Join us on our journey to making this ugly-split level a home that we can learn to love, one DIY project at a time.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

DIY Barn Wood TV Frame

Barn Wood TV Frame
I love having my tv above my fireplace, but I hate that it takes the place of a potential piece of I did a little research and decided that we were going to create a barn wood picture frame for our tv to make it more appealing. 

We used rough cut cedar because it looked rough and worn in texture.  The color, though was a redish pine look- which does not scream barn wood.  So we bought gray and brown stain from Walmart and we used both colors, making streaks of one and then another and blending.  It turned out looking almost identical to barn wood!
Here is a link to my shanty tutorial:
After we finished creating it, we just slid it over the tv.  It fits snugly and we haven't had any problems with it coming off.   Overall it was around 30 dollars.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Kitchen Update

New Rug
We bought a new rug!  I've been looking for a striped rug for months!  Finally found one at TJ Maxx for under 20 dollars!

Inexpensive Curb Appeal

 Adding Some Inexpensive Curb Appeal

Front door make over
This was my front door:

It was pretty unwelcoming and just plain gross!
Now, I'd love a new door, but I can't afford one at the moment.  So... I decided to make do with what I've got (I say that a lot) and I have to say, now I rather like my front door. (But as soon as my piggy bank is full, I'm trashing it and getting a new one :)

The first thing I did was remove that HIDEOUS white screen door.  It was hard to convince my energy conscious husband, but I finally did.  Next I painted that side panel white...But I was still bored...
So I decided to go for it and paint the door black.  Now I love it!  I also added topiary plants I made from foam and peat moss- just hot glued it straight to the foam spheres and stuck those puppies in dirt filled planters.  I have kept them out all winter and they are still green.  In addition, I repainted the 70s railing black and scrubbed as much of the rust from the porch as possible!  Oh and we also changed out the porch light to something more cottage-y.

The topiary spheres are from hobby lobby as is the peat moss.  The planters are from Walmart- they were on clearance for 10 bucks a piece.  Score!  The rug is an indoor rug from TJ Maxx (does anyone else find all outdoor rugs ugly?) and my sconces are from Menards- It was two in a box for 30 bucks!!  That's a steal for this style of light!

Garage Door Hardware

So I saw online that you could buy kits at the hardware store to add onto your existing garage door to make it look like a carriage house.  So I searched all over town and finally found the kit for 30 dollars at Lowes.  And let me say I LOVE the outcome!  I feel like it has given my garage and my house a little more character.
We also added two sconces on either side of the garage door.  The house originally didn't have any there.  It really dresses up the front!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

DIY Shutters

DIY Shutters
Shutters are not just for the wealthy anymore!

The outside of my home is the ugliest part- little by little, though, I am growing to like certain things about it.  Like my primitive black shutters!  One thing I do like about my house is that it is tan and red- I know these are becoming outdated, but when paired with black, I find myself actually admiring it.  ...Did I just say that?  Well here are my shutters:

These are just two 1 inch thick pine boards that are held together by a couple of 2x2s and a few screws.  Primed and painted black.  Super inexpensive, super easy, and super fast!

DIY Living Room Shelves

DIY Living Room Shelves
A poor woman's alternative to built-ins
Okay, so I LOVE the look of built-ins, BUT I can't afford all of the wood needed to create actual built-ins so I decided I would fake it.  Plus I wanted to incorporate lots of books and 'junk' everywhere in my living room for cottage purposes.  :)

So I drove my car to the hardware store and bought me 22 dollars worth of lumber.  I used pieces of pine that were 1 inch thick.  For the top of the shelf, I used a 6 inch boards and for the facing I used 3 inch boards. I also bought L brackets to screw the shelves to my walls.

Again I am horrible and I didn't take any process pictures- I just get so excited!  But it was very simple.  We didn't angle the corners at all so the boards are literally just screwed together, each 90 degree angle butting up together.  It did look very primitive, but again, I am going for shabby cottage, so it all worked out.

For this project, I wanted the paint to look like the fire place, but I didn't want to take the time to paint the first coat of brown (remember how lazy I am?)  

So Instead I bought Rustoleum spray paint in Espresso.  It literally took me 5 minutes to spray down every shelf.  I let that dry for a few, rubbed the edges with Vaseline, and coated it with whatever extra white paint I could find in the garage ( I think it was trim paint for bathrooms).  Anyway, it beaded similarly to the fireplace and I didn't have to to a lick of sanding.  Oh happy day!

Well here is the final outcome:

I didn't have a lot of junk to pile on the shelves, so for now I gathered all the spare picture frames I had (most are from TJ Maxx) and then I went to the thrift shop (got twenty dollars in my pocket) and started buying books based on their jacket color.  I know, I am a horrible person to do that to books, but I love it!  Being horrible that is...  And then some books, I just covered in some spare scrap paper I had lying around to add some more bulk (thrift store books are expensive!).

DIY Recovered Chair

DIY Recovered Chair
I have so many new projects to post and I don't know where to begin!  I found these chairs on Craigslist for 15 dollars for the pair and I immediately loved them.  However...I don't really have room for extra chairs in my teeny tiny cracker box of a house.  But I will get to that later.

Anyway this is the chair I found:
 The first thing I did was find a place where I could pry the fabric apart using my handy-dandy screw driver....You thought I was going to say notebook, didn't you?
 Then I took most of the fabric off.  I LOATHE reupholstering so I was lazy and I only took half the fabric off.  I figured I'd just cover the rest up by stretching and stapling. 
 Then I lightly sanded the existing finished and slathered on white paint.  I planned on making it shabby so I didn't worry about too much prep work.  (I love this trend because it makes my laziness okay!)

Then I sanded in all the cracks. hehe.

 Then I recovered the chairs with a clearance fabric I bought.  Basically I stretched and stapled the fabric to the bottom and then to create the back piece  All , I followed, in reverse, the way I had to take it apart.  I am horrible about taking process pictures, but I promise I'll get better.  Besides, it wasn't a very poetic process.  It was make the makeshift half-assery that makes all of my projects doable for me.  The final pieces were hot glued for goodness sake.  :)  All in all it cost me about 40 dollars.  Tada:
I ended up keeping these in that awkward space between my living room and dining room and I pull them out when we have guests over for dinner.  It is nice not to have to bring up camp chairs!