Okay so last you guys saw we had just finished the basic interior on our cottage bunkie (here), and re-finished the dresser (here). You can’t have a bunkie without bunk beds, so here is our bunkie bunk bed tutorial (say that ten times fast!).
Sleeping space had to be maximized, so we knew we wanted to do two sets of bunk beds along either wall of the bunkie. We looked at a few bunk bed options at several stores, but since we needed very specific sizes and wanted a clean-lined look, my Dad decided that he would custom build them. It is pretty sweet to have a woodworker Dad…
The following instructions aren’t perfect, but they give you the general idea of what my Dad did. He made the frames for each bunk out of 1×1 lumber on 3 sides. The 4th side is joined to the other two by metal angle brackets (the frame is already painted white in the photo below).
Then he put some 5/8 plywood on top of the frame (after the frame had been affixed to the wall). This is the tricky bit, as the plywood is the same length as the room, so it was difficult to maneuver into place.
Once those were in, he put 1×6 poplar along the front edge. This was to hold the mattress in, and to add a decorative touch.
We purchased mattresses and duvets from IKEA, which was helpful to know those dimensions ahead of time.
The ladder and railing were also made out of poplar – 1×3 pieces. The ladder is affixed to the bunk bed and is straight up and down, to not take up too much space in the narrow room. It also just comes to the bottom bunk rather than all the way to the ground, so that access underneath the bottom bunk is free and clear. A railing piece was added along the top bunk, you know, to keep people from falling out.
You’ll get a sneak peak at some of the accessories and finishes in the photos below (!!).
We took the grey paint we had used on the ceiling, watered it down, and gave the poplar a grey wash. I really love how you can see the grain through, but it gives it a weathered kind of look.
I couldn’t have been happier with the floating and minimalist look of the bunk beds. Go, Dad, right?
That’s about it for the how-to’s on the bunkie. Next post will be the full reveal. Just need to go and edit those photos …
What are you guys up to these days? Are you having any end-of-summer holidays? If you follow me on instagram, you may have noticed that we are in the adirondacks (new york) for these last 2 weeks of August. Dan’s family has their cottage here, and it’s always a ton of fun. We’ve had Maya’s 6 cousins here with us… the girl could not be more thrilled. Social butterfly, that one.
We basically just needed one piece of furniture for the bunkie, besides bunk beds, and that was a dresser.
I searched the online used sites for quite a few weeks, but it was tricky as the dresser had to be a fairly specific size that didn’t seem to be popular. I was spotting either really tall, narrow dressers (“tallboys”) or long, large dressers. I needed something in between, but not as small as a nightstand. And I didn’t want anything too ornate or with french country lines. Oh, and it had to be solid wood. No laminate. After a while, I finally spotted a fairly basic, solid wood dresser for $50 and snatched it up.
I totally forgot to take a before photo (bad blogger!!), but I knew exactly what colour I wanted to paint it for our by-the-lake bunkie. Can you guess?
Ha. Navy probably isn’t too surprising, huh?
The colour is called Fly by Night Blue by Valspar, which my Mum and I picked up when we were down at the Lowe’s in the States. It’s a paint & primer in one (semi gloss) that is meant for furniture and other high use areas.
My mum painted it and in the end did 3 coats, with a light sanding between each. The glossiness of the paint did show some of the imperfections in the wood, which is a bit annoying. It’s really only visible in certain bright light though, so it really isn’t the end of the world. Not sure if I would use this paint again for a similar application, though..
For the hardware, I wanted to go with brass. I am smitten with a navy + brass combo. Classic, don’t you think?
I hit up Lee Valley Tools (my go-to place for hardware) and came across these small rectangular antique brass pulls (“A” in the link). They were $3.70 a piece, so it was under $30 for all six.
And here is the full dresser in all its navy + brass glory. This was when we first brought it into the bunkie (sneak peak at some of the other accessories!)…
And once we hung the mirror and started to style it a little.
A little cottage chic, wouldn’t you say? I know I still need to get to the actual bunk beds in the bunkie… but I need my Dad to chime in on that one as he was the one who did the building/assembling.
