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Browsing Tag: DIY

Which floor makeover is right for you?

Are you ready to update your flooring but aren’t sure which options are right for you? You’ve come to the right spot! I’ve used a few different options on the abundance of tile in my house and I definitely have some opinions on which option is my favorite. We’ll look at the pro’s and con’s of painted tile, vinyl tile and vinyl planks. I’ll cover budget, ease of installation and durability. If you just want my opinion on which is best feel free to scroll to the end.

Painted tile-

The first transformation I did to a portion of the tile in my home was painting the tile shower surround. Most of the tile in our house is the builder grade brown that you see a lot of in homes that were build in the early 2000’s. We had it in our old home that was remodeled before we moved in and it was definitely in style during that time. And at the time I loved it. But our bathrooms don’t have any windows in them (something that my husband and I would both love to fix someday but just isn’t quite in the budget at the moment) so the need something brighter and a little modern.

So to start off we decided to paint the shower surround white. Yup. We painted our shower tile. If you want to see how we did it you can read about it here. And you know what? I would do it again. In fact, we’ll do it again to the tile surrounding our master bath tub. Over the last year and a half it has held up amazingly well. Granted, it’s not a bathroom that is used frequently for showers, but we do have a couple of kids who make quite the ruckus during bath time. And we haven’t had a single scratch in the paint.

Now, as far as painting floor tile, I can’t say for certain. I have seen a number of people who have done it and done it quite successfully. (You can check out this blog to see how their painted tile held up) I imagine that it would hold up splendidly, especially in a bathroom situation where you might not have as much shoe traffic as say an entryway or a kitchen. Out of the three methods, though, I expect it is by far the most time consuming option, so if you have a lot of tile that may not be the route you want to go.

Painted tile shower surround
Before and after of the painted tile

Vinyl Floor Tile

Vinyl Floor Tile may not be a new idea but up until a year and a half ago I definitely never considered it for my floors. Especially not for covering existing tile flooring. If you do a google search of vinyl floor tiles you will find a wide range of vinyl tiles ranging from downright ugly to beautifully chic and modern. You also have options of groutable vinyl, peel and stick vinyl and vinyl you can glue down yourself. I went with the peel and stick option, as it seemed the easiest and it had the widest assortment of styles I liked. I have to say, I’m still intrigued by the groutable vinyl and I just may have to do that to my laundry room someday. I’m seeing hexagon groutable tiles in my future! To see my vinyl tile makeover click here.

Vinyl tiles in the bathroom.

Vinyl Plank Flooring

This is probably the most common flooring you will see in new homes, as least in my area of the U.S. When we were on the house hunt a couple of years ago we usually found that brand new homes had vinyl plank in all of the common areas of the house. I didn’t, however, realize that you can put vinyl planks directly over existing tile. Who knew?! Well, probably everyone except me. That was a game changer for me. I knew we had to try it right away, and since I was getting ready to work on the master bath I figured the timing couldn’t be better. Off to Lowe’s we went to pick our planks. You can see that project here.

Vinyl planks in a bathroom


Now that you have a little introduction into each of these options I want to grade them based on a few criteria. If your first priority is budget, it’s important to know what you need to expect in terms of cost. These are just my experiences based on the amount of material I had to get for the space I was working on. Yours will be different and you’ll want to calculate your own estimated costs. Hopefully I can give you a better idea of what you’ll need to expect.

For the painted tile, you’ll obviously need paint. But you’ll also need a really good primer. I used Stix. Keep in mind a really good durable primer can be pricey. You’ll also need a water-based polyurethane, which can also be expensive. If you already have painting supplies that will help, but if not you’ll need those as well. For this project I used foam rollers. If you’re doing a stencil on the floor you’ll also need an accent paint and a few stencils. You’re most likely looking at $100+ for a small bathroom. (Again, you’ll want to do your own calculations.

For vinyl floor tiles the price can range greatly. We used floor pop tiles and they were very budget friendly. At the time of purchase we spent $20-30 on the tiles. We also had to purchase a floor leveling compound (we used Henry’s floor leveler). In total we spent around $60 for a small bathroom floor. If you’re strictly looking for a budget friendly flooring this could be a great option for you.

Vinyl plank flooring is likely to be your most expensive option. I will say, however, that if we had done our smaller bathroom rather than our larger bathroom, we probably could have done it for under $100 since we likely only would have needed one box. It will all depend on the price of your planks (which ranges as much as the tiles) and how large a space you’re doing.

Ease of Installation

When you’re doing a project yourself there are times when budget may be the only factor you can consider. In our old house we sometimes had to do the harder project because it was the cheapest option for us. We were also younger and putting in a significant amount of time and elbow grease was easier than I find it these days. If you’re not solely focused on budget you may want to consider the ease of installation.

I would say, by far, the most time intensive option would be painting the tile. Not only is there more prep work, but you’re also accounting for multiple layers and drying/curing time. I know that once I start painting our master bathroom shower it will be unusable for a few days. Honestly that’s the main reason I’ve been putting it off for so long.

Installing vinyl floor tiles also involves a bit of prep work. Since the tile has to stick to the floor you have to make sure it is well cleaned and then you have to level the floor. If you don’t level it you’ll have dips where the grout lines were. Once you have all the prep work done, laying the tiles isn’t too hard.

Installing the vinyl plank was the easiest of the three. Once we had the installation tools we were able to quickly get to floor down. There was minimal prep work, since the floor is actually floating and not stuck to the subfloor.


