Posted by John on May 29th, 2013
A few months ago, Lisa picked up a shelf shaped like a doll house from Home Goods. She thought it would look great in our daughter’s toddler bedroom. It was slightly damaged so she managed to swing a decent discount on it. Luckily, the damage wasn’t too severe.
The base is MDF and it looks like a couple corners had been busted up.
So, how to fix it… I thought the easiest way to repair this type of damage was just to cover it with a thin piece of wood. We popped into Michaels a little while back and grabbed some thin pieces of Birch wood. The wood was probably only about 1/8″ thick. After ripping it down to roughly the same width as the bottom block, I cut it to length and gave it some miters on the chop saw and attached it with some wood glue and brad nails. It was just easier to wrap the whole bottom section with the good wood than to just cover the busted sections.
We used some pink craft paint to color the bare wood and we were done. Quick project. Sat around much longer than it should have.
I anchored the shelf to the wall so she won’t be able to knock it over. To do that I just used a couple of 1/2″ thick pieces of plywood and screwed them into a stud on the wall and then screwed the shelf into the plywood. The plywood is the same thickness as the baseboards, so I’m able to butt up the shelf right to the wall. You can barely see the shims from one of the sides.
Our daughter has been keeping some stuffed animals and books in there. She seems to like it.
One day I’m sure we’ll either buy her or make her an actual doll house, but for now, this little shelf is pretty sweet.
Any repairs on your end?
Posted by John on May 14th, 2013
With my spring grad class finally over, I get a lot more free time back. It’s awesome. As much as I love learning, I also love… not learning. Lisa has a long laundry list of things for me to do around here, which mostly consists of finishing projects I either already started or promised to start. yay. Today we’re going to show you one of those quick projects we already managed to finish. Here’s how to hang mod podge letters the easy way.
We started out with white letters that hung above our first daughter’s crib in the nursery. When we moved her into her new toddler bedroom, we wanted to move the letters with her, but decided to dress them up a bit. Lisa traced them onto some scrap book paper from Michael’s. We used a different pattern for each letter. I think it’s the same paper as the birthday pennants she made some time ago.
With the patterns traced and cut out, she applied a liberal amount of mod podge to the face of the wooden letter and the back of the pattern paper. Then they get pressed together until dry.
Now for leveling and mounting them… When we had these letters over the crib in the nursery, we used screws and the holes in the back of the letters. It wasn’t hard to install, but it was a giant pain to get them all level, since the screws holes in the letters were all in different spots. Plus, these letters didn’t come with a template or anything. Not fun.
This time around, we skipped the screws and just used double sided command strips. How about leveling them? That part was easy too. We took the sticker off the command strip and just rested them on a level. Once we got the spacing right, we firmly pushed the letters onto the wall. They’re not going anywhere.
So much easier this time. Those command strips are pretty sweet and this isn’t even a sponsored post or anything.
Have you found easier ways to do things the second time around?
Posted in DIY Projects,Home Decor. Tagged in ,decor
Posted by John on April 21st, 2013
It’s nice to be back in the swing of things. Lisa and I are adjusting nicely to life with two kids. So far so good. The real challenge will be when they both can walk or climb. That will be an adventure.. an exhausting adventure. This weekend we started catching up on some projects that got shifted to the back burner when we started making preparations for baby #2. One of those projects is a large wooden key Lisa bought at Hobby Lobby. It’s an odd shape and doesn’t have any straight edges for a level to rest on. Plus, it needed some modifications to mount. Here’s how to hang and level odd shaped decor…
This key came with a small bracket on one end. I guess it was designed to be hung vertically. That’d be cool, but we thought it would look better if we hung it horizontally.
To modify the key to hang horizontally, I needed to add two additional brackets. I couldn’t find the exact same one that was already one there, so I just bought something similar from Lowes. I started by drawing a center line down the back of the key using a straight edge. The center line will help me align the two brackets to each other and will serve as the line which the piece will be leveled to. I then traced the outline of the bracket and the screw holes.
Since the bracket needs space for a fastener, I needed to drill out the space where the center hole is located. I also pre-drilled the holes for the two screws that keep the bracket onto the key. Then I just repeat those steps for the bracket on the other end.
To mount the key onto the wall so it’s level, I transferred the locations of the brackets to the actual level using a pencil. I also marked the center point of the level.
With the level marked up, I place it against the wall and line up the center mark of the wall with the center mark of the level. Now all you have to do is transfer the lines on the level to the wall to indicate where the brackets will be located. Don’t forget to level the actual level first (awkward sentence ay?). The wall marks for the bracket locations should be a plus sign and not just a horizontal or vertical line.
Now I just use my favorite drywall anchors and mount the key onto the wall. The key doesn’t have a straight surface on it, so I can’t really check to see if it’s level once it’s on the wall. However, the marks we made were level, so that’s good enough for me.
