DIY – $25 Floral Letter

This is a DIY I have had my eyes on for a long time and I finally got around to grabbing the supplies and giving it a try!  A floral letter can be perfect for hanging on your door in the spring with you’re families last name initial, hanging in a living space, bedroom or for nursery decor.  My initial inspiration for baby shower decor, with it doubling as nursery decor after the shower! The theme of the baby shower was Woodland glam, so I went with a bit more muted colors for my floral color palette.
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What You’ll Need:
– Hot Glue Gun & Glue // Mod Podge would probably work well too
– Letter of Your Choice – I grabbed this 13″ B from Michael’s for $4.99
– A mix of florals – grab smaller filler flowers & larger florals
– Shop my Florals: Hydrangea & Rose Bundle ($6) | Green Wild Mum Stem ($5) | Toast Strawflower Bush ($6) 
– Ribbon for hanging or clip
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Step-by-Step:
1. When shopping for your florals, grab a good mix of size, color accents and potential filler pieces, you’ll definitely want more than not enough! I bought 5-different stems/bunches.
2. Start by de-heading your faux flowers from their stems and start playing around with placement on your letter.
3. I put larger/heavier flowers in the bottom corner to help anchor the piece and also did this in the top of the B to help add some equal weight.
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4. From there I filled in with smaller flowers and use my smallest flowers to really fill in smaller spots and make it feel lush and full – while still holding to the shape of the B.
5. As you work in sections and get areas figured out, cut underneath of flower stems as low to the flower as you can in order to keep it somewhat flush to the letter. Then, begin gluing your determined sections into place – I was very generous with the hot glue around the stem area, and even onto the underneath of the leaves to help secure in place.
6. Continue adding florals until the top part of your letter is completely filled! Let dry a bit to ensure florals are completely secure. Then you’re ready for decorating/hanging!

Don’t forget to have fun, get creative and use other pieces of your flowers like some of the leaves to help fill in the space – I was nervous I wouldn’t have enough flowers to fill the space and this helped even everything out.

Since I was making this as a gift, I’ll definitely be making one for us next to keep and use on the front door.  I can see this being a new go-to gift for a people this upcoming holiday season or would be an awesome housewarming present! A few other ideas for your floral letters would be spelling out smaller words like MOM for Mother’s Day or just using the same flower and color to really create a bold statement – this could also be done with numbers for a milestone birthday.  I also love how this completed a centerpiece statement at shower and can’t wait to see if in the finished nursery!

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DIY – French Barn Door

Our bathroom makeover was a complete revamp, and figuring out what we were going to do with the door was all over the place.  Since we had limited room we were initially planning to do a pocket door. But then we switched to something more modern with frosted windows – but the doors I found and liked were well over $300, way more than we wanted to spend, so we went back to the drawing board and tried to figure out a door we might be able to make.

We got the idea to check out our local Habitat for Humanity Restore to see if they had any doors that might fit the bill, or even something we could turn into our own.  We really wanted something that had windows in it, like a french door, but wanted to frost the windows since it’s for a bathroom… we just needed to find an affordable french door.  And we did! It was a little skinner than we needed, but we were confident we could extend it and make it our own and DIY-ing our own barn door using black pipe.
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Cost Breakdown:
– French Door – $55
– Frosted Spray Paint – $5
– White Paint – $18
– (2) 2x4x8′ – $8
– Wood Glue – $15
– (2) Wheels – $7
– (2) Hooks – $6
– (1) Bar w/ base and corners – $30
Barn Door Handle – $21
Total Cost: $165

What We Did:

  1. First we sanded down the door and removed some of the extra pieces/frame that was on the door.
  2. Through trial and error we finally figured out the proper piece of wood to use to extend the width of the door which was two 2x4x8′ – this definitely took a bit longer to figure out, including securing it to the door and then using wood filler to make it look like one piece.  Again, this was the toughest part, but we finally got it into a good spot with the wood filler.
  3. Next up was painting the door, white! After a few coats on each side, we were almost in business and then sprayed the windows on the outside of the door with the frosted glass look.
  4. We then drilled in our larger circular hooks at the top, added the wheels (which we had to switch with different ones that worked better), and then put together the pipe bar for placement!
  5. With some tweaking and DW-40 we got this door sliding easily and working great in the space! Once we had the door working, we added the handle while it was standing for more accurate placement.

