Tuesday, November 18, 2014

DIY: Door Painting, III

The younger boys loved their door so much that the oldest boy wanted his door painted right away. Luckily they have a nice daddy who can throw tape and paint on doors quickly. Here's the final door to the children's rooms (the color is orange, but it was getting quite dark when we finished so the pictures aren't great):

His name starts with D, as you can see

DIY: Door Painting, II

My wife and son went off to play at Lion Country Safari today (link). This left me home alone over lunch, so I did a quick DIY project to surprise the boys when they come home. They loved the door my daughter and I painted (see it here), and I think they'll love their door, too.

HINT: their names start with B and A,
and their favorite colors are blue and green, respectively

Saturday, November 8, 2014

DIY: Laminate Flooring

The carpet in our house was old and very worn, so we've started ripping it out. Most of the house now has bare concrete (that we've cleaned), but we've started covering it with laminate flooring. Our recent bathroom vanity renovation (link) included replacing the carpet in the vanity with laminate floors, and the flooring has now spread to the master closet.

Here's a look at a before/after:

And by the way, I say these projects are DIY, but I do have help! My two older children took turns helping with this one, and my wife helped, too (as always).

Thursday, November 6, 2014

DIY: Window Writing

Our weekly family nights don't always move far from the dining room table. When we need to outline something well, we use the windows! 

Whiteboard markers work just fine on windows, by the way:

And the window writing is good for helping practice tough spelling words, too!

DIY: Stained Glass

We had an open house for our temple and I wanted to do something fun to memorialize the great feelings. I chose stained glass, well pretend stained glass (here's the how-to I refered to: link).

To practice, I first did a CTR shield

Here's the temple

I wanted the sides of my stained glass to match actual stained glass from inside the temple, as below

DIY: Felt Song Helpers

I was a singing time leader at our church for a couple of years. I made these fun visual aids to help the children learn the words to a song we sang to mothers on Mother's Day. Here's the song: link.

Like sunshine in the morning that wakens day from night,
Like flowers in the springtime so colorful and bright,
Like happy songs of bluebirds that fill the air with cheer,
A person bright and lovely is my mother dear.
Each sheet is about 8x11:

DIY: Family Shirts

My amazing wife used stencils to make personalized shirts for our brood the other summer. The shirts looked great, and the little ones loved wearing them. Here are a few pictures from different adventures where the children coordinated their outfits:

DIY: Shell-Lined Walk

We used the shells we've been collecting from our beach trips to line the back patio pavers. It looks cute, and we add more each time we have another beach day.

DIY: Porch Ceiling

This fdaone's still in process, but we had popcorn ceiling in the screened-in porch that was worse than what was in the house. The drywall was sagging from the humidity, so I took an hour and ripped it all out!

Now I'm wanting to clean it and paint the exposed wood (plus add a pull-up bar).

Here's what it looks like now:

DIY: Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Another relic of the 70's is popcorn ceilings. Ours were looking dark and gross (maybe our imagination), so I systematically went around the house and removed it all! Smoothing the bare ceiling with joint compound, adding a lighter texture, priming, and painting yielded a cleaner ceiling.

Removing only involved using a handheld pump sprayer (with water), spraying the ceiling, then scraping the popcorn off with a wide putty knife. And don't worry, we checked for asbestos first!

Here's a fun picture of one of the rooms being done.

DIY: Children's Pillow Covers

We saw cute square pillows at IKEA for $2, so we bought one for each child. Using some clearance fabric and scraps we had on hand, my amazing (and beautiful) wife pulled out the sewing machine to teach the older children how to sew. Here is the process and the results:


Another lesson

Finished products (the backs are cute, too: they have a complimentary color with a strip of fabric that matches the front)

DIY: Painted Everything

There was a week a couple of years ago when I wanted to paint everything. Here's a few of the quick projects that resulted:

The old backyard birdbath, painted with latex exterior paint

Mailbox gets a touch-up with spray paint

Thrift store mirror looks snazzy after meeting the spray paint

DIY: ModPodge Canvas Art

We love ModPodge because it makes beautiful done-in-a-day canvas art. My wife's parents are in Japan on a church mission for a while, so we made some Japan-themed canvas art for the children's rooms, and ours, too!

All you have to do is print the picture on regular paper, paint the sides of the canvas a fun color, ModPodge the canvas, carefully lay the paper down (cut to fit), then ModPodge over the top of the paper.

Showing their favorite prints

Here's our collection of 8x10s in our room

DIY: Halloween Fun

My wife is great at coming up with fun ideas. Here's something from the lead-up to Halloween: a sheet, a light, and cute cut-outs!

It was a hit

DIY: Square Foot Garden

My wife found a book on a quick backyard garden (here), so we built a couple!

Just a little lumber and soil, and we're off!

Garden so nice, we built it twice

Here it is a couple years later, still giving us green food

DIY: Front Landscaping

The ficus hedges on the front and side of our house caught some disease, so we jumped at the chance to change the look!

Here are some before/afters and other pretty pictures:

We removed a hibiscus bush and planted this combination of flowers, sweetsop (sugar apple) tree, and raspberries. The part by the house has miracle fruit, pineapples, crotons, roses, and aztec grass.

Did you know you can paint concrete benches (and birdbaths) with exterior latex paint? We do now!

The side of the house got an update, too! This part has blackberries, soursop tree, bananas, miracle fruit, and crotons.

DIY: Front Door Update

The front door of our house had an ... interesting... feature in the front window. I guess it was the thing to do in the 70's, but we wanted to have more light in the entryway, so out it came! Once removed, we cleaned the glass and put a patterned contact paper on.

Here's a quick before/after followed by a couple funny afters:

One of our friendly front-yard lizards on the other side of the glass

Our little ones don't like to wear clothes at home, but they love the added light!

DIY: Hair Accessory Frame

My daughter's hair accessories were starting to get out of control, so we made a frame with parts we had in the garage.

These included:

  • molding (cut to the frame)
  • pegboard (backing)
  • chicken wire
  • mug hooks

She wasn't really feeling well when this was taken, but she does like it!

Finished and loaded

A closer look

DIY: Door Painting

This was a fun afternoon project that my eight-yr-old daughter really liked helping me design. She also had fun helping with the tape.

Here's our progress collage:

And since our floors are bare concrete (we're slowly putting down laminate flooring), we have a great canvas for the extra paint! 

DIY: Curtain Upgrade

Our house had the original 70's curtains, but after a few years of us (and our children), they were really falling apart. Here's our fun upgrade, which inspired our son to exclaim, "Wow, it's like we live in a mansion!"

*Our mansion, thanks to IKEA

Here's a look at the style of curtains from the listing before we bought the house (we forgot to take before pictures). We've also replaced the UFO-looking light and removed the popcorn ceiling, but that's for other posts

Here's the large front window, again not the best before picture

And here's what I wanted to show you!

DIY: Crib Headboard

If you're not ready to get rid of the crib when the little one graduates to a toddler bed, consider doing what we did: make a makeshift headboard! (Plus it beats storing it in the attic)

DIY: Painted IKEA Clocks

We love IKEA, and we noticed that the inexpensive $2 clocks they sell are perfect for personalization.

Here's a quick how-to followed by the many clocks we have scattered around our house:

Blue (garage)

Pink (daughter's room)

Glow-in-the-Dark Orange (boys' room). As a bonus, you can add a contrasting color to that little ring part on the front.

Glow-in-the-Dark Green (son's room)

Did you notice that the four pictures were taken within moments of each other?