The Hunt for the Perfect Yellow Pillow

Be warned, I’ve been on a bit of a home decorating kick the last few days. So I have a few random home décor posts that I will be writing and posting over the next week or so.  The first of which is about my hunt for the perfect yellow pillow.

Some of you may think I’m pretty lame for obsessing about a stupid pillow when there are more important things to talk about, like poverty, world peace and how David Beckham is incredibly hot.

I can’t help it though, something gets in my head and I just get totally fixated. In this case, I decided that my house needed a happy yellow pillow (or two). It couldn’t just be ANY yellow pillow though, it had to be the perfect yellow pillow.

I found a couple options online, but they were either not exactly what I wanted or way too expensive for a stupid pillow.

I was at the point when I thought a trip to the fabric store was in order. But then when I was walking through Target an angel choir started singing (and it wasn’t just the holiday decorations that they put out in early September):

They may be napkins, but they are PERFECT!

Yep, yellow napkins from Target. And the best part was that a four-pack was only $9.99! So I snapped those babies up and skipped down the aisle. No, I didn’t actually skip because I’m a grown up and typically behave well in public. I shook my booty a little, that’s all.

Anyways, since I’m sure you are just dying of curiosity on how I transformed these napkins into the pillows of my dreams I put together this lazy and half-assed tutorial.

How to Sew a Pillow Out of a Pack of Napkins:
Supplies needed: 4 pack of napkins ($10), bag o’ fluff ($8), sewing machine, pins, thread, and needle for hand sewing. Time needed: about an hour-ish, depending on how fast you are with the sewing machine and whether you need to replace the bobbin.*

Admire the pretty fabric. Decide that it’s kind of wrinkly so bust out the iron. Now a real professional gal would totally wash these before sewing them, but I skipped that part so that I could finish this project while Jack was taking a nap.

Flip the fabric so that the wrong side is out and pin it every so often to keep it from scooching around while sewing it. Make sure to put the pins horizontally, otherwise you will stab the crap out of your hand when you’re guiding the fabric through the machine.

Sew baby, sew! Remember to leave an opening big enough for your hand to fit through on one side.

When you finish sewing, take out all the pins and flip the pillows right side out to check out your handiwork. Oooh, empty pillow bags.

Grab your bag o’ stuffing and fill the pillows through your handy little hole you left (you DID leave a space, right?!). Fill them up more than you would think you’d want them to be, because they tend to squish down over time.

Last step, grab a needle and thread and sew up your access hole. You may want to go with a thread that matches the fabric, but I tend to like to finish in a contrasting color for funsies.

Yay, done! And it totally only took about 1/2 of a Jack nap time from start to finish (aka 1 hour or so). I love the finished pillows AND since I had most of the stuff on hand the project only cost me $18 total. So much better than the inspiration pillows I was drooling over.

Here’s the finished look, be prepared to oooh and ahhhh:

Yet another photo bomb by Potter. He kind of matches the couch though, so I’ll allow it.

Love it! Did you do any super quick projects over the long weekend? Have you ever found a pack of napkins that you just couldn’t resist sewing into pillows?

*About replacing the bobbin, I don’t know why but every single time I need to replace it I end up cursing up a storm and throwing stuff around the room. I can put together Ikea furniture in a ridiculous amount of time, but the stupid sewing machine kicks my butt!

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Meet my Ugly Green Bathroom

Since moving into our new house early this year, I’ve been attacking each room like a home décor wildebeest. We’ve painted a few rooms, purchased some new things and DIYed a bunch of stuff, but there is still a ton of work to do.

Today I want you to meet the ugliest room in my entire house (it’s worse than the stinky basement): my ugly green bathroom.

Anyone like green? You know you’re jealous — it’s like peeing inside a lumberjack’s shirt.

Wow. Just wow.

It’s so ugly.
And so green.
And I hate it.

I hate it with a white-hot passion… or maybe it should be green-hot? Either way. Not. A. Fan.

Through the nastiness, there are a couple things that aren’t so bad – there is a halfway decent looking floor and good space to work with. Oh, and it’s clean. That is a huge improvement over some other bathrooms we saw when we were looking at houses.

