Sew a Designer Custom Pillow: Ribbon Weaving in Home Decor

In the age of designer custom pillows, that isn’t as easy or an inexpensive option unless you can make them yourself.

Here is a project that allows you to create your own custom pillow with the designer look for a fraction of the expense.

You will also find it can be difficult to find the exact shade of a particular color to fit your personalized taste. Often times people settle for what they can find that will work instead of the color they really wanted. This project will let you use only the color of your choice in the exact shade you desire.

Directions are for two throw pillows approximately 16″ square. If you only need one cut the ribbon, fabric and trim in half. You will also use only one pillow form or half the batting.

Materials Needed:

  • Sewing machine
  • Needle and thread
  • Approx. 18 yards of ribbon (about 2 inches wide)
  • 1 yard cotton muslin (36″ X 36″)
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Batting or 2 pillow forms
  • Measuring tape
  • Optional-4 yards of trim

Preparation

  1. Cut the piece of muslin into quarters measuring 17″ x 17″ each.
  2. Measure the ribbon and cut it into 17″ strips.

Weaving

  1. Take one piece of muslin and lay it flat on a table.
  2. Take nine pieces of ribbon and lay them side by side on the piece of muslin running east to west.
  3. Pin the ends of the ribbon to the muslin on one side only.
  4. Take nine pieces of ribbon and lay them side by side on the same piece of muslin running north to south.
  5. Pin one end of the north to south ribbon.
  6. Fold back all of the north/south ribbon. (Note: You will have all of the east/west ribbon still laying across the surface of the muslin.)
  7. Take the first piece of north/south ribbon that is closest to the pinned end of the east/west ribbon and run the piece over and under each of the east/west ribbons.
  8. Pin the end.
  9. Take the next north/south ribbon and run it under and over opposite of the first piece. If you ran the first piece under then over, run this piece over then under.
  10. Pin the end.
  11. Repeat with the ribbon until you have filled the surface of the muslin.
  12. Follow steps 1 through 11 with the other three pieces of muslin and the remaining ribbon,

Assembly

  1. Sew each muslin piece all the way around on the sewing machine using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
  2. Remove pins.
  3. Take two of your muslin pieces and lay them with right sides facing.
  4. Pin all the way around the edges.
  5. Sew the edges leaving a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around leaving a 4″ opening for turning and stuffing.
  6. Turn the fabric right sides out.
  7. Stuff with batting or your pillow form
  8. Hand stitch the opening closed.

Trim

Trimming the pillow is optional. You can hand or machine sew on the trim around the edges. That’s it.

Options to Explore

When you get comfortable, try making different designs with your ribbon. You can alternate going over two, under one or tier the ribbon. Try using different sizes of ribbon or using different colors of ribbon on the same pillow.

Unique home decor – slate serving boards, but not for serving cheese!

So I’d like to start in on a series of blog posts where I can speak towards some unorthodox methods for home decoration. I feel as though pushing against the boundaries of the ordinary is important in order to facilitate progress among the clichés of home decoration. We all get so caught up in what’s accepted as good, what’s standard, what’s proven to look the best, that we stop innovating and pushing against the standards of the industry.

So in this post I want to talk about slate. Most people consider slate to be typically exterior resource. Roofs, walkways, garden walls. When slate is brought into the interior, it’s almost exclusively used for fairly standardized things that one would usually use stone for, like countertops.

Slate, however, doesn’t have to be an off putting, outdoorsy stone with no real decorative purpose. Sure, most of it is indeed just that, but not all of it. So before getting into my favorite uses, a bit of background would be helpful.

Slate is a metamorphic rock that is formed under extreme pressure and heat from sedimentary rocks. It occurs naturally in our world. It forms in many textures, which is great news for us, because we can make use of them for different purposes. My favorite for interior decoration is fine grain slate. Fine grain slate is smooth, has a small almost uniform texture over the primary portion of the plate. This means it easily matches its surroundings and can hold a variety of purpose better than other textures. However, if the need fits, I’m also quite fond of the wave texture, which is, as the name implies, wavy, or the Ribbon texture, which is a finer, straighter version of the wave. Each can be used to draw the eyes of someone toward a feature. A sort of “follow the line,” if you will.

