Thursday, September 24, 2015

Phony Shiplap Fireplace

I never knew the word "shiplap" until I began watching HGTV's Fixer Upper. If you have never seen the show you are missing out greatly! If you have seen the show you know Joanna loves these vintage wood planked walls and she has turned me into a believer as well. They have a way of brightening a room and making it feel like a cozy farmhouse cottage all at the same time. 
 Unfortunately for me I would never be able to rip down drywall or brick in my 90's home to reveal beautiful vintage shiplap. It just ain't gonna happen...BUT I still wanted to test the waters and see if I liked this all-magical wall covering in my home so I chose the fireplace to experiment.

I have been wanting to give the fireplace some height for awhile now and make it more of a focal point in the room. 
Here it is before I started:

 I began by nailing up some 1x3.5" primed MDF boards on each side from the mantel to the crown molding. 

I took this paneling purchased at Home Depot and, using my jigsaw, cut it to the dimension's to fit snugly inside the MDF boards. 

I then put a piece of corner trim mold mitered at 45 degrees to frame out the inside. 
This was for two reasons: 
1.) It hid the horrible job I had done cutting the paneling perfectly straight and 
2.) It made the edges look fancier. 
Win, win!

I caulked, and filled and painted everything white. When it had all dried I stood there in fireplace looked NOTHING like shiplap. I mean I actually sorta hated it. The lines had all but disappeared so it was basically a big white wall.

I'm sorry there is no further documentation because I never thought it would make it to the blog due to the fact it was a big hard first. 

After forfeiting all efforts to fix my mistake and letting my brain refocus for the day I was ready to ATTEMPT to tackle it again in the morning. I took some light grey acrylic paint called "Granite Grey" by Apple Barrel and with a small tipped paintbrush I went over the lines. It took two coats to make it look solid enough that I liked it... and I did! FINALLY I liked it! 
I probably could have used a paint pen instead and it might have been a little easier but I used what I had.

Here's my fireplace all dressed up!

In the end it turned out well! Just goes to show even if a D.I.Y. seems like a zonk it may turn itself around so don't give up!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Quick Reclaimed Wood Planter Box!

Summer is coming to a close and before we know it Fall will be in full swing! I revamped my mini porch to ring in the new season with a newly spray painted white rocking chair, some pretty topiary's and some beautiful yellow and gold mums! I love how they brighten up the porch, don't you? 

The mum's came in a flimsy black plastic container, and I had no pots to transplant them to so  I decided I would make my new flower's a pretty little box out of reclaimed fence pickets. This was so super quick I can't even believe it! I think the whole thing took me all of 10 minutes MAX.

Using the pot as my guide I measured how big my boxes needed to be. For my 10 quart flower pot I cut my 5.5" wide fence pickets to the following sizes:

(2) 7-7/8" boards
(2) 9 inch boards

I sanded all the edges after the cuts were made so there weren't any splinters. I then assembled the boxes by nailing the longer boards on the "outside" and the smaller boards on the "inside". Like this:
Finally I took some white acrylic craft paint and "dry-brushed" them lightly to give them a bleached wood look...and DONE!
I'm waiting to purchase a few more things to make this porch complete and then I'll take a full picture!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Column Me Crazy, But This Column Looks GREAT!

I've always had a thing for molding. Crown, chair rail, wainscoting, bead board, window and door trim, you name it! I guarantee most of the time if I see or "Pin" a post online of a room I LOVE it has molding of some sort featured in it. I think there is something about it that just makes a house feel more like a home to me. So I knew I'd be putting as much molding around as I could when we bought.

**side note our miter saw and nail gun are my favorite power tool purchases with exception of my cordless drill. We have this miter saw and this nail gun and love them! They make these types of projects MUCH easier and are a must for new homeowners especially ones needing to upgrade a few things.

We have four fairly large "columns" in our downstairs living area spreading from the foyer to the kitchen. There is nothing seriously unappealing about them other than they are huge drywall columns lacking personality and overflowing with orange peel texture.
I have been wanting to throw on some molding for months now to update the look but wasn't sure where to start since I have never attempted anything like this so I started with Pinterest (of course). I found a plethora of pictures featuring beautiful columns and picked a few for inspiration. After sketching out my plan with dimensions I headed to Home Depot
and picked up the following:

-(8) 2.5" by 8' primed MDF boards
-(1) 4x8 sheet of 1/8" MDF 
-(2) 1x4x8' boards 
-(1) 8' chair rail
-(1) 12' decorative PVC molding 
-(1) white caulk for molding and trim

I knew I wanted to "beef up" the baseboards and because I had already done it with our bar makeover I knew HOW to. I just added a 1x4x8 board on top of my existing baseboard (mitered the edges so it fit perfectly) and popped on some chair rail on top of that. 
I then used my nail gun to secure the 2.5"x 8' primed MDF boards on each corner of the column overlapping so they made a clean edge. I also made sure the "seams" were on the SAME side of the column
I also had my assistant make sure everything was matching up evenly. It did, thank  goodness,otherwise he would have cracked the whip!

