Archive | DiY

a normal summer day of pretend {diy bird wings}

gosh. three year olds are tough man. i’m not good at this. at all.

but gosh. three year olds are so fun too. the pretend thing has totally kicked in and there are constant requests for outfit changes(usually at the most inconvenient times) into her dress up clothes.

and these birds wings i made her for Halloween last year are finally getting some use…

one morning last week she said, “mama, help me put these on and take pictures of me outside. ok mama?”

i think she thought i’d say no, like it seems i so often do. but i said yes and oh man, you should have seen her eyes. it almost made me cry with her excitement and joy.

i want to say, yes, more.

  and oi, her hair. i put it in a ponytail and it always ends up C.R.A.Z.Y. she may hate me when she’s older for how crazy it looks at this point in her life. i’m trying not to worry about it. i also daily threaten to cut it. this little sweetheart enjoyed watching her sister as well as trying to sneak eat some grass/clover…

 who me?   there is also SO MUCH singing right now. songs about everything and seranading everyone. and from her “tower,” belting it as loud as she can {she likes Tangled at the moment lol}  dear 3 year old, you are so fun. keep bringing all of this joy into our lives, every day. we are so blessed by it and by you. xo-mama.

{i used ashley ann’s directions to make the wings. check it out here if you want to make some! i think i made them a little too big, hopefully she grows into them a bit. i also didn’t bother to cover up my stitches like she does. the layers are so very fun! let me know if you make it! they are so fun!}

xo-kimberly renee
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a story about a ceiling

so i recently posted this photo showing Husbuddy working away:


but i’m not sure y’all know the full extent of where this little project started…

just to catch everyone up, here’s the DAY we moved in photo: studio-guestbedroom   studio-guestbed2

yummy dropped commercial ceiling (blech!) and so low! we thought we could just gain a couple more inches if we took it out. also…the dust and gross musty smell of the thing. get it outta here!


well we started taking it down right away.

but… we didn’t catch this in the inspection:


we apparently, luckily, only took down a couple of the ceiling tiles on the other side of the room. le sigh.

you can’t tell from the awesome picture (from 2013) that actually the ceiling was sagging. the plaster had pulled away from the ceiling rafters… and how about that wall paper?

and also- see the walls? apparently they only thought we needed to plaster the walls up to the dropped ceiling. i mean, the guy was probably thinking, “who would ever want to remove such a gorgeous dropped ceiling?”

ha. {we can laugh about it now.}

also, how about them wires? they weren’t to code— AT ALL. they where wired through the ceiling fixture and down to the outlets in each of those walls. genius.

and horrible.



this was me (prego the first time) sweeping up the mess along with a few tears. it was going to be a lot more work then we had imagined.


in the next few weeks we had a contractor add some beams to pull the ceiling back up to where it should be. the contractor wanted to do just one beam down the middle because that’s all in really needed but this little designer knew that in the future two beams would look OH so much better. tee hee. the contractor also re-wired the electrical… you know, instead of taking the wires through the ceiling light down to the walls… ack.

so this is how the ceiling stayed for the last three years.


well mostly. besides the whole “bat escapade” (see that post here or here if you’re unfamiliar with that disaster) where we figured out {guessed really} there were bats coming out of the holes in the walls so we covered it with cardboard…ahhem… classy. but really, could we do much more with this? lol.

we’ve had guests sleep in this room. with this scary looking ceiling. FOR THREE YEARS. oi. sorry guests. we love you for staying with us anyway.  IMG_2948

so back to the story: i drew designs for the ceiling to my hearts content. with no money to actually do anything it just sat like that for 3 years. until this year when i traded some hours with a contractor friend and we sweet talked him into helping us make this room work. and look SO much better! 2016-07-12 14.13.15

these photos kind of skip a few steps, but first we added support and shims to create a level plane to attach 4×8 bead board panels to.

2016-07-12 14.13.23

it was still impossible to get it perfectly level because just going from one corner to the next we’d be inches off… let’s just say our goal was honestly to bring it up to “quirky old house” level rather then “perfectly level and new looking” and rather then “creepy-old-house-that’s-going-to-fall-down-on-you” level. see? happy medium. LOL.

