Archive of ‘Tutorials and DIY’ category

Moving Ideas!

So it’s only been… what… almost 6 months since we moved??  Better late than never, right?!?!?  I really wanted to pass on some of the tips and tricks I picked up while moving.  Granted, we were moving 10 minutes away not cross-country, so we weren’t forced to be suuuuuuuuper organized. But I do love how everything turned out!  It really did go super well!
Moving ideas at www.DIYinRealLife.com
I based much of my moving plans on these two inspirations on Pinterest.
Moving inspirations from Pinterest
Moving inspirations from Pinterest
Also… Let’s be honest… a few months before we moved, my favorite Emily moved.  I totally watched her and ripped everything off.  It’s the story of my life!
I had everything in a 3 ring binder notebook that I carried around with me as I was packing to record what was in which box.  A couple page protector sleeves in it was nice for storing the labels.  Makes them easier to find the room you’re packing in.  I got 3 colors… One color for upstairs, one for downstairs, and one for the garage.  So I had 3 page protectors and kept each colored labels in each one.
Moving ideas at www.DIYinRealLife.com
 I *LOVED* how easy this routine made it for everyone helping us move !  (I was 8.5 months pregnant at the time, so all the friends who helped us move were absolute lifesavers!!)  Everyone automatically knew which level/area each box went at a glance by simply looking at the color of the label.
I started packing non-essentials and stuff I didn’t use much asap.  The sooner you start so you’re not packing EVERYTHING all at once the better!
Moving ideas at www.DIYinRealLife.com
The labels I ordered were from Amazon… They make life SO much easier to have preprinted.  I printed the sheets off then packed away.  So simple!!!!
I have found that they don’t necessarily stay on the best all on their own… So just to make sure they stay on the box a small piece of packing tape is a good fix.  Unless you have an Emma in your house who likes peel off any labels.  Then 2 large pieces of tape covering the whole label is in order.  Ha!  It kinda defeats the whole purpose if your kiddo rips all the labels off all the boxes.
Moving ideas at www.DIYinRealLife.com
 I hate moving (I want to live and die in this house!) but having a game plan helps i.m.m.e.n.s.e.l.y!!!  It made me feel like I was approaching a challenge that I could conquer!
Moving ideas at www.DIYinRealLife.com
And bonus!  Here are free printables for my moving notebook and my labels… If you can use them, AWESOME!!!!
 If you found this post, you’re probably moving… So good luck with that!  Hope it goes super well for you!!!

How to easily update an old refrigerator using wainscoting!

So when I posted about our sexy new refrigerator, I realized that I never posted about our old one!

 

Right after we got married, we needed a refrigerator for our old house.  And with a “just married” budget, we needed somethin’ cheap!   And so a $60 old black refrigerator entered our lives. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked!

 

And if necessity is the mother of invention… Then ugliness is the father of creativity! 🙂

 

 

And so started the update that made this refrigerator workable for 2 more years!

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

 

 

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

First we and when I say we actually mean Handsome Man sanded the front like crazy with an orbital sander.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then we and when I say we actually mean Handsome Man removed the handles, smeared heavy-duty adhesive all over the front and started covering it with wainscoting.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.comThen… And I missed a picture.  But just imagine ratchet straps like these around the top and bottom.  Great way to keep the wainscoting snug up against the refrigerator while the glue dried since we weren’t able to use nails.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I just caulked all the cracks and it was ready for paint.

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

I (and when I say “I,” I actually mean I!) painted it a couple shades lighter than the cupboards to avoid so much of the same gray…

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

Re-attached the handles…

How to make a refrigerator look... ummm... better with wainscoting at www.DIYinRealLife.com

And boom!  Customized refrigerator!

It wasn’t ideal perhaps… But it made a $60-dinged-and-dented-paint-splattered-old-refrigerator last 2 years.  PLUS we sold it for $40 on Craigslist after we got our new one, so I’d say that’s a SCORE!

DIY Chevron Sign

DIY Chevron and Wire LOVE Sign  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

You might remember my chevron spree a few weeks back…

 

I chevron-ed this table…

This pinboard…

A few other things…

and… *drumroll*

 

DIY Chevron and Wire LOVE Sign  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Some chevron signs.

DIY Chevron and Wire LOVE Sign  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

First I stained and painted the various boards…

Then… Using my stencil from Cutting Edge, I used my foam roller and rolled away.

http://www.cuttingedgestencils.com/chevron-stencil-pattern.html

Then I grabbed my wire and needle nose pliers…

DIY Chevron and Wire LOVE Sign  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I drilled a few holes to attach my wire words…

DIY Chevron and Wire LOVE Sign  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And Wahhh-lah!

