DIY Mudroom Bench

Every now and then I take a look around my house and find an eyesore. This one in particular was located at my daily entrance and exit, my mudroom. Admittedly, this has been bothering me for far too long. A picture fell down in there like 6 months ago and had been just propped up on its side against a wall. There were tons of shoes including boots we only wear in the dead of winter (it’s May, people!) and the bench that I had in there was just too small for the space (I actually moved it to our foyer and it looks so much better in an open space where it can be appreciated for the antique beauty that it is.)

I trekked out to IKEA to see if they had any good mudroom solutions, but came up empty handed. My husband and I decided I could totally make something custom to fit the space for way less than I would spend on something at IKEA anyway. So I went home and sketched something up and decided I would go to Home Depot that following morning while he stayed home with our son.

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I picked up a pair of 2x4’s (actually, I totally only got one and had to make a second trip back to purchase a second one, which is not easy to do with a 2 month old,) and two 1x8x8 boards. I cut the 1x8’s down to 86 inches a piece, which is close to the length of the mudroom. With the 2x4’s I created three rectangles for support. The rectangles were created using two 8 inch pieces and two 16 inch pieces. I arranged the rectangles equal distance apart and attached them to the 1x8’s. After everything was sanded down and smooth, I stained the bench with “special walnut” and sealed it with a satin polycrilic finish.

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Materials needed:

  1. Two 2x4’s

  2. Two 1x8x8 common boards

  3. 2 1/2 inch wood screws

  4. 2 inch wood screws

  5. Miter Saw

  6. Hand Sander / sanding block

  7. Wood stain

  8. Polycrilic finish

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For more detail and a visual representation of this project, check out my project vlog below where I take you along for the creation and execution of this fun and easy project,.

DIY Tassel Macrame Chandelier

I recently had my first child and of course I prepared a nursery for him. You can check out my blog post about that here. Whenever I’m decorating (or often redecorating) a room I usually scan Pinterest for ideas. A lot of my nursery decor was inspired by regular bedroom set ups. I wanted my nursery to flow with the rest of my house and not necessarily look like a baby’s room. When it came to picking a pendant light, because there wasn’t one in this room previously, I was inspired by one I saw on the Anthropologie website, here. The price tag for this thing was hefty and while I was willing to splurge on certain items, a light was not one of them. So I decided to try my hand at making one and it worked out!

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Below are the steps I took to achieve this, but if you’d like a more in depth view of the process, please check out my youtube tutorial below.

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Macrame Hanging Lights

Recently I decided to give my entire living room an overhaul. The works - crown moulding, paint, and new decor. One of the items I decided to incorporate were some macrame hanging lights.

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These are a bit time consuming to make because they are 20 feet long, but they are extremely simple! I used the same half square knot repeatedly to create a spiral design down the length of the cord and I love how they turned out. I hung these in a corner over a big comfy leather chair of ours and they add an unexpected unique sense of warmth and texture.

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The materials I used for this project are as listed.

  1. 1/8” Cotton Cord - I order mine from the Knot and Rope Supply Company. You can find the exact cord I used here.

  2. Vintage Style Light Bulbs - Home Depot carries some inexpensive options that are quite large.

  3. Hot Glue Gun and Hot Glue - I found mine at Hobby Lobby, but any craft store will carry this as well as Amazon.

  4. 20’ Pendant Light Cord - This was a two cord set and a great deal on Amazon.

A full tutorial for this project is available from my Youtube Channel below.

DIY Nightstand Project

When my husband and I started planning our pregnancy it felt like we had plenty of time to accomplish the things we wanted to with our home, especially since the baby cooks for about 9 months. Now that we are halfway through this pregnancy and have nothing done, we realize we were very wrong!

So a few weeks ago I was making a list of all the things I want to accomplish before our sweet baby boy arrives this February and at the top was buying new nightstands for our bedroom. We’ve never had matching nightstands in there. In fact, we’ve never had nightstands. We’ve always used some random side tables and at one point I had a mini ladder on my side of the bed to hold my water at night. So I’d say it’s about time we get it together in there.

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I started shopping online and everything looked short or was way over priced. So of course my next thought was, I can make night stands! So I got on pinterest and saw some projects others had done and decided to come up with my own.

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I measured the space and designed a nightstand that is simple, modern, and open with hairpin legs I purchased on Amazon. Check out my video tutorial (vlog style) below for full details on how I made these matching nightstands.

DIY Drop Cloth Drapes

Curtains and drapes are not cheap, especially extra long lengths. What’s even more frustrating is that most stores don’t carry lengths over 84 inches, so if you have tall ceilings, you’re forced to hang your curtains right above the windows and pray they hit the floor. If, like me, you’ve been struggling with curtain lengths in your home, you’ll be relieved to know there is an inexpensive solution.

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Home Depot and Lowe’s both carry canvas cloth drops. They come in various lengths and can easily be hung as curtains that look as fabulous as expensive ones! I highly suggest bleaching, washing, and ironing them before you hang them.

