Weekend Projects

Bathroom Re-Vamp: Putting My Money Where My Mouth Is

After blogging about my favorite budget-friendly bathroom re-vamp ideas, I was inspired to test some out and hopefully encourage other homemakers that it is very possible to create a beautiful home on an affordable budget.With my house being a mid 70’s split level, I knew I had my work cut out to transform this unique layout into the rustic farmhouse-style home I always wanted.And being married to a football coach, I knew that while he was busy tackling game plans, I would have to tackle a great deal of the home improvements.

Rewind 6 Months Ago…

I just finished my triathlon- spackling, sanding and painting- the walls of my house and I was ready for the next challenge.  I was a woman on a mission- this inspired, HGTV- esque homeowner- ready to take on any project the house threw at me. Shower in need of tiling? No big deal. I’ve got this. After all, I have seen every episode of Property Brothers, which makes me an expert, right?

One day,  I stood- hands on my hips, eyes focused (for dramatic effect)- in front of my half bathroom, in all its 90’s wallpaper glory, and whispered to myself, “let’s do this!” Growing up with a handyman dad, I felt completely competent in my abilities. Handy is in my DNA. In retrospect, I had no idea what I was doing.

About 30 minutes into the project and overwhelmingly in awe at how incredibly well wallpaper adheres to drywall, I came to some simple conclusions. First off, how in the world does  HGTV  make their renovations appear so easy? Seriously- a bathroom floor is tiled in the course of a commercial break. The deception! I also concluded that wallpaper was evil and one should have to repent for putting it up. I felt as though someone owed me some sort of an apology for the remodeling abuse (I’m pretty sure remodeling abuse is a real thing).

Eventually, the wallpaper was off! (Insert sigh of relief) I felt as though I conquered something- like when David defeated Goliath or something comparable to that magnitude. As I’m  admiring my wallpaper- free walls, I stood back in amazement of the blank canvas (and myself), until a thought-provoking question came to mind: what do I do now?

I was able to determine that I didn’t want to paint the wall top to bottom. Considering the wall was already divided with trim and a shelf, I knew instantly beadboard was the perfect solution for the lower half of the wall. I always wanted a reason to incorporate beadboard, so I seized the opportunity.

But I was a little reluctant to work with beadboard. The material is intimidating for a beginner (as in someone who just recently self-taught themselves to paint) to handle and relatively expensive in the inevitable chance I would measure incorrectly. Not to mention having to actually use a table saw to cut the beadboard. I felt a little project dismay.

I was not, however, reluctant on a paint choice. I selected a bluish-gray for the upper half of the wall and set about the work I had been accustomed to the past several months of my life. I absolutely LOVE blue tones, so this was a no-brainer for me. Considering the small space a bathroom offers, I wanted a color that was airy, clean and simple.

Fast Forward to Last Saturday…

I am ashamed to admit that I let the bottom half of the bathroom sit unfinished…for months. I fought with myself about just painting the lower half and be done with it, while the other part of me wanted to wait until I could muster up the courage to attempt beadboard. While conducting some research on beadboard, I stumbled upon my bathroom salvation (and re-vamp tip) when I discovered Martha Stewart’s paintable beadbaord wallpaper.  It’s a tale of two wallpapers!

For a moment, horrific memories of wallpaper flooded my mind. I wasn’t sure I was prepared to revisit that dark time in my life, but I knew it was more user friendly than traditional beadboard and cost effective. The task was completed in two days, which makes it perfect for a weekend project! I am thrilled with the results and I managed to maintain my goals in home improvement: 1) Make It Beautiful and 2) Make It On A Humble Budget.

This bathroom had good bones, so I felt I was able to keep my re-vamp to a minimum. While the floor tile, vanity and sink would not exactly be my first choice, they were not entirely  outdated enough to need stained, painted or replaced. So I made due with what I had and kept things simplistically humble. I used a little elbow grease and baking soda to clean up the grout and freshened up the trim with some paint. I added some little touches of décor and the project was complete!

Before

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After

 

 

Project Cost:

Paint: $30

Beadboard Wallpaper: $30

Wallpaper Glue: $15

Paint Supplies: $10

Small Can of Trim Paint: $15

Total: $100

In two days for $100, I completely re-vamped my bathroom. I’m not sure which is more impressive: the results or the receipts! Proof once more, that homemaking doesn’t have to be complicated and expensive. Humble skills. Humble budget. That’s home improvement done the humble way!

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

 

Weekend Projects

D.I.Y Welcome Sign

welcome-sign

I’ve had these two pieces of wood sitting in my shed for over the past year. They were originally used as bench seats, but the legs were removed. I knew I didn’t want to simply toss them aside, but had debated (multiple times!) as to what purpose they could have. I considered re-making them into bench seats or even mounting them as floating shelves. It was as though they sat dormant, full of potential, but lacking inspiration.  But if there is anything I love in homemaking more than cooking and cleaning, it’s transformation.

I love watching something that many people would deem as junk and transform it into something amazing!  I suppose this concept reminds me of how Christ, in His perfect love, can use something like mere mortal humans, and by His grace, transform us into something beautiful- something anyone else might see as worthless and rather than toss us aside, make us dearly loved sons and daughters.

And the lightbulb was lit. The inspiration was found. I knew then that there was no better use for this piece of wood than a welcome sign- A HUGE welcome sign! It’s a bold statement of our open door policy we have in our home. We truly want people to feel welcomed when they visit our family, in the same way Jesus invites us into His family. “Ask and it will be given you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened  to you.” (Matthew 7:7).

