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Dec 23, 2014

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies {dairy, egg, soy + gluten free}

I have seen photos of Chocolate Crinkle Cookies floating around the internet the past few weeks and I love how beautiful they look. I assumed there had to be some elaborate trick to making them look so pretty, but once I began reading about them, they are actually super simple! The powdered sugar coating adds a hint of sweetness which transforms the flavor of your ordinary chocolate cookies.

You can really use just about any chocolate cookie recipe. I love making my Chocolate Brownie Cookies. In a pinch, I have also used Immaculate Baking Company's Gluten Free Fudge Brownie Cookie Dough, which I typically keep in my freezer for last minute cookie cravings (mostly for safe school treats quickly, actually). This dough contains eggs and soy. They have a warning on the label regarding the company's manufacturing processes due to being made in a facility that processes other allergens as well. We typically avoid foods/products made in a facility where milk is used, but there are a few companies who label well and are forthcoming with their processes that I do feel comfortable with them.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #Christmas #cookies

Dec 22, 2014

Peppermint Bark Puppy Chow {gluten free, vegan + nut free}

Puppy Chow (or Muddy Buddies) has always been a favorite treat in our family. I like to mix up the flavors for special occasions or holidays. Traditionally, Puppy Chow is made with peanut butter, but I think it works just fine and tastes great with just a chocolate coating.

Since I found Premium Chocolatiers Milkless Polar Dream dairy-free white chocolate bars, I knew I wanted to make a peppermint bark version of puppy chow. Perfectly sweet and crunchy, the minty mixture of dark chocolate and white chocolate with peppermint is amazing!

#glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan #nutfree

Dec 19, 2014

Spinach Artichoke Dip {gluten free + vegan}

I have always been a fan of spinach artichoke dip. Warm, gooey and cheesy, it is a delicious appetizer or perfect compliment to grilled or baked chicken. I have enjoyed the traditional version since my son's milk allergy diagnosis, but have anxiety any time I eat something that contains his allergen. Plus, I recently decided to cut dairy out of my diet again, so this dairy-free version is a fantastic substitute.

Some of my favorite, go-to brands make an appearance in the recipe too: So Delicious Dairy Free (culinary coconut milk), Go Veggie Foods (vegan Parmesan style topping), and Just Mayo (egg-free mayonnaise). If you have a favorite dairy-free cheese alternative that does not contain soy, feel free to replace the Parmesan with what works for you.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan #appetizers

Dec 14, 2014

White Chocolate Nog Fudge {dairy, egg, gluten + nut free}

Fudge is one of those traditional Christmas treats that just have to be made every year. Unfortunately most fudge recipes contain some if not all of our allergens. This year, I set out to make an allergy-friendly version that my little one and I could enjoy along with everyone else who would never even know the difference.

#dairyfree #eggfree #glutenfree #nutfree

I love the variety of So Delicious Dairy Free holiday drinks that are abundant this season. The delicious Nog is a fun and sweet treat. I have used it in previous years in breakfast recipes for Christmas morning, like my Nog French Toast Bake. I decided this year to try it in a dessert recipe as well.

Dec 9, 2014

Egg-free Marshmallow Creme

The brands of pre-made marshmallow creme (or fluff) that I have found in stores have been dairy-free, so they work if I am using them for something we will just have here at home. Being that I have one niece and one nephew allergic to eggs, I like to have another option when I'm making a recipe that calls for marshmallow creme so that it can be safe for them too.

I have seen a pre-made, egg-free brand at Whole Foods, but the nearest store is over an hour away from us. Not the easiest thing to pick up in a pinch. This recipe is easy to make, and if used quickly, easy to handle. It will begin to set up as it cools, lending that creamy, fluffy, stretchy consistency.

#eggfree #dairyfree #allergyfriendly #simple

Dec 4, 2014

Peppermint Bark {dairy + gluten-free}

One of my favorite treats during the Christmas season has forever been peppermint bark. Rich, dark chocolate topped with creamy, sweet white chocolate, then topped with the minty coolness of peppermint. What a perfect combination. Since going dairy-free though, this sweet treat has become a thing of the past. Until now!

