Category Archives: Home DIY

Making Wall Shelves Out of Trim

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Decorating this wall is a work in progress, but I love how my shelves out of trim pieces turned out.  Total cost was about $25 for all three shelves.  The picture below shows how 3 pieces of trim (plus the corners) make one shelf.  Its easier to make the whole shelf before mounting it onto the wall, then caulk and paint, just like any other trim.  The corners are cut exactly like you would cut crown molding (the angle is hard to get, this is the hardest part).  Picture tells a thousand words:

 

I painted them Swiss Coffee to match the rest of the trim in my house.  The whole thing:

All three:

Kitchen Table Map

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Under the glass of our kitchen table we have a world map ($4 on Amazon).  As I’m getting meals ready, I ask the kids questions, then they find the answers on the map.  For example, the other day I asked, “How did Alex the Lion sail from  NYC to Madagascar?”  We talk a lot about mommy’s favorite countries and where family members went on missions.  Even my very young, not-yet-readers have already learned so much.  So simple and fun!

Tell it to the Tattle Dragon

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Meet the Tattle Dragon.  When the kiddos tattle about inconsequential things (i.e. “she’s looking at me!” or “he’s not going down the slide” etc) I nicely direct them to the Tattle Dragon to tell instead of me.  It works pretty great, the kids actually talk to the dragon on the side of the toy box.  For one child that’s a little old for it, its still a great reminder for him to not tattle.  Us parents listening in the other room always get a laugh too!

Sadly, I don’t remember where I got this idea, so I can’t give credit where credit is due!

 

Plan B: Painting Cabinets Using Rustoleum

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So I had big plans for our cave, I mean, kitchen.  Moving appliances, new lighting, granite counter tops, new cabinets, rip-it-all-out-down-to-the-framing type plans.  Alas, plans like that take time and a whole lotta moola.  In case you are wondering, the cost to do the intended remodel (Plan A) was the same cost as 105,263 diapers, which is how I measure most purchases.  And that’s with us, and by “us” I mean my husband, doing all the work.  So plan B was born.  A little band-aid, if you will.  It was a joint effort between Husband and I.  I did most of the painting, he did all the door removal, hardware, and some painting. Here’s the scoop:

I used Rustoleum Cabinet Transformations, purchased at Lowes. You can watch their how-to video here.
BEFORE:
(dirty dishes add to the beauty)
AFTER:
We discovered there’s both good and bad to using this method:
GOOD:
-Best paint there is at local Home Depot or Lowes for cabinet refinishing.
-Instructions easy to understand
-All supplies come in one box. There are two sizes: small for $75 or large for $150. We ended up buying one large and one small, total cost $225. Plus the hardware, another $150.
-We like the finished product
BAD:
-No samples, you have to pick your color off the side of the box, then get the paint in the box mixed. We were frustrated we were picking the color of all our cabinets off a little 2×2 inch square printed on a box. BUT, the color we ended up picking, we loved. (Quilters White)
-Great that everything comes in one box, until you run out of something. We had tons of lefts overs of everything except for paint. We bought the large box, but then had to buy a $75 complete small set for basically two quarts of paint. LAME.
-The video makes it look like you can do it all in about 4-5 days. It took us two weeks.
-We could not get the glaze right!  More below on that.
STEPS:
-Their system is four steps:
1) de-gloss- easy, but time consuming
2) paint- again easy, but time consuming, two coats needed for everything
3) glaze (optional)- couldn’t get it right. We tried multiple times to get the “glazed” look and it just looked dirty to me. We ended up painting over what we had glazed and left it just plain “quilters white”.
4) seal- easy, but actually isn’t clear, so changed the color of the cabinets slightly (for the worse- yellowish).
TIPS IF YOU TRY THIS METHOD:
-Have enough table space in your garage (don’t do it outside) for all your cabinet doors. We only had table space for half and the switching back and forth and drying on both sides of the doors took FOREVER.
-The video shows letting the doors dry on nails on 2x4s (watch the video to see what I mean). Its worth doing this to minimize drips.
-Double, triple check for drips everywhere.
-Label each door with painters tape as suggested in video.
Hummm… that’s all I can think of for now. Any questions?