Assuming you’re not looking for a temporary fix, you want to know how each will hold up. Out of the three options I would definitely say that the vinyl tile is the least durable. Now I don’t want to discount it as an option, because it’s been great, and for the most part it’s actually held up really well in the last year or so since we put it in. The only part that has started coming up is right behind the toilet where I think we had a leak in the pipe the connects to the toilet. Otherwise it’s held up great! Vinyl tile is the one I worry most about when the kids are in the bath and splashing everywhere. Surprisingly around the bathtub has done well too. I did add some clear silicone in the cracks near the tub to try to keep any water from getting under the tiles.

When I painted our bathroom tile I wasn’t sure how the painted tile would hold up. I worried about scratches or pealing. But in the last two years I haven’t had a single scratch or pealing. The painted tile I have, though, is on the bathroom walls and not the floor. I have hear great things from people who have done it on the floor though! So if you’re leaning towards painting the floor and you’re worried about durability I think you’ll be okay if you take all of the precautions of prep work and sealing properly.

In my opinion, I think the vinyl plank flooring is the most durable. Though I haven’t had issues with the painted tile, and I’ve had minimal issues with the vinyl tile, I just worry less about the vinyl planks. They’re waterproof and are built for the wear and tear of everyday living.

Who wins?

It depends. Haha. I know that’s the last thing you want to hear after reading that novel. It will depend on what your goals are. If you are concerned about budget vinyl tiles may be the way to go. And I’d really like to try groutable vinyl tiles. I think that would make them more durable with less concern about the tiles pulling up. But if budget isn’t a concern and you just want to get the job done and have a super durable floor, I would absolutely go with the vinyl planks all the way.

I hope this helped in your search for the best flooring option for your needs! If you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask!

How to Install Wainscoting

If you’re looking for an easy way to add interest and texture to a plain wall this is it! Wainscoting and shiplap are my favorite ways to add interest and charm to a room. Shiplap is an easy install, but wainscoting is even easier and quicker than shiplap! (If you’re looking for a shiplap tutorial check out this post!)

If you’ve followed any of my projects you may know that since we moved into our house a couple of years ago I’ve decided to re-do just about every room in the house. I probably should have started with my daughter’s room, because since we moved in she added almost a hundred stickers to the wall and let me tell you, those suckers are hard to get off! If I had a do-over I probably would have just sanded the wall down.

There were more. It was nuts.

Her entire bedroom makeover started with her bedspread. I love those Beddy’s covers. They’re great for helping kids make their own beds while they’re little. My son has one on his bed and we love it! But they can get pretty pricey and I just couldn’t justify it for each bed. I found a pattern on Etsy to make your own and thought we could try it out. And by we I mean my incredibly talented mom. (Sorry Mom!)

Instead of finding fabric to use for the top I decided to use a coverlet. It gave the bedding a little more weight and durability without being too expensive. So off to Ross we went. I let my daughter pick out a coverlet that she liked and that was the starting point for the color scheme of her room.

With most of the room painted gray I really wanted to add a pop of color to one of the walls. I also didn’t want the whole wall to be a bubblegum pink. I had images of Pepto Bismal swimming in my head and that was the last thing I wanted. Breaking up the wall with some wainscoting and choosing more of a dusty rose color was the perfect solution for her room.


4×8 MDF sheet (primed mdf casing would work too if you don’t have access to a table saw)

Table Saw (If you use the MDF sheet)

Miter Saw

Brad Nailer and Nails.

Spackle and sanding block


*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

Cut sheet into strips

I bought a 4×8 sheet of MDF to cut into strips. I knew I’d use the extras I had left for another project. If you don’t have access to a table saw or you won’t be using that many boards you can use primed MDF boards instead. I cut my MDF sheet into 2 1/2 inch strips. You could go as wide or this as you want.

Install the wainscoting

I cut my vertical boards 66″. I used the full 8 foot length and then measured and cut the remaining length for the horizontal board. Before I started installing the wainscoting I decided to paint the line where the top board would be so that I wouldn’t have to cut in later and worry about getting the wrong color paint everywhere. I also painted the outer boards pink before I installed them for the same reason.

I started out the wainscoting by installing the outer edges and the top and then adding the vertical middle boards. To figure out the distance between each vertical board I measured the distance between the two outer vertical boards and divided it by 6. (Check out the video at the top if you’re more of a visual person.) As you add the boards check each one to make sure it is level. To install each board I used 1 1/2 inch brad nails. A lot of people will add some type of glue to the back of the board. I don’t use glue in case I ever want to remove the boards. I’ve never had trouble with boards coming off. And if you caulk the edges it will be extra secure. Still, it’s a personal decision and if adding glue to the back makes you feel better then go for it!

First create a “box”
Add your middle vertical boards, making sure each is plum (straight up and down)

Caulk, spackle and paint

The last thing you need to do is caulk, fill in the holes and seams with spackle and then paint! Now if I’m being 100% honest I still haven’t caulked or filled in the seams and holes. I needed to get the bedroom put back together and I’m lazy so that will have to wait for a little bit. But for a totally finished look you’ll definitely want to take care of that.

How easy and quick was that project? And no, we will not be adding any more stickers to the wall! Haha. If you’re looking for a little more decorative accent wall check out my herringbone accent wall!

Make Your Own Vintage Sled Decor

I love vintage decor. Everything about it is beautiful. Even the vintage that isn’t my style still holds a place in my heart. They all seem to have a story. A history that wants to be known. It’s the hopeless romantic in me. The part of me that loves old movies, especially Christmas movies. So when I can incorporate something that looks vintage into my decor it makes my heart happy. And when I can’t find something that is truly vintage I do the next best thing and make it. I love how this sled turned out. For me it’s the perfect combination of an vintage and modern. It’s also a quick and easy build, which is my favorite!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

*This is not a real sled. My kids were so disappointed when they found out it was just a decoration and couldn’t be used in the snow,

Level: beginner Time to complete: approximately two hours


2- 1×4 pine boards (don’t forget to check out Home Depot’s discounted/cull wood. That’s where I got mine 70% off!)