DIY door 4 - thebeelifeThe frosted windows definitely help the bathroom space feel private, while from the outside it feels welcoming and open.  Since there are two windows in the room, we wanted the light to still be able to come through.  From the bathroom side of the door, you can see a slight difference in the additional side pieces – only because the door width with the wood pieces wasn’t an exact match – but from the outside it’s nearly perfect! 

Although this was a little extra work and challenged our problem solving skills, the end price was still WAY more affordable for the look and type of door we wanted to purchase – it was a savings of over half the price of the doors I wanted – plus we both love the way it came out!  And it’s completely custom to our space, don’t worry the full bathroom reveal is coming soon – in the meantime check out this $15 Floating Shelf, How to Install Vinyl Flooring and What We Wish We Knew before Tiling Our Shower.

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4 Things I Wish We Knew Before Tiling Our Shower

With our bathroom project coming to a close – I wanted to share a few of our trials and tribulations, specifically from tiling our entire shower from floor to ceiling.  Tiling the shower was never something we didn’t feel confident doing – we had successfully accomplished a smaller tiling project a few years prior, so how hard could this be? *smiles*
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To preface, we did extensive research and YouTube how-to video watching and there were definitely a few steps that these DIYers seemed to leave out of their tiling videos that sort of killed us, from a timing and extra work perspective. Also – a lot of DIYers were using individual tiles vs. the sheets, so I couldn’t gauge if we needed to do anything special or not!

What I Wish We Would’ve Known

(1) Over Estimating Tile Purchase by 10%  Soooo this was something I’d seen on the inter webs, but not something we accounted for – this involved us having to run out and buy a couple more boxes of tile, while we were mid-way in the tiling game. This meant extra money we weren’t planning on spending. Not to mention a few of the boxes we’d purchased included broken tile sheets – so we were able to exchange/return others we worked with. We also hadn’t accounted for ceiling tile – so this was something we also had to pick out and purchase while we were prepping for this project.

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DIY – Floating Rectangular Wall Shelves

For our bathroom project we have an ugly door above our toilet that is access to a crawl space area that we don’t use, but might need to access so we couldn’t do anything too permanent. So in addition to painting this ugly door white, we wanted to hide it a little more, I knew I wanted to put some sort of shelf in that area, but I couldn’t decide how many, what kind or finding the perfect pre-made piece that fit.
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That is when I spotted some beautiful old wood we had in our garage and I was inspired to build our own rectangular floating wall shelf to help cover it up while also bringing in some natural wood feel into the space.  Since these pieces of wood were just shy of 4-feet they would work perfectly for the space. Here is how I built our shelf – you’ll need minimum materials, especially if you have your own scrap wood lying around!

What You’ll Need:
– Wood Glue
– Miter Saw
– Nail Gun + Nails
– Wood Boards
– L brackets for hanging + Screws

Step-by-Step:
1. Measure your space & determine the size of your shelf, I wanted it to be a bit oversized the crawl space door area, but didn’t want it to be too tall. So I went with 3-feet in length and then about 8-inches high including the thickness of the main shelfs.
2. Measure and draw lines and cut your pieces of wood for your main top and bottom shelves with the miter saw.
3. Determine and measure your in-between pieces and cut appropriately with the miter saw. You should have all your pieces cut! Two long top and bottom pieces and then two smaller side pieces that will fit in between the longer pieces, connecting them!
4. Add wood glue to your in-between pieces and attach the top with your in-between with a nail gun.  You may need a helper to hold the pieces in place while one staples, be sure to staple along the length of your board. Continue this for all four corners, be sure to wipe any excess glue after stapling the pieces together.
5. Let your piece dry before moving forward with adding the L brackets and hanging. Sand any rough edges, paint or stain if necessary based on your aesthetic.
Pro-tip: Make sure the screws going into the shelf aren’t longer than the board thickness!
6.  Determine spacing based on wall studs and add the L brackets to the inside of the top of the shelf and then drill into the wall with screws (this is probably a two person job!). We will be painting the metal part touching the wall – although once filled up with towels you can’t even tell!
7. Now for the fun part – adding the finishing touches and add your finishes!
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I’m so excited to be adding in finishing touches to our bathroom space – and as you can see you’re getting a bit of sneak peak of the space, but mainly the showstopper (that floor!) We still have small finishing touches to do around the room, like the crawl space door we’re trying to hide, we still need to cover up that heating pipe entrance – plus I’m sure I’ll be getting some different accents to put on top of the shelf.

