DIY Kraft Paper Wall Art
Hello, friends! Today, I have a quick DIY for you based on some lovely photos I've been seeing all over my Instagram feed. You may or may not know that I have a slight love affair with kraft paper. It's great for wrapping presents and covering tables and as packing paper for items I ship. One thing I never thought I'd do with it, though, was decorate with it. That all changed when I saw this photo from Nelly Friedel on Instagram. There are a few Etsy sellers who sell signs similar to this of course. Being me, though, I wanted to try my hand at making my own. Before we jump in to the tutorial, let me amend this post by saying that this is a simple DIY. It doesn't require any building -- just some hot glue and handwriting. Anyone can do this! I will say that I'd like to make one with a rolling bar so that I can rewrite on it anytime similar to this one that Joanna Gaines did for Fixer Upper. That's a DIY for another day, though, because it requires some hefty brackets and iron. So for now, here's the simple version! All you'll need for this project is a small roll of kraft paper (I used packing paper that's a little under two feet wide), hot glue, a dowel rod, some oil-rubbed bronze spray paint, some twine or rope and a sharpie. I actually had all of these things on hand, so this project was a complete freebie! To start, cut your dowel rod down to 2" wider than your kraft paper roll. Mine ended up being cut at 23". I wanted a small part of the rod to stick out on either side of the paper when it was hung. I used a miter saw to cut mine, but a hand saw will work just as well, or have the nice people at the hardware store do it for you. Once that's cut, spray paint it with the oil rubbed bronze spray paint. I used Rustoleum because it's my favorite for coverage and durability (no, we are not receiving any compensation from Rustoleum for this post. It's just our opinion). While that dried, I went inside to cut my kraft paper down to size. I measured out a 7 foot long piece of kraft paper for this project. Once it was cut, I found approximately the middle and wrote out the phrase I wanted on my sign. You can choose anything! Here's a hand-lettering tutorial we did about a year ago and another one from earlier this year that you can use as a guide. I cheated on this one and simply wrote it out in cursive and then went back with my sharpie and highlighted all of the downstrokes with a thicker line. It looks like calligraphy but took a fraction of the time. Once your phrase is written out, roll up the top and the bottom of the paper and glue it in place. Hint: glue a few long lines as you roll to keep the paper from unrolling instead of one line at the end. That's it for the scroll part. Now back to that dowel rod. You'll need the dowel rod, hot glue and the rope or twine you chose. I used this really thick rope that I had originally purchased for the hanging tables on our porch. Having hung the sign, I don't actually love that rope because the sign isn't heavy enough to weigh it down and straighten the sides of the rope, so I'd go with something a little thinner. If you still want white or lighter colored rope/twine, they have dyed versions at Walmart and Hobby Lobby stores that you can use. Of course, you can always go natural and use twine which they sell pretty much everywhere! Hot glue the rope to one side of your dowel rod wrapping the rope around the rod starting about an inch in and working toward the outside. Hold it until it has dried. Then thread the rod through the kraft paper roll and do the same thing on the other side of the dowel rod. I let that sit for a few minutes to make sure it was completely dry and then just hung it on a nail in our living room. That's it, friends. A really simple DIY, but it packs a punch! It's completely customizable, too, so make it larger or smaller depending on the space you're filling, and it's easy enough that you can slip on a new roll when you want to change out the phrase! We'd love to see yours if you make one! Tag us (@saltandlifeblog) on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest for a chance to be featured on one of our accounts. Hope you have a wonderful Monday, friends!!!
Entryway Makeover
Friends, as I write this post, I'm sitting in the airport delayed, yet again. This week, I'm headed to Florida (yay, vacation!!!), although at this point it feels like I might not get there.  By the time you read this tomorrow morning, though, hopefully I'll be enjoying the sand and the salt air and the sunshine with my little one! In the meantime, I have two fun things to share! The first is a freebie! The second is our new and improved entryway!!! If you follow us on Instagram, you've probably already seen our Flower Market sign. It's probably one of my favorite signs to date because it speaks to my plant lady heart (thank you, Magnolia!). The best part about this right now is we're doing a giveaway! Check out our Instagram post here for all the details. We'd love for you to win!!! The winner will be announced this Friday, so head over there now for your chance to win! Here's the story behind the entry. When we moved into our house 12 years ago, it still lived in the 70s from wallpaper in the closet to orange and yellow walls. That's what welcomed you into our cute little ranch on a basement. Le sigh. I didn't even take pictures of it when we moved in because it was such an eyesore. I had a friend tell me once that we must have had some sort of crazy vision for this house because she never would have bought it if she'd seen it in its original condition. That's a post for another day, though. In the meantime, I painted the hallway a tan color because it was THE color at the time, and left it at that.