2016-07-12 14.14.38

here’s a detail shot… ha you can see ALL the layers:

  • the plaster wall not quite going all the way to the ceiling(the pink area next to the ceiling seems to be a wall papered wall behind the existing one that has a wire mesh over it)
  • the star wall paper ceiling
  • the rough 2×4 beam holding up the ceiling from 2013.
  • the classy piece of cardboard covering the bat-hole(ah! how did that not get removed?)
  • the shims and leveling supports for the bead board
  • the bead board panels being installed.
  • and the line of trim and molding to be added.

so we got the bead board up and where Husbuddy was working in this photo was during the wrapping with molding stage. we used 1xs all around the edge and around the beams to really hide the mess clean it all up. then we added a piece of cove trim to the corners to hide all the gaps.

see again? happy medium. 😉


isn’t he so cute?

and here you see where it stands today:

2016-07-16 13.34.45

TA DA! whew! it looks SO much better! we need to add a ceiling fixture (still) and organize the room for guests and for work, but seriously, doesn’t it look a like a million bucks?! {at least compared to before?} 

should i remind you?

before part 1: studio-guestbedroom

before part 2: IMG_2946

after:  2016-07-16 13.36.41

yay! it’s still quirky old house feel…but it’s clean and white and bright and it makes me smile. perfectly imperfect! and i love how the dark gray walls turned out!

Thank you Contractor Kevin for helping us SO much! Thank you Husbuddy for making my designs a reality(i know it’s hard being married to an architect) and thank you to our friend Bill for being such a good friend and helping us paint all of it in one afternoon.

ha. now to find a low clearance light fixture. maybe when we have guests next time the room will actually be put together.

SO, who’s coming to visit?

xo-kimberly renee
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DIY outdoor pillows {for -practically- free!}

diy pillows_edited-1

this project has been on my list for a couple years now. has ANYONE ever priced outdoor pillows? i mean, anyone who lives on a normal or frugal budget priced those suckers? i always hope i’ll find them reasonable somewhere but every.single.time it’s just disappointing. probably because i’m barely willing to spend $5 on a pillow- let alone $35-$50. you read that right. outdoor pillows are PRICEY.

so this little project i’ve been planning and preparing for 2 years now…

you think i’m exaggerating, but i’m not. you will see my crazy in a couple seconds…

and, yes! i made these for free!

what you need:

  • a sewing machine, thread etc.
  • 1 yard +/- outdoor fabric (i already had this- hence why it was free)
  • lots and lots and lots of plastic grocery bags <–the crazy 2 year planning right there folks. i’ve been saving those for a while.

you guys. this is super simple and i was able to finish three pillows during a nap time, so you’ve got this.

start by cutting your fabric into the size of pillow you want. i just guessed. my fabric was an old drape that i had originally used sunbrella indoor/outdoor fabric for. you can find this fabric online at your favorite fabric website, even amazon has it. just make sure it’s outdoor fabric if you want an outdoor pillow! basically, i just cut my yard of 54″ wide fabric into thirds. so they ended up being 18″ wide. 2016-06-06 14.43.18 then fold in half, with right sides together and pin.

2016-06-06 14.43.32

then sew your pillow together!

2016-06-06 15.02.05 just make sure to leave a hole big enough for stuffing the pillow. i should have made mine a little bigger, because it was a little tight. 2016-06-06 15.21.50

guys, this is where my *crazy* comes in.

for stuffing, you use a MILLION plastic grocery bags. i have been saving them for years. i am sure there are easier ways to gather bags. but for me, i just tucked them away in my basement like a hoarder and Husbuddy thought there was something wrong with me.

this was my stash: {puppycakes was very confused}

2016-06-06 15.22.10

minus the huge bag i found after i used these up and needed more and then i just saw yesterday that i have another huge bag downstairs after i finished this project. doh. {remember where you stash your bags, people}

anyway, how AWESOME is this idea for stuffing outdoor pillows?

  • it’s plastic so it’s not going to grow something strange and gross if it gets wet.
  • it’s free because stores just hand these out.
  • it’s recycling to reuse them so it makes you a good person or something…
  • win win win!

ha. {side note, i can’t take all the credit for this idea. i’m pretty sure i saw it on the inter-webs around 2 years ago when i started saving these things… ha. but WHO knows where that was. so if i’m not crediting YOUR brilliant idea please, let me know.}

so anyway, here is the first stuffed pillow. you can see it’s lumpy because i only stuffed it like 3/4 full because i was running out of bags already and i had two more to stuff!