DIY Chevron and Wire LOVE Sign  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

I made them to take up to the shop.  

Let’s just say I fell in love with them and kept one of course!

DIY Chevron and Wire LOVE Sign  by www.DIYinRealLife.com

The rest I delivered up to Tekamah… We’ll see how long they stick around. 😉

Linked up at:

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Home Stories A to Z

A DIY Industrial Coffee Cart

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com  - Would make a great kitchen island!!

 

So last week you saw in this post that we were stocking up on 1×8’s before the storm.

DIYinRealLife.com - Stocking up before a snowstorm

Well this is what we were working on…

An industrial coffee cart for the Lincoln Home & Garden Show.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com  - Would make a great kitchen island!!

Weddle and Sons Roofing originated in Manhattan Kansas 15 years ago. Last year they opened a branch here in Lincoln, Nebraska and hired Handsome Man to be the Area Manager.

(Our friends Allyn and Emily are the owners.  Yes THIS Allyn and Emily! 🙂 )

So a coffee cart seemed like a good idea because we could use it year after year at both the Lincoln Home and Garden Show and the Manhattan Home and Garden Show.

They always serve coffee and donuts, but there was just something nice about the idea of a bar height service area instead of just sitting on the table.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Somehow Handsome Man manages to take all the chicken scratch plans that I write down from what’s in my head and make it come to life.  He’s crazy impressive like that!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

So we measured… And cut 2×3’s…

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Did you know they make 2×3’s? I didn’t!  I feel so out of the loop!

They look less standard than 2×4’s and I like that.  Also, they are a bit lighter… Definitely a plus in this case!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Especially since we were using 1×8’s to sheet the outside of the cart.  I wanted a good industrial look, which is why we chose that thickness despite the weight.  All in all the cart was lighter than I had expected it would be.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

He cracks me up.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

We also framed up the backside so that when we weren’t using the coffee cart at home shows, it could go down in the Manhattan office to use throughout the year.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

We added a simple shelf in there too for storage.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

After finishing the outside, we added the industrial castor wheels underneath.  If you were using this as a kitchen island, you might consider getting ones that lock?

We got these from Menards… They have lots of various sizes.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

As opposed to getting more stain, I thought I’d use whatever we had in the basement.  First I used traditional cherry…. But it wasn’t dark enough…

So I pulled out some random darker stain… Can’t even remember the name.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And BOOM! Instantly better!

It was a stain/sealer all-in-one.  Which was good for the sides since they don’t get much for wear.  I did put a couple extra coats of sealer on the top though since it’ll get more wear and moisture.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then we added some big heavy L brackets.  They did absolutely nothing structurally… They are merely for that industrial look. And it’s PERFECT!!!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com  I mean really??! How awesome is this!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

We also made industrial “handles” using this tutorial… With the exception that we used galvanized pipe instead of electrical conduit for the horizontal pieces.

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

If you were using this for a kitchen island, the “handles” would make pretty kickin’ towel bars! 😉

The only problem?  Now that it’s done, I REALLY want one too! Ha!!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

The rest of the display came together… Handsome Man worked so hard getting everything together for the Lincoln Home & Garden Show and I’m so very proud of him and it’s success!

Love this DIY Industrial Cart by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And just for a laugh…

We went to Wal-Mart that night to pick up some last minute things.  And it was SOOOOOO cold!  It was like 6 degrees and WINDY!   We drove into the parking lot and could baaaarely drive down any of the lanes because almost every single cart was outside in the cart corrals.  We went inside and there were 10 or so carts at the door.

Our theory?  It was so cold, the cart boys quit! ;)’

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Blackberry Vine

DIY Chevron Burlap Ribbon

DIY Burlap Chevron Ribbon by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Okay… I dig chevron.  I just do.  I’m not ashamed!

 

 

And when I saw this inspiration…  “Burlap? Chevron? Ribbon? Love.”

 

Pinterest Inspiration

 

{Pinterest}

I happen to love the cotton in this wreath by Orthodox Mom.  Super cute!!!!

I love the chevron ribbon but…

I’m cheap.

And I didn’t want to buy any.

So I thought to myself:

Self… You bought ribbon on a garage sale this summer.  Burlap ribbon from Ballard Designs no less. It was only 1.00 a roll and you got three, you shrewd-efficient-deal-finding girl you!”

DIY Burlap Chevron Ribbon by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Yes I did.  Full rolls of Ballard Designs ribbon for 1.00 each.

