A Semi DIY Bee Costume

A cute (semi) DIY Bee costume for toddlers! The tutu is a super easy & cheap DIY project. Pair it with some black tights & shirt...all you need to buy is the wings & ears! Is it really Halloween already? November is this weekend? Where has this year gone?

Taking full advantage of still having control over Lily’s wardrobe choices I picked her costume this year. I’ve tried to ask her what she wants to wear, but she has yet to really take interest in choosing her clothes. This is fine by me because I like dressing her and I’m not looking towards the days she fights me on mixed matched outfits or totally inappropriate hem lines (I swear I’m going to blink and she will be 15 tomorrow).

Rambling off costume options Lily said yes to every one I gave her….including Rambo & a trash can. Not knocking those options…but just a demo that she will say yes to anything. Wanting to keep her costume easy and something I could semi create… I went with a bumblebee! A fabulous excuse to put her in a tutu.

beecostumeThis costume was even easier than her ghost costume from last year! I used a black shirt from Gap (that she already owned), pair of black shoes from Target (that she already owned) and I purchased a “bee set” from Amazon that included her wings, ears and the stinger that clipped to her tutu (cost $23 including s&h). The only thing I made was the tutu and I used the same steps from my super easy DIY tutu tutorial. I did purchase some black tights from Target the day before a costume festival only because Tampa received a random cold front.

beestingerThe tutu literally took me 15 minutes to make and cost less than $5 for the tulle (I had plenty of elastic band from other tutus!). The tutu will be re-used whenever my husband’s beloved Steelers play. Being lazy I opted to just order the “bee set” from Amazon instead of driving around searching for one. After it was delivered of course I found bee accessories at my local Target. Oh well.

A shopping center nearby had a fall festival where kids could trick-or-treat at the stores giving all the kids a chance to sport their Halloween costume more than once (something all parents can appreciate especially if they spend time and $ making them!). When we put the costume on her to go she LOVED it!

lilybeerunShe ran back and forth on our walkway as if she was flying…stopping to Buzz and shake her tush waving her stinger. I about died it was the cutest sight. It was also impossible to get her to stay still and take a decent picture…

lilybeerunback

This year she totally understood the trick-or-treating part. But like any inquisitive toddler she stopped constantly to spy inside her pumpkin and demanding to eat every single candy. Her father and I had a blast eating it later that night while catching up on our DVR.

beecandyLily was beyond excited to see her girlfriend Makyla…who was the cutest little lamb!

lilycacaAnd you gotta love a two year old toddler…the only way I got her to look at the camera with me is by giving this face…

beesillyfaceAnd this lovely face with her dad!

lilydad

 

 
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  1. Diane commented:
    October 30, 2013 Reply

    Love, love the tutu theme! You did
    an awesome job on Lily’s costume!!
    You can tell she loves it, and that is
    what is important. 🙂

  2. January 24, 2015 Reply

    certainly like your web site however you need to test the spelling on several of your posts.
    Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very
    bothersome to tell the reality however I will surely come back again.

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DIY Chalkboard Memo Pad

DIY mini chalkboard memo pad! Hang inside your pantry or kitchen cabinet with a removable 3M hook and you have a perfect place to jot down needed groceries. Great part- save you nice stationary and notepads to create your shopping list and you can re-use this clipboard over and over, not wasting that pretty paper of yours with one or two item lists! One thing you learn about motherhood is that “pregnancy brain” seems to no longer just be a pregnancy symptom…it’s become a perma fixture between cleaning smashed goldfish crackers from the rug and the rare moments you get to pee or poop alone (or maybe I’m only speaking about myself and my girlfriends).

Oh there are days sometimes weeks were I’m dominating motherhood and making it my B____. But then there are those days were you run to Target for TWO items, two items you had spoken to your husband about a number of times, trash bags & wood cleaner…and five minutes into the store and wait….ummm what was it……???? and blank. It is beyond irritating especially when your toddler is freaking out that the iPad shut off (of course because I forgot to charge it) during a Caillou episode and begins to toss goldfish all over the isle. Gotta love those moments right? Well this particular instance I was an idiot for not writing the two objects down before I left. But when I pulled out of the garage I knew what I needed as well as the lyrics to the Fresh Prince theme song. Good thing my husband was working from home that day and I called him to check my chalkboard memo pad to save a wasted Target trip.

Enter today’s DIY project. Because my memory seems permanently to slip here and there, I needed something in the kitchen to record needed grocery items. Of course I could use one of the cute notepads, and I did. But I love my pretty paper and I seemed to waste a lot of my notepads on one or two item lists. Always looking for something to chalk paint I picked up a cheap clipboard from Staples (under $2) to make a DIY chalkboard memo pad.

diymemopaintI taped off the top so there would be a nice clean line of paint. I used a plastic bag to cover the remaining top with the clasp. Using the spray chalk paint I had left over from the DIY chalk tags I gave the clipboard three coats of paint. Remember you need to give a 3-4 hour window in between coats. Once dry I peeled off the plastic bag, tied some rope to the clasp and on the other end tied a piece of chalk (so I don’t have to rummage around trying to find it). And viola….I have a notepad that I can use over and over and not waste my pretty paper! Plus this now gives my husband a known area to write down items he finishes like the milk…

To keep this out of view but within reach in the kitchen I hung it inside my pantry with a 3M plastic hook. I have seen people paint the inside of their pantry or cabinet door with chalk paint to create reminders or lists. I have a spice rack that takes up most of my pantry door and this mini chalk clipboard can move wherever I want it to. All I have to do is peel the 3M tape off and reapply it to another cabinet if I want.

