If we did all the things we are capable of, we would
literally astoud ourselves. - Thomas A. Edison

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not too Shabby....

I bought a coat rack with awesome hooks a while ago but haven't done anything with it because it might be a little too shabby or too clean looking :) My solution? Take the hooks off and slap them on some old rustic wood of course!

Here's my not so good before picture but just imagine 4 hooks on there.

Way to plain for me. Sorry all you clean loving purists :) After I took the hooks off, I went through my scrap pile of pallet boards and cut them all the same length with my chop caw.

I tried to use my Kreg Jig to attach the boards together, but they were all different widths and the screws were just popping through the front of the boards. So I just grabbed some scrap pieces of 1/4" plywood left over from our window trimming project and nailed them with 5/8" brad nails...easy.

I didn't want to wait for my husband to use his superhero measuring skills so I just eye balled it. I grabbed a blue marker that was on the work bench and colored the little knobs on the back of each hook so I could see where I needed to drill the holes.

Notice one is just a nub and the other is the actual hole for the screw to go through. That was easy enough, I just had to move my bit around to make the holes a bit larger to fit properly. Here's where a countersink bit would have been nice.

All layed out and almost done! I love how it looks and it's so much more unique and really makes me wonder what else I can re-purpose. I love wood but the one thing I absolutely hate is this...

I hate splinters!!! And you know what it doesn't matter how many splinters I get, I continue to skip wearing gloves. This was a big splinter...ouch. I took one for the team.

Once I pulled that massive log splinter out, my hooks were ready to hang. I did not want to have to put any obvious holes through the front to hang it. I thought about drilling the little nub hole all the way through and using that hole for my screws but, oh yeah, how will I get the hook back on. I'm so blonde sometimes. So I just nailed a piece of board to the wall, on the stud, using 2" nails. Using the nails will make it more difficult to remove I think, but nail holes are way smaller than screw holes so nails it is.

Then I just nailed my hooks to the smaller board. I wasn't able to use 2 studs so I hope that the 4 or so nails I put in are going to hold up.

I love it! Now the girls have somewhere to hang their towels instead of the floor.

My Bath House sign was super simple too but I won't bore you with details on that - Go check out Donna over at Funky Junk Interiors for a great tutorial on how to make signs.

Speaking of Donna, I'm linking up to Her Saturday Nite Special this week... just in case anyone else has some hooks laying around.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making a House a Home - Window and Door Casing

So if the jewelry to a cabinet is the knobs and pulls, what is the casing around a window and door? Maybe the under garments? Whatever it is, they just don't look complete without it. Not that people should be seeing your panties or bra. My husband probably thinks I'm crazy when I come up with yet another project but I can't help it! There's always so much to do and to learn...and improve upon.

This walk through from the kitchen to the living room desperately needed some attention. With Paul's awesome measuring skills, it was pretty easy. We picked up some 1x6 pine boards for the inside and 1x4 boards for the outside frame at Home Depot for pretty cheap.

Ew, you can really see the before and after paint colors in that last photo! After gluing and nailing with our 2" finish nailer, it went pretty quick. Here's some shots with all the boards up waiting to be sanded, filled and painted.

Once it's painted and finished and my house is clean enough, I'll post the after pictures. We also started framing out the front window in the front room. I didn't take any before pictures of course but just imagine a plain, boring window. Here's how it looks now with the framing inside and out. We just used 1/4" plywood for the inside and 1x4 on the outside frame. I love it and can't wait to see it all painted and looking good.

It's such a simple thing but it adds so much more character. Kitchen windows are next...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I'm a Picker!

I love watching American Pickers on the History Channel. They find amazing stuff! Because I don't have the means to travel the US picking for stuff, I get to stalk my neighborhood and Craig's List. In fact, a few blocks away, there is a section of old fencing laying in someone's yard and I want it! It would be a perfect headboard. Do I dare just go knock on their door? You bet, I just have to get enough nerve first...

The coolest "pick" I ever went on was in response to an ad posted on Craig's List for "Barn Wood." Paul and I got a baby sitter and drove about 45 minutes to a small town in Nyssa, Oregon. We drove 'Ol Yeller so we can load up our treasures.

My heart skipped a beat when we pulled in to this old house. There was not one, but two old barns that we could get wood from. Turns out these people sold their property and the new owner was just going to demo everything! If I had my choice, I would have stayed for hours prying pieces of wood off that old barn. We didn't have a lot of time but we did come back with a truck load of stuff...

In that truck bed is a old ladder, I want to go back and get more wood BUT the ad is no longer posted. Good thing I remember how to get there because I'm so just going to drive out there and say hello. I know my Sister in Law Bonny knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about!!!!! What a rush...

Here's whats in the back of 'Ol Yeller. Some old milk crates, a wooden ladder, old feeding door, a gate, a milk pail and a old molasses container. Here is where some of them found a home...

Old galvanized bucket and the molasses container, I love all the rust!

