How to Install Roman Shades in 5 Easy Steps

How to Install Roman Shades in 5 Easy Steps

A byproduct of our kitchen renovation was a little bit of a facelift to our adjoining living room. We painted the walls white and I decided to switch out the window treatments to match the roman shade we put in the kitchen window. I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to measure, purchase and install roman shades.

Here is the before picture, we have these standard white blinds on every window of the house. Slowly, I’ll start replacing them all with cordless window treatments. This was a perfect spot to start.

How to install roman shades in 5 easy steps. These affordable window coverings are cordless and an easy DIY update to any space. We added our roman shades to our living room and kitchen for a completely updated look. #romanshades #DIY #howto

I bought these roman shades at Lowes, they are custom cut at the store and very affordable, at least for a window covering. This entire installation took me under 10 minutes to complete and I did it by myself with a drill, pen and measuring tape. Super simple!

Install Roman Shades – Step 1

Remove your old window covering and made sure to give the window a good wipe down.

Remove your old blinds and make sure to wipe the space down before you start drilling.

Step 2

Measure and mark where you are going to drill the holes to install the brackets.

Measure out and mark where to drill your holes.

Step 3

Drill your holes and install the top brackets. Yes this looks a little crooked but the design of the roman shades are very forgiving.

The bracket to hold the shades before installing the roman shades.

Step 4

Lift the roman shade into place to make sure the screws align.

How to install roman shades in 5 easy steps. These affordable window coverings are cordless and an easy DIY update to any space. We added our roman shades to our living room and kitchen for a completely updated look. #romanshades #DIY #howto

Step 5

Tighten the butterfly nut on the post and you’re done!

How to install roman shades in 5 easy steps. These affordable window coverings are cordless and an easy DIY update to any space. We added our roman shades to our living room and kitchen for a completely updated look. #romanshades #DIY #howto

This installation was so easy and made such a difference in the space. I love bringing in the natural fibers in the window against the white walls of the living room. These shades are easy to adjust as well so when we want to watch a movie and darken the room a bit, they pull right down.

We love how they turned out, such a quick and affordable DIY update to the space.

How to install roman shades in 5 easy steps. These affordable window coverings are cordless and an easy DIY update to any space. We added our roman shades to our living room and kitchen for a completely updated look. #romanshades #DIY #howto

Install Roman Shades in Ceramic Tile

We followed these exact steps to install roman shades in our kitchen. The inside of the window sill was tiled to match the walls so we needed a special drill bit to drill through the ceramic tile. We also kept the bit and the tile wet with a spray bottle while we drilled slowly to prevent cracking.

How to install roman shades in 5 easy steps. These affordable window coverings are cordless and an easy DIY update to any space. We added our roman shades to our living room and kitchen for a completely updated look. #romanshades #DIY #howto

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20

As we are finishing up our kitchen renovation, I found myself torn up about my toaster oven. I’ve had this Hamilton Beach toaster oven for over 10 years and I love it. It’s functional and ok, maybe I have a little bit of a sentimental attachment to it. So when I realized that the red wasn’t going to look good in our new kitchen design, I needed to come up with a plan.

A few people suggested that I give it a good cleaning and then paint it with some high heat spray paint to give it a little facelift. A matte black toaster oven for under $20? What did I have to lose right?

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

Black Toaster Oven Transformation

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

First step in making this a black toaster oven was making this a clean one. I used a degreaser and following the directions, made sure I was in a well ventilated area and used gloves. This degreaser worked so quickly and very easily got this little toaster oven looking like new, at least on the outside.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

I’ve linked everything I used for this DIY project in my Amazon Store.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

Once it was clean and completely dry, I tapped off everything with blue painters tape. I was very generous with the tape to make sure none of the chrome or stainless steel parts were accidentally painted matte black. The I used this high heat matte black spray paint and got to work. It coated very easily and dried quickly. I started with the back of the toaster oven so that I could get used to the spray paint. Once that was dry, I did the front. I used a small piece of cardboard to over the opening when the glass door was open and the red lip on the inside needed to be painted.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

I am THRILLED with how it turned out. It looks just perfect in the new kitchen. This little black toaster oven is now just the perfect combination of new and completely used.

Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

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Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances
Black Toaster Oven Transformation For Under $20. Step by step guide to this simple DIY project that is budget friendly and quick. Turn any appliance into a dated piece with some high heat spray paint and elbow grease. #diy #kitchenideas #appliances

How to DIY a Flocked Christmas Tree

How to DIY a Flocked Christmas Tree

Flocked Christmas trees have always seemed a bit comical to me living in Southern California but this year, I just couldn’t resist. Last year’s mantel was classic and gold, this year I wanted to change it up without spending a thousand dollars on decorations. The flocked Christmas tree adds a bit of whimsy and plays off perfectly to the $3 white houses that I got in the Target Dollar Spot. 

I was surprised that a flocked Christmas tree was such an easy DIY project. Thanks to My Vintage Porch, I loosely followed her instructions and love the result. 