A couple of weeks ago, though, I got an inkling to change it up. Granted, I'd been oohing and aahing over all of these gorgeous entryways I found on Pinterest. (Check out some of my entry inspiration photos here plus a whole lot of other ideas!) I finally decided it was time to break out my first can of white paint and hit the walls. Up until this point, I've been strictly a greige kind of girl -- mostly because white walls always seemed really clinical to me and sterile. Embracing the minimalist walls, though, lets me use high contrast items like black hardware to really define a space and then add my favorite vintage pieces and greenery to bring it all to life. It's like a blank slate. So I jumped in. Everything is white, you guys. The walls, the ceiling, the doors, the trim -- all of it. The hardware is black (except for the hinges -- I forgot to buy those, but those are coming), and my favorite part is the mudroom-style board and hooks that I added to look like a built in. It's amazing what a coat of paint will do. [caption id="attachment_3364" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Color before with patching. Apparently I really couldn't make up my mind where to hang things when we first moved in. Look at all those nail holes!!![/caption]   [caption id="attachment_3365" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Color after. I hadn't added the entry board yet, but even with a fresh coat of paint it looks brighter and more modern![/caption] Here's a breakdown of what I changed. A few months ago, I posted about this gorgeous light fixture I found at HomeGoods for $60. That was the first inspiration piece for all of the hardware. Then I redid our bathroom and framed in the mirror with a piece of pre-primed pine board (check out the details of that here). That board was the perfect width for an entry board, so I cut an 8' piece down to 7' and hung it in the entry. That cost $11. To hang it, all I did was find the studs and put 2-1/2" screws through the board into the studs. I buried them into the pine a bit (its soft, so it's not hard to do) then put wood filler over the holes to hide the screws. Then I painted the entire thing white to match the walls and hung the black hardware (found here) with the screws provided. Voila! Add a plant that loves low light and a DIY bench (tutorial here), some artwork (tutorial here) and that's it! It's simple, but beautiful and oh, so bright!!! The total cost to renovate the front hallway was under $100 including the light fixture. Here's the breakdown:
  • HomeGoods lantern - $60
  • Pine Board - $11
  • Hooks - $24
  • White Paint - had on hand
  I feel like it completely changes the feel of the entry, and love all of the pieces I've gotten to add. I kept my bench and added a pillow that my aunt gave me from Kirklands. I also found this cute low light plant at Lowes. It's quick growing, too, and only needs water once a week or so. The jute basket it's in I found at Hobby Lobby. Along the opposite wall, I hung a mail sorter basket that was a Marshall's find. I filled it with old books that I recovered with white wrapping paper and tied with twine. Of course, I had to use my apothecary cabinet from Gabriel Brothers (it was a steal, y'all, at $50), filled with some of my Rae Dunn collection and topped with a mirror I distressed using this technique. The boxwood wreath is dried. It's the same one from Christmas that I purchased from Trader Joe's for $10. They have these every Christmas, so be on the lookout! I added a few old books and an olive bucket and cotton stems from Hobby Lobby and called it a day. Friends, I'm in love! It's so bright and happy in this entry and it really sets the tone for the entire house because all the walls are going white in the front half of the house! What do you think about the white paint? Love it or leave it?It's okay. White's not for everyone on the walls, but I'm certainly a believer now! I'll be posting about my progress through the house, so stay tuned.  
Bathroom Update | DIY Vinyl Flooring
The last step in our journey to finishing the major upgrades in our hall bathroom was flooring. Flooring that I'd had for, oh, a month at least but hadn't found the time to put down. We were seriously living with the subfloor exposed for all of that time, just covering it with bath mats when people came over. Sigh. We're past all that now, though, because **cue angels singing** I finally finished the bathroom flooring!!! I talked with you guys in an earlier post about maybe getting brave and doing a herringbone pattern in the tile. However, I chose the easy route and just stuck with square vinyl tiles knowing that we won't be in this house much longer {we're not moving yet, but a lot of our upgrades are to sell}. If I'm going to go crazy and do a herringbone floor, I'm going to do it somewhere I'm going to live for a while because, let's face it, it's going to take some time. The square tile route, though... not so much. I had the entire thing down in a little over an hour. This is the third room in our house that I've tiled, and two of those rooms I've done more than once already because I learned the hard way what my style was, so I've learned a few tricks along the way. In case you're tackling this sort of project on your own, I thought I'd share some of those things with y'all, and of course I really want to share how it turned out! Before we jump in, let me start with saying I've done self-stick tile in our kitchen and both bathrooms. I had not grouted any of those rooms, though, so that was a new experience {but an easy one}. Despite my love of power tools, I'm nervous to use a wet saw on real tile because the curves around the toilet make me nervous. I watched a YouTube video of a guy doing it, and you basically have to chip pieces off using straight cuts until you work your way all the way around the toilet -- it sounds like a ton of work and like I would screw it up a lot. So I opted for vinyl peel-and-stick instead. Here's the tile I used from Lowes. [caption id="attachment_3343" align="alignleft" width="900"] Just a little reminder of the bathroom and flooring from before.[/caption] All right, friends. Here's everything you'll need to tile and grout your bathroom:
  • Vinyl peel and stick tile
  • Floor primer {this is similar to what I used}
  • Paint roller and pad for rough surfaces
  • Xacto knife or scissors
  • Pen
  • Ruler/straight edge
  • Measuring tape
  • Spacers
  • Grout
  • Sponge
  • 2 buckets (one for mixing the grout and one for water)
  • Trowel
  Step one is to prep the floor. Sweep up the subfloor and vacuum it if there's any extra dust. Then using your roller, apply a thin layer of the floor primer over the entire floor. Let it dry {mine was dry within an hour or so}. Laying down the flooring is pretty self-explanatory, but there are some tips to getting the most out of your tile.

