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July 29, 2014

Cozy Nursery Reading Corner

Madigan made… a reading corner for the baby’s nursery.

Tips for creating a cozy reading or nursing corner for a nursery (love the book ledges idea!)

Go ahead… ask my parents. They will tell you that I was more than a bit of a bookworm growing up. I always had my nose in a book as a child. I read constantly. (Yes, I was that pre-teen that could devour the latest copy of The Babysitter’s Club in a day!) I don’t read as much as I’d like to these days… but I am SO looking forward to sharing my love of books with our future little baby girl. I can’t wait to read to her and encourage her to enjoy books like my parents did with me.

So, it was important to me to have a corner of our baby’s nursery that was conducive to reading to her. I also wanted a cozy space that we could use to rock and nurse her as well when she was little.

simple nursery reading nook idea with book ledges on the wall

I created this small area of the room near the window to be our little “book nook”. It required a few important things (in my mind) to meet all of our needs: a comfy chair, a place to rest/store things, lots of book storage, good lighting and fun/pretty décor.

This post contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please refer to my disclosure statement for more details.

reading nook nursery idea with glider for babys room

We started planning the reading corner around a small modern glider we bought for the room. The rocker is the Madison Swivel Glider from babyletto. It is covered in a soft, gray microfiber material that I think will clean and hold up well around a child. I already find myself sitting and rocking in it almost daily as it is… it is very comfortable!  I love the modern style of the chair and the fact that it could easily transition into another part of the house down the road.

nursing glider and side table idea for baby's room

Next to the glider we placed a small side table/stool. When I am nursing, I’m sure it will come in handy for drinks/snacks and needed baby paraphernalia. I love the fact that the table is clear and it does not take up much space visually, The Lucite material compliments the other clear/crystal elements in the space. Plus, it is plastic  and  will hopefully be durable around a kid. And look at the storage below… perfect for more books!

book ledges for a childrens nursery - love this idea for wall decor!

If you follow me on Instagram, a couple of months ago you may have spotted the three narrow shelves that I hung behind the glider. They are RIBBA picture ledges from IKEA and I’m using them as book ledges. My dad and I talked about trying to make some book ledges… but when I saw that these shelves were $15 a piece, I could not go wrong with this store-bought option!

childrens room book ledges idea

Right now I have some books on the shelves, plus a few toys and décor items. The empty silver and crystal frames are from Home Goods… and you may have notices my DIY baby blocks sitting next to the frames.

The other framed pink and white silhouette prints are free vintage graphics I downloaded, modified and printed from The Graphics Fairy (a deer and girl and two children playing). These silhouette prints compliment the large DIY wall art I made for the above the crib.

I can’t wait to fill up these shelves with more books as the baby grows!

reading nook pendant light

A reading area needs good lighting. I did not want to take up floor or table space with a lamp, so a hanging pendant lamp (using a JARA shade and HEMMA cord set from IKEA) above the side table seemed like the best way to go. The kit we used hangs from hooks in the ceiling and can be plugged into the wall below. (no need for fancy wiring!) We also added a dimmer attachment (the DIMMA cord dimmer from IKEA) to the lamp so that we can make the lighting soft and ambient during those late night feedings. (Thanks to my reader Deb for the dimmer idea!)

A few more things in this area help to amp up the cozy factor, too.

baby quilt and glider ideas for a pink and gray nursery

My blog girlfriend Carolina (from 30 Minute Crafts and Always Expect Moore) quilted this GORGEOUS baby blanket for our little girl that you see on the back of the glider. The colors are perfect  for the space and the quilt is soft. (Thanks so much, Cara!)

I sewed the long pillow for the chair out of some gray and pink ikat fabric using my easy envelope pillow method.

pink knitted pouf for the nursery

I had hoped to create a pouf-style ottoman to go with the glider, but time just got away from me. Instead, I settled on a bright, raspberry pink ottoman. The pink knitted pouf is from Restoration Hardware (you can find similar ones in different colors at One Kings Lane and Land of Nod). I love its size and nubby texture… it will be a great place to put up my feet while I’m in the glider. The ottoman will also transition into a great toddler seat as our babe grows.

pink and gray nursery decor ideas

You may have noticed our new faux sheepskin area rug  that we have in the center of the room. When I was planning this space, I wanted a modern rug for the room. I thought about a printed rug, but I’m so glad I went with a solid color. The light, white hue helps to brighten up the space and the shagginess is cozy and adds more texture to the room. When we bought the rug, it shed regularly for the first couple of months but that has slowed down. The shaggy rug is soooo comfy to walk on… and my hubby and dog assure me (from personal experience!) that it will be a warm place to play and snuggle with our little gal, too!

