Category: DIY Projects

Shut the Front Door

I was going to give you an awesome tutorial on how to paint your front door.  Instead, I’m going to share my failure with you.  Today is just one of those days.

I wanted to pick a bright, bold color for our exterior doors.  I decided on a blue that was labeled as a “2013 Trending Color”.  Who can go wrong with that?  So I bought “Lapis Enamel” in Dutch Boy exterior door and trim paint.

I painted 2 coats on the door yesterday and let it dry in the sun.  It looked great and had an awesome glossy finish.Front Door Paint

Before I went to bed, I checked the door and made sure it wasn’t tacky or wet.  The paint seemed perfect and we put the door knob back on.Front Door


Looks pretty good huh?  Wait, what’s that at the bottom?  Oh, there’s water on the paint.  Must be from that mist this morning.Paint Bubbles


Ryan and I grabbed a rag to wipe the water off and make sure the color didn’t fade because of the water.  That’s when the paint bubbles started to wipe right off.Front Door Paint Problems


It looks like I will be sanding a repainting the door this week!  Even though the door was dry last night, it rained enough to bubble the paint.  I really would have thought the 8+ hours would have been enough, but I suggest painting when there is no rain in the forecast.  Otherwise, you can take the door off of the hinges and paint inside your house or garage.  We only had a slight chance of showers yesterday and I thought we would be safe, but I won’t take the chance again!

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Building a Chicken Coop: Part 2

**This is part 2 of a 4 part series.  Click here to read part 1**

Building a Chicken Coop


Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was our chicken coop…it took 2 days.  That’s right! It only took us 2 days to get our coop into a functional state.  It may not be pretty on the outside (yet) but the chickens are all moved in.

After building all of the framing we got to work by putting OSB on the exterior walls.Coop Walls

With the new support of the walls, we were able to put our homemade trusses up.Putting Up Trusses

Add some OSB to the roof and you’ve got yourself a coop!  Coop Roof Support

We also added our door and windows.  Menards was having a door sale, so we got one really cheap.  We just bought utility windows, which are also relatively cheap.  We used 1×6 lumber to cap off the ends of the trusses.Coop Windows

We put the roofing felt on and will put shingles up, but I will talk about that in part 3.  We will also be boxing in the eves.Coop Roof Felt


We didn’t want the chickens to roost on the window sills, so we made a frame with hardware cloth for the inside of the windows.Chicken Coop Windows

Next, we had to build a door that the chickens could use to get into the run.  We built a guillotine style door that works with a pulley.  It only took about an hour to build and works smoothly.Chicken Coop Door Coop Door


After that, the chickens just needed a roost to move in.  With only a few 2x4s, we had a nice roost built in a matter of minutes.Chicken Coop Roosts


Sadie approves, and she is sad she doesn’t have a cool house like the chickens do!Sadie Approves


It will probably be a while before we get the roofing and siding on.  We are planning on using left over siding from the house, so we will have to wait until that is done.  As soon as we have more to update, I will write Part 3 of our chicken coop adventure.

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Building a Chicken Coop: Part 1

We worked very hard this weekend building our chicken coop!  I spent a lot of time designing this coop and wanted it to be perfect.  I did a lot of research and drew up my plans for a coop that could be used as a garden shed if we/future owners didn’t have chickens.

We did a lot of work and have a bit more to do, so I am going to break this into 4 blog posts.  We have not put siding or roofing on or built the run, so those posts will come later.  This is how it stands today:Chicken Coop Started

In the last post about our chicken coop, I wrote a little bit about our major considerations.  With that in mind, let’s get started!

Before we could start building the structure, we had to remove a tree.  Tree Removal

With that out of the way, we built our foundation on top of our gravel.  We built it 16″ on center with treated 2x6s.  Coop Foundation


We laid down 3/4″ OSB for the sub-floor.  We would have used 1/2″ but Menards was all out, and we had to take what we could get.  Luckily, the price was good and the structure will be even more sturdy.  Coop Subfloor

After a lot of research online, I discovered that the vinyl should be put on before the walls are put up.  We got a glueless vinyl so all we had to do was lay it down!  Then we were able to start building the framing.Coop VinylCoop Framing

I also did a bit of research to see how to make trusses (because I had no idea where to start).  I found this YouTube video that I used in my design:

After some intense geometry, we got 10 identical trusses.

Coop Trusses


Now that the framing is all done, we can start putting up the OSB walls.  Check back for Part 2!

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Preparing for Chickens


Today we are getting ready to build a coop for our chickens.  Although I recommend building a coop before your chickens arrive, we have done just fine until now by keeping them in a large outdoor dog kennel.  However, we live in town and do not have many chicken predators around.  Since we need a place for our chickens to nest and roost, the definitely need a coop soon (and hopefully we won’t look like such rednecks anymore).


Our plan is to build a large garden shed that will be used as a coop.  When we sell our house, it can be used even if the next owners do not want chickens.  The shed will be 12’x8′ and will have a full sized entry door.  Here are some things we took into consideration:

1.  Chickens need about 4 square feet each inside the coop.  Since we have 16 chickens, that would mean making a 64 square foot shed.  Ours will be 96 square feet (just in case I want to add a few to my bunch).

