IKEA HACK: KARLSTAD Pink Mid-Century Inspired Sofa Makeover

Ohhhh man, you guys. I’m reallllly excited about this project. Bear with me because there’s a lot to cover (no pun intended).

A while back I posted about how I was on the hunt for a new sofa and narrowed down a few of my favorite contenders. One of the contenders was the KARLSTAD from IKEA because I knew I could save a lot of money by attempting a hack, and thanks to a pretty hefty tax audit (kill me) that’s what I ended up having to do. As luck would have it I found a perfect KARLSTAD at IKEA for $250 in the clearance section. A lot of you already know that I’m no stranger to IKEA Hacking, but it has been a while since I did one so I was feeling up to the challenge. Luckily it didn’t take long before I knew exactly what I wanted to do in order to make it come close to the couch of my dreams.

 

KARLSTAD IKEA HACK

The KARLSTAD is pretty much an IKEA staple and I’m sure you’ve seen it in many homes. It has clean, modern lines and comes with an easily removable slip cover. Perfect for my hacking plan. The one I bought had a grey cover and my IKEA was sold out of the white slip cover, but luckily my best friend in Florida found one at her store and was able to send it to me. Since KARLSTADs have completely removable slip covers I knew I could dye it to be whatever color I wanted.

Rit Petal Pink

I picked up a few boxes of Rit dye in Petal Pink. I filled my bathtub with boiling water and dye and soaked the slip cover until it was saturated.Dye Sofa Slip Covers in Bath Tub Then I promptly had a minor freak out because it didn’t turn out the rosey/peachy/blush pink color that I wanted and that appeared on the box. Dye Karlstad Sofa Slip Cover

I took a deep breath, refusing to be defeated, and rushed to the fabric store to grab some Rit Color Remover, a magical powder that  gently removes all of your regrets and gives you a clean start. If only I could bathe myself in it. Just kidding…!

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How to remove Rit dye

After a quick soak the slip cover was back to white. I knew at this point I was going to have to custom mix my own shade of pink so I threw the covers in the wash and went back to the fabric store for the 5th time to pick up more dye.

I can’t tell you the exact ratios of these colors that I used for my shade because I was constantly adjusting and testing the color. I want to say it was something like 4 parts pink, 1/2 part yellow, 1/8 part tan, but I’m not 100% sure so don’t come back yelling at me if yours turns out gross. I also diluted it a lot more than the first time so the color would be more pastel.

My husband and I worked nervously and quickly, scalding our hands and sweating over the boiling dye bath in our typical Melo-dramatic style, but it was worth it. It worked out perfectly!img_4426-3

 

Dying the slip cover was only the first step. I wanted new legs and pretty tufting, and dammit that’s what I would get. These steps were actually much easier and less annoying than the dye part.

I changed the legs on my last KARLSTAD Love Seat in the past, so I knew that wouldn’t be a big deal. I used mid-century style furniture legs that I got from Lowe’s for like $2 and spray painted them gold and white.

DIY Furniture legs for $2

Then I installed a top plate and attached the legs to the corners of the sofa.

Change the legs on your sofa for under $20I wanted to have legs in the center of the sofa, too. Partly for more support, but mostly because I like the look of it.

For this I just drilled a hole and inserted the leg directly into the wood.

Change the legs on your sofa for under $20

That would have looked great on it’s own but I wanted tufting. I had spare fabric from an extra piece of slip cover that I found in the clearance bin at IKEA. I used this for my color test strips and then dyed a piece with the plan of covering buttons for tufting.

I used 7/8″  button cover kit and thread to make my tufting buttons, much like I did in this past IKEA hack.DIY Upholstery Button Covers

Then I attached the buttons to upholstery string and used a long upholstery needle to feed the string through the cushion. I pulled the string tight and used these decorative buttons to anchor the string on the back of cushion. I didn’t want to go through the back of the cushion cover, and a knot would have just pulled back through the cushion insert, so I used the decorative buttons to hold my tufting in place. Am I making any sense at this point? Hopefully these visuals help.DIY Couch Cushion TuftingDIY Couch Cushion Tufting

And voila!

KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink Sofa

The decorative pillows are also from IKEA.KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink SofaI love the way the warm pink looks with the white and gold legs.KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink SofaI’m so excited to finally have a dreamy pink couch! And for less than $300!KARLSTAD SOFA IKEA HACK: Mid-Century Inspired Pink Sofa

Update: Here it is in the finished room!