Next time I leave the house I just need to remember to actually write down the items on paper or in my phone!

DIY mini chalkboard memo pad! Hang inside your pantry or kitchen cabinet with a removable 3M hook and you have a perfect place to jot down needed groceries. Great part- save you nice stationary and notepads to create your shopping list and you can re-use this clipboard over and over, not wasting that pretty paper of yours with one or two item lists!

 
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DIY Chalkboard Tags or Signs

DIYchalktagstitleThis project was so simple it’s silly. For Lily’s second birthday I wanted small chalkboard signs for the food and drink stations. I loved the way these DIY chalkboard tags or signs turned out that I found several other ways I could use them…making them a cheap, simple and re-usable object (awesome!).

DIYchalktagsJoann had the wood pieces I used for dirt cheap. The large circle wood ornaments were $.79 each and the 12 piece bag of wood tags were only $1.00! I have tons of chalk paint still left over, but I decided to pick up a can of spray paint to try it out ($7.99 at Michael’s). Since these pieces are so small using spray paint made this project even easier with little cleanup (no washing a paint brush!). Just lay out a plastic tarp or use a large trash bag and lay your wooden tags on top. Shake your chalk spray paint can hard for about a minute and then give the wood pieces a good spray. I allowed two hours for dry time before I gave it another spray and followed it up with another coat after allowing it to dry again. I LOVED using the spray chalk paint since it was quick and easy. I would suggest you use a clip on spray paint gun (super cheap) or a plastic glove. I got a little paint on my finger and when I went to clean my hands, the paint got under my nail making it super hard to get off (and dirty nails gross me out!). Using these as signs I only pained one side…so that was it. So simple it’s SILLY!

diychalksignsdrinksI used chalk pens to label the signs at Lily’s party. Chalk pens make any handwriting look 10x better….trust me…mine usually looks like chicken scratch! To hang the chalkboard sings I used twine found at Joann or Michael’s.

diychalktagskidsdrinkI wrapped a few tags around the mason jar flower vases and added a “2” for her second birthday.

diychalktagsflowersI tied a few on to her presents just for show…two year old’s can’t read and it was for my child so I know who the gift came from….I did it just to make it cuter! I really liked this idea for gifts as the chalk signs are blank and you can write anything on them…happy birthday, congrats, welcome home, Merry Christmas etc etc. Plus if you are using them for gifts for your own family you can re-use them again for another gift! AND if your gifting it to somebody they have the opportunity to re-use it! With 12 pieces for a $1.00 it’s cheap, simple and a cute add on to any gift! I think they are way cuter than those holiday stickers you fill in for Christmas presents too!

DIYchalktagscolorIn our kitchen we have a class container with our coffee grinds that has a chalkboard label painted onto the side. I used one of the tags to label the Borax in our laundry room in lieu of painting the actual container…again so simple it’s silly.

These signs can be used for anything. They can be wiped cleaned and used again. They are cheap and so easy to make. This is my kind of DIY project!!

DIYchalktagsborax

 
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  1. […] as a way to label other party décor with some tags I made (this simple DIY project found here). When I think of BBQ red gingham and galvanized metal comes to mind. I picked up a few galvanized […]

  2. By Lily & Bliss | DIY Chalkboard Memo Pad on September 3, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    […] bag to cover the remaining top with the clasp. Using the spray chalk paint I had left over from the DIY chalk tags I gave the clipboard three coats of paint. Remember you need to give a 3-4 hour window in between […]

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DIY Outdoor Chalkboard

Keep the chalk mess in the backyard w/ this DIY outdoor chalkboard. Make it fancy with gold borders (spray paint). Screw on some brass hooks and hang $1 tin pails to hold the chalk and eraser! I’m back with another DIY post using the famous chalk paint. I actually worked on several projects using chalk paint for Lily’s birthday party this Saturday, but I will save those for next week!

Having a wall devoted to chalk doodles and ‘to do lists’ are all over Pinterest. I haven’t decided to fully commit to doing this inside my house…so that’s why I made a huge one for the backyard. Lily is a crayon lover at the moment so not knowing if she would use a chalk wall inside, the outdoor chalkboard will be our training wheels I guess.