Jig Saw

Brad nailer and nails

wood glue

Paint and stain of your choice – I used a red acrylic paint and Minwax Special Walnut.

Step 1 – Draw your pattern for the sled

The first thing I did was draw a pattern for the sled rails. I wanted a curve at the top to make it look more like an old time sled. You could also use a 1×6 to get a larger curve, but I had 1×4’s on hand that I found in Home Depot’s discounted section. If you don’t know by now, I’m all about using what you already have! You don’t have to add a curve at the top. You could always just cut an angle at the top. It’ll still turn out great! At this point you can also draw your curve for the top of the body of the sled.

Step 2 – Cut and Sand

I used a jigsaw to cut the rail boards. If you want, you could cut one board and then trace that board to make an identical copy. I just free-handed the curves. For the body of the sled I used a scroll saw to cut the curve. You could easily use a jig saw for that too, I just prefer my scroll saw. I also cut two cross boards at 11 1/4″ (11.25″). *As always, be careful when using power tools. After your boards are all cut sand your edges.

Step 3 – Paint and Stain

After sanding I painted my rails red and I stained the main body with Minwax Special Walnut. I put on two coats of paint and two coats of stain.

Step 4 – Assemble the sled

Lay the rails out on a flat surface. Place your cross boards on the sled rails with a little glue and use brad nails to secure them. Then place your main body boards on your cross boards with a little glue and nail them in place too. And done! I wanted to add a wreath, so I used a garland wire to wrap around the middle board and then tied the wreath on.

DIY Hexagon Wall Shelves

When I was re-doing my daughter’s room we wanted to go with a Winnie the Pooh theme. At the time she was still pretty young and it was her favorite show. It felt like she watched it 1,736 times a day. We still needed some shelving on the wall and I saw these hexagon shelves and fell in love. Don’t they look like honeycombs?! So of course they fit in perfectly with the Winnie the Pooh theme, while still being trendy and functional enough to keep when we change the theme of the room. And while they look complicated to make, these hexagon shelves are the perfect project for a beginner.

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.


1×4 boards

Miter Saw

Brad Nailer

1″ Brad Nails

Wood Glue

Stain (I used Minwax Special Walnut)

To start the project I decided to sand and stain first. Alternatively, you could cut, then sand and stain. Or you could even build the shelves and then sand and stain. There’s no right or wrong answer, here. It’s really just a personal preference.

Next I cut 6 sections 7″ long. Each end was cut at 30 degree angles.

If you sanded and stained before cutting you’ll be ready to get right to the assembly. I laid each section on it’s short side with what will be the outside of the shelf facing up. I used painters tape to attach each section (temporarily) together in a line. Then I carefully flipped it over so that I could apply wood glue between each seam.

Apply the wood glue and then fold the end pieces toward each other to create the hexagon. Make sure you add a piece of tape to the end pieces to hold them together.

Use a nail gun to put at least two nails in each joint. Let it dry, take off the tape and then hang them with whatever method you prefer! Not too bad, huh?? If you make some I’d love to see them!

How to Install Vinyl Tile over Existing Tile

Do you remember back in the early 2000’s when all the builders were putting in beige tile everywhere? I mean, like, everywhere. We have it in all three of our bathrooms (including the master bath floor, tub surround and shower), our laundry room and our entry way. Thankfully they didn’t put it in our kitchen too. I had it in our old house too and loved it at the time. And it has it’s place. That place just isn’t in my house. At least not on every bathroom floor. And I know this look will go out of style someday too. And then there will be another post on how to change it up!

Something had to be done. If you remember back a few posts ago I started with the guest bathroom shower. We decided to paint it and I’m so happy with how it turned out! (you can see that post here.) Originally my plan was to paint the floor tiles as well and use a stencil to give it the same kind of effect but then I saw these awesome looking vinyl tiles that seemed like they would install a lot quicker.

*SPOILER ALERT: So the question you probably have is “how are they holding up and is it worth it to install them?” Unfortunately for me it isn’t a cut and dry answer. Would I install them again? Yes. Actually I’m going to put them in the kids’ downstairs bathroom.

If you want a permanent solution then I would absolutely say “no”. These are going to be a quick, cheap, temporary fix until you are ready to pull out the tile and replace it. You will likely have a couple that start to peel up in the corners. We have a spot in our bathroom where some water leaked out of the water line and I’ll have to pull up those two tiles and replace them. But it will be super easy and I can use leftover tile I have. In our master bath I’m going to try some hardwood, groutable vinyl tile that I think will be a little more durable. You can see a full Pro’s and Con’s list at the bottom of this post.

Let’s get to the project!

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.

What you need

Floor cleaner

Henry’s patch n level

Peel n Stick vinyl tiles – I used Floor Pop 12″ tiles

Utility knife



A contour gauge like this if you need to make odd cuts.

Silicone Caulk and Caulking Gun.

1.A. Remove the Toilet and Vanity (optional)

I’m labeling this as an optional step, but it’s one I personally wouldn’t skip. I think it would be so much harder to get a nice good-looking cut around the toilet and vanity. I know it’s a pain, and we were going to be replacing the vanity anyway, but it will just give you a better looking finish. And while you’re at it, replace that toilet ring! We didn’t do that and now I’m going to make my husband take the toilet back off to replace it. Sorry hun!