You have to admit, it is pretty hideous though. What’s funny is that my ugly green bathroom was actually done that way on purpose by the previous owners of my house. The teal green pedestal sink* is Kohler, as is the matching teal green toilet. In fact, the bathroom “designers” were so nice as to leave us a replacement toilet seat (still in the packaging). You know, in case we somehow broke ours and wanted to replace it with another teal green seat.

Oh and did you notice that the bathtub is also teal green, with an oh-so-attractive frosted sliding glass door?

Yeah. It’s a freaking forest in my bathroom.

As an added bonus, whenever you clean the toilet, the cleanser leaves a ghostly white film in the inside of the green bowl. So it’s ugly AND looks dirty… even when it’s clean.

Oh, the horrors!

You’ve probably come to the same conclusion that I did: rip it all out and burn it!

So that’s what we’re going to do. The first thing to go was the wallpaper. I am not a fan of wallpaper in general and this wallpaper seemed particularly offensive to my eyes.  Look closely – it’s a horrible plaid with khaki and hunter green. Yes, more green. What the heck is up with the all the green??? Did the previous owners have some sort of fetish about peeing in the great {plaid} outdoors?

Whatever. It’s gone. We had a friend remove all the wallpaper from the entire house back when we moved in. Also, as a temporary measure to make the bathroom a little less dreadful, I hung a shower curtain OVER the glass door. It was just an old curtain from our last house, so it was totally free to stick it up.

A teensy bit better with no wallpaper and a shower curtain.

The only other change we’ve made in the past 6 months is that I got rid of the matching green accessories. Oh yes, there was a matching toilet brush, holder AND a matching plastic trashcan. Apparently, when you go with teal/hunter/ugly ass green, you really GO WITH green!

Besides our little changes, my plan of attack has been to just avoid that room altogether. We don’t have a ton of extra money right now to totally gut the place. Originally we were just going to paint it a complimentary color and call it a day, but I decided that I just can’t live with that.

So now that our schedule has slowed down a little, it’s time to focus on the ugly green bathroom.

Ugly Green Bathroom To Do List:

  • Take down the icky glass doors.
  • Sand and paint the walls.
  • Replace the shower hardware with something of better quality, including a handheld shower head so I can wash Jack easily.
  • Remove the broken hooks on the back of the door and replace with pretty ones.
  • Remove the medicine cabinet/lighting fixture.
  • Remove the teal green toilet.
  • Remove the teal green pedestal sink.
  • Stalk the clearance center at Reico for a new vanity and sink.
  • Install new vanity and sink.
  • Possibly replace floor.
  • Buy and install new sink hardware.
  • Find a cute mirror and hang it over the sink.
  • Buy and install a new lighting fixture.
  • Buy and install a new toilet.
  • Put up new shower curtain.
  • Buy and put up new artwork.

That should do it. As much as I’d like to replace the ugly green tub, that is going to be a budget buster. I’ve looked into one of those bath cover systems, but they’re super expensive. I also thought about trying to just pop out the tub and put a new one in its place, but apparently that is only possible inside my head.

So, it looks like we have some bathroom fun coming up in our future.

While it’s nice to have a list of things I plan to do, it’s also a bit intimidating that there are so many things that have to be done. Oh and everything costs money too, so who knows how quickly this project will be completed. Maybe I should send out a tweet: Will Write for Bathroom Fixtures!

Have you done a partial bathroom renovation? If so, do you have any tips you’d like to share for saving money?

UPDATE: Apparently this post comes up a lot when people are searching for replacement Kohler toilets in green/teal… so I’ve gotten a bunch of emails over the years asking to purchase my toilet. Sorry guys, I got rid of the toilet in 2012!

*I googled the pedestal sink and toilet (which is how I found out they call the color “teal” instead of “ugly ass hunter green”) and they apparently were sold for $563.00 and $417.00!

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Summer Pinterest Challenge: Baby Bookshelves

Here is the original picture of the bookshelves/spice racks that inspired me.

I first talked about my love for Pinterest here when I shared “21 Suggestions for Success” by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. For anyone not familiar with the website, Pinterest is a virtual pinboard which allows you to organize and share stuff you find on the internet.

