My DIY Foyer Rug

My apartment has wood floors which I love even though they’re not in perfect shape. What I don’t love is the amount of ‘stuff’ that gets tracked in from outside. Even though I have to walk across my building’s entry rugs, and then climb a carpeted staircase and down a carpeted hallway before I get to my unit a lot of stuff gets tracked in on my shoes and boots. It’s winter here in Canada, so there’s the salt and sand that gets thrown down to treat slippery sidewalks and driveways, and the snow that melts and gets everywhere no matter how hard you try to bang it lose before coming inside. When I moved into my apartment the previous owner left behind an entry mat which I used for the first full winter I lived here, but it wasn’t a really great solution – the above mentioned salt, sand and melted snow made a daily mess of my foyer, and I tired quickly of mopping and sweeping it on an almost daily basis, not to mention the damage the stuff was doing to the hardwood.

My Foyer with it's wood floors and numerous doorways

My Foyer with its wood floors and numerous doorways

I looked high and low for a rug I could use in the space, but I had two problems – the room is small (It’s about 5’x8’ but has 6 doors so a 4’x6 rug wouldn’t work) and as is common in old buildings, the floors are uneven. In my foyer the floor in front of my front door rises a bit, which means the addition of a regular, even flat-woven, rug impossible as the door would get stuck.

After a few trials and errors with various rugs I schlepped home on the subway I came to the conclusion that if I wanted something for my floor I’d have to make it myself. After a while Google introduced me to the idea of floor cloths. While I like to consider myself handy and creative, I’m also pretty lazy, so I figured instead of painting a pattern on blank canvas I’d just buy some fabric with a pattern I liked instead.

I found some navy and fuchsia stripped fabric at King Textiles that I quite liked. The only problem was it was a bit stretchy, and not wide enough to fill my odd-shaped foyer. One seam, and some iron-on interfacing and I had the base of my rug. I then quickly hemmed the four edges to make it the right size (I’m a bag blogger and didn’t take any photos – but I’m sure you can imagine it – it’s was very simple).

I could have left it like that, but I wanted my cloth to be somewhat water-resistant as I knew I’d be standing on it in snowy boots. I laid out a big sheet of plastic and then laid my new ‘rug’ on it, and then proceeded to paint it with polyurethane. I had a half can leftover from a previous project and I figured that would be more than enough – I was wrong. The fabric soaked up the urethane like a sponge, so I ended up using another full can.

My next task was figuring out a way to prevent my new rug from sliding all over the place. Traditional rug pads wouldn’t work because they added too much thickness and prevented the door from being opened. I had pinned this on Pinterest sometime last year and I figured it would solve my problem, and it did – sort of.

Martha Stewart - Caulk Rug Tip

Rug slip-proofing tip – Via marthastewart.com

While the caulking did prevent my new rug from becoming an indoor slip ‘n slide it wasn’t ideal for the thin material I was using – after a while the lines of caulk because visible through the fabric, and I worried that eventually there would be permanent wear marks where the caulk was. My rug with the caulk applied to the backLuckily a while after I started using the mat I was at Ikea when I spotted their extra-thin rug underlay, and it works quite well without adding that dreaded bulk.

My DIY Foyer Rug in Place

My DIY foyer rug in place

I’ve lived with my DIY rug for a few months now and I really like it. I sweep it to get rid of the dirt I do track in and an occasional damp mop gets rid of the salt and water marks. I love the bright graphic stripes, and the fuchsia picks up the colour of the flowers in the art print I have hanging on the wall.

What do you think? Would you ever consider trying to make your own rug?

Linked to: Young House Love, The Shabby Nest,

I’m ‘Sew’ excited

For my birthday in March of this year, my wonderful aunt and uncle J+ M sent me a little something in the mail so I might get myself something I really wanted. It took me a while to figure out what I wanted – do I buy clothes, or shoes, or a cute piece of jewellery that in all honesty I’ll hardly ever wear ‘cause I never remember to put jewellery on in the morning? (Think I’m exaggerating? – If you looked at any picture of me I’m most likely wearing the same three pieces of jewellery – a watch, pearl stud earrings, and my right-hand ring. It very rarely changes). In the end I settled on something a little more pedestrian, but hopefully long-lasting. I bought myself this: That’s right – a sewing machine. I’ve wanted one for quite a while. In ancient times when I lived in Ottawa I had custody of my mom’s sewing machine, and I made a few things – some tablecloths, two duvet covers with matching pillow cases, and a lovely roman shade. Years passed, and I moved back to Toronto, and then my parents sold my childhood home(sob!) and moved out west, and my mom took her sewing machine with her.

