Family History Gallery Wall – Framing Baby Clothes

We have created a Family History Gallery Wall in our hall. It’s a place where we have hung family photos. Not recent photos, in fact our parents as children are the most recent photos. The photos include both our parents, grandparents and my great grandparents and great great grandparents and even a photo of my great great great great grandmother. In addition to all the photos and photo collages, we also have shadow boxes, filled with generations of family mementos, like birth announcements, wedding invitations, graduation invites, my grandmother’s wedding pearls, my great grandfather’s baby shoe and so on. I love the way the seemingly randomly hung frames of all different sizes and the depth and thickness of the shadow boxes look against the flat wall. Although the sizes of the frames are all different, I did choose to use only black frames in the same style, basic with clean box lines. The majority were purchased at Ikea and a few from Hobby Lobby during a frame sale (woo-hoo!)

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A few months ago my mom and I where cleaning out her storage building for a garage sale when we found two of the most adorable baby outfits. They were her baby outfits, a little white dress with embroidery and a tan onesie with embroidery. In fact, they were sewn and hand embroidered by my great grandmother (double SCORE.) They were in beautiful condition, especially considering they were 69 years old (sorry mom) and the thread detailing was gorgeous.

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I just knew one of them had to be framed for the Family History Gallery Wall. My supplies for this project were: a shadow box frame, straight pins, tape, black scrap booking paper, scissors, screwdriver and of course the baby onesie. (Oops! You will notice in the supply photo, I used the baby dress, but actually ended up framing the onesie.)

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Using the screwdriver to remove the back of the frame, I used the frame back to trace a template onto the black scrap booking paper and cut it out. I will pin the onesie to the paper later in the project.
Then, I ironed the onesie on a low heat setting, due to its age. I played around with different folds, until I got just the right look. I did use a light spray of starch, to press the folds down in place. Since it was a onesie, I wanted to be sure to show the button details at the legs. So stinking adorable!

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Using the straight pins, I pinned the folds of the arms and middle body of the onesie in the back. In the front, I also pinned down the ironed folds, but did so inside the body so the pins would not be visible.

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I then lined the folded and pinned onesie right side up on the black scrapbook paper and centered. I just eyeball things until they look good and stuck straight pins through the onesie (again in concealed areas, so they are not visible) into the paper. Then, once I had several secured pins, I carefully flipped the paper over and taped the pins down. Why? When I tried to stick the pins back through the paper, it crinkled. Yuck! Taping the pins down secured them and it it not effect the look. Ugly for sure on the back, but it will be covered by the back of the frame.

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Now all that was left to do was placing it inside the frame and screwing the back on and hanging it.

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A beautiful reminder of the precious bundle of joy my grandparents brought home on a cold December day. I am a sentimental sap for sure, but the Family History Gallery Wall is such a wonderful reminder of who we are, where we came from and the amazing legacy that was handed down to us to preserve!

Upcycled Sewing Bench

This funky find came courtesy of Granny Rozell (Shane’s spunky 94 year young grandmother). When we helped her move into a nursing home a few years back, I nabbed this sewing bench, which was filled with vintage sewing goodies (mainly because I cannot resist adding more vintage thread spools to my collection!).
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Although I knew that I would not be using it in its present state (no offense to the groovy 1970’s vinyl) I knew that if I stored it long enough I would find a useful place for it. I laugh at that last statement! Our attic, garage and every out of sight nook and cranny of our house is filled with “don’t throw that away, I promise I will find a place for it and re-do it one day” projects!

Sure enough, a year or so later, the light went off in my head. I needed a cool bench/storage something or other to place in our bathroom. Something both functional to store “unsightly” bathroom necessities and an occasional sitting area, while also being visually appealing. Granny Rozell’s sewing bench would be perfect!

Now, to find the perfect fabric to use. Our bathroom is decorated with accents of natural coral and unique seashells. It is painted a beautiful charcoal gray with dark wood accents. I knew I wanted an orange fabric with white or ivory coral pattern and I wanted it that same day—no time to order it and wait for it to ship. Yea right! Well, the fabric fairies at Jo-Ann’s Fabric and Craft Store was smiling down on me. We walked in, I went straight to the cotton duck section (it is in a bathroom, after all) and viola….there was the exact print I had imagined. Hey….sometimes things just work out!

