DIY No-Sew Side-Light Window Panels

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When I chose this house I did so in a total rush and in true Natasha fashion, an extreme panicky nature, lol. We were about to go to closing on our Honey Tree house and if I wasn’t able to secure us a house on base we would be faced with the prospect of being homeless (well not really, lol, but the whole point of selling the house was to move on base not to have to rent a house out in town). Luckily the housing office on base had several homes available but when they showed me one right on the water and right across the street from one of my closest friends I am not exaggerating when I say I considered absolutely nothing before jumping up and down saying “I’ll take it, I’ll take it!!!”, lol. Now don’t get me wrong I love this house and faced with the decision again I would have picked the same one because I absolutely love living on the water, however, there are definitely certain aspects of the house that make it a less than ideal choice. For instance, we are the only house in the whole neighborhood without a storm door, which annoys me to no end mostly because I can’t open the door and enjoy the fresh air come fall and also because my fun and festive wreaths aren’t protected from the elements, haha (serious first world problems over here). I’ve also realized that we are one of the only homes in the neighborhood with sidelight windows that run the entire length of the door, which in terms of natural light is quite nice, but come nighttime you can see right into our house and not just a little bit, like a lot, like even if you are driving by you could tell which episode of Friends I’m watching, lol. Lucky for the neighbors, we aren’t into anything weird, haha but I still want a little privacy in the evening so instead of buying special sidelight rods and covers, I decided I would reuse a cafe rod from our old home and DIY some no-sew curtain panels. Initially I  was a little skeptical about this project would turn out since I had only seen sidelights covered with actual sidelight curtains but was pleasantly surprised upon hanging the finished product because when looking at the pictures I think you’ll agree that they not only serve their purpose but also add a little something extra to the design of the room. I hope that you can pull a little inspiration from this post, even if you don’t have sidelight windows this could definitely work on any form of  small window.

Sweet squishy baby watching the UPS man :) He melts my heart.

Sweet squishy baby watching the UPS man 🙂 He melts my heart.

WHAT I USED:

  • Indoor/Outdoor Decorator Fabric in “Vertical Stripe Ebony” – purchased on sale at $8.00/yard.
  • Adjustable Cafe Rod
  • Iron-On Hem – Available at your local craft store, Walmart etc.
  • 2 Small Coat Hooks – purchased at Walmart for $2.98
  • 2 Drapery Clip Rings (optional) – Like these, available anywhere curtains are sold. Mine were left over from my bedroom curtain project. *You do not need to use these, the fabric will hook onto the wall hook all by itself without a clip.
  • Scissors
  • Measuring Tape
  • Iron

WHAT I DID:

Step 1: I began by laying out my fabric and measuring the appropriate length then cutting it. Next, since the sidelights are not anywhere close to as wide as a normal window, I cut my 54″ wide fabric in half.

Step 2: I followed my steps in this post for creating no-sew curtain panels.

Step 3: Next, I made the tie backs for the curtains by cutting a piece of fabric about 12″ long and 4″ wide. Next I used another piece of iron-on hem to fold the piece in on itself and ironed to seal (when you are finished it will look like the picture below). I used a left over drapery clip from another project to hold my tie back together and later hook it to the wall, but if you would like you can use a dot of hot glue to seal the two ends of the tie back (to create a big fabric loop) that way it can just hook to the wall hook without any additional hardware.

I love that I was able to use these little Walmart coat hooks in place of curtain tie-back hardware! They are small, discrete and cost about a quarter of the price!

I love that I was able to use these little Walmart coat hooks in place of curtain tie-back hardware! They are small, discrete and cost about a quarter of the price!

Step 4: I hung my curtain rod and attached my hooks to the wall, then hung the drapes! Done and done! Check out the finished product below!

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Sorry for the horribly lit picture but you get the idea!

DIY Shutter Shelf

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As I’ve mentioned in my last few crafting posts, I’ve been scrambling to get our new house set up. After all, we’re only going to be here for under a year and I want at least a little time to relax and enjoy our time here before we pack up and move on again. This particular project has been a long time coming, as I purchased these shutters quite some time ago when we were still living at our Honey Tree house and still unaware that we would be moving in the next few months. My friend Lisa and I hit up “The Red Barn” which is, well, you guessed it – a red barn, lol but it’s also an antique/used furniture shop as well. Every now and then they’ll post items on our local Craigslist page and at the time Lisa was looking for small shutters to make shelves. It just so happened that the Red Barn owner did have the exact type of small shutters she was searching for but since he had three sets and she only needed two I decided to take the other ones, because for $5.00 a set why not! Since I didn’t have any purpose for them in our Honey Tree house they just sat in the garage with the rest of my back-burner project supplies and of course J kept trying to throw them out, convinced that I would never find a use for them, lol. As usual he was wrong (haha, just kidding .. or am I?) and when we moved into our new home on base I knew just the thing that was going to spruce up our ugly, empty kitchen wall – a DIY shutter shelf!

Now let me rewind a bit. Although I had seen shutters repurposed as shelves on Pinterest I wasn’t convinced that it was a project that I actually wanted to attempt until I saw how awesome my friend Lisa’s bathroom shutter shelf came out. I think what I love most about DIY and crafting is sharing ideas and inspiration for projects with friends and these repurposed shutter shelves are a perfect example of that :). After checking out Lisa’s shelf, I found that all I needed to do to create my own shutter shelf was purchase some brackets and mounting hardware, since I already had the paint and knobs (left over from my DIY Microwave Stand) on hand from other projects. The grand total for this project came in right around $18.00 which is amazing because if my memory serves me correctly the ugly, flimsy floating shelves that can  be purchased at most homeware stores go for much more than that! Furthermore, after doing a little research I found that shutter shelves purchased via Etsy are going for anywhere between $45.00 and $100.00! So even if you don’t necessarily need a shutter shelf but have found some cheap shutters like I did, you could probably make a pretty penny by taking the time (not very much time, mind you) to do this project and sell it on Craigslist or Ebay – just a thought!

If you don’t have a lot of used furniture stores in your area shutters may be hard to come by, but if you do, I hope you give this project a try. It’s a super easy and fun way to jazz up any space in your home, and even if you don’t need a functional shelf they’re still fun to hold décor or pictures. Additionally, although these are inherently “shabby-chic”, with different paint or bracket choices you can adapt them to fit your décor style. Personally, my style is a combination of vintage pieces and modern finishes so the shabby finish on the shutters combined with the smooth modern brackets fit my décor perfectly! Here is my tutorial along with the products that I used to achieve this look, you’ll never believe how easy it was!

