Holiday Wood Sign

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So many cute holiday signs out there this year. I saw so many different versions, I couldn’t decide which one to buy. Finally, I saw one that I liked, it was on the Instagram account of a local boutique that I follow. The problem, the actual boutique is not very close to where I live and the thought of making the trip, in recent weeks, just didn’t seem that fun. Why is it that I’m so willing to drive anywhere and everywhere in the summer but not in the winter? It’s gotta be the weather. I am NOT a cold weather fan. Thus why I always suggest going to the beach for our family vacations. I was vetoed on that this year, by the way. Spending a week in the snow…not sure how I feel about that…can’t win ’em all I guess. Anyway, I was putting off the trip to the boutique until finally I decided to just make a sign myself since I had most of the things I needed. I already had the wood and paint in the garage, so one quick trip to Michaels for the metal and wood letters, and I was in business.

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I started with a 1×10 piece of scrap wood that I had in the garage and I cut it to 37″ long with a jigsaw. The trim I cut out of wood lath, I had a bundle of it from a previous project so I decided to put it to use, but you could use a 1x2x8 board and that should be enough for your whole sign if it is 37″ long. I liked the lath because it has a really rough texture so it gave the frame more of a rustic look. I painted the 1×10 board with white chalk paint and stained the frame pieces with Minwax Dark Walnut. Once both were dry, I attached the frame pieces with wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

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For the letters, I picked up these 2.5″ wood letters by ArtMinds at Michaels for “FRESH CUT” (spray painted with a red matte paint) and these 3.5″ galvanized letters by ArtMinds for “CHRISTMAS TREES”. Full disclosure, the metal letters actually had little magnets glued to the backside. I didn’t feel like spending time looking for letters without magnets, so I just used needle nose pliers to pull the magnets off. Most came off pretty easily, a few took a little extra strength. Also, the galvanized letters come in silver, gold and rust but the letters I needed were almost all rusted, which is not the look I was going for, so I just sprayed them each with a light coat of this Rust-Oleum hammered silver spray paint for a full galvanized look.

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To create the trees, I used acrylic craft paint in a dark green and dark brown. This part might be intimidating, but honestly, it is easier than you think. Start with the large tree. Use brown, with a small (1/4″) paint brush and paint a straight line for the trunk, making it a little wider at the bottom. Once the trunk is dry, use the same brush (cleaned and dried) and begin to paint on the branches. I painted 1 long stroke to the side for each branch, then light little strokes jetting out along the top and the bottom of each branch. Start with sparse branches (I started with 7 on each side of the large tree), fill in the shoots on each branch and then go back and add more little branches to make the tree look full. On each branch, allow your brush to get a little dry without reloading it with paint in order to get a whispy look here and there.

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That’s it! What do you think? Worth it to not make the drive? Haha!

If you want to hang your new sign, just add one of these saw tooth picture hangers to the back side, centered, about an inch from the top. Just make sure your nails are not too long and won’t go through your wood board, no more than 3/4″.

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DIY Holiday Wreath

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So, this was not a project or post I had planned on, it pretty much happened on accident while I was decorating the mantle today. I had a different plan as to what I was hanging above the mantle and hated how it turned out so I started over and this is what I came up with. I actually LOVE how this wreath turned out and wanted to share with you how simple it was.

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The wreath I started with is this 24″ faux flocked wreath from Walmart. I just happened upon Walmart’s flocked Christmas décor this year after seeing it in some other bloggers homes and it was all so inexpensive that I had to try it out. You guys, for the price, the quality is GREAT! I got my tree there as well and will absolutely be back for more next year (sadly, they’ve been sold out of their best selling items for a while already). Here are some other great flocked wreath options…

Target Wondershop 18″ Flocked Wreath
Vickerman 30″ Snow Ridge Flocked Wreath
Telluride 24″ Frosted Faux Pine Wreath

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I wanted to add a little more color to the wreath so I decided to use some of the stems I had purchased to use throughout the house. I think this is why I love this wreath so much, next year, I can easily remove the stems and add something totally different to change the look. Here is what I added to the wreath…

Ikea Smycka Eucalyptus Stem
Michael’s Red Mini Berry Stem by Ashland
Michael’s Scented Large Pinecones by Ashland
22 gauge floral wire