I hadn’t done anything with them yet, so I pulled one out one evening along with a black sharpie marker.  I flipped on the TV, plopped down on the couch and started working away at it.

DIY Burlap Chevron Ribbon by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Yes it’s time consuming… But it’s a good while-you-watch-a-movie project!  Really doesn’t take much for brains! 😉

DIY Burlap Chevron Ribbon by www.DIYinRealLife.com

I was anything but exact with the pattern because I wanted it slightly irregular and imperfect.

 I basically just outlined 2 M’s then colored it in… Or W’s if your prefer… 🙂

 It would take a lot longer if you wanted them exact though, and had to measure I’m sure. I’d suggest just buying it if that’s the case.  Ha!

I sure love it though!  Can’t wait to find something to use it on now that I have a whole roll of it!

 I’ll post when I do!  Whoop whoop!

DIY Burlap Chevron Ribbon by www.DIYinRealLife.com

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A Glimpse Inside

Kitchen: How to install cabinet hardware

Okay…. You very well know how I feel about things like thoroughness.  And being exact.  And little things like that.  Yawn.

Give me a big room to paint and I’ll whip through that thing in no time flat.

Want anything done fast but not necessarily perfectly?  I’m totally your girl.

 

Do you identify with me?  Yes?

 

Then this tutorial is for you, baby!

 

 

www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

Let’s be honest.

There are many times when I can afford to whip through stuff and forget the whole “exactness thing.”

Cabinet hardware?  That’s totally not one of them.

If they are even a little off, you can tooooootally tell.

Drives. Me. Crazy.

 

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

So… I realized that I mentioned getting these in, but I never did a follow-up post on installing them!

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 Check out my previous post on D. Lawless and what I think of them….

(hint:  They have awesome quality and super price effective pulls and knobs.  I’ve ordered from them several times and highly recommend them.)

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

When Handsome Man installed these, he had the brilliant idea of using the photocopier to make a template.

He just measured where he wanted the hardware…

Put the aforementioned hardware on the photocopier with the correct position…

And wah-LAH!  Simple template for drilling the holes!

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

He just drilled right through the paper.  It got torn up a bit by the end, but totally worked anyway.

Brilliant baby, brilliant.

(Not sure if this was his original idea or a hack?  He does have a Pinterest account he checks every once in a while to see what I’m pinning.  Sweet isn’t he??!  Either way, he’s brilliant.)

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

Did you know that if your cabinet hardware screws are too long, you can trim them using one of these electrical plier things??

This is something I TOTALLY never knew…   Please tell me I’m not the only one!

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 Thread the screw in to the appropriate length…

Squeeze the living daylights outta the thing…

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

And boom.

It’s the right length!

Word to the wise:  Do NOT screw it in backwards.

 And don’t ask me how I know.

 I just know.

Leaving it at that.

 

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 Much better.

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware


Feel free to snicker at Handsome Man’s bedhead! 😉

Repeat with all knobs and pulls…

 

 

Kitchen Remodel by www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

Then stand back and admire your sexy new cabinet bling!

www.DIYinRealLife.com - How to Easily Install Cabinet Hardware

 

 

 

 

 

Linked up at:

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DIY Showoff

The Blackberry Vine

How to work with faux fur

Yes… I covered something with faux fur.  Maybe it doesn’t make any sense?  Maybe it’s not even in style?

 

I don’t care!  It’s quirky.  And fun.  And it makes me smile!!!

 

Simple Secrets to working with faux fur - www.DIYinRealLife.com

And as quirky as faux fur is, it’s just as quirky to work with!  If you don’t follow these simple tips, you. will. have. fur. everywhere.

 

 

So I have this hope chest that Mom gave my when I was like 17 or so.  It’s handmade by a guy in Falls City who makes these amazing cedar chests.  It smells so good!!

Unfortunately, Kaydee (My rather large boxer) did a number on the top and something needed to be done.

 

Entrance: Faux Fur

 

 

Okay… Let’s get started!  Never cut fur with a scissors.  That’s rule number one, Jack!

 

Simple Secrets to working with faux fur - www.DIYinRealLife.com

Instead, use a razor or X-acto knife.  I used the latter.  Simply flip the fur over and cut the backing.  Don’t cut too hard or you’ll end up with that “shaved” look and a crazy furry mess.

