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DIY Nursery Button Monogram

14 Apr

I’ve been having fun personalizing and adding more color and “girly-ness” to our formerly gender neutral nursery. I shared plans to make a K monogram out of buttons last month.

Here is the finished product:


For my supplies, I ordered 200 pink/coral buttons from Etsy, and then picked up a 9×12 frame, Fabritac fabric glue and these neat pre-made burlap-covered boards from Michaels, which made it so easy.

Then I printed a K on the computer and outlined it in pencil on the burlap.


Next came the fun part.. gluing on all the buttons. I started with the biggest ones and then layered on the smaller ones. It took less than an hour.

I debated hanging it on the outside of Kate’s door, but decided we didn’t want to put a hole in it, so I added it to her gallery wall.


You can also see I moved the baby handprint art to the gallery wall from over the chair in order to make room for this…

IMG_4572It was a gift from one of Ben’s clients. I think it is off of Etsy.

More personalizing was framing a photo of her, spelling out her name in blocks, and draping a colorful quilt (handmade by Ben’s Aunt) over the crib.


That’s all I have planned in the nursery for now, but I’m sure the photos and things will rotate over time.

Right now, our sights are 100% set on finishing the deck. Here is a sneak peak of some of the progress.


An update to follow!

Baby’s First Craft

9 Mar

We’re back!! We welcomed a beautiful baby girl to the world three weeks ago tomorrow. Here is a photo of our little bundle of joy, Kate, cuddling in front of the fireplace.


It has been a whirlwind three weeks. It’s strange to even be back on the computer. While DIY has obviously taken a back seat, we were able to do a fun little handprint craft project to capture this time when she is so tiny.

handprint close up

To make it, I picked up three colors of acrylic paint, an 8 x10 frame and four pieces of white card stock from Michael’s.

I made four versions knowing we might have trouble getting a good print from Miss Kate.

IMG_4423It’s very important that the baby be asleep when you take their handprint. We tried it with her awake and just ended up with a clenched fist full of paint and a huge mess. Rookie mistake!

With her sleeping, it was still a bit of a challenge but we got three good ones out of four.

We hung the handprint art in Kate’s room above the rocker.


Looking forward to starting on my next craft for Kate which is going to be something like this.



I’m also going to have a final kitchen reveal and an update on the addition very soon!

How to Make a Rustic Ladder to Hang Towels/Blankets

27 Feb

This may be one of my favorite DIY projects yet. Super cheap (less than $20), pretty simple and a result that is not only functional but makes a big statement in the room.

Here was my inspiration for the ladder found on Pinterest, originally from Better Homes & Gardens.

bathroom ladder

And here is our DIY-version in the newly remodeled guest bathroom (sharing big bathroom reveal later this week). Update: Bathroom revealed here!

How to Build a Rustic, Weathered Ladder for Towels or Blankets

Not only does it work great for towels, but I’ve seen ladders used to hang blankets in living rooms and I love that use too.

So if you are wondering how to make one of your own, here is a step by step, including  giving it the weathered, rustic look.

Step 1. Get all your materials

You will need to gather/purchase the following materials that should be around $20 or less. We had everything but the lumber on hand so ours was $16.

  • 3- 4ft 1″ diameter pine dowel rods (ours were less than $4/each from Home Depot)
  • 2- 8 ft 2″x3″ pine studs (ours were less than $2/each)
  • Wood glue
  • Sand paper


To make the weathering solution you’ll need:

  • Very fine steel wool
  • Vinegar
  • Black tea
  • Empty glass jar/lid


Step 2. Make weathering solution 24 hours before.

Take a handful of very fine steel wool and mix with vinegar in a glass jar. The steel wool will start to dissolve but won’t dissolve completely. Wait at least 24 hours before applying to your wood.

Step 3. Make your cuts.

We cut the dowel rods into 5-16″ long rungs and cut down the 2x3s to 6 feet long.


Step 4. Sand your wood.

We used an electric hand sander but you could also do it by hand.

Step 5. Mark sides for holes.

We started our first hole 2.5″ from the bottom and then spaced them 13.5″ apart from the centers. Make sure your marks align perfectly on both sides.


Step 6. Drill 1″ wide holes that are 1/2″ deep. 

We placed a piece of tape 1/2″ up the drill bit to know how deep to go. Also go over holes with a light sand to smooth out rough edges.


Step 7. Sand down edges of your rungs to ensure they will fit into the holes. 

Step 8. Fill one side of holes with wood glue and place rungs in.

IMG_2582Step 9. Put glue on other side of rungs and place side onto rungs.

IMG_2586Step 10. Attach clamps for at least 2 hours to dry. Wipe up all access glue.

IMG_2588Step 11. Brew some very strong tea and brush it on your ladder. Apparently the tea releases tannins in the wood which allows it to oxidize from the vinegar/steel wool. We coated ours with tea twice, letting it dry in between coats and before the next step.

IMG_2594Step 12. Your final step! Brush on your vinegar/steel wool solution. It will start to turn the wood darker as soon as you brush it on and within an hour or so will be completely weathered.


I couldn’t believe how well the weathering process worked and without buying expensive stains or paints. Just household items.

What do you think? Worth $20 and a couple hours of time? I’d say so.

Homemade, Sentimental Art

28 Dec

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! We spent ours with my family in Rockford. It was a great holiday other than Ben having the flu for the past week. He’s on the mend now but missed out on some yummy meals.

This blog post is about my favorite Christmas gift this year. Ben surprised me by converting a sign that we made for our wedding into a piece of sentimental art!

Here it is hung in our dining room:


The trees are a pair of Pohutukawas (Native New Zealand trees) that we used throughout the wedding on the invitations, programs, welcome bags, etc.

Here’s what the chalkboard sign used to look like, at the wedding:


We built it with cedar and chalkboard paint, and loved it so much we knew we would keep it and incorporate it into our home somehow.

I kind of forgot about it, so was pleasantly surprised when Ben showed it to me on Christmas. The white trees are actually a sticker that Ben had made from his t-shirt/sign guy. He made some similar ones, just smaller, for the bags set we had made for the wedding. So Ben just painted over the chalk and put on the sticker and viola! A gigantic piece of homemade and sentimental art.

I also like how it helps balance out our large, new light fixture, the Arturo 8 Light Chandelier from Ballard Designs that I wasn’t sold on before but now I love.


It makes me smile. What do you think?

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