Remove Carpet from Stairs to Stain

Here’s a quick post recapping my carpet removal adventures before I forget the entire process. Let’s get right to the point, what you are actually after; the before and after.

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Now that that’s over with, more detail. I’ve had my eye on this project for some time. The stairs are the heart of our home. In our little house, you can see the living room and the kitchen from the stairs, all while yelling up them to anyone who may be in the bedrooms. Plus it’s one of the dogs’ absolute favorite hang out spots so we spend a lot of time on them. And you can only imagine the amount of dog hair and dusts these stairs have accrued. I’ve been wanting to rip of the carpet for ages and last Friday evening, I impulsively followed through after spending the ten minute car riding from a restaurant researching what other bloggers have done. One of the pieces of advice given was that if you have rounded caps on your stairs, you may actually have hardwood underneath and from memory, I thought we did. So when I arrived home, staple gun in hand just in case there was only plywood, I peeled back a piece of carpet with a pair of needle nose pliers.

 

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See how the stairs have that rounded little lip on the tread? That’s how I knew there might be some sort of flooring under there instead of just plywood. 955C55D4-F067-4023-8CBE-1F3A9B146155

 

I continued pulling up the carpeting using some combination of the a razor blade to cut the carpet away from the way, the needle nose pliers to tug with to avoid staples, and a back of the hammer to pull the tacking up.

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Some of the tacking was particularly stuck so I wedged a flat head screw driver under it and tapped with the hammer.

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The bottom portion of the stairs were individually done but once I got to the top, it was all one piece so I started from the top and ripped all the way down. In total, it took about 4 hours to pull up all of the carpet from start to finish because I had to be extra specially careful about picking up all of the nails after each step because of the pups. I wasn’t sure how long this would take me so I removed almost all the nails in one fell swoop. 62385570-F355-4F79-AC4F-B9359CC00872

Remus, my trusty night guard and diy partner in crime, manned the project from his usual spot at the top of the stairs well into the night. Looking at the stairs, there is clearly over spray on the baseboard and on the stairs. Knowing I wanted to stain the steps, I picked up this stripper that a colleague at work recommended. It felt less toxic than any stripper I’ve used before and had a great citrus scent. Would absolutely recommend if you have pets or small children because I didn’t feel like I was gagging them with this product especially since Remus insists on sitting so close to the work zones.

20FDD455-FA77-4655-8077-E63E0FB2DB1E I started my way at the bottom painting each stair with a cheap chip brush with a heavy hand and worked my way right to bed. It can be left on for 24 hours so I left it over night. 5A7DF75A-9D6C-4EB9-A1ED-3BAE9589864B

The next morning I scraped it off relatively easily and wipe up the remaining ashy coating with mineral spirits that I had lying around as recommended by the product label. I then started patching up the stairs with wood filler and began painting the backs of the stairs white after it dried.

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I sanded by hand with a 300 and 800 grit. It’s just what I had on hand, there was no particular rhyme or reason. I am really glad though that I sanded by hand because there was a lot of staples that I missed. People aren’t joking when they say it feels like a million staples. Thankfully most of them were against the backs of the stairs and underneath the rounded part of the tread.

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After painting the backs white, I repeated the process of painting my way up to the tops of the step only this time with stain. I used a thin coat and painted my way up around 9pm. It takes at least 6 hours for stain to dry to the touch which was fine because we didn’t come downstairs until around 6 am the next morning. This is the first look of the stain with no rubbing or smudging off.

170BA1EA-9244-4866-9CEA-173CAD69ED79I gave it a second coat, smudging this time and making my way to the top of the stairs for another night. The next morning I pulled out the caulk gun to touch up the edge. See the next two pictures from the difference between before caulk and after.

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See how the edges are all filled in. Also notice how light the stairs are now after the smudging process. I am thinking of giving them another coat and leaving it but I actually quite like the patterns that have settled in here. Plus I am tired of dealing with the stairs. Later on this week I will go in and do more touch ups like to the wall where it meets the stairs but I want to wait to figure out what color I want to paint this hallway. What ever color I paint will wrap around the entire downstairs and the upstairs hallway because there’s no true break in the walls. So I want to choose wisely. In the mean time, I am just going to enjoy this “completed” project.

