Wednesday, December 2, 2009

DIY Headboard...sort of.

So, I really wouldn't dare to call this a true tutorial on how to create an upholstered headboard. For something really detailed that will most likely deliver more perfect results, I suggest this tutorial from design*sponge. (It even includes a video!)

I used that and this little illustration from to help me sort of cheat my way to an upholstered headboard.

Oh, that and a lot of spray adhesive.

So, here's the before shot:

It was sort of put together throughout the past few years look that I wanted changed!

So....I did get some plywood cut to fit behind my iron headboard-type thing. But, securing it to the headboard was presenting a bit of a challenge and so I decided to just go straight for the foam. Now, this is where I may lose some purists. That's ok. I understand. This isn't going to be moved very often, and I wanted structure, but the foam provided enough substance and structure without the stiffness of the board. I did have to compromise on the tautness of the fabric in the end since you are not heavy-duty stapling fabric to foam. But it's been up almost two weeks now and is still sturdy. So there you have it.

I bought some 2" thick high-density foam from Hancock Fabrics.

And traced where I needed to cut to fit. Then, using an electric carving knife, you just slice right through the foam! (It was very therapeutic!)

The foam wasn't quite high enough for what I needed, but was longer than I needed. So I just pieced together the remaining foam (it was in two pieces) and spray-adhered them to the headboard.

I just sprayed this puppy directly to the iron. This wasn't anything I was worried about ruining, plus I could always rip the foam off if it really didn't work and display the non-ruined side.

But it stuck. Well. Really, really well. That spray adhesive doesn't mess around!

Then I wrapped and tucked and spray adhered the batting. I pinned the batting before I sprayed, just to get a general idea of fit/look before actually adhering it to the foam. This picture was taken with just the pins in place. It was much more taut and even after spraying. (That's important.)

So...the fabric. I chose my favorite toile pattern again. The only problem there is the fabric wasn't wide enough for my headboard and since it's a repeating pattern, you can't just flip the fabric. So.....I had to get two cuts of fabric and connect them. I'm a non-sewer, so I just used the iron-on hemming tape and it worked really well. Connecting toile patterns is something I don't want to do again in the near future.

But it looks really seamless - you really can't tell it's two different pieces unless you're up very very close. See...

I also replaced our old duvet with a white duvet and shams from - it was less than 30 dollars shipped! Love that place. And it's bleachable - so very kid friendly.

(I tried getting a great "after" photo - but there was no natural light to be had and my room is a little on the tiny side, so standing back far enough to really get a good photo was presenting a challenge.)

My next to-do is to add a few more throw pillows for softness, but this is all about a step at a time, right?

Let me know if you tackle your headboard.

Also, I'm going to have an exciting giveaway coming up next week - that will be especially helpful will all of the holiday cooking coming up!! So, stay tuned for that!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sneak Peek....

...I know it's Tuesday, but I found this amazing deal on another favorite blog (Our Suburban Cottage) and I had to share. It's a year subscription to Real Simple magazine - a total favorite of mine. (I always have to sneak our library's copy into the storytime room to read while my kids are occupied.)

Anyway, a whole YEAR for 5 BUCKS! This would make a perfect gift for Christmas - there are other magazines up for that same price:

Southern Living

Entertainment Weekly (it's $10, but it comes weekly...)

House Beautiful

Finally, I will be posting tomorrow as regularly scheduled... Here's a sneak peek:

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Organizing Winter Gear - A Quick Tip

I LOVE this idea and had to pass it on to all of you! Here's what Janice sent in (thanks again!):

Here's what she says:

Much like Spring cleaning when the weather begins to warm up, I always get the Fall organizing bug this time of year. It seems like once the weather cools off and we are starting to spend so much time inside, I like to make sure everything is in its place.

Now that it is time to pull out the jackets and gloves, they seem to end up all over and start to make me crazy. I stole this idea from my sister-in-law, Holly, and it has been working well for us for us, so I thought I would pass it along for any of my friends that just don't know where to put all the scarves and hats and mittens without having them spill all over the closet when the basket tips over!