Flooring Tips:

  1. Start in the center of the room. It just looks more natural this way. For the bathroom, I started on the center square halfway between the wall and vanity.
  2. Use the paper on the back of each tile as a template for the next. The paper is super thin and very malleable, so it makes a great material to trace curves and lines -- not to mention it's the exact same size as your tiles.
  3. Use spacers if you're grouting. These are lifesavers and make the whole project look really organized and professional. These babies are cheap and oh, so worth it!
  4. Score your straight cuts. It takes some serious arm work and time to cut through these tiles with an Xacto, so my best tip is to score it on the back (draw your line on the paper side then run the blade over the line twice), then bend the tile. It will break where you scored it. Follow up with scissors to cut through the very top layer. This will give you the smoothest cut without all the arm work.
  Once your tile is down, it's time to grout! This is the easiest thing ever, y'all! I got a giant bag of grout, so I only mixed up about a third of it. Pour however much you want to use in one of your buckets. Fill the other bucket with water about halfway. Dip your sponge in the water then wring it out over the bucket with the dry grout. Mix it up with your trowel. If it's still too dry, do it again. You want it to be the consistency of peanut butter. That's the best way to put it. When you turn your trowel over, it shouldn't fall off immediately and it definitely shouldn't drip. I figured out about halfway through grouting our wall tile that the easiest way to grout consistently was to slop a bunch on in a diagonal pattern then use the edge to scoop up the excess and do it again. I didn't think to get a video of me doing this, though -- sorry, y'all -- but YouTube is full of examples. The basic premise, though, is you'll want it to be perfect so you'll go slow at first. However, doing that actually pulls up the grout. Instead, be really liberal with it because you'll go back with a sponge and wipe up any extra that's on the tiles. Don't be afraid of coating them completely if that's what it takes. I worked in one foot or so sections, starting closest to the tub and working my way to the hallway. Spread the grout, then wring out your sponge so it's almost dry. At a diagonal, wipe the sponge over the grout one time, raising up at the end. Dip the sponge in the water, wring it out so it's almost dry and do it again. This is the process for each section. That's it. The grout I used was sanded because I used such a thick grout line, so it took 24 hours to fully dry. I have not sealed mine yet. I intend to, but just haven't gotten around to it. That's an optional step, though, and you guys, I'm honestly just kind of freaking out because it's so bright in that bathroom now!!!!!!!!! I got a huge response on Instagram to the post including these metal wall hangers, so let me just share really quickly. Apparently, Magnolia sells them as well, but I found these at The Faded Farmhouse during a recent trip to Tennessee. I already had the cotton, so it was a simple matter of hanging them and adding the cotton stems to each. They added just a hint of rustic to an otherwise pretty modern bathroom. I'm still struggling with the shelving over the toilet. I know I need to keep it bright in there, but I can't decide between bracket or floating shelves or even a medicine cabinet of sorts. So for now, there are no shelves. That's coming, though, so stay tuned!!! I just love how this bathroom is shaping up, you guys! What do you think of the transformation so far? Hope you guys have a great weekend!
DIY $15 Milk Stool
It's no secret that I love vintage and thrift store shopping. One of my favorite things to do is repurpose items that were used years and years ago. They possess charm and character that you simply can't buy new. A few months ago, I was with my aunt shopping at Coach Light Antiques and a few other favorite local shops, and I stumbled on this white antiqued stepping stool. It was a three-legged one that was rough around the edges and stood about a foot off the ground. When I was a kid, I used to step up on a handpainted stool that my parents had, and I just love the idea of having something sweet like that for my daughter to use. Also, I'm relatively height challenged, so I'm generally in need of assistance for those higher cabinets in our house. Not even kidding. Of course, the stool I found at the antique shop cost a pretty penny, and me being me thought, "Oh, I can make that," and then months later still hadn't gotten around to it. I saw a pale green one at HomeGoods not too long ago, but even it was close to $40 which is far outside my I'm-willing-to-pay-that-much range. Plus, I would have had to paint that one. Well, friends, I've finally gotten around to making my own! And. I. Love. It. An old fashioned milk stool is what originally inspired me, and for mine, I really wanted some chunky, decorative legs and a white finish. So I set off to Home Depot. They have these legs available for a little over $3 each and these round pressed boards for around $5.50. That and some enamel paint is all I needed to make this project. We're talking less than $15 total!!! The smallest round appearance board I could find was 17", which was far too wide a diameter for this stool considering I used 6" legs, so I broke out my trusty jigsaw and cut a 12" diameter circle out of the appearance board. Then I sanded down the outside rim and rounded the edges a bit before painting. I know you're shocked, but I actually didn't distress this stool. I thought about it, believe me, and I still might go back and add some "scuff marks" (aka black dry brush paint), but for now I kind of like the solid white look, especially against the chalkboard in our kitchen. Before I talk about attaching the legs, let me walk you through my thought process on them. I originally wanted them to angle out. Unfortunately, the