Friday, October 12, 2012

30 great DIY rug tutorials

I must have checked out over 50 different painted rug projects done by other bloggers before deciding what to with my own 2 white IKEA Erslev rugs.
For the nursery I went with a bright yellow and white stripey pattern and I am really pleased with the result.

find the full post here

For the living room I wanted a more ethnic look and went with a dark brown colour for the pattern. I am equally pleased with how this one turned out. The best thing is you get two tries since you can just turn it over and go again on the other side if it doesn't turn out the way you hoped it would. 

I am yet to post a full tutorial for how I did this rug... but it's coming.

Here is a list of 30 best painted rug projects I came across while looking for inspiration for my own rugs. I have posted some of these links before but thought that they were worth re-posting. These links will also take you to some pretty cool home improvement blogs that are worth taking a look at. 
They are listed in no particular order.

     1. How to make a block print rug at Apartment Therapy
     2. How to paint an indoor/outdoor rug at DIY Maven
     3. Stenciled pattern rug at Pudel-design
     4. DIY zig-zag rug tutorial at adventures in dressmaking
     5. DIY turning an old rug into Chevron beauty at SAS interiors
     6. DIY Chevron rug at High-heeled foot in the door
     7. DIY painted IKEA rug at Charm Home Design
     8. DIY Geometric Rug at Classically Modern Nest
     9. Tutorial: Hand Painted Rug at Diddle Dumpling
   10. The great Rug adventure (foam stamped rug) at Ramblings around DC and beyond
   11. Ikea rug makeover at a little bit of everything
   12. Ikea rug painted with grey and white Chevron pattern at Hayley Anderson
   13. DIY painted faux Kilim rug at Forge
   14. Chevron Rug DIY at Mason Jar Champagne
   15. Chevron painted rug from Ikea at The House of Smiths
   16. DIY stamped rug tutorial at My Hands Made It
   17. DIY polka dot rug at katiecupcake
   18. DIY painted Kilim rug at The Gold Jelly Bean
   19. DIY Herringbone rug at All Things Lovely
   20. Jen at tatertots & jello has painted a ton of rugs in different patterns
   21. DIY Metallic Gold Zebra rug at the Home Depot by Caroline Inge
   22. DIY printed long entrance rug at Trieu Love
   23. Animal print rug by This Mommy
   24. DIY table cloth rug by Dream Book Design
   25. DIY felt zebra rug for nursery
   26. Black and white painted rug by Diapered Daze & Knights
   27. Scrap fabric chevron rug by The House That Lars Built
   28. Painted Morocco rug by Sarah M. Dorsey Designs
   29. T-shirt rug DIY by Xoelle
   30. Braided rag rug at Little House in the Suburbs

These are just a few of the projects I came across, there are plenty more rug DIYs out there to explore.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Chalkboard wall cover up & a DIY sticky note calendar

I've mentioned the weird wall decor (tiles) in our rented Hong Kong flat before:
In our living room we have two opposing walls, one is covered with grey stone tiles with cave painting symbols on them, on the other there are some patterned shiny green metallic tiles. They look horrible on their own and they look even worse together also the floor is also not great, but that I can live with. Otherwise the quality, size and location of the flat is great for what rent we pay which is why I am currently living with these strange design details... Hong Kong flats don't come cheap.
The worst wall, in my opinion,  is the green metallic one. Luckily the tiles were smooth and I managed to come up with a great and cheap solution to it without having to alter it in any way (not allowed as we rent), I covered it from top till toe in black chalkboard sticker wallpaper.
These were sticker panels 3meter x 60cm in size and they are easily removed should we wish to move out. I found them online, they were cheap and took about 20minutes to put up. Problem solved!




Me and my boyfriend use them to teach each other our languages, Flemish and Swedish (although we are proceeding very slowly as we keep on forgetting to update them) and I've created a big sticky note calendar on it.




