Vintage Train Case Revamp

PicMonkey Collage4Finally going to post about a couple of things I did a while ago. I’ve had this cute little train case for a while, and the interior wasn’t terrible, but it was worn out, dirty, and smelled like an old lady.

Photo (30)So I decided to rip its guts out! Eep!

The first step is always the hardest, just plunging in, knowing there’s no going back:

Photo (34)Once I got started, it was basically just ripping, ripping, ripping:

Photo (33)And then scraping, to get the last bits of paper out. Then a little vacuuming to get all the dust and paper shreds:

Photo (27)Then was the fun part: picking out the paper. I used scrapbooking paper, but I’d bet that wrapping paper or even wallpaper would be just as good.

I sprayed the backs of the papers with spray adhesive, and pressed them into place.

Photo (26)Then I brushed a layer of Mod Podge on (my first time using Mod Podge! Can you believe it?) each time I put a piece of paper down.

Photo (24)I also used washi tape to secure the edges and some places that were a little squinky to get into. I let it all sit for 24 hours and did another layer of Mod Podge.

Last, I spray painted the plastic shelf (I had first tried to washi tape it, but that just got out of hand).

And voila!

Photo (38)

Photo (31)I used to do face painting, so I’m using the case to store all of my face painting supplies, in case I ever do that again. I might add a little mirror pocket to the lid, like it had before.

One lesson I learned for next time (and I do have another case to redo): Use some sort of cardboard or thick paper panel to go underneath the pretty paper. The inside of the case was pretty lumpy and rough (you can see some of the bumps in the lid), so it would look a lot better if I had padded that before covering it.

Also! I found a gumball machine at Goodwill, which I had to have.

Photo (25)So I bought a stand on Amazon, and ain’t she pretty??

Photo (28)




Hiding Your Router (or anything else)

So! You have an ugly router or some other digital device or object that cannot be moved, but that you can’t stand looking at every day. I had this problem recently, so I set about trying to fix it. (Turns out, I found another solution, but I still went through the trouble of making this whole thing, so I want to get credit for it!)

I decided to make a stack of fake books, a la this:

Hide your router.

I’ve seen this picture many times before, but I’ve never seen a tutorial, so I decided to make one!

Step One:

Measure the device that you want to hide (the width, depth, and height are all important) and the space that you want to use to hide it (e.g. the shelf, table, etc. that you are going to place it on).

Step Two:

Obtain some books. I found all of my books at a local antiques store. You can find cheap books anywhere (thrift stores, Goodwill, etc.), but you may have to pay a little more if you want them to look a certain way. (Mine were about $4 each.)

Photo (24)Make sure that they add up to be the correct width to hold your device, keeping in mind that you will lose some width when you deconstruct them. You may also want to think about how they all look together (i.e. maybe you want them all in the same color family, or you want the titles to relate to one another).

Last, it will be helpful to find books with loose bindings, if at all possible. For example, you will want to avoid books like those on the left (pages pretty firmly bound to the spine), and opt more for books like those on the right (I found that pages bound with that thread band on top tend to be looser):

Photo (21)

Or if you find one that’s already kind of coming apart, that’s would be great. This one came apart like buttah:

Photo (23)

Step 3:

Find a cardboard box or some other container that matches the general size of the device that you’re hiding. Make sure everything (your device, your book line-up, and the box) is about the right size.

Step 4:

Cut the pages out of the books. I used a box cutter, you could also use an x-acto knife or something similar. There was really no special trick to this. The hardest part was just going for it and making the first cut (cutting up books definitely feels sacrilegious).

Photo (19) - CopyFor the first and last book of the line-up, you will want to keep the outside book covers as well as the spine. For the books in the middle, you will just want the spines.

Step 5:

Glue the book pieces to the cardboard box. I used craft glue, you could also try a glue gun or rubber cement. This was more of an art than an exact science. Sometimes I put the glue on the book spine itself, but most of the time I put the glue on the cardboard box and just pressed the spines onto it. I also put glue in between the spines to get them to stick to one another. Try not to smash the spine down onto the box too much, because you still want the spine to look puffy like it still has pages inside.

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Photo (22)Step 6:

Let dry. This depends on the type of glue that you use, but I just let mine sit over night.

Step 7:

Place your device inside, and voila!

Photo (19)

 Bonus project!

I got a few really cool looking covers, so at some point I’d like to frame them and just have them up on a wall.

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Productive Weekend

Alex original

I sold my first drawing on Etsy yesterday (someone sends me a photo portrait, and I draw it)! Yay! Hopefully it’s the first of many.

And Jane was…really helpful….

This was after I had shooed her away from my paper many. many. times.
This was after I had shooed her away from my paper many. many. times.

.I also worked on a necklace for my mom…

Photo1 (62)And made a couple of cards…

Photo1 (63)Then today I had dance class, as usual…

Photo1 (64)And stopped by a craft fair, where they had an apple press (!), which smelled amaaaziingggg….


I got some groceries, and may I just say…


Photo1 (65)Now I’m off to get some more stuff done and then watch Once Upon a Time. 🙂


It’s been a while since I made a new post because I have been very busy being a painting maniac. I think I’ve finally finished all of the main paint projects I’ve had on my to-do list.

And here they are!

