Articles Tagged “DIY”

DIY Breadboard

Since I painted the kitchen, I have been wanting new things for the walls. I don’t have much wall space but that doesn’t stop me :) There is one little area next to the back door that I thought would be the perfect spot to add a little something and somehow I got into my head that I needed a breadboard.

First, I started looking around at breadboards and couldn’t find anything I wanted. I needed a skinny one and I definitely wanted all wood. Plus, I wanted to be able to hang it so it needed to have a handle with a hole. I even bought one, and once I got home I realized it was too big. So, back to the store it went.

Next, I found one from West Elm that I liked but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. I wanted a lighter colored wood. Then, I saw the most amazing cutting boards online at Terrain (Anthropologie’s sister store). They were perfect. And expensive. At $198 and $128 I knew they would not be coming home with me. And then I got to thinking… I bet my Dad could make one of these. Right? I mean, he is amazing at all things wood. So I put a little bug in his ear and he was wonderful and volunteered to help me. Thanks Dad :)

We started with a solid block of wood, maple to be exact. This thing is nice and thick, just like what I wanted. My Dad found a piece that had some pretty colors swirled in. I love it :) We kind of sketched what I wanted onto the wood. I wanted to feel handmade and not super perfect. Knowing my Dad, he could have made it exactly perfect if I had wanted that but since I didn’t, it made things a bit easier for me. And since I was doing the cutting, that was a good thing!


Next, using a jigsaw, I cut out the design. I haven’t used one of these in years so I was a little rusty :) But it was fun and now I have all sorts of ideas in my brain for how I could put one of these saws to work!

It was a bit rough, but now you can see the final shape!

Another thing I was super excited about was my cool safety glasses:

I had forgotten mine at home and so I had to borrow some of my Dad’s. Imagine my surprise in opening them (they were new) that they said Yoder Cabinets on them. Yoder Cabinets is the business that my Dad started and operated for over 30 years! These might just be the last pair of these floating around :)

Next was sanding. I really don’t like sanding so whenever there is a power tool that can do the job faster, I am all for it. Here is my Dad giving me a demonstration. He tipped the sander on its side to make it easier. Genius!

After sanding, I used a router to round the edges to give it a polished look. I loved this tool. It was super easy and super fun. I really want to play with it again.

See how excited I am?!

Then, came more sanding. This time I got to use an orbital sander. I have used this one many times but only on flat surfaces. My Dad had to give me a little demonstration for rounded corners. It may not be perfect but it worked. Besides, I want it to look handmade, right?!

Then, after drilling a hole and some more hand sanding, we had a cutting board!

I tied some leather through the hole to hang it.

Isn’t the grain pretty?

I haven’t decided if I am actually going to cut on it or not. If I use it I will put some mineral oil on it first. Until then, it hangs in my kitchen unfinished. I like it that way.

The bow hook was one of my thrift store finds that I hadn’t used yet. I love how you have the frilliness of a bow and the simplicity of the wood together.

And that concludes my adventures in breadboard making. And because my Dad already had the wood handy and I had the leather, the total cost of this project for me was $0. That means I saved $198. That makes me a happy girl :)

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New Potholders

Way back in 2008, I made a bunch of potholders for my kitchen. Does anyone remember that? I loved them. I used Amy Butler fabric and they were great. In fact, I had so much fun doing it that I made some coasters out of the same fabric. Well, fast forward 4 years to the present and those potholders aren’t looking so good anymore. In fact, they got kind of nasty. They have burn marks and food marks and are kind of lumpy. Ya, not so pretty anymore. After all, it has been 4 years. How long is a potholder supposed to last anyway?!

Here is an example of one of the sad potholders:

Gross, right? And this is actually one of the good ones :) I think I need to do something about this. Agreed?

Yay for pretty new potholders! I went to Hobby Lobby and bought my supplies. This time I used patterned cotton duck so it was a little bit thicker and hopefully will hold up a bit longer.

I didn’t really care if they matched anything because at our house they just hide out in a drawer and only come out when something is hot.

I kept them pretty simple with just a basic pattern and basic stitching. In no time at all I had 8 potholders done. I bought 1/3 of a yard in 4 fabrics. I had a bit left over so I made some little coasters that matched.