I simply filled my bathtub with a water and bleach solution, let them sit for a few hours, making sure to mix them and push down and air bubbles. I then transferred them to my laundry room where I washed them with detergent, dried them, and ironed them. Lastly, I hung them using black curtain rods from Target and curtain clips. In order to achieve the perfect length, I simply folded them over and clipped them where I thought they hung best.

If you notice in the pictures below, the drop cloths started out as a mousey, dusty gray. Once they were bleached they came out a creamy off white which goes with my decor much better then gray.

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Check out my youtube video below on a full step by step tutorial for this process.

I Ripped My Carpet Up and Painted My Stairs

Is it just me or are carpeted stairs becoming a thing of the past? Vacuuming them is a complete nightmare. I never feel like I'm getting them completely clean no matter what angle I go in at or what attachments I use. And to be blunt, with the exception of a good runner, most of the time carpet on stairs just isn't attractive. To me, it’s out of style (if it was ever even in,) and it’s not coming back any time soon.

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The carpet in my home was the original carpet that was installed when the house was built eight-ish years ago. That isn't very long, but I don't think my husband and I took the best care of it over the years. Taking our shoes off at the door or wiping our dog's paws wasn't mandatory and eventually dirt and grime starts to show on carpet. You could definitely see that the first few steps were much darker than the last ones on the top from dirty shoes. I tried cleaning the carpet a few times, but the carpet wasn't of the best quality in the first place. It's hard to make cheap builder's grade carpet look new again. 

When I started researching stair upgrades I came across a blogger who referred to her beige builder's grade carpet as "muppet skin." She couldn't have been more hilariously accurate. It does look like muppet skin! Gross! As soon as I decided the carpet had to go, I couldn't take my mind off the idea. I decided to peel back a bit of the carpet to see what was underneath and to my surprise we had pine treads! The risers turned out to be plywood, but I figured I could find a way to work with it without having to replace anything.

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I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. There were tons of stair redo ideas, mostly with stained wood treads. I couldn't go for that idea, as much as I would have liked to because I loathe the orange laminate wood flooring in our house and I did not want to match that. I also didn't want anything to clash with it. So painting the treads and risers seemed to be the best option. I considered painting the treads black and the risers white, but the more I delved into Pinterest for inspiration, the more I realized what I really loved was super clean, white stairs. White treads and white risers. I could sweep them and wipe them down, and I would be able to see every speck of dust on them, which I love because then I know when they are dirty!

Here's a look at what they looked like before with the "muppet skin" carpet.

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I don't want to hide dirt in my house. Items like a brown couch or brown carpeting that are made to hide dirt are strange to me. And maybe it's because I don't have children yet, but I want to know when something is dirty so that I can clean it and feel satisfied knowing that it is truly clean.

Naively, I thought this project would be a "weekend project" like most things I take on. Maybe if you have one set of stairs in your home you could knock it out in a weekend, but we have three stories and two sets of stairs, so this actually took a couple of weeks working on it during weekends and after work.

First I ripped the carpet and padding up. Then I removed all of the staples, nails and anything else that shouldn't be there. You'd be surprised what you'd find under your carpet! Years of dirt, grime, dog hair and anything else that comes in on the bottom of your shoes weaves its way through the carpet. It's pretty disgusting and I knew I was making the right choice after seeing all of that. When they built our house they sprayed the walls with paint before they laid the carpet down, so there was a ton of paint built up on the treads and random globs of caulk as well. I used a gel paint remover to scrape all of that off. After that I was able to sand the treads down and fill any blemishes with wood putty. I made sure all of my treads were as smooth as I could get them and then I painted them. I used a porch and concrete paint to paint these because I was told it was a little more durable and less susceptible to wear and tear. I did two coats of white paint and three coats of clear, matte polycrylic sealant. As I said before, I couldn't  be happier with the results!

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Check out my youtube video on a further look into the process and upkeep of these stairs.

My Shiplap Walls - What I Wish I Knew Before I Started

I love my shiplap walls, so I'm not saying I regret doing them, but goodness I wish I knew more about this project before I started it.

Bloggers and YouTubers don't always show every single step in a project and they certainly don't always talk about how long a project takes. Often they film a project and then speed it up later when editing it, so what you see is a time lapse version of the project making it look super quick and easy. It's such an illusion!

In this video I'm talking about how long my recent shiplap project actually took, how much money it cost ($755.00,) and all of the speed bumps we went over during it.

Check out my video below for a full rant on my shiplap walls! And if you haven't seen my full tutorial for this project, check it out here.

xo Megan

How We Installed Shiplap

After watching video after video and reading blog post after blog post of how people are installing the "fixer upper" shiplap look into their homes, I decided to try it for myself. I am absolutely blown away with the results, but it certainly didn't happen without a few bumps in the road. Below is my full tutorial on this process and the complications my husband and I ran into during this project.