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DIY White VCT Tile Bedroom Flooring

Up until about a month ago I had carpet in my bedroom and I HATED IT. Between allergies, constant city dust, and senior dogs, having carpet just wasn’t right for our lifestyle. I rent and didn’t think changing the floors would ever be an option, but when it was time to renew our lease and our manager offered to replace or clean our carpet, I seized the opportunity to ask if we could replace the floors at our own expense instead. They surprisingly agreed to my request and gave me the freedom to pick the flooring option of my choice.

I knew whatever option I chose wouldn’t match the rest of the apartment anyway, so I decided to give in to my desire for white floors. I did some research and the easiest and most cost effective of our options seemed to be VCT (vinyl composite tile).  Plus, I’m always down for a mid-century vibe and you can’t get anymore mid-century than vinyl tiles.


I ordered a bunch of samples and ended up choosing Armstrong’s Carnival White , an off-white color with multicolored specks priced at $0.91 per square foot. It’s really cute and has the vintage speckled look I was going for, but was the most cost effective for me as well. Since I rent I didn’t want to invest too much, if you get what I mean. 

This was my first time installing VCT tiles so I’m no expert, but I can tell you that there are some very good and thorough tutorials on YouTube that can explain the techniques you need better than I can through pictures. If you’re planning on doing this project I highly recommend watching several of them.

Luckily my room is pretty much a square so there wasn’t many complicated cuts and I was able to finish the room within a day, by myself, spending less than $300 total.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)Here’s a terrible picture of what I started with. As you can see the dark beige carpet and old pink paint absorbed most of the light in the room. The first thing I had to do was remove the old carpet. That was a lot easier than expected and I was able to do it all in one piece. After that I pried up the tack strips and used pliers to remove any stray staples in the floor.

 

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Then we took the opportunity to paint the walls a nice high reflective white .

After the walls were done I got started on the floor. I used a chalk reel to mark the center points of the room where I would begin laying tiles.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Next I dry laid some tiles to make sure they would be even and to decide on which way I wanted the speckled pattern to run. A lot of of the time the tile is installed with an alternating pattern but I decided to run mine all in one direction for a seamless look.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Then I had to use a small notch tile trowel to apply adhesive to the floor. I want to note that this took longer than expected to dry, and didn’t dry clear like the container said it would. I let it dry for SEVERAL hours until it was tacky and a dark amber color. If you start laying the tiles too soon they’ll slide around and make you regret everything. Also, wearing knee pads will save your life.Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

At this point my dog decided to get around my barricade and lay directly in the glue, promptly getting stuck and full of the stickiest glue that no dog shampoo on earth could remove. After throwing him in a bath to soak and cutting his hair, I was able to continue onto actually laying the tile.

I didn’t get pics of that process because I had to move fast, but I started from the middle line and worked my way out. Once I got to the edges I used a utility knife to cut the edge tiles to size. YouTube will explain all that to you in better visual detail.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

As you can see there were some small gaps between the tile and the wall. You can put a piece of trim around there to finish it off or you can use caulking to fill it in like I did.

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

For the threshold I simply used a piece of flat molding and wedged it in the door frame. Simple and sleek. Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)I let the tile set for about a day and then mopped it and applied four coats of floor polish with a microfiber mop. Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

Tips for Installing VCT flooring (Vinyl Composite Tiles)

What a difference! My room feels so much cooler, fresher, and brighter! I only wish I had done this sooner. Here’s how it looks furnished. Much better than before!

Vintage California Style Bedroom Decor

DIY Yellow Fringe Blackout Curtains

You guys, let me start by saying I’m bummed because I lost all of the how-to pics from this project when my old computer died, BUT I still wanted to share how easy it is to make your own curtains.

I couldn’t find any light blocking curtains that I liked for my bedroom so I took on the task of making my own. Curtains are the easiest thing to make if you can sew a straight line. All you need is enough fabric to make a panel long enough to fit your window and hem all four sides, leaving a big enough loop at the top to fit a curtain rod through. I found a really nice and inexpensive fabric in the perfect shade of buttercup yellow, but the problem was that it was too thin and let a lot of light through. We’re not morning people so this was a no-no. To remedy the problem all I did was lined my fabric with an old black out curtain from IKEA. Easy enough!

 

IMG_4254.jpgDoing that completely blocked any light from coming into my bedroom and also added some much needed weight and heft to the panel.

IMG_4264.jpgFor some extra flair I added a strip of vintage looking rope fringe to the top.IMG_4270.jpg

 

 

IMG_4252.jpgTada! Stay tuned for more bedroom decor updates and be sure to follow along on Instagram.