DIY SHUTTER SHELF

WHAT I USED:

  • 1 pair of shutters (see picture below) – I found mine at a used furniture/antique store for $5.00! Mine were fairly small about 26″ long and 9″ wide (you can also use larger or smaller shutters just purchase brackets accordingly).
  • 2 metal brackets – purchased via Amazon here for $12.58.
  • 2 knobs – purchased as part of a set at Target (available 4 to a pack here for $12.99), I had two left over from my DIY Microwave Stand.
  • 2 Keyhole Mountings – for hanging shelf (like these).
  • Chalk Paint – see this post to see how I made my own chalk paint. I used a sample size of Stone Mason Grey by Valspar, read more about my love for sample sized latex paints for crafting in this post.
  • Minwax Finishing Paste Wax in “Special Dark”
  • Foam Brush (or regular paint brush) – I found that a 1″ brush could most easily work between the slats of the shutters while painting.
  • Wood Filler – available at your local home improvement store, you can also substitute paintable caulk.
  • Sanding Block or Sand Paper
  • Clean Rag or cheese cloth
  • Drill
  • Screw Driver

WHAT I DID:

Step 1: I began by cleaning my shutters with a damp rag (mine were filthy!). Next I began separating my shutters by removing all existing hardware. I then used wood filler to fill any of the holes that were left from the old hardware.

Before

Before

Before - gahhh cob webs eek!

Before – gahhh cob webs eek!

Before

Before

Step 2: Once the wood filler had dried, I returned to the piece and sanded those areas smooth and wiped the piece down with a clean cloth to remove any residue from sanding. Then I began painting my shutters. This was a bit tedious as you have to paint in between all of the slats. I painted one side then returned about a half an hour later to paint the other side, then repeated for a second coat (mine required two, depending on the original color of your shutters and the color of the paint you are using you may only need one).

After holes had been filled.

After holes had been filled.

My favorite - little Valspar sample paints! Note, my very special paint stirring tool lol

My favorite – little Valspar sample paints! Note, my very special paint stirring tool lol

Step 3: When your paint has dried, using a rag or cloth, apply an even coat of

Step 4: Once your shutters are painted and waxed decide how you want them to line up. Once you have decided, take your shutter that will be against the wall (the one that will be mounted on the wall, not the one that will be the functional part of the shelf) and using a drill, attach a keyhole mounting piece to each corner of the back of the shelf (mine were about one inch down and one inch in).

Keyhole mounting brackets.

Keyhole mounting brackets.

J in action drilling holes for the knobs! Ignore his claw feet, eek! :-P

J in action drilling holes for the knobs! Ignore his claw feet, eek! 😛

Step 5: Next, working with the same shutter, turn it over so that the part that will be facing out is facing you and measure equal distances for your knob placement, then drill a hole for each of the knobs and then screw them in.

Step 6: Now you are ready to attach your brackets! Using your brackets as a guide, mark where each screw is to be placed, then attach your brackets. That’s it! All you’ll need to do is mount your shelf on the wall using two screws that will fit your keyhole mounting hardware, see my finished product below!

I'll update it once I decorate it but for now the shelf itself is decoration enough, I LOVE it! :)

I’ll update it once I decorate it but for now the shelf itself is decoration enough, I LOVE it! 🙂

DIY Rustic Picture Display

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As I mentioned, we’ve been brainstorming ways to brighten up these hospital-white walls in our new home. Since we’re only going to be here for under a year we decided that painting the walls would just be silly. However, as you can imagine and entire house painted in flat white paint (that was clearly just slapped on by maintenance after the previous occupants vacated the home) is not ideal. The obvious solution would be to hang LOTS of decor items and pictures, but given our tendency to move every two minutes (lol) picking up expensive wall decor when we don’t have the slightest idea about the layout of our next home just won’t work for us. So our plan is to keep it simple and as budget friendly as possible by refinishing old frames to hang our pictures (more on that later!) and using our DIY skills to copycat some expensive decor.

The first place I picked up some inspiration for “operation DIY-decor” I was in Michael’s craft store and saw this gorgeous distressed picture display (shown below) that was way out of my budget at $69.99, I knew immediately that I could probably recreate it so I snapped a photo and moved on. A few months later when our new home on base was finally beginning to take shape and I was brainstorming a few finishing decor touches, I came back to the photo I had taken at Michael’s a few months back and knew it would be prefect for the small space between the doorway and the window in our dining area. The project took me only two naptimes (or two hours lol) and once I had completed it I was SO glad that my DIY-eye caught this one, because not only is the finished product beautiful but it only cost me $10.25 to create! Since I was adapting my version of this picture display to work into the color scheme of my dining and living room I was able to use paint that I already had on hand from some of my previous refinishing projects which meant I only needed to purchase an unfinished board from Lowes (which didn’t even need to be cut, woo-hoo!) and a few thrift store frames (which cost a total of $3.25 for all 4!).

In coming up with exactly how I wanted to go about creating this picture display the project took on many different forms in my head in terms of what kinds of frames I would use, what color, how many and how they would be fastened to the board. My first idea was to mod podge the pictures onto the wood then remove the glass from the frames and fasten it to the board around the picture, then my next thought was to saw holes into the back of the wood as an access to the frame so that the pictures would not have to be permanent (decided that option was too much work, lol). Finally I decided to make it super easy by simply fastening the frames permanently to the wood using hot glue (for the time being it has held good, I may decide to pop them off and reglue them using gorilla glue so that I can be certain that the frames will stay fastened to the wood). While I may at some point in time want to change the pictures out, for the time being I am absolutely obsessed with baby P’s six month photos and couldn’t dream of putting anything else in there, that being said I’m sure it won’t be difficult to pop the frames off, change the pics out and reattach them should I change my mind down the road.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to jazz up your decor without hanging individual photos or artwork this could be a great DIY project to try! This would be an especially good decor option for a renter, since the board can be hung using a hook that requires only one small nail which is much easier than hanging multiple pictures and means that you won’t have to patch multiple holes on your way out. That being said you could even use a larger board and attach a bunch of frames kind of like a removable gallery wall, the options with this project are endless so have fun with it!

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TUTORIAL 

*This is simply what I did step by step as a guide, there are so many variations on this project check out my tutorial on painting wooden furniture or painting with homemade chalk paint to get some inspiration for finishes and colors!

WHAT I USED:

Before!

Before!

  • 1 unfinished board (mine was 1″ thick X 4 ft. long X 10″ wide .. I think lol)
  • 2 8X10 wooden frames
  • 2 5X7 wooden frames
  • 4 pictures
  • chalk paint (for frames and board) – see link to see how I made my own chalk paint, for a great tip on saving money by purchasing sample size paints see this post.
  • white latex paint
  • regular 2″ paint brush
  • black foam brushes
  • Electric sander or sanding blocks
  • Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in “Special Dark” (available here via Amazon)
  • glue gun and hot glue or gorilla glue/wood glue
  • 1 sawtooth picture hanger
  • measuring tape
  • level
  • hammer
  • mounting hook (I used something like this)

WHAT I DID:

Step 1: I began by giving my board a quick sand down with the electric sander with a 150-grit (fine) sand paper just to remove any jagged pieces on the edges and to smooth out any scratches, this took me less than a minute. It doesn’t need to be perfect, the knots in the wood will add to the “rustic” character of your finished product, also keep in mind that your frames will end up covering most of the board’s surface area.