Cool piece. We really like it. Lisa bought it on sale too, which makes me like it all the more. So, what to take away from this post? Using a level to transfer marks from art work or decor to the wall. It’s a guaranteed way to get it level every time regardless of the shape.
Anyone else adding any new decor?
Posted in DIY Projects,Home Decor. Tagged in ,decor, how to, tips and tricks
Posted by John on February 4th, 2013
Hey there cats and kittens (bonus points if you know who says that phrase every week)!! Hope everyone got enough sleep after that thrilling Super Bowl. Wow. We had a pretty busy weekend, but still managed to knock off a few minor projects off our to-do list. Saturday we had a family party for our daughter’s 2nd birthday. We’ll be sharing some pictures later this week. More importantly though, I thought we should bring you up to speed on the whole we’re having a second baby thing.
So, we’ve known since August that we were growing our family but we put off making an announcement on the blog. We talked about taking a picture with Sherry and John from the signing, which of course we’d post, and we knew Lisa would be visibly pregnant. So, we thought that would be a fun opportunity. Since Christmas, the biggest home related decision we’ve had to make regarding the new baby is what we’re doing about the bedrooms. Do we re-use the nursery and move our daughter into a new bedroom or do we make a new nursery? You obviously know the answer to this one by now, but it took us a while to finally make that decision. It’s not easy moving your first child out of their nursery. They grow up so fast.
Anyway, that’s some background on our whole bedroom deal. Our daughter helped by jumping out of her crib fairly early thus necessitating some action.
Since we already owned a couple white Hemnes pieces, we thought it might be easier to just pickup a matching twin bed and go from there. We looked at toddler sized beds as well, but it seems like a better investment to just stick with the twin bed.
Here’s what her bedroom looks like now..
Keep in mind we still have to do a good deal more decorating. Lisa has a laundry list of ideas that we’ll work through over the next few weeks.
Posted in Home Decor,House Tour. Tagged in ,bedroom, decor, hemnes, ikea, toddler
Posted by John on January 14th, 2013
Hey guys! Slacked off the last couple days. Busier than average weekend with little project progress to show for it. Saturday we pretty much just hung out and did some necessary, yet un-blog-worthy cleaning. Anyone want to see a post on cleaning out a fridge? No? I didn’t think so. Sunday we headed up to NEPA to have a memorial mass and lunch in honor of my father’s passing. He’s been gone for five years now, which is completely crazy. Eventually I’d like to throw in some more personal posts, especially one about him. Funniest guy I ever met and missed very much. It’s tough making time for that kind of a tribute though. I’d want to do it properly and not just throw something together. Maybe later this year.
So now for something less depressing or still somewhat depressing depending upon how you look at it. Our daughter is nearly two. She’s growing up quick. Over the past several weeks it’s becoming more clear that maybe she could do with a bedroom change. We’ve transitioned her crib to a toddler bed and it’s nice, but it’s not ideal. When we painted and decorated the room, we didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, so we kept the nursery neutral. We’d really like to get her into a room more suited to a little girl. Plus, if we get her a twin bed, we can keep her company until she falls asleep if she wakes us up crying or is reluctant to goto bed. It’s tough to do that with a toddler bed. Thus, some of the urgency.
We’re still working on the sitting room… in that we’re waiting for the electrical permit to be approved and we’ve been batting ideas back and forth. As far as the new bedroom for our daughter goes, there are a few things we’ve already decided. We’re going with a white Hemnes twin bed from Ikea… and that’s about it. We already have a small dresser from our guest room that we bought when we got married and we also just picked up a small round Hemnes nightstand. I don’t have any room pictures for you yet, it’s actually her playroom at the moment, but I do have some pics from our Pinterest account we can show you that illustrate some ideas we’re considering.
The paint: The whole room decor is Lisa’s call. As far as room color is concerned, she still wants to keep it neutral, but introduce a lot more girly features that really wouldn’t work in the nursery without a whole reboot. We’ve talked about a soft pink paint, but we both really like a greyish beige (greige?) like the photo above.
The walls: Who wants wainscoting in this room? This guy. Right now, this is the big decision for this room. Do we or don’t we. I’m not interested in spending 3 months on this room like we did the dining room, but I think I can pull something off in here relatively quick and much simpler. Lisa is not in favor of a bead board, but maybe a board and batten look. Board and batten tends to be very tall, 48″ or higher generally. I’m thinking something shorter since the room is for a little girl. Another option is the board and batten with the bead board as the panel. None of them should take very long, fingers crossed.
Built-ins: Ideally, we’d love to give this room some custom built-in shelves for all her books and displayable toys. The room has a nice double window that would look great with a cushioned seat under it. We’re a bit hesitant to add that feature until she’s old enough to truly understand gravity. Still, shelves on either side of the window would look awesome!
What do you think? What would you do? Do you go with the pink paint tones? Do you like a simple wainscoting idea? What are you up to?