Since then I rarely thought of sewing, that is until I started reading blogs, and seeing all the lovely things people were whipping up in no time with the help of a sewing machine. Be it table cloths, napkins or curtains, the blogosphere is full of wonderful projects, and I want in on the fun (provided of course that the fun only requires stitching a straight line). Okay – I’ll be honest – I dream of one day actually sewing some window coverings which are sadly lacking in my little abode.

Anyways, I bought my little machine, and then it sat unopened in a corner while I tried to come up with a good first project. Preferably an easy one that wouldn’t take too much time, and only required the sewing of straight lines – it’s been a long time since I used a machine at all, and even longer since my last lessons on how to sew in grade 8 home economics.

Enter a closing Fabricland store having a 50% off sale. In all honesty I went in hopes of finding some fabric to make some curtains for my living room or bedroom, but as usually happens I didn’t find anything that screamed ‘make me into curtains’. I did however find some  lovely tea towel fabric which practically jumped up and ran into my arms.

The beauty of buying tea towel fabric is it’s already hemmed on the sides, which means I only had to do two seams on each towel – perfect for a first project, and also a sewer who is LAZY! They had 4 colours, but the red one had some issues with the dye being all over the fabric instead of in the smart stripes down the sides, so I just bought the green, blue and yellow. I won’t bore you with a step by step how to – suffice it to say I folded over the ends twice, pinned, and then made a valiant attempt at sewing a straight line. I was somewhat successful. As I had bought enough to make 2 towels in each colour, I did that 12 times, and voilà – the finished product. Now that I’ve got my first project under my belt I have to start looking for some more. In the meantime I’ll also have to consider getting an actual pincushion, because while my solution worked, it’s not the most efficient as I’ll eventually need to wear those socks. Hey – maybe I can sew one! Anyone have any good pincushion projects they’d care to share?

Update your Kitchen Hardware in 5 Easy Steps

Changing door hardware is one of the easiest ways to update a kitchen, or a piece of furniture. If you’re lucky your new hardware will be the same size as your old, so there will be no extra work involved, but on occasion your new pulls or handles may require you to break out your drill.

When I recently updated my kitchen hardware I needed to use my drill and I thought I’d share what worked for me in case you’d love to update yours, but have been a little scared to try given you have to drill holes in your kitchen cabinets!

Tools you’ll need:

  • Drill
  • Drill bit that is the size of your screw
  • Drill template (I used one from Ikea, but Home Depot, etc will carry them)
  • Masking tape
  • Sharpie

Steps

  1. Determine where you want your handles to go on your cabinets, and match that location to the holes on the drill template. Mark the holes you’ll use for your new handles on the template  – I used a marker, but tape would work as well.
  2. My cabinets are glossy and I worried that the drill bit would be prone to sliding on the slick cabinet surface once I started drilling. To combat this I stuck a strip of masking tape to the cabinet where I was going to drill. This helped slow any lateral movement, and also made it easily visible if the bit was shifting so I could stop and correct it before I went too far.

  3. Use the drill template to mark where your holes will go. I used a sharpie as I was marking the masking tape I applied in the earlier step. You could also use a pencil if you aren’t using the tape and didn’t want to risk a permanent mark.
  4. Start drilling. I’ll be honest – this part was scary. I started on the cabinet that is the least noticeable in case I goofed. Start slowly and make sure the bit doesn’t drift off your mark. Once the hole has gotten started you can speed up a bit.
  5. Remove the making tape and attach your new hardware.

I did one door from start to finish at a time. I did this in case there was a problem it would mean I’d only ruined one door. The process for drawers is a little different, but the steps above will work – you’ll need to find the center of the drawer (measure twice to make sure) and mark your drill holes accordingly.

Have you ever drilled holes in your kitchen cabinets? Were you as scared as I was to try it?

Linked To: {aka} Design, Chic on a Shoestring, The Shabby Nest, Polish the Stars, Coastal Charm, The Kurtz Corner, DIY by Design, Savvy Southern Style, {Primp}, Handy Man, Crafty Woman, Beyond the Picket Fence