We had a majority of the materials for this project making this very cheap, which always makes me smile (and Mike!). Here’s what you need:

Wood board (found at Lowes or Home Depot, you can buy pre-cut or cut to the size you want)
Sandpaper
Small towel
Primer (I purchased Primer & Seal 1 2 3 from Ace for $7.98)
Chalk Paint
Foam roller & paint tray
Gold spray paint
Pencil
Yardstick
Painter’s tape
Paint tarp
Plastic garbage bag
Brass cuphooks ($2.49 at Ace)
Tin pails
Chalk & eraser

I had a large piece of wood leftover from my DIY laundry room shelf just taking up space in my garage. To smooth the surface I used my mom’s sanding machine and then wiped all the dust off the board with a small towel. I sprayed a coat of primer to make the surface as smooth as I could.

Keep the chalk mess in the backyard w/ this DIY outdoor chalkboard.To keep the remaining painting as clean as I could I laid out a large tarp under the wood board (you can keep it classy using flip flops and a dog bowl as weights!). I primed the board in the front yard standing up against a tree. To prevent drips with the chalkboard I would recommend laying it flat. I used a small foam roller (that I found at Target’s dollar section months ago) and applied three coats of the chalk paint (check with your chalk paint for wait times between each coat- I allowed 4 hours). My chalk paint instructed a minimum of two coats and I added one more for better results.

Keep the chalk mess in the backyard w/ this DIY outdoor chalkboard.Using a yardstick and a pencil I outlined a two inch boarder for all four sides. I applied painter’s tape to seal the boarder (make sure you press the tape good to seal). I taped two garbage bags down to protect the middle of the board before I spray painted a gold boarder. I just wanted to make it pretty!

Keep the chalk mess in the backyard w/ this DIY outdoor chalkboard. Once it was dry and the tape and garbage bags were removed we screwed on the brass hooks (went with brass to match the gold boarder). Mike and I stood the board up to screw in the hooks. Warning: when you start to twist the hooks into the wood it will seem like it isn’t going in. It almost appeared that the hook was ruining the wood, but we kept applying pressure and the hooks eventually screwed all the way in (phew). The chalkboard is laying against the house in a corner on the patio and doesn’t required to be hung because it is supported by two walls (saved money & my sanity with this). We had two small galvanized pails in our garage that were found in Target’s dollar section. One pail holds Lily’s chalk and the other one holds an eraser.

Keep the chalk mess in the backyard w/ this DIY outdoor chalkboard.We got tons of giggles from Lily when we unveiled her fancy outdoor chalkboard. She created some toddler doodles and then had a field day with the eraser. Crayons don’t have erasers so making your doodle disappear was like magic to this kid. The chalkboard sits under our patio and under our outdoor fans, so the shade and breeze from the fans makes it a bearable outdoor activity for both Lily and her parents!

Keep the chalk mess in the backyard w/ this DIY outdoor chalkboard.
Total cost: $10.47 (only needed to buy the primer and brass hooks!)

Keep the chalk mess in the backyard w/ this DIY outdoor chalkboard.

 
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  1. kelsey commented:
    June 20, 2013 Reply

    Lily looks like such a big (2 year old) girl in these photos! Love this DIY for it’s cost-effectiveness and simplicity both in appearance and creation. Nice job Amy!!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 21, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Kelsey! Putting it to use at the party too! See you tomorrow xo

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Loving Bloglovin’ and Why You Should Too!

blogloovtitleHey folks a little reminder for all you Google Readers…on July first you’re going to say adios to it! Yep as part of Google’s ‘spring cleaning’ they are pouring more time into fewer products. But don’t frete…there are other options for you.

For those of you that are scratching your forehead, Google Reader was a way to save all of your favorite blogs (like Lily & Bliss!) to one location. When a blog has a new post that feeds into the reader. This way you can stay up to date on all your favorite blogs.

Have you ever just stumbled upon a new blog and liked the current post…you thought I want to continue this…then life happens (dog needs to pee or your kid needs a diaper change) and that really cool blog’s name has vanished from your memory…if you’re a mother this happens all the time with blog titles, grocery lists and important to dos! Well using a reader allows you to quickly add the new blog so when “mommy brain” switches in gear the readers will remember for you!

Google reader is gonzo on July first so if you are a user….don’t wait, sign up with other options so you can transfer all your blogs now! Two options are Feedly or Bloglovin’. I personally found Bloglovin’ to be easier to navigate so let me show you what I love (btw Feedly has some of the same attributes but I was drawn to Bloglovin’ visually and for it’s easy use).

It is so easy to add blogs to Bloglovin’. If you have a Google Reader and want to transfer all your favorite blogs to Bloglovin’ click here for the simple steps! You can do a quick search for your blog, or you can hover over “top blogs” and pick a category to view other blogs.

Bloglovin’ works on your computer, iPhone, Android and iPad.

You will receive an email with your daily feeds from Bloglovin’ all in ONE email. So you can cut down emails!

bloglovincategoriesYou can create your own categories and organize your blogs (this made me giddy!). For example you can create the following categories: Foodie, DIY and Baby. You then can add Young House Love to DIY, Skinny Taste to Foodie and on and on. That way if your only feeling the mood to read about kitchen remodels you can read just the DIY blogs.