2.  Linoleum flooring (which will be installed before the walls are put up) is easy to clean and should cover most surfaces.

3. Ventilation is extremely important and helps keep your chickens safe in the cold winters as well.  We will have vents and windows installed for this purpose.

4. We want a fixed foundation, but do not want it raised so that predators/nuisance animals can get under it.  For this purpose, we are putting down a gravel pad for our foundation to rest on.  This will also help with drainage.

5. I designed the interior of the coop around the nest boxes and roosting sites.  We will have one nest box for every 4 chickens and plenty of room for roosting (they require 8-10″ each).

6. We really want the coop to look nice without costing a lot of money.  I will go into details of our supplies in another post, but the coop will have the same siding as the house and will match the garage.

We are going to put the coop back behind the garage.  You won’t be able to see it from the road and it is in the back corner of the property (away from any neighbor’s homes). Coop Location

We will have to remove one tree before we begin, so that we can have a run come out the west side of the coop.  Other than that, we were able to dump some gravel into our 12’x8′ area.Coop Gravel Foundation

We have just as much gravel left, and we will work on creating a level area when we start building our treated foundation.  Tomorrow we will start the building process, so check back for an update soon!

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Are you a blog reader?


I love keeping up with home decor and food blogs, so I follow a bunch of them on Facebook (and you can check some of them out on my homepage).  In the past couple of days, 2 different blogs that I follow have posted their disappointment about the end of Google Reader.

Cue the search for Google Reader.

Some of you may know this, but for newbies like me, here’s a bit about the service.  Google Reader organized new posts from all of the blogs that you followed through their service.  It kept a homepage  full of post summaries that link to the original blog.  You could visit one site and see all of the new posts from your favorite blogs and websites.

Being that I am relatively new to blogging, I didn’t even know that this awesome service existed until it was shutting down.  Luckily, several bloggers have recommended alternative websites that work in a similar way.

After a bit of research, I have started using to keep track of my favorite blogs.  And lucky for you, I have claimed The Design Eye on Bloglovin so you can follow me too!  So make your life a bit easier and collect all of your favorite blogs in one place.  Don’t forget to follow The Design Eye on Facebook too!

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Guest Room Accessories

I have had the itch to do a ton of little decor projects lately.  All of the ideas have been saved away for a rainy day, but never really get done.  Yesterday I just went for it, and crossed a ton of projects off my list.  Most of the projects I did belong in the guest room.

I recently went to a garage sale where they had over 50 embroidery hoops in a box and they were only asking $2!  I had seen some cute fabric hoops on Pinterest recently and decided to give it a try.  After I finished the headboard for our guest bedroom, I started on the hoops.  You can glue the fabric in, but I just put the fabric in tight and hung them up with finishing nails.Embroidery Hoops.jpg

I think the colors work really well, and it is helping me tone down the bright yellow by breaking it up a bit.

I also created a curtain for the closet.  I made this curtain exactly like the other DIY curtains I made in this room.  I used iron-on fabric tape, so there is no sewing involved!  I just cut the curtain to size, folded over the edges and ironed on the fusible tape.  It’s really simple and gives you a nice curtain panel.Closet Curtain.jpg

Again, I just used curtain clips to secure it in place.  That’s really all it takes.Curtain Clips.jpg

My last guest room project was finished a while ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to putting it in the room.  I made a bookshelf from plans from  It was a really simple project that anyone can do, and it is solid wood (much better than that stuff you buy at Walmart).  I planned on painting it white, but really wanted to get my books out of storage, so it isn’t exactly finished yet.Bookcase

It is really starting to feel like home around here.  I like it more and more every day.  Thanks for reading!

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Easy DIY Headboard



Ryan and I have been hard at work today making this super easy headboard.  It takes a lot of time, but anyone can do it!  We had most of the supplies we needed, so we only ended up spending about $35 (for 1″ foam and fabric).

First we traced out the pattern we wanted for the overall shape.  We just put the center of a 5 gallon bucket on the corner and traced that on each side.  Sophisticated, I know…

Headboard Corner Cuts


Then we just cut it out with a jigsaw.  I have a jigsaw attachment for my drill, so it is cordless.  I highly recommend the Black and Decker Matrix Drill for exactly that reason.  You can buy all kinds of attachments at a fraction of the cost of buying separate tools.

Cutting Headboard Corners


Next, we covered the plywood in a 1″ foam padding.  This will be the most expensive part of the project, but is totally worth it.  We used a spray adhesive to attach the foam and it worked great.

Headboard Supplies

Headboard Foam


We also covered the foam in quilt batting so that the edges would be soft as well.  You need to pull the batting tight over the headboard and staple on the backside.  The curved corners are the hardest part, but I found that cutting strips into the batting made it easy to smooth out.