It works great, I added 31 days so that I wouldn't have to alter it from month to month and just added a little note saying NOT THIS MONTH if the month only has 30 days. All I have to change from month to month is that and the name of the month at the bottom. I place the sticky notes with reminders on the date squares writing the name of the day at the top, that way when I have a few sticky notes it is easy to see and know what date is what day.




This is what the metallic tiled wall I am covering up looks like.


I am still not loving the opposing wall but this solution is not an option for it for two reasons,
it would make the room too dark and the tiles are not smooth so the stickers would not adhere to it.

What can I do with this wall, in our rented flat?
Does anyone have any good ideas or suggestions??


Here is another very cool idea for a chalk accent wall DIY.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Orchids in water?

I am not very good with plants... at least not indoor plants.
I love gardening and taking care of the outdoor mini wildlife haven that I had when I had a garden back in Sweden. I believe gardening should be something where the garden is a wildlife oasis, creating a refuge for bugs, hedgehogs, birds and other little creatures that may want to take up residency.
I used to study local plants and try to introduce them best possible and never used pesticide but instead tried to bring in the favourite plants of the arch enemy of whatever pests I might have had.
The garden was wild and beautiful (in my eyes) at the same time.
A wild growing garden does not mean you can just neglect it, a wild garden needs lots of care too.
One of my very favourite gardens to look to for inspiration at the time was Tasha Tudors garden, you can't come closer to a fairy tale garden than hers.




Now, living in Hong Kong, I don't have the luxury of a garden. And I don't have the same love for indoor plants, I find them boring and a bit sad. Like an animal in the zoo, doomed to die in misery locked into my small flat.
I have so far never managed to keep any indoor plants healthy. Currently I am the caretaker of a very sad Bouganvillea (this one would be very much happier outdoor in Hong Kong but I have nowhere outdoor to put it), a Passiflora which surprisingly seems to be having a revival and three near dead Orchids.

The orchids have been standing on my kitchen counter for a few weeks, that is the halfway point, by that I mean halfway to the trash. But last week I came past a post about putting your Orchids in water to make them bloom all year round (can't seem to find that post again) on further research I came across this site.
That's it I thought, seems much easier than the not too little not too much watering that people normally say Orchids need. I uprooted all of them and noticed that the roots on one of them where completely rotten and on the second one only one root remained green and alive looking. The third one had some kind of weird insect egg looking kind of fungus going on in it's root system but it was the one out of all of them that had the healthiest root system in tact.
I cut of all the rotten roots on all of them and cleaned the remains with some soap, on the worst one all that remained was a stump, on this one the leaves where all shriveled as well and it was and is generally in a very poor state.








I popped them all into jars holding distilled bottled water and they've been there for three days now. They don't look any better yet but they also don't look any worse either.
I smell the water every day to check if it is rotting and so far it's been fine so I've just added a bit more water where it had evaporated and that's all.
It's actually very exciting, much more exciting than regular orchid keeping.... this is an experiment, not just boring old watering. I can't wait to see what's going to happen, it's almost like playing the lottery, I might win or I might loose, no one knows.
The best thing about it is actually that they look great in water. The roots look beautiful on the one that still has them and it's so cool that they are visible.
Even the stump looks cool in water!










According to what I've read it should take around 3-4 months for new roots to really have started growing, I will keep you updated on how it is going.
If this works then I think it's the way to go if you are not good with watering Orchids the regular way, this is way easier!

DIY IKEA Rast dresser makeover no.2

I finished the makeover for my second pair of Rast dressers. It was very quick, easy and pain free. Check out the results and how I did it.




I bought some matte black spray paint for the drawers and was looking around my area in Hong Kong for some wood stain bout couldn't get hold of any (possibly a lost in translation thing) but tried some Umbre coloured regular watercolour and it worked just as well and I love the final finish of the stain, so that all worked out for the best.
The pullers are made of regular packing string that I twisted together to create a thicker rope.




