Tag Archives: DIY

DIY Headboards

A simple headboard can make a $50 Hollywood Frame look like a million bucks, and it can really make a statement in a room. Unfortunately, many headboards can set you back hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. So I’ve pulled together a few of my favorite inexpensive, DIY headboard ideas. Enjoy, and happy headboarding!

Painted shutters- simple, beachy, perfectly shabby chic.

Via The Lettered Cottage

Turn a door on it’s side, slap on some crown molding and a coat of paint and voila! Want to try this one out? Click here for a tutorial.

Via Grand Design Co.

Use reclaimed planks or a wooden pallet and put your inner artist to work. There are so many possibilities with this one! I absolutely love this one from House Tweaking (click for step-by-step instructions).

Via House Tweaking

Perhaps the most time consuming DIY headboard project, but if you can pull it off, you’ve saved yourself quite a bundle! (Pssst, there’s a DIY tutorial here!)

Via Addicted 2 Decorating


Teacher Appreciation Gifts

I originally posted this last year, but since I know so many parents are starting to think about those end-of-year gifts, I thought it was a good time to re-post. Cheers!

It’s that time of year again when children’s eyes glaze over in class, teachers are fervently counting down to the last day of school, and parents are scrambling to throw together cute teacher gifts. Since my mom is a teacher, I know just how much those little tokens are truly appreciated. To help out those of you who are currently racking your brains for brilliant ideas, I’ve pulled together some of my favorite gifts that I’ve put into my “when Olivia is in school” file.

Apple Cupcakes
From make and takes
Slap on some red frosting, a green gumdrop leaf and a pretzel stem, and you’re good to go!

Summer Tote Bag
From The Lovely Cupboard
Help your child’s teacher really relax this summer with a tote bag full of fun magazines, a beach towel, sunglasses, flip flops. . . all the necessities for soaking up rays at the pool or beach!

Bucket of Hugs
From Little Pumpkin Grace
Pick up some cute containers in the Dollar Spot at Target, fill them with Hershey’s Hugs, and attach cute little tags. Done and Done!

Potted Plant
From Giggles Galore
A cute idea, with or without the additional gift card. If you don’t want to bother with the hand painted ruler, you can just spray paint the entire pot with chalkboard paint.

Strawberry Pickin’
From eighteen25
I LOVE this because it’s just so stinking adorable. Fill a strawberry crate with assorted strawberry goodies (soaps, candies, candles, fresh strawberries) and add the little sign. Perfect for summer!

Thirst for Knowledge
From Tatertots & Jello
You can find these plastic straw cups for pretty cheap at TJ Maxx and Marshalls. Have your child write a personal note to his or her teacher and put the note along with a gift card to Tropical Smoothie, Jamba Juice, etc. inside. You could even include some of those single serving lemonade packets.

Wise Owl
From Lisa Storms
This is definitely for the crafty mama. Fill this little owl bag with homemade cookies, candies, whatever you want. So sweet!

Apple Rice Krispie Treats
From Gourmet Mom On the Go
Use a package of Jell-O for coloring, Tootsie Roll Minis for stems, and a #68 icing tip (or other leaf tip) for the leaves. Package these four to a box and tie with green ribbon or yarn!


The Master Bath Reno Reveal

I can’t believe I am finally writing this post—it’s so exciting! Our master bathroom renovation was a labor of love … a really, really long labor. I will never forget the day I was washing dishes downstairs and heard an ominous banging overhead. I raced upstairs and found my husband standing in the shower of our master bath with a crow bar and a mallet methodically demolishing the tile. Apparently, we were renovating our bathroom.

Over the course of the next several days, our bathroom was ripped apart. And then it stayed that way—for six months. We finally decided that, with both of us working full-time and having a toddler, we needed to hire a contractor or we would never use our master bathroom again.

So finally, one year and two months later, here you go … our big master bath reveal!

Before

Our house was built in 1979, when apparently master baths weren’t a selling point, so ours is on the small side. Expanding the space during the renovation wasn’t an option because of the layout of our house, so we tried to make the most of the space we had. Everything “before” was original to the house, right down to the sweet vanity light and wall-sized mirror.

Drum roll please …

After

This was a total gut job. Turns out we had to replace some of the plumbing, so it was a good thing we took it down to the studs.

 

For the shower tile, we loved the look of the glass tile, but it’s a bit more expensive than your run of the mill white subway tile, so we decided to just work some glass tiles into the white shower surround. Before the white tile went up, we went through with a Sharpie and marked X’s on the sheet rock where we wanted the glass tiles to go. This whole idea was a leap of faith because we couldn’t find any similar pictures or ideas online on which to base the design. We were thrilled with the way it turned out! We feel like we got a custom-looking shower for a much lower price tag.

