blackout drapes, bolster pillows, brother signs, and bowling pins

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter B. It is quite a miscellany of things happening in the boys’ room. A brain dump of sorts…so hold on to your cohesive writing skills, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

The first thing we ever do when we move in a new house is get the black out drapes up on the wall. Maybe not on a curtain rod, but on the wall. For sure. First day. No questions. Every time.

blackout drape thumb tack

They don’t always fit, but we deal with that on future days.

So, the first real project I did in the boys’ room was cut that huge blackout drape into two pieces, one for the guest room where we slept for several weeks, and one for the boys’ room. (Our previous master bedroom had a huge window, but this master has those narrow windows seen at the bottom of this post, so we played musical blackout drapes with the boys’.)

The first night it hadn’t been cut yet, so we slept like this. (This is the guest room, but it has the same size window on the back wall as the boys’ room, so don’t be confused.)

mattress on floor

Within a few days, I hemmed it to fit their window and they slept in their room like this while we did more important things…like unpack the classroom and the kitchen.

boy beds before

This is from the viewpoint of the entry door.

Here’s what the window looks like, in case you’re convinced that is just a black hole. (Success!)

boys room

This is from the viewpoint of the closet door.

(Those walls read as white, but in person they were the palest shade of nasty green…imagine if you mixed pea soup and milk.)

Eventually I made a center curtain and hung the blue side panels that had been used in their previous bedroom. Their last window was narrower than this one and went all the way to the floor, but I thought this one could use a little something in the middle. I just used a fabric remnant and stopped it at the windowsill. (Jury’s still out on whether or not the trim in here is getting painted.)


We removed their closet door for two reasons. One, we needed a door on our master bathroom and we wanted it to match all the other doors in the house. Two, it was hitting the side of one of the beds (I’ll show you the beds in a later post) when it was opened all the way.


I searched the world over for a striped fabric similar to the remnant I used on the curtains and it was no where to be found (at least not for what I was willing to pay per yard), so I bought this shower curtain. Of course shower curtains are shorter than closet doors, so I added some green fabric to the bottom and then an orange ribbon between the two just to tie in all the colors used in the room.

extend curtain

I bought a cheap tension rod and used some curtain rings I had from a previous house.

curtain rings

Speaking of closets, I just want to let you know that we have a walk in closet in here. It’s big enough to hold their dresser. I have never had a walk in for the boys before, so this is exciting! The three-year old actually claimed it as his bedroom when we first moved in.

green malm cale closet

I only used about half of the shower curtain for the closet. I could have used the entire thing and had it bunch up more, but I didn’t want the extra weight on my cheap tension rod, and I also thought the kids would be more likely to hide in it (are my kids the only ones who play hide ‘n’ seek in curtains?) and therefore pull it down.

I used the other half to recover a bean bag cube that was not coordinating any longer.

fabric squares beanbag cube

Well, actually I didn’t recover it so much as I remade it completely.


What a mess! I thought I was pouring the “beans” into the new cube, but I was missing by quite a bit. My oldest tried to help hold the new cube, but he didn’t see that I was pouring half the beans into the floor. And then, when we tried to scoop up all the ones I spilled, they kept sticking to us (static electricity?). These things have a mind of their own.

static sticky beans

You can see that I did this before I returned the rug. “Hi, rug. I miss you. I hope you’ve found a new home that is right for you. My floor is still bare. But it’s good. I’m good. I’m great without you. Good seeing you. Bye.” 🙁 Breakups are hard!

bean bag cube

This sign was 89¢. It was red, white, and blue and I bought it 90% off after The Fourth of July last year.

4th  july

I just painted green over the red and switched out the ribbon. That is supposed to say “friend.” I just noticed the R has been rubbed away. It’s not fiend. Definitely not fiend.

brother sign

You know how sheets come in that little fabric bag now? I never feel like I can throw that away. I know it is just packaging, but it’s weird. It’s fabric. It’s made of the exact material on which you just spent money. Am I the only weirdo who feels some sort of guilt for throwing it away?

Well anyway, those packages make the easiest little throw pillow ever. IKEA sells this tiny little pillow for about a buck. (It looks like they are printed now and have gone up by 50%, but when I got these about eight years ago, they were 99¢ and light blue.) I bought about a dozen and have been using and reusing them like crazy. Best purchase ever.

ikea pillow pillow cover

Just shove the little pillow in the fabric packaging and snap it closed. There you go.

pillow snap throw pillows

We use our bed pillows until they are FLAT! (Well, *I* don’t. The boys and the hubs do. I’m picky about my pillows. A girl’s gotta get good sleep!) Anyway, I never know if I am supposed to just throw those old flat pillows away or what. Sometimes I do. Sometimes I roll them up and put them in a pillow case that I cut in half. They make really great bolster pillows. Easy peasy.

rolled pillow bolster pillow

I bought a bowling pin at the thrift store forever ago (way before we moved here) to use as a book end for the boys, and then I lost it in the garage. Somehow it ended up in the sporting goods area instead of in the to-do zone. Anyway, I found it when we moved and was like, “oh yeah. I am doing that right away!” Then, I found another one at at a different thrift store not long after we moved in here. For 99¢, I figured I needed a set.

bowling pins

I guess bowling pins are popular with the kids these days. It appears these belonged to teenage girls? One loved her team, and the other was loved by her boyfriend.

I gave them a light sanding to get rid of any glossy finish. Then I spray primed them.

sand paint and primer

I hope Toby and Ashley’s relationship is going as strong as this sharpie. I thought for sure the black one would need several coats of primer, but it covered in two. Toby and Ashley took about seven. Not even lying. It kept bleeding through. True love never fades!


When I finally had them primed well, I sanded just a tiny bit with a fine block to knock down any primer bumps, then I just spray painted them white. I used satin, because I didn’t want them to be shiny. I wanted them to look smooth and…velvety. What? You never heard of a velvety bowling pin? So.

washi tape

I got some duct and washi tape in colors from the room just to add back a bit of personality to these white pins. If you don’t know what washi tape is, apparently you’re totally missing out on the best thing ever made. Meh. Don’t ask me. I don’t scrapbook, or make cards, or craft in that way at all really. I could live my life without it. But you may be missing the best thing you’ve never heard of. So, better check it out just in case.

taped pins

I’m not convinced I don’t like them better plain. I could easily pull that tape off tomorrow. Who knows? Things are always changing around here.

book end

Are we over chevron? I can’t decide. I covered this lamp shade a while back. I used a fabric remnant, a glue stick, and hot glue. I smeared the glue stick onto the shade and pressed my fabric smooth and then I tucked the edges over the top and bottom of the shade, and glued them down with hot glue. Some people like to finish the edge off with ribbon or trim, but I don’t mind it left all jagged. You can’t see it. (I bet there are a dozen tutorials out there for this if you’re wanting to do it yourself. But next time I cover a shade, I’ll show you how.)

lamp shade fabric shade

I think that’s a good place to stop for now. I need to go eat some ice cream and cry over my ex-rug. Next time I’ll show you the beds.