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Redecorating your bathroom on a budget

Bathroom Re-Do for $212.00 

How many times have you gone in your bathroom and hated it?  I could not stand how our guest bathroom looked.  The wall paper was from the ’60s, everything is trimmed in bright gold finish, the mirror on the medicine cabinet is cracked, and I had a huge picture of a monkey chugging a bottle of liquor on the wall in bright yellow.  The cabinets had water stains on them.  The wall paper had designs of ugly flowers and vines, that if you looked really closely, you could make out the outline of a woman and her breast.  None of the towels matched.  The decor really worked well together!

You are going to love the bathroom as much as I did!


                   


My husband and I live in a 1970’s model double wide that I have been taking strides to update and make into a home.  We got it for free.  F-R-E-E.  Now I know not everyone is blessed with a free house, and there were some definite drawbacks to it.  It’s gotten new shingles, new siding (it had been through a hailstorm and tornado), new electrical wiring, basically lots of new just to make it livable.  

So now that it is comfortably livable…I’ve been “decorating”.  I’m making air quotes with my fingers, because I’m a firm believer that I have an absolute lack of style when it comes to picking curtains, decor, etc.  This year, I’ve learned about myself that I really just don’t like what there is to purchase for decor.  I want to make it myself.  Partly because I didn’t even know how to use a sewing machine 5 years ago, and I am so excited that I can actually do something useful.  And when you make it yourself, you can save a ridiculous amount of money by making your house look AWESOME.  

Working on a budget!

The first thing I did was move all of the mis-matched towels out of the bathroom.  I made a trip to TJ Maxx and purchased some really nice dark gray DKNY bath, hand, and face towels, then I purchased two coordinating rugs.  This was the biggest purchase I made for the bathroom.  I spent about $40.00 on the 2 rugs and $50.00 on the towels.  I could have gone to Wal-Mart for the towels, but the ones TJ Maxx has are really, really nice.  They are soft and plush and not thin and flimsy like the cheapies at Wally World, and I was okay with spending a little extra on those.  

When I got the towels home, I cut pieces of fabric and hemmed the sides.  Then I just trimmed all of the towels in a variety of different fabrics that coordinated with the color scheme I was planning on using–gray and teal/turquoise.  

This was the end result:

I have a hard time deciding on just one fabric, so I used all of the ones I liked.  I’m not a matchy-matchy personality, so that worked for me.  

Step 2 was getting rid of that awful wall paper.  I actually grew up in this house, and I have loathed that wall paper for as long as I can remember.  It gave me great satisfaction to paint over it.   


I purchased one gallon (I probably only needed a quart) of gray paint in the shade that I wanted at Home Depot for about $25.00.  I always buy the kind that has the primer mixed in with it so I don’t have to do double the work.  I probably should have used Kilz, but my husband insists we are building a house, so I didn’t want to spend the extra money if it was temporary.  I already had the bright teal paint that I had used to repaint our kitchen, but if I had purchased it, I would have needed a quart–so let’s add about $10.00 to that.  I already had the paint brushes and painter’s tape, but let’s say I didn’t and I spent another $30.00 on brushes and tape.  

The key to working on a budget is to work with things you have already purchased!  I really liked the paint I already had, so I just bought a neutral to coordinate with it.  And I am really careful about cleaning paintbrushes after they’re used so they don’t get stiff and ruin.  

I taped off the bathroom and painted the walls and cabinets.  Painting the cabinets was much cheaper than replacing them.  And if you use a really fine brush, it can make the room really pop.  (if you had a larger budget, you could actually fill up the cabinet with towels 🙂


Step 3 was wall decor.  I’m pretty picky about what I like and what I don’t like.  So I made my own.  Before I painted I took down the hideous monkey picture, and there was no way it was going back up.  I bought that myself, by the way.  I told you I had good taste.

After I painted, the walls looked pretty bare.  Don’t get me wrong, they looked GREAT without that dated wall paper, but something was missing to tie the room together.  

I made another trip down to the Wal-Mart and purchased some pretty decent frames.  I spent $12.00 on the smaller one, and $30.00 on the large one.  I could have gone way cheaper, but I wasn’t replacing the bathroom counter or the linoleum, so I figured I had a few extra bucks.

Mind you, I had no plan for what I was going to put in these frames.  I’m shocked that I came up with something.  For the 4-picture frame, I decided to put our last name in applique on some Tula Pink fabric that I had.  It was pretty time consuming, but worth the effort.  That was one picture.  The other three, I went with a nature-y theme and just did some free-motion quilting samples on solid colored fabrics that coordinated with the colors of paint I used.  I did pebbles, all over leaves, and wood grain.  Each one took me about 45 minutes.  

                                      

 



Helpful hint:  The glass in the frames I picked up was FILTHY.  Be careful when you take the glass out to clean it prior to mounting your decor.  I sliced the crud out of my finger and nearly bled all over the things I had spent so much time on, but luckily I noticed in time to get a band-aid.  