Step 2: Next I painted the front and sides of the board with a coat of chalk paint (mine only required one coat, depending on your color you may need two or three) in “Borough” by Valspar using a 2″” black foam brush.

Step 3: While my board was drying I got to work on  my frames. I removed the glass and gave the wood a quick sand by hand just to remove any varnish or dirt then wiped them clean with a damp cloth. I then used a black foam brush to apply two coats of chalk paint in “Farmer’s Market” by Valspar (this color has become my accent” color for most of my projects for the living/dining rooms), waiting about 30 minutes in between coats. NOTE: For a larger piece I would allow more dry time but since they were only frames that wouldn’t be handled much I figured I could rush a bit.

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frames after first coat

Step 4: Once my board had dried I used a regular 2″ paint brush to “dry brush” the top and sides of the board with regular white latex paint (I had some trim paint left over from our old house). For a more detailed explanation of the technique of dry brushing just do a Pinterest search for “dry brush painting”, but very simply all you need to do is take your dry brush, dip it into the paint so that there is just a very small amount of paint on the tip of your brush, then dab your brush on a piece of paper towel/cardboard/scrap paper (whatever) to remove any excess paint then begin to brush your wood very lightly and randomly, in the same direction. I started out with very light strokes, barely swiping the board and increased  my pressure of stroke as the brush became dryer. Repeat this process until you have achieved the desired “rustic” look to your board. Allow about 30 minutes of dry time.

The dry brushing will look something like this before distressing.

The dry brushing will look something like this before distressing.

Step 5: Once my white paint dried I returned to my board and used my electric sander and 150-grit sand paper to distress the board (if you do not have an electric sander you can do this by hand using sanding blocks or regular sand paper, it will just take you a bit longer), focusing on the edges and randomly along the surface, I applied various pressures along the edges to give it a more authentic distressed look. The amount of distressing you do is up to you and if you are going for a modern look you need not dry brush or distress the piece at all!

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Step 6: After distressing my board I wiped it clean of any sanding dust since it was now time apply my paste finishing wax. Using a rag, I applied a thin coat of the wax to the front and sides of the board, then did the same to my frames. After the recommended amount of time had passed, I buffed them all out using a clean rag. I just recently started using the finishing paste and I love it because it doesn’t require any dry time other than the 15 minutes you have to wait in between applying the wax and buffing it, once you buff your piece it is ready to use!

frames with wax applied before buffing

frames with wax applied before buffing

Step 7: Next I used a level mark a line at the top center of the board (about 5 inches down) where I wanted to attach my sawtooth hook (make sure you use a level or else your board will hang crooked!), and used a hammer to nail the hook into the board.

Step 8: Next I put my pictures into the frames and made sure that any existing hooks on the back of the frames were removed so that they would lay flat once attached to the board. I then laid the frames out on my board and measured out equal distances for placement (you may use a level for this part too if you would like), making small pencil marks for where each would go. Once I had marked my board for the placement of each frame I began attaching them by applying a generous amount of hot glue or wood glue to the back of each frame (if using hot glue work quickly so that the glue doesn’t harden!) and then pressing it firmly onto the board. NOTE: As I mentioned above this display is on a sort of probationary period to see if the hot glue will in fact hold, lol. If I feel that the frames are starting to come loose I will return and re-glue them using gorilla glue or wood glue to ensure a permanent hold. Once your glue is dry and your pictures are securely fastened your board is ready to hang!

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The project as it’s displayed in our home! Baby P is obsessed with it haha

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DIY Dry-Erase Paint Chip Calendar

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This project has me so excited and I’m not sure why since it’s nothing crazy. Probably because it’s the first step in finally getting my laundry room and family command center in order! I had seen something like this on Pinterest a while back and had decided against making it since we didn’t have the place for it our old home, however, now that we have a laundry room and soon-to-be family command area, I knew this would be the perfect addition. 

So today, teething baby in tow, I headed to Lowes to fetch my free paint chips. Now, I’m sure the staff couldn’t care less about my taking thirty-five (that’s how many I needed) paint chips since they are after all, free, but I couldn’t help feeling that I was abusing my paint-sample privilege. I didn’t feel too bad considering I was purchasing other items, but I was sure I was going to get in trouble anyway, haha. At one point the lady at the paint counter motioned me over and said “I saw you over there and couldn’t help but notice …” and I was sure she was going to say “that you had a few stacks of paint chips in your hands, put those back”, lol but of course she went on to ooh and ahh over my squishy baby who apparently couldn’t stop smiling at her while I was busy abusing the paint chips. So proud of that baby P, already aiding and abetting in my questionably kosher crafting adventures! Anyway, moral of the story is, nobody cares, go nuts and take as many paint chips as you want :).

Once I got home this took me about 45 minutes to put together and since it didn’t require any hazardous materials I was even able to do it in the presence of baby P! The frame was a thrift store find that I had redone (aka hit with some spray paint) when we were planning on putting up a gallery wall in the old house (more on that later, as we’ll be putting up a smaller scale gallery wall in this house soon!), so the frame was essentially free which means that this project cost me ninety-seven cents (the cost of the poster board)!!! I can’t wait to hang it in my command center as part of my new and improved laundry/mudroom. Apparently we really needed this calendar too, when my hubby got home and I showed it to him he all sorts of questions about the events on it, none of which he knew were happening, lol. Here is my tutorial, it’s quick, easy and can be customized to fit any color/decor scheme! 

NOTE: If you have a rotary cutter this project will probably take you significantly less time. Personally I didn’t care if my lines weren’t perfect but if you’re a stickler for a perfect job I would definitely consider using one. 

Sorry that my pictures are so awful, I was so excited to post this I didn’t even hang the calendar which is why it’s leaning on a chair lol. I will post better ones soon!

Baby P watching our lawn getting mowed while I worked on the calendar :)

Baby P watching our lawn getting mowed while I worked on the calendar 🙂

YOU WILL NEED:

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  • 35 paint chips – I used seven different colors, five of each color. You can do it the opposite or use all different colors if you prefer. Try to stick to lighter colors so that your dry-erase marker will show up well against it. I used the Valspar chips from Lowes since the little square at the top is perfect for inserting the date.
  • 1 piece of white poster board – any other light color will do as well.
  •  16X20 frame – based on the size of the paint chips I think this size works best.
  • Glue Stick or other crafting glue
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

INSTRUCTIONS: 

Step 1: Begin by cutting your poster board to size. Then comes the tedious part – cutting all of your paint chips. I simply cut them down to eliminate any wording (for example the name of the paint and it’s code). This is a great project to do while watching a show!

Step 2: Line your chips up on your poster board, seven across and five down. Make sure you leave enough room at the top to write the name of the month and if you’d like, some room on the bottom to write “notes” or “monthly goals”. Once you are happy with their placement, use your glue stick to glue each one down. 

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Step 3: Along the top either write the days of the week or as I did, print them out and glue them on. 