bolts that are built into these legs didn't allow enough threading to do that. So I put them in straight, which is way easier but probably not as sturdy as I had originally intended. Against my husband's advice, I only used three legs instead of four (we'll see how this turns out in the long run). I will say that I can stand on this baby and she doesn't move unless I get too close to the edge. So there's that. All you need is a 5/16" drill bit since the bolt screws are already built into the legs. I measured out equidistant points, drilled and screwed in the legs. That simple! Once everything was attached and solid, I clear coated the entire thing with a semi-gloss clear coat spray. That took a couple of hours to fully cure, and then it was ready to use! Y'all, this stool is super cute and my new favorite addition to our kitchen -- not to mention it's going to make a really cute photo prop! Now I feel like I need to make another one for our half bath... what do you think? I hope today is treating you all well! Thanks for stopping by! xoxo
$12 Large Framed Chalkboard
Pastels. Eggs. Candy. Sunday best. Worship. Easter was yesterday and was filled with all of these beautiful, fun things. I love Easter because it celebrates a fresh start. A clean slate. Spring is evident everywhere, in new blooms, in beautiful colors, a perfect picture of redemption. The Easter story is powerful, and we've been seeing "He is risen" photos popping up all over our Instagram feed making us even more thankful to be a part of such a beautiful community of creatives celebrating the gifts and beauty of our Creator. Most of the last couple of weeks has been full of rehearsals in preparation for our Easter services at work, which makes for a busy and [wonder]full schedule. Somehow, though, Amanda and I found ourselves with a chunk of time Saturday morning to get together for donuts and coffee. Friends, the sun was shining, the shop was gorgeous and the blog planning was productive! We did a quick live video that you can check out here to see what all we were up to, and here are a couple of photos from our adventure. Because schedules have been so busy lately, I've been all about the quick and easy projects and upgrades. I still haven't finished the floor in our hall bathroom or the shelves, but we're getting there! Despite that, there wasa little extra time to work on small projects that needed my attention but I hadn't had time for in the past, like the chalkboard over my coffee bar. I have always been pretty much in love with the idea of a coffee bar and have seen a few inspirational ones which led to my coffee cabinet upgrade which you can read about here. Almost all of my idea board photos have chalkboards in them, though, so I was bound and determined to figure out how to work an oversized chalkboard into my coffee bar. Before I had time to build a chalkboard, I was walking through Hobby Lobby on a completely unrelated shopping trip and stumbled on their aisle of chalkboards. To be perfectly honest, I always thought it would just be completely cost-ineffective to buy a framed chalkboard the size I wanted {we're talking 3' wide} when I could build one for around $20. Well, I was wrong! Sometimes making them from scratch isn't the way to go! I found this unfinished framed chalkboard at Hobby Lobby originally for $14.99, except that day it was 50% off. So it cost $7.50. Say what!?! Way cheaper for an already framed chalkboard than if I had bought a sheet of blackboard at the hardware store and bought wood to frame it and ... oh, yeah. Then there's the time it would have taken to cut down the boards, build the frame, attach it ... you get the picture. Even after all of that, it would have cost $20 to build one on my own including stain... so I bought it! Patience is not one of my virtues, friends, so I brought it home and hung it up immediately as it was. I had a magnolia wreath, hung it on the chalkboard with a 3M hook and called it a day. It was cute, don't get me wrong, but looked unfinished {because it was} and it was also missing something. When a DIY-er, upgrade! I headed down to the garage and pulled out my favorite stain of all time, Minwax Early American, covered my dining room table with a plastic dropcloth, found an old sock with holes in it and stained the frame on that chalkboard. Instant. Upgrade. If you don't have stain on hand, stores like Home Depot and Lowes and even Walmart sell small cans of stain for around $4. [caption id="attachment_3265" align="alignnone" width="300"] Before...[/caption] [caption id="attachment_3269" align="alignnone" width="300"] After![/caption] A couple of staining tips. I never brush stain on. Ever. It goes on so much smoother with something soft like a cloth, an old rag, an old tee shirt, or a sock. Believe it or not, we have a sock stash in the garage for staining. True story. I also don't do the whole brush on, wipe off thing. Probably because I use Early American which is not a super dark stain to start with. At any rate, I wipe a coat on thinly so there's nothing to wipe off, let that dry and then if it's not dark enough, I'll do another coat. It's easier and less wasteful, in my opinion. Finally, wipe with the grain, not against it. You'll have weird lines if you try to go against the grain so just roll with it. I did not clear coat this sign. You can, and it's absolutely helpful, but it's really not exposed to any elements so I didn't take the time to. I also mentioned it was missing something with just the wreath. It's not a coffee bar without a sign, right? I made this sign a while ago using the same technique for the words as our wood gather sign and the same distressing technique as our planter boxes. Because 3M hooks are awesome, I hung it on the chalkboard the same way and ta-da! It feels like that niche is finished and is full of materials I love: greenery, chippy white paint, chunky farmhouse furniture, chalkboard, wood elements and, of course, coffee. Now that that's done, I need to get back to that bathroom flooring so we can check that one off the project list. But first, coffee. Happy Monday, friends!
