Build your own Mantel

Don’t forget to link up your mantel (or faux mantel) projects to our link party.  Decorating your mantel or a shelf you use for holidays and stuff, all work!


I actually started this project 3 years ago!  Yes 3 years!  It took that long!  I actually built the mantel while my husband was out of work!  BUT right before I finished he got a job!  Which was a GREAT thing, but all of a sudden I lost my in house help and the mantel got put aside with the day to day kid stuff.
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How to change out your door knobs

Don’t forget to come link up your door projects, bedroom door, front doors, door decor, closet door, cabinet door???

I had grand plans to PAINT my “front” door (since we’re in a basement our “front” door leads to the back yard…) but the weather has been so so SO cold here in UT (negative digits for weeks, then freak freezing rain) it just didn’t work out.


But the knob on our “front” door lost one screw and the other one was constantly loose and we often couldn’t even get it opened. That during the remodel we replaced most of the doors and most of the hardware to brushed steel. The brass had to go!
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Double Trellis Wall Stencil

It’s done!  My room stencil is done and we’re moving into our room!  It only took a year!  My sister in law moved out of the extra two rooms in the basement last year and while I moved in to the office right away the bedroom has taken longer.  It’s been the thing we’ve been putting off in favor of more urgent things over and over again, but I finally got it done, and just in time for the baby to come! (warning: the color of the walls isn’t quite right, no matter how I worked in photoshop I couldn’t get it quite right!)


We actually had to start with getting the walls repaired and textured.  THEN I put up the trim, primed and finally did high gloss white on the trim, doors and ceiling.  Then picking the colors!  I considered grey because grey is so popular, BUT I kind of don’t like it.  I hate yellows, creams, and cool colors.  I like warms, so we decided to go with browns.  It actually took 3 days of playing with paint for us to decide what colors to work with.
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Master Bedroom Painting

So I don’t have a lot of time this week, and I already used all of my pre posts, so I thought I’d get on really fast and give you a quick sample of my latest project. Working on our Bedroom so we could move in BEFORE the baby comes!


I got the primer done, the trim up and the High Gloss on the trim, doors and ceiling last weekend. Then we spent DAYS and tons of samples picking our colors and stencil design. Finally we had our colors and I painted the base color!
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My new kitchen!!!

Finally!!!!  I’m finally getting started on posting remodeling pictures.   Remember way back when when I posted the before and after plans? Well time to show you some of the after. I’ve been putting it off, since I don’t have good after pictures of most of the projects.  But I figured I should just get started.  I can update pictures and projects later, but for now these are burning a whole in my flickr stream and quite a few of my newer crafts are being held up from posting because of images in the background from the remodel that I haven’t shared yet.  So moving forward…

When the remodeling started we were actually out of town.  And I TOTALLY forgot to take a lot of really great before pictures.  So I had to SCOUR all my pictures from the past year and a half here.  I found this picture and it was the best one I had….

old wall and storage room

I was taking this pictures of my canvas picture from Japan, so that’s what’s in focus.  BUT if you look over to the left, the long yellow wall…  Just to the left of the wooden door.  THAT wall…

old storage room no wall remodel

Here it is!!!!  GONE!  This is the unfinished room beyond that wall.  We were using it for storage, but we thought it would be better used as a…

kitchen in prepaint

kitchen!!!  My teeny tiny kitchen, but it’s all mine!!!!  SO in love with it already.

kitchen and laundry pre paint

Here is a picture on the other side of the room.  You can see my laundry closet over on the right, and the small door on the left is where the heater, humidifier, and other electrical stuff got moved to (it all used to be in the middle of the room)!

kitchen back splash tiling before

Then we added our stove, microwave, dishwasher and fridge!  There isn’t a ton of room in here for food, but we’re so in love with having our own kitchen.  Next up???  My tile back-splash (already finished, I’ll be posting it soon!)!

Living room Board and Batten

So we did a lot of remodeling this summer. I have a lot of posts coming up. Since there is still a mess everywhere while I’m working on more of the remodeling but I figured if I didn’t start posting soon you all would think I’d fall off the face of the earth! This project was actually in one of the few rooms that didn’t get changed. Okay, it lost a wall, and a fireplace, but other than that… not too much change. Anyway…

living room before board and batten

Here is the BEFORE. This was my old corner office.   When we decided to stay with my in laws for an extedned period of time and remodel the basement my Sister in law, who had been downstairs with us, moved upstairs.   So we gained 2 extra rooms.   One of them became my office, so this space could be come the dining room!

