Friday, November 14, 2014

DIY Bathroom Mini-Makeover

Bathroom Re-do Collage
Don’t you love a two-day project that doesn’t cost crazy $$$ and still makes a big impact?  I do!  It was a busy weekend, but I’m so happy with the results!

This was my son’s bathroom/guest bathroom:
It wasn’t terrible or anything and I still love the gas-station themed d├ęcor, but there was one big issue…..
When we moved in several years ago, I replaced the disgusting flooring with new vinyl flooring. It was much better than what was there, but I’ve never been perfectly happy with it.  Then, this past December, I had a new commode installed.  The new footprint was different than the previous one leaving gaps around the front of the commode base:IMG_5276
Many of you are wondering how I’ve lived with those gaps since December, right?  Truth:  I just haven’t had the time or energy to take on the project of replacing it and I did not want to go to the expense of having it professionally tiled at this time.  A fluffy rug kept it under wraps….that’s reality, folks!  Winking smile

With a full house coming for Thanksgiving (Yay!!  LOVE cooking for the whole gang!), the fire was lit under me to get this fixed.  While I was at it, I decided to check off a couple other items I’ve been wanting to do….framing the mirror and a wainscoting/board & batten wall treatment.

One of the reasons I haven’t done the wall treatment over the years is because of having to cut around the cabinetry and the plumbing….some people find this easy, I do not.   Then, I saw this awesome idea on Pinterest from Remodelaholic for “installing board and batten on the cheap”!  The look of board and batten but without having to cut paneling around fixtures or having to replace all of my existing floor boards….awesome and inexpensive…SOLD!!

I started the mini makeover with a trip to Home Depot after work on Friday evening. My son and I were able to purchase everything we needed and the total came in right around $100! 

I purchased a couple of things that you might already have on hand, so here’s the breakdown:
Box of nails (way more than needed for this project): $3.47
Semi-gloss paint, 1 qt.: $10.47
White Caulk x 2: $6.24
Liquid Nails (4oz tube): $2.78
Moulding (5/8” x 2 1/4” pine, primed baseboard): $22.40
Lattice strips (1/4” x 1 1/2” primed): $12.41
Floor primer (only used 1/4 of the bottle): $6.27
Utility knife (I highly recommend a fresh blade for the flooring.): $1.98
12” x 12” Vinyl Peel & Stick Tile (1 box=30): $29.70
4” Paint roller and tray set: $4.97
                                                                Total (pre-tax): $100.69

Friday night, I spent about 1.5 hours prepping the room for the next day….removing the door, taking down decorations, pulling up the existing vinyl flooring, and cleaning up the baseboards (removing old caulk, etc.).IMG_5280
Saturday morning (after dropping T off at basketball practice), I started with the mirror frame because I wanted to give the Liquid Nails the full 24 hours to set.  I could have borrowed my parents’ good miter saw, but for the sake of convenience, I opted to use a simple miter box.  It’s easy to use….and you’ll get a good upper arm workout cutting the moulding by hand! 
Following the time (and heartache) saving rule “measure twice, cut once”, I re-measured the mirror and then made the 45 degree cuts in the moulding.  Then, took a quick break to pick up my son from practice…just in time for him to give me a hand holding the pieces up to check for fit!

Check out any of these tutorials for the how-to on the mirror frame:

Easy and it makes such a difference in the little room. Even with the blue tape, I already loved the newly framed mirror!

IMG_5298Next I took on the peel & stick tile flooring!  After rolling the floor with the bond enhancer, I let it dry while we took a lunch break.

The tiles were super easy to cut with a sharp blade and scissors for the curves around the commode base.  I found it easiest to make a pattern using 12x12 scrapbook paper (same size as the tiles)! 

It was surprisingly easy to lay all of the flooring and the look is so much better!!  IMG_5300

Next it was time to get the board & batten started!

 IMG_5287I got my son to help me hold our long level and mark a straight line for the chair rail.  After re-measuring, I cut the moulding….easy straight cuts this time but the miter box holds it nicely even when just doing 90 degree cuts.  I double-checked for fit and then put a coat of paint on all of the moulding.  After it dried, my son helped me hold it up and secure it to the wall with nails, using the level to ensure that we kept it straight.