Because I wasn’t planning on this being a blog post, I didn’t take pictures in the process of putting it together. However, it was honestly so simple. I used 2 of each stem, one on each side. The wreath is 2 rows of branches attached to 2 metal rings which are visible on the back side of the wreath with about a 2″ gap between the 2 rings.
1. With the wreath facing up, take 1 stem of Eucalyptus and insert the end of the stem through the 2 rows of branches about 2-3″ from the bottom center of the wreath. Leave the end of the stem sticking out the back side of the wreath pointing toward bottom center (you will secure it later) and manipulate each branch of leaves to intertwine it with the wreath branches. These branches are wired so you should be able to get the branches where you want them to go by bending slightly. Don’t spend too much time on this because you may make more adjustments when you add the berries.
2. Add 1 stem of berries the same way, layered over the Eucalyptus stem and intertwine them together to the placement you prefer.
3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 on the opposite side to get a balanced look.
4. Use 3 pinecones and 3 pieces of wire, each approximately 1 foot long. Take 1 piece of wire and 1 pinecone, about 1″ from the bottom of the pinecone, wrap a piece of wire around the pinecone, maneuvering the wire between the pinecone scales (scales? is that what they’re called??) You want the center of the wire wrapped around the pinecone 2 times, and be left with a few inches of wire on each end sticking out the back of the pinecone. Take those wires ends and stick it through the wreath at bottom center. Turn the wreath over, find the wire ends and wrap them around one of the metal wreath rings to secure. This is when I secured the stems as well. I held the stem against one of the rings while I wrapped the wire around. Repeat with the other 2 pinecones.
5. Now that all of you stems and pinecones are attached, your stems should be secure at the center and you’ll just have the ends of the stems loose. I just kind of bent the end of the stems and tucked them under and between the 2 wreath rings to keep them from showing. Very technical, I know 🙂

That’s it guys! So simple!! AND, the whole wreath cost me $20!!!! Obsessed!

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Now for a few other mantle details…

I had this vintage frame that I picked up at an antique store forever ago and had never used. It was gold so I put a coat of white chalk paint on it to 1) match my décor and 2) disguise all the chips in the frame. I then used a 4″ wide burlap ribbon, about 2 feet long, to attach the wreath to the frame. Just a simple knot hidden behind the wreath.

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The candlesticks I’ve had for years, a wedding gift from my parents from a little boutique in their hometown (here is a similar style from Ethan Allen)

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If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, https://www.instagram.com/justlikeplayinghouse/ you’ll know that the mantle décor decisions started with my love/hate relationship with this garland 🙂 I LOVE the long flocked needles but HATED that the pinecones were covered in glitter. I bought a couple of strands anyway, thinking I would remove the glitter pinecones and replace them with plain pinecones. End of the day, I was too lazy to remove the glitter, left them and just added a few plain. I didn’t even secure them, just sort of wedged them in between the needles. I also added a few stems of the eucalyptus to tie it all together.

I also came across these galvanized metal stocking hangers at Walmart when I picked up my tree. Pretty excited when I spotted those little cuties. I’m still working on the stockings themselves so I’ll update you when I decide which style I’m going with this year 🙂

Happy holidays friends! And happy decorating!!

DIY Baby Gate

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Ok…let’s get something out of the way. November kicked my butt. Big time. I took this break from blogging to get my stuff together, get organized, be more consistent. And, October was great! I posted consistently, I was happy with what I was posting. Then, November happened. Halloween (ok, that’s October, but still) and DIY Halloween costumes, Landon’s first birthday and a fun party to celebrate him (where I may or may not have gone a bit overboard with the theme and décor), a trip to California for a family wedding which included Landon’s first airplane ride, and was promptly followed by his first cold, and then Thanksgiving. It makes me tired just thinking about all of it. I certainly didn’t get any of my blog objectives accomplished this month. However, this weekend has been SUPER productive so far and I already feel good about December and what I’m going to bring your way, starting with…DUN DUN DUUUNNNN…a DIY Baby Gate! I am so pumped about how this gate turned out but that brings me to point #2 that we need to get out of the way…

The elephant in the room is that I put up a baby gate. And my child has been mobile for 5 months. (*insert face palm emoji here) Now, I started this project when he began to crawl. I had the gate completely built, within a day or two, sitting in my garage. And then…that’s it, it stayed in the garage. Even though all I had to do was paint it and put it up. I’m really unsure when this trait started, beginning a project and then not finishing it. Usually I don’t finish it because it turns out the project was much harder than I thought it would be (ugh eh…our deck) but I can’t use that excuse here, the gate was SO simple! I’ve always been such a procrastinator, wait until the last minute to get something done and then stress out about it not being perfect because I’m rushing to finish it. I’m not sure which is worse, procrastinating or starting a project and not finishing it. I think it has to be the latter, because that leaves me with 3,495,383 half done projects around the house! Anyway, this is my focus area, to make myself better, to stop starting projects and not finishing them. There’s about 5 major projects in the house right now that have been unfinished for sometime. My goal is to complete at least 1 per month (I know that doesn’t sound like much but they are BIG projects…deck, painting the kitchen cabinets, painting the downstairs, finally building benches to go with the dining room table and turning the carpet stairs to hardwood). So that would mean, all 5 of those projects 100% done by my birthday, at the latest. I’m writing it here so you all can hold me accountable, okay? (I know if I write it here, there is at least 1 person who will stay on my case about it, right mom?)

And now, what you all came here for…the baby gate! Like all my projects, this came about from my desire to find a cute baby gate with a barn door-esque look to it. Of course, I couldn’t find anything like it out there, so, I built it. And truly, you know it had to be easy because I didn’t follow a plan, I just made it up as I went. That part was a little scary and took some planning and measuring beforehand but it all turned out well.