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I chose colors that complimented our home’s color scheme, in case you’re into paint colors they are all Valspar. From right to left: Terra Cotta Red, Desert Rose, Roasted Squash, Hazy Stratus, Toasted Apricot, Urban Sunrise and Apricot Honey.

Step 4: Place your calendar into the frame and boom, DONE! Use a dry-erase marker to fill out your dates and happenings then display it proudly because you my friend, are a DIY diva (or dude, whatever lol)!  

paintchip5 paintchip6  paintchip3

DIY No-Sew Curtain Panels

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So since it’s too hot outside to work on any of my DIY projects in the garage, I’ll take this time to share one of my recent DIY decor projects – no-sew curtain panels! Now, if you are a sewing expert or enthusiast avert your eyes because this project will probably make you cringe and break out in hives, lol, but if you’re like me and sewing isn’t particularly (or at all) your thing, then this may definitely be of interest to you!

I’m a big fan of this project and this wasn’t my first time attempting it, in fact, at our old house after my first successful attempt on our no-sew bedroom curtains prompted the creation of two other curtain projects (I will post about these soon as well!). When designing our bedroom (a grey and yellow theme with black accents), I couldn’t for the life of me find any curtains that I liked (those I did fancy either didn’t work with my color scheme or were way out of my price range). Now let me just say that my original plan was to finally learn to use the ol’ sewing machine and actually sew the curtains. However, after finding an affordable decorating fabric option in a print that I liked, and a little Pinterest research and found (and became obsessed with) a non-sewer’s dream – iron-on hem! Iron-on hem has become my substitute for sewing in almost all of my projects that would otherwise require a needle and thread (check out my no-sew bow-ties!). Granted in some situations there is no way to duplicate a stitch, but I am always willing to try :). 

These particular curtains were born out of my love for Pottery Barn’s “Kendra Trellis Drape” which came in at $99 per panel … seriously?! Since I didn’t (and probably won’t ever) have that kind of coin lying around to spend on curtains but nonetheless desperately needed a window covering in a fun print to distract from these hospital-white base housing walls, I came back to my trusty DIY curtain project once more. For these particular curtains I chose a grey and white trellis pattern (similar to the one on the overpriced PB curtains), to compliment our grey and orange furniture (see below for details and pricing). It took me about 20 minutes per panel to create these pocket curtain panels, so I would just work on them at night while my hubby and I caught up on our shows, this way I could be certain that any tiny fingers would keep out of the way :). Now that the curtains are hung I am thrilled with the outcome, and while I know I could have very easily gotten some cheap Walmart or Target brand panels for a comparable price I like that I was able to pick from literally thousands of fabric patterns to find exactly what worked for me … and of course that I was able to make a project out of them :). As I do, when you see an interior decorating or design piece in a store that is either outside of your budget or just not quite what you’re looking for always try to get creative and think of a way you can DIY it, chances are you’ll pleasantly surprise yourself!

DIY NO-SEW CURTAIN PANELS

WHAT I USED:

  • Decorator Fabric – purchased from Fabric.com, I used Premier Prints “Fynn” Slub in Ash Grey (no longer available, but there are plenty of the “Fynn” trellis print options available in a variety of other colors). The amount you will need will depend on how many panels you are making and the height of your walls, I simply measure the length in inches and convert it to yards. There are all sorts of complicated methods for taking into account bunching at the top, fabric print repeat etc. Personally this just confused me, I was fine with the width of the fabric so I just paid attention to the necessary length.
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It will get delivered in a giant box like this, your UPS man will not be pleased lol

  • Iron-On Hem – available at any major fabric retailer (or super Walmart). I purchased the “Stitch Witchery” brand in heavy-weight, 1″ wide. Again, the amount you need will depend on how many panels you are making and the length of your panels.

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  • Iron
  • Hand Towel
  • Measuring Tape

WHAT I DID:

Step 1: Anytime you order a large quantity of decorator fabric it will usually come rolled on a giant cardboard cylinder (kind of like a giant toilet paper roll, lol). So I began by rolling out my fabric and measuring out the necessary length, which for me was 91″ with three additional inches added to accommodate a one inch hem at the bottom and a two inch fold-over at the top to create a pocket for the curtain rod (the size of your pocket will depend on the girth of your curtain rod, make sure you measure accordingly), for a total of 94″ per panel. After measuring my 94″ length I cut five 94″ pieces, as I was going to be making five panels.

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Step 2: Starting with my first panel, I began by laying the piece of fabric upside down on a towel. I was too lazy to dig the ironing board out of the garage so I just did this project on the floor, using the towel to protect my carpet. Now, when doing a pocket curtain it is very important that you hem the sides FIRST I made the mistake of reversing this project on one of my panels in our old house and while you couldn’t really tell, I always knew it was wrong and it bothered me to no end.

Step 3: Heat your iron. Starting with one of your sides, lay a long piece of iron-on hem (I find it is easier to work in sections so you can ensure a straight hem) parallel to your fabric edge about an inch in. NOTE: Follow the directions on the iron-on hem package for the actual ironing process, as the method can differ by brand. Mine required that you dampen a towel (where the hand towel comes in), fold the fabric over the iron-on medium then place the wet towel over the hem and iron over that, apparently the steam will activate the “bonding” process. I have, however, used brands that just require you iron directly on the fabric so be sure to read the directions.

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Step 4: After you have completed one side, move onto the other side. Once your sides are complete you are ready to hem the bottom and the top, the order you do this in doesn’t matter. For the bottom simply repeat what you did on the sides, simply fold over about an inch worth of fabric and fuse.

Step 5: For the top of the panel, fold over enough fabric to create your pocket. Be sure your pocket is big enough to fit your curtain rod, I was using a pretty skinny rod so folding over just about two inches of fabric was fine for me. Then simply continue with the same process you used to fuse the bottom and sides, the only difference is you will  have created a pocket at the top.

Voila! You are done! Now, they may not all be 100% even but I’m telling you nobody (probably not even you) will notice, I have gotten so many compliments on my curtains and even though they aren’t perfect they work perfect for me. 🙂        

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A FEW TIPS:

  • Try to stick to heavier decorator fabric. I know it may be tempting to use the $2.00/yard cotton options but unless you are using them solely for decor, you’re going to want a heavier fabric to achieve any level of functionality, as you are not lining them.
  • Try to measure as accurately as possible. Once you cut the fabric you cannot return it. I somehow wound up with about three extra yards but plan to use it on other DIY projects.
  • When working on the sides and bottom make your hem as small as the strip of iron-on hem will allow, as you do not want to create an unwanted pocket. 
  • If you find that your second folds (top and bottom) are having a hard time bonding at the corners just use a little dot of hot glue and that will do the trick.