Have you guys been re-doing any furniture lately? Where do you go to get new hardware? Oh, and happy long weekend to my fellow Canadians. We’re off for a girlfriends wedding today and tomorrow in Toronto, and then spending a night at a beautiful Inn in Prince Edward County on Sunday for our wedding anniversary. 3 nights without Maya – our longest stretch ever. We’re like giddy teenagers over here.
Alright guys. This is an easy one. And if you love gold spray paint like I do, you’re gonna like these gold spray painted mason jars.
I have an obscene number of mason jars. Most are vintage – both clear and blue – that I use for decor rentals (my side biz), but I also have some regular jars without lids. Just gathered over time for one reason or another.
I wanted to do something with them, and so started out by giving them a rinse (tip: if storing your lid-less jars in a garage, turn them upside down as otherwise you might have a spider or two make the jar his final resting spot – ickity ick).
Then I took them outside with my can of gold spray paint (‘Design Master’ brand from Michael’s) and went at ‘em. I did 3 coats lightly and evenly, without any primer. It gave them a gorgeous shiny dusting of gold.
Then I went out on a little afternoon walk and grabbed some wildflowers. Wildflowers is definitely one of the perks of rural living. No grocery store trip required for a bouquet or two.
It’s a really simple project, but I love the way they turned out. They have a nice sheen and would look amazing all lined up down a dining room table. I have a feeling these will be broken out for lots of dinner parties to come.
Like I said, nothing mind-blowing or new going on here, but I couldn’t help but share. A great way to use some lackluster mason jars that you might have kicking around.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still on the gold/copper train. Not sure what will be touched with my spray paint can next…
Oh and also – I switched up my comment system to Disqus. Hopefully it will be easier and more reader-friendly to use! Let me know if you have any issues, k? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since we moved out to my parents’ place, I don’t have my jewellery bulletin board to hang up all of my necklaces, and I threw out the tray that held my bracelets and earrings as it was toast. I needed something to put my jewellery on – otherwise it was all going to be staying in ziploc bags for the foreseeable future. Not good. Enter some gold and white jewellery stands with a sweet plus sign pattern.
I grabbed two white ceramic plates from the dollar store, had a third smaller white plate on hand (not shown), a couple of candlesticks from the thrift store (50 cents), and my gold Sharpie paint pen.
I debated a few different designs, but ultimately settled on a simple plus sign, repeated. I free-handed a line of them down the center of the plate, and then worked my way to the edges. Nothing too precise or math-y here – imperfection is fine by me. Since this is a paint pen rather than a regular Sharpie, I read that you don’t need to bake it to keep the finish on. I’ll keep you posted on whether it starts to wipe off. So far, so good.
Then I took those candlesticks and gave them a coat of gold spray paint.
But sadly, when I tried to stack them, the candlesticks were slightly askew (which I hadn’t initially realized), and my stand was looking Leaning Tower of Pisa – esque. Not good. Plus the candlesticks looked chunkier than I wanted and stole the show a little (not in a good way). Woop Woop.
However, I happily realized that I had some cheap glass candlesticks on hand (again, from the thrift store – surprised!?). I brought them out and they were perfect. The 3-tier was too high – you can see it in the photo below – so I ended up doing the small plate on one candlestick, and the two bigger plates in a 2-tier.
I forgot to take a picture of this step, but I just used some gorilla glue to glue the candlestick to the plate. You just line the rim of the candlestick with glue, press into place, and leave to set for a few hours. I then applied a bit of extra glue around the seam where the two pieces meet for extra security. That gorilla glue is fabulous stuff though – these puppies aren’t going anywhere.
Here is the small guy. Cute, right?
And the two-tier. Perfect for bigger items like necklaces or bracelets.
Obviously you could also use these for cupcakes or other little treats on a dessert table. You would want the desserts to be wrapped though – I wouldn’t put food straight onto the painted surface. It would be super sweet for a gold themed bash! I might be having visions of Maya’s 1st birthday party…
An easy project with such a sweet result. Plus it’s nice to have my jewellery back on display again and not jumbled in a ziploc.
How do you store your jewellery? Have it up on the wall or displayed on a shelf? I am dreaming about my future closet in our house and planning a serious accessories area. Can’t. wait.
