Archive for the ‘DIY’ Category

I pinned a nursery art idea from Etsy the other day, but decided that it was something I could make instead.  Also, since Steve flies Cessna planes, I thought it might be more fun to use a Cessna clipart instead of the bi-plane from the original idea.

I’m going to print it out as an 8×10 print and frame it for the nursery:

Airplane art

I found the airplane clipart here.


Planning a nursery is fun!



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Antique ladder shelf

Back last Fall, my aunt was driving to our place and spotted an old ladder in someone’s trash.  We get a lot of things from other people’s trash.  Mostly old windows.  My family has a thing for old windows.  I could do a whole post on old window ideas but this post is about old ladders so you’ll just have to daydream about those other things.  Steve would like me to point out that we don’t “rummage through peoples’ garbage,” rather if we see something antique that catches our eye, we stop to get it.

So Steve, my aunt and I drove back and picked up the ladder and then chopped it in half so that we’d each have an awesome old ladder to use to our hearts’ content!  I had no idea what I was going to do with mine at the time, but I knew I’d figure something out.  Steve looked at that 13 foot ladder and didn’t bat an eye.  He’s gotten used to picking things up from other peoples’ garbage for no other reason than it could be useful someday.  I was over-the-moon when he spotted and pointed out his first find – two giant yellow old windows.  Those are still in our garage.

I got my ladder project idea from this Etsy store.  You take an old ladder that you have kicking around, hang it on your wall, et voilà, it becomes a funky shelf!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • An old ladder
  • 6 L brackets (we used 6 x 1 & 1/8 inch ones)
  • 24 screws
  • A stud finder
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Lots of patience

Step 1. Measure

Measure from the ceiling the distance that you would like to hang the ladder.  Also measure your ladder, taking into account where you’ll be placing the brackets.  It’s best to place the top bracket under the top of the ladder, and to place the bottom bracket under the bottom of the ladder.  This ensures that all the weight you’ll be placing on the shelf will be optimally supported. See photo below for what I mean:

Antique ladder shelf brackets

Step 2. Find your studs.

This is where you might need some patience, especially if your house is old like ours.  Instead of drywall we have thick plaster and lathe, and behind that hide our studs.  Armed with the knowledge that in general, studs are about 16 or 24 inches apart, and with help from the stud finder, you should be able to get a ball park range of where the studs are.  When you drill, you should feel some resistance.  That’s how you’ll know you’ve found the stud.  We ended up with 37 holes.  There should only have been 18 🙂  I have a very patient husband, but he was cursing that ladder in his head, I know it.

Step 3.  Screw your brackets to the wall.

Measure many times throughout this process, holding the ladder up to check your progress.  We had to tweak one of the bracket sets because it was quite off, either because the ladder wasn’t perfectly straight, or because we just measured wrong the first bunch of times.

Step 4.  Place your ladder between the brackets and screw it in place.

At this point, it’d be a good idea to leave the project for 24 hours and make sure it’s solidly in the studs.  If you wake up the next morning and there are cracks in your walls, you’ll know something’s not right!  We wanted to be super sure this shelf was going to hold because we’d be placing a lot of books on it and it hangs above our precious heads, above our couch.


Antique ladder shelf full view

Step 5.  Start using your shelf!

It looks fabulous holding just books but I think I’m going to place some of the book groupings horizontally and then add knick-knacks and other things I want to display.

Antique ladder shelf close-up

Let me know if you have any questions.  I’ll do my best to answer them, but admittedly I’ll likely just go running to Steve and ask him!

*If you have money to throw around and you don’t feel like waiting around to find an old ladder, you can purchase a ladder with brackets and hanging instructions from this Etsy store.


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Blue and green baby booties

Blue and green baby booties

Brown baby booties

Brown baby booties

I made these newborn booties for a friend who’s having a little boy this Spring.  Because she had concerns about buttons on baby things (duh!  why didn’t I think of that?  So much to think about…), I winged it and made up crochet buttons.  I purchased the pattern for the booties here on Etsy.  They are easy and fast to make and turn out so adorable.  I want to make some for our little guy now, although he will be born in the summer so I’ll make slightly bigger ones.  I doubt he will need warm booties in July!  Now that we know we’re having a boy, I gotta get crocheting!

