WEEKEND DIY: Vintage trunk coffee table

To date, this is my favourite DIY and I am really excited to share it here today! This project has been 2 years in the making. I knew I wanted a new coffee table and envisioned the design a lot time ago, but finding the perfect trunk proved to be a lot harder than expected.

thedemuremuse.com Steampunk Coffee Table DIY

This trunk is a beaut, isn’t she? My criteria for the perfect trunk was that it had to be under $80 (this was actually quite hard, especially since antique stores with the most beautiful trunks started at $100), had all the original markings (many that I came across over the years had been repainted), and the inside didn’t smell like mothballs. Was I being too picky? Maybe. Holding out for the perfect trunk was worth the wait, though! These were photos that I snapped at Goodwill when we walked by the trunk the first time:

steampunk trunk goodwill

The most immaculate conditioned and beautifully designed piece at only $35?!? YES, I’LL TAKE IT! This trunk belonged to a senior lieutenant and is addressed from being shipped in October 1960 from California to Brooklyn. Prior to seeing this gem, I had never encountered another trunk with the shipping details stenciled directly onto the surfaces (always just a sticker), so it felt like striking gold when this was uncovered in the furniture section of the biggest Goodwill in Seattle!

Supplies for this project
vintage trunk (thrifted from Goodwill for $35)
4 x 6″ raw steel hairpin legs (bought these exact ones)
12 x 5/16″ washers
12 x M6 size screws
12 x M6 size nuts
power drill + phillip-head attachment

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Currently: December 2013

Loving: This photo right up thurr! hahaha I made a gift for a friend, who also happens to be the owner of this cat that I am so smitten by. He’s got the most symmetrical face ever with the cutest pattern and gorgeous green eyes. Ok, I’m going to stop myself from sounding too much like an insane cat lady… long story short: as soon as I met this cat, I was inspired to make a pillow of him. I kept laughing as I worked through my insomnia on this (yes, it’s true! This is what I do at 4:30am when I can’t sleep) and thought it was just as funny when I was done! Sadly, this kitty doesn’t share my humour and was pretty skeptical of his doppelganger pillow. I mean, it must be weird to sit next to a giant version of your own face.

Reading: The MouseDriver Chronicles I got this book as a gift from one of the most inspirational people I know. He knows I’ve been interested in the start-up space for a bit, as I like to follow along the journeys of local businesses. I just finished this book last week and absolutely loved it. It follows the journey of two entrepreneurs who candidly talk about the challenges, hurdles, and successes of their first businesses together. It was such an nice change of pace to read a real story that wasn’t a single angled fluffed-by-all-the-glitz-and-glamour that start-up culture seems to exude.

Watching: Nothing as of right now, which feels nice! After Master Chef Junior ended, I haven’t gotten into any other shows. That could all change soon though. I just got my first TV (is this the milestone that makes me a real adult now?) and am excited to put it to use during the next few chilly months!




Listening to: Angus & Julia Stone, Big Jet Plane. I’ve been a little obsessed with this song over the last month where I would play this song on repeat for weeks on end! My poor friends and coworkers have been stuck listening to me sing or hum this tune all. day. long. Sorry friends!

Planning: Christmas presents! I have no idea how December crept up, but now that it’s here, I’m hyper aware of how behind I am on gift buying/making. Effffff!

ohhellofriend

Working on: Finishing up holiday card writing and mailing! Urban Craft Uprising, Seattle’s largest handmade craft fair, was this past weekend and I ran there as soon as I woke up so I could meet the lovely Danni of oh, hello friend. She and Nick came all the way from Orange County with their goodies and I couldn’t pass up the chance to add to my collection of message tapes. These two are are even sweeter in person that I could’ve ever imagined! AND their beautifully designed tapes are going on all my letters/packages this season. I CANNOT WAIT TO PRETTIFY EVERYTHING!

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Studio Choo visits Seattle

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend celebrating with Mom! The day before Mother’s Day, I had the pleasure of hanging out in the Seattle West Elm store for a workshop from The Flower Recipe Book by Studio Choo. Jill and Alethea, the lovely ladies of Studio Choo, drove up to Seattle all the way from San Francisco just for this 2 hour workshop!

Studio Choo at West Elm Seattle
Studio Choo at West Elm Seattle

There were so many amazing women taking part in this event! As someone who is on the opposite end of the green thumb spectrum (uh, I may have accidentally killed a cactus last year from over-watering… I thought it needed more love!), I will admit that I was quite intimidated by everyone around me. These women knew their stuff and were ooooh-ing and ahhhh-ing over the delicious selection of fresh cut stems picked out for our workshop (I could only identify the peonies! “Pretty flower” is how I addressed everything else… oops).

Studio Choo at West Elm Seattle
Studio Choo at West Elm Seattle
Studio Choo at West Elm Seattle

Alethea and Jill started the workshop off with a demo, teaching us how to create a structurally sound base with thicker, stronger stemmed pieces before adding the focal point flowers. It was so interesting to learn about all-natural-non-processed-plant-food methods of extending the livelihood of an arrangement. We also learned how to cut and prep the stems of different types of flowers being added to our arrangements to help encourage nutrient intake. These ladies have flower cutting down to a science!

