Coffee, Anyone?

In September, I drew up these plans to turn an empty nook in my dining room into an coffee bar (naturally). I was looking for cute hooks, shelving, a “coffee” sign, and a set of matching mugs. What I ended up creating was a chalkboard from an old picture (tutorial to follow soon!) that I will soon paint with an adorable coffee saying of my choosing. I added some red hooks and monogram mugs from Antrhopologie to bring the look together- not to mention Ball jars to hold my coffee grounds and sugar, a vintage-inspired cow cream holder, and a floral serving tray. Can’t wait for the coffee bar to come together completely! Next project…the bar cart. Now that’s going to be fun.

Coffee Bar PlansCoffee Bar on miaprimcasa.com

Cheers!

Sarah

Design Inspiration for My New Place

Just about a year ago, I was moving into my first place and starting this blog (in Italian, “la mia prima casa” means my first house)┬áto catalog my adventures. This week, my sister and I are moving into our second place. When we first moved, we wanted an eclectic, comfortable space, but faced the problems of living in an old house (bad trim, wall colors that didn’t fit our palette, and an outdated kitchen). Our second place is newer and lighter, with higher ceilings and a modern look. Our new decor inspiration is open, comfortable, and a mix of patterns with pops of bold colors. Below are my favorite inspiration images for my newest place.

a2d200618ed0f072ddcf3e56993cdc4d7e6b74c6a1aaa934249693e827f2d9f69723d18ac95401563ea66e6681ddf8ebf154e8a7ede21a7bedd8ebc9d1316a446a4281511f6ae94a3837e205fba7fc644cc9cc32407811c05d43222cde20eb37

Can’t wait to start the decorating process anew!

Ciao,

Sarah

Halloween Decorating for Under $10

Now that I actually have a place that feels more like home than a one-bedroom dorm room, I thought I’d make an effort to decorate, even a little bit, for the holidays. I picked up this vase, a spider candle holder, and these festive placemats at the local Good Will for under $10. The beautiful dried corn was a gift from my friend who bought it at the Madison farmer’s market.

How have you been decorating for the season?

Sarah

Great Finds: Espresso Cups

My sister studied in Austria, and as she travelled Europe, she collected espresso cups. Though they weren’t the easiest things to take back to the States (miraculously she only broke one), they do make great decoration pieces in our apartment. Here are a few of my favorites.

Ciao!

Sarah

Salzburg, Austria

London, England

Florence, Italy

Munich, GermanyNice, France; Lake Forest, Illinois; Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Florence, Italy

Before & After: “Open” Dresser

My aunt and uncle were kind enough to provide a whole bunch of used furniture for my new apartment. Most of it fit well into the place, but this piece below was a little trickier. We didn’t have enough space in the living room and certainly not in our tiny kitchen. As a result, it ended up as shelving in the garage. I also happened to be missing a dresser and considered thrifting around for one until I realized that this piece could be the perfect dresser. I painted it a mauve-lavendar and bought cloth containers to act as drawers. The result is a versatile “open” dresser that matches my intended room decor and cost me far less than anything else I was considering to buy.

Before

After

Total cost of this project?

Shelving unit: Free

Paint: $12

Total Cost: $12

Ciao!

Sarah

College or Sorority T-Shirt Blanket Quilt

After graduating college, I was left with more college and sorority t-shirts that I could ever want to wear. I didn’t want to throw them out, however. Afterall, they reminded me of some great memories that I hoped never to forget. But I didn’t really want to drag my twenty-some t-shirts to my new apartment, so instead, I chose to create a quilt from the old shirts. As a novice sewer, it took me longer than excepted to finish, but the work was worth it! Now I have a comfy blanket that holds so many memories from my college days, livens up my new apartment, and is much more useful than a stack of worn out shirts. Below are steps to creating your own t-shirt blanket.

What you need:

18+ T-shirts

Sewing Machine

Thread

Cardboard (cut into 9″ by 9″ square)

Rotary cutter

Cutting mat

Straight edge

Scissors (one pair for fabric, one pair for the cardboard)

Pins

Cut the cardboard into a 9 inch by 9 inch square. This will serve as your template for the fabric squares.

Cut down the sides of your t-shirt and lay flat on the cutting board.

Place cardboard square over t-shirt and carefully use rotary cutter to cut fabric. Use the straight edge to guide your cutting.

Continue for all your t-shirts. I first cut out the graphic on the shirt and then cut as many squares of the solid color from the t-shirts as I could. I wanted as many squares to work with so that I could put together the most desired combination.

I then laid out the squares on the floor in order to get clear picture of what my blanket would look like. I chose to use 36 squares total (6 squares by 6 squares). However, I recommend laying out your quilt 6 squares across and five squares high. With 36 squares, I had trouble finding fabric that was wide enough to be a backing piece. I ended up having to cut off half of the top row of squares in order to back my quilt with two panels of solid fabric.

Next, pin one row of squares together to begin sewing. Once you have sewn all your row, you can sew your columns. Make sure that you line up your seams as perfectly as possible, so that your squares are even and tight.

I then sewed on my back panel fabric. I found inexpensive fabric at Savers, so I had to cut it into two panels in order to fit my quilt properly. I recommend using a cotton or cotton blend for the backing. I considered fleece, which is a good option if you want a very warm blanket, but I opted out because I want my blanket to function as more of an everyday throw.

Finally, I pinned every other corner then sewed a few stitches. Doing this will keep the squares from shifting in the wash.

Voila! Your t-shirt quilt is done and ready to serve as a memorable and functional piece for many years. Beats keeping a stack of old shirts around!

Some final recommendations:

If your machine has zig-zag stitch, use this as the t-shirts are knits and will tend to stretch. I used a very old Singer that did not have zig-zag, so I may be faced with some shifting in the future.

Any extra squares would make great, soft pillows.

Good luck!

Sarah

5 Images to Inspire

Because I could use some inspiration on this rainy evening.

Giving credit where credit is due. Where I found these photos (most come from some pretty interesting blogs and are worth checking out!):

Image 1

Image 2

Image 3

Image 4

Image 5