A real point of contention during the design process was the shower door. While we both agreed that we wanted a glass door, I was fine with one with a chrome frame across the top. My husband, on the other hand, was really pushing for a frameless shower door. I don’t know if you’ve ever priced out frameless glass shower doors but they’re waaaaaaay more expensive than regular glass doors. I wasn’t ready to break the budget over a stupid frame. But my determined hubby found a frameless door online for much cheaper than all the others we had seen. It was still more than a regular door, but it was a price I could live with. And I will say this (honey, are you reading this?), he. was. right. There, I admit it.

We had a challenge finding a vanity out of the box that would fit the space. Because of where the rough-in was for the toilet, the vanity couldn’t be more than 42 inches wide, which isn’t a standard vanity size. We also really wanted a marble top, which limited our options even further. At the end of the day, we opted to convert a piece of furniture into a bathroom vanity. Best decision we ever made. Yes, it was more work than just picking something out at Home Depot, but we were able to get the exact look we wanted at the right size (and price, thanks to the cabinet being on clearance!).

The real reason it’s taken me so long to write this post is because it took us forever to find a mirror. What can I say? We’re very particular. We bought five or six mirrors, but the second we held each one up in the bathroom, we instantly hated it. Imagine my excitement (and shock) when we both agreed that this last mirror was “the one.” FINALLY. To top it off, it was only $60 from HomeGoods!

 

The fixtures are all part of the Moen Waterhill family, right down to the towel hooks. We saved around $115 by ordering them through Plumbersstock.com instead of picking them up at Home Depot or Lowes.

I think my favorite part of our bathroom is the flooring. I love the look of wood floors in the bathroom, but it’s just not practical. So we went with a faux wood porcelain tile instead. It really warms up the small space and feeds the vintage-y look we were going for.

To really maximize the natural light we get from the window in our bathroom, we decided to apply a frosted treatment to the window rather than covering it with blinds. It’s amazing how much lighter the bathroom feels now!

We are so happy with our new master bath, and we really feel like we made the most of our small space.

A few tips we learned to really maximize the space in your small bathroom:

1. Take your shower tile up to the ceiling to heighten the room.

2. Keep the color palette light and airy to really open up the space.

3. Go for a small scale toilet to gain a little extra space.

4. Make the most of any natural light you have by keeping your window free of blinds and applying a frost treatment for privacy without sacrificing light.

5. A glass shower door can make your bathroom appear a couple of feet larger.

Materials we used:

Shower DoorDreamline Mirage Sliding Tub Door *We ordered ours from Overstock.com but it looks like it’s no longer available on that site.
FlooringBayur Borneo from The Tile Shop
Mirror—HomeGoods
ToiletAmerican Standard Clean White High Efficiency Toilet
Fixtures—Moen Waterhill collection
Shower Tile—3 x 6 basic white ceramic subway tile and 3 x 6 Daltile Arctic Ice Glass Tile
Marble—White Carrera marble from USA Marble and Granite
Vanity Cabinet—HomeGoods
LightingHinkley Avon Chrome Wall Sconce  *We opted to flip ours the other way for more lighting.

 


How to DIY a Holly Berry Monogram

I saw this holly berry monogram wreath on the blog Our Unexpected Journey and figured I’d give it a shot. It took a little longer to complete than I expected, but I think it turned out pretty good!

What you’ll need:

Large wooden craft letter

Fake holly berries (I couldn’t find stems of these at Michael’s so I bought holly berry garland and snipped the berry clusters off with wire cutters- this is probably why this project took me a while, ha)

Hot glue and glue sticks

Cranberry-colored acrylic craft paint

Ribbon (I used burlap ribbon from Michael’s)
If your letter is natural wood or white, I recommend painting the entire thing (both sides) with the craft paint before attaching the berries. That way, any small spots that aren’t covered by the berries won’t show so bad. Once the paint has dried completely, glue the berries on using the hot glue. Be sure to cover the sides and inside of the letter.

Once the glue has hardened, string your ribbon through the letter and knot it at the top to hang it. For a little extra embellishment, use another piece of ribbon to tie a bow around your original loop. If your letter isn’t one that you can string ribbon through, like a W, use the hot glue to glue two pieces of ribbon to either side. Tie them together in a bow at the top for hanging.


It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Pinterest!

After we had our downstairs painted this summer, we put up floating shelves in our dining room, which means that this Christmas, I had two new spaces to decorate with holiday cheer! So naturally, I hopped on Pinterest to see what DIY hijinks I could get up to.

Voilà, the finished product!