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My first quilt

I made a quilt!

Kim's wedding quilt

Wedding quilt tag

When Steve and I got married, my mom and her friends got together and made us a gorgeous quilt.  We sleep with that quilt every night and it even came with us on our road trip across North America.  I wanted to make one for my cousin, who was getting married last July.  It took many months, and I had a lot of help from my mom, but I did it!  Last year, I made an impromptu list of goals at New Year’s that I wanted to accomplish; making a quilt was one of them.  This year?  I’m making a baby!


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One of my dear friends had a baby girl just before Christmas.  I wanted to make something warm and cozy for her little munchkin to wear.  I just love these booties so much!  I can’t wait to find out the gender of our little one so that I can make a set for us too.

Pink baby booties

I love the pom poms on the pink booties.

Brown baby booties

*I bought the patterns on Etsy here.  If you can count and mark stitches, you shouldn’t have a problem understanding the patterns, but the seller is very helpful in the event that you get stuck .  There are lots of pictures to guide you through it.

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DIY Christmas Wreath

I saw this wreath on Pinterest and fell in love with it:

Pinterest wreath

My mom and I have been planning on making a similar wreath for a couple years now and just never got around to doing it before the holidays would sneak up on us.  This year we were determined!  We only got mine done, but with the two of us at it, it only took one evening to finish.  Click on the above photo to be redirected to the tutorial.  It’s easy and cheap to make.  You just need a base for the balls (I used a $6 floral wreath base from Michaels), styrofoam balls in at least two different sizes (available at dollar stores), yarn in the colour of your choice and a glue gun.

Here’s my finished wreath up on our door:



Christmas wreath



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DIY Fall Wreath

Fall blew in like a gust of wind and tumbled all the leaves from their trees.  I cannot believe how fast it arrived.  Or maybe it just seemed fast because we had such warm weather this September.  It is October afterall.  There should be leaves on the ground.  So far I’ve missed out on the Fall activities I was all excited to do – go apple picking (all the apples are on the ground now) and go flying with Steve to see all the beautiful colours from above (he’s booking a flight as we speak!).  But, I did manage to make and get my Fall wreath up!


Fall Wreath on our door

It was super easy and cheap!  Yay!

In case you want to try making one too, here’s what you need:

– foam ring (I got mine at Michaels) or other lightweight ring.  The styrofoam one I used got all flakey, so if you can find an alternative, that would probably be better.

– assorted wool (you don’t need much so I used scraps leftover from other projects – except for the mustardy yellow; I didn’t have that colour)

– crochet hook

– darning needle

– buttons for the flower centres

– a waterproof spray if you are hanging it outside; I got mine at Michaels.  It’s called an acrylic sealer/finisher, by Americana.


1. Wrap wool around the foam ring.  I started by stabbing the foam with a darning needle and stringing the wool through and making a knot so that it would stay.  Wrapping the ring actually takes a little while because you want it to be nicely lined up.  So you can’t just spin and spin madly like I’d originally envisioned.  I did this part while watching tv.

Wreath Step 1

2. Don’t worry if your wool starts going on an angle.  I think this is unavoidable since the inner part of the foam ring is smaller than the outer part.  But maybe you’re smarter than me and you can figure out a way around this.  In any case, I think it looks fine when it starts to go all angular.

3. Once you make it all the way around with your wool, again stab the wool through with your darning needle and then weave the end in so that it’s hidden below the rows.  I stabbed through in a couple places for good measure because I didn’t want it to come loose. Plus I was feeling stabby.  Try it, you’ll see what I mean.

4. Choose a flower pattern.  I just made mine up but there are SO many out on the internet.  Here’s a particularly useful link:  http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/flowers.php

Fall wreath flowers

5.  To attach the flowers, I used the darning needle and wove in my ends from making the flowers to affix them to the foam.  You could also use a glue gun.  But then you don’t get to be all stabby.  Glue gun = not as much fun.

6.  Spray the entire wreath with a waterproof sealer.  It goes on just like spray paint and dries quickly so I did two coats for good measure.

7.  Et voila!  Hang your wreath!

As with all my craft projects, I had helpers throughout:

Hobbes helping with step 1

Kimba and wreaths

Hobbes and wreaths


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