Before I share the steps with you, you should know that the opening I built this gate for is not a standard door-size opening so it is a bit of a custom build. I used the width of the opening to determine what size boards I would use and also had to take into account needing 2 pieces of wood attached to the wall on either side for anchoring the gate and attaching the lock. If you are interested in doing this in your own home, please feel free to reach out to me and I’d be happy to help you determine the necessary measurements as well as what size boards to use.

The full space I had to work with is 46 1/2″ wide x 35 1/2″ tall. I needed a little space on each side of the gate for the support boards as well as a little room for the gate to swing open and closed. I calculated that if I used 1×6 boards, it would leave me just enough space. (If you do this, make sure you look up the true measurements on the board you’re using, i.e. a 1×6 board is only 5 1/2″ wide, not 6″, which could make a big difference to your overall project.)

Supplies
4 – 1x6x10 boards
1 – 1x6x8 board
1 – 1x4x8 board
1 – 1x3x8 board
jigsaw, table saw or miter saw (any will work, I used my jigsaw)
wood glue
nail gun
1 1/4″ brad nails
44″ grips (not necessary, but helpful for keeping boards lined up for step 1 & 2)
gate hardware (2 hinges, 1 handle, 1 lock)
paint or stain of your choice
drill with 7/32 drill bit
2″ wood screws

1. Use the 1x6x10 boards, on each board, cut 1 piece @ 44″ and 2 pieces @ 34″. You should have an 8″ piece of scrap wood left over from each board. Line your 34″ boards up side by side, making sure the top and bottom edges line up evenly. Use 44″ grips, across the middle of the boards, to hold the boards together and keep them from moving. If you don’t have grips, you can just hold each board in place as you nail it to ensure it doesn’t move.

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2. Once your grips are secure, use wood glue, the nail gun and 1 1/4″ brad nails to attach a 44″ board across the top and bottom of the 34″ boards. Once secure, remove the grips, turn the gate over to the other side, and attach the other 2 44″ pieces the same way.

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3. Use the 1x6x8 board, cut 4 pieces @ 23″. These pieces are going to lay along the right and left sides and you want them to fit snuggly between the 44″ pieces. I suggest measuring for each one individually before cutting, just to be sure of the exact length. Once cut, attach using wood glue, nail gun and 1 1/4″ brad nails to both the left and right edges of the gate, on the front and back sides.

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4. Use the 1x3x8 to cut 1 piece @ 44″. This is going to be your top trim board. I didn’t snap a picture of this in the construction process because it was actually an afterthought. I wasn’t going to add the trim to the top but decided to in the end because the top edge was a little rough and I thought it would just look more finished this way. Measure the width across the top of the gate before making the cut, it should be close to 44″. Attach using wood glue, nail gun and 1 1/4″ brad nails.

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5. Use the 1x4x8 board to cut your support post and block for the lock to attach to. Make sure you look for studs in the area you will be attaching the gate. This gate is a heavy beast so you definitely want to secure it through studs. Cut 1 piece @ 34 3/4″, this will be the side you attach your hinges to. Cut a 2nd piece @ 3 1/2″ long, this will be the block you attach the lock to. (Once I had those final two pieces cut, this is when I painted everything. Much easier to do before you install. I used white chalk paint on mine.) On the 34 3/4″ piece, use your drill and drill bit to make 3 small notches in the wood where you will secure it to the wall. You don’t want to drill all the way through the board, just a  slight indent, so the head of the screw will sit below the surface of the board. Then secure the board to the wall using 2″ wood screws and screw into a stud. Set the 3 1/2″ piece aside. I didn’t attach this one until the gate was installed, so that I could line it up with exactly where the edges of the gate would sit.

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6. Now you are going to attach the hardware to the gate. Be sure to pay attention to the top of the gate, and if there’s a certain side you want facing in or out of the room. The hinges I used are these National Hardware Steel Painted gate hinges from Lowes. You will attach the decorative end of the hinge to the gate, when figuring out placement, I held the hinge at a 90° angle up against the gate and then secured the decorative end with the screws it comes with. Attach the second hinge toward the bottom of the gate the same way. I also attached the handle before hanging the gate, you can do this now or later. I used the Gatehouse Black gate pull and placed it on the right edge of the gate on the same side as the hinges, halfway down the gate. Now you can hang the gate by securing the other side of the hinge to the anchor board that you attached to the wall. *Note: since the gate is so heavy, it is best to do this with 2 people. If you can’t do it with two people, I suggest using something sturdy underneath the gate to lift it up to the appropriate height for attaching. You WILL NOT be able to hold the gate up and attach it by yourself, please don’t try. I used pieces of 2x4s to raise the gate up to the proper height but please be careful if you’re using this method. Use the screws that accompany the hinge to attach the rectangular side of the hinge to the anchor board.

