DIY–The Nursery–A Vintage Modern Girl’s Nursery

October 1, 2012 07:01 by ehouston

As many of you know we have a 3 year-old little boy and just welcomed a sweet baby girl.  So now you know where I have been lately.  Our Little Guy has made the transition to a “Big Boy” room and at the same time he reluctantly gave up his nursery to his new little sis.  What that meant for me was a chance to girlie-up the décor of the nursery before her arrival.  For those of you that don’t remember, the room had been painted and decorated in blue, white and brown.  These colors were actually what I had used in my office at our old Nashville, TN home, so I could see them being used for a girl, but decided I wanted some softer touches and a new look. 


(The Little Guy’s space before softer shades took over.)


(The wall colors played well with his vintage globes and teddy bears.)


(As you can see most of the furniture is very simple and modern in design.)

Plus, after nearly three years of looking at all those circles I was ready to stare at something different for a while.

This project began like most of mine, lots of ideas and no budget.  Literally I was tasked with making something from nothing.  I decided the easiest way to neutralize the blue would be to tape off the center blue band along the walls and paint it out, which would also eliminate the circles and dots, but spare me the need to redo the entire room.  In our paint stash I had a can of Oops paint from Home Depot that appeared to be a really pale misty blue-green, which although it may sound masculine, had a softness to it that seemed feminine and perfect to me. 


(The furniture arrangement stayed the same- it’s the best layout for the space.)


Unfortunately after taking the time to add the first coat it became abundantly clear that the color was more sage green in the room’s lighting and against the dark brown of the lower band.  I was disappointed to say the least.  Not only because the color looked so drastically different on the walls, but that this was the second or third time I had made this mistake recently and I no longer had the time to start playing the “find the perfect color” game.  Originally I had intended to paint or stamp a pattern along the middle band, so in my mind I figured that might tone down the color, but no luck.  So, in the end I sucked it up and realized I could not waste any more time worrying about the color and I just needed to move forward and learn to love it.

It was a only a couple of days later, while rummaging through my fabric stash that I realized I had some pretty cute fabrics tucked away that could play well with the shade that ended up on the walls.  So, I set to making curtains, covering pillows and creating some unique artwork.  You can find more details about how I created the fabric pieces over at my sewing and craft site, Chic Tweaks


It was fun digging through my supplies to find vintage pieces to bring out and finally use and enjoy.


(Vintage fabric filled embroidery hoop art.)IMG_3110(Vintage Flower Pin Art.)


(Vintage Reproduction Fabric Quilt and Pillow Covers.)

Although, I am not a fan of making nurseries super gender specific I did have some favorite fabrics in a nice shade of pink that I thought I could make work with the otherwise neutral space.  Even though the furniture is all quite modern I feel like the reproduction fabric prints (from the 1920’s- 1940’s) fit in just fine without being too over the top and cutesy.

Just like in my son’s nursery, I personalized a wall mounted plaque with hooks by adding the new baby’s initials.


(Initial wall plaque from my son’s nursery.)


(The new version for our little girl, made with a patchwork of vintage fabrics.)

As you can see from the shots above, we kept the placement of the shelf above the dresser/changing table, along with all the teddy bears.  The bears were gifts from relatives to me and my brother when we were young.  Now they have been sitting watch over my little ones.  This time around I brought out a couple of the more girlie bears that didn’t seem right for my son’s nursery, but that I think our little girl will enjoy as she gets older.  My aunt also sent us my mother’s Madame Alexander doll, which she had been keeping for all these years (at the very end of the teddy bear shelf above).


The doll has been tucked in with the loyal teddies and I think goes well with a couple other vintage pieces in the space; namely the tan bear above which wears the dress my mom wore home from the hospital and the big brown bear who is wearing my mom’s Brownie Uniform from when she was just a girl.  It’s fun to see all these sweet vintage mementos coming out from the attic to be enjoyed all over again.  The little white rocker was a gift to my son from his Great Grandma and has since been confiscated back to his room.  Jealous?  Well, maybe just a bit.  ;o)  The sweet corduroy lion was my son’s gift to his baby sister.  He likes to make sure she has it where ever she goes.  So, I guess it’s not all hate around here.

