Category Archives: DIY

Garage Shelving & Organization

Hallelujah! The very small garage in this little cape code is officially organized. Let’s  just take a moment to appreciate a good before after.

Now for some progress photos:


Driveway disaster.

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Door Upgrade




When I first purchased my house, I had many many projects in mind ranging from big to small that were of course immediately prioritized. One of the projects that fell far on the list was to upgrade the interior doors. Hollowcore, damaged, and dated, over the past few years the doors had become


Bathroom door w/ black knob

more and more of a nuisance, sometimes mysteriously locking themselves. Try coming home having to pee like crazy just to find that your only bathroom door was closed and locked, and the lock was not easy to pick.

First, Adam and I just tried the simple solution-new knobs. Unfortunately, the doors had other plans. Being that they were from 1953, the holes were smaller than present-day standards. So, we purchased a door jig kit from Home Depot, as well as
several door knobs and went at it. That wasn’t enough for me though. Many of the doors had nicks and holes from wear and tear, and I was sick of looking at the general wood color. So alas, we took on the project of


Basement door w/ cat door

sanding, priming, and painting all of the doors in the interior of my little cape cod (10). The prospect of purchasing all new interior doors had of course crossed my mind and was seriously considered. However,we decided to work with what we had in order to be more cost-effective.

This project took some time due to limited space, cutting of the holes, and of course, the paint drying. Did we choose the best time of the year


The doors took over the little garage.

for this? No. The paint was a bit unhappy with the fluctuating weather. You see, this project took place in December and we had temperatures ranging from the 60’s to the 30’s. One day I was even able to paint outside….that was a mistake. A few unlucky bugs decided to land on the wet paint and, well, they are no longer with us.


Painted doors in garage


Ta-da! White doors with black knobs.

We patched the holes/nicks in the doors (w
hich of course was another step that had to dry). I learned ab
out the delightful fumes of oil-based primer, the joy of paint


Bathroom door and closet.

extender, the importance of sanding between coats,  the ease of an oversized paint tray, the convenience of a 5-in-1 for cleaning brushes, and that you should just take the damn hardwear off in advance.

I completed most of the painting prior to leaving for South
Carolina to see Adam’s parents, and when we returned, we put the doors back up. Since the new knobs are black, I used the product rub and buff on the existing hinges so that they would match. So far, the new doors are treating us well. It’s nice to finally have knobs that work 7ff85e67-3d3b-4ce7-9e68-0d903cb5f560properly. In the future, there will have to be touch ups, but that’s pretty normal.




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Star Wars Halloween!

We had an absolute blast doing a Star Wars theme for this year’s Halloween Party!

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Rustic Table Numbers

I am all about saving money, that is probably apparent throughout my blog. So, when it comes to things like table numbers for the wedding, I wanted to spend little to nothing-and I succeeded! Adam and I went for a walk and found a few logs/sticks. We carried them back to the house, and Adam cut them into slices. I finished each of them off by using a permanenumberssnt marker to write the numbers, and then a quick layer of mod podge for protection. Done and done, folks. Plain wooden slices retail from about $1.99 – $2.99 each.


Ta da!

Ta da!

Adam cutting the log in the garage.

Adam cutting the log in the garage.

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Bridesmaid Clothespin Dolls

While this is my “House” blog, I also love crafting, so you will have to excuse me for a moment as I take a home improvements break to present you with some wedding-related crafting. I am getting married next August, and like many brides these days, am following the trend of “rustic” wedding. It works for Adam and I because we are not overly formal people and have spent a lot of time together hiking and enjoying the great outdoors. I wanted to do something special for my bridesmaids when asking each of them to be in the wedding, so I made them each a clothespin doll. This idea is not original, and I stumbled across it when using my favorite tool–google. I was so pleased with the final product, the I just “had” to make one of myself, the bride. Enjoy!

7 6 5 4 3 2 1

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DIY Lace Jewelry Display


DIY Jewelry Display

I really like jewelry, have a fair amount of it, and wear it on a regular basis. Some of it is currently housed in one of those great, clear organizational hanging jewelry pouches in my closet. The rest was previously in boxes in my top drawer as well as a jewelry box on my dresser. With limited space in my little cape cod, I wanted to come up with an economical solution to organize and utilize my jewelry, so I turned to the internet. There are many options out there, as you might imagine, so I combined various ideas and this was the result.

What you need:
Glue Gun 
Bulletin Board
Hook push pins (or hooks of some kind that you can attach)
Paint or Spray Paint (optional)



1. Gather your supplies
Locate a bulletin board. If you have one lying around, GREAT! You saved money & a step. I got mine at a craft store for under $7. Another option is to buy a sheet of cork and somehow attach it to an old frame.
“Pinhooks” were also a craft store purchase. The lace I used for this project was donated by my father who happened to have a box of old, lace curtains that were in his house when he bought it. Score!


Bulletin board post spray-paint

2. Spray-paint the bulletin board. 


Lace cut to size

This, of course, was an optional step, but I decided last-minute to spray-paint the board silver. I wanted it to be neutral, however, a dark color under the lace would also look really snazzy.