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7. Now that the gate is hung, you can determine the placement of the 3 1/2″ block. I just pushed the gate into the “closed” position to see where it naturally rested, then marked on the wall with a pencil where the block should sit. Use the drill and drill bit to make 2 notches into the block the way you did with the anchor board, then attach the block to the wall using 2″ wood screws. Line the gate up with the block, put the locking mechanism into locked position while you are attaching it. This way, you know the pieces are lined up properly. I used the Gatehouse 3-in steel bolt, mostly because of the small size. I knew I wouldn’t have a ton of space for a larger lock.

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Done and done! Lock that puppy and keep your little one contained to one room 🙂 I absolutely love how this project turned out and like I said before, if you are interested in doing this in your home and need help adjusting the measurements for a custom fit, I’d be happy to help. Just go to the contact page and send me a message!

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Fall Home Tour

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We officially have a walking baby!! Landon has been taking a few wobbly steps each day but last night he walked all the way across the living room! It was cute, exciting and terrifying all at the same time 🙂 With each new milestone comes a whole new stage of unexpectedness (I’m going to pretend that’s a word).

With this milestone has come the 12 month sleep regression. Landon has been waking up at 5:30 every morning for about a week now. Now that he’s walking, he should go back to his normal sleep pattern soon. This morning he woke up at 6:00 but then fell back asleep until 7:30. Hopefully, with a few days of practice walking under his belt, we’ll get back to normal.

I spent the weekend cleaning the house and shooting my fall décor so that I could put a little home tour together for you. It’s later than I wanted to have this post done but, better late than never?? I’m loving everything I added this season and I tried to keep things simple, not too busy. I stuck to a bit of a pumpkins and galvanized metal theme with all of my pumpkins being from Michaels and all of my greenery being from Ikea.

I hope you guys enjoy the inspiration! And I’m already thinking about what I want to do for Christmas and my hope is to get it done and posted EARLY so that you can have some inspo in time for your own decorating!

Happy decorating 🙂

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DIY Toy Box

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I think I officially have a toddler. I mean, when I spend the entire day either chasing the little munchkin or saying “No, Landon…no, no, no….Landon, that’s not to play with” that equals toddler, right?!?! When he first learned what the word “no” meant, he would usually stop whatever behavior I was saying no to. Now, he is testing the limits and repeating the behavior, over and over and over. The latest, picking food up off his high chair tray, holding his food-filled fist for me to see and dropping it while I tell him not to drop the food. Big heavy sigh.

Once Landon turned 4 months, we started accumulating toys at rapid pace so I needed a place to store them. I started searching for toy boxes and toy storage. There were some cute options out there but not a lot that really went with his nursery or my décor style. Baskets would have been the best option if I had a big shelving unit to store them on, but, space in the nursery was becoming limited.

I came across this unfinished wood toy box on Wayfair and decided to customize it to fit the style of the room.

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I painted the toy box white with Heirloom Traditions A La Mode chalk paint, 3 coats total, and then used DIY Big Top Aftershow top coat. I followed it up with a light sanding on the edges with 180 grit sandpaper.

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Next, I decided to add a padded seat to the top of the toy box. I added the hinges to the lid so that I could cut and attach the padding and fabric around them. Lay out your fabric on the ground (design side down), making sure that if you are using fabric with a pattern, you pay attention to the placement and angle of the pattern. Next, lay out a piece of 1″ foam on top of the fabric followed by the lid placed upside down on top of the foam. At this point, you can cut the foam and the fabric to the appropriate dimensions. Leave a 1″ border of foam around the toy box lid. Leave a 2″ border between the fabric and foam to allow for folding the edges over and attaching with staples.

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To attach the padding and fabric, I folded the edge of the fabric over on itself, the folded the remaining edge of the fabric over the foam and toy box lid, securing it with staples and my electric staple gun. When you are securing the fabric, work on one side at a time and secure only to within 2″ of each corner so that the fabric at the corners is loose. You are going to make some cuts and folds in order to tuck the corner fabric in. Also, when securing the fabric on the hinge side, staple everywhere except at the hinges, leaving the fabric loose there as well.

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To secure corners, you want to cut away the extra layers of fabric that were folded under, leaving only 1 layer of fabric. Take the tip of fabric at the corner, fold it over the lid and secure with a staple. You should now have loose fabric on either side of the corner. On each side, you will fold and roll the fabric under itself at an angle so that when you bring the two sides together they will meet at the corner. Secure with staples.

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To secure fabric around hinges, again, cut away some of the layers so you have just 1 layer of fabric, refold the fabric so that it fits around the hinge and secure with staples.

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Once I attached the lid to the toy box, I wanted to add a little more detail so I picked up some metal T strap and L strap angles , spray painted them black and attached them at each corner for a little industrial touch.