I will admit to having trouble bringing all my ideas together in this space. I finally decided to add everything I had in mind and just go from there. That is how the space ended up with a mix of vintage and modern, both in furniture and fabrics.  Taking this attitude helped me find a better home for my sweet mounted butterfly picture from the ‘60’s, along with some metal flower hooks I have lugging around for years.



And, for a couple more fun elements I hung a framed alphabet picture that ties in with the flowery garden theme and I strung up several paper lanterns left over from my son’s “big boy” room to act as a mobile above the crib.  The lanterns were meant to be used for a shower (baby or bridal) and came with a bunch of paper butterflies to tape into place.  I used all 24 of the butterflies to add interest to just three of the circles and I think they work pretty well for a mobile*.  


(Garden Themed Alphabet Picture.)IMG_3111

When I originally set out to write this post we were still playing the waiting game and I was sure she would be late.  The pink frames are still awaiting shots of baby and grandparents and the hand-me-down toys and books are on high alert for their second chance at life outside the toy box.  However, we have already worked our way through several boxes of the stocked up diapers, the dresser that was stuffed to the brim with pink, ruffles and lace has already undergone a weeding out of the too-small newborn items.  After nearly two months of use I have to say that the look is growing on me just as fast as the closet is filling up with pretty little dresses all in a row.

Now, if I could just get some sleep…..

Kitsch Krafts

*For those of you wondering, no, the paper lanterns are not meant to be used as a mobile over a baby’s crib.  In order to avoid a possible choking hazard if the butterflies were to somehow fall off, I hung them at the bottom end of the crib.  This way, if something should come down it will land below my daughter’s feet, and she still has a great view as they twirl around.

PS – Here is the cost breakdown for you DIY nerds out there.

Many items were reused from the original nursery and/or my vintage stash. Here is the list of those items.

All furniture – bed, dresser, rocker, shelving, bookshelf, side table/stool and hamper

Bedding – quilt, bed skirt and bumper (not pictured) These items are pale blue on one side and white on the other.  I choose to feature the white side for both the quilt and bumper, when it was in place.  The bed skirt is neutral in brown and white.

Accessories – Lamp, Weather and Temperature Center Clock, Books and Toys, Teddy Bears, Wall Plaque with Hooks, Curtain Rod and Finials

Purchases, Creations and Additions:

Two Fitted Sheets- From Target                       $15.00/two with special purchase

     One is pink and green polka-dots and the other is a geometric pattern in pink.

Pink Frames – From Target                             $8.99/three

Paper Lantern Mobiles – From Party City          Free/leftover from Son’s room makeover

Flower Pin Art – Supplies from Hobby Lobby & Joann’s          $7.33 for the fabric and two pins

     The vintage pins were from my stash, along with the mini canvas boards and ribbon.

Embroidery Hoop Art – From Joann’s               $16.00 for the hoops

      All fabric was from my vintage stash.

ABC Art – Frame w/Matt from Target               $16.99

      Art was printed at home on cardstock I already owned.

Curtains, Pillow Covers and Quilt – From my stash             Free- Already owned all the fabric

Metal Flower Hooks – From my vintage stash                    Free

Initial Art on Wall Plaque – Fabric from my stash               Free

Wall Color – Oops Paint from Home Depot         $7.00/ gallon

Grand Total:                                                   $72.30

Not bad for a quick reworking of the original space and I think there is a lot of change in there for such a small amount of spending.  Tell me what you think.  I’d love to hear from you guys.

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DIY– A “Big Boy” Bedroom–Getting Started

April 16, 2012 09:02 by ehouston

If you are just popping in for the first time around here I will let you in on a little secret, we are expecting baby number two in July and I am just about killing myself to transition my 2.5 year old out of the nursery before that time comes.  I had already planned to update our guest bathroom during the first quarter of this year, along with our kitchen.  Unfortunately the looming due date made for a tough reno and pushed back any work on the kitchen until probably some time next year.  Wah-wuh…  In the meantime I am still working at full throttle, well as full as my big belly and lack of decent energy will allow, to get the “big boy” room together and the nursery girlied up a bit!

