Author: Christine

Easy DIY Barn Quilt Square


I recently saw some metal barn quilt squares for sale and would have brought them straight home, but the price tag made me pause. When driving through farm country, looking at the barns, each with their own square, always makes me smile. I would love to add some to our chicken coops, but first I had to try it out on a small scale. It turns out, this classic pattern is very easy to make with just a few materials and an hour or two.

The pattern is just lines and angles split into 4. By making a grid of 4×4 you can easily draw this pattern out. I have made a handy little reference for you in just 4 steps:

For my square, I used a piece of 3/4″ lumber 12″x12″. This makes it easy to draw out the pattern using markings horizontally and vertically at 3″, 6″, and 9″.

The frame is just 4 pieces of 2×2 (2 of each cut to 12″ and 15″). You don’t need to add a frame, but if you have a finish nailer or pocket hole jig, it is very simple. Once you have your square and frame, add pocket holes to the square with one on each side (but don’t screw together yet).



This will allow you to easily attach the frame one you are finished painting. Remove the square from the frame and paint or stain the frame as you would like. Next, you can paint the square the lightest of the colors you have chosen. In this case, I chose yellow. Allow to dry.

Next, begin marking the square with the pattern you prefer. I used a pencil to show the pattern, but chalk may work better so that it doesn’t show on the completed project. If you chose to use pencil, make sure the darker paint covers the lines.



Begin painting with your second color choice. I began by using painters tape, but it was actually easier to use a straight edged foam brush. This way, you don’t have to worry about paint leaking under tape and you don’t have to wait for wet spots to dry before moving on.

Once the paint is dry, you can simply attach the frame using your pocket hole screws. If you don’t have a pocket hole jig, you can attach the frame using finishing nails. Just fill the nail holes and touch up the paint. It is as simple as that!



I chose to display it on our new DIY coat rackEventually though, I think this will get a twin (maybe with a different pattern) and get hung up in Micah’s nursery. We are planning on adding a bit of a farm theme to his room and this would fit in perfectly.

If you haven’t seen it yet, be sure to check out the kid’s new playroom! After a weekend of hard work, we are so excited to see the final project. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

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Woodland Playroom Reveal


We are lucky to have an abundance of space in this house. Between living in a low cost of living area and getting our house at a great discount (it was a foreclosure) we have the budget to slowly make the house exactly how we’d like it. We have a good amount of living room space downstairs, but the toys always seem to be the center of it. We have added some toy storage and try to keep up with the messiness, but it was really time for a separate play space.

We have 2 rooms above the garage that are just used for storage and weren’t even counted in our square footage with our listing. It has a bit of a strange set up. Both rooms are connected in-line and you have to go through part of the upstairs bath to get to them. When we toured the house we had no idea what we were going to do with the space and it slowly became storage. The rooms have drywall and flooring, but were never cared for the way the rest of the house was. One of these rooms has become Micah’s nursery and the room on the end has become the playroom.



On Saturday morning we started to tackle this project. We emptied out the brown and green room and Ryan worked on removing the baseboard trim and pulling up the carpet. We took a trip to town and purchased new laminate flooring and a few accessories. Believe it or not, this makeover only cost about $450 and we will be getting $75 back in rebates. That’s a great deal for gaining about 300 square feet. That square footage adds a little bit for everyone. The room includes a seating area, a toy area, a teepee, an art spot, play kitchen, and music stage.




We love our laminate flooring in the living room. We originally wanted to put that in the playroom, but the price tag was just too much. The laminate flooring we chose for this room was only $.89 per square foot (Maple Leaf Lamisol, Northland Collection). While it may not be the toughest and most durable flooring choice available, the floor in this room is going to take a beating and will likely need to be replaced when the kids are grown anyways. The flooring seems to be more durable than some cheap laminate and the color will likely hide scratches well. We hope that area rugs will protect most of it and we will replace if necessary years down the road. We could not justify spending $2+ a foot just to have the kids scratch it over the next few years. The store we bought the flooring from had a promotion for free foam underlayment with a laminate flooring purchase, so we will be getting that amount refunded. We also purchased an area rug, paint and accessories, wall decals, and some other decor items.



