Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Mantel

Spring could not come soon enough in PA.  We have been hit with snow, snow and more snow this winter.  We even got some snow on April Fools Day.  Mother Nature sure has a sick sense of humor ;)

My first stop was Pinterest.  I began gathering ideas on how I wanted to decorate my mantel for spring.  I found lots of great simple things I could incorporate with some existing things I had around the house.  The look I was going for was just casual.  I'm tired of the formal / overdone look.  I knew I wanted to have some kind of floral arrangement with wild flowers.  Shopping alone rarely happens and when the girls are along it is not high on their list of priorities unless of course they get something.  I'm usually limited to a whole hour before the whining starts, so I make quick, efficient shopping trips. 

I got right to work with my spray paint can and painted some out dated candlesticks a fresh antique heirloom white in satin finish.  I love them now!  I don't know why I didn't think of painting them years ago.

I found a nice sized tin silverware caddy which most people would use for just that purpose.  But, I saw so much more potential and decided it was perfect for a flower arrangement.  Off to the craft store we went next to find some fake wild flowers.  Lucky for me they were all 50% off.  I bought five bunches of nice real looking wild flowers and three cheap bouquets of pink daisies for $.99.  The first thing I did was arrange some dry flower foam in the compartments of the tin container to hold the flowers better.  Then I added a thin top layer of spanish moss on top of the foam.

I put one flower bunch in the front center compartment, another on each of the front side compartments and then one more in the back.  I only used one in the back because you can spread the flowers out to still make it look full.  Then I sporadically placed some daisies mixed in with the wild flowers.

The rest of the mantel was just filler from things around the house.  I reused the white lantern from my winter white mantel and swapped out the pine cones for some pink daisies.  I put one more bunch of wild flowers in a white vase with a few daisies, added my painted candlesticks with some fun green candles and a few more items and we are done!

           Happy Spring!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Winter White Mantel

Christmas comes and goes so quick and once those decorations are taken down and put away, the space just feels empty and blah.  I couldn't quite make the change to put up all the normal decor on the mantel so I went shopping.  But, all I bought were four letters that spelled "SNOW" and a clearance burlap tree that was glitter green ($1) from Hobby Lobby.  Then I ran through the rest of the house and gathered some items to make it still feel like winter without the merriness that comes with the Christmas season.

I built a small platform to nail the letters to out of some scrap 1x4 and 1x2 boards laying in the garage.  Next I spaced out the letters and attached them to the front of the 1x2 with my brad nail gun.  I ran down to the basement and spray painted the platform white to match the letters.

It still didn't feel complete, so I picked apart some pine cone sprays I had in a Christmas bin and hot glued them to the "O" letter.  I also had a 12 pack bag of those $1 glitter snowflake ornaments so I cut the string off and hot glued a few to some letters.


I have a bunch of lanterns that I bought in black when they were on sale on Black Friday with the intent on making some gifts for people.  Well, lets just say I got busy with other things, so I have a ton of lanterns waiting for next year.  I pulled one out, spray painted it white, added a flameless candle, some pine cones and a burlap bow.

The mantel still needed a few extra things.  I grabbed some extra dowel rods and some platforms I had bought for a different project, drilled a hole in the center the size of each dowel rod and spray painted them white.  I added a glitter snowflake ornament to a few of them for filler and height on the winter mantel.  Oh, and that glitter green burlap tree I bought for a $1, also got some fresh white spray paint for a snow effect.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Kids Bath - Girl Style

Having two small girls in the house is so much fun.  Trying to keep things not too childish, but not tweenish is hard.  I let the girls help pick out the theme for their bathroom they share.  I did have a few rules though.  I really didn't want to go with anything Disney, Hello Kitty, Barbie, Monster High (you get the picture) because I didn't want to be swapping out shower curtains and towels each time the next big thing came along.

They both agreed on a shower curtain they liked with some cute large flowers along with the coordinating flower towels, toothbrush holder and trash can.  We easily matched those up with some solid colored towels and bath mats.  I added this all to their Christmas list and gave family some great non-toy ideas. Win! Win!

We were building our house at the same time and I was able to get all of the lighting on my own.  We went shopping and the girls picked out these tulip lights from Lowes.  They had bronze vines and frosted glass tulip globes.  They were already really cute, but I just knew I could make them better ;-)

Lucky for me, my favorite thing in the world is spray paint.  I rarely won't buy something because it's not the right color.  I look for things with the style and size that fits the space and turn it into what I really wanted the look to be with a few cans of the perfect color.  There are so many colors available and so many finishes.  You can use it on metal, wood, plastic, you name it.  So, why not paint some lights and stainless steel towel holders and hooks, which is exactly what I did!

I very lightly sprayed the light globes because I didn't want to block the light from coming out.  I stood directly on top of each globe and sprayed directly down.  It almost created an affect where just the part that would be attached to the "stem" and the ends of each tulip were sprayed with paint.  Of course afterwards I panicked because we were worried it might be a fire hazard to paint light globes.  I got right on the phone with the manufacturer of the spray paint company and we were assured everything would be fine.  They recommended we did not actually use the lights for 7-10 days in order to let the paint cure completely.

