Monthly Archives: February 2014

DIY Whiteboard and Other Great Storage Solutions

Today’s post will show you how to create a whiteboard out of cool materials found at your local home improvement store.  We will also show you many great storage solutions to make the most out of an office, school room or just about any room or space in your house.

To make a white board you can use several different mediums.  In this video we re purposed a piece of milky white plexi glass.  You can use clear plexi glass, colored plexi glass and even plexi glass that has pieces of leaves or designs in it.  The options are endless all though the fancier plexi glass is harder to find.  Your best bet is too shop online for something like that.  Another option which I haven’t tried but contemplated when I was searching for plexi glass with unique greenery etc inside for a bathroom remodel I was doing was to make my own.  My idea was to   take 2 pieces of plexi glass and encase flattened dried greenery (or just about anything else flat).  Pre drill holes in the corners and maybe the center of the sides depending on how big you are trying to make it, and bolt it together tightly with washers and bolts.  Like I said, I haven’t tried this yet so I cant tell you how it worked since I opted for a glass water fountain wall in the bathroom instead. You can also use glass or the paneling sold at home improvement stores that has a white high glass finish on it.

If you want to make something large scale you can pre drill holes and hang it directly to the wall.  You could also add it into a pre fab picture frame for a different look.  How about a piece of the cool colored plexi glass in between two desks that are back to back for a neat office look? The ideas are close to endless.

The other storage ideas we show in this video are re-purposing many items that we already had from around the house and turning them into creative storage ideas.  The removable buckets we added below the white board to hold the markers and crayons and such are generic buckets purchased from the dollar store.  We added small cup hooks to the wall so these could easily be removed and put back when a craft situation calls for crayons and markers!

The large shelf was a basic extra deep shelf that we moved from the laundry room when we remodeled it. Check out our Laundry Room Remodel post coming soon.  You can purchase shelves like these at places like Home Depot, Lowes and Ikea.  You can also get doors for many of these shelves as well to hide all the organized baskets inside when you are done.  We moved the shelves around to create a higher shelf for the printers.  This particular cabinet only had holes drilled in specific spaces for the shelves and we were missing some of the little metal shelf brackets.  We measured and drilled holes where we wanted to move the shelf to, and purchased replacement shelf brackets at Home Depot.  After moving this shelf, we needed to reinforce it so we drilled it to the wall to give it added support.

We used matching plastic crates that they already had to sort and label all of the large school supplies.  They had these crates in several different rooms holding many different things.  By pulling them all into use in the school room they give a more cohesive organized look.

We also had to cut a hole in the back to access the power outlet that was already on the wall. We ran a surge protector power strip and hung it where it is easily accessible on the back of the cabinet. to plug in the printer and other small electronics.

We made a simple temporary paper holder, using one of the crates and strips of drywall that we slide through the holes.  It isn’t the prettiest, but with paper in it you cant even see the drywall.  It will at least last them until they buy or make a better one.

The pegboard shown in the video is a great way to make use of even a small space like the one next to this cabinet.  We cut pegboard to fit the width of this area.  We re-purposed pegboard we had used at their old house for this project, but you find pegboard at your local home improvement store.  We also cut down 1×2 pieces of scrap wood to make a sort of frame underneath the peg board so the peg hooks will fit in the holes.  You dont have to completely frame the whole piece.  Depending on the size of the peg board you are using, you need to make sure it has enough pieces under the edges to make it sturdy and secure.  The pegboard shouldn’t have any give after it is screwed to these pieces.  You can use long screws and the pegboard directly to these pieces and through the wall, or if you find it easier, you can measure and mark the placement of the framing pieces, screw them in to the wall and then use smaller screws to screw the pegboard onto these pieces.

The last picture shown in the video is of the center kitchen island we re-purposed to use as a craft island.  It is convenient for crafting and teaching as it is counter height instead of table height and it makes it easier to stand and craft.  We also added small hooks and metal wire to the ends to hang all the rolls of craft paper  and even some paper towels.  You could also do this same idea by using curtain rods if you had a little more space.


Making a Tiered Ruffled Comforter

These comforters are so adorable and super expensive if you bought anything equivalent in a store or online.  You can make these for any size bed and out of any type of material.  Get creative. I used knit material since you don’t have to hem all of the ruffles, but you could use basic cotton as well. An all white ruffled comforter would be great for a feminine touch to an adults bed.  Any color scheme worked into varying shades like we did with these is also great. Remember if you are working with knits you need to use a walking foot, and often stabilizer if the knit is thin and you are using a regular sewing machine.  This is definitely not a beginners sewing project.  Expect to take some time creating these.  Also expect to purchase quite a bit of material. Make sure you have a large workspace set up as well, as you will need to be able to lay the comforter out in whole to place the ruffles.  2 Table tops pushed together would be ideal.