#glutenfree #nutfree #dairyfree #chocolate #candy

Dec 1, 2014

Ginger Molasses Cookies {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #cookies #Christmas

Last Christmas, these Ginger Molasses Cookies were my absolute favorite. The rich molasses and ginger flavors meld together perfectly. I love that these cookies are not overly sweet. I adapted my recipe this year to be egg-free, as well as being free of the other top allergens!

Nov 30, 2014

Cranberry Pecan Parfait {gluten-free + vegan}

Every Thanksgiving throughout my entire life, I recall seeing a plate of canned cranberry sauce that remained basically untouched for the entire meal. That may not be exactly accurate, but I do know that I personally was never brave enough to try to congealed, purplish blob in the shape of a tin can. I vaguely remember a family member or two taking a small amount on occasion, but otherwise, it always seemed to be a leftover item that was tossed after the meal was over.

#glutenfree #vegan #desserts #breakfast

Nov 28, 2014

Chocolate Cream Pie {gluten free + vegan}

Last year for Christmas, I made an absolutely delicious old-fashioned Chocolate Cream Pie to mix things up from the traditional pumpkin, pecan, or apple pies. The recipe, adapted from King Arthur Flour really turned out deliciously. It was such a hit that I decided that I would make that same recipe each year from now on. 

#glutenfree #vegan #chocolatepie

Nov 25, 2014

Chocolate Seed + Fruit Bark {top 8 allergen free}

It is no secret that Enjoy Life Foods is one of our absolute favorite allergy-friendly food companies. Knowing that we can consistently purchase delicious, safe, and healthy products is a huge plus. We love so many of their products and the Seed and Fruit Mix is no exception.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #enjoylife #productreview

Nov 22, 2014

Apple Crumble Bars {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #applecrumble #dessert

This crumble has a buttery shortbread-style crust, warm, gooey apple filling, and a struesel-like, sweet topping. Top it with some So Delicious Dairy Free CocoWhip Coconut Whipped Topping while it is still warm, and you have a perfect dessert for any time of year!

Nov 21, 2014

My {Minted} Christmas Wish List

Every year, as Thanksgiving is upon us, I start to panic as I realize all of the things to come. The holiday season is a big deal at my day job and there are several events that require planning and organization at the same time. Not to mention one kid's birthday falls two weeks before Christmas, and the other's is just a week after. It seems like the planning never ends!

Christmas cards always seem to be one of those elusive items on my list. I always plan to come up with a beautiful design and have them mailed early in December so they arrive in plenty of time. As much as I try and plan and hope though, I always seem to end up scrambling to find whatever generic design looks "good enough" and finally get them addressed and mailed with maybe a day or two to spare.

Nov 20, 2014

A Thanksgiving Feast

#dairyfree #glutenfree #thanksgiving #menu

I read a quote the other day from another food blogger that said, "You know food bloggers...we eat a couple of Thanksgiving dinners before the actual day." Isn't that the truth? We are busy planning our menus a couple of months in advance in order to test recipes again and again to make sure they are just perfect before sharing them with you, our faithful readers.

Nov 18, 2014

Pumpkin Pie {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #pumpkin #thanksgiving #pie

Pumpkin Pie is one of those classic necessities that just rounds out any Thanksgiving feast. As a teenager, my mom and I spent quite some time trying to create the perfect pumpkin pie, from crust to filling. We finally came up with our favorite one and it has been a staple each year since then. But what happens when you can no longer eat the pie you made because the crust contains gluten, or you cannot share it with your child because it contains milk and they are allergic? Why, you adapt it of course!

Nov 17, 2014

Foster Farms Gluten Free Corn Dogs: Product Review

#glutenfree #dairyfree #review #FFGlutenFree

My kids are lovers of simple "kid" foods. Fish sticks, chicken nuggets, and corn dogs especially. We do keep these items on hand, but they are well aware that they do not get to indulge in these items on a very regular basis. However, it is nice to have something quick and easy on hand for those evenings when we have to eat and run.