 

As far as coloring, slate can be several variations of gray. There’s very little need, in my opinion, for the ugly ashen gray slate unless your needs are perfectly suited to a monotone and subdued gray. The slate I most prefer to work with is a perfect, rich, and deep black. The slate black is a rare color in decor, and thus offsets most other work in a most impressive way. It can be used to either highlight or complement other design decisions.

The black slate looks classy and elegant in certain settings, but can also be provide a rustic and/or modern look to a room. It’s a highly variable object that can be repurposed based on its surroundings, which is an indescribably invaluable tool for any home decorator.

Now, funnily enough, the slate I most often use is primarily purposed as a slate board for cheese. It’s even used in restaurants – I definitely see how they make interesting plates for your restaurant. That doesn’t change the fact that it’s the best I’ve found on the market, despite my repurposing of it. I buy nearly all my slate from Slateplate. That said, they do host some products for home and decoration purposes, like their tealight holdersand their Slate garden markers. But even the slate that they purpose toward food products work wonders as simple decorating items.

 

They can be used in the kitchen to hold hot serving platters, in bathrooms to raise tissue boxes, on hallway stands to highlight vases or other knick knacks. You can even have holes drilled into them in order to hang them on walls. They smooth and sand their slates to perfection, oil it accordingly, and they all contain that desirable jet black color that’s necessary for the decor portion. The lovely folks at Slateplate will also engrave nearly anything onto their slates, in any location on the slate, though typically in the bottom right unless otherwise specified. You can submit your own designs, words, and images, or simply choose from their stock selection. They’re non-stick and non-slip, so they work marvelously on any surface. Tables, counters, backs of toilets, carpet, anything really.

They, therefore, make wonderful gifts. I often get my friends’ initials engraved into the bottom corners and then suggest placements for the slates where the slate can host one of their most prized possessions. Anything from figurines to stand-up photo frames. The slate will complement nearly any setting.

 

But of course, even used for their intended purpose of food service, will liven up any kitchen. Simply serving or eating off of the slate makes any kitchen instantly more posh, and an absolute unique delight to dine in. Slate is simply perfect when you’re avoiding that florid overuse of decoration and simply trying to achieve that minimalistic subtle feel to any room.

Frugal cooking

Now everyone has a different idea of what frugal means. I will give my own version of it and go from there. Frugal to me is saving money on anything and everything possible to make sure that neither my children or I go without one necessity in life.

The biggest and most necessary change I had to make in my budget was for groceries. This included eating out. I couldn’t figure it out. I would make a list and go to the grocery store and come home with at least twice what I had planned on. Now, for a single mother of 4 to have to spend over $150.00 a week on groceries just wasn’t working. Not to mention the little stops off at the fast food drive-thru on the way home. It was killing me.

One day I sat down, my bills in hand and cried. I didn’t have enough money to make any of them.

So, the first thing I had to change was the way I bought groceries, then the way I used them.

I had the world at my fingertips and ran a search. I must have read and looked through one-hundred sites or more.

Each one I took a piece of advice from and moved on to the next. By the time my eyes and brain gave up I had an entire notebook filled with my new plan.

First I wrote out a month’s worth of meals, 30 breakfast, 30 lunch and 30 dinners. Next, I followed the advice off of a few sites and found out which recipe’s I had that I could cook in one day (referred to as once-a-month cooking) and made a new list. This list consisted of the name of the food item, the contents in which to make the food item and then the preparation and freezing of it. This list would not only save me time and money but health, no more fast food for us.

With my handy lists I started my grocery list. It looked a bit over-whelming but I made columns, A) Produce, B) Meats and so on. Then, once again, went to my computer and pulled up all of my grocery stores weekly ads. Beside each item on my grocery list I wrote the name of the store that had the item on sale. If it wasn’t on sale then I put the name of my local Save-a-lot store. Now if I had been a smart person I would have gathered coupons before my big shopping spree, but, that notion would come later. I didn’t waste much gas having to go to the different store, here in my home town they are all within a 5 mile radius of each other. I spent more time than normal in the grocery store that day (and yes some people looked at me strange because I was buying so much at one time) but my entire grocery list came to just a little more than I was spending on a week’s worth before that. So I was very excited.

Home I went with all of my groceries and a new outlook.

Then it came to putting these things away and start the cooking. This is where the kids came in the kitchen looking at me a little strange. I was in the kitchen until well after dinner time,cooking up a storm. It was a lot of work. Now even though it took quite a bit of work to get it all done I had just about an entire month off. Once a week I still had to stop by the grocery to get milk, but that was it. My menu (I had already planned out) was posted on the fridge, so each morning I took whatever we were having out of the freezer. Some mornings all it took was putting it into the crock pot and turning it on.