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That’s it! Totally customizable to your color and design! Just change paint color, fabric, spray paint and done 🙂

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Small Buffet Upcycle

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Hi everyone!!! Wow, it feels like I’ve been gone for SO LONG! I mean, 2 months isn’t forever but still, I missed posting for you and I’m glad to be back at it. Thank you for hanging in there while I took a little break. I was able to accomplish quite a few things around the house, get myself organized and reprioritize what I want and need to do with this blog going forward. I’m so excited to get back to sharing things with you and have so many fun projects in store, so I hope you love them as much as I do!

How about a little life update first 🙂 Not a ton has changed, just the usual day-in and day-out of stay-at-home motherhood. We have been taking more weekend trips as a family and I’ve been getting Landon out into some play groups each week, which he loves! So, we’ve been more social in the last couple of months I guess. The little one is seriously on the move! He is crawling and cruising SO fast! Walking is just around the corner…(heavy sigh). And no, mom, I still don’t have the baby gate up. :/ Landon is also adding to his vocabulary. He now says mama, dada, nana, & Ella (except Ella sounds more like Elwa, but so cute!) Speaking of Ella, I think she may have kennel cough. Ugh! Have any of you dealt with kennel cough in your dog? She is current on vaccinations, we did board both dogs about 2 1/2 weeks ago and she started this awful cough/choking sound just over a day ago. I’m hoping it’s not something more serious but we’re going to the vet today, so I’ll keep you posted.

So, this mini buffet. What do you think?!?! I’ve had this piece of furniture for years, 7 years to be exact, as it was a wedding gift from my little sisters. I honestly never had a true home for this piece but recently, have not been liking our bar area. It was a bit too big and in a very focal point of our home so I want to make it smaller and de-emphasize it a bit. This mini buffet seemed like the perfect size. Of course I forgot to take a picture of it before painting…this is why I needed to get organized about my projects, I start projects on a whim, only get them halfway done, never feel like I’m getting anywhere with this house! Before, it was a cream/yellow tone with bronze hardware and chalkboard doors. It was super cute but the yellow tone just didn’t go with the rest of the house anymore.

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I did want some of the black to show through when I distressed this piece, so to start, I painted 1 coat of Heirloom Traditions Black Bean on any area that wasn’t already black. Once that was dry, I added 2 coats of A La Mode (White). Most of the time, when I distress furniture, I just go over the edges with sandpaper. This time, however, I used a technique called Wet Distressing. You distress right away after the paint dries, don’t give it any time to cure because you want the paint to come off easily. Using a sponge or rag, and a bowl of water, you get the sponge wet, ring out the excess water, and lightly rub the area you want to distress. This will essentially peel off the paint giving you more of a “chippy paint” effect.  I actually found this method of distressing much easier than sanding and WAY less messy.

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For the knobs, I went with this simple matte black round ceramic knob from Home Depot.

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 And that’s it! Just a simple upcycle that made a world of difference to our bar area. If you have followed for a while, you’ll remember when I originally put the bar area together. It turned out like this…

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I did like it but have since taken our décor in a different direction so I thought this area needed an update. I also moved it to the opposite side of the room so that it is tucked away in the corner instead of front and center when you walk into our kitchen/dining room.

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I’d love to hear what you think of the new version! I also have a fall décor post coming later this week where you will be able to find sources for all the décor pieces you see here.

Happy Wednesday everyone! And it feels great to be back, I missed you friends!! 🙂

DIY Chalkboard Sign

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Confession…I love chalkboards. Or, I love creating cute little works of art on chalkboards. Weird, I know. I have created some fun chalkboard signs for my mom’s business and thought it was time I have one in my home. I created a new photo gallery wall in our living room and took down the old gallery wall which was hanging in this space. It’s kind of an awkward spot. You enter our home into a foyer with a vaulted ceiling with the living room, dining room and kitchen to the left but you don’t really see those rooms until you round the corner. As you turn the corner, you step up 4 stairs into the living area and this wall is right in front of you.

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Not only is it an awkward spot, but the wall itself is a bit awkward as well. It is essentially a square in the center of our upstairs area. On the left of it is our living room and on the right is our dining room and kitchen. And because of the light switches and thermostat, the placement of anything you put on the wall either has to be really high or really low. Which is the reason I wanted to move the gallery wall, because the photos were up so high, you never really saw them very well. Once I completed this sign, I loved it in this space but still felt like the wall needed something on the lower half too. I think a thin sofa table up against the wall could possibly look good. However, very shortly there will be a DIY baby gate at the top of those stairs…hint hint at a future post…that will visually cover that space as you walk up toward the wall so I will most likely leave it as is until after the gate is up.

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The great thing about this sign is that the size is completely customizable for your space if you use the same project boards that I used from Lowe’s. They come in multiple sizes, thicknesses and made from different types of wood. For my space, I used a stain grade pine panel that is 3/4″ thick x 24″ tall x 36″ wide. Unfortunately, I can’t find these pine panels on their website anymore but they are usually kept in the lumber area, near the wood trim section.

