DIY Fat Tie to Skinny Tie

For those you of who know my husband he’s a pretty sharp and trendy dresser.  He likes his ties skinny.  I really shouldn’t even take credit for this project except that I found it on Pintrest and suggested to him that he try it out.  Here’s how he did it:

First here is the difference between the fat and the skinny tie.  He wanted the top one to be the size of the bottom one.  I promise in real life the tie is red, not pink.

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Now the first real step in the project is to cut the stitches out of the tie:

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This is what the tie looks like opened up.  See that white part in the middle, that is the structure of the tie so you will be cutting that part.

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Place a tie that you are happy with size-wise in the middle as a way to measure.

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Now cut!

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

The good thing about this project is that it really doesn’t require much precision because no one is going to see the inside.  My husband and I are both novice sewers so neither of us have the skills or patience for the perfect cuts.  See those not-so-straight lines?  They don’t matter.

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Now iron down the sides so they lay flat

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Here it is ironed flat

Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Now stitch the sides back together with very simple vertical stitches (by hand not a sewing machine):

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Lawyer Spouse and Maven of the House: DIY- Fat tie to Skinny Tie

Here’s the finished product!

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So easy!

CSA – First Week

I decided this year to join a CSA.  I got a split share with friends and so mine is only a half (I wanted to start out slow this year).  I got my first group of stuff this week.

  • 1 head of red leaf
  • 10 radishes
  • 2 scallions (so random)
  • a bunch of cilantro

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I did a lot of research before I got my veggies and learned the best way to deal with this produce is to properly wash it and store it.

I cut up the red leaf and then washed it numerous times in a salad spinner.  I considered buying veggie wash but after some online research I realized that a DIY version was cheaper and would have the same effect.  Via pintrest I found this blog post that says that wash fruit in 10 parts water 1 part vinegar.  I tried that with my lettuce and so we’ll see how that goes.

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After I washed it I dried it with the spinner and then left it sitting out to dry.  Then I put all that lettuce in 2 small mason jars with some paper towels.  I won’t really get to see how long it will last because we are probably eating most of the lettuce tomorrow night.

Next came the radishes.  The key to washing these was a vegetable brush, I didn’t even need my home made veggie wash.

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I bought this one from amazon and look at the before and after.  It made the radishes sparkle!

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So what am I going to make?

  • Lettuce – salad (nothing exciting)
  • Radishes – Radish chips
  • Cilantro – Vegetarian Burritos
  • Scallions – I don’t know I only have two so I’ll throw them in something

I love that the CSA forces me to make my meals around what is actually supposed to be growing.  This round was a little weak but I hear that CSA’s get really good in the middle of the summer.

🙂

No Sew Hemming

Hey everyone, it’s been a while.

This morning I did the easiest project ever – I hemmed without having to sew anything.  I had a skirt that was not only too long but it would roll up when I walked because of its awkward length.  I wanted to hem it but I didn’t want to pay a seamstress (the skirt only cost me $10!) and I don’t have a sewing machine (which I wouldn’t know how to use if I had one anyway).

I bought this no sew hem tape from fabric.com

Meven of the House: No Sew Hemming

This was the skirt I wanted to hem.  Step 1: Iron. Then decide how much you want to hem it.  Fold it over and do a quick iron so it is already folded the way you want it.

Meven of the House: No Sew Hemming

Once you have decided how much you want to hem, but pieces of tape and place them under the fold.  I cut pieces that were about 4 inches long.

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Meven of the House: No Sew Hemming

Press the iron on top of the fabric to bond the tape to both sides ( I didn’t remember to take a picture of this step but I think you can use your imagination as to what an iron looks like on a piece of fabric.)

The package said to hold the iron with no steam for 3 seconds and repeat until “bonded.”  After three seconds this is what I had (obviously not quite bonded) so I repeated two more times.  Note: make sure that you stick the hem tape as close to the end of the fold as possible.

Maven of the House: No Sew Hemming

The final product was perfect it stuck so well it’s like I got it hemmed by a seamstress and the whole process cost basically nothing.  I think I paid $1.50 for the hem tape and I only used about a foot of it.

Maven of the House: No Sew Hemming

If you do a quick side by side comparison you can see the difference – before I hemmed it the skirt had an awkward bottom part that flared out a little bit at the knees.  Now it is straight down.

