I am featured today on Cutting Edge Stencil's blog!
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Monday, May 20, 2013
I was thrilled when I found out I had an opportunity to review a dress from Mikarose. I love this company for so many reasons.
First, their clothing is modest, it covers everything up in all the right places. No tucking or pulling to cover up under garments.
Second, the material they use is incredibly comfortable and stretchy. It really fits like a glove over all your curves.
And third, Mikarose provides clothing that is perfect for all stages including pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, post-partum, and nursing moms.
I am wearing the Bailey dress in Mint. I am a sucker for anything mint color, so I knew this was the dress for me. However, the dress comes in many different colors! I love the belt detail with the buttons around the waist. And the sleeves aren't too short or too long, they hit just at the right place.
One of my favorite things about this dress and most clothing from Mikarose is that you don't have to wear a tank or undershirt underneath. I just love the ability to throw on the dress without adding bulky layering underneath. And this dress could easily be paired with a cardigan for chilly weather, or leggings, or flats, or heels. It truly is so versatile!
I own many other products from Mikarose, but my favorites are their dresses. I'm looking forward to wearing this dress for the remainder of my pregnancy and continuing afterwards with my post-pregnant body. Oh, and Mikarose offers tons of sizing options so their clothing will fit any body type and shape!
Be sure to check out the Mikarose website to find something for yourself!
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
These are our window benches made from Ikea Expedit shelves. See my tutorial here: Ikea No-Sew Window Bench Tutorial.
Almost as important as the fabric you choose for the cushion are the storage containers you choose to go inside the openings. These openings are about 13'x13'x15' so pretty large. It's hard to find that size of storage bin/container for cheaper than $15. And we had 10 spaces to fill! So we were definitely looking for something much more affordable.
These storage containers are actually made to fit this exact shelf from Ikea. I didn't initially see them in the store when I was there, but found them online and had them shipped to my house. They are Ikea's Drona Box. They fit perfectly. And the best part? They are only $4.99 each! It was impossible to find another storage container close to that price. They come in several colors, but we went with white. I've even seen other people get these containers then spray paint numbers/letters/etc. onto them. The possibilities are endless.
For our 2nd window bench that is in our living room, I wanted storage containers that looked a little nicer. Don't get me wrong, the Ikea boxes look great and will hold up for a long time, but I saw another container that I instantly wanted. It's Target's Theshold Storage Bin. They also come in 3 colors, we went with the Natural color. Only down side is that they cost $12.99 each. I have a Target Red Card so I got an additional 5% off. You can wait until they go on sale if you'd like to chance getting the color/amount you want.
Did I mention that they hold A TON of stuff? It's an easy and convenient place to store toys, blankets, books, etc.
For more pictures of our nursery, check out my Nursery Reveal Here!
I've had many requests to do a Window Bench tutorial from my Nursery Reveal post. It was something I saw myself on pinterest and other blogs but had a hard time finding a good tutorial, and there's nothing more I'd like than for you to make one yourself! It has made such a big difference in our nursery and our living room. That's right, we made two!
|Window Bench in our Girls' room|
|Window bench in our living room|
I love this window bench for so many reasons:
1- It creates a high enough bench that my girls can look out the window. They love looking outside.
2- It provides a comfortable place to sit and read books, play, rest, etc.
3- The storage containers hold so many toys, blankets, etc. It helps keep clutter down and it's easy to clean things up now by just putting them away in the storage bins.
4- The bench in our living room adds 4-5 more seats for adults.
5- We made it ourselves! There is so much satisfaction in completing a project like this.
So on to the tutorial:
The first thing you will need is an Ikea Expedit Shelving Unit. They come in different colors, but we preferred white. Follow the Ikea instructions for putting the shelving unit together. My husband did it within a few minutes, it was easy.
Next you'll need at least 2 sets of Ikea Capita Legs. We got the 4 inch ones which made the window bench plenty tall. It's the perfect height for kids to be able to climb up on the bench, and for adults to sit on it. We got 3 sets of Capita legs because we made two window benches.