SOURCES:

  • Fabric // Fabric.com Premier Prints “Fynn” Slub in Ash Grey (no longer available, but there are plenty of the “Fynn” trellis print options available in a variety of other colors such as this “Cool Grey“). It cost me $7.18/yard so in purchasing a total of 15 yards the total cost was about $108.00 (so for what one curtain panel would have cost me at PB I got FIVE!). Don’t forget to Google those free shipping coupons!
  • Curtain Rods // “Kenny Ball Deco Curtain Rod” in champagne silver, available here via Amazon for $12.00/piece. They are kind of cheap looking up close but they look just fine up on our walls, nice and simple! 
  • Curtain Tie-Backs // “Urbanest Colette Decor Drapery Tie Back” in Pewter. Available here via Amazon for $6.99/piece. I knew I wanted the “knob” looking tie-backs and was obsessed with one design that I found at Anthropologie but knew that at $32.99 per knob those ones just weren’t going to happen for me, lol. Although these ones are not actually metal they don’t look cheap at all even though they were the cheapest ones I found price-wise!  

DIY Menu Chalkboard

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Since I’ve been posting so many recipes I wanted you all to still believe that I am actually still crafting in my very limited free time :). As our new home slowly comes together, we have finally been getting some things up on the walls, one of which is my DIY menu chalkboard which was basically free to make (read all about how I created it using a free mirror here). Even though we had a ton of wall space in our old home, my pride and joy of a chalkboard project has had to spend all of it’s time in our garage since it’s creation because I could never find a good spot for it. When we moved to our new house I knew that I wanted to display it and figured that a menu board (which is what I originally intended it to be) would be the perfect use for it!

Between documenting my pregnancy and baby P’s growth via chalkboards for over a year now, I have gotten pretty handy with my chalkboard lettering so all I did was use the chalk hand lettering shaded font as a guide and hand lettered my “menu” title as well as the abbreviated seven days of the week. I decided to use chalk pens as I do for my monthly chalkboard updates for baby P because knowing me I may change my mind one day and decide that I want to re-purpose the chalkboard but if you are sure that you want a menu board you can simply have one of the many wonderfully creative individuals on Etsy make you up some vinyl decals to use as your headers and then use chalk to change it week by week. I know this isn’t a super original idea but since I love to DIY and meal plan this sure made me happy! I hope it inspires you to make your own 🙂

Chalkboard transformation :) Be sure to check out the post on how to DIY this one, it's super easy and can be done using any old mirror or frame!

Chalkboard transformation 🙂 Be sure to check out the post on how to DIY this one, it’s super easy and can be done using any old mirror or frame!

 

Microwave Stand Re-Do – Using Homemade Chalk Paint

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If you’ve read any of my other blog posts I’m sure you can gather that I love re-doing furniture, so naturally I was pretty sad when we downsized to a smaller home last month, as I took this to mean that there would be very few opportunities for me to re-do new pieces without any space to put them. Thankfully I was wrong! Although we did give up some square footage when we moved on base, I am finding that we still have the need for some smaller furniture items to re-purpose as storage/organization pieces, so I will still have plenty of DIY-ing in my future after all.

This particular project was actually born out of necessity, when in the midst of our crazy fast move, I realized that the new house had no microwave! I had forgotten that in our former home, the microwave was a permanent fixture and would not be making the move with us. I figured, no problemo, I’ll just buy the cheapest counter top microwave Walmart has to offer (“Westbend” I hear that’s what the rich people are using these days, right? lol). I did just that, and of course wound up with a defective microwave, so after an annoying second trip back to Walmart which involved having to schlep a giant box and a cranky baby P in 100 degree temperatures, I finally got a microwave that worked. The next problem was, with my new kitchen being fit for a dollhouse, every inch of counter space already taken up. Now I was going to need somewhere to put my super fancy Walmart microwave, lol. 

I started trolling Craigslist for microwave stands and almost immediately found one that looked promising at our local thrift store. When I went to pick it up the following day and the girl showed me to the piece, I was upset to see that it was not what I was expecting at all. Contrary to the picture online, the actual product was about two feet tall and wasn’t real wood, I nicely let her know “ummm, m’am, this is a night stand” lol. Thankfully she showed me something similar that was the correct height, real wood and the same price as the ugly night stand, it even had some extra storage underneath – sweet!

Now, since I know you don’t care about my microwave drama, I’ll get to the actual project, haha. I have always been a huge fan of chalk paint – in theory, but have never actually used it mostly because the good stuff like Annie Sloane is just way too expensive for me and because of my prior successes with re-doing furniture using latex paint, I’ve never felt the need to try out chalk paint. That being said, after two of my crafty friends both re-did pieces using DIY chalk paint, I knew I needed to give it a shot, especially because both of their projects came out beautifully! I figured the microwave stand would be a great trial piece, after all, I’m hoping that when we finally settle down our home will once again have a built in microwave so this piece would just be temporary.

The verdict on DIY chalk paint? AMAZING! Not only is it super cheap to make, it works great and by applying a furniture wax to seal the piece as opposed to a polyacrylic or gel top coat as I normally would, I eliminated a lot of drying/painting time on the tail end of the project. I am so grateful that I tried this out, even more grateful that it came out better than I could have hoped and most grateful to my friends Lisa and Courtney who I texted (and by texted I mean annoyed, lol) the entire time to make sure I was doing it right haha. Here is my tutorial and description of what I did, including the products I used, hopefully this inspires you to try out chalk paint on your next furniture re-do! 

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Color is “Farmer’s Market” by Valspar, available at Lowes.

REFINISHING USING DIY CHALK PAINT

WHAT I USED:

  • Sample Size 8oz container of latex paint – purchased at Lowes for $2.98 each, I used two because I wasn’t sure how much paint I would need for the project. I probably could have gotten away with using just 8 oz, as I did have a lot left over. Check out my post on my favorite products for refinishing furniture on the cheap to hear me rave about these little sample size paints, lol (really though, they’re the best). NOTE: Adding the chalk to the paint tends to lighten the color a bit, so try going a shade darker if you are trying to maintain a particular hue.
  • Calcium Carbonate – Fancy name for powdered chalk, haha. There are several different ways to make your own chalk paint including mixing paint with plaster of paris, but this method is non-toxic and according to my friend who has tried both, the calcium carbonate works best. The ratio is 1 part chalk to two parts paint. I purchased my Calcium Carbonate via Amazon here for about $10.00 with free shipping. 
  • Black Foam Brushes
  • Sanding Block or Sand Paper
  • Black Satin Rustoleum Spray Paint (if repainting the hardware)
  • Wood Filler (if you need to patch any gouges or holes in the wood)
  • Minwax Paste Finishing Wax in “Special Dark”  – purchased via Amazon for about $13.00, this will last you a long time. I chose to use the hard wax because it is easy to apply and once you have buffed the piece it is ready for use, as opposed to a gel or poly top coat which requires multiple coats and lots of dry time. The Minwax paste wax is also available at your local home improvement store in a variety of colors.
  • Rags (for applying and buffing finishing wax)

HOW I DID IT:

before picture

  before picture

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Step 1: I began by removing all of the doors and hardware from the piece. Since I was going to reuse the hinges and screws I cleaned them off and hit them with a coat of black spray paint and set them aside to dry.