Let’s talk paint. It is beautiful. I want to paint my entire house this color (Dutch Boy Frosted Silver)! It is a great grey color with just a hint of blue. The white trim makes the color pop and the room looks fresh and clean. I love painting and the change that comes with just a little bit of work. It is an easy DIY job that can change the entire look of a room.



We decorated the room in a woodland theme. The pillows were already covered from our lumberjack brunch and the rest of the decor came from Hobby Lobby. The table and chair set came from a garage sale for $20. With just a little bit of paint it has become a whimsical toadstool table. It fits right in with the decor and was such a fun project. I will definitely share more details of these projects soon, so stay tuned!



Meanwhile, we will be relaxing and enjoying our new playroom! The best part is that there is a space for everyone, including the adults. Micah and Harrison are already loving on it. Make sure you are following along on Instagram, where you can get a sneak peek of projects in our stories! More to come soon!




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2017 Halloween Pumpkins


Anybody else have kids acting a little demonic lately? No, just Micah? Hmmm, ok…


Anyways, we carved pumpkins tonight and it was an adventure for all of us. Micah was just so excited someone gave him a marker to draw on his pumpkin and Harrison was completely grossed out that we wanted him to scoop out the seeds. Eventually, I managed to clean out and carve both pumpkins without too much of a mess, and some help from my wonderful husband. Carving pumpkins is such a classic family event, and I’m happy the kids were excited about it.




Of course, Micah wore his Halloween costume to match his pumpkin. I always free hand carvings, we don’t do fancy stuff around here. Micah wanted a bat, and he had bat wings to match. (Target had this shirt with removable bat wings for under $8!) Having an 18 month old is a handful. I don’t remember Harrison being quite this adventurous.  Micah is a sweet but energetic kid. He is almost always smiling and having fun.




Harrison drew his pumpkin face all by himself and I cut it out for him. He thinks it is the greatest thing ever. Of course, he won’t touch it, because it’s yucky. Maybe next year?



Overall, tonight was another classic, fun adventure. We put the pumpkins on the porch with candles, but before long they will be chicken food. We have some other fun Halloween plans coming up that we are all excited for. It has been a fun, but short fall. We have already seen our first snowflakes and should have some snow on the ground tonight. Bring on November and all of the fun winter weather!


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Farmhouse End Tables

This weekend we celebrated my brother’s beautiful wife-to-be at her bridal shower. The couple had registered online for a set of end tables similar to a coffee table I built a couple of weeks ago. I knew there was a matching end table plan and decided it would be extra special to have solid wood tables built by hand. The plan came from Ana White and is called Rustic X End Table.




After looking over the plans, I decided to make the table just a tad smaller. By making the tables 27″x24″ the materials can be cut with less scraps. I recommend checking out the plan on, but for reference the plan requires the following lumber for 2 tables at the smaller dimensions:

4 – 2×4 @ 8 feet long
1 – 1×12 @ 3 feet long
4 – 2×2 @ 8 feet long
3 – 2×6 @ 8 feet long

You will also need 2 1/2″ and 1 1/4″ pocket hole screws, wood glue, and corner bracket hardware if desired. In our area the lumber cost $60.

The cut list for each table:

8 – 2X4 @ 22 1/2″
4 – 2X2 @ 13″
2 – 1X12 @ 13″
2 – 2X2 @ 26 1/2″ at 50 degrees, Long point to short point
4 – 2×2 @ 13 1/4″ Long point to short point with 50 degree and 10 degree angles
5 – 2×6 @ 24″

In order to keep the X feature without changing the angles and measurements, I only changed the width of the table. The overall result is a rectangular table, rather than a square. The X is the hardest part, but I found it easier to hold the 2×2 up to the table and mark the measurements instead of measuring point to point. They all fit perfectly that way. All of the directions and diagrams can be found at 



After purchasing the lumber, I wondered if there was a way I could monogram the tables for the couple to make it more personalized. I have a wood burner from when I was younger and decided to give it a try (on a spare piece of wood of course). It has been a while, but it was easier than I remember. Both tables have the monogram on the front corner, on opposite sides.