How to Frame a Bathroom Mirror
I've been such a blog slacker, friends! My hiatus wasn't planned, but sometimes that's just how life goes. Y'all know what I mean. At any rate, I have made some great strides on the hall bathroom in our house that I'm so excited to share and, in fact, only have the flooring and shelves left to do before it's finished! {Well, we still have to have the tub reglazed, but other than that it'll be done.} Over the past couple of weeks, I finished the vanity, painted the walls, hung the light fixture {which is just gorgeous} and framed the bathroom mirror. I have to be completely honest here. I've never, like ever in the history of living in our house, all 12 years of it, liked this bathroom. It's dark. It's outdated. It has tile ev.ery.where. It's just always been blah. I did a little bit to it over time like getting rid of the hideous carpet and wallpaper that was in there {why I didn't take a picture of that I'll never know}, but it's never been pretty or even just okay. Now? I absolutely LOVE it! It's always so much fun when a project turns out better than you expect and you just keep going back in that room to take a look at it one more time. Seriously, every time I turn the light on and it's immediately bright in there my heart is happy all over again. I spilled some of the details here about my inspiration for the bathroom and shared the before photos, so hop on over if you haven't seen all of that. I knew I loved this light fixture when I first saw it -- partially because of the $39.99 price tag and partially because it was glass which would allow so much light through. I always have moments where I second-guess my vision for a space, though, and I thought it might be too small, too shiny, etc. Y'all. It's perfection. This bathroom has a lot of 1960s charm to it thanks to the tile and the vanity. I didn't want to completely get rid of that character, but I did want to update the overall look and feel of it. That can get kind of tricky, but it somehow all came together in the little details, like the vintage-esque knobs and the pendant light, so the bathroom feels like we put that tile in on purpose to add some character instead of the other way around! We also had a giant mirror in that bathroom {it's a small bathroom, so the big mirror makes sense} with the old-school flower covered screws that held the mirror up along with tons of glue. Those had to go, and really the mirror looked unfinished because of the edges anyway. We considered buying new screws with heads that were more modern, but ultimately, I wanted a chunky white frame to go around the mirror. So this DIY was born! I have to tell you, after the six-hour debacle that was hanging the light fixture thanks to some ill-fitting screws and bracket, framing the mirror was a breeze! Except for the giant oops I made... Before I show you that {which is actually part of our Instagram story, so be sure you follow us on there to get more behind the scenes footage of our DIYs}, let me give you some context. Finding screws that would go through the quarter-inch holes that had been drilled in the mirrors proved to be pretty much impossible mostly because the drywall behind the mirror was so stripped out. The hole in the wall was actually bigger than the one in the mirror, and there were no studs {of course} behind the mirror where the screw holes were to use longer screws on. So I got the bright idea to use wall anchors, the expandable ones like this. It was a great idea and actually worked really well... after I screwed up. Here's what happened. Yeah... so that was fun. Anyway, I got the piece put back on and all the anchors through the mirror and into the drywall with screws. Next, I had to cut my frame pieces. I opted to cut the four sides and attach them to the mirror separately rather than build the entire frame and hope my mirror was straight and level. {Nothing in this house has been so far, so I didn't want to test my luck.} I bought this primed 1 x 6 board from Lowes. Because we wanted the 36" x 36" mirror to look rectangular when framed, I cut the top and bottom at 36" long and cut the sides at 41" using my miter saw. All four angles were cut at 45 degrees. Before I started attaching the pieces, I laid it out to double check the corners met just right and were square. To attach the frame to the mirror, I bought LocTite adhesive for mirrors. It's amazing. These primed boards are not lightweight, and once I put them on, they didn't slide around at all thanks to that adhesive! I had to add a small board above the mirror to give the top piece of the frame something to adhere to since the sides were cut longer than the tops. I also had to drill pockets in the back of my side pieces so the screw heads would fit inside them rather than making the frame stand off the mirror. Of course, I didn't take a photo of that... But all I did was drill halfway into the back of each piece with a 1/2" drill bit. The screw heads fit right inside these holes to conceal them. After that, all I did was put LocTite on the back of each piece starting with the top and, using a level, glued them on, lining them up with the mirror and ensuring the corners met. I used blue painters tape to hold them in place on the off chance any of them were to slip, but I honestly don't know if that was necessary. The LocTite held almost immediately. Better to be safe, though, right? I let the frame set overnight once it was framed and then took latex paintable caulk and filled the corner seams of the frame. Once that had dried, I gave the entire frame two good coats of Behr Bit of Sugar enamel paint. Then I just stared because between the mirror frame and the light fixture, not to mention the updated vanity and super white, sparkly tile thanks to Rustoleum, I was in awe of the transformation. It has completely exceeded my expectations so far, and it has all been done DIY and on a budget! Framing the entire mirror only cost $20 {I did already have the paint, so that might cost more depending} and it added such a huge, modern element to the bathroom. At this point, the entire bathroom reno has cost approximately $100. I still have to build the shelves and buy the flooring and grout for the floor, so all in, we're looking at less than $200 {probably closer to $150} to upgrade our entire bathroom! It looks like a total overhaul, but is actually just paint and refacing for the most part! What's your favorite part of this project so far? Hope you're having a great week, friends!
