Tag Archives: DIY

Day 206: Slowest Project Ever

23 Jul

Remi’s bed isn’t going as quickly as we had hoped. It probably took us an hour (or longer) to figure out how to use the sewing machine. Then, the bobbin ran out of thread. To top it all off, we sewed a side with a three inch seam – instead of a half-inch seam. Oops. This better turn out to be the most amazing dog bed ever!

While I was cutting, Remi relaxed on the foam.


Day 205: Fabric Time

22 Jul

We bought more fabric, so now it’s time to put all of the pieces together. I’m a bit scared…

Day 127: Card Making

5 May

I’m one of those people that go to a paper store and spend an entire hour (or longer) looking at everything in the store. I love crafting, even after making our wedding invitations (each one probably took about an hour to make!). Recently my mom made me feel guilty for never sending her cards. So, mix my love for shopping at paper stores, crafting and the guilt trip, and voila! Another attempt at making a card.

Unfortunately my mom reads this blog, so I can’t show a picture of it.



23 Jul

I got my parents’ hand-me-down bedroom furniture– 2 nightstands, and 2 dressers — when my dad moved to Arizona in 2003. It worked out perfectly since I was moving into my own apartment and didn’t have any furniture. The furniture was old and dated and almost had no hope.

When I was 6, I climbed on top of one of the dressers and scratched all over the top with a needle. I’m not sure what possessed me to do that, but the evidence was still there 17 years later.

The furniture was outdated to the point where it was not pleasing to look at. The stain was an ugly brown color, half of the finish was wearing off and deep scratches riddled every piece of furniture. Jen didn’t like the furniture at all. Shoot, I didn’t like it either, but it was free and I couldn’t really see getting rid of it because we’d have to buy a whole new set and this one is solid wood (not all that common in today’s furniture).

Here’s a before picture of one of the dressers. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to see how much stain was stripped off.

Tall Dresser- before

So, about three years ago, before we bought the house, we embarked on an ambitious project: refinish the furniture.

We started by taking off the old hardware and then, using a chemical stripper, we stripped off the previous finish. The result was a disgusting “scum” (mix of stripper and finish). Wearing gloves with the stripper is a must because  it burns the skin.

And then we were onto the fun part… sanding. We borrowed two sanders to sand the furniture to the raw wood. While this process can be described quickly, it was very labor intensive. Several times I wanted to give up, but we labored on. Several portions of the furniture also required manual sanding (fun).

We applied two coats of Minwax PolyShades Bombay Mahogany Stain and polyurethane mix.

Bombay Mahogany

Despite the directions, we did not wipe any of the stain off. We lightly sanded the furniture and applied two coats of Satin finish polyurethane.

We finished one dresser and the nightstands before we moved into our house, but we still had to finish the other dresser and a headboard that I had acquired from my aunt.

We finished the dresser within a year of moving into the house, and the headboard was finally finished about a month before the wedding! It took way too long to finish the last two pieces. We weren’t motivated to tackle the headboard because nearly half of it required manual sanding.

Now…. drum roll please…

Tall Dresser- After (it looks better in person!)

Long Dresser- After

Night Stand- After

Headboard- After

Now we have furniture that doesn’t look so dated — and cost less than $50 to complete.


Attention to Detail

13 Jul

After 17 months of engagement and 4.5 years of “dating,” the day had finally arrived. We woke up in different places, since we’re traditional like that (haha). I (Jen) woke up to my mom making lots of noise in the 6’o clock hour (yeah, my mom was more anxious than me). Temoc woke up in a hotel. We both did a few more last touches, got ready and then we met for pictures.

If you’re not yet married, make sure your bridesmaids are aware of the details. We had a homemade ring bearer pillow and a “Just Married” sign that were left at home. We didn’t remember until we were at the reception, looking for the sign (after the photographer was gone). I also forgot a bouquet of flowers in the car in memory of Temoc’s mom. It’s unfortunate, but as the bride, you’re not thinking about all the little things. You’re thinking about the big picture (Is he going to love my dress? I can’t screw up the vows. Please don’t let me trip walking down the aisle. And please don’t cry because then I’ll mess up my $100 make-up). In retrospect, if my bridesmaids knew what I needed, the “little” details wouldn’t have been left in the car or at home… Since we can’t do anything about it, we took a few pictures to show off on our blog.

Ring Bearer Pillow

Sign (just imagine us holding the sign with giddy smiles)

And the other details that did make it to the wedding…

Very labor-intensive bouquets

Our rings

Very labor-intensive paper centerpieces

Messy, but not as labor-intensive garter (taken by us)

And finally, very labor-intensive favors (who would’ve guessed?)

All pictures taken by Rachelle Photography, unless otherwise noted.



9 Feb

I’m pretty reserved, so the thought of doing a garter toss absolutely terrifies me. I mean, who really wants to watch a groom go up his bride’s dress? Not me! Unfortunately, the groom-to-be nixed my idea of not doing it.

Since I’m being forced into doing the garter toss, I figured I would get something that I actually like. In one of my many Etsy searches, I found a beautiful garter. I absolutely love it because it’s simple, yet elegant.

And it costs $55, which I’m not willing to spend. So, I gave myself another DIY project. BM Andrea offered to make it, if she has time. I bought all of the materials, but couldn’t find a nice brooch. About a month had gone by and I thought I was going to have to settle for something else…

And then we went to Macys to shop for him. (Did you know he is going to be 30 in 2 weeks?). Thankfully I love to look at the clearance jewelry rack because my wonderful fiancé found me this:

It’s absolutely perfect! It was regularly $38, and we got it for $10, which is just a bit more than I would have like to have spent. Nevertheless, as two added bonuses, we can use the pearls for our centerpiece vases, and we get a percentage of the purchase back (in a gift card) after the wedding.

The garter will probably end up costing about $15 (we already have lace and those messy feathers). Doesn’t it feel good to save money?


Favor Boxes and Invitations

13 Jul

What do you get when you have no money to spend and a three day weekend?  A bunch of wedding preparations done!

Jen worked on the favor boxes for hours, and now we have a total of 100 done (with 2 in progress).  We only ordered 100 boxes, so we’re going to search for 18+ more.

Meanwhile, Temoc worked on the design of the “Direction” card for the invitations.  They’re nearly complete.

We also made our first invitation.  Although it’s not the final product, we are happy with how it turned out.  The process was much easier than we had anticipated.  We spent about $16 (oops!) on a new paper cutter/scorer.  We weren’t sure how to make the “V,” which is why it took us so long to make our first invitation.  We hoped the new paper cutter would work because it was cheaper/easier than the alternatives – and it did!  Here’s a sneak peek of the invitation:


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