The potholders are great… but the coasters are just so cute :)

And when you flip them over, you get to see even more of the cute patterns. I love them :)

So, I made 8 potholders and 5 coasters (I could make a few more coasters but I ran out of time that day) and the grand total was only $9. If I had bought potholders at the store I probably could have only bought 2. Not bad for an hour or so of work :) Plus, I made them just in time because we bought new pots and pans this past week and now I have shiny new pans to go with my pretty new potholders! Love :)

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Painting The Kitchen

Ahhh… more painting! I feel like that is all I do these days. But it feels so productive. There is such a drastic change when you paint a room and it feels good. Instant update with very little fuss and money. The best kind of project :)

Our kitchen was one of the first things painted in our house and has lasted the longest. Usually, I feel the need to choose a new color in about a couple of years but the color that was in the kitchen lasted 6 years! Ya, I’m pretty impressed with myself for making it that long :) The last couple of months though, I have been itching to paint in there. I could just feel the urge building and building. Finally, I mentioned it to Jason again how much I wanted to paint the kitchen. He told me to just go down to Sherwin Williams and buy paint. So I did, that very same day :)

Here is a photo of the before:

Now, I admit, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the before. In fact, I’m sure some of you will like the before better. But I was ready for a change…

I painted it white :) Surprise, surprise. I have been painting everything white lately! I can’t help it. It’s a sickness. I wish I could paint everything white sometimes. And usually, when I paint something white, I don’t regret it. The other culprit? Pinterest. That’s right, I blame it all on Pinterest. I keep seeing (and pinning, check out my kitchen board here) all of these beautiful white kitchens and I want that. So I decided to finally act.

I still have some things to work on in here. I don’t really have many knickknacks sitting around but what I do have are pretty neutral since I had neutral colors going on before. Now I’m hoping to spice it up a bit and add some pops of color. Now I’m in the phase of trying to decide what exactly I want and where.

I did add the metal bins to the bottom of the island which I really love. And aren’t the flowers pretty? My neighbor brought them over for me the other day. I love peonies!

Another dream of mine is to tile the whole back splash in white tile. Ahhh, maybe someday :)

I did add the little yellow pot up on the top shelf for a little color. I love it there, now I just need to incorporate more!

My “D” stripe towel is from West Elm. I actually got it to go in the newly improved laundry room but decided to let it hang out in the kitchen for a little while first because I love it so much. But now that I think about it, that would be a great way to add some color. I will have to be on the hunt for the perfect hand towel.

I don’t normally show this in photos but this is the pendant light that hangs over the island. When we redid the kitchen, we found this at the Pottery Barn outlet for $15! It was especially awesome because it was the exact type of light fixture I was looking for at the time. We also found one to go above the breakfast nook at Home Depot that was very similar but it was black. I left it that way this whole time and then I finally decided to paint it so they would match better.

Much better! Now they look like they belong together. A little sprainting does wonders!

So, this room is getting closer to completion. There are still a few things left to do. You know how when you live with something undone, you just start to forget about it? So I decided to make a list so I couldn’t ignore it any longer! Here is my list:

  1. Repaint the ceiling. We got some water damage from our leaky roof. We fixed the problem and so now we have to repaint. I’ve bought the paint, now to get it done.
  2. Add crown molding. Something we always planned on doing but never did :)
  3. Add a small piece of molding next to the pantry where it’s missing. Another thing that has been on my to-do list for forever (you can kind of see it in the first photo)!
  4. Add pops of color.
  5. Tile the back splash.
  6. Add corner round trim to the floor. Not super noticeable, but I notice that it needs to be done.
  7. Add surrounds to the can lights. We had the can lights professionally put in and they didn’t come with the surround covers. We didn’t even know they were missing for quite a while. Now that I know it, it bugs me!
  8. Hang a shelf. Hopefully this little DIY will be completed soon :)
  9. Add some sort of blinds or something to the breakfast nook. Just to make it feel a bit cozier.

Okay, I think that about covers it. Or at least it’s close to a complete list. Hopefully it won’t take another 6 years to get it all done :) But ya, it probably will. Haha!

Have a great weekend everyone! I will be posting my Everyday Life post soon so I don’t get behind AGAIN!

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Spiffing Up My End Table

Spiffing up? Anyone care to guess what I mean? Spiffing up = painting, of course. Duh! That’s how I spiff up everything :)

You may remember I found a super cool end table last summer at a garage sale for $5. I was really excited about it and I loved that it was wood and hoped to keep it that way. But after it sat in our garage for almost a year I realized I would never get around to stripping it and refinishing it because I really don’t like to do that sort of thing. I mean, come on, sanding? No thank you! I will do whatever it takes to not have to sand something. What I do like to do though, is paint stuff! It’s so much easier :) So that’s exactly what I did. Just a reminder, here is the before shot:

Isn’t it wonderful? I think it’s super cute. But yes, in really bad shape. There were several water marks on top and I knew with all of the groves on the front that it wouldn’t be that much fun to refinish, or even paint for that matter. But while I was painting my console, I decided to just go ahead and paint this little bad boy too. In the end, I’m really glad I painted it. Let’s face it, I might have ended up wishing I had painted even if I had refinished it because I like painted furniture so much. There is nothing like painting something white to give it that clean look. I love it!

