DIY : The Laundry Room

July 29, 2011 07:45 by ehouston

This is a project that has been in progress since we moved to Richmond, VA back in July 2009.  I say it has been in the works for that long because I actually painted the walls just days before our new washer and dryer arrived.  Then, shortly after, I installed the shelves and hanging bars.  A few days later I cleaned and papered the shelves in the bank of cupboards opposite the washing area.  Whew!  Remembering what it took to make all of that happen while about 8 months pregnant makes me dizzy.  But, I was determined to have a decent laundry area since I new heaps of it was in my very near future.  Plus, this is what we were working with on move-in day.


(The right side of the galley laundry area as you enter from the garage door.)


(Here is a shot looking back toward the garage door from where the washing machine now sits.)


(Looking back into the galley laundry area from the back hallway to the family room and opposite the garage door.)


(The left side of the room from the garage entry with a sunny window to the back yard.)


(The scene just below the window on the back wall.  Lots of dings and dirt to clean and cover with paint before the new machines arrive.)


(One last shot of the dirty mayhem.)

It was all white, white and white with lots of dirt and grime mixed in.  Since settling in I have dreamt of the many ways I could remake the space for much better flow, but because that requires knocking down a wall, adding another and some plumbing and electrical work, I don’t see it happening any time soon.  Oh well.  In the meantime I decided to try to cutify (yes, I made that up) this area to make my time there a little less sad and stressed.  Sad, because it was a drab space and stressed because it’s a galley with the back entry from our dirty old garage.  So, I am constantly combating dirt and gunk in the same place I am trying to clean our clothing- yuck!  The first step was to paint the walls.  To save money I just mixed the white and brown paint I had used in the nursery to create a nice taupe.  Then I used some of the leftover glossy white paint from that same project to give the grimy cream colored trim a nice new, bright color.  The window and doors got the glossy white treatment, but the baseboards were coated in the same dark chocolate brown as the nursery.  The floor in this room is a dull creamy white linoleum with a simple square tile design.  The “grout” lines appear to be a mauve color, but it could just be that they have faded over time.  Either way, the light floor shows dirt before you can even walk across it and the mauve wasn’t doing anything for us.  So, I bought some inexpensive chocolate brown rag rugs from Target to cover this eyesore.  They are easy to shake out and then they can be tossed into the washer and dryer to really get the dirt out.  I also moved our cream colored shag door mat from the front entryway into this space, not only because I bought a new rug for the entry (as seen here), but because we really needed another spot to wipe our shoes before coming any further into the house.  This was all stage one in the laundry room makeover and we lived with just these changes until earlier this year.

Several months ago I decided to use some of my vintage fabrics and finds to make the space a little more inviting.  First, I attacked the big, VERY useful, but super ugly washtub.  I wanted to skirt it and had this idea that I could just whip up something tiered and slightly ruffled, slap it on and be done.  And, the project pretty much went just like that.  ;o) 



I scrounged up some complimentary fabrics and with a little measuring stitched them together.  Then I added some heavy-duty hook and loop tape (which I found out they make in set lengths specifically for skirting tables and such!) to the tub, and then the top band of the skirt.   Done!  Now, the tub looks a bit nicer and I can hide a bin of cleaning supplies out of sight (and out of the way from the floor of the adjacent closet-yeah!).

Next, I decided to use a vintage laundry bag with neat hand embroidery to create a café curtain for the really sunny window.  I actually enjoy how sunny this space usually is, but sometimes when I am working in there it’s blinding.  As with most of the rooms in our house, we still employ the lovely accordion-style, builder’s blinds to keep the sun out.  In order to hide that fact, I also added a coordinating valance that just covers the stack of blinds when they are pulled to the tippy top. 


(Sorry, bright day = bright spot shots.  But, you guys get the drift.)


It’s attached with vintage clothes pins to a clothesline stretched between the shelf brackets on either side of the window.  I enjoy seeing this little treasure I picked up years ago every day, but when the sun moves across the yard and it’s possible to open things up, I just pull back a corner and use one of the pins to hold the curtain open.  To learn more about this project click here.

Speaking of clothes pins, although I don’t hang clothing up on a line, I do use clothespins to keep things on the hangers while they dry.  So, I used some of the same vintage fabrics from the tub skirt to create a hanging bag to hold my supply. 


This handy little bag is attached to a vintage hangar that, again, I have had for years.  I think it’s pretty perfect for our laundry space!

The last vintage item I pulled together for the laundry nook is a magnetic message board made from an old scrub board. 


This piece had been left in our last home we owned back in Nashville, TN.  Rather than tossing it out I had used it for my laundry inspired craft fair displays and it managed to make the trip here to Richmond, VA. 


