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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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.
diy - small pantry makeover
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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DIY – $50 Trunk Makeover

You see, we found this old trunk on a neighbors tree lawn and had to snatch it up, it had admittedly seen better days… but that never stops me.  I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it just yet, but that would come in time… after some trunk searches on Pinterest I determined to flip this baby into a coffee table, but I had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to finish this piece.   I was tempted to go the all white route or maybe pink with gold accents? And then the inside… what was I going to do with the inside?!  Oh, and we didn’t need another coffee table. *smiles*

The trunk was pretty banged up, it had old stickers all over it and then the inside was a little stinky with some blue paper that was torn.  It was a little daunting – how easy was the inside paper going to come off? What about the outside… and getting those stickers off?  Well with a little bit of water and a scrapper the paper came off with a little added elbow grease and help from B.  To my surprise, the stickers came off the same way! Although, I still didn’t know how I wanted to finish this sucker.

After doing some research, I liked the look of Hairpin legs and found these 6″ black ones on Amazon, so I purchased – still trying to figure out the color scheme, knowing I could spray paint to match if the black wouldn’t work.  I finally decided I was going to stick to the trunks original colors and just bring some life back to it! I loved the gold accents and couldn’t cope with the idea of painting over them in white or another color. After a good clean and a few layers of paint, this trunk was seeing new life.

To finish off this DIY, I finally went with some fabric for the inside vs. peal and stick paper.  I thought the fabric would be nice to work with, and a lot of options for the patterns and colors.  $18 later we had our fabric picked out, I bought 4-yards just to be safe and within one night cut and place the fabric to line the trunk with 3M Adhesive spray.   Before adding the fabric, I did spray the inside with bleach a few times (with weeks in between) to help with the smell and kill anything that might be hanging out!

DIY Cost Breakdown:

  • Trunk = $0.00
  • Hairpin Legs = $25.00
  • Paint Supplies = $12.00
  • Fabric = $18
  • TOTAL = $55.00 

We also figured out a home for this guy, with our Basement Makeover happening, this was another piece of the puzzle that fit just perfectly with the overall look and feel of the space.  It’s a little side table and perfect for some extra storage for blankets, games and extra candles!  Of course, I love the way it came out and how the gold pops against the black – plus it looks perfect in the new space.

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DIY – Upcycle Skinny Dresser

You guys, I’ve been so excited to share this DIY with you all.  We first picked up this piece in the winter on a curb, it was calling my name – although banged up with multiple broken drawers, I saw the potential.  I didn’t even have a space for it at first, but I just needed to take it and make it over – and I wanted to pull out the stops to make this a show stopper.

First we had to assess the situation, three of the six drawers were busted up, one significantly cut that needed a little extra TLC (still a work in progress).  With a little bit of wood glue and updating, B helped put these back to life.  The old handles really dated this piece, so we removed those and got to work sanding down the surfaces.  Surprise, surprise we went with an off white color that we had from the house and painted this piece instead of spray painting, which is usually my go-to.  Painting was surprisingly really easy, and covered the piece well with only a couple of coats needed.
DIY -- Upcycle Skinny Dresser - the bee life
Let’s talk finishing touches. I wanted to splurge a bit on the finishes and was really hoping to indulge in some hardware from Anthropologie, as mentioned in my Latest Obsessions.  But I didn’t want to order them online, the store near me was SUPER picked over and I couldn’t talk myself into spending $8 or $10 per knob, when I needed six!  So I stopped at Pat Catans on a whim, and found some knobs I kind of liked ($2.99 each) – the first knobs I bought didn’t do much on the drawers, they were small – I need something more… bold. I went back and traded the pink blah knobs for these chunky stunning silver ones.  These still might get switched out one day…

Inside of the drawers was another place I wanted to find something a bit more fun and fancy.  Just as I was about to compromise on some typical contact paper from Target, I ended up getting distracted, swooning over some Opalhouse when too my surprise noticed the wallpaper was 50% off! Light bulb! I put down the gross contact paper and bought this elegant peel and stick wallpaper! For $15, I was leaving with my show stopping piece I wanted to help finish off this piece – not to mention the peel and stick was super easy to work with and customize per drawer.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Knobs: $18
  • Stick Wallpaper: $15 (on sale)
  • Paint: $0 (already had it)
  • Sandpaper: $5
  • TOTAL COST: $38

We have this piece in our dining room for now, and aired out a few other pieces to make this work.  Worst case I will put it in my walk in closet and use it to organize my clothes (bummer!)  But it was a fun piece to update and bring back some new life too.  The drawers still aren’t perfect – but you’d never know!