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With several tools in hand: a hammer, a screwdriver, a staple gun, a hot glue gun, spray adhesive and some random tools I have no idea what are, we disassembled the entire bench, stripping it down to its cardboard and wood frame shell. I actually liked the gold vinyl trim, so we carefully removed it using a screwdriver to separate the folds and pliers to remove the staples. We also carefully removed the vinyl covering using a staple puller, so we could use it as a template when cutting the new fabric.

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Using the original vinyl we took off as a template, I simply laid it on top of my fabric and cut it out. Oh sure, you could measure the actual bench and lid, make a fancy pattern out of paper, pin it carefully to the fabric and then cut, but Hey….just laying it down and cutting works.

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Now it was a matter of lining the fabric up on the cardboard and wood base and using a staple gun to attach the fabric, by pulling tight, staple, repeat. We alternated stapling on the top and then the bottom, to get a snug fit. The gold trim I saved from the original piece will cover the staples, but we still stapled close to the edge. When we got to the end, we folded the fabric under and carefully stapled in the fold of the fabric, so the staples would be hidden.

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Using spray adhesive, we adhered the original foam padding to the lid, flipped it upside down and centered it onto the back side of the fabric covering and stapled. There are tons of tutorials on how to re-cover furniture, professionally. This probably is not one of them— however, our technique was to staple the corners first, then pulling taunt, we worked our way across the top and bottom as we stapled and then down the sides. Again, we would be covering the interior with a fabric lined cardboard piece, so our staples would not be seen.

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To reattach the gold trim, we used small tack nails. Holding the trim open with a screw driver as we went along the edge, Shane would tack the nails in place with a small hammer.

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For the interior lining of the lid, I used the same cardboard and re-lined it with a natural cotton fabric I already had on hand. I used the cardboard as a template and cut out the fabric about 1″ larger all the way around and used hot glue to adhere the fabric to the back of the cardboard and attached it to the lids interior with brass upholstery tacks.

Using my 2 BFFs, Old English and Murphy Oil Soap, I gave the wood legs a bath and a shine. At first I thought about painting the legs, but because the natural wood matched the decor in the bathroom already, a spit and polish was all they needed.

Here is the finished product, after attaching the legs and lid. It fit perfectly into the corner of our bathroom…both functional and stylish….just the way I like it!

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Chicken Feeder & Mason Jar Vintage Scissor Display

I always work better in an environment that is surrounded in a pleasing esthetic. I believe that no space in your house should lack a little design element. The laundry room, closets and in this case, the craft room should all be functional, organized and yes, decorated. So, when I recently stumbled upon a small chicken feeder at a neighborhood garage sale (for only $.25—score!) I knew exactly what I was going to use it for—to display my vintage scissor collection.

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I saw this idea for a scissor display using a chicken feeder several years ago. I wish I could remember where, so I could give credit where credit is due. None the less, I couldn’t wait to get home to create mine. Here is what I used: A Mason Jar, spools of vintage thread, vintage scissors and of course the chicken feeder.

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First thing, take apart the chicken feeder by separating the bottom “dish” from the top section with the holes. I did not need the “dish” portion for this project, so I placed it on top of my washing machine for a coin catcher.

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Next, fill the Mason Jar with the vintage spools of thread. I just randomly took a handful of thread spools from the boxes and boxes of thread that I have and placed them inside the jar. Yes, I did say boxes and boxes of thread spools. There are a few things that I cannot pass up on buying, no matter how many I have and vintage thread is one of them.

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Now, the cool thing about the chicken feeder top is that it just fits perfectly with a little turn, on top of a standard mouth opening of a Mason Jar.

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I took a little more time when filling the holes with the vintage scissors, than I did with the thread. I wanted all of my favs together, so when I displayed the jar, they would be front and center.

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I displayed it on a shelf above my crafting table with some other vintage sewing goodies like pin cushions and YES—more thread spools. I just can’t get enough of them!

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