Price Breakdown:
So the obnoxious part of this (for you, not me!), is the cost of this project was $0. The wood for the shelves we got from my sister in-law’s house, because I knew I would have a good project pop up to use them with!  Everything else was around the house – but pending the wood, you can get the Wood Glue for about $3, L-brackets for about $5, and screws for anywhere from .30 – .50 cents each. Meaning you could make this shelf for about $10-15.
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Since a lot of our bathroom is white with the black pops of black in the floor, I love the addition of natural wood, we have another finishing piece to help tie into this vibe that we have yet to do as well – so the big reveal will have to be a bit delayed still.  But I’ll be sharing some of our project woes, lessons learned to help you prevent the same mistakes on your upcoming projects!

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How to: Create an Off-Centered Gallery Wall

Everyone has seen a bunch of how-to’s and pro-tips on how to hang your standard proportional gallery wall with matching frames – don’t get me wrong, I love a perfect gallery wall, we have one as our main focal point in our living room. But I was recently inspired in one of our guest rooms – formerly our master – to do a fun little off-centered gallery wall around another photo we had hanging.
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What inspired this was a few things: B and I went to a Paint Your Pup canvas painting class so we took home two awesome portraits of our sweet Moz – but didn’t have a great place to hang them, I mean I try and keep the dog portraits throughout the house to a minimum. *smiles* But this was just sitting on the wayside, so I had the idea of expanding and making a little Moz-dog themed gallery wall based on other art prints we had around the house and some more original artwork! Once you have your art pieces picked out and framed it’s time to start hanging them!

What You’ll Need:
At least 6-framed pieces of art, I kept all my frames white for a uniformed looked
– Hammer
– Nails and picture hanger hooks

Step-by-Step:

  1. Determine your focal point – Once you have your focal point established, you’ll want to build off from here and building parallel working to the left and going up and down.
  2. Pick your lowest point – From the focal point, it’s time to work down to determine the lowest point – be sure to play around with placement before committing even as you work through these steps – see how they work before fully committing.
  3. Start working to the left, to the left – Working in that parallel pattern I next wanted to work up and to the left from my focal point and I chose the canvas so I could build around it with other frames and mix up the types of art.
  4. Work down! Since I had four larger 11×14 // 8×10 prints and frames creating a  diamond shape rectangle
  5. Build your final row. Repeat the process with your final row – my last two pieces were smaller squares which was a nice way to finish off  and work from large pieces to smaller.
  6. Last piece to the puzzle.  I put the canvas on the lower part of the third row so that the canvas’ were away from each other – playing around with them next to each other didn’t work out, but I love having two of those to mix in, they work since they’re different shapes.

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How to pick your art? Choosing a theme or topic can be a good starting point for you to stay focused – even if it’s vintage photos, places you’ve been on vacation, or a mix of photography and inspiration words. I had almost all of our art pieces around the house: one is an old drawing B’s made from grade school (of a dog!) the other is a fun Puggle print I got off Etsy.  The second square canvas was a DIY print that Moz made with her paw prints and then the other square print is a fun dog collage illustration from Society6. Which, btw, Society6 has a great variety of prints if you’re looking for so unique pieces.  When picking the art, I wanted a variety of styles – photograph, painted, drawn, while also having a variety of shapes with these – this helps with the off centered part. #notsponsored
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I had a lot of fun pulling this together and using pieces that are special to us and also center around pups and our Moz!  This space worked perfectly since I like to switch up this room, this wall either houses the bed (currently) – so the pictures won’t get in the way of sleep OR the new dressers I just recently made over butt up against this wall, which would also work around the height.  Ultimately it’s all about creating a statement in your home that feels good and special to you!