You guys know I have a bit of a problem with collecting – hence why I started renting things out for weddings + photoshoots (see that here). Makes the whole collecting thing somewhat legit. Right? Ha. I love the thrill of the hunt. Finding something old that is perfect on it’s own, or something that I can make over into something I love. This is the story of a vintage window turned picture frame.
Over the last year or two, I have amassed a number of old window frames. Mostly from people who have pulled them out of their houses, and some as curbside finds. It’s like vintage shopping gold for me. If you don’t have the time or desire to hunt them down though, you can always find some on Etsy. I searched only for a few minutes and came up with a bunch of gorgeous ones – a minty one, a whole mixed collection here, and a huge 20 pane one here. Oh the options! I have put them all into a folder within my favourites list.
I like to work at them one at a time to turn them into usable pieces.The theme of this year’s Etsy Craft Party on June 6th is to “Recapture: bringing new meaning to old photographs” – so I thought I would join in and tackle one of my frames.
The frame started out with mostly missing glass panes and lots of chipping white paint. First step was to break out the glass. I don’t have a perfect method for this – just tapping it with a hammer and cleaning up carefully.
I decided it would be nice to have space to hang photographs or other paper products (cards? notes? menus for a party? whatever!). I took some eye hooks and screwed them into the sides of the frame, and then just attached some strands of wire to each.
Once I did that though, I realized that the paint was really chipping pretty badly and that I should actually fix up the frame a little. Whoops. Should have done this pre-wiring to make it easier. Live and learn.
I sanded down the frame using a medium grit sandpaper – really trying to get into the nooks and crannies to get it smooth. A bunch of paint chipped off in the process, but I wasn’t bothered. Once I had it sanded and wiped down with a damp cloth, I decided to put a few coats of polyeurothane on top. This would help to seal everything in and ensure that I wouldn’t have flaking bits of paint coming off of the frame. It’s super simple – just apply the poly with a foam or natural bristle brush, and sand between coats. I put two coats on the frame for good measure, and let it dry for a few days outside.
Post-polyeurathane, it really doesn’t flake and chip. The end product has a really nice vintage vibe and can be used a number of ways.
We had our engagement photos that I loved – I have such nice memories of feeling all giddy that afternoon shooting those at Dan’s family farm – and I hadn’t ever done anything with them. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to get some printed, and display them in my new window-turned-frame. I put a vintage filter on the photos to make them look more aged, playing with the vintage vibe of the window. I think the result is pretty sweet!
I used little clothespins that I had picked up a while ago at Michael’s. A bit nicer than traditional clothespins that might have been a bit big for this frame. You can also find lots of similar ones (like these) and in all sorts of colours on Etsy.
My plan is to put some wire along the back to be able to hang it from the wall, but for now I just have it resting on a bookshelf (the lighting was bad – so I brought it out to my parents’ back deck to take these after pics).
Instead of photos, you could hang up postcards, small pieces of artwork, little notes, recipes (would be cute in a kitchen!), or use it at weddings and events for things like the seating chart or wedding photos of parents and grandparents. Lots of options!
Unfortunately I’m not able to attend any of the Etsy Craft Parties in person, but check out their site for more info on parties near you, or how to host one yourself. With the theme of reinventing photographs, there are so many ways you could go. Have fun!
*Disclaimer: Etsy sent me a $50 gift card to be used toward craft supplies for this, or other, projects, and some affiliate links were used within the post. But as always, any opinions about products or companies are all my own!
Remember back when I gave a little makeover to our side entryway? We painted the walls and door, added a thrifted light fixture, and some artwork. It made it way more attractive — which is especially nice for our tenant who uses that entry all the time (we only use that area when we are going down to the basement to do laundry). Here it is to help jog your memory.
Anyway, the one thing that we left was fixing up the stairs. They desperately needed some TLC. This was the before. The main part of the staircase where our tenant walks up and down everyday had some really cheap carpet thrown down, and the little section up to our main floor had nada.
I knew I wanted a new runner on there – one that was darker in colour so it would help hide the dirt (tenant walks up + down in outdoor shoes), but that still had a bit of style. I went to IKEA to see what they had, and came across the “soften” rug. It’s a small, flatwoven rug that happened to have the perfect width for our stairs. At $25 a pop, it wasn’t a super cheap option, but I couldn’t find anything else that was in the right colour scheme or size. We had measured out our staircase before coming, and so calculated that we would need 5 of them to do the job.