Nov 16, 2014

Sweet & Savory Mashed Sweet Potato Bake {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #mashed_potatoes #thanksgiving #recipes

Mashed potatoes were always present at Thanksgiving meals when I was growing up. While I still think they are delicious and make dairy-free versions of my own on occasion, and the boys really like them, we also happen to love sweet potatoes. For this Thanksgiving, I wanted to create something sweet and savory with the decadence only sweet potatoes can provide. My Sweet & Savory Mashed Sweet Potato Bake makes a perfect side dish for any feast!

Nov 14, 2014

Green Bean Casserole {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #dairyfree #vegan #sides #Thanksgiving

I don't know that I have ever really liked green bean casserole. I remember it being on the table every Thanksgiving, but I do not recall every actually trying it. Having a child with a severe milk allergy and avoiding gluten and dairy myself the past few years, the occasion to try it recently just has not come up.

Nov 12, 2014

Herb Stuffing {gluten free + vegan}

My Herb Stuffing recipe was my absolute favorite part of our Thanksgiving meal last year. I was pretty excited to make it again this year. As if it wasn't simple enough already, I have found that it can easily be made in advance and refrigerated until ready to bake in order to save some time during the hectic holiday.

Nov 11, 2014

Two Year Blogiversary!

Today is a special day for many reasons. It is Veteran's Day. A day to honor and thank our current and past military members, who have put their lives on the line for our freedom. If you are one of these brave, outstanding individuals, THANK YOU for your service!

Today also marks my husband's and my 3-year anniversary. What an awesome day that was!

Last, but certainly not least, two years ago today was the day I began this little blog! (Otherwise known as "Blogiversary.") You can read more about what spurred my desire to start this blog over on the Food Allergy Jams blog where I am guest posting today, or here.

Nov 10, 2014

Instant Hot Cocoa Mix {dairy free}

#dairyfree #hotcocoa

As soon as the weather begins to turn cool, my boys start asking for hot cocoa every time they come in from playing outside. I usually cook up a saucepan of cocoa with almond milk on the stove on snow days or weekend days when I have some extra time. Halloween evening was one chilly night here, so we enjoyed our first hot cocoa of the season.

Nov 9, 2014

Cream of Celery Soup {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #soup

So many recipes call for Cream of [insert food item here] Soup, it seems almost impossible to make them dairy- and gluten-free and still keep the integrity of the recipe. Since the canned version is out of the question for us, I am always looking for a healthy, safe recipe to replace this item.

Sometimes You Even Surprise Yourself (Guest Post)

Today's post is from fellow food allergy mama, Kathy, from Food Allergy Jams. Kathy's mission is to create a CD collection of songs to teach young children about food allergies and to help kids with food allergies explain their needs to others. Her Kickstarter campaign is gaining momentum and the support of the food allergy community as backers can help boost her dream to a reality! Here is a peek inside her journey:

Oct 30, 2014

Orange Creamsicle Frosting {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #orange #creamsicle #frosting

As a "food allergy mom," preparation is key for me to keep up with all of the random, last minute events that pop up when food may be required. I like to make up a batch of cupcakes and freeze them (with or without frosting) for just such occasions. Birthday parties out or at school are the typical events, but now we have parties at school to include as well. Thankfully, Mason's teacher has a refrigerator/freezer in the classroom, so I am able to send a few ready-made cupcakes to keep there "just in case."

Oct 28, 2014

Orange Creamsicle Floats {dairy free}

Since Halloween is one of my favorite holidays/events of the year, I am always looking for fun snacks to make and crafts to create to commemorate the season. Thanks to Fanta and Dasani, we were able to create delicious and festive Halloween snacks and a super fun kids craft project!

#fanta #creamsicle #floats #halloweensnacks

Oct 25, 2014

Apple Cider Punch

#apple #cider #punch #fall #drinks

I love apple cider. Hot or cold, it is the perfect, spicy, fall drink. My little one loves apple cider too, but his big brother, not so much. I decided I would make a bubbly punch using apple cider that all of the kids would enjoy, whether they share our love of cider or not. All of the kiddos at our Pumpkin Carving Party loved this punch!

