Easy DIY Nautical Frame – Made For Under $1!!!

frame8

So with J gone for fleet week (*sigh* it has only been seven days and it feels like foreverrrr already), I have been keeping myself busy with baby P but also, of course, with TONS of crafts, haha. Earlier this week I found an adorable beachy frame on clearance at our local craft store and picked it up for J’s Mom (with all the running around for my niece’s b-day I wasn’t able to get my MIL a Mother’s Day gift, just a card), who loves beach themed decor so my plan was to put a picture of baby P from one of our recent beach trips in the frame. However, when I printed the picture I wanted to use, the store cropped it wrong and I ended up having to use another, but being the weirdo that I am, I couldn’t bring myself to throw out a picture of baby P even though it was basically useless (wow, I am a FREAK lol). In an ah-ha! moment I had the idea to use it in our guest bathroom, which is beach themed and a little gallery wall where baby P’s beach photo would fit perfectly (check out our guest bathroom update saga here). In my mind the project was going to involve rope, a picture frame and some of those baby clothes pins I had picked up for a party craft I am making in the near future, but to save myself the running around looking for rope (especially when I probably wouldn’t use it again, defeating the purpose of this craft being essentially free), I decided to just use twine I already had at home and instead of a frame I purchased a dowel for $0.59 to create my own “frame”. So, yesterday during P’s nap I whipped up this little picture frame in about 15 minutes, but the ease of this craft isn’t even the best part. The best part would be that when broken down, this craft costs about $0.75!!! Baby P looked on in delight as I hung it as part of our little bathroom gallery wall this morning and I just know our guests will love seeing it too :).

The original picture that prompted this idea, isn't my squishy baby sweet?

The original picture that prompted this idea, isn’t my squishy baby sweet?

YOU WILL NEED:

NOTE: If you find a cheap thrift store picture frame you could use that in place of the dowel, simply remove the glass and begin the instructions at step 3. Also, this does not need to be beach themed, you can wrap the frame in whatever material you would like and then embellish with something that suits your style!

frame1

  • A dowel (round or square, whatever your preference)
  • Hack Saw (or any saw, if you are desperate you can use scissors if you dowel is skinny enough)
  • Sand Paper (optional)
  • Rope or twine
  • Glue Gun
  • Mini Clothes pin (available at most craft stores, if you are making a larger version of the frame you could use a regular sized clothes pin)
  • Ribbon (optional, you could just use more rope or twine in it’s place if you’d like)
  • Sea Shells or Beach Glass (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1: Take your dowel and measure and mark the lengths of your frame size. I chose to do a 7″X7″ square frame since I only had a small amount of space available on my wall. Then use your hack saw to cut the four pieces and then sand off any remaining wood pieces or roughness on the edges (no need to make it perfect, you will be covering this anyway). NOTE: If you are desperate, just hack at your dowel using scissors until you weaken it enough to snap it with your hands, it will be uneven on the edges but you can sand them. Ghetto option I know, but I know some peeps don’t have saws and I like to be an equal opportunity crafter, lol!

Step 2: Arrange your four sides in a square as if they are lincoln logs (two on the bottom and two on the top overlapping). You can also do one under the other or glue the corners so that the frame will lay completely flat, it is up to you but personally I liked the way it looked using the lincoln log method. Use a dot of hot glue to attach each of your four corners.

frame2

Step 3: Now, beginning at a corner, use a dot of hot glue to attach the end of your rope or twine to the frame. Then apply a small line of glue to the frame and working a few inches at a time, begin wrapping the rope or twine tightly around the frame. Work quickly so the glue does not dry before you press the rope to it. Continue this process around the body of the frame until it is completely covered.

frame3 frame4 frame5

Step 4: Once you have finished the frame, decide where you want your picture to fall within it, then cut a piece of twine long enough to reach across the back width of the frame, securing it at either end with a dot of hot glue.

Step 5: Now, cut two pieces of ribbon, twine or rope of equal length (you will use these to hang the frame), the length depends on your personal preference. To attach each piece, place a dot of glue at each of the two top corners of the frame and secure an end of each piece. Tie them at the top in a bow or knot and it is ready to hang!

frame7

Step 6: The last step is optional, but if you wish you can embellish your frame. I used a single seashell attached with hot glue at one of the lower corners. Hang your frame, high-five yourself and if you’re a Mom decided what you’d like to do with the other 45 minutes of naptime! 🙂

frame6

Don’t forget to check out my post on our guest bathroom update, where you can view before and after pictures of our bathroom and all of our decor 🙂

Updating Our Guest Bathroom

upbath13

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.

upbath9upbath12

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

upbath6upbath7upbath8

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