You have the option to “like” posts and Bloglovin’ will save them under all the other “liked” posts for you to read again whenever you feel like it!bloglovinmain

Bloglovin’ allows you to comment on the blog directly from their feeder.

You can quickly skim over a new post from one blog and if you want to read it later you can mark it as “unread” so it stays in the que with all unread posts.

bloglovinbarWhen you click on a new post from a blog it will appear as if you are going straight to their site. You will notice at the top of the page will be a Bloglovin’ bar that will allow you to post to Facebook, Tweet or Pin whatever you liked about that particular post. There is also a drop down box that lists all the other blogs you follow that you can skip to from that page or just click the “newer” “older” and “liked” posts to continue your blog reading.

Pretty easy ain’t it! So if you’re looking for a new reader for all your favorite blogs or you’re a newbie to the reader realm and just discovered how easier it will make your life than hop on over to Bloglovin’ and get started! You can click on the logo below to add me to your reading list!

Follow on Bloglovin

 
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  1. Lyndsey commented:
    June 18, 2013 Reply

    Thank you for the help with bloglovin’!! It was really helpful.
    Have a great day! 🙂

    • Amy Romano commented:
      June 20, 2013 Reply

      No problem Lyndsey! I’m glad it was helpful!

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DIY Wood Shelves

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!Having tons of frames with cherished photographs decorating our walls makes me warm and fuzzy. I’m not one for multiple frames on a console or table…I’m a wall gallery fanatic. There is just something about picture galleries that make a house feel like a home.

Prior to the kitchen/master bedroom & bath makeover I had one gallery in our family room and another in the master bedroom that was on either side of the bed. The gallery in the living room was clean, where the one I had in the master was sloppy and a bit of an eye sore. I threw it together one day during Lily’s nap and because I was rushed the outlook looked sloppy. So I was excited to re-do the picture galleries!

Looking on Pinterest I was hooked on the idea of using shelves and overlapping different sizes of frames. Using shelves for photo galleries are great because you can constantly change up the frames and holiday objects without making 30 nail holes!The main problem was that shelves are $$$$$$$. After a little more digging on the web I found a fabulous tutorial from Ana White called the ten dollar ledges. SCORE! Check out Ana’s post for a great video and probably better tutorial!!

For Ana’s shelves she used 8 foot long shelves and I made mine only 4 feet. Here are the materials I used to make mine:

For one 4 foot long shelf you need:

Two 1x4s @ 4 feet long
One 1×2 @ 4 feet long
Four 2” screws
Two-three 2” finishing nails
Wood glue
Wood filler (optional)
120 grit sandpaper & hand towel (sanding machine makes it faster!)
Paint
Paint brush
Safety glasses (if using sanding machine)
Hammer
Drill
Level
Stud finder
Painter’s tape

Before you even begin make sure you use your stud finder on the wall you want to use and mark where the studs are by leaving pieces of the painter’s tape. To make this DIY project easier you will want to attach these shelf to studs. You can find (& to be sure ask for help at Lowe’s or Home Depot) hanging options if you do not have studs in the location you want to place these shelves. Finding the suds first will give you an idea if a 4 foot shelf would work or if you should go bigger or smaller. To better understand I only needed to drill two 2″ screws to hang my 4 foot shelf.

I purchased the wood already cut to 4 feet from Home Depot, Lowe’s has it too as I went back to build more…yes these are that easy to build!!! At Lowe’s a 1×4 was $2.97 (remember you need two for one shelf) and a 1×2 was only $1.78. So much cheaper than the floating shelves at Pottery Barn!

Once home I prepped the wood by sanding all pieces and used a hand towel to remove all the dust. Before attaching the wood together I laid them out because while sanding I noticed that some sides had a few indentations/scratches. I made sure that those pieces would be facing towards the wall!

DIY cheap wood shelvesLay the two 1x4s in the shape of an “L”. Predrill two marks on the bottom of the 1×4 that is vertical (again for a better picture you can check out Anna’s tutorial). To actually drill, you will take the bottom 1×4 and stand it up and apply a small amount of wood glue along the edge that will be against the other 1×4. Place the other predrilled 1×4 on top and align them. To hold that piece up I used another 1×4, creating a table. *I had another 1×4 on hand because I ended up making 2 shelves for the living room and one for the bathroom. Using the predrilled holes, drill a 2’ screw to both sides. Be careful where you place the hole and drill straight or your screw will pop through…like it did to mine whoopsie! Once you are done you will have an “L” shaped shelf.

The 1×2 will create the front ledge and prevent frames from falling off the shelf. To attach, apply a small amount of wood glue to the top of one of the 1x4s. Lay the 1×2 on top and make sure it is lined up and use a finishing nail to attach. I ended up using three finishing nails just to be careful. I applied a little wood filler to any of the holes on the finishing nails so the front of the shelf would look nice and clean.

shelfwhoopsieI painted the living room shelves the color of the wall, Benjamin Moore’s Shaker Beige. The one for the bathroom I just used the plain white trim color that is on the baseboards. In the bathroom I wanted to go with an all white frame look so  I made the shelf white too. I applied two coats of paint for each shelf and allowed them to fully dry over night.