Dollhouse Table Redo
I have always loved dollhouses and miniatures. I was so excited to give my daughter this Imaginarium dollhouse this past Christmas. I searched high and low for the perfect one. I may like to do the whole DIY thing, but I was not about building one of those hobby dollhouses...not to mention paying to do so. All of those hobby houses were way more expensive than this adorable one. I wanted wooden and girly, not plastic and gaudy. I really didn't want to have to purchase furniture or a doll family separately. This dollhouse was the perfect find, especially for our 3 year old. It comes with furniture to furnish each room, has three stories (one of my other requirements) and closes up when not in use. The best part is the price! At $79.99 (it's now $69.99) it's a steal compared to so many others like it, and even those of lesser quality. At Christmas we were able to purchase it on sale for only $59.99. Because there is a little brother in the equation, I wanted her to have a place to set her house, up off the floor. I wanted it to still be at easy playing level for her and possibly have a drawer to store furniture pieces. A friend of mine knew I liked to do projects and offered me this antique end table for free! I immediately thought of it for the dollhouse table. I am missing my original "before" picture, but it was painted black, with chipping paint and was the height of your basic end table. I took it to my friendly neighborhood builder (Jessica!) and had her saw the legs off a few inches to make it a better playing height for a 3 year old. Then I sanded down all the chipping paint until it looked like this: After that, it stayed that way for several months. Haha! No joke. That's the way it was come Christmas morning and I simple draped a blanket over it for the sake of pictures. Now, 3-4 months later, I have finally grabbed a can of white spray paint (it only took one!) and gave it a good couple of coats. Instantly beautiful! I love how a can of white spray paint can transform almost any piece of furniture. I also used some oil rubbed bronze spray paint on the drawer pull. I considered buying a new drawer pull, but in the interest of time and convenience, I used the paint to update the one we had. The inside of the little drawer was that dated green felt and it just looked dirty since it was so old. I did my best to line it with some new fabric using some spray adhesive. It took a little doing to try to line it up just so, but it gets the job done! The drawer is a little too shallow to house all the furniture pieces, but it's a perfect "secret" drawer for all of her other tiny treasures (anyone else have a million shopkins, palace pets, twosies, etc etc?? Everything is tiny!). The finished product is exactly what I had envisioned for Christmas morning! But hey, better late than never, right? Hope you all enjoy this simple project and maybe get inspired to do one of your own. I'll include the link to purchase the dollhouse here. This isn't a paid ad, but my own opinion. It's the best little dollhouse for a young girl (or boy, really. My son loves it too!). It gets lots of play around here   Follow
Bathroom Renovation | DIY Shaker Doors
Our bathroom renovation project is coming along pretty well! It's always a longer process when you DIY, especially with kids, because those hours are hard to pull together consistently. Overall, though, it's going just about as planned and we are nearing the final stages! All of the tile has been regrouted and reglazed which was a chore in and of itself, let me tell you! We have the perfect gray paint on the walls, and I have finally finished updating the vanity doors. If you haven't seen my inspiration board for this bathroom overhaul along with the before photos, you can check those out here. It was dark and so uninviting. From my inspiration board, you can see where I was headed with light gray tones and lots of white. Well, y'all, it is a whole different room now! Amazing what paint can do. One thing I despised was the outdated vanity. Unfortunately, ripping it out and replacing it wasn't in the budget for us, so like most things, we're doing a DIY on a dime. I've oohed and aahed at shaker cabinets since they came around again, but was never brave enough to try to make them myself. Our kitchen is full of flat front cabinets that, now that I've updated the bathroom doors, I think I might have to try my hand at upgrading to shaker style. I needed to start small, though, since I wasn't really sure what I was doing. There are plenty of tutorials out there on building your own, which would be stellar except that our doors are overlay design with an inset making them next to impossible to replicate without the proper tools (most of which I do not have). So I opted to reface mine, so to speak. Here's what the doors looked like before. Super outdated and very 1970s. Here's what they look like now in all their gray, shaker glory!!! I could not be happier with the way they turned out or with how simple they were to upgrade! This project is really incredibly simple, and even the wood pieces I purchased left me with only a few cuts (ones that you could easily have done in store). Updating the entire vanity, including a quart of enamel paint, cost less than $30 ($35.99 if you include the knobs that I found at Marshall's). That's definitely a win in my book for such an aesthetic upgrade!