Supplies
stain grade pine panel 3/4″ x 24″ x 36″
1″ x 2″ x 4′ pine board (for trim)
table saw or miter box (for cutting trim)
wood glue
1 1/2″ brad nails and nail gun
wood filler
220-grit sandpaper
chalkboard paint
stain or chalk paint for trim (I used Minwax stain in Dark Walnut)
chalk

Step 1: Cut your trim

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Lay your project board down and cut a piece of trim for each side. Now, you can just do straight edge cuts on your trim instead of angled miter cuts. If you have a table saw and can do miter cuts easily, then I say go for it. If you are trying to do it with a miter box and hand saw, probably not worth all the effort. At least not with the wood that I used for the trim, because it is not soft and would not be easy to cut through with a hand saw. So, if you are doing a straight edge, 90° cut with a jigsaw, simply cut the top and bottom pieces first, attach them with the wood glue and nails, as shown in step 3, and then measure and cut the side pieces. If you are doing a mitered angle cut, I measured one side at a time and as I measured the next side, I held the previous side in place to make sure I had a proper measurement and snug fit at each corner.

Step 2: Paint

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I know it might seem a little backwards to paint first and then assemble, and you don’t have to do it this way, especially because if you use wood filer to seal the corners on the trim, you’ll have to touch that up anyway. However, I didn’t want to deal with having to be super careful to not get the chalkboard paint on the trim once it was assembled so it just seemed easy and must faster to paint the pieces beforehand. Like I mentioned above, I used this chalkboard paint for the main board (2 coats) and Minwax stain in Dark Walnut for the trim (1 coat wiped on with a cloth).

Step 3: Attach trim to chalkboard

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Lay a piece of trim down on it’s thicker edge, add a thin line of wood glue to the edge that will attach to the chalkboard. Make sure the edges of your trim are flush with the chalkboard or the corner on each end and attach the trim using 1 1/2″ brad nails and a nail gun

Step 4: Finish corners with wood filler

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Use a little wood filler at each corner to fill in any gap between the trim boards. Once it is dry, use 220-grit sandpaper to buff the wood filler smooth and touch up with whichever stain or paint you used.

Step 5: Chalk art fun!

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Now you get to change up your wall décor as often as you want, and the great thing about chalk…if you don’t like it, you can wipe it off and do it again! I get a lot of my chalkboard inspo from Pinterest. Just type in chalkboard art and there you go. Some are way more intricate than others so just start with something simple and each time you can get a little more brave 🙂 I also added this little faux fern garland to the top for a little something extra because I felt like the wall was still a little naked.

Tips for creating chalkboard art
1. Use your chalk to divide you board into 4 equal sections, lightly draw a faint line down the middle of the board both vertically and horizontally. Whatever picture you are using as your inspiration, visualize it in 4 sections just like your board. This will help you with placement of each word or picture in relation to everything else.
2. Start from the center and work your way out. I started this board with “hello” and the sun, and then followed with each line and did the arrows last. It was easy to figure out the placement for the most central word and then look at how each word or object is placed in relation to that central word.
3. Sketch it out first. I do a very rough, very light-handed sketch of each word to make sure I like the placement and the size before coloring it in darker or finalizing it. Keep a wet rag on hand to wipe away sketch marks that don’t blend in or are outside the lines of your final word. This works especially well for cursive words because, for reals….my cursive ain’t pretty! Unless I go VERY slowly and sketch it first.
Have fun!!

Spring Décor Favorites

I’ve been shopping up a storm lately.

Ok, that’s not really something new. I guess the difference is, I’m being very particular about the things I buy for the house. Only making a purchase for an item I’ve really thought about, searched it out and have a specific spot for it. In the past, I would just go shopping, see something I like, buy it, and then get home and not really like it with anything else in the room.

So, lesson is, be deliberate with my home purchases. Because of this, everything I have purchased recently I am IN LOVE with! Because I really thought about the look I was going for or exactly what I wanted for a specific spot, it’s all working out so much better.

I thought I’d share my top 10 home décor purchases from this spring in hopes of inspiring you as well 🙂

One of my favorite places to shop in Portland is City Home. They have a great aesthetic, a little urban, a little rustic, a little eclectic. AND, they carry Magnolia Home, the home décor line from Joanna Gaines of Fixer Upper. Jackpot! I stopped in there a couple weeks ago to pick up some barstools…also listed in the top 10…see below 🙂 …and happened upon this gorgeous hurricane vase. I pictured a candle burning and the glow seeping out through the laser cut tin and I was in love. Then I realized it was from Magnolia Home. Done and done.
Kinder Hurricane Vase

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So this isn’t a purchase per-say. I buy flowers. A lot. And my favorite thing right now is using canning jars as the vase. Simple, yet the jar seems to give it a little something more than just a plain glass vase, don’t you think?