DIY Striped Bed Skirt and Headboard

If you would have told me that finding a bed skirt would be the most difficult part of my bedroom makeover I wouldn’t have believed you. I thought I would just be able to pick up your run of the mill white skirt at any home goods store and be done with it. Nope. Of course not. Story of my life.

I had to exchange 3 bed skirts before deciding I was better off making one on my own. Either they were too short, too long, too sheer, or the wrong color. Who knew?! Luckily making your own custom bed skirt isn’t as hard as it may seem.

First of all, I wanted it to match my new DIY headboard so I picked up the same striped fabric from IKEA. The headboard isn’t really new, it was previously used as the backboard to my dining room banquette IKEA hack. The fabric for the bed skirt cost me about $16, much cheaper than bed skirts I was finding in stores.

DIY Bed Skirt TutorialThe first thing you need to do is figure out how long your skirt needs to be. Measure the distance from the top of your box spring to the floor. Then add 3-4 inches for seam and stapling allowance.DIY Bed Skirt TutorialMine was at 16 inches, so I cut 20 inch long strips of fabric. The fabric is 58 inches wide, so I needed 3 of these strips in order to cover 3 sides of my box spring.DIY Bed Skirt TutorialNext you need to make the hem. Fold over the long edge at 5/8″ and press.DIY Bed Skirt Tutorial

DIY Bed Skirt TutorialThen fold the raw edge under itself and press again.DIY Bed Skirt Tutorial This creates a nice clean hem. Stitch at 3/8″. If you don’t have a sewing machine you can use iron-on hem tape.

 

Once that is done, stitch the strips together at the ends to create one long strip. Then staple the raw edge directly to the box spring, making sure the hem just barely touches the ground. If you don’t have a staple gun you can use flat head tacks. 

DIY Bed Skirt TutorialDIY Bed Skirt and Headboard TutorialContinue all around the box spring. The mattress should cover the staples and it’ll look like a normal bed skirt!

 

DIY Bed Skirt and HeadboardFinally, make your bed as usual and reward yourself with a nice nap.

For instructions on how I made the headboard, click here.

DIY Decor: Simple Halloween Living Room Decorating Ideas

My husband and I are pretty big fans of all things creepy so it totally makes sense that Halloweentime tops our list as the best time of the year. I wish I had a house that I could deck out for trick or treaters, but I have to make do with decorating my apartment for my own personal enjoyment.

Here’s what I’ve got going on so far.

Halloween Gallery Wall via MelodramaI have a colorful gallery wall above my sofa that features vintage illustrations. In honor of Halloween I kept it colorful and replaced the pictures with vintage Halloween themed advertisements and magazine covers.

Vintage Halloween Adverts via Melodrama Halloween Gallery Wall via Melodrama

Over on the other side of the room I used my DIY Halloween candles and hand painted IKEA FADO Jack o’Lantern lamp. I like to cast photography and art on our TV when it’s not in use. It makes it feel less like a big, black, empty square on the wall. For this I’ve been casting creepy photos and vintage Halloween greeting cards. Cuuuute, right?

Halloween Decor via Melodrama

And then there’s the bar (AKA my favorite corner). I kept it simple with black decorations. Because the room is already so colorful I didn’t want anything to clash too much. Black decorations bring the creep vibe, but don’t take away from the existing decor. I made black pennant garlands with Martha Stewart Crafts Pennant Garland Punch and used “Poison” and “Potion” bottles to Halloweenify the shelves. Oh and my DIY Ouija board tray!


Halloween Bar Decor via MelodramaHalloween Bar Decor via Melodrama

I tried not to go overboard this year, but still have a lot of fun with it. What do you think?! For more decor ideas be sure to follow along with me on Instagram @melodramablog.

DIY Decor: Metallic Gold IKEA EKBY BJÄRNUM Bar Shelves

One of the main challenges I always have while decorating my apartment is finding the decor I envision, at the prices I want. Neither of those are ever easy. Either I can’t find what I have in mind, or when I get close, somehow it’s the most expensive item in the store. I can drool over those high ticket items all I want, but let’s get serious, I’m no Rockefeller.

But it’s ok! This is where my handy-dandy DIY skills get to shine. This is where I get to do my favorite task of trying to figure out how to get the look I want for as little money as possible.

DIY Gold IKEA Bar Shelves For example, I wanted to expand my home bar area by adding 3 shelves above my bar cart. I wanted them to be gold to match said bar cart. My search pretty much turned up empty except for one option that was almost the right dimensions (from a store that will remain nameless) for over $100 per shelf. My other option was an IKEA favorite of mine that I’ve been keeping my eye on for a bit, and it just so happens that the EKBY JÄRPEN/EKBY BJÄRNUM combo was the perfect size, style, and price I was going for. The only drawback was that the brackets are only available in aluminum. Womp, womp.

