Easy Chalkboard Wall

This was an easy couple-hour project that has been fun for both my husband and I, as well as the kids. We’ve enjoyed doodling and leaving each other silly or sweet notes.

My sister has also been wanting to do a small framed chalkboard on her kitchen pantry, so I challenged her to see who could complete their chalkboard first. I won. My sister said that I can help her paint hers next time I come to visit. ūüėČ

Our chalkboard wall is just at the top of the stairs in the playroom where it is handy to scribble something as you walk by. Or you can sit and stay awhile. DSC_4936 I taped off the ceiling and along the baseboard (such an easy way to cut in, I’ve found… even though the “experts” say you should never tape to cut in!) Well, it works for me.

The wall only took one coat with touch-ups in areas where the paint was sparse. *Update: I’m going to add 2 more coats. The main reason is to be able to erase easier. As it is now, I have to use a wet rag to erase adequately.¬†DSC_4938Doodles!

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I found this fun little box at Tuesday Morning and thought it was perfect for holding chalk and an eraser. I might mount it on the wall…

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Half Bath Transformation

The half bath in our house was covered from floor to ceiling in paisley wallpaper born in the early 90’s– for about a day. I think it was the first room we tackled when we signed the papers and received the key. Unfortunately I can’t¬†find a before picture of the bathroom anywhere. Oh well. Just thought you’d appreciate the lime green more if you saw what we had to work with.

Over the years, I have removed/painted several rooms of wallpaper or borders that weren’t my style. So out came the Kilz primer (love that stuff!).

But from the moment the lime green was swiped across the wall, I was unsure. It was electric, for one. Don’t get me wrong, I do love this color. (The music room, guest room, and laundry room all wear it after all.) But in the small, windowless half bath, it was too much. (Who chose this color, anyway?) ūüėČ Even the wood floor¬†reflected the green and looked¬†yellowish in its glow. Besides, who needs an electrifying, energizing, and bright bathroom?? You get the point.

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After I finished the¬†hallway project, I had some “Sea Sprite” left over and decided to do what I had long planned to do in repainting the bathroom.

DSC_4854Immediately the mood of the bathroom changed to calming, soothing, and relaxing. The way a bathroom should be.

I did do one crazy thing in here.

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What?! Yes, I spray painted the fixtures “oil rubbed bronze” while they were still on the wall! Obviously I didn’t mind if I got a little splatter on the green since it was getting painted anyway, so rather than hassle with turning off the electricity and taking down the light fixture and towel hanger, I opted for the lazy option. It actually worked quite well, although I’m sure some of you are shuddering at my bravery, er, laziness. Anyway. Much improved, don’t you think?DSC_4834

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Callie is my 15-year-old border collie/Australian shepherd dog. She follows me around everywhere and is a constant companion. But as much as I love her, I didn’t want her prints forever painted on the wood floor after she walked through the paint tray to get closer to me. Thanks, Cal.

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The bathroom was coming along.

DSC_4853A few finishing touches were needed. One was the gold ends of the sink handles. I removed them and spray painted them silver.

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Next, the thrifted black shelf had to be painted. Hanging with the off-white shutters, it looked stark and intense. And since I had spray painted it the first time around, it was in need of some TLC.

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I painted on about 3 layers of antique white, letting it dry between each coat.

DSC_4884When the final coat was dry, I used a rag and rubbed on some Zar stain, giving it a worn, vintage feel.

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Ah. Much better.DSC_4929

DSC_4913The last project was to make something fresh to hang on the wall. I rummaged around in my garage and came up with a piece of barn wood that I had attempted to stencil at some point (a complete failure, by the way- the wood was way too ridged).

DSC_4906So I nailed a picture hanger on that side and attached a hose clamp to the good side with two small nails. (I tried screwing through the slats, but was unsuccessful.)

DSC_4909After filling a mason jar with pea gravel and potting soil, I grabbed one of the broken-off stems of houseplants that I keep in this jar and planted it in the soil. (Did you know that almost any plant will eventually grow roots if kept in water?) Also as a side note, did you know that houseplants improve air quality? NASA did a study on it. You can read about it here. I love houseplants!

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Then I slipped the mason jar into place through the hose clamp.

DSC_4925The half bath is much improved and has a calm, relaxing, organic, soothing feel.

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DSC_4913In case you forgot, here’s another look at the before:DSC_4839

Afternoon Hallway Facelift

It’s been long in coming. Every time I walked through the hall into our bedroom, I thought to myself, “Gotta paint this.” It just didn’t “flow” and felt choppy going from aqua to gray with the off-white sandwiched in the middle.

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Well, Monday, I did paint it. I had a quart size of Olympic “Sea Sprite” left over from the kitchen and office, and it was just the right amount. No fuss no muss. It took about 2 hours. (Cutting in took the longest… my least favorite part.)