Oct 21, 2014

Chicken + Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo {dairy + gluten free}

Creamy, delicious Alfredo sauce epitomizes comfort food for me. Since Mason's dairy-allergy diagnosis, I have only made Alfredo a handful of times, typically making a separate, dairy-free meal for him. Over the years, I have grown increasingly uncomfortable with cooking with milk products due to cross-contamination issues that can easily happen in the kitchen. Whenever I have used milk, cheese or other dairy in cooking, my anxiety skyrockets.

#glutenfree #dairyfree #alfredo

Oct 15, 2014

Pumpkin Carving Party {2014}

#fall #pumpkincarving #party #halloween #tablescape

It has become a tradition in our family to have a Pumpkin Carving Party each fall a few weeks before Halloween. I LOVE this holiday, so hosting this is one of the highlights of fall for me. I always make my delicious chili recipe (which my husband keeps under lock and key...well, almost) and we have lots of fun fall treats to go along with it. Everyone brings their own pumpkin and we spend the afternoon carving, then enjoy dinner together. (This year was even capped off watching the Kansas City Royals win yet another playoff game - EEK! It's been nearly 30 years since this last occurred, so the buzz created by this is really a big deal!)

Oct 8, 2014

Maple Bacon Donuts {dairy, egg + gluten free}

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #maple #bacon #donuts

Our kids love it when I make Mini Pancake Muffins for breakfast. They're delicious and fun. Since it is such a simple and versatile recipe, I decided to try something a little different using the same ingredients. With the slight hint of maple flavor and the soft, not-too-sweet pancake texture, I decided they needed a little addition of coffee and bacon. These are fun and sophisticated at the same time. What could be better?!

Oct 5, 2014

Apple Cider Glazed Donuts {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #apple #donuts #fall

I've been seeing lots of delicious looking baked donuts all over the place lately. I decided I wanted to try some and picked up a donut pan for cheap with a great coupon at Michael's. I have the Wilton brand pan that makes six donuts at a time, but this one that has 12 spots would be so much better. I may have to get it too!

Sep 30, 2014

Apple Cider Molasses Muffins {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #apple #cider #muffins

I've been trying to incorporate apple cider into muffin recipes for weeks now. None of them had the flavor I was hoping for. Once I made this amazing Apple Cider Molasses recipe, I knew it was perfect for muffins. I love the addition of molasses in Gingersnap Cookies and gingerbread so I knew it would make a fantastic texture for these muffins. They're perfectly soft, slightly chewy, not too sweet and so delicious while they're still warm.

Sep 27, 2014

Apple Cider Molasses

#apple #cider #molasses #fall

Apple Cider Molasses...did you know there was such a thing? I sure didn't, but when I stumbled across several mentions of it, I was intrigued. I was researching the best way to reduce apple cider to make the swirl for my Cinnamon Harvest Apple Cider Ice Cream and decided to add this little treasure to my to-make list.

I bought a half-gallon of delicious cider from a nearby cider mill and only used a bit for the ice cream recipe. Using the remainder of the jug, I set to work making the molasses. The beauty of this idea is that you are condensing all of the sweet, bright, spicy goodness that is apple cider into a thick and delicious syrup.

Sep 25, 2014

Homemade Applesauce

#applesauce #allergyfriendly #dairyfree #glutenfree #vegan Now that I've temporarily moved from the obsessed-with-all-things-pumpkin phase into the apple-everything phase, I thought I'd share with you my recipe for homemade applesauce. I used to buy the biggest container of unsweetened applesauce I could find at the grocery store because our boys eat it like it's going out of style. I bought a 5-pound bag of apples one time thinking they would eat those just as well...unfortunately that is not what happened.

Sep 23, 2014

Cinnamon Apple Cider Ice Cream {gluten free + vegan}

#vegan #glutenfree #fallrecipes #icecream #applecider

Just when I thought all of the pumpkin recipes were making it feel like fall is just around the corner, this creamy, decadent, cinnamon-apple-filled ice cream has taken the cake. My usual ice cream recipes do not require an ice cream machine, but I really enjoyed how this one changed things up. With bits of sweet apples, the warm and spicy cinnamon and a smooth apple cider syrup swirl, it is packed with sophisticated flavors, but is fun for everyone to enjoy. And the best part... it is vegan too!

