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.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

William's Room

I have been working on William's room this summer and this is what I've accomplished so far.  It takes me a long time to get bedrooms done for some reason.  It seems I can never find what I want.

Well anyway, his room before this was bright yellow, the color of a road sign literally.  And I can't blame this on anyone because it was my doing.  I wanted a yellow room for his jungle themed baby room, but I HATE pale yellow.  So I thought, why not make it obnoxious?  That's better than any nasty pale color.

Anyway.  I decided this summer to finally cover that color up with a nice, soft greige.  And once I did that I stopped cringing every time I walked by his room.  But then it didn't seem like a little boy's room and that made me sad in a way.

So I decided to do something funky.  I found this pattern online, of triangles going up and then down in lines and I instantly loved it.  So I painted his largest wall with this pattern.  To do this, I bought a grout sponge from Menards (it was the biggest sponge I could find).  They come in a big rectangle and they are a flat sponge.  I bought two of these and traced triangles I printed off from Word over them in two different sizes.This was not easy!  Cutting thick sponges in nice smooth lines is almost impossible, but I did it after lots and lots of trimming over and over and over... You get it.

Then I grabbed some paint from my garage- I think it was a glossy paint we used for a piece of furniture and got started.  I had to do a little measuring to evenly space my lines and when I did this I used a pencil to trace lines from the ceiling to the floor and then followed those lines with my sponge.

I also used 1x2s (I think?) to stop the pattern about a foot from the ceiling.  I painted these white and nailed them to all of his walls and then I painted the space above them white.  And I really liked how it turned out...  Adds a bit of character I think.

I also grabbed a spare piece of wood from the garage, stained it, and mounted it to shelf brackets I bought for cheap.  I really wanted the industrial ones that look like pipes, but I couldn't find any?  So this was the next best thing and once I saw them up, I loved them.

I'm still in the process of finding permanent bedding and a comfy chair, but this is what I've done so far.  Everything I decorated his room with are things I had in my closet of goodies (extra things I once used or picked up at a thrift store or on clearance) or things I made, like the deer print above his bed.  His bed was a steal!  Bought that from a garage sale for 30 bucks.  It is one of those old looking captains beds in natural wood.  I painted it white. His dresser is the same from his baby furniture set.

The Front Stairs

The Front Stairs
Okay this isn't a DIY and after watching this happen I'm not sure anyone COULD DIY something like this!  However, this was a DIY price!

All split-levels seem to have the same front porch, the same sharp turn to the front porch stairs, the same everything!!  Stop making these this way America!  Okay anyway...  Our split-level had HORRID stairs.  Seriously I'm surprised we haven't had a lawsuit yet with the cracks and gouges that we were left to deal with!

Well for whatever reason, our front stairs had this enormous crack in the middle (I wish I had taken a picture over it).  It was as if portal to 'the unwelcome beyond' (teachers have to remain kid friendly:) had been opened in front of our house...  And as a side note, if there were a portal to that place somewhere on Earth, the surrounding streets would probably be lined with split-levels.

After just one visit, my grandfather offered to help us pour some new steps (he owned a cement business as a younger man). And finally after years of him offering, we took him up on it.  Now my grandpa is 72.  He still gets on his roof (even though he shouldn't) and he still mows his own lawn (even though he shouldn't).  And he poured us the most beautiful set of stairs we could have ever imagined!  "In fact,"  he bragged, "I was the only one in Omaha who could pour these suckers this way, with a nice curve like that."  And I believe him.

Thank you grandpa!

DIY Wall Sconces

DIY Sconces
I was itching for a project this weekend so I finally decided to tackle DIY sconces.  I have seen several of these around and I have had supplies to build some for the better part of a year now.  I am a little embarrassed to say that one of the things that inspired me to build these was the movie Breaking Dawn.   I know...I know...Don't judge me.  Anyway, the scene in which they show the cottage in the woods is my favorite!  I have literally watched that movie just to see that scene.  I LOVE that cottage!  And part of the reason is because it is so overstuffed with things and candles that I'm not sure how people or the following activities in the movie (haha) fit.  

Anyway, one of the things I love about that house is the sconces all over the walls and in the halls... and since I don't have the money or the patience to install real electric sconces, I will settle for the next best thing!  DIY mason jar sconces.  I lined my hallway with these and I also lined the hall that holds the stairs which run from my basement landing to my front door landing and I LOVE it!!  So much love in this house right now!!  
So anyway, I started by wrapping 19 gauge wire around my mason jars and attaching a handle.  I purchased this junk at Menards for three dollars.

Then I cut some wood ( I found a 1x6 in the garage.  Score!).  I cut it 6 pieces at 6 inches each.  Then I painted it dark brown with some old paint I found in the garage (Another Score!)  Then I coated the edges in Vaseline and slapped another coat of white on those bad boys.

Then I sanded them with some scraps of sand paper in the garage (all kinds of grits; I only had little pieces of each to work with).

Next I wrapped jute around the top hook of these cheap hooks I also purchased at Menards.  They were 2.99 each and I purchased six. I used a dab of hot glue at each end to adhere it to the metal.  The reason I added this was because I needed something to keep the handle on the mason jar as far toward the edge of the hook as possible so that the mason jar would sit level rather than tip.  Plus it turned out super cute. 

Last my handy dandy Dan screwed those hooks onto the blocks of wood and I hammered a picture hanger onto the back.  And presto!  I now feel like my house has enough candles in it for serious power outage! :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fall Mantel

Fall Mantel
You can never start too early!
I purchased everything at Hobby Lobby, aside from the doily.  I printed the banners on scrapbook paper and hot glued them to a bit of twine using just a Word document.