Like all my home projects, I always strive to maintain a humble budget! It doesn’t take an experienced crafter to grasp the simplicity of this project. Since the sign is pretty self-explanatory and needs no specific directions, I will instead offer you some helpful hints. First, be resourceful! A lot of times when we aspire to embark on a new craft or Pinterest project , we search to find the closest replicable pieces in order to make it look exactly as we see on the internet. DON’T DO THAT! Taking this approach will likely cause you to spend more money, when you may find something usable right in front of you for a more economical price.

I understand not everyone has reclaimed wood in their shed to use at their discretion, however, do not try to just buy your own welcome sign or a perfectly distressed, thick piece of wood at an antique shop that can justify asking double based on the label that it’s “rustic.” Making something rustic isn’t hard at all! It mainly requires just some good ole’ fashioned elbow grease. Look around! It’s easier to find wood than you think. Reclaimed stores, garage sales, old wood furniture pieces not being used. Remember, mine was once a bench seat! Think outside the box of what requires a check out line!

Secondly, price out the letters.  I checked about four different stores, all varying on pricing and size. I purchased the largest letters (that fit the sign) at the most reasonable cost. Since my wood was free and I already had wood glue on hand, the total cost of this project was $34. 83 (which included gray spray paint and wood letters).  I’d say that’s pretty humble, considering other specialty-made signs comparable to the size of my sign were marked anywhere from $50-$150. Another economical suggestion is to paint with letter stencils on the wood, as opposed to using wood letters. Of course you could add distressed paint on the wood, paint a beautiful design around the letters or add a rustic straw bow at the top of the sign, but I chose to keep it simple.

Hope you enjoy this weekend project and happy homemaking!

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker

 

 

 

 

 

Weekend Projects

D.I.Y Wood Shutters

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Today, I am expanding the possibilities and broadening the horizons of your preconceived notions about…wait for it… window treatments!  So my house is a split level. Very interesting, but slightly challenging layout to design.  When we moved in, the previous owners kindly left all their gaudy, outdated curtains at no extra charge (including a nice layer of dust, I might add)  for just about every window in the house.  When I began prepping our lower level walls for painting, I removed the large valance curtains that adorned our small windows to reveal an incredible surprise.  Once the curtains were down, it was as if a brand new, large window emerged. Suddenly, all this natural light came in (which is hard to accomplish in this kind of space).

I knew once I took the curtains down, I could not put up anything that remotely resembled what was there before, because it seemed that would be too much of a disservice to the sun’s rays shining into the room.  But I debated for some time as to what my solution would be for these windows.  I was familiar and in love with the concept of sliding barn doors and have even seen a few versions of sliding window shutters.  In this particular space, however, I did not have the room to install a sliding system, but I did have space for shutters. So I decided to put up stationary wood shutters instead.  The shutters add a beautiful, rustic charm that the room lacked before. And not only was the D.I.Y project easy, it’s incredibly affordable!

The inspiration of my template for the shutters came from pre-made shutters I found at Home Depot.  But they were asking $55 for a set of two. Not bad, you might say. But being the humble homemaker, I knew I could do better.  What if I told you I made my shutters for $10 a piece? Sounds even better, right?  And with a total time investment of 2 hours, this project may even fit into one of your  busier weekends.

Here’s how I did it:

  1. Buy a slab of natural wood.  The length may vary, depending on the size of your window, so be sure to measure first!  You want something with some wood grain in it. It needs to be relatively thin, comparing to the thickness of your exterior household shutters.  The dimensions for my shutters are as follows:
    1. Length: 2 ft. 11 in.
    2. Width: 11 1/4 in.
    3. Thickness: 3/4 in
  2.  For the three detailed pieces on the shutters, I found two longer pieces of wood that were about 8 ft. in length, but  the same thickness as the shutters (3/4 in.).  The width of the wood was slightly less than 2 1/2 in.  I had these long pieces of wood cut to 11 1/4 in. lengthwise because this is the width of my slab piece. (someone from Home Depot or your local hardware store can measure and cut the wood for you).
  3. Pick a stain. I chose a darker stain, but you can select whatever you think is best to compliment your existing furniture and home décor.  Also select a good staining brush, sand paper and wood glue.
  4. Measure the large slab of wood. Measure and find the middle and mark with a pencil. Wood glue a smaller piece to that pencil mark. (My middle measurement was 18 1/4 in. from the top).
  5. Measure the two end pieces at 3 in. away from the top and bottom, respectively. ( make sure there is an equal distance between the top-middle piece and the middle-bottom piece). Again, these measurements may vary depending on the size of your shutters, so place them accordingly to what looks appropriate for the size of your shutter. Wood glue the end pieces. Allow to dry for 30 minutes.
  6. Lightly sand the wood to remove rough or split edges, as the smaller cuts of wood may have some splitting.
  7. Stir the stain well with a wood stick.  Stain along the grain of the wood, making sure you cover all areas. You can stain the back, but I opted out of that option since it will be against the wall and not seen. Repeat coats, if necessary. Allow 45 minutes to completely dry.
  8. Since I am not a fan of hammering nails and creating holes in my walls, I chose to use heavy duty command strips. I bought a set of strips that can support 12 lbs.. I placed one towards the top and one towards the bottom of the backs of the  shutters. Mount right beside the window at desired placement. Viola!

This was such an easy project that reaped extraordinary results! It’s the perfect solution for windows that you don’t want covered or just simply want to stand out! Hope you have fun and enjoy your weekend project!

God’s Blessings,

The Humble Homemaker