Category: DIY Projects
Several years ago, I inherited 2 recliners from my grandparent’s old cottage. These chairs have lived a long life and are showing it a bit. They are comfortable though and I want to incorporate them into our playroom. You probably saw them in our playroom reveal.
I made a slip cover for one to put in Harrison’s nursery 4 years ago. If you have been following for a while now, you might remember it. It has been featured in Harrison’s monthly photos and several more snapshots shared on Facebook and Instagram.
This slip cover was one of my first ever sewing projects and I didn’t know how well it would go. I didn’t want to risk wasting several yards of expensive fabric, so I went the route of using a drop cloth fabric instead. I built the cover in 5 parts – the foot stool, 2 arms, the seat, and the back.
It took a lot of time (which I am short on at the moment), but it turned out really well! The back was the hardest part because it is curved and I could not recreate the button pattern to hold it in place. The cover has lasted 4 years, but now it is time for something new.
Since we are using both chairs in the playroom and only 1 has a cover, I have removed it. Now I have 3 options. I can leave them as is, recover both, or try fabric paint. I don’t know much about the paint option, but it seems to be a growing trend. If it doesn’t work out, I can always cover them anyways. I’m leaning towards painting them charcoal grey. Am I crazy?
This is where I ask for your help and opinions. Have you tried or seen fabric paint? Will it make the chairs stiff and uncomfortable? Will it hold up? Tell me more! If I decided to make new covers, it will be WAY in the future. I’ve got sewing projects for the kids, the camper, and myself that need to be done first. I will use a more expensive, fancy fabric though and it could be really nice. I’m hopeful about the fabric paint, but I will not do it if the quality will suffer. Thank you in advance for all of your help and opinions!
Well, 2017 got away from me, but we got so much done around here. We expanded our homestead by adding a garden and greenhouse. We updated the kids bedrooms, added a playroom, and decorated the house with all kinds of farmhouse goodies. Our home and land is a work in progress though.
As much as I love to look at home decorating blogs, the houses always look so perfectly done and decorated. Here I am, with a house that needs a lot of work before it can be considered “done”. (A little bit of real life for you.) This year we will hopefully get some big projects done, or at least in the planning stage until the budget comes around. I want the entire house to look as good as Harrison’s room and the playroom.
Most of our projects are on our list because the functionality isn’t working for our family. I’m going to give you a look into a few of these projects that we hope to get started in 2018.
1. Kitchen Sideboard/Buffet
We recently installed new lights in a very dark part of our kitchen. They will be on their own switch and will add much needed light. We also painted the kitchen a light antique white above the backsplash. We still need to paint the rest of the kitchen to lighten it up. You can see around these lights what the new color will be. We will also be adding 2 open shelves below the lights and I plan to use a little chalk paint to update the sideboard. This is our first project to complete in 2018 and we have already started.
2. Siding and windows
As stated above, our kitchen lacks natural light. The windows are the root of the issue. The space is OK, but there is so much vinyl blocking light. We plan to replace these with windows of the same size that can let in more light. As a bonus, our upstairs windows are the same and have a broken pane, so we can use the kitchen windows as replacements.
I also really want the replace the vinyl siding on the kitchen and guest bedroom portions of the house with faux stone. This is an expensive project, but it will make a big difference in the look of the house. Doing this when we replace the windows will be perfect timing. The “tower” will look even more elegant.
3. Master bathroom
I would really love a bathtub in our master bathroom. If we switch the toilet water closet and the shower we can have a tub. I can also fulfill my dream of a beautiful barn door on the new water closet. We will also be replacing the floors and vanity, but this project will have to wait until we can save up some cash. We have done absolutely nothing in this bathroom and it desperately needs an update.
4. Mud room
We desperately need a drop zone for winter clothes and muddy boots. We have the space for it in the garage, but it needs to be built in and insulated. I am very excited for the extra storage and the mess free floors in the rest of the house.
5. Windows in the chicken coop
Our chickens are lazy layers in the winter. Part of the issue is a lack of light on the cold days when they won’t come out into their run. We definitely need to add windows to the doors and sides of the coops.
Our landscaping has gotten out of control. A lot of it is overgrown and full of weeds. We even have a Japanese Barberry plant, which is invasive. It doesn’t help that the house sat vacant for a while. We just haven’t been able to catch up. Every year I work a bit, but it needs a full on overhaul at this point. This is my biggest summer time goal.