I just bought an over-the-door shoe organizer and put it on the inside of the coat closet. I bought one with clear pockets so I can see exactly what is in them without having to dig through each pocket. Then I put all of the kids' things on the bottom which makes it easy for them to get on their own winter wear, and also to be able to put them back in their "home" when they are done.

This has really helped to keep us prepared for the cold without a lot of hassle or a lot of mess in the bottom of the closet. Just a quick and inexpensive idea to what used to be a big problem.

Do any of you have organizing tips to share?! Anything to help with all of the art supplies, for instance, would be greatly appreciated.

Love this tip, Janice! Thanks so much for sharing it. It is being put to use in our house right away!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Stovetop Potpourri

If you're anything like me, hearing the word potpourri conjures up images of that dried, nasty stuff that used to sit in china bowls on the end tables in my grandma's house. This is not that kind of potpourri.

I'm always burning some kind of candle or trying a new scent of Wallflower from Bath and Body. With two toddlers (one still in diapers) I need all the help I can get.

I've ordered some yummy smelling holiday candles from a friend's catalog party she had recently. But I'm sort of impatient (sort of) and I wanted my house to smell yummy NOW. I remember seeing this idea linked up to somebody somewhere's link party and decided to give it a shot. (If you have seen this idea posted somewhere in blogland recently, let me know and I'll give credit!)

All you do is fill a saucepan with water (maybe 2 cups?) - I added a little apple cider to mine. Then just add dashes of your favorite yummy spices from your spice cabinet. Here's what I added:
I added vanilla extract, a cinnamon stick, some pumpkin pie spice, some orange peel and almond extract which is quite possibly my most favorite smell ever. Then just let it simmer on LOW. The water will eventually evaporate, so just keep an eye on the water level and add more when necessary.

This is my water level getting a little low - you can see the bits of spice on the side of the pan where the water once was.

I love this idea so much and can now wait patiently for my fall/winter candles to arrive in the mail.

Have you done this before? What spice combinations do you love?

P.S. Is anybody else's kids getting up with the sun now with the time change? YIKES! I saw this post on making your own black-out curtains a while back and may be tackling it in the near future....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cute Pumpkins & What Home Means to Me

Carving pumpkins is an idea that I always love at first – and then before I’m done scraping the insides totally want to be done.  So when I saw this post from Living with Lindsay it just spoke to me.  I didn’t get the sticky-backed felt that Lindsay recommends, but hot glue worked just fine. 




Also, a little note for the fantastic people who follow this little old blog (i.e., mom)…. I love doing this.  I love finding little projects to help make my home more comfortable, plus having a hobby of my own is sanity saving!  I have to say I would love to have the time and energy to post something creative every day like some of my favorite bloggers. 

That being said, when it comes to a home, even if it is a home in progress, the most important thing about a home is the people in it.  My kids don’t care if that shutter will tie in the hutch color from the front room – they want to finish that puzzle, go the library, play hide-and-go-seek (a new favorite).  So in order to be here more for them, and less for my furnishings, instead of feeling guilty that I don’t post daily – I’m just going to try to have a weekly post.  (Until I get better at this time management thing seriously how do some of my favorite favorites get everything done?)  So check back on Wednesdays – that’s a good blog post day, yeah? 

Thanks for sticking with me – and send me your projects!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Shutters Turned Wall Art & Your Submissions

If this is your first visit to A Home In Progress, click here for an explanation of what this site is. I would LOVE to feature some of your home DIY projects or recipe creations.

This wall in my dining room has had me perplexed since we moved in last year. My mom and I (mostly her) came up with the idea of a grouping of similar photos. It looked good, but after awhile I was itching to try something new.

After running into this amazing idea while blog hopping, I knew I had found my idea! Now, I just needed to find some shutters. I found one ad on my local Craigslist but the ad was two weeks old, so I was sure they were gone. I emailed the seller just in case and score – somebody was supposed to come pick them up but never showed. I was there, with cash in hand, the next morning!