Kate Spade Inspired Bridal Shower

ECD0E5C5-0114-43C2-8647-EACA1192D724One of my best gals in the entire world is getting married and I took point on the bridal shower as her joint matron of honor. We had the actual party in a restaurant where I took very few picture both for the privacy of the guests and because I wanted to actually enjoy the shower and not stress about shooting for the blog. So I redressed the party right at home on my deck as a “what to do for a small backyard Kate Spade inspired bridal shower”.

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I went for simple crafts that could travel well. This welcome sign, poster board layered in polka dot wrapping paper, which doubled as table runner at the actual event. I layered it on top of a scalloped pink disposable table cloth and at the end of the party, we just rolled the entire table up in a big ball and threw it away. Not good for the planet but good for timing. Here since my deck table set is pink (hubby’s idea), I just brought out the pink table runner from the house as well as these striped outdoor Serena and Lily pillows, the Kate Spade library pillow from our bed and the polka dot pillows.

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I collected these bottles of varying sizing and dressed them as centerpieces. Removed any labeling and adhesive (shout out to hubby for the tip that vinegar followed by warm soapy water dissolves adhesive) and then styled them. Since the actual party was bigger than my backyard table, I used the polka dot cups here as extra vases. I chose these Gerber daisies because they were simple, whimsical and the bride loves them. Plus you can snag them the morning of at Trader Joe’s. Couldn’t pick up anything before the day of; y’all know my thumb is black.01B38E85-B2DB-4E1B-9936-517752ED3BBA406C3E93-CFD9-48D2-B048-D700E970C35EThese little nail polishes with tags that say “Mani-thanks” were used as party favors. First of all, no one is more excited about a good pun than I am. Initially, I planned on wiping a store out of Sally Hansen’s “Pink Cadillaquer” because my bride sells Mary Kay but I couldn’t find enough of them so these neutral pinks had to do.

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The straws are either Target or Homegoods, who knows after all of the shopping around I did, but the tags are from a word template. There were two options for tags “Soon to Be Mrs B” and “Heeeeeey Mrs Parker” with a Bee on the other side since she’s queen B.

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I think most wedding games are incredibly cheesy. Who cares if the bride said I love you first or if the groom asked her out? Honestly, no one. Instead I corralled games from Pinterest that actually looked fun and would break the ice. “Find the guest” and “what’s in your phone/purse” are some of my favorites because everyone can enjoy them and they don’t  pry too much into the bride and grooms lives if they are a more private couple.

A53DE8B9-19CA-4A86-A0DA-D3175E4E13C7The pom under the umbrella are made from all of the pink/white/gold tissue paper I had lying around the house. This diy is actually one I learned from my mother many moons ago. At the party, my co-matron of honor asked if I used a pom kit for these and I said “THERE’S A KIT?!” Could’ve saved myself some time.3BB3D562-BDDC-4A66-947E-CE098D42157B

For the actual party, I made a large ombré pink cake and placed it on this stand but none of it made its way home to me (for which I am eternally grateful). Because of that you get to see these little trifle beautifies, also a diy courtesy of my mom. You simply layer frosting/whipped cream, fruit and cake. This is funfetti cake with almond cream cheese frosting, a call back to family dinners with Brooke in our undergrad years.3DB484BB-C274-4CA2-B6A9-7EE509DE9878

Last but not least what’s a party without a selfie frame? In 2018 with millennials? Nothing, that’s what it is. So there you have it. A quick and easy Kate Spade party. Sure, I had to vacuum my deck from glitter but it was totally worth it. Hope you guys enjoyed this post and that it sparks some idea for a future something you may be throwing.

XO Prepfordwife

P.S. I may add sources for everything later on today.

Our Sitting Room

FFA597FA-7366-4B4E-B070-869583EA0674This room is on the second floor, right across from the guest bedroom that we claimed as the master. This room has given us the ability to sprawl out and essentially turn our entire floor into one master suite. We use it for everything from relaxing to working  from home and telecommuting, hence the tv. We almost passed on the tv and got the biggest iMac but decided the tv would give us the most bang for our buck. I can just hook it up to an HDMI cable for days where I need an extra screen for data mining.