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Easter Brunch – Tablescape & Prep

Easter is less than a week away and I’m excited to be hosting brunch for my immediate family!  So I’ll be taking you along the ride as I first – prep the dining table and plan the menu, and then I’ll share the actual spread and a recap of how everything went (compared to how I thought it would go!) and finally I’ll share a few of the recipes from the brunch! Easter Dining - the bee life (1)
Setting the Table: I always love planning and setting up my dining room table with holiday and seasonal decor and this year was no different – it’s even better when I actually have an excuse and am able to host! I opted to go with more neutral themed colors with pops of color – using my blue and teal paisley table runner and teal-ish placemats that match the table runner perfect!

For the centerpiece, I wanted to keep it simple while still making a statement, I uncovered three large jugs tucked away in the basement I wanted to incorporate these into the focal point.  Paired with Easter basket grass and my bright eggs with pops of gold this added the right amount of color to the simple base of blues and greens. I had fun mixing and matching plates, chargers, silverware and champaign glasses so we can all enjoy some bubbles with our yummy eats!  Easter Dining - the bee life (3)
For the name tags I found these adorable mini 2×3″ frames at Target on the clearance shelf – with blues and a nice pop of pink these were the exact color pallet I was already working with, so I grab a few to use as the place settings with the idea of adding the names in place of a picture!  Since these don’t scream Easter – I’ll be able to re-use for the future.  I wasn’t able to find my exact frames on Target.com but these stone 2×3″ frame and this modern acrylic 2×3″ frame were two other options I also saw on the clearance rack that would be fun for name tags at the table.

Meal Prep: Planning the meal was fairly easy, I knew that I wanted to have a good spread of options, but keep the prep and cook-time to a minimum since it’ll be a shorter morning with Easter church.  So I went to my go-to guide of overnight breakfast casseroles and then cook in the morning, and then filled in the rest of the food groups with other easy yet filling options! Beyond thinking about food it’s important to think through beverage options as well and having coffee, decaf coffee, tea options, juices and then the staples like a bloody mary bar and the fixing and toppings for mimosas! I will be trying a different casserole than ones I’ve shared before and you’re going to die at how easy it is and how delicious it is – stay tuned!
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In addition to hosting brunch, we’ll also be hosting the family at the house – so not only will I’ll be getting all the groceries purchased throughout the week and prepping the house. It’ll be a busy week getting ready but it’ll be so fun having everyone together!

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How to: Upgrade an Old Dresser

Almost four years ago, I updated our bedroom dressers to better fit the aesthetic of our bedroom.  The dressers were originally B’s – and they were a glossy black with old gold handles – they were just dated and super dark!  So in order to do a quick update we had sanded and spray painted the dressers and the knobs, in order to save some money by NOT replacing the knobs.  It was an easy half a day project with a huge upgrade, you can see the original before and after here.

…. Well it was time for another easy upgrade – this time a color upgrade AND hardware upgrade.  I found a 25-pack of knobs for $32 on Amazon – when you’re updating knobs, be sure to check how many holes your current knobs use (one or two), if there are two holes you’ll want to measure the space between and find knobs appropriately! Of course you can fill holes and drill new ones – but that is a whole other ball game. 🙂
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As I mentioned above, when I first made over these dressers, I went with the spray paint route – which I do love the magic of spray paint. But this time around I wanted to use paint for ease of application and clean-up!