The shutters were pretty beat up – I probably should have bartered with the seller instead of showing up the exact amount she was asking!

I used some wood filler to fill a couple of the bigger gaps.


I was going to use the same red paint that I had seen on the original blog. But I had the leftover Halcyon Green paint from my hutch project. (Click here for that project.)


I think it’s probably a good thing I’m drawn to distressed furniture – I am not a perfectionist painter. After the shutters dried, if there were any obvious drips, that’s where I added a little “distressing” and sanded them down.


I didn’t take any before pictures, but I think it’s an improvement! (The after pictures aren’t great – it has been cloudy here all day every day for the past couple of weeks, so I had no natural light with these photos!)

IMG_8220P.S. Those of you lucky ladies who have won these chalkboard labels – I haven’t forgotten about you! They will be in the mail this week!

P.P.S. (or is P.S.S.?) I'm also linked up to Kimba's DIY Day at A Soft Place to Land. Warning: Don't go lookin' over there unless you have LOTS of time to kill! So many great DIY little time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

A little tip…

I’m sure every other blogger out there knows this, but just in case you DON’T…. If you ever need a can of chalkboard spray paint, you know, so you can do projects like this: Cabinet Full

Or this:


Don’t buy it at your craft store. I was getting supplies for an upcoming church activity I’m planning and the can of chalkboard spray paint at a certain craft store (that rhymes with “Schmichael’s") was $7. I kid you not, $7.

Then browsing through Walmart’s paint section last weekend, I found they carry the exact same brand of chalkboard spray paint, same size can, everything for $2.50. I’m used to maybe a $1-2 dollar discrepancy, but seriously! Has anybody else ever noticed this? Am I missing something?


On another note, one of my favorite parts of fall decorating is seeing what people do to their front porches. Come back tomorrow for a tour of some great fall porch inspirations!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Touches of Fall

Unlike so many of my home-decor blogging friends, I haven’t had one ounce of inspiration to start decorating for fall!  I think it’s because I lost my fall decorations box when I moved last year have been so busy! 

I made a trip to the closest Goodwill on Friday to see what I could find.  That’s when I found these babies, who at $2 bucks each, came home with me.



They needed a little love, but that’s nothing a little black spray paint couldn’t fix.  I sprayed them black, then put a couple of little 3/$1 gourds on top. 


Something was missing.  I had a little wicker cornucopia (it’s true I needed spell check to spell cornucopia correctly.  Hey, it’s Monday!) I got for 50% off at Hobby Lobby.  I love it because it’s not so Halloween-y that I can only use it for October, it’s a great Fall piece.  Which means I don’t have to change it until after Thanksgiving! 

Anyway, I added some fall stems, also at Hobby Lobby at 50% off.  (Side note: I’m told that all of their fall items will go up to 90% off in the next several weeks.  This would be a good time to stock up for next year.)  Because I didn’t have enough stems to look as full as I wanted it to, I just used some floral foam in the bottom of the cornucopia to keep the stems from all falling to one side.  



Much better!  I had a few left over gourds, so I put them on a rimmed serving platter, filled a regular vase with some candy corn, and had a one-minute, $1 fall centerpiece for the dining room table.

IMG_8030It looked a little plain, so I took a few of the berry stems and leaves from the bottom of my floral stems I used in the cornucopia.      

IMG_8056Much better! Not bad for fifteen minutes of a Sunday afternoon. 

Have you started decorating for fall?  Any tips for getting motivated?  Bath and Body Works has their Slatkin & Co. candles 2/$20 this week, maybe a fall scented candle would put me in the fall spirit?  It’s worth a shot, right???

Friday, October 2, 2009

Foodie Friday

I am getting so many great recipe ideas from friends and readers that I decided to start a “Foodie Friday” because after all, food is a major part of any home (at least it is in mine)! Brenda from B’dub’s Cafe sent in this recipe that is a perfect start to fall.