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Half of the time, it gets used for work from home and marathons of One Tree Hill. I play it in the background the way people Spotify; something I can listen to but not watch because I’ve seen it so many times.  Another pro-tip from a constant work from home-er; wear real clothes. If I had a dollar for every time someone asked to add video to a call, I could pay for the decor in this room. Anyway, this desk is one hubby snagged in our last home that’s followed us here. Mostly it gets used by Remus Lupin who loves having a covering over his head (No one was more thrilled than him when we got a bedskirt in our room since it gave him somewhere to hide).  I mostly just work from the couch.

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The other half of the time, this is a guest room. The couch is yet another World Market win. You know I live and die by the World Market sword. It’s a fantastic couch and one day, I’ll do a full review of it but it’s a fold out sleeper which helps this room double as an extra guest room on nights where we have multiple groups of guest. It’s super firm and great on the back and even better, it’s super easy to fold out.

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Out of all of the rooms in our house, this one is most authentically us. It includes so many pieces of our life and our relationship; the Harry Potter books gifted to us over the years by respective family and friends, the book ends from my father in law who had a chuckle at the two black dogs, the globe that doubled as a guest book at our wedding, the quirky book clock gifted by my best friend when I went to college, the first drawing of me from April Heather over on instagram, a map of our town that we found in a thrift store long before we ever moved here and went back to get years later and the woman who owned the shop remembered us. This room is a sign of a life well lived and well loved.

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This room is a small one, but it’s home. I’ve sourced as many things as I can below but honestly so much of the things in here are one of a kind, vintage, gifted or thrifted that I’ve just had to post similars. Thank you for reading!

Shelves: World Market Etagere

Sleeper sofa: World Market Nolee

Geometric Painting: Hubby, Similar from Crate and Barrel

Wicker: Nate Berkus for Target Turtle Shell

Pug Book ends: Similar

White pots: Ikea

Wicker baskets: TjMaxx, similar

Desk: Josephine Desk from World Market

Lamp: Kate Spade from Homegoods, Similar

Custom Fashion print: April Heather Art

Poufs: Target Outdoor Pouf

Rug: World Market, similar

Dog Beds: TjMaxx, similar

Book Clock: Sold-out 

Bumble bee figure: target, also comes in beetle and dragonfly

Colorblock blanket: sold out

Ampersand Pillow: DIY, Similar

Curtains: TjMaxx, similar 

Chair: Thrifted with DIY seat, Similar

Agate Tray: Sold out, Similar

New York Times Square Print: Old Ikea, Similar

XO Prepfordwife

DIY Mini Hunter Boots

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You’re welcome in advance for one of the cutest DIYs you’ve ever seen. It’s not mine. It’s adapted from Devon over at Girl in Gingham (adorable name) who adapted it from Rachel from Something Delightful. Doesn’t this just feel like an old school game of Telephone or Whisper Down the Lane? Either way, you can consider this me whispering one of the best kept preppy diy secrets to you.

I picked these boots up from Oriental Trading just like the other girls. They come in a pack of six pairs (12 total boots) for a grand total of $19.99! That was the only item I needed as I had the other supplies at home already. Full disclosure, I ran out of the high gloss project paint and use valspar lacquer to finish the rest of the boots.

Supplies

Boots

Gloss Spray Paint

Gloss Top Coat

Acrylic Paint for Hunter logo (red, white, black)

Fine tip paint brush

Tarp (aka cardboard box to cover surfaces)

40BEC7D3-3C26-4722-9431-C0D85F8DB13EC0E47234-7E1A-4E29-8990-2D8CB4819129These boots can be made in a few easy steps. Spray paint with the color of your choosing. Wait at least one hour for the paint to dry and spray a second coat of color. I waited overnight (only because I got sleepy) for the color coats to dry before following up by painting the Hunter label. Seal with one or two coats of high gloss clear and your off to the races.

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I ended up making five of the six  pairs as you can see and saving the last pair for when I am sure of what color I’d like best. This little project would be fabulous for a nursery if you are having a little one. We sent a happy little blue set off to a friend for nursery bookends.