living room started

Ahhhh Empty, just how my husband would like it all the time.  I’m so glad that yellow is gone (it’s still in my new office, ugh…)  But I couldn’t want to get started.  You can see the new flooring and trim already in.   And my wood already cut and on the ground. I used the nail gun I got from CSN tools, and I couldn’t be happier with it.   I also got a Miter saw!!!   Eeeek!   I love new tools, and this one was my birthday present!  I rented an air compressor, but after one use I knew I needed one for myself and got one (another birthday present!  Back in September,  yup, that how long ago this project was done.)

living room board and batten prep

I got 1/4 inch thick 4′ x 8′ compressed wood board from Home Depot (my all time favorite store EVER, I think I should get a job there, seriously!).  First I had them cut the sheet in half, so I had two 4′ x 4′ sections.  Then (getting special permission, I LOVE my home depot) they cut 1 1/2 inch strips for me.  So I played around with how far apart I wanted them to be before I started nailing anything up.  I also made sure to skip the plugs on the wall and stuff like that.

board and batten measuring

Turns out the left over piece from cutting was the perfect width for me (I wish I could say I planned it, but I simply got lucky…)  It’s about 13 inches.  For the picture I had a helper, but I did this project (all my projects) around midnight, so I didn’t have a helper when I was actually doing it!  So I nailed up the first piece (using a level) and after that held up the board, the next strip and nailed it into place.  I went around the room like that.

board and batten started

I’m tickled with how well it turned out already!  Since I had all my strips cut from the same piece they are all the same height, but it turned out that the flooring and trim isn’t perfectly flat!!!  AAAAAAHHHHH.   Something I didn’t consider for a second.

board and batten up

So when I added the 1/2 inch thick 4 inch side top strip there were some gaps along some of the tops of the narrow strips.  Luckily I had some left over strips and I cut very small (VERY small) narrow pieces to fit into those gaps.  It worked great, none of the sections were too big, the shadow from the large piece hids it pretty great.  The paint will do the rest.

board and batten with trim

I wanted a very simple look, but still some bling, so I added some very small decorative trim along the top.  It keeps it simple and yet pretty, and also gives me a larger shelf up there.  I was nervous with how it would turn out, and I shouldn’t have.  It’s GORGEOUS!!!  now time for filling in nail holes and corners.  Letting it dry and sanding it down!

living room with green

Time for paint!!!!!  One of the reasons I wanted to do the board and batten is so I could use high gloss trim paint on the lower sections of our walls.  My kids tend to draw on the walls…  a LOT, and high gloss paint is very durable and much easier to clean artwork off of it.  But to contrast that I decided to go with a flat paint up top.  My husband is STILL very skeptical of the flat paint (we’ve had issues with flat paint before, it is almost impossible to clean).   But I’m still glad I went with it.

living room high gloss paint on board and batten

And time to paint the rest!  I got another tool (can’t have too many) and went with a paint sprayer.  I actually used a few different machines and the two that didn’t work got returned.  (sorry sears).  It was so worth it.  I got two coats of the high gloss done in an entire room in just a few hours, including drying.  It was quick and easy.

me spray painted

And I look SOOOO hot afterwards.  Don’t you think I should go for white mascara more often, right?  And that mustache?  GORGEOUS!!!   Confession.  When I finished this, around 3 am, I decided just to hop into bed rather that take a shower so my husband could see how awesome I looked the next morning!  (He and the kids were still living in the cabin at this point).

And another confession…  The next day, when I was taking a nap, my husband decided to put up shelves and stack all my paints, tools, equipment up for me.  He was cleaning for me, and while I totally appreciate him being so helpful… He stacked them along my picture wall, so instead of being able to show you this same corner I’m going to have to show you other images from this room.

board and batten finished hall and laundry

Here is the narrow hall leading to the kids room and ours (what will be the kids rooms, when we finally get our new master finished) and the bathroom and food storage room.  And the second picture is actually the double doors from my laundry “room”

board and batten entry way finished

And here is our “front” door (it’s my in-laws, back door, backyard door, but our front door now).  And the other door leads to my office and our new master bedroom.  (just to the right of this is my new mantel… pictures coming soon!!!!).  For now we have the kids coats, backpacks and shoes over against this wall.  I’m not in love with it being here, but for now with the 4 kids in one small bedroom we don’t really have another place for the coats.  I’m hoping we can move this stuff to the kids rooms once they are separated and everyone has more closet space… well see.

So all of this has been done for months now, literally, I finished in September, but I’ve been HOPING to finish all the projects so I could get RID of the shelf with the tools, paints and equipment so I could get a better AFTER shot.  But I’m still so far behind on all the projects I need to get done first it’s either now or FOREVER away…  And I have a few other projects that I’ve finished but waiting to post until after this (you can see the board and batten in the kitchen pictures, so I couldn’t post the kitchen first…).  So I’m taking the plunge, starting to post remodeling projects, and maybe SOMEDAY I’ll be able to edit this post and add a better AFTER picture!