Meven of the House: No Sew Hemming

Maven of the House: No Sew Hemming

The test was to wear the skirt and see if it lasted.  I wore it all day today and it stretched with the material and everything!

DIY Decorative Storage Boxes

I got this idea from pintrest and some of the blogs I read. I wanted pretty storage and so I bought my own fabric and repurposed bulk pasta boxes to make customized pretty storage.

Here are what the finished products look like:


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Here’s how to do it!

Step 1: Take a sturdy box. A lot of bloggers have used diaper boxes but I don’t have any little ones crawling around so I used bulk pasta boxes.

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Step 2: Cut the tops off

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Step 3: Prime – I like to prime the box so that when you paint it or cover it with fabric the box doesn’t show through. I used spray primer and did a couple of coats.

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Step 4: Decorate!! I covered two boxes with fabric and painted one. I’ll show you the painted one first because it’s a wayy less involved process.

Step 5a: PAINT (pretty straight forward)

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and here is the finished product:

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Step 5b: cover with fabric – this is an awesome way to make a decorative box. I bought my fabric from fabric.com which is not only cheap but has tonnns of great options! I love that I was able to customize my decorative boxes for less than $5 each!!

First I ironed all the wrinkles out of the fabric

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Then I did some serious measuring. This part takes a lot of patience! The more time you spend on this step the better your box will come out. Instead of using rulers and measuring everything I just made lines with a pencil along the sides of the box. You will also want to leave about half an inch of space on each side to iron under so that when you stick the fabric to the box it won’t have fraying pieces of fabric sticking out of the sides. This is what the back side of my fabric looked like after I spent time marking it out with pencil:

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After checking a number of times that I had the lines right, I cut out the design with fabric scissors.

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Then I ironed each of the one inch sides down to avoid a frayed look on the sides of the boxes. I thought I would need hem tape but actually just ironing it down was enough.

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Once all of the edges were ironed down, I applied the fabric to the box one side at a time using spray adhesive.

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And here is the finished product!!

I made one with yellow fabric too and put them on my stained chopping block. I love how they add pops of color to an otherwise very ikea black-brown area.

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I filled the blue one with our benchers (Jewish books with blessings) and the yellow with our K Cups for our Keurig Machine. I don’t mind that all the K Cups are all mixed up because we only have coffee occasionally (especially now that I’m not in law school anymore!!)

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The painted box sits next to our desk and it is filled with our office supplies since our desk doesn’t have drawers.

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All that storage space for less than $10!!! Amazing!

Custom Framing – Buy Local

I am so excited to say that we have our ketubah (marriage contract) framed and on the wall!! Ari’s grandmother custom made it for us as a wedding present (how cool is that?)

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We chose to go with a gold frame, which matched our decor and brought out some of the metallic in the ketubah.

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Ari and I took our Ketubah out for a windy walk the day before Hurricane Irene. We had a 40% off framing coupon from Michaels and were very excited to have them frame it for us – until we found out that these coupons are a scam. If you go to Michaels there is a chart on the wall with pricing for the frames, so we calculated it as 40% off that price list – wrong. It was 40% off some other non displayed price list, which brought our price to more than if we didn’t use the coupon.

So after we were a little peeved and had fallen in love with a frame that we couldn’t afford, we walk our ketubah down broadway on the upper west side and stumbled into a frame shop where everything was about $80-$100 less than Michaels.

As you saw above they did a fabulous job and we got to support a local business – win, win. Moral of the story, go local for your framing and don’t fall for Michael’s coupon schemes!

DIY Tea Box

I am a big tea drinker at all times of the day.  I used to keep boxes of teas in the cabinet in the kitchen, until I moved to NYC and there was no longer room for that.  Then my old roommate put all of our tea packets thrown into a basket, which didn’t work because I could never easily find the tea that I wanted.  Then my lovely husband came in and saved the day!

First let me show you what you can buy for lots of money:

This beauty is $32.85

This one is $34.99

And this one is the cheapest at $18.09

All of those are nice but they are pricey and they are small for avid tea drinkers like me and lack the flexibility of having more of one kind of tea and less of another.

Enter: project Tea Box

First we bought a $5 box from Century 21.  This was just a regular storage box (also really cute):

Then Ari took the cardboard from the tea boxes and made dividers.