3. Cut the lace to size
I laid one of the old lace curtains on top of the bulletin board and cut around it, being sure to leave enough excess fabric so that I could wrap it around the back of the board tightly (Another option here would be to cut the lace so that it fits within the frame).

4. Glue gun time
Start with a hearty strip of glue that lines the border of the frame. The glue

Pull excess lace tightly around the back of the bulletin board

Pull excess lace tightly around the back of the bulletin board

will go directly on the cork. You may want to wear gloves if your fingers are sensitive to heat. Press the lace firmly to the cork, making sure to leave about 2 inches of excess lace (see photo above). Lift the lace and continue by putting beads or a strip of glue within the frame, and pressing the lace into the glue so that it sticks. Be sure to smooth the lace with your hands as you go so that you do not create unwanted folds or loose areas. Once you have securely glued the lace to the front of the bulletin board, flip it over and pull the excess lace tightly around the back. Glue again.

5. Push pin hooks in the board and hang your jewelry.
Place the push pin hooks on the board where you would like, and you are finished!
Hanging the board can be done like you would hang a painting.


Finished Product

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Let’s talk blinds-DIY Privacy Liner for Bamboo Shades


Woven Wood Shades

Background: For a while now I have been meaning to replace the blinds in my dining room and family room. My little cape code has 2 very large windows in the front (about 68″ wide), so these blinds needed to be custom ordered. I was pretty fond of my former blinds-they were cellular shades (RIP cellular shades-murdered in cold blood by a kitten)-but it was too risky to choose something so delicate a second time. So I took a

chance and went with woven wood shades (also referred to as bamboo shades). I had ordered from successfully for the kitchen in the past, so knowing that they were fairly reliable, I decided to do it again. Knowing that the blinds would be heavy and that this was a safer alternative to a dangling cord, I opted for the continuous cord loop,  with the intention to mount the cord on the side of the window frame. When the blinds arrived, I was beyond eager to hang them. Now, being that woven wood shades are more like a screen than anything, I had suspected that they might be a bit see-through, however, I didn’t expect them to be TOTALLY transparent. After some struggle of installing the wall anchors and brackets with the boyfriend, I went outside to check the status of the blinds, and was disappointed that I could see absolutely EVERYTHING going on in the house. &$*(&*(#&&$^@&*#)(*!&#*(&$*(


Completed Privacy Liner

Action: If I were living on some extra land with little street traffic or neighbors, this really would not have been a concern. However, when living within arms-reach of the street and other houses, I felt that it is necessary to have a little bit of privacy at night. After all, not everyone needs to watch the “Mary Show” (an imaginary show starring me tripping over furniture that has always been in the same spot).

So my boyfriend willingly accompanied me to JoAnn’s the following day to pick out some basic, thin cotton fabric. He was quickly distracted by the Star Wars section, so I went on to choose some beige fabric and purchased about 8 yards. I had googled a few tutorials the day before, and I figured that if someone else had created their own privacy liner, I could. I was determined, but nervous. Custom blinds are not cheap, and I really did not want to play arts and crafts with my brand new blinds.

The Process: Roman shades, as many of you know, are fairly straight forward in terms of

The dog and another blind.

The dog and another blind.

“mechanics.” There are loops on the opposite side with a vertical string that pulls the fabric or material up as you draw the cord. In order to create the privacy liner, you must flip over the blinds, carefully untie the cords at the bottom, pull the string out of all of the loops, cut fabric to the correct size, attach the fabric (I chose hot glue but I have also read that you can sew these on or use velcro), cut slits and pull through every single loop, restring the string through each loop and tie at the bottom, then of course hang the blinds back up (this was a challenge in one of the windows because the giant, artificial Christmas tree is currently next to the window. Needless to say, the tree is now leaning).

Step by Step*:

This is the backside of the blinds-to give you an idea of how they work.

This is the backside of the blinds-to give you an idea of how they work.

1. Realize that your blinds are completely see-through ,and panic slightly because you have just made this GIANT purchase $$$.
2. Surf the internet for tutorials. Here are a couple that were very helpful!
3. Measure your blinds and calculate how much fabric you will need. For larger blinds like mine, you may want to do 2-3

Down position.

Down position & mess.

panels of fabric to ensure that they fold and hang properly. Before you remove your blinds from the window, make sure they are in the down position (covering the window).

4. Flip the blinds over, lay the fabric on the blinds, and cut the fabric to size. You could also just measure the area you plan to cover and cut accordingly. I chose not to cover the entire area of the blinds because I was worried the fabric would show on the edges. Plus, with the way the window is made, you would not see about 1.5 inches anyway.
5. CAREFULLY untie the string from the bottom loops of the blinds, and pull it through. Make sure it is out of the way so that you don’t trip over it, tangle it, or glue it to yourself. The loops should now be exposed and stringless.
6. Make yourself a cup of tea because untying small knots takes a special skill (I used a pin xto help ease the difficulty).
7. Decide where you would like your privacy liner to start. I started mine about 4 to 5 inches from the top of the blind because I knew that the valance would cover that section. You may want to start it a little higher for uniformity purposes. I marked where I would be attaching the fabric with little x’s so that it wasn’t crooked (this was a tip from another tutorial).



