Baby Shower in a Box

I’m going to start out by saying two things: 1. I don’t get credit for any of the creativity behind this idea, my only source of credit for this goes to having the best friends in the whole world.  2. If you want to make a pregnant woman cry happy tears… this is a fabulous way to do it.

Two of my very best friends in the whole world, Lauren & Emily, both live far away.  They were my roommates my senior year of college and somehow still put up with me!! (living with me… not so easy!)  And if it is possible we are better friends now than we were then.  We have been through a lot together and they are the best friends a girl could ever ask for.

My baby shower is this weekend, but due to the distance and their own little ones, they aren’t able to come to Dallas to celebrate.  So instead they went above and beyond and sent me my own shower in a box to celebrate especially with them.

Here’s how it went down: Wednesday in my mail I got a package from them.  So after texting Emily to see if I needed to wait to open it until Saturday, she assured me that I didn’t.  So, I sat down on the floor in the dining room and opened it.  Here’s what was inside:

showerinabox3

They had carefully and completely filled a box full of everything you would need for a baby shower! So I sat down on the floor, “hung the decorations” (around my neck because I was too impatient to hang them up on the wall) and my husband and I had a little mini-shower.

Here are the details on what was inside:

Baby Shower in a Box! | www.amusingmj.com

  • Instructions
  • Decorations- Confetti, Balloons, & two garlands (shown in other pictures)
  • A Game- because of course you need a game! (Which PS– I showed you the answer one in here because I guessed about 1/2 of those wrong… not sure whether I am proud or disappointed in myself!)

Baby Shower in a Box! | www.amusingmj.com

Gifts for pregnancy (many of which match my nursery color!):

  • super comfy slippers– (funny sidenote story: I have a pair of booties from Restoration Hardware that are the most comfortable things ever, but they definitely make me look like a clown, which my roommates good naturedly mocked me for in college… until they discovered for themselves how awesome they are… so Booties are actually an inside joke between all of us, which means these slippers DEFINITELY made me laugh uncontrollably when I opened them!)
  • Trail Mix
  • A Water Bottle
  • Chapstick

Baby Shower in a Box! | www.amusingmj.com

Gifts for the baby:

  • Diapers- complete with funny messages written on them!
  • A Book to record moments from her first 5 years
  • A Hand-stitched Kite onesie (we were thetas in college, so this kite is extra special as well!)
  • The hand-made garland which will definitely find a home in baby girl’s bedroom!

showerinabox1

And last but certainly not least: food!! Because what shower is complete without food! I covered the corner of the M&Ms that are already opened… I’ll spare myself the embarrassment and just pretend they haven’t been eaten and mostly consumed.  And then they were more than generous and bought us our monitor as well!

I am so very lucky to have the best of friends who are sweet and creative and already love this baby girl so much!  I can’t wait for baby girl to get to grow up with their daughters!!

Baby Shower in a Box! | www.amusingmj.com

Jewelry Organization

One of the bloggers I stumbled across a year or two ago and just adore is Jen Woodhouse.  She has some of the most beautiful woodworking projects, and a fun personality to go with it (at least on the internet… I of course have never met her!) But right around the time I was searching for a way to deal with all of my jewelry, she wrote a post for another blog I follow, I Heart Organizing, showing off her jewelry organization and I just knew this was the right solution for me.

She has a great tutorial, so go on over there to read how to do it, but if you want to see mine in progress, read on!

I cut mine down into 3 12″ sections and I used some scrap cedar boards that I had lying around (I’ve promised the husband to try to whittle down our wood pile before I go out and buy more for a project!), but you could use anything that is 1×2 (or even chunkier if you wanted a different look!).

DIY Jewelry Holder

So for my first step, I stained them with some leftover stain (I’m pretty sure it is Kona from Varthane, but the can is getting a little hard to read).

Here they are before I wiped off the excess:

DIY Jewelry Holder

Then I took them upstairs to the bathroom and drilled the holes in them right there (because who doesn’t need a little extra sawdust in their bathroom?!):

DIY Jewelry Holder

PS those little hooks are monsters to screw in, my fingers were definitely tired after screwing in about 20 of them, but it is worth it!

DIY Jewelry Holder

I made three with different uses One with LOTS of hooks for narrower items, one with hooks in every other hole for my chunkier ‘statement’ pieces and then one with the brass rod to hang earrings and other items from.

DIY Jewelry Holder

One thing Jen doesn’t mention in her post is how thick the brass rod is, so the first one I ordered was too thick for my earrings to fit around.  The one I ordered from Amazon is 1/4 inch, but I also think you could get away with the 1/8th of an inch.  A couple of my earrings that have tighter hoops have a hard time staying on the rod.  But I thought this was an ingenious way to display my jewelry and is a perfect use of the blank wall in my closet that is the back of my husband’s shelves!

DIY Jewelry Holder

I love that it makes all my jewelry easy to see and easy to grab!  DIY Jewelry Holder

I may add another shelf under the earring shelf or may just move it down since it is hung a wee bit high… but for now, this works really well!

DIY Jewelry Holder

Now I just need a way to display my bracelets!