What You'll Need For This Project

  • 1/4" x 3" x 4' boards [these craft boards are sold at Lowes, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, etc.]
  • Wood glue
  • Brads and a brad nailer (or hammer)
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Sandpaper
  • Wood filler
  The first step for me was to remove the existing moulding on the doors. As it turns out, the moulding was plastic and popped right off with a chisel and hammer. I had to fill a few holes with wood filler and sand that down, but for all four doors this took less than 10 minutes. If you don't have moulding on your existing doors, lucky you! I also filled in the design that was on the drawers of this vanity. I felt like it dated the whole piece and didn't want it to bring my new shaker doors down, so I added wood filler there as well and sanded it down flat. Next, I measured out the long sides of my four doors and cut stiles out of my 4' pieces of wood accordingly. (Stiles are the long sides of the shaker cabinet front.) This left me with just enough wood for the rails (the top and bottom pieces). One 4' piece did one entire door. Rather than miter the corners, I opted for the rails to fit inside the stiles. Once I had all my pieces measured, I lined the backs with wood glue and attached them to the front of my cabinet doors using brad nails to secure them in place while the glue dried. The fronts of my doors were slightly rounded, so I lined up the wood pieces with the furthest part of the edge of the door and went back in and filled the seams with wood filler once the glue had dried. After everything had dried, I added wood filler to the seams between my rails and stiles as well as to the inside panel where the wood pieces met the original door. This gave the whole door a seamless, this-was-totally-built-this-way-originally look. The wood filler took a little time to dry because I put it on so thick, but once it dried, I gave the whole door front and sides a good sanding to make sure it would all look solid once the paint went on. The doors all got wiped down with a damp cloth to get rid of any debris and then were given two coats of Olympic semi-gloss enamel paint matched to Valspar Rocky Bluffs gray. All that was left after the paint dried was to put the drawers back in and add hardware! I snagged these knobs at Marshall's for $5.99 knowing I wanted a gray and white look in the bathroom. They could not be more perfect! I am still in the process of adding legs to the bottom of the vanity to give it a finished look. Originally, I was going to just add two, one to either side, but the vanity is so long I think it actually will need four legs so that part isn't quite finished yet. In the meantime, you can see where I'm going with those in the photos below and get a glimpse of the finished vanity and those beautiful shaker doors! I'm still a little bit in awe of how much changing those doors updated the whole room, not to mention the paint colors, but I'm absolutely loving it! The next steps will be framing the bathroom mirror, laying down the floor tiles, adding shelving over the toilet and on either side of the mirror and hanging the light fixture. I'll have tutorials on the bathroom mirror framing for you next week and then hopefully a final reveal the following if all goes according to plan! Do you think you'll try this out on your outdated cabinets? If you've already flipped something older into something that looks new, we would love to know about your successes in the comments below! xoxo
DIY Princess Poppy Troll Headband
The first time I saw the Trolls movie with my 3 year old daughter, I was just as captivated as she was! It's an adorable movie with upbeat music and positive messages: being happy is always within your own control, be positive, show love to others. Not only that but the characters are so cute! I saw Poppy's adorable flower headband and immediately began thinking about how I could recreate it for my daughter. It looks like it is literally made from felt (just like this one!), even in the animation. So here is my version of Princess Poppy's flower headband! It's super simple and super cute.


1 Sheet of Green Felt 1 Sheet of Blue Felt Needle and green thread Hot glue gun Scissors Green elastic (Here's the kind I used) Pattern


Step 1: Cut out Felt

So I've included a pattern here for the flowers, leaves, and headband. My husband has a much steadier drawing hand than I do and a great eye for copying nearly any image onto paper. So I have to give a huge shout out of appreciation to him for lending me his creativity for this project. Once you've traced your shapes and cut them out, it's time to glue them together!

Step 2: Glue

Place your flowers on top of the leaves and hold in place with hot glue. The flowers are a bit "wonky" so you'll need to turn them around a bit on the leaves to find the angle that allows each leaf to poke out between the petals. Once your flowers are assembled, you can place them along the felt band.

Step 3: Sew on Elastic

Felt doesn't really have much "give" to it. So we'll need to add on some elastic to the back of the headband so that it stretches over your child's head (or yours! No judgement here, haha!). The felt may be about 11-12" long. I cut a piece of elastic about 7" long. This allowed a little extra on each side to sew onto the felt. Ok, don't get scared now! It's just a tiny bit of sewing, you can do this! Thread your needle (the little sewing kits you can buy at the grocery come with a handy little threader) and make a simple straight stitch across the end of the felt, layering the elastic underneath (so that the raw edge will be against your child's head). I also did a little "X" stitch on top for more reinforcement but I don't think it's necessary. Just make your stitches really small and close together for the strongest hold. That's it! Then you can stage a cute little photo shoot like we did with our daughters. My daughter's response to her Poppy headband? "Mommy, I'll wear it forever! Did Santa bring it? Thank you so much, mommy!" She wore it most of the day...not forever, but I'll take it. Be sure to show us your Princess Poppy Trolls if you decide to make this cute headband. All the photo cred goes to Jessica! I'm just so in love with the message of this song from the Trolls movie. This is definitely the attitude the Salt and Life girls take and we are doing our best to teach our daughters (and son) to have the same outlook on life. Be encouraged and don't let anything the world throws at you get you down!