8. Begin attaching your fabric. I used dots of hot glue and started from the top (where the x’s are). Logically, you wouldn’t go too overboard with the hot glue because you want these things to operate properly. However, you also want to make sure you dot in multiple places so that the fabric does not hang down when you open the criminalthe blinds. Do not dot too close to the loops. I dotted a few in the middle and also on each edge of the fabric. Only do a little at a time since hot glue cools and hardens quickly.

9. Cut slits for the loops. *You may want to do this before you glue.* As a matter of preference, I did it after. Pull the loops through the slits. (Yay, you’re almost done). Tie the string at the bottom of the blind through the final loop. Make sure that your string has gone through EVERY loop.
10. Hang your blinds and test them out. If for some reason the fabric hangs down, you might need to add some more glue.

christmas tree

The Christmas tree is crooked following the hanging of the blinds.


  • *I was pleasantly surprised that this worked for me but cannot guarantee that it will work for you.
  • An extra, but possibly unnecessary, step that I took was to sew the edges of the fabric after cutting to prevent fraying, then ironing the fabric so that it was flat.
  • My entire first floor looked like a messy workshop during this process. My blinds were already attached to the wall and I didn’t want to unscrew the continuous cord mount, so I worked right at the windows.
  • Be as patient as possible, work slowly to prevent mistakes, play some soothing music, and expect this to take a while.
  • You can choose a darker fabric if you are interested in making these into “black out” blinds. I personally like a bit of light to seep through.
  • You will see some light where the slits for the cord loops are. This tutorial- -explains a way to remedy this.
  • Choose a color fabric that makes sense. Note that from outside, your blinds aren’t going to look beautiful.
  • I will NEVER work in a blinds factory.

Just another picture

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10247316_10101633458283378_2078095633289696838_nI realize that this is not entirely house-related, but I must occasionally talk about my crafts. Since I was 13, I have been a huge fan of decoupaging. First introduced to me by my mom, I was fascinated by the fact that I could take a picture or magazine clipping and essentially paste and varnish it onto wood or cardboard. My latest project, of course, seen in this post is an old wine box turned Star Wars.

10253858_10101633460044848_7088156880103311298_nYes, the boyfriend has a pick up truck now so he tends to bring home even more odd items that he finds lord knows where. This particular item was claimed immediately by me since it caught my eye as being full of potential. It was a plain, wooden wine box. Now, thanks to my scissors, Mod Podge, and some patience, it is a geek box.

There you have it.

Paint, Paint, and More Paint

Blue Dining Room

Blue Dining Room

Painting is not my cup of tea, but ever since my best friend encouraged me to purchase and edging tool, it has been a heck of a lot easier. I ended up painting the kitchen nearly the same color that it was. The new color is called “whispering wheat.” Who comes up with these names? WHISPERING WHEAT. I suppose it could be worse. I hope that my walls don’t start talking after this.
Anyway, because the tile is so specific, I needed to go with something neutral, and even though it is no fun to paint something the same color, it was entirely necessary. Now that the contractor’s paint is gone, I don’t have to worry about accidentally spraying, touching, or bumping into the wall and then leaving a permanent mark behind.

Before: Brown chandelier.

Before: Brown chandelier.

After: Hammered Black

After: Hammered Black


Jack hanging out on the floor


This was when it was drying in the garage. It looks like a dungeon.

It took a while to choose a color for the dining room. I ended up with a light blue and it is taking time to get used to. Nevertheless, it’s a nice change and I’m happy that the contractor’s beige is gone. My “Whispering Wheat” has now been put in the kitchen, hallway, entryway, one wall of the dining room, and one wall of the living room (because the wall is continuous). I also finally painted the chandelier. I used this “hammered metal” spray-paint and it really gave a neat affect. Now I need some artwork and a small buffet. Then I think the dining room will be complete.

This is the nifty spray paint. The trigger was very easy to use.

This is the nifty spray paint. The trigger was very easy to use.


Painting the entryway

Another picture

Another picture

Workbench Time

It has been a while since I have done any major home improvements. The patio was my last great feat, and to be honest, it was tiring. I can assure you though that I am craving something new to do. I have been organizing the basement little by little. There are still things that I would like to put into plastic containers, but I am getting somewhere. My boyfriend and I were lucky enough to stumble across a gold mine a few weeks ago in the form of someone’s trash. We found plastic shelving, a large piece of peg board, working extension cords, and some other little trinkets.

Anywho, I am pleased to present the newest addition to my house-the workbench! I did take a part in this project-I stained the darn thing, and helped choose the wood from the pile at home depot. I also may have held a few pieces together while Adam attached them, but he gets all of the credit. I will say that, like most things, it is a work in progress. Eventually the peg board will be behind it, and some other little additions will be made here in there. But I can tell you that this thing is SOLID. I recommend building one!
The plan came from this handy site:


Making some initial cuts






Bottom shelf frame


Securing table top


Basic model created


Stool obtained from someone’s trash-perfect size! -Marker board will eventually be attached.


Stain for protection, which really ended up looking clear.


Adam and the cat on the (almost) finished product.