When Fall time comes around, there are a few fall MUST haves, with pumpkin crunch being 1 of them! I first time I had this gem was at a church function, which I was lucky enough to get the recipe from my friend Alana. It took me almost a full year to make it myself (I guess I had forgotten how good it was over time!) Not anymore! I decided to make this for my husband and I's wedding anniversary a few years ago. Let's just say I won extra points with him. We both Oohed and Ahhed at this dessert. Why had I not made it before?

Now my hubby begs for this, and we actually don't only make this during the fall. We crave it all year round! Plus, this is super easy to make. I am not talking kind of easy, I am saying, you throw a few ingredients together, stir, and put in a pan, cover with a dry cake mix and butter and VOILA!

The only down side to this dessert is that you have to bake it for 45 minutes and then LET IT COOL! We can never wait, but it does taste best when it is chilled. We actually don't even need cool whip or ice cream with this. Oh sure, it enhances the taste a little, but the pumkin crunch is so good by itself, it doesn't need ANYTHING else to make it taste better! Just try will see!

Pumpkin crunch

1 box yellow cake mix

1 cup melted butter or margarine1 tsp cinnamon

1 (15 oz) can pumpkin (about 2 1/4 cups, give or take)

½ tsp salt

1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk

3 large eggs (4 medium)

1 ½ cup sugar

½ cup chopped pecans (optional)

Cool whip/whipped topping or ice cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of a 9x13 pan or 2 pie dishes. In a large bowl combine pumpkin, evaporated milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon and salt (instead of using cinnamon and salt, you can substitute with 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice if needed).

Pour into pan. Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Top with pecans (I have never done this since we are not nut lovers, but I think it had nuts in it the first time I tried it, so it is good either way). Drizzle melted butter over pecans.

Bake for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown. (My oven cooks faster and it only took about 35-40 minutes. Just check it after 30 minutes. It should be brown on top. Cool. Serve chilled with cool whip or ice cream.

Note: After I pour the butter over top, I usually spoon the butter over parts of the dry cake mix that didn't get covered with butter to make it more evenly distributed.

Yum! This is a perfect treat to try this weekend!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Trash to Treasure & A Second Winner!!!

So, because it's Wednesday and I about we go crazy and pick a SECOND winner of the chalkboard labels???!? With so many great comments and only one winner, it just didn't seem fair. So.....with the help of my two toddlers, we picked another random winner from last week's giveaway!!!

Anyway, lucky winner #2 is:
~Jenn~ said...

Hi Natalie!
DIY blogs are my FAVORITE and of course, my home is a HIP too, so I was thrilled to find your site. Looking forward to seeing and sharing some great projects!

Woo hoo! Jenn, email me at and we can figure out how to get your labels to you!
On to the project for today:
A new friend (thanks again, to Lindsay at Living with Lindsay) sent me the cutest before and after project of some barstools she joke....dumpster diving. I haven't gone there yet - but after seeing her cute and cheap transformation, maybe sometime soon???

Here's what Cindy had to say about her project:

I found this lovely pair of bar stools while dumpster diving.
I liked them because they were black as they would match the wrought iron look I have going on in the kitchen. I also liked that they were somewhat more compact and shorter than typical bar stools as I would be using them at the kitchen counter rather than an actual "bar". But really I loved them because they were free. Unfortunately, they had this small problem.

The original owner had used black electrical tape to cover one of the unsightly holes. And when my dad fixed one of the legs he added his own strip of electrical tape to the other one. However, over time that electrical tape disappeared and hitched a ride with someone - I'm not telling who, just know that I discreetly removed it from your backside and avoided embarrassment for you and for me.

So, with staple gun in hand (thanks Granddad!) I went to work covering these little gems.

Found this beautiful red and cream toile fabric in the clearance bin at Walmart for $4. It goes great in my red kitchen and there's plenty left over for more projects. Another dumpster dive success!

I totally love the transformation! Especially that fabric - that's a great tip to check the fabric in the clearance bin.