I am so happy that the engraving turned out well! With the stain I put on the top (Minwax Red Mahogany 225) it turns out to be subtle, but the subtle details are what makes these tables so beautiful.

The corner bracket hardware were a last minute addition. I purchased some 4 packs of L brackets and some spray paint. Totaling less than $15, it was worth every penny.


If you poke the screws into a piece of cardboard, you can paint everything all at once. Then the screw heads will match the brackets perfectly.



Of course, I had a helper for priming and painting. I used a fast dry primer and Dutch Boy paint in Antique White. It is the same color of the dresser I just refinished and our farmhouse bed.



Overall, I could not be happier with the results. Now I think I have to make myself a set, because I am in love. The tables themselves only took about 3 hours each to build. The primer, paint, stain, and poly are what take the most time. Between the lumber, hardware, and pocket hole screws I purchased, the project only cost $100, but would be more if you also needed to purchase primer, paint, stain, and other painting supplies. We keep those on hand in bulk, so it is hard to predict how much extra you should budget, but I would guess about $25-$30 in supplies. If you have a miter saw and a kreg jig, you can make these too!



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September 2017 Instagram Recap

Time is just flying by! We are nearly half way into October already, but I wanted to share the highlights of September 2017. If you don’t already follow Scott Family Homestead on Facebook and Instagram, you are missing out! The Instagram stories feature is my favorite place to post day to day happenings. You can check it out at

September was an amazing month for our garden. We harvested over 20 lbs of tomatoes, 2 dozen cucumbers, and many carrots, zucchini, and green beans. We also collected about 15 cups of blackberries, which made 8 delicious jars of jam. This year was my first “real” garden, and I am so proud of our harvests.



Ryan was successful in getting the Little Blue Truck running with minor repairs and breaks. It is now road ready, with insurance and registration. We received our “Collectors” licence plates and are ready to go. Ryan likes to use it to run errands and I hope to learn how to drive it soon. I’ve never driven a manual, so I’m a little bit nervous.



We traveled quite a bit in September. We started the month out with a camping trip and visit to the Twin Cities for the Minnesota Renaissance Art Festival. We had a good time at the festival and we able to visit family too. It turned out to be a great trip. The boys shared a lemonade at one of the food stands and it is a favorite picture of mine.



We also spent several days during the week at a waterpark resort in Wisconsin Dells. The kids are at a great age to enjoy the water as well as the playgrounds and arcades. For more details of the trip, I wrote a detailed post. We had a blast, and most of it was chronicled on Instagram stories, including a trip to a lumberjack breakfast and Harrison’s first mini golfing adventure.



We ended the month with a beautiful wedding in the Madison, WI area. My cousin and his beautiful wife were married in a small little chapel on a gorgeous day. The boys loved dancing the night away and meeting some of their cousins for the first time. We stayed in our camper at Governor Dodge State Park, which was so convenient and fun.



September ended with beautiful but warm fall weather. We captured some great pictures of the boys in the same place as last year. You can read the details and see more pictures on the blog. I put together a collage of 2016 and 2017 to show the difference in these handsome boys. They have changed so much and have really developed their personalities.



September 2017 was quite an adventure and we have enjoyed settling in for the first bit of October. We like to be busy, but time as a family is what we love the most. Stay tuned for more updates, as I have been trying to make a better effort to keep everyone updated on our adventures!