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this is a very technical process, lol, I just stuck the screws in an old box so that the spray paint would only get the tops and not coat the threads.

this is a very technical process, lol, I just stuck the screws in an old box so that the spray paint would only get the tops and not coat the threads.

Step 2: I gave each surface of the piece a quick sand. I know people say that when using chalk paint there is no need to sand, but I just thought it couldn’t hurt and because I needed to repair a little damage to the top with some wood filler and would ultimately end up sanding anyway I went ahead and did it. I’m sure if you choose not to sand your piece will turn out fine! 

Step 3: After sanding I wiped the piece down with a wet rag and then a dry one to remove any dust particles. I then applied wood filler to the aforementioned spot of damage and smoothed out using a paint scraper. After the wood filler had dried, I returned to the piece and sanded it flat.

area where some of the wood had chipped off and it was uneven

area where some of the wood had chipped off and it was uneven

where I applied the wood filler before smoothing it out and sanding it down

where I applied the wood filler before smoothing it out and sanding it down

Step 4: Next I mixed my DIY chalk paint by pouring my two containers of latex paint (I used satin finish because sample sizes are only available as such, some people will tell you to use a flat paint when making chalk paint but from my friend’s experience, satin finish works better anyway) into a container along with 8 oz of calcium carbonate and mixing together until all large lumps had dissolved. The stuff is going to be thick like pancake batter but don’t worry, this is what you want! 

Step 5: Paint your piece as you normally would, using even strokes in the direction of the natural wood grain. Unfortunately, although it is said that chalk paint only requires one coat, I found this to be false in my experience, as did my friend Courtney (not sure about Lisa). It may just depend on the original color of the piece you are painting, but as you can see in my pictures, even with the dark red going over the light oak wood, I still required three coats, although I probably could have gotten away with two but I had the extra paint and some areas looked lighter so I figured what the hey? Good news in the multiple coats department is – dry time is significantly less than with non-chalk paint, I was able to return to my piece within a few hours and add a second coat. Pay attention to the humidity in your area though, some people say that you can paint after just one hour of dry time but I was working in my garage in high humidity so I allowed about seven hours.

Step 6: Once your piece has dried, inspect it for lumps or bumpy areas. If there are any just sand them down a bit. Some areas had a little dried white grit from where the chalk didn’t dissolve in my paint, so I just sanded them down and dabbed a tiny bit of paint on the spots. Now you are ready to wax!

Step 7: I chose to use the “special dark” wax because I wanted to add that “antique-y” look to my piece and I also found that in doing this the color of the paint was darkened back to it’s original hue, whereas it looked a lot lighter before wax. Confession: I was too scared to apply the wax myself for fear of ruining the piece, so I made J do it, lol. Use a rag (we used old t-shirts) and begin applying a thin coat of the wax all over your piece making sure to rub it into the grooves and edges. Allow it to sit for 15-20 minutes then using another rag, buff it out (as if you were waxing a car). The wax dries pretty quickly so if you are doing a very large piece I might suggest working in sections. Also, the wax is potent stuff so I’d recommend either working outside or in a well ventilated area. Once you have buffed your piece you’re finished and your piece is ready to use, just reattach your hardware and you’re good to go!  

hubby in action, applying the wax!

hubby in action, applying the wax!

how we have it set up for now

how we have it set up for now

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inside storage area, I didn't paint the inside just the edges, I ran out of painters tape on my last project so I actually used shipping tape haha, worked great! Probably wouldn't recommend it on your walls though!

inside storage area, I didn’t paint the inside just the edges, I ran out of painters tape on my last project so I actually used shipping tape haha, worked great! Probably wouldn’t recommend it on your walls though!

The knobs were purchased at Target of all places! $12.99 for a pack of four, about what you would pay if you purchased knobs individually at Lowes or H.D.

The knobs were purchased at Target of all places! $12.99 for a pack of four, about what you would pay if you purchased knobs individually at Lowes or H.D.

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The total cost of this piece was around $50.00 (the original piece being purchased for $35.00 with the addition of paint and new knobs). We are LOVING it, it fits in with our kitchen so well and matches our DIY menu chalkboard that we have displayed in the living room. I am also delighted to report that even with one of baby P’s favorite activities being slamming doors into furniture, it hasn’t even gotten a scratch! 🙂

mischievous squishy baby knocking the door into the furniture, he knows he's being bad look at that little face! haha

mischievous squishy baby knocking the door into the furniture, he knows he’s being bad look at that little face! haha

Baby P’s Nursery

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“Whoooooo” has the best nursery of all? Baby P!!! This week has been crazy to say the least, J returned from fleet week (yay!) and most importantly I was able to snag us a beautiful house on base, ya know, so we won’t be homeless when we close on this one in just a few short weeks! Since we will be moving very shortly and will need to rearrange it, I am excited to share baby P’s original nursery, as it is my favorite room in the house!

Before we found out if we were having a boy or a girl, I began brainstorming ideas for a nursery for our little babe. Since I had been hoping for a girl (sorry baby P, don’t worry I’ve changed my mind, haha), I hadn’t given much thought to a boy’s room at all but ironically, once I stared looking, I realized that I wasn’t really in love with any particular girl items but was quickly becoming obsessed with the idea of an owl themed nursery for a boy. After picking out a bunch of owl items I actually got a little sad thinking that I might not get to purchase any of them if the baby turned out to be a girl, haha! Once we found out that baby P was in fact a boy, I had SO much fun bringing his owl themed nursery to life, mostly thanks to my sweet family and friends who spoiled unborn baby P rotten. We kept the room pretty simple but I think it turned out so cute and although owls are getting super popular they are still more popular with girls than boys for some reason, so if you’re in search of a boy-themed nursery but are like me and don’t necessarily care for characters or typical sports themes, owls are a great option! Since I was too lazy to change the wall color of the upstairs bedrooms upon moving in, I was lucky enough to have the color work with nursery theme that I chose, so all that we needed to do was decorate (I will provide sources for all of the items below). I hope you love baby P’s nursery as much as he does 🙂

pr10pr6pr5pr7pr9pr8pr17 pr16] pr15 pr14 pr13 pr12 pr11 pr4pr3 pr2 pr1 pr

 

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Baby P enjoying his room at 7 months (in an owl PJ outfit no less!)

SOURCES

Crib // Catalina Fixed Gate 3-in-1 Crib in “Sun Valley Espresso” available via Pottery Barn Kids for $549 (mine was purchased as a gift using a 20% off coupon so it came in at around $495 after shipping costs).

Dresser // Craigslist find for $45.00. See my post here on how I refinished it using gel stain. The changing pad was a shower gift along with it’s light blue minky cover and the basket I purchased at Michael’s for about $5.99 using a 40% off coupon.

Bookcase // Thrift store find for $5.00. See my tutorial on refinishing laminate furniture which features this very bookcase! The “Parker” wooden letters were purchased at Michael’s for $3.99 a piece using a 30% off of purchase coupon, if you are looking for a cheaper option see my post on easy scrapbook wooden letters here!