This post is really to let you know where we began in the process and of course to drum up any sympathy possible for my tired, aching bones.  ;o)  Being older and pregnant really kicks your butt!  So, without further ado here is the room we started with…


This lavender and cream boudoir boasts a lavish (and I’m sure early ‘90’s Waverly) floral border worked into a faux “tray” style ceiling detail.  Meaning the lavender was also painted along the edge of the ceiling and another portion of the floral border was laid along the edge of that painted line and around the ceiling.  Ooooh, lovely!  Actually, in all fairness I’m sure this was a nice look at the time and I am also sure the original owners spent some cash to have this treatment done to create this effect.  Let’s just say, it’s really not for us…especially the little boy who is about to move into the space.


Not only did this room serve as extra sleeping space for our guests, but the wall opposite the king sized bed housed my sewing and craft nook. 


You can also see the edge of the door to the little walk-in closet, known as the fabric stockyard, in the shot above.  I will fully admit this room was decorated with whatever I had on hand that I felt could make it work for the time being. In decorating the space I felt more than a little trapped by the color scheme and floral details.

Heck, even the curtain rods had gingko leaves on the ends, which are nice, but still not the look I was going for in the space.


The headboard consisted of a large piece of foam, originally purchased to create cushions for another nixed project, covered in a vintage dotted coverlet.  The large patterned barkcloth pillows, bed skirt and curtains were all vintage finds that seem to always get pulled out whenever I had a room that needs something to pull it together on zero budget.  I used extra pillows covered in vintage hand-embroidered pillow cases and another vintage coverlet to finish off an admittedly very out of character feminine look.  The side table, another vintage find, was topped with miscellaneous craft/sewing room décor from previous houses, a clock radio and some family photos.


On the other side I stored my dress form, covered in vintage clothes.


Over time, some of my creations ended up being pinned up on the walls, not only to keep them from being damaged while awaiting a buyer from my Etsy Shop, but also for my enjoyment until they left for a new home.  This room would be perfectly straightened up, as evidenced by these photos, for all of about 20 minutes before a new idea would hit and I would have piles of fabric and supplies chaotically strewn across every inch of useable bed, desk and floor space.  I enjoyed using this room, as did several guests, but it was time for a change that the Little Guy was anxiously awaiting.


Over the course of the last few months I had tested the border to see how “stuck” it really was and just like the guest bathroom wallpaper, it came down easily and within minutes.  The Mister had talked me into moving one of the twin beds that had made up the “king” sized bed for this room, into the playroom for more comfy seating and to attempt to get me off the “I want a sectional” nagging bandwagon.  I will admit it’s better than the numb buns you get from sitting on the futon, but it only delayed the sectional talk for about a day.  Sorry dear! 

In the meantime, I had made up the other twin into a day bed we could enjoy until the real work started in the “big boy” room.  As you can see above, more toys had also been moved from the playroom into this space to help keep the Little Guy occupied on the occasions when I had to do some sewing for business.  Nothing like a mini tool bench to keep a kid happy for, oh, ten minutes.  Am I right?

As of today, the room has been cleared of everything, accept this bed and the floor has been covered in protective plastic.  The band of lavender along the ceiling got a first coat of primer and tomorrow I hope to tackle priming the most dreaded piece of this room to paint – oil-based painted trim!!!!!  UGH in SEVEN LANGUAGES!!!!  I am being lazy and praying that a good oil-based primer will solve my problems, but this could be the breaking point for the timeline of this mini-makeover.  I will keep you all posted on the success of that combo as I go along.

As for the plan of attack, here goes:

-Take the lavender to light gray, with a white ceiling and white trim. 

-Add horizontal stripes in a gray just a couple of shades darker than the other walls to the main bed wall. 