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They’d also be great as a happy little edition to a barcart or a table setting to hold something dry like these straws or artificial hydrangeas. I don’t recommend using these as real planters unless you intend to put holes in the bottoms as they have no form of drainage.

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And voila, you’ve got yourself an easy and cute DIY. Hardest part is the ship and dry time.

XO Prepford Wife

Painting Kitchen Floor: A Saga

I wanted tile floors but I didn’t want to tile floors. Queue DIY music (or Macklemore’s Thrift Shop. Loathe as I am to give them props on anything, that song is my life all summed up).

In the interest of giving the goods up front. Here are before and afters of my kitchen.

Very Blurry Before Still Shots from A Video Before We Moved In:

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Before Painting:  Note counters already prepared with goodies to paint with

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After:

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So there’s my floors all done with my own two hands. In the interest of full fledged honesty, which I encourage round these parts, this wasn’t my first time at the rodeo. I use to participate in technical theater as a scenic charge in high school and painting floors was apparently my jam. Proof? Exhibit A: 100 lbs lighter and 10 years younger version of me coated in paint.

So when I decided to paint my floor, I had all the confidence that I could get it done and come out alive with less paint coating my clothing. I checked the internets and yes! It could be done and has been done, in exactly the floor I wanted no less, by the lovely Mysha of Remington Avenue. And praise be to God she posted a tutorial which I sort of followed. Here are the steps that I took. But definitely stop by her site to see the one that started it all and to avoid my lack of structure.

Our floors are of the laminate peel and stick variety and I knew down the road that I wanted to replace them with tile. I know my style is rather distinct so I try not to make too many of “those kinds” of specialized changes that won’t add value for when we decided to sell in the distant yet foreseeable future. So it only made sense to give those peel and stick tiles an affordable face lift and then keep real tile in my wayfair cart ‘less I messed up heavily.

Supplies

  • Foam Rollers -small to give more control and not be bigger than the stencil. Foam to avoid lint and shedding of fibers.
  • 220 grit sanding block
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Painters tape- feel free to get the delicate but pro tip: just stick it to your sweater a full times and pull off to soften the stickiness
  • Exacto knife
  • Mylar sheets or transparent poster board
  • Foam brushes
  • Paint
  • Polyacrylic sealant
  • Plastic shopping bags (you’ll see, promise)
  • Bucket
  • Degreaser
  • Kilz 1-2-3 Primer
  • Dry Swiffer or other mop with electrostatic cling