I’ve shown you most of the areas of this nursery… I just have a few more things to share with you about this room. Are you sick of all my baby talk already? (I hope not!) With my due date fast approaching, I’m just glad this room is almost ready and I can’t wait to show it all to you.

July 27, 2014

How to Customize an Image into Wall Art

Madigan made…   a vintage image into DIY wall art.

Simple vintage image DIY wall art for a baby girl nursery

You saw a sneak peek of the artwork I hung about our baby’s crib last week when I showed you the DIY vintage inspired pillows. Like most of the things in this nursery, I created the artwork for the space.

I’ve told y’all before that I’m a BIG fan of customized and personalized wall décor for your home. Why buy a print from a big box store that everyone else may have when it is easy to make your own art?

I’ve shown you many ways to create your own DIY wall art, but one thing I haven’t tried yet (but always wanted to do) is to frame an oversized custom image or photo as art. What’s the secret to getting this look without spending a fortune? Buy a large frame and head to your local copy shop for help!

Vintage image DIY wall art for nursery

I downloaded this adorable vintage girl and dog graphic from the Graphics Fairy. Then, using photo editing software, I converted the image from black and white to pink and white and enlarged it to the size I needed for my frame. (I used a large, white, IKEA RIBBA frame.)

I had the image printed at a copy shop as a large poster. It cost me about twenty dollars to get the print made. (After I had this one printed, I learned that for about six to nine dollars, I could’ve had this printed on large blueprint paper which would’ve been even cheaper. Oh well… next time.) After it was printed, I cut the poster to size and popped it in my frame.

You can follow this process to turn any of your favorite photos or images into wall art, you just need to ensure that the graphic you use has a high enough resolution to print clearly (ask your copy shop staff for advice, if you need it). I will say that since I enlarged the silhouette image so much, if you get really close, the edges of the silhouettes are a tiny bit pixelated. But, for cheap wall art, I think this printed image is fine!

Pink and gray vintage nursery ideas

To hang the frame, I used a wire along the back and traditional picture hanging hardware nails in the walls. But I also used several sets of those picture hanging strips along the edge of the frame. I wanted to be absolutely sure the frame was stable, did not swing or fall in the event our little girl tries to reach for it later on.

Pink and gray modern nursery decor ideas

I love how this simple graphic looks next to the modern DIY crystal mobile and pillows below.

The sweet dog and girl image makes me smile. It works perfectly in our pink and gray nursery space. The vintage motif contrasts with the crisp, modern, white frame in just the way I had hoped. The image really pops against the white wall behind it.

And the best part about this project… is that the artwork is unique and special to this room, just the way I like it!

We have less than 4 weeks to go before the baby is scheduled to get here.The nursery is basically done and I have a few more corners of this room to show you… soon!

July 23, 2014

DIY Vintage Inspired Pillows

Madigan made… sewn pillows for the nursery.

DIY vintage inspired pillows

After I showed you the DIY crystal baby mobile last week, I wanted to tell you more about the crib area. The foundations of the room are simple and decorated in gray and white… but the room needed some feminine touches and I wanted to use some vintage-inspired elements, too. To do that with the crib, I decided to sew a few pillows for the room.

Now, I should point out that these pillows are purely decorative and will add a little more color to the nursery. We plan to pull them out when the baby is in the crib to avoid the risk of suffocation. But the pillows add a little interest to the crib and will come in handy for adults. My husband and I already hang out in the nursery some nights… He snuggles on the rug with the dog while I rock in the glider. The pillows come in handy for hubby when he is laying on the rug. We likely will continue to use the pillows when we are in that room and play on the floor with the baby, etc.

I sewed the white pillow in the center out of one piece of white cotton duck using my easy envelope pillow approach. Are you curious about the vintage party dress image in the center of the pillow?

How to transfer images to fabric pillows

I added that image to the fabric using Mod Podge Photo Transfer medium. You can get the full tutorial for how to do that on Mod Podge Rocks… I’m over there this week explaining how to transfer images to fabric.