I'm not giving up today,

There's nothing getting in my way!

And if you knock-knock me over

I - will - get back up again.

If something goes a little wrong,

Well you can go ahead and bring it on!

And if you knock-knock me over,

I - will - get back up again.

Trolls 2016, "Get Back Up Again"

DIY Bathroom Renovation | Inspiration Board
Our bathroom has been long overdue for a makeover. We've lived in our house for twelve years, y'all, and while we got rid of the ugly wallpaper and carpet in our hall bathroom, it still had yellowing porcelain tile and an outdated vanity. In the interest of full disclosure, that bathroom has been a "designers block" area, if you will. I literally had no inspiration to make it pretty, mostly because it gets zero natural light. I love natural light. You probably know that by now since my goal in life it seems is to make most of our home white or at least very bright! I've finally decided it's time to update that bathroom, though, and make it someplace we love just like the rest of the house instead of something dark that's hard to keep clean. Of course, that will be a process, so today I thought I'd show you my inspiration board which you can find more of on Pinterest as well as some of the materials I'm planning to use. I don't know if you do inspiration or mood boards when you're decorating or renovating, but I find them to be incredibly helpful for two reasons. 1) It allows me to physically see the big picture. 2) It keeps me motivated during those moments of "why am I doing this again?" I find that if I love my inspiration board, I know I'm going to love the finished result, so it's easier to push through when I'm tired of doing it myself. {Yep. That happens.} This bathroom is located right off of our hallway, so I knew I needed open lighting in there to brighten it up, wanted the tile to be really white and needed light paint colors. I also knew the first step was going to be regrouting our tile and reglazing it. Not so fun, but oh, so necessary. Here are some before pictures of the bathroom. {Prepare yourselves... they're not pretty.} That vanity, though... ugh. I've been dying to have shaker cabinets in this house, and thanks to flat front cabinets in the kitchen, I got the idea from Pinterest to add face frames. Our kitchen has a lot more doors and drawers than the bathroom does, though, so I thought this would be the perfect area to try out shaker doors. That molding on the current doors will have to go, and I'll be sure to do a full tutorial on making over the doors including removing the molding. So now that you've seen where I'm coming from, here's where I'm headed with this bathroom makeover.

Inspiration Board

After way too many samples I decided to go with Rocky Bluffs by Valspar for the vanity and Seashell Gray by Valspar for the walls. They're essentially two shades of the same gray with a slightly purple base. Because our bathroom gets no natural light, the yellow cast from any interior light needed to be offset by a cooler paint color. We currently have one of those glass covered flush mount lights in the bathroom, so open lighting will help brighten everything. I found the glass pendant at Home Goods of all places! $40 for a light fixture. Yes, please! Now I just have to find the right bulb. The door knobs are one of my favorite things about this new bathroom. They're a Marshall's find for $5.99, and they are the perfect mix of classic and modern complete with nickel and white coloring! The flooring is a groutable adhesive tile from Lowes which you can find here. While I love how bright this tile is, it's kind of boring, so I may end up cutting the pieces down and doing a herringbone pattern with them. We'll see if I get that brave!

Inspiration Photos

[pin_widget url=""]

I love the paint color in this photo from Laine & Layne. It's bright but still contrasts with the white beadboard trim. Our bathroom is small, so I'd love to put some hooks on the wall to add some storage and hanging space like they've done here.

[pin_widget url=""]

The overall feel of this bathroom is what I'm going for in ours. Bright room, white tile, gray walls, white trim. The flooring I've chosen is less dramatic, but I've picked out some fun knobs to bring in a little glitz and character.

[pin_widget url=""]

I definitely want to frame out our mirror, although I'll be using white instead of stained wood. Ours will need to be a bit more chunky to cover up the screws, but this is the same basic idea. That pendant light also caught my eye and is where I drew inspiration for our final choice, pictured above.

[pin_widget url=""]

I'm not sold on the idea of iron in our bathroom because I hesitate to use any dark accents. While we did discuss switching out all the hardware to oil-rubbed bronze, we opted for nickel because that's what we currently have, and it just wasn't worth the money to switch everything out. I do want white shelves to go over the toilet and maybe on either side of the mirror to provide extra storage, but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for yet. I'm leaning toward building shelves with corbels to use as brackets because I want a sleek white look mixed with some character, and I think that might do the trick. You can see all of my bathroom inspiration on our HOME | BATH board on Pinterest. I'm excited to get started on this project, and will be walking you through the following DIYs as we go, so be sure to follow along! [pin_board url="" size="custom" image_width="100" board_width="900" board_height="450"]

Upcoming Reno Posts:

  Happy Monday, friends!