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  1. We have these beautiful bistro chairs that I snagged for a steal before we moved from a consignment shop (when has your fave ever?!). I knew I wanted the floor to be a close match to the color so I toted this picture into Lowe’s. As the human color match machine. I picked out the colors I thought were the closest and brought them home with me to look at them in different lighting. IMG_9573.jpg
  2. Gathered supplies. (including unpictured supplies)IMG_9575.jpg
  3. Emptied the floor of everything, dry swiffered, dry swiffered again, dry swiffered again. See a trend here. It’s really important to make sure that you get as much dust and particulate up from the start so it’s not caught in the floor. We have dogs which means that even though they have never been allowed in the kitchen, that I found dog hair in the cracks and crevices of the floor. Scrub floor with a degreaser. I used a bucket of hot water and blue Dawn dish detergent followed by a wash of clean water to make sure no soap was left behind. You could also probably use a cap full of bleach in a bucket of hot water. This step is really important because you need a good base to begin with. IMG_9577.jpg
  4. I taped off the floor with blue painter tape. Note that I got the thick tape. I’m not usually very careful with painting since old habits die hard butI knew I needed to protect the cabinets. Usually I skip this step (repeat: not careful) but I really wanted to get this right ‘less my husband blow a gasket.IMG_9579.jpg
  5. Rolled my table into the way so the dogs wouldn’t shake close to the kitchen boundary line (looking at you Sirius), tied up the curtains and primed the floor with the Kilz. We had a leftover can in our garage from previous projects and it has never let us down. While the primer dried I went and picked up paint. IMG_9829IMG_9830
  6. My favorite colors turned out to be Valspar Bleached Slate and Iron Frost which I got in Signature. I painted the floor and while waiting for it to dry I got started on a stencil. Top pictures are of iron frost while wet at night and the other photo is dry in daylight. It’s a very close matched me the chairs. IMG_9581.jpgIMG_9582.jpgIMG_9586.jpg7. I purchased sheets of transparent poster board from Michael’s. You can purchase Mylar Sheets on Amazon if you decide to make a stencil yourself or just purchase it like a regular person. I didn’t have the patience to extend this project to more days so I got to work. These tiles in my kitchen is 18 x 18. I’m lazy so to measure I just laid the transparency on the floor and traced it. IMG_9589.jpg
  7. Then I measured to find the halfway mark on the transparency both length and width and drew a line. IMG_9591.jpg
  8. I repeated the action by finding the half mark of the half mark and making a dashed line. This split my stencil into fourths so that I could turn one tile into four smaller tiles with the pattern I was making. IMG_9594.jpg
  9. I then used some of the extra sheet outside of the stencil to cut out a square the size of one of the smaller squares. From that I bent the square in half and drew a little curved and then cut that “little football”.IMG_9596.jpgIMG_9597.jpg
  10. I traced that it into the small squares and then labeled where to cut with an exacto knife. IMG_9600.jpg
  11. I laid the stencil onto a cutting board/mat and exacto-knifed the placed where I traced the football. IMG_9602.jpg
  12. Finished stencil. IMG_9603.jpg
  13. I started near my back and worked into the house. I taped the stencil down with the painters tape, made gentle by tapping it to my sweater.IMG_9604.jpg
  14. Rolled over stencil with a clean new foam brush brush. At this point I realized there was still residual dog hair in my kitchen so I snagged a swiffer cloth and began running it over the squares before I rolled over them. IMG_9605.jpg
  15. I scattered the pattern so that I could still walk around the kitchen. I made sure to do no two side by side so that the stencil wouldn’t overlap and smudge. IMG_9606.jpg
  16. After the initial squares dried, I went back in and started filling in the squares that I skipped.IMG_9608.jpgIMG_9609.jpg
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  18. I completed the vast majority of the kitchen and then doubled back to do the edges. because this happened on day two, the stencil was completely dry so I just taped it to the wall and rolled in the empty space. IMG_9648.jpg
  19. After the vast majority of the squares were completed, I went back and completed touch ups using the foam brushes. IMG_9820
  20. Once touch ups were complete, I rolled three coats of polycrylic sealant on, giving each coat 2 hours of dry time before touching/walking and 24 hours before the next coat (Coat +24 hours, coat+24hours, coat +24hours). I used polycrylic instead of polyurethane because the polyurethane will yellow over time. Make sure that you are dust free. Between coats I used the sanding bar to loosen any grit and scratch up the coat so the next coat would adhere well. I then wiped the grit with the microfiber towel so that the towel wouldn’t leave dust.  IMG_9652.jpgIMG_9653.jpgIMG_9658.jpg
  21. After the coat dried, I carefully removed all of the tape using the exacto knife to make sure it didn’t pull up any of the sealant. IMG_9772.jpg
  22. Once the floor was complete and had 72 hours to dry, I put in this art deco gold vent cover for only $5. #winningIMG_9773.jpgDSC_0979

 

So tada that’s that. Well sorta. I need to pull out the appliances and paint underneath but I’m giving the floor a second to rest a bit more and cure before I put them out. So that’s it. I tend to freestyle when I paint (and when I live, honestly). I always describe myself as a “measure half a time, cut three times” kind of girl which means I plan in my head and then fling headlong into a project. So something here may not be clear. Gotta question? Let me know.

 

 

New Headboard. Who dis?

So I have been slowly (heavy emphasis on the word slowly) completing projects around our home. The most of the ones I have completed so far are boring (read: not design based) but my first completed design project was a reupholstering of our headboard.

I fell in love with a sketch of a Kate Spade bed from the comforter that we purchased and thought how cute would it be if this bed were a real bed?

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It was just my luck that Kate Spade actually makes a very similar bed and the design in the photo is just up my eclectic preppy little alley.

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So I drove myself down that alley of the Kate Spade Worthington Bed and instantly pumped my brakes, as it retails for the low low price of $7,345 and includes an additional fee of $199 and a shipping and handling charge. But who’s counting?