Sep 21, 2014

Dark Chocolate Cherry Oatmeal Cookies {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #darkchocolate #tartcherry #oatmeal #cookies

When it comes to cookies, oatmeal have always been my favorite. Not the kind with raisins, chocolate chips, or any other additions mixed in. Soft and chewy, warm and filled with spicy cinnamon...yep, those are the best kind.

However, as much as I love to mix different flavors and textures together, it is fun to experiment with an old favorite on occasion. This recipe stemmed from my new-found love of dark chocolate and tart dried cherries. Add that to my love of oatmeal cookies and this recipe has quickly become one of my all-time favorites!

Sep 13, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Pudding Parfait {gluten free + vegan}

#vegan #dairyfree #glutenfree #pumpkinspice #desserts

Yes, I am aware that it is only mid-September and I've gone a little overboard with the pumpkin lately. But we've gone from 90-degree, humid temperatures to 70s or lower temps with a cool breeze and I just cannot WAIT for fall to get here. So here is another ode to all things fall with a fun pumpkin dessert!

Sep 7, 2014

Pumpkin Spice Donut Holes {gluten free + vegan}

#glutenfree #vegan #pumpkin #donuts

Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I love to snuggle up in jeans and a sweater with a hot cup of coffee and enjoy the crisp, cooler weather, the beautiful, brightly colored leaves, football games, and of course, anything pumpkin.

Aug 21, 2014

First Day of... (gulp)...Kindergarten!

#backtoschool #kindergarten
It still hasn't completely sunk in. My baby...in Kindergarten?! It is crazy how fast time flies. It seems like only yesterday when I was snuggling my sweet, cuddly babe in my arms. I knew this day would come but I wasn't really prepared for all of the emotions it would bring.

Aug 17, 2014

Vanilla Pudding Pops {vegan + gluten free}

#dairyfree #glutenfree #vegan #pudding

I usually make pops of some sort every summer. This year we have been trying out some new store-bought versions (see: Dreyer's Outshine Fruit Bars - yum!) and haven't made any from scratch yet. Instead of going with my usual recipes, like my Cookie Dough Popsicles, Fudgesicles or Strawberry Banana Ice Pops, I decided to transform my Chocolate Pudding recipe to a vanilla version, then turn it into pops. Delicious as they are plain, they're even better with a drizzle of chocolate that mimics Magic Shell. These Vanilla Pudding Pops are a perfect summer treat!

Aug 14, 2014

Veggie Frittata {dairy + gluten free}

#dairyfree #glutenfree #vegetable #frittata

When I was pregnant with Mason, eating eggs made me sick. Eggs had been a staple in my diet for years and I had them for breakfast or dinner a few times a week. When Mason was just under a year old, we found out he was allergic to eggs, which meant they were gone from our house entirely for awhile. He outgrew his egg allergy at 22 months but it took me awhile to feel comfortable adding them to my grocery list very often.

Aug 11, 2014

Chocolate Pudding {vegan + gluten free}

#vegan #dairyfree #glutenfree #desserts

When first learning your child has a food allergy, milk in our case, the task of finding foods they can enjoy just as other children do seems daunting. I think a lot of parents go through the motions of realizing their kids may never be able to enjoy the treats they may have enjoyed during their own childhood. Everything seems to revolve around food, like treats after ball games or cake and ice cream at birthday and holiday parties.

Aug 8, 2014

Kale Pesto and Crispy Chicken Thighs {dairy + gluten free}

I've never been a big fan of pesto. Don't get me wrong...I want to like it. I just haven't found one that I actually enjoyed eating. I decided to try making my own dairy-free version using Go Veggie Foods Dairy-free Parmesan Style Topping since it tastes exactly like regular parmesan. (Make sure it is the purple tub that says "dairy-free" not the green one that is only lactose free and still contains milk proteins.) I also love kale and I think it was perfect for my new version of pesto, which I really enjoyed by the way!