Now, a few months down the road on my frugal lifestyle, I have made a few changes to make the process easier for me. I think that is a person’s own trial and error. I expanded my frugality into other portions of my life and hope to add more as the month’s go on. I would not change this journey for anything. It is wonderful to take control over a bad situation in your life and turn it around and actually end up enjoying yourself.

Things to Consider Before Building or Remodeling Your Kitchen

Planning for a Beautiful Kitchen

 

Creating a beautiful kitchen to reflect your lifestyle is close to many hearts. The vast array of kitchen products and furnishings to choose from can make the whole process seem rather daunting. However, there is one thing that everyone is agreed on – that the most important part of buying a new kitchen is the planning. Here are some pointers to help you get started. With a bit of advance preparation, you and your local kitchen designer will be able to create your dream kitchen!

Functionality

Make sure you’re clear about what you want from your kitchen. Will you be entertaining there or simply cooking? If you will be entertaining, how many people will you want to seat? Do you have your heart set on a kitchen that can act as a focal point for the house? Think about what works well and what doesn’t in your current kitchen. Prepare a list of essentials – what do you really need to make your life easier? What other activities will take place in your kitchen? Will it be used for watching television, doing homework, paying bills, surfing the web or organising laundry? Do you want to keep your existing appliances? Finally, think about the traffic patterns in your house. Is the kitchen acting as a thoroughfare to the back door?

Fitted or free-standing?

Consider whether you want a fitted or a free-standing kitchen. Both have advantages and disadvantages. Fitted kitchens make the most of the available space, since awkward corners can be hidden and used for storage. You can choose flat-pack, rigid or custom-built to suit your needs. Fitted kitchens can also add value to your home, but you can’t take it with you when you move!

Alternatively, a free-standing kitchen offers an individual, informal look. All types of furniture can be used to create the perfect ambiance. When you move, you can take your furniture with you. Bear in mind that you have to choose your furniture carefully in order to create as much storage space as in a fitted kitchen.

 

 

Fashion and style

Is your preferred style contemporary or classic? If you’re not sure about what you want, visit your local kitchen designer to see what’s on offer. Do you want to incorporate the latest fashions? Colour and gloss are two of 2009’s strongest trends. Gloss continues to be popular in modern homes. Available in a wide range of colours, gloss units are highly reflective and bounce light all around, which makes them ideal for kitchens that don’t get much natural light, as long as you choose a light colour. If you yearn for a kitchen with a personal feel, pick a favourite colour and

choose units in a painted finish. For a beautiful bespoke look, units with a hand-painted finish are ideal. While door fronts for this style are normally in a traditional Shaker style, some flat-fronted designs are available which work well in modern homes. Whatever your preferred style, your local kitchen designer will be able to talk you through all the options and show you the latest products.

HGTV has a wonderful guide on their website, if you are interested in reading more, I reccomend you check them out here

5 ways to upgrade your Home Décor

Upscaling your old furniture and home décor is the new age term for renovation. Investing in all new furniture pieces and upholstery is very tedious in this time and age and that is why people who appreciate the value of available materials in their home are opting to reuse and upgrade their out dated home décor pieces. There are umpteen ways you can upgrade your home décor in the simplest ways possible. Let us count down on a few ways you can revamp your décor.

  • Changing the colour of your wooden furniture by painting over the existing paint that may be peeling off. You can jazz up these simple home décor elements by using colour instead of the same browns.
  • Transform storage boxes, shelves and drawers using decoupage paper and glue. If you have the crafting streak in you, you can easily get this easy home décor DIY done very easily.
  • Transform old shelves and broken drawers into slide-in and slide-out cabinets that can be accommodated under the bed. If you have a lot of empty space under your bed, these shelves can make for additional storage under the bed. Plus to add a funky element to the home décor, you can colour the shelves.
  • You can use things that are kept in your store room that are not used anymore to add interesting elements to your home. For instance, an old ladder can become a clothes rack when hung on the wall vertically. Another interesting home décor element can be to use old tires, paint and glue them together and attach a pillow on top to make a convenient sitting stool.
  • Use old trunks or big storage boxes to your advantage by painting them over and making them a coffee table in your living room.