Catching up & Spare Bedroom Reveal!

I apologize for my recent MIA status – I have been crazy busy and sick and all that jazz. Blah blah, but i’m back and I have some awesome new stuff to share with you!

First, I finally scheduled my move and will be moving things next week so that means I have a whole storage unit to go through but I am super excited to get some of my craft items out of storage which means you may see a crazy surge in projects, but I’ve been missing all my stuff and now that I have finished the spare bedroom/craft room/sewing room and gotten that all updated I am totally excited to cross off some of the projects on my list.

So you guys saw a sneak peak at the cornice box for the spare bedroom last week but as I mentioned, I wanted a little something to jazz it up. I found the perfect thing. So without further delay – I’m totally pumped to share the WHOLE bedroom with you!

Let me remind you of what it was looking like before:

Cluttered, messy and a total dumping ground. After a million  enough trips for the Goodwill folks to remember me each time, we donated a bunch of stuff and got this room ready for some reorganizing. The whole update only cost about $150 – some new bedding and pillow covers, a couple of decorative items and the rest was just some careful shifting of items that were already lurking around the house.

So here is the final product

Here is a close up of the key I added to the middle of the cornice box

Lantern, books and an alarm clock on top of the chest. A TV might be going there in the near future. 

2 part desk area with tons of shelves for storage. 

The main part of the desk – can use both desks for sewing or crafts, etc. etc. 

Found an awesome clock for $14 at ross and then made the cork board below it. Tutorial on that to come. 

Got an awesome deal on a lamp at Kirkland’s – covered over the side table with scrapbook paper and mod podge and added a handle – tutorial for that coming up too. One more pic of my favorite part of the room

I love the nautical feel of the bedroom and I also love that a lot of the items were repurposed – the frames on the wall have these awesome coastal town pictures in them. I repainted the 80’s frames they were in and then painted the mats as well. I already had all those supplies so that was totally free. It is easy to get creative once you start rolling and know you have a limited budget.

My parents are totally happy with their spare bedroom makeover and are so glad it isn’t the family dumping ground anymore. Do you guys have rooms that end up being a dumping ground? You just kind of shut the door and pretend it isn’t there?

Have a fantastic weekend!



DIY attack on dated contractor mirror

I find that when I am frustrated/mad/upset/perplexed/bored (read: in any mood but relaxed) I find that a list of projects can always help take my mind off of things and somehow I see my mood in the chaos that is inevitable during a project and when the project is complete and everything is back in order, I too feel that my life in somewhat back in order. Although it may be a temporary fix, I find that it is a great outlet. The project I am using to deal with my “mood” today is framing the large boring contractor mirror in my bathroom.

Here is the before picture of my bathroom again – Just a plain mirror, by no means atrocious but I see a lot of potential for a cheap change to make a big difference.

I took my measurements into Lowe’s with me and found a simple piece of composite molding that was primed in white. My mirror will be black so buying something already primed eliminated a step for me. I decided to use composite because I figured it would be a little lighter than wood and I wouldn’t have as much of a problem with it bowing out. Saying that, I have never done this before so I think any kind of moulding that you want to use would work for this.

I used EverTrue 1/2-in x 3-1/4-in x 8-ft Primed Composite Base Moulding from Lowe’s  $6.40 a piece and I needed 3 pieces of it.

Then I picked up a quart of valspar Latex Enamel interior/exterior paint in Satin Black for the frame color. Cost for the paint was $9.29. I have paint brushes at home and I am going to use liquid nails to hang the frame which I also have at home. If you’re like me, I always forget the “duh” things for a project so don’t forget to pick those up if you don’t have them. You’ll also need a miter box and saw to cut the wood.

I brought the wood home and cut all my pieces first. Then I taped them up on the mirror to be sure that I cut them correctly and that the corners matched up. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look perfect, mine didn’t, it was close but there were still some gaps which I filled in with caulk after I was done.When I taped the pieces up, I noticed that the  two places at the top where the clips were would cause the frame to stick out a bit. See the original clips below. There were two at the top of my mirror. So instead of trying to cut out spots for those, I opted to use a different type of “clip” i unscrewed the two clips from each side and put one clip in the middle and to make it as flat as possible, I used a washer and the screw fit perfectly through the mirror.

 The mirror is still supported but now I have a nearly flat surface and the frame of the mirror will hide the washer. Note: I have seen some people who will remove the clips and put liquid nails on the back of the mirror to make sure that it is supported. While this is definitely a great way to ensure that the mirror won’t budge, it is also a pretty permanent solution. I wanted to be sure that the mirror would still be removable if my parents decide that they want to do any more extensive renovations later on and once liquid nails is applied to the back, I worry that the sheet rock will come off with the mirror if we ever need to remove it. So I opted for the less permanent solution.