1.B. Clean the Floors

Next your need to clean your floors. Sweep and vacuum them to make sure all the dirt and dust is gone. The clean them with a de-greasing cleaner and wipe down with a clean, wet cloth. You want your surface clean so that both the leveling compound and the vinyl tile will stick.

2. Level the Floor

You’ll need to fill in your grout lines and any place that isn’t level. You could skip this step. I didn’t want to risk having my vinyl start dipping everywhere there was a grout line. There were also a few places where the tiles met in the middle of the grout line and I don’t know how well they would have stick in those edges. I used Henry Patch n Level to fill in the grout. I filled in the grout likes like I would fill in with Spackle or wood filler and used a putty knife to smooth it out. It doesn’t have to be perfect. I just wanted to get the major dips filled in. Follow the manufacturers instructions for dry time and then give the floor a quick wipe down.

Using leveling compound

3. Lay Out Your Vinyl Tile

Before you start going to town on installing your tile you will want to set it all out to get the best layout. You may find that starting in the corner doesn’t give you the best fit all over. Or starting at that point in the middle that you planned on gives you too small of an edge. You’ll also find that the patterns on the tiles don’t always match up super well. As I set out my tile I just tried to get the closest match possible, switching some that were more obvious. It was frustrating while I was laying it out, but honestly I haven’t noticed it since I installed it. And anyone who sits on your toilet and judges your work has their own issues to work out, so don’t get too hung up on matching the pattern perfectly!

4. Cut and Install the Vinyl Tile

Now it’s time to lay those suckers down!! I love how quickly this comes together. The cutting can be a bit of a pain, especially around the door frame and the toilet, but I love that once it’s laid there’s no waiting for anything to dry. It’s all done! I started with the middle tile closest to the tub and then worked my way out and toward the door. I laid all the whole pieces first and saved the hardest cuts for the end. When making straight cuts, like next to a wall, flip your tile over and mark where you need to cut. (see video)

Marking the Floor Tiles to Cut

You can also use a contour gauge to mark odd cuts like this. Use a scrap piece first to make sure you get the right cut and don’t waste a whole tile.

A couple last minute tips:

If you start installing your tile and you find that they don’t stick well, especially in the corners, try using some carpet tape. I didn’t use any for this bathroom, but I know some people have had success with that. I may try that for the downstairs bathroom to give the corners some extra support.

After installing I added some white silicone around the edges that touched the tub and baseboard. I also added some clear silicone along the inner tile seams near the tub to protect against rogue water drops during bath-time. It gets a little intense in that bath! The tiles near the tub have stayed down nicely.

Pro’s and Con’s:

Our tile has been down for about 9 months now, and I have to say, I’m pleasantly surprised. I went into this project knowing it might not work well. I read review after review and knew that the tile might pop up at any time. Again, the only spot I’ve had much trouble is right under the water line that brings water to the toilet. I think when we re-installed the toilet some water dripped down and release the glue. It will be an easy enough fix.


  1. This is a super quick project. If you didn’t put down the leveling compound you could be walking on it the same day. Even with the leveling compound it doesn’t have to be more than a two day project.
  2. You don’t need any power tools to install these floor tiles.
  3. It’s not a permanent solution. You could rip it out and replace it at any time. And if you don’t put the leveling compound down you could probably take it off and have your tile back just as it was. (I’ve never removed the tiles, so I can’t vouch for the state the floor would be in after the tiles were removed)
  4. Affordability. When I purchased the vinyl tile they were about $1.50 per square foot. It’s hard to beat that price when you’re looking at a modern flooring options.
  5. The feel. I actually love walking on these vinyl tiles, despite how I feel about walking barefoot on bathroom floors. They are soft and they don’t get as cold as tile.


  1. It’s not a permanent solution. I know, I know. This is on my “pro’s” list too. But it had to go on this list too, because if you’re looking for more of a long term solution you want it to last long term. I have to say, this is my main point on my “con’s” list. They’re pretty great other than this.
  2. The corners come up sometimes. This is sort of a tag on to number one, but aside from this not being a long-term solution, even in the short term you may have to deal with a few corners not wanting to stay down. This is where carpet tape or some kind of glue might come in handy.
  3. The patterns don’t always line up. For me this isn’t as big of an issue, but for some people it might really bug them.
  4. The tiles are really sticky. I know, this is how they’re supposed to be, but there were some tiles that came out of the box stuck to each other. I just used those ones for edges and corners, but still…

All in all I call this project a win! What do you think? Would you use vinyl tile??

Don’t forget to check out some of our latest posts

Easy DIY Outdoor Couch

A few years ago we build a pergola in our backyard to create an outdoor space that we could use for gatherings. That’s when we realized just how expensive outdoor furniture can be. So I did what I always do when there’s something I know I can build instead of buy, I started scouring the internet for a plan I liked. It didn’t take long before I found an outdoor couch plan from Ana White. I decided to customize her plans to fit the style I wanted and the cushions I had.

That couch ended up working out so well that I some friends who wanted to build some too. I found some cushions for a steal at World Market and we customized the plans to fit those cushions as well. I ended up with one extra set of cushions that I’ve had sitting around for the last 4 years. Last week I finally decided it was time to make the second couch.

The video below will give you a quick overview of the build.


15 2×3’s – This number may vary depending on the length and width of your cushions

2 1/2 inch self tapping screws

Kreg Jig- I use this one

Miter saw or circular saw

Random Orbital Sander

Stain – I used Special Walnut

Sealant – I use water-based polyurethane

Step 1 – Build the Seat Frame

The first step of this project is building the frame. This step is customized to fit your cushions. My cushion was 66″ x 34″ so I cute my length boards 66″ and my width boards 31″. I cut the short boards 31″ to account for the 1.5″ from the 2×3’s.