So this piece became my lofty inspiration and the jumping off point for several ideas. I dabbled with the concept of getting this feel with a vintage scalloped headboard and painting the trim black or getting an upholstered headboard that had the wood exposed. Nothing was showing up when I hunted for vintage wood beds and I refuse refuse refuse to pay $2000 for a bed when I am currently sleeping in a perfectly good one.

One weekend, I woke up and realized I love the shape of our current bed. I just want the feel of the contrasting Kate Spade bed. *Queue DIY music* I decided to reupholster our headboard and just add a contrast trim instead of the piping that was already there.

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Here’s a before shot of our headboard. Note the comfy way I’m reclining against it. I more than paid for that because after years of owning it, our headboard had giant prepford wife (and prepford husband) size stains from body oils. Knowing I wanted a white headboard I took that into consideration when deciding on which fabric to get.

Before leaving the house, I stripped the old headboard so I would know how much fabric I needed.

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It is very much apparent that I did this project on a whim since I didn’t even clear out space for it in our bedroom. Basically in these photos, I removed the legs of the headboard then the decorative black backing GENTLY as I had no intention of paying for more of that strictly decorative netting. When I removed the netting, I realized very quickly that our headboard was made of two pieces which is what gave it the trim that we had. In the third photo, I also realized that there was piping that created that nice line of piping that was on the original headboard. I gently pulled it away, mentally documenting the order that I removed the pieces.

I ended up with three pieces of distinct fabric in the end; the part from the main headboard that I rest against, the trim and the piping. I am the “Measure halfway twice and cut three times”. By measure halfway twice I mean I guesstimate and eyeball how much fabric I need and then run off to the store. I have a good eye for spacial reasoning and distance and have only been wrong maybe once or twice. I swear this method makes my husband nervous.

I went to Joann Fabrics (armed with my customary 40% coupon) and sprinted back to the upholstery wall. I have to be fast in the store because the husband loathes the fabric store and I took him along for his opinion. I purchase furniture the same way I purchase clothing; by touch. I went to the white upholstery fabrics and found a piece that felt appealing and after a visual assessment looked appealing. At $24.99/yd and with 40% I could absolutely swing it. While we were in the upholstery section we also snagged a can of Scotchgard because we were not going to make the same mistake twice with the body oils.

I knew from measuring that I needed about 1.75 yards of fabric and I was going to bump it up to 2.5 yards because I was so lazy with the measurements. At the counter the girl helping us said there was only 2 yards on the bolt. Insert nerves in my gut here. Obviously I took it since I was on a serious deadline here. I also decided to make this a no sew project  -oh you know, since I don’t sew- and grabbed a roll of grosgrain black ribbon for the contrast trim.

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I spread the white fabric out on the living room floor (don’t worry, I swiffered first) and laid the biggest panel of fabric from the old headboard out in a way that left room for the other panels. I eyeballed as usual.

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I cut the panel out, making sure to leave enough to be able to pull around the edge and staple it down. At the bottom of the panel which is the straight end. I left enough fabric to be able to lay the large plank which had the trim (it’s the part that labeled A in the earlier pictures) onto this and staple the fabric to the back of it.

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The batting on my headboard was in surprisingly good condition but if you need any, definitely add it before stapling down. You can see my batting peaking out at the bottom there. IMG_5606

I then added fabric to the piece where the contrast is (part A again). I cut out a piece of fabric by just cutting a few inches from around where I cut out the first piece of fabric since it pretty much made the perfect cut out. For the part with the corners, I just created a bit of a fold in the fabric, pulled really taut and then stapled down to the back to create uniformity. Now for the piping.

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This part is kind of tricky to see but I saved the old piping and made sure that I chose a pretty thick and long grosgrain ribbon. I measured the length of the old piping which was about 156 inches and made sure to get a ribbon that was long enough on the spool so that I would have one continuous piece. When I started this part of the project, I wrapped the ribbon around the old piping like a hotdog bun and then stapled the part that would be open against the side of the white trim. If you look at the pictures above and below, you can kind of see the old canvas color peeking out of the bottom of the black ribbon at the right. I was totally unphased by that since the main part of the headboard would be going over it. IMG_5608

Here’s a much closer picture of it. I continued along the headboard, wrapping and stapling, wrapping and stapling until I got to the curvy portion.