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Those barstools I mentioned…I’ve been going back and forth on which barstools I wanted for quite some time now and I kept going back to these. I like the combo of the metal frame with the wood seat, rustic but still clean looking.
Backless Counter-Stool w/Wood Seat

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Have you heard of a black thumb? This girl has 2! Seriously, I kill all plants!! So, when I saw these faux boxwood trees at Ikea, no brainer.
Faux Potted Boxwood

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My mom picked up this little cutie somewhere in eastern Washington. The cutest little farmhouse soap dish I’ve ever seen!
Metal & Stone Soap Dish

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Black & white décor…it’s my obsession lately. These stripe pillows from Ikea were an easy way to update the color scheme in my living room.
Stripe Cushion Cover

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These little faux sage plants are making their way all through my house. Some in the nursery, some in the living room, powder room. Something about spring just makes me want to put plants everywhere. Faux plants, of course 🙂 at least in my case.
Faux Potted Plant

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Like I said…plants…everywhere. But this lemon tree! I couldn’t resist!! It’s adorable, no?
Unfortunately, it looks like Pottery Barn is already sold out 😦 They do have a matching wreath though

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Disclaimer…this photo is NOT my home. I’d love to take credit for it, trust me 🙂 This was actually my inspiration photo. Since seeing this, I’ve wanted a steamer trunk to use as a side table. I’m halfway there 🙂 My mom found a vintage trunk similar to this one, just need to have it fixed up a bit and I’ll be ready to go! You can find trunks like these at vintage and antique stores all over.

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Final purchase! The Hektar Lamp from Ikea (again, picture is not my home). I love love love the scale of this lamp. The lamp shade is oversized and it’s a nice tall fixture. I had been searching for a floor lamp for our dining room and finally came across this little beauty.

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Happy spring and happy shopping friends!

Nursery Side Table

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Landon is officially moved into the nursery! He has slept in his own room the last 3 nights. I’d like to say it’s going well but…not so much. His first night was amazing, slept 8pm to almost 7am, only waking up twice for his pacifier. The last 2 nights and now today, however, have been a bit more challenging. I’ve read about babies having separation anxiety when being moved to their own room. Is this really a thing? Any other mamas experience this? I’m pretty sure the little guy is just going through the tough part of his 5 month growth spurt but this separation anxiety thing was interesting to read about. Either way, I’m sure it will resolve in a couple days and we’ll be back on track 🙂

Almost done in the nursery!!! Just a couple more pieces to put in place and/or build, a little organization of clothing…how did he grow out of so much stuff already!!…and then some finishing touches, like crown molding and painting the door and trim. When I type it all out like that, it seems a little more daunting.

You might recognize the table I am using for the side table in the nursery. It is a matching set with my living room side table and coffee table. I didn’t really have a need for a second side table in the living room so I’ve just had this table sitting around for a while now. I’m doing mostly dark iron accents in the nursery so the rusty metal details on this cedar chest table worked out perfectly.

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What I really love about this piece is that the top opens up and you can store a lot inside. I think it’ll be a great place to store extra blankets in summer months. As with everything these days, I painted the table white. Surprised?? Yea, I didn’t think so 🙂 I kept it simple and really wanted to wood panel edges to show through so I did a lot of sanding to make those edges stand out. I used my Heirloom Traditions Chalk Paint in A La Mode (2 coats), followed by a coat of clear wax to seal it and then 180 grit sandpaper along the edges and seams.

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Just a cute little piece to finish up this wall! I added a few simple things on top for a decorative touch. This cute little soft blocks from Pottery Barn Baby, this faux sage plant from Ikea that I am OBSESSED with lately. I bought so many of them and they are popping up all over my house. (As if they are appearing on their own and not being placed all over by me 🙂 Haha!) And, this Edison bulb Cloche Lamp from World Market. I saw this so long ago and loved it, it was actually one of the first things I bought for the nursery. I have lighting pieces from World Market all over my house…it’s becoming a problem…in fact, just now when I went to their website to link this lamp, I found another one I want to get. Oops!

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Pretty basic transformation but I love how it turned out! And getting closer and closer to finally having a full room reveal of the nursery for you 🙂 Someday…if I can get my act together 🙂

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DIY Floating Shelves

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I am so excited to FINALLY share this project with you all! I have been working on it for what feels like forever. Wait…you mean…having a baby will drastically change the amount of time in the day you have to accomplish things?!?! Case in point, I’ve been trying to write this blog post for 3 days now 🙂

When I started placing the furniture in the nursery, I knew I wanted this corner to be the “play” corner or the area for all the toys. Landon already owns quite a few books so a book shelf seemed like the way to go but I also wanted room for some sort of toy box (a post on that to come in the future) so shelves up on the wall were necessary for space. Enter the DIY Floating Shelves from Shanty 2 Chic. If you haven’t checked out their site before and you enjoy DIY building, check them out. If you’ve ever searched for DIY building projects on Pinterest, chances are you’ve come across some of their work. Their projects are always really well explained and the plans are very detailed.

I did make some adjustments to the original plans because the plans called shelves that were 3.5′ in either direction and I only had room for 2′. So, my plans are for 2′ long corner shelves and the materials listed are enough for 3 shelves. If you follow the plans on Shanty 2 Chic, their plans are for 3.5′ shelves and the materials listed are for 1 shelf so make sure you double or triple the amount of wood depending on how many shelves you want.