For my first attempt decorating a mantle-type thing for Christmas (we don’t have a fireplace), I thought it turned out pretty good. I framed last year’s Christmas pictures of Olivia for an extra festive touch.

The centerpiece on the table is made of fraser fir Christmas tree clippings. Oh, and Christmas tree clippings are FREE at Home Depot. Woot woot!

The white tree on the top shelf is made of a styrofoam cone, white felt, and straight pins. I got the idea for this DIY project from this post from Scissor Variations.

The jar of Christmas tree clippings on the bottom shelf is a mason jar painted white on the inside. Just pour in acrylic craft paint, swirl it around to coat the entire inside, and let it dry. So easy!

Have you done any DIY decorating? I would love to see how you decorated for Christmas! Post your pics on our Facebook page!


Converting a Cabinet into a Bathroom Vanity

I think this was the mother of all DIY projects in our house. It’s by far the most ambitious one we’ve ever tried at least, and my husband did an amazing job! When we renovated our master bath, we had a really hard time finding a bathroom vanity that fit our vision for the space. We have a small bathroom, but we wanted to maximize the space we had, which meant that we needed a vanity that wasn’t a standard size. We also loved the idea of having a marble counter top. Those two things together meant that we were looking at spending $2,000 on the vanity alone, not to mention all of the other bathroom expenses.

So when we came across the perfect sized cabinet on clearance at HomeGoods for $250, we decided we could do it ourselves for less. And we did. With the custom-cut carrara marble counter top, we ended up spending about $800 total. Yes, we could have gotten a smaller, standard vanity from Home Depot for cheaper, but it wouldn’t have been exactly what we wanted. This project let us achieve the look we were going for while keeping an extra $1,200 in our pockets!

Here’s how you can DIY: 

1. When you choose your counter top and sink, request the sink template from the vendor to use as a guide for cutting out the top of the furniture. You may need to coordinate this with your vendor to make sure you’re cutting the void for the sink in the correct location.

2. With all measurements accounted for, tape the sink template to the top of the furniture and trace it using a pencil or marker. You may want to add an additional ½” – 1” to the outside of the template to account for the brackets that attach the sink to the bottom of the counter top.

3. Assess the supporting points on your furniture and plan your cuts to retain structural integrity.  If cuts are necessary that may compromise the structure, plan to install new supports to help bear the weight of the new top. In this case, we added 2 x 4’s cut to length for support. You will want to reassess the stability after you cut out the section as well.

4. Drill a starter hole near the center of the traced template, and then use a jigsaw to cut out the top of the furniture.  If you are able to cut the full sink void, do so.  If your furniture has a center support, then you may need to cut the void out in sections. You can then use a hole saw to cut your faucet voids.

5. Measure the depth of your sink.  If a center support exists, transpose the measurement to the support and use your jigsaw to cut away the appropriate section.  If there is a shelf near the top of the furniture to support drawers (as was the case with our piece), cut out the appropriate void in this shelf as well to account for the depth of the sink.  Be sure to reassess the supporting structure to verify the furniture’s stability and strength.

6. Measure the section of plumbing on your bathroom wall.  Transpose those measurements to the back of the furniture (remembering to mirror the measurements) and mark out a section large enough to accommodate the plumbing. Cut out your marked area, and reassess the structure’s support and stability. At this point, you can add your extra supports if necessary.

7. To attach your new counter top to the furniture, dollop the appropriate adhesive around the top of the furniture. If needed, get assistance in placing the new top on the furniture and adjust to final position.  Be sure to allow for proper drying time. Once it’s dry, you can install the sink and faucet hardware.

8. Our furniture had two drawers at the top that now ran into the sink, but we wanted to utilize at least a portion of these drawers. If your furniture is similar, you can measure the area that the sink now occupies and subtract that from the previous drawer layout.

9. If possible, try to utilize the existing drawer sides and simply cut the bottom and the back of drawer to achieve the new size. Using wood glue and small nails, reconstruct the drawers. Because you are essentially losing the built-in track on one side of your drawer, you may need to install new drawer tracks to allow for proper movement. You can find these at any hardware or big box store for pretty cheap.

10. Finally, move your new vanity into place and secure it to the wall. Attach your plumbing, and you’re done!

 


5 Awesome Halloween Costumes for your Little Mister

I love having a little girl and all of the frilly, sparkly stuff that goes with it, but I have to admit that some of these costumes for boys are pretty darn cute. Too busy to spend hours building a homemade costume? Don’t sweat it. These costumes can be put together pretty easily, many of them using stuff you probably have around the house already!