Before getting started I did a bit of googling around to see what others had done when they DIY’ed a stair runner. And you’ll never guess what I ended up stumbling on? Jenny, from Little Green Notebook, and who has amaaaazing style, had done this exact project using the IKEA Soften rugs! Clearly we were on the same brainwave. And the best part? I was able to follow along with her tutorial.
The first step was to rip up the existing runner, and then give the stairs a coat of paint. I went for a high gloss white that would be super durable, and only had to paint the side of the treads and risers.
Then it was time to break out the rugs, some scissors, a ruler, and my staple gun. I lined up the rug at the top of the stairs and measured out the space on either side to ensure it was even. Once I knew that number, I went and made little marks on both sides of each step, as a guideline to follow when my rug got to that step. Then it was just a matter of stapling the rug down. I can’t actually remember what size of staples I used, but Jennyused 3/4″ brads.
I started by stapling under the lip of the top stair, and then pulling the rug tightly down the riser, and staple it along the bottom. Then again pull the rug over the tread of the stair, back down under the lip, and staple along again. I would start with say 4 staples under the lip to get the rug in place, and then add another bunch of staples to ensure it was secured really well. I found that the staples were best placed near each white stripe (I would try to get it at the border between the white and the grey), and would staple vertically — in line with the stripe. In the pic below you can see a few of the staples right under the lip of the top tread, and then there are some again at the bottom of the riser.
When I came to the end of a rug and it was time to staple down a new one, I would cut the previous rug right underneath the lip of the tread, and then staple the new one overtop, matching the stripes as well as I could. Again, check out Jenny’s tutorial as she gives good step-by-step pics.
Once everything was stapled down, it looked great but I wanted to add some upholstery nails down the sides for both style and extra security of runner to stair. I grabbed some gold ones from Home Depot, which were a couple of bucks for a package.
I played around with the placement and decided on 6 nails per tread. I would eyeball them and lay them face up on the tread (lazy DIY’ing, and didn’t measure each one exactly), and then hammer ‘em in.
It didn’t take much time at all and definitely added a really nice element to the project. I do also think that it really helped keep the runner secure.
So much more clean and crisp, right? I like the combination of the teal with the dark grey, white, and hint of gold.
And here is that entryway nook now. SO much better.
So full disclosure? I actually did this project last year… when I was still pregnant! I had totally worried that since we didn’t put a rug slip pad down, or because it was a series of small rugs, that it wouldn’t hold up. So I waited to put this one through the test of time before posting. Well you know what? Other than a bit of fading over this last year, it looks as good as new and the whole runner has totally stayed in place. DIY win!
Full cost was around the $150 mark – not super cheap, but really pretty reasonable compared to custom runners. I would definitely do this project again if we had any other staircases to do.
Do you guys have stairs in your home? Do they have runners or are they left bare? I love a good chunky wood stair with white riser. That’s what I’m hoping for in our future house. But I do really like a runner too – they add that element of softness and can definitely bring in some fun pattern and colour. Plus you don’t fall on them as easily. I have been known to come crashing down a staircase or two. #clumsy
So I know we are still a few weeks out from Easter, but I actually got on top of things and did some decorating ahead of time. For once, I am like those organized bloggers who post well in advance, instead of the day-of (or week after!) the holiday. Winning!
I’m a big Easter fan. So many good things – chocolate (!!), spring weather, setting up egg hunts (we do ones with elaborate clues in my household), and pretty pastel decorations. I know, I know, Easter decorations can be on the cheesy and frilly side, but I love the pinks, aquas, and yellows. Everything but the purple, basically. I don’t know what it is with me and purple – we just don’t mix.
I wanted to do something in the way of some Easter decorating, but since it looks like we are moving forward with our big renovations this spring (eee! will give you guys the update on that soon – promise!), I have already started to pack up a bit and didn’t want to have to buy any more supplies. Plus I am all about the easy DIYs these days, anyway. Gotta squeeze my crafting into nap time.