Green Owl Lamp // Purchased at Hancock Fabrics for $11.99 (sale item, woo-hoo!) but it is also available here. The lampshade is part of the Sweet JoJo Designs owl collection which matches the bedding purchased here via Amazon for $25.99 plus shipping.

Owl Bedding // The owl bedding set I chose included the comforter, crib bumpers, throw pillow, toy bag, diaper holder, fitted sheet, two widow valences (that I ended up not using) and the crib skirt. The set is by Sweet JoJo Designs and available here via Amazon for $179.99.

Owl Mobile // Purchased via Amazon as part of the Sweet JoJo Designs “Night Owl” collection. Available here for $42.99.

Owl Curtains // The curtains are part of the Sweet JoJo Designs set purchased via Amazon but available at Target for $49.99 for a set of 2 panels. We ended up trading out the curtains for blackout curtains once daylight savings rolled around, but I plan to try my hand at lining the owl curtains myself once we move into our new place so be on the lookout for that post!

Brown Glider/Rocker // Purchased via Amazon for $160.00. I thought this was a great deal as it was a prime item so shipping was free and it included the ottoman which many didn’t. I’m so glad I decided to puchase it becuase

Floating Shelves // Purchased from Home Depot in espresso for about $24.00 a piece, but no longer available. The “BYOB” sign and feathered owls were all gifted to baby P from generous friends :).

Owl Tree Poster// This was an activity at my baby shower which doubled as a guest book, each guest was to sign a leaf for baby P. The poster was purchased via Etsy from Peachwik, it was originally a listing for a wedding guest book but the graphic artist was kind enough to add a baby owl so we could use it for the shower instead!

Three Owl Fabric Wall Hangings // Purchased via Amazon as an accessory to the bedding set for $22.99 for the set.

“Grow Wise Little Owl” Decal // Purchased from wallartsy via Etsy for $32.00.

Owl Tree Decal // Purchased from StickitDecalDesigns via Etsy for $69.00.

Crochet Owl Stuffed Animal // Purchased from YouHadMeAtCrochet via Etsy for $36.50.

Large Brown/Blue Owl Stuffed Animal // Purchased from OneCraftyKing via Etsy for $26.00.

For the nursery we obviously threw caution to the wind when it came to budget as baby P was our first and we were just so excited to create this nursery, thankfully we were so blessed to have many of the expensive items ($69 decal!! wth!? lol) gifted to us which helped a lot with the cost. Wait to see how we recreate baby P’s nursery in our base house coming soon! 

Updating Our Master Bathroom

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Crazy thing happened this week … we accepted an offer on the house!!! So exciting and sad at the same time, because although putting the house on the market was a good decision and I’m excited to move on base, I’m getting graduation goggles about selling it given all of the memories our little family has made here so far. That being said as long as nothing falls through on the buyer’s end we will be peacin’ out of this bad boy by the end of June, so I better get all of my house transformation posts up before I’m categorized as creepy if I’m technically posting pictures of somebody else’s home, haha.

In my post on refinishing cabinets I spoke a little about my our master bathroom update but would now like share the whole project in detail! Again, most of our updates were cosmetic as we wanted to create the most change for the least cash. This was our final major house project and we were in a race to get it finished given our very important deadline – the arrival of baby P! Now, I’ve spoken before about how I’m a true believer that with a little paint and the right decor you can create a transformation that is budget friendly but will still rival that which would be made by an actual renovation. We applied that idea here as well as in the guest bathroom where a few small changes resulted in a complete revival of an old dingy space. Since this was our last major project, our vision for the space changed many times between the date we purchased the house and the time that we actually got to the project. Originally we came in guns blazing prepared to paint, rip out the vanity, install a new tub surround, basically change everything until we realized that with limited knowledge on how to do the aforementioned and seriously limited cash preventing us from hiring professionals to do it for us, our vision was going to have to change drastically. We decided to ax the idea of installing a tub surround and simply give the old tiles a real good scrub down instead. Still stuck on the idea of replacing the vanity, we held off because that was going to cost us a pretty penny and with paying as we went along (no credit cards) and other house projects in the works, the master bath remained on the back burner. As P’s due date drew closer, we wrapped up a few  other projects and finally decided to tackle the bathroom, going with plan c if you will, our third and final game plan – replace the toilet, repaint the vanity, replace the vanity top, paint the walls, decorate, DONE. We were super motivated to get this done, especially since we had been showering in the guest bathroom for months given the sorry state of our on-suite bath, my big pregnant self even did all of the painting and decorating while J was at a job school in Norfolk because I was too antsy to wait to get it done, haha. Hope this inspires some DIY in your life, remember say no to renos and difficult transformations, chances are you can fake it with some paint and great decor!

master

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it is purely coincidental that I am wearing the same shirt in the two pictures taken over 6 months apart haha

 

WHAT WE DID:

  • Replaced the vanity top.
  • Repainted the vanity cabinets. We decided to repaint the vanity given our frustration over having replaced the other two and wishing we had just gone this route in the first place.
  • Removed old mirror and replaced it with a new beveled edge mirror.
  • Replaced the toilet.
  • Painted the walls.
  • Hung a wine rack that we repurposed as a towel rack.
  • Hung a 5-hook rack for hanging towels.
  • Hung a shabby-chic towel ring.
  • Hung two DIY “paintings”.
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me picking up the 5 foot vanity in my Kia Soul haha

SOURCES:

  • Vanity Top // Purchased at Lowes, available through special order (since we were replacing a custom size we needed to order a custom sized top). It cost us in the neighborhood of $500.00, which was a little less than it would have cost us to replace the whole vanity and floor tiling (but a WHOLE LOT less work).
  • Beveled Edge Mirror // Purchased at Lowes, available here for $41.97.
  • Toilet // Purchased at Lowes, available here, for $139.00. Since it is a dual-flush it is supposed to conserve water.
  • Paint // Color is “Montpelier Ashlar Gray” by Valspar.
  • Wine/Towel Rack // Purchased via Amazon for $34.50, available here.
  • Five-Hook Rack // Purchased at Target, available here for $23.79.
  • Towel Ring // Purchased via Etsy from “midwesterntreasures” for $26.50.
  • Shower Curtain // Purchased from Overstock, available here for $24.49.
  • Square Grey/Yellow “Paintings” // DIY project, I simply inserted a piece of fabric into a $4.99 frame from Michael’s (I will write a post about this soon!).

 

Since the bathroom is attached to the master bedroom which has a grey and yellow color scheme we carried that into the bathroom as well. Sorry I only have one set of before pictures but you’ll still get an idea of how awful it was, don’t worry haha.

 BEFORE

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AFTER

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We estimated this project to have cost us around $850.00 when all was said and done. Although it seems pricey it sure beats a remodel and since we did everything over the course of several months and only purchased items as we had the money to do so, this helped a lot. 