2016-06-06 15.26.02

this is where i may have panicked! but then, i found another stash of bags. the day was saved. (drama much? geez lu eez.)  2016-06-06 15.40.37

2016-06-06 15.50.41 then i just slip-stitched the hole closed and whaala:   2016-06-06 16.14.54

we now have the comfort and class of outdoor pillows without spending almost $100 for them. seriously.

i was a little worried that the plastic stuffing wouldn’t be comfortable, but really, i don’t even notice it. it’s super firm so it’s not like i’d want to sleep on it, but for an outdoor pillow that’s just to lean against and mostly for decoration anyway? super fun!

and free!  2016-06-06 16.15.19  so tell me, who’s gonna start saving those plastic bags for this project? OR, who is already crazy enough to have saved enough to start this project today? fess up people. i know you’re out there.

tee hee.

xoxo-kimberly renee
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it’s the little things

you guys. i have a crazy fun story.

it’s about dreams and about wants and about silly little things. {and it’s rather long. if you actually read the whole thing you deserve a medal or something.}

dining area

see this picture from O-So-long-ago? when we bought our house, this was to be our dining room and i desperately wanted to tear down that ceiling fan and hang a chandelier or something more “dining room” like. tell me…WHO eats dinner with a fan blowing? maybe i’m the crazy one, but 1. who likes the wind/dust/air blowing from above your food anyway? and 2. who can stand the flickering light of the fan moving with the lights on? it makes me dizzy.

Dining Room

well, we didn’t have that in the budget or time frame so there it sat. (collecting dust. really. gross. dust over our food. let’s not think about it.)

for what seemed like ever.

which really, it’s only been 2.5 years…

well. ever since we moved in, i’ve been on the lookout from something really fun to hang there instead of that fan. because, duh. the thing is there wasn’t ever any money for something so vain as wanting something pretty! i’d save my personal money but then it always seemed to disappear and go for “the cause” as Husbuddy calls it. ha. so anyway when i say i’d “be on the lookout” really meant 1. i prayed about my silly little heart-desires(cause let me tell you, there’s a few!) and i’d give the things i “want” up to the Lord, trusting that He will provide for what i need…even if it’s not what i want… and He’d change my heart on things i don’t need…  and 2. i’d wander through a used furniture store or through the ReStore hoping i’d find something gorgeous and cheap.

hence the 2.5 year wait.

but you guys! about a month ago Husbuddy and i were running a  few errands and i randomly decided i wanted to browse through the ReStore, again.  he never gets annoyed at my random wanderings...he always graciously loves to waste time… he sweetly and ever so gentlemanly came along. well we walked out of the store empty handed again. i am pretty sure i was explaining to him again, that my heart really just wanted a lantern. like an outdoor porch lantern or a hanging foyer lantern. i was trying to explain to him that idea as he was backing out the car, and i looked around at a man walking INTO the drop off area of the ReStore, and i shouted, “Like THAT!” Husbuddy looked at the excitement on my face and he told me he would park and wait for me as i was busting out the door before he even stopped the car.

see, someone had just dropped off almost the exact lantern i was dreaming of.  well, maybe not exactly, it was covered in spider webs and it had broken glass, but i didn’t care. i saw from the car who the man gave it to. then i raced in to the back of the store and searched for it like a mad-woman. i knew it would not be there for long. something that gorgeous? ya-nope. it would be gone in minutes. hence, the madwomen scene. i finally found it behind the work counter. yup. i was THAT crazy, i found where it was tucked away and i grabbed it, and then proceeded to march around the store looking for the person that put it there.

i found the employee and he gave me a really weird look. it was similar to what i’d imagine, “who do you think you are picking that up from behind my desk? are you a crazy lady?”

but i proceeded to explain to him that i saw the person dropping it off and i really really wanted it! he said that they usually don’t sell it until it’s been cleaned up, look how dirty it was!

but i said, i didn’t care and i would clean it.

finally, for i was afraid he wouldn’t even let me buy it, he said he would sell it to me for $10. eek! i could hardly contain my excitement! i knew that if he would have cleaned it up they would have charged $60 –at least!

so he gave me a little slip of paper with his signature saying it was $10 and sent me to the checkout desk. well, i got to the front and the lady gave me a look and said, “really? we’re selling that? i’m not sure we can…” i may have freaked a little. i explained to her the story again and said i didn’t mind cleaning it, etc. and then…

and then she almost didn’t sell it to me.

she said she wasn’t supposed to sell something that dirty and broken. ah!!  no!!! i could just see it slipping away. she must have seen it on my face, because then she said, “ok, well since i’m not supposed to sell it why don’t you just take it. for free.”