The milk pail!

Some of the old wood used to make a birdhouse

Old fencing, now the top of our media console, I LOVE the authentic bite marks!
I grabbed some other smaller items, that I have yet to find a place for. Not sure what the spring thing is but I have two of them. When I saw this chain just sitting on top of a post the guy probably thought I was crazy for taking it. Life's too short to worry what other's think about your junky picks right?

I just love these mini enamel dishes! They are rusty and chippy and so tiny I have no clue what to do with them...

Here is the rest of my collection today, just waiting for new projects. It's a small start and I can't wait to add to it.

My thoughts for today...BE INSPIRED at everything around you! This pile of junk and old wood inspires me to create something out of nothing.

Making a House a Home - Wainscoting & Trim

There are so many options for wainscoting! I searched the Internet for pictures of all the different types of wainscoting, learned about the history and went with my gut on what I like and what took my breath away. I know I'm a little cottage with a whole lot of farmhouse so I definitely didn't want anything too formal. Here are a few AMAZING inspiration pictures I was able to drool over along the way.

Love this idea for the bedroom...

Miss Mustard Seed's Guest Room looks so inviting and comfortable! I fell in love with the wide plank look.

And I just love Sarah Richardson, record all of her shows on HGTV's Sarah's House and basically stalk her. Here's a picture of one of the room's in her cottage...

Kim at Twice Remembered has a great tutorial on bead board wainscoting and trim work - check it out, she's got a great break down. She's even got it on the ceiling which I would love to do in our living room and master bedroom! How cute are those red cabinets by the way?!

We looked at Home Depot for our wainscoting and picked up some 4'x8' sheet mdf panels. We could have splurged on pine tongue and groove boards, but for the price and because its not really our house we went with the cheaper and easier option...which hopefully will look just as good. Sorry Molly.

The first thing we did was have Home Depot cut the panels in half for us. For one thing, they will fit in our Jeep better. Secondly, it's totally free and less work for us because we would have to walk each panel across the street to use Chris's table saw. (Santa please bring me a table saw for Christmas!) We started on the long wall first to avoid making cuts and getting around the outlets. That didn't last long. We have exactly 8 outlets in the front room and hallway. They only put 2 in our living room. Too bad we're not installing them in there. Is it ok to do the entire house by the way?

First thing we do to make our outlet holes is to get the measurements and transfer them to the panel. Down and across...

I've seen some people mark the outlets with lipstick and press the panel against it to mark it. Brilliant! If my super skilled husband wasn't there to help me get the dimensions I would have totally done that. If the fractions aren't on the tape measure, I'm counting lines. Two lines past a half....

Once we had our marks down we layed the outlet cover down and traced around it to get the exact size we needed.

Next step is to drill some holes so you can insert your jig saw to make your cut.

Next step is to get your jig saw out and connect the dots...la la la

The thing about mdf paneling is it marks so easily! Don't worry though, it will all go away once you paint.

Next step, apply some construction adhesive and stick it up on the wall and get your nailer out.

Goodbye blue paint. We used a 16 gauge brad nailer with 2" nails, but you could probably use a smaller gauge finish nailer. I wouldn't go too much shorter in length though because you're going to be going through at least 1/4" panel plus the drywall which is typically 3/4". All the holes will be filled so I didn't worry too much. Make sure you try to mark and hit as many studs as possible. The invention of the stud finder was genius...

The level is another awesome tool. Once we glued the panel up, we put our level on top to make sure it was straight before we nailed. Another cool thing about wainscoting is not having to paint all the way down the wall! Just cover it up! Not that we were lazy or anything...

Picking the trim was another problem for me. Decisions decisions... We ended up buying a package deal that came with the base molding and the chair rail. It was nice because it already had a groove cut out, so it was specifically made for paneling plus it was primed and ready to go. Score. But once it was up on the walls, I wasn't loving it. Maybe it was because the awesome groove on the baseboard created a huge gap and I wasn't sure caulking would cover it up. The style just wasn't matching to me...it almost looked too formal for the paneling and I am definitely not formal so that's just not going to work.

So the paneling just sat. For almost eight months it sat on our walls with no molding. Then I had an idea. Well actually Chris gave me an idea. He tackled his own crown molding and just used regular boards and types of molding to create what he wanted. I held up some 1x3 and 1x4 pine boards and it looked awesome!!!! Simple and country, it sorta took my breath away.

Off to Home Depot we go, return all the other molding and get some pine boards for less than $2 a board. Sweet! Nope, not that easy. Have you ever tried to pick a good board from the lovely pile of boards at Home Depot or Lowe's? Not an easy task, in fact, my Hero, Ana White has some great tips right here about the picking process. So after arguing carefully discussing with my husband about what to do, we decided to grab some mdf boards that are already straight, primed and don't require any sanding, and we don't have to spend forever looking for boards that aren't warped and don't have huge gouges and knots in them. Score.