They are easy to screw into the bottom of the Ikea Expedit shelf. We put the legs on each end and in the middle of the bench, totaling 6 legs.
Once the legs are attached to the shelving unit, you will need a piece of MDF board and foam. We got our MDF board cut at Home Depot (for free) to the dimensions of the shelving unit. The board cost us less than $15 and we had enough for both window benches with some board left over.
Here is some advice for the piece of foam. DO NOT buy your foam through a craft store like Hobby Lobby, Joann's, Michael's, etc. It costs way too much! I found a piece of foam at Smith's Marketplace for $20 which was big enough for 2 window benches. They had smaller sizes too so if you are just making one window bench, you can easily find a piece of foam for probably $10 or less at a hardware store or a similar store.
Now comes the cushion part of the bench. Several tutorials I saw skipped this step, but I would recommend adding quilt batting first, before the fabric. I bought a humongous bag of quilt batting at Walmart for about $5. First set the piece of quilt batting on the floor/table/bench, then the foam, then the MDF board.
We actually stapled the fabric to the board/foam without the quilt batting the first time, then realized it didn't look very good. We could see bumps and areas where the foam wasn't quite straight, and it was hard to get the fabric tight enough. So we removed the staples and fabric and added the quilt batting.
Then simply stretch the quilt batting over the edges of the foam and MDF board and staple it with a staple gun! This was actually really fun. I found that by adding quilt batting, it provided a tighter surface area to stretch the final fabric over, which helped keep it nice and tight fitting.
After stapling the quilt batting, you will repeat the step but using fabric this time. You can choose any type of fabric you want. For the window bench in our nursery, we chose Pearl bracelet Andover fabric in Citron color . I had previously cut it and ironed it for a smooth surface once it was stapled on.
For our living room bench, we chose Waverly Sun N Shade Lovely Lattice in Lagoon color. I can't tell you how long it took me to decide on which fabric to use. I would suggest waiting until you absolutely fall in love with something.
Tip #1: When choosing fabric, I would recommend a sturdy type, such as the Waverly Fabric I chose for our living room bench. It's an indoor/outdoor fabric made of durable Teflon-coated polyester fabric. It's breathable, will hold up to harsh sunlight, resist mold, mildew, soil, and stains. And they are easy to wipe off and clean.
The fabric we chose for our nursery, the Pearl bracelet fabric, is a simple cotton fabric. I fell in love with the print that I decided to go with it even though the fabric itself isn't very sturdy. This may prove to be a mistake in the future, we'll have to see. I can already tell a huge difference in quality of the fabrics I chose, and would recommend going with a sturdy indoor/outdoor type of fabric.
Tip #2: When choosing fabric, I highly suggest viewing it in person to get the most accurate coloring/texture. There were many samples that I saw online but once I saw it in real life, the coloring was completely different. If you can't go see it for yourself in a craft store, then ask the seller to send you an actual picture in natural light. Both of the fabrics we chose were not available in my area, but the computer image compared to an actual picture of the fabric in natural light was such a huge difference, the difference between choosing it and not.
Pull the fabric tightly over the edge of the foam/board and staple it down. I actually folded the fabric so that the staple had 2 layers to grab onto to help prevent tearing in the future.
The corners got a little tricky, I had to experiment folding the fabric down different ways so it wouldn't pucker. When I finally found something that worked, I went to town staple gunning it down.
There you have it! The cushion is now complete with the MDF board, foam, quilt batting, and fabric.
The final step is to attach the cushion part to the actual bench.
Simply grab some 3 inch screws, and screw them into the MDF board from underneath the bench. We screwed 2 into each end, plus another set in the middle to hold it on tight.
And waaalah! You have a beautiful window bench! Now that wasn't too hard was it? We will enjoy many years of fun with these window benches.
For more information on the storage containers/bins I chose for my window benches, look HERE.