Color Blocked Vintage Bookcase

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of pre-owned goods. Not only does buying second hand mean that I’m diverting an item from the waste stream, and therefore preventing another from being made, it also means I’m inheriting something with a history. An object with a soul, if you will.

20161001_144133

When we moved into our current place I found that something major was lacking from the living room: a bookcase. My previous apartment had built-ins, and the place before that did too. That’s why I ventured to one of my favorite vintage furniture shops, Good Deal Garage, in Chicago’s Andersonville neighborhood. Jam packed with loads of pre-loved furniture and decor, this is my go-to place whenever I need something with character for my little nest. So off I went to GDG and I found it. A very simple, but sturdy, wooden bookcase toward the back of the shop. It was filled with all manner of tchotchke but I could visualize it all cleaned up. Sold!

Fast forward half a year later. This wooden addition to my living room was doing its job, but feeling a bit too heavy for my current mood. An easy solution? Whitewash it! And I don’t mean the sociological use of the term, I mean good ‘ole grab a paint brush and get moving!

I was torn on whether or not to douse the whole piece in paint, if I should just clean up the interior, or if color blocking was the way to go. Because I have a variety of white and dark toned goodies to display, I went with the latter. So with a paintbrush in one hand, and my handy dandy masking tape in the other, I spent a toddler nap period painting the shelving unit. That equals 3 hours for two coats of paint, some time spent snacking and doing laundry, and then sitting and reading. So a very loose 3 hours indeed.

And the result? Awesome says I! I love how the white brought some life to the piece while allowing me to still showcase the rich woodsy material in one small strip. It ended up making my entire living room feel more airy and put together.

color-block

Is there a furniture piece in your home that you think could do with a bit of freshening up? Or is there a recent project you finished to add some nuance to your space? If so, share below!

20161004_140523

 

Advertisements

DIY: Handmade Winter Legwarmers

pierogi picnic: diy legwarmers

Just a couple weeks back much of the Midwest was engulfed in what was dubbed the “polar vortex”. With temperatures dipping down as far as negative 19 in Chicago-land, it was more important than ever to layer up to keep warm. And that’s exactly what I had to do along with millions of other folks. Slipping into layer upon layer of tights, leggings and socks, it suddenly hit me – I need some old-fashioned legwarmers! So I grabbed an old sweater and got to crafting. Within twenty minutes I was cozied up and ready to hit the great and frigid outdoors.

If you’ve been battling to keep your legs warm this season – give this easy tutorial a try! All you need is a pair of scissors, needle, thread and a chunky knit sweater. If you have any mismatched buttons lying around  grab those too for added embellishment. In just a half hour or less you’ll be on your way to a toastier, and more eco-chic you!

pierogi picnic: diy legwarmer tutorial

    1. Pick out a vintage or gently used sweater that you’d like to transform.
    2. Cut off both sleeves – leaving the original seams on the torso. Save the extra fabric to make a pillow or skirt.
    3. Roll the raw edge until you have a double fold.
    4. Grab your needle and thread to hem the fold. Start with two regular loop stitches.
    5. After making the second, pull your needle through the stitch’s loop.
    6. Pull taught and move on to the next stitch, repeating the process. This is called the “lock stitch” method.
    7. Grab a handful of mismatched buttons. 
    8. Sew the first button onto the original sleeve hem – not the lock-stitched one you just created.
    9. Add more buttons and repeat on other legwarmer.

And there you have it! In just a handful of minutes you’ll find yourself donning an adorable and toasty pair of hand-crafted legwarmers! Layer them over a pair of leggings and tall boots or transform your favorite flats into winter-ready apparel. Should your one-of-a-kind accessories get dirty, simply hand wash them in the sink with your favorite eco-safe detergent and set them out to dry.

Pierogi Picnic: DIY Eco-Friendly Legwarmers

DIY: Cozy Sweater Stockings

Handmade Sweater Knit Stocking

I absolutely love the look of soft cozy knits in the winter. If it were up to me I’d enshroud my entire apartment in knit blankets, rugs, pillows and drapes!

But since that’s not currently possible – I’ve had to satiate my urges to make everything soft and fluffy in a different way. Rather than go out and purchase a set of readymade holiday decor, I decided to handcraft a set of rustic Christmas stockings on my own. Utilizing pre-loved knit men’s sweaters, these elegant and wintery gift socks were quick to make and added just the right amount of cheer to our fireplace mantle. Follow my easy instructions below to craft a set of stocking for your home or to give as a gift to your favorite homebody!

DIY Eco-Friendly Knit Sweater Christmas Stockings

Supplies you’ll need: Sharp fabric scissors, knit sweaters (you’ll get 2 stockings out of 1 sweater), yarn for hanging, white thread, sewing machine, embellishments.

DIY Sweater Christmas Stockings

  1. Gather up your supplies. Think soft, cozy, and creamy colors.
  2. You’ll need a stocking template. I used the one off Martha Stewart’s website as a loose guide.
  3. Cut out the stocking shape using two layers of your sweater fabric.
  4. Bring the two right-facing sides together and stitch along the sides and bottom, leaving the top un-sewn.
  5. Cut 3-4 inches of yarn. Fold the top of the stocking over an inch around the top and pin the yarn on either side of the top back seam (the one that leads to the heel of the stocking).
  6. Sew across the top of the stocking hem using a zig zag stitch. This will keep the top from fraying and separating as you stuff the stocking with presents.
  7. Choose your stocking embellishments. These will add color, texture and spice to your stocking. You may also want to consider using something that will help identify which stocking belongs to which family member.
  8. Hang, fill with presents and enjoy!