Aug 6, 2014

Cashew Cookie Bites {dairy, egg + gluten free}

#glutenfree #dairyfree #eggfree #snacks

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to try the Whole 30 Challenge. Basically it is a 30-day challenge to eat whole foods, eliminating all grains, dairy, soy, legumes, sugar, alcohol (I'm probably missing something) from your diet to help your body essentially "reset" itself. The book It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig from Whole9Life  outlines the science behind the "diet." 

Aug 2, 2014

Blueberry Zucchini Oat Muffins {dairy, egg + gluten free}

This summer has been one of the busiest for us in awhile. (Obviously shown by my lack of blogging this past month...eek!) I have thoroughly enjoyed our time together as a family on the evenings and weekends. It could only get better if I were able to take the summer off!

One thing I desperately wanted to try this summer was planting a garden. I had no clue where to begin, but quickly researched and put everything together without a lot of planning. Some plants like my cauliflower, spinach and peas did not take off. But others, especially zucchini and tomatoes, have been growing like weeds all summer! We have had zucchini about 35 different ways and are now starting to get a little bit tired of it. Although I have to say, the fresh, organic vegetables from my garden have surpassed the store-bought kinds in flavor and freshness by a landslide. They're so delicious!

#glutenfree #dairyfree #allergyfriendly #blueberry

Jun 23, 2014

Summer Days ~ Fishing!

I love the stage we are in with our boys right now. Although we do have some difficult days when it comes to listening, following directions, getting along, etc. But both of the boys are really into fishing, which lends to some pretty fun evenings and weekends as a family. When we haven't been busy with camps, practices and the like, we've spent many evenings fishing at a local lake near our house.

#camping #fishing #sunset #kansas #kids

Jun 22, 2014

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes {dairy + gluten free}

It's been quite some time since I've posted a new recipe here. My apologies for not being on the ball this spring. We've been swamped lately and it seems as though I'm constantly throwing meals together as quickly as possible in an effort to get out the door almost an instant after we've just gotten home. 

#glutenfree #dairyfree #strawberry #lemonade #cupcakes

Jun 2, 2014

DIY::Painted + Upholstered Chairs

I made the decision to completely revamp our dining table and chairs what seems like a lifetime ago. We have had so many projects going that this one has taken the back burner for awhile. Our beautiful barn wood table remodel was complete over a year ago. I have not had an ounce of motivation to finish my plan for the chairs, as I figured it was going to be a pain and take forever. 

Thankfully, this past Memorial weekend, we weren't swamped with plans all weekend like we typically seem to be. I decided on a whim one morning that at least two of the chairs were going to get their long overdue makeover. 

A few months ago I found a couple of bar stools at Target that were exactly what I was looking for as extra seating for when we have guests over. The boys really prefer the stools over the chairs, so we've been using those and keeping the two extra chairs stowed away. It actually seems to provide us with a little more open space as well.

The makeover of these two chairs didn't take nearly as long as I had expected. They turned out exactly as I had envisioned too!

The original finish of the table and chairs was this orange-y hue. I liked them a lot when I purchased them seven years ago, but my preferences have changed and I have been over them for a long time! When my husband sanded and painted the legs to the original table in order to attach them to the new tabletop, he sanded them down completely. Because of the curves and crevices on the chairs, I decided to sand them just enough to rough up the finish and then slap on a coat of primer before painting instead.

I opened up the doors to our garage and set out some old scraps of cardboard on the floor. The chair cushions detached easily with by removing a few screws from the underside of the seat. After a quick sand over all of the flat surfaces (and as much of the curved parts as I could manage), I took a damp paper towel and wiped off all of the dust.

Next, I painted the chairs with a coat of interior primer. I used a small, handheld foam roller to apply the primer. For the corners, I found it easiest to apply using a small foam brush I had on hand (these are inexpensive and can be found at craft stores). Once the primer was dry, I applied a second coat anywhere the original finish seemed to show through too much. Since I was doing two chairs at once, the first one had time to dry while I worked on the second. The warm weather definitely helped speed up the drying time. 