I started my account about a year ago and one of the very first things I pinned were these super cute and inexpensive baby bookshelves.

I was actually pregnant at the time, but wasn’t able to share it yet so I labeled the picture with “Ikea spice racks for book storage – only $4 each! Love this idea for a future kids room.” Sneaky, right?

Anyways, my favorite bloggers just launched the Summer version of their Pinterest challenge so I figured that this was the perfect time to finally work on those bookshelves!

My supplies — I actually got 10 of the bookshelves, but will use 4 for this area.

I stopped by my local Ikea (which is dangerously located about 5 minutes from my work) and picked up some Bekvam shelves. Since they were only $3.99 each and I have lots of baby books, I decided to buy some for both my living room AND Jack’s room. So I grabbed 10 of them and also a super cheap and plain little stool out of the clearance room (only $3!).

Jack’s Corner

One area of our living room is called “Jack’s Corner” and contains all his toys and books for the first floor of our house.

The three baskets of this shelf have his toys in there, so they look grown up but are still useful for the baby. As he gets older and starts crawling around, the higher shelves will be switched out with more kid friendly things. I thought that the blank wall under the window would be a perfect area for his new bookshelves.

Another view of the blank wall in Jack’s Corner

All 10 of the shelves are ready for painting.

So, first things first – I took all the pieces apart and spread them out for painting.

The wood was an unfinished pine, so I didn’t need to do any preparation at all. I had about half a can of leftover oil rubbed bronze Rustolium paint (not the spray kind, the little jar for brushing on), so I used that and did two coats on each side. Once it all dried (which took FOREVER in this heat and humidity), I put the shelves together and took them outside for a coat of matching spray paint to give it a nice finish.

While waiting for the shelf pieces to dry, I also took apart my little $3 stool.

The seat was kind of grungy, so I threw it in the sink with some soft scrub and left it to bleach out while I worked on the legs. For the stool legs, I branched out from my typical sparkly brown color and got a fun turquoise instead! It took about three coats to get a nice thick coverage with no white shining through.

Even though this little project was super simple, I do have a few tips if you want to do something similar:

  1. When using Rustolium paint, wear gloves! Rustolium paint is SUPER STICKY – especially when you use the kind in the jar. It is really hard to scrub off of your hands, so make your life easier by using gloves. As you can tell from the picture above, I was smart and used gloves when spraying the stool. Unfortunately, I forgot to wear them on my first coat of painting the shelves and currently have brown under most of my fingernails and on the front of my left leg.
  1. When using Rustolium paint, use disposable paint brushes! As I just mentioned, the paint is super dooper sticky. Last time I used it (on the patio furniture), I used disposable foam paint brushes. This time I used my favorite edging brush. {sad trombone horn sound} Yeah…my paintbrush is trash now. The paint is so darn sticky that when you try to wash it off it just makes a sticky mess everywhere. So, learn from my mistakes and use a brush that you’re planning to throw away.
  1. When painting on top of a table, an old painting sheet is NOT sufficient coverage. Yeah, I’m going to chalk this up to me being excited to complete the project while Jack was napping. Normally I would throw a piece of cardboard on top the table and then the sheet, this time I totally forgot. The top of my sunroom table is now an absolute mess, which would upset me if I hadn’t already planned on painting it. Now I need to add a step of sanding the top down before I start. BOO!

Okay, now that you’ve learned from my mistakes…here’s the finished product!

I love how the stool turned out with the snazzy turquoise legs. You can’t see it in the picture, but I have a few pops of turquoise throughout the room, so it totally works.

I’m also really loving the little bookshelf area — it gives that area of the room some color, in addition to being a nice little space where Jack can keep his books.

I still have 6 finished shelves left that I will most likely put in Jack’s room. However, I was thinking that they could also be handy by my sewing area (for jars of pins, thread, scissors, etc) or even in the bathroom (to hold magazines). So we’ll see where they end up!

Updated 7/10 — Want to see some other Pinterest Challenges? Check out the ones from Young House Love, Bower Power Blog, Centsational Girl and Ten June!

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