 Once the MDF's were all up it left me with a gap at the top. I had planned to replicate what I did with the baseboards by putting the 1x4x8 boards on top of the vertical MDF boards and chair rail on top where the ceiling met the column so it looked like this:
**I later felt like it needed something else and added the PVC molding on top of the 1x4x8 boards. You can check it out in the final pics.

I knew I couldn't live with the texture on the column so I had the Hubs cut my 4x8 1/8" thick MDF sheet to strips that would fit inside the rectangular sections. If I wasn't so cheap next time I might consider covering the ENTIRE column with the MDF sheet FIRST and then put the molding on top of that. Getting the strips to fit perfectly inside wasn't that easy but I knew caulk would fix any mistakes later on. I also might search around to see if they make primed MDF was sort of tough to cover.

I filled all the nail holes and knots in the wood with putty and caulked all the seams then painted everything with a bright white semi-gloss trim paint. I absolutely forgot to take pictures with the MDF sheets on or any of the filling, caulking and painting process...meh it would have bored you anyway!


I liked the outcome so much I went ahead and tackled the other one on the other side of the bar immediately after!

This really was an easy project and very inexpensive for such a dramatic makeover! I think the hardest thing was figuring out those miter cuts, they can be confusing for a math-challenged girl like myself.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Copycat Fall Wreath

I feel like it's been 5 years since I've written an entry! Truth is, I have been blessed with a small bit of success selling my handmade rustic wood signs!  (If you want to check out my recent signs go to my Facebook page and click on my "sign gallery" album). Even though I have been so consumed with the "business" side of DIYife I wanted to be sure I was still trying to throw in some fun projects I've been working on too!

       I went to Hobby Lobby for glue this morning and stumbled upon this GORGEOUS fall wreath
I really, REALLY tried to justify the price "my kid was screaming in the shopping cart for 20 minutes" tried to justify the price tag but I just couldn't do it. I mean I even grabbed it, threw it in the cart and pushed through those thoughts until I reached the checkout lane and came to my senses. Mr. (and my cheap buyers remorse self) would have FLIPPED if I purchased a $229 wreath even IF I could try to finagle my way through the argument by saying it was on sale for $140. Worth every penny... this puppy was HUGE but in the end I decided making my own was the better choice. 

I took a deep breath and went to the fall decor aisle and what do you know? It was like the Heaven's opened up...ALL the supplies to make my own wreath were 40% off!! HALLELUJAH. I still had the "end all be all" of wreaths in my cart so it was easy to kind of copy the elements. A grapevine wreath, a few pumpkins, burlap flowers, pine cones, gourds and some hay looking things later and I was out of there all for about $45 bucks. (I couldn't find the artichoke picks anywhere and for some reason I'm really drawn to those LOL. I will continue looking for those at a later date)

Back at home I unloaded my bags and was ready to go!

I started with the pumpkins (largest first).
sorry for the blurry picture!

I then bent the hay into arches and stuck them around the wreath, so they were evenly spaced, and added the remaining gourd and white pumpkin picks to the empty spaces. 
sorry for the blurry picture! (groundhog day anyone?)
I wanted to be sure I was getting everything evenly spaced so I hung the wreath with twine on my door to the garage to finish adding the final pieces. At this point I had added additional white sunflowers and a few quail feathers I had picked up. It was getting there!
I had purchased a few pine cones to stick in there as well but had to come up with a way to attach them. I wanted to avoid a hot glue mess so I came up with this idea:

First I cut a piece of burlap ribbon into a small square:

Then I hot glued that piece onto my pine cone sort of in the middle...

I then took some twine I had laying around and put it through the holes of the burlap trying to get it more in the center holes than the outside ones in case it started to unravel a bit. 

Lastly I just tied those onto my grapevine wreath! (I'm pretty proud of myself for thinking up this was simple and clean and most importantly, IT WORKED!)

It could still use some of those darn artichokes and maybe some of that flocked vine but I think it came out pretty good. Especially for 1/3 of the cost! What do you think?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Trashed Toolbox Treasure

Several months ago I spotted a neighbor of mine putting a set of these toolboxes on the curb on trash day.

I immediately transformed into a stealthy ninja peeking out my window trying to figure out how I could nab these up without seeming like THAT neighbor that digs through peoples garbage. EWW! But after a few minutes with no good ideas on how I could magically turn invisible, I yanked off my ninja mask and walked over and leisurely grabbed them as if they were mine all along. Oh what the heck! HE'S THE ONE THAT THREW THEM AWAY! 