um, really?!


that really happened! i mean, in REAL life! it’s silly, i know. but it made me so giddy with excitement.

it also completely touched my heart. i felt like i received a little kiss or gift from the Lord. i know, it sounds silly. but i truly believe that He made me the way i am, He made me to love creating my home to be pretty and fun, He created ME that way, and He knows what my heart desires, even silly little things–> like a new lamp. He delights to give me the gift of a new day, He delights to give me the gift of Sophia laughing in my lap and He delights to give me a lantern that will make me smile and appreciate that He provides for EVERYTHING. i seriously believe that He is a God that gives us ALL of the gifts we have in this life. even silly little things like this new lantern that really fit in our budget…lol.

we went straight home and i started cleaning it right away. i took out all the glass because almost every piece was broken.  i cleaned out all the bugs and spider webs and scrubbed that thing like crazy.

i was ready to install it that day.

lantern cleaned2 lantern cleaned

well, that was two months ago.

life gets busy and it took us forever to figure out what to do about the fact that this lantern had a tiny little cover plate for the ceiling while the fan had a huge circumference which we were sure, judging by the rest of the house, was going to be a mess of plaster and we’d have to patch it.

then i wondered, well, people deal with this all the time, isn’t there some sort of cover you can just put under the cover plate? um, for your information, why yes. yes there is.

hello ceiling medallion. duh


it’s embarrassing how long it took me to think of that.

ah well. but 15$ later we were back in business! and then an hour or two of Husbuddy fiddling and cursing and wiring and attaching– we have a brand new lamp! {and don’t you mind our crooked ceiling…this is a rather crooked old house}

lantern installed husbuddy

and i am in love!

lantern dining room lantern installed

waiting and waiting and praying and stalking really paid off…don’tcha think?

xoxo-kimberly renee


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just a little paint

it’s amazing what a little bit of paint can do, don’tcha think?

and really, isn’t that the easiest, cheapest, DIY update and renovation you can make on your home?

Here is the before from our original house tour:

front room

and now, FINALLY changing that BLA-beige to gorgeous grays, you will find i’m a much happier girl. i actually painted back in February but i’m finally getting the pictures taken.

after: {ignore our huge coat rack. lol i should have emptied it!}

Dining Room 4

Dining Room 2

just one room though… i have a lot of work to do if i’m going to paint the whole house!

{and yes, the hymnal wall is still there! who knows how much longer that will last though}

painted DR3 painted dining room painted DR2

it is hard to show on the camera what a difference the gray is from the beige. you can kinda see it in that picture below- the corner of the stairs because i didn’t paint up the stairs yet!

here are some overall room shots:

Dining Room 3 Dining Room  i’m loving it! i was a little afraid the dark wall would make the room feel too dark, but really it just makes all the white things pop and brighter.

what do you think? do you like changing the paint in your rooms? do you like experimenting with color?

xoxo-kimberly renee

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DIY play kitchen

this post is about two weeks late. but oh well! i just wanted to share how we created a little kitchenette for Sophia for Christmas. i knew that she would LOVE playing with a kitchen because of how much she loved the one at Nana’s house. but i also didn’t want to spend the money to buy a plastic one… that could be potentially ugly, since it would be hanging out in our main living space. plus, Husbuddy and i have so much fun with projects, we knew we wanted to give this one a try!

we followed the steps from the YHL website but tweaked it to fit what we wanted. {for full step by step directions, go there!}

basically, we started with this:

IMG_5584  it is a cabinet that is 24″ tall and about 30″ wide. it probably had it’s first life above a refridgerator. we found it at the Habitat for Humanity REstore{such an awesome place btw!}

then we split up. Husbuddy made a counter and stained it and we found a metal bowl for the sink. i painted the outside and the inside because Husbuddy hates painting. Husbuddy rehung the right door so it would open like an oven door.  IMG_5674  then we added details.

it’s ALL IN THE DETAILS! you guys! seriously, it’s the details that makes it fun.