DIY Sweater Stocking Eco-Friendly Chrristmas

Designs: Peanut Loves Butter

Peanut Loves Butter: Upcycled Cotton Bow Tie

I am so excited to announce the launch of a brand-spankin’ new line of merchandise: Peanut Loves Butter!

This new collection of pet products keep style and sustainability in mind. High quality, yet affordable, stylish but modern, this unique series of dog and cat pieces is sure to bring a smile to every pet owner’s face!

Peanut Loves ButterL Handmade Dog Dress Shirt Collar

In true Pierogi Picnic fashion, each piece is handcrafted using salvaged fabrics, making each creation one of a kind and eco-friendly. And as if that’s not enough to make you purr, we’ll be carrying adorable toys and housewares for your furry friends too!

Peanut Loves Butter: Upcycled fabric cat teaser

What inspired the line you may ask? My three little hobgoblins, Peanut, Butter and Tomato.  The majority of pet products found online or in-stores tends to sway on the uber feminine or too utilitarian side.  Rather than purchase a bunch of frou frou sweaters or overpriced knitted pieces, I decided to make my boys accessories that both they and I could be proud of.  And then a funny thing happened. People started asking where I’d purchased each sweater, bow tie or cowl. Imagine my delight!

So I spent some time this summer tweaking and experimenting with the designs. Sewing a sample of this – hand sculpting a toy for that – until I could come up with a line that was both aesthetically awesome, practical, and not too pricey! With practical earth-friendly designs and dapper touches, Peanut Loves Butter was born!

Peanut Loves Butter: Dog Cowl Sweatshirt

So if you’ve been looking for eco-chic pet products for your little monsters, be sure to follow all of the fun on the new Peanut Loves Butter blog! And should you be one of the first 10 people who hit the subscribe button, you’ll receive an exclusive 25% off coupon to use in the new PLB shop!

cowl pandb circle

So there you have it! Cute, affordable, totally eco-friendly and style savvy pet gear. What more could you ask for this fall!?

Peanut Loves Butter logo

DIY: Painted Wooden Necklace

diy painted wooden necklace

Lately I’ve been pining for an over-sized statement necklace that has a rustic touch. After scouring Etsy and local fairs, I submitted to the urge to make my very own. I had something so specific in mind that I knew the only way to satiate the urge would to be create it myself!

Using wooden beads, a unique color palette , and embroidery floss, I was able to create a one-of-a-kind color-blocked neck adornment that was both fun and just the right chunky size.

And the best part? It’s easy to make one yourself! Follow these easy steps to make your own using your favorite colors of the season.

diy wooden necklace oversized instructions

1) Pick up a set of large wooden beads from your local craft store.

2) Tape off a portion of each bead – this part will retain the natural wood.

3) Choose your paint colors – make sure they work on porous surfaces. My favorites are the multi-purpose collection by Ms. Martha.

4) Paint your bead. You may need two coats depending on the color you’ve chosen.

5) Set you painted beads aside to dry.

6) Peal off the tape and touch up as needed.

7) Thread a large needle with your chosen color of embroidery floss and string through your beads.

8) Last but not least, knot a complimentary colored floss to your base piece. Cut off the ends and you’re done!

DIY chunky wooden necklace

Have you found a fun way to bring together a popular trend with your favorite colors and textures? If so – tell us about it!

A DIY Wedding

Katie & Philip's DIY Wedding 2013

When it was announced that my baby brother was getting hitched – I could barely contain my excitement! Not only was I a mega-fan of the bride to-be, I also knew that this wedding would be different. Between the creativity imparted on Phil by our family, and the uber-crafty cunning of Katie, I had no doubt that this would be a DIY wedding to remember!

The Plan:

First things first, the bride made her own handy-dandy wedding planner in which she would list all the elements that would need to come together for this rustic, meets shabby chic, affair. Delegating out tasks across the familial pool, we each had an important part to play. The Krupinski side of the family was in charge of flowers, bridal party accessories, favors, and a portion of the food and centerpieces.

By inviting family and friends to take the lead in the preparations for their special day, Katie and Philip ensured that their wedding would hold sentiment for them, and all the guests who attended. 

diy wedding

Wedding Favors: With a little elbow grease and some heavy duty diamond tip blades, my father made over eighty drinking glasses for the guests using old soda bottles. Talk about being green! Each one was then scripted with the event date and initials of the bride and groom making them an elegant and functional wedding favor.

Centerpiece Stands: My brother and dad also gathered used wooden candlesticks and wood from a recently fallen tree trunk, and assembled the most ingenious centerpiece bases (which I plan to steal for use in my own home – shhhhh). White washing each candlestick and gluing the top to a cross-cut of the tree trunk, these homemade cake stands were used for elevating the light and whimsical baby’s breath table bouquets.

Katie & Philip's Wedding 2013

Continue reading

Party Planning

NYE Party Decor Inspirations

New Year’s Eve is just around the bend – which means it’s the perfect time to do some party planning!

With the help of my handy dandy Pinterest collections I’ve compiled some sweet and festive ‘looks’ for all your merry-making needs. From handmade crafts and DIY garlands to ‘just because’ embellishments, I hope this list gives you some great ideas on how to throw the perfect soiree to ring in the New Year.

  1. DIY Photo Booth from Free People
  2. Gold Garland from A Beautiful Mess
  3. Stunning Paper Pom Poms from Project Nursery
  4. Clock Countdown Mantel from Martha Stewart
  5. Confetti Balloons from Kojo Designs
  6. Paper Bunting from EMMAS DESIGNBLOGG
  7. Sparkly Star Headband from Sippy Cup Mom
  8. DIY Festive Party Hat from Pinterest
  9. NY Resolutions Coaster Set from Lucky Bee Press