-Add already purchased simple bedding in gray and newly created bed skirt in a tweedy fabric. 

-Spruce up the windows with some thrifted, but new, curtains that I plan to customize with a patterned fabric border. 

-I hope to customize the Little Guy’s IKEA desk and chair set to be placed on one wall.

-Add a magnetic chalk board above the desk area.

-Add an already purchased large, family-sized beanbag chair.

-Clean up and paint an already purchased thrifted shelving unit.

-Find a small dresser for the space- clean up and paint as necessary.

-Add artwork and pillows in fun colors (primarily orange, the Little Guy’s fav!) against all the gray.

-Working on a possible A, B, C’s letter wall.

-Add brightly colored paper lantern lighting over the bed, if possible.

-Find something to use as a nightstand.

-Change out current light fixture in the center of the room for anything that isn’t brass!

-DIY a larger rug for the desk area from some thrifted rugs.

I’m sure I will think of more things to do as I go along.  For some reason that’s how it seems to go with any project I do for my kid.  I just want to do more, add more, get everything I think is cute or that he might like.  It’s a sickness really and I’m sure it doesn’t get any better as you add to the flock.

Stick around and I will add photos as things progress.  Please wish me luck in getting all this done, too, before we end up with one more family member to love!

Kitsch Krafts

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Shop Updates : More Jewelry Fun!

February 6, 2012 08:23 by ehouston

I have been at it again.  This time I hit up a different craft shop to see if there were any more jewelry making supplies that I just HAD TO HAVE!  there were…

Now I am having fun making puffy pieces, set into deeper bright silver toned bezels.  Again, I am counting on some other vintage fabric loving folks out there to come on by the shop and fall in love with these new pieces that I just added.  Postage is included with these, so order now for Valentine’s Day!


Hot Pink Vintage Chenille.  Ooh, la, la!


Sweet Vintage Flocked Butterfly Flowers.

Just after adding these two new pieces to my Kitsch Designs Handmade shop, this caught my eye…


I don’t know when I would ever have the time to make one, but I think they are just stunning in their simplicity.

Kitsch Krafts

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Making And Crafts : Covered Button Jewelry

January 26, 2012 09:33 by ehouston

This isn’t anything new.  In fact, there are tutorials plastered all over the internet and lots of people selling covered button jewelry on Etsy.  But, this is what I have been playing around with lately and I wanted to share.  Not only have I made some fun stuff for myself, but I think I may join the legions and post some pieces for sale in my handmade Etsy shop, Kitsch Designs.  I know, I know, boring….well, I have my reasons.  For a long time now I have been trying to figure out the best way to use up all those itty-bitty little scraps of vintage fabric that just seem to precious to throw away.  So far they have just been collecting dust in a box.  I figure with barkcloth being so scarce any more I can’t get rid of even the smallest piece, right? 




(This last one is an old quilter’s fabric with a printed log cabin design.)

Plus, there have to be others out there that love the idea of textile jewelry, but don’t see patterns that speak to them.  I’m hoping some more Mid-Century Modern lovers will be happy to see these simple jewelry pieces in fabrics that work right into their retro way of life!

Happy Shopping folks!

Kitsch Krafts

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Yep, It’s Another SHOP UPDATE : Kitsch Designs On Etsy

January 18, 2012 08:33 by ehouston

Sorry for such a similar post to the one from Monday, but hey at least this one is about my other shop of handmade items, Kitsch Designs!  Like I was saying a couple of days ago, I have been creating some small, more affordable vintage fabric items and I was able to get a couple of photo album brag books finished and added to the shop.  These are a perfect Valentine’s Day gift for that hopeless romantic on your list, or really any friend that loves to have actual photos with them at all times.  I don’t think I will ever get used to looking at, or showing, pictures of babies on a cell phone. 