IMG_9004There are several ways you can make this comforter. You can make a duvet cover that is removable, or you can attach batting or an old piece of comforter into the inside which won’t be removable.  I chose to make a non removable comforter for these 2 tiered ruffled comforterssince they were for two young girls bunk beds who have a hard enough time getting their beds made every day as it is.  I think children’s beds should be as easy to make as possible if you want them to get into a good habit of making them.  The color scheme that was chosen for their shared room was turquoise and purple, so we chose to coordinate the comforters in various shades of these colors.  Since they would be used on bunk beds we also chose to make the ruffle tiers cascade down the long side of the bed as opposed to the traditional way of cascading down from the pillow side to the foot of the bed.

IMG_6233 If you don’t feel like you are up to making one, email our shop at for a custom quote.  You can also visit our shop for other great bedding and decor options like the Live, Laugh, Love sheet set shown here.  We also have personalized and monogrammed sheet sets, and great throw pillow covers to update any rooms decor.




We found a cheap white IMAG0957cotton knit on sale for $1 a yard which is what we used for the main part of the comforter and the top several ruffles.  It is hard to find a fabric this cheap, when I do, I try to purchase as much as I can for large projects such as these.  Then the girls chose another textured white knit and 3 different textures, shades and prints of the knits in their color scheme for the rest of the ruffles.  Initially, 1 yard of each of these colored fabrics IMG_9010was purchased.  1 yard only did about 2 ruffles each which is why we had to add more white ruffles than we initially planned.

Making the ruffles:  Cut the strips of fabric into the height you choose for the ruffles.  We cut our about 8 inches high to maximize the amount of fabric we had and to get at least 2 ruffles of each.  In general for a nice full ruffle, you need the length plus half the length per ruffle.  After you cut the strips, sew the pieces into two long strips.  If you are using a fabric other than knit that will fray, you will need to hem both the top and bottom at this point.  Since we used knit we skipped this step.  There are benefits to knit and also challenges.  Knit is much harder to work with, especially a thin knit like the white we used for the main parts of the comforters.

Next you need to make the ruffles.  There are several ways to do this.  You can use a ruffler foot for your sewing machine which works great (until the foot breaks).  I recently purchased a generic brand ruffler foot and loved how easy and beautifully it made the ruffles.  However after using it only a couple of times it broke.  I read many reviews of these feet and saw how many people had issues with them breaking but still gave it a shot.  I still plan on trying a better brand, but haven’t gotten around to it.  You can also use a gathering foot on your sewing machine, but I haven’t had much luck with my gathering foot working properly either. Another option is to use the longest stitch you have and adjust the tension to the lowest setting.  Sew this stitch without locking it in one continuous stitch along the top edge of the ruffle material.  After you have done this, pull on the top thread from both sides gathering the material as you pull and creating a ruffle.  With knits, I have found this doesnt always work perfectly since it often gets caught on the knit material.  If you work in smaller sections this will help prevent that.

Next you need to measure the material to the size that you need.  You can use an old comforter as a template.  Cut the material accordingly.  For the twin comforters we were able to use the width of the fabric  as the width of the comforter.  For larger sizes you may either need to purchase extra wide width fabric if you don’t want seams, or sew 2-3 pieces to get the size you need.  For the base of a comforter like this seams wouldn’t be a problem on the top as the ruffles will cover them.  You will need 2 pieces one for the front and one for the back.  Make sure you watch the video for more detail on these instructions.  You also need to add about 3 inches of seam allowance on one side to add buttons or a zipper if you plan on making it a removable duvet cover.

Take one of the pieces you cut and assembled and lay it on a large flat surface.  Pin the ruffles on in straight rows.  It is easiest to pin one ruffle at a time, sew it and then pin the next ruffle.  You can also make chalk lines with a straight edge to mark your ruffle lines which will make it easier to pin and sew your ruffles properly.  Sew the ruffles on with a straight stitch at the top edge of the ruffle.  (You could also get creative and make non tiered ruffles and sew the ruffling stitch in the center instead of the top in the previous stitch. See our post on Textured Rose throw pillow for ideas on making ruffles this way, or even a whole comforter! Imagine a comforter covered in roses like these?)  Continue sewing the ruffles on from bottom to top, overlapping each one slightly.

After all the ruffles are attached to your top piece of the comforter, it is time to assemble the whole thing.  To make a removable duvet cover, lay the top piece right side up, lay the bottom piece right side down, making sure right sides of both are touching.  Pin all sides.  Sew three sides, leaving a large opening in the 4th side.  Add a zipper or hem this opening adding buttons and button holes.  If you are making an attached comforter.  Lay a piece of batting, or an old comforter flat on the ground, lay the top piece ruffled side up on top of the batting, and lay the back piece right side down, making sure right sides are touching of both pieces.  Pin, and sew all 4 sides, leaving a small opening large enough to turn the comforter right side out when you are finished.  Once you turn it right side out, turn in the seam allowance at the opening and sew the opening shut.

You now should have a beautiful tiered ruffled comforter completed!