Upgrade Step-by-Step:
(1) Buy your supplies: paint, sand paper, roller, brush, new knobs, paint tray, hand-held screwdriver
(2) Remove your old knobs
(3) Sand all the surfaces you’re planning on painting – just a light sand to rough up the surfaces works.  Knowing I had dark black under my light grey – I didn’t want to have to do 50-coats of white by revealing too much of the original color.
(4) Be sure to wipe down your surfaces after sanding to get rid of any access dust before you paint!
(5) Start painting!! You’ll want to do at least 2-3 coats depending on the original color you’re covering up – make sure your surfaces are dry between coats and use a brush to get are the roll places for every covered.
Pro-tip: You might want to add an additional coat onto the top of your dresser surface since this will be getting a bit more wear and tear. 
(6) Once you’ve painted and everything is dry and covered it’s time to get our dresser back into place and had your hardware with a handheld screwdriver!
(7) Stuff with clothes & decorate!
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For the color, white was a no brainer and the gold knobs were an easy way to modernize the dresser with an elevated touch.  I was able to get these dressers updated within a few hours – the weather helped being so nice that the layers of paint dried pretty quick, so I was able to keep it going with little breaks in between!

Since these aren’t in our bedroom anymore, this was just another way to update one of our spare rooms – and these are the dressers B uses everyday so they definitely get used and needed more sprucing. I’m pretty happy with how this turned out although I do wish the knobs were a little more centered on the drawer, but I was using the existing holes so I’m ok with it! Dresser Makeover - the bee life (4)
After it was all said and done, this dresser upgrade only cost $32 and some change between the new hardware and a paint tray – I used white paint I already had around! The upgrade with the white helps brighten the room and the knobs get rid of that dated feel and make these dressers feel new and modern!

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Easy Small Pantry Makeover

Being cooped up with the cold weather, I’ve been slowly working through the house and either deep cleaning or organizing and cleaning stuff out.  And one space that is neglected but highly needed and functional is our kitchen pantry! We already have a tiny kitchen with not a lot of storage so making sure this space is utilized and fully functional has been on the to-do list.
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I was inspired to organize the space, but as I was thinking about that I thought – what if I paint it? Which then spiraled into, oh! I have some left over wallpaper – so this turned into a mini-makeover that I did in a few hours. Our pantry was a place where we just threw stuff – probably because it helped cover the old and ugly, hence not being the most functional.

Tips for Organizing Your Pantry:

  1. Expiration Dates.  I know I’m not the only one that had a few pantry items that were expired – these are easy items to toss, especially if you’ve just been holding onto them – but not actually using them.  Even if things aren’t expired – clean up those straggler bags with the crumbs in them!
  2. Consolidated. This is crucial when you have a smaller space – I had multiple bags of confectionary sugar – so combining those into a container quickly gained space.
  3. Get Creative. Even though this is your pantry, have a little fun with the space! It would’ve been easy to paint it white and use generic shelving liners – but if you have some wallpaper consider using it for the shelf liners or the wall backs!
  4. Get Storage Containers/Shelves.  Luckily I had shelves that were white and useful in our odd space – so I just made a list as I was cleaning out my pantry of things I needed baskets or containers for.  In between coats of paint I made a Marshall’s run and was able to stock up on some containers to dried goods and clear trays for spices and such! I would’ve preferred all white lids, but since this was a bit impromptu – I bought what was in stock! I’m sure I’ll upgrade eventually.
  5. Organize By Food Group. I tried to think through the layout and organization by food group/pairings – for example – all of my baking ingredients on one shelf, spices and other cooking supplies consolidated together, etc.

8For our pantry makeover – I ended up painting the entire inside, this is one of the few spaces that lingering green from the previous owners – and although I’m a fan of some color, I love what white paint does to a space, especially a small one!  Since this space is not the greatest constructed – I didn’t want to mess around too much so I stuck with aesthetics and just updated the existing layout & pieces.  Here is the evolution off the de-greening. 9
I ended up taking the shelves out and gave them a good scrapping to get off the old wooden shelf liners.  They were so gross, not to mention hiding a few layers of other stickers underneath! So it was good to give it a good clean and fresh couple coats of paint. I had leftover wallpaper from my Skinny Dresser Upcycle – which I initially wanted to use this on the backs, but luckily decided to go the easier route with using it to line the shelves, which worked out because I wouldn’t have had enough! Plus I love the subtle pop of color and pattern that it adds to the shelves with the white backdrop.

