Halloween 2016: Foam, Felt and Yarn.

This year’s halloween inspiration came from my daughter’s favorite word: Taco. We attended a Halloween ¬†party at her daycare where family costumes are encouraged and awarded. (We won this year! ūüôā ). Since Sriracha¬ģ is the new trend among foodies, I thought that would be an appropriate addition to the theme. My brother gave the idea for dad’s costume, and it was definitely the most enjoyable to create! We got a lot of laughs and had a great time!


I created the taco shell using foam wrapped in light yellow fabric. She helped in adding the brown dots. The ‘filling’ is felt pieces cut in various shapes. My creative side is rubbing off on dad, it seems, as he had the idea of using my daughter’s¬†Dapper Snapper¬†(these are fantastic for normal use, btw!) to hold the shell together. I pinned the green piece over it. The costume was actually easier for her to maneuver in than I had expected-win!

I knitted the hats and the TUMS¬ģ¬†costume was also created using foam, felt and a white, wide-tip, sharpie.



Ikea Hemnes Dresser Turned Mid-Century Modern

Ikea Hemnes Dresser Turned Mid-Century Modern

In an attempt to save some money on a new dresser, I decided to modify our current Ikea Hemnes dresser to something more modern. I had a hard time finding DIY instructions, especially for the Hemnes. So I did some research, combined ideas, and this is what I came up with. I took inspiration from the West Elm Mid-Century 6 Drawer Dresser-White + Acorn:

FullSizeRender-1                                             Pic courtesy of West Elm ©

Here is the Ikea Hemnes Dresser before:


Here is the final look:


And here is my step-by-step:

Materials Needed (items in parentheses were used for this project) 

  • Sander (Dewalt Orbital Hook and Loop Sander)
  • Sandpaper: 100 or 120 grit; 220 grit; 400 grit
  • Pre-Stain (Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner)
  • Gel Stain (Minwax Gel Stain, Mahogany 605)
  • Polyurethane (Minxwax fast-drying, clear semi-gloss)
  • Primer (Zissner Bull’s Eye 1.2.3 Flat White)
  • Enamel Paint (Rust-Oleum Gloss White Enamel Paint)
  • Paint Brushes, Foam Brushes
  • Knobs/Pulls (Etsy: ForgeHardwareStudio)
  • Clean Rags, drop cloth if inside
  • Protective gear¬†¬†

Dresser Instructions, sans Drawers

  1. Sand the Dresser
    Using an electric sander, sand the dresser using 100/120 grit. I recommend wearing gloves, goggles, and a mask (and maybe a shower cap). Finish using 220 grit.FullSizeRender-2
  2. Prep for Stain
    Wipe down all surfaces using a clean cloth. Once all dust has been removed, apply pre-stain. I used a foam brush and went in the direction of the grain. Allow the pre-stain to dry 5-15 minutes. After it has dried, wipe off excess using a clean cloth.IMG_2923
  3. Apply Gel Stain
    The Hemnes dresser uses pine wood, and my research suggested that gel-stain works well with pine. It is thicker, so be sure to stir it well (until creamy consistency), before applying. Once again, I used a foam brush and went in the direction of the grain. Some sites say that it does not matter, but I noticed a difference if I went against the grain.FullSizeRender-3After 3 minutes, remove the excess stain using a clean cloth. In order to ensure a consistent coat, I stained the dresser in segments (i.e. top in 2 parts, the whole front, then each side panel). *IMPORTANT*: Wipe with the grain of the wood, in one direction.I only applied one coat of the stain, in order to achieve this color. If applying more than one coat, allow 24 hours to dry.FullSizeRender-4
  4. Apply Polyurethane
    Once the stain has completely dried, apply the polyurethane. I used a foam brush and went in the direction of the grain. When using the foam brush for the polyurethane, I found it helpful to hold part of the brush itself, as shown below, as this allowed me to have more control and apply a little more pressure. I allowed 24 hours for the polyurethane to dry then re-sanded the dresser using 400 grit sandpaper. This removed the dust particles that collected and any bubbles etc. After sanding, be sure to wipe down using a clean cloth and remove all dust. Apply second coat of polyurethane using same method.IMG_2357

Drawer Instructions

  1. Primer
    The drawers should already be sanded. Using a paint brush, apply primer to the surface of each drawer, going in the direction of the grain. Primer dries quickly, but I allowed 24 hours before applying the paint.FullSizeRender-7
  2. Apply Enamel Paint
    This part is somewhat tedious, due to the potential for brushstrokes to show. White tends to be unforgiving on furniture, so some precision is needed here. I used a Nylon, angled paint brush to apply the enamel paint and I applied 2 coats, waiting 24 hours between each coat, and sanded lightly with 400 grit sandpaper.

    First coat of enamel paint

    3. Add Knobs
    The finished look with a fresh coat of paint (Sherwin Williams, In the Navy)FullSizeRender-2




Wake Up and Smell the Coffee

We bought a house 2 years ago. While it was exciting to transition from apartment living to vast expanses of square footage (not really…but really when you live in NYC!), it was also expensive. We desperately needed a new coffee table, but mortgage payments+educational loan payments+baby+bills+life‚Ȇcrate and barrel coffee table (or really anywhere else). So I took it upon us (me+ever-so-patient husband) to build a coffee table. I do not have a step-by-step for two reasons: 1. I did not document it appropriately (see below) and 2. while I am pleased with the look, the durability is questionable. There was wood glue, and dowel pins, a drill, some 2×4’s, a frame from an old coffee table, and some decorative hardware meant for a garage door. This was my first solid attempt at a DIY project (prior attempts do not even get honorable mention).

Here is the final product.


The only before documentation that exists. My DIY photography skills need refining.

I am on my way as a DIY’er!

Why So Serious?

Growing up in Ohio, I always hated having to wear a coat over my Halloween costume. Last year, I decided to insert warmth under the costume (not a novel idea, I know). After deciding my almost 2 year old daughter would entertain us by being Batman for Halloween, I took to creating her costume.

Using a black zip-front hoodie as the base, a crafted a cape to go around. I inserted a zipper in the front of the cape, in order to ease any drama around putting the costume on. I also crocheted a mask, but that was a no-go with the munchkin. Definitely not a flawless creation, but fun nonetheless!