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!Hanging the shelf was easy peasy! I used my stud finder one last time to make sure I had the correct areas marked. I placed my level on the shelf and once it was ready I drilled my 2” screws into the back 1×4 into the stud. See…so simple!

All that you have left to do is figure out what frames you want to display and how to arrange them! My favorite two pictures are from our wedding when I was walking down the isle. Two pictures caught us at the same time….shelfwalkingdownisle

DIY cheap wood shelf. Dirt cheap, easy to make and so easy to hang! Perfect way to create a photo gallery without all the nail holes!

 
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  1. March 28, 2013 Reply

    i.LOVE.these! adding to my future decorating project list…

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Keeping Her Busy: Art Easel

IKEA's art easel is only $14 bucks! You can spray paint it (I did a pretty gold!) so it goes with your room's decor and watch your little Picasso go to work! Ikea also sells a matching roll of paper for only $4.99! Pretty cheap for something that your child will use for years! Toddlers and crayons go together like peanut butter & jelly…like sugar & tea…like a cold Corona & a lime wedge.

Coloring is an all time favorite of Lily’s and the perfect activity to keep any toddler busy. The only problem I had was keeping her coloring books organized and out of sight. For some time I had them stored on our dining room table, but moved them to a plastic container out in the garage with the rest of the art supplies for a little spring cleaning. Heading out to the garage everyday to grab the Elmo coloring book was annoying so I headed to Ikea and picked up their wood art easel for an outrageously cheap price….$14.99!

ikea easel suppliesTo make the art easel pretty and fit with our home’s décor I painted it gold! The easel comes with one side made for chalk and the other for dry erase markers. I taped off both sides with a trash bag before I gave it two coats of spray paint (that I already owned).

Ikea's cheap art easel is only $14.99 & spray paint it a fun color (like gold) to go with your home's decor. A super cheap & pretty place for your toddler to make art! The easel comes with a wooden stick to hold a roll of paper and you can purchase a huge roll of paper for only $4.99. That is so cheap that I snatched up two of ‘em! To hold the paper still while Lily colors I placed a metal paper clip. You could easily use a plastic chip clip, but the metal paper clip fits securely & is toddler proofed!

To hold Lily’s crayons and chalk I am using small metal buckets that can be found in Target’s dollar section. The green bucket was actually included in a party favor so it made this project cheaper! I only spent $ on the following:

Art easel $14.99
Roll of paper $4.99
Metal buckets $1.00

Since Lily still has a fascination with eating crayons I just move the two metal buckets to the kitchen counter once art time is over. Simple & easy. So for a small price we now have a cute art area in the living room where Lily can go and get her Picasso on!IKEA’s art easel is only $14 bucks! You can spray paint it (I did a pretty gold!) so it goes with your room’s decor and watch your little Picasso go to work! Ikea also sells a matching roll of paper for only $4.99! Pretty cheap for something that your child will use for years!

 
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  1. Kimberly Romano commented:
    March 13, 2013 Reply

    We have the same thing for Nick…he loves it!

  2. March 13, 2013 Reply

    genius to spray paint this!!!! i’ve been eying this at ikea for months now & can’t wait until miss Kate is old enough for it (but really, I can wait, because this baby stage is already flying by waaaay too quickly. but you know what i mean) 🙂

    • Amy Romano commented:
      March 15, 2013 Reply

      Ha- I was eyeing it too when Lily was still considered a “baby”…and yes it flew by! Tomorrow I’ll be shopping for a training bra…:)

  3. Elizabeth commented:
    March 15, 2013 Reply

    We have this and love it!

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DIY Laundry Shelf

DIY Laundry Shelf tutorial. Simple & Cheap way to dress up the laundry room!More room to fold towels and the shelf prevents pens & pocket change from falling behind or between the machines!During our chaotic kitchen and bathroom makeover I got the itch to redecorate or make changes to every other room. We spend the majority of our day in the living room and kitchen (They are connected as one large room) and our bedroom and bathroom follow behind that. However it feels like I’m in the laundry room the most. The laundry is never ending. I have made the mistake of boycotting for a few days and the consequential piles of dirty clothes were terrifying.

Since the laundry will never end I decided to make a minor change to the laundry room. I built a simple shelf to cover the washer and dryer so I could have more room to fold clothes. The shelf is placed against the wall next to the dryer and fully extends to the back wall so I don’t have to worry about buttons, bows or the occasional pocket change sliding behind or in between the machines.

