Category: DIY Projects


5 Minute Wreath


 

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!

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Playroom Christmas Decor and DIY Garland


 

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.

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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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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 Ana-White.com, 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 www.ana-white.com/2012/08/plans/rustic-x-end-table 

 

 

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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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

Brackets

Wood and Galvanized Metal Letter

Lantern Candle Holder

Metal Tree Wall Decor

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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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Dresser Makeover


Dresser Before and After

 

I picked up a dresser a couple of weeks ago at an estate sale and couldn’t wait to get it painted and put into our master bedroom! We haven’t had a dresser in our room before and it has added much needed storage. Last year we put Micah’s crib and rocker in the master to keep him close, especially because he had acid reflux and would often wake up coughing or gagging. Keeping him close was a blessing, but now he is doing well in his own room and we have a bit of space back.

Crib in Master Bedroom

 

We currently have an antique white farmhouse bed and end tables. We also have a small fireplace and mantel. The room is a light lilac color (husband approved) with a darker purple accent behind the bed. The pine dresser definitely didn’t match the room, but it was a steal at $50. I already had paint to match the bed, so after $10 in primer and sanding pads, we were ready to go.

Dresser Before

 

Of course, I couldn’t have gotten the job done without my helpers. Harrison helped take the hardware off, sand the drawers, and even helped with paint. Micah helped me give the dresser a good cleaning after sanding. They might slow the job down a little, but they love to help and I would never turn that down!

Little Helpers

 

The key to a good coat of paint is a good primer, especially when you are trying to hide dark spots or knots. After a light sanding and coat of Zinnser 1, 2, 3 primer/sealer, I used dutch boy self priming paint in Antique White. This is my favorite shade of white and is currently the color of our kitchen, as well as several pieces of furniture. Dresser After

 

My original plan was to replace the hardware. The bronze hardware made the pine dresser look dated. I looked online and in stores for new hardware, but everything I liked was in the $5 range, which would double the investment in this dresser. I decided to try spray painting with some paint I had on hand.

Krylon Spray Paint Dresser Hardware

I actually love this hardware in this color more than any of the expensive options I looked at. It seems very elegant with a new coat of paint. This is also the first time I used this krylon spray paint, and it is love.

Dresser Hardware

 

To finish off the project, I made a little trip to Hobby Lobby. I haven’t had a place to put my Precious Moments and didn’t find much online for ideas. I know they aren’t as popular now as they once were, but each one has a special place in my heart and I want to display them. I found some nice grey crates that contrast nicely and they could actually be hung up on the wall if we decide to go that route.

Precious Moments Display

 

I really like how the master bedroom is coming together. We have slowly been adding to the room to make it our own and with 2 crazy boys, we look forward to bedtime now more than ever. I will be doing a little update on the rest of the room soon, so stay tuned!

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Little Blue Truck


Beep, beep, beep!

One of Harrison’s favorite books is “Little Blue Truck”. It is a really great children’s book with a good lesson. “Now I see a lot depends on a helping hand from a few good friends.” Harrison was pretty excited to take a trip with his dad to pick up a real life little blue truck.

Little Blue Truck

It has been a dream of mine for a while now to have a vintage truck. Ryan found this 1964 Ford F100 on Craigslist for a great deal. Of course, the truck was a great price, mostly because it isn’t currently running. Ryan is confident he can fix the engine issues (the previous owner says it was just an issue with the clutch). He really didn’t want to get a truck that needed body work, and this one is really great.

Little Blue Truck Long Bed

This F100 has a long bed and a custom cab, with chrome trim. It’s beautiful. It has an 8 cylinder 292 Y-block engine with a 4 speed manual transmission. <— I don’t know what most of that means, but I’ve been told it’s important. I hope to learn more about trucks and engines as Ryan and I tackle this project together.

F100Interior

It is going to be a bit of an adventure to get this thing running and put back together. Ryan joked that since we didn’t have enough going on we needed a project. For now, it is safely tucked away in the garage. Once Ryan gets it running I will have to learn to drive a manual. I’m also going to need a pig, sheep, cow, horse, goat, and big green toad to help me out when I get stuck in the mud.

1964F100

We have a lot of half finished projects going on around here and not much time to do them. We are big believers in watching the market for quite some time, finding a deal, and setting it aside for a bit if we have to. We have gotten great deals on cars, our camper, boat, and houses by patiently waiting for the right thing to come along. I hope we will have an update on this beauty soon though, because I can’t wait to take it for a ride. Thanks for reading and check back soon!

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Our New Garden


I have been busy, busy getting our garden put in this year and I am excited to share with you! Our first summer in this house (2015) I had a 4’x4′ raised bed garden and some tomato plants in pots on the deck. Last year, I doubled my garden bed space by adding 2 4’x2′ garden beds. Needless to say, we didn’t have all that much success with that small amount of space.

Old Garden

This year I decided to step it up and put in my “forever garden.” I added 2 large raised beds. One is 27’x3′ split into 4 sections. The other is 13’x4′ split into 2 sections. We went from a total of 32 square feet to 165 square feet! We also added an 8’x8′ green house and have several pots of tomatoes and herbs. It is still a work on progress, but I am happy with how far it has come.

Garden Greenhouse

We have planted green beans, zucchini, pumpkins, sweet peppers, green peppers, carrots, cucumbers, broccoli, rhubarb, asparagus, tomatoes, chives, basil, oregano, dill, marjoram, and parsley.

Vegetable Garden

So what’s next? I bought a great metal arbor and a really cool bamboo gate that will be installed soon. I am also planning on laying down landscape fabric and mulch between the boxes. The greenhouse will eventually get a brick floor and some built in shelves. It may take a while to finish the project list, but everything is functional as it is and our plants are doing great so far.

Greenhouse and Lilacs

Over the last 48 hours we have received almost 5 inches of rain. We were lucky to not have any storm damage and the garden seems to be loving the extra water. I am excited to see what the garden will yield this year. I am definitely not a professional, but I learn a little more each year. If nothing else, it sure is pretty and Harrison loves it! He is becoming a little gardener and even has his own wildflower garden.

Harrison Greenhouse

We have a busy summer, but we love our little homestead so much. We love to see the apple trees and blackberry bushes blooming with flowers. We love collecting the eggs every day, especially the beautiful blue ones! The roses and wildflowers are blooming. We are really, really lucky to raise our boys here. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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