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

DIY Flocked Christmas Tree

These trees are from Hobby Lobby and were $3. They are the perfect size for the mantel and easy to fluff up. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Next step is to give them a good coat of white spray paint, I used this white chalk paint. I did from all angles too, including from the bottom up to make sure it was fully coated with just a bit of green peaking through. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

While the paint was still wet, I sprayed it with adhesive and then dumped on the fake snow. I used an old bucket to contain the mess. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Once it was coated, I sprayed it with another layer of adhesive and then sprinkled on the baking soda. The snow that I bought was iridescent and I was too lazy to return it.  The baking soda toned it down a bit. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Something I learned for next time, I’d attach a wire to the top of the tree so I could life and move the tree around without flocking my own fingers and smooshing the fluff on the top branch. 

Flocked Christmas Tree Mantel

I loved the white ceramic houses from the Target Dollar Spot this year. I’ve always wanted one of those quaint Christmas ceramic house villages and this is probably going to be as close as I get. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

Last year I laid the garland on top of the mantel but this year, I wanted something a little cleaner looking since the trees were so busy. Hanging it worked out great and I added in some live greenery into it to give it some depth. The wood nativity scene is this one from Melissa and Doug. The girls love to play with it and it keeps them from touching my vintage one in the other room. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

To add height to the houses, I used some of my cake stands that I already had. The gold reindeer votive candle holders were from Hobby Lobby last year. The red bulbs are from Hobby Lobby as well. They came in branches and I just cut them into smaller bundles. Some of the extra snow from the flocking made for the perfect topping to finish off the mantel. 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

The big red bulbs give it a pop of color and work with the red beads in the garland. Plus it will tie in perfectly with our red stockings on Christmas morning. They will wait for Christmas morning since Little Nugget pulled one down on her head last year. 

I’m super happy for how they turned out and the entire mantel cost me under $50! 

Flocked Christmas Tree DIY project - perfect decorations for a rustic or farmhouse mantel. Ideas on how to pair them with white ceramic houses from Target with red accents and green garland. #christmas #flocked #mantel

 

Reading Nook Under the Stairs

Reading Nook Under the Stairs

When we first looked at this house, I always thought that the open space under the stairs would make the perfect reading nook for the kids. Fast forward three years and I finally made it happen.

Reading Nook Under the Stairs Before

When we bought this house, the lower stairs were open and wrapped in carpet. In fact, the banister was completely different, and completely dangerous for small children, you can see the before pictures here. This space served as a catch all of toys, random storage boxes and the only space for our large dog’s crate. That dog is crate trained and if left out while we are gone, will destroy a few of the kids toys as retribution. So the crate has to stay put. It’s only been recently that the girls have started playing under here which is what’s motivated me to finally make this space more intentional. And fun.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! 

Reading Nook beforeReading Nook Under Stairs BeforeReading Nook Before Wide

Reading Nook Under the Stairs During

I’m actually surprised that the carpet was even able to be ripped off of these stairs since there were about 5,729 carpet staples under here. I removed them all, patched, sanded and caulked before I used my favorite primer.

Reading Nook Before Primer

I used leftover navy paint for the walls (mostly SW Naval with a touch of SW Salty Dog from our dining room makeover) and acrylic craft paint for the back of the stairs.

Reading Nook Paint Only

I used these cloud decals and put my kiddos to work. They were so excited to finally be able to help and it took every bit of restraint in my body to no go back and “fix” their cloud placement. It’s so fun to include them in the design and implementation of these house projects, especially in a space that is exclusively for them.

Reading Nook Girls Helping

Since this is a fairly dark space, it needed a light and this wall scone was the perfect size. It wasn’t quite the right gold so I sprayed it with this and copied Nesting With Grace’s Magic Light Trick so that I wouldn’t have to hard wire the light. I used it in our laundry room makeover and it works so well. The rainbow photo holder I found for $2 in the Target Clearance section.

Reading Nook Clouds

Reading Nook Under the Stairs After

I couldn’t be happier with the finished product and the girls absolutely love it. I let Big Nugget pick out what pillows she wanted (all from Home Goods). The rainbow curtain is tulle that I wrapped around a tension rod and tucked under the dog crate – you can see how I made it in this video.

Reading Nook Under Stairs After

No rainbow reading nook is complete without a rainbow unicorn.

Reading Nook After

Big Nugget also picked out this basket to hold her favorite books.

Reading Nook Rainbow

I think both of the girls are happy with their rainbow reading nook and I have a feeling lots of memories will be made under the stairs.

Reading-Nook-Big-Nugget.jpg

Reading Nook Girls ReadingRainbow Reading Nook Pinterest

How to paint a front door

How to paint a front door

If you are a design junkie like me, then you see people paint a front door all the time and poof, the space is transformed. They make it all look so easy.

It’s not, especially when you have two young kids and two dogs, but I did it and want to share what I learned.