And, the finished room is all cute an girly, at least for a few more years!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

DIY Ceiling Tin Backsplash

Choosing a kitchen backsplash can be so easy for some.  For me, it was exhausting and still is.  We incorporated a beautiful stone range hood as a focal point.  But, choosing a backsplash to go with it and not take away from the stone was very hard.  I bought numerous samples of subway tiles, glued them to small plywood boards and placed them under the cabinets and around the stone before going all out and installing tile.  I couldn't find anything that I liked.  It was too busy with the stone and the granite.

I then began scouring the web for alternatives to the traditional tile backsplash.  I found some that I absolutely loved that used ceiling tin.  I began doing searches on ceiling tin when I came across Fasade Decorative Thermoplastic Backsplash Panels.  To my surprise, they were sold at Lowes.  And not only were they sold there, they were in stock in the Smoked Pewter color at a Lowes about 30 minutes from where I live.  They retail for $19.95 each.  I went online, began my online order and they were on clearance for $1.44 and had 30 in stock.  For a whopping $43 I bought all 30 of them.  I also bought the matching trim pieces at under $1.35 each.

Materials:  Fasade Thermoplastic Panels (18.5-in x 24.5-in), 18" Inside Corner Trim, 18" Edge J-Trim, Loctite Premium Construction Adhesive, tape measure, pencil and scissors.

I watched a you tube video on how to install the panels and trim and installed the panels in an afternoon.  I only installed the panels under the stone range hood.  Eventually, I'll add subway tile under the rest of the cabinets.  But this is now my favorite focal point in the kitchen.

The panels went up extremely easy.  I followed the manufacturer's instructions and was careful to clean up any extra adhesive immediately.  I ended up using 9 panels in total and two 10 oz tubes of the adhesive.  I installed the Edge Trim pieces on the sides that will be exposed to drywall/tile and used the corner trim pieces in the corners.

We have a pot filler above the stove, so I intentionally created a seam around the pipe that comes out of the wall in order to easily install around it.  Then I added the rest of the first row of panels based on this starting point.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Outdoor TV Cabinet

Super simple outdoor tv cabinet made for 50" TV out of pressure treated lumber and some barn style hardware.

The box frame was made out of two 2x8x8 pressure treated boards and the doors were made out of pressure treated decking and cost about $150.

We used two 2x8x8 pressure treated lumber and cut 40" off each board to be used as the sides. The remaining length of each board was about 56" (slightly less due to blade width from initial cut off of each board. We placed the 56" boards between the side boards for an overall width outside to outside of approximately 59".

We used a 2x4x10 and cut two lengths slightly less than 56" to be at the top and bottom of the inside dimensions which were lag bolted into the wall.  The box frame was then attached to the cleats using decking screws and L brackets.

We used regular pressure treated decking for the doors (approx 6" wide) . We used five - 8 foot boards for the vertical doors and cut 10 verticals at 36 1/2" each.  We ripped the remaining two decking boards at 3" on the table saw for each "Z".  Each door is 27 1/2" wide when finished.

From each 3" ripped board, we cut two lengths of 27 1/2" and had enough left over from each board for the diagonals which we cut and fit in place last.  We placed two of the 27 1/2" cut boards on the ground and started attaching the verticals from what would be the inside of the door.  We made sure everything was squared up and the spacing of the five verticals was even across the top and bottom of the "Z".  Last we cut and fit the diagonals in place and attached them to the inside.  We made the second door following these same steps.

Our doors fit inside the box frame and the outside "Z" boards are flush with the front of the box. We attached the barn style hardware on the inside of the box frame because the style we chose had a slightly wider hinge than our 1 1/2" sides of the box frame and would have stuck out on each side.  We did have to notch out a section on our inside of the box frame to accommodate the hinges being attached on the inside.  Because we had the box frame built before we added this hardware, we could not attach the hinge screw from the inside where we sandwiched the hinge between the sides and top/bottom.  Before we attached these hinges, we put the hinge on the outside to use as a guide and made a mark with the pencil where the screw should line up, then we screwed decking screws from the outside of the frame in these holes.  We attached the decorative piece to the front of each "Z" and added a latch to the front as well as some latches on the inside top and bottom of the left door.  To keep the doors from touching the TV and staying flush with the outside box, we added some 2x4 blocks to the inside of the box on the top and bottom.  Next, we added a steel bolt to the inside top and bottom of the left door.  The latch that we bought did not keep the doors closed because both doors could open.

We purchased a fairly cheap TV because it's outside and also didn't want to spend a ton in case it was ever stolen.  Depending on how deep your TV is, or the wall mounting brackets you purchase, you may need to use 2x10x8 boards for the box frame.

Materials List:

2 - 2 in. x 8 in. x 8 ft. Pressure Treated Lumber - $8 each (used for box)
1 - 2 in. x 4 in. x10 ft. Pressure Treated Lumber - $5 (used for cleats)
7 - 5/4" x 6 in. x 8 ft. Pressure Treated Decking - $6.50 each (used for doors)
4 - 8" Heavy Duty Black T Hinge - $8 each (bought from Lowes - Stanley-National Brand)
1 - Hardware Slide Bolt Latch - $5 (bought from Lowes - Stanley-National Brand)
2 - 4-in. Steel Bolt - $4 each (to be used to lock one door into box frame, other door will have Slide Bolt latch)
Decking Screws (various sizes, longer screws used to build box frame, shorter screws to build doors)
8 Lag Screws - $3-$4 each (used to attach cleats to house, buy at least 6" exterior use lag screws)
4 - 4 in.Flat Brace (L Brackets) - $3 each (to be used to attach box to cleats)