Looking better all ready! We are by no means professionals so we just did what we thought would be the best. Have you ever watched the show Renovation Realities on HGTV? Just saying...

Seriously, Paul and I argue the ENTIRE time we do any project. So that video is just a little glimpse into what our DIY adventures are like. Xanax anyone?

The base molding was trickier for us because we put the paneling up first so we were overlapping just a bit with the top of the molding. Because we overlapped, the bottom half pushed in and even if we nailed the top portion, it would take one kick happy child accident to push it in and the nails would just come away from the wall. Ew.

So back and forth we went to borrow the table saw from Chris AGAIN. Good thing he's family and he like us ;) We cut small 2" strips of 1/4" plywood to lay beneath the molding to hold it flat. It works so don't laugh.

It's looking awesome and we're finding out how crooked all the walls are. Ew. Now we just have to fill all the holes, gaps and paint. I hate painting. Yippee....

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Making a House a Home - Painting

photo credit
This October will be exactly two years since we moved to Idaho. Two years to learn how to decorate, paint, knock down walls and make small renovations and attempt yard work and actually have a lawn to mow and TONS of weeds to pull. We have been really blessed to be able to stay in my Mother in laws home for a few years before she moves up here. Because we're not "regular" renters, we got the green light to do anything we wanted...

First thing we did was paint. No offense to the previous renter but the colors in the entire front living areas were CAAARRAAAZZZYY. I know everyone has their own taste and I know she loved them but I couldn't hang. Here are some before pictures. They are not the best quality but you get the idea. Ignore the dirty house. They were plain white walls with a painted brown chair rail and a blue on the bottom.

Gotta love all the different swatches everywhere.

I spent a long time thinking about colors and bringing home swatches and every time I went to Home Depot or Lowes, I always stopped in the paint section. I knew I wanted either yellow, beige...maybe green. Oh but I like grey too. I had tons of swatches lying around and even bought some sample pots to paint on the walls. Even though we were given free reign, I still worried what my Mother in law would think and constantly changed my mind. Besides my Mother in law (Molly), I also have a Brother in Law and his wife (Chris & Clara) living right across the street. I worry waaaaaayyy to much what people think so it took me forever. Finally, after three or more swatches were up on the walls I gave up and decided not to think of what Molly would want and went with what I have always wanted...beige for the front room. Here are the only pictures I took, It's hard to remember to take photos along the way! As you can see, we have vaulted ceilings so the ladder was used a lot. Pain! Looking so much better though and the nice thing about wanting wainscoting is not having to go all the way down the walls. ;)

The color I chose was Water Chestnut by Glidden. I love it! It's a light sandy color and looks awesome! I really like Glidden paint, the only thing I would do differently is get the paint+primer in one which I heard Wal-Mart now carries. I was able to get away with one coat of primer and 2 coats of paint but if you could skip a step, all the better.

The living room and kitchen were almost as fun. I used Behr paint, Provence Cream...so pretty. I was so worried about getting something too bright but this turned out so good. It's amazing how many different shades of each color are out there. No wonder it took me so long to pick. Again, I didn't get any good before pictures so here's the best look of what it looked like before.

The living room, gotta love the sponge effect. It was like a putty color. So weird...next era please.

The kitchen was a little darker but still had the same sponged technique.

This lovely sponged color was on one entire wall and the rest was the darkest color you see in there. Ew. And not the best choice for the back of the house where there isn't a lot of natural light. Okay so back to the living room where I first started. This room was a nightmare! I've never really painted before so I had no ideas what I was doing and HGTV makes it look so easy. They just roll it on right? Wrong. Here's what happened first. We have a couple of missionaries that wanted to do some service work and they volunteered to help out. Despite my initial control freak thoughts, I told them yes. Besides Paul sleeps most of the day and with these guys helping out, it'll get it done in no time right?

Well...these guys are like 19 and 20 and have NO experience whatsoever in DIY as I came to find out. First thing we did was paint the ceiling because everything I read about painting said to work your way down. I picked up a huge bucket labeled "Ceiling Paint" at Home Depot and went to town. Now because the ceiling was already white it didn't even occur to me to put primer first. Yeah so three coats later it still looks like crap. The walls went a tad smoother cause these lovely young men were helping out but one broke the extension rod and I had to go back over everything a third time anyway because when they rinsed out their roller it was waaaayyyy to wet and basically "washed" the walls. Our neighbor girl was begging to "help" too but there was no way! This was turning out to be a nightmare. Are some things just easier to just do yourself?

Even Rylee got in on the action. It was definitely a learning experience!! The kitchen went smoother because I basically did it by myself over a few days time. I knew we wanted to add crown molding so it did make it a little faster not having to cut in along the ceiling. And the windows will all be framed in so I skipped those too.

When we pulled out the stove to paint back there, this huge gap was behind the counter. Talk about a waste of space. If we had more money, I would definitely put in some new cabinets. But a fresh coat of paint will make them look good at least.

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