 

 

Also….Make sure your fur is running the correct direction!  I forgot that step and got verrrrrrry lucky!  I did happen to have it in the right direction, but almost suffered a heart attack when I happened to think of it mid-way through cutting!  *WHEW!*

 

 

Simple Secrets to working with faux fur - www.DIYinRealLife.com

Excuse the blurry photo… It’s all I had for this step in the process.    I simply covered the top of this hope chest like you would recover any chair seat.  This tutorial by Southern Hospitality is a good explanation! Although I just used a hand stapler as opposed to a air stapler.

 

 

Simple Secrets to working with faux fur - www.DIYinRealLife.com

A little fur… A few staples… And WAH-LAH!  Quirkyness!  Makes me smile!

 

 

Simple Secrets to working with faux fur - www.DIYinRealLife.com

It’s also perfect for storing all my blankets in. Since it’s a cedar chest (Thanks for giving this chest to me all those years ago, Mom!!!) it makes them smell goooooood!

 

 

 

Now I didn’t sew this fur as I was just covering the top of my chest.  (Wow.  That might bring me up on some awkward Google searches.)

But if you are sewing it, brush the fur in the opposite direction and put the 2 edges together like usual and sew them.  If any fur happens to get caught in the seam it can usually be brushed out with a comb.

 

Above all, if covering a hope chest top with fur is what makes you smile, then go for it!!!  There’s nothing better than a home full of things that make you happy!

 

 

Simple Secrets to working with faux fur - www.DIYinRealLife.com

Painting Pillows??

I had someone ask about my striped pillows that you kinda saw in the background of this post.

 

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

 

They’re actually painted!  Spray painted that is….

 

 

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

First I cut the squares of fabric the size I needed to make the pillows…

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I taped off random stripes with painter’s tape…

 

 

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I spray painted them with this paint…

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Then I removed the tape and sewed them into pillows.  I used this tutorial by Chalkboard Blue.  Super simple!

Now that I have the stencil, I kinda wanna make chevron ones! 🙂

 

How to Paint Pillows - by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Making Antique Looking Mirrors….

How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

Home Heart Craft did a great tutorial on this…  *cough cough*

Admittedly, I read through it quickly once and then just went at it.  Thankfully this is one of those reeeeeeeally easy projects that isn’t too complicated at all! 😉

 

You only need 4 items.

*Looking Glass Spray Paint – (I got mine at Hobby Lobby… I know it was hard to find there for a while, but if all else fails, look online!)

 

*Water

 

*Vinegar

 

*Glass – I used a picture frame and just took the glass out, did the project, then put it back in the frame.

 

 

How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

All I did was mix the vinegar and the water in a small spray bottle and spritzed the glass…

 

How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

As you can see in the top left corner, some of the water pooled up there making some super awesome antiquing action going on. Love when that happens.

Then I sprayed a thin coat of the looking glass paint and continued to alternate those 2 steps.  Sometimes I’d do a few coats of the paint for every spritz of water.

It actually takes quite a few coats of the paint.

 

When you put the glass back in the frame, you will want a darker colored backing behind it as some of that peeps through.

 

 

How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

I made a couple of the mirrors and put them on my “free shelves” that I built a few months ago.  In addition to all the pictures I put up there, I have a few quotes as well.  I happen to love this one! 🙂

 

 

How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

And I want to go back THERE sooooo badly!  🙂

Beach anyone??!

 

 

How to make antique-looking mirrors by www.DIYinRealLife.com

 

How to make throw pillows from placemats!

Yes… These pillows are made from placemats.

 

 

Making pillows out of table placemats by DIYinRealLife.com

 

Awesome, no?  And they totally took me like 5 minutes each to do!

 

 

Making pillows out of table placemats by DIYinRealLife.com

I bought this and this placemat from Target…….  I also bought a table runner (The yellow one) from TJ Maxx and made pillows the same way as the placemats!

 

Making pillows out of table placemats by DIYinRealLife.com

They’re double thick with a front piece and a back piece, so it was SUUUUUPER simple to  just cut the end off, leaving me with an open “sack-like thing” for the lack of a better description.

Making pillows out of table placemats by DIYinRealLife.com

Then I pulled the stuffing out of another old pillow that I didn’t use any more and crammed it into the new pillow.

Making pillows out of table placemats by DIYinRealLife.com

I even managed to do it all with this young munchkin in the sling while I worked.

(Come on….. You had to know I’d get a picture of Emma in here somehow!!! 🙂  )

Making pillows out of table placemats by DIYinRealLife.com

Then it was just a matter of sewing up the end and throwing them on the couch!

How easy is that?!?!?!

I’m totally into pattern mixing right now so expect to see a few more pillows here in the near future!  In the meantime…. Adoring these!!! 🙂

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