Yellow and Turquoise Floral


Preppy Red, Black, Yellow and Grey


Romantic Pale Purple, Blue and Green

Made from vintage fabrics and vintage handkerchiefs with vintage buttons and trim, each is completely one of a kind.  They hold 36, 4 X 6 photos and there is no shipping charge if mailed to an address in the USA.  Whoo-hoo!

Kitsch Krafts

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Shop Updates : Kitsch Designs and KD Vintage

January 16, 2012 07:29 by ehouston

As I mentioned earlier in the month, I wanted to move my vintage items out of my main shop to free up space for more handmade vintage textile items.  Shortly after posting about making this change, I did it. 

Ta-da!  Welcome to my vintage only shop on Etsy,  KD Vintage.


So far I have just moved the vintage items from the Kitsch Designs shop over to this one, along with a few items from my Artfire store.  I have also picked up a few new items to add.  Just as soon as I can get some photos edited.  Wah-wuh!  Soon, I promise!

In the meantime I wanted to address some questions about projects I posted here a long time ago and stated I would soon include those types of items in my store.  Here is one to jog your memory.


I have some of these in the hopper and hope to get more of my textile art pieces (mentioned here) posted soon too. 


I have several that just need to be mounted and bound.  Keep coming back for more updates.  You might just find the perfect Valentine’s Day gift and don’t forget Mother’s Day is just around the corner too!

Kitsch Krafts

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DIY and Decorating : Fabric Wall Art

August 12, 2011 01:12 by ehouston

A few weeks ago I posted about being stumped as to whether I should use three or four wall hangings above our bed.  I received several responses via comments on the blog and Facebook and the resounding answer was THREE!!!  Initially I planned to use just three of these little wall hangings, but when I ended up with enough fabric to make four I thought I might be able to squeeze them all in.  Now that I have them up on the wall I know that three really is the magic number.


Thinking about it….


…Maybe they could make the squeeze?

Nope, three is just right!


We are very happy with how these came out and once the walls are painted a soft gray I think everything will really start to come together.  Yeah, we do things a little backwards around here sometimes.  The ceiling in our master bedroom is vaulted up pretty high, so painting it and the walls will not be an easy task.  We don’t even have a ladder tall enough to reach for cutting in.  The big decision on this project is whether to spend our money on a taller ladder (my choice) or just pay someone to do this painting project for us.  One day we will get there with the decision.  In the meantime I plan to make as many changes as possible with what I have.

In case you are wondering about the process for these wall hangings I thought I would give a quick overview.  First of all, the middle sections started life long ago as cloth napkins.  At least that is what they seem to be.  I bought a set of them at an estate sale many years ago and if it weren’t for some stains I cannot remove on several, I would have done a much larger installation of 9.  But, again, I am making do with what I have.

I had decided about 4 years ago that I wanted our bedroom to be gray with green accents and the limey-olivey green of the napkin pattern seemed like a nice addition to the space.  I dug around in my fabric stash and found some gray fabric, which was leftover from the valance I made for the bathroom in our old Nashville, TN home.  The gray fabric has a line of lighter gray running through it that makes a long dotted or dashed mark, creating a nice texture.  It contrasts well with the slightly nubby texture of the vintage napkins.  To start this project I determined how wide and high I wanted each piece to be, taking into consideration that I wanted to add the gray border to the napkin.  I removed the hem from the napkins and pressed them open before pinning the gray strips in place and running a stitch with my machine.


Since these panels would be hung above our bed I had decided to keep them as light as possible, so I used foam core boards for mounting.  Before placing the fabric panels I added a layer of heirloom cotton quilt batting, which is thin and only adds a little bit of poof.


After pressing the seams open along the newly added gray border I laid the fabric out over the quilt batting and pulled the edges around to the back side of the foam core board.  While I was adjusting the borders I used painter’s tape to hold the fabric in place.  Once everything looked like it was about right I used a hot glue gun to permanently affix the fabric to the foam core board.  Then I added simple picture hangers to the top edge and they were ready to hang.  I think they came out pretty nice, adding some vintage modern charm to our master bedroom.


What have you been creating out of your vintage fabrics lately?

Kitsch Krafts

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