DIY Headboard Inspiration

After being in our house for three-years this past November, it more than feels like home and the random after thought rooms are looking more finished – almost to the point that I need another house to decorate! *grins*
DIY Headboard Inspiration - the bee life
But there are still pieces and parts of the rooms that need finishing touches, for example our one guest room, formerly our master, needs a headboard! We currently have the bed set-up as a day-bed, which I really like because it just adds a little extra space in the room.  So while I want to add a headboard to this bed, I really want to keep it as a day-bed, but know I’ll probably want to switch it back – so there in lies my challenge to create a custom headboard that functions both for a day bed AND easily convertible to a normal bed.

Two summers ago I made a custom, upholstered headboard for our master suite, and it was fairly simple once the dimensions and pieces and parts were gathered and cut. That is why I am fairly confident of remastering another headboard to pull off the custom versatility I’m looking for for this space.  Although I love the corner looks for the day bed, it isn’t practical for wanting to switch up the space.  So the bottom right look and style is probably what I will work to replicate for ours!

Hoping to share the finished product soon!

 

 

Image Sources: Top | Bottom Left | Bottom Right

DIY – Homemade Valentine’s

It’s February! That mean’s a month all about L-O-V-E! And I have a really affordable DIY to share with you that is easy to make, beautiful, and completely personalized Valentines for all your favorite people.
DIY - Valentines - the bee lifeWhat You’ll Need:
– Craft/Scrapbook paper; think patterns, pinks, reds and hearts!
– Scissors, glue stick, hole-punch
– Markers
– Ribbon
– Stickers; stick to metallics, hearts and letters! (optional)
– Photos (optional)

Step 1: Gather all your goodies to create your Valentine’s; once you’ve got all your goodies and figured out who you want to make a card for – it’s time to start making!

Step 2: Pick out your papers, and determine your shape – obviously a heart is a good go-to, if you’re afraid to freehand the cut find a template online or trace on paper before. You’ll want to cut two of your papers so you can have a front and back – these can be the same or mix and match! It’s OK if it’s not perfect, because it’s handmade!! Once you’ve got your shape cut, glue the front and back together.  An optional add; is to hole punch around the perimeter of the heart and then weave ribbon in and out of the holes.

Step 3: Start to Personalize! Add your pictures; stickers and write a sweet note to your honey or bestie… and wah-la! You’ve got a personal, one of a kind Valentine for that special someone.
DIY - Valentines - the bee life (2)Since I am an avid scrapbooker, I had a lot of these supplies in-house stocked away. But scrapbook paper is usually on sale for 7 for $1; ribbon is around $3.99 a roll, stickers can add up if you buy a bunch; but finding some that can be used as accents won’t break the bank.  Not to mention you can always find a great coupon to help. If you stock up now, you’ll have a mini stockpile ready for next year, woo!

Happy Crafting!

DIY – Side Entry Tile

Our latest home project was tiling our side entry and the stairs that lead up to the kitchen area.  When we first moved in, the space was drab with gross stick-on tile with wood panels and layers of wallpaper.  Well our quick fix was an easy paint job and removing the wallpaper and floor.  We painted the revealed wood floor white and added some grips on the stairs – but as you can imagine white floors for an entry is not the cleanest or the prettiest. So, like I said, it was a quick fix in need of more help.

So it was Bentley’s idea to finish this space and add tile to the landing and to the stairs. This was the first time we tiled a space, so it was a little daunting at first figuring out what we needed, what tile we wanted, and when we would be able to do this.  The biggest piece that helped save us and this project, was being able to borrow my Dad’s wet saw to cut the tiles. B and I split up tasks, he would cut the tile and I would lay the tile!

The stairs went surprisingly well, but because we used large tiles there was a lot of cuts involved, although less pieces. I’m not sure if the stone we picked was the most cost effective (actually I am fairly confident it wasn’t) but we were going mainly off of aesthetic. Once we got to the platform it was very messy and hard to maneuver in the tight space without stepping on the tile! But we finished with only three trips to the hardware store once we got started. *smiles*

We waited the appropriate amount of time and then some before B finished the space with the grout and once that was dried he added some trim work. We finished off the space with a new storage piece to hide shoes and we were wrapped up!  It was fairly easy project once we got going, and we definitely feel like we’re tiling pros now.  This space has been instantly upgraded, it’s more durable, weather resistant and easier to clean up. We love how it turned out!!