Seat Base Frame

At each end of the short boards make two pocket holes using your Kreg Jig. You can use a basic handheld jig and clamp it to the board, but if you’re going to be doing furniture projects I definitely recommend getting the K5. It will save you so much time in the long run! And in order to not show any screws or holes I used a lot of pocket holes in this build.

When you attach your frame make sure to keep your corners square. Using self tapping screws will definitely help with this by giving you a nice, snug joint.

Building the seat base frame

Next you’ll add supportive braces. Since my length was 66″ I put my two middle braces at 22″ and 44″. Add two pocket holes at each end of the braces and attach to your frame.

Step 2- Build the Arms

Next you’ll need to build the arms. For the arms I followed Ana White’s plans for the height of each board. Use pocket holes to attach the sides and the bottom board. I made sure to attach the bottom board so that the pocket holds would be covered by the seat side of the couch. Drill holes through the bottom board to secure it to the top board.

Drill pocket holes to attach the arm pieces

Step 3 – Attach the Arms to the Seat Base

After building the both arms you can attach them to the seat base. If you’re working alone you can use some boards to prop one end while you attach the arm to the other end. I cut a few spare boards 10″ to support the seat base and keep it level while I attached the arms.

This image shows adding the couch arms

Step 4 – Attach the Decking

To give the cushions some support you’ll need to add boards to the base. I cut 7 boards 66″ long. Space them out evenly and screw them to the boards underneath.

This image shows the back support on but you’ll actually add the decking first.

Step 5 – Add the Back Support

Cut another board the length of your seat. Mine was 66″. Drill pocket holes in each end and attach to the arms.

Adding back support

Step 6 – Sand and Stain

Who here loves sanding?? No one? Yeah, I didn’t think so. Sorry to say, but get ready to sand. And sand. And sand. I prefer to sand after most of the couch is built. I don’t want to be sanding extra wood that doesn’t make it into the final project. Who’s got time for that?? I made sure to sand really well and down to a fine grit wherever I knew it would be exposed and people would be touching the wood. Everywhere else I gave it a rough sand to to make sure there weren’t any places that would give slivers or tear at the fabric. If you’re going to plug your pocket holes with dowels, now would be the time. You can get pocket hole dowels like this. Add a little glue and put them in so they are flush. You may have some that don’t fit in totally flush and then you’ll need to sand them down flush. After sanding I stained with Minwax Special Walnut.

Step 7 – Adding the Angled Back and Arm Braces

This may be the trickiest part of the build. The easiest way to make sure everything fits really well is to go board by board instead of cutting everything at once. First I did the back supports. I found the center point of the back and then found each quarter point. You can see in the video below how I marked the boards based off of those points. After cutting them you’ll want to sand and stain them. It’s easier to do when they’re not attached so you don’t have to get into those tight angles. When attaching the angled braces I used pocket holes to go into the top and I screwed straight in from the back to secure the bottom.

On the arm braces I used pocket holes on the underside to screw into the arm. For he bottom I screwed into the bottom from underneath the arm boards.

Put your cushions on and you’re done! Now sit down and enjoy your work!!

I hope you enjoyed this build. If you build one I’d love to see it!

How to Install Curbing to your Yard

In college I studied landscape design. I’ve always wanted one those beautiful, well kept yards. Unfortunately landscaping tends to get expensive. But in every home we’ve lived in we’ve tried to add whatever improvements we could. And if you’ve been following some of my other projects your know that we always try to do it ourselves and we always try to make it as budget-friendly as possible. Adding curbing to our yard was no different.

If you’ve driven around high end neighborhoods you may have noticed a lot of those yards have a border that defines areas of the yard. A lot of the time, at least in our area, this is in the form of a concrete curb. In our old house we added bricks and rocks to try to create those borders. We always ended up with a lot of weeds or our kids moving the material. In our new house I knew I wanted a concrete curb throughout our front and back yards. After checking prices from local concrete curbing businesses and doing the math it was clear we had another DIY on our hands. Instead of paying $5 per linear for someone else to do it for us I figured out we could do it for around $1 per linear foot (at the time of installation). Here’s what you’ll need.

*This post may contain affiliate links. This means if you purchase something from one of my links, I may receive a small commission at no cost to you.


80 lb bags of quikrete (We used 1 bag for approximately 3 linear feet)

Concrete Edger – something similar to this

Edging forms- Most people use some form of plywood for this

Stakes – I recommend having a few rebar stakes

Wood pieces for spacers

Step 1- Prepping your curbing area

The first thing you want to do is prep for your concrete. I used some spray paint on the grass to figure out what lines looked best for the curb. Once I had the line I wanted I started digging out the grass, trying to make sure it was fairly level.

After the grass was cut out I started laying out the forms. My brother had some aluminum edging that he used as grass edging before he had someone come install concrete curbing. He let me have it to use for the concrete forms. It was perfect because it was long, sturdy and reusable. After laying out the inside line next to the grass I cut some spare 2×6 boards to make spacers. This helped to keep the forms equal distances apart the entire length of the forms. I used stakes to keep the forms in place, trying to always keep the stakes on the outside of the forms.

Concrete forms with spacers

Step 2- Mix the concrete

If you have access to a concrete mixer this project will be so much easier. We did not. But my awesome husband did a great job mixing it in our wheelbarrow. At one point we tried to mix two bags at once but it was just too much for our little wheelbarrow to handle so we stuck to one bag at a time. It was a slow process. If we were able to do the whole project at the same time we would have rented a mixer, but the whole thing took a few days because we were limited by how many metal forms we had.