They were in excellent condition and showed no real signs of use besides the names (of his kids I presume) scribbled on the handles with green marker. (Thanks Mason and Wyatt!) I wasn't exactly sure what I could do with them at the time but figured something would cross my mind one day. They sat in my garage for nearly 6 months until two days ago when an idea finally came to the surface. I will admit this isn't MY original idea or anything. I've seen toolboxes re-purposed into a TON of different, awesome things but I wanted to share how mine came out none the less!

I didn't mean to take off the sides and handles it was sort of an OOPS moment but I like the way it turned out regardless. With the other one I think I'll swap out the handle for rope and use it as storage somewhere in the house!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sad Thrift Store Chair Gets Cheery

I picked up this chair last week while treasure hunting at one of my favorite thrift stores! Isn't she so lovely!?
It was a deal at $14.99 and I knew with a little fabric and maybe some paint it would be totally reinvented. While trying to figure out what I wanted to do with it I came across a curtain panel from the Threshold line at Target I had picked up on clearance a while back. (Am I the only one OBSESSED with this line? I could literally buy everything they make)

**TIP: Curtains are a GREAT way to recover pillows, make headboards or table runners...the possibilities are truly endless. They are also waaay cheaper than most fabric of the same quality making them a holy grail item for someone like me :)

I unscrewed the four screws found under the seat of the chair and using a staple gun stapled the fabric to the seat. It took a little work to get it to lay correctly but nothing someone who has never done it couldn't do! Once it looked good enough to call it a day I screwed the seat back on.

I fought my inner "love to paint everything white" loving self and left it as-is. The wood is in great condition and I think I'll keep it... What do you think?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Industrial Style Ceiling Fan Makeover

I happened into a Habitat for Humanity ReStore today while out running errands. I love to browse the aisles and always seem to find something I didn't even know I needed. Today I picked up some burlap ribbon, an old vintage scale and three light bulb cages for a whopping $3. Those are the type of deals that keep my thrift store loving obsession ALIVE.

I have been slowly revamping my two year old son's room. (He never really had a "nursery" per say, it was always more of a little boy's room. I figured why decorate with cute, sweet nursery things to only change it a year later when he would surely look at me like "WTH Mom?!". Nevertheless I still MELT at seeing those adorable nurseries and secretly curse my inner sensibilities). There were a few things in the room I KNEW needed updating like his wall color, the mismatched wall decor and his rocking chair but I never really thought about his ceiling fan. I mean it was black and simple and fine. That was until I walked into the ReStore and saw those light bulb cages and immediately thought the fan needed them. They were calling my name. They were only 50 cents. There were only 3. Most definitely a sign. I came home and got to work:

You will need to bend the opening of the cage with some needle nose pliers so that it is circular and will fit into the ceiling fan like this:
It doesn't have to be perfect (you won't see it) just more round 
Pop those into the ceiling fan and tighten the little screws. Put in light bulbs and enjoy! That was easy right!?

Tip:You might want a lower wattage bulb in soft white since there are no shades



A five minute update that totally changed the feel of the fan. I think the hardest part was figuring out how the light bulb was supposed to go into the cage. I felt like an IDIOT when I realized the top of the cage opened up. Here's a picture of it open just in case there are fellow idiots out there like me :)

Monday, June 29, 2015

Entry Table Makeover with Homemade Chalk Paint

I picked a table up on Craigslist for $30 bucks knowing full well I would eventually paint it. It was originally blonde with a few knots in it and looked exactly like this type of wood:

I knew I wanted that distressed "chalky paint" look but didn't really know where to start. I only hear amazing things about Annie Sloan's "miracle" chalk paint but unfortunately it was a little more than I wanted to spend at the time (I do desperately want to try it someday though). I did some research and finally came across a talented friend that gave me a recipe on how to make my own homemade chalk paint! *Update: I've used it on several pieces and been thrilled with the results so far!

  • 1 TBSP Calcium Carbonate Powder (ordered mine off Amazon) dissolved in 2 TBSP's of warm water
  • 1 Cup Flat Latex Paint
I sanded the entire table down and then wiped it clean. The top was painted with regular old black and the bottom was painted with a Behr color named "Aged Beige". After it was dried I gave it a light sanding and did a second coat then let dry overnight. I used my hand sander and gave it a distressed look focusing on the edges of the table and where normal wear would show. *I've also heard you can do this AFTER the next step, I just never have* Lastly, I sealed it by buffing two coats of  SC Johnson Paste Wax on with a clean soft rag.

The decor on top CONSTANTLY changes, that's just what I do, but this is how it looks today:

-The frames hanging on the wall are from IKEA 
-The botanical prints were ripped nicely taken out of a book about...well, BOTANICAL FLOWERS
-The candlesticks were from TJ MAXX (I think). They were originally red and I painted them with white matte paint and distressed them with my sander. The red chippy paint sort of peeks through which I think looks really cool
-The mirrored frames were from Big Lots! (I LOVE these frames and regret not buying out the stock. I've never seen them again)
-The bowl was given to us and the orbs were a variety from different stores (Hobby Lobby and At Home)