The list goes on and on, but for now I’m going to set my goals to these 6 projects.
Harrison’s room is finally done! If you remember, he decided he would sleep better in his room if it was green and had trains. While I realize he really just loves to snuggle in our bed and was avoiding going to his own room, I thought it was probably time for a big kid room anyways. If you haven’t already seen it, check out the before pictures here. Now for the big reveal!
We already had many of the aspects of this room, including the Jenny Lind bed, ombre dresser, bookshelf, and desk. I added in many of the travel themed accessories though. I had so much fun making this “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” meets “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” bedroom. It would really make a fun nursery too, but I really see this as the room that will grow with Harrison. Before I get into the little details, check out some of these fun products for yourself (not sponsored).
- Globe with Silver Stand – Hobby Lobby
- Wood Airplane Prop – Amazon
- Galvanized Metal Container with Wood Handles – Hobby Lobby
- Mini Aircraft Model 3 Pack – Amazon
- Red Bi-Plane – Hobby Lobby
- Railroad Crossing Sign – Hobby Lobby
- Bronze Cage Uplight – Hobby Lobby
The train book shelf is definitely Harrison’s favorite part. I will go into further details on it’s own post. It was really easy to build and a couple of stencils from the Cricut made it special for him. My favorite part is the large map (that I found on sale at our local book sale). I added a couple of 1x2s with a dark stain, which saves so much in comparison to having it framed.
I added a few quotes from “Oh, the Places You’ll Go” throughout the room. Sappy Mom moment: I really think Harrison has big things in store for him and I think these quotes suit him. He’s a creative kid and I hope this room inspires him.
This room has some really special, vintage aspects too. My Dad gave Harrison this blanket with vintage cars on it. It was his as a kid and Harrison loves it. Laid on this Jenny Lind bed and with a homemade sock monkey from my Grandma and it fits in just right. The desk in the corner was my Dad’s too. I love sentimental things. I also love homemade things, like the train and this flag banner made from some fabric scraps.
Harrison loves his new room, and will hopefully sleep in it! He has been doing really well lately and only comes down early morning to snuggle. Harrison is a real sweet heart and I won’t turn down the snuggles anytime soon. It’s true, the days are long but the years are short.
This year I had the idea to make a doll house. I finished Christmas shopping early for the boys this year, but I have a beautiful little goddaughter who I thought would love a girly little doll house. I started looking at ideas on Pinterest and decided that as long as I gave myself enough time, this is definitely a project I could take on.
Didn’t it turn out cute?! I may need one for the boys now, and maybe even one for myself. This project is great because the structure is very simple to make with the right tools and the details are so fun to make. I will post separately about the furniture and accessories, but let’s start with the structure.
This doll house is made of 1×10 pine, but a 1×8 would work too. The house is built on a 1:12 scale and would work with most doll house accessories. The structure is made up of 2 boards cut at 20″ (sides), and 3 boards cut at 24″ (floors). The bottom floor is set about 2″ off the floor. The 2nd shelf is set at 9″ and the last is just at the top. The roof is cut at a 45 degree angle and each side is 12″ long. It makes the perfect attic space with room for a rooftop deck.
You can also use a simple store bought cube shelf if you don’t have the tools to make the structure. If you have a chop saw and drill though, building this simple shelf should be no problem. If you want to add windows, drilling a hole and cutting with a jig saw is all it takes. I put the shelf together with screws and covered them with wood filler. The outside is painted a light lilac color and the floors are stained (any color you prefer will work).
Like I mentioned, the accessories are the best part. I added some shutters and window boxes using popsicle sticks. The window trim is from a Hobby Lobby , and the basswood economy bag came in handy for a lot of accessories. The popsicles and trim were easy to cut with a side cutters.
Each side and the roof deck have white picket fence, also from Hobby Lobby. Every doll house needs a white picket fence! The basswood and wood fence pieces often go on sale, so wait for a good deal, or use the Hobby Lobby 40% off coupon in store (on their website main page).
My favorite part though, is the cedar shake roof. I had left over shims from our previous house projects and the thin ends work perfect for doll house shingles. You can even cut them with an exacto knife. I glued them on with wood glue overlapping 50%. The color variation is fun and you can make them any variety of size you would like. Capped off with a piece of corner trim, it is so cute.