This is what the concrete mixed looked like. We wanted it to be like a thick pancake batter. A chunky thick pancake batter.

Step 3- Pour and shape the concrete

After you have the concrete mixed it’s time to get it into the the forms. Using a shovel we dumped piles into the form and then went through and used the concrete edger to quickly smooth the top. At this point I didn’t worry about aesthetics. I just wanted to make sure everything was level through the section of the form we just poured. Then I went along and tapped the outside edge of the form to remove any bubbles that may have formed on the edges. After making sure it’s level and tapping to get the bubbles out you’ll want to make it as smooth as you can. This took me a bit to figure out what method worked best for me to get it smooth. Ultimately I went with dipping the edger in water and smoothing. If that doesn’t work for you try something else until you get what works!

This wont show in any of the photos, but don’t forget to create control joints in the concrete. This will help to prevent random cracking in the surface of your curbing. To do this I pushed the edge of a concrete trowel a couple of inches though the concrete while I was smoothing it and then smoothed over it with my edger to hide the joints. I wish I had a video or picture of this for you, but apparently I was in the zone. I was too worried about it drying too much before I got to smoothing it.

Step 4- Dry Time

We left the concrete overnight and then took off the forms. The concrete should be dry enough to hold it’s form, but it will still be soft enough that you shouldn’t walk on it for a few days. We made sure to keep the kids off it for a week while it cured. After a week you should be good to walk on it (or use it as a balance beam, like my kids!).

Here are a few shots throughout the project.

I hope you enjoyed this project! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

If you liked this, check out some of my latest projects!

How to Paint Your Tile!

When we moved into our new house all of the bathrooms had builder grade tile. I’m sure 20 years ago that was totally in style. In fact, I think for many builders it still is. The last house we lived in also had a lot of tan tile, and it was remodeled right before we moved in. But for the modern, updated look we were going for it wasn’t going to fly. The problem was we just bought a house and were house-poor. We’d have to find a temporary solution until we can afford to tear out the tile and replace it. Time for a creative bathroom makeover!

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using my link. I only recommend products that I use and love!

Supply List:

A good floor or tile cleaner that leaves no residue

Sander with a rough grit sandpaper

Painters tape

Smooth foam roller

Paint brush

Stix Primer

Porch and floor paint

Water-Based Polyurethane

This bathroom has no windows so I wanted a lot of the bathroom to look bright and clean. We decided to try painting the tile white. I got a lot of mixed reactions from people when I told them I was going to paint the bathtub tile. Most people were shocked. In fact, I think my brother who is a contractor was the only one who thought it was a good idea.

My biggest concern was that the paint would chip. If I was going to go to all the work to paint the tile I wanted it done right. Spoiler alert, it’s been two years since I did this project and it looks the same today as it did when we finished! Here’s how we did it:

Step 1- Prep your tile

I cannot stress enough how important this step is! I know it’s the least exciting, but if you don’t get this part right your paint may not last. It’s like sanding for me. I hate the prep work but it’s probably the most important step. And the prep work for painting tile is pretty time consuming so mentally prepare for that!

You want to start by cleaning your tile really well. Give it a quick once over with the vacuum and mop. Then you’ll want to grab a good cleaner that doesn’t leave a residue. Something like simple green should work nicely. As an extra precaution I wiped it down again with warm water. Air dry or dry with a towel. If you have a smooth ceramic tile you’ll want to get it a little roughed up if you can to give the primer a better chance of sticking. Then give it a good wipe down with a wet rag to get any dust off. Once the tiles is dry you need to tape the edges really well. This process is meant to make the paint stick and you don’t want that over your tub, faucet handle and shower head. Trust me. *Tip: It will take more work, but if I did this project again I would re-tape after each layer. I waited until all the painting was done and the paint did such a great job sticking it was a struggle to get the tape to come off clean.

Step 2- Priming

After you painstakingly prep it’s finally time to prime! I used this Stix primer. It is seriously AMAZING. It’s a little pricey, but I don’t think I personally would risk using a different primer on tile, just because I already know how well this primer sticks to tile.

When applying the paint and primer you’ll need a brush and a smooth foam roller (the cabinet rollers are perfect). focus on one wall at a time. Quickly use your brush to paint the grout lines and then use your roller to apply over the tile and grout lines. If you don’t work quickly enough you may find you end up with brush lines around the grout. You could also try to use just the roller and really push the primer and paint into the grout lines. Figure out what works best for you.

When you prime and paint make sure to follow the manufacturers instructions for dry times between coats. Keep in mind that the coats will not give full coverage. That’s okay. You don’t want really thick coats. This is what first and second coats of primer looks like:

After the first coat of primer
After the second coat of primer

Step 3- Painting

I recommend using a porch and floor paint for the main coat of paint. I used Ace Hardware’s Royal brand of porch and floor paint tinted to match Behr’s Swiss Coffee. Use the same method of applying the paint that you used for the primer. I used two coats of paint before it felt fully covered.

Step 4- Sealing

This step is as important as the prep work. This is what is going to protect your paint from chipping and peeling. I applied three coats of this water-based polyurethane. It’s a strong sealer without the fumes of the the oil based polyurethane. From the research I’ve done most people agree that the oil-based polyurethanes tend to yellow over time. In the two years that we’ve had this painted tile I haven’t noticed any yellowing with the water-based version. After it’s sealed you can enjoy your beautiful new tile!!

