Better After Gives Back: Part 2

(This week I am sharing a little something I like to call ‘Better After Gives Back,’ which is a surprise makeover for someone who could use a home decor pick-me-up! Confused? Start here).


I left you yesterday with just the before pics of Jessi’s bedroom, but you’ll get the afters today!  High five.

Remember, I had only spent literally four seconds in this room EVER to gather information so I could make a plan.  You’d think I would have at least taken a cell phone picture.  I did not.

So my quickly-formed plan consisted of definitely painting over all that green, and moving the bed so it would be on the wall that faces the door.  Jessi had taken the doors off her closet and was using them as a makeshift headboard, so I knew for sure I wanted to make her a headboard as well.

I knew this room also needed some bright and happy colors to better vibe with Jessi’s personality.  Luckily, her sister Stephanie is an excellent seamstress, so I planned to have her whip up a bunch of pillows to add color and pattern to the room.  I had mentioned this whole surprise makeover idea to the Online Fabric Store, and they were eager to help! They generously let me choose a few of their premier prints for this project, which was a major part of the room.

The next step was to wait for Jessi to leave town.  She was going to be away at girl’s camp for three days, so I gathered a few of Jessi’s friends and family to help me totally transform her bedroom during that time.  Unfortunately, right before d-day, Stephanie decided to go and fall down some stairs and break her back!!!  She somehow powered through and still managed to do a lot of the sewing, even though I would have much rather tied her to the bed and forbid her from moving at all.  She insisted she could handle it, and she’s doing better everyday, but sheesh!  What a rockstar. That is sisterly love, friends.

Ok, here is the moment you’ve been waiting for, pictures!



First things first, a pale gray on the wall to replace the dual shades of green, (and for the life of me, I can’t remember the color. Centurion Gray?  I’m the worst. Sorry).  The headboard is simple: plywood covered in foam and batting and hung directly on the wall with a cleat.

The fabric is called Chipper Storm Twill, and I love it!  The coral dandelion fabric on the pillows is also from Online Fabric Store and can be found here.




Before, the bed was pushed up almost all the way against the window, with hardly any room to walk around.  A little rearranging makes it feel so much more spacious!

We ditched the heavy green curtains for a white IKEA set, and sewed a little extra fabric up top for added length and a pop of color. (‘Pop of color’ is my least favorite phrase).



after mirror2

See that little picture rail all around the room?  Totally missed that on my initial four-second observation.  What to do?!  I didn’t want to tear it down and risk damaging the drywall,  and we were already pressed for time, so it stayed put.  I knew for sure I didn’t want to divide the room into two different colors though; it was already small enough that it didn’t need to be visually chopped in half.

So we just painted it right along with the walls, and it added a cool little decorative touch to the room that I wasn’t expecting.  How fun is that artwork?  It’s from, and I’ll be giving you some more details on that later on.





More to come tomorrow … oh snap, I haven’t even told you that I decided to makeover her bathroom too!

Continue on to Part 3 HERE!

Image Map


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Talkin’ Summertime Design with Kelly Edwards

Most of the time, as a blogger, I am usually doing things like staying up really late typing the night away in my jammies.  But sometimes, as a blogger, I get to do really cool things, like interview Kelly Edwards of Design on a Dime fame!

She is the sweetest and not only answered a few of my design questions, she did it in a personalized video for my readers!  Super cool.

Hit play to see some of my burning questions answered.

In addition to freely sharing her summertime decorating tips, she is also giving away a gift-basket to a lucky Better After reader!

This includes her gorgeous new book, The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home, as well as a SprayShaper showerhead from Waterpik that might change your life, AND a $25 gift card to The Home Depot!  Thanks Kelly!



 Just leave a comment on this post and you’re entered to win!  Easy as pie.

Happy weekend friend!

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Little Leather Projects and a Giveaway!

Last week I shared my little sewing chair makeover that got super glam-ified thanks to a delicious swath of snakeskin embossed leather from the Leather Hide Store.

after chair

This wasn’t my first time working with leather, you may remember the ostrich-embossed leather pillows I made last year, which I still love!