EASY FIX.

DIY Gold EKBY BJARNUM IKEA Shelves via MelodramaThe right choice for me was clear and I’m glad I made it. Did I want to spend $300 on shelves from Unnamed Store, or around $60 for IKEA shelves and a can of spray paint? Um. DUH. The way I see it is if I can spend $60 total on a DIY version and use the extra $200+ toward other fun things like going away for the weekend or, I dont know, paying my bills, you’re damn straight I’m taking that route.

DIY Gold IKEA BJARNUM Shelves via MelodramaLet’s all just take a moment to reflect on the magic of spray paint. All I did was spray the brackets and screws with metallic gold chrome paint and it completely changed the vibe of the shelves. Done and done. So easy.

DIY Gold IKEA BJARNUM Shelves via MelodramaI styled them with the help of my growing glass and bareware collection, and a DIY framed print.

DIY Gold IKEA BJARNUM Shelves via Melodrama

Shelves: IKEA
Paint: Montana Gold – Metallic Goldchrome
Glassware: Baigelman Glass, Crate & Barrel, Target, Vintage
Bar Cart: Target
Chair: Vintage DIY
Floor Lamp: IKEA
Dresser: Vintage DIY
Lamps: Target

DIY Decor: Braziliant Decoupage Banana Leaf Chair

Once upon a time, I came home and there was a huge box at my door. I didn’t know what it was, because I hadn’t ordered anything, so I was kind of freaked out that a giant clown person was going to pop out and scare the guts out of me. I cautiously checked the label and hauled the big lug inside. Inside was a white molded plastic chair from INMOD. They sent it to in hopes that I could put my own spin on it and maybe dress it up a bit to make it my own personal style. Challenge accepted.

White molded chair from INMODI paced back and forth in front of the Eames style chair thinking. Then I turned my back toward it and glanced over my shoulder suddenly to see if I would see “it”. Then I talked to it, asking it to speak to me. I’M BEING SO DRAMATIC. I didn’t actually do any of that. I just let it sit around in my living room until I figured out what I wanted to do. Which came to me pretty quickly.

Since it’s plastic I knew I could easily decoupage it. I’m always inspired by Dorothy Draperesque brazilliance vibes, so I decided to use this banana print that you’ve probably seen before. (PERHAPS AS THE BACKGROUND ON THIS HERE BLOG?)

Decoupaged Palm Chair via Melodrama All I had to do was print out the pattern and use an exacto knife to cut out the leaves. Then I pieced the pattern together and glued it to the chair using decoupage medium, making sure to smooth out the bubbles, and seal with a few more coats of the medium to seal it. Decoupaged Palm Chair via MelodramaThen I spray painted the legs coral and gilded the black metal and screws. DONE!

Decoupage Banana Leaf Chair via Melodrama Voila!

Decoupaged Banana Leaf Chair via MelodramaNow it fits right in and gives me a little taste of those Brazilliant vibes.

Decoupaged Banana Leaf Chair via Melodrama

DIY: Patron Bottle Cake Stand | Art of Patrón

Remember how I told you about The Art of Patron bottle art contest and how Patrón wants you to repurpose their bottles into a piece of art for the chance to win $10,000? Remember how I also told you about me working with them to create a few bottle projects of my own? Well here’s another one of those projects!

DIY Patron Bottle Cake Stand

This one was actually inspired by a recipe I was working on for coconut lime tequila cake. I always like to decorate and stage my cakes with things that give a hint to what flavors are in them, for instance coconut flakes and lime zest give a hint to some of the flavors in this cake, but what about the tequila? Do I put a shot glass on top? Other than literally sitting a bottle of tequila next to it, I had no idea. Then I thought incorporating the bottle wasn’t such a bad idea at all. I mean these bottles ARE pretty enough to be showcased.

That’s when I had the idea of using a Patròn bottle as the base of a cake stand. I figured the shape is perfect and sturdy enough for it to work, so all I needed was a top. I used a round glass serving plate that I found at Target for $10.

DIY Patron Bottle Cake Stand

 

Unlike my last project, this one requires no special tools or cutting. Just some heavy duty glass glue.

All you have to do is glue the plate to the bottle’s top and let it dry. Really the hardest part about it is getting the top to be perfectly center, but pre-marking the center of the plate makes it a snap. That’s all there is to it. You can even fill the bottle with things or paint the inside to add some color if you want.

DIY Patron Bottle Cake StandThis stand doesn’t have to be limited to cakes. It also works nicely as an elevated cheese plate, fruit platter, and drink tray.