Thanks so much, Cindy! I love the projects - keep them coming you guys!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bath Cabinet Update (oh, and a winner....)

Thanks AGAIN for the fabulous comments and new followers! Now don't be shy and send me your projects! I did get a couple of great ones that I'm so excited to show you guys in the next week.

I'm so excited to announce the winner of the first ever (definitely more to was so fun reading everybody's comments!) giveaway! But first.....another great before and after project from one of you!

My friend Anjeanette sent me these pictures and I just have to share them. What an amazing transformation. Here's what she said:

Here's my latest project in my guest bathroom.
I didn't care for the wood finish that was in there, so I decided to change it.

I first sanded it a little, then put a fresh coat of white paint on.

I then glazed it with a brown paint, and wiped it off. I had to sand quite a bit of the brown off to get the look that I wanted. I then brushed on a clear coat of varnish. I then put hardware on them. I think it turned out pretty good.

Yeah, Anj, good is an understatement! I think the white was a total improvement, so I LOVE that you decided to go even a step further and it looks fantastic. GREAT job!

If you have a project or recipe you would like me to post, I would LOVE to share it. Just email me at:

OK, now on to the good stuff.....the winner of the giveaway!
Heather L. said...

Love the little labels! So cute! I'd love to win, thanks for the opportunity =)

Congratulations, Heather! Email me at to let me know what kind of labels you want.

Stay tuned, there's more fun coming up this week!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

KISS Principle

(I think the text in some of the previous posts was a bit LARGE so I'm going to see if doing it a bit smaller is easier on my eyes. Sorry for the inconsistencies for those of you who notice that sort of thing.)

First of all, WOW to the great comments and WELCOME to the new followers! I actually have a few project submissions that I can't wait to share with you in the next couple of weeks. It's so exciting to see people really take an interest in loving where they live. There are a lot of talented bloggers out there - I can't wait to show you some more right here! If you haven't entered the giveaway, you have until Friday night to enter!


I had a fantastic professor in college who always talked about the "KISS" Principle - KISS standing for Keep It Simple, Stupid. Well, now that I have children and we discourage the use of the "s" word - I'm going to go with
Keep It Simple, Sister.

I love finding a diamond in the rough, creating something out of nothing, etc. just as much as all of you! However, I always scour the Clearance shelves and end-caps at my favorite stores to find things that will work for a need I have in my home. Because as much fun as it is to make something out of nothing, it takes time and energy - something that I'm sure we all have an overabundance of (NOT)!

Example: I needed new throw pillows. Didn't need as in "want a new color." (Which is a justifiable need, in my opinion!) I mean NEED as in lumpy (some might say mildy smelly) throw pillows that HAD to GO. I had big plans to sew pillow covers (although I have about zero experience sewing) and find the perfect fabric, etc.

Then, while scouring the clearance racks at Target (one of my favorite places to treasure hunt) I found these babies:

For $4. That's right. $4. So I did what any crazy self-respecting person would do, I cleaned them out (they had two) and tried desperately to track down a few more at any area Targets. (To no avail, I might add.)

Here are some other recent Clearance finds that have been much SIMPLER to just buy new on clearance than try to hunt down at Goodwill or on Craigslist.

Mirror, Target. $10. It's a huge mirror that looks great on the wall, and the wicker is growing on me.

Storage baskets for kids/hubby junk, Hobby Lobby. $2. (I really don't have that much wicker in my house - this and a magazine basket in the living room are about the extent of it.)

Which leads me to my next point - even if it's on sale, don't buy it if you don't love it. Then it just turns into clutter. Clutter bought on sale, yes, but clutter nonetheless.

Conversely, don't walk away from it if you DO love it (and can afford it). I've learned, too many times, by the time you decide you want it and come back, it's gone and you just end up dreaming about what might have been. (Okay, maybe that's just me.) Most stores will let you return the item with a receipt if you really decide you don't like it. (Although some clearance items are final-sale only, so just check where you shop.)