I love doing DIY projects around the house. I love to improve my home. I love to transform spaces. I’m not afraid to make mistakes and get a little dirty. But let me tell you what I don’t love….not being able to devote the time and attention it takes to get a job done well and quickly.

So I’ve learned to maximize the kid free time I do have and embrace the chaos when they are around. I remember “helping” paint the columns on our front porch when I was little and I want my kids to have those same memories. So when it was time to tackle that front door paint job, I mustered up all the patience I could and made it a family affair.

This post contains some affiliate links – meaning if you click through the links and buy anything, the retailer will pay me a small commission at no additional cost to you! `

Must Haves to Paint a Front Door

  1. Baby Gate
  2. Good paint scraper like this one
  3. Stripping Gel
  4. Sander
  5. Old towel
  6. Some good podcasts – I binged Armchair Expert and Slow Burn during this DIY
  7. Patience

Here is where we started. Lovely color but a little dated, starting to chip and the handle was somewhat broken.

front door before wide shot

Strip Before You Paint

I knew that there were LAYERS of paint on this door so it had to be stripped. I used the CitriStrip gel based on the recommendation from the guy at the paint counter. The smell wasn’t bad but did give me a headache after awhile.

front door paint stripping gel

I got a little excited and slathered the gel all over the front door. What I should have done, is do a small area at a time so that the gel wouldn’t full dry. You want it to soak in but still be a little gooey so it peels off. It says it stays wet for 24 hours, maybe in some other climates that’s true, but not in coastal San Diego.

front door paint stripping

My kids wanted to get involved and I tried to let them scrape off paint when the gel was removed or completely dry.

Sand That Door Down

Once you have the door stripped as much as possible and fill in any cracks and dings with wood putty, make sure it’s exterior and stainable/paintable, it’s time to get the sander out. I used both the power sander and the hand held sanding block to get all the nooks and crannies of the door and frame. Surprisingly, my girls slept through this.

front door sander

Prime it

I used two coats of Killz Primer on the door and I let it sit for a few days in between so that the primer could cure on the front door. Logistically, it made sense for me to change the door hardware at this step.

front door primed

Paint It

With two dogs and two small kids, I can’t just paint a front door without some sort of barricade and this baby gate worked perfectly. I also couldn’t stand the big thin plastic tarp on my floor so I opt’d for an old towel. This was the perfect size and weight to protect my floors without annoying the crap out of me or creating a giant tripping hazard.

front door paint set up

It took three coats to get the door the color I wanted and, once again, I waited a day between coats two and three. I also switched out the porch light to something a little more modern and scored some new pots in the Target clearance section so I added some new plants to make the space a little more fresh. Boxwood Wreath is on Amazon for way cheaper than I bought it on Wayfair (sigh) and the welcome mat is from Target last spring.

Finished Product

front door after little nugget

It was a LOT of work and took WAY longer than I had anticipated but I couldn’t be happier with the results. Would I paint a front door again? Absolutely. See more images for the transformation here.

Paint a Front Door 2

Unique DIY Halloween Costumes

Unique DIY Halloween Costumes

Remember the days when our DIY Halloween costumes consisted of something super cheap from the thrift store and we just said we were random characters from a 70’s tv show? Now as a parent, things are a bit different. There is so much pressure to figure out what costume everyone is going to wear.

When Big Nugget was a baby, I wasn’t into Halloween, much less making a DIY Halloween costume. It was just too much effort for an hour (or less). Now that the kids are older, it feels way more festive. There is the costume day at dance class, Halloween party at preschool and then the actual holiday itself so I’m totally into it. It’s one of those holiday’s that I have such fond memories of as a kid, I want that same warm fuzzy feeling for my girls.

Last year Big Nugget wanted to be a pine cone for Halloween. And ya know what, we made that happen and she was the CUTEST pine cone you have ever seen. See a full tutorial on how I pulled it together rather easily here.

DIY Pine Cone Costume. Complete tutorial to make this unique Halloween costume. Perfect for a toddler, preschooler or teen, this custom craft project is easy and affordable. #DIY #Craft #Halloween #Costume #uniquecostume #pinecone #toddler #preschool #homemade

What was so wonderful about the pine cone idea was that it was just so unique and organic. So now the pressure is on and we are on the hunt for this year’s great Halloween idea. I am struggling to remake that magic and of course, took to Pinterest to hopefully inspire something in us. No luck yet but we had a great time pulling together this list of unique DIY Halloween costumes.

We are still narrowing down our list of ideas for this year and Big Nugget is wanting to incorporate her Little in some way. This should be interesting. Maybe I need to pull together a unique DIY Halloween costumes list, pairs edition next. In the meantime, check out these amazingly creative and unique DIY Halloween costumes.

Unique DIY Halloween Costumes

 

Owl

Pinata

Nesting Doll

sister costume

rainbow bird

hot air balloon

broccoli

scuba

gum

snail

butterfly

DIY Halloween Costume Roundup

 

Looking for more costume ideas for kids? Check out these 11 DIY Halloween costume ideas!