This DIY project was so simple and cheaper than buying built-ins! Supplies you will need:

Wood (purchased from Lowe’s or Home Depot & they will cut it to your measurements)
Sand paper
Wood Putty & knife or spatula to apply it with
Pen or Pencil
Handsaw or other equipment to cut the wood
Safety goggles for the saw
Towel to wipe dust off the wood
Paint & brush
{If needed wood trim molding and finishing nails (trim found at Lowe’s or Home Depot)}

DIY laundry shelf. A shelf to cover your washer and dryer giving you more space AND preventing objects from falling in between and behind the washer! My mom and I went to Lowe’s to purchase the wood. Since we both wanted to make laundry room shelves we thought it would be cheaper to see if our measurements would work using one large piece of wood. The wood slabs weren’t big enough so we purchased separate pieces and had them each cut to our specific measurements. They do this for free!! Even if you have the wood cut to a smaller size you still have to purchase it at the price of the original size, so we toted the leftover pieces home and my mind is racing with ideas on how to use the ‘scraps’. FREE wood for future projects…..hmmmmm outdoor chalkboard for Lily????

DIY laundry shelf. A shelf to cover your washer and dryer giving you more space AND preventing objects from falling in between and behind the washer!We used my mom’s sander to smooth down the wood pieces. I applied wood putty to some of the knots and holes. Once the putty dried I lightly buffed it with fine sandpaper and wiped it down with a towel to remove any leftover dust. In the picture above you can see the holes where I applied the wood putty.

DIY laundry shelf. A shelf to cover your washer and dryer giving you more space AND preventing objects from falling in between and behind the washer!To make sure the shelf would be flushed against the wall I needed to make a cut so it would wrap around the washer’s tubes. I made marks with a pen and took the shelf back outside to cut.

DIY laundry shelf. A shelf to cover your washer and dryer giving you more space AND preventing objects from falling in between and behind the washer!I borrowed my mom’s handsaw and safety goggles to cut the wood and after I rubbed the rough edges with some sandpaper to finish it off.

DIY laundry shelf. A shelf to cover your washer and dryer giving you more space AND preventing objects from falling in between and behind the washer!I lucked out when my mother lent me her Annie Sloan chalk paint in Pure White & Duck Egg Blue. Chalk paint is pretty fabulous and Annie Sloan’s colors are marvelous. With chalk paint you don’t have to sand or prime the object you’re painting…how awesome is that!?! I sanded for this project because the wood was untreated and I didn’t want our laundry to snag on any splinters. Now don’t be confused about the chalk part. I have no plans to write notes on this wood! Annie Sloan chalk paint is a decorative paint used to revamp furniture. Annie Sloan choose the name chalk paint for the matt finish….so don’t get confused with the black chalk paint craze of the moment. Want a shabby chic or vintage look?? Annie Sloan chalk paint is perfect for your project. It’s expensive, but a little paint goes a long way. Read more about Annie Sloan here.

You can also mix the colors together to create a shade to your liking. I used 2 parts Pure White to 1 part Duck Egg Blue to create a really light soft blue. The paint dries so quickly so applying the two coats took no time!

DIY laundry shelf. A shelf to cover your washer and dryer giving you more space AND preventing objects from falling in between and behind the washer!Once I placed the painted shelf on the washer and dryer I loved it. Then the plain edge started to bug me. I went back to Lowe’s and purchased wood trim molding for $2.97 and had them cut it to fit the two sides that face out from the wall. After I attached the trim molding with some finishing nails I used wood putty again to fill the small ‘gap’ between the shelf and the trim. Once dried, I lightly sanded the area and painted the new edging. Usually you apply a light coat of wax to finish a Annie Sloan Chalk project, however I used Minwax Wipe-On Poly for a protective finish. All you have to do is wipe it on with a cloth! So Simple!

The install is the easiest part being that the shelf is large, lightweight and the washer and dryer can support it with no need to mount it to the wall. I placed the shelf back on the washer and dryer and stood back to marvel at my work. My OCD kicked in, I stopped to load a pile of dirty clothes and was bummed when I realized the added trim molding hung low enough to prevent the detergent drawer from being pulled out to fill. My face was pretty beat red and a slew of expletives flew from my mouth (don’t worry Lily was sleeping!). Mike swooped in to save the day by placing a small piece of cardboard under that corner of the shelf. It raises the shelf up just enough so I can pull out the detergent drawer and still keeps the shelf pretty level, so objects don’t roll to the other side!

I went ahead and painted the inside of one of the cabinets and I was surprised that the Wipe-On Poly really darkened the chalk paint. So I’m thinking of painting the cabinets white instead…put I’m placing that project on the back burner until we are back from our mini vacation!

chalkpaintdifferencesFor this project I only spent $35.41! $20.47 for the wood, $11.97 for the Minwax Wipe-On Poly and $2.97 for the wood trim molding. I really lucked out that my mom and I already owned all other materials used!

DIY Laundry Shelf tutorial. Simple & Cheap way to dress up the laundry room!More room to fold towels and the shelf prevents pens & pocket change from falling behind or between the machines!DIY Laundry Shelf tutorial. Simple & Cheap way to dress up the laundry room!More room to fold towels and the shelf prevents pens & pocket change from falling behind or between the machines!I’m still amazed at the amount of laundry that our family of 3 creates…so this easy DIY project at least makes the room more functional and a little prettier to be in!