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Easy DIY Coat Rack


I have a great, easy, and cheap project to share with you today! We desperately needed a coat rack by our front door, and if I knew it would be this easy, I would have built it a long time ago. With just $12 of hardware and some scrap wood, this project can be put together in less than an hour. Even if you need to purchase the wood, you are still saving in comparison to the pre-assembled coat racks you can purchase at the store. Most of the coat racks wide enough for this space that we saw ranged from $30-$50.

Our front door opens right into our dining and living room. While I love walking into a nice open floor plan, we don’t have an entry closet. This results in a mess of coats and bags hanging on the dining room chairs. We don’t have much room for coat or shoe storage, but a simple coat rack behind the door was just what we needed.

The materials for this project are simple.

  • 36″ 1×4
  • 36″ 1×6
  • Coat Hooks
  • Small Metal Brackets
  • Hanging Hardware
  • 1 1/4″ Screws



I am a big fan of using a Kreg Jig for these types of projects. The secure and sturdy bond created with a pocket hole gives me confidence that the shelf can hold a good deal of weight. The down side to this approach is the small holes on the top of the shelf if you put the 1×4 in front of the 1×6. In our case, you won’t see them once the rack is hung on the wall, but if it bothers you a few screws will do just fine.



Once assembled (our brackets fit best with the 1×6 behind the 1×4) it really only needs a light sanding and a coat of stain or paint. I used a fast dry primer first to hide the knot holes, but depending on how distressed you want it to look, you could settle with just a coat or 2 of paint. Then attach the brackets and hooks. With 5 hooks, they should be centered every 6 inches.




Ryan helped measure for the location of the studs in the wall and attached keyhole hangers. If you don’t know where your studs are, I highly recommend using drywall anchors. There’s really no reason to have a coat rack and shelf if you can’t put some weight on it!



With a little bit of seasonal decor, this is my new favorite part of the house. It is beautiful, functional, and affordable. That checks everything off of my must-have list. It fits in our small entry perfectly.



The hardware on this is from Hobby Lobby. It is so elegant and the hooks come in many different colors. I will link all of the Hobby Lobby goodies below, including that metal tree, because I know you want it (and it’s on sale!):


Coat Hooks


Wood and Galvanized Metal Letter

Lantern Candle Holder

Metal Tree Wall Decor

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Little Helpers


5 years ago when I started to blog, it was just Ryan and I. We purchased a fixer upper and wanted to share the projects we were working on. Now, we have 2 little helpers that seem to want to be involved with everything. At first, I was resistant to letting the kids get involved in my projects. It took me a long time to decide that I could keep doing what I love with littles under foot. Having kids takes patience I never knew I could have. Letting them help with things I want or need to get done takes even more patience. When it really comes down to it, I wouldn’t have it any other way.




Let’s be honest. Little hands aren’t always that helpful. They are more likely to spill paint than to get the job done quicker. They are more likely to crawl on your new table than to help assemble it. They are more likely to eat the vegetables right from the garden before you can get them inside. They are more likely to drop the fresh eggs than to crack them neatly into a bowl. Sometimes, it really is just a mess.



It’s important to remember though, for every bit of spilled paint, Harrison has seen how his mom can paint neatly and clean up a mess. Even if he isn’t as careful as I would like, he is more likely to be careful next time. He knows how to make a mess and he knows how to clean one. If my boys help with a project, they have to follow through with the clean up. Sometimes it is easier to give them their own project or a pretend one, but they still get the experience.



This week, not only do they have a table sturdy enough to climb on (against my wishes), the boys watched their Momma build one from scratch. They know that anyone can build something if they put their mind to it, and women are no exception. Watching their mom and dad work hard is just their “normal”.



As far as eating from the garden, well, my boys like vegetables. I credit a lot of that to the fact that they grew them from tiny little seeds and watched them grow every step of the way. I may never see a full sized carrot at the rate the boys pull them out of the garden, but they will both tell you that is their favorite food.