I know what the real question is, though. WILL IT ACTUALLY LAST?? I was shocked to find that the answer has been YES! I have exactly one chip in the paint that I stupidly made while doing the project and before I had sealed it. The rest of the tile is perfectly preserved. Now, full disclosure: This is a bathroom that is used by kids who take more baths than showers. They slosh the water around quite a bit, but it hasn’t had a harsh beating. I have cleaned it with mild cleaner and it really has been so good.

I’m hoping to do this project soon in my bathroom but the prep work has prevented me from tackling that project (We have a lot of tile in the master bath). But when I do I will let you know how the most abused bathroom in the house holds up! I think I want to try to add a stencil this time to break up all of the white. What do you think?! I hope you feel inspired to get out there and try painting some tile!!

And don’t forget to check out these other projects!

Build a House Frame Floor Bed for $60!

Hey everyone! I’m really excited to share this project with you, not only because this house frame floor bed is so cute, but also because this is the first build I have been able to do in about a year. For years I have had a herniated disc in my lower back and I would have to deal with it off and on. Typically it has gone away on its own after a couple of months. This time it definitely did not. I ended up having to have back surgery in June and after many miracles I have been able to get back to building. So this project was even more fulfilling for me.

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using my link. I only recommend products that I use and love!

This summer we decided to graduate our daughter from a crib to a twin bed. This was due in part to the fact that she started climbing out of the crib, and in part because after the surgery I couldn’t lift her anymore. Instead of transitioning through the toddler bed we decided to go straight to a twin. I wish I had done that for all of my other kids too! But it meant we needed a floor bed. Fortunately there are some super cute ways to do a floor bed out there!

As usual, I spent a lot of time on Pinterest looking for plans so I didn’t have to create my own. Nothing ever fit quite right. So again I decided to build my own. It turned out to be slightly more complicated than I was expecting, mostly because I kept making stupid educational mistakes. But don’t worry, I’ve made them all so you don’t have to! And the beautiful thing about this house frame floor bed is that it cost less than $60 to make! Check out the video below for a quick follow-along, or keep scrolling for the step by step instructions for how I built this twin floor bed.

Supply List:

13 – 2×3 studs

6 – mending plates

2 1/2″ wood screws

Miter Saw

Orbital Sander and Sand Paper

Kreg Jig

Building the house-shaped end frames

First you want to build the side frames. Start by deciding how tall you want the bed frame to be. This won’t affect any other measurements, so feel free to decide what height will suit your room. If you have high ceilings you may want to make it 5′. That’s the height I started with and it ended up being too tall to feel right in our room with 8′ ceilings. I cut it down to 4′ 6″ and honestly I would even consider making it just a little shorter still.

After cutting to the height you want you will then cut the width. Twin beds are approximately 40″. Ours is technically 39, but I wanted some wiggle room. This is where I ran into my educational mistakes. I forgot to take into account the width of the side rails. So you’ll want to cut the short width boards 37″. With the boards cut I drilled two pocket holes into each end of the short boards. Then I screwed them into the vertical boards to form a box frame.

Next you’ll want to make the roof. This is where it got a little tricky for me. I wasn’t sure what I wanted the pitch to be. First I tried a 45 degree angle. While this would have been the easiest to cut it felt too short. In hindsight, with the total height of the bed frame and the size of the room, it would have been fine. I ended up going with 40 degree angles at the bottom corners of the roof and a 50 degree angle at the top.

I used the miter saw to cut the 50 degree angle and just free-handed it. While that method worked, if I was to do it again I would use my circular saw. Honestly, I’m not sure why I didn’t. I got in the groove cutting with the miter saw and didn’t even think about it. If you don’t have a circular saw, the miter will work just fine. You may just have to go back and shave off some of the angles to get it to fit nicely.

After I laid out the roof I used a 3/8″ bit to drill a short hole so that I could countersink the screw. This basically means that the screw head would be slightly under the surface of the wood. This way you can put some wood filler in the hole, sand it down and stain over it so it won’t be quite as noticeable that there is a screw there.

Drilling a small hole to countersink the screws

Another option would be to use your kreg jig to add pocket screws instead of countersinking a screw. For strength, I prefer that method, but in the end I was concerned that those corners already had two screws holding the box frame together and if I tried to add two more screws in the same spot I would run into issues. So I added one countersunk screw and then added a mending brace that I had spray painted black. And I ended up loving the look of the hardware so it was a win-win! When you add the mending braces make sure to add them to the front side of your frame. I initially added them to the back because that seemed like the logical place, only to realize later that I needed to add the cross-boards to each corner where the braces were.

Marking to drill some pilot holes

With the roof on, the side frame was done! Now I just had to make another one. The second frame went quickly. When I had the boards cut for the first roof, I made sure to use those boards to mark where I needed to cut the second roof, so I would have to measure it all out again. That saved so much time.

Sanding and Staining

With the two frames done it was time to sand. And sand. And sand. I hate sanding. I hate it so much. But unfortunately it is so important! I used my random orbital sander and started with an 80 grit sandpaper and ended with a 320 grit. Some people like to sand the boards first before assembling their projects. While I do see the benefit of this, especially where the corners are concerned, I just mentally can’t bring myself to sand a bunch of long boards at a time. Find the way that works for you and go with it!

*Side note: when picking out your boards it’s important to make sure they’re not warped, but it is also important to make sure they’re not all chewed up on one side! I ended up with a couple boards that had a spot or two that I had to sand over and over to get it smooth enough that no one would get splinters. I’m not sure how I missed that.

After hours of sanding (ugh) it was finally time to stain! I used Minwax Special Walnut and I was so happy with the final look of the stain.

