

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Now to get some more art on these walls!  I’ve had a special print waiting in the wings for that wall at the end of the hall.  Getting to the accessory stage is so much fun because that’s where the personality and life come into play.

If you like this idea, you’ll love that Flagology is giving one custom house flag or doormat to a lucky reader!  Just for our readers, Flagology is offering 20% off all custom flags and doormats (does not include Create4Me or accessories)-just enter the code OHA20 to redeem your deal.

This post was sponsored by Flagology, but all ideas, opinions, and photos are my own.  

A Simple Headboard

Sometimes it feels like we’re treading water on big projects-you know, doing a lot of work but easily goes unnoticed.  Wow, what an encouraging, uplifting way to start, huh?  You know what is uplifting?  Small, quick, straight forward projects to break up the longer, meatier ones we have going on.  With most of the basement wrapping up, we’re getting to the fun, really obvious changes stage of the game.  One of those changes was getting the Sleep Number mattress up and off the floor with a custom bed frame.

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Basic dimensional lumber, stain, and poly can come together to create a sleek, modern frame.  To create the base, we followed almost the exact same steps as our bed frame.

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It has held up well, costs about $100 in materials, and can be assembled in less than a day.  One noticeable difference is the headboard.  I love the splash of green in our bedroom, but wanted something warmer to contrast against the blue-gray in the basement.

 

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After debating a variety of wood designs, I went with the KISS method and kept it simple, stupid.

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Ben used 2 by 4 boards for a completely solid design.  I’m usually 100 percent opposed to the rounded edges of dimensional lumber, so we ran each board through the table saw before assembling.

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With boards prepped, we cut to length, lined each up on the garage floor, and screwed boards to the back, connecting the pieces together.  For a finished edge, we used more 2 by 4 material to create a frame to wrap the edges.

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These boards hide the edges as well as the vertical connecting pieces, leaving a 3/4 inch reveal.

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We now have a neutral base to layer anything and everything on and around.

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Pinstripe sheets, small plus sign pillow cases and a kilim throw pillow add a boost of pattern and playfulness to the room.

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Next step, new night stands to replace the single petite dresser that is standing in.

Games to Get Kids Outside

Summer means kids are home from school, likely telling you they’re boooored for the umpteenth time that day.  Of course the old stand bys work, and usually my kids are willing to shoot each other with water for hours.  Still, I wanted to switch things up by building a new game, corn hole.  Basically, it’s a much safer version of horseshoes, but with moveable boards.  A few friends came over and we built four sets in a few hours.  To make your own boards, you’ll need:

Three eight foot long 2 by 4 boards, cut four lengths each at 48, 21, and 11 inches long

Two sheets of 1/2 inch plywood cut to 24 by 48 inches

Four 1/2 inch diameter, 4 inch long bolts with washers and nuts

A drill with 3 1/2 inch long screws, as well as a 5/8 inch paddle bit

A jigsaw or 6 inch diameter hole saw

Outdoor fabric, a sewing machine, and dry corn or beans

Create the frame by laying the 48 and 21 inch boards in a rectangle, with the 21 inch sections between the long boards.  Drive two screws through the end of the long board, into the short section to attach together.

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Lay the plywood on top, lining it up with the edges, and secure either with screws or a pneumatic nailer.

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Mark 9 inches from the top and centered on the width to cut the hole.  If you happen to have a 6 inch diameter hole saw, line the center up with that mark and drill through.  Since we didn’t have a hole saw, I found a coffee can lid, poked a screw through the center, and drilled that slightly in at my center mark.  Then I traced around the lid, removed it, and drilled a hole near the edge to get the jigsaw in.  Ben has a steadier hand with the jigsaw, so he cut the holes out.

Next, it’s time to make the folding legs.  On each side, at the top of the board, measure 3 1/4 inches down from the frame top and centered on the 2 by 4 frame.  Do not include the 1/2 inch of plywood in your measurement.  Use the 5/8 inch paddle bit to punch a hole through the frame.  At the top of the 11 inch pieces, mark 1 3/4 inches down and centered on the width and drill through tat as well.

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To allow the leg to turn, you’ll have to cut the corners off, leaving about a half-inch to 3/4 of flat at the top.  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to look pretty, just allow the leg to easily fold in and out of the frame.  Once you’re happy with the movement, slide your washer on and tighten the nut.  For smoothness and longevity, we applied two coats of water based polyurethane to the top and sides.

The last step is creating eight tossing bags.  Use two different colors or fabrics, creating four of each kind.  If you want to sew with a half-inch margin, cut 7 1/2 inch squares, lay right sides together, and sew along three sides.  Fill each bag with just about 2 cups of corn (somewhere between 14 and 16 ounces is ideal) then sew the tops together.

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Lay the boards out on a flat(ish) surface 27 feet apart, from front edges.  I scoot the boards closer when kids play, so that’s dependant on their throwing distance.

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The legs allow easy removal of bags, but also allow the boards to store flat.

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It’s been a big hit with the boys and their friends.  Set up and take down is quick, so it can be pulled out whenever they want to play, but provides hours of competitive fun.  Which gives me plenty of time to vacuum and clean the house in peace and quiet.