The other two pillows were easy to sew from other fabric I had. The pillow on the left is made from an old vintage embroidered tablecloth. You saw part of this tablecloth already… if you remember, I used pieces of that fabric to make DIY wall art.

How to sew a pillow using vintage fabric

The floral print pillow on the far right is made with two fat quarters of fabric. The fabric is new, but the print reminds me of vintage floral images.

How to sew a pillow from fat quarters

To sew these two pillows, I was not able to use one continuous piece of fabric. It makes the assembly process a little more cumbersome than my usual envelope pillow method using one piece of fabric but it is still pretty easy.

If you are interested in how to make an envelope pillow from two pieces of fabric (like fat quarters), these two diagrams step you through the basics of how to make one:

easy DIY envelope pillow instructions

easy DIY envelope pillow tutorial

The pillows look so cute in the room and add that little bit of femininity the crib area needed. I love them with the gray and white bedding and the DIY crystal baby mobile above.

I also recently hung a cute pink and white children’s print above the crib… I’ll tell you more about this semi-DIY artwork soon!

Pink and gray nursery crib ideas

July 19, 2014

DIY Silk Flower Party Straws

Madigan made… artificial silk flower DIY straws.

DIY Artificial Silk Flower Party Straws

So… let’s say you recently made a DIY chocolate bouquet and a modern silk flower wall art piece. What do you do with all of the leftover artificial flowers?

You make pretty flower party straws, of course! Duh.

DIY Artificial Silk Flower Party Straws

I’ve had my reservations about artificial flowers for years, but it’s been kinda fun experimenting with this craft product lately. Since I had extra blooms from my recent silk flower craft projects, I started to play with them and figured I could add them to some straws.

These flower straws were very easy to make and would be fun to make for your next party or shower… or when you want to fancy up your cocktail on a Friday night sitting on the deck. Whatever floats your boat!

To make these festive floral straws, I used some straws, silk blooms, duct tape and scissors. (I used green straws and tape to represent floral stems, but you really could use any color.)

I pulled the flowers and petals apart.

I cut small slits in the centers of the petals to make the hole bigger, if needed.

Then, I just threaded the straw through the hole in the petal circles. I pinched the material layers together and used thin strips of green duct tape to secure them to the straw. (You could also use floral tape, but green duct tape is what I had on hand.)

If I felt they needed a little more fullness, I added another layer of petals below the first one and used more tape. That’s it!

These fun flower party straws are a quick craft and easy way to use up some old craft supplies. Plus, they elevate your lemonade from average to exciting and party-ready!

DIY Artificial Silk Flower Party Straws

July 17, 2014

Simple Crystal Baby Mobile Craft

Madigan made… a baby mobile inspired by a crystal chandelier.

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

A crafty gal that loves a little sparkle is sure to have a daughter that loves it, too, right? Well, I hope so! Especially when you consider how I am decorating her pink and gray nursery with things that glitter and shine. 

If you remember, I wanted to incorporate some clear acrylic and crystal accents into the nursery space. You saw a few of these elements already, like our crystal drawer knobs, Lucite side table and faux oversized diamond décor. Every little girl’s room needs a little twinkle and shimmer.

Well, nothing says ‘sparkle’ like a crystal chandelier!?? I thought about buying a mini chandelier to serve as a mobile for the nursery but after seeing this DIY crystal mobile idea, I decided to make my own… sort-of.  I used a premade wire mobile designed for photos that I found online as a base. I loved the simple, modern lines of mobile. With a few little hacks, I made the mobile my own. I just removed the clips that came with it and attached acrylic crystals to it instead.

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

I found the crystal accents in the wedding section of the craft store. The acrylic charms are lighter that using actual glass chandelier drops. (and won’t break or shatter… which was important to me in a child’s room.)

This project was a simple and inexpensive way to have a custom mobile in our baby’s room. (compared to the cost of store-bought mobiles… and most of those were too cutesy for me anyways.) In fact, you could use this metal mobile “as-is” with the clips and hang whatever you want to it to create your own mobile. Baseball cards could be fun for a little boy’s room or you could use colorful yarn pom-poms for a circus themed room. This metal frame would make a great base for anyone looking for a semi-DIY baby mobile.