The second frame I picked up had three places for pictures, so I decided against quilting again and did something a little more “manly”.  I used google images for outlines of the state of Texas and a buck.  Then I appliqued them onto another Tula Pink fabric that I had.  Are you seeing a theme here?  (I love Tula Pink!)  If I have time, I’ll post a tutorial on how to do this–it’s really easy!


To sum it up, I spent $212.00 total to make this bathroom look a little updated.  I added in $15.00 for fabric-you don’t need much…that’s probably over estimating the cost.  

I could spend a little more and replace the sink and counter top, and I do plan on replacing the mirror (which I am getting for free).  

You save a ton of money by doing everything yourself, and you get the satisfaction of seeing your work put to good use.  

And the best part is I don’t have to look at an abstract picture of a woman’s breast every time I’m in there.  

-Joanna



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My disaster of a sewing room…organizing to be more productive

I am starting this post by literally cleaning out my closet!  Or sewing room, if you will.  Most of us that sew (not as our numero uno source of income) have limited time to do projects and orders.  That being said, you have my excuse for the disastrous pictures you are about to see.  Consider yourself lucky (or unlucky!) that you are getting to see the nightmare that my sewing room had become.  With a full time job, it is difficult to remember at the end of the day to tidy up after yourself.  

Lighting was also a huge issue.  It always seemed really dark, especially since I just had to paint the walls teal and the ceiling an even darker shade of said color.  So that was addressed as well.

I finally decided something had to change when I gashed my leg open on the corner of a rotary ruler that I had propped up against my sewing table.  Notice that I said rotary RULER.  Not rotary cutter.  Yes.  I am that much of a slob that I cut myself with a ruler.  

I know it has been a LOOOOONG time since my last post, and I’m determined to make a change…as you will see in the after pictures!  I have spent the last week thoroughly enjoying myself in my sewing “studio” now that I actually have the space and organization to get some work done.  I would estimate that I spent roughly $300 on shelves, bins, containers, hardware, etc.  But I would do it all again and then some.  It also took me 4 days, and I usually do not stay committed to a project that involves cleaning and organizing for that long, so I was extra proud of myself.  And…drum roll please!  It’s been clean for over a week now.

BEFORE…you know, the hot mess pictures…


Whew!  AFTER!  


I know I have probably given some of you a panic attack with the first 5 pictures.  But take comfort in knowing that if I can do it, anyone can.  

Even if you don’t have a room devoted to your hobby, you can’t get anything done if you can’t FIND anything in the area without tripping over a body.  

The only major changes I made in the room were the following:
-took all my textbooks from college that I never use off the bookshelf and put them in boxes.
-purchased Closet Maid shelves from Wal-Mart and Home Depot and installed them
-moved all surface areas (tables) to walls 
-purchased organizing bins from Wal-Mart and used them to group similar objects together
-purchased and installed new lighting fixtures above the sewing machines

Hopefully, your situation is not as dire as mine was…but if it is…hop to it so you can be more productive!

-Joanna

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A&M T-Shirt Quilt

It’s been a while since my last post!  I have been a busy bee trying to get lots of projects done in time for my first market days (like a trade show/craft fair).  I finished my sample t-shirt quilt that I’m planning on displaying.  I don’t have much time today, but just wanted to put some pictures up of the finished quilt…I’m reallly glad I get to keep this one 🙂

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Watermelon twist travel bags

Whew!  It’s been a busy month for me!   I recently started by own business, Kustom Kwilts and Designs, and have been preparing for two upcoming craft shows to sell my products at.  I can honestly say in the last few weeks, I have gained a huge appreciation for artisans who craft their own products and actually make a living doing it.  I am a full-time employed teacher (ag science) and in my spare time…what spare time?…I attempt to stock up for these shows.  This is a set of make-up or travel bags that I recently made that I adore…don’t know if I will be able to part with them!  Due to the colors I picked, I call them the watermelon twist set.

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Green Grocery Bags

I’ve started making bags recently, and hate those reusable grocery bags that you can buy that are so flimsy they are really disposable.  These bags are heavy duty, with liners, and can be folded to conserve space.  These are some of the ones I have recently made.  My favorite is the sewing bag for my MANY trips to the fabric store!

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Texas Tech Quilt

This is a quilt I recently made for my brother, who is a Tech Alumni.  Hopefully he doesn’t look at this blog ;).  It’s a little bit difficult to see in the photos, but I used red and silver thread to quilt the double T logo on alternating squares.  The other squares are filled in with the TT gun.  The border detail is random quilting in red. 

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4th of July table runner and placemats

I tried my hand at another table runner with a patriotic theme and matching placemats.  These can be purchased online at my Etsy store (Kustom Kwilts).  The set is fully reversible, and the back of the table runner matches the back of the placemats.  It’s difficult to see the quilting, but there are 2 large stars and 3 small stars on each placemat.  The table runner is quilted with stars as well.