Once the primer was completely dry, I started applying the paint. I had a white interior paint on hand that I had purchased for our board and batten wall in our main bathroom. This part was slightly tedious because the paint drips some. I just had to make sure I went back to the part I had just painted a few minutes earlier to clean up any dripping paint before it dried. 

After the first coat of paint dried on each chair, I decided to go over any parts where the paint wasn't completely smooth with a super fine sandpaper. With a light touch, I was able to smooth out any bumpy parts without removing the paint I had just applied. After a second coat of white paint, I left the chairs to dry overnight in the garage. 

I decided against applying a coat of poly on top of the paint. Since I'm using white paint and we have boys, I'm positive it won't take long for the chairs to start showing wear. If I can't clean them up, I want to be able to apply a fresh coat of paint whenever they need it and figured this will work better without a sealer. (I may regret this later...)

For the upholstery, I knew I wanted a striped canvas. While I'm sure I could find a fabric fitting this description, I had no idea how long I would have to search for the perfect one or what it would cost. I picked up this canvas drop cloth in the paint section at Lowe's for about $10.00. Based on my measurement of the chair cushions, this was enough to cover eight cushions. Thankfully I only have four to do, but it also allowed me some extra in case I messed up! 

The canvas was kind of rough in texture so I washed it (with detergent only) to loosen it up and remove the creases from being folded. I also dried it on a regular medium heat setting in my dryer. 

As for figuring out the painting of the canvas, I started by marking my pattern. First I placed the chair cushion on top of the fabric and determined how much I needed. My seats are not exactly square and measure 17 1/2" deep and 20" wide at the widest part. I cut the fabric in half lengthwise, then cut each half into fourths. My piece of fabric for each chair cushion was then roughly 27" x 36". 

After cutting, I ironed each piece of fabric to help remove some wrinkles. I used the highest heat setting. Since the canvas is so thick, it wasn't perfectly pressed, but since it will be stretched across the cushion later, I decided that wasn't a problem.

Now, on to planning my pattern... I first laid the chair cushion upside down on the piece of fabric and wrapped it around the cushion to determine exactly how it would fit. I measured in about 6" from each side for a starting point and marked it with a black marker. My middle section to be painted was then 24" wide. I repeated this at the opposite end of the fabric so my stripes would be somewhat straight. 

Using regular blue painters tape, I started by placing long pieces of tape across the fabric. Then I would mirror that action on the other side of the fabric. I continued placing pieces of tape, measuring the distance between each line and adjusting them as needed until I reached the center. 

Taping off my lines was the most tedious part of this project. Maybe if I had drawn a diagram first, it would've been simpler. However, I kind of liked being able to see it all come together and move the tape if I wasn't thrilled with the placement. I decided to stagger the width of each stripe as well, which wasn't in my original vision. 

In keeping with the theme of using mostly items I already had, I decided to use the paint we had left from our living room. It's called Pewter Tankard by Sherwin Williams. Since I was painting fabric, I mixed the paint with a textile medium I had from another project. I think this helped the paint to dry a little softer on the canvas than it would've otherwise. 

Using a dry paintbrush, I began painting each stripe between the painter's tape. Since I was going for a rustic look, I only did one coat, and wasn't worried about allowing the canvas to show through a little bit. After I finished painting, I hung the pieces on clothes hangers with clothespins. I let them dry for a couple of hours outside. Once the paint was completely dry, I gently removed the tape.

Covering the chair cushions was a task that required multiple hands to ensure the lines ended up fairly straight and was also pulled tight enough to keep it taut over the seat. Because of this, I don't have any pictures during this portion. I used an upholstery stapler that I already had and attached the fabric with staples to the back of the seat. One the fabric was in place, we screwed the cushions back into their places on the chairs. 

This side-by-side comparison of the chairs before and after is my favorite. The end result is exactly what I hoped for I feel super accomplished having finished two of the four chairs at least. One of these days I will get around to doing the other two also!

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