The only other thing I added to the area are a couple of baskets from Target that we already owned and covered storage boxes for the shelves above the hanging bars.  They are used to hold seasonal things, like our beach and pool gear.  Here is the post about how those came together.  As far as the shelves and hanging bars, I just bought wood and dowels, cut them to fit the spaces on either side of the window, painted them glossy white, and hung them up on closet brackets.  I added small wooden finials to the ends of the hanging bars just for fun and to give them a more polished, less homemade look.




Some big plans are in the works for the counter and cupboard area directly across from the washer and dryer, but that is for another time.  You know, after I tackle the million other things I have on the list!

How do you guys brighten the drudgery of laundry day?

Kitsch Krafts

PS- Stayed tuned for more detailed info on how I created the magnet board, the clothespin bag, the storage boxes, the curtains and the sink tub skirt.  It’s sure to rock your world….at least a little, or maybe not.  :0)

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Sucked Into The Creative Vortex

June 17, 2011 06:07 by ehouston

It’s true, I have been sucked in and cannot seem to get out.  If it weren’t for my extremely busy schedule of errands and play dates to socialize my child we probably would never leave the house.  So many things are on the backburner that I’m smelling smoke.  But, I had to do it.  I was so inspired by these sewing books and one of my burners had some unfinished art projects boiling away.  So, in my usual unfocused way, I jumped right in.  I am attempting to do some embroidery sans the punch tool I told you about here back in February.  One of those sewing books had some embroidery stitches listed, so I thought maybe I could enhance one of my little wall hangings with some hand sewn goodies. 


I pulled out a couple of my vintage “cutter” tablecloths and an apron.  I think the color combo is going to be really fun.


If all goes well I will be posting the finished project for sale in my etsy shop.

Kitsch Krafts

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Making And Crafts–Old Fashioned Photo Albums

June 14, 2011 03:09 by ehouston

Unlike pretty much everyone else out there,  I just recently acquired a phone that takes pictures and has a decent screen for viewing.  Prior to that I was the woman who never had a picture of her family available when asked.  At one point, I shoved some extra photos of my Little Guy into the side pocket of my purse because I was so tired of getting grief from well meaning strangers at parties asking for a glimpse of my offspring.  It’s cool to share pictures, but sometimes people act crazy about needing to see what your child looks like.  As though they are going to know if he looks more like me or the Mister when they have just met me and never laid eyes on him.  I guess it’s my fault for not having a photo of all of us on hand at all times.

Last year, around Mother’s Day, I realized I was not the only one sporting the old-school cell and I decided to do something about it.  For all the mother’s in my (and the Hubs!) life I created little photo albums, or brag books for their purse.  I figured it was the perfect thing since The Mister’s side of the family keeps growing and growing in little ones.  I am sure grandma needs a way to let all her fellow parishioner's know that she has another one that just arrived while telling them yet another is on the way.  At least that’s how things felt last spring when I decided to whip these babies up!  (no pun intended, I promise.)

First, I dug up some of my neat vintage handkerchiefs and then snooped around the pile for other matching textiles.


As you can see above, the fraying on many of these vintage pieces meant they were perfect “cutters”.


I purchased some very affordable 4” X 6” sized plastic slide in pocket style photo albums from Joanne’s that had interesting, but not so cute cardboard cutout covers.  I opened these up and drew around them (adding 1 inch) on scrap paper to create a template for cutting the fabrics.


Using the same cheap-o album in a closed position I did the same thing to create a template for the inner flap. 


This would end up being the piece used to hide the inexpensive album that slides in to the finished album cover. 


I added marks for the middle of the album.  This helped in lining up the inner flaps before sewing all the pieces together.  Remember, you need to have a little space there between the flaps to accommodate the album width and any movement while opening and closing.  I also marked the spot for the elastic strap that would hold the finished album closed.IMG_8802

After cutting my base fabric pieces, front and back and two inner flap pieces I then arranged the vintage handkerchiefs on the front fabric to work on my lay out.  Once I decided on the look, I cut out the piece of hankie.  On some I used the corners of the handkerchief at an angle, while others were cut from the middle taking care to snip out only the best portions.  I even saved the hand tatted edgings on a couple and realigned those pieces after cutting and sewed them in place giving the look of one long continuous piece of trim.


Since the handkerchief pieces were so thin and the base fabrics were pretty bold I used fusible webbing to attach the hankie cut-outs to plain white cotton fabric prior to sewing them in place.  Once the flap design was completed I put the wrong sides together for the front and back with the side flap pieces sandwiched in between and I stitched around the whole shebang!  After a little trimming, I flipped the inside out, ironed the seams and sewed up the side slit used for flipping right side out.  The cheap-o photo albums slid right into the inner side flaps and we were in business.  I also added stacked vintage buttons and a loop of skinny elastic to hold the pages closed.



Each one came out very unique and I think the recipients were pleased with the results.




