Have you ever had a keepsake that you love and can’t imagine getting rid of, but seriously have NO clue what to do with it? I have about 5,000 of them. Collections I started as a kid, souveniers from every trip I’ve ever taken and keepsakes from every show I’ve ever been in. I have BOOOOOOOXES of stuff that I love, but don’t need and don’t really know what to do with.
One of my FAVORITE memories from college is when I got cast in my first lead role: Louisa in The Fantasticks. It was one of the best times and really made me feel like I had wings! I don’t have a ton of pictures from this show, but I have one! Here you go 🙂
The show was a blast and as a keepsake, I got to keep a HUGE banner that we used before/intermission/after the show on the stage. For years I have kept it in a box, always with great plans to DO something with it. But life has taken many twists and turns and I don’t really think I need a huge banner to put anywhere in my house. SO! I decided to make something functional, that will always make me smile and remember the show, but also serve a purpose. The name of this blog IS Repurposeful, after all 🙂
The banner is thick cream muslin with gray and purple paint splattered on it and “The Fantasticks” painted on it with purple paint – I have never measured it, but I think it’s about 12 foot long by about 8 foot tall – a nice big chunk of material!
I have been wanting to do a few little projects for the baby’s room, but it’s hard to figure out WHAT to do when you don’t know if it’s a boy or girl! So I decided to make some baskets to hang above our changing table – something simple and cute (and free). My mom found this pattern and we nabbed it up when Hobby Lobby had their patterns SUPER cheap (like $2?) so I already had everything I needed! You can get this pattern online, at hobby stores OR you can just kind of free hand it (which is a bit more my style – except I wanted them to match 🙂 ) There are a lot of cute things you could make with this pattern, but I decided to do F for this project (minus the caterpillar) and I did 4 baskets instead of 3.
I decided the the “wrong” side (back) would actually be my “right” side, since I liked the muted colors on the back better than the crazy paint splashes on the front. The basic pattern is cutting a big “+” shape out of your material, turning it inside out and sewing each of the sides together to make a basket — Here’s a picture of the + with just one side sewn together… and one already completed in the background!
Once you have all sides sewn together, you have to make a way to hang the basket – I followed the pattern (basically) but you could do your own thing— chains, hoops, etc. I made loops with extra material and sewed them onto the back of the basket at the same time I was hemming down the top of the basket. Easy peasey!
I had all the lil’ baskets whipped up (it took about an hour and half to do all 4, from start to finish – but I haven’t read a sewing pattern in about 10 years, so it was a slow start…) and we needed to figure out where the baskets were going to live and how to hang them! Here is the wall above our changing table, pre-baskets.
Ben had bought a bunch of long cabinet pulls from IKEA a few years ago (for a different project, different house) that were the perfect length (and free!) and we just used brackets to attach them to the wall. Here’s what they looked like all done!
ANNNNNNNND, I hated them. Seriously, how ugly are they?! Haha!! I tried to put some stuff in them, to try to “cutesy” them up, but they were still pretty ugly…
Sooooo, over this last weekend, I went in and dumped all the junk out of them, unscrewed some brackets and decided to glam them up a bit. I couldn’t have my first baby project turn out butt-ugly! I knew I wanted to paint something on them and vacillated between writing a word (like “baby” or “love”) on them, numbers, letters, etc. I finally decided to do letters – free-hand. ‘Cause that’s how I roll.
I grabbed an ink pen (to lightly write out the letter), a black marker (you can use sharpie, a paint marker, whatever), some paint (I decided on my Venetian Gold paint which is kind of gold/bronze) and a paint brush. I free-handed the letter and then used my marker to make an outline of the letter. I drew it lightly and then went over it thick. Then you grab your paint and just color in the lines!
The paint only needed one coat and dried really quickly – just make sure you put paper under the fabric you are using marker and paint on, so it doesn’t bleed through the layers. Repeat on all the baskets, let dry and you are DONE!
The finished product!!! I AM SO HAPPY that I took them down and painted them. They went from blah to looking personalized and kinda cool! Gender neutral, something the kiddo can use for years as they get older, for toys or whatever, and a fun hidden memory to remember my college theater and music days 🙂
PS- here is a silly “behind the scenes” picture while we were working in the baby’s room, featuring Ella (of course)!