The Side Rails

With the two end frames built I cut the remaining five boards 75″, which will be the side rails of the twin bed and the boards that extend the roof. I sanded each board, drilled two pocket holes in each end and then stained it.

Assembly Time!

I took the the frames and the boards into the bedroom to assemble. You’ll want someone to help with assembly. I got my awesome son to help me with most of it. I screwed the bottom boards in first, followed by the upper side boards and finally the roof peak board. Done! Easy peasy. Mostly. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I had to do homeschool in the morning and take care of small humans much of the afternoon I think this project is doable in a day. The sanding probably took the most time. Pick good boards that don’t require as much sanding! And if you end up painting rather than staining you also won’t need to be as thorough with the sanding.


I hope enjoyed this project! Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments. And if you make this house frame floor bed I would love to hear how it turned out!

If you enjoyed this project don’t forget to check out these others!

How to Create a Herringbone Accent Wall

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase using my link. I only recommend products that I use and love!

Have you been seeing these accent walls everywhere you turn on Pinterest lately?! Me too. And I love them! Do you remember when everyone had accent walls painted a different color? I had my fair share. In fact, in my first house I think I had a different colored wall in every room in the house. Big, bright, bold colors. My style has definitely shifted to more of the muted walls. Now I use furniture and pillows to make my color statements.

I decided that the nursery NEEDED an accent wall. The problem was, what kind to do?? My first inclination was to do more of a geometric style, but I just kept coming back to a classic herringbone pattern. And I absolutely love how it turned out! Are you ready to make your own?

What you need:

1 – 4×8 sheet of 1/2″ MDF

Miter Saw

Brad Nailer

1″ brad nails

Caulk (specifically for trim)

Spackle and a sanding block

1 Gallon of paint

Step 1- Cut the MDF Sheet

The first thing you’ll want to do is cut down the MDF sheet into strips. You can either have your local hardware store do this for you (if they allow it) or you can cut the strips yourself with a circular saw and guide or a table saw. I cut mine down to 3″ wide. If you really don’t want to cut down an MDF sheet you could buy primed MDF boards. All of my projects are budget projects, so I try to use the cheapest methods I can to get the best results. Buying primed MDF boards will likely be a lot more expensive, depending on your wall size so you can do the math and decide if the extra effort is worth it to you!

Step 2- Frame Your Wall

Now, actually, this was step 3 for me because I had to put a couple coats of primer on the wall first to cover a bright blue wall, but assuming your walls are fairly neutral, you should be able to go straight into framing the wall.

Framing the wall

Start by nailing boards along the top and the bottom of the wall. Then add the sides. I measure before each cut, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned through all of my projects it’s that houses are never totally square. If I try to cut all of the long boards at once I’ll find that I somehow end up with a short board.

Step 3- Add the Vertical Boards

Next you’ll add the vertical boards. You can see in the photo above that I started with the middle board. You want the board right in the center, so measure the distance between the two walls and mark your center line. Then measure from your center line to one wall and mark the center. Do the same thing on the other side. Measure, cut and nail your boards in place. *Tip: Make sure each vertical board is plumb (perfectly vertical) before you nail it in place. And try to give yourself some room. I was far too cramped but I didn’t want to take the crib apart to get it out of the room.

Herringbone vertical boards

Step 4- Add the Herringbone Pattern

This next part is where you get to see your design come to life! You’ll want to cut your boards at 30 degree angles. Now, if you’ve read some of my other posts, you may know that I prefer to mark measurements by setting the board up where I need it and marking it, rather than measuring, marking and cutting. If that’s confusing here’s a quick video to show you what I mean.

I’m sure it makes some woodworkers cringe that I measure and cut that way, but I’m all about doing what works for you! I also recommend cutting a spacer that will help you keep each of the herringbone pieces equally spaced. The spacer is just a board that has 30 degree cuts on both ends. The spacer can be cut to whatever length you prefer. My template spacer was 20″ long. For the look I was going for I felt that any closer and it would have made the wall too busy.

When you get to the bottom and the corners you may find that you end up needing to make 60 degree cuts to make it fit right.

Showing the 60 Degree angles of the herringbone wall

To make cutting the 60 degree angle easier you can make a jig. Take one the the scrap ends of your MDF board and make sure one end is 30 degrees and the other end is a 90 degree angle. Adjust your blade to 30 degrees if it’s not already there. Then you can line up the 90 degree side of your jig along the miter saw fence. When you put your board against the jig you’ll cut a 60 degree angle. Pretty simple!

Making a 60 degree jig

Step 5- Filling Holes and Seams

Once all your boards are nailed on it’s time to fill the holes and seams with spackle. I generally use Dry Dex. It goes on pink and then turns white when it’s dry. When the spackle is dry grab your sanding block and go to town!

Spackling the holes and seams

Step 6- Painting

You’re almost done! I put a coat of primer down to cover it well and then rolled on a coat of Valspare Pure White. Initially I tried Bejamin Moore’s Swiss Coffee, but it felt like it clashed a little against the Agreeable Gray walls I have on the adjacent walls. Pure White worked out perfectly with Agreeable Gray.

Herringbone finished with a newly painted crib

And there you have it!! A beautiful new accent wall! Unfortunately now I feel like I have to update the rest of the room. Like repainting the trim and doors white (oh why were all the doors, trim and walls painted the same color?!?). After I finished this project I got my new amazing paint sprayer and decided to throw a quick coat of paint on the crib. We planned to only have it for a couple more months before putting in a twin bed, but I couldn’t have a beautiful new wall covered up by an ugly chewed up crib!

If you loved this project be sure to check these other posts!