Once the chair rail was up, I could mark and measure for the vertical lattice strips.  Hint:  Be sure not to skip this step!  If your house is anything like mine, it is not perfectly level.  There were small discrepancies in the length of each slat.  It is important for overall appearance that the chair rail IS level regardless of the house. 

I secured the lattice strips to the wall with nails every 16 inches.  According to the reading I did, 12-16 inches (usually the same as stud placement) is the recommended spacing.  You can fudge on this a little bit if you have fixtures or plumbing that gets in the way…one of the benefits of this wall treatment.

A little paintable white caulk along all the seams and several coats of white paint on the walls and trim work…..and it was done!


I love it!  It looks so clean and neat and adds a little something special to the room!


I know this was a long post, but it really was a quick project overall.  Enjoy your weekend!

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Friday, October 24, 2014

DIY Shaving Kit/Travel Bag

Search Pinterest or the list of blogs that I follow, and one can find a myriad of cute and practical gifts to make for a baby, child, or woman. But, finding a DIY gift to make for a MAN is a whole different ballgame! Many of the searches lead to “Dad-themed” gifts and that wasn’t going to work for my boyfriend’s birthday.

I already knew that I’d be making a stamped keychain….a project I’ve done before…only this time I ordered a blank with bat cutout from Etsy (BroBlanks) and stamped it.


But, I wanted to make him something else too…something uniquely his and useful. The Cottage Momma to the rescue! She posted the awesome idea of sewing a Dopp Kit! This was perfect since we are doing the long-distance relationship thing and he is always traveling back-and-forth to see me…..and most men use a shaving kit of some kind anyway.

When I am doing a new project, I like a lot of photos in a tutorial. Momtastic has a tutorial for basically the same bag, but it is a little bit bigger and she used two different fabrics…easier to see the steps. Between the two tutorials, you should be set!

Having never put in a zipper before and being a little unsure of the measurements, I decided to do a practice run. For the practice bag, I chose a pretty fabric from Hobby Lobby and used it for both the outside and the inner lining. It turned out to be quite simple and really cute. (So cute, that my friend nabbed it for herself after I showed it to her!)


I’m glad I did the practice run. While the original bag is great, it is a little smaller than what I wanted for M’s gift. I simply added a couple of inches and it was just right. I also decided that I might prefer the inside to have French Seams. I played with the plam and then finally found that Lou Anne over at Lizze Tish had the same idea! She offers another easy to follow tutorial on how to make the French Seams. I will warn you….this took longer and definitely required a bit more fiddling with the fabric layers. Worth it though if you like that super finished look on the inside!

I wanted the bag for M to be masculine, yet personalized and fun! Since my boyfriend is a big Batman fan, I found a fun Batman flannel for the inner lining (to make him smile when he opens it) and a black & white pinstripe suit fabric for the outside (reminded me of a gangster movie!).


Using my embroidery machine, I put his initials on one outside piece of the bag (opposite the handle) prior to attaching the zipper. Now it was definitely personalized!


When it was completed, I sewed one of my little labels inside (thought he’d get a kick out of that).

I added a small tube of shaving cream from Bath & Body Works and put it in a fun gift bag with mustaches on it….couldn’t resist when I saw the gift bag! It’s far from perfect, but it turned out nicely and he seemed to really like it!
This is a great bag to make for yourself or as a gift.

Hope you have fun making one…or more since the holidays are coming!

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Easy DIY Mini Display Case

SW Mini Display Case
My son has a love of all things Star Wars… does my boyfriend! He asked me a couple of months ago if he could “pass down” a few of his Star Wars collectibles to my son. Needless to say, my son was thrilled!

As we were going through the boxes of Star Wars items, I stumbled upon the coolest collection of tiny metal Star Wars characters!  My boyfriend told me that they were originally something he collected as a cereal box giveaway…how fun is that?  I knew these nine tiny characters needed a special display case and I had seen just the thing on Pinterest!  The original pin is for use with Lego MiniFigs, but it was also perfect for these little figures.

