Easy Storage for Outdoor Cushions

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This post won't be as long as the forever-taking reveal of Mom & Dad's dining room that I posted last week, but I thought this idea was one of those perfect and simple tips that's prime for the sharin'. So that's what I'm doing. This past winter, Mom scored a pretty good deal on an outdoor dining set and umbrella. Only issue was, the cushions had seen better days. So she went to a local home store called At Home, and picked up some inexpensive outdoor cushions to replace them. I can't say … [Read more...]

How to Tile a Kitchen Backsplash

backsplash tile supplies

Yesterday, I covered my timeline for getting the kitchen backsplash covered in subway tile.  Tile that is still radiating all of those wonderful "damn, I look GOOD" vibes all over it. And as promised, here are the full DIY details I learned, tools I used, and some handy tips for executing a subway tile backsplash of your own.  Fair warning:  this is a long post.  So go ahead and run to the bathroom, and then come back (and while you're at it, grab some coffee).  If you've got crossed legs … [Read more...]

How to Smooth Countertop Edges with a Router

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My new walnut butcher block countertop came unfinished.  That also means that the corners on every end of my new counters were not only unsanded, but very sharp. For Christmas, Dad got me a palm router... complete with a set of bits to play with.  And true to form, I waited until there was a BIG project to try her out (don't get me wrong though; I was VERY happy to see that router under our tree last year.  Enough that Mom thought it was hilarious to see her eldest daughter hugging the box … [Read more...]

Picture Frame Molding Challenges: Outlets and Windows

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When it comes to molding, working around the obstacles of the room (like outlets, windows, or even the room not having perfectly level walls) is the biggest challenge.  In my dining room's picture molding project, I faced all three.  Here's how I got around them. Spacing First, let's start with spacing rules in general.  While researching this project online, I learned that there is no hard and fast rule for how far apart these boxes should be.  They often range from about 2¾ to 4 inches … [Read more...]

How to Keep a Paint Brush From Drying Out (and save $)

wet paintbrush plastic bag

Over the last few years, I've become somewhat of an expert at doing home improvement projects with as minimal effort as possible.  Part of it has been because I simply had to; it's not easy doing a renovation on my own, and being only 5'2", things tend to literally be out of reach when I need them.  So I develop methods for moving heavy furniture or using ladders that are low-center-of-gravity friendly.  But far more often, I'm just plain lazy.  Most of my habits and shortcuts are made with the … [Read more...]

Luda!

music playlists

What kind of music do you listen to when you DIY? I have two playlists that I gravitate to.  One is a very long mix of artists like Mumford & Sons, Joe Purdy, Grace Potter, and LP (for nights where I'm doing a lot of painting and/or meandering about the house and will likely take a few hours to work on several projects - aka singing my brains out because I'm all alone and there's no one to stop me).  The other is my workout mix.  Think Rihanna, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and of course, … [Read more...]

Saving Daylight

What were you up to this weekend?  I spent my Saturday morning getting mulch in my hair. Not kidding.  I actually spent three hours at an Atlanta park raking, moving and playing around with wheelbarrows full of mulch.  I know what you're thinking - I don't even do that with my own yard.  What gives? Piedmont Park is a well-known park here in Atlanta, but what most people don't realize (and I didn't before volunteering) is that the park has only four groundskeepers for nearly 200 acres. … [Read more...]

A Few Good Plumbing Lessons from Dad

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In one week, I had to fix both a blockage in my new upstairs toilet and a leak from the sink in the vanity.  Considering that the guest bathroom is really the one fully functioning bathroom I have in the house (the master bath is still unfinished and the powder room downstairs doesn't have a tub), I was beyond frustrated at the thought of getting so close to a finished room only to have it yanked away.Plumbing is definitely not my strong suit, and it kind of intimidates me.  So I rely on people … [Read more...]

Six Ways to Use Pinterest

We all know Pinterest is a place to pin inspirational photos, DIY projects, and recipes, right?  But that's not always what I use it for.  Sometimes if you're not finding what you really need through traditional search methods (especially if you prefer a visual search rather than looking through written articles), you can use Pinterest in other creative ways!(by the way, I'm not being paid by them to promote their site; I legitimately use it for these reasons and thought you might find some of … [Read more...]

Molding My Thoughts

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For many DIY projects, half of the battle is the planning.  Take my dining room, for example.  This will be the first time I've ever attempted picture molding. I'm good at math, so I'm fairly confident I'll be able to figure this out.  I'm actually kind of looking forward to the challenge (I'm enough of a geek to get excited about drawing and cutting perfectly sized boxes all over my wall).  But since I'm doing this without an extra set of hands, it's not going to just be a spacing or size … [Read more...]

Tips for Saving and Reusing Old Baseboard Trim

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Baseboards may not be the most expensive thing to buy in the molding department, but if you're doing a renovation and are able to save the pieces you remove from the wall intact, your savings can really add up.  Here are just a few of my tips for salvaging old baseboards: Removing baseboards *note: the steps in this section were done while I was in class (which is nicer than coming home after class and still having to do it - thanks Dad!), so I don't have pictures to show. The next time I have … [Read more...]

Grumble Grumble

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving.  And I'm very happy to report that thanks to the Black Friday sale, I have a new best friend helping me finish a few projects:My shower in the guest bathroom is finally ready to actually take a shower in, but not without a near hissy fit this weekend.There are several truths of DIY I've learned over the years, and installing this showerhead was simply a reminder of them:Use the right tools.Caulk hides a multitude of sins.When all else fails, tape the … [Read more...]