The back of the doll house is also pretty. I originally planned to use some thin paneling, but Ryan found an extra piece of bead board in the garage and I couldn’t resist. It is the perfect finish for this cute little doll house.
That’s all it takes to make this super cute house, and it is really affordable too. Stay tuned for all of the furniture and accessory details, coming soon!
It’s that time of year again! We’ve pulled out all of the Christmas boxes from the basement and added to it from Black Friday sales. I’m excited to show off our Christmas decor! You have probably already seen the playroom decor and the kitchen wreaths, but here is a look at the rest of the house.
We went a little crazy with our tree this year. We always get a real tree because you just can’t beat that fresh pine scent and the natural look. We had a little argument about how big our tree was last year. Was it 10′ or 12′? We settled on a nice skinny 11′ (compared to the others) and it has pretty much eaten our living room right up. Ryan says, “I guess we are more of a 10′ tree kind of family.”
The tree in our living room is always the traditional colors of red, green, silver, and gold. We have some sentimental ornaments, including Harrison’s hat and bracelet from the hospital, Micah’s ultrasound and hospital bracelet, and yearly family photos.
We also have an all white tree in the loft. This is the tree for the fun blue and purple decor. It’s just a fun artificial tree that have wanted for a long time. The ornaments are all shatterproof and the kids can touch them if they want. It just brings a little life to a usually un-decorated space.
Back in the living room, I made some simple pillow covers to match the holiday. I got this fleece fabric from Joann’s and it is soft and cozy. They are just envelope pillow covers that can be removed when the season is done. With just 3 lines of sewing these are one of the easiest projects there is.
The mantle has a little bit of old mixed with a little bit of new. I love large our mantle is, but is gets a little bit difficult to decorate without some large scale items.
I found the silver trees at Hobby Lobby along with the grey and white box, which is even more gorgeous in person. They fit in nicely with the birch trees and white pine branches from the backyard.
The snowflake garland was put together with the extra red bead garland from the playroom and some silver glitter snowflakes. I put ornament hooks on the snowflakes and pinched them around the garland. It’s easy and pretty, exactly my kind of decor.
I also found these cute white houses for sale at Shopko on Black Friday. I love them so much. They are so simple and beautiful, but they also light up.
The piano has just a few decorations. The candle set is from Kohls (last year). It was part of a pair but….kids. I also found this cute barn advent calendar (Tractor Supply) which is a new addition. Harrison loves checking to see what candy or activity he gets for the day. The tree could easily be replaced with a great big wreath, but it just isn’t in the budget this year. Maybe next year!
Lastly, the coat rack! This is just an extra little space I love to decorate with the changing seasons. I kept it fun with blue and silver this year. The jar on the end is full of jingle bells and the other decor is from Hobby Lobby.
I plan to have a beautiful table centerpiece as well, but I will wait until closer to Christmas. We use the table every day and it just isn’t practical to have it all decorated for a month with the kids. When I have it all finished, I will post a little update. Until then, make sure you are following along on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!
We have lived in this house for nearly 3 years now! It’s hard to believe it has been that long. Harrison was just 8 months old when we moved in. We didn’t have much time between closing on the house and moving in, so his room never got much as far as paint and finishes. We painted an orange stripe on the wall and added his name. Over time, we have decorated his room (mostly in a woodland theme). When Micah was a baby and moved out of our room, the boys shared a room. All of the baby supplies were in there and the recliner/rocker too.
Micah had some major issues with reflux and didn’t sleep through the night or night wean until he was a year old. The disruption to Harrison’s sleep wasn’t working, so we moved Micah into his own room (also not finished at the moment). With him we moved the cube shelves, crib, a dresser, and some of the wall decor. Suddenly, Harrison’s room is looking close to empty.
Recently, Harrison has been coming into our room in the early morning (5am). I have been encouraging him to stay in his own room, but he keeps telling me he doesn’t like it. I know he is just saying that because he wants to be with us. After some talk, we decided it was time to change his room to a “big boy” room and let him help design it. The paint is showing some wear after 3 years. The company that sold us the house had the entire place painted brown before we moved in and didn’t leave a sample for touch ups. We are hoping if Harrison has a chance to help design and paint, he will love his new room.