This year I resorted to ordering mugs with photos and sweet little notes for each mom.  My mom sent me and The Mister a set for Valentine’s Day with pics of us and our Little Guy.  They have been such a big hit we decided to share the love with others this year.  But, next year I hope to whip up another handmade item.  It’s finding new and interesting (but useful!) things that gets harder and harder with each new year.  What neat ideas have you come up with to send your mother’s way in the past?  I would love to hear all about your craftiness!

Kitsch Krafts

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It’s Coming Are You Ready?

June 13, 2011 01:14 by ehouston

Father’s Day is almost here and I managed to knock out the one and only grandfather gift, but The Mister has me stumped.  I hope to come up with something amazing in the next few days.  Yeah, right!  ;o)  In the mean time I thought I would share some items I recently posted to the shop that would make pretty cool gifts for the fellas out there.

For the BBQ kinda man.


Vintage BBQ Plate


Vintage Metal Plate with Chuck wagon and Brands

A joke for the vintage sports nut.


Vintage bowler crying towel

For the lounge lizard…


Vintage drink coasters and stirrers from Party Sophistikits


Vintage Trippy Mushroom Tray

And for the artsy type, how about something for his walls?


Vintage fabric wall hanging with Mid-Century mod atomic fabric


Vintage fabric wall hanging with orange, yellow and brown geometric fabric

Don’t forget, Sunday is Dad’s day!

Kitsch Krafts

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Etsy Treasury–Esty Crafters….

May 16, 2011 05:11 by ehouston

This beautiful Etsy Treasury was curated and posted today by Pasture Rose, whose shop is full of cute and unique fabrics.

She was kind enough to include my new addition to the shop, the Vintage Fabric Quilt – Japanese Waves, to this group of stunning designs.

Kitsch Krafts

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Gettin' Back To My Roots!

May 3, 2011 05:33 by ehouston

Or, ruts, depending on what part of the country you are from.  What I mean to say is that I have been trying to really think about the content of my online shops lately and get back to what I had intended to do in the first place.  After taking stock, literally, I realized that some items were looking a little “thrown in to the mix”.  One thing that has always bothered me are shops that seem to be all over the place in the way of products.  And, the ones that stay focused seem so organized and clean.  I want my shops to be organized and clean too!

Step one: Stop Whining!

Step Two: Start to do more work with my vintage fabrics.  The main reason I got interested in the idea of opening a shop was to provide an offering of vintage or reproduction vintage fabric products for the home.  I wanted people to feel like they could decorate with their Heywood Wakefield blonde wood furniture and add bedding that matched the era.  Or, at least felt a little more congruent than the typical puffy comforter set found at the big box shops.  How many times have you seen shots of a restored Victorian or brownstone and the nursery is all Pooh-Beared out?  It’s like stepping into a time warp a la Twilight Zone.  Their home is beautifully restored with period pieces mixed in with some more modern finds, but then the nursery looks like Babies R Us exploded in their when the door was shut.  Or, the bathrooms feel like you walked into Bed, Bath and Beyond and said, “I’ll take one of everything”.

These were the thoughts that compelled me to get in the game in the first place.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love a good mix up of styles and fun things popping up in very unexpected places.  However, I just wanted to put some items out there that would allow folks to keep the consistency throughout their abode.  I started with these


(Baby Quilts in striped reproduction vintage fabrics.) 

and these

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(Baby Quilts in a checkerboard reproduction vintage fabric pattern.  Available in Pink and Green or Blue and Yellow.)

and have finally come full circle with some larger sized bedding options.


Full/Queen size vintage fabric embellished quilt in Japanese waves

I am so thrilled to finally be able to get this item listed.  I never imagined how hard it would be to sew a large piece like this while working around the whims of a toddler.  (I’m such an idiot, right?  All you veteran moms out there are just laughing your heads off right now, I know!).  With that said, I have several others in the works and will be listing them as time permits.  It’s a juggling act, but I am so glad to be getting back to what I had started.  To create something functional out of bits and pieces of discarded or no longer loved vintage fabrics is a real thrill.  I know, I’m just a textile junky I suppose.

Come on by the shop and check out the new vintage fabric items I have been listing recently.  You might just find something retro-cool to finish off your space.

Kitsch Krafts

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Etsy Treasuries–Whoo Hoo!

April 27, 2011 00:45 by ehouston

Gotta love a yellow bird and bunny filled spring time Treasury!  This one was curated by Grazim, whose shop is stuffed to the brim with the most beautiful hand-felted items.


My Vintage Fabric Wall Art in orange, brown and yellow was featured in this one.

The most recent Etsy Treasury I found one of my items listed in was a Shop Local, Virginia grouping.


19Cindy76 curated this Treasury featuring her favorite items from shops in and around the Richmond, VA area.  She included my listing for Vintage Fabric Tooth Fairy Pillows.

So, click, comment and purchase, ya’ll!


Kitsch Krafts

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