 
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Bathroom & Kitchen Makeover Completion!

Finally posting pictures from our kitchen & makeover!

This was no easy experience and I’m not sure why I thought it would be. It took time to finally pin point our counter, light and mirror choices and it took just as long to finally be able to say “makeover is complete.”

I usually always prep my mind that something will go wrong with any big event (ie. My wedding, pregnancy, birth, family trips ect). I don’t view this as a pestimistic outlook but more of a realist view. This way of thinking helps me stay chill if and when something does go haywire. Guess I was just way too excited about the makeover and side tracked about having a super sick toddler to even set myself up for possible complications. And we had a bunch of them.

After the countertop installers left I drove over to check it out and I was shocked at how they did their job. There was missing gaps in the clear sealant around the sinks. Messy application of white caulk in both bathrooms and the kitchen. Since the kitchen island is large there was a seal where two pieces had to come together, which I was totally okay with. However there was a chip on the seal and the installers filled it with colored glue that didn’t blend with the color. The absolute worst part was the holes that they drilled for the faucets in both bathrooms. The holes were made a little off center so the faucets didn’t line up with the drain. From the little detail of caulk to huge miss-alignment of the sinks and faucets I was more than upset. I hated to call and complain, but we spent a lot of money on this project. The plumber was scheduled to be at the house first thing in the morning so we pushed that back so the counters could be re-worked on.

Luckily everything was fixed, even the sinks. The installers just shaved down the holes so the faucet could shimmy to the left a smidge. The only problem that is still not fixed is the insta-hot fixture in the kitchen. The installers misplaced a piece from the fixture and the plumber was not able to fix it. We are working with them to purchase a replacement.

Our biggest problem, yes there was another hiccup, had to do with the people we hired for some fixes in the bathrooms. I explained in my last post about the make-over (read here) that we were taking down the light fixture in the master and moving it to the guest bath. We were also taking down the master’s mirror and replacing it with two separate mirrors and lights.  Mike and I were able to remove the master’s mirror with little damage to the drywall. To save money we hired a handyman for the electrical work and drywall repair. We used a referral from someone else that worked on our condo in South Tampa. We still own Mike’s bachelor pad because of the horrible housing market, so we have been renting it out. We hired the same handyman for repairs to the condo as well.

Sadly the handyman did some work and skipped town. Yep. The drywall was almost done at our house and he had to come back to just do a few touchups {so we were told}. Mike was given an invoice for our house and for the work at the condo to which they already started. Being too trusting Mike paid him for both jobs. We finally got a hold of the guy and we are in the midst of trying to get money back….what a headache.

A positive spin…Kevin our painter…yes we hired a painter. With tall vaulted ceilings and being tired from painting the bathroom we hired Kevin who has painted for us previously. This guy is amazing. During the whole process Kevin let us know that he was able to help out with the leftover repairs at our house and the condo. He swooped in and saved the day by making the changes so new renters could move in and we could finally say “makeover complete”.

So we are finally done and now you know why it has taken so long to show y’all! Here are the before and afters!

beforeanfterpaint

paintoptions

denmakeoverbtw the blue tape on the wall above were markers where I installed shelves I made (that DIY project coming soon!)

kitchenmakeroverbeforeWe were thinking of painting out kitchen cabinets cream, but we are going to keep them the way they are. Please excuse the mess I left on the kitchen chairs and couch…I took advantage of nap time to snap these!

It may not look like a completely new kitchen, but it feels that way with the paint color alone. We choose Shaker Beige from Benjamin Moore and the lighter color really makes our home feel bright and more open. We continued with the same color into the master bedroom because we liked it that much!

kitchensinkmakeoverMy camera’s battery decided to die so I didn’t get really great clear images of the sink, my apologies. For the pictures of the bedroom, Lily was up from her nap and this was the best picture I got and Bentley’s placement wasn’t planned either!

bedroommakeoverI swapped out the linen drapes for plain white ones to help lighten the mood along with the paint. We updated the lamps to porcelain blue lamp shades from Pottery Barn to go with our DIY fabric headboard and our Malika rug that also is from P.B. I purchased two matching white pillow shams {that have our monogramed stitched on} and saved the old ones that match the lumbar pillow. Unfortunately Pottery Barn doesn’t have any lumbar pillow covers that fit this style of pillow…so I’m waiting until they do or I find one from somewhere else. We finally put a plain white bed skirt on to finish our all white bed {all linens from Pottery Barn- yes I love that store!}. For our DIY fabric headboard we made read here for the tutorial.