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Do you like my step stool? I was being lazy and didn’t want to go out to the chicken house in the cold to haul in the dirty ladder, so I made do. It worked just fine.¬†DSC_4832 DSC_4833I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit of a messy painter. Paint usually ends up all over my hands and at least a smudge or two on my clothes. It’s always a good idea to wear frumpy work clothes. This time, I also wore an apron like my grandma when she cooks. ūüôā

I used a wet paper towel to wipe around the doorframe where a little excess paint collected.
DSC_4828Wow! I do love the finished look! It’s amazing what a coat of paint will do!

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$14 Rain Gutter Shelves

When we moved from the rental to our house, I really wanted to display all the pictures I had in the playroom at the rental.DSCN1088

The pictures were mostly ranch/farm related of me and my husband as children and also of our kids. But where in the world could I put them all? I found some inspiration on Pinterest. Several people had used rain gutters as bookshelves. Why not use them to display pictures?

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In the new playroom, there was a big empty wall. Perfect for two of these¬†10-foot-long vinyl rain gutters from Lowes. I didn’t even have to cut them!

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I started by trying to insert the screws straight through the vinyl. That didn’t work, so I drilled small¬†pilot holes every few inches along the gutter. There might be¬†a more scientific way to do this, but it worked. Remember my aversion to measuring? So I figured out where the first stud was, then put plenty of screws all the way along the length of the gutter. I think I ended up¬†with about 4 or 5 screws going into a stud.

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It was quite the project to do all by myself, trying to juggle¬†the 10-foot-long gutter and keep it straight on the wall. I actually called my sister on FaceTime and taped my phone to the opposite¬†wall so she could¬†tell me if it was straight as I went! ūüôā If you had an extra set of hands for this project, that would certainly be helpful!

I am very happy with the finished product though! For $14, there is plenty of space to display all our treasured photographs!

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DIY Buntings

My friend Kim over at Gravity Mom made this super cute, ultra easy Valentine bunting. So I thought I would include her idea along with a couple other buntings that I’ve made. Here is Kim’s bunting. I just love how simple, chic, and fun it is! Check out her informative tutorial! Valentine-Bunting I made this LOVE bunting last year around Valentines Day.IMG_9198IMG_9194 Buntings are cheap, easy to make, and take only a few minutes!

To make my LOVE bunting, I cut a burlap runner into four triangle shapes, but you could also buy a pre-cut burlap.¬†(You really could use any kind of fabric or material you like!) I used the first triangle as the pattern for the other three. Lowes sells paint samples in little¬†8 ounce¬†containers. One time as I was inspecting the jars¬†they had on clearance, the guy working behind the paint counter exclaimed, “I’ll give you all of them for super cheap if you’ll take them!” So of course, I couldn’t pass up an awesome deal like that! He marked them down to $.25-$.50 a piece.¬†(Normally they are $2.50 each).¬†These are really great¬†to have on hand for crafts! The color I chose for my LOVE bunting is called¬†“Cream in My¬†Coffee”. DSC_4751 Using a stencil, I stenciled on the word L-O-V-E, one letter on each triangle.¬†After letting it dry for a few minutes, I strung the jute cord through it.¬†DSC_4742(The picture below is¬†the¬†BLESSINGS banner I made for a friend’s baby shower.) FullSizeRenderIMG_1002 Today, I made an even simpler bunting. I found this lovely burlap banner in the $1-$3 section at Target. (Don’t you love great finds?) ūüôāDSC_4676 I had some pretty sparkly gold stickers left over in my craft stash, so I simply peeled off L-O-V-E and stuck them on! I like it because it’s not permanent and the stickers can easily be taken off later. (I might even get some red sparkly ones instead!)DSC_4730 DSC_4731 The possibilities for buntings are endless. Here is one I made¬†for our Florida-inspired (very-bright-you-might- need-sunglasses ūüôā guest room: IMG_9448¬†Buntings are a simple, chic way to add character to your decor! Be creative and have fun making one (or a few) of your own! ūüôā

Our House Before and After

You get a real appreciation for the transformation of a thing when you get to see the before and after pictures. So I thought I’d share a few¬†of our house. I loved the bones of our house before we moved in and could see all the potential it held. I was SO excited to have our¬†own place to paint and decorate after all the rental houses over the years! Surprisingly, many of our landlords let me do some painting and minor remodeling, but when we moved out, I had to say goodbye to my hard work. I watched as white paint was¬†slathered over one of my colorful kitchen walls. That was tough. So, needless to say, I’m thankful the Lord gave us our house! It is truly a gift from Him!

Office:

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Living Room:

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Music Room:

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Master Bedroom:

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Kitchen:

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Guest room:

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Mud Room:

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Dining Room:

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