I put my teas in organized by color (because I’m cool like that).

Of course, Ari put his personal touch by writing “Hayley’s Teas” with a highlighter (because we were both in law school at the time obviously working really hard on reading our casebooks instead of making tea boxes).

(This is a really artsy photograph because you can see my shadow)

Amazing, now I can easily grab whichever type of tea I want at anytime, and it looks pretty too 🙂 and I didn’t spend tons of money.  Win/win/win!

Happy Thanksgiving!

DIY Jewelry Cleaner

This is such an easy and quick project!  I got this “recipe” from the jeweler who set my engagement ring.

DIY Jewelry Cleaner “Recipe”

  • 3 parts non sudsy ammonia
  • 1 part water
  • 1 drop of any brand dish soap

Procedure

  • Put jewelry in the jar and shake for about 30 seconds
  • Remove with a baby toothbrush and scrub (optional) – this step is good for diamond rings or any jewelry with small nooks.  The baby toothbrushes have softer bristles which is better for delicate jewelry
  • Rinse with cold water and let air dry

NOTE: this is only for hard stones, gold and silver.  I can’t speak to any other type of jewelry, I’ve never put in costume jewelry or soft stones like pearls or opals.

That’s it!  I made my own by taking an old preserves jar and removing the label:

To remove the label I washed with cold water and the abrasive side of a sponge.  Then to get the glue off I used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser and it came off pretty easily.  I’ve also used Goo Gone to remove labels and that works really well too (I just didn’t have any).

I was thinking about painting it but I realized the jar was very cute on its own.  I had made one for a friend that I painted the lid and put scrapbook stickers on it with her name.

I would show before and after pictures of jewelry that I cleaned with it, but my camera isn’t fancy enough to pick up those kinds of details.

I hope everyone is staying safe inside from Hurricane Sandy.  If you are bored and without power this is a perfect project to occupy some time!

Posted in DIY

Ikea Hack! – Staining Our Furniture Ikea Black Brown

Our apartment is mostly furnished with ikea furniture.  We have a bunch of things that we bought with wedding money and the rest was stuff that we each had from before we moved in together. We really like the black brown color so most of our stuff has that finish.  However, we also had a chopping block from Ari’s single days that was in the plain unfinished wood color.

This is what it looked like:

After we got married we needed storage for all our wonderful gifts so we got a china cabinet and a small cabinet for me to put my candles on.  The chopping block didn’t look good next to all the black brown so we decided to stain it.  It was so easy to do because it was already unfinished.

Step 1: very light sanding just to make sure the stain sets in (and to remove any stains from before since we have served food from here before)

Step 2: Stain! We used General Finishes Gel Stain in Java.  We only needed a pint for two coats on the whole thing.  It’s important to let the stain dry overnight in between each coat.   Apply using foam brushes.

Step 3: Varnish.  After letting the stain have a couple of days to dry, we finished with Minwax Fast Drying Polyurethane.  We did one coat on the whole thing and then a second coat on the top since we are using it at a buffet. Also apply using foam brushes.

Step 4: Done, just make sure to let it dry.


Look at how well it matches the real black brown! You can barely tell the difference!  My only comments for those who are interested in also doing the black brown stain is that it really comes out more like a paint than a stain.  The wood grain from underneath doesn’t show through as much as I would want it to.  Overall I think this is the best that is out there right now.  Ikea used to sell paint to match but they stopped doing that.  Anyone else try to stain their ikea furniture?

Happy Friday!

Hayley

I’m finally starting a blog

Hello and THANK YOU so much for taking a second to check out my new blog!!!

After much encouragement (and discouragement) I have decided to start out a home organizing and decorating blog by a full time lawyer and a newlywed housewife.  This has been a big year! After graduating law school, taking the bar exam, and getting married this summer I have now started my first career job as a lawyer for children who are subjects of abuse and neglect case.  On top of that I am less than two months into my marriage (to the best guy in the world) and trying to slowly but surely set up our home and life together!

I am starting this blog because I love decorating and organizing and taking on fun diy/crafty projects.  I also love to cook and while I don’t love to bake I’m starting to get my hands into a little bit of challah dough.  I thought this would be a fun way to share my ideas with friends/family/whoever happens to stumble upon my blog.

Thanks again for stopping by.  I hope you enjoy what is to come!