1. Painting a dress! I found this dress/top/tunic thing at Target and I fell in love. It’s the perfect fit, it’s super soft, super comfy. It was just a little plain. So …I bought three of them. Because I’m insane. And left one plain and patterned the other two. Love em!

2. I needed to put something on my wall, and I really like that old window frame look, so I found an old window in my basement, cleaned it, and sprayed the glass with a reflective spray paint (Krylon Looking-Glass Paint), and now it’s this nicely aged mirror thing.

3. I’ve had this dresser for almost 20 years, and it’s great, but unattractive. I wanted to paint it, but was nervous because it’s completely laminate. Very plastic-y. But I found this tutorial, and basically just bought the exact stuff she used, and followed her instructions (for the most part). I never have the patience to wait in between coats long enough, so my dresser has some imperfections, but it’s good enough for me.

4. Been wanting to paint this little bathroom cubby since I bought this house 4 years ago. Finally did it! And this is a plain ol’ Ikea table I got years ago.

5. Boring black tv trays. Must make everything Aqua-colored!!!

6. Boring Target tv stand. So much prettier now!

Whew! Okay, now I can get on with my life. And catch up on all of my tv shows.

Bunting Tutorial

Bunting 11

Today was my nephew’s 1st birthday party, as well as the debut of a project my mom and I have been working on (see above). We made bunting to be displayed every year for Soren’s birthdays (or at least until he gets old enough to be embarrassed by it…I give it 5 years).

My mom and I are not big sewers (read: we do not sew at all), so this project took a while, and we kind of made it up as we went along. So here’s the tutorial for how we made it, which would be a great how-to for non-sewers (though it is not completely sew-free)!


-Fabric (we used about 3 yards for ours…though we bought a whole bunch more than that…again…non-sewers.)

-Binding tape (or ribbon, though binding tape will allow for better draping)

-Pinking shears

-Fusible interfacing (double sided)

-An iron

-T-shirt printer paper

-Sew machine (or a steady hand and a bit of time)

Step 1:

Select your fabric (we bought about 7 different patterns/colors), and using pinking shears (to create a nice, clean edge), cut it into triangles. We used an 8′ by 10′ cardboard template. You’ll want to make two triangles for each flag you want. We wanted 21 flags, so we made 42 triangles.

Step 2:

Cut fusible interfacing into triangles (slightly smaller than your flags). Place them in between your flag triangles, and iron them together. This is a nice step, since it allows you to avoid sewing the triangles together, which is a bit difficult for non-sewers. You may need to just trim up the flags a bit so that overlapping fabric or interfacing gets cleaned up.

Bunting 5

Bunting 4

Bunting 6Step 4:

Lay out your flags and plan in which order you want them to appear. Then pin them to the binding tape. We used thick, folded binding tape, so we just slid the flags into the fold in the tape, being sure to overlap the flags so that there would be no weak spots. We left about 6 inches of binding tape on each end, to allow for better hanging.

Bunting 7

Bunting 8Step 5:

Sew the flags into the binding tape. You COULD avoid sewing altogether by using more fusible interfacing, and just ironing the flags into the tape. It would hold, though maybe not as well, and would definitely make it more stiff and would not drape as nicely. I used a sewing machine (which terrifies me), and just did it as carefully as I could. It went really quickly, took me only about 5 minutes. If I can do it, SO CAN YOU!


Step 6:

Using t-shirt transfer paper (available at craft stores and Office Depot/Staples), print out your letters. Cut around the letters (unless your fabric is the same color as the paper), and iron onto the flags.

Bunting 10


Bonus: We also used our 3 “spacer” flags (the flags in between the words) as badge flags. We made removable (via velcro) badges (using felt and the t-shirt printer paper) that can be swapped out every year.

Bunting 12
We can change that to represent his age each year.
Bunting 13
Two badges representing accomplishments for the year. This year, we have a tooth and a foot (to represent walking).

Like I said, we kind of made it up as we went along, which means that we made a lot of mistakes (I mean, learned a lot!). Here are the lessons we learned:

1. We needed less fabric than we thought. Umm..moral of the story: plan ahead. We thought we planned ahead, know..

2. Talk to someone who knows what they’re doing. We had originally planned to sew the flags together, but my wonderful Aunt Lyn, who is a sewer and knows a thing or two, was all “ummm….maybe not.” It was her idea to just iron the flags together using fusible interfacing. And it worked like a charm! She also helped me to get started with the sewing machine, which was SO HELPFUL. We definitely could not have done this project without her.

3. Let’s talk about t-shirt transfer paper. I had read a few tutorials on bunting, and I had seen someone using t-shirt transfer paper for their letters, and the kind that they used allowed them to iron on *only* the inked area. We learned, however, that that is a very special type of transfer paper (that must be ordered from England). How did we learn this, do you ask? Well, we just went ahead and (stupidly, without testing it out first), accidentally ironed on an entire sheet of transfer paper to one of our flags, expecting just the letter to transfer. So my mom had to kind of rework that flag (which was, mind you, already sewn into the binding tape). After a bit of research, we found that our best option was to use the regular t-shirt transfer paper that is available everywhere (and that we had totally messed up on), and just cut very closely around each letter. It worked wonderfully, it was just a little fiddly. I would recommend planning ahead and ordering that nice English transfer paper (find it here : But this worked just fine in the end.