Wednesday, February 29, 2012

May cause unexpected twirling

With physical therapy and doctors' appointments added to the usual round of activities, there has been little time to tackle the project backlog.  So this less-than-ten-minute project was particularly satisfying.  The materials were lying around the house, but I hadn't had the time to put thought into just how I was going to make Baby Girl a canopy so she could have a real princess bed.

This is what I used:

  • Pair of sheer curtains (LILL from Ikea, at $4.99 cheaper than I can make 'em)
  • Pair of bracket curtain rods (old ones I had in the garage, you can find them here)
  • 4 binder clips
  • white plastic tape
  • ribbon
  • screw hook
  • drywall anchor (something like these)

I took apart the curtain rods (each pulls apart into 2 halves) and joined them bracket-to-long-end to make a square.  A bit of crimping with the pliers, and the long end slid into the end bracket up to the bend pretty easily.  Since this doesn't need to be particularly sturdy, I just crimped it tight and taped it to hold it together (something like duct tape or electrical tape should work well).  Before closing the last joint, don't forget to thread on your curtains.

A binder clip in each corner serves to both hold the curtain in place and also to be an attaching point for hanging.  I had a garland I'd made for a party years ago, which dressed it up easily, slipped under the edge of the binder clip to hold it in place.

Loop 4 equal lengths of ribbon through the binder clips, gather them together, knot off, and hang from a screw hook.  There wasn't a joist where I wanted to place it, but since this whole thing is less than 5 lbs, a drywall anchor was a sturdy enough mount for the screw hook.

I think it's calling out for a little more embellishment - maybe some ribbon streamers, or some flowers.  But this isn't a bad start for 10 minutes... especially judging from Baby Girl's reaction:  she jumped on the bed and started twirling, because words failed her.  And then lay down to show me just how a princess sleeps.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Acorns and Pearls

Years ago I saw an idea in a Better Homes & Gardens holiday book, which is just too good not to share.  And yes, it is now February, and this is a decidedly autumn project, but I thought I'd post it so you can have it in mind for future broken pearl necklaces or stray acorns.

For a candle ring, you will need a 6-8" grapevine wreath, lots of acorns, and assorted pearls to fit the acorn caps.

The acorns can be gathered from your neighborhood oak tree in the fall, and the wreath can be made from stray grapevine (around here it is everywhere)... but if you gather your own, be sure to bake it in the oven at 250F (after you've shaped the grapevine) for an hour to kill any larvae within the the wood or acorns.  Not only are exiting insect holes unsightly, wood boring insects like powder post beetles can set up shop in your home and invade your studs.  Don't ask me how I know this.

Once you have your materials gathered and prepped, the assembly is easy.  Cover the wreath uniformly with acorns, some of them with the nuts replaced by pearls, glueing it all in place with a glue gun.  A word of advice:  if the nuts did not fall out of their caps during the baking process, pull them out anyway and put a dab of glue under the cap before putting them back in; this will keep those acorns in place for years to come.

For co-ordinating napkin rings, cut a 12" length of ribbon, flame-seal the ends to keep them from fraying, and with a needle and thread sew on a 2-acorn sprig, with a pearl replacing one of the acorn nuts.