So, here we go…step by step 🙂

Supplies
NOTE: Before purchasing the wood, see the note in step 6 regarding the 2×4 and 1×6 boards

3 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′
2 – 1/4″ x 24″ x 48″ plywood
2 – 1″ x 10″ x 8′
2 – 1″ x 6″ x 8′
kreg jig for pocket holes
drill
2 1/2″ pocket screws
nail gun
1 1/4″ brad nails
3″ screws (torx or dry wall, whatever you prefer, these will be to screws the support boards to the wall and into a stud)
stud finder
wood glue
paint
hardware (for decorative purposes, I’ll show you what I used when I get to that part below)

Step 1: You will need to determine the height placement of each shelf. You want to think about what you are going to put on the shelves and how much space you need in between each one. I wanted my shelves to take up the majority of the corner and knew I was going to be putting some taller items and books on them so here are the measurements I used…
Floor to ceiling, the room is 96″ tall. Each shelf is approximately 4.5″ tall. Based on that, I measured out equal spacing from ceiling to the top shelf, between each shelf, and from bottom shelf to the floor, which was 20.5″.
Ceiling
20.5″
Shelf #1: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #2: 4.5″
20.5″
Shelf #3: 4.5″
20.5″
Floor

You will also want to locate the studs in your wall and mark those as well as you will drill each wall cleat directly into a stud.

Step 2: Build your wall cleats.
Using the 2″ x 4″ x 8′, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 2′ (long wall cleat)
3 pieces @ 1′ 10 1/2″ (short wall cleat)
12 pieces @ 7 5/8″ (cleat braces)

When constructing each wall cleat, you will use one long wall cleat, one short wall cleat and 4 cleat braces, 2 1/2″ pocket screws and wood glue.
Using a kreg jig, drill for 2 1/2″ pocket screws into one end of each cleat brace then attach the cleat braces to the cleats as shown. I didn’t measure the placement of the cleat braces, just lined up the wall cleats (long wall cleat against the corner, short wall cleat against the long wall cleat) and then marked where the cleat braces should go so that they just met each other at the corner edge. The other two cleat braces went at the opposite ends of the wall cleats.

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Step 3: Attach wall cleats to the wall
Use a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the 3″ screws. Line up a wall cleat where you want it and drill a pilot hold into the wall cleat directly over the stud, check for level. Using the 3″ screws, attach the wall cleat to the wall in at least 2 different points.

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Step 4: Attach bottom panels to braces
You are basically going to wrap the braces in wood to build out your shelf. Using the 1/4″ plywood, make the following cuts (I made the cuts at home but if you don’t have a saw, you can ask some in the lumber department to make the cuts for you)
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ x 9 1/4″ (long bottom panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ x 9 1/4″ (short bottom panel)
Use a wood glue, a nail gun and 1/4″ brad nails to attach 1 long bottom panel and 1 short bottom panel to each set of braces.

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Step 5: Attach top panel to braces
Using the 1″ x 10″ x 8′ make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 23 1/4″ (long top panel)
3 pieces @ 14″ (short top panel)
Attach 1 long top panel and 1 short top panel to each set of braces using wood glue, 1 1/4″ finish nails and a nail gun.

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Step 6: Attach the side trim
Using the 1″ x 6″ x 8′ make the following cuts
6 pieces @ 4 1/2″ x 9 1/4″ (side front trim)
NOTE: Because 2×4 are used for the wall cleats, it requires the front and side trim to be only 4 1/2″ wide which is not a width you can buy and will have to rip the board down to 4 1/2″. Again, you can have them do it for you in the lumber department. If you have a table saw at home then you can do it yourself. The other option would be to use 2″ x 3″ for the walls cleats instead of 2″ x 4″. By using 2″ x 3″, you will not need to alter the width of the 1″ x 6″ boards.
Attach side front trim pieces using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails.

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Step 7: Attach front trim pieces
Using the remaining 1″ x 6″ x 8′ boards, make the following cuts
3 pieces @ 14 3/4″ x 4 1/2″
3 pieces @ 14″ x 4 1/2″
Attach using the same method, wood glue, a nail gun and 1 1/4″ finish nails

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Step 8: Finish with paint and decorate!
I used wood filler to fill in nail holes and the seams. Once dried, I went over the wood filler with 180 grit sand paper to smooth it out.

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I used Heirloom Traditions chalk paint in A La Mode to finish the shelves, topped with clear wax, and sanded the edges for a roughed up look.

Finally, I added some hardware to the corners to give the shelves a bit of an industrial look to compliment some of the other pieces in the nursery.

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I used metal corner braces similar to these from Lowes, and furniture tacks to attach them, spray painted all the pieces with black matte finish spray paint and roughed them up with some sand paper before attaching.

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That’s that! Then I decorated 🙂

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