DIY Patron Bottle Cake Stand

Inspired yet? Be sure to enter your Patrón bottle art before July 17th. Find out how to enter here.

 

This project was sponsored by and made possible by Patrón.

DIY DIY: Patrón Bottle Succulent Planters | The Art of Patrón

Now that the Cinco de Mayo celebrations are over, you’re probably wondering what to do with all those empty Patron bottles. Well I have an idea for you. Have you heard about The Art of Patrón contest? It’s a contest that Patrón is holding in which they’re asking you to repurpose their bottles into works of art. Repurposing and upcycling is a major part of my DIY point of view, so I was really excited when Patrón approached me with the opportunity to create my own projects using their bottles.

Art of Patron Bottle Toolkit #ArtofPatron

Think about all of the cool things you can do with these things! I mean just take a look at some of the last year’s finalists. Incredible right? The grand prize winner gets $10,000 and nine finalists get $1,000 each. So that’s a pretty good incentive to get to work on your own bottles. Plus you get to show off your DIY skills and end up with your very own piece of upcycled art. You guys are pretty creative. I’m sure you can come up with something. Be sure to check out the official Art of Patrón site for details on how to enter the contest.

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contestOne of my first thoughts when I saw the bottles was “Score! New succulent planters!”. I’m not a natural green thumb, but I’ve had a lot of success with outside succulents. I wanted to bring some inside and over to my bar, so I thought what better planter for a bar setup than a planter made out of a tequila bottle?

 

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contestReally, all you have to do is cut the top off of the bottle. There are plenty of ways to cut glass bottles, and if you’ve done it before you can use your method of choice. For this project I used a diamond wheel on my rotary tool. If you’ve never used a rotary tool to cut glass, it’s pretty easy. Just take your time and go slowly and you should be fine. These bottles are thick and have square edges, so it was a little more challenging than a standard round bottle would be, but the results are worth it.

 

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contestMake sure you cut your bottle to the appropriate height needed for your plant. You can use the pots they come in as a guideline.

How to make planters out of Patron bottles #ArtofPatronAll I did was mark a line where I wanted to cut and went at it with my diamond cutting wheel. I did a rough line because I wanted an imperfect, hand-crafted looking edge.

How to make a succulent planter out of a Patron bottle. #ArtofPatron

Safety first! If you’re going to work with glass, for the love of God please wear safety glasses and gloves. I repeat, wear safety glasses and gloves.

How to make succulent planters out of Patron bottles with rotary tool #ArtofPatronOh speaking of safety, after you cut the bottle, make sure to sand down all of the sharp edges. They can get pretty sharp and you don’t want to ruin your impressive new Patrón planters by bleeding all over them. Once you’re done cutting and sanding, just fill up the planter with your greenery and pat yourself on the back for being amazing.

 

Are you inspired yet?! If you want to enter the Art of Patron contest, make sure you submit your entry before July 17, 2015. Who knows, maybe you’ll win those $10,000!

Succulent planters made out of Patron bottles for #ArtofPatron bottle art contest

This project was sponsored and made possible by Patrón.

DIY: Stenciled “Welcome To The Shit Show” Door Mat

I’ve been in need of a new welcome mat for like a year now, but I haven’t found the right one that I loved enough to invest in. Luckily I spotted these colorful and inexpensive door mats at IKEA. I knew I could probably stencil my own design onto it, and for $8 I really had nothing to lose. It turned out perfectly and it’s totally me.

I couldn’t think of a more (in)appropriate way to welcome guests into my home than with “Welcome to the shit show”. There always ends up being something weird or unexpected happening when we have people over, so this is basically a fair warning of what you’re getting into when you come over.

DIY Stenciled Welcome MatTo make this happen, I had to first make a stencil. I printed my letters out and then used an exacto knife to cut the letters out of pieces of card stock.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat Tutorial

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutoriallI repeated a letter in the beginning of each new stencil so I could align it with the last letter stenciled. That way everything would be in line properly.

After I decided where I wanted the stencils to go, I just taped them to the mat and used a sponge to put regular craft paint on.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutorialKeep the details of the letters by leaving pieces of them connected, you can fill them in later.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutorialUse a small brush to fill in any spots and do any touch ups that are needed. After it dries a bit you can use a small pair of scissors to clip away any mistakes and sharpen up the lettering.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat TutorialLet it dry over night before putting it out. I don’t know how well the paint will hold up to being stepped on, but I can always go back and do touch ups, so I’m not worried about it.

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat

DIY Stenciled Welcome Mat