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At the curve, I wrapped and tacked to the headboard and pushed into the corner real good to make sure it didn’t come loose. At this portion of the program it was well into 2 am so the pictures stopped but this is definitely the home stretch. Once the ribbon was in. I placed the other main headboard layer into the hole created for it, pulled the fabric taut on the main headboard piece and staple the back on. Before doing so, I poured almost a whole bottle of wood onto the big trimmed piece.

If I remember I will add more pictures of the headboard.

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Voile finished product. The headboard could definitely have been pulled more taut. That step is very very very important if you want a nice clean finish but overall, I am satisfied with the results and this $35 fix will tide me over until I find the vintage headboard of my dreams.

 

XO Prepford Wife

 

Mini Makeover for Under $150

Our guest room bathroom is the first room to be “done” in our house. Honestly, it’s the master bathroom. It opens off our kitchen so we opted to forgo the master and use it as the guest bathroom and the powder room for our first floor. When we first moved in, the room looked like this. 

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You’re obviously getting the most real before ever because I didn’t even clean up after dropping the stuff into the room. While the bathroom was completely liveable (minus the heinous amounts of unpacking needed) it wasn’t our style. It’s also not very functional as it stands. It has a really teeny and impractical shower which is literally the size of a packing bin. So this room has a bigger reno down the road for it. In the mean time, we gave it a little facelift for right around $125.

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Wall paint: Free. This color was already in our collection of colors from our old home

Mirror $47.99 + 5% Redcard= $45.60

Vanity Paint: $2.50 I go into the hardware store with an open heart and an open mind. Sure I have a particular color on the brain but then I just go for whichever shade is the closest on the Oops Rack. As long as it has the finish I want, I risk it and take it as a sign from the universe it’s meant to be. It was either this almost black semi-gloss or a beautiful lilac color I was in love with. I made sure that when I painted, I went all the way down to the vent and painted the baseboard to give it one continuous feel.

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Brass Handles: $2.40 x 2= $4.80 Amazon for the win. I bought a set of five of these bars since I used them in the upstairs bathroom and the kitchen as well. They are a little light weight but visually appealing. We didn’t invest too heavily because we didn’t know if we would like them. But I’m a fan. Super high impact for so little money.

Vanity Light: $54.97 There are definitely better deals to be had on this little guy. After buying it, I realized I had one saved on my Amazon “New Home” list for $39.99. There’s also one on Houzz for $49.99. Forehead slaps.

Trashcan: Free. A piece from our old home that we found in a thrift store for $3. However Target online sells these two (1, 2) similar cuties.

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Shelves: Free. There were actually a ton of shelves left in the house when we moved in. We were deciding if we wanted to keep or let go but since the bathroom has so little storage we decided to make use of them. However they can be found at ikea for $10 for the brackets and the shelves.

Towels: Free. Well free adjacent. I actually used a Target Redcard perk to get both Bath Sheets. They are absolutely huge and beautiful quality.

Shelf décor: Free. Again sort of free but they are found items from our old homes décor. The little elephant is 50 cent thrift store find. The brass tin with the toilet paper is actually the container from a cheese basket from our realtor so actually free. The little cheese plate with the wash clothes is a $1 thrift store find and the little pot if a 50 cent find from ikea. I’m still juggling on what to put in that little flower pot that will live in this relatively dark space.

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Shower Curtain: $18 The shower is still a doozy but for now we will cover this incredibly cramped space with a shower Curtain. I actually bought this same shower curtain for our upstairs bathroom and liked it so much I bought it for downstairs as well for the sake of continuity. That little wood slat is from our old home as well.

So there it is folks, just a quick run down of what we did to our bathroom. Perspective and addition of natural light aside, it really is a much more liveable, loveable little space. For a grand total of $125.87, our bathroom got am entire facelift. Obviously if you don’t have on hand all of the little goodies we had before, it will run you a bit more. We may end up making some small changes in the future like changing the faucet and possibly making toilet before we go for the big all white reno. However, for right now, I am placated enough to move to the next room.