Carl from UP

A little “Risky Business”

Strongman

Little Ewok

Mini Dwight Schrute


How to Apply a Window Film {aka How to Not Flash Your Neighbors}

When we were remodeling our master bathroom, I wanted to do a window treatment that would allow us to take advantage of the natural light while not giving the neighbors a show. We decided to try a privacy film on the window, which gives the glass a frosted appearance so light comes in but creepy peepers stay out.

Surprisingly (or at least I was surprised), it worked great! My husband and I each took turns walking behind our house at night to see if anything was visible through the window. Other than being able to tell that someone was in the room (in the form of a fuzzy silhouette), you couldn’t see a thing!

While I would recommend having a second set of hands to help with the application, the whole process is really quite easy. We used the Gila Privacy Control Window Film in a Simulated Etched Glass finish, but there are multiple brands and finishes to choose from.

Start by cleaning the window thoroughly, making sure to get into the corners.

Measure the size of your window and cut the film, adding an extra inch to each side. If your window is like ours, you’ll need to measure the top and bottom and cut two separate pieces of film.

Using two small pieces of tape (one on each side of film), identify the clear liner. Your window film kit should come with a spray solution: use it to generously wet the window. Get someone to hold the film and, as you pull off the clear liner, spray the newly exposed side of the film. Apply the wet film, adhesive side down, to the window.

Smooth the film with your hands, and spray the side of the film facing you with the solution. Squeegee the center of the film from top to bottom. Go back to the top of the window and squeegee from the center to the right, working downward. Do the entire right side of the window and then repeat on the left side.

Use the edging tool and a utility knife to press down the edges and trim off the excess film on all four sides. 

Spray the film again with the solution and squeegee dry, again working from the top to the right and downward. Repeat on the left side. This is the point that you want to make sure you’re getting out any air bubbles behind the film. Also, use the edging tool to really push the film down in the corners. 

If your window is split (like ours), repeat the entire process on the other half.

Aaaannnnndd. . . you’re done!


“Fun” with Watercolors

Have you ever gone to a museum and looked at a painting and thought, What’s so special about that? I could do that in about 10 seconds! Turns out, that shit is harder than it looks.

I recently put up some new shelves in our dining room, and because I was too cheap to go to Crate and Barrel and too picky to go to HomeGoods, I decided, naturally, that I should channel my inner Picasso and get to work.

After three different types of paint, two hours, and a LOT of “rough drafts” which are far too embarrassing for me to post publicly, I somehow managed to pull off this jellyfish (that, for some unknown reason, I have been calling an octopus since I painted it).

In the end, watercolors won, and I have to admit that I am damn proud of myself. I mean, I don’t think it’s ever going to hang in some museum, but I deemed it decent enough for my dining room.

If you’re new to using watercolors, I would recommend trying a jellyfish because it’s pretty freaking hard to screw up.


Easy DIY Paint Chip Art

I have been an art-making fool lately! We had our downstairs painted recently (Luna by Valspar, which is a pale bluish greenish gray), and the new color totally changed the way our house looks. This was mostly for the better, but we suddenly found ourselves living in a sea of blue and green with not so much as a pillow to contrast the monotony. So I set out to liven things up as cheaply as possible (hence all the homemade art).

This was our foyer before. The wall color was a dirty-looking cream that was here when we bought the house, so I tried to introduce a bit of color with the framed pattern (actually cheap wrapping paper from Target’s $1 spot!), choice of photo, and background color for the quote. Not great, but it worked fine until we could paint.

Once we had the new paint on the walls, however, everything sort of blended together; so I decided to switch out the framed wrapping paper for something in the orange family. I was inspired by Katie Bower from Bower Power (awesome blog if you’ve never checked it out!) and her paint chip sea urchin, so I decided to give it a shot. Plus (hello!) paint chips are FREE. I hit Home Depot and pulled about 20 of my favorite paint chips in varying shades of orange, coral, and pink.

When I got home, I used a ruler and an Exacto knife to slice the paint chips into strips of various widths, working only with the portion that didn’t have the paint name and number printed on it. Once I had everything cut up, I started gluing each strip in a diagonal pattern to a piece of cardstock that was slightly larger than would show through the mat in the frame. After it all dried, I trimmed down the edges, taped it to the back side of the mat, and voilà! My own little paint chip masterpiece!

I also swapped out the colored cardstock with the quote (I just wrote it in the first place, so this was a super easy change). I’m planning to switch out our family photo after our photography session this fall, so that should hopefully have some nice browns and oranges in it since we’re taking the pictures outdoors. Here’s what our foyer looks like today:

Grand total for my tiny little foyer switcharoo was $0.50—I only had to pay for the cardstock to glue the paint strips on and the scrapbook paper to rewrite the quote! (I did, however, already have glue, so that helped.)

Have you made any art using paint chips from the hardware store? I would love to see it!