I want to keep the dresser, curtains, and comforter, so blue needs to match. Harrison recently got a great antique Jenny Lind bed, so that will definitely stay. We are going to drop the woodland theme, and the gallery wall has been lopsided since we removed Micah’s name, so that will be changed too.
Harrison has requested a green room with trains. We always have projects going on, and I have extra green paint from a previous project. I also have a gallon of gray paint leftover from our first house, so that will go on the other 3 walls. I think green would be too much in the whole room. We definitely need more book storage, so that will be a goal of mine too.
I have decided from browsing Pinterest that a “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” or “Oh, The Places You’ll Go” theme will fit exactly what Harrison wants. I’m hoping to fill the room and walls with maps, vehicles, and signs. I have already started the process and I am so excited about how it is turning out so far. Stay tuned for the reveal and follow along on Instagram for sneak peeks!
If you have been in the holiday section of any store, I’m sure you have seen some gold hoop wreaths that are beautiful. It seems to be a new trend this year, but before you go out and buy a $10-$20 wreath, check out this quick and easy DIY.
With just a macrame ring, a cheap bouquet of greens, and a little ribbon you can make this wreath. It is perfect for a door, wall, cabinet, etc.
I find that craft rings are incredibly easy to find at rummage and estate sales. I bought a giant box of these gold rings in all different sizes (this one is 12″) and embroidery hoops for $5. It is the gift that keeps on giving, because they have been a big part of my crafting. The bouquet of greens I purchased a while ago on sale at Hobby Lobby and it was $3. I was able to make 3 wreaths with 1 bouquet. Since you will only need a little bit of ribbon to tie a bow, you can use some leftovers.
I literally only takes 5 minutes and some hot glue to put this together. You can make it as fancy as you would like, but I found that 4 little sprigs makes the perfect coverage for this open wreath. Some red berries would also look great, or add whatever embellishments suit you!
These made the perfect addition to our kitchen cabinets for the holidays. These wreaths would also look great on a window or door.
I also want to add, we refreshed our cabinets with some lemon oil about 6 months ago. It was such an easy job and the cabinets look brand new. I will do a full kitchen reveal some time in the future now that our new countertops and backsplash are complete, but for now, enjoy this sneak peek…
What holiday DIYs are you taking on this year? I would love to hear your ideas! As always, thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!
Last week, Ryan was traveling for work. I quickly ran out of entertaining things for the kids to do, so we ended up pulling out some Christmas decorations, including a cute little tree from Target and some shatterproof ornaments. I recently saw an idea on Pinterest that involved gluing little pom poms to pine cones. A project that will entertain both kids and will keep the little in his highchair? Yes PLEASE!
I put the glue on Micah’s pine cone (leftover fall decorations from Hobby Lobby) and Harrison did his own. Each kid got a handful of mini pom poms. It was a very entertaining project and each of the boys made a few of them.
Now, what to do with these cute little pine cones? I love to stock up on clearance decor at the end of the season and last year I got some red bead garland from Hobby Lobby. With a little hot glue, we have a cute little garland perfect for the kid’s playroom!
The garland costs $2.99, but I was able to get it 75% off last year. I also had enough to make a cute garland for our fireplace, but I will share that another time. With just a tiny budget and a little bit of time (and help from the kids) you can make this garland too!
We recently finished the playroom in an extra room above our garage. This garland fits in with the woodland theme perfectly. It also adds a little bit of color and fun.
The kids also fell in love with a singing reindeer at Target, so he is hung up on the wall (where they can’t push the button every 20 seconds). He is another great addition to the playroom and the kids think he is so fun.
With that, I think the playroom Christmas decorating is complete for this year. We will have another fake tree (all white) in the loft and we will get a real tree for the living room after Thanksgiving. I typically try to wait until after Thanksgiving for Christmas decorations, but it has been so snowy and cold here that the winter decor just fits much better than fall decor right now. As a bonus, we’ve been able to keep the kids busy and helpful with all of these little projects.
COMING UP: Have you seen the new Hearth and Hand line at Target? They have a wreath that I just love. As it turns out, I had everything I needed to make my own without spending a penny! Later this week I will post a tutorial so you can make one too! Stay tuned.
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 rack. Eventually 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!
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!