Harrison cracked his first egg when he was just under 2. When I would cook he wanted to be involved. I bought him a cute little apron and we started to keep an extra chair in the kitchen for him to stand on. I always crack eggs into a bowl before adding them to the recipe just in case of egg shells. Harrison gets his own egg and bowl. Now at just 3 years old, he can crack an egg into the bowl perfectly and he is so proud. If the kids prefer to play with their toys nearby while I cook, that is alright with me. I don’t want to force my hobbies on them, but while they are interested I will teach them everything I can.



These are just a few examples, but let them spill the paint, check out your work, eat the food they grow, and help you cook. It isn’t always convenient, and it isn’t always fun, but their little minds always learn something. I won’t lie, they almost always make the job more difficult. I like to give the boys an easy job, like using a sanding square on furniture I am planning to paint. When I am cooking, the boys are great at stirring, or I measure the ingredients and they pour it in the bowl. The job doesn’t have to be big, they love it all the same. I am easily overwhelmed and stressed, but letting Harrison and Micah help with things has gotten easier over time and my patience has grown. Obviously, there are some things that kids need to stay away from. The boys aren’t allowed anywhere near a saw or the hot oven. They know that, and Harrison will tell you exactly how excited he is to grow up and use a chainsaw. Not today little man, not today. (It is important to make time for hobbies that aren’t kid friendly too, but that is a topic for a different day.)



As a stay at home parent, it is especially important for me to let the kids help me. Without my little helpers, I would never get anything done. For a while, I stopped building and crafting. Now, it does take longer when the kids get involved, but I still get to do the things I love while teaching them what hard work looks like. I really do believe our boys have found appreciation in what we do and how much work it takes. They also take pride in the things they have worked on. If appreciation, hard work, and pride come at the price of slowing down what I am working on, I think it is worth it. So, get back to doing what you love or start something new together. Now is as good a time as any!

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Easy DIY Fall Wreath – Kid Friendly!


This year Harrison has started preschool at home. We don’t have a 3 year old program here, but Harrison is so excited to start school (mostly because he thinks the school bus will take him to Disney World, but that’s a whole different issue). We have been working from a workbook, reading, and doing a little bit of crafting. Today we decided to go on a search outside for some colorful leaves to make fall wreaths. These are such an easy project anyone can do it, and Micah helped too!



We collected leaves of all different colors, shapes and sizes. This is the perfect time of year to collect, because the leaves are about 50% changed at this point. If you don’t have colorful leaves in your area or it is past that time of year, you can buy colorful leaves at your local craft store.

*If you want your wreath to last for quite some time, you should press your leaves to dry for several days once they are collected.*



Once the leaves were collected, we headed back inside. The best part – this craft only takes 2 other materials, a paper plate and some glue. We cut the center out of the plate to make a ring and started to glue down the leaves.



That’s all there is to it! Put as many or as few leaves on the ring as you would like, set it out to dry, and find a place to display your work! Harrison is just 3 and was able to do this project completely on his own. Micah, who is 18 months, needed a little help. He liked collecting leaves and placing them on the plate, but I helped him finish it off.



What kinds of crafts have you been up to this fall? I look forward to seeing them!

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Fall Photo Shoot 2017

Last year I took some fall photos in our driveway and they are some of my favorite pictures. I couldn’t pass up a chance to make it a yearly thing and put the boys back in matching plaid outfits.



The leaves are changing colors and falling fast. Ryan picked up some pumpkins and mums from the store yesterday and they are beautiful! The kids were very excited to take pictures with the pumpkins. I’m not going to lie, taking the boy’s pictures isn’t always a treat. They like to wiggle and crawl away, but this time they made it easy.



Keep in mind I am far from a professional photographer or blogger, but I need to capture these memories. It’s true, the days are long, but the years are short. My boys are growing fast and I feel like I’ve just blinked.