And now for the reveal! Doesn’t it look fresh? And modern? Love, love, love!

Originally I had planned on using it in the guest room but once I finished it I thought it might work well in the living room. Ever since I rearranged in there, I haven’t had a proper end table and we sort of miss that. A place where we can put a cup of coffee and a lamp is a definite plus. Since there are no overhead lights in this room, we like to each have a light on our side of the couch.

Plus, I like adding more white in there. I goes along with the coffee table a bit more. And since the dining room connects, it goes nicely with the newly painted console.

And after the fact, am I glad I painted instead of refinished it? You betcha! It’s definitely more “me”. And it only took about 10 coats of paint. Well, I might have exaggerated. Maybe 7 coats. No joke. There was a lot of stains on this little guy that needed to be covered. But it was my own fault, I should have used oil based paint instead of being lazy and using latex. Lesson learned. Not that I will necessarily use oil based paint next time (because I’m lazy like that and hate cleaning it up afterward), but I did learn that if I only want to paint a couple of coats that is the way to go :) Haha!

And more painting continues at our house as I have several other paint projects in the works. Did you know that last week was National Painting Week? I played along and painted a room (I mentioned it on Monday). Hopefully, tomorrow I will reveal that room here on the old blog… stay tuned!

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Jazzing Up My iPhone

I think I have a bit of an addiction to contact paper. I mean, it’s sort of getting out of control. As if my last post weren’t enough… I had another idea for a way to use contact paper. This time, as the title implies, I have used it on my iPhone. And it looks really cool :)

Recently, I bought a new iPhone case. I seriously couldn’t decide between the thousands of cases out there because they were all too wonderful. I knew I didn’t want to spend a ton because I might want more than one but other than that, I didn’t have any idea what I wanted. There are just too many to choose from and so I decided to go with a plain color. I’m glad I did. I really like it. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting a little bit of pattern now and again. And then it came to me… why not decorate it a bit? Heck, yes!

Here is the before photo:

Again, I think it’s cute as is. With the possibility of being better!

First I gathered my supplies. I currently have 4 different kinds of contact paper in the house. White, black, silver, and wood grain. I was just going to make one but then I got carried away with trying different things. It’s kind of fun :)

The first one I tried was with the white polka-dots. I think it looks like confetti. Perfect if you are going to a party and want to look festive. Because I know we all like our iPhone’s to match our mood, attire, and event. Right?! Haha!

Since this was the first pattern I tried, I will tell you how it went. To make the dots I used a hole punch. Couldn’t get any easier than that. They also applied really easily. The hardest part was removing the paper backing from the tiny dots with my butterfingers. They were also cinch to remove. There was a little residue left from the contact paper but it came off quickly with a bit of Goo Gone and a paper towel.

Next up, large black polka-dots. I really like polka-dots. Can you tell? I decided to do hand cut dots instead of punching them for a more organic look. Super easy. Probably the easiest one I made. I did discover that you can’t really go around the corner or it causes some folds. So, it’s better to just fold over on the edges only and skip the corners.

This next one is pretty fun. It also makes me think of a party because it kind of looks like bunting. I thought the wood grain added a fun flair. I was sad to see this one go. But it might make an appearance later :)

And lastly, uneven stripes. You know me, I love me some stripes. This is the one that stayed. I couldn’t help myself :) Just cut some uneven strips and apply. Wow! Genius!

A couple things to note. I have had this on my phone for several days now and they are holding up really well. A couple of the stripes I ended up cutting a little closer in because they were catching on things (see the ones hanging off the corners?) but now they are doing well and I haven’t had any problem. In fact, it makes my phone have a bit more grip.

After doing these few, I have more ideas for patterns that I might have to tackle once I’m tired of the stripes. Fun, fun!!

On another topic… what do you think of the words on the photos? I decided to try something new. I think I like it :)

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Hello, and welcome to my little blog! What started out as a blog to show some of my scrapbook pages ended up being a blog that shows all of my projects, ranging from scrapbooking to decorating to sewing to photography. I also run a little online shop called every jot & tittle where I sell handmade paper products. Take a look and leave me a comment to say hi! (Photo by Heather Smith.)

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