Updating Our Guest Bathroom

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I’d like to share our guest bathroom update, which was one of the first projects I tackled upon moving into our home. I know I’ve mentioned in my other house posts that I like to stretch our budget by simply updating our rooms with DIY decor and fresh paint, as opposed to doing a complete reno. The upstairs bathroom was in decent shape, the tub surround, toilet and light fixtures were good, and although we decided to replace it, the cabinet portion of the vanity was acceptable as well, so I regret not simply replacing it and purchasing a new vanity top (don’t make the same mistake we did, read my tutorial on repainting cabinets and get to it!). I decided to go with a beachy-chic feel for the bathroom decor, normally I’m into a little more monochromatic design with pops of color because I feel it is a little more modern, but I figured for the guest bathroom it wouldn’t hurt to have a little fun with it, after all we had just moved to the coastal Carolinas! The majority of the bathroom update was simply adding decor, with the only hard part being the replacing of the bathroom vanity (don’t get me wrong, I love the way it looks but it was a major pain in the arse).

Before I get to the specifics of the bathroom update, let me help you to hopefully avoid one of our giant missteps in the project by giving you a much simpler DIY solution. If you are considering replacing a vanity completely, before you tear out the existing one I urge you to first take a lay of the land and ask yourself – is there physical damage, missing or rotten pieces of wood? If so, replacing the piece may be your only option, however, if you are just dealing with something that is ugly but functional read my post on refinishing cabinets, mine were as ugly as they come, a real 1980s builder-grade gem lol. If you are still not convinced, let me tell you this – replacing a vanity, especially one that is original to the home, will involve replacing parts of the floor beneath it before installing your new vanity, and I can assume that since you are reading DIY posts on home updates you are not in fact a professional builder, haha. Once you rip that old vanity out there’s no going back, you’ll be stuck as we were, having to sand and paint the walls (which will be damaged by your removal of the vanity), install new subfloor (oh, and the fact that we owned only a hack saw and drill as far as power tools went made it even more fun – NOT lol), then lay new tiles and grout before you can even THINK about putting in that cute new vanity that has been sitting in your garage for the weeks it took you to prepare the space for it. Still sound like a good idea? If you are up for a challenge, by all means, go nuts but if you are like me and would rather spend your weekends at the beach instead of on your hands and knees grouting a bathroom floor when all you wanted was a new vanity, then I plead with you to go the repainting route haha. That being said, our bathroom did come out super cute and if you do decide to replace your vanity you can still DIY it (if you have any questions about replacing the floor tiles leave a comment, we had no idea what we were doing and it still came out great). Now for the specifics, since this isn’t a tutorial I’ll just explain the update and give sources for all of my decor finds.

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WHAT WE DID: 

  • Removed the vanity, replaced the floor tiles around it and installed a new sink/vanity combination. As I mentioned above, I do wish we had simply repainted the vanity in retrospect, however, the smaller vanity open up the bathroom a great deal and made the space seem bigger.
  • Painted the walls.
  • Removed the vanity mirror and replaced it with a hanging mirror.
  • Installed two floating shelves above the toilet.
  • Replaced the towel bar.
  • Installed a hand towel ring.
  • Installed  a three-hook rack for hanging towels.
  • DIYed a free-standing small linen storage unit.
  • Hung pictures.

SOURCES:

  • Vanity  // Purchased at Lowes, available here for $269.00. NOTE: If you don’t care about having extra drawers they have another similar option for $189.00.
  • Floating Shelves // Purchased at Home Depot, available here for $28.80 each. They are also available at Target, but I believe H.D. is still cheaper.
  • Free-Standing Storage Unit // Thrift Store find. After project costs, the item comes in at around $29.00. See my post here on painting laminate furniture to see more about this particular piece.
  • Wall Paint // Color is “Woodlawn Bedroom” by Valspar.
  • Vanity Mirror // Thrift Store find. Purchased for $10.00 and hit it with a coat of gray spray paint.
  • Towel Bar // Purchased at Lowes, Moen Brand Spot Resistant Brushed Nickel 24″ Towel Bar, available here for $19.98. We had a Lowes credit or else we would have hit up Walmart for this item to save a few bucks.
  • Three Hook Towel Rack // Purchased from “TheShabbyShak” via Etsy for $23.00. This shop has lots of great shabby chic decor in a huge variety of colors and finishes. I chose the aqua in keeping with my beach theme.
  • Towel Ring // Purchased from “VeritasInspired” via Etsy for $22.99.
  • Damask Shower Curtain // Purchased from Amazon for $36.00. Available here.
  • Towels // Lime Green Bath Towels – Target, Target brand $4.99 each. Navy Blue Hand Towels – Bed Bath & Beyond, Wamsuetta Brand (these were wedding gifts or else we would have gone for the Walmart or Target option on these, expensive hand towels? Ain’t nobody got time fo dat).
  • Baskets // All three baskets in my bathroom (as well as those hidden under the sink), were purchased from Michael’s. I LOVE baskets. I once saw a Hoarders episode featuring a woman who had over three thousand baskets or something like that and I’m not saying that’s me but I’m well on my way, lol. NOTE: I only purchase baskets from Michael’s with a 40% off coupon or when they are on sale for over 40% off or else they are a total rip off. I would say these three cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.00 each for the small ones and $8.00 for the large one.
  • Wall Art // Each item on this wall was virtually free. The beach picture was a picture I had taken myself right on our own Onslow Beach here on Camp Lejeune, I just blew it up at our local drugstore for around $1.00, the frame was the second half of a buy-one-get-one deal they were running at Michael’s so we had it sitting around anyway. The “catch me by the sea” print was one I found on Pinterest, saved as a JPG and printed at our local drug store in size 8X10 (this may or may not be legal, but there was no watermark so I assume it was a free print, if not I’m sorry copyright gods!). If you want to do the same just Google “free whatever-you’re-looking-for images/quotes” and you should find some, the quality may not be so fab but it’s just for looks. The frame for my print was one of the old ones we used in our condo so I just hit it with the same gray spray paint as the mirror. The tiny mirror was a thrift store find for $3.00. Not pictured here is my DIY nautical rope frame, which you can make for under $1.00 read the post to find out how!

 

BEFORE

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AFTER

upbathupbath1upbath2

upbath3upbath5

We estimate the total cost of the project at around $500.00, and for the transformation we achieved I think this is a GREAT price, keeping in mind a full bathroom reno by professionals can cost you around 5K on the low end, which even if we had the cash (which we definitely don’t, lol), I don’t think I would be able to stomach. Say it with me people, “D-I-Y” it’s a beautiful word!!! 

NOTE: This transformation occurred over about 5-6 months, we only bought things as we could afford them which really made that $500.00 project price tag a little more bearable, because I don’t know about you but even though it’s not a 5K reno, $500.00 is still a lot of money, especially when taking on multiple house projects at a time.

There you have it, our beachy-chic guest bathroom re-do! This would not have been possible without my wonderful hubby J who helped my 7-9-month pregnant self hang and place various items when I couldn’t physically bend that way, lol. Hope this inspires you! XOXO