67The other benefit of cleaning up the pantry was I ended up organizing and consolidating some things like our tin-foil, plastic wrap and sandwich bags into a hanger on the pantry door which basically freed up an entire drawer in our kitchen! So the organizing, consolidating and purging spread out beyond the pantry which actually gave us room for things. With using up leftover paint we had, and buying some organizers and the leftover wallpaper I spent about $60 for a small thing of paint and 10-different organizers.  I’m unsure about adding labels, so I may still add a few more fun and functional finishing touches.

Beyond this space looking pretty awesome and making such a difference – it feels good to have this space cleaned up, organized and efficient.  Plus it was an easy weekend DIY with a HUGE impact, although I’m sure I’ll rearrange it like 20-more times. Yay, for easy makeovers!

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How To: $60 Shiplap Wall

One of our side projects for our Basement Renovation was a statement wall that we decided to finish with shiplap.  If you read my post about Shiplap Wall Inspiration, you saw there are a lot of options and considerations for a shiplap wall! Well, B and I weighed our options and since our basement look is more of a unfinished-finished look, we didn’t want to drop too much money into this and opted for a more natural wood look vs. painted.  And I’d say we were successful with the whole statement wall because it is definitely a statement and looks more than just stained plywood.

We also decided to do long singular unison pieces, since we were working with a smaller wall vs. doing alternating pieces.  Our wall was also not level – being a century home and in the basement so we had to get a little creative once we started placing the actual boards.

What You’ll Need:

  • Measure your space & determine your measurements; we bought (2) 4×8′ maple plywood boards from Lowe’s ($25 ea.)
  • Table Saw – this will ensure even and straight cuts for your panels, we cut our panels to be 8″ wide (my dad helped us with this one!)
  • Stain of your choosing, we used Minwax – light Walnut ($9)
  • Nail Gun w/ compressor and finishing nails
  • A couple of popsicle sticks

Step by Step:

  1. Before you get your wood, you’ll want to prep your area, we removed some walls/studs and had to put up new studs since we were working with some odd configurations – we also made sure that all of our water proofing paint was taken care of on the wall, floor and the pole in that area.
  2. Upon determining your measurements and purchasing the wood, you’ll want to measure and cut your boards to create your panels – as I said we decided on 8″ for our panel width. A table saw will be super helpful in this case to make sure your panels are straight all the way across! Be sure to use the proper safety precautions when cutting.
  3. After we had our boards cut, we picked out a stain – light walnut to be exact. We applied two coats of stain over the course of 2-days.  I used a foam brush for easy application.  I wasn’t too careful about the thickness of the stain for the first coat since I knew it would soak into the wood, which it did. After the second coat the color was the dark hue I was looking for, we were ready to hang!  If you’re using this in a more finished space, you might want to consider putting a poly over top to keep it a bit more polished and shiny.
  4. Thanks to our handy friend C – we were able to borrow his compressor and nail gun, which allowed putting up the boards quick and easy.  We measured each board and made final length cuts on the site before securing into place, because we were butting these up against an uneven wall.  You may be wondering about the popsicle sticks, well we used these in between each panel to have even space, we put these in tight and removed once we had our next panel up.
  5. Beyond the minor cutting of the ends of the boards, we only had to cut around one outlet and had to do a smaller skinner piece across the top that took some measuring twice and cutting three times. *smiles*  We were able to get all the boards up in one night, although it was a little late by the time we finished!

The nail gun was crucial to getting this wall up and making the boards look almost like they’re glued up and hole free! It was a dream to finally get to use one, they’ve always looked like fun and I have to say it was awesome and efficient.  I am trying to think of other projects and excuses to borrow it again…. but I digress. With our Shiplap statement wall complete we were one step closer to wrapping up this makeover and adding the finishing touches!

For $60 we made a huge impact and it was super easy to pull together, the natural wood and color pull into the ceiling of the original beams and makes this unfinished finished basement feel cohesive and complete.  B was pretty impressed and happy with the way these turned out, it was an all around win!

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