Make sure you check out last years pictures too. It is amazing to see the difference a year makes. Harrison is losing his baby look and is becoming a little boy (big boy if you ask him). Our little 6 month old, dark haired Micah has turned blonde and is almost as tall as his big brother. Make it stop!

Fall is a really great season around here. I’m harvesting what is left of the garden. Last night we canned 12 pints of pickles and I baked 24 zucchini muffins. It even smells like fall in here now! I hope you are able to get out and enjoy the fall weather. Pull out your sweaters and jackets, the best season of the year is here!

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Wisconsin Dells Family Vacation

We have been in desperate need of a family vacation. Ryan has been busy with work and keeping everything running around here, while I have been in over my head with the kids, garden, and chickens. It is that time of year when everything needs to be cleaned, organized, and put away before snow flies. We had a great chance to step away for a few days and really enjoy the kids. They are at an awesome age and we don’t want to miss anything because we are too busy.

*This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.*

We had a list of things we wanted to do while on our vacation. The Wisconsin Dells are full of fun things to do, but we definitely wanted to go to the waterparks, mini golfing, shopping, ride a Duck, and eat good food. I’d say it was a successful trip, although we did have to skip one item on our list.



We took a trip to Wisconsin Dells. This is a great time of year to go (September), because even though the outdoor waterparks are closed up, the crowds are low and the rates are cheap. We got a suite at the Wilderness Resort for a great price, and the 3rd night was half off! The Wilderness Resort has everything you could want including several indoor waterparks, mini golf, arcade, ropes course, playhouse, restaurants and bars, shops, spa, and more. Between it being during the week and in the off season, the place was practically our own. We have stayed at other resorts (Kalahari, Chula Vista, etc) but the Wilderness is by far our favorite.



Harrison loved the multi-level playhouse. Micah loved it too, and it is big enough for parents to supervise (and have a little fun too). I’m sure it gets a little crazy in the busy season, but it has a lot of space for the kids to run and play. The boys also liked the arcade. Harrison figured out how to swipe his card to activate the games all by himself. He ran around playing games and winning tickets for cheap prizes we don’t really need…but he loved it!



The lazy river in the waterpark is my favorite part. They have double tubes with a mesh bottom in the front. Micah and I spent a ridiculous amount of time floating circles around the park. He was terrified of the dumping bucket, and the river kept him far away. Harrison was busy riding the big slides with Daddy. They did all of the adventurous stuff while Micah and I took it easy.



We also enjoyed a few other things around town. We enjoyed breakfast at Paul Bunyans. They have an all you can eat, lumberjack themed breakfast. The kids got Babe the Blue Ox hats and ate until their little tummies were all filled up! We have also loved going to Moosejaw Brewing Co. in the past. They have great pizza and homemade beer and soda. I highly recommend it!



We also couldn’t visit the Dells without a trip to Pirates Cove Mini Golf. Harrison hasn’t ever golfed before. It took a few practices before he had it all figured out. We had a blast and Micah fell asleep in the Tula carrier. We couldn’t have asked for better weather. It was a beautiful, warm day.



Of course, no trip is complete without a little shopping. The Dells have an amazing outlet mall and we scored some great deals, including a few fall outfits for the boys from Carters and Gymboree. Since becoming a mom, I find it much more enjoyable to shop for the kids than to shop for myself.



One of these times, we hope to take a Dells Tour with the Original Ducks. They have vehicles that are both trucks and boats that take a tour of the beautiful parts of the Wisconsin Dells. We planned on going (because they have a fall discount) but the boys fell asleep after lunch and we decided to just get on the road while we had quiet kids in the back seat. Next time!



It was good to get away for a bit. We only have one more camping trip planned and then the camper and boat will be put away. The leaves are already changing color and dropping leaves, and the yard needs to be mowed at least one more time. The coops are in good shape, but we will be adding windows to encourage more light for egg laying during the winter. The garden has handfuls of cucumbers and tomatoes that need to be processed. The list goes on and on, but we sure do love this life.


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