Even though leather has always been a classic material, it’s enjoying a surge in trendiness right now. I seem to always be drawn to the embossed leathers, but the Leather Hide Store has a wide selection of textures and colors, so check them if you’re looking to add a little (or a lot!) of oomph to your next project.

chair upclose

Oooh, I wish you had touch-o-vision, because this stuff is so soft, like buttah!

It’s not cheap, that’s for sure, so I wanted to make sure I made use of every single scrap.  So I took some leftover pieces and covered an IKEA mirror.

leather mirror

It was actually really easy, I just cut four pieces to match up with the sides and glued them on.  After fumbling around for a bit, I realized that instead of cutting the pieces exactly the right size, if I trimmed them down smaller, the stretch in the leather made up for it and the pieces came together nicely and looked much more fitted.


leather mirror 2

Oh wait, there’s more!  I made some earrings too! Awkward selfie alert:

leather earrings

Now I can match my chair perfectly if we ever go out on a date.

Hold the phone.  There’s more. I really couldn’t stand to waste any of it, so I made some tassels too. I put one on my keychain, and I don’t even know what I’m going to do with the rest, but they were so easy and fun that I couldn’t stop! Here’s a quick pic tutorial:



1: Cut strips in the leather, leaving about 1/2 inch space at the top. (Don’t stress yourself out making it perfect).

2: Trim the edges to a point. (Optional, but I think it looks much nicer).

3. Cut off one of the strips and glue together to make a loop.

4: Roll the leather tightly around the loop, and add a dot of glue (I used hot glue) to hold it together at the end.

So easy!  I added one more strip around the top just to dress it up.

Here’s a Pinterest-y graphic, y’know, if you’re into that sort of thing:


And now you can win $50 to the Leather Hide Store too! I’d love to know what you’d do with it if you won!  I’m sure you are full of all kinds of creative ideas. Tell me, tell me!

Entering is easy, simply use the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck friend, I hope you win! Happy 4th of July weekend!


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Arrow Fastener and my guilty conscience

I have a confession to make.  Something that has been weighing on my soul for a long time.  Almost thirteen years, to be exact.

A long long time ago, when I was in college, I lived in a house with four girls.  We didn’t have much money to furnish our creaky old house, but that didn’t stop me. I went to the thrift-store (this was waaaaay before it was considered ‘cool,’ at least among my friends) and brought home all kinds of random furniture that I recovered myself, in fabrics like pink fur, sparkly blue velvet, and my favorite, a black cheetah print.  It was the best house on the block.

Of course, I had no idea how to recover furniture. I just made it up as I went along.  I also didn’t have the proper tools.  Or any tools, really.  But my roommate had a brother who was a carpenter, so I borrowed a staple gun from him. It worked great!  I loved it.  So much that I kinda sorta on purpose forgot to return it to him. And then I moved away.  With the staple gun in my trunk. Maybe other girls do adorable things like steal boy’s t-shirts and wear them around, how cute, but watch out for me, I will steal your tools.

And for the last thirteen years, every single time I pull the trusty old thing out, I think of Nate Buhr – the staple-gun-less carpenter – and I feel shame in my heart.

So when Arrow Fastener recently asked if I would be interested in trying out a few of their tools, imagine my surprise to see that they sent me the twin brother to my stolen staple gun!

staple guns

It felt like … redemption?  I don’t know.  But I do know if I ever run into Nate Buhr, I will happily give his staple gun back now.

staple side by side

So, you can probably guess how I’d review this product. This is the T50 Heavy Duty, and it’s a workhorse. It has obviously stood the test of time, taken all the abuse I could dish out over the last thirteen years, and has never failed me yet.  I’m positive my shiny new model will do the same.   It doesn’t have any fluffy stuff like a padded grip or extra levers and buttons, and it does take a bit of power to get that handle down, but if you’re looking for a staple gun that will last you forever, this is it.

Need a lighter-use model?  Try the TacMate.  Smaller and easier, it’s perfect for household stapling jobs. (Just don’t follow my example and steal one please.  I’ve repented!)

tacmate t50

Check back later today to see my makeover of a (wildly overpriced) thrift-store chair and a chance to win a custom box of Arrow Fastener tools for yourself!  UPDATE: You can see that right here!


<<This post was in collaboration with Arrow Fasteners, all opinions are as always 100% my own.





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