In my hunt for inspiration, I uncovered some styrofoam balls in my craft closet. I grabbed some acrylic paint in my most Easter-y colours, and some toothpicks, and started painting.
In order to keep the balls from touching anything while they dried, I pulled out some of that foamy stuff you use at the bottom of a floral arrangement (you can get this at the dollar store) and stuck a toothpick in it, and then the ball on the toothpick.
Once they were all dry, I thought about how I was going to make these into a wreath. I didn’t have a wreath form, or any heavy duty wire, so I improvised a little with the toothpicks. I stuck the balls together one by one, using the toothpicks.
It worked, but it isn’t the sturdiest. I think the better option would be to have a wreath form – even some hard cardboard would do – and hot glue the balls to it. I’ll probably do this eventually with mine, but for now the toothpicks are doing the trick.
It’s just kind of sweet and fun, right? Not the most glam or chic wreath ever. But I kinda love how it looks a little like gumballs.
So there you go. Easiest easter wreath ever. You can totally get the kids in on this one.
What about you guys? Are you into Easter, or do you turn your nose up at all the pastel colours and plastic eggs? What kind of hunts did/do you do at your place?
You guys, this past weekend Dan and I had our first overnight weekend date since Maya was born, and oh my goodness – it was heaven. Lounging over a lovely meal for a few hours, hitting up the spa, and getting to sleep in (until 8:10am !! haha). It was serious luxury. We went to Perth, which is about an hour west of Ottawa, and is such a sweet little town. Fun little shops to stroll around to, gorgeous old buildings, and a pretty nice flea market (you know that scores high in my books!). And when we went to pick Maya up the next day at my parents’ place, she had clearly had such a good time – total center of attention!
In other news, recently I was gifted a couple of really sweet books. The first is called Instacraft, which has 50 simple and cute crafty projects. The tutorials are short, the materials are often things you just have lying around the house, and I would say they all rate as “beginner” on a craft skills scale. My kind of projects.
Here are a couple of my faves from the book. The first up are these lockets. Aren’t they lovely?
And who would’ve guessed that it was nail polish making those pretty laquered colours?!
-Coloured nail polish
-An old locket
Apply a layer of nail polish to the face of an old locket and let dry
If you want, add some small stones and beads to personalize your pendant.
I told you – so easy, right? Next up are these old world bookends.
-Fine-point paint pens
-Wash bricks with water
-Once dry, coat one edge with acrylic paint
-Use paint pen to write out book title
The more battered the brick, the better! Nicks and bumps supply a great textured canvas for the paint and make for vintage-looking spines.
And who isn’t charmed by a snow globe? Make a customized one for somewhere that is special to you, or for a kiddo with a favourite animal inside.
-Jar (I used an old mustard jar, but mason and jam jars work, too!)
-Remove lid from jar
-Glue base of figurine to inside of lid
-Once glue is dry, fill jar to the brim with water and shake in glitter
-Screw lid back onto jar
-Shake and enjoy
If glitter looks clumpy at first, don’t fret. Give the sparkles a day or two to settle in the globe.
Now for giveaway time. Want to win a copy of InstaCraft for yourself and get all the tutorials for the other sweet projects? Just enter below using RaffleCopter. Giveaway open to residents of Canada and the United States.
The next book I read through is called ‘Small Apartment Hacks’ and is full of clever ideas for making the most out of your space, re-purposing items, shopping for second hand furniture, and ultimately creating a stylish little pad. It would be a perfect gift for someone who is off to University, or about to move out from home for the first time. Want to win a copy? Enter below using Rafflecopter. Open to residents of Canada and the United States.
Any DIY or design books you’ve been reading lately? What about magazines? Did you see that Domino is back in print? I picked up a copy of the Spring issue the other day. SO many beautiful photos and amazing inspiration. Love, love, love.
*Thank you to the publishers for providing these books for review and giveaway!
Before diving into this week’s crafty stuff – I just wanted to say a huge thank you to you guys for the overwhelming support on my post about my breastfeeding experience on Monday. I was completely surprised about the number of comments, facebook messages, and even private emails that I received from other parents out there who could connect in some way with the post. Clearly we need to talk about this stuff more, and throw all of that judgment out the window! So anyway – thank you. It was lovely, humbling, and touching to hear from so many of you.