I started staining the wood everywhere but the front of the drawers. I used a bowl of water into which I mixed the watercolour to create the colour intensity I wanted (I tested it on a not so visual part of the dresser to check) and painted it on with a wide brush. It took ca 45 minutes to do.
I drilled slightly larger holes where the original pullers had been to fit the new hemp rope handles.
I then covered over the parts of the drawer that I didn't want to paint black with paper attached with masking tape and sprayed the fronts with black spray paint, this took ca 20 minutes including the covering.
I took a hammer and hit the drawers randomly a bit here and there to give them a used look and also used a nail to create little worm holes.
My intention was to lastly sandpaper the corners of the drawers but I only had very very fine sandpaper at home and it took for ages to get any kind of result with it and the paper wore out super quick so I gave up. On the picture just below you can see how it turned out on the corner that I did manage to sand down a bit. I really liked the result but had no patience for it so only one corner got done.




I proceeded to splash a bit of red and white paint on it to create an even more used and vintage feel. I accidentally splashed a bit too much in a few places and as I attempted to get it off with some wet toilet paper ( I know...LINT!) I got paper lint stuck on the drawers ... you're probably thinking "I knew that was going to happen". But the look of the lint was almost a bit similar to using the sand paper, so I did this all over the dressers wherever I wanted them to look distressed. I then used a shoe shine brush to brush of the residue and in the picture just below you can see the result of my toilet paper lint vintage look.
This was so quick compared to the sanding and looks almost as good. I might go back and do proper sanding instead at a later point... then again maybe not.




I used 4 strands of the hemp packing string and twisted them together, tied a knot in one end, pulled it through the puller hole and tied a knot on the other side and cut to length.




In the picture above you can see the difference between using the sandpaper (on the left drawer), I do prefer this look even though it was much more time consuming, vs. the toilet paper lint effect (on the right drawer). All in all the project took almost exactly 2 hours which was a lot less than my previous Rast DIY for the nursery.

"Now hold on!" a lot of you are thinking... yes, this makeover idea is not mine. I was so inspired by the gorgeous industrial dresser makeover that Mia from Jilly & Mia did, and after many weeks of questioning how to remake my dressers I finally decided to go with her makeover. I decided on this style for many reasons:
1. It would fit in well with the chalkboard wall I have created behind it.
2. I just loved the way Mia's dresser looked.
3. I could use stuff I already had at home. The only thing I bought for this project was the can of black spray paint.
I have to say I love Mia's look, I even stole her idea for the wormholes (it's all in the details) hers has  industrial wheels which I actually like a lot more than with but I needed my dressers to stay put, hiding the nest of electronics wiring that is behind them. Mia also took the time to sandpaper properly and it does make a difference and you should really check out their blog because it's packed with cool DIY projects to be inspired by ...or totally copy like I did.



Sunday, September 23, 2012

Swedish wood clogs & childhood nostalgia

Today I came across this picture of these very cute knitted socks with hearts on the heels. The socks paired with clogs set me of on a total nostalgia trip as I started longing for those worn red clogs of my Swedish childhood summers.

Image by petraO

Although I grew up in Switzerland we would spend the summer months in Sweden and the many months there are my best childhood memories.
It was a very special feeling arriving outside our summer house just at dawn after a whole night of driving. Entering the house that had a very special smell after being left uninhabited for most part of the year. Finding my "summer toys" and remembering all the fun I had with them last summer and the excitement of the few months to come... and my clogs, the summer footwear (until I grew out of them). They were best after a few summers wearing, new ones were never that comfortable. Or where they ever comfortable? I know I almost broke my ankle in them a few times as they were worn during all childhood activities from climbing trees to fishing crabs.
My boyfriend (from Belgium) saw Swedish clogs for the first time this summer and he thought they were some of the most ugly footgear he had ever laid eyes on. I have a pair of mine at my parents house and just like when I was a child I tend to wear mostly clogs when I visit them during the summer months. I tried asking him at different times during our stay there "...you still think they are ugly?" ...are they really that bad?" etc. Hoping he would change his mind... but I found myself asking are they really as ugly as he says, am I just blinded by my childhood nostalgia induced love for them?

What do you think?

Image by Jean Aimar


Image by Omelett


Image by pe image

Find many more clog pictures here