After figuring out the clip solution, I sanded any rough spots on the frame and took them outside to paint. I painted the back and the front of mine – when you put the wood against the mirror you will have a small reflection around the edge  so painting the back is a good idea. Here you can see the unfinished back and above it the pieces that have been painted on the back.

After I let these dry overnight, I spread some liquid nails on the back as close to the bottom of the frame as possible so that when I press the frame against the mirror and the glue spreads, it won’t show in that small reflection I just mentioned. I started with the bottom piece, held it in place for a few minutes and then put some painters tape to help it remain in place on the frame. Then I did the side pieces. 

And then last but not least, I glued the top piece into place. Liquid nails does take a while to dry so even though I had tape to hold the frame in place, I checked on it often to be sure it hadn’t slid anywhere. I think that the frame has added a lot to the overall feel of the bathroom. I still have some touch ups to do on the frame (a couple of places where the paint peeled a little) and then I need to caulk in the corners for those little gaps we talked about earlier. There are also a couple of other finishing touches I’d like to add. But more on that later… here’s a picture of the “finished” mirror.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The total cost of this project: $30.84. Which is GREAT for my $400 overall budget. I love the “big difference” projects that don’t cost much. So far the bathroom has cost $131.64 which leaves me with $268.36 for the rest of the project.

Next, I will be adding some finishing touches to the mirror, painting all the hardware in the bathroom and adding some decorations. I will be adding new faucets at some point but since some updating needs to be done to the pipes, etc. That will be the last thing that is tackled for this project.


Loved a lot about the 90’s – the tired standard bathroom lighting is definitely not one of those things.

My parents moved into this house when I was in the 5th grade – I’m now in my mid-twenties. So there are a few things around the house that have been gradually updated in recent years but as with any house, it is always a work in progress. So in the bathroom, the walls have been painted and the cabinets have been painted which definitely updated the place but there are some other simple fixes that will make it look a whole lot better.

First – the lighting. If you remember these little beauties  in all of my “before” pics:

So I did a little pre-shopping online and went to Lowe’s set on these awesome oil-rubbed bronze lights – the picture totally doesn’t do it justice but you can get the gist of what I am after:

These are $59 each and there is a lighting fixture over each sink so for two total it’s $120 then since my parents are retired military, they were able to get these at a 10% discount so after tax it was $114.78 for both of these. So I get home, totally pumped to start the transformation. I take down the first old lighting fixture and discover the large bracket used underneath with HUGE anchor holes, etc. So after some serious frowning, I decided rather than having to patch and paint and on and on, it would be better to find lighting that had a backing piece extending across the entire fixture rather than having it just at the center. So while I loved those beauties, I love the idea of simple updates more. So back to Lowe’s I went where I settled on a “mix & match lighting” set.

The fixtures were $29 each and the glass bells were $8.98 a piece. They look a little more of an ivory color in the picture but they are actually a frosted white linen finish. They are a little bit heavy though so I am glad that I am using the larger bracket.

So for these two fixtures and bells (after the 10% discount) it was a total of $100.80 – I could have gone with a cheaper bell to reduce the overall cost but I just really love the shape of these.

So, up they went. Since we weren’t working on any of the main electrical, we were able to just turn the light switch off to these lights and plug in a lamp in the bathroom (anyone else have a bathroom with no windows? what a pain!) rather than having to flip the circuit to off.

Pretty simple to put these up, just had to re-attach the wires and put the main piece on our existing bracket. No more 80’s dressing room lights – just a simple light change made a HUGE difference:

I love the new lighting. Next thing I will be tackling is the large contractor mirror seen above. So far my mini bathroom reno has cost a total of $100.80.

– BellaMandarin

When life starts falling apart… start a DIY project, of course!

Let’s see… over the past few months I have had a large number of changes in my personal life – some great, some that I could have done without. But, hey… I live my life knowing God has the plan and I must only be faithful. So what better to do than redecorate when everything feels out of control? I find it comforting to have a project.

So first things first – my bathroom at my parents house has had a few changes recently including a new soothing green paint color and the cabinets went from boring white to a much more modern black. There are still several things that could bring this bathroom up to a much more modern level. On my “to tackle” list is… 1. The large contractor mirror 2. Those old light fixtures that do nothing at all for any space – who ever thought those were a good idea? 3. The bathroom hardware – door handles, faucets, towel bars, etc. and finally 4. The general decor and accessories.

All of this is a work in progress and I will include some progress pics as well as the final product. The total budget is approximately $400 – lighting and new faucets will use up a lot of that so it will take some creativity to do the other items and come in under budget. Stay tuned for tutorials and updates on the progress. For now I will leave you with a few “before” pics.


The 80’s light fixture – these remind me a bit of a broadway dressing room.


The plain contractor mirror


The current towel rings – not bad at all, but they don’t go with the look I’d like, so they will need a little update.


and last but not least, the gold hardware. Again, not a huge deal and not super noticeable but they don’t really go with the look that I would like to have.