Okay – back to the usual fare around here. We are kickin’ it old school today, guys. Remember how you used to make paper mache as a kid? Well I don’t quite know why I got a hankering to do some recently, but I did. I kept it to a basic bowl… but you know what? I’m kinda loving it.
First up are the supplies. You can make your own paper mache solution with flour and water, but had some modpodge hanging around so opted to use it instead. Along with that you need a balloon, some newspaper, and a paintbrush unless you want to get messy and use your hands (this is admittedly the more fun option!).
It’s pretty simple. Smear modpodge on the balloon, put your strips of newspaper down, and cover them with more podge. If you had a bowl of the flour and water paste, you just dunk in the strip and then stick it to the balloon. I would do a layer, let it dry overnight, and then do another. In total I did 4 layers as I wanted the bowl to be reasonably sturdy.
In a craft fail, the smaller balloon did not hold up. When I popped it, the whole bowl collapsed into itself (you can see it on the right). Good thing I had that bigger guy to keep me going. After you pop the balloon, you need to cut around the edges of the bowl to get it smooth.
I got all the bits of the balloon out from the inside, and then gave the exterior a coat of white paint. It took a few coats to totally cover up all of the newspaper.
I had planned on doing the inside in gold, but then was craving a little black + white action, so did the inside in a matte black. I loved the look – it’s pretty striking – but it was lacking a little something.
Time for some stamping! I cut a sponge into a triangle shape, dabbed it into my black paint, and stamped around the edge of the bowl.
The result is actually pretty cute. I had totally thought that this might end up in the ugly craft category, but I’m happily digging it. I like that the stamps aren’t totally perfect, and that you can see the texture on the bowl. I haven’t put a coat of a sealant on it, but might down the road if I notice it’s getting marked up.
I haven’t quite figured out where I like this guy yet, so have been moving it around from spot to spot over the last few days…
So easy, right? And for free? Love those kinds of projects.
Have you done any paper mache-ing since graduating from 8th grade? Any stamping? Any other little crafts lately?
The other weekend I was going to a friends’ baby shower (well actually, a “welcome to the world” celebration, as the baby has already been born). My girlfriend has a lot of stuff for baby already and didn’t register for anything in particular, so I decided to have a little fun with her gift. Have you ever seen those “cakes” that people make out of diapers? They are totally cheesy, but I thought it might be kind of fun to try making one myself.
First step was to roll up a bunch of diapers. I had some decorative washi-style tape from the dollar store, so decided to use it instead of elastics (mostly because I didn’t actually have enough elastics at my place). I did a test one first to make sure that the stickiness of the tape didn’t ruin the diaper, and since it’s a pretty low-tack tape, it wasn’t an issue.
You want to roll up the diaper like in this pic, and then just wrap a piece of tape around the middle of it.
After a while, you’ll start to have a big stack…
I knew I wanted to make three tiers, so I counted out how many diapers I had and then split them into three groups. I can’t remember the exact number, but it was something like 60 for the bottom tier, 40 for the middle, and 20 for the top.
I took a cardboard tube leftover from a roll of paper towel to use as the middle of the cake. Then I would place rolled up diapers upright around the tube, and tie a piece of ribbon around them quite securely.
After that, it was just a matter of doing another layer on top of another layer, etc etc, until you end up with the size of base that you want. You need to make sure they are quite tightly tied on so that the shape really stays in place, and you don’t have rogue diapers dropping out from below.
I made a second tier on top of that one in the same way, and then the top tier. I stuck a single diaper in the top of the cardboard tube so that it wouldn’t show, and then took a wood skewer and popped it in the top. Cut out a little flag out of cardboard, taped it around the top of the skewer, tied some fancy ribbon around the three tiers to dress it up, and it was looking cute and festive!
I wanted to include a few other goodies as well, so squeezed in a few of my favourite baby products around the cake.
A piece of cardboard from the recycling bin cut to size made the perfect tray to hold the cake on.
It ended up being a big hit! And hopefully all of those diapers will hold her over for a little while. Diapers are one of those things that are so annoying to constantly buy, so getting a bunch for free is always nice.
Ever made a “diaper cake”, or received one? Any other favourite creative baby gifts?