Now for the master bath. Mike was so proud to remove the mirror…

proudmike

drywallpic

bathroommakeover1

bathroomsinkremodleRemember to read my last post regarding our makeover….there are more details on which fixtures we got and where to buy them! Read that post here.

romanotubmakeoverFor our roman tub we lucked out by only replacing the handles!

bathrromwallWe are loving all the changes! All we are waiting on is the new insta-hot water fixture for the kitchen and painting our bathroom cabinets white. Yep we are going to take on that job….but we are going to wait and enjoy this no-project period! And for a laugh below is an example of all the other pictures that I took of our bedroom when Lily woke up from a nap. It was impossible.

bedroomfinalCheckout the other posts from our makeover Here and Here.

 
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  1. Joyce commented:
    February 28, 2013 Reply

    Great job on the kitchen. Love the color. Looking forward to seeing all of you and all of the changes. Love you.

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  1. By Lily & Bliss | DIY Laundry Shelf on March 5, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    […] our chaotic kitchen and bathroom makeover I got the itch to redecorate or make changes to every other room. We spend the majority of our day […]

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DIY Chalk Planter

DIY Chalk Planter. Use chalk paint on cheap clay planters and label it with the flower or herb you place inside! Cute idea for a house warming or hostess gift!Since transforming a huge mirror into our kitchen chalkboard I have barely used the leftover chalk paint on a few tiny projects. The cool thing about chalk paint is that you use such a small amount to cover large surfaces, leaving you with plenty of paint for future projects.

I purchased Rust-Oleum’ s 30 fl. oz. black flat chalkboard paint at Home Depot for around $10.  Only 2 ounces shy of 1 quart, you still have plenty of paint for multiple projects! BTW, 1 quart can cover around 100 square feet. So $10 might seem expensive for a small amount, however you will get a LOT of use out of that little can!

Glancing over West Elm’s new market catalog I loved their chalkboard planters ranging in a variety of sizes from $6 to $18. Sadly I do not have a West Elm near me…but that is probably better for my wallet and Mike! Having plenty of leftover chalk paint I headed to Lowes and purchased an 8” clay pot ($3.97) and matching clay saucer ($2.57) for $7 with tax. The West Elm 8” pot is $18 and with tax and shipping it would be silly for me to purchase it when making one would only be $7 bucks!!

DIY Chalk Planter. Use chalk paint on cheap clay planters and label it with the flower or herb you place inside! Cute idea for a house warming or hostess gift!Laying out some parchment paper under my clay pieces, I gave them one coat of paint. Chalk paint dries pretty quickly for touch, but you have to wait 4 hours until you can apply another coat. Turning the pot over I went in about an inch to where the soil would reach. Once it was dry I popped in a beautiful Hyacinth plant.

I used my chalk pens to label the front and on the back I added notes for the plant’s sun and water instructions. Lily loves to take the little instruction card that is inserted in the soil. I keep mine as a reminder on water, spacing (if I want to add other herbs/flowers to the same pot) and sunlight instructions. Now if Lily decides to take the plant’s  card I will have the instructions right there on the pot!

So here is a great splurge or save option. West Elm’s option at over $20 or my very own DIY chalk planter at $7! Now of course if you have a West Elm nearby and you don’t already have chalk paint you can save $ on shipping & paint and purchase theirs. BUT even if you save on shipping, you can still do this easy DIY chalk project and come out on top! WHY? Because like I said you will be able to use that $10 chalk paint on multiple future projects!

Another idea: Don’t paint the entire clay planter, only paint a small square on the side. Plant a flower or herb, like basil, and take a piece of chalk to label the square. Gift the pretty planter to a friend, grandma or your child’s teacher. I gifted Basil to two of my girlfriends who were testing out their cooking skills!

Tip: While waiting for each coat of paint to dry, wrap your paintbrush or roller in some foil. This will keep the brush/roller from drying out. Unwrap and dip in your paint and brush or roll on!

Another tip: Clay pots tend to soak up more water than other planters so keep that in mind when watering your basil or hyacinth plant!

DIY Chalk Planter. Use chalk paint on cheap clay planters and label it with the flower or herb you place inside! Cute idea for a house warming or hostess gift!

 
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  1. Nancy commented:
    February 19, 2013 Reply

    Love this idea! Like you I have a can of the chalk paint just sitting there. These will make cute little spring gifts for some friends at work. Thanks for sharing and inspiring.
    Xoxo
    Nancy

    • Amy Romano commented:
      February 19, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Nancy! That can of chalk paint was starring at me for months and I’m glad I finally put it to use!

  2. Elizabeth commented:
    February 19, 2013 Reply

    so cute! I made something similar for ella’s pre-K teachers last year. I love chalkboard paint too!

    • Amy Romano commented:
      February 19, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Elizabeth! I’m sure Ella’s teacher loved it!

  3. Christina commented:
    February 20, 2013 Reply

    Very cute! Just bought our first can of chalkboard paint so I am very excited for all the projects!! I found your blog from my bestie over at One Social Brunette! Glad to find some great local bloggers!! Love your blog 🙂

    xo,
    Christina

    • Amy Romano commented:
      February 22, 2013 Reply

      Thanks Christina! Yay to Tampa Bloggers! I love the design of your blog and your kids are adorable!!

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