The tutorial is easy to follow and includes plenty of pictures.  All you need is a deep frame….think shadow box.  Michael’s Craft Store just so happened to have all of their shadow boxes for 50% off that week…yay!  I purchased the smallest one they had and used the weekly coupon for the black foam board.  I also picked-up a new craft knife….you want to be sure the one you use is very sharp in order to make smooth cuts on the foam board.  SW Display Case Supplies
I found cutting the foam board using my fabric cutting guide and mat to be the best way to ensure straight cuts and keep things neat.  The tutorial on Instructables is great, so there is no need to repeat it here.  Just follow this link:

I will admit that I had to do this twice.  The first time, I hurried through the cutting process for where the slats fit together.  That was a BIG mistake and it made for very crooked rows.  I re-did the foam board structure taking my time on ensuring straight cuts and measuring exactly…..much better!!  (You can kind of see in the photo below…it was taken with the crooked assembly in place.)SW Display 1
Once I had assembled the nice display structure inside my frame, I needed a way to keep the figures from falling over.  I looked around my craft room and saw a sheet of the little foam sticky circles from my scrapbooking supplies.  I cut one in half….it was perfect!

SW Display 2SW Display 3

Once they were all in place, I simply put the back on the frame again.SW Display 4
Aren’t they cute?  I just love these little ones!
SW Display 5
The little display case fits perfectly on the wall between the two new floating shelves we added.  (I really like the LACK floating shelves from IKEA. They come in several lengths and colors, are easy to install, and are inexpensive!) SW Display 6
Next trip to IKEA, I plan to pick-up one of the frames mentioned in the original tutorial and make a larger display case to hold all of the MicroMachines (lined up along the front of the shelf).  Easy to create and it looks so much neater. 

“May the force be with you”!

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

It's been almost a full year since I posted to this blog.....and I've missed it!

Life changes and my work schedule became such that I just didn't feel that I could spend the time needed to consistently write.  And, truth be told, I haven't been all that "crafty" this past year....again just did not have a lot of time.

Fast-forward to today and I really don't have any more time than I did last year, but we have adjusted a little more to the schedule and I have come to realize that I NEED an outlet of my own.  DIY and crafting is that outlet and this little blog is a part of that.  Blogging and following other's blogs is like having a community of people with similar interests that you are constantly having a conversation with!  How fun is that?

So....I'm back.  We shall see how this goes.  I can't promise that I'll post every week, but I WILL post.

Hope to see you around here!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fall 2014 Burlap Bubble Wreath and Porch Decor

We finally had 70 degree temperatures in Texas this past weekend! The cooler temperatures and all of the Fall postings I’ve been seeing on Pinterest got me inspired to get my Fall decorations up…I know, I was behind, but I’m caught-up now!

First thing I wanted to do was get my Summer flip-flop wreath off the door and replace it. I have an old Fall wreath but I’ve never been very happy with it and I really like the popular burlap bubble wreaths that seem to be everywhere. So, after reading through several tutorials (check out this simple one from Craftaholics Anonymous) and looking at tons of photos on Pinterest, I set off to make my own!

My local Michael’s store had the burlap spools and the Fall ribbon on sale this week for 50% off…hard to beat that price. The sparkly floral pick was 30% off there and I pulled the two sunflowers from my leftover supply stockpile at home. I used all but about 1.5 feet of the orange ribbon for an 18” wreath frame.

Even after reading several tutorials, I still was unsure how to “weave” the burlap through the frame. My advice: just do it! Once I made the first “bubble”, it all came together and was quick. Just play with the spacing and adjust to your liking. It turned out to be super easy and just what my front door needed!

This is after one full roll of the 20 ft burlap on an 18” wreath frame

You may want more or less burlap depending on how full you want your wreath. I used both 20 ft rolls and the 12 ft chevron ribbon for mine. I simply wove the orange ribbon in just where I wanted the spot of color to appear and added the tie to hang it.

A few potted mums, a couple of pumpkins, and a corn stalk….Fall has arrived on our front porch!

Happy Fall Y’all!

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 My Repurposed Life