So, that's my KISS principle I have had to apply in my home life. I love a good before and after project, but in areas where you can keep it simple - DO IT!

Do you have any good clearance tips???

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hello! & A Giveaway

Can I just give a huge SQUEAL and say how EXCITED I am to have been featured on one of very favorite blogs out there, Living with Lindsay. I hope some of you who are visiting for the first time pull up a seat and get comfy!

This little blog is just an idea I had a few months ago when my girlfriends and I wanted to share our own little stabs at DIY home design with each other. We got sick of emailing large attachments to each other (we all live in different states) but we definitely did not know nearly enough about home design or do projects frequently enough to fill our own blog.

After running into this dilemma, I was sure there were other part-time DIY'ers out there who have run into this same problem! DIY'ers who would love to post their projects but not have to worry about keeping up a full-time blog. That's how A Home in Progress was born. I really hope that this is a place that you come often to support other DIY newbies and share your own attempts at making your house a home!

To celebrate the wonderful Lindsay posting about us on her blog, we're doing our first little giveaway! A set of 8 chalkboard labels - they can be drilled to work as home labels, as shown here, or with the holes on the side for gift labels!

To enter, just leave me a comment letting me know you dropped by. If you become (or are already) a follower, I'll enter your name twice! And finally, if you mention this giveaway on your blog, I'll enter your name a third time! The giveaway will close Friday at 10pm and the winner (chosen randomly) will be announced Monday!

Thanks for the love, Lindsay! Go show her some love and visit her site. It's really one of the best out there.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Because It's Monday & A Giveaway

I'm not very productive on Mondays...just recuperating from a crazy weekend and time together as a family! So I thought I would post a quick (literally 5 minutes and however long it takes your glue gun to heat up...) and easy project that anybody with a "case of the Mondays" (name that movie) could do.

It happened to be my 6th wedding anniversary this weekend, and my husband brought me a wonderful basket of mums as an anniversary surprise. I loved them because I had wanted to bring a little fall to my front porch.

Here they are straight in the planter from the garden store. Not bad, but I had five minutes to kill before we left for our date, so I decided to make it look not so straight-from-the-store.

I just took some leftover yummy fall-like brown ribbon and got my glue gun and went to work!

I made sure I started in the back of the planter, where the wood strip meets.

Finished product! Not bad for free and 5 minutes!

Tomorrow I'm going to post my first giveaway! I have been totally inspired by a few giveaways on some awesome sites, that I thought I would try and share the love. So....check back tomorrow for details on how to enter to win your own set of chalkboard labels! Perfect as the holiday gift-giving season (yeah, I just went there) is just around the corner!

P.S. The movie quote above is from a total classic (in my opinion), "Office Space".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

*Not* a Painted Wood Project!

I told you it was coming! I saw my friend Anjeannete's entry table redo and I asked her to let me post it here for you! It's beautiful and she did not paint the wood table. Let me say that again - she did.not.paint.the.wood.table. And it still turned out fabulously. Here, see for yourself! I'll let Anjeanette tell the story of how this table came to be in her own words:

So I have been looking, for a while, for a antique "looking" table
or dresser to use as my entry table. I have
been looking at garage sales and
thrift stores and online, and haven't found anything....until
I noticed this beauty in my neighbors garage.

No I wasn't snooping.....ok...maybe a little.
They keep their garage open all the time
and I saw it sit there for over a month.

I finally asked my neighbor what she was going to do with it, and she said
she was getting rid of it. She asked if I wanted it..........ahhh......YES!

I debated whether to paint it black, and maybe distress it, or stain it or just
to leave it how it is. I decided to sand it a bit and stain it. It was
really easy and I think it turned out well.

Okay, I love that she saw that table sitting there and just asked her neighbor about it! It reminds me of when Thrifty Decor Chick sent her sister dumpster diving for a treasure that somebody threw away! (Read the story here) You just never know where you're going to find a treasure! Thanks, Anj!