Thank you for following along

XO Prepfordwife

Kate Spade Downing Desk Alike

I am head over heels in love with the Kate Spade Downing desk but at a whopping $3,095, I wasn’t in love with the price.

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I scoured the Internet and fell in love with this simple diy version of the desk from Mark Montano and needed to make it. I took a weekend and voila, in three hours it was complete.  We purchased the Alex desk from Ikea and the hardware from Home Depot online. In store had only rounded edge hardware instead of sharp edge hardware. It seemed to visually make all of the difference at least to me. If you’d like to create your own version of the desk, these are all the supplies you need.

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I laid down the drop cloth and put the pre-built desk on it. After attaching the hardware, I simply dabbed the slightly imperfect spots with the daubers. I made sure to cut the edges of the daubers as instructed since Kate Spade’s circles are never perfect. I also painted the legs with a small brush. Unlike the linked diy project, I made sure to seal the desk with a few coats of high gloss top coat. The surface of the desk is so very slick that I am positive the spots would be gone in a week.

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I’ve been using it as a very long nightstand since I often find myself bringing work. I am still settling on a chair. I have a chippedale chair currently but I’m highly considering a lucite or acrylic chair. No matter what chair I end up with, I couldn’t be happier with the results as I saved myself $2,900.

The Etsy Wedding Dress

I am go with the flow, until I’m not. I knew if we were going to have an actual wedding ceremony, that the perfect dress was a non-negotiable. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted but I knew that I would know it when I saw it.

I accidentally tumbled upon etsy.com and their gorgeous wedding dress selection early in my wedding planning process and decided to give it a try. Many of the dresses are custom made on international soil, cutting out the middle man. The dresses run anywhere from $70 to $10,000 but the ability to customize is what really makes it worth it.

Here are some of the dresses I initially drooled over.

 

source: Sofitdress

 

 

source: misdress

 

source: misdress
source: misdress
I found myself drawn to the shop Misdress which is managed from China by a woman name Kim. They seemed to have that illusion neckline that I adored and the shop had favorable reviews. I definitely contacted about four girls who ordered from her for pictures of their dresses before hand. I was drawn to the last dress which we in our household affectionately termed, the ‘Nakey Dress’. The dress was a little too nakey for me and risky for unpredictable October weather. Plus, it like the other dresses on the list, didn’t quite feel like me. Or our woodsy yet preppy wedding.
I selected four or five (yes, I said it) dresses that I liked and picked the features I wanted and explained them to Ms. Kim. She said no problem, asked for my measurements, and quoted me $190 and a Valentine’s day arrival if I paid that day (1/28). I figured that the worst that could happen was that the dress would blow and I would be out $190 so I pulled the proverbial trigger. We agreed on the end of March as the deadline to have the dress but she assured me, no later than Valentine’s day.
Fast forward a month later and Valentine’s day comes and goes with no updated shipping or communication from Ms. Kim. I contacted her two days later and she responded promptly saying they needed more time if possible and would have it sent out by February 29th which was no problem since our wedding is in October. On March 4th after no updated shipping, I communicated again only for it to be delayed due to “prom season”. Wrong answer, Ms Kim. After a frustrated email from me, she agreed to March 10th. On March 9th, she asked for another email to overnight it as a PO box can not receive a shipment from UPS. No problem. Overnight comes and goes and still no dress. One week later and still no dress.
On March 18th, I received a medium sized package in my post office box with a Chinese return address. IT CAME!
And it was perfect! The dress is absolutely exquisite. Beautiful craftsmanship. Great tailoring. Amazing fabric and best of all custom fit. There is very little need for alteration. The only thing that needs to be done is that the top of the dress needs to be let out an inch. My measurements were done at Carolina Bridal World (serious eye roll) and the girl measured my bust two inches too small because I was wearing layers and she wanted it to fit nice and tight. Now my dress is too small thanks to this lovely rocket scientist. So this is no fault of Ms. Kim’s. The dress is everything I hoped it would be and more and minus some communication flaws that resulted in my dress coming a month later than expected, it was a perfect transaction. And scoring “the” dress for only $190 was worth it.

**********Update*****************

Now that we are FINALLY married, I can show you guys the dress I waited so long for.

 

And here’s a few of me in it so you can see how it fit.