Chair Cushions

This rocking chair was a hand-me down from my grandmother when she downsized, and it started out a lighter color and was one of the first projects I ever tried refinishing (this was WAY before I started blogging… but I did take pictures of some of my projects to show my mom, so I was able to find an in-progress picture of what it looked like.  This thing was a monster to sand down–all those spokes! And this was before I had invested in any power tools, so I did this bad boy all by hand.  Which I will never do, ever again. Its been more than 4 years (in fact the date on the picture info says Nov of 2010) since I did this project and I still remember how hard it was to sand it down.  But I wanted it stained dark brown, so I did.  Sadly there is no picture of the fabric that was stapled over the burlap and springs, but it DEFINITELY had its hey day in the 70s.  Ever since then, this guy has been stained a dark brown, had a maroon pillow placed on its seat to provide some cushion and generally been a laundry holder in my bedroom.  A really PRETTY laundry holder.

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

Well there is something sweet about having a rocking chair in a nursery, so we decided that’s what the next phase of life would be for this guy.  (and for those of you thinking… you are crazy not to have a nice big plush glider in your nursery, never fear, there is an awesome lazy boy recliner in the bonus room just outside baby girl’s nursery, so if I want big and cushy it is only a few short steps away.) But I also knew this chair would need some ACTUAL cushions sewn for it instead of just a pillow thrown over the burlap if I was ever going to expect to sit in it.

So first step: find fabric.  I fell in love with this Coral and White Dandelion fabric from Fabric.com, which they have in many color options! I bought both the Coral with White and White with Coral, thinking I would use the Coral with White to add a lot of color, but ended up liking the white background better.  Are you now confused with all the coral and white words?? Here’s a visual of what I decided to go with:

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

Now time to sew the cushions.  Here’s what I used:

  • the green 2″ Foam from JoAnn’s (purchased with a 60% off coupon because that stuff is EXPENSIVE) I needed about 1 yard, but measure your chair
  • fabric
  • interfacing– I used a fairly heavy interfacing because my fabric was white and kind of see through, but depending on your fabric you could go with something light or just skip this step all together.
  • batting (optional)
  • thread to match
  • buttons to cover in fabric (also optional)

I decided not to make the cushions fancy or weirdly shaped because I didn’t want to make this a very complicated sewing project. So I made a rectangle for the back and a square for the seat cushion.

Cut your foam to the right size for your seat:

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

For the seat cushion dimensions measure how wide your seat is, then add 3″ to determine how wide to cut your fabric.  One inch for either side to accommodate the height of your foam (so if you are using thicker than 2″ foam this will be more that you need to add) and a half inch on both sides for seam allowance.  For mine, my seat was 17″ wide so I cut my fabric in a 20″ square.  You will need to cut two square pieces of fabric, two pieces of interfacing (same size as fabric) and four rectangular pieces for ties (mine were about 3″ wide and 7″ long).

Iron on your interfacing onto the backside of your fabric.   Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

Then make your ties.  Somehow I managed to not get any pictures of this step, but you take your rectangular piece of fabric and fold it lengthwise (hot dog style for those of you who remember elementary school lingo), then unfold it and fold both long edges in towards the center, then fold the original fold again.  So you should have one long strip with no outside edges showing.  (If you are confused, check out this post on my DIY makeup bag because it is the same thing you do for the zipper ends and I did a better job of taking pictures of it!)  I also wanted my ends to be pointy, so I just folded both corners in to the center to create a point:

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

Now sew a topstitch all the way around those ties.  Then pin your fabric right sides together and put your ties two each in between those two pieces (in the picture below I am just showing you placement of left to right and how I sewed them in, when I did the actual sewing they were sandwiched in between the two layers of fabric.

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

I sewed mine from just past one side of the ties, around the other 3 sides and then just past the ties on the other side. Its hard to explain, and since I used white thread, almost impossible to see in a picture, so I drew you a picture:

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com The Xs mark where the ties were and I sewed from start to end with one continuous line, just moving the fabric at each corner 90 degrees and be sure to backstitch well at the start and end since this is the gap you will be putting your foam in through.  Then trim your corners off to get rid of extra fabric and turn your piece inside out.

Now it is time to put your cushion in.  This is where it gets tricky, and I needed all hands on deck to do it so I don’t have very many pictures! Stuff your foam inside (this is where I have the batting listed as optional for you–I think the green is kind of see through with the white fabric, which I didn’t notice until after I had sewed my bottom cushion and the one I took pictures of, but with my back cushion I wrapped the green foam in a layer of thin batting and you can’t see the green at all… so if your fabric isn’t white, you can definitely skip this step, but if you are using white fabric I recommend the batting to help you not see the green through the fabric).  There is no real trick to getting your foam inside there, except to be patient.

If you are good at handstitching you can handstitch your hole closed and be done.  But I am L-A-Z-Y and handstitching is not my forte, so I decided to fold over my foam to give me space to use my sewing machine to top stitch this edge closed and then once it had been sewn closed I worked my foam back flat.  It ended up not being that hard to get it back into place, so I would definitely go this route.

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

Then just tie it onto your chair and you can see here what the topstitched seam looks like.  Since I put it on the side with the ties it will always be at the back of the chair and is not noticeable at all.

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

Then just rinse and repeat for the back cushion.  For the back cushion I decided to add some fabric covered buttons that I tried to (unsuccessfully) tuft.  But they look pretty good the way they are, so I decided to leave them.  If you want your own fabric covered buttons I used these from JoAnn’s.  They come in multiple sizes, and you just trace the template onto your fabric then use their little mold to secure it around the button.  I used the fabric from the Coral with White dandelions so that I would have solid contrasting fabric for mine.

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

These cushions are actually really comfortable, so I hope to be spending lots of time rocking baby girl in this chair!

Make your own rocking chair cushions! | www.amusingmj.com

Have any questions on my process? Shout them out in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer!