Archive for 2012

PINspiration - Bedroom Curtains

posted by Rhiannon

1 comment

Hi Guys!  Its been busy around here lately.  Between work, birthdays, a wedding, and a visit from our good friend Hurricane Sandy, I haven't had much time to get things done around here.  But falling snow and a chill in the air put some fire in my rear and forced me to get down and get some curtains made for the boys room.

I found this image on Pinterest and followed it to the instructions on a blog called "The Yellow Cape Cod".  

To make my curtains I used: 4 blue curtains (Thanks Amy), a large tube of liquid stitch, red ribbon, and instead of a heavy linen table cloth as recommended in the original instructions, some canvas duck fabric for the stars.

Since I am no artist, I needed a template.  So, I printed a star off on the computer and traced it onto a piece of cardboard.  Yes...we are VERY high tech around here.

I decided on seven stars for each curtain, so I traced the star 28 times onto my cotton duck fabric with a sharpie.

Whats worse than tracing 28 stars? Cutting 28 stars!!! But after cutting out all the stars, I was almost done.  Using the Liquid Stitch, I glued the stars and the red ribbon trim onto the curtains...and... 

Ta Da - curtains that match the boys bedding!!

It was as easy as that peeps!! The whole project cost me about $10 in materials and an evening worth of cutting and gluing.  I just love an easy project.  (NOTE: The instructions I found online were great and gave some really great tips on how to easily line up the stars.  I won't take credit for that, so I would highly recommend reading them if you are planning on making something similar.)

Finally - this house looks like we are starting to make some progress!!!

New Bathroom!!! It's DONE!!

posted by Rhiannon


Its Done! Its Done! I never thought I'd be so happy to hug a toilet in all my life!!!

For this project, we decided not to tackle the bathroom ourselves.  The hubs is working too many hours, I am preggo, and with two - soon to be three - boys in the house, we needed the bathroom work done as quickly as possible.  Shout out to our great contractors!!!

Let me quickly remind you what we were dealing with.

1. The toilet.  Aside from the obvious 1980s mobster appearance, this black beauty took almost a full minute to flush and you had to hold the button down the entire time.  That's right - button!  And how many kids do you know are willing to stand and hold a button in for that long?  Not my two!!  Imagine the surprises we found in there daily.

2. The sink.  Black sink = water marks and toothpaste residue EVERYWHERE.  Plus a pedestal sink and that little black shelf were a joke for storage.  According to my husband (who is right but don't tell him) I like to hide everything away.  So we needed a sink with better...ahem....hidden... storage options.


2. The shower.  Oh, the shower.  Where to begin.  The soffit that trapped in the steam?  Or the shower head mounted 2 feet too low that was coming out of the wall surround?  Or that it leaked into the basement whenever we took a shower?  Oh no, favorite...the massive build up of old cigarette residue that dripped on our heads when showering.  Ewww!!!

4. The tile:  Completing the look of the whole bathroom was the institutional white tile and black grout covering the floor and walls.  But look closely my friends and you will notice that that white tile was actually fancy tile with a floral pattern on it.  Sweet!!!

This bathroom was obviously more than a coat of paint could help. So it all had to GO. 

Day 1: Our contractors came in and ripped everything out to the studs. Ahh...looks better already. :)

Day 2 - 10:  This was the only view I got :(  

Luckily, we only ran into a couple of "small" hurdles.  For instance, all the plumbing was bad, the wiring needed to be redone, and when they took out the bathtub there was NO insulation between the tub and the outside wall.  Our awesome contractors took the time to properly insulate and even checked the rest of the house before they left.

Here is a progress shot of them adding insulation before putting up the rest of the bathtub. Yes, I snuck behind the blue tarp and took this picture one evening after they left, muwahahaha

But after two weeks of using the tiny shower in the master (which will be another make over post on here one day), they were done and we had a brand spanking bathroom to use. So without further ado, lets take a look at our new favorite room in the house. 

Toilet: Before & After

Sink: Before & After

Sink: Before & After

Shower Soffit: Before & After

Bathroom View: Before

Bathroom View: After!!!!

I am LOVING my new bathroom.  Removing the soffit, adding vanity lights, and using a larger tile and lighter grout (only on the floor) make our bathroom look a lot bigger.  When in fact, the new tub is actually bigger than the old and the new vanity takes more space.  The illusion of good design, I guess.  Thanks HGTV!!

I couldn't be happier with the new toilet, bathtub, tile, and sink with a place to hide all our bathroom junk.  But most importantly...there are no more cigarette tar bombs dropping on our heads anymore and my kiddos can properly drop the kids off at the pool without me having to walk in on a swimming lesson :)

Make Your Own Magnet Board

posted by Rhiannon


My sister and I both collect magnets from our travels.  So a couple of years ago during our family "Make-it-Yourself" Christmas, I made her a magnet display frame.  I was in love with the way it turned out and seriously considered keeping it for myself.  I gave it to her like a good sister should, but still secretly think about stealing it off her wall every time I go to visit.  (Sorry sis, now you know).

The Original Rhi Magnet Board

So years later, I have finally gotten around to making one for myself!! Yay!!! didn't go exactly as planned.  Let me explain:

I started with a frame from the Goodwill.  They had a huge selection and I finally settled on this 20x30 beauty for $8.99.  (I still have the print if anyone is interested...I'll give you a good deal.)

Once I removed the print and the glass from the frame, I was ready to start painting. I chose a Valspar (of course) spray paint color called "Vanilla".  This Valspar spray paint is the best spray paint I've ever used. Trust me...not all spray paints are made equal.  

Painting tip #1: If you are ever painting frames, stick several pins in the back so the frame will be slightly elevated off the ground.  This will help to get even coverage all the way around the frame, and prevent the paint from "gluing" your frame to you painting surface (yep, one of those "Live and Learn" situations for me)

After the frame was painted and drying, I started on the "magnetic" part.  My sister's board was made with an actual piece of metal that I had cut at a scrapyard in the town where we used to live. After calling every metal shop in our current town, I could not find ANYONE who would cut metal for me. FAIL #1!!!

So I opted to give the Rust-Oleum magnetic paint a try.   

I picked up this illustration board from the craft store to use as the base for the magnetic paint.  It was thick and sturdy and, lucky for me, it was exactly 20x30 - the size of my frame. Jackpot.

I opened the can of magnetic primer and people, this stuff was like TAR.  I spent about 15 minutes stirring, and stirring, and stirring this stuff to get it to a smooth consistency.  In hindsight, I should have had the people at Lowe's run it through the paint shaker machine. and learn. 

Painting Tip #2: Instead of drop cloths, I use an old vinyl shower curtain liner or a vinyl tablecloth. These are heavy with no fear of paint leaking through, they don't get stuck in the paint, and can be used over and over again.

Kind of like Where's Waldo...if you look closely, you will see my trusty blue shower curtain in more than one post. (Here, and here, and here...)

Following the instructions, I rolled on the magnetic paint with a high-density foam roller.  The instructions also said to wait 30 minutes between coats and apply at least three coats. Check.

Painting Tip #3:  If you have to leave your paint tray/roller/brushes for any amount of time and don't want them to dry out, put them in a trash bag and seal it up tight.  Seriously, I have left paint "sealed" like this for several days before being able to go back for touch ups and the paint is just like new.  Thanks Mom for this one!!

After the first three coats of magnetic paint had dried, I gave it a try.  FAIL #2.  The magnets wouldn't stick.  I went back and added another two coats of magnetic paint. That ought to do the trick.

I let it dry, put everything together, and FAIL heavy magnets still won't stick. @!$%!

I went online to read the reviews for the Magnetic Paint (yes...after the fact. I told you...Live and Learn) and saw that almost everyone had the same problem.  Sorry folks.  Be warned.  This stuff just doesn't work as advertised.

But in the end, here is the finished product. I really love the way it looks, even if it doesn't work quite the way I had hoped.

The New and (not so) Improved Rhi Magnet Board

I especially love the way the frame turned out. You can see some of the frame's gorgeous detail below.

Because I can only put a few of my lighter magnets on the board, I have my dad - who knows everyone who ever knew anyone - on the hunt for a true piece of metal that I can put in my frame.  Until then..this will have to work...unless I steal my sisters :)

A Bright Idea

posted by Rhiannon


Yes...I am back to fixing up my closets again, but I promise this was a not a premeditated event.  Sometimes DIY inspiration just strikes you when you least expect it.  In this case, while shopping in the local ACE hardware.

The small closets in our house all have a light bulb that turns on with a pull string.  For shorties like me, these bulbs are blinding and I hate turning them on.  The hubs and I briefly talked about putting up real light fixtures but since there is no wall switch and we have to use that pull string, it was a very short lived conversation.

But then browsing the aisles in Ace one afternoon, we came across these little light bulb covers.  They are plastic and just clip right onto the light bulb like a lamp shade.  PERFECT!!

We got home, I ran upstairs, clipped them on the light bulbs, and I gave it a pull. Not Perfect!! Every time I pulled that little stupid string, the lamp shade would tilt to the side.

Well now... I didn't anticipate that.  But then I had another bright idea (forgive the pun).  I got out the drill and drilled a little hole just big enough the fit the chain through. This was easy and took all of 5 seconds (partly because the drill was already laying on the floor from another project in the works)

 Then I fed the chain through the new hole, clipped the light shade back on and VIOLA - no tilt and no blinding light!!

 I'm not saying this is the prettiest thing in the world, and I hate that the fixture has gold on it (which will probably meet it's match with a can of spray paint next time I have one in hand), but its a far cry from the blinding light that used to shine down on me.

Painting Over Wallpaper - Oh Yes I Did!

posted by Rhiannon


Our kitchen has a FABULOUS 16 foot bank of windows looking out onto our patio.  But along with those fabulous windows are fabulous stark white walls mixed with fabulous stark white tile.  Hello.  The 80's called...they want their decor back.  And eventually I intend to give them every piece of it!

I have been dying to add some color to the kitchen since we moved in, but our biggest challenge painting this kitchen was not choosing the color, it was the fact that those fabulous white kitchen walls are covered in fabulous WHITE WALLPAPER!!!  Dear God, Why me?!?!?

I debated on stripping all the paper, but flashbacks of a week spent stripping the wallpaper in the dining room (post coming soon) was almost enough to make me rock uncontrollably in a corner.  Then I remembered that my sister Jess had painted over the wallpaper in her house.  Genius!  It must run in the family, lol.

Pantry and Basement Door - Before

I started by making sure there were no rips or tears and that the seams were all tight.  Check.  There was just one spot of bubbling, but it was in a corner and I didn't even notice it until I started really looking close. Paint over it?  Check.

I was really intimidated by painting over wallpaper, but in the end I really didn't have do anything special.  I bought my usual Valspar Paint + Primer and went to work.  The only difference I noticed painting over wallpaper was that it took a little longer to dry and you could really tell if you had skimped on the paint in an area - like the trim - which I tend to do.

Pantry and Basement Door - After

We chose a color called Mother Nature by Behr (color matched to Valspar paint, of course).  I had seen this color in a friends house and loved the warm feel of it.  The camera doesn't do it is very pretty and earthy.

Windows - Before

Windows - After

 Another view of the windows before & after

Door to Dining Room - Before 

Door to Dining Room - After 

Luckily, like I mentioned above, our wallpaper was stark white.  No stripes or patterns or anything that we needed to really try to cover. You might have to do a little more research, or I can ask my sister Jess, what to do in those situations.  But we got lucky and it turned out really well.

And just like no one will ever notice the fancy white rods in my closets, no one will ever notice that this is wallpaper.

There is still a lot more work to be done in the kitchen.  New floors, counter tops, hire a maid, etc.  But for now, I am happy just to have some color.