Studio Choo at West Elm Seattle

After the demo was over, we were left to explore all the beautiful flowers at our work station to build our our arrangements. Having never worked with flowers before, it was beautiful and scary and exciting all at the same time! You can see my partially finished “base” above, but I was having a bit of trouble filling up gaps and “bald spots”. Thankfully, Jill and Alethea were anxious to hear each of our grand visions for our masterpieces and offered up great advice for how to fix any problems we were having.

Studio Choo at West Elm SeattleStudio Choo at West Elm Seattle

After an hour of fiddling around with different flowers and colour palettes… TAAAA DAAAA! Even though my arrangement was not as purposefully asymmetric as I was planning for it to be, I’m really happy with how it turned out. Jill and Alethea were so great with answering all my (amateur) questions and helping to fix a huge bald spot that was smack dab in the middle of my arrangement.

flowers
Studio Choo at West Elm Seattle

I really wish I lived closer to my Mom. This would’ve been a perfect gift for Mother’s Day! But no complaints here, as the flowers are sitting beautifully on my kitchen table. ;)

I am really excited to dive deeper into The Flower Recipe Book! I am so fascinated by the thought of caring for multiple types of flowers all hanging out in one vase and trying to keep them looking fresh and alive for as long as possible.

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Monday, meet last Friday

Playing a bit of catch-up with outfit photos is always fun! If you’ve ever wondered what no makeup, less than 4 hours of sleep, and 8 hours on a Friday looks like…

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outfit details:
tote bag: made by yours truly ;)
blazer: Forever 21
blouse: H&M
destroyed boyfriend jeans: Gap (exact)
necklace: groopdealz (exact)
boat shoe flats: Docker’s(similar)

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I posted a few in progress photos a couple weekends ago showing the planning and sewing a new tote bag for the Spring. I’ve been on a hunt since the Winter for a larger tote bag that can fit my laptop and have separate pockets for a large Moleskine notebook since my keys have been scratching my notebook in my previous purse.

After doodling a couple of ideas, I decided on a simple design with two pockets on the front of the bag, trimmed in a contrasting yellow trim against the navy blue body. The bag itself is made out of duck cloth, which I had no idea even existed until strolling through the aisles of Jo-Ann Fabrics. The cashier also told me that if I Scotchguard the fabric, it becomes completely waterproof– perfect for Seattle’s rainy Spring weather!

I have some blue and yellow fabric left over and am not sure what to make next. Maybe a new clutch or makeup bag will emerge in a few weeks from now?

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Weekend DIY: fox stamped shirt

This is one of my favourite Weekend DIY projects ever! I’ve printed a couple of shirts in the past, but this one is by far the best one (ok, ok… I say this about the most recent one every time). Here’s the end result we’re going for:

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You’ll need:
laundered shirt*
1 sheet of 1/8″ thick craft foam
craft glue
exacto knife
acrylic paint
fabric medium
paintbrush or sponge
scrap piece of cardboard (8.5″ x 11″)

* It’s important for the shirt to have been laundered before printing to make sure that the material has settled. The last thing you want is to have the perfect design stamped onto a shirt, only for the shirt to shrink after the first wash!

MAKING THE STAMP:

stampmaking

1. Sketch out your ideas for the stamp. I’ve been a little obsessed with foxes lately, so I sketched out a bunch of fox head ideas.

2. Sketch the final design out onto the foam. Make sure to cut out all negative space that you don’t want being stamped onto the shirt.

3. Cut out a square (or rectangle) block from the sheet of foam.

4. Glue the stamp onto the square (or rectangle) block. Wait for the glue to fully dry (I waited overnight just to be safe!)

STAMPING ON THE SHIRT:
Before stamping straight on the shirt, I would suggest testing out the stamp and paint colours on some scrap paper first. You want to make sure that the thickness of the layer of paint being applied to the stamp is not too thick for being transferred onto the shirt. I also played with a couple techniques (sponging vs painting with a brush vs dabbing the stamp straight into a paint tray) before committing to one to do on the shirt.

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Important!! Be sure to place the piece of cardboard between the front and back of the shirt before you start stamping. This ensures that the paint from the stamping doesn’t leak past the front layer of the shirt.

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foxshirt

1. Mixing the paint: be sure to read the instructions on the back of the bottle of the fabric medium. You can also use fabric paint which doesn’t require fabric medium, but this is my personal favourite method since I usually need acrylic paint for other projects.

2. Stamp to your heart’s content! If your design requires finer details, go to step 3. If you don’t have finer details, skip straight to step 5.

3 & 4 (optional): I had an extra detail for eyes that couldn’t be added in the stamp block. Using a fine tip brush, paint on the extra details.

5. Leave the shirt to dry overnight.

6. With the iron on medium (with no steam), heat press each part of the design for 30 seconds. This helps to seal the design to avoid washing out and cracking in the laundry.

AAAAAAND you’re done :) Send me links of your shirts when you make them! I’m excited to see what designs you guys come up with!

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