  • we found a cheap faucet and installed it.
  • we thought about trying to make a fake one out of pvc pipe or something…but i’m sooooo glad we didn’t because the sink faucet is her favorite part!
  • we got little wooden drawer pulls and painted them silver,
  • painted the stove top on
  • we got new hardware
  • we attached a hook on the side for a future apron{Nana, we’re waiting for it…}
  • we got a push light and attached it to the ceiling of the “oven” side so that we can have light in there{totally stole that idea from YHL!},
  • we made a pink shelf for the cabinet side under the sink
  • we added little feet(which you can’t see in the pictures) to keep the cabinet about an inch off the ground since our floors are uneven.
  • and i took apart an old cookie rack so that we could have an oven shelf.
  • we cut out a hole in the oven door and glued plexi glass on.

whew! it was fun to figure it all out.


and here it was all set up for Christmas:  kitchenette cmas eve

kitchenette cmas morning

the minute we walked down the stairs on Christmas morning, Sophia squealed! she had no idea what was going on! but she ran straight to that kitchen sink and played with the faucet. immediately. ha. it was super cute. i had also found a little kids chair at an antique shop and painted it as her other xmas gift from us. she promptly moved the teddy bear that was sitting on it and scooted the chair over the sink. it really made us so excited to have created this for her!

kitchenette play2

later that day we moved the kitchenette over to it’s place next to our refridgerator and in front of the chalk board. it’s super easy to move. she enjoys working in her kitchen while i’m working in mine. hee hee. all the grandparents supplied the necessities to fill the kitchen, so it worked out great!

kitchenette play

the only thing that we haven’t figured out is that the plexi glass popped off that day. it was super glued on, so we’re not sure how else we’re going to attach it. right now it works just fine with an open hole that she can reach in anyway.

playing on cmas day

and now, her birthday is tomorrow and we don’t know what to get her. ha. she’s two, do you think she really needs anything else? haha.

has anyone else ever made their own kitchenette verses buying one? how did it turn out for you?

xoxo-kimberly renee
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painting a perfectly fine piece of furniture

little cleaner  it was months… MONTHS ago that i posted this photo on instagram of the little miss cutie patotee helping me clean my birthday present from hubby.

let me back up.

one day while wandering around the Habitat for Humanity ReStore looking for something else, we found an old {giant} hutch  for a steal. it was only $199! what?! we abandoned all previous plans and tried to figure out if we could really get this. we’ve been wanting one. it was on a wish list- like years down the road. it was pretty beat up, with lots of scratches. -and weird ones, like on one side of the counter but not the other?  but all the doors and drawers still opened beautifully and it really was a nice piece… so he said it was my birthday present. no need to convince me!

then we had to figure out how to get it home.


besides that, it was a total dream! and i knew i wanted to paint it. i actually had planned to paint it the next week. or the week after at the latest…

well, babies get sick. mommas get sick. life happens and all of a sudden months pass.

and it still looked like this:

pre paint  {ha, besides the cleaning rag from the first day}

which was fine. i was totally used to it. i still thought it was pretty. it was the perfect piece for our rather empty dining room.

but i knew. i just knew that it wanted to be a brighter, happier color. and i knew, i just knew that the beadboard in the back wanted to be white, it wanted to pop. i finally just took the whole thing apart and began painting.

have you all used Annie Sloan chalk paint. let me tell you, i LOVE this stuff! it goes on like a dream. you can add water to make it run on smoother, you can mix your own colors SUPER easy. i mixed dutch blue with pure white. holla!

the picture below is after the first coat! process  but seriously, three words: SO MUCH DENTAL.


it wasn’t going to be perfect, lines where the blue meets the white are not perfect, there are still some dings and scratches that show through and with a little buddy constantly needing me the project took multiple days (over a week to get the thing back together!) but it’s done and it’s beautiful. #idhtbptbb “It Doesn’t Have To Be Perfect To Be Beautiful!” {from The Nester}

speaking of… i have been putting off typing up this post because i keep meaning to get my nice camera out to take the pictures. let’s just be honest, it hasn’t happened for the last two weeks, it’s not going to happen any time soon so i might as well just post these iphone photos and get done with it! HA.

again…double hashtag idhtbptbb!!! blue hutch  i left the hardware exactly the same. i thought about cleaning the brass up but i was afraid it would be too shiny…brass color… instead of this patina of antique brass which i loved, so i just left it.

the only sad part is that as we were putting it back together one of the pieces of glass in the doors broke. sad day! but you can’t really tell, right?

top half  now i smile every time i see the dining room. it’s so much happier and brighter. one day we will paint the walls and change the light fixture. until then, i’m going to live with this beauty.  hutch  so, moral of the story?

1. go with your gut and just do it. just paint the darn thing that’s been sitting there begging to be painted for months.


2. ALWAYS remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.

xoxo-kimberly renee

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