Headboard Batting Corners HeadboardBatting


I picked a nice neutral fabric to use on the headboard so that we could us it elsewhere if we every move.  The fabric is attached the same way as the batting.  Pull it very tight and staple the backside. Again, it is easier if you cut small strips into the fabric to wrap around the curved corners.  We used a lot of staples on the corners to get all of the wrinkles out.

Headboard Fabric Corners.jpg HeadboardFabricCorner


Ryan built a frame that attached to our bed frame for support.

Headboard Support.jpg


You can also attach the headboard directly to the wall or built legs to hold it up.  There are a ton of different tutorials on that (just check out Pinterest).

In the end, we are very happy with how the headboard turned out.  (Now we just have to get some sheets that actually match!)

DIY Headboard.jpg


Thanks for reading!!

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$40 DIY Chicken Coop

$40 DIY Chicken Coop

We are having quite an adventure with our meat chickens.  They are already 4 weeks old and only have a couple weeks to go.  They are growing fast and running out of room in their brooder.  Thankfully, it has been beautiful out and they can start living outside. I drew up some plans for a coop that is quite simple.  It consists of 4 corners, 4 panels, and a top made of hardware cloth and plywood.  The coop is 2’x6’x8′ and fits 25 chickens.


40′ of 1/2″ Hardware Cloth



3 – 1×4

1 – 2×2

8 – 1×3

Plywood – 4′ x 6′

The corners are 24 inches high and made of 1x4s and 2x2s.  DIY Chicken Coop Corners




Next, we made the sides panels out of 1x3s and hardware cloth.  The long side is 8′ and the short side is 6′.  We spaced out the 1x3s 24 inches apart and stapled on the hardware cloth. The hardware cloth is stapled on the outside.DIY Chicken Coop Panels



With the scraps cut off from the 1x3s on the 6′ side we added support on each panel.DIY Chicken Coop Panel



The panels tuck inside the corner pieces to help secure the hardware cloth.  We don’t want our chicks getting eaten by anything but us!DIY Chicken Coop Corner


We put in a lot of staples to secure everything in place and ended up with our base.DIY Chicken Coop Base


We used a 1×4 to secure 2 6′ sections of hardware cloth to cover 1/2 of the top.  The other 1/2 is covered by a 4’x6′ piece of plywood.DIY Chicken Coop Top




Ryan climbed in a secured the last bit of hardware cloth.Finishing Our DIY Chicken Coop




After just a couple of hours we have a great looking coop.DIY Chicken Coop Complete



The best part of the coop is that we can move it around the yard so that the chickens don’t get too stinky and our new neighbors won’t hate us.  For now, the coop is fully stocked and the chickens seem happier than ever.DIY Chicken Coop

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Easy DIY Chicken Brooder



We ordered 25 cornish cross chickens to raise for meat.  Since we haven’t done much work on the upstairs yet, we built a brooder we could use in the house and then move outdoors later.  We made the brooder almost completely from scraps, but it would be cheap and easy to buy the supplies.

Easy DIY Chicken Brooder




My parents had some scraps of T11 siding that measured 48″ x 18″ which worked perfect for the sides.  We had some triangular scraps that we cut to 18″ for braces (but you could use 2x2s).  Chicken Brooder Frame


Next, we cut the base (48″ x 49.5″) and secured it on the corners.Chicken Brooder Base


You can add support on the inside of the box to secure the base if needed.  (We added some 2×2 braces just in case).  To finish off the brooder we built a cover out of 2x2s and chicken wire.  We also put a 1×6 support down the center to staple the wire where we had a seam.Chicken Brooder Top



We hung a heat lamp from the ceiling with an adjustable cord so we can manipulate the temperature.DIY Chicken Brooder


We put in the food, water, and thermometer to get everything warmed up for the new chicks, which arrived the next day. (Yes, there are 25 chicks in there!)Day Old Chicks


We put them into their new, cozy brooder and dipped their beaks into the water to get them started.

Cornish Cross ChicksChicks First Day



The dogs were very intrigued.  Every so often they go upstairs to check on them and they have been very gentle.  Bringing Chicks Home


We are learning as we go, but everything has gone well so far.  The chicks are darting around and chowing down food.  We will definitely keep you updated on our new adventure! Thanks for reading!

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Snowboard Storage

Since the snow is finally melting, I think it is officially time to put the snowboards and winter gear away.  We have always had an issue storing snowboards.  They end up in the garage, up in the rafters so they don’t get bumped.  Thankfully, we now have a good space in the house to store them!

When we started the office we decided that we would want a day bed and lots of storage for our hobbies.  We don’t have a day bed yet, but we have a nice futon that was given to us by a neighbor that we have moved place to place with us for years.  We invested in some nice wall mounts for our snowboards to hang over the futon and they look great in the office.  The mount clips have drywall anchors and are made to protect your snowboard, so they are sturdy but gentle. SnowboardMountOfficeFuton


The wall mount clips are Burton brand and we bought them at Scheels (I’m sure you can get them at other sporting stores as well.)

The office needs a lot more work, but we need to get a lot of the boxes sorted out first.  Thanks for reading!

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