Let me show you how I customized mine:

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

Semi-DIY Crystal Baby Mobile

Supplies used:

(This list contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please refer to my disclosure statement for more info.)

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

Instructions to make a modern crystal mobile:

First, I removed alligator clips from the metal photo mobile with pliers.

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

Then, I cut lengths of the monofilament line and securely tied a crystal charm to the loop at each end of the mobile. To help the knots stay put, I placed dollops of nail polish over each knot, too.

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

I hung the mobile from a heavy-duty ceiling hook that we mounted in the ceiling above the crib using more fishing line. (and also using more nail polish to secure those knots, too. I did not want to risk this mobile falling into the crib!)

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

I love the way this mobile turned out! It is simple and modern… but still reminds me of a chandelier in a way. It is the perfect way to add a little shine and crystal to this side of the nursery.

I have to say that this mobile is difficult to photograph since it hangs in the corner of the room. It is hard to see the metal and acrylic clearly in some of the photos but I have to tell you that in person these crystal charms sparkle. Their shape and movement can be easily seen against the white ceiling when you look from below. (Yes, I tested it! I wanted to make sure our baby would be able to see them.)

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

I’m glad I started with a store-bought mobile as a base for this project. The metal base of the mobile is well balanced.

With the slightest touch or breeze in the room, the crystals dance and move for a long time (and do not seem to tangle, either). The charms cast little prismatic rainbows around the room. Family and friends that come to see the nursery comment that the mobile reminds them of the movie Pollyanna… which is a sweet analogy and kinda the feeling I was going for with this project!  I’m hoping our daughter finds this space bright, positive and sparkly!

Easy DIY craft: make a simple crystal baby mobile

P.S. Are you a little curious about the pink pillows and artwork you see with the crib? I made those, too! I can’t wait to tell you more about these projects next week. The nursery is almost complete (and baby is soon to arrive late next month! Eek!). Stay tuned!

July 10, 2014

Silk Flower DIY Wall Art for the Nursery

Madigan made… DIY modern silk flower wall art.

Modern DIY artificial silk flower wall art for girls nursery

Artificial silk flowers. They evoke a stuffy-plastic-covered-sofa-like-your-grandma-may-have-owned-feel, don’t they?

I’ve never been a fan of fake silk flower arrangements. In fact, I kinda detested them. Well, I’m having a slight change of heart these days… when used en masse in a non-traditional or modern way,  the pretty petals can create a lovely texture.

When my DIY alphabet nursery art idea crashed and burned into a hot, globby mess… I wondered what else I could cover the canvas with to make some art for the nursery.

After working with artificial flowers recently to make a floral chocolate bouquet and then seeing this pretty faux flower covered clutch, I thought it might be fun to create with this often overlooked craft supply.

This approach was a cheap way to create wall art, too. I found a bunch of pink and white silk flowers on clearance at the craft store and at the dollar store… I already had the craft paint and glue on hand.

 DIY modern silk flower wall art for a baby girl's nursery

Let me show you I made my DIY silk flower wall art:

Supplies used:

(This list contains affiliate links for your convenience. Please refer to my disclosure statement for more info.)

Steps taken to make flower wall art:

how to make silk flower wall art

First, I painted over the failed DIY alphabet art canvas. I thought about using pale gray paint, but then I changed my mind and went with a clean, white look.

how to make silk flower wall art

After the canvas dried, I pulled apart a bunch of the silk flowers and trimmed any excess plastic or wires from the flowers.

how to make silk flower wall art

I glued the flower heads down to the canvas using my hot glue gun. Sometimes I needed to take the flowers apart and glue down each ‘layer’ of petals so that the bottom of the flowers laid flat against the canvas. I occasionally tacked down some of the outer petals as needed, too.

how to make silk flower wall art

I worked from the bottom of the canvas, upwards. I started out by applying the flowers in a very condensed pattern and then loosened up the placement as I went higher on the canvas.

Once I glued down everything where I wanted them I used a hair dryer to clean up and melt any hot glue gun strings. (This is a little crafter’s trick that works great!)

The end result is sweet, pretty and feminine. And the ruffle-y texture on the canvas is gorgeous! It’s perfect for a little girl’s room. (and sooo much better than the failed alphabet art!)

I love how the flowers look next to my